From the Heartland

This is my soap box, on these pages I publish my opinions on firearms and any other subject I feel like writing about.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Wild Game populations then and now

Preface: In a previous post I wrote about Carrying Capacity and Habitat. This is a continuation of that trestise and was prompted by personal feedback and comments on that post.

A Century ago
In the late 1800's and into the early 1900's the Wildlife populations were at an all time low, some nearly to the point of extinction.

As an example in 1900 the whitetail deer population was estimated to be less than one half million. A few years later (1907) the native elk population did not number more than 41,000. The Turkey population in the early 1900's was thought to be less than 100,000 birds nation wide.

Much of the migratory game species like Ducks and Geese were also suffering a near extinction decline in numbers as well.

Many have blamed market hunting as the sole reason for these declines. Granted market hunting was prevalent at the time and did indeed have a negative effect, but the most telling effect on wildlife populations was the destruction of habitat by residential and commercial development.

What changed

Sportsman concerned with the decline of our precious resources, developed an idea took action in the 1930's. With the aid of Key Pittman a Senator from Nevada and A. Willis Robertson a representative from the state of Virginia the concerned Sportsmen created what became the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937.

The Pittman-Robertson Act established Federal aid in the restoration of wildlife species and their habitat by IMPOSING an 11 percent manufacturer's excise tax on ALL sporting rifles, shotguns and ammunitions. The Act was made law when it was signed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The Pittman-Robertson Act has been amended twice since its inception; Once in 1970 to include a 10 percent manufacturer's excise tax on handguns, and again in 1972 with the help of Fred Bear to include an 11 percent manufacturer's tax on Archery gear.

These tax dollars are collected by the federal government and either used or disbursed out to the states to be used for sound wildlife management practices and habitat restoration.

What the money MUST be used for

There are provisions in the Act that prevent any government agency that is a reciprient of Pittman_Robertson funds from using them for anything else except wildlife management and habitat restoration.

Sportsman of that era were thoughtful and being familiar with the ways of government had the following 29 words written into the Pittman- Robertson Act as well;

".. And which shall include a prohibition against diversion of license fees paid by hunters for any purpose than the administration of said State fish and game department..."

In plain English it means that, much to the consternation of any number of Political Officials, all the money raised by the Pittman-Robertson Act and the sale of licenses cannot be used for anything except habitat restoration and wildlife management.

None of those dollars can be diverted for the pet pork barrel projects that so many Senators and representatives put forth on a yearly basis.

It was Hunters that saved the Wildlife in this country not PETA.

Consider the number of new firearms that has been sold in this Country since 1937. Add to that the number of rounds of ammunition that is also taxed at the 11 percent rate. How many new handguns have been sold since 1970 with the 10 percent tax added? How many new bows and all of the arrows that have been purchased since 1972? How many licenses to hunt are sold every year to American Sportsman?

Since the late 30's untold billions of dollars have passed through the federal coffers straight to the field. Every penny of that money was paid by Sportsman and/or firearms purchasers.

How much money has PETA collected in that time period and how much of what they have collected has actually benefited wildlife and the habitat they need to survive? Most of the money that PETA collects seems to wind up in the pockets of lawyers trying to stop hunting or fishing.

What has been the effect

Since 1937 and the advent of the Pittman-Robertson Act the Whitetail Deer population has risen from the paltry half million to a staggering 40 million plus animals today.

The Elk population in the U.S. has gone from the pitifully few 41,000 to nearly 1.5 million. If fact there are so many Elk today that they have been re-introduced in places like Kentucky with such success that there are hunting seasons on them in those areas.

The Canadian Goose population from a low of about one million birds in the 1940's has grown to an excess of 4 million birds. This increase has resulted in special seasons in some areas to help keep the number of birds in balance with the habitat.

These species are not the only ones that have benefited from the revenues generated by the Pittman-Robertson Act. Wild Turkey has gone from the measly 100,000 to an estimated 6 million birds in the same time frame.

Add to that all of the non-game species that share the same habitat that have had their numbers multiplied and it is easy to see that hunting has a tremendous positive effect on wildlife and the habitat they need to survive.

But .... but .... but .... how can this be?

