May 16, 2013
Officer Mark James takes his duty to “protect and serve” in Portland, Oregon seriously, as shown when he puts a potential high speed chase on hold to save a wandering mallard and her ducklings. In the video below, released by the Portland Police Bureau, shows...
Read More »
May 10, 2013
Taking a walk is good medicine for anyone. Walking can help manage weight, improve mood, ease depression, boost the immune system, maintain mental efficiency, strengthen your heart, lungs, and muscles, lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and prevent osteoporosis. Walking anyplace is good for you,...
Read More »
May 9, 2013
Valley fever, or coccidioidomycosis, is caused by inhaling fungal spores in dust clouds. This potentially deadly disease is common in arid Southwestern states, including Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Utah. Although treatable, valley fever is often misdiagnosed and sometimes overlooked for the other usual suspects, such as tuberculosis. This is partly because the fungal infection often mimics the common flu and sometimes displays no symptoms whatsoever.
According to CBS News, the disease is affecting a much larger number of people than it did several years ago. A major reason for this is the increasingly arid climate of the Southwest and in worst-case scenarios, drought.
“When it dries up, that’s when the fungus goes into the air,” Dr. Galgiani of the Valley Fever Center for Excellence said. “So when there is rain a year or two earlier, that creates more cases if drought follows.”
Wildfires and increased wind traffic could also be to blame for valley fever’s increased range.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that cases of valley fever have been skyrocketing. California rose from 700 infections in 1998 to over 5,500 in 2011. Arizona followed with even higher numbers: a recorded 16,400 in 2011 from 1,400 in 1998. Overall, the number of cases across the country rose a staggering 850 percent.
If mistreated or ignored, valley fever can prove to be fatal. In a small number of patients the infection can spread from outwards from the lungs to target vital organs, such as the brain. Severe symptoms could include blindness and lung failure, and the condition can be fatal.
Outdoorsmen and residents who work outside are primarily at risk, as the dust kicked up by shoes and tools is increasingly hazardous. Humans are not the only ones at risk, wildlife and livestock are also affected by the disease. The CDC recommends several preventative measures:
- Wear an N95 mask if you must be in or near a dusty environment, such as a construction zone
- Avoid activities that involve close contact to dust including yard work, gardening, and digging
- Use air quality improvement measures indoors such as HEPA filters
- Take prophylactic anti-fungal medication if deemed necessary by your healthcare provider
- Clean skin injuries well with soap and water, especially if they have been exposed to soil or dust
You can learn more about the disease and treatment options here.
Read and join the discussion on Valley Fever a Rising Threat to Western Hunters, Hikers at OutdoorHub.com.
May 1, 2013
The SD GFP Commission will hold its monthly meeting at Custer State Park’s Creekside Lodge May 2-3.
The Commission will be proposing East River, West River, Custer State Park, Black Hills, Archery, Muzzleloader, Refuge and Youth Deer Seasons, as well as Archery Antelope, Fall Turkey, Furbearer/Trapping, August Management Take Seasons and a proposal for Archery Accompaniment.
The Commission will be finalizing a proposal for changes in off-season camping rates.
Click here for the full meeting agenda and proposal information (available Wednesday).
The meeting will begin at 1 pm MDT at the Creekside Lodge, which is adjacent to the State Game Lodge in Custer State Park. The public hearing portion of the meeting will begin at 2 pm.
Read and join the discussion on South Dakota GFP Commission Meeting in Custer State Park this Week at OutdoorHub.com.
April 26, 2013
Outdoor equipment retailer Cabela’s showed a strong first quarter performance with a 73 percent increase in profit. According to the Washington Post, the company’s shares reached all-time highs briefly on Thursday following the announcement. At a jump to 70 cents per share, experts can be allowed a little confidence.
“First quarter results exceeded our expectations on every line of the income statement,” said CEO Tommy Millner. Market analysts expected the company’s shares to rise to 59 cents a share where Cabela’s expected a boost to possibly 62 cents. Overall, revenue rose to $802.5 million. The surge was attributed in part to the increased consumer demand for firearms and ammunition. While manufacturers work feverishly to keep products on the shelves, retailers are having problems finding stock. Many ammo aisles across the nation are empty of popular calibers such as .22 and 5.56 NATO. Millner reports that Cabela’s is keeping ahead of the competition because of its diverse supplier base. He also added that demand does not appear to be slowing.
“I think the honest answer is, I don’t know when it’s going to loosen up,” Millner said.
Firearm related purchases are not the full reason for Cabela’s Q1 windfall, the company is seeing revenue surges across the board in other product categories. Millner hopes that the high number of new customers will become repeat consumers, provided that Cabela’s keeps them coming back.
Read and join the discussion on Cabela’s Stocks Reach Record High with 73 Percent Profit Jump at OutdoorHub.com.
