Artemis and NWF release report highlighting link between mule deer and sage-grouse

Just as mule-deer hunters are getting ready to head into the field for hunting season, members of the sportswomen’s group Artemis are releasing a report to raise awareness that anyone who cares about deer should care about greater sage-grouse and the remarkable effort across the West to save the iconic bird.

Artemis and the National Wildlife Federation, today released the report “Living on Common Ground – Sportswomen speak out to save the mule deer, sage-grouse and sagebrush country.”

Mule deer and sage-grouse have been in decline across much of the West. Sage-grouse used to number in the millions, but now less than a half million remain. A recent study in Pinedale, Wyo., found that mule deer herds have declined by 40 percent in the heavily developed gas fields of the region. The report explores what for sportswomen is impossible to ignore – sagebrush lands throughout the West provide vital habitat for both species and those lands are steadily disappearing.

“Mule deer and sage-grouse are the canaries in the coal mine for sage steppe health,” says Jessi Johnson, Artemis coordinator and Wyoming Wildlife Federation public lands coordinator. “If we fail to listen to the warnings they are giving us with their dwindling numbers, we will lose not only two iconic Western species but a host of dependent flora and fauna and the very essence of what makes living in the West so special.”

Hearing that warning, a diverse group of stakeholders from across the West, including the sporting community, came together to build conservation plans aimed at saving sage-grouse. Completed in 2015, these sage-grouse conservation plans allowed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conclude that the bird didn’t need to be added to the endangered species list. The conservation plans instead represent a balanced approach to management of the bird’s habitat on our nation’s public lands that would also accommodate other careful uses.

However, changes being considered by the Trump administration could now derail implementation of the plans, threatening the fate of sage-grouse and the more than 350 species, including mule deer, which depend on the West’s sagebrush lands. Interior Secretary Zinke seeks to weaken safeguards meant to accommodate responsible development on sagebrush lands while preserving their value as habitat. Instead, the Secretary continues to drift away from conserving healthy habitats, continuing to explore instead unsound schemes relying on population numbers and captive breeding.

“Where will those captive-bred birds find homes,” asks Kate Zimmerman, the National Wildlife Federation’s public lands policy director. “The sage-grouse conservation plans are the result of long, hard work of stakeholders across the West who spent years finding common ground and a pathway to the future for both people and wildlife. It would be an ominous blow to sage-grouse and mule deer and all of us who live in the West if we can no longer safeguard the lands where they find food and cover.”

Artemis understands that hunters will be key to ensuring that both the species thrive into the future and is urging support for the sage-grouse conservation plans.

“As an avid hunter of mule deer on public land, I feel it’s of the utmost importance that their breeding and feeding grounds are maintained and protected,” says Artemis co-founder Cindi Baudhuin. “I hope that ‘Living on Common Ground’ will help drive home the important link between mule deer and sage-grouse for hunters.”

Artemis and NWF continue to move forward by reaching out to hunters, local communities, and other wildlife advocates to ensure everyone understands that the future of mule deer and sage- grouse are inextricably linked.

“As hunters, anglers and wildlife conservationists, now is the opportunity to work to ensure these populations exist for future generations,” says Sara Domek, Artemis Co-founder. “Sustaining and enhancing seasonal movement corridors and stay-over habitat of wildlife need to be a priority, and the conservation plans provide tangible measures to protect mule deer and sage-grouse habitat.”


Artemis is a group of bold sportswomen creating fresh tracks for conservation and an initiative of NWF. Mule deer are a particular species of concern for Artemis. Follow Artemis on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

The National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization, uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – As part of a nationwide celebration of August as National Shooting Sports Month, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is hosting shooting events around the Southeast Region.

The next event is scheduled on Saturday, Aug. 26 when CPW’s Area 13 staff hosts shooters at the Chaffee County Shooting Range in Salida.

The Area 13 staff will welcome everyone novice to experienced shooters at the range from noon to 4 p.m.

Shooters will have the opportunity to fire .22-caliber rifles and 20-gauge shotguns. Firearms will be provided along with ammunition, paper targets and clay pigeons.

