Oklahoma Weekly Hunting News 11/17

OKC weekend hunting news:

The most popular of all the Okla. hunting seasons in the state, the 16-day
Deer gun season, opens Saturday statewide.
A state big game biologist states “It is like Thanksgiving and football. That
Is what part of fall is, getting out there for a deer hunt with a rifle.”
If past history is any indication, more than 150,000 hunters will be
In the woods Saturday for the deer gun season opener.
Not only is deer hunting an annual tradition for many Okla. Families,
It is also significant to the Okla. economy as gas stations, convenience
Stores, sporting goods outlets and meat processors rely on the money
Spent by deer hunters per year.
One economic study indicates that Okla. deer hunters spend $130
Million annually.
Based on the number of deer taken by hunters during the archery
And muzzleloader seasons, Okla.’s deer harvest is on pace to reach around
100,000 again.
Okla. hunters killed more than 100,000 deer for the first time in 2000
And since then, hunters have reached near that mark or exceeded it
11 times in the past 17 years.
Last year’s grand total was 99,023 and the 13-year average is 103,000.
The Okla. Dept. of Wildlife Conservation has been pushing the importance
Of letting young bucks walk to increase the opportunities for a trophy
Deer in the future.
More Oklahoma hunters are now willing to practice what deer biologists
Have been saying.
A/w the Wildlife Dept.’s research, 65% of the deer killed by Okla. hunters
In 1985 were yearlings and over the years that no. has dramatically
Yearlings represented 46% of the deer harvest in 2000 and just 23% in
2010. Last year, only 17% of the deer killed were yearlings and last season
The majority of bucks harvested were 2.5 and 3.5 years old.
10 percent of bucks harvested last season were 6.5 years old and in 2010
Bucks that old only represented 3% of the harvest. In 2000, 6.5 year old
Bucks represented just 1% of the harvest.
A spokesman for the Wildlife Dept. states that “It is really a testament
To our hunters. They are actually the deer managers. They are the
Boots on the ground and making a decision every single time they pull
That trigger or choose not to pull that trigger.”


Sales of pink hunting clothing not blazing in Wisconsin


RICHFIELD – Blaze pink, authorized in 2016 as a legal hunting color in Wisconsin’s gun deer seasons, has failed to make a splash among hunters, according to several retailers in the state.

In fact, Cabela’s in Richfield, one of the state’s largest outdoors stores, didn’t even offer blaze pink hunting coats this season after stocking a limited amount in 2016.

Corporate officials did not return calls seeking comment on the decision.

A few blaze pink coats were available at Sherper’s in Hales Corners, but demand has been soft for the products, said vice president Nate Scherper.

“We haven’t had a huge response to it,” Scherper said. “We’ve really had very few people looking to buy it.”

Scherper said his store had about 95% blaze orange and 5% blaze pink items in stock.

“Most of our female customers prefer the orange over the pink,” Scherper said.

The racks at Mills Fleet Farm in Germantown also had less than 10% blaze pink items. But sales there had been “decent,” said assistant manager Tim Geschke.

“There’s been a moderate reception to it,” Geschke said. “The vast majority of our sales are still blaze orange, however.”

At Dick’s Sporting Goods in Brookfield, blaze pink was selling less than blaze orange, but it “was moving,” said sales associate Joe Schroeder.

When Gov. Scott Walker signed Assembly Bill 291 into law in February 2016, Wisconsin became the first state in the nation to allow blaze pink for deer hunting.

The law elicited a wide range of responses. Proponents of the bipartisan legislation hoped it would help recruit hunters by offering more options.

Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc), who introduced the bill with Rep. Nick Milroy (D-South Range), proudly brandished pink clothing as he talked up the legislation.

“We have no illusions about women flocking to hunting because of blaze pink being allowed,” said Kleefisch at a 2015 hearing for the bill. “We’d like to provide more choice to all.”

The bill obtained 38 co-sponsors in the Assembly.

But many hunters, including women, considered it a joke or worse.

“I think it’s really misguided,” said Sarah Ingle of Genesee, president of the Women’s Hunting and Sporting Association and a hunter for about 25 years. “Among the group of women I hunt with, we find it insulting and demeaning.”

Geschke, the Fleet Farm assistant manager, said the pink appeared to be more of a “fad” and appealed more to the “trend conscious.”

So far, it hasn’t been sufficient to produce strong demand for blaze pink, Scherper said.

Parents chime in on decision eliminating state’s minimum hunting age

WISCONSIN The State Assembly passes a bill eliminating Wisconsin’s minimum hunting age.

