Outdoors

Missouri to waive fishing permit requirements during coronavirus outbreak

Missouri will waive fishing permit requirements due to the novel coronavirus until at least mid-April, according to the state’s Department of Conservation (MDC). The MDC and the Missouri Conservation Commission will allow waivers for sport fishing and daily trout tags for residents and nonresidents from Friday until April 15, when officials will “reassess the situation,” according to the department. Other regulations on dates, limits and methods remain in place. “Missouri’s rivers and streams offer high-quality fishing as a way for people to connect with nature while still complying with all health and safety recommendations,” MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley said in a statement on the department’s website. “Fishing is also a great way to get some much-needed physical and mental health benefits during this stressful time.” Pauley also called for residents to stick to existing health recommendations on hand-washing and social distancing amid the pandemic. Missouri’s three state-controlled public trout-fishing parks are open for day fishing, while Maramec Spring Park in St. James, which is operated by the James Foundation, is closed for fishing and all other activities, authorities said. State parks will close overnight camping and lodging beginning Friday to minimize the chance of spreading coronavirus, Missouri Department of Natural Resources authorities said. Other states are looking at similar waivers. On Friday, Maine Gov. Janet Mills tweeted that she directed wildlife authorities in her state “to open all inland waters for fishing immediately” and to waive the recreational fishing license requirement. “There’s nothing better for the heart and soul than a little fishing,” she wrote. “The great outdoors is still open.” The Maine waivers do not apply to anyone who has had their license suspended or revoked, according to the governor’s website, and they do not apply to commercial freshwater fishing. In Arkansas, the Game and Fish Commission voted in favor of a similar policy that began over the weekend, KATV reported. And in Oregon, following an order from Gov. Kate Brown for residents to “stay home, save lives,” fish and wildlife officials clarified that fishing and hunting remain legal, according to the Statesman Journal.

Kudos to Missouri, and these other state, for doing this for the folks.  Fishing IS, indeed good for the “heart and soul.”  Hopefully other states will follow Missouri’s fine lead.    🙂

Wyoming approves first Yellowstone-area grizzly bear hunt in 44 years, backlash erupts

The state of Wyoming announced that grizzly bear hunts are back, and the first one will take place this fall. It will be the first such hunt since 1974. Hunters will be able to capture and kill up to 22 of the large brown bears across a wide area east and south of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. After hearing from both opponents and supporters of the proposal, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission voted 7-0 on May 24 in favor of resuming the hunt, the Associated Press reported. “We heard from the people of Wyoming, they were supportive of this. It’s pretty clear the science supports this,” Wyoming Game and Fish Department spokesman Renny MacKay told the outlet. Hunting is set to begin Sept. 1 in mountains and basins with a relatively sparse grizzly population, before the hunting zone is moved closer to the park by Sept. 15 and end by Nov. 15, if legal challenges don’t interpose. Grizzly bears were removed from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s endangered list in June 2017 after 42 years of federal protection, the National Park Service reports. The population of grizzlies around Yellowstone leapt from under 150 in the mid-1970s to 690 in 2017. “This achievement stands as one of America’s great conservation successes; the culmination of decades of hard work and dedication on the part of the state, tribal, federal and private partners,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said at the time, speaking about the grizzly’s removal of the federal protection list. But the news of the impending hunt has not been embraced by all. “This is a very sad day for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone region. Wyoming’s decision to allow up to [22] grizzly bears to be killed, including 13 females, just for a trophy on a wall marks a huge setback for grizzly bear recovery,” the Sierra Club lamented in reaction. “Allowing a trophy hunt of these majestic animals ‒ the second-slowest mammal to reproduce in North America ‒ so soon after they lost Endangered Species protections does nothing to build public confidence in state management of grizzly bears.” “Killing grizzlies for fun, when there is ample scientific evidence that the population is not growing, food sources have already been diminished, and the further effects of climate change is unknown, is preposterous,” added nature photographer Tom Mangelsen said. According to The Hill, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has received over 185,000 comments opposing the proposed hunt. The commission, however, stands by its claim that they are taking a “conservative” approach to the matter.

And, indeed they are!  The numbers went from under 150 in the 1970s to 690 last year..   And, they’re only allowing the harvest of 22.  C’mon!  The Sierra Club, as usual is being ridiculous and nonsensical.  The enviro-wakos are losing their minds.  Further, I’m sure there will be a meat-harvesting requirement as there is for any hunting tag.  So, they won’t be just shot and stuffed.  That’s what these lunatics want those not familiar with hunting to think actually happens.  It’s bs; fake news.  But, its the typical lies spread by these nutcases.

