Hunting can teach critically important lessons about the value of all life.
Hunting can teach critically important lessons about the value of all life
Hunting can teach us that all life is important and sacred
Trinity Oaks’ Thumbtack Ranch is the nation’s first Purple Heart Ranch, providing lessons for so many
By Karen Lutto
Trinity Oaks teamed up with the Hill Country Chapter of the Quail Coalition earlier this year to offer six Austin, Texas-area boys the opportunity to truly learn where their food comes from. The boys, all from different backgrounds ranging from single mother to veteran families to underprivileged, experienced first-hand, the entire process of field-to-fork at Trinity Oaks Thumbtack Ranch in Batesville, Texas.
For five of the six boys, this camp was their first time ever receiving gun safety instruction, shooting sporting clays and hunting. After learning gun safety and practicing shooting, the six boys, with full instruction and guides, were taken on a bird hunt that included pheasant, chukar and wild bobwhite quail. The success in the field gave them a better understanding of where food comes, as after the harvest the boys also cleaned the birds, prepared them for cooking, helped to cook them and enjoyed them for dinner.
“Teaching our kids where food comes from is so important, but actually providing this type of hands-on education is nearly impossible for most parents, “ said Britt Longoria, Trinity Oaks’ Executive Director. “At Trinity Oaks, we offer a number of camps and services to Texas youth to help them get outdoors to enjoy, respect and have a better understanding of its importance and role in our everyday lives.
“Hunting can teach critically important lessons about the value of all life,” continued Longoria. “Today, many kids spend time with media that glamorize violence and cheapen the value of life. Hunting can teach us that all life is important and sacred. There is no greater way to learn about the dynamic systems of nature than through walking through the brush and examining things first hand. Learning to hunt responsibly and experiencing what it means to take an animal’s life can change a person for the better. Our ancestors had a deep appreciation for life, in part, because of their dependence on nature for sustenance. They understood the cost.
“Opportunities for us to volunteer and spend time with kids outdoors is invaluable. Take your kid out, take a friend’s, or volunteer and make a difference in the lives of others.”
Our country is urbanizing at such a rapid rate, there is far less awareness of how our food gets to the table. Programs like this one and the many others offered by Trinity Oaks make kids aware that the food they eat doesn’t begin at the grocery store.
Trinity Oaks’ Thumbtack Ranch is the nation’s first Purple Heart Ranch. They are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded on the premise that active participation in the outdoors is a powerful, healing, and fundamentally life-changing experience. Trinity Oaks will be hosting its fourth annual Columbaire Pigeon Shoot at Thumbtack Ranch on March 22 in order to raise funds for future hunting and fishing opportunities for the underprivileged and combat veterans. All of Trinity Oaks’ programs are free-of-charge for the participants, and this event is just one of the fundraising events that the organization hosts throughout the year. For more information on the youth programs from Trinity Oaks, visit www.trinityoaks.org; and to register for the pigeon shoot, click here.
About Trinity Oaks: In 2007, San Antonio native Tom Snyder founded Trinity Oaks, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded on the premise that active participation in the outdoors is a powerful, healing, and fundamentally life-changing experience. The organization’s mission is to use hunting, fishing and outdoor activities to make a meaningful difference in the lives of underprivileged kids, terminally ill children and combat veterans. Each year, Trinity Oaks offers at least 50 events at no expense to those who can benefit from once-in-a-lifetime hunting or fishing experiences. For more information on Trinity Oaks, visit www.trinityoaks.org, or call 830-928-3085. For more information on Thumbtack Ranch, visit https://trinityoaks.org/thumbtack/.
Funds raised will help the Conservation Alliance protect wild lands and waters across North America for future generations to enjoy.
“We Keep It Wild” program set for needed help from Outdoor Industry
EVERYDAY PEOPLE Can Support this program through product purchase and donation
Together, we have helped protect 51 million acres, 3,107 river miles, removed or halted 34 dams, purchased 14 climbing areas & designated 5 marine reserves
A diverse assortment of 22 companies are hosting fundraisers and online promotions during the month of April to benefit The Conservation Alliance in the fifth annual “We Keep It Wild” campaign.
Funds raised will help the Alliance protect wild lands and waters across North America for future generations to enjoy.
“Participation in our We Keep It Wild campaign is another example of how our members come together around a common purpose,” said Josie Norris, program manager at The Conservation Alliance. “We work with these brands throughout the year to protect North America’s wild places through grant-making and advocacy. We are proud to see our members taking additional action to support our mission by raising money for The Conservation Alliance during the month of April.”
Fundraising efforts in April include:
Topo Athletic: 50-percent of online sales made on Earth Day (April 22)
About the Conservation Alliance: The Conservation Alliance is an organization of like-minded businesses whose collective contributions support grassroots environmental organizations and their efforts to protect wild places where outdoor enthusiasts recreate. Alliance funds have played a key role in protecting rivers, trails, wildlands and climbing areas. Membership in the Alliance is open to all companies who care about protecting our most threatened wild places for habitat and outdoor recreation. Since its inception in 1989, The Conservation Alliance has contributed more than $22 million, helped to protect more than 51 million acres of wildlands; protect 3,107 miles of rivers; stop or remove 34 dams; designate five marine reserves; and purchase 14 climbing areas. For complete information on The Conservation Alliance, see www.conservationalliance.com.
Intimidator Sportfishing Charters fishing Lake Ontario off Orleans County is heating up with anglers catching Brown Trout.
This week’s STREAM fishing report is from Ron Bierstine from Oak Orchard Tackle and Lodge, April 16, 2019.
Thanks to the rain toward the end of the weekend through early Monday, flows in the Oak and other area smaller tributaries are back up. There are real nice conditions to help preserve the steelhead action and maybe draw in some more fresh fish. Flows in the Oak are slightly high with what looks like a good head of turbine water. There has been no overflow water and water color is stained at about 2ft of visibility that may get a little dirtier through today. Seasonably cool temps are in the forecast today and tomorrow with warmer temps and a chance of more precipitation by the end of week. Look for flows to hang in around high levels or even higher if there is any more significant precipitation.
Water temps are flirting with 50°F but cold nights have stalled the rising temperatures for now in the high 40’s°F. By the end of the week and weekend with warmer weather, sun and dark water, look for a rise in water temps probably into the 50’s.
Guys are into good steelhead action on mostly spawning and staged/-back fish and some fresh fish. Light to moderate fishing pressure has allowed the few persistent anglers to take advantage of the good flows and stay on the fish now later in the season for mid-April and likely through the end of April. The other area smaller trib’s have medium to slightly high and dirty flows. Those flows should be crested and on the retreat now at least before there is any more significant precipitation. There is mixed bag action all around, mid-sized trib’s like the Oak or Burt are hanging on to steelhead with a few fresh fish thrown in. The Niagara and bar are coming into its own now with spring warm up and the near shore big Lake O small boat trolling or casting action is productive when wind and waves cooperate.
What happened to Spring? This week the south shore shallows of Lake Ontario were stirred to mud by cold fronts and rough water. Yours truly has seen over 44 such Spring seasons so in lieu of glowing catch reports, how about Plan B?! When faced with chocolate water, troll north seeking the milky green edge switching to downriggers, leadcore, divers and a slow spoon program. Seek out the 40 to 80 foot drop off and tune in your fish finder looking for Lake trout and kings.
Plan C is to carry a stream combo with a simple kit of terminal tackle, a pair of waders and head for the Oak where steelhead are available.
Myself, I am making good brown trout catches on live minnows drift fishing at the Niagara River where the waters are clear. So there you go!
By being versatile, well equipped and ambitious, any visiting fishermen can score a catch when the skinny waters inside 15 feet are unfishable! Part of making the most of your visits to Orleans County is knowledge. Now you have it!
See you on the Water! Troutman out!
11.4 lbs Brown Trout caught off Johnson’s Creek in 10′ of water. Courtesy of Intimidator Sportfishing
His twin, a 10.3# Brown Trout caught today using a bay rat stick bait 110 ft. east of the Oak past Flats. Courtesy Intimidator Sportfishing
NYS Annual Youth Turkey Hunting Weekend Set for April 20-21
Junior Hunters must be 12-15 yrs of age
Junior Hunters must hold a hunting license and a turkey permit
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today that spring turkey season opens May 1, in all of Upstate New York north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary. In addition, DEC’s annual youth turkey hunting weekend will take place on April 20-21. The youth turkey hunt for junior hunters ages 12-15 is open in all of Upstate New York and Suffolk County.
“Hunters across New York are looking forward to the excitement of spring turkey hunting, which requires an understanding of turkey behavior, navigation, and field skills, an ability to locate and call in birds, and take a good shot,” Commissioner Seggos said. “I encourage hunters to act responsibly, follow regulations, and adhere to the cardinal rules of hunting safety.”
Turkey hunters took an estimated 19,000 birds in New York during last year’s spring season. Of this number, an estimated 2,000 birds were taken by approximately 5,400 junior hunters during last year’s two-day, youth-only hunt. Poor turkey reproductive success in summer 2017 may mean that hunters see fewer adult gobblers this spring compared to last year, but this may be offset by opportunities for jakes resulting from improved reproductive success in 2018 and good overwinter survival.
Important Details for the Youth Turkey Hunt on April 20 and 21
Hunters 12-15 years of age are eligible and must hold a hunting license and a turkey permit;
Youth 12-13 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or adult over 21 years of age with written permission from their parent or legal guardian. Youth 14-15 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or adult over 18 years of age with written permission from their parent or legal guardian;
The accompanying adult must have a current hunting license and turkey permit. The adult may assist the youth hunter, including calling, but may not carry a firearm, bow, or crossbow, or kill or attempt to kill a wild turkey during the youth hunt;
Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to noon each day;
The youth turkey hunt is open in all of upstate New York, north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary and across Suffolk County;
The bag limit for the youth weekend is one bearded bird. This bird becomes part of the youth’s regular spring season bag limit of two bearded birds. A second bird may be taken only in upstate New York, north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary, beginning May 1;
Crossbows may only be used by hunters age 14 or older; and
All other wild turkey hunting regulations remain in effect.
Other Important Details for the Spring Turkey Season, May 1-31, 2019:
Hunting is permitted in most areas of the state, except for New York City and Long Island;
Hunters must have a turkey hunting permit in addition to their hunting license;
Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to noon each day;
Hunters may take two bearded turkeys during the spring season, but only one bird per day;
Hunters may not use rifles or handguns firing a bullet. Hunters may hunt with a shotgun or handgun loaded with shot sizes no larger than No. 2 or smaller than No. 8, or with a bow or crossbow;
Successful hunters must fill out the tag that comes with their turkey permit and immediately attach it to any turkey harvested; and
Successful hunters must report their harvest within seven days of taking a bird. Call 1-866-426-3778 (1-866 GAMERPT) or report harvest online at DEC’s Game Harvest Reporting website.
For more information about turkey hunting in New York, see the 2018-19 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide or visit the “Turkey Hunting” pages of DEC’s website.
DEC Continues to Encourage Hunter Safety:
While statistics show that hunting in New York State is safer than ever, mistakes are made each year. Every hunting-related shooting incident is preventable, and DEC encourages hunters to use common sense this season and remember what they were taught in their DEC Hunter Education Course.
Point your gun in a safe direction;
Treat every gun as if it were loaded;
Be sure of your target and beyond; and
Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
DEC also encourages all hunters to wear blaze orange or blaze pink to make themselves more visible to other hunters. Hunters who wear hunter orange are seven times less likely to be shot. When hunting in tree stands, use a safety harness and a climbing belt, as most tree stand accidents occur when hunters are climbing in and out of the stand. Also, hunters should never climb in or out of a tree stand with a loaded firearm. New York has an extremely safety-conscious generation of hunters, largely due to the annual efforts of more than 3,000 dedicated volunteer hunter education instructors. A hunter education class is required for all new hunters. To find a hunter education class in your area, visit DEC’s Hunter Education Program website or call 1-888-HUNT-ED2 (1-888-486-8332).
Citizen Science Opportunity: DEC Seeks Turkey Hunters for Ruffed Grouse Drumming Survey
Turkey hunters in pursuit of that wary gobbler in the spring are ideally suited to monitor ruffed grouse during the breeding season. Turkey hunters can record the number of grouse they hear drumming while afield to help DEC track the distribution and abundance of this game bird. To get a survey form, go to DEC’s website or call (518) 402-8883.
To participate in DEC’s Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey or other wildlife surveys, visit the “Citizen Science” page of DEC’s website.
Photo courtesy of National Shooting Sports Foundation
Firearms Industry Economic Impact Rises 171% Since 2008
Since 2008, federal tax payments increased by 164 percent
Pittman-Robertson excise taxes to support wildlife conservation increased by 100 percent
State business taxes increased by 120 percent
From the National Shooting Sports Foundation®, the firearm industry trade association in Newtown, Connecticut, we learn that the total economic impact of the firearms and ammunition industry in the United States increased from $19.1 billion in 2008 to $52.1 billion in 2018. That’s a 171 percent increase.
The total number of full-time equivalent jobs rose from approximately 166,000 to almost 312,000. That’s an 88 percent increase in that same period.
On a more recent year-over-year basis, the firearm industry economic impact rose from $51.4 billion in 2017 to $52.1 billion in 2018, ticking higher even while the industry came off-peak production years. Total jobs increased from nearly 311,000 to almost 312,000 in the same period.
“Our industry is proud to be one of the steady and reliable producers and manufacturers in our economy as Americans continue to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms, and to safely enjoy the shooting sports,” said Stephen L. Sanetti, NSSF CEO. “Our workforce is steadily adding good jobs to our local economies averaging $50,000 a year in wages and benefits. In addition, since 2008 we increased federal tax payments by 164 percent, Pittman-Robertson excise taxes that support wildlife conservation by 100 percent and state business taxes by 120 percent.”
The Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report: 2019 provides a state-by-state breakdown of job numbers, wages and output covering direct, supplier and induced employment, as well as federal excise taxes paid. Access the full report here.
About NSSF: The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit nssf.org.
Each year that goes by, I search for recipes that are worth sharing because they meet the rules of “Easy-To-Make” and “Delicious-To-Eat.” Charlie Killmaster from Georgia has several great game recipes. Here is one of them and there are more at this site: https://georgiawildlife.blog/2018/12/12/oh-deer-7-venison-recipes-youve-gotta-try/.
Venison roast, preferably shoulder/neck, 1 to 3 lbs.
Thick-cut rye bread
Spicy brown mustard or Thousand Island dressing, your preference
1 tablespoon pickling spice
Morton’s Tender Quick, or your salt/sugar brine of choice
Charlie says, “I always prefer bone-in roasts from the front of the deer for this recipe. Start by making a brine using the directions on Morton’s Tender Quick or any other recipe for a salt and sugar brine. Make enough brine to totally submerge the meat and mix in the pickling spice. You can marinate anywhere from 1 to 5 days, but I find 3 days to be ideal before it gets to be too salty.
Whenever I’m processing a deer I harvested, I like to go ahead and brine 3 or 4 chunks of meat before I freeze it so I don’t have to wait on brining each time. Just thaw and cook when you’re ready. Next, rinse the meat and cook in a crock pot with plain water for about 8 hours. Shred the meat and assemble the sandwiches with the mustard or dressing, sauerkraut, cheese, and toasted bread.
To prevent a soggy sandwich, I like to heat up the sour kraut and squeeze with a paper towel to soak up excess moisture. Serve with fries or your favorite side dish and enjoy!”
Hunter Safety System youth models also available in “Fistful of Dirt” Mossy Oak® Bottomland®
The Lil’ Treestalker harness is made to keep your youth hunter safe when you take the kids upstairs in a tree. The youth harness also features ElimiShield® Hunt Scent control technology, just like the adult models. ElimiShield utilizes a proprietary nanotechnology that kills over 99.99% of odor-causing bacteria at the cellular level and forms a bond with the treated article that lasts for more than 50 commercial washes. By treating the Lil’ Treestalker with the ElimiShield in the manufacturing process, the harness is forever protected from mildew and odors after being exposed to sweat and moisture, so it’s protected while it is packed away in storage during the off-season.
Hunter Safety System has partnered with Mossy Oak to offer its Lil’ Treestalker youth harness in the very popular Bottomland camouflage pattern. Although this “fistful of dirt” pattern isn’t new, it has been extremely popular since Toxey Haas introduced it more than 30 years ago. Featuring bark, sticks and leaves, Bottomland features a legendary outline-breaking ability that helps hunters become virtually invisible in treestand environments.
“Bottomland has been a favorite pattern of bowhunters for decades,” said Jerry Wydner, HSS owner and president. “Bottomland has proven to be very effective in the field. We listen to our customers and aim to please them with the very best, safest products in the patterns that they want.”
Comfortable standing or sitting, the Lil’ Treestalker is designed with smart fabrics to stay cool and dry all season and features soft touch binding to resist abrasion around the neck and arms. Weighing a mere 1.5 lbs., this harness will keep aspiring and/or smaller hunters safe and comfortable in the field.
Available at retailers nationwide or conveniently online at www.hssvest.com, the Lil’ Treestalker in Mossy Oak Bottomland retails for under $85.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Danville, Ala., Hunter Safety System is a leading designer/manufacturer of innovative deer hunting gear and hunting equipment for the serious hunter. The company has exclusive rights for use of ElimiShield in the hunting industry. For additional information, write to: The Hunter Safety System, 8237 Danville Road, Danville, AL 35619; call toll-free 877-296-3528; or visit www.hssvest.com.
ANDERSON, S.C. — After serving three times in the past 11 years as the host venue for the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Lake Hartwell is already firmly entrenched in professional bass fishing history.
Now it’s time to write the next chapter.
The Bassmaster Elite at Lake Hartwell is scheduled for April 4-7 with daily takeoffs from Green Pond Landing and Event Center in Anderson at 7 a.m. ET and weigh-ins back at Green Pond Landing at 3:15 p.m. A field of 75 anglers will compete for a $100,000 first-place prize and valuable points in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race.
South Carolina pro Brandon Cobb, who lives just 50 minutes from the launch, believes the spawn could be in full swing by the time the tournament starts.
“This year we’ve had some warm weather, but we’ve had more cold nights than we’ve ever had,” said Cobb, a Clemson graduate who has been fishing Hartwell his whole life. “So the fish are a little behind from what they were the last few years.
“If the weather holds stable like the forecast says, I think it’s going to be mostly a spawn tournament. I don’t think every fish will be on bed, but there will be a lot of sight fish caught.”
Cobb said a bed-fishing tournament could be good for the entire field because all of Hartwell’s 56,000 surface acres offer perfect habitat for the bass spawn. Even anglers who haven’t fished the lake much in the past should be able to find good five-fish limits.
That’ll make for a great overall tournament, but it could eliminate the hometown advantage he was looking forward to during a rare week when he’ll get to fish an Elite Series event while sleeping nights in his own bed.
“Basically, my local advantage is gone if they’re on bed,” Cobb said. “A place like the St. Johns River in Florida has key spawning areas. But on Lake Hartwell, they spawn everywhere. In general, all of Lake Hartwell is the same water temperature — and when they come up, they come up everywhere.”
Normally, when a major tournament visits Hartwell, anglers spend much of their time chasing nomadic bass that are following the lake’s famed population of blueback herring. But that isn’t likely to be the case during this event.
