As 2012 winds down, it's a great opportunity to reflect on the year that was: the hunts we went on, the lessons we learned, the animals we killed (or missed), the times we shared with others and the stories that captured our attention as a hunting community. And when you really think about it, we saw quite a lot.
There was the bizarre, like the Brazilian fisherman who choked to death on a fish. There was the controversial, like the Wisconsin hound dog that got mauled by wolves, the battle in Minnesota to stop a wolf hunt from taking place or the creation of a PETA porn website. And then there was the always comical Jase Robertson from Ducky Dynasty, who sat down with Eric Conn to talk about life as a bearded (and humbly famous) duckman.
Like any year, 2012 had its fair share of newsworthy happenings. To honor and celebrate the year that was, we at Game & Fish have decided to countdown our favorites.
No. 1: The Duckmen Go Global
No. 11: Gator Hunting on the Rise
No. 8: Coyotes Damage Deer Populations
With an explosion of coyotes in many parts of the country, states like South Carolina have declared war on the species. The viral video
showed coyotes taking down a full size buck.
No. 5: Wolf Hunting Stirs Controversy
Dennis Nitz, of Wisc., killed a wolf after applying for a permit in 2012. After he posted the photo to Facebook, he began receiving death threats
. His story was one of many at the heart of a raging debate in the U.S. over the species.
No. 6: Melissa Bachman Ousted by Nat Geo
While filming for a new Nat Geo adventure reality show, a group of hostile anti-hunters attacked
nearly every website affiliated with huntress Melissa Bachman. They also started an online petition asking Nat Geo to ban her from the show, which they finally did. It was a perfect example of the hostility of the anti crowd and the force of Internet bullying.
No. 7: Corey Cogdell Slammed by Anti-Hunters
With the Olympics in full swing and Americans like shooter Corey Cogdell representing us abroad, it should have been a time of celebration. Instead, Cogdell was blasted
on her Facebook page and personal website for a photo she posted of a legal African hunt she participated in. One social media troll wrote, "I hope someone shoots your firstborn."
No. 10: Trail Cameras Catch Wild Moments
Mike Quinn is no stranger to wilderness adventure. For the last 22 years he has scoured nearly every wilderness basin of Washington State with a singular, determined focus: finding trophy mule deer.
What he found this year was a bit different: a cougar on a trail cam grabbing a fawn and dragging it off. It is quite simply one of the most amazing trail cam photos you'll see.
No. 4: Jennifer Lawrence Slams PETA
No. 2: PETA Launches Porn Site
No. 12: Hog Hunting Takes to the Skies
Ted Nugent, hog annihilation and helicopters. Need we say more? Nugent teamed up with the Pigman
this year on the Sportsman Channel to bring the world helio-hog hunting with fully automatic weapons. Spoiler alert: the pigs died, the Nuge went wild and everybody went home happy.
No. 9: Record Moose Falls in Alaska
No. 3: Hound Dog Mauled by Wolves
As Wisconsin geared up for its first annual wolf hunt in 2012, Ron Hill's hound dog was attacked
and viciously mauled by wolves. The graphic photos illustrate a simple truth at the heart of the ongoing wolf debate: wolves are predators, not pets.
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