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Improve Your Hunting with New NWTF iPhone App

March 30, 2012

The powerful new NWTF Turkey Hunting Toolbox is now available for iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch.

The official NWTF Turkey Hunting Toolbox has everything a turkey hunter needs in one phone app.

  • Exclusive turkey sound ringtones
  • Turkey sounds recorded from live wild turkeys
  • Video tips from champion callers
  • Valuable turkey hunting tips
  • Range map of wild turkey subspecies
  • Wild turkey score calculator
  • Photos and descriptions of the wild turkey subspecies
  • Links to every state wildlife agency for hunting regulations

“This app is a must-have tool for every turkey hunter,” said Brent Lawrence, NWTF public relations and website director.  “It has amazing features that can help hunters improve their calling and become better hunters. It will help make you a more complete turkey hunter, not to mention becoming the coolest hunter in the woods.”

The exclusive iPhone app features calling tip videos from champion turkey callers, 12 live turkey sounds, and instant access to dozens of proven turkey hunting tips.  All are accessible at your fingertips without an Internet connection  – even in the most remote corner of the forest.

The app’s wild turkey range map can help hunters explore and zoom in to where each subspecies lives across North America. With a few simple measurements, the app calculates the score of a turkey based on the NWTF Wild Turkey Records official requirements.

Turkey hunting fanatics will enjoy exclusive NWTF turkey ringtones. Be the talk of your office when a boss gobbler sounds off from your hip, and then catch everyone’s attention when you lower the boom on him.

Sign up for an NWTF membership, find local events and keep up with the turkey talk on the NWTF’s Facebook page through this do-it-all app.

Search for “NWTF Toolbox” in iTunes or in the App Store on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. The app, only $1.99, was created in cooperation with www.HuntGeek.com. The NWTF and HuntGeek are exploring an Android version.

The NWTF, a non-profit conservation organization founded in 1973, has conserved and improved 17 million acres of essential wildlife habitat with its partners by raising and investing $372 million since 1985. Habitat projects that help wild turkeys also improve habitat for deer, quail, rabbits, songbirds and many other species in our fields and forests.

The NWTF’s outreach programs – JAKES, Women in the Outdoors and Wheelin’ Sportsmen – introduce about 100,000 youth, women and people with disabilities to the outdoors annually. Passing on the outdoor tradition is essential to the future of conservation and hunting.

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Save up to $500 on Nikon Optics This Spring

March 30, 2012

Save up to $500 on Nikon Optics This Spring

Nikon’s Spring Migration Optics Savings promotion offers birders the chance to instantly save on select lines of fieldscopes and binoculars as they gear up for the return of migratory birds from their Southern habitats.  The promotion, which runs from April 1 to May 10, 2012, is full of awesome deals – just in time to get equipped for all the spring birding action.

Anyone can instantly save $500 with the purchase of any Nikon EDG binoculars or EDG Fieldscopes.  EDG technology features sophisticated multilayer coatings to ensure maximum light transmittance.  This higher light transmittance means users will experience a crystal clear field of view with more natural color reproduction than ever before.

Also, instantly save up to $200 with the purchase of select Nikon Premier binoculars or any 50mm, 60mm and 82mm Nikon Fieldscopes.  Birders and digiscopers will be impressed by the edge-to-edge sharpness and detail resolution provided by Nikon fieldscopes, as well as the superior light-gathering ability of the Premier binoculars.

For more information on the Spring Migration Optics Savings promotion, please visit nikonpromo.com.

Nikon Inc. is the U.S. distributor of Nikon sports and recreational optics, world-renowned Nikon 35mm cameras, digital cameras, speedlights and accessories, Nikkor lenses and electronic imaging products.

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Montana Hunter/Bowhunter Education Volunteers Recognized

March 30, 2012

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Park will recognize 34 volunteer hunter education and bowhunter education instructors who have achieved benchmarks in their efforts in south central Montana.

The certified volunteer instructors will be recognized Saturday during an awards banquet in Billings. They are:

  • Allen Eik of Joliet, for 30 years of teaching hunter education in Carbon County.
  • Gordon Crandall of Scobey, who teaches hunter education at Castlerock Middle School in Billings and has been volunteering with the program for 30 years.
  • Larry Whitmyer of Billings, for 25 years of teaching bowhunter education.
  • Dave Yeager of Laurel, for 25 years of teaching bowhunter education.
  • Tom Tyre of Billings, for 20 years of teaching bowhunter education.
  • Charles Pentecost of Billings, for 20 years of teaching hunter education.

Volunteer instructors recognized for 15 years of hunter education are Forrest Ewen of Ballantine, Pat Pierson of Roberts, Dale Rittierodt of Roundup, Mike Bryant of Billings and Patrick Beddow of Billings.

