Outdoor News

Trump first president in decades to address NRA convention
“We’re excited to once again have a president who respects the Second Amendment,” an NRA spokeswoman recently said.

After being endorsed for president last year by the NRA, President Trump spoke in April at the organization’s annual convention in Atlanta. The last president to speak at the event was Ronald Reagan.

Tick-tock, beware
A new disease is “powassan,” a rare but potentially deadly virus transmitted by the bite of an infected blacklegged tick, or deer tick. Only 50 cases of the powassan infection have been reported in the last 10 years in the U.S., and most have occurred in the Northeast and Upper Midwest. Powassan attacks the brain, causing it to swell, and is deadly in 10 percent of the cases recorded. If you’re able to recover, there’s a 50 percent chance you may have permanent neurological damage. Symptoms usually start becoming noticeable one week to one month after the bite of an infected tick. Most people who are exposed to the virus will likely not feel the effects, but 10 percent of people who do may develop meningitis or encephalitis. Symptoms include fever, headache, vomiting, fatigue, confusion, loss of coordination, difficulty with speech and seizures.

Avoiding ticks
If you’re going to be in the fields or the woods where ticks present a danger, wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants tucked into your boots or socks. Apply a repellent containing DEET or permethrin, and stay on the main trails. Check yourself, hunting partners, children and pets. When at home, check your gear, dogs, take a shower immediately and tumble dry your clothes.

Lake trout limits increased
As the forage base in Lake Michigan shrinks, fishery biologists are anxious to relieve the pressure on what remains. Having reduced the chinook-stocking program to a shadow of its former self, they are now scurrying to increase the lake trout daily bag limits. Newly announced regulations allow three lake trout per day in Michigan and Indiana and five in Wisconsin.

On the brighter side
Many of the big lake’s native baitfish are prospering—somewhat. Populations of sculpin, chubs, minnows, perch and other little food fish are beginning to grow. The ubiquitous round goby, an invasive once feared as detrimental to native species, has proved to be a game changer, providing sustenance for many gamefish species. The alewife population in the lake’s southwestern basin has also improved in 2016, but not significantly.

New lake trout record?
Members of the First Nation of Deline tribe harvested a lake trout from Great Bear Lake that weighed 83 pounds. They were sustenance fishing with a gill net and tried to revive the monster laker, but it was already dead. The current record was set in 1995, and still stands at 72 pounds. This lake is covered with ice for several months of the year and has as a very short growing season. How old do you reckon that 83-pound trout was?

Better killing through chemistry?
Described as “one of the worst ideas ever” was Texas’ decision to allow the poisoning of feral hogs that are running rampant down south.

Explanations include, “While the human blood thinner warfarin is represented to ‘kill hogs in two days,’ five days will be more likely.” Warfarin has been used to kill rats with a noticeable lack of success. And an untold number of pets, cattle and deer can be killed eating the hog carcasses. Officials are predicting “a direct rise in Chronic Wasting Disease in Texas deer when deer eat the poisoned protein and corn, due to depression of their immune systems.”

I can’t wait for PETA and HSUS to weigh in.

‘Federal’ cuts
Federal Premium Ammunition Company confirmed that roughly 110 employees from the company’s Anoka, Minn. plant have been laid off, citing the current downturn in the gun and ammo industry. The company also withdrew from $1.15 million in state grants and loans designated for a $33.9 million factory expansion.

This is funny
In a recent article on climate change, a journalist casually—and incredibly—referred to the five Great Lakes as “a cluster of lakes up on the border.” She completely ignored the fact that this “cluster” holds 95 percent of all the fresh water in North America and 20 percent of the vital substance in the world. Amazingly, in just 12 days in mid-April, this “cluster of lakes” added 5.1 trillion gallons of water due to snow melt and rain. Don’t believe everything you read, unless I write it of course.