Buckeye Hunters On Track For Record Deer Donations

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Dec. 23, 2009


Buckeye Hunters On Track For Record Deer Donations

Even before last weekend’s late deer hunt in which Ohio sportsmen tagged an
additional 19,500 whitetails, they were already on track toward a record year
for providing deer meat to the state’s needy. We also bring you reports about
how the 2009 surge in firearms sales will benefit sportsmen in Wisconsin and
other states, and much more!

Ohio Hunters Donate 95,5000 Pounds Of Venison
Ohio deer hunters have donated more than 95,500 pounds of venison to local food
banks so far this deer season, according to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the
Hungry and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of
Wildlife.


J.R. Absher

The 95,500 pounds and 1,910 deer donated so far this year easily surpasses
the 33,550 pounds and 671 deer that had been donated at this time last year.

The amount translates to approximately 382,000 meals for needy Ohioans, with
some special late deer hunts still unfinished.

"I applaud Ohio hunters for their generosity and continue to encourage
them to donate what they can so Ohio’s food pantries will receive the
nutritious red meat they so desperately need," said David M. Graham, chief
of the Division of Wildlife.

The Division of Wildlife collaborated with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the
Hungry (FHFH) in an effort to assist with the processing costs associated with
donating venison to a food bank. A $100,000 subsidy grant was provided in two
$50,000 allotments that are to be matched with funds generated or collected by
FHFH. The division subsidized this year’s FHFH operation as an additional deer
management tool, helping wildlife managers encourage hunters to kill more does.

Gun Permits Surge In ‘Anti-Gun’ State
After a decade of steady declines, the number of gun permits issued in
Massachusetts has surged by more than 15 percent during the past two years,
marking a paradigm shift in this state historically known for its anti-gun laws
and lawmakers.

The magnitude of the increase in Massachusetts gun sales was reported in
nearly every region of the state, indicating a "pronounced departure for a
state known for its anti-gun sentiment," according to a report in this
week’s Boston Globe.

The surge surprised law enforcement officials, and gun advocates and
opponents alike, according to the report.

The increase in Class A permits — the largest and broadest category of gun
license — amounted to a jump of more than 28,000 statewide to about 224,000 as
of November, according to the state Executive Office of Public Safety and
Security. The number had previously been dropping, from about 239,000 in 2001
to 192,000 in 2007.

Massachusetts Class A permits, commonly called "a license to
carry," are the only permits that allow individuals to carry concealed
guns and own all types of legal firearms in the state.

The Globe reported that permits rose in all but a handful of very small
towns, and appeared to increase more or less evenly across the state — in
small towns and larger cities and in wealthy areas as well as poorer ones.
Towns including Andover, Beverly, and Newton saw increases at or slightly above
the state average, as did Medford, Weymouth, and Woburn. Boston was up 18
percent, Cambridge 25 percent, Somerville 26 percent, and Brockton 13 percent.

Boating Brings Billions To Florida
A recent study of Florida’s boating facilities and associated economics
conducted by the state Fish and Wildlife Commission reveals that boating trips
and other spending related to vessels means more than $8 billion annually to
The Sunshine State.

According to the study, Florida boaters spent $3.384 billion on boat trips
in 2007 and an additional $5.15 billion for repairs, marina expenses and other
costs.

The 572-page report, titled "Florida Boating Access Facilities
Inventory and Economic Study, including a Pilot Study for Lee County,"
notes that boating trips and other spending related to vessels support 97,000
jobs in Florida. Boaters took 21.7 million boat trips in 2007.

The report predicts a 1.83 percent decline statewide in boating demand over
the next 16 years in Florida. About half the 63 counties in the study
will see a decrease in boating by 2025 because of changes in demographics of
the state’s population.

"The results of the study show the importance of launch lanes, parking
lots and their overall condition, as well as the area’s level of development — the number of developed facilities, such as restrooms, at the ramp," said
David Harding, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC)
economist who managed the study. "Artificial reefs, seagrass and
management zoning are some of the important characteristics in site selection
for boaters using marine access ramps."

Harding said the study will help state and local governments plan whether to
maintain or construct new boat ramps or marinas and where to situate them. It
identifies features and characteristics of boating access points for site
selection favored by boaters for freshwater and marine access on the Atlantic
and Gulf Coasts.

Spike In Guns Sales Means More State Funding
As with most other states nationwide, Wisconsin’s Department of Natural
Resources is expecting additional funding for game, habitat, research, and
hunter education programs because of the 2009 surge in firearms and ammunition
sales.

Thanks to the Pittmann-Robertson Act, states share excise tax revenue placed
on handguns, rifles, shotguns, ammunition, and bowhunting equipment.

Wisconsin received about $8,800,000 in P-R funding in 2009, but in 2010, the
state is expecting almost $13,000,000. In addition, nearly $900,000 more will
go to the state’s Hunter Education program.

"That is a $4.1 million increase in one year, which is huge!" Barb
Zellmer, chief of management and planning for DNR, told the Wisconsin Rapids
Tribune
.

The bulk of the funds were generated from purchases of pistols and
revolvers. In 2008, the state received nearly $77 million from the 10 percent
tax on handguns. For 2009, that number rose to about $125 million.

"There were increases across the board," said Zellmer. "But
the marked increase is in pistols and revolvers."

From 2007 to 2009, ammunition sales jumped nearly $68 million to about $166
million.

Quote Of The Week
"Just once, I would like to get down on all fours and be able to inhale
the odor of Bobwhite. I want to know what it is like to have eyes water, body
tremble, chest tighten from shallow breathing, throat ache from a wild heart
fighting to get past."
-Tom Huggler
“Quail Hunting in America,” 1987

J.R. Absher is a freelance outdoor writer whose articles and columns appear
in numerous national publications. He offers his unique perspective of the
outdoors weekly for sportsmansguide.com. You may contact him at
jrabsher@outdoorpressroom.com.

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