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World of the Big Dogs

Weekend, March 28, 2015 — Just as there is a need for grizzlies, there is a need for wolves, for coyotes, and for all predators, including man. From the early 1920s, market hunting and hunting for food had dreadful effects on wild game. But hunters and wildlife managers learned from that experience and, in decades, began to rebuild that which would make America’s diverse wildlife populations the envy of the world. Until 1995. That’s when gray wolves, hunted to extinction because they decimated big game, were pursued to the far North, away from the Rocky Mountains. Desert wolves of the great southwest befell a similar fate. Fifty breeding pairs of wolves from Canada were released into Yellowstone, protected by the Federal Endangered Species Act and, in a few short years they began to take their toll of the Park’s overpopulated Northern Yellowstone elk herd.

Not long after, as wolf packs ballooned and the elk herds became limited, wolves were delisted as endangered in Idaho and Montana and spread their range outside the park onto private ranch rangelands to prey on cattle, sheep, horses, and family pets. In Wyoming, which insisted on its state Game & Fish Department managing wolves outside the park as a predator, wolf management became a legal issue for courts to decide. Eventually, some cooperation between Wyoming and the USFWS help resolve some of the dispute but, meanwhile, the cost to ranchers of livestock and family pets became pawns in a game of responsible management of wolves, which is where it sits today.

Wildlife management is a proven science, and a major component of it is hunting. If grizzlies, wolves, coyotes, and other species are to be spared from extinction, hunting is their best future. We hope the videos to follow help our readers to better understand the issues that make wolves a manageable part of America’s divergent wildlife community.

The Wolf That Changed America

In this Web-exclusive video, wolf expert Doug Smith discusses the Yellowstone Wolf Project. Started in 1994, the Wolf Project has taken advantage of the visibility of Yellowstone’s wolves to explore wolf population dynamics. Of particular interest is how wolves interact with prey and scavenger populations in the park. Smith hopes that Wolf Project research can help replace common misconceptions about wolves with factual information.

 

In the Valley of the Wolves

Emmy Award-winning wildlife cinematographer Bob Landis discusses the making of the film, including the ideal circumstances for filming a predation scene; the importance of spending a vast amount of time in the field; the uniqueness of Yellowstone’s Druid wolf pack, and more. For three years, filmmakers follow Yellowstone’s Druid wolf pack as it struggles for control of the prized Lamar Valley, and shows the interdependence of the valley’s diverse wildlife.

Living With Wolves, Losing Our Hunting Heritage
Understanding The Need For Responsible Wolf Management

Enter to Win beginning April 1, 2015!

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Dodged a Bullet — For Now

SHELBY MURDOC, March 13, 2015 — I’ve never been so thankful to have to scrap a column before: My work-in-progress about the dangers of the ATF’s threatened ban on M855 5.56x45mm ammunition. With the agency and President Obama backpedaling on the proposal in light of public outcry, we’ve got a little breathing space. But only a little.

The so-called “ban” was based around the idea that the 1986 law banning armor-piercing “cop killer” handgun ammunition also applied to the M855 rifle ammunition, in part because of the round’s use in AR-style handguns.

The problems with this idea are many, but the two largest problems are that M855 does not fit that law’s definition of “armor piercing” and that the law specifies that the ammunition must be “designed for use in a handgun.” Not potentially used in a handgun. “Designed for” use in a handgun.  [full story]

Top U.S. Firearms Exporters

RICK SAPP, March 13, 2015 — Ask anyone on the floor of the great industry trade events, the SHOT Show and the Nuremberg Exposition, which companies from America export the most firepower … or which are most important internationally and you would almost certainly hear all the usual, old-fashioned (heritage!) names. And most of them will be wrong!

For the sake of clarity. And who doesn’t like clarity? Let’s establish some ground rules.
We customarily think of the U.S. as the gorilla in the room when it comes to selling weapons around the world. Derringers to missiles.
Ain’t necessarily so. Necessarily … [full story]

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