Week of March 17, 2008



2nd Amendment issues

New York


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Top Outdoorsman towns named by Outdoor Life Magazine

Mountain Home, Arkansas Takes Top Honors

New York, NY—March 12, 2008—Outdoor Life magazine ranks the top towns for hunters and anglers to live in its April 2008 issue, on newsstands March 20. The magazine used extensive data to score 200 towns on available sporting opportunities and quality-of-life. Mountain Home, Ark., population 12,215 took top honors on the magazine’s “Best Places to Live” list. The magazine also names top towns in each region of the country and top towns for whitetail hunters. For complete details on all 200 towns, please visit www.OutdoorLife.com/bestplacestolive


Laid-back Mountain Home, Ark., located in the Ozarks Valley scored the top spot on Outdoor Life’s list. Mountain Home is the eastern most town to break into the top ten, with a high percentage of Rocky Mountain locations dominating the list. Mountain Home’s score was elevated by its close proximity to world-class warm and cold water fishing in the White River and Bull Shoals and turkey, deer, duck and bear hunting in the nearby Ozark National Forest. According to Outdoor Life, Mountain Home was also bolstered by a low cost of living, excellent schools and hospitals, and a vibrant retail economy.


 Lewistown, Idaho took the No. 2 spot for steelhead fishing and terrific upland bird hunting. Wyoming took two spots in the top ten with Sheridan, Wyo., at No. 3 and Cody, Wyo., claiming No. 4. Legendary trout fishing, high-country elk, and trophy mule deer secured the No. 5 spot for Pocatello, Idaho.

Lewistown, Mont., at No. 6 offers million-dollar views on a blue-collar budget and a full spectrum of hunting opportunities. More than 100 lakes are within a half-hour of Marquette, Mich., at No. 7. Dillon, Mont., at No. 8 boasts the lowest population, 4,056, of the top ten towns. Arizona’s only entry to the top ten Page, Arizona comes in at No. 9. Rounding out the top ten is Bismarck, N.D., with species for every interest and season. 


Outdoor Life’s “Best Places to Live”

Mountain Home, Ark.

Lewiston, Idaho

Sheridan, Wyo.

Cody, Wyo.

Pocatello, Idaho

Lewistown, Mont.

Marquette, Mich.

Dillon, Mont.

Page, Ariz.

Bismarck, N.D.

Richfield, Utah

Logan, Utah

Livingston, Mont.

Fort Collins, Colo.

Cedar City, Utah

Helena, Mont.

Rifle, Colo.

Williston, N.D.

Bemidji, Minn.

Rogers, Ark.


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for March 14, 2008

Weather Conditions

Warmer temperatures occurred across the Great Lakes basin this week, leading to some snow melt.  Some locations saw 40 plus degrees on multiple days.  A weak disturbance brought some light snow to the northern basin, but much of the week was dry.  The upcoming weekend looks dry with near to slightly above normal temperatures.  The next chance for precipitation will arrive to start the workweek. 

Lake Level Conditions

Currently, Lake Superior is 7 inches higher than it was at this time last year, while Lakes Michigan-Huron and St. Clair are 4 to 5 inches lower than last year's level.  Lake Erie is at the same level as it was a year ago, and Lake Ontario is two inches higher than it was at this time last year.  All of the Great Lakes are projected to rise during the next 30 days; Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Erie are predicted to rise 1 to 3 inches, while Lake Ontario is forecasted to climb 5 inches.  Lake Superior is predicted to stay above last year's water levels through August, while the remaining lakes are forecasted to remain at or below their levels of a year ago over the next several months. 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions 

Outflow from the St. Mary's and St. Clair Rivers was below average for February.  Outflow from the Detroit, Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers was slightly above average for last month.


Lake Superior and Lake Michigan-Huron are below chart datum and forecasted to remain below datum through June and May, respectively.  Ice buildup in the connecting channels can cause large short-term water level fluctuations.  Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels.  Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings.  Ice information can be found at the National Ice Center's webpage.






