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House backs bill to boost public land hunting and fishing

Would also allow polar bear carcass import for those taken before 2008 ‘threatened’ listing Washington (AP) — The House last month approved a bill to expand access to hunting and fishing areas on public lands, extend protections for the use of lead bullets in hunting and strip wolves of federal protections in four states. The bill also would let hunters…

Moose beginning to utilize Pagami Creek Fire burn area

Cloquet, Minn. — While the Minnesota DNR’s latest winter moose survey showed the population in northeast Minnesota holding steady though still indicating a decline will continue, there were a couple of encouraging signs. For the first time, the survey observed notable numbers of moose in the vast, 90,000-acre area burned by the 2011 Pagami Creek Fire. “This is the first…

Mille Lacs group seeks way to avoid walleye closure

Onamia, Minn. — Members of the Mille Lacs Fisheries Advisory Group, particularly those who own resorts on the lake, pleaded with Minnesota DNR officials not to close the fishing season, as was done last summer, at its latest meeting at Izatys Resort on Feb. 24. The DNR is expected to finalize the lake’s fishing season structure later this month, but…

Plea agreement in major elephant ivory trafficking case

Buffalo, N.Y. — A 77-year-old western New York man is facing prison time and a fine of up to $250,000 after pleading guilty to federal charges of illegal wildlife trafficking. U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr., announced last month that Ferdinand E. Krizan, of Franklinville (Cattaraugus County) pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. to trafficking…

Penn State forest research study uses GPS to track deer

University Park — White-tailed deer, though cute and wide-eyed like Bambi, can wreak havoc on the land around them. And no one knows this better than Jack Ray. Ray’s property borders Rothrock State Forest, a prime location for an outdoorsman like himself. Yet when it comes to the apple trees he uses for his annual homemade apple cider, the location…

Cameron County gunmaker crafts rifle for ‘Revenant’

DuBois, Pa. — When Ron Luckenbill was growing up, his father was known for his ability to fix things. He often repaired gun stocks.  “It was a time when surplus rifles were being converted for civilian use,” he said. Today Luckenbill, who lives in the Rich Valley area of Cameron County, is recreating historically correct muzzleloading firearms of unequaled quality….

DNR concludes annual elk survey

Bemidji, Minn. — The results of annual aerial elk population surveys in northwestern Minnesota underscore the importance of an elk research project that kicked off last week, according to the DNR. As part of the survey, 20 cow elk were fitted with GPS collars that will allow researchers to track their movements and, perhaps, better understand the population fluctuations seen…

‘Moose not recovering in northeastern Minnesota’

DNR Reports Moose estimate up, but increase isn’t “statistically significant” St. Paul — Minnesota’s moose population remains low despite a slowing population decline during the past five years, the Minnesota DNR said. Results from the 2016 aerial moose survey indicate the population change from an estimated 3,450 in 2015 to 4,020 in 2016 is not statistically significant. Northeastern Minnesota’s current…

Antlerless-only reg poised to be scrapped

Albany, N.Y. — One and done. It appears that could be the fate of a controversial antlerless-only regulation imposed on bowhunters and muzzleloader hunters in a dozen wildlife management units last season. DEC officials have indicated they are looking at scrapping the much-criticized regulation after early statistics indicated it didn’t lead to the antlerless deer harvest whitetail managers were hoping…

Most common deer hunting violations involve permits

Springfield —  What are the most common deer hunting violations in Illinois? A study of CPO reports over a four-year period did not provide a definitive answer – mainly because the state’s Wildlife Code includes such an array of rules that classifying them would require a quantum physics-like approach. But what is easily noticeable are patterns of law breaking that…

DNR sharpshooters reported for hunting illegally

Oswego, Ill. —  Withering disdain for DNR sharpshooters was recently revived by the apparent misreading of property line boundaries. According to reports out of Kendall County, a sharpshooter commissioned by DNR to help sample deer for chronic wasting disease was caught hunting on Kendall County Forest Preserve land in late January. The Forest Preserve District Board had rejected an official…

‘Fake’ buck reminds Illinois hunters of recent fraud [Photo]

Springfield — It’s been nearly two years since a once-prominent Illinois deer hunter was ostracized after it was discovered he’d misrepresented at least one impressive buck that had led to his notoriety. While social media activity stemming from that case benched Marc Anthony from the game of trophy deer hunting, it apparently has not discouraged other hunters from attempting fraud….

