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Sometimes of late the stink at the old DK is worse the the air at the indoor shooting range after the ventilation system goes out. Bad news guns this, bad news guns that, after a while all the squawking gets tedious. Figured it's time to get happy just a little bit.

Yup, caribou. Spend their lives pawing through the snow to eat lichen. Biggest migration of any land animal in North America. Females have horns too. (some one pointed out on another post that they are antlers and are different from horns. It's a regional thing, we call pronghorn, speed goats, too. Ground hogs are whistle pigs, you got a critter or a part of one, we've got a nickname)

More down below the twisting orange gun smoke.

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Beware. More animal photos to come. Where was I? Oh, the good stuff about all the gun controversy.

The good thing about all the gun buying and amo shortages and general craziness since President Obama was elected in 08 is that there is a surtax on all gun and ammo sales. And that tax goes directly into wildlife restoration to the tune of $550,000,000 a year, yup, that's right, those are millions, half a billion dollars. Double what it was back in ol Dubya's time.

The name of these funds are Pittman Robertson or "PR funds" after the act of congress that established this funding source. 11% on long guns and amo, 10% on handguns. That's right, from that tricked out zombie killing, lazer guided, scary black gun with electric can opener selling for $5k, five hundred of those dollars are going to wildlife. Every thirty round clip (Bingo) that gets fired is another buck and a half for everything from the Klamath Basin to the Cedar Keys.

Every wildlife species benefits from this cascading munificence of lucre. Not just elk, moose, deer, and ducks, but also terns,

and toads

Everything from shrikes

to shrews.

Last session of congress there wasn't one Wilderness Area designated, but every time you turned around there was another Wildlife Refuge being opened. It might be lean times for many parts of the budget but there's been plenty of money for wildlife.

Thanks to gun sales, and an old Act called Pittman Robertson. Gun sales, amo sales all up, you can't buy 22lr cartridges for love or money, most store shelves are out of most kinds of amo, and they have been for a couple of months. Shelves very empty of guns, they sell faster than they can get them to the stores.

80 million of those dollars goes to hunter education programs. Would you like an almost free course on gun safety and hunting and gun laws? It's probably worth a couple hundred dollars, and is taught by the some of the most knowledgeable people in your state. The cost to you is probably ten or fifteen dollars. They want you to pay a little so that you will show up.

The course is mostly about gun safety. Since they started teaching those courses hunting accidents have fallen off a cliff.

You know something else? Most people who shoot recreationally aren't hunters. Target shooters, defenders, collectors, and I've never, ever, heard them complain about all the money they give to wildlife conservation, not once.

I'd like to give a big thank you to all the recreational shooters, hobbyists, collectors, and hunters who do so much to protect, restore, and conserve, the flora and fauna of our country, much appreciated.

The missing lynx

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