Week of October 10, 2011

Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

New York
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Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Browning 725 Citori Over/Under Shotgun

The Browning Citori has built a reputation as the finest, most reliable over and under shotgun available. For 2012 Browning will introduce the new Citori 725 12 gauge over and under that is the evolution of John M. Browning's legendary B25 Superposed, now with the modern performance advantage of a low-profile receiver.


The new 725 receiver is significantly lower than other Citori 12 gauge receivers, yet the 725 shares the renowned durability of generations of Citori over and unders with the same rugged full-width hinge pin and tapered locking bolt design.


The new Browning 725 showcases an all-new FireLite Mechanical Trigger that offers unmatched feel and lighter pull weights than ever before offered on a Citori. The innovative design features reduced take up, a crisp break and shorter overtravel. Trigger pull weights are about 3-3 ˝ lbs. for Sporting guns and 4-4 ˝ lbs. for Field Models.


Browning's new Inflex II Technology recoil pad gives the new 725 the next generation of the most recoil absorbing pad available. A softer new material provides better recoil absorbing performance and is super slippery to prevent snagging on clothing when shouldering. Internal directional deflection construction guides the comb down and away from the cheek for greater shooting comfort and faster, more accurate follow-up shots.


The new 725 Citori will feature Browning's new Invector-DS™ (Double Seal) Choke System that provides better patterning, lighter weight and a sleeker barrel profile. The combination of muzzle-end treads and thin-wall construction allows for a longer, more gradually tapered choke tube that results in more evenly scaled patterns. The Invector-DS also features a proprietary brass seal that prevents gas and grit from slipping between the barrel and

choke tube.


Citori 725 Field and 725 Sporting Models will be offered for 2012. The new low-profile receivers have a silver nitride finish.   Field models feature a high-relief engraving and sporting models feature a gold accented engraving. Both models will feature Browning's Vector Pro™ lengthened forcing cones for improved patterns and performance.


The Citori 725 Field model will feature gloss oil finish Grade II/III walnut stock with close radius pistol grip and trim fore-end with cut checkering.   Three Invector-DS™ choke tubes are included. Available in 12 gauge only with 26" or 28" lightweight profile barrels and ventilated rib. Average weight 7 lbs. 4 oz. - 7 lbs. 6 oz. Browning Citori 725 Field, Suggested Retail, $2,469.99.


 The new Citori 725 Sporting model will feature gloss oil finish Grade III/IV walnut with close radius pistol grip stock and trim fore-end. Browning's Triple Trigger System is also featured that allows the shooter to fine tune the length of pull and switch between a wide checkered, a narrow smooth or a wide smooth trigger shoe. HiViz® Pro-Comp fiber-optic front sight and ivory mid-bead are supplied. Five extended Invector-DS™ choke tubes will be included. Available in 28", 30" and 32" lightweight profile barrels and tapered ventilated rib. Average weight 7 lbs. 6 oz. - 7 lbs. 10 oz. 


About $3,139.99




Browning A-5 Semi-Auto Shotgun

For 2012, the A-5 recoil-operated shotgun will surely win the hearts of die-hard hunters as well as those who love and appreciate the traditional Browning lines.


The hump is back! In fact, the iconic humpback-shaped receiver is the only thing this new Browning autoloader shares with its legendary namesake. Built to be the most reliable, fastest cycling, best performing and softest shooting recoil-operated (yes, recoil operated) autoloader on the planet.


Features include:

  • Ultra-reliable, honed to perfection Kinematic Drive System

  • Vector Pro lengthened forcing cones

  • The new Invector-DS choke tube system

  • 3" chambers

  • 26", 28" and 30" barrels

  • Inflex II recoil pad

Available in wood (Hunter), synthetic (Stalker) and Mossy Oak Duck Blind and Infinity with Dura-Touch Armor Coating.









Great Lakes Water Levels for October 7, 2011 

Weather Conditions

The Great Lakes basin started the week with cooler than average temperatures, and eastern areas experienced some scattered showers early in the week.  Since then, the weather changed to mostly clear skies and rising temperatures over the last few days.  Temperatures are expected to remain above seasonal averages with lots of sunshine through the weekend and into the middle of next week.

