Weekly news, tips, trivia, fun facts and wild tales from the outdoors
May 3, 2014
Subway Copper Thieves Caught On Bushnell Deercams
Authorities with the New York subway system are using cameras designed to track deer to catch copper thieves, and need proof that Americans are heavier these days than they used to be? Ask a horse! All this and more from the Outdoor News Hound!
Deercams Help N.Y. Cops Catch Copper Thieves
It’s advertising you can’t buy: a prominent mention of your product in an article appearing in The New York Times. That’s what Bushnell received last week when its Trophy Cam remote night vision deer-tracking camera was named as an integral tool in the effort by New York authorities to arrest subway copper thieves in Gotham.
The thieves break into restricted areas behind tunnel walls and spend hours exploring and sawing through the negative-return cables — the ones without power — one foot at a time. They collect what they can physically carry and sell it to a scrap-metal company for about $25 a foot, or about eight pounds.
Officers with the Metropolitan Transit Authority rig the cameras to poles in the tunnels and elevated tracks of the subway system. When they check the data, sometimes they discover a clear and time-stamped image of a man walking along a dark track, the Times article reported.
“Within three hours of the first camera being installed at one location, copper cable thieves were caught on camera and eventually arrested,” said MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz.
So far, nine incidents of trespassing in the subways have been caught on camera, and two people have been arrested as a result.
The MTA authorities might agree with the deer hunter talking about the advantages of using the Bushnell camera on the company’s website.
“This thing is truly a game changer,” he says.
Western Ranches Accommodating Larger Riders
Wranglers and dude ranches in the West say they’re beefing-up their stables with heftier horses these days to accommodate an increasingly chubby clientele.
Jeff Bitton, who operates Mystic Saddle Ranches in Idaho’s scenic Sawtooth Mountains, reports he’s changed about 10 percent of his stock from standard quarter horses to larger varieties of draft horse crossbreeds to meet the demand of bigger riders.
“We’re just going to continue meeting the demands of our consumers,” Bitton told KTVB in Boise.
It all boils down to business, the rent-a-ride wranglers agree. If they don’t accommodate their customers, they lose revenue.
Ranch operators say they began adding the bigger horses in the 1990s, but the pace has picked up in recent years. Horses of 1,800 pounds now hit the trail, giving riders of more than 300 pounds the opportunity to experience life in the saddle.
“We take people out there that are 250 pounds on a four-hour ride in the mountains. You need a big horse,” said Bryan “Kansas” Seck, general manager of Sombrero Ranch in Colorado.
Kansas: Comprehensive Pro-Gun Bill Signed into Law
On April 23, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) signed a comprehensive pro-gun bill (HB 2578) into law, following its passage by the state Senate (37-2) and subsequent concurrence by the state House of Representatives by a 102-9 vote. HB 2578 takes effect on July 1, 2014.
Among its provisions, HB 2578 will:
-Expand Kansas’ firearms preemption provisions to open carry and will prohibit municipalities from implementing local ordinances relating to the transportation of firearms.
-Prohibit the use of taxpayer funds for so-called “gun buyback programs.”
– Prohibit county, city or municipal employers from maintaining a database of employee permit holders, ensuring confidentiality.
– Codify a “shall certify” requirement that a chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) sign off on an application to transfer an item regulated by the National Firearms Act, including short barreled rifles/shotguns and suppressors, within 15 days, as long as the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving the item.
Survey: Michigan Wolf Population Stable
The results of Michigan’s 2014 wolf population survey indicate no significant change in the estimated number of wolves in the Upper Peninsula compared to the results of last year’s survey, Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division officials said this week.
DNR wildlife biologists estimate there was a minimum of 636 wolves in Michigan this winter, with a confidence interval of plus-or-minus 42 animals. In comparison, the 2013 population estimate was 658 wolves, with a confidence interval of plus-or-minus 56 animals.
“Based on the 2014 minimum population estimate, it is clear that wolf numbers in Michigan are stable and have experienced no significant change,” said Adam Bump, DNR furbearer and bear specialist. “We also did not see a significant difference in the number and average size of wolf packs as compared to 2013.”
Since wolves returned to the Upper Peninsula in the 1980s, the population steadily grew until recent years when growth began to level off, which is what wildlife biologists expect to see when a recovered population approaches its biological carrying capacity. In the past few years, Michigan’s minimum population estimate has hovered between 600-700 wolves.
Quote Of The Week
“Women never look so well as when one comes in wet and dirty from hunting.”
– Robert Smith Surtees,
Mr. Sponge’s Sporting Tour, 1853
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.