For many, the decision came as no surprise, given the historic (and often questionable) legislative decisions and ballot reforms that have plagued "the Sunshine State" for decades. Equally important to note - the recent passage of a ban on trapping is just the first in a line of restrictive animal-use legislation. What does it mean for the citizens of California?
What does the fox say? It depends on which of the 45 subspecies of red fox you ask! As it turns out, an original or “native” red fox subspecies did inhabit montane and glacial areas of North America prior to European settlement; it just wasn’t indigenous to where early settlers were colonizing in the eastern United States.
New writings published in the Science Journal urge governments and policymakers to take account of these findings in the face of high-profile emotionally-driven campaigns that call for bans on the regulated hunting of abundant species.
With the official removal of regulated trapping from California’s landscape, concern over wanton waste of wildlife is now a full reality; with viable usage of a fur-bearing animal’s remains no longer permitted.
While the regulated hunting and harvest of abundant black bear populations relies on conservation-minded modes to administer a selective seasonal hunt, nuisance black bears desperate for a meal or causing public safety issues are dealt with when the damage takes place - regardless of time of year or the scientific merits of removing such individuals from the landscape.
A few years ago I was asked how I thought we could get more people interested in conserving land and water, and my answer was simple. Teach them to hunt, fish, and trap. Give people an activity which intimately connects them to these resources, and then give them a place to do it.
The knee-jerk cliché “they were here first” argument may very well be a valid one, but it detracts from the core issue; how do we continue to live among what has become, for lack of a better term, an evolutionary unprecedented apex predator?
For over a decade, conservationists in Maine have anxiously referenced low deer populations in the Maine Northwoods. According to local hunters, the troubled deer herd appears to be on a slow, but gradual rebound.
An animal rights group in New Hampshire has petitioned the state’s Fish and Game Department over regulations for the hunting of coyotes in the state. The petition comes just a month and a half after the state’s legislators rejected a House Bill seeking to restrict coyote hunting in the state.
To date, Staten Island has invested $4.1 million into their sterilization project, according to reports released Friday. The city hired wildlife contractors White Buffalo to carry out the project in 2016. It would be the world’s first attempt to curb deer by sterilizing only males, according to media reports. The borough’s herd reached approximately 2,053 individuals in 2017 which amounted to an 8,454% increase in less than a decade.
Despite a looming state-wide trapping ban, millions in funding continue to be thrown at a growing nutria invasion. In a year’s time, California’s “nutria eradication task force” has set up 487 camera stations, conducted 1,600 camera checks and administered 995 trap sets. Farmers in San Joaquin Valley have donated five tons of sweet potatoes to be used as nutria bait, according to media reports.
While the rise in elephant populations across Botswana should be prized as the epitome of a conservation success story, the country finds itself being criticized by the same ideology plaguing wildlife management efforts in North America.
Yet another state has been the lucky recipient of the “traveling bobcat circus” that seems to be making its North American Tour. “Cat fights” over bobcat hunting have recently bubbled to the surface in New Hampshire, Vermont, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana - just to name a few. It now appears we’re on the “West Coast leg” of the show - with California and Colorado facing demands for restrictions from similar players.
As Spring brings “new beginnings” for the beavers, it also inevitably brings new beginnings for mankind - in the form of heightened complaint calls for roaming beavers who’ve now inconveniently “set up shop” in the wrong parts of civilization.
Word on the street says that hunting is on a national downward trend. That “word” clearly hasn’t reached the hillside haunts of New Hampshire, as thousands of Granite State hunters and trappers still take to the woods each spring and fall to take part in the outdoor pastimes that have been integral to rural New England life.
We’ve followed the works of Katie Ball’s Silver Cedar Studio for some time now - but we never knew the whole backstory. Thanks to a video short by Shaw Spotlight, we have some deeper insight into Katie’s business, heritage, and her proud sustainable use of Canada’s natural resources.
The Fur Institute of Canada announced updates to their list of certified traps this week. The list of approved traps was updated by the Trap Research and Development Committee (TRDC). To meet the needed requirements for AIHTS trap certification, trap manufacturers must test any trapping device they intend to market for use in Canada. This includes mechanically powered, trigger activated lethal devices, as well as live capture foot-hold and cage traps.
Fur-trim coats, new recruits in the hunting community, and the coyote’s adaptability to urban existence have led to increased interest in the country’s most resilient wild canid. The trapping community heard undertones of coyote fur being in demand early on this season, but it wasn’t until the past few months that the mainstream media really started to catch on.
Trappers are known to be a resourceful bunch - making good use of pretty much anything lying around. Occasionally, that includes what’s found while cruising the local roadways! Picking up car-struck critters, a term I’ve dubbed “roadkill salvage”, can have its benefits. It’s not just for trappers and fur handlers either…
The reality is that decisions on the direction of regulated hunting activities are being increasingly dominated by those with a hands-off approach to conservation. Luckily, we have national organizations like the Sportsmen’s Alliance here to help.
A newly released study in the American Midland Naturalist focuses on the recent discovery of leucism traits found in a traveling male fisher, captured on a trail camera image from Price County, Wisconsin in 2017. The report states its the first scientifically documented case of leucism in pekania pennanti. Although, as we found out, its clearly not the first documented case on the World Wide Web!
Here at Furbearer Conservation headquarters, we tend to discuss the politics, legislation, scientific study and other aspects that surround these outdoor pursuits. While this is all good and well, I must admit we haven’t done our due diligence explaining how YOU can help. So here goes our Top Ten Ways you can protect (and promote) the future of hunting and trapping.
Take a look at recent headlines across the country. In the wake of a reported “decline” in hunting and trapping activities, one need not wait long to catch a report of nuisance wildlife issues, disease outbreaks, or worse yet - attacks on people. Hey, maybe it’s all just a conspiracy put out by the “fur industry”. Or maybe it’s time critics of trapping start reformulating their arguments.
Today, most of our human society "hunts" in the frozen food aisle rather than the woods. The food comes to us, instead of us "killing" the food. Personally, "killed by mine own hand" trumps "USDA choice".
The NH Fish and Game Commission has presented Furbearer Conservation creator Jeff Traynor with the 2017 Communication Award of Excellence!
Science seeks to inform and comprehend understanding. It’s a concept that is independent, and asserts the chips will fall where they may. Pseudoscience, by contrast, seeks to scrounge for little bits and pieces of data to correlate and reinforce an agenda, then herald a perceived discovery whether the pieces of the puzzle actually fit together or not.
When it comes to trapping, everyone has an opinion about the "best" bait to use. I dig into the "Great Debate" with a little help from a recent scientific study from The Wildlife Society.
Beavers, muskrats, and new friends: An update on my 2016 Fall trapping season.
There was a time in history when the fur trapper was highly regarded in North America's wild woods. While I don't feel the modern trapper has lost his/her place in the great outdoor landscape, I have asked myself over and over again; where do we stand in the hierarchy of modern conservation?
Sportsmen and women of all stripes must stand together in an ever changing public demographic.