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Archive for the ‘Outdoor Sports’ Category

Should We Slaughter Wild Animals to Protect Captive Animals?

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on February 8, 2011

You can read the article that got me wondering this here.

The article talks about the potential slaughter of a large number of Bison that have migrated out of Yellowstone National Park and are moving out into areas where cattle and ranchers exist. There is a supposed concern about a disease known as brucellosis. You can read up on brucellosis here.

The summary is that brucellosis isn’t a very significant disease and is not likely to be transferred to cattle. It can be transferred to cattle, humans, and many other species. Transmission seems to follow an almost AIDS-like pattern. Meaning that you must have a wound make contact, have intercourse, or eat or drink something from an infected animal. Unlike AIDS, brucellosis is not an overly serious disease to humans and appears to be treatable. As with any bacterial infection serious complications can occur but the likelihood doesn’t seem to be greater than a normal cold or flu for example.

I’m not a doctor but from what I have read, I don’t see why the major uproar. This isn’t CWD.

The only problems I see are that Bison take up grazing areas and can be a risk to humans because of the sheer size of the animals. Again, the risk of being hurt is very small. The risk to crops and grazing areas could be significant to ranchers in the immediate vicinity.

It’s a tougher decision than it appears to be on the surface. What should be valued more, the protection of wildlife or the businesses of humans? Generally speaking any rational person would value a human life over that of any wildlife. But there is no immediate threat or danger here. Brucellosis is being spun into a threat but it’s a relative non-issue. So the impact becomes financial.

So now it’s whether or not we value someone’s financial well-being over the well-being of local wildlife. The government goes to great lengths to protect waterways and salamanders or turtles. They regulate and spend like crazy to protect migratory birds and endangered species. Where does the Bison slaughter fit in with this agenda?

Should we be spending all this money and time on any species or environment? We are all entitled to our opinions I suppose.

My take on it is pretty simple. Migration and the search for food is natural. I don’t see why there is a true need to eliminate these animals. I think it makes more sense to attempt to improve habitat within the park to minimize the migrations out of the park. If you provide what the animals need than they will likely stay. That is easier said than done but if you insist on keeping them within boundaries then I view them as pets, not wild animals. Feed them, supplement in the winter, do what it takes to take care of your pets. If they are wild then let them be wild. If the issue is population control than regulate hunting seasons and use the funds to enhance habitat and supplement in the winter.

These are just suggestions and I haven’t looked into the extensive management plan that is in place and I’m not saying that people are doing a terrible job or are idiots or anything like that. I think it’s very obvious that what they are doing isn’t working and it’s not working because the management of the Bison herd does not have a stated purpose that is being followed. That is poor planning.

So I am curious, what is the management goal? Is it to maintain a herd within Yellowstone National Park of a certain size or that can live off the natural resources of the park? Is it to re-establish a wild free ranging herd? Is it simply to make park visitors happy in a glorified petting zoo? What’s the goal?

I would hope the goal is to re-establish a free ranging herd of an American icon that can travel the landscapes and offer hunting opportunities and viewing opportunities across all suitable habitat.

I would hope that there would be honesty from officials and ranchers alike. If you simply want a herd to view in the park, try an ounce of prevention instead of a pound of the cure. Senseless slaughter of animals that don’t represent a real threat to anyone is not a very good solution. Just the easy way out.

That’s my two cents. What’s yours?

Posted in Hunting, Outdoor Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Identifying Cougar Tracks in Michigan

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on January 31, 2011

The stories have been around for longer than I’ve been around about Michigan’s cougar population. It seems like a myth until you find some concrete evidence. Tracks in the mud and snow are the most common sign that people find. Unfortunately, they are also the least reliable forms of identification. Well outside of sounds they are the least reliable.

The DNR posted a link to this chart on their Facebook page showing the differences between dogs, bobcats, coyotes, and cougars.

The chart is very useful if you think you’ve found something. Look at the differences, they should be obvious if you have a good track sample.That way, if you think you may have something, try setting up a trail cam if the tracks are common to an area or trail.

I used to question the existence myself until I saw trail cam photos of a cougar. The only reason the camera caught it was because it was slowed by the deer it was dragging off to hide and eat. It was incredible to see real photo evidence. Other reports of deer being spotted in the branches of a tree also make you think twice. Usually the rope gives it away but when they are that high up and the only evidence is claw marks and a bloody neck, my money is on it being a cougar.

The other dead give away is when it’s a young buck that is being picked up. Definite sign of a cougar.

Posted in Hunting, Michigan, Outdoor Sports | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Michigan’s Early Spring Fishing May be Tougher Than Usual This Year

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on January 19, 2011

The early cold snap that covered much of Michigan with snow has helped to bring about one of the colder winters I can remember. My dreams of Detroit becoming a fresh water Cancun by the time I’m ready to retire are slowly dwindling. Global warming, get your act together will ya!

