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Manage your Hunting Property

It’s terrifying to some, a destructive force that ravages the countryside. However, fire is the best
tool for managing your hunting property when adequately managed.

Using fire to manage land is a technique dating back to when Native Americans freely roamed
our lands. It’s believed that they noticed how the bison and other wildlife grazed heavily on the
fresh sprouts after a burn had occurred due to lightning strikes or it being intentionally set by the
people.

The Benefits of Fire

For thousands of years, fire was the primary way to promote new growth, return nutrients to the
soil, and ensure only the most desirable plants were growing. However, in the last century,
we’ve become scared of fire and rarely use controlled burns to manage our properties.

So we have turned to things like clearing thickets for food plots, spraying, putting out mineral
blocks, and installing corn feeders in the states that allow it. Costing us thousands of dollars a
year, not to mention all the blood, sweat, and tears we pour into hours of working the land.

I’m proposing you save a lot of that money to spend on new camo, 30-30 ammo, or a new deer
stand and use prescribed burning to help keep the wildlife on your land fat and happy.

Below, I’ve gathered some pros of using fire to manage your land.

● Burning is FREE (unless you hire someone to do it)
● Deer, turkey, and many other wild animals thrive after a controlled burn
● Fire allows natural food sources to sprout up, even in places they haven’t been for
decades
● Fire helps some native species sprout and survive
● Fire hurts or kills undesirable species
● Fire is great for pastures and forests
● Prescribed burns reduce the risk of wildfires
● Fire helps restore nutrients to the soil
● Fire improves water quality by allowing more water to gather in the creeks for fish and
other animals to drink instead of being absorbed by shrubs and other non-desirable
species
● Fire helps control the spread of insects such as ticks and some tree diseases

As you can tell, burning has many positives; however, I must also share some of the downsides
of prescribed burning
with you.

The Drawbacks of Fire

While the benefits of using prescribed burns to manage a property far outweigh the drawbacks,
you should still be aware of the cons.

One of the most significant downsides you’ll have to deal with is complaints from your neighbors
about air quality on the day you burn and a few days after. I recommend informing them that
you plan to burn before you begin so some neighbors will understand, but others will complain
no matter what you do.

The most significant danger is that the fire gets out of control because you haven’t burned the
debris before, turning it into a raging inferno. That’s why you should always let your local fire
department know you plan to burn, and you should create fire breaks throughout your property
to burn in smaller chunks and keep things contained.

Though fire can save you a lot of money, planning and executing a burn will take a lot of time.
You’ll likely need some help from friends and family on the day of the burn.

Unlike spraying and planting food plots, seeing the results from burning could take a year or
two. So you’re playing the long game when using prescribed burns to manage your property,
but in the end, it’s well worth it.

● Complaints from neighbors about air quality and danger
● Prescribed burns can get out of control and cause a wildfire when done incorrectly or
carelessly
● Creating a prescribed burning plan and implementing the plan is time-consuming
● Sometimes, it takes a few years to see the positive impact of fire
● Fire needs to be used year after year on pastures and every few years in forests
● The time of year you burn will affect the quality of the burn

Now that you know the drawbacks and benefits of prescribed burns, let’s move on to how to use
fire to improve your land for wildlife.

How to Manage Your Land With Fire

So you’re convinced that using fire is the best way to manage your hunting property but have no
idea where to begin?

Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered! I’ve been burning our property since middle school, and I took
several classes on it in college.

While fire must be respected, it doesn’t have to be a terrifying monster. Let’s break burning your
land down into several simple steps.

