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  • June 28, 2007

    PETA Crony Chooses Wrong Hound to Dognap-5


    A Virginia judge has ruled that an animal activist will be prosecuted on charges of felony theft after she was found in possession of a hunting hound that not only didn’t belong to her, but happened to be owned by a local sheriff’s deputy who stopped her for questioning.

    The Associated Press reports that Andrea Florence Benoit, 25, an employee of the animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), was working in Southampton County in October 2006 when she allegedly loaded a Walker hound into a company van after removing and discarding its radio tracking collar. Peta2

    A motorist who witnessed Benoit and an associate pick up the dog notified Southampton County Deputy Sheriff J.T. Cooke Jr., who also serves as an animal control officer for the county.

    In a delicious irony that makes the story an especially savory one, when Deputy Cooke stopped the PETA van, he recognized his missing hound that had failed to return from a fox-hunting trip the previous night. Court records indicate that Benoit initially denied having just picked up a dog.

    According to the report, the dog carried dye markings of numbers on its side and “JT”on its hip and wore a neon yellow collar bearing Cooke’s name and cell phone number.

    In a hearing held Tuesday, a PETA attorney claimed the two employees were following policy by not directly contacting the owner, maintaining that the organization’s main office would have contacted Cooke later.

    Intentions aside, General District Judge Robert B. Edwards didn’t buy it, saying that even if Benoit believed she was doing the right thing, “the right thing in this case was a felony.”

    See you in court, PETA.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • June 27, 2007

    Sasquatch Fever-0


    Yoopers, those northwoods-loving, huntin’, fishin’ and trappin’ folks who inhabit Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (hence the moniker: U-P’ers) will likely be quite amused next month when members of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (yes, you read right) converge on the area around Manistique to search for the fabled hairy beast they believe roams the backcountry there.Bigfoot

    The Escanaba Daily Press reports that the expedition will center in eastern Marquette County, the site of a recent witness account of something resembling Mr. Sasquatch, according to BFRO field investigator Matthew Moneymaker.

    “We hope to accomplish several things. First is a direct sighting, and to record that sighting. We’ll be looking for evidence supporting a presence. We are going to study the environment, which is typically remote. And we hope to meet local people who might have seen a Sasquatch or heard of someone else who had an encounter,” Moneymaker told the local paper.

    Moneymaker said exact expedition locations would remain confidential.

    OK, when you think of Michigan’s most famous outdoorsman, hunter and most-likely-to-be-in-the-woods kind of guy, who immediately comes to mind?Ted_nugent

    Of course, it’s got to be Ted Nugent, a man who I’m reasonably confident would not mind a whit if I referred to him as “the original hairy beast from Michigan.”

    Wouldn’t you love to see what would happen if Mr. Moneymaker and company had a close encounter with Michigan’s Numero Uno Wild Man, deep in the dark hemlock forests of the U.P.?

    A future episode of Wanted, Ted or Alive!? (Episode title: "Sasquatch Fever")

    Incidentally, in a potential "Ted Hunts Bigfoot" segment, my money's on The Nuge.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • June 26, 2007

    Angler Cuts Off Fingers to Free Himself-3


    In a bizarre and potentially tragic story from Washington state, a trapped drift boat angler cut off two of his fingertips using a pocketknife to free himself as his craft was rapidly sinking in a swift current. Help arrived just minutes later.

    William Messenger, 51, was steelhead fishing on the Wynoochee River in a 16-foot drift boat with his daughter’s boyfriend, Jarrad Todd on Sunday when the incident occurred.

    When the side of the boat slammed into a logjam, Messenger’s left index and middle fingers became wedged between the boat and an alder tree. The current held the boat in place.

    The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that Todd was able to escape and went for help. In the meantime, the boat was quickly filling with water and Messenger worried it would sink before rescuers arrived.

    “Hindsight is 20-20,” said Grays Harbor County Undersheriff Rick Scott. “If he’d have known help was not that far away, he might have held off taking the steps that he did.”

    Such an incident makes us all reflect on how we might have reacted in a similar situation.

    What about it, News Hounders?

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • June 25, 2007

    Another Skywalking Sturgeon Injures Two-0


    A leaping sturgeon broke a 6-year-old girl’s leg and left her aunt with cuts and bruises yesterday in this year’s third such incident on Florida’s Suwannee River.

