Week of January 31, 2011

Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
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Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Trijicon Introduces HD Night Sights

Wixom, MI - Trijicon Night Sights™ have served as the industry benchmark for more than two decades. Highly effective at close quarters,  Trijicon Night Sights are standard issue with hundreds of municipal and county police and sheriff's departments, numerous state police  departments and federal law enforcement agencies. In addition, they're the first choice of major handgun manufacturers, and are widely used in  military applications and for home defense. New for 2011, Trijicon sets the bar even higher with the introduction of its new line of HD Night  Sights™


Trijicon's New HD Night Sights are designed to excel under the most demanding conditions by placing primary emphasis on faster front sight  acquisition. This new design incorporates enhanced front sight visibility with a de-emphasized rear sight. Upfront, a tritium lamp lies within an  extra-large, brightly colored (yellow or orange) dot area that provides a distinctive sighting picture. In addition, special photo luminescent  (glow-in-the-dark) powder in the paint aids in faster front sight acquisition during transitional lighting operations.


The rear sight contains custom black-outlined tritium lamps


surrounding a wider "U"-shaped notch and features a redesigned sight face that's  back-angled with serrations to reduce glare. As an added feature, the rear sight incorporates a "hooked" design that assists with one-handed  emergency pistol slide manipulation.


Proprietary testing has shown that most users are appreciably faster at achieving center mass hits on a target with the HD Night Sights than  with standard pistol sights. Data shows this regardless of the user's current proficiency level in pistol shooting, and is due to the ability to  obtain a faster focus on the front sight of the HD Night Sights.


Trijicon self-luminous Night Sights increase night-fire shooting accuracy by as much as five times over conventional sights. Equally  impressive, they do so with the same speed as instinctive shooting- and without the need for batteries.


For more information on Trijicon's new (HD) Night Sights™, and the complete array of Brilliant Aiming Solutions™ for the hunting, shooting,  military and law enforcement markets, contact Trijicon, Inc. ® at (248) 960-7700 or visit www.trijicon.com.  


Trijicon Introduces New TrijiDot Fiber Optic Shotgun Sight

Wixom, MI - Shotgun shooting isn't always a point-and-shoot proposition. Many scenarios require a careful sight picture, leaving standard  bead sights in the dark! New for 2011, Trijicon, the world leader in Brilliant Aiming Solutions™, is excited to offer its first fiber optic bead sight  specifically designed for ribbed-barrel shotguns.


Designed to deliver the ultimate in brightness and durability, the TrijiDot™ Fiber Optic Shotgun Sight features proprietary Trijicon fiber optics  that magnify and focus ambient light to provide a brilliant aiming point in a wide range of lighting conditions. The moderate-sized 4mm fiber  optic is available in Red or Green and is capped with a protective sapphire lens that helps distribute light and provides protection from damage  and solvents.


The TrijiDot fiber optic is housed in a protective base that's

constructed of aircraft-grade 6061-T6 aluminum and features

a hard anodized black  oxide coating to withstand heavy shotgun recoil, intense barrel temperatures, and years of extreme use in the field. Installation is easy, and the  sight is mounted using a system of magnets, bead locating pocket, and set screws that provide the most secure and rugged user-attachment  method available. The TrijiDot is available in a variety of sizes to fit most popular shotgun models with rib widths between .230" and .400".


Perfectly suited for a wide range of applications, Trijicon's new TrijiDot provides a bright reference point for upland hunters, waterfowlers,  turkey hunters and all clay-target shooting disciplines. The TrijiDot is also the perfect addition to ribbed-barrel shotguns for tactical and home  defense applications.


For more information on Trijicon's new TrijiDot Fiber Optic Shotgun Sight, and the complete array of Brilliant Aiming Solutions™ for the  hunting, shooting, military and law enforcement markets, contact Trijicon, Inc. ® at (248) 960-7700 or visit www.trijicon.com .



MI DNR and Sportsmen partner on Six U.P. Deer Habitat Improvement Projects

Six Upper Peninsula deer habitat improvement projects were completed in 2010 by sportsmen’s groups working in cooperation with the DNR.


The projects, which improved deer habitat on more than 420 acres, were funded by the DNR's Deer Habitat Improvement Partnership Initiative. The DHIPI was created to attract and support proposals from non-government organizations that are interested in improving white-tailed deer habitat in the Upper Peninsula on public land that is not state owned, and on private land with public access considerations. The state's Deer Range Improvement (DRIP) Fund, which receives $1.50 from each deer license sold in Michigan, provided approximately $47,000 in funding toward the six projects completed in 2010.


