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Colorado Program Helps Young Hunters Bag First Birds

April 30, 2012

Three lucky young hunters from northwest Colorado bagged their first turkeys after being selected to participate in Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s 2012 Hunter Outreach Program’s Youth Turkey Hunt. The trio found success after spending some chilly, late April weekends enjoying a private land hunt and learning hunting strategies from their Colorado Parks and Wildlife mentors.

Ten-year-old Henry Musser of Meeker, 13-year-old Antoinette Dorris of Rangely and 10-year-old Tagerty Poole of Rifle were selected from a group of novice youth hunters that had recently completed their hunter education classes.

“To see the smiles on their faces and the fun they were having was fantastic,” said District Wildlife Manager Bailey Franklin, who coordinates the turkey hunt each year. “It’s truly a highlight of my career as a Colorado game warden.”

The focus of the Hunter Outreach Program is to pair young hunters with experienced veterans to help build knowledge and confidence, which is critical for beginning hunters. District Wildlife Managers Jon Wangnild, Mike Swaro and Terry Wygant were the primary guides for the youth participants again this year. The skilled wildlife officers taught the youngsters various hunting techniques including the use of calls to locate “gobblers” and how to identify turkey sign in the field.

Hunting access was provided by the Jensen Family Ranch properties, which are leased and managed by Rocky and Sparky Pappas and Travis Flaherty, K/K Ranch owners Bill and Ross Wheeler, Seven Lakes Lodge owner and professional golfer Greg Norman and landowners Lonnie and Todd Shults.

“We had increased interest and support from several landowners from Meeker this year which is very encouraging,” said Franklin. “Without them, these once-in-a-lifetime hunting opportunities would not be possible, and we are very grateful.”

In addition to the landowners, ranch employees donated their time to help make the hunts successful. Travis Flaherty of Jensen Family Ranch properties/Nine Mile Guest Ranch scouted and located turkey flocks and served as a guide for Swaro and one of the young hunters.  Brett Harvey and Rich Krauss of K/K-Wheeler Ranch, along with Tony Decker and Robert King of Seven Lakes Lodge, also provided valuable assistance.

To ensure that they received the best information and training, the aspiring turkey hunters were required to go through an additional half-day orientation where they learned more about hunter safety and ethics, state laws, wild turkey biology and hunting techniques

They received additional firearm training at the Meeker Sportsman’s Club shooting range, where they honed their shotgun shooting skills. The time and facilities were donated by the club, a long-time supporter of the Hunter Outreach Programs.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife loaned the young hunters youth model shotguns and turkey hunting equipment to participants that did not already have their own. The kids also received hunting gear, prizes and food for the hunt.

After successfully harvesting their mature gobblers, the youngsters learned how to properly field dress and care for their birds.

Although turkey hunting has seen a rapid growth in popularity across the country, the overall number of hunters and anglers nationwide has declined every year since 1990, according to research conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The reasons include a lack of places to hunt and fish busy lifestyles and a lack of mentorship from an older, experienced hunter.

The Hunter Outreach Program provides skills seminars, clinics, mentored hunts and online articles and information as a means to encourage the public to learn and apply their new skills in hunting and angling.

“Our goal is to expose novice hunters of all ages to a quality experience and give them basic skills so they will continue with the sport into the future,” said Statewide Hunting Outreach Coordinator Jim Bulger. “Without the help of private landowners and other stakeholders, we’d be unable to provide that experience.”

Landowners who are interested in supporting Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s 2013 youth turkey hunting program or any other  youth hunting program in northwestern Colorado are encouraged to  call the Meeker office at 970-878-6090.

Youth and parents interested in learning more about youth hunting opportunities can also call the Meeker office and request an application for upcoming youth hunts.

For more information about the Hunter Outreach Program, please visit: http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/HunterOutreach/Pages/HunterOutreach.aspx

Colorado Parks and Wildlife was created by the merger of Colorado State Parks and the Colorado Division of Wildlife, two nationally recognized leaders in conservation, outdoor recreation and wildlife management. Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages 42 state parks, all of Colorado’s wildlife, more than 300 state wildlife areas and a host of recreational programs.

