SEPTEMBER 15, 2020


Hunting season is in full swing friends! Whether you’re hunting elk, dove, deer, or small game all of us at The Hunting Wire are here to help you be as well-informed, educated, and engaged as possible this season. We continue to bring the very best programming to you with world-class contributors like Larry Weishuhn and Luke Clayton, the great folks at Barnes Bullets and Fiocchi, and the conservation-minded team at Wyoming Wildlife Federation. Our Voice of Leadership Panel addresses the North American Conservation Model through the words of Jim Curcuruto, Director, Research & Market Development, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and we even teach you a gutless method to field dress an elk! Meanwhile we introduce you to the fine folks at the Mule Deer Foundation. Later this year look for stories about hunting black bears in Maine with AHERO at Houseinthewoods, and follow the Westervelt family in Billings, Montana as they hunt eastern Montana with Remington, Leupold, and Walker’s! As always, thank you for your support and feedback about The Hunting Wire, Jay Pinsky


The mission of the Mule Deer Foundation is to ensure the conservation of mule deer, black-tailed deer and their habitat.

Their goals are:

  • To restore, improve and protect mule deer habitat (including land and easement acquisitions) resulting in self-sustaining, healthy, free ranging and huntable deer populations.
  • To encourage and support responsible wildlife management with government agencies, private organizations and landowners.
  • To promote public education and scientific research related to mule deer and wildlife management.
  • To support and encourage responsible and ethical behavior and awareness of issues among those whose actions affect mule deer.
  • To support regulated hunting as a viable component of mule deer and black-tailed deer conservation.
  • To develop programs that focus on recruitment and retention of youth into the shooting sports and conservation.

RECRUITMENT, RETENTION AND REACTIVATION (R3): The Mule Deer Foundation has a organized, easy-to-navigate website which enables new and experienced hunters to identify local, state, and national opportunities through the Mule Deer Foundation to grow as a hunter and conservationist.

One key area on their website is their social media page which includes a link to the soon-to-premier #PROJECTMULEDEER, which is a robust video series dedicated to educating hunters and the general public about the mule deer.

CONSERVATION PARTNER EDUCATION SERIES: The Mule Deer Foundation has a firm opinion on many conservation topics. They state their position clearly here. The Mule Deer Foundation is also a terrific place to learn just about anything you ever wanted to know about mule deer with a thorough and easy-to-navigate Mule Deer Facts page.

The Voice of Leadership Panel is an appointed six-person group of outdoor industry leaders who have volunteered to contribute their voices on key hunting and outdoor recreation issues to inform, inspire, and educate participants within our community.

By Jim Curcuruto, Director of Research and Market Development at National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a place where the public could ‘own’ wildlife? Well, if you are an American citizen, congratulations, you are part owner in America’s wildlife and natural resources.  

The story of wildlife ownership and, consequently, wildlife restoration in America has been called “the greatest story never told” however much has indeed been written on this topic so perhaps it should be renamed “the least appreciated story ever told”. 

With millions of Americans recently reconnecting with nature and millions more becoming new gun owners - and potential hunters, now is an opportune time to retell the story in hopes it will be better understood and appreciated.

Much happened prior, but in the early 1900’s wildlife populations were being decimated by unregulated market hunting and loss of habitat. Since wildlife owners were not doing a great job of managing “their” wildlife, it was clear that if the people were to continue to own wildlife, populations (both human and animal) would need to be managed and laws would be necessary to help preserve wildlife for future generations/owners. In an effort to avoid mismanagement of wildlife by the people, the Public Trust Doctrine allowed for wildlife to be entrusted to the government to manage for the long-term benefit of the public.

That Public Trust Doctrine is a basis for the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation which is comprised of seven parts. These parts have been called “sisters”, “principles”, “tenants”, “components” and “pillars”. Pick whichever term you like as the list below highlights each part of the Model:

1. Wildlife resources are a public trust and belong to the people however these resources are to be managed by government agencies.

2. Prohibition of the commerce of dead wildlife. This important part of the Model eliminates the sale of wild harvested game.

3. Allocation of wildlife is by the democratic rule of law and decisions pertaining to wildlife management should be transparent, inclusive, and fair.

4. Wildlife can only be killed for a legitimate purpose and anyone that harvests wildlife shall avoid wanton waste.  

5. Wildlife is considered an international resource and, as such, is managed cooperatively across state and national boundaries. 

