Saturday, December 15, 2018

Iowa school districts add hunters ed course to PE curriculum

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

Besides a robust hunter’s education program, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources also supports apprentice and mentor hunting programs as well as a number of initiatives in schools to impart shooting sports.
Beginning next Spring, middle school students in two Iowa school districts will receive hunter’s safety as part of their physical education class curriculum.
Both the North Butler and Clarksville Community School Districts will deliver a mandatory hunter safety course in the 7th and 8th grade PE curriculum reports Radio Iowa. Students in grades 9 through 12 will be given a chance to take voluntary classes.
“What we do best is educate our kids,” said Superintendent Joel Foster. “We feel if we educate our kids in how to use weapons responsibly, how to respect them, understand it’s not a video game and those sort of things, that maybe we’ll cut down on our chances of having a severe incident.”
Parents who do not want their children participating in the training can opt out of the class.
Besides a robust hunter’s education program — required by law as a prerequisite to buying a hunting license for anyone born after Jan. 1, 1972 — the Iowa Department of Natural Resources also supports apprentice and mentor hunting programs as well as a number of initiatives in schools to impart shooting sports. These include the Iowa Scholastic Action Shooting Program that uses rifles, pistols, and shotguns in steel target matches and the Iowa Scholastic Clay Target Program. According to the IDNR, there are more than 12 collegiate shooting teams in Iowa. Source: Chis Eger GUNS.COM

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Maine: Did you know ?

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

The economic value of Maine’s water, land, and wildlife is not just their legacy, it’s their greatest potential. Maine’s forest products industry is contributing $8.5 billion to Maine’s economy and supporting 33,000 jobs. 
 Outdoor recreation, including hunting, fishing, skiing, hiking, and wildlife-watching, adds $8.2 billion and 76,000 jobs. 
Commercial seafood landings topped $700 million in 2016, while Maine farmers add $1.4 billion in value to the state’s economy. All the while, innovations in composite materials, environmental technologies, and bio-based products are creating new opportunities for economic growth based on Maine’s abundant natural resources.
Maine’s natural heritage depends on healthy wildlife habitats. Conserving habitat for wildlife to flourish throughout their life cycles provides opportunities for recreation and quiet enjoyment of Maine’s beauty, while generating millions in revenue from our outdoor economy. 
Land conservation provides opportunities for high-quality management of vernal pools, deer wintering areas, and other significant wildlife habitats, including areas for seabirds, shorebirds, and inland waterfowl to nest, roost, and feed. And as our climate changes, conserving resilient landscapes for wildlife, agriculture, drinking water, and protection from storm surges will take on even greater importance. Source: Sportsmen Alliance

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Bald Eagles on the Rise in Massachusettts

Posted by Wayne G, Barber

In 2018, MassWildlife staff identified 76 territorial pairs of bald eagles in Massachusetts. This number is up from 68 pairs last year and much higher than the 59 pairs seen in 2016. From these nests, 65 chicks were successfully fledged—hatched and survived to fly—of which 45 were banded with silver federal bands and color-coded state bands.
This number is not all-encompassing of all bald eagle nests in Massachusetts, however. MassWildlife staff encourage you to report any observations of eagles that are suspected or known to have nests in your area. Observations of nests or of adults carrying sticks or nest lining material are of special interest. Please contact State Ornithologist, Andrew Vitz ( with your observations.
Bald eagles disappeared from Massachusetts as a breeding bird in the early 1900s, with the last suspected nesting effort in 1905 in Sandwich. MassWildlife, along with many other conservation-minded partners, began restoration efforts in 1982, after eagles were discovered wintering in the Quabbin Reservoir area. Young eaglets were transported from wild nests—primarily from Canada—to be raised in cages overlooking the reservoir. When the birds were old enough to fly, the cage doors were opened and the birds were free to fly. This process, called hacking, assures that the young birds would view the area as their home base. It takes five years for an eagle to grow to maturity, and the hope was that the eagles would choose the Quabbin area to nest when grown. This has occurred, and over time, eagle nesting has spread to other parts of the state, involving eagles descended from the original eaglets, and other descendants of hacked birds from nearby states. Since 1982, eagle populations in Massachusetts have undergone a slow but steady increase. The first successfully fledged young (3 birds flying from 2 nests) occurred in 1989. Since that time, the bald eagle population in Massachusetts has undergone a steady increase.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Lagan, Leveret Win Smallbore Pistol Selection Match

Posted by Wayne G. Barber
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado After two days of intense competition plus Finals today, the champions of the Smallbore (.22) Pistol Selection Match have been crowned in Women’s Sport Pistol, Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol and P3 (Mixed 25m Pistol SH1) at the Olympic Shooting Center in Colorado Springs.

