Gene Chague | Berkshire Woods and Waters: Season draws to a close for small-game hunting

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According to the Massachusetts fishing and hunting regulations, last Thursday, Feb. 28, marked the end of cottontail rabbit, snowshoe hare and fox hunting seasons until they reopen next fall. This week, on March 8, the bobcat and coyote hunting seasons end.

You must report your fox and coyote harvest within 4 working days of the end of the season by reporting them at an official check station or online. If you report your harvest online, write the confirmation number on a tag and attach the tag to the carcass or pelt. These confirmation numbers must stay attached to the pelt or carcass until that pelt or carcass is prepared for mounting or sold or tanned.

While we are on the subject of regulations, please be aware that there are several hunting season date errors in the printed version of the 2019 Guide to Freshwater Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Laws involving the bear, snowshoe hare, and furbearer seasons. While all digital versions of the Guide have been corrected, hard copy versions distributed at state offices, retailers, and other licensed vendors contain hunting season date errors. Click onto https://www.mass.gov/files/documents to find a one-page hunting season summary with corrected season dates.

Archery Tournament

The Stockbridge Sportsmen's Club will be having its Berkshire Championship Archery Tournament on March 16 and 17. It is a 450-Round Archery Shoot for the benefit of its Scholarship Fund — Aim for Higher Education — at the Buckhorn Archer's Indoor Range, 24 West Stockbridge Road, Stockbridge. The classes of competition are; Adults: compound, freestyle men, compound freestyle women; Bow Hunter Compound Men (Release and Fingers combined); Bow Hunter Compound Women (Release and Fingers combined); Traditional Longbow or Recurve. Choose any one of 3 shooting times: Saturday, March 16 at 4 p.m., Sunday, March 17 at 9 a.m. or 1 p.m. A Youth Shoot is scheduled for 11 a.m., Sunday.

There will be a Chinese Raffle and Silent Auction.

Tickets Only — Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner on Saturday at 6 p.m. — Adults $25 and kids 12 & Under are $10. A Pancake Breakfast on Sunday 7:30 to 11 a.m. — Adults $8 and kids 12 & Under $5.

For tickets to dinner, to preregister, for directions or questions, contact John Mange 518-794-7868 or John Davis 413-446-9062.

They really take archery seriously at the SSC. This winter, they are having the biggest youth league that they have seen with more than 70 people taking part. The shooting takes place on Saturday mornings.

Keeping with the SSC, congratulations go to Bob Cameron for winning the Red Nose Skeet Championship which was held on December 30. This win follows up his Club Championship last fall.

Jimmy Fund Ice Fishing Derby

The winners of the 33rd annual Jimmy Fund Ice Fishing Derby, which was held on Feb. 10, were as follows;

Kids Division: 1st Place — Levi Starbird, a 9 1/4-pound pike; 2nd Place — Ricky Rando, a 9 1/4-pound pike; 3rd Place — David Bonomi, an 8 3/4-pound pike.

Young Adults Division: 1st Place — James Lambert, a 3 3/4-pound brown trout; 2nd Place — Andrew Clement, a 2 3/4-pound pickerel.

Adult Division: 1st Place — Ralph Wendling a 14 3/4-pound pike; 2nd Place — Jake Burke a 12 1/4-pound pike; 3rd Place — Jeff Kucka a 9 3/4-pound pike.

Congratulations to all!

Public Meeting on the Conservation and Management of Hoosic River Fish

The Hoosic River Watershed Association (HooRWA) will be having a State of the River Conference on March 11 at 6 p.m. on the campus of Williams College, in Williamstown. The event will be held in Room 3 of Griffin Hall. A campus map is available at: https://map.williams.edu.

This year's conference will feature presentations from three state fisheries biologists from Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York. They will speak on the status and conservation of the fishery resources of the Hoosic River. Following their talks, HooRWA will moderate a panel discussion to enable in-depth question and answer, and discussion.

The Hoosic River is known as an outstanding trout fishery through most of its passage from its headwaters in Massachusetts down river into New York. In the lower New York reaches, it also provides excellent smallmouth bass and panfish angling.

Yet, the river has challenges, including long-term warming trends, disturbance to the banks of the River causing erosion and siltation, presence of harmful environmental contaminants, and on-going development pressures throughout the watershed.

The HooRWA, with the assistance of the Williams College Center for Environmental Studies, will provide the public an opportunity to ask fisheries experts about the status of the fishery and the current management challenges. By bringing together agency professionals from all three states, the HooRWA seeks to cultivate a tri-state discussion that could lead to a greater level of collaboration and cooperation in efforts to monitor the status of the fishery resource, and to adopt appropriate conservation measures to ensure long term benefits for our citizens.

Light refreshments and snacks will be provided

Its "D j Vu" for our Onota Lake Bald Eagles

A message from local wildlife photographer Mark Thorne is as follows: "Its that time of year again for the eagles to be setting up 'house' in preparation for another (hopefully) successful year. Same pair as the past several years: female (blue band T98) now in her 17th year, and her mate (gold band WR8) now 13 years old. They have been a pair nesting here since 2014. The female has been at this lake for much longer. I've been photographing her since 2007, although I was only able to confirm her identity in 2011."

"As always, the female is very tolerant of my presence; the male less so. If I pretend that I'm going about some activity he stays, but if I stop and look up at him, he bolts within a minute or two. She will sit watching me for hours without moving."

"I never tire watching them every year," Mark said.

Thank you, Mark, and we never get tired of admiring your outstanding photos.

Fly-fishing Film Festival

The Taconic Chapter of Trout Unlimited invites you to enjoy its fly-fishing film festival at the Chrissy Farm at the Barrington Brewery in Great Barrington on March 7 at 6:30 p.m.

There are nine award-winning film shorts that take you to Alaska, French Polynesia, Yellowstone, the South Fork and Australia to witness fly-fishing adventures in full color and sound. Trout, sharks, salmon and steelhead are found in some of their grandest habitats.

Taconic TU organizer Bill Travis encourages you to get there early and have a meal and/ or sample their on-location homemade beers. There will be an opportunity to enter a silent auction to win Costa sunglasses, Scientific Angler line, Simms Guide nippers, a Thomas and Thomas Avanti Rod, Yeti Roadie, Ross Reel and other items. (Oh, bring some cash. This is high-quality stuff!).

Tickets are $15 online and $20 at the door. Online tickets are available at: https://flyfilmtour.myeventscenter.com/event/Great-Barrington-Ma-31230.

Club Turkey Shoots

The Lenox Sportsmen's Club and Lee Sportsmen's Association will be having turkey shoots at their respective clubhouses starting today and running every Sunday through March 31. The hours for the Lenox shoots are from noon to 3 p.m., and the Lee club shooting hours are from 1 to 4 p.m. Both clubs will be offering the winners NY strip steaks, turkeys, pork loins and spiral hams.

The "Greek" now fishes beyond the riverbend

John Kastrinakis, of Lenox, formerly of Lee, fondly referred to as "the Greek", passed away this past week at the age of 84. A Taconic Chapter TU founding member and its treasurer for the first four or five years of existence, he was a long-time TU Board member. He was also a member of the Atlantic Salmon Federation and he took frequent salmon fishing trips to New Brunswick fishing for the "king of fish". with friends from the Springfield area. He taught fly tying and fly-fishing classes and developed his own well-known killer trout fly called the Greek Grabber. He was a recipient of Taconic TU's prestigious Crooked Staff Award. He was a valued member of the ROMEOS (Retired Old Men Eating Out).

Our sincerest condolences go out to John's wife, Joyce, and family who also recently lost a son/sibling, Paul.

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


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