There is so much hunting that goes on every year and the numbers of the species being hunted is increasing every year?

Understand that;

Regulated hunting has not nor will it ever result in an endangered or extinct species.

Let me say that again so that it is clear;

Regulated hunting has not nor will it ever result in an endangered or extinct species.

If a species were to ever decline to a critical level hunting would be STOPPED for that species until it's numbers returned to a harvestable level again.

Hunting is an effective tool that is utilized by Wildlife Managers who use sound biological and scientific data to manage not only the huntable game, but the entire range of biota (plants and animals) in the environment.

Professional Wildlife managers at the federal level and in the states have, for the most part, done such a fantastic job over the last eighty years with the money generated by the Pittman-Robertson Act and from other sources that there must be a fall harvest to keep the species in balance with the habitat.

Hunting benefits healthy wildlife by;

1) By generating the money needed to maintain good wildlife management and habitat restoration programs at both the federal, state and local levels.

2) Keeping the wildlife population at numbers that the habitat will support without damage to the habitat of the health of the species.

Hunting is not only a tradition, it is tool of vital necessity to maintain certain species of wildlife at healthy levels with their habitat.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Blogroll Addition

I have just added another Nebraska type home grown hey we are increasing in numbers Blog to the Blogroll.

Merri Musings is written by Merri a person that has the ACLU down pat, likes Rachael Cusimano (nee Ray) and who with her husband drives around in a big ole honking "b-eeeeee-U-tiful" SUV.

I can really appreciate anyone that wants the same Rachael Ray oval fry pan that I do.

Welcome to my Blogroll Merri.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Just off the radio

The current smoking ban in Lincoln, Nebraska is coming back to bite the Capital City in a big way.

The City, that has lost an estimated 3 million plus dollars to date due to the ban, was presented abill totalling more than half a million bucks.

A Local bar owner who recently closed his doors due to lost revenue presented a 500,000 plus bill to the city in June. This claim is for damages due to loss of revenue due to the smoking ban. The City has two choices; pay it or deny it. The City Attorney notified the City Council that the city is electing not to pay the man but officials at the meeting indicated that they were very concerned that a law suit to re-coop his losses may be in the works.

There have been several businesses that have closed their doors this year claiming the loss in revenue due to the ban was too much for them to absorb.

As already noted this ban has cost the city a loss of over 3 million dollars. Couple that with the number of jobs eliminated and the possibly pending lawsuit that could very well turn into a class action suit if some of the other defunct businesses seek to join in and the no smoking debacle could end up costing more money than the city can afford.

Fear not that businesses are boarding up and the city is going broke the air in the empty buildings will be smoke free.

Last year the City council passed a partial smoking ban that excempted bars and smoke shops. A few weeks later in the dark of night the same city council recinded that ban and enacted a complete and total ban on smoking in all public places in Lincoln, including restaurants, bars and smoke shops.

The insuing uproar initiated a petition initiative that placed two choices on the November 2004 ballot.

Choice One: The original partial ban as passed by the council.

Choice two: The total and complete ban as passed by the city council.

There was no choice three: No ban at all.

In other words Lincolnites there WILL be a ban whether you want one or not, but we will let you decide which one.

At the General election in November the citizens of Lincoln voted by an overwhelming majority to cut off their nose to spite their face.

The truth is this ban has cost the city more than it can ever hope to re-coop and the bleeding continues.

Since the ban took effect many businesses that operate just outside of the city limits has seen an increase in revenues proportional to Lincolns losses. These communities are gratefull to Lincoln smokers and the windfall that they have brought with them.

Before the vote there were many voices that proclaimed the economic devastation that a total ban would conjure up. These claims by knowledgeable econimists was poo poo'd by the non-smoking public.


The money is still being spent it just isn't being spent in Lincoln.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Freeh at last, Freeh at last, thank Louis the Director, Freeh at last.

Ex Head Fed speaks out on Bill Clinton's actions as President and the consequences there of.

Formerly Director of the FBI Louis Freeh has written it all down in a book; My FBI


“The problem was with Bill Clinton — the scandals and the rumored scandals, the incubating ones and the dying ones never ended. Whatever moral compass the president was consulting was leading him in the wrong direction. His closets were full of skeletons just waiting to burst out.”

