USFWS Disappoints DSC with Final Rule for Alaska Wildlife Refuges


DALLAS – DSC is dissatisfied with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) final rule pertaining to management of wildlife in Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuges. The ruling takes away Alaska’s authority to set predator control regulations and other established means and methods of hunting in the state’s 77 million acres of refuges. The rule goes against decades of legal precedent and pre-empts Alaska’s authority to manage its wildlife.”The impact of this ruling could be felt for generations and may possibly be the first of many government overreaches that directly affect our traditional hunting heritage,” said DSC Executive Director Ben Carter. “Wildlife Refuges in Alaska will now be under the direct influence of a governmental body that has routinely capitulated to the emotions of anti-hunters.”

With the declaration, the USFWS has usurped Alaska’s authority to manage the publicly owned wildlife. Not only has Congress previously directed that the state has the primary authority to managing rules for wildlife, the USFWS ruling conflicts with the provisions of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.

DSC agrees with U.S. Congressman Don Young, of Alaska, when he characterized this ruling as “an unilateral power grab.” This intervention could stand as a dangerous precedent for future exploitations to take control of traditional and successful state management of wildlife.

“Hunters across America should take notice of this evolving situation,” said Carter. “Our rights to hunt are being methodically eroded. If we don’t protect these rights now, it is only a matter of time before we lose our proud heritage.” Read more

Great Outdoors Jamboree set for Sept. 11 at Lake Hudson Recreation Area

Pheasants Forever, the Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources invite those looking for a fun, free way to enjoy the outdoors to attend the fourth annual Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area in Lenawee County Sunday, Sept. 11. Taking place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., this outdoor experience for the whole family offers a chance to learn about Michigan’s outdoor recreation opportunities and participate in a variety of activities for new and returning Jamboree visitors alike.

A flag-raising ceremony at 10:30 a.m. presented by American Legion Post 368 will honor veterans and first responders.

Attendees can spend an exhilarating day in the great outdoors learning the skills necessary to hunt, fish or enjoy just about any outdoor recreation pursuit. More than 40 vendors will display, discuss and give hands-on instruction in archery, live birds of prey and wildlife rehabilitation, target shooting, bass fishing, campsite exploration, rope-bridge crossing, and many more nature-based activities. Read more

Final MI experimental early teal hunting season begins Sept. 1

2016 marks the third and final year of Michigan’s experimental early teal hunting season, which runs Sept. 1-7. These small ducks, especially blue-winged teal, are some of the earliest duck species to migrate each fall.

This statewide teal-only season is possible because of growing teal populations. Hunters may take up to six teal per day and hunt from sunrise to sunset. Read more

Obama Administration Closes Alaska to Predator Hunting/Trapping

By Glen Wunderlich

Fundamental change is, once again, being thrust upon Americans by the autocrats in Washington D.C.  This time, it involves a controversial and inexplicable maneuver that reeks of hypocrisy.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and its appointed director, Dan Ashe, have issued new regulations closing 77 million acres of land in Alaska to state wildlife management, including effective predator control and other established means and methods of hunting and trapping.

First, the hypocrisy:  This is the same FWS that has banded together with states in the Great Lakes region, including Michigan, in a lawsuit to return wolves to state management.  And, since the management of wildlife has always been the responsibility of each individual state according to its priorities, how does the heavy hand of central command’s rulers swing so much legal clout?  It doesn’t!

Our wildlife doesn’t belong to Washington, D.C. or any landowner; it belongs to the states.  When we purchase hunting and fishing licenses, we do some from state agencies and are required to follow the laws of the respective states issuing said licenses.  There exists no federal management program for any wildlife.  Until now.

When Alaska was granted statehood in 1959, its ownership and control of game populations – including that within federal lands – was specifically enumerated in three acts:  Alaska Statehood Act (1959), Alaska Lands Act (1980), and the Refuge Improvement Act (1997).  With the vested power of Congress, these acts were clearly approved.

Once again, the feds purport to know what’s good for us, as it dishes out the distasteful medicine.  Ah, but there’s a fly in this ointment.  Behind the scenes, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) – the most powerful anti-hunting lobby in the world that despises all forms of hunting and hunters – was thanked by Ash in a tweet.

The stench gets stronger.  The rule changes include provisions that abruptly deny American citizens of their collective voice relative to management of the National Wildlife Refuge through the following:

  • Doubling the length of emergency closures of refuge lands from 30 to 60 days
  • Removing requirements for public hearings on such closures
  • Complete elimination of the maximum length of a temporary closure

Mr. Ashe, you’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do.

This precedent, if left unchallenged, shall lay the groundwork for non-affected city slickers to push their radical agendas throughout the nation.

As “We the People” are relegated to irrelevance, what is to prevent more power grabs in the Western states, where apex predators threaten to destroy what is left of its once-thriving populations of elk and mule deer?

The Sportsmen’s Alliance strongly opposes these rules and is working closely with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), Alaska hunters and hunting guides, and the Alaska Congressional Delegation to block the Obama Administration from enforcing these new “HSUS rules.”

Sustainability has been built into all regulated hunting since its inception.  There is no movement to totally eradicate any species, including a couple years ago, when Michigan established a hunting season for wolves.  A mere 23 wolves were taken by hunters – about half of the established quota – a small fraction of the 600-700 wolves roaming the northern reaches of the state.

