Weekly news, tips, trivia, fun facts, and wild tales from the outdoors
July 22, 2009
Oh My! Bear In The Kitchen!
Bob Dennis says he’s seen plenty of black bears around his Flint Hill, Va.,
farm, but he never expected to bump into one in his kitchen one night last
week. We also bring you news of the end of an era, with the closure of
dozens of Michigan deer check stations, and the report of a new alliance of
governors formed to protect and promote hunting and fishing.
Bowled Over By Bruin
Virginia farmer Bob Dennis was awakened in the middle of the night last week by
his barking dog after a bruin entered his house through a window he and his
wife regularly leave open for their pet cats to come and go. When he arrived in
the kitchen, he could see he was facing a daunting challenge.
"I knew it was a bear and I knew I was going to get him out of here
somehow or other," Dennis told WJLA-TV.
Dennis said he doesn’t remember a lot about the details of his one-on-one
with Mr. Bear. But he clearly recalls the aftermath: when he regained his
composure he could see his pajamas were shredded, his legs were bleeding, and he
had four deep claw marks on his chest.
"He was trying to get out. He wanted to go right back out that window
and I was in his way," Dennis explained.
In its haste to make a quick exit, the bear crashed clear through a closed
porch screen door.
But just like in those Southwest Airlines TV commercials, Dennis is
confident the intruder just “wanted to get away.”
"I think if he’d been after me I wouldn’t be talking to you right
now," he said.
Michigan Cuts Hunter Check Stations
In an unfortunate sign of the times, budget constraints are being blamed for
plans to cut Michigan Department of Natural Resources deer check stations in
the state by more than half during the fall 2009 firearms deer hunting seasons.
In addition, all check stations will be closed during the state’s archery,
youth and muzzleloader seasons, forcing those hunters to check their deer at
DNR operation service centers.
Reduced staffing and hours of operation are expected to save the DNR more
The department will close more than half of its 125 check stations and
operate the remaining stations only during the Nov. 15-30 firearms season. The
DNR said a final list of open stations and hours will be established in the
New Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus Launched
In a special announcement made during the National Governors Association
Annual Meeting held in Biloxi, Miss., last week, The Congressional Sportsmen’s
Foundation unveiled a new bipartisan caucus of governors that will work to
protect and promote hunting and fishing.
At launch, a total of 16 governors had already joined the The Governors
Sportsmen’s Caucus as inaugural members.
At an event held Friday, Jeff Crane, CSF president, said the caucus of
governors would work to protect the interest of America’s hunters and anglers,
and advance sound wildlife management policy.
During the official launch, members selected Gov. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and
Gov. Mike Rounds (R-SD) as the inaugural co-chairmen and also selected Gov.
Haley Barbour (R-MS) and Gov. Dave Freudenthal (D-WY) as the inaugural
"The quality of life in this country continues to rely on the outdoors
opportunities we provide, and we don’t want these rights and freedoms taken
away from the next generation," said South Dakota Gov. Rounds.
The GSC is patterned after the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and supported
by CSF, both of whom have served the interest of outdoorsmen in the halls of
Congress and federal land management agencies for 20 years. The GSC will work
closely with CSF and state legislators in their home states and through the 38
state legislative caucuses that make up the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s
"Building upon the success of CSF and the caucus in Washington and the
NASC in state legislatures around the country, the addition of a Governors
Sportsmen’s Caucus creates an unprecedented network of pro-sportsmen elected
officials," said the CSF’s Crane.
Governors who have already joined the new caucus include Gov. Manchin,
West Virginia; Gov. Rounds, South Dakota; Gov. Freudenthal, Wyoming;
Gov. Sonny Perdue, Georgia; Gov. Phil Bredesen, Tennessee; Gov. Rick Perry,
Texas; Gov. Barbour, Mississippi; Gov. Bobby Jindal, Louisiana; Gov.
Butch Otter, Idaho; Gov. Mitch Daniels, Indiana; Gov. John Hoeven, North
Dakota; Gov. Ted Strickland, Ohio; Gov. Brad Henry, Oklahoma; Gov. John Lynch,
New Hampshire; Gov. Jim Douglas, Vermont; and Gov. John Baldacci, Maine.
June Gun Sales Continue Historic Climb
Data released by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System
(NICS) reported 968,145 checks took place in June 2009, reflecting an 18.1
percent increase from the 819,891 reported in June 2008.
The latest jump in background checks follows the release of a Rasmussen
survey showing 57 percent of Americans attribute the rise in gun sales to a
fear of increased government restrictions on firearms ownership.
The June increase follows a 15.4 percent rise in May and increases of 30.3
percent in April, 29.2 percent in March, 23 percent in February, 28 percent in
January, 24 percent in December and 42 percent in November when a record
1,529,635 background checks were performed.
FBI background checks are required under federal law for all individuals
purchasing either newly manufactured or used firearms from federally licensed
retailers. As such, the checks serve as a gauge of sales but do not reflect the
actual number of firearms produced or sold.
Background checks for the first six months of 2009 totaled 7,035,286, a
24.48 percent increase over the 5,651,584 for the same period for 2008. The
increase coincides with a rise in excise taxes reported by firearms and
ammunition manufacturers, another key economic indicator for the firearms
Quote Of The Week
"It isn’t the ones you keep. It’s the ones that get away — the trophy shots
you miss, the record trout that slip out of the net — that you remember all your
"They’ll Always be a Scarface," 1950
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