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Duck Hunting Hot Spots
Duck HunterEvery season,  over 2 million hunters suit up and arm themselves to duck hunt. One of the most popular bird hunting sports in the country, duck hunting reigns from coast to coast. But where are the best places to duck hunt?   Seattle, Washington. The Puget Sound provides a sprawling mountain range that is home to thousands, if not millions, of duck and waterfowl. Light and dark geese, sea ducks as well as puddle ducks all exist near Seattle. For hunters that like to travel and are looking for a trophy, the harlequin duck and Pacific brant are rare but can be found in Padilla Bay, Seattle. This bay is also home to the largest winter population of these ducks anywhere north of Mexico.   From tundra swans to blue-winged teal, hunters should consider Salt Lake City, Utah in their season travels. 30 duck clubs exist on the lake and offer more than 22,000 acres of land. For hunters that want to utilize public land, there is more than 100,000 acres available. The most popular hunting areas include the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and the Ogden Bay Waterfowl Management Area.   Heading south, Charleston, South Carolina offers a rich wetland that is undeveloped and full of pintails, gadwalls and green-winged teals. Right along the coast is public areas where hunting is permitted. Bear Island and the Santee coastal reserve are the two most popular sites for duck hunters that venture to South Carolina.   Another suggestion for traveling duck hungers is Detroit, Michigan. This might not seem like an obvious choice, but Detroit is actually right in the middle of a major migration path taken by waterfowl. This gives hunters the opportunity to see and shoot both ducks and geese that are diverse. The St. Clair Flats State Wildlife Area and the Pointe Mouille State Game Area are both public and can be taken advantage of by visitors.   There are hot spots all over the United States. But no matter where you decide to track your duck, make sure you follow your safety hunting safety tips you learned in your course and always wear the right kind of ear protection. There are advanced hearing protection features that now allow you to even hear distant fowl while protecting your hearing from close gunfire.
Antiquated Foam Earplugs a Thing of the Past
Hearing Protection Many gun owners purchase their own ear protection for target shooting and hunting. Traditional earplugs that a majority of gun owners use are affordable and easily replaceable. There are however many crucial drawbacks to disposable earplugs.   Traditional earplugs are usually sold as one-size-fit-all fits all. But when it comes to earplugs there isn’t just one kind of ear. Some ears are big, while some are small and all are a different range of sensitive. Disposable earplugs are also more difficult to use. They have to be squeezed down, inserted into the ear, readjusted and the user must wait for them to expand before they completely work.   Due to enhancements in all types of technology, ear protection has gotten much better than it used to be. Years ago, standard earplugs were the only way for gun owners to protect their ears at the range. Now, there is a variety of shooter-centric ear protection that is still affordable and easier to use.   It’s most important though, that newer ear protection, offers better protection all around. Built specifically for shooting ranges, ear protection that has been introduced to the market in the last three-five years was built to help protect ears better and longer than traditional earplugs.   If you’re in the market for new ear protection or are just looking for something different, try reaching past traditional earplugs. Significant amount of time spent shooting guns can have a negative impact on ears and hearing. And there also advancements in electronic design allowing you to pick up sounds you would not otherwise.
Gun Storage Fundamental to Safe Gun Ownership

Safe Firearm Storage As a gun owner, it’s your responsibility to safely store your guns when you are not using them. They should be inaccessible to anyone other than authorized persons. A dresser drawer or top closet shelf are insecure and no place to store a firearm. So what are the best and safest ways to store your firearm?

Keep the gun unloaded. Until you are at the gun range or out hunting, bullets should be stored separately. This safety precaution most importantly prevents mishaps like misfiring in the home or a child accidentally shooting the gun and injuring themselves or others. Storing the gun and bullets separate also prevents a loaded gun ending up in the wrong hands.

In addition to storing your gun this way, you should also keep it in a locked box or gun safe. Well concealed gun boxes can blend right into a closet or room and even if found, cant be opened without a key or passcode. Gun safes are another alternative especially for owners with multiple firearms.

There are also trigger and cable locks that brace the trigger, preventing not only misuse but firing while in storage. A trigger lock is a long cable usually made of steel that gets looped through the action of the gun. A cable lock is placed around the trigger so it can’t be moved at all. It’s important to note that these types of locks should not be used as the only type of safe storage.

In addition to keeping your gun properly stored and locked up, educating your family about gun safety can help prevent firing accidents inside and outside of the home. Explain how dangerous guns can be and that they are not toys. Being a firearm owner is a huge responsibility and safe storage of your guns shows how seriously you take that responsibility. It also can prevent any type of accidental shooting or injury from happening in your home.

Concealed Weapons Permits Vary State-to-State

Gun & HolsterRight now there aren’t any federal laws that specifically cover concealed weapons. The laws and regulations are determined state by state and vary greatly between them all. Each state gives different permits and licenses for shotguns, handguns and even other types of handheld weapons like pepper spray and knives.

