Archive for Education

Idaho, Montana seek OK for hunting of wolves

The Associated Press

State officials sought Tuesday to revive gray wolf hunts in the Northern Rockies, even as they entered talks with environmentalists whose lawsuit restored the endangered status of the animals. On Tuesday, Montana asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to commit by Sept. 10 to the state’s plan for “conservation hunts” beginning this fall.

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War Rages On

Montana’s “Fish, Wildlife & Parks” [FWP] director, Joe Maurier, spoke yesterday to a group of Conservationist and other groups stating that Montana has “a recovered wolf population and we will appeal.” The statement to appeal is a result of the August 5th district court ruling that returned the region’s recovered wolves to the federal endangered species list.

Director Maurier advised attending groups that “Montana will appeal the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by Sept. 5,” a 30-day deadline mandate under the current appeals process.

Currently, 525 wolves reside in Montana. The FWP had intentions of reducing Montana’s population to about 450 dogs by years end using a combination of methods, including hunting.

Under the recent ruling though, Montana’s efforts to maintain authority to manage the wolf population has been halted.

“The endgame for Montana is to regain state management and a delisted wolf species,” Bob Lane, FWP’s chief legal counsel stated. “We are committed to come out with state management and we won’t concede that point.”

Lane also said FWP will petition the USFWS to allow for a conservation hunting season; to provide authority to remove wolves in some areas where they are impacting other wildlife populations; to provide for a more aggressive response to livestock depredations; and to down list wolves from “endangered” to “threatened” in the northern portion of Montana.

Where to Find Inexpensive New & Used Guns for Sale

Most people I know are not willing to spend hard earned money on items they don’t feel are important. This is true in so many ways and it includes hunting and shooting sports. To thoroughly enjoy shooting activities, the enthusiast needs the necessary equipment. For some, it’s not always easy to pursue a shooting activity due to its expense. This includes guns for sports and recreation. It is unlikely that firearms be made affordable all the time, however it’s still possible to find inexpensive quality firearms for sale.

Many households perceive firearms to be expensive. Factually, nothing could be farther from the truth. While it is true that many guns are expensive, that expense is mainly due to high demand in the consumer market. Highly coveted firearms are in short demand therefore the price is increased to meet the supply level. Alternately, as supply levels rise, down come the prices.

There are many manufacturers of firearms that are less known than the major manufacturers such as Colt, Ruger, Smith & Wesson and Winchester, to name a few. These lesser known manufacturers offer quality firearms at very competitive pricing. Most of these firearms come with a lifetime warranty as well. Think of it in this regard: An inexpensive firearm that carries a lifetime warranty versus a brand name gun that carries the same warranty yet costs many hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars more. Either way, if the firearm breaks, it is covered 100% by its manufacturer. That being said, it is not intended to discredit the brand name firearm manufacturer whose quality standards may be to a more exacting standard. Let me add this disclaimer however: if the purchase in question is for a self or home defense firearm, I would certainly save my pennies for the “stricter” manufactured firearm mainly due to potential lives being at stake. That being said: the content of this article is aimed at the budget conscious individual seeking to purchase recreational firearms for sport or hunting.

So how do you find inexpensive guns for sale? There are many ways for you to find the right gun that suits your personality. The easiest method available today is right at your fingertips, literally: the “internet”, of course. Today’s smart shopper can easily research just about any item ensuring they get the best deal they can find online. The internet is without a doubt, a superb tool. However, if you don’t find desirable results online, you can try trusted firearms dealers. It is possible to easily contact some of the most well known online gun sellers and their stores by asking around. Check with your friends or co-workers that participate in shooting activities. They are a great resource and can provide you with a multitude of knowledge. Gun shows or auctions are great sites to search as well. Though you may need to travel, it may still be your best bet in locating the firearm you seek or dealing with the trusted firearm expert you desire.

Hearing Protection is Essential Gear

Ever return from a day at the range or hunting to find your ears are ringing from sounds that you’re faced with when engaging in shooting activities? The effects can last for hours, days or even weeks and in worst case scenarios, longer still. That is why it is important to use protective devices to safeguard your hearing and ensure you’re ears aren’t ringing when you arrive back home!

Arguably, the most effective hearing protection available today is an electronic hearing device that is easy to use and is comfortable. The biggest benefit to an electronic hearing device is that it filters out noises such as a rifle blast while allowing low decibel sounds safe passage.

These devices allow sounds up to 25 decibels to transmit through to your ears, and block out noises exceeding 82 decibels. Not only do these devices preserve your hearing, they offer the added benefit of amplifying faint sounds which many hunters find useful a field. Another possible benefit may be that these devices may help you if you’re one of the millions who suffer from low level hearing loss.

The experienced hunter understands the sense of hearing must be in top order to be alert to what’s going on around them.

Many types of hearing devices are available today from foam ear plugs, to electronic headphones, to noise-canceling phones, to molded ear plugs, etc…. There is a variety of devices to choose from and thorough research should be conducted before making your purchase. Many shooting ranges offer free hearing protection to range users [must be returned at the end of your shooting session]. This is the perfect time to test different devices regarding fit, functionality, comfort, etc… and what better place to test-drive a potential purchase.

In closing, hearing protection, similar to eye protection, is essential gear and must be seriously considered. These safety devices are relatively inexpensive and worth looking into.

Knives: How to choose which is right for you!

All hunters know that a quality hunting knife is worth its weight in gold. It is a vital piece of equipment that must not be over-looked. A quality hunting knife is normally heavier [though not always] in weight than a traditional kitchen knife and usually come equipped with a sheath or pouch to carry it. Most hunters will carry a combination of knives afield as blade shape plays a vital role when field dressing an animal.

To determine which knife is correct for you, we must begin with the type of hunting you will engage in. A knife suitable for cleaning a rabbit may not as easily dress out an Elk. I personally carry along a kit [one of many offered] by Outdoor Edge.  It contains all the blades necessary for game preparation.

Once we determine what species we will hunt, we consider the blade design needed to field-dress the animal. For example, a moose will not only require a “caping” blade to make surgical incisions, but will also require a “deep-bellied skinning knife equipped with gut hook” and also a “bone saw” or “cleaver” for quartering the carcass. Remember, when decision making, that the knife needed afield may not be the knife needed at home when preparing the “quarters” for final packaging and storing. While it is possible, a “caping” knife is hardly suitable for “boning/filleting” or a “skinning” knife considered acceptable for “carving” roasts, when a butcher’s knife is the wiser choice. Plan to purchase knives for both afield and for home preparation.

In addition to the design of the blade, the butcher should consider the entire knife’s design as well. The knife should be well balanced for easy wielding and the handle should be made to fit the hunter’s hand. The tang should run the full length of the knife, including through the handle. Other style knives are double edged stabbing design. Gut hook knives for “zipper-like” hide separation. As well as assorted Bowie, skinning, and drop point knives. A good hunter identifies the type of knife that best fits their needs and uses them correctly.

The hunting knife comes in many shapes and sizes and can be useful in variety of jobs. When buying a hunting knife, the hunter must choose the one that best fits the needs of a hunting excursion. They are important pieces of gear that should accompany every outdoorsman into the wild.