New Fish and Game Conservation K9 trainee makes her debut

CONCORD — The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's K-9 Conservation corps has a lively new recruit. "Cora" is now a 19-week old black Labrador retriever donated by Wes and Belinda Reed of Rise and Shine Retrievers in Barnstead. The donation was made through the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire.

Cora was just two months old when she was first presented to her new partner, Fish and Game Conservation Officer James Benvenuti earlier in September.

"Cora has been going to work with me every day and has already been exposed to turkey and deer kill sites," said Benvenuti. "Time is spent working on basic obedience, tracking and exposure to both evidence and fish and wildlife daily."

Along with Fish and Game's other canines and handlers, Cora and CO Benvenuti will be travelling for basic training at least once a month to the Vermont K9 Academy in Pittsford, Vt., until next summer. In July, the pair hit "boot camp" — the 36th basic canine patrol school, also in Vermont. The school was 544 hours and ran from July until November. Upon completion of the course, Cora and (Canine Officer) Benvenuti received certification in tracking, evidence detection (specifically gun powder and anything with human scent), and fish and wildlife detection (deer, turkey and fish).

Cora's name refers to the acronym for the Conservation Officers Relief Association (CORA).

Learn more about Fish and Game Law Enforcement's canine conservation teams at www.wildnh.com/law-enforcement/k9.html. A plan is in place to chronicle Cora's progress on this page as she trains to become a full-fledged Fish and Game Conservation K9.

You can help support the state Fish and Game Canine Conservation unit by sending a donation to the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of N.H. — Canine Fund, PO Box 3993, Concord, NH 03302, or donate online at nhwildlifeheritage.org/donate (specify Canine Fund).

 

N.H. Free Fishing Day is June 3

CONCORD — Take advantage of New Hampshire's Free Fishing Day, Saturday, June 3. On Free Fishing Day, you can fish anywhere in the Granite State — freshwater or saltwater — without a fishing license. Plan to get out and enjoy the day fishing with your family and friends. Both state residents and nonresidents may participate. All other fishing regulations must be followed, including season dates and bag limits.

 
To download brochures with regional fishing destinations, or to consult the N.H. Freshwater and Saltwater fishing digests for details on fishing rules for various waters, visit www.fishnh.com/fishing/publications.html.
 
You can find lots more information about fishing on the Fish and Game website at www.fishnh.com/fishing, including waterbodies that have been recently stocked with trout, public access sites and more.

 

Spring turkey season going well

CONCORD — Early indications suggest that New Hampshire hunters are having a good spring gobbler season, according to longtime state Fish and Game Turkey Project Biologist Ted Walski.

On May 16, Walski contacted the 15 turkey check stations that had the highest spring totals last year and found that four of them have already surpassed last year's season totals. A majority of the other 11 stations around the state were getting close to their numbers for 2016, and expected to reach or exceed last year's spring gobbler season totals.

"Therefore, my prediction is that the total May 2017 harvest should equal or exceed the May 2016 harvest of 3,882 turkeys," said Walski. "Despite that there were numerous mornings of poor hunting weather during the first week of the May 2017 hunting season, and an early spring green-up reduced visibility in the woods, hunters still seem to be doing well."

New Hampshire's spring turkey season runs through May 31. Final numbers are not yet available for the youth turkey hunt weekend held April 25 through April 26.

For more on turkey hunting in New Hampshire, visit www.huntnh.com/hunting/turkey.html.

 

MWV Squirts making noise on the ice

The Mount Washington Valley Youth Hockey Association U10 Squirts finished runner-up in the Tier III Granite State Tournament.

Although the team outplayed the Manchester Flames on Feb. 26, the Flames took advantage of a short breakdown in the Eagles game to pull ahead by one goal.

Seeded fifth going in to the tournament, the Eagles played an aggressive physical game and bested the number one seed Manchester Junior Monarchs after defeating the Rochester Blackhawks the day before to earn a spot in the final game.

The team played in the Seacoast Hockey League Tournament March 4-5 and then this past weekend they will chased the championship against some tough Maine and Southern New Hampshire teams.

The team members are: Robbie Murphy, Ben Libby, David Silvia III, Austin Silvia, Patrick Laughland, Jason Millett, Sawyer Hussey, Chase Barbour, Gabe Shaw, Noah Deyak, Caiden Graves, and coaches Darron Laughland, Mike Deyak, and Jeff Millett.