Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

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

  • June 23, 2008

    The Best Hat In The World

    0

    By Tim Romano & Kirk Deeter

    Tilleyhat

    This is the inside of a hat I've had for about eight years now. Quite simply I could not do without this piece of fishing equipment. If you can't read the label in this photo, here's what it says:

    THE TILLEY HAT- THE FINEST IN ALL THE WORLD

    INSURED AGAINST LOSS, GUARANTEED FOR LIFE
    (Replaced Free if it ever wears out)

    It floats, ties on (front and/or back), repels rain, blocks UV rays and it won't shrink. It comes with eight "brag tags" in the security pocket plus a four page owners manual.

    Ten ounce USA treated cotton duck; The best British Brass Hardware; Hydrofoil headband for superb anti-sweat comfort; handcrafted with canadian persnicketiness.

    Machine/hand wash warm frequently (sweat permanently discolours fabric). Reshape, Air dry, then re-stretch over knee.

    I love how those canadians spell color...

    Anyhow, I've lost this hat - twice. Both times it was replaced free of charge. The ties for wind protection are some of the most elegant simple pieces I've ever seen on a hat, it floats (trust me I've tried it), and the stash pocket in the top is perfect for a fishing license. If you want a hat that does it all call the folks at Tilley Endurables. You will not be disappointed.

    TR [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 23, 2008

    Discussion Topic: Duck Hunters Vs. Waterfront Residents

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From the Chicago Tribune:

    Elkhart[, Indiana,] resident Dottie Arnold said her home has been peppered with buckshot pellets from [duck] hunters across the St. Joseph River for a few years. . . .

    "I don't care if people want to hunt," Arnold said. "That's fine. But I don't want it around my house."

    The issue has drawn the attention of state Rep. Craig Fry, D-Mishawaka. He introduced a bill last session that would have prohibited hunting in counties with more than 250,000 people along any spot in a river less than 750 feet from a densely populated shoreline. . . .

    "Sporting groups think this is some sort of infringement," said Fry, who's a member of the National Rifle Association. "I think it's a safety issue.”



    What do you think?

    (And, by the way, what do you think of newspaper editors who insist reporters get their facts and terminology (such as “buckshot”) correct—except when it come to guns and hunting?)


    For more on this story, see also “Taking Aim At Hunters,” from the South Bend Tribune. [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 23, 2008

    Antelope-Poaching Energy Worker Gets Jail Time and Fine

    2

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Don’t think gas and oil exploration takes a toll on wildlife? Maybe you haven’t considered this side of the story, from the Billings Gazette:

    A magistrate in Sweetwater County has sentenced a Tennessee man to serve 100 days in jail and pay $6,000 in fines and restitution for shooting a doe antelope. . . . Officials say the case is only the latest in a disturbing pattern of out-of-state energy workers wantonly killing Wyoming wildlife. . . .

    Brett Johnson, Sweetwater County attorney, prosecuted Bowman and said he hopes the sentence sends a stern message. . . .

    "There's a real issue because of all the oil and gas exploration," Johnson said of the transient workers.
    "They're out there. There's very few other people out there, and there's a lot of wildlife. They don't think anybody's going to catch them, and most of the time, nobody does catch them. So I hope it does send a message." [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 23, 2008

    Man Saves Rainbow Trout From Burning Building

    1

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Your apartment building is on fire. You have seconds to grab your most cherished possessions and bolt out the door. What do you take? A family heirloom?  Pictures of the kids? Your wedding video?

    From The News-Gazette:

    [Drew] Gifford left the apartment barefoot, carrying a cast iron skillet of rainbow trout. . . .Firefighters later got a pair of flip flops from the apartment for Gifford.

    Clearly the right decision. I mean, think how overcooked the trout might have gotten otherwise. And the flip flops are a no-brainer. [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 23, 2008

    Too Much Accuracy?

    1

    By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

    The other day I re-read "Old Betsy," Warren Page's love song to his 7mm Mashburn Magnum, in the 1959 Gun Digest for the 2,105th time. Warren had more and more varied hunting experience than all of us have dreamed of, and he remains a voice of sanity in a world gone batty.

