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12/16/2010

16
DEC

'Tis the season ... to catch poachers

By Mike Suchan

Poachers are being caught across the county in some big profile cases.

In Utah, a poaching ring was taken down after an anonymous call to the state's tip line. In New York, "Operation Dark Night" busted a bunch of deer jackers statewide.

Tennessee has one of its biggest poaching busts ever, with three men facing federal charges after they illegally hunted down "hundreds" of big-game deer in Fort Campbell.

And Oklahoma joined the growing list of states that put restitution at a premium for its trophy wildlife, setting the value of a trophy deer as high as $5,000.

READ MORE.


8
DEC

Tony Stewart aids deer research, ill children

By Mike Suchan

Tony Stewart said a lot of people helped him on his climb to become one of the top drivers in NASCAR. And Stewart enjoys giving back.

Sure, Smoke is known for ruffling feathers, but he enjoys time away from the racetrack tracking animals. He is an avid outdoorsman.

Given his gruff nature toward other drivers, it's a bit surprising he has a soft spot for kids and animals.

This week, just days after he received the 2010 NMPA Home Depot Humanitarian Award
and its $100,000 donation to his foundation, Stewart announced he is allowing wildlife biologists from Mississippi State University to use his property in Columbus, Ind., for deer research.

MSU's wildlife department, which is famous for its deer studies, will monitor Stewart's 414-acre Hidden Hollow Ranch, studying habitat and a variety of deer issues.

The two-time NASCAR champion, whose Tony Stewart Foundation helps critically ill children, injured drivers and endangered animals, also said he will continue to offer his ranch to provide outdoor opportunities for children with life-threatening illnesses.

"Catch A Dream," shows of Stewart hosting youth hunts at Hidden Hollow Ranch, has aired on ESPN2.

On his web site, Stewart is listed as: "Driver, Owner, Philanthropist ... One of the prime beneficiaries of the Foundation is the Victory Junction Gang Camp, which serves as a year-round camp for children ages seven to 15 with an assortment of life-threatening illnesses."

It rather admirable he does so much to help others.

"It's just a good feeling to give back like that," he told SBNation motorsports editor Jeff Gluck for this story. "Over the years, you're around a sport that's very generous and it makes you want to do the same thing.

"Once you start doing that and being involved in it, you realize how much that means to you, too."


6
DEC

No gun deaths in Wis.

By Mike Suchan

Tim Lawhern hopes Wisconsin gets on a streak. The state recently completed its second gun deer season without a firearm fatality, and the DNR hunter education administrator wants to take aim at two in a row.

The only two years without a gun-related fatality -- the state doesn't keep records on falls, heart attacks and other incidents -- were 36 years apart.

"Any shooting incident is one too many," said the president of the International Hunter Education Association.

The state did experience 12 incidents during its nine-day gun season, and through statistics Lawhern can determine "who is going to be shot. We can predict how many, where and what they are going to be doing at that moment," Lawhern told Ammoland.com for this story. "We just don't have the names and addresses."

Deer drives produce about one-third to one-half of all injuries, Lawhern's analysis shows. Self-inflicted injuries are another one-third to one half.

"We also know the shooters younger than 18 will make up about 20 to 30 percent of the shooting injuries. The vast majority will occur on private land and half will happen on opening weekend," he said. "Ultimately, nearly all are linked to a violation of one or more of the four basic rules of firearm safety -- treat every firearm as if it is loaded, never point your firearm at a person, never put your finger in the trigger until you are ready to shoot and know what is behind your target."


24
NOV

Three-antlered monster in Maine

By Mike Suchan

PHOTO GALLERY

Click Here

Deer camp has come across some unusual finds, but hasn't encountered anything like this.

Lucas Clark, a 15-year-old from Northport, Maine, has set the deer hunting world abuzz with his remarkable deer, which sports three main beams.

Besides the two main beams coming from the normal positions, the buck has an extra antler growing out of the right side of its head.

But it's not only odd, it's big. It has 20 points and green scored 194.

