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Wildlife Events Planned for March
Hunters, landowners and anyone else interested in Vermont’s wildlife should plan on attending one of the three events hosted by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department in late March.
Each March the department holds three public hearings to provide the results of the deer hunting seasons and receive public input on the status of Vermont’s deer herd. This year, two of the hearings will be held on weekend afternoons, and they will also feature management of black bear, wild turkey, moose, and furbearers as well as a discussion of Vermont’s wildlife habitat. These two Wildlife Open Houses will also include several poster displays of various wildlife-related topics.
The hearings will still include results of Vermont’s 2015 deer and moose seasons and prospects for deer and moose hunting next fall as well as an opportunity for hunters to provide their observations and opinions about the status of these big game animals.
The three meetings will also serve as public hearings to review the 2015 moose hunting season and to provide feedback on the number of moose permits recommended for 2016.
“We are offering these March Wildlife Open House meetings in Castleton and Montpelier as a means of presenting and discussing the other game management programs,” said Scott Darling, wildlife management program manager. “While the focus on deer is understandable, there are many other important wildlife management efforts, including our work to conserve and manage habitat, that are also worthy of the public’s attention.”
Wildlife Open House meetings:
Sunday, March 20, 1-5 p.m. Kehoe Conservation Camp, 636 Point of Pines Rd., Castleton, VT 05735
Saturday, March 26, 1-5 pm, Montpelier High School, 5 High School Drive, Montpelier, VT 05602
The additional deer and moose meeting will be held Wednesday, March 23, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Lake Region Union High School, 317 Lake Region Rd., Orleans, VT 05860.
Special Snow Goose Harvest Opportunity
Vermont’s spring snow goose hunt will be held from March 11 through April 22.
Since 2009, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has annually issued a “Conservation Order” to allow the reduction of the population of migrating greater and lesser snow geese as well as Ross’ geese. The numbers of these geese have grown so high that they are destroying habitat for themselves and other species.
Eight states in the Atlantic Flyway (Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Vermont) will hold a similar Spring Snow Goose Conservation Order in 2016.
The Vermont 2016 Spring Snow Goose Conservation Order will occur statewide. The daily bag limit is 15 snow geese, and there is no possession limit. Waterfowl hunting regulations in effect last fall will apply during the 2016 Spring Snow Goose Conservation Order with the exception that unplugged shotguns and electronic calls may be used, and shooting hours will be extended until one half hour after sunset.
A 2016 Spring Snow Goose Harvest Permit is required and is available at no charge on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com) under “Hunt-Waterfowl-Seasons-Spring Snow Goose Hunt.” Hunters may also call the Essex Junction Office (802-878-1564) to request a permit.
Hunters will also need a 2016 Vermont hunting license (residents $26, nonresident small game $50), a 2016 Harvest Information Program (HIP) number, a 2015 federal migratory hunting stamp ($15), and a 2016 Vermont migratory waterfowl stamp ($7.50).
Hunters can register with the Harvest Information Program by going to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department website or by calling toll free 1-877-306-709.
Hunters who obtain a permit will be required to complete an online survey after April 22 and prior to May 15, 2016, whether they hunted or not. Hunters without access to the internet may obtain a copy of the survey by calling 802-878-1564.
“The breeding population of greater snow geese has grown from approximately 50,000 birds in the mid-1960s to 820,000 birds today,” said David Sausville, Vermont’s waterfowl project biologist. “This increase has resulted in damage to agricultural crops and marsh vegetation in staging and wintering areas from Quebec to North Carolina. The Atlantic Flyway has established a goal of 500,000 greater snow geese to bring populations in balance with their habitat and reduce crop depredation.”
During spring migration, snow geese typically move through the Champlain Valley in late March and early April. They usually pass through Vermont fairly quickly in route to their spring staging areas along the St. Lawrence River Valley. They remain there for about a month before moving on to their nesting areas in the Eastern Canadian Arctic.
Since 1986, waterfowl hunters have raised $4.3 million for conservation projects in Vermont through their purchases of Vermont duck stamps, prints and resulting interest earned on the funds. To date, 79 wetland projects totaling 10,185 acres have been conserved, acquired, or enhanced for wildlife and the citizens of Vermont.
2016 Lake Monsters field staff announced
The 2016 Vermont Lake Monsters coaching staff will have a familiar look as manager Aaron Nieckula and pitching coach Carlos Chavez return for a second straight season, while 2013 hitting coach Lloyd Turner returns to Vermont after two years with Single-A Beloit.
Nieckula, who also serves as Oakland's Minor League Field Coordinator, returns to Vermont for a second straight season after leading the 2015 New York-Penn League Lake Monsters to their fourth straight 33-win season. The 2016 season will be Nieckula's 11th year as a manager in the Athletics organization, which includes managing the 2014 Double-A Midland RockHounds to the Texas League championship.