Texas huntress forced to defend her lifestyle after receiving death threats

A woman in Texas has built a following on social media for her hunting prowess — but it hasn’t always been positive. Nikki Tate, a lawyer in Dallas, has amassed over 11,000 followers on her Instagram with pictures of herself and her hunting dogs posing with carcasses of deer, hogs and waterfowl. The 27-year-old attorney started hunting “about 10 years ago” at her uncle’s ranch in South Texas, The Daily Mail reports. “It was then when I shot a bow for the first time. I loved the challenge, and given my athletic history and competitive personality, I instantly became addicted,” she said, The Daily Mail reported. Her addiction started with bucks and then moved on to waterfowl. “Ever since that moment, I have been hooked. I’ve hunted several animals, but my favorite by far is waterfowl,” Tate said. “I was always told to stay away from waterfowl hunting or else I would never go back to hunting anything else. Well, they were right,” she added. Tate uses her social media presence to show her kills, as well as share tricks of the trade and endorse products that she uses on her own hunts – and, perhaps most importantly, explain the reasons behind her hunting lifestyle, which some have taken issue with as being controversial. “We eat everything we kill, unless we are hunting predators,” Tate said. “My husband and I skin everything ourselves, and if we can’t eat everything, we donate it to organizations that are aimed at feeding the homeless.” “We pride ourselves in only taking ethical shots, and work hard to make sure that it happens,” she added. Tate has a revolving arsenal for her different hunts. She uses a 12 gauge semi-automatic shotgun for duck and dove hunting, a Ruger.270 rifle for deer, and an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle for predator hunting. Tate says she spends “almost every weekend waterfowl hunting,” but does try to “get a few deer hunts in a year to help fill the freezer,” naming a 170-pound buck as her largest kill. That particular deer fed her family for nearly six months, she said. Aside from meat, Tate says she hunts for conservation concerns and predator control. “Hunting helps maintain animal populations at levels that are compatible with human life/activity. For example, hogs are insanely overpopulated and can cause serious damage to agricultural products, fields, and other vegetation, which can harm livestock. We also hunt coyotes and bobcats for purposes of predator control,” she shared. Tate has received a lot of support from the hunting community both on and offline, but she still has had her detractors. Some of those morally opposed to hunting have issued death threats Tate via social media. But, Tate continues doing what she loves and trying to teach respect. “I pride myself in respecting others for their beliefs and practices, regardless of whether I agree with them,” she said. “I hunt for food, conservation, friendship, and so much more, all of which are very important to me. If I can respect others’ beliefs, values, and reasons (even those that involve human life and death), please respect mine.” Tate plans to continue moving forward by sharing her hunting stories and “shedding a positive light” on the reasons behind them. “I am who I am and I am not going to change that,” she said.

We hope you never do, Nikki!  What a great role model for the hunting community!  To see some photos of Nikki in her element, click on the text above.  Excellent!!   🙂

Missouri hunter bags 39-point buck after four years of trying

A Missouri hunter finally landed his ultimate prize: a 39-point buck dubbed “the St. Paul giant.” Tim Phillips wrote on Facebook he was “lucky enough to bag” the buck on Saturday, after hunting the animal several years. “After 4 years of hunting the St. Paul giant I finally was lucky enough to bag him. #Walter 39 pointer counting ring hooks. 32 points counting inch or more. ROUGH SCORE 243!” Phillips said in a Facebook post. Believe it or not, this isn’t even the first time Philliips, or someone he knew, had actually shot this specific buck. Phillips told KFVS a woman shot the same deer in 2014, and that his dad struck it with a bow just nine days before he took it down. In the latter case, Phillips says he and his father tried tracking the wounded deer with dogs, to no avail. Not long afterward, though, he was able to bag the buck on his own — for the most part at least: According to KVFS, Phillips also made sure to thank his wife for putting up with his obsession. “Tim says thank you!” the site wrote on his behalf.

Congrats to Tim!  To see photos of Tim with his prize, click on the text above.     🙂

Granny bags gator while on hunt with son, grandchildren

A South Carolina grandmother pulled in a 12-foot, 494-pound alligator in the final hours of the state’s annual public hunt over the weekend as her son and two of her grandkids looked on. Deborah Swails, 60, received an alligator hunt permit from the state’s Department of Natural Resources after her son Joe insisted she apply for the lottery-style drawing. The state issues 1,000 permits a year, but approximately five times that many apply. When Joe Swails called his mother to tell her she’d received a permit, “I wanted to choke him,” Deborah Swails told the Post and Courier newspaper. The paper reported that the Swails made several expeditions with no luck bagging a gator. But at 3 a.m. Saturday, nine hours before the season was due to end, they hooked their massive catch. “You know you have something on there, but it felt like a log,” said Swails, who told the Post and Courier she didn’t realize how large it was until its head broke the surface after 20 minutes on the hook. “Oooh, my God,” she said. “I wanted to call for help.” With the help of Joe and Joe’s children — 13-year-old McKenna and 10-year-old Jackson — Deborah wrestled the gator to the side of the boat, where it was finished off with several shots from a revolver. The family plans to serve the meat at a family cookout while Deborah keeps the head as a trophy.

