• Article: State’s fish hatcheries are about to get a boost; some environmentalists say that’s a problem

    by Amanda Gokee, New Hampshire Bulletin
    May 11, 2022

    Many of the state’s fish begin their lives not in a mountain stream but in a small white box in New Hampton at one of the state’s six fish hatcheries, where young fish are bred and raised before being released in the wild. Brown trout, rainbow trout, and landlocked salmon are grown at these hatcheries and then delivered to the state’s waterways, some arriving by truck and others by helicopter so when people come to fish, they have a chance at getting a good catch.  

    Originally a response to overfishing, this century-old approach has drawn criticism from some environmentalists and anglers, as the state prepares to invest in the next generation of hatcheries.

    With $55 million in federal relief funds, the state is preparing to update its fish hatcheries and build two new facilities with plans for a third, after facing a lawsuit over water pollution created by raising fish on farms. But some environmental advocates say these updates come at the expense of the state’s wild native fish population, which is harmed by the stocking of farm-raised fish.

    “New Hampshire is far too reliant on hatcheries, does too much stocking over wild fish, and does too little to protect wild native species,” said Bob Mallard, executive director of Native Fish Coalition. “Increasing hatchery capacity is likely to only make it worse.”

    The $55 million would fund the construction of two new hatcheries, which could produce an estimated 250,000 pounds of fish, according to the Fish and Game Department. It would also pay for the design of a third hatchery, capable of producing an additional 150,000 pounds of fish. The request for funding was approved by the Executive Council in late April, and the deadline for completing the project is 2026.

    The demand for this fish comes from anglers, who have come to expect large and plentiful fish, according to Dianne Timmins, division chief of inland fisheries at the Department of Fish and Game. And the department depends on anglers to purchase fishing licenses, which are the main source of funding. “If we don’t sell licenses, we don’t get money, so it’s really an economic thing,” Timmins said.  

    Around 200,000 anglers purchase licenses in New Hampshire in a typical year, generating approximately $6 million, according to the department.

    But wild fish are usually only a few inches long and not of interest to anglers, Timmins said. “When you’re talking about satisfying an angler, they’re not going to want to go catch 30 two-inch fish. They’re going to want to go catch a couple big fish,” she said.

    That is what fish hatcheries can reliably deliver – raising the fish in captivity and then releasing them into the state’s waterways. The hatcheries also deliver broader economic benefits, the department argues, attributing $100 million in annual spending to recreational fishing and another $150 million in economic activity.

    But stocking fish comes at a cost. Mallard said it has wreaked havoc on wild native fish, suppressing natural reproduction and potentially introducing disease, viruses, and parasites. Because the fish raised in hatcheries are larger than wild fish, they become an apex predator, outcompeting and eating juvenile wild fish, Mallard said.  

    Brook trout are one wild native species that has been on the decline, under the pressures of overfishing, climate change, and stocking. Once native to many streams and lakes, wild brook trout are now officially only found in a few of the state’s lakes and ponds.

    Mallard, who has been fishing for 40 years, has seen the change firsthand. He grew up fishing wild native brook trout in the White Mountains when they were more plentiful; now their populations have noticeably diminished, Mallard said.

    But he believes the trend is reversible – as long as the state reduces its reliance on hatcheries and imposes tighter regulations on anglers, such as stricter daily bag limits and tackle restrictions. Instead of allocating resources to hatcheries, Mallard said money should go toward habitat restoration, reclamation, and land acquisition.

    Timmins said the department is working in those areas while also building new hatcheries for the future. 

    The Native Fish Coalition is a regional organization that works in 12 states. Of those states, Mallard said, New Hampshire has been among the most reluctant to change.

    Water pollution

    In addition to threatening native populations, fish hatcheries can also harm the water quality of nearby rivers and streams. 

    In 2018, the Conservation Law Foundation sued the state over the Powder Mill Hatchery in New Durham, alleging that the facility was violating the Clean Water Act. 

    The facility allows water to cycle through fish hatcheries where thousands of fish live in close quarters, causing excrement to leave the facility, and along with it nutrients like phosphorus that can enter the water downstream, the foundation noted.

    “That fish hatchery has been there for 75 years. We’ve grown a lot of fish. That’s a lot of stuff going downstream,” said Ted Diers, assistant director of the water division for the Department of Environmental Services. 

    “Some of the highest numbers (of phosphorus) we’ve ever measured were downstream from (Powder Mill),” Diers said. The hatchery in Berlin also has water quality problems; Diers said there are elevated levels of chlorophyll. 