St. Clair



Level for Mar 14






Datum, in ft






Diff in inches






Diff last month






Diff from last yr







Anglers Support Free or educed-Priced Fishing Licenses for seniors

In many states, resident senior citizens are provided with reduced-price or free fishing licenses. This is a service to seniors who, after years of purchasing full-priced licenses, may now live on fixed incomes. However, the reduced-price and free licenses impact the funds available for fisheries improvements and conservation by limiting license revenues and matching federal dollars. In a January, 2008 national poll, anglers were asked if seniors should be offered free or discounted fishing licenses.

According to the poll of 1,781 anglers by AnglerSurvey.com, most reported seniors should receive price breaks. Specifically, 46 percent of anglers said senior anglers should get free licenses while 28 percent preferred half-price licenses for seniors.  Another 13 percent of anglers polled indicated that discounted licenses should only be provided to seniors who demonstrate a financial need. Only 5 percent reported seniors should purchase full-priced licenses and 8 percent felt the issue was more complicated than this or had no opinion.

Alcohol use #1 contributing factor in boating fatalities

According to the most recent U.S. Coast Guard statistics alcohol use is ranked number one as a contributing factor in fatal boating accidents in the United States. There were 133 alcohol use related boating fatalities in 2006 (latest statistics available) this is more than doubles the second highest ranking contributing factor; hazardous waters which contributed to 63 boating fatalities. Operator inattention ranked third with 51 fatalities.


What is alarming is that statistics show that responsible

boaters can take a few simple steps to prevent most serious problems while on the water. The first action is to always wear

a lifejacket since even though the factors listed above contribute to boating fatalities, ultimately drowning is the cause of death by far. Wearing a lifejacket alone will substantially reduce the likelihood a boating accident will result in a fatality. Taking a boating safety class and of course avoiding alcohol or drugs while boating, are also preventative measures that statistics confirm reduces the likelihood of a boating accident.

Fishing Activity Reduced by Access Problems

Over 25% of U.S. anglers report their fishing activities have been reduced by problems accessing their preferred fishing holes. In a 2008 poll of over 1,800 anglers by AnglerSurvey.com, anglers were asked if in the past year they had canceled a trip or stop fishing specific locations due to

access problems. Of the anglers reporting such problems, 80% reported their access issues were in freshwater areas while 15% experienced access issues in saltwater locations. Of all anglers, 10 percent either reduced their fishing activity or stopped fishing altogether.

2nd Amendment issues

Supreme Court to Hear Arguments in D.C. case this Week

On Tuesday, March 18, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in District of Columbia v. Heller.  The case marks the first time a Second Amendment challenge to a firearm law has reached the Supreme Court since 1939!


Last fall, the Court announced its decision to take the case, in which plaintiffs challenge the constitutionality of the District of Columbia’s decades-old gun ban.  The District appealed a lower court’s ruling last year affirming that the Second Amendment of the Constitution protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, and that the District’s bans on handguns, on carrying firearms within the home, and on possession of loaded or operable firearms for self-defense violate that right.


In March, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that “[T]he phrase ‘the right of the people,’ when read

intratextually and in light of Supreme Court precedent, leads us to conclude that the right in question is individual.”  The D.C. Circuit also rejected the claim that the Second Amendment does not apply to the District of Columbia because D.C. is not a state.


To help you more easily access and navigate through all of the detailed information we’ve compiled on this historic, critically important case, we’ve developed a new webpage-- www.nraila.org/heller/  --for you to use.  On this page, you’ll be able to read related articles we’ve written on District of Columbia v. Heller, and view the dozens of amicus briefs filed in the case.  Please be sure to visit www.nraila.org/heller/ today!


Transcripts and an audio file of the arguments will be available following the hearing.  We will be sure to update you on the case next week.


New License Year Begins April 1

Anglers and hunters are reminded to purchase their 2008 Illinois fishing, hunting, and sportsmen combination licenses prior to April 1 when the new IDNR license year begins. The 2008 Illinois licenses are available from hundreds of DNR Direct license and permit vendor locations - and online at

www.wildlifelicense.com/il/start.php. The online system is available 24 hours a day.  Licenses are also available by phone through DNR Direct by calling toll-free 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648).  Licenses purchased for 2008 are valid through March 31, 2009.

Wingshooting Clinics

The IDNR and partnering organizations will host a series of wingshooting clinics for beginning shooters and for more experienced hunters beginning this spring.  Youth/Women's clinics are free.  Saturday sessions generally provide instruction for girls and boys ages 10 - 15, while Sunday sessions are generally used to provide instruction for girls and women ages 10 and older.  (Youth participants must be at least 4’ 6” tall and weigh at least 75 lbs). 


