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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

  • February 14, 2014

    Shed Hunting: 5 Tips to Become a Better Bone Collector

    3

    By Scott Bestul


    Photo by Donald M. Jones

    Shed hunting is over-the-top huge right now—a sport all its own. Massive whitetail sheds command five figures at auctions. There’s a shed-antler record book as thick as a metro phone directory, and shed expos big enough to boast the Bud Girls. A “finished” shed-hunting dog can fetch $7,500.

    I know what you’re thinking: I couldn’t find a shed if it were full of gardening tools. Don’t worry. In the process of becoming an avowed shed head, I’ve learned several tricks that you won’t read in Shed Hunting for Dummies. Here are five that’ll make you a much better bone collector in no time. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 14, 2014

    Historic Drought Scorches California Fishing

    2

    By Kirk Deeter

    While a lot of weather attention is now focused on the eastern side of the country, what's happening (or perhaps more appropriately, what is not happening) in California may be a bigger disaster. And it's certainly something that should concern anglers.

    California governor Jerry Brown declared a drought state of emergency last month. Last year was the driest on record for the Golden State. And rivers are at historic lows — 2014 could see the lowest river flows in decades, possibly ever. And that could have a tremendous impact on California's fish, especially migratory species like salmon and steelhead that won't be able to push up rivers to spawn, and stripers in the Delta, which depend on steady flows of freshwater pushing through the system. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 14, 2014

    Stupid Pet Tricks: Fish On Wheels

    0

    By Joe Cermele

    I have exactly three thoughts about this video of a goldfish driving itself around in a custom-made RC tank. 1. Fish are much smarter than I think we give them credit for. 2. How neat would it be to have a bigger RC tank with a pet trout in it that just wandered around the house and came when you called it like a Lab? 3. I need it to be spring like tomorrow, because I'm spending way too much time watching goldfish driving RC tanks. Have a sane weekend.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 14, 2014

    Food Fight Friday: Leftovers Edition

    5

    By David Draper

    It’s no secret that I’m a fan of leftovers. In several past Wild Chef posts I’ve touted the value of them. I especially appreciate it when last night’s dinner becomes today’s lunch in a whole new form. This week’s Food Fight honors upcycling wild ingredients into dishes that could easily find a home on a diner’s lunch menu. And don’t forget, we would love to feature your fish or wild game dish here, so snap a photo, write up a short description and send them to fswildchef@gmail.com. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 14, 2014

    Redhead Toxik Bow Package Caption Contest Winner Announced

    6

    By Scott Bestul

    In an unprecedented flood of interest, we received over 1,600 entries for the latest Whitetail 365 caption contest. Obviously the Redhead Toxik Compound Bow Package was a prize worth fighting for, and the judges (Hurteau and I) did some serious arm wrestling — interspersed with loud guffaws — before we could pick a winner.

    Before we announce the new owner of the Toxik bow, we’d like to honor 10 entries that were whisker-close to bagging the prize. So here they are, in no particular order: [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 14, 2014

    Gunfight Friday: Weatherby Vanguard vs Ruger No. 1 International

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Today’s Gunfight is a face-off between Continental elegance and American practicality. Some like their firearms restrained and classy, others like them plain and practical. Both of these rifles are accurate game-getters.

    Fittingly, Edward Palumbo’s Mannlicher-stocked Ruger No. 1 International is chambered for the very European 7x57 Mauser, while Eric Kaneshiro’s Weatherby is chambered for the All-American .30/06. And, while on paper that may not seem like a fair fight cartridge-wise, it would be a tossup as to which of those two venerable rounds has taken more game in their long, useful lives. Here they are: [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 14, 2014

    We Need Our Public Lands, Now More Than Ever

    By Hal Herring

    The most powerful and effective anti-hunting movement in the United States is not PETA, or the Humane Society. It is not headquartered in any bustling metropolis; it has no representatives in Hollywood; it needs no beautiful, scantily clad women to promote its dark agenda.
     
