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TOP STORIES

  • Killer Frogs

    Frog baits can lose their potency over time if you keep using the same pattern. These 3 tweaks will turn on the bite.

  • Kayak Culture

    The second-largest kayak fishing tournament in the United States takes place in New York City. Here's what it's like.

  • What's Next

    We asked our experts to peer into the future of hunting, fishing, and conservation. Here’s what they see.

  • Best Reader Photos, March

    Check out the 25 best shots from our readers and submit your photos for the chance to win gear.

  • Bowfishing Gear

    The only required gear for bowfishing is a fish arrow tied to a line that’s tied to a bow. But good gear does make it more fun and productive. These items are definitely worth having.

  • The Real Fly Girls

    Meet seven women with the chops and attitude to infiltrate the industry boys' club and wade into the mainstream.

  • Bowfishing Rigs Test

    Don't trash your whitetail bow shooting carp, suckers, and gar. Get a dedicated bowfishing rig.

  • The Drone Report

    Some sportsmen have started using unmanned aircraft for hunting and fishing applications. But, where do we draw the fair-chase line?

  • Small-Stream Smallies

    If you live in bronzeback country, small streams could be your best chance at big fish. Here's how to target them.

 

Top Picks

  • April 14, 2014

    How to Catch Monster Channel Catfish

    1

    By Will Brantley


    Photo by Bill Lindner

    I was bank-fishing the upper stretches of a Tennessee River tributary and could hear the fight: The sounds of a strained Zebco 33 in the hands of a 12-year-old battling a catfish a third his size aren't subtle. The kid bear-hugged the thing all the way up the mud bank to land it. No more than an hour later, I reeled one up that was even bigger, and it was heavier than any cat I'd ever caught in a farm pond. Since then, I've never underestimated small moving waters for big channel cats.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 14, 2014

    Wish Granted: Fly-Fishing Fairy Godmother Awards "Do-It-Yourself Bonefishing" Book

    3

    By Kirk Deeter

    Okay, so I now wish that I hadn't posted a picture of myself wearing a dress for the Field & Stream nation to see. 

    But true to my word, I am going to award a copy of Rod Hamilton's "Do-it-Yourself Bonefishing," which I do believe to be one of the best bonefishing books ever written to airbornedoc, who said: "I wish there was a snow cone holder on my wading belt."  

    I just got to thinking about casting on a hot summer day, and having a snow cone attached to my wading belt, and I thought, "Now there is a good wish!" Who wouldn't want to fish with a snow cone? That's pure fantasy, and that earns a book.

    Granted, there were many funny answers. (I really liked Cermele saying he wished that I did birthday parties… if this writing thing ever doesn't work out, I could a backup plan.)  I also liked po2p7so's "I wish they would start testing for HGH in these Miss USA pageants." [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 14, 2014

    Bear Attacks Florida Woman in Her Garage

    5

    By Phil Bourjaily

    A Florida woman was attacked by a bear in her garage on the evening of April 12, Orlando Sentinel reports. Terri Frana, who lives near Lake Mary in Seminole County, saw two bears in her driveway and, knowing her children were riding bikes nearby, went outside to check on her kids. She went into her garage where she found five bears eating her garbage. One attacked her, biting her head. The bear tried to drag Frana away but she escaped into the house.

    She also sustained bite marks to the arm and leg and claw marks on her back. She required 30 staples and 10 stitches to close the wounds to her head. Frana is expected to make a full recovery. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 14, 2014

    How To Learn From Those Rare Days When It Seems Bass Will Hit Anything

    9

    By Dave Wolak

    In the video below, you’ll see a man catch a big ’ol bass on a hot dog chunk and a Barbie rod. It sort of proves the point that no matter how technical and complex we make bass fishing, there are those scenarios where it seems bass will eat anything that hits the water. During those rare opportunities to catch loads of big bass in short order, the average guy is simply going to try to catch as many as possible until the window closes. But when I’m treated to an all out frenzy of fish, I use it as a learning tool that helps me greatly on those more common slow days.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 14, 2014

    I Have Pressing Business Elsewhere

    By David E. Petzal

    This was prompted by the convergence of two forces. First, I’m engaged in compiling a list of the people I’d least like to hunt with, and first on it is Old Five Deferrals himself, Dick Cheney, game hog and general menace. The second was the announcement that a member of a club I belong to had acted unsafely on the pistol range and had his shooting privileges suspended until he could be re-educated.

