Week of March 2, 2009

Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
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Indiana
Minnesota
Pennsylvania
Wisconsin
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Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Aimpoint and MidwayUSA Partner to Support the NRA

Aimpoint, Inc and MidwayUSA have teamed up again to show their support for the National Rifle Association. This popular promotion gives NRA members an opportunity to purchase an Aimpoint CompM4 electronic red dot sight at a special price, with a $100 donation made to the NRA by Aimpoint for every sight package purchased from Midway USA through the end of 2009. Anyone who purchases a sight through this program who is not already an NRA member will receive a free one-year NRA membership, compliments of MidwayUSA. 

 

 

“Aimpoint and MidwayUSA both represent strong brands in the

 

industry,” said Kayne Robinson, NRA General Operations

Executive Director.  “The NRA is grateful for their support of the Second Amendment and preserving our freedoms.”

 

The Aimpoint CompM4 is designated as the M68 Close Combat Optic (M68CCO) in the U.S. Army and US Air Force. The product package available through this NRA promotion includes: an Aimpoint CompM4 sight, quick-release Picatinny rail mount, spacer for AR-15 or similar rifles, KillFlash anti-reflection device and MILSPEC rubber lens covers. The sight comes completely set up and ready to mount on your favorite firearm. 

 

This special purchase opportunity ends December 31, 2009, so act now! Go to www.nra.org/aimpoint , or call Midway USA at 1-800-243-3220 to order your Aimpoint CompM4 sight. 

 

For more information on Aimpoint, go to: www.aimpoint.com


LaserMax announces Guide Rod Laser for M&P

LaserMax, Inc. has released a guide rod laser for the Smith & Wesson M&P full-size .40 caliber pistol. The new laser replaces the existing  factory guide rod and takedown lever.

 

LaserMax is the only company in the world; ever to offer the guide rod laser. This innovative laser design has always provided for the most  accurate and durable threat assessment available in a laser aiming system.

 

 

The M&P guide rod, like all our guide rod laser aiming systems, is user installed accurate with factory alignment and 

 

"no gunsmithing"  required. Simply replacing the existing factory guide rod and takedown lever with our laser sighting system and our takedown lever which  doubles as the on and off switch and you can now obtain reliable First Shot Confidence.

 

Our guide rod laser aiming system adds no weight to your firearm. It is designed for use in existing holsters and does not occupy the limited  Picatinny rail space or change the weapon's ergonomic grip design. Our laser produces 10 pulses per second which is scientifically assessed to  be the optimum in visibility for the human eye when enveloped by stress.

 

For that one-of-a-kind Christmas gift visit our website at www.Lasermax.com or call 1-800- LASER03.


Army Picks up Pistol Search Where AF Left Off

Basically, the Army wants a handgun that can be both modular in caliber, barrel length and grip size.  "Not only in the form, fit function of the  weapon, but in the caliber," Col. Doug Tamilio, the PM for Soldier weapons, said.

 

That seems like a tough requirement to achieve. There are only a couple handguns on the commercial market that can switch out easily, but  this could turn into an armorer's nightmare in the field.

 

"Guys who are in air crews may want a specific caliber. And those in direct combat may want a larger caliber," Tamilio said. He added that the  Infantry School has taken a look at the Air Force's requirement and is preparing a letter to put on top of that that blesses the findings and  sends it on to TRADOC and the G-3 for a blessing, then it goes into the POM process for a competition.

 

My colleague at Army Times Matt Cox asked a good question on top of that, wondering what a new modular combat pistol 

 

would do to the  service's search for a personal defense weapon.

 

Basically, Tamilio said that some people who might get PDWs would instead get pistols. The Army wants carbines across the force, Tamilio  said but "there's a lot of guys exiting trucks, that don't need to fight the 300-500 meter range, they need that short 200 meter range in. And  that's where the personal defense weapon comes in."

 

The pistol will still be issued to "augment the force" for machine gunners, officers and senior NCOs.

 

"So instead of saying we have a requirement for 275,000 pistols that may get cut down -- so now we say we want 200,000 of those and 50 or  60,000 of the PDWs," he said.  So in sum, the Army will have a new pistol requirement, a PDW search, a new Improved Carbine requirement and eventually "a new long gun  requirement for within the squad."

 

It's a good time to be a gun maker, huh?


KONUS sponsors two Hunting TV Shows in 2010

O'Neill Outside and Shoot Straight with Chad Shearer

Miami, Fla. - October 29, 2009 - KONUS USA announced it will sponsor two of the top hunting shows carried on cable, satellite and television  networks in North America during 2010: O'Neill Outside and Shoot Straight with Chad Shearer.

 

Now entering its 28th year on the air, O'Neill Outside is hosted by O'Neill Williams, one of the top outdoorsmen in North America. O'Neill  Outside is available on such leading national and regional networks as VERSUS, SUN Sports and FS South and is seen weekly by nearly  500,000 avid outdoors-men and -women.