    The most powerful anti-hunting movement in the U.S. is the loss of access to places to hunt and shoot. Every Field & Stream reader over the age of 40 is familiar with the problem. Not so long ago, a place to hunt could be had for the price of politely asking a farmer or rancher for permission. Now the question is how much can you afford to pay to lease the hunting rights or be a part of a hunting club. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 13, 2014

    Ice Fishing: Tactics for a Better Tip-Up

    1

    By Will Ryan


    Illustration by Samuel A. Minick

    Successful fishing with tip-ups begins with suspending the bait in the cruising lane of the fish. Pike, pickerel, panfish, walleyes, and bass often frequent the area about 12 inches above the weed tops. Here’s how to make sure your bait is in the strike zone and not buried in the grass. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 13, 2014

    Why I Still Love Hunting With Pump Shotguns

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Earlier this week my wife told she was tired of getting me the usual (sweaters, dark chocolate bars, books, bottles of whiskey and Scottish ales) for my birthday. She told me to go buy myself a shotgun instead. Who was I to argue? I found a used walnut-stocked 12 gauge BPS in great shape, with just enough dings in the wood that I won’t mind putting in some more. I’m thrilled to have a pump for waterfowl and dove shooting again.

    I wonder if I am the only one. By and large, Americans have voted with their wallets for semiautos over pumps. The sound of a pump shucking in the field seems to be going the way of the passenger pigeon. Pumps used to dominate trap and skeet but they are already pretty well extinct on the target range. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 13, 2014

    Fishing Photos: Fight Off Winter Blues with Thoughts of Summer

    0

    By Tim Romano

    As I type this, the South is in a deep freeze, the Northeast is getting clobbered yet again with some absurdly named winter storm, and the West is just barely starting to thaw out after what seems like weeks of sub-zero temps. And it's only mid February. When's it gonna end?

    After spending the past couple days editing photos, I was sucked into a world of tropical waters, big toothy fish, beers topped with limes, raft trips, and an overall sense of hate for old man winter. I thought the least I could do is share these reminders of warmth with you and potentially help everyone fight a case of the shack nasties, at least for a few brief minutes. 

    It's been a long cold one, but we're over the hump — March is just around the corner and the bass will be moving soon. Here's to spring. I hope it helps.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 13, 2014

    Video: 500-Pound Blue Marlin Attacking Dorado

    1

    By Ben Romans

    While trolling for sailfish and dorado near Los Suenos, Costa Rica on February 8, Captain Mark J. Garry and crew witnessed something big-game anglers live for: an estimated 500-pound, free-swimming blue marlin in full-on attack mode. The marlin was after a big dorado that couldn't seem to escape the crippling blows of the predator’s bill. It's escape tactic was to take to the air. Fortunately, Captain Garry had the wherewithal to film the encounter.

    “It wasn’t a good day to be a mahi mahi,” Captain Garry said in the video. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 12, 2014

    Recipe: Wild Duck Salmi

    By Jonathan Miles


    Photo by Travis Rathbone

    A salmi is an oldfangled, richly flavored game stew—often served, like chipped beef, over toast—that was a delicacy popular in the 1890s. This modern version is a luscious, soul-satisfying use for whole ducks. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 12, 2014

    Why Your First Lightweight Fly Rod Should be Fiberglass

    By Kirk Deeter

    I have a friend who is still somewhat of a newbie to fly fishing and needed some advice on picking out a new rod. He's been out a couple seasons with his 9-foot 5-weight graphite rod (the size many trout anglers start out with). Now he's thinking about branching off with a lighter model that he can use to chase smaller brookies and cutthroats in small streams. He asked about several high-end, fast-action graphite rods before I stopped him with a question of my own: "You ever think about a fiberglass rod?

