August 14, 2018

Bye, Bye Partner

By Jim Beers:

See the article below regarding one more intended but denied future casualty of the war on hunting – hunting dog breeds

In the USA –

  • As more predators are introduced and protected from any management;
  • As more hunting license revenue & Excise Taxes & and state wildlife agency’s manpower are diverted to non-game and predator babysitting, propagandizing and cover-ups;
  • As wildlife management for people is supplanted by wildlife worship laws, and displacement of human activity and rights for animals is prioritized over humans;
  • As Universities, bureaucrats, politicians and the nouveau “scientists” of “overseeing” natural processes without intervention in our environment reap the rewards of catering to those false ideas:

“public hunting” will decline.

Game management is no longer understood or practiced by government bureaucracies founded to do so.  What game will be left on the “public lands” will continue to decline, government controls of public lands will continue to grow, private property will be either controlled by government ideologues through new laws and easements or will be used so intensively that game sightings will become like Ivory-billed woodpecker “sightings” (only fodder for bureaucracies to get more money and hire more people).  When combined with the ferocity of anti-gun political movements and the propagandizing of children in the public schools on these matters things do not bode well for the optimistic view that the numbers of hunters and the availability, indeed the very existence, of game birds (and big game for that matter) will continue to underpin dog breeds and all that creates thanks to “public hunting”  in the USA.

The English, as so often in past, have solved such dilemmas by leaving them to only the rich landowners and their patrician class.  This has been the case for centuries for both hunting and fishing in the British Isles.  In one very real sense, they are at least honest about it.  In the past 50 years in the US we have allowed liars, animal worship ideologues, politicians, bureaucrats, school teachers, socialists, vote-hungry conservatives and urban dreamers to conduct an offensive against hunting and animal management for human benefit that rivals the breadth and diversity of the offensive by the Allies against The Third Reich.  Yet we look the other way and avoid argument or any meaningful challenge to what is happening.

As we compromise and compromise public hunting and game on public land decline.  As the demand for game dogs in the US eventually declines, dog breeds and breeders will decline as the author notes in Britain.  Whether game farms and paid-for hunting can generate enough demand to make a difference is, in my opinion, not likely.  Either such breeds will disappear or be bred into fine-boned “beauties” like Irish setters have become or into some sort of “scientific” breed that doesn’t shed, doesn’t bark, licks the kids, is content in a condo, and is considered beautiful by vegans and others opposed to the old practice of “owning” any animal.

I want to thank Mr. Tom Keer for this informative article highlighting one more casualty of environmental/animal rights agendas, and to Sporting Classics Daily for making it available.

Jim Beers

23 July 2018

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC.  He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands.  He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC.  He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority.  He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

Link to Article:

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RMEF Team Elk Returns

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—Heart-pumping elk hunts and tales of conservation success highlight the eighth season of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s award-winning television show, RMEF Team Elk, presented by Bass Pro Shops/Cabelas’s.

Team Elk captures the essence of up-close, adrenaline-filled encounters with elk as well as the beauty of the backcountry,” said Steve Decker, RMEF vice president of Marketing. “We are excited to unveil another season as we highlight how Hunting is Conservation.”

Season eight of RMEF Team Elk begins the week of July 2. It airs every Sunday at 9 p.m. Additional weekly airings include Mondays at 3 a.m., Tuesdays at 5:30 a.m. and Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. (all times MT) on Outdoor Channel.

Hosted by Brandon Bates, highlighted episodes feature an elk migration scientist and the conservation director of one of the nation’s largest outdoor retailers talking conservation and chasing elk in New Mexico, a father-son duo from Wisconsin hunting elk in Montana using archery equipment they build and two participants of the Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow program in Colorado on their first-ever elk hunt, among others.

Presented by Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s, additional sponsors include Browning, Browning Ammunition, Buck Knives, Danner, Eberlestock, Mathews, PEAK BlueDEF, Sitka, Wildgame Innovations, Yeti and Zeiss, with special thanks to ALPS OutdoorZ, Bog-Pod and Yamaha.

“We are grateful for our conservation partners who value hunting and support RMEF’s conservation mission of ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage,” added Decker.