“The one time of year when herring don’t play a major factor is during this spawn,” Cobb said. “That changes things a lot and really makes this tournament wide open.”
Cobb stopped short of saying the event will be a “junk fishing tournament” — which means anglers would be fishing a wide variety of tactics without any solid technique rising to the forefront. But he said it could certainly be an event where anglers find bass in a lot of different places and catch them on a lot of different baits.
“You could fish a different part of the lake every day and still catch them,” Cobb said. “Hartwell just has so much to offer. It’ll all depend on who consistently finds the biggest bags.”
Though he expects lots of 18- to 20-pound limits to be weighed, Cobb said he doesn’t expect the winning angler to reach that mark all four days.
“With the nature of the bedding fish on Hartwell, I would feel really good about averaging 17 pounds a day,” he said. “You may have one day where you catch 20 pounds and then another day when you don’t really find them.
“That 17-pound consistency will basically be the key.”
This is the third event on the 2019 Bassmaster Elite Series schedule. After the first two events on Florida’s St. Johns River and Georgia’s Lake Lanier, Canadian pro Chris Johnston leads the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings with 190 points, followed by Alabama angler Scott Canterbury (182) and Texas pro Lee Livesay (181).
A full field of 75 anglers will fish Thursday and Friday before the field is cut to the Top 35 for Saturday’s semifinal round. Only the Top 10 will advance to Championship Sunday for a chance at the coveted blue trophy and the six-figure paycheck.
On Saturday and Sunday at Green Pond Landing, the Elite Expo will offer interactive exhibits, merchandise sales, prizes and contests, food and beverage vendors and activities for children. Fans can also meet the Elites at Angler Alley on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. or participate in Elite Angler Clinics onstage at the same time. Saturday is also Military and First Responder Appreciation Day, and Sunday is B.A.S.S. Member Appreciation Day.
Visit Anderson is the host organization for the event; 2019 Bassmaster Elite Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota; 2019 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Abu Garcia, Berkley, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Skeeter Boats, Talon, Triton Boats, Yamaha; 2019 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops, Carhartt, Lowrance, Mossy Oak Fishing, T-H Marine; 2019 Toyota Bassmaster Elite at Lake Hartwell Host Sponsor: Visit Anderson
About B.A.S.S. – B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport. With more than 510,000 members internationally, B.A.S.S. is not only home to the nation’s premier fishing tournament trails, but it also boasts the most expansive and comprehensive media network in the fishing industry. Its media include TheBassmasters on the ESPN networks, more than 130 hours of tournament programming on the Pursuit Channel, 250 hours of on-the-water streaming coverage on Bassmaster LIVE and 1 million monthly visitors to the flagship website on bass fishing – Bassmaster.com. B.A.S.S. also provides more than 4.4 million readers with the best in bass fishing coverage through Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times, and its radio and social media programs and events reach hundreds of thousands each month.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, culminating in the ultimate event on the biggest stage for competitive anglers, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. The trail also includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, BassPro.com Bassmaster Open Series, and B.A.S.S. Nation Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series, and the Bassmaster Team Championship.
Old and young alike will love this manifest of outdoor spirit and culture shared by award-winning freelance outdoor writer, Ken Cook, in his new book. Not an ordinary outdoor book, Cook delivers lessons and aspirations in his “Return to Wild Country” with 65 compelling short stories across 284 pages. With photo’s and simple expression, easy to understand, Cook shares outdoor adventure with lessons and quips of women in the outdoors, mentoring kids, disabled youth, conservation, as well as interesting short features with a purpose on fishing, wild turkey, bobwhite quail, mourning doves, rabbits and squirrels. Even the harvest of a monster 673-pound Georgia black bear, a giant! Humble lessons for all to learn from.
Cook is a good story teller and in this book he shares stories about people sharing time in the outdoors with other people. Some of those people include Johnny Morris, Jack Wingate, Georgia naturalist Buddy Hopkins, former President Jimmy Carter, Guy Harvey and a moving testimony from young Eric Dinger of Powderhook entitled, “An Open Letter to the Anti-Hunter.” As a bonus, Cook includes 28 wild game recipes from Elaine Harvell that offer new tasty ideas for fish, duck, elk and dozens of many other outdoor delights.
You can get a copy of Ken’s new book in soft-cover from Amazon ($16.95) or in E-book form via Kindle ($3.95). It’s a great read and can make a great gift.
Although the opener is traditionally met with snow, high flows and cold temperatures, April 1 is nonetheless the opening day for trout and salmon fishing throughout the State of New York and an indication that spring is just around the corner. Look for best fishing in more temperate areas of New York including Long Island, the lower Hudson Valley and southwestern New York. DEC has a number of new publications that will prove helpful to those new to trout fishing. The I FISH NY Guide to Trout Fishing with Synthetic Bait describes a very effective technique to catch early season trout in ponds. The I FISH NY Guide to Trout Fishing in Streams (PDF) provides good information for those who prefer trout fishing in moving waters.
Each year, DEC stocks over 1,200 waters with trout and salmon. Visit DEC’s website for the planned listing of 2019 stockings by county.
Spring turkey season will open March 16, 2019, and close April 30 for most Alabama counties. In 2018, the Conservation Advisory Board passed a motion that set the start date for turkey season as the third Saturday in March each year.
The decision was made to allow as many hens as possible to breed before the males are harvested. Research suggests that slightly delaying the season could have a significant impact on increasing the turkey population. No changes were made to the bag limit, which is one gobbler per day with a total of five during the combined spring and fall seasons.
“The Advisory Board’s decision is related to growing concerns of an observed decline in wild turkey population growth in Alabama,” said Steve Barnett, Wild Turkey Project Leader for the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. “Harvest data shows that many adult gobblers are harvested in the first two weeks of the season. That’s well before the peak of nest initiation.”
Additionally, spring turkey season will be delayed for research purposes on the following Wildlife Management Areas: Barbour, J.D. Martin-Skyline, Hollins, Oakmulgee, Lowndes, Choccolocco, and Perdido River. The delayed season will run March 23 to April 30, 2019. For more information about the delayed season, call 334-242-3469.
Hunters are reminded that all turkey harvests must be reported through Alabama’s Game Check system either online at www.outdooralabama.com or through the Outdoor Alabama mobile app. The Outdoor Alabama Mobile app is available at www.outdooralabama.com/contact-us/mobile-apps.
For more information about seasons and bag limits, visit www.outdooralabama.com/hunting/seasons-and-bag-limits.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.
Did you know what they call a SNOOD of the turkey?
What are Turkey Caruncles?
Tom or Hen? Easy way to tell is illustrated below
By Forrest Fisher
As hunters, we never stop learning. Folks in different parts of the country call turkey by different local slang terms at times, not counting the different turkey breeds, but overall, turkeys are turkeys. Their parts have names and as a veteran hunter or beginner, it’s a good thing to know what I what. Feel free to print this illustration from the NWTF out and keep a copy handy in your pocket. We get smarter every day.
Georgia turkey hunters are ready for the season to open on Saturday, Mar. 23.
The 2019 turkey hunting season should be a fair season, similar to 2018, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.
“Reproduction in 2017 was lower than the four-year average, so that could mean a lower than usual supply of 2 year-old gobblers across much of the state in 2019,” explains Emily Rushton, Wildlife Resources Division wild turkey project coordinator. “However, that lower average comes between two better years, so hopefully other age classes will remain plentiful.”
With a bag limit of three gobblers per season, hunters have from Mar. 23 through May 15 – one of the longest seasons in the nation – to harvest their bird(s).
What should hunters expect this spring? The Ridge and Valley, Piedmont and Lower Coastal Plain should have the best success based on 2017 reproduction information. The Blue Ridge region had a poor 2017 reproductive season, but saw a significant jump in 2018, so there may be a lot of young birds in the woods. The Upper Coastal Plain saw reproduction below their five-year average for the past two years, so numbers in that part of the state may be down.
Cedar Creek and Cedar Creek-Little River WMA Hunters, take note! The 2019 turkey season will run April 6-May 15 on these properties. This is two weeks later than the statewide opening date. This difference is due to ongoing research between the University of Georgia and WRD, who are investigating the timing of hunting pressure and its effects on gobbler behavior and reproductive success. Through this research, biologists and others hope to gain insight to the reasons for an apparent population decline in order to help improve turkey populations and hunter success at Cedar Creek WMA and statewide.
Georgia Game Check: All turkey hunters must report their harvest using Georgia Game Check. Turkeys can be reported on the Outdoors GA app (www.georgiawildlife.com/outdoors-ga-app), which now works whether you have cell service or not, at gooutdoorsgeorgia.com, or by calling 1-800-366-2661. App users, if you have not used the app since deer season or before, make sure you have the latest version. More information at www.georgiawildlife.com/HarvestRecordGeorgiaGameCheck.
Hunters age 16 years or older (including those accompanying youth or others) will need a hunting license and a big game license, unless hunting on their own private land. Get your license at www.gooutdoorsgeorgia.com, at a retail license vendor or by phone at 1-800-366-2661. With many pursuing wild turkeys on private land, hunters are reminded to obtain landowner permission before hunting.
No matter where you live, turkey season is not far away. In Florida, the gobbler season is already open! In Georgia, it starts two weeks away. Other states too, not far away.
Yelping, clucking, purring…pot calls, box calls, locator calls – it can be confusing, especially if you’re new to turkey hunting. Even if you are a veteran turkey hunter, there is always more to learn. Here is a 13 year old hunter with expertise for all of us to learn from.
In any case, it’s time to start practicing those turkey calls!
Learn more about the “HOW” from Georgia DNR biologist Kevin Lowrey and competitive turkey caller Chase Crowe, as they share some tips on how to call a gobbler into your neck of the woods.
Alabama State Parks will conduct a prescribed burn of two longleaf pine tree zones at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, Ala., during March 2019, weather permitting. The prescribed burns will take place in two locations within the park: approximately 168 acres near the upper fishing lakes and approximately 130 acres near the campground.
Every effort will be made to ensure proper smoke management and safety of the surrounding areas during the burn period. The Alabama Forestry Commission and the City of Pelham Fire Department have been notified and will be on standby if needed.
Regular prescribed burns of fire-tolerant longleaf pine forests help eliminate competition from understory vegetation such as maple, gum, hickory and oak. Prescribed burns also help to fuel the growth of wildlife food sources such as native grasses, wildflowers and forbs.
The longleaf management program at Oak Mountain is a partnership between Alabama State Parks and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Alabama. TNC will provide trained personnel, ATV equipment and logistics expertise to assist with the controlled burns.
Historically, longleaf pine covered millions of acres across several southeastern states including current sections of Oak Mountain State Park. Longleaf pine ecosystems thrived when controlled by naturally occurring fires. However, more than 50 years of fire suppression has degraded the health of some of these ecosystems.
To learn more about the benefits of prescribed fire, visit www.outdooralabama.com/wildlife-management-programs/prescribed-fire-ala….
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.
Spring Turkey Season STARTS NEXT WEEK in Florida…March 2nd
Enjoy the outdoors and a healthy, delicious meal too
Abundant wild Osceola Turkey populations across Florida
Florida’s spring turkey season opens Saturday, March 2 on private lands south of State Road 70 and Saturday, March 16 north of State Road 70. Florida’s abundant wild turkey populations offer sustainable harvest opportunities throughout the state. However, hunting them is a challenge because they are extremely wary and possess sharp eyesight and excellent hearing. When knowledge, skill and good fortune come together for a successful outcome, hunters can look forward to delicious, organic meals.
“Many people relish the feeling of self-reliance that comes from being able to harvest and prepare wild turkey,” said Chef Justin Timineri, executive chef and culinary ambassador for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “It’s a tasty, versatile protein that can be prepared many different ways.”
Fresh from Florida chefs have developed several mouthwatering wild turkey recipes including Tikka Masala, wild turkey quesadillas and wild turkey cottage pie. Because wild turkey meat is low in fat, techniques for cooking it differ from domestic birds. The Fresh from Florida chefs provide recipes and tips on how to prepare tender, juicy meals that hunters will enjoy sharing with friends and family.
The Sunshine State is home to robust populations of two wild turkey subspecies: eastern and Osceola. Florida is unique because the Osceola subspecies lives only on the state’s peninsula and nowhere else in the world. Osceola wild turkeys are similar to the eastern wild turkey subspecies, which is found in north Florida and throughout the eastern United States. However, Osceolas tend to be smaller and darker with less white barring on the wings.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) wildlife professionals use scientific data to conserve wild turkey populations and provide regulated and sustainable hunting opportunities. Hunters also play an important role in wild turkey management by purchasing licenses and permits, and along with other shooting sports enthusiasts, contributing to the successful Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.
Morris is only 58th conservationist to receive the Audubon Medal in its 114-year history
The National Audubon Society presented one of the most prestigious awards in conservation, the Audubon Medal, to Bass Pro Shops founder and legendary conservationist Johnny Morris and his family in a gala event February 7 at The Plaza Hotel in New York.
Morris has spent his life tirelessly working to preserve wildlife and wild places so that future generations can be as energized and excited by nature as he has been. Morris has long pointed to his earliest days of being out with his family on the streams of the Missouri Ozarks as the inspiration for his extraordinary success with Bass Pro Shops.
Given in recognition of outstanding achievement in the field of conservation and environmental protection, The Audubon Medal was first given out in 1947 to Hugh Hammond Bennett, a pioneer in understanding soil erosion. Morris is the 58th recipient of the medal, joining conservation icons such as Nobel Peace Prize winner Oscar Arias, President Jimmy Carter, Academy Award-winning director and actor Robert Redford, beloved British natural historian Sir David Attenborough, CNN founder Ted Turner, author Rachel Carson and lauded biologist Edward O. Wilson.
“To be awarded the Audubon medal is one of the proudest and most humbling experiences of my life. To be included among the other 58 conservationists to receive this high honor alongside such visionary leaders as Walt Disney, J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling, President Jimmy Carter and others, is a great honor. I’m very proud to share this with my family, and our extended family – the many passionate, conservation-minded people in our company and the sportsmen and women we are blessed to serve,” said noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris. \
“What many people don’t realize is that John James Audubon and President Theodore Roosevelt were not only heroes in conservation, they were also sportsmen and hunters. Over many hours spent in the field hunting, they gained a better appreciation for our nation’s fish and wildlife and the habitats required to sustain them,” added Morris. “I hope they are both looking down smiling and happy that we are all here as one united, inclusive family working with passion to carry on the important mission they outlined for us many years ago – to be good stewards of God’s creation and to protect the wild places so that future generations, our kids and grandkids, can have the same opportunities we have to experience the wonders of the natural world.”
Morris’ passion for 40 years has been to help children feel the same awe and wonder of the outdoors that he has felt. Morris has worked with every Republican and Democratic administration since 1978 – when Audubon Medal recipient Jimmy Carter was in office – to advance significant conservation causes. He has often been called a modern-day Teddy Roosevelt.
In 2017 – with Teddy Roosevelt’s Great, Great Grandson Simon Roosevelt in attendance – Morris opened the 350,000 square foot Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium (WOW) in his hometown of Springfield, Mo. It is the largest conservation attraction in the world. In 2018, WOW worked closely with Audubon to unveil “The Year of the Bird,” an extraordinary exhibit that celebrates the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The National Audubon Society is dedicated to protecting birds and the places they need for more than 60 million birders across the United States.
“Audubon has been a force for good in conservation for more than a century,” Morris said. “They began by working with a personal hero of mine, Teddy Roosevelt, to establish the first National Wildlife Refuge. Today, we share a vision to inspire future generations of conservationists to carry on America’s heritage of protecting our natural resources.” National conservation leaders commemorate the occasion
Hundreds of leading conservationists from across the country gathered in New York to honor Morris and his contributions, which follow in the footsteps of the nation’s greatest conservationists.
“The award is important for conservationists across the political spectrum, as both a reminder and a contemporary acknowledgement of the essential role of hunters and anglers in conservation,” said Great, Great Grandson Simon Roosevelt. “First and foremost, however, the Medal is a rightful recognition of the broad scope of Johnny’s dedication to conservation and his ever-forward-looking leadership.”
Morris was introduced by Colin O’Mara, CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, America’s oldest and largest conservation organization with six million members, who discussed the Bass Pro founder’s impact on the next generation.
“Johnny has instilled a love of wildlife in millions upon millions of children across America,” said O’Mara, who has partnered with Morris to advance national legislation to protect fish and wildlife and develop education programs at Wonders of Wildlife. “He’s advancing conservation in every part of the country. And he’s leaving a legacy that will inspire young conservationists for centuries.”
Morris accepted the award together with his wife Jeanie and children John Paul, Megan, Julie and Jennifer.
Theme of the 2019 Bassmaster Elite Series: “Big Bass. Big Stage. Big Dreams.”
Clunn, 72 years young, wins with 34-14 on Final Day to total 98-14 for tourney!
Clunn’s Hot Lures: Luck-E-Strike Hail Mary(3/4-ounce), Luck-E-Strike Trickster Spinnerbait with a shellcracker-colored skirt and a Texas-rigged GatorTail worm.
Palatka, Fl. – Feb. 10, 2018: After becoming the oldest angler ever to win a Bassmaster Elite Series event in 2016 on the St. Johns River, Rick Clunn provided what has become one of the most famous quotes in professional bass fishing history when he said, “Never accept that all of your best moments are in your past.”
On Sunday, he walked it like he talks it. Clunn, who turned 72 in July, broke his own record for agelessness, winning the Power-Pole Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River with a four-day total of 98 pounds, 14 ounces. His amazing week was punctuated on Championship Sunday with a tournament-best limit of five bass that weighed 34-14.
It was the 16th career victory for Clunn, whose $100,000 first-place paycheck put him over $2.5 million in career earnings with B.A.S.S.
“I think this just reinforces what I said after I won here in 2016,” Clunn said. “A long time ago, I stopped paying attention to timelines. The terrible twos, the ugly teens, the midlife crisis, retirement time — I don’t pay any attention to any of that. “If you listen to everybody else, you’ll get premature notions about who you really are.” This week, there was no doubt about it. He was “Rick Clunn: Legend.”
The Ava, Mo., angler started modestly with a limit of 17-5 on Day 1. But he inched his way up the standings with 23-11 on Day 2 and then caught 23-0 on Day 3 to make Sunday’s Top 10 cut in eighth place with a three-day total of 64-0.
He joked after Saturday’s semifinal weigh-in that he might need a 10-pounder and a 12-pounder on Sunday to have any chance of winning. While he didn’t quite make those marks, he came close by weighing in two fish over 9 pounds, including a 9-14 that ranked as the biggest bass of the day.
His three key baits all week were a big lipless crankbait from Luck-E-Strike called a Hail Mary, a 3/4-ounce Luck-E-Strike Trickster Spinnerbait with a shellcracker-colored skirt and a Texas-rigged gatortail worm.
“I thought the bream pattern was important for the spinnerbait this week,” Clunn said. “The bass are bedding here, and I know how much the bass really don’t like the bream around their beds.”
The spinnerbait bite improved steadily throughout the week, thanks to a cold front that brought wind and cloud cover to the region. After catching bass on the deeper ends of boat docks in practice, Clunn said the fish had moved so shallow they were under the walkways of the docks by the weekend — and that made for a perfect spinnerbait situation.
In the event that he missed a strike on the spinnerbait, he would follow up quickly with the worm. That was the key to landing his biggest bass Sunday.
