Monday, August 31, 2009

False gun control bills on the internet

from Bullet Points:
URBAN LEGENDS ON GUN-CONTROL BILLS CONTINUE TO SURFACE . . . It seems urban legends about new gun-control bills are continuing to surface. The latest fallacy to cause concern is a bill, "SB 2099," that would allegedly require gun owners to list their firearms on their tax documents (and pay upward of $50 per gun owned). NSSF wishes to be perfectly clear on this matter: There is no such bill. Also generating talk is HR 45, The Blair Holt Act. Sponsored by U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), HR 45 calls for, amongst other things, all handgun owners to submit to the federal government a formal application including: photo identification, fingerprints, medical and mental health records and a completed written firearm safety examine. The legislation also mandates that a federal database be established of all firearm sales and transfers. Though this legislation is real and NSSF is continuing to monitor it, industry and gun owners should not be concerned. HR 45 has no co-sponsors and is not a threat to become law.

Slob Hunters

Slob Dove Hunters Need to be Cited for Their Violations

Dove hunting season opens in a few days on Tuesday, September 1, and each year there are fewer and fewer places to hunt.

The reason is simple. Dove season seems to attract the lowest element of the hunting community, and private farm and ranchlands where hunters were welcome in the past are now closed because of these few well, I'll just say it morons. They're inconsiderate idiots who apparently have no idea whatís at stake here.

They are the guys who arrive at a popular and crowded field five minutes before shooting time, and walk out in front of or set up too close to guys whoíve been in the spot for an hour, and then they give anyone crap who tries to mention to them their transgression.

They are ones who shoot too many birds and donít bother to retrieve the ones that sail out too far or crash into the brush behind them.

They are the guys who think it's OK to shoot a limit in the morning and another in the evening, and they apparently donít understand a possession limit either.

They leave their shotgun empties and trash strewn around where they shoot.

They shoot at low birds, peppering other hunters; and then have the audacity to yell at someone else who might do the same thing.

Are you any of those guys?

You certainly know one or two of them. Perhaps you even tolerate their behavior each year and hunt with them. They have a litany of offenses that offend farmers and other hunters, leave game wardens shaking their heads, and give this noble family tradition of hunting a black eye in the non-hunting community.

Robert Pierce, who manages Walterís Camp on the Colorado River south of Palo Verde in California, said he "hates to hunting opening day any more because of the people I have to share it with."

Pierce winces when he tells the story of how dove hunters lost the right to hunt a big chunk (over 10,000 acres of farmland) in the lower Palo Verde Valley about a dozen years ago. A local landowner was driving down a dirt road opening morning, actually enjoying all the sportsmen around his fields, when shot peppered his truck and he was struck by sizzling pellets coming in the open truck window. The shooter was just 100 yards away and had shot at a low bird. The landowner drove over to the hunter and offered the advice that he probably shouldnít shoot low birds, the blood running down his cheek graphically explaining why.

"Do you know what the stupid SOB hunter said? He told my friend that he shouldnít be riding around with his window down on opening day of dove season,î said Pierce. ìThat was the last year any of his lands were open to hunting, and they are still posted."

It just takes one jackass to ruin it for everyone else. The solution, like with so many problems, are best solved when you can address the offenderís pocketbook.

Ray Aspa, Sr., acting chief of the fish and game department for the Colorado River Indian Tribes huge reservation on the river between Blythe and Havasu, said when the tribal council agreed to increase the price of the CRIT hunting license from $45 to $75 there was an unexpected benefit.

"It got rid of the riff-raff. We have far fewer problems than we had in the past," said Aspa. There were fewer hunters driving in farm fields, less trash, and fewer other violations.

Are you getting where I'm going with this?

Rarely do the offending slobs get caught by law enforcement and have to pay for their violations, and they seem to shun friendly advice and education from other hunters.

Like a lot of my hunting friends, I frequently ask other hunters not to forget to pick up their empties and trash, and frequently have expletives hurled my way. Where to these people come from?