You can watch the first six seasons of RMEF Team Elk online anytime for free on the Elk Network.

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We’re All Gonna Die! Interior Proposes End to Obama Era Ban on Hunting on Alaska Preserves

*Editor’s Note* – If you were to read and/or listen to the Press about this proposal, you’d think the end of the world has come. The Associated Press released a piece of lying, sensational, emotional drivel that is probably far from to the truth of what is really taking place.

In brief, the proposal repeals most of the bans Obama placed on hunting and methods of hunting on Alaska public lands. This proposal puts much more control of how wildlife is managed in Alaska back in the hands of state wildlife managers and out of the hands of bureaucratic morons in Washington and their Environmentalist buddies.

Generally speaking, state wildlife managers have a better idea of how their wildlife should be managed and they need tools available to them to do that. It doesn’t necessarily mean all those hunting and trapping methods become free range. To state otherwise is irresponsible, emotional, and borders on criminal.

However, below is the actual proposal as can be found in the Federal Register. Unlike the Press, who NEVER provide links to the actual resource out of fear you might read it and discover their lies, I am posting it below for you to read and decide for yourself if we are all gonna die.

Action

Proposed rule.

Summary

The National Park Service proposes to amend its regulations for sport hunting and trapping in national preserves in Alaska. This proposed rule would remove a regulatory provision issued by the National Park Service in 2015 that prohibited certain sport hunting practices that are otherwise permitted by the State of Alaska. These proposed changes are consistent with Secretary of the Interior Orders 3347 and 3356.

Dates

Comments on the proposed rule must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on July 23, 2018.

Addresses

You may submit comments, identified by Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) 1024-AE38, by either of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail or hand deliver to: National Park Service, Regional Director, Alaska Regional Office, 240 West 5th Ave., Anchorage, AK 99501.
  • Instructions: Comments will not be accepted by fax, email, or in any way other than those specified above. All submissions received must include the words “National Park Service” or “NPS” and must include the docket number or RIN (1024-AE38) for this rulemaking. Comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov,including any personal information provided.
  • Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov.

For Further Information Contact

Herbert C. Frost, Regional Director, Alaska Regional Office, 240 West 5th Ave., Anchorage, AK 99501. Phone (907) 644-3510. Email: AKR_Regulations@nps.gov.

Supplementary Information

Background

On October 23, 2015, the National Park Service (NPS) published a final rule (Final Rule) to amend its regulations for sport hunting and trapping in national preserves in Alaska (80 FR 64325). The Final Rule codified prohibitions on certain types of harvest practices that are otherwise permitted by the State of Alaska. The practices are: Taking any black bear, including cubs and sows with cubs, with artificial light at den sites; harvesting brown bears over bait; taking wolves and coyotes (including pups) during the denning season (between May 1 and August 9); taking swimming caribou; taking caribou from motorboats under power; taking black bears over bait; and using dogs to hunt black bears. This rule is inconsistent with State of Alaska’s hunting regulations found at 5 AAC Part 85.

Since the publication of the Final Rule, the Secretary of the Interior issued two Secretarial Orders regarding how the Department of the Interior should manage recreational hunting and trapping in the lands and waters it administers, and directing greater collaboration with state, tribe, and territorial partners in doing so.

On March 2, 2017, Secretary Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3347, Conservation Stewardship and Outdoor Recreation. Part of the stated purpose of Secretarial Order 3347 is to increase outdoor recreation and improve the management of game species and their habitat. Secretarial Order 3347 directs the Department of the Interior to identify specific actions to (1) expand access significantly for recreational hunting and fishing on public lands; and (2) improve recreational hunting and fishing cooperation, consultation, and communication with state wildlife managers.

