Thursday, November 24, 2011

Why Do We Get Up at 0 Dark Thirty?

Why unfavorable odds don't deter Vt hunters
By Alexei Rubenstein - bio | email With only a few days left of rifle season, Eric Nuse is getting all the time he can. The 32-year veteran former Vermont ...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Conference Workshop to Focus on Restoring Bison to the Northern Plains

Orion Founder Jim Posewitz is working on this project in Montana.
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image of bison, Credit: guppiecat, FlickrA workshop, “Bringing Bison Back: America’s Last Big Game Challenge,” is scheduled for 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., Monday, March 12, at the 77th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.  It will examine the political, cultural and ecological steps necessary for bison to be restored, managed and valued as a wildlife resource on northeastern Montana’s Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge (CMR) and other multi-jurisdictional landscapes.
The Great Plains of Montana once sustained bison herds that numbered in the millions. Like so many other wildlife species, the bison population was decimated
by market hunting and habitat loss during the latter half of the 19th century. Through historic conservation efforts—led primarily by sportsmen clubs and conservationists, including William Hornaday, Theodore Roosevelt and George Bird Grinnell—many of the game species suffering from overexploitation recovered to a sustainable degree were and been restored to native habitat. The American bison, however, was not one of those species.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Locavore "Wild Foods" Festival

From The Elm the student paper for Washington College in Chestertown, MD:
The first event of the two-part celebration took place on Friday evening with a lecture entitled “Hunting: A Matter of Life and Death,” by Drew University Professor Dr. Marc Boglioli. Boglioli’s lecture explored attitudes toward hunting in Vermont, both of the hunters themselves and anti-hunting activists as researched in his book, A Matter of Life and Death: Hunting in Contemporary Vermont. His research focused specifically on deer camps and the stigmas associated with them, such as misogynistic perspectives and an obsession with killing. His findings, however, revealed that deer hunters in Vermont are separatist rather than misogynist and view the deer camps as an escape from the compulsory competition associated with gender in society. “Deer camp is a liminal place where men are free to act in ways counter to the dominant societal expectations,” said Boglioli.
Additionally, he described the hunters’ approach to nature as respectful rather than exploitative.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Genuine Hunting

I'm rereading one of my favorite books, Hunting the Whole Way Home, by Sidney Lea. On page 25 he is describing a bird hunt in one of his Vermont covers. He tells of seeing chickadees, hearing the "gritty croaks of ravens" and the "pileated woodpecker's flourish."
He goes on to say:
"Why should I be less enthralled by any of these creatures than by a game bird? My answer is scarcely recondite, yet few will grasp it who have not traveled my kind of beautiful miles. And of course, indifferent or plain hostile to genuine hunting, that 's exactly what most people will never do. I preach to the small choir. To the great congregation my sermon is either an attenuated frontier romanticism or, more commonly, a bloodthirst tricked up as aesthetics.
It's true enough that I can't evade the fact of blood. A kill defines the hunt and all its subordinate objectives and agents, including the hunter: in that one moment, the path of an elusive and superbly equipped prey intersects with a human predatory capacity, both schematic and intuitive, mundane (which boots to bring, which shells?) and superstitious (hunt high ground in an east wing); and for that one moment, the world reveals a gorgeous coherency.
The anti-hunting propagandist is appalled by such a sacramental perspective, precisely because its icon is a bloodstain. Nor will the hobbyist sportsan read me rightly. I speak only to and for the passionate hunter, the one who regards this business as more than mere sport. Surrounded like everyone by a mechanized and abstractive culture, he appreciates how seldon human gesture can be unmediated, literal.
I've always understood all this somewhere in my soul, but I've need to come this far before bringing it to articulation, however imperfect." p. 25
Sounds right on to me.
Ps. Sidney Lea is the poet laureate of Vermont, you've got to love a state like this.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Federal Court Upholds National Roadless Rule; Sportsmen Celebrate Conservation Victory

Media Center: Press Release

News for Immediate Release Oct. 21, 2011 Contact: Katherine McKalip, 406-240-9262,
Decision by appeals court resolves uncertainty regarding 2001 rule, safeguards the prime habitat provided by inventoried roadless lands. 

WASHINGTON – The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership today commended a decision by the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals that reinstated the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule as the law governing 49 million acres of inventoried roadless areas located on the nation’s national forests and grasslands. The ruling overturned a lower district court’s decision enjoining the 2001 rule in August 2008 and resolved uncertainty about federal management of roadless areas across America.
The so-called “roadless rule” is a multiple-use national forest management regulation that was designed to limit road building and timber harvest on undeveloped public lands managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The rule determines the management of all national forest roadless areas outside of Idaho.
“Today’s decision affirmed the value of backcountry areas in sustaining healthy and secure habitat for fish and wildlife – something hunters and anglers have known for   years,” said Joel Webster, director of the TRCP Center for            Photo by George Cooper.
Western Lands. “Sound roadless conservation policies safeguard big-game habitat security, productive trout and salmon fisheries and our sporting traditions. The 2001 roadless rule is a strong mechanism for conserving America’s backcountry recreational activities and outdoor heritage.”
The TRCP has mobilized a broad cross-section of sportsmen, conservationists and recreationists supporting conservation of roadless areas and the outdoor opportunities they foster. For purposes of the rule, roadless areas are defined as contiguous blocks of backcountry public land that are 5,000 acres or larger and do not have improved roads.
While access is important to sportsmen, densely roaded areas have been shown to negatively affect elk and deer behavior, reproduction and survival and consequently hunter opportunity. Excessive, poorly located roads contribute to increased sediment loads in waterways that are important to wild trout and salmon, thereby diminishing the number and size of fish.
“We appreciate the dedication of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in upholding this popular land management policy,” said TRCP President and CEO Whit Fosburgh, “and we applaud the court’s decision as one made in the absolute best interest of our public-lands fish and wildlife populations and outdoor recreation.

“As the 2011 fall hunting season continues, sportsmen have reason to celebrate backcountry conservation,” continued Fosburgh. “Whether they’re hunting the West Big Hole of Montana, the northern Blue Range of New Mexico or backcountry lands in Vermont’s Green Mountains, public-land hunters across the nation will benefit from the court’s thoughtful decision for generations to come.”
Learn more about the TRCP’s work in support of roadless area conservation.

Vermont wildlife officials say Pete the Moose's former home to close

 From the Burlington Free Press

MONTPELIER — The northern Vermont game preserve where Pete the Moose lived and died is to close, state officials said Thursday, moving Vermont a step closer to ending the practice of allowing wildlife to be imported into the state and fenced in on private hunting grounds.

Walt Driscoll, a member of the state Fish and Wildlife Board, said the owner of the Big Rack Ridge hunting preserve in Irasburg told him he planned to close the preserve in Irasburg.

...“For a long time, we’ve had this idea that wildlife that lives anywhere in North America and especially here in Vermont does not belong to any private individual,” Scott said.

Lawmakers made that position official this year when they passed a law declaring that wild animals are a public trust, meaning that legally they are “owned” by every resident of the state.