    The Associated Press reports today that Taylor Lane Owen was a passenger on a 20-foot vessel, along with her parents and other family members when a three foot sturgeon leapt out of the river about nine miles west of Chiefland.Gulf_sturgeon

    It marked the third confirmed sturgeon strike and fourth injury for 2007.

    Earlier this month, a woman was knocked unconscious by a jumping gulf sturgeon when the boat in which she was riding passed a bridge near Rock Bluff. And in April a sturgeon severely injured a 50-year-old woman riding a personal watercraft on the river. She suffered a ruptured spleen and had three fingers reattached by surgeons, but she lost her left pinkie finger and a tooth.

    A record ten people were injured by jumping sturgeon in 2006. As a result, signs were placed at boat ramps and other points along the Suwannee, warning boaters of the river’s famous flying fish, which can top 8 feet and weigh up to 200 pounds.

    A protected species, gulf sturgeon enter the Suwannee River from the Gulf of Mexico and spawn there during the summer months.

    In addition to its size, the sturgeon’s bony protruding back plates can make a close encounter potentially life threatening.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • June 25, 2007

    JR's Random Outdoor Quote-0


    "I am no authority on gods and have no personal interviews to report, but my understanding is that they are tolerant; especially toward their inferiors--whereas devils are full of anger, hatred, malice and all other kinds of rascality. Certainly, every puppy begins by conceiving his master to be a god; it is that master’s business to never do anything to make that dog change his mind."
    -Archibald Rutledge
    "Patsy and the Princess"
    Field & Stream, 1935

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • June 25, 2007

    One Mile Offshore, Bay Anglers Boat Buck-2


    Chad Campbell and pal Bo Warren weren’t having much luck trolling for striped bass about a mile offshore on Chesapeake Bay last Saturday. But, despite poor fishing, they were successful catching and boating a good-sized button buck.Chesapeakebuck3

    In an article appearing on The Bay Net Web site, Campbell wrote that when he and Warren investigated something in the water behind their boat last week, they were amazed to discover it was a swimming—and quite exhausted—whitetail deer.

    “He was desperate and barely staying afloat,” Campbell wrote. “I’ve seen deer swim a river or bayou before. When you see that, the first thing you notice is that they are powerful swimmers. Their heads and shoulders are out of the water and they make surprisingly good headway.”Chesapeakebuck2

    Such was not the case with this wayward buck. He was barely able to keep his nose out of the briny water.

    Since the fish weren’t cooperating, the two decided to rope the floundering deer.

    “It turns out Bo grew up around cows and was really handy with a bowline. He lassoed the deer on the first try,” Campbell wrote. “(Then) Bo grabbed his neck, I grabbed the flank, and we barreled (him) over backwards into the boat. Before I knew it, Bo was on top of him and had him tied up just like a calf.”

    Understanding the importance of catch-and-release deer fishing (especially out of season), the men hightailed it to shore, where they carefully unloaded the weary whitetail, untied its legs and placed it on the beach.

    Campbell wrote that they didn’t see the buck get up and run away, but they assumed it took some time for it to recuperate from its long, watery journey.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • June 22, 2007

    Bear KO’d by Camper-1


    I guess you could say it’s been one badass week here at the Outdoor News Hound. First it was a Vietnam vet who strangled a rabid bobcat into submission. Now it’s a former Marine who killed a 275-pound black bear with his bare hands—and a well-placed chunk of firewood.

    Non-custodial dad Chris Everhart spent Father’s Day weekend camping with his three young sons at Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forest. About 9:30 Saturday night, as the foursome roasted marshmallows over the campfire, a large black bear entered their campsite and began tugging the ice chest containing food.

    As Everhart banged some pots and pans to frighten away the bruin, his 6-year-old, Logan, grabbed a shovel and charged the animal.

    “Once the bear saw Logan, he dropped the cooler and started coming at (him),” Everhart told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “(The bear) was growling.”

    Knowing it was time for action, the ex-Marine grabbed the first thing he could get his hands on--a hefty piece of firewood. (He said his handgun and hunting knife were packed away inside his Jeep.)

    He hurled the chuck of wood with everything he had, hitting the bruin squarely in the head.

    The camp invader fell in its tracks, lifeless.

    Everhart later attributed his deadeye log-tossing ability to his proficiency with a firearm.

    “I’m a pistol shooter,” he said. “The hand-eye coordination is all the same thing.”

    Everhart was issued a $75 ticket by the Forest Service for failing to store his food “to prevent access by wildlife.”

    Asked later about his heroism, the modest dad said he was merely protecting his boys from potential harm.

