SCI Opposes Ballot Effort To Stop Mountain Lion, Bobcat Hunting In Arizona

Safari Club International opposes efforts by the Humane Society of the United States and other anti-hunters to end the hunting of mountain lions and bobcats in Arizona by way of the ballot box.

HSUS and other anti-hunters currently are circulating petitions, hoping to place their deceitfully draconian measure on the ballot in 2018.

“This is just the latest move by anti-hunters to end all hunting,” said SCI President Paul Babaz. “They have made it clear that their strategy is to go state-by-state, species-by-species, if that’s what it takes for them to end all hunting. Please join SCI’s fight to block this attack on our freedom to hunt.”

As they attempt to gather signatures to qualify their initiative, the anti-hunters no doubt will be raising money and using those funds in emotional appeals to fool voters.

SCI and other hunter groups are launching an aggressive campaign to educate voters in Arizona about the benefits of having wildlife managed scientifically by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, and not by emotionally-driven political initiatives.

In addition to ending hunting for mountain lions and bobcats, the initiative measure also attempts to heighten emotions baselessly by prohibiting the hunting of ocelots, jaguars and lynx, which is already illegal.

And, what follows are some little-publicized facts about the Humane Society of the U.S from

While most of the country enjoys the temperate fall weather, snow has already fallen in many areas out west. Those looking for warm retreats as the weather cools are already looking at places in the Caribbean. We might suggest the Cayman Islands, where the Humane Society of the United States is keeping donor money tanned, rested, and ready—and away from the animals it is supposed to help.According to HSUS’s most recent (2016) tax return, the organization has $51,469,167 sitting in “investments” in the Caribbean. In the past, HSUS has disclosed that these millions are sitting in specific funds in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

Meanwhile, HSUS continues to engage in predatory fundraising. The past few weeks have been replete with pleas from HSUS and its highly compensated CEO Wayne Pacelle, begging for donations to fund its disaster relief team. However, we’ve seen this script before. After Hurricane Sandy, HSUS raised several million dollars but only spent about one-third of what it raised on Sandy relief.

The rest might have made a nice addition to HSUS’s Cayman funds. Much like we suspect money raised after the three recent storms will end up. Read our report, “Looting in the Aftermath,” for more evidence of how HSUS exploits high-profile events.

Safari Club International – First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI’s approximately 200 Chapters represent all 50 of the United States as well as 106 other countries. SCI’s proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit the home page, or call (520) 620-1220 for more information.
International Headquarters Tucson, Arizona · Washington, District of Columbia · Ottawa, Canada

The Michigan Gun

By Glen Wunderlich

Many years ago, Michigan’s response to urbanization created the shotgun zone (Zone III) in a day when shotguns and muzzleloaders didn’t pack the punch they do today.  Much has changed since then.  Modern in-line muzzleloaders and shotguns loaded with sabots and modern powders produce much higher velocities than anything imaginable back in the day, yet Michigan residents have experienced no adverse safety effects, as a result. 

Conventional wisdom was finally condemned in a 2007 study by Mountain Top Technologies, Inc. for the Pennsylvania Game Commission when it was charged to determine if shotguns and muzzleloaders pose less risk than centerfire rifles for hunting deer. As part of the study, details such as ballistics, projectile construction, projectile type, topography, land use, population density, hunter density, and structural density were examined.

The study concluded that shotguns are not always as risky as centerfires! Shotguns firing modern saboted ammunition have a larger danger area than the .30-06 rifle when firing with a small or no-aiming error at approximately zero degrees. All this is based on ricochet characteristics. 

Thus, the door was opened for Michigan to update its hunting regulations and did just that in 2014 to include certain straight-wall cartridges for deer hunting.  Today in Zone III the use of .35 caliber or larger rifles loaded with straight-walled cartridges with a minimum case length of 1.16 inches and a maximum case length of 1.8 inches is legal. 

It comes as no surprise that firearms manufacturers recognized the potential sales of newly compliant firearms for Michigan hunters and have followed suit with offerings by Ruger, Savage, Remington and others.  Many hunters are trading in their slug guns, as a result and there are several reasons for so doing.

First, there is the cost factor.  At some $3 per round, modern shotgun ammo is expensive.  In comparison, the relatively new .450 Bushmaster comes in at about $1.35 per round. 