April 11, 2013
While refilling our bird feeders last week, I noticed a golf-ball sized hole in the mesh bag holding the suet, which is actually about 10 pounds of fat I carved from a deer’s rump in late November.
I’ve never known nuthatches, chickadees, or woodpeckers to punch holes in a suet bag. Why would they bother? It’s mesh. I studied the bag, but its tattered hole held no clues. All I saw were gouges, scratches and needle holes in the fat where beaks once probed.
The mystery ended the next morning as I watched the feeders from our kitchen window while washing breakfast bowls. Something moved atop the suet bag. A small squirrel with a copper-orange back was gnawing on the fat, its head poking through the hole in the mesh.
Wow. A red squirrel. Or as some folks call it, a pine squirrel. There’s no mistaking one. Besides its wee frame and copper backside, a red squirrel’s dark eyes are uniquely fringed by a thin circle of white fur.
But they’re uncommon around our home in central Wisconsin. In 20 years of feeding birds here, we’ve seen two red squirrels. In contrast, I’ve seen plenty of red squirrels the past 40-plus years when hunting the coniferous forests of the upper Great Lakes and Rocky Mountains.
Even so, I’d never before seen a red squirrel eating fat and meat scraps. And he wasn’t just swiping samples like freeloaders circling a grocer’s cheese plate. No, it was digging and clawing into the frozen fat, hopping to the branch above, licking its paws clean, and then diving back into its chew-hole for more.
I sought confirmation by calling Professor Scott Craven, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s venerable answer-man for all things mammal. Craven assured me I wasn’t seeing things. He said all tree squirrels eat some meat, such as when stumbling across big insects, bird eggs, nestlings, or the babies of small mammals.
But red squirrels eat more meat than fox or gray squirrels. They’re also the most aggressive of the three, despite being the smallest, measuring 11 to 13 inches nose to tail-tip. If a gray or fox squirrel is on a bird feeder when a red squirrel arrives, the mighty mite runs them off.
Even so, don’t believe that wives’ tale about red squirrels castrating gray or fox squirrel males in territorial spats. The bigger squirrels can backhand little Napoleon if pushed too far.
Craven also confirmed it’s unusual to see red squirrels in my area, but not rare. After all, Wisconsin might be the southern edge of the red squirrel’s range, but they’re found from Alaska to Labrador, and from river bottoms to Rocky Mountain peaks.
In the Great Lakes region, they’re most abundant in the northern forests, especially those dominated by pine, spruce and fir. They also frequently inhabit the river corridors and long stretches of remote shorelines on the Great Lakes themselves.
Among the red squirrel’s charms is its bold, curious nature. They often crash our Idaho elk camp to filch peanuts a few feet from where we sit. And if we return to camp and can’t find a snap-on lid for a favorite cup, we follow the log where we last laid it. Experience teaches us that chewed lids wait wherever red squirrels lose interest and drop them.
They aren’t so patient or tolerant when we invade their workspace, however. They start chattering and stamping their feet the second they see us, never believing our intentions are good. And no matter how quiet and respectful our pleas for peace, they slur our wives and curse our names until we move on.
Sheesh. You’d understand their attitude if you had refused them handouts during snack breaks, or raided their middens of green cones cut from Douglas firs and lodgepole pines. But eventually you realize it’s nothing personal. Red squirrels heckle everyone.
Still, you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t occasionally give one the stink-eye and wonder: Could I hit that little jerk with my arrow? If so, how would he taste? Could I sell his pelt and tail?
I’ve eaten plenty of gray squirrels and fox squirrels, but never a red squirrel, though they probably hold as much meat as chicken wings. And their tails and hides aren’t worthless. In fact, Sheldon’s Inc. in Antigo, Wisconsin, makers of Mepps fishing lures, pays 8 cents each for red squirrel tail if hairs at the base measure an inch or more (tails from gray squirrels and fox squirrels fetch 16 to 20 cents each).
And believe it or not, some Northwoods and Canadian trappers collect their pelts, which fetch about $1.50 each but get as much as $2.75 some years at fur auctions. As one trapper-friend notes, they’re about the size of weasels–or ermine–so there’s precedence.
Their end use? Red squirrel pelts line the interiors of some leather jackets and London Fog raincoats. They can also be fashioned into cravats for gentlemen. In fact, red squirrels were hunted so commonly in ancient Finland that their pelts were used as currency before Finns discovered coins.
But for the most part, red squirrels face few threats from hunters and trappers; at least those with two legs. Owls, hawks, and kestrels prey on them, as do most four-legged predators, especially pine martens. As Craven says, what fishers are to porcupines, martens are to red squirrels.
