Time is running out to enter the 2017 N.H. Moose Permit Auction

CONCORD — There's still time to enter the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire's 2017 Moose Permit Auction, which is the Foundation's primary fundraiser to support the programs of the state Fish and Game Department.
 
Official bid guidelines and documents can be downloaded from the Foundation's website at www.nhwildlifeheritage.org or by calling (603) 496-2778. Sealed bids are due by Aug. 11.
 
The successful bidder in the 2017 auction will be able to harvest one moose of either sex in most Wildlife Management Units during the moose hunt, which takes place October 21-29, 2017. The exceptions are Units H2N, H2S and K, where permit issuance has been suspended.  Individuals who receive a permit in the 2017 New Hampshire open moose hunt lottery will not be eligible to participate in the auction.
 
Additional information on moose hunting in New Hampshire, including rules, permits and licenses, can be found at www.huntnh.com/hunting/moose.html.
 
Proceeds from the auction help support critical fish and wildlife conservation initiatives, along with education programs of Fish and Game, such as freshwater angler surveys, fish hatchery improvements, deer decoy replacements, continued lynx camera studies, boardwalk replacement at Great Bay Discovery Center, landowner access programs, and the Department’s publication Wild Times for Kids.
 
Since its establishment in 2006, the Wildlife Foundation of New Hampshire has awarded over 83 grants to Fish and Game projects, as well as sponsoring multiple years of Discover WILD New Hampshire Day.
 
To learn more about the Foundation and how you can help preserve New Hampshire's outdoor gifts, visit www.nhwildlifeheritage.org or visit on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wildlifeheritagenh.

Registration now open for fourth annual Midnight Owl 15K

CONWAY — Walkers, runners and those wishing to tour scenic Mt. Washington Valley under the light of the moon are invited to register now for the fourth annual Midnight Owl 15K on Saturday, Aug. 5, under a nearly full moon. The running/walking event is the signature fundraising event for Mount Washington Valley Skating Club, with the course ending at Conway's Ham Arena, the home ice rink for the club.

The Midnight Owl 15K is unique in that it happens at night, and the trophies go not to the fastest but those who are "wisest" or best able to predict how long it will take them to run or walk the 15K course. The race winners are the first five runners (or walkers) to cross the finish line after midnight. They will receive awards handcrafted by club skaters under the guidance of local artisan, Lori Stearns of Silver Moon Mosaics.

According to race organizer, Madeleine Ryan, the runners who've participated in this race share that they love the rare opportunity to enjoy the area's scenic beauty by moonlight. Other runners express the lure of the race is its unusual format and not having to race against others in the usual way.

The Midnight Owl 15K will start at Schouler Park across from the Conway Scenic Railroad and finish at the back entrance to the Ham Arena. A shuttle bus will be available to bring runners back to Schouler Park. For full course details, find Midnight Owl at racemenu.com: http://www.racemenu.com/events/144923-2017-Midnight-Owl-15K .

The course will officially open at 9:30 p.m. with participants deciding when to start running based on their estimation of how long it will take them to cover the 15K (9.3 mile) course. A large pace chart and countdown clock will be located near the race start to aid participants in deciding when they should start their race. All participants will be required to wear reflective vests/clothing and either wear a headlamp or carry a flashlight. Discounted Jog-a-Lite reflective vests can be purchased through the race registration website and a limited number of these vests will be available for purchase the night of the race.

Online registration for the Midnight Owl 15K is through racemenu.com. Registration fee is $40 and extends from now to July 23. All participants who register prior to this date are guaranteed a tech T-shirt. Late registration carries a $45 fee and extends from July 24 through August 4 with no guarantee of a T-shirt. All finishers will receive a commemorative finisher's medal and post race refreshments.

The Midnight Owl 15K is hosted by the Mount Washington Valley Skating Club with all net proceeds going to support its programs. For more information on the Skating Club visit www.mwvsc.org. To register for the Midnight Owl 15K go to racemenu.com.

 

Report wild turkey brood sightings

CONCORD — State Fish and Game is asking for the public's help in tracking wild turkey broods in New Hampshire this spring and summer. It's easy to take part. The survey will be open on June 1. If you observe groups of turkeys with young between June 1 through Aug. 31, report your sightings on Fish and Game's web-based turkey brood survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/2017_Brood_Survey.

"People enjoy participating, and by doing so, they are helping us monitor the turkey population," said Kent A. Gustafson, Fish and Game Wildlife Programs Supervisor. "We get reports from all over the state through this survey, adding to the important information biologists gather on turkey productivity, distribution, abundance, turkey brood survival and the timing of nesting and hatching."

In 2016, summer brood survey participants reported seeing a record number of 2,926 broods. The average hatch date statewide in 2016 was June 19.

Biologists are especially interested in getting more reports of turkey broods in the three northernmost New Hampshire counties (Coos, Carroll and Grafton).

The term "brood" refers to a family group of young turkeys accompanied by a hen. New Hampshire hens generally begin laying eggs sometime from mid-April to early May and complete their clutch of about 12 eggs in early to mid-May. Incubation lasts for 28 days, and most eggs hatch from late May to mid-June. If incubating turkey eggs are destroyed or consumed by predators, hens often lay a replacement clutch of eggs that hatch late June through late July. Reports of adult male turkeys are not being requested at this time.

Many factors can affect turkey productivity in any given year. Young turkeys are extremely sensitive to cool temperatures and rain, both because it can impact their health, and because these conditions adversely impact insect populations that are a critical source of nutrition for young turkeys. Since spring weather is highly variable, survival of the annual hatch of wild turkeys is also highly variable.