Instructors are certified by the National Sporting Clays Association. Hunter clinics are designed to enhance the wingshooting skills of those ages 16 and older.  Hunters with wingshooting skill levels from beginner to advanced are encouraged to attend.  A small fee is assessed each hunter clinic participant to cover the cost of clay targets and refreshments.


Upcoming Youth/Women's clinics (and contact phone numbers) include:

March 29-30 - Twin Oaks Sporting Clays, Mode (Shelby Co.); phone 217/496-3113 or 217/563-2095 April 26-27 - Moraine

View State Rec. Area (McLean Co.); phone 309/724-8032 April 26-27 - World Shooting and Recreational Complex (Randolph Co.); phone 618/295-2700 May 17-18 - Des Plaines Conservation Area (Will Co); phone 217/785-8129 June 14 - Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area (Cass Co.); phone 217/452-7741


Upcoming Hunter Wingshooting Clinics include:

April 5-6 - Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area (Cass Co.); phone 217/452-7741 May 31-June 1 - Des Plaines Conservation  Area (Will Co.); phone 217/785-8129 June 7-8 - Briar Knoll Hunting and Fishing Club (Lee Co.); 815/857-2320 June 21-22 - Jim Edgar Panther  Creek SFWA (Cass Co.); phone 217/452-7741


For the complete Wingshooting Clinic schedule, check the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us .


No fishing or boating at Goldeneye Pond, starting March 17

Fishing and boating at Goldeneye Pond in Tri-County Fish and Wildlife Area (FWA) will be put on temporary indefinite hold starting March 17, due to necessary repair work on the facility. Steve Roth, Tri-County property manager, said the control structure that regulates the water level is going to be replaced much sooner than expected. Construction is ahead of schedule making safety for tree removal and heavy equipment use during site preparation an immediate concern. Construction is expected to start March 17 and continue through mid- to late August, depending on weather. The original plan was for work to be started in June.


Built in the early 1960s, the structure has corroded internally and can no longer be used to regulate the water level of the pond. Although not a safety hazard, the levee also will undergo repair to improve its stability. "To do the work, Goldeneye Pond

is being completely drained and will remain dry for several months," Roth said. "For obvious safety reasons, once construction starts, Goldeneye Pond will be off limits to the public and remained closed until further notice."


The Indiana DNRhad lifted size-limit fishing restrictions on fish caught at Goldeneye Pond in January in preparation for the project so that the fish there could be used before the draining.


Biologists are also attempting to salvage adult largemouth bass from Goldeneye Pond, to hold them throughout the summer in another pond, then restock them once the pond refills. Bluegills and channel catfish also will be restocked once the project is complete. More information will be available on re-establishing fishing at Goldeneye Pond after the construction project is completed.

Apprentice hunting license approved

Indiana DNR director Robert E. Carter Jr. calls the recently approved “apprentice license” an opportunity for novice hunters of any age to try hunting before having to make large investments in time or equipment.  “This gives people a chance to test the waters and see if hunting is something they will like,” Carter said. “Plus, it gives the DNR another important recruiting tool to continue growing a strong constituent base in the conservation movement.”


The apprentice license was passed last month by the Indiana legislature and takes effect July 1.  The new law creates an apprentice license that allows an individual to hunt with an adult mentor without first having to pass the state-mandated hunter education course. An individual can purchase up to three apprentice licenses in a lifetime. If age requirements apply, the individual must then become hunter-education certified to continue hunting.


“We’re excited,” said Glen Salmon, director of the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife. “With the apprentice hunting license, we’ll have a chance to safely open up new hunting opportunities for Hoosiers, especially our youngsters.”  Rep.

Bob Bischoff, Lawrenceburg, authored the legislation and

called it a breakthrough for would-be hunters of all ages. It affords parents the flexibility to decide when their children are mature enough to hunt, and it benefits potential first-time adult hunters.


“It is difficult to encourage an adult to take the time to pass the hunter-education course if they have never experienced the joy of a hunt,” Bischoff said. “However, if they are allowed to try the sport under an apprentice license, they would likely pursue a full license later on.”  The bill passed the House, 89-1, the Senate, 40-6, and was signed by Gov. Mitch Daniels on Feb. 27.


