— TOP STORY —
With a three day total of 47 pounds, nine ounces, Alabama’s Jordan Lee becomes the third ever back-to-back Bassmaster Classic title winner. Lee began the day in sixth place, but landed a Sunday total of sixteen pounds, five ounces to take his second Bassmaster Classic title and the $300,000 first prize. Complete results in this morning’s edition of The Fishing Wire (www.thefishingwire.com).
— ACQUISITONS —
PRADCO Outdoor Brands has acquired Texas Hunter Products, a company with a 64-year history in the outdoor industry.
— AWARDS —
RWS Meisterkugeln 7.0 grain Pistol Pellets were selected as a recipient of Hard Air’s Gold Award. RWS Meisterkugeln Pistol Pellets are optimized to operate in air powered action and competition pistols like those made by Umarex.
The VX-Freedom from Leupold & Stevens, Inc., was named the “New Product of the Year” for the optics category at the 2018 Worldwide Spring Show in Reno, Nev. earlier this month.
— COMPETITION —
The Civilian Marksmanship Program is pleased to invite talented junior cadets from around the country to compete for the highest honors at the 2018 JROTC Three-Position National Championships, held March 22-24 at the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center in Ohio.
Staying with the deep game and capitalizing on random moments of opportunity led Tommy Floyd Jr. and James Gibbons to victory with a five-fish limit of 8 pounds, 13 ounces in the Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods on Lake Keowee.
Kansas State’s Zack Vielhauer and Will Andrie sacked a limit of 13 pounds, 2 ounces to win the Carhartt Bassmaster College Classic presented by Bass Pro Shops on South Carolina's Lake Keowee
Defending Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. proved his fondness for rough track surfaces as he piloted the No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/5-hour Energy Toyota Camry to victory at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.
— CONSERVATION —
The Woodie Wheaton Land Trust announces a significant land acquisition within the East Grand Lake Watershed. The Headwaters Project will conserve 3,053 acres and many of the brooks and streams that nourish this clear water system.
— FIREARMS —
Auto-Ordnance is now shipping the special edition World War II themed “Victory Girls” 1911. It features deep cut laser engraving of a pin-up girl on the right side, and an updated “Rosie the Riveter” on the left.
— FISHERIES —
The applicant proposes to test various spiny lobster traps and a fish aggregation device based, non-containment purse trap to harvest lionfish from in Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) and South Atlantic federal waters.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is seeking public input on a proposed plan that, if approved by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), would allow the state to manage the recreational red snapper season in federal waters during 2018 and 2019.
— HUNTING —
Trulock has eliminated the guesswork for you by producing turkey chokes specifically designed to get maximum performance from a great line of turkey loads - the Winchester Longbeard XR shotshells.
— INDUSTRY —
Nosler, Inc. announced the promotion of John R. Nosler to President & Chief Operating Officer. John started at Nosler in 2001 and has held job titles such as Sales Director, Marketing Director, General Manager, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
AMMO, Inc. (OTC:POWW) announced the company has further extended product distribution by providing Crow Shooting Supply with AMMO Inc.'s complete product line.
Horizon Firearms and iota Outdoors announce the addition of Dan Ziebold to the team.
To show their support of the Kicking Bear Foundation, Antler King will be donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of their new food plot seed “Small Town Throw Down”
Professional archery Tony Warden announces partnership relationships with Zeiss Sports Optics and Firenock, LLC.
— JOBS —
American Outdoor Brands seeks a Vice President, Sales – Shooting Accessories -- for the Columbia, MO location.
American Outdoor Brands Corporation seeks candidates for a Design Engineer III position in the Wilsonville, OR location.
Kinsey’s has a job opening for a Digital Designer/Social Media Specialist. This position requires use of fundamental marketing techniques to promote the missions of Kinsey’s Archery Distribution and Kinsey’s Consumer Brands.
Applications are being accepted now through Monday, April 2, for the next wildlife officer cadet training school. The ODNR Division of Wildlife is seeking to fill 11 state wildlife officer positions throughout Ohio.
— NEW PRODUCTS —
CVA’s new OPTIMA V2 LR muzzleloader is the newest addition to CVA’s Optima family of mid-level muzzleloading rifles. The LR stands for “Long Range” with an additional two inches of barrel and the stability of a thumbhole stock, making it an ideal setup of longer range shooting.
— OPTICS —
Sightmark’s Latitude line includes four long-range scopes with robust 4:1 zoom ratio, fully multi-coated scratch-resistant glass, green/red illuminated reticle options, locking fast-focus eyepiece, 34mm tube diameter, external zero-stop ring and oversized turrets.
— ORGANIZATIONS —
Phil Savage, of Moulton, Alabama, has been elected to the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Board of Directors.
Mike McKernan, of Twin Brooks, South Dakota, has been elected to the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Board of Directors.
— PEOPLE —
Kelly McMillan has joined an elite group as the newest board member of the Arizona Mule Deer Organization.
— POLITICAL —
Seattle’s “gun violence tax” revenue has once again failed to meet predictions, demonstrating that this was really a thinly disguised gun control scheme that was sold to the public as an effort to reduce so-called “gun violence,” the Second Amendment Foundation said.
