Gorilla Safety Harness Recalled

Gorilla Inc. Recalls EXO-Tech Safety Harness Due to Fall Hazard

–The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: EXO-Tech Safety Harness

Units: About 90

Manufacturer: Gorilla Inc., of Flushing, Mich.

Hazard: The webbing of the waist belt on the safety harness is not routed through the lineman’s loop located on the front of the harness near waist level. Since the loops are not properly anchored to the harness webbing but are attached only through stitching not intended to restrain a user during a fall, they that can pull away from the harness when force is applied, leaving the user unrestrained. In addition, the manufacturer of the harness used a previously untested carabiner connector located at the end of the tether at the back of harness, which is the portion of the tether that attaches to the tree.

Incidents/Injuries: No incidents were reported.

Description: This safety harness, used as a fall restraint for hunting, is comprised of two leg straps and two shoulder straps, which connect to a waist belt and padded back support. There is a long, black tether strap at the top rear of the safety harness, which has grey and red accents. The name EXO-Tech is located on the right front shoulder strap and the name Gorilla is located on the left front should strap both in white lettering. Similar to a shirt tag, there is a white manufacturing label on the inside of the back of the harness with the model number 45111 and manufacturing dates, 4/22/2009 or 6/26/2009. These are the only harnesses recalled.

Sold at: Cabelas, Bass Pro and at various sporting goods stores nationwide from May 2009 to August 2009 for about $200.

Manufactured in: Philippines

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the harness and contact Gorilla Inc. to receive a refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Gorilla Inc. at (877) 685-7817 between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s Web site at www.gorillatreestands.com. Consumers can also write to the firm at Gorilla, Inc., P.O. 378, Flushing, MI., 48433 or 3475 Eastman Drive Flushing, MI. 48433.

Photos available at www.cpsc.gov

CPSC is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell us about it by visiting https://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/incident.aspx.

Firm’s Recall Hotline: (877) 685-7817

CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772

CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

SOURCE U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Bird Brain Pennsylvanian Guilty of Illegal Wildlife Possession

DALLAS, Luzerne County – Some may have thought Stephen Andrew Moore, 46, of Tannersville, Monroe County, enjoyed wildlife. However, as neighbors may have noticed a decline in the local wildlife populations, it became clear that Moore was participating in a non-traditional form of poaching: possession of wildlife illegally taken from the wild for “a hobby that got out of control,” according to Moore.

Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officers today announced that, on Oct. 29, Moore pled guilty to 30 counts of illegal possession of various species ranging from blue jays to raccoons, from chipping sparrows to gray squirrels, from groundhogs to purple finches. As part of the plea agreement, charges against Moore for cruelty to animals were withdrawn. District Judge Thomas E. Olsen, of Tannersville, ordered Moore to pay $2,250 in fines, and $750 in reimbursement to the Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation Center for expenses incurred treating the wildlife that survived.

Based on a tip from a confidential informant, on May 28, Game Commission WCOs Scott Malicky and Cory Bentzoni went to Moore’s home on Gravatts Way in Pocono Township to investigate alleged illegal possession of birds.

“When we arrived, we saw several cages and multiple bird traps on the front porch,” WCO Malicky said. “Also visible from the front porch were several bird traps in the backyard.”

On May 29, after acquiring a search warrant, WCOs Malicky and Bentzoni returned to Moore’s home, along with Northeast Region Law Enforcement Supervisor Daniel Figured, Northeast Region Information and Education Supervisor Tim Conway and Deputy WCO William McGlone. A search of the residence resulted in the seizing the following: 13 goldfinches; 11 pine siskins; 7 house finches; 5 dark-eyed juncos; 4 purple finches; 3 blue jays; 3 gray squirrels; 2 groundhogs; 2 raccoons; 2 indigo buntings; 1 chipping sparrow; 2 black-capped chickadees; 2 rose-breasted grosbeaks; 1 cardinal; 1 brown-headed cowbird; 1 house sparrow; 1 mourning dove; and five others needing identification due to decomposition.

