CWD Found in Maryland Deer

Annapolis, Md. – The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) received laboratory confirmation on February 10, 2011 that a white-tailed deer harvested in Maryland tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD). This is the first confirmed case of CWD in Maryland. A hunter in Allegany County reported taking the deer on November 27, 2010 in Green Ridge State Forest. Maryland is now one of 20 other states and Canadian provinces with CWD documented in deer, elk or moose.

“Our team of wildlife professionals has been preparing for this result for some time so we are well-informed and ready to limit the impact of this event,” said Paul Peditto, Director of DNR’s Wildlife and Heritage Service. “We have sampled intensively for this disease since 2002 and see this as an unfortunate but somewhat inevitable outcome. The good news is that our preparation and planning ensure a sound scientific foundation for our response to this single positive test result. With the continued cooperation of hunters, farmers, deer processors and landowners who have supported our monitoring effort, we will manage this deer disease consistent with the best available science and with minimal impact on our deer population and the people who enjoy these great animals.”

“Concerns over CWD should not stop anyone from enjoying venison,” added Peditto, who explained that only four species of the deer family are known to be susceptible to CWD: elk, mule deer, moose and white-tailed deer. Of these, only the white-tailed deer occurs in the wild in Maryland and there are no reported cases of transmission to humans or other animals.

As always, hunters are advised to exercise caution and never consume the meat of sick animals. Hunters are also advised to avoid contact with the brain, spinal column or lymph nodes of deer – all of which are normally removed during the butchering process.

This is the first positive sample out of nearly 6,800 deer tested in Maryland since 1999. From 2002 until 2009 that sampling occurred statewide. In 2010, sampling efforts were focused on Allegany and western Washington counties due to the presence of positive cases in nearby West Virginia and Virginia. West Virginia first detected CWD in Hampshire County in 2005 and it was found in Frederick County, Virginia in early 2010.

“Maryland will continue to work closely with the wildlife professionals in our adjacent states to share information and coordinate response efforts. However, our primary goal is to ensure the public is fully-informed and knows what we know when we know it. We want to be certain that every interested Marylander understands this disease and recognizes that there is no risk to people, pets or domestic livestock. As in every other state with CWD, we will respond appropriately while ultimately learning to live with this disease with little impact to our wildlife or citizens,” Peditto concluded.

For more information on CWD in Maryland and the DNR Response Plan, please visit the DNR Website athttp://www.dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Hunt_Trap/deer/disease/cwdinformation.asp.

Lime Processing Plant Gives Peregrines A New Place to Nest

FRANKFORT, Ky. – A pair of peregrine falcons that took up residence at a lime manufacturing plant on the Ohio River in Pendleton County will have a new place to nest this spring.

“Last year we discovered that the female falcon had laid an egg on one of the ladder platforms on the side of a 150-foot silo,” said Nick Caggiano, operations manager for Carmeuse Natural Chemicals plant in Butler, Ky. “In late December our maintenance crew placed a nest box on top of a support structure for one of the lime belt tubes. We’re delighted to be able to provide a safer place for the birds to nest.”

Although peregrine falcons are no longer a federally listed species, they are still considered rare in Kentucky. They are managed and monitored closely by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Falcons historically nested on high cliffs. However, in modern times, they’ve been found nesting on high, man-made structures. The nest box at the Carmeuse plant is located in an isolated area about 120 feet off the ground. The nest box and the plant grounds are not accessible to the public.

“Once a pair of falcons shows up at a spot they usually nest there for life,” said Kate Heyden, avian biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “They start courting in February and there are usually eggs in the nest by April. The young leave the nest by late June, when they learn to fly.”

The female falcon is a local bird. “She was hatched in 2009 at the LG&E Bedford Power Plant in Trimble County,” said Heyden. “She has a black and red leg band that reads 25/H. We know she was one of four sisters.”

Heyden noted that it is unusual for a falcon less than two years old to nest. Last year, the bird and its mate successfully raised a chick hatched on the silo’s ladder platform.

Details about the falcon’s mate are unknown at this time. “He’s banded, so when we get a good look at him, we should be able to tell where he’s from,” said Heyden. “In addition to the peregrines raised in Kentucky, we do have some birds here from West Virginia and Ohio.”

