Gene Chague | Woods & Water: Big black bear shot by Dick Superneau

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Dick Superneau of Clarksburg will be munching on bear meat for the foreseeable future.

Using a .308 Remington bolt action rifle, he shot a male bear (boar) in Pownal, Vt. which weighed 450 lbs. live weight and 375 lbs. field dressed. It was approximately four feet tall when walking on all fours and measured six feet from nose to tail.

Even with the help of five Vermont hunters, they couldn't drag it more than three feet at a time. It took seven or eight hunters three hours to drag it 150 yards to the truck. It was so large that Dick said he couldn't shut the tail gate on his truck without scrunching it up.

A very large bear had been recently spotted in the Massachusetts Avenue section of North Adams, Mass., and he wonders if that isn't the same bear that perhaps wandered over the state line into Pownal.

Dick is having a shoulder mount made of the bear at LaBlue's Taxidermy in Adams. He intends to have the skull scored by Boone & Crockett but has to wait several months for it to dry out.

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I had the good fortune of attending the Onota Fishing Club's 21st annual game dinner last Sunday at the ITAM in Pittsfield. It was filled to capacity and what a spread they put out. There were fish cakes, fish chowder, marinated and grilled venison and bear and bear chili, and those were only the appetizers. For the main buffet dinner, they had Brunswick stew, sweet and hot bear sausages, garlic and cheese bear sausage, sweet and hot venison sausages, rabbit, polenta, roast venison, roast bear, wild turkey, freshwater perch and crappie, saltwater cod, haddock and pollock, dessert, and more. I tested all of the excellent food and boy was I stuffed. There were several women who tried the bear meat and venison for the first time and they were pleasantly surprised at how tasty it was. After everyone had their fill, the excess food was donated to Soldier On.

Some $750 of the raffle proceeds were donated to the Eagle Santa Toy Fund. The late John Drury was remembered and honored for his many years of service to the club.

Many folks donated the meat including: Liam McCluskey, Bob Stevens, Joe Trybus, Dan Gaylord, Tom Dwayne, Ed Blake, Chuck Lennon, John Kelly, Shane Rogers, Ed and Bob Dufur, Chris Porter and Jim Keyes (Jim's donation was made possible thanks to his dented truck bumper). My apologies for any omissions or name misspellings. Several local businesses also made contributions, including PortSmitts, Maces Marina and Johnny's Variety.

Special compliments go to chef, Chris Porter, and to the many Onota Fishing Club members who worked so hard preparing the food, serving it, selling tickets, soliciting prizes, etc., to make the dinner such a huge success.

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Readers may recall last week's column wherein I mentioned the Berkshire Natural Resources Council (BNRC) and its conservation of a 685 acre tract of undeveloped land located in parts of Dalton, Lanesborough and Pittsfield which was one of the largest parcels ever received by the BNRC. Well, what I failed to mention was that the BNRC also recently conserved 218 acres in Great Barrington on beautiful Three Mile Hill. Two great places to snowshoe, ski or hunt.

Well, the good news keeps coming. Massachusetts Department of Fish & Game Commissioner George Peterson recently announced that three Berkshire County towns will share $1,147,000 to protect key watershed habitat. The funds are part of a settlement with General Electric (Housatonic River Natural Resources Damages Fund) to protect or restore natural resources damaged by PCB which were released into the Housatonic River.

Great Barrington won a total of $869,500 which allows the BNRC to acquire a conservation restriction on 218 acres along Thomas and Palmer Brooks, tributaries to the Housatonic River in that town. In Egremont, a $187,000 grant will preserve 23 acres of river, woodland and flood plain along the Green River. It includes about 2,500 feet of riverfront habitat. Lastly, Hinsdale was awarded $90,000 to preserve 90 acres in the Hinsdale Flats Watershed Area of Critical Environmental Concern. All of these properties are preserved at no cost to the taxpayers.

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For those who have not yet harvested a deer, there is one more chance this year and that is during the primitive firearms season. It starts tomorrow morning and runs through December 31, excluding Sundays. A primitive Firearms Stamp is required. Archers may hunt during this season but they also must purchase a Primitive Firearms Stamp. During this season, successful hunters must fill out and detach the permit/license and may check it either online or at an official check station. Hunters are advised to check the regulations governing this season on pages 37-38 of the Fish and Wildlife Guide.

If you plan to hunt the primitive firearms season and don't have an antlerless permit, may I suggest that you get out hunting in the earlier part of the season. It is not uncommon for bucks to shed their antlers before year-end, and then an antlerless permit is required to harvest them.

Good luck and keep your powder dry.

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


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