Live Action Game Cameras – A Slippery Slope?

The Browning Dark Ops Pro XD Game Trail Camera, With Camera Security Box, Master Lock Padlock, and Master Lock Python Trail Camera Adjustable Camouflage Cable Lock. Photograph By Michael Patrick McCarty

Ready To Record, And Report. Photo By Michael Patrick McCarty

 

Post by  | July 18, 2018

On an October morning a decade or so ago, I was hunting woodcock in an abandoned orchard. A flight had come in and, in less than an hour, I collected my three-bird limit. That evening I got a call from an acquaintance, a deer hunter, who hunts the same orchard. He asked how I did and if I’d seen evidence of deer. How, I asked, had he known I had been hunting there that morning? He said he saw me on the trail camera he’d placed in cover. I was amused.

It’s now common to see cameras in the woods I hunt, and it’s interesting to hear from friends who share the pictures of animals their cameras record. I’m primarily a bird hunter so field cameras are of no use, though I have thought it would be neat to position a camera near a grouse drumming log to get some pictures of the showoff. It’s clear that a deer hunter can make good use of a game camera or two. It’s also clear that the technology is a useful tool for wildlife researchers. More broadly, I know public school and college teachers who have their students use remote cameras to record animal activities in their backyards and neighborhoods. Anything that gets young people outdoors and engaged in appreciating wildlife is a good thing.

But there is a downside that hunters in particular must face, and it’s gotten more acute with the development of so-called “live action game cameras,” units that record and transmit images in real time to a smart phone or other hand-held device. Does this technology tilt the playing field too far in favor of the hunter? Are you really hunting if your phone notifies you when a buck has stepped into the food plot?

This is not a new problem. Philosophers in ancient Greece worried about our ability to take unfair advantage over animals. Jose Ortega y Gassett praised hunters who deliberately handicapped themselves to make the contest between hunter and hunted a challenge. Aldo Leopold worried that “gadgets” would corrupt hunting: Even if the gadgets didn’t improve hunters’ chances of making a kill, they placed too much emphasis on the kill at the expense of the challenge of the chase. Theodore Roosevelt was characteristically blunt on the same subject: “The rich people, who are content to buy what they have not the skill to get by their own exertions – these are the men who are the real enemies of game.”

TR was familiar with both riches and exertion, but today, technology does not require inherited wealth. We have to ask ourselves if we want to make hunting easier, and perhaps more importantly, do we want to make success, defined as a kill, more certain? In any given year, no more than 20 percent of all deer and elk hunters harvest their animals. That they keep hunting, year in and year out, suggests that they are hunting for complex reasons that go far beyond the desire to kill: Failing to do so in any given year only heightens the expectations for next year.

Available technology now makes it possible for hunters to reduce the time they otherwise would have to invest in preseason scouting, even time afield during the season. Game cameras have become inexpensive, enabling hunters to check the movement of game in areas they intend to hunt without investing precious hours with boots on the ground. It’s easy to see how substituting technology for the laborious process of acquiring intimate knowledge of game is tempting, especially given the fact that for most hunters, there are many claims on “free” time.

At this writing (February 2018) only three states have banned live action cameras in season (Montana requires that all cameras be removed during the hunting season.) A few more are considering regulations. This is an issue that will become more pressing as cameras get more sophisticated. And then there are camera-equipped drones that raise even knottier ethical questions. Sixteen states have banned drones in season, thanks in part to advocacy by BHA.

We are facing the wicked problem of the “slippery slope”: Where do we draw the line between the acceptable and the unacceptable? Is the line purely a personal preference or ought there be regulations that say cameras are OK for preseason scouting but not during the hunting season? Ought we draw a line between conventional and live action cameras? And drones?

At bottom, the question is one of fair chase. Do live action cameras unacceptably tilt the playing field? There’s room for debate, but one thing is certain: The price of technology will go down and the ethical costs associated with accepting increasingly sophisticated electronic mediation between hunter and hunted will go up.

You Can Read The Original Article Here

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Reposted By Michael Patrick McCarty

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Colorado Governor Issues Executive Order To Protect Migration Corridors

Photo Credits: Good Bull Outdoors

 

In August, Gov. Jared Polis gave sportsmen and women a tool to protect migration corridors in Colorado. BHA welcomes this executive order (EO), and we thank the governor for his leadership on this bipartisan issue. If you’d like to thank Gov. Polis for this action you can follow this link.