    Downstream from the Powder Mill Hatchery in the Merrymeeting River, elevated levels of phosphorus have led to problems like chlorophyll, algal blooms, and cyanobacterial blooms, which can be harmful to human health and are worsening as waters warm due to climate change.

    “It’s the ultimate irony to trash a river like the Merrymeeting River to produce fish to put in other rivers so people can go fishing for them,” said Tom Irwin, the director of New Hampshire’s Conservation Law Foundation.

    “If we’re going to have these hatcheries, it’s a good thing to make sure that they don’t pollute and don’t degrade the water resources they discharge into,” he said. The lawsuit filed by the Conservation Law Foundation is still pending.

    The new facilities would be designed to limit nutrients entering downstream waters by using a centrifuge design to remove the waste while it is still solid, Diers said. The facilities range from 50 to 125 years old and are in need of an update, he added.

    The New Hampton Fish Hatchery is one of them. Built in the 1920s, the facility still uses many of its original tanks, according to hatchery foreman Zach Curran. But knowledge has evolved over the past 100 years, and Curran said updating the facility would make it more efficient and reduce labor involved with tasks like cleaning the tanks. 

    Certain environmental advocates disagree with that approach and would rather see the facilities shut down.

    “The fisheries are antiquated. Maybe the system of stocking is also antiquated. Maybe we shouldn’t be doing it anymore,” said Joan O’Brien, who serves on the board of Voices of Wildlife, an advocacy organization.  

    But according to Timmins, that outcome is unrealistic. “Stocking will never go away,” she said. The department has made some changes to protect native fish, Timmins noted, like no longer stocking headwaters that tend to already have a natural population of brook trout. In some of those areas, she said, they have also stopped stocking rainbow and brown trout, which are nonnative species. 

    Fish hatcheries were originally built because overfishing had decimated fish populations in the state as early as the late 1800s. Now, those who want to do away with them have to make the case for more restrictions on fishing. 

    “It’s socially, politically easier to stock fish than to protect what’s there because protecting what’s there requires concessions that anglers don’t like,” Mallard said. 

  • Letter: Stop unethical use of wildlife

    Published in the Concord Monitor
    Jan 8, 2022

    I am writing in support of HB 1308, an act to prohibit capture, possession, and propagation of hares and rabbits for hunting dog training and field trials. I have worked as a wildlife biologist for several natural resource agencies and was a professor of wildlife ecology at UNH for 31 years and fully support managed hunting of hares. I have fond memories of participating in such hunts.

    Decades ago, beagle clubs imported scores of live hares from Atlantic Canada to stock private club lands. That practice no longer occurs. Instead, beagle clubs rely on the trap-and-transfer of wild hares to club lands to train their hounds. Such actions are clearly an unethical treatment of wild hares. Putting aside nonsensical “slippery slope” arguments (e.g., This is the first step in ending hare hunting), the notion that use of captive wild hares to train hounds is a long-standing tradition is a weak defense. Bear hunters and game bird hunters train their dogs in the wild, hare hunters obviously could do the same.

    Permits to capture specific animals are granted to university researchers and others to address questions that may improve survival of individual species. Permits to beagle clubs only address recreational interests of a small group of NH residents. There is no public benefit. So, why should beagle clubs be given special access? NH Fish and Game Department correctly opposes bringing wild animals into captivity for personal engagement. It should oppose the use of captive hares to train hounds.


  • Opinion: Tell legislators you support HB 1308 to end the capture of snowshoe hares for dog training

    Published in the Manchester Ink Link
    Jan 2, 2022

    Did you know that New Hampshire beagle clubs are allowed to capture wild snowshoe hares for training hunting dogs?

    After capture, they are transported to unfamiliar terrain, kept in fenced-in enclosures, and used in competitions called “field trials.” During these trials, beagles are released in packs to track the hares. Although the object is not to kill the snowshoe hares, the hares naturally believe they are in danger while being chased. For a hare, fear itself can be fatal.

    This practice violates the right of snowshoe hares to live in their natural habitat, where they were born. Eric Stohl, who chairs the NH Fish and Game Commission, agrees that putting wild snowshoe hares into captivity for dog training should end. Stohl recently stated hare hunters should train their dogs in the wild as other hunters do.

