Archive for the 'Hunting' Category

Scientists Warn American ‘Promotion of Hunting’ Is Ruining the Environment

BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 22 hours ago


Scientists have warned that a strong focus on hunting—instead of rewilding key species—is “reinforcing” biodiversity loss.

Parts of the U.S. are currently facing a biodiversity crisis for a variety of reasons including habitat degradation, invasive species, and climate change.

A new study published in the journal BioScience reported that state agencies are taking “the provisioning of hunting opportunities as their top priority.”

“Among species of wildlife, relatively few are hunted. So the focus on hunted species can tend toward the homogenization of wildlife communities, reinforcing the loss of biodiversity,” John A. Vucetich, a distinguished professor of wildlife conservation at Michigan Technological University, who worked on the study, told Newsweek.

“For example, the species of wild mammal with the most biomass on the planet is white-tailed deer. Overabundant deer populations have a negative impact on biodiversity—manifest mainly through over-browsing. The overabundance of deer is importantly a result of efforts to maximize deer abundance for the sake of hunting. Also, for example, considerable effort is devoted to promoting pheasant populations in several states for the sake of hunting, even though pheasants are not even part of these states’ native biodiversity.”

[ … ]

This included the restoration of either extinct or imperiled species …

Let me translate this claptrap for you. Any time you hear the words “climate change” your antennae should go up.

Michael Mann is a shyster and a fake.  I do science and engineering every day of my life, and I don’t have to falsify data to build my models and perform my calculations.  Mann is a complete and total fraud, just like the so-called “science” he purports to support.  Their agenda is population control, and now their agenda is clearly being expanded from population control of mankind to population control of animals because of “biodiversity” and climate change.

Here’s the bottom line.  We all know that wildlife biologists are very good at knowing the population of white tail deer, knowing the proportion of does to bucks, and selling the number of tags necessary to keep the population right and the balance acceptable, or even increase the population just a bit, without creating such a large population that deer starve.

The climate change religionist freaks don’t like that.  Not only do they want you dead and for you to produce no more offspring, they also want white tail deer dead.  Their recipe for that?  Introduce predators such as wolves and shut down the hunters to help maintain a healthy population.

Now do you understand why they want to reintroduce wolves and why they have harassed hunters like they have?  Now do you understand why states have to have hunter harassment laws?  Now do you understand why they hate us?

6.5 Creedmoor Winchester Deer Season XP Copper Impact 125gr Ammo Review & Ballistics Gel Test

BY Herschel Smith
4 months ago

Virtually every copper bullet we’ve seen tested performed magnificently.  They seem to hold together well (they don’t explode in tissue), and they have good expansion.  Thus, they appear to be very good hunting bullets.

What Colors Can Deer See?

BY Herschel Smith
5 months ago

My goodness this summer is hot where I am (that smoke from all the fires Trudeau is starting doesn’t help either).  Fall and winter can’t get here fast enough.  I’m already day dreaming about being in the bush on a hunt.  Speaking of this, F&S has a useful image concerning what deer see.

photo of colors deer can see compared to human

Compared to humans, deer do not see reds and oranges well, but they do see greens and blues.  Of course, green and brown are colors in the bush, as well as red and orange during the change of leaves.  But the stark reminder is that you simply don’t wear blue.  Pretty much everything else looks pretty bland to a deer.

Keeping your orange hat on is probably okay, if you don’t mind the lack of pattern (I usually wear mine to the stand or wherever else I’m hunting and then shed it for a better one – DNR will cite you with a violation if they see you traipsing around the bush without orange on somewhere, but for upland bird hunting it simply doesn’t matter what you wear as long as your legs can stand briars).  This also means that little red strip attaching gaiters to your boots or other company logo they like to put there (red symbol on camo shirts) won’t be seen by deer.

Hunter Sues Virginia DWR Alleging that Game Wardens Illegally Confiscated a Trail Camera From His Private Property

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 2 weeks ago


On June 7, a property owner in Virginia filed suit against the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (VDWR) and three conservation officers that work for the state agency. In his lawsuit, filed in Henrico County Circuit Court, Josh Highlander claims that multiple game wardens wearing camouflage entered his private 30-acre parcel without his consent or knowledge—alarming his wife and young son and confiscating a game camera in the process.

Highlander is being represented in his case by the Institute for Justice (IJ), a non-profit Arlington-based law firm with a history of backing landowners in private property disputes against state wildlife agencies. According to IJ, the incident occurred on April 8, 2023, the opening day of Virginia’s spring turkey season.

