Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How Resolute Are Your Resolutions?

It's that time of year again when everyone talks about the big changes they are going to make in their life.  You know the perennial favorites...lose weight, exercise, eat healthy, read the Bible all the way through, quit smoking, worry less, delete your Facebook....wait, what?  Anyway, most of them are only a dream after January 2 anyway.

The truth is most of these changes don't need a New Year to put them into effect.  Any day that you realize you need to make a difference in your life by kicking an old habit or picking up a new one is the day to start.  So how do you set an keep New Year's resolutions?

I don't know.  And I'm not going to pretend I do.  But here's how I'm going to go about accomplishing some specific things this year.

The first thing I think is important is to set specific goals.  For example, I'm going to run my first 5k in 2012.  This one goal creates a road map to getting in top physical condition and eating right.  The Five Weeks to Your First 5k plan from the Marathon Training Academy is a good place to start getting in shape.

I'm going to hunt every single month in 2012.  My motto this year is going to be "There is No Off-Season."  And I've got a plan.
January:  Deer hunt in Alabama
February: Squirrels
March-May: Turkeys in Mississippi and Georgia
June-August: Hogs, bowfishing
September: Hopefully I'll draw an antelope, elk or mule deer tag in Wyoming or Colorado.  Also deer and bear in Georgia.
October-December: Deer and bear in Georgia
I would love to squeeze in a duck hunt and a pheasant or quail shoot as well.  Maybe an exotic hunt in Texas or Tennessee.  Throw in hogs and coyotes which can be hunted year-round, and I should be able to accomplish my goal of a 12 month hunting season.

Ok so maybe these goals aren't on everybody's list.  But it's just an illustration of how I plan to accomplish mine using specific goals and action plans.  Got some feedback or suggestions, or want to share your resolutions?  Drop me a line.

Remember, there is no off-season.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Thoughts on Wolf Management

I'll admit that several years ago I didn't believe that gray wolves in the western states surrounding Yellowstone National Park were big problem.  Living in Wyoming, you mostly heard ranchers complaining about them.  The word on the street was those same ranchers were being reimbursed by the government for livestock that were supposedly killed by wolves.  So they could lose livestock for any reason, blame and on the wolves and collect a check, right?

Leo Larsen with his Montana wolf

Well, I don't know if that's how it really worked, but until recently I never gave much credit to the notion that wolves were a serious problem to livestock or big game populations.  The so-called "conservationists," which are really just liberal tree huggers (and liberals control the media) paint them as cuddly little critters and give you the idea that the packs are so small and controlled that they aren't doing any real damage.

How many elk and deer do you think it takes to feed this pack?

In areas of Wyoming that my dad hunts to this day, we've seen wolf sign and heard them howling late in the evening.  Now that's an interesting feeling out in the middle of nowhere, but we won't get into that.  Coincidentally, at the time we began seeing this sign, our sightings of deer and elk began to decrease.  2+2.

A wolf and a coyote for comparison

Hopefully Wyoming will beef up their wolf management plan before it is too late.  I'm not for slaughtering the wolves to near-extinction as was done in the past.  But it has been proven that hunting is an effective way to manage animal populations while maintaining the resource.  You can read a copy of Wyoming's current plan here: http://gf.state.wy.us/WolfManagement/index.asp

Very interesting read here on Montana's wolf management strategy.

Another interesting read on the Big Game Forever Blog

Let me know your thoughts.