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Other Hunting : Russians hunt down rumoured 400-strong wolf pack

on 2011/1/21 5:44:11 (807 reads)

A RUMOURED 400-strong pack of wolves that has slain 30 horses and is said to pose a threat to human life has sparked fear in the northeastern Russian region of Yakutia.

Hunters have been dispatched to deal with the beasts, state-owned news agency RIA Novosti reported, and a single pelt would be met with a reward of 10,000 roubles ($335).

"We have gathered 24 hunting parties to patrol the neighbourhood on snowmobiles. We also set traps. Using poison against wolves is forbidden though. When daytime becomes long enough, the hunters will shoot the predators from helicopters," said a spokesman for the administration of the Verhnoyarsky region, where the wolf pack lives, as cited by Interfax news agency.

But the Moscow News website said reports of the huge wolf pack should be tempered by the knowledge that wolves usually form groups of no more than 20, suggesting "a group of 400 would be difficult to sustain".

The Yakutia (or Sakha) Republic covers a vast expanse of northeastern Russia and is comparable in size to India. ... ry-e6frf7jx-1225991671694

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USA Hunting : USA: Ted Nugent won't be charged with violating South Dakota hunting laws

on 2011/1/21 5:38:10 (673 reads)

Rock star and hunting advocate Ted Nugent will not be charged with violating any South Dakota state game laws for shooting pheasants last fall.

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"A determination was made not to prosecute," Sara Rabern, a public information officer for the South Dakota attorney general's office in Pierre, told the Rapid City Journal. "And the Fall River County state's attorney concurred."

Nugent was being investigated by the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks to determine whether any game laws were broken after some of his hunting privileges were revoked in California on Aug. 13.

Nugent lost his California deer hunting license through June 2012 after a 2009 deer baiting incident, and may have been prohibited from any hunting in South Dakota because of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, an agreement that recognizes suspension of hunting, fishing and trapping licenses in member states, which include South Dakota and California.

The rocker went pheasant hunting at Dakota Hills Shooting Preserve in Oral, S.D., on Oct. 16 while filming for his television show, "Spirit of the Wild," on the Outdoor Channel, sparking the investigation.

Officials determined that Nugent's license revocation in California for deer hunting didn't disqualify him from getting a license to hunt pheasants, and that Nugent was exercising a small-game privilege that didn't have anything to do with what happened in California. ... -dakota-hunting-laws.html

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Africa Hunting : South Africa: Hunter fined over rhino poaching

on 2011/1/19 16:02:06 (1511 reads)

Johannesburg - A professional hunter and taxidermist from Mossel Bay - who organised hunting trips in SA for several Vietnamese hunters - was on Tuesday fined R30 000 in the Mokopane (Potgietersrus) Regional Court for illegally hunting white rhino.

Chris van Wyk, 42, was arrested in 2006 after he - and not the Vietnamese hunter or the professional hunter who should have accompanied him - shot the rhino.

Van Wyk was found guilty in July 2010.

His conviction related to a hunting trip on April 27 2006 at the Leshoka Thabang Game Lodge in Roedtan in Limpopo, in which Van Wyk and a Vietnamese client, Nguyen Tien Hoang, were involved.

Van Wyk organised the hunting trip through Tienie Bamberger, a professional hunter and the owner of Warthog Safaris in Ellisras, and was introduced to his Vietnamese client in Naboomspruit.


Bamberger received permission for the hunting trip from the owner of Leshoka Thabang, Johan van Zyl. Bamberger was not present on the day of the hunting trip and his wife, Ananya and his father accompanied Van Wyk and Nguyen.

When they found the rhino, the Vietnamese man walked away. Bamberger's wife, her father-in-law and Van Wyk shot four times at the rhino from a distance of between 50m and 100m.

Van Wyk didn't have a permit to hunt the rhino and was also not registered in Limpopo as a professional hunter.

On reading the verdict, Magistrate Gerhard Pretorius emphasised that Van Wyk during his trial in a police raid in the Free State was found with rhino horn and ivory and was also arrested in the Western Cape after being found with rhino horn. He was found guilty in both cases.

Pretorius said it pointed to Van Wyk's tendency to clash with the law in such incidents.

