For those that love the outdoors, here is some GOOD news, some BAD news, and a solution.
The good news: The vast majority of Americans approve of hunting. A recent study by Responsive Management, an internationally recognized survey research firm, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation revealed the following:
The current approval rating of hunting by adult Americans is the highest it’s been since Responsive Management began monitoring approval rates in 1995. During the past 25 years, overall approval of hunting has steadily grown from 73 percent to 80. During the same time frame, overall disapproval of hunting has declined even more rapidly from 22 percent to only 13.
But the bad news: Participation in hunting and recreational shooting has been generally declining since the 1980s. Hunting license sales produce valuable funding each year for wildlife conservation and habitat restoration, while hunter expenditures generate billions of dollars annually for the national economy and support hundreds of thousands of jobs. [Sport fishing had a similar negative trend until 2017. Now participation is increasing.]
U.S. hunters have dwindled from nearly 17 million in 1980 to just more than 11 million in 2016, according to data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Ninety percent of hunters are male and most are 45 years and older — leading to steeper losses as more participants age out.
Those that love the outdoors have an urgent calling: Become a mentor to the sport you love. The sporting industry and the sporting organizations that love the outdoors are already active in their “R3 Program”: Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation. But the program relies on individual volunteers – You.
Following are a few of the programs available to help you recruit, retain and reactivate hunters and anglers and other “outers”. There are many other mentoring opportunities out there; so get involved and enjoy yourself.
Tennessee Wildlife Federation’s (TWF) Hunting and Fishing Academy provides hands-on instruction in the outdoors to novice hunters and anglers of all ages. The Academy’s trained, lifelong hunters and anglers lead participants through courses in: Understanding species’ habits, ethical hunting practices, field safety, wildlife conservation principles, and more. Parents and family can be full participants, helping to create a new family tradition.
The TWF has several mentored deer hunts planned on Jan. 10-12. Get more information on all they do at www.tnwf.org.
“Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors” is a non-profit program that matches caring adults with a passion for the outdoors with youngsters that want to learn about it. Whether it is fishing, camping, hiking, bird watching, archery, hunting, shooting sports, sailing, or any other traditional outdoor activity, Pass It On works to provide opportunities to learn from mentors willing to share their time. Learn more at www.outdoormentors.org.
“Hunters Connect” is a new YouTube channel and social media platform sponsored by the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA-USA). It is an entertaining and informative destination for all new hunters to further their interests with an abundance of digital media and videos. Go to http://ihea-usa.org.
The “Field To Fork” hunter recruitment program of the Quality Deer Management Association has introduced “Deer Hunting 101”. This is a YouTube series of 17 videos that describes the complete hunting experience, starting with understanding deer behavior, scouting and hunting techniques, hunter ethics, marksmanship, field-dressing, and processing the harvest for food. For more information see www.qdma.com/fieldtofork.
“Let’s Go Hunting” is a hunter recruitment program of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. It uses www.LetsGoHunting.org to encourage experienced hunters and target shooters to mentor youths and adults. From small game and upland birds to big game and waterfowl, hunting offers a priceless bond with the natural world, food for the table and a welcome respite from the world’s daily grind.
“Hunting Buddy Finder” is a website that helps hunters find hunting buddies in their state and other states across the U.S. A one-year subscription is $24, allowing you to post your hunter's profile and view others. www.huntingbuddyfinder.com.
“Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician”. Jeff Cooper has been credited for many gun-related aphorisms such as this. Cooper was a U.S. Marine during World War II, gaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during the Korean War.
Based on his personal and battlefield experiences, Cooper developed the modern techniques of combat handgun shooting. In 1976 he founded the American Pistol Institute (API) and the Gunsite Academy in 1999. He is the author of “Principles of Personal Defense”, and other classic books.
Here are Jeff Cooper’s widely revered Four Cardinal Rules of Gun Safety:
Caution: Gift-giving to hunters and anglers is not easy. They tend to have specific preferences for equipment, and they tend to already have all of their basic equipment. It is best to forgo the surprise gift and get a detailed shopping list from either the recipient or a close fishing/hunting buddy.