Minnesota poised to test for CWD again this fall

St. Paul  — Two more positive cases of chronic wasting disease in deer in the same area of northeastern Iowa may not move the Minnesota DNR to increase surveillance for the disease along the Iowa border. But with the disease well established and documented to be slowly growing in Wisconsin, wildlife health officials in Minnesota likely will ramp up surveillance…

Cameras will be used to protect cave bats from people

Harrisburg — As part of its Core Values & Beliefs program, the Williams Company recently donated $2,400 to the Pennsylvania Game Commission to be used for camera-aided enforcement to protect bat caves from intrusions.  The funds will go toward adding six new cameras in two new sites. Currently, the Northeast Region has two and the other five regions have one…

Huge nontypical buck is No. 2 in Manistee County [Photo]

Kaleva, Mich. — Chuck Vest, of Kaleva, shot a 19-point buck in Manistee County last fall that is the second-highest scoring nontypical on record for the county. The massive antlers have an official nontypical net score of 1794⁄8, according to Commemorative Bucks of Michigan measurer Wayne Anderson. The gross score is 1837⁄8. Anderson measured the antlers Jan. 27, 60 days…

Wolf delisting brings new twist to federal sportsmen’s bill

Some predict, however, that could be bill’s death knell Washington — Having been denied access to a far-reaching federal appropriations bill, members of Congress seeking to delist wolves in the Midwest and Wyoming apparently have found another vehicle upon which to hitch their wolf-related legislation. Groups like the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership last month – at least initially – heralded…

Questions and answers on Obama’s executive action on guns

Washington (AP) — President Barack Obama’s plan to strengthen controls on guns in the U.S. is meeting swift resistance from gun rights groups, Republicans and even a few Democrats who say it’s up to Congress to enact new policies on firearms. Yet the overall effect on gun violence could prove to be relatively small. Some questions and answers about Obama’s…

Defense challenges evidence in Minnesota deer-poaching case

Madison, Minn. (AP) — Evidence against a west-central Minnesota man accused of poaching deer should be thrown out because his constitutional rights were violated, a defense attorney said. Attorney Bill Peterson contends in court papers filed last week that the Minnesota DNR didn’t properly seek a search warrant before attaching a GPS tracking device to Joshua Liebl’s pickup on Oct….

Remaining high-path bird flu tests come back negative

St. Paul — It appears the threat of the highly pathogenic avian influenza has subsided in Minnesota, both in the wild and in captivity, where 9 million birds died or were depopulated due to the virus, according to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. Only two wild birds were confirmed to have died from the highly pathogenic avian influenza despite…

Weapon in fight against Asian carp may swirl inside your soda

Urbana, Ill. — Adult Asian carp aren’t the only ones to feel “woozy” at the whiff of carbon dioxide – and that could be important in the fight against the invasive species. University of Illinois researcher Cory Suski’s recent research shows that fish the size of an eyelash experience negative consequences following CO2 exposure. Suski has already proven high concentrations…

Experiment looks at effect of pharmaceuticals on fish

St. Cloud, Minn. (AP) — An experiment that started last month in St. Cloud State University’s Aquatic Toxicology Lab expands upon 2012 studies that determined fish might be affected by pharmaceuticals entering rivers and lakes through wastewater treatment plant effluents. Details of the 2012 study, led by Heiko Schoenfuss, laboratory director and St. Cloud State anatomy professor, appeared in this…