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  • October 31, 2008

    Chad Love: Assault Purse

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    As a man who never quite got in in touch with his metrosexual side,  I have to admit I'm completely baffled by the female obsession with accessorizing. I have as much chance of comprehending the intricacies of bags, purses, belts, trinkets and doo-dads as I do fitting into a pair of those skinny-dude Euro-cut jeans. 

    However, even I can get into this.


    ...For the girl on the move the Pursuader features a handy cel phone compartment in the clip. Constructed by interlocking laser cut leather this handbag has no stitching. This is a combination of old-world craftsmanship and high technology. Create the look no one can refuse.

    Personally, I find that the combination of high fashion and high-capacity weaponry (albeit fake) fairly exudes the message of "confident womynhood," but if your significant other feels the Pursuader conveys an image that is perhaps a bit too aggressive, Mr. Piatt also offers a sexy little number dubbed the "PeaceKeeper 400."

    Of course, even handbags aren't immune from presidential politics, and it remains to be seen whether assault purses will be banned or perhaps restricted by the next administration.   

  • October 31, 2008

    Week in Review: Best of the Boards

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    There’s a lot of boring junk out there on the fishing and hunting forums, but hidden between that millionth McCain/Obama debate and those pictures of some dude’s lucky socks you can sometimes find really neat stuff. That’s why we’ve tasked our plucky intern with searching it out. He’s been prowling the forums long after the nine-to-fivers have punched the clock, hunting for the most interesting photos, videos, stories, and debates of the week. Here’s his first attempt. Help him out by sending links to

    Video: Surf fishing for great whites (
    Topic: “Dope the deer and cut off the horns” (
    Topic: Losing your wedding band (
    Pics: Ugly fish contest (
    Pics: A pocketbook-buck (
    Pics: Dead whale feeding frenzy (
    Pics: Angry squirrel vs. hungry owl (
    Pics: World record bait. (
    Pics: Hoax buck on Ohio DNR site? (
    Pics: This is one funky-looking fish. (

  • October 29, 2008

    Chad Love: Hunters with Hangovers?

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    November is here, which means that deer hunters all across the nation are preparing for that big pre-opening day keg party, after which they will wander aimlessly into the woods nursing a massive hangover. At some point, if they can manage to spot a deer through the alcoholic haze clouding their eyes, the ensuing adrenaline rush will cause a massive heart attack. And if that doesn't kill them, the exertion of trying to drag their deer out of the woods will.

    At least that's how this CNN story sees it...

    From the story:

    Heart attacks are three times more likely to take a hunter's life than a gunshot injury ...

    Pre-hunt partying, adrenaline rush and hauling kill out of woods all raise heart risk ...

    Expert recommends people not hunt alone, carry cell phone, have an exit plan ...

    "I think it's a very significant problem," said Dr. Eric Good, a cardiologist at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor.
    The biggest danger that some hunters face isn't getting hit by a stray bullet or falling out of a tree stand, Good said. It's heart disease ...

    ... Good's final concern has to do with hunters who start celebrating even before they head into the woods.

    "There's a tendency before the big day to sort of party it up," Good said. "Certainly, overexertion during the day compounded with the fact that you had one too many drinks and didn't have enough sleep adds to the stress. All of this together can put you over the edge and at risk for heart problems."

    Is this guy talking about hunting or getting married? Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I've never "partied it up" the night before opening day, unless he considers sitting around a campfire drinking a beer and telling fart jokes a wild night of debauchery.

    This is lazy reporting. I don't know where the reporter or the doctor got the "three times more likely" figure, but any reporter worth his or her salt would have sourced it. Without a verifiable source and some comparative data for other demographic groups as well as baseline figures for the general population it's just some guy spouting numbers.

    What's even more irritating is the angle the reporter used, which is the presumably counter-intuitive notion that heart attacks kill more hunters than stray bullets. The reporter tweaks the cultural stereotype of hunters blasting each other, when of course reality tells a different story. National and state data on hunting accidents are readily available. All the reporter had to do was take collated national figures on hunting accidents involving firearms, compare that to the total numbers of hunters and then you'd have a very clear statistical picture of the dangers of hunting.

    But of course, that would take real reporting, which is something fewer and fewer journalists engage in these days. However, some readers did appreciate the story  

    I will say this: At least PETA's leaps of logic aren't disguised as journalism...

  • October 27, 2008

    Chad Love: If McCain Loses ...

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    As we get closer to election day  and the dismal  poll numbers keep rolling in for the McCain-Palin camp, it  might be time to start looking past the election. Hollywood certainly is.

    From :
    As  campaign  managers for Sarah Palin plot last-minute tactics to get her  elected,  Hollywood bigwigs are convening strategy sessions of their own.  Their goal:  finding the ideal on-air vehicle for the vp candidate if and  when she exits  politics.

    Love her or hate   her -- there doesn't seem to be much middle ground with Palin -- the   44-year-old hockey mom has captured the public imagination in a way no   politician has since, well, Barack  Obama.