 

thumbnail.jpgThe Importance Of Wildlife Habitat

 

In 2004 a group of seven hunters and anglers came together around a campfire to discuss the tenets of our hunting heritage. The conversation that ensued shaped the core mission and values of what Backcountry Hunters & Anglers would become and would shape our focus, making us the outspoken, fastest growing organization for our public lands, waters, and wildlife habitat that we are today.

Our hunting heritage depends on healthy populations of wild game. Habitat is fundamental to supporting these populations, and it is incumbent upon us as sportsmen and women to be outspoken advocates for protecting it. We are losing this habitat every day. Subdivisions, roads, trails and energy fields are being steadily developed to meet the demands of a population expected to nearly double in size by 2050. Since 2001, Colorado has lost more than half a million acres of habitat, nearly the size of Rhode Island. The habitat we’re losing is widespread – leading to increasingly fragmented landscapes on which wildlife depend. This change has been incremental, but ceaseless – difficult to recognize at times but very real and deserving of our attention.

Development of wildlife habitat is impacting migration routes, oftentimes altering the course of these historic routes and sometimes cutting them off altogether. For wildlife such as a mule deer with a strong fidelity to historic migration routes, these changes can take a significant toll – severely limiting movement between critical ranges, the food and refuge they provide, and putting them and other game species on a collision course along our highways and roadways. This can limit mule deer access to food and refuge, concentrating populations into smaller and smaller areas and creating barriers to movement.

 

20178750.jpg

 

If not properly planned and mitigated, such development can depress native populations of wildlife like mule deer.  As hunters, anglers and conservationists, we have a duty to help advance commonsense solutions that help ensure our wildlife continues to thrive alongside human development.  Colorado hunters, anglers and decision makers have worked to advance policy solutions and funding mechanisms that ensure wildlife habitat conservation is at the forefront of land use planning decisions in the state.

What Does This Executive Order Do?

While the EO doesn’t formally designate protections for migration corridors, it does take a number of positive steps to support and direct Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Department of Natural Resources, the Colorado Department of Transportation and other important stakeholders to better protect migration corridors moving forward.

  • The EO directs CPW to gather the best available science and to lead public outreach and education efforts around seasonal habitat and migration corridors. This will enable CPW to fill in data gaps and identify the biggest threats facing wildlife habitat and migration corridors. This also will allow CPW to better understand the current functionality of habitat and migration corridors, allowing for the strategic prioritization of habitat and corridor protections where they are needed most. The EO also directs CPW to identify potential sources of funding to support research and implementation.
  • The EO directs DNR to identify opportunities to ensure the ongoing conservation of seasonal habitat and migration corridors. This means that DNR will be considering migration corridors in new and existing agency policies and permitting processes moving forward. This also means DNR will be working with private land owners and neighboring states to protect seasonal habitat and migration corridors.
  • The EO directs CDOT to enable safe wildlife passage and to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions and to incorporate the maintenance of wildlife migration into all levels of its planning process. This is a great step. Wildlife crossings will play a key role in maintaining and improving the functionality of migration corridors impacted by roadways and highways in Colorado. This EO also directs CDOT to actively seek partnerships and financial support outside of the agency to effectively implement these conservation measures.
  • The EO directs CPW and CDOT to enter into a memorandum of understanding by the end of 2019 to access current processes and practices, identify new opportunities to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions and to restore, conserve, and protect migration corridors across public roadways. Both CDOT and CPW are directed to identify prioritize areas for crossings based on the best available science.

Our ability to protect migration corridors in Colorado was recently strengthened by Secretarial Order (SO) 3362 in February of 2018. This order provides basic guidelines to support collaborations between the federal, government, states, and private landowners; it prioritizes the use of the best available science, and it helps identify funding to support this work.

This is a great step for Colorado, and BHA looks forward to working with our state, agency and community partners to move this work forward. Whether we’re partnering with community outreach efforts with CPW, contributing to citizen science, or showing up to advocate for wildlife habitat, the Colorado Chapter of BHA will be there.

