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Your guide to turkey guns, loads and chokes for spring 2010
Citing widespread precipitous declines in sage grouse populations across much of the prairie birds’ core habitat, Montana this week closed hunting across a wide swath of the state and shortened the season elsewhere.
Montana’s Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission heard testimony from hunting advocates, who reasoned that the small mortality caused by hunters is outweighed by the attention and conservation that license-buyers devote to the imperiled bird and its habitat. In the end, the commission voted to leave some parts of the state open to limited grouse hunting, but closed all hunting in the southeastern portion of the state. [ Read Full Post ]
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I love Montana for its outdoor opportunities. But when it comes to accommodating youth hunters, my home state could learn a thing or two. Just ask my son, Jack, who wants nothing more than to stalk deer and elk but needs to wait another year until he turns 12 to do it here at home. Fortunately, several states understand that recruiting new hunters is critical and have taken steps to make it happen.
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Gun dog owners know that flea and tick season starts up in early spring, and by July both populations are in full swing. A preventative measure, such as a flea/tick collar or topical applicant, is a must. This year however, it seems higher-than-average rainfall in parts of the country has contributed to a booming brown recluse population.
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The much-anticipated U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report on 2014 Trends in Duck Breeding Populations is in, and the news bodes well for waterfowlers.
The survey estimates an 8 percent increase in breeding duck populations — the preliminary estimate for total duck population is 49.2 million, up almost four million from last year. [ Read Full Post ]
After this spring’s census efforts indicated breeding sage-grouse were at unprecedented low numbers, the state of Montana’s Wildlife Commission contemplated a recommendation from the wildlife agency to close the 2014 sage-grouse hunting season state-wide. This action should concern all sportsmen whether they hunt sage-grouse or not. It also begs the question: Is hunting part of the problem of declining grouse numbers – or part of the solution?
The fact is that no scientific evidence indicates hunting is a major cause of declines in populations of sage-grouse or a major threat relative to other factors. Even the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service indicated that hunting mortality is not a major threat to the overall persistence of populations. That said, sage-grouse are a different beast. They are relatively long-lived and have lower reproduction compared to many other game birds. As such, they must be managed more conservatively than, say, pheasants, or quail or ruffed grouse. [ Read Full Post ]
Our old friends at the Humane Society of the United States are at it again.
This time the anti-hunting organization is looking to effectively shut down hunting on public land by eliminating the use of lead-based ammunition.
This is a tactic that has been tried before and beaten back. The Center For Biological Diversity, another anti-hunting group, had its petition to the Environmental Protection Agency requesting a ban on lead-based ammunition twice rejected.
Some states have also dealt with – and rejected – the notion of banning lead ammo. But one state has adopted a ban: California.