The Chaffee County Shooting Range is located at the Chaffee County Landfill at 16550 U.S. Highway 285 north of Salida.

The next day, Sunday, Aug. 27, CPW’s Area 12 staff will host a “rimfire challenge” from 1-5 p.m., at the Mike Higbee Shooting Range at the Higbee State Wildlife Area, four miles east of Lamar on U.S. Highway 50.

The rimfire challenge is a timed event where competitors shoot five steel plates with small caliber rimfire firearms. Registration will begin at 1 p.m.

These events are part of the inaugural National Shooting Sports Month which celebrates shooting sports organizations of all genres – trap, skeet, sporting clays, long-range and F-class rifle, silhouette, bull’s-eye, single-action cowboy, 3-Gun, IDPA, USPSA and many more.

CPW is partnering with the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) to encourage participation in recreational sport shooting and emphasize firearms safety. It is designed for everyone from experienced competitors, to hunters to those just becoming interested in acquiring a firearm and learning how to shoot. Visit http://www.LetsGoShooting.org to learn more.



The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 13,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit http://www.nssf.org.


CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) today released its report on 2017 Trends in Duck Breeding Populations, based on surveys conducted in May and early June by FWS and the Canadian Wildlife Service. Overall duck numbers in the survey area remain high. Total populations were estimated at 47.3 million breeding ducks in the traditional survey area, which is similar to last year’s estimate of 48.4 million and is 34 percent above the 1955-2016 long-term average. The projected mallard fall flight index is 12.9 million birds, similar to the 2016 estimate of 13.5 million.

The main determining factor for duck breeding success is wetland and upland habitat conditions in the key breeding landscapes of the Prairies and the Boreal Forest. Conditions observed across the U.S. and Canadian survey areas during the 2017 breeding population survey were generally similar to last year with a few exceptions. The total pond estimate for the United States and Canada combined was 6.1 million, which is 22% above the 2016 estimate of 5.0 million and 17% above the long-term average of 5.2 million.

“The surveys indicate that wetland conditions and populations of most frequently harvested ducks remain above the long-term average, and for most species, populations were at or above those from last year,” said DU Chief Scientist Tom Moorman. “This is great news for waterfowlers who can now turn their attention to preparing habitat, tuning up dogs and relentlessly watching the weather forecasts for the onset of fall and winter weather that will push the birds on their annual southward migration.

“DU remains concerned about northern pintails and scaup in particular, as the survey information continues to indicate these two species remain below their long-term average populations. Both species have struggled to regain desired populations. We will continue to work with our many conservation partners to understand what drives populations of these two species. If science points to habitat limitations as contributing factors, we’ll rely on the science to develop conservation solutions to help restore populations of these birds.

“Hunters may notice in the report that mallards declined 11%, or about 1.3 million birds, from 2016.  The bulk of that appears to be related to drier conditions in the Canadian parklands region, where the surveys detected about 0.6 million fewer mallards. Overall, mallard populations remain in great shape, and FWS estimates the mallard fall flight will be similar to last year.

“Hunters should always remember that habitat and populations are going to vary over time, so we must keep focused on habitat conservation efforts over the long term. Ultimately, we need to maintain landscapes so that when precipitation and other conditions are right, the ducks will respond, produce more ducks and provide us all with a nice return on our conservation investments.”

Although most migratory game bird populations remain abundant, when and where birds will be encountered depends on many factors. Food availability, habitat and weather conditions, and other factors all influence local bird abundance, distribution, behavior and, ultimately, hunter success.

The spring surveys provide the scientific basis for many management programs across the continent, including hunting regulations. Individual states set their hunting seasons within a federal framework of season length, bag limits and dates. Hunters should check the rules in their states for final dates and bag limits.