In a scheduled appearance on this Sunday's episode of 60 Minutes Freeh discusses his tenure as Director of the FBI under the Clinton Presidency.

Most telling about Freeh's character is the following explanation;

Freeh also says he was determined to stay on as FBI director until President Clinton left office so that Clinton could not appoint his successor. “I was concerned about who he would put in there as FBI director because he had expressed antipathy for the FBI, for the director,” he says. “I was going to stay there and make sure he couldn’t replace me.”

This promises to be a good read that has been added to my book list.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Sexual Predators seem to have declared an Open season on children in Lincoln

A week or two ago a man who's family admitted he had a past record (Juvenile) of molesting children was arrested after he made advances to an elementary school student in the bathroom of the school.

He had evidently traveled cross town, using the public transit system, from the "Group home" he was living at to effect his crime.

Another man, with a documented history of sexual predation was arrested yesterday near a local elementary school with a young boy in his car. His arrest ended a nearly month long operation by the Lincoln Police Department. Essentially the police knew who they were looking for as the suspect was using the same modus operandi that he used before he was caught and convicted several years ago. The suspect was driving around the school waving money out the window attempting to entice young boys into his car.

Also Yesterday a 52 year old man was arrested after he was caught fondling the breasts of a sleeping 15 year old girl. The man was caught by the girls mother who took up a decorative sword in defense of her daughter. In a struggle for the blade the mans thumb was cut and chased by the protective Mom he fled the domicile where he was subsequently arrest by Lincoln's Finest.

The Police spokesperson stated that the Mother was not arrested.

I have just one question; Why the hell should she have been arrested?

She was in her own home defending her daughter from the likes of a sexual predator, why should anyone even consider having her arrested let alone qualify the public statement with "The woman was not arrested".

She should have had a gun instead of a sword.

I am not sure how superstitious I really am but things certainly do happen in threes don't they.

Update: While enroute to pick up one of my precious Grand daughters from school, (She is a first grader in one of the afore mentioned schools by the way) I heard a news report on KLIN 1400 AM that the Mom of the Arnold School child has filed a million dollar law suit against the Lincoln Public School system. Said School system has 6 months to respond. (posted: 5:08 Oct 5 2K5)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Hunting a Traditon and a Tool for heathly Wildlife

The leaves are starting to turn and fall hunting seasons are just around the corner. Now is the time that a lot of us reflect on seasons past as we prepare for the ones approaching.

A Brace of Chukkar Partridges and a good dog

Many of us began hunting because it is a tradition passed down through family generations and we continued because we believe it is a necessary part of existance. Others began hunting after being exposed to it from co-workers or friends.

Those of us that hunt understand that hunting is a tool utilized by the various States game management agencies to control species populations at healthy levels within the confines of thier home ranges.

To fully appreciate that we must understand Habitat and Carrying Capacity.

Habitat is the enviroment in which we and all creatures live. It is made up of the things we need to survive; Water, Shelter, Food, Space and Companionship.

Carrying Capacity is the number of creatures that can survive year around in a given area WITHOUT damage to the habitat or health of the species.

If there are too many deer in a given area for the habitat it will not be long before the habitat is depleted to the point that it affects all of the other species that share that habitat. When that happens the health of all the species that call that area home begins to decline. These creatures then experience poor health and in some cases agonizing deaths from disease and predation by the carnivores that share the habitat.

Carrying Capacity is usually determined by the number of animals that can subsist at the worst time of the year. Generally this is the late winter and early spring. The universal truth is that only some many of a species can survive in a given area and that includes human beings.

How many people can survive in a one bedroom house and for how long? 10 people in that house is too many for the continued well being of all of the occupants. The same principal applies to wildlife. Not all areas in the out of doors have the food, water, shelter and space needed for wildlife to survie. Over crowding in those areas that have the essentials for survival will soon have a very negative effect on the habitat and the health of the wildlife.

Spring time brings on the rebirth of nature. species are born, trees bloom, farmers plant crops and the waters flow. On through the summer the habitat can support an increased number of all of the species.

It is into the fall when food sources and water dry up or are harvested by the farmers that things become more critical. Now the habitat can not support through the winter the increased numbers that spring birth brought forth.

