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Fish and Game moose project head spends 9-day hunt at Berlin weigh station

October 28, 2009
BERLIN — Moose Project Leader Kris Rines of the state Fish and Game Department spent the nine-day moose hunt at the registration and weigh station on York Pond Road at the Berlin Fish Hatchery. Although the first day started slow, the rest of the week was busy, Ms. Rines said, clearly indicating that she greatly enjoys her interaction with all kinds of enthusiastic and excited hunters.

The 2009 statewide hunt took place from Oct. 17 to 25, with 515 permits issued: 120 for antlerless only, and the remaining 395, either sex. Permittees were chosen through a lottery, which drew some 14,500 hopeful hunters.

As of Wednesday, the largest bull taken in the state had been weighed in at 940 pounds at the Berlin check station, shot in Wildlife Management Unit B by Joe Hill of Brandon, Miss. As of Wednesday, the largest cow weighed 700 pounds, shot by Michael Baglivo Sr. of Brooklyn, N.Y., also in Unit B.

The hatchery crew does everything possible to make her stay and that of other Fish and Game personnel as welcoming and pleasant as possible, she said gratefully.

"They really lean over backwards to be helpful," Ms. Rines explained on Friday afternoon, adding that she brings along both her dogs and enjoys walking them in the remote and beautiful mountainous setting.

On Friday afternoon, Ms. Rines was still marveling at the tale of Richard Noyes of Hancock, who shot a very large bull in Errol after first dealing with a flat tire around 4:30 p.m. on the hunt's opening weekend. "He and his sub-permittee had been hunting long and hard all day, and they told me they had cursed their bad luck while they had to change a tire" Ms. Rines recalled. Right after they finished and got underway, however, Mr. Noyes saw and shot a big bull with a 53.75-inch rack spread that was hanging out with three other bulls in a nearby clearcut.

The wildlife biologist said she had also enjoyed talking with Heidi Denyou of West Wardsboro, Vt., who had shot a 790-pound bull between Stratford Bog and Sugarloaf Mountain with a "big open flat" 54-inch rack. She couldn't quite bring herself to shoot the first big bull she saw, she told Ms. Rines, but then took another with a very impressive rack.

The Fish Hatchery does not have Internet access, however, and at the end of each day, a conservation officer must come to pick up all the paperwork, drive it the state Fish and Game office on Route 3, north of Lancaster, and FAX the sheets to Fish and Game headquarters in Concord. On Friday, C. O. Matt Holmes stopped in to pick up the sheets.

Shortly afterwards, just as the station was about to close, two downstate hunters brought in a moose to be checked. In order to make their job of bringing it out of the backcountry easier, however, they had severed its head from the body, rendering their trophy unsuitable for a photograph.

Martin Lord Osman
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