    “I was doing what any parent would do,” he said. “Heroes are firefighters jumping out of burning buildings. I just got lucky.”

    For my money, I’ll gladly take Everhart and Dale Rippy (the bobcat strangler) to be on my side when the chips are down.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • June 22, 2007

    Lab Drives Chevy into Drink-0


    We all know how Labrador retrievers are passionate about the water—right? Well, a pooch in Sagle, Idaho totaled his owner’s Chevy Impala this week when he knocked the car out of gear, sending it splashing into the Pend Oreille River.

    Charlie the black Lab was so thrilled to see his owner return home on Wednesday that he leapt into the car’s open window as Mark Ewing took a fresh pizza he’d just picked up into his house.Charlie

    When Ewing turned to look out to the road, he couldn’t believe his eyes as he watched his car speed down the driveway, heading straight toward the river.

    “He somehow got the car into neutral,” Ewing told the Spokane Spokesman-Review. “My car just went boom, down an incline and into the drink.”

    And Charlie?

    Well, he safely bailed out the window before the car hit the water.

    “There’s nothing weirder than looking at your car cruising down your driveway when you’re not in it and seeing your dog jump out and then watching your car go splash,” said Ewing.

    It’s a safe bet that Charlie didn’t get any pizza leftovers, either.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • June 21, 2007

    Good Lab Work-0


    Like most of you who enjoy life in the outdoors, I’ve got a real soft spot in my heart for good dogs—and good dog stories. Here’s a great tale from Maine about a black Lab that went missing three weeks ago after a tragic fatal boating accident and traveled an estimated 200 miles in treacherous backcountry before being reunited with her thankful family.Black_lab2

    Molly the retriever was the subject of an extensive search after her owner, Doug Harmon, drowned on Memorial Day when his boat capsized at Chamberlain Lake. The dog was seen swimming toward shore by boaters in the area.

    The Bangor Daily News reports today that Molly showed up at the home of Alain and Bernadette Sirois in Millinocket on Saturday, some 200 miles from where she was last seen. The Siroises subsequently posted some “found dog” fliers around town, leading to the dog’s happy reunion with Harmon’s three children.

    The Maine Department of Conservation launched a widespread search for the Lab after a game warden reported seeing her at a lake campsite the day following the accident. Later that day, another DoC employee saw Molly some 20 miles from the lake.

    Department of Conservation Commissioner Patrick McGowan said Molly’s plight touched many state officials, including Gov. John Baldacci, who asked to be kept briefed on the search.

    “Obviously, we could never bring back their father, but bringing their dog back was something we could do,” McGowan said.

    McGowan said the presence of bears and coyotes in the rugged backcountry, as well as the seasonal high density of black flies, made Molly’s safe return even more spectacular.

    “This is just a great ending. It just gives you goose bumps,” McGowan said.

    Sure does.

    Good girl, Molly. And welcome home.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • June 20, 2007

    Conservation Officer Tales From Afield-0


    Among my favorite sources for offbeat outdoor news are the reports issued by game wardens and conservation officers, those dedicated individuals who put in long hours afield, often in uncomfortable conditions, to protect our fish, game and natural resources, as well as cite those unscrupulous game law scofflaws.

    As usual, this month’s “Game Officer Tales,” from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources includes a few gems.

    It seems that during a routine license check, Conservation Officer Nikki Shoutz of Pine River busted an angler when his accompanying grandson happily indicated that his grandpa kept some illegal bass and hid them nearby in the weeds.

    “Grandpa said that he could get in trouble if he put them in his bucket since they were largemouth bass,” the boy gleefully told the officer, who promptly issued a citation for taking bass in closed season.

    One recent evening, Center City, Minn., Conservation Officer Brad Schultz discovered a car with two occupants inside, parked in an unauthorized location inside the Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area.

    Though Schultz did not report specifics, the two were apparently engaged in an activity commonly known as “hanky panky.”

    As the officer approached the car, he reported that the pair attempted to scramble away from his view. In doing so, they rolled off the folded-down back seat and into the vehicle’s trunk

    That’s when the spring-loaded seat snapped forward, locking securely into its upright position.

    With the car windows rolled up (and likely quite steamy), all four doors locked, and the keys in the ignition, it took some time and some coaching from Schultz before the two lovebirds were able to locate the internal trunk release and extricate themselves.

    Based upon the encounter and the couple’s reaction when freed from the trunk, the officer said he doubts he will have any future problem with them.

    [ Read Full Post ]
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