One buddy, after getting peppered three times by the same hunter shooting at low doves streaking into a field, yelled again at the guy to "knock off shooting at the low birds." He may have added a legitimate, descriptive, but not family newspaper-approved name for the shooter at the end of that sentence the third time. Proving that my friendís description was correct, the low-bird shooter threw up his gun and deliberately shot at my buddy, peppering him with shot and expletives. That was before we all carried cell phones and could dial 911. My buddy simply chose to leave.

To protect our hunting heritage, we all need to help enforcement officers: Give the hunters breaking the rules (including your hunting acquaintances) a chance to do the right thing. But if they don't respond to our verbal coaching, it's time to take photographs of the slobs, record their car license plates, perhaps even collect a couple of water bottles they leave that will carry fingerprints, and photograph all the trash they leave behind. Keep count on how many birds theyíre shooting. Don't put yourself in jeopardy or be confrontational, but get the evidence. Then find a game warden or sheriff and tell them you want the offenders cited.

Pierce likes to tell this story. He and an off-duty sheriff were working on a satellite dish during the dove season a couple of seasons ago. There were hunters nearby on private land, and Pierce and his friend were peppered when the hunters shot at a low bird. The sheriff walked over and asked the guys to be more careful and reminded they were on private land. Pierce said he could hear them tell the sheriff to F-off, with the kicker, "You're not a cop."

The sheriff didnít say another word, walked back to the satellite dish, told Pierce he had to go to work, and went inside his house. He came out dressed in his uniform and with his K-9 unit dog. On his drive around the field, he called the landowner and made sure the owner didnít mind him citing some jackass hunters for trespass. They were cited for a litany of violations and had their guns confiscated. The cost of those citations was substantial.

Rather than raising the cost of hunting for all of us (like the CRIT did), those are the kind of targeted "fee increases" that might help rid our ranks of the riff-raff. You and I can help.

Matthews is a syndicated outdoor columnist in Southern California, shockingly still writing for 11 daily newspapers in this gun-hating, liberal region. You can keep up with his writing on his business' web site at His column/news archives provide a wealth of insightful reading on the outdoor scene in California, including issues the rest of the nation will be facing in the coming years. As Matthews likes to say, " The poo rolls downhill from here."

Saturday, August 29, 2009

New Study Says Every Buck Has A Shot

from the Outdoor Wire:

New Study Says Every Buck Has A Shot
For those of us who were never the alpha male of our crowds, reason to take heart. It seems that even in white-tailed deer, long thought to be reflections of the dominant buck due to the domination of does, that ain't necessarily so.

As a study from the Journal of Mammology was headlined "Every buck has a shot".

The study, conducted in Texas, Oklahoma and Mississippi, used DNA sampling rather than empirical observations of herds to determine genetic paternity. And, when it comes to mating patterns, a the study finds that among white-tailed deer, every buck has a shot at contributing to the next generation.

Previous studies of the mating habits of deer have focused on behavioral observations, and it appeared that a few dominant, mature bucks obtained most of the matings and therefore likely sired most of the offspring each year. But the new study using genetic paternity tests (rather than observations) produced unexpected results.

This study finds there is a wider distribution of age and physical maturity among fathers of white-tailed deer.

The study, published in the August 2009 issue of the Journal of Mammalogy, bucks long-standing assumptions about white-tailed deer mating patterns.

Studies characterizing male reproductive success as highly skewed with a small number of mature dominant males monopolizing breeding are criticized for depending too heavily on behavioral observations and circumstantial evidence. This study, however, found that physically immature males1.5 to 2.5 years of age fathered 30 to 33 percent of offspring in the populations examined, even where larger, mature males were present (spare me the "babies having babies" comment, OK).

Dominating the social organization might not guarantee reproductive success. Other factors, among them ecological and behavioral variables may limit the ability of individual males to control access to females.

Young or subdominant males may be successful in fertilization by using alternative strategies that do not rely on dominance. In fact, those alternative strategies sound a lot like trolling the bar scene or cruisin for Cougars in humans.

The immature males think nothing about roaming - widely- in search of females in heat.