Practical gifts for hunters and anglers are available from the TWRA. Starting small, there’s a subscription to the TWRA magazine “Tennessee Wildlife” for just $10 per year ($17/two years and $25/three years). Next, there’s a specialty license plate for $35 above the price of state registration; choose from the bluebird, black bear, wild turkey, and smallmouth bass.
Finally, a gift to be cherished for a lifetime: a Resident Lifetime Hunting/Fishing License. These are real bargains. The prices per age group: Under age 3 is $200; ages 3-6 is $659; ages 7-12 is $988; ages 13-50 is $1,976; ages 51-64 is $1,153; ages 65 – over is $329.
All of these items can be purchased at www.tnwildlife.org or at the mobile app gotwra.org. By phone the contact number is 888-814-8972. A card to acknowledge the gift is available.
Here is an interesting look at firearms ownership and production in the United States. The 2017 Firearms Production Report was recently published by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearms industry trade association. The report compiles the most up-to-date information based on data sourced from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Export Reports (AFMER). Key findings for public release showed:
• The estimated total number of firearms in civilian possession from 1986-2018 is 422.9 million.
• 17,740,000 Modern Sporting Rifles are in private ownership today.
• More than half (54 percent) of all rifles produced in 2017 were modern sporting rifles.
• In 2017 there were 7,901,218 total firearms produced and imported. Of those, 4,411,923 were pistols and revolvers, 2,821,945 were rifles and 667,350 were shotguns.
• An interim 2018 estimate showed a total 7,660,772 total firearms were produced and imported. Of those 4,277,971 were pistols and revolvers, 2,846,757 were rifles and 535,994 were shotguns. Those are interim reports and will be updated as complete information becomes available.
• Firearms ammunition manufacturing accounted for nearly 12,000 employees producing over $4.1 billion in goods shipped in 2017. An estimated 8.1 billion rounds, of all calibers and gauges, were produced in 2018 for the U.S. market.
“These figures show the industry that America has a strong desire to continue to purchase firearms for lawful purposes,” said Joe Bartozzi, President of the NSSF. “The Modern Sporting Rifle continues to be the most popular centerfire rifle sold in America today and is clearly a commonly-owned firearm with more than 17 million in legal private ownership today. The continued popularity of handguns demonstrates a strong interest by Americans to protect themselves and their homes, and to participate in the recreational shooting sports.”
The report also shows that as lawful firearms ownership in America continues to grow, criminal and unintentional misuse of firearms is falling. During the 25-year period covered in this report (1993–2017) the violent crime rate has decreased by 48.6 percent and unintentional firearm-related fatalities have declined by 68 percent.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen's organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.
Now is the time for high school sophomores and juniors to prepare for this exciting – and free – trip to Washington, D.C. The National Youth Education Summit (Y.E.S.) is an opportunity for leadership training and a share of $55,000 in college scholarships, sponsored and paid for by the National Rifle Association. The 2020 Y.E.S. session will be July 13-19 in our Nation’s Capital.
Y.E.S. encourages young adults to become engaged and knowledgeable U.S. citizens by learning about American government, the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, and the importance of being active in civic affairs. Participants will enhance such academic skills as leadership, public speaking and debating. Tours of Arlington National Cemetery and other national monuments are included.
Up to 50 outstanding students will be chosen to attend. Applicants must include a high school transcript, an essay on the Second Amendment, one-page personal statement, and three letters of recommendation. Applications are being accepted now and the filing deadline is Jan. 24, 2020. To apply or for additional information on the 2020 Y.E.S. go to www.friendsofnra.org/yes, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 800-672-3888, ext.1351.
Changing names again? Smith & Wesson handgun fans were startled a couple of years ago when the iconic brand was absorbed into American Outdoor Brands Corp. (AOBC). Of course S&W kept its identity as a leading American firearms manufacturer. Well, the AOBC deck is being shuffled again.
