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Overreach by Way of Unintended Consequences

Weekend, Feb. 28 – Mar. 1-, 2015 — Overreach can be the result of unintended consequences. Federal agencies such as the US Fish & Wildlife Service and the Environmental Protection Agency are two well-meaning government branches that have on occasion gone astray. When such agencies lose their way in trying to be everything for everybody, the political disease of constriction – choking on favoritism counter to the initial mission – becomes not only complicated and displeasing to all sides of what became controversial but endangers the objectivity of the mission.

A case in point leads us to Yellowstone, that gem of national parks that began as not just a haven for wildlife but as a nursery bank for future use as a holding facility for deposit in natural forests and other habitat. Three examples are obvious: elk, grizzly bears, and wolves. All began as scientific management objectives and ended up as political pawns. Herewith, some examples of what happens when wildlife and humans inhabit the same turf: sooner or later the saving of that wildlife takes on political overtones and the wildlife loses while the human population suffers from what never should have been.


Wolves in Government Clothing

Wolves in Government Clothing is a documentary film about predators in the wild, and in government, and how the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has empowered both of them to destroy people’s lives. Witness firsthand accounts from those who are forced to deal with wolves on a daily basis. Its the story of two predators with similar characteristics: wolves and Federal government agencies. The reality is, if we don’t control these predators…they will control us.

Yellowstone Grizzly Bears: A Success Story

Grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem are thriving. The once-dwindling population of bears occupying areas of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming has been steadily increasing since 1981, when recovery efforts under the Endangered Species Act began. Managers are prepared with protections and practices in place to sustain a healthy Yellowstone grizzly bear population into the future. Years of collaboration and cooperation by multiple state and federal agencies — as well as public participation — contributed to the success of the species’ recovery.

Wapiti – The Majestic Elk Of North America

This film covers a year in the life of elk of North America. From births and calves, to the rut and fights between bulls for the right to nreed, to winter survival, the viewer will learn about many aspects of this wonderful animal, the elk.

15-Yard Files: Female Bowhunter Stares Down Giant Bull Elk at 4 Yards

Cally Morris and the 15-Yard Files team open the 2014 fall season with what may be the closest fair-chase elk-hunting footage ever captured when Annetta squares off with a big bull elk that is, literally, within spitting distance.

Seven Uncomfortably Close Encounters of the Deer Kind

People often seem to forget that deer are wild animals, and despite their looks, they can be very dangerous if provoked. Just because they are herbivores doesn’t mean that deer can’t get rowdy, and in some cases, even aggressive. Here are seven videos that show that getting within petting distance of a cervid could end in a lot of running and a lot of cackling laughter from your friends. View all seven videos.
H/T Outdoor  —  Warning: these videos contain some profanity

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There's An APP for That

RICK SAPP, Feb. 20, 2015 — John is 38 years old. He’s what’s known in the business as a “serial entrepreneur.” He has an idea. He gives it a shot. They usually don’t work out because he’s a terrible businessman. He has a day job, but it is not enough to satisfy. He wants more than the routine of an 8-5. And he’s willing to roll the dice, to invest his time and energy and a little cash on the off chance that one of his ideas will catch on.

This time, it seems that John’s restless energy has a winner. An idea that millions of Americans may actually find useful, even life-enhancing.  [full story]

Condors and Lead: A Modest Proposal for the Hunting and Shooting Industry

JIM MATTHEWS, Feb. 14, 2015 — The proposal will be at the end. Here’s the background: By 2019, hunters in California will be banned from using all lead ammunition in the field when pursuing game. That includes big game, small game, game birds, non-game birds, and varmints – all hunting.

Much of the impetus for this legislative ban was based on the “threat” lead ammunition presented to endangered California Condors.

Since 2008 the use of lead big game and varmint hunting ammunition has been banned throughout the current range of California condors in California. Warden surveys by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and a subsequent study done on lead levels in golden eagles and vultures within the “condor zone” suggests that hunter compliance with this law has been very high. The DFW reported a 99 percent compliance rate the first year after the ban. Lead levels in golden eagles, which had been detected in all eagles prior to the ban, dropped to zero in resident birds (that stayed within the “condor zone”) after the ban. In migratory eagles, birds that also foraged outside of the lead ban region, also saw significant declines in their blood lead levels. [full story]


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