Monday, September 19, 2011

Gifts Ideas for Turkey Hunters

When searching for wild turkey or turkey hunting gifts, there are plenty of choices. Popular gift ideas for turkey hunters include apparel and accessories that celebrate the sport of turkey hunting.

An incredible range of turkey hunting gear is available online, featuring wild turkey photography, illustrations, line art and other logos.
Wild Turkey Gobblers mug

This turkey gobblers logo is available on coffee mugs, t shirts, sweatshirts, hats, stickers, and other accessories.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

2011-2012 MD Wildlife Management Area Trapping Rights

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Wildlife and Heritage Service is currently accepting bids for the 2011-2012 trapping seasons at LeCompte, Linkwood, Taylor’s Island, Fishing Bay, Idylwild, Ellis Bay, Wetipquin and Nanticoke River Wildlife Management Areas.

Bid packages must be picked up from and returned to LeCompte Wildlife Management Area at 4220 Steeles Neck Road, Vienna, Md. 21869 by 12 p.m. on October 21, 2011.

Sealed bids will be opened at 1 p.m. on October 21, 2011. For additional information please call 410-376-3236 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

source: MD DNR

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

National Hunting and Fishing Day 2011

The Izaak Walton League of America is supporting wildlife conservation by sponsoring National Hunting and Fishing Day. NHF Day promotes conservation efforts by sportsmen and takes place each year on the fourth Saturday in September. This year the event is set for September 24, 2011.

The Izaak Walton League is one of the most respected conservation organizations in America. Founded in 1922, the Izaak Walton League takes a common-sense approach toward protecting our country’s natural heritage and improving outdoor recreation opportunities for all Americans.

The Izaak Walton League’s sponsorship supports the Wonders of Wildlife museum, the official home of National Hunting and Fishing Day.

Sponsorship of NHF Day 2011 continues to grow and includes Wonders of Wildlife, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Bass Pro Shops, Smith & Wesson, Sportsman’s Channel, Realtree, Cabela’s,, Yamaha, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Izaak Walton League of America and Pope and Young Club.

For more information about NHF Day, visit

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Arizona Dove and Band-tailed Pigeon Hunting

In Arizona, dove hunters are gearing up for the start of hunting season. A number of changes have been made to the dove regulations that have removed many barriers to this Arizona hunting tradition, most notably:

Hunting access re-opened to approximately a million acres of open uninhabited lands within municipalities

Daily bag limit increased for white-winged dove to 10 birds

Hunting hours extended until sunset statewide

The increased access is a result of two recently revised state laws. Those changes transferred the authority to regulate the use of firearms for the take of wildlife within municipal boundaries to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission.

Because of these changes, dove hunters will no longer have to drive long distances to partake in this Arizona hunting tradition.

However, Game and Fish has taken a prudent approach in its deployment of these shifted authorities and has closed hunting in many well-defined, densely populated metro areas. The flip side of this for dove hunters, especially those in the Phoenix metro area, is you will now be able to easily determine where you can and cannot hunt doves.

In addition to the closed area descriptions, hunters are reminded of the quarter-mile law, and while that is a minimum, responsible, ethical hunters will find an area where there is plenty of open space in all directions to hunt, in order to prevent any conflicts with other recreationists or homeowners, and to have an enjoyable hunting experience.

The early dove season opens on a Thursday this year, and runs from Sept. 1-15, statewide, with a 10-bird daily bag limit of mourning or white-winged dove. Printed copies of the dove regulations are anticipated to be available the first week of August statewide at license dealers and Game and Fish offices.

Dove hunters are reminded they will need a general hunting license and an Arizona migratory bird stamp. Both are available online, at Game and Fish offices and licensed dealers.

Overall, dove populations are doing well in Arizona. Many farms are growing grains, including corn, which are excellent dove attractants. Working a corridor in these areas will bode well for many hunters.

In addition, monsoonal rains have been adequate throughout the state bringing much needed new growth to desert flora, another excellent dove attractant. Finding a lone water tank in these newly opened desert areas could also provide some fast wing shooting action.

In either case, success will come to those that scout their areas the weekend before they go hunting, as much can happen between now and that 3 a.m. wake up on opening day.

For more information about the recent law changes, the Phoenix metro no hunting map, a PDF copy of the dove regulations, or to buy your hunting license and dove stamp visit

Basic season information, boundary description, and other field reference facts are available for smartphone users at

Looking to try dove hunting?

The Arizona Game and Fish Department has teamed up with local sportsmen-conservation organization to offer “how-to dove hunt” events that are designed for kids and for first-time hunters. These events are a great way to get a “hands on” experience hunting doves.

Sept. 4-5, Juniors Dove Hunt - Robbins Butte Wildlife Area near Buckeye - Game and Fish actively manages the land, and due to the water corridor it is rich with mesquite trees, wildlife food crops, and nesting habitat that attracts an abundance of dove (white-winged and mourning) and other wildlife. Pancake breakfast provided, hosted by the Chandler Rod and Gun Club, for details visit

Sept. 10, First-time Hunters Dove Seminar and Hunt - East Valley (Phoenix/Mesa/Chandler) - This is for first-time hunters for kids and adults. A safety seminar will be held on Thursday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. and the hunt will be held on Saturday, Sept. 11 at 5 a.m. Some loaner shotguns and ammunition are available. Hosted by the Chandler Rod and Gun Club, contact David Carson at

For a listing of other hunting events for youth and new hunters throughout the season, visit

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

FWS Proposes Increased Hunting Access in National Wildlife Refuges

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced a proposal to open Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota to deer and turkey hunting for the first time, while expanding hunting activities at nine other refuges in eight states.

If approved, the proposal would provide additional public hunting opportunities in fulfillment of the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997.

In addition to the new deer and turkey program at Crane Meadows, other proposed changes include:  

Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge, CO, would increase big game hunting by offering elk hunting for the first time. The refuge also allows migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and fishing.

Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge, LA, would open for the first time to migratory bird hunting of waterfowl and coot. The refuge also allows fishing.

Coldwater River National Wildlife Refuge, MS, would open for the first time to migratory bird hunting of duck and geese; upland game hunting of squirrel, rabbit and raccoon; and big game hunting of deer and hogs. The refuge also permits fishing.