American Outdoor Brands Corp. (NASDAQ Global Select: AOBC) includes firearms and many products for the shooting, hunting, and outdoor enthusiast. In 2020 the company has decided to split into two independent factions. Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. will represent the firearms business (S&W and Thompson/Center Arms) and will remain in S&W’s longtime Springfield, Massachusetts headquarters.
American Outdoor Brands, Inc. will represent the outdoors accessories products, including: Caldwell, Crimson Trace, Wheeler, Tipton, Frankford Arsenal, BOG, Hooyman, Smith & Wesson Accessories, Thompson/Center Arms Accessories, Schrade, Old Timer, Uncle Henry, Imperial, and LaserLyte.
Here is a unique sports banquet not to be missed. The Tennessee Muzzleloading History Banquet will be held on Saturday, Oct. 19 at the Smyrna Event Center in Smyrna.
Some of the attractions: A collection of Tennessee ML rifles; a historical exhibit of ML in Tennessee from 1769; Sergeant Alvin York guns and memorabilia; Civil War reenactments with Whitworth rifles; vintage barrel-making machine demonstration by Rice Barrels; Q&A with national champion ML shooters; Stephen Tucker with his world record Tucker Buck; Knight Rifles and other ML vendors onsite.
The activities go all day from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with reenactments, shoots and fun ($10 activities fee). Evening socializing, viewing the exhibits, cocktails, and then dinner will be 5:00 – 7:30 p.m. Dinner tickets are $30 each and $15 for under 18 years. Pre-register at www.nmlra.org.
Would you believe a shorty 12 ga. 1 ¾-inch shotshell? It is officially here. Federal Cartridge Co. submitted the “12-gauge 1 ¾-inch Smooth Bore Barrel” cartridge and chamber designs to the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute (SAAMI), and it was just approved as an official new cartridge.
“This is big news for our new Shorty Shotshell ammunition,” said Federal’s Shotshell Product Director Rick Stoeckel. “The 12-gauge 1 ¾-inch cartridge has been around for more than a decade, but it was never brought to SAAMI to be considered by its Technical Committee. Once we decided to start manufacturing this load, we immediately submitted it to SAAMI for industry standardization. We’re excited about this approval and we deeply appreciate SAAMI’s support.”
Federal’s new Shorty Shotshells deliver similar full-sized performance without the length of standard shells. Although just 1 ¾-inch long, new Shorty shotshells offer similar patterns, energy and accuracy as full-size counterparts. Now available in 8 shot, 4 buck and rifled slug loads perfect for fun at the range.
“SAAMI’s approval of the cartridge was a crucial step in legitimizing it within the industry,” continued Stoeckel. “Their work creates industry standards for the cartridge, and will hopefully inspire shotgun manufacturers to purposely build pump-action and semi-auto shotguns to specifically run 1 ¾-inch loads.”
SAAMI allows free access to technical data and drawings for accepted cartridge and chamber designs. These are posted within New SAAMI Cartridge & Chamber Designs under their Technical Information section, found at www.saami.org. A direct link to the 12-gauge 1 ¾-inch Smooth Bore Barrel Cartridge .PDF document can be viewed here.
EDITORIAL: Walmart Never Was a Gun Store
By RICHARD MANN, in The Hunting Wire email@example.com
A lot of folks are outraged at Walmart discontinuing the sale of ARs and now certain kinds of ammunition. I guess they feel like this monster corporation has betrayed them, and that we should boycott or punish them for not supporting the Second Amendment. Well, um, we should have never started buying our gun stuff there in the first place. We abandoned real gun stores for convenience, and to save a couple dollars. Gun stores went out of business, and here we are.
I could not care less. In fact, it would not bother me if Walmart stopped selling guns, and gun and hunting related accessories all together.
They’ve never been a real gun/hunting store anyway. Though I’m sure there are exceptions, those behind the counter are, in most cases, not qualified to sell or even handle a gun, and I doubt any of them know the difference between a caliber and a cartridge. And based on my experience; their enthusiasm for customer care almost equals my interest in cat videos.