 

Shoot Straight with Chad Shearer is hosted by world champion elk caller Chad Shearer, a licensed Montana professional outfitter/guide. Shoot  Straight with Chad Shearer is a new and progressive hunting program that features Chad and his guests hunting with a variety of weapons all  over the world. Marsha Shearer, Chad's wife, joins him on a number of his hunts to help provide a female perspective on hunting.

 

Shoot  Straight with Chad Shearer can be seen weekly on The

Sportsman Channel, Lone Star Network, SportSouth and on CBS television affiliates  throughout Montana.

 

"KONUS USA is proud to announce its 2010 sponsorships of two of the top hunting programs available on cable, satellite and local TV today:  Shoot Straight with Chad Shearer and O'Neill Outside," said Mark Shore, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at KONUS USA. "Not only are  O'Neill and Chad true champions of the outdoor experience, but they're disciplined proponents in the preservation of our natural resources too,  so we're happy to provide our support to their shows. There is no doubt that Chad and O'Neill will find themselves in the harshest  environments while in the field. We couldn't imagine a better testament to the quality of Konus products than showing this to the world."

 

For more information about Shoot Straight with Chad Schearer, please visit http://shootstraighttv.com/index.php.  For more information about  O'Neill Outside, please visit www.oneilloutside.com/Home.html.


Taking Aim - The Weaver stance

David A. Lombardo

While there are many ways to hold a handgun when shooting the Weaver stance is probably the most visually recognizable and famous in its own right.

 

Mythology surrounds the Weaver stance and its believers swear they know someone who knows someone who knew Jack Weaver and how he came about developing his famous handgun shooting position.

 

The fact is Jack Weaver was a Los Angeles County deputy sheriff who enjoyed competitive shooting. John H. "Jack" Weaver was born in 1928 in California and died last April 7th at home in Carson City, Nevada.

 

Weaver competed annually in the Leatherslap competition in Big Bear, California. The competition was created in 1956 by a recently retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel named Jeff Cooper who would go on to be a famous shooter in his own right.  Leatherslap is commonly accepted to be the first match of its kind and was unrestricted with respect to the firearm, holster and technique. Fundamentally it was a simple competition: Quick draw from the holster and hit a series of 18-inch balloons seven yards away; time and breaking balloons were all that mattered.

 

If that sounds remarkably simple you need to understand two important factors. First, there was enormous pressure to perform because you were surrounded by a lot of people who saw this as a proving ground for being the best. There was more testosterone flowing than black coffee.

 

Second, contestants carried a revolver, commonly with a speed loader, for a total of 12 rounds. It was the custom of the time that all shooting was "point shooting." You shot from the hip or one-handed with the arm extended forward from the shoulder; two-handed shooting was unheard of. One need only watch a cowboy movie to see how it was done. It was also the reason why the few cowboy shootouts that really did occur, despite what Hollywood would have you believe, generally resulted in everyone emptying their six shooter and very few deaths.

 

So it was that Jack Weaver entered Leatherslap and discovered while the participants took the competition very seriously it inevitably ended up with everyone laughing and joking because no one was really successful.  Considering it was a timed event, missing with six rapidly fired rounds, quickly reloading with the speed loader and missing with another six rounds then having to manually reload the gun was not very efficient.

 

By 1959 Weaver came to the conclusion that you can't miss fast enough to win a shooting competition and he began experimenting with different ways of drawing and engaging the target. He discovered using both hands and aiming the gun, though slower than just jerking out the gun, pointing and pulling the trigger, had devastating consequences.

Jeff Cooper's comment of Weaver's subsequent performance is quoted as, "Jack walloped us all — and decisively — usinga six inch Smith K-38. He was very quick and he did not miss. And, of course, he shot from the Weaver stance, which was, and is, the way to go." Hence the name Weaver Stance, coined by Cooper, took hold and remains with us to this day.

 

It wouldn't be until 1982 that Weaver's creation received formal recognition when James McKenzie, assistant director of the FBI, wrote Weaver a letter explaining that the agency had conducted a year-long study of handgun techniques and determined the Weaver stance would be the method taught at the FBI academy in the future.

 

The Weaver stance is a two-handed technique in which the dominant hand holds the handgun pushing forward against the grip while the other (supporting) hand wraps around the dominant hand. In addition, the dominant arm is extended forward with the elbow almost totally straight and the supporting arm's elbow is bent down.

 

Both hands squeeze tightly on the grip with the result being an isometric tension that provides excellent recoil control. The result is accurate shot placement combined with rapid recoil recovery for follow-up shots. To be able to assume this position and align the eye with the gun's sites requires the shooter to stand at an oblique angle to the target.

 

It didn't take law enforcement very long to see the value of that position beyond shooting accuracy. The Weaver stance put shooter's weak hand closer to the subject and the strong hand and holstered firearm away from the subject making it difficult for someone to grab and use the gun against them.

 

It also has the added advantage that you can use your weak hand to fend off an attacker as you move away and simultaneously draw your gun. Once drawn the gun moves forward, is joined by the outstretched supporting hand and you're in business.

 

To assume the Weaver stance your feet should be shoulder width apart with your knees locked. Your strong side foot should be back while your weak side foot is forward and they should be on an approximately 45 degree angle to your target.