Department employees built the new nesting box of marine-grade plywood to give it durability and resistance to the weather. They added a perch to the front then lined the box with pea gravel to simulate cliff rock. Carmeuse employees installed the box.

There are 13 known nesting pairs of peregrine falcons in Kentucky. Twelve of those pairs are nesting on the Ohio River between Louisville and Ashland. The final pair is nesting atop Frankfort’s tallest building, located near the Kentucky River.

Pigeons are a falcon’s favorite prey, but they also take starlings and songbirds. Falcons, which catch their prey in mid-air, can reach speeds of 200 miles an hour during a dive.

Young falcons typically hang around their nest sites for about a month after they learn to fly. During this time, they hone their hunting skills and share in the food their parents catch.

Then they go off on their own, on what might be best described as a “raptor sabbatical.”

“We know from sightings of banded birds that many of our young peregrines move up and down the Ohio River, probably searching for a place to establish a territory,” said Heyden. “But last year, we had one bird hatched in Jefferson County that showed up a month after fledging on a skyscraper in Michigan.”

Federal, American Eagle 45 Auto Product Safety Warning

Certain lots of recently manufactured 45 Auto ammunition may contain an incorrect propellant charge. Use of product from these lots may result in firearm damage and possible serious injury.

DO NOT USE PRODUCT FROM THE FOLLOWING LOTS:
38X628 through 38X765 38T401 through 38T414

If you have in your possession any 45 Auto with the following brand names and part numbers, check to see if your ammunition package contains the above lots: American Eagle® (AE45A, AE45N1, or AE45A250), ChampionTM (WM5233), GoldMedal® (GM45B), Hi-Shok® (45C, 45D) and Federal® Personal Defense® (C45C, C45D). Example below:

THIS WARNING APPLIES ONLY TO THE LOTS LISTED ABOVE.
If you possess ammunition from any of these lots, or have questions concerning this warning, please contact us at 1-800-831-0850 or 1-800-322-2342 and ask for Product Service. Federal will provide replacement product and will cover the cost of returning the affected product.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Knight Rifles Back In Production

Knight Rifles is pleased to announce their return to making muzzleloaders.

In 1985, Knight Rifles pioneered the modern inline muzzleloader. Today, Knight Rifles is proud to announce they will continue in the tradition of muzzleloader hunting.

Knight Rifles launched its 2011 gun lineup on their website (www.knightrifles.com) this past week. These will be the first rifles to be manufactured under the new ownership of P.I. Inc., located in Athens, Tennessee. Rifle production will be in Athens, while warranty and gunsmith work will be done in the Centerville, Iowa location.

With this launch Knight announces a brand new rifle, the “Mountaineer”.
This rifle has been in the works since before Knight was acquired last March.Brand manager, Gordy Edwards says, “I believe this rifles performance will surpass even the best of rifles manufactured in the past, with the unique ignition system built around the use of Blackhorn 209 powder, we are very excited about it.”

“We’ve already received great feedback and anticipation from customers who haven’t been able to purchase a Knight for the past 2 years'” says Sam Brocato, sales manager.

Knight Rifles plans to begin production in February with shipments beginning in May.

Contact; Sam Brocato, Sales Manager (423_ 746-1313 or sbrocato@pi-inc.com

For more information contact us at www.knightrifles.com or by calling 866.518.4181

Nothing to Crow About

Citing the need to prevent lead toxicity hazards to wildlife, the Federal Government’s primary wildlife management agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildife Service (FWS) has banned the use of lead ammunition for hunting nuisance birds. The decision was published by FWS as a final rulemaking action in the Federal Register.

American Bird Conservancy (ABC), the nation’s leading bird conservation organization, expressed support for the decision in a letter sent today to Fish and Wildlife Service Acting Director Rowan W. Gould.

Depredation orders are issued by FWS to allow the killing of migratory birds such as crows, grackles, and blackbirds which are causing damage to public or private property, pose a health or safety hazard, or are damaging agricultural crops or wildlife. This new regulation will require the use of non-toxic ammunition in the control of these nuisance birds.

