Where Did The Time Go?
May 15, 2014
Well, look at me. My very last post was about cleaning out my blog roll and removing folks who haven’t been posting regularly… and here I let the whole, bloody week slip by without so much as a peep. Ah, well… I’ll fall back to my favorite Whitman. “Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself. etc.”
All that aside, I just haven’t had a lot to report of late.
There’s some occasional news coming in from my news feeds in regards to feral pigs and wild boar, but I tried the news aggregator approach here before, and I don’t think it added much value to the blog. There’s a certain sameness to most of the news articles anyway… sort of an, “if you’ve read one, you’ve read them all” atmosphere. I’ll sum it up.
Wild pigs are in X neighborhood (or county, township, community, state). They’re bad. People are scared. Officials are trying to do something about it that may include:
- shooting them
- trapping them
- scaring them away
I’m also keeping an eye on news related to lead ammo, of course. And it looks like there’s a strong movement afoot in Rhode Island to ban lead for hunting… led by none other than our friends at HSUS. But I just couldn’t bring myself to do an entire “Lead Ban Chronicles” post on this one. I did, however, provide counterpoint to an editorial on the topic in the Providence Journal online edition.
On the other hand (and the other side of the Atlantic), according to this piece from Ammoland news, Norway is considering a repeal of their ban on lead shot outside of wetlands and clay shooting courses. Here’s the guts of the story from that site:
The Norwegians have concluded, following sustained lobbying from the Norway Hunters’ Association (Jegernes Interesseorganisasjon), that there is no evidence of any real harm from the use of lead in shotgun cartridges and they believe that none of the alternatives to lead ammunition are as effective.
The Norway Hunters’ Association summed up the key facts for a repeal effectively – the amount of lead discharged throughout the countryside has a negligible impact on the environment, in comparison to both the potential welfare implications of using alternatives and the unknown environmental implications of those alternatives. The arguments about alternatives to lead shot are well rehearsed (read more about alternatives in our own Case for Lead here), but the simple fact is that it is vital we meet our responsibility to kill wild game in the most humane and effective way.
An interesting side note in this article is that Norway’s neighbors in Denmark are apparently adding tungsten to their list of banned shot materials, along with lead. As the US military found out in their own “green ammo” testing, tungsten is a carcinogen, and is actually less stable in the ground than lead. Thus, it presents a greater risk of leeching carcinogenic material into groundwater sources. Tungsten is commonly used as an alternative material for lead-free shot, and has also been used in the development of lead-free rifle and handgun bullets.
Personally, I think most of the risks are miniscule and overstated, but it should give folks pause in the blind, headlong rush to ban lead ammo and give some serious thought to what we’re replacing it with.
Finally, on a local note, the Hillside Manor deer herd is coming along nicely. While some of the bucks were still wearing headgear right up into the first of April, I’m also seeing the first nubs of new growth on several others. We only killed one buck here last year, and pressure was pretty light at the camps around us, so I’m expecting to see a bunch of last year’s youngsters coming into their own this coming season.
I’m heading out this weekend for a hunt with a group of guys from CA, AZ, and UT. We’ll be looking to put some meat in the freezer. On the list are aoudad ewes (I haven’t eaten aoudad yet) and axis does… as well as any unfortunate hogs that stumble into view. At least one of the guys is hoping to tag a trophy-quality animal as well. If nothing else, that should give me some pictures to put up next week.