Chavez also returns for his second straight year as Lake Monsters pitching coach after serving in the same role for the Arizona League Athletics in 2013 and 2014. Turner, who served as hitting coach for the Midwest League Beloit Snappers the past two seasons, comes back to Vermont for his second stint as Vermont's hitting coach.
2014-15 Lake Monsters hitting coach Tommy Everridge will serve in the same capacity with the High Single-A Stockton Ports in the California League, where he will join 2011-13 Vermont manager Rick Magnante and 2014 pitching coach Steve Connelly.
Rounding out the 2016 Vermont field staff will be Toshi Nagahara, returning for his fourth straight year as Lake Monsters athletic trainer, and Omar Aguilar in his first year as Strength & Conditioning Coach.
The Lake Monsters 2016 season begins June 17th at Lowell, while the home opener is scheduled for Sunday, June 19th vs. Connecticut.
Waterfowl Blinds Must Be Removed
Waterfowl hunters who did not remove their hunting blinds from the waters of the state earlier must do so before February 15 on Lake Champlain or May 15 on inland waters according to a reminder from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.
State law requires removal of the blinds before these deadlines in order to protect natural areas and to prevent boating accidents after the ice melts.
“Removal of the blinds and any posts that may be below the surface of the ice is important because of the danger they present when boaters are on the water in the spring,” said State Game Warden Colonel Jason Batchelder.
Batchelder says wardens have recorded names and addresses of blind owners and will follow up with inspections.
Lacrosse Officials Clinics
The VLOA (Vermont Lacrosse Officials Association) will hold its annual Boys Lacrosse Referee Clinic for new officials on Sunday March 20, 2016 for those interested in refereeing varsity and sub-varsity high-school play this spring in Vermont. This required classroom clinic will be held at Randolph Union High School from 8:30 am-1pm. Participants must be members of VLOA and first-year dues are $20 payable to VLOA Treasurer Ben Marlow, 2 Heald Lane, St. Albans, VT 05478 prior to the clinic. On-field training will be held Saturday March 26 in Rutland and Burlington. Those wishing to officiate only youth games will have a separate clinic in late April. Information on all VLOA boys lacrosse referee clinics is available at www.vermontlacrosseofficials.org.
ACT & PASS Announce Revised 2016 Doubleheader Schedule
The American-Canadian Tour (ACT) and the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) announced today that the 2016 doubleheader schedule for the two series has been revised. Due to the continuing decline of the Canadian-U.S. exchange rate, the doubleheader event at Quebec’s Autodrome Montmagny originally scheduled for Saturday, July 23 has been cancelled.
“Historically, combination races have featured a U.S. funds purse for all competitors, and with the elevated exchange rate expected to go even higher, the costs for both fans and promoters would be unreasonable,” ACT President Tom Curley and PASS President Tom Mayberry said in a joint statement. “We certainly appreciate all the support and enthusiasm the teams and fans from Quebec have had for the combination events in the past, and we hope that we can get them back on the schedule in 2017.”
The two series will now host a doubleheader at N. Woodstock, NH’s White Mountain Motorsports Park (WMMP) on Saturday, August 20. As part of the new agreement, WMMP and Speedway 51 have switched dates on the ACT schedule; the ACT White Mountain 150 moves to August 20 while Speedway 51’s Generation Next 151 will now be held on June 18. WMMP will become the fifth different track to host an ACT/PASS doubleheader event.
“White Mountain is a favorite track to visit for both teams and fans,” Mayberry said. “It also sits right in the middle of the marketing areas for both ACT and PASS. I think it should be a great event for both series’ competitors and fans.”
ACT will open the 2016 season with the traditional New Hampshire Governor’s Cup at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, NH on Sunday, April 10. PASS will be joined by ACT to open their season the following Sunday, April 17 at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway for the first of four doubleheaders between the two organizations.
In addition to the newly scheduled doubleheader at WMMP, two other twin bills will take place during the 2016 season featuring the two largest touring series in the Northeast. PASS will return to Barre, VT’s Thunder Road for a 150-lap event during the 54th Annual Mekkelsen Memorial Day Classic on Sunday, May 29 along with a 100-lap feature for Thunder Road’s ACT-type Late Models. The final doubleheader will be at Scarborough, ME’s Beech Ridge Motor Speedway on September 17 and 18 during the PASS New England 500 weekend, with ACT running the 42nd Fall Foliage 200 as part of the program.
