For America, for me, hunting season started yesterday. September first is the opening day of Dove Season here in central Texas. I think that’s a few days earlier than Louisiana; as far as I can tell it’s the first day of dove hunting season anywhere in the country. Dove are the most hunted animal in America, at over twenty million a year harvested. And yet, their populations remain strong. Here in Texas, we kill over 600,000 White Wing Dove a year. For much of the state, opening day of Dove Season is a family and friends affair not to be missed. Unlike deer hunting . . .
Douglas Causey [above] is a professor of biological sciences at the University of Alaska at Anchorage. Causey’s area of interest: how seabirds are adapting to global warming. He does his research with two tools not often seen in the hallowed halls of academe: a hunting license and a shotgun. NPR has the story . . .
March 11, 2014: the U.S. Patent Office approves a patent for the Advanced Combat Sighting System, or ACSS. This novel reticle design combines near-instant, intuitive ranging of human targets out to 800 yards with built-in bullet drop, windage, and running target compensation markings. A full review of Primary Arms’ 1-6X ACSS is forthcoming. But, for those looking to range and engage targets a little less grave than enemy combatants, today we’re checking out a version of the ACSS reticle designed for ranging clay pigeons, cans, and bottles out to 200 yards. It’s built into the Primary Arms 6X 22LR scope. . .
By Russ Lumpkin via Sporting Classics Daily
The tracks of whitetails, turkeys, and feral pigs crisscrossed and piled on each other, captured in the temporary cement of red clay that had not received rain in weeks. Mike and I had hunted turkeys that morning but entered the swamp road toting slug guns and looking for swine. A small pine stood to the left of the road, and a portion of the tree’s bark had been eroded away. The invasive beasts used it as a scratching post . . .
By Ron Spomer via Sporting Classics Daily
They’re black, homely, half-plastic, and cheap. God bless ’em. Call them abominations, insults to American gun-making, or Cheap-Mart specials, but appreciate them because today’s starter bolt-action rifles are an important component in protecting wildlife and maintaining our rights to hunt and shoot . . .
I am a hunter. I don’t apologize for that. I eat meat. I love to eat meat. And I love to hunt. I also love to shoot guns. So I found a sport that allows me to shoot my own food. That said, I hunt for food in various ways. From picking chanterelle and morel mushrooms, to fishing for fresh salmon, to upland bird hunting, to local mule deer and elk, bear and cougar, to the more far flung critters in Southern Africa, and Alaska. To those of you who abhor, dislike, absolutely hate hunting and hunters, take a moment and read a perspective you don’t understand, dislike or hate…maybe you will understand us a little better . . .
TTAG is a fan of Sporting Classics Daily. While we work on establishing a content sharing agreement, we thought we’d post a link to their most excellent blog post, Newspaper Publishes Map of Walter Palmer’s Property. You may remember Dr. Palmer as the dentist who shot the anthropomorphized animal known as Cecil the Lion (with an arrow, but still). SCD’s post highlights the Minnesota Star Tribune’s front page story that identifies the exact location of Dr. Palmer’s hunting ranch, enabling the hunt haters calling for Dr. Palmer’s head. Here’s SCD’s comment on the story . . .
Checking out The unique ecology of human predators at sciencemag.org, TTAG reader WS stumbled across a scientific truism to tantalize deer hunters: “In natural predator pray situations, predators target the young and old of the prey species they’re hunting.” The study’s co-author Tom Reimchen points out the problem with human hunting patterns: “Whereas predators primarily target the juveniles or ‘reproductive interest’ of populations, humans draw down the ‘reproductive capital’ by exploiting adult prey.” WS explains the implications in non-scientific terms . . .
And there I was thinking that hazing was reserved to college students willing to pick up an olive with their butt cheeks. Apparently, it’s something residents of Minnesota’s fourth largest city need to know, coyote-wise. “Bloomington residents have been warned of a possible serial pet killer at large,” startribune.com reports. “The suspect: a coyote not afraid to hop fences or snatch small dogs a mere few feet from owners who watch helplessly as their pets are carried away. Because of the city’s proximity to the Minnesota River Valley, coyote sightings aren’t uncommon in Bloomington, Deputy Police Chief Mike Hartley said. But after attacks on six dogs — five of them fatal — in southwest Bloomington since July 28, police alerted residents on Friday.” So, shoot the bastard/bitch? Uh . . .
There are few things in this world cooler than night vision optics, and next to a Batman-style grappling hook I can’t think of many gadgets I’ve wanted more since I was a little kid. Unfortunately, decent night vision of any sort and certainly night vision rifle scopes have always been prohibitively expensive. Cue the ATN X-Sights, a pair of digital scopes made for day- and nighttime shooting that pack in a ton of technology at a street price starting as low as ~$481 shipped. . .
It’s always nice to see the weapon in action that our Jon Wayne Taylor calls “the most perfect thing ever invented by man”: the Browning .50 caliber machine gun. This is not that gun! As our more ballistically informed readers have pointed out it’s a Russian .51 caliber DShK. Still the question remains: funny or die? I reckon elephants are one of the most magnificent creatures on planet Earth. But this is not one of those “you got peanut butter in my chocolate” moments. Don’t get me wrong . . .
Hunting in Africa is big business. The African countries depend on hunters, willing to pay extravagant tag fees to the government and spend many thousands of dollars in the local economy, to fund their conservation efforts that preserve and protect these beautiful animals from poachers and extinction. Earlier this week Delta, United, and American Airlines all announced that they will no longer allow the shipment of hunting trophies on their flights. While the reaction from Americans was one of support, the African governments who actually understand the situation are saying that this PR stunt might be single-handedly responsible for eliminating any remaining conservation efforts for these animals.