May 9, 2008
If you thought the animal rights movement in the U.S. attracts members of the lunatic fringe with a less-than-firm grasp of reality, well, you’re correct, naturally.
But one needs to only look around to realize that it’s getting even weirder in other places.
For example, as of September 1, Switzerland has outdistanced every other country in the world with its humanization of animals, in the humble opinion of The Outdoor Life Newshound.
That’s because, beginning last week, new animal protection laws implemented by the Swiss government ban catch and release fishing, requiring all anglers to immediately—and humanely—dispatch every fish they catch. Angling with live bait is also a no-no under the new law.
Worms have feelings, too, don’t you know?
There’s more. Under the new legislation, goldfish and other home aquarium inhabitants must be stunned and killed before being flushed into the watery hereafter. And, lest fish be mentally abused by not allowing them to socialize, they cannot be the lone inhabitants of their fish bowls.
We swear, we’re not making this up.
The same social paradigm applies to other common household Swiss pets, including parakeets and hamsters. Even sheep and goats must now have at least “a visual contact with their fellows,” according to the new law.
Of course, there’s even more. After all, why stop an anthromorphic juggernaut when it’s on a roll?
As of September 1, Swiss dog owners are required by law to take special classes on raising canines so their pets will be less likely to learn bad behavior, like biting. In other words, government-mandated dog obedience classes—for humans.
And finally, the animal-worshippers in Geneva have determined that all swine-raising operations in the country provide showers for their porkers, just in case the oinkers might desire a little freshening-up after a day of lounging in the mud.
Here at The Newshound, we don’t know what’s in the water over there in Switzerland. We just hope—whatever it is—they’re not exporting it. [ Read Full Post ]
"Each fall the new population of Canada geese gets whittled down pretty good on opening day of the goose hunting season," Bleech writes. "By the second day of the season, the geese that remain are entirely different creatures, at least in the way they behave. No other birds learn so much so fast as Canada geese. They can make hunters weep or curse."
Interesting perspective. I personally don't agree, but I wonder what the rest of the Strut Zoners think.—Gerry Bethge [ Read Full Post ]
Some of the most overlooked areas of hunting opportunities, especially for big whitetails, are Indian reservations scattered across the West. Since Indian reservations are independent of state regulations, hunters must buy a license for the specific reservation, regardless if you have a license for the state in which it resides. What’s the advantage? You gain access to thousands of acres of tribal land. The lands are almost like public land where anyone has access to them for hunting.
Some of the most popular reservations are situated in my home state of South Dakota. The Rosebud Indian Reservation, in south-central South Dakota, provides a million acres of land in a five-county region. Granted, not all of the acreage is good whitetail country, but by contacting tribal game wardens and talking with local ranchers, you can locate hotspots. Other South Dakota reservations abounding with whitetails are Pine Ridge, Cheyenne, Standing Rock, Lower Brule and Crow Creek. Montana and Nebraska also have Indian reservations providing similar whitetail opportunities. There are others, but you get the point.
If you do decide to hunt tribal lands here are some tips for success. To begin with, I’d just as soon accidentally leave my rifle at home as forget my Nikon binocular or spotting scope. At least with my optics I may actually spot a buck a mile away in a sagebrush basin and leave him for a later hunt. Since most Western glassing situations call for long-distance searching, you'll want to research a binocular in the 8- to 10X range with 30mm or larger objectives. An ideal binocular combination is 8x42 Porro prism like the Nikon EDG, which offers a wide field of view and enough light gathering capability for the half an hour after sunset rule.
I don’t hide the fact that I’m not a champion shot either, but by using rests such as bipods and shooting sticks, my kill record isn’t too shabby and that’s what matters in my world. To make a long shot you need a steady rest. For more years than I care to remember, I've used attachable bipods like those made by Harris (www.harrisbipods.com) and carried by specialty outdoor companies like Cabela's (www.cabelas.com). The bucks in the photos were sent to me by Jerry Big Eagle, a Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe fisheries biologist and I can vouch for the quality of the bucks in this corner of the world. [ Read Full Post ]
If his goal is to reassure gun owners that he isn’t interested in quashing our Second Amendment rights, I don’t think this statement is going to help much:
“Even if I want to take them away, I don’t have the votes in Congress,’’ Obama said. “This can’t be the reason not to vote for me.”
