Archive for April, 2010

Big Game Forever-Sign the Petition

Posted in Uncategorized on April 29, 2010 by thegreatwhitehunter

Those of you who follow the blog regularly have also seen the damage that uncontrolled wolf populations are doing in the West.  An online petition has been started rallying THOSE WHO CARE about the health of the ENTIRE ecosystem, including elk, moose, deer, bighorn sheep…not just wolves.  Time to step up and be heard.  SIGN THE PETITION NOW at http://biggameforever.org/

Wolves are out of balance with the ecosystem and the results are surprising.  The concern continues to grow as the 2010 statistics come in.  The Lolo elk herd is down from 20,000 elk to 1,700 elk.  Yellowstone Herd down from 20,000 elk to 6,000 elk.  Jackson Shiras Moose down from 1,200 moose to 117 moose.  All of these herds have less than 10% calves.  You need 25% just to sustain a population.  This is not just bad for elk and moose…in the long term it is bad for wolves.

Idaho’s Fish and Game Director commented on the devastation:

“Wolves took over and became the leading cause of Lolo elk deaths. It wasn’t until May of last year that the state could finally manage wolves. By then, the balance of elk and wolves in the Lolo Zone was completely out of whack. Extreme predation on adult females and calves means not enough calves survive to replace the adults that die each year.”

—Cal Groen, 2010
Director
Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Why has this damage happened?  Some anti-hunting groups decided that they would stop all wolf management using litigation (for which they are reimbursed dollar for dollar from the federal government) by appealing to a couple of activist federal judges.  The agreement when wolves were introduced was that recovery of the wolf in the Rocky Mountains would be set at 300 total wolves.  300 wolves kill about 6,000-6,500 elk and moose a year.  That number was determined to represent a sustainable level of predation (don’t forget this is in addition to predation of bears and mountain lions.)

Wolves would be managed with a 150 wolf buffer, 450 wolves would be maintained.  450 wolves would result in predation of 9,000 to 12,000 elk and moose a year.  Probably also sustainable.

The litigation stopped all state wolf management, and wolf populations exploded.  Wolf popluations are now at 500-700% of sustainable recovery levels thanks to years of litigation to stop wolf management.  The 2,000 wolves in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana now kill approximately 40,000 elk and moose a year.  We hit 2,000 wolves even after the federal government has killed 1,000 wolves in the recovery area due to attacks on livestock.  Last year 250 of the 1,000 wolves in Idaho were killed by hunters.  More were killed by government employees.  And the wolf population GREW.  Why?  Wolves have litters of 5-8 pups.  That equals a 25% growth rate, doubling the wolf population every 3-4 years (even after the killing of 1,000 wolves by the federal govenrment).

The Bush and Obama administration tried to return wolf control to the states.  Animal Rights extremist groups, a couple of federal judges, and endless litigation has prevented effective wolf control for the last 8 years.  Wolves will kill 40,000 elk and moose this year.  In 4 years that number will be 80,000 elk and moose.

The animal rights groups’ agenda is to end hunting.  Even if it comes at the expense of the loss of herd after herd of tens of thousands of elk and the driving of Shiras Moose onto the endangered species list.  All for a couple of hundred of extra wolves and notwithstanding the fact that worldwide wolf populations are widely considered to be safely between 175,000-350,000 wolves.  Time for reasonable folks to join together and fix this problem. Wilderness herds have taken an enormous hit.  We can and we must fix this before herd recovery becomes a 50 year and 2 billion dollar project.  We must act now to fix unnecessary damage to these important wilderness herds.  Sign the petition at http://biggameforever.org/

I don’t like to be an alarmist, but everyone assured us that wolves would balance themselves with the ecosystem approximately 10 years ago when predation levels started reducing ungulate populations at noticeable levels.  They also assured us that wolves would only grow at 6% annual growth rates, doubling ever 12-15 years.  They also assured us that wolves are not dangerous to people.  They also assured us that wolves only kill the weak and the sick.  THEY WERE WRONG ON EVERY FRONT.