Pretorius said it was just a moneymaking racket. "This is a circus in which 23 people get on a vehicle and watch as animals are shot dead."

Pretorius warned Van Wyk that the "prison doors were coming closer and opening wider" should he continued his activities.

Outside court, Van Wyk said he thought the sentence was fair. ... r-rhino-poaching-20110119

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USA Fishing : USA: Anglers Catch Big Winnings in FLW Fantasy Fishing

on 2011/1/18 10:45:20 (808 reads)

Another record-breaking season for the biggest contest in fantasy sports began last week with the start of the new season of FLW Fantasy Fishing 2011.

Every year about $1 billion is spent on fantasy sports. Of the near 30 million Americans playing, fantasy is the most popular fantasy game with about 21 million participating.

“Fantasy Fishing is something we have put a lot of time and effort into and feel it is one of our best undertakings,” said Irwin Jacobs, chairman and CEO FLW Outdoors and the creators of FLW Fantasy Fishing. “The participation from the fans is unbelievable, and with the game being played all over the world, it has helped build the sport and bring recognition to the anglers and our partners.”

Players can sign up by visiting It is free to play, but players can benefit by signing up Player’s Advantage, which gives them access to additional information and resources.

The 2011 FLW Fantasy Fishing season will include 10 tournaments, with each offering more than $25,000 in prizes. The grand prize winner at the end of the season will take away $100,000 with the overall second-place winner receiving a Ranger Z-520 boat and Ranger Trail Trailer, plus two motors and motor batteries.

“Fantasy Fishing has proven to be one of the best things to happen to our sport as it allows fans worldwide to be much closer to the action on the water and have a vested interest in the outcome of the tournaments, as well as win phenomenal prizes,” said Trisha Blake, president of marketing at FLW Outdoors. “We launched this game with the anticipation that it would bring new fans to fishing and have a significant impact on the sport, and it has succeeded even beyond our goals.”

The typical fantasy sports customer is a white-collar male that makes about $90,000 a year. Fantasy fishing is hoping to capitalize with fan popularity just as fantasy games have swept Major League Baseball, NBA, NASCAR and the NHL. ... lw-fantasy-fishing/56858/

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Europe Fishing : UK: Tight lines toast as river records monster fish haul

on 2011/1/17 15:43:56 (872 reads)

A SHORT riverside ceremony in Halkirk yesterday ushered in the start of the salmon-fishing season in Scotland.

Optimism surrounded the first flies cast on the River Thurso following last year's record haul.

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Dar Sutherland toasts the new salmon season on the River Thurso while Dougie Reid prepares to cast the first fly. Robert MacDonald 01955 602741

Though the freezing conditions deterred all but a hardy few from trying their luck yesterday, river managers are bullish about prospects for the coming year.

Thirty regular anglers lined up behind Thurso piper John Macrae outside Halkirk's Ulbster Arms for the launch before marching to the snow-covered riverbank below the main road bridge on beat four.

There, the traditional toast was made by former river superintendent Dar Sutherland. The 66-year-old, of Sinclair Square, Halkirk, wished tight lines to all who went out.

The first fly was put into the Comlifoot pool by Mr Sutherland's contemporary, assistant superintendent Dougie Reid, with whom he first went fishing.

Mr Reid (65) is an expert angler but his only contact with his handful of casts was with a chunk of ice.

While conditions were less than ideal, river superintendent Eddie McCarthy believes the signs are good for another bumper season.

Last year, records were shattered with a total of 3022 landed from beats two to 13, which are managed by Thurso River Company. A further 450 or so came off beat one, which is worked by Thurso Angling Club.

The August total of 1026 exceeded the entire season's catch for the river in five of the last 10 years.

Mr McCarthy said: "We have records going back to 1894 and this beat the previous highest catch by almost 1000."

He believes last year's monster haul resulted from young salmon arriving back in better shape and greater numbers.

"For once, something good has been happening at sea. We've complained for years about smolts coming back under-nourished and in poor shape. Last year, they were in much better condition and in greater numbers."

Mr McCarthy added that the prolonged freeze-up last winter meant fry were later to hatch and so had more food available.

In addition, the colder water slowed fish down and increased opportunities for them to be caught over the length of the 26-mile river.