  1. Determine Your Goals – The first thing you should do is determine what you wish to accomplish by burning. Do you want to thin out an area to make it easier to hunt, manage some invasive species, or help the native plants produce more food for the animals to eat?
    • Your goals will determine what time of year you should burn, how often you should burn, and how much of your property you should burn. Your entire property doesn’t need to be burned every year. It’s best to have a mix of clearings and thickets.
  2. Create a Prescribed Burning Plan – Once you have set your goals, it’s time to devise a prescribed burning plan. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, “Burn plans identify – or prescribe – the best conditions under which trees and other plants will burn to get the best results safely. Burn plans consider temperature, humidity, wind, moisture of the vegetation, and conditions for the dispersal of smoke.”
  3. Make the Fire Breaks Now that you have a plan, it’s time to create the fire lines around the area you plan to burn. I always make a fire break along the edge of our property, 10-20 wide, depending on how much fuel (dead leaves, grass, and trees) is on the ground. I’ll follow that up by creating smaller breaks throughout the property to slow down the fire or stop it from reaching the parts of the land I don’t want to be burned. Though it’s not my favorite method, you can create a fire break by discing the ground. However, I usually cut the grass very short and blow all the clippings toward the area that’s getting burned.
  4. Check the Weather – As the time to burn nears, watch the weather closely. It’s impossible to burn in wet conditions, but you also don’t want to burn during the dry season; otherwise, you risk a greater chance of the fire getting out of control. Wind direction and speed are also essential to pay attention to the days before, during, and after the burn.
  5. Burn – Now, the fun part, at least for me. Let the fire department know you’ll be burning that day, and start by lighting the downwind side of your property first. I prefer using a drip torch to light the fire, but I’ve drug old rags soaked in diesel in a pinch. Always have help, water, or a way to put out the fire on hand.
  6. Watch the New Life Flourish – A few days after you burn, you will see new sprouts of grass, trees, and other plants that deer, turkeys, and countless other animals will consume. Many of these plants are very nutritious for animals, and you’ll notice that they’ll quickly find and graze on these new plants.
  7. Hunt – It’s now time to reap the benefits of your labors. By burning your property, you’ll not only see more deer and turkeys, which means you’ll get to be more picky with the ones you harvest, but you’ll also create a habitat in which they can thrive because they’re getting the nutrients, shelter, and water they need.

Parting Shots

Growing up, I was always mesmerized by fire. I loved helping with the burning season on our
small farm and the surrounding farms. However, it wasn’t until college, while obtaining my
wildlife management degree, that I learned how beneficial fire was to wildlife.

Now that you know the incredible benefits of using fire to manage your property, it’s time to
draw up a prescribed burning plan and get to burning!

About the Author
Chris Dwulet is an avid competitive shooter and handloader. He’s also a principle writer for
Ammo.com and runs their Ammunition Guides Podcast on YouTube

Source link: https://americanshootingjournal.com/manage-your-hunting-property/ by AmSJ Staff at americanshootingjournal.com

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2nd Amendment

Biden Comes Out Swinging Against Second Amendment

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In a recent interview on the “SmartLess” podcast, President Joe Biden’s comments regarding gun violence and the Second Amendment have sparked a resounding response from staunch defenders of individual liberty and the right to bear arms.

President Biden’s pledge to prioritize addressing gun violence in a potential second term, alongside his assertion that the Second Amendment “wasn’t absolute ever,” has galvanized advocates of the right to bear arms. His characterization of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines as “bizarre” and his call for stricter regulations have only served to reinforce the resolve of those who stand firm in defense of constitutional freedoms.

By disregarding the historical significance of the Second Amendment and questioning the notion that “the [tree of] liberty is watered with the blood of patriots,” President Biden has revealed a fundamental misunderstanding of American values and the vital role of armed citizens in preserving freedom. His remarks have struck a chord with those who believe in the inherent right of individuals to defend themselves, their families, and their communities.

In response to President Biden’s rhetoric, defenders of the Second Amendment have rallied behind the principles of liberty and self-reliance. They reject any attempts to curtail their constitutional rights and view the proposed gun control measures as nothing more than government overreach. They argue that the right to bear arms is not subject to government approval or restriction but is a God-given right that must be fiercely protected.

President Biden’s proposals for stricter gun control fail to address the root causes of gun violence and unfairly penalize law-abiding citizens. Instead of punishing responsible gun owners, defenders of the Second Amendment advocate for solutions that focus on enforcing existing laws, improving mental health services, and promoting responsible firearm education.

As the debate over gun rights and gun violence rages on, defenders of the Second Amendment remain steadfast in their commitment to freedom and self-defense. They understand that the right to bear arms is not negotiable and will continue to fight against any attempts to undermine this fundamental liberty.

In the face of President Biden’s rhetoric and proposed policies, supporters of the Second Amendment stand united in their determination to protect and preserve the rights of law-abiding citizens. They are the guardians of freedom, standing strong against tyranny and oppression, and ensuring that the flame of liberty burns bright for generations to come.

What do you think of Biden’s attempt to attack Second Amendment rights? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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Featured

Surge in Firearm-Related Crime Exposes Failures of Gun Control in Canada

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A recent report by Toronto Star contributor Shaquille Morgan has shed light on the alarming surge in firearm-related crime plaguing heavily gun-controlled Canada. According to data from Canadian police, there were a staggering 9,198 victims of gun-related crime in 2022 alone, marking a ten percent increase compared to the previous year and a staggering 60 percent surge since 2013.