READ MORE »


17
NOV

Poaching rampant in Oregon, study finds

By Mike Suchan

It's disheartening to come across headlines like this one in The Oregonian: Study shows surprising rate of mule deer poaching.

Mule deer numbers are woefully down in Oregon, and a study by the state's wildlife department found that poachers might be taking more deer than licensed hunters.

Writer Richard Cockle interviewed a 62-year-old retired businessman who admitted to poaching dozens of mule deer over the past 35 years. "It was a habit that was hard to break."

A regional director of the Mule Deer Foundation says poaching "is out of hand in Oregon. It's going on all over the state, 365 days a year ... I just hear about it constantly."

The study fitted radio collars on 500 deer in Bend County. Of the 128 deer that died, legal hunters took 21 deer and 19 were poached. After predators and cars, another 51 were listed under "cause of death unknown," where maybe only the collar was found "laying out in the sagebrush."

The state has added significant fines to poachers, is trying to add more wildlife agents and offers rewards for turning in poachers. The vastness of the state makes catching poachers difficult, as does the shared view of the rural man who never got caught for so many years.


READ MORE


16
NOV

Up a tree with Swindle

By ESPN Outdoors

The obsession started at an early age for Gerald Swindle.

"I wasn't old enough to carry a gun, but anytime Daddy would leave the house to go deer hunting without me, I'd throw a raging, tear-filled fit to my Momma," said Swindle, bass fishing's funniest man.

Swindle has spent most of autumn filming a new reality hunting show called "The Hit List." But for the G-Man, hunting isn't about making TV shows. Instead, hunting is a soulful obsession for the 40-year-old Alabama native.


READ MORE


12
NOV

Looney for Looney Tunes

By Mike Suchan

An odd report from a conservation officer came across the wires this week.

In Aurora, Minn., deer hunters called to report they were being fired upon in their stands. Officers were directed to a residence where they found a loudspeaker pointed to the woods playing deafening cartoon music and shotgun shell casings on the ground.

Excuses be damned, the officer cited the man for hunter harassment, which is anybody who disrupts legal hunting and fishing activities. It is illegal in all 50 states.

READ MORE


8
NOV

Rut doing doubletime

By Mike Suchan

The rut is in full swing, especially up north where two reports double your deer hunting pleasure.

First, Rodney Hurst of Hixton, Wis., bagged two bucks at once. With his bow.

See how we were careful not to say two bucks with one shot. Hurst, a lifelong hunter who named his kids Gunner and Hunter, is having the 10-pointer and 12-pointer mounted together, because that's how he came upon them.

Standing alongside a cornfield a friend was combining, Hurst was ready for a deer, not the spectacle. " ... All of a sudden, here they come," he said. "Not very fast."

That's because the 10-pointer had won and was dragging the defeated. Hurst had time to call the DNR, which told him with another $42.20 tag he could legally take both. He did.

So he did get a two-for-one but admitted he used two arrows because "because I got a little impatient. I kind of thought it was a mercy shot."

The DNR told Hurst his was the third locked up pair in the region. For the story and video,
CLICK HERE
.

Speaking of video, head northwest a bit to St. Paul, Minn., where Craig Kuberski was interrupted from work and took this video of two bucks battling in his backyard.

There are actually two videos by Kuberski posted on TwinCities.com, but PART II is in focus. He titled them "Buck Fever."

"I've heard that term hunters use when they get a deer in their sights and start shaking," he said. "I felt like that when I was filming it. It was pretty exciting."

The deer appear locked up for a while in the fight, ripping up his yard and leaving blood on rocks, but there's a happier ending than in Hurst's story.

And now from Benton Township, Mich., two anglers witnessing a buck fight have a unique trophy.

Royalton Township resident Bryan Ammeson and St. Joseph resident Scott Stoney went for steelhead but got much more when the battling bucks locked up, fell into the river and drowned.