Mr McCarthy said the investment programme from Angus Estates Ltd is also paying dividends.

He said: "The river is now a lot more accessible to anglers. We're wanting to keep them coming when they get older and when they maybe are less able to do a lot of walking. At the same time, we don't want to detract from the wilderness factor so it's all about getting a balance."

The 700-plus anglers who fished the Thurso last year included a 10 per cent increase in visitors.

Looking to this season, he said: "I'm very, very optimistic that it's going to be another good year." ... ds_monster_fish_haul.html

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Asia Hunting : Pakistan: Hunting ibexes and blue sheep

on 2011/1/17 15:40:25 (804 reads)

At least eight hunters have come to Gojal valley in search of ibexes and blue sheep in the past three months. The local communities received hefty payments from the hunts, which included Pakistani and foreign hunting parties, according to locals.

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“Five of the hunters were Americans while one was from Mexico. All of them made successful hunts in the mountains of upper Hunza and Gojal,” said Asif Khan, the outfitter who organised the hunters’ visits in the region. He said one of the hunters was Pakistani while the other was an Arab.

The ibex is a species whose population has increased over the past few years and crossed the “danger limit” due to efforts by international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) like International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), World Wildlife Fund for Nature and the Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) Forest Department.

The trophy hunting programme was initiated in G-B in the 1980s. Every foreign hunter has to pay a fee of US$3,000 to the Government of Pakistan, while Pakistanis pay Rs180,000 to indulge in what Asif Khan called “a sport of kings”.

One of the significant features of the trophy hunting programme is that 80 per cent of the hunting fee goes to the local community while the government spends the remaining 20 per cent on projects meant for the welfare of forests and biodiversity.

The communities use their share on projects aimed at conserving natural resources. The funds are allocated by committees trained by various NGOs in accounts, planning and management.

“Most projects are aimed at conserving wildlife and forests and are carried out with that money,” said Ghulam Mustafa, a conservation expert from Hunza.

The blue sheep is a more expensive hunt than ibexes with a hunting fee of $12,000. The cost of markhor is even higher, at $55,000 a hunt.

Wildlife experts say that the rarer a species is, the higher its cost, and the markhor, which is near extinction outside of Pakistan, is the rarest of all.

Asif Khan said an American woman named Mary killed two Ibexes in Gulkin valley last week. He said that the first hunt of this winter was by another US national, Dave, who killed two Ibexes in Shimshal and one Blue Sheep in Sost in November.

A forest officer in Gilgit said that an international hunter who had paid a $55,000 hunting fee to hunt Markhor in Gilgit will make another attempt if his first attempt fails.

Most animals in Sakwar valley have perched higher this season due to less snowfall. The officer said hunters will make further attempts when snow falls on the peaks in Gilgit.

But there is a caveat. The hunting season overlaps with the mating season of these animals, according to experts. They say winter is mating season for these species and snowfall forces them to come down for food and water, making them easy targets for hunters.

While the blue sheep and ibex are under no threat of extinction, markhor are less fortunate. ... ction-hunted-nonetheless/

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USA Hunting : USA: 17-year old still missing on Ocean Pond

on 2011/1/17 15:36:33 (632 reads)

LAKE PARK, GA (WALB) – Emergency crews and dive teams have been searching Ocean Pond in Lake Park since Saturday afternoon for 17-year-old James Eunice.

There is still no sign the Valdosta high senior who fell into the Lowdnes County lake around 2 p.m. Saturday while duck hunting.

Helicopters from Moody Air Force Base were in the air, and divers from the sheriff's office were in and on the water.

A number of his classmates showed up at the search site to be with the family.

Rescuers say the water temperature is hampering the search.

"Water temperature is about 45 degrees so it presents some special challenges to dive in that colder water," said Lt. Stryde Jones, Lowdnes Co. Sheriff's Office.

"James is a top notch student at Valdosta High School, a member of the IB program very outgoing and athletic," said Jennifer Steedley, Valdosta City Schools Dir. of Public Relations.

The search will continue until they find Eunice.

Valdosta High is closed on Monday, Tuesday counselors will be available to help students cope with the ongoing search for their classmate.

