OK Wildlife Department To Mark Monarchs

Migrating monarch butterflies can travel up to 100 miles a day on their southern journey and many will soon be stopping at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area. Citizen scientists are invited to join biologists on the area the week of October 2 as they tag individual butterflies and learn more about their long-distance migration.Monarchs visiting Hackberry Flat WMA will be tagged as part of the national citizen science project, “Monarch Watch.” (Donnell/ODWC) Read more

Questioning Michigan’s Wolf Population Numbers

By Glen Wunderlich

Earlier this year, Michigan Department of Natural Resources wildlife division officials indicated the size of the state’s wolf population has not changed significantly, since the last survey was conducted in 2014.  Admittedly, it cannot state with statistical certainty the validity of the information.  A thinking person may wonder about these numbers considering the fact that hunting these apex predators has been outlawed, since December 2014, after a ruling from the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. put them back on the Endangered Species List.

In neighboring Wisconsin, where the same protections for wolves exist, empirical evidence suggests quite a different picture.  Wisconsin Public Radio reports that a record number of bear hounds being trained for the bear season have been killed by wolves this year and bear season is just beginning!

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources large carnivore specialist Dave MacFarland said hunters can sign up for wolf depredation alerts through the agency’s website to pinpoint areas where attacks have occurred.  Wisconsin is seeing its highest wolf population in recent history with close to 900 wolves in the state and even compensates hunters up to $2500 for dogs killed by wolves. Additionally, another 29 domesticated animals, such as calves, have been killed or injured by wolves this year and farmers are also paid for damages by the state.

So, we’ve gone from state systems that took in revenue from hunters in the form of license fees to control wolves to a system whereby taxpayers – including hunters – are footing the bill for damages to those affected.

Of course, the usual suspects have another approach.  In an opinion editorial found in the Wisconsin State Journal published September 12, 2016, an anti-hunter wants the payouts stopped.    The writer explains that owners release their dogs to track and chase bears up trees, where the bears easily can be shot, remarking it’s not much of a challenge, which is why most hunters don’t use dogs to tree bears.

But, when has animal-rights zealots approved of any form of hunting based on its level of difficulty, or lack thereof?  Never!  If hunting is too easy, they bellyache about fairness.  Conversely, if hunting is more challenging, they bring into question ethical values based on the fact that animals can be wounded.

Kevin Swanson, wildlife management specialist with the Michigan’s DNR’s Bear and Wolf Program in Marquette said, “If federal protections are removed, Michigan and other involved states would have the ability to manage wolves in a sustainable manner, by utilizing sound scientific principles, as we currently employ with other valuable game species, such as bear and bobcat.”

After the court’s finding, Michigan, Wisconsin, some private groups, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service appealed the decision, filing their initial legal briefs in the case late last year with no timeline given for deliberations.

Legislative efforts in the U.S. Congress have also been underway to try to again delist wolves in the Great Lakes Region.

Meanwhile, insanity rules.

Backcountry Sportsmen Oppose ‘Bikes in Wilderness’ Bill

BHA members support conserving America’s most remote and valuable fish and wildlife habitat

MISSOULA, Mont. – As hunters head into America’s wilderness in search of game and lawmakers struggle through the final weeks of the 114th Congress, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is criticizing a Senate bill that would open federally designated wilderness areas to mountain biking.

S.B. 3205, the Human-Powered Travel in Wilderness Areas Act, would open the door to bicycles in all wilderness areas in the United States. Under the 1964 Wilderness Act, bikes and other forms of “mechanical transport” are explicitly banned in wilderness areas, which are set aside to preserve their pristine waters, fish and wildlife habitat and opportunities for solitude. Today, hunters on foot and with traditional pack stock treasure wilderness areas for those same values. Read more

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

Another suspect deer for chronic wasting disease identified in Ingham County, MI

Hunters in DMU 333 reminded of the requirement to have harvested deer from the area checked

Since May 2015, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has been actively conducting surveillance for chronic wasting disease (CWD). To date, more than 6,000 deer have been tested since the first positive was found, with seven cases of CWD confirmed.

However, a 3.5-year-old buck taken recently in Meridian Township is likely to be the eighth positive and the first discovered since March of this year. The sample is currently being tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, to finalize confirmation.

