By Scott Bestul
I just returned from the Quality Deer Management Association’s first-ever Whitetail Summit, held at Big Cedar Lodge near Branson, Mo. More than 200 hunters, property owners, biologists, researchers, and industry representatives braved a freak early-spring snow-and-ice storm to attend this inaugural event and discuss the hunting, management, and future of whitetail deer. It was a great forum.
Over the last couple of decades or so, we’ve reaped the benefits of the whitetail boom, but now many factors indicate that the bubble has burst, or is at least bursting. With that in mind, on the Summit’s second day, attendees divided into stakeholder groups (including Academia/Research, Hunters, Industry, Landowners/Managers, Non-Governmental Organizations, and State/Provincial Agencies) and each set out to identify the most important issues and challenges facing whitetail deer and deer hunting. [ Read Full Post ]
By David Draper
A few weeks ago I was up in Milwaukee, speaking about food at the 2014 Pheasant Fest. I ate plenty of good food while I was there, and had a couple beers of course, but by far and away the best meal I had was at Hinterland. I can’t recommend it enough. Along with Hank Shaw and several friends from Pheasants Forever, we were lucky enough to secure the chef’s table, and gave ourselves to the whims of Chef Dan Van Rite and the rest of his staff.
After an initial appetizer of roasted Brussels sprouts, I don’t think we saw another vegetable for about eight, or maybe nine, courses. Instead, we got salami, beef heart tartare, oysters, elk loin and I don’t even remember what else. It was all amazing and by the end I was in physical pain from the food, drink, and laughter we enjoyed over several hours.
One thing I did not get while I was there, but was featured on the menu, was the Pan Seared Duck Testes. [ Read Full Post ]
By Phil Bourjaily
Since we have been talking about long- and short-range waterfowl shooting lately, there has been some faint praise and some downright criticism of steel among the comments. It’s true that steel isn’t as effective as lead, but I really believe there is a lot of selective memory among hunters old enough to recall the days of lead. People crippled and sailed plenty of birds back then, too.
Even HeviShot, which is arguably deadlier than any lead load ever made, doesn’t kill everything it hits stone dead. Last season I had to make a 600-yard retrieve on a goose I hit hard with HeviShot 2s. I centered another bird at 15 yards over the decoys with HeviShot 4s only to have the bird hit the ground and then get up and try to walk away. That doesn’t happen often with HeviShot, but it happens. [ Read Full Post ]
By Ben Romans
If you’ve ever had an up-close-and-personal encounter with an angry wild boar, you know the business end of their tusks are no joke. Fortunately for a hunter in a recent video posted on LiveLeak, quick reflexes and good aim saved him from finding that lesson out firsthand.
According to the poster’s description, the incident occurred in Sweden. As the hunter stands post, scanning the terrain for movement and seemingly ready to react at any moment, a wild pig charges from his blind side. The man barely has time to react, but hits his mark, and likely saved himself from serious injury.
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By David E. Petzal
While pondering what the Rockwell hardness of the ice on my driveway might be, I was smitten by a blinding flash of insight—I will write two book reviews for Gun Nuts. (My best guess about the ice is Rc 70-72, and if any of you are concerned about the connection between ice hardness and book reviews, save it.)
Mastering the Art of Long-Range Shooting, by Wayne van Zwoll
You may be so sick of long range by now that you’d like to hurl on my Mac keyboard, but the fact remains that if you hunt enough you’ll eventually be faced with the choice of making a long shot or going home to eat your own spleen. There are books and Internet articles in profusion on this subject, but the ones I’ve seen are oriented toward competitive and tactical riflemen, and not toward hunters, and the authors almost immediately get into Heavy Math, which is about as comprehensible to most people as the workings of a cyclotron.
Dr. van Zwoll has written for hunters and made the subject comprehensible to the math-challenged and his approach is anecdotal. (I find it very interesting that he calls his book the art of long-range shooting rather than the science because when all is said and done it still is an art.) Wayne’s attitude is worth commenting on. In talking to me about the book he said, “I can shoot at long range but I prefer to get close. I’m a hunter.” [ Read Full Post ]
By David Draper
Earlier this week, America’s sportsmen and women got permission from Uncle Sam to hunt and fish on thousands of additional acres of public land. According to a recent press release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 26 National Wildlife Refuges will either be opened up to hunting and fishing for the first time or have opportunities expanded. Currently, regulated hunting is allowed on more the 335 wildlife refuges, while anglers can fish on more than 271 different complexes within the National Wildlife Refuge system. [ Read Full Post ]
By David Draper
When Field & Stream Deputy Editor Colin Kearns suggested a weekly post pitting food photo against food photo, I never thought it would make a successful three-year run, but that’s just what happened. Each week since April 1, 2011, a few Field & Stream staff members—and lots of loyal Wild Chef readers—have raised their hands when I asked the question:
“Who wants to fight?”