Currituck National Wildlife Refuge, NC, would open for the first time to big game hunting of deer and hogs.

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, MN, would increase acreage for migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting.

Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge, MN/IA, would increase acreage for migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting. The refuge would expand the species for migratory bird and upland game hunting.

Ouray National Wildlife Refuge, UT, would allow for the first time upland game hunting of turkey and big game hunting of elk. The refuge also allows migratory bird hunting and fishing.

Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, MN, would open new areas to migratory bird hunting. It would allow big game hunting of turkey and deer for the first time. The refuge is also open for fishing.

Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge, TX, would open three new units to upland game hunting of squirrels and rabbits and big game hunting of feral hogs and white-tailed deer. The refuge is also open for migratory bird hunting and fishing.

While definitions of hunting categories vary by refuge and state, migratory bird hunting generally includes ducks and geese. Upland game hunting may cover such animals as game birds, rabbit, squirrel, opossum and coyote. Big game hunting may include such animals as wild turkey, deer and feral hogs.

Under the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, the Service can permit hunting and fishing as well as four other types of wildlife-dependent recreation where they are compatible with refuge purpose and mission. Hunting, within specified limits, is permitted on more than 300 national wildlife refuges.

Fishing is permitted on more than 270 national wildlife refuges. Other wildlife-dependent recreation on national wildlife refuges includes wildlife photography, environmental education, wildlife observation and interpretation.

Notice of the proposal was published in the Federal Register on July 5, 2011; the public has until August 4, 2011, to provide comments.

To comment on the proposed hunting rule changes, please visit:

source: USFWS

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tennessee Wood Duck Box Program

Across North America, putting up wood duck boxes is a traditional way to help increase waterfowl populations.

An outstanding example of a wood duck box program is ongoing in Tennessee. During 2011, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, in partnership with Delta Waterfowl and the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has been donating and installing and install wood duck boxes on lands where NRCS or districts have installed wildlife benefitting conservation practices.

Recently, more than 200 boxes built by Williamson County Boy and Cub scouts were distributed to Middle Tennessee landowners at an event at the NRCS Area II office in Murfreesboro. The Nashville chapter of Delta Waterfowl supplied materials and coordinated the construction.

The landowners who accept the donated boxes are only asked to respond once a year to Delta Waterfowl either via email or mail request regarding whether there appears to have been a wood duck nest in the box during the year. This will provide Delta Waterfowl with valuable habitat information that could be correlated to the success of the project.

Boxes are located in areas along streams and rivers that are in WRP easements and riparian buffer zones established through EQIP, CRP, CSP woodlands or stream corridors.

source: TWRA

How to Catch Bullfrogs

Bullfrog hunting, or "frogging," is popular in many parts of the USA during summer. All that's needed is a flashlight or headlamp, a mesh sack, an old pair of tennis shoes, and some stealth. The only other necessary ingredient is access to a local pond, lake, or stream.

One proven method for catching bullfrogs is to walk quietly through the water at night and shine a bright light along the bank until a pair of glowing eyes appear. Temporarily blinded by the light, frogs can be grabbed or netted.

Frog legs are regarded as a delicacy and have a taste and texture resembling a cross of shrimp and fish. A popular way to cook them is to dip the legs in egg and then into a mixture of flour and corn meal, seasoning salt, and pepper. Then the legs are fried to a golden brown in oil.

Outdoorsmen should check their state regulations before harvesting wild bullfrogs.

source: Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

Monday, July 11, 2011

2011 Idaho Super Hunt and Super Hunt Combo

Idaho Super Hunts are fund-raising drawings for 40 big game tags. The tags are handed out to winners in two drawings. Entries are drawn for elk, deer, pronghorn and moose tags. Winners can participate in any open hunt in the state for deer, elk, pronghorn or moose. That includes general hunts and controlled hunts.

Entries in the second Super Hunt and Super Hunt Combo drawing must be received at the Fish and Game headquarters by August 11 with the drawing set for mid-August.

A "Super Hunt Combo" entry and entries for two elk, two deer, and two pronghorn hunts along with one moose hunt will be drawn. The entry period for the second drawing is June 2 through August 11.

Hunters can take an animal or animals on their Super Hunt or Super Hunt Combo tags in addition to any general season or controlled hunt tags they also hold. All other rules of individual hunts apply.

The special drawings began in 2004 as a way to raise money for the Access Yes! Program, which helps assure hunter and angler access to and across private lands by compensating willing landowners.

The first entry costs $6; additional entries for the same species cost $4 each when purchased at the same time. Super Hunt Combo entries cost $20 for one; additional entries are $16 when purchased at the same time.

Hunters can enter at license vendors, Fish and Game offices, or online at:

Entry forms can also be obtained by calling 800-824-3729 or 800-554-8685.

Entry order forms should be mailed: Fish and Game License Section, P.O. Box 25, Boise, ID 83707.

source: Idaho Fish and Game

Thursday, July 7, 2011

2011 Report on Trends in Duck Breeding Populations

Improved conditions in much of the waterfowl breeding habitat in Canada and the prairies of the north-central United States have contributed to higher populations of many species of ducks, according to breeding population estimates released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today.

The preliminary estimate of the total duck population from the traditional survey area (north-central United States, south-central and northern Canada, and Alaska) was 45.6 million birds. This estimate represents an 11 percent increase over last year’s estimate of 40.8 million birds and is 35 percent above the long-term average (the total duck estimate excludes scoters, eiders, long-tailed ducks, mergansers, and wood ducks).

The surveys are summarized in the 2011 Report on Trends in Duck Breeding Populations, which contains information about the status of duck populations and wetland habitats found during spring of 2011.

The surveys are conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Canadian Wildlife Services’ Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey, which involves sampling more than two million square miles of waterfowl habitat across the north-central and northeastern United States, south-central, eastern, and northern Canada, and Alaska. Information is not included from surveys conducted by state or provincial agencies.

The annual survey guides the Service’s waterfowl conservation programs under authority of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The Service works in partnership with state biologists from the four flyways — the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific — to establish regulatory frameworks for waterfowl hunting season lengths, dates, and bag limits.

