At 4:30 a.m. on May 3, I joined nine women and six guides for a turkey hunt in Devens sponsored by MassWildlife’s Becoming an Outdoorswoman (BOW) program. Fueled by coffee and a desire to hit the woods before first light, we met at the South Post of the Reserve Forces Training Area (RFTA) in Devens.
It was a really warm day, even at that very early hour. Every one of the participants saw or heard turkeys that day. I saw a total of seven turkeys during the hunt, including five toms, one jake (a juvenile male) and one hen, and I took my first turkey of the season.
Nancy Cunniff from Mansfield also took a turkey during the hunt (it was her first). We all enjoyed the camaraderie of the group hunt and got to practice our hunting skills with other women with shared interests.
After the hunt ended at noon, we came in from the woods to share lunch and our stories of the day’s adventures in the woods. Participants also saw deer, porcupine, bog turtles, a garter snake, and a coyote chasing a turkey.
Prior to the hunt, all participants had taken a one day class on turkey hunting skills and safety. The BOW program focuses on education for women on outdoor skills including basic fishing, beginning shotgun, kayaking, compass reading, archery, pond and stream adventures, nature photography, martial arts, outdoor and game cooking, edible plants and much more. DFG and MassWildlife appreciate the efforts of the many dedicated volunteers and partners who make the BOW program possible.
The hunt was led by a great group of experienced volunteer hunting guides. Many thanks to MassWildlife board member Bonnie Booth and fellow blogger Ellie Horwitz for organizing the event. Thanks also to Tom Poole helping us to partner with the RFTA for this annual event.
Coming up is a BOW weekend event, June 4-6 in Becket. Over 32 classes are offered over the weekend for women eager to learn new outdoors skills or brush up on existing skills.
The Turtles are Coming posted on Aug 29
With a migration pattern that stretches thousands of miles, it is no surprise that Massachusetts is home to four types of turtles during the summer, all of them protected by local and international law. And while you probably know that sea turtles often frequent the Massachusetts beaches, can you identify them?
2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: August posted on Aug 25
Augusts’ Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest winner was Cara Peterson, who photographed a high tunnel greenhouse at Flats Mentor Farm in Lancaster.
Not From Around Here: Green Crabs posted on Aug 22
As part of its work to assess salt marsh health, staff from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) have frequently observed abundant green crabs, often burrowing in the banks of marsh creeks. This summer, CZM is examining the potential impacts of green crabs in salt marsh habitats, including the impact of burrowing activity.