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  • May 29, 2008

    Pennsylvania Processor Caught Selling Venison

    By Scott Bestul

    From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

    Sixty-year-old William Kielty III, of Evans City, has been fined $9,500 and may lose his hunting and trapping privileges for up to 57 years after pleading guilty to 19 game law violations. . . .

    Besides taking illegally harvested deer, the [state] Game Commission says Kielty stole and sold meat from deer he was processing for hunters who killed deer lawfully. He was also accused of stealing and selling meat intended for a food bank program.

  • May 29, 2008

    WhiteTail News Roundup

    By Scott Bestul

    New Hampshire Hunters Face Shorter Seasons
    www.boston.com

    Wyoming Installs Deer Underpasses
    www.littlechicagoreview.com

    Washington Blacktails Suffer From “Hair-Slip Syndrome”
    www.sequimgazette.com

  • May 28, 2008

    BuckTracker: Making It Happen

    By Scott Bestul

    In the last BuckTracker we read a lovely piece of writing by young McCall Casey, a budding deer hunter we are proud to call one of our own. But reader Jon R. brings up a wonderful point; everyone seems to agree that we need more junior members like McCall and we all need to do our best recruit more heavily.

    But what, I ask you, is our best means for achieving this? “Take a kid hunting” makes a great bumper sticker, but the details can be devilish. For example, special “youth” hunting seasons are being used by more states, yet some hunters criticize them as a special opportunity that shouldn’t be granted. Or others point out (perhaps correctly) that a one-weekend event does not a life-long hunter make, and that we should be focused on projects/season with a long-term approach. Finally, many states lower minimum age requirements, and find that critics come out of the woodwork to wonder if youngsters of that ilk are responsible enough to trust with firearms.

    So what are your ideas about recruiting the McCall Casey’s of the world? How does your state handle young hunters in terms of minimum age requirements, special seasons, mentored opportunities? And for those of you who’ve trained up a young hunter, what advice can you give for doing it right? From those of us who are fathers of youngsters to young men and women who simply would like to help a kid get started, it would be great to share some ideas and experiences!

  • May 22, 2008

    Volunteers Needed For North Dakota Lead-In-Venison Study

    By Scott Bestul

    From Valley News Live:

    In March, North Dakota officials advised food pantries not to distribute ground venison, after it was discovered to be contaminated with lead fragments from bullets.

    Now, officials are conducting a study with your help to determine if lead fragments in venison are really putting people at risk. So far 250 people across North Dakota have volunteered for the study. In all, 628 are needed, especially more non-venison eaters. Officials say even a low level of lead in your blood can cause numerous health problems.

  • May 22, 2008

    Hairy Haircut: All I Wanted Was A Trim!

    By Scott Bestul

    From Philadelphia’s The Intelligencer:

    A Richland man wrestled with a deer for several minutes to protect young children after the buck smashed through the glass door of a hair salon in a busy Quakertown shopping center this afternoon.

  • May 22, 2008

    Whitetail News Roundup

    By Scott Bestul

    New Brunswick Winter Claims 25,000 Deer
    www.cbc.ca

    Arizona Goes To Lottery System For Archery Deer Permits
    www.azcentral.com

  • May 15, 2008

    Another Wildlife Official Caught Poaching

    By Scott Bestul

    From Vermont’s Rutland Herald:


    A former member of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board from Northfield was convicted Tuesday of baiting deer.



    Michael Popowski, 65, pleaded no contest in Vermont District Court in Barre to the misdemeanor charge, according to the Vermont Attorney General's Office. He was sentenced to pay a $200 fine and had five points levied against his hunting license.

  • May 15, 2008

    Minnesota Sharpshooters Kill 962 Deer

    By Scott Bestul

    From The Star Tribune:

    Sharpshooters have finished for now trying to dramatically thin the deer herd in part of northwestern Minnesota plagued by bovine tuberculosis. . . .

    Eight of the 962 deer killed by sharpshooters are suspected of having bovine TB. Two have tested positive; results are pending on the others.

  • May 15, 2008

    Whitetail News Roundup

  • May 13, 2008

    BuckTracker: On Young Hunters

    By Scott Bestul

    You hear all the time about the decline in young hunter numbers these days, that there aren't enough juniors replacing us oldsters as there used to be. It's tempting to let such statistics depress us, but sometimes I wonder; maybe it isn't always about sheer numbers, but quality. Perhaps if the folks who replace us are more passionate, articulate and committed than we are, then hunting's future might not be so bleak...

    As evidence, I offer the following short essay, submitted by young hunter McCall Casey from Dallas, Texas. You'll also find a photo of McCall posing with his grandfather when he was eight. Clearly his love of hunting has continued to grow. Please give it a read and let me know your thoughts.

    Mccall_6_years_old_and_grand_dad_ra

    A Day On The Ranch
    by McCall Casey, age 13.

    I wake up at five in the morning and the darkness covers the ranch like
    a cold blanket. The stars gleam with a feeling of company in this
    darkness.


    I hurry my pace to get out of bed. I get my gun, bullets, and binoculars, that is all I need. I don’t need scent lock, no bugle, and no rattling horns. I step out the door with a feeling of satisfaction. The mist tickles my face. I have to hurry up before the sun comes up.

    I arrive at my blind as the sun arrives over the horizon. I settle in as the mist disappears. It has been an hour and the doe and fawn roam but there is still time for that one buck to come.

    Wait!! Something in the shadows catches my eye. I lift my binoculars and my heart skips a beat and I stare with my mouth dropped as a monster buck comes rocking in. He comes in with his old torn, tattered, and tough skin. He knows he is the boss and all the deer get out of his way because they and I know he’ll make you get out of his way.

    I suddenly snap out of my awe. My heart feels like it went into overdrive. My hands start to shake, voice quivering, and adrenalin passing through my veins. I take my gun and take aim. I lay the crosshairs on his shoulder.

    I go through a check list in my head; bullet in chamber...check, safety off...check, don’t jerk the trigger but pull slowly...ok. The buck gives a perfect shot. Aim, aim, aim...BANG!

    A perfect shot the deer leaps for its life and jolts running. I watch with my binoculars. The deer gets to the edge of the field. It tugs, it trips, and it tugs on. With its last moment of being king; he goes down. Peace.

    He lays at the end of the field in peace, peace, peace.

    I score him at the cabin that night. In my own awe he scored 350 B&C.

    For my whole life I’ll remember this very second, this very hour, this very day on the ranch.

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