Thursday, February 28, 2013

Arizona Archery in the Schools to have Championship

archer, arizona, game and fish, outdoors, competition, dnr

More than 300 young archers will square off in competition when the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Archery in the Schools Program (AIS) hosts its state championship tournament on Saturday, March 2, at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix.

The event begins with competitor check-in at 8 a.m., followed by staggered group competition at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., and an awards ceremony around 3:15 p.m. (time approximate). 
This is the culminating event for Arizona’s AIS youth participants in grades 4-12 to test their skills, qualify for nationals, and earn a chance for college scholarships.

Arizona’s program, administered by the Game and Fish Department, is part of the National Archery in the Schools Program, which promotes international-style target archery as part of the in-school curriculum to improve educational performance and participation in the shooting sports. Students, parents and educators have lauded the program for teaching life skills such as focus, responsibility and discipline. Core content covers archery history, safety, technique, equipment, mental concentration, core-strengthening physical fitness, and self-improvement.

Before presenting the two-week archery course, teachers undergo an eight-hour National Archery in the Schools Program Basic Archery Instructor Training Program. To get to the archery ranges at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, take I-17 to Carefree Highway and head west for 1.5 miles to the first stoplight. Turn right at the stoplight and follow the signs to the archery ranges. Spectators are welcome.
For more information on the Archery in the Schools program, including some videos and testimonials about the national program, visit

Youth Hunters Get First Shot At Spring Turkey Season

gobbler, gobblers, hunters, hunting, hunt, mdwfp, license

The 2013 youth spring turkey season will begin on private lands and authorized state and federal lands on Friday, March 8th.  This special season coincides with spring break for many of Mississippi's school systems, and provides an excellent opportunity to introduce young hunters to the thrill of pursuing 
springtime gobblers. 

Youth hunters ages 15 and under are not required to possess a hunting license.  However, youth between the ages of 12 and 15 must have a certificate documenting satisfactory completion of a hunter education course approved by the MDWFP before hunting alone.  Youths 15 years of age and under may hunt without having a certificate of hunter education if they are in the presence and under the direct supervision of a Mississippi licensed or exempt hunter that is at least 21 years of age.  

Bag limits for spring turkey season are 1 gobbler per day, 3 per spring season.  The regulation limiting turkey harvest to adult gobblers or gobblers with at least a 6-inch beard does not apply to hunters 15 years of age and under; they may harvest 1 gobbler of choice per day, 3 per spring season.       

For more information regarding wild turkeys in Mississippi and turkey hunting opportunities, visit our website at or call us at 601-432-2199. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Southwick Releases Top Hunting and Shooting Equipment Survey

shooting equipment, hunting equipment, brands, 2012

Southwick Associates has announced the brands hunters and shooters purchased most frequently in 2012. This list has been compiled from the 35,081 internet-based surveys completed by hunters and shooters who volunteered to participate last year in and polls. In 2012, top brands included:

Top rifle brand: Remington, Ruger (each 11.5% of all purchases)
Top shotgun brand: Remington (19.7% of all purchases)
Top muzzleloader brand: CVA (31.0% of all purchases)
Top handgun brand: Sturm, Ruger (17.7% of all purchases)
Top crossbow brand: Barnett (21.7% of all purchases)
Top air rifle brand: Crosman (29.6% of all purchases)
Top rifle ammunition brand: Remington (21.4% of all purchases)
Top shotgun ammunition brand: Winchester (32.1% of all purchases)
Top handgun ammunition brand: Winchester (17.9% of all purchases)
Top blackpowder brand: Pyrodex (41.6% of all purchases)
Top balls, bullets, or shot brand: Hornady (33.0% of all purchases)
Top bow brand: Hoyt (15.0% of all purchases)
Top arrow brand: Carbon Express (30.1% of all purchases)
Top fletching brand: Blazer (24.4% of all purchases)
Top broad head brand: Rage (21.1% of all purchases)
Top release/tab brand: Tru-Fire (33.0% of all purchases)
Top archery target brand: The Block (11.9% of all purchases)
Top bow case brand: Plano (35.5% of all purchases)
Top archery sight brand: TruGlo (27.8% of all purchases)
Top decoy brand: Mojo (10.8% of all purchases)
Top game call brand: Primos (26.2% of all purchases)
Top reloading press brand: Lee Precision (37.9% of all purchases)
Top reloading die brand: Lee Precision (38.3% of all purchases)
Top reloading bullet brand: Hornady (34.0% of all purchases)
Top reloading primer brand: CCI (40.3% of all purchases)
Top reloading powder brand: Hodgdon (40.7% of all purchases)
Top shot brand: Lawrence (30.2% of all purchases)
Top binocular brand: Bushnell (28.7% of all purchases)
Top scope brand for firearms: Bushnell (14.5% of all purchases)
Top spotting scope brand: Barska (10.5% of all purchases)
Top range finder brand: Bushnell (36.3% of all purchases)
Top optic sight brand: EOTech (8.7% of all purchases)
Top knife brand: Buck (13.4% of all purchases)
Top cover scent brand: Wildlife Research Center (19.9% of all purchases)
Top lure scent brand: Tinks (31.4% of all purchases)
Top odor eliminator brand: Scent-A-Way (35.8% of all purchases)
Top shooting target brand: Shoot-N-C (31.0% of all purchases)
Top tree stand brand: Guide Gear (12.1% of all purchases)
Top blind brand: Ameristep (33.9% of all purchases)
Top clay brand: White Flyer (51.3% of all purchases)
Top trail camera brand: Moultrie (25.4% of all purchases)
Top holster brand: Blackhawk (15.0% of all purchases)
Top gun sleeves brand: Allen (12.1% of all purchases)
Top gun safe brand: Stack-on (25.7% of all purchases)
Top magazine brand: ProMag (11.9% of all purchases)

