Week of February 13 , 2012

Fishing beyond the Great Lakes
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
National

Veterans Issues
2nd Amendment Issuses
Lake Michigan

Illinois
Indiana
Michigan
Minnesota
Ohio
Wisconsin
Other Breaking News Items

 

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Fishing beyond the Great Lakes

Use of “Alabama Rig” illegal in New Hampshire’s Fresh Waters

Anglers were recently warned that the "Alabama rig," a lure gaining popularity in the bass fishing world, is illegal to use in New Hampshire's fresh waters, New Hampshire Fish and Game Department officials said last week..

 

The Alabama rig generated national interest following a well-publicized win by a professional bass angler in a major bass tournament last fall.

 

Technically, the rig is not a lure, but an apparatus that allows an angler to attach and fish up to five lures on a single line, with the possibility of catching more than one fish at a time. It is basically a castable “umbrella” rig, consisting of a hard body with a line-tie, followed by five wire strands in a fanned out design each with a snap swivel at the end. Anglers can attach a variety of lures to

each swivel for a look that is meant to mimic a school of baitfish.

 

Following the tournament win using the Alabama rig, bass fishing websites, forums, and magazines abounded with stories touting the fish-catching abilities of the new tackle. The buzz has generated many inquiries to Fish and Game about the legal status of using the Alabama rig, or similar fishing rigs, in New Hampshire freshwaters.

 

The bottom line is that the rig’s use in New Hampshire fresh waters is not allowed.

 

The words “an artificial bait” contained in New Hampshire’s statutory definition of “angling,” mean one artificial bait per line. Attaching additional spinners, spoons, poppers, plugs, jigs and plastic, rubber or other artificial imitations of natural bait is not allowed..

 

For more information on fishing in New Hampshire, visit www.fishnh.com


Asian Carp Puzzles Kansas Anglers

AUGUSTA - On Jan. 25, anglers were taking advantage of a fish salvage order as Augusta City Lake was being drained for renovation. Most of the prizes hauled in were large flathead catfish, but one angler snagged a fish estimated to weigh about 55 lbs that no one could identify. Officials with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) became involved with the catch when a picture of the fish appeared on local television. It was immediately identified as an Asian carp.

 

"This report supports our long-standing recommendation

that fish should not be moved between waters," said Jason

Goeckler, KDWPT aquatic nuisance specialist. "Here is a case of a lake with Asian carp that we didn't even know about."

 

Asian carp were imported to the U.S. in the 1970s for aquaculture purposes but escaped into Midwestern rivers and streams. Previously, they had been found only in the Kansas, Missouri, Big Blue, and Wakarusa rivers and Browning Oxbow Lake in northeastern Kansas. Officials believe that the fish was released into Augusta City Lake or waters above the lake.


Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Advanced Sight Could Double Range for Troops

DInGO optic improves accuracy to 600 M, adjusts windage/elevation

The next generation of battlefield optics will empower infantrymen to hit enemy targets from twice the effective range of the M4 carbine if Defense Department scientists get their way. This summer, officials at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency are scheduled to begin testing prototypes of the Dynamic Image Gunsight Optic, known as "DInGO."

 

Modern rifle optics have become essential kit for combat troops. They're dependable, accurate and help riflemen aim and shoot quicker than old-school iron sights. The goal of the DInGO program is to ensure that the average Soldier can hit enemy fighters at ranges out to 600 meters without having to estimate range or compensate for crosswinds, DARPA officials said. Experienced combat shooters say that's likely to be a significant challenge. Army marksmanship training focuses on engaging targets out to 300 meters, since an M4's 5.56mm round's trajectory begins to drop significantly beyond that distance.

 

Wind conditions also hinder accuracy. A 10 mile per hour crosswind can push a 5.56mm round off target by more than eight inches at 400 meters. Techniques for reading wind speeds and compensating for their effects on accuracy are generally only taught in advanced marksmanship and sniper courses.

