Outdoor News Update: July 20th, 2010

MIDWEST Minnesota: Crane hunt reinstated after 94-year-ban Minnesota will have its first sandhill crane hunt in 94 years this fall. The hunt was cancelled in 1916 when crane populations plummeted, but since then, cranes have rebounded. Now the midcontinent population is about 450,000, which is above wildlife officials’ goals. The season will run from Sept. 4 to Oct. 10 with a daily bag limit of two birds. – Wisconsin: Domestic violence can hinder right to arms
MIDWEST Kansas: Duck numbers stay steady According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service duck numbers in the state look healthy and stable. A survey showed that there were about 41 million ducks in Kansas, which is about the same as last year and 21 percent above the 20-year average. Pintails showed the biggest increase. Their population grew by 9 percent to 3.5 million birds. – South Dakota: Walk-in area hunting rundown – Missouri: Catfish anglers collect cash for reporting tagged fish
SOUTH Georgia: Officials say bear sightings are no cause for alarm Even though two black bears were sighted near urban areas in West Georgia, wildlife officials say there is no reason to be alarmed. Officials say most of the bears that come down from the mountains, are smaller, young bears and don’t pose a threat to people. Residents are encouraged to keep clean up and secure their garbage to keep from enticing any hungry bears. – North Carolina: Boy bitten by shark while swimming at SC beach – Texas: Gulf coast in fowl mood – Tennessee: Tales of big fish, big trouble
SOUTH Florida: U.S. to announce Everglades Restoration Project The federal government announced that it will execute a major restoration project for a portion of the Florida Everglades. Officials say the restoration will protect wetlands and provide habitat for rare and endangered species. The Everglades once covered more than 6,250 square miles, but it has been cut in half by development and drainage canals. – Arkansas: Hide and seek on small lakes – West Virginia: State releases new hunting regulations
WEST Montana: Are wild bison making a comeback? Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is investigating how to bring more wild bison back to the state. There were about 60 million bison in North America in the mid-19th century, but by the 1890s, that number was cut to just 400. But the plan to restore bison populations is controversial, as many ranchers worry that bison could transmit brucellosis to their cattle. Brucellosis is a disease that causes female bison and cattle to abort their fetuses. – Montana: Hopper action continues to heat up – Idaho: Angler catches piranha in park
WEST Idaho: Man cited for keeping rattlers in home Brian Teeter was busted for snake trafficking of sorts after he wrangled 27 rattlesnakes into a bucket and tried to sell them. Teeter has hunted rattlesnakes for 15 years, but didn’t know that he needed a license to do so. Also, hunters are only allowed to take four rattlesnakes a year. – Arizona: Groups at odds hinder wildlife conservation efforts
EAST Maryland: Feds force faceoff on striped bass The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is planning to increase the striped bass commercial catch, but recreational anglers strongly oppose the move. Recreational anglers say that diseases are killing striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay, which is the most important spawning ground for the fish on the East Coast, and a larger harvest could severely cripple the fishery. – Maryland: Funding approved for new Chesapeake bay study – Vermont: Jury awards hunter $380,557 for injury
EAST Pennsylvania: Fishing excursions out of Lake Erie down this year A stale economy and scorching hot temperatures have hurt charter boat captains on Lake Erie this summer. According to Pennsylvania’s Fish and Boat Commission, the state brings in about $4 billion annually from recreational fishing. It is unknown how big of a hit the state will take this year. – New Jersey: Coalition takes on planned bear hunt – Connecticut: Moose not likely to roam mid-Hudson