The entire Trends in Duck Breeding Populations, 1955-2011 report can be downloaded from the Service's Website at

article source and photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Monday, June 27, 2011

2011-2012 Federal Duck Stamps and Junior Duck Stamps

2011-2012 Federal Duck Stamps and Junior Duck Stamps are now available from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The 2011-2012 Federal Duck Stamp features two white-fronted geese painted by artist James Hautman of Chaska, Minn.

All waterfowl hunters age 16 and older are required to purchase and carry a current Federal Duck Stamp. Additionally, conservationists, birders, stamp collectors and others buy the stamp as an investment in conservation.

Ninety-eight percent of proceeds from the $15 Duck Stamp go to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, which supports wetlands acquisition for the National Wildlife Refuge System.

The 2011-2012 Junior Duck Stamp was created by Abraham Hunter, 17, of Vienna, Ill. The Service sells the Junior Duck Stamp for $5 to stamp collectors, conservationists and the general public.  Proceeds from Junior Duck Stamp sales support environmental education efforts and awards for contest winners.

source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

USDA Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program

In June, the USDA announced the approval of eight additional states and one tribal government to participate in the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP).

The VPA-HIP grant program encourages private landowners to provide public access to their lands for wildlife-dependant recreational opportunities, including fishing and hunting.

California, Georgia, Hawaii, Montana, New Hampshire, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming will join Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin as states participating in the VPA-HIP program.

Also participating are the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. The total amount of VPA-HIP funds to be obligated in 2011 is $17.8 million with $4.6 million of that total being allocated as part of the June 2011 announcement.

The VPA-HIP program expands existing efforts or develops new initiatives to encourage owners and operators of privately held farm, ranch and forest land to voluntarily provide public access for the enjoyment of wildlife-dependent recreation, including hunting or fishing, in exchange for financial incentives or other assistance under programs implemented by state or tribal governments.

VPA-HIP is a competitive grants program that is only available to state and tribal governments. Funding may be used to expand existing public access programs, create new public access programs or provide incentives to improve wildlife habitat on enrolled lands.

Up to $50 million is authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill through VPA-HIP through fiscal year 2012. State and tribal grant recipients use the federal funding to provide additional landowner incentives or assistance in order to increase the number of acres available for public access.

For more information on VPA-HIP, visit

source: USDA

Monday, June 20, 2011

North American Waterfowl Hunting

Across North America, waterfowl hunting is one of the most popular outdoor activities. Hunting varies widely by region, with fields, marshes, flats, swamps and back bays just a few of the habitats where waterfowl hunting occurs. Waterfowl hunters hunt on public lands, tracts they own, or on leased hunting properties.

Hunting with a local guide is popular way to experience the sport of waterfowl hunting. Professional hunting guides provide areas to hunt, know local hunting patterns and are familiar with regulations. They usually provide boats, blinds, decoys and other essentials.

Some guides will set hunters up in a blind or other hunting spot, then return during the day to check on hunters and move them as conditions change. These hunts usually require retrievers to locate and bring in downed ducks, geese and other waterfowl.

After a successful hunt, hunters must choose how to clean and cook wild ducks or geese. Once harvested waterfowl has been cleaned and placed on ice, hunters usually relax and enjoy the last moments of daylight.

Canadian Hunting Lodges

A Canadian hunting lodge can be a great destination to enjoy with family and friends. Some hunting lodges are open during hunting season only, while others are open year round, with activities available during non-hunting seasons.

When planning for a trip one of Canada's many hunting lodges, it may be useful to explore online searches, blogs, online hunters communities, outdoor magazines or other resources. Other resources include regional and local chambers of commerce, tourism organizations, trade organizations and other sources of information.

Before booking a lodge a phone conversation with the owner or manager is usually a good idea. Most hunting lodge owners can answer any questions or advise travelers on making preparations.

Canada hunting lodges are known for their remote locations with some lodges only accessible by plane. These isolated facilities allow hunters to reach wilderness areas where much of North America's most elusive big game animals are found.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pheasants Forever - Pheasant Hunting Preview 2011

Pheasants Forever's first ever Pheasant Hunting Preview magazine will mail to current members of the national upland conservation organization this July 1st.

The magazine highlights America's passion for pheasant hunting, and replaces the Pheasants Forever Journal issue formerly known as the Fall Preview.

The 2011 Pheasant Hunting Preview edition will be completely devoted to bird dogs, wingshooting and time afield.

Current Pheasants Forever members will receive the Pheasant Hunting Preview 2011 magazine in the mail during the first week of July. Expired or non-members have until June 10 to join Pheasants Forever and ensure they receive the first of its kind publication.

Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation.

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 135,000 members and 700 local chapters across the United States and Canada.

Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent, the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure.

source: Pheasants Forever

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Could Lichens Cure CWD?

According to U.S. Geological Survey research, certain lichens can break down the infectious proteins responsible for chronic wasting disease (CWD), a troubling neurological disease fatal to wild deer and elk that is spreading throughout the United States and Canada.

Like other "prion" diseases, CWD is caused by unusual, infectious proteins called prions.Disease-causing prions, responsible for some incurable neurological diseases of people and other diseases in animals, are notoriously difficult to decontaminate or kill. Prions are not killed by most detergents, cooking, freezing or by autoclaving, a method used to sterilize medical instruments.

"When prions are released into the environment by infected sheep or deer, they can stay infectious for many years, even decades," said Christopher Johnson, Ph.D., a scientist at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center and the lead author of the study. "To help limit the spread of these diseases in animals, we need to be able to remove prions from the environment."

The researchers found that lichens have great potential for safely reducing the number of prions because some lichen species contain a protease enzyme (a naturally produced chemical) capable of significantly breaking down prions in the lab.

"This work is exciting because there are so few agents that degrade prions and even fewer that could be used in the environment without causing harm," said Jim Bennett, Ph.D., a USGS lichenologist and a co-author of the study.

CWD and scrapie in sheep are different than other prion diseases because they can easily spread in sheep or deer by direct animal-to-animal contact or through contact with contaminated inanimate objects like soil.

Chronic wasting disease was first diagnosed in the 1960s and has since been detected in 19 states and two Canadian provinces. CWD has been detected in wild elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer and moose in North America.

