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  • September 30, 2008

    Chad Love: A Tent for the Airport

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    As outdoorsmen (and women) it behooves us to keep up with the latest advancements in gear designed for inclement conditions. And there isn't a nastier, more extreme environment to be trapped in than the modern American airport. When your connecting flight disappears from the big board, the check-in counter goes dark as night, and your Ipod battery starts fading away it can get scary out there: roving packs of TSA agents, airport toilet paper, lattes made from non shade-grown coffees, that weird-looking hairy-toed dude sitting across from you who won't put his shoes back on.

    Let's face it: this is a survival situation and you need shelter. Something like the airport tent. Not only a brilliant idea, but a brilliant comment on the current state of modern air travel.

    However, as a self-described rugged airport outdoorsman I think it could use a few improvements.

    For one, it's got to lose the bright red color, which only draws unwanted attention from envious and/or creepy fellow travelers and suspicious security personnel. Since traditional camo won't work well in the airport setting, the tent should be clad in an amalgamized random pattern of the most common types and colors of airport carpeting. Just be sure to pitch it in a corner so it's not run over by one of those little motorized carts.

    Second, Gore-Tex and an integral interior fan. You want the tent breathable, but only from your side. I don't need to elaborate how airport food affects the gastro-intestinal harmony of a large group of people sleeping in close proximity, do I?

    I think with those two improvements the personal airport tent could comfortably see you through the worst the FAA can dish out, but maybe I'm missing something. What would you like to see included?

  • September 30, 2008

    Discussion Topic: Corzine Dismisses Bear Problem, Denies Hunt

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From the New Jersey Herald:

    While he called it a "real and present issue," Gov. Jon Corzine said Friday there probably won't be a change in the state policy that prohibits a black bear hunt.

    Corzine said the number of black bears was only a problem "if you want to call it that . . . .

    A lot of the problem is perception," he said. "There are less intrusions" and most complaints are simply sightings and confined to a small part of 
the state.

    Figures released last month, however, showed the number of serious incidents involving bears were about double this year than what they were last year.

    Now that we understand that state’s black bear population is only a problem “if you want to call it that,” the question is: Do you want to call it that? And what do you want to call Gov. Corzine?

  • September 30, 2008

    North Dakota Taking Venison Donations One Season At A Time

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From the Grand Forks Herald:

    For now, at least, North Dakota’s Sportsmen Against Hunger program this fall will only accept deer taken by archery. . . .

    Meantime, findings from a May study to see whether eating wild game results in higher levels of lead in the blood will determine whether the program accepts rifle-killed deer when the firearms season begins in November.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted the study in conjunction with the state Department of Health, testing nearly 700 North Dakota residents, and a final report is expected in mid-October.

  • September 30, 2008

    Illinois High-Schoolers Hooked On Bass Fishing

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From the Chicago Tribune:

    Brian McDonald understands why people snicker at the mention of Vernon Hills High School's new bass fishing team.

    Even McDonald, the school's athletic director, has trouble promoting the coming Cougar Bass Fishing Classic tournament without cracking a smile.

    "I'm still trying to say it with a straight face," he said. "To put bass fishing out there as a sport, it makes people chuckle a little."

    But students across the state are casting out lines in search of a big catch now that Illinois has become the first state in the country to adopt bass fishing as a high school sport. Teams have formed at more than 60 schools, and a state championship will be held this spring.

  • September 29, 2008

    Discussion Topic: Michigan Senate Green-Lights Wolf Shootings

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From an AP story in The Holland Sentinel:

    The Michigan Senate has voted unanimously to let farmers kill gray wolves caught in the act of attacking their livestock — assuming the state removes the wolf from its threatened species list. . . .

    Legislation approved Thursday also would let the owners of hunting dogs kill wolves caught attacking their dogs.

    The DNR supports the bills. They soon could reach Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

    However, the issue could become moot if environmental groups win a lawsuit seeking to return wolves to the federal endangered species list.

    Your reaction?

  • September 29, 2008

    Father's Arrows Saves Son From Grizzly

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From the Cody Enterprise:

    A Cody bowhunter in search of an elk found a grizzly bear instead in a Sept. 12 mauling incident on the South Fork.

    And Ron J. Leming, 37, attributes his father's lifetime of bowhunting for saving his life. . . .

    “I would have been mauled way worse, if not killed, if Dad hadn't had the nerve to stand his ground and shoot that bear with his bow. There's not many people who could have done that. . . .”

    “Dad had missed two shots at elk” earlier in the several-day hunting trip to the family's favorite spot, Leming said.

    “The night before, Dad said a prayer for God to guide his arrow.”

    Leming added that while his father had elk, not bears, in mind as he prayed, he's glad the right arrow found divine intervention.

  • September 29, 2008

    North Dakota Pheasant Outfitter Pleads Guilty To Shooting Eagle

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From the Associated Press:

    Gary Stang, 63, pleaded guilty Thursday in a deal with prosecutors to the charge of attempting to take and kill a protected migratory bird.

