The next best thing to being outdoors in Vermont is being inspired to get outdoors and discover what the state has to offer for exploring nature, hunting and fishing.  On Tuesday, May 1, at 7:30 p.m., Vermont Public Television’s “Outdoor Journal” begins its 10th season showing viewers the many ways to enjoy and conserve wildlife and natural habitats.

Outdoorsman and writer Lawrence Pyne returns as host for a season that includes six new magazine-style programs airing weekly through June 5.  Programs are repeated Saturdays at 10 a.m. and available on demand on vpt.org.

On the May 1 program, Pyne fishes Vermont’s Lake Willoughby with tackle innovator Keith Chamberlain of Barton.   Another story features Addison County students from Middlebury schools who get hands-on lessons in science and conservation from ornithologist Rodney Olsen of Vergennes as they band and study hawks.  “Outdoor Journal” also visits the varied habitats of Eagle Point Wildlife Management Area on Lake Memphremagog in Derby, Vt.

During premiere week, Pyne will host a live one-hour call-in, “Irene’s Impact on Trout: An Outdoor Journal Special,” that will be broadcast Thursday, May 3, at 8 p.m. on VPT and webcast on vpt.org.

Reflecting on the first decade of the series he produces, Neil Hilt said, “My best memories are of the people who take VPT to their favorite hunting and fishing spots, and the people whose passion is to conserve wildlife and habitat.”

The second program of the season joins two researchers passionate about their work.  On May 8 at 7:30 p.m., “Outdoor Journal” meets researchers from Vermont Center for Ecostudies (VCE) who study the secretive Bicknell’s thrush on Mt. Mansfield.   VCE’s Chris Rimmer of Norwich, Vt., and Kent McFarland of Woodstock, Vt., show what’s being done for this species of high conservation concern that depends on small balsam fir “sky islands” for breeding.  Also on the program are a visit to Sandbar Wildlife Management Area in Milton, Vt.   Lawrence Pyne does some urban fishing on the Winooski River with Matt Lavallee of Winooski, who has caught an amazing variety of species there as he strives to earn certification from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department’s Master Angler Program.

Among other stories in the new season are more Wildlife Management Area tours; a profile of state fisheries biologist Shawn Good; how game cameras help deer hunters; the salmon trap-and-transfer program; efforts to control sea lampreys; and the Vermont Big Game Trophy Club’s awards.  VPT is holding a contest inviting game camera photos.  Details are at vpt.org.

“VPT’s Outdoor Journal” is intended to foster appreciation and respect for the environment and working landscape.  The call-in specials offer viewers a chance to ask questions and make comments about state policies, and to share information about Vermont’s resources for outdoor recreation and conservation.

Major production funding is provided by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.  Additional funding is provided by Remo and Peter Pizzagalli.

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