On September 15, 2017, Secretary Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3356, Hunting, Fishing, Recreational Shooting, and Wildlife Conservation Opportunities and Coordination with State, Tribes, and Territories. Part of the stated purpose of Secretarial Order 3356 is to increase outdoor recreation opportunities for all Americans in greater collaboration with state partners, including opportunities to hunt. Secretarial Order 3356 directs the NPS to (1) identify whether hunting opportunities on Department lands could be expanded; (2) work cooperatively with state wildlife agencies to enhance their access to Department lands for wildlife management actions; (3) work cooperatively with state wildlife agencies to ensure that hunting regulations for Department lands and waters complement the regulations on the surrounding lands and waters; and (4) work in close coordination and cooperation with the appropriate state wildlife agency to begin the necessary process to modify regulations in order to advance shared wildlife conservation goals/objectives that align predator management programs, seasons, and methods of take permitted on all Department-managed lands and waters with corresponding programs, seasons, and methods established by state wildlife management agencies.

The purpose of this proposed rule is to align sport hunting regulations in national preserves in Alaska with State of Alaska regulations and to enhance consistency with harvest regulations on surrounding non-federal lands and waters in furtherance of Secretarial Orders 3347 and 3356. The proposed rule would apply the State of Alaska’s hunting regulations to national preserve lands, with limited exceptions found elsewhere in NPS regulations. See, e.g., 36 CFR 13.42(d).

The 2015 Final Rule prohibits the hunting practices otherwise permitted by the State of Alaska because NPS found those practices: (1) To have intent or potential to alter or manipulate natural predator-prey dynamics, and associated natural ecological processes for the purpose of increasing harvest of ungulates by man; (2) to adversely impact public safety; or (3) to be inconsistent with federal law authorizing sport hunting in national preserves in Alaska. However, states have primary jurisdiction to manage wildlife throughout their state. In addition, NPS has broad discretion in managing wildlife on national preserves under applicable laws, policies, and regulations.

Taking into account the Secretarial Orders described above, NPS has re-considered its earlier conclusions and determined that these previously prohibited practices can be allowed consistent with the goal of aligning its rules with those of the State. Allowing these practices is consistent with NPS Management Policy 4.4.3 which provides that NPS does not allow activities to reduce the numbers of native species for the purpose of increasing the numbers of harvested species. The discussion in the 2015 rule of an action’s “intent or potential” to manipulate predator dynamics goes beyond the plain language of section 4.4.3 of Management Policies. Additionally, the State of Alaska disputes that the hunting methods and seasons (allowed by the state but prohibited by current NPS regulations) are intended to function as a predator control program. Rather, the State asserts the hunting regulations are intended to provide opportunity for harvests of wolves, coyotes, bears, and other species as requested by the public. The State also maintains that any effects to the natural abundances, diversities, distributions, densities, age-class distributions, populations, habitats, genetics, and behaviors of wildlife from implementing its regulations are likely negligible. As noted below, NPS will prepare an environmental assessment for this regulation to determine whether it will have any significant impacts on wildlife or other resources.

With respect to the practices that NPS previously determined to be inconsistent with federal law authorizing harvest for sport purposes in national preserves in Alaska, no applicable federal law or regulation defines “sport hunting.” With regard to NPS’s statement in the 2015 rule that baiting poses an increased public safety risk, the State of Alaska’s position is that baiting does not cause bears to become food-conditioned, and therefore a greater safety concern.

Proposed Rule

For the above stated reasons, the NPS proposes to remove paragraphs (f) and (g) of 36 CFR 13.42. Paragraph (f) states that State of Alaska management actions or laws or regulations that authorize taking of wildlife are not adopted in park areas if they are related to predator reduction efforts, which is defined as efforts with the intent or potential to alter or manipulate natural predator-prey dynamics and associated natural ecological processes, in order to increase harvest of ungulates by humans. Paragraph (g) sets forth a table of prohibited methods of taking wildlife for sport purposes in national preserves in Alaska. Most of these prohibited methods are also prohibited by the State of Alaska. Some of them, however, conflict with authorizations by the State of Alaska as explained above. The NPS believes that removing paragraphs (f) and (g) would implement the directive announced in Secretarial Orders 3347 and 3356 by increasing hunting opportunities in national preserves and promoting consistency between federal regulations and state wildlife harvest regulations. In addition, the proposed rule would remove the definitions of “Big game”, “Cub bear”, “Fur animal”, and “Furbearer” from section 13.1 because those terms are only used in paragraphs (f) and (g).

