Crimson Trace

SUBSCRIPTION    SUBMIT RELEASES    ADVERTISE    ARCHIVES    CONTACT                                  TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2017
— AMMUNITION
Rio announces its latest offering, Rio Royal Pheasant. These potent loads represent the ultimate shot shell for the upland enthusiast. | For More...

— ARCHERY
The World Archery Championships opened yesterday with qualification for the compound men and women and the recurve men. Braden Gellenthien was the top qualifier in the men's compound bow with Cassidy Cox the top US lady. | For More...

— COMPETITIONS
Team Century Arms Pro Shooter, Corinne Mosher, took the title of overall winner at the inaugural Annual 2017 Red Oktober Ostfront "The Eastern Front" Championship. | For More...

After an exciting weekend of shooting, the 2017 National Wild Turkey Federation Still Target Championship ended with new champions crowned in six divisions, and three competitors setting new world records. | For More...

— CONSERVATION
Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) of Louisiana, Shell Oil, Building Conservation Trust (CCA's National Habitat Program) and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), will begin construction on a new artificial reef, located in the St. John Parish portion of Lake Pontchartrain on October 16. | For More...

— EVENTS
The 200 attendees of the 23rd annual Christmas Dinner at Fort Robinson State Park on Dec. 2 will be treated to the same menu as that one in 1939, when Fort Robinson was a quartermaster remount depot producing horses and mules for the military. | For More...

A 2018 National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Summit has been slated for the Washington, D.C. area on March 28-29, 2018. | For More...

— FISHERIES
Results of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources 2017 young-of-year striped bass survey in the Chesapeake Bay shows the fish is reproducing in strong numbers. The annual survey's index is 13.2 fish, above the 64-year average of 11.7. | For More...

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Marine Resources Division announces that Oyster Management Zones C, E, and F will be opened to the harvest of oysters beginning Monday, October 30, 2017. | For More...

Angler workshops are scheduled for Port Charlotte, Naples and Tallahassee this month by the FFWCC. | For More...

— GEAR
For 2017, MTM release the first case made exclusively for cleaning rods. The Gun Cleaning Rod Case is capable of storing four rifle and shotgun cleaning rods up to 47 inches long in its foam-padded interior. | For More...

— HUNTING
A one-time drawing will be held Thursday, October 26 at 6:30 p.m. for trapping in the controlled hunting areas at Ohio's Pickerel Creek and Pipe Creek Wildlife Areas, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). | For More...

The Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) held its 36th annual National Grouse and Woodcock Hunt (NGWH) on October 12 and 13, 2017 in and around Grand Rapids, Minnesota with harvest results, obtained by RGS wildlife biologists, showing decreases in ruffed grouse and American woodcock harvests compared to 2016. | For More...

— INDUSTRY
Outdoor Sportsman Group Publishing's Game & Fish Magazine has named John Geiger its new Editor-in-Chief. The announcement was made Monday by Outdoor Sportsman Group Publishing and Branded Media Chief Operating Officer, Michael Carney. | For More...

The American Sportfishing Association's (ASA) 2017 Sportfishing Summit, the sportfishing industry's premier networking and business management event, was held October 10-13, in Clearwater Beach, Florida. | For More...

First Samco, Inc., the exclusive U.S. distributor of Fobus Holster and Mag Pouches, announces the hiring of Ryder Jones as Sales and Marketing Director. | For More...

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is proud to announce that the NSSF Rimfire Challenge will be transitioned to a new organization: the Rimfire Challenge Shooting Association. The transition takes place Jan. 1, 2018. | For More...

— NEW PRODUCTS
Honor Defense's Honor Guard models are now available in 9 different colors, including: Flat Dark Earth, OD Green, Electric Blue, Turquoise, Mahogany, Enigma Blue, Battleship Gray, Acid Green, and Black. | For More...

The new Perfexion XL target bow brings to bear the full scope of Xpedition's aerospace pedigree to influence archery design and unparalleled precision manufacturing. | For More...

For the hunting archer, Deep Six broadhead-tipped 4MM arrows provide more penetration by concentrating the mass of the arrow into a smaller column. | For More...

Field & Stream offers the Every Hunt Collection for hunters seeking versatility. Use these pieces as stand-alone garments in cool weather, or add on a base layer for additional warmth when the temperature drops. | For More...

Apex Tactical Specialties announced that they are now shipping the new Action Enhancement Trigger and Action Enhancement Kit – including Thin Blue Line Series versions – for the new Gen 5 Glock 17 and Glock 19 pistols. | For More...

Smith & Wesson Corp. announced the launch of its new M&P Shield M2.0 pistol series, including the M&P Shield M2.0 pistol with Integrated Crimson Trace Laser. Available in 9mm and .40 S&W, the M&P Shield M2.0 pistol family builds upon the M&P M2.0 platform. | For More...

Lyman Products will show the GuardianGrip, by Pachmayr, at the NASGW Expo. The patented design allows the user to simply squeeze the button on the front of the grip and a spring loaded finger extension drops down out of the GuardianGrip, converting a two-finger compact grip into a controllable three finger grip. | For More...

— ORGANIZATIONS
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene a meeting of its Standing and Reef Fish Scientific and Statistical Committees on Tuesday, October 31, from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT, via webinar. | For More...

The Arizona Elk Society's Hunts for Heroes mission provides hunting opportunities to returning military veterans in Arizona who have been left with a disability while in service of the nation's military. This program allows injured service personnel a form of therapy experiencing the great outdoors. | For More...

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has selected the National Wild Turkey Federation as an inductee to the Division of Forestry's Forest of Honor. | For More...

The Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) announced a partnership today with QuietKat, the Eagle, Colorado-based manufacturer of electric fat-tire mountain bikes. | For More...

— PROMOTIONS
LWRCI has launched its fall consumer promotion in partnership with Trijicon, offering a a $300 Instant Rebate on the popular Trijicon MRO optic to customers who purchase any LWRCI Gas Piston rifle through December 15, 2017. | For More...

— RETAIL
Hudson Manufacturing announces that their Hudson H9 pistols, announces at the 2017 SHOT Show, are now shipping to distributors. | For More...

— SHOOTING GEAR
Bushnell announces the addition of three laser sights to its line of AR Optics. These laser lighting systems are the Haste, Chase and Rush. | For More...

— STATES
More than 100 guests attended a reception Oct. 12 at the Government House in Annapolis to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Maryland Environmental Trust and honor landowners who have voluntarily and permanently preserved their land. | For More...

Gov. Eric J. Holcomb and Indiana Department of Natural Resources director Cameron F. Clark appointed Ryan Mueller to lead Water and Russell Retherford to lead Oil & Gas after the previous directors in both divisions retired. | For More...

The 2017 Southwest Nebraska Stubble Access Guide, which details more than 24,000 acres open to public hunting and trapping access, is now available. | For More...

Cleghorn Springs State Fish Hatchery staff will release 1,200 11-inch rainbow trout into Mickelson Pond on Wednesday, October 18, in Pierre. | For More...

— TELEVISION
This time, it's a new record at the World Speed Shooting Championship, the Steel Challenge in California. Then, the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association hosts youngsters for a special weekend at Friendship. | For More...

— WORKSHOPS
New York Sea Grant and partners will offer a new hands-on resiliency building training at the day-long Fall 2017 Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council Regional Local Government Workshop on Friday, November 17, 2017 in Batavia, NY. | For More...

— YOUTH PROGRAMS
The NRA Foundation invites supporters to give the gift of Y.E.S. as part of this year's #GivingTuesday campaign, scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. All donations made to The NRA Foundation through www.friendsofnra.org/GivingTuesday on that day will directly benefit the NRA Youth Education Scholarship Fund. | For More...

Shedding Light on Full Moon Myths


With the moon shining big and bright, deer can roam, rut, and feed all night. And then they hole up all day, frustrating hunters. Everybody knows this. Except it's not true.

FEATURE
Invasive Fire Ants Make Problems for Attwater's Prairie Chicken
Editor's Note: Today's feature comes to us from the USFWS and was penned by Al Barrus.

Creative Commons Photo by Rob Albright/Flickr
In addition to widespread suffering and devastation, Hurricane Harvey also brought a plague of floating fire ants to the Houston region.