The additional ice and frozen ground moisture is likely to create a lot of run off this spring. I’m not writing a forecast but the basic idea is more snow and ice equals more water that will need to find its way out to bigger waters. The other concern is timing. The ice out and snow melt will likely last longer than normal. I think this spring will be marked by a later start to many of the spring fishing opportunities and many rivers will be muddier than in years past.

The next part of the chain reaction will be to the lake temperatures. Colder water inflow will result in delayed spring runs of many common sport species. On the flip side, fishing spots like the Detroit and St. Clair rivers may be great spots to go in late spring and early summer. A few weeks of delay can mean you get to fish in 60 degree weather instead of 50 degree weather. It’s a small plus. I’d also expect walleye to remain in the west side of Lake Erie a bit longer which is nice for those of you making long runs to go after them.

It’s far from a perfect science, just my opinion on something to watch out for. If your planning trips to rivers like the Maumee you may want to delay just a bit or take some extra time to check out the conditions.

Posted in Detroit, Fishing, Michigan, Outdoor Sports, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Michigan Turkey Hunting Application Reminder

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on January 13, 2011

Just a reminder to all the Michigan hunters. If you want to get in on the spring turkey hunt now is the time to get your application. The application deadline is February 1, 2011.

You can go to the Michigan DNR site to see a listing of all limited access hunting seasons, juts click the link.

Posted in Hunting, Michigan, Outdoor Sports, Turkey Hunting | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

What does the Michigan DNR and DEQ split mean?

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on January 5, 2011

Michigan’s new Governor, Rick Snyder, has split the DEQ and DNR back into two separate divisions. Simply put, the DNR focuses primarily on resource issues, land, water, wildlife, and recreation regarding them. The DEQ is geared towards the environment as it relates to pollution and chiefly is there to protect the environment.

The DEQ is an important part of the business climate in Michigan. The DEQ is a regulatory division of government so the decisions it makes as far as laws and regulations and their enforcement can have significant effects on the community and business. I see the separation as an important step because they serve very different purposes. I am hopeful that the separation allows the DEQ to focus on keeping our air, soil, and waterways clean and pristine while allowing for businesses to develop or expand. It’s a difficult balance and is a small and important piece to the Michigan economy puzzle.

For the outdoor enthusiasts this simply narrows the focus of the DNR back to where it was. I don’t think we’ll see any immediate impacts from the DNR’s end.  Michigan’s DNR has made some curious decisions in recent history but I believe we have, if not the best, one of the top  Natural Resource agencies right here in Michigan and this helps to keep the DNR focused and effective. I think it’s a win-win.

I’ve seen concern over paying additional department heads but I think that the effective management of these two divisions is far more important than the extra salary. From a percentages stand pint, the extra salary is a rather small part of the equation. How much they are paid may be a different issue to look at.

Hopefully this small and simple explanation gives you the basics you need.

Happy new Year everyone.

 

David

Posted in Economy, Fishing, government, Hunting, Michigan, Outdoor Sports | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Michigan Record Book Trout Brings Up Hot Debate

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on September 13, 2009

Whenever someone achieves something special outdoors, it is inevitable that a back lash of criticism and questions will occur.

Michigan’s new record has faired no better fate.

It may not be Rompola gate, but people have never-the-less found a reason to be upset, a reason to bring something negative to the table.

“Why did he keep it?”

I don’t know how many angry comments I’ve seen about him keeping the fish. Is nothing okay anymore? Should we just settle on the fact that it’s never okay to do anything good, it’s never okay to get lucky, because there is always going to be someone who has a problem with it?

We live in a society that is filled with people that think it’s ethical to have their dog killed when it gets old, but scoff at those who kill an old fish. Some of them think it should be okay to off mom and dad for that matter.

I read one particularly hilarious comment. A guy was all bent out of shape because the record fish was no longer reproducing and spreading his seed. Let’s think about this a little deeper. The fish grew to sizes that we didn’t know was possible, which takes a few years. Just a guess, but I’d say he probably wasn’t a good little virgin fishy all his life. Who knows, I may be off my rocker, but I think there may just be a few World Record Jr’s swimming around in the Manistee.

Maybe it is just jealousy but it is a real shame we can’t enjoy this for what it is. One of the greatest fishing accomplishments we may see for some time in Michigan. State Records are special, World Records are remembered.

With Michigan’s long and rich tradition in fishing, it’s fitting a new World Record would come to Michigan. I don’t think it’s the last one I’ll see in my life time and I can only hope that one day I will be ridiculed and scoffed at by ignorant, elitist fishermen, who take offense to such success when it is not them who achieves it.

The truth is that if he didn’t keep it no one would have believed him. The evidence would have been ignored. He would go down in many peoples minds as a fraud and a con. It’s sad, the greatest fishing event in recent history would be reduced to a scam. Not because it was, but because people refuse to believe that luck and success happen, that records are meant to be broken, and that you or I, on any given fishing trip, could be just that lucky.

