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Hunting South of the border


Hunting opportunities abound, make a trip South.

Anyone who thinks that hunting and shooting are pastimes reserved for the male gender, should take a second look, first off hunting and firearms recreational activities and both gender neutral.

Recently, research has indicated that 72% more ladies are hunting with firearms, another 50% more are target shooters. These figures were complied over a five year period (2001-2005) by the Federal Government.This means that 3 million women now enjoy hunting and 5 million participate in shooting.

These individuals have discovered that these activities are enjoyable fun and something to share with friends and family.

More info is available from

Protection for Hunting 

Several state lawmakers want constitutional protection for Kentuckians' right to hunt and fish, although they acknowledge that no authority has threatened this right in anyone's memory.

A bill calling for a statewide vote on a constitutional amendment was pre-filed for the 2011 General Assembly by House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg; Rep. Leslie Combs, D-Pikeville; and Rep. John "Bam" Carney, R-Campbellsville. The legislature convenes Jan. 4.

"The citizens of Kentucky have the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife, including the use of traditional methods, subject only to statutes enacted by the legislature," the amendment would read, in part. "Public hunting and fishing shall be a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife."

The measure reflects bipartisan concern in Frankfort following President Barack Obama's health-care law and what some people see as overreaching by the federal government, Carney said. The right to own and use guns might be targeted by federal legislation in the future, he said.

"We thought it was important that we make a statement here for states' rights," Carney said. "I don't see any imminent threat to our hunting rights at the moment. But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say."

 Exicting Season.

It has been an exciting whitetail deer season in South Texas. The general hunting season for whitetail deer ended this weekend, and it was exceptional.

Timely rains throughout 2010 provided plenty of native browse, and the bucks responded with above average antler growth.

In September, I was able to film this massive brush country buck in peak velvet, but when hunting season began the first Saturday in November he disappeared. I guess he did not get that big by being foolish. The good news is we can look forward to seeing him again next year…at least in velvet.

One of the year's first rattling adventures produced a mature buck that came in almost too close for comfort. My friend Terry Neal wisely quit cracking the antlers together as the buck stared him down and made a scrape.

Just to show who was boss in these parts, the buck then ripped a mesquite branch from a nearby tree and stalked off with it.

Later in the season, my friend Lamar Smith rattled up a pair of bucks that promptly locked antlers and battled for several minutes within just a few feet of us.

While it is time to put away the rifle and stow the rattling antlers, camera season is open year round. There are some handsome bucks still roaming the ranch country, and the exciting thing is they are liable to be even more impressive next year.

With your Nature Report I'm Richard Moore.

Hunting grizzly bears? Rob Chaney  

Hunting needs to be part of the toolbox for managing grizzly bears when they no longer have endangered species protection, but no one's close to saying what that tool might look like.

Members of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee voted Tuesday to draft a policy statement on grizzly hunting during their winter meeting in Missoula this week.

However, they took pains to add that the bears must be recovered before they can be treated like elk and deer.

"We need to alert the public we're aware of all the different aspects of bear management," said committee member Gregg Losinski of Idaho Department of Fish and Game. "But we can't wait. We've been thinking about this for over a decade."

The statement wouldn't authorize grizzly bear hunting or dictate how a hunting season might take place. Rather, it would lay the groundwork for states to develop their own bear management plans when and if the bears lose federal protection.

"This topic came about because two ecosystem populations are at or approaching recovery status," said committee Chairman Harv Fosgren of the U.S. Forest Service.

"We need to explore what that means and how we're going to talk about that."

About 1,000 grizzlies live in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem north of Interstate 90 in Montana. Another 600 live in the Yellowstone Ecosystem surrounding Yellowstone National Park. A few more tiny populations live in northwest Montana, Idaho and Washington.

Hailee Newman of the Buffalo Field Campaign argued the effort was premature because the bears' recovery was still hypothetical.

"Before they're even delisted, we're talking about keeping their numbers down," Newman said. "Why are we brainstorming about ways to keep grizzlies from walking where they once walked?"

Livestock owners in the audience said they were pleased to hear the discussion because it meant that their concerns about bears killing cattle or threatening rural communities were getting attention.

The committee agreed to produce a draft statement as well as some talking points explaining the policy by Thursday.

Lowering hunting age.
The state Assembly should approve and the governor sign into law legislation that would allow younger people to engage in the strong family tradition of hunting.

The state Senate has already approved S3156, which lowers the age for universal hunting licenses from 14 years old to 12 years old. State Sens. Michael Ranzenhofer, Patrick Gallivan and Robert Ortt are co-sponsors. The Assembly version, A477, was referred to the Environmental Conservation Committee in January; it is cosponsored by Assemblymen David DiPietro and Michael Norris.

The legislation shouldn’t be seen as putting guns in the hands of more youths. Rather, it should be seen as allowing parents who enjoy hunting to begin teaching their children about gun and hunting safety at an earlier age.

The 12- and 13-year-olds would have to meet the same standards which 14-year-olds currently need to meet.

They need to complete hunting education courses, obtain the appropriate license for bowhunting, small game or big game, and be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or a designated mentor who is age 21 or older and is both licensed and experienced.

They would need to know and follow applicable Environmental Conservation laws and would also need to wear fluorescent clothing. The emphasis is on safety.

“Hunting is a major tradition passed down from generation to generation for many families across Upstate New York,” Sen. Ranzenhofer said. “This legislation allows parents to teach their children valuable hunting skills in a safe environment at an earlier age. Enacting this proposal ensures the tradition of hunting continues for future generations.”

Other states already allow those under age 14 to hunt.

In Arkansas, children as young as age 6 can hunt.

Other states don’t specify a minimum age but require completion of a hunter education course and supervision by an adult. In general, the states with the lowest minimum ages are relatively rural – Texas and Alaska, for example — but even the more urban Connecticut has a lower minimum age for hunting than New York’s minimum.

Upstate New York is largely rural, and the deer population, in particular, has soared.

Even non-hunters should be able to see that it is a good idea to raise up a new generation of hunters who understand and comply with safety regulations. It’s also a good idea to encourage strong family bonds.

“Hunting and outdoorsman ship are important facets of the culture of New York State,” the Senate bill memo states. “Under current law, parents are unduly limited in the ways they can pass down the meaningful practice of hunting to their children.

This bill seeks to remove unnecessary restrictions on the types of weapons that those over twelve years of age may use and the type of game they may pursue.

Removing these restrictions will allow parents to teach their children the valuable skills and values of hunting at an early age, and further solidify the tradition of hunting in this state for generations to come.”



Hunting the States.

A number of requirements are needed before anyone hunts in the USA, should you require information please contact the webmaster.

 Hunting season open in MI.   Buck season.   Hunters die on opening day.   Lower hunting age.   New hunting regulations.   Licences on sale this weekend.