    He shot back a puzzled look and said he had a little bit, but he thought fiberglass rods were somewhat of a novelty — the kind of rods you buy down the road once you've built up a full arsenal of graphite.

    I begged to differ. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 12, 2014

    Bad Bill: Oklahoma's 12-Point Antler Restriction Causes Hunters to Freak Out

    4

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Let a 10-pointer walk? That would have been the law if an incorrectly worded bill had passed the Oklahoma Legislature.

    Representative Colby Schwartz of Yukon, Okla., a deer hunter himself, introduced legislation that would have limited adult Oklahoma hunters to only taking deer with more than six antler points. As his bill was written, however, the proposed antler restriction would have been six points on a side.

    Angry deer hunters made their feelings abundantly clear with calls and e-mails. Some seemed to believe the proposal was a back-door measure to curtail hunting.

    "My e-mail is a little out of control," said Caitlin Harwell, Schwartz's legislative assistant. "We are by no means trying to take away the sport of hunting and keep people from hunting in any way." [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 12, 2014

    Ol' Elmer's 600-Yard Shot with a Handgun

    By David E. Petzal

    Life is filled with mysteries. Is there a sasquatch? What happened to Amelia Earhart? Why does Attorney General Eric Holder lack a chin? And did Elmer Keith really kill a mule deer at 600 yards with a .44 magnum handgun? It is, as Churchill said about Russia, a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

    The bare bones of the story are these. In the mid-1950s, shortly after Smith & Wesson introduced the Model 29 .44 magnum revolver, Keith and a rifle-toting friend were hunting mule deer and the friend, who was out ahead of Keith, shot and wounded a mule deer buck on an adjacent ridge. Since the rifleman was making a mess of things, Keith assumed a reclining position bracing his gun arm along his leg and commenced to shoot at the deer with a 6-inch-barreled Model 29. The first four shots were misses but Keith was able to walk the rounds onto the buck; the fifth hit him and the sixth killed him. Keith claimed the distance from him to the deer was 600 yards, and he was challenged on it the rest of his life. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 11, 2014

    Ice Fishing Tips: 4 Red-Hot Tactics to Help You Catch Fish All Winter Long

    0

    By Mark Strand


    Photos by Jeremy Smith/Top Water Media Productions

    When winter’s ice seals waters,  the puzzle of finding fish does not change. Unfortunately, the approach used by many ice fishermen often does little to solve that puzzle. Sitting in a shanty or watching the same tip-ups all day, waiting for the action to start, leads to a long winter with few fish.

    Pioneering ice fishermen like Dave Genz—a Minnesota angler who has developed many strategies now commonly in use, such as being mobile on the ice instead of fishing one spot all day—have refined several new approaches. The following four tactics are the latest and best in use on the ice today. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 11, 2014

    That Feeling You Get When You Realize You Only Brought One Wading Boot

    By Joe Cermele

    That's my buddy Nick in the photo below. Over the weekend he and I decided to make a 2-plus-hour drive west to hit a few Pennsylvania limestone spring creeks, because finding moving, fishable water that's not iced over closer to home is real chore this winter. I picked Nick up at 6 a.m. At 8:15 a.m. we pulled off a quiet country road in the hinterlands and got our first view of the gorgeous stream with its waving green watercress and little curls of rising steam. About 30 seconds later, Nick realized that only one of his wading boots made it into my truck. Cue panic. 

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 11, 2014

    Recipe: The Ice Fisherman's Breakfast

    0

    By Jonathan Miles


    Photo by Levi Brown

    Here's the perfect starter to a long, languorous day in an ice shanty. Though we tend to reach for the bacon or sausage, fish and eggs are a classic breakfast combination in many places around the world, and for good reason: They're great together. Even greater, of course, when the fish was just moments ago dancing on the end of a jigging rod. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 11, 2014

    Conservation Measures Suddenly Gain Momentum in Congress

    3

    By Bob Marshall

    In an earlier life, when I covered sports that involved balls, a coach once told me “Momentum is a factor because the players think it is.”
     
