Shaun Smith of Lee was selected to receive the Berkshire County League of Sportsmen (BCLS) 2014 Sportsman of the Year Award. The Lee Sportsmen’s Association’s nomination states that “Shaun has been a long time sportsman over the years, and last year celebrated his 40th year being a volunteer for the Massachusetts Paraplegic Hunt program. For many years he has taken the lead organizing the South County paraplegic hunt to make sure all hunters have a great time. Shaun is also involved in Hunter Education Courses as a basic instructor and in firearm training as a NRA certified pistol and rifle instructor and a range safety officer. Shaun runs the indoor archery league and has been working very hard to move the club into the 21st century.”
Former Massachusetts DFW Director Wayne MacCallum of Grafton was selected to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. His many achievements were the main focus of last week’s column.
The Adams Outdoor for Youth organization was selected to receive the Sportsmen’s Appreciation Award. The 31-year-old non-profit organization was founded by town resident James “Jimmy” Carpenter, who also served as its first president. Meetings occur on a monthly basis, and there are more than 130 “family members.” Among the youth-focused activities and events offered by the group are ice-fishing derbies, a well-attended spring fishing derby held in conjunction with the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition and the BCLS, and another very popular annual youth fishing derby. Annually, it holds a well attended game dinner and 100% of the proceeds are used for financial scholarships for youths interested in attending sports camps and a state-sponsored conservation camp. Education-focused scholarships are also offered to Berkshire area high school seniors.
BCLS President Mark Jester of Pittsfield was selected to receive the prestigious John Zuber Lifetime Achievement Award. Just look at his accomplishments: BCLS delegate since 1982 and its president for 17 years, former Lakewood Sportsmen’s Club Secretary; Lenox Sportsmen’s Club Secretary, Board Member and VP since 1984. He was Instrumental in the Adopt-a-Forest Program, involved in getting the ACEC designation for the Housatonic River, serves on several different environmental and non-profit charitable organizations, former founding member on the Governing Board of the Housatonic River Restorations, Sportsmen for Land Preservation, Western Mass Sportsmen’s Alliance, Berkshire Environmental Coalition, Board of Directors for GOAL, BCLS Representative on the Mass Sportsmen’s Council, appointed to the Massachusetts Zebra Mussel Task Force, leader of the local effort to get the National Archery-in-Schools Program established in the Berkshires. In the last 4 years he has signed up 10 schools into the program with thousands of students participating. He has taught youth archery classes at Lenox Sportsmen’s Club since 1996 and coordinates and hosts the Conte Banquet every year. He is constantly meeting with City, State and Federal Legislators, DCR, GOAL, DFW, USF&W and Massachusetts F&W Board on sportsmen’s issues. He has even testified before the EPA in Washington DC.
He has worked on behalf of sportsmen’s issues with and for National Wildlife Federation (NWF) surrounding federal legislation with EPA on the Mercury Rule/ Clean Air and Clean Water Act.
He hosts a local TV outdoor sports programs “GOAL Show” with Executive Director James Wallace and “The Outdoor Report” with the NWF. He was named the 2000 BCLS Sportsman of the Year, 2001 Massachusetts Sportsmen’s Council Sportsman of the Year and the 2014 recipient of the MSC’s highest award, the Ray Gribbons Award.
The richly deserved awards will be presented at the Silvio O. Conte Memorial Banquet at the Cheshire Rod and Gun Club on the evening of April 18. Tickets can be obtained from any BCLS delegate. *****
The East Mountain Sportsmen’s Club will be conducting a Basic Hunter Education Course at its club location at 312 Henderson Road, Williamstown. The dates are April 13, 17, 20, 24, 27 and May 1 from 6 to 9 PM. All first-time hunters who wish to purchase Massachusetts hunting or sporting licenses must complete a Basic Hunter Education course. For more information, call 508-389-7820. *****
The next Lee Sportsmen’s Association Pistol Course will be held on Monday March 23rd and Monday March 30th. The cost is $100. Participants will be given a student packet and learn the attitude, skills and knowledge necessary to become a responsible gun owner. Course includes handling, dry firing, parts and operation of revolvers and semi auto pistols, cleaning, storage, opportunities to shoot in different venues, and the current MA gun laws. Upon successful completion, participants will receive a MA State Police Certificate for application for their LTC. Contact Larry K. at 442-780 for more information. *****
DFW is sending out electronic hunter surveys to approximately 32,000 licensed hunters through Novi Survey, an online survey company. The survey is designed to understand hunter effort and preferences and to collect important local “on-the-ground” information that will help manage game in the Commonwealth. The survey takes approximately 5-15 minutes to complete. All responses are anonymous, identifying information such as email and IP address will not be recorded. If you haven’t received the survey by the end of this month, check your junk or spam folder for an email from MassWildlife/Novi Survey. A reminder will be emailed to license holders who have not responded within a week. ****
The Locker Room in Lee recently held its 23rd annual ice fishing derby at Laurel Lake. Tournament Director Butsy Crawford, who recently turned 90 years old, ordered up some great weather and about 100 fishermen participated. The Adult Heaviest Fish, a 5lb 1 oz pickerel, was taken by Bill Ahern. The Kid’s Heaviest Fish, a 2 lb 1 oz pickerel was taken by Jack Clarke. A pasta dinner with raffle prizes was held at the Locker Room afterwards. All of the proceeds went to Lee Youth Football.