"Bayou Bill" Scifres
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Real Or Rumor?: Kooky Legislative Moves May Bear Watching
Copyright © 2009 by Bill Scifres

I don’t know how much of a threat this amounts to for gun owners, hunters and others, but an organization of exotic animal producers has pulled the trigger on what could be bad news for the gun/hunting folks.

A move is said by the animal producers to put a crimp on the manufacture and retail sale of all ammunition in the coming months. It suggests that manufacturers of all ammo must code the product and that certain records must be kept (and reported) on the retail movement of such items. Among other facets of the movement would be that uncoded (old ammo) would have to be destroyed by the current owners. This, of course, would be a tremendous waste at a time when we can least afford it.    

All of this is said in a news release to be in formative stages of 18 states, including Indiana, which currently is enduring a legislature that is in session. However, officials of the Indiana General Assembly say no such legislation is being considered by this august body now. 

Furthermore, a triumvirate of well-known and highly respected conservationists and supporters of “the right to bear arms” does not know of such a piece of legislation’s presence. The watchdogs say that in the list of bills for the current legislative session there was not one bill on gun rights--very unusual.

However, they say such legislative moves bear watching. Some real kooky legislative concepts have a way of creeping into the bills, as we have observed in the past. 

Chris Smith, liaison legislative director for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), suggests that the animal breeders’ news release may have been based on a similar bill from last year that died without a hearing. This development may shed light on the accuracy of the news release.    

Smith said he checked for such moves in the U.S. Congress, but could find nothing related to such activities.

SANDHILLS HERE -- The migration of sandhill cranes has been building a bit in the last couple of weeks, so if you want a good look at these magnificent birds at Jasper-Pulaski State Fish and Wildlife Area a trip would be very much in order during the next month. They are some three feet tall.

The big buildup is yet to come, and the birds there now are scatter over a large northwestern area. They will be headed to nest in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, southwest Ontario, and southeast Manitoba about the end of March.

Jasper-Pulaski Area is a good spot to see them for this is the unofficial headquarters for spring and fall migrants. We will, of course, be seeing larger flocks high as the migration increases, and may even hear their gabble.

CRAPPY FISHING -- We have yet to hear of spring crappie fishing catches, but that doesn’t mean they won’t bite on these cool, just-at-freezing temps. Cooler weather -- even with some wind -- puts old “paper mouth” on the feed when their timeclock rings, regardless of temps.

Indiana law allows three poles, so it is a good idea to live bait two of them, and whip the water to a rich, creamy lather with casting bobber and small jig set about three feet deep. Crappie schools move.

An eight-inch crappie is hard to beat on the table.

All columns, essays, and photos are copyrighted by Bill Scifres and may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the author.  For reproduction permission and media usage fees, contact: Bill Scifres, 6420 East 116th Street, Fishers, IN 46038, E-mail: billscifres@aol.com

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