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Study: Deer Respond to Cries of Human Babies

September 18, 2014

Scientists say that mule deer does display "altruistic" behavior, rushing to the aid of young animals in distress regardless of their species.

Human parents will instinctively respond to the cries of their child, so it is not so strange that other animals behave the same way toward their offspring. However, the distress call of a newborn fawn can also have the same effect on us, despite it being a member of a different species. It is something that we as humans like to attribute to our unique emphatic nature, but scientists recently discovered that some deer will also show the same protective tendencies toward human infants. These findings were the result of a study by researchers into interactions between mule deer and their...

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Strong Gun, Ammo Sales Benefit Wildlife as Firearms Industry Settles into “New Normal”

September 17, 2014

Since their creation, the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs have generated more than $15 billion for conservation projects. Thanks to high gun and ammo sales in 2013, this year's apportionment is the highest yet.

The firearms and ammunition industry is once again returning to normal after a busy and chaotic 2013. Manufacturers found themselves pressed by sky-high demand as customers stocked up on guns and ammo, causing visible shortages in items such as AR-15-style rifles and .22 LR ammo. According to statistics from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), background checks in 2013 rose to a record 14.8 million as compared to 5.64 million in 2011. While last year may have been immensely profitable for the industry, it was also a shot in the arm for critical conservation projects across the...

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Deer and Tomatoes

September 4, 2014

"Living off the land," regardless of the degree to which outdoorsmen truly do it, is something that should always be valued.

Long ago, our forefathers---George Washington, Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, Kit Carson, and so many others---could not conceive of the idea of a grocery store. A trading post was the closest they would ever come, but at that time the wheels of socioeconomic evolution were hardly set for supermarkets that allow us to buy everything from meat to butter. Today, we can still live off the land to a certain extent, though many, myself included, are spoiled by the ability to just ordering pizza when cooking seems too arduous a task. I hardly remember cleaning my first deer, though I know it was...

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USDA Announces Farm Bill Funding for Increased Access, Wildlife Conservation

August 18, 2014

A supplementary $20 million will go towards increasing access and improving wildlife habitat as part of the 2014 Farm Bill.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced an additional $20 million in grants to increase access for hunters and anglers, protecting wildlife, and enhancing business opportunities for rural economies. The funding comes as a part of the US Department of Agriculture's Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP), which was authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. "The funds we are announcing today will empower state and tribal governments to partner with landowners in their areas to enhance outdoor recreation opportunities, protect at-risk wildlife, and spur new...

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Leaders of Conservation: Appalachian Mountain Club Senior VP Walter Graff

August 7, 2014

Appalachian Mountain Club Senior VP Walter Graff.

This interview with Appalachian Mountain Club Senior VP Walter Graff is part of OutdoorHub’s Leaders of Conservation series, in which we sit down with leaders of the North American conservation movement to learn more about the stories behind their organizations and people. Formed in 1876 by a group of explorers and scholars, the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) is one of the oldest conservation groups still existing in the United States. Along with 33 other Bostonians, MIT professor Edward Charles Pickering founded the club to explore, map,...

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Raspberry Picking Strengthens Family Bonds

August 6, 2014

Picking raspberries is like life itself: You can only pick what you see at the moment, so you must keep looking ahead and behind to find what the leaves hide right in front of you.

My dad made me an offer I couldn’t refuse in mid-July: “Get here by 4 o’clock Friday, and I’ll help you pick the last of our black raspberries. You should also be able to find about four quarts of reds to pick and take home.” I’ve never been much of a gardener, but I’ve always liked picking berries (wild or domestic) while standing up or kneeling down. Maybe that’s because harvesting raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries involves some degree of hunting. The berries often hide well enough to make things challenging, even though they can’t run away when...

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Portable Power Products for Outdoorsmen Are Better Than Ever

August 5, 2014

The portable power products available to outdoorsmen and women these days are quite impressive, like this Bushnell PowerSync SolarWrap 250. Image courtesy Bushnell.

Fifteen years ago, I wouldn’t have considered carrying a cell phone with me in the wilderness or out on the water. Certainly, having a computer along, even a laptop, was laughable. Where would the power come from? How could the (heavy) batteries be transported? Why in the world would I need (or want) to have electronics in the field? Ah, as Bob Dylan wrote and sang way back in the early '60s, “The times, they are a-changin’.” ...

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Leaders of Conservation: NWF Sportsmen’s Outreach Manager John Gale

July 31, 2014

John Gale previously worked as a ranger, river guide, Peace Corps Volunteer,  and Trout Unlimited employee before coming to the NWF.

This interview with the National Wildlife Federation's National Sportsmen's Outreach Campaign Manager John Gale is part of OutdoorHub’s Leaders of Conservation series, in which we sit down with leaders of the North American conservation movement to learn more about the stories behind their organizations and people. With over four million members across the United States, there is little doubt that the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is one of the largest conservation organizations in the country. Founded shortly before the Second World War, the NWF was one of the first...

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Study: Elk May Eventually Adapt to Better Handle CWD

July 17, 2014

Given enough time, experts believe that elk can build a resistance to CWD.

For the past five decades chronic wasting disease (CWD) has spread like a cancer through the nation's cervid population. Without any form of effective vaccine or cure, the disease poses a serious problem for the country's elk, moose, and deer. According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, CWD has been positively identified in at least 22 states and several Canadian provinces. For a long time many biologists were concerned that the disease, which purportedly boasts a 100 percent fatality...

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Conservationists Urge Action as Mule Deer Dwindle in Colorado

July 17, 2014

Colorado's largest mule deer herd, and the largest in the country, has dwindled to less than 32,000 animals from 105,000 a decade ago.

In 2013, Colorado wildlife officials determined the state's mule deer had hit a record low. At only 384,000 animals, the Centinnel State's muley population is 200,000 short of the official target number and 36 percent less from almost a decade ago when 614,000 roamed across Colorado. The dramatic drop has many conservationists calling for immediate action to reverse the trend. Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officials will be holding a summit next month to meet with the public, and hopefully find a solution that will stop the mule deer decline. "Across the Western US, state wildlife...

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