Compliance With Other Laws, Executive Orders and Department Policy

Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget will review all significant rules. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that this rule is not significant.

Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of Executive Order 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation’s regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. Executive Order 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. The NPS has developed this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs (Executive Order 13771)

This rule is not an E.O. 13771 regulatory action because this rule is not significant under Executive Order 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

This rule will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). This certification is based on the cost-benefit and regulatory flexibility analyses found in the report entitled “Cost-Benefit and Regulatory Flexibility Analyses: Proposed Revisions to Sport Hunting and Trapping Regulations in National Preserves in Alaska” which can be viewed online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/akro.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule:

(a) Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more.

(b) Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, federal, state, or local government agencies, or geographic regions.

(c) Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.)

This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on state, local, or tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on state, local or tribal governments or the private sector. It addresses public use of national park lands, and imposes no requirements on other agencies or governments. A statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act is not required.

Takings (Executive Order 12630)

This rule does not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have takings implications under Executive Order 12630. A takings implication assessment is not required.

Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

Under the criteria in section 1 of Executive Order 13132, the rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism summary impact statement. This proposed rule only affects use of federally-administered lands and waters. It has no outside effects on other areas. A Federalism summary impact statement is not required.

Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)

This rule complies with the requirements of Executive Order 12988. This rule:

(a) Meets the criteria of section 3(a) requiring that all regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and be written to minimize litigation; and

(b) Meets the criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal standards.

Consultation With Indian Tribes (Executive Order 13175 and Department Policy)

The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its government-to government relationship with Indian Tribes through a commitment to consultation with Indian Tribes and recognition of their right to self-governance and tribal sovereignty. We have evaluated this rule under the criteria in Executive Order 13175 and under the Department’s tribal consultation and Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) Native Corporation policies and have determined that the rule may have substantial direct effect on federally recognized Indian tribes. The NPS has invited Alaska native tribes and corporations to consult on the proposed rule and has consulted with those tribes and corporations that have requested consultation.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This rule does not contain information collection requirements, and a submission to the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act is not required. The NPS may not conduct or sponsor and you are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

National Environmental Policy Act

NPS will prepare an environmental assessment to determine whether this rule will have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA).

Effects on the Energy Supply (Executive Order 13211)

This rule is not a significant energy action under the definition in Executive Order 13211. A Statement of Energy Effects in not required.

Clarity of This Rule

The NPS is required by Executive Orders 12866 (section 1(b)(12)) and 12988 (section 3(b)(1)(B)), and 13563 (section 1(a)), and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule the NPS publishes must:

(a) Be logically organized;

(b) Use the active voice to address readers directly;

(c) Use common, everyday words and clear language rather than jargon;

(d) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and

(e) Use lists and tables wherever possible.

If you feel that the NPS has not met these requirements, send the NPS comments by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. To better help the NPS revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, you should identify the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that you find unclear, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc.

Public Participation

It is the policy of the Department of the Interior, whenever practicable, to afford the public an opportunity to participate in the rulemaking process. Accordingly, interested persons may submit written comments regarding this proposed rule by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document.

Public Availability of Comments

Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask the NPS in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, the NPS cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so.

List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 13

Alaska, National Parks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

In consideration of the foregoing, the National Park Service proposes to amend 36 CFR part 13 as set forth below:

Part 13 National Park System Units in Alaska

1. The authority citation for part 13 continues to read as follows:

Authority

16 U.S.C. 3124; 54 U.S.C. 100101, 100751, 320102; Sec. 13.1204 also issued under Sec. 1035, Pub. L. 104-333, 110 Stat. 4240.

§ 13.1
[Amended]

2. In § 13.1 remove the definitions of “Big game”, “Cub bear”, “Fur animal”, and “Furbearer”.

§ 13.42
[Amended]

3. In § 13.42, remove and reserve paragraphs (f) and (g).

David L. Bernhardt,
Deputy Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2018-10735 Filed 5-21-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-EJ-P
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Secretary Zinke Proposes Expansion of Hunting and Fishing Opportunities at 30 of America’s National Wildlife Refuges

Press Release from the Department of Interior:

WASHINGTON – Continuing his efforts to increase access to public lands, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today announced a proposal to open more than 248,000 acres to new or expanded hunting and fishing opportunities at 30 national wildlife refuges.

