As other seasons close, Iowa hunters turn attention to coyotes

Coyotes are habitat generalists and can be found near large brushpiles, timber and grass fields, and in particular, fields with switchgrass. Photo courtesy of the Iowa DNR.

An expected 10,000 to 15,000 Iowa hunters will turn their attention to pursuing the state’s top predator after Jan. 10. That’s when most of Iowa’s hunting seasons close, and coyote hunting begins in earnest.

Although its season never closes, coyotes are hunted most often during the winter. The number of Iowa coyote hunters and harvest has been at a record level for four of the past five years, thanks in part to predator hunting shows and because coyote fur has held its value as most other pelt prices have declined.

“Coyote pelts go for anywhere from $15-$30 per pelt depending on the quality and Iowa’s pelts are considered average. Last year’s average price was $17. The top pelts come from the Dakotas, Montana, and Saskatchewan and Alberta, Canada,” said Vince Evelsizer, state furbearer biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Coyote fur is used as trim for hoods and coats in foreign markets. Read more

Florida Charges Three in Connection to Shark Dragging Video

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office announced charges against three individuals connected to a video of a shark being dragged behind a boat at high speed. The charges resulted from a four-month long investigation into the video and other disturbing images on social media involving shocking disregard for Florida’s natural resources.

“As we’ve said since this video and other images came to light, these actions have no place in Florida, where we treasure and conserve our natural resources for everyone,” said Commission Chairman Bo Rivard. “We appreciate the patience and support of the public as our law enforcement investigators worked with the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office to identify a number of serious violations that will be brought to the courts for adjudication. It is our hope these charges will send a clear message to others that this kind of behavior involving our fish and wildlife will not be tolerated.” Read more

A Monumental Decision

 From First For Hunters Blog of Safari Club International…

Importantly for sportsmen and women, Secretary Zinke is seeking to expand access for hunting and fishing.

Last week, SCI joined a gathering chorus of support for President Donald Trump’s decision to protect access to millions of acres of public land in Utah.

In an address to Utah’s elected leaders, the President announced he was signing two executive orders to reduce the boundaries of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.  He also was critical of the prior misuse of the Antiquities Act by former presidents.

While the Act is credited for preserving many of America’s greatest natural treasures (like the Grand Canyon) in the decades after its enactment in 1906, several recent presidents have designated multi-million-acre “monuments” that go beyond the original intent of the Act.

These designations, which sometimes limit or restrict access to hunting opportunities, are often made with little or no input from the affected Western states or from local stakeholders, including hunters and anglers. Read more

Ammo Incorporated Releases STREAK Visual Ammunition 

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Dec. 12, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — AMMO, Inc. (POWW), a technology leader and premier American ammunitions manufacturer, today announced its newest product offering, STREAK Visual Ammunition.  AMMO, Inc. holds the exclusive worldwide rights for the incredible patented technology used to make the STREAK products. STREAK is one of the most technologically advanced ammunition to hit the market in decades.
“We are beyond excited to bring STREAK Visual Ammunition to the market.  Our acquisition of the exclusive rights for the STREAK technology is a game changer for both our company as well as the shooting industry.  Once you shoot with STREAK and you can actually see your projectile travel throughout its path, you will be bored by shooting normal ammunition”, said AMMO, Inc.’s CEO, Fred Wagenhals.

Unlike conventional tracers, STREAK rounds are NOT incendiary, they don’t use burning metals to generate light. Replacing fire-hazard burning metals is non-flammable phosphor material that utilizes the light emitted during the discharging of the round to make STREAK glow.  STREAK does NOT generate heat, making STREAK rounds safe to use in environments where traditional tracers are prohibited and can be a serious fire hazard.
The results are game changing in many aspects for the consumer, law enforcement and military.
STREAK Visualized

STREAK VisualizedThe glowing material used is applied only to the aft end of the projectile, making it only visible to the shooter and those within a 30-degree viewing window.  Military and law enforcement appreciate that unlike conventional tracers STREAK’s glow is not visible to the target.STREAK ammunition is currently available in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. The STREAK line will expand to include hollow points, a wider range of calibers and will be available in both red and yellow/green colors. Read more

Defining Conservation and the Conservationist

By Glen Wunderlich

When the term “conservationist” is bandied about, as in present-day vernacular relative to wildlife, its loosely defined meaning can cause confusion.  Fortunately, the Boone and Crockett Club (the Club) – the people that developed and nationalized the term in the late 19th century – has set things straight in a recently published essay about the terms “conservation” as opposed to “preservation.”

As foundational fodder for discussion, here are the terms defined: 

“Conservation” focuses on using and managing natural resources to benefit people, but in keeping within the limits of supply, regrowth, and change, both natural and human-influenced.  It is the most widely used and accepted model for the management of natural resources, including wildlife, in North America. 

“Preservation” is a philosophy that generally views people as a negative influence on nature, and seeks to keep natural resources in a pristine state by limiting use and excluding active management by people.

What’s interesting is that the Club has never found the two schools of thought as being in opposition to each other.  The distinction, however, is that preservation is actually a tool within the conservation approach to wildlife management that has been so successful over the past century.

Conservation professionals sometimes seek to reestablish a wildlife (or plant) species into an historic range.  For a wildlife species, this usually involves protecting newly located animals from hunting and other impacts until the population grows large enough to withstand die-offs from predators, harsh weather, and disease.  Short-term preservation then shifts to long-term active management, which brings benefits of keeping a wildlife population in balance with its food sources, other wildlife, and people.  Game species whose numbers are controlled by public hunting also offer the important benefit of providing funding for further research and conservation efforts.  Long-term preservation typically would not generate the same self-perpetuating and important benefits that a conservation approach provides.    

