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  • August 29, 2008

    Discussion Topic: Alaska’s Predator Control Initiative Shot Down

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:

    A ballot initiative that would end the state's predator control program as now conducted was failing at the polls . . . .

    With 70 percent of the votes counted, the measure was lagging with more than 55 percent of voters saying no. . . .

    The state's predator control program, . . . now operating in five areas of Alaska, is designed to help boost moose and caribou numbers. . . .

    Cliff Judkins, board game chairman, said he can understand why people don't much like predator control but wants Alaskans to know it is done as a last resort.

    "There is just no other way to reduce the wolves," he said. . . .

    No one needs moose and caribou meat so much that wolves and bears need to be shot from the air, said Breffny Conley, 48, of Chugiak, as he prepared to vote.

    "I think it is morally wrong. That is a sport for cowards," he said. "God gives us things on earth that you can work for or steal. That's stealing."

    What do you think?

  • August 29, 2008

    Spyder the 6-Legged Deer Dies After Surgery

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From Georgia’s Rome News-Tribune:

    The story of Spyder, the six-legged deer found in Rome who captivated people across the nation, included a remarkable journey from his rescue in Floyd County last month to his surgery at an animal clinic in Athens to remove his two extra legs. . . .

    Unfortunately, the story has a sad ending. Two days after last week’s surgery at Mars Hill Animal Hospital, Spyder died Aug. 20 in what veterinarians called a “vascular accident.”

  • August 29, 2008

    Squirrel Seasons Are Opening. Will You Be Hunting?

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From southwestern Illinois’ News-Democrat :

    Squirrel hunting in Illinois opened on Aug. 1 with little fanfare.

    Unlike the start of deer season -- which many consider an unofficial state holiday, causing hunters to skip work or play hooky from school -- and opening day of turkey season, there is no breathless countdown to bushytail season.

    "There's still a few people that hunt them, but definitely not as many as there used to be," said Jerry Simpson, owner of Jerry's Tackle and Guns in Highland. "Years ago, I used to get a lot of guys coming in
    here who loved to go squirrel hunting.

    "Now, everybody is too busy. . . ."

    What about you? Will you hunt squirrels this season?

  • August 28, 2008

    Discussion Topic: Property Rights Or Poaching?

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From the Craig Daily Press:

    Moffat County [Colorado] rancher Rodney Culverwell, 41, is charged with 80 poaching crimes for allegedly killing 16 elk this winter.

    His defense attorney said Culverwell acted in defense of his property because the elk continually destroyed hay and fencing this winter—[and the Colorado Division of Wildlife did nothing to stop it.]

    The 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office maintains Culverwell did not exhaust legal remedies before shooting elk.

    Check out the full story and tell us what you think. Should Culverwell be allowed to shoot elk that are damaging his property?

  • August 28, 2008

    Chad Love: Suffer the Children

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Chad Love has reported for the likes of People
    Magazine, but he tired of stalking B-list celebrities and decided to
    spend more time hunting, fishing and reporting here on the absurdity of
    a culture that's lost touch with the land.

    If the way we raise a child is the truest and deepest measure of who we are, then I can't help but think we are lost. How can you reason with a parent who would subject their child to this.

    This is apparently what many American parents view as a constructive and wholesome childhood activity. Screw wading the creek to catch tadpoles or god forbid roaming the woods with a BB gun. No, let's force our child, our baby, our seven-year-old darling, to climb into a ring and, in essence, kill or be killed. Show no mercy. Destroy your opponent. Let's take away whatever tiny fragment of childhood innocence he may still possess so that we can get a few vicarious thrills out of it.

    But I'd bet dollars to donuts a great many of these same parents would flat refuse to allow their children to pick up a gun or a bow, because in the bizarro world we live in that's a sign of dangerous anti-social behavior, and we certainly don't want to foster a culture of violence, now do we?

    ESPN's "Outside the Limits" recently aired an excellent look at the Youth MMA movement, archived here.

    There was a lively and interesting debate on the Gun Nut blog a few weeks ago concerning the effect of youth sports on hunting and fishing. I came down squarely on the "It's hurting the future of hunting and fishing" camp, but there were well-reasoned arguments to the contrary. I respect that.

    The explosion in the popularity of "Youth MMA" however, is not worthy of any measure of respect or understanding. It is well and truly sick. How the hell did we, as a nation, get from the way boys (and girls, for that matter) used to spend their free time to something as twisted as this?

    This weekend thousands of American parents will be taking their seven or eight-year old boys to what are in essence no-holds-barred cage matches. I'm taking my seven-year-old son perch fishing. If you care about what kind of person your child will grow up to be, maybe you should, too.