“That’s what won it for me today,” he said. “Early in the day, they were eating that spinnerbait really well. I caught a 6 1/2 on it and another one about 4. But then in the middle of the day, I missed three fish on it — and I could tell the third one was a really nice fish. “I went back with the worm, and it was the 9-14.” Even with all that he’s accomplished, Clunn admitted the two giant bass on Sunday got his blood pumping.
“I swung every fish into the boat today except those two 9s,” he said. “When you have to sit there and think about all of the possibilities and it takes forever to get them in the boat…it gets your heart moving.”
The two anglers closest in the standings to Clunn were first-year Canadian pro Chris Johnston with 95-2 and veteran Kentucky pro Mark Menendez with 95-1. Johnston said it was an honor to share the stage with Clunn.
“To lose to somebody that you watched fishing for the past 20 years — just to be on the same stage with him — it’s a privilege,” Johnston said. “If I was gonna see anyone else win, I would want it would be Rick. He earned it. He deserves it. He put his time in. “I can’t complain about second place at my first event.”
Clunn said the question of when he’ll finally give up fishing is “a dirty question.” He’s looking forward to next week’s Toyota Bassmaster Elite at Lake Lanier in Georgia and has no plans of slowing down anytime soon.
“A lot of stuff off the water is old to me,” Clunn said. “But when I go on the water, it’s brand new, just like it was when I started. I love it just as much as I ever have. “It’s an incredible thing to go out every single day and know that you’ve gotta figure them out. This amazing study of natural rhythms and how all things are connected — I can’t see myself ever getting tired of that.”
During a tournament when giant fish were weighed in all four days, the Phoenix Boats Big Bass of the week was caught during Thursday’s opening round. The honor went to Virginia pro John Crews for the 11-2 largemouth he caught on Day 1.
Rookie pro and former college fishing champion Patrick Walters of South Carolina was fourth with 91-14, and Crews was fifth with 89-11.
The Elite anglers hit the St. Johns River fishery at its peak. The 75 anglers caught 158 five-bass limits and weighed in 893 bass totaling 2,927 pounds, 8 ounces of bass. With an average weight of 3 1/4 pounds and the largest weigh-in crowds in the history of St. Johns Bassmaster tournaments, the event more than lived up to the theme of the 2019 Elite Series: “Big Bass. Big Stage. Big Dreams.” -2019 Bassmaster Elite Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota -2019 Bassmaster Elite Series at St. Johns River Title Sponsor: Power-Pole -2019 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Abu Garcia, Berkley, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Skeeter Boats, Talon, Triton Boats, Yamaha -2019 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops, Carhartt, Lowrance, Mossy Oak Fishing, T-H Marine -Power-Pole Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River Host Sponsor: Putnam County Chamber of Commerce
About B.A.S.S: B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport. With more than 510,000 members internationally, B.A.S.S. is not only home to the nation’s premier fishing tournament trails, but it also boasts the most expansive and comprehensive media network in the fishing industry. Its media include The Bassmasters on the ESPN networks, more than 130 hours of tournament programming on the Pursuit Channel, 250 hours of on-the-water streaming coverage on Bassmaster LIVE and 1 million monthly visitors to the flagship website on bass fishing – Bassmaster.com. B.A.S.S. also provides more than 4.4 million readers with the best in bass fishing coverage through Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times, and its radio and social media programs and events reach hundreds of thousands each month.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, culminating in the ultimate event on the biggest stage for competitive anglers, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. The trail also includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, BassPro.com Bassmaster Open Series, B.A.S.S. Nation Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series, and the Bassmaster Team Championship.
Conservation, Mentorship, Hunting…all come together
From their headquarters in Edgefield, South Carolina, one of the more storied organizations in conservation and hunting is partnering with the outdoors industry’s fasting growing tech startup. As the National Wild Turkey Federation expands upon its efforts to recruit, retain and reactivate hunters, it’s adding high tech firepower to its communication plan – a partnership with GoWild.
The NWTF’s partnership with the outdoors social media and activity tracking platform allows the organization to modernize its messaging and better appeal to a budding generation of young and first-generation or adult-onset hunters.
“GoWild quickly turned into a place where people realized they could get real time advice for their outdoor pursuits without all of the hassle and politics that can come with other social media,” said Brad Luttrell, the Co-Founder and CEO of GoWild. “Our team couldn’t be more excited to put the power of this community to work for an organization like the NWTF. Few groups have done more for conservation.”
The First Project: A Sweepstakes Promoting Conservation & Mentorship
For the first initiative in the partnership, GoWild is hosting a sweepstakes for the NWTF. Any NWTF member — new or old — can sign up for a chance to win the NWTF Turkey Hunting Sweepstakes via the GoWild app (available on iTunes or Google Play). Entry is easy and free for members. Find details on entering in the GoWild app by searching “NWTF.”
“This isn’t just about new memberships, we want to drive awareness of the value of volunteering to help in the name of conservation,” said Becky Humphries, CEO of the NWTF. “Just as we’ve fought to bring the numbers of turkeys back to a healthy population, we must now focus on raising the number of hunters. Our partnership with GoWild will help us reach a new generation of hunters, and that’s what it’s all about.”
NWTF members can search “NWTF” on GoWild to earn their first entry in the sweepstakes. NWTF members who use the app to log time for Mentorship or Conservation Efforts can earn second entries (details on GoWild). A second sweepstakes will launch soon in partnership with nonprofit Raise ‘Em Outdoors and outdoors land rental tech company Outdoors Access. Anyone who isn’t a member can join at nwtf.org.
In-App Functionality for NWTF
Together, GoWild and the NWTF aim to activate even more people to participate in mentorship, conservation efforts and share lessons beyond hunting. Within GoWild, mentors and mentees can live track hikes, scouts, hunts, archery practice and more. GoWild is donating the sponsorship of its Turkey Trail (essentially a forum of content all about turkey hunting) to the NWTF.
At the Convention
Team GoWild will be at the NWTF Convention and Sport Show in Nashville on Feb. 14 and 15. On Thursday, attendees can find team GoWild at the Hunting Heritage Programs booth, where they can learn about the app and partnership, as well as get info about how to enter in the sweepstakes.
“GoWild has an eclectic group of outdoors enthusiasts,” said Luttrell. “We’ll never be able to do what the NWTF has done for the turkey, but it’s my hope that with this new partnership, we can create some turkey hunters who might have just remained hikers or anglers without us.”
About the National Wild Turkey Federation: When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters’ rights. Today, the NWTF is focused on the future of hunting and conservation through its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative – a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to conserve or enhance more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruit at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting. For more information, visit NWTF.org.
About GoWild: GoWild is the most active, fastest growing social media and activity tracking platform for outdoors enthusiasts. The GoWild app is free. GoWild is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. Download the app for Android, iPhone or Garmin at timetogowild.com.
The Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) is seeking an Executive Director. The Executive Director serves as the chief executive for CFM and is a full-time exempt employee supervised by an executive committee and board of directors. The Executive Director works with the board of directors and staff to effectively lead and implement the organization’s goals, objectives, policies, and procedures.
The CFM is the oldest and largest 501(c)(3) nonprofit natural resource conservation organization in Missouri with over 3,000 individual members and 103 affiliate member organizations. Created in 1935, CFM has been a critical leader in furthering the interests of conservation, natural resource management, and outdoor recreation in the state of Missouri and as an affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation.
Mission: To ensure conservation of Missouri’s wildlife and natural resources, and preservation of our state’s rich outdoor heritage through advocacy, education and partnerships. Motto: The Voice for Missouri Outdoors
A successful candidate for Executive Director will have skills in leadership, administration, planning and budgeting, fund-raising and development, membership development, and oral and written communications.
About the Conservation Federation of Missouri: The CFM, formed in 1935, is Missouri’s largest and most representative citizen conservation group. It represents more than 80 organizations with over 1 million members. The CFM is primarily a volunteer organization – including all officers and board members – but does maintain an office with a full time professional staff in Jefferson City. Visit our website at http://www.confedmo.org
Conservation Federation of Missouri | 728 West Main Street | Jefferson City, MO 65101 | 573.634.2322 | www.confedmo.org
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced that $3 million is available in the first round of the State’s newly consolidated Invasive Species Grant Program. To support projects that target both aquatic and terrestrial invasive species across the state, DEC combined previous funding opportunities, including the Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention and the Aquatic and Terrestrial Invasive Species Early Detection/Rapid Response grants, into a single grant program. DEC is accepting applications for these grants through Feb. 15, 2019.
“New York is an international center for trade and tourism, making the state vulnerable to invasive species,” Commissioner Seggos said. “Once established, species such as hydrilla, emerald ash borer, and Japanese knotweed spread rapidly, causing harm to the environment, the economy, and human health. The invasive species grants announced today increase our ability to reduce the impacts of these invasive pests through control, removal, research, and prevention.”
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Invasive species pose a threat to our agricultural economy, potentially causing harm to our crops and our forestry industry. The new grant program provides the targeted resources needed to help the State combat the introduction and establishment of invasives statewide.”
Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, the 2018-19 state budget included $13.3 million in the State’s Environmental Protection Fund targeted specifically for invasive species related initiatives, $3 million of which was made available for these grants. Municipalities, academic institutions, and not-for-profits may submit applications for funding for eligible projects in up to two of the following categories:
Aquatic invasive species spread prevention;
Terrestrial and aquatic invasive species rapid response and control;
Terrestrial and aquatic invasive species research; and
Lake Management Plans.
Grant awards range from a minimum of $11,000 to a maximum of $100,000, with a required 25 percent match. Project locations must be located wholly within New York State and priority will be given to projects that include opportunities for public participation, are on or close to public lands or waterbodies, and emphasize long-term success. For full details about the grant opportunity including eligible projects and scoring criteria, visit the Request for Applications on DEC’s website.
Applications are due by 3:00 p.m. on Feb. 15, 2019. All grant applicants must register in the NYS Grants Gateway System (link leaves DEC’s webpage) before applying. Not-for-profit applicants are required to prequalify in the Grants Gateway system, so DEC recommends that applicants start the process in advance of the grant application due date.
The New York State Invasive Species Council, comprising nine agencies, recently adopted a new Invasive Species Comprehensive Management Plan, with assistance from a 25-member Invasive Species Advisory Committee. The Invasive Species Grant Program will provide opportunities to implement various actions identified under the eight focal initiatives around which the Plan is framed.
Celebrating Victories When They Come – The Modern Fish Act is Now the Law
By Mike Leonard, ASA Vice President of Government Affairs
As you’ve hopefully heard by now, the Modern Fish Act recently passed both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and was signed into law by the President. Although first introduced in April 2017, the origins of this bill to improve federal saltwater fisheries management go back much further than that.
Most of the bill’s provisions were inspired by the Morris-Deal Commission Report, released in 2014. Many of the proposed improvements for federal saltwater fisheries management in the Morris-Deal Report had been debated for some time before then.All that’s to say: it’s been a long time coming.Congress has been operating with a high level of gridlock (look no further than the current government shutdown), and most experts expect things to get worse under a divided Congress for at least the next two years.
For the recreational fishing community to achieve this legislative victory in these challenging political times speaks to the effectiveness of the coalition of organizations working on your behalf, the power of the sportfishing industry when it makes its voice heard and the increasing recognition among political leaders of recreational fishing’s importance to the nation.
Working together and advocating with the same message was instrumental to the bill’s success. The bill had some expected – and unexpected – detractors along the way but having the core of the recreational fishing community speaking with a unified voice allowed Members of Congress to not have to pick sides within our own community (as has sometimes been the case in the past). They knew the Modern Fish Act had the full backing of the true recreational fishing community.
Helping to make that point crystal clear for Members of Congress was the tremendous response from ASA’s members in advocating for the bill. From submitting supportive op-eds, to promoting Keep America Fishing action alerts, to calling or visiting congressional offices, ASA’s members stepped up in a big way and were critical to the bill’s passage.
It’s exciting to see that the sportfishing industry’s heightened involvement in government affairs does translate to more legislative and policy victories. Passage of the Modern Fish Act is just one of many government affairs accomplishments in which ASA was proud to engage over the past year. There’s no question that the economic and cultural importance of recreational fishing is increasingly being recognized by policymakers.
The Modern Fish Act isn’t going to overhaul the federal marine fisheries management system overnight. It’ll likely take several fishing seasons before the management and data collection improvements called for in the Act begin to better align fishing regulations with actual fish abundance and harvest, and with what anglers really want out of management.
It’s also important to note that not all the changes called for in earlier versions of the Modern Fish Act made it through in the final version. This was the unfortunate reality of needing unanimous approval of the U.S. Senate to clear the bill. Even though it’s big to us, in the grand scheme, bills such as the Modern Fish Act rarely receive floor time and therefore can only pass with unanimous approval.
ASA will continue working with Congress, NOAA Fisheries and the Regional Fishery Management Councils to ensure that the provisions of the Modern Fish Act are carried out, and other priorities of the recreational fishing community are advanced.
While we’ve accomplished a lot, there’s still much more work to be done. That said, let’s take a few moments to celebrate this win, especially at a time when wins are so hard to come by.
The Modern Fish Act will provide more stability and better access for anglers by:
Providing authority and direction to NOAA Fisheries to apply additional management tools more appropriate for recreational fishing, many of which are successfully implemented by state fisheries agencies (e.g., extraction rates, fishing mortality targets, harvest control rules, or traditional or cultural practices of native communities);
Improving recreational harvest data collection by requiring federal managers to explore other data sources that have tremendous potential to improve the accuracy and timeliness of harvest estimates, such as state-driven programs and electronic reporting (e.g., through smartphone apps);
Requiring the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a study on the process of mixed-use fishery allocation review by the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Regional Fishery Management Councils and report findings to Congress within one year of enactment of the Modern Fish Act, and
Requiring the National Academies of Sciences to complete a study and provide recommendations within two years of the enactment of the Modern Fish Act on limited access privilege programs (catch shares) including an assessment of the social, economic, and ecological effects of the program, considering each sector of a mixed-use fishery and related businesses, coastal communities, and the environment and an assessment of any impacts to stakeholders in a mixed-use fishery caused by a limited access privilege program. This study excludes the Pacific and North Pacific Regional Fishery Management Councils.
The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association committed to representing the interests of the sportfishing and boating industries as well as the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry and anglers a unified voice when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. ASA invests in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous, as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic, conservation and social values of sportfishing in America. ASA also gives America’s 49 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to sustainably fish on our nation’s waterways through Keep America Fishing, our national angler advocacy campaign. America’s anglers generate nearly $50 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for 800,000 people.
Mepps/Mister Twister has a new Communications Director.
From Antigo, WI, Nik Kolbeck has joined Sheldons’ Inc. (Mepps and Mister Twister) as the new Communications Director. In this role Kolbeck will develop and oversee communications for Sheldons’ across its many platforms: print, online, retail, social media and mobile.
Kolbeck is a graduate of University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point where he studied Graphic Design in the Fine Arts Program. During his college years, Nik’s passion for fishing started to take off and has since become a family event with his father and brother and their beloved Border Collie, Abbi.
“My love of fishing has grown over the years, but I owe a lot of my admiration for the sport to my brother, Adam who taught me everything from what to use in certain conditions to the best practices for hooking up a fish and getting it into the boat. Family and fishing work hand-in-hand for me and there really is no better experience than hooking up with a big fish and sharing that experience with your family and friends.” Kolbeck grew up learning the ins-and-outs of fishing in central Wisconsin focusing on largemouth and smallmouth bass, northern pike and musky. He looks forward to expanding his fishing knowledge to other fish species that are caught throughout the United States.
Since graduation, Kolbeck worked for Swiderski Equipment – an agriculture and construction equipment company with five locations throughout central Wisconsin. His duties included creating print, online and social media graphics, photography of equipment and keeping website information current and correct.
“Mepps and Mister Twister are two brands that I’ve used since I started fishing and I’ve never been disappointed with the results. The fact that I get to come here every day and talk fishing with all different types of fisherman is just icing on the cake for me.”
Company Overview: Sheldons’, Inc. started with the Mepps® brand in 1956 in the back of a small sports shop in Antigo, Wisconsin. It has since become one of the most important players in the fishing tackle industry. When all lure sizes, colors and hook configurations are taken into account, Mepps currently manufacturers more than 6,000 different Mepps spinners and spoons. In addition, Sheldons’, Inc. owns Mepps S.A. (Mepps France) and Mister Twister®, a premium soft plastics lure company and innovator of the Curly Tail® concept.
Sheldons’, Inc. • 626 Center St., Antigo, WI 54409 • Phone: 800-237-9877
Shooting a firearm while Hunting within 500 feet of a house is illegal in New York
Carrying the Tags of Another Person not signed over to you is illegal in New York
There are quite a few rules to hunt inn New York State, but they are designed to keep people safe and to keep the wildlife herd of deer well-managed. Most of the rules are common sense.
On Nov. 30 in Herkimer and Oneida Counties, several complainants were called in to New York State Environmental Conservation Officer Ben Tabor about a buck suspected of being taken over bait in the town of Ohio. The deer had been entered in a local big buck contest.
ECO Tabor determined where the deer had been shot after finding a large bait pile with the gut pile next to it. The ECO interviewed the suspect, who admitted to taking the buck illegally. The deer was seized as evidence and summons were issued for hunting over a pre-established bait pile and the illegal taking of a deer.
On Dec. 2, ECO John Gates received a call from an informant stating that a large buck had been killed by a suspect that had posted pictures on Facebook of him feeding deer close to his camp. As the officer pulled onto the property, he noticed piles of alfalfa and corn. The hunter claimed he had shot the deer halfway back into his 100-acre parcel. Officer Gates followed sled tracks to a gut pile within 30 yards of the bait. The man admitted to shooting the deer and was charged with illegal taking of deer, hunting over bait and carrying the tags of another person. The deer was seized as evidence and the charges are returnable to Forestport Town Court.
On Nov. 17, Environmental Conservation Officer Shea Mathis spotted two hunters walking along the railroad tracks in the town of Wheatfield, Niagara County, NY.
The two claimed they had a lousy morning hunting and had not taken any deer.
ECO Mathis checked their licenses and found their deer tags attached. A third member of the hunting party pulled up on an ATV with a loaded muzzle-loader over his shoulder. While issuing a ticket for possessing a loaded firearm on a motor vehicle, ECO Mathis was contacted by ECO George Scheer, who had received information that a male had shot two bucks with a muzzle loader that morning in the same area.
While ECO Mathis was issuing the ticket, one of the hunters left on the ATV and headed to a residence. ECO Scheer traveled to the location and found the subject. After a brief interview, ECO Scheer located a nine-point and 10-point buck, both untagged, in the back of a pickup truck. One of the hunters admitted to shooting both bucks that morning, just minutes apart.
Tickets were issued for possessing a loaded firearm on a motor vehicle, taking big game over the limit and failure to tag deer as required. The second buck was seized as evidence and donated.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) enforce the 71 Chapters of NY Environmental Conservation Law (ECL), protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York. In 2017, the 301 ECOs across the state responded to 26,400 calls and issued 22,150 tickets for crimes ranging from deer poaching to corporate toxic dumping and illegal mining, the black market pet trade, and excessive emissions violations.
If you witness an environmental crime or believe a violation of environmental law occurred, please call the DEC Division of Law Enforcement hotline at 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267).