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USA Hunting : USA: More women set sights on thrill of the hunt

on 2011/1/17 15:32:29 (985 reads)

Slowly but surely, women are discovering that deer hunting isn't just a man's game.

Between 2004 and 2009, the number of women hunting with firearms jumped 50%, from 2 million to 3 million, according to the National Sporting Goods Association. Bowhunting women climbed from 500,000 to 800,000, and female target shooters increased from 4.3 million to 4.7 million. Dates for 2010 were unavailable.

Born and raised in the Florida Keys, Melissa Johnson moved to Milton, Fla., two years ago with her husband and daughters, now 4 and 10 years old.

Last year, she decided to give hunting a try. She'd watched her husband prepare for a hunt.

"When I watched him shoot his bow, I was like, 'Whoa, that's cool,' " said Johnson, 30.

Her first time out, she killed a 125-pound hog. She went on to shoot three deer in her first season.

She's been hooked ever since.

She now hunts at every opportunity and has even brought her daughters along.

"They love to hunt. They're glued to the windows looking for animals," Johnson said.

Click to see original Image in a new window

Melissa Johnson of Milton, Fla., hunts from a tree stand while deer hunting in Santa Rosa County. Slowly but surely, women are discovering that deer hunting isn't just a man's game. Between 2004 and 2009, the number of women hunting with firearms jumped 50%.

"I think it makes them well rounded. I have friends who won't take their kids anywhere. But to me, that's quality time. I'm teaching them the way I want them to grow up."

The thrill

Johnson said she prefers hunting with a bow. High-powered rifles and telescopic scopes allow hunters to shoot deer from hundreds of yards away, almost like a video game.

But with a bow, she's limited to 30 yards, max. That's a football pass. It's close enough to hear deer snort and see their nostrils flare.

And it's close enough for the deer to hear and see you.

"If they get one whiff of you or they see any movement, it's over. They're out of there," Johnson said.

There's nothing quite like the excitement of watching a deer walk closer and closer, slowly coming into range, she said.

"You think they're going to hear your heart pounding," Johnson said.

The stigma

Johnson hasn't yet met any other women on her hunting grounds north of Milton.

She suspects many women are deterred by the stigma attached to hunters.

"There's this preconceived notion that if you're going to go hunting you're some kind of crazy redneck," she said.

But that stigma seems to be going away.

Molino, Fla., resident Viki Dillashaw, 40, who works as a cashier and customer service rep at Mike's Outdoor Sports, said she has been hunting "since I was old enough to climb up in my grandpa's truck seat."

But she said, for the most part when she was growing up, fathers took their sons hunting and daughters stayed home with their mothers.

"That's just the way it was," she said.

Now, she said, "I'm starting to see a lot of families bringing the girls out, and that's a good thing. Girls who are older, who have heard hunting stories from their fathers and grandfathers, their interest starts to pick up once they start dating a guy that hunts."

She also said hunting clubs and outreach programs, such as the National Wild Turkey Federation's "Women in the Outdoors," have done a lot to attract women to the sport.

"I'm tickled to death that women are starting to get out there," she said.

Stan Butler, manager of Mike's Outdoor Sports, said a few Internet searches and a visit to a local hunting shop would be good first steps for women interested in hunting.

"We get the question all the time, 'Where is there to hunt around here?'" he said. "Come into a shop, such as ours, talk to some of the guys, and try to get some insight into how to get started."

Johnson and Dillashaw struggled to describe what they enjoy most about hunting. They insisted it's not just about shooting animals, noting that they come back empty-handed more often than not.

No, there's something else, something many nonhunters don't understand, something almost spiritual. Being out there in nature — tuned in with nature.

"It's really hard to describe why we do what we do," Dillashaw said. "We don't always go out here and kill something.

"It's going out there in the peace and quiet. No ringing phones. No television. You just blank everything out. Then you're there in nature looking at what God created." ... -hunters_N.htm?csp=34news

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Europe Hunting : UK: Bercow under fire for change on hunting ban

on 2011/1/21 5:42:54 (758 reads)

THE Speaker of the House of Commons and MP for Buckingham has come under fire for “changing his strongly held convictions” on the hunting ban.