Volunteer instructors recognized for 15 years of bowhunter education are Richard Waltner of Columbus and Samuel Spector of Big Timber.

Volunteer instructors recognized for 10 years of teaching hunter education are Randy Malensek of Hardin, Daniel Guarino of Roberts, Jim Nichol of Fromberg, Jeffrey Jones of Big Timber, Thomas Combs of Shepherd, Wallace Kawane of Huntley, Tim Muessig of Billings, Patrick Bell of Silesia, and Robert Short of Laurel.

Bryan Tomlinson of Harlowton and Steven Oels of Billings will be recognized for 10 years of teaching bowhunter education.

Volunteers recognized for five years of teaching hunter education are Ananda Feldhaus of Park City; Gerald Wiscomb and Jan Johnson of Laurel; Paul Olson, Dennis Hein and Ronnie Hein of Billings, and Torri Bell and Zebulin Bell of Silesia.

David Roberts of Red Lodge and Steven Halama of Billings will be recognized for five years of volunteering to teach bowhunter education.

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Cross’s New Dealer-Only Line of Crossbows

March 30, 2012

Cross’s New Dealer-Only Line of Crossbows

Even during the most brutal of battles, Cross clears the path to victory for both the hunter and dealer alike. Cross is a dealer-focused brand offering crossbows that are packed with features that provide a new level of comfort and efficiency. Great performance at a reasonable price makes both the DOA and Hero easy to sell.

“With today’s crossbow market being the most vertical segment of the outdoor industry, we are compelled to fill the largest void in the market and provide a premium high performance Dealer Only line of equipment that balances the entire industry,” BJ Wolf, brand manager for Cross Crossbows, says.

DOA

The DOA features a best-in-class, first-of-its-kind, shoot-through foot stirrup, which increases the power stroke to an impressive 16″, producing speeds up to 385 feet per second. CarbonLite technology removes up to 43% of the weight from the front end so the center of gravity is moved back to the end of the stock, making the DOA comfortable and easy to shoulder. Available in Carbon and Realtree APG™, the DOA features high-velocity Whiplash cams and the Crosswire String and Cable system. You can always expect a smooth 3.5lb trigger pull thanks to Cross’s new ADF MIM trigger. A top performer, this bow is a favorite for the hunter looking for the highest level of performance and cutting edge design. The dealer package comes complete with a quiver, three arrows, a rope-cocking device, illuminated scope and sling.

Power

  • 185 draw weight
  • 131 ft pounds of energy
  • 15 in power stroke
  • 385 feet per second

Dimensions

  • 8.3 lbs weight
  • 37 in length
  • 24 in width
  • 22 in arrow length

Hero

Meticulously designed, the Cross Hero is packed with features enabling better shooting performance, while retaining a high level of comfort and efficiency. The patented Quick Detach Front End makes breaking down the crossbow fast and easy. A push of a button disassembles the bow for efficient storage, eliminating the need for an oversized case. The Hero ships with Cross’s new ADF (Anti-Dry Fire) trigger system and an adjustable cheek plate and butt stock for a custom fit. The Hero model features the Crosswire® String and Cable system for quieter, smoother shots and increased string life. The dealer package is complete with a quiver, three arrows, a rope-cocking device and illuminated scope and sling.

Power

  • 160 draw weight
  • 115 ft pounds of energy
  • 15.5 in power stroke
  • 350 feet per second Dimensions
  • 8.5 lbs weight
  • 37.5 in length
  • 26.75 in width
  • 22 in arrow length

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New Mexico 2012-2013 Hunting Licenses are in the Mail

March 30, 2012

Hunters and anglers who purchased hunting and fishing licenses while applying online for New Mexico’s 2012-13 big-game licenses should have received them by e-mail Thursday evening. The licenses, needed April 1 for fishing, and to purchase a spring turkey license, also are available for printing from customer accounts on the Department of Game and Fish website, www.wildlife.state.nm.us.

The application deadline for 2012-13 deer, elk, antelope, oryx, ibex, bighorn sheep, Barbary sheep and javelina was 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 28. Results will be available May 9 on the Department website and May 23 by phone.

Hunters and anglers are advised to carry a printed version of the receipt while in the field, as it serves as the customer’s license. Receipts include personal information about the customer and verification of which types of licenses, stamps and permits were purchased. Each receipt also will include an authorization number, which on its own serves as a license.

For more information, please call toll-free (888)248-6866.

