Falconry has been called the "sport of kings" for centuries and still attracts a worldwide audience. While not as traditionally popular here as in Europe, falconry does have a devoted following in the United States. At the British School of Falconry at the Equinox, a resort in Manchester Village, Vt., visitors can take an introductory falconry lesson that puts them face-to-face with a Harris Hawk. Host Marianne Eaton visits the school for a lesson and accompanies falconers on a hunt for game birds in Tinmouth.
Over the years miles of trail systems have been developed In Vermont, giving us access to some of our state's most beautiful forests and spectacular views. Keeping these trails clear and useable is a huge task. The Northeast Kingdom Conservation Service Corps, or "Kingdom Corps" for short, gives young people ages 12 to 15 a chance to work on environmental projects that help improve communities. The program is run by the NorthWoods Stewardship Center in East Charleston. We spend a day with a group of teens from the Kingdom Corps who dedicate their summers to creating and maintaining trails ... and a whole lot more.
It's probably the last thing most anglers think of as they drift their bait in a tumbling stream or troll their lures through a deep, clear lake. But a big reason why trout fishermen in Vermont are so successful is because of the state's fish hatcheries. Vermont operates five fish culture stations, and collectively they play a critical roll in both restoring and maintaining the wonderful trout fishing found throughout the state. We visit the Ed Weed Fish Culture Station in Grand Isle for a look at some beautiful trout and salmon destined for Vermont's rivers and streams. Then we accompany members of the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife as they stock the Winooski River with the help of some schoolchildren.
- Ed Weed Fish Culture Station,
Bald Hill Fish Culture Station,
Bennington Fish Culture Station,
- Roxbury Fish Culture Station,
Salisbury Fish Culture Station,
- Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife
Getting to the best fishing hole on any river can be extremely difficult from shore. One way to get to just about anywhere on the river is by float fishing. Miniature inflatable pontoon boats give anglers the flexibility to fish on the move or stop at areas that might hold the big ones. Host Lawrence Pyne joins Bob Shannon of the Fly Rod Shop in Stowe, Vt., as he pumps up the pontoons for a guided float trip on the Lamoille River in search of trout.
The Fly Rod Shop
P.O. Box 960
Stowe, VT 05672
There are so many pieces that make up the fly fishing experience, it's easy to see why it takes people a while to grasp this challenging sport. Aside from mastering the artistry of the cast, there is the equipment, the conditions of the water, a knowledge of the hatching season of the various flies you are trying to emulate and a number of other factors that must be right to make a "good presentation" for the fish. Host Marianne Eaton joins instructor Truel Myers at the Orvis Fly Fishing School in Manchester for a fly fishing primer.
Outdoor recreation can be difficult for people with disabilities. Specialized recreational equipment for the physically challenged is often expensive, making getting outside a near impossibility for some. The Eastern Adaptive Sportsman's Association organizes outdoor sporting trips for people who normally wouldn't be able to participate due to a psychical disability. We spend a day with members of the association as they take a group fishing on Lake Champlain.
Thanks to returning forests and habitat protection, the bear population in Vermont is growing 3 to 5% each year.
Download the teaching materials created by Robin Gannon (and students), E. Montpelier Elementary School, E. Montpelier, VT.
- Scott Darling, Wildlife Biologist
Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife
- Among the Bears by
Benjamin Kilham & Ed Gray
Hunting with a bow requires a vast amount of patience, the ability to be stealthy and a good understanding of the woods around you. There have been significant developments in bow technology such as the compound bow, which has resulted in greater accuracy for hunters. In the last ten years these technical advances have fueled a desire for hunters to take up this challenging sport, making bow hunting one of the fastest growing segments of the hunting industry. Host Lawrence Pyne takes to the trees during the archery deer season in Vermont to experience the joys and challenges of hunting with a bow and arrow.
Woodcock are small, unusual birds that migrate at night and are rarely seen. Closely related to sandpipers and snipe, they are migratory shorebirds that have adapted to life in wooded areas. They feed on earthworms, grubs and insects by probing the ground with their long, narrow bill. These birds prefer wooded thickets that provide them with lots of shade. The soft ground under dense cover also provides an ideal place to look for insects. And that same cover makes a challenging hunting ground where a good pointing dog will definitely increase your chances of success. Host Lawrence Pyne accompanies hunters from the Ugly Dog Hunting Company on a woodcock hunt in Milton and the Champlain Islands.
- Pennsylvanian Game Commission: Woodcock
- The Upland Almanac
- Vermont Outdoor Guide Association:
Vermont Hunting Guides, Services
- Terry Wilson & Nancy Anisfield
The Ugly Dog Hunting Company
1067 Silver Street
Hinesburg, VT 05461
Invasive exotic plant species can be found throughout Vermont. The list of plants is long and includes the water chestnut, purple loosestrife, flowering rush and Eurasian milfoil. Not native to the state, they have no natural predators and therefore thrive, pushing out native plants and destroying habitat for animals. Fortunately, groups like the Nature Conservancy have programs to control some of these species. Each summer these groups gather volunteers to pull invasive water chestnuts from East Creek in Shoreham. We accompany Nature Conservancy staff and volunteers as they head out to East Creek and its mouth at Lake Champlain to pull invasive plants.