Species estimates are:

Mallards: 10.5 million, 11% lower than 2016 and 34% above LTA

Gadwall: 4.2 million, 13% above 2016 and 111% above LTA

American wigeon: 2.8 million, 19% below 2016 and 6% above LTA

Green-winged teal: 3.6 million, 16% below 2016 and 70% above LTA

Blue-winged teal: 7.9 million, 18% above 2016 and 57% above LTA

Northern shovelers: 4.4 million, 10% above 2016 and 69% above LTA

Northern pintails: 2.9 million, 10% above 2016 and 27% below LTA

Redheads: 1.1 million, 13% below 2016 and 55% above LTA

Canvasbacks: 0.7 million, similar to 2016 and 25% above LTA

Scaup: 4.4 million, 12% below 2016 and 13% below LTA

Black ducks (Eastern Survey Area): 0.5 million, similar to 2016 and 12% below LTA

*Long-term average

View all the data and get a species-by-species breakdown at www.ducks.org/DuckNumbers.

Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Supporters, Partners and Friends:

National-Assembly-of-Sportsmens-Caucuses-ColoradoThe National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses invites you to attend Sportsmen’s Day at the Capitol in Denver on Thursday, April 20th. Sportsmen’s Day provides an opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to hunting, fishing, the shooting sports as well as the Centennial State’s fish, wildlife and land resources by joining together with allied individuals and organizations in support of Colorado’s outdoor heritage. Thanks once again to the efforts of the Colorado Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chairs, interested sportsmen’s organizations will have an opportunity to host informational booths and tables on the first floor of the Capitol. In addition, the Sportsmen’s Caucus will also host a hot dog picnic and wild game feed on the East lawn of the Capitol.
** Please wear camo and/or blaze orange to show your support for Colorado’s outdoor traditions **
Find additional information and instructions below. Organizations, businesses and individuals interested in sponsoring Sportsmen’s Day at the Capitol are encouraged to contact andy@sportsmenslink.org.


Why is it so important for you and members of your community to attend this year’s Public Lands Rally? 
Whether you are a hunter, hiker, angler, bird watcher, horseback rider, camper or just enjoy New Mexico’s beauty, our environment, national parks, monuments and forests we want to encourage you to come out our public lands rally! We’ve got a wide variety of speakers representing New Mexico’s diverse communities and this is great way to learn about issues impacting public lands and our environment and how you can make a difference at the local, state and federal level.

This year’s rally is really important and timely because our Public Lands are under  attack—We are seeing a range of issues from folks like those in Utah at the state and federal level trying to transfer federal public lands to the states or private interests to be parceled, developed or sold off, to increased fracking and mining, to trying to get the natural resources under these lands (and even under private lands), to some in congress trying to shrink or take away our national monuments. Also we are encountering a range of other issues like damage to sacred sites and petroglyph defacement, poaching, illegal dumping and being locked out of our public lands. All of these threats reduce access, integrity and opportunity for everyday New Mexicans and the public to enjoy these amazing lands that are part of our culture, history and identity as a nation and a state.


Public Lands Rally 

From Hope to Action: Making a Difference in Your Community and State

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017


New Mexico State Capitol

Full Agenda

11am How to Lobby for Our Public Lands 

Training on Public Advocacy at the State and Local Level 

(Rio Chama Restaurant, President’s Room) 


1pm: Nuestras Voces, Nuestra Tierra: Voices from New Mexico’s Communities 

What do Land Grant Heirs, Tribal Youth, Cattle Permittees, Military Veterans, Sportsmen and Women, State Legislators, Environmental Advocates, and Faith Leaders have in Common? Come Find Out! 

(New Mexico Sate Capitol Rotunda) 


2:30pm New Mexico Wildlife Federation After Party: Celebrating New Mexico’s Lands and Culture 

Come for free food, drinks, fun and prizes and giveaways

(Second Street Brewery @ the Railyard)

Made in the USA, St. Croix blanks are the foundational pieces for creating elite custom rods


Diehard custom rod builders are true geeks, not freaks. Like a sculptor consumed in concept and covered in clay, rod builders endeavor to create perfectly functioning tools that double as works of art – their masterpieces hung with pride above the mantle between fishing trips.

So why go through the trouble of handcrafting a custom rod when a heritage company like St. Croix already builds the “Best Rods on Earth”? Just ask Tom Kirkman, a pedigreed rod builder from High Point, North Carolina. He’s not only been crafting custom rods since the 1970’s, Kirkman also publishes RodMaker, a bimonthly specialty magazine, and produces the International Custom Rod Building Exposition in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.


