On The Ridge: Finding some summer fun

Published: 6/22/2022 5:55:41 PM
Modified: 6/22/2022 5:55:22 PM

For nimrods in the Bay State, hunting season has ended for a while with the first day of summer officially stepping off at 5:14 a.m. on June 21. You’d be hard-pressed not to find something to do in New England that will help ease the pain of “no huntin’” during the summer months, however, as not only is it a great time of year to be active and enjoying life, there are just so many things to do. That holds particularly true when the weather has made being in the outdoors simply outstanding.

For now, outdoors people have already started changing gears and thinking about all types of fishing, maybe hiking, biking, or just traveling with family and friends, as summer is an endless adventure that drifts directly into a daily dose of “enjoying life.” That said, there’s no time to waste as the days are getting shorter, but there’s plenty of time left to get outside and stay active in these wonderful summertime months.

Here are a few things that will easily keep you busy while helping the wildlife and the environment at the same time, plus something to remember particularly for serious deer hunters that could be of great importance to some, yet also so easy to forget.

Mass Wildlife is once again extending an invitation to all wildlife enthusiasts to contribute to the state’s annual Wild Turkey Brood Survey by monitoring and reporting birds that you’re seeing in your area. By doing this you’re assisting the state in determining the productivity and comparisons of long-term reproductive success, and helping to estimate fall populations. Reports come from all across the state, from both rural areas to the most densely populated. Citizen support for this brood survey is a cost-effective and fun way to collect much needed data, while having the fun of connecting with nature and wild turkeys. The brood survey starts each year on June 1 and runs all the way until Aug. 31, so there’s still plenty of time to help if you like to get involved. Go to the Mass Wildlife website for more information about the brood survey and how your involvement can make a difference with this great Mass Wildlife program.

And of course, fishing is a great summer activity which I hope as many of you participate in as possible. However, if you’re out fishing and you happen upon an area where you’re finding dead or dying fish in a river, stream, or brook, please call the Massachusetts Environmental Police immediately at 1 (800) 632-8075 to report this.

While many reported summer fish kills are natural events, the arrival of warm weather can cause the levels of oxygen in lakes and ponds to dissipate, especially in more shallow and weed infested waters where real problems can occur. Finding stressed fish in a situation like this can cause some real problems for people, while prompting concerns about possible pollution. You can help to ensure that there’s not a pollution problem by reporting all fish kills to the number above. MassWildlife fisheries biologists will act fast to determine if it’s a natural event or potentially caused by pollution, which impacts all aquatic life. Biologists will then look for the number and variety of fish associated with the incident. And if pollution is suspected, notify the Department of Environmental Protection, who will conduct a formal investigation of the water and the impacted fish to determine the source of pollution.

Deer hunters! Don’t forget to apply for an Antlerless Deer Permit through the MassFishHunt online system. The deadline to apply is July 16, so there’s still plenty of time to get it done. You can only submit one application. To apply you must have a valid Massachusetts hunting license that includes big game. Log in to MassFishHunt license sales and click on “Apply for an Antlerless Deer Permit” in the top menu, then click Apply. Select the zone you want to apply for and click Submit All Choices. Then click Checkout to complete the process. There is no fee to apply. The award period begins Aug. 1 at 8 a.m. and ends on Dec. 31.

If you apply for an Antlerless Deer Permit by the July 16 deadline, you still must check to see if you’ve been awarded the right to purchase the permit. The easiest way of checking the status of your permit is through the MassFishHunt site. Starting in September, surplus Antlerless Deer Permits will be available for sale in select Wildlife Management Zones, until they have all sold out. You can purchase a surplus permit through MassFishHunt, or at any Mass Wildlife office.

Joe Judd is a lifelong hunter and sportsman. He is an outdoor writer, seminar speaker, member of the New England Outdoor Writers Association, and a 2019 inductee into the N.E. Turkey Hunting Hall of Fame. Joe is also on the Quaker Boy Game Calls and Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s Pro-Staff.


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