“From Montauk Point to Mount Marcy, from Brooklyn to Buffalo, the ECOs patrolling our state are the first line of defense in protecting New York’s environment and our natural resources, ensuring that they exist for future generations of New Yorkers,” said Commissioner Basil Seggos. “They work long and arduous hours, both deep in our remote wildernesses and in the tight confines of our urban landscapes. Although they don’t receive much public fanfare, the work of our ECOs is critical to achieving DEC’s mission to protect and enhance our environment.”
Giant gray squirrels are not uncommon in the southern tier forest lands of New York State. Forrest Fisher Photo
Hunters and Trappers Favorite Time of Year…Open Season
Hunting seasons for big game like whitetail deer and black bear are underway with the archery season. Likewise, many small game species, like ruffed grouse, pheasant, rabbit, squirrel, and wild turkey, are also open and in progress.
Hunting and trapping seasons for bobcat, raccoon and fox, and trapping seasons for fisher and mink began in some regions of the state on October 25th. Be sure to check the New York State Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide for the season dates and regulations for your hunting or trapping area.
Wild turkey hunting in the Southern Zone began October 20th and runs through Nov. 2nd. Hunters are required to have a turkey permit, and the statewide season bag limit is one bird of either sex.
Remember, harvest reporting is critical to wildlife management, and by regulation, hunters must report their harvest of a turkey within seven days of taking the animal. DEC encourages hunters to, “Take it, tag it, and then report it.”
Trappers should note special permit requirements are required for fisher and marten trapping seasons. Fisher season began on October 25th in many WMUs and fisher and marten season began today in the Adirondacks. All fisher and marten trappers must obtain a special, free permit from their regional wildlife office, submit a trapping activity log, and submit the skull or jaw from harvested fishers and martens.
DEC’s wildlife managers rely on the information supplied by trappers to help manage populations of these popular furbearers. To obtain a free fisher or fisher/marten permit, trappers should contact their regional wildlife office or apply by e-mail at email@example.com.
Only one fisher or fisher/marten permit is needed to trap these species anywhere in New York where the season is open. For more information, see page 54 in the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide.
As always, please follow the basic rules of hunter safety to protect yourself and other hunters this season.
“Helping Hunters Enjoy the Hunt, Field to Table,” says David Bloch – Outdoor Edge founder
Outdoor Edge Razor Pro Knife Set & Game Pro Processor Kit, Koola Game Bags, Weston Meat Grinder, Hi Mountain Seasonings, Bradley Smoker
DENVER (Oct. 25, 2018) — To celebrate the fall hunting season nationwide, Outdoor Edge has kicked off a giveaway that offers everything a hunter needs to take the harvest from field to table. This fabulous $800 prize package includes products from Outdoor Edge, Koola Buck, Weston, Hi Mountain Seasoning and Bradley.
The prize package includes RazorPro Knife from Outdoor Edge, a 12-piece Outdoor Edge Game Processor Kit, an Outdoor Edge illuminated Grill Beam Tong/Spatula, a four-pack of Koola Buck XL Antimicrobial Game Bags, a Weston Electric Meat Grinder, a Hi Mountain Seasonings Jerky Cutting Board and assorted seasonings (https://www.himtnjerky.com/) to make mouthwatering meals, including jerky, and a Bradley Original Smoker.
Entering this $800 give-away is free and easy. Just visit the Outdoor Edge Facebook Page, click on the contest tab on the left (https://www.facebook.com/outdooredge/) and enter your name and email address. Participants can enter once a day. Additional entries can be obtained by getting friends to like the page and enter the contest. Participants can enter as many times as is valid before the closing deadline of 11:59 PM on Dec. 2.
“The ultimate goal of this give-away is to get hunters to enjoy the entire hunting experience, from field to table,” said David Bloch, Outdoor Edge’s CEO and founder. “Wild game is healthy, lean and delicious making it the best form of protein I know of. The key is proper care from the field all the way to the grill to prevent any gamey flavors. This giveaway package has everything needed to prepare fabulous game meals for friends and family.”
About Outdoor Edge: Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Denver, Outdoor Edge is a leading designer and manufacturer of knives and tools. Today, Outdoor Edge continues to innovate and develop state-of-the-art products for outdoor enthusiasts, game processors, survivalists, handymen and others who require the very best knives and tools available for leisure, work and everyday-carry needs. The company prides itself in offering a variety of products that undergo extensive field-testing in harsh, rugged environments resulting in durable, long-lasting products that come with a lifetime guarantee. For additional information on Outdoor Edge and its full line of products write to: Outdoor Edge, 5000 Osage Street, Suite 800, Denver, CO 80221; call toll-free 800-477-3343; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit www.outdooredge.com.
For hunters that prefer the appearance and warmth of a wood stock, Winchester Repeating Arms® has introduced a new Sporter model to the XPR® bolt-action rifle line.
The new rifle features a close-grained Grade I walnut stock with crisp checkering on the pistol grip and fore-end for a classic look and feel. A flattened fore-end profile provides added stability when shooting from sandbags or a rest.
At the heart of any accurate rifle is the barrel and the XPR Sporter does not disappoint. The top-quality chromoly steel barrel is button rifled and thermally stress relieved. A target-style crown protects the rifling. The action is precision bedded to ensure the barrel is free-floating.
The XPR Sporter comes in 12 popular calibers from 243 Win. to 338 Win. Mag. — including the 6.5 Creedmoor round. Barrel lengths are 22″ for short action calibers, 24″ for short magnum and standard long action rounds and 26″ for magnum calibers.
Mining near Bristol Bay, Alaska – PLEASE VOTE YES for SALMON
By Chris Wood
Some bad ideas rise above others: New Coke, Diet Water, the Red Sox trading Babe Ruth to the Yankees. One of the worst ideas of all time? The proposal to build a mine in the headwaters of Bristol Bay, Alaska.
Scientists during the during the Obama Administration said the mine was too risky. Then, the Trump Administration breathed new life into it. This November, the voters of Alaska will decide whether the state should have the authority to say no to a mine, such as Pebble, that can cause irreparable harm to salmon streams.
Seven rivers drain into Bristol Bay. One is the Nushagak—every year one of the top chinook salmon producing streams in the world. Another is the Kvichak; it supplies nearly half of the world’s wild sockeye salmon. A Canadian mining company, the Pebble Partnership, has proposed building a massive gold and copper mine in the headwaters of these two rivers.
Bristol Bay is the world’s most important salmon fishery. Every year, it sustains a $1.5 billion salmon industry that provides more than 14,000 family wage jobs. The village of Igiugig, population 70, sits at the outflow of the Kvichak. Last week, Brian Kraft, the owner of Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge, and I, took his daughter, Dakota, to school in Igiugig by boat. Students are more likely to arrive by ATV and boat to school than by car. “Stop Pebble Mine” stickers adorned several ATVs, and more than one student was wearing a “Wrong Mine, Wrong Place” shirt.
The Alaska economy is highly dependent on the development of its natural resources. That is what makes the widespread opposition to the Pebble Mine from communities such as Igiugig so unique. Native villages and local communities in the Bristol Bay region oppose the Pebble Mine by more than 75 percent. Their opposition stems from the fact that salmon have provided them sustenance, and cultural and natural touch-points for a millennia.
The Bristol Bay landscape is about the size of West Virginia, with only 8,000 people living in it. The Pebble Partnership proposes to industrialize this wilderness quality landscape with roads, pipelines, a power plant, stream crossings, and other associated development to process and move the ore from the earth to the market. Their preliminary mine plan called for filling more than 4,000 acres of wetlands. It also calls for a tailings pond more than one-third of a mile deep and a mile long to forever store the toxic tailings produced by the mine. The landscape is seismically active. Surface water and groundwater mingle freely in the area. The likelihood of the mine’s toxic tailings contaminating the Kvichak and the Nushagak is high.
On the boat ride back to his lodge, I asked Brian why native villages such as Igiugig are so opposed to the mine. He said, “In the lower 48, we have spent more than $15 billion to try to recover imperiled salmon and steelhead. Most of those fish remain on the brink of extinction. The cost of keeping Bristol Bay’s salmon runs intact is a lot less expensive than trying to recover them after we destroy their habitat.”
Chris Wood is the president and CEO of Trout Unlimited. He lives in Washington, D.C., and works at TU’s Arlington, Va., headquarters. This message was paid for by Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program, Anchorage, AK, Nelli Williams, Alaska Director. The top three donors to Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Fish Habitat Initiative Fund are Dan Michels, Wasilla, AK; Alaska Fishing Unlimited, Port Alsworth, AK; and Josh Grieser, Anchorage, AK.
What sets one safari outfitter apart from the rest? Outfitters that cater not only to hunters, but to the whole family, non-hunters too. When non-hunters need not worry about being bored, hunters have a better time. Enter Somerby Safaris, they offer a wide array of unique, African experiences for non-hunters to enjoy. From cuddling lion cubs to taking an elephant back ride, to experiencing cultural villages showcasing the fascinating tribes of South Africa…they will find the time of their life! So will you, the hunter.
Drom and Sune Beukes have grown Somerby Safaris into.one of South Africa’s premier hunting outfitters, producing world class trophies for overseas sportsman through ethical, fair-chase hunting. Due to the quality and diversity of their hunting areas, hunters will find plains and big game hunting safaris with extraordinary experiences in untamed Africa. Somerby Safaris offers more than just an African hunting safari, they offer a complete safari adventure with custom hunting packages tailored to fit the hunter’s wants and needs. In addition, they can arrange a wonderful photo safari for non-hunters.
Somerby for Schools is a related initiative that was started after Drom and Suan Beukes had several generous hunters at various times ask them how they could help their community in South Africa. This effort is specifically focused on bettering the lives of children in underprivileged schools and orphanages. Over the last few years, many hunters have donated goods or funds to underprivileged schools and orphanages in and around their hunting areas. What started off small has turned into a wonderful heartwarming enterprise with a vast amount of hunters donating school supplies, warm clothing for the cold winters, sporting equipment, food and even appliances.
Get detailed information about Somerby hunting and photo safaris, great pictures and exciting stories about hunting in Africa at the 2019 SCI Hunters Convention set for Jan. 9-12 in Reno, Nevada. Look for Booth #2756 and #2758 with answers for questions and to discover more about what sets Somerby Safaris apart from the rest.
About the SCI Hunters’ Convention: Safari Club expects upwards of 24,000 worldwide hunters to visit Reno, Nevada, January 9-12, 2019. The SCI Hunters’ Convention represents the largest and most successful event to raise money for advocacy to protect hunters’ rights. The 2019 Hunters’ Convention will be held at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center with over 452,000 square feet of exhibits and almost 1,100 exhibiting companies. Register and book rooms at www.showsci.org
Becoming an SCI Member: Joining Safari Club International is the best way to be an advocate for continuing our hunting heritage and supporting worldwide sustainable use conservation, wildlife education and humanitarian services.
Safari Club International – First for Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI has approximately 200 Chapters worldwide and its members represent all 50 of the United States as well as 106 other countries.SCI’s proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit the home page www.safariclub.org or call 520-620-1220 for more information
Keystone Elk Country Alliance (KECA), a visionary conservation success story
KECA mission: conserve, enhance Pennsylvania Elk Country for future generations
Raffle proceeds generate funding for Elk Country visitor center, public educational classrooms, land protection
A lucky hunter from Binghamton, New York, Matthew Martinichio, was selected from 9,945 tickets in the KECA Elk Tag Raffle drawing held August 19, 2018 at the Elk Expo at the Elk Country Visitor Center, located in Benezette Township, Elk County, Pa. Matthew was not present when his name was pulled from the “squirrel cage” by a young boy selected from the audience. Matthew is an avid duck and turkey hunter, but he does not hunt deer and actually did not own a rifle prior to this hunt. Matthew’s grandfather, Joe Villecco, from Port Crane, New York, purchased the ticket for Mathew. Matthew’s Grandfather, 82, was there during the hunt.
It has become a tradition to immediately call the winner from the CEO’s office. The group consisted of KECA’s Founding Chairman of the Board John Geissler, Rawley Cogan CEO KECA, Elk County Outfitter owner Jack Manack, and guides Bryan Hale and Kim Rensel, Pennsylvania Game Commission North Central Region Director Dave Mitchell, and Brad Clinton Executive Producer TomBob Outdoors. Matthew harvested an 8 x7 mature bull elk on Saturday September 22, 2018 while hunting with Elk County Outfitters.
“The rut had been slow because of warm weather, high temperatures near 86 degrees and humid”, stated Jack Manack, owner of Elk County Outfitters. “A cold front came through Friday evening and we anticipated a good hunt on Saturday”, Manack said. We started hunting on Wednesday September 19, and we actually saw the bull Matthew harvested and we passed on him”, said Manack. “Obviously we did not get a good enough look at him or we would have taken him then,” Manack said.
Saturday morning at 9 a.m., Martinichio killed the 850 pound (estimated) live weight bull. Manack green-scored the bull at over 410”. The official score will not be known until the 60 day drying time is complete. “Pennsylvania’s Elk Range is awesome,” stated Martinichio. “I have never been there before and the experience of harvesting this huge bull was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and that my Grandpa was there with me was very special. It was very emotional when my Grandpa and I walked up to the bull,” stated Martinichio. “We called to the bull and he answered, but he did not come right to us. We had to make a few moves to get a shot at him,” said Martinichio.
“The KECA Elk Tag Raffle provides a unique opportunity for one hunter to harvest a mature bull elk in Pennsylvania, but everyone that purchased a ticket is a true conservationist and a winner. We sincerely thank everyone that purchased a ticket for their support of this unique raffle. Pennsylvania’s elk herd and its habitat are the beneficiaries,” stated Cogan.
Elk County Outfitters owner Jack Manack stated, “We are just happy to be a small part of what KECA does and provide this hunter a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.” “KECA is very fortunate to have generous donors like Elk County Outfitters supporting our mission and we thank Jack and his guides for their long-term support”, stated Cogan. Martinichio agreed, “Jack and his guides were great, they really know elk,” stated Martinichio.
The 2018 KECA Elk Tag Raffle generated $180,650 in gross tickets sales. KECA’s Elk Tag Raffle proceeds from past years were used to complete phase I and II of KECA’s outdoor classroom on the campus of the Elk Country Visitor Center, educational programs for thousands of students and guests, many habitat improvement projects totaling thousands of acres and a permanent land protection project.
The Keystone Elk Country Alliance (KECA) completed their first permanent land protection project in 2016; a 9-acre tract located adjacent to the Elk Country Visitor Center in Benezette Township, Elk County, PA. The property consists of white pine and hemlock with mixed oak and hickory over story, including two small streams which merge on the property and flow into the Bennett’s Branch of the Susquehanna River. The water is clean and runs year around. No mining or acid mine drainage has occurred on the property. There are no buildings or structures on the property. Proceeds from KECA’s Elk Tag Raffle were used to purchase this property.
TomBob’s cameraman, Ben Gnan, filmed the entire hunt with Matthew. Be sure to tune into TomBob Outdoors Friends in Wild Places this fall to see the KECA Elk Tag winner Pennsylvania bull elk hunt on your favorite network.
The Keystone Elk Country Alliance is a Pennsylvania based 501 (c) (3) wildlife conservation organization. KECA’s mission is to conserve and enhance Pennsylvania’s Elk Country for future generations. KECA operates the Elk Country Visitor Center. Visit www.ExperienceElkCountry.com for more information.
Wildlife, including wild horses, thrive where clean air, clean water and conservation practices are upheld. Forrest Fisher Photo
Program Invests in Parks, Trails Central to Our Wildlife Heritage, Public Lands
By Mike Saccone, National Wildlife Federation
WASHINGTON, DC — Congress’s inability to permanently reauthorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, one of the United States’ most successful and popular conservation programs, is a “stunning failure,” the National Wildlife Federation’s President and CEO Collin O’Mara said today. O’Mara said Congress should quickly reverse course and revive the critical 1960s-era conservation program.
“The Land and Water Conservation Fund is the most successful land conservation program in our nation’s history. Congress’s inability to prevent its expiration is a stunning failure and a betrayal of more than a half century of broad bipartisan support,” O’Mara said. “America’s wildlife heritage, outdoor recreation opportunities and public lands are the envy of the world and drive our $887 billion recreation economy.
“President Johnson said, in signing the Land and Water Conservation Fund into law following its near unanimous passage, ‘True leadership must provide for the next decade and not merely the next day.’ We call upon Congress to heed these sage words and take bold action to ensure that this critical conservation program does not fall victim to gridlock in Washington.”
The Land and Water Conservation Fund uses fees from offshore oil and gas development — at no cost to taxpayers — to invest in urban parks and sports fields, walking and biking trails, historic sites, national parks and other open spaces. The National Wildlife Federation worked closely with Interior Secretary Stewart Udall, Senator Clinton Anderson and Representative Wayne Aspinall to help secure initial passage in 1964 and worked with subsequent Congresses to increase the program’s funding and improve its programmatic impact in 1968, 1970 and 1977.
For the past four years, the National Wildlife Federation has helped lead the charge to permanently reauthorize and fully fund the program, including issuing reports this year on how it supports hunters and anglers as well as families’ access to outdoor recreation..
Observant anglers spotted a shore angler snagging salmon and breaking the law. Time to blow the whistle.
Salmon Snagging is Illegal in New York State
On Sep. 19, Environmental Conservation Officers George Scheer and Shea Mathis were on boat patrol in the Lower Niagara River when they were approached by a group of fishermen in another boat.
The anglers reported an individual in a red shirt blatantly snagging fish from shore about a mile upriver along the Gorge Trail in Niagara Falls. From their patrol vessel, the ECOs could not navigate that far upriver due to strong currents and underwater obstructions.
The ECOs piloted their vessel back to its mooring in Youngstown and drove to Niagara Falls, hoping to catch the subject before he left the scene.
In Niagara Falls, the ECOs walked the trail and spotted the subject in the red shirt making repeated and exaggerated jerking motions of his fishing rod. Three other individuals were with him.
The four were ticketed for attempting to take fish by snagging, possession of snatch hooks, and fishing without valid licenses.
NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®) and Walker’s have launched a mentor initiative that encourages experienced target shooters and hunters to invite new individuals to the range or field.
The campaign is part of NSSF’s Mentor Pledge initiative developed to facilitate growth of the shooting sports community through education, safety and fun.
As an incentive, NSSF and Walker’s are providing free Razor Ear Muffs (valued at $69.99) to the first 2,000 mentors. Participants must sign a pledge online and share a photo or short video of their experience with a new hunter or shooter in order to claim their reward.
“We are thrilled to play a part in supporting the next generation of hunters and shooters,” said Ben Smith, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Walker’s. “This partnership with NSSF is the perfect opportunity for our company to give back to the shooting sports community.”
“Research shows that 24 million American’s have an interest getting started hunting or target shooting and that Being invited by a friend or family member is by far the best way to get new folks to the range or field,” said Jim Curcuruto, Director of Research & Market Development at NSSF. “This program aligns with NSSF programs such as National Shooting Sports Month and First Shots that provide introductions to the shooting sports.”
Remember to teach the Four Main Rules of Firearm Safety:
Treat all firearms as if they are loaded: By treating every firearm as if it is loaded, a habit of safety is developed.
Always keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction: A “safe direction” means that the gun is pointed so that even if an accidental discharge occurred, it won’t cause an injury.
Always keep your finger off the trigger: Rest your finger outside the trigger guard or along the side of the gun until you are actually ready to fire.
