This Thursday marks the last day on the job for Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife (DFW) Director Wayne MacCallum. He is retiring as Director after 27 years. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology from UMASS in 1968 and his Master’s Degree from Penn State University where he studied the nesting ecology of Black Ducks. He joined the then Massachusetts Division of Fish & Game as a waterfowl technician. Shortly thereafter, he entered the private sector and over a ten year period progressed from Staff Scientist, to Manager of Environmental Management Services for Woodward Clyde Consultants.
MacCallum returned to the DFW in 1983 as the Assistant Director of Wildlife and became Director in 1988. He has served as President of the Northeast Fish and Wildlife Directors Association and the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. He served as Chairman of the Atlantic Flyway Council, the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture, and the Woodcock Task Force. He received a Presidential appointment to the North American Wetlands Conservation Council where he was elected its Chairman. (This Council was in charge of various measures including how to disseminate $100 million to repair damages to the environment and native species from the BP oil spill).
He was a member of the Sea Duck Joint Venture, and the International Task Force on Waterfowl Regulations. He has been honored by numerous conservation and sporting groups in Massachusetts and by professional and national conservation organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, The Wildlife Society and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
A lot of wonderful accomplishments were achieved under his watch from 1988 through 2014: State lands increased from 59,189 acres to 204,164, deer harvest went from 5,596 to 11,165, turkey harvest from 57 to 2,550, bear harvest from 37 (west of CT River only) to 240 (Worcester County and west). His focus was not only on game, but also on the rare and endangered species. For example, Bald Eagles increased from 3 pairs to 40 pairs nesting in MA (486 chicks have fledged since 1989) Peregrine Falcons increased from 2 pairs to 31 (48 fledged last year) and Piping Plovers increased from 135 pairs to 670. As Marion Larson, DFW Chief of Information & Education pointed out, “Wayne will be quick to point out that all that has been accomplished is due to the hard working, caring and professional staff. Still, it all flows from the leader and these are the results of his leadership.”
The Fish & Wildlife Board has appointed Acting Director Jack Buckley to fill in until it hires a permanent successor.
Although a resident of Grafton, MA, MacCallum is well known and respected here in the Berkshires, too. He has attended every Berkshire County League of Sportsmen awards banquet as well as the various local DFW land acquisition ceremonies. He is on a first name basis with many local sportsmen.
Mary Romaniec, Reporter for the Grafton News wrote a wonderful piece about MacCallum and his similarities with Henry David Thoreau. “As Thoreau found and wrote about prolifically, the natural environment is ours as stewards to protect. It seems that MacCallum and Thoreau would have been friends in their love for the environment mixed with pragmatic application on how it is managed. Thoreau too must have wondered what the future held for the generations to come as he looked to the future. (Throeau) wrote, “Each town should have a park, or rather a primitive forest, of 500 or a thousand acres, where a stick should never be cut for fuel, a common possession forever, for instruction and recreation.”
“In MacCallum”, Mary wrote, “He would be glad to know the legacy of stewardship for the land was well entrusted.” Many sportsmen and conservationists agree. *****
The coyote and bobcat hunting seasons ended yesterday. Bobcat and coyote must be checked no later than 4 working days after the close of the season. The cottontail rabbit, snowshoe hare and fox hunting seasons ended on February 28. With the exception of a special upland bird hunting option (page 34 of the Fish & Wildlife Guide), the only hunting season that is still open now is crow hunting, which ends on April 10. The next hunting season to open in our area will be turkey hunting on April 27. (The Youth Turkey Hunting day is April 25.) *****
The Lenox Sportsmen’s Club Sunday Ham Shoots begin today and run every Sunday in March. Ticket sales begin at 12:30PM and shooting commences at 1:00PM. The cost is $3.00 per shot with chances to win your choice of a Ham or a gift certificate to Harry’s Supermarket. The full kitchen will be open. Contact Brady Kerr at (413) 212-0894 for more information.
The Lee Sportsmen’s Association is also having Turkey Shoots every Sunday in March from 1:00 to 4:00PM. The cost is $2.00 a round with chances to win a choice of turkey, steak, spiral ham or pork loin. They will also have a money-shoot for $3 a round. Grilled lunch available.
CARRY LEAGUE – THE MUCH ANTICIPATED RETURN
Next Sunday at1PM the Stockbridge Sportsmen’s Club will be holding a multi-state firearms course. It includes firearm laws covering licensing, storage, transportation, operation and safe handling of firearms, shooting fundamentals, etc. Participants will receive a course certificate which will allow them to apply for licenses in Massachusetts, Utah, New Hampshire and Maine. A Utah firearm permit is honored in 30 states. The fee for the entire 5 hour course is $140 or one can take just the Massachusetts or Utah segments for $100. Preregistration is required. Call or e-mail Robert J. McDermott at (413)232-7700 or email@example.com.*****
6, 3th, 20th, and 27th is tentatively organized for March