Youth Deer Hunt was a success

According to figures released by The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife ), some 1,339 youths participated in the first ever Youth Deer Hunt which was held on October 3.

MassWildlife created this special season to provide young people an opportunity to hunt deer with their own permit during a special one-day hunt that precedes the Commonwealth’s annual deer hunting seasons.  Youths as young as 12 years old can hunt, provided they were accompanied by a duly licensed adult and they obtained a Youth Deer Permit.  Youths 15-17 years old had to have a Massachusetts Minor Hunting License and a Youth Deer Permit.

Preliminary harvest reports show that 143 deer were harvested by the youths on that day.  The nicest deer that I know of was taken by 12 year old Willem Magnifico from Middleton, MA.  Hunting with his father Mark, he shot the pictured 10 point buck which dressed out at 180 lbs.  The deer, which was shot in Middleton, was immediately dropped at 100 yards with a 12 gauge bolt action shotgun.   It was also a great opportunity for Mark to teach his son Willem how to field dress a deer.


His mom, Karen, and dad are extremely proud of their son’s feat.   They plan to have the deer’s head mounted.


Figures were not yet available as to how many local youths participated in the hunt and how many deer were harvested.   We know that 14 year old Tanner Hill, of Dalton, shot a nice 4 point buck in Dalton, which dressed out at 110 lbs.  Mentored by his dad Michael, he dropped the deer at 75 yards with a 12 gauge shotgun.


Cliff Briggs, of Great Barrington, reported on four father/son teams in southern Berkshire County.  Matt Driscoll of Lee hunted with his dad Richard and got a button buck in Becket. It was also a great opportunity for Richard to show Matt how to track a wounded deer until found.


Other father/son teams included Hunter Briggs of Lee who hunted with his dad Robert, Chip Consolati of Lee hunted with his dad Tony, and Liam Shields of Lee was mentored by Matt Ranzoni.   The group saw 4 deer, but no bucks other than the button bucks.  After the hunt, Mike Scolforo of Lee invited them up to his hunting camp in Sandisfield and cooked them a couple of burgers and stuff.


My apologies to any other hunters/mentors who may have participated during the Youth Deer Hunt Day of which I was unaware *****

There will be a NRA Basic Pistol Course at the Lenox Sportsmen’s Club on Saturday, November 7, from 8 AM to 6 PM. There will be a break for lunch. You are requested to bring a sandwich or snacks, as well as a pen and paper for notes. The course costs$70 and it includes a one year membership at the LSC.

Candidates will learn gun operation and components, ammo functions and the shooting fundamentals.  There is no live ammo in the classroom.  After handling empty guns and dry firing, the candidates will be required to shoot 50 rounds of .22 ammo at the range to complete the course.  They are required to review the MA. State gun laws for possession and storage. Successful completion of this course allows the candidate to apply for a MA LTC Class A. Check the Gun Owners Action League website for disqualifications for the course.

Call Vicki or Cliff White at (413)442-8107 or email them at to sign up. *****

The inaugural Berkshire Natural History Conference, which will feature presentations by local and regional naturalists as well as acclaimed authors, will take place on Sun., Nov. 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 the Bellas/Dixon Math and Science Center at The Berkshire School in Sheffield, Mass.


“This annual event will bring natural history home to the Berkshires,” notes Berkshire Community College Professor of Environmental Science Tom Tyning, the lead organizer of the event.  “We are really excited to gather programs and like-minded people together to help understand and appreciate the deep natural heritage that surrounds us all in the Berkshires.”

The Conference will feature authors and international nature guides, Peter Alden and Brian Cassie.


Alden, author of 15 books on North American and African wildlife, is an acclaimed international natural history tour leader traveling to such places as Antarctica, Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, South America, the Amazon, Lesser Antilles, Panama Canal, Central America, Pacific Mexico, Alaska, British Columbia and Africa.


Cassie, a dedicated naturalist, conservationist, and teacher, has led nature tours in Costa Rica, Belize, Mexico, Venezuela and Jamaica as well as closer to home in Maine and Massachusetts. He has worked with the Audubon Society and “Butterflies through Binoculars Tours,” and is president of both the Nuttall Ornithological Club at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Butterfly Club.


Other programs on the agenda include:

  • Rene Wendell’s introduction to S. Waldo Bailey, original warden at Bartholomew’s  Cobble.
  • Insect Biodiversity — Tom Murray
  • Our Local Rattlesnakes — Anne Stengle
  • The Richmond Boulder Train — Tim Flanagan
  • Berkshire’s Neatest Butterflies — Bill Benner
  • Native Berkshire Fishes — Andrew MaddenTickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students.  Admission includes brunch, and access to all of the natural history presentations. For more information or to pre-register visit: The Berkshire School is located at 245 N. Undermountain Road in Sheffield.  In the event of inclement weather, a storm date is scheduled for Sunday, November 15.The event is sponsored by: Berkshire Community College, The Berkshire School, Green Berkshires, MCLA, Orion Magazine, Berkshire Environmental Action Team and the Hoffmann Bird Club.

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