Excellent!!  To see a photo of this beast, and to read more, click on the text above.    🙂

Michigan hunters told orange, not pink, is safer choice

As hunting season rolls around, those looking to enjoy the sport in Michigan must wear “blaze orange.” A ruling this week by the Michigan Natural Resources Commission rejected a proposal for hunters to have the option of wearing “hunter pink” as their primary safety color in the woods, the Detroit Free Press reported. “The commission has retained the blaze orange requirement for hunter safety,” Ed Golder, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, told the Press. With the decision, Michigan joins Illinois, Maine and Montana in rejecting “hunter pink,” an option that has been touted as a way of encouraging more women to take up hunting. “Hunter pink” has been embraced in Colorado, Louisiana, Minnesota, New York, Virginia and Wisconsin, the Press reported. “We don’t know for certain whether the introduction of blaze pink camo will encourage more women to take up hunting, but many people do, so let’s hope it’s true,” Mike Bazinet, the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s director of public affairs, told BearingArms.com earlier this year. “The broader trend of more clothing designed and tailored for women involved in the activity is definitely here, however,” Bazinet added. “Go into a Cabela’s or Bass Pro or virtually any other outdoor retailer, and you will find a wide selection of hunting apparel for women.” Michigan hunters can still wear pink to compliment an outfit, as long as one prominent piece of clothing — such as a hat, jacket or vest — is blaze orange and is “the individual’s outermost garment and be visible from all sides,” the commission ruled. “To be clear, this doesn’t mean that people can’t wear the pink. If you want to wear hunter pink, if you want to wear green, that’s fine. But you have to comply with our blaze-orange requirement,” Golder added. The blaze orange color, an international standard for safety, has resulted in fewer hunting-related injuries and deaths, according to the report, and has been a requirement in Michigan since the 1970s. The report also argued not everyone is in support of switching to hunter pink, and “many claim it divides the hunting community.” That certainly seemed the case earlier this year in Virginia, when state lawmakers debated the question. “There are women who like to hunt, but it’s not about fashion,” Sen. R. Creigh Deeds told Bearing Arms.com. “It’s about being in the woods. And the purpose you wear a color is so somebody can see you and they don’t shoot in your direction. I mean, blaze pink — I just think it’s silly.” Seems that some people in Michigan agree.

Indeed…   The whole notion of “blaze pink” is patronizing toward women, and is putting some trendy fashion sense ahead of common sense.  Blaze orange is universally accepted as the color that hunters should wear, and I’ve already heard from women who think the whole “hunter pink” think is ridiculous.  The smart course of action would be to make “blaze orange” the standard for all states, to erase any confusion and make hunter safety the priority.

It’s Nude Hiking Day, but Colorado officials are threatening to ticket

Colorado’s prudent Parks and Wildlife department has already warned residents against celebrating Nude Hiking Day, but that hasn’t kept the state’s most freewheelin’ wilderness buffs from stripping down and heading out for a hike. While not an officially recognized holiday by any country or municipality, Nude Hiking Day — or Hike Naked Day, as it’s also known — is reportedly observed by hikers across the world as a way to celebrate the summer solstice. But Colorado, in particular, is so wary of underdressed outdoorsmen that the state’s Parks and Wilderness organization felt the need to deter local residents by threatening to ticket hikers for indecent exposure, reports Denver7 News. “We would ask them to leave or put on clothing,” added Lauren Truitt of Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPAW), which oversees 42 state parks and 300 state wildlife areas. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), on the other hand, claims it will deal with nude hikers on a case-by-case basis, and punishment would depend on how much of a nuisance each nudist is being, according to Denver7. Still, “anyone participating should remember that state and county law apply on public lands, as well,” warned a BLM public affairs specialist. Despite warnings from the CPAW and BLM, Instagram evidence shows that the nation’s most confident backpackers are still suiting up (figuratively) and hitting the trails in Colorado and elsewhere: Denver7 further points out that a quick Google search for nude hiking groups results in “dozen” of results in the Colorado area. Bring bug spray.

To see pics, click on the text above.