Always know your target and what is beyond: For outdoor shooting, make sure you have an adequate backstop for your bullets to impact. Know what’s beyond that backstop, too, and keep your shots within the safe shooting zone.
About NSSF: The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.
About Walker’s: For over 25 years Walker’s has developed innovative solutions for hearing protection and enhancement. The Walker’s line of products is widely considered the industry standard for shooting protection and safety. With the introduction of advanced digital circuitry & nano-tech water repellence, Walker’s continues to raise the bar. For more information, visit www.walkersgameear.com.
Duck Seasn Dates announced for New York State. Joe Forma Photo
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced that special permits will be issued for the opening weekend of duck season to hunt waterfowl at two popular state-managed locations.
The permit requirement applies to waterfowl hunting at the Oak Orchard and Tonawanda Wildlife Management Areas located primarily in Genesee and Niagara counties (with small portions in Orleans and Erie counties). The intent of the special permits is to promote hunter safety and increase the quality of hunting on days when the areas receive the greatest use.
The special permit is required to hunt waterfowl at these wildlife management areas on the duck season’s first Saturday and first Sunday. These two days are the only times the special permits are required. Waterfowl may be hunted without a special permit during the remainder of the season. The permit system has been used successfully at both wildlife management areas for many years. No special permits are required to hunt other game species at Oak Orchard or Tonawanda Wildlife Management Areas.
DEC has announced 2018-2019 duck hunting season dates. Western New York’s opening day/weekend dates for duck hunting are Oct. 27 and 28. This year, goose season will be open during the opening weekend of duck season, and goose hunters are also required to obtain the special permit.
Opening weekend waterfowl hunting permits for the two Wildlife Management Areas will be distributed by a random lottery. For each of the two days, DEC typically issues 100 permits for Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area, and 50 permits for Oak Orchard Wildlife Management Area. This year, with the current drought conditions, the number of permits issued may be reduced. The decision regarding how many permits will be issued will be made closer to the date of the lottery, and a news release with an update will be issued at that time.
To apply for the lottery, hunters must send in a postcard with their name, address, and their first three choices, in order of preference, clearly indicated. Hunters must choose from four options: Oak Orchard first Saturday; Oak Orchard first Sunday; Tonawanda first Saturday; and Tonawanda first Sunday. Phone numbers are optional on the postcard, but if a phone number is available, applicants can be contacted if there is an issue with their card.
Applicants must also have completed a Waterfowl Identification Course, and their course certificate number must be indicated on the postcard. Applications will be accepted through Sept. 15, 2018, and must be mailed to:
New York State Bureau of Wildlife
1101 Casey Road, Box B
Basom, New York 14013
Each permittee will be allowed to bring one companion over the age of 18 and an additional companion 18 years old or younger.
Issued permits are nontransferable and are not valid for companion(s) unless the permittee is present and hunting within 50 yards.
The permittee is responsible for completing and returning the questionnaire portion of the permit to the New York State Bureau of Wildlife by November 15, 2018. If the completed questionnaire is not received by November 15, the permittee will be ineligible for next year’s (2019) lottery.
Target shooting programs are among Scouting’s most popular activities, helping scouts of all ages learn safe firearms handling skills while encouraging mentoring and teamwork.
July 3, 2018; NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms industry, is pleased to announce the launch of its annual grants partnership with the Boy Scouts of America Councils. Through this partnership, individual BSA Councils can receive a portion of $100,000 in NSSF-provided grant funds for use in developing and expanding their target shooting and marksmanship troop activities. Target shooting programs are among Scouting’s most popular activities, helping scouts of all ages learn safe firearms handling skills while encouraging mentoring and teamwork.
2018 marks NSSF’s eighth year supporting the BSA Council Grant Program in this manner, underscoring the time-honored practices of firearms safety, marksmanship training and shooting sports participation with the Boy Scouts. Additionally, the BSA’s recent decision to allow young females to join its ranks provides a fresh avenue for showcasing the excitement and fun of the shooting sports to an entirely new audience.
BSA Councils wishing to apply for grants should visit the grant guidelines and application procedures found here. Councils awarded funds through NSSF’s BSA Grant Program must use those grants to purchase equipment and supplies for their shooting sports activities from an NSSF Member Retailer. The full list of these retailers is available at nssf.org/retailers/find. Examples of qualifying purchases are ammunition, eye and ear protection, firearms, targets and shooting vests. For more information on this special program and qualifications, contact Ann Gamuf, NSSF Shooting Range Services Coordinator, at email@example.com or 203-426-1320 ext. 247.
About NSSF The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.
Nature and the Wild need much support to sustain their heritage. Click on this short story to learn much more.
MISSOULA, Mont.—A funding mechanism with a long name provides long-lasting benefits for hunters, anglers, hikers and others seeking improved access to America’s wild landscapes.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation recently partnered with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to leverage more than $1 million in appropriations from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Priority Recreation Access program to open or improve access to nearly 55,000 acres of public land across four states.
Congress recently boosted LWCF to $425 million—a $25 million increase over 2017 but it did not permanently reauthorize the program which is set to expire September 30.
“LWCF is absolutely vital if we want to continue to permanently protect and provide access to habitat for elk and other wildlife,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation calls on Congress to permanently reauthorize this crucial program.”
RMEF’s most recent LWCF project was the conveyance of a 93-acre tract of land, known as the Cow Island Trail project, to the BLM that improves access to more than 6,000 acres of adjacent public land in north-central Montana’s Missouri River Breaks region.
“Expanding access to public lands for hunting and fishing is one of the BLM’s top priorities,” said Brian Steed, BLM deputy director for policy and programs. “Partnering with RMEF allows us to utilize critical funding to secure access to parcels like the Cow Island Trail project, which in turn broadens access now and ensures it for the future.”
Below is a list of RMEF-BLM projects utilizing LWCF-Priority Recreation Access funding.
RMEF Project LWCF Funding
Cache Creek, California $321,000
Cow Island Trail, Montana $97,500
La Barge Creek, Wyoming $192,000
Tex Creek IV, Idaho $400,000
LWCF helps conserve wild and undeveloped places, cultural heritage and benefits fish, wildlife and recreation. Its funding comes from royalties paid by energy companies drilling for oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf. The royalties bring in $900 million annually, most of which is diverted to other federal programs.
“It takes great partners like the BLM to provide improved access opportunities for sportsmen and women but it also takes funding. These LWCF-Priority Recreation Access funds are absolutely critical in both conserving prime wildlife habitat and opening or improving access to it,” added Henning.
If you have questions about the RMEF or are interested in receiving background materials or arranging interviews please contact:
RMEF Director of Communication, Phone: 1-800-225-5355, Ext. 481 or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For specific news in a state, please contact one of our Regional Directors.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation: Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of more than 227,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7.3 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at www.rmef.org, www.elknetwork.com or 800-CALL ELK.
Take action: join and/or donate.
A complete list of season dates and bag limits for each zone can be found on the DEC website. The waterfowl hunter task force rationale can be found at Duck Season Dates. Hunters interested in printing the pocket guide can find it at 2018-2019 Waterfowl Season Pocket Guide (PDF). Hard copies will be available from the Regional Offices or by e-mailing email@example.com later this summer.
Season setting for the 2019-20 season and beyond
Deciding on the “best” or the “right” waterfowl season dates is a difficult task that has been a contentiously debated topic since regulated duck seasons began in the 1900s.To provide guidance for this challenging task, DEC began a two-year effort to expand on the current hunter task force process.
The modified season-selection process will directly incorporate the opinions and values of a representative sample of duck hunters and will use the most comprehensive migration data available. Last fall, DEC and Cornell University worked with the Waterfowl Hunter Task Forces to develop a survey that was sent out to over one-third of the registered duck hunters in New York State.
The goal of the survey was to identify how hunters defined a high-quality duck hunting experience (i.e., what makes the “best duck season”). The survey avoided asking “what days do you want to hunt” and instead focused on what hunter’s value in their hunting experience. DEC can use this information along with migration data specific to each waterfowl zone and evaluate how well various season dates match hunters’ values and migration chronology.
Results of the hunter survey are currently being analyzed by Cornell University and are expected later this fall. The next step in the decision-making process will occur later this summer when DEC meets with the Waterfowl Hunter Task Forces in each zone to establish a list of possible season date alternatives.
The last step in the process will occur this fall when DEC and Cornell University evaluate the tradeoffs and consequences of each season alternative to identify the optimal season based on hunters’ values and migration data (see Cornell Lab of Ornithology “STEM” Models for more on migration data). More information on the season setting process, results of the 2017 Duck Hunter Survey, and proposed future duck season dates for 2019-2023 (barring any changes to the federal regulations framework) will be posted on the DEC website during late fall 2018.
I Bird NY Engages New Yorkers of All Ages and Abilities in Beginning Birding
Connecting New Yorkers with Nature
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos recently announced the launch of two birding challenges for 2018 through the State’s “I BIRD NY” program. I BIRD NY was launched by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in 2017 to build on the State’s efforts to increase access to New York’s vast natural resources and promote low-cost opportunities to explore the great outdoors and connect with nature.
DEC Commissioner Seggos said, “Birding can be enjoyed by New Yorkers of any age and ability, no matter where they live. I BIRD NY is making it easier than ever to get outside and enjoy birdwatching. I encourage residents and visitors alike to take a trip and experience some of New York’s prime bird watching areas. For competitive birders out there, I encourage you to participate in this year’s Birder Challenge.”
I BIRD NY encourages New Yorkers to engage in birding all year long. From Montauk to Buffalo, New York is home to a wide array of habitats that support more than 450 different bird species. There are also 59 Bird Conservation Areas across the state. Bird watching is one of the fastest growing outdoor recreational activities that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and experiences in any community.
To help encourage young people to get outdoors, DEC is hosting an I BIRD NY Beginners Birding Challenge (PDF, 892 KB) open to anyone 16 years of age and younger. All participants will receive a completion certificate, an official I BIRD NY bracelet, and be entered to win birding accessories, including binoculars and spotting scopes. To complete the Beginners Birding Challenge, participants must find 10 common New York bird species.
This year, DEC is introducing a new birding challenge open to adults. Current birders are encouraged to take birding to the next level by taking the I BIRD NY Experienced Birder Challenge. To complete the challenge, birders must find at least 10 of 50 listed bird species found across New York State. All participants in this challenge will receive a special certificate, bracelet, and be entered into a drawing for a spotting scope. All entries for the two challenges must be received by September 30, 2018.
This year makes an especially good time to engage all New Yorkers in the appreciation and protection of bird species. 2018 has been named the Year of the Bird by the National Audubon Society, National Geographic, BirdLife International, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
“Audubon New York applauds the DEC’s continued commitment to connect New Yorkers to nature through the joys of birdwatching, and we thank the Commissioner for embarking on this worthwhile and fun initiative”, said Ana Paula Tavares, Executive Director, Audubon New York. “We look forward to working with the DEC to provide opportunities for New Yorkers to engage in these challenges and to enjoy birding through our statewide network of nature centers, sanctuaries, and local Audubon chapter programs.”
The need for outdoor recreation has never been greater. According to the National Wildlife Federation, childhood obesity has doubled over the past 20 years and the average American child spends as few as 30 minutes in unstructured outdoor play each day, and more than seven hours each day in front of an electronic screen. Accessible state lands, parks, and facilities can promote physical activity, an important element of overall wellness. These assets provide low-cost opportunities to explore the great outdoors and to connect with nature.
Birding and wildlife watching also provide significant economic impacts to New York’s communities. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, wildlife watchers spent $4.2 billion on wildlife-watching activities in New York State in 2011.
Visit I Bird NY to find the two challenges, and for information on where and how to bird watch, upcoming bird walks and other events, a downloadable kids booklet, and additional resources.
Brian Hartman with the 18 lb. 2 oz. walleye he caught from the St. Lawrence River,
St. Lawrence County on May 5, 2018.
Cattaraugus County Black Crappie Topples Old Benchmark
St. Lawrence County Walleye Shatters Former Record
Two new state fishing records were set over the course of one weekend in New York recently, State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today.
“High quality fishing opportunities abound across New York and announcing two record-breaking catches is the perfect way to kick-start the 2018 freshwater fishing season,” said Commissioner Seggos. “It’s remarkable that anglers broke these records back-to-back over a single weekend and from water bodies in different regions of the state. I encourage anglers to share their notable catches with DEC this year on social media and through our Angler Achievement Awards Program.”
Brian Hartman of Alexandria Bay eclipsed the 2009 state record walleye by more than 1.5 pounds when he caught an 18-pound-2-ounce walleye from the St. Lawrence River on May 5 using a swim bait.
On May 6, William Wightman of South Dayton used a black marabou jig to reel in a 4-pound-1-ounce crappie from Lake Flavia in Cattaraugus County, exceeding the 1998 state record by five ounces.
Hartman’s record breaking walleye in St. Lawrence County water was caught on the opening day for walleye season, which runs from the first Saturday in May through March 15. Thanks to DEC’s walleye management efforts, walleye are found in every major watershed and are considered one of the most prized gamefish in New York State. These fish are also highly regarded as one of the best tasting freshwater fish.
Black crappie, also known as strawberry bass or calico bass, are found throughout the state in clear, quiet lakes, ponds, and rivers where vegetation is abundant. Spring is a popular time of year to fish for crappie, as these fish can be found in large schools in shallow water prior to spawning. Not only are crappie fun to catch, but like walleye, they’re great to eat, too.
Wightman and Hartman submitted details of their winning catches as part of DEC’s Angler Achievement Awards Program, which tracks state record fish. Through this program, anglers can enter freshwater fish that meet specific qualifying criteria and receive official recognition of their catch and a distinctive lapel pin commemorating the achievement. Three categories make up the program: Catch & Release, Annual Award, and State Record.
New York Motorists Encouraged to Safely Move Turtles to Side of the Road
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today reminded the public that the state’s native turtles are on the move in May and June, seeking sandy areas or loose soil to lay their eggs. Drivers that see a turtle on the road should use caution-not swerve suddenly or leave their lane of travel–and take care to avoid hitting turtles while driving.
In New York, thousands of turtles are killed each year when they are struck by vehicles while migrating to nesting areas. New York’s 11 native species of land turtles are in decline, and turtles can take more than 10 years to reach breeding age. The reptiles lay just one small clutch of eggs each year, which means the loss of a breeding female can have a significant effect on the local turtle population.
This time of year, it is especially important to be on the lookout for turtles and to drive cautiously, particularly on roads near rivers and marshy areas. If a turtle is spotted on the road or near the shoulder, drivers should safely stop their vehicle and consider moving the turtle to the side of the road in the direction the reptile is facing. Drivers should only stop and move turtles when it safe to do so and should never put themselves, their passengers, or others at risk.
Most turtles can be picked up by the side of their shells. Do not pick up a turtle by its tail. Picking the turtle up by its tail may frighten or injure the reptile.
It’s important to use extreme caution when moving snapping turtles; either pick the turtle up at the rear of the shell near the tail using two hands, or slide a car mat under the turtle to drag the turtle across the road. Do not take native turtles into personal possession. All native turtles are protected by law and cannot be collected without a permit. Snakes can sometimes also be seen crossing or basking on the road. If safe to do so, please slow down and steer around them.
Understanding our outdoor rules, regulations, policies and tendencies is what this group provides to all of us interested to keep our outdoor heritage alive and well. Check out the story.
April 30, 2018; FERNANDINA BEACH, FL. – Sportsmen are spending millions of dollars on hunting and recreational shooting equipment, but which brands are they buying? Southwick Associates surveyed more than 20,000 hunters and recreational shooters in 2017 through their online HunterSurvey and ShooterSurvey consumer panels to identify the top brands in the market.
In 2017, some of the most purchased hunting and shooting brands include:
Top rifle ammunition brand: American Eagle
Top reflex/red dot sight brand: Vortex
Top brand of scope mount: Leupold
Top propellant/powder brand: Pyrodex
Top bow brand: Bear
Top arrow brand: Easton
Top brand of nocks: Nockturnal
Top archery target brand: Hurricane
Top archery sight brand: Tru Glo
10.Top reloading press brand: Lee Precision
Top reloading brass shell case brand: Starline
Top reloading shot brand: Eagle
Top coverall brand: Bass Pro/Redhead
14.Top backpack/waist/duffle brand: Badlands
Top decoy brand: Zink/Avian-X
Top food plot brand: Mossy Oak Biologic
Top trail camera brand: Wildgame Innovations
Top hunting knife brand: Buck
Top holster/ammo belt brand: Blackhawk
Top choke tube brand: Carlson
Top grip/buttstock brand: Magpul
More than one hundred products are examined in the Southwick Associates 2017 Hunting & Shooting Participation and Equipment Purchases Report. This in-depth resource illustrates sportsmen’s participation and shopping behaviors, including the percentage of sales occurring across different retail channels, brand purchased, price paid, and demographics for hunters and shooters buying specific products. Additional information tracked includes total days spent per activity, type of hunting / shooting activity, preferred species and where they hunt.
In addition to the topline reports covering hunting and target shooting, annual reports are also offered for special segments including archery consumers, deer hunters, turkey hunters, and waterfowl hunters. These reports provide the industry with an in-depth profile along with trend insights on the specific market.
Custom, confidential research is also available to help understand brand awareness/perceptions, identify products most desired by consumers, optimal pricing, and more. To purchase a report or discuss custom research, contact Nancy Bacon at Nancy@SouthwickAssociates.com.
Southwick Associates is a market research and economics firm, specializing in the hunting, shooting, sportfishing, and outdoor recreation markets. For more than 25 years, Southwick Associates has established a proven record for delivering comprehensive insights and statistics assisting business and strategic decisions across the entire outdoor industry; from government agencies, industry associations and non-profit organizations, to affiliated businesses and manufacturers. Aside from custom market research, Southwick Associates also provides syndicated participation, media consumption and equipment purchase tracking studies utilizing their proprietary sportsmen panels.
A new book about Adventure, Tragedy, Death, Life, Peace, Mystical Intervention, Joy, Leadership.
I couldn’t put it down. This book offers all that in just 122 pages! It’s in the running for the Pulitzer Prize this year.
“The Mountains Shall Depart” by Robert E. Holzheishares a secret tale about a young man named Luke, as he learns about the life and the outdoors on a farm in the 1940s.
Luke’s journey from childhood provides an intriguing trail where he discovers hard work ethic and uncompromising risk that lead to burden, panic and tragedy.
A spellbinding journey emerges for Luke that becomes mystical, when an Alaskan shaman helps Luke shed a tragedy he cannot erase from childhood. The new trail becomes a spiritual journey where Luke soon discovers new energy and a life-changing path that becomes a life-long journey to coach others in a new role.
Once you start reading the book, you realize that overcoming adversity, realizing new inspiration and linking to new goals is not about fiction. A story where the end is a new beginning.
