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Terry Hunter You Re So Sexy

A recent study funded by the National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates that about 22 million Americans hunted at least once over the past five years. About 14 million youth and adults hunt each year, but not all hunters take to the field every year. Working with 17 state wildlife agencies, the study looked at license sales patterns and found that 78 percent of the U.S. hunters who bought a license in a given year also purchased one again the following year. By examining purchasing patterns over multiple years, it was determined that for every two hunters in the field this year, one is taking the year off.

Terry Hunter You Re So Sexy

A few years ago, ADF&G biometrician Bob Sutherland looked at Alaska hunter statistics and found similar patterns. Sutherland found that 174,272 Alaska residents went hunting between 2003 and 2007, about 25 percent of the total population.

Comparing hunters year-to-year over five years, he found about one-third only hunt one year and do not reappear in the system. About one-third hunt every single year, and about one-third skip a year or two.

In September of 1989, a NOAA hurricane hunter airplane intercepted Hurricane Hugo as it approached the Caribbean islands, just before Hugo's destructive rampage through the Caribbean and South Carolina. The crew of the airplane were the first people to encounter the mighty hurricane--and very nearly became its first victims. The mission remains the most harrowing flight ever conducted by the NOAA hurricane hunters. I served as flight meteorologist on that flight, and feel fortunate indeed to be able to tell the story.

The science team is a veritable "Who's Who" in the science of hurricane research. The director of NOAA's Hurricane Research Division (and future head of the National Hurricane Center), Bob Burpee, leads the science team. The rest of the team consists of Frank Marks, Jr., Hugh Willoughby, Pete Black, and Peter Dodge. Frank is lead mission scientist today. We converse briefly about today's mission, a two-aircraft research mission into newly-formed Hurricane Hugo. The high altitude aircraft, NOAA 43, will fly at 20,000 feet and circle the periphery of the storm, and will study the hurricane's large scale environment. Our aircraft, NOAA 42, will repeatedly penetrate the eye at the lowest safe altitude, and gather detailed information on the low-level storm environment and air-sea interaction. No hurricane hunter aircraft have penetrated the storm yet--we will be the first humans to see Hurricane Hugo! I feel excited and nervous about our upcoming flight--the view inside the eye of a mature hurricane's eye at low altitude is an incredibly spectacular sight. The only catch is that in order to get there, we must fly directly through the hurricane's strongest winds and most violent turbulence--the dangerous eyewall. Today, we are pushing the limits of safe hurricane flying by going into the eyewall at 1,500 feet, the altitude where the hurricane's winds and turbulence are at their worst. It is my prime job as flight director to ensure the safety of the mission from a meteorological perspective, and call for a climb to a higher, safer altitude if I judge that the storm is too dangerous. Frank and I agree to determine what altitude we will penetrate the storm at once we get airborne and get a good look at Hugo with our weather radars. 041b061a72


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