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President Obama Proposes Wilderness Protections for Oil-rich Alaskan Coast

January 27, 2015

President Obama will be asking Congress to protect over 12 million acres of land in Alaska.

This week, President Barack Obama's administration announced that the Department of the Interior has released a new conservation plan for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) that will designate more than 12 million acres as wilderness, including the oil-rich coastal plain. The announcement has set off a firestorm of debate, especially from some Alaskan lawmakers, who staunchly opposed the expansion of wilderness protections. President Obama, speaking during a state...

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Video: Homeowner Rescues Deer Trapped in Fence

January 27, 2015

deerfence

For good or ill, it seems that deer want to jump over just about everything. Adult deer can leap up to eight feet in the air---which means that somebody should probably teach them how to play basketball. However, when you combine a deer's poor depth perception with a properly constructed barrier, you often end up with a situation like the one seen in the video below. Thankfully for this doe, rescue came at just the right time. In more isolated areas, being trapped in a fence can mean a slow and excruciating death. Even if the deer is able to free itself, there is always a chance of...

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Florida Wildlife Officers Kill Heaviest Bear in State History

January 26, 2015

A massive 740-pound black bear captured and killed in Florida this month is the largest ever documented in the state. The bear in question is not pictured.

On Sunday, officers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) euthanized the largest-documented black bear in the state's history. According to The News-Press, the massive 740-pound male bear was captured days before while roaming through populated neighborhoods in Seminole County. He was even sighted lingering around a local elementary school. Given that it weighed nearly 500 pounds more than the average male black bear in Florida, experts...

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Video: Tangled Bucks Separated by Chainsaw

January 22, 2015

deer

Finding a pair of antler-locked bucks is often a somber experience. Much of the time, tangled antlers can mean a death sentence for both deer, yet is not uncommon for one of the bucks to soldier on long after the other one perished. Suffering from hunger and exhaustion, the survivor will have to carry the weight of its defeated rival while escaping the attentions of opportunistic predators. There have been cases where bucks were found carrying little more than an extra set of racks after coyotes...

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“Rogue” Wolf Forms First Wolf Pack in Western Oregon

January 8, 2015

A rare photo of OR-7 taken by a remote camera in Oregon last year.

Oregon officials have confirmed that the state's famous wandering wolf, OR-7, is now the leader of his own pack. The male gray wolf stepped into the spotlight between 2009 and 2011 when he traveled thousands of miles from northeast Oregon into California, becoming the first wolf to be seen in the Golden State since 1924. Recently, the wolf came back to Oregon with a mate in tow, and biologists reported seeing wolf pups last June. The pups were the first wolves to be born in Oregon's...

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Seeing What You Can’t See, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Thermal Vision

December 17, 2014

Here's the FLIR view of the brand new Smith & Wesson M&P Pro Series CORE with compensated barrel.

If you really want to be able to see, sometimes you have to use a lens that you can’t see through. I recently toured one of FLIR’s manufacturing facilities and got quite the lesson on how to see things you can’t really see. While FLIR makes a wide variety of "sensing" gear, not just infrared products, they’re most commonly known for commercial and military products that help folks see things not normally visible to the human eye. By using lenses made from exotic materials like Germanium and Zinc Selenide and adding a touch of...

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26 Amazing Women in the Outdoors, from A to Z

December 11, 2014

Women like Nancy Jo Adams (pictured) are making a difference in the outdoor industry. Image courtesy Nancy Jo Adams.

There are some amazing women in the outdoor world; many I am proud to call friends and colleagues. Here’s my list from A to Z of women making a difference in their own unique ways. I respect this group of gals and here’s why (please forgive the need to use a last letter rather than a first letter on occasion to make this fit). A: Nancy Jo Adams Nancy Jo is a hardcore hunter and I love her social media flare. She names her truck (Cletus) and her bow (Thalia) and balances enjoying the outdoors while blogging and uncovering great photography. Plus, as a Northerner, I need friends who show...

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Study: Plants Adapt Defensive Mechanisms to Survive Deer “Predation”

December 9, 2014

Orange jewelweed, also known as the spotted-touch-me-not, is native to North America.

Most outdoorsmen rarely think of deer in a predatory light, but scientists say that an unchecked deer population can rapidly eat its way through a healthy forest---a self-destructive act that can lead to mass starvation. However, plants are not just hapless victims, either, and a study recently published in the Journal of Ecology found that at least one plant found defensive mechanisms to combat the deadly molars of deer. According to the study, which...

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What Makes Deer Grow Strange Antlers?

December 3, 2014

The skull of a "unicorn" deer harvested in Slovenia.

Like fingerprints or snowflakes, no two sets of antlers are ever exactly alike. For humans they are a source of fascination and can be surprisingly useful, if the tools of our early ancestors and the powder flasks of the 19th century are any indicator. For deer, however, they have a single purpose: to secure their right to mate. So why do these bone structures vary so widely and drastically? Recently a hunter in Slovenia harvested what appeared to be a "unicorn"---only to find out that it was...

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Study: Impact of Wolves on Minnesota Moose Greater Than Expected

November 17, 2014

Minnesota's wolf population seems to be having a bigger impact on the state's moose than previously anticipated.

A new study recently published in the Journal of Wildlife Management found that wolves may be a bigger factor in Minnesota's moose decline than experts previously believed. The study, authored by two adjunct professors at the University of Minnesota, David Mech and John Fieberg, concluded that there was a correlation between the number of wolves in moose territory and the population of the moose themselves. Following up on a previous study that also took into account climate changes, Mech and Fieberg said that...

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