Senate Passes a Sweeping Land Conservation Bill

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday passed a sweeping public lands conservation bill, designating more than one million acres of wilderness for environmental protection and permanently reauthorizing a federal program to pay for conservation measures.

The Senate voted 92 to 8 in favor of the bill, offering a rare moment of bipartisanship in a divided chamber and a rare victory for environmentalists at a time when the Trump administration is working aggressively to strip away protections on public lands and open them to mining and drilling.

“It touches every state, features the input of a wide coalition of our colleagues, and has earned the support of a broad, diverse coalition of many advocates for public lands, economic development, and conservation,” said Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, the majority leader.

Western lawmakers of both parties have been working for four years on the bill, which will next be taken up by the House of Representatives, where it also enjoys bipartisan support.

Among the most consequential provisions is the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a federal program established in 1964 that uses fees and royalties paid by oil and gas companies drilling in federal waters to pay for onshore conservation programs.

Although the program has long enjoyed bipartisan support, Congress typically renews it for only a few years at a time, and it expired on Sept. 30 and has not been renewed. The new public lands package would authorize the program permanently, ending its long cycle of nearing or passing expiration and awaiting Congressional renewal.

 

“Today’s vote is a big step toward ending the cycle of uncertainty that has plagued America’s best conservation program,” said Kameran Onley, director of United States Government Relations at the Nature Conservancy. “At no cost to the taxpayer, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped expand national parks, preserve pristine landscapes, and create trails and athletic fields across the country.”

The bill designates 1.3 million acres in Utah, New Mexico, Oregon and California as “wilderness,” the most stringent level of federal land protection. It prohibits any development and the use of most motorized vehicles. And the bill creates less-stringent but permanent protections of land in Montana and Washington state.

With the passage, the core group of lawmakers responsible for the negotiations was jubilant. Staff members fist-bumped in the hallway as the lawmakers — all from Western states except for Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia and the new ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee — celebrated the bill’s passage.

“It took public lands to bring divided government together,” said Senator Steve Daines, a Montana Republican.

Emily Cochrane contributed reporting.

For more news on climate and the environment, follow @NYTClimate on Twitter.

Coral Davenport covers energy and environmental policy, with a focus on climate change, from the Washington bureau. She joined The Times in 2013 and previously worked at Congressional Quarterly, Politico and National Journal. @CoralMDavenport Facebook

per https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/12/climate/senate-conservation-bill.html

25 Reasons Why Hunting Is Conservation

Reason No. 1 why Hunting Is Conservation: In 1907, only 41,000 elk remained in North America. Thanks to the money and hard work invested by hunters to restore and conserve habitat, today there are more than 1 million.

Reason No. 2 why Hunting Is Conservation: In 1900, only 500,000 whitetails remained. Thanks to conservation work spearheaded by hunters, today there are more than 32 million.

Reason No. 3 why Hunting Is Conservation: In 1900, only 100,000 wild turkeys remained. Thanks to hunters, today there are over 7 million.

Reason No. 4 why Hunting Is Conservation: In 1901, few ducks remained. Thanks to hunters’ efforts to restore and conserve wetlands, today there are more than 44 million.

Reason No. 5 why Hunting Is Conservation: In 1950, only 12,000 pronghorn remained. Thanks to hunters, today there are more than 1.1 million.

Reason No. 6 why Hunting Is Conservation: Habitat, research and wildlife law enforcement work, all paid for by hunters, help countless non-hunted species.

Reason No. 7 why Hunting Is Conservation: Through state licenses and fees, hunters pay $796 million a year for conservation programs.*

Reason No. 8 why Hunting Is Conservation: Through donations to groups like RMEF, hunters add $440 million a year to conservation efforts.*

Reason No. 9 why Hunting Is Conservation: In 1937, hunters actually requested an 11% tax on guns, ammo, bows and arrows to help fund conservation. That tax, so far, raised more than $11 billion for wildlife conservation.*

Reason No. 10 why Hunting Is Conservation: An 11% tax on guns, ammo, bows and arrows generates $371 million a year for conservation.*

Reason No. 11 why Hunting Is Conservation: All together, hunters pay more than $1.6 billion a year for conservation programs. No one gives more!*

Reason No. 12 why Hunting Is Conservation: Three out of four Americans approve of hunting, partly because hunters are America’s greatest positive force for conservation.