But, what about performance?  A 20-gauge shotgun firing a 250-grain sabot slug produces about 1800 feet per second (fps) velocity with a corresponding 1800 foot pounds of muzzle energy.  However, that .450 Bushmaster propels a 250-grain bullet at 2200 fps with energy at 2686 foot pounds.  Looking at trajectory, if the Bushmaster round is zeroed at 150 yards, it will be only 1.8 inches high at 100 yards and a mere 2.4 inches low at 200 yards.  Even with a conservative 6-inch kill zone, a hunter can hold dead center on a deer’s vitals for an effective point-blank range of 200 yards.  In addition, felt recoil is about the same with the 20-gauge and .450 Bushmaster examples. 

However, if one considers the more punishing recoil of the more popular 12-gauge loads, it’s easy to understand the ground-swell of popularity with the new “Michigan” caliber. 

Finally, the accuracy factor of a good, modern rifle with a decent trigger pull weight invariably will be better than typical shotguns and their inherent heavy triggers.  Plus, handloaders will be able to squeeze even more potential from custom load development.

In summary, if you are in the market for a Zone III firearm for deer, you may want to consider one of the new Michigan guns, which by the way, will be quite suitable in the expansive lands of the northern parts of the state.

Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative

Made up of many partners, MPRI is a conservation initiative to restore and enhance Michigan pheasant habitat (grasslands), populations, and hunting opportunities on private and public lands via pheasant cooperatives.

Mid-Point Accomplishments Report, detailing the work the coalition completed in the first five years of the MPRI partnership, is available for review. The 2016 MPRI Annual Report is also available.

Michigan Pheasant Season Outlook

“A few years ago, Outdoor Life magazine rated Michigan’s Thumb in the top 10 places in the country to go wild pheasant hunting, which points to the fact that pheasant hunting is still alive and well in our state,” said Al Stewart, Department of Natural Resources upland game bird specialist. “The DNR and our partners are making progress towards creating more quality pheasant hunting opportunities with the Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative, a collaborative effort to revitalize Michigan pheasants.”

While pheasant populations have been in decline for several years, pheasants can be found in southern Lower Michigan and in some areas of the Upper Peninsula. The best counties for pheasant hunting are in south-central to mid-Michigan and into the Thumb.

There are some localized concentrations of birds elsewhere based on habitat availability. Stewart advises hunters to look for warm-season grasses, especially idled farm fields. Late-season hunters can have success in cattail and shrub lands adjoining picked agricultural fields.

A Ring-Necked Pheasant Status Report for Michigan has recently been completed and is available for viewing.improve close to 3,500 acres.

Michigan: Federal Lab Confirms Montcalm County Deer Had CWD

With archery deer hunting season under way, DNR urges all hunters to take harvested deer to area check stations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, confirmed Wednesday that a 3 1/2-year-old female deer taken during Michigan’s youth deer hunting season in September has tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

The animal, harvested in Montcalm Township in Montcalm County, is the 10th free-ranging deer in Michigan found to have chronic wasting disease. The youth hunter who harvested the deer opted to take the animal to a Department of Natural Resources deer check station and then submitted the animal for testing – steps the DNR strongly encourages hunters across the state to take during the 2017 deer hunting seasons. Read more

The Buck Stopped Here

By Glen Wunderlich

The southeast wind had changed my plans for the opening afternoon of archery deer season. However, strategic options were in place and it was time to head to a little-used ladder stand overlooking a trail through the trees. It wasn’t the most comfortable stand but it was one of the few that would position me properly to exploit the benefits of hunting with the slight breeze in my face.

Opening day usually means more of a scouting experience – a way to gather information that could be used on future hunts. Little did I know that this would be my last archery stand of the generous season with my Horton Vision crossbow.

Horton Vision Crossbow

My friend, Joe and his lady friend, Diane, would occupy a two-person portable ground blind at the edge of a lush 4-acre food plot looking into the wind. It wasn’t long before Joe radioed to inform me that two 8-point bucks were locking antlers and putting on quite a show.

Meanwhile, I had nothing to report other than some annoying ground squirrels that kept me on alert, while the sun succumbed to prime time.

Over the airwaves, Joe indicated there was a much larger buck that had entered the picture, but at some 60 yards, it was beyond ethical for a reasonable chance and never got closer to him.  Then, he watched as a 9-point buck had appeared and moved to about 20 yards of his blind, but one careless movement on Joe’s part sent the quality deer back into the tall trees for good.