In 1887, Theodore Roosevelt founded the Boone and Crockett Club along with a dozen of the most respected and influential men in America, all of whom were avid sportsmen.  They committed themselves to reverse the wanton destruction of America’s resources in the name of progress, which led to the setting aside of millions of acres as public lands, establishing national parks, forest reserves, and wildlife refuges, training people to professionally manage them, and devising mechanisms to fund these efforts.  The Club used the term “conservation” to describe this new relationship between people and nature, and defined it as “wise and prudent use without waste.”  

Sportsmen helped enact laws that set bag limits, regulated hunting seasons, and protected migratory birds.  They also enacted legislation that taxed their hunting activities to ensure there would always be adequate and reliable funding for conservation efforts, including the Federal “Duck Stamp” Act and the Pittman-Robertson Act. 

Conservation’s history, inherent versatility, and ability to adapt to a changing world proves it should remain as the dominant approach for producing the outcomes people want—healthy, clean environments that contain sustainable populations of fish, birds, and other wildlife.  

Progress has made for a new reality, as explained by Dr. Bruce D. Leopold:  “Nature just can’t take its course because frankly, there is no location on Earth where humankind has not had an impact.  From radioactive materials and dust in polar ice, to ever-expanding distributions of invasive species, the evidence is clear that disruption of natural processes is a global phenomenon.  Humans are a significant component of natural ecosystems (contributing the good and the bad) and the notion of suddenly removing their influence is both illogical and impossible.  Natural ecosystems are just too altered to be left alone.”

If ever we are to do what’s best for wildlife – which is an admirable goal shared by all parties – we must first understand what works and what does not.

In conclusion, all of management is judged by the results it achieves.  Accordingly, the North American conservation model, which brought so many animal species from the brink of extinction to its current sustainable condition, is proof enough that Theodore Roosevelt was a visionary conservationist way ahead of his time.

Michigan Board Recommends $40.3 Million to Enhance Outdoor Recreation

Gov. Rick Snyder applauds quality of life improvements

The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund board this week recommended $40.3 million in grant recommendations for outdoor recreation development and land acquisition projects to the state Legislature.

This funding will support a variety of outdoor recreation improvements including expanded public access at popular fishing destinations, additional snowmobile and multiuse trail easements that give users broader access to more trails, facility and playground improvements at urban parks, planning and construction for new trails and connectors, trail-resurfacing projects and wildlife and habitat enhancement projects.

“The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund has a proven record of supporting expanded opportunities for more Michiganders and tourists to experience quality public outdoor recreation,” Snyder said. “This year’s recommendations could help improve the quality of life in a very Pure Michigan way.”

The board recommended a total of $40.3 million for projects in 2018, including $19 million in recreation development and $21.3 million in land acquisition projects. Read more

Dual-Function Rechargeable Light is Intrinsically Safe; Permits Hands-Free Use

Streamlight® Inc., a leading provider of high-performance lighting, introduced the Dualie® Rechargeable Magnet, a lithium ion battery-powered rechargeable LED flashlight that is safety rated for use in Division 1 environments. The new dual-function light features both a forward-facing spot beam and side-facing flood light for use individually or simultaneously for optimizing navigation and eliminating blind spots. The new light also can be used hands free through the use of integrated magnets that grab onto steel surfaces. Read more

Michigan’s December grouse season offers chance to expand hunting horizons

By Katie Keen

With Michigan’s most popular hunting season – firearm deer – now put to bed, some hunters might not be ready to call it a day just yet.

The December ruffed grouse season, Dec. 1 to Jan. 1, offers an entirely different hunting experience for deer hunters who just can’t stay still, are always second-guessing the blind they chose or just want to get a few more miles out of their base license.

The base license – which all Michigan hunters already have, as it’s required to purchase other hunting licenses – is the only license needed to hunt ruffed grouse.

“I go because I’m crazy, I guess,” said Michigan Ruffed Grouse Society member Aaron VanderWall. “I would religiously go out on New Year’s Day, despite conditions, in hope of killing what would be both the last grouse of the season and the first grouse of the next year.”

Deer hunters who have never tried bird hunting might consider calling that friend or family member who’s always talking about his hunting dog, suggested Al Stewart, Michigan Department of Natural Resources upland game bird specialist. Read more

New M1A™ 6.5 Creedmoor Gives Serious Marksmen a Formidable New Choice

Springfield Armory’s Match-Dominating M1A Now Available in the Extreme-Precision Caliber Many Sharpshooters Prefer
GENESEO, ILL. (12/08/17) – Springfield Armory’s M1A™ Series has a hard-won reputation for handling any mission, any condition, any foe, at any range – and for taking home trophies from monster bucks to National Match crowns. Highly precise .308 WIN-chambered M1A models are found in the hands of elite tactical teams, snipers, backcountry hunters and competitive marksmen.Now skilled shooters can get legendary Springfield M1A durability in 6.5 Creedmoor caliber.

With high muzzle velocity, low recoil, and extreme long-range accuracy, the Creedmoor round is becoming increasingly popular and easily accessible. The new M1A 6.5 Creedmoor makes the most of the ammo’s attributes with the rifle design, craftsmanship, balance and response known to Springfield Armory’s storied M1A platform. Read more

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