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. 


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.

Champlain Featured on Television Show


Anybody who has ever fished Lake Champlain, or even heard about the quality fishing won't be surprised to see huge prespawn bass caught.

A Canadian television show recorded some of the hot spring fishing and will air five times beginning Sunday on the World Fishing Network.

"Outdoor Passion" will air shows on April 16, 17, 18 and 21 on WFN.

  • Sunday, April 16, at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.
  • Monday, April 17, at 5 a.m.
  • Tuesday, April 18, at 6:30 a.m.
  • Friday, April 21, at 5 p.m.

A Fish & Wildlife Department press release says the show will feature catch-and-release bass fishing, a visit to the Ed Weed Fish Culture Station in Grand Isle, and take a look at state's fishing access areas.

And learn more about Outdoor Passions at www.outdoorpassion.tv/.

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.

Time to Take Down Bird Feeders

VTF&W BearThe Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is warning homeowners to prepare for bears who will be out and about soon and will be looking for easy food.

Because of the arrival of spring and the fact bears will soon be out and about, the department advises homeowners to take down bird feeders and other precautions.

In a news release, the department says bears are "very fond of suet and bird seed, especially black oil sunflower seed."

And bringing feeders in at night doesn’t work, the department says, because bears will still come around at night attracted by spilled seeds on the ground.

Continue reading "Time to Take Down Bird Feeders" »

Middlebury Mountaineer does opening day right

The Middlebury Mountaineer will be one of the hot spots for the Vermont trout season opener April 8. The outdoor shop turns the entire weekend into an event.

The outdoor adventure shop, which has relocated from Park Street to 56 Main Street right above Otter Creek, has been hosting a national fly-fishing film tour the night before opening day of trout season, followed by a weekend fishing tournament that is among the most popular of its kind in the region.

These folks don’t just love to fish, they give back to the sport and the community.

Out & About, my weekly column in Sam's Good News details the events.

Pick up a copy on the newsstand or you can read it online.

Read the column online here.

Researchers Have a Close Encounter With Bear


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


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" »