    But as  more and more polls cast doubt on the  McCain-Palin ticket, producers and  agents across the entertainment world  are discussing possibilities for  capitalizing on her fame, ranging from  an Oprah-style syndicated talk show to  a Sean Hannity-like perch in  cable news or on  radio.

    So  here's an  idle thought: In the long run would it actually be better for  us if McCain lost? Think about it, what's the favorite pastime of  millions of American lemmings, I mean citizens? That's right, killing  brain cells in front of a TV. Regardless of questions concerning her  qualifications for VP, you  can't deny she's tailor-made for television.  As a vehicle for getting the hunting/shooting cause into the national  dialogue where it  belongs, this potentially beats the hell out of her current candidacy. 

    Why? Because a McCain-Palin administration would be nothing like a Bush-Cheney administration. Despite the campaign rhetoric, Sarah Palin's role is going to revert right back to to what the VP's was before Dick Cheney entered the office: ribbon-cuttings and attending the funerals of third-world potentates. And really, what good is that going to do us?

    But a Palin talk show? Priceless. It has the potential  to project a pro-hunting, pro-firearms image to millions of people. So  let's say for the sake of argument that McCain loses and Palin gets snatched up by a network. You are now the executive producer of her forthcoming  show. What will be the format and what will be the topics? How would you  present Palin to the world?

  • October 27, 2008

    Discussion Topic: Hunters Robbing Hunters

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From the Baltimore Sun:
    The person who walked off with a hunting stand and related paraphernalia from a wooded area in Gambrills might have had a second thought if he knew who owned them: Sheriff Ronald S. Bateman.

    The missing objects are worth a total of about $500, he says. . . .

    "You just don't take another hunter's stuff," Bateman said. "It's like stealing a crabber's crab pot. . . ."

    This story hits close to home for me. Having had several stands stolen from me in the past, I usually put a lock on each one I hang. Last week, I forgot to bring a lock, hung the stand anyway, and sure enough, it got swiped. So the question for today is: What kind of @$$#%!& steals a fellow hunter’s tree stand?

  • October 27, 2008

    89-Year-Old Grandma Arrows 3-Point Buck

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From The Reporter:
    She pooh-poohed her peers when they scolded her for being "too old for such foolishness."

    The 89-year-old Delores Wilhelms of Dotyville reached a new height of Nirvana last week when she bagged a buck, using her deceased husband's crossbow.

    "It's a thrill I tell you. I hope God lets me live long enough to do it again next year," Delores said.

  • October 27, 2008

    Chinese Restaurant Closed After Inspectors Find Dead Deer

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From The Buffalo News:

    A Chinese restaurant in the Town of Hamburg was shut down by the Erie County Health Department Friday after an inspector found employees butchering a deer inside.

    Officials don’t know whether the dead deer . . . had been hunted or if it was road kill.

    “From our standpoint, it doesn’t matter,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Anthony J. Billittier IV. . . .

    "In general, you can’t have a dead animal in a food services establishment,” Billittier said.
    In addition, it’s illegal to sell meat that hasn’t been prepared by a licensed butcher, he said.
    “What were they going to do with the meat?” Billittier wondered. “I don’t think we’ll ever really know the answer to that.”

  • October 23, 2008

    Chad Love: On Hunting and Apocalypse

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    While perusing the energy website The Oil Drum recently, this story caught my eye.

    It is a lengthy and at times dry read, but a fascinating one nonetheless, especially for those of us who believe the true natural state of man is found in the hunt. The gist of the post, written by a Canadian soil scientist, is that the Earth's human population has basically been in overshoot mode ever since early civilizations put down their bows, atlatls and spears in favor of hoes and plows.

    The bulk of human history has been that of a culture of hunter gathers or foragers. They did not plant crops or modify ecosystem dynamics in any significant manner as they were passively dependent on what the local environment had to offer. They did however domesticate dogs as early as 100,000 BCE (Vila et al. 1997); these animals were useful as hunting aids, guardians, and occasionally as food during times of scarcity. Hunter gatherers maintained social organization and interdependence, and prevented the loss of food to spoilage by sharing the harvest among community members. These people lived in harmony with their supporting ecosystems and their ability to unsustainably stress and damage their environment was limited by the fact that if their numbers exceeded the carrying capacity of the complex, self-managing, species diverse, resilient terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems from which they gained their sustenance, then hunger and lower fertility exercised negative feedback controls on further expansion.

    So take that, all you tofu-eatin' herbivores!  We're the ones who lived in harmony with nature, at least until those dirty farmers came along.

    Diamond (1997) suggests that the development of plant cultivation agriculture was a ‘trap’ that precipitated massive changes in the way we feed ourselves and in the social organization that is a natural product of land ownership and control of stored foodstuffs. The thinking with regard to this ‘trap’ is that, as populations rise to utilize the increased food supplied by cultivation agriculture, it is very difficult to revert to less productive food producing systems without incurring hardship and starvation.