 

Draw the firearm, extend your strong side arm in front of your chest so your eye aligns with your arm, the rear and front sights. Match up your supporting hand; wrap it around the strong hand with the strong hand pushing forward and the supporting hand pulling backward.  Your elbows should be fairly close. Don’t allow your supporting arm elbow to stick out to the side.

 

Two notes of caution. First, if you are not experienced with drawing from the holster you must get instruction. It is not as trivial as it sounds and there is a high risk of an accidental discharge of the firearm resulting in hitting yourself or others.

 

Second, always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. It takes about 1/1000th of a second to position your trigger finger. It is simply not a significant enough time to warrant potentially causing injury or death. When in doubt, get instruction.


Ruger Rolls Out new Website

Ruger announces a new, redesigned website that incorporates improved product navigation, rich media content and social media elements.

The new Ruger.com website includes:

• New Interactive Index Page, Complete with Video Content

• New Social Media Links to Stay Connected to Ruger

• Press Clippings Area with Links to Industry Published Articles

• New Product Navigation & Firearm Specific Information Sections, with:

- Flatter, Easier Navigability

- Larger, More Interesting Product Feature Callouts

 

- Comparative Model Table Display

- Product Extras with Increased Video Content, Interactive Exploded Views & More Information

- Print Ready Spec Sheets

• New Interactive Digital Catalog - An Exact Replica of the Printed Version with Links to Additional Content

• Easier Firearms Search Mechanism with Quicklinks for the Most Popular Searches

• Improved Customer Service Information

• Expanded Technical Tip Videos, Covering Care & Maintenance of Ruger Products

The new website is now live at www.Ruger.com.


MN - 2009 deer season forecast

The Minnesota DNR Wildlife Office in Tower is forecasting a reduced deer population for northern St. Louis and Lake Counties. Wildlife managers report a smaller deer herd and “lottery” drawings for either-sex permits in six out of seven deer permit areas in our area.

 

The local deer herd has been thinned by two consecutive moderately-severe winters, and by  predators and aggressive antlerless deer harvest during the past five years. Fawn production has been reduced.  Most units now are at or slightly below population goals set for each permit area in 2005. The DNR has achieved the designated population levels in this area.

 

The 16-day season in northeastern Minnesota will straddle the peak of the annual white-tail breeding period. Hunters should see good deer movement as the annual rutting season progresses.

 

Hunters will find wet field conditions following eight-plus inches of rain in August, September and October, compared with last summer. Swamps and wetlands are wet, after being bone dry.  Liberal antlerless regulations have produced the five all-time highest deer harvests in the past six years. Last year marked the third consecutive year that antlerless harvest topped buck harvest in our area.

 

Winters are the biggest factor in increasing or decreasing deer populations in the area. Most local areas are showing population reduction. Overall, the deer population has trended downward to goal levels during the last two to three years. 

Buck bag limit

A hunter may only harvest one adult buck statewide, regardless of how many deer permit areas are hunted or the number licenses or bonus tags purchased. 

 

Field conditions

Hunters will find field conditions wet following a damp September and October. Swamps, creeks, rivers, lakes and wetlands have received

significant precipitation in the last eight weeks. The DNR advises hunters to plan ahead because normal ATV and vehicle travel may not be

practical. Hunters may need to prepare for alternate access plans to stands, hunting areas and for deer retrieval. Some roads and trails are

in tough driving condition and will get worse with additional rain. It is illegal to drive on or damage these wetland areas. 

 

Baiting

Baiting deer or hunting deer in the vicinity of bait is illegal statewide on private and public land. 

 

Share the harvest

Hunters are encouraged to share venison with others. Donating venison to non-hunters enables hunters to take additional antlerless deer and provide inexpensive meat to non-hunting friends and family. Minnesota also has a venison donation program, which allows hunters to donate deer to an authorized processor at no cost so venison can be donated to a food shelf.

 


Baiting deer is still illegal

With deer firearm hunting season just around the corner (Nov. 14-29), the Indiana DNR remind hunters that they will be watching for violators of the fair chase law, specifically as it applies to baiting.

 

Despite heavy commercial promotion on some hunting television shows, extensive sales of such products at some sporting goods stores, and evidence of the use of some of these products on some DNR properties, baiting for the purposes of hunting deer remains illegal. "Bait" is best described as anything a deer (or other wildlife) might ingest or lick.

 

It is legal to place food products or mineral blocks in the wild,

but hunting near them is illegal.

 

"If a person had put out a feeder or other bait during the summer months to attract wildlife to his property, it must be totally removed 10 days prior to the opening of the hunting season before a hunter could legally hunt in that area," Farmer said.

 

 Odor differs from bait. Deer lures in the form of scents are legal to use when hunting. Violators apprehended while hunting over bait will face a Class C Misdemeanor charge, and upon conviction could face criminal penalties of up to $500 fine, 60 days incarceration and possible loss of hunting equipment upon conviction.


