OQUOSSOC – The Rangeley Region Guides and Sportsmen will hold its Christmas party on Thursday, Dec. 9, at the clubhouse on Old Skiway Road. The evening will begin with a potluck meal. Everyone is invited and asked to bring, in addition to a main dish, salad or dessert, a party gift ($5 to $10) for exchange.

Chuck Hulsey, regional biologist, Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, was the speaker at the November meeting. He centered his remarks on the intricacies of reintroducing turkeys into the state.

He told members and guests that by the turn of the century turkeys were nearly gone in Maine. Then during World War II the southern states began to raise and release turkeys in the wild. Such efforts were not successful.

Mid-eastern states experimented with netting them, leading to the use of rocket nets to catch and release the wary birds into suitable unoccupied habitat, 15 miles away each time. Bethel received a flock in 1997.

It would appear that the birds have been extending their range ever since, some being sighted in Kingfield and Phillips in 2003. Interest in the abundance or lack of turkeys in the Rangeley region backyards focused the question-and-answer period on the department’s theories of how or if the birds are reproducing.

Wild turkeys eat a variety of grasses, seeds, fruit and insects. But can they successfully over-winter in Rangeley’s snowy environment? Hulsey invites anyone who spots young birds in the spring to call him at his Strong office.

In the business portion of the meeting, Director Tim Baker announced that Kennebago Lake will be open to October fishing in 2005.

Of interest to folks who use the clubhouse for various events, the club is looking into the possibility of extending the roof over the deck in an attempt to provide more covered space for large events.

In conclusion, he brought listeners up to date on the restoration of South Bog Stream, noting that more work remains to be done above the bridge.

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