Lake Level Conditions

Currently, Lake Superior and Lake Michigan are each 1 inch below their levels of a year ago.  Lakes St. Clair and Erie are 6 and 11 inches, respectively higher than they were at this time last year, and Lake Ontario is 1 inch above last year's level.  Over the next thirty days, Lake Superior is projected to drop 1 inch from its current level, and Lake Michigan-Huron is expected to fall 2 inches.  The water levels of Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are forecasted to decline 8, 6, and 4 inches, respectively, over the next month. 

Monthly Outflows/Channel Conditions

Lake Superior's outflow through the St. Mary's River is projected to be below average for the month of October.  The outflows from Lake Huron into the St. Clair River, and from Lake St. Clair into the Detroit River, are also expected

to be below average throughout the month of October.

Lake Erie's outflow through the Niagara River and the outflow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River are both predicted to be above average over the next month.


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.





St. Clair



Level for Aug 4






Datum, in ft






Diff in inches






Diff last month






Diff from last yr







Victory in Fight to Preserve Traditional Ammunition

Efforts to protect the rights of sportsmen and gun owners to use the ammunition of their choice received a significant boost last week when a federal judge dismissed part of a

Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) lawsuit. The CBD suit challenged the USEPA denial of a petition to ban traditional ammunition and lead fishing tackle under the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA).


Ruling Denies 18-Year-Olds Second Amendment Rights

Last week a federal judge in the Northern District of Texas ruled that adults aged 18 to 20 do not have an individual constitutional right under the Second Amendment to purchase, after a background check, a handgun or handgun ammunition from a federally licensed firearms retailer.

This, despite the fact that 18-year-olds can exercise every other individual right guaranteed in the Constitution.  Adults aged 18 and over can speak and worship freely, vote, marry and start a family, enter into contracts and serve in the military where they are trusted to use fully automatic firearms. This case will now be appealed to the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, where NSSF will seek to file an amicus brief.


New York

Hunters Needed To Help Monitor Small Game Species

New York DEC Commissioner Joe Martens encouraged hunters to participate in two surveys for popular game species during this fall’s hunting seasons.


“Each fall New York’s dedicated small game hunters spend thousands of hours afield exploring the state’s landscapes in pursuit of game,” said Commissioner Martens. “They’re uniquely positioned to assist DEC’s wildlife managers by providing data on changing wildlife populations and habitats. Citizen science efforts such as these are a great way for hunters to partner with DEC while enjoying their hunting heritage.”


New England Cottontail Survey - The only native cottontail east of the Hudson River in New York is the New England cottontail; however, its populations are poorly understood. New England cottontails look nearly identical to Eastern cottontails and are only reliably identified by genetic testing or examining skull characteristics.


Those that hunt rabbits in Rensselaer, Columbia, Dutchess, Putnam, or Westchester counties, can submit the heads of rabbits harvested to help determine the distribution of New England cottontails. Those interested in participating, or for more information, please contact DEC by phone at 518-402-8870 or by e-mail at [email protected]  (type “NE Cottontail” in the subject line).

Participating hunters will receive instructions and a postage-paid envelope they can use to submit skulls. Hunters will be asked to provide the location and description of the habitat where each rabbit was taken. Results of these efforts will be available after the close of the hunting season.


Ruffed Grouse and American Woodcock Hunting Log - Ruffed grouse and American woodcock are widely distributed across New York State. These species prefer habitats in an early stage of succession such as young forests, shrublands, and old orchards and fields. As New York’s forests grow older, these preferred habitats are waning, resulting in a decline in grouse and woodcock numbers since the 1960s.

This survey asks hunters to record their daily grouse and woodcock hunting activities in a “hunting log”, including the number of grouse and woodcock flushed and the number of hours hunted. Grouse and woodcock share many of the same habitats, so the information provided will help monitor populations of both of these great game birds as habitats change both locally and on a landscape scale.


Those interested in participating can download a hunting log from the DEC website. Detailed instructions can be found with the form. Survey forms can also be obtained by calling (518) 402-8886 or by e-mailing [email protected]  (type “Grouse Log” in the subject line).


54% of avid Musky Anglers use live bait

MADISON -- Avid musky anglers are increasingly relying on live bait to catch their quarry, according to a recent statewide survey of musky anglers.