Flooding doesn't drown fire ants, Texas A&M describes this deadly phenomenon in a pamphlet "Flooding and Fire Ants: Protecting Yourself and Your Family." Colonies present a potentially serious threat to people and animals during times of flooding, as their stings can be fatal.

Whole colonies of the noxious biting red insects — including the young: eggs, and larvae — can survive floods. They emerge from their earthen lair — individual ants daisy chain together forming a sort of gelatinous insect blob. The spaces between their links are so small that it doesn't break the water's surface tension. This allows the colony to float. The ant raft follows the waters flow. Once the colony reaches a dry object (or person), individual ants break away and crawl onto the non-water surface. This is a dangerous prospect for people and animals in flooded areas.

Creative Commons Photo by Rain0975/Flickr
In a flood situation, the floating ants must be dispatched immediately. This is best achieved by spraying them with a dish soap spray. The soapy water lowers the surface tension, drowning the ants. Texas A&M recommends two fluid ounces of biodegradable dishwashing liquid mixed with one gallon of water.

Treating the Invasive Fire Ants

The invasive fire ants developed their floating mechanism to survive in the floodplains in South America. Sometimes called ginger ants, they were inadvertently brought to port in Mobile, Alabama in the 1930s. The economic impact associated with red imported fire ants costs Texas' economy around $1.2 billion each year.

While soaping down a flood-floating colony of the ants can wipe out the immediate danger for you and your family, this unpleasant species continues to plague the people and animals of the Southeastern U.S. long after flood waters recede.

One native animal that's been especially affected by the ants is the endangered Attwater's prairie chicken (APC). Endemic to the coastal prairies of Texas and Louisiana, this grouse species known for it's elaborate dancing, once numbered up to one million birds. As farms, towns, and cities sprung up, the population diminished. By 1988, less than 1,000 remained in the wild.

Attwater's prairie-chicken, George Lavendowski/USFWS
The Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) was established in 1972 just west of Houston. It was the proliferation of the red imported fire ants that had dealt a nearly final blow to the wild Attwater's prairie chicken population. Because the wild chicken's life span is short, successful reproduction is key. Not only do the ants prey directly on the birds, but they also prey upon native insects, impacting the diet of young chickens. Due to this competition for food, Attwater's prairie chicken chicks die of starvation.

The greatest gains in improving wild Attwater's prairie chicken populations have come in the form of controlling the ants. After intensive study, refuge personnel began treating for fire ants in 2014, which has lead to an increase in native insect populations, along with an increase in the survival rate for Attwater's Prairie Chicken chicks to two weeks of age. Between 2012 and 2016, wild chicken numbers increased 170 percent, from 48 to 130 individuals.

Because the population is so small, great efforts are made to protect individuals from harm. When Hurricane Harvey threatened the Texas Gulf Coast, 20 captive-bred birds scheduled for release at the Refuge were returned to the Houston Zoo. Those birds are doing well, and gaining weight. More good news is that the Houston Zoo was spared the worst of Harvey's effects.

Newly hatched chicks depend on small insects for their survival. Photo: USFWS
While fire ants are well adapted for flood survival, the remaining wild Attwater's prairie chicken population isn't so resilient. Just last year, in April 2016, the Attwater's prairie chicken refuge faced similar flooding, which hampered the reproduction of the 130 birds in the wild. Flood waters negatively impacted their nests on the ground.

Adult Attwater's are strong flyers, and they seek out dry land when floodwaters pour into low lying areas. Their habitat is limited to the pristine coastal prairie of southeast Texas, and less than one percent of it remains. During flooding, their area is further limited to what's still dry.

Unfortunately, the Attwater's predators — such as coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, and snakes — are also flushed to the same slivers of dry land. Two years in a row now, the wild Attwater's prairie chickens have been driven into small dry areas enriched with predators who take advantage of the circumstance to feed.

The flood waters resulting from Hurricane Harvey have now receded, and Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge staff is assessing what's left of the remaining wild population of this very rare dancing bird.

— Al Barrus

Barrus is a Public Affairs Specialist for the USFWS in Albuqerque, New Mexico.
Nov 4-5
Poligono 38 Especial
Dec 5-10
Talladega, Alabama
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