2016 ACT Late Model Tour Schedule
# DATE DAY TRACK LOCATION EVENT
1 Apr 9-10 Sat-Sun Lee USA Speedway Lee, NH NH Governor’s Cup 150
2 Apr 17 Sun Oxford Plains Speedway Oxford, ME Oxford 100/PASS
3 Apr 30-May 1 Sat-Sun Thunder Road Barre, VT Merchants Bank 150
4 May 14 Sat Airborne Park Speedway Plattsburgh, NY Spring Green 116
5 May 21 Sat New London-Waterford Speedbowl Waterford, CT NLW Tripleheader 100
6 Jun 04 Sat Devil’s Bowl Speedway Fair Haven, VT Devil’s Bowl 100
7 Jun 18 Sat Speedway 51 Groveton, NH Lil Joey Generation Next 151
8 Jul 16 Sat Seekonk Speedway Seekonk, MA Seekonk Tripleheader 150
9 Aug 06 Sat Beech Ridge Motor Speedway Scarborough, ME Coastal 100
10 Aug 20 Sat White Mountain Motorsports Park N. Woodstock, NH WMMP 150/PASS
11 Sep 17-18 Sat-Sun Beech Ridge Motor Speedway Scarborough, ME Fall Foliage 200/PASS
12 Oct 15 Sat Thompson Speedway Thompson, CT World Series Tripleheader 75
Schedule Subject to Change
Kart Racing Set to Return to Thunder Road in 2016
Thunder Road has announced the formation of a new weekly Go-Kart racing series for the 2016 season. The Junior Champ Kart youth division for competitors ages 6 to 14 will run on Tuesday nights throughout the summer, marking the first time since 2010 that weekly Kart racing will be held on the Barre high banks.
The 10-race series begins on Tuesday, June 21 and will run weekly through Tuesday, August 23, with a one-week holiday break on July 5. The gates will open at 4:30pm for all Tuesday events with racing beginning at 6:00pm.
A special event on Saturday, September 10 will close the Karting season. Racing for this event will begin at 1:00pm with the gates opening at 12:00pm.
2016 Thunder Road Junior Champ Kart schedule
# DAY DATE Post Time Gates Open
1 Tue Jun 21 6:00pm 4:30pm
2 Tue Jun 28 6:00pm 4:30pm
3 Tue Jul 12 6:00pm 4:30pm
4 Tue Jul 19 6:00pm 4:30pm
5 Tue Jul 26 6:00pm 4:30pm
6 Tue Aug 02 6:00pm 4:30pm
7 Tue Aug 09 6:00pm 4:30pm
8 Tue Aug 16 6:00pm 4:30pm
9 Tue Aug 23 6:00pm 4:30pm
10 Sat Sep 10 1:00pm 12:00pm
Subject to Change
Thunder Road Announces 2016 Schedule of Events
Thunder Road officials have announced the release of the 2016 Thunder Road schedule of events. The 18-event schedule for the 57th season of racing at the “Nation’s Site of Excitement” begins with the 18th Annual Merchants Bank 150 season opener featuring the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) on Saturday/Sunday, April 30/May 1 and runs through the 54th Annual Northfield Savings Bank Milk Bowl on Saturday/Sunday, October 1 & 2.
A special weekly event Sunday, May 22 will kick off the 2016 Late Model “King of the Road” chase. The Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Super Late Models will then return for the 54th Annual Mekkelsen Memorial Day Classic on Sunday, May 29 as part of a doubleheader with the Thunder Road Late Models.
Thursday night events begin on June 16 and will run through August 25. All Thursday events will have a 7:00pm post time. Big events throughout the summer include the VP Small Engine Fuels Vermont Governor’s Cup 150 on Thursday, July 14; the Times Argus Mid-Season Championships on Thursday, July 28; and the M&M Beverage Enduro 200 and Street Stock Special on Sunday, August 7.
Two perennial major events conclude the 2016 season. The 38th Coca-Cola Labor Day Classic will be held on Sunday, September 4. The 54th Annual Northfield Savings Bank Milk Bowl on Sunday, October 2 along with Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Qualifying Day on Saturday, October 1 will close out the schedule.
2016 Thunder Road Schedule of Events
# DAY DATE EVENT
-- Sat Apr 30 Barre Car Show – Practice
1 Sun May 1 18th Merchants Bank 150 – ACT Tour
2 Sun May 22 Harvest Equipment
3 Sun May 29 54th Mekkelsen Memorial Day Classic 100/PASS 150
4 Thu Jun 16 Casella Waste Management
5 Thu Jun 23 Regular Event
6 Thu Jun 30 Regular Event
7 Sun Jul 03 Holiday Fireworks Event
8 Thu Jul 07 Regular Event
9 Thu Jul 14 37th VP Small Engine Fuels Governor’s Cup 150
10 Thu Jul 21 FairPoint Communications
11 Thu Jul 28 Times Argus Mid-Season Championships
12 Thu Aug 04 WDEV Radio/Calkins Portable Toilets
13 Sun Aug 07 32nd M&M Enduro 200 – Street Stock Special
14 Thu Aug 11 Regular Event
15 Thu Aug 18 U.S. Army Recruiting
16 Thu Aug 25 Jet Service Envelope
17 Sun Sep 04 38th Coca Cola Labor Day Classic 200
18 Sat Oct 01 Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Qualifying Day
Sun Oct 02 54th Northfield Savings Bank Milk Bowl
Schedule subject to change
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