In a meeting Wednesday, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission began a discussion on whether to open a bobcat trapping season. The proposal is far from final, but it’s already attracting the ire of the animal rights community.
Late last year biologists at the University of New Hampshire announced the results of a study, commissioned by Fish and Game. They estimated that from 1989 to today, the bobcat population in New Hampshire had rebounded from less than 200 cats to somewhere between 800 and 1,400.
State officials are warning ice conditions are more dangerous than they appear.
After an unseasonably warm December, a hard frost has settled over New Hampshire, coating many ponds and lakes with a layer of ice. That ice may look solid, but in many cases it’s not nearly thick enough for ice fishing or snow mobiles.
Kevin Jordan with Fish and Game says to hike or fish safely you need four to six inches of solid ice, and for snowmobiling you need eight to ten inches.
The New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game is asking anglers fishing in the Squam Lakes to immediately release any largemouth and smallmouth bass that were radio-tagged as part of a state study. The bass will have a thin wire protruding from their underside and a yellow numbered tag near their dorsal fin. The goal of the three-year study is to determine the percentage of bass returning to Big Squam Lake after being lake and weighed in and released in Little Squam Lake, and how long it takes them.
Rescuers found a missing teenager in the woods near Jefferson just before midnight Monday, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.
Matthew Darr, who is 19 and has autism, had been staying at the Easter Seals Intensive Residential Treatment Facility in Lancaster. But about 6:30 pm he ran away from his caregivers when their van stopped near a rest stop on Route 115.
Members of Fish and Game, State Police and local police began searching almost immediately and at one point a search dog from Fish and Game picked up the scent but then lost it in a swampy area.
The deadline is approaching to enter New Hampshire's moose permit lottery. Entries are due Friday, May 30. The state is offering permits to 124 winners for this year's moose hunt, which runs from Oct. 18-26. Last year's statewide hunter success rate for moose was 64 percent. Winners will be selected through a computerized random drawing and announced on Friday, June 20. To enter, visit http://www.huntnh.com to apply online or print out a mail-in application. Participants also can pick up a lottery application from any Fish and Game office or license agent.
New Hampshire's state bear expert says good-hearted but irresponsible residents are "loving the animals to death.'' Fish and Game officials discovered four sites in Stoddard, North Conway and Bethlehem where residents have resumed feeding black bears despite previous warnings to stop. Biologist Andrew Timmins says two bears had to be killed in North Conway because they had become so accustomed to human food, they were breaking into cars.
Striped bass are starting to arrive in New Hampshire's coastal waters, and the state wants to figure out how many are out there. To help state and federal fisheries biologists assess the status of the population, the state Fish and Game Department is asking anglers to participate in an online survey. Participants are asked to measure each striped bass they catch. The survey is the only method the department currently has to get length measurements on fish that are released. There's been a survey since 1993. It can be found at http://www.fishnh.com/marine/striper_survey.html .
After a brief delay, New Hampshire Fish and Game department trucks have been heading out to stock the state's lakes and ponds with trout. Saturday is opening day for the state's designated trout ponds. Fish stocking generally occurs from mid-March to early July, but it didn't start until the last days of March this year because spring conditions were slow to arrive. Inland Fisheries Chief Jason Smith says with cold, high waters from melting snow, it will be a few weeks before rivers and streams are at "fishable'' levels.
A New Hampshire wildlife biologist says that the spring turkey population appears to be robust, despite the record number of zero-degree days this winter. Saturday marks the start of the annual Youth Turkey Hunt Weekend. Turkey biologist Ted Walski says sightings of flocks of wild turkeys suggest they weren't affected by the frequently frigid winter. He expects the spring turkey hunting season to be as good as or better than last spring, when hunters took 4,550 turkeys. Turkey season for adult hunters runs from May 3 to May 31.
A unique forest habitat in Concord that's home to the endangered Karner blue butterfly is getting a face-lift--and over $233,000 in funding --in an effort to increase the butterfly population. The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service is getting the money to help maintain and restore the pine barrens, a mix of small trees, grassy areas and sandy soil, much of which has vanished nationwide to development. The current population on the refuge is just over 1,500 butterflies. The goal is 3,000.
This agency does much more than serve hunters and anglers, it’s also involved in search and rescue, land conservation, and habitat management. Despite all these responsibilities, hunting and fishing license fees are the main revenue source. Now, some in the Statehouse are taking hard look expanding that base - to hikers, canoers, and the many others who enjoy the great outdoors.
New Hampshire residents have until Tuesday to report any wild turkey flocks they've seen in recent months. The state's annual winter turkey survey, which started Jan. 1, runs through Monday. Fish and Game biologists use the survey data to monitor the abundance and distribution of turkeys during the state's challenging winter months. Officials say turkeys generally travel in large flocks during the winter months and are highly visible. Turkeys vanished from the state's landscape in the mid-1800s due to unregulated harvesting and loss of habitat from extensive land clearing.
A free workshop covering the basics of hunting wild turkeys is being held by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department next month in Holderness. Dave Priebe, a hunter education instructor and Quaker Boy Turkey Calls pro staff member, will cover the basics of turkey hunting, turkey calling and turkey hunting safety at the event on Saturday, April 19. The workshop takes place from 9 a.m. to noon at the Owl Brook Hunter Education Center. Fish and Game wildlife biologist Ted Walski will talk about the natural history and behavior of wild turkeys.
It may still be cold out, but the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is reminding people that all bobhouses must be removed from the ice by the end of the day on April 1, according to state law.
Lt. Heidi Murphy of the department's law enforcement division says the law is designed to ensure that bobhouses and their contents do not fall through the ice and become a hazard to boaters, or get left behind on shore.
While the legislature considers whether to allow a $25 hiker’s card that would eliminate any chance of being charged for a rescue, a Michigan man is fighting a $9,300 bill for the help he got in 2012.
Earlier this month a judge in District Court in Concord decided Edward Bacon of Northville, Michigan was negligent. That meant he should reimburse New Hampshire Fish and Game for the cost of his rescue from the Franconia Ridge.
Two good Samaritans were involved in a dramatic rescue attempt at The Upper Ammonoosuc Falls in Crawford’s Purchase in the North Country Saturday that almost cost one his life, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.
The falls – not far from the Cog Railway – are well known for treacherous undercurrents.
According to Fish and Game about 4:30 a 15-year-old boy who was swimming got into trouble and began yelling for help.
Freddy Poisson, 36, of Haverhill, Massachusetts jumped into the water but was himself pulled under.
There were three snowmobile crashes in the North Country Saturday, including two in which riders were injured, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.
The first involved 32-year-old Kevin Brigham of Brookline, New Hampshire who lost control of his snowmobile and struck an oncoming snowmobile, Conservation Officer Geoffrey Younglove wrote in a news release. Brigham suffered internal injuries in the crash on Trail 18 and was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Maine.
Supporters and opponents packed a committee room for the first hearing on a bill that would charge a fee to anyone needing a backcountry rescue.The proposed law would be the first of its kind in the nation.
New Hampshire Fish and Game performs more than 150 rescues each year at a cost of $300,000. Right now, that’s funded by hunting and fishing licenses, and snowmobile registrations. But a new bill would make those needing assistance pay a portion of the cost.