We’ve seen the death of the local gun shop. With that, we’ve lost places where real and practical knowledge could be dispensed. Walmart has contributed to this near extinction; they retail firearms so cheaply the local guy cannot compete. (Few realize how small profit margins are on guns.) What they fail to deliver is service—service before, during, and most importantly, after the sale. And those conducting the sale do not have the experience to get that feeling when someone is trying to buy a gun with possible bad intentions in mind. (You do realize an FFL dealer can deny a sale to anyone they think might be a danger, don’t you? Local gun shop owners take this seriously.)
And then there’s the knowledge they do not possess to share. Local gun shops are operated by folks who are experienced with, and passionate about, what they do and the things they sell. That passion carries over to the customer. The absence of that passion is like a cancer to the gun and hunting industry. It’s why Walmart could care less about your firearms or hunting interests—they have none of their own. It’s also the reason some gun manufactures are struggling; they hired management types from other industries who lack our passion.
Be mad at Walmart if you like, I could not care less what they sell. When I buy gun stuff I’m going to buy it from a guy who smells like Hoppe’s #9; a guy who was installing a trigger on a rifle that morning; a guy who closed his shop early yesterday to go to the range; a guy who frequently has a shop full of like-minded folks bitching about anti-gunners; a guy who knows what a pre-64 model 70 is; knows who Jeff Cooper was; and who actually gives a damn if I hit what I shoot at, or ever come back in his shop again.
With this help from Walmart the local gun shop can once again be real. With all the new gun owners in our ranks, they’ve never been needed more than right now! You think Walmart is a gun store? Well, bless your heart. You’ve never been in a real gun store, have you?
If you enjoy social media, then you should check out the new Tagboards from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Here you can share your outdoor experiences by using #tnwildlife, #tntrophyroom or #tnboating on your favorite social media site. Whether you prefer Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Vine, or Flickr, by using one of these hashtags, you can share memories with the TWRA, your friends and family. Make sure your posts are public; private posts will not make it to the board. Click here and visit one or all three tagboards.
Calling all new hunters, and still-learning hunters (that’s all of us): Here is a new resource for excellent information to mentor you in your new passion. “Hunters Connect” has a large collection of videos with a wide variety of subjects on every topic an up-and-coming hunter will need to know, from purchasing your first license to tagging your first animal and everything else in between. Hunters Connect has the “How-To, When-To, Where-To, and What-To Do” in hunting methods, techniques and requirements.
Hunters Connect was put online this month by the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA) as the next step after the hunter’s traditional introduction to the sport. The video library grows weekly and you can request new topics of interest to you.
Lastly, Hunters Connect is a valuable asset for the thousands of volunteer hunter ed instructors as they continue to teach and lead and mentor the next generation of hunters. See it all at www.youtube.com/HuntersConnect. Share it on social media.
The fifth Calendar Photo Contest (for the 2020 calendar) for the Tennessee Wildlife Federation has an entry deadline of Aug. 31, 2019. The TWF wants photos that represent the beautiful landscapes, natural resources and wildlife of Tennessee. Tip: It is good to focus on the Tennessee state parks, wildlife management areas and national forests; and, again this year, winter scenes and aquatic species are in short supply. So, if not this year, plan now for next year.
Winning photographers will receive a display copy of their photo, a $20 gift card and TWF apparel; the two top winners will receive gift cards of $200 and $100. Go to https://tnwf.org/photocontest for more details, helpful tips and to enter the contest.
Tennessee Wildlife Federation is one of the largest and oldest organizations in Tennessee dedicated to the conservation of the state’s wildlife and natural resources through stewardship, youth engagement, and conservation policy. TWF sponsors Hunters For the Hungry, Scholastic Clay Target Program, TWF Youth Hunting and Fishing, and other conservation programs. Learn more at https://tnwf.org.
The Tennessee Ammo Tax Stamp has been repealed. The little green ten cent stamp is no longer required for every box of ammunition sold in Tennessee. The Tennessee State Legislature passed the repeal of this so-called “special privilege tax” on April 30 and it went into effect on July 1, 2019.
