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  • October 24, 2011

    The Onion: NH Hunters Ready Rifles and Bows For Leaf Season Opener

    By Chad Love

    The 2011 leaf season forecast is out, and the numbers aren't good. According to the good folks at Foliage Forever, it appears maple leaf populations are holding steady in the northeast and will offer hunters some opportunity, but the ongoing drought in the southwest and southeast has put a real crimp in the overall numbers of oak and cottonwood leaves available to hunters. There will be pockets of good leaf hunting, but state botanists are warning sportsmen to temper their expectations. The dismal forecast hasn't, however, stopped leaf hunters from continuing this great American sporting tradition.

    From this story in The Onion:
    Sportsmen throughout the region donned camouflage and readied their rifles and bows Monday, heralding the official opening of New Hampshire's 2011 leaf-hunting season.

    In what has become a time-honored autumn ritual, foliage hunters reportedly entered the state's wooded areas to match their skills against maple, oak, and poplar leaves that have fallen from trees. "Nothing makes you feel more alive than the sweat on your brow as you take down a freshly sprawled pile of red maple leaves," said 58-year-old hunter Lyle Inman, showing reporters the mounted taxidermy busts of leaves hanging on a wall in his home. "The adrenaline rush of being face-to-face with a leaf in its native environment is simply unparalleled." "This is an American tradition," Inman added. "It's man against nature."

  • October 24, 2011

    Mastadon Bone: People Hunted in North America 1,000 Years Earlier Than Previously Thought

    By Chad Love

    Radio-carbon dating on an ancient bone fragment has revealed that we've been hunting in North America about a thousand years prior to what we used to think.

    From this story in the New York Times:

    For many years, it was thought that the Clovis people were the first humans to populate North America, about 13,000 years ago. But recently, evidence has suggested that other settlers arrived earlier, and a new study lends support to that hypothesis. The study, in the journal Science, finds that a mastodon rib with a bone point lodged in it dates back 13,800 years.

    “It’s the first hunting weapon found pre-Clovis,” said the lead author, Michael R. Waters, an archaeologist at Texas A&M University. “These people were hunting mastodons.” The fossils had been discovered in the late 1970s at a dig known as the Manis site, near Sequim, Wash., by Carl Gustafson, an archaeologist at Washington State University. At the time, Dr. Gustafson proposed that the skeleton was about 14,000 years old and that hunters had killed the mastodon with a bone point.

  • October 24, 2011

    Rare Cyclops Shark Found In Gulf of California

    By Chad Love

    --Chad Love

    I've always said that as long as I'm able to fish I'm happy, and it doesn't really matter what species I'm fishing for because it's all good. But I have to admit, this fish is making me reconsider that attitude.

    From this story on nationalgeographic.com:

    Talk about a one-of-a-kind discovery˜an extremely rare cyclops shark (pictured) has been confirmed in Mexico, new research shows. The 22-inch-long (56-centimeter-long) fetus has a single, functioning eye at the front of its head˜the hallmark of a congenital condition called cyclopia, which occurs in several animal species, including humans.

  • October 20, 2011

    Jeff Foiles In More Hot Water, Now Facing Canadian Charges

    By Chad Love

    The hits just keep on coming for "celebrity hunter" (or perhaps that should that be "ex-celebrity hunter") Jeff "Fallin' Skies" Foiles. In case you haven't been following, some background on the case here and here and here.

    Foiles has already been sentenced in the US and is heading for a 13-month stint in a federal calaboose, but on Wednesday a Canadian court fined Foiles almost 15-grand and banned him from hunting in Canada for three years.

    From this story in the Globe and Mail:
    An American celebrity hunter who makes big money selling videos of his waterfowl hunts must hand some cash to the courts for violations that include abusing birds after he shot them. Jeff Foiles, 54, from Pleasant Hill, Ill., was fined $14,500 on Wednesday in Edmonton court and banned from hunting in Canada for the next three years. He had already been sentenced in the United States to 13 months in prison, fined $100,000 and banned from hunting there for two years. He is to start serving his time Nov. 21.

    So what kind of abuse is Foiles guilty of? Read on...(and remember, this is all caught on tape...)

  • October 20, 2011

    Ohio Exotic Animal Emergency Ends in Tragedy, 49 Killed By Police

    By Chad Love

    The exotic animal emergency in Zanesville, Ohio is apparently over, with authorities forced to shoot almost all of the animals that were allegedly released by the owner of a private zoo before he killed himself.

    From this story on abcnews.com:
    The hunt for dozens of exotic animals that escaped from a private preserve and put an Ohio town on lockdown has been called off after officials said they are confident that the final missing monkey was eaten by another escaped animal. A total of 49 wild animals were gunned down by police with pistols and high-powered rifles after escaping from a private preserve in Zanesville, Ohio Tuesday. The animals were moving into nearby neighborhoods, forcing residents of the town of 25,000 to stay indoors.

  • October 20, 2011

    Iowa-Class Battleship Gun Tubes Up For Auction?