John Bercow, whose constituency covers Princes Risborough, reportedly wrote a letter to a constituent from Buckingham at the start of the month saying there was a “compelling” argument for the ban and hunting foxes to kill them was “wrong in the 21st century.”

Before he was elected as speaker in 2009, as a Tory MP, he was strongly against Labour's plan to ban hunting with dogs in 2004 and voted against it.

Guy Portwin, master of the Kimblewick Hunt, which was previously The Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and South Berks hunt said that John Bercow was wrong on this and said: “We are all sorry that he has changed his previous strongly held convictions on this subject.”

He added: “The animal welfare arguments have been set out again to him and we are convinced that if he actually took notice of them he will come back to his original position.

“The Kimblewick hunt looks forward to the Conservatives fulfilling their manifesto pledge of a free vote on scrapping the Hunting with Dogs act in due course.”

The letter came at the same time as his Labour wife Sally Bercow wrote a piece for the Labour Uncut website, saying “with a bit of luck” the vote on a repeal of the ban will not take place at all.

David Cameron had promised a free vote on a repeal of the hunting act but no date has been set.

Leader of the UKIP Nigel Farage, who stood against Mr Bercow at the election last May for Buckingham, said “Bercow is the flipper to end all flippers” and “he has flipped on the issue of hunting.”

He added it was an issue that is close to the hearts of many. He said: “Those Conservatives that supported him in the election last year did so out of loyalty to him. He obviously feels that they do not deserve loyalty in return.”

A spokesman for Mr Bercow's constituency office said: “In this letter the Speaker was offering to pass on the concerns of this constituent to the relevant minister even though in the interests of transparency he was pointing out that these were not views that he shared.

“Parliament is not facing any debate on this issue and there is no conflict between serving a constituent and fulfilling his role as Speaker.

"It is Mr Bercow's duty both to represent his constituents and articulate his views to them as appropriate. His role is to be neutral in the chamber but not neutered as a constituency member." ... or_change_on_hunting_ban/

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USA Hunting : USA: Dachshunds make good hunting dogs

on 2011/1/19 16:03:30 (1946 reads)

Several years ago I received a phone call from a woman in Chapel Hill, N.C. asking me for some recommendations on where she could go hunting with her dogs. When I questioned her about what kind of dogs she intended to used for hunting in our state she replied that she’d use her “Teckels.” She soon explained that the “Teckel” is another word for the little dog that many of us know as a “Dachshund.”

I’d always heard that Dachshunds were originally used as badger hunting dogs in Germany, but since we didn’t have badgers here in North Carolina I furthered my questions to Sian Kwa by asking her what she intended to hunt with her dogs. I was floored when she said “rabbits, ducks, deer and bear.” Envisioning a 600-pound black bear with a little "wiener-dog" held firmly in its teeth, I then asked Kwa just how big her dogs were anyway. “Oh, they’re about (15 to) 20 pounds each” she replied. My reply to her was that, “Lady, a Tar Heel bear will eat a dog of that size like a sausage biscuit.” Kwa replied that her “Teckels were very capable of hunting about any animal that she expected to come across in North Carolina.”

Using Teckels as rabbit dogs I could believe, but when it came to retrieving ducks across the water and tracking wounded animals as large as our whitetail deer or black bear, that, to my way of thinking, was another matter.

Kwa explained how the Dachshunds traditionally were used to track badgers (vicious animals that dig holes into the earth to live in). Dachshunds track the badgers, and when the badgers seek to get away be retreating into their underground holes the Dachshunds (being skinny elongated little dogs) follow the badger into its hole, grasp it by the throat and hold it firmly with their teeth until the hunter digs the dog and badger out of the ground and dispatches the badger. If the digging takes too much time, the dog could be seriously injured or be dead because it is practically impossible for any dog of similar size to kill a badger underground. In rare occasions, the badger is flushed out of the den like with foxes, but this is not common because badgers prefer to stay in the den for shelter.

I subsequently invited Ms. Kwa to bring her dogs down to our small farm outside Garner to demonstrate their prowess as rabbit dogs. She showed up with three Dachshunds and one of the most unusual dogs I’d ever seen as her “secret weapon.”

We didn’t find many rabbits that day but we did find enough for her to make me a believer in using Dachshunds as hunting dogs. Her “secret weapon” dog also made a believer out of me as to her expertise as a hunter who knew what she was doing with dogs.