Opportunities include places like Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge in Illinois and Wisconsin, and deer hunting in Philadelphia at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge being proposed for the first time. The proposal also outlines expanded hunting and fishing opportunities at 136 national wildlife refuges. If finalized, this would bring the number of units of the National Wildlife Refuge System where the public may hunt to 377, and the number where fishing would be permitted to 312.

“As stewards of our public lands, Interior is committed to opening access wherever possible for hunting and fishing so that more families have the opportunity to pass down this American heritage,” Zinke said. “These 30 refuges will provide incredible opportunities for American sportsmen and women across the country to access the land and connect with wildlife.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) proposal would open more new acres to hunting and fishing than in the past and takes steps to simplify regulations to more closely match state hunting and fishing regulations. The changes would be implemented in time for the upcoming 2018-2019 hunting seasons.

Hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities contributed more than $156 billion in economic activity in communities across the United States in 2016 according to the Service’s National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, published every five years. More than 101 million Americans – 40 percent of the U.S. population 16 and older – pursue wildlife-related recreation – such as hunting, fishing and birding.

“Ensuring public lands are open for multiple uses supports local economies and provides important opportunities for recreation. Further, this proposal means that families and individuals across our nation will be better able to participate in our nation’s tradition of hunting and fishing. We appreciate Secretary Zinke and the Interior Department for advancing this priority, and we will continue to work to improve access to public lands for our sportsmen,” said Senator John Hoeven.

“Public lands should be open for the public to enjoy,” said Chairman Rob Bishop of Utah. “The Department of the Interior’s latest decision to expand acreage and access for hunting and fishing on wildlife refuges was the right move. Secretary Zinke’s decision will help our economy grow and enable those who hunt and fish to spend more time catching game and less time caught in red tape.”

“North Dakota is a sportsman’s paradise. The decision to expand access to public lands by opening more than 248,000 acres across the nation to hunting and fishing will provide new economic opportunities for local communities as well as open up new areas for anglers and hunters,” said Congressman Kevin Cramer. “For the first time, the J. Clark Salyer and Lostwood National Wildlife Refuges will be open to moose hunting. I commend the Secretary’s decision and look forward to working with the department.”

“Hunters, anglers and shooting sports enthusiasts play a crucial role in funding the management and conservation of North America’s wildlife,” said Service Principal Deputy Director Greg Sheehan. “We are providing sportsmen and women with more access to our national wildlife refuges and streamlining regulations to more closely align with our state partners. And that’s good news for our customers.”

The Service manages hunting and fishing programs to ensure sustainable wildlife populations while also offering other traditional wildlife-dependent recreation on public lands, such as wildlife watching and photography. The Refuge System is an unparalleled network of 566 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetland management districts. There is a national wildlife refuge within an hour’s drive of most major metropolitan areas.

“The proposed expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities through working partnership with the states is a demonstration of Secretary Zinke’s commitment to our nation’s outdoor heritage and the conservation community,” said Virgil Moore, President of the Association of the Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Director of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. “These efforts reaffirm the tremendous value of quality wildlife habitat and outdoor recreational opportunities, including hunting and fishing, in connecting millions of Americans to the outdoors.”

“We applaud Secretary Zinke and the Fish and Wildlife Service for their continued commitment to increasing opportunities for hunting and fishing within the National Wildlife Refuge System,” said Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation President Jeff Crane. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Department of Interior on increasing access for sportsmen and women.”

Hunting and/or fishing will expand or be opened on the following refuges:

Arkansas

California

Florida

Illinois

Illinois and Missouri

Illinois and Wisconsin

Indiana

Maine

Maine and New Hampshire

Maryland

Michigan

Minnesota

Montana

New Jersey

New Jersey and New York

New Mexico

North Dakota

Ohio

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Utah

Wisconsin

  • Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge: Open hunting of certain gamebirds, small mammals and furbearers for the first time, and expand existing migratory game bird and big game hunting.