 

Lockheed Martin officials hope that the technology they are building into DInGO prototypes will eliminate the need for training. "What this device actually has built into it is a small laser that helps the operator make aim-point corrections," said John Wojnar, director of laser and sensor systems business development at Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems and Sensors.

 

DARPA awarded Lockheed Martin a $3.7 million contract to build 16 DInGO prototypes for testing. DARPA officials declined a recent request from Military.com to take a close look at the technology.Currently, the device weighs about a pound and is approximately five inches long, three inches wide and three inches high, Wojnar said. It has a

digital micro display that originated in the cell phone industry.

 

DInGO is based on Lockheed's Advanced Sighting System (One-Shot) technology developed for the sniper community. One-Shot relies on sensors that measure environmental conditions at several points along a bullet's path to the target.

 

The sniper community, however, has pointed out that a good spotter can be just as effective, or better than One-Shot at ensuring a long-range shot reaches its mark. The prototypes can "gauge wind speed and other atmospheric conditions -- not as accurately as One-Shot can gauge wind speed -- but it can provide an alternate aim point," Wojnar said. The 8-power device features a digital zoom function that allows a shooter to quickly change ranges to engage multiple targets from 300 to 600 meters, Wojnar said.

 

It calculates the range with a low-power laser rangefinder, zooms in on it and then accounts for environmental conditions without requiring the shooter to move his hands, Lockheed officials said. The embedded ballistic computer then projects the bullet's point-of-impact with an alternative aim point.

 

Right now, it's unclear how the DInGO will work as a "retrofit attachment" to the standard Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight and Close Combat Optic, but the concept calls for the device to mount on a standard Picatinny rail system. The final version of DInGO is supposed to run for eight hours on two AA batteries. If all goes well, the new optic could be ready for fielding sometime in 2014, Wojnar said.

Depending on the size of the fielding requirement, DInGO could cost up to $1,000 each.

 

In addition to the combat mode, DInGO is being designed to feature a surveillance mode that would let the operator take a digital photo of a target to send over a network or store in the memory for future viewing, Wojnar said. It would also feature a training mode that would support video feed from an external display, such as a high-definition TV, allowing the shooter to practice in a virtual setting, he said.


Sandia Labs creates 'Self-guided' Bullet

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A bullet that directs itself like a tiny guided missile and can hit a target more than a mile away has the potential to change the battlefield for soldiers without costing too much, engineers at Sandia National Laboratories said.

 

The bullet can twist and turn to guide itself toward a laser-directed point, all while making up to 30 corrections per second. It's packed with electronics that control electromagnetic actuators that steer the bullet's tiny fins. Sandia technical staff member Red Jones said the .50-caliber bullets are being designed to work with military

machine guns, so soldiers could hit their mark faster and with precision.

 

"Everybody thought it was too difficult to make things small enough. We knew we could deal with that. The other thing was it was going to be too complicated and expensive," he said. "We came up with an innovative way around that to make it stupid and cheap and still pretty good."  Jones and his fellow researchers have had initial success testing the design in computer simulations and in field tests of prototypes, built from commercially available parts.

 


Browning OutDry Waterproof Hunting Gloves

New in Browning's diverse line of outdoor apparel is the addition of the OutDry waterproof/breathable membrane to its hunting gloves for 2012. OutDry technology allows a sleeker fit and improved finger dexterity to allow you to load and shoot with greater confidence.

 

Outdry patented technology achieves a fully waterproof, windproof and breathable laminated glove outershell due to the membrane being bonded to the shell, sealing the stitching and other water entry points. This eliminates gaps between membrane and shell where water can stagnate and create a wet, cold sensation. It also prevents torn or loose fitting liners that can create a soggy glove and prevent cold fingers.

 

Browning will offer OutDry gloves for big game hunters in its XPO Big Game line that will be offered in Mossy Oak® Break-Up Infinity and Realtree® AP camo patterns. The XPO Big Game Insulate Glove also features PrimaLoft® insulation on the palm and back for maximum warmth. Articulated pre-curved fingers and hook and loop cuff closures are also featured. Available is sizes S- XL.