The revenue from the ammo tax stamp went directly into the Wildlife Resources Fund, which is the general bank account of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The TWRA receives no tax support from the state; its entire operating budget is derived from license sales and some matching federal wildlife funds, plus some other sources such as fines and penalties, advertising sales and this privilege tax on ammo.
One drawback to the end of the ammo tax is a significant reduction in the money the TWRA has to spend on wildlife in Tennessee. For those that love wild animals – game and non-game – and would like to contribute something to help them, simply buy a hunting and fishing license. You don’t have to use it; the benefit has been realized. Check out the “Friend of Wildlife” license package available at GoOutdoorsTennessee.com.
June 6, 1944 – D-Day. The Allied invasion of Europe, codenamed “Operation Overlord”, began 75 years ago at Normandy Beach, France. The assault beach codenames were Omaha, Utah, Gold, Juno, and Sword. The troops of the United States, Great Britain and Canada participated. Allied casualties numbered 209,000, including the deaths of nearly 37,000 ground troops and 16,700 air forces. It turned the tide of World War II.
Have some fun with this great idea from the state’s largest conservation organization. “We want your litter photos!” Litter is not at all a new problem. But, as study after study shows, the problem is far worse than we knew—for us and for wildlife.
With the start of summer, Tennessee Wildlife Federation wants your photographs of litter in our great outdoors to raise awareness about Tennessee’s big litter problem. Whether it’s in the woods, on the lake, along a river, or by the road, send us your snapshots of the cans, bottles and outright trash that harm wildlife and takes away from the beauty of nature. Submit your best of our worst at https://tnwf.org/litter/.
Time running out: The Tennessee Outdoors Youth Summit (TOYS) is set for July 14-19 (Sunday – Friday) for students in high schools across Tennessee, conducted by the TWRA. Students will spend a week in hands-on classes that will teach all kinds of outdoor skills and the importance of the natural resources and their management.
The deadline to apply is Friday, May 17. Activities will take place at the Clyde York 4-H Center in Crossville and lodging will be in modern cabins onsite. The fee for the weeklong experience is $350, lodging, meals and beverages included. Scholarships are available based on financial need. Applications can be downloaded at www.twrf.net/toys/ or go to www.tnwildlife.org and select Upcoming Events. For more information contact Lacey Lane at telephone 615-831-9311 ext.114, or email LLane@twrf.net.
Sports banquets are without a doubt a most enjoyable way to contribute to wildlife conservation. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation chapter banquets are no exception. RMEF has seven chapters in Tennessee and six banquets queued for the remainder of the year (East Tennessee Chapter was in February). Plan to join one of these soirees and enjoy the camaraderie, as well as the raffles, games, live and silent auctions, and the good food.
For quick reference there are banquets set for these Tennessee cities and dates: May 4, Johnson City; May 18, LaFollette; June 1, Chattanooga; July 20, Shelbyville; Aug. 17, Upper Cumberland; Aug. 24, Franklin. For tickets and contact information go to https://www.rmef.org/Events/StateChapterEvents.aspx.
Warning: Some Rossi revolvers may fire when dropped. A settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit claiming that certain Rossi brand revolvers are defective in that they could unintentionally fire when dropped. Rossi is a division of Forjas Taurus, S.A. The presiding court is the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Rossi issued a Warning about these safety concerns in September 2018. The company denies all allegations of wrongdoing and liability alleged in the lawsuit, and the Court has not decided who is right. The parties have agreed to settle.
The "Class Revolvers" means Rossi brand .38 Special and .357 revolver models made between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2017. The Settlement establishes an "Enhanced Warranty" allowing current or future owners to return their Class Revolvers for inspection, repair if necessary, certification, and cleaning, all free of charge (including shipping, labor, and parts). Additionally, each claimant will receive a $50 cash "Inconvenience Payment." The settlement does not include claims for personal injury.
The deadline to participate in this action is July 15, 2019.For detailed information including the full notice, the Settlement agreement, and claim forms information, visit www.RossiRevolverSettlement.com or call 888-724-0242.
