An 11-month investigation by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources led to this week’s charges involving the illegal take of the potential new state record non-typical whitetail archery deer. In addition to Christopher Kiernan, two others—Garret Armstrong, VP of Sales and Marketing for bow manufacturer Elite Archery, and Larry Smith—were cited on charges related to unlawfully taking a total of 24 deer in Illinois and Canada over a 10-year period. IDNR.
Scientists tracking glaciers in the Rocky Mountain West say that over the past two cold and wet years, some snowfields and glaciers in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana have increased in size. However, researchers stress the new ice isn’t deep enough to offset the volumes that have melted in recent years. Via AP.
A Lake County (Fla.) high school was on alert for about 45 minutes Monday while school and wildlife officials waited for a black bear to come down from a tree. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Joy Hill said the bruin never endangered anyone and was likely spooked by the morning activity. Orlando Sentinel.
In the past two weeks, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks agents have captured nine grizzly bears in the northern part of the Flathead Valley and relocated them for a variety of reasons–including killing chickens, killing a sheep, getting into pig feed, feeding on fruit and an incidental capture while trapping for a black bear. Daily Inter-Lake.
After an elk hunter in the Beattie Gulch area north of Yellowstone National Park in the Gallatin National Forest in Montana lost his kill to grizzly bears, the Gardiner Ranger District enacted an emergency trail closure until the elk is consumed and the bears leave the area. The trail closure marked the second this week in the state due to grizzly activity. Billings Gazette.
The Illinois House of Representatives has voted to override Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of a measure that would allow citizens with a state furbearers license to pick up roadkilled animals. Action now moves to the Senate, which passed the bill unanimously in May. Quinn said he vetoed the bill because he thought it would put people in harm’s way while attempting to retrieve roadkill. My Stateline.com.
A 15.7-foot Burmese python that had recently consumed a 76-pound deer was killed on Thursday in western Dade County, Fla. The 215-pound snake—a weight that included its non-digested prey—was taken to Everglades National Park for a necropsy. “It’s pretty clearly one of the biggest snakes we’ve seen,” said Scott Hardin, exotic species coordinator for Florida Fish and Wildlife. Orlando Sentinel.
An estimated 400 people comprised a funeral procession stretching more than a half-mile last week for Shawnee Hills Beaujolais, or Bo, an 11-year-old black and tan coonhound from Southern Illinois. The burial took place at the Key Underwood Memorial Coon Dog Cemetery located near Tuscumbia, Ala., where only champion coon-hunting hounds may be interred. “He was the goodest dog ever,” said Ericka Seets, 6, one of the dog’s owners. “I loved BoBo.” Florence (Ala.) Times Daily.
Five captive-bred Mexican gray wolves have been released in a mountain range just south of the U.S.-Mexico border, not far from the Arizona/New Mexico state lines as part of an effort to re-establish the species throughout its historic range. The wolf release occurred Oct. 11, according to the Mexican group, Naturalia. AP and the Arizona Daily Star.
Dallas police say a man could face assault charges for throwing a frozen armadillo at a 57-year-old woman near Dallas. The woman allegedly met the man in a parking lot and was negotiating for the animal, which she planned to prepare and eat. During a disagreement over its price, he struck her in the leg and the chest with the frozen carcass, leaving bruises. Houston Chronicle. Hat tip to The Westerner blog.
It was a good thing that Zeus, an 11-year-old house cat belonging to Gail Loveman of Boulder, Colo., had a sliding glass door between itself and a mountain lion that paid a visit to its home this week, or things could have gotten dicey, to say the least. The Denver Post has the entire story, and an array of photographs snapped by Ms. Loveman.
KRBD radio in Ketchikan, Alaska reports a small bear cub wound up in the produce bin of Tatsuda’s IGA in Ketchikan on Saturday after it apparently walked in through the automatic front doors and headed straight to the fresh vegetables. Naturally, someone shot a video and it’s on YouTube, where you’ll hear one customer warn, “Hey, don’t get into those habaneros, buddy.” Duluth News Tribune.
A federal jury in Lufkin, TX on Thursday convicted an exotic fish dealer on two counts of illegally transporting four live alligator gar from Texas to Florida in 2010, then exporting them to Japan, where they were intended for a collector. Loren Willis, who was targeted by a federal sting operation, faces a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each conviction. Orlando Sentinel.
Former Will County (Illinois) State’s Attorney Jeff Tomczak agreed this week to pay a $400 fine after being caught in May spraying WD-40 on trees and deer bait in Messenger Woods to sabotage the district’s deer culling program. As a result of his plea bargain, prosecutors dropped two other citations for interfering with the deer cull. Sun-Times.
A woman in Newaygo County, Mich., tells Discovery News that she has been feeding and interacting with a family of 10 Sasquatch creatures that live in the woods near her home for two years. “Their favorite thing is blueberry bagels,” said Robin Lynn Pfeifer, 47. “If I’m not baking them, I go to different stores to buy them. I tell them they are feeding the wildlife.”
South African mountain bike enthusiast Evan van der Spuy, 17, may think again before he decides to take part in a cross-county race through a game reserve, after this week’s encounter with a leaping Red Hartebeest. The spectacular crash was caught on camera by Van der Spuy’s teammate Travis Walker. The First Post and NY Daily News.
A housekeeper at the downtown Salt Lake City Marriott Hotel whose cart hit a can of bear deterrent in the sixth floor hallway was hospitalized Sunday after the container sprayed and left her unable to open her eyes. The entire hotel was evacuated for about 30 minutes while the building was ventilated. Salt Lake Tribune.
California Gov. Jerry Brown announced early Monday he has signed legislation banning the open carry of unloaded handguns and a measure requiring licensed firearms dealers to record all sales of rifles beginning in January 2014. “Since the state already retains handgun purchaser information, I see no reason why the state should not also retain information pertaining to the sales of long guns,” Brown said in a signing statement.
Budget constraints and a crowded detention center are preventing Oregon’s most notorious deer poachers, father and son Rory Donoho and Shane Donoho, from serving a sentence supposed to coincide with the 3-month deer season. After pleading guilty to more than 130 poaching-related charges in July, their sentence included jailtime during deer season for 4 consecutive years. Instead, they will be on house arrest, authorities say. AP.