 

Browning will also offer OutDry gloves for the waterfowler in its new Dirty Bird waterfowl line of apparel that will include Dirty Bird Insulated Decoy Gloves, Dirty Bird Gunners Gloves and Dirty Bird Insulated Gloves for 2012. All models will be offered in Mossy Oak Duck Blind or Realtree Max-4 camo patterns.  

The Dirty Bird Insulated Decoy Gloves feature PrimaLoft One insulation on palm and back of hand and finger. The Decoy length gauntlet design has a unique one-handed cord lock closure and they also feature an overlay on palm, thumb and fingers. Available in sizes S-XL

 

The Dirty Bird Gunners Gloves will feature Articulated fingers with Sensi-Flex trigger fingers, Sizes S-XL.

 

 

The Dirty Bird Insulated Glove also features PrimaLoft One insulation with overlay on palm, thumb and fingers along with an elasticized wrist for snug fit, Sizes S-XL.

 

About $ 93.00 – 105.00

 

www.browning.com

 


Birchwood Casey Dirty Bird Game Targets

Offer Great colorful Fun Shooting Opportunities

The new line of Dirty Bird Game Targets from Birchwood Casey offer shooters four great new fun shooting opportunities.

Dirty Bird Game Targets produce a white "halo" around each shot, making it easy to see your score. Shooters can use the targets for fun practice, or several shooters can compete against one another for high score. There are no official rules, so shooters can designate their own.

Dirty Bird Game Targets come in four colorful styles. With Battle at Sea shooters take turns trying to "sink" each other's ships. Shot Board™ is a variation of the popular dart board game. Saloon Shootout takes you back to the old west for a chance to take down some mean hombres. For the avid golfer there is Chip Shot, a great way to combine target shooting with golf.

 

Dirty Bird Game Targets are 12"x18" and come in packs of eight.

 

About $12.50

 

800.328.6156 x7933.

www.birchwoodcasey.com


SureFire UDR Dominator

An incredible 2,000 lumens

The SureFire UDR Dominator is SureFire's most powerful LED rechargeable flashlight. It features an 11-setting selector ring. The output is an incredible 2,000 lumens (40,000 candela)

 

The Dominator is about 12" long, but it puts out an incredible 2,000 Lumen beam of dazzling white light on high.  This blinding output is the result of a large LED and a deep, smooth reflector that produces and extended-reach beam powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that is regulated to maximize output and runtime.

 

The UDR Dominator can also be p0owered by twelve 123a lithium batteries, should the need arise.  The Dominator, currently SureFire’s most powerful handheld LED searchlight/spotlight, is an excellent choice for law enforcement, military, border security, and search-and-rescue applications where maximum illumination is required.

 

The Dominator features a hard-anodized aerospace

 

aluminum body witeh large heat-dissipating fins, and 11-

setting selector ring, a fuel guage , a strobe,  low-ouetp0ut setting for extended runtime, and multi-function head switches that offer monetary-and constant-on activation.

It includes a wall (AC) with international adapters plus car (DC) charger

 

The Integrated lithium-ion battery does not require removal or cradle for recharging.  The UDR Dominator is powered by lithium ion, 123A lithium, or other battery types. A Selector Ring selects output levels, strobe, and other modes


Features:

► Rechargeable

► Dual Fuel

► Gauge Indicates battery charge level

► Selector Ring for output levels

► Strobing light for tactical applications.

► 2000 Lumens

►Rechargeable

 

800-828-8809

 

www.surefire.com


National

Bi-Partisan bill introduced to protect hunting & fishing rights on federal lands

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and his Republican colleague Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) last week introduced bipartisan legislation that protects open access and the rights of recreational hunters and fisherman on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service Lands.

 

“As Governor, and now as Senator from the great state of West Virginia, I have always sought to preserve and enhance the tradition of hunting that is so important to our state and its people,” Senator Manchin said. “This commonsense bill would ensure that America’s outdoorsmen can continue to hunt and fish on our beautiful lands.”