The six projects involved 30 separate ownerships and forged partnerships between 14 organizations, including sportsmen's groups, the commercial paper and timber industry, county conservation districts, and local and state government. Projects included planting advanced red oak seedlings in Gogebic and Mackinac counties; small clover plot plantings on 50 acres in Delta and Menominee counties; wildlife orchard planting in Dickinson County; rehabilitation of an historic wildlife opening with clovers and other forage in Ontonagon County; and 300 acres planted with 50,000 red oak seedlings in Alger and Schoolcraft Counties.


For more information about the Deer Habitat Improvement Partnership Initiative or the DRIP Fund, contact Bill Scullon at 906-353-6651. More information about deer management in Michigan can be found online at www.michigan.gov/deer.

Detroit Boat Show Attendees Can Take Free Boating Safety Course Feb 19

The DNR, Michigan Boating Industries Association and the Oakland County Marine Safety Division have partnered up to offer a free Boater’s Safety Course at the Detroit Boat Show. The course will be offered from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19. The 53rd Annual Detroit Boat Show runs Feb. 12-20 at the Cobo Center in downtown Detroit. This is the first time the boating safety course has been offered at the show.


Interested persons can register online at www.detroitboatshow.net , email [email protected] or contact the DNRE Southfield Operations Service Center at 248-359-9040 to have registration information mailed.  Space is limited and registration is required.  If the class is not full, you may register at the show beginning at 11 a.m. 


If you have taken an online course at www.boatexam.com or www.boated.com you may sit in for the proctored exam portion.  Safety certificates will be distributed at the end of the class.   The Boater’s Safety Course teaches the rules boaters need to know and provide tips for safe boating.  Additionally, those possessing a Boater’s Safety Certificate often qualify for a discount on boating insurance.


For more information, go to www.mbia.org, www.detroitboatshow.net or www.michigan.gov/boating.


Michigan boaters are also reminded that the Recreation Passport has replaced motor vehicle permits for entry into Michigan state parks, recreation areas and state-administered boating access fee sites. This new way to fund Michigan’s outdoor recreation opportunities also helps to preserve state forest campgrounds, trails and historic and cultural sites in state parks, and provides park development grants to local communities. 


Michigan residents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($10 for motor vehicles; $5 for motorcycles) by checking “YES” on their license plate renewal forms, or at any state park or recreation area. Non-resident motor vehicles must still display a valid non-resident Recreation Passport ($29 annual; $8 daily) to enter a Michigan state park, recreation area or state-administered boating access fee site; these can be purchased at any state park or recreation area, or through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore. To learn more about the Recreation Passport, visit www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport or call (517) 241-7275.


Sleepy Hollow State Park Plans Guided Snowshoe Hike Feb. 20

The Michigan DNR is announcing a great opportunity to “GO-Get Outdoors” and enjoy the splendor of Michigan in winter. The public is invited to participate in a guided snowshoe hike at Sleepy Hollow State Park near Laingsburg from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 20.


“Snowshoeing is a growing popular winter activity. Sleepy Hollow visitors will have a chance to try out snowshoes and hike through the woods and fields guided by an outdoor interpreter, and to experience the beauty and wonder of Sleepy Hollow’s snow covered landscape,” said Clinton County Environmental Educator Kathleen Donahue.


The one-mile hike will begin at the East Picnic Pavilion with an introduction to Sleepy Hollow and a short talk on winter survival and equipment before heading through the new growth forest of pine and oak. Visitors will stop at deer beds and look for signs of deer and other animals as they travel quietly along the trails, beside the lake and across the meadows with many rest stops along the way.


After the invigorating hike, participants can warm up by the fireplace at the pavilion with the interpreters who will have a box of “natural treasures” from the area to share. A grill will be available for those who would like to cook lunch. It is advisable to dress warmly in layers and bring your own hot drinks and trail snacks.


A limited number of snowshoes are available for rent for this event with the following sizes: Young Youth (under 80 pounds)

, Standard Youth (up to 125 pounds), Small Adult (up to 175 pounds), Medium Adult (up to 220 pounds), and Large Adult (over 220 pounds). There is a charge of $5 per person for the snowshoe hike and snowshoe rental is available for an additional $5 per person.