The suspect deer was taken as part of the DNR’s CWD management program through targeted sharpshooting, which actively removes deer that are more likely to be affected with the disease in and around areas where previously identified CWD-positive animals had been detected. Read more

QDMA Launches 2016 “Gear Up For Deer” Online Auction

ATHENS, GA (September 12, 2016) – Deer season is upon us, and to help hunters get ready, QDMA is holding the Gear Up For Deer online auction containing 50 items including bows, guns, hunting trips, gear, optics, habitat equipment and much more. All auction proceeds will go to support QDMA’s mission of ensuring the future of white-tailed deer, wildlife habitat, and our hunting heritage.The most valuable auction item is a one-year Platinum Plus Membership to the 7,000-acre Cedar Ridge Plantation in South Carolina, one of best managed, most exclusive hunting clubs in the South. Located in Greenwood County, this 7,000-acre plantation has been under an intensive QDM program for more than a decade and features more than 100 acres of food plots and 120 permanent hunting stands. As evidence of their commitment to wise management, Cedar Ridge has been recognized by QDMA with the “2011 Al Brothers Deer Manager of the Year” award and the “2013 Deer Management Program of the Year.” In addition to deer, Cedar Ridge also offers exceptional hog and turkey hunting as well as world-class dove hunting. The package, valued at more than $8,000, will also include a complimentary registration to QDMA’s Deer Steward I course.

The Gear Up For Deer online auction is now open and will close on Friday, September 30 at 7 p.m. EST.

Click here to review items and begin bidding.

Link URL: https://www.32auctions.com/QDMAGearUpforDeer

Disclaimer: QDMA reserves the right to remove or exclude any auction item listed at its sole discretion. Additionally, while every effort has been taken to ensure 100 percent accurate descriptions of each item, they remain subject to change until time of sale, so be sure to double-check item descriptions and to confirm any additional details with the item’s provider prior to purchase. Read more

MI DNR partners with grantees for important habitat improvements on state-managed land

When the Michigan Department of Natural Resources sought approval for a hunting license fee increase a couple years back, it promised hunters they’d get “more bang for the buck” from the additional funding.

The DNR is following through by offering grants to conservation groups, other government agencies and interested individuals to implement wildlife habitat improvements in Michigan. Read more

Michigan: Warm, Dry Weather Can Trigger Wildlife Diseases

: Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Disease Laboratory technician Julie Melotti takes tissue samples from deer to test them for CWD.While continuing to work hard to determine the extent of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Michigan’s free-ranging deer herd, laboratory staff has been anticipating epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) and Type C and Type E botulism.

Deer that are exposed to the EHD virus, but do not die from the illness, may show growth interruptions on the hooves and sometimes peeling hoof walls.

A white-tailed deer in winter is shown. Deer can be affected by epizootic hemorrhagic disease and chronic wasting disease.

A healthy male mallard is shown. Mallards are dabbling, non-diving ducks.

Many of us humans truly enjoy the hot, dry weather of a warm Michigan summer.

For some wildlife, however, the prolonged heat and drought-like conditions can spell trouble.

Given this summer’s hot and dry weather in many parts of the state, staff at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Disease Laboratory in Lansing has been looking at wildlife diseases affecting deer and waterfowl. Read more

Federal Judge Strikes Down New Jersey Ban on Trophy Importation

On July 8, 2016, Conservation Force, the Garden State Taxidermist Association, a New Jersey taxidermist, and five New Jersey based hunters sued the state to compel an end to New Jersey’s ban on the import, possession, export, transport, and processing of hunting trophies of the African “Big Four” (elephant, leopard, lion, and rhinoceros). The plaintiffs alleged that the state’s ban was preempted by the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The applicable law is ESA Section 6(f): “Any State law or regulation which applies with respect to the importation or exportation of, or interstate or foreign commerce in, endangered species or threatened species is void to the extent that it may effectively … (2) prohibit what is authorized pursuant to an exemption or permit provided for in this Act or in any regulation which implements this Act.” 16 U.S.C. § 1535(f).

On August 29, Judge Freda Wolfson of the U.S. federal court in Trenton entered an Order and Judgment against the State of New Jersey. The Order prohibits the enforcement of the ban against activities authorized by federal law, regulation, or permit. Hunters may continue to import, export, and possess federally authorized Big Four hunting trophies in the State. Read more

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