 

“Instead of further empowering federal officials, this bill will mandate cooperation by federal agencies with state fish

and wildlife agencies regarding resident wildlife on BLM and Forest Service lands,” Murkowski said. “Our bill preserves Americans’ right to enjoy their lands from repeated attempts to limit access.”

 

The Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act protects the public right to engage in recreational hunting, fishing and shooting on federal lands. It mandates that BLM and Forest Service managed lands be open to recreational hunting, fishing and shooting unless specifically closed by the agencies. The bill also supports Executive Order 13443, which directs federal land management agencies to facilitate the expansion and enhancement of hunting on federal lands, and ensures sound scientific management of wildlife and their habitat.

 

This bill is the Senate companion to H.R. 2834, which was introduced by Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Michigan, in September with 45 bipartisan co-sponsors.


Public meeting on National Fish, Wildlife & Plants Climate Adaptation strategy

Webinar on February 22, public comments accepted until March 5, 2012

The National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy is geared toward providing a unified approach—reflecting shared principles and science-based practices—to reduce negative impacts of climate change on fish, wildlife, plants and the natural systems they depend. Federal, state and tribal partners, with input from many diverse groups across the nation, are collaborating to develop a common strategy to respond to the challenges a changing climate poses for our nation’s species, ecosystems and natural resources.

 

A public Webinar will held as online web conference during which interested members of the public will be able to participate remotely. This web conference will be held on February 22, 2012.  To review the Federal Register notice announcing the public review period.

 

Congress called for a national, government-wide strategy in 2010, directing the President's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Department of the Interior to develop it. CEQ and Interior responded by assembling an unprecedented partnership of federal, state and tribal fish and wildlife conservation agencies to draft the strategy. More than 100 diverse researchers and managers from across the country participated in the drafting for the partnership.

 

The strategy will guide the nation's efforts during the next five years to respond to current and future climate change impacts such as changing species distributions and migration patterns, the spread of wildlife diseases and invasive species, the inundation of coastal habitats with rising sea levels and changes in freshwater availability with shifting precipitation and habitat types. The strategy does not prescribe mandatory activities agencies must take nor suggest regulatory actions. Rather, it provides a roadmap for decision makers and resource managers to use in considering climate change implications to their ongoing wildlife and habitat management activities.

 

Elements of the draft strategy include:

Descriptions of current and projected impacts of climate change on the eight major ecosystems of the United

States, the fish, wildlife and plant species those ecosystems support and the vital ecosystem services they provide Goals, strategies and actions to reduce the vulnerability and increase the resilience of fish, wildlife, plants and the communities that depend on them in the face of climate change. Collaborative strategies and actions that agriculture, energy, transportation and other sectors can take to promote adaptation of fish, wildlife and plants and utilize the adaptive benefits of natural resources in their climate adaptation efforts

A framework for coordinated implementation of the strategy among local and national government and non-governmental entities

 

A Steering Committee that includes government representatives from 16 federal agencies, five state fish and wildlife agencies and two inter-tribal commissions is leading the strategy development. The Steering Committee includes representatives from the California, Washington, Wisconsin, New York and North Carolina fish and wildlife agencies. The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is providing staff support for developing the strategy.

 

The Public Review Draft of the National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy is available for public review and comment. Public involvement is critical for the development of a robust and relevant response to the impacts of climate change. The public is encouraged to attend and/or submit comments and input on the draft.  Learn more about the Strategy: www.wildlifeadaptationstrategy.gov   Download the draft Strategy at: www.wildlifeadaptationstrategy.gov/public-review-draft.php

 

Public comments can be submitted online: http://www.wildlifeadaptationstrategy.gov/public-comments.php.  Written comments may be submitted via the U.S. mail to the Office of the Science Advisor, Attn: National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive Suite 222, Arlington, VA 22203.

 

To register for the February 22 webinar and for more information: www.wildlifeadaptationstrategy.gov/public-comments.php. To review the federal register notice: www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-01-20/pdf/2012-1179.pdf

 


Veterans Issues

GI Bill Changes

You may be eligible for up to $52,500 in GI Bill Benefits. Connect with schools that may offer VA approved education programs

Get more information about degrees like Criminal Justice, IT, Legal Studies and more.