“We’re very supportive of FWS in siding with wildlife on this issue. Depredation hunting tends to leave large amounts of highly toxic lead ammunition on the ground that non-target birds and other wildlife consume while mistaking it for food. Those birds or other wildlife will either die agonizing deaths

shortly thereafter or suffer severe illness for a prolonged period. We have had many discussions with FWS about using non-toxic shot for all agency operations and we are very glad they have made this decision” said Dr. Michael Fry, one of the world’s leading avian toxicologists and Director of Conservation Advocacy for ABC.

ABC had been one of the leaders in a group that had petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency on August 3, 2010 to ban lead ammunition used for hunting and lead fishing gear because of the toxic threats they posed to wildlife. EPA responded that they did not have the authority to regulate lead ammunition, though Congressional legislative history records document that they did have such authority. EPA then later denied the fishing gear portion of the petition saying that evidence of impacts from fishing gear were being addressed by some States, and national regulations would be overly burdensome. In the original petition, ABC and the other petitioners presented almost 500 scientific studies that documented widespread lead impacts to wildlife that result in the lead-poisoning deaths of up to millions of birds each year in the United States.

“This decision is important not only because it will keep a highly toxic substance from being strewn across the landscape, but it will also prevent birds or other wildlife that might scavenge the remains of lead-shot nuisance birds, such as Bald Eagles, bobcats and raccoons from becoming innocent mortality victims as well,” Fry added.”

“The paint industry got the lead out, the gasoline industry got the lead out, the toy industry got the lead out, the home building industry got the lead out of plumbing, and even the automotive industry most recently is getting the lead out of the wheel weights on cars. The lethal impacts of lead in our environment are so well documented and accepted by the science and health community that any deliberate release of lead into a public environment should be viewed as unacceptable. The Federal Government has shown concern for human impacts of lead – we are very glad they are showing the same level of concern for wildlife,” Fry said.

American Bird Conservancy (www.abcbirds.org) conserves native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas by safeguarding the rarest species, conserving and restoring habitats, and reducing threats while building capacity of the bird conservation movement. ABC is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit membership organization.

Contact: Robert Johns, 202-234-7181 ext.210, bjohns@abcbirds.org

Michigan House Concurrent Resolution No. 2.

GW: As passed by the Michigan House of Representatives…

A concurrent resolution to express opposition to the imposition of a ban of firearm hunting and snowmobiling in certain areas of the Huron-Manistee National Forest.

Whereas, In compliance with a U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision, the U.S. Forest Service is revisiting its 2006 Land and Resource Management Plan for the Huron-Manistee National Forest. Currently, the Forest Service allows firearm hunting and snowmobiling in all of the forest. However, a Michigan attorney has sued the Forest Service in an effort to stop firearm hunting and snowmobiling in all primitive areas and semi-primitive non-motorized management areas; and

Whereas, The 2006 Land and Resource Management Plan was available for and received extensive public comment before being implemented. Yet the public’s access to 70,000 acres of public land is being threatened by one individual’s preference; and

Whereas, The desire to pursue quiet recreational activities in the primitive and semi-primitive areas of the forest does not preclude hunting. Many hunters enjoy the quiet and solitude of the forest when hunting. Additionally, snowmobiles operating in a forest of this size rarely impose on the enjoyment of the forest by others. Given the size of the forest, a snowmobile operator can ride many miles without ever encountering another person and it is likely that others enjoying the forest in winter would not encounter a snowmobile;

Whereas, The Federal Land Policy and Management Act provides the Forest Service the authority to determine where hunting may or may not occur on public lands. This authority should be left to the Forest Service, rather than the political bias of individuals. Wildlife managers and experts should have the final say in how the public land is used; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That we oppose the imposition of a ban of firearm hunting and snowmobiling in certain areas of the Huron-Manistee National Forest; and be it further

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the Chief of the U.S. Forest Service and the members of the Michigan congressional delegation.

Caldwell launches DeadShot® FieldPod™

The DeadShot FieldPod offers hunters bench rest accuracy when it matters most – in the field. With the DeadShot FieldPod, hunters can achieve in-field accuracy comparable to what they’ve experienced at the range.

The hunting rest allows you to take stability along for the hunt. With a fully adjustable dual frame supported by a solid tripod base, it’s capable of supporting nearly any weapon. Length and elevation adjustments ensure fit and balance, while the precision cast aluminum hub system allows the rest to pivot up and down, and rotate left and right. Constructed of high-quality, lightweight cast aluminum, it weighs less than 6 pounds. With a height adjustment range from 20 to 42 inches, it works great for hunters sitting on the ground or in a chair. It collapses quickly for easy transportation and its innovative frame design makes the rest fully compatible with detachable magazine rifles like the popular AR-15.

It’s ideal for shooting rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders, and crossbows from inside a ground blind. It helps deer, turkey, and predator hunters maintain perfect gun position on every set while minimizing movement and speeding up target acquisition.

For more information about Battenfeld Technologies and Caldwell Shooting Supplies, visit www.BattenfeldTechnologies.com or call 573-445-9200.

LEUPOLD Introduces RX-1000i Rangefinders with DNA(tm)

BEAVERTON, Ore. – Powered by an exclusive new rangefinder engine technology, Leupold’s® RX®-1000i with DNA™ fits in a shirt pocket, yet offers hunters and shooters even more ranging precision and speed, along with an exceptionally bright target image.

DNA (Digitally eNhanced Accuracy), a next-generation Leupold technology, not only increases ranging speed, but makes the RX-1000i accurate to 1/10 of a yard against all background colors and textures. DNA also provides the RX-1000i with greater ranging capability against soft targets such as deer and trees.

A digital laser rangefinder, the compact RX-1000i with DNA measures only 3.8 inches long and weighs just 7.8 ounces. Its multicoated lens system produces a bright, pristine image, helping to transmit 80 percent of available light to the eye – three times greater than the light transmission of traditional Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) rangefinder models. Actual 6x magnification and a vivid red Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) display also make it easier to spot and range game, even through dark timber and in low-light conditions.

The advanced RX-1000i TBR® with DNA models also offer Leupold’s exclusive True Ballistic Range® technology to help place shots with exceptional accuracy.

All RX-1000i units are weatherproof and rugged, with a tough aluminum casing and rubber armor. The RX-1000i with DNA has a black finish, while the TBR model is available in either gray/black or Mossy Oak® Break-Up® Infinity™ camouflage.

“Following on the heels of our successful RX-1000 introduction in 2009, the new RX-1000i with DNA models once again raise the bar on compact rangefinder function and performance, giving hunters and shooters a handy tool to easily spot targets and range them faster and more precisely than ever,” commented Pat Mundy, communications manager for Leupold & Stevens, Inc. “These are truly innovative rangefinders that offer the best of all worlds: shirt pocket size for easy and convenient carrying, exceptionally rugged to withstand the hardest hunt, and superior ranging performance to help set up for an accurate shot.”

Maximum range of the RX-1000i with DNA is 1,000 yards (914.4 meters) on reflective targets. Minimum range is 6 yards (5.5 meters). In bow mode, maximum range is 125 yards (114.3 meters). Scan mode provides continuous range updates to help stay on target when tracking movement or scanning an area. Measurements are provided in yards or meters.

Other key features include:

* OLED display has variable brightness settings, making it easier to see in dim light than LCD displays typical of most other rangefinders
* fast-focus eyepiece with precision clicks
* redesigned Quick Set Menu provides on-screen prompts for easy use in the field
* selectable reticles – hunters can choose from three different reticles to best suit the terrain and game, from elk to small varmints
* fold-down rubber eyecups accommodate users with or without glasses
* convenient battery power indicator

The RX-1000i TBR with DNA units can automatically calculate the shot angle and provide the True Ballistic Range rather than the straight-line distance to the target. Optimized for most popular bow and rifle trajectories, the rifle settings also work in conjunction with Leupold’s Ballistic Aiming System® riflescope reticles for exceptionally accurate shot placement. Available only in the RX-1000i TBR, milliradian outputs can precisely match mil based reticles such as the Mil Dot, TMR and Horus Vision® offerings.

Each rangefinder comes with a Cordura® holster, lanyard, CR2 lithium camera battery and complete instructions. For more information, go to www.leupold.com or call 1-800-LEUPOLD.

Leupold & Stevens, Inc., the preeminent American-owned and -operated optics company, employs more than 700 people in its state-of-the-art facility near Beaverton, Ore., where rugged, dependable, high-performance Golden Ring® optics, Mark 4® riflescopes and Redfield® Revolution™ riflescopes are designed, machined and assembled. Leupold is a fifth-generation, family owned company whose products are sold worldwide to hunters, competitive shooters, American military warfighters, law enforcement personnel and wildlife observers. The product line includes rifle, handgun and spotting scopes; binoculars; rangefinders; trail cameras; flashlights; mounting systems; and optical tools and accessories.

Contact: Patrick Mundy (503) 526-1467 or pmundy@leupold.com
Jeff Patterson, Swanson Russell (402) 437-6410 or jeffp@swansonrussell.com

Give to Local Animal Shelter, not HSUS

HSUS’s tax returns show that it gave just $81,124 to hands-on pet shelters in Michigan between 1998 and 2009. That’s only $6,760.33 annually. Last year HSUS gave just $7,039 to hands-on pet shelters in Michigan.) That may sound like a lot, but considering its income stream and purported purpose, it’s a waste of your money.

During that same 12-year period, HSUS spent $767 million on expenses including lobbyists, lawyers, payroll, and (of course) more fundraising. America’s pet shelters typically get about one percent of that. HSUS’s executive pension plan gets far more. More than $11 million in the past seven years…More facts about the veiled enemy of well-meaning, yet gullible Americans who donate to these anti hunters at the titel link. HSUS: Enemy of man.

A Good Laugh on the HSUS

By Glen Wunderlich
Outdoor Columnist
Member Professional Outdoor Media Association

Groundhog Day has come and gone, as has another reason to party in Punxsutawney. It almost makes me want to cry. Almost. But, what really bothers me is the way ol’ Phil is treated. I mean just how humane is it to drag him from his burrow and parade him in front of the world demanding he predict the weather. And, a six-week prognostication, at that. I can understand why he’s so popular; heck, our best meteorologists only go out on a limb with 7-day predictions, and usually by the end of the given timeframe, a little revision is in order.

But, not Phil. He never takes anything back. He uses no computer models, no weathervanes, and no almanacs. No wonder he’s so popular!

But, at least one among us – and, my guess is just one – wants one of her own for purely selfish interests. Ms. Debra Firmani, writing for the United States Humane Society’s (HSUS) website puts it this way: “For me, it’s not about their annual weather-prediction gig—I just think they’re wonderful animals to watch. For some reason, though, my wildlife-friendly yard—endorsed by countless birds and squirrels—has attracted no groundhogs. Not far away, I often see them foraging along roadsides and trails. But these fleeting glimpses are not enough. I still dream of the day when a groundhog will explore my yard, judge it burrow-worthy, and start digging.”

There must be some way we can help. I don’t suppose those folks in Pennsylvania would ever give up Phil. Besides, why waste the talents of one so illustrious and clever, when any ol’ hay hog – excuse me, woodchuck – will do.

Notwithstanding Phil’s skills, we may have missed a fantastic opportunity with the recent passing of Groundhog Day. But, could you have imagined the ruckus if someone had snatched ol’ Phil away from the circus. (Sorry. I think that’s a bad word.) Such a slithering scoundrel undoubtedly would go to the top of the most wanted list – yes, even ahead of Bin Laden.

Is there a hay farmer out there that wouldn’t allow Ms. Firmani an opportunity to help herself to a few of yours? Hey, I’ll spring (get it?) for a live trap, as long as I get it back after relocation is complete. Now, we must be careful here because HSUS warns on its website that timing is everything: “Before attempting to evict and exclude woodchucks, consider that breeding female woodchucks have dependent young in their burrows from late winter until spring or early summer, and evicting them during this time can be inhumane.”

Now, I’m thinking snatching them from their home at any time might be inhumane, but what would a cold-blooded killer like me know about such things. Wait a minute. We go after the female that’s already bred! That’s it!

Look, Ms. Firmani could hit the jackpot with only one snatch-and-grab. Sure momma ‘chuck might complain a bit, but the rest of the soon-to-be family would never know the difference. Now, if the HSUS will volunteer one of its many animal-friendly weasels to tunnel in with a pregnancy test…

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