Advance registration is required. Call Kathy Donahue at the Clinton County Department of Waste Management at 989-224-5177 or email [email protected] for more information and to register. Sleepy Hollow State park is located at 7835 East Price Rd., near Laingsburg.  For more information about the park, call 517-651-6217.


The Recreation Passport has replaced motor vehicle permits for entry into Michigan state parks, recreation areas and state-administered boating access fee sites. This new way to fund Michigan’s outdoor recreation opportunities also helps to preserve state forest campgrounds, trails and historic and cultural sites in state parks, and provides park development grants to local communities. 


Michigan residents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($10 for motor vehicles; $5 for motorcycles) by checking “YES” on their license plate renewal forms, or at any state park or recreation area. Non-resident motor vehicles must still display a valid non-resident Recreation Passport ($29 annual; $8 daily) to enter a Michigan state park, recreation area or state-administered boating access fee site; these can be purchased at any state park or recreation area, or through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore. To learn more about the Recreation Passport, visit www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport or call (517) 241-7275.

DNR sees Growing Participation to Recreation Passport

Sales figures from the first three months of the new Recreation Passport show increasing participation by motorists who are renewing their vehicle license plates through the Secretary of State, according to the Department of Natural Resources and Environment. Participation rates steadily increased from October 2010, when the Recreation Passport was first offered, through December 2010.


The Recreation Passport Program went into effect on Oct.1.  Resident passenger vehicle owners were offered the opportunity to purchase a $10 Recreation Passport ($5 for resident motorcycles) when they registered their plates with the Secretary of State.  The Recreation Passport enables a resident vehicle/motorcycle to enter all Michigan state parks, recreation areas, and boating access fee sites for 12 months. The Passport also will provide funding for state forest recreation programs, such as state forest campgrounds and non-motorized trails and pathways.


“The Recreation Passport appears to be off to a solid start with Michigan residents,” said Department of Natural Resources Director Designate Rodney Stokes. “We are encouraged by the steady increase in sales, and plan to continue building upon it.”


The participation percentages of Recreation Passports sold against eligible participants at Michigan Secretary of State offices, online and at state parks were:


October:          17.2 percent participation

November:      19.3 percent participation

December:       20.6 percent participation

Through Dec. 31, a total of 110,311 Recreation Passports were sold to Michigan residents renewing motor vehicle license plates through the Michigan Secretary of State; 14,312 were sold to residents renewing motorcycle license plates; and 6,590 were sold at state parks and recreation areas.


Non-resident visitors must still purchase the traditional non-resident motor vehicle permit at the rate of $29 for an annual permit, or $8 for a daily pass.  On average, 28,000 non-resident annual permits are sold annually.


The Michigan state park and recreation system has over $300 million of deferred infrastructure repair needed in the 98 state parks and recreation areas.  The previous motor vehicle permit sales model did not generate enough revenue to address infrastructure needs.


The Recreation Passport also benefits several other outdoor recreation opportunities, including:


  • State forest campgrounds and non-motorized pathways (7 percent of net revenue)

  • Historic and cultural features in state parks (2.75 percent of net revenue)

  • Local parks and recreation agencies through a matching grant program (10 percent of net revenue)

  • State parks infrastructure (50 percent of net revenue)

  • State park maintenance (30 percent of net revenue)

  • Marketing the Recreation Passport (0.25 percent of net revenue)


For more Info: www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport, or 517-241-7275.


Connecting Wildlife, Habitat and People Conference March 9

2011 Wildlife Diversity Conference Theme

COLUMBUS, OH- Making connections between wildlife and people will be the subject of discussion at the 2011 Ohio Wildlife Diversity Conference, scheduled for Wednesday, March 9 at the Aladdin Shrine Center in Columbus. The conference, “Connecting Wildlife, Habitat and People,” is sponsored by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. It is open to the public.

The keynote speaker this year, Mark Damian Duda, executive director of Responsive Management, will speak on “The Identification, Life History and Habitat Requirements of the Wildlife Viewer.”


"As wildlife managers, a huge component of our jobs is understanding the needs of the people who enjoy wildlife, and providing opportunities for them to use this resource whether it’s through bird watching, nature photography or on a more consumptive level with hunting and fishing," said Kendra Wecker, wildlife diversity coordinator. “We want to tie in these three important aspects needed for a positive wildlife experience.”