 

The first step is to get the facts. Request information

and discover how valuable the GI Bill can be. Start Here. 

 

Enhanced GI Bill 2.0 benefits:

Increased GI Bill Payments up to $52,500

Housing Payments even for Online Students

Support for Non-Degree Training Programs

Yellow Ribbon Program helps cover other costs

 


2nd Amendment Issues

Judge dismisses Suit against IL Ban on Right to Carry

Judge Sue Myerscough, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, Springfield Division, has granted IL Attorney General Lisa Madigan's motion to dismiss the Second Amendment Foundation's challenge of the statewide ban on carrying a firearm for personal protection. On Friday, Feb. 4th, 2012, Judge Myerscough stated in her opinion:

 

"This Court finds that the Illinois “Unlawful Use of Weapons” and “Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon” statutes do not violate Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights. The United States Supreme Court and the Seventh Circuit have recognized only a Second Amendment core individual right to bear arms inside the home."

SAF Attorney David Jensen immediately filed an appeal on behalf of the plaintiffs Michael Moore, Charles Hooks, Peggy Fechter, Jon Maier, Second Amendment Foundation, Inc., and Illinois Carry.   The appeal will move the case to the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

 

In response to the judge's ruling Alan Gottlieb, SAF Executive Director, made this statement, "We look forward to winning this important case on appeal even if it means going back to the United States Supreme Court for a third time. The Second Amendment does NOT say, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed except outside your home or that it only applies inside your house. We

 don't check our constitutional rights at the front door."

 

 


Second Amendment Foundation appeals dismissal of Moore v. Madigan Carry Case

Judge dismisses Suit against IL Ban on Right to Carry

Judge Sue Myerscough, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, Springfield Division, has granted IL Attorney General Lisa Madigan's motion to dismiss the Second Amendment Foundation's challenge of the statewide ban on carrying a firearm for personal protection. On Friday, Feb. 4th, 2012, Judge Myerscough stated in her opinion:

 

"This Court finds that the Illinois “Unlawful Use of Weapons” and “Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon” statutes do not violate Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights. The United States Supreme Court and the Seventh Circuit have recognized only a Second Amendment core

individual right to bear arms inside the home."

 

SAF Attorney David Jensen immediately filed an appeal on behalf of the plaintiffs Michael Moore, Charles Hooks, Peggy Fechter, Jon Maier, Second Amendment Foundation, Inc., and Illinois Carry.   The appeal will move the case to the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.


In response to the judge's ruling Alan Gottlieb, SAF Executive Director, made this statement, "We look forward to winning this important case on appeal even if it means going back to the United States Supreme Court for a third time. The Second Amendment does NOT say, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed except outside your home or that it only applies inside your house. We don't check our constitutional rights at the front door."


Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan Stocking Conference April 14

Save the date

The four Lake Michigan DNRs have set the date of April 14 for the next lakewide stocking conference. Similar to the one held on April 9, 2005 this one will also be held in Benton Harbor and the Lake Michigan College.

 

The agencies have been conducting a series of meetings to review various stocking models developed by Dr. Mike Jones, Director Michigan State’s Dept of Natural Resources.  Some of those models include:

 

Do nothing

Increase stocking levels 10%

Decrease stocking levels 10%

Decrease stocking levels 20%

 

Other variations include, cut only Chinook Salmon, Cut Chinooks and Lake Trout, Cut all species including Chinooks, Browns, Steelhead and Lake Trout; another variation includes cutting all species except Lake Trout.

 

These or some variations of these models will be presented to the attendees of the April 14 conference. There will probably be the option to present your own variation.

 

More information, including a draft agenda and registration will be posted as we receive it.

 


Lake Michigan Red Flags Analysis 

Dr. Rick Clark has completed a critical review of the Lake Michigan Red Flags Analysis (RFA). He presented his results to the Lake Michigan Technical Committee (LMTC) in Chesterton, IN on January 24, 2012 and to the MIDNR Lake Michigan Basin Team at the Jordan River National Fish Hatchery on February 1, 2012.