So what’s more important, a legacy, a record book achievement, a boost to the Manistee River fishery, or the loss of one of millions of Brown trout in the state of Michigan?

What makes this trout so much more special than the Gold Fish at the local pet shop? I’ll tell you what, people and there silly mind sets.

If you were forced to choose between the death of an elderly person or a young child, which would you choose? I think the vast majority would say the elderly person, they’ve had a long life, have less potential, and whatever other excuses you can come up with. The truth is we value youth, puppy’s are better than dogs, kittens more adorable than cats, children more important than adults (supposedly anyways).

When it comes to fish though, the opposite holds true? I think something fishy is going on, sounds to me like selfishness.

I think it’s about time we spent more effort appreciating a special event and a special fish. Maybe we could spend a little less time trying to ruin something special while we’re at it.

Just my two cents.

Posted in Fishing, Michigan | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

New World Record Brown Trout Caught in Michigan’s Manistee River

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on September 11, 2009

Reported through multiple media outlets, it appears the Manistee River has produced a likely World Record Brown Trout.

You can click the link to read the story.

The over 40 pound trout looks more like a Salmon, which are running heavy this time of year in the Manistee, than a Brown Trout.

With the abundance of fishing waters, it’s no surprise to see a world record come home to Michigan. Hopefully, with quality management, we see more records ahead.

-Dave

Posted in Fishing | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Salmon Are Starting to Run in Many Northern Michigan Streams

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on August 20, 2009

I’m hearing multiple reports that Salmon are rolling into many streams in the northern, Lower Peninsula. I plan on making a trip up north in a week to get a first hand look at the action. Stay tuned for updates.

If you haven’t been up north fishing recently, or ever, then there’s no better time to go. The economic crunch is lessening the amount of travelers. The cool weather this summer, should pay dividends. Things are shaping up to be as good as they’ve been in recent memory.

Skip fishing, go “catching”…

Posted in Fishing, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Desperation For Money Shows up in 2009 Michigan Hunting and Trapping Guide

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on August 8, 2009

Let me preface this by saying I don’t get into politics very often, although I certainly pay attention.

I was at K D Outdoors in Waterford, MI (which is a great local shop) today and picked up the 2009 Michigan Hunting and Trapping Guide. My son later picked up the Guide because he saw wheels and tires from an add on the back page. He’s young and loves trucks. I wasn’t sure what paper he had grabbed so I turned it over.

The Michigan Hunting and Trapping Guide?

In total I counted 22 adds, not including the Classifieds section. I admittedly am torn. It is great to see such resourcefulness from the Department of Natural Resources, however, it is also a deeply disturbing reminder of how much money has been diverted away from the DNR.

The truth of the matter is that hunters and fishermen pay for the vast majority of the DNR budget. License sales for these outdoorsmen have become increasingly costly over the years, while parks, ramps, and piers are being shut down.

Money from the general fund is now the equivalent of bringing home one 6″ Bluegill to feed my family of four.

It is quite odd to me that people that bike on park trails, camp on state land, pleasure boat on lakes, mushroom hunt on state land, enjoy photography, and the list goes on, do not share the same financial responsibility.

Do they deserve to use land more than the rest of us?

My point is the way things are running is so far off from common sense it is almost sickening.

I applaud the ingenuity of the DNR, harnessing the power of marketing to supplement an important program, I do not see why such measures have now become necessary.

Everyone always wants a hand out or something for free, seems like outdoors-men( and women) are the only ones willing to put the burden on our shoulders. If more interest groups had this mentality, the state would undoubtedly be in much better shape.

I applaud my fellow hunters and fishermen and women, your commitment to the resources of this great state are commendable, appreciated, and vastly undervalued.

Posted in Detroit, Fishing, Michigan, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Pumpkinseed That Started My Search For a Michigan State Record.

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on August 8, 2009

I thought this picture was long gone but I was lucky enough to find it on an obscure memory card. This is the fish that started my quest for a State Record. This Pumkinseed Sunfish is 10 1/8″ long, and weighed 0.97 lbs. according to my Berkeley Digital Scale. ( I still think the scale doesn’t work properly. The other day it told me a nice 20″ bass weighed under 3 lbs., um??? I don’t know about that.)That's me and my fish....

 

 

 

 

 

I still think this fish may have been closer, if not bigger, than the current State Record in my home state of Michigan. I have caught a few other fish since then that were around the 9″ mark but none with the mature dome-like head that the bigger fish develop.

Below is a 9″ Gill next to the Pumpkinseed.

10 1/8" Pumkinseed next to 8 3/4" Gill

 

So the quest continues……

 

1.35 lbs and 10″+ is the mark.

Posted in Fishing, Michigan | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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