    Poor behavior with a gun can lead, in an instant, to a tragedy. The military, when I was in it, dealt decisively with unsafe gun handling on the range. You would be spoken to immediately and forcefully, and might find yourself scrubbing pots in the messhall overnight to remind you to keep the muzzle pointed downrange. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 11, 2014

    Recipe: Making Bannock Bread at Camp

    3

    By David Draper

    I’ve been reading a bunch of frontier history books lately, including Hampton Sides excellent Kit Carson overview, "Blood and Thunder." I’m always interested in what kind of vittles frontiersmen and explorers subsisted on as they pushed across the West. Certainly wild game made up an important part of their diet, but hardtack and bannock were also among the rations. While hardtack, a simple cracker made from flour, salt, and water, was much reviled, bannock bread was a welcome meal, and an easy one to prepare as long as some type of leavener was available. (Traditional bannock was often made without a leavening agent, but adding baking powder, buttermilk, or a sourdough starter made for a lighter, better tasting product). [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 11, 2014

    3 Things to Consider When Buying ATV Tires

    2

    By Rick Sosebee

    Sooner or later you will need to change the tires on your ATV or UTV. Choosing good replacements can be a bit confusing, but diligent research of tire reviews and knowing how each tire design affects the ride of your machine is crucial and a good place to start. Here are some simple things to think about when shopping for tires.

    1. Weight
    The weight of each tire adds to the overall weight of the machine but it goes a bit further than that. Heavier tires will put an additional load on the engine and its components as you ride along the trails. Be sure to choose a tire that can easily be turned by the engine of your machine. Larger displacement engines, such as a 499cc and above, have little trouble pulling most after market tires. But smaller engines will strain to turn more aggressive heavy tread. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 11, 2014

    Wendy's Vs. Burger King: "Super Official" Fish Taste Test

    5

    By Joe Cermele

    In case you ever thought about lowering your standards enough to eat the mystery patties that Burger King and Wendy's call fish, thanks to this guy who goes by Daym, you'll know which one has a better ground fin to ground gills ratio. I don't want to give away the outcome of this "super official" taste test, but to quote my man Daym, "Wendy's all stuck all up in my throat!" Have a great weekend.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 11, 2014

    Gunfight Friday: Mini-14 vs M1 Carbine

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Writing about his M1 carbine, Dr. Ralph supplied the theme for this gunfight: Big Boys’ .22s. Both rifles were designed for shooting more than paper and tin cans, but these two are primarily peaceful plinkers. Critics might say plinking is all they are suited for, since they are chambered for rounds that many argue are underpowered for combat. The Mini-14 is a .223, while the M1 is chambered in .30 Carbine. Both rifles were also designed, at least partially, by two very different American firearms geniuses. Sturm Ruger’s William Ruger adapted the Garand action to the Mini 14, while moonshiner David “Carbine” Williams came up with the basis for the M1 while serving time in prison. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 11, 2014

    Stop Using Bacon. Seriously.

    By David Draper

    Of all the game-cooking myths and missteps I preach about, telling readers to stop using bacon is the most likely to start fights. Bacon is so popular and universally loved that I’m almost scared to bring it up because I’ll alienate all my readers, but it’s worth talking about, if only briefly.

    Ever eat duck breast wrapped in bacon? Or bacon-wrapped dove? Or anything game covered in bacon? What does it taste like?

    That’s right, bacon. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 11, 2014

    Barrel Length: Shorter is Better

    By David E. Petzal

    Warren Page was once asked why most of his barrels, including his beloved 7mm Mashburn Old Betsy, had short barrels.

    “Because I gave up pole vaulting after high school,” Lefty snarled.

    Like most highly experienced hunters, Page came to learn that a barrel even an RCH longer than the absolute minimum is a hiss and a byword — more weight to carry, more length to snag on brush, and less accurate than a short barrel.  [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 10, 2014

    Holiday Spirit: Fly Patterns With Easter Grass

    By Joe Cermele

    Back in January, I posted a news story about Sister Carol Anne Corely, who is a long-time fly tier and trout fisherman. She also teaches the kids at St. John's School in Arkansas how to spin up bugs. In that article, it said one of her signature patterns is the Resurrection Fly, which incorporates Easter grass. The other day I was at the drug store and noticed the, um, entire aisle devoted to this colorful shredded plastic. Taking a cue from Sister Carol Anne, I decided to see what I could come up with at the vise. I figured for $.89 a bag, it was worth a shot, and if it was any good, I'd have a big enough supply with just two bags to last until the Rapture. Here are the five patterns born of this madness.

