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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

We shift our whitetail deer analysis to Arkansas today where the population has doubled from 500,000 to 1,000,000 in the last 30 years, with the last two years of hunter kills averaging around 200,000 .........With roughly 49,000 square miles of non-urban land, Deer are now at a forest damaging levels of at least 20 per square mile..........I continue to reiterate that prior to European colonization, Arkansas and all acreage east of the Mississippi River harbored somewhere betwween 6 and 15 deer per square mile........Coyotes and a recovering Black Bear population are not up to the task of allowing Arkansas Forests to regenerate in an optimum fashion.............Red Wolves(Eastern Wolves) and Pumas long to make their historical contribution to keeping the "NATURAL STATE(Arkansas) natural!

A strange deer season already

by David Mosesso;

It's already been a strange deer season in many ways. The temperatures have been unseasonably warm, and the number of bucks showing up on my trail cameras have been minimal. Perhaps that's why the deer harvest to date is 33 percent behind last year's harvest, and there have been 42 percent fewer bucks killed.

For the same period this year compared to last, there were 11,471 deer killed in just over a month in our state. This year only 7,671 were killed at the time of this writing. Katie bar the door tomorrow, because the statewide public lands modern gun doe hunt is open, and I'm sure we'll see a catch up with this year's total harvest numbers. See to see the up-to-date harvest numbers.

I remember years ago when I always looked at the statewide deer forecast for Arkansas. There were an estimated 400,000-500,000 deer in our state back in the early 1980's. Today our deer herd is estimated at around 1 million. That's quite a growth in our deer population, considering the increase in the bag limit and the liberal hunting season we enjoy. I'm sure many of you can remember even farther back when just seeing a deer track was worth celebrating.

I've seen very few nice bucks killed by local hunters, but that's not saying they're not being killed — just that none of my friends have been doing the killing. That is, with the exception of one who killed a huge 8-point that scored in the low 160's, which is a world-class deer for Arkansas. He had been hunting this deer since last year and connected with him on one warm, mosquito laced morning in the Arkansas delta.

I received a lot of comments from my column from last week titled "It's a sad day when …" Well, I need to add another one to the list that just came across my desk. Seems as though the left coast, specifically California's governor, just signed a bill that prohibits the use of lead ammunition when taking wildlife with a firearm.

The last I checked, shooting marshmallows at animals just annoys them. I'm glad I don't live in California. All that "sunny and 75" weather has fried all their brain cells.

Many local hunters are still trying to figure out whether they'll be able to hunt during the upcoming muzzleloader permit hunts at White River National Wildlife Refuge. The government shutdown has shuttered the refuge, too, and all the wildlife has been furloughed. Hopefully those with permits will make alternative plans and find other places to enjoy the great Arkansas outdoors. The world will keep on turning, regardless.

As the trees begin to show a hint of autumn, deer season will begin to reach its stride and hunters will become more successful as they find deer movement becoming less nocturnal. The toughest thing to hunt is a nocturnal deer with no flashlight. They are cagey animals and smarter than most humans. That's why we celebrate like we do when we finally kill a mature buck.

If you have success this season, we want to know about it. Send us your photos and we'll be glad to publish them. We don't want any blood and guts photos, so keep this in mind when you're setting up your photo.

Respect the animal, and create a lasting memory that you can look back on for many years. Great photos are timeless and we encourage all hunters, young and old, to spend a couple extra minutes staging their photo so the animal and hunter are the focal part of the picture.

Good luck this season and as one of my friends always says, "hold it on 'em." 

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