Off the wire

Deer hunters abuzz about possible record buck
Practically every deer hunter walking into Ak-Sar-Ben Aquarium this week wants to see the picture.

They've already heard about the buck through online hunting forums, text messages or word-of-mouth. They know it was checked in at the aquarium.
Read complete story from JournalStar.com.

Goliath grouper catch is a lawbreaker
An Alabama man's pride in hauling in what he and three fishing buddies thought was a near-record size grouper off St. George Island last summer has turned into prosecution.
Read complete story from NewsHerald.com.

Huge steelhead run on Snake was record
The Snake River's record run of steelhead has been parading and delivering pleasure and profit from the mouth of the Columbia upstream 800 miles to the Salmon, Idaho, area- and beyond.

"We're getting in about a 100 steelhead a week for smoking," said Steve Egger of Egger's Meats on Spokane's South Hill.
Read complete story from TriCityHerald.com.

N.C. team catches record-setting king mackerel
BILOXI — The opening day of the 2009 Southern Kingfish Association's National Championship featured 210 boats hitting the Gulf of Mexico hoping to land large king mackerel.

It ended with a new SKA record and a pending Mississippi saltwater record.

Read complete story from Sun Herald.

Man charged in alleged hunting mishap that left woman dead
FERRUM, Va. — A hunter faces manslaughter and other charges after authorities say he fired at college students he mistook for a deer, leaving one dead and another, a McLean man, wounded.
Read complete story from The Washington Post.

Shellcrackers could solve Lake Mead's quagga festation
Nature appears to have a brightly colored solution to the quagga mussel invasion at Lake Mead.

The redear sunfish is waiting in the wings to be introduced as the potential savior of the Las Vegas Valley's main water source.

Read complete story from Las Vegas Sun.

Hawaii anxiously watching year-end tuna supply
HONOLULU — On New Year's Eve each year, thousands line up at fish counters across Hawaii to buy blocks of raw tuna, hoping that eating it will bring good luck and prosperity in the new year. This year, the long tradition may get a little more difficult to observe.
Read complete story from Associated Press.

SC offering shoppers tax-free weekend on guns
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina shoppers will get a second chance to buy tax-free guns.

The state Revenue Department sent out a reminder Wednesday of the upcoming "Second Amendment Weekend." The 48-hour tax break begins just after midnight the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Read complete story from Associated Press.

Boy shoots bear on family's porch
An 11-year-old boy killed a bear at point-blank range last Wednesday night after it wouldn't leave his family's porch. The boy was at home with his younger sisters and after seeing the bear on the front porch and not being able to get it to leave, the boy retrieved a gun and killed the animal.

Read complete story from Teton Valley News.

Turkeys make Long Island comeback
For decades, the closest most Long Islanders got to a wild turkey was likely a shot glass of the bird's namesake Kentucky bourbon.
Read complete story from Newsday.com.

Take time to review firearm safety
Unfortunately, with the opening of the deer firearms season and tens of thousands of hunters taking to the field comes reports from the DNR of hunting-related accidents.
Read complete story from FortWayne.com.

The Lucky 7 Buck: Triumph over trial
During her seventh year of hunting the Prairie State, Debbie Cox of Virginia was finally rewarded with a dream buck. But she had to endure a nightmare with a game warden before she reaped her reward.
Read complete story from North American Whitetail.

USFWS agents serve search warrant at Gibson Guitar plant
Agents of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service served a search warrant today at the manufacturing facilities of Gibson Guitar in Nashville, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Nashville. In a statement, Gibson Guitar said it is "fully cooperating with agents of the United States Fish & Wildlife Service as it pertains to an issue with harvested wood."
Read complete story from Tennessean.com.

Quota in reach, Montana closes wolf hunt
Montana's first wolf-hunting season came to a close at a half-hour past sunset Monday with 72 wolves taken out of the statewide quota of 75.
Read complete story from Billingsgazette.com.

Agents shine light on illegal hunting practices
NEVADA, Mo. — Justin Fogle, a conservation agent for the Missouri Department of Conservation, was on night patrol. Sitting in the passenger seat of the agency's plane, he stared out the window and strained to see signs of poaching activity.
Read complete story from KansasCity.com.

Cops release injured deer, escape shotgun blast
Police officers freeing an injured deer into the wild at an area farm Friday night escaped injury when a gunshot whizzed by their patrol car. They pursued the alleged gunman's sport utility vehicle for nearly an hour before arresting 31-year-old Victor L. Bryson, of the 500 block of W. Ninth St. in New Castle.
Read complete story from DelawareOnline.com.

Environmentalists say bluefin tuna catch quota too high
BRUSSELS — Environmentalists on Monday said an international deal to reduce catches of Atlantic bluefin tuna didn't go far enough to protect the species from extinction.
Read complete story from fwdailynews.com.

Chesapeake crabbers not going for Va.'s buyout
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — To ease pressures on the Chesapeake Bay's blue crab population, Virginia is paying watermen to stay out of the water, using $6.7 million in federal disaster aid to buy back crabbing licenses.
Read complete story from Associated Press.

Michigan cracks down on private deer-hunting ranches
THREE RIVERS, Mich. — Jack Menges has worked for 19 years as a taxidermist and deer processor, but he will not accept animals shot on private hunting ranches.

Read complete story from Mlive.com.

Jellyfish spreading are devastating fisheries
KOKONOGI, Japan — A blood-orange blob the size of a small refrigerator emerged from the dark waters, its venomous tentacles trapped in a fishing net. Within minutes, hundreds more were being hauled up, a pulsating mass crowding out the catch of mackerel and sea bass.
Read complete story from fwdailynews.com.

Judge says seals can remain at San Diego cove
SAN DIEGO — The seals can stay and play at a La Jolla swimming cove.

A judge ruled Friday that harbor seals that have colonized the cove in La Jolla for more than a decade can remain there. That overruled an earlier decision to have the city remove the seals because their waste bacteria was dangerous for humans.
Read complete story from fwdailynews.com.

Alaska fights to reverse polar bear listing
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell says he has the best interest of polar bears at heart, but he doesn't intend to let the federal government's expanded protection for bears get in the way of the state's continued prosperity.
Read complete story from Associated Press.