It should be a good spring season for New Hampshire's turkey hunters, says New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Turkey Biologist Ted Walski. The spring gobbler season opens May 3 and runs through May 31, statewide. New Hampshire's Youth Turkey Hunt Weekend occurs the weekend, before the season opens.
Walski predicts a good turkey harvest this spring, in the range of 4,000 gobblers from a population of nearly 35,000. New Hampshire saw a relatively good hatch of young turkeys last summer, followed by a fairly easy winter.
Last year, New Hampshire hunters took 3,876 gobblers during the spring season and 1,056 turkeys in the fall (706 from five-day shotgun and 350 from archery). During the 2012 youth turkey hunting weekend, 480 turkeys were registered (these are counted in the spring total).
Local trout stocking is in high gear, with brooks in Ashby and Townsend being stocked with some healthy 10-inch beauties. Brook stocking will have been completed by this publication in all likelihood in Pepperell, Dunstable and Shirley. The two big rivers, Squannacook and Nissitissit, were both stocked with some outstanding 12- to 16-inch rainbows.
Ponds stocked in this area are Mirror, Baddacook, Knopps, Sandy Pond, Fort Pond, Long Sought For, Walden and Whites.
Baddacook also received a stocking of brood stock salmon to 5 pounds, as did Whalom and Comet Ponds.
The folks at the NRA and GOAL are not going to be overly happy with me, but I am fully behind a background check being done on the purchase of a firearm and for a person to also get a firearms license. If we are going to get the guns out of the hands of those that are mentally challenged in any way, then a background check might be just one way to stop someone from getting a firearm they should not have.
Herring are filling our rivers now, migrating from the south. You cannot catch or keep any of these fish, but they are a favorite food of the striped bass, which are now found off our south Cape waters. These are small fish, with the big ones getting ready to rumble.
Last is the big Spring Fishing Derby at the Townsend Rod and Gun Club. Held every spring for more than 50 years, this fun-filled event is one for the entire family. Trout were stocked for the derby and prizes are up for grabs. The derby starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m. The kitchen is open for breakfast and lunch. Bring your favorite rod and bait, swap stories with old friends and meet new ones. It's always a great event.
Bill Biswanger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.