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Montana Voters Strike Down Outfitter Licenses

By a margin of 53.8% to 46.2% Montana voters approved I-161, which both raises non-resident licenses fees and eliminates outfitter sponsored licenses. We posted an entry about I-161 here.

The net result is that in 2011, the 5500 outfitter-sponsored licenses will now become a part of the general lottery system.

Mountain Lion Attacks Teen With Car Trouble

Getting a potential flat tire at 1:00 AM is a bad deal. Fighting off a mountain lion attack, while checking the tire, is horrifying. Luckily due to some quick thinking on Kendra Rutter's part she is alive to tell the tale.

The Pikes Peak Courier View has Kendra's story:

Early in the morning of Oct. 17, Reid-Rutter was driving home from a babysitting job. She stopped her car on Teller County Road 51, about 8 miles from Divide, to check her tire. At that time she reported that she was attacked from behind by a mountain lion.

Game Cam Used as Bait

Apparently baiting isn't just effective on the "lesser" animals. Police used a novel baiting technique when hunters had complained of stolen game cams and tree stands in an area near Mariemont Ohio. They made a fake game cam loaded with a GPS tracking device to capture the thief in the act.

Chupacabras Probably Just Mangy Coyotes

In a blow to supernatural wildlife loremasters everywhere, it turns out that Chupacabras are probably just coyotes with a severe case of mange. If you haven't heard of Chupacabras before you're not alone, they are a mysterious creature that started showing up in Central America in the mid-90's and recently there have been reported sightings in Southwestern U.S.

In an interview on NPR, Dr. Barry O'Connor talks about why he thinks the mysterious "goat suckers" are probably just mangy coyotes.

Ted Nugent Under Investigation in South Dakota

The hits just keep coming for the Nuge. After pleading no contest back in August to charges of baiting deer, Uncle Ted is now under investigation in South Dakota for a pheasant hunt he tweeted about.

According to the LA Times:

Andy Alban, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department law enforcement administrator, would not discuss Nugent or the investigation. "It’s against our policy to comment on active investigations," Alban said.

Bull in a Hole and Other Elk Oddities

Over the years, we have had sent in or heard about a variety of animal and hunting mishaps. Many of these turn out to be wildly imaginative or a classic fish tale that just keeps getting bigger and better. However sometimes the stories are true. Here is a collection of more recent elk oddities.

1.) Bull in a hole. Somewhere in San Juan County is a hole large enough to swallow an elk whole. As this article states: ...the elk was basically hanging by its antlers. They estimate that the elk had been dead about a week before it was discovered. Officials add that the digging around the hole may have been caused by predators trying to get to the carcass.

Four States Have Right to Hunt Ballot Measures

On November 2nd, voters in Arkansas, Arizona, South Carolina, and Tennessee will decide on adding hunting and fishing as state constitutional rights. Over the last 15 years, 20+ states have had ballot initiatives to get hunting and fishing rights into their respective state constitutions. The movement to boost hunting and fishing rights started as a counter-balance by animal rights groups seeking to restrict or otherwise ban hunting.

Massive Colorado Bull Elk Poached in Estes Park

A huge bull elk that was the center piece of Estes Park's annual Elk Fest was illegally shot on or around October 15th. Currently the Colorado Division of Wildlife is offering a $5000 reward to the person or persons who provide information that will lead to the arrest of the poachers.

Speed Up Your BGH: Go Chrome

Back in July we launched a new version of BigGameHunt and with that came some site speed complaints. We spent a considerable amount of time improving the performance on the server side and have made significant gains over July. We also will continue to evaluate and implement new techniques that will make BGH faster to load.

Pinedale Mule Deer Population Declines

A new report by Western Ecosystems Technology Inc for the Bureau of Land Management shows that the mule deer herd that winters on the Pinedale Anticline in Wyoming has declined 36% in the last nine years. The Pinedale Anticline is one of the largest natural gas fields in North American and has seen significant drilling and energy development over the last decade.

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