We had many epic battles among Wild Chef readers. MaxPower, SMC1986, Levi Banks, KoldKut, and Neil Selbicky, among others, regularly showed their chops in the kitchen or on the grill, and continually inspired me with new ideas about cooking wild game. Along the way we learned there were few keys to victory, what I called the Three B’s: backstrap, bacon and beer. If a picture featured one of those three things, it was likely to win. If it happened to have all three, the photo was a lock. [ Read Full Post ]
By Kristyn Brady
In the March 2014 issue of GQ, city-bred writer Rosencrans Baldwin tells the story of his first hunt, for Montana big game, under the tutelage of his foul-mouthed country-bred Uncle Cy. As a new hunter myself, Baldwin’s narrative "Learn to Kill in Seven Days or Less" is alternately relatable (“the thought of actually killing something this morning has my stomach in a boil”) and cringe-worthy (“I reach for my beer and accidentally point the loaded rifle at Cy's stomach.”) [ Read Full Post ]
By Will Brantley
To bowhunt turkeys without a blind, you need to learn how to shoot a bow while sitting flat on your butt against a tree. This video teaches you how to sit comfortably for long periods of time, but quickly bring your bow into action once a gobbler is in range. [ Read Full Post ]
By Ben Romans
Two bald eagles fighting near Portland, Ore., were so engrossed in their battle, they eventually became entangled in a tree, attracting neighborhood onlookers, members from the Audubon Society, and officials from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW).
The two birds were likely deep into a territorial clash when they snared one another with their talons and refused to let go, NBC affiliate KGW reports. However, the eagles separated and flew away just as a bucket truck appeared on the scene. One appeared injured but an ODFW spokesperson said it will likely recover in the wild. [ Read Full Post ]
By Tony J. Peterson
There are few things as uninviting as a mid-summer swamp or cattail slough. Swarms of mosquitoes, ticks, and gooey muck await should you choose to enter. It’s an invitation most hunters pass up, and that’s precisely why deer grow old in such places.
Provided it’s still cold enough in your neck of the woods (and the way this winter has gone, it probably is), right now is the perfect time to scout these otherwise tough-to-approach spots, as well as oft-overlooked islands in rivers and lakes. With the snowpack melting and the ice still holding strong, you can easily walk right to some of the best and most ignored fall buck hideouts. [ Read Full Post ]
By David E. Petzal
In my post of February 21, on the Harsey Difensa tactical knife, commenter Rocky Squirrel stated that the Difensa is targeted for throat-slitter and kidney-stabber Wannabes, rather than real throat slitters and kidney stabbers. I seriously doubt it.
The guys who run Spartan Blades are in earnest, and I don’t think they go to all that trouble to make a knife that someone will clutch in his sweaty hand while watching Survivorman or the Bourne Legacy.
But let us make no mistake: Without the Wannabe, the shooting industry would be a small, dismal shade of its present robust self. [ Read Full Post ]
By The Editors
If you're in the market for a new ATV and need a hunt to test it out on, look no further. Yamaha's Hunt & Ride Sweepstakes are offering a new quad, a whitetail deer hunt, and some Contour cameras.
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By David Draper
About the only thing I remember from my sophomore biology class is having to draw a microscopic cross section of a plant stem. All those little cells took what seemed like hours to sketch, but I guess the exercise worked in that, to this day, I understand how liquids – both water and sap – travel throughout the plant. Turns out, that knowledge could be useful in the woods. Researchers from MIT recently discovered that certain sapwoods like white pine can serve as improvised water filters.
Researchers collected white pine branches and stripped off the outer bark. The pine was then cut into one-inch long pieces and fitted into plastic tubing to create a filter. When researchers passed water through the sapwood, they found it filtered more than 99 percent of the E. coli bacteria present. They believe the tissue in sapwood used to transport sap also allows water to pass while blocking most types of bacteria. Most viruses will likely pass through these tissues because they are much smaller than bacteria, researchers say. [ Read Full Post ]