Monday, June 12, 2017

Dive Interview with Zane Zerlang

How long have you been diving for?
I have been diving for 8 years and I have became a very skilled diver.
What is your favorite thing to dive for?
I like to dive for abalone and spearfish in the ocean.
How deep down do you dive?
I dive around 30 feet on a good day with calm oceans.
Where do you like to dive?
I like to dive at Fort Bragg.
What kinda animals do you see?

I see all sorts of fish and mussels, the ocean has a very diverse ecosystem.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Bass Fishing*

Fishing is a very wide and diverse sport that includes many aspects, so choosing the best fish to catch is very opinionated. Some people prefer to fish in freshwater over saltwater while others enjoy fishing in saltwater more. People like to fish in rivers over lakes and others will prefer a lake. There are a lot of aspects to fishing there's also the types of fishing such as fly fishing, using lures or bait, and there's more ways than that. Personally my favorite way to fish is on a boat in the lake going after large mouth bass with jigs and worms. This a very fun way to catch fish, large mouth bass are freshwater predators that devour their prey so naturally this is a very explosive type of fishing. During the spring times bass are very territorial and defend their territories very aggressively, you can see the bass spawning from above the water and you just throw a lure into it and almost every time you'll get a fish. Bass are edible and some people keep their fish and eat them, personally I just catch and release fish but make sure to get that picture first.

Bass are are a short and stocky fish with a huge mouth on them, they have no big teeth and swallow their prey whole. Bass are very muscular and here in California they are a dark green with a black spotted stripe going down their body. Bass tend to grow to about two feet long and get to about six pounds, that seems to be the general size but there are bass that get to bigger sizes. The fish are very strong and make for a great fighting fish, there have been more bass fishing tournaments in the U.S. than any other fishing tournament here. Bass have made a huge presence in our fishing culture here in America by being one of the most popular fish caught.

Bass live in many different settings and are a very durable fish. Bass are a freshwater fish and they live in creeks or rivers, swamps, or lakes and they tend to keep the same behavior from place to place. When I fish for bass in rivers or lakes I like to use a soft rubber lure and jig it or use a crank bait both of these lures have been proven very successfully; I have never fished in a swamp but I imagine the same tackle would be effective. When using a soft rubber worm I like to target underwater structures where bass lay, the worm will move underwater like a hurt fish or a reptile which bass prey on. The nice thing about using these soft lures is that you can bury your hook so you don't get tangled up in weeds or grass. When I use a crank bait lure I like to target open water near abrupt changes in depth of water or near docks. Bass ambush their prey and will be on the edges of docks to come out and strike, at an abrupt depth change they will lay on the shelf naturally created and wait for something to swim over them.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Hunting culture*

Hunting is an activity that anyone can be involved in but for some reason it's a male dominated industry. In the article from  “USA Today” it displays the experience of a woman hunter when she wants to draw a blind on public land. Immediately once she walks in she feels everyone looking her and talking about her. Women are slowly becoming more involved in the hunting industry but still encounters like this are common to hear. Hunting has been a male activity since the days of BC but still thousands of years later it still remains to be male dominated. The hunting population throughout the past years have remained about the same for years, no increase or decrease in the amount of people hunting. There are 13.7 million people that hunt and only 11% of them are women which is an increase from 2001 where it was only 9%. Everybody in the hunting corporations agree that female hunters would be a great addition to this activity, so what's stopping them?

Hunting is a very social activity that often involves the help of many people, whether they're a hunting partner, or someone who gives you advice about locations, or even just the butcher or taxidermist all help you. Although nobody despises female hunters people have tight circles in which they interact with not allowing anyone knew to come in. Women often feel uncomfortable among all of the male hunters which plays a large role in the female hunting population. In Field and Stream Larisa Turville shares her experience hunting  “It's a funny thing being a woman and walking into a lodge of a bunch of men. The first day, they look at you like you've got green skin and scales. You are sort of entering this very private guy club, and they don't know how to react. By the second day, however, I instantly had forty new best buddies.”  This expresses the struggle of breaking those initial thoughts and beliefs, once Turville did this it was a great experience but getting through those first moments is very difficult. Also Field and Stream they took a survey which questioned women on if they think they'd be better at hunting than males, many thought they were equal and enjoyed being in the outdoors a lot. The survey really reflected how engaged women are and want to be in hunting.

