Tiffany Lakosky with her 181 inch trophy whitetail buck.

Whitetail Wisdom: Scouting Camera Strategies

No one is denying that a bit part of whitetail hunting (as well as other species) involves the trophy—the bigger the better. However, that is a very misunderstood statement. Bigger deer equates to an overall healthy herd with good genetics and nutrition. Far from simply leaving it up to nature, hunter are the ultimate conservationists and game managers. A critical part of that strategy for many is scouting cameras. Scouting cameras do not do the work for you. They are not an early warning system or offer some critical advantage. For the most part, they are a preview to the caliber of animals that roamed a particular area in the past and little more.

Hunters support and respect wildlife infographic

Who Supports Conservation? Hunters of Course!

Hunting takes more than its share of knocks, by people who do not understand the sport or the contribution hunters make to conservation. Part of that is the fault of hunters and going forward, we need to do a better job of showing the money hunting and hunters put toward conservation versus the anti hunters. After all, hunters are the ultimate conservationist. Without conversation, we would completely lose our sport and passion for the outdoors and the wildlife we pursue.

Wild Boar peeking from behind a tree

Helicopters, Hunting, Hot-Air Balloons, & Hogs

There’s nothing quite like Texas Hog Hunting! It’s some of the most exciting hunting you can do anywhere. If you prefer hunting from a blind or stand, you can hog hunt. Prefer baiting your quarry to show up at the feeder? Texas hog hunting is for you! Hate the idea of hunting over bait but love spot and stalk hunting? Well, Texas hog hunting is for you, too! Too hot in Texas? Not at night! So, while spotlighting deer is illegal, spotlighting hogs is certainly a legal option.

Boone and Crockett position video on gun ownership

Boone & Crockett Club Releases Position Statement on Second Amendment

Knowing who stands with you often determines who are willing to stand with. The primary mission of every conservation organization is, as the name implies, conservation. Thus, it is understandable that donors from both sides of an issue may support an organization that remains focused on its mission and refrains from being to vocal when it comes to political views. That being said, when the Boone and Crockett Club recently released its position paper on the Second Amendment, gun control, and firearm ownership, its answer was firmly stated in the first line, “The Boone and Crockett Club supports the right of citizens to own and use firearms.”

Here is the full release and video from Boone and Crockett.

As the oldest conservation organization in North America, the Boone and Crockett Club is often asked to comment on gun control issues and Second Amendment rights because of the close relationship between gun ownership, hunting, and wildlife conservation.

The Club believes that restricting access to firearms will directly impact participation in hunting, which is essential to the continuing success of wildlife conservation in North America, and elsewhere. The Club is concerned with any restriction on the public’s legal right to own and use firearms for hunting that could weaken or undermine our unique and successful system of wildlife conservation.

Position

The Boone and Crockett Club supports the right of citizens to own and use firearms. The Club maintains that the diverse and abundant wildlife populations that exist in Canada and the United States today are primarily the result of more than a century of wildlife conservation. The public’s right and ability to legally own and use firearms, has been, and remains, critical to the success of this conservation system.

Public ownership of firearms was instrumental to the birth of the conservation movement in North America. This movement was initiated by sportsmen that saw the need for and supported the laws, policies, funding programs, research initiatives, expert agencies, and other delivery mechanisms that are now referred to collectively as the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. A fundamental basis of this Model is that every citizen has the right to hunt for specific legal purposes, which requires the ability to own and use a firearm. Wildlife conservation would not and could not have come into existence, nor will it endure, without the public ownership of firearms.

Conservation is active and hands-on. It is a series of actions by people to maintain the integrity and continuity of nature. Hunting is one of these actions. Hunting itself is a mechanism for wildlife conservation, but most importantly it engages people in seeing the need for conservation and its results. Because of traditional outdoor activities like hunting, sportsmen have a vested interest in the security and proper management of the game species they hunt. This advocacy and stewardship extends to the habitats that support these species, which in turn benefits all wildlife—both hunted and non-hunted.

The sustainable harvest of game species is the primary means of keeping wildlife populations healthy, within the carrying capacity of their habitats, and to socially-acceptable levels. The majority of wildlife conservation programs are also largely funded through a “user pays–everyone benefits” system of licenses, permits, and excise taxes on firearms and ammunition paid by sportsmen and recreational shooters. Eliminating the right to own or use a firearm, which is the means by which the majority of game is hunted, would lead to a collapse of the very system that is responsible for wildlife and healthy ecosystems.

The Boone and Crockett Club maintains that hunting is crucial to successful wildlife conservation, that gun ownership is fundamental to hunting, and that all three are critical to one another. The Club believes the best way to ensure well-managed, well-funded and sustainable wildlife conservation programs includes the right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

The Boone and Crockett Club has come out firmly in support of the Second Amendment. Whether or not you are a hunter, I am sure we can all support the B&C’s conservation efforts.

How has the Boone and Crockett Club’s position statement affected your view of it? Are you more likely to support it in the future? Have you supported it in the past? Share your answers in the comment section.

SLRule

Growing up in Pennsylvania’s game-rich Allegany region, Dave Dolbee was introduced to whitetail hunting at a young age. At age 19 he bought his first bow while serving in the U.S. Navy, and began bowhunting after returning from Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Dave was a sponsored Pro Staff Shooter for several top archery companies during the 1990s and an Olympic hopeful holding up to 16 archery records at one point. During Dave’s writing career, he has written for several smaller publications as well as many major content providers such as Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Outdoor Life, Petersen’s Hunting, Rifle Shooter, Petersen’s Bowhunting, Bowhunter, Game & Fish magazines, Handguns, F.O.P Fraternal Order of Police, Archery Business, SHOT Business, OutdoorRoadmap.com, TheGearExpert.com and others. Dave is currently a staff writer for Cheaper Than Dirt!

View all articles by Dave Dolbee

Matt Morrett with turkey and turkey decoy

10 Season-Long Turkey Decoy Strategies

10 Questions With Expert Turkey Hunter, Matt Morrett

Along with good calling and proper concealment, most turkey hunters agree that employing decoys is one of the most effective strategies for coaxing a gobbler within range. However, decoying a fickle longbeard isn’t as simple putting out a phony bird or two and pulling the trigger. There’s a correct time, place and way to do almost anything.

Tom turkey at full strut

Scout Turkeys Early or Be Disappointed Later

“It won’t be long… I can’t wait.”

While turkey hunter are growing increasingly excited about the coming spring season, amazingly, most turkey hunters don’t start scouting until just prior to the season opener. If you really are excited about bagging a longbeard this season, start scouting now.

Winchester SX4 shotgun with black synthetic stock right

6 Shotguns for Your Next Upland Hunt

At first look many would think Upland bird hunting season has passed. While that is true for pheasant, quail, chukar and others, let’s not forget about turkey! After all, who says you have to have a designated thumper just for turkey. Even if you do, it’s never too early to start thinking about next season, or just to break in your new gun while your dog gets a tune up. Here are six shotguns everyone can be proud while enjoying a little wing and shot time.

National Shooting Sports Foundation Logo

NSSF Calls Foul on USFWS Director’s Parting Shot on Traditional Ammo

With one-day left of President Obama’s term, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe acted without dialogue or public comment. Was it one more instance of a public official going rogue and imposing a personal agenda, or finishing the business he was appointed to do? The timing certainly seems suspect, but it is the details that really matter. Here is the full analysis and release from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).