“I think we’re losing sight of why the original law was put into place, it was put into place to protect children,” said Joe Slattery, a concerned parent.

Slattery opposes the measure. Right now the minimum age to buy a gun-hunt license is 12 years old, but children as young as 10 can be part of a mentored hunt.

This bill removes the minimum age from the mentored hunt program and eliminates the requirement of only one weapon between hunter and mentor.

Jordan Schuld is an avid hunter with five kids. He believes parents know their children’s capabilities.

“Each parent knows their own child and knows when they’re ready to go out in the woods, if they’re able to hold the gun weight wise and if they’re responsible enough to handle it,” Schuld said.

Schuld doesn’t agree with the entire proposal, he still favors a mentor hunt having only one gun.

“I just don’t think that there should be two weapons between the parent and the child, I think a mentor hunt is a mentor hunt, and if you have two weapons it’s not a mentor hunt anymore, two people are hunting,” said Schuld.

According to the Michigan DNR, studies show if children do not have an interest in an activity before the age of 10, it is unlikely that they will continue that activity later in life.

“As a parent, I would like my child to have the same interests as mine, but if they don’t– they’re their own individual,” said Slattery.

Slattery says this legislation would lead to more hunting accidents, like the one that took the life of his son.

“You can get them involved at six, by taking them hunting with you, that’s perfectly legal right now, you just don’t have to put a gun in their hands, my son was killed at the hands of another 13-year-old,” said Slattery.

“If one my kids seem ready and they’re under 10, I’ll absolutely take them hunting, if not, I’ll wait,” said Schuld.

The State Senate is expected to vote on the measure next week, if passed there it would head to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

UPDATE: Wis. Assembly eliminates minimum hunting age


MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Assembly has passed a bill that would eliminate Wisconsin’s minimum hunting age.

The Assembly passed the Republican measure 57-32 on Thursday, sending the bill to the Senate despite complaints from Democrats that the move would put both children and other hunters in danger.

Right now someone must be at least 12 years old to purchase a license or hunt with a gun unless they’re participating in a mentored hunt. Children as young as 10 can hunt under that program.

The Republican bill would allow anyone of any age to participate in a mentored hunt, effectively letting anyone of any age hunt. The measure also would do away with the requirement that a hunter and mentor have only one weapon between them.

The bill goes next to the state Senate.

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) — There may soon be more young hunters out in the woods in the state of Wisconsin.

The State Assembly is considering a bill letting hunters of any age participate in a mentored hunt.

Right now hunters must be at least 12 years old to purchase a license or hunt with a gun while 10 year olds are allowed to hunt only if they’re participating in a mentored hunt.

“As far as carrying a gun, older is better,” remarked manager of General Coin and Gun Luke Weyers.
Republicans chair of the 3rd congressional district Brian Westrate says the bill will allow parents to determine when their children are able to handle the responsibility of hunting.

Westrate said, “This notion that we have to have the state determine for the parents when their kids are both physically and mentally capable of becoming a hunter just doesn’t make any sense to me.”

However Eau Claire Democratic Party Chair Beverly Wickstrom argues the current regulations are there to protect children and other hunters.

Wickstrom said, “People don’t understand the gravity of life and death until a much older age and that’s the reason you’ve got a mentor with someone who is age 10 right now because it’s so important to keep everyone safe.”

The measure would also wipe out the requirement that only allows one weapon between a hunter and mentor which Wickstrom says could be hazardous and even fatal.

But, Westrate says the law will actually give parents opportunities to begin educating their children on gun safety earlier which could in turn prevent tragic accidents.

“The more kids that understand how guns work, understand how to safely handle them, how to safely check them to make sure they’re unloaded, then the less likely an accident is going to happen when that same gun is sitting on the table at home,” he said.

Westrate does say responsible parents are needed to ensure their kids become responsible hunters and that guns should never be left unlocked and unattended.

The Only Way To Stop The Decline Of Hunting


Hunting is in decline. We’ve all seen and heard the depressing numbers. Many of us have given talks and written articles espousing the benefits of the outdoor lifestyle and encouraging the next generation to seek adventures that can only be experienced afield. We scream from the rafters, “Hunters are the real conservationists!!” While our messages are true, they’re falling on deaf ears. Our increasingly urbanized society moves on about their busy lives disconnected from the world we live in.

There are many reasons for society’s indifference. Demographics have changed; access has changed; economic reasoning has changed; policies and laws have changed. But most impactful to all of this is the emotionally charged and well-orchestrated attack on our hunting culture and traditions by animal rights organizations.