About 54 percent of musky club anglers reported some use of live bait in 2010, compared to 38 percent in 1990 and 37 percent in 2000, according to a recent survey of anglers by researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Department of Natural Resources.

Resident anglers -- those who don't necessarily target musky -- reported lower use of live bait for musky -- 36 percent over the same time period, according to Tim Simonson, a Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist and co-leader of DNR's musky team.

That widespread use of live bait makes it even more important that musky anglers follow bait rules aimed at preventing the spread of VHS fish disease and that they use quick strike rigs to decrease the number of fish that die due to single hook rigs baited with minnows, Simonson says.


The vast majority -- 98 percent -- of avid musky anglers reported using "quick-strike" rigs, which are designed to reduce hooking mortality, compared to using single-hook rigs, which have been shown to result in greater than 80 percent mortality in hooked muskies, Simonson says.

Starting next year, the use of single-hook rigs (other than non-offset circle hooks) will be prohibited when fishing with live minnows 8 inches and larger, Simonson says. About 68 percent of musky anglers supported this ban on single-hook swallow rigs during voting at the spring fish and wildlife rules hearings, Simonson says.


Musky are one of several dozen Wisconsin native species vulnerable to VHS fish disease, which can cause fish to bleed to death, so it's important to follow state rules to prevent spreading the virus, Simonson says.


Most importantly for musky anglers, buy bait from a Wisconsin bait dealer or registered fish farm. Anglers who have leftover minnows can take them away from a lake or river and use them again on the same water. They may also use them on any other water if no lake or river water, or other fish, were added to the bait container.


The leftover minnows can be taken away at the end of the day in up to 2 gallons of water; otherwise, drain all water from vehicles, trailers, watercraft containers, live wells and fishing equipment.


Find a full listing of rules to prevent the spread of VHS fish disease in a “Fishing with Bait” factsheet.

More than half of Wisconsin anglers caught a musky in 2010

Survey sheds light on musky anglers' catch and habits

MADISON -- The elusive musky is getting less so: 56 percent of Wisconsin anglers, 48 percent of nonresident anglers, and 83 percent of musky club members reported landing muskellunge in Wisconsin in 2010, according to a recent statewide survey of musky anglers.

"Anglers might not realize it, but musky fishing is better than it's ever been in terms of the number of fish and availability," says Dan Isermann, a University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point assistant professor and the principal investigator in the survey. "Musky are more abundant than they ever have been because of better fisheries management and the prevalence of catch and release."


Isermann says that improved technology also likely plays a role in the large proportion of anglers who report having caught a musky, once known as the fish of 10,000 casts but now caught in closer to 3,000 casts.  Forty percent of the resident and nonresident anglers, and 77 percent of the musky club members, caught at least one musky over 32 inches, while the average size of the largest fish anglers reported catching in Wisconsin was 46 inches.


Ninety-five percent of the fish were released by resident anglers and more than 99 percent were released by nonresidents and musky club members.


Isermann, working with UWSP colleague Kristin Floress and Tim Simonson, a Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist who leads DNR's musky team, mailed information to randomly selected resident anglers, randomly selected nonresident anglers and musky club members, asking them to take an online survey about how often they fished, generally where, what they caught and what they kept. They also asked anglers questions about their attitudes and opinions regarding muskellunge fishing and management in Wisconsin.


The survey, funded by a grant from the Hugh Becker Foundation and administered by Muskies, Inc., contains many of the same questions asked in similar surveys in 1990 and 2000. The researchers have not yet fully compared 2010 data to results from those earlier surveys, but find results from this snapshot in time that are interesting, and will help manage musky now and in the future, Isermann says.


"To me, some of the more interesting findings spoke to harvest management and whether we could use mandatory reporting," Isermann says. "We're pretty certain musky mortality is low, but we don’t have any idea how low is low. How many fish die every year?" Registration of harvested musky would be very useful tool to Wisconsin's management program.


Isermann said he was surprised that support for such a

harvest reporting requirement was not higher than 75 percent, given the popularity of catch and release for this

species. He also found it interesting that avid musky anglers are redefining upward what it means to catch a trophy musky. "It is amazing to me how many people were choosing lengths greater than 50 inches because those fish are now available to them -- 51 or 52 is the new 50," he says.