They also "pay proper attention" to a doe -the study says those younger males may spend 24 hours "tending" to a receptive female.

They also take advantage of something else uncovered in the study: evidence of female promiscuity that makes it easier for male deer of any age to find a mate.

Sound familiar?

The study sampled 1,219 deer from those three scattered populations. Total DNA was taken from either blood or ear-tissue samples, but antler material was also gathered and processed.

Three "captive populations" were studied from the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge in Mississippi, the King Ranch in Texas, and the Noble Foundation Wildlife Unit in Oklahoma. Researchers say they provided different demographic makeups due to long-term differences in harvest and herd management. One location allowed public hunting, while another was more restrictive, using herd thinning as a management technique. Those differences made for a more diverse demographic, giving the research a better foundation. That made it easier to evaluate adult sex ration and male age structure on reproductive success.

Apparently, we share some common traits with our friends the white-tail.

EDITORS NOTE: The full text of the research article, "Molecular Evaluation of the White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus Virginianus) Mating System" (Journal of Mammalogy, Vol. 90, No. 4, August 2009, published by Allen Press), is available at To learn more about the American Socity of Mammalogists, visit

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

VT Waterfowl Permit Apps due 9/21

Controlled Waterfowl Hunt Application Deadline is Sept. 21

Waterbury, VT – Applications are available for controlled waterfowl hunting permits to be used at two Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department wildlife management areas. Interested hunters must apply by Monday, September 21, 2009.

Hunting under controlled conditions for ducks at Mud Creek in Alburgh and geese at Dead Creek in Addison has been popular since the early 1970's. Permit applications for these two areas are available from Vermont Fish & Wildlife offices in Essex Junction, Waterbury, Addison, Barre, St. Johnsbury, Springfield and Rutland. The applications are also available on Fish & Wildlife's website

Applications must be filled out correctly and postmarked no later than September 21, 2009.

A public drawing to award hunting permits will be held Friday, September 25 at 12:00 Noon at Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area headquarters off Route 17 in Addison. Attendance is not required. Successful applicants will be notified before the start of the hunting season.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

illegal killing of giant grizzly bear

Montana investigates illegal killing of giant grizzly bear
A rancher discovered the decaying carcass of a grizzly bear known as "Maxiumus" due to its enormous size on Aug. 12 near Dupuyer on the Rocky Mountain Front; the bear had been shot and Montana and federal wildlife officials are investigating the illegal killing of the bear.
Great Falls Tribune; Aug. 20

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Vermont Antlerless Deer Application Deadline is Thursday, Aug. 27

News Releases

Vermont Antlerless Deer Application Deadline is Thursday, Aug. 27


For Immediate Release: August 20, 2009
Media Contact: Shawn Haskell, 802-751-2647

Vermont Antlerless Deer Application Deadline is Thursday, Aug. 27

Waterbury, VT – The deadline to apply for a Vermont antlerless deer hunting permit is Thursday, August 27. The Fish & Wildlife Department is asking hunters to help by applying on-line to keep data entry time and costs to a minimum.

Applications must be either submitted on-line by August 27, delivered to the Waterbury Fish & Wildlife office by 4:30 p.m. that day or postmarked no later than August 27. On-line applications are found at ( Go to “Hunting and Trapping” and click on Lottery Applications.

The permits are only for "antlerless deer," which is defined as deer without antlers or with antlers less than three inches long.
A hunter who wins an antlerless deer permit in the lottery may take one antlerless deer by muzzleloader in the designated WMU during the December 5-13, 2009 muzzleloader season.
The WMUs proposed to have muzzleloader antlerless permits this year are A, B, C, D1, F1, F2, H1, H2, J1, J2, K1, K2, M2, N, O2, and Q. The 23,725 muzzleloader antlerless permits proposed will help slow the growth of the deer population in these units and are expected to net a harvest of about 4,200 deer. Only about 20 percent of hunters with antlerless permits actually take a deer.
Applications cost $10 for residents and $25 for nonresidents. A person may submit only one application.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wisconsin mentored hunting bill signed