Turkey populations depend on a large annual influx of young turkeys to sustain themselves over time, so the number of young turkeys that survive to be "recruited" into the fall population is of great interest to turkey managers. A large sample of turkey brood observations collected throughout the summer can provide turkey managers with insight into the size of the "graduating class" of turkeys that will become adults.

To learn more about the survey, visit: www.wildnh.com/surveys/turkeybrood.html.

Wildlife research and management in New Hampshire is funded in part by Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration, a user-pay, user-benefit program supported by your purchase of firearms, ammunition and archery equipment.

 

Bulldogs win Elite Baseball League championship

By Lloyd Jones

CONWAY — The U14 Home Run Bulldogs capped off a 10-game winning streak to reach the 30-win mark, and, more importantly, claimed their first New England Elite Baseball League championship, taking the Division II title on July 22.

The Bulldogs made up of a collection of players from the Conway, Berlin, Wolfeboro and Fryeburg, Maine area, defeated the Mizuno USA Navy team 10-0 in seven innings due to the 10-run mercy rule in an originally scheduled nine inning game for the in Marshfield, Mass.

“It was great,” Greg Allain, coach of the Bulldogs, said on Monday. “It was a long ride in a day just to play seven innings, but it was all worth it.”

Members of the Home Run team are Harrison Keeler, Noah Barrows, Brady King, Cole Bradley, Austin Eastman, Tyler Sprince, Chase Spencer, Dominick Paradis, Parker Coleman, Bryce Micklon, Dylan Bisson and Colby Hall.

Home Run, the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, went a perfect 4-0 in the postseason, outscoring opponents 43-6 while posting three shutouts and ending three contests early due to the mercy rule.

“All through the lineup we got production,” Allain said. “We are a team that can hit with anyone. When we play well defensively and pitch well we can play with anyone in Division I."

Allain shared Monday the Bulldogs will move up to the U15 level and play Division I in the EBL in 2018. That season starts in June, but players will still be on the diamond for 30 or more games.

The Bulldogs went an impressive 30-9 this summer in a season that lasts 10 months with countless hours of practice and dedication from the players, parents and coaches.

“We were 20-9 at one point when we set the goal to get to 30 wins,” Allain explained. “We knew it meant a 10-game winning streak and these guys did it. We closed out the season on a good note.”

The Bulldogs, who went 26-9 during the regular season and 8-0 in the American East Division to claim the No. 1 seed in the double-elimination tournament, were a perfect 3-0 over the July 8-9 weekend in Saugus, Mass., cruising through their bracket to reach the finals.

Home Run beat the Mass Hurricanes from Mansfield, Mass., 7-0; the Vikings National, based out of Melrose, Mass., 10-0 in five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule; and the Saugus Wings Red 16-6.

The Bulldogs met Mizuno USA Navy, who went 3-1 to advance through the other bracket in the finals, which were essentially in No. 2 ranked Mizuno’s backyard.

“They’re a program that has been around for awhile,” Allain said. “We’ve heard their names for sure. This was our year. These guys put in a ton of work over the past 10 months. All the credit goes to the players.”

Bisson, a Berlin resident with ice water in his veins got the start on the mound for the Bulldogs and was lights out. After yielding a leadoff walk and a base hit two batters later, Bisson dropped the anchor on the Navy bats, retiring the next 18 hitters in order to pick up the win.

“Dillon was incredible,” Allain said. “He pitched 6 2/3 innings of one-hit ball, walked one and struck out 11.”

Bisson left to a standing ovation in the seventh with a 9-0 lead after striking out the lead off hitter. Sprince came on to get the final two outs to end the inning.

“We don’t know if we’ll ever get back to a final,” Allain said. “It was important to me that everyone gets into the (championship) game. Tyler is 13, but he’s pitched like a 14-year-old stud for us all season. He came in and threw great.

The Bulldogs scored twice in the first innings and never looked back. They added three runs in the third, four in the sixth, and one in the seventh to end the game. The team pounded out nine hits in the win.

Micklon led the hit parade with a 3-3 performance with a walk and a sacrifice fly. He drove in a run and scored twice.

Barrows was 2-3 with a run scored and drove in a run; Eastman drove in a pair of runs. Paradis, the team’s speedy leadoff hitter and table setter from Berlin, went 1-4 with a double; Coleman was 1-3 with a pair of walks and a run scored; Spencer was 1-3 with a double and two runs scored; Hall was 1-3 with a walk and two runs scored; King had a walk and a run scored; and Bradley walked and score a run.

The team accomplished its goal.

“I had the kids fill our personal and team goals at the start of the season,” Allain said. “I gave them back their lists (on July 5 prior to the start of the tournament). All of them had winning an EBL title on their team list.”

The Bulldogs 16U team recently swept a doubleheader against the Maine Sluggers, winning 2-1 and 8-2. The team just missed the playoffs in a tournament at Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., over the weekend. Home Run lost 3-0 on Friday; played to a  4-4 tie on Saturday morning; and won 4-3 on Saturday afternoon.

“All of the games were close,” Allain said. “We had great pitching and our infield defense was phenomenal. Riley Fletcher at third, Devon Oullette at short, Ethan Robitaille at second, and Andrew Leach/Matt Drew were fantastic in the field.

The Home Run program is already gearing up for next year. 2018 Home Run Bulldogs tryouts are coming up. Ages 12 and under will be Aug. 19-20 from 9 a.m. to noon at Conway Elementary School. Tryouts for ages 13-18 will be Aug. 20 from 1-4 p.m. and Aug. 21 from 5-7 p.m. at Kennett High School.