Lichens, said Johnson, produce unique and unusual organic compounds that aid their survival and can have antibiotic, antiviral and other chemotherapeutic activities. In fact, pharmaceutical companies have been examining the medicinal properties of lichens more closely in recent years.

Lichens are unusual plant-like organisms that are actually a symbioses of fungi, algae and bacteria living together. They usually live on soil, bark, leaves and wood and can live in barren and unwelcoming environments, including the Arctic and in deserts.

Future work will examine the effect of lichens on prions in the environment and determine if lichen consumption can protect animals from acquiring prion diseases.  

The study, “Degradation of the disease-associated prion protein by a serine protease from lichens,” was published in PLoS ONE and is freely accessible to the public.

The study was authored by USGS scientists Christopher Johnson, James Bennett and Tonie Rocke, as well as authors from Montana State University and the University of Wisconsin.

source: USGS

Pheasants Forever - Maryland Outdoor Woman’s Life Program

Pheasants Forever, a non-profit organization, will host an Outdoor Woman’s Life program from June 10 to 12 at the historic Woodmont Lodge at Fort Frederick State Park in Maryland.

Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation.

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 135,000 members and 700 local chapters across the United States and Canada.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Maryland 2011 Spring Turkey Harvest Data

Hunters reported taking a total of 2,826 wild turkeys during Maryland's 2011 spring turkey season. The total was nearly identical to the 2010 harvest of 2,847 birds. The harvest is slightly above the 10-year average of 2,902 birds.

Some counties noticed slight declines in harvest while others observed increases. Jakes comprised 29 percent of the 2011 spring harvest.

Two notable regulation changes took effect for Maryland's 2011 spring season. Hunting was permitted until sunset during the last two weeks of the season to increase hunter opportunity and minimize the potential impacts of additional hunting pressure.

Hunting was also allowed on one Sunday in May in Alleghany and Garrett counties only, which resulted in a harvest of 16 turkeys.

Garrett County reported 339 turkeys, followed by Allegany (287), Washington (285), Charles (222), Dorchester (210) and Worcester (191).

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Chronic Wasting Disease Affects North American Deer, Elk and Moose

According to a new U.S. Geological Survey study, the long-term impacts of the chronic wasting disease (CWD) epidemic in North American deer, elk and moose will depend on how the disease persists in the environment.

The study used computer simulations to make predictions about future deer herds. CWD is caused by unusual, infectious proteins called prions; it is a fatal neurological disease of deer, elk and moose.

The disease is related to "mad cow" disease, a cattle disease that has infected humans. However, there is no evidence that CWD has infected humans. Prions can be transmitted directly through animal-to-animal contact, and indirectly through animals that come into contact with infected feces, urine and carcasses.

CWD has been detected in 19 states and two Canadian provinces. Disease-causing prions, responsible for some incurable neurological diseases of people and other diseases in animals, are notoriously difficult to decontaminate or kill. Prions are not killed by most detergents, cooking, freezing, or by autoclaving, a method used to sterilize medical instruments.

The USGS study, Modeling Routes of Chronic Wasting Disease Transmission: Environmental Prion Persistence Promotes Deer Population Decline and Extinction, is available from the public accesses journal PLoS ONE, online.

source: USGS press release

Saturday, April 23, 2011

2011 Wyoming Conservation Stamp Artwork Chosen

A Wyoming outdoor artist painting of a black bear was judged best in show at Wyoming's 28th annual Wyoming Conservation Stamp Art Competition. Renee Piskorski was awarded $3,500 for the winning entry.

Piskorski's painting was selected by a panel of judges out of 79 entries from 23 states and Mexico. Thirty- six Wyoming artists entered the competition this year.

Each year Wyoming Game and Fish selects one species to be the subject of the competition and eventually appear on more than 100,000 conservation stamps.

 The artists is now a two-time winner. Her bluebird painting was judged best in show in the 2003 Conservation Stamp Competition.

The subject for next year's competition will be the Wyoming state reptile, the short-horned lizard, commonly referred to as the horned toad.

source: Wyoming Game and Fish

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Colorado Big Game Hunting Opportunities

The Colorado Division of Wildlife has released statistics from the 2010 big game hunting seasons in the state.

"Hunters will continue to see great chances to get in the field in Colorado and access our world-renowned herds," said Tom Remington, Director of the Division of Wildlife.

The 2010 season was highlighted by a record-setting harvest of pronghorn. With recent expansion of access to licenses and lands, hunters statewide harvested a record 12,301 pronghorn during the 2010 seasons. The season beat the previous record of 10,941, set in 2009.

Colorado's most important attraction for big game hunters continues to be elk hunting with more than 214,000 elk hunters in the field last fall. Elk hunters experienced a 22 percent success rate, harvesting 48,018 elk.

Bull elk harvest continues to be available in both the limited seasons and the over-the-counter seasons with the harvest split almost equally between the two license types. Colorado is the only state to offer an unlimited, over-the-counter bull elk tag during the second and third rifle seasons.

Now the elk hunting capital of the world, long-time hunters in Colorado will remember the days when the state was renowned for mule deer hunting and those opportunities appear to be returning. The 2010 harvest of 34,768 was up slightly from the previous year total of 33,922.

Colorado has an estimated 460,650 deer, 287,270 elk and 76,710 pronghorn, making it a top hunting destination. With more than 23 million acres of public land, the state draws hundreds of thousands of hunters every fall, contributing more than $300 million direct dollars into the Colorado economy.

Because of the large number of big game hunters in the state, the Division of Wildlife does not require hunters to report harvest on most species instead the agency utilizes phone and on-line surveys to establish harvest estimates. The statistics are extensively validated and audits have shown that the process is quite accurate.

Harvest stats from 2010 can be found at the Division of Wildlife webpage at:

source: Colorado Division of Wildlife

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Black Warrior Retriever Club to Host 2012 Master National Retriever Club Event

The Black Warrior Retriever Club (BWRC) of Alabama has been selected to host the Master National Retriever Club's 2012 Master National event. This prestigious annual retriever hunt test event showcases the best hunting retrievers in North America.