“Sure, there’s the aesthetics alone of a custom-built rod, with wraps offered in every color scheme; after all, cars are painted all different colors to suit each person,” says Kirkman. “But the real reason is most manufactured rods are to be one size fits all. But an angler may desire a handle with a different diameter, or, perhaps, someone fishes a technique differently than the average Joe, and needs a rod to perform differently. And the list can go on and on.  

“But basically, it’s because the most passionate people in any sport desire customized tools to fit their needs. And, while there are a lot of blank manufactures out there, St. Croix is one of the most highly respected.”


How has that respect been earned? St. Croix offers both hardcore and hobbyist rod-builders nearly every blank used in the USA factory-produced rods. That means you can craft a personalized rod knowing that exclusive St. Croix technologies have your back…and blank. So go ahead and wrap those guides in Chicago Cub blue or Packer green and gold and know that despite the fanaticism, the rod will fish like a pro.  


And if you want to see how pros fashion blanks and build finished rods, St. Croix encourages you to take a Factory Tour. “St. Croix is the last bastion when it comes to manufacturing rod blanks in the United States,” says Director of Marketing Jesse Simpkins. “It’s the pride that goes into creating the technology, as well as the engineering to make it come together and then the actual manufacturing process. Every employee here truly cares about building the perfect rod, whether we finish it here, or the blank is customized by someone else.”

Whether you’re going to construct a rod from scratch yourself, or hire a custom rod-builder, just remember the blank is the foundation in which all great rods are built upon…so choose wisely.


St. Croix Proprietary Blank Technologies:



Developed exclusively by St. Croix, Integrated Poly Curve® (IPC®) tooling technology has rapidly become the engineering leader in rodmaking. Designed to eliminate all transitional points in the rod blank, IPC-engineered rods feature smoother actions, increased strength and greater sensitivity.



Advanced Reinforcing Technology™ (ART™) is an exotic carbon fiber material that adds a magnitude (10X) of strength with virtually no increase in blank diameter or weight. ART significantly improves the hoop strength of the blank by preventing it from deforming or “ovaling” under a severe load, such as a powerful hook set or fish battle. ART is also a critical part of our slim-profile ferrule design.



After several years of R&D and testing, St. Croix has perfected an innovative new Taper Enhancement Technology (TET) that begins with precision-cut, curved blank patterns made possible by a state-of-the-art computerized pattern cutting machine. When combined with IPC-mandrels, these unique patterns create blanks with better actions and improved sensitivity. This pattern design and cutting technology is a dramatic departure from traditional straight-line patterns cut by hand. TET is featured in SCV spinning and casting blanks.



St. Croix once again breaks new ground in premium rod manufacturing technology with the development of a new Fortified Resin System (FRS), which combines a fortified super resin with new computer operated curing ovens that provide improved temperature and time management through all stages of the curing cycle. FRS prevents microbuckling by keeping the carbon fibers in proper alignment. Blanks manufactured using this advanced manufacturing protocol test out consistently to be 33% stronger than those built with standard resins and curing methods. Blank series manufactured with FRS include all fresh- and saltwater SCV and SCIV.

About St. Croix Rod

St. Croix Rod is a family-owned and managed manufacturer of high-performance fishing rods headquartered in Park Falls, Wisconsin with a 68-year heritage of USA manufacturing. Utilizing proprietary technologies, St. Croix controls every step of the rod-making process, from conception and design to manufacturing and inspection, in two company-owned facilities. The company offers a complete line of premium, American-made fly, spinning and casting rods under their Legend Elite®, Legend® Xtreme, Legend Tournament®, Avid Series®, Premier®, Wild River®, Tidemaster®, Imperial and other trademarks through a global distribution network of full-service fishing tackle dealers. The company’s mid-priced Triumph®, Mojo Bass/Musky/Inshore/Surf, Eyecon® and Rio Santo series rods are designed and engineered in Park Falls, Wisconsin and built in a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Fresnillo, Mexico. Founded in 1948 to manufacture jointed bamboo fishing poles for a Minneapolis hardware store chain, St. Croix has grown to become the largest manufacturer of fishing rods in North America.

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