The Service will seek comments from the public on the proposed rule for 30 days, beginning with publication in the Federal Register in coming days. The notice will be available at www.regulations.gov, docket no. FWS-HQ-NWRS-2018-0020, and will include details on how to submit your comments. An interim copy of the proposed rule is now available at https://www.fws.gov/home/pdfs/Proposed_2018-2019_Hunt_Fish_Rule_signed.pdf.

More than 53 million Americans visit refuges every year. National wildlife refuges provide vital habitat for thousands of species and access to world-class recreation, from fishing, hunting and boating to nature watching, photography and environmental education. In doing so, they support regional economies to the tune of $2.4 billion dollars per year and support more than 35,000 jobs.

Under the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, the Service permits hunting and fishing along with four other types of wildlife-dependent recreation, including wildlife photography, environmental education, wildlife observation and interpretation, when they are compatible with an individual refuge’s purpose and mission. Hunting, within specified limits, is currently permitted on 337 wildlife refuges and 37 wetland management districts. Fishing is currently permitted on 277 wildlife refuges and 34 wetland management districts.

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Secretary Zinke Proposes Expansion of Hunting and Fishing Opportunities at 30 of America’s National Wildlife Refuges

Press Release from the Department of Interior:

WASHINGTON – Continuing his efforts to increase access to public lands, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today announced a proposal to open more than 248,000 acres to new or expanded hunting and fishing opportunities at 30 national wildlife refuges.

Opportunities include places like Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge in Illinois and Wisconsin, and deer hunting in Philadelphia at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge being proposed for the first time. The proposal also outlines expanded hunting and fishing opportunities at 136 national wildlife refuges. If finalized, this would bring the number of units of the National Wildlife Refuge System where the public may hunt to 377, and the number where fishing would be permitted to 312.

“As stewards of our public lands, Interior is committed to opening access wherever possible for hunting and fishing so that more families have the opportunity to pass down this American heritage,” Zinke said. “These 30 refuges will provide incredible opportunities for American sportsmen and women across the country to access the land and connect with wildlife.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) proposal would open more new acres to hunting and fishing than in the past and takes steps to simplify regulations to more closely match state hunting and fishing regulations. The changes would be implemented in time for the upcoming 2018-2019 hunting seasons.

Hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities contributed more than $156 billion in economic activity in communities across the United States in 2016 according to the Service’s National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, published every five years. More than 101 million Americans – 40 percent of the U.S. population 16 and older – pursue wildlife-related recreation – such as hunting, fishing and birding.

“Ensuring public lands are open for multiple uses supports local economies and provides important opportunities for recreation. Further, this proposal means that families and individuals across our nation will be better able to participate in our nation’s tradition of hunting and fishing. We appreciate Secretary Zinke and the Interior Department for advancing this priority, and we will continue to work to improve access to public lands for our sportsmen,” said Senator John Hoeven.

“Public lands should be open for the public to enjoy,” said Chairman Rob Bishop of Utah. “The Department of the Interior’s latest decision to expand acreage and access for hunting and fishing on wildlife refuges was the right move. Secretary Zinke’s decision will help our economy grow and enable those who hunt and fish to spend more time catching game and less time caught in red tape.”

“North Dakota is a sportsman’s paradise. The decision to expand access to public lands by opening more than 248,000 acres across the nation to hunting and fishing will provide new economic opportunities for local communities as well as open up new areas for anglers and hunters,” said Congressman Kevin Cramer. “For the first time, the J. Clark Salyer and Lostwood National Wildlife Refuges will be open to moose hunting. I commend the Secretary’s decision and look forward to working with the department.”

“Hunters, anglers and shooting sports enthusiasts play a crucial role in funding the management and conservation of North America’s wildlife,” said Service Principal Deputy Director Greg Sheehan. “We are providing sportsmen and women with more access to our national wildlife refuges and streamlining regulations to more closely align with our state partners. And that’s good news for our customers.”

The Service manages hunting and fishing programs to ensure sustainable wildlife populations while also offering other traditional wildlife-dependent recreation on public lands, such as wildlife watching and photography. The Refuge System is an unparalleled network of 566 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetland management districts. There is a national wildlife refuge within an hour’s drive of most major metropolitan areas.