Animal Rights groups have raised tens of millions in New York and L.A., to promote their anti-management agenda.  They will not stop, even in the face of overwhelming data that their policies have failed.  The Canadian biologists who have studied wolves for decades warned us that years of careful scientific study of wolves have shown that wolves hunt local ungulate populations to extinction.  Even those experts who are solidly pro-wolf warned of these risky policies.  Here is what one top expert predicted when wolf reintroductions were being proposed:

“I predict that you are going to have major impacts from wolves in this state…I predict major elk decline…wolves repeatedly depress moose, caribou and elk populations while studying them throughout Canada…I’ve watched herd after herd [of caribou] go EXTINCT across Canada…The problem, wolves have no know predators to keep them in balance with the ecosystem.”

—— Tom Bergerud, 1994
Top British Columbia wolf expert

Get involved, help us save big game herds in crisis. Sign the petition at http://biggameforever.org/

If you are pro-wolf, don’t try to make us out as anti-wolf.  We aren’t anti-wolf.  I will tell you what we are: We are against anti-management experimentation that has erased decades of effort and hundreds of millions sportsmen and hunters have invested to restore healthy of big game herds.  We are against the junk science that has resulted in the destruction of some of our most healthy wilderness herds. We are against those groups who are sitting on $100 million trust funds, don’t invest to fix critical wildlife problems and then use government dollars to sue the states and further deplete funding for critical wildlife projects.

For those who disagree with my frank comments, save your hate mail and death threats-I have already gotten plenty.  Trying to intimidate me and my friends out west won’t work.  We will continue to tell the story of the damage caused by your failed policies.

Those of you who are willing to see large ungulate populations implode by uncontrolled wolf predation, save your condescending comments.  We understand the 100 year predation cycle.  You warn the world that wildlife is at risk due to habitat loss and degradation.  You warn that global warming will ruin rare pockets of wilderness placing delicate wild life herds at further risk.  You warn of many risks to wildlife, but are willing to risk these very healthy wilderness herds to promote uncontrolled wolf expansion.  Your intellectual dishonesty is appalling.  You are willing to watch needed herds disappear, resiliency of herds be erased, and all for a few hundred extra wolves.  Even though hundreds of thousands of wolves are found worldwide.  We need to continue to rebuild wildlife herds so they can survive the next century.  To do that, we need to address predation now.

In our day and age your experiment with the 100 year predation cycle is an unwise and unnecessary risk.  An experiment that places multiple ungulate populations at serious risk.  Ungulate populations that are more sensitive and in greater danger than wolf populations.  By the way, these policies are not even good for wolves.  When the game disappears, so do the wolves.  So it is up to us to protect the wolves and the big game herds. So be it.

The animal rights agenda is to stop hunting, even if it is at the risk of healthy wildlife herds. They are using wolves as their biological weapon to accomplish their goals.  Sportsmen pay $1.5 billion a year to fix not only wetlands and ungulates populations, but also the sensitive species including the california condors, manatees, spotted owls, bald eagles etc.  The non-sportsmen taxpayer only kicks in about $150 million. If you care about wildlife, stop your litigation and your hate campaigns and join sportsmen on 0ne of our numerous habitat projects.  Frankly, we are tired of doing all the work AND paying the bill.  The habitat we fix helps all wildlife including the wolves.  We’d love those big dollars you get from the government to start going on the ground for wildlife.  We would also love a little help in the field.  Time to get a little dirt under those polished fingernails.

Those who love the environment, hug a hunter, for hunters are the real environmentalists.  Sign the petition at http://biggameforever.org/

Battling Giant Tuna

Posted in 1 on April 25, 2010 by thegreatwhitehunter

Look at the size of this tuna.  What a monster.  The gaff in the eye is a bit startling.  But, this is one of those photos that really captured the beauty and color of this fish.

Visit http://www.sportfishermen.com/2008/05/battling-trophy-fish/ to read a great article by John Unkart on battling trophy fish.  Congrats on a great photo and a great article.