“The birds and mammals, as well as some of the enclosures, were transferred to the Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation Center for care and housing,” WCO Malicky said. “Many of the birds required beak trimming, nail trimming and antibacterial medication in their drinking water, and one of the raccoons is suffering nutritional problems requiring dietary supplements. The cages needed cleaning and disinfection due to the improper care of the wildlife.”

Katherine Uhler, who runs Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and has many years of experience caring for sick and injured wildlife, stated that all of the birds were “underweight, suffering from neglect and had nutritional problems.” Since being housed at her facility, 20 of the birds have died due to the poor condition they were in when they arrived.

“It is Kathy Uhler’s expert opinion that the mammals and birds were neglected by not providing the proper care,” WCO Malicky said.

Trappers Win Court Battle

(Columbus, Ohio) – Trappers in Maine won a major victory as the state’s Federal District Court upheld the state’s trapping practices and blocked the establishment of a precedent that could be used by anti-hunting and anti-trapping groups nationwide.

In 2008, the Animal Welfare Institute and the Wildlife Alliance of Maine filed a lawsuit against the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (DIFW) seeking a permanent injunction that would have essentially prohibited trapping in the state. The lawsuit claimed that Maine’s trapping regulations violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) because Canada lynx, a threatened species under the ESA, could be incidentally caught in traps causing “irreparable harm” to the population.

Throughout the case, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation (USSAF), along with the Maine Trappers’ Association, Fur Takers of America, National Trappers’ Association, and several individual sportsmen, argued that the anti-trapping plaintiffs had to show that Maine’s trapping practices were a threat to the Canada lynx population as a whole. The plaintiffs insisted that harm to one individual lynx was sufficient for the Court to prohibit trapping in the state.

On November 10th, Federal District Court Judge John A. Woodcock, Jr. ruled that Maine’s trapping practices did not irreparably harm the Canada lynx and denied the injunction sought by the anti-trappers. Further, the Judge agreed with the state and the USSAF that “irreparable harm” is harm to a species as a whole and not simply one individual member.

“Although the plaintiffs may appeal the ruling, the Federal Court’s decision is a monumental victory for the trappers in Maine and sets an excellent precedent that will make it harder for the antis to misuse the ESA in their attempts to ban hunting and trapping in other states,” states USSAF Vice President for Government Affairs Rob Sexton.

“We knew the evidence was on our side and are thrilled with outcome,” said Skip Trask, executive director of the Maine Trappers Association. “The USSAF’s legal assistance was invaluable to the favorable outcome.”

Chick Andres, President of the Fur Takers of America commented, “Trappers nationwide should be grateful that the court saw through what the anti’s were trying to do.”

In 2008 the USSAF’s legal arm, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Legal Defense Fund, was granted permission to intervene in the lawsuit. The case came on the heels of similar case, also in Maine, that was settled in late 2007 when the DIFW agreed to restrict trap sizes in areas where Canada lynx exist.

So, You Think You Can Shoot?

By Glen Wunderlich
Outdoor Columnist
Member Professional Outdoor Media Association

As throngs of buckmaster wannabes slip into their personal Michigan hideouts next Sunday, each hunter’s tactics will be measured and evaluated afield based on results. The moment of truth shall define either the level of luck and/or the level of skill. Since Lady Luck has rather fickle tendencies, it’s best for hunters to be more self-reliant by honing their skills. Time is short this season, but each of us still has time to develop an intangible concept: Discipline.

Discipline is training that develops self-control and character. And, character is the personality traits each of us assigns himself – even when no one is watching.

In a hunting situation, discipline is understanding when to hold fire. Just because guns will shoot for miles, doesn’t mean there’s sound rationale for attempting shots out of one’s league. I prefer a perfectly placed, instant-kill shot to the high shoulder of a mature doe, than a decidedly low-percentage prayer that has little chance of being answered. One involves discipline; the other involves assistance from outside forces.