Reason No. 13 why Hunting Is Conservation: Every single day U.S. sportsmen contribute $8 million to conservation.

Reason No. 14 why Hunting Is Conservation: Hunting funds conservation AND the economy, generating $38 billion a year in retail spending.*

Reason No. 15 why Hunting Is Conservation: Female participation in hunting (3.35 million) is on the rise thanks to a 10% increase from 2008 to 2012.

Reason No. 16 why Hunting Is Conservation: More than 95 percent of our 222,000 members are passionate hunters. More people hunt (19.3 million) each year than play soccer (13.7 million), tennis (13.6 million) or baseball (12.1 million).

Reason No. 17 why Hunting Is Conservation: A wildlife management tool, hunting helps balance wildlife populations with what the land can support, limits crop damage and curtails disease outbreaks.

Reason No. 18 why Hunting Is Conservation: Hunters help manage growing numbers of predators such as cougars, bears, coyotes and wolves. Our government spends millions to control predators and varmints while hunters have proven more than willing to pay for that opportunity.

Reason No. 19 why Hunting Is Conservation: Hunting has major value for highway safety. For every deer hit by a motorist, hunters take six.

Reason No. 20 why Hunting Is Conservation: Hunting supports 680,000 jobs, from game wardens to waitresses, biologists to motel clerks.

Reason No. 21 why Hunting Is Conservation: Hunters provide for conservation—and for their families. Hunting is a healthy way to connect with nature and eat the world’s most organic, lean, free-range meat.

Reason No. 22 why Hunting Is Conservation: Hunters are the fuel behind RMEF and its 7 million plus acres of habitat conservation. More than 95 percent of our members are passionate hunters.

Reason No. 23 why Hunting Is Conservation: Avid hunter Theodore Roosevelt created our national forests and grasslands and forever protected 230 million acres for wildlife and the public to use and enjoy.

Reason No. 24 why Hunting Is Conservation: With funding from hunters, RMEF helped restore wild elk herds in seven states and provinces.

Reason No. 25 why Hunting Is Conservation: As society loses its ties to wildlife and conservation, the bonds with nature formed by hunting are the greatest hope for creating the next generation of true conservationists.

*financial info via America’s Sporting Heritage: Fueling the American Economy (January 2013) & Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation (January 2013)

*article via http://www.rmef.org/conservation/huntingisconservation/25reasonswhyhuntingisconservation.aspx
*pictures via http://sportingclassicsdaily.com/hunting-is-conservation/

BTT Conservation Partner SweetWater Brewing Co. Participates in Juvenile Tarpon Tagging Efforts

Before the holidays, BTT Juvenile Tarpon Habitat Program Manager JoEllen Wilson and Director of Development Mark Rehbein were accompanied by SweetWater Brewing Company’s Jake Basnett and BTT member Mark Spurgeon on a juvenile tarpon tagging trip. An arduous day of seine netting in southwest Florida yielded a batch of tarpon 12 inches or less that made for viable Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tagging candidates. After four productive years, this tagging effort marked the completion of BTT’s tarpon nursery habitat restoration project at Coral Creek Preserve.

An abandoned residential development with saltwater access, Coral Creek Preserve houses 6 adjacent canals connected by a main canal withan inlet to the west branch of Coral Creek. The original restoration plan was to fill in the canals and return them to their natural pine flatwood topography. But after realizing that juvenile tarpon inhabited one of the canals, the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) decided to change tact and hand creative license of the restoration design over to BTT. SWFWMD’s decision to entrust an outside source was unprecedented. With habitat in Florida already drastically reduced, informed restoration of degraded habitat provides the best opportunity to increase the amount of juvenile tarpon nursery grounds available.

The six canals will serve as monitoring locations for testing various tarpon nursery habitat designs. Over the next 12-18 months, BTT will be using PIT tags and antenna arrays provided by sponsors like SweetWater Brewing to gather data on growth rates and survival rates, and to track tarpon movement throughout the various treatment groups as juveniles emigrate out of the canals and into Coral Creek. 

With the support of SweetWater’s #fishforafish campaign, BTT has been able to tag a juvenile tarpon for every photo of SweetWater’s stacked Goin’ Coastal series of tarpon cans tagged on social media. And with every juvenile tarpon tagged, BTT will be better able to determine which habitat characteristics are most important to a nursery habitat’s success. The completion of Coral Creek and ongoing monitoring efforts will ultimately help inform future decisions regarding critical habitat restoration design elements.