We need your help. If you’d like to volunteer or get involved please contact us!

You Can See The Full Article Here

Colorado Bowhunter Takes Gold Medal Himalayan Tahr

A Bowhunter Poses With A Safari Club International Gold Medal Bull Himalayan Tahr Taken on New Zealand's South Island

 

Western Colorado bowman Rocky Tschappat harvested a Gold Medal Himalayan Tahr while hunting in New Zealand in April of 2019.

With a score of 43 3/8, it will place #12 in Safari Club International’s Bowhunting Record Book.

Introduced to the South Island of New Zealand in 1904, the Himalayan Tahr is considered one of the world’s most challenging bow & arrow trophies.

 

A Gold Medal Award Plaque From Safari Club International, For The New #12 Himalayan Tahr, Taken While Bowhunting On a Free Range Hunt On The South Island of New Zealand

By Michael Patrick McCarty

And As You Can See, The Red Stag Hunting Was Pretty Good too!

 

A Bowhunter Poses With a Gold Medal Trophy Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) Stag, Harvested On A Hunt In New Zealand

A Gold Medal Red Deer Stag

 

Please Contact Rocky at  rtbowhunting@gmail.com If You Would Like More Information On Booking a Hunt For Red Stag Or Himalayan Tahr In New Zealand.

When Animals Become Art

 

A Trophy Mule Deer Buck Hugs The Evening Skyline of Western Colorado. Photograph By Michael Patrick McCarty

Photo By Michael Patrick McCarty

 

No – this is not a water color painting!

But it is a photograph of a very large mule deer buck, captured in the low light at the end of day, surrounded by the heavy smoke of the terrible fires of 2018 in northwest Colorado.

 

A Small Herd Of Cow Elk Feed Quietly In The Snows Of A Harsh Winter Storm In Western Colorado

Out Of The Storm. Photo By Michael Patrick McCarty

 

A Trophy Mule Deer Buck Looks For A Mule Deer Doe During The Yearly Rut In Western Colordo

Ghost Buck. Photo By Michael Patrick McCarty

 

A Trophy Mule Deer Searches For Receptive Mule Deer Does During The Annual Rut And Breeding Season

Mule Deer In Motion. Photo By Michael Patrick McCarty

 

“Mule Deer and elk are the life blood of the Rocky Mountains in what remains of the wild, wild west. I could not imagine a western vista without them.” – Michael Patrick McCarty

Active Member Outdoor Writers Association of America

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To Celebrate & Cherish – National Hunting & Fishing Day

National Hunting and Fishing Day

On Saturday, September 28, the National Rifle Association of America and its members will celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day to honor the commitment of our country’s sportsmen to wildlife conservation and to promote the continued enjoyment of our outdoor heritage for generations to come.

On May 2, 1972, President Richard Nixon signed the first National Hunting and Fishing Day proclamation, declaring, “I urge all our citizens to join with outdoor sportsmen in the wise use of our natural resources and ensuring their proper management for the benefit of future generations.” Since then, Americans have celebrated National Hunting and Fishing Day on the fourth Saturday of every September.

“In addition to being a genuinely thrilling adventure, hunting brings us closer to nature and teaches us core values that enrich our lives,” said Joe DeBergalis, executive director, NRA General Operations. “Families struggling to unplug from cell phones and video games should consider spending a weekend outdoors. Time spent hunting or fishing, which doesn’t have to cost much, is an opportunity for mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandparents to pass down the core values of patience, honor, determination, and accomplishment.”

Hunters, anglers and target shooters in the United States contribute nearly $1.75 billion annually to conservation through the purchase of licenses, excise taxes paid on hunting and fishing equipment and ammunition, and contributions to various conservation organizations.

“If you’re able to do so, be sure to get out and participate in our great American traditions of hunting and fishing,” said DeBergalis. “Take this opportunity to introduce someone to the great outdoors.”

Be sure to check with your local clubs and NRA Business Alliance members for family-friendly events in your area. Visit explore.nra.org.

NRA

Posted By Michael Patrick McCarty

And Please Do Not Forget To Support The NRA.

You Can Read More About Hunting And Fishing Day Here

Below Is The Original Proclamation:

1630 PROCLAMATION 4128-MAY 2, 1972 [86 STAT.
of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-sixth.

May 2,1972

PROCLAMATION 4128

National Hunting and Fishing Day

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

For many years, responsible hunters and fishermen have been in the
vanguard of efforts to halt the destruction of our land and waters and
protect the natural habitat so vital to our wildlife.
Through a deep personal interest in our wildlife resources, the
American hunter and fisherman have paved the way for the growth of
modern wildlife management programs. In addition, his purchase of
licenses and permits, his payment of excise taxes on hunting and fishing
equipment, and his voluntary contributions to a great variety of conservation
projects are examples of his concern for wildlife populations
and habitat preservation.
His devotion has promoted recreational outlets of tremendous value
for our citizens, sportsmen and nonsportsmen alike. Indeed, he has
always been in the forefront of today’s environmental movement with
his insistence on sound conservation programs.
In recognition of the many and worthwhile contributions of the
American hunter and angler, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution
Ante, p. 133. 117, has requested the President to declare the fourth Saturday of
September 1972 as National Hunting and Fishing Day.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICHARD NIXON, President of the
United States of America, do hereby designate Saturday, September 23,
1972, as National Hunting and Fishing Day.
I urge all our citizens to join with outdoor sportsmen in the wise use
of our natural resources and in insuring their proper management for
the benefit of future generations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this second
day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-two, and
of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred
ninety-sixth.

A Way To See The World Revisited

“Each Thought That Is Written Has As Its Reflection A Trail Within The Heart Of the Forest” – Sandie Storm, Song of Heyoehkah

A Hunter Stares Down A Wild River Canyon On The Yampa River of Northwestern Colorado.Laughing  Down a Wild Canyon

 

October of 2019 will mark the sixth anniversary of the creation and online launch of “Through a Hunter’s Eyes”. Since then, I have been blessed with more outdoor adventure than a man can adequately communicate within the limited boundaries of a sporting blog. But then again, someone’s got to do it; so try, I must.

I thought it might be time for me, as writer, and publisher, to take a little look at how we have fared. For one thing, the production of content for a “Journal of Wild Game, Fighting Fish, and Grand Pursuit” can really keep a guy casting about through uncharted territory. It’s a big, big outdoor world out there, after all, and it’s not always easy to stay focused on the proper path beneath one’s feet.

Well, we have tracked along pretty well, if I do say so myself. Success in life, as in most things, is relative. Competition for your readers’ gaze upon the page is both calculating, and fierce. But, thanks to you, “Through A Hunter’s Eyes” has become one of the more highly rated hunting and outdoor related websites on the planet.

Looking back, there is no doubt that the world, and my life, has changed in ways far beyond uncomplicated description, but my goals, and the way I chose to see the world, have remained the same.

In the end, I am hunter.

I am free each time, however briefly, and born anew, in my hunter’s mind. Always ready, and willing, for just one more adventure…

Here is what I wrote, back in 2013:

Greetings From The High Rocky Mountains,

My name is Michael Patrick McCarty, and I wish to welcome you to our online sporting journal, and to our little window of the world. It holds a dazzling view that can change with the seasons and beckons us to roam as far as the eye can see.

Plainly said, my family history sports a long list of colorful characters; free thinkers and independent cusses who lived and made their livings’ close to the earth. Most of them were hunters and fishermen too.

I really can’t remember when I was not a hunter, because before I was one I wanted to be one. It’s in my blood and within my nature, and I can say without apology that I was surely born that way. It’s a good thing to know, as it is a simple fact that it is important to embrace the foundations of who you are and where you come from.

Most of all it can be said that I see everything through a hunter’s eyes.

It is not something that I can change, and I wouldn’t if I could . The fish and game animals that we pursue are great and wondrous gifts from the creator of all things, and should never be taken for granted. It is a privilege and an honor to follow their trail. To know that puts a certain spin on things.

These gifts I accept, and in so doing I owe a debt of gratitude which I plan to pay. Within this acceptance lies an opportunity to learn, to write and to teach, to give back, and wonder…and to see each other as part of something much bigger than ourselves.

I am hunter, and in that I am always exactly where I need to be, …be it near, or far, from home.

Thankfully, the place of the moment is often filled with wild fowl suspended in cloudless blue skies, or with broad-tailed fish below, hovering ghost-like amidst the rushing waters.