Ethical hunters will always be patient for an opportunity that has an extremely high percentage rate of success. I have been a strong proponent of practicing with smaller-than-typical deer kill-zone targets of only 6 inches in diameter, because they allow an additional 3-inch margin for error. The margin of error is needed to counteract conditions afield such as temperature of one’s fingers, racing heart, lack of steady rest, unknown distances, unknown wind factors, unknown trajectory knowledge of one’s bullet properties in flight – and, last but certainly not least, targets that are subject to movement.

If a target shooter is able to hit stationary 6-inch targets under controlled conditions at various ranges, the ethical question is can he do it with any number of variables working against him under unpredictable circumstances afield. Even with a perfect rest, any one of the above components easily could place a bullet outside of the six-inch kill zone target and even the true 9-inch kill zone.

To emphasize how things get tricky, how ‘bout a little pop quiz? One of the hottest Remington 12-gauge sabot loads scorches a 385-grain bullet along at 1900 feet per second from the muzzle. The shotgun is sighted in for a 150-yard zero. Assuming a solid hold into a 90-degree crosswind at 15 miles per hour (mph), what would be the wind drift in inches at 150 yards? Answer: Total wind drift in the above example is 10.35 inches!

Recalculate if the wind blows more, or less, and the angle of wind direction changes, but how much? Factor in an increased heart rate and it is easy to understand how misses occur, or worse yet, wounded animals get wounded.

The moral of the scenario is that every hunter needs to understand, and be aware of, the effects of certain predictable variables by educating himself as much as possible. A simple test afield can be summed up this way: Are you able to hold your sights steadily on your target without wobbling off the 6-inch mark? If so, that’s a good beginning; if not, you are too far away.

If a hunter can be honest with himself and knows his limitations, ethics dictate he must hunt within them – whatever they are. That’s discipline. And, while it’s impossible to control external factors, self-restraint can be applied anytime; the ethical sportsman chooses wisely.

Michigan Horse Trail Mandate Moves Forward

Friday, November 6, 2009

Contact:
Erin McDonough – (517) 346-6475
Dave Nyberg – (517) 346-6462

LANSING, MICH – Seventy-six members of the Michigan House of Representatives Thursday voted in favor of House Bill 4610 (Moore, R-Farwell), which would grant equestrian trail riders access to all state land, despite warnings from federal officials that if the bill becomes enacted, the state would likely lose $25 million in annual federal wildlife funding.

In response to a 2007 Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) land use order restricting backcountry equestrian trail access in northern Michigan’s Pigeon River Country State Forest, the bill seeks to give equestrian trail riders a special exception to land use restrictions. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) says the move violates federal and state laws which allows Michigan to qualify for $25 million annually in federal Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration (WSFR) Funding. WSFR funds are generated by excise taxes on sporting equipment and qualifying states receive a distribution of the funds each year for wildlife and sportfish conservation programs.

Michigan United Conservation Clubs joined over thirty sporting and conservation organizations this past summer in denouncing the legislation, arguing that that land management decisions should be made with scientific guidance on a case-by-case basis.

“Given Michigan’s ongoing economic and state budget struggles, it is very disappointing that seventy-six lawmakers are willing to turn down $25 million in management funding in order to allow one of Michigan’s many user groups a special exception to land management rules,” said MUCC Executive Director Erin McDonough. “Sportsmen and women have always been proud and willing to pay for conservation so that we may continue to enjoy our state’s tremendous natural resources, but we also recognize that certain rules, governed by sound scientific management principles are necessary. Michigan’s hunters, anglers, and trappers were left behind on the passing of HB 4610.”

House Bill 4610 now heads to the Senate, where similar legislation (Senate Bill 578, Brown, R-Sturgis) is already being considered in the Senate Natural Resources & Environmental Affairs Committee. A second hearing on SB 578 is scheduled for Thursday, November 12.