Seems like pretty cold comfort to think that what’s preventing President Obama from snagging our guns is a lack of votes in the Democratic House and Democratic Senate led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.
As an aside, I like the comment from this person to the post:
“Of course he won’t. It would be kind of hard to since we’re all ‘clinging’ to them.”
Got that right.
I’ve been feeling like a kid who’s been told he has to stay inside and finish his homework while watching his friends through his kitchen window play outside in the front yard. Reports have been coming in from various quarters about the start of hunting season. Here in the office a number of guys have been thinning the local resident Canada goose population, while others have already logged some time in their tree stands, fighting off the mosquitoes in hopes of arrowing an unsuspecting and, at this early point in the season, uneducated buck.
My friend Ben Maki just returned from New Mexico having successfully arrowed a terrific bull elk he called within six paces. “All my pins were in his kill zone,” Maki told me on the phone. “I just drew back and let him have it.”
The elk didn’t even realize he was hit. He trotted off about 25 yards and stopped when Ben hit him with a cow call. “He just stood there for a few seconds and then flopped over.”
Well, my turn is coming up. I’m heading to western Colorado in a few days to hunt mule deer in the rough, high rimrock country around Grand Junction. To say I’m excited would be an understatement. My rifle is zeroed in and my bags are half packed.
What have you got on tap? Send your field reports and photos to email@example.com and make your buddies jealous.
—John Snow [ Read Full Post ]
In what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is calling “an unfortunate typographical error,” a phone number contained on a card affixed to its 2008-2009 Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp connects callers to a phone sex line.
Instead of the correct number, which translates to 1-800-STAMP24, callers are directed to call 1-800-872-6724, which translates to 1-800-TRAMP24.
Rather than receiving information about how to purchase another $15 federal duck stamp, if you call the printed number a recorded message invites you to spend $1.99 a minute to “talk only to the girls that turn you on.”
You lucky duck.
A spokesperson for the US Fish and Wildlife Service said there are no plans to spend the estimated $300,000 it would cost to reprint the cards.
About 3.5 million federal duck stamps are printed and sold annually to waterfowl hunters aged 16 years and older. Sales of the stamp contribute about $25 million each year toward funding wetland habitat acquisition for the national Wildlife Refuge System.
This year’s 75th-edition duck stamp features Minnesota artist Joseph Hautman’s painting of a pair of northern pintail ducks. [ Read Full Post ]
All-day hunting is a given in the fall as wild turkeys go, but somewhat controversial in the spring as gobbler chasing is concerned, especially in the northeast where a number of states close hunting for the day at noon.
In a somewhat radical move, Maine's Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has just proposed to change legal 2009 spring turkey hunting hours from the traditional 1/2 hour before sunrise to noon time to 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.
This is nothing to you guys who spring gobbler hunt all day in places like Texas or Kentucky, but it's bound to shake the foundation of turkey hunting in the Pine Tree State where the newly proposed rules also suggest abandoning the split season, formerly driven by even-odd birth years to promote that only 50% of turkey hunters were in the woods at any one time.
The proposal now suggests adopting a May 4-June 6, 2009 regular season, and again, an all-day spring hunt.