Other conference topics include discussions of sandhill cranes, softshell turtles, riparian corridor protection, how to attract people to birding, conservation genetics, and

freshwater mussel and hellbender health assessments.  The second Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp, which features the amber-winged dragonfly, will be available to conference attendees. Proceeds from the sale of the stamp will be used to support:

endangered and threatened native species; habitat restoration, land purchases and conservation easements; and educational products for students and wildlife enthusiasts.


Anyone who pre-registers online for the conference may purchase this collectable stamp at a discounted price of $12 – a 20 percent savings. Details about the Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp can be found at www.wildohiostamp.com.


Representatives from a range of conservation and natural resource organizations, such as the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, Columbus Audubon and Ohio Biological Survey, will present displays and be available to answer questions. The Wildlife Diversity Conference has steadily grown in popularity. The first conference, held in 1985, drew 40 people. Last year, 942 people attended the day-long gathering.


For more information or to register for the conference online, go to http://bit.ly/WildlifeDiversityConference   or call 1-800-WILDLIFE. The registration fee prior to February 26 is $25. After that date, the fee is $35.


Final mission of state Great Lakes research vessel finds low numbers of yellow perch

EDITOR'S ADVISORY: A slide show with photos from the last mission of the research vessel Barney Decine is available on the Lake Michigan Research Boats page of the DNR website.


MILWAUKEE -- The last mission of the state research vessel Barney Devine was a melancholy one: its annual search for yellow perch turned up low numbers of the fish fry favorite, heavy ice cover in Sturgeon Bay resulted in a small hole in the vessel’s hull that let on water, and the crew was having a hard time saying goodbye.


The Department of Natural Resources plans to retire the 74-year-old boat from active duty when its replacement, the Coregonus, is delivered later this spring. Burger Boat Company in Manitowoc is building the 60-foot RV Coregonus to replace the Barney Devine, which has become technologically obsolete and is facing increased maintenance costs.


“For the crew here in Sturgeon Bay, the boat isn't gone yet but when it disappears it will be like a part of everyone's life is gone,” said Brandon Bastar, who captains the Barney Devine.


The vessel steamed out of Milwaukee Harbor on Dec. 8 and 9 and again on Dec. 15, 16, 17, for one last netting survey aimed at looking for yellow perch of all ages.   “This is time of year where we don’t see the fish segregate by size or sex. We think it’s the best time to get an idea of number, size, sex ratio and age composition of the perch population,” says Brad Eggold, fisheries supervisor for southern Lake Michigan, who was on the vessel. “Unfortunately, we caught a lot fewer fish than previous years.”


Over the past five years, DNR's December yellow perch surveys had netted about 1,000 or more fish per survey; in December 2010, that number was only in the high 200s, Eggold says.  “So we were quite a bit down,” he says. “We were in the same spot, same location, same time as past years, so there's nothing to explain the numbers drop in terms of our sampling.”


More worrisome than a one-year drop in numbers is that the nets were virtually devoid of any small fish from the last few years of natural reproduction, even though some of those years saw bumper crops of young fish hatched. We didn't really see any small fish from the last couple of year classes,” Eggold says. “We're seeing fish from the 2005 year-class and some from 2002.”


For some reason, while other DNR surveys show that yellow

perch seem to be reproducing in good numbers, the young

fish aren't surviving to their second or third year. For example,

beach seine and micromesh gill net surveys in August and September 2005 of fish born earlier that spring found the largest number of yellow perch ever. But that hasn't translated into the largest year-class ever. Likewise, August 2009 surveys saw pretty good numbers in the nets, “but we're not seeing them in this assessment,” Eggold says.


“We updated all the yellow perch models and data, and looked at it all over course of several meetings in 2010 and came to the conclusion that we were not going to make any changes to bag limits or to the closed commercial season,” Eggold says. “Population is lower than it had been historically, and while the adult population still seems to be relatively stable, there is a lack of young fish coming up, certainly not enough to have a higher bag.”


Eggold says there's a lot of speculation that the failure of perch hatched in the spring to survive to the next spring and beyond is tied to fishes' difficulty in finding enough food. “Food availability is nowhere near what it was back in the 1980s when you saw large year classes being produced over a 10-year span.”


Quagga mussels, an invasive aquatic species that now carpets the bottom of Lake Michigan, are believed to be a huge factor in yellow perch sustainability. “It is number one on the list” of why food availability for these young fish has decreased, he says.


