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Big Game Hunting

  • December 30, 2013

    New Jersey Hunters Bag 251 Black Bears

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    By Phil Bourjaily

    Other states may have more black bears, but New Jersey has the densest black bear populations in the country, centered around the wild northwestern counties of the state, far from the Jersey Shore and Sopranoland. Bears raid garbage cans, eat pets and even burrow under houses and decks.

    Next year will mark the last hunting season of New Jersey’s five year bear management plan. This year, hunters killed 251 bears. Harvest has been decreasing as bears become warier and the success rate has declined. [ Read Full Post ]

  • December 27, 2013

    Treestand Tip: Install a Hang-On Faster and Easier

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    By Dave Hurteau

    http://ak.c.ooyala.com/hwdW82ajr12B1yJm_goqCftFf1FOwzWA/QCdjB5HwFOTaWQ8X4xMDoxOjA4MTsiGN

    If you’re still hanging stands for this season, here’s a tip that will help you get set up more quickly and safely. Otherwise, put it in your memory bank for next fall.

    As I say here, the most precarious part of hanging a lock-on stand, especially a heavy one, comes when you have to hold the weight of the stand with one hand while trying to secure the strap with the other. It’s an awkward, slow, and potentially dangerous process. [ Read Full Post ]

  • December 26, 2013

    Heart of Dixie: A Traditional Alabama Deer Hunt

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    By Jeff Hull


    Photos by Peter Bohler

    About 25 yards behind me is the Bald Cypress Sink, a completely flat pool of water beneath an unbroken coating of luminous green duckweed. Cypress trees rise from the water, their craggy fingertips draped in frosty veils of Spanish moss. Fangs of cypress knees jut from the mud. I'll hear anything running through there. On the other three sides I'm surrounded by a mixed hardwood forest this early January day in Alabama, and only the beech trees still hold leaves, so I have decent fields of fire.

    I'm awaiting the arrival of a deer, preferably a big buck scared witless by one of the two packs of hounds the Millwood Hunt Club has loosed in this 2,400 acres of pine and hardwood forest in Hale County, Ala. My old friend, Wade Brannon, has lured me here from Montana for one of the five or six drives the club organizes annually. Wade had ordered me to stay within 25 yards of where he dropped me off. There are about 75 guns in the field today, we're loaded with buckshot, and it's important to know where everybody is.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • December 26, 2013

    Our Kind of Christmas Tree

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    By Dave Hurteau

    Check out this amazing antler Christmas “tree” made by Caleb Stewart, my guide on a recent whitetail hunt with Gobbler N Grunt outfitters (gobblengrunt.com) in northern Nebraska. He constructed it in pretty much the same way as shown in the video below, except that animals, I suspect, were harmed (and eaten) in the making a Caleb’s version. Also, he simply wraps string lights on his.

    For the “trunk,” Caleb starts with 6-inch-diameter PVC, tapering to 4-inch and then 3-inch. He screws the antlers to the pipe in the same way as shown, drilling pilot holes through the antler and the PVC and securing with screws. Then it’s plumber’s putty and the same trompe-l’oeil technique to make it all look real. [ Read Full Post ]

  • December 24, 2013

    I have Seen the Future, and It Doesn’t Miss

    By David E. Petzal

    Roughly a decade ago, I spoke with a ballistician who told me that the future of riflery was in shooting at longer and longer ranges, and that the way we would get there was by the use of guided munitions that could be used in a sniper rifle, and directed, in flight, to the target through wire technology.

    He was right about half of it. We are now seeing shots taken, and hits made, at distances that were considered impossible a couple of decades ago. But this shooting employs a new technology that does not guide the bullet; it predicts where the bullet will go and does so with uncanny precision.

    The simpler form of this technology employs hand-held devices into which you feed highly precise information (An example: most shooters, when doing ballistic calculations, take a minute of angle to three decimal places—1.047. These new hand-held computers, however, take MOA to 12 decimal places.) Not only is the information more precise, but there’s far more of it — 14 factors, more or less. [ Read Full Post ]

  • December 24, 2013

    Buck Scoring Contest: Win Bowtech’s New Mystery Flagship Bow

    By Dave Hurteau

    Tis the season of wishing for certain things without any certainty of what you’ll actually get — of giddy suspense with a dose of mystery. So in keeping with the season, Bowtech is putting up their brand-new 2014 flagship bow for a prize — so new, in fact, that it has not yet been released. Which means you boys and girls will have to wait until after Christmas (and in fact after the ATA show during the first week of January) to find out exactly what’s under the red ribbon. Meanwhile, the fact that Bowtech’s last two flagship bows won back-to-back F&S Best of the Best Awards means you should be very excited.

