Blogs

No Expulsion for Demari DeReu

Last week we posted an entry about Demari DeReu, the Columbia Falls Montana high school honor student, that faced expulsion for accidentally leaving a locked, unloaded hunting rifle in her vehicle in the school's parking lot.

Former Politician Illegally Takes Piebald Deer

Game laws can get detailed and from time-to-time it doesn't hurt to call a wildlife officer to figure out the precise meaning of a regulation. However you would think that the folks who write the laws would understand all the details. Not so in Oklahoma, former state rep Terry Harrison was recently fined for taking a piebald deer and the kicker is that Mr. Harrison helped write some of the states' wildlife laws.

The McAlester News-Capital has the complete story.

Chainsaw Self-Defense

Apparently some folks just don't understand that metal whirling at high-rpms driven by a gas engine is in fact a deadly weapon. According to News10.net:

Wildlife Bridge Designs Released

Vehicles can be the biggest predators of deer, elk, bears, and other wildlife. Engineers have been looking into new ways to design overpasses or "wildlife bridges" that allow wildlife to cross from one side of a major highway to the other. The benefits to wildlife are clear, but the bridges also cut down on the accidental death, injuries, and property damages that result from vehicle/wildlife collisions.

The Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University invited designers from around the world to come up with novel designs to span across Interstate 70 near Vail, Colorado. The Wall Street Journal has a write up about the new designs and their costs.

Palin Draws Fire From Hunters?

In what was quite possibly the most watched single "hunting show" in national history, last week's edition of "Sarah Palin's Alaska" on TLC featured Alaska's former half-term governor on a hunting trip. During the trip she shot a caribou, but it took her five shots to knock down her quarry. Unsurprisingly the show immediately drew fire from anti-hunting critics with the HuffingtonPost.com comparing Palin's hunt to Michael Vick's dogfighting.

The Wall Street Journal has a "Speakeasy" piece up lauding Sarah for showing her hunt unedited. The author, Pete Bodo, makes the mistake of calling Sarah's father "Chuck Palin", actually Chuck Heath, but Mr. Bodo seems to put the hunt in perspective and notes that most of the critics of her shooting are no friends of Sarah anyway.

New Mountain Lion Study Shows Increased Ungulate Impact

While wolves take most of the press these days, it seems that the other big North American predator may have been overlooked in its effectiveness at taking game. Cougar populations in the U.S. are increasing but what is not as well understood is how many ungulates (deer, elk, moose) they consume in a given time frame. A new study in the Journal of Wildlife Management suggests that mountain lions may be taking far more game then previously thought.

The Missoulian.com has a good write up about the study and its impacts.

Feds Pledge to Delist Eastern Wolves in 2011

It appears the Great Lakes area may see wolves removed from the endangered species list in 2011. Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Upper Peninsula of Michigan have nearly 4000 wolves and Minnesota has recently been pushing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take action to reduce the wolf population.

According to the Duluth News Tribune, 2011 may see wolves delisted in the Great Lakes region.

NJ Bear Hunt Winding Down and Protesters Winding Up

While a successful New Jersey bear hunt comes to a close Saturday evening, it appears that there will be more protesters and litigation ahead. According to NorthJersey.com with just two days left in the season the state is allowing 30 protesters at one checking station on Friday and up to 160 protesters at the same station on Saturday.

USGS Uses Thermal Imaging to Study Wolf Mange

We've written about sarcoptic mange before when we posted about chupacabras probably just being mangy coyotes. Apparently sarcoptic mange isn't just a problem for coyotes, it affects wolves as well. The USGS has set up what appear to be high-tech thermal imaging game cams. By using the thermal imaging they can detect the amount of heat lost due to the loss of fur on the wolves' coat. The full USGS article can be viewed here.

Girls Getting More Involved in Hunting

NPR has a story posted on its website about Magan Hebert a 15 year old Mississippi teenager who has been involved with hunting since she was 10. For most BGH readers, who have daughters that hunt, Magan's story is typical. What's surprising is the growth in the number of girls participating in hunting and the reaction to the NPR story.

...an increasing number of girls now hunt. According to the latest data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, there are some 300,000 female hunters under the age of 16. From 1991 to 2006, the number of girls who hunt in this country nearly doubled.

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