National

Senators introduce natural resources bill

Natural Resources Adaptation bill helps ensure the long-term survival of fish/wildlife

Provides Americans with a healthier environment and jobs

WASHINGTON, DC — Fish and wildlife conservationists lauded Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and his co-sponsors Senators Max  Baucus (D-MT) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) for introducing the “Natural Resources Climate Adaptation Act” (S.1933). The bill would  provide for dedicated funding to federal and state natural resource agencies to plan and implement science-informed, on-the-ground projects  to help fish and wildlife adapt and respond to the impacts of climate change and to foster resilient habitats.

 

“We applaud and appreciate the leadership of Senators Bingaman, Baucus and Whitehouse in crafting a bill that addresses the unprecedented  effects climate change will have on natural systems and for recognizing the important role state and federal natural resource agencies play in  ensuring that these systems continue to function,” said Matt Hogan, Executive Director of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.  “Functioning ecosystems are not only vital to the health of fish and wildlife resources, they are critical to the

quality of life for Americans  because they provide cleaner air and water, flood attenuation, carbon sequestration and recreation.”

 

A century of fish and wildlife conservation work is in danger from a changing climate. For more than 100 years, federal and state natural  resources agencies—funded to a great extent by hunters and anglers—have invested billions of dollars in land and water conservation.  However, climate change is jeopardizing this investment by escalating and accelerating threats such as the spread of invasive species and  catastrophic fires, which put many fish and wildlife species at risk.

 

Funding for adaptation programs would provide important new resources to agencies in partnership with the private conservation community  to undertake the conservation work necessary to help fish and wildlife survive.  In addition, the economic contributions accrued from hunters  and anglers and the goods and services they purchase support millions of jobs and generate $76 billion in financial benefit annually.  Conserving natural resources helps ensure the survival of countless businesses and communities nationwide.


State/Tribal Wildlife Grants Program receives Funding boost from Congress

Increase will help state fish and wildlife agencies address environmental threats to some of the nation’s most imperiled species

Washington, D.C. – Last week, Congress approved $90 million for the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program as part of the $32.2 billion Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriation Act for 2010. The increase is $15 million over last year’s level and also includes a change in the nonfederal match requirement from 50% to 35%. 

 

The State and Tribal Wildlife Grants program, now in its 10th year, is a principal source of funding for implementation of congressionally required State Wildlife Action Plans in every state and territory. The Plans assess the health of each state’s wildlife and habitats, identify the problems they face and outline the actions needed to conserve them over the long term to prevent wildlife from becoming endangered.

 

The increase in federal dollars comes at a time when state fish and wildlife agencies are increasingly challenged to address the impacts of invasive species, habitat loss and degradation and the exacerbating affects of climate change.

 

“We appreciate the work of the administration and Congress to secure increased funding for the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program,” said Matt Hogan, Executive Director of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “These additional funds will help states tackle the backlog of conservation projects to address the threats of some of the nation’s most imperiled fish and wildlife and they will also maintain existing and create new jobs across the country.”

 

The State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program was started in 2000 to meet a longstanding need for funding of fish and wildlife species that are typically not hunted or fished. 

 

“We appreciate the work of Norm Dicks, Chairman of the House Interior, Environment and Related Appropriations subcommittee, Ranking Member Simpson and the entire committee for helping to secure the additional funding,” said Phil Anderson, Director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. “The State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program is essential to the successful implementation of the Washington State Wildlife Action Plan and the additional funding will allow us to step up our efforts to address climate change.”

 

The apportionment of funding through the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program is based on one third of land area and two thirds on population. For example, for fiscal year 2010, the state of Washington will receive about $1.5 million in apportionment funds. The program also will provide tribes with $7 million for a competitive grants program. An additional $5 million will be made available to states for a competitive grants program.

 

“The State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program provides the only source of federal funding directed at preventing wildlife from becoming endangered and is that much more urgent now because of the impacts to wildlife from global warming," said Naomi Edelson, Senior Manager, State Wildlife Programs for the National Wildlife Federation and member of the Teaming With Wildlife steering committee.” This increase is a natural investment toward protecting fish and wildlife and the natural lands and waters they depend on for survival."


Just-Signed “Energy And Water” Bill

Brings Habitat Improvements to Great Lakes

Congress provides, and the president accepts, additional funds for the “Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration Program”

 

ANN ARBOR, MI—The Great Lakes Fishery Commission today commended Congress and the president on the passage and signing into law  of the fiscal 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations bill, legislation that funds essential water projects throughout the United States.  The bill,  signed October 28th, 2009, includes $2.4 million for the Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration Program (GLFER), a program  authorizing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to partner with state and local agencies or private groups to implement projects that protect and  restore habitat, fisheries, and the Great Lakes ecosystem. 

 

The Great Lakes comprise a nationally and internationally

 

significant fishery and ecosystem that requires restoration and improvement.  To  further that goal, the Water Resources Development Act of 2000 authorized $100 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to partner with  state and local agencies and non-governmental organizations to plan, implement, and evaluate projects that support the restoration of the  fishery and the ecosystem.