The lawsuit says that Highlander legally harvested a turkey on his property on the morning of April 8 before logging his kill on the VDWR mobile app. It then alleges that, several hours later, three VDWR officers parked their trucks in a cul de sac, a few hundred yards from the property line, and walked through an adjacent private parcel into Highlander’s woods.

According to Highlander, his wife spotted a camouflaged figure moving through a forested part of the family property that afternoon while playing basketball with their 6-year-old son. When she alerted Highlander to the person’s presence, he said he went outside to check the woods, finding only an empty post where one of his game cameras had been mounted in the middle of a food plot.

Highlander’s brother, Rob Highlander Jr., was cited for hunting turkeys over bait several miles east of Josh Highlander’s property on the same day that the alleged incident took place by one of the officers he is suing. According to the lawsuit, responding agents seized two of Rob Highlander’s trail cameras after issuing those citations.

Rob Jr. is contesting that ticket, saying that he was hunting turkeys on a legal food plot with no bait. He says the bait that the agents accused him of using was actually fresh millet seed that he’d legally spread while replenishing the food plot earlier in the year. Virginia wildlife code defines “bait” as “any food, grain, or other consumable substance that could serve as a lure or attractant.”

When contacted by Field & Stream, the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources declined to comment on any specifics related to the “pending litigation.” But VDWR Public Information Officer Paige Pearson confirmed in an email that it is lawful for a Virginia game warden to carry out an active investigation on private property without a warrant—or the consent or knowledge of the landowner—so long as those activities are executed “within constitutional bounds.” It is also lawful, she confirmed, for a warden to deploy game cameras on private property, or to seize game cameras off of private property during an investigation—again, as long as it’s done “within constitutional bounds.”

I don’t even know what that means.  It sounds to me like she is saying that it’s okay to violate the constitution as long as it’s done constitutionally.  So here’s a challenge question for her.  Can she explain what it means to violate the constitution as long as it is within “constitutional bounds?”  Do your homework and provide examples.

Does a Police Checkpoint on a Bike-Trail Violate the Fourth Amendment?

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 1 week ago

He poses some interesting questions, and I’d like to see this issue studied a bit by him or someone equally familiar with both constitutional and case law.

My own view is that simply putting a sign up at an entrance to so-called government property (like a park) isn’t reason enough to justify a search.  That’s not a so-called “administrative search.”  I assume and believe that for public places, the rules of “Terry Stop” still apply, i.e., there must be articulable reason for the search such as suspicion in the commission of a crime.

I’ve given this some thought too concerning stops and searches of hunters on public lands.  Almost every hunter is aware of his training, i.e., when you are approached by a DNR officer, put your weapon in a safe condition, be polite, and be prepared to have your privacy invaded.  He may and probably will demand to see your hunting license and examine your harvest.

But why?  What gives that DNR agent the right to do that?  The fact that they’re on “public land?”  Do the citizens not own the public land?  What’s the difference between public hunting land and a downtown sidewalk?  Do we allow cops to come up to us and frisk us, demand to identify us, and demand to search our belongings because we’re walking on a sidewalk “owned” by the state?  No, most states do not have stop and identify statutes, and besides, those are unconstitutional even if they exist.

Why does a DNR officer have the right to assume I don’t have a hunting license just because I’m hunting (that’s the assumption behind demanding to see my hunting license, right, that I don’t have a license)?  Why does the DNR officer have the right to force me to open the tailgate of my truck and examine my harvest?  Does he have evidence of a crime to make such invasive demands?  Without such evidence, or at least suspicion, does that search violate the fourth amendment?

I would claim that it does.  England had rules regulating hunting under the notion of the royal forest.  As of the 12th century, nearly a third of England’s land was designated “royal forest,” and only the king’s men and other nobility were allowed to hunt game there.

We don’t live in England.  We live in America.  We fought a war over things just like this.

I think this is pregnant ground to be tilled, and I’d like to see lawyers take this up with some offended hunter – perhaps all the way to the supreme court.

The Complete Guide to Public Land Pheasant Hunting

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 2 weeks ago

Gun Dog.

The Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland said it best: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” How do you navigate the millions of acres of public land and walk-in ground just waiting for you to drop the tailgate and unclip your dog’s leash? Rather than wandering, perplexed as a hunter on Rodeo Drive, here’s how to map out your pheasant quest.

It starts with a destination, dictated in large part by how far you’re willing to travel. If you know how to read, you’ve already got an idea of where you want to go. Each region has sweet spots handed down from father to son, shared by multi-generational groups and “discovered” by newbies dazzled by clouds of birds darkening the sky at the end of a cut-cornfield drive. My revelation came at the nub of an ancient shelterbelt in South Dakota. It was being pushed by two friends while I shivered, hopes high and temperature low. Out of the mist rose a mob of what I thought were blackbirds they were so numerous, until a roar of wings and telltale cackles broke the still air.