 

Clark, retired DNR researcher and presently research director for the U. of Michigan Institute for Fisheries Research, concluded that the basic concept behind RFA was very good, but that the existing procedure had serious problems that should be fixed. He identified specific  

problems and recommended ways to fix them. As an

illustration, he developed a prototype analysis which incorporates his recommendations. In the event that all or some of his recommendations are adopted, the prototype could serve as a framework for converting the old RFA into a better management tool.

 

Clark is preparing a written report which will document the procedures of the existing RFA and present the results of the critical review. The report will be completed in time for the Lake Michigan Committee (LMC) to consider the recommendations at the March 2012 annual Lake Committee meetings in Windsor, ON.


Illinois

Illinois Lawmakers band together to defend gun rights

A group of Central Illinois lawmakers is calling for a bipartisan coalition of downstate legislators to unite in support of job creation and in opposition to gun control laws, state Rep. Chapin Rose said at a February 2 news conference in Decatur.

 

State Reps. Adam Brown of Decatur and Bill Mitchell of Forsyth joined the Mahomet Republican near the Law Enforcement Center on Franklin Street to discuss the coalition and recent legislation they said "bans hunting" in Illinois. Rose cited House Bills 1294, 1599 and 1855.

According to versions of the bills posted on the General Assembly's website, they ban the manufacture, sale or transportation of weapons that include semiautomatic firearms that accept a detachable magazine. It also bans possessing attachments such as pistol grips, thumb hole stocks or muzzle shrouds.

 

The bills also collectively lay down harsher penalties on those convicted of gun crimes involving "assault weapons" and prescribe penalties for those who do not report their guns being stolen.  "Shotguns would be banned and hunting, as we know it, would be over with," Rose said. "There are millions of dollars spent in downstate Illinois every year related to hunting."  The legislation specifically bans shotguns with cylindrical magazines, and semiautomatic shotguns with a magazine capacity of more than five shells or that has a pistol grip or thumb-hole stock.

National Rifle Association lobbyist Todd Vandermyde said the weapon descriptions under the bills are overly broad and rule out many weapons suitable for hunting and self-defense. "Just the fact I have a thumb-hole stock laying around is a felony. I've got a slew of AR-15s," Vandermyde said, naming a semiautomatic rifle specifically cited as banned under the legislation. "I hunt with them all the time. (Under this bill), that's all gone."

 

Rose said the coalition would seek to unite downstate Democrats and Republicans against "legislation from Chicago that would hurt downstate citizens." Rose said state Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg has joined with him as a member of the coalition.  "I think we're all tired and fed up with Chicago dictating to downstate," Brown said. "It's time we stand behind Chapin Rose and Rep. Phelps in creating a downstate coalition and protecting our Second Amendment right to concealed carry."

 

"I've always believed in working both sides of the aisle to help on the issues that are important to downstate," Phelps wrote. "In this case, ending hunting would kill jobs in downstate Illinois."  Rose said the coalition is also interested in a range of downstate economic issues. He expressed some confidence the coalition could pull enough votes together to send a veto-proof concealed carry bill through the House.

 

State Rep. Edward Acevedo is sponsoring House bills 1294, 1599 and 1855. Calls to his Springfield and Chicago offices were not returned.


Indiana

DNR offers online ATV safety course

The Indiana Department Natural Resources Law Enforcement and Outdoor Recreation divisions are partnering to offer an online All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) safety course.

 

ATVs and other off-road vehicles have increased in popularity over the past decade, but so have accidents. Indiana Conservation Officer Maj. Michael Portteus reports that ATV accidents are have increased nearly 40 percent over the past four years from 153 in 2008 to 214 last year. “The online safety course will educate people on the safety rules of riding, using and operating an ATV,” said Lt. Larry Morrison, head of DNR Law Enforcement’s outdoor education program.