The “secret weapon dog” was a Pharaoh Hound, which looked exactly like one of those dogs you see depicted on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs (the ones with the sharply pointed ears sticking straight up off the dog’s head). Sian Kwa explained that the Pharaoh Hound was indeed the dog you see in Egyptian hieroglyphics and that this breed of dog is one of the oldest domesticated breed of dogs in recorded history. They trace their lineage back some 3,000 years.

Kwa’s Dachshunds were used to jump the rabbits from their hiding places in the briar patches into the open where the Pharaoh Hound was then released. This fast running, highly maneuvering Pharaoh Hound then ran the rabbit down and retrieved it back to its handler.

Teckels and Pharaoh Hounds combined were a double-barreled way to rabbit hunt.

With Sian Kwa’s hunting dog’s ability in the back of my mind I recently had the opportunity to visit Germany and experience hunting with Dachshunds first hand in the forest and fields of Bavaria.

We used Dachshunds to retrieve mallard ducks that we shot from ponds and streams. We used Dachshunds to hunt hares (big rabbits) in open fields and I witnessed the dogs exhibit their ability at the tracking of wounded game first hand.

One morning one of my hunting companions wounded a roebuck (much smaller that our whitetail deer) and the deer disappeared into the thick forest of Bavaria. We tracked the wounded animal until the blood trail ran out and would have lost the animal had not the hunter returned to his house and brought his pet Dachshund (a family pet but with hunting training) back to track the deer down. Even though the dog was a pet (all Teckels live in the house in Europe) they are likely trained for blood tracking. In other words, most Teckels that are with German hunters have passed hunt tests (not quite like the pets in this country).

Taking the little Teckel to the last place we saw a blood spoor, the hunter put the dog’s nose into the ground and let if off the lead to do its own tracking. For about an hour-and-a-half the hunter followed behind the little Teckel through the thick fir trees. When he finally caught up to the dog it was holding the deer firmly by the throat waiting for the hunter to come up and finish-off the deer. I had no doubt that the animal would have been lost had the Dachshund not been brought into play to track the deer.

Sian Kwa continues to raise and train her little Teckels at her home in Chapel Hill. She’s a hunter herself and hunts with archery tackle as well as with firearms. She often visits Germany and other European countries to have her Dachshunds bred and to study the traditional ways of hunting with these dogs. She has a website at and uses this instructional aid to explain to a lot of hunters how versatile Dachshunds are as hunting dogs. She’s made believers of a lot of hunters with her workshops that show other hunters the value of Dachshunds as hunters.

Read more: Garner News - Dachshunds make good hunting dogs ... ondary_sports_left_column

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Asia Hunting : Kazakhstan extends Saiga antelope hunting ban until 2021

on 2011/1/19 15:58:56 (802 reads)

ASTANA — Kazakhstan on Tuesday extended a ban on hunting saiga antelopes until 2021 as the Central Asian nation seeks to save the endangered species.

An order by the country's agriculture ministry to extend the ban was issued in November 2010 and published in local media on Tuesday, effective immediately.

The previous ban lasted until late last year.

Saiga antelopes, which have distinctive bulbous noses, are listed as a critically endangered species by WWF.

The Kazakh agriculture ministry put the country's saiga population at over 90,000 antelopes as of late 2010, although the WWF estimates the antelope's entire number at 50,000, having shrunk from over a million in the 1990s.

Its population fell drastically following the collapse of the Soviet Union, due to uncontrolled hunting and demand for its horns in Chinese medicine.

The introduction of the new ban follows an outbreak of pasteurellosis, an infectious disease that strikes the lungs and intestines, that claimed nearly 12,000 saiga antelopes in Kazakhstan last year.

The antelopes migrate between Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Turkmenistan and China. ... bf18c765a683ae3458575d.11

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USA Fishing : USA: Girls Aloud Sarah Harding Says She Loves Fishing!

on 2011/1/18 10:38:54 (621 reads)

Whilst her four Girls Aloud bandmates are busy working on solo material and various other ventures, Sarah Harding has been bust getting engaged and taking up the glamorous sport of err... fishing.