Winning the Women’s Sport Pistol competition even before today’s Final with her cumulative score of 1167 was recent Championship of the Americas gold medalist Alexis Lagan (Boulder City, Nevada). Finishing in second place with a cumulative score of 1153 was 2012 Olympian Sandra Uptagrafft(Phenix City, Alabama) and taking bronze was 2018 World Championship Junior silver medalist Katelyn Abeln(Douglasville, Georgia) with a score of 1144.

In Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol, Jack Leverett III (Bainbridge, Georgia) also had his win sealed up before the Final with his dominating cumulative score of 1155. Henry Leverett (Bainbridge, Georgia) took silver with his score of 1141 and Ryan Yi (Diamond Bar, California) won bronze with a score of 1095. Cumulative scores for these events were based on two days of Qualification plus points earned by position in the Final (Eight points for first, seven for second and so on).

This event served as the selection match for the upcoming International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup next year in New Delhi, India. The 2019 World Cup season is of particular importance as each stop will have valuable Olympic quota places available to the top finishers. An Olympic quota is essentially a country’s ticket to participate in a specific event in the 2020 Olympic Games. Earning an Olympic quota in competition ensures the country a spot in that particular event, not necessarily the athlete. Athletes will earn Olympic Team slots via a trials system established by USA Shooting.

Women's Sport Pistol medalists (Left to right: Uptagrafft, Lagan and Abeln)

Paralympic athletes also competed at this match as it served as the selection matches for the World Shooting Para Sport (WSPS, formerly IPC) World Cup in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates early next year and Szczecin (Poland) Grand Prix, as well as part of the selection process for the World Cup in Osijek, Croatia. The World Cup in Al Ain will have 2020 Paralympic Games qualification slots available for top-finishing athletes (similar to quotas in the Olympic Games).

The top finisher in P3 (Mixed 25m Pistol SH1) was Marco DeLaRosa (San Antonio, Texas) with a score of 1080. Michael Tagliapietra (Fond du Lac, Wisconsin) won the silver medal with a score of 1077 and Tricia Downing (Denver, Colorado) won bronze with a score of 1055. These three athletes were all a part of the 2016 Paralympic Games Team and their scores were based only on two days of Qualification.

About USA Shooting: USA Shooting, a 501c3 non-profit corporation, was chartered by the United States Olympic Committee as the National Governing Body for the sport of shooting in April 1995. USA Shooting's mission is to prepare American athletes to win Olympic medals, promote the shooting sports throughout the U.S. and govern the conduct of international shooting in the country. Check us out on the web at and on Twitter at

Federal Premium, headquartered in Anoka, MN, is a brand of Vista Outdoor Inc., an outdoor sports and recreation company. From humble beginnings nestled among the lakes and woods of Minnesota, Federal Premium Ammunition has evolved into one of the world's largest producers of sporting ammunition. Beginning in 1922, founding president, Charles L. Horn, paved the way for our success. Today, Federal carries on Horn's vision for quality products and service with the next generation of outdoorsmen and women. We maintain our position as experts in the science of ammunition production. Every day we manufacture products to enhance our customers' shooting experience while partnering with the conservation organizations that protect and support our outdoor heritage. We offer thousands of options in our Federal Premium and Federal® lines-it's what makes us the most complete ammunition company in the business and provides our customers with a choice no matter their pursuit. Source: Federal Premium Media Press Release 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Pennsylvania: Preliminary Statewide 2018 Bear Harvest Results

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

Hunters during the final day of Pennsylvania’s statewide bear season harvested 365 bears, raising the 2018 statewide season harvest to 1,993 – a 10 percent increase compared to the 1,796 taken during the four days of the statewide season in 2017.

Hunters took more bears on the season’s last day than on the third day – 211. On the season’s second day, hunters took 381 bears.

Archery and other early-bear season harvest data is not included in this report. Comprehensive bear harvest totals that include bears taken during the early and extended seasons will be released in the coming months.

During the statewide season, bears were harvested in 55 counties.

The top 10 bears processed at check stations were either estimated or confirmed to have live weights of 600 pounds or more.

The largest bear harvested was a 780-pound male taken with a rifle Nov. 19 by Michael J. Rubeo, of Mercer, in Howe Township, Forest County.

A day later, a 708-pound male was taken by Timothy J. Weaver, of Dallas, Pa., with a rifle in Harvey’s Lake Borough, Luzerne County.