The 17-point buck with drop tines and a massive 10-point buck were hauled home after a call for a set of carcass permits. The head mounts locked together should be impressive, but the picture in this story from Southwest Michigan Herald Palladium shows the bucks must have come apart. Hmm.


4
NOV

Odds on deer oddities

By Mike Suchan

A reader sent in a picture of four albino feeding at a state park and asked what are the odds.

Genetics and statistics not being a strong point, we turned to a deer biologist who talked about the varied deer colorations and how those mutations aren't conducive to long-lived lifes.

But four albino deer in one spot?

"It's a freak of nature," George Mayfield said.


READ MORE


1
NOV

Bull's-eyes begin in the mind's eye

By James A. Swan

You're sitting in a blind, senses alive as the sun wakes up. A branch cracks. You shift into high alert, slowly turning to look in that direction. There is a tapestry of trees, leaves, branches, and then something breaks the pattern. A nice buck, moving in your direction.

Adrenalin pumping into your bloodstream shifts your mind into high gear. He's coming closer. You want to bag this one. Take a breath, and exhale slowly and silently to get steady.

Practicing such a scenario is helpful. Research has shown that before a performance situation, if you can quietly sit and recall past positive experiences when you were "in the zone" and you performed at your best, you will be more relaxed, focused and positive in the event you are about to participate in. The more vividly you can recall such events, the better.


READ MORE


27
OCT

Woods just got a little more crowded

By Steve Bowman

All of the sudden, there are about 7 million more hunters in the woods. But you probably won't notice it much.

Numbers are a tricky thing. That is never more evident than in an election year.

But the latest report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation is one that backs up a lot of what many of us pundits have felt for years: The numbers of hunters don't seem to be decreasing, even though everyone says we hunters are a dying breed.


READ MORE


25
OCT

Show me the big bucks

By Steve Bowman

Is it just me or does anyone else share in the thought that many of the deer hunting shows on television set up an unrealistic expectation of 150-inch deer in every wood lot?

There's a poll around this site that will ask you: Does television set up unreal expectations for deer hunting or is it just good entertainment?

I like seeing big bucks, but my guess is 95 percent of the deer hunters in this country will never see a 150-inch deer outside of the television set or photos. So, part of me wants to see more of the deer hunting experience that most of us are accustomed to. The other part worries what we may be saying to our children.


READ MORE


21
OCT

Be careful out there

By Steve Bowman

It's that time of year when there are enough deer hunters in the woods that accidents are bound to happen.

Just today two stories of hunters being shot while hunting came across the news desk.

That's actually pretty big news these days. Accidents that involve the shooting of another have been part of hunting for about as long as folks have been hunting.


READ MORE


19
OCT

Water woes

By Don Mulligan

Record-breaking rainfall across the Midwest during the spring and early summer, 2010 created a false sense of security for deer hunters. Reliant on precipitation for antler development, natural browse and food plot growth, hunters had reason to believe 2010 would be a banner year.

Drought conditions in the Midwest have reduced it and other waterways to stagnant pools. Little did they know, the worst drought in 50 years was on their doorstep and about to wreak havoc on deer and the way they hunt them.

READ MORE


18
OCT

Out-of-state fees outpricing some hunters

By Mike Suchan

Anyone who has looked into buying a nonresident deer hunting license has suffered a little sticker shock. License fees for out-of-state hunters are 10 times or more higher than what state residents pay.

Big buck states like Kansas, Iowa and Illinois can set higher fees as a working example of supply and demand.

The license rates and quotas are set by the states, hoping to bolster their conservation monies, but at what point do the license fees price out the longtime, dedicated hunter?

Kansas City Star outdoors writer Brent Frazee examines the issue under the headline:
Nonresidents ponying up big bucks for big bucks


12
OCT

Clearing up some myths of deer hunting

By Steve Bowman

Deer hunting, more than any other hunting sport, is filled with myths.

The science of deer hunting is relatively new, yet some of the old thoughts, born from the days when just seeing a deer track was the zenith of most hunter's seasons, have remained.