  • August 27, 2008

    Bucket Biology Threatens Wyoming Cutthroat Fishery

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From the Star-Tribune:

    Somebody has introduced walleye into Buffalo Bill Reservoir west of Cody, and the Game and Fish Department is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the apprehension of the person or persons who "bucketed" the fish in, said Steve Yekel, Cody region fisheries supervisor. . . .

    One of the major concerns about this illegal walleye introduction, Yekel said, is that the fish will add to the struggles of the Yellowstone cutthroat trout in the North and South Fork Shoshone Rivers. . . .

    [The] Yellowstone cutthroat . . . is compromised by cross-breeding with rainbow trout, . . . is being out-competed at times by other species [and] . . . is already being hunted in the area by lake trout, or mackinaw, Yekel said, and adding another predator could be disastrous.

  • August 27, 2008

    Bucks By Compass: Feeding Deer Point North

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Lots of deer hunters bring a compass when hanging a stand to mark it’s exact relation to the prevailing wind. But that compass can hint at which way a feeding buck will face as he approaches, according to a new study.

    From Scientific American:

    [German and Czech] researchers have found that when grazing or resting, cattle and deer tend to point their bodies toward Earth's magnetic poles, which suggests they are able to sense magnetic fields in the same way as many smaller animals.

    When the researchers were able to examine the position of the head in the case of. . . deer, they found the animals tended to point north.

  • August 27, 2008

    Chad Love: Shotguns for the Soul

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Chad Love has reported for the likes of People Magazine, but he tired of stalking B-list celebrities and decided to spend more time hunting, fishing and reporting here on the absurdity of a culture that's lost touch with the land.

    Your job's being relocated to Bangladesh, the balance on your credit card bill would make Paris Hilton look frugal, and your house is now worth about as much as three tanks of gas, which is what the monstrous SUV in your driveway burned in one week of commuting to the job you used to have.

    Sounds like a good time to spend that economic stimulus check. On a new TV.

    This story on Salon.com says sales of new televisions jumped 28 percent in the second quarter of this year. That translates into 9.3 million sets, all bathing their new owners in the warm, comforting glow of self-delusion.

    But just look at this picture quality! You can actually see Lebron's nosehairs as he goes up for another dunk. This thing is incredible! And it's mine! At least until the foreclosure goes through.

    Wasting time seems to have become our main pastime. We desperately need to hit the off button, get outside and make our own reality, but it seems most of us prefer to watch someone else's. High definition, digitally-enhanced surround-sound apathy is still just that - apathy. I don't claim that hunting and fishing will solve our economic problems, but as a stimulus for actually giving a damn about the state of our world there simply isn't a better way to clear the media fog we all seem to be stumbling through.

    Perhaps instead of an economic stimulus check we would have been better served by a "soul stimulus check" that could only be used to purchase items that will do us good and make us start caring again.

    That's why when I do decide to pull a little bit of my check out the sock it's stuffed into, that money will go to something that will enhance my life rather than consume and control it. Like, say, a new shotgun.

  • August 26, 2008

    Discussion Topic: Michigan’s First CWD Case Leads To Baiting Ban

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From The Detroit News:

    State officials are prohibiting deer baiting or feeding throughout the Lower Peninsula after they discovered a white-tailed deer in a small Kent County herd has Michigan's first case of chronic wasting disease.

    The precautionary measure will change hunting practices during the upcoming firearm and archery deer seasons. Baiting and feeding have become common practice among hunters.

    Officials also quarantined all 580 of Michigan's privately owned farms, hunting ranches and hobby facilities where deer, elk and moose are raised and kept in Michigan. Neither live animals nor their carcasses can be moved off these facilities, Agriculture Director Don Koivisto said.

    Your reaction?

  • August 26, 2008

    Hotel Guest With Guns Sends Pelosi Packing

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From the Denver Post :

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was briefly evacuated from her downtown Denver hotel on Saturday when a man carrying two hunting rifles and two pistols tried to check in to the hotel.

    [Twenty-nine]-year-old Joseph Calanchini of Pinedale, Wyo., faces a charge of unlawful carrying of a weapon after police officers at the Grand Hyatt hotel noticed him carrying a rifle-type case while checking in. Calanchini did not have a concealed weapons permit. . . .

    "I didn't even know the DNC was in town. I don't watch the news," Calanchini told the station from jail before he was released on $10,000 bond. "If I had known, I would have done things differently. It was a simple mistake."

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