While we have all been preaching to the congregation and spending our time building better habitat for the wild lands we love, groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) have been vilifying the language of hunting, giving names to beasts, working hard to give a human voice and human rights to deer, antelope and bears. They have convinced segments of society that “survival of the fittest” no longer exists in the wild. Rhetorically, they’ve begun to turn the order of life upside down. Make no mistake, all forms of hunting are in their crosshairs—it is not just lions, elephants and bears; it is pheasants and ducks, deer, elk and turkey … everything.

Make no mistake, all forms of hunting are in their crosshairs—it is not just lions, elephants and bears; it is pheasants and ducks, deer, elk and turkey … everything.

We can no longer afford to spend the majority of our time focusing on our individual corners of the hunting community. We’re all doing great work, but we’re spending too much time focused on the “trees.” Meanwhile groups like PETA, HSUS and plenty more are focused on eliminating the entire “forest.” They’re united, taking us on with well-coordinated and well-funded campaigns with a message that all hunting is evil and corrupt.

This battle will be won or lost on emotion, played out in the court of public opinion. Right now, we’ve lost ground in this battle because we’re not even in the courtroom. While we passionately debate positions on hunting practices amongst ourselves, the anti-hunting community closes in on eliminating our lifestyle.

Now is the time for us to come together as one community of hunters. We all need to exchange ideas and find common ground on messaging, strategy and tactics. We must work as peers, utilizing our individual organizations’ strengths and circles of influence to present ourselves to society in a positive manner.

But most importantly, we must all be on the same page, and move forward with solidarity.

Why is this important to an NRA member? There is an old saying: A right not exercised is a right that ceases to exist. Hunting is a primary way many Americans use their firearms. It is our Second Amendment right to own firearms that guarantees our freedom to hunt. Unlike any other nation in the world, we have this freedom because our Second Amendment right guarantees the personal ownership and use of firearms. Every freedom-loving gun owner needs to become a voice for the American hunter.

As Ronald Reagan famously encouraged, “There is no limit to the amount of good you [we] can do if we don’t care who gets the credit.” Partnering with other organizations such as the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Safari Club International, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, Dallas Safari Club, Shikar, the Boone and Crockett Club and many more, the NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum stands ready to serve as a unifying voice for the hunting community. Along with NRA’s American Hunter, the NRA HLF promotes the active, adventure-filled lifestyle of hunting and, most critically, defends our freedom to hunt. Educate yourself with great resources found at nratv.com and nrahunting.com.

NRA First Vice President Richard Childress and I will travel the country over the next year to speak to various pro-hunting organizations, to galvanize support for our cause. I look forward to encouraging everyone to visit our websites and become informed on these issues.

It is increasingly critical for individuals, leaders and organizations in the hunting community to come together on this issue. All of us together present a very powerful voice for the hunting community. Every freedom-loving gun owner needs to become a voice for the American hunter.

Trump Jr. heads to Iowa for hunting weekend and campaign fundraiser with Rep. King



Donald Trump Jr. is the guest of honor at Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King‘s annual two-day Col. Bud Day Pheasant Hunt, which began Saturday.

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The hunt takes place at the Hole ‘N the Wall Lodge in Akron, Iowa and includes a campaign fundraiser for King, so having the president’s eldest son in attendance is undoubtedly a get.

“If Donald Trump Jr. defends 2nd Amendment as well as he shoots, we have nothing to worry about,” King tweeted Saturday, along with a photo of himself and Trump Jr. at the Hole ‘N the Wall Lodge.

According to the Des Moines Register, Trump Jr. didn’t bring his own gun because he flew to Iowa on a commercial flight, so he hunted with a loaned 12-gauge semi-automatic model.

The newspaper reported that Trump Jr. shot at least four pheasants and was joined by about 30 other hunters. “He is a very, very good shot,” King said. “It was a beautiful, clear day in Iowa, and the sky was so full of feathers that one could be convinced that the angels were having pillow fights.”

While King spoke to reporters on Saturday, Trump Jr. did not. But, that wasn’t the case with Trump’s hunting buddies.

“We sat up there for an hour and a half — maybe longer than that — and Don Jr. just held court. It was a lot of fun,” King told Sioux City, Iowa, ABC affiliate KCAU.

About a hundred guests turned up for the Saturday night pork chop and deep-fried pheasant dinner at the lodge.