BWRC partnered with the State Lands Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) and the Chamber of Commerce of Demopolis to secure local support and the test grounds of Forever Wild’s Field Trial Area, which was recently renamed by the Forever Wild Board of Trustees in recognition of the Conservation Department’s former Commissioner M. Barnett Lawley, and the vision he had for supporting this project.

Forever Wild’s field trial grounds are located at the former State Cattle Ranch, which is south of Greensboro in Hale County. The event will be held in the fall of 2012. The competitions are expected to have up to 500 retrievers entered.

source: Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

2011 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp Art Contest

A painting of  ringed-neck ducks by Jim Denney of Alexander City, Ala., is the winner of the 2011 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp Art Contest. The artwork will be featured the 2012-2013 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp.

The contest is sponsored by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division (WFF), and is open to resident Alabama artists only.

Denney is flattered to have his artwork selected as the winner for the second time in as many entries. "It’s a big honor. There are some really good artists in this state," he said.

To learn more about ADCNR and the waterfowl stamp design competition visit

source: ADCNR

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wildlife Artist Wins Ohio Habitat Stamp Competition

The artwork of Tom Morgan Crain of Branson, Missouri, won first place in this year's Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp Design Competition, sponsored by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. Crain’s painting will appear on the Ohio wetlands habitat stamp issued in fall 2012.

The winning entry was selected from a field of 20 original paintings submitted by artists from 12 states including seven entries from Ohio. The competition was held on February 19 at the Ohio Ducks Unlimited annual banquet in Sandusky.

Approximately 25,000 Ohio wetland habitat stamps were purchased last year, according to the Division of Wildlife. Proceeds from stamp sales help fund vital wetland habitat restoration projects in Ohio. Such habitats are important to many resident wildlife species including state-endangered trumpeter swans, wetland birds, amphibians and numerous migratory species.

Visit the ODNR website at

Second Annual Kansas Hunting and Fishing Expo

The Second Annual Kansas Hunting and Fishing Expo will bring the outdoors inside the Flinthills Mall, 1656 Industrial Road in Emporia, on April 2 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and April 3 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Seminars include a grilling demonstration, a concealed carry class offered during expo hours ($100 per person), and certified Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young scorers showing how to score big game and turkey mounts.

Door prizes will be given away, including a grill from Sears, a youth camouflage Matthews bow from JC Construction, a tent from Budweiser, and a gun from the Kansas Hunting and Fishing Expo. Throughout the day, there will be drawings for more donated prizes.

To learn more about this event, phone Tonya Carson at 785-366-3565 or email, or go to Facebook and look under Southeastern Kansas Hunting and Fishing Expo.

source: Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

North Carolina Waterfowl Conservation Stamp - Print Chosen

Delaware artist Richard Clifton’s painting of a pair of Canada geese standing in a pasture was selected as the 2011 North Carolina Waterfowl Conservation Stamp and Print.

The painting, “Canadas in Pasture,” was unveiled at the 16th Annual East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and the N.C. Decoy Carving Championships in Beaufort County during an evening preview reception on Feb. 11.

Clifton was one of more than 30 wildlife artists from 19 states and Mexico to submit entries for the fourth annual State of North Carolina Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Competition. In 2008, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission began partnering with the East Carolina Wildfowl Guild to conduct a nationwide competition open to the public.

This year, artists could submit portraits of redheads, brant, Canada geese, tundra swans or gadwalls.

Signed and numbered regular edition prints with mint stamps of the winning portrait will be available from the Commission on July 1 for $145. The stamp is $10.

Proceeds from sales of the print and stamps go to the Commission’s Waterfowl Fund, which generates revenue for the conservation of waterfowl habitat in North Carolina.

The N.C. Waterfowl Conservation Stamp and Print program, established in 1983 by the Commission, generates revenue for waterfowl conservation in the state, including acquiring and improving habitat. Proceeds from the sale of stamps and prints are designated for the Commission’s Waterfowl Fund.

The money is used to help North Carolina meet its financial obligations in implementing the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, the international agreement helping restore waterfowl populations throughout the continent. In addition, funds have been used to support waterfowl research and to buy equipment used to manage wetlands.

The East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships are annual highlights for Washington, which sits on the scenic Pamlico River in coastal North Carolina. The festival is sponsored by the East Carolina Wildfowl Guild, a 70-member group of local carvers and wildlife artists dedicated to providing educational activities associated with wildlife art and the preservation of eastern North Carolina’s wildlife heritage.

In addition to the more than 80 wildlife art exhibitors, the festival features many other wildlife-related events, including duck-carving competition divisions, retriever demonstrations, wildlife art and decoy auctions, a children’s decoy-painting contest and various waterfowl-calling contests.

source: North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

2011 Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Program

The hunting and fishing industries, as well as recreational shooters, hunters, boaters, and anglers, continue to fund conservation across the nation. 

Program funds come from excise taxes paid by manufacturers, producers, and importers on sporting firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, fishing equipment and tackle, and electric outboard motors. Recreational boaters also contribute to the program through fuel taxes on motorboats and small engines.

The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Program apportionment for 2011 totals more than $384 million, of which more than $79 million is for hunter education and safety programs.

Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Program funding is available to all 50 states, the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands, and the territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. One-half of the 11 percent excise tax on bows, arrows, and archery equipment and 10 percent excise tax on handguns, pistols, and revolvers make up the funding for hunter education programs.  The other one-half of the excise tax are for wildlife restoration purposes, including the 11 percent excise tax on firearms and ammunition.

Each state or territory receives a Wildlife Restoration Program apportionment derived from a formula that incorporates its total land area and number of paid hunting license holders.  Each state or territory may not receive more than 5 percent or less than one-half of 1 percent of the total apportionment. Fish and wildlife agencies use these funds to manage wildlife populations, conduct habitat research, acquire wildlife habitat, enhance wildlife habitat, and public hunting access, carry out surveys and inventories, administer hunter education programs, and construct and maintain shooting and archery ranges.

