Many folks feel overwhelmed when they are hunting on public lands and they get a deer or elk down on the ground in a place that is a mile or more from the nearest road. At this distance, dragging an animal out is too much work and game carts are often impractical.
If, like most folks, you don’t have the luxury of owning livestock, you need to pack the animal out on your back. To do so, you must understand how to quarter an animal into manageable, packable pieces.
Watch and learn as Steven Rinella outlines the basic steps for getting the job done.
Steven discusses the potentially catastrophic effects of the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay.
• At stake is an ecosystem that supports the finest wild salmon habitat on Earth. Each year, returning salmon transport millions of tons of nutrients from the rich marine environment to the nutrient-poor watersheds of the Pacific Rim, increasing production at all levels – from bacteria to brown bears.
• Strong runs of wild salmon are the biological and economic backbone of the Bristol Bay region, a place of internationally recognized importance for fish, wildlife and sportsmen. If the salmon are lost, so are the region’s abundant wildlife populations and commercial, subsistence and recreational fishing opportunities.
• The proposed Pebble Mine would threaten the world’s most productive salmon habitat and consequently the world-class hunting and $500 million commercial and sport fishery.
• Once constructed, the dam and 10-square-mile-wide containment pond could hold up to 10 billion tons of waste produced by the Pebble Mine – nearly enough to bury the city of Seattle. Due to the acid-generating nature of the mine’s ore body, the waste would require perpetual and intensive treatment to safeguard the region and its fish and wildlife.
Steven addresses concerns about Texas bighorn sheep in light of exotic and invasive species introductions within the bighorn’s native range.
Bighorn sheep are what biologists call an “indicator species” – one whose presence, absence or abundance is reflective of a larger environmental trend.
After years of declining numbers resulting from unregulated hunting and disease, Texas bighorns have rebounded to their pre-settlement population levels.
Bighorns are threatened by the introduction of the exotic and invasive Aoudad sheep. Aoudad sheep compete with bighorns for habitat and risk transmitting viral and bacterial pathogens foreign to bighorn immune systems.
The greatest limiting factor in bighorn recovery, however, is disease transmission from domestic sheep and goats.
In order for Texas bighorn populations to remain robust, management practices must eliminate contact between bighorns and domestic sheep and goats and strictly manage Aoudad numbers.
Wild sheep populations in Texas may be recovering, but herds across the West continue to dwindle due to factors such as disease transmission and climate change.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
WHAT WILL FEWER HUNTERS MEAN FOR CONSERVATION?
The precipitous drop in hunter participation should be a call to action for all sportsmen and women, because it will have a significant ripple effect on key conservation funding models.