 

“Since its inception, GLFER has brought much-needed restoration dollars to the Great Lakes region for projects such as dam removal, fish  passage around barriers, shoreline improvements, and fish and wildlife habitat recovery,” said William Culligan of the New York State  DEC, chair of the GLFER Review Committee.  “The funds provided for fiscal 2010 will allow the corps to  work with state and local agencies, and perhaps non-governmental organizations, to complete projects already in progress and to begin new  high-priority restoration initiatives.”


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for Oct. 30, 2009

Weather Conditions

Scattered rain showers were plentiful early this week across the Great Lakes basin.  Conditions will finally dry out Saturday as a dome of high pressure builds into the region.  The break from precipitation will be brief as rain and even a few snow showers are moving in for next week. Temperatures during this time frame should be near their seasonal averages.

Lake Level Conditions

All of the Great Lakes remain higher than their levels of a year ago.  Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are 3, 10, 7, 6, and 1", respectively, higher than their levels last year at this time.  The water levels of Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron and St. Clair are expected to decline by 2 inches over the next month.  Lake Erie and Ontario are expected to decline 1 and 3 inches, respectively, over the next 30 days.  Over the next several months, Lake Superior is predicted to be near its level of a year ago. Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Erie are forecasted to remain at or above last years levels over the same time period.  Lake Ontario is forecasted to be near or below its levels of a year ago over the next six months.

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions

In September, the outflow from Lake Superior through the St. Mary's River and the outflow from Lake Michigan-Huron through the St. Clair River were below average. The Detroit

River and Niagara River carried near average flows during

September. The outflow from Lake Ontario through the St. Lawrence River was above average in September. 

Alerts

Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels. Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings. 

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for Aug 4

 

601.54

 

578.35

 

 

573.98

 

571.16

 

244.62

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

 

 +5

 

   +10

 

+20

 

+24

 

+16

Diff last month

 

-3

 

 

            -2

 

-3

 

-4

 

-5

Diff from last yr

 

+3

 

+10

 

+7

 

+6

 

+1


General

Drivers: Fall's Here, Beware of Deer

As daylight diminishes, a driver's chance of hitting a deer increases, so all motorists need to adjust their habits and level of awareness  accordingly.

 

Nearly 50 % of all accidents involving white-tailed deer occur between October and December, according to Chad Stewart, Indiana DNR deer research  biologist.  Drivers don't suddenly become less competent during this time, but rather deer become more active because their  breeding season is approaching. More activity means deer are more likely to be on the roads-or ready to dart into them when you least expect  it.

 

This increase in activity increases the likelihood of a collision with a vehicle. Factors such as deer density, vehicle density, surrounding  habitat, speed limits, and time of day are other contributors to the frequency of such accidents.

 

"With the number of deer and the number of vehicles out there, deer-vehicle accidents will happen," Stewart said. "The best we can do is to  take measures to keep them to a minimum."

 

The best method to reduce your risk of hitting a deer-or having a deer hit you-is to practice defensive driving.

 

Knowing the following  information will help reduce your chances of becoming a deer-vehicle collision statistic:

► Fall is most common season to strike a deer

► Deer are most active between sunset and sunrise

► Deer often travel in groups, so if you see one, another is likely nearby

► Drive especially carefully in areas where you have seen deer before

► Use high beams when there is no opposing traffic; scan for deer's illuminated eyes or dark silhouettes along the side of the road

► If you see a deer, slow your speed drastically, even if it is far away

► Exercise extreme caution along woodlot edges, at hills, or blind turns

► Never swerve to avoid a deer; most serious crashes occur when drivers try to miss a deer but hit something else

► Drivers should pay attention to traffic signs warning of deer crossings they may be tempted to ignore, and may want to steer clear of  gimmicks

 

"Deer crossing signs have proven effective, but motorists tend to get acclimated to such signs, and their efficiency can be reduced over time,"  Stewart said. "Fancy whistles or reflectors can be placed on your car to scare deer away, but truth be told, they will only keep you from hitting  hobgoblins."

 

Stewart said that even when practicing safe driving, sometimes hitting a deer is inevitable. Caution is also the best approach after the fact.  "If you hit a deer, remain calm," he said. "Do not approach the deer unless you are sure it has expired. Despite their gentle nature, their hooves  are sharp and powerful, and can be extremely dangerous."

 

Stewart said that, like cars and people, deer can be found anywhere, so drivers should be on the lookout, even in metropolitan areas or densely  populated suburbs.

 

"Whether you're driving through the Hoosier National Forest, your developed neighborhood, or within the limits of our major cities, keep your  eye out," he said. "Though a deer-vehicle accident can occur at any time of the day during any season, your chances of striking a deer are  greatest at low light conditions between October and December. "Take additional caution during these times, lower your speed, and be alert."

 


Pumpkin skin may scare away germs

Says Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

The skin of that pumpkin you carve into a Jack-o’-Lantern to scare away ghosts and goblins on Halloween contains a substance that could put a scare into microbes that cause millions of cases of yeast infections in adults and infants each year. That’s the conclusion of a new study in the current issue of ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a bi-weekly publication.