    As usual, all you have to do is score some bucks. But we’ve got a twist here, too: blacktails and muleys. Bowtech, after all, is headquarted in Oregon, and why should this be easy? [ Read Full Post ]

  • December 20, 2013

    Idaho Director of Greater Yellowstone Coalition Pleads Guilty to Poaching

    By Ben Romans

    Marv Hoyt, the Idaho director of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition (GYC), an agency that tasked itself with protecting water, land and wildlife (including elk) in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, is leaving his position after admitting to killing three elk and leaving two to waste this past hunting season.

    According to the Idaho Statesman, Idaho Fish and Game officer Blake Phillips found one dead elk while hunting November 9th in Idaho’s Nate Canyon area. He called in two other officers to help with an investigation which uncovered three dead elk within 100 yards of one another, but only one with the meat removed. They noted the other two, including one camouflaged with branches cut from a nearby tree, were shot in the hind quarter, then dispatched in the head at close range, and left to waste. [ Read Full Post ]

  • December 19, 2013

    Video: Bison Riding Shotgun

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    By Phil Bourjaily

    If only we could all have bison as pets. Jim Sautner of Spruce Grove, Alberta, who has actually had two pet bison indroduces us to Baily D. Bison Jr., who is still growing at 1,600 pounds. The original Bailey weighed 2,200 pounds as a full-grown adult. [ Read Full Post ]

  • December 19, 2013

    Snow Silence

    By Dave Hurteau

    Photo By: Coy Hill

    Both of my freezers are full. There’s no real need for me to take another deer, which is perfect this time of the season. It means I can head for the big woods, deep into the low conifers and the high beeches, where a northeastern hunter ought to be once there’s the promise of snow. It means I needn’t give a thought to what might walk under my treestand down on the farm. It means I can take my muzzleloader for a long, quite walk in the timber, and probably not see deer, and not care one way or another.

    So that’s what I did. On the morning of the season’s first snowfall, which had started as sleet in the middle the night but turned into big wet flakes by dawn, I walked a straight mile toward the first bedding ridge where hemlocks rise to a granite knob. If you’re very lucky, you can sit here and watch deer below as they filter in to bed against rock’s south-facing base. [ Read Full Post ]

  • December 18, 2013

    Video: Cape Buffalo Defends Brethren, Flips Lion

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    By Tim Romano

    A South African lion bites off more than it can chew in this viral video posted last week when a buffalo reverses roles and attacks, tossing the lion several feet into the air.

    A description from the Daily Mail says Ian Matheson and his son Oliver were on a game drive at the Mjejane Reserve in South Africa, but didn’t expect to see lions trying to make a kill, or for one buffalo to come to the aid of another. [ Read Full Post ]

  • December 17, 2013

    Panel Recommends Removing Grizzly Bear Protections

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    By Ben Romans

    An oversight panel recommended last week that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lift Endangered Species Act protections from grizzly bear populations in the northern Rocky Mountains, according to the Washington Post.

    If the agency agrees, it could announce its decision in as little as a month and begin the process for removing the animal’s threatened-species status, and open the door to possible sport-hunting opportunities in the future. [ Read Full Post ]

  • December 17, 2013

    Video: Trophy Hunting for Christmas Trees

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    By Ben Romans

    A video recently posted on Guns.com shows there’s more than one way to take down a Christmas tree. If you try this one at home, please remember one of the cornerstones of firearm safety: Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

    Which caliber do you prefer for Christmas tree hunting?

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • December 16, 2013

    Potential World-Record Buck, But Is It Worthy?

    By Scott Bestul

    Frankly, I was getting worried. The 2013 deer season is winding down, and to date we have not entertained one rumor—nary a hint—of a world-record whitetail. But that’s all changed. Last week, my friend, veteran B&C scorer, and Heartland Outdoors blogger Tim Walmsley sent several photos (including this blurry one) of this colossal buck. Rumor has it that the buck was arrowed in northeastern Iowa and scores in the neighborhood of 206 inches, which mean this buck could (assuming the measurement is accurate and holds up) threaten one of the most iconic trophies of all time. [ Read Full Post ]

  • December 16, 2013

    Six Great Cookbooks for Christmas

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    By David Draper

    My family knows cookbooks make great gifts for me, as evidenced by the overflowing bookshelf in my kitchen. While I appreciate all of them, more than a few become all-time favorites that I turn to again and again. If you’re making a late Christmas wish list or are looking for ideas for the Wild Chef in your family, here are five new cookbooks worth considering. [ Read Full Post ]