    You don’t need to be Aristotle to figure that one out. But the observation came to mind because there has certainly been a sudden, positive momentum to sportsmen’s concerns in Washington. And, just maybe, Congress is finally doing right by sportsmen because its members finally think it’s the right thing to do.
     
    Just days after the two-year struggle to get the new Farm Bill enacted finally ended in victory, three more important bills for sportsmen have a stiff wind at their backs. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 11, 2014

    ATV Maintenance Tip: Don't Neglect the Battery

    0

    By Rick Sosebee

    Getting your trusty ATV ready for storage after a great season of hunting requires a little more forethought than you may realize. One thing many people will neglect every year is the battery that spins life into your ride.
     
    Batteries come in many shapes, sizes, types and brands. With technology advancing as it has, you will find one on every machine. Most of the newer ATVs will have sealed maintenance-free batteries, which simply means they do not have to be topped off with fluids of any kind. These batteries Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries will still need to be charged though. Here are a few things to consider in order to protect that expensive battery when storing your machine for extended periods. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 11, 2014

    Why Lightening Up Your Load Will Make You a Better Shooter

    By Phil Bourjaily

    I stopped off at the Winchester booth during SHOT Show and spoke with one of their engineers about the company's new "Rooster" pheasant load. I had shot some at Range Day and the engineer asked me what I thought of it. While it did what it is advertised to do, it gave me a good whack on the shoulder, too.

    “I like it,” I said. “If it had an eighth or a quarter of an ounce less shot and was 100 fps slower so it kicked less I’d like it even more.”

    “I agree with you,” said the engineer. “But no one would buy it.” [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 11, 2014

    Survive the Zombie Deer Apocalypse in this Bunker

    By Phil Bourjaily


    Photos by Atlas Survival Shelters

    Because the zombie-deer apocalypse is nigh, everyone needs an underground deer shack. Atlas Survival Shelters of Montebello, Calif., will build you one made out of a shipping container or corrugated pipe. The one pictured above, is decorated in a deer-hunting theme and doubles as a hunting camp bunkhouse. This particular corrugated pipe model is 10 feet by 51 feet and costs somewhere in the mid-70s uninstalled. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 11, 2014

    NY Artist Transforms Antlers into Sculptures

    0

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Jennifer Trask transforms bones, antlers, and other found objects into flowers, necklaces, and other pieces of art. The flower pictured here is made of antler and bone.

    The Hudson Valley, NY-based artist was trained as a metalsmith. Some of her work incorporates bits of antique gilt picture frames. Some pieces are wearable; all of it is striking. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 10, 2014

    Rifles: Taking It Personally

    By David E. Petzal

    Granted that shooters are an odd lot (although no more weird than birders, who are really odd, or golfers, who are pretty much beyond description) but sometimes they really baffle me. A while back I wrote that through much of the 1950s, and into the early 1960s, Winchester turned out a lot of really crummy Model 70 rifles. As a result I got an e-mail from a pre-64 Model 70 enthusiast who was beyond livid. How dare I say that the Rifleman’s Rifle was ever less than perfect? Who the hell did I think I was? It was as if I had just whacked his old mom in the spleen with a grub hoe handle. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 10, 2014

    US Olympic Ski Team Films from Treestands

    4

    By Scott Bestul

    It looks as though Lone Wolf Tree Stands have made their debut in Russia—via the gear bags of the U.S. Olympic ski team. While doing a morning Facebook check, I ran into this clip on the Minnesota Whitetail Alliance’s page.

    While it’s clearly not the best footage in the world, I’m fairly certain that’s a Lone Wolf Alpha Hang-On. 

    I found it fascinating that the team has strategically placed five of these stands along the downhill course, each manned by a coach with a camera to better film the team’s skiers. No word on whether the coaches are spotting any big game from their perches. [ Read Full Post ]

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