What do you Strut Zoners think of all-day spring turkey hunting? Should we give the hens and gobblers a rest from our enthusiastic pursuit in the afternoon, or is it okay in your minds? Do you spring hunt in the afternoon where legal?—Steve Hickoff [ Read Full Post ]
Lake Oneida outside Syracuse, New York has been the hot spot for largemouth bass over the last few weeks. James Daher at Mickey’s Bait and Tackle (fishingcny.com) told us, “The BASS guys were just here and they had a great time and the FLW tournament is on its way.” Tom suggests that tournament competitors use topwater lures on the shallow weed beds and tube jigs on the drop-offs and weed-holes. “Bass fishing is phenomenal,” he said. In addition to largemouth, James told us that Oneida is overpopulated with smallmouth. The fish are falling for spinnerbaits fished around any structure. “They’re big smallmouth,” James said, “I call them warriors.” Outside the bass hoopla, perch fishing is the big star on the lake. The fish are starting to school up along the deeper sections of Lake Oneida around Frenchman’s and Dunham Island. James suggests anchoring in 11 to 18 feet of water and using a fathead minnow on a bottom rig to load the box with fat perch. James said that walleye fishing has been good for guys drifting with worm harnesses and Dixie spinners. He suggests focusing on the deeper parts of the lake from 18 to 30 feet of water especially in the channel between buoys 125 to 183. For anglers who can tear their attention away from the lake, James said that the trout streams in southern Onondaga County are on fire. He said that browns and rainbows are responding to small worms on a size 8 hook a few inches below a small split shot. “Fly fishing is all ways lucrative,” he says, “insects are abundant in Onondaga county.”
Chattahoochee River, Georgia—“We got muddy rivers,” reports Paul Puckett at The Fishhawk (thefishhawk.com) in Atlanta, Georgia. The remnants of hurricane Fay had inundated the area with rain, but once the water clears, Paul expects the upper Chattahoochee to produce good numbers of fat trout for guys throwing small midge dries and lightning bug nymphs. Paul suggests fishing above Morgan Falls Lake. “Thirty minutes outside of town and you’re catching trout,” Paul instructs anglers to park at Abbott’s Bridge, Jones Bridge, or Settles Bridge and walk the river. “A 5 wt rod with floating line should get the job done,” he said. Although the fish will feed through the day, he says that the best bite is from 9 AM to noon and again from 4 PM until dark. He expects the mountain streams to pick up steam in the next month. He suggests fishing from Ellijay to Smokey Mountain Park in the Toccoa River. “The same strategies will work,” he says, “but I would throw more streamers to catch bigger browns and rainbows.”
Dallas, Texas—From Fish’n World (fishnworld.com) in Dallas, Texas, Royce Martin reported that sand bass and hybrid bass are schooled up and feeding in Ray Roberts Lake, Lake Tawakoni, and Lake Texoma. “Drive the boat around the lake looking for birds or just head for the other boats that are congregated over the fish,” he said. Once on the scene he suggests using T&T Slabs and Humdingers. “Just throw it out and let the lure fall through the school,” he says. While the striped bass bite is hot, Royce says that largemouth bass fishing has cooled off with the hot weather. He says to look for the fish in deep water with Carolina rigs and rubber worms or a deep diving crank bait like a Norman DD 22. “Fish the road beds and humps in 20 to 30 feet of water,” he said. He suggests cruising around the structure while watching the fish finder for signs of bass. Early in the morning and late in the afternoon, Royce says that the bass can be pulled out of the hydrilla with topwater plugs..
Mille Lacs Lake, Minnesota—From Joe’s in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Rob Buche told us that fishing has been pretty slow. He said that the best bet for local anglers is fishing for smallmouths in Mille Lacs Lake. Rob suggests using a slip bobber and leach around rock piles for the smallies. Even walleye and muskie fishing has slowed down, he said. As can be expected, fishing for northern pike remains good with crankbaits and spinnerbaits. “You throw out almost anywhere and you’ll catch northerns,” he says. Rob expects muskie fishing to pick up in September. “All the fish will be putting on the feedbag,” he says. Rob says that Mill-Lacs is one of the best lakes in the nation for muskies. He tells anglers to troll the north end of the lake with large crankbaits or to throw Cow Girls or double spinner blade topwater plugs to the weeds and lake edges. He also suggests anglers look to Lake Minnetonka for muskie; one of his customers brought in a photo of a 56 incher that he pulled out of the lake the other night. “Walleye fishing should also pick up in the next month,” he says, recommending anglers fish the Rainy River. “That’s a great place to catch 10 to 12 pound walleye,” he says. The best method for walleye is to vertically jig a shiner, fat head, or rainbow minnow on a ½-ounce to ¼-ounce jighead. “The biggest fish will be closer to the Lake of the Wood’s side of the river,” Joe hinted.