Wisconsin Governor Signs Families Afield Bill

BARRIERS REMOVED IN 29 STATES . . . A nearly five-year effort to remove barriers for young hunters in Wisconsin came to a close Thursday when Gov. Jim Doyle signed legislation that will provide young people ages 10 and over with the opportunity to get in the field and experience hunting with a licensed mentor. The legislation is the culmination of nearly five years of work for the Families Afield program, founded by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation and the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance. The cornerstone of the program has been the apprentice hunting concept, which is embodied in the new Wisconsin law. "Replacing our ranks as older sportsmen leave hunting is critical to conservation and hunting," said NSSF President Steve Sanetti. "This new law is a major tool for accomplishing that important task." Video: Legislators and groups involved share their thoughts on Wisconsin's new law.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Affordable Food for All

Commentary by David Budbill on VPR:

Affordable Food for All

What I fear is that this new sustainable agricultural economy survives, and increasingly thrives, based on the support of a class of people who, like me - some of the time at least - can afford to buy more expensive food when less expensive food is available. What does that say about the great and growing divide between the rich and the poor here in our state? In other words, do the people who shop at Price Chopper also patronize Farmers' Markets? And if not, why not?

40 years after moving to Vermont, the question still remains: how is the sustainable agriculture movement going to get good, affordable food to all Vermonters, rich and poor alike?

Read more

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Teddy Roosevelt - Wilderness Warrior

Teddy Roosevelt - Wilderness Warrior -

Congress Urged to Renew Commitment to Conservation in Highway Bill

From the Outdoor Wire:

Bookmark and Share Congress Urged to Renew Commitment to Conservation in Highway Bill
WASHINGTON - With President Obama's signing of the $7 billion short-term extension of the Surface Transportation Authorization Act on Friday, August 7, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership calls for an increase in conservation-related policies and funding as Congress moves toward crafting a new Highway Bill in the coming months. The TRCP specifically urges the inclusion of conservation measures in the next Highway bill related to storm water runoff and promotion of sportsmen's access to public lands. Congress is expected to debate new legislation in September as the current $286 billion bill is set to expire at the end of that month.

Earlier this year, the TRCP helped initiate the Transportation Conservation Coalition to proactively educate and engage with key policymakers as the Highway Bill takes shape. Made up of 54 sportsmen's, conservation and other outdoor, the coalition sent a letter outlining these recommendations to committee leaders in Congress.

"Whether a new Highway Bill occurs this fall or at a future date, now is the perfect time for Congressional leaders to consider ways to strengthen the conservation components of this broad-reaching legislation," said Geoff Mullins, TRCP policy initiatives manager. "The last bill saw some key conservation gains in transportation policy, but there is so much more that can be done to protect crucial fish and wildlife habitat and promote sportsmen's recreational use of public lands."

The sportsmen's group highlights two key components to a wildlife-friendly highway bill:

Storm Water Management: Highways are a major source of storm water runoff and ultimately a leading cause of water quality impairment in lakes, rivers and estuaries across the nation, including the Chesapeake Bay. The TRCP believes that all new and reconstructed highway projects should be required to assess and mitigate for storm water impacts, especially as they relate to sustainable fish and wildlife habitats.

Public Lands Access: Federal public lands and waters are an important destination for American hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts. Nearly half of all hunters conduct a portion of their hunting activity on these areas. Inadequate access to public lands is cited as a primary reason that hunters stop participating in this traditional sport. People who fish, canoe and kayak also would benefit from improved access to our nation's rivers and streams. The TRCP believes funding and policy changes should be directed to the Recreational Trails Program and other areas within the U.S. DOT to improve public hunting and fishing access to these areas.

"The Highway bill has a tremendous impact on the quality of our hunting and fishing habitats," continued Mullins. "Through proper planning and making science-based decisions, the policies set in this legislation can go a long way to conserving our fish, wildlife and the habitats on which they rely."