States like Wisconsin have few martens, of course, but I’ve seen them hunting during deer hunts in northeastern Minnesota and elk in southeastern Idaho. But I certainly see no martens around Waupaca. We do see plenty of roaming cats, however. But judging by the red squirrel’s alert, energetic nature, I doubt they’re easy prey.
That is, unless their heads are shoved too deeply into suet bags.
Read and join the discussion on Red Squirrels: Profile of a Feisty Small Game Species at OutdoorHub.com.
April 9, 2013
A Sioux City man was apprehended on several counts resulting from the alleged illegal shooting of a wild turkey north of Pisgah, in Monona County.
Phuoc Nguyen, 42, pleaded guilty to not having a valid turkey tag, illegal method of harvesting a turkey by using a rifle, shooting a turkey out of season, abandonment of dead or injured wildlife and shooting a rifle on or over a roadway.
He faces fines totaling more than $700 and liquidated damages for the turkey of $200. The turkey and a Marlin .22-caliber rifle with scope were seized.
The investigation began after Chase Durfee, a technician for the DNR Forestry Bureau, was contacted by a citizen on March 19.
Durfee identified Nguyen’s vehicle and followed it, observing Nguyen stopping at one point and moving an uncased rifle from the front to the rear of the vehicle.
Jeff Poen, park ranger for Lewis and Clark State Park, stopped Nguyen’s vehicle on I-29 where an uncased gun was observed. Durfee and Poen located and recovered the turkey that had been shot on state forest land near the Boy Scout Camp, north of Pisgah. Nguyen was later charged by DNR Conservation Officer Steve Griebel.
Nguyen still faces a charge of having an uncased gun in the vehicle in Harrison County.
DNR Conservation Officer Dave Tierney said this is another case that underscores the importance of citizens providing eye-witness information when they see illegal activity taking place. A good option for providing the information is through the Turn In Poachers hotline, 1-800-532-2020.
“Our best chance to catch poachers is when the public provides us with timely information after witnessing illegal activity take place,” said Tierney.
“This case is an excellent example of how good information from the public can result in an arrest even if we don’t have a conservation officer immediately available. This case was a team effort involving three DNR bureaus,” Tierney added.
Read and join the discussion on Tip Leads to Turkey Poaching Case in Iowa at OutdoorHub.com.
April 5, 2013
Notorious cabin burglar Troy James Knapp, 45, admitted to law enforcement after his capture that he held a grudge against hunters. During Knapp’s six-year spree of burglaries and vandalism in the Utah mountains he raided numerous cabins, many belonging to sportsmen. Knapp would pillage any firearms, supplies, and especially liked to vandalize any cabin he felt was too well stocked.
According to Fox 13, Knapp told officers that he lived a survivalist lifestyle in the wilderness because he disliked people. Knapp expressed a particular disdain for hunters.
“He didn’t like all the money they spent on their ATVs and guns and different things like that,” Sevier County Sheriff Nate Curtis told Fox 13. “He basically told us he’d rather they have a bow made out of their own hands. So he really, in particular, expressed that he did not like hunters.”
In past years several well-equipped but abandoned camps have been seen in the area of Knapp’s break-ins. These camps often contained stacks of stolen firearms and outdoor equipment. It is suspected that Knapp stole these items just to dump them out in the wild.
Officials now believe Knapp to have committed over 40 burglaries and will be pressing multiple charges against him, including attempted murder for shooting at a police helicopter.
Read and join the discussion on Captured Mountain Bandit Admits to Targeting Hunters at OutdoorHub.com.
April 3, 2013
What do a passionate hunter from Spearfish, South Dakota, a barber, Ali G, and the late great Fred Bear have in common? More than you might expect actually. A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nick Mundt for my upcoming book, which is being released in the spring of 2014 on hunting and business. Nick, who has become a close friend, is a relationship guru, a great guy, and an absolute bad ass with a bow, gun, and fishing rod–you name it. He combines the authenticity of a true sportsman with the on-screen talent of Sasha Baron Cohen and the passion of Fred Bear. He is all about building real relationships, constant entertainment, and hardcore hunting along the trail he blazes. Nick is a definite glue factor on the Bone Collector team, which he is a co-host of along with Michael Waddell and Travis “T-bone” Turner.
Mundt’s approach to life is held strong by coast-to-coast trust-based relationships. With movie star looks, incredible musical talent, and a lovable spirit, Mundt’s status as one of the most respected and recognizable hunters in the world shouldn’t be a surprise and is well deserved.
Despite Mundt’s status in the outdoor industry, there is not a greedy bone in his body. How can Mundt be a world-famous hunter and yet be humble, and not focused on greed? Well, either you are going to have to take my word for it or keep reading and then maybe meet him yourself someday.