“The proposed expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities through working partnership with the states is a demonstration of Secretary Zinke’s commitment to our nation’s outdoor heritage and the conservation community,” said Virgil Moore, President of the Association of the Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Director of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. “These efforts reaffirm the tremendous value of quality wildlife habitat and outdoor recreational opportunities, including hunting and fishing, in connecting millions of Americans to the outdoors.”

“We applaud Secretary Zinke and the Fish and Wildlife Service for their continued commitment to increasing opportunities for hunting and fishing within the National Wildlife Refuge System,” said Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation President Jeff Crane. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Department of Interior on increasing access for sportsmen and women.”

Hunting and/or fishing will expand or be opened on the following refuges:

Arkansas

California

Florida

Illinois

Illinois and Missouri

Illinois and Wisconsin

Indiana

Maine

Maine and New Hampshire

Maryland

Michigan

Minnesota

Montana

New Jersey

New Jersey and New York

New Mexico

North Dakota

Ohio

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Utah

Wisconsin

  • Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge: Open hunting of certain gamebirds, small mammals and furbearers for the first time, and expand existing migratory game bird and big game hunting.

The Service will seek comments from the public on the proposed rule for 30 days, beginning with publication in the Federal Register in coming days. The notice will be available at www.regulations.gov, docket no. FWS-HQ-NWRS-2018-0020, and will include details on how to submit your comments. An interim copy of the proposed rule is now available at https://www.fws.gov/home/pdfs/Proposed_2018-2019_Hunt_Fish_Rule_signed.pdf.

More than 53 million Americans visit refuges every year. National wildlife refuges provide vital habitat for thousands of species and access to world-class recreation, from fishing, hunting and boating to nature watching, photography and environmental education. In doing so, they support regional economies to the tune of $2.4 billion dollars per year and support more than 35,000 jobs.

Under the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, the Service permits hunting and fishing along with four other types of wildlife-dependent recreation, including wildlife photography, environmental education, wildlife observation and interpretation, when they are compatible with an individual refuge’s purpose and mission. Hunting, within specified limits, is currently permitted on 337 wildlife refuges and 37 wetland management districts. Fishing is currently permitted on 277 wildlife refuges and 34 wetland management districts.

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Intensive Management in Alaska

From the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

Harvesting wild game is extremely important to many Alaskan families. Participating in the hunt and sharing the bounty of economical, wild-grown meat are long-standing traditions.

The Alaska Legislature recognized the importance of wild game meat to Alaskans when it passed the Intensive Management Law in 1994. This law requires the Alaska Board of Game to identify moose, caribou, and deer populations that are especially important food sources for Alaskans and to insure that these populations remain large enough to allow for adequate and sustained harvest.

If the selected moose, caribou, or deer populations drop below what the Board of Game (Board) determines is needed to meet people’s needs, the Board directs the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) to undertake intensive management of that population. Intensive management is a process that starts with investigating the causes of low moose, caribou, or deer numbers, and then involves steps to increase their numbers. This can include restricting hunting seasons and bag limits, improving habitat, and predation control.

ADF&G is committed to maintaining healthy populations of all our resources, including moose, caribou, deer, wolves, and bears. The department will continue to manage Alaska’s wildlife populations with the health of all wildlife, sustainable harvests, and conservation as our guiding principles.

Understanding Predator Management

Wolves and bears are very effective and efficient predators on caribou, moose, deer, and other wildlife. In most of Alaska, humans also rely on the same species for food. Predators often kill more than 80 percent of the moose and caribou that die during an average year, while humans take less than 10 percent. In much of the state, predation holds prey populations at levels far below what could be supported by the habitat in the area. Predation is an important part of the ecosystem, and all ADF&G management programs, including control programs, are designed to sustain predator populations in the future.

General Information

Press Releases

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Vermont to Issue 13 Moose Hunting Permits…But Not Really

Vermont says it will allot 13 moose hunting permits. However, unless you are a military veteran, have a terminal illness or are filthy rich, you will not have a chance at obtaining one of these permits. But that is only one issue.