It’s called game management and that’s what hunters do.  And, that’s the way it should be.

Michigan CWD Causes Changes for Hunters in Lower Peninsula

By Glen Wunderlich

The push to minimize the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is under way. Much like a surgical process to remove suspected cancer, as stewards of our natural resources, we hunters are the “surgeons” of the woods.

“With the detection of CWD-positive deer in the southern part of Clinton County, we need to better understand the magnitude of the disease in those areas,” said Chad Stewart, Department of Natural Resources deer specialist. “Expanding our surveillance to include those areas is key at this point, and we need help from landowners and hunters within the expanded zone to help us with this effort.”

The Michigan Natural Resources Commission expanded the Core Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Area to include 17 townships. This area, which will continue to be referred to as Deer Management Unit (DMU) 333, now will consist of Lansing, Meridian, Williamstown, Delhi, Alaiedon and Wheatfield townships in Ingham County; DeWitt, Bath, Watertown, Eagle, Westphalia, Riley, Olive and Victor townships in Clinton County; Woodhull Township in Shiawassee County, and Oneida and Delta townships in Eaton County.

The CWD Management Zone also has expanded; it now will include the remainder of Clinton, Eaton, Ingham and Shiawassee counties, as well as all of Ionia County. The expanded Management Zone will be referred to as DMU 419.

Other regulation changes include:

  • Banning deer feeding and baiting on all properties within the Core CWD Area and Management Zone.
  • Opening Eaton and Ionia counties to the early antlerless deer season.
  • Allowing roadkill deer in the Core CWD Area to be possessed and kept with a DNR-issued salvage tag from a law enforcement officer or DNR employee, as long as the head is submitted to a DNR biologist, biologist appointee or check station.

Continuing from last year, other regulation reminders include the following:

  • Those hunting within the Core CWD Area are required to present the head of all hunter-harvested deer within 72 hours of harvest to a DNR deer check station.
  • Hunters leaving the Core CWD Area are required to present the entire carcass of all hunter-harvested deer originating from the Core CWD Area within 72 hours of harvest to a DNR deer check station. (A list of deer check stations is available at gov/deercheck.)
  • All live free-ranging deer from within the CWD Management Zone or Core CWD Area are prohibited from being rehabilitated. Permittees located within the CWD Management Zone or Core CWD Area may no longer rehabilitate deer.

CWD affects members of the deer family, including elk and moose. It is caused by the transmission of infectious, self-multiplying proteins (prions) contained in saliva and other body fluids of infected animals.

Since the May 2015 discovery of chronic wasting disease in a free-ranging, Michigan white-tailed deer, 5,631 deer have been tested for CWD in order to gauge the extent of the disease across the landscape. Of those tested, seven deer were confirmed positive for the disease in Clinton and Ingham counties.

In an effort to induce hunters to kill more does and to have them tested, the DNR is discounting antlerless deer license fees to $12 for a resident antlerless deer license and $12 for the first antlerless deer license purchased by non-residents, for deer management units in the Core Area and Management Zone.  DMU 333 has unlimited antlerless licenses that may be purchased without application beginning Sept. 8 at 10 a.m.

Finally, a few words are in order to clarify how sharpshooters are involved in the CWD management process. Through June, 2016, deer tested through sharpshooting efforts contributed to 17 percent of the total sample (769 out of 4,558) in the CWD Management Zone but interestingly, have contributed to 66 percent of the total positives.

Additionally, sharpshooters are not shooting deer in the entire CWD Management Zone but are operating entirely within two miles of known CWD-positive deer but only with approval from landowners including how many deer the sharpshooters may take.

The process will be a long ride, but it appears we are on the right road.

QDMA’s New Website Is Designed to Serve and Inform Deer Hunters


ATHENS, GA (August 16, 2016) – QDMA is pleased to invite deer hunters to visit its newly relaunched website, QDMA.com, which now allows the organization to more efficiently interact with, educate and support its members, volunteers, and all deer hunters.”Whether you need help predicting buck behaviors during the rut, a ticket to your local QDMA banquet, food plot information, or you just want to renew your membership, you’ll find the new site easy to use even on your smartphone,” said QDMA Director of Communications Lindsay Thomas Jr. Read more

Make a Michigan GEMS stop this fall


This fall, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources encourages hunters to try upland bird hunting at one, or several, GEMS (Grouse Enhanced Management Sites) – which offer a chance to explore a new type of hunt or a new location. Each of the 17 GEMS has miles of hunter walking trails, developed from old logging roads, that wind through thousands of acres of great habitat.”Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula have some of the best grouse and woodcock habitat,” said DNR upland bird biologist Al Stewart. “In Michigan, we have 10 million acres of public hunting land – the size of Massachusetts and New Jersey combined.” Read more

National Deer Alliance Launches New Website Geared To Informing and Uniting Deer Hunters


FAIRFAX, Va. —The National Deer Alliance (NDA) has recently developed the organization’s first comprehensive website to keep deer hunters informed about deer issues across the country, while also providing important updates on NDA’s work.The new site makes it easier than ever to sign up for a free membership, and is home to the NDA Action Center, which allows deer and hunting advocates to easily contact legislators about matters important to ensuring the future of North America’s most popular big game animal. Additionally, the site will feature a President’s Blog, penned by NDA President and CEO Nick Pinizzotto, and an editorial section that will highlight the latest news in the deer world. Read more
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