Last March, the PoliceOne.com conducted a survey of 15,000 current, former or retired law enforcement officers from across the U.S. regarding gun control policies and the root causes of, and potential solutions to, gun crime in the U.S. The website is dedicated to covering law enforcement-related issues for 400,000 registered members who are all individually-verified federal, state or local law enforcement professionals.
Although some preliminary results were leaked during last April's debate on the first gun control package proposed in the U.S. Senate since 1994 -- all seven proposed bills were ultimately rejected -- PoliceOne.com formally released the survey's final results on Feb. 10.
The survey results confirm a complete and utter disconnect between gun control zealots and reality with 86 percent -- nearly 13,000 of 15,000 respondents -- stating that gun control laws "would have no effect or a negative effect on improving officer safety."
It took me longer than it should have. But, eventually, I saw it. The issue beneath the issue. And it ticked me off...
Outdoor Life Editor Andrew McKean, as he is known to do from time to time, sent me a somewhat-cryptic e-mail about a “possible Open Country blog topic.”
The e-mail contained a string of comments from Facebook in which several hunters were fired up about the killing of two wild burros in Arizona.
On Christmas Eve last year Louisiana hunter Bobby Neames shot a big 6-point buck before even climbing his stand. But 15 minutes later the buck charged, and Neames found himself fighting for his life.
The 46-year-old hunter set out the morning before Christmas in East Feliciana Parish, La., reports the Louisana Sportsman. Neames was expecting company for lunch and still had cooking to do, but the rut peaked on Christmas and he couldn’t resist a quick hunt.
Neames walked just 400 yards from his home to his hunting spot. As he approached the food plot near his box stand, he stopped in a shooting lane to scan the field. He spotted a 6-point eating rice bran from a feeder 75 yards away. Neames recognized the deer as a buck he’d been hunting for three years, although this was the first time he encountered it during daylight.
But the bruiser saw Neames at the field’s edge and took off toward a thicket. Neames backpedalled and dropped to one knee, raising his .270 Winchester. He aimed for its neck, the only shot available, and squeezed the trigger. The buck made it just 20 yards along a main trail before Neames heard it crash.
Neames said he usually waits 45 minutes before recovering a deer. But he felt pressed for time and was confident in his shot, so instead he set off to retrieve the buck after waiting just 15 minutes.
It's shaping up to be a tough winter on whitetails, especially in northern locations. A combination of heavy snow cover and sub-zero temperatures will no doubt take its toll.
Research done at the University of New Hampshire found that the average mature doe enters winter with a three-month supply of fat on her body. In tough times of heavy snow and super cold temperatures, this is what she will live on. Every day she can’t find food or doesn’t get out to forage, she burns fat to stay alive. The colder the winter and the more snow on the ground, the more fat she will burn. Once the fat is consumed, the body starts burning muscle until starvation and death. Are your deer in danger?
Deer researchers in most Northern states keep track of winter stress by looking at snow cover and temperature. They use a tracking tool called the Winter Severity Index (WSI). Basically, the WSI tracks snowfall and temperature from December 1 through April 30 and gives an indication as to its impact on deer. Any day where temps drop to zero or under gets scored as a 1. Additionally, any day where there is 18 inches of snow or more on the ground also gets scored as a 1. So, if 12 days in January had an 18-inch cover of snow and 6 days dropped to zero or below, the score for January would be 18. A seasonal score of 50 or under = mild winter, 51-80 moderate, 81-100 severe, and over 100 very severe. Severe and very severe winters generally mean reduced deer numbers due to winter kill. The fawns generally go first followed by the infirmed and finally healthy deer.
You can never have too many survival tools. But when an emergency occurs, sometimes your best instruments are the intangibles: quick thinking, resourcefulness, and decisiveness.
An unidentified Idaho ice angler's rapid response surely saved the life of a boy who fell through the ice recently. The angler was fishing in a local pond when a 12-year-old boy broke through the ice about 20 feet from shore, Idaho's KTVB reports. A rope and throwable floatation device would have been the ideal tool, but without one readily available, the situation demanded a creative solution.
Birch tinder fungus (Inonotus obliquus) is a woody type of fungus that grows on a variety of species of birch trees. You’ll find this crusty, black growth primarily on yellow birch and white birch trees, often at higher elevations. And if you’re looking for something raw from the wild that catches sparks like char cloth, this is it.
Although birch tinder fungus (also known as clinker polypore and chaga) is often used for alternative medicine treatments, its value for survival fire starting really puts it on the map. This punky material is better than traditional char cloth, even without being charred. Here’s where you’ll find it, and how to make it work.
I still carry in my pack the first GPS unit I ever bought, a Garmin eTrex Vista. The reason it remains go-to gear is that it does what I ask: It keeps me found and gets me home with a minimum of fuss and fluster. It stores waypoints, it shows me a simple compass I can follow, and it is a power miser, going a couple of years on the same set of AA batteries.
I mention this in the context of two new GPS units—the Magellan eXplorist 350H and the Garmin Monterra—that I carried from Wyoming to British Columbia to Oregon last fall. Both devices represent the state of the art in handheld navigation, but neither is satisfied with simply showing me the way back to my pickup. The WiFi-enabled Garmin is the more elaborate of the two, and comes loaded a dizzying number of features based on the Android operating system. It also contains an 8-megapixel digital camera, an FM and NOAA weather radio, an MP3 and video player, 3D maps, and any Google Play app you care to download.
Going face-to-face with a giant grizzly bear. Laying on the ground while its monstrous paws wave about. These details might sound like the beginning of an exciting This Happened To Me tale, but they're all part of a day's work for Doug Seus.
Seus, 71, a professional bear trainer, has been working with bears for decades. The bears he trains have appeared in Hollywood movies and shows. The bear in this video is Bart the Bear 2, an 8-foot 6-inch tall grizzly. Seus makes it look easy playing around with and telling commands to a 1,300-pound bear.
Photos by Jeff Wilson
Things were not going well. I was prone on a mound of dirt, baking under the South Texas sun. It was hot, as only South Texas in the summer can be hot. The breeze offered no relief—with the mercury hovering at 103 degrees, a 10 mph wind is like a hair dryer blowing across your face. Plus, this wind was humid. Not pleasant at all.
A 16-pound black grouper will likely earn Brielle Bennett a new IGFA female Junior record.
Bennett caught the 16-pound fish off Key West on Nov. 24, 2013 while on vacation with her family. The New Jersey native was fishing with a live grunt when the grouper took her bait and headed for the depths.
She quickly put the screws to the reel and landed the monster in double-quick time.
The fish was weighed and documented before being let loose — none the worse for wear.
The current record is 13 pounds, 8 ounces.
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