Consider that even with a deer club of 10, 20 or more, you can't get even a couple of deer hunters together without a certain amount of bull showing up in their collective knowledge. But as hunters and biologists continue to study and learn more about deer and deer hunting, they are beginning to realize just how mythical some of that lore is.

READ MORE


8
OCT

Deer harvest up during car season

By Mike Suchan

Because it's one of the companies paying to fix cars, State Farm compiles records on such things as deer-vehicle collisions. And it ain't pretty.

Although Americans drive only 2 percent more miles than we did five years ago, the number of auto collisions with deer is up 21.1 percent.

From claims data, State Farm found there were 2.3 million such collisions from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2010. They resulted in 200 fatalities each year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports, and each incident causes $3,103 in damages.

West Virginia again tops the list for the fourth year running. READ MORE


7
OCT

Cell phone picture leads to poaching bust

By Mike Suchan

A cell phone picture helped bust a poacher from Tennessee who harvested a 24-point buck in Illinois.

The photo that was sent out was time stamped as taken at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 12. When the poacher ran afoul of authorities, a clever wildlife officer used that information.

It was discovered that the man didn't buy his buck tag until some five hours after he killed the 203-inch deer. Busted.

READ MORE


6
OCT

Still hunting

By Steve Bowman

Hunters seldom think about the time when deer are not moving. During these times, if a hunter is not moving, chances are there will not be an encounter.

Even though it might appear as if every deer in the woods has magically disappeared, it's certain that deer are still close by. In most cases, they are doing what they do best, lying around and waiting for the moon or stars to align just right, or for a particularly strong hunger pain to get them up and put them in action.

For most deer hunters, waiting for the moon, the stars or hunger pains to kick in doesn't complement their schedules.

In those cases, one of the best ways to have an encounter with a deer is to go to them. It's known as still hunting, which is odd, since hunters are actually moving rather than sitting still.

READ MORE


4
OCT

Acorns and doe pockets

By Steve Bowman

Acorns are the spice of life.

They won't be found on many gourmet's menus, but to deer, ducks, squirrels and turkeys, acorns are the steak in an otherwise unexciting menu.

Acorns are often such strong drawing cards that hunters spend a lot of time concentrating on them. But, from a hunting standpoint it isn't always a great idea.

David Hale, half of well-known hunting and game calling duo Knight and Hale, believes if hunters have to concentrate on food, they should find areas that have options.

READ MORE


30
SEPT

Crossbow crossroads

By Joe Keller

Crossbows are invading the woods, plains and mountains this year like few other weapons have in the history of hunting in the U.S. Anti-crossbow laws are falling like dominoes.

Controversy has preceded the horizontal hunters. Some other hunters claim crossbows will ruin our already-diminishing sport. Some crossbow hunters claim it's the salvation.

How many hunters are now walking the lands with a horizontal bow?

How can a renown group like the Pope and Young Club say the sideways stick-and-string will destroy archery seasons?

Did the leader of New York Bowhunters call the president of American Crossbow Federation "Hilter"? (The answer to that last one is, "Yes.")

READ MORE


29
SEPT

Bow to bowhunting

By Steve Bowman

In two days, I'll be scratching my back against an oak tree about 15 feet off the ground.

It's a sedentary activity that I will be sharing with several thousand bowhunters across the state, one that brings out the passion of the hunt probably more than any other deer hunting activity.

Every bowhunter has his reasons for that passion. I can't speak for them, I can only try and relate why it's especially compelling to me.

READ MORE


28
SEPT

Caution required on stand

By Steve Bowman

A friend asked me the other day "why it seemed like there were so many deer hunters getting seriously hurt or killed from falling out of a treestand?"

Since the archery deer season opened in the Northeast, there have been at least two deaths from hunters falling out of a tree. Both were in Maryland. Another occurred Monday near Atlanta when a man was setting up his stand.

The rest of us start opening up this weekend, so that number will likely start going up.

His point was there didn't seem to be as many accidents back in the old days as there are now.

