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Illinois Governor Quinn Vetoes Bobcat Hunting Bill

January 13, 2015

Despite popular support in the House, the Illinois bobcat hunting bill was slapped with a veto on Sunday.

On his last day in office, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn vetoed legislation that would open up bobcat hunting in the state for the first time since 1972. The bill, which had previously breezed through the state House by a vote of 91 to 20, and a much closer vote of 30-19 in the Senate, would allow wildlife officials to set a hunting season from November 1 to February 15 for bobcats. Governor Quinn vetoed the bill despite support from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which argued that the species has since rebounded and now numbers around 5,000. “With reliable sightings...

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Illinois May Reopen Bobcat Hunting after 40-year Ban

January 5, 2015

For more than a century, bobcats have been rare in Illinois, but a recent population boom may mean that hunters and trappers will finally be able to harvest them again.

Earlier in December 2014, the Illinois Senate passed a measure that would allow hunters and trappers to take bobcats for the first time in more than 40 years. The state House already approved the measure back in March, and now the bill will head to desk of Governor Pat Quinn, who will be leaving office this month. "With its passage in the senate, we are one step closer to having the ability to address the rising bobcat population in Illinois," State Representative Wayne Rosenthal (R-Morrisonville) told Read more »

California Bans Coyote Hunting Contests

December 4, 2014

Coyotes are often mistaken for wolves, but are far more common than their larger cousins.

Coyote hunting is popular in many places, especially in rural areas where the predators pose a threat to livestock and pets. Utah's Predator Control Program offers hunters a $50 bounty for each properly documented coyote kill, and some groups have even organized coyote hunting "contests" that award prizes to the most successful hunters. California, however, has just become the first state to ban these competitions altogether. The California Fish and Game Commission initially...

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Traditional Fox Hunters Pivoting Toward Coyotes

October 17, 2014

Due to the scarcity of foxes, many fox hunters are now switching over to coyote hunting.

The sight of a mounted fox hunter in traditional attire---including red blazers and navy coats---is rare these days, and it seems that their quarry is rarer still. The coyote population on the East Coast is growing and in some areas pushing into fox territory. For the fox hunters in these regions, fewer foxes means that more and more clubs are finding coyotes a challenging, if unusual, substitute. “What the coyote has done is made [hunting] more difficult because the fox didn’t run into other areas.” Dennis Foster, executive director of the Virginia-based Masters of Foxhounds...

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Hunting Michigan’s Mighty Squirrels

October 13, 2014

It doesn’t take a lot of expensive gear for a family to enjoy an afternoon squirrel hunt in the Michigan woods.

Many hunters remember their first deer or turkey fondly, but few recall their first squirrel. For many sportsmen and women, the very first game animal they chased in the autumn woods was a squirrel (now that you’re thinking about it, I’m betting you can remember those tall hardwoods, with leaves full of bursting colors, and the bark of a distant squirrel). Michigan has ample squirrel hunting opportunities for those of us looking to make new memories this fall. Finding squirrels Let’s face it, it’s not too hard to find decent squirrel hunting habitat in Michigan. With hundreds of...

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Cookin’ in Camo: Suds and Squirrel with a Mushroom-vegetable Ragout

September 17, 2014

Small game season is IN! Maximize the value of your harvests with this delicious dish.

Squirrel is one my favorite small game animals. They come in a variety of species and are wildly abundant throughout the world. With many of our states’ squirrel seasons finally open, it only seems to bring this dish to the table! Braised in rich, flavorful beer and infused with the earthiness of mushrooms, you can’t help but go "nuts" after the first bite! Ingredients 4 ounces thickly sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 2 squirrels, 2 pounds each, cut into 6 pieces (don’t dare discard the heads---put them in the pot as well) 1 large onion, coarsely chopped 4 ounces...

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Michigan’s Youth Hunting Programs Keep Sporting Traditions Strong

September 17, 2014

When our son was three, he started going afield to goose hunt with us. Waterfowl hunting is a great way to teach kids about hunting and conservation.

Most of us who hunt come from families of hunters. The love for the sport gets passed down from one generation to the next, with fathers and mothers looking on with pride as sons and daughters take to the field. With the rich tradition of hunting ingrained in the DNA of the state of Michigan, it does the heart good to see how the state has embraced our youthful hunters. I can remember the first time I went deer hunting. I was very young, not able at the time to carry a rifle of my own. My father has passed away several years before, so Ted, a family friend, asked my mother whether I could...

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South Carolina Coyote Population Stabilizes at New High

September 2, 2014

Coyotes in South Carolina have plateaued, but not at a number that many would like.

Officials from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) say that the coyote population has leveled out over the past few years, but at a much higher number than before. Although there is no accurate estimate of how many coyotes live in South Carolina, The State reports that hunters harvest about 30,000 of the animals annually, compared to less than 20,000 roughly a decade ago. “People just want DNR to make the coyotes go away,” said Emily Cope, DNR deputy director...

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Cookin’ in Camo: Coniglio alla Cacciatora (Hunter-style Rabbit)

August 25, 2014

Look good to you? Read on to learn how to prepare this "hunter-style" rabbit dish!

Rabbit hunting is pretty emotional for me. Like many, I cut my "outdoors teeth" on small game hunting. Some of my earliest memories are of trudging through chin-high brush carrying a pocket knife decorated with an American flag, while my dad walked ahead of me toting a gun. Now a grown man, I still love hitting the fence rows and brush piles in search of those “wacky wabbits.” The difference between then and now is that I get to carry the gun! Serves 4 to 6 Prep time: 2 hours and 30 minutes Cook time: roughly 2 hours Join me as we once again go “forest to fork” with...

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Colorado Health Officials Warn of Plague in Small Game

August 22, 2014

Residents are warned after the first confirmed case of bubonic plague in Colorado since 2011.

Boulder County health officials have announced that fleas from a dead prairie dog tested positive for bubonic plague earlier this month. The animal was found in the city of Boulder after residents noticed its carcass on their property. According to a press release, health officials have already set warning signs in the area where the animal was found, as well as nearby parks and open spaces. Residents are warned to avoid wildlife such as squirrels, prairie dogs, and other small rodents that...

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