The online course presents a wide variety of information on the basics of ATVs, safe operation of ATVs, responsibilities of riders to others and the environment, and general information on preparing for the unexpected.  The online course can be found at offroad-ed.com/in/index.htm and can be studied at a personal pace. A $30 fee is assessed prior to beginning the certification test. Individuals who successfully complete the test are issued a lifetime certification card.

 

“This certification ensures that the operator is well educated and has learned how to safely operate an ATV, which is the first step in reducing the number of ATV accidents in Indiana,” said Dale Brier, chief of DNR Outdoor Recreation’s streams and trails section.


Michigan

Three chosen as 2012 Pure Michigan Hunt winners

Three southeastern Michigan hunters were selected at random from a pool of 10,864 applicants to participate in the 2012 Pure Michigan Hunt, the DNR announced.

 

The Pure Michigan Hunt allows sportsmen to participate in every limited-access hunt available in a given year. Hunters may hunt elk, bear, antlerless deer, and spring and fall turkeys as well as choose the first hunting zone on a managed waterfowl area during any open hunting season in the state.

 

Brad L. Belcher of Howell, Dan A. Beaudoin of Waterford and Mark Schulz of southeast Michigan were the lucky winners. And though both Belcher and Schulz are lifelong hunters who have unsuccessfully applied for elk licenses for many years, Beaudoin called himself a “novice” hunter.

 

“I about flipped out,” the 38-year-old wholesale bait dealer said, when he heard he’d been chosen. “I was ecstatic.”

Beaudoin, who bought more than 20 applications for the Pure Michigan Hunt, said he never even considered winning the drawing.

 

“To tell you the truth, I was looking at it as a donation to the DNR,” he said. “It was me doing my part.”

 

Belcher is a 54-year-old police officer. Schulz is a 59-year-

old retired automotive worker.

 

Hunters may purchase as many Pure Michigan Hunt applications as they like for $4 apiece. The 2012 lottery drew a total of 29,408 applications. Dollars generated from this opportunity fund wildlife habitat restoration and improvements, here in Michigan.

 

In addition to the hunting opportunities, winners receive a package of gifts donated by Michigan companies and organizations including:

An Ameristep Brickhouse ground blind; a Darton Archery Scorpion Crossbow package; membership, knife and duck decoy from the Michigan chapter of Ducks Unlimited; a 30.06 rifle from Michigan Gun Owners; youth and adult magazine subscriptions from Michigan United Conservation Clubs; a box call and hunting vest from the Michigan chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation; a nine-square archery target system from MOR Archery; a Soroc sports sled from Northwoods Wholesale Outlet; and a Quality Deer Management starter package from the Michigan chapter of QDMA.

 

Applications for the 2013 Pure Michigan Hunt go on sale online at all retail license agents March 1.

 

“Wildlife management in Michigan is paid for by its users,” said DNR Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason. “This is a great way you can help fund conservation.”


Minnesota

Minnesota considers invasive-species training for boaters

State law could impact out-of-state anglers trailering to Canada

Minnesota's 800,000 boat owners would have to pass a course on how to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species before they could trailer their boats anywhere under a bill proposed by the state's DNR.

 

“We're envisioning it would be an online training course,” Luke Skinner, DNR invasive species specialist, told the Star Tribune newspaper. “This would be required training so boaters know the laws and what they need to do to prevent the spread of invasive species.'”

 

Those hauling other water-related equipment, such as docks or boat lifts, also would have to pass the course.

 

Also, fines for those caught violating invasive species laws would be doubled — all part of increased efforts by the DNR to slow the spread of invading critters to Minnesota's waters. Some measures will be implemented this season, including random roadside boat checks and a requirement that boat owners place free DNR stickers on their boats spelling out invasive species requirements.

 

But the training requirement wouldn't kick in until 2015

under the proposed bill.

 

Those successfully completing the training class would get a trailer decal valid for three years, and only trailers with the decals could legally haul boats.