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Yes, the blonde haired star of hits such as 'Biology' and 'The Promise' has revealed that she and her fiancee Tom Crane love nothing more than casting a rod and waiting for the bait to be taken.

"Me and Tommy love it. We're getting pretty good at it too" she told The Sun.

"The first time we went out, we didn't catch anything so we went out the following day at the crack of dawn.

"We got up at 4.30 to get out at first light. We were there for hours but it paid off. It was brilliant. I've had a few big ones now. One recently was huge, I didn't know what was on the end of the line at first - it was massive but it got away." ... ng-says-she-loves-fishing

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USA Fishing : USA: 15-year-old angler emulates veteran's success

on 2011/1/17 15:42:19 (824 reads)

Veteran anglers should always be on their best behavior. They never know what impressionable youths might be watching. Take, for example, the latest duo of big bass from O.H. Ivie Reservoir.

Ivie is a 19,000-acre West Texas lake in Concho and Runnels counties, east of San Angelo, not far from Ballinger. This is a dusty part of Texas better known for great hunting than great fishing, but Ivie is steadily making a name for itself, thanks largely to the Gayle family.

On Dec. 15, Bobbie Gayle of Millersview caught the first Toyota ShareLunker of the season from O.H. Ivie. ShareLunkers are largemouth bass weighing 13 pounds or more that anglers donate for spawning at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center near Athens.

Gayle's catch put her in a sports club more exclusive than the Dallas Cowboys' Ring of Honor. The big bass was her third entry into the ShareLunker program. Only four other anglers (Richard McCarty, Roy Greer, Bill Lozano and Jim Gore) have contributed three ShareLunkers.

Gayle was the only woman to catch two lunkers, and now she's the only woman with three. Her husband and personal fishing guide, Butch Gayle, has only one ShareLunker, but it weighed 14.58 pounds and was the lake record until last year.

A three-lunker career run is a big deal for anybody, but the Gayle family's glory days of bass fishing occurred in 2000. That year, Bobbie caught a ShareLunker on Feb. 3, Butch caught his 14.58-pounder on Feb. 9 and their friend, Barbara Sparks of Carlsbad, N.M., caught another ShareLunker on Feb. 17 while fishing with the Gayles.

That's three bass of more than 13 pounds from the same boat in 15 days. Last year, O.H. Ivie got hot again, producing 11 ShareLunker entries, two on the program's final day. With 18 ShareLunkers, Ivie ranks fourth behind Lake Fork (246), Alan Henry (25) and Sam Rayburn (23).

Given the Texas history of big bass, it's unlikely that any lake will ever match Fork, but O.H. Ivie could easily work its way into second place, and it could happen this spring.

The Gayles are famous for using live bait to tempt big bass, and that news flash wasn't lost on Nathan Peña-Alfaro, 15, of Benbrook. The sophomore at Western Hills was fishing at O.H. Ivie with his family on Jan. 1.

He had done his homework and knew that Bobbie Gayle used a live sunfish to catch her December whopper, so he had a live sunfish on his hook, fishing about 15 feet deep, when he felt a tug on his line.

"I feel this tug and I think I'm stuck because it was just moving slowly with it [the bait]," he said. "All of a sudden my rod tip just went straight down and I started reeling and set the hook. She tail-danced probably 30 feet away, and we didn't think it was that big. Then she came into about 20 feet away and tail-danced again, and we realized the size she was."

The bass weighed 13.59 pounds and was certified by Texas Parks and Wildlife as a junior record for O.H. Ivie and also a junior state record for public waters. It's not the biggest Texas bass caught by a youth angler. In 1993, before junior records were kept, Chris Leslie, 13, of Emory, caught a 14.27-pounder from Fork.

The ShareLunker program remains open through April. To report a catch, call David Campbell at 903-681-0550 or page him at 1-888-784-0600 and leave a phone number, including the area code.

There were 33 bass bigger than 13 pounds reported caught last season, including two of more than 16 pounds, three of more than 15 pounds and five of more than 14 pounds. ... 0dnsposasser.246a0ed.html

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Europe Hunting : UK: Man, 77, hurt as horse falls on top of him during hunt

on 2011/1/17 15:37:24 (654 reads)

Charles Williamson, who is from the Mid Suffolk area, suffered a fractured pelvis and abdominal injuries in the accident in Whatfield, near Hadleigh, shortly after 2pm, on Saturday.

