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  • June 29, 2012

    Officials: 20 Recent Wildfires Started Accidentally by Recreational Shooters

    Wildfires and gun control may not seem to have any obvious connection, but with a historic fire season already raging, officials say many of the wildfires, specifically in Utah, have been accidentally set by recreational shooters. This, predictably, has set off a (pardon the pun) raging firestorm of controversy over when state officials can and cannot limit recreational shooting on public land.

    From this story in the LA Times:
    "Twenty. That’s the number of wildfires officials believe recreational shooters have caused so far this summer in Utah. One of those wildfires — the Dump fire 40 miles south of Salt Lake City — prompted 2,300 evacuation notices and has led to a 6,023-acre blaze.

  • June 28, 2012

    Catchbook Contest: Weekly Winners

    The winner of last week's Catchbook Photo Contest for the month of June is Michael Jager, who submitted this photo of a yelloweye rockfish.

    And this week's winner is Cody Mcintyre, who took the prize with this big steelhead. Michael and Cody will each each get a PFG Blood and Guts™ Ball Cap from Columbia. Click here to learn how you can enter this contest. Click here for the official rules.

  • June 28, 2012

    Massachusetts Man Gored By Bull Bison at Yellowstone

    By Chad Love

    This vintage footage (narrated by an equally vintage Marty Stouffer) of a bison at Yellowstone National Park not suffering a fool gladly, as the saying goes, is a fairly famous bit of film. I used to think pretty much everyone has seen it. It's been around since the '60s, has been shown on virtually every nature show ever filmed about Yellowstone, and to this day is a YouTube staple.

    But I guess the dude in the story below must have missed all those shows, as well as all the signs warning you to stay away from all the nice, cuddly animals who just want to be your friend. As a result, he got the full "Yellowstone Experience."

  • June 28, 2012

    Record Numbers of Wild Sockeye Salmon Return to the Pacific Northwest

    By Chad Love

    2012 is shaping up to be a record year for sockeye salmon in the Pacific northwest as hundreds of thousands of fish are being counted. In fact, some daily salmon counts are higher than counts in past years for the entire season.

    From this story on msnbc.com:
    Record numbers of a once-waning population of sockeye salmon have been returning to the Northwest's Columbia Basin this summer, with thousands more crossing the river's dams in a single day than the total numbers seen in some previous years.

  • June 28, 2012

    OK Angler Wins 'Okie Noodling' Tournament With 70lb Flathead

    By Chad Love

    A Claremore, Oklahoma noodler took top honors at this year's famous "Okie Noodling" tournament in Paul's Valley, Oklahoma with the largest flathead ever caught during the tournament's 13-year run.

    From this story in the Tulsa World:
    Kaleb Summers of Claremore became reigning champion and record holder with the biggest fish ever checked in at the 2012 Okie Noodling Tournament in Pauls Valley last weekend. He and his team wrangled a biggest-ever flathead female that weighed 70.46 pounds.

  • June 27, 2012

    German Landowner Wins Case Against Mandatory Hunting on His Property

    By Chad Love

    A German man opposed to hunting on ethical grounds but who--under German law--was forced to allow hunting on his land, took his case to the European Court of Human Rights...and won.

    From this story on the German news site Deutsche Welle:
    Günter Herrmann lives in Stutensee and owns two plots of land in Rhineland-Palatinate that are smaller than 75 hectares. As a result, under the Federal Hunting Law, he is automatically a member of the Langsur hunting association and has to tolerate hunting on his premises. However, Herrmann is opposed to hunting on ethical grounds. So he filed a request with the hunting authority to terminate his membership of the association.

    It was refused. So he took his case to court, arguing that the obligation to tolerate hunting violated his right to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. The case reached the European Court of Human Rights in February 2007.

  • June 27, 2012

    PA Will Allow Wildlife Officers to Issue Tickets for State Motor Vehicle Violations

    By Chad Love

    Should wildlife officers have the power to write tickets for state motor vehicle violations when they find someone illegally riding an ATV on state lands? Everyone knows that if you get caught riding an ATV in a non-motorized area that you'll get fined for it.

    Problem is, those fines don't seem to be much of a deterrent for some. So the state of Pennsylvania is set to give its wildlife officers the power to issue tickets not only for riding in an unauthorized area, but also for state motor vehicle violations.

    From this story in the Pocono Record:
    In a matter of hours Saturday, a wildlife conservation officer patrolling state game lands in Shohola issued tickets to seven ATV riders. All-terrain vehicles are not allowed on any state game lands. But the threat of a fine of between $100 and $200 does not deter riders from tearing up trails in popular no-ride-zones like at the top of Camelback Mountain in Monroe County.

  • June 26, 2012

    Would You Buy Edible 12-Gauge Shotgun Shells?

    By Chad Love

    Do you know a hunter with an upcoming birthday, anniversary or wedding? Looking for the perfect cake topper for the big occasion? How about a few edible shotgun shells for that hunting-themed cake?

    From this listing on etsy.com (via boingboing):
    Fondant and food color make up these 12 GA 3 1/2 in. Mag Shotgun shells. The black one you see in the pictures is and actual shotgun shell and was added to the photo so you could see the likeness.

  • June 26, 2012

    1st African American to Serve on Oregon Wildlife Board Highlights Lack Of Minorities in Outdoor Sports

    By Chad Love

    Much has been written the past few years on the increased number of women taking up hook-and-bullet pursuits, but relatively little attention has been paid to trying to recruit minorities into the fold. But perhaps Oregon's newest member of the state wildlife commission, the first African-American to ever serve on that board, can change that.

    From this story on Oregonlive.com:
    When it comes to the outdoors, Greg Wolley has been everywhere you can imagine, defying many stereotypes about African-Americans and wildlife. “They say Black people don’t bike, hike, etc.,” he says. “Students of color are not seeing images of people in natural resources that look like them -- they don’t have role models.” On May 21, Wolley became the first African American to serve on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission (ODFW).

  • June 26, 2012

    Fishing Community Mourns Death of Homer Circle, 97

    Well-known outdoor writer and TV host, Homer Circle, died unexpectedly Friday at the age of 97.

    Circle, whose column in Bassmaster magazine was titled, “Ask Uncle Homer” was a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America since 1946 and was perhaps best known to most as the long-time fishing editor for Sports Afield magazine. He filled that role from 1968 through 2002 and remained active in writing and fishing until his death.

    Circle wrote numerous books on bass fishing, the last, “Bass Wisdom,” was published in 2000. He also hosted several TV shows including “The Fisherman” and “The Outdoorsman,” as well as starring in two fishing films, Bigmouth (1973) and Bigmouth Forever (1996).

    “His is a remarkable life, with simple beginnings. While fresh out of high school, he took a job as a salesman in an outdoor store in Ohio. For the next eight years, he had the chance to see and use every new hook, line and sinker that was introduced to the market,” wrote Jay Cassell in an OWAA Legends piece he wrote about Circle.

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