    Ol' Dirty Grasstard: Easter grass, I learned, is much more durable than Mylar or Flashabou. With that in mind, I figure this fly will withstand multiple pike chomps before retirement. The grass is pretty kinky out of the bag, but if you give the strands a stretch, they limp right up and should breathe nicely.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 10, 2014

    Secrets for Catching Bigger Trout on Local Streams

    1

    By Will Brantley, Joe Cermele, Mark Modoski, and Ross Robertson


    Photo by Barry and Cathy Beck

    If you live in the Rockies or Adirondacks, there's a good chance you've got wild trout and some true wilderness close by. Lucky you. As for the rest of us, spending a day on the stream might mean parking along the railroad tracks, hiking down under the power lines, and casting within eyeshot of the interstate bridge. Still, whether your local stream or river holds native fish or stockers, some tweaks to a classic trout producer and its strategic placement can score you bigger trout than worm dunkers will catch.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 10, 2014

    Gyotaku: The Most Ancient Form of Taxidermy

    4

    By Tim Romano

    The image you see here is a sockeye salmon "fish rubbing" done by my friend Scott Wells. The process is called Gyotaku, pronounced ghe … yo … tah … koo.

    "Gyotaku is the ancient art of fish rubbings. Fish rubbings are a very accurate way of recording the species and size of a catch, much better than hero shots along with their inevitable ‘hidden elbows,’” Wells said. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 10, 2014

    Deadwood Resurrects Famous Singing Coyote Sign

    2

    By Phil Bourjaily

    A neon sign in Deadwood, S.D. that pays tribute to Tootsie the Singing Coyote — it’s been a landmark for 60 years — will once again light up in the town’s historic district. The sign was damaged in a hailstorm last summer. It was restored at a cost of $5,200 to the city and will retake its place on top of The Spot liquor store, rapidcityjournal.com reports.

    Tootsie was captured as a pup in 1947 near Custer Park, and became an unlikely celebrity. Her owner Fred Borsch, owner of The Spot, trained her to howl along with his singing. The two cut a record called “South Dakota Tootsie.” [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 10, 2014

    Federal's First Test Gun

    8

    By Phil Bourjaily


    Photos by JJ Reich

    This is Federal Cartridge Company’s first test gun, a Model 12 Winchester purchased on Aug. 28, 1937. It’s in the hands of Randy Forstie, who works in the Federal gun room. This gun had been in use for 76 years until Forstie looked it up in the company records a few months ago and realized it was the historic first gun. He pulled it out of circulation and Federal may put it on display in the future. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 10, 2014

    NY Suburb's Deer Birth Control Program Gets Slow Start

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Organizers of a whitetail birth control program in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, admit the effort is off to a slow start, citing heavy snow, regulations, and “the unpredictability of the animals.” Workers from the Humane Society of the United States had hoped to catch 40 to 50 does and inject them with a birth control drug, but they have only caught eight after a month, The Associated Press reports.

    The contraceptive program, designed by Allen Rutberg, director of the Center for Animals and Public Policy at Tufts University, is said to be the first attempt to control a free-roaming deer population in a suburban area. “Free roaming” is the key word, unfortunately for the HSUS workers trying to capture deer. Heavy snow in the park the deer ordinarily call home drove the animals into the shelter of back yards, forcing workers to go door to door asking permission to capture deer. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 10, 2014

    Spring Scouting: The Search for One Killer Spot

    1

    By Dave Hurteau

    It’s finally spring, and I’ve been walking some of my hunting properties in earnest. As Hurteau and I have pointed out previously in this space, if you really want to know your deer ground, now — in the narrow window separating snow-melt from green-up — is the time to be out there. 

    Spring scouting has been my annual ritual for years, but most of that recon has focused simply on getting a better overview of a property and how deer use it. Lately, I’ve added a new, more specific, mission: finding, then setting up, one killer stand location for next fall’s rut. To be even more specific, I want that stand to be in or near a bedding area or other spot that’s difficult to set up during the season. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 10, 2014

    Are You an Ant or a Grasshopper?