The well-written book, 122 pages, is hard to put down. You can obtain a copy two ways:
Families: It’s Maple Syrup Time and Late Winter Adventures
Chautauqua, New York – Feb. 22, 2018: Winter Fishing – Anglers on Chautauqua Lake have enjoyed one of the finest ice fishing seasons in several years. Huge crappie over three pounds, walleye over 10-pounds, lots of toothy musky – some better than four feet long, as well as bluegills and yellow perch, all have been testing the lightweight winter fishing lines of anglers from Mayville to Jamestown. Hard ice off the north side of Long Point has provided excellent fishing, though anglers accessing the lake from the Mayville Town Park parking area have enjoyed good catches as well. With spring warming trends, the once solid ice of 10-12 inches thickness will thin quickly. Open water flows from tributary creeks will soon begin and runoffs from warming canals will initiate the onset of early crappie fishing for hardy anglers, well ahead of the usual calendar start. For the latest fishing news, check with Skip Bianco at Hogan’s Hut, www.hogans-hut.com/, 716-789-3831 or Mike Sperry at Chautauqua Reel Outdoors, www.chautauquareeloutdoors.com/, 716-763-2947.
Shotgun Hunters: Canada geese – they abound as a golden Chautauqua opportunity for 5-bird daily bag limits with the nine-day late Goose Hunting Season that runs March 2-10. Cackling geese and white-fronted geese may be taken as part of the Canada goose daily and possession limit. Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Snow geese season is open now too, they may be taken by special Conservation Order through April 15, daily limit is 25 birds. The geese species, possession limit is three times the daily limit, except for snow geese. Use of non-toxic shot required and hunters should remember that the possession limit is the maximum number of birds with you in the field, at home, in transit or in storage. For special hunter regulations visit: www.dec.ny.gov.
Maple Syrup Family Adventures – the sunny winter weather has been with us, maple tree sap is flowing in Chautauqua County. Maple weekends are just ahead: March 17-18 and March 24-25, 2018. There are three Sugar House Sites that will offer free, family-oriented events to learn about maple syrup making, each site offering different “See & Do Fun,” many with free samples. Mmmm! Learn about boiling tree sap, filtering, bottling, packaging and making maple sugar candy. Enjoy horse drawn wagon rides, hiking tours, other activities. Events run no matter rain or snow or shine. Wear boots. Add these stops to your schedule: Big Tree Maple, 2040 Holly Lane, Lakewood, NY,14750, www.bigtreemaple.com, 716-763-5917; Clear Creek Farm, 5067 Morris Road, Mayville, NY, 14757, www.clearcreekfarms.us/, 716-269-2079; Fairbanks Maple, 9265 Putman Road, Forestville, NY, 14062, www.facebook.com/FairbanksMaple/, 716-965-4208.
On-Line Outdoor Show, FREE Entry. Over 70 booths! Click and Go
$50 Free Coupons Just for Entering. Visit on Lunchtime Wherever you Are!
Use Your Handheld Mobil Devices, your iPod, iPad, iPhone, Laptop or Home Computer!
Feb. 6, 2018 –Kansas City, Mo. – The new North American Sportshow is a welcome change that you knew was coming. It’s a free, virtual on-line outdoor show! Don’t imagine, just click and go (https://www.nasportshow.com/). You can hold this entire show in the palm of your hand, you can visit at high speed.
The North American Sportshow will accommodate all who might rather stay inside a warm place this winter, especially during the next snow storm. Even the sick or disabled, get a front seat. Forget the freezing wind, blowing snow, long entry lines, parking cost, slippery roads and those 20-minute standing waits to your favorite booth once you finally get inside the outdoor show place.
The North American Sportshow is the new modern outdoor show that is free to enter, free to move about, free to download catalogs, free to purchase outdoor gear goodies at show special discount prices. Newcomers receive an instant $50 worth of free coupons to use just for entering the show.
Visit the Fishing & Marine Hall, the Hunting & Shooting Hall, the Outdoor Travel Hall, the Conservation Hall, and be pleasantly surprised at the Wildlife Art Hall even you are a tough outdoor hombre. The Wildlife Art Hall offers a new and amazing chance to explore what wildlife art is all about. In each of the halls, visitors will find “comfort info,” with free access to boat-makers, lure companies, stay-warm gear and clothing companies, fishing and hunting guides, video seminars and free drawings for gear.
At Tracker Boats, look over show special fishing boat values – like a qualifying Tracker Grizzly boat package, buy one, receive a $1,000 Bass Pro Shop/Cabela’s gift card! Imagine that.
At Trout Unlimited, find a Whitlock 5-fly set of essential flies from Rainy Premium Flies, a 4-piece St. Croix Legend Ultra Rod or a Redington Wayfarer fly rod/reel set at rock bottom cost (nearly half price).
Visit over 70 booths! Tackle Warehouse, Booyah Lures, Gamma fish line – better fishing through science, Phantom Lures, Target Walleye, Qwest stainless steel, Patagonia, Ranger Boats, Simms, the Wilderness Society, Sportsmen for Boundary Waters, Sportsman’s Alliance of Alaska and dozens of others.
With our changing modern times toward hand-held electronics, continuous keystroke adventure and a world-wide bond to wireless communication, you can hit the next outdoor show without any hassle, all for free. Click here: (https://www.nasportshow.com/).
The North American Sportshow supports access to public lands and conservation practices.
Show Information Contact: David Gray, firstname.lastname@example.org; 816-350-9066
Outdoor Media Contact: Dave Barus, email@example.com; 716-597-4081
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Bass Pro Shops is celebrating the return of fishing season and inviting customers to trade in used gear to be donated to local charities in exchange for big savings. The 2018 Spring Fishing Classic is a free celebration taking place February 16 – March 4 at Bass Pro Shops locations across the United States (March 2 – 18 in Canada and Alaska).
Customers that donate used rods and reels (in working order) can receive trade-in savings of up to $200. The used fishing equipment will be donated to local nonprofit organizations. Bass Pro Shops has donated nearly 290,000 products to youth-focused nonprofit organizations as part of the company’s mission to inspire everyone to enjoy, love and conserve the great outdoors.
The Classic also includes free fishing seminars for all skill levels, pro appearances at Bassmaster University (Bassmaster University not applicable in Canada), activities for women and children and free giveaways. Visitors will also see a variety of special offers to upgrade their gear before they hit the water.
“The annual Spring Fishing Classic—a free event that reaches more than seven million people each year—provides great opportunities for families to get ready for fishing season and creating lifelong memories together on the water,” said Bass Pro Shops communications manager Katie Mitchell. “We encourage all anglers to participate in our rod and reel trade-in program which has collected and donated about 290,000 products to local organizations that teach young people to enjoy and appreciate the outdoors.”
Free Seminars and Family Events
The 2018 Spring Fishing Classic again offers opportunities to learn from the pros during Bassmaster University hosted by some of the greatest anglers in the sport. Local pros will also host free fishing seminars throughout the 17-day event. For a full list of sessions and special appearances, visit www.basspro.com/classic.
Women’s Fishing Workshops
Available with introductory fishing information and helpful tips on Saturday, March 3 at 1:30 p.m. (Saturday, March 17 at 1:30 p.m. at Alaska and Canada locations). The first 25 seminar attendees of each advertised local pro seminar and the Women’s Fishing Workshop will receive a Bass Pro Shops protective dry box.
Next Generation Weekend
Offers free activities focused on teaching kids the basics of fishing. Kids activities are available from noon to 5 p.m. on March 3 and 4 (March 17 – 18 at Alaska and Canada locations). Free activities include casting challenges, a fishing workshop, fun craft, and a photo download.
A number of special offers are available during the Spring Fishing Classic:
Customers using a Bass Pro Shops credit card to purchase new gear throughout the Spring Fishing Classic can receive up to $100 via instant rebate. (U.S. locations only)
Attendees can also enter for a chance to win a fishing trip with Garmin professional angler Jason Christie. The winner will receive a one-day fishing trip, a Garmin echoMAP Plus Fishfinder, a $500 Bass Pro Shops gift card, travel and accommodations—a total retail value of $4,999. Register at the stores or online at www.basspro.com/classicsweeps.
Enter for a chance to receive a Bass Pro Shops gift card valued up to $2,400 with the purchase of select boat models from Tracker Marine.
Browning Camping is proud to release the Refuge, a new sleeping bag that offers campsite comfort and versatility. The mummy-shaped bag, offers top-of-the-line features that Browning Camping’s customers expect. A center zipper can be zipped from the bottom for additional venting, and TechLoft Gold insulation ensures warmth (the Refuge comes in two temperature grades +15-degrees and -10-degrees). The durable separating zippers glide smoothly, and the outer fabric is nylon ripstop. What makes the Refuge stand out are the zippered armholes that allow venting, or the freedom to drink your warm beverage of choice without leaving the warmth of your sleeping bag.
Browning Camping takes the Browning motto of “The Best There Is” to heart, producing outdoor and camping gear of only the highest quality. This ensures that every item we manufacture is worthy of the world-famous and highly trusted Buckmark. Using only the highest quality fabrics, components and construction techniques, Browning Camping gear stands above the crowd in terms of quality outdoor products. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better air pad, tent, sleeping bag or camp chair on the market today. Backed by an industry-leading lifetime guarantee, Browning Camping gear truly is “The Best There Is.”
ALPS Brands is a proud licensee and distributor of Browning Camping.
About ALPS OutdoorZ, an ALPS Brands Company: Beginning in 1993 with the establishment of ALPS Mountaineering, ALPS Brands is a continuously growing and expanding group of companies dedicated to developing and manufacturing high quality, performance-driven outdoor products. Currently making up the ALPS Brands family of companies are ALPS Mountaineering, ALPS OutdoorZ, Delta Waterfowl Gear, Browning Camping and Cedar Ridge. Using the experience and knowledge gained from manufacturing high quality camping and backpacking gear under ALPS Mountaineering, ALPS Brands established ALPS OutdoorZ in 2007 with the mission of developing affordable, performance-driven hunting gear. Ten years after releasing their first group of hunting products, ALPS OutdoorZ has grown to offer packs, furniture, gun cases, sleeping bags and ground blinds. Brought together by a shared passion for wildlife and conservation, ALPS OutdoorZ is a proud sponsor and licensee of Delta Waterfowl, RMEF and NWTF products. ALPS OutdoorZ items are sold and distributed in the best camping, backpacking and outdoor dealers throughout the entire US and Canada. For more information, please visit: www.ALPSOUTDOORZ.COM.
When people think of the SCI Hunters’ Convention, visions of big game hunts in Africa, Asia, South America and North America come to mind. What may come as a surprise is that several outfitters displaying at the Convention offer outstanding game bird and waterfowl hunting opportunities all over the world.
One of the outfitters who again will be exhibiting at the 2018 SCI Hunters’ Convention is Ramsey Russell with GetDucks.com. When you talk with Ramsey, you can’t help but get excited about booking one of his dozens of game bird and waterfowl hunts available all over the world.
“The response to our hunts at our first SCI Convention was a total surprise,” says Russell. “Because we offer such a variety of hunts for virtually every bird, duck and goose in the world, our booth was swamped.”
Many avid bird hunters are looking for the next place to hunt for a bird they have never taken. Much like big game hunters who add to their list of game taken, bird hunters are looking for exotic hunts in places where they can take birds they may never have even seen before.
“We specialize in hunts, not only for birds, but for the accommodations and amenities that make for an enjoyable and lasting experience,” says Ramsey. “One of my biggest joys in this business is seeing client/friends at the SCI Convention and hearing about how much they enjoyed a hunt they booked with us. Many come back to look for their next adventure.”
So what type of hunts can you book with Getducks.com? You can book a hunt for one of 49 species of waterfowl in North America. When you go to the GetDucks.com website, you will find hunts available for each species. All you have to do is click on the one you want and the hunts pop up.
If you are looking for an exotic bird like a Western Capercaillie or dozens of others, you can book hunts for them, too, with GetDucks.com. It really is amazing to see the number of hunts Russell has put together.
In addition to GetDucks.com, there are several other outfitters offering bird hunts at the SCI Convention. It has been a growing area of the Convention as more and more hunters start collecting the multitude of game bird and waterfowl species in North America and around the world.
If you’re interested in wingshooting and looking for the next great adventure, be sure to attend the 2018 SCI Hunters’ Convention and visit with the outfitters who specialize in bird hunts. There are hundreds of hunts to choose from.
About the SCI Hunters’ Convention: Safari Club expects upwards of 24,000 international hunters to visit
Las Vegas, January 31-February 3, 2018. The SCI Hunters’ Convention represents the largest and most successful event to raise money for advocacy to protect hunters’ rights. The 2018 Hunters’ Convention will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center with over a million square feet of exhibits and almost 1,000 exhibiting companies.
Joining Safari Club International is the best way to be an advocate for continuing our hunting heritage and supporting worldwide sustainable use conservation, wildlife education and humanitarian services.
Safari Club International – First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI has approximately 200 Chapters worldwide and its members represent all 50 of the United States as well as 106 other countries.SCI’s proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit the home page www.safariclub.org or call 520-620-1220 for more information.
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA) is working on national policy issues that affect all sportsmen, here is an update:
BHA responded in force to the Trump administration’s unprecedented rollback of monument protections on more than 2 million acres of American public lands. Thanks to many of you who have spoken up, we’ve been sending a clear message that this decision undermines the longstanding bipartisan legacy of the Antiquities Act. We’ve responded to this historic attack with a series of ads, press releases and opinion articles. To make sure you have the facts needed to respond accordingly, we’ve compiled Frequently Asked Questions to help you better understand our stance.
Greater Sage Grouse
Our sagebrush ecosystems play a critical ecological role that not only supports the sage grouse, but mule deer, pronghorn, elk and a multitude of other species. For decades, habitat loss and degradation from development, invasive species and fire and have negatively impacted these iconic places. BHA has fought hard to see conservation plans implemented but a small faction in Congress and the current administration is intent on unraveling this historic collaborative conservation success. After BHA and our partners successfully averted attempts to scuttle conservation plans in defense spending legislation, the Interior Department issued a notice of intent to consider amending all, some or none of the 98 management plans. According to the DOI notice, this review is a result of one plan’s failure to prepare an environmental impact statement for its sagebrush focal areas. BHA and our chapters around the West have attended public meetings and submitted comments to the BLM. We’re remaining diligent and we will let you know as more comments and action are needed.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Despite widespread opposition from sportsmen and many others, the Senate passed a tax bill earlier this month that includes a provision to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to energy development. With House and Senate legislation now combined into a package that will likely be sent to President Trump for his signature before Christmas, the refuge, home to the largest migratory caribou heard in the world, is a backcountry treasure at risk Check out this video that features national board member J.R. Young, his wife Renee and Alaska volunteer extraordinaire Barry Whitehill. It’s not too late to let your members of Congress know where you stand.
Mountain Bikes in Wilderness
Earlier this month the House Natural Resource Committee held a hearing on the latest version of a Trojan horse bill to allow mountain bikes and other forms of mechanized recreation in wilderness. Our position on maintaining traditional uses and intact habitat in wilderness area remains unchanged, and we’d welcome your help in making this position known by writing a letter to the editor, setting up meetings with your members of Congress or sharing your opinion on social media. If you can lend a hand, please let us know. Find a rundown of many of the issues that BHA is actively working on here.
Learn WHEN TO SEE the Aurora Borealis and the Midnight Sun
Learn About WHERE TO STAY
Learn WHEN TO VISIT Denali National Park
Fairbanks, Alaska (AK) – The Explore Fairbanks 2018 Official Visitors Guide, a 78-page, full-color booklet that describes Fairbanks’ year-round opportunities, is now available for free. The annual publication is designed to capture the features and attractions specific to life in the region. Fairbanks is defined by the midnight sun, the Aurora Borealis, the centrally located Chena and Yukon Rivers and many miles of wilderness.
Fairbanks delineates the Aurora Season as August 21 through April 21, when visitors have the opportunity of seeing the Aurora Borealis. Fairbanks’ location is ideal for northern lights viewing because it is under the “Auroral Oval,” a ring-shaped zone where aurora activity is concentrated. Additionally, Fairbanks’ low precipitation and distance from coastal areas contributes to consistently clear nights. All combined, these conditions make the Fairbanks Region an outstanding destination for Aurora viewing. Conversely, the Midnight Sun Season runs from April 22 through August 20. The midnight sun shines brightly for the whole summer with the most sunlight occurring between May 17 and July 27, when Fairbanks experiences 70 straight days of light.
Known as the “Golden Heart of Alaska,” Fairbanks is located in the center of Alaska and serves as the basecamp for Alaska’s vast Interior and Arctic. Places situated nearby are Denali National Park and Preserve, the Arctic Circle, Chena Hot Springs, North Pole and a myriad of villages, refuges and parks. The Arctic is featured prominently as Fairbanks is the hub for travel, research, supplies and transportation to the area. The guide highlights year-round activities available in the frontier community that include fishing, wildlife viewing, birdwatching, hiking, visiting museums and floating the Chena River. Additional activities take place during the winter months, such as dog mushing, ice sculpting, snowmobiling and skiing. The guide also features exhibitions, attractions and performances focused on Alaska Native heritage, contemporary arts and gold rush history.
The calendar section details significant events including the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race and the Midnight Sun Festival. The guide also lists a wide variety of seasonal and year-round accommodations, services, restaurants, shopping and attractions.
For a free copy of the 2018 Fairbanks Visitors Guide and the companion piece, the 2017-2018 Fairbanks Winter Guide, contact Explore Fairbanks at 1-800-327-5774 or (907) 456-5774 or write to Explore Fairbanks, 101 Dunkel St, Suite 111, Fairbanks, AK 99701-4806. View both guides online at explorefairbanks.com.
About Explore Fairbanks: Explore Fairbanks is a non-profit marketing and management organization whose mission is to be an economic driver in the Fairbanks region by marketing to potential visitors and optimizing the visitor experience. Explore Fairbanks markets Fairbanks as a year-round destination by promoting local events, attractions and activities to independent travelers, group tour operators, travel agents, meeting planners and the media as well as by developing public policy and infrastructure to achieve marketing objectives. Find out more at explorefairbanks.com.
The aggressive Defender XMR-HD10 side-by-side vehicle is factory built to tackle the nastiest of mud, where traction and torque are in high demand. An authentic mud monster, the muscular Defender not only reinforces the Can-Am brand’s leadership in the mud-riding spectrum, but it does so with unmatched styling and engineering ingenuity. The specialized Defender XMR HD10 vehicle — available in either a Carbon Black & Sunburst Yellow finish or premium Mossy Oak Break-Up Country camo — includes all the Defender XT HD10 package features, but expands upon those conveniences with its own advancements for greater success in the mud.
The state-of-the-art Smart-Lok lockable front differential and large 30-in. (76.2 cm) ITP Cryptid mud tires, when mated to the existing 72hp Rotax V-twin HD10 engine, durable PRO-TORQ Transmission supply unprecedented levels of grip and sure-footed control in the mud. The Smart-Lok differential includes dual modes (Trail and Mud) for added convenience and ingenious terrain adaptation. The factory-installed snorkeled CVT and engine intakes ensure flawless execution when tackling wet and muddy conditions.
Usually with unexpected gunboat diplomacy, winter delivers nasty weather. Bone-chilling cold is predicted for the 2017 Christmas holiday period in many parts of the country, but don’t panic.
For outdoor folks, heading out on a hunting trip or planning to fish from a blind on the ice, it could still be great fun with the right gear. If you are a biker or hiker and live where the air is not so chilly, this outdoor gear story will also be helpful for you.
For indoor folks, it’s a good cost-effective time to shop for those you love that are outdoor folks. Read on.
I’m new to the modern sub-compact gear for cooking, warming, staying comfortable and surviving by any other term. What I have recently discovered is that the new gear is startlingly small, surprisingly efficient and pleasingly affordable.