The marketing data presented here is a summary of a 233-page report that details consumer behavior including what products and brands are purchased, where they are bought, how much customers spend, and demographics of hunters and shooters broken out by each product category. Current information about what gear and brands hunters and shooters prefer, how many days they spend afield and what type of hunting and shooting they enjoy most is vital to businesses trying to build their customer base.

You can stay abreast of consumer buying patterns and overall market trends by purchasing an annual subscription to Southwick Associates' monthly and reports. Reports are available for specific product categories including firearms, ammunition, black powder, bow hunting and archery equipment, decoys, game calls, apparel, crossbows and more. To purchase a report or subscription, contact John DePalma

About, and Launched in 2006,, and help the outdoor equipment industry, government fisheries and wildlife officials and conservation organizations track consumer activities and expenditure trends. Conducted by Southwick Associates, survey results are scientifically analyzed to reflect the attitudes and habits of anglers and hunters across the United States. Follow them on Facebook at or on Twitter at!/AnglerSurvey and!/HunterSurvey.
Press Release found at the Outdoor Wire

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Minnesota's Deadly Winter on Ice

ice fishing, fishing, hunting, outdoors
This winter season (November to April) is on track to be the deadliest on the ice in more than five years, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.
So far this winter, five people have died after going through the ice in Minnesota. A sixth person is missing and presumed drowned. In the 2006-2007 winter season, eight people died in ice-related incidents.
“There could be several reasons why so many people have died this season,” said Kara Owens, DNR boat and water safety specialist. “It could be there are more people out on the ice because we have had a cooler winter and more snow.”
All the fatalities this winter involved a snowmobile or vehicle either crashing into open water or breaking through the ice.
As the winter starts to wind down and Minnesotans enter the last weekend in February, Owens has an urgent message for winter enthusiasts: “The bottom line is it’s crucial that people do not let their guard down and recognize ice is never 100 percent safe.”
Fatalities by winter season (November through April)
Year        Number of deaths
2012-2013     6*
2011-2012     4
2010-2011     4
2009-2010     1
2008-2009     2
2007-2008     3
2006-2007     8
*Including one person missing
The DNR recommends anyone heading out on the ice should measure the ice thickness and contact a local bait shop or resort about area ice conditions. For information on the DNR clear ice thickness recommendations go to

Don't add to the statistics and plan early to be off by the following dates:

Dark houses, fish houses and portables must be off the ice no later than midnight for each of the dates given in the following categories below.
Border Waters

  • Minnesota–Wisconsin - March 1, 2013
  • Minnesota–North and South Dakota - March 5, 2013
  • Minnesota–Canada - March 31, 2013
Dates of removal are determined by an eastwest line formed by U.S. Hwy. 10, east along Hwy. 34 to Minnesota Hwy. 200, east along Hwy. 200 to U.S. Hwy. 2, and east along Hwy. 2 to the Minnesota-Wisconsin border.

