Weekly news, tips, trivia, fun facts and wild tales from the outdoors
Nov. 25, 2015
During its fall meeting, the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame Board of Directors announced they would honor President George H.W. Bush, Billy Murray and Gary Yamamoto at the Hall’s annual induction dinner in early 2016. You’ll also read about some changes made to Pennsylvania’s original interstate deer transportation restrictions to prevent the spread of CWD in the state, and much more.
xceptional interest in fisheries, water access and conservation issues –
Bass Fishing Hall Names Inductees
A former United States president, a noted bass fishing educator and one of the most innovative designers of soft-plastic lures will join the current 59 members when they are formally inducted into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame in March.
The Hall’s Board of Directors announced last week it will induct President George H.W. Bush, Billy Murray and Gary Yamamoto in Tulsa, Okla., on Thursday, March 3, the eve of 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.
“While serving as both the vice-president and as our president, George Bush took exceptional interest in fisheries, water access and conservation issues – and is also a pretty good angler himself according to fellow Hall member Ray Scott,” said BFHOF Board president Sammy Lee. “Billy Murray has helped thousands of bass anglers find more fishing success through his involvement with the Bass Fishing Institute and his idea for a traveling ‘Hawg Trough.’ And Gary Yamamoto continues to develop some of the best baits out there, and is an accomplished angler in his own right.”
As vice president, the BFHOF says Bush played a key role in the passage of the Wallop-Breaux amendments to the Sport Fish Restoration Act, which generates more than $650 million per year for sportfish restoration, access and other fishing and boating projects. In 2014 he received the inaugural KeepAmericaFishing Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifelong personal commitment to recreational fishing and conservation of America’s fisheries and wetlands.
Additionally, during his presidency, Bush established the first national policy goal of “no net loss” of wetlands and established 56 new wildlife refuges. Perhaps more than any president in history, Bush used the “bully pulpit” of his office to promote recreational fishing in the country.
Pennsylvania Amends Previously Implemented CWD Rules
The Pennsylvania Game Commission has revisited its earlier ban that prohibited hunters from transporting into Pennsylvania the carcasses of deer, elk and other cervids harvested anywhere in the states of Maryland, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The amended rules prohibit the importation only of cervid carcasses harvested within the areas in those states where chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been detected. In other states and Canadian provinces where CWD has been detected, the importation ban applies to the entire state.
The whole-state ban on the importation into Pennsylvania of high-risk cervid parts – essentially the head and backbone – was announced November 2.
Game Commission Executive Director R. Matthew Hough said the whole-state ban was enacted to allow for better enforcement of rules regarding the importation of high-risk cervid parts to protect Pennsylvania’s wild deer.
With deer seasons already in progress, however, Hough said the timing of the announcement resulted in confusion and concerns being expressed by deer hunters, processors and taxidermists. Responding to those concerns, the agency pulled back the whole-state ban for this deer season, and will work with those who are affected on further rule changes that might become effective next year, Hough said.
The introduction and spread of CWD in our wild-deer population remains a serious issue, and we will continue to regularly review and adjust all measures to minimize the impacts of CWD in Pennsylvania as necessary,” Hough said.
Oklahoma Hunters Report Best Quail Opener in Years
Opening weekend of quail season lived up to the high expectations of most hunters in Oklahoma, especially those hunting in western and northwestern areas of the state.
“It was as advertised,” said John Bellah, president of the Central Oklahoma 89er Chapter of Quail Forever, referring to the annual roadside surveys and the 2015 Quail Season Outlook produced by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation indicating that the number of birds was higher this year.
Bellah, who has hunted quail the past 24 years, said this season’s opener was the best he’d ever seen. He said he spoke with a longtime hunter who told him this season opener was the best he’s seen since 1985.
Jimmy Clark, president of the North Fork Chapter of Quail Forever in western Oklahoma, also turned in an enthusiastic report after hunting during opening weekend.
“I’d never seen anything like it in my life,” he said. “It’s just way improved from the last five years. Everybody’s excited.”
Wisconsin Hunters Asked to Watch For Feral Pigs
Hunters and landowners in Wisconsin are reminded to be on the lookout for feral pigs as they head into the woods for fall hunting seasons.
The wild and free-roaming pigs have a number of negative impacts on the landscape, including disease, habitat degradation, competition with native wildlife for food sources, crop damage, and many more.
“Although we are currently not aware of any established feral pig populations in Wisconsin, we have had some in the recent past, and we want to stay vigilant and react quickly to any hotspots that may arise,” said Noah Balgooyen, DNR wildlife damage biologist.
Feral pigs are an unprotected wild animal in Wisconsin, may be harvested year-round, and have no hunting hour restrictions (except during gun deer hunting seasons, when normal hunting hours must be followed). A hunting license is not required to shoot a feral pig on your property, but it is important to remember that a small game, archery, sports, or patron license is required to shoot a feral pig elsewhere. It is recommended that hunters wear rubber gloves when butchering or field dressing the harvested animal.
Quote of The Week
“ I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
– Mark Twain,
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 1884
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 email@example.com.