No doubt you can see them too. You’ve made it this far.

Enjoy!

Michael Patrick McCarty

Active Member of The Outdoor Writers Association of America

You Can See The Original Post, And Photos, Here.

Please keep those comments and sporting experiences coming. We would love to hear about them?

 

“I am a hunter…I desire to carry nothing more heavy than my bow.” – From Song of Heyoehkah By Hyemeyohsts Storm

“Poetry and Revolution Before Breakfast”Edward Abbey

Nobody Here But Us Birds…In The Backyard

“And the fox said to the little prince: Men have forgotten this truth. But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”Antoine De Saint-Exupery, From The Little Prince

 

A mature, big, black bear paws and strips the fruit from a tree in the early fall near Aspen, Colorado

 

A very large black bear, not far from the back door, strips a fruit tree in the early fall in Aspen, Colorado.

 

A Young Elk Noses Up To A Hummingbird Feeder In A Backyard Garden During A Winter Snowstorm Near Carbondale, Colorado
Not Quite As Good As Mother’s Milk

 

A young elk tests out a hummingbird feeder in a backyard garden, somewhere near Carbondale, Colorado.

 

A Mule Deer Buck Noses Up To A Backyard Bird Feeder n Northwestern Colorado
Photo By Frank Donofrio

 

Not to be undone, a mule deer buck gets his licks in too!

 

You might also like Elk On The Range or The Hushed Silence of Winter Storm.

 

Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

Those Were the Days…For Fishing On The Fryingpan River

There was a time when the now world famous Fryingpan River near Basalt, Colorado, was known mostly by a more local group of fisherman. I was lucky enough to be one of those, and we had things pretty much to ourselves, back in the day.

Anyone who has fished there more recently may find that hard to believe, but it is true.

Here are a couple of images on black and white film, circa 1982, of some more normal looking trout that proceed the introduction of mysis shrimp to Reudi Reservoir and the appearance of the monster, football-shaped trout that soon followed.

But then, that’s another story…

Photographs by Michael Patrick McCarty

Active Member Outdoor Writers Association of America

 

Photograph of a rainbow trout next to a flyrod, taken on the banks of the Fryingpan River ear Basalt,, colorado in the early 1980's. Photograph by Michael Patrick McCarty

A Close-up Photograph of a Rainbow Trout with a Wooley Bugger Fly in it's Mouth, Taken on the Banks of the Fryingpan River Near Basalt,, Colorado in the Early 1980's. Photograph by Michael Patrick McCarty

Master flyfisherman Pat Hayes, with a Rainbow Trout Caught on a Flyrod on The Fryingpan River, Near Basalt, Colorado in the Early 1980's

Please follow us at https://throughahunterseyes.com/ and https://steemit.com/@huntbook

Recommended Reading:

Front cover of Book Fifty Places To Fly Fish Before You Die by Chris Santella

The Fryingpan River is definitely one of those places that you should fish before you die. We generally have a copy of this title in our bookstore stock, if so interested.

Ted Nugent Blasts Michigan DNR As ‘Stupid’ Over Deer, Elk Baiting Ban

The Front Cover For The Book God, Guns, & Rock N' Roll By Hunter, Bowhunter, and Famous Musician Ted Nugent.

 

, The Detroit News Published 10:22 a.m. ET Sept. 17, 2019 | Updated 2:14 p.m. ET Sept. 17, 2019

Conservative rocker Ted Nugent targeted Michigan conservation authorities Tuesday, calling state officials either “liars” or “stupid” for supporting a ban on baiting deer and elk.

“If they think they can stop deer from swapping spit, they’re idiots,” Nugent said during a House Government Operations Committee meeting.

Nugent, whom GOP lawmakers referred to as “Uncle Ted,” testified in support of a bill that would legalize deer and elk baiting during hunting seasons. The bill introduced by Rep. Michele Hoitenga, R-Manton, would reverse a 2018 ban that was put in place to address concerns that chronic wasting disease was spread through bait piles. It’s not clear the science used to push that ban is reliable, Hoitenga said.

You Can Read The Full Article Here

A Journal of Wild Game, Fighting Fish, and Grand Pursuit