Inland Waters

  • South of line - March 4, 2013
  • North of line - March 18, 2013
  • If shelters are not removed, owners will be prosecuted, and the structure and contents may be confiscated and removed, or destroyed by a conservation officer.
  • After removal dates, shelters may remain on the ice between midnight and one hour before sunrise only when occupied or attended.
  • Storing or leaving shelters on a public access is prohibited.
It is unlawful to improperly dispose of ice fishing shacks anywhere in the state. Please clean up around your shack and check with local refuse providers or landfills for ice shelter disposal information.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Illinois Governor Quinn Spends $2.8 Million to Boost Outdoor Recreation

Illinois, recreation, hunting, fishing, deer, whitetail, pike county, lake sakajawea

I don't know much about Governor Quinn, but I like his mentality towards outdoor recreation when he says "Let's leave no children inside!". Crazy concept don't you think?

Here are my three boys searching for agates during our annual summer vacation home to North Dakota.

Governor Pat Quinn today announced acquisition of 547 acres of public land in four Illinois counties to boost public access for hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing and outdoor recreation. The $2.8 million in land purchases includes 410 acres in Pike County, a hallowed deer hunting region, and 71 acres in Hackmatack, the nation’s newest National Wildlife Refuge. This acquisition is part of Governor Quinn’s ongoing commitment to expand and preserve Illinois’ natural resources and boost the economy. 

The properties were acquired through the Illinois Open Lands Trust (OLT), which is funded by Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital program and allocated for public recreation and conservation purposes. 

“Preservation of open space for future generations is a worthy goal, and hunting, fishing and other forms of outdoor recreation generate billions of dollars a year in Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. “Continuing to expand outdoor recreation areas and natural habitats such as Hackmatack are not only good for our economy, but also ensure that Illinois children can enjoy nature and lead a healthy lifestyle. Let’s leave no child inside!’” 

“Pike County is a tremendous deer hunting destination with virtually no public access. This acquisition will give hunters an opportunity to pursue white-tails in Illinois’ deer capital,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller. “There is tremendous demand in Illinois for public access to open space and this purchase helps meet that demand.” 

The Pike County property includes extensive timber and upland areas with some tillable Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and pasture areas well-suited for public hunting programs. The newly acquired property will remain closed to the public while the IDNR continues development of a management plan, submits regulations for hunting and other recreation programs at the site, and installs public access areas. 

The Pike County parcel - southwest of Pittsfield - was acquired for the appraised value of $1.8 million. Today’s announcement includes acquisition of three other properties to expand public lands: 

Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge, McHenry County, 71.8 acres ($511,000) - The parcel was acquired to formally establish the Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge, the first refuge established in northern Illinois. The core areas of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge are rich in important natural resources, including rare and diverse natural communities, endangered and threatened species, wetlands, diverse aquatic systems and migratory birds. Eventually, the Hackmatack Refuge will improve or restore 11,000 acres of wetlands, prairie and forest, and will conserve habitat corridors between protected parcels to ensure sustainability of local ecological systems. 

Expansion of Lowden-Miller State Forest, Ogle County, 64 acres ($450,000) - A 64-acre tract of land best known locally as the centerpiece of Sinnissippi Forest’s former Christmas tree operation, has been added to Lowden-Miller State Forest. This acquisition will give the public better access to the easternmost portion of this resource which is named for Illinois Governor Frank Lowden, an advocate of reforestation who was responsible for planting a half-million trees. 

“Twenty years ago, my late wife Nancy and I took great pleasure in the creation of Lowden-Miller State Forest, knowing that the people of Illinois would now be able to enjoy this magnificent part of the Rock River Valley,” Warren Miller, former owner of the property said. “When we reluctantly closed our Christmas tree operation in 2010, it was my hope that this tract could be added to the State Forest. I am extremely pleased that we’ve finally been able to do so.” 

Expansion of Kickapoo State Recreation Area, Vermilion County, 0.94 acres ($25,000) - This parcel of land is located at the entrance to Kickapoo State Recreation Area adjacent to the Rock Cut Botanical Area, an Illinois Natural Areas Inventory site that supports some 40 species of sedge, a state-listed threatened grass-like plant. 

Funds used to acquire these properties are through 2009 capital dollars appropriated for the Open Lands Trust Program, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Since the program was first authorized in 1998, the OLT has acquired 41,000 acres for public recreation and conservation. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Indiana Hunters Set Record Deer Harvest

Hunters took advantage of new equipment regulations and extra hunting dates to harvest a record 136,248 deer during the 2012 season, according to data the DNR gathered from designated check stations and from a recently implemented online and phone reporting system.

The total harvest represented a 6 percent increase over the 2011 season’s harvest and topped the previous record of 134,004 deer set in 2010.

