12 Biggest Hunting Headlines of 2012

12 Biggest Hunting Headlines of 2012

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

What makes the record-breaking A&E show Duck Dynasty so successful? It's the craziness of family members like Jase Robertson and his uncle Si. Jase talked with Eric Conn from Game & Fish about ducks, beards and life after super stardom.

No. 11: Gator Hunting on the Rise

Mike Cottingham, of Arkansas, killed the new state-record gator this year, weighing in at 1,380 pounds. He was featured in Game & Fish's 2012 Gator Gallery, which highlighted many other state records from this year and years past.

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 blastedon 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

Talking about her star role in the mega hit Hunger Games, Jennifer Lawrence said what's been on the mind of every hunter for awhile now: "Screw PETA." That just about says it all.

No. 2: PETA Launches Porn Site

Not only did dozens of celebrities pose for nude photos apparently aimed at helping out the PETA cause, the organization launched a porn website. No, that's not a typo — a porn website. While the jury's still out as to how naked celebs have any logical connection to hunting, PETA continued its naked strategy all the same.

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

With Tom Condon's massive moose kill in Alaska, Game & Fish brought you a gallery of some of the biggest moose you've never heard about. On that list was Real Langolis' Pope & Young world record holder, which he shot at five yards.

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.

If you love Duck Dynasty, enter our Sweepstakes to win a Willie Robertson autographed Barnett Crossbow right now!

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