Walk on the Wild Side

Brad Harvey: Take action on federal legislation to preserve heritage

November 18, 2012 

At this point, I’m as sick of politics as anyone. I’m glad I spent last week hunting in Kansas with no television. It was a welcome departure from the norm.

Still, there is one major happening in the political world drawing me in, since it affects my way of life and that of every other outdoorsman in this nation. Consider this a “call to arms” for every American hunter and fisherman. As the 112th Congress begins its session, an important piece of legislation is on the table. It’s the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012.

According to a news release by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, “The Sportsmen’s Act is a package of 19 separate bills, the majority of sportsmen’s legislative priorities on Capitol Hill. A similar package of bills – the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012 – was passed by the House in the spring by a bipartisan vote of 276 to 146.

Passage of this pro-sportsmen’s legislation will promote, protect and preserve our nation’s hunting, shooting and conservation heritage for generations to come.”

At no time in our nation’s history has our hunting heritage been under attack by anti-hunting and fishing groups as it is now. The last thing groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Human Society of the United States and Center for Biological Diversity want to see is federal protection for everything they’re against.

Despite support from every major conservation organization, such as NSSF, National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, Quality Deer Management Association, National Rifle Association and 40 more, your help is needed. Let your voice be heard by contacting our South Carolina senators and urging them to vote “yes” on the Sportsmen’s Act.

The offices of senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint can be reached by calling 202-224-3121.

Watch for deer

As I drove through Kentucky and Illinois last week, it was amazing to see the numbers of deer carcasses along the interstate.

Although we don’t have as large a deer population as those two states, driving in the early morning and evening hours can be just as dangerous around here.

“Reported deer-vehicle collisions have averaged about 2,200 the last few years, according to the S.C. Department of Public Safety. The number of collisions has declined since the 1980s. However, this decline may have more to do with lack of reporting for minor damages than with an actual reduction in collisions,” said Charles Ruth, DNR’s Deer/Turkey Project coordinator in a press release.

Any time deer are sighted ahead of you, Ruth recommends blowing the horn several times and flicking the headlights while reducing your speed. However, if the deer are closer to you when spotted, these techniques may spook the deer and increase the likelihood of an accident. In that situation, simply slow down.

“Pay attention to changes in habitat types along the highway,” he said. “Creek bottoms and where agricultural fields meet woodlands also are prime areas for deer to cross roadways.”

Visit Brad’s website at. bradharveyoutdoors. com or follow on Twitter @BHarveyOutdoors.

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