I missed twice, shook my head, reloaded and dropped a late riser whose technicolor pelage vibrated against the pristine snow even when stilled by my shot. That was a good year, but even a bad year in South Dakota is better than most other places combined.

Other states have their proponents and having explored them all after three decades roaming public land, I understand the allure of each. Northeast Montana, Iowa, Nebraska, and western Kansas are all strong contenders for the bronze and silver medals. Not coincidentally, most of those states have sophisticated public-access initiatives to help hunters chase ringnecks across vast prairies and through shin-tangling thickets. “Walk-in” programs are the golden key that unlocks the door; start your quest there, long before you fill the tank and crate the dog.

Dickinson and Mott, North Dakota are worth your attention. They’re lower-key, smaller towns with fewer amenities than most, but surrounded by public access. Williston’s oil boom has subsided and lodging options are myriad. The rolling hills beckon, if you don’t mind the mix of drilling and development alongside your new favorite cover. Plentywood and other small towns in northeast Montana along the “High Line” are also on my radar. Western Kansas towns including Norton, Goodland, Jetmore and Osborne are podium-contenders, offering a 365-day license bargain and warmer late season weather.

Like the Oscars, I’m saving the best for last, but the supporting cast of South Dakota towns east of the Missouri River offer plenty of opportunity. Watertown, Aberdeen, Brookings, and Redfield welcome hunters and have plenty of public access. South Dakota counties with the highest pheasant harvest numbers include Brown, Beadle, Brule, Lyman, and Spink.

For those of us who don’t have trained bird dogs, we’re left at the mercy of outfitters and their dogs for guided hunts.  That can get expensive.

I’ve got the quail hunting covered.  If any of you have suggestions for Grouse and Pheasant, drop me a line in the comments.

Air Rifles as Survival Tools

6 months, 3 weeks ago

We talked previously about quiet game hunting in less permissive environments. This recent article at Survival Blog touches on several useful applications for Air Guns.

Quiet, hard-hitting, accurate, affordable, and reliable. A good quality air rifle in .177 or .22 caliber meets all these criteria. No, you don’t have to spend thousands. Just one hundred to three hundred FRNs will provide you and your family with a nice rifle and several thousand pellets.

Springer and now gas ram rifles take care of problem pests around the garden and homestead, rabbits, gophers, ground squirrels, starlings, and crows are dealt with humanely and did I say quietly?
My German-made Dianas, both a Model 34 Classic, and a Model 34 EMS, and both in .177 caliber are equipped with inexpensive scopes and will easily maintain quarter-size groups at 30 yards, Both will push a heavier 9.5 -10.5 grain pellet out to rabbit and squirrel killing distances of 40-50 yards, if you do your part with pellet placement. As many old hunters said it’s not so much what you hit them with as where you hit them.

More at the link.

And Outdoor Life reports on The Best Air Rifles of 2023.

Choosing an Air Rifle for Small Game

The rifles I gravitate toward for small game and varmint hunting are primarily .22 and .25 caliber rifles that generate power in the 20 to 40 ft-lb range. This energy output, in conjunction with sub-1-inch accuracy at 50 yards, makes for an ideal flat-shooting, small-game rig. Features that separate the top picks from the rest of the pack are an ergonomic design, fast cycling action, reliable high capacity magazines, large volume air storage with a correspondingly large shot count, shot-to-shot consistency, and a low sound signature.

Choosing an Air Rifle for Predators

For most hunters, it makes sense to choose an air rifle that can take either small-game or predators. The rifles I use for combined small-game and predator hunting are .30 to .35 caliber, and are designed to shoot Diabolo pellets at 50 to 100 ft-lb. These rifles are fine for shooting a coyote or bobcat at closer range (within 50 yards), but not over-the-top to use on smaller-bodied game, such as rabbits or squirrels.

In my opinion, a primary predator gun should be optimized for solid lead slugs, generate 100 to 150 ft-lb, provide at least 10 consistent shots per fill, and print groups under 1 inch at 100 yards. I don’t mind a single shot rifle, but I want a fast-cycling action, easy access to the loading port, and a light, crisp trigger to enhance accuracy.

Other models and applications are discussed at the link to Outdoor Life.

Hunting Tags:

Idaho’s grizzly petition rejected by feds

10 months ago

This isn’t good news for ranchers and residents. Of course, the government, either purposefully or through incompetence, was dragging its feet.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will study delisting populations of grizzlies near Yellowstone and Glacier national parks

Idaho’s audacious bid to strip grizzly bears of Endangered Species Act protection was rejected by the Biden administration Friday.

