Tree Stand Safety Tips for Hunters

MONTPELIER, Vt. – Tree stands get hunters out of sight and smell of wary deer, but they can also get hunters into trouble. Here are some tips from Vermont Fish & Wildlife to help stay safe and get the most out of your tree stand hunting experience:

  • Choose a live, straight tree.
  • Buy smart. Only use stands certified by the Treestand Manufacturers Association (TMA).
  • Inspect your tree stand each time you use it.
  • Know the rules. On state lands, it is illegal to place nails or other hardware into trees or to build permanent structures. On private lands, you must have landowner permission to erect a tree stand, cut or remove trees or other plants, or to cut limbs. All stands, including ground blinds, must be marked with the owner’s name and address.
  • Always wear a full-body safety harness, even for climbing. Most falls occur going up and down the tree and getting in and out of the stand.
  • Don’t go too high. The higher you go, the smaller the vital zone on a deer becomes, while the likelihood of a serious injury increases.
  • Never carry firearms or bows up and down trees. Always use a haul line to raise and lower all gear. Make sure your firearm is unloaded, crossbow cocked but unloaded, and be sure broadheads are transported in a hard case.
  • Familiarize yourself with your gear before you go. The morning of opening day is a poor time to put your safety belt on for the first time.
  • Be careful with long-term placement. Exposure can damage straps, ropes and attachment cords. Also, the stand’s stability can be compromised over time, as the tree grows. Read more

QDMA and Powderhook Release 2016 Edition of Deer Tracker App

ATHENS, GA (September 22, 2016) – QDMA and Powderhook are pleased to release the 2016 update to “Deer Tracker,” a popular free app that allows hunters to monitor deer activity and harvests in their neck of the woods and across the country. New interactive features allow users to estimate the age and score of bucks in posted photos as well as locate nearby public hunting land.Deer Tracker is a free app, thanks to the partnership between QDMA, Powderhook, Cabela’s, Hunting Lease Network, Fusion Ammunition and Yamaha.

QDMA’s Deer Tracker app allows hunters to submit reports based on observed deer activity or deer they harvest. Based on this user-driven data, the app generates a heat map estimating the likelihood of seeing deer activity during hunting hours in a selected area. The locations of users are generalized, so it is impossible to pinpoint actual properties where reports originated.

New in 2016, any observation or harvest report with a photo includes “Age This” and “Score This” buttons to help users get opinions from fellow users. The age most selected by participants is shown as DT Age in the report. QDMA encourages hunters to learn to estimate ages of live bucks, since selecting bucks for harvest based on age is the most effective way to improve a deer population and create a more natural age distribution among bucks. Read more

Realtree EZ Rope

COLUMBUS, Georgia, Sept. 19, 2016 – The Realtree EZ Rope™ allows you to safely and easily hoist your bow and other equipment into your tree stand. Realtree’s secure-twist EZ Rope features 30 feet of flat cord with the EZ tie system to make attaching gear simple. Reflective threads on the flat cord help you locate your stand in the dark. The coated carbineer hook attaches to your tree stand.
The EZ Rope is part of Realtree’s recently expanded, exceptionally popular Realtree EZ Hanger Line, which includes exciting new offerings designed to make time in the stand a bit more convenient.

Visit your local retailer to purchase this handy rope.

B&C, P&Y Confirm Potential World’s Record Elk

MISSOULA, Mont. – The Boone and Crockett Club and Pope & Young Club confirm the existence of potential new archery World’s Record typical American elk taken in Montana by a resident hunter.

The elk’s B&C green score is an astounding 429-6/8 net and 444-7/8 gross. It was taken on a solo hunt early in the Montana archery season. After a couple days of packing the bull out, the hunter who at this time prefers to remain anonymous, took his bull to a taxidermist. A rough score confirmed it was time to call an experienced Boone and Crockett Official Measurer. Read more

Falconry Allowed in Select State Parks for Squirrel and Rabbit Seasons

Falconer Symeon Robins with Red-tailed hawk, Gizmo. Photo by David Rainer, ADCNR

Falconer Larry Mullis with Red-tailed hawk, Dixie. Photo by David Rainer, ADCNR

Falconry is one of the world’s oldest forms of hunting. In Alabama, the most commonly used bird is the red-tailed hawk and squirrel is the most commonly pursued game animal. Photo by David Rainer, ADCNR

In an effort to expand recreational opportunities in Alabama’s state parks, the parks system will allow falconry in the following parks this fall: DeSoto, Joe Wheeler, Lake Guntersville, Lakepoint, Chewacla, Buck’s Pocket, Lake Lurleen, Monte Sano, Oak Mountain, Paul Grist, Wind Creek, Frank Jackson, Cheaha and Cathedral Caverns. Park entrance fees will apply.