Other large bears taken over the season’s first two days – all but one taken with a rifle – include: a 704-pound male taken Nov. 17 in Goshen Township, Clearfield County, by Mickey L. Moore, of Clearfield; a 697-pound male taken Nov. 19 in Chapman Township, Clinton County, by Scott Yorty, of Bloomsburg; a 681-pounder taken Nov. 17 in Coal Township, Northumberland County, by Robert L. Britton III, of Coal Township; a 680-pounder taken Nov. 19 in Chest Township, Clearfield County, by Douglas D. Routch, of Curwensville; a 679-pound male taken with a handgun Nov. 17 in Farmington Township, Warren County, by Jordan Tutmaher, of Warren; a 666-pound male taken Nov. 20 in Snyder Township, Jefferson County, by Earl F. Timothy, of Brockway; a 627-pound male taken Nov. 19 in Snyder Township, Jefferson County, by Wayne C. Kline, of Reynoldsville; and a 623-pound male taken Nov. 17 in Newport Township, Luzerne County, by Corrina M. Kishbaugh, of Nanticoke.

More bears are yet to be taken in extended seasons in many Wildlife Management Units. The overall 2017 bear harvest was 3,438, the ninth-largest in state history. In 2016, hunters took a total of 3,529 bears – the fifth-largest harvest all time. The largest harvest – 4,350 bears – happened in 2011, when preliminary statewide season totals numbered 3,154.
Source: Pennsylvania Fish and Game Media Press Release

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Online Registration Shows Deer Hunters Had Best Year Since 2002

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

The numbers are still preliminary, but as of this Monday, November 26, hunters in Maine had taken 30,299 deer, the most since 2004 when the deer kill was 30,926. With the muzzleloading season beginning Monday throughout the state, it is likely the 2018 deer kill will surpass that 2004 total, but will fall short of the 38,153 deer taken in 2002.

“With rain the first two Saturdays, the deer harvest was lower than expected,” said MDIFW Deer Biologist Nathan Bieber. “However, better hunting conditions including tracking snow throughout the state for the last two weeks of the season compensated for the slow start.”

With the new online registration system, MDIFW biologists monitored the season and harvest. While the number of deer taken the first two Saturdays was close to 2,000 deer lower in 2018 compared to 2017, the last two Saturdays of the season showed the exact opposite, with hunters taking a little over 2,000 deer more than 2017. Weekday totals the last week and a half of the season were higher than last year as well.

MDIFW biologists expected to see a higher deer kill this season due to the increase in the number of any deer permits issued. A total of 84,745 any-deer permits were issued in 22 of the state’s 29 wildlife management districts, an increase of 28% from the previous year. One reason for the permit increase is that the 2017-18 winter was more moderate in central and southern Maine, while up north the winter was a little more severe than years past. 

Deer hunting in Maine provides many Maine families with wild game meat that is high in nutrition, sustainable, free range, and organic. On average, a 150-pound field dressed deer will provide close to 70 pounds of meat. It is estimated that this year’s deer kill will provide over 1.5 million pounds of meat to hunters and their families.

The department manages white-tailed deer through regulated hunting, and manages the deer population in parts of the state to limit vehicle crashes, reduce instances of lyme disease and reduce property damage complaints. In other areas of the state, the department manages the deer population to increase opportunities for hunting and viewing.

Deer seasons began the Saturday after Labor Day and will continue until December 8. These structured seasons, along with controlling the harvest of female deer in the 29 wildlife management districts across the state through the Any Deer permit system, allows biologists to manage deer population trends.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Killington , VT. again hosts world’s best women ski racers this weekend

File photo by Bob LoCicero /VTDigger
Posted by Wayne G. Barber

Killington, VT again hosts world’s best women ski racers this weekend.

Women’s World Cup ski racing returns to Killington Ski Resort for the third consecutive year this weekend with a crowd of about 40,000 spectators expected to attend.

The Killington event — which attracts the best women’s alpine racers in the world — is the third stop on the International Ski Federation’s women’s circuit, following events in Austria and Finland.
Top skiers from the U.S., Switzerland, Norway, Germany, France and Canada are expected along with spectators from around the globe.
Last year, a crowd of 34,000 spectators descended on Killington, but communications director Courtney DiFiore says that with the presence of live music and the overall festive feeling of the event a turnout of around 40,000 is more likely.
All eyes will be on 23-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin, who learned to ski at Burke Mountain Academy in Vermont, and has become arguably the most dominant female skier on the planet.
Last year, Shiffrin celebrated a first-place slalom race performance and a second-place finish in the giant slalom discipline at Killington.
She will be looking to build on that strong performance in what has been billed as a homecoming for the ski racer.
Killington has been hard at work preparing for this premier ski event, with employees making snow nearly around the clock since Oct. 1, DiFiore said.
In addition to the man-made snow operation, Killington has also received an early winter gift this year in the form of more than 30 inches of natural snow.
The giant slalom race is slated to start at 9:45 a.m. Saturday and continue into the early afternoon. On Sunday, the slalom race will get going at 10 a.m. Further details on the Word Cup event can be found here.

Source: Kit Norton VT. Digger