    Old Betsy killed 475 head of big game during her 20-year career, all sizes, all ranges.  She wore a straight 4X scope with a medium crosshair and would put five shots in 1 1/2 inches. If Old Betsy were delivered new today she would have a 2X-16X  scope with a rangefinder reticle, and her groups would get her sent back to the Mashburn shop with a note to Art Mashburn to please get the damned gun shooting.

    I think accuracy is a good thing, but we should not go any nuttier about it than we already have. One of my correspondents is an ammo maker who specializes in loads designed for use on very big game at close range. The first batch of ammo he sent me turned in freakishly small groups on the order of 3/4-inch at 100 yards. Two subsequent batches of ammo have grouped in 1/ 1/2 - 1/3/4 inches, and their maker is in despair because he can't match the accuracy of that first batch.

    I've tried to tell him that his cartridges are still twice as accurate as they need to be for their intended purpose, and that I would use them with sublime confidence, but my words fall on deaf ears.

    In a similar vein, or artery as the case may be, a friend of mine just got a .270 WSM from Mark Bansner, and with it came a test target whose 3-shot group could be covered with a dime and give back change. I will be working up a handload for this rifle, and will ignore the test group, because I think the load that produced it gives only about 3,000 fps, which is a nice velocity for a standard .270, but is about 200 fps too slow for a .270 WSM.

    I don't care if the loads I work up shoot into a half inch or an inch or an inch and a quarter, because it won't make any difference in the number of critters the rifle takes over its career. As I explained to the Bansner rifle's owner, the most important quality in a hunting rifle is not accuracy, but consistency.

    Of that you can never have too much. [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 20, 2008

    The Flyfishing Capitals of America

    By Tim Romano & Kirk Deeter

    Paul_fish

    I know some of you wonder how we at Field & Stream select "The Best Fishing Cities" and "The Best Fishing Towns" in America. I can't tell you, otherwise I'd have to keel-haul you. The secret rests in a vault somewhere next to Cindy McCain's cookie recipes. Let's just say, however, that the methodology is somewhere this side of ballots being burned and white smoke flying up the Vatican chimney; and just on the other side of flipping off the cap and letting the foam settle in my bottle of Fat Tire.

    Nevertheless, I feel inspired to leave you all this week with my own list of the "Flyfishing Capitals of America." There is no methodology here.

    The overall flyfishing capital of America: Denver, Colorado. We sport the highest concentration of anglers and fly shops, per capita, of anywhere. And we're the new home of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association. The fishing ain't bad either... trout, bass, carp, pike. I live here for a reason.

    The trout flyfishing capital of America: Bozeman, Montana, with all due respect to the Catskill region in New York and elsewhere. And no offense meant, Missoula or Ketchum or Jackson, but the motivated angler can stage from Bozeman and hit your rivers also.

    The striper flyfishing capital of America: Montauk, New York.

    The tarpon flyfishing capital of America: Key West, Florida. Same for bonefish and permit.

    The redfish capital of America: Hopedale, Louisiana. Love you Texas, but the big bull reds eat Cajun food.

    The bass flyfishing capital of America: Hill Country, Texas. How's that for a make-good?

    The pike flyfishing capital of America: Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

    The big rainbow and salmon flyfishing capital of America: King Salmon, Alaska.

    The big brown flyfishing capital of America: Bull Shoals, Arkansas.

    The smallmouth bass flyfishing capital of America: West Lafayette, Indiana. (That one's for you, Chad.)

    And the carp flyfishing capital of America... okay, you won me over, Gary Indiana!

    Agree, disagree... prove me wrong. In any regard, I hope you hook 'em up and have a great weekend!