To learn more about Colorado’s state parks, please see: http://www.parks.state.co.us

To learn more about Colorado’s wildlife programs, please see: http://wildlife.state.co.us

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NSSF Invites Employees of Voting Member Companies to Apply for $50,000 in Scholarships

April 30, 2012

NSSF Invites Employees of Voting Member Companies to Apply for $50,000 in Scholarships

Employees of companies that support the National Shooting Sports Foundation at the highest level can apply for education aid through the NSSF Voting Member Scholarship Program.

NSSF is accepting applications for scholarships through 5 pm Eastern time on June 15, 2012.

Scholarships are available only to employees and their family members of Voting Member companies of NSSF. (For specific eligibility, refer to the official guidelines.) The scholarship program is one of a number of benefits that Voting Member companies receive from NSSF, the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry.

Applicants must be enrolled in, or have been accepted and plan to attend, a college, university or vocational school during the fall 2012 school year. Scholarships are limited to candidates seeking an undergraduate or vocational degree only. The complete rules and application forms are available at www.nssf.org/scholarship. NSSF urges applicants to read the rules thoroughly before applying.

An application requires an essay of a maximum of 350 words on one of the following topics:

  • Why Hunting is Important to Rural Businesses
  • Power at the Polls: The Importance of the Gun-Owner Voting Bloc
  • WSFR 75th Anniversary: How Industry and Sportsmen Support Conservation
  • The True Meaning of the Second Amendment

Forty-two scholarships are available. The applicant whose essay is judged the best will earn the Grand Prize $6,000 scholarship. The two next best essayists will receive a $3,000 and $2,000 scholarships, respectively. Thirty-nine others will receive $1,000 scholarships, subject to the contest judges’ discretion. NSSF will contact the winners by July 13 and list the recipients on its website.

NSSF Voting Member companies will receive posters and application forms to promote the scholarships to their employees.

For more information about the NSSF Voting Member Scholarship Program, contact Samantha Hughes, NSSF’s member services coordinator, at shughes@nssf.org.

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Final Round of Sage Grouse Trapping and Canadian Translocation Completed

April 30, 2012

Final Round of Sage Grouse Trapping and Canadian Translocation Completed

A two-year sage grouse trapping project that captured a total of 40 birds on the northern Montana prairie for translocation to Alberta has been completed.

In Canada sage grouse are classified as an endangered species, and wildlife officials say their numbers in southeastern Alberta have declined about 80 percent since 1970. In an effort to increase the population of birds there, Alberta biologists in 2010 asked permission to capture up to 40 sage grouse in Montana and bring them across the international border for re-establishment.

Last year biologists and technicians with the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, a ministry within the provincial government, were hampered by poor weather and were only able to capture and moved nine of the birds from southern Phillips County. The final trapping and transferring of 31 additional birds from sites in southern Valley County took place over the past few weeks.

“Unlike last year, this year we had excellent weather and operating conditions, which allowed everything to go smoothly,” said FWP Region 6 Biologist Kelvin Johnson, who coordinated the project on the United States’ side. “The releases also took place without any problems. To date, the birds there appear to be keying in on the habitat. Some birds also appear to be nesting.”

The trapping project involved locating the birds during the day at their breeding display areas, commonly known as leks, and coming back to capture them at night using all-terrain vehicles, spotlights and long-handled nets.

A total of 37 female sage grouse and three males were captured and moved. All captured and released birds were fitted with GPS radios to allow Canadian biologists to follow them and determine their survival and reproductive success.

Biologists say the Canadian birds are naturally associated with the northern Montana sage grouse. In many areas of Montana, particularly in FWP Region 6, sage grouse numbers remain steady and strong because important habitat has been protected.

“This translocation came out of a larger, cooperative conservation and habitat effort called the Northern Sage Brush Steppe Initiative, which has resulted in close coordination over the last six years for the Alberta, Saskatchewan and Montana wildlife agencies,” said FWP Region 6 Supervisor Pat Gunderson.

The sage grouse translocation project – which underwent public review in an Environmental Assessment and approval by the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission — is not expected to negatively impact overall bird numbers. In Valley and Phillips counties the estimated minimum spring population of sage grouse has been 15,000 birds over the past five years.

“We feel that helping Alberta wildlife managers maintain their sage grouse population will help to keep the birds off the endangered species list in the United States by maintaining and hopefully expanding their overall range,” Gunderson said.