    Another good reason not to take snowshoe hares from the wild for dog training is that they are a “keystone species,” which means they are essential members of the ecosystem. Snowshoe hares change from brown to white in the winter. NH’s milder winters mean they are increasingly conspicuously white against a brown landscape, making them more vulnerable than ever to being killed by hunters or natural predators.

    Please help snowshoe hares by supporting House Bill 1308 to end their capture for dog training. The bill hearing will be Friday, January 14 at 2:45 pm. Email the Fish and Game and Marine Resources Committee at HouseFishandGameCommittee@leg.state.nh.us stating your support for HB 1308. Contact voicesofwildlifeinnh@gmail.com for more information.

    Linda Dionne is a wildlife advocate with Voices of Wildlife in NH.

  • Letter to the Editor: A threat to wildlife

    Published in the Eagle Times
    May 8, 2021

    Are New Hampshire legislators trying to fool us? SB 129, now under consideration by the NH House of Representatives, is ironically and misleadingly, officially described as “designed to minimize environmental impacts to endangered or threatened species habitats.” Sounds good doesn’t it?

    Yet, this developer-inspired bill would actually decrease the protection of such habitats. Currently, developers must show in their permit applications that their plans “will not result in adverse impacts” on threatened or endangered species of animals.

    But, SB 129 proposes that developers’ plans “not appreciably jeopardize the continued existence of such species or result in the destruction or modification of habitat of such species which is determined by the executive director to be critical, by requiring that all such action is designed to avoid and minimize harm to such species and habitat designated as critical.” This is a much lower standard and, because of its vagueness, much more difficult to enforce. Tragically, it would result in increased risk to a wide range of wildlife whose existence has already been deemed threatened or endangered — like the spotted turtle, the peregrine falcon, and several species of butterflies.

    At a hearing of the House Fish and Game and Marine Resources Committee, 147 citizens opposed SB 129, while only 13 supported it. Yet the committee voted to pass the bill despite this strong opposition to SB 129.

    Please contact your representatives and tell them to vote against this anti-wildlife bill.

    Jack Hurley
    Claremont, NH

  • Letter to the Editor: Is it too inconvenient to protect NH wildlife?

    Published in the Union Leader
    May 4, 2021

    Senate Bill 129 will sell out threatened and endangered wild animals in New Hampshire to wealthy developers if it passes. It will be disastrous for the survival of these species.

    The House Fish and Game and Marine Resources Committee heard SB 129 on April 28. The sign-in sheets show that 147 people opposed the bill, and only 13 supported it. The citizens of New Hampshire do not want this bill. The legislators voted 10-8 to pass the bill regardless of the strong opposition.

    This bill came about because of a backlog in the Fish and Game Department’s review of development applications, mainly caused by a lack of staff at Fish and Game.

    After a state Supreme Court decision against the N.H. Department of Environmental Services for harming our endangered animal species, DES decided they would try to change the law. Along with developers and their highly-paid lobbyists, they are urging our lawmakers to weaken the law itself — the 1979 NH Endangered Species Conservation Act. As everyone knows, loss of habitat to development is a problem wildlife faces, and SB 129 will worsen that situation.

    Hunters and hikers, Republicans and Democrats, let’s stop harmful development to our great outdoors! Protecting wildlife habitat is a non-partisan issue. It benefits everyone. With your help contacting legislators, we can stop SB 129.

    There will be a vote soon by all 400 House representatives. Go to http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us, find emails and phone numbers of your representatives, and ask them to oppose SB 129.


  • Letter to the Editor: Snowshoe hares not dog training tools

    Published in The Cabinet Press
    April 16, 2021

    Snowshoe hares are essential to many other species’ survival, including lynx, bobcat, and great horned owls. They also help with the development of the forest by what they eat. Because of this influence over other plants and animals, they are considered a keystone species. Every single one of these animals is important for a healthy ecosystem.

    It would make sense that our Fish and Game Department (NHFG) would not allow a frivolous use of a NH keystone species. Unfortunately, that is not the case. NHFG implemented rule Fis 806.05 in 2007, enabling beagle dog clubs to cage capture NH’s wild snowshoe hares and relocate them to unfamiliar terrain to train their dogs. Most of this so-called training involves “field trials,” when many beagles are released on the hares and chase them. The owners of the best-performing dogs receive trophies and ribbons.

    This rule also allows the clubs to breed the captured hares. The club’s yearly reports they are required to file show few to none hares in their possession from year to year. That a prolific breeder is not reproducing, and that few of the captured hares survive, signifies that something is wrong with the club’s care of these animals.