    Deeter [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 20, 2008

    Class Dismissed

    1

    By Kim Hiss

         So what do you make of this incident in Vermont, where a grade school student was silenced by his teacher for talking about hunting in class? According to this Rutland Herald story the student, Jared Harrington, was discussing turkey hunting with a classmate during a free snack time, when his teacher reportedly covered her ears to block out the conversation, then told Harrington there was to be no talk of "killing" in her room.
         Harrington's father said that when he later confronted the teacher about the incident, the conversation ended with her asking him to leave the classroom (the paper noted there was some "screeching" involved in her request).
        According to Harrington's parents, the teacher then seemed to single out their son with unfair treatment such as assigning excessive homework. Citing freedom of speech issues, the parents took the incident up with the school board and ultimately decided to home school their son for the remainder of the year.
         Even if you're willing to give the teacher the benefit of the doubt, it's hard to come up with much to say in her defense. I'm not sure what I would have done as a parent in response to such a situation, but I will say I don't envy that school board's prickly job of finding a solution for it. -K.H. [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 20, 2008

    Discussion Topic: Parents Claim Teacher Silenced Son On Hunting

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From Vermont’s Rutland Herald:

    Saying their son was "silenced" by his teacher for talking about hunting in the classroom, the parents of a fourth-grade student at North Bennington Graded School took their son out of school and have taken their case to the local school board.

 . . .

    Jared Harrington's mother, Wendy Bordwell . . . said that, during snack time, Jared was discussing the recent spring turkey hunting season with a classmate when [Teacher Kathleen] Backus interrupted the conversation, insisting that there be no talk of "killing" in her classroom.

    Check out the full story and tell us your reaction. [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 20, 2008

    New Jersey Bear Update (Part Two): Cub Eyes Happy Meal

    2

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    And another, also from The Star-Ledger:

    A bear cub was reported scampering through the drive-through lane of a South Brunswick McDonald's today, police said.

    The young bruin was spotted shortly before 9 a.m. at the restaurant on
    Route 1, near Sand Hills Road, Sgt. James Stoddard said. At least three
    people called 911, police said. [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 20, 2008

    New Jersey Bear Update: State To Capture 13 Bears

    1

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Yet another reason for a hunting season, from The Star-Ledger:

    State wildlife authorities will try Friday to capture and "aversively condition" the three female black bears and 10 cubs that have taken up residence in recent weeks in Branchville. . . .

    The mayor and council members are skittish about the bruins because of a mother bear's protective nature of her cubs.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 20, 2008

    Religion and Fishing

    3

    By Ben Romans

    My senior year in high school, a pastor from our local church organized short prayer meetings very early in the morning every Friday before school started. These were the type of events most mothers would love their “perfect” sons to attend.

    So in the early fall and spring months, my brother and I awoke earlier than usual and left the house. My mom thought we were angels. Little did she know that we had our rod tubes hidden in the back of the truck. We'd drive to a nearby lake and had our own version of Communion (Krispy Kreme donut holes and coffee...Amen!), while patrolling the shorelines for bass and bluegill as the sun came up.

    She didn’t find out until a few years after graduation, but it didn’t matter. Like most moms, she scolded us as if it just happened yesterday.

    Whatever you do, don’t read between the lines here—the last thing I need is a bunch of angry mom calling me when their kids suddenly start ditching church. But I know I'm not alone here. There has to be some other great stories out there of anglers and hunters skipping class or (sorry, Mom) church for the sake of a morning on... [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 19, 2008

    Fly Fishing For Snakes - Funny or Stupid?

    7

    By Tim Romano & Kirk Deeter

    You decide.

    Today will mark the start of Funny or Stupid string of posts on Fly Talk. My mission is to find something I most likely will find pretty funny. I do, however, have a pretty sick sense of humor so I'm sure there will be many who disagree with me. So, let me know what you think - Funny or Stupid? Heck, I'm even open to changing the name of this weekly event.

    TR

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 19, 2008

    BuckTracker: The Case of the Lonely Doe

    5

    By Scott Bestul

    We don’t get a lot of reader mail here at Buck Tracker, but this note came in this week from a gentleman in Pennsylvania. He writes:

    Me and my neighbors are puzzled by a female deer who is always alone she is not afraid if one gets near her to throw some bread, apples ect.  But she is always alone no deer friends, family, just always alone.  We think she was kicked out of a tribe or maybe has a disease all though she looks perfectly healthy.  Thank you for your time me and nieghbors would greatly appreciate any info you may have.

