Gov. Scott Walker announces new CWD steps

by Paul A. Smith of the Journal Sentinel

May 14, 2016

Manitowoc— Gov. Scott Walker on Friday announced six steps to address the spread of chronic wasting disease in Wisconsin, including more frequent fence inspections at captive cervid farms and a comprehensive study of deer in an area of high CWD prevalence.

“We want whatever we do to be science-based, based on facts,” Walker said. “And we know we won’t be able to do anything without the support of hunters.” Continue reading

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Sportsmen’s Alliance Appoints Heusinkveld as President, CEO

The Sportsmen’s Alliance and Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation are pleased to announce the appointment of Evan Heusinkveld as president and CEO. The appointment is effective immediately.

Heusinkveld, who has served as interim president and CEO since Dec. 1, has been with the Sportsmen’s Alliance for the past nine years, most recently serving as the vice president of government affairs. During his tenure, Heusinkveld has led the organization’s legal and legislative divisions. He brings more than a decade’s worth of experience in government affairs, public policy and campaign management.

“Evan has shown key leadership qualities that should take the Sportsmen’s Alliance to a new level,” said Mason Lampton, Chairman of the Sportsmen’s Alliance Board of Directors. “His knowledge of the issues that surround hunting gives him the ability to hit the ground running. He is aware of the fraud that surrounds the anti-hunting movement and, likewise, he knows how positive hunting is for the environment.”

Evan

Evan Heusinkveld

His recent work to protect hunting, fishing and trapping at the local, state and federal levels, includes managing the strategy that defeated the Humane Society of the United States when they initiated a ban on hunting and trapping bears in Maine and overseeing the appeal of the gray wolf court ruling that returned the apex predators to the protections of the Endangered Species Act.

Heusinkveld has also been key player in paving the way for the next generation of American hunters to take to the fields through his work to enact Families Afield legislation, which reduce barriers for new hunters seeking to experience the outdoors.

“It’s an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to lead our team of professionals in protecting our hunting heritage,” said Heusinkveld. “Hunting and wildlife conservation as we know are under constant attack from animal rights and anti-hunting extremists. Our adversaries are extremely well funded, and they will stop at nothing to end our way of life. It’s imperative that hunters, anglers and trappers work together and fight to protect what’s right.”

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83rd Annual Midwest Directors’ Meeting

The Missouri Department of Conservation will host the 83rd Annual Midwest Directors’ Meeting, Sunday, June 26 – Wednesday, June 29, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri at the Chase Park Plaza.

The MAFWA Directors’ Meeting is for senior level management of natural resources professionals in the fields of wildlife and fisheries management, information and education, licensing and administration, law enforcement, and conservation engineering.

Review the conference schedule and to register to attend here.

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MAFWA Announces Hire of New National Wild Pheasant Conservation Plan Coordinator

March 14, 2016

PITTSBURG, PA— Dr. J. Scott Taylor has been hired as the Coordinator of the National Wild Pheasant Conservation Plan the Midwest Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (MAFWA) announced today at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference. Dr. Taylor will begin his new duties in April at the Pheasants Forever regional office on the campus of South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota.

Inspired by the successes of the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative, the National Wild Pheasant Conservation Plan was developed by the Midwest Pheasant Study Group, an official advisory body of MAFWA composed of state pheasant biologists, with significant participation by other pheasant states throughout the country. The goal of the plan is to restore and maintain self-sustaining wild pheasant populations in each state to provide maximum recreational opportunities.

Although originally the product of MAFWA, the plan truly is national in scope, and the Midwest Pheasant Study Group was disbanded and reconstituted as the National Pheasant Technical Committee. Participating pheasant states from the Pacific Northwest to Pennsylvania plus Pheasants Forever have pledged support not only for the implementation of the plan, but also financial commitments to support the Coordinator’s work for at least 3 years.

Dr. Taylor earned a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology from Kansas State University, a M.S. in Range and Wildlife Management from Texas A&I University, and a Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He has worked for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission since 1996 as their Upland Game Program Manager, Wildlife Research Section Leader, and Wildlife Division Administrator.  As Division Administrator he served on the Central Flyway Council, the Playa Lakes Joint Venture Management Board, and the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative Steering Committee.

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Texas is Losing The War on Feral Hogs

Posted by John McAdams

March 7, 2016

feral swine

Despite years of intense hunting and trapping, Texas is losing the war on feral hogs.

Since the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) first began removing feral hogs in 1982, the hog population in the Lone Star State has dramatically increased and there are now more than ten times as many hogs in the state as there were then. Unfortunately, the evidence is clear: Texas is losing the war on feral hogs.

Texas has very permissive regulations regarding hog hunting and hunters may pursue hogs all year long with no bag limit. They may be hunted over bait, trapped, hunted at night and from aircraft. As a result, it is estimated that over three quarters of a million hogs are taken by hunters, trappers, and TPWD each year in Texas.

Unfortunately, it is not enough. Even though hunters and trappers are killing approximately 30 percent of the hog population in Texas annually, hog numbers are still growing by about 20 percent each year. Biologists estimate that 70 percent of the hogs in the state will have to be killed each year just to maintain the population and even more must be killed to actually start reducing their numbers. Continue reading

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