The apprentice license initiative had strong support from conservation groups, including the DNR Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee, which gave it a unanimous endorsement. Other states that have enacted similar apprentice licenses have had positive results. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service data from Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi and Ohio reveal that apprentice license programs brought nearly 34,000 new hunters to the field in just two years.

Yellowwood Lake to be gradually lowered for repairs

Yellowwood Lake, a 132-acre lake in Yellowwood State Forest in Brown County, will be lowered a maximum of 6 feet below normal pool starting  sometime this week, weather permitting, to provide an opportunity for needed repairs on the dam spillway.  The lake will be lowered a maximum  of 10 feet below normal pool sometime after Labor Day for seep repairs and remain at that level during the winter months to help control  invasive aquatic weeds.

The lake will remain open to fishing during the project, but boating access may be difficult once the boat ramp is out of the water. Since Yellowwood Lake is approximately 30 feet deep, the drawdown should not harm the fish population.  The construction project will affect some hiking trails, horse trails and boat rental from time to time. Visitors should check with the forest office, (812) 988-7945, for details.  The construction project is expected to be completed by December 2008.

Classes on teaching youths to fish start in April

Children all over the state can learn about Indiana’s aquatic resources using fishing as a tool in the DNR's Go FishIN program, but to make that program effective, educators first need to be trained.


Recognizing the importance of aquatic resources education, the Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife, in conjunction with the Federal Sport Fish Restoration Program, developed Go FishIN, to provide fishing information to Hoosiers.  Workshops to "train the trainers" for that purpose, are offered throughout the state starting April 12, at Fort Harrison State Park in Indianapolis.

The workshops help educators promote respect of the environment to Indiana’s youth. By teaching the participants about fish and fishing, workshop leaders help young people discover the unique aquatic ecosystems in Indiana. Once trained, the workshop participants become "crew captains" and are then eligible to use all of DNR's Go FishIN curriculum, fishing resources and equipment. If you are an educator (e.g., school teacher or scout leader) please visit the Natural Resources Education Center.


 Web site for information: www.dnr.IN.gov/nrec. For more info, (317) 562-1338 or e-mail [email protected].


Large Duck Die-Off in Lake St. Clair Pegged to Malnutrition

A combination of approximately 600-800 canvasback and redhead ducks have turned up dead along the St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair shorelines, according to the Michigan DNR. The die-off likely has been caused by malnutrition, as toxicology tests on the ducks have ruled out other causes, DNR wildlife biologists said.


“We are receiving reports from several spots along the St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair shoreline of lethargic acting and dead ducks, and expect more reports as the weather warms up and more carcasses are recovered,” said Tom Cooley, wildlife biologist at the DNR’s Wildlife Disease Lab. “The Lake St. Clair area is a wintering area for large numbers of these duck species, and every year we see more and more ducks in the area, which is making for greater competition for available natural food.”


Wildlife biologists along Lake St. Clair have collected samples of the dead ducks for disease and toxicology testing. The biologists have noted there are more canvasback ducks being

affected than redheads. Cooley said that last winter, various waterfowl species were found dead in the same areas, and those deaths were attributed to malnutrition as well.


Lake St. Clair is a primary wintering spot for both canvasback and redhead ducks due to its large expanse of water and availability of food, such as wild celery. Some waterfowl do leave the lake and migrate either to the East Coast or to the Gulf of Mexico; however, DNR biologists have observed that there were a larger number of waterfowl staying the entire winter this year.


“Normally, we see 20,000 to 30,000 ducks spending the winter on the lake,” said DNR Wildlife Biologist Ernie Kafcas, stationed at the Lake St. Clair Fish Research Station. “However, this winter, we are seeing 30,000 to 40,000 ducks staying because the waters stayed open later this winter and did not experience a hard freeze until after mid-January.  Ducks that go into the winter with low fat reserves and have to compete for food in extreme late winter conditions are more prone to deaths due to malnutrition.”


NE Minnesota’s moose population continues to decline

An aerial survey conducted in January estimates that the number of moose in northeastern Minnesota increased from 6,600 in 2007 to 7,600 in 2008, but the long-term trend suggests that Minnesota’s moose herd remains in decline, according to the Minnesota DNR.


