Wardens and conservation officers are spread thin, covering huge areas. They need our help in stopping poaching and other violations that impact fish and wildlife we all appreciate. Operation Game Thief is a way to anonymously report violations in the twin states.

You can report violations to New Hampshire Fish and Game’s Operation Game Thief online anytime at www.wildnh.com/ogt, or call the 24-hour hotline at 1-800-344-4262. Confidentiality is guaranteed and rewards are paid for tips that lead to arrest or citation.

To report violations to Vermont’s Operation Game Thief call 1-800-75ALERT, 1-800-752-5378. The toll-free hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to report violations. Rewards are paid for information leading to arrests. Reports can also be made online at https://vtfishandwildlife.com/contact/report-a-violation.

Bits and Pieces

Columbus Day weekend is the busiest period of the fall hiking season in New Hampshire and it will be busier than ever as Covid has brought hordes to the trails, many of them inexperienced.

“This fall, people hiking must be aware of safe social distancing and their physical limitations,” said Fish and Game Law Enforcement Chief Colonel Kevin Jordan. “Unpredictable weather, extreme temperature fluctuations, and significantly reduced hours of daylight mean that people must be prepared with flashlights, layers of clothing that will keep the body warm and dry, and most importantly, hikers must know when to turn back. This is not the time for challenging hikes or dangerous backcountry adventures in rapidly changing weather conditions. It is imperative that people enjoying New Hampshire’s natural resources exercise a high degree of caution. Unsafe and irresponsible behavior puts first responders at extreme risk of injury and potential exposure to COVID-19 because social distancing becomes very difficult to manage in search and rescue situations.”

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The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Regional Offices that sell licenses to Granite State residents and visitors have reopened to provide the public with additional local and in-person opportunities to purchase hunting and fishing licenses.

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The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department reminds hunters that the Granite State’s seven-day fall turkey shotgun season begins on October 12 and runs through October 18.

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New Hampshire’s Salmon Sunday event has been cancelled in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency to ensure the safety of New Hampshire’s residents and visitors.

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Remember that the online public informational meetings to introduce its proposed changes to simplify Vermont fishing regulations will be held this week. A presentation will be given at each meeting followed by a question and answer period. The presentation and additional information will also be available on Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s website at https://vtfishandwildlife.com/fishing-regulation-simplification for anglers to review if they are unable to attend one of the meetings.

Vermont Fish and Wildlife will hold its public meetings by Zoom on October 13 and October 14 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Join a meeting by computer or smartphone at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87534865303. Meeting ID: 875 3486 5303

Join a meeting by telephone by calling 929-436-2866. Meeting ID: 875 3486 5303

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Mark Breen reports in the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium’s Skywatch Almanac that on October 18, 1783: “The second tropical storm system of the month changed to snow. Woodstock, VT reported 12 inches, with more in the mountains.”

Parting Shots

Pike’s Doug Teschner an old friend and occasional hiking and cross country skiing partner climbed Mt. Moosilauke last Wednesday. Normally that would be no big deal as he has done so countless times.

What makes me appreciate his feat is that it was just 39 weeks after his right knee was replaced and 51 weeks after his left. It was a goal he set prior to his first surgery.

He had this to say, “We move forward in life by knowing our goal. But we are happy and free as we go when our happiness is not dependent on reaching that goal.”

I have seen him hike and ski in leg and knee braces many times despite the pain. His determination to keep up doing what he loves is an inspiration.

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Two died on Maine’s Mount Katahdin last week. The first was airlifted from the mountain on Wednesday after spending the night awaiting rescue. He died later in the hospital of his injuries. Thursday morning the body of a hiker was found on the summit.

Like Mount Washington, Katahdin can prove deadly especially when the weather turns bad. This time of year hikers need to use extra caution and not be afraid to turn back.

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A beautiful mature bald eagle made our day Sunday morning. Ted Unkles and I were on our way to Colchester for hazmat team training when I spied the eagle by the northbound onramp of I-89 in Waterbury. It flew up and landed on the branch of a tree chased by two crows. We got to see it from less than 35 feet and what a site it was!

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I was sorry that I had training on Saturday as the day was what a fall day should be. Sunny and warm with the temperatures reaching the mid 70s. Even when the high winds and downpours arrived in the evening, it was so warm we had the doors open so we could listen to the much needed rain.

Syndicated columnist Gary W. Moore may be reached by e-mail at gwmoore1946@icloud.com or at Box 454, Bradford, VT 05033.

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