Read the Transportation Conservation Coalition's letter outlining their recommendations for the Highway Bill.
Geoff Mullins (202) 654-4609,

YouTube Poachers Caught

From the Wildlife Society Blog:

Justice is Served: YouTube Poachers Caught

August 10th, 2009

The three young men who recorded their illegal hunting activities and posted the video on YouTube have been caught. David Fraser, James Fraser and Jeremy Rowlands pleaded guilty to unlawful hunting, hunting out of season, discharging a firearm from a vehicle, and leaving edible game behind. The Frasers were fined $5,000 each and Rowlands was fined $6,000; all lost their firearms, which were confiscated by authorities.

Read more

Monday, August 10, 2009

Needed - A Real Bill for the Climate

From the New York Times:
Opinion »

Editorial: A Real Bill for the Climate

The U.S. needs a climate bill that forces technological change.

Every two years, like clockwork, Congress seems to pass an energy bill, each one marginally better than the one before. What this country does not need in 2009 is another energy bill, even a better one. What it needs is a climate bill, one committed to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases in a way that engages the whole economy and forces major technological change.

Without such a bill, America will lose the race against time on climate, lose the race for markets for new and cleaner energy systems, and forfeit any claim to world leadership in advance of the next round of global climate negotiations in Copenhagen in December.

The bill approved by the House last month is a start. It calls for greater efficiency and alternative energy sources. But at its heart is a provision that would cut greenhouse gases by 17 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by midcentury. It would do so by imposing a steadily declining ceiling on emissions — raising the cost of dirtier fuels while steering investments to cleaner ones.

Also from the Times:
August 9, 2009

Climate Change Seen as Threat to U.S. Security

WASHINGTON — The changing global climate will pose profound strategic challenges to the United States in coming decades, raising the prospect of military intervention to deal with the effects of violent storms, drought, mass migration and pandemics, military and intelligence analysts say.

Such climate-induced crises could topple governments, feed terrorist movements or destabilize entire regions, say the analysts, experts at the Pentagon and intelligence agencies who for the first time are taking a serious look at the national security implications of climate change.

Recent war games and intelligence studies conclude that over the next 20 to 30 years, vulnerable regions, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and South and Southeast Asia, will face the prospect of food shortages, water crises and catastrophic flooding driven by climate change that could demand an American humanitarian relief or military response.

An exercise last December at the National Defense University, an educational institute that is overseen by the military, explored the potential impact of a destructive flood in Bangladesh that sent hundreds of thousands of refugees streaming into neighboring India, touching off religious conflict, the spread of contagious diseases and vast damage to infrastructure. “It gets real complicated real quickly,” said Amanda J. Dory, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy, who is working with a Pentagon group assigned to incorporate climate change into national security strategy planning.

Much of the public and political debate on global warming has focused on finding substitutes for fossil fuels, reducing emissions that contribute to greenhouse gases and furthering negotiations toward an international climate treaty — not potential security challenges.

But a growing number of policy makers say that the world’s rising temperatures, surging seas and melting glaciers are a direct threat to the national interest.
Read more

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hunter Safety Deferral Program in FL

From the Outdoor Women's Wire:

A law passed in Florida, called the Hunter Safety Deferral, allows novice hunters to try hunting with an adult mentor for a year before having to complete the state's hunter safety certification. However, the hunter safety education course is a great way to learn about hunter responsibility, the proper way to shoot, how to identify game animals and wildlife conservation.
: : For More : :

VT has a similar bill pending in the House Fish and Wildlife Committee.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Liberal hunting regs proposed for waterfowl hunting by Feds

Late Season Migratory Bird Hunting Frameworks News Conference

image of a hunter in duck blind

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed continuation of liberal hunting regulations for the upcoming 2009-2010 late waterfowl seasons.

A full season on pintails would be offered with a one bird daily bag limit in the Atlantic, Mississippi and Central Flyways, and a two bird daily bag limit in the Pacific Flyway and a full season on canvasbacks with a one bird daily bag limit offered nation-wide.