For more information on the goals and accomplishments of these programs and for individual State, Commonwealth, and territorial funding allocations, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program Web site at:

West Virginia Winter Waterfowl Survey

Wildlife biologists counted 5,044 ducks and 6,147 Canada geese during the annual mid-winter waterfowl survey in early January, according to Steve Wilson, Waterfowl Biologist for the Wildlife Resources Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

The 10-year average has been artificially high since the record numbers in 2001. Now that the 2001 numbers are no longer included in the average, the percent above average figures for 2011 are more significant. The increase was not unexpected due to the amount of snow and cold weather that occurred in December.

Canada geese, mallards and black ducks were the most commonly observed species in the 2011 survey.  Other waterfowl observed included canvasback, scaup, ring-necked duck, redhead, bufflehead, wood duck, mergansers and snow geese. Thirteen bald eagles, two golden eagles and eleven unidentified eagles were also observed.

The survey was conducted on January 5, 6, and 7, 2011, and included portions of the Kanawha, Ohio, Shenandoah and New rivers as well as Tygart and Bluestone lakes.

source: West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

Virginia Bear, Deer, Turkey Hunting Harvest Data

Wildlife biologists with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) have compiled preliminary figures for deer, turkey, and bear harvests for the 2010-11 fall/winter hunting seasons.

According to VDGIF, white-tailed deer, bear and wild turkey harvests all declined this year from the previous year. Exceptional acorn crops across the state coupled with other environmental conditions both this year and last as well as management actions to meet population objectives all factored into fluctuations in populations and harvest trends. The harvest figures continue to indicate that good hunting is available across the Commonwealth for these popular game species.


During the past deer season 219,797 deer were reported killed by hunters in Virginia. This total included 95,543 antlered bucks, 19,191 button bucks, and 105,063 does (47.8%). The fall 2010 deer kill total was 15% lower than the 259,147 deer reported killed last year. It is 3% lower than the last 10 year average of 227,430.


During the 2010-11 bear seasons 2,221 bears were reported killed during the archery, muzzleloader, and firearms seasons. The 2010 harvest was a 3.6% decrease from last year's kill of 2,304, but similar to the 2008 harvest of 2,204 bears. In 2010, bears were harvested in 69 counties with successful bear hunters coming from 18 states other than Virginia. Equaling the average over the last five years, female bears, or sows, represented 39% of the 2010 harvest, which was less than the 42% sows in the 2009 harvest.


In Virginia, 2,687 turkeys were harvested during the 2010-2011 fall turkey season. This harvest was 24% below last year's reported kill of 3,538 birds. The harvest declined 34% in counties west of the Blue Ridge Mountains (1,664 last year versus 1,102 this year). Counties east of the Blue Ridge Mountains decreased 15 percent (1,874 vs. 1,585). Bedford led all counties with a harvest of 92 birds. Most of the harvest was reported on private lands.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

2011 Colorado Big Game Hunting Brochure

The Colorado Division of Wildlife is rolling out its 2011 big game hunting brochure with some major enhancements to help hunters apply for licenses and find information about big game hunting in the state. Applications for the 2011 fall big game season are due to the Division of Wildlife by Tuesday, April 5.

The fully re-designed brochure includes easy-to-read tables, a detailed list of new hunt opportunities in the state and a reference page with important information about Colorado hunting regulations. Copies of the brochure are available anywhere licenses are sold.

Also new this year is an interactive, on-line companion version of the brochure that has video clips offering hunt pointers and tips on how to apply for licenses through the draw process.

Beyond enhancements to the brochure, the Division has also continued to improve its customer service efforts.

Another change this year is the requirement that all license applicants purchase a $10 Habitat Stamp before they apply for their first hunting or fishing license of the year.

Hunters who use paper applications and apply for multiple licenses must include the $10 stamp fee for each application if they have not previously purchased a stamp for the current year. All but one of these fees will be refunded. By purchasing a Habitat Stamp in advance or using the on-line application process, applicants can avoid extra paperwork and expense.

"About 64 percent of our customers apply on-line so they'll get the stamp automatically if they need it, but for hunters who prefer the traditional paper application, we want to make sure they understand the requirements," Turner said. "Another benefit of applying on-line is that the system prevents you from making some of the more common mistakes." Turner added that on average, 10 percent of paper applications each year contain errors or illegible writing that can result in delays or disqualification from the draw process.

A lifetime Habitat Stamp is available for $200 prior to March 31. Beginning April 1 the lifetime Habitat Stamp will increase in cost to $300.

The Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp program was initiated by sportsmen and established by the Colorado legislature in 2005. Proceeds from the Habitat Stamp have helped the Division conserve 103,074 acres of wildlife habitat and secure 40,635 acres of new public hunting and fishing access.

Hunters born after Jan. 1, 1949 are also reminded that they must have completed a hunter education course prior to applying for a hunting license in Colorado. Since the hunter education requirement was imposed in 1970, hunting accidents have significantly declined in the state.

A .pdf version of the 2011 Colorado Big Game brochure can be viewed here:

The interactive version of the brochure can be accessed at

A complete list of upcoming hunter education classes can be found at

source: Colorado Division of Wildlife

Spring Light Goose Hunts in North Dakota

For hunters in search of spring hunting opportunities, North Dakota is one option . Light goose hunters planning to hunt during the state's spring season can even purchase a license online at the state Game and Fish Department’s website.

Residents can hunt during the spring season by having last fall’s 2010-11 bird licenses. Otherwise, hunters will need to purchase either a 2011-12 combination license; or a small game, and general game and habitat license.

Nonresidents, regardless of age, need a 2011 spring light goose season license. The cost is $50 and the license is good statewide. Nonresidents who hunt the spring season remain eligible to buy a fall season license. The spring season does not count against the 14-day fall hunting season regulation.

A federal duck stamp is not required of either residents or nonresidents.

Licenses are available from the Game and Fish Department’s Bismarck office, the department’s website at, or by calling (800) 406-6409.

North Dakota’s spring light goose season officially opens Feb. 19, but hunters shouldn’t expect to see geese migrate through anytime soon.

North Dakota’s annual spring season opens in February in case weather conditions allow for an early arrival. Availability of food and open water dictate when snow geese arrive in the state. Early migrants generally start showing up in the southeast part of the state in mid-to-late March, but huntable numbers usually aren’t around until the end of March or early April. Movements through the state largely depend on available roosting areas and the extent of the snow line.