If you’d like to learn more about this project and others, please join us at our Boca Grande Event on Friday, February 1st. Visit our website at www.btt.org/bocagrandefor more information.

Photo Credit: JoEllen Wilson

PC 1: JoEllen Wilson preparing to surgically implant a PIT tag into a juvenile tarpon

PC 2: A stack of SweetWater Brewery’s Goin’ Coastal cans

Credit: https://www.bonefishtarpontrust.org/blog/2019-01-09-btt-conservation-partner-sweetwater-brewing-co-participates-juvenile-tarpon-tagging

Modern Fish Act will change how recreational fishing is managed

Update:

Washington, D.C. – January 2, 2019 – The recreational fishing and boating community is celebrating the enactment of the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2018 (Modern Fish Act), which was signed into law by President Trump December 31. The Modern Fish Act finally recognizes in federal law the differences between recreational and commercial fishing and adds more appropriate management tools for policymakers to use in managing federal recreational fisheries.
“Millions of American families take part in saltwater recreational fishing and boating activities and support multi-billion dollar industries that generate hundreds of thousands of jobs in our country,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. “Today, we are thankful for this important milestone for federal fisheries management and marine conservation, and we look forward to continuing to improve public access to our nation’s healthy fisheries.”
The Modern Fish Act, introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Garret Graves (R-La.), enjoyed strong bipartisan support from a long list of cosponsors representing coastal and non-coastal states alike. On December 17, the Senate unanimously passed the Modern Fish Act (S. 1520) followed by overwhelming approval in the House (350-11) on December 19.
“This is historic for the recreational boating and fishing community, capping years of hard work to responsibly modernize recreational saltwater fisheries management,” said Thom Dammrich, president of the
National Marine Manufacturers Association. “The Modern Fish Act is a critical first-step solution towards establishing a framework for expanding access to recreational saltwater fishing, while ensuring conservation and sustainability remain top priorities in fisheries management. We thank President Trump and Congress for making the Modern Fish Act the law of the land and look forward to working with them in the coming years to advance polices that protect and promote recreational saltwater fishing.”
“The recreational fishing industry is grateful to see this legislation enacted,” said Glenn Hughes, president of the American Sportfishing Association. “We look forward to continuing to work with Congress, as well as NOAA Fisheries and the regional fishery management councils, to improve the management and conservation of our marine fisheries.”
“The Modern Fish Act signed by the President provides an opportunity for significant, positive change on behalf of millions of recreational anglers who enjoy fishing in federal waters,” said Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. “We look forward to working with NOAA Fisheries, the regional fishery management councils and the states to fully implement the provisions of the bill and improve federal fisheries management for America’s saltwater anglers.”
“CCA is proud to be a part of this important coalition, and we are grateful to our champions in Congress who stood by us during the intense, sometimes contentious negotiations on this legislation,” said Patrick Murray, president of Coastal Conservation Association. “There is still work to be done, but this is a valuable first step. We are hopeful this opens the door to an ongoing discussion of tools and processes that can be developed to better manage recreational fisheries in federal waters in all regions of the United States.”
“This bill becoming law is the most significant step forward in federal recreational saltwater fishing management in the forty-plus years of the Magnuson-Stevens Act,” said Whit Fosburgh, president of Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “Recreational fishermen, conservationists and businesses united around a set of principles and worked together to get this bill passed and we will continue to work together on priorities like forage fish management and improving data collection in the future.”
The recreational fishing and boating community would like to thank the sponsors of the Modern Fish Act, Senator Wicker and Congressman Graves, who led this bipartisan effort in the 115th Congress to improve federal fisheries management for America’s 11 million saltwater anglers. We also appreciate the support of Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Doug Jones (D-Ala.), and Congressmen Steve Scalise (R-La.), Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Marc Veasey (D-Texas), Rob Wittman (R-Va.), Gene Green (D-Texas), Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), and Austin Scott (R-Ga.).
For details on House and Senate passage of the Modern Fish Act and additional industry perspectives, please visit http://www.sportfishingpolicy.com/media-room/u-s-house-passes-modern-fish-act/.
The Modern Fish Act will provide more stability and better access for anglers by:
  • Providing authority and direction to NOAA Fisheries to apply additional management tools more appropriate for recreational fishing, many of which are successfully implemented by state fisheries agencies (e.g., extraction rates, fishing mortality targets, harvest control rules, or traditional or cultural practices of native communities);
  • Improving recreational harvest data collection by requiring federal managers to explore other data sources that have tremendous potential to improve the accuracy and timeliness of harvest estimates, such as state-driven programs and electronic reporting (e.g., through smartphone apps);
  • Requiring the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a study on the process of mixed-use fishery allocation review by the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Regional Fishery Management Councils and report findings to Congress within one year of enactment of the Modern Fish Act, and
  • Requiring the National Academies of Sciences to complete a study and provide recommendations within two years of the enactment of the Modern Fish Act on limited access privilege programs (catch shares) including an assessment of the social, economic, and ecological effects of the program, considering each sector of a mixed-use fishery and related businesses, coastal communities, and the environment and an assessment of any impacts to stakeholders in a mixed-use fishery caused by a limited access privilege program. This study excludes the Pacific and North Pacific Regional Fishery Management Councils.