    The egalitarian food-sharing social organization systems of hunter-gatherers, pastoralists and shifting agriculturists, based on kinship, gave way to the class stratification of societies that rely on intensive cultivation agriculture. The stratum of society that controls the means of food production, and the land required for it, develops a hierarchy of property owners and leaders who are rich enough to thrive during periods of severe food shortages, while the less powerful, who are employed by them, suffer famine much more directly.

    Eventually this social stratification and evolution of complex labor division proceeds to the point where merchants, craftsmen, military, clergy, bureaucrats, politicians and royalty occupy urban areas where food from the countryside is used, but not produced. A rich and politically powerful stratum develops absolute property rights that are accumulated as wealth and transferred to its descendants; this stratum, often doing very little labor, becomes more numerous and difficult to support as the ratio of elites to producers increases (Costanza et al 2005).

    So not only did farming permanently alter the environment, it gave us bureacrats, too. Thanks a lot, farmers. No wonder most modern hunters have an innate distrust of "The Man." We can't help it, it's in our DNA.

    But don't rush down to the local Starbucks and start heckling the soy latte drinkers just yet, because there's one wee little problem: It doesn't matter because we're all doomed, anyway.

    Humanity has probably been in overshoot of the Earth's carrying capacity since it abandoned hunter gathering in favor of crop cultivation (~ 8,000 BCE) and it has been running up its ecological debt since that time.

    Translation: There are too many damn people and quite frankly, a lot of you folks are going to have to die. But don't be gloomy, because once most of you have died things will be a lot easier for the rest of us.

    The attractive aspect of moving toward sustainable co-existence with self-managing ecosystems is that the hit-and-miss process of evolution has already established how to make them work. Our responsibility (after our numbers have fallen to sustainable levels) will be to learn to live within the regeneration capacity of these restored ecosystems. The penalty for exceeding their regeneration capacity will be hunger and privation, as it was for our hunter gatherer, forager and pastoral ancestors.

    So should we start stockpiling ammo now or learn how to whittle a boomerang?

  • October 23, 2008

    Discussion Topic: Economy Make You Want To Go Hunting?

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

    Wall Street's woes may put more hunters in the woods this fall.

    A new report examining trends in license sales in all 50 states found that, when the economy goes south -- and when new housing construction in particular slows -- more people hunt. . . .

    It could be that a slow housing market simply gives would-be hunters time to get into the woods.

    [The] survey found that 22 percent of active hunters nationally work in the construction, carpentry, plumbing, electrical and craftsman trades.

    So, will you be hunting more this year? Or is the bad economy cutting into your hunting?

  • October 22, 2008

    Chad Love: Publishing Hot Spots

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Here is an angry letter received by F&S Online Editor Nate Matthews

    As you may know, hunters and fishermen hate a blabber mouth. Nothing is worse than somebody blabbing to all there friends and strangers about a good fishing/hunting spot.  You may argue that out of state hunters bring in money, and that Field and Stream is merely trying to inform its readers.  However your articles blabbing about wonderful grouse hunting in Iron county (Michigan), and deer hunting while walking miles of open land in the U.P. of Michigan have hit a nerve with many  locals.  I myself, along with a growing number of sportsmen and women have canceled our subscriptions to your magazine.  You should stick to advice on gear and equipment, rather than telling the world of the last few remaining hot spots to hunt and fish.  We are not a sparsely populated, ill informed back water.  We have many well organized local sportsmen clubs.  The word is out.  Field and Stream is now the much hated blabber mouth NO ONE likes.

    Let's face it, humans are bipedal magpies with opposable thumbs. We love to talk. It's who we are, literally. Our advanced form of spoken and symbolic communication is what sets us apart from other animals. But for hunters and anglers there's always been an uneasy balance between that need to communicate and the desire to keep "our" spots ours.

    I can commiserate with the author of that letter. I live in the heart of the last and best remaining wild bobwhite quail habitat in the nation. I am also a public-land hunter, so I see first-hand the correlation between publicity and an increasing strain on the resource. On the other hand, I'm very aware that when I go on a hunt out-of-state or even in a different part of my home state, I'm suddenly on the other side of that issue. At some point we all become those despised out-of-staters.

    So the question is: by publishing where-to stories are publications like F&S doing local hunters in those areas a disservice?

    I don't think so and I'll tell you why: there are no secrets. Eventually everything, however obscure or out-of-the-way, gets discovered. And in the Internet Age that little truism rings double. As an example, I'm pretty sure there has never been in the entire history of hook-and-bullet publishing a story penned about the undiscovered duck hunting on a small local lake near me (a lake that shall remain nameless, BTW).

    And yet, for the past four or five years at various times I've pulled into the parking area only to find that groups from Iowa, Arkansas, Texas and other states have beaten me there. All it took was a little Internet scouting on the duck hunting bulletin boards where some other local hunters posted reports and there they were.

    I don't blame them. They're just after the same experience I am, so after I let my chessie pee on their tires I tell myself to get there earlier next time. That's just the way it is and the way it's going to be. Outhustle the next guy or take up golf.