Monthly Archives: February 2007

this is how they haul timber in the Pembina gorge

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sure the pix is a hoax, but it made me laugh…and I like to laugh

surveying mountain lions in

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Here’s a great– in the field– video of Game and Fish furbearer biologist Dorothy Feceske and Collin Penner out looking for fresh mountain lion tracks in the badlands after a light dusting of snow. Interesting stuff, even for a biologist. Watch it right here

one big fish(er)

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I’ve always taken an interest to the strange and weird which occur with animals and human interaction. Hard to argue that with most urban developments the animals were there first. We’ll always have negative human/animal encounters no matter what we do. Here’s the latest from the Big Apple—- a 20# fisher this one latched onto a ladies leg. Usually they eat porcupines.

Montgomery Gentry singing a different tune?

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Well T-Roy from the famous Montgomery Gentry group, was sentenced for his illegal bear incident in Minnesota…the question begs is $15,000 a fine for a multi-million dollar recording artist? Or is the public going to slow buying of their concert tickets and records? Will that be a fall out punishment?

a ban on inline muzzleloaders?

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Wyoming is looking at a ban on inline muzzleloaders? I can’t say I’m totally surprised, there’s been growing discontent with the traditional shooters over recent years with the advancing technology. I would however be somewhat surprised if it went through. As they say, stay tuned or read more later….either way….this issue will not go away.

Dorgan introduces elk hunting legislation!!!!

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NOW  WE’RE MOVING FORWARD!!!!!

Dorgan introduces elk hunting legislation

AP – 02/26/2007

WASHINGTON (AP) -
Congress now has the opportunity to decide whether hunters should be
allowed to hunt elk in North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Sen.
Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., introduced legislation Monday that would allow
the National Park Service to use volunteer hunters to thin the
overpopulated elk herd in the park.

"If
we need to thin the herd, I don’t see any sense in spending millions of
dollars to bring in federal sharpshooters and helicopters when we have
qualified hunters in North Dakota that would do it free of charge,"
Dorgan said.

The
National Park Service has been considering options to reduce elk
numbers in the south unit of the park, where the animals were
reintroduced in 1985. The unit can sustain about 360 elk, but officials
estimate between 750 and 900 elk are there now.

Elk
have multiplied rapidly in the park because there are few natural
predators, hunting is not allowed inside the park, and the animals’
winter survival and reproduction rates have been good. The practice of
shipping them elsewhere stopped in 2003 because of fears of chronic
wasting disease.

North
Dakota Gov. John Hoeven, on a trip to Washington this week for the
National Governor’s Association conference, also is lobbying the
Interior Department to allow the practice.

Rep.
Mark Udall, D-Colorado, has introduced a similar bill in the U.S. House
that would allow hunters to thin the elk population at Rocky Mountain
National Park.

more on ND mountain lion’s

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found an AP story that has some interesting notes on the 10 year old female mountain lion caught a week or so ago in western ND

Mountain lion may have been N.D.’s ‘Eve’


Associated Press

A female mountain
lion that was caught in a bobcat snare in northwestern North Dakota
might have played a big role in the increase in cougars in North Dakota
over the past few years, a wildlife official says.

The state
Game and Fish Department determined the lion to be at least 10 years
old. Wildlife chief Randy Kreil said it might have been one of North
Dakota’s first resident females, and possibly responsible for several
offspring.

"This could be ‘Eve,’" Kreil said.

Kreil
said the cougar likely was in the area for at least seven years.
"Breeding females establish a territory and generally don’t wander
anymore," he said.

Wildlife officials tried to save the lion -
even bringing it to Bismarck’s Dakota Zoo – but the animal’s injuries
were too extensive, so it was euthanized.

Dorothy Fecske, furbearer biologist with Game and Fish, was examining the animal to determine its reproductive history.