Saltwater recreational fishing is enjoyed by over 11 million Americans. As an industry, we contribute over $70 billion to the economy each year and support 455,000 American jobs all over the country. In spite of these impressive numbers, when it comes to federal management, our sport is frequently overlooked.

The current federal laws have never properly addressed the importance of recreational fishing. This has led to shortened or even cancelled seasons, reduced bag limits, and unnecessary restrictions – none of which is good news for the recreational fishing industry.

Fortunately, a solution is on the horizon. On April 6, 2017, the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act, or the “Modern Fish Act” for short, was introduced in both the House of Representatives and Senate. This new bill will give federal managers the tools and data they need to both improve access and promote conservation of our natural marine resources.

Bottom line: the Modern Fish Act means more and better fishing for your customers – and that’s good news for everybody.

  • https://asafishing.org/advocacy_and_policy/advocacy/modern-fish-act/

 

Amidst all the turmoil in Washington, D.C., the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017 (Modern Fish Act) has made it through Congress and now awaits President Trump’s signature.

“We feel very good to have gotten this thing across the finish line (Wednesday) night,” Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy, said in a telephone interview Thursday. Angers noted that the Senate passed the bill (S.1520) by unanimous consent (100-0) Monday and shortly before 8 p.m. Wednesday it passed the House of Representatives.

“We wanted to have an update that made sure that the federal law recognized commercial fishing and recreational fishing are inherently different activities that need to be managed differently. We actually wrote that sentence into the law that was passed last night,” Angers said.

“This bill, the Modern Fish Act, is not a panacea. It’s not going to solve every problem in every fishery in every corner of the country. But the simple fact of the federal government recognizing the differences between the two activities is a huge win for recreational fishing and something we’ve been wanting for the last 40 years.”

Angers said the way U.S. fisheries has been managed dating back to 1976 and the establishment of the Magnuson Act was focused on commercial fishing and never addressed recreational fishing.

“I would always tell this story whenever I would walk into any congressman’s office in Washington. If the only tool available to manage fisheries in federal waters is the commercial fishing model of tonnage-based management, what percentage of a metric ton do my three kids get? How does that work? The problem is the federal government never looked back to see what tools are appropriate to manage recreational fishing.”

The attempt to bring recreational fisheries to the forefront began in 2014 by the Commission on Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Management in a report titled “A Vision for Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries.” The Commission was know as the Morris-Deal Commission, named for co-chairs Johnny Morris (founder of Bass Pro Shops) and Scott Deal (president of Maverick Boat Group), and many of the recommendations are found in the Modern Fish Act.

It was supported by many fishing and boating entities, particularly the boat manufacturers found in South Carolina, Angers pointed out.

The coalition of groups supporting the Modern Fish Act includes American Sportfishing Association, Center for Sportfishing Policy, Coastal Conservation Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, International Game Fish Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Recreational Fishing Alliance, The Billfish Foundation and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

A news release on the passage noted that there are 11 million saltwater anglers in the U.S. who have an annual economic impact of $63 billion and generate 440,000 jobs. The news release also noted that ”$1.3 billion is contributed annually by anglers and boaters through excise taxes and licensing fees, most of which goes toward conservation, boating safety and infrastructure and habitat restoration.

