What’s the Difference Between Assault Weapons and Sporting Rifles?

You Tube has an excellent video: Comparing a fully automatic assault rifle with a semi automatic rifle with a semi automatic rifle for sportsmen and women.

It is just under 11 minutes and well worth your time. The instructor is Officer Leroy Pyle of the San Jose, California Police Dept.   I like his low-key style in talking about an emotionally laden topic.

Getting Ready for Hunting Season!

He explains how the weapons are alike and how they are different. He, and others make several interesting points. One point is: during the collection of 50,000 + weapons, California has NEVER collected a semi automatic gun that has been re-configured into an assault weapon. Therefore, the contention that every drug lord has an arsenal of fully automatic assault weapons is incorrect. The location of the video is:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysf8x477c30



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Round 3: CDC Weighs in on Lead-Poison-in-Deer Issue

Round 1


020065L_Dream Team_One on One

Fall Excitement!


The Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) issued a study citing their concern that hunting bullets (containing lead) break up inside a deer and pose a lead poisoning risk in humans eating the venison.

Although they labeled the report as “preliminary,” they were quick to spread the word. This reaction came from finding some lead in packaged game – donated to food banks in North Dakota, Minnesota and a few other mid-western states.

On the basis of this report, some states collected all of the donated venison and had it destroyed.  (Many hunters have the deer they shoot processed/packaged and donate the meat to foodbanks across America.)

Round 2

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) – the trade association for the firearms, hunting and recreational shooting industry – released a long report that said, essentially -“there is no credible, peer-reviewed scientific evidence that using traditional hunting ammunition creates a human health risk.”

As part of their report they highlighted the state of Iowa, which has been randomly testing children (500,000+) and adults (25,000+) for lead contamination for 15 years. They did not toss the food because they could find no connection between lead ammunition used and heightened lead contamination in humans.

NSSF also indicated that CDC (Centers for Disease & Prevention) was conducting tests regarding this issue.

Round 3

The CDC did not find a connection between ammunition used and lead contamination in humans. The short summary is in a box on this page – http://www.nssf.org/news/PR_idx.cfm?PRloc=share/PR/&PR=110708.cfm&CFID=3197794&CFTOKEN=9bbbf4263d2b5d79-F4AECCFA-0A2C-208F-D227DDCAC8E9983F&jsessionid=f03087e0b5d1f57e886c7f4e334d626b4155 You can read the full 31 page report: http://www.nssf.org/share/PDF/ND_report.pdf

Now the Story Gets Interesting

“The baseless claim that caused concern about consuming venison harvested with lead ammunition was born out of the anti-hunting movement. The story started when a dermatologist with ties to the Peregrine Fund–an organization dedicated to eliminating the use of lead ammunition for hunting–claimed to have collected packages of venison from food banks that contained lead fragments.

Out of fear and an overabundance of caution, health officials (who never conducted their own study) accepted the dermatologist’s findings and ordered all food banks to discard their venison.” (from the report issued by FSSN: “Firearms Industry Statement on Results of CDC Blood Lead Levels in Hunter’s Study”).

It turns out that the dermatologist is a board member of the Peregrine Fund, not “the independent actions of a concerned hunter, as he claimed.” According to FSSN, this group is dedicated to more than taking the lead out of ammo. They are an anti-hunting group trying to ban hunting.

My Interpretation

I don’t know anything about this group. From a quick reading on Google, they seem to be a group of tree huggers and savers of birds. I’m not into conspiracy theories or worries that everyone is trying to kill the sport of hunting. If the statements about the dermatologist are true (his ties to Peregrine and their mission), I’m angry.

The dermatologist has a license to practice medicine, not his moral agenda. Look at the waste of food and the money spent testing!

When do we start to make people responsible for their actions when they are knowingly dishonest? He used his status as a physician to cry, “Wolf.” Why isn’t he liable for his actions?

He isn’t the only miscreant in this fiasco. Have the state agencies that simply took the word of a single doctor – did no testing of their own – cleaned house yet?  If not, why not?


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

“This Spike is Better Lookin’ than Any Ol’ 6 Point Deer!” (Sure it is.)



Generally: No Rack = No Want!


This is the final entry in this series: Shooting spikes while hunting whitetail deer.

What’s Most Important – Nutrition, Genetics or Age?

This is like asking which is more important: the digestive, circulatory or respiratory system? All three are critical to the life of a human. Life cannot be maintained without any one of these processes.

Deer need good genetics, good nutrition and to be of sufficient age to reach their potential. Since ‘a spike is a spike,’ he isn’t going to turn into a 16 point deer with good nutrition and age.

Texas Parks uses a term – “improper harvest.’ In this category, they include “over-harvest of older age class males.”  By making yearling spikes the main goal of a hunter’s aim, it takes pressure off of the older, fully-antlered bucks.

Texas Parks maintains that “by shifting hunting pressure to the bottom segment of the herd, age as well as antler quality can be improved.”

Where the Does Fit in this Plan

Unfortunately, does do not have “I carry spike genes” or “I carry antlered genes” stamped on their foreheads. Besides targeting spike yearlings, Texas P&W suggests, older does should be removed from the gene pool.

By removing these mature does, the balance between food availability and herd size would be stabilized. With more nutrition, there would be fewer fawns – with greater chance of survival.

Deer Management = Quality Deer

Males, because they mate with many does, have more influence on the gentetics of a herd. By removing the young spikes, potentially, more antlered deer join the gene pool. Since the older does (more likely to carry ‘spike genes’) are removed, eventually, the herd will have more antlered deer.

Final Word

Every hunter’s group will have someone tell about the ‘Spike that Grew a Huge Rack.’  They do happen; however, it can take years, and he still carries the spike genes.

Texas P&W says that hunters, by targeting antlered deer, are inadvertently creating more spikes. Why? If the spikes are allowed to grow, they – not the fork-antlered deer – are the breeding stock.  “If you protect fork-antlered yearlings from harvest long enough to allow them to mature, you can improve antler quality in the herd….”

If Texas P&W had their way (laws), I think there would be howls of protest from hunters in Texas. MDH* opines “it ain’t gunna’ happen.”

What do you think? If your state made these rules binding in your state (for x number of years), how would you feel about it?


This Series:

Part 1: Should I Shoot a Spike While Hunting White-Tailed Deer? (intro & item #1)

Part 2:  Why Don’t We Just Let That Little Spike Grow Up?  (items #2 thru #7)

Part 3:  What About Spikes While White-tail Deer Hunting?  (Commandments 8 thru 10, conclusions)

Part 4: “This Spike is Better Lookin’ than Any Ol’ 6 Point Deer! Sure it is.” (Conclusions)


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

What About Those Spikes While Whitetail Deer Hunting?



Whitetailed Deer


Just a reminder: This is third in a series of postings about hunting spikes while whitetail deer hunting. The conclusions highlighted in orange are from the Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Texas A&M University’s Kerr Deer Management Facility was part of this study. The facility has deer from 20 generations, to watch the effects of variables on the evolution of the herd.  These same results were repeated in a Louisiana university study.


(8) “Even when most bucks are spikes, removing them will not endanger the breeding potential.” Texas Parks and Wildlife researchers have proven that massive removal of spikes does not affect deer production. They’ve shown that a single buck can breed with as many as 40 does in a season.

(9) “Antler development improves with age up to a point.” Amazingly, you can expect antler production to improve until about the age of 6 1/2. After that time, the deer’s teeth deteriorate and older deer don’t intake sufficient nutrition (even in nutrition-rich climes) to develop large racks.

The deer with the best – most dense – antlers are usually between 4 1/2 – 6 1/2 years old.

(10) The best time to manage for genetic improvement is during periods of nutritional stress.  With less food available, it is important to feed breeding deer first – and best. Watch for young antlered bucks and make them your future breeding stock.

~~~What Does This Mean to the Hunter & Landowner?~~~

Harvesting spikes is good for herd development. In fact, they state clearly: “Consistently removing spikes from the herd will eventually improve the antler quality if the range is in good condition.”

A balance must be maintained between numbers of deer and food available. The best way to do that is through harvesting. By selecting young deer with poor antlers, you are allowing  deer with more genetically desirable traits (full antlers) to become the breeding stock.

An Interesting Aside –

According to Texas Parks statistics, hunters snag over 60% of the yearling bucks each year. Of those, about 60% are ‘fork-antlered deer.’


Come back for the “Conclusion of the Conclusions.” If Texas Parks & Wildlife’s recommendations had any teeth (were law) there would be a howl of protest from hunters.


This Series:

Part 1: Should I Shoot a Spike While Hunting White-Tailed Deer? (intro & item #1)

Part 2:  Why Don’t We Just Let That Little Spike Grow Up?  (items #2 thru #7)

Part 3:  What About Spikes While White-tail Deer Hunting?  (Commandments 8 thru 10, conclusions)

Part 4: “This Spike is Better Lookin’ than Any Ol’ 6 Point Deer! Sure it is.” (Conclusions)


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Why Don’t We Just Let That Little Spike Grow Up?


Whitetailed Deer in Spring

Whitetailed Deer in Spring


{This is a continuation of (what I call): “The 10 Commandments of Spike Management” from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept. Please note: The intro and Commandment #1 are in Part 1.  These are their conclusions about ‘spike management’ – after considerable study.}

(2) “Nutrition does affect antler growth.” So, no matter what the deer’s ‘genetic potential,’ if there isn’t sufficient nutrition for the deer, antler growth will be affected.

(3) “Early or late birth does not affect antler development if deer receive adequate nutrition.” Essentially, a spike is a spike.  Earlier birthing did not turn a spike into an antlered deer. The only relation between the lateness of birth and antler production seems to be: If the deer is born late in the season, it may be nutritionally deprived because there is less forage. What nutrition is available is diverted to maintain and grow muscles — not antlers.

(4) “The majority of yearling spike bucks will produce smaller antlers and fewer points in following years than will fork-antlered deer.” Basically, they have proven that “what you see is what you’re gunna’ get.” Spikes seem to be a genetic trait that doesn’t improve over the years.

(5) “You can improve a herd by selectively removing inferior antlered deer and allowing the deer with good antlers to breed.” They asked the question: Could they remove the spikes and let the antlered deer reproduce? What would be the result?

By selectively reproducing with more-desirable traited (antlered) deer, something called “heritability” comes into play. The more desirable a trait is – the less likely there will be improvement. Obviously, fully-antlered deer are highly desirable – therefore, removing the spikes will not cause all of the new deer to have antlers. Production of antlers traits are passed from one generation to another, however.

(6) “Does provide half of the genetic potential for antler development.” Since scientists don’t know if a doe carries genes for antlers or spikes, they cannot “select-out” deer with spike genes.

(7) “Average yearling bucks on good range should have six points.” According to their research, with good nutrition, most bucks attain this desirable point. Even poor habitats produce antlered deer. By killing spikes, it allows the antlered deer to reproduce. However, most hunters prefer to haul home deer ‘with racks.’


This Series:

Part 1: Should I Shoot a Spike While Hunting White-Tailed Deer? (intro & item #1)

Part 2:  Why Don’t We Just Let That Little Spike Grow Up?  (items #2 thru #7)

Part 3:  What About Spikes While White-tail Deer Hunting?  (Commandments 8 thru 10, conclusions)

Part 4: “This Spike is Better Lookin’ than Any Ol’ 6 Point Deer! Sure it is.” (Conclusions)


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Should I Shoot a Spike While Hunting White-tailed Deer? **(Part 1)


Whitetailed Deer

Whitetailed Deer


MDH* brought  this fascinating article to my attention today.

Unfortunately, it is several thousand words long.  I would call it a “white paper” from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Division. (1)

They did their research at  Texas A & M University’s Kerr Wildlife Management Area. Why this is significant is that this facility has over 20 generations of deer.

Cut to the Chase

For those folks who read the last page of a mystery before starting the book, here’s the answer: “Yes, by harvesting spikes early-on, it improves the antler quality of the remaining herd.” However, the story of why this is true is what is so interesting.

What is a ‘Spike?’

So that everyone is on the same page, let’s define a ‘spike.’ Texas Parks sees it as “any deer at least a year old that has two hardened antlers that do not branch or fork.” They are NOT referring to young fawns with “skin covered knobs” called a “nubbin buck.”

They go on to say that, “Buck fawns occasionally have a protrusion of chalky white bone tissue through the skin up to 1/2 inch long, but this is rare and we don’t call them spikes.”

What Hunters Think

There’s controversy about this subject. Many hunters don’t want to kill spikes because they think that poor nutrition is the reason a year-old has no rack. (In other words, their suggestion is – to paraphrase an angler – ‘Throw ’em back and let ’em grow up a bit.”)

Another idea is to shoot older spikes, because genetically, they’ve proved that they are not capable of developing antlers. Their reasoning continues: ‘Save the young spikes, poor nutrition is the reason youngsters didn’t produce a rack this year.’

Texas Park’s Advice on Spikes

This is a direct quote: “If two spikes walk out in front of you in a 2-buck county, shoot the smallest one first and don’t let the second get away.” I was so surprised, I had to read this three times!

Before I go into the “Ten Commandments of Texas Parks Regarding Spikes (my words, not theirs),” let me assure my ambivalent readers that studies in Louisiana have confirmed these findings. Therefore, either the deer in two states are crazy or these findings can be replicated across America — or at least the South.

A Little Thing Called, “Genetic Potential”

(1) “Antler development is genetically based. Not all deer have the same genetic potential.” (conclusions drawn by Texas Parks & Wildlife biologists) Nutrition AND ‘genetic potential’ are necessary for antler development. If either one of these elements is missing, antlers don’t grow. They proved this by allowing spikes to breed with does in pens. There was nutritious food, vitamins, water, etc., yet a high percentage of the offspring were spikes!


Come back soon:  Commandments #2 thru 7, next time!


(1) The report I’m referring to is available online, as a pdf document at: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_lf_w7000_0247.pdf (It is 6 pages long.)


* MDH = My Deer Husband, Richard 😉


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com


UV Brighteners: We’ve Got the News

Because I know there are inquiring minds that want to know more about the UV brighteners issue and


Constantly on the Prowl for News!

We are Constantly on the Prowl for News!


products that can be used, I’ve literally worked myself into a lather over this problem!  :0  Now, it can be revealed.

Did you know you aren’t the only folks needing detergents without brighteners? Law enforcement and the military also need to keep brighteners out of their uniforms.

Can and Can’t Detergents

Finding that the wheel had already been invented, I checked some sources, and got two lists. Please note my additions at the end.

From 4MilitaryFamilies.com : “On the care label, the instructions are to launder in a mild detergent which does NOT contain ‘optical brighteners.’ No laundry detergent lists whether or not it contains these brighteners. By contacting the individual laundry detergent manufacturers the following list was compiled of detergents which do contain optical brighteners and those which do not:

Country Save* * 4MilitaryFamilies.com Approved!
Bold Powder
Cheer Liquid (all versions)
Cheer Powder (all versions)
“All” Powder (all versions)
Surf Powder (all versions)
Woolite (all versions)

Because the “do not use – they have brighteners” and the “questionable items – do not use” lists from both sources are identical; I only printed them once, to reduce the word count.


Here’s another list, stated in a different way. It comes from: http://www.rangerjoes.com/acu_care.php I added the ACU (Army Combat Uniform) washing instructions, for any newbies out there. They apply to hunting clothes as well.

ACU Care Instructions

Before washing, close hook and loop fasteners to prevent snagging.  Turning the uniform inside-out while laundering prevents the hook and loop from attaching to other items and prolongs the usefulness of the hook and loop.

Washing: Machine wash in cold water using Permanent Press Cycle or hand wash using a mild detergent that DOES NOT contain optical brighteners or fabric softeners. DO NOT USE CHLORINE BLEACH. Rinse completely. DO NOT WRING OR TWIST.

Drying: Hang dry or machine dry on low to medium setting, between 140-160 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from dryer immediately. To drip dry, remove from water and place on rust-proof hanger.  DO NOT STARCH or COMMERCIALLY HOT PRESS.

Detergents that CAN BE USED, as they do not contain optical brighteners or fabric softeners:
All® Powder (all versions)
Bold Powder
Cheer® Liquid (all versions)
Cheer® Powder (all versions)
Surf® Powder (all versions)
Woolite® (all versions)

Avoid using these products, as the contents are questionable:
Calgon® (all versions)
Spray ‘n Wash® (all versions)

DO NOT USE these detergents which contain optical brighteners:
Ajax® (all versions)
All® Liquid (all versions)
Arm & Hammer® FabriCare Powder (all versions)
Arm & Hammer® Liquid (all versions)
Arm & Hammer® Super Washing Soda
Arm & Hammer® Fresh ‘n Soft Fabric Softener (all versions)

Colgate-Palmolive laundry products
Delicare® Fine Fabric Wash (all versions)
Dreft® Liquid
Dreft® Powder
Dynamo® (all versions)
Era® Liquid (all versions)
Fab® (all versions)
Gain® Liquids (all versions)
Gain® Powders (all versions)
Ivory Snow® Liquid Ivory Snow® Powder
Rain Drops® Water Softener and Detergent Booster
Suavitel® Fabric Softener (all versions)
Surf® Liquid (all versions)
Tide® Liquids (all versions)
Tide® Powders (all versions)
Tide® Tablets (all versions)
Wisk® (all versions)
Yes® (all versions)

Dial® laundry products including:
*20 Mule Team® Detergent (all versions)
Purex® Baby™ (all versions)
Purex® Fabric Softener (all versions)
Purex® Liquid (all versions)
Purex® Powder (all versions)
Zout® (all versions)

CAUTION: If using a store brand or ‘generic’ product, the label usually states ‘compare to [brand]’ on the front panel. Match that product brand to the list above for ingredient content.”

Compiled by A. Hammond, 3rd IBCT RFG Assistant 10th Mtn Div, July 2005.


* 20 Mule Team Borax: I’m still going to stand by this product, in its pure form – original formulation.  I’m talking about the version that does not include any additives. I called Dial (who now owns the product) and the original formulation IS ONLY BORAX.

Also, I do not trust any of the fabric softeners or dryer sheets. I do not use them on hunting clothes.

Perhaps, if someone called Dial and asked if their detergents had brighteners, they would have to say, “yes.” However, if you ask specifically about 20 Mule Team, the answer is “no.” Still, you have to be the judge of this info!

Well, there you have it. More than you’d ever want to know about UV brighteners.   Just in case you were wondering, I worked like a dog to get this information. 😉


** 10:31 am/November 4, 2008: I’ve just received written confirmation from Dial’s corporate office that 20 Mule Team does not have UV Brighteners.


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Remember the Lead-in-Venison Controversy? Here’s an Update!


020031L_Break in the Storm 66x20

A Break in the Storm *


Reference to:  New Report on Lead-In-Venison & Lead Poisoning (posted on this site 14 October 2008).

What Happened

If you recall, the Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) recently issued a “Preliminary Ammunition Study” on  their concern that hunting bullets fragment inside the game and just how far those lead fragments might travel throughout the body.

Although they labeled the report as “preliminary,” they were quick to spread the word. All of this hoopla came from finding some lead in packaged game – donated to food banks in North Dakota, Minnesota and a few other mid-western states.  On the basis of this report, some states collected all of the donated venison and had it destroyed.

My concern was that, from this small sample, Minnesota called lead bullets into question (as reported in the Minnesota newspaper). If you were around during the ‘duck hunting with lead bullets’ controversy, you know why I’ve been watching this issue.

When they found lead in streams and wild duck meat, those lead bullets were ‘dead in the water.’  Up till that time, MDH* could reload his own. The new ammo was SO much more expensive and they could no longer be reloaded at home.

Another View

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) – the trade association for the firearms, hunting and recreational shooting industry – released the following statement:  “The preliminary report found varying results among bullet types, but noted that in some instances fragments were detected ‘further from the wound channel than many hunters might assume.’

The DNR did not, however, conclude that hunters should not use traditional ammunition. Nor did they conclude that the use of traditional hunting ammunition presents a human health risk to hunters. The DNR noted that its goal was to provide hunters with science-based information on which they can make informed choices” (my emphasis). I think this is called backing down, after you’ve gone too far.

They also note that the Minnesota Department of Agriculture encouraged hunters to continue to donate venison. (Let me see if I understand: hunters pay fees & buy ammo, lease the land, shoot the game, pay for processing & packaging and the state throws it away. Then the state says, “Send more!” Am I missing something?)

More of Their Statement

“For more than a century, hundreds of millions of Americans have safely consumed big game, including whitetail deer, harvested using traditional hunting ammunition and there has never been a case of anyone suffering adverse health effects from consuming the meat. Put simply, there is no credible, peer-reviewed scientific evidence that using traditional hunting ammunition creates a human health risk.”

The CDC is Testing

(More from NSSF) “The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently conducting a study of hunters and others that have consumed game to determine whether they have an elevated level of lead in their blood that can be attributed to the ammunition used to harvest the game.”

Iowa Has Been Randomly Testing for 15 Years

(NSSF statement continues) “The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH)  has conducted an extensive panel of blood-lead testing for more than 15 years. Iowa was among the states that did not over react and order venison destroyed.

The IDPH maintained at the time ‘that if lead in venison were a serious health risk, it would likely have surfaced within extensive blood lead testing since 1992 with 500,000 youth under 6 and 25,000 adults having been screened.'”

Essentially, NSSF concluded that, based on the randomness of the results, ‘lead-in-meat’ was probably related to field-dressing and processing issues. I’ll be interested to see how CDC explains this.


There you have it; another ‘much ado about nothing.’  This is why I refuse to get my knickers bunched about the UV brighteners in hunting clothes.

For your viewing pleasure: The NSSF statement, http://nssf.org/news/PR_idx.cfm?AoI=generic&PRloc=share/PR/&PR=100808_MNDNR.cfm


* ‘A Break in the Storm’ is used by permission from ClearVue Graphics


* MDH = My Deer Husband 🙂

This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Great News About Hunting Opportunities Across the US


President Teddy Roosevelt

My Hero - Teddy!


If you recall, I’ve shared my concern about the loss of conservation dollars because there are fewer hunters  and anglers in America.

{For more info, refer to these articles:  Where Have All the Hunters Gone? (Part 1) and Where Have All the Hunters Gone? (Part 2)}

Our Problem Today

In these articles, I’ve mentioned that hunters and anglers pay the lion’s share of the money used for conservation projects, through their fees, licenses, tags and permits. All states rely on this money to pay for wildlife and hunting land management. It also pays the salaries of wildlife rangers, marine biologists, etc., to maintain and improve hunting and fishing opportunities.

One of the main reasons for this drop has been the urbanization of America; they just aren’t making any more woods, streams and habitats for game and fish. As the ‘huntable and fishable’ lands disappear, so do the anglers and hunters. H & A’s (hunters and anglers) spend $78 billion each year. When their spending drops 10% in 10 years, states and organizations sit up and take notice.

The Rumbling Heard ‘Round the US

Obviously, there’s been enough rumbling that it has been noticed by the White House. I’m delighted to tell you that the White House Conference on North American Wildlife Policy recently closed with a plan for helping H & A’s access hunting and fishing lands.

This is the first conference on wildlife conservation called by a sitting president in one hundred years (I’m sure Teddy Roosevelt was the last, in ~ 1908).

According to the press release of Jodi Stemler, “Over 500 participants, representing wildlife and hunting conservation organizations, the outdoor industry, landowners, and local, state, tribal and federal resource managers, discussed what is necessary to ensure sustainable wildlife populations and promote our nation’s hunting heritage.”

The 10 Year Recreational Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Plan

It looks like they called in all parties and ACTUALLY came up with some viable solutions.

Landowners who are enrolled in CRP will now be eligible for a $3 per acre incentive if they sign on to their state’s hunting access program; the incentive is expected to open an additional 7 million acres of quality wildlife habitat for hunting.”

Groups issued a series of white papers that became the foundation of the ten-year Recreational Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Plan. This is only the third time America has considered a national wildlife policy!

What is Left to Do?

Please read these words carefully: “We believe this has been an inclusive process and that the action plan is something that will carry forward through the next decade and beyond, no matter who is in the White House or controlling Congress or state houses,” (my emphasis) remarked Jeff Crane, Vice Chairman of the Sporting Conservation Council and President of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.

How You Can Help

In order to  get the money to implement this 10 year plan,  Vice President Cheney called on Congress to reauthorize the SCC (Sporting Conservation Council) for a ten year term. It’s interesting to note that Jeff Crane obliquely reminds us that Congress and state houses rarely have the vision of Teddy Roosevelt, regarding conservation.

You can help by encouraging your local politicians to pass the SCC. I know I’m cynical, but so little works in Washington, it looks like we should support the few things that actually make a difference.

I wonder if any of them would care to run for Congress? I can think of 435 seats + 100 other seats I’d like to fill with folks who can work together.


PS: This article is in reference to the following posting of the National Shooting Sports Foundation:  http://www.nssf.org/news/PR_idx.cfm?PRloc=share/PR/&PR=100308-AWCP.cfm&CFID=2735709&CFTOKEN=b1f4d7a3ac87aa22-508E1C53-E744-8F8E-4440B9E6E444BCF1&jsessionid=f030bc6b82429d4ca9da457f743937172351

FYI: The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the the trade association for the firearms, hunting and recreational shooting industry.

This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on October 31, 2008 at 9:57 am  Comments Off on Great News About Hunting Opportunities Across the US  
Tags: , , , , ,

Where Have All the Hunters Gone?



Recently There Has Been a 10% Drop in the Number of Hunters!

Hunting and fishing enthusiasts have long supported conservation in America.

Even though hunting for food is no longer necessary, it has a long history in our country.

Over the decades, the US and state governments have created a delicate balance between habitats, game management and hunters/anglers.

Through the cost of permits and fees, the people who enjoy fishing and hunting have paid for the improvements to land and animal management brought about by state and national fish and wildlife programs.

However, the US Fish and Wildlife Service recently released a shocking report.

The Report that May Rock Your Socks

Across America, there was a 10% drop in the number of hunters aged 16 and over, between years 1996 and 2006. In some states, however the drop was more serious. Illinois, between 1996 and 2006, experienced a 27% decline in hunters (aged 16 and above), and an unbelievable 35% drop in the numbers of fishing folk!

Besides money, anglers and hunters are the main way states stem wildlife over-population. By having hunters and anglers doing managed harvesting, the general animal population has enough to eat and the species stays strong.

The Monetary Impact of Fishing Folk and Hunters

Every year, these hunting and fishing enthusiasts spend $76 billion (according to the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, in their report – “Hunting and Fishing: Bright Stars of the American Economy ~
A force as big as all outdoors

The figures speak for themselves. “They (hunters and fishing enthusiasts) directly support 1.6 million jobs. They spend more than a billion dollars just on stamps, licenses, tags and permits. And they generate $25 billion in federal, state and local taxes.”

“If a corporation grossed as much as hunters and anglers spend, it would be among America’s 20 largest, ahead of Target, Costco and AT & T.” However, the money they spend causes a “ripple effect” of $192 billion per year across the economy.

One other statistic of the report I’d like to share is: “Spending by hunters and anglers is more than the revenues of Microsoft, Google, eBay and Yahoo — combined  ($76 billion vs. $73.6 billion). Thus, you can see that a 10 % drop in revenues is a serious issue.

Lest you think the forests and woodlands are sitting idle, think again. There has been a huge increase in the numbers of folks who spend time watching wildlife. So there is more pressure on these forests and woodlands without an increase in income.  Birdwatchers, generally, don’t pay fees, such as the stamps, licenses, tags and permits – mentioned above.

Final Words in Part I

In other words, the delicate balance between habitat, animal management and humans is being torn asunder.  The latest stats I’ve read says that less than 3% of today’s hunters and anglers are under 17. That is why I wrote the article, “Why Should You Get Your Kids Interested in Hunting?”

There’s lots more to this issue. However, this blog is already getting long.  Recently I promised myself to try keeping articles down to about 500 words.

Stay tuned for Part II


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com