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Friday, December 21, 2012

East-central zone closes to wolf hunting and trapping

Wolf hunting and trapping in the east-central zone will close for the remainder of the late  season at the end of shooting and trapping hours on Friday, Dec. 14, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The northwest and northeast zones remain open through Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, or until a zone’s target harvest is reached. The northeast zone also is approaching its target harvest and may close within the next few days. Permits are not zone-specific, allowing hunters and trappers to hunt or trap in any open zone.

The harvest target for the east-central zone during the late season is 10 wolves. Nine were registered when DNR initiated season closure on Dec. 13.
Hunters and trappers in all zones have registered a total of 114 wolves so far during the late season. The total harvest target for all zones is 253 wolves for the late season.

Wolf hunters and trappers must:

  • Register all wolves by 10 p.m. the day of harvest in order for the DNR to monitor zone-specific harvest levels. Registration is available via telephone, website or in person.
  • Obey zone closures, which become effective the end of legal shooting and trapping hours for the day on which a zone is closed.
  • Take responsibility for tracking season progress and season/zone closure each morning before hunting or trapping by calling 888-706-6367 or checking the DNR wolf hunting page.
  • Season status and harvest targets will be updated in real-time for each zone.
  • Return any radio collars when they bring wolves in for the mandatory wolf inspection and bring an ear tag along so that information on the tag can be examined and recorded.
  • Present the entire skinned wolf and pelt for inspection as outlined in the wolf hunting and trapping regulations so the DNR can collect data on wolves for population monitoring.
Complete wolf hunting information, including a map of the wolf zones, is available online

written by: MDNR

Thursday, December 20, 2012

193 Idaho Wolves Killed Since April 1st

According to a state records request submitted in November, as well as publicly available information on the Idaho Fish and Game’s website, there have been 193 wolves killed since April 1st of this year. The records request response contained information for documented mortality from April 1, 2012 to November 25, 2012. Since then an additional 23 wolves have been reported killed on the IDFG website.

According to the IDFG there have been 123 wolves killed in the hunt (2 were killed in last season’s hunt which lasted until June 30 in some areas), 43 were killed by USDA APHIS Wildlife Services, 13 were killed by trappers, 4 were illegally killed, 3 were killed by unknown causes, 3 were killed in vehicle collisions, 2 were killed by private citizens to protect pets of livestock, 1 died due to natural causes, and 1 was killed due to wounds inflicted by a hunter or trapper who didn’t recover the dead wolf.

Undoubtably the total number of wolves killed is significantly higher than what has been documented because many of the natural deaths and poaching incidents are not detected.

The IDFG also reports that 15 radio collared wolves have been killed since April and that there are 49 remaining collared wolves in Idaho.

By: Ken Cole

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Michigan DNR cuts antlerless permits in areas hit hard by EHD

Most Michigan deer hunters are well aware that epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) has reared its ugly head at historic levels in Michigan this year.

A viral disease that it transmitted by the bite of a fly called a midge, EHD causes deer to die from internal bleeding. It has been found in 30 counties in Michigan this year, mostly in the southern third of the state, though it has been documented in Clare and Osceola counties and is suspected as far north as Presque Isle and Benzie counties. This is the largest, most widespread outbreak of the disease in Michigan history.

First described in Michigan in 1955, EHD wasn’t seen again until 1974 and then not again until after the turn of the century. Since 2006, however, it has occurred at some level every year except 2007.
EHD is widespread across the Midwest this year, something that is thought to have been caused by last winter’s unusually mild weather as well as this year’s drought. The tiny flies (about one-tenth of an inch in length) that carry EHD typically breed in mud flats, and this summer’s drought has expanded areas where midges of the genus Culicoides can reproduce. In most years, those mud flats would be underwater.

“Other states around us – Indiana, Illinois and Ohio – have seen this more frequently, and some of them have it from one end of the state to the other,” explained Brent Rudolph, the deer and elk program leader for the Department of Natural Resources. “In Michigan, it’s been mostly restricted to the southern third of the state, though we’ve had a couple of cases that bounced up above the line.”

Rudolph said that states from South Dakota to Kansas have reported more widespread mortality this year than ever before. Deer with EHD suffer from high fevers and head toward water to seek relief. Their bodies are often found in or near ponds, rivers or creeks.

EHD tends to be highly localized; in some cases the disease causes large die-offs in part of a township while areas just a few miles away show no sign of the disease.

Often referred to by hunters as “blue tongue” – a similar, though different disease – EHD shows up in the herd in the summer months, after regulations have been developed for the upcoming hunting season.
The DNR has no estimate of total EHD mortality, though it has had more than 13,000 dead deer reported.
Rudolph said that EHD has never caused widespread or long-term impacts to deer populations, though local effects can be significant and can last for a few years.

“Until this year, we’ve never seen enough EHD in Michigan to cause population declines at a broad scale, but the southwestern corner of the state – Cass and St. Joseph counties – has had EHD a couple of years in a row, in 2010 and 2011, and now again this year,” he said.

Because of this trend, DNR Director Keith Creagh today signed an emergency order that decreases antlerless license purchase limits for deer management units (DMUs) where the most EHD-related die-offs have occurred. Director Creagh signed the order at the regular monthly meeting of the Natural Resources Commission.

Effective immediately, the purchase limit for DMU 486 is five private land antlerless deer hunting licenses per hunter. Also effective immediately, the public antlerless license purchase limit per hunter is two for each of the following DMUs: 012 (Branch), 034 (Ionia), 039 (Kalamazoo), 041 (Kent), 044 (Lapeer), 076 (Sanilac), 078 (Shiawassee), 079 (Tuscola) and 080 (Van Buren).
Individuals who purchased antlerless licenses prior to this emergency order are not required to return licenses. This order only applies to antlerless licenses purchased on or after Nov. 8, 2012.

“We’re encouraging hunters to use their best judgment,” Rudolph said. “If a hunter is in an area of an outbreak, backing off – or not taking an antlerless deer at all – is an appropriate thing to do.”
From the information that was received from numerous volunteers, a weekly EHD map has been compiled, which may help aid hunters with their harvest decisions. The map and other EHD information including how hunters can report sighting of deer (under Current Issues).

Deer hunters and others interested in deer management in Michigan are invited to join the Department of Natural Resources at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 13, for “DNR Live: Deer” – a one-hour, online forum designed to answer questions from the public about the state’s deer population, hunting seasons, EHD, regulations and other topics. The online forum’s panel of DNR experts will include the Wildlife Division’s deer and elk program leader Brent Rudolph and wildlife veterinarian Steve Schmitt, along with Law Enforcement Division Assistant Chief Dean Molnar.

Written in:  Outdoorsnews

Man Kills 22 point buck

One Georgia hunter is celebrating a likely record kill. Fletcher Culpepper killed a 22 point buck Monday in Worth County, Georgia. The four-year-old deer weighed nearly 250 pounds. Culpepper says he almost didn't go hunting Monday because he just had surgery on his shoulder, but at the last minute he decided to hit the tree stand.

Written by: Jeff Wyatt