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.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Hunting Infographs

This infographic shows how the hunting industry plays a role in the economy and is worth a lot of money. Hunting supports Americans with 680,000 jobs, these jobs are vital to the livelihood of Americans and plays a large role in the economy. Jobs in the hunting industry could include working in a commercial or private outdoors shop, a guide service, or anything that involves the outdoors. People that paid for a licence alone have produced 14,630,000 dollars in 2011 and this trend is on a rise since 2001. The gross of hunting licences is 790,000,000 in 2011, this as well is on a rise since 2001. Without this money or jobs the economy would be in trouble, the infographic does not include the amount of money spent on hunting equipment or transportation which is very expensive. The hunting industry plays a huge role in the American economy supporting the country with jobs and revenue.

In this info graphic it show the amount of bears harvested per year, the states selected are the states with the highest amount of harvested bears. Bear hunting produces lots of revenue from the price of tags alone, bear tags are on of the most expensive. California has the highest bear population with 31,000 bears and is third on the list for bears harvested. There is a quota in the amount of bears you can get which restricts the amount harvested. It also shows the amount of licensed hunters but that doesn't mean it's the amount of bears hunters. Bear hunting is a very expensive type of hunting because the gear you use has to be high end in this very dangerous type of hunting. You need boots, optics, camo, a pack, and a rifle all of this equipment puts money in the economy and multiple vendors.   

This infographic shows the types of hunters of what type of game they target it also includes

age groups and money spent on hunting. Most hunters target big game then small game, migratory birds and others in that order. Big game hunting is the most expensive to purchase tags for so lots of hunters produce lots of money for the state which goes towards the communities. Hunting is on a 9% rise from 2010 to 2011, with 1.8 million youth hunters aged 6-15 years old. Nationwide efforts of getting the youth involved are paying off because once the youth gets to a certain age they have to pay for resources this them helps the economy. It also says how hunting produces 34 billion dollars a year which is 2,484 dollars per hunter. All ages of hunting help the economy and the animals targeted play a large role in that.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Squawfish in northern California

Wikipedia describes Sacramento Pikeminnow as a fish that lives in freshwater and is fairly big in size. The Sacramento Pikeminnow, also known as the Squawfish, are a very destructible fish in our local rivers at northern California. The Squawfish is a freshwater predator that has taken over in the rivers around us by devouring all of the native species in the rivers. Squawfish are built for speed with a torpedo like body and large bony heads, they typically hunt in schools of about 10 or so. Squawfish are very strong and slim which plays a large role in their success of life in any river. Squawfish reproduce very rapidly yielding over a thousand offspring as a whole annually. The amount of fish in the river require lots of food which means any of the native species are now food, they even eat each other if they can't find anything else. They never stop eating and i have seen huge ones ranging in size over 2 feet long in length. Nobody is sure how the fish got introduced into the northern california rivers although there are some theories, one of which is someone dumped a fish tank in the river counting squawfish and the fish took off. Another theory is somebody fished using squawfish as bait and they released the bait at the end of the day all of the fish survived.Squawfish do not taste very good so the only reason I catch them is for sport and to make the rivers a better place for other fish.

Squawfish are an extreme problem for the ecosystem and health for these local rivers, they need to be exterminated for good. The native species of the North coast have been taking a beating over the last couple of years. Squawfish are taking refuge in these calm clear rivers and prey on the steelhead populations. I go fishing in the main rivers here often and have almost every time got a squawfish and it's very rare to catch a trout here now. I enjoy catching squawfish because they are very aggressive and fight hard once they are hooked, typically I use a spinner or something that resembles a wounded fish. The fishing for those is pretty good although once you get one out of a school it's hard to get more, they are a relatively smart fish. For me fishing for these fish tends to be best around fall when the water is warm and there are lots of offspring in the water.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Diamond archery compound bow

Bow hunting is a very physical and mental demanding activity that requires lots of skill and a little bit of luck. To maximize the chances of harvesting an animal you need great gear if you want to exceed in the adventure. When bow hunting during the months of July and August I use lots of gear which include light weight pants and shirts that breathe well for the hot summer days and help you walk all the long miles. I also use a multi-day hunting pack that contains all of my hunting gear including food and will carry the heavy load of the animal that you get. I wear lightweight boots that are waterproof so my feet stay dry and they are comfortable. The most important part about my gear is my bow, it is the only way that getting a deer or anything else is possible.

I shoot a diamond archery compound bow, I am very happy with this product and couldn't be happier about it. It is lightweight, shoots fast, and has a smooth draw. Weight is a huge part about a bow and can make or break them, a light bow is necessary when it comes to hunting, it's hard enough to cover miles of tough terrain then when you finally get in range you have a heavy bow to hold up and makes you shaky and miss a shot. The bow is also small in size which helps a lot when walking through thick brush it doesn't get hung up it is hard enough walking miles let alone worrying about a bow getting hung up constantly. The bow also shoots fast giving a deadly blow to the animal you're hunting this is a must for getting an ethical kill on a animal. The speed of the arrow once released from the bow is very fast which also allows you to shoot the bow from long distances with ease. It is very challenging to get into bow range on a animal as is, so you need all of the range you can get. The bow has a very smooth draw which helps with accuracy tremendously and has a lot of let off so you only hold about twenty percent of your draw weight at full draw.

I have had lots of success with my bow harvesting small game and big game animals. Hunting with a bow is a adrenaline rush because of how close you get to the animals, this bow shoots very quiet which minimizes the amount of movement the animal makes while the arrow is in the air. I have nothing but great things to say about this product, I have took it into very tough terrains and it has performed every time. The bow is very consistent and accurate in any temperature or elevation. The bow also has fully adjustable draw weight and draw length allowing the bow to grow with you and maximizing the amount of time you can have this awesome product. I would recommend this bow to anyone that is in the market for a bow and wants something that is accurate, lightweight, and very consistent.