6. Decisions pertaining to wildlife management should be based on the best available science.

7. All American’s shall have the opportunity to hunt.

One of the primary questions asked about the NA Model is, “If the public owns the wildlife, why do we need government to manage it for us?” The short answer is that, as with many things, a few bad apples can ruin the whole bunch. It has been proven that, without oversight, some ‘owners’ will take more than their fair share, try to profit from the sale of wildlife and destroy populations for future generations.

Perhaps John Wallace, Jr., Alabama’s State Game and Fish Commissioner in 1908 put it best when he wrote; “Since the State in its sovereign capacity occupies the attitude of guardian and custodian of the people’s welfare, it is therefore the duty of the State, by enactment of appropriate legislation, to endeavor to extend adequate protection to those resources in which the people have collectively a natural right. Wise and discrete individuals who feel no inclination to make assaults on Nature’s store-house should have their rights protected by the enactment of strong laws to restrain the hands of the wanton and reckless, whose vandalism would annihilate every visible thing of fin, fur or feather, to gratify their savage instincts.”  

The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation has proven successful. It is an important model to follow if we are to maintain healthy wildlife populations and allow future generations of Americans to continue to be owners of wildlife. 

As these Voice of the Leadership Panel articles are meant to be thought provoking, I encourage you to conduct additional research on this topic and share what you learned with others.

Reader resources:

The Wildlife Society: The Public Trust Doctrine and The NA Model of Wildlife Conservation

Boone & Crockett video: The North American Model

Izaak Walton League: Like No Other Place

Be sure to read the next edition of The Hunting Wire when Mandy Harling, Director of Hunting Heritage programs for the National Wild Turkey Federation, will cover how wildlife restoration is funded in America.

2020-2021 The Hunting Wire Voice of Leadership Panel 

  • Jim Curcuruto, Director, Research & Market Development, National Shooting Sports Foundation
  • Mandy Harling, National Director of Hunting Heritage Programs, National Wild Turkey Federation
  • Jenifer Wisniewski, Chief, Outreach and Communication, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
  • Jess Johnson, Legislative and Advocacy, Wyoming Wildlife Federation
  • Joel Brice, Vice President, Waterfowl & Hunter Recruitment Programs, Delta Waterfowl
  • David Baxter, Educator, Texas Youth Foundation, Texas Youth Hunting Program 


  • James “Jay” Pinsky, Editor, The Hunting Wire
  • Peter Churchbourne, Director, NRA Hunter Leadership Forum

Barnes Bullets teaches shooters the basics about rifle cartridges and how to use them.

By Barnes Bullets

Fiocchi Ammunition teaches shooters about the basics of shotgun ammunition and how to use it.

By Fiocchi Ammunition

By Andrea Barbknecht – Wyoming Wildlife Federation

The Wyoming Wildlife Federation's mission is to conserve wildlife, habitat and outdoor opportunities. Founded in 1937, the Federation is the oldest and largest sportsmen's advocacy and conservation organization in the state of Wyoming.

So, you have a dead deer in an area with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Now what? These are the ins and outs of responsible carcass management in CWD areas.

“Bring out your dead!” Not to make light of a serious subject, but even Monty Python knew that carcass management is important in controlling the spread of diseases. CWD and other diseases are a concern in Wyoming’s deer and elk populations. Responsible carcass management is the first step in preventing the introduction of diseases to new areas.

If you have a deer or elk headed for the freezer or the taxidermist, what is your first step? The safest assumption is that your animal is positive for CWD unless and until a test tells you otherwise. Your best choice is to leave the head, spine, entrails, and legs at the site of the kill. This ensures that the most infectious parts don’t travel to a new area. If you need to transport your carcass whole, it is legal to transport to your home, a processor, or a taxidermist (but no whole carcasses across state lines). Once you move the animal from the spot it was killed, it is your responsibility to make sure your animal and its parts are disposed of appropriately. More on that later.

When handling your animal, you may want to use gloves. For legal purposes, be sure to retain evidence of sex, species, or horn or antler development as required in the regulations. If you are concerned about consuming CWD positive meat and are having your animal tested, make sure to carefully label your meat. CWD or not, you should also keep a clean workspace if you are butchering yourself and use bleach or another disinfectant to clean up after you are done.

For any CWD positive meat that you will not consume and any other body parts you will not be using, place them in a sturdy garbage bag and transport them to an approved landfill. You can also ask that your taxidermist and/or meat processor do the same.

Here is a list of approved landfills in Wyoming.


