Safe holiday on the local lakes
By Tom Wiest | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Well done, Tennessee boaters. Memorial Day Weekend 2012 had no boating-related fatalities, this for the second year in a row. For the five-day period, Friday through Monday, there were eight reported accidents with property damage, five of those with injuries.
Officers for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency made 22 boating under the influence (BUI) arrests over the weekend, an increase of nine from the same period last year. Officers also issued 12 reckless/negligent operation citations, down two from 2011.
Year to date, there have been seven fatalities on Tennessee’s waterways, the same number as last year. So far there have been 39 reported accidents and 42 BUI arrests.
• A Becoming an Outdoors Woman Field Day is set for June 16 in Knoxville at the John Sevier Hunter Education Facility. The relaxed atmosphere of these events is primarily aimed at women, but it is an opportunity for anyone 18 or older to learn outdoor skills usually associated with hunting and fishing.
BOW workshop participants will have the opportunity to participate in two classes, choosing from: Basic archery, introduction to firearms, introduction to pistol shooting, Dutch oven cooking, (women’s) self defense, nature photography, backyard habitat, boating safety, and all-terrain vehicle operation.
The BOW Field Day will be held rain or shine. The fee is $25 and includes lunch and snacks. Registration is limited and on a first-come basis and should be done promptly. Go to the http://www.tnwildlife.org or contact Donald Hosse at (email@example.com) or telephone 615-781-6541.
• Beginning later this month, some dove hunters will be asked to participate in a national survey being conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. If you are randomly selected to participate, do not fail to answer it. This survey is will be sent by U.S. mail and will take place over the next six months. It will be one of several scientific tools the USFWS is using to gauge dove hunting in America.
There are more than one million dove hunters nationally, with seasons in 40 states. By statistical sampling, these hunters will be asked to share their experiences and opinions on the sport. The information will help describe dove hunting trends nationally, regionally and by states. State wildlife agencies will share in the study and results.
Survey topics will include time spent hunting, demographics, constraints to hunting, and thoughts about potential effects of spent lead from hunting ammunition on mourning doves and other wildlife.
• In Tennessee, all boating pilots born after 1988 must have a boater safety education certificate. A boater education test for Blount County will be held from 7-9 p.m. on June 13 and again on July 11 at Maryville Intermediate School, 835 Montgomery Lane. Be sure to bring your $10 Type 600 permit, available at all license agencies, your Social Security number and a black pen.
• Sturm, Ruger and Company has resumed taking new orders from its wholesalers. It had suspended the process in March after receiving orders for more than a million guns in January and February of this year.
In its announcement Ruger said, “Demand for our products is very strong, and the current backlog remains significantly above year ago levels. Our production and shipments in the first quarter of 2012 increased more than 50 percent from the first quarter of 2011 and remain very strong.”
The entire firearms industry in the United States continues to experience burgeoning sales. One indicator of gun sales is the number of background checks done by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The NICS number for May 2012, adjusted for gun sales only, was 840,412, an increase of 20.6 percent over May 2011. In fact this is the 24th consecutive monthly increase over the prior year’s period.
Tom Wiest welcomes news, questions and comments from readers. Contact him at (firstname.lastname@example.org)