In fact, I’m from a retired engineering career and I found the gear to be more than durable. I’m not easy on gear, my grandkids are worse. This gear has become my legitimate partner for just about everything in my outdoor life. AND, maybe best of all, it is so small.
The stove will fit into your hiking, hunting or fishing jacket pocket, or your parka, or easily into a small backpack or fanny pack with room to spare. The stove can go anywhere because it is so small and light. Made from stainless steel and aluminum, the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle 4-Season Stove (Item 56003) measures 2” x 1.8” x 3.2” in size! Imagine that. As I said, I’m startled by the small size and weight. It weighs under 6 ounces. Purchase just one in your lifetime and keep it for your lifetime.
The stove is powered by a small fuel source (isobutane) in canister form (Item 56022) that also fits into your pocket at a size of 4.3” x 4.3” x 3.7”. So compact, yet so powerful, it will warm your chilled fingers or cook a mini-gourmet meal of your choice wherever you are. I carry two of these…just in case. Just in case we need to cook fish, deer, alligator, elk, or the simple things like soup and hot dogs. It’s good to be prepared!
Down south in the Florida warm weather of December through April, beachcombers and picnickers find good use for such compact gear, kayakers too, for an island picnic lunch. For outdoor folks anywhere, this gear is just right.
With the compact source of heat and stove all set, the Glacier Stainless Camper Set (Item 68181) adds a 3-liter pot, 2-liter pot, strainer lid, 9” fry pan, four 14 ounce mugs, four 14 ounce bowls, four plates 7-1/2’ across, four sip-it tops, and a folding pot/pan gripper, and it all is nested within itself to form a rugged, compact stack that fits into a wash basin carrier. All of that in a size of 8.3” x 8.3” x 5.3” if you can imagine that. It weighs 4 lbs 9 oz. Unbelievable.
If you are as demanding as I am on my gear, this system represents a unique solution of ingenious cookware and eating-ware designed to finally meet the needs for those of us that enjoy great outdoor meals without the baggage and volume of usual home style cookware.
Plus, the modular design can be configured for backpacking, camping or anything in-between, with the exact pieces required for 2-4 people to enjoy a gourmet meal on the go, or just to warm your buns, if you know what I mean.
I’m sure we agree that eating, drinking, keeping warm and staying comfortable are life necessities wherever you go in the outdoors. With all the compact gear identified, what did we forget? We need a table!
There is a new small, ultralight table designed to keep food and drink off the ground. It is multi-purpose, can fit in your pocket, can be used for picnics, lawn concerts, on the beach, for backpacking, fishing, hiking, biking and kayaking anywhere that food and drink can be enjoyed. The 14-ounce table is an 8.5” x 12” folding platform that compacts to just 0.6” thick x 4” wide. So small. It’s strong too, constructed of sturdy, flame and heat resistant aluminum and
stainless, it will hold 20 lbs. Raised edges help keep items from sliding off. I carry two of these on my trips in search of crisp morning mist and the serenity of a beautiful orange sunset. I carry it all, because it could just be me on a scouting adventure or could be me, my wife and all of our hungry grandkids tagging along on that next adventure. But, it’s all so small and so big.
GSI Outdoors also offers a larger table too. Download the catalog and order a few new holiday gifts for your favorite people. Amazon carries most of the above with free shipping options. For more details on the specific gear mentioned here, check it out online at http://www.gsioutdoors.com/. Download the “GSI 2018 Workbook.”
Transform your next adventure with this compact outdoor gear that allows you to be prepared to satisfy many needs, literally.
Thanks to all Public Land Owners who supported Backwoods Hunters & Anglers (BHA) on #GivingTuesday. We raised $25,818, crushing our goal of $10,000!
Special thanks go to BHA Legacy Partners Ben Bailey, Blake Fischer, Paul Moseley and Adam Ratner for collectively matched the first $10,000 raised. We’d also like to thank the team at Hunt-to-Eat for their generous contribution of $3500, which put us well over the $10,000 mark at 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday night (11/28/2017).
Welcome to new BHA Life Members Debra Gale, Charlie Noyes, John Soderquist and Tara Wertz, along with the other new members who joined BHA yesterday. Not a member yet or want to confirm your membership status? Learn more here.
A big backcountry high five goes to the following for their support of our public lands:
$1000+: Ben Bailey, Blake Fischer, Hunt-to-Eat, Paul Moseley, Jared Oakleaf, Adam Ratner, Thomas Squeri, J.R. Young
$100-$500: Reid Alexander, Karla Bird, Jason Burton, Jock Conyngham, Sean Carriere, Mike Doering, Javin Elliff, Thomas Filgo, Roger Furlong, Christopher Hagness, Tim Harris, Chris Hennessey, Nick Hoefer, Jonny Holton, Thom Jorgensen, Sam and Cheryl Kaywood, Tom Kuekes, Gregory Koch, Daniel Lichtenberg, Darren Limesand, Joshua McDonald, John Milam, Andrew Miller, Richard Pond, Jesse Riggleman, Scott Robinson, Mark Rupp, Matthew Sarchet, Jon Schwedler, John Sigler, Ben Tackett, John Tautin, Land Tawney, Tara Thomas, Matthew Thorburn, Scott Thorburn, Tom Tolliver, Kelly Tuerffs, Leo Walter IV, Bradley Young, Matthew Yost
Again, thanks to all who made this #GivingTuesday BHA’s most successful yet! Here’s to keeping public lands in public hands! Onward & upward– Land Tawney CEO/President, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced S. 2135, the Fix NICS Act to encourage and incentivize states to enter all applicable disqualifying records into the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and help provide states the resources to do so. S. 2135 would also require federal agencies to properly report relevant records and hold those who fail to do so accountable.
There are currently several states and some federal agencies withholding disqualifying records that would help prevent prohibited persons under current law from possessing firearms. Federal Firearms License holders rely upon the NICS to be accurate in order to prevent the sale and transfer of firearms to prohibited persons.
Please take this opportunity to email or call today to urge your U.S. Senators to cosponsor S. 2135, the Fix NICS Act.
Nothing will excite a hardwater die-hard like unwrapping a selection of Rapala’s best-in-class baits. Including world-renowned options like the iconic Jigging Rap® — the world’s No. 1 ice lure — and innovative models like the Slab Rap® and new smaller-sized Ultra Light Rippin’ Rap® No. 3, Rapala’s family of ice baits is sure to help any angler land their fill of fish this season.
Swimming in tantalizing circles under the ice, the Jigging Rap features a balanced, weighted minnow profile. Single reversed hooks with center treble and eyelet, this bait can also be bottom-bounced yo-yo style with unbeatable results.
Available in a wide range of sizes and color patterns, no adventure on the ice is complete without a handful of these bad boys.
Another outstanding option when anglers impart quick rod snaps, the Slab Rap delivers a wide-searching, erratic action beneath the ice, circling back to center after each pause. A simple lift-and-drop presentation creates a subtle vibration on the rise, followed by evasive side-to-side motion on the fall. The lure’s weight-forward design enables a rocking action for triggering negative fish in extra-frigid conditions.
Last, but certainly not least, the new Ultra Light Rippin’ Rap No. 3 may be the hardwater scene’s most anticipated new weapon. This walleye magnet flutters on the drop with a hard-vibrating action accented by a loud, distinctive BB rattle system. Drop it above a bottom-transition area, give it a few aggressive rips, then shake it gently in place to trigger big bites all day long.
A versatile new option, the Ultra Light Rippin’ Rap No. 3 is sure to nab its share of bruiser perch and pike in addition to coveted ‘eyes.
Crossbow Broadhead Blends Fixed and Mechanical Technology
SUPERIOR, Wis. (Oct. 3, 2017) — Due to customer demand, the popular Trocar HBX hybrid crossbow broadhead that blends the most lethal and accurate fixed-blade broadhead with a pair of center-pivot blades that deploy on contact for massive cuts on large animals is now available in a 125-grain.
Like the 100-grain, the new 125-grain Trocar HBX features 0.35-inch-thick surgically sharp stainless steel mechanical blades that remain tucked in tight to the solid-steel ferrule during flight, but they deploy on impact for a total cutting diameter of 2 5/8 inches on impact. For added accuracy and stability, the 0.35-inch thick fixed blades are slightly offset. The new heavier Trocar HBX also features the popular Muzzy bone-crushing chisel tip.
This new 125-grain hybrid broadhead is now available at retailers nationwide and conveniently online at www.muzzy.com. Suggested retail price for a three-pack of either the new 125-grain or the 100-grain Muzzy Trocar HBX broadheads is $39.95.
Founded in 1984, Muzzy is the number-one name in fixed-blade broadheads, and it is a pioneer in the art of bowfishing. A division of FeraDyne Outdoors, Muzzy is headquartered in Superior, Wis. For more information on the full line of Muzzy’s fixed-blade broadheads and state-of-the-art bowfishing equipment, contact Muzzy Outdoors, LLC, 101 Main Street, Superior, WI 54880; call 866-387-9307; or visit www.muzzy.com.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers – The Sportsmen’s Voice for Our Wild Public Lands, Waters and Wildlife
As Senate considers opening energy development in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, hunting/fishing opportunities in America’s ‘last frontier’ showcased in new film from BHA
MISSOULA, Mont., Nov. 14, 2017 – As Senate members prepare to advance legislation that would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil and gas development, public lands sportsmen and women are amplifying calls to reject the measure.
On Wednesday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a markup of the bill, introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and touted as an economic booster. In a short film released today, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers members visit the Arctic Refuge for an epic, once-in-a-lifetime caribou hunt, fishing trip and exploration of the region’s awe-inspiring terrain. The film ends with a call to action: urging public lands advocates to contact their senators to oppose drilling the refuge.
“This is the crown jewel that every backcountry hunter and angler should have the opportunity to fulfill in their lifetime,” said BHA member Barry Whitehill, of Fairbanks, Alaska, who appears in the film and traveled to Washington, D.C., recently to meet with members of Congress in support of the region’s conservation. “It’s the dream for anybody that’s passionate about hunting and fishing.”
“You can’t be seen as a public lands champion if you’re on the wrong side of history,” said BHA Conservation Director John Gale. “Sportsmen and women are looking to our elected officials to take action at this crucial moment in support of this unique place, its irreplaceable fish and wildlife habitat and hunting and fishing opportunities it provides. Strong, sound Senate leadership is needed now more than ever to ensure that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge remains wild and free from energy development that belongs in more appropriate and productive places.”
BHA has emerged as a leading voice in support of conserving the Arctic Refuge. BHA supports responsible energy development in places where we can achieve balance and limit impacts to fish and wildlife, but polls commissioned over the summer in Arizona and Colorado show strong public opposition to energy development in the refuge. In Arizona, 61 percent of voters opposed the proposal, along with 58 percent of Colorado voters.
Established in 1960 by President Eisenhower “for the purpose of preserving unique wildlife, wilderness and recreational values,” the refuge’s 19.5 million acres, including 8 million acres of wilderness, provide habitat to iconic game species including grizzlies, Dall sheep and caribou.
Said Whitehill in the BHA video, “Last frontier…you know, you take this out of the equation we have no more frontier. I don’t know if that’s a world I’d want to spend much time in.”
The Senate last month rejected a budget amendment that would have prevented oil and gas development within the refuge.
More seasonal weather has finally arrived along with an abundance of rain. Here in Western New York we are well on the way to setting new records for the amount or precipitation in 2017.
Let’s start the fish report with the lower stretches of the “Oak”: Perch fishing is good to very good, bass are active and northern pike are being caught occasionally.
On the upper stretches of the “Oak” it’s brown trout time. Brown trout in the upper teens are being caught and numbers are very good.
Fresh salmon are still entering the system along with the very start of the steelhead/rainbow trout run.
Water levels on all of the tributaries within Orleans County are slightly high to high and, with all of the rain we have experienced over the past few days, should go higher. Water color will go from stained to muddy for a day or two.
On Lake Alice, some crappie are starting to show up and bass fishing remains as good as ever.
Please remember that this coming weekend will be the last weekend for the Archers Club to be serving meals. Speaking of the Archers Club here are the winners of their Catch and Release Derby: In the Adult Division, Mia Stone had a 26.555 pound salmon, Nat Smith had a 11.115 Pound brown trout and Paul Davidson had a 6.12 pound steelhead. In the Youth Division, Ben Smith had a 16.630 Pound salmon.
Next year’s Archers Club Catch and Release Fly Fishing Derby will be held on October 17 – 19, 2018.
From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County. We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.
Today is Tuesday October 24, 2017.
The temperature yo-yo continues with the temperatures looking more like late September than late October.
Runs of all of the cold-water species are on again and off again on all of the tributaries within Orleans County.
That’s not to say that there is any shortage of any of the cold-water species in our tributaries, they are not the bigger runs that one would normally see this time of year.
Temperatures will be above average into late next week and beyond.
What this means to me and others is that the tributary season will be extended this year and that is great news.
Another positive part of this whole weather thing is that people with boats still in the water have been having great success in the near-shore waters of Lake Ontario off Orleans County.
All of the inland stream and lakes have been fairly quiet right now, but bass fishing is still doing well, especially on the upper reaches of Lake Alice. Please don’t forget that bass season closes on November 30th this year, so bass catch and release starts on December 1st.
Yellow perch are being caught on the lower Stretches of the “Oak”.
The Catch and Release Fly Fishing Derby at the St. Mary’s Archers Club was, once again, a great success with some fantastic fish being weighed in. There was great food being served, great prizes being awarded and great new friends made.
From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County. We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
More Women and Minorities are Planning to Purchase Handguns
More Beginners Plan to Purchase a Handgun
Younger Adults are Planning to Purchase a Handgun
Report Helps Explain Needs of the Changing Demographic
FERNANDINA BEACH, FL. –The handgun market has many different types of consumers, each wanting to buy for different reasons and uses. Two of these types, women and minorities, are a significant growth opportunity for handgun sales. They share the same passion to become proficient shooters like more experienced handgun owners and are seeking reliable handguns from reputable brands. When this group is combined with active target shooters and hunters who are looking to buy another handgun, the new handgun consumer is now younger, skews female and is ethnically-diverse (click here to view infographic).
As a supplement to the Customer Segmentation Analysis of the U.S. Commercial Firearms and Accessories Market report, Southwick Associates and NSSF have published a new handgun market report examining the demographics, firearm-related activities, motivations, needs, purchase drivers and shopping habits of those who own a handgun and those looking to buy one. Designed to help companies better understand the different factors that motivate consumers to buy a handgun and why they select specific models, this report identifies the major consumer segments that make up more than half of the U.S. handgun market.
This report is the next in a series based on Southwick Associates and NSSF’s recent consumer segmentation analysis of the U.S. firearms market. “With emerging audiences wanting to purchase a firearm, it’s important to really understand why they want to own a handgun and the specific features they look for in a handgun. The insights from this report will help manufacturers and retailers improve their strategic and tactical marketing decisions,” commented Rob Southwick, President of Southwick Associates.
The report, “Handgun Consumers: An In-depth Exploration,” is now available from Southwick Associates. Custom segmentation research is also available based on the proprietary database containing responses from more than 100,000 detailed consumer surveys.
Get Educated with hosts Michael Waddell and Tom McMillan
Learn Hunting, Unique Recipes, Countless Tips
The world’s largest content provider of outdoor lifestyle programming (Outdoor Sportsman Group – OSG) is providing 7 consecutive nights of deer hunts for outdoor enthusiasts with “deer-centric” television from Sunday, October 15 at 7 p.m. ET through Saturday, October 21.
#DeerWeek will provide the best of deer hunting television show programming during prime-time from 7 p.m. to midnight ET each night. Hosted by Michael Waddell and Tom McMillan”, this premier television event will allow viewers to experience non-stop deer action and incorporate educational information, unique recipes, hunting tips, and more through OSG’s print, digital and social media platforms. The action will air on both Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel.
During every October, many hunters are in the woods during the day, at night they’ll want to flip on for tips and experts in the field with more strategy and deer action. This week, hunters and viewers can do that with shows that canvas all of North America in search of big deer and lots of bucks.
The Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel will include a mini-marathon featuring the best deer hunts, watch for these:
The Bone Collector
Luke Bryan on Buck Commander
The Drury Outdoors shows
The exciting premiere episode of Bowhunter
The best of MCMILLIAN with Tom McMillian filming nearly the entire episode
The premiere episode of North American Whitetail entitled: “Sweet Home Alabama”
…so much more
No matter if taken deer with a compound bow or rifle, recurve or slug gun, each episode airing during #DeerWeek was carefully curated to show the best cervid-centric moments.
“As we prepare for the fall hunting season, we are thrilled to be offering an entire week of prime-time uninterrupted deer content and special programming for our viewers,” Outdoor Sportsman Group President and CEO, Jim Liberatore said. “We are confident #DeerWeek will be fun, entertaining and informative. We look forward to growing this event in the years to come.”
Henry Repeating Arms Donates 54 Custom-Designed Octagon Barrel Firearms to Help Cause
Special Edition Bids, Open to Public…Bid on GunBroker.com, item #705771173
BAYONNE, NJ, October 9, 2017– Henry Repeating Arms of Bayonne, NJ, and Rice Lake, WI, designed 54 SPECIAL EDITION custom .22 caliber Henry Lever Action Octagon barrel rifles to help raise funds for 14-year-old Joshua Brennan of New York. Joshua was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left-Heart Syndrome before he was even born.
The first 24 of these rifles were donated directly to the Firemen for Joshua Foundation, a 510(c)(3) organization, the remaining 30 were purchased by Joe Petrucelli of Tri-County Sporting Goods. Petrucelli then organized further fundraising efforts to benefit the charitable foundation formed in Joshua’s name.
For the past few years Joshua has served the emergency service community by volunteering at the Pawling Fire Department in Dutchess County. While he is too young to fight fires, he is a critical member of the Pawling Fire Department.
Washing trucks, keeping the firehouse in good order, lending a helping hand in the kitchen, and attending special events are just some of the tasks that Joshua tends to. Joshua’s efforts all stem from his love for the department and his call to volunteerism instilled in him by his father Tom, who is also a volunteer firefighter.
Joshua Brennan suffered heart failure last year and surgery provided a pacemaker and two valves to keep him alive. Joshua now needs a heart transplant.
In 2014, a similar partnership between Henry Repeating Arms and Tri-County Sporting Goods raised over $60,000 for 4-year-old Grayson Sutton of Sedan, KS, who was battling Primary Pulmonary Hypertension and facing a series of costly surgeries.
President of Henry Repeating Arms, Anthony Imperato explains, “Tri-County Sporting Goods has always stepped up to the plate to help Henry with any of our “Guns for Great Causes” program initiatives. When they told me about this great young man, Joshua…and his battle, we instantly decided to reciprocate.”
The 54 special edition rifles are currently being sold through Tri-County Sporting Goods in Patterson, NY, and all proceeds are going to benefit the Firemen for Joshua Foundation, which goes directly to Joshua and his family.
Petrucelli organized Firemen for Joshua Day at Tri-County Sporting Goods on September 30th where over 200 people from the local community came together to show their support. Joshua was nominated for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and he and his family were presented with a $70,000 check from the proceeds of the rifles sold to date along with donations from local businesses. Proceeds are expected to raise over $100,000 before the end of the year.
Serial number “JOSHUA001,” the first of 54 made is currently up for auction on GunBroker.com, item #705771173.