Lame Duck Granholm’s Executive Order 45 Riles Sportsmen

Contact:
Dale McNamee (U.P. Sportsmen’s Alliance) – (906) 786-5816
Mike Parker (Pheasants Forever) – (517) 333-1272
Erin McDonough (MUCC) – (517) 346-6475

LANSING, MICH – A diverse coalition of over ninety groups representing hunters, anglers, conservationists, and recreation advocates today issued a letter to Governor Granholm urging reconsideration of Executive Order 45 of 2009. While expressing support for the core function of the Order to re-combine the Michigan Departments of Natural Resources and Environmental Quality, the letter urges the Governor to re-consider her surprise move to strip the bi-partisan Natural Resources Commission’s authority to appoint the Department director. The Coalition says this move reduces transparency and injects more political influence on natural resources management decisions.

The Upper Peninsula Sportsmen’s Alliance (UPSA) said combining the DNR and DEQ should be an opportunity to create a more transparent, open, and accessible Department, not the other way around. “UPSA will be the first to tell anybody that the NRC and DNR are far from perfect,” said UPSA President Dale McNamee. “However, we should be using this as an opportunity to make our new department more service-focused. A Department held entirely accountable to a politician instead of the citizens of Michigan only calls for more back-door decision making out of the public eye.” McNamee said encouraging more people to hunt, fish and enjoy the outdoors should also be a focus for the new DNRE, adding that the Order’s top-down political structure takes a step in the wrong direction for achieving that goal.

In 1996 nearly seventy percent of Michigan citizens supported the Michigan Wildlife Management Referendum (Proposal G) to remove political influence out of natural resource management in favor of science-based management principles. “As evidenced by Proposal G, Michigan citizens do not want natural resources management to be dictated by politics and the popular vote,” said Michigan Pheasants Forever’s lead biologist Mike Parker. “This Order is a positive step to consolidate the departments, but shifting the NRC’s appointment authority to the Governor is a move that injects more partisan politics into natural resources management by vesting a politically-motivated public official with complete authority.”

Michigan United Conservation Clubs Executive Director Erin McDonough said Michigan should take a lesson from Wisconsin before transferring appointment authority from the NRC to the Governor. The Wisconsin state assembly recently gave veto-proof approval to a bill that would restore the state Natural Resources Board’s authority to appoint the DNR Secretary (Director). “For the past fourteen years Wisconsin has been experiencing the effects of top-down political influence on natural resource management,” said McDonough. “The sportsmen and legislature in Wisconsin have seen enough. This current uproar should put Governor Granholm and the Michigan Legislature on notice as to what direction Michigan is heading if this Executive Order is not rescinded or rejected by December 7th.”

In closing, Coalition members asked Governor Granholm to rescind E.O. 45 of 2009 and reissue a subsequent Order restoring the NRC’s appointment authority for the purpose of increasing transparency and reducing political influence on Michigan’s natural resources management.

List of organizations signing onto the letter:

Statewide Organizations
Bowfishing Association of Michigan – Archie Martell, President
Great Lakes Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers – James Schramm, President
Michigan Airboating Conservation Association – Ron Miller, President
Michigan Association of Gamebird Breeders and Hunting Preserves – Jim Trinklein, President
Michigan B.A.S.S. Federation Nation – Paul Sacks, President
Michigan Bear Hunters Association – Phil Hewitt, Vice President
Michigan Bow Hunters Association – Bruce Levey, President
Michigan Charter Boat Association – Captain Denny Grinold, State Affairs Officer
Michigan Conservation Foundation – Bob Jacobsen, President
Michigan Duck Hunters Association – Drew Deters, President
Michigan Hunting Dog Federation – Matt Wood, President
Michigan Outdoors Women’s Club – Fran Yeager, President
Michigan Pheasants Forever – Mike Parker, Regional Biologist
Michigan Recreation and Park Association – Dennis Schornack, Executive Director
Michigan Resource Stewards – Dave Borgeson
Michigan River Guides Association – John Ray, President
Michigan State United Coon Hunters Association – Jim Wale, President
Michigan Steelhead and Salmon Fishermen’s Association – Rick Balabon, President
Michigan Trappers and Predator Callers Association – John Caretti, President
Michigan Trout Unlimited – Dr. Bryan Burroughs, Executive Director
Michigan United Conservation Clubs – Erin McDonough, Executive Director
Michigan Wild Turkey Hunters Association – Jim Maturen, President
National Wildlife Federation – Andy Buchsbaum, Great Lakes Regional Executive Director
Upper Peninsula Sportsmen’s Alliance – Dale McNamee, President