Two raccoons kept my attention, as they foraged for acorns in a nearby oak tree after sunset. With darkness descending, a yearling 6-point buck could be heard, as it traveled along the trail heading my way. I had already made up my mind to pass on the youngster, when it stopped directly in front of me at 15 yards. With its nose to the ground, it was sniffing the deer urine I collected from “yellow snow” and had applied to my rubber boots as scent cover.

Behind the yearling on the same trail came another deer and I could make out some headgear in the waning light. It was adorned with some unusual tines that were obviously rather long, although I never took the time to start counting them. This larger buck converged on the spot with the inquisitive 6-point buck and came to a stop.

At the sound of the arrow’s launch, both bucks sped off into the trees, but the unmistakable lighted nock hit its mark as the brilliant red light danced out of sight. Experience dictated it was time to relax and I headed back for a field-dressing kit, where Joe, Diane, and I would prepare for recovery of the prize.

We picked up the blood trail and found the expired buck no more than 50 yards from the site of the encounter.

Opening Day Shiawassee County Buck

After field dressing the animal, we hung it in the cool 40-degree air for the night and got it to the processor after icing it down the next day, because of the unseasonably warm temperatures.

At the Rose Lake deer check station, workers confirmed the buck to be no less than 3 ½ years old, but the age will still be checked in Iowa, as it is tested for Chronic Wasting Disease.

The season was short, but it couldn’t have been sweeter.

AZGFD asks hunters to help keep Chronic Wasting Disease at bay

Arizona remains CWD-free due to surveillance efforts.

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department is asking hunters to continue doing their part to help keep Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a neurodegenerative wildlife disease that is fatal to deer and elk, at bay.All successful deer and elk hunters are encouraged to bring the head of their harvested animal, especially bucks and bulls, to any department office statewide between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The preferred method for delivery is to place the head in a heavy-duty plastic trash bag, and keep it cool and out of the sun. Read more

The Patriot For Up-And-Coming Predator Hunters

The FOXPRO Patriot is the perfect option for the up-and-coming predator hunter. It comes standard with 35 high-quality FOXPRO sounds, an additional 100 free sounds, and has the ability to hold up to 300 sounds. The Patriot offers maximum portability with its lightweight, rugged ABS housing. The unit comes with a single high-efficiency horn speaker that delivers a crystal-clear, high-quality sound with great volume. You can connect an external speaker to the jack on the side of the call for even more volume. The Patriot also has an auxiliary jack for use with an approved device such as the FoxJack 5 decoy. The FOXPRO Patriot features an enhanced remote with an elastomeric keypad for effortless use, even with gloves. It also has category files for easy navigation through sounds. The remote has a power on/off switch, volume up/down buttons. Scroll up/down, a mute, and much more. Read more

Montcalm County, MI deer suspected positive for chronic wasting disease

A 3 ½-year-old female deer taken during Michigan’s youth deer hunting season is likely to be the 10th free-ranging deer in the state found to have chronic wasting disease. The animal was harvested in Montcalm Township in Montcalm County, and preliminary tests indicate the animal may be positive for CWD. The DNR is awaiting final confirmation from the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Read more

Next Level Electronic Call from Lucky Duck

Next Level Electronic Call from Lucky Duck

Baldwin, WI- Lucky Duck Premium Decoys introduces the new Revolt electronic game call. Years in the making, the Revolt is one of the new additions to Lucky Duck’s ground-breaking electronic game call lineup. This remote controlled, high-output e-caller features ear piercing volume, one-of-a-kind sound library, motorized decoy, additional tweeter speaker, and remote controlled rotational base system that lets you broadcast sound 360 degrees.

Read more

Figuring The Wind with Ballistic Wind Kit

Of the many factors related to accurate shooting, wind is the trickiest, as wind can change frequently and can even be different between distances due to topography.

While velocity and bullet drop can be calculated fairly easily with the proper numbers, how wind affects bullet trajectory must be determined through years of experience, unless using the Wind Kit available with the Ballistic App Advanced and iPad Editions.

The Ballistic Wind Kit uses the JBM ballistic engine’s wind capabilities to allow shooters to account for nearly any possible wind situation. In fact, the wind kit allows users to quickly program the most complex wind scenarios. Read more

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