Holdout Game & Fish Club Ends Ban on Women

My article about the last remaining game & fish club in Vermont to ban women members has gone live on VtDigger.com. 
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Mendon Fish & Game Club members voted this month to drop their 70-year ban on female members.

The group was the last of the roughly 50 members of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs to bar women from its rolls.

Read the story here.


Rutland Man Drowns Trying to Save Dog

A Rutland, Vermont, man died April 8 when he fell through the ice on Leffert's Pond off Wildcat Road in Chittenden.

Vermont State Police said William R. Graf, 93, went onto the ice to rescue his Jack Russell terrier a little before 1:30 p.m. Saturday when he fell through the ice about 50 yards from shore.

A witness told police the dog had run onto the frozen surface of the pond and became stuck. Graf went onto the ice to save his dog.

Detective David Pfindel, of the VSP, said witnessed said Graf was laying flat on the ice to try to distribute his weight, but still fell through. He was unable to get out of the water.

Police said the dog also died.


New F&W Board Member Appointed

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott has appointed Brian Wiles of Forest Dale to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board.

Wiles will be the Rutland County representative on the board, replacing Justin Lindholm of Rutland, whose term expired at the end of February.

Wiles will serve a six-year term on the 14 member board.


Researchers Have a Close Encounter With Bear

BearDen

A team of bear researchers got a little too close and personal with a black bear in the Vermont woods recently.

UVM students and researchers with the Vermont Department of Wildlife were checking up on a bear in its den as part of the multi-year study of black bears near the Searsburg wind project.

Apparently the 168-pound bear was awake and outside its den when the group arrives, but retreated into its den. It appears they were going to try to tranquilize the bear in its den, but things didn't go quite as planned.

First the bear snatches a backpack near the mouth of the den, which is retrieved by a researcher who reaches in and grabs it and wins a tug-o-war with the, as of yet unseen, bear.

But then the bear lunges partway out of the den as the researcher scrambles backward, putting the backpack between himself and the bear, which seems to be sizing him up as it exits the den. After a momentary pause, the bear streaks away, but not before a Fish & Wildlife researcher can shoot it with a tranquilizer gun.

The rest of the video shows the team conducting a health check on the tranquilized bear and then returning it to its den.

The researchers said the bear recovered and is doing well.

Click here to watch the video.


Out & About: No to F&W Board Expansion

Out&About

Effort to Grow F&W Board Not a Good Idea

Several groups who aren’t terribly fond of hunting have decided they need better representation on the Fish & Wildlife Board. That’s the board made up of folks who are appointed to oversee, hunting, fishing, trapping and wildlife management in the state.

The board oversees the department, setting seasons, bag limits, and general policy not set in statute. They take the recommendations from the department, consider the social aspects along with the biological aspects, and -- giving deference to the biological -- make decisions.

Groups like Protect Our Wildlife and the Vermont Wildlife Coalition have decided that the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department isn’t doing a good job because they haven’t changed their minds about trapping, coyote hunting, and other topics that POW and VWC are opposed to.

They’ve tried to affect change directly through the F&W board, as well as through the legislature, all while maintaining a public relations campaign.

As those efforts have failed, now they’re trying to get seats on the board to work from the inside.

Continue reading "Out & About: No to F&W Board Expansion" »