Hunters must obtain a new Harvest Information Program registration number before venturing out into the field. Those purchasing a license are able to register with the HIP at that time. Otherwise, hunters should call (888) 634-4798. The HIP number is good for the fall season as well, so spring hunters should save it to record on their fall license.

The Game and Fish Department will provide hunters with migration updates once geese have entered the state. Hunters can access the department’s website, or call (701) 328-3697, to receive generalized locations of bird sightings in North Dakota until the season ends or geese have left the state. Migration reports will be updated periodically during the week.

The spring season is only open to light geese – snows, blues, and Ross’s. Species identification is important because white-fronted and Canada geese travel with light geese. The season is closed to whitefronts, Canada geese, swans and all other migratory birds.

The statewide season is open through May 8. Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. There is no daily bag limit or possession limit. Electronic and recorded calls, as well as shotguns capable of holding more than three shells, may be used to take light geese during this season.

There are no waterfowl rest areas designated for the spring season. Hunters should note that private land within waterfowl rest areas closed last fall may be posted closed to hunting.

Nontoxic shot is required for hunting all light geese statewide. Driving off established roads and trails is strongly discouraged during this hunt because of the likelihood of soft, muddy conditions, and winter wheat that is planted across the state.

To maintain good landowner relations, hunters are advised to seek permission before hunting on private lands or attempting any off-road travel during this season. Sprouted winter wheat is considered an unharvested crop. Therefore, hunting or off-road travel in winter wheat is not legal without landowner permission.

All regular hunting season regulations not addressed above apply to the spring season. For more information on regulations refer to the 2011 Spring Light Goose Hunting Regulations and the 2010 North Dakota Waterfowl Hunting Guide.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Signs of Spring

In the USA Mid Atlantic region, signs of Spring are everywhere. All along the Atlantic Flyway, snow geese are visibly restless. As each day grows longer, snow geese gather in ever-larger flocks to feed, becoming more and more restless throughout the day. Although they feed heavily, geese spend considerable time flying back and forth between feeding spots. As the days of February pass, their time in the region grows shorter.

Wild turkeys are also becoming much m ore visible. Large flocks are on the move and sightings in open fields are more common. Food supplies have been lean for some time, but even now turkeys are beginning to find a much wider selection of foods.

Deer behavior is also changing fast as March grows near. With the rut, hunting season and most of the harsh weather behind, deer are able to feed more consistently. During morning and evening, whitetails are often seen eating tree buds, early grasses and other vegetation.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2010-11 Maryland Deer Season Harvest

According to MD DNR, Maryland deer hunters harvested a total of 98,663 deer during the 2010-2011 bow, muzzleloader and firearm seasons combined. This figure is down just 2 percent from last year’s record harvest of 100,663 deer. The antlered harvest declined 1 percent to 33,341 deer this year, while the antlerless harvest decreased 2 percent to 65,322 deer. The harvest totals include 2,780 sika deer; a 17 percent increase over last year’s total for this species.

A regulation change enacted in 2010 moved the western half of Washington County into Deer Management Region A, which includes Allegany and Garrett counties. The regulation change was instituted to reduce the deer harvest in that portion of Washington County. As a result of the boundary change, deer harvest numbers for the region are not directly comparable to previous years. A total of 9,324 deer (5,412 antlered, 3,912 antlerless) were harvested in Region A during the 2010-2011 season. The Garrett County harvest remained stable while the harvest in Allegany and Washington counties dropped approximately 30 percent. The decline in Washington County was an expected outcome of the change in the Region A boundary. While the decline in Allegany County was partly due to a decrease in the overall deer herd, the boundary change further reduced harvest by putting several popular public hunting areas in the same Management Region, removing the option to take deer under two separate bag limits.

The reported deer harvest in the remainder of the state (Deer Management Region B) was similar to the previous year. Hunters in Region B reported taking 89,339 deer for the year; down 2 percent from last year. The antlered harvest of 27,929 deer was 3 percent lower than last year, while the antlerless total decreased 2 percent to 61,410 deer. Frederick County led the state this year with 7,942 deer, followed by Baltimore County with 6,919 and Washington County with 6,035 deer.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chronic Wasting Disease Found In Maryland White-Tailed Deer

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.

For more information on CWD in Maryland and the DNR Response Plan, please visit the DNR Website at

source: MD DNR

Fish and Wildlife Service Report On Hunting and Fishing Trends

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a new report, Trends in Fishing and Hunting 1991-2006: A focus on Fishing and Hunting by Species,that provides a detailed look at fishing and hunting by species and offers a wealth of information on national and state fishing and hunting expenditures, participation rates, and demographic trends. 

The new report, an addendum to the 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Associated Recreation, represents a comprehensive survey conducted by the Service’s Wildlife Sport Fish and Restoration Program (WSFR). Data used to support the study were obtained from eleven fishing and hunting surveys sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA).

Several hunting facts are contained in the report:

 - The number of turkey hunters has increased at more than twice the rate of the growth of the U.S. population since 1991.

 - The number of duck and deer hunters has been stable since 1991.

 - Turkey hunters in 2006 went out twice as many days as they did in 1991.  The rates for duck and deer hunters going out more days have also increased - by 20 to 40 percent.

 - While the overall number of hunters has declined, most of this drop can be attributed to a large decrease in small game and dove hunting. Rabbit and squirrel hunting have lost half their participants since 1991, which may indicate that recruitment of new hunters is declining.

To download a complete copy of the report please visit:

source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Florida Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service established Feb. 5-6, 2011 as Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days.

These select days are a great opportunity to get young people outdoors and to introduce them to the excitement of waterfowl hunting.

The statewide, two-day season allows children younger than 16 years old – with adult supervision – to hunt waterfowl, coots and common moorhens.  Supervisors (18 years or older) must be present and may assist young hunters, but state regulations prohibit the supervisors from hunting. Hunters younger than 16 years of age do not need licenses, permits or federal duck stamps.

All regulations and bag limits for hunting waterfowl apply to this two-day season. Hunting regulations are available online at or in the FWC's waterfowl and coot seasons brochure, available at county tax collectors' offices.

source: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Friday, January 28, 2011

Things To Do After Hunting Seasons End

After winter hunting seasons are over, most hunters have a little spare time before spring arrives. The following list offers a few ideas for outdoors and hunting-related activities.