But its neighbors Montana and Wyoming had better luck. Responding to delisting petitions from all three states, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said bear numbers in the Greater Yellowstone and Northern Continental Divide ecosystems may be strong enough to qualify as distinct populations that can be considered for delisting. The agency will spend the next year collecting data to determine if each of those populations are indeed healthy enough to move from federal to state management.

The service dismissed Idaho’s much more expansive request that grizzly bears across the country be stripped of their threatened and endangered status. The decision came just a day after Idaho Gov. Brad Little threatened to sue the agency for failing to act on the state’s petition, submitted last March, within the required 90 days.

“The response is seven months late, and it took a threat of legal action from the State of Idaho to simply receive a response,” Little said in a prepared statement. “While we continue to evaluate the decision from (the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), this is another example of federal overreach and appears to have a disproportionate impact on North Idaho.”

There are about 1,000 grizzlies each in the Greater Yellowstone and Northern Continental Divide ecosystems, which are centered around Yellowstone and Glacier national parks.


Members of Idaho’s congressional delegation groused about the decision in a joint news release, saying the state is better poised than the federal government to balance the conservation and management of grizzlies with human activities. At times, they implied the state has a more robust bear population than official estimates indicate.

“Given more and more grizzly bear and human encounters in Idaho, it is abundantly clear our state’s grizzly bear population has recovered,” Sen. Jim Risch said.

There’s more at the link. Being closer to the situation, States can manage their own problems better. Both the Griz and federal land should be returned to the States for management. Looks like those “rare” attacks will resume when hibernation is over.

Animals,Hunting Tags:

Richard Mann Picks His Best Rifles for Hunting Wild Pigs

BY Herschel Smith
10 months, 2 weeks ago

Field & Stream.

  • Ruger Scout Rifle 350 Legend
  • Marlin 1895 Trapper 45-70 Government
  • Wilson Combat Recon Tactical 450 Bushmaster
  • Mossberg Patriot Predator 7mm PRC
  • Kimber 84M Hunter Pro Desolve Blak 280 Ackley Improved
  • Bergara B14 HMR 300 Winchester Magnum
  • Winchester XPR Stealth Suppressor Ready 308 Winchester
  • Franchi Momentum All-Terrain Elite 308 Winchester
  • Stag Arms Pursuit Stag10 308 Winchester

Visit his reasons as the link.

What do you notice about these choices?  They are all large bore guns.  The 7mm PRC is just simply too much for a hog unless it’s 400 pounds.

With many of these rounds you won’t have ribs left.  I wouldn’t have a problem shooting hogs with any of these rounds, but take note that if you want to preserve meat and not tear it to pieces, you need a somewhat smaller round (like the 6mm ARC) and you need to aim carefully, be a good shot, and hit them right behind the ear.  They’ll go down instantly.

Michigan Hunter Gets Jail Time for Sabotaging Another Hunter’s Treestand, Causing 20-Foot Fall

BY Herschel Smith
10 months, 2 weeks ago

Outdoor Life.

Steele left his phone number and asked for the hunter to contact him. The unnamed hunter also discovered that Steele had deleted the pictures from his trail camera. The hunter called Steele and apologized, only to have Steele insist that he must stay away from the area, which the hunter eventually agreed to.

Weeks went by. Eventually, the hunter returned to his stand, pulled the memory card from his camera, and started climbing the stand. The stand looked normal and the climbing sticks were sturdy. But as soon as the hunter climbed onto the platform, it collapsed underneath him. He fell 20 feet to the ground, where he injured his back and ankle after landing on his feet.

The hunter worried that Steele was watching him on camera and left the area, limping. Upon returning home, he dialed 911 to report the incident. While at home, the hunter discovered his SD card had been wiped of images again. DNR conservation officer Josh Boudreaux responded, and opened a hunter harassment investigation.

Weeks later, the hunter returned to the same spot again with new straps. The next day, he received a text from Steele.

“Are we going to work something out for this spot or what?” the text read. “I got a picture of you yesterday going in there with climbing sticks. Just not gonna respect I was there first?”

Investigating officers paid close attention to the hunter’s treestand after learning Steele was “using a camera to spy on the hunter.” They soon discovered that Steele had gone out to cut the hunter’s straps a second time.

Good Lord.  He was ready to sacrifice the life of a man for the sake of a chance to kill an animal.  What a jerk.

He should have been charged with attempted murder and prohibited from hunting ever again in the state.  A hunter harassment investigation should have been a criminal investigation.

What do you want to bet – he wasn’t trying to feed his family.  He wanted to kill a trophy buck to brag to his buddies and show pictures around.

What a jerk.

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