‘Rare’ newborn white reindeer spotted in England

Maybe there’s no need for a red nose to be considered the most famous reindeer of all. A “rare” white reindeer was born just a few weeks ago at a ranch near Yeovil, Somerset, England, British news agency South West News Service reports. Appropriately given the moniker “Blitzen,” the calf was born alongside its sister, Donner. “It’s very rare to see a white calf anywhere in the world — let alone in Somerset,” said Sarah Sutton, of Somerset Reindeer Ranch. Blitzen was born on April 28 and since then, the miniature mammal has been walking around, playing and eating with its family. Unlike other animals that have white pigmentation, white reindeers are not albino. Instead, they have a mutation that causes their fur to lose its pigment. One such white reindeer was spotted in December 2018 by Norwegian photographer Mads Nordsveen, Fox News previously reported. Another white stag was reported in Mala, Sweden, in 2016, the New York Daily News reported. Some Scandinavian traditions regard the sighting of a white reindeer a certain sign of good luck.

To see a fun pic of this cute critter, click on the text above.  Hope it brings ya’ luck this holiday weekend!     🙂

5 of the most destructive invasive species in the US

Invasive species threaten to lay waste delicate ecosystems and native wildlife across the United States, with insatiable appetites as they sit atop the food chain and breed unchallenged. These species all came to America in different ways: Some were imported as pets or hunting fodder, while others were introduced in ill-conceived bids to help the environment. Now, these destructive species are running amok as government and environmental officials race to tip the scales back to their natural balance – if it’s not too late. With Asia’s “murder hornet,” an aggressive insect capable of wiping out entire bee colonies, landing in the U.S. for first time late last year, here are five other invasive species to know. Click here.

And #1 is Burmese Python…

Killer Asian Giant Hornets Discovered in U.S. for First Time

Beekeepers are fretting about a deadly threat from Asia. Deadly hornets from Asia that measure up to 2 inches long have been found for the first time in the U.S., with researchers worried that the insects are colonizing, the New York Post reported Saturday. The “murder hornets,” as the aggressive insects are known, can wipe out bee colonies within hours and have stingers long and powerful enough to puncture beekeeping suits, according to the paper. In Japan, the hornets kill up to 50 people a year, according to The New York Times. In the state of Washington, beekeepers have already seen the hornets devastate their hives, according to the paper. The hornet has a distinctive look, with a cartoonishly fierce face featuring teardrop eyes like Spider-Man, orange and black stripes that extend down its body like a tiger and broad, wispy wings like a small dragonfly, The Times reported. “This is our window to keep it from establishing,” Washington state entomologist Chris Looney told The Times. “If we can’t do it in the next couple of years, it probably can’t be done.” The Bellingham Herald in Washington reported Saturday that the State Department received and verified four reports of Asian giant hornets near Blaine and Bellingham in December 2019. Those were the first sightings of the hornets in Washington state and the U.S. Members of the Mt. Baker Beekeepers Association have put up traps and are monitoring them as part of the state’s efforts to find and kill the invasive pests, the paper reported. The hornet dwarfs other winged insects, making the yellow-head bumblebee, bald-faced hornet and western yellowjacket seem small in comparison, and even when compared to the burly bumblebee, according to the Herald.

For more about these little bastards, click on the text above.


Trump administration announces plan to open more wildlife refuge land to hunting, fishing