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New from Winchester: SXP 12 Gauge 3 1/2 Inch Pump Shotgun

April 30, 2012

New From Winchester SXP 12 ga 3 ½ inch Pump Shotgun

SXP Turkey Hunter

Turkey Hunter

SXP Black Shadow

Black Shadow

Waterfowl Hunter Pump Shotgun

Waterfowl Hunter

Ready for the turkey woods or flooded fields, the Winchester Repeating Arms Super X Pump is now available in 12 gauge 3 ½ chambering.

The Super X® Pump will be offered in a Waterfowl Hunter, Turkey Hunter and Black Shadow models. All SXP models feature the fast and dependable speed from the inertia-assisted rotary bolt design that delivers three shots in a half-second. Invector-Plus choke system, hard chrome chamber and bore and drop-out trigger group are also featured on the new 3 ½” SXP® Pump.

The SXP Waterfowl Hunter will be offered in 26” or 28” barrel lengths with synthetic stocks with textured gripping surfaces and dipped in Mossy Oak Duck Blind® Camo. The Black Shadow will come in a matte-black finish with synthetic stocks in 26” or 28” barrels. The new SXP Turkey Hunter will feature a 24” barrel length with Truglo open sights. It will also have synthetic stocks with textured gripping surfaces and dipped in Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity camo. New SXP 12 gauge 3 ½” Waterfowl Hunter Suggested Retail, $579.99. New SXP 12 gauge 3 ½” Black Shadow, Suggested Retail, $499.99. New SXP 12 gauge 3 ½” Turkey Hunter, Suggested Retail, $599.99.

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Colorado Landowner Voucher Discussion on tap May 10

April 30, 2012

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is inviting sportsmen to attend a town hall meeting with agency director Rick Cables on Thursday May 10 to discuss proposed improvements to the Landowner Voucher Program.

The meeting is scheduled to be held in the Hunter Education Building at the agency’s Grand Junction regional office, located 711 Independent Avenue. The meeting is scheduled to run from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. All members of the public are invited to attend.

The landowner voucher program offers hunting licenses to private landowners whose farms and ranches provide habitat for big game.  The program has evolved over the course of five decades and today enrolls approximately 5,000 properties across Colorado that allow hunting for deer, elk and pronghorn.

“The landowner voucher program helps us manage Colorado’s wildlife by building relationships with private landowners, encouraging good stewardship practices and providing additional hunting opportunity,” said Cables. “Because private lands play such a key role in supporting Colorado’s wildlife, we all have a stake in strengthening this important program.”

Two years ago, the former Division of Wildlife convened a committee of landowners, sportsmen, outfitters and wildlife managers to address concerns that had built up through the years. The committee held more than 20 public meetings and dozens of informal meetings across the state. Members developed a package of recommendations which include tightening enforcement of the program’s rules and providing a stronger connection between the voucher program and the habitat value of participating ranches.

Under current rules, up to 15 percent of deer, elk and pronghorn licenses in each totally limited hunting unit are made available through a draw process for landowners who own at least 160 contiguous acres of agricultural land. The licenses are valid throughout the entire game management unit where the private land is located and can be sold or transferred to any eligible hunter.

The recommendations for improving the program include changing the proportion of licenses set aside for landowners and tightening up program eligibility rules to ensure that participating properties are used by big game animals. The recommendations also call for closer enforcement of program rules, including eligibility requirements and bans on “brokering” of hunting licenses.

“We’ve worked for a long time to understand the concerns sportsmen and landowners raised about the program and how it is currently operated,” said Cables. “We believe these changes will improve the program and strengthen the partnership between landowners and sportsmen that we need to best manage big game populations that depend on private lands.”

Sportsmen, landowners and interested members of the public are asked to call the committee’s facilitator, Dave Chadwick at 303-291-7174 to reserve their spot. You can also send an email to dave.chadwick@state.co.us.

Who: Director Rick Cables, Colorado Parks and Wildlife

What: Town Hall discussion - Landowner Voucher Program

When: May 10, 2012 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Where: Hunter Education Building, 711 Independent Ave., Grand Junction. For more information about the Landowner Voucher Program, please visit:http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/BigGame/PriorityLandowner/Pages/PriorityLandowner.aspx

For more information about the committee, please visit:http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/BigGame/LandownerVoucherReviewCommittee/Pages/LandownerVoucherReviewCommittee.aspx

Colorado Parks and Wildlife was created by the merger of Colorado State Parks and the Colorado Division of Wildlife, two nationally recognized leaders in conservation, outdoor recreation and wildlife management. Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages 42 state parks, all of Colorado’s wildlife, more than 300 state wildlife areas and a host of recreational programs.