    By Chad Love

    Attention naval history buffs: have you always wanted a genuine piece of WWII naval history, perhaps a relic from those bygone days of yore when our mighty Iowa-class battleships ruled the seas, their massive 16-inch main guns obliterating all resistance? Well, here's a deal for you. But you're gonna need to bring someone to help you load them in the back of your truck...

    From this posting on govliquidation.com: 
    3,360,000 lbs approx Steel Gun Tubes, the shipping cradles and railroad rails that the gun tubes are sitting on are also included in weight and sale. Demilitarization is a condition of sale for Gun Tubes only. Property located at Hawthorne Army Depot, NV, 89415. Qty 14ea Tubes and weigh approx 236,900 lbs ea and are 816 inches long, Tube thickness being approx 15in. at the breach and 4in. at the muzzle

    That's right, you can bid on what might very well be the last remaining main gun tubes for the now-long-gone Iowa-class battleships (click on the link for a slideshow of all the tubes). Are they new and unused tubes, or are they used? Can't tell from the description, but if they are indeed used, just think at the history they may have witnessed! Could they have been there overlooking the deck of the Missouri on August 15, 1945? Could these very tubes have fired some of their famous 2,700-pound shells at Viet Cong positions in the Vietnam War from the turrets of the USS New Jersey?

  • October 19, 2011

    Level-Headed Response to Hunting Arms in Student Vehicles on College Campus

    By Chad Love

    In this age of near-universal zero tolerance weapons policies on school campuses, students who accidentally bring guns or bows to school during hunting season often find themselves in big trouble, no matter how innocent their mistake.

    Charges, suspension, expulsion--there are any number of cases in recent years where students didn’t just have the book thrown at them, they got crushed by it. Which makes it somewhat refreshing to see this understated, non-hyperventilating response to what clearly was an accident...

    From this story in the Marietta (OH) Times:

    Washington State Community College officials are reminding students of the rules against having weapons on campus after a rifle and a crossbow were found this week in students' vehicles. One weapon was discovered Monday and another Tuesday, both in vehicles in the upper student parking lot, college spokeswoman Joy Frank-Collins said. There was no safety concern, she said, calling the incidents issues of "bad timing and poor judgment." "It's hunting season. It's our understanding that was why they had those implements in their vehicles," she said.

  • October 19, 2011

    Bears, Cheetahs, Tigers Escape Preserve, Shut Down Ohio Town

    By Chad Love

    Owner of Private Reserve Found Dead, Animals Being Shot

    --Chad Love

    If you live in the vicinity of Zanesville, Ohio, you might want to grab your trusty double rifle and your copy of "Use Enough Gun" or maybe "Death in the Long Grass" before you step outside today. You're gonna need it, Bwana...

    From this story on abcnews.com

    An Ohio town is under lockdown as dozens of wild animals including bears, wolves and tigers have escaped from a private preserve are and are on the loose after the owner of the preserve has been found dead.Terry Thompson of Zanesville, Ohio, was found dead of unknown causes inside the preserve while the animals cages were found unsecured. Thompson, 61, was recently released from prison after serving one year on federal weapons charges. According to investigators he has been cited in the past for animal abuse and neglect. Speaking on "Good Morning America" Wednesday Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz said that they will not have a count on how many animals have been killed until daylight arrives in Ohio.

  • October 18, 2011

    U.S. Coast Guard Chooses Not To Blast Rat Infested Ship

    By Chad Love

    Remember the rat-infested illegal fishing boat recently captured off Alaska's coast? The one a U.S. senator was suggesting we use for target practice?

    Tragically, despite overwhelming support for the idea, the U.S. Coast Guard chose not to blast the ship to bits. Instead, it was rid of rats, repaired and given to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA will conduct a sale of the estimated 30 tons of ill-gotten fish.

  • October 18, 2011

    Vermont's Pete the Moose Dies, Game Park Owner Admits to Cover-up

    By Chad Love

    Vermonters and moose lovers everywhere are mourning the passing of Pete, the orphaned moose whose plight captured the attention of...people who pay attention to such things. Pete's death was bad enough, but it appears that Pete's been dead for quite some time and the animal everyone thought was Pete was in fact a Pete proxy. Confused? Read on...

    From this story on abcnews.com:
     
    The owner of the game park where Pete the Moose lived has taken responsibility for covering up the death of Vermont's favorite animal, the state's fish and wildlife commissioner said Saturday. Pete, whose life in captivity helped prompt the state to pass new wildlife laws and who received a gubernatorial pardon last winter, died in early September at the Big Rack Ridge in Irasburg while being tranquilized during hoof trimming. But state officials insisted he was alive until Friday, even issuing a photo taken Thursday of a moose it identified as Pete. The moose in the picture turned out to be a different animal, prompting Pete's Facebook fans to start accusing the state of a cover-up. But Commissioner Patrick Berry said park owner Doug Nelson has since admitted that he delayed telling state officials about Pete's death.