Really Big Catfish

Posted in 1 on April 23, 2010 by thegreatwhitehunter

This Mekong catfish of Thailand weighs in at 646 pounds.

Here is the story I was able to find:

Washington: Fishermen in northern Thailand have caught the biggest catfish on record – a 293-kilogram giant the size of a grizzly bear – and eaten it.

The giant catfish, believed to be the largest freshwater fish ever found, was caught in the Mekong River, home to more species of massive fish than any other river, on May 1, the World Wildlife Fund and the National Geographic Society reported.

“We’ve now confirmed that this catfish is the current record holder, an astonishing find,” Zeb Hogan, a WWF Conservation Science Fellow, said on Wednesday.

Local environmentalists and government officials tried to negotiate the release of the fish so it could continue its spawning migration in the far north of Thailand but the adult male died and was eaten in a remote village, the joint statement from both groups said.

The Mekong giant catfish is South-East Asia’s largest and rarest fish and the focus of a WWF-National Geographic project headed by Dr Hogan to study freshwater fish greater than two metres or 100 kilograms.

Dr Hogan, who expects to find even bigger fish, said the Mekong is a good habitat for such large creatures because it is one of the world’s deepest rivers, reaching depths of more than 60 metres.

Here was another photo.  I’m not sure if this is the same fish.

Tumbler Ridge Giant Bear

Posted in 1 on April 20, 2010 by thegreatwhitehunter

It is easy to forget how big a brown bear can be.  This bear looks to be the size of a Brahma bull if you ask me.  Brick, thanks for the forward.  The email indicates the bear was killed in Tumbler Ridge B.C.

A little research online called into question whether this was in fact out of Tumbler ridge.  Clearly looks like an old brown bear, but Tumbler Ridge appears to be more of an inland grizzly area.  Either way, these bears are truly to be respected.

Update on Penny’s recovery-Hound attacked by Wolves

Posted in 1 on April 17, 2010 by thegreatwhitehunter

My buddy Wade just sent me an update on Penny, the cute little dog who was ripped up by a pack of wolves.   She is not out of the woods, but she is out of the hospital.  Take a minute and sign the petition against uncontrolled wolf expansion http://biggameforever.org/Here is the original post on the wolf attack on penny https://thegreatwhitehunter.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/penny-a-wolf-attack-story/ Wolves are out of balance and unafraid due to animal rights extremists litigation blocking effective wolf management efforts.  Republicans and Democrats, including the Obama administration support wolf management. http://biggameforever.org/

Mike and Penny, keep up the fight.  We are thinking of you.

The Great White Hunter

Randy Walk, wolf overpopulation, delicate herds-Sign the Petition

Posted in 1 on April 16, 2010 by thegreatwhitehunter

Take a minute and Sign the Petition against uncontrolled wolf expansion http://biggameforever.org/

The Western States make up one of the most beautiful and diverse places in the United States with an incredible variety of Wildlife such as Rocky Mountain Elk, Moose, Mule Deer, Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goats, Whitetail Deer, Antelope, American Bison, and Wild Turkeys. Over the past 100 years conservationist and sportsmen have worked together to improve and increase Wildlife diversity in the West with outstanding success. Recently the poor management of wolves in the west and the political limitations imposed that specifically restrict our western state governments ability to manage wildlife is a serious threat that will destroy the vast majority of our past efforts. Anti-hunting efforts remains a strong concern for all wildlife and conservationists, but far more devastating is the un-managed imported Canadian Grey Wolf. Un-managed wolves increase in populations exponentially and destroy other wildlife at an even faster pace. It is vitally important to our western heritage to manage wolves and protect western wildlife diversity and abundance. Please join Big Game Forever and help protect the west from the devastating impact of un-managed Canadian Grey Wolves.”

