Last Saturday morning, Nick Lentine of Pownal, VT (formerly of North Adams, MA) left his house at 4 AM and went bowhunting in North Adams.
At 10:20 AM a 4 point buck chased a doe only about 12 yards away from his tree stand. About 20 minutes later a big 8-point buck came by and Nick made a perfect shot with his bow. He sat in his stand about 5 minutes and was getting ready to get down to check on the buck when, to his astonishment, a 13-point buck came by. He quickly grabbed another arrow and made a second perfect shot. (Hunters are allowed to take two bucks in the same day in Massachusetts.)
He said that it took him and his friends 5 hours to get those two deer out of the woods. No wonder for the 8-point buck weighed 198 lbs dressed and the 13-pointer weighed in at 178 lbs. He couldn’t thank his friends enough for dropping what they were doing to come and help and share this special moment with him
As Nick said, “The joy they all shared together will be a memory forever. It was a once in a lifetime (occurrence)! (It is) every hunter’s dream.”
He is getting both heads mounted by Rick LaBlue Taxidermy in North Adams. The Pope & Young “green scores” are: 8-pt – 138 7/8 and 13- pt – 158 3/8 which may put him into the record book.
Many thanks go to Nick’s wife Jocelyn for bringing this story to our attention. She is every bit as excited and proud as he is over his great feat.
Keep CWD away
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a contagious neurological disease that is fatal to deer, elk, and moose. It attacks the brains of infected animals, resulting in their becoming emaciated, exhibiting abnormal behavior, and eventually dying. Infected deer may spread the infectious agents through urine, feces, saliva, etc., for months before showing any clinical symptoms.
According to MA DFW Deer & Moose Project Leader David Stainbrook, no CWD infected deer have been found in Massachusetts.
In order to keep CWD from coming into MA, certain restrictions to the movement of deer and deer parts have been put in place. It is illegal to import deer parts from states or provinces where CWD has been detected in OH, MD, NY, PA, VA, WV, and at least 17 other states and two Canadian Provinces. It is legal to import deboned meat, clean skull caps, hides without the head, or a fixed taxidermy mount. No live deer of any species may be brought into Massachusetts for any purpose.
Recently the State of VT joined Arizona, Virginia, Ontario, and parts of Pennsylvania in banning the use of natural deer urine lures by hunters. As previously noted, CWD is spread by deer urine and other bodily fluids. After infected fluid is deposited in soil, it can remain infectious for decades. Deer are able to contract CWD and spread the disease for up to a year before they demonstrate any symptoms of the disease.
Deer can only be tested for CWD after they die. Therefore, facilities may be producing and selling deer urine lures from deer herds that show no symptoms of the disease but are actually infected with CWD. According to the VT Fish & Wildlife, this happened in Pennsylvania – the first case of CWD was recorded in a captive deer facility that claimed to be “CWD-free” and was selling deer urine lures online.
It is impossible to track and recall bottles of lure that have been sold from an infected facility, so hunters could unknowingly continue to use urine that likely contains CWD prions and risk spreading the disease. Even if most captive deer herds are actually “CWD-free, ” urine lures from different sources are commonly mixed so all it would take is one infected herd to create a problem.
Once CWD is established in wild deer herds, no state has been able to control it despite considerable effort and expense. They urge hunters to destroy existing urine lures. Synthetic lures and food-scented lures pose no threat to the herd and are still permitted for use by hunters in Vermont
Stainbrook agrees that the prions can remain infectious in the landscape for years and even be taken up by plants. So adding urine to the landscape can certainly increase the risk of CWD being introduced to new areas and increase disease transmission. There is no cheap or easy way to test for these prions (e.g., to make sure a bottle of urine is CWD free). He suggests using the artificial replacements instead. He said that to date, they do not have a proposal in Massachusetts to ban natural deer urine.
Incidentally, if you see a deer or moose in Massachusetts exhibiting any signs of this disease or any other disease, please contact MassWildlife at 508-389-6300.
An Up-Close Look at Wildlife
The Liebowitz Center for International Studies in Great Barrington will be hosting an event entitled, “An Up-Close Look at Wildlife” on Wednesday, November 30, from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM. The Center is located at the corner of Alford Road and Hurlburt Road in Great Barrington.
You are invited to join them for an evening of photographs and videos of wildlife found in Berkshire County. While we’ve often had bear sightings, do you ever wonder about their behavior beyond the glimpses we get? Dr. Richard Greene, a local outdoors enthusiast, will talk about a technique called “camera trapping,” discuss its use in conservation and science, and show photos and videos that he’s taken using this technique.
This free event is co-hosted by the Sustainability Committee and the Cool Sightings book project. For more information contact Karen at (413)528-7247. Space is limited.