— STATES —
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks urges all motorists to be on alert for deer crossing roads and highways more frequently as they seek higher ground due to widespread flooding primarily in the waters of the western Mississippi Delta near Mississippi Hwy 1.
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will host a public meeting to discuss Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) tonight (Monday, March 19) at the Vicksburg Convention Center beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Fishing seasons are being curtailed this year on a large section of the states coast in an effort to increase spawner escapement to the Sacramento and Klamath river basins in 2018. Where fishing is open, minimum size limit is 24 inches total length. Additional bag/possession limit information an gear restrictions are on the CDFW’s ocean salmon webpage: www.wildlife.ca.gov/oceansalmom.
Results from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s annual deer harvest summary indicate hunters across the state reported harvesting 161,854 deer during the 2017-18 hunting season – an 8 percent increase over the 2016-17 season.
New this year, several Ohio state park beaches have been temporarily designated as “dog exercise” areas, effective now through Friday, May 18. Dogs under control of their owner or handler in the designated dog exercise areas will not be required to be on a leash while the designation is in effect.
Allen Lea, from Canal Fulton, was recently honored as an outstanding employee and asset to all who enjoy wildlife-related resources in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission approved 2018 waterfowl hunting season recommendations at its March 16 meeting in Columbus.
In the past week, red tide has been a problem along much of the southwest coast of Florida, severe enough to cause respiratory irritation in some areas.
As sunny days and warm weather kick off spring boating season, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) inland fisheries and law enforcement staff are urging boaters to fight back against the aquatic invasive species that threaten Texas lakes.
Seminars on fly fishing, bass fishing and a whole lot more are on the agenda for this Phoenix show.
To protect Lake Superior’s naturalized rainbow trout population, genetically screened steelhead-strain fish, originating from wild runs in the big lake itself, will replace the hatchery-raised Kamloops trout strain the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources now stocks to bolster fishing opportunities near Duluth.
— TELEVISION —
This week on The High Road with Keith Warren, Keith heads to South Africa to hunt down a blue wildebeest. Then, Keith takes an animal that has always been on his bucket list, a roan antelope.
Bassmaster Classic Take-Aways
Having been a first-hand participant in the cheek-to-jowl crowds at this year’s Bassmaster Classic in Greenville, South Carolina, several positives that can be inferred by the enthusiastic reception local residents brought to event participants.
The most obvious is that Greenville loves this event. Capacity crowds crammed the TD Event Center (the Expo location) despite the fact that access to that very nice facility may be the worst of the many convention center’s I’ve ever visited. That’s covering a variety of industry events along with minor league hockey, baseball and AAU basketball.
The crowds inside the TD Event Center (above) mirrored the traffic backups outside the Bassmaster Expo. The crowds inside the Bon Secours Wellness Center for weigh-ins (below) were loud, enthusiastic and into the spirit of the raucous daily weigh-ins. Jim Shepherd/OWDN photos.
But Greenville residents are apparently accustomed to the traffic, and seemed pretty unimpressed with the complaints of visitors. And the facilities, despite the difficulties accessing them, are first-class.
But there are things that augur well for the overall outdoor industry from the enthusiastic event. It’s obvious consumer confidence is up. Shoppers were leaving with bags full of lures, arms full of rods and assorted tackle and boating gear -that’s a change from recent years when consumers were doing a lot of shopping at these kinds of events, but not much buying.
It’s also obvious that there’s a youth movement afoot. Among the throngs of enthusiastic visitors were hundreds of high school and college fishing team members, along with hundreds of kids, all enthusiastically taking part in the many contests and fun events.
Whatever fishing is doing to attract a younger demographic is obviously working. “It’s awesome to see so many kids here,” one rod manufacturer told me, “they’re serious about their fishing and their parents are coming along to make certain they get the best gear they can afford.”
It’s good for any sport to see entire families voluntarily attending a niche event like the Classic. It means they’ve bought into the idea - and family involvement is what’s lacking in many other areas.
There were plenty of amusement-park style contests for kids in attendance. But the Rodeo Bass attracted lots of kids who mounted up (above) in considerably better form than they dismounted (below). Jim Shepherd OWDN photos.
Another positive was the turnout at the many seminars and instructional demonstrations that have always been central to these types of events. It’s also encouraging to see families lined up to meet the legendary figures in the sport.
One item that actually surprised me was the lack of comment from attendees about the major role Dick’s Sporting Goods played in the Classic. After angering hunting and shooting enthusiasts with their decision to remove AR-style rifles and accessories from their stores, there were quiet preparations in place to deal with any sort of protest or disturbance around the large Dick’s presence in the Expo.
Dick’s Sporting Goods may have irritated shooters with a decidedly anti-gun management decision lately, but the bargain hunting fishing enthusiasts didn’t seem to mind. Jim Shepherd/OWDN photo.
Turns out the concern was largely unwarranted. While some harrumphed about an “anti-gun store” playing so dominant a role, it didn’t deter Expo shoppers looking for the many bargains offered as “Bassmaster Classic Specials” by the retailer.
In short, the takeaways from the 2018 Bassmaster Classic were all positive. And despite the lack of attention given to good news, I certainly don’t mind something positive for a change.
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