Former Department Director
Howard A. Tanner, Phd – Former Director, Michigan Department of Natural Resources (1975-1983)

Regional and Local Organizations
Bridgeport Gun Club – Jack Danks, President
Chesaning Area Conservation Club – Brad Alcorn, President
Cadillac Sportsman’s Club – Bruce Finnerty, President
CassCounty Conservation Club – Chuck Chandler, President
Cedar Rod & Gun Club – Tim Stein, President
Chick-Owa Sportsmen Club – Tom Medendorp, President
Dowagiac Conservation Club – Lee Maager, President
Flint River Chapter, National Wild Turkey Federation – James M. Miller, President
Frankenmuth Conservation Club – Karl Weiss, President
Friends of Blueberry Ridge – Paul Hannuksela, President
Friends of the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge – Charles Hoover, President
Friends of PontiacLake – Ron Groeneveld, President
German-American Marksmanship Club – Paul Werner, President
Gun River Skeet and Trap, Inc. – David McMurray, President
Holland Fish and Game Club – Drew Deters, President
Kent County Conservation League – Vic Scudder, President
Ludington Area Charterboat Association – Jim Fenner, President
Michigan Anglers Association – Chris Matteson, President
Michigan Fly Fishing Club – Joe Sattler, MUCC District 1 Director and club representative
Montmorency County Conservation Club – Carol Rose, President
North Macomb Sportsmen’s Club – Don Brown, club rep. and Macomb County Commissioner
Oakland County Sportfishing Association – Jeff Loehr, President
Oakland County Sportsmen’s Club – Joseph W. Oberlee, President
Ottawa Sportsmen’s Club – John Stenvig, President
Pine River Sportsman’s Club – Dick Herrmann, club representative
Ravenna Conservation Club – Joe James, President
Richmond Sportsmen’s Club – Jim Kuntz, Secretary
Saginaw Field and Stream Club – Tom Heritier, President
Saugatuck Area Charter Boat Association – Ron Westrate, President
St. Joseph County Conservation & Sportsman Club, Inc. – Allen Kasdorf, Vice President
Tri-County Sportsmen’s League – Robert Bolog, President
TulipCity Rod and Gun Club, Inc. – Phil Wilcox, Director
West Michigan Walleye Club – Jim Brandt, President
Western Wayne County Conservation Association – Robert Haviland, President
White LakeArea Sportfishing Association – Carl Churchill, President

MUCC District 8 Clubs – Bill Furtaw, Chair

B & BS Gun Club
Detroit Area Steelheaders, Inc.
Four Square Conservation & Sportsmen’s Association
Friends of WC Wetzel State Park
Gilbert’s Sportsmen Club
HarsensIsland Conservation Club
Huron Pointe Sportsmen’s Association
Lake St Clair Walleye Association
MichiganOntario Muskie Club
Mid Thumb Bowmen Club
Perch Point Conservation Club
Selfridge Rod & Gun Club
Southeastern Michigan Conservation
St Clair – Pheasants Forever
St Clair Hunt & Fish Club
St Clair Shores Sportsmen’s Association