    The NH Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR) will be taking up an amendment to Fis 806.05 at its April 16, 2021, 9 am public hearing. Check the JLCAR website to attend the remote hearing. The Voices of Wildlife recommended to JLCAR that they object to this rule amendment so that NHFG considers Fis 806.05 for a total repeal.

    Raymond, NH

  • Op-Ed: NH’s fur-bearing animals are being mismanaged

    by Weldon Bosworth
    Published in the New Hampshire Union Leader
    April 8, 2021

    THE New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and the Fish and Game Commission are stewards of our public trust wildlife and are responsible by law for managing them such that all species have healthy, stable populations. For the most part, Fish and Game has done a commendable job. Populations of most major game species, including whitetail deer, bear and turkey, are stable or increasing and over the years have provided a sustainable opportunity for hunters to “harvest” wild game.

    However, Fish and Game and the commission have done a poor job in managing furbearers. The populations of the Granite State’s native furbearing animals, which include red and gray fox, fisher cat, raccoon, otter, mink, beaver and muskrat, have seen significant decreases in harvests over the last three decades. Far from achieving healthy, stable populations, Fish and Game’s management, or more correctly mismanagement, has resulted in significantly declining populations of these species.

    While harvests are not a direct measure of population size, when numbers of trapping licenses remain constant or increase, as they have, it is an indicator of population changes from year to year. In fact, changes in harvest from year to year is precisely the metric Fish and Game uses to set seasons and bag limits for whitetail deer and bear.

    The total furbearer harvest by trapping over the last three decades has declined dramatically. Compared to statewide average annual harvest of about 9,400 total animals for the 15-year period from 1990-2004, the average annual harvest over the last three years is about 2,500 animals, a decline of 73%. However, this total includes the far more numerous furbearing species, including beaver, muskrat and coyote, and so understates the impact on several of New Hampshire’s iconic furbearing predators.

    The harvest of fisher, red fox and gray fox has declined significantly. Fisher had an average annual harvest of 682 for the 15-year period from 1990-2004 and an average of only 41 annually for 2018-2020 (a 94% decline); the red fox harvest fell from an annual average of 363 to 122 for the last three years (a 66% decline) and the gray fox from an annual average of 109 to 34 for the last three years (a 69% decline). And these estimates of impact to these populations are undoubtedly understated since, inexplicably, Fish and Game only monitors those furbearers that are trapped, not those shot, including those shot in the several wildlife killing “contests” held annually.

    Why is this important now? Because Fish and Game is in the process of its biennial rulemaking. These rules affect seasons and bag limits for all wildlife that are hunted or trapped in the state. One would expect, given the significant decline in the harvest of fishers and foxes, that Fish and Game would be closing the season on fisher and, at a minimum, setting much lower bag limits and shortening the season on trapping and shooting foxes. This would help to ensure a healthy, sustainable population of these species in the future as required by New Hampshire law.

    However, the draft rules proposal presented to the Fish and Game Commission by state biologists did not include any reduction in the killing pressure on these species. Why not, you ask? In my opinion, because the management of fisher, fox and other furbearing species, unlike other game species, is based upon influence and not science.

    Who calls the shots on managing New Hampshire’s furbearers? The 500 or so trappers in the state who apparently want to continue their trapping hobby unabated and regardless of how many of these furbearers remain. The individuals who use fox for target practice during the seven-month hunting season regardless of the fact they very few, if any, are used for food or for their fur. In essence, these animals are used as a living target.

    Please call or write your Fish and Game commissioners and tell them you want them to make their decisions based upon sound science and pass rules that recognize the value of fishers and foxes to New Hampshire’s ecosystem and the value to those citizens who appreciate wildlife for reasons other than killing them.

    Weldon Bosworth, Ph.D, Ecologist

  • Letter to the Editor: Coyotes Need Protection

    Published in News – Fosters.com – Dover, NH
    Jan 31, 2019

    New Hampshire House Bill 442 prohibits coyote hunting from April through August to coincide with coyote pup rearing.

    This bill is needed because we learn over time through experience and research, and many of us have learned we’ve misrepresented coyotes as “vermin” and our current strategies are actually counterproductive — making our own lives more difficult than they need to be! We need to reset wildlife management policies. We’ve learned the following:

    The great majority of coyotes don’t prey on livestock and pose little risk to people.

    Coyotes are an integral part of the ecosystem and beneficial to us as they help control small mammal populations, scavenge carrion to keep our communities clean, and eat animals who harbor Lyme disease.