You can safely transport:

  • Cut and wrapped meat
  • Boned meat
  • Animal quarters or other pieces with no portion of the spinal column or head attached
  • Cleaned hides without the heads
  • Cleaned (no meat or other tissue attached) skull plates with antlers attached
  • Antlers with no meat or brain tissue attached

At this point, there is no evidence the prion that causes the disease in deer and elk can ever be transferred to humans and caused disease. Given the scarcity of data, however, and out of an abundance of caution, the Center for Disease Control and Wyoming Game and Fish Department recommends against eating the meat of CWD positive animals. As a result, if you take a CWD positive animal, the wanton-waste laws will not apply, though each individual is allowed to make the decision to consume or not consume the meat.

Good luck hunting and please remember to take care of your carcasses responsibly this fall.

The Wild Sheep Foundation enhances wild sheep populations, promote scientific wildlife management, educate the public and youth on sustainable use and the conservation benefits of hunting while promoting the interests of the hunter.

BOZEMAN, MT., September 2, 2020 – The Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF) announces its work with Idea Ranch as the conservation organization plans for its 2021 Sheep Week, a virtual alternative to WSF’s yearly Sheep Show that proudly serves their members, partners, agencies, and supporters.

Since 1977, WSF has functioned as the conservation leader of wild sheep and remains committed to its mission to “Put and Keep Wild Sheep on the Mountain.” The annual Sheep Show is a vital part of the organization’s conservation strategy, in addition to being a boon to the hunting economy. While the current pandemic has eliminated the organization’s ability to gather with sheep enthusiasts and conservationists in person, WSF remains committed to providing an unrivaled experience for all who rely on the yearly event.

“As with nearly everything in our pandemic world, definitive answers are hard to come by,” said Gray N. Thornton, WSF President and CEO. “Sadly, there is simply no indication that a gathering of our size will be allowed to assemble by the second week of January, masks or no masks. The good news is WSF has enlisted the services of some of the brightest minds in the business to bring you the best and most worthwhile Sheep Week imaginable. We’re proud to partner with Idea Ranch to make this possible.”

“We’re truly honored to serve the Wild Sheep Foundation. The Sheep Show is one of the greatest events in conservation and we’re excited to assist in developing engaging and best-in-class solutions to serve all who depend on this amazing event each year,” said James B. Lawson, Vice President at Idea Ranch. “We’ll work with WSF and their partners over the coming weeks to ensure that if we won’t all be able to meet in person this January, no one will miss out on Sheep Week 2021.”

About the Wild Sheep Foundation

Based in Bozeman, Mont., the Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF) was founded in 1977 by wild sheep conservationists and enthusiasts. With a membership of more than 8,500 worldwide, WSF is the premier advocate for wild sheep and other mountain wildlife and their habitats. WSF has raised and expended more than $135 million on wild sheep habitat and population enhancements, education, and conservation advocacy programs in North America, Europe, and Asia to “Put and Keep Wild Sheep On the Mountain”®. These and other efforts have increased bighorn sheep populations in North America from historic lows in the 1950-60s of 25,000 to more than 85,000 today.

About Idea Ranch

Idea Ranch is a full-service advertising, PR, and consumer insights firm headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with a second office in Wichita, Kansas. The firm has a diversified list of clients across the country and is an industry-leading marketing-communications company building brands in the outdoor recreation and passion sports sectors. For more information, please visit


James B. Lawson
Vice President, 918-743-8822

By Larry Weishuhn and Luke Clayton

Luke Clayton and Larry Weishuhn

Radio File: Episode 8

NSSF provides a state-by-state guide to where to hunt on their website.

Link: State by State Guide 

Select any state to find hunting license and permit information, where to hunt, hunter education classes, laws and regulations, and additional resources.

Fairfax, Va. - The National Rifle Association is offering a free online Experienced Hunter Education Course for those preparing to take advantage of the upcoming hunting season.

“As a result of COVID travel restrictions, states have seen a considerable increase in the number of hunting license sales,” said Peter Churchbourne, director of NRA’s Hunters Leadership Forum. “Our Experienced Hunter Education Course provides those who might have taken a season or two off a convenient way to sharpen their skills before heading back into the field.”

NRA’s free 2-hour course is a firearm and hunting safety-training refresher in a convenient and engaging platform available through desktop, tablet, or smartphone. The course is available to everyone at

The course is not a substitute for state-mandated hunter safety requirements and does not offer any certifications.