 

In the study, Kyung-Soo Hahm, Yoonkyung Park and colleagues note that some disease-causing microbes are becoming resistant to existing antibiotics. As a result, scientists worldwide are searching for new antibiotics. Past  

studies hinted that pumpkin, long used as folk medicine in some countries, might have antibiotic effects.

 

The scientists extracted proteins from pumpkin rinds to see if the proteins inhibit the growth of microbes, including Candida albicans (C.  albicans). That fungus causes vaginal yeast infections, diaper rash in infants, and other health problems. One protein had powerful effects in inhibiting the growth of C. albicans, in cell culture experiments, with no obvious toxic effects. The pumpkin protein could be developed into a natural medicine for fighting yeast infections in humans, the report suggests. The protein also blocked the growth of several fungi that attack important plant crops and could be useful as an agricultural fungicide, they add.


Indiana

Small game hunting seasons open Nov. 6

Small game seasons, a big deal to the many Hoosier hunters who enjoy days afield chasing rabbit, pheasant and quail, open on Nov. 6.

The statewide cottontail rabbit season is from Nov. 6 to Feb 15, 2010. At Atterbury, Blue Grass, Chinook, Crosley, Fairbanks Landing, Glendale, Hillenbrand, Hovey Lake, Jasper-Pulaski, Kankakee, Kingsbury, LaSalle, Minnehaha, Sugar Ridge, Splinter Ridge, Pigeon River, Tri-County, Wilbur Wright, Willow Slough, and Winamac fish and wildlife areas and Brookville, Hardy, Mississinewa, Monroe, Patoka, Roush and Salamonie lakes, the season opened Oct. 1 and closes Jan. 31, 2010. The statewide limit on rabbit is five per day. Possession limit is 10.

 

“Areas of the state that had significant flooding this past spring may see a decline in the local cottontail population, but most of the state should see improving numbers. Cottontail numbers should be as good or better than last year’s harvest of 196,633 rabbits,” said Budd Veverka, DNR farmland game

 

research biologist.

 

Pheasant season takes place Nov. 6 to Dec. 20. The bag limit is two and the possession limit is four. Only male pheasants (cock) may be shot. Males are bright in color, while females are varying shades of light brown. “Pheasant numbers remain low, but stable. I expect a similar harvest to that of last year’s 6,300 wild pheasants,” Veverka said.

 

Quail season is divided into two regions. North of Indiana 26, the season runs Nov. 6 to Dec. 20, and the limit is five per day. South of Indiana 26, it runs Nov. 6 to Jan. 15, 2010, and the limit is eight per day. “Quail numbers remain low and continue to decline statewide," Veverka said.  "Southwest Indiana, typically the best region for quail, has seen a significant decline in the quail population this year, according to both spring whistle counts and fall covey counts. I expect the harvest to be significantly lower this year than the 20,500 quail harvested in 2008.”


New non-toxic shot type approved by USFWS

Hunters are required to use approved non-toxic shot while hunting waterfowl, and when hunting mourning doves on fish and wildlife areas. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determines which types of shot are legally considered non-toxic. In addition to the already approved list of shot types,

 

tungsten-iron-polymer has recently been added, and is now legal to use when and where non-toxic shot is required.

It is illegal to possess shells loaded with anything other than approved non-toxic shot while hunting ducks, geese or coots anywhere in the state.


Baiting deer is still illegal

With deer firearm hunting season just around the corner (Nov. 14-29), the Indiana DNR remind hunters that they will be watching for violators of the fair chase law, specifically as it applies to baiting.

 

Despite heavy commercial promotion on some hunting television shows, extensive sales of such products at some sporting goods stores, and evidence of the use of some of these products on some DNR properties, baiting for the purposes of hunting deer remains illegal. "Bait" is best described as anything a deer (or other wildlife) might ingest or lick.

 

It is legal to place food products or mineral blocks in the wild,

but hunting near them is illegal.

 

"If a person had put out a feeder or other bait during the summer months to attract wildlife to his property, it must be totally removed 10 days prior to the opening of the hunting season before a hunter could legally hunt in that area," Farmer said.

 

 Odor differs from bait. Deer lures in the form of scents are legal to use when hunting. Violators apprehended while hunting over bait will face a Class C Misdemeanor charge, and upon conviction could face criminal penalties of up to $500 fine, 60 days incarceration and possible loss of hunting equipment upon conviction.


Minnesota

2009 deer season forecast

The Minnesota DNR Wildlife Office in Tower is forecasting a reduced deer population for northern St. Louis and Lake Counties. Wildlife managers report a smaller deer herd and “lottery” drawings for either-sex permits in six out of seven deer permit areas in our area.

 

The local deer herd has been thinned by two consecutive moderately-severe winters, and by  predators and aggressive antlerless deer harvest during the past five years. Fawn production has been reduced.  Most units now are at or slightly below population goals set for each permit area in 2005. The DNR has achieved the designated population levels in this area.

 

The 16-day season in northeastern Minnesota will straddle the peak of the annual white-tail breeding period. Hunters should see good deer movement as the annual rutting season progresses.