Denver, Colorado—Something smells fishy in Denver this week and it isn’t just the politicians and journalists at the Democratic National Convention. The smell was coming from all the trout fishermen heading back from Clear Creek. Lori Nicholson at Anglers All (anglersall.com) suggests that Dems looking to escape the mayhem should head to Clear Creek only a few minutes outside of town. “There’s lots of parking along Highway 6 between Golden Colorado to Georgetown,” she said, “and plenty of trout.” Lori suggests fishing a hopper dropper with a yellow stimulator and a red copper John or a small dry fly. “You might still see a few cadis in the evening,” she says, prompting anglers to tie on a royal Wulf in size 16. While Lori points the pundits and pols to the easy-to-fish sections of Clear Creek, she suggests die-hard anglers head to the Roaring Fork River above Glenwood Springs. “There is limited public access,” she says, “but that’s what makes the river awesome.” Before heading out, stop by the shop to learn the best parts of the river to fish. Lori says that the river is full of heavy shouldered good fighting rainbows. The fish will take nymphs or hoppers worked close to the edges of the river. She said that the Colorado River close to Parshall has also been hot. Again, a grass hopper and a bead head barr’s emerger, are the ticket for these fish. On a cloudy day, Lori recommends a blue winged olive in size 18. “There is tons of public access,” she says, “so you won’t be the only person there.” The Arkansas River has been running high and producing good numbers of nice-sized trout. “You can fish hoppers, beetles, terrestrials,” Loris says, “try a PMXs in size 16 or a yellow Joe’s hoppers along the banks.” She says that anglers can fish any of the public access areas but her favorite public area is called Hayden Meadows. [ Read Full Post ]
Recently, we received an email on the BBZ from Scott Williamson, which contained some photos of a giant Iowa monster that should really get your heart pumping. The buck’s massive rack is coated in thick velvet and it looks like this bruiser is top-heavy. We all know that field judging a buck can be tricky, especially in the heat of the moment when your adrenalin can make a 140-class rack look more like a 160. It can also be tough to estimate the size of a rack when the buck is sneaking through wooded cover or is standing at a weird angle. As a hunter, I’ve always been amazed how much bigger a buck looks when he is walking away from the stand. I have passed on several nice bucks during the early-season that had me second guessing my decision as they slowly walked away.
However, one of the toughest racks to judge and score in the field would have to be a buck in full velvet. With that being said, take a few minutes to study these two trail-cam pictures and let me know what you think this Iowa hog would score. Without question, if this big boy walked by my stand you better believe an arrow would be headed his way. Thanks for the pictures Scott and good luck connecting with this giant when season kicks into full swing. In my book, this buck is a shooter regardless of what he will score.—Travis Faulkner [ Read Full Post ]
I like to shoot my rifles with clean—very clean—barrels. But I know that that rifle won’t be doing its best until it has been shot a bit. The precise number of shots varies from rifle to rifle and that’s a topic for another day.
But here’s a good demonstration of how the first shot from a cold, clean barrel will hit to a different point of aim. As you can see, after the first shot with both Sakos and with the Weatherby the groups tightened up significantly and hit to the same point of impact.
The most notable shift after the first shot was with the Sako A7, which put its first shot a good two inches below the subsequent 0.8725-inch group. But in all cases, following the first shot the rifles gave me nice sub-MOA three shots groups after that first fouler went down range.
—John Snow [ Read Full Post ]
This is from the AP. Best line: 'Our county is so
tough on drugs that even the wildlife are getting in on the action.''
PANGUITCH, Utah (AP) -- One Utah community is cheering a special bear -- but don't call him Smokey.
