For the second time in 10 years, Maine voters resoundingly rejected a ballot initiative backed and bankrolled by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Throughout the battle on Question 1, which would have banned the use of bait, dogs and traps when bear hunting, sportsmen and professional wildlife managers who opposed the initiative continually maintained a double-digit lead in the polls.
“This is a great victory for sportsmen. It shows that scientific wildlife management can withstand a direct attack from the well-funded anti-hunting movement,” said Evan Heusinkveld, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance’s (USSA) vice president of government affairs. “Despite pumping more than...
Montana’s bighorn sheep management program continues to hit roadblocks caused by disease, domestic sheep and a disappointed wildlife commission.
Generally speaking, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) has been successful in helping bighorn sheep populations expand and increase across the state. The overall bighorn population has grown from an estimated 1,200 animals in 1950 to a current population of about 5,700.
This increase is largely attributed to the state’s aggressive trap-and-transplant program. According to John Vore, FWP’s game management bureau chief, between 1922 and 2012, the agency has trapped 2,717 sheep for transplants, herd augmentations or out-of-state relocation.
Over the last several years, however, the agency has encountered a number of challenges in finding suitable new habitat for the...
The beeps are a radio collar mortality signal and they mean yet another of the state’s prized bighorn sheep has died.
Starting Aug. 5, in what was a long deadly month, at least 20 of the animals have died of pneumonia in the northern Badlands habitat. Tests show the disease is from contact with domestic sheep. It is spreading among the several bighorn groups in what Wiedmann calls “the hub of the wheel” for bighorns.
As if the fatal disease weren’t bad enough, 14 of the dead were among a group of two dozen transplanted in February from a pristine location in the Alberta, Canada, Northern Rocky Mountain region.
Wiedmann, big game biologist with the state Game and Fish Department’s Dickinson office, said the...
The huge buck, hunted in Socorro County, N.M., in 2013, scores 96-4/8 B&C points.
The new record breaks a tie between two specimens from Arizona. One was taken in Coconino County in 2000, the other in Mohave County in 2002. Both scored 95 B&C points. Club officials say the difference between these old records and the new - a full inch-and-a-half - is an extraordinary jump. In fact, the margin between the now No. 1- and No. 2-ranked trophies is the largest in Boone and Crockett pronghorn records, which contain more than 3,400 entries.
The outstanding trophy also marks a notable achievement for conservation professionals.
Boone and Crockett records are a gauge of exceptional...