Friday, September 27, 2013

Extremely Cool Handmade Archery Arm Guards and Quivers

bow, bowhunt, bowhunting

For some time, I have been selling Field Dress tees on Etsy and recently came across a young lady hand making arm guards and quivers. I just think it's impressive to find people using their creative juices and passion to create something completely unique.

Trisha designs and makes custom arm guards, quivers, and even handbags that anyone will love and appreciate. With the holidays coming near, a gift from Trisha will speak a thousand words. Go check out Trisha at Trisha's Treasures on Etsy or Mystic Quivers.

bow, bowhunt, bowhunting, arrow, arrows

bow, bowhunt, bowhunting, archery, armguard, quiver

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Archery in Louisiana Schools Program Growing in Popularity

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As a new school year begins, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Archery in Louisiana Schools Program (ALAS) continues efforts to attract participants.
Louisiana’s archery program in schools dates back to 2005. Since that time almost 400 basic archery instructors have been trained.  There are currently 75 Louisiana schools participating in the program.
Each year in March, a state archery competition is held to allow ALAS schools and students to compete against their peers and qualify for national and world tournaments.  The ALAS state tournament attempts to mirror National Archery in the School’s Program (NASP) tournament as closely as possible, following all NASP tournament rules.
The 2013 tournament, the largest so far, was held in the LSU Ag and Extension Service’s Mega Shelter in Alexandria and attracted 535 archers competing from 18 schools and a crowd of 2,000 people. Awards were given to the top 3 teams in each division and the top 5 individuals in each division including elementary, middle school and high school.  Awards were provided by LDWF, NASP and the Quality Deer Management Association.
Archery as an extra-curricular program or part of a school’s physical education activities is ideal because any student who can draw back the bow can participate. Archery in schools programs at all levels can be used by teachers and coaches to build self- confidence in students, and most importantly it’s fun for the kids. Surveys of those who have been introduced to archery indicate 89 percent like it and 62 percent said they love it.
Teachers surveyed indicate that they have seen improved confidence, motivation, attendance, attitude and behavior.  It also adds another non-gender specific competitive opportunity for the school and students who become involved develop pride in their school.
Some students may choose to develop their skills for hunting, but all who participate have the opportunity to compete beyond high school and hone their skills based on the practice time dedicated to target shooting.
So how big are archery programs for students outside of Louisiana? In 2012, more students in the U.S. participated in NASP than in Little League Baseball.  Currently 47 U.S. states participate, as well as six Canadian provinces, and even countries such as: Botswana, Mongolia, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia.  Last year almost 44,000 students participated in state tournaments, and nearly 9,500 shot at the 2013 Nationals.  And if anyone thinks this is just a boys sport, 43 percent of those shooters were female.
Over 10 million students have participated in NASP since 2002, with over 10,440 schools participating.  The program is currently growing by about 1,600 schools per year.
For more information, visit or contact Robert Stroede, LDWF’s program coordinator at 318-484-2276 or .

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Five States Submit 4th Draft of Lesser Prairie-Chicken Conservation Plan as Alternative to Federal Endangered Species Act Listing

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The 4th draft of a comprehensive conservation plan for the lesser prairie-chicken has been submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for endorsement, a plan offered by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) and state wildlife agencies in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma. This latest version comes after extensive review and comment by stakeholders across the bird’s five-state range. Once the USFWS endorses the plan, the states can begin implementing it, in hope of precluding the need to list the species under the federal Endangered Species Act.

The lesser prairie-chicken is an iconic grassland grouse species native to parts of all five states. However, long-term population declines have brought state and federal agencies together in an attempt to better manage lesser prairie-chickens and their habitats. The resulting precedent-setting plan identifies population and habitat objectives based upon the needs of the species, not state boundaries.

“For years, biologists have well-known that wildlife do not recognize state lines, which has presented management challenges for wildlife agencies,” says Bill Van Pelt, WAFWA Grassland Initiative Coordinator. “Often, population goals are set based on administrative boundaries. This plan not only sets biologically meaningful population objectives, it also allows for resources to be spent anywhere within the same habitat type, regardless of the state. This should give state wildlife agencies maximum management flexibility and, ideally, preclude the need to list it.”

The submittal of the range-wide plan comes at the same time the second annual statistically-valid, range-wide population estimate for the lesser prairie-chicken is being released. Analysis of the 2013 range-wide survey revealed population estimates of 17,616, down from the 34,440 birds estimated the previous year. This population decrease was predicted by biologists because of the persistent drought that has plagued the region in recent years.

Lesser prairie-chicken populations have fluctuated historically due to weather and habitat conditions. In fact, populations were so low during the droughts in the 1930s and 1950s biologists feared the species was almost extinct. However, when the rains returned, the populations rebounded.

WAFWA’s Grassland Initiative collaborated with the Lesser Prairie-chicken Interstate Working Group, which is composed of biologists from state fish and wildlife departments within the range of the species, the Bureau of Land Management, and Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. to conduct a large-scale, helicopter-based survey of lesser prairie-chicken leks across all five states. Leks are sites where the birds congregate every spring for breeding. These surveys occurred from March-May and encompassed more than 300,000 square miles.

The 2013 survey was funded by the five state fish and wildlife agencies and WAFWA with support from various partners, including oil and gas companies that support lesser prairie-chicken conservation, the Bureau of Land Management and a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Although drought has significant impacts on game bird populations, biologists are heartened by the fact that the lesser prairie-chicken has historically shown significant resiliency to periodic climatic events. When the birds were first proposed for listing in the 1990s, the region was experiencing a severe drought. In many areas, bird populations declined by more than 60 percent, but recovered to prior levels with a return to wetter years later in that decade.

The range-wide conservation plan will help increase and enhance critical lesser prairie-chicken habitat through partnerships with landowners that will incentivize beneficial land management practices. The plan has benefitted from extensive public review and stakeholder input, including more than 70 public meetings throughout the five states in addition to online review and comment. This includes specific meetings and outreach for wind energy, oil and gas and agricultural interests.

"We don’t want to see the lesser prairie-chicken designated as a federally threatened or endangered species, however in the event it is listed, we want to have a plan in place to recover the bird and get it off the list as soon as possible," said Bill Van Pelt, WAFWA grassland coordinator.

"Two critical factors for the bird are good weather and good partnerships with conservation groups and landowners,” Van Pelt added. “Fortunately, drought conditions continue to improve and landowners are getting more involved at the grassroots level, both of which are encouraging signs for the future of the lesser prairie-chicken.”

For more information, contact Van Pelt at or visit the team’s website, where the 4th draft of the range-wide plan and the 2013 aerial survey report are available.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Michigan's Dansville State Game Area Offers Excellent Hunting Opportunities

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The Department of Natural Resources encourages hunters to try Dansville State Game Area this year for excellent hunting opportunities. With nearly 5,000 acres of quality deer, turkey and small game habitat, hunting opportunities abound at this hidden gem, located just 20 miles southeast of Lansing in Ingham County.

This year's favorable weather conditions have promoted excellent food plots of corn, soybeans, grasses, clover and brassicas. Foot trails leading from the parking lots to the fields make hunting the fields easy. Forests near the fields provide ample cover for wildlife, along with additional food sources. Squirrels, rabbits and other small game can be found in the woods.

Hewes Lake, located in the northwest corner of the game area, offers fishing and waterfowl hunting opportunities. The lake is accessed by a wide trail, and hunters and anglers with disabilities can easily reach the lake for recreation.

A map of the Dansville State Game Area is available on the DNR website at Cover-type maps and aerial views of the area are also available on Mi-HUNT at

Small game and deer hunting licenses are available at DNR Operations Service Centers, wildlife field offices, license retailers or online at

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to

Monday, September 23, 2013

Ohio Deer Hunters Receive More Prime Hunting Time

Several changes to Ohio’s white-tailed deer hunting regulations take effect when the first deer season begins on Saturday, Sept. 28, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
New deer hunting regulations implemented by the ODNR Division of Wildlife include extended hunting hours during gun and muzzleloader seasons, county bag limits, changes to deer permit use and an antlerless-only muzzleloader season.
“This year we were able to add 30 minutes of prime hunting time after sunset to every day of the deer gun and muzzleloader hunting seasons,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “Ohio has some of the best hunting opportunities in the country, and this extra half hour is a golden opportunity for hunters to extend their time in the field.”
 All deer hunters are required to have a valid Ohio hunting license and a valid deer permit. A detailed listing of deer hunting rules is contained in the 2013-14 Ohio Hunting Regulations, available where licenses are sold, or Ohio’s 2013-2014 deer seasons include:
• Archery: Sept. 28-Feb. 2, 2014;
• Antlerless muzzleloader: Oct 12-13;
• Youth gun: Nov. 23-24;
• Gun: Dec. 2-8 and
• Muzzleloader: Jan 4-7, 2014.
Deer hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes past sunset for all deer seasons. This includes gun and muzzleloader seasons.
Deer bag limits are now determined by county (see map for bag limits). The statewide bag limit is nine deer, but a hunter cannot exceed a county bag limit. Additional ODNR Division of Wildlife authorized controlled hunting opportunities do not count against statewide or county bag limits. Hunters may harvest only one buck in Ohio, regardless of method of take or location.
Antlerless permits will be valid until Dec. 1, the Sunday before the deer-gun season. Only one antlerless permit may be used per county, regardless of the bag limit.
Ohio is offering an antlerless deer muzzleloader hunting season Oct. 12-13. It is legal to bowhunt during this weekend, but no bucks may be killed regardless of hunting implement. Archers hunting during the statewide gun, youth gun and muzzleloader seasons must meet the hunter orange requirement.
A new tagging procedure administered by the ODNR Division of Wildlife requires hunters to make their own game tag to attach to a deer. Game tags can be made of any material (cardboard, plastic, paper, etc.) as long as it contains the hunter’s name, date, time and county of the kill. Go to the Deer Hunting Resources page at for more information on changes to the game check process.
All hunters must report their deer harvest using the automated game-check system. Hunters have three options to complete the game check:
• Online at;
• Call 877-TAG-ITOH (824-4864);
• Visit a license agent. A list of agents can be found at or by calling 800-WILDLIFE.
Game-check transactions are available online and by seven days a week, including holidays. Landowners exempt from purchasing a deer permit, and other people not required to purchase a deer permit, cannot use the 877-TAG-ITOH option.
The ODNR Division of Wildlife remains committed to properly managing Ohio’s deer populations through a combination of regulatory and programmatic changes. Progress toward reducing locally abundant herds can be expected as strides have already been made in reducing deer herds in many counties closer to target levels.
Ohio hunters are encouraged to hunt more does this season to help the needy in their area. The ODNR Division of Wildlife is working with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) to help pay for the processing of donated venison. Hunters who donate their deer to a food bank are not required to pay the processing cost as long as funding for the effort lasts. More information about this program can be found online
Deer hunting in Ohio continues to be a popular activity for many who enjoy the outdoors. Ohio hunters checked 218,910 deer during the 2012-2013 season. Ohio ranks fifth nationally in resident hunters and 11th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries. Hunting has a more than $853 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservationpublication.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at

Friday, September 13, 2013

Grants and Additions to the National Wildlife Refuge System Will Conserve More than 150,000 Acres of Bird Habitat

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The protection, restoration and enhancement of 157,000 acres of migratory bird habitat was unanimously approved today by the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission.  As a result, 42,000 acres of waterfowl habitat will be added to the National Wildlife Refuge System through boundary additions and purchases totaling $3.3 million.  An additional 115,000 acres of wetlands and associated uplands will be conserved through North American Wetlands Conservation Act grants totaling $21.5 million.

“Wetlands provide not only some of the richest wildlife habitat on Earth, especially for migratory birds, but also clean drinking water, flood control and opportunities for boating, fishing, hunting and other outdoor recreation,” said Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, who chairs the commission. “By conserving, enhancing and restoring more than 150,000 acres of wetlands, including adding to the National Wildlife Refuge System, we are enriching our country in ways that will be seen for generations to come.”

The $3.3 million approved to acquire refuge land and boundary additions will come from the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, which consists of proceeds from the sale of Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps, popularly known as Duck Stamps, and other funding sources.  Waterfowl hunters and other wildlife enthusiasts can support bird habitat acquisitions by purchasing Federal Duck Stamps.

Twenty-one million dollars in conservation grants to 21 projects in 16 states will also be made available through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act U.S. Standard Grants program.  Partners will match this support with $50 million in leveraged funds.

“Our nation’s migratory birds are facing ever-greater threats from habitat loss and the burgeoning effects of global warming. Protecting these habitats is essential for the long-term survival of key populations of waterfowl, waterbirds, shorebirds and landbirds,” said Service Director Dan Ashe.

The three commission-approved refuge projects are:
·        Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Dorchester County, Maryland
·        San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge, Brazoria County, Texas
·        Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, Spokane County, Washington

Projects funded through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act U.S. Standard Grants Program include:
·        Missouri Coteau Habitat Conservation Project XII, North Dakota - $2,000,000
·        Cedar-Wapsi Valley Wetlands III, Iowa - $1,000,000
·        North Sacramento Valley Wetland Habitat Project VI, California - $1,000,000

For additional details about these projects, visit

In addition to Secretary Jewell, Migratory Bird Conservation Commission members include U.S. Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi and Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas, U.S. Representative John Dingell of Michigan and Representative Robert Wittman of Virginia, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy.

More information about the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and its U.S. Standard Grants program, including individual summaries of projects announced today, is available at:

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit
Connect with our Facebook page at, follow our tweets at, watch our YouTube Channel at and download photos from our Flickr page

Thursday, September 12, 2013

RMEF’s $140,000 Gift Opens Door to 18,000 Acres of Public Access

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

National Hunting and Fishing Day Coming September 28th

To find more information on events in your state click here.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Realtree and Duck Commander Strengthen Partnership

hunting, fishing, licensing

Realtree President and CEO Bill Jordan announced today a strengthening of the business partnership between the Realtree and Duck Commander teams. Beginning immediately, Realtree will assume primary administrative duties related to the licensing of Duck Commander products.

“We’ve worked closely with Phil and all the Duck Commander guys for over eight years now,” said Jordan. “It’s remarkable what they have built throughout the company’s 40-year history. We’ve been fans and believers in all they do for many years, and we look forward to helping them continue the growth of the Duck Commander brand.”

“An area that has really grown quickly for Duck Commander is product licensing,” Jordan continued. “Of course, this is one of Realtree’s core strengths. Thankfully, we’ve built a strong level of trust with everyone in the Duck Commander camp, and we are really pleased that they asked Realtree to support this part of their business.”

Duck Commander products featuring Realtree camouflage are already found widely in the market place. This strengthened partnership will ensure that consumers find an even greater selection of the Duck Commander/Realtree products they want and need.

“Working with the Realtree guys on new products was an easy business decision,” said Duck Commander CEO Willie Robertson. “Not many companies have a better grasp on the start-to-finish product cycle, and it’s clear they’re in business for the long run. It’s a real partnership that gives me one less thing to worry about.”

Companies interested in licensing Duck Commander and Buck Commander products are asked to contact Realtree here:

Monday, September 9, 2013

Idaho Fish & Game Sponsoring Two Mentored Youth Hunts In The Upper Snake

Idaho Fish and Game is sponsoring two mentored youth hunts in the Upper Snake Region this year.

They will consist of one waterfowl and one pheasant hunt. 

The waterfowl hunt will be September 28 at the Mud Lake Wildlife Management Area. The pheasant hunt will be October 5 at the Market Lake Wildlife Management Area north of Roberts.

Both events are meant to provide opportunities for first time youth hunters between the ages of 10 and 15 who do not have someone to take them hunting.

Fish and Game will provide mentors and all the equipment required for the hunt. 

Youths will be required to purchase a junior hunting license or a mentored hunt passport before participating. The junior hunting license purchase requires having passed a Hunter Education course.

Waterfowl hunters are also required to purchase a migratory bird permit.
Participating youth must have transportation to and from the hunting area, but some accommodations can be arranged if necessary. This is a great opportunity to get youth out in the field with an experienced guide.

We plan on having lots of fun and creating lifelong memories. Anyone interested in this event or who knows a youth who is, please fill out an application at the Fish and Game office at 4279 Commerce Circle in Idaho Falls.

Space is limited and walk-ins will not be accepted. Applications must be turned in by September 25.

For questions contact James Brower at 208-525-7290 or through the Idaho Relay Service at 1-800-377-3529 (TDD) or by email at

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Summer wrap-up...back to the blog!

Started the summer working on a ranch for the month of June.

After working hard and with four kids waiting at home, it was time for a family roadtrip. My daughter and Shadow in Colorado for a brief stay.

My aunt and uncle were extremely generous to let us use their RV to head north for several weeks.

Can't head north without stopping for a visit to Mount Rushmore, the Reptile Gardens, and Bear Country USA.

Finally made it home to beautiful North Dakota.

 The kids made wonderful friends for their stay...wanted to adopt them!

The girls dominated tubing!

Took one son skiing and our other son got up for the first time!

 Found time to enjoy a round of golf with my dad and brother.

Finally, stayed in Colorado with family to enjoy the sights.

Can't really say I missed the computer, but with kids back in school and hunting season upon us, time to get back to work and enjoy the season's stories and news. Hope everyone has a successful season and hope you enjoy this coming year outdoors!