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  • August 31, 2011

    Trail Cam Snaps Photo of Cougar in Louisiana

    By Chad Love

    Cougar sightings have been - literally - all over the map this year, but now you can add a little Cajun spice to the simmering mountain lion gumbo...

    From this story in the Houston Chronicle:
    A trail camera got a shot of a cougar in rural Vernon Parish this month, but there's no telling where the animal is now, says the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' large carnivore program manager.

    It was photographed Aug. 13 at a deer bait site and probably is a young male striking out for territory of its own, Maria Davidson said Monday. "He could easily be a hundred miles from there by now," she said. The department isn't releasing the location, which is on private land. It's very unlikely that the animal will find a mate in Louisiana.

  • August 31, 2011

    Man Tries to Smuggle Reptiles on Plane in His Pants

    By Chad Love

    Here's one from the "Watch Out For The Trouser Snake" files. At least that's what TSA agents at the Miami airport may have been thinking when they discovered a man trying to smuggle a veritable Noah's Ark of reptiles onto a plane... in his pants.

    From this Reuters story:

    Never mind ants in your pants, what about snakes and tortoises? That's what authorities at Miami's international airport said they found inside the trousers of a passenger as he tried to board a flight for Brazil. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration said the man had seven exotic snakes and three tortoises wrapped in nylon bags that had been stuffed into his pants.

  • August 30, 2011

    Idaho Man Says He Shot Protected Grizzly To Defend His Family

    By Chad Love

    The federal prosecution of an Idaho man who claims he was acting to protect his family when he shot a protected grizzly bear is setting off a heated debate.

    From this story on reuters.com:

    An Idaho man accused by the U.S. government of illegally shooting and killing a federally protected grizzly bear "acted in good faith to protect his family," a member of his legal team said on Monday. Jeremy Hill, 33, of Bonner's Ferry, is charged with violating the U.S. Endangered Species Act by killing a grizzly May 8 on his property, which straddles a corridor connecting two declining bear populations on Idaho's border with Canada.

  • August 30, 2011

    Pheasant Numbers Dwindle After Harsh South Dakota Winter

    By Chad Love

    South Dakota holds the undisputed top spot for pheasant hunting, in both numbers of birds killed and pheasant hunters. But the just-released state pheasant outlook reveals that last winter's brutal effects and a significant decline in CRP acres have taken a toll on the state's bird numbers.

    From this story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
    Read it and weep. Minnesota's pheasant hunters might be in for a tough fall. Not only is the pheasant population expected to be down, possibly significantly, in Minnesota, but the numbers don't look good in South Dakota, a destination for many Minnesota ringneck lovers. The South Dakota pheasant index was down 46 percent from last year, and 41 percent below the 10-year average.

  • August 29, 2011

    TX Man, Grandson Reportedly Shot at By Mexican Military on Falcon Lake

    By Chad Love

    Authorities are once again warning American anglers to stay on the US side of Falcon after a Texas man and his grandson reportedly were fired upon by members of the Mexican military while fishing the Mexican side of the sprawling border lake.

    From this story on ksat.com:
    An investigation has been launched by the Zapata County Sheriff's Office after an American claimed he and his grandson came under fire on Falcon Lake while they were fishing. The fisherman told authorities a group of men in green fatigues opened fire on them earlier this month. Sheriff's officials said no one was injured, but they believe the shooting was not cartel related and shots may have been fired by members of the Mexican military. Falcon Lake is a 60-mile-long reservoir on the Rio Grande, shared by the U.S. and Mexico. Officials added this latest incident happened on the Mexican side of the lake after the fisherman apparently crossed the international boundary.

  • August 29, 2011

    MN Angler Hooks Prosthetic Leg Lost 3 Years Ago, Returns to Owner

    By Chad Love

    --Chad Love

    What is it with hooking human appendages this summer? Hot on the heels of the Illinois boy who hooked a fake severed foot, a Minnesota woman has done him one better by hooking an entire leg...

    From this story on wsaw.com
    While fishing over the July 4th weekend in Alexandria, Minn., one Wausau woman found something pretty unusual at the end of her hook. "I just kept holding my line up and he just kept pulling my pole, and I said I'm afraid to look,” Beth Krohn said. “I said I can't imagine what it might be."Little did Beth know, she and her husband Mark would truly catch the unimaginable. "We decided to go walleye fishing early in the morning,” Beth said. “And my pole ended up getting snagged, way down. And I thought, man there's no snags in this part of the lake.”

  • August 29, 2011

    Helicopter Hunting For Feral Hogs Begins in TX Thursday

    By Chad Love

    Thursday is the traditional kick-off to many fall hunting seasons, from dove to grouse to...pork choppers? Yes, pork choppers. And according to this story, hunters from across the nation are lining up to be a part of Texas' first helicopter-based hog season.

    From this story in the Forth Worth Star-Telegram:
    "Pork choppers," Texas' newest weapon in the war on feral hogs, will take to the skies Thursday when it becomes legal for hunters to buy seats on hog-hunting helicopters and gun down as many pigs as they can put in their sights. With more than 2 million feral hogs rooting around the Lone Star State, there will be plenty of targets for aerial gunners willing to pay $475 for an hour of heli-hunting. Vertex Helicopters is already bringing home the bacon as a result of the measure passed by the Texas Legislature this year. The Houston-based firm requires shooters to take a $350 hunting safety course before they can book a hunt, said President Mike Morgan, a former Army helicopter pilot.

  • August 26, 2011

    Updates on Pearl River Fish Kill + Photos & Video

    By Hal Herring

    From Mississippi Sportsman:

    A Louisiana paper mill admits discharge caused massive Pearl River fish kill "The company said it believes that an “exceedence” of discharge above the level for which it is permitted depleted the river’s dissolved oxygen levels, leading to the kill that began on Saturday..."

    Note that one repeat commenter on this story still claims that the fish kill is due to "summertime heat" even after the mill has claimed responsibility.

  • August 25, 2011

    Missouri Angler Lands State-Record Striper

    By Chad Love

    Huge stripers are in the news again...just a short while after a Connecticut angler boated the pending all-tackle world-record striped bass a first-time Missouri angler has bested the Missouri state record with a massive 60 lb. fish

    From this story from the Missouri Department of Conservation:
    “You’re not going to believe this until you try it.” According to Bruce Cunningham, that is what his brothers said when trying to persuade him to go fishing with them in June. Brad and Brock Cunningham had discovered the excitement of catching striped bass at Bull Shoals Lake, and they wanted to share it with their older brother.

  • August 25, 2011

    Louisiana Paper Mill Blamed for Huge Fish Kill, Will Be Hit With Penalties, Fines

    By Chad Love

    A Louisiana paper mill is facing penalties and fines because polluted water from the plant killed thousands of fish in a local river.

    From this story on nola.com:

    The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality late Monday put a Bogalusa paper plant on notice that it is liable for a massive fish kill in the Pearl River, setting in motion the legal process for potentially issuing penalties and fines, the agency said. DEQ issued a compliance order and a notice of potential penalty to Temple-Inland for its role in the incident that clogged the Pearl River through Washington and St. Tammany Parishes with thousands of dead fish last week.

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