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VT Mushes March 2017

Our VT Mushes March 2017 edition is now available for your viewing pleasure!

March 2017 VT Mushes

Heartworm

This edition of VT Mushes contains an article about heartworm in VT.  How likely is your pet to be affected by heartworm this summer?  How is heartworm transmitted?  What role do mosquitos play in heartworm?  Read more to find out!

Dog License

Have you licensed your dogs yet?  April 1st is fast approach and licensing your dog is a State of Vermont requirement, not just a Town requirement.

Ode to Snow

Open up VT Mushes for a March surprise – Ode to Snow.  Do you have any pictures of playing with your dog in the snow in Vermont?

Trail gate

Running in Vermont

Winter has arrived!  And as we hit the trails for dog sledding, skijoring or fat bikejoring, some tips and tricks to get there and run safely in Vermont.

NOAA Snow Depth Map

To check the area you’d like to run in for the current local Vermont snow depth, try the NOAA Interactive Snow Depth Map.  The map isn’t a 100% accurate, but It gives a good general idea of how much snow is in the area where you are planning on running.

VAST Trail Map

If you are planning on running the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers trails, VAST has an interactive map that can help you plan your adventure on the trails.  You can zoom in, figure out mileage, see where the nearest parking is, places near the trail to stop and get a bite to eat, etc.

Driving Conditions

To aid you in getting to the parking lot where you plan to run, check out New England 511 for current road conditions.  The map, during the summer, has useful road construction notices as well.  Remember, when driving in Vermont, the posted speed is more for summertime dry roads, sunny skies and warmer temperatures.  So play it safe and drive appropriately for winter road conditions.

Remember, no matter where you are running in Vermont, pack gear accordingly so you can stay safe and have a good time while you run your dogs on the trails!

VT Fish and Wildlife

Hunting Season

Welcome to Fall in Vermont!  The leaves are turning brilliant shades of oranges, yellows and reds, which also means it’s time for several hunting seasons.

Per the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department website, the current hunting seasons are as follows:

Big Game Hunting Season

Black Bear (early season until November 11)
Deer – archery (until October 28 and again from December 3 to 11), youth (November 5 and 6), rifle (November 11 to the 27), muzzleloader (December 3 to 11)
Turkey (until November 6)

Bird Hunting Season

Partridge (until December 31)
Common Snipe and Woodcock (until November 14)
Snow Goose (until December 27)
Brant, Canada Geese, Ducks, Coots, and Mergansers (until November 6)

Small Game Hunting Season

Crow (until December 19)
Gray Squirrel (until December 31)
Rabbit and Hare (until March 31)

Furbearer Hunting Season

Raccoon (until December 31)
Red and Gray Fox (until February 12)

Furbearer Trapping Season

Otter (until February 28)
Muskrat and Beaver (until March 31)
Mink, Skunk, Red and Gray Fox, Raccoon, Coyote, Opossum, Weasel, and Fisher (until December 31)
Bobcat (until December 16)

So stay safe as you walk in the woods, hike, run dogs for Fall training or winter sledding.  Be cautious and wear some bright colors!  Maybe even place a bell on your rig or sled…

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2017 VTMA Member Application

VTMA Members:

It’s that time of year again, for those who are members to renew their membership!  The 2017 VTMA Member Application can be found here.

Not a VTMA Member?

Consider joining the Vermont Musher’s Association, Inc. for the 2017 fiscal year!  If you join, then you can have photos or articles submitted to the VTMA Newsletter – VT Mushes.  You can make some new friends and run on Vermont trails together.  If you aren’t already addicted to dogsledding, skijoring, bikejoring, we can convince you to be!

2017 VTMA Member Application

Sled Dog Trade Fair

2016 Sled Dog Trade Fair

The 2016 Northern New England Sled Dog Trade Fair will be October 1st and October 2nd this year.  As usual the Trade Fair will be at the Hopkinton Fairgrounds in Contoocook, New Hampshire.

Wade Marrs of Stump Jumpin’ Kennel, the 4th place 2015 Iditarod finisher is one of the featured speakers at the Sled Dog Trade Fair.  The other features speaker is veterinarian Dr. Jerry A. Vanek.

Look for us at our table in the Vendor Building!  We hope to see you there.

North Country Mushers

Mike Ellis Weekend Seminar

North Country Mushers (NCM) has a special event for this October – a Mike Ellis Weekend Seminar.  Mike Ellis of Tsuga Siberians is a Yukon Quest and Iditarod finisher!  It will be a weekend of training, camping and learning tips and tricks with Mike and other mushers.

Mike Ellis

Mike Ellis

Mike was NCM’s very first president and a founding member of the club, so they are VERY excited to have him back to do this weekend seminar and to share some of his expansive knowledge of dog-training and racing with NCM members.

This event will take place at the Branch Brook Campground in Campton, NH from October 21-23, 2016.   The Mike Ellis seminar is limited to 12 TEAMS.

The cost of this weekend seminar is an extremely reasonable $300.

The tentative schedule is:

Friday Evening
Teams arrive and set up camp
Campfire meet and great with Mike Ellis

Saturday
Morning, run the dogs
Midday, lunch will be brought in
Afternoon, presentations and demos
Evening, dinner and a slideshow

Sunday
Morning, run the dogs
Midday, lunch will be brought in

More details and a signup form is located at http://northcountrymushers.com/events/mikeellis_seminar.php

A waiting list for the seminar will be formed once all 12 spots are taken.