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The New Velocity from Parker

March 30, 2012

The New Velocity from Parker

Parker Bows, a manufacturer of high quality Compound bows, Crossbows and Crossbow Accessories is proud to introduce the Velocity for 2012. The Velocity is redefining the modern compound bow in performance and speed with features only found on bows costing hundreds more.

The Velocity features Parker’s all new and proprietary Advanced Split Limb Technology with integrated Fulcrum Pocket System making it Extremely Parallel and Devastatingly fast at 315 Feet Per Second (FPS). At a mere 4.15 lbs, the Velocity is lightweight, forgiving, and incredibly smooth. The single cam design provides 80% let-off with adjustability from 26″- 31″ and a tunable Draw Stop for a Precision Back Wall. Draw Weight adjustment is an incredible 50-70 lbs without a bow press, making the Velocity extremely customizable for any bow hunter looking for a bow they can shoot for years to come. With a Roller Cable Guard, Integrated Sling, and tunable String Suppressor, the Velocity has all the high end features without the high end price.

The Velocity is also available in an Outfitter Package that features name brand accessories including 3 Pin Fiber Optic Sights, Whisker Biscuit or Hostage Arrow Rests, an Angled Peep Sight, Nock Point, and a premium 4 Arrow Quick Detach Quiver, all pre-installed and factory tuned – Ready to take to the field. This package saves time and money, so you can focus on what matters most… Hunting.

The Velocity is proudly made in the U.S.A., is backed by Parker’s Lifetime Warranty, and has a retail beginning at $399.95 for bow only.

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Low Flying Helicopters Assist New Mexico Prairie Chicken Surveys

March 30, 2012

Landowners in easternNew Mexicomay see low-flying helicopters this spring as state wildlife agencies conduct a large-scale aerial survey of lesser prairie chicken booming grounds across the High Plains region.

Helicopters will fly at 35 to 40 mph about 80 feet above ground over 200 85-square-mile blocks of property in and around the estimated range of the species in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado. Flights were scheduled to begin around March 30 and to conclude in mid-May. Towns, feedlots and houses will be avoided, and pilots will make special efforts to avoid disturbing livestock.

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish will join wildlife agencies fromTexas,Oklahoma,Kansas, and Colorado, West Ecosystems, Inc., andTexasTechUniversityin the survey. The lesser prairie chicken is under consideration for listing under the Endangered Species Act by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“These surveys will allow state fish and wildlife agencies to monitor population trends of the species range-wide,” said Grant Beauprez, the Department’s Portales-based lesser prairie chicken biologist. “The data, combined with other ongoing conservation efforts, will help the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service make a decision about whether to list the species.”

Information from the surveys also will be used to help conserve the bird in partnership with landowners and private industries, including oil and gas, wind energy and electric utilities.

Outdoor Hub, The Outdoor Information Engine - Low Flying Helicopters Assist New Mexico Prairie Chicken Surveys

Low Flying Helicopters Assist New Mexico Prairie Chicken Surveys

March 30, 2012

Landowners in easternNew Mexicomay see low-flying helicopters this spring as state wildlife agencies conduct a large-scale aerial survey of lesser prairie chicken booming grounds across the High Plains region.

Helicopters will fly at 35 to 40 mph about 80 feet above ground over 200 85-square-mile blocks of property in and around the estimated range of the species in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado. Flights were scheduled to begin around March 30 and to conclude in mid-May. Towns, feedlots and houses will be avoided, and pilots will make special efforts to avoid disturbing livestock.

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish will join wildlife agencies fromTexas,Oklahoma,Kansas, and Colorado, West Ecosystems, Inc., andTexasTechUniversityin the survey. The lesser prairie chicken is under consideration for listing under the Endangered Species Act by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“These surveys will allow state fish and wildlife agencies to monitor population trends of the species range-wide,” said Grant Beauprez, the Department’s Portales-based lesser prairie chicken biologist. “The data, combined with other ongoing conservation efforts, will help the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service make a decision about whether to list the species.”

Information from the surveys also will be used to help conserve the bird in partnership with landowners and private industries, including oil and gas, wind energy and electric utilities.

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Will the Early Arrival of Spring Produce More Pheasants?

March 30, 2012

Will the Early Arrival of Spring Produce More Pheasants?

I woke up this morning with one question in my mind: Will the early arrival of spring produce more pheasants?  To help me answer this question, I reached out to Pheasants Forever biologists Aaron Kuehl from Illinois and Jim Wooley from Iowa.  While the guys made it clear there is no simple answer to my question, they did provide a number of reasons for optimism.