—Randy Walk
President
Hoyt Archery, Inc.
Utah

Take a minute and Sign the Petition against uncontrolled wolf expansion http://biggameforever.org/

More World Record Burbot Pictures-Fishing Geeks

Posted in 1 on April 14, 2010 by thegreatwhitehunter

Okay, so this is a rare double post, but here are some photos that do Adam’s world record some justice.  Fishing Geeks, thanks for the new photos.  Crazy huge fish.

I love this quote from the fishing geeks website “Do we compete with each other?  yes, we’re human.  But, it’s a healthy competition and it keeps us on our toes.”  http://www.fishinggeeks.net/

If you look carefully, you can see the fishing line coming out of the fish’s mouth.  I love high def digital photography.

Check out the ESPN article http://sports.espn.go.com/outdoors/fishing/news/story?id=4284677

Look at this photo below of a typical “trophy” burbot.  Now you can see what a giant Sean’s fish is.

To catch a monster rainbow, or just spend some time with the best freshwater fishermen in the world give fishing geeks a call.  They also guide and are booking for 2011. Visit them at http://www.fishinggeeks.net/contact_us

Adam’s world record rainbow (if these guys look familiar, remember they are twins.)

Fishing Geeks Strike Again-Another World Record Fish

Posted in 1 on April 13, 2010 by thegreatwhitehunter

Adam and Sean are two twin brothers who have named themselves the fishing geeks.  But a quick review of the fishing world record books quickly reveal that these guys know what they are doing.  Last year I did a post on their monstrous world record rainbow trout (see link to rainbow trout post https://thegreatwhitehunter.wordpress.com/2009/10/05/world-record-rainbow/).  Of course, it was Sean outdoing his brother’s monstrous 44 lb rainbow from two years before.  Last year they landed two world record Burbot in one of their favorite fishing spots in Canada.  The first a 19 pound giant broke the recorded world record.  But having found a story on a larger fish caught years earlier, they set out to break the record with hopes of a 22 lb all-time and unchallenged record.  It happened March 27, 2010 at 9am in the morning.  They didn’t just break the record, once again they surpassed it by several pounds.  Read Sean’s own account of the story below.

Visit http://www.fishinggeeks.net/ for an even better photo of this giant, if not unusual fish.

Here is the story on the new world record directly from the Horses mouth (thanks Sean for the inside scoop.)

length 41inch

girth 24 inch

weight 25.2lbs

Shimano Claurus rod

Abu Garcia cardinal 104 reel

30lb spiderline

single j hook, tipped with a whole 6 inch herring threw the lips.

Caught Saturday March 27th at 9am in the morning.

Diefenbaker has always held burbot in the system, I remember when we were very small, going on those all day ice fishing trips with our father when we were young.  I remember especially the burbot ice fishing Derbys which lake diefenbaker always held, and the late night fishing we would do in these fishing trips.  Which was our first experience with night fishing.

These fish were always thought of as being a nusaince fish and always disgarded when caught.  Now With people knowing how to cook and to clean these fish, its become one of my tastiest fish, and also to others around.

After adam and i caught our first line class world record rainbow, we did some research on burbot records and found to be only 18.2 lbs in the igfa book. Catching up to 15lb fish we knew we had a chance. Well in march 22, 2008 we landed a 19.1 lb fish to capture that all tackle record and also the 16lb line class record, with that same fish.  Looking into it a bit more, found the freshwater hall of fame record to be 22.8lbs caught in 1994 in lake athapapuskow manitoba.  So we didn’t really concider ours to be a true world record.  So our search still continued.   Burbot fishing really picks up in feb march, and with the burbot in spawning mode, were full of eggs and are packing on a coulple extra pounds.  we knew this would be the time of year to catch that monster.