“At first glance, the raw numbers appear to suggest that the population has increased,” said Dr. Mark Lenarz, DNR wildlife researcher. “The margin of error, however, overlapped between years, which means that there was no significant change in the number of moose this year.”  “Based solely on the survey results, I would be hesitant to infer a declining population,” he said. “But the long-term population trend suggests otherwise, and there are other factors that significantly impact moose population.”


Aerial surveys to estimate the moose population have been conducted every year since 1960. But wildlife researchers implemented a new methodology in 2005. Lenarz said statistical comparisons of data collected from 2005 to 2008 indicate that the population increase was not as significant as it appears.

When nonhunting factors such as disease, bull and cow pairings, cow pregnancy rates, calf survival and predation are considered, indexes used to estimate herd viability drop below the levels at which researchers would like to see them. Lenarz said a study of radio-collared moose in northeastern Minnesota shows that non-hunting mortality has averaged 21 percent during the last six years. Elsewhere in North America, that rate generally falls between 8 and 12 %.


“Biologically, issuing 200-250 permits a year for a bull-only hunt doesn’t negatively impact Minnesota’s moose population,” said Lou Cornicelli, DNR big game program coordinator. “What directly impacts moose population is the cow and calf survival rates.”


Minnesota is the only state in the central region of the lower 48 states with a significant moose population. The moose is the largest member of the deer family.  A copy of the aerial survey report, which was funded and staffed in part by the Fond du Lac Band and 1854 Treaty Authority, is available online at www.mndnr.gov .



Deer hunters donate 78,000 lbs of venison in 2007

In the first year of a new venison donation program, Minnesota hunters donated 1,977 deer, creating the opportunity for 97 food shelves located throughout Minnesota to distribute 78,000 pounds of venison. 


"Overall, I think we had a very successful first year," said Lou Cornicelli, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) big game program coordinator. "Most of the deer donated came from areas with overly high deer population densities, and the venison from those deer was put to very good use."


The donations were made possible by a new venison donation program that allows hunters to donate harvested deer without having to pay processing costs. Managed by the DNR and Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), the program's goal is to provide a sought-after food source to those in need while encouraging hunters to harvest additional animals to help manage the deer herd.


"Hunters always could donate harvested deer," Cornicelli said.

"But without funding, only a few deer were donated annually. The infusion of new money allowed us to greatly expand the program." The program is funded by a legislative appropriation, a non-resident license fee increase and voluntary donations when resident hunters purchase a deer licenses.


Cornicelli said the hunting portion of the program is designed to allow hunters to harvest extra deer in areas where deer populations are above wildlife management goals. In 2007, permit areas that allowed individual hunters to take more than one deer provided 95 percent of the donations. Nearly 70 percent of donated deer came from permit areas that allowed the harvest of five or more deer.


The program requires that hunters donate deer only to processors certified by the MDA and that deer be free from signs of illness, field dressed with the hide intact, free of visible decomposition or contamination and properly identified with a DNR registration tag. In 2007, 72 certified processors distributed the venison to 97 Minnesota food shelves.


New York

NY joins Great Lakes Water Resources Compact

Multi-State Agreement will Protect and Preserve Water Resources of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin

Governor Designate David A. Paterson announced that legislation has been signed authorizing New York State to join the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact. The Compact is a multi-state agreement designed to protect, conserve, and improve the water resources of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin. The legislation was signed by Spitzer on March 4, 2008.


The Great Lakes and their bays and tributaries contain approximately 18 percent of the world’s supply of freshwater, and 90 percent of the United States supply of fresh surface water, said Governor Designate Paterson. Unfortunately, water levels in the Great Lakes have seen drastic declines in the last decade, and it is vitally important that we protect and conserve this essential water resource. The Great Lakes Compact demonstrates the commitment of all of the Great Lakes states to work together to achieve that goal.


In 2001, the Governors of the eight Great Lakes states (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) and the Premiers of Ontario and Quebec signed an agreement to develop and implement a new common, resource-based conservation standard for the Great Lakes Basin. After several years of negotiation, the Great Lakes Compact was developed.