    Coyotes cull sick animals. They may even help us contain chronic wasting disease which is contagious and now spreading through deer populations.

    An array of effective coexistence strategies are available to keep pets safe.

    Year-round hunting does not reduce coyote numbers.

    Protection during pup-raising allows parents to train pups on what and how to hunt and to stay away from humans, guidance that lessens the likelihood young coyotes might come into conflict with us.

    Pups depend on both parents for food and care and it is unnecessary and cruel to kill the parents and leave orphaned pups to starve or become nuisances to us.

    Our natural resources are for all of us — not just for hunters; and nonhunters deserve time to enjoy the woods without having to worry about hunting/safety concerns.

    It is wanton waste when coyote are killed during the warmer months when their thinner coat has no commercial value.

    We need HB 442 because every other hunted animal has the protection of a closed season while raising young—and coyotes deserve the same.

    William Trentley
    New Hampshire Animal Rights League

  • Letter to the Editor: Where have all the fishers gone?

    Published in the Concord Monitor
    Dec 1, 2018

    The season for trapping fishers begins today and continues until Dec. 31.. Hunters can shoot fishers from today through the end of January.

    Fishers have never had it easy in New Hampshire. The value of their fur has driven them to such scarcity in New Hampshire that on several occasions their season has been closed.

    Over the last two decades there has again been a steady decline in the number of fishers trapped. In fact, the number of fishers trapped has declined from about 1,200 fishers in 1997 to only 44 fishers in 2017, a decrease of 96 percent.

    Will N.H. fishers soon join other N.H. furbearing predators who have been hunted to extinction (mountain lion and Eastern wolf) or trapped to such scarcity that they no longer have an open season (lynx, marten and bobcat)? Probably. And the red and gray fox, whose populations have decreased over 60 percent in the last two decades, according to Fish and Game trapping records, may soon join those species in their scarcity.

    Who is responsible? N.H. trappers, the Fish and Game Commission and the Fish and Game Department are all complicit. The trappers, who insist on carrying on a “tradition” even if the consequences are essentially eliminating a valuable component of N.H.’s ecosystem; the commission, which chooses pleasing its trapper constituency over science and its public trust responsibility; the department, for not insisting upon more science-based management of these wildlife populations. Lastly, N.H. residents who willfully ignore the plunder of their public trust resources, bear responsibility.

    What will happen to ecosystem integrity and biodiversity when the vast majority of furbearing predators are removed from the N.H. landscape? Science has long had the answer to this question. Unfortunately, it appears no one in New Hampshire is willing to listen.

    Weldon Bosworth

  • Letter to the Editor: Compassion is the fashion

    Published in the Concord Monitor
    Nov 25, 2018

    Each year in New Hampshire thousands of animals are killed for their fur. Cruel practices used include leg-hold traps, bludgeoning and drowning to death by fur trappers and electrocution in fur farming. New Hampshire has one fur farm in Lyndeborough and over 500 fur trappers.

    Whether used as a full-length coat or simple trim, fur represents pain and suffering. Enduring the excruciating pain of a trap or a lifetime of agony in a tiny cage, the animals suffer immensely.

    Unable to eat, keep warm or defend themselves against predators, many animals caught in traps die horrible deaths before the trapper arrives to kill them. Others suffer in the traps for days until they are caught and killed.

    Temporary nurse wages skyrocket, leaving nursing homes and hospitals scrambling to staff facilities
    Farm-raised fur comes from animals kept in tiny, filthy cages. There are no laws regulating how animals on fur farms are to be housed or killed. The techniques used to kill animals on fur farms include neck snapping, anal electrocution and carbon monoxide or dioxide “gas chambers” that often prolong the death of animals and allow them to regain consciousness while being skinned.

    With so many fashionable fur alternatives available, there is no reason to wear animal skins. We are not survivalists. To cause the suffering and death of other sentient beings for pleasure is wrong. We have an obligation to maintain a decent standard of ethics, which at the very least includes preventing animal cruelty. Please put an end to this suffering. Do not support the fur industry.


  • Letter the the Editor: Shorten coyote season

    Published in the Concord Monitor
    Nov 18, 2018

    The Eastern coyote, essentially a shy dog that is 9 percent wolf and looks like a medium-sized German shepherd, is an integral part of the ecosystem and beneficial to humans. These clever, intelligent omnivores help control small mammal populations and, as scavengers, help keep our communities clean of carrion. They eat animals that harbor Lyme disease. According to New Hampshire Fish and Game, “the great majority of them don’t prey on livestock” and “pose little risk to people.”

    But some people need a dog to kick around. For this, they have the coyote, denigrating these canines for various dramatized reasons. And so these “nuisance varmints” are the only furbearers hunted year-round with no limit on how many can be taken. These dogs may be trapped, killed at night and lured with calling devices, and there are killing contests with prizes awarded. These dogs, who generally bond with a mate for years or for life, would be justified asking why we wanted so badly to break them.

    But besides diminishing the benefits of having coyotes around, are the man’s strategies actually facilitating more interspecies conflicts? For example, it seems counterproductive to disrupt coyote families during April to October when young pups are taught to avoid humans and their property. If you kill a parent, training falls short and pups may be more inclined to become nuisances.

    Temporary nurse wages skyrocket, leaving nursing homes and hospitals scrambling to staff facilities
    Fish and Game’s own biologist recommended closing the season from April to July. Can we at least give them a break for these few months?

    (The writer is a board member of the N.H. Animal Rights League.)

  • Letter to the Editor: Put an end to wasteful, cruel “canned” pheasant hunt

    Published in the Conway Daily Sun
    Oct 2, 2018

    From Oct. 1-Dec. 31, hunters and their dogs will go to 64 different locations around New Hampshire that have been stocked with a total of 11,535 adult, farm-raised, non-native red-necked pheasants and “hunt” them.

    This is essentially a “canned hunt” as these farm-raised birds have no survival skills. Hunters are told when and where the birds are stocked, and they begin showing up and shooting as soon as the birds are taking their first flights of freedom.
    There is no challenge to hunting these birds. Some hunters kick the birds to get them to fly so they can kill them. It caters particularly to unskilled hunters who want an easy kill.

    Pheasant hunting license fees pay for the birds each year, but overhead costs are paid for by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. This yearly hunt is quite expensive to orchestrate, as one might imagine. To run the hunt, the additional expenses include salaries for those supervising, trucks, truck drivers, biologists, F&G employees to distribute the birds, to mention just a few. One could surmise that the cost has increased substantially over the years.

    There are many problems with this Fish and Game “event”: This is not a fair chase hunt but is basically a “canned hunt.” Salaries to Fish and Game employees and other overhead expenses to run this event are NOT covered by the fees that the hunters pay.

    This is animal cruelty in that a number of the birds don’t survive the journey from farm to field. Many have broken wings, broken legs and other serious injuries when they arrive from the farm.

    The Fish and Game Department has been struggling with keeping itself relevant and funded. Ending this hunt would save the department thousands of dollars that could be siphoned into essential services like the Search and Rescue Program.

    I find it abhorrent that my tax money may be used to subsidize this farce of a hunt. If you agree, please contact the Fish and Game Department.

    With enough public pressure perhaps we can put an end to this wasteful, unnecessary and cruel “event.”

    Elizabeth Marino

  • Letter to the Editor: Protect your lands from bait-and-sit hunting this fall

    Published in the Conway Daily Sun
    Aug 9, 2018

    N.H. Fish and Game has been in the news a lot lately. Because of that, some in the media are supporting hunting and opposing those of us who work for the protection of wild animals. Many N.H. residents are not opposed to fair chase hunting to put food on the table. The problem is that fair chase hunting is a rare experience in today’s hunting.

    Hunters are their own worst enemy. They bait and sit in a tree stand, waiting for an animal to be enticed to a pile of junk food and then kill that animal while he or she is peacefully eating. What kind of hunting is that? And while I am at it, what is the deal with the tree stand? Whatever happened to using skills, such as tracking, where the animal has a fair chance of getting away, as the Boone and Crockett Club states is fair chase hunting?

    Hunters chase bears with hounds up a tree and then shoot. Sometimes it is a lactating female who is leaving cubs behind. You can watch hunters do this on YouTube, hunters from right here in N.H. They are so proud of themselves they videotape for the world to see. But most of the world is appalled and root for the innocent and helpless bear. Many landowners in N.H. are posting their land after viewing these heartbreaking videos.

    N.H. residents, please join the wildlife protection movement in N.H. Google the groups in N.H. working to give N.H.’s wild animals a fair shake and get in touch with them. And if you want to post your land, there is a group I am affiliated with, the N.H. Animal Rights League, that gives out free NO HUNTING signs for your property. There is no time to lose; bear hunting begins Sept. 1.