“We started down the path to strategically reduce the deer herd in order to balance the ecological, recreational, and economic needs of all Indiana citizens,” said Mitch Marcus, wildlife chief for the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. “To meet that strategy, we initiated several regulation changes to make it easier to take antlerless deer. It appears the regulations may be working.”

Key regulation changes implemented in 2012 included making crossbows legal equipment for all licensed hunters during archery season; adding a special late antlerless season in designated counties from Dec. 26 to Jan. 6; extending the urban zone season to run continuously from Sept. 15 to the end of January; and allowing youth hunters in the two-day youth season to take whatever the bonus antlerless quota was in the county where they hunted. Archery season also increased by seven days with elimination of the traditional one-week break between early and late segments.

Crossbow hunters took 8,452 deer, or 6 percent of the overall total. That was an increase from 1,091 deer, or 1 percent, reported in 2011 when crossbows could be used in early archery season only by persons with a disabilities permit or by any licensed hunter in late archery season.

Hunters using archery equipment tagged more deer in 2012 (27,580) than they did in 2011 (26,715) or 2010 (27,186).

Youth hunters bagged 3,587 deer, up 55 percent from 2011, and the new special late antlerless season accounted for 10,091 deer.

It also was the first year of a license bundle, which allowed the buyer to hunt in all segments of deer season—except in urban zones—for a total of one antlered and two antlerless deer. More than 56,600 license bundles were purchased in 2012, second only to the resident firearm license.

“In previous years, five or six at the most, resident license holders accounted for 42 percent of the harvest,” said Chad Stewart, DNR deer management biologist. “This year, resident license holders accounted for 47 percent of the total harvest. That’s only a couple percentage points, but to move it even that much is pretty significant. That’s probably attributed to the bundle license. We don’t know that for sure, but that’s where we’re leaning because it’s the one thing in the rules that only affected resident hunters.”

The total harvest was made up of 45,936 antlered deer and 90,312 antlerless deer. The proportion of reported antlered deer in the harvest (34 percent) is the lowest in Indiana’s history while the antlerless total was the highest.

“Despite the record harvest, trends within the harvest data showed that deer numbers were down this year,” Marcus said. “The number of antlered deer in the harvest was at its lowest point since 2000, an indicator of a reduced deer herd.”

Stewart said the antlered deer harvest tracks the total population about as well as anything because there are fewer variables to consider.

“Year-to-year hunter efforts don’t change much, so people aren’t all of a sudden taking three bucks or eight bucks; they’re locked into one buck,” he said, noting the one-buck limit in Indiana. “If there are fewer bucks to kill with the same amount of hunter effort, not as many bucks get killed, which tells us the overall population is down.”

Additionally, an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease affected deer in nearly 60 counties. EHD is a viral disease transmitted by biting flies that is often fatal to deer, though some deer will survive the illness.

“Whether this (population) decline is due to this year’s outbreak of EHD, recent efforts to strategically reduce the deer herd, or a combination of both factors remains to be seen, but probably varies from county to county,” Marcus said. “As we continue on the path to strategically reduce the deer herd, we will monitor the herd and harvest each year and make adjustments to ensure that hunters will have the opportunity to be successful.”

Switzerland County had the highest reported harvest at 3,506 deer, leading the state for the first time since 2004 and ending a seven-year run by Steuben as the top county. Steuben dropped to fifth with a reported harvest of 3,076 deer, the fewest for that county since 2003.

Of the total harvest, 82,151 deer were recorded at check stations, 53,389 online, and 708 by phone.

To read the complete report go to and click on the Deer Harvest Summary link at the bottom of the page.

Contact Information
Phil Bloom

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Undercover Wildlife Operation Cracks Down on Poaching

poaching, operation bruin, wildlife, ga, north ccarolina, game and fish, dnr, arrests

I really want to know what people think are thinking and what they personally get out of it. Poachers who illegally harvest deer and birds can always say "food", but for the most part we know better. Bear trap?!? I will never quite understand. Keep up the quite work Operation Something Bruin.

State and federal wildlife officials in North Carolina and Georgia announced today an undercover operation that involved about 80 wildlife violators and some 980 violations.

Primary violations documented by Operation Something Bruin stem from illegal bear hunting but include an array of state wildlife and game law charges. Some suspects could also face federal charges.

