The Rod & Gun Club

Hunters & Anglers Defendng Our Future - A Conservation Hawks Blog


2014 CH Photo Contest

Conservation Hawks is running our CH Photo Contest from February 27 to March 21, 2014. Click HERE for the rules & regulations and HERE to go right to the contest. We'd love to see your photos!

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2013 4th Warmest Year Ever

2013 was the 4th warmest year ever recorded, according to the scientists at NOAA. In related news, 1988, which at one time was the warmest year ever, has, in the space of 25 years, been pushed out of the Top 20.

Our planet continues to grow warmer, while the threat to our hunting & angling, and to our children and grandchildren, grows ever larger. If we want to hold on to our outdoor heritage and our sporting traditions, then we have to address climate change while there's still time.

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The Climate Chamberlains

On September 30th, 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain addressed England with the following words:

"My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time... Go home and get a nice quiet sleep."

In spite of Germany's obvious aggression and Hitler's ongoing preparations for World War II, Prime Minister Chamberlain saw exactly what he wanted to see - peace with Germany, peace with honor.

As we move forward into a new year, America's hunters & anglers need to recognize that the Neville Chamberlains of our world - our climate deniers - are pointing us toward a cliff. Our entire future depends on addressing climate change while there's still time to do so.

It's obvious to anyone who's paying attention that global warming is becoming a huge problem. It's also possible, according to a number of prominent scientists, that it will be much, much worse than anything we can imagine. The only prudent course of action - the only one - is to stand up for our hunting & fishing, and for our children and grandchildren, by addressing climate change immediately.

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Behind The Curtain

Sometimes it seems like the internet is all smoke & mirrors. People in the shadows try to influence our decisions and control what we see; a real life version of the famous, "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!" scene from the Wizard of Oz.

Here at Conservation Hawks, we are who we say we are - real hunters and real anglers doing our level best to protect our landscapes and pass on our sporting heritage to our kids & grandkids.

Don't take our word for it, though. As we say all the time, look at the evidence. The gray-beard in the photo below is CH founder and chairman Todd Tanner with his 2013 Montana whitetail. Over the coming months, we'll continue to share photos of the CH team doing what we love to do.

We're passionate about our hunting & fishing. At the end of the day, we hope that makes it a little easier for you to support our work.


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Are We Screwed?

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A hunter read a new climate study on our CH Facebook page last week and left the following comment: “Conclusion: too late, you're screwed.” So what are the facts? Do we still have a shot at coming out the other side in one piece?

According to the latest science, it looks like America will indeed warm substantially over the next 30 to 50 years. That warming, along with the resultant changes to weather & precipitation patterns, will have negative impacts on our hunting & fishing. That’s pretty much a given at this point.

At the same time, though, we are not yet locked in to the kind of catastrophic warming that means game over for hunters and anglers.

Here’s what you need to understand. The next 3 to 5 years are crucial. If the United States takes a leadership role and convinces (or forces) the rest of the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we can avoid the worst climate impacts. On the other hand, if we choose business-as-usual, and if we’re still having this same conversation in 8 or 10 years, then yes, we are in serious trouble.

Scientists have shared a fair amount of bad news recently. As one headline warned, “Hottest September On Record, Fastest Pacific Warming In 10,000 Years, Warmest Arctic In 120,000 Years.” CO2 levels are now at a record high. Researchers say that landscapes all over the world could experience huge temperature shifts by 2047.

So will all this information inspire us to fight for our hunting and fishing, and for our kids and our grandkids? Or will we resign ourselves to a dismal future?

That’s easy. We’re going to fight. We’ll fight for the places we hunt & fish, and for our sporting heritage, and for future generations of Americans. We don’t shrink from a challenge; we don’t throw in the towel just because the odds aren’t in our favor.

No, we’re not screwed. Not as long as we’re willing to stand up for ourselves, and for our kids and grandkids.

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October 28th

As sportsmen, we tend to have a pretty good feel for normal weather patterns. If it's rainy when it should be snowy, or if it's 20 degrees warmer or colder than average, that anomaly tends to grab our attention. Sometimes, though, we hear about something so unusual that all we can do is shake our heads. Here's a great example. There was an active wildfire - the Mississippi wildfire - burning on October 28th. So what's so strange about that?

It was about 70 miles from Fairbanks, Alaska.

Five years ago, we wouldn't have believed it was possible. There's no way there would be an active wildfire in the Alaskan interior at the end of October. Now it's a reality. That's the kind of thing we're seeing more and more often as our world warms.
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Moose Madness

The other day on Facebook, we published a short post on moose mortality, climate change, and the impacts on moose hunting opportunities. In response, a commenter asked: “Is it climate? Or is it predator? I can't understand how we can do anything about it being warmer. I feel this isn't our dept. as humans. EXPLAIN:”

So let’s take a shot. There are a couple of things we know:

1) Our scientists say that the world is getting warmer.
2) They also say that humans are largely responsible, mostly from the 30+ billion tons of CO2 we add to the atmosphere each year by burning fossil fuels.
3) Moose are experiencing increased mortality across much of their southern range, even in places like New Hampshire where they don’t have natural predators.
4) Moose further north seem to be doing just fine.
5) Warmer temperatures are helping to expose moose in the lower 48 to an increased number of parasites and pathogens.

While the science isn’t 100% conclusive yet, it’s extremely likely that warmer temperatures are contributing to higher moose mortality in places like New Hampshire, Minnesota and Montana.

So what can we do about it being warmer? Well, we can’t roll back the clock, pull billions and billions of tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere, and cool the earth back to the average temperatures from the 20th century. What we can do, though, is work hard to ensure that future temperatures don’t climb to levels that will disrupt landscapes, along with fish & game, all over America.

The bad news is that we’re currently on track to dump enough greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere to destroy most, if not all, of our hunting & fishing. The good news is that we have the technology and the know-how to produce clean, sustainable energy and lower our greenhouse gas output dramatically. So now it’s up to us. Will we stick with fossil fuels and sacrifice our hunting & fishing - not to mention our kids and grandkids - or will we roll up our sleeves and get to work on low and no-carbon energy sources?

It truly is our choice.

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