Due to the diminishing resources there are numbers of wildlife THAT WILL NOT SURVIVE to see the next rebirth of nature. Hunting allows the harvest of wildlife that is expected to AND DOES DIE horrible painfull deaths through the winter. Hunters that harvest this SURPLUS game thus utilizing the meat for sustinance rather than allowing it to waste. Deer and many other species mate in the fall. The gestation period of these animals is through the very worst time of year for species to survive in the outdoors. Because of hunting the female wildlife that does survive the winter is much more healthy in the spring and produce off spring that are more halthy as well.

Hunting is a necessary part of good wildlife management. Because we hunt the remaining populations are able to live fruitful productive lives in well maintained habitat that can support their numbers.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

The truth you WILL NOT see in the media.

Froggy has put up a scathing analysis on the differences between what happened in Louisiana with Hurricane Katrina and How Texans coped with Hurricane Rita.

The difference is startling and the after action observations are point on. These are things we all know to be true whether we care to admit it or not. Those that will not face up to the truth of these observations are doing so only to perpetuate a hatred for the President and the party in power in Washington D.C.

What's in you Government?????

Here are a few to tease you into clicking over to Froggy Ruminations for the rest of the story:

2. Texas: Residents take responsibility to protect and evacuate themselves.Louisiana: Residents wait for government to protect and evacuate them.

It is called being SELF reliant. It is a classic example of the NANNY STATE; The People sat around waiting for their city officials to do something. The city officials sat around waiting for the state to do something, and they all sat around with their thumbs up their collective asses waiting for the Federal government to do something.

3. Texas: Local and state officials take responsibility for protecting their citizens and property.Louisiana: Local and state officials blame federal government for not protecting their citizens and property.

It is called accepting the responsibility that the public vested in you when you took an office they elected you to.

12. Texas: FEMA brings in tons of food and water for evacuees. State officials provide accessible distribution points.Louisiana: FEMA brings in tons of food and water for evacuees. State officials prevent citizens from reaching distribution points and vice versa.

The media to their credit actually reported that Louisiana officials said; "We can't allow food and water in the shelters it will only encourage them to stay and we want them out of there."

21. Texas: Mayors continue public service announcements and updates on television with Governor's backing and support.Louisiana: Mayor cusses, governor cries, senator threatens president with violence on television, none of them have a clue what went wrong or who's responsible.

Of course they haven't a clue, they sought public office for the fame, fortune and power. God forbib that they would actually have to serve the people.

22. Louisiana: Democratic Senator says FEMA was slow in responding to 911 calls from Louisiana citizens.Texas: Republican Senator says "when you call 911, the phone doesn't ring in Washington, it rings here at the local responders".

Question: What kind of dumbass actually believes that 911 calls are answered at the Whitehouse?

Answer: Apparently at least one elected liberal lowlife official in Louisiana.

Now head on over to Froggies and read the rest of it.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Big Red pulls it out in double overtime 27-20 over Iowa

Nebraska 27 Iowa 20

Scoring more points in overtime than they did in regular game play Nebraska eeked out a win over Iowa in double overtime at Memorial Stadium.

Nebraska is now 4 and 0. Surely this will garner them a top 25 place in the college polls.

Alright alright I know a few posts back I said you wouldn't see much Nebraska football here, but I just couldn't help it.

I wasn't watching the game, I wasn't even listening to it on the radio. I just happened to be back in the bedroom where we have a radio that is perpetually set to 1400 KLIN when it came down to the wire.

13 to 13 and going into overtime with a supposed homefield advantage is exciting. Yes I went to the bigscreen in the living room and watched the game play out in full living color.

Way to Go Huskers Congrats and keep on winning!

Note: I was also back in the bedroom earlier in the game for something and heard as the Huskers failed in several plays to make a touchdown from essencially a couple of yards out. Had they been able to convert that they may have won without the OT.

It seemed it was a tough and hard fought game for both teams. When the wind is right we can hear the fans cheering at the stadium from our front porch.

Hey I live in Nebraska, I root for the hometown team even if I don't go to, listen to or watch all of their games.

Way to go Big Red.