 - store and maintain decoys and other waterfowl hunting gear
 - experiment with game feeders and monitoring cameras
 - scout out new hunting areas
 - take an outdoor photography trip
 - maintain hunting areas and pickup trash from recent hunting trips
 - perform feed plot maintenance
 - take a shell collecting trip to a local beach
 - harvest shellfish such as clams, oysters and mussels
 - go ice fishing
 - cut wood for smoking wild game or for fuel
 - plan a spring turkey hunting trip
 - visit an outdoor expo
 - process harvested game by smoking, making jerky, etc.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Satellites Aid in the Rescue of 295 People in 2010

In 2010, NOAA satellites were critical in the rescues of 295 people from life-threatening situations throughout the United States and its surrounding waters. The satellites picked up distress signals from emergency beacons carried by downed pilots, shipwrecked boaters and stranded hikers, and relayed the information about their location to first responders on the ground.

NOAA’s polar-orbiting and geostationary satellites, along with Russia’s COSPAS spacecraft, are part of the international Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking system, called COSPAS-SARSAT. This system uses a network of satellites to quickly detect and locate distress signals from emergency beacons onboard aircraft and boats, and from smaller, handheld personal locator beacons called PLBs.

Alaska had the most people rescued last year with 77, followed by Florida with 37, and West Virginia with 17, who were aboard a downed Army Reserve helicopter.

When a NOAA satellite finds the location of a distress signal within the United States or its surrounding waters, the information is relayed to the SARSAT Mission Control Center based at NOAA’s Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, Md. From there, the information is quickly sent to a Rescue Coordination Center, operated by either the U.S. Air Force, for land rescues, or the U.S. Coast Guard, for water rescues.

Now in its 29th year, COSPAS-SARSAT has been credited with supporting more than 28,000 rescues worldwide, including more than 6,500 in the United States and its surrounding waters.

source: NOAA press release

Friday, January 21, 2011

USDA to Fund Public Access for Hunting, Fishing, Recreation and Habitat Restoration

On Jan. 19, 2011, USDA officials announced that an additional $8 million is available to create or expand existing public access programs or provide incentives to increase access to hunting and fishing and to improve wildlife habitat on enrolled lands. The funding is being provided through the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP).

The funding is authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill. Approximately $11.75 million of VPA-HIP funds were awarded to 17 states in 2010.

Twenty-six states have public access programs for hunting, fishing and other related activities. These programs provide rental payments and other incentives, such as technical or conservation services to landowners who, in return, allow public hunting, fishing or other compatible recreational activities on their land.

States and tribal governments can submit VPA-HIP applications for 2011 funding through the federal government's grants portal - to the Farm Service Agency (FSA) for consideration. Funding will be awarded to those state and tribal governments whose proposals are accepted by FSA. States with approved applications and funding awarded in 2010 associated with multi-year VPA-HIP proposals do not need to re-submit request for application in 2011.

For more information on VPA-HIP, visit

source: USDA

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pennsylania On-Water Hunting Safety Tips

Pennsylvania's Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is urging hunters to wear their life jackets when they are on the water.

“Hunters using boats, canoes and kayaks must remember to wear the most important piece of equipment while on the water – a lifejacket,” says Ryan Walt, the Commission’s boating and watercraft safety manager. “People drown needlessly every year because they fail to wear their life jacket.

“If you are headed out on the water for a day of hunting, or running that winter trap line, following basic water safety tips will go a long way towards making sure your hunting trip is a safe one.”

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission To Hold Deer Antler Scoring

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers will be scoring deer antlers on January 29, 2011. The event is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. at Scott's Gunsmithing and Sales, 4201 S. U.S. 441 in Lake City, Fl.

The deer being scored must have been taken in Florida by fair-chase methods. Qualifying antlers will be recorded in the Florida Buck Registry; owners will receive a certificate suitable for framing and a patch.

The FWC established the Florida Buck Registry in 1982 to provide hunters with a record of the number and quality of white-tailed deer taken in Florida and to give recognition to Florida hunters. The minimum qualifying antler score is 100 Boone and Crockett inches for typical antlers and 125 for non-typical antlers.

For more information, call Scott's Gunsmithing and Sales at 386-752-9898. To learn more about the Florida Buck Registry, go to

source: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bighorn Sheep Released in Oregon

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) recently released California bighorn sheep at two new locations, Cottonwood Canyon State Park and near the John Day Fossil Beds.

Cottonwood Canyon is a new state park in the John Day River Canyon scheduled to open in 2013. While there are a few bighorn sheep in the park’s southern edge, this month’s operation was the first time sheep have been released at the park.

The other release occurred on BLM land, in the Branson Creek portion of the upper John Day River, near the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.

As the herds get established in these two locations over the next few years, visitors will find viewing and eventually, hunting opportunities for the sheep.

The bighorn sheep released were first captured from areas where they are more plentiful—20 from around the Lower Deschutes River and 40 from around the John Day River. Twenty each were released at the two Oregon locations.

The final 20 sheep went to the Seminoe Mountains in Wyoming to supplement a release made last year. Wyoming Game and Fish paid for the cost of the capture and transport of these sheep.

Bighorn sheep are native to both areas where they were released in Oregon. The relocations are part of ongoing efforts to restore this animal to its native range.

Bighorn sheep are one of the rarest game mammals in Oregon today. They were extirpated from the state by the 1940s due to unregulated hunting and their susceptibility to domestic livestock diseases. Less than 100 bighorn sheep tags are offered to hunters each year on a “once-in-a-lifetime” hunt basis.

ODFW also auctions and raffles off a bighorn sheep tag each year at events sponsored by sportsmen conservation groups; proceeds from the sales benefit the management of bighorn sheep. Sportsmen conservation organizations like FNAWS also contribute monies to fund bighorn sheep recovery across North America.

A small population of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep live in the Wallowa Mountains; the rest of the animals in the state are California bighorn sheep. ODFW generally relocates 20-80 bighorn sheep annually with the ultimate goal of creating healthy bighorn sheep populations in all available, suitable habitats within Oregon.

source: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife