November 30, 2018
More and More, People Hunt
for the Food
By Adam Belz/Star Tribune
McGraw photo by Alex Garcia
Travis Pennings knows where his meat will come from.

At sunrise on opening day of the rifle deer hunt in Minnesota, he watched it step into the corner of the alfalfa field in front of him.

The buck walked into the open, and Pennings lifted his .300 Winchester Magnum rifle. “Baah,” he bleated, just loudly enough.

For Pennings and growing numbers of hunters across the United States, hunting is not only a passion but also a way to get food. Even as hunting declines as a pastime, the share of hunters who say the most important reason they hunt is “for the meat” more than doubled, from 16 percent in 2006 to 39 percent in 2017, says Responsive Management, a Virginia-based research group.

China Key to Stopping Illegal Wildlife Trade
By Rachel Nuwer/The New York Times
Photo by bottlemagic23/flickr
Since 1970, populations of thousands of animal species around the world  have declined 60 percent on average , according to the World Wildlife Fund. Habitat destruction, climate change and pollution are all driving those losses.

But so is the global illegal trade in wildlife. For species like tigers and rhinos, poaching is a primary threat to survival.

“Very few ecosystems are not affected by wildlife trade,” said Vincent Nijman, an anthropologist at Oxford Brookes University in Britain. “

But, as Dr. Nijman pointed out, any solutions for tackling illegal wildlife trade are unlikely to work without the involvement of one major player: China.

From ivory to pangolin scales, totoaba bladders to shark fins, the country has a ravenous appetite for wildlife products. As China’s economy and population have grown, so, too, has demand for animals and their parts, which are sought worldwide: in Southeast Asia, Africa, South America and the world’s oceans.

After a Decade, Sturgeon Return to Virginia River
By Madeline Farber/Fox News
Photo by Virginia State Parks/flickr
For nearly a decade, researchers with Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond would conduct a trawl survey on the James River, never to come across any baby Atlantic sturgeon — a species that was listed as endangered in 2012.

But recently that changed, raising researchers’ hopes that what the university says was “once-plentiful ancient fish” is making a comeback in the area.

Researchers with the Rice Rivers Center — which “is at the center of the Virginia Sturgeon Restoration Team’s effort to restore the sturgeon to its native range and historical stature within state waters,”  according to a news release from Virginia Commonwealth University  — found the fish earlier this month while conducting a trawl survey, a method of catching fish with a net attached to a boat.

In recent weeks, at least 148 baby sturgeon have been found in the James River.

The 7 Principles
of Wildlife Conservation
By Cosmo Genova/Hatch
Photo by Noel Zia Lee/flickr
American wildlife and wilderness, today, exists primarily because early conservationists fought to preserve them. As early as 1860, these visionaries, through sheer political willpower, convinced society of their inherent value beyond what could be pumped, mined and beaten out of them. They put forth laws to regulate their use and created a system to sustain their management financially. They catalyzed a collaborative system between the public user, the scientific community, and the political sphere that has become the most effective and egalitarian system in the world: The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and Management.

This model and our system of public lands not only provides space for diverse ecosystems to flourish, but also give every single American citizen access to limitless adventure and recreational opportunities. As outdoorsmen, it's important to understand the foundation by which we operate, as well as our role in its endurance.

The Art and Business of Modern Trapping
By Tim Kelley/Outdoor Illinois
Photo by Kris Rice/flickr
With the continuing popularity of TV shows such as  Yukon Men Mountain Men Life Below Zero , etc., that depict folks making at least a portion of their livelihoods from trapping, I thought it might be nice to highlight some people in the Land of Lincoln. . .yes, right here in Illinois. . .who also make a vocation, at least partially, in the trapping industry.

Scott Davis of Brimfield began trapping in 1963 and, once he got out of the service in 1969, decided he’d spend his winters trapping and get other work after the season. For many years he made his own lures and gave samples to friends. Often, his “testers” would tell him that he ought to make the lures and sell them; eventually, he did just that. His lure business grew and, in 1980, he started selling both lures and trapping merchandise.

Then, in 1985, he began buying fur, as well. Currently, his products are sold in four retail stores and his lures are carried in four catalogs. He employs four workers during the fur season and his son, Brian, buys some fur, as well.
The main challenge for the industry, to Scott’s mind, is the world economy. 

Read About CLfT’s “Trapping Matters” workshops here .
“Let others lie abed and rise three hours later in the full light of the day. The duck hunter, probing the secrets of a new day, sees the night retreat, and nothing is so fine as daylight coming and night departing while wings overhead whisper the old and unsolved mystery of migration.”

- Gordon MacQuarrie
To read past McGraw Reports click here.