If there is going to be a change in hunting gender populations then men will have to apart of the change as well. Many women that hunted said they just wanted to be treated like the other male hunters and be comfortable around them. Hunting is an activity that should be available to anyone and not scare people away on their first experience. Fishing is also a male dominated industry for the same reasons as hunting. There have been events to introduce more women to hunting such as dinners and other efforts but still more needs to done. According to BBC News laws have been passed by five states that allow people to wear pink as a blaze orange in an attempt to make women feel more comfortable. Billions of dollars were invested into this law and hopefully other states join this trend to encourage new people to try hunting. Although this is a good effort more needs to be done, the statistics for the hunting industry don't lie, men greatly outnumber women  this sport that should be open to anyone.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

6 ways to catch more fish*
1) Find a spot
Look on google earth to find a spot that is open for use, in rivers I look for sharp turns and rock or log formations that provide shelter for fish in a flowing river. In a lake I try to find depth changes from a deep spot to shallow spot, any rock piles or any underwater shelter for fish to hide in. On rivers you will want to call Fish and Game to make sure fishing in that area is open and legal.

2) Wait for the right time
Timing is everything when it comes to fishing, in a river you want to fish them when the water is clear and the fish species is spawning for best results. In a lake you will want to fish it during the cooler months of the year when the fish will be most active and aggressive. Generally lake fishing here is better in the spring, after winter the fish will be hungry and active making for exciting fishing.

3) Fish with the right lures
Fish will go after different lures during different times of the year, in rivers I typically will throw a spinner that is bright so fish can see it from a long ways out. In lakes, depending on the species, Ill typically throw a rubber worm on a hook or a Senko to show a lifelike animal. In the springtime while fishing in lakes I like to use a rubber worm and put it barely on the hook so that you can cast in the weeds without getting hung up.

4) Make the cast
You will be much more successful if you can present the lure in front of the fish so they have the biggest chance of biting it. Fish tend to hangout in the nooks and crannies of the water, like in a log pile, so you will want to be accurate enough to consistently cast near and around objects. I use a spinning reel the most of the time to cover lots of water and is a real that is easy to operate.

5) Feel the lure in the water
While reeling in the lure you'll feel lots of things but a fish bite will be one like no other. It will feel as if something is rapidly hitting your line and pulling, once you feel this you want to set the hook by pulling the fishing pole straight up. A fish bite will be different than getting hung up on a log because a fish will fight while a log will just feel like a dead weight at the end of your line.

6) Reel the fish in
After you hook your fish you don't want to just reel it in, feel the fish out and slowly bring it in. Try to avoid any underwater structures so your line doesnt get tangled up and break. It's always better to take your time and tire out the fish then rush it and risk losing the fish. I hope these tips allow you to get more fish and enjoy the outdoors.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Trophy hunting effects on animal conservation *

Trophy hunting impacts animal conservation but does impact it in a positive or negative way. According to the document “Can Trophy Hunting Actually Help Conservation?” it depicts the positive and negative impacts trophy hunting has on conservation. The answer is not black and white it's in the grey area, on the surface it would appear hunting would hurt animal conservation but considering all of the aspects to  hunting it could be good. Illegal hunting in Africa has killed 745 rhinos in 2012, an endangered species, and one year later that number was cut nearly in half through conservation tactics to have 461 rhinos illegally killed. This news is very good that illegal rhino hunting has decreasing but 461 illegally killed rhinos is huge still and conservation takes money to run. Trophy hunters pay top dollar for permits and tags to legally harvest a trophy animal, all of this money goes directly to conservation organizations, some fees go for more than 350,000 dollars. Trophy hunting though does take vital animals away from the ecosystem, in Namibia alone they auctioned off 16,000 trophy hunts ranging from endangered and non endangered species, this is a lot of revenue for the country but animals should be more than money although this is a steady source of good income for a country that doesn't have a lot of other revenue.

Conservation is very important to the lives of many species and protects many animals away from illegal hunters that kill just for money. Trophy hunters want to harvest the animal of a lifetime ethically and legally and are willing to pay high dollar for the experience. Trophy hunters were interviewed and over 80 percent of them they chose hunting in an area where the proceeds went back to the community and they also said they would have been just fine with killing an animal that causes problems and would be killed anyway. Trophy hunting is very different than illegal hunting, trophy hunters pay most of their money looking for a experience and the animals often come second to the list of their priorities. Trophy hunters were not buying hunts to kill they just wanted a unique experience and help out communities by providing them with revenue for a good cause. In zimbabwe where there are many trophy hunts rhinos and elephants are surviving very well because of the protection they receive from conservation organizations which are funded by trophy hunters.  According to this article trophy hunting helps out animal conservation and animals in area where trophy hunting is popular have healthy populations of animals and is a safe zone for animals because the conservation techniques are effective.