Off the wire

'Tough' toddler found alive after 2 days in woods
ARCADIA, Mo.  Thirsty, dirty and tired after spending two days and nights barely clothed in the wet, chilly woods of Mark Twain National Forest, 3-year-old Joshua Childers was ready to go home.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Wife wants answers in husband's disappearance
LUFKIN, Texas  Cindy Scheepstra's greatest fear is that she will never know what happened to her husband, Ronald. Ronald Scheepstra disappeared three weeks ago while on a fishing trip in a remote city in the southern tip of Mexico.
Read complete story from the KTRE.com

Trio charged with shooting, leaving deer to die
A Nicolaus man and two juveniles are facing felony animal cruelty charges for wounding deer with .22-caliber guns and leaving the animals to die "a slow and agonizing death," a California Department of Fish and Game official said Tuesday.
Read complete story from the MercuryNews.com

Police snipers in Staunton, Va., thin deer herd
STAUNTON, Va.  Staunton police killed 34 deer in an off-season hunt designed to thin the city's deer population.

Read complete story from the Virginia Wire

Harper will 'vigorously' defend sealers from ban
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has vowed to "vigorously defend" the Canadian sealing industry from the effects of a sweeping European ban on seal products that could come into effect by the fall.

Read complete story from the CTV.ca

N.Y. senator wants bird strike reporting mandatory
WASHINGTON  New York Sen. Chuck Schumer says each time a bird hits an airplane, it should be reported to the Federal Aviation Administration. And he told reporters he's filing legislation that would make it mandatory.

Read complete story from the Associated Press

4 Trinidad cops accused of stealing 1,000 animals
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico  Four police officers in Trinidad allegedly hijacked a smuggling boat at gunpoint and stole 1,000 endangered birds and monkeys along with 400 pounds of wild animal meat, authorities said Tuesday.

Read complete story from the Associated Press

Record fish caught and released
When Mark Nelson's son Matthew, 12, hooked into a sturgeon April 26, the anglers thought it was another fish in the 45-50 inch range.
Read complete story from the The Daily Journal

Habitat for 2 threatened fish in N.M., Ariz. to be reviewed after interference found in review
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.  A federal judge has ruled the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can reconsider the critical habitat designation of two threatened fish species in New Mexico and Arizona after a probe found political interference likely affected scientists' findings.

Read complete story from the Associated Press

Feds: Mountain-dwelling pika may go on endangered species list because of climate change
SALT LAKE CITY  A tiny mammal that can't handle warm weather could become the first animal in the lower 48 states to get Endangered Species Act protection primarily because of climate change.

Read complete story from the Associated Press

Protecting grizzlies could close campgrounds
Protecting grizzly bears across a 4,560-square-mile swath of the Selkirk and Cabinet mountains will require closing hundreds of miles of backcountry roads used by hunters and huckleberry pickers, the Forest Service says.

Read complete story from the Spokesman.com

Police shoot bobcat that attacked 13-year-old girl and her mother
Prescott Valley police and a state wildlife officer were able to track and kill a potentially rabid bobcat Monday after it attacked two people in Prescott Valley.
Read complete story from the The Daily Courier

Firearms, ammunition excise taxes up 31 percent
NEWTOWN, Conn.  During a time period of great economic uncertainty, firearm and ammunition sales have continued to increase throughout the country.

Read complete story from the NSSF.org

825-lb blue marlin caught in Tobago tournament
Reel Fanatic's Jovan Jango caught an 825-lb blue marlin on the final day of the T&T Game Fishing Association's International 2009 Marlin Madness tournament at Pigeon Point Heritage Park, Tobago, on Saturday.
Read complete story from the Guardian.co.tt

Calif. men accused of smuggling songbirds
LOS ANGELES  A man was charged Tuesday with smuggling songbirds into the United States by hiding more than a dozen of them in an elaborate, custom-tailored pair of leggings during a flight from Vietnam to Los Angeles.

Read complete story from the Associated Press

Panel OKs closing walk-in centers for hunting, fishing licenses
Madison  The Legislature's budget committee Tuesday decided to stop spending until it knows about the worsening budget deficit, after voting to save $3.3 million by closing 24 walk-in centers operated by the state Department of Natural Resources.

Read complete story from the JSOnline.com

Lawmakers seek funding for bat disease research
MONTPELIER, Vt.  Congressional members from 13 states are asking the Obama administration for emergency funding to keep bats alive.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Commerce Secretary releases $53.1 million in salmon disaster relief
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced yesterday that he would release $53.1 million in badly-needed disaster funds to assist California and Oregon communities devastated by the second year of salmon fishery closures along the coast.
Read complete story from the California Progress Report

Louisiana man admits hunting scam
Acting as a "client wrangler" for a Hi-Line area ranching family, a Louisiana man admitted Monday he recruited big game hunters to come to Montana where they illegally killed elk and deer.
Read complete story from the Billings Gazette

N.J. lifts long-standing ban on Sunday deer hunting
TRENTON, N.J.  New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine has signed a bill to allow deer hunting on Sundays with a bow and arrow. The measure signed Monday changes a New Jersey law that once banned all hunting on Sunday. It was originally enacted in 1903, but has been revised over the years to allow for some.
Read complete story from philly.com

Tribes protest nontribal fishing of spring chinook
PORTLAND, Ore.  Representatives of Columbia River tribes say Oregon and Washington have allowed too much nontribal fishing of upper Columbia spring chinook at the probable expense of tribes depending on what may be an unexpectedly low run. The Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission, which represents the Nez Perce, Umatilla, Warm Springs and Yakama tribes, sent a letter to the states last week.
Read complete story from KTVZ.com

Wolves no longer protected in northern Rockies
BILLINGS, Mont.  Wolves in parts of the northern Rockies and the Great Lakes region come off the endangered species list on Monday, opening them to public hunts in some states for the first time in decades.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Forest Service closes caves to stop bat fungus
CHARLESTON, W.Va.  The U.S. Forest Service is closing thousands of caves and former mines in national forests in 33 states in an effort to control a fungus that has already killed an estimated 500,000 bats.

Bats have been dying at alarming rates from what scientists call "white-nose syndrome," so-named because it appears as a white powder on the face and wings of hibernating bats.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Photographs reveal wild travelers beneath U.S. 93
Motorists on Highway 93 North have been driving over wildlife like crazy in the past year, without ever noticing.

Bears, bobcats, river otters and owls have discovered a network of 42 underpasses built into the roadway between Evaro and Polson. Photographic evidence shows a host of critters using the tunnels as cars zoom overhead.
Read complete story from the Missoulian

Kentucky elk hunt draws international interest
Seven Canadian residents are among the record 35,390 applicants registered so far for the 1,007 quota elk hunt tags being issued this year by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Hunters from as far away as Alaska, Hawaii, Maine and Puerto Rico have paid the $10 fee to register for the elk hunt drawing.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Men who overfished sentenced to prison
Three fishermen accused of dramatically underreporting their rockfish harvests received prison terms last week, as federal prosecutors continued a crackdown on a black market fish trade involving more than a dozen people, including several in St. Mary's County, authorities said.
Read complete story from the Washington Post

2009 Budweiser Sharelunker season wrapup: Mixed results
Texas Parks and Wildlife's Budweiser ShareLunker season started strong and finished weak, no doubt the victim of unsettled weather that mixed high winds with unseasonably cool April temperatures. Only two lunkers were reported after March 20. The past five seasons have seen an average of five lunkers caught in April.
Read complete story from The Dallas Morning News