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Predictions on the 2011 rut

Outdoor Tales

The folks at Quality Deer Management did just that, keeping accurate track of the results over several years. Interestingly — their finding pretty closely mirrors that of Alsheimers.

Both predict the peak of breeding activity at nearly the same time each year — this year they’ve pegged it at between Nov. 10 and 24.

Alsheimer narrowed it just a bit more, putting peak breeding at between Nov. 13-24.

Alsheimer also breaks the rut down into four phases: the pre-rut; seeking and chasing; peak breeding and post or secondary rut. Together they encompass pretty much all of our hunting seasons, from mid-October to mid-December.

But for most, the most interesting to watch is the seeking and chasing phase (this year predicted to be Nov. 3-12) and the peak breeding phase (Nov. 13-24). So, you really can’t go wrong scheduling a week of vacation during this time, but keep in mind that many believe outside influences such as weather and available food sources can affect peak breeding times.

DEC and federal funds

I spoke to Jason Kemper, chairman of the NYS Conservation Fund Advisory Board, to get an update of where the state stands in potentially losing more than $20 million in federal funding for conservation programs here.

These funds come from excise taxes on a slew of sporting equipment like firearms, bows, fishing rods & reels and ammunition, and are paid back to states to help with wildlife programs, benefitting sportsmen.

The potential of losing the funds came to light early this summer when the feds found out that the NY Department of Budget allows legislators to tap into special revenue accounts — like the Conservation Fund — if need be to balance the budget.

Wether lawmakers intend to raid the fund or not, the loophole of them being able to was enough for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to threaten pulling millions in aid to DEC, further crippling this important agency.

According to Kemper, the DEC is in negotiations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is awaiting a letter alerting them of the status of the funds.

The state has already received its payment for this fiscal year, so if the money is discontinued it would happen next year, Kemper said.

John Gereau is managing editor of Denton Publications and an avid outdoorsman. He may be reached at www.denpubs.com.

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