Why Is Donald Trump on BIG DEER?

Donald-Trump-on-politics-and-conservation

As Donald Trump is fixing to win big in more voting tomorrow en route to amassing 1,237 delegates and capturing the GOP nomination, I take you back to a post I wrote in 2011, in which The Donald was saying the same things: China is ripping us off… Make America great again…

Actually that post 5 years ago was more about Donald Trump Jr., who is one of us and enjoys hunting.

More to the point now, since Trump Sr. is on the verge of the Republican nomination, are his views foremost on guns and gun ownership, and to a lesser degree on public lands and hunting. While the latter two are obviously important issues for us, this will be the most important election ever regarding the Second Amendment; hard to believe, but Hillary is farther left than Obama on our right to own and carry firearms.

So what are Donald Trump’s views on guns? According to a recent interview in Petersen’s Hunting magazine:

On Second Amendment issues he was spot on… Gun-free zones create easy targets for criminals. If citizens were armed, there would be fewer casualties in mass shootings, and under his watch there would be no new federal gun laws.

As for protecting federal lands for hunting and fishing, a huge issue with sportsman especially in the West:

Donald Trump didn’t waffle, stating that a USFWS Director appointed by him would “ideally be a hunter” and under his watch there would be no sale of public Western lands.

So what do you think of Mr. Trump? Will you vote for him over Hillary?

Look Out For Stolen PSE Bows

pseStatement from PSE Archery president Jonathan Shepley:

It has recently come to PSE’s attention that a person or persons are privately selling non-serial-numbered PSE bows. These bows are constructed from parts stolen from our factory and are not authorized for sale. These bows also cannot be registered or warrantied.

PSE is offering a reward of $2,000 for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of those selling these stolen goods. If you have any information or have been approached by anyone selling a PSE bow without its serial number information, please contact PSE at: reward@pse-archery.com

Virginia Bans Deer Urine For 2015 Hunt Season

cwd-deerWe’ve talked a lot about EHD (commonly known as blue tongue)but now another ugly deer disease, chronic wasting (CWD), is taking center stage. CWD is a contagious and progressive neurological disease that causes degeneration of the brain of infected animals, resulting in emaciation, abnormal behavior and ultimately death.

CWD has been around for decades in the West. It was found east of the Mississippi in Wisconsin in 2002, and since then has been documented in 8 eastern states, including Virginia. Since 2009, there have been 7 documented cases of CWD in Virginia, all confined to private land in Frederick County along the West Virginia border.

CWDmap082012The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) has spent more than 1 million dollars on CWD monitoring and management efforts. The state prohibits hunters from bringing whole deer carcasses and certain parts (i.e., brain and spinal cord) from high-risk CWD areas, which includes any state where wild deer have been documented with CWD, and any high-fence enclosure anywhere in North America. Most experts believe an enclosure where deer are confined in a relatively small area to be the ultimate CWD breeding ground.

Now the next step, which took effect July 1, 2015, is to prohibit hunters from using natural deer urine anywhere in Virginia. VDGIF biologists point out that the agent known to transmit CWD has been found in the urine of infected deer. Officials are concerned that urine collected from captive deer in other states (and bottled and sold to hunters) is a threat to spread CWD in the Old Dominion.

Bottom line for hunters: No more laying scent trails into your stand with hot-doe scent (Tink’s, Golden Estrus, Code Blue, etc.) you’ve been using for years. One of my favorite tactics, especially during our early muzzleloader season in November, is to hang several wicks doused with buck urine/tarsal near my stand to challenge prowling bucks. Can’t do that anymore.

Additionally, you cannot go old-school and collect the urine or cut off the tarsal gland of any deer you shoot and then use it to attract deer on other hunts. That’s illegal too.

Will the ban last beyond the 2015 deer season? Likely. VDGIF officials say the possession and use of urine-based scents will be prohibited until it is proven that CWD prions are not spread in commercial deer urine products. This could take years…if it’s ever confirmed.

“Virginia won’t be the last state to do this,” notes deer biologist Kip Adams. “Vermont has also banned them, and Pennsylvania too in their disease management areas.”

I understand that during the public comment period on this topic in Virginia, comments ran 2-1 in favor of continuing to allow urine-based scents, which is not surprising. A lot of VA hunters have asked what I think.

On the surface this ban does seem like overkill. CWD has been around in states like Wyoming for years, and it has not wiped out the deer herds. And we’ve been using deer pee to attract bucks for decades with no confirmed spreading of CWD in this manner.

That said, wildlife officials must be vigilant as CDW increases. “For a disease that’s uniformly fatal, I think that sooner or later you’re going to start seeing some (deer) population impacts,” said Dr. John Fischer, a wildlife veterinarian and Director of the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study at the University of Georgia.

Next blog: If you hunt in Virginia or any state or area that prohibits natural deer urine lure, there are some alternative attractants to try.

 

Indiana: Ban Hunts for Drugged Deer

indiana drug deer From the INDYSTAR: Owners of Indiana’s fenced hunting preserves would be forbidden from selling a deer for a hunt within 24 hours of it being sedated, and only animals born and raised on Indiana deer farms could be hunted.

So read two new additions to a bill that would set regulations for captive-deer hunting in Indiana. The bill passed the Indiana Senate’s Natural Resources Committee on a 6-3 vote Monday.

I have 3 questions:

Who are the 3 committee members that voted against this?

Who in his right mind would sedate a deer to be sold and hunted? Does greed have no bounds?

And the biggest one: Who in the hell would pay money to “hunt” a drugged buck? Who could hang a buck so shot on his wall and call himself a “hunter?” Is there no shame?

This all stems from a sorry story from a decade ago.

In 2005, an investigation showed that an Indiana game preserve owner had been selling “hunts” to wealthy clients (supposedly some celebrities were involved, and amounts of 20K were thrown around) in enclosures so small that conservation officers called them “killing pens.” He was also accused of using illegal drugs on his deer. At trial, jurors were shown video of a “hunter” shooting a buck that appeared to be drugged.

The guy got some jail time. I refuse to use his name and/or link to any of the horrible videos from this place that might still be on the Interweb.

Ten years later, I find it shameful that any state would have to introduce a bill “forbidding selling a deer for a hunt within 24 hours of it being sedated.”

With our rich heritage of legitimate deer hunting in America, how did we ever get to this point?

I have spent a lifetime promoting clean and ethical hunting, and stories like this disturb me greatly. I just don’t get it.

BTW, the INDYSTAR published an extensive investigative report on deer farms and trophy breeding, you ought to read it.

 

Minimal EHD for Deer Herds in 2014

sd ehd 1

The QDMA reports that hemorrhagic disease, including EHD and bluetongue virus, will have minimal impacts on whitetail herds this year. Small, scattered cases of EHD have been reported in Georgia, North Carolina, Louisiana, and New Jersey, but with frosts and colder weather coming on, no major outbreaks will occur in 2014.

This is what the deer herds across America needed, especially after the record 2012 EHD outbreak. That, followed by a couple of brutal winters, killed thousands of deer in many states.

Ironically, while the hard winter of 2013 was tough on deer in the North, it likely helped herds nationwide by reducing the populations of midges that bite deer and transmit the EHD virus.

Minimal EHD is fantastic, but I hear predictions that the winter of 2014-15 might actually be colder and snowier than last winter’s brutality. I hope not, but if so that will make it tough on hunters and deer alike.