    By David E. Petzal

    You may recall Aesop’s Fable of The Ant and the Grasshopper. In case you don’t, it went something like this: A grasshopper who sang and danced all summer was rebuked by an ant who spent the time in endless toil gathering eats for the cold months.

    “You watch, a-hole; when winter comes you’re going to wish you’d stockpiled food,” said the ant.  But the grasshopper just kept at the fun and games.

    Sure enough, winter arrived and with it hard times. The grasshopper, who was by then starving, went to the ant and begged for food. But the ant, who was just finishing off an ant-sized Beef Wellington with a very nice Chateau Latour, belched, picked a piece of crust from its mandible, and said, "Beat it, parasite. You had your chance,” and with that he picked up an ant-sized Bennelli M4 tactical shotgun and fired a round at the grasshopper’s feet by way of emphasis. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 9, 2014

    Perspectives from a Great Guide: Tim Linehan

    By Kirk Deeter


    Photo by Tim Daughton (Linehan left, Deeter right)

    I got to do something I have wanted to do for a very, very long time last week. I floated and fished with Tim Linehan. He rowed 16 miles of the Clark Fork in western Montana, and I casted along with Tim Daughton, product development specialist for the Orvis Company (this coincided with the 2014 Orvis Guide Rendezvous). The trout fishing was fair to good, but the day ended up being one of the most memorable and rewarding times I have ever spent in a drift boat. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 9, 2014

    How to Catch Monster Bass on Your Hometown Waters

    5

    By Will Brantley, Joe Cermele, Mark Modoski, and Ross Robertson


    Photo by Bill Buckley

    There must have been two dozen ponds and strip-mine lakes within a 5-mile radius of my folks' place when I was a kid. Back in those days, my buddies and I guessed weights on a lot of big bass. Our biggest ever was 24 inches long (we always had a tape measure), and we figured she was 9 pounds. I've fished top bass lakes in Texas and Mexico since then and have never caught a bass any larger. It makes me think twice about traveling for bass.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 9, 2014

    Gray Wolf Numbers Holding Steady in US Rockies

    4

    By Ben Romans

    Gray wolf populations in a six-state region of the northern Rocky Mountains are proving resilient to aggressive management practices.

    The overall number remained just under 1,700 at the close of 2013, according to figures released by various state and federal agencies.

    Despite warnings from wildlife advocates concerned more liberal hunting and trapping regulations would crash wolf numbers, the count is down just six percent since the animal lost federal protection in 2011, the Washington Post reports. Idaho saw the most significant drop in 2013 after broadening hunting and trapping regulations and hiring government agents in helicopters to eradicate entire packs. But it’s still home to at least 659 wolves. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 9, 2014

    Carp Tip: Get That Fly Muddy

    0

    By Joe Cermele

    If you're still one of those anglers that think carp of dumb oafs swimming across the bottom sucking up any morsel they find, I promise you're way off. Being a huge fan of flyfishing for carp, I'm always looking for any tip that takes the frustration out of constantly getting foiled by these picky fish. I picked up a great one shooting the latest Hook Shots episode. Turns out a little pond mud goes a long way. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 8, 2014

    What Happens if You Crack an Egg 60 Feet Below the Surface?

    2

    By Tim Romano

    Every once in a while I stray from fly fishing on this blog. Today is one of those days...  

    I thought you all would like this neat little trick from the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences. It shows the effect of water pressure on a cracked egg at 60 feet down. The pressure/ surrounding water acts as the shell, containing the yoke with 2.8 times the atmospheric pressure of the surface. It's a neat trick and relates pretty well to how swim bladders work in many fish. Just don't try this trick with any large fish that have a taste for raw eggs as shown in the video below. Enjoy. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 8, 2014

    The Foam Is Home To Epic Dry Fly Eats

    2

    By Joe Cermele

    This cutthroat, hooked by my buddy and fellow blogger Tim Romano last week on Montana's Blackfoot River did not, as you can see, cooperate for a quick mug shot. But the fish isn't what's important in the photo. Take a look at the thick layer of foam behind the cutty. The trout was one of dozens dimpling through this big swath of clean, rich, frothy goodness we stumbled upon late in the day. While there is no such thing as a bad dry fly eat, I have always found that finding trout and catching them when they're sipping in the suds is a special treat that can be more challenging and rewarding than targeting rising fish in clear water. 

    [ Read Full Post ]