The Modern Fish Act will provide more stability and better access for anglers by:

• Providing authority and direction to NOAA Fisheries to apply additional management tools more appropriate for recreational fishing, many of which are successfully implemented by state fisheries agencies (e.g., extraction rates, fishing mortality targets, harvest control rules, or traditional or cultural practices of native communities);

• Improving recreational harvest data collection by requiring federal managers to explore other data sources that have tremendous potential to improve the accuracy and timeliness of harvest estimates, such as state-driven programs and electronic reporting (e.g., through smartphone apps);

• Requiring the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a study on the process of mixed-use fishery allocation review by the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Regional Fishery Management Councils and report findings to Congress within one year of enactment of the Modern Fish Act, and

• Requiring the National Academies of Sciences to complete a study and provide recommendations within two years of the enactment of the Modern Fish Act on limited access privilege programs (catch shares) including an assessment of the social, economic, and ecological effects of the program, considering each sector of a mixed-use fishery and related businesses, coastal communities, and the environment and an assessment of any impacts to stakeholders in a mixed-use fishery caused by a limited access privilege program. This study excludes the Pacific and North Pacific Regional Fishery Management Councils.

Angers feels the passage of this law will help bridge the distrust between anglers and federal managers.

“Generally speaking, anglers will say yes, let’s do the right thing for conservation. When the federal government makes an announcement, because there’s a lack of trust between anglers and federal managers, people are angry. When you hear bad news from your state guy, you’re a lot more accepting because you trust the state managers,” Angers said.

“Making federal management more like state management is a win-win for everybody.”

Angers said the bill doesn’t change the authority that (the South Atlantic and Gulf Fishery Management Councils) have over fisheries. But it helps facilitate the use of better management methods and incorporates better data, “things states already use but feds were not allowed to use.”

Per Tideline Magazine, https://www.postandcourier.com/tideline_magazine/modern-fish-act-will-change-how-recreational-fishing-is-managed/article_34db603e-0539-11e9-bd2c-bb51368ff5e1.html?fbclid=IwAR11V0DPVAVh2nB1Vh-2KC6VufXrUaXEnTYaMj9338ObAqrANCt8HtCvqSE

 

Bonefish Connectivity by Dr. Aaron Adams, BTT Director of Science and Conservation

There are two ways that fish populations in different locations can be connected – by migrations of adults and by the transport of fish larvae by ocean currents. Learning how, and to what extent, bonefish, tarpon, and permit populations are connected is important for conservation because this information allows us to design the most effective management plans.

On the local scale – say an island in the Bahamas, or the Florida Keys – bonefish in different locations are connected by spawning migrations. Tagging and tracking of bonefish in the Bahamas, Belize, and Florida Keys shows that for most of the year adult bonefish stick to a small area. In other words, if you fish a flat often, you are probably fishing to the same local population of bonefish. But during spawning season, these bonefish undergo long-distance migrations to spawning sites – we’ve tracked bonefish migrating 70 miles from their home flat to a spawning site, and then returning to their home flat. This means that during the spawning season, bonefish from a wide region can mix.

This leads us to the regional scale – say between Mexico, Belize, Cuba, Florida. Gathered in large groups, bonefish swim offshore at night to spawn. They spawn in the top 200 feet or so of water that is thousands of feet deep. They use a method called broadcast spawning – they eject eggs and sperm into the open water, where fertilization occurs. The fertilized eggs hatch in about 24 hours, and the tiny larvae live as plankton in the open ocean for between 41 and 71 days. During this oceanic phase, ocean currents can act to retain the larvae near their parents’ location, or the currents can transport the larvae long distances. So a larvae that is spawned in south Andros, the Bahamas, might end up becoming a juvenile in Andros, or it might end up on another island in the Bahamas or on the north coast of Cuba. The end result is that bonefish in separate locations are essentially part of the same regional population.

What does this mean for conservation? On the local scale, habitat conservation and protection must focus on adult home flats, spawning migration pathways, spawning sites, and juvenile habitats. On the regional scale, we have to make sure that bonefish populations are healthy in all locations, even if we only have one favorite fishing location. And that the local conservation measures, like habitat protection, are adequate in all locations to ensure that the local populations are healthy. In other words, every location where bonefish live is important to having a healthy regional population, and your local fishery depends on a healthy regional population as well as local conservation measures.

Article via Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

BrandBuilders Podcast + ReelTrail

BrandBuilders Podcast with Ryan & Kirk Leaphart from ReelTrail

 

September 13, 2018  |  BrandBuilders  & Dunstan Group
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast or weekend warrior, you’ve probably got a bunch of used gear in your garage that you hate to throw out. Ebay, Amazon, Craigslist, and even Nextdoor are all options… but they all have their drawbacks, too.
Enter father and son consignment shop owners from Charleston who thought there had to be an easier way — so they designed ReelTrail, a buying and selling website and app that also gives back to environmental causes. Ryan and Kirk Leaphart joins us on the Brandbuilders Podcast with The Dunstan Group!

