VICTORY, Vt. – The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is excited to host a wildlife viewing tour at Victory Basin Wildlife Management Area on February 2. Doug Morin and Paul Hamelin, wildlife biologists with the department, will lead this wildlife-based exploration of a truly unique part of Vermont.
Doug Morin is a wildlife biologist and an alumnus of the University of Vermont’s Field Naturalist graduate program who manages Victory Basin WMA. Paul Hamelin is a veteran biologist who manages wildlife habitat on WMAs throughout the state.
“We’ll keep an eye out for tracks, trees, birds, and any other curiosities we find along the way,” said Morin. “Victory Basin is a vast lowland boreal forest that is common in northern Canada but rare here in Vermont, allowing visitors to feel like they’ve stepped into another world. We have a chance of spotting boreal wildlife such as snowshoe hare, gray jays, and possibly even the tracks of an American marten. And with irruptions of grosbeaks and pine siskins ongoing, we may catch sight of these uncommon visitors.”
The walk will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants are asked to bring snowshoes and to wear appropriate clothing and footwear for being outdoors in winter, including extra layers, food, and water, as well as binoculars if they have them. They should also be able to walk 1-2 miles at a relaxed pace over a relatively flat trail while wearing snowshoes.
People can register for the event at www.vtfishandwildlife.com. Admission is free and is limited to the first 25 people who sign up. A reminder to please leave dogs at home. The backup date in case of inclement weather is Saturday, February 9, and participants will be notified via email.
Victory Basin is one of 98 wildlife management areas owned and managed by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department for wildlife-based recreation such as hunting, fishing, and wildlife watching. These lands are purchased and managed in part using funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife Restoration Program using excise taxes on hunting and shooting equipment, as well as through hunting and trapping licenses and donations to the Vermont Habitat Stamp program.
Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities are available upon request. Please include a description of the accommodation you will need. Individuals making such requests must include their contact information. Please send an e-mail to Catherine.Gjessing@Vermont.Gov or call the office staff at 802-828-1000 (voice), 1-800-253-0191 (TTY).