Hunting & Fishing articles about waters in MD, PA, DC, DE and VA plus bonus features–this country and others. Ken Penrod-your host.
Stephen Gutowski - OCTOBER 30, 2019 5:30 PM
A Pennsylvania judge ruled on Tuesday that Pittsburgh's recently passed gun-control measures violate state law.
In his ruling, Allegheny County judge Joseph M. James said the city's ordinances were in plain opposition to a state preemption law which prohibits localities from passing their own gun laws.
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"The Uniform Firearms Act is a comprehensive statute that evidences an intent by the Legislature to preempt the entire field of firearms and ammunition across the state of Pennsylvania," Judge James wrote.
The Pittsburgh ordinances restricted the use of certain rifles, like the AR-15, within city limits, banned the use of magazines which hold more than 10 rounds, and creates a process to confiscate firearms from those accused of being a threat to themselves or others. They were passed in the wake of the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue last year, which took the lives of 11 people.
The gun-control ordinances faced immediate opposition from gun-rights activists, who launched several lawsuits. A suit filed by Pennsylvania-based Firearm Owners Against Crime, three Pennsylvania residents, the Firearm Policy Coalition, and the Firearm Policy Foundation led to the judge's decision. The groups applauded James's ruling.
"I am delighted that Judge James' decision today appropriately struck down the City of Pittsburgh's unlawful firearm ordinances and signage," plaintiffs' attorney Joshua Prince said in a statement. "The City's gun control sought to eviscerate the inviolate right of the residents of the Commonwealth to keep and bear arms and ensnare law-abiding citizens through a patchwork of laws. Today, Judge James made clear that Mayor Peduto and the Pittsburgh City Council are neither above the law nor a special class of citizens that may violate the law with impunity."
The National Rifle Association called the decision a "great day for law-abiding Pennsylvania gun owners."
"This is a huge victory for law-abiding gun owners and everyone who values freedom in the Keystone state," Jason Ouimet, executive director of the group's Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement. He said the case underscores the "need for judges who will faithfully interpret the law in defense of their rights and liberties."
The Firearms Policy Coalition said the state law prohibiting local gun ordinances is important because it keeps residents from having to navigate dozens of different firearms laws depending on what part of the state they visit.
"Pennsylvania's preemption statute serves an important purpose, to ensure that Pennsylvanians are not subjected to a patchwork of illogical and inconsistent rules and regulations pertaining to the firearms they chose to employ," Adam Kraut, the group's director of legal strategy, said.
Prince said the city should face consequences for its decision to flaunt state law.
"We look forward to Judge James issuing a decision on Allegheny County Sportsmen's League's contempt petition against the City of Pittsburgh and District Attorney Zappala filing criminal charges against Mayor Peduto and the City Council Members who enacted these illegal ordinances," he said.
Prior to the passage of the ordinances, Allegheny County DA Stephen Zappala warned the city council and mayor that they could face criminal complaints if they voted to pass measures that violate state law. However, after the ordinances passed, he refused to accept complaints filed by local residents before the measures were enforced.
Despite the possibility of legal action should the measures ever go into effect, Mayor Bill Peduto (D.) said the city would appeal the decision.
"The city and its outside legal counsel have always expected this would be a long legal fight, and will continue to fight for the right to take common sense steps to prevent future gun violence," Tim McNulty, a spokesperson for the mayor, told WTAE. "We will appeal."
Pittsburgh was defended in part by Everytown Law, an arm of the gun-control group Everytown for Gun Safety. The group also helped represent the cities of Edmonds, Wash., and Missoula, Mont., in similar cases attempting to defy state preemption laws. Those cities were also dealt legal defeats in the last two weeks. ... Read MoreHide
Author: Dr. Mickey W. Hellickson
Have you ever wondered what characteristics are best for aging deer on the hoof? When I was growing up in the Midwest I was mistakenly told that the number of antler points also told you the buck’s age. If the buck was an 8-pointer for example he was eight years old. Unfortunately before I knew anything about aging deer on-the-hoof I mistakenly killed a 13-point buck in Iowa that still had his milk teeth - he was only one-and-a-half years old! Luckily it didn’t take me long to figure out that the number of antler points had little to do with age.
After moving to south Texas I was again told false information about aging deer on-the-hoof. This time I was mistakenly told that you could not accurately age a buck by the overall size of his rack. Antler size as you will soon learn is the best characteristic to use for aging bucks on-the-hoof. In fact it is possible to get a nearly instant estimate of the appropriate age class (i.e. young middle or mature) to place a buck based on only antler size.
More recently I read an article in a popular hunting magazine that stated you could age deer by the number of wrinkles in the skin at the base of their ears. Even if this technique were accurate it would not be very useful for aging deer on-the-hoof because of the difficulty in counting wrinkles from a distance. Obviously a lot of bad information is floating around related to what characteristics are best for aging deer on-the-hoof.
Why Do We Need To Be Able To Age Deer On-The-Hoof?
The necessity for being able to accurately age deer on-the-hoof is becoming more and more important everyday as the popularity of trophy management increases and spreads across the U.S. This practice demands that you be able to accurately age deer on-the-hoof. Trophy management practices require that hunters let young and middle-aged (3.5 to 4.5 years old) bucks walk. Without being able to age bucks on-the-hoof how are you going to avoid harvesting the wrong buck?
In fact there is no other place in the world where estimating a buck’s age on-the-hoof is more critical than in south Texas where most ranches are now being managed under strict trophy management guidelines. Clearly criteria for visually estimating a buck’s age have never been more important. In addition the ability to accurately age deer sighted during helicopter and spotlight surveys is important for biologists. The age ratios determined during these surveys are critical for setting harvest quotas assessing herd status and providing information on deer productivity and mortality rates.
James Kroll in his book on aging deer on-the-hoof described many characteristics he thought were useful in estimating ages of deer of both sexes but he did not provide any data on their reliability. More recently Dave Richards and Al Brothers summarized their own guidelines for aging bucks on-the-hoof in their book “Observing and Evaluating Whitetails.”
Only one scientific study however has ever been published on how to age deer on-the-hoof. Charles DeYoung and his associates at Texas A&M University-Kingsville live-captured aged marked and released hundreds of wild bucks on two south Texas ranches. These captured bucks were each aged by tooth wear collared with color-coded collars and ear tagged before release. The color-coded collars and ear tags allowed the researchers to individually identify these bucks when they were later re-sighted during helicopter surveys.
Next the researchers conducted four to five repeated pre-season helicopter surveys over each of the ranches each year of the study. During surveys they placed the marked bucks they re-sighted into two age groups (1.5-3.5 or 4.5+ years old) based on antler size and body musculature. They considered antler spread well beyond the tips of the ears “heavy” appearance of the antlers long tines “thick” necks and front shoulders and a “blocky” appearance as indicative of an older-aged buck. They also recorded the collar and ear tag colors of every re-sighted buck and later looked up the ages of these bucks based on the estimated ages at the time of capture. In the end they successfully classified 329 of 369 (89 percent) bucks sighted during the 28 helicopter flights. Obviously it is not only possible to age deer on the hoof it can also be done very accurately!
A Scientific Approach
Beginning in 1985 we used a helicopter and either a drive net or a net gun to capture up to 100 different bucks each year on a large private ranch in south Texas. Although these captures were conducted for other scientific studies through Texas A&M University-Kingsville and The University of Georgia while we had each deer on the ground we decided to measure as many antler and body characteristics as possible due to the growing need for information on how to age deer on-the-hoof and the lack of scientific research. Included in these measurements were measures of each buck’s antlers chest girth stomach girth shoulder height head length and forehead width. In addition we placed each buck into different categories based on how gray their muzzles were and the incidence of a Roman nose.
When Do Antler And Body Sizes Peak?
We captured a total of 766 bucks during the 13 years that we conducted deer captures. Surprisingly antler size did not peak until bucks were 6.5 years old. Most body measurements did not reach their peak until age 7.5 years. Amazingly in south Texas at least a buck is not truly mature until he is at least 6.5 years old! ... Read MoreHide
4 weeks ago
FYI. Some of you may already know this . . . but it’s good to refresh yourself!
Please take 2 minutes and read this:
1. Let’s say it’s 7:25pm and you’re on your way home (alone of course) after an unusually hard day.
2. You’re really tired, upset and frustrated.
3. Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to drag out into your arm and up into your jaw. You are only about five miles from the closest ER/hospital.
4. Unfortunately, you don’t know if you’ll be able to make it that far.
5. You have been trained in CPR, but the guy who taught the course did not tell you how to perform it on yourself.
HOW TO SURVIVE A HEART ATTACK WHEN ALONE
6. Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack without help, the person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness.
7. However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously. A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest. A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let-up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again.
8. Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a hospital.
9. Tell as many other people as possible about this. It could save their lives!!!
A cardiologist says that if everyone who gets this e-mail kindly sends it to 10 other people, you can bet that we’ll save at least one life.
You can contribute to this by forwarding this e-mail to your family and friends — which could possibly save someone’s life.
And if this message happens to come around you more than once, don’t get irritated . . . just be happy that you have many friends who care about you! ... Read MoreHide
Looking for part time work?