 

 

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 25:37 — 35.2MB)
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | More
http://dunstangroup.blubrry.net/2018/09/13/ryan-and-kirk-leephart-reel-trail/

Kayak Fishing Tips

It takes a long time to become an expert in kayak fishing. The period of apprenticeship, which must be served in order to transform the novice into a veteran kayak angler can be discouraging and often runs into years.

About the nearest thing to a short cut is to have an old-timer take the first-timer under his wing and let the novice accompany him on kayak fishing trips

Basically, kayak fishing is gradually making a name in the industry. Its popularity is steadily creating sustainable gratifications aside from the fact that kayaks have long been used in fishing.

History has it that even in the early times; kayak fishing has long been the primary source of fish supply ranging from the ìflatfish halibutî to other kinds of big fish. These activities, which happened from the mid 18th Century until the late part of it, were all noted by the Russian Orthodox priests. These turn of events are now known as ìThe Native History.

From then on, kayak fishing continued to dominate the fishing industry, where once, people were doubtful if it could really aid the anglers to catch some fish. The steady feature brought about by its ìsit-onî type has long been the primary characteristics of kayaks that made it an ideal fishing boat.

However, with kayak fishing, the angler has to learn how to steady the kayak as he tries to paddle through the waters, in which it is considered as part of the whole process.

Therefore, for people who wish to know some tips about kayak fishing, hereís a list that may help them enjoy this tricky activity.

1. Safety first

Like any activity, it is necessary that before an individual plunges into action, he or she must first observe some safety measures and background checks to ensure security and protection against any imminent danger.

The angler must check the weather condition, the tide, and other elements concerning kayaking.

2. Hatches should be closed at all times

The angler should always keep in mind that it is best to keep the hatches closed while fishing. Water can never seep through the kayak if the hatches are kept closed.

3. Steady fishing

When the angler is already in the midst of the waters, it is better to have an anchor to keep the kayak steady while on the verge of catching fish.

Best of all, before an individual goes out to the waters, it would be better if he let somebody know his whereabouts. In this way, somebody will be able to keep track of your activity.

As they say, safety should always come first.

Browse ReelTrail for all your outdoor needs, from night vision goggles, to kayaks, snowboards and skis, to backpacking and climbing equipment.

Have a closet full of gear you don’t use? Sell it on ReelTrail for the lowest fees around. Only pay when your item sells, and print discounted shipping labels directly on our website and app! Download the app for free in the App Store and Google Play Store.

Women In The Outdoors: Female-Focused Programs For a Fuller Life

 

It’s 2018. The world has changed from the closed-minded appeal of businessmen and housewives to an open, joyful, and exhilarating world where everyone has the chance to get active and be rewarded with the fulfilling opportunities nature provides us. As part of the movement to empower and encourage women to get active and start participating in outdoor activities like hunting and fishing, multiple state programs have been founded to educate women on water fowling, fly fishing, big game hunting, and a variety of other activities.

These programs range from one-day outdoor classes to multi-day camping trips. Through these programs, women are becoming engaged in the outdoors and are learning key tactics like wilderness survival. It’s through these programs that many women are beginning to see how fulfilling an outdoor lifestyle can be. Since many women lack good role models to teach them about the outdoors, these programs are excellent for all ages. Younger girls can even find similar experiences through youth hunting courses and other outreach programs.

Local & National Programs

Almost every state now offers a program aimed at women to teach them how to survive in the wilderness, hunt, or fish. The programs include a variety of skills and the are quickly gaining in popularity. One of the fastest growing programs in the country is the Women In The Outdoors Program offered by the National Wild Turkey Foundation. Before implementing the program, NWTF also supported many smaller programs offered through various foundations. With the national program, they are able to reach that many more women.

The issues that used to plague smaller programs—like lack of media attention—are no more. Since popularity of this kind of program began growing a few years back, multiple programs have taken off at the local, state, and national level. For instance, one newly founded organization, Women Outdoors, works across the nation to promote friendship, adventure, and leadership through programs that organize hiking, kayaking, biking, and cross-country skiing events.