Interior requested to look at ND elk issue

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great bit of info from the GF Herald Outdoors section yesterday:

Hoeven asks Interior secretary to assist in elk management plan

Gov. John Hoeven has asked Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to urge
the U.S. Park Service to adopt an elk management control plan drafted
by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Theodore Roosevelt
National Park’s South Unit.

Hoeven made the request Thursday during a phone call to Kempthorne.

According to a news release from the governor’s office, Kempthorne said
he would consult with Park Service officials to give the state plan
more consideration before a final decision is made. Earlier, Hoeven
sent a letter to the National Park Service requesting favorable
treatment for the state’s plan and followed up with an additional
letter to Kempthorne.

Park Service officials, in considering
options for trimming the elk herd in the park, last week declined to
include an alternative favored by Hoeven and Game and Fish. That plan
would allow qualified volunteer hunters to cull the herd.

The
Park Service, meanwhile, is proposing alternatives that include using
sharpshooters, euthanasia, fertility control and relocation of animals
to other states.

“Our agencies and our people have been good
stewards of this resource in the past, and we will continue that
tradition in the future,” Hoeven said. “To retain the good will and
trust of the people of North Dakota, it is critically important that
you seriously allow the evaluation of all reasonable alternatives as a
solution is sought.”

Hoeven plans to discuss the issue further with Kempthorne this week in Washington, the news release said.

– Herald staff report

cheating in tournaments?

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a recent controversy from this weekend, high-lights how tournaments can lead to cheating, which diminishes angling as a sport.
Jim Sheppard weighs in on the issue–


Crime and Punishment.



From Dostoevsky’s classic novel
to
last week’s online dismantling of hunting writer Jim Zumbo, the
balance
between crime and punishment is a never-ending discussion.

Saturday afternoon in Birmingham, Alabama, crime – and
punishment – took center stage in bass fishing following Bassmasters
Classic tournament director Trip Weldon’s disqualification of his
friend -
and hometown favorite – Gerald Swindle. Weldon ruled Swindle violated
rules
when he drove his boat too-fast and too-close to spectator and camera
boats
as he raced past fellow angler Randy Howell and his crowd of
onlookers in a
narrow portion of Lay Lake.

Violation of either rule carries
the
same penalty: disqualification.

Swindle took the stage at
the
second round weigh-in with the crowd unaware that he had, in effect,
been
tossed from the tournament. When Swindle announced: "I’ve been
disqualified"a second of stunned silence was followed by a long
chorus
of boos from a highly-partisan Birmingham crowd.

In a
rambling
attempt to explain what happened, the seemingly distraught Swindle
broke
down, at one time sobbing into a towel as he alternatively choked
back
tears or broke down completely in a disjointed attempt to apologize
to
sponsors and fans.

It apparently wasn’t an easy penalty for
Weldon to levy, either.

Called onstage beside the sobbing
Swindle, an equally emotional Weldon at times choked back his own
tears,
declaring "I love this guy" while reminding everyone that
while it
was a judgment call – his judgment call – there was no other penalty
in
side BASS rules.

Disqualification ("going DQ" or
"going to Dairy Queen") in any BASS competition is the death
penalty for the tournament. A DQ in the top-event of the tour,
especially
when applied to a hometown favorite who is also one of the most
highly-sponsored poster boys for contemporary fishing, demonstrates
just
how tightly the rules are written.

Some anglers suggest it
may
be time for rules that more closely reflect other
sports.

Longtime angler Alton Jones says, "you can have
a
personal foul in any other sport, take the penalty, and still win the
game."

"Graduated penalties," he reasoned,
"don’t
completely change the outcome of the game."

Jones has
been
disqualified in the past, but says his feelings reflect the changing
face
of the sport, not his personal infraction. That, he said, was
"history.

Other anglers supported Swindle when he
gathered
with reporters in another emotional attempt to explain his conduct.
Various anglers in attendance called out encouragement to Swindle,
telling
him "you don’t have anything to apologize to anyone for."