“Tonight we’re going to have Iowa chops — these are special Iowa chops that are injected with the mysterious formula that comes out of the Remsen locker — they’re the best chops in the world and I’m already starting to drool,” King told KCAU. “And we’ll have a big batch of Iowa sweet corn, every kernel cut off with love in the kitchen by Marilyn or me.”

Women hunter numbers in Wyoming increase as male participate drops slightly


Lily Lonneker dropped her first pronghorn at 12 years old.

She rested in the grass next to her mom as they watched a a doe and a buck. And in one shot, Lily killed the doe.

“I felt really proud of myself. I didn’t know I could do that since it was my first one,” Lily said recently. “It is fun when you get an animal to know you’re feeding your family, and you know the animal died in a humane way.”

Now 14, Lily plans to chase a bull elk this year outside Jackson.

In a sport historically dominated by men, who pass their skills along to sons, stories like Lily’s are becoming ever more common.

Between 2008 and 2016, female resident hunters went from 11,189 to 14,770. Male resident hunters during the same period dropped ever so slightly from 64,649 to 64,371, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

“Wyoming is one of the states where we’re not losing resident hunters,” said Kathryn Boswell, hunter and angler participation coordinator for the department. “Our numbers are going up, and it’s because women are increasing, and they’re making up the difference.”

Boswell, who is also a founding member of the Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt, doesn’t have hard data explaining the increase in women hunters. But she has a few theories from what she’s heard from other women.

“It’s something they can do with their families. They want to put organic meat on the table,” she said. “And there’s a camaraderie that comes with it.”

University of Wyoming student Lexi Daugherty agrees. She’s been hunting with her father most of her life and shot a pronghorn in 2015 at the Women’s Antelope Hunt.

The 18-year-old believes improving access to hunting will also help create more conservationists. She spent the last two years working with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Game and Fish to secure a 20-acre piece of ground near Jackson that opens access to almost 17,000 acres of public land.

“Now it will be there forever, for young girls like me to go hunting on it,” she said. “And it’s something that’s really special to me.”

Hunting also teaches her skills to stay safe in the woods and find food for herself.

Casper teen Krysten Cutler started hunting and fishing with her grandfather, Dale Leatham, who has taken her across Wyoming and the world to chase wildlife.

The two went on a safari to Africa in June with other family members. The 12-year-old shot four African animals including a zebra and impala.

“Why not encourage young ladies to go hunting and fishing?” Leatham said. “It’s something you can do the rest of your life. And it doesn’t cost that much. You can always go hunting and fishing.”

For Krysten, hunting means more time with her grandpa.

“He teaches me, and I like doing it because it’s something to get us outdoors,” she said. “It bonds our relationship.”

The meat from her African animals went to local villagers, though she was able to try each species. A deer she shot recently is at the processor.

“People say that men usually only hunt, but clearly that’s not true,” she said. “I was 12 when I shot my first antelope and I know a lot of other girls who shot their first antelope when they were 12, and it should start evolving.”

Lily, the hunter from Jackson, isn’t sure after this year how much more she’ll hunt. She doesn’t have the same passion for the sport as her mom does. But she also believes in it as a way for women to stay self-sufficient.

Her mom, Gloria Courser, knows that whatever path her daughter chooses, she will be able to take care of herself in the woods.

When Courser started dating her husband in 2006, she didn’t have those skills.

“We were on a game trail and about 20 minutes in he looked back at me and said ‘Where’s the truck?’” she said. “I looked like the scarecrow on the Wizard of Oz. It was a truly teachable moment. I was out of my element.”

The next time they went, she knew where the truck was. And this fall, she was a guide for the Women’s Antelope Hunt.

Not every woman will have a passion for hunting, she said.

“It’s like when I moved away from home, I learned to change my oil. I did it one time, and decided I wouldn’t do it ever again if I didn’t have to,” she said. “But trying, learning to do it, learning how to use a firearm, understanding where meat comes from, is important.”

Michigan House approves crane hunting resolution to address overpopulation


[No, the articles’ title doesn’t mean they think enough hunters will shoot themselves or each other in accidents during their newly proposed crane hunt that it will impact the out of control human population in the slightest bit. Unfortunately they meant that hunting canes them might keep their numbers down where humans want them.]

Michigan Rep. Jim Lower calls for Sandhill crane hunting

DETROIT – Michigan Rep. Jim Lower, of Cedar Lake, praised his colleagues in the Michigan House of Representatives for approving his resolution calling for a hunting season to address Sandhill crane overpopulation.

