Daily Archives: July 24, 2014

Half CRP Acreage Still Available for Bobwhite Quail Conservation

The Outdoor Wire

 

With the reopening of federal Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) practices this summer, more than 250,000 acres – half the nationwide allotment – have been enrolled in the CRP “Habitat for Upland Birds” practice. This leaves about 250,000 available for signup by landowners, acres that, once enrolled, will improve habitat for northern bobwhite and other wildlife.

Officially known as Conservation Practice 33, the program is most commonly referred to as “bobwhite buffers” as the purpose of this practice is to reverse the long-term decline of northern bobwhite and other upland bird populations by providing needed nesting and brood-rearing habitat adjacent to cropland. These important components of northern bobwhite habitat have declined due to more intense grazing and cropping practices – resulting in the elimination of weedy field borders, abandoned farmsteads and small, recently disturbed areas loved by northern bobwhites. There are currently 250,073 bobwhite buffer acres enrolled across the country.

“Many landowners still don’t know about the availability and advantages of this program,” says Rick Young, Quail Forever’s Vice President of Field Operations, “The ‘bobwhite buffers’ program is a ‘win-win’ – for landowners, it allows unproductive field margins to be restored to grassland habitat, often with net financial gains through practice incentives. Those grassland acres then provide critical habitat for northern bobwhite and other upland wildlife.”

State Allocation (Ac)     Acres Currently Enrolled         Bobwhite Buffers Available (Ac)

Colorado                           610                                          171                                         439
Kansas                         70,500                                     40,493                                     30,007

Missouri                       52,300                                     34,350                                     17,950

Nebraska                     12,000                                       6,053                                       5,947

Oklahoma                      1,600                                       1,048                                          552

Landowners interested in the bobwhite buffers practice can enroll at any time by contacting the Quail Forever or Pheasants Forever farm bill wildlife biologist in their area or by visiting their localUSDAServiceCenter. There are more than 103,000 Conservation Practice 33 acres on reserve, meaning they will be allocated to states once current allotments are used up.

 

Over-the-Counter Deer Permits Available August 1

New reduced youth fees make experiencing the outdoors more affordable than ever

 

It won’t be long and trail camera pictures won’t be the only thing resident hunters will be clicking through on a computer. At 12:01 a.m. August 1, over-the-counter deer permits go on sale at ksoutdoors.com, and for resident hunters with deer fever, it’s the perfect remedy to make it through until September.

Adding to the anticipation is the fact that parents and mentors purchasing youth permits will see reduced youth fees this year. For less than $13 each, resident youth can enjoy an Any-Season White-tailed Deer Permit, an Archery Either-species/Either-sex Deer Permit, or a Muzzleloader Either-species/Either-sex Deer Permit; and for less than $10 each, they can obtain an Antlerless White-tailed Deer permit and Antlerless Either-species Deer permit.

To purchase a 2014 deer permit online, visit ksoutdoors.com and click “License/Permits,” or visit your local Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism office or license vendor.

2014 Resident Deer Permit Pricing

Any-Season White-tailed Deer Permit

General resident: $32.50

Landowner/tenant: $17.50

Youth (15 and younger): $12.50

Archery Either-species/Either-sex Deer Permit

General resident: $32.50

Landowner/tenant: $17.50

Youth (15 and younger): $12.50

Muzzleloader Either-species/Either-sex Deer Permit

General resident: $32.50

Landowner/tenant: $17.50

Youth (15 and younger): $12.50

Hunt-Own-Land Deer Permit

Landowner: $17.50

Tenant: $17.50

Antlerless White-tailed Deer Permit

General resident: $17.50

Youth (15 and younger): $10.00

Antlerless Either-species Deer Permit

General resident: $17.50

Youth (15 and younger): $10.00

Hunters must first have a resident deer permit that allows the taking of an antlered deer before purchasing an antlerless permit, unless the antlerless permit is purchased after Dec. 30. A limited number of Antlerless Either-species Deer Permits are available, first-come, first-served.

In addition to a deer permit, resident hunters age 16 through 74 must have a resident hunting license, unless exempt by Kansas Law.

 

Task Force Formed to Counter Cyber Threats to Hunters

Sportsmen, conservation organizations and outdoor personalities met at the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) headquarters July 22 to develop strategies to counter the recent increase in cyber-attacks on hunters.

The group makes up the Hunter Advancement Task Force with most members sharing a common theme of having been targeted by animal rights activists through social media.

“This is a great opportunity to start developing ways to hold those responsible for the recent wave of cyber-attacks against sportsmen accountable,” said Nick Pinizzotto, USSA president and CEO. “The task force is not only working to stop direct attacks on hunters but also discussing how best to educate the public on the vital role sportsmen play in the conservation of all wildlife.”

Attendees included outdoor television personalities Melissa Bachman and Jana Waller, Colorado hunter Charisa Argys along with her father Mark Jimerson, Doug Saunders of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Bill Dunn of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, John Jackson of Conservation Force, Dennis Foster of the Masters of Foxhounds Association, Tony Schoonan of the Boone and Crockett Club and Mark Holyoak of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Other attendees included USSA President and CEO, Nick Pinizzotto, Evan Heusinkveld, USSA vice president of government affairs, Bill Horn, USSA director of federal affairs, Michelle Scheuermann of Bullet Proof Communications and author Michael Sabbeth.

Bachman, a television producer and host, found her life and career threatened after posting a photo of an African lion she harvested to her Facebook page last year. Almost immediately, Bachman came under attack from anti-hunters around the world. Bachman also found herself the target of death threats that “hit way too close for comfort” when anti-hunters showed up at her office.

“Regardless of your beliefs about hunting, Americans can all agree that threatening someone’s life is simply unacceptable.” said Bachman.

Other members of the task force have also had personal experiences with cyber-bullying including Waller who has had not only threats to her life, but also to her career. Waller, the star of Skull Bound TV, found herself having to defend her livelihood after an anti-hunter called her show sponsors to accuse her of poaching.

“The whole issue of harassment is so important,” said Waller. “I am scared it is going to deter people from standing tall and proud as hunters.”

While attacks on outdoor-celebrity hunters have been going on for years, average hunters have largely avoided the wrath of the anti-hunting community.  Earlier this year, however, Charisa Argys was thrown into the spotlight when a picture of her legally harvested mountain lion appeared online. The image brought a flood of criticism and threats not only to her, but to family members as well.

“Just because some anti-hunters in Europe went ballistic over a legal hunt, this issue is going to be associated with me for the rest of my life,” said Argys. “It is never going to go away. It’s going to be there forever. It could affect my job prospects and my life.”

This initial task force meeting was just the first of many to develop short and long-range strategies to protect hunters from cyber harassment.

“In the short term we are developing aggressive legal approaches to pursue both civil and criminal legal actions to prosecute anti-hunting harassers.” said Bill Horn, USSA director of federal affairs. “In the long term, we would like to cultivate strategies to provide additional legal protections for hunters who are finding themselves the target of cyber bullying.”

Pinizzotto added, “What this group discussed today and the ideas generated are a terrific first step in protecting hunters now and in the future. We have some of the brightest minds in our industry working on this critical issue. I look forward to continuing this discussion and adding additional key groups and individuals to the team in the coming weeks.”