Off the wire

High court shines a light on animal cruelty videos
WASHINGTON — Supreme Court justices, skeptical of a law aimed at graphic animal cruelty videos, touched Tuesday on dog fights, bull fights, cock fights, bow-and-arrow hunting, even a hypothetical television channel devoted to human sacrifice. Oh, yes, and freedom of speech.
Read complete story from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Feds give sea otters habitat protection in Alaska
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Four years after being placed on the Endangered Species List, the dwindling sea otters of southwest Alaska on Wednesday were given an important recovery tool.
Read complete story from Associated Press

Wolf overseer surprised by high harvest
Montana's inaugural wolf hunting season has been almost too successful in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. Nine wolves have been killed by hunters in the area along the northern border of Yellowstone National Park, including four from the Cottonwood Pack, two of which were radio-collared as part of the park's wolf studies.
Read complete story from Billings Gazette

Tuna's plight is a problem the world must solve
Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, a South Korean fishing vessel called the MFV Oryong 717 is hunting for fishing gear it left in the water to catch tuna. It won't find it. Greenpeace has hauled it aboard their ship for disposal.
Read complete story from The Christian Science Monitor

Giant-sized mako caught off Fort Lauderdale
FORT LAUDERDALE — A group of South Florida fishing buddies is talking about the one that didn't get away, a giant-sized shark caught off the coast while they were looking for a lesser catch. It's a fish story they say they'll be telling their kids about.
Read complete story from cbs4.com

Game wardens make large bait bust
Vermont game wardens are calling it one of the largest cases of its kind. They raided a camp in Moretown and charged 8 men and one juvenile with a host of hunting violations. Wildlife officials are worried about more than unsportsmanlike behavior.
Read complete story from WCAX.com

Endangered AK beluga whale group declining
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A government study found that a group of endangered beluga whales in Alaska is declining, raising concern that bolstered protection for the animals is not coming quickly enough.
Read complete story from Associated Press

Hunters, Packers and joining forces to tackle hunger
The Packers recently announced a 2009 campaign called "Hunting Down Hunger" in which the organization is selling a special line of blaze orange and camouflage hats emblazoned with the legendary "G." Five dollars from the sale of each hat will be contributed to state food pantries and other hunger relief efforts.
Read complete story from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Use of deer urine as hunting lure could spread CWD
PHILADELPHIA — Thousands of hunters who took to Pennsylvania's woods and fields for the archery antlered deer season opener last Saturday may have unintentionally poisoned the state's deer herd.
Read complete story from The Morning Call

Calif. river restoration begins amid debate
FRESNO, Calif. — When Darrell Imperatrice was a boy, California's San Joaquin River teemed with so many king salmon his father could catch 40-pound fish using only a pitchfork.
Read complete story from Associated Press

Mighty caribou herds dwindle, warming blamed
ON THE PORCUPINE RIVER TUNDRA, Yukon Territory — Here on the endlessly rolling and tussocky terrain of northwest Canada, where man has hunted caribou since the Stone Age, the vast antlered herds are fast growing thin. And it's not just here.
Read complete story from Associated Press

Man killed by friend in hunting accident
JOHNSONVILLE, Ill. — A young Fairfield, Ill., hunter was killed Thursday night when his friend apparently mistook him for a wild turkey and shot him in the back with an arrow.
Read complete story from Evansville Courier & Press

W.Va. meet led to Klamath Dam removal, salmon aid
MEDFORD, Ore. — The turning point toward removing four Klamath River dams in Oregon and California to restore struggling salmon runs came in the little Shenandoah Valley town of Shepherdstown, W.Va.
Read complete story from Associated Press