The Trump administration plans to open 2.3 million acres of land for hunting and fishing at more than 100 national wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries under a proposal unveiled Wednesday that is aimed at giving Americans more recreational access on public lands. The plan earned applause from several hunting and fishing groups, but criticism from one conservation organization that called it “tone deaf” to focus on this during the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposal would allow fishing for the first time at several national wildlife refuges, including San Diego Bay in California, Alamosa in Colorado, Bombay Hook in Delaware and Umbagog in Maine and New Hampshire and Everglades Headwaters in Florida, according to a list posted online. It would also allow alligator hunting at three national wildlife refuges: Banks Lake in Georgia, Laguna Atascosa in Texas and Savannah in Georgia and South Carolina. In Arizona, hunters would be able to go after mountain lions and mule deer at Cabeza Prieta and bobcats, fox, and mountain lions at Buenos Aires, both national wildlife refuges. In Oregon, migratory bird hunting will be allowed for the first time at Wapato Lake and Hart Mountain national wildlife refuges. “America’s hunters and anglers now have something significant to look forward to in the fall as we plan to open and expand hunting and fishing opportunities across more acreage nationwide than the entire state of Delaware,” Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in a statement. The plan was announced as part of the Interior Department’s annual review ahead of the upcoming hunting season, department spokesman Conner Swanson said. Ducks Unlimited CEO Adam Putnam said in a statement the timing is perfect since Americans hunkered-down during the pandemic are looking for open spaces to recreate. “As millions of people around the country feel trapped in their own homes due to the COVID-19 virus, having the opportunity to hunt and fish in the quiet of the wilderness or the tranquility of a lake is perhaps more important now than its ever been,” Putnam said. “There’s never been a better time to enjoy the solitude of our public lands and distance yourself from the crowds.” People will have 60 days to comment on the proposal.

This is AWESOME news!  And, even though this was just part of the annual review, it couldn’t have come at a better time.  For more more info, click on the text above.   Excellent!!     🙂

Thousands of acres ablaze in Colorado, New Mexico

Massive wildfires in Colorado and New Mexico have torched thousands of acres and forced hundreds to evacuate their homes. A blaze known as the 416 Fire in Colorado’s La Plata County has burned 1,100 acres, US Forest Service spokesman Jim Mackensen told CNN on Saturday. The fire, about 15 miles outside the town of Durango, is 0% contained and has forced the evacuations of 1,500 residents, Mackensen said. No structures have been destroyed, he added. By Friday evening, the blaze had prompted La Plata County Manager Joanne Spina to declare a state of local disaster. Grass, brush and timber continued to fuel the fire on Saturday morning. The fire broke out on the west side of US 550, according to a Forest Service update posted on InciWeb, a government-operated multiagency fire response site. That highway is closed as firefighters work to prevent the fire from crossing it. About 825 homes were under mandatory evacuation orders Saturday, and another 760 were under a pre-evacuation notice. Residents were told to be ready to leave if necessary. Temperatures in the area were still high, Mackensen said, adding the forecast for Sunday shows a 50% chance of thunderstorms. It should help, he said, but “being that they are thunderstorms, they could cause another fire.” And a massive fire in Colfax County, New Mexico, had grown to 27,290 acres by Saturday morning and was 0% contained, according to InciWeb. Nearly 450 personnel were battling that fire. A mandatory evacuation order was in place for the town of Cimarron, where 296 structures were threatened by the blaze, called the Ute Park Fire, InciWeb said.

This story is developing…

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.     🙂

Battle of the jaws: Study finds alligators eat sharks

As far as research goes, it sounds pretty intense: pumping the stomachs of 500-plus alligators — “live and alert” ones at that. It was part of James Nifong’s study on whether American alligators on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts eat sharks, and the answer might surprise you: yes. A small variety of sharks, that is, but a press release calls it the “first scientific documentation of a widespread interaction between the two predators.” In fact, the Kansas State University researcher tells National Geographic that when he first broached with alligator experts the question of whether alligators eat sharks, some of them thought he was kidding. Nifong wasn’t, and he found that in addition to the expected prey —crustaceans, fish and wading birds, per his study in Southeastern Naturalist — he documented alligators eating a lemon shark, a nurse shark and a bonnethead shark, along with an Atlantic stingray. This, even though sharks and rays are not freshwater creatures. Nifong explains it’s not uncommon for sharks to enter freshwater, where “opportunistic alligators” then pounce. GPS trackers also found the gators wade into estuaries where the two types of water mix, and where shark nurseries can be found. But it may be a two-way street. Says Nifong, it’s “really about size dynamic. If a small shark swims by an alligator and the alligator feels like it can take the shark down, it will, but we also reviewed some old stories about larger sharks eating smaller alligators.”

Fascinating!!  To read more, 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.    🙂