Falconry will be available in the parks listed above only during squirrel and rabbit seasons, which run from September 15, 2016, to March 5, 2017. Participating falconers are required to check in with the individual park’s management to learn about recommended hunting areas and other falconry program guidance.

“Parks is happy to offer this new hunting opportunity as a pilot project for the 2016-17 seasons,” said Forrest Bailey, Natural Resource Section Chief for Alabama State Parks. “After this first season, we will review the feedback from both falconers and the parks. Based on that information we hope to offer more falconry opportunities in the coming years.”

Alabama falconers must have a valid state hunting license and falconry permit. Falconry permits are issued by the state, but also operate under federal guidelines related to migratory birds.

Falconry is one of the world’s oldest forms of hunting. It involves pursuing wild game in its natural habitat with a trained bird of prey. In Alabama, the most commonly used bird is the red-tailed hawk and squirrel is the most commonly pursued game animal. There are currently 58 permitted falconers in the state. Read more

Defining Fair Chase

By Glen Wunderlich

When discussing the term “fair chase” relative to hunting, no organization has been at the forefront of the issue more than the Boone and Crockett Club (the Club), which was founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887.  Obviously, in the days of market hunting and before regulations and licensing were put in place, sustainability of any given species was given little consideration.  While much has changed since then, the continued advancement in hunting-related equipment and techniques may have outpaced what heretofore has been considered under the banner of fairness.

The Club defines fair chase as “the ethical, sportsmanlike, and lawful pursuit and taking of any free-ranging wild, native North American big game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper advantage over such animals.”  Merely following the law certainly does not necessarily fit such a definition; rather, fair chase becomes a mindset that is measured by one’s own sense of doing the right thing.  While it may seem counterintuitive to the uninformed, loss of hunting rights can equate into a loss of conservation, and accordingly a loss to wildlife.

“Conservation means development as much as it does protection. I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land; but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us.”  —Theodore Roosevelt, The New Nationalism speech, 1910. 

What follows are excerpts from a recent comprehensive essay on fair chase by the Boone and Crockett Club.

A most basic tenet of fair chase is determining if an animal has a reasonable opportunity to escape; if it does not, the hunt cannot be considered fair chase.  Additionally, technology can become a substitute for basic skills in the field in which it not only undermines the hunting experience, but also has the potential to erode public support for hunting.  The truth is, we are hunting today because the majority of sportsmen over the past century have held themselves to a high ethical standard.  Fair chase is not only significant to a personal hunting ethic; it is critical to the continuation of hunting and the success of conservation in North America.  Hunting traditions are potentially at risk if the majority of citizens develop a negative perception of hunting, whether this perception is justified or not. Ethics may be a matter of choice, but the actions of individuals can come to represent the entire group and it is important that hunters understand this.

“In the United States, while the right to keep and bear arms is constitutionally assured, hunting is a privilege to be repeatedly earned, year after year, by those who hunt. It is well for hunters to remember that in a democracy, privileges, which include hunting, are maintained through the approval of the public at large. Hunting must be conducted under both laws and ethical guidelines in order to ensure this approval.”—Jack Ward Thomas, Fair Chase Magazine 2014.

As we enter yet another hunting season, let us be mindful of the ethical principles that have allowed us to exercise the privilege of hunting, so that it may endure for those that follow us.

Wolf Attacks On the Rise in Wisconsin

Wed, Sep 14, 2016

Nearly 30 bear dogs have been killed so far in 2016. With the hunting season opening today, that number could skyrocket in the remaining months of the year.

Hunters are being warned of potential wolf attacks when running dogs this hunting season. (Photo: Holly Kuchera/iStock)Hunters are being warned of potential wolf attacks when running dogs this hunting season. (Photo: Holly Kuchera/iStock)

There’s always an element of danger present when bear hunting with dogs, but it’s expected to come from the bear. Not so in Wisconsin, as many bear hunters have found out the hard way this year. Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources is warning hunters to be on the alert as the year comes to a close, a result of more than 30 wolf attacks on bear dogs already in 2016.

As of press time, there have been 28 reported dog killings in America’s Dairyland this year, with the first coming in March. Two more followed in April, but the three kills were followed by a lull as the spring gave way to summer. Then in July another 11 dogs were killed by wolves as hunters began running their dogs ahead of the September bear opener. Read more

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