bghjournal's blog

Oklahoma Ups Boone & Crockett Prospects

The Oklahoman has a good write up about how Oklahoma has been improving the number of B&C whitetail deer taken in recent years, particularly the non-typical variety. In the past 15 years there has been a shift toward quality management rather than just "if it's brown, it's down."

More Oklahoma landowners are managing for trophy bucks today than they were 10 and 20 years ago.

Minnesota Man Hits Bear with Combine

Tom Wightman was combining his cornfield just south of Red Wing Minnesota with Darrell Breuer last week, when they heard a loud noise. The two got down from the cab to find quite a surprise according to the Pioneer Press.

"Holy cow! Is that what I think we're looking at?" Breuer recalled saying.

"We sat there on the platform and decided we weren't going down there until we were sure it was dead," Wightman said.

When they ventured down, the men realized the combine had killed a black bear.

Labrador Dramatically Cuts Caribou Hunts

The Newfoundland and Labrador officials are making significant cuts in caribou hunting after a new population count. The current government estimates put the George River herd at roughly 74,000 animals which is just 10% of the 776,000 estimated in 1993.

First Time Hunter Takes 350+ Nebraska Bull

While Nebraska is not known for a large elk population, it does have a small quality elk hunt for those that are lucky enough to be drawn. For Becky McFarlane Nebraska's elk hunting proved to be the perfect location for her first elk hunt.

The Sioux City Journal has a good write up about Becky and the hunt.

Wolf Attack Hunters Statements Posted

Last week we posted an entry on the self defense killing of a wolf by a pair of Flathead Valley hunters. Currently the NewAmerican is running an article with written statements of Mark Appleby and Mario Benedict on the wolf pack attack.

Apparently the two hunters saw no fresh sign of wolves or other predators and felt comfortable enough to have lunch near the carcass for awhile before quartering up the elk.

Professor Documents Bighorn Decline

The bighorn sheep is perhaps the most iconic North American big game animal and many hunters aspire to make a sheep hunt the pinnacle of their hunting careers. Unfortunately bighorn population counts have been in free-fall for some time. Dr. Teresa Zimmerman of Chadron State College documents the fall of the bighorn in this article.

Yellowstone Grizzly Population Hits New High

The number of brown bears in Yellowstone continues to grow. This year officials are putting the population at 603 bears which is the highest level in decades. According to a USA Today article:

Our population is strong, our counts of females are high," said Chuck Schwartz, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist who heads the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team. "Right now, all indications are we haven't turned into negative trajectory."

More Dam Goats

A few months ago several pictures of ibex "grazing" on an Italian dam started circulating. Like with any such widely circulated photos, there were many errors in the description of the pictures. National Geographic has a more detailed story about Adriano Migliorati the photographer behind the pictures, the name of the dam, and why the goats are out on the dam surface in the first place.

Animal Rights Group Pushes For More Coyotes

Valley Forge National Historical Park has a deer problem with an estimated 1277 deer in the 3500 acre park. The high deer count has lead the park (like other National Parks) to bring in sharp shooters to reduce the numbers, currently the plan is to bring the head count down to around 185. That was the plan at least until the Pennsylvania chapter of Friends of Animals filed a lawsuit to stop the deer shoots.

According to the Washington Post, the lawsuit contends that park officials did not fully consider the role of natural predators - specifically coyotes - in maintaining a stable deer population. The Friends of Animals even came up with a campaign called the Coyote Coexistence Initiative to help promote the idea of coyote introduction to the park.

Montana Bill Seeks to Remove Federal Wolf Management

The Missoulian has an article up about a new wolf bill that will be introduced to the state Legislature. State Senator Joe Balyeat, a Republican from Bozeman, plans to try again at passing a wolf management bill that he introduced in 2009. Its a powerful piece of legislation that directly takes on the Endangered Species Act (ESA) under the 10th Amendment.

“It’s still a 10th Amendment exercise to wrest control of wolves out of the hands of the federal government,” Marbut (a co-author of the bill) said. “It has been the traditional function of state police power to manage and regulate wildlife within the state. Only in recent times has there been construed authority for the feds to manage wildlife. When the Endangered Species Act has been argued in court, the claim for authority the feds make is the commerce clause. But how many wild wolves have you seen sold across state lines? The answer is zero.”

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