Category Archives: capturethekill

New Illinois Record Black Crappie Caught

Written by: Jake Hofer for Wide Open Spaces

Ryan Povolish has caught what is reported to be the new Illinois Black Crappie record.
The Green Machine Facebook page has posted a picture and description of a giant Illinois black crappie, and it’s reported to be the new state record.

Check out the post below of Ryan Povolish’s big catch.

The fish is said to have an official weight of 4 pounds, 8.8 ounces. We reached out to The Green Machine and they were able to get us in contact with Ryan so we could ask a few questions about the record black crappie.

Ryan and his fishing buddy, Josh Jackson, were getting ready to pre-fish Kincaid Lake in Southern Illinois for an upcoming bass fishing tournament. As they were unloading the boat, a gentleman asked Josh to show them a good crappie spot. (Josh has a reputation for being one the best fisherman in the area, and in Ryan’s eye’s the best).

After taking the group out to a spot and setting them up, Ryan decided to do a little casting with a Strike King Pure Poison Chatter Bait.

After casting, he felt a strong hit and initially thought it was a bass, but after a short 20-second fishing battle, the black crappie emerged.

Povolish and his fishing buddy soon realized the fish could break 4 pounds. They learned that the record was previously held by Marcus Miller was 4 pounds, 8.2 ounces. Ryan weighed the fish with the scale in the boat and it was recorded at 4 pounds, 10 ounces.

Click here to read the full article.

Wyoming hunting forecast: The good, the bad and the ugly

Written by: Christine Peterson of the Star-Tribune

If a hunting season can be measured by the number of animals on the landscape and amount of meat in freezers, then fall was good. Really good.

Hunters killed the second-highest number of elk in recent memory – while herds in many places still sit above objective.

Mule deer numbers were more positive in some areas than they’d been in years, and so were pronghorn.

This fall will be different.

Split the state in two along the Continental Divide, and wildlife either fared relatively well or they died by the hundreds.

On the eastern side of the state, temperatures dropped and snow fell, but most of the deer and pronghorn survived. Hunting seasons may see change slightly in some places, but most seasons will likely offer more opportunities.

The western side, however, is a radically different story. It’s possible most of the mule deer fawns born in 2016 in the Jackson and Pinedale areas will have died this winter from record snow and cold, said Doug McWhirter, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Jackson and Pinedale wildlife coordinator.

In Green River, between 200 and 300 pronghorn likely perished to trucks and trains while stuck in right-of-ways, said Mark Zornes, the region’s Game and Fish wildlife coordinator.

“This kind of precipitation and weather is always a double-edged sword. It’s bad for sportsmen and bad for us who have to deal with these animals every day… but all the moisture will do nothing but good for the country,” he said. “It will improve habitat conditions; we just don’t like how it happened.”

Game and Fish’s wildlife officials recently gathered to compile preliminary information for this fall’s hunting season. Each region will hold a series of public meetings to collect input before the final regulations are sent along to the Game and Fish Commission in April for approval.

In preparation for the public meetings, the Star-Tribune compiled a brief rundown of what to expect in each corner of the state.

Central and northeast
Portions of Wyoming from Casper to the Black Hills are finally recovering from the harsh winters of 2010 and 2011 followed by one of the driest years on record that took its toll on wildlife, said Justin Binfet, the region’s wildlife coordinator. But as weather patterns changed to mild winters and wet summers, fawn production increased.

“We’ve made in some areas modest gains, and in some areas serious gains throughout the region,” he said. “Expect to see improved deer and antelope numbers throughout.”

Mule deer numbers are still below objective but have improved in recent years except in the Black Hills, where they are at objective. Elk numbers are solid and steady. Pronghorn license numbers are increasing slowly from levels seen before the 2010-2011 winter.

Hunters in the southeast corner of the state will likely see more chances for pronghorn and deer this year.

“We have some of the highest buck ratios we’ve seen in some time,” said regional wildlife coordinator Corey Class. “So we’re hoping to liberalize the season in length of time and remove antler point restrictions in some areas.”

