TEACHING WOMEN OUTDOOR SKILLS
A neck and back injury from an auto accident in 1978 left me with numbness in my left hand and fingers, so hunting elk and mule deer had never crossed my mind. Then, in 2015, I attended my first weekend workshop hosted by the Montana Department of Fish, In workshop talk about top rated spotting scope and review it for hunting, Wildlife and Parks called “Becoming an Outdoors-Woman.” Instructors and fellow workshop participants encouraged me to hunt. I had toyed with the idea in the past, but the workshop introduced me to other women who were gaining skills and confidence to enjoy the outdoors.
The program was first organized in 1991 by Christine Thomas, a professor of natural resources at the University of Wisconsin in Stevens Point. She and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources education specialist Tammy Peterson organized a 1990 meeting that gathered men and women together to discuss ways to encourage women to participate in outdoor activities, including fishing and hunting.
DEER POPULATIONS HIT HARD BY EHD IN IOWA AND MISSOURI LAST SUMMER
Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), and its closely related relative, blue tongue, are the only infectious diseases with the ability to wipe out deer populations over widespread areas. I witnessed the aftermath of such a die-off last year where I hunt in Iowa. By late summer I noticed that the number of deer I saw feeding each evening was diminishing, and by late September an official statement was released by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (and by wildlife departments of several other Midwestern states). “EHD is killing deer,” the reports said.
END AND DEER NUMBERS
According to Richard Bishop, chief of the Wildlife Bureau for the Iowa DNR, statewide losses did not exceed 10 percent. He did concede, however, that in some spots the toll could have been as high as 30 percent. In my hunting area we lost between 35 percent and 40 percent of our herd.
EHD may have hit some parts of northern Missouri even harder. A newspaper report in the Columbia Tribune on October 6, 1998, revealed that EHD deaths had been verified in 25 counties. Lonnie Hansen, biologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation, reported that in some areas the disease was worse than the outbreak Missouri experienced in 1988, when approximately 10,000 deer died statewide. Last year the most severe impact occurred in Davis, Grundy, Putnam, Linn, Macon and Adair counties in north central Missouri.
$40 MILLION IN TOURISM MAY BE LOST THANKS TO ANTIS
On January 15, 1999, Ontario Resources Minister John Snobelen announced his intention to end the upcoming spring bear season. The anti-hunting fanatics had been working hard to end the bear hunt for over three years. In March they succeeded. The decision to close the bear season jeopardized $40 million in tourism funds, including $2.2 million from spring bear license sales earmarked for provincial hunting and fishing programs.
According to Snobelen’s news release in January, “Many people have told us that the way the hunt is conducted is unacceptable. We have reviewed current practices and considered modifications; but none provide assurance that young bears and their mothers would be protected as they emerge from their dens in the spring. Stopping the hunt is the only protection for the animals.”
Maine’s moose hunters have always enjoyed a 90-plus percent success Rate–if you can draw a permit. Machinery to increase the number of permits above the 2,000 mark is before the legislature. A mild winter in all but the northern most regions has certainly helped the deer population, and an increase of 10,000 any-deer permits has been recommended. Chances of tagging a buck this fall are excellent. Black bear numbers are stable across the state with baiting, dogs and trapping all legal methods. The kill should again be 2,300 to 2,400. Finally, 11 percent, or 22,000 of Maine’s big-game hunters pursue coyotes. They are evenly distributed across the state, and best of all, the season is open year-round.
UPCOMING SEASONS PROMISE TO BE AT LEAST AS GOOD AS LAST YEAR WITH IMPROVED OPPORTUNITIES
- Demo (source: wiki)
Moose hunting, in the Northeast for example, should be good to excellent with success rates in some regions reaching 90 percent. Expect success rates for caribou to be even higher. Fall turkey harvest figures will depend highly on spring hatching and brood rearing success.
The whitetail harvest is expected to vary, however. Hunters in some states and provinces can expect record harvests and trophy racks while hunters in other areas should be aware of the presence of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) and plan their fall hunt accordingly.