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  • October 31, 2006

    Discussion Topic: Should Canned Elk Hunts Be Banned?

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From the Jackson Hole Star Tribune:
    Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer has joined Wyoming’s chief executive in calling on Idaho lawmakers to ban wild game farms and private hunting reserves to protect the health of Yellowstone's wild elk herds.
    “In Montana, we said it’s a bad idea to pen up a bunch of elk, feed them oats and have fat bankers from New York City shoot them while they’ve got their heads in a grain bucket,” Schweitzer said Wednesday during an interview in the Boise offices of The Associated Press.

    Do you agree? Post your comments below.

  • October 31, 2006

    Judge Throws Book at Alaska Sheep Poacher

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    In one of last week’s “Discussion Topics,” regarding a Wyoming elk poaching sting operation, most of you said that the punishments given to motorists shooting at a planted bull elk decoy were insufficient. I agree, and would submit that this is a little more like it—from the Anchorage Daily News:

    An Anchorage taxidermist convicted of illegally killing two Dall sheep last winter in a popular sheep-viewing area along the Seward Highway was socked Friday with six months in jail, $25,000 in fines, and probation restrictions designed to keep him off the Internet and away from hunting. For the next 10 years . . . he's not allowed to practice taxidermy or own guns.

  • October 31, 2006

    Illinois Buck Jumps Into the Headlines

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    I ask you, if you’re a whitetail buck, is there any more surefire way to get your picture in the paper than to jump through the pressroom window? Check out this Quad-Cities Online story, along with the play-by-play photos. Unfortunately, the deer’s moment in the spotlight (and the deer itself) were short-lived.

  • October 30, 2006

    Buck Tracker: Ohio Mystery Mega-Buck

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Long-time contributing editor and whitetail expert Scott Bestul has his finger on the pulse of the deer hunting world, and he’s always one of the first to know when someone bags a monster. He’ll be keeping us updated regularly, so keep an eye on this page.

    Dave: Don't know what's in the water this year, but it must be great for antler growth. This Buckeye State hunter--who remains nameless at this point--is holding a set of antlers beyond belief! There have to be more than 20 scorable points here, and incredible mass. Assuming this is a legitimate photo, we're looking at one of largest nontypicals that will be shot this fall.

    Ohiobuck

    I'd love to know how old this deer was! Truly huge non-typs are invariably older deer, and this has gotta be a greybeard!

    Scott

  • October 30, 2006

    Discussion Topic: How Will You Vote?

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    With midterm elections a mere 8 days away, sportsmen face a familiar dilemma: Vote for conservation? Or vote for guns? Ok, so there may be a few other issues on the table this year. But either way, you need to get to the poles. “Hunters have the numbers to affect elections and influence policy,” says Rob Sexton of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance. “It makes a difference when sportsmen vote. They must make their voices heard.” The USSA urges outdoorsmen to contact campaign offices and ask specific questions to learn where candidates stand on issues important to them.

    So first, will you vote? And second, how will you vote—for continued Republican leadership in congress or for change?

  • October 30, 2006

    Update: New Jersey Governor Plans to Block Bear Hunt

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Last week, we ran a story reporting that New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine may be purposely delaying the routine reauthorization of state game laws in order to block the 2006 black bear season. Now it’s beyond speculation, as Corzine’s handlers say the governor expects his actions to trigger lawsuits from sporting groups. And they will. The Sportsmen’s Legal Defense Fund (an arm of the USSA) is already mulling over its legal options for protecting the Garden State’s hard-won bear hunt.

    Here we go again.

  • October 30, 2006

    Blacktail Buck Sends Oregon Woman to Hospital

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    For your entertainment, here’s a bit of the Salem Statesman Journal’s interview with wildlife watcher Annie Saunders, who was attacked by a blacktail buck while taking out the mail last Thursday:

    "I stopped to look at him and he came right over to me very nonchalantly and calmly and used his head to knock me down," she said. "Then he rolled me around in the gravel, attacking me with his antlers and front feet, and I was still on the ground when two gentlemen drove by and saw what was going on. It took both of them to pull him off."

    Does she have any idea what provoked the buck, which had a spiked antler on one side and forks, or two points, on the other?

    "Not a clue."

    Will she carry a grudge against deer?

    "No, they're very tasty."

  • October 27, 2006

    Buck Tracker: Biggest Typical Ever?

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Long-time contributing editor and whitetail expert Scott Bestul has his finger on the pulse of the deer hunting world, and he’s always one of the first to know when someone bags a monster. He’ll be keeping us updated regularly, so keep an eye on this page.

    Biggest_buckBiggest_buck2

    Dave: This giant buck was shot behind a high fence, so it will never make Boone and Crockett's book. But the buzz is that he grossed 237" and netted 223". If that score holds up, it would make him the new typical world record for Safari Club International (SCI)!

    To put his amazing mass and tine length in perspective, check out the second photo: the buck lying next to him in the truck is a true bomber, a buck of a lifetime for any hunter....
    Scott

  • October 27, 2006

    Discussion Topic: If You Shoot a Fake Elk Out of Season, Should You Lose Your License?

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    So if you had to guess, what percentage of people do you think would shoot at an elk out of season, from their vehicle, and without a hunting license? According to http://www.jhguide.com/article.php?art_id=1049 ">this Jackson Hole Daily article the answer is an outrageously whopping 31 percent.

    The article details a recent sting operation in which Wyoming game officials put out a bull elk decoy near Union Pass Road. Of the 29 people who slowed down their vehicles to look at the decoy, nine, or 31 percent, fired a gun at it, resulting in 19 citations and four warnings from officers.
    All nine hunters fired either from their vehicles or from the road itself. A total of 30 bullets hit the decoy.

    The fines totaled about $7,700, and according to the Jackson Hole Star Tribune break down like this: “. . . shooting from a roadway (a $210 fine), taking elk from a vehicle (a $410 fine), taking elk during closed season (a $410 fine), taking elk without a license (a $780 fine) and transfer of license (a $410 fine).

    Now you tell us: Are these punishments sufficient? I mean, four of these guys only got warnings. And is there maybe just a slight chance that insufficient deterrents have something to do with the number of violators?

  • October 27, 2006

    Breaking News: Indiana Court Calls Gun Industry Shield Law Unconstitutional

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Folks, this is huge. Don’t miss this important story, as reported by the U.S. Newswire:
    In a landmark ruling with nationwide implications, Lake County, Indiana Superior Court Judge Robert A. Pete on Monday declared unconstitutional a 2005 federal law backed by the gun lobby that sought to limit the legal liability of gun dealers and manufacturers in the case of City of Gary v. Smith & Wesson et al.

    The ruling held that the so-called "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act" (which became effective exactly one year ago today) violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of Due Process and Separation of Powers. It allows Gary, Indiana's lawsuit against sixteen gun manufacturers and six northern Indiana gun dealers to proceed toward trial. Cases pending in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., and other states have raised similar challenges to the constitutionality of the law, but this is the first court to find it unconstitutional.

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