FLORIDA NEEDS MORE ‘PYTHON REMOVAL AGENTS’
In June of last year I told readers about Everglades National Park’s decision to pay people to enter the park and kill the invasive, non-native pythons which have been devastating the natural order in the ‘glades.
Now the South Florida Water Management District wants to hire 25-35 “Python Removal Agents” on hourly wages to hunt and kill pythons. Here’s the scoop according to their website.
What’s the pay?
Minimum wage is paid for up to 10 hours per day
Actual search time must be verified via a GPS tracking app
$50 bonus paid for every snake 4 feet or longer
$25 bonus per foot for each foot longer than 4 feet
Example: An 8-foot python = $150 on top of hourly wage
$200 bonus for each python killed guarding a nest of eggs
Snake killers must:
Be at least eighteen (18) years of age
Possess a valid driver’s license
Possess a valid email address
Have access to an iOS or Android mobile device that allows for download and utilization of the required GPS tracking app
Consent to be tracked using the GPS tracking app
Sign a waiver of liability
Have not been convicted of a felony or wildlife-related offense within the last five (5) years
Consent to submit to a criminal background check
Consent to using an electronic data collection app
Must have a bank account and agree to receive all payments by direct deposit
These snake-slayers “will have independent access to designated SFWMD properties over the greater portion of Miami-Dade, Broward, Collier and Palm Beach counties” to do their hunting.
Interested? Visit the WMD website for details. To go straight to the application form, click here.
Happy hunting! ... Read MoreHide
When is the Full Hunter’s Moon—and what’s the meaning behind its name? Plus, find your Moon phase dates, Best Days by the Moon, folklore, and more!
WHEN TO SEE OCTOBER’S FULL MOON
The Full Hunter’s Moon will reach peak fullness on Sunday, October 13, 2019, at 5:08 p.m. EDT.
However, the Moon won’t be visible in the sky until right around sunset that evening, and will set around sunrise the next day. It’s the only night in the month when the Moon is in the sky all night long.
Because the Hunter’s Moon rises from the horizon around sunset, it may appear bigger and more orange than your typical full Moon—but don’t be fooled by the “Moon Illusion,” which makes the Moon appear larger than it really is!
Want to know the exact time of moonrise in your location? Check out our Moonrise and Moonset Calculator.
MOON PHASES FOR OCTOBER 2019
See all Moon phase dates and times (EDT) below.
See a personalized Moon Phase Calendar for your location.
First Quarter: October 5, 12:47 P.M.
Full Moon: October 13, 5:08 P.M.
Last Quarter: October 21, 8:39 A.M.
New Moon: October 27, 11:38 P.M.
For your next full Moon, see our Full Moon Dates chart.
THE HUNTER’S MOON MEANING
Most of our monthly full Moon names come from Native American and early American folklore, and were originally used to mark the progression of the seasons. Interestingly, the Full Hunter’s Moon is one of only two full Moon names that is not tied to a specific month.
Instead, the Hunter’s Moon relates directly to the Harvest Moon. The first full Moon to occur after the Harvest Moon (which is the closest full moon to the autumnal equinox) takes on the mantle of “Hunter’s Moon,” which means that the Full Hunter’s Moon may occur in either October or November, depending on when the Harvest Moon is! ... Read MoreHide
BEST DAYS IN OCTOBER 2019 Below are some of the best days for certain activities, based on the Moon’s sign and phase in October. For Harvesting Aboveground crops: 4, 5, 6 Belowground crops: 14, 15, 16 Quit Smoking 16, 25 For Fishing 1–13, 27–31 See Best Days for more activities. MOON FOLKLORE Corn planted under a waning Moon grows slower but yields larger ears. Babies born a day after the full Moon enjoy success and endurance. A new Moon in your dreams promises increased wealth or a happy marriage.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Fishing and Boating Services
Spanish Mackerel Commercial Fishery Catch Limit — Effective 9/26/2019
WHAT THIS NOTICE DOES
The Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces a change to the
commercial catch limit for Spanish mackerel.
NEW CATCH LIMIT
Not more than 250 pounds of Spanish mackerel may be landed per vessel per day or trip,
whichever is longer, regardless of the number of licensees on board the vessel.
WHY THIS IS NECESSARY
Commercial landings have reached the commercial quota for the Atlantic migratory group
Spanish mackerel northern zone. This step must be taken to prevent the quota from being further
exceeded, while allowing a minimal bycatch amount of Spanish mackerel to be landed to avoid
WHO THIS NOTICE AFFECTS
This closure applies to all individuals who catch Spanish mackerel commercially.
The catch limit is effective at 12:01 a.m. September 26, 2019 and will remain in effect through
and including February 29, 2020.
Code of Maryland Regulations 08.02.05.14C
Secretary of Natural Resources ... Read MoreHide