Mike’s website can be found here and his blog here.

NH Trails and ATVs

NH Trails and ATVs

For those VT mushers who use NH Trails and ATVs, some news from the July 2016 edition of the NH Mushers Newsletter: It was announced that several rail trails will no longer allow the use of ATVs.

The restriction of ATV use is a Federal ruling, even though the State of New Hampshire was for mushers using their trails for sled dog training.  The trails affected are the NH trails that were purchased with Federal grants and therefore fall under Federal rules and regulations.  Mushers who use ATVs to help train, are advised to search for new NH trails on which to train.

The NH trails that cannot be used with an ATV are as follows:

  • Northern Rail Trail (Boscawen to Lebanon, 59 miles)
  • Ashuelot (Keene to Hinsdale, 21 miles)
  • Cheshire (Fitzwilliam to Walpole, 42 miles)
  • Farmington Branch (Rochester to Farmington, 7 miles)
  • Fort Hill (Hinsdale, 9 miles)
  • Monadnock Branch (9 miles)

For more information, contact the NH Mushers Association.

VTMA Summer Fun

Summer Fun

Summer will be fully upon us come June 20th!  So pack away the winter sledding gear and pull out the summer fun gear for your dogs!

Don’t have any summer fun gear?  Well here are a few ideas to help you and your dogs stay relaxed, but entertained until the snow flies again:

*Bikejoring (see our May 2015 VT Mushes newsletter for an article on bikejoring).
*Take your dog on a hike on some of Vermont’s famous or not so famous trails.  Wear your VTMA shirt and show some VTMA pride!
*Go tenting in some of Vermont’s state parks…or private parks.
*Create an obstacle course in your backyard and work on those commands you’ve been meaning to: Gee, Haw, On By, Whoa…
*Make some frozen dog treats: yogurt popsicles, shredded carrots and cottage cheese, a kong with kibble and water all frozen together…
*Put an inexpensive child’s wading pool into your kennel and toss treats or toys into the pool and encourage the dogs to cool off by standing in the wading pool.
*Like canoeing?  You can buy floatation devices for your dog and take them along.
*Give your dog a bath.  (Okay, this might not be so much fun for the dog, but the outdoor bath can help cool the dog down.)

If your dogs are northern breed dogs, just be aware that the summer fun may lead to your dog overheating, so take care.  Some pointers can be found in our February 2015 VT Mushes newsletter.

As always, with any activity, keep an eye on your dog.  Make sure your dog isn’t overheating, dehydrated, don’t leave your dog in a hot car, beware of hot surfaces (pavement, concrete, stone pavers, etc.).  Have some summer fun, but make sure the dog has fun too while staying safe!

Take some pictures and post the summer fun with your dogs on the VTMA FaceBook page.  Not a VTMA member?  Well you can join!

allie3

2nd Siberian Husky Showcase

The 2nd Annual Siberian Husky Sled Dog Showcase will be held on May 7, 2016.  The showcase will be in Meredith, NH at the Meredith Child’s Park on Meredith Center Road.  The showcase is to start at 9am (but this may change if a large number of dogs register).

The showcase is for working Siberian Huskies only.  The Siberians must be registered and have a working title or proof of being a working dog (race records from the 2015-2016 season, mileage logs or two photos of your dogs working in harness).  The Siberians do not have to be racing dogs, but they must be working dogs in harness (recreational mushing/skijoring/bikejoring/scootering).

The judges for the showcase are Louise Cook of Shaytaan Siberians, Debra Fitzgerald of Amorok Siberians and David Williams of Salazka Siberians.

The entry fee per Siberian Husky is $20 and entries must be submitted by April 27, 2016.  An entry form can be downloaded from the website.  Whom to email the form to is also listed on the showcase website.

A list of local accommodations is also on the showcase website.

For the most up-to-date information and for notification of any changes, check out the website and the FaceBook page.

(Kathy Bennett wrote an article for the May 2015 VT Mushes of her experience in the first Siberian Husky Sled Dog Showcase.  Her dog Snow Star Caroleah Whitewater Allagash of Braeburn is the one pictured above.

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Lamoille Valley Rail Trail

The Lamoille Valley Rail Trail will be a multi-use, four season trail extending from St. Johnsbury to Swanton – almost 100 miles long.  The Lamoille Valley Rail Trail will be the longest rail trail in New England once it has been completed.

The trail follows the old east-west railroad that was in use from 1877 until 1994.  Upon completion the trail will be used by snowmobilers, hikers, runners, skiers, snowshoers, bikers, equestrians, other organizations…and mushers!

The train passengers, when the rail line was not used for freight, had scenic views through northern Vermont forests, farms, villages and mountains.  These same views remain mostly intact today.

According to the TrailLink website, currently the longest stretch of trail open for use is a 17 mile section between St. Johnsbury and West Danville.  Possibly another section, 16 miles long, will be opened between Morristown and Cambridge Junction soon.

Map for the finished trail can be found here.

Additional information and history can be found at the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail website.  If you would like to become involved with supporting the rail trail a good way is the Friends of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail.