Where Hunting Happens, Conservation Happens™

Science Blasts

By John Organ — Recently, there has been a resurgence of legislative action that would ban or greatly restrict fur trapping in certain jurisdictions in the United States. The protagonists of these initiatives claim that trapping is inconsistent with the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation (NAM) and violates principles of wildlife governance. Are these claims valid? No, and I’ll explain why.
By John Organ — Polygamous species include those we are quite familiar with: whitetail and mule deer, elk, and moose, where one male may breed several females. Polygamous cervid species display what biologists term sexual dimorphism, meaning the two sexes exhibit differences in some physical features. In the case of cervids, this is represented by males typically having larger body size than females. This is true of many species of mammals that are polygamous.
By John Organ — Nearly 100 years ago Aldo Leopold, the father of game management, coined the term “harvestable surplus.” The intended meaning of the term is that some wildlife species and populations may produce more young in a given year than can survive to the following year. Those individuals doomed to die over the winter, for example, represent the “surplus” in the population. Leopold observed that those surplus animals could be killed by hunters during the fall, instead of succumbing to winter mortality, and there would be little impact on the population. So, in theory, hunting would be sustainable because the population would not change.
By John Organ — The issue of lead versus non-lead ammunition has been a divisive factor within the hunting and wildlife conservation community for decades. Consider this statement: “The accounts of the destruction of ducks, geese, and swans by lead-poisoning which are printed on another page bring to public attention a new element of danger to our wildfowl, and one for which a remedy will be hard to find.” This was written by George Bird Grinnell, co-founder of the Boone and Crockett Club in 1894.
SCIENCE BLASTS By John F. Organ, B&C Professional Member Excerpt from Summer 2020 issue of Fair Chase Wildlife conservation in the United States has progressed through many phases while adhering to some core principles. Most significant is the common law doctrine that wildlife is held in trust...
SCIENCE BLASTS By John F. Organ, B&C Professional Member Julie Tripp (left) and Karlie Slayer (right) staffed the Boone and Crockett Club booth this past October in Reno at the annual conference of TWS and the American Fisheries Society.​​​​​​​ Excerpt from Spring 2020 issue of Fair Chase The...
Much debate has occurred through the years over the value and purpose of maintaining records of “trophy” big game animals killed by hunters. This has become magnified in recent years with a focus on trophy hunting in general, spawned in part by the Cecil the Lion episode, and in conflicting reports on the genetic impacts of trophy hunting to big game populations in particular.
SCIENCE BLASTS By John F. Organ, B&C Professional Member Gordon Batcheller still hunting for moose in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Excerpt from Fall 2019 issue of Fair Chase In the last issue of Fair Chase , I wrote about how we may transform the way we communicate the results of hunting...
SCIENCE BLASTS By John F. Organ, B&C Professional Member A Sunday picnic on the shore of the Baltic Sea in Sweden, cooking reindeer. Excerpt from Summer 2019 issue of Fair Chase It was the next-to-last day of black powder rifle season this past December, and I was supposed to hunt whitetails...
SCIENCE BLASTS By John F. Organ, B&C Professional Member Dr. Kevin Monteith of the University of Wyoming and the Wyoming Migration Initiative uses ultrasound to check the pregnancy status of a mule deer doe after affixing it with a GPS collar to document its migration movements. Excerpt from...

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"The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak. So we must and we will."

-Theodore Roosevelt