MUCC District 1 Clubs – Nancy Dittmar, Chair
Downriver Walleye Federation
Flat Rock Sportsman Association
Four Seasons Fishing Club
Friends of the DetroitRiver
GardenCityHigh School Sports Club
HuronRiver Fishing Association
HuronValley Conservation Association
Lincoln Bowmen Archery Club
Metro West Chapter – MSSFA
Paul Bunyan Club
WayneCounty Raccoon Hunters Association
Wolverine Sports and Conservation Club

The Ethics of Sighting In

By Glen Wunderlich
Outdoor Columnist
Member Professional Outdoor Meida Association

Sighting in can be a joy, if all goes well; it can mean back to basics if it doesn’t. And, with only two weeks remaining until the beginning of firearms deer season, it’s time to find out, just in case some corrective action is required. No sportsman goes afield without a clear understanding of how his bullet will perform in the accuracy department.

Targets were set up at 50 and 100 yards for the initial target shooting with the goal of punching paper to qualify to hunt at longer ranges. Any shooter can find his maximum point blank range (mpbr) by hitting 6-inch targets with no more than 1 miss in 10 at 25-yard increments beyond 100 yards. The idea is to hold on the target’s center at any given range without the bullet going over 3 inches high and no more than 3 inches low. There is no requirement to actually shoot 10 times per target – unless any one shot misses.

At 50 yards I shot a tight group of 2 inches with a .44 magnum Ruger Redhawk revolver with 200-grain Nosler hollow points utilizing an inexpensive red dot sight. However, that was my limit for this session because the red dot blocked out the target at 100 yards.
You can’t hit what you can’t see. Besides, better tools were available.

The sizzling slug guns and modern muzzleloaders were expected to easily qualify at 100 yards but Doug’s muzzleloader wasn’t cooperating. He had it dialed in at 130 yards before this session but not this time. We weren’t sure if something had come loose or exactly what the malfunction was but at least he had time to straighten things out. Nonetheless, it was discouraging.

Joe forgot his muzzleloader but managed to remember his 20-gauge Remington slug outfit, which barely qualified at 100 yards. There didn’t seem to be any sense pushing this rig beyond that.

Bucky followed with a 12-gauge single-shot slug gun topped with a Leupold low-power variable scope firing Remington 385-grain sabots well within the 6-inch circle.

My Knight Revolution was up next with its 250-grain Barnes bullets scooting along at 2190 feet-per-second. With a group the size of a golf ball, I set it up just above the center of the target so that I’d be ready for the 125-yard challenge at a secondary range.

Unfortunately, the wind was gusting from 15 to 20 miles per hour, and because it would have been at a 90-degree angle, we cancelled the qualifying round beyond 100 yards for the day.

On a still afternoon during the week, while everyone else was doing more important things (like earning a living), I set up 6-inch Birchwood Casey Shoot-N-See targets at 125, 150, and 175 yards. These targets allow a shooter to use binoculars (instead of a spotting scope) to see the bullet holes way out there. My ballistics software indicated that my hot muzzleloader load would be 1.5 inches low at 175 yards with a 160-yard zero. I’m not from Missouri, but I wanted to see for myself if I could trust the computer’s calculations.

The first shot at 125 yards was 1.25 inches low and a little to the right. A quick turret adjustment placed the second shot 1.5 inches above the center and just over an inch right. (The computer indicated the bullet should be 2 inches high for a 160 yard zero).

I took the 150-yard test and sure enough, less than 1 inch above center and 1 inch right.

Without another adjustment, I let one go at the 175-yard circle and it hit 1.625 inches below center and one-half inch to the right. The next shot was a mere one-half inch low and .75 inches right. Once again, the computer calculation for 175 yards had the bullet 1.5 inches low. And, if you’re thinking maybe the energy foot pounds would be less than desired at the longer distance, consider this: The Knight Revolution with the 150-grain Triple Seven powder charge, Remington muzzleloader primers, and 250-grain Barnes bullet would retain 1330 foot pounds at 175 yards – well above that of a .44 magnum at the muzzle!

I would have preferred to do more testing with the muzzleloader but I had only about 12 bullets remaining and decided to save them for hunting.

I strongly recommend such a challenge for every ethical deer hunter. There’s no responsible reason to experiment afield, if you haven’t practiced at the range.

Governor Wants Political Autocratic Wildlife Decisions

A message from the Michigan United Conservation Clubs

Dear MUCC Club Presidents and Leaders,

This is a call to action. When you and your clubs first got together to form MUCC in 1937, you did so in order to protect our state’s outdoor heritage. You formed MUCC around the goal that sound science, not politics, should drive the management of our natural resources. With the passage of Proposal G in 1996, the people of the state of Michigan reaffirmed your goal.

In these dark days of economic turmoil, politics again threaten the management of our natural resources and your help is needed.

Governor Granholm has issued Executive Order 45 to recombine the Departments of Natural Resources and Environmental Quality. This could be a valuable opportunity to improve the management of our natural resources, improve services to you and others who use our natural resources and to improve the science-based management of our resources.

HOWEVER, this Executive Order also removes the authority of the Natural Resources Commission to appoint the Department Director, and instead, allows the Governor to appoint the Director. This is a significant shift away from the collective goals of hunters, anglers, and conservationists to remove politics from natural resource management. This power shift also severely undermines the fundamental principles Michigan citizens overwhelmingly supported under Proposal G.

To change this order, the Michigan Legislature must pass resolutions that REJECT the Executive Order and send it back to the Governor’s desk. The agricultural community has joined us in this fight, but our voices are not being heard among the crowd. WE NEED TO WAKE UP AND SHAKE UP LANSING!

FIRING LINE
1. Please call your Representative and call Speaker of the House Andy Dillon (Ph: 517-373-0857 or andydillon@house.mi.gov and urge them to take up House Concurrent Resolution 32 and vote YES for the sportsmen and women of this state!

2. Please contact Amy Spray (aspray@mucc.org) by the end of the day Monday (Nov. 2) and sign on to a letter to the Governor telling her to issue a new Executive Order that continues to allow the NRC to appoint the Director of the Department.

Deer Sacrificed for Good of Whackos

By Glen Wunderlich
Outdoor Columnist
Member Professional Outdoor Media Association

“It was a crime scene, in my opinion, the minute that it was shot,” said Lynn Gorfinkle of Fairfield County, Connecticut. She went on this way, “”If someone’s going to eat that deer, I want it to be natural predators,” she said. “Not some hunter.” And so it goes – to waste that is – a perfectly legal archery kill by a hunter that had the misfortune to have had his deer expire on another’s property. Certainly Ms. Gorfinkle was well within her rights and, as CEO of Animal Rights in Redding, such as response is to be expected. But what law had this hapless hunter violated?

The hunter did the lawful thing by knocking on the door of the Gorfinkles and asking permission to retrieve the downed animal. He paid an exorbitant $60 for an archery permit and mandated excise taxes on equipment. He was diligent enough to practice so that his arrow would be precisely delivered through the lungs. He was helping to manage an overpopulated herd estimated at 62 deer per square mile with some areas as much as an astronomical 100 deer per square mile. In fact, this volunteer was doing the job that sharpshooters were hired to do just a few years ago, because of the high deer density numbers.

While I understand the conflict with animal rightists, I cannot understand why man cannot be understood as a natural predator. Certainly he is a predator and has been for thousands of years. And, if anything was, and has been natural, it is hunting. Man exists today for these very reasons. He has competed with beasts for eternity; they just go under the moniker of animal rightists today.