The four-year investigation, the largest of its kind in recent years, targeted poachers in North Carolina and Georgia, with work in some adjacent states.
“We take very seriously our duty to investigate the unlawful take of wildlife, and we regularly partner with our state and federal conservation law enforcement agencies to coordinate and share assets and information to accomplish that mission in the most effective way possible. We also want to thank our fellow law enforcement agents and officers who have worked so diligently over the past four years to counter the illegal poaching of black bears, and we are hopeful that this makes a long-term impact that results in increased protection of the black bear.”
Luis Santiago, special agent in charge for the Southeast Region,Office of Law Enforcement, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Officers with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission infiltrated poaching circles to document violations including bear baiting; illegal take of bears, deer and other wildlife; illegal use of dogs; operation of illegal bear enclosures in North Carolina; and, guiding hunts on national forest lands without the required permits.
Operation Something Bruin partners also included the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service. 

Officers began making arrests Feb. 19. Totals given for violators and violations are approximate. 

This investigation helps safeguard wildlife by making poachers pay now, and making would-be violators think twice before breaking laws that conserve natural resources. 

Additionally, the partnerships established through Operation Something Bruin help extend wildlife conservation efforts across multiple law enforcement and wildlife management jurisdictions. Learn more and visit Operation Something Bruin.


Fewer than 10 percent of all wildlife crimes are reported. Help change that trend and help protect wildlife. When you see or hear of a possible violation, call: 
  •  In North Carolina, 1-800-662-7137 
  • In Georgia, 1-800-241-4113

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mountain Lions may be Visiting a Neighborhood Near You

hunting, fishing, outdoors, parks and wildlife

This cat visited the home of my aunt and uncle back in November 2012. They live in the foothills of Colorado so it didn't really surprise me too much when they sent me a photo of their new neighbor. Tomorrow I'll write about my only encounter with a mountain lion while elk hunting in 2007.

When people hear reports of mountain lion sightings, they naturally assume the incident must have been in the backcountry. Recent reports of mountain lion activity in populated areas, however, reinforce the fact that mountain lions can be present just about anywhere in Colorado, including cities and towns.
Over the past few weeks, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officers responded to reports along the southern Front Range involving mountain lions killing deer near people's homes.
"We remove the deer carcasses and advise the residents to remain vigilant for the next few days in case the cat returns," said Colorado Springs Area Wildlife Manager Cory Chick.
Mountain lions are active year-round but generally most active at night. Chick suggests people avoid letting their pets out alone, especially between the hours of sunset and sunrise. 
"We don't want to scare anyone, but we want people to know about mountain lions," said Chick who explained that lions' main prey are deer, rabbits and other small mammals. "They have evolved over thousands of years to hunt for prey that moves on four legs. They go after prey that represents the greatest opportunity for the least amount of risk."
Mountain lions have extremely large territories. They sometimes roam more than 20 miles a day in search of new food sources or mates. This is especially true after young mountain lions leave their mother at about a year and a half old. If a lion moves through a neighborhood and does not find anything to eat, it will keep moving.
"Lions in Colorado are a normal part of the life cycle," said Chick. "Some mountain lions seem to be able to live in the vicinity of humans without conflict."  
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers believe there are a variety of reasons for increased mountain lion sightings. One is that more humans live and recreate where mountain lions and their primary prey, mule deer, exist. Other explanations could be related to changes in lion distribution and movement patterns, increasing lion populations, or the simple fact that people are more apt to report sightings. 
The vast majority of sightings happen very quickly and end when the lion runs away. However, wildlife managers are concerned that more and more reports are coming from populated areas where mountain lions are finding plentiful food supplies.
The chances of you even seeing a mountain lion are highly unlikely, Chick said. So the chances of being attacked are even lower. But people still need to be aware that lions live among us.
According to Jerry Apker, a carnivore specialist with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, feeding deer and other wildlife draws prey animals into residential areas - which means mountain lions are likely to follow. "Sometimes people become a little too anxious to see wildlife and attempt to bring animals closer by putting out food," he said. 
It is illegal to feed deer or any big game in Colorado, but sometimes people do it anyway because they are unaware of the problems it causes. "Deer are capable of finding plenty of natural food to eat on their own," Apker explained. "Feeding deer congregates them in back yards and puts everyone in the neighborhood at risk because deer are one of the main food sources for mountain lions. Mountain lions usually avoid people, but even with human activity nearby, mountain lions are more likely to stay in an area where deer congregate."
When a lion kills a large animal like a deer, they consume part of the meat and conceal the rest by covering it with dirt or leaves. They return later to eat more. As long as the meat does not spoil, the lion will remain in the vicinity until it is consumed. That might be up to a week during the winter.
If you find a partially eaten carcass on your property, call your local Parks and Wildlife office for advice on removing the carcass. Removing the carcass will prompt the lion to leave the area. 
In some cases, wildlife officers use "negative conditioning" techniques to haze cats away from populated areas. One method is shooting the lion with beanbags or rubber buckshot. It sends a strong message to reinforce the cat's natural instinct to avoid people.
Hunting is one way to manage cougar populations. Licensed hunters legally kill about 350 mountain lions a year. Another 40 or so are killed each year by car accidents, or by state or federal wildlife officers responding to calls of lions taking pets or killing livestock. 
An extra month was added to the mountain lion hunting season in Colorado this year. The traditional close of the mountain lion hunting season was March 31, but beginning this year, the season will not close until April 30. Hunters should check with their local Colorado Parks and Wildlife office to get details on the license requirements for 2013.
Mountain Lion Safety Tips:

  • If you see a lion, do not approach it. Stay calm and stand upright. Talk loudly and firmly at the lion and back away slowly. Do not turn your back. 
  • Do not run: Some experts believe that running can trigger a predator instinct in mountain lions; the lion will react to you the same way it reacts to a fleeing deer or elk.
  • Do all you can to appear larger: raise your arms and hold your jacket or shirt open wide. 
  • Mountain lions tend to avoid people and rarely attack unless cornered. A cougar that is about to attack may have ears held back, snarl or growl, or twitch its tail.
  • If the lion appears aggressive, throw stones, branches, your backpack or anything that is handy.
  • If attacked, fight for your life. Use any weapon and advantage available such as rocks, binoculars or flashlight. Direct your defense to vulnerable areas such as eyes, inner nose and ears, ribs and abdomen. 
  • Stay in groups when hiking, cycling or running in lion country. Do not let small children hike or play alone.
  • Make enough noise when hiking, cycling or running that you do not get too close without them hearing you coming. Lions that hear you coming will leave an area before you get there. 
  • If you find a dead animal on or near your property, have it removed promptly. Mountain lions often cover dead animals with leaves or dirt and return later to feed. 
  • Keep yards and residences well-lit at night. 
  • Remove plant shrubs next to your home where mountain lions can hide.
  • Keep dogs and other pets inside. If you keep dogs in a kennel, be sure it is enclosed with a screen on top. Dogs have been trapped and attacked inside their own open-top kennels.
  • Take proactive measures to secure fencing for chickens, goats and other farm animals.
Press release from the Colorado DNR

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Yamaha to Give Away Special Edition Rhino

veterans, sweepstake, feed, children, donation, usa

Yamaha is giving away a Tactical Black Special Edition Rhino 700 FI to help raise awareness and money for the Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA) and Feed the Children charities. Yamaha’s second “Assembled in U.S.A.” sweepstakes will again raise money through $5 donations when individuals enter to win the new Rhino.

Yamaha is started to collect donations January 15 at the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show), the largest outdoors industry trade show, and online at:

The Special Edition Rhino, which is decked out in tactical accessories, is valued at more than $13,000 and is Yamaha’s most off-road capable and durable Side-by-Side vehicle (SxS) featuring the exclusive Ultramatic® automatic transmission, the most durable CVT system in the industry, and Yamaha’s On-Command® push-button 2WD, 4WD and 4WD diff-lock system.

The Tactical Black Rhino that will be given away at the end of the sweepstakes features an all-new matte black body and cast aluminum wheels for tactical design and durability. Like all of Yamaha’s 4x4 Grizzly ATVs, the Rhino comes straight from Yamaha’s production line in Newnan, Ga.

“Last year’s sweepstakes was a huge success with Yamaha raising more than $11,000 for two very deserving charities, HAVA and FTC,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha’s ATV/SxS group marketing manager. “Yamaha is extremely proud to show our continued support to these organizations, and we look forward to giving away a class-leading Rhino 700 to a deserving outdoorsman this summer.”

Yamaha is a founding sponsor of HAVA (, an organization created to help disabled soldiers and veterans with the healing process through active participation in outdoors sports. Yamaha has worked with Feed the Children ( for more than 10 years raising several hundred thousand dollars and feeding tens of thousands of children. Yamaha will donate all money raised through the raffle evenly between the two organizations.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bass Pro Shops Spring Fishing Classic is Fun for the Whole Family

spring, classic, hunting, outdoors, fish, sweepstakes

The Spring Fishing Classic begins this weekend in U.S. stores so be sure to bring the family and enjoy. 

Bass Pro Shops is dedicated to ensuring families continue to have fun together outdoors through their exciting, educational events such as the Spring Fishing Classic. Last year, more than 7 million people attended this event at Bass Pro Shops stores across America and Canada and this year promises to be even bigger. And, it is at a price everyone can afford—free.

