On the Ridge: Plenty of things to do outdoors

  • Selectman Joseph Judd isn't seeking re-election after serving 21 years on the Board of Selectmen.

Published: 8/10/2022 7:14:51 PM
Modified: 8/10/2022 7:11:35 PM

As I take pen to hand this evening, archery season for deer is still almost two months away. However, black bear season (first segment in all Massachusetts zones 1-14 opens Sep. 6, which is also Election Day!) is right around the corner, and this could be a banner year for black bear hunters as population numbers in this state are now at an all-time high. But I’m getting off track here! It’s still summer, and even though August will usher in the beginning of another hunting season, we’re still a month away from welcoming back the Autumnal Equinox. There’s lots of things ahead, as summer continues, for families to participate in and enjoy. So, let’s lean into August by telling you about a few of those things that I think you’ll really enjoy if you can just find the time to get there.

If you’re a young person wanting to learn about pheasant hunting, August is the month to sign up for the Massachusetts Youth Pheasant Hunt Program. This program, which was developed by MassWildlife, creates an opportunity that provides Hunter Education graduates aged 12-to-17 to practice firearms safety, develop shooting skills, and participate in a special pheasant hunt under the guidance of an experienced adult hunter and educator. Several sporting clubs across the state offer the Youth Pheasant Hunt Program which includes a seminar, plus a mentored hunt. Membership to a specific club is not required to participate in either activity. However, all participants must complete the seminar before the day of the hunt. A full list of 2022 club locations and dates will be available in mid-August. This sound like a great opportunity, especially for a young hunter looking to get into a pheasant hunting environment for the first time. Registration deadline is Aug. 31.

On Aug. 12–14, HUNTSTOCK, located at 50 Woods Rd. in Westminster will take place as a three-day hunting festival that will include hunting seminars, demonstrations, food trucks, vendors, music, live podcasts, as well as the chance to win hunting and fishing equipment and many other prizes. Seminars from people like Lanny Benoit, Hal Blood, Joe Judd, Timmy Bolduc, Rick Labbe, Brett Joy, Jake Bennett, Neil Pendleton, the Northeast Big Buck Club and much more, will be there to share their knowledge and meet people from around the state. Fun starts Friday Aug. 12 from 12 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., Saturday Aug. 13 from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Sunday Aug. 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. I’ll be there on Saturday and Sunday, so check out my seminar if you want to talk “some turkey” and participate in many other events that appears to be shaping up a great weekend in Westminster!

And maybe before you head out to Huntstock, you can take in another great event with the family on Saturday Aug. 13. A Family Fishing Clinic in Goshen is happening at Upper Highland Lake in the DAR State Forest in Goshen (78 Cape Street). The event starts at 9 a.m. and goes until noon and is in cooperation with the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation. Learn to set up your rod, tie knots, cast, and identify fish. This event is free, family friendly, and open to all skill levels. No fishing license is required. Bring your own fishing equipment or borrow ours. However, limited gear and bait will be provided, so get there early and learn how to “catch some fish”!

 And finally, the big question right now amongst deer hunters in August is: did you get a doe permit? And with more antler-less deer permits being handed out then ever before, thanks to the diligence of Massachusetts deer biologist Martin Feehan, along with other sportsmen and women who recognized the need in a state with 12-18 deer per square mile in numerous areas, it’s almost surprising if you didn’t get one! Aug. 1 was the date that hunters could check the MassWildlife website to see if they were awarded a doe permit for the 2022 deer season. And for those who did CONGRATULATIONS! But for those who didn’t, well, I’m here to report that yours truly is one of those who did not! YIKES, that’s tough to say! But I didn’t! It’s been a long time since this ridge runner last received the good news that “the doe permit was in the mail”, or now, “online waiting to be printed”! But hey, that’s ok, I’ve done all right without them. That said, if you forgot to check, get into the website, and find out as that information will be available for a long while. But if you didn’t get one, don’t despair, just accept my official welcome to the “No Doe Permit Club”! 

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.


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Greenfield Recorder, keeping Franklin County informed since 1792.

Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261


Copyright © 2021 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy