Off the wire


Record-busting, 879-pound bear bagged in Poconos
The heaviest black bear ever recorded in Pennsylvania was shot and killed by a bow hunter just north of Fernwood Resort in Pike County on Monday. The Pennsylvania Game Commission confirmed that David Price of Barrett Township killed the 17-year-old bruin, which had an estimated live weight of 879 pounds. The bear had a field-dressed weight of 744 pounds.
Read the complete story from Pocono Record.

Line record tuna brought in to San Diego
It didn't take long for another huge tuna to come along and take over as heavyweight champion of the still-young, long-range fishing season. Greg Koonce, fishing on Tommy Rothery's Polaris Supreme, weighed in a 379.8-pound yellowfin Wednesday at Fisherman's Landing. It not only is the biggest of the season thus far, but it's also No. 6 on dock reporter Bill Roecker's All-Time Top Tuna list.

Read the complete story from SignOnSanDiego.com.

BP deep-cleaning Gulf beaches amid new worries
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. -- What's typically a beautiful, quiet stretch of beach in the fall now resembles a construction site. Bulldozers and yellow dump trucks shake the ground; a giant sifting machine spits clean sand out one end, tar balls out another. With its Macondo well dead and few visitors on the coast during the offseason, BP has launched its biggest push yet to deep-clean the tourist beaches that were coated with crude during the worst of the Gulf oil spill. Machines are digging down into the sand to remove buried tar mats left from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The work is getting mixed reviews.
Read the complete story from The Associated Press.

Fishing nations force EU retreat on bluefin tuna
BRUSSELS -- France, Spain and other Mediterranean nations forced the European Union to retreat Thursday from an ambitious plan to save the threatened and prized bluefin tuna. After drawn-out negotiations, the 27-nation EU abandoned a plan to seek cutbacks in fishing quotas based only on scientific advice and said Thursday it will now also consider the interests of tuna fishermen.
Read the complete story from The Associated Press.

Pa. killing highlights dangers facing wardens
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- David Grove was a member of the "thin green line" -- one of the wildlife officers who work mostly alone, often in forests, at night, in the cold and in close range of people who almost always are carrying guns. Police say the 31-year-old warden lost his life last week when was apprehending an armed poacher near Gettysburg, the kind of encounter that he and his colleagues often worry about.
Read the complete story from The Associated Press.

Va. sturgeon may be key to ancient fish's recovery
HOPEWELL, Va. -- Researcher Matt Balazik wears his passion for saving the Atlantic sturgeon on his right arm - a tattoo of the ancient fish - and lives it by counting the bottom-feeding giants in the James River. The 30-year-old doctoral student is part sturgeon wrangler, part census taker as he patrols the river in a small boat, checking 1,000-foot-long nets for what scientists believe is the last viable reproductive population of Atlantic sturgeon in the Chesapeake Bay. Sturgeon, which have survived virtually unchanged since the time of the dinosaurs, are dwindling worldwide under the influence of human beings.
Read the complete story from The Associated Press.

Redfish, new fish? Industry seeks revived market
BOSTON -- It's been a worry-free couple of decades for the Acadian redfish. The reddish-orange schooling fish have been worth so little to fishermen that they've rarely had to flee from the tightening mesh of a net. But life for the redfish may soon be changing - if the fishing industry can get people to bite.
Read the complete story from The Associated Press.

Poacher nabbed after posting kills on Facebook
A 20-year-old Ham Lake man faces nearly $2,000 in fines and restitution for recently poaching two bucks and shooting an over-limit of Canada geese -- and then posting his exploits on his Facebook page. "It was definitely not smart,'' said Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Travis Muyres, who handled the case.

Read the complete story from Star Tribune.

Most N.J. residents approve of bear hunt, poll says
TRENTON, N.J. -- A new poll indicates that a majority of New Jerseyans approve of the state's plan hold a bear hunt next month. The Fairleigh Dickinson-PublicMind poll out today found 53 percent of respondents agreed the hunt should be held if wildlife biologists conclude it's needed to thin the state's black bear population and if the bruins are destroying private property.
Read the complete story from NJ.com.

Small dog traps big cat in Colman

COLMAN, S.D. -- Virtus and Chad Strenge couldn't figure out what Jack was barking at. The 17-pound Jack Russell terrier chases squirrels around their Colman farm every day, but he made such a fuss Tuesday morning that Virtus, Chad's father, had to step out of the shop to investigate. They could hardly believe what Jack had found. "He comes running back in saying, 'Get the gun, there's a mountain lion out there,' " Chad Strenge said. "I said, 'Yeah, right.' "

Read the complete story from the ArgusLeader.com.

Record year for Winooski River salmon

WATERBURY, VT -- Vermont anglers have something to smile about. A strong spawning run has brought large numbers of landlocked Atlantic salmon from Lake Champlain into the Winooski River this fall. Over 130 salmon as well as more than 50 steelhead rainbow trout have been trapped in the fish lift at the Winooski One hydro-electric facility.

Read the complete story from The Outdoor Wire.

Turkeys terrorize residents as they roam neighborhood
One slice of Staten Island isn't giving thanks for its turkey this holiday season because the wild fowl are rampaging across the neighborhood. The menacing flock is ruffling feathers in Ocean Breeze by tying up traffic, covering yards with excrement - even trapping one terrified woman in her car.

Read the complete story from NYDailyNews.com.