Plus, this year you could be the winner of a fishing trip with Tony Stewart sweepstakes. You could be selected as the National Grand Prize Winner and win a day of fishing with Tony Stewart, driver of the 2013 #14 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet—SS. The fishing trip will take place in Indiana. You and your guest will receive complementary travel and 2 night’s lodging—a total sweepstakes package value of more than $5,000.00! In addition, 54 winners will be selected (one from each store) to win an exciting First Place Prize Package with a retail value of $560 US and $445 CAD.**

The 17-day event begins February 22nd and goes until March 10th at 52 of the Bass Pro Shops retail stores in the United States and March 8th through 24th at the Calgary and Toronto stores in Canada. Customers will find lots of new fishing products to browse through, live demonstrations to see, tips and techniques to learn, boat shows, kids events, and, it’s all FREE! Don’t forget to register to win a fishing trip with Tony Stewart sweepstakes or one of the 52 packages being given away that include a Bass Pro Shops Stainless Steel tool set, Bass Pro Shops Enigma Smart Cast Baitcast reel, Kevin Van Dam Tackle System, Coca-Cola® Tailgating Prize Package and 2 race tickets (race tickets are a $200 value.)
The Spring Fishing Classic is the best time and place to pick up the secret techniques and strategies used by the best anglers in the world. This year you’ll have two weekends of seminars and tank demonstrations to choose from-- select your favorite topic or pro or attend them all—they’re all FREE! (Seminars will be held at all store locations exceptMiami, FL; Branson, MO; Islamorada, FL; and Bass Pro Shops Outlet store in Springfield).

The first weekend at the U.S. stores, February 22-24 and the second weekend at the CAD stores, March 15-17 features “Local Tip” fishing seminars taught by local pros, conservation groups and other area experts. Seminars will vary by store location—all will be geared towards topics pertinent to those local areas.

The second weekend of the U.S. Spring Fishing Classic March 1st – 3rd, and the first weekend of the Canadian Spring Fishing Classic, March 9th-10th, offers the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster University National Fishing Pros seminars. See and hear experts like 9-time BASS Angler of the Year Roland Martin, 4-time BassMaster Classic Champion Rick Clunn, legendary angler and TV host Bill Dance, America’s favorite fisherman and TV host Jimmy Houston, 3-time BassMaster Classic Champion Kevin VanDam and many more. Canadian customers will enjoy “Facts of Fishing” TV host Dave Mercer and the Beasley Brothers (Beasley Brothers scheduled to appear in Vaughn store only.)

(Pros, seminar topics, and times vary by store and are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. Please check individual store schedules by and clicking on the store from drop down box.)

Other special events include:
• Reel Trade-In: If attendees have any old reels that don’t see a lot of action, bring them in during “Reel Trade-In” days February 22nd -27th at the U.S. stores and March 8th -13th for Canada stores. They can be traded in for a coupon worth from $5 to $100 off the purchase price of a new reel. The donated reels will be given to local not-for-profit groups whose mission is to teach children about fishing and the outdoors.
• Rod Trade-In – U.S. Locations March 1st -5th, CAD stores March 15th -19th. Bring in any old rods you aren’t using and trade for a coupon worth $5 to $100 off the purchase price of a new one. Donated rods will be given to local not-for-profit groups to teach children about fishing.
• Bass Pro Shops Next Generation™ Weekend: U.S. stores March 9th -10th, Canada March 23rd -24th Noon to 4pm. Kids can get into the spirit of the outdoors with plenty of FREE events geared for them during the Spring Classic. Activities include Catch and Release Pond++, Kid’s Fishing Seminars at 1pm and 3pm. Free 4x6 Photo and a KeepAmericaFishing™ Certificate (U.S. Locations only). Rocky View will have the photo download only and Vaughn will have photo and a Next Generation Future Angler Certificate at Catch and Release Pond, and crafts from 1pm to 4pm each day. Plus, the first 150 kids to complete a punch card each day will receive a special Bass Pro Shops Flashing Wristband (while supplies last).
• Daily Door Busters—See specified store locations.

Get ready for a family summer full of fishing and outdoor adventures. Make plans now to attend the FREE Spring Fishing Classic event at your local Bass Pro Shops store.

**Contest rules: Customers must register to win the “Fishing Trip with Tony Stewart” Sweepstakes or the Amazing First Place Prize Package. The Grand Prize of the Tony Stewart fishing trip will be awarded to one winner selected nationally. Fifty-four first prize winners will be selected (one per store) and awarded the Amazing First Place Prize Package. (NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR CLAIM PRIZE.) Open to legal residents of the 50 United States, District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec)who are 18 years of age or older at time of entry. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes begins 02/22/13 and ends 03/10/13 for U.S. locations. In Canada (excluding Quebec), between 3/8/13 and close of business on 3/24/13.

