May 9, 2008
The whitetail deer breeding industry has been getting more than its share of headlines lately. It seems deer breeders and captive whitetail hunting operations are working hard at loosening restrictions on deer breeding operations. They want state wildlife agencies to hand regulation responsibilities over to state agriculture departments. They believe that state agricultural departments will be better for business and will be more willing to ease “excessive” restrictions like curtailing deer transport, identifying and monitoring unique deer for disease, and double fencing to prevent wild deer from contacting captive deer.
Case in point---deer breeders in Missouri recently attempted to have the classification of captive whitetails changed from “wildlife” to “livestock.” They lost, but the battles continue elsewhere.
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Hunting big game with a rifle is not permitted in many parts of the country. Gun hunters in those areas are left to tote shotguns that are usually better suited to dumping grouse at close quarters than collecting venison at longer range. A modern saboted shotgun load is perfectly capable of delivering lethal performance at distances well beyond 100 yards. But can you put that projectile where it needs to go?
Dave Klotz of Da Mar Gunsmiths, a small shop located in Weedsport, N.Y., says you can with some modifications to your shotgun.
Here’s what Klotz did to my Remington 870 at a cost of $487. [ Read Full Post ]
Dan and Kate Suski, along with an unnamed captain and first mate, are counting themselves lucky after they were forced to swim for their lives for more than half a day in the Caribbean waters off St. Lucia.
The brother and sister from San Francisco had chartered a boat to do some fishing last Sunday. When the 31-foot fishing vessel began to take on water, the siblings and crew had no choice but to abandon the boat. They put on their life jackets and jumped into the open water.
“It was completely surreal watching the boat stern go down, go subsurface underwater,” Dan said. [ Read Full Post ]
There’s not a turkey hunter among us who isn’t stirred by a ground-shaking gobble from a close-range longbeard. In fact, the most exciting part of a turkey hunt is fooling a bird into range with a call. But sometimes calling just doesn’t work. Hens will often hear yelping from a rival bird and walk their tom in the opposite direction. Cold fronts can shut down gobbling overnight. High winds can drown out even your loudest locator calls. Here are some situations when you want to keep the call in your vest pocket and hunt your gobbler in silence. [ Read Full Post ]
If you've ever felt that your voice can't be heard, you might want to tune in to the battle raging over angler access on the Cumberland River. And be ready to click that "like" button.
If you'll recall an Open Country post in December of 2012 revealed that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers intends to close tailrace areas below dams on the Cumberland River to fishing. Its reasoning? "Public Safety." That’s a curious citation given that there have been just eight boating-related deaths below Tennessee Corps projects since 1978 and only about two percent of all deaths on the river system occurred below dams. [ Read Full Post ]
That’s Joel Rotz from the Farm Bureau, and next to him is the guy from the Pennsylvania Equine Council,” whispered Monica Kline as we sat in a dimly lit, wood-paneled hearing room in the Pennsylvania State Capitol building in Harrisburg on a drizzly morning late last October.
We were awaiting the start of a public hearing before the state House of Representatives Game and Fisheries Committee, and Kline, a lobbyist for the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, was identifying for me the gathered opposition to House Bill 1760, which would overturn Pennsylvania’s Sunday hunting ban. “That’s the guy from the Keystone Trails Association, and those women over there are from the Humane Society.”
Among those testifying in support of overturning the ban that day last fall were representatives from the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, and the Quality Deer Management Association, as well as Pennsylvania Game Commission executive director Carl Roe. [ Read Full Post ]
Not bringing a GPS along when you hunt or fish is kind of like not having toilet paper. Sure, you can do that, but you’re only creating problems for yourself.
While GPS has improved much in recent years, it still has its limits. It's easy to lose a signal in certain areas like mountains with heavy tree cover, at which point you’re blind unless you have some other means to navigate. Then there’s the issue of the vulnerability of the system that depends on satellites (31 of them at last count) that hang in the sky like sitting ducks should someone decide to take them out. This last concern is one that the military has and, should we somehow lose some or all our satellites to an attack, it would have tremendous repercussions around the globe. [ Read Full Post ]
My instinctive reaction to the headlined question is, “No, I don’t believe I want to see a wardrobe-less survivalist trying to do perform survival skills on a deserted island.” The whole thing stinks of gimmicks and exploitation.
Spawning bass are already difficult enough, what with shallow water and their procreation priority making the fish profoundly nervous. But add in the daily depth fluctuations of a tidal habitat and you'll need to factor the area's ebb and flow into your calculations of approach, distance and presentation.
First consider that bass will establish their nests in spots that retain sufficient depth through mean low tide, so note the low-water marks on shoreline wood, rip rap, docks and seawalls. In the sprawling California Delta, vast stands of tules (tall, wispy vegetation) provides much of the spawning habitat, so anglers note the mud line on stalks as a depth gauge. [ Read Full Post ]
We have been planting food plots for almost 25 years and have learned a thing or two about what works with whitetails and what doesn’t. And, when it comes to planting food plots you can’t beat clover.
Clover is relatively easy to grow, is loaded with nutrition, and whitetails simply love it. A good clover plot will produce 2 to 4 tons (per acre) of easily digestible plant matter and give your whitetails a shot in the arm when it comes to nutrition. [ Read Full Post ]
Officials in both New York and Maine have issued alerts asking spring turkey hunters to help them identify birds that may be suffering from Lymphoproliferative Disease Virus (LPDV). The virus, which causes Elephant Man-like lesions on a turkey’s head and legs, has already been found in the Maine population while biologists in New York are seeking further information to determine whether the disease has impacted their flock. [ Read Full Post ]
We all love our knives. Each of us owns several of them for various purposes and they’re the most indispensable tools that we carry. So the idea of making blades from stone may seem primitive and even backward. But what happens if you get caught without a knife? Or you need to do some butchering work and want to keep clean the only knife you have on you? Sharp stone blades can fill in for your favorite knife, and the best part is that they are easy to make. [ Read Full Post ]
A West Virginia 8th grader was arrested on April 18 for obstruction and "disturbing the education process" after he engaged in a heated exchange with a teacher and refused to remove his NRA T-shirt.
Jared Marcum, 14, of Logan told the Associated Press on April 19th that he was on a cafeteria line when a teacher demanded that he remove his NRA T-shirt or wear it inside-out because it featured a gun, which the teacher insisted violated the middle-school's dress policy.
Marcum refused, stating it was his First Amendment right to voice his support for the Second Amendment by wearing a T-shirt with an image of a gun and the words ”Protect Your Right” on it. [ Read Full Post ]
Luke Tonlino of Otis, Massachusetts was admittedly a bit peeved. Upon hearing some odd banging sounds coming from outside his home last week, Tonlino decided to investigate. That’s when he spotted the source of the commotion—an adult gobbler. Apparently enamored with his own reflection in the bumper of Tonlino’s truck, the bird strutted back and forth occasionally pecking at the high-polished chrome.
“I went inside for the camera and watched him for 5 minutes,” Tonlino said. “He saw me and didn’t care—until I ran him off. I was afraid he would ruin the bumper.” [ Read Full Post ]
With overwhelming support from most of the state’s sportsmen, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation held the state’s first youth deer hunt last fall. The results are in and the three-day Columbus Day weekend hunt was a great success. The DEC estimates that 7,800 junior hunters (along with non-hunting mentors) took 1,411 whitetail deer. [ Read Full Post ]