The water surface area of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River and connecting channels covers approximately 95,000 square miles in eight states and two Canadian provinces, and the drainage area of the Basin covers an additional 200,000 square miles. Since only about one percent of the water in the Great Lakes is renewed or replaced by rain and tributary inflow each year, a multi-state agreement regulating various withdrawals and diversions is an important step to preserving this natural resource.

The Compact would provide for:

●     The creation of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Council, consisting of the Governors of the eight Great Lakes states;

●     The creation of a water resources inventory by each member state;

●     Periodic assessments of cumulative impacts of water withdrawals from the Basin;

●     A prohibition on most new and increased diversions of water from the Basin;

●     Registration of water withdrawals in amounts of 100,000 gallons per day (gpd) or greater from the Basin in any 30-day period;

●     Implementation of water conservation and efficiency programs by each member state relating to Basin water uses;

●     Commitments by member states to promote environmentally sound and economically feasible water conservation measures;

●     Consultation between the Great Lakes Council and the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec through regional review procedures for any new or increased consumptive uses of at least 5 million gpd in any 90-day period; and Preservation of existing diversions, withdrawals, uses, rights and agreements.


In order for the Compact to take effect, each of the eight Great Lakes states must pass legislation ratifying the Compact, and then the United States Congress must consent to the signed Compact.  New York is now the fourth state to approve the Compact, following approvals by Minnesota, Illinois, and Indiana.


The legislation authorizes the Governor to take steps to facilitate the execution of the Compact by the other Governors, and to apply to Congress for consent to the Compact.




OH Anglers, boaters urged to take care when fishing/boating in early spring

Cold, fast-moving water poses special safety risks to boaters and anglers

COLUMBUS, OH - As spring approaches and the last of winter's snow and ice melts away, outdoor enthusiasts are reminded that waterways remain frigid and some rivers and streams could be near or at flood stage in coming weeks. These conditions pose special hazards to early season boaters and anglers, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).


High and fast stream currents, downed trees that act as "strainers," undercut and eroded banks, standing waves at the bottom of chutes and other underwater obstacles can be dangerous to anyone walking, wading or boating in or near a waterway. "It's a time of year when extra precautions are needed to ensure that the strength and speed of the river does

not exceed your skill capabilities or that of your equipment," said Pamela S. Dillon, chief of the Division of Watercraft.


ODNR recommends "scouting" a stream before launching a boat in an unfamiliar area. Boaters are urged to file a float plan with a responsible person and be prepared to get wet by dressing in layers of synthetic materials with a wind-resistant outer shell. Capsizing or falling unexpectedly into cold water can be life threatening to anyone who is not prepared!


The Division of Watercraft further advises to properly wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket while boating, and when wading and fishing in rivers or streams. Boaters should use extra caution when in the vicinity of lowhead dams, making sure boats are properly loaded with people and gear. Additional safety tips on boating during the early spring are available at www.ohiodnr.com.


State deer hunters post second best season ever

Archers set new harvest record

MADISON -- Results of this past deer season indicate that hunters had a quality hunting experience and a positive impact on moving populations in parts of Wisconsin toward goals. With final 2007 season harvest numbers now in the books,

deer hunters posted the second largest harvest in state history, registering 518,573 whitetails.  Archers established a new season record of 116,042, eclipsing the previous record of 113,918 that was only one year old. Gun deer hunters brought in 402,531 deer, their third best season ever.

Missing elk turns up after 10 years

CLAM LAKE, Wis. -- Elk cow number “26” has been found

“26” was the first wild Wisconsin born elk calf that was radio collared of the Clam Lake elk herd established in 1995. She has been unaccounted for since her break away radio collar was shed in 1998.


“It is great to know she is still alive but a mystery as to where she’s been keeping herself,” said Laine Stowell, a DNR wildlife biologist tracking the state’s elk herd.  Stowell said cow 26 has avoided capture of the biologists’ traps since that project was started seven years ago and had not been seen prior to that.

To date, the crews have captured 65 elk in five outings, collaring 19 cows, two bulls, and three calves.  The cows and the calves they drop this spring can then be monitored throughout the year. A total of 70 elk currently have radio collars. “The animals have come through the winter in good shape,” Stowell said, “despite deep snows and the cold temperatures.”


“As the cows later move in with members of the herd we can keep track of the group’s locations,” Stowell said. At last count, the herd totaled about 130 animals.



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