Investigators say a large black bear raided a clandestine marijuana growing operation so often that it chased the grower away.
bear is definitely law-enforcement minded,'' said Garfield County
Sheriff Danny Perkins. ''If I can find this bear I'm going to deputize
Deputies found food containers ripped apart and strewn
everywhere, cans with bear teeth marks, claw marks and bear prints
across the Garfield County camp on Tuesday.
Perkins said the operation on Boulder Mountain included 4,000 ''starter'' sacks of pot and 888 young plants.
particular bear apparently was not going to give up and basically
chased these marijuana farmers away,'' Perkins said. ''Our county is so
tough on drugs that even the wildlife are getting in on the action.''
Gotta love it.
—John Snow [ Read Full Post ]
Webster’s defines the word platform as “a formal declaration of policy for a group; such as a political party.”
With the Democratic National Convention last week in Denver and the Republican event currently underway in St. Paul, Minn., both parties have completed and made public their official manifestos tailored toward providing their philosophy and direction for next four years.
For those sportsmen who remain ambivalent about the upcoming presidential and congressional election, it may be enlightening to read the entire official position on firearms and gun control from the two major political parties. Both are presented here exactly as they appear in the recently released party platforms, so you may read and digest them in their fully intended context.
The Democratic National Committee party platform:
“We recognize that the right to bear arms is an important part of the American tradition, and we will preserve Americans’ Second Amendment right to own and use firearms. We believe that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation, but we know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne. We can work together to enact and enforce common-sense laws and improvements--like closing the gun show loophole, improving our background check system, and reinstating the assault weapons ban, so that guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists or criminals. Acting responsibly and with respect for differing views on this issue, we can both protect the constitutional right to bear arms and keep our communities and our children safe.”
The Republican National Committee party platform:
“We uphold the right of individual Americans to own firearms, a right which antedated the Constitution and was solemnly confirmed by the Second Amendment. We applaud the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller affirming that right, and we assert the individual responsibility to safely use and store firearms. We call on the next president to appoint judges who will similarly respect the Constitution. Gun ownership is responsible citizenship, enabling Americans to defend themselves, their property, and communities. We call for education in constitutional rights in schools, and we support the option of firearms training in federal programs serving senior citizens and women. We urge immediate action to review the automatic denial of gun ownership to members of the Armed Forces who have suffered trauma during service to their country. We condemn frivolous lawsuits against firearms manufacturers, which are transparent attempts to deprive citizens of their rights. We oppose federal licensing of law-abiding gun owners and national gun registration as violations of the Second Amendment. We recognize that gun control only affects and penalizes law-abiding citizens, and that such proposals are ineffective at reducing violent crime.”
There you have it.
Which offers the most clarity and which is the most nuanced to you? [ Read Full Post ]
Stud. Toad. Gagger. This is the stuff elk hunting dreams are made of. If you haven’t already, go check out the story behind Clark Guy’s amazing bull that he shot a few days ago on a governor’s tag in Arizona.
Being the gun nut that I am, I was interested to know what he used to kill this gorgeous bull. Here’s what Guy said:
Rifle: Remington 700 Classic with synthetic stock
Caliber: 300 Winchester Magnum
Bullet: 180-grain Nosler Partition hand loaded to 3,100 fps
Scope: Zeiss 3.5-10
A classic elk rig for sure and an incredible hunt.
—John Snow [ Read Full Post ]
Love historic guns? Have an extra few thousand dollars kicking around? You’ll have a primo opportunity to indulge the former and relieve yourself of the later starting September 6 when the Rock Island Auction Company kicks off its firearms auction.
Among the gems up for sale is the very first “One of One Thousand” Winchester Model 1876 produced. It is expected to go for at least $250,000. A fancy gold-plated, factory engraved Henry lever-action should command a similar price tag.
I'm not sure it completely qualifies someone for the vice presidency of the United States, but Fred Thompson just noted, while singing the praises of Sarah Palin, that she is certainly the only person on either ticket who knows how to "properly field dress a moose."
—John Snow [ Read Full Post ]