By David Draper
The other day I pulled this package of meat from our freezer—a steak that had been given to us by my girlfriend T. Rebel’s dad from the cow elk he shot last fall. The label instantly transported me back more than 30 years. I hadn’t heard the phrase “minute steak” since my childhood, when it meant a round steak smothered in canned tomatoes, onions, and green peppers served over rice, best known in the Draper household as Swiss steak. I don’t know why the Swiss get blamed for this classic concoction of busy mothers everywhere, but I’m betting it’s a dish familiar to any American who grew up anytime between 1950 and 1990. [ Read Full Post ]
By Will Brantley
A mouth call’s versatility is tough to beat, and the hands-free operation is a huge asset when turkeys are in close. But it’s unquestionably the most difficult type of call to master, especially when it comes to the subtle sounds, like clucks and purrs. Both sounds require soft, controlled air flow to replicate, but it can be difficult to blow the average mouth call that softly while still vibrating the reeds enough to make noise. [ Read Full Post ]
By T. Edward Nickens
Photos by Andrew Hetherington
The hounds have turned. I hear them in the distance, echoing off the rolling, snow-clad Maine hills. A chorus of barks and yips morphs into a clamor of bawling chops and ringing howls, sharp as breaking glass. And they’re headed my way.
I shift in my snowshoes, breathing hard. For a half hour I’d clambered over blowdowns and shouldered through cedar thickets so tightly grown the snowshoes hardly fit through. It’s my first try at chasing rabbits with tennis rackets strapped to my feet, and I don’t want to lose sight of Joe Ewing, the man I’m following through dense cover. [ Read Full Post ]
By David E. Petzal
In my post of October 21 of last year, I pointed out that there were similarities between the catastrophic debut of Obamacare and the law requiring registration of AR-type firearms foisted on the Nutmeg State shortly after the shooting at Newtown in December 2012. Healthcare.gov. seemed to have been put together by Moe, Larry, and Curly, and today, despite fixes to the website and all manner of backtracking by Obama & Co., only 11 percent of new enrollees are citizens who didn’t have health care before.
Why? In addition to good old American mismanagement, Congress miscalculated how people would react.
[ Read Full Post ]
By Phil Bourjaily
Seventeen states have passed amendments to protect hunting and fishing. Indiana has been trying to pass a similar “right to hunt and fish” amendment since 1998 and once again, the measure has faltered.
State Senator Brent Steele, (R-Bedford) says the amendment is more than symbolic.
By M.D. Johnson
Photos by Luke Nilsson, Turkey photo by Sam Zierke/Windigo Images
Take on this little project before turkey season starts: Get your glass call ready for natural yelps, clucks, and purrs. Here's how to do it the right way. [ Read Full Post ]
By Jonathan Miles
Photo by Johnny Miller
Craig Wallen, the chef at New York City’s ’Cesca restaurant, does an amazing thing with rabbit: Employing an old Italian method of preserving meats and vegetables called sott’olio, he submerges rabbits in oil and slow-cooks them until the meat is tender and rich. Then he dresses the warm meat in a salad for a perfect counterbalance. The only difficult part of this recipe is pouring that much oil into a pot—but it’s worth it. Be sure to fish the garlic out of the oil for later: Spread the cloves on toasted bread for a killer snack. [ Read Full Post ]
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.
[ Read Full Post ]
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 ]