    Without more information I am kind of reading between the lines, but I’ll take a guess that the doe in question is getting her share of handouts in the form of  “bread, apples, and ect” (whatever ect is..perhaps a new energy drink?).

    Well, funny things happen when people feed deer. Some whitetails will take a tidbit and remain nervous about it for life. Unfortunately others quickly get used to the program and start pondering such deep thoughts as “why eat tree buds?”  Or “welfare is so much nicer than foraging!” And—in the case of this creature, I’m guessing—inanities like “am I truly a deer? Or perhaps something cooler…a Holstein cow? A golden retriever?”

    Don’t get me wrong; I have fed deer in the winter and enjoyed watching their antics. It also gave me a warm, happy feeling inside. But I have the advantage of hosting a hard-hunted (and therefore highly nervous) herd of about 10 whitetails that—no matter how good the eats—are still scared to death of me. Plus, once the snow leaves, I derail the gravy train and let my friends fend for themselves. I suggest you do the same. In my opinion, your doe has not been ousted by her “tribe” and if she is vertical and taking nourishment she is probably not diseased. Of course, I’m wide open to further diagnosis from my Buck Tracker tribe…

    Your thoughts? [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 19, 2008

    Three Decades of Whitetail365

    0

    By Scott Bestul

    From the Kansas City Star:

    The Stevensons' home was amid an enclosed deer farm just outside of Bayfield. Esther sometimes complained about all the whitetail nose smudges on her patio doors. Stan even had one buck that joined him on runs through the property on numerous occasions.

    Stan Stevenson, 75, has gathered all of those memories - and 162 color photos - in a book titled, "Living With Deer."…

    The Stevensons had names for many of the bucks - Rambo, Butch, Wren, Pat, Rudy, Tripod (missing part of a leg), Gabriel and the remarkable Dasher with his 35-point nontypical rack. Many of the book's photos are snapshots of family members feeding deer, lying down with deer or petting deer. [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 19, 2008

    Whitetail News Roundup

    1

    By Scott Bestul

    Minnesota Simplifies Licensing For Deer Hunters
    www.startribune.com

    Kansas Deer Wrecks 14-Passenger RV
    www.kansascity.com

    Sundays Now Open To Alberta Deer Hunters
    calsun.canoe.ca

    Corned-Venison Hash, Anyone?
    www.postbulletin.com [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 19, 2008

    Discussion Topic: Bush, McCain, And Obama On Offshore Drilling

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    On Tuesday, Senator John McCain reversed a long-held position and endorsed lifting a 27-year moratorium on off-shore oil drilling, much to the consternation of environmental groups he seemed to be courting. On Wednesday President Bush joined him, asking Congress to end the federal ban and arguing that this and other steps would lower gas prices and strengthen national security. Democrats, including Senator Barack Obama, have denounced the plan, collectively calling it a flip-flopping political ploy that offers no real solution, will not lower energy prices, and represents another handout to Big Oil.
    Here are a few highlights, from . . .

    The New York Times:

    “I know the Democratic leaders have opposed some of these policies in the past,” Mr. Bush said. “Now that their opposition has helped drive gas prices to record levels, I ask them to reconsider their positions.”

    The Boston Globe
    :

    "This is not something that's going to give consumers short-term relief and it is not a long-term solution to our problems with fossil fuels generally and oil in particular," Obama said. The Democratic presidential candidate instead has proposed a windfall profits tax on oil companies and has encouraged massive investment in renewable sources of energy.

    The New York Times, again
    :

    The National Petroleum Council estimates that beneath the Gulf of Mexico’s eastern edge, there might be 36.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 5.2 billion barrels of oil — numbers that would require extensive exploration to verify. . . .

    [However:]

    A 2007 Department of Energy study found that access to coastal energy deposits would not add to domestic crude oil and natural gas production before 2030 and that the impact on prices would be “insignificant.”

    The Associated Press:

    The nation's anger over $4 gasoline is producing political theatrics at the White House, in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail. Republicans are demanding new drilling off the nation's beaches. Democrats want to tax away oil companies' profits.