Public comments requested now: E15 (15 percent ethanol) fuels can severely damage your boat’s engine and fuel lines, and it is about to get even easier to misfuel your boat. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving toward permitting the sale of (E15) during the summer ozone season (June 1 to September 15). Currently available only in the colder months, the E15 summertime ban was implemented years ago to address concerns over its contribution to ground level air pollution (ozone and smog) on hot days.
The problem begins with a serious flaw in the Renewable Fuel Standard. The RFS is the 2005 federal law that mandates the blending of biofuels such as corn-ethanol into our gasoline. This is where our now-common regular gasoline with 10 percent ethanol blended in (E10) came from. Now E15 is scheduled to replace E10. The trouble is that all marine engines, motorcycles, ATV, small engines (lawnmowers, chain saws, etc.), and older automobiles might tolerate E10, but they are damaged by E15. And manufacturer’s warrantees are often voided by use of E15.
When the RFS was written, it was assumed that America's use of gasoline would continue to rise. However, U.S. gasoline usage has actually dropped steadily since 2005 and now the RFS law forces more corn ethanol into fewer gallons of gasoline. What’s more, RFS dictates a reduction in the production of non-blended gasoline (E0), the fuel that all of the above engines were designed to use.
The nation’s largest boating advocacy, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), wants EPA to immediately halt any expansion of E15 fuel availability and is asking recreational boaters to speak up now to stop the summertime sale of E15. It offers an easy way contact the EPA by going to http://bit.ly/2UyyMFV . Go to www.BoatUS.com/gov/rfs.asp for more information on the Renewable Fuel Standard. Among other useful information this site has a helpful chart that names the older automobiles at risk.
The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is also concerned with the EPA’s proposed increase of E15 fuels. It offers the following link to submit original comments to the EPA: www.votervoice.net/NMMA/Campaigns/64343/Respond. The NMMA strongly encourages filers to personalize the beginning and end of the pre-populated message in “Boating United”. EPA will not count identical comments.
It is the largest hunting, shooting and outdoors sport show in the country, and this year it is within driving distance of Tennessee (280 miles north of Nashville). The National Rifle Association’s 148th Annual Meeting and Exhibits is in Indianapolis, Ind. on April 26-28. At least 80,000 outdoors enthusiasts, hunters and shooters will descend upon the Indiana Convention Center.
You do not have to be a NRA member to appreciate the three-day Guns, Gear and Outfitters Show: More than 800 exhibitors on 15 acres representing major manufacturers of firearms and sporting goods. Admission is free to members, uniformed military, law enforcement personnel, and organized youth groups.
Additionally, there is fun for the whole family with an air gun range, seminars on hunting and firearms, country music, and other entertainment. The Saturday Night Concert features Alan Jackson and William Michael Morgan. Go to www.nraam.org for more information.
The 10th annual Tennessee Outdoors Youth Summit (TOYS) is set for July 14-19 for students in high schools across Tennessee, conducted by the TWRA. Students will spend a week in hands-on classes that will teach outdoor skills and the importance of the natural resources and their management. Instructors will be wildlife and fisheries biologists, wildlife officers, college professors, professional shooting coaches, and other experts.
TOYS students will be introduced to many different outdoor activities including: Boating, hunting, trapping, fishing, archery, ATV safety, turkey calling, antler scoring, wilderness survival, photography, marksmanship, plant identification, forestry, camping, water quality, trap shooting, skeet shooting, wildlife identification, and several classes focusing on wildlife and fishery biology.
Activities will take place at the Clyde York 4-H Center near Crossville and lodging will be in modern cabins onsite. The fee for the weeklong experience is $350 with lodging, meals and beverages included.
TOYS enrollment deadline is May 17, but apply early; space is limited to 120 students and it fills up quickly. Scholarships are available based on financial need. Applications can be downloaded at www.twrf.net/toys/ or go to www.tnwildlife.org and select Upcoming Events. For more information contact Lacey Lane at telephone 615-831-9311 ext.114, or email LLane@twrf.net.