Mr Williamson, a member of the Essex and Suffolk Hunt, was airlifted to hospital by the air ambulance after the accident and last night his condition was said to be “stable”.

He is due to undergo surgery for his injuries at the Norwich and Norfolk Hospital today. James Buckle, who was 
master of the hunt on the day, said: “We were just standing in a heap and his horse went up on his front legs and went over backwards.

“It is very sad and we are all upset about it. He is a lovely guy who has been hunting all his life. It was only the second day he had been hunting this season.

“He is a very popular member of the hunt and we wish him a very speedy recovery.”

Because of the isolated location of the accident, the East Anglian Air Ambulance was called out to help the patient.

The helicopter Anglia Two arrived on the scene at 2.33pm. The clinical crew of Dr Troels Hansen and East of England critical care 
paramedic Jemma Varela administered fluid therapy and applied splints to the patient, before he was flown to Ipswich Hospital.

The aircraft, piloted by captain Chris Sherriff, arrived at the hospital at 3.08pm.

Mr Williamson has now been transferred to the Norwich and Norfolk Hospital.

The Essex and Suffolk Hunt dates back to the 18th Century and members take part in regular hunts across the Suffolk countryside. 
Its kennels are based near Hadleigh. ... _him_during_hunt_1_775953

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Europe Hunting : UK: Hunt enthusiasts outfox ban with new quarry

on 2011/1/17 15:34:08 (753 reads)

IDEN, England: Six years after hunting with dogs was banned in Britain, a pack of hounds is in full cry across a swathe of semi-rural East Sussex, in southern England, urged on by a huntsman and riders resplendent in hunting habit.

Somewhere up ahead is their quarry - limping slightly and straining every sinew to throw the hounds off the scent.

The Hunting Act, which became law in 2005, made it illegal to use dogs to hunt foxes. It also protects some other mammals, such as hares, mice and mink. But not men.
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Several pink-cheeked and puffing humans are now scrambling through hedgerows of hawthorn and wild rose, plunging into icy irrigation ditches and labouring across ploughed fields that are sodden with just-thawed snow.

This is a manhunt.

And although he started the day nursing a sore knee, 54-year-old Andy Kay and his fellow runners are putting up a fine chase, pausing occasionally to listen for the hounds in pursuit or to pull brambles from their hair.

This fit crew of three men and two women, given a half-hour head start, is maintaining an exhilarating lead over the hounds, which begin to emit an eerie bay as they lollop purposefully along behind, noses to the ground.

The Coakham Hunt began ''hunting men for fun,'' as its website boasts, well before fox hunting became illegal.

The co-founder of the Coakham, Nigel Budd, decided to develop a sport that ''would combine all the arts of venery together with a controllable quarry'': a human being.

But humans can't match the distinctive whiff of a fox, which tickles the olfactory fancy of the foxhound, so Mr Budd formed his pack from dogs that had been bred for generations to track people: bloodhounds.

Not every casual onlooker recognises this manhunt for what it is; some fear a fox's life could be at stake. Occasionally, says Sally Mack, joint master of the hunt, a passing car will slow, the window winds down, and a figure leans out.

''Murderers!'' the driver shouts.

''But we're not planning to kill Andy,'' says Ms Mack.

There's a spirit of gentle gibes between horsemen and quarry, though some family scores could be settled: one mounted mother is hunting down her adult daughter (''Hurry up, Holly!'' the parent cries) and a teenage girl is after her father.

For the runners, a surge of adrenalin comes with hearing the hounds on their heels. And on this dank day, they warm to the thrill of being chased.

With home - and tea - in sight the runners drop to a walk, but suddenly the baying sounds ominously close.

It's unavoidable now, this moment that hounds live for: the kill. But there is more slobber than blood to the encounter, more danger of being knocked over by wet paws than from the dogs' slavering jaws, which are soon crunching on dog biscuits that the runners scatter on the ground.

''We don't want them to get too much of a taste for blood,'' Ms Mack says from her horse, a smile flitting across her face. ... uarry-20110114-19r8h.html

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