Quagga mussels, which feed on plankton at the base of the food chain, are closely related to another invader, the zebra mussel. Both are native to the Caspian Sea in Eurasia and both most likely arrived as stowaways in the ballast water of ocean going ships. Quagga mussels were first found in Wisconsin's Lake Michigan waters in the late 1980s, and quaggas within the last decade.


Quagga mussels are considered even more damaging than zebra mussels because they can live in a wider range of water temperatures, water depths, and they feed all year, even in winter when zebra mussels lie dormant. In fact, in Lake Michigan, quagga mussels have essentially outcompeted and displaced zebra mussels in the last few years.


DNR and counterpart agencies around Lake Michigan started detecting very few small fish nearly 20 years ago. And while the number of adult female yellow perch has been recovering and there have been some years with good, even great natural reproduction, the number of fish surviving to catchable size is not improving.

2011 Winnebago sturgeon spearing season opens Feb. 12

Record numbers of spearers are expected for the Feb. 12 opening day of the 2011 Winnebago sturgeon spearing seasons, and fish populations, increased harvest caps, and conditions are coming together for another banner year, state fish biologists say.


“There are more trophy-sized fish in the system than at any time during the last 75 years, and we've been able to raise the caps because the population has increased,” says Ron Bruch, DNR fisheries supervisor in Oshkosh.


“Three weeks out, ice conditions are excellent and water clarity, fair to good now, is expected to improve. All of these factors should come together for another record-setting year in terms of increased spearing opportunities and the chance to land that really big fish.”


License sales for the season set a new record at 12,423 (including the 490 sold for the Upriver Lakes fishery), reflecting


the growing interest in recent years by a wider range of people attracted by the growing success of spearers and the big fish.


Last year, Ron Grishaber of Appleton set a new state record on opening day with the 212.2 pound lake sturgeon he speared, erasing the previous record by 24 pounds. Recent state harvest and sturgeon survey results suggest that there are many more big fish to be had.


Trophy lake sturgeon are typically considered to be any fish 100 pounds or larger, and historically fish this size have made up less than 1 percent of the total annual harvest. But in the last decade, the percentage of trophy fish has gradually increased over the last decade to more than 5 percent in 2010.


Regulation changes developed through a joint effort by DNR and the Winnebago Citizens Sturgeon Advisory Committee since 1993 have lead to an increase in the Winnebago lake sturgeon stock, and an increase in the number of trophy size fish in the population and, subsequently, the harvest, Bruch says.

Leftover spring turkey permits go on sale March 21

MADISON – Remaining permits for the 2011 spring turkey hunting season will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis starting March 21. Leftover permits will be first issued for sale by zone, one zone per day, with each zone having a designated sales date.


In total, 225,729 permits were available for the spring 2011 turkey season. More than 145,500 permits were issued to hunters who applied for permits by the Dec. 10, 2010 application deadline, leaving just more than 80,000 permits available after the drawing.

Hunters should check the turkey zone map (pdf) to verify where they want to hunt and then check the turkey permit availability page to see if permits are available for the period and zone in which they wish to hunt.


Leftover spring turkey permit sales will be held on a zone-per-day basis for five consecutive days, with customers able to purchase one permit per day. Sales will start at 10:00 a.m. on March 21 and will continue through midnight each day, or until permits are sold out. Any remaining leftover permits for all zones will go on sale Saturday, March 26, and will continue until sold out or the season ends.

Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)


Wind turbine battle heading to Ontario court
The battle over wind turbines in Ontario heads to court today in Toronto. A Divisional Court judge will be asked to strike down the 550 metre setback the government imposed between wind turbines and homes.


Groups raise funds in effort to solve Asian carp threat
While ice fishing on Lake Erie remains iffy as wind directions change and temperatures fluctuate, Asian carp continue to draw steady interest and heat.


Study looks to correct 'sad history of invasives'
By 2015, a regional study will determine the necessary action needed to keep many invasive species from inhabiting the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River and many connected waterways.

Group seeks wind turbine regulations
Black Swamp Bird Observatory hosted a meeting Jan. 18 to discuss wind turbines in migratory bird stopover habitat along Lake Erie.


Obama's Asian carp director says government moving quickly as possible to protect Great Lakes
The U.S. federal government is committed to keeping Asian carp out of the Great Lakes and is putting a strategy in place as quickly as possible, despite complaints of foot-dragging, the Obama administration's point man on the issue said Thursday.



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