READ MORE


24
SEPT

Sitting on the deer stand

By Steve Bowman

Last week, I sat on my deer stand. It was a simple act I had not planned or prepared to do.

Although the sitting spell only lasted a short time, it was enough to remind one of things forgotten in a year's span. Sitting on a deer stand to a non-deer hunting individual does not sound like much. Some might even consider the act as appealing as sitting in a dentist's waiting room. But for someone looking forward to the hunting season, it can be a special thing.

It is the type of activity that makes you think of all the good things to come. The thoughts are so compelling, that sitting on a deer stand during the last hour of daylight is the most natural of things. Until a hunter climbs into his deer stand, he may not remember how peaceful the woods can be in early fall, especially when a steady breeze is tickling the leaves.

READ MORE


17
SEPT

No mercy kill at 17 shots, but leads to questions

By Mike Suchan

The deputy obviously isn't a hunter, what with needing 17 shots to put an injured deer out of its misery.

In Florida's Alachua County, a sheriff's deputy came upon a deer that had been struck twice by vehicles but was still alive. He called in and was told to shoot it behind the shoulder in the heart, but he kept shooting it in the stomach. He was horrified, but did nothing illegal.

The deputies will now get some training on dispatching an injured animal.

The public, however, better not try it as most states prohibit it. With deer collision season here, the instance will most likely arise again soon.

The Barney Fife report in Gainesville.com does lead to more questions about mercy kills, avoiding collisions and what can be done with roadkill. READ MORE


10
SEPT

Another city bows up

By Mike Suchan

Kudos to Fond du Lac, Wis.

In an effort to trim the whitetail population and stem conflicts with cars and businesses, the city council for the town of around 50,000 voted 6-1 for an urban archery hunt.

With its fair share of car-deer accidents and calls to police of deer "running loose" through town, the council moved to help alleviate the issue.

"I'm happy that it went through," councilman Tim Lakin said. "I put a lot of time and effort into it. Ultimately, I think it will be a good thing for our city. The ultimate goal is to keep the population in check and save taxpayers money."

Of course, after abiding by all the state hunting rules, there are city-type rules. First is a $75 property permit to be obtained through the police department. The properties must meet size requirements, and police must be given a list of all people allowed to hunt on that property.

For safety, there's no hunting on any public grounds or platted subdivisions. With any good urban hunt, archers must be in an elevated stand. Oh yeah, and no baiting.

One citizen spoke in favor, saying he thought the plan was well-thought out. In prime deer hunting country, Fond du Lac is fortunate it didn't have any naysayers to throw a kibosh on it. And it will be enacted for the Sept. 18 archery opener.

Some other cities could certainly benefit from similar bow hunting allowances. READ MORE


9
SEPT

Poachers tagged from Facebook post

By Mike Suchan

Talk about getting tagged in a photo!

An anonymous tip to the Florida Game Commission sent its new specialized Internet Crimes Unit into action scouring Facebook. There they found key evidence of a wildlife crime -- pictures of two people skinning a deer.

Two residents of Inverness, William Andrew Buchanan, 21, and Tara Anne Carver, 27, were run down from the pictures, interviewed and cited for possession of wildlife taken illegally.

Some unfriending appears to be in order. READ MORE


24
AUG

Don't hate the crossbow

By Steve Bowman

The Michigan National Resources Commission recently made changes to their deer season that allows hunters the opportunity to use crossbows on a wider basis than they've been used in the past.

That little change evidently has created a slight uproar in that state, as it does in many states when similar regulations are passed.

I'm always amused at the arguments that break out over the crossbow. READ MORE


19
AUG

The Experience

By Steve Bowman

Every hunter has that one memory that filters back every season, as if it occurred the day before.

"The best thing about hunting…is that you don't have to actually do it to enjoy it" wrote Robert Ruark, author of The Old Man and The Boy. "You can go to bed every night thinking about how much fun you had 20 years ago, and it all comes back as clear as moonlight.''

Those visions might be of a big buck slipping through the woods 20 years ago, or the warm feeling of a camp fire shared with friends and family. Often, those memories center on a hunter's first opening day or the first time a hunt was successful.

