Gene Chague | Berkshire Woods and Waters: Bateman Derby nets $5,000 for Jimmy Fund


According to Steve Bateman, organizer of the 23rd annual Harry A. Bateman Memorial Jimmy Fund Fishing Derby, over 220 anglers registered for the event on Saturday, June 4 at the Onota Lake pavilion.

Thanks to them and the numerous sponsors, the derby realized its $5,000 goal.

This derby has county-wide support with many sponsors digging deep into their pockets, possibly because so many people's lives are touched by cancer these days. The weather that day couldn't have been nicer nor the food tastier. Here are the derby winners:

— Children's Heaviest Game Fish Category:, 1st Place: Jason Sweetser — rainbow trout — 2 lbs., 5 oz. 2nd Place: Rebecca Stimpson — rainbow trout — 2 lbs., 2 oz. 3rd Place: Rose Proper — rainbow trout — 2 lbs, 2 oz.

— Children's Heaviest Non-Game Fish Category, 1st Place: Brody Baumgartner — white perch — 9 oz. 2nd Place: Marissa Wendling — bullhead — 9 oz. 3rd Place: Brandon Barde — pumpkinseed — 7 oz.

— Adult Heaviest Game Fish Category, 1st Place: Alex Kent — largemouth bass — 3 lbs., 8 oz. 2nd Place: Steven Fones Sr. — largemouth bass — 3 lbs., 7 oz. 3rd Place: Martin Farrell — rainbow trout — 2 lbs., 7 oz.

— Special Heaviest Fish, Bass: Tim Lambert — largemouth bass — 3 lbs., 9 oz. Perch/Crappie: Shaun Hereforth — crappie — 1 lb., 3 oz. Carp: Matt Clark — common carp — 11 lbs., 1 oz. Trout (adult): Dave Christman — rainbow trout — 2 lbs., 10 oz. Trout (child): Dylan Lambert — rainbow trout — 2 lbs., 6 oz.

The Sportsman Award, won by 13-year-old Angel Sayers, was well deserved. According to Steve Bateman, she was out there all day fishing, sometimes over her waist in water.

Dylan Lambert was the winner of the award dedicated in memory of Chris Porter. Alex Kent was the winner of the award dedicated in memory of John and Thelma Drury. All passed away in the last year or so. Six kids won bicycles that day.


Sportsmen and women, birders, landowners and other wildlife enthusiasts are encouraged to assist with the annual Wild Turkey Brood Survey.

MassWildlife conducts a survey from June through August each year to evaluate turkey brood numbers.

"The brood survey serves as a long-term index of reproduction," explains Dave Scarpitti, Turkey Project Leader. "It helps us determine productivity and allows us to compare long-term reproductive success, while providing some estimation of fall harvest potential."

Turkey nesting success can vary annually in response to weather conditions, predator populations and habitat characteristics.

New this year, they are asking people to record observations of male turkeys, so be sure to count all jakes and tom turkeys that are seen. Scarpitti also points out that citizen involvement in this survey is a cost-effective means of gathering useful data, and he encourages all interested people to participate.

A new turkey brood survey form is posted on the agency website. You are encouraged to look carefully when counting turkey broods as the very small poults may be difficult to see in tall grass or brush. Multiple sightings of the same brood can also be noted.

The survey period runs from June 1 through August 31. Completed forms should to be mailed to: Brood Survey, DFW Field Headquarters, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA 01581.


Here in the Berkshires, there has been a need for bowhunting instructors for some time.

Well, MassWildlife is introducing two new archery programs: Explore Archery and Explore Bowhunting. Educators from town recreation centers, school groups, 4-H, scouting groups and other community groups looking to provide a new learning opportunity might consider implementing one, or both, of these new programs.

Explore Bowhunting is designed to help instructors teach outdoor skills to students age 11 and older. Using 23 versatile lessons and hands-on activities, students gain confidence interacting with the environment and strengthen their appreciation for wildlife and the woods. MassWildlife trains and certifies instructors and offers all Explore Bowhunting equipment for loan free of charge.

Explore Archery is an international style target shooting program that promotes a lifelong interest in the sport of archery to participants of all ages. Again, MassWildlife trains educators and allows them to borrow equipment free of charge. This allows any certified instructor the ability to create an archery program in their area.

Both programs have a mandatory training course and one can attend either training workshop or both.

The local workshop will be held at MassWildlife Western District Office, 88 Old Windsor Road, Dalton on July 18. The Explore Bowhunting workshop will start at 8 a.m. and run until 1 p.m. The Explore Archery course will run from 1 to 4 p.m.

For more information about these workshops, check out the MassWildlife Explore Bowhunting and Explore Archery pages.


Are you encroaching on DFW's Wildlife Management Areas? If you are, better look out.

They have new tools for spotting encroachment and other illegal activity. Using aerial photography, GIS surveys and official survey plan anchor points they can see exactly where their boundary lines are. If you have a shed on their property or are mowing parts of it, etc., they will know and may come knocking at your door.

Don't rely on obtaining ownership through adverse possession. According to the DFW legal department, there is no adverse possession with state property.

Questions/comments: Phone: (413) 637-1818


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