 

Hunters will find wet field conditions following eight-plus inches of rain in August, September and October, compared with last summer. Swamps and wetlands are wet, after being bone dry.  Liberal antlerless regulations have produced the five all-time highest deer harvests in the past six years. Last year marked the third consecutive year that antlerless harvest topped buck harvest in our

area.

 

Winters are the biggest factor in increasing or decreasing deer populations in the area. Most local areas are showing population reduction. Overall, the deer population has trended

downward to goal levels during the last two to three years. 

 

Buck bag limit

A hunter may only harvest one adult buck statewide, regardless of how many deer permit areas are hunted or the number licenses or bonus tags purchased. 

 

Field conditions

Hunters will find field conditions wet following a damp September and October. Swamps, creeks, rivers, lakes and wetlands have received significant precipitation in the last eight weeks. The DNR advises hunters to plan ahead because normal ATV and vehicle travel may not be

practical. Hunters may need to prepare for alternate access plans to stands, hunting areas and for deer retrieval. Some roads and trails are in tough driving condition and will get worse with additional rain. It is illegal to drive on or damage these wetland areas. 

 

Baiting

Baiting deer or hunting deer in the vicinity of bait is illegal statewide on private and public land. 

 

Share the harvest

Hunters are encouraged to share venison with others. Donating venison to non-hunters enables hunters to take additional antlerless deer and provide inexpensive meat to non-hunting friends and family. Minnesota also has a venison donation program, which allows hunters to donate deer to an authorized processor at no cost so venison can be donated to a food shelf.


Pennsylvania

Susquehanna River Fish Disease issues

Low Oxygen/Warmer Water are Likely Factors

Smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River near Harrisburg, Pa. are exposed to oxygen levels that are low enough to cause stress during the first few months of their lives.  Low oxygen and the relatively warm water of the Susquehanna River are likely contributing factors in the die offs of baby smallmouth bass since 2005.

 

These are among the key findings of a new federal study to understand why baby smallmouth bass have been dying of infection, while older smallmouth bass and other fish have been largely unaffected. The infection is caused by Flavobacterium columnare, a bacterium that typically afflicts stressed fish.  Public concern has been raised about the long-term viability of the smallmouth bass population on the Susquehanna, a river known for sport fishing.

 

Shallows with slow-moving water along the river margins are considered nurseries for baby smallmouth bass. “Nursery microhabitats are places for young fish to avoid predators and avoid the swift currents of the main channel of the River. Our work demonstrates that these nursery areas often have oxygen levels that are lower and more stressful than those in the swifter-moving and deeper waters of the main channel where the adult fish live,” said U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientist Jeff Chaplin, who led the study in partnership with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), and the PA Dept of Environmental Protection.

 

There are many other water-quality factors and pathogens that were not evaluated in the study that may be putting additional stress on the fish in the Susquehanna River leading to the bacterial infections.

 

“This is the first time nursery microhabitats in the Susquehanna River have been instrumented with continuous water-quality monitors.  Previous studies have focused on the main channel and have not measured oxygen concentrations during the critical nighttime hours,” said Kent Crawford, USGS water-quality specialist and coauthor of the report. “This study has been expanded in 2009 to include additional water-quality

monitoring and fish-pathology examinations.”

 

“We have not found the smoking gun, but the results from this study and additional ongoing investigations provide us with a better  understanding of the water quality of our rivers, said John Arway, Chief of the Environmental Services Division at PFBC. “Research studies such as these provide us with the science that we need to revise and update our laws, regulations, and public policy so that we can best manage and protect our sensitive fisheries.”

 

This study included continuous monitoring at seven sites from May – October 2008, to characterize water–quality conditions in some of the affected reaches of the Susquehanna River.

 

Study Highlights

►Nursery microhabitats had lower oxygen than the main channel:

Oxygen levels fell below the applicable national criterion (5.0 mg/L) for up to 8.5 hours on more than 30 percent of days at one nursery microhabitat compared to no days in the nearby main-channel habitat. Oxygen levels at a second nursery microhabitat fell below the criterion in about 20% of days, compared to only 6% in the nearby main channel.

 

►Conditions in 2008 were more stressful than they were in the 1970’s:

In the Susquehanna River at Harrisburg, daily mean dissolved oxygen levels averaged 1.1 mg/L lower and daily mean water temperatures averaged 1.4°F warmer in 2008 compared to historical datasets from 1974 through 1979.

 

►The Susquehanna had higher temperatures than nearby rivers in 2008:

 

►During the monitoring period of May through September, the average daily mean water temperature of the Susquehanna River at Harrisburg was 3.2 °F warmer than the Delaware River at Trenton, N.J. and 6.1°F warmer than the Allegheny River near Pittsburgh, Pa.    To read the full study: http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2009/1216/


Wisconsin

Doyle signs new invasive species law

Local legislators work to prevent the spread of invasive species is now the law.

Gov. Jim Doyle today signed into law invasive species legislation written by Senator Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, and Rep. Nick Milroy, D-Superior.

