February 3, 2021
Late winter in Vermont can feel a little long, but the Fish and Wildlife Department is here to help with great opportunities that are not only fun, but also educational. Education Manager Ali Thomas says the department has something for everyone: “Whether you are inclined to snuggle up by a warm fire, or pile on the winter clothes and make a trek outdoors, we have something for you.”
- Wildlife Tracking is an especially exciting activity during the winter with fresh fallen snow to help you unravel the stories of wildlife in the forests and fields. Check out the new Wildlife Tracking Self-Guided Walk at the Intervale in Burlington that was created in partnership between the Fish and Wildlife Department and Intervale Center. The walk begins at the first trailhead to the right of the parking lot at the Center. There are eleven stations total, complete with information on specific wildlife and their tracks as well as QR links to videos to help visitors learn even more about the animals.
- Ice fishing is a fun and inexpensive way to get outdoors and beat the winter doldrums. Check out the Fish and Wildlife Department’s virtual ice fishing festival to learn all you need to know to have a fun day on the ice! https://vtfishandwildlife.com/node/462.
- Wildlife Trivia on Facebook is a great option to learn and connect if you are not interested in being outdoors in the cold winter weather. The department has three Wildlife Trivia segments that are recorded on its Facebook video page already, and a fourth segment is in the works for this March. You can choose to participate live or watch the recorded versions afterward. https://www.facebook.com/vtfishandwildlife
- Vermont Wild Kitchen airs at 5 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month through March. Tune in to learn how Vermonters across the state are using their Rooted in Vermont wild game, fish, foraged and farm-fresh foods. Vermont Wild Kitchen airs live on Rooted in Vermont’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/RootedinVermont but you can view past episodes here: https://www.facebook.com/RootedinVermont/videos/?ref=page_internal.
- Virtual Wild Turkey Hunting Seminars will be hosted on Facebook live to get you prepared for spring turkey season. Seasoned hunters, biologists from the National Wild Turkey Federation, and volunteer hunter education instructors will be talking all things turkey and taking your questions about turkey hunting in Vermont. Some topics will include calling, scouting, gear to use, and more.
- Law enforcement – Want to meet your local State Game Warden? Need a few tips on catching fish? Ice fishing Education Patrols are being held statewide this winter on selected bodies of water. Members of the Vermont Warden Service will be spending time on the ice offering local tips and general advice to anglers. See this link for dates and times. https://vtfishandwildlife.com/fish/fishing-events-and-programs/fishing-clinics-and-events/educational-patrols
- Bird watching is good this time of year. With bears hibernating, we can safely put up bird feeders with seed or suet which attract birds close for easy observation. Keep an eye out for winter regulars including black-capped chickadees, northern cardinals and American goldfinches. This winter we are also seeing rare visitors coming down from Canada including evening and pine grosbeaks, common redpolls, and snow buntings. Finally, spring is not far away—observers are starting to report the first sightings of bald eagles establishing breeding territories.