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Wildwood Genetics Delta Whitetail Hi-Pro 18% Pellets

April 30, 2012

Wildwood Genetics Delta Whitetail Hi-Pro 18% Pellets

With top-quality ingredients and integrated multiple protein sources, the Wildwood Genetics Delta Whitetail Hi-Pro 18% Pellets are essential for proper nutrition and growth of whitetails.

Fortified with vitamins and minerals, the pellets include multiple protein sources to ensure ample rumen-degradable and un-degradable (bypass) protein levels. These protein sources cater to different stress levels and nutrient requirements of whitetails that may fluctuate throughout the year. The feed pellets are designed to be given year-round, so you can rely on Delta Whitetail Hi-Pro feed to give your deer exactly what they need.
Made from the highest-quality ingredients, Delta Whitetail Hi-Pro feed is proven to provide all of the necessary nutrients needed for healthier bucks, maximum antler growth and heavier fawn birth weights.
If your looking for an all-round protein feed for the whitetails on your land, you can trust that these Delta Whitetail Hi-Pro 18% Pellets are everything you need.


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Brownells Video Receives Two 2012 Telly Awards

April 30, 2012

Brownells Video Receives Two 2012 Telly Awards

Brownells – The World’s Largest Supplier of Firearms Accessories, Ammunition, and Gunsmithing Tools  - is proud to announce that it has received two 2012 Telly Awards for its production of a video demonstrating the practical application of the QD-360 identification system for off-duty law enforcement officers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPXC3AL7fA0

The QD-360 earned accolades in both the Safety and Editing categories. The sought-after awards, rendered by the prestigious, 500-member Silver Telly Council, recognize outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials, in addition to online commercials, videos and films.

“We’re committed to providing our customers with useful information, enabling them to make an informed purchase. High-quality videos demonstrating product features and benefits is the new way of accomplishing this,” said Pete Brownell, CEO of Brownells. “We’re certainly honored to receive this recognition. It’s really a testament to the hard work and creativity of our production staff.”

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Wild Turkey Winter Flock Survey Results In for New Hampshire

April 30, 2012

Wild Turkey Winter Flock Survey Results in

Results are in from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s fourth annual wild turkey winter flock survey, in which the public participates by reporting their turkey flock sightings online. Wild turkey watchers submitted their observations from January 1 through March 31, 2012. During that time, people reported seeing 1,180 wild turkey flocks across the state, representing a total of 20,295 individual turkeys. This was down a bit from last year’s winter flock survey (2011), in which observers recorded 1,497 flocks and 27,521 turkeys.

Fewer sightings does not mean we have fewer turkeys in the state, explains Fish and Game Wildlife Biologist Ted Walski. He estimates New Hampshire’s turkey population as holding steady at about 40,000 birds. The most likely reason for why fewer turkey flocks were reported was because the 2011-2012 winter was one of the mildest the state has seen in over 40 years. The lack of snow cover this winter allowed turkeys to move around more easily. In addition, an abundant fall mast crop of acorns, beechnuts, apples, white ash seeds and various other seeds and fruits, encouraged turkeys to stay in the woods and feed on natural foods rather than congregating at birdfeeders and farm sites. This also explains why large flocks of 100 or more were not as common this year. Most flocks observed were in the range of 20 to 30 turkeys.

Southeastern New Hampshire, particularly in Rockingham and Hillsborough counties, produced the most flock reports and the highest total turkey count. Observers in the region reported a total of 923 flocks and 15,611 turkeys. This part of the state included all 23 towns with the most flocks of turkeys reported per town, and the most total turkeys per town.

As expected, people in northern New Hampshire saw fewer turkeys. Observers reported a total of 23 flocks of turkeys from 13 towns in Coos County, for a total of 331 turkeys, and an average of 14.4 turkeys per flock. This was not surprising in an area with a small human population, as well as a low turkey population.

