This is the time of year every sportsman almost dreads, not because there is nothing to do, no, it's because there is just so much for them to do!
The Massachusetts archery-only deer season opened to very warm weather and showers. A fair amount of wind and, for me, as usual, no deer. I spent a few hours giving it a go, but I spent most of my time gazing at shadows and falling leaves. Not a bad way to spend a few hours.
On Sunday I spent time at the Townsend Rod and Gun Club with daughters Lori and Brooke. Watching them catch several rainbows, keeping a couple and releasing a couple, was a ball.
My daughter Sandy was splitting her time with a couple of my grand kids, Zachary and Serena. They were all outdoors, playing football and cheerleading.
The pheasant season opened and hunters got into some fast action on wildlife management areas. Thousands of birds will be released between now and Thanksgiving, giving hunters a great opportunity to bag a few birds. Some 45,000 birds will be released by Thanksgiving.
Although duck hunters are also out and having a good go of it, there is also room for bass fisherman on local waterways. Giving up some decent bass right now are Knopps and Fort Ponds. The next trial spot is the Concord River for some outstanding northern pike fishing. Use large wooden plugs or 5-inch shiners to take these big, toothy trophies.
All trout stocking for the fall has been completed. A few of the places stocked around here are Baddacook, Sandy Pond, Walden, Horn, Fort Pond and Whalom.
There are still a small number of striped bass on the North Shore. Plum Island is yielding lots of shorts with keepers to 24 pounds on worms and clams. Parking lot 3 on the refuge at Parker River is tops. The Hurricane really shook things up but in a good way -- it brought warm water to the area, which means the stripers will stay a few more days.
Opening day for New Hampshire's regular firearms deer season is Nov. 14, a date anticipated with great enthusiasm by the state's deer hunters. The season runs through Dec. 9 in most of the state, except in wildlife management unit A in northern New Hampshire, where it closes Dec. 2. Changes in season length remain in place in wildlife management unit A as part of an effort to improve the buck age-structure of the northern deer herd. The state's popular muzzleloader deer season gets underway on Nov. 3 statewide and runs through Nov. 13.
"For many New Englanders, the firearms deer season is a traditional opportunity to get together with family and friends, enjoy our bountiful resources and put meat in the freezer before winter," said Kent Gustafson, wildlife programs supervisor for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.
New Hampshire's archery deer season began Sept. 15. As of Oct. 27, archers had taken a preliminary total of 2,243 deer. The season total is up significantly from this point in the season in 2010 and 2011 (years when the September archery season was bucks only) and is the second highest in the last nine years. Reported registrations in most counties have increased toward 2007 levels, when the state's second highest deer total kill occurred, according to Gustafson.
Bill Biswanger firstname.lastname@example.org.