More than 950,000 people hunt and fish in Colorado every year. That’s second only to the ski industry.
Fact is, 70 percent of Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s annual budget comes from hunting and fishing license revenue.
“That includes everything. Both game and nongame species. Includes our wildlife re-introductions, threatened and endangered species,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Jerry Neal said.
According to CPW, the cost of doing business has shot up like a pheasant on opening morning.
“Everything from maintaining our fish hatcheries to vehicle maintenance to just the cost of our wildlife management programs,” Neal said.
The current cashless climate has prompted the CPW to contemplate raising hunting and fishing tags up to 100 percent. For example, you want to hunt a buck? Now it would cost you $45 but could eventually cost you $90. That’s a lot of bucks for a buck.
“A hundred percent is a, makes me sick to my stomach,” a customer at Cabela’s said Wednesday.
“I’ll probably still pay it. I mean what are you going to do? They gotcha, they gotcha,” said another.
Whatever the increase, from 0 to 100 percent, the voters of Colorado will be the ones who decide.
People hunt and fish for a variety of reasons, often multiple reasons, and the priority can change from time to time. In addition to providing job security to surveyors, monitoring those trends also provides insight into our society and which way it’s trending. For example, the latest studies and surveys show a significant shift toward a preference for wild game and fish among both hunters and non-hunters. And there are some pretty good reasons.
First, there are health benefits. Wild game and fish are an all-natural organic protein, free of antibiotics, growth hormones, and other drugs and chemicals. And for those concerned about such things, there is no genetic modification other than what Mother Nature already does through natural selection. Fish and game are lower in fat, cholesterol and the fatty acids associated with health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. In short, it’s better for you.
Granted, you can’t escape the mortality factor. If you eat meat, fish or poultry, something must die to feed you. But wouldn’t you rather have more knowledge about how that occurred? I enjoy a big fat juicy restaurant burger as much as the next guy, but I admittedly would just as soon not know how it came from pasture to plate. The plethora of bacterial outbreaks and processed food recalls are testament enough to how our food could potentially be mishandled. There’s no worry if you do it yourself.
If you don’t eat meat, fish or poultry, an anti-hunting stance might seem easier to defend, but you’ve got other issues to address, particularly being environmentally responsible.
From 100 acres of undeveloped forest, I could sustainably harvest deer, birds, squirrels, rabbits and countless other game species indefinitely, without harm to the present or future potential of their populations or habitat. In so doing, the greenhouse gases generated would amount to little more than what I exhale and perhaps a tiny bit from the combustion of my firearm, assuming I wasn’t using a bow.
Or I could hire a professional logger to come in with chain saws, bunchers, skidders, chippers and dozers to remove all the trees and stumps, and grade the soil. Then I could pay someone to till the soil, treat it with minerals and fertilizer, and plant soybeans. No other creatures would live there. Some on neighboring properties might gain slight benefit by feeding on the plants while they stood. And I would have to retill, replant and reharvest annually, at least until the soil could no longer provide the necessary nutrients.
The locavore movement has become popular and harvesting your own protein locally goes along nicely with that philosophy. Studies have show that most fish or game is taken within 100 miles of the hunter or angler’s home. That further reduces the amount of fossil fuels used and greenhouse gases produced in transporting your food – animal or vegetable.
In addition to the selfish motivation of putting more food on the table, there are also unselfish benefits that result from at least trying to gather your own local organic protein. Through the simple act of purchasing a hunting or fishing license, the hunter or fisherman does more, far more than anyone else to protect and preserve wildlife habitat for an array of game and nongame species. In the process, they provide land and access for nonhunters to enjoy.
Hunting and fishing aren’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the benefits. In many cases, biologists have done such an effective job of management that hunters and anglers can harvest a surplus without detriment to the species or their environment. And if you get in their good graces, they just might be willing to share some of the bounty with you. You’ll both be far better off for it.
Bob Humphrey is a freelance writer and registered Maine guide who lives in Pownal. He can be reached at:
Danny Davis, of Ringgold, loves to grab an armful of his fishing rods, load them onto one of his boats and head for Dan River — or any other body of water, near or far — for a day of fishing.
But about 20 years ago, Davis decided that one of the annoying things about fishing was the inflexibility of the bases made for rod holders.
There were — and still are — a lot of different rod holders on the market, but the bases that held them attached to boats could only hold them horizontally, were permanently placed and had to be mounted to a flat surface.
So Davis started thinking about the perfect base — one that could be easily moved along the track system inside most boats, could hold rods at any angle and, at the end of the day, be folded out of the way.
“Boats come with a track system, but nobody built a base system would fit in the track,” Davis said. To top that off, Davis said, in those days he had a small boat and the tips of his rods were always be in the water with the bases that were available.
“I started working on this to stop that,” Davis said.
So Davis spend years “fooling” with different ideas and in 2012 got serious about it, getting friends and family to help him create the perfect base, one that would hold any rod holder and could easily be moved along the track to where he wanted it and would lock into position for fishing but be easy to fold out of the way.
Finally, he was happy with the design and outfitted his boats with his own fishing rod holder bases.
Friends noticed and wanted some; strangers out fishing would notice his rods were all well positioned and ask him how he did it. Soon, he was making more and more of them.
Laid Back Fishing Innovations LLC was born.
As it became apparent that his invention was gaining in popularity and stores ranging from Hughes Marine in Danville and several tackle shops in North Carolina to SeaArk Boats, which stocked them in its more than 100 locations in the U.S. and Canada, were selling them. They can also be ordered online, at eBay, Amazon and Davis’s website, laidbackfishing.com.
Davis said his daughter — Tina “Sissy” Dixon — “talked him into” finding out what it would take to patent the invention. That began an almost three-year process of finding a patent lawyer to walk him through the process.
“We found one in Charlotte, North Carolina; there wasn’t a patent lawyer near here,” Davis said.
Countless trips to Charlotte later — and repeated re-submittals of his application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to answer questions they had — Davis was awarded his patent on Dec. 29, 2015.
“We had to rewrite it so many times,” Davis said. “They’re so hard to get.”
His wife, Linda, laughed.
“Danny’s really worked hard on this — he didn’t think getting a patent would be a big deal,” Linda said. Her job with the young company is bookkeeping.
Other family and friends have helped along the way. Linda’s son, Hunter Thompson, handles merchandising, advertising and deals with the website, while Davis’s daughter, Amanda Harris is always willing to run errands and his son, Danny Jr., helped make the prototypes.
Davis’s best friend, Jerry Murray, goes to boat shows with him and helped make the bases, which are now manufactured at Speedwell Machine Works in Gastonia, North Carolina.
So far, Davis said, there has been no negative feedback from anyone who has tried them — they’ll stand up to the biggest catfish without failing and a friend recently won first and third place in a fishing tournament with Laid Back Fishing Innovation fishing rod holder bases on board.
The lightweight, aluminum fishing rod holder bases that are simple to adjust are selling well, Davis said.
“It’s done better than I thought it would do,” Davis said, with a smile and shrug. “But it’s not going to make me a millionaire.”
Linda laughed and added, “But it might pay the light bill some day.”
The goal is to get more (and better) access for all. John HafnerLet's put logistical and political issues aside for a moment and use some imagination to solve our public-land access issues The post If I Were America’s Public Lands Czar, Here’s How I’d Fix Access appeared first on Outdoor Life.
The author with a stud Saskatchewan buck, taken during the middle of the day on a full-moon rut hunt. Michael HandbackA veteran whitetail expert and host of Big Deer TV on why the moon phase is worth tracking during the rut The post Why I Hunt the Whitetail Rut by Moon Phase—and You Should Too […]
The driver didn't brake as the deer ran by the vehicle. Michigan State Police 5th District / TwitterThis deer got some serious air while clearing the sedan The post Police Dashcam Video: Deer Leaps Over Moving Car appeared first on Outdoor Life.