    He was arrested in March near his hunting excursion business, the same day investigators with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service set up the stuffed eagle decoy as a way to lure him into shooting it. . . .

    Under the plea deal, Stang was sentenced to a year of probation, a fine of more than $1,000, and the loss of hunting privileges in North America for one year. Stang also will give up a rifle, scope and ammunition. . .
    Stang's attorney, Tom Dickson, said his client is under the mistaken impression that raptors — including eagles, hawks and owls — are hurting his business by preying on pheasants.

    "Some of our older farmers have an irrational attitude toward birds of prey," Dickson said. "This would be one of those situations."

  • September 26, 2008

    Chad Love: Great Outdoor Quotes

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    I need help from some of the more learned readers of F&S. What I need are great historical hunting and/or fishing quotes or verse. Think Isaac Walton or Peter Beckford type material. You know, the timeless stuff. Quotes from the 'Nuge - while entertaining -  won't cut it.

    Why, you ask? Interesting question, that.

    I recently came into possession of a number of polished granite headstones. Now before you jump to any grave-robbing conclusions, I picked them up from an old building that used to be a monument company but is very soon going to be a pile of rubble. My plumber bought the property and told me I could scrounge anything I wanted. Imagine my surprise to find all these beautiful slabs of granite just lying around.

    So I brought them home, much to my wife's chagrin. She flatly refused to allow me to scatter them through her flowerbeds. I thought it would be quirky and off-beat, but for some reason she considered it morbid and disturbing.

    Since my reputation in the neighborhood is already a bit dodgy, I reluctantly agreed, but then hit on a great idea: I would find timeless quotes, inscribe them on the granite and place them strategically around our property! Even my wife agreed it was a pretty cool idea.

    For example, this one is, which I found on Steve Bodio's excellent blog is going in front of my dog kennels: "Hee cannot be a gentleman whych loveth not a dogge" which comes from a 1555 book entitled "The Institucion of a Gentleman."

    "Litera Scripta Manet" or "the written word endures" will be going on a slab placed outside my office window, while the Ben Johnson quote that hangs above the Shakespeare & Co. book store in Paris  "Thou art alive still while thy book doth live and we have wits to read and praise to give" will be going in my front yard.

    So I've got dogs, literature and books covered. Now I need some immortal hunting and/or fishing quotes. The kind of timeless, trenchant wisdom worthy of being etched forever into a block of solid granite and proudly displayed to the whole world, or at least to the mailman, the UPS driver and the guy who jogs by my house every day.

    Any ideas? 

  • September 25, 2008

    Discussion Topic: Michigan Bait Ban Faces Court Challenge

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From the Ludington Daily News:

    A petition was filed in Lansing Circuit Court seeking to have the DNR’s ban on baiting and feeding deer overturned Tuesday. The ban was issued by Department of Natural Resources Director Rebecca Humphries August 28 after one deer was found to have chronic wasting disease at a captive deer operation in Kent County. The DNR has stated that baiting and feeding can concentrate deer and cause diseases like CWD to spread more rapidly.

    The petition and a motion for an expedited hearing were filed by attorneys Edward J. McNeely III and Matthew Malleis of Grand Rapids. The case is expected to be heard by Judge Joyce Draganchuck.

    Check out the full article and tell us what you think.

  • September 24, 2008

    Chad Love: Camo Doesn't Matter

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    One of the most overhyped and over-marketed areas in big-game hunting is camouflage. This story from the NYT science blog certainly isn't going to help much.

    "...there’s a new type of digital camouflage specifically designed to fool deer’s vision. Called Optifade, it’s being unveiled today by W.L. Gore, the inventor of Gore-Tex".

    "...the new digital camouflage consists of a micropattern made up of tiny squares that are supposed to match the overall texture of the landscape — the “spatial frequency” or “busyness” of the forest or scrubland as seen through the deer’s eyes. It also has a macropattern of large geometric shapes that are supposed to break up the outline of the body so that even if a deer sees a hunter moving, it doesn’t register in the deer’s brain as a human shape."

    It's an interesting development, but I found the Times readers’ comments on the story much more fascinating. Apparently some are upset because this new wunderflage makes us "invisible" and that's just not fair.

    From the comments section...

    "Do hunters really need any more technological advantages over the deer then they already have? To call deer hunting a “sport” is absurd; considering all the hardware available to hunters, the deer never stand a chance..." -- comment from "AZ"

    It just goes to show how little anti-hunters know about the animals they profess to love. The belief that human technology will always prevail over a deer's senses is the mark of someone who has obviously never spent any time in the woods.

    You can spend as much money on as many gimmicks and gadgets and look as ridiculous as you want and it won't make a damn bit of difference to the animal you're hunting. The first set of "real" camouflage I ever purchased (that hadn't already been discarded by the military) made me look like one of the ents from "Lord of the Rings," but it didn't me get any closer to deer than my old surplus duds. If you rely on technological doo-dads instead of respecting an animal enough to actually learn a little bit about it, then a bunch of fuzzy dots on your clothes aren't going to give you any advantage at all.