Hunters have long been a part of the “green movement” so popular today. Millions of us choose to carry on a tradition of a simpler life, which involves a harvest of Mother Nature’s renewable resources. Far away from supermarket refrigerator shelves and plastic wrapped mystic meat, the hunter continues his organic ways handed down by generations. His nourishment, rich in protein and low in fat, is unencumbered by hormones and processed feed; still he is termed unnatural.

Maybe it was the market hunters that nearly wiped out the buffalo by killing them for their hides that started the image challenge we hunters face today. However, we must also understand that ethical hunters have led the way to our modern bag limits and seasons that have successfully regenerated numbers of buffalo, whitetail deer, turkeys and a host of other animals we – non-hunters and hunters alike – enjoy. It’s called conservation and hunters are behind it, not the goody goodies.
Each year, hunters contribute more to conservation in the way of license fees and excise taxes than any other source. They not only pay taxes but also go far beyond that by managing wildlife on private property at their own expense and from the sweat of their brows.

As for Ms. Gorfinkle, she said she is uncertain what to do with the rotting deer on her property. Underground burial is out of the question, she says, because it would require too much work to dig such a large hole.

Michigan Deer Management Against the Odds

By Glen Wunderlich
Outdoor Columnist
Member Professional Outdoor Media Association

The DNR has issued its annual deer hunting forecast for this season and I had to chuckle a bit when I read it. Here, in part, is the forecast for the Southern Lower Peninsula (SLP):

The deer population in southern Michigan is expected to be similar to the past few years. Deer populations generally are far above DNR goals and fawns generally come in sets of twins and triplets. High numbers of antlerless permits are available again this year with the added flexibility to use private land permits throughout most of the SLP. Hunters are encouraged to harvest antlerless deer, especially on private land to bring populations closer to goals and to help address concerns of excessive crop damage and deer-vehicle collisions. “Landowners and hunters both play a critical role in deer management,” said Sara Schaefer, Southwestern Wildlife Management Unit supervisor.

What’s so funny about the statements is the fact that hunters are encouraged to harvest antlerless deer after the fee to do so has been increased by 50 percent. As mentioned last week, it’s not likely that any noteworthy reduction in the problematic herd will be achieved through its counter productive revenue enhancement strategy. So, when we hunters get an opportunity to balance the herd, it’s imperative that we do it right.

The proper number of deer for any given area is the most important principle of Quality Deer Management (QDM) and balanced sex ratios follow in importance. Kip Adams of Pennsylvania, a certified wildlife biologist and QDMA’s Director of Education & Outreach in the North has this to say: “…Some areas still have overabundant deer herds resulting from harvesting too few antlerless deer. Given that hunter numbers have declined, the average hunter is now asked to take more antlerless animals in overabundant deer situations. Unfortunately research shows there is a limit to the number of deer an individual hunter is willing to take annually. This limit is generally less than three deer, and given that one or two may be bucks, the number of antlerless deer is further reduced. One strategy to increase the impact of the antlerless harvest is to maximize harvest of adult does and minimize harvest of fawns.

Educating hunters on distinguishing fawns from adult deer and even separating buck and doe fawns in the field is a relatively simple matter. By observing head and body features and behavior, most hunters can accurately distinguish between fawns and adults and buck and doe fawns most of the time. I stress that last part because mistakes will happen. Specifically, focusing on adult does rather than buck fawns provides more meat for the table, helps balance the herd more quickly, and allows additional buck fawns to survive. More buck fawns means more yearling bucks the following year, which is good for balancing the adult sex ratio and for hunter satisfaction.”

Being able to distinguish does from button bucks is not always easy, but several thoughts come to mind: 1) Single antlerless deer are often button bucks (fawns) so take a close look for those little nubs on top of the head, and 2) Get the best binoculars you can afford. If you are after a mature doe, it’s best size them up when a group is together. Button bucks are typically larger than their sisters but are always smaller than their mothers. There is also good information in the DNR’s hunting guide that can aid hunters in the identification process.

In any case, if you are not sure, wait until you are.

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