House Resolution 154 encouraged the Michigan Natural Resources Commission to add Sandhill cranes to the game species list and sought approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a hunting season in Michigan.

“I’m hopeful that the Natural Resources Commission will move forward with the idea and create a Sandhill crane hunt,” Lower said. “The establishment of a hunting season will help control the population and limit damage to local farms, where corn and wheat plants serve as a food source for the birds.”

Michigan is home to an increasing population of Sandhill cranes, with an estimated 23,082 reported in Michigan’s 2015 population survey, officials said.

Over the past 10 years, the population has grown an average of 9.4 percent annually, officials said.

While Michigan farmers are allowed to obtain nuisance permits to kill Sandhill cranes causing crop damage on their farms, Lower said the permits do not provide a solution to the overpopulation problem.

Lower said birds killed with nuisance permits are a wasted resource, as their meat cannot be harvested.

Sixteen states currently allow Sandhill crane hunting during certain seasons.

“A number of states already hunt Sandhill cranes, and their population continues to climb, along with reports of crop damage caused by cranes,” Lower said. “Still, hunting is the best tool we have to manage the population as a whole, and it’s time to utilize it in Michigan.”

Donald Trump Jr. to join Steve King for Iowa pheasant hunt

Donald Trump Jr. to join Steve King for Iowa pheasant hunt

Donald Trump Jr. will be in Iowa next month to join U.S. Rep. Steve King for the congressman’s annual pheasant hunt. “Happy to announce @DonaldJTrumpJr will be hunting with us this year at my annual Col. Bud Day Pheasant hunt on opening weekend of Oct. 28th,” King posted to Twitter on Monday. A campaign spokesperson confirmed Trump’s attendance at the event, which marks the start of Iowa’s pheasant season. Trump Jr. is President Donald Trump’s eldest son. He has been a prominent campaign surrogate for his father and took over management of the Trump Organization following his father’s inauguration. Trump Jr. has come under fire after it was revealed he met with a Kremlin-linked attorney during

Alberta not likely to follow through with spear hunt ban until fall 2018

‘The legislation would refer to firearms and archery equipment as the only permitted weapons to be used.’

The Canadian Press Posted: Sep 21, 2017

Alberta does not expect to make good on a promise to ban what it has called the archaic practice of spear-hunting until at least next fall as it considers rule changes that could include prohibiting other methods of taking big game.

The government made the pledge in August 2016 after an online video surfaced showing an American hunter throwing a spear at a black bear in northern Alberta and then cheering to celebrate his kill.

People around the world reacted angrily to the video. Some called the use of a spear barbaric.

Matt Besko, director of wildlife policy for Alberta Environment, said the province is looking at updating regulations that already spell out rules for standard hunting weapons such as firearms and bows, but say nothing about other methods.

“It is not just about spears,” Besko said. “When we looked at our legislation, there are other potential inhumane or unethical methods that could be used.

“The legislation would refer to firearms and archery equipment as the only permitted weapons to be used to harvest game species in Alberta. All other methods would be prohibited.”

Some other non-standard hunting methods include the atlatl, a kind of stick a hunter can use to throw a dart or a short spear at prey.

Using rocks to kill game or running an animal to the point of exhaustion or death could be prohibited under changes.

Besko said Alberta began surveying the public about non-standard hunting methods in 2014.

‘Very small’ segment of hunting community

There was already opposition to the use of spears before the government received a storm of angry letters, emails and social media comments about the 2016 bear video.

“The large majority of respondents to that survey disagreed with the use of those so-called non-standard weapons, including spears,” he said.

“There is a segment of the hunting community — and it is a very small component — that actually use spears and atlatls.”

The government has been getting some pushback.

Earlier this year, the Alberta Fish and Game Association approved a motion that called on the province to maintain legal spear and atlatl hunting.

Martin Sharren, the association’s vice-president, said there aren’t a lot of people who use spears, but the organization is wary of hunting restrictions.

“It is another hunting opportunity that if it gets taken away, it gets taken away,” he said.

Brent Watson, president of the Alberta Bowhunters Association, said his members have different views on spear-hunting and clear rules are needed to ensure that animals are hunted humanely.

Besko said no final decisions have been made and the government could include hunting rule changes as part of a broader update to Alberta’s Wildlife Act.

Draft proposals are to be presented to the government within a year.

“The earliest that a decision could be made would be for the fall of 2018 and that is if all things would align in terms of the external review process.”

Josh Bowmar, the hunter who killed the bear with the spear, was not charged after the province determined that he had legally harvested the animal.