 

In the state of New York residents can apply for a concealed to carry permit. They must undergo a background check and take a certification course to qualify. The concealed permit granting process is done county by county. The closer a citizen lives to New York City, generally the harder it is for them to get a permit. Carrying concealed without a permit is considered a felony in New York State.

 

A concealed weapon permit in Texas will allow you to carry your gun essentially anywhere. The only limits include schools, courts, racetracks and airports. Unlike many other states, concealed weapons can be carried in public places including bars. Texas will also issue a permit to non-residents, which is also rare.

 

For example, only residents of California can obtain a concealed weapon permit there. Out west, a good reason is needed to grant this type of permit even after you have completed a training course and passed a background check. California also requires proof of good moral character. Like New York, permits are given by county, but issued by the county sheriff or police chief.

 

Washington D.C. does not allow concealed weapons at all. One of three areas that have this law, they are currently being sued for amendment violation. Every single firearms possessed by a resident must be registered and carrying outside of the home or shooting range is prohibited. To register a gun however, you must go through a ballistics test as well as a background check.

Gun Law & Ownership Basics
Firearm Ownership Transfer

Under federal regulation, unlicensed arms dealers are allowed to transfer firearms to a resident of the same state as long as the seller has no reason to believe the individual is prohibited from possessing or owning a firearm. Certain restrictions apply from state to state, based on attorney general regulation. Unlicensed arms dealers, however, are strictly prohibited from transferring firearm ownership to residents of a state besides their own.

All out of state firearm transaction sales must be conducted through a local Federal Firearms Licensee liaison. Only after the intended recipient has passed a background check and completed an ATF form may they complete the firearm transfer.  Renting or loaning temporarily across state borders for sporting purposes is completely legal.

Reregistering/Deregistering

Only firearms subject to the National Firearms Act (NFA), which is machineguns, short-barrel firearms, silencers, and the like must be registered with ATF. Sporting and hunting firearms, such as shotguns and rifles, need not be registered under federal guidelines. But checking with your state attorney general is always advised, as gun laws do vary from state to state.

Convicts & Firearms

Though the Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits persons who have been convicted of a “crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year,” from possessing and receiving firearms and ammunition, they are legally allowed to own an antique firearm. Defined as any firearm manufacturing before 1898, what an antique firearm can extend to replicas, so long as there was no modifications allowing for conventional, fixed ammunition. This means a convict can own any muzzle loading rifle, shotgun, or pistol which cannot use fixed ammunition and is designed to use black powder.

As defined by the ATF, convicts cannot possess or receive an “antique firearm” if it “(1) incorporates a firearm frame or receiver; (2) is a firearm which is converted into a muzzle loading weapon; or (3) is a muzzle loading weapon which can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof.” Moreover, because an “antique firearm” is not a “firearm,” it is lawful for a prohibited people to receive or possess black powder for use in an “antique firearm.”

Post-Conviction Reinstatement

Felons whose convictions have been expunged, or for which the person has been pardoned, are not considered convicted. Unless that person was expressly prohibited by the law of the jurisdiction from possessing firearms, they are legally allowed to possess and own firearms.

Otherwise, those convicted of a federal offense can only regain the ability to lawfully receive, possess, or transport firearms from an expressed Presidential pardon.  Meanwhile, for those convicted of a state crime, Congressional appropriation has prohibited ATF from spending any funds to investigate or act upon applications for relief from Federal firearms disabilities submitted by individuals. Therefore ATF cannot relieve those convicted of a state crime of the firearms restriction.

Deer Hunting Fundamental to Population Control
An estimated 500,000 deer roamed throughout America in the early 1900’s. Due to fear of extinction, strict hunting laws and regulations were put into place so the population could naturally grow. This effort did increase the deer population, but now it’s too large. Today, there are more than 20 million deer in the US and this number is increasing each year.

 

While you might think that having a growing deer population isn’t cause for concern, you might be surprised at the negative impact. Human safety, economy and quality of life are all affected. Hunting deer serves as a counterweight to negative implications.

 

Each day our safety is at risk when we drive along highways. Some accidents cause minor damage to the car, but others can cause the death to the driver and passengers in the vehicle. Deer, buck in particular, can even show signs of aggressive toward humans if they feel threatened. And with an estimated 40 deer per every square mile of some states, confrontation is more frequent than most realize.

 

How is the increasing deer population affecting our quality of life? More car/deer motor vehicles accidents and damaging property both cause financial and emotional stress. Deer can also carry diseases that can be transferred to pets and have been associated with the spread of Lyme disease. Hunting effectively compensates for the diminished wolf population, especially in the northeast.  

 

Hunting keeps the deer population in check as well as decreasing the amount of reproductions each season. Without hunting deer, the population will only continue to increase and cause more problems for residents and their homes.

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