The percentage of avid musky anglers that picked some size 50 or larger as a trophy has increased from 44 percent in 1989, to 62 percent in 1999, and to 77 percent in 2011, Simonson says. Random license holders appear content to settle for a low 40-inch fish About 23 percent of licensed resident anglers reported that they would harvest a "trophy" fish, while only 2 percent of avid musky anglers said they would.

Most anglers stayed home to fish for the state species: 32 percent of licensed Wisconsin anglers fished specifically for muskies in Wisconsin during 2010 and 6 percent fished for muskies outside Wisconsin.


Avid musky anglers were more willing to travel: 52 percent of club members spent some time -- generally less than 10 days a year -- fishing for muskies outside of Wisconsin, figures very similar to responses from 1989, with Ontario and Minnesota the top two destinations, Simonson says.


The primary reason anglers gave for fishing outside Wisconsin was an increased opportunity for bigger fish. The average of the largest musky ever caught outside Wisconsin by avid musky anglers was 48 inches, while the largest musky they ever caught in Wisconsin averaged 46.


More 2010 Musky Survey Highlights

  • 32 percent of resident anglers and 39 percent of non-resident anglers reported fishing specifically for muskellunge in 2010; versus about 98 percent for musky club members.

  • Most fishing (all species) occurred in northern Wisconsin; 65 percent of resident anglers, 70 percent of nonresident anglers, and 90-plus percent of musky club members reporting spending some time fishing there.

  • Between 19 percent (resident anglers) and 32 percent (nonresident anglers) reported catching a musky while fishing for another species (typically, walleye).

  • Largest musky anglers ever caught in Wisconsin: averaged 42 inches for resident anglers, 41 inches for nonresidents, and 46 inches for musky club members.

  • Most anglers favor the idea of other anglers releasing legal muskies.

  • 82 percent of musky club member would be willing to purchase a musky stamp, versus 36-43 percent of general license holders; 54 to 74 percent favored mandatory reporting of harvest.

The Survey of Angler Attitudes and Opinions Regarding Muskellunge Fishing and Management in Wisconsin is available on the DNR website.


Repeat Offender Fined and Suspended For Fishing Violations

A Windsor man has been fined $600 and banned from fishing for four years for violating a previously issued fishing suspension and order.


Darryl Manners was convicted for violating a Fisheries Act order which prohibited him from fishing and possessing fishing equipment as a result of a previous fisheries offence. He was fined $600, banned from fishing and prohibited from possessing or being associated with fishing equipment and sport fish except at his residence for the next four years.


Court heard that on May 29, 2011, conservation officers

from the Lake Erie enforcement unit were conducting a sport fisheries enforcement patrol along the Detroit River in the City of Windsor. Conservation officers observed Manners fishing and found him in possession of fishing equipment. The officers conducted an investigation and determined that he was violating a previously issued order that was valid until February 1, 2012.


Justice of the Peace Salma Jafar heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Windsor, on September 28, 2011.  For further information on fishing regulations, please consult the 2011 Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary, available at ServiceOntario/Government Information Centres, licence issuers and at ontario.ca/fishing.

Fisheries Enforcement Patrols Results In 88 Charges

The Ministry of Natural Resources laid 88 charges and issued 93 warnings during sport fisheries enforcement patrols this summer on area waterways.   Conservation officers checked 1,251 resident anglers and 529 non-resident anglers on Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair and the Detroit and St. Clair rivers. Overall compliance with Ontario’s sport fishing and public safety-related laws was 90 per cent.


Charges and warnings were issued for the following offences:

catching over the limit of yellow perch and walleye

fishing without a licence

failing to carry a fishing licence while fishing

angling with more than the permitted number of lines

possessing live invasive gobies

  dip netting minnows after sunrise and before sunset

liquor-related violations, and operating a vessel without the proper safety equipment onboard.


Investigations are ongoing and additional charges are pending. Fishing equipment and fish were also seized.  For further information on fishing regulations, please consult the 2011 Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary, available at ServiceOntario/Government Information Centres, licence issuers and at ontario.ca/fishing.

Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)


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