 

The comprehensive legislation strengthens enforcement of restrictions on the transportation of aquatic invasive species. It was a high priority during the citizen led Superior Days effort for several years. “Unchecked spread of aquatic invasive species poses economical and ecological peril to Wisconsin waters and increased enforcement authority is one of the keys to preventing that damage,” Jauch said.

 

This legislation has been long sought by the Wisconsin Association of Lakes that worried Wisconsin’s law didn’t go far enough to prevent the movement of invasive species from one lake to another, he said.

 

The lack of a statewide law resulted in a patchwork of local regulations. This bill significantly increases our statewide efforts to control the spread of these damaging invasive and exotic species that choke our lakes and waterways, Jauch said.

 

“Hundreds of citizens volunteer as lake monitors to prevent the spread of invasive species, but many have been frustrated that

despite their hard work there is inadequate law enforcement once a boat leaves a landing,” Milroy said. “These citizens who enjoy our lakes and work so  hard to monitor boat landings now have the law on their side to further help prevent the spread of dangerous invasives.”

 

The new law establishes statewide enforcement on transport of invasive species and is patterned after a similar law that has had success in Minnesota.  The law gives any law enforcement official the authority to remove aquatic animals and plants and issue a fine if there is noncompliance with a removal order.

 

A similar provision in Burnett County resulted in six citations in the first year of the ordinance.

 

“It is imperative that we crack down on the spread of exotic species; this new law will quickly send a message that not cleaning your boats and trailers is no longer acceptable,” Milroy said.

 

“This legislation is designed to give the state some additional tools to stem the harmful spread of invasive species that threaten our most precious resources,” Jauch said. “The development of this legislation was driven by the strongest stewards of our waters, the citizens who are sustained by them.”


Canada

ON - Coyotes kill Toronto singer in Cape Breton

Park official says 1 coyote dead, staff looking for 2nd animal

Taylor Mitchell, a 19-year-old folk singer from Toronto, was on tour in the Maritimes, has died after being attacked by two coyotes in Cape Breton Highlands National Park.  Mitchell was hiking on the Skyline Trail when she was attacked Tuesday afternoon October 27. She was taken to the hospital in Cheticamp, then airlifted to Halifax in critical condition.

 

Park officials said Mitchell was walking the trail alone. They said other hikers managed to scare off the coyotes and call 911.  An RCMP officer  shot at one of the animals but couldn't find the body. Later Tuesday evening, park staff located another coyote and killed it. Derek Quann, the  park's resource conservation manager, said he doesn't know whether it was one of the ones involved in the attack. He said there were no signs  on the animal's body that it had been shot.

 

Quann said he believes there are five or six coyotes in the area. Park staff were still trying to track down the other coyote involved in the attack  Wednesday.  "One of the individuals may be dead now and may have gone off into the woods and died after some distance," said Quann.

 

Bob Bancroft, a retired biologist with the Department of Natural Resources, said this kind of attack is extremely rare and he's never heard of  such a serious case in Nova Scotia.  He said coyotes, which are normally up to 50 lbs, are usually very shy, though they can be bold.

 

Wildlife warnings

Coyotes can be found in rural and urban area across Canada. They often shy away from humans, but if one does approach, here's what to do:

• Be aggressive yourself: Wave your arms, stomp and yell loudly in a deep voice to deter it from coming closer.

• Stand your ground: Stay where you are and look it in the eye. Never run away; it is more likely to consider you prey, give chase and seriously harm you.

• Be prepared: The best defense is a good offence; carry a whistle, flashlight and/or personal alarm. This is especially important for small children who play outside or walk to school in areas where coyotes have been spotted.

• Stay together: If you are walking in an area that has high coyote activity, never do so without a companion.

• Don't lure them with food: Coyotes are scavengers. If you have pets, feed them inside the house rather than leaving food outside, don’t leave meat scraps or products in compost buckets outside your house, keep regular compost in an enclosed area and ensure garbage bins have tight resealable lids to keep out animals.

 

"In situations like a national park [where] usually there's no hunting and no trapping allowed, they can get used to a human presence and not have much fear of any retribution," Bancroft told CBC News. It's unclear what happened in the woods on Tuesday.

 

When park staff arrived, Mitchell was already en route to Sacred Heart Hospital in Cheticamp, said Quann.  Bancroft said coyotes team up to take down deer, and it's possible the hiker didn't even realize what was happening.  "They may have snuck up on her and knocked her over before she even knew what happened," he said. "They may have been youngsters. They just may not have had a lot of experience, or they may have just capitalized on a situation where a young person was acting vulnerable and very frightened by their presence."

 

He said there's a slight possibility that the animals had rabies.  Quann said the coyotes might have been hungry or might have been protecting  a kill. He said the animals that park staff saw Tuesday night were "quite agitated."  "Our experience in the past for any aggressive coyote  which has been submitted for analysis, we haven't had one come back yet as having testing positive for something like rabies, although  sometimes they will come back being emaciated animals, perhaps desperate and hungry," he said.


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Reproduction of any material by paid-up members of the GLSFC is encouraged but appropriate credit must be given. 

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