Much of what has fundamentally developed his work ethic and ease of building authentic relationships happened in his initial career at the local barbershop in Spearfish, South Dakota. “The boss was a real stickler for rules and he demanded that I never missed work, was never late, and I treated his barbershop and the customers with total respect without exception,” Nick explained to me. “At times I was bummed that he never seemed to understand or support my dream to hunt professionally someday. However, looking back I know that was silly, because the work ethic and knack for relationships and making people feel good about themselves that I developed by his side in the barbershop have played a huge role in my success in the hunting industry.
“When you fix a guy up with a haircut, it’s all about helping him feel good about himself and making him comfortable while he’s in your chair,” Nick added. “Whether it’s guiding, running the camera for someone, or building relationships with advertisers that help support us at Bone Collector, it’s really all about trust-based relationships and taking care of people the way you would want to be taken care of. I know these traits have served me well.”
Mundt has worked hard to achieve what he has today and the path took a while to clearly reveal itself to him, but he always believed that if he put all he had into becoming the best hunter, guide, entertainer, friend, and trust-based relationship builder in and out of the outdoors, it would serve him well in the long run. As Mundt puts it, “I have almost never missed a morning hunt in my life and I don’t care how early we are leaving, I show up ready to hunt. Hunting is my life, my love–it’s everything really. Well, that and building meaningful relationships are what define me.
“I have known I wanted to hunt professionally for as long as I can remember,” he continued. “I always believed if I gave hunting everything I had, always showed up to guide, begged to simply run the camera, help with odds and ends at camps–you know, paid my dues–that one day I would get my day to shine and I would be ready when it came. Then I met Michael Waddell and it changed my life. Realtree had given me my shot at guiding and running the camera some, and when I met Waddell we really hit it off. I love that guy, he is the man and I am good with that and happy to be a part of what he and Travis have built and love that I add so much value to the brotherhood. I mean seriously dude, think about how cool my job is! Are you kidding me, man?”
“What’s it like to work with Michael and T-bone?” I asked.
“Farbz you know how we are, we’re brothers, they are my extended family and vice versa,” he replied. Nick is right–I do know how tight they are and I don’t want to be all shrink/rocket scientist on you, but it sounds a lot like “relationships” and relationship glue is the key. There is no better relationship glue factor for a team than a Nick Mundt. If Mundt was an NBA player, he’d be like Dwayne Wade: accepting of his role as a team player and focusing first on winning and second on himself.
Nick’s breakthrough moment came when he joined Waddell on a Realtree Road Trips hunt. Road Trips was the first break out reality TV-style hunting show and Waddell’s first show that he hosted for Realtree Outdoors. Waddell saw immediate chemistry with Nick and pushed hard for Nick to get camera time on the show. Not too long after that, Waddell was ready to create Bone Collector and he knew Nick was a key player to have on his team.
As Michael related it to me, “Man it was a natural relationship from the very beginning. Nick was like family right away and I loved our chemistry.” Waddell, who has been mentored by industry icon Bill Jordan and hunting in front of the camera since adolescence, has developed a brilliant eye for spotting talent or what it takes to make it big in the outdoor industry. These skills have made Michael one of the outdoors most successful people and I know that whenever I have a question as to where the industry will come out on an issue or what will work or won’t work in hunting, Michael is one of my first calls.
So how big might Mundt and Bone Collector become? Well, they have all the right talent, a world-class brand, and the glue factor of Nick Mundt. They also have world-class management representation with Jim Schiefelbein, who joined the team a couple of years ago to help lead them through growth. I don’t know about you, but I’m betting long on Nick Mundt and Bone Collector as they are the real deal!
Read and join the discussion on Nick Mundt: Bowhunting Warrior and One Cool Cat at OutdoorHub.com.
March 25, 2013
Tucumcari rancher Scott Bidegain is the new chairman of the New Mexico Game Commission.
Bidegain, 33, was elected by the Commission at its March 21 meeting in Albuquerque. He succeeds Jim McClintic as chairman. McClintic died Feb. 15 after a battle with cancer.
The Commission unanimously re-elected Thomas “Dickie” Salopek of Las Cruces as vice-chairman. Other Commission members are Tom Arvas and Paul Kienzle of Albuquerque, Robert Espinoza of Farmington and Bill Montoya of Alto. A seventh member of the Commission will be named by Gov. Susana Martinez.
Bidegain works at T4 Cattle Company, a family-owned and operated cattle ranch. He also serves on the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association Board of Directors. He holds a Bachelor of Business degree in Accounting and a Bachelor of Arts degree in General Studies from West Texas A&M University. His term on the Commission expires Dec. 31, 2014.
The State Game Commission is composed of seven members who represent the state’s diverse interests in wildlife-associated recreation and conservation. Members are appointed by the governor and subject to confirmation by the state Senate.
Read and join the discussion on New Mexico State Game Commission Elects Chairman at OutdoorHub.com.