No fake news here

Duck For Ritz Cracker
A hunter brings in a hen mallard, which will taste just as good as a greenhead on a cracker. (Photo by Tom Pink)

Lately, a buddy has been sending me some news stories he figured I would be interested in reading.

He was correct. In this season of low light and cold, it doesn’t hurt to read about what other outdoors people are saying about the past seasons – what they’ve learned and what they anticipate in the coming year.

In one of the articles, I learned that Justin Humphrey, a Republican member of the Oklahoma state legislature, is proposing a trapping season on bigfoot to help promote Oklahoma tourism. I haven’t yet discovered whether the trapping season has limitations on body-catch or foothold traps, but he does say he’s hoping to secure a $25,000 bounty for successful trappers.

Frankly, I didn’t know bigfoot lived outside of the Pacific Northwest or maybe Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, so I was surprised to hear he-she-it-them might live in Oklahoma, but apparently Humphrey’s district includes the forested southeast corner of Oklahoma, and perhaps the bigfeet have established residency there.

Meanwhile, in another story farther west, the Arizona Game and Fish Commission has proposed a ban on trail cameras.

I thought I was the only one in the world who doesn’t use game cams for observing wildlife, whether in preparation for hunting or just for the heck of it, but apparently so many people are using them for hunting in Arizona that it has become a problem. I was also surprised to learn that Montana and Nevada have already outlawed them, and the Boone and Crockett Club doesn’t recognize animals for their record books that have been taken with the aid of live-action trail cameras.

The Arizona GFC voted in December to consider the camera ban, and they are now soliciting public comment. The legislation would allow trail cameras for research, cattle operations or any other reason other than the taking of wildlife. While I don’t necessarily disagree with prohibiting game cams for use by hunters, I would not want to be a conservation officer trying to enforce that rule.

I read some other stories about duck hunters’ fixation on mallards or “greenheads.” Apparently, there is a  possibility that some Mississippi Flyway states may follow the lead of some Central Flyway states that allow a “three-splash rule” to their hunting options. The rule allows hunters to take three ducks of any species or sex daily. Once they shoot three ducks, they’re done for the day.

This is opposed to a daily bag limit of 6 ducks, which has been more restrictive with some species and sex, and requires hunters to be sure of duck identification.

We’ll see what happens.

Perhaps the best story I read was “Eat Like a King,” by T. Edward Nickens in this month’s Field and Stream. In it, Nickens emphasizes how lucky we hunters are to be able to enjoy wild game for dinner, and reminds us that in years past, only royalty ate game.

Nickens said, “The bufflehead on my Ritz Cracker, the venison on my sandwich: Riches, indeed.”

I couldn’t agree more. Whether the cracker is served with a kingly canvasback or drake mallard, a lowly bufflehead or a hunk of gray squirrel or venison – it’s all delicious and, as Nickens said, a cracker never looked so good.

Here’s to another year of eating like a king. Just don’t field dress a Bigfoot, especially if you trapped it while using a trail camera

Categories: Michigan – Tom Pink

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