    But none of the proposals has much chance of becoming law, and motorists would feel little or no relief if they did.

    Care to chime in? [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 19, 2008

    Flyfishing Carp-ital of America?

    9

    By Tim Romano & Kirk Deeter

    Conway_carp_2

    This just in from our good pal Conway Bowman in San Diego... the mako shark bite is happening big time, but it seems the good Captain has found another little fascination that's chewing up a lot of his free time. Conway's gone carp. And seeing how the guy holds a world record for fly-caught redfish, travels the country to make television shows, and diddles around with 200-plus-pound predators for kicks, I'd imagine the carpin' must be pretty good in So. Cal. to have lit his pilot like that.

    "KD, it's off the hook; I got a 20-pounder yesterday," he explained on a call yesterday.

    Which got me thinking: What would be the flyfishing carp-ital of America?

    Deeter [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 19, 2008

    Let's Pick Some Winners

    0

    By Tim Romano & Kirk Deeter

    Okay, let me see here...

    For the M.A.S.H. Unit flyfishing tales, I'm going with jpfarley, who shared the story about the gaff and Clouser stuck in the leg and head, respectively. Man, that's a tough way to win a fly line, but you did, so hit me with your E-mail, please, at editor@anglingtrade.com.

    And Blue Ox wins the books by admitting when he flyfishes it's like Winnie the Pooh with his head caught in a jar of honey, or "hunny," as it were.

    Good work, and I'll think of another giveaway soon.

    Deeter [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 18, 2008

    Welcome to Generation Wild

    0

    By Ben Romans

    If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you can agree with one—or all—of the following:

    You’re the one at school who rises at the crack of dawn to hunt turkeys before first period begins. You’re the one who puts off homework to fish for brown trout as soon as school lets out. You’re the one who’d rather hunt big bucks than play Big Buck Hunter.

    With me so far? Good. Because, whether you know it or not, you’re also one of many. Which is exactly why we created Generation Wild—an online community for young hunters, anglers, and outdoorsmen.

    In order for this community to really come together, we’re gonna need your help. First, we’re on the lookout for young gear testers. Translation: we send you awesome new gear, you test it out and then tell us what you think. Not a bad day’s work, right? Click here to learn how you can test cool new gear.

    One of our first tasks is to assemble a team of four Generation Wild Junior Pro Staffers. Just what comes with this title? For starters you’ll get to blog here alongside me. You’ll also receive new camera and video equipment, which you’ll use to post footage on... [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 18, 2008

    Discussion Topic: On Ohio’s New Gun Laws

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From WhizNews.com:

    A new Ohio law signed into effect this week, not only gives property owners the right to shoot intruders, but it's also changing Ohio's concealed carry law.

    Colonel Bryan Hoover from the Muskingum County Sheriff's Department explains other changes, " It . . . permits guns to be carried in retail establishments that sell liquor, as long as the licensee isn't consuming. It permits concealed carry in a school zone, when picking [up] a child or dropping a child off."

    The Sheriff's Department will now also honor concealed carry permits to those who've had their records expunged, where in the past they would've been denied.

    Meanwhile, the Castle Doctrine, portion of the bill gives the home owner the right to shoot an intruder, without repercussions, which raises an argument over whether or not this will lead to false claims of self defense in a shooting incident.

    Your reaction? [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 18, 2008

    St. Bernard Vs. Black Bear: Who Wins?

    8

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    If you’re guessing black bear, guess again.

    From the Anchorage Daily News:

    A black bear wandering through a Galena yard Friday afternoon decided to square off with a pet dog. This time, the fight wasn't even close, according to Galena police.

    "It was a St. Bernard and he tore the bear up," police chief John Millan said. "Wasn't a scratch on the dog either." [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 18, 2008

    Coyote Bites Turkey Hunter

    1

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From the Knox County Times:

    As far as Blaine Cardilli is concerned the incident last month with the coyote was not an attack. . . .

    What he tells people when he recounts the story is that the adult coyote "jumped" him.

    "It was a case of mistaken identity," Cardilli said. "It was not trying to attack me."