 

The purpose of these programs is to engage, inspire, and empower women to get active in the outdoors. Many towns and counties themselves have been inspired by the success of national organizations to create their own activities for women. In fact, there’s a good chance you can find a Women In The Outdoors program in your area to teach all sorts of outdoor skills.

What’s Covered?

Every program varies by interest, region, and the organization running it. Some wildlife refuges have sponsored water fowling and hunting clinics for women, while Fish & Game boards across the country have founded multiple fishing and hunting clinics that range from fowling to big game tracking. But, not all programs are devoted to fishing and hunting activities. Many, such as those provided by the Women Outdoors organization, are focused on athletic outings like biking and kayaking. Other programs are not so much focused on teaching the skill itself, but on teaching other skills—such as communication and leadership—through activities such as skiing and hiking. The latter type of program are taken at the community-level and give women an outlet to find friends and network with other women in their area.

How Can I Join One?

If you’re interested in joining a Women In The Outdoors program, there are many ways to see what’s available to you. Depending on the type of program you’re seeking, you can call up your local Fish & Game office directly to see what they have or check online to see if one of the many national organizations has a program in your region.

If there aren’t any programs being offered yet, don’t be discouraged. In fact, you could be the one to start. Even if you don’t have the know-how to lead the class, you can bring a chapter to your region by getting in touch with an organization who offers programs you’re interested in. Just reach out to them and let them know there are interested people in your area who want a program in your town. They can help you assemble a program and find the people you need to lead it.

You can also contact your Fish & Game office and see about having an Officer or Forest Ranger come speak with you and the other people who are interested in your area. If you can get even a short list of interested women who would like to see a local program, they might even be able to set one up for you.

Before You Go

If you’re planning on joining one of these programs, make sure to get the gear you need! At ReelTrail, you can score great deals on new and used hunting, hiking, fishing, climbing, and snow gear for everyone in your house. Some gear has never been worn while other pieces may already be broken in for you!

Browse ReelTrail for all your outdoor needs, from night vision goggles, to kayaks, snowboards and skis, to backpacking and climbing equipment.

Have a closet full of gear you don’t use? Sell it on ReelTrail for the lowest fees around. Only pay when your item sells, and print discounted shipping labels directly on our website and app! Download the app for free in the App Store and Google Play Store.

Ever Wanted to Bow Fish?

Also known as Bow fishing, this is a sport wherein a fisherman uses archery equipment to fish.

A regular hunting bow can be used for fishing by simply attaching a reel to the front of the bow grip.

Archery fishing is especially favored by regular hunters when regular game like deer are off season. This way they can continuously hone their skills for whatever season it may be.

Before engaging in archery fishing, one must first take into consideration the following:

1. A fisherman must be duly licensed. Some states require that an individual have a state license to fish.

2. Equipment; Most states have a predetermined set of approved equipment for archery fishing.

3. Archery Safety Course; Still, some states require that an individual go through an approved safety course for archery fishing to ensure that the individual is well versed with the proper safety precautions and information regarding applicable laws in fishing.

4. Seasons; Bow fishing in some states can only be done in certain seasons. This is to allow the fish to spawn.

5. Species of fish; Some states have rules forbidding archery fishing for some species of fish.

The following skills are necessary for an individual to obtain and practice:

Knot tying. Though it may seem like a simple task, tying knots that will not slip (line for the arrow) are crucial in bow fishing.

Tuning; Tuning is making sure that the bow is at its best working condition. To ensure this, one has to continuously adjust the rest and calibrate the nock.

For a faster tuning process, one may shoot a regular bow-fishing arrow (without the tip) onto a target made of cardboard.

Marksmanship or targeting; Bow fishing and bow hunting, though similar on some aspects, really do differ on many things. Arrows for bow fishing are heavier, have larger arrow tips and, the most obvious one, has a string attached to the arrow.

And since fish are shot in the water, resistance differs as when compared to shooting in the air (for bow hunting of games)

There are various methods or ways of archery fishing. This includes the following:

1. Still hunting; A fisherman selects a place by a salt or freshwater creek or the lake in which he would wait for passing fish to shoot its bow at.

2. Stalking; This can be done on foot or while on a boat. One is in constant motion in an attempt to locate fish.

3. Ambush; Fish that are best ambushed are the ones that are spawning since they tend to crowd thus increasing chances of target.

What are you waiting for, go try it out!

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