A “Becoming an Outdoors Woman” (BOW) event is set for May 31 – June 2 near Crossville at the Clyde M. York 4-H Center. These weekend workshops are an ideal way for women age 18 and older to learn or improve their outdoor recreation skills.
This year the following workshops will be offered: Firearms and firearms safety, basic fishing skills, advanced fishing techniques, all-terrain vehicle operation, basic archery, boating safety education, outdoor cooking, wild edible foray, beginning fly fishing, nature photography basics, basic canoeing, paddle boarding, basic shotgun, backyard habitat, map/compass, introductions to muzzleloading, turkey hunting and deer hunting, reading the woods, discover scuba, and stream ecology.
The fee of $225 includes two nights lodging, meals, event t-shirt, and a 2019-20 Tennessee hunting and fishing license. Social gatherings are planned for Friday and Saturday evenings. BOW weekends are popular so apply early.
Applications may be obtained from the TWRA website www.tnwildlife.org, or any TWRA regional office. For more information contact Donald Hosse, Wildlife Education Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 615-781-6541.
The big wildlife conservation payoff from the 2019 Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Funds is $1.04 billion, nearly matching the 2018 figure of $1.10 billion. Hunters and anglers contribute this money for wildlife through the 11 percent excise tax on sporting goods (Pittman-Robertson Act), plus approximately 10 percent on fishing and boating equipment (Dingell-Johnson Act). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service annually distributes the revenues to all the states proportionally by their land mass and their license sales.
Tennessee’s share of the 2019 Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson funds will be $26,245,289. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is in charge of apportioning it. This year marks $21 billion total contributions to the Fund by hunters and anglers nationwide. The recipient state wildlife agencies have matched these funds with approximately $7.3 billion throughout the years, primarily through hunting and fishing license revenues.
There is a hunting season about to begin that is off the radar: Tick season has arrived. Millions of the suckers are hatching now. By the end of May most will have been eaten by birds, but plenty of ticks stay around until the first frost.
Since they can’t fly or jump, ticks brush onto victims from grass, bushes or trees. For protection when outdoors use insect repellents and wear long pants and shirtsleeves. After being outdoors, inspect your whole body well, especially major crevices. It takes several hours for a tick to attach.
If bitten don’t try to smother or burn the sucker. Those techniques don’t work and they risk added injury to your skin. Firmly grasp the tick (tweezers are best) and gently pull for a long time (two or three minutes) until it has a chance to let go. Afterwards clean the bite with an antiseptic. Finally, save the corpus delicti in a plastic baggy or a piece of cellophane tape for future reference in case a serious infection ensues (The Lyme disease’s “red bulls-eye” can take more than two weeks to appear).
Here is another tick removal that I can’t wait to try. Moisten a cotton ball and rub in some hand soap until it is very soapy. Place it over the attached tick and rub it gently in a counterclockwise direction (It won’t work clockwise). In a few minutes the tick will release and back out. And for you wiseacres out there that dare to challenge the counterclockwise tenet, it’s your tick.
For more vitally important health information on ticks, go to Babe Winkelman’s Tick-Borne Illness Information Center here.
Whitetails Unlimited will introduce more than 13,000 youngsters to archery this year through the Kids On Target program, with the help of Realtree as a title sponsor. The program consists of kits that are given to youth through a willing mentor. Mentors can be anyone including a parent, a hunter safety instructor, or an archery coach. The kits consist of two paper targets, the 10 commandments of archery safety, a certificate of achievement, and a medal. A letter to the mentor is also included explaining what the youth needs to accomplish in order to earn the certificate of achievement and medal.
“This is a very quick and easy way to introduce a kid to the world of archery,” says Whitetails Unlimited Program Services Director Russ Austad. “As a mentor you don’t need to be certified or even proficient in archery. All you need to do is follow the mentor instructions in the letter and hopefully get a kid hooked on archery.”
Whitetails Unlimited also offers a firearm version of the Kids On Target program. The kits come in a 9” x 12” envelope and can be shipped at no charge upon request. Call 800-274-5471 for Kids On Target requests. For more on Whitetails Unlimited go to www.whitetailsunlimited.com.