bghjournal's blog

Georgia Gator Makes a Comeback

It appears that Georgia's alligator population recovery is an unheralded conservation success story. Nearly hunted out of the state, the population has risen to an estimated 222,0000 today and allows 850 hunting permits per year.

Missouri Hunter Kills 104 Pound Coyote

A deer hunter killed a very large coyote during Missouri's deer season in November. But upon closer inspection of the coyote, the hunter believed he had taken a wolf and contacted the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). After genetic testing the MDC has confirmed the animal is simply an unusually large coyote.

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

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 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 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 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.

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