With all the money and research done on moose, this is the best we can come up with?

According to Vermont officials, the state has decided that it will attempt to maintain the moose population, the majority of which is found in the very northeast corner of the state, at 1 moose per square mile in order to “reduce the effects of winter ticks.”

I have an idea there will be few people happy about this move but if now the wildlife managers are going to put more focus on the “health” of wildlife rather than population estimates, it’s difficult to know what to expect into the future.

We’ll just have to wait and see.

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This Infographic Shows How 14 Million Hunters Help Fuel the U.S. Economy

This hunting infographic gives you a visual idea of how much sportsmen and women spend each year. Hunting definitely funds conservation and helps the economy.

Sure, most of us already know that hunters are the primary funding source for conservation. But it’s interesting to see how it breaks down by demographic, game animal, and dollar amounts.<<<Read More>>>

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Or Maybe We Are All Gonna Die: Possible Grizzly Bear Hunts on the Horizon

Panic is setting in with the environmentalists and animal rights perverts as they learn of two public hearings scheduled to receive input about possibly having limited grizzly bear hunts. Disaster and a slaughter of the grizzly’s population in Idaho will happen, according to bear lovers, because it plans on allowing ONE male bear to be killed…ONE!

“The formula for the number of bears that can be hunted in each state involves a region surrounding Yellowstone National Park called the Demographic Monitoring Area. The number of bears for each state is based on how much land area is in the monitoring area. The number of bears allowed to be hunted in total is based on mortality studies. The result is that this year, Idaho can hunt one male bear and Montana six male bears. Wyoming can hunt 10 male bears and two female bears.”<<<Read More>>>

Officials say they will “educate” hunters on how to identify a male grizzly from a female grizzly. Isn’t it risky to get close enough to a grizzly bear to be able to tell which genitalia they may be sporting? Perhaps if you wait and watch long enough you can watch one of them urinating in order to tell the difference.

But seriously, how difficult is it to identify male and female outside of the obvious? I’ve never hunted them. For that matter, I don’t recall that I’ve ever encountered a grizzly up close and personal. But, I think I could tell a fully mature adult male grizzly from a female. Like with today’s young ‘uns it’s difficult to tell the difference in sexes in immature bears.

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Maine Governor Vetoes Two Hunting Related Bills

Maine Governor Paul LePage has vetoed two hunting-related bills – LD 1816 and LD 1823.

LD 1816 is a bill that would reduce the second offense penalty for hunting deer over bait from a lifetime license ban back to a two-year suspension. Here is the statement Governor LePage made public for his reason for vetoing the new bill.

LD 1816

Governor LePage cited a reason for keeping the lifetime license suspension as punishment for a second offense as being a strong deterrent to stop illegal hunting of deer over bait. With unclear definitions as to what determines “bait”, it would appear that abuse by law enforcement and the courts could make for as much trouble as the handful of those charged with hunting over bait now.

Until such time as Maine can get their act together to better lay out the exact definition of “bait” and at the same time rid the conflicts between growing “crops” and hunting over those and hunting over bait placed by a hunter – as though growing a crop to hunt over is any different than dumping a bag of apples under a tree stand – I cannot agree with LePage’s veto of this bill.

It would appear that while it may be a strong deterrent, the punishment may not fit the crime when comparatives are made with all laws and punishments in Maine.

LD 1823 is a bill that made permanent a temporary law that allowed nonresidents to hunt on the “Residents Only” Saturday prior to the open season on deer, provided that nonresident owned at least 25 acres of land in the state. Here is the Governor’s reason for the veto.

LD 1823

I never liked the bill in the first place. While it seems a good thing to make hunting opportunity available whenever possible, this kind of legislation simply reeks of preferred treatment, discrimination, and elitism.

Hunting should never be meted out in any fashion when determined by social status. Simply because a person is wealthy enough, or through inheritance, to own land equalling at least 25 acres shouldn’t give them privilege over someone else who doesn’t.

While LePage believes the Residents Day Only is special for Maine residents and should remain that way, consideration of making it also open to nonresidents should be all or nothing.

Let the discriminatory bill sunset. The veto was good.

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