In many areas there are 40 to 50 bucks per 100 does, when in the past they’ve seen 20 to 30. “We’d like to allow the sportsmen to use some of those bucks before they die of old age or disease or other things.”

Elk numbers are increasing in some places and decreasing in other where wildlife managers are trying to bring herd numbers down. “Better groceries means more babies and higher survival of fawns and calves,” he said. “In a lot of ways, we’re a just an add rain kind of place.”

Click here to read the full article

Patrick Durkin: Groups hunting for ways to broaden pool of hunters

Written by: Patrick Durkin For the State Journal

LAS VEGAS – Hunting and wildlife conservation face a grim future in North America unless we find ways to increase hunter numbers and/or broaden the pool of “dues-paying” conservationists to fund science-based management programs.

That was the message during a meeting convened by the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership at the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in January. The meeting attracted many TRCP partners in the conservation community, as well hunting-industry trade groups and media representatives. Among those represented were Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever, the Mule Deer Foundation, National Wildlife Federation, Archery Trade Association, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, The Council to Advance the Hunting and Shooting Sports, and the editorial teams of Bugle, Outdoor Life, Sports Afield, and Field and Stream magazines.

The group reviewed the nation’s 2017 legislative agenda on several conservation issues, such as the Pittman-Robertson Modernization Act, the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act, and how a new Congress and White House administration might handle hunting and conservation matters.

The group expressed great concern that one of hunting’s largest groups – baby boomers – is now in its twilight, with individual hunters leaving the field at increasingly faster rates. This is also the group that generated booms in hunting and bowhunting participation since the 1970s, and funded much of North America’s conservation efforts the past 45 to 50 years.

“We’re not overplaying our concerns when we say the North American wildlife conservation model could disappear during the next 18 years,” one speaker said. “Unless we start getting more kids into the hunting pipeline and keep them there, who’s going to buy licenses to fund wildlife agencies, and pay dues to hunting and conservation groups for their conservation programs?”

To address such concerns, many of the groups worked on Capitol Hill the past year pushing the Pittman-Robertson Modernization Act, which failed to pass in December during the final weeks of the Obama administration. The groups support the proposed act because it would let state wildlife agencies use federal-excise tax revenues on public-outreach programs to promote hunting, bowhunting and recreational shooting by archers and firearms enthusiasts.

FET revenues generated by Pittman-Robertson come from sales of most firearms, ammunition, bows and arrows. The IRS collects the money and sends it to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which distributes it to state wildlife agencies to fund state-based conservation work.

The P-R Act was established in 1937 to pay for habitat restoration, stocking programs, public-access efforts and other high-priority nationwide conservation projects. P-R revenues are earmarked specifically for conservation initiatives, and cannot be “raided” for other programs.

States currently cannot use P-R money to promote hunting and shooting recreation, even though similar programs promoting recreational fishing can be funded by the companion Dingell-Johnson Act. Further, the P-R Act lets states develop archery and firearms shooting ranges, but only if they’re tied to hunter-education programs. States currently cannot use the money to build ranges whose primary purpose is recreational target shooting for archers and firearms enthusiasts.

When the P-R Act was drafted in 1937, no one anticipated the current declines in hunting participation, or today’s need for more shooting ranges in suburbs and metropolitan areas. The P-R Modernization Act tweaks things to let state wildlife agencies use some FET money to boost recruitment, retention and reactivation efforts in archery and bowhunting.

The Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports formed in 2010 to develop a national hunting and shooting recruitment plan to reverse downward trends in those activities. The U.S. hunting population today is roughly 2 million smaller than it was in the late 1980s. The CAHSS soon crafted the R3 plan – recruitment, retention and reactivation – which would benefit from the legislation.

Ron Regan, executive director of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, said it’s also important to reach beyond the hunting and fishing community for long-term funding. Traditionally, “nonconsumptive” groups such as birdwatchers, campers and hikers have resisted attempts to provide sustained funding through state or federal excise taxes on gear they use.

Click here to read the full article.