I've been thinking a lot about hunting lately, not just the overall collective of the season, but specific hunts that I've been on. READ MORE


18
AUG

Controversial codes

By Don Mulligan

Though biologists and hunters feverishly debate whether there are fewer, the same or more deer hunters than 20 years ago in America, no one questions the fact that there are more deer.

And with more deer (and maybe more deer hunters), states are driven to create more rules. Often the rules are in response to new technology and are necessary to preserve the sport.

Sometimes, however, new deer hunting laws are unnecessary, not based on science and even discriminatory.

Here are a few deer hunting laws around the country that stir debate every time hunters talk about them. READ MORE


17
AUG

What If?

By Steve Bowman

It's so hot in our part of the world that it's hard to get completely into the deer mode 100 percent of the time.

I know I need to start shooting my bow. But when you get home and it's 100 degrees plus in the shade and the humidity level is something akin to a sauna, even the prospect of sticking a foam deer for a little while is a little oppressive.

Because of that I've spent the last few weeks not shooting, but remembering the good old days. Like when I was in college and someone (I have no direct knowledge of who and if I did, I wouldn't say) drew a target on the bathroom door at the end of the hall of my dormitory.

Word would go out, with warning etc., and we would practice our archery skills down the dorm hallway. Not the wisest thing I ever did, even though my college buddies and I laugh about it often, even after we had to pitch in and buy a new door. READ MORE


17
AUG

Book Review: Getting Ready for Hunting Season

By Jim Shepherd
The Outdoor Wire

Most hard-core hunters are starting to get that "into the woods" bug. Despite the fact it's so hot the mosquitos are sweating, it's time to suck it up and start getting ready for hunting season.

For some of us, however, our preparations need to include more than the requisite hunting camp chores. Those are important, but if you're one of those hunters who's never actually completed his hunt -- as in butchering the harvest -- now's a good time to learn.

Several weeks ago, I received a book entitled "60-Minute Venison" a how-to book on exactly what it says: butchering a deer in about an hour. I thumbed through it, admired the photos and put it into a mound of things that needed further investigation.
.
Over the weekend, I pulled the book out and started reading. And I realized that it's more than a how-to-guide for amateur butchers (although it's a good one), it's a look into the entire hunt experience.

The 68-page book is a collaborative effort from Mitch Kezar and Steve Stortz. They're hunting buddies, but Kezar is a professional photographer and writer whose work has appeared in Outdoor LIfe, Bowhunting World, Field and Stream and other locations. Stortz is an artist as well, described by Kezar as "a wild game chef extraordinaire."

Because of their collective editorial expertise- and the years of experience in the field they share, "60-Minute Venison" is about a thirty-minute read that gives you the nitty-gritty info on quickly butchering big game, but also entertains you with stories and images that make time pass pretty quickly.

I really enjoyed their "Big Picture" on hunting. It accurately portrays the hard -- and occasionally nasty -- work that used to describe the process of "completing the hunting circle." I say "used to" because their simplified method starts right after than animal hits the ground and is designed to make it simple and easy for a hunter to get his animal back to camp and quickly get the dressing process completed. If you've ever dressed any animal of any size, you know that being able to complete the entire process in an hour is a skill you'd like to have in your repertoire. You also know that reducing the process to six pieces of critter and some plastic tubs to collect the meat you take from those six pieces is a lot simpler than anything you've seen in the past -- with the possible exception of "then drop the animal off at the processing house."

Kezar and Stortz cover the tools for the job, share their quick methods of skinning, and take the process down to its elements. Visually, extensive illustrations don't just show you the process, they make it understandable and entertaining.

Their step-by-step process for "making meat" gives enough detail to serve as a blueprint for turning a harvested animal into a bounty of venison. I say "animal" because their instructions would work just fine on deer, antelope, elk or other big game animal.

And Stortz proves his chef's chops with a dozen great-looking "Grill Master" recipes, from Southwest Venison Stir-Fry to Oven-cured Venison Sausage.