++Catch and Release Pond, stocked with live fish, at all stores, except Calgary, Canada which will offer a Casting Pond inside store that does not feature live fish.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Transocean Pleads Guilty, is Sentenced to Pay $400 Million in Criminal Penalties for Criminal Conduct Leading to Deepwater Horizon Disaster

WASHINGTON—Transocean Deepwater Inc. pleaded guilty today to a violation of the Clean Water Act (CWA) for its illegal conduct leading to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and was sentenced to pay $400 million in criminal fines and penalties, Attorney General Holder announced today.

In total, the amount of fines and other criminal penalties imposed on Transocean are the second-largest environmental crime recovery in U.S. history—following the historic $4 billion criminal sentence imposed on BP Exploration and Production Inc. in connection with the same disaster.

“Transocean’s guilty plea and sentencing are the latest steps in the department’s ongoing efforts to seek justice on behalf of the victims of the Deepwater Horizon disaster,” said Attorney General Holder. “Most of the $400 million criminal recovery—one of the largest for an environmental crime in U.S. history—will go toward protecting, restoring, and rebuilding the Gulf Coast region.”

“The Deepwater Horizon explosion was a senseless tragedy that could have been avoided,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Eleven men died, and the Gulf’s waters, shorelines, communities, and economies suffered enormous damage. With today’s guilty plea, BP and Transocean have now both been held criminally accountable for their roles in this disaster.”

Transocean’s guilty plea was accepted and the sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo of the Eastern District of Louisiana. During the guilty plea and sentencing proceeding, Judge Milazzo found, among other things, that the sentence appropriately reflects Transocean’s role in the offense conduct and that the criminal payments directed to the National Academy of Sciences and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation are appropriately designed to help remedy the harm to the Gulf of Mexico caused by Transocean’s actions. The judge also noted that the fines and five-year probationary period provide just punishment and adequate deterrence.

Transocean pleaded guilty to an information, previously filed in federal court in New Orleans, charging the company with violating the CWA. During the guilty plea proceeding today, Transocean admitted that members of its crew onboard the Deepwater Horizon, acting at the direction of BP’s well site leaders, known as “company men,” were negligent in failing to investigate fully clear indications that the Macondo well was not secure and that oil and gas were flowing into the well.

The criminal resolution is structured to directly benefit the Gulf region. Under the order entered by the court pursuant to the plea agreement, $150 million of the $400 million criminal recovery is dedicated to acquiring, restoring, preserving, and conserving—in consultation with appropriate state and other resource managers—the marine and coastal environments, ecosystems, and bird and wildlife habitat in the Gulf of Mexico and bordering states harmed by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This portion of the criminal recovery will also be directed to significant barrier island restoration and/or river diversion off the coast of Louisiana to further benefit and improve coastal wetlands affected by the spill. An additional $150 million will be used to fund improved oil spill prevention and response efforts in the Gulf through research, development, education, and training.

Transocean was also sentenced, according to the plea agreement, to five years of probation—the maximum term of probation permitted by law.

A separate proposed civil consent decree, which resolves the United States’ civil CWA penalty claims, imposes a record $1 billion civil Clean Water Act penalty, and requires significant measures to improve performance and prevent recurrence, is pending before U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier of the Eastern District of Louisiana.

The charges and allegations pending against individuals in related cases are merely accusations, and those individuals are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The guilty plea and sentencing announced today are part of the ongoing criminal investigation by the Deepwater Horizon Task Force into matters related to the April 2010 Gulf oil spill. The Deepwater Horizon Task Force, based in New Orleans, is supervised by Assistant Attorney General Breuer and led by Deputy Assistant Attorney General John D. Buretta, who serves as the director of the task force. The task force includes prosecutors from the Criminal Division and the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice; the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana, as well as other U.S. Attorneys’ Offices; and investigating agents from: the FBI; Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigative Division; Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Inspector General; Department of Interior, Office of Inspector General; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Law Enforcement; U.S. Coast Guard; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.

This case was prosecuted by Deepwater Horizon Task Force Director John D. Buretta, Deputy Directors Derek A. Cohen and Avi Gesser, and task force prosecutors Richard R. Pickens II, Scott M. Cullen, Colin Black, and Rohan Virginkar.
Press release found at