In their reports, observers recorded whether the turkeys were feeding, the type of food the birds were eating, and the type of habitat they were seen in. Of the total flocks observed, about a third (359 flocks) were using birdfeeders, and most of these flocks were in southeastern New Hampshire. Other types of food usage recorded included corn in ensilage or livestock manure, apples or crabapples, acorns or beechnuts, birdseed at birdfeeders, grasses/greens and dried berries. As for habitat, 72% (851 flocks) were spotted in rural areas, 26% in suburban settings, and 2% were seen in urban areas.

“Many thanks to all the people throughout the state who took time to contribute their wild turkey flock observations during the winter of 2012,” said Walski. ”All these reports contribute greatly to a more comprehensive knowledge of the yearly status of behavior, habitat use, food usage, abundance and distribution of wild turkeys throughout various regions of the state.”

This year’s winter flock survey included a new section, done in cooperation with the University of New Hampshire, intended to help assess public attitudes about wild turkeys in the state. Preliminary results are encouraging. About 15% of all survey participants completed the optional human dimensions survey. Nearly all respondents (about 98%) indicated they participated in the survey to help agency biologists manage the wild turkey population; they enjoyed observing turkeys; and they felt turkeys contribute to New Hampshire’s quality of life. The optional survey will continue this summer as part of Fish and Game’s online Turkey Brood Survey.

Data from the winter and summer human dimensions surveys will be compiled and analyzed as part of a Masters of Science project to assess public attitudes and interest in monitoring wild turkeys and to provide Fish and Game biologists with information that will enhance their ability to recruit and retain “citizen scientists.”

“The combined use of biological and human dimensions surveys will aid both turkey management and promote public participation in wildlife management overall,” said Allison Keating, a Fish and Game program planner and the UNH graduate student coordinating the research.

To read the full report on the 2012 winter flock survey, visit http://www.wildnh.com/turkeysurvey.

In addition to the winter flock survey, N.H. Fish and Game conducts a spring/summer turkey brood survey in which the public is invited to report sightings of New Hampshire flocks that include hens with young turkeys from May 15 to August 31 each year. Watch http://www.wildnh.com for information on this and other citizen science opportunities.

Turkey management in New Hampshire is supported by license fees and federal funds from the Wildlife Restoration Program.

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North Dakota Game Warden Exam is May 18

April 30, 2012

Individuals interested in taking the game warden exam scheduled for May 18 are reminded to submit a letter of intent to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department before 5 p.m., May 17.

Letters of intent should be addressed to chief game warden Robert Timian, North Dakota Game and Fish Department, 100 N. Bismarck Expressway, Bismarck, ND 58501‑5095. The test will be given at 10 a.m., May 18 at the department’s main office in Bismarck.

Applicants must be at least 21 years of age and have a bachelor’s degree. Other requirements are a current North Dakota peace officer license, or eligibility for a license, and a valid driver’s license. Candidates must have excellent interpersonal skills in communications and writing, and must not have a record of any felony convictions.

Game wardens enforce game and fish laws and related regulations in an assigned district and other locations as determined by the department. Wardens normally work alone under varied conditions, at all hours of the day, night and weekends. In addition to law enforcement duties, wardens assist in the areas of public relations, education programs, and hunter and boat safety education.

Game warden duties also require the ability to perform physically demanding tasks involving lifting and carrying large, heavy objects, walking and running over uneven terrain and tolerating adverse weather and other environmental conditions.

Selection procedures following the test may include an evaluation of the application, a structured oral interview, background and reference checks, and psychological and medical examinations.

The salary for beginning game wardens through training is $3,000 per month. Upon successful completion of training, the salary is $3,550 per month. Wardens also receive the state benefits package, including travel allowance. Uniforms and other equipment are provided.

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Field Days Set for Online Bowhunter Education Students in Montana

April 30, 2012

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks in Great Falls has scheduled two more field days for anyone 18 years and older who takes FWP’s online bowhunter education course.

For online students in FWP’s Region 4 the two remaining field days are May 19 and July 14.

State law says all first time bowhunters must take a bowhunter education course. The online course is a chance for an adult to take the course at his, or her, convenience.

All students, whether taking the course in a classroom setting or online, must take a field course to receive their certification card.

Registration is only available on the Internet to those who successfully complete the online course, and space is limited.

To register go to the FWP website at http://fwp.mt.gov. Click on Education, then Hunter Education followed by Bowhunter Education Program and finally Field Day Registration.

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