 

Minnesota sportsman, outdoors activist Tim Lesmister was on the radio talking about this about a month ago, and stated that water fowl is a contributing factor in transporting invasive species. "This really is a "feel good Law" that will only fill the Broke DNR Coffers and do nothing to Stop infestation" he said. Lesmister, also an outdoors journalist, asked "Where does all that legacy funding go? It was sold to Sportsmen as, we needed this funding for Clean Water.... Hummm."

 

He added, 2015 is the date when the Big Fines will really hit boaters.. $500.00 bucks if a Water Flee is found on your boat.. That will keep Tourism alive in Minnesota! Time to take-up Video Game Fishing and save me the troublesome Hassle of the Government yanking me off the road to look for a Weed and Flee."

 

Another question we have, since the direct route to remote fishing in Canada is thru Minnesota to International Falls, how will this impact those out-of-state travelers?


Ohio

Final Numbers in for Ohio's 2011-12 White-tailed Deer Season

COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife announced that 219,698 deer were taken during Ohio's 2011-12 hunting season, compared to 239,379 in the 2010-11 season. The top three counties with the highest number of deer taken this season were: Coshocton, Licking and Tuscarawas.

 

Hunters showed support for the two new methods of game-reporting that were made available this year. Since deer season began on Sept. 24, 2011, 44 percent of hunters called in their numbers, 36 percent reported their numbers online and 20 percent traveled to a license agent’s location

to report their game.

 

Ohio's first modern day deer-gun season opened in 1943 in three counties, and hunters reported 168 deer. In 1956, deer hunting was allowed in all 88 counties, and hunters harvested 3,911 deer during a one-week season.

 

The white-tailed deer is the most popular game animal in Ohio and is frequently pursued by generations of hunters. Ohio ranks eighth nationally in annual hunting-related sales and 10th in the number of jobs associated with the hunting-related industry. Each year, hunting has an $859 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more.


Wisconsin

Trout survey hopes to capture anglers input

MADISON – Anglers, perhaps more than most, know that persistence pays off, so state trout managers hope 1,000 randomly selected trout anglers will show plenty of it when opening and answering a thick survey arriving in their mail in coming weeks. "It's a lengthy survey, but we're asking anglers to please take the time to fill it out and send it back in," says Marty Engel, the Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist coordinating the effort.

 

"It's been 23 years since we last did a statewide survey of trout anglers, and we want to fully understand the average angler's perception of inland trout management, whether we're doing a good job, and what the anglers want out of their fishing so we can tailor regulations to those desires," he says. "Our intent is to manage the fish for the angler."

 

The mail surveys are part of DNR's ongoing review of the inland trout program and efforts to collect information from trout anglers to better conduct that review and shape the management program. The survey was mailed to 1,000 people who purchased inland trout stamps for 2011. The names were selected from the entire database of Wisconsin residents with inland trout stamps in 2011, according to Jordan Petchenik, the DNR social science researcher leading the mail survey.

 

Anglers receiving the survey are asked questions about all aspects of trout fishing and management in Wisconsin, and also are asked about the where, when and how many fish they caught and harvested last year.  A similar

questionnaire was available at public information meetings held last March and April, and anglers could also have filled out that questionnaire online through the fishing season.

 

"The open house and online surveys provided an opportunity for anyone and everyone to offer their input," says Jordan Petchenik, a DNR social science researcher. "The purpose of the mail survey we're sending out now is so that we can say with statistical certainty that the results are representative of the trout fishing public."

 

Petchenik hopes to have those survey results available later this spring. In coming weeks, he hopes to have available results from a related survey, this one of people who had not bought an inland trout stamp in several years to learn why they were no longer trout fishing in Wisconsin. Returns from that survey are being summarized and will be available later this year.

 

Engel says that once all of the surveys are analyzed and summarized, DNR will have scientific information to begin addressing any need for change. "Such a scientific approach will help us sort out public opinion and perceptions on whether there is a need for change, in what areas, and whether we're talking a big change or just tweaking something."

 

For more info: Scot Stewart 608-219-6514; Marty Engel, for the trout review process 715-684-2914


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