“The NRA’s long-term goal is for everyone to have a safe and productive hunting adventure, especially for those who depend on hunting to put food on their table. Whether you end the season with a 12-point buck or a tale of near misses, the important part is to make the most of your outdoor experience. NRA’s Experienced Hunter Education Course is great step towards making that possibility a reality,” Churchbourne concluded.

This free refresher course is available courtesy of the organization that created America’s first hunter education course. Also available at no charge, and accepted by Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, and West Virginia as valid hunter education certification, you can find this course at


About the National Rifle Association
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen’s group. More than five million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and is the leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military. Visit

A collection of bowhunting training videos and written content on how to help you become a better bowhunter.

By Easton Bowhunting

Video: How To Skin A Deer

Mike Stroff from Savage Outdoors walks through the process of skinning a deer. 

Brands Team Up to Create Awareness, Education, and Accessibility Around Outdoors Lifestyle


Sparks, NV (September 14, 2020) - Chad Belding, star of The Fowl Life on Outdoor Channel, is proud to announce a partnership with Vortex Optics, a leading brand in the optics market with over 20 years of experience in the industry. Vortex Optics is excited to align themselves with The Fowl Life and together they are committed to raising awareness about how to become better outdoorsmen/women through education and an emphasis on conservation. This will include getting involved with a variety of initiatives throughout the year, including donating a hunt with The Fowl Life to be filmed for an episode of the show as well as participating in the annual California Waterfowl Association’s annual truck giveaway (Corning Ford will be providing the truck) by giving away their signature Diamondback Binoculars and Spotting Scope to the winner.

In addition, Sawyer Briel, Marketing Communications Manager of Vortex Optics, will be making an appearance on Chad Belding’s This Life Ain’t For Everybody podcast to discuss the partnership and their overall combined efforts as well as the soon to be launched new podcast Where The Pavement Ends. Vortex Optics also plans to support The Fowl Life’s upcoming hunt camps and the team will be using Vortex Optics gear exclusively.

“One of the best parts of the outdoors is working and spending time with people that share a love and enthusiasm for the lifestyle,” said Chad Belding, co-host of The Fowl Life. “Vortex Optics understands that the outdoors is for everyone, as well as the responsibility that entails in terms of ensuring conservation efforts and education for current and future enthusiasts so that people can enjoy the outdoors for generations to come.”

“We love to align ourselves with companies and brands that focus on the people! Brands who love to promote our lifestyle in a meaningful, ethical way and get people involved in our sport in a fun, exciting manner are the ones who we love to have on our team,” said Clay Belding, co-host of The Fowl Life. “When you see how Vortex promotes our lifestyle, when you see them put their money where their mouths are, when you see how they treat their customers, you know they are the real deal. You know they just ‘get it’! We couldn’t be more excited about the partnership and look forward to many years of joining our efforts in promoting hunting, conservation, and our heritage.”

“We’re incredibly excited to be working with the team at The Fowl Life – their commitment to getting new folks interested in hunting and shooting, whether that’s through time in the blind or on the wild game cooking side of things, aligns perfectly with what we stand for here at Vortex,” said Sawyer Briel, Marketing Communications Manager of Vortex Optics. “We’re all in this together in the industry, and now more than ever we need to continue to collaborate and continue the momentum to grow interest in the outdoors and conservation.”

For more information on The Fowl Life visit or on Chad Belding and his variety of endeavors go to For additional information on Vortex Optics visit


About Chad Belding:

Born in 1974 in Reno, Nevada Chad Belding is a lifelong sportsman and outdoors enthusiast whose love of the lifestyle was instilled at a very young age by his father Orville Belding. Orville ensured that both Chad and his brothers Clint and Clay were encouraged to evolve an appreciation of the outdoors at every turn, teaching them to camp, hunt, fish, crawdad trap and even cut down their own Christmas trees. Their mother, Faith Belding, was with the family every step of the way. He is the host of “The Fowl Life”, as well as the co-founder of Banded, a video production and merchandising company that specializes in waterfowl hunting gear and accessories as well as a selection of turkey hunting products. Chad also hosts the podcast “This Life Ain’t For Everybody” podcast in, created in 2018.

About Vortex Optics:

American owned, veteran-owned, Wisconsin-based Vortex Optics designs, engineers, produces, and distributes a complete line of premium sport optics, accessories, and apparel. Dedicated to providing unrivaled customer service and exceptional quality, Vortex backs its products with the unconditional, transferrable, lifetime VIP Warranty.


Marlon LeWinter
NRGized Media


By Hunters Connection Series International Hunter Education Association (IHEA)-USA

A guide to a gutless method of elk field dressing

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