Healthy Hens

The recent mild winter was advantageous for a variety of reasons when it comes to setting the stage for a productive nesting season, but at the top of their list was hen health.  Egg laying, nesting, re-nesting and brood-rearing are very taxing on hens.  Consequently, a mild winter allows hens to begin the spring reproduction season in top shape with the ability to produce the maximum number of eggs per clutch (the average clutch size of eggs is 12).  The math is simple; more eggs equal more chances for chicks, which provide better odds of adding more adult birds to the autumn population.

If a hen loses her nest due to cold weather, predation, haying, flooding, or some other disturbance, she will attempt to re-nest up to two more times.  Each subsequent re-nesting attempt leads to a drop in the average number of eggs a hen will lay.  A second effort will average eight eggs in a clutch, while a third re-nesting generally produces four to six eggs.  As a result, the healthier the hens are coming out of the winter, the better the chances for nest success during these re-nesting efforts as well.

Nesting Season

Let’s start with the basics of establishing a hen’s spring calendar:

Average Nest Initiation Date: May 1 (beginning as early as March 15 running through July 15)
Average Incubation Start: May 24 (beginning as early as April 1 running through August 1)
Average Hatch: June 15 (beginning as early as April 15 running through August 15)

So, if a hen begins laying eggs in a nest on May 12th, then incubation will start on May 24th if that hen stops egg production after the 12th egg drops.  Then on June 15th, after 23 days of incubation without any complications, the chicks will hatch.

Photo period is the top factor influencing when pheasants begin nesting.  In other words, the length of light in the day determines the bird’s nest initiation.  However, according to Wooley, temperature is an influencing factor moderating the hen’s “decision” when to initiate nesting.  Consequently, both Wooley and Kuehl believe the early spring could accelerate the pheasant nesting season by a few days.

“If you think about the reproductive calendar visually as a bell curve with the peak of the hatch traditionally occurring on June 15th, this early spring will likely shift that bell curve to the left a few days,” explained Kuehl.

Best Case Scenario

If the weather through April, May and June continues to be warm and relatively dry, then hen pheasants will have a high probably of pulling off successful first nesting attempts prior to haying season.

Worst Case Scenario

If hens begin incubating eggs earlier than normal and our spring weather turns cold and wet, then those eggs stand an uphill battle.  Cold and wet spring weather generally leads to multiple re-nesting attempts, smaller broods and less than ideal chick survival.

Exceptions in the South and West

In the western United States and southern Great Plains, a cold spring isn’t a common limiting factor for pheasants.  In fact, most western biologists will point to the need for spring moisture to “green” things up for insect production as the more important factor influencing their pheasant recruitment success.

The Mr. Mom Advantage for Quail

One major difference between pheasants and quail is the role males may play in the reproductive cycle.  In some years, perhaps particularly when the density of quail is low, a hen may lay a clutch of eggs, and then leave her male bobwhite mate in charge of incubation duties for the next 24 days.  Hens may then take up with one or more additional males.  The male also assumes brood rearing responsibility once the eggs hatch (he has to—Mom is down the road with another boyfriend).  Think about that; a hen quail could theoretically produce two or three broods during one nesting season with the assistance of different males. Consequently, quail have an increased ability to rebound populations quickly given quality habitat and optimum weather conditions during nesting season.  In contrast, rooster pheasants play no role in their reproductive cycle other than hen fertilization, so each hen can, at maximum, produce one brood.

Habitat is the Key

Ultimately, we can’t control the weather and it will always be a wild card in the equation.  However, we can control the quantity and quality of habitat on the landscape.  Habitat is the key to providing hens with the places they need to successfully nest and raise broods.

The Moral of the Story

Weather conditions are lining up well to produce a very good spring nesting season for pheasants that will likely begin earlier than normal.  Keep your fingers crossed the warm conditions will extend a couple more months.

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Réal Langlois, the Man Behind the Bow 10 Feet Away from a Giant Moose

March 29, 2012

Réal Langlois, the Man Behind the Bow 10 Feet Away From a Giant Moose

It seems fair that the man who has a passion for hunting moose should be blessed to have come from the land where the big game roam. Réal Langlois, host and producer of The Rack Man, is based in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. For over 15 years, he has shared his knowledge of moose hunting through his videos, which has also made him one of the best hunting filmmakers in North America. Some might recognize and know him best for the record-setting moose shot that was captured on camera.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6DckXvJyoc

Langlois has his own production house, Rack Man Films, which produces video after video of quality hunting footage. And while his shining achievement is getting a bull from 10 feet (possibly 8), in an interview with Draves Archery, Langlois said most of his videos feature him getting within close range to his game. As an expert hunter, who is passionate about the sport, I don’t doubt he gets close.

But when he’s not hunting, Langlois is filming the breathtaking scenery from his many trips, like this recent one from the Yukon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLceKRGqifM

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