Date: 3/19/17 7:14 am
From: 'Duane Cross' via NHBirds <nhbirds...>
Subject: [NHBirds] A differant perspective on private land for the Great Gray Owl
Last Tuesday I traveled down from Littleton to photograph the owl during the snowstorm. I didn't have any shots of him in snow and the Great Gray being a Northern Canada bird it seemed to me that some snowstorm shots would add something to the photo of this awesome owl.There were only 3 of us there that day and the owl hunted the fields between Corbin Rd and the airport the entire 4 hours that I was there. At one point while we were photographing him perched on one of the fences I happened to look behind me while cleaning away some snow from my camera. A man was walking with a purpose coming up from the parking area at the airport. It was obvious even from a distance that he was not coming to visit the owl. I thought to myself that this was going to be an interesting conversation.When the man arrived he politely introduced himself and informed us that we were on Mr. Ruger's land. He said Mr. Ruger said we were welcome to stay and photograph the owl. However Mr Ruger did expect a few pictures of the Great Grey as compensation for his kindness. Then the man handed us each a business card with some contact info. It was a pleasant conversation that last about 5 minutes before the gentleman went on his way.I'm sure some of the locals knew that this was Ruger's land and part of his 800 acre estate but to the other 95% of us who came from outside the Newport area it was a large tract of land next to the airport with no posted signs displayed. By all appearances it looked to be airport property or public land. I'm assuming the new location for the owl must be an area that is also not currently posted (perhaps this morning it is). Likely the owner wouldn't have an issue with 1 or 2 people in his field but 90 or 100 would rightfully make most landowners nervous. What if someone twists an ankle and sues him? Just a few thoughts on the private land issue and the owl.When I was a much younger man I carried a Ruger rifle in the pursuit of Whitetails in the woods of my hometown of Littleton. I have many fond memories of my time spent in the woods of my youth. Mr. Ruger, Your 11 x 14 signed Owl pictures will be in the mail soon. Thank you for leaving your land open for the use of others.
                                                                                                           Duane Cross                                                                                                           Littleton NH
PS I took a few nice pictures of the owl in the snow that day. Some including the capture of a vole in the snow. I don't do flicker, but if anyone would like to see any of them drop me an email reply and I will send you a few resized shots for viewing. I am offering this as there were zero birders there on Tuesday. I'm sure the storm had something to do with it.  

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