So, I asked, is it time for graduated penalties?

"Absolutely," said Swindle, "We’ve taken the
sport
to a new level and the penalties need to reflect that."

What
would the anglers consider reasonable graduated
penalties?

Their
responses were all similar, ranging from "holding your starting
time" or "early weigh-in" for various infractions to one
suggestion that got less than solid endorsement in the discussion;
weight
penalties.

That, some anglers argued, wasn’t equitable
because
there were no other sports where "points were taken off the
board."

Saturday, Swindle reminded reporters he always
competes "wide open" and compared his boat driving to NASCAR.
"NASCAR drivers," Swindle says, "would say there’s no
such
thing as running too-close to the wall". After all, they, like
he,
"are there to win."

Where the rules are involved,
there’s a
big difference between Bassmasters and NASCAR. With Bassmasters,
violation
of the rules is simply not tolerated.

So will there be a
serious
consideration given to a set of graduated rules?

BASS
sources
tell me the process is already underway.


Jim Shepherd

gone to the dogs

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I can’t say this any other way: A life time membership in Pheasants Forever is no available…for dogs….

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Going to the Dogs

Saint
Paul, MN – Pheasants Forever (PF) and its quail division, Quail Forever
(QF), have announced that lifetime memberships are now available for
dogs. The first four dogs to become lifetime members did so at National
Pheasant Fest in Des Moines, Iowa, this past January, including two PF
and two QF lifetime member dogs.

"Dogs and hunting go hand in hand, but the relationship is even
stronger than that," said Diane Weyandt, PF’s Director of Membership,
"In many respects, a dog is treated as an equal part of a family, just
as a son or daughter, a brother or a sister. We felt it was time we
open up our life membership program to recognize this fact."

The first dog ever to become a lifetime member was a yellow
Labrador named Bridget, who now joins her owners, Jim and Patti Farrell
of Portland, N.Y., as a PF life member. "She’s always been a special
dog, a wonderful hunter and a wonderful retriever," Jim said, "It’s an
honor to have Bridget become a dog life member, especially the first
one." Jim said the new dog membership is an innovative way to support
conservation. "I’m really impressed with the work Pheasants Forever has
done and was eager to continue to donate to a great cause." Born on
9/11/01 with the registered name of Spirit of America, Bridget has
already gained quite a bit of notoriety in the Midwest since Pheasant
Fest. "I told Bridget I’m fine with her being famous, but no personal
appearances during hunting season," Jim said.

Rooster Cogburn, a Vizsla owned by Elsa Gallagher, QF’s Regional
Wildlife Biologist in Missouri and Kansas, is the first QF life member
dog. Gallagher wanted to give Rooster, who is named after the John
Wayne movie of the same name, a lifetime membership because he is such
an integral part of her hunting lifestyle. "Quail Forever is such a
great organization and as someone who spends a majority of her time and
money on quail hunting, I felt like I should give something back,"
Gallagher said, "A donation to Quail Forever seemed like the right
thing to do. I trust this organization – Quail Forever is obviously
committed to doing positive things for quail."

The second PF lifetime member dog is Millie, owned by PF Controller
Allan Ferguson, who also is a PF lifetime member. The second QF
lifetime member dog is Sam, owned by Carole Rowland of Pleasantville,
Iowa. Rowland is also a life member of QF and PF.

For a donation of $500, dogs become lifetime members and receive a
Life Membership card, decal and pin, recognition in the PF or QF Annual
Report and a Boyt Leather Dog Collar with name and phone number
options. They also receive a premium choice of either a SportDog 1850
collar & beeper or a SportDog 1800 collar.

To find out more information on PF or QF dog lifetime memberships,
or for information on becoming a lifetime member yourself, contact Lou
Ann Hausladen at (651)209-4956 or via e-mail at lahausladen@pheasantsforever.org.

Media Contact:
Anthony Hauck (651)209-4972