The weekend of March 27th came, I took off work early from work in edmonton to drive 6 hrs to diefenbaker.  Meeting my brother who was already out there with a friend, we fished all night long.  We managed catching 3 burbot in the 10lb range and  called it quits at 3am Sat morning.  Sleeping in our trucks to get some rest for the next day, we woke up at 7am and picked up where we left off. It didn’t take long to hook into our first fish, I felt the bite and tightened my drag, and set the hook,  Adam and i always joked about setting the hook on a fish that felt like bottom, well this fish came close to that.  The first 10-20 seconds felt like i was snagged, the fish came up a couple of inches and then back down.  Then really started to pull line.  The fish swam to one side of the boat and to the other.  When it passed underneath i got a glimps of it, and new i was into another big burbot.  But when the fish finally tired and we managed to land the beast we knew by the girth of this fish we had a chance for the 22lb mark, and when we got that fish on the scale i knew we had it, punching out just over 25lbs (25.2).  Another All Tackle World Record, 2 in less that a year.

Thanks

Sean konrad

Fishing with Juan

Posted in 1 on April 12, 2010 by thegreatwhitehunter

I came across a photo of this giant marlin.  Little did I know that this was one of very funny website.

http://www.sofajockey.com/fishing/saltwater/index.htm

Every photo on the site is clearly photoshopped adding “Juan’s” head to some impressive catch.

A quote from the site, “Saltwater: home of the toughest creatures on earth. If a 36 inch striped bass were to adapt to live on land, it would be 25 times stronger for its size than a human being. This kind of physical ability, combined with a ferocious appetite for flesh, would lead to an eventual subjugation of the human race and an end to life on earth, as we know it. Imagine a world ruled by striped bass, or, for that matter, flounder. Gasoline prices would be through the roof, and just try and finding a Chinese takeout open past 7pm. Only one group of humans has heard the calling to prepare for the eventual battle with creatures from the land of Poseidon. These humans are called fisherman, or sometimes, fishers. Fisherman train on a daily basis for the eventual bloody confrontation with these “fish”. Fisherman capture these viscous beasts, confront them face-to-face and then consume their flesh in a ritual de-pants-ing that often involves hot oil and tartar sauce. Enjoy these pictures of me, with some of the nasty beasts that I captured and sometimes ate.”

World Record Stone Sheep

Posted in 1 on April 10, 2010 by thegreatwhitehunter

Stone sheep are one of four beautiful varieties of North American wild sheep.  With beautiful grey coats and beautiful amber horns, they are high on the wish list for wild sheep hunters.  At the bottom I will show you how you can win a free stone sheep hunt.

http://christinafalls.com/stsheep.php

Hunter Ricardo Longoria-booked with Mark Buehrer from Bowhunting Safari Consultants.

While Stone sheep do not sport the heavy horns of Rocky Mountain bighorns, their grey coats and beautiful curl make them one of the desirable varieties of North American Wild Sheep.   Below is the photograph of the world record Stone Sheep.

Harvested in 1936, this beautiful ram has a curl that far exceeds a typical North American Sheep.  With horn lengths of an amazing 51 inches (Right 50 1/8 – Left 51 5/8), this old boy is more reminiscent of a Marco Polo or other Asian Argali, hunter L.S. Chadwick must have caught his breath when he encountered this beautiful sheep.

Unfortunately, wolves and other predation has made a major dent in Stone Sheep populations.  With guided hunts now running into the $30,000 range, it has become clear that major steps are needed to restore abundant stone sheep herds.  Fortunately, dedicated outfitters and sportsmen groups are working to do just that.

Win A Stone Sheep Hunt

If a $30,000 guided hunt is out of the question-let’s be honest-that applies to most of us.  You might consider joining the full curl society http://www.fullcurl.org/index.html.  In February they gave away a 15 wild sheep hunts to their members and another 6 as part of the Western Hunting and Conservation expo, including a remarkable 5 stone sheep hunts.  There will be more drawings in the future.  Membership is $40.  According to my calculations, 1 in 80 members at the drawing won a hunt ($40 membership fee.)  Full curl society is truly returning wild sheep hunting to the common man.  You should have seen these winners-they were jumping up and down like they had just won the lottery.  To become a member visit http://www.fullcurl.org/index.html  To see these lucky winners visit http://www.fullcurl.org/drawings.html.