Morgan’s analysis underscores the ineffectiveness of Canada’s stringent gun control measures, particularly in curbing the proliferation of handgun-related violence. A startling 63 percent of gun-related homicides in Canada were committed with handguns, highlighting the urgent need for targeted interventions to address this concerning trend.

Despite Canada’s efforts to tighten gun regulations in recent years, including expanded background checks, bans on assault weapons, and a national handgun freeze, the surge in firearm-related crime persists unabated. The federal government’s commitment of $250 million to address the root causes of gun and gang violence has yet to yield tangible results, leaving communities vulnerable to the scourge of gun violence.

The handgun freeze, which prohibits the sale, purchase, or transfer of handguns within Canada and restricts the importation of newly acquired handguns, has failed to stem the flow of illegal firearms into the hands of criminals. Moreover, the stringent licensing process for gun ownership, which requires individuals to undergo approved gun safety courses, has not deterred those intent on perpetrating acts of violence.

The failure of Canada’s gun control measures to curb firearm-related crime underscores the need for a more comprehensive and evidence-based approach to addressing the root causes of violence. Merely enacting stricter regulations and imposing blanket bans on certain firearms overlooks the complex socio-economic factors driving criminal behavior and fails to provide effective solutions to prevent future violence.

Moving forward, Canada must prioritize holistic strategies that address the underlying social, economic, and systemic factors contributing to gun violence. This includes investing in community-based initiatives, improving access to mental health services, and addressing socio-economic disparities that fuel crime and gang activity.

Furthermore, Canada must enhance collaboration between law enforcement agencies, community organizations, and government entities to implement targeted interventions that disrupt criminal networks and provide support to at-risk individuals. By adopting a proactive and multifaceted approach to addressing gun violence, Canada can work towards creating safer communities for all its residents.

In the face of rising firearm-related crime, Canada cannot afford to rely solely on restrictive gun control measures. It is imperative that policymakers, stakeholders, and communities come together to develop comprehensive solutions that address the root causes of violence and promote lasting peace and security across the nation.

Is there any hope for gun rights in Canada? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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Did the ATF Just Turn You Into an Unlicensed Gun Dealer?

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Amidst the world of firearms and gun ownership, scenarios arise where individuals find themselves downsizing their collections or navigating the complexities of buying and selling firearms. For some, it may involve parting ways with budget guns to fund the acquisition of their dream firearm, while for others, it could entail managing the estate of a deceased family member who left behind a substantial gun collection.

However, recent regulatory changes by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) have introduced new considerations and challenges. With the implementation of ATF Rule 2022R-17, the definition of who qualifies as a firearm dealer has been broadened, potentially impacting individuals engaged in occasional sales or private transactions.

Under the revised regulations, the criteria for determining whether someone is “engaged in the business” as a dealer in firearms have been expanded. This includes factors such as the intention to “predominantly earn a profit” from firearm sales, regardless of the medium or method used for transactions. Additionally, the definition of “dealer” now encompasses individuals conducting firearm transactions through various channels, including online platforms and gun shows.

Despite these changes, the regulations provide clarity on exemptions for individuals selling firearms as part of a personal collection or hobby, as long as sales remain occasional and not primarily for profit. However, navigating these distinctions requires careful attention to detail and adherence to legal requirements to avoid unintentionally falling afoul of the law.

The implications of ATF Rule 2022R-17 extend beyond mere technicalities, potentially impacting the everyday activities of gun owners and enthusiasts. From selling off surplus firearms to acquiring new additions to their collections, individuals must now navigate a regulatory landscape that demands heightened awareness and compliance.

Moreover, the rule underscores broader concerns about government overreach and the erosion of Second Amendment rights. By redefining existing regulations without legislative scrutiny, the ATF’s actions raise questions about transparency and accountability in firearms policy-making.

In light of these developments, individuals involved in firearm transactions must stay informed and adapt to evolving regulatory frameworks. Whether buying, selling, or transferring firearms, adherence to legal requirements and diligent record-keeping is paramount to avoid unintended legal consequences.

Ultimately, as gun owners and enthusiasts navigate the changing landscape of firearms regulation, vigilance and advocacy for Second Amendment rights remain crucial. By staying informed, engaging in responsible firearm ownership practices, and advocating for sensible policy reforms, individuals can uphold their rights while ensuring compliance with legal requirements.

Are you concerned about being on the wrong side of the ATF? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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