Tri-County Sporting Goods will continue to sell the Firemen for Joshua rifles while supplies last, as well as custom serial numbered Henry Heirloom rifles. Proceeds from these sales will continue to fund the Firemen for Joshua foundation. To purchase one of these rifles contact Joe Petrucelli at (845) 878-6084. General donations are being accepted here: https://www.gofundme.com/firemen-for-joshua.
Last week, I had the pleasure to spend some time with a few outdoor friends that understand archery hunting, arrow flight, broadhead efficiency and the needs that many hunters have for when they hunt big game: penetration and durability. Talking with product experts, Karen Lutto and Mike Nischalke, I cited my proud success history using Rage broadheads in the past, but I asked if Rage was working on anything new for the future, not that they needed to. Indeed, they had been.
How does a company improve upon a design that has proven as wildly successful and immensely popular as the Rage Hypodermic?
Rage engineers answered that question with a new broadhead that boasts ridiculous strength, huge slap-cuts on entry and a sweptback blade angle for unprecedented penetration. They named it the “Trypan.”
Trypanophobia is the fear of needles. The new 100-grain Hypodermic “Trypan” is just about the scariest broadhead that Rage has ever introduced to the hunting woods. With its needle-like, streamlined titanium ferrule and 2-inch cutting diameter, the “Trypan” creates a slap-cut entry hole well in excess of 2.5 inches. Afterward, the Trypan’s .039-inch-thick razor-sharp stainless steel blades settle into a sweptback blade-angle configuration. These are the heaviest and thickest blades from Rage so far, hence, they are made from super-light, super-tough titanium alloy. Even though the blades are monstrous once deployed, they create only a 3/4-diameter in-flight profile. The result is low aerodynamic drag in flight.
In summary, check out these features:
100 Grain, 2″ Cutting Diameter, 3-Pack
Super Swept-Back Blade Design w/Trypan-specific SHOCK COLLAR
.039 Blade Thickness Titanium Streamlined Ferrule
The grey polymer Trypan-specific Shock Collar™ provides exceptional blade retention and consistently reliable blade deployment. The one-time use Shock Collars are indexed to notches in the Trypan’s titanium ferrule, so they never can be put on incorrectly.
The new Rage Hypodermic Trypan comes in a three-pack with a practice tip, and it is available at retailers nationwide and conveniently online at www.ragebroadheads.com. I stopped into Cabela’s last night and they are in the $50 range retail.
I coined a new word after one use in the woods, these new Trypan broadheads are “Out-Rageous.” They are also effective, deadly, tough, lightweight and if you are a good shot, they are surgical.
Rage Broadheads is the world’s number-one manufacturer of expandable broadheads. It also manufactures quivers and accessories. A FeraDyne Outdoors brand, Rage is headquartered at 101 Main Street, Superior, WI 54880; call 866-387-9307; or visit www.ragebroadheads.com.
SUPERIOR, Wis.. (Aug. 15, 2017) — Tru-Fire, the leading brand for mechanical archery releases, has introduced the single-jaw Bulldog Foldback™ Buckle strap-style archery release. Like all Tru-Fire releases, the new Bulldog is made in the USA, and it features several patented Tru-Fire innovations and a wide range of adjustments. It also fits both left- and right-handed archers.
The Bulldog’s hardened-steel single jaw provides versatility and allows it to be used on aluminum loops as well as string loops. Its ultra-smooth roller jaw is spring-loaded and works in unison with the trigger, so it automatically returns to the closed position when the trigger is released. The trigger travel is adjustable via a single Allen screw at the trigger’s base. The compact, machined-aluminum head is clear anodized for a corrosion-resistant natural finish, and it is length adjustable.
The Bulldog’s Foldback Buckle strap is comprised of high-strength nylon webbing sandwiched between two layers of felt for maximum comfort and sound absorption. A TrapTab™ at the end of the elastic portion of the strap and a clip integrated to the strap prevents it from completely opening when putting it on or taking it off. The patented Foldback Ring design allows the release’s head to be easily flipped back 180-degrees, where it stays in position against the buckle strap and tight to the archer’s arm to prevent the head from hitting anything while moving around the stand.
The head can be flipped forward in an instant to engage the string loop.
The new Tru-Fire Bulldog release is available at retailers nationwide and conveniently online at www.trufire.com for a suggested retail price of $69.99.
About Tru-Fire: Headquartered in Superior, Wis., Tru-Fire is the world’s largest manufacturer of bowhunting releases, and all of its products are proudly made in the U.S.A. Every Tru-Fire release is designed to provide years of trouble-free use and dependability. Before any new design can wear the Tru-Fire logo, it is tested extensively on the company’s exclusively designed pneumatic release tester that can automatically load the release to 100 lbs. for 5,000 consecutive pulls, then an additional 100 pulls at a staggering 200 pounds. The release is then live fired 2,000 times to evaluate component fatigue and string loop wear. All of this testing proves that your Tru-Fire release will be absolutely reliable the moment you need it most. For more information on the company or its products, write to: Tru-Fire, 101 Main Street, Superior, WI 54880; call 800-282-4868 or visit www.trufire.com. Like Tru-Fire on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TruFire.
Released to Coyle Hill State Forest, Allegany County
On July 5, Environmental Conservation Officer’s Russ Calanni and Jason Powers, and Lt. Don Pleakis and Division of Wildlife staff, worked to safely remove a black bear that had climbed a tree in a residential neighborhood in the village of Wellsville after being hit by a car. Although it was not seriously injured, the bear jumped a fence and took cover in a tree. It started to draw attention from the neighbors and the decision was made to tranquilize the bear and remove it from the village. ECO’s Calanni and Powers, members of DLE’s Chemical Immobilization Team (CIT), darted the bear and safely removed it from the tree.
The Wellsville Police Department stopped traffic along busy State Route 417 while the tranquilization and removal took place.
After loading the bear into a trap, it was transported to Coyle Hill State Forest, where the bear was examined, tagged, monitored, and then released.
New York’s black bear population is currently estimated at a minimum of 6,000-8,000 bears in areas open to hunting, with roughly 50-60% of the bears inhabiting the Adirondack region, about 30-35% in the Catskill region and about 10-15% in the central-western region. In addition, bears are now well established in many other areas, including the Tug Hill, Hudson Valley and across the Southern Tier of New York, and transient bears are routinely encountered throughout the Lake Ontario Plains, Mohawk Valley, and St. Lawrence Valley. With the exception of Tug Hill, these other areas include a greater proportion of agriculture or have higher human densities, making them less suitable for bears due to the higher likelihood of human-bear conflicts.
Black bears are an important and natural component of New York’s ecosystem. Whether you live or recreate in the bear country, please help maintain and protect the bears, and at the same time protect yourself and your property by not feeding bears and by reducing bear attractants.
If you witness an environmental crime or believe a violation of environmental law occurred please call the DEC Division of Law Enforcement hotline at 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267).
Rocky Mountain has expanded its archery sight line-up with the introduction of the new 5-Pin Sight that will feature a hardy, protective, hard-coat-anodized all-aluminum construction available in two mounting configurations: a Direct Mount and a Dovetail Mount.
Both versions are highlighted by several features:
Tool-free, micro-adjustable, lockable, windage and elevation in the bezel.
Five fully captured .019-inch pins.
Adjustable 2nd and 3rd axes.
Laser-etched windage and elevation markers.
The 5-Pin bezel incorporates a bubble level.
A light adapter is built-in.
The Direct Mount affords nearly effortless mounting and set-up in a standard configuration. The Dovetail Mount provides up to 3.3125 inches of sight-radius travel with six locking positions and allows for easy removal of the sight for transport and storage.
Available at retailers nationwide and conveniently online at www.huntrockymountain.com, the new 5-Pin Direct Mount and 5-Pin Dovetail sights have a suggested retail of $79.99 and $99.99, respectively.
Headquartered in Superior, Wis., Rocky Mountain is a wholly owned subsidiary of FeraDyne Outdoors. Renowned for its fixed-blade technology since 1979, the Rocky Mountain brand was relaunched in 2017 and has expanded its offerings to other archery accessories, including a line of archery sights.
For more information on Rocky Mountain, visit www.huntrockymountain.com; or write to 101 Main Street, Superior, WI 54880; or call 866-387-9307.
Fishing is great in Lake Ontario and the Niagara River as National Fishing and Boating Week approaches June 3 to 11!
Despite record high water levels in the lake, salmon and trout fishing continue to be good in the lake. Some good fishing was being reported over the holiday weekend from John Van Hoff of North Tonawanda while fishing out of Wilson and Olcott. Best depths were 60 to 100 feet down over 200 to 300 feet of water with spoons and flasher-fly combos. Salmon up to 23 pounds were reported the past week. The last day of the month, Capt. Bob Stevens of Sunrise Charters sends word that he did well on salmon west of Wilson in 150 to 170 feet of water so spring action is continuing. East winds have helped to keep salmon boxed in off the shores of Niagara USA.
In the Niagara River, the lower section below Niagara Falls is still holding some trout, including lakers and steelhead. Kwikfish lures worked for Capt. Arnie Jonathan of Lockport last weekend. They boated walleye, bass, suckers and silver bass. One sucker was a potential state record had they known.
Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls had a few banner days on smallmouth bass casting the shoreline with stickbaits and jerk baits. MagLips were working for trout, fished off three-way rigs. The silver bass action continues to be very good for drifters and shoreline casters. From shore, try tossing jigs or spinners.
Upper Niagara River bass fishing continues to be good. Remember that the regular season doesn’t open until the third Saturday in June (June 17 this year) and if you are targeting bass, you must use artificial baits. Some walleye are being caught at the head of the river and at the head of Strawberry Island on worm harnesses and jigs. Capt. Ryan Shea of Tonawanda also likes to target large carp this time of year on some of the flats, using crayfish imitation flies. Seek out the flats where these fish will be spawning. They can be a lot of fun!
As we mentioned, National Fishing and Boating Week is June 3 through 11. To help celebrate National Fishing and Boating Week, Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge is hosting its 26th Annual Youth Fishing Derby, on Saturday, June 3. The event will be held at Ringneck Overlook, on Oak Orchard Ridge Road. On-site registration begins at 7:30 am. There is no pre-registration or reservations required. Fishing is from 8:00 am to 11:00 am. The event is free and open to youths 17 years old and under, with no experience necessary. If this is your first time, some fishing gear will be available to borrow. Certificates will be awarded for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place participants in three age categories: 7 years and under, 8-12 and 13-17 years.
For the boating end of things, there will be a vessel examination on June 3 by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliaryat the Lewiston Landing boat launch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call Tom Chiappone for more information at 772-7242.
Just a quick reminder on water levels: There is still a state of emergency along the Lake Ontario shoreline for high water levels. This isn’t really going to affect the fishing that much, but the Niagara County Sheriff is asking that boats creating a wake stay at least 600 feet from shore. This doesn’t include trolling. Caution is advised for floating debris when you are out in the lake moving around. The problem seems to be launching. The best spot to be right now is the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott. Fort Niagara has an open launch, but you need boots up to your knees or above.
Golden Hill State Park launch is closed and Wilson-Tuscarora Park is day to day (but you need hip boots there, too).
Bassmaster Classic Expo (FREE) at George R. Brown Convention Center
HOUSTON/B.A.S.S. — Aside from the impressive $300,000 first-place prize and internationally renowned world title, the stakes are high at the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods taking place in Houston and on Lake Conroe, Texas, Friday through Sunday. The world’s Top 52 bass anglers will vie for a title that has been known to change lives, make relatively unfamiliar anglers into superstars and turn struggling professional fishing careers into overnight successes.
For some, the stakes couldn’t be higher.
Randy Howell of Guntersville, Ala., came from behind on the final day to win the 2014 Bassmaster Classic on famous Lake Guntersville.
“It was a dream come true, no doubt about it,” said Howell. “The Classic is the pinnacle of professional fishing, just like the World Series and the Super Bowl. It’s a title that sticks with you forever, and makes you a part of history.”
The 18-year veteran pro angler said his Classic victory not only impacted his personal life by fulfilling a long-time dream, but it also tremendously benefitted the business side of his career.
“Earning that title was such a huge blessing for my family and me,” he said. “It has created countless opportunities for me to meet with other dedicated anglers and talk fishing, share my personal story and my faith with the fishing community all across the country.”
Fully understanding the gravity of winning the Classic, Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., won the 2015 Bassmaster Classic in front of his hometown crowd on Lake Hartwell.
“There’s no doubt that making a living in this sport can be very challenging,” said Ashley. “After winning the Classic, I found there to be more opportunities to work with sponsors and better earn a living. But winning in South Carolina, where I grew up and learned how to fish, was the icing on the cake for me.”
Ashley believes winning a second title would be monumental, joining only a select few who have claimed multiple Classic wins.
“My high school baseball coach taught us that being satisfied turns into complacency, and that’s when success ends,” the 33-year old angler said. “My dream as a kid was to win the Classic, and to say I’m living my dream is absolutely the truth, and something I’m very thankful for. I know being unwilling to settle has been very important to my career. I promise you there’s something special about winning the Bassmaster Classic, especially your first one, but I want to do it again, and it doesn’t matter where.”
In its near 50-year history only five anglers have won multiple Classic titles, including: Rick Clunn (4), Kevin VanDam (4), Bobby Murray (2), Hank Parker (2) and George Cochran (2). Only Clunn and VanDam won back-to-back Classics, 1976-77 and 2010-11 respectively.
At this point, the only angler with a shot at joining the ranks of winning two in a row is the reigning 2016 Bassmaster Classic champion Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla.
“Tournament anglers are a competitive bunch of people, and every one of us on the Elite Series wants to win every event, especially the Classic,” said Evers. “I’ve had a great career, and I feel very blessed and fortunate to do what I do. Winning last year’s Classic after competing in so many before, and coming so close numerous times, is a championship I’m very humbled by.”
The 16-time Classic qualifier said winning a second title in Houston would mean just as much as it did on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees last year.
“I’m a long ways from hanging it up,” Evers said. “Every opportunity I’m given to compete at the Classic, you can bet that I’m going to give it everything I’ve got and fish for the win. Winning the Classic is the best thing that can happen to a bass angler. But winning several or even back-to-back titles? That’s an experience I truly hope I get to have this year.”
He said winning the Classic has lasting impacts for anglers across the age and experience spectrum.
“The Classic is the biggest stage in fishing, and earning the title of world champion is surreal. By winning, you’ve become a part of history,” he said. “Looking at many of the young anglers fishing this year’s Classic in Houston, I realize a win would propel them to a whole new level. It would easily make their careers, and I’d be truly happy to see that happen. But I’m not going to just let them have it; I’ll be there to win again, too.”
For more information, please visit: www.Bassmaster.com/tournaments/2017-geico-bassmaster-classic.
Part 1 of 2
• In-Line Firearms are Safe, Affordable, Accurate
• In Line Firearms are Handsome, Easy to Clean
By Forrest Fisher
All across America, hunters and game management groups have brought the considerations for ancient firearms and science closer together for the fun of new and exciting blackpowder hunting options.
Most states have held public meetings to discuss big game season restructuring options and for several years a new kind of curiosity and buzz hovered amidst circles of hunters talking all about new hunting season possibilities. Today, many states allow the new blackpowder firearms for hunting and there is a definite advantage with the modern blackpowder firearms, among them is safety.
There were debates everywhere, some were friendly, some hunters felt infringement on “their” sacred short season ritual with powder and ball, but one thing seems sure, many more sportsman are going to try black powder shooting with one of the new in-line muzzleloader firearms very soon.
The new in-line muzzleloaders use a 209 primer ignition system that offers a sure-fire shot (even in the rain), they are easy to clean and they offer extremely accurate shooting of a sabot-lined copper bullet. As I learned in my first year, “The shotgun is out and the new in-lines have become the preferred choice for many hunters on opening day of the regular firearm season.”
It’s all about one-shot safety and accuracy at longer distances. Many hunters add a scope to their muzzleloader for optical distance advantage and simple eyesight assist. Lately this is most useful when there is a lack of opening day snow across many northern hunting zones.
From this group, there are stories of 150 yard shots and more, and surprising complaints from hunters waiting for a deer to get within 45 or 50 yards when someone from across the field drops the deer from 200 yards away. Yes, that can be an eye-opening surprise.
One very good part about this new hunting trend is that blackpowder hunters are one-shot shooters. They can’t fire off 4 or 5 rounds at a running deer, so they aim slowly and deliberately, and can only take one good shot. One-shot shooting is very safe. I like safe. There is time to look beyond the target. Required planning is much like an archer, except longer than a 15 yard shot is possible. That is not only safe, it is very efficient.
I must admit that all the jawboning in the first year of arguments among the old time blackpowder shooter helped push me to the edge of the “one-shot trend” in considering blackpowder. So the next year, I splurged for purchase of an Optima™ Pro 209 magnum break-action in-line blackpowder rifle made by Connecticut Valley Arms. I added an affordable Bushnell Banner 1.5 – 4X variable power scope to expand my aging vision. The gun was inexpensive and even today, more than a decade later, is one of the most beautiful items in my locked firearms safe.
The full mossy oak camo rifle features a handsome high neck stock for a total cost of about $400, then add another $100 for the Bushnell (same color) camo scope. Today you can buy this same model in a version 2, (V2) for about $400 with the scope, see the Cabela’s kit for a total cost of under $400.
Unlike conventional in-line muzzleloaders, there is no receiver on the Optima™ Pro, just a break-open action orifice at the end of the breech plug where the 209 primer fits. Close the break action and the primer stays dry forever. To learn about this visually, check out this one minute video at this link: https://youtu.be/Q3AYL-0bY94.
One thing to note: NEVER put regular high power smokeless powder from your usual high power firearms into your blackpowder firearm. You must ALWAYS use simple muzzleloading propellant powders such as Pyrodex or Triple-7 at the recommended volume.
In Part 2, you’ll learn more about powder loads, options with optics and advice from experts.
The President’s Outdoor Scholar program at the University of Montevallo (UM) offers a unique opportunity where like-minded students enjoy the great outdoors, conduct course work on the environment and related academics, then join with faculty, students, staff, administrators and the community to solve environmental problems through their work on campus.
For students that have a passion and interest in outdoor pursuits, UM offers this special highway into the future of the outdoors with wildlife management and conservation at the root of academic study.
With courses that involve strategies for fishing and hunting, game preparation, guided trips to learn afield with outdoor professionals and progress in developing conservation fields, a new academic passion for what lives outdoors is defined.
Partial Tuition Scholarships are available through the UM Foundation for Students who have distinguished accomplishments in outdoor sports and demonstrated a personal commitment to conservation. UM students have a motto that hits home today, “We wear Purple and Gold, but we think Green!”
Students at UM conduct field studies at Ebenezer Swamp, a wooded UM wetland of 60 acres located near the University in central Alabama. Students find an ecologically diverse and environmentally sensitive watershed there that offers the longest remaining free-flowing river (Cabana) with more species of fish per mile than any river in North America. The river is one of eight biodiversity waterway hotspots in the United States. UM has high goals that include raising the profile of the ecologic importance of wetlands to high school and middle school students, as well, while simultaneously providing a sound introduction to the underlying principles that help understand the science of the outdoors at the college level.
For more information on the President’s Outdoor Scholar program at UM, contact William Crawford, Station 6215, Montevallo, AL, 35115, telephone: (205) 665-6216, email: email@example.com.