It's a very entertaining read that's not just good-looking, it's good-cooking, too (ouch).

Check it our yourself at www.wildfoodafield.com.


16
AUG

EHD: Is it back?

Noticeably missing from the QDMA's 2010 Whitetail Report were the words epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD).

That's a good thing considering 2007 went in the books as the worst year for the brutal, whitetail-killing disease in at least 50 years. Incidences of hemorrhagic disease, including both epizootic hemorrhagic disease and bluetongue virus, were few and far between in 2008 and it's continued on that path.

A lot goes into the cause and spread -- some of which is out of our control -- but states took action in '07 to reduce spread of EHD and it looks like their effort has been paying off.

That said, the Chicago Sun-Times reported dozens of deer are dropping like flies near south suburban Crete from what looks to be a mini-outbreak of EHD.

Paul Shelton , Illinois' forest wildlife program manager, told the Times it "seems to be a relatively isolated event," but considering Illinois lost 1,900 deer in 57 counties in 2007, it's something to keep an eye on.

-- Kyle Carter


16
AUG

Tae kwon doe

Deer hunters across the US are beginning to check gear, target practice, and plan hunts, just about everywhere, except California where the A-Zone rifle season opens August 14.

There is another type of hunting preparation that not enough hunters do, mental preparation, which is now recognized as crucial to successful performance in all other sports. It's time to get with the program.

Check out how to keep yourself mentally in shape.

-- James A. Swan, Ph.D.


12
AUG

Fine Line

Despite sponsoring the bill that puts tougher poaching laws on the Pennsylvania books, Rep. Edward Staback hopes he never has to see the more severe penalties implemented. Ever.

"Ideally, my hope is that the new penalties for poaching are not put to use; instead, I want would-be poachers or black marketers to think twice and not commit the crime," he said in a release.

Just in time for deer season, the law will go in effect this September. Serious or repeat offenders face potential fines of $15,000 and up to three years of jail, and Staback thinks that should suffice as a deterrent.

"They need to be mindful of the fact that if they choose to kill wildlife illegally, they now face new stiff penalties, including high fines and the very real possibility of finding themselves sitting in a jail cell for a long time," he said.

Increased fines and adding jail time are the latest efforts to combat poaching. States are starting to catch on and protect themselves from traveling poachers. READ MORE


11
AUG

Welcome to Deer Camp 2010.

In just a few short weeks, archery deer season will open officially in many states.

Many of us at ESPN Outdoors will be scratching our backs on an oak tree, perched 20 feet off the ground and waiting for the first glimpse of our first buck of the year.

Those who aren't there will still be thinking and dreaming about the prospects of the coming season. That's where this Deer Blog comes in.

When it comes to deer hunting there are different styles, different species, different guns, different terrain and different rules across the United States, but what binds deer hunters together is their passion. We hope to capture that passion here on the pages of ESPNOutdoors.com.

Our goal is to cover the deer season from start to finish, coast to coast. We'll look at big-picture issues and nation-wide trends, but still try to capture the hunting season on a local level, which we know is the heart of the sport.

But in order to do it right, we're going to need help from you, the reader. There will be more details to come, but we want to hear your stories, see your photos and walk through your deer camps. If you have a thought, a question or simply want to sound off, this is as much your blog as anyone's. We want to hear from you.

All our news, features and snippets will filter through this blog, so bookmark it, check it daily and contribute your passion to our pages.

Happy hunting.


11
AUG

Starting Point

With deer season approaching, a little competition between states can be entertaining, but also provide hunters with a preview of the hunting outlook for 2010. This competition is all about state deer management programs across the whitetail deer's range.

For this comparison, QDMA surveyed each state agency in the continental U.S. and collected antlered and antlerless harvest data for 2007 and 2008, age structure of the antlered harvest for 2007 and 2008, and percentage of the state's wildlife management units (WMUs) currently at the desired deer goals.

See how your state held up. READ MORE