Gene Chague | Berkshire Woods and Waters: MassWildlife wants to hear from young deer hunters

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If you're one of the 1,339 young adults who participated in the 2015 Youth Deer Hunt Day, MassWildlife wants you to enter a contest to tell them about it. If you win the contest, they would like to publish it in the fall 2016 issue of Massachusetts Wildlife magazine. They feel that by sharing your experience of the Youth Deer Hunt Day, you will help others understand why hunting is important and may inspire your peers to try hunting.

Those interested in writing about their story are urged to review the content suggestions and parameters listed on the MassWildlife web page. They will select the best story or stories, and the winner(s) will receive a free two-year subscription or two-year subscription renewal to Massachusetts Wildlife magazine and 10 copies of the issue in which your hunting article, or a portion thereof, appears. If you are currently under the age of 18, they will need the written permission of your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) to print your article and photographs. That permission can be included with your submission.

MassWildlife offers some article suggestions, such as:

• When did you first become interested in deer hunting and why?

• Who was your hunting mentor and how did your mentor help you prepare for your hunt?

• What does it mean to you to be a hunter?

• Where did your hunt take place?

• Did you scout the hunting area prior to your hunt?

• Describe the day of your hunt.

• If you harvested a deer, write about it, including field dressing it and dragging it out of the woods

You are encouraged to write about your hunt regardless of your deer harvest success, and the maximum word count is 1,500 words. Writers can also submit a photo taken before, during, or after the hunt.

The submission deadline is Aug. 31, 2016. Winners will be notified by Sept. 15, 2016.

Submit your story and photographs to: troy.gipps@state.ma.us (Include "Hunting Story Contest – Youth Deer Hunt" in the subject of your email). Include your full name, mailing address, email address, and phone number.

If you have any questions, contact Troy Gipps, the editor for Massachusetts Wildlife magazine, at troy.gipps@state.ma.us or 508-389-6307.

Who knows to where this contest may lead. Perhaps to a career in outdoor sports writing. Perhaps someday you may be the editor of the Massachusetts Wildlife magazine or the outdoor sports columnist for The Berkshire Eagle.

While on the subject of the Massachusetts Wildlife magazine, did you know that this year marks its 60th year of publication? In commemoration of the anniversary, a variety of historical articles will be published in the next three 2016 issues highlighting its collective conservation history. A reprint of the cover from May/June 1969 will appear on the next issue. Massachusetts Wildlife brings compelling stories about the environment, conservation, fishing, hunting, natural history, and just about everything related to the outdoors in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Wildlife has been one of my favorite magazines for many years. I read it from cover to cover and have never thrown a copy away. In fact, I have copies that go back to 1957. In those days subscriptions were free and all you had to do to get one was to write to the DFW. They put out six issues a year back then. Over the years, they have been blessed with great writers, photographers and editors such as Ted Williams and Peter Mirick. Mirick retired last December after 35 years. His successor is Gipps

Upon assuming the position, Gipps recounted how he caught his first large bass at a pond at the Marlborough Fish & Game Club.

"Time spent in that boyhood wilderness has led to my life as a hunter and fisherman, outdoor writer and nature photographer, wilderness canoeist, land trust volunteer, and father of two boys — whom I have taken to the shore of a similar Massachusetts pond with fishing poles in hand," he wrote, "and now, as I begin my editorship of this fine publication, which has entertained and educated its readers for over 60 years, I am both mindful of the tireless efforts of those who came before me and hopeful that through these pages, we can all gain a greater appreciation of the natural world and be moved to preserve, protect and properly steward the environment upon which we all depend for our physical, psychological and spiritual well-being." We wish him the best of luck.

Incidentally, a two-year subscription (8 issues) is only $10.00. Go to mass.gov/dfw/magazine for subscription information and to view a preview of the forthcoming issue.

Basic Hunter Education Courses

All first-time hunters who wish to purchase a Massachusetts hunting or sporting license must complete a Basic Hunter Education course. Pittsfield High School, located at 300 East Street, Pittsfield, will be conducting this course on September 6, 8, 13, 16, 20 and 22, from 6-9 p.m. The Lee Sportsmen's Association (LSA), located at 565 Fairview St., Lee, is having its course on September 12 from 6-9 p.m. and October 1 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. To enroll, call 508-389-7830 ASAP as students are enrolled on a first-come, first-served basis, and enrollment cannot be processed via email.

Gun Safety Course

Firearms safety instructor Rob McDermott will be conducting an all-purpose gun safety course good for License to Carry on Aug. 13. For more information, click onto the SSC website: www.stockbridgesportsmensclub.org for more information.

Steak & Lobster Bake

The LSA is having a Steak & Lobster Bake fundraiser on August 6 at its clubhouse. Doors open at 4 p.m., with dinner served at 5:30. The cost is $50 per person, and children 17 and under are $25 per person. For tickets call Virginia at 413-446-5404.

Questions/comments: Berkwoodsandwaters@roadrunner.com. Phone: 413-637-1818


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If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

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