Ducks Unlimited (DU) and Phillips 66 are proud to announce the completion of the Jackson State Wildlife Area Wetland Enhancement project.
The 2021 NASP Educator and Coaches Conference, sponsored by Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, is to take place in July in Springfield Mo.
- GEAR -
N8 Tactical introduces the Pro-Lock Holster, their first outside the waistband holster. The new holster line features the Secure Twist Release Retention System.
Galco’s classically-designed Avenger has a vertical orientation that allows a wrist-locked draw stroke and a molded sight rail that prevents snagging on the draw.
High Speed Gear has added LE Blue to the color offerings for most of its Polymer TACO family at the start of 2021.

Moultrie Mobile announces the arrival of the most powerful cellular trail camera ever built — the Delta.
Realtree 365 teams have been using the DECKED system this fall and, without exception, they’ve returned seriously wondering how they ever got by without it.
A preliminary report from Vermont Fish and Wildlife shows that hunters brought home 6,136 wild turkeys during 2020, including 627 turkeys taken during the April youth weekend hunt, a total of 4,791 gobblers taken during the regular spring season, and 718 birds during the fall.

Trijicon Inc. announced that the Trijicon Huron riflescope has been selected to receive a Golden Bullseye Award as the 2021 American Hunter Optic of the Year.
ALLEN Company has recently confirmed a strategic agreement with shooting industry personality Kristy Titus, where she will serve as a trusted brand ambassador for the 2021 calendar year.
Hornady 6mm ARC has been named the 2021 Shooting Illustrated Ammunition Product of the Year as part of the National Rifle Association's Golden Bullseye Awards.
UrgeMedia announces its new partnership with Boyd's Gunstocks.

Marine Marketers of America (MMA) have announced the election of new officers and appointment of new board members.
- JOBS -
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) is seeking candidates for the position of Regional Director for Southern Texas.
NSSF hailed U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson’s (R-N.C.) introduction of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2021, H.R. 38, on the first day of the 117th Congress. The legislation was introduced with bipartisan support and 154 original co-sponsors.
The sport-shooting world reveres the CZ Tactical Sport for its crisp single-action trigger and long sight radius. Now, the pistol has evolved into the Tactical Sport 2 (TS2), a brand-new, built-from-the-ground-up firearm that represents the next generation in tactical sport pistols.

Millennium Marine introduces the B-100-SGH Duck Seat in Mossy Oak® Shadow Grass® Habitat™ camouflage.
Savage Arms introduces IMPULSE, a unique straight-pull action rifle that refines the basic function of the conventional bolt into one fast, intuitive movement.
Springfield Armory announced the release of the Springfield Armory Workbench Series of videos supporting some of the firearms offerings in its product line. These in-depth videos were developed to help new gun owners safely care for and maintain their firearms, as well as provide a useful resource for seasoned gun owners.
Riton Optics announced the addition of their riflescope line to the Strelok Pro Ballistic Calculator. Strelok Pro has apps available for both Android and iOS platforms.

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are proud to announce the promotion of Ron Leathers as the organization’s first-ever Chief Conservation Officer.
The International Hunter Education Association—USA announced that Alex Baer has been promoted to Executive Director effective January 1, 2021. Alex, formally COO of the IHEA-USA, replaces David Allen.
The Second Amendment Foundation has signed an agreement with Parscale Strategies to produce digital media marketing and social media advertising. Brad Parscale, founder and owner of Parscale Strategies, served as a digital consultant and political adviser to Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign.
LockerSource and Mossy Oak are proud to introduce a new locker line that features four different Mossy Oak patterns for the outdoor enthusiast to enjoy.

The popular nationally broadcast television show now has its own YouTube channel called “The Deer Farming Channel,” featuring every one of the episodes that have aired on television since the widely popular series began in 2010.
The next Shooting USA features a look at the new cartridge for AR-15s, the Hornady 6mm ARC - Advanced Rifle Cartridge.
The Utah Wildlife Board approved a few minor updates to the Utah Black Bear Management Plan during a virtual meeting on Tuesday.

There are “lumpers” and there are “splitters.” Some fisheries scientists think that largemouth bass and Florida bass should be split into two species. Others lump them together as one species as mere diverging strains or races. This much can be agreed upon: bass in southern climates grow big, and fishery managers are careful to conserve the trophy fish coveted by anglers at all experience levels.

To that end, Summer Lindelien, a fish biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has endeavored the last four years to learn more about how Florida’s largemouth bass, Florida bass, and their hybrids grow over time. Excise taxes paid by fishing tackle manufacturers and on motor boat fuels fund her research in grants administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.

The research is bearing fruit that promises to yield better bass fishing in Florida—if not anywhere the 19 species and subspecies of the black bass family swim. More research is in the works and necessary to take further steps.

Lindelien and her FWC colleagues are developing a new method to determine age and growth rates of trophy largemouth bass that would otherwise be missing in population assessments and ultimately, fishing regulations. Hard bony structures are best for determining a fish’s age, body parts such as scales and ear bones that put down rings at each year of growth. The latter is most reliable but there is a downside: it is 100 percent lethal. Dorsal spines may be the alternative. The method shows great promise as Lindelien learned while a graduate student at the University of Florida. She and her colleagues also completed a six-waterbody study to refine the efficacy of reading age rings on dorsal spines and are in the midst of evaluating how dorsal spine ageing error affects population dynamic metrics.

Lindelien and colleagues caught wild bass known to be hybrids of largemouth and Florida bass, 36 fish in all, varying size from 12 to 22 inches long. Six bass each were acclimated in six tanks and three from each tank where randomly picked to have three dorsal fin spines extracted with surgical scissors and snips cut flush with the bass’s back. The fish were monitored for injury and mortality for 35 days afterward.

None of the bass with missing spines perished. Overall condition between fish with spines intact and those with spines removed did not vary to any great degree at the conclusion of the month-long study. In the end, the method shows much utility as a means for black bass fishery managers to gather more data on trophy fish without deleterious effects on the fish and the fish population. The method also holds promise down the road for citizen-scientists—anglers, that is—to weigh and measure and trim a spine before releasing trophy fish, thus greatly expanding the essential data scientists need.

Lindelien is the first to confirm that removing dorsal spines is benign to largemouth bass. According to Lindelien, as the dorsal spine aging technique is refined it might be employed on other black basses, common and otherwise: Guadalupe bass in Texas, spotted bass in Kentucky, Neosho smallmouth bass of Oklahoma or the rarer Choctaw bass of Alabama and Florida where removing fish of any size is not an option.

Lindelien and her colleagues published the results of the spine extraction research in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management.

-- Craig Springer, USFWS – Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program

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