    Cardilli believes the coyote mistook him for a wild turkey. [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 18, 2008

    Make Mine a Double

    By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

    In my semi-long and dismal life I've owned just about every gun that anyone with taste could possibly want--except a double rifle. There is no earthly reason for anyone to own a double rifle, just as there is no earthly reason to own a ZO6 Corvette, but if you gave me either I would not turn it away.

    I came very close to owning a double rifle in the early 1980s. Safari Outfitters, which was then in Ridgefield, CT, got hold of a Westley- Richards Droplock, with barrels in .300 H&H, .375 H&H, and .458. It had a American-style stock FOR A LEFT-HANDER, and had been made in the 1960s for a majarajah who had never used it. The rifle cost $30,000 and I seriously considered taking out a second mortgage to buy it, but I didn't.

    Not only have I never owned one, but I've never hunted with a PH who used a double, or owned one. Mostly, they cost too much, and they are useful only on dangerous game. There is a myth that double rifles handle like shotguns, but that is a crock. A side-by-side shotgun weighs maybe 7 pounds while a double rifle in a serious caliber weighs anywhere from 12 to 15, and most of that is in the barrels. You tell me how something like that is going to handle like a shotgun.

    But a double will give you two very quick shots, and because it's more compact than a bolt gun, it can be very quick to maneuver in thick brush where much of the fun takes place.

    If you're in the market for a double, here's some advice: Don't get one in .375 H&H or smaller. A true double is .45 and bigger. Probably the most popular cartridge is the .470 Nitro Express, and if you can take the recoil, the .500 Nitro Express is even better. Get a boxlock rather than a sidelock; the latter cost a fortune if they're any good.

    Right now, I think the two best using doubles on the market are the ones built by Butch Searcy and Blaser. Searcy's rifles start at $15,000, and the Blasers begin at around $10,000. Both are first-rate working guns. The Blaser in particular has the best iron sights for a dangerous game rifle that I've ever seen, and you can carry it loaded but completely safe, which may prevent you blowing someone's head off besides that of the buffalo. [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 18, 2008

    Evolution of the Lantern Fish

    0

    By Tim Romano & Kirk Deeter

    I found this amazing short film via thisisfly a couple of weeks ago and have been meaning to share with all of you for quite some time. Basically it's an animation by Adam Gault on the evolution of the lantern fish. The crappy youtube resolution does not do it justice. If intrigued click here for the full res version. Be prepared to wait some time for it to load, but trust me it's well worth it.

    TR

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 17, 2008

    Whitetail Hunting…It’s a Gas

    1

    By Scott Bestul

    It is months away from deer season, and already I’m seeing more bucks—indeed, more deer overall—than I have in the last several years. This is surprising to me, considering the winter we endured in the upper Midwest, one of the toughest in recent memory. So it is a good thing to be seeing deer, and remembering their amazing capacity to tough out snow and cold and wind for months on end...and then start pumping out fawns and growing antlers and doing all the things they do so effortlessly each year.

    Still, even with all this good news, it is still too early to make any legitimate prediction about how hunters will fare in the upcoming season. Except, that is, for this: It is going to cost us a heckuva lot more money to chase deer around than it ever has. Here in Minnesota, gas prices are dancing around $4 per gallon, and though I used to ignore doom-n-gloom predictions about rising petrol costs, I’d have to be an idiot to do so now.

    So I’m looking into my crystal ball (which has a reflective prism into my bank account) and wondering what to cut for the fall ahead. How much will I save if I don’t run a scouting camera trail this year? Should I reduce the number of evenings I drive to my hunting spots and glass for bachelor groups? And though I’m lucky enough that, in a typical year, I get to deer hunt in two or three states, maybe this fall would be a good one to stick close to home. So what about you? Are fuel costs going to affect your planting and/or maintenance of food plots? Scouting trips? Actual deer hunts? Or will you bite the bullet and just accept high gas prices as necessary pain for being a deer hunter? Tell me your thoughts, and share the price of a gallon of unleaded (or diesel) in your area…. [ Read Full Post ]