Monday, August 3, 2009

VT 10 year big game plan meeting report

From the Times Argus:

F&W gets an earful on 10-year big game plan

They came calling for dead deer searches in deer yards, to complain about coyotes and the effects wild turkeys had on consuming deer food, they wanted to see a three-bird limit during the spring turkey season and a special archery season for moose.

More ...

Some of the highlights of the draft plan, under consideration:

The expansion of antlerless deer-only hunting opportunities prior to the November firearms season. One way to increase the antlerless kill would be to institute an early muzzleloader season. However, the plan is quick to stress that it would offer an early muzzleloader hunt if it could do so "without disturbing hunters" participating in the youth (deer) weekend, archery season, the fall turkey season, small game season and the November rifle season.

Adding more days to the early archery season. The Fish & Wildlife Department noted that New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine and New York "have longer archery seasons than in Vermont" and would want to investigate whether there are "potential conflicts between seasons in neighboring states or lack thereof to encourage non-resident participation in Vermont's early archery season."

Legalizing crossbows for deer hunting. "A new crossbow season or a crossbow season running at the same time as archery season could increase the department's ability to harvest does, manage the deer herd, decrease administrative costs associated with allocating special crossbow permits and generate new license sales," according to the plan.

Continue to advocate for a three-deer bag limit to allow for greater hunter opportunity and to achieve deer population management strategies.

A special archery season for moose. Because Fish & Wildlife received several petitions in 2008 for implementing a special archery moose season, "the department will propose a (Fish & Wildlife) board regulation to establish a short moose archery season, potentially beginning the first Saturday in October," according to the plan. "The season might run for nine days, with perhaps 50 permits issued via a lottery. Success rate will likely be less than 30 percent. Lengthening the current seven-day fall wild turkey shotgun season (where applicable) to a nine-day season

Expanding the fall archery turkey season to allow archery hunting statewide to coincide with the opening day of the deer archery season.

The draft plan is available on Fish & Wildlife's website (

Buck said the department hopes to have the plan finalized by Sept. 30 and to begin implementation on Jan. 1.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Maine Fish and Wildlife now online

Picture (Metafile)


284 State St., SHS 41, Augusta, ME 04333 Main Number: 287-8000

For more information, call IF&W Spokeswoman Deborah Turcotte at 287-6008

AUGUSTA – The summer edition of Maine Fish & Wildlife, the magazine of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, now is available online.

The magazine can be viewed at or by visiting

The magazine features programs, initiatives and projects that are being worked on by IF&W employees. As stewards of Maine’s natural resources, these endeavors are considered essential to preserving and protecting the state’s quality of life and its economic foundation. Combined, outdoor activities such as fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, boating, ATV riding, and wildlife and bird watching, contribute $2.4 billion to Maine’s economy.

Just recently, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported that Maine is the top state in the country for wildlife watching activities and second for bird watching.

Among the features in this issue, outdoor enthusiasts can read:

    • Reflections of the Julie N oil spill and from it the addition of acreage to the Scarborough Marsh Wildlife Management Area;
    • Tips on how to stop Didymo, also known as “rock snot,” from coming into Maine and choking its inland waterways;
    • About the partnership between IF&W and the Department of Corrections, and how DOC’s community restitution program provides skilled workers to assist on IF&W projects;
    • About the Fisheries Division’s efforts to encourage anglers to switch to biodegradable lures;
    • And, “Snakes of Maine,” a Kid-Bits feature that educates kids – and adults, too – about snakes.

Also, readers can watch two videos: “We’re Here to Help You,” about the services that are available to IF&W customers when its offices are closed; and “Drunken Boating Equals Drunken Driving,” a boating safety message from the Maine Warden Service, Marine Patrol and the Maine State Police.

IF&W has been producing its decades-old publication online only this year in an effort to save money. By doing so, the Department is reaching more readers than by selling magazine subscriptions. The last two editions – Winter 2009 and Spring 2009 – each reached close to or exceeded 20,000 readers.

Deborah Turcotte
Spokesperson, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
SHS 41
284 State St.
Augusta, ME 04333
W: (207) 287-6008
C: (207) 592-1164
Maine Fish and Wildlife Online! Just click