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  • October 29, 2009

    Bourjaily: Slow Down To Speed Up

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Over the weekend I helped out at a Pheasants Forever Mentored Youth Hunt. PF, I should mention here, is my favorite of the single-species groups because they spend all their money locally, do good habitat work, and support youth hunting and shooting of all kinds. Anyway, it was my job to run three groups of kids through some shooting instruction before they went hunting.  I’ve done this before, and I learn more from watching the kids shoot than they learn listening to me.

  • October 28, 2009

    Petzal: How to Sweat Up A Ridge

    By David E. Petzal

    This past summer, a geezer friend of mine was railing at the current generation of hunters who roost in trees like so many spavined turkeys and rarely walk anywhere.

    “They haven’t sweated up ridges like you and I have,” he snarled.

    Sometimes, you gotta walk uphill, and if you haven’t done much of it, here are some tips from someone who has done a lot it and hated every yard.

  • October 27, 2009

    Bourjaily Eats Crow: Light Shotguns Can Be Great for Waterfowl

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Today’s first course is crow in a figurative sense:

    I have long insisted that the best waterfowl guns weigh a lot --  eight pounds or even close to nine – for  adequate recoil absorption. I believed they should have long barrels – 28-inches or even 30 --  and weight-forward balance.  I have said so in print many times.

  • October 26, 2009

    Petzal: Dakota Arms is Back from the Brink

    By David E. Petzal

    In 1987, Don Allen a retired airline pilot from Sturgis, South Dakota, and his wife Norma, founded Dakota Arms, a company that produced high-grade hunting rifles based on a design worked up by him and ace metal man Pete Grisel. The Dakota Model 76, the company’s basic model, was an immediate success, and was soon joined by other variations.

  • October 23, 2009

    Bourjaily: Beretta’s Real Dinosaur Gun

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Some of you expressed disappointment that the new Beretta A400  -- billed as a dinosaur gun -- turned out to be a mere 3 ½ inch 12 gauge.  While I think the A400 should be a dandy gun for ducks, geese and pheasants, it is admittedly on the light side for one-shot kills on larger sauropods. I would want more gun. In fact, I would want one of these.

  • October 22, 2009

    Petzal: Kind Words for High-Tech Hunting Gadgets

    By David E. Petzal

    Breaking up is hard to do.—Neil Sedaka, 1962

    Changing your mind at this stage of life is a lot harder than breaking up.—David E. Petzal, 2009

    Over the past decade and a half I’ve been braying to one and all about the pernicious effect that high-tech gadgetry is having on hunting. Now, however, I think it’s time to re-think things. A couple of weeks ago I went on a mule deer hunt in southeast Oregon, and while I and my rifle made it, my sense of distance did not. For whatever reason I was misjudging ranges by 100 yards or more, even at 300 and under.

  • October 21, 2009

    Bourjaily: Some Gold-Medal Shooting Advice

    By Phil Bourjaily

    That’s me with skeet shooter Chiara Cainero at dinner in Brescia, Italy. She is holding her gold medal from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which she won in a three-way shootoff in the rain.

    Cainero shoots way better than she speaks English, and I shoot better than I speak Italian (which is not saying much), but we were still able to talk about how she trained to deal with Olympic pressure.

  • October 20, 2009

    Petzal: Five Shots in One Hole

    By David E. Petzal

    If you have any doubt that we live in the best of all possible worlds, take a look at this. The five (yes, five) shots in the single hole in the bull were put there during the NBRSA Nationals in St. Louis. They were fired by a contractor from California named Tom Libby, and his rifle of choice was a 6 PPC. The group measures .093-inch, and the big sockdolaper is, it was shot at 200 yards.

    I am indebted to Mr. M. Coleman, gunsmith, raconteur, and philosopher, for the photo and the info.

  • October 19, 2009

    Bourjaily: A Trap Table Project from 4-H

    By Phil Bourjaily

    My friend Walter sent me this picture a while back from the Iowa State Fair. The fair is perhaps best known for the life-size butter cow and other butter sculptures* but you see all kinds of neat stuff if you wander around the exhibit halls. Walter spotted this trap-table in the 4-H hall. It won a blue ribbon for Marc Fullerton of Nora Springs in the Science, Mechanics and Engineering category and is solid evidence that 4-H still supports hunting, shooting and other wholesome activities.

  • October 16, 2009

    Petzal: The Conflicted Hunter

    By David E. Petzal

    Finn Aagaard, who was a hugely popular writer on guns and hunting and who left us, much too early, in 1999, was a great storyteller as well. Not long before his death, he sat down with a tape recorder and recounted his early days in Kenya, as a kid, in the bitter campaign against the Mau Mau, and as a professional hunter.

    Aagaard, who loved to hunt, and was responsible either directly or indirectly for the death of who knows how many animals, imposed strict limitations on himself about pulling the trigger. He did not hunt predators for himself, either in Africa or later when he moved to the U.S. He did not allow shooting to see something die. By the time he recorded the tape, as he says, he simply was not interested in seeing anything more dead animals on the ground.

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