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  • June 29, 2012

    Shoot Me Down: Stop Namin’ Bucks!

    By Dave Hurteau

    In Christopher Guest’s Best In Show, Harlan Pepper, who used to be able to name all the nuts, tells us that his exasperated mother begged of him: “Stop namin’ nuts!” 

    I am begging you: Stop namin’ bucks. (Actually I don’t really care that much. Doesn’t make you a bad person. But….) I don’t understand why people do this. I understand why I don’t. It’s simple: I don’t name things I plan to kill. I name things I plan not to kill. That makes sense to me.

  • June 26, 2012

    Write Best Caption, Win a Pair of Boots from Cabela's

    By Scott Bestul

    You know what you need? You need a new pair of boots. And not just any boots, but the new Cabela's Air Revolution Boots by Meindl, which has an aeration system that sucks in fresh air with every step to keep your normally swampy, rank feet from getting sweaty.

    Knowing that that is what you need, we asked Cabela’s if they would give each of you a pair, and they said, “Um, well, they’re $240 boots. How about we give you one pair and your guys can compete for them. Maybe a contest or something?”

  • June 21, 2012

    New Research: Lyme Disease More Closely Tied to Red Foxes Than to Deer

    By Scott Bestul

    High whitetail numbers have been blamed for the spread of Lyme disease for years. But according to the latest research, we might be pointing our finger at the wrong critter. According to this story in a recent issue of Scientific American, a sharp decline in red fox populations may have gone a long way to making Lyme disease go viral in the last decade.

    The red fox, as most of us know, is an efficient predator of small mammals like the white-footed mouse; known to be one of the prime hosts of the Lyme-carrying “deer” tick. Red fox numbers are in a general decline across the country, thanks largely to ever-growing coyote populations. Coyotes eat foxes whenever the populations overlap, which is frequently. Though both canines dine on mice, foxes take the greatest toll on the little rodents. So when fox numbers dive, mouse populations climb and ticks follow suit.

  • June 15, 2012

    Budget Bow: An Astoundingly Good Bear for Under $300

    By Dave Hurteau

    The Bear Encounter (299.99), that is. I am testing new compound bows for under $300 and in doing so have found myself shocked—shocked I tell you—at how good this bargain-basement model is. An honest-to-goodness pleasure to shoot, the Encounter is quiet and damned accurate.

  • June 11, 2012

    Survey: What Kind of Deer Hunter Are You?

    by Scott Bestul

    The Pennsylvania Game Commission just wrapped up a survey asking questions to some 6,000 randomly selected Keystone State deer hunters. According to the preliminary report, the 3,572 responses paint a picture of the “average” PA whitetail hunter, who happens to be 47-years-old, has 29 years of hunting experience, lives in a rural area, was taught to hunt by a parent or grandparent, and is in good-to-excellent health.

    And according to the stats, that hunter is most likely to:

    --Hunt to relax, enjoy nature, and escape from everyday concerns (93%, the other options were “to harvest a deer” or “spend time with family and friends who hunt”)
    --Not harvest a buck (only 18% did)
    --Butcher own deer (51% said they did it all, 37% paid a processor)
    --Hunt private land (48% hunted private, 34% hunted a combination of public/private)
    --Hunt for free (only 5% leased land)
    --Not use a trail camera (81% didn’t own a one)
    --Not use an elevated stand, urine-based lures, or drives to bag a deer.

  • June 7, 2012

    MO Drops Antler Point Restriction in CWD Area

    By Scott Bestul

    The Missouri Department of Conservation has dropped their Antler Point Restriction (APR) in a six-county area in the northern part of the state for this fall. Rescinding APR’s is part of the MDC’s response to the discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in two hunter-killed whitetails from Macon County last fall.

    After those bucks were found, the department killed and tested 657 deer this winter, in a study area near those first CWD-positive harvests. That sampling produced three additional CWD-positive deer. These wild deer were taken in close proximity to captive whitetail/hunting preserves in Macon County, where a total of 11 CWD-positive deer have been found.

  • June 4, 2012

    Announcing the Winner of the Bowtech Insanity Buck Scoring Contest!

    By Dave Hurteau

    If you’ve been following along, you know that our latest buck-scoring contest came down to a tie, forcing finalists IND_NRA and lamphere29 to go head-to-head in a winner-takes-all round, featuring this tiebreaker buck.

    Bravely, IND_NRA guessed first with 147-1/8 gross B&C. Lamphere29 then went all Price Is Right on him, guessing 147 even—which was pretty sneaky, perfectly within the rules (at present), but in the end, no good. The actual gross score of the above buck, taken by Sydney Levings, is 156-7/8, which means, IND_NRA, that you will be hunting this fall with a brand new Bowtech Insanity CPX.

  • June 1, 2012

    Guest Blog: Kip Adams Addresses Our QDM Poll

    By Dave Hurteau

    A few weeks ago I asked, “What do you think of QDM?” And with more than 650 of you responding, I think the poll results constitute a fair representation of F&S readers’ attitudes on the topic. On one hand, more of you love QDM than hate it (35 to 25 percent, respectively). On the other, the majority (39 percent) is on the fence, seeing both positives and negatives.

    For now, I’m with the majority. As I’ve said before, I like QDM a lot in theory. But in practice, I have some of the same concerns mentioned in the last post’s comment section. If there’s one person who could get me fully on board, however, it is QDMA Director of Education and Outreach Kip Adams, a certified wildlife biologist, avid deer hunter, and all-around good guy who offers the following response to our poll.