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Wildlife Management (3)
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7 Hot Tips for Hunting Squirrels
Dec 20, 2019
Squirrels torment me every deer season, moving over the leaves as if they’re imitating a big buck sneaking through the woods. Every winter after I’ve punched my tag, I vow to come back to get my revenge on the bushy-tailed scoundrels. It helps that they taste damn good, too.
Whatever your motivation, now is the time to hit the woods. Here’s how you can bring home more squirrels this year.
Squirrels prefer white oak acorns, but they’ll...
Public Lands & Waters
Can Logging Help Game Populations in the East?
Oct 22, 2019
By most accounts, the 1970s and ’80s were the good ol’ days for public land hunters in the East. Deer and hunter numbers, along with success rates, were booming on national forest land in the region.
These days, the hunting cultures that once thrived in places like the George Washington, Pisgah, and Monongahela national forests are largely gone. Meat poles are more likely to bear the weight of wet clothes than fresh venison, and instead of tales...
Why Are Humans Scared of Snakes?
Aug 13, 2019
Post a photo of a live snake on social media and see what happens. Odds are, the comments will follow a common theme: “Kill it.” A photo of a one-foot garter snake basking on the edge of a dock and a full-grown rattlesnake ready to strike will often draw the same response:
“The only good snake is a dead snake.”
What is it about serpents, or even just photos of harmless ones, that draw such visceral reactions? As it turns out, there’s...
Do Waterfowl Limits Matter?
Jul 25, 2019
Does hunting mortality have significant long-term influence on waterfowl populations? This debate continues within both the hunting and biological research communities, but the answer isn’t as simple as some hunters might like.
Some biologists believe hunting to be additive. That is, birds killed by shotgun are additional to other types of mortality, including predation, disease and accidents. According to this model, as harvest increases...
Sterilize or Slaughter? America’s Feral Horse Problem
Jun 13, 2019
For some, wild horses and burros are an iconic symbol of the West, representing the freedom and ruggedness that define the frontier. For a growing number of conservationists, hunters and others concerned about native wildlife and habitats, feral horses are a scourge on the landscape. They trample sensitive plants, devour food meant for native species and bully wildlife away from water sources.
The Bureau of Land Management says there are at least...
Are Flooded Cornfields Altering Duck Migrations?
Jun 4, 2019
The worst season ever? If you skim through various waterfowl hunting forums and social media pages, you’d certainly think last duck season was a bust. Many hunters across the country spent more time griping about the lack of ducks than they did shooting ducks. In some circles, intentionally flooded cornfields are getting much of the blame.
One newly-formed group, The Flyway Federation of Louisiana, says that inundated corn is a big part of...
Lions, Coyotes and Insurance Companies: Oh My!
May 6, 2019
Thanks to DNA research, we now know coyotes migrated to the Eastern United States via two routes: across the South, where they spread into Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, and around the Great Lakes, where they occasionally bred with wolves along the way. Those northern coyotes filtered down through New York, Pennsylvania and into northern Virginia.
Science doesn’t make for a good campfire tale. It also doesn’t seem to get much attention on...
A New Silent Spring: Where are the Turkeys?
Apr 24, 2019
It is nothing short of remarkable, a conservation success story rivaled only by whitetail deer. Once on brink of extirpation from much of their historic range, wild turkeys are now thriving. They are found in all 48 contiguous states, plus Hawaii, Mexico and parts of Canada. Thank conservation-minded hunters for that.
All is not well in the turkey woods, though. Hunters throughout much of the country are reporting fewer gobbles, smaller broods...