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Bird Hunting

  • September 5, 2013

    Things I've Learned Over the Years About...Hunting Pants

    By David E. Petzal

    I am all for pants, or trousers, whichever, and think that all hunters should wear them unless they are Highland Scots or Greeks.* Here some things I’ve learned about pants over the years.

    There are few things worse than tight hunting pants. If your normal waist size is 36 and you buy 36 pants, by the time you finish tucking in longjohns, a couple of undershirts, and a heavy shirt, you’ll find your guts are constricted. Buy one size larger than the waist size you normally take. [ Read Full Post ]

  • September 4, 2013

    Dove Hunting: Have the Perfect Opening Day This Fall


    By T. Edward Nickens

    Photo by Dusan Smetana

    They come so fast I can’t keep track. Birds to left and right, birds overhead, birds from behind, all at once, from everywhere, going and coming and crossing both ways. It isn’t always like this, but there is nothing quite like it when doves find the field.

    I shoulder the shotgun and pull the trigger twice. The bird streaks across blue sky like a gray meteor plummeting to earth, falling deep into the standing corn. That one’s down hard. Draw a line from my 5-gallon bucket to that tall pine sticking up from the oaks on the field edge and it’s right there, maybe 60 yards out. I let my eyes linger on the landmark, burning it into my brain. I have a second dove down to the left—another straight line to a dead snag over the pond dam where the bird should be just inside the tall grass, right by the fence post. The third bird, I see it on the ground, still and gray, a single feather caught in a cornstalk to mark its fall.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • August 28, 2013

    Dove Hunts: How To Answer the "Can I Bring My Dog?" Question

    By Phil Bourjaily

    With dove seasons opening and the rest on the way, hunters and their dogs are off the couch and back in the field. If you are putting together a hunt, you will have to face the question: “Can I bring my dog?” Eddie Nickens passed along this answer, which is, I think, the final word on the question. Here’s Eddie:
    As my buddy Harold Cooley was planning on annual Southern-style dove hunt, he was asked if he would mind letting a few hunters bring along their dogs. Cooley wasn’t so sure about that, so he tossed the question over to his pal Lee Holder, a dog man, as they say around here, from the word “go.” [ Read Full Post ]

  • August 26, 2013

    Review: Four Best New 20-Gauge Duck Shotguns

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Teal season. Wood-duck hunts. Opening day, when mallards want to land on your head. The list of duck hunts that don’t require a shoulder cannon runs long. In fact, the average shot at decoying waterfowl is less than 30 yards, and with improved steel duck loads, a 20-gauge is up to the job on nearly any day of the season. Splurge on Hevi-Shot and a 20 can do anything a 12 loaded with steel can. The light weight and low recoil make the 20 a great choice for newcomers and smaller hunters, too. [ Read Full Post ]

  • August 23, 2013

    Longest Duck Call: Illinois Hunters Look to Beat World Record


    By Ben Romans

    Last weekend at an Illinois outdoor expo, two hunters from eastern Illinois unveiled a 56-inch long wooden duck call. Their creation has a chance at besting the current Guinness World Record for longest duck call.
    According to an article from The News Gazette, Mark Hillery and his son Damen began building duck and goose calls as a hobby, but when friends began making requests and Hillery and his son starting filling word-of-mouth sales orders, the hobby turned into a business venture. [ Read Full Post ]

  • August 22, 2013

    The Truth About Shotgun Ammo

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Our tests at a high-tech ballistic research laboratory may change the way you buy loads and guns...and even how you hunt.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • August 19, 2013

    Video: Grilling with Knob Creek Bourbon


    By David Draper

    Earlier this summer, bourbon maker Knob Creek introduced a partnership with celebrity chef Michael Symon hosting a “Meat Master Class” video series highlighting some of his grilling techniques and recipes using Knob Creek in dishes other than cocktails. The term “master class” might be a stretch as a lot of the information Chef Symon presents is stuff Wild Chef readers should already know, but the series is worth checking out if only for the recipes. In this particular episode, Chef Symon grills up some burgers with bourbon-infused caramelized onions. Upon further investigation, I also found the recipe below on the Knob Creek Website. While Chef Symon suggests using the glaze on pork, I think it would work just as well on a grilled duck breast or even pheasant. [ Read Full Post ]

  • August 16, 2013

    $3.8M NJ Lotto Winner Wants to Fish and Hunt Every Day

    By Ben Romans

    What are the odds that on the same day the new season of Duck Dynasty is set to premiere, a lucky lotto winner, Will Seeley, appears on the Today Show, looking like one of the duckmen himself, and says his newfound fortune is going to allow him to quit work and spend more time at his cabin in the woods, hunting and fishing—every day. What a life. [ Read Full Post ]

  • August 16, 2013

    12 Shooting Drills That Will Make You A Better Hunter


    By Phil Bourjaily, T. Edward Nickens, David E. Petzal and Layne Simpson

    Shot a bull's-eye from the benchrest? Got 20 out of 25 at the trap range? Great—but they won't get you that 10-pointer when your heart is hammering your ribs, or drop those dives that come out of nowhere. Our dozen drills simulate real hunting situations, complete with sweat and adrenaline and the need to shoot right now. Use them to be ready for whatever walks, runs, or flies by you this fall and earn your "merit badge."

    Photo by Andrew Hetherington [ Read Full Post ]

  • August 16, 2013

    Gun Nut Challenge #10: The Sneaky Gobbler


    By Phil Bourjaily

    Photo by Andrew Hetherington

    Some turkeys come in silently from an unexpected quarter, catching you set up to shoot in the wrong direction. That means you have to shift either a little or a lot, depending on the bird’s position.

    A slow and smooth draw results in a more accurate shot, but turkeys will notice any movement. You only get a few seconds to shoot before the bird runs away. [ Read Full Post ]

  • August 16, 2013

    Gun Nut Challenge #8: The Goose That Slips to the Side


    By Phil Bourjaily

    Photo by Andrew Hetherington

    The goose hunter who’s set up at the end of the line of blinds is the one who gets the go-ahead to shoot the bird that skirts the decoys. When such a situation arises, you need to open the blind doors, sit up, and keep your muzzle below the line of the target as you swing on the bird that’s passing to the side of the spread.  Right-handers have trouble shooting birds passing to the right, as explained in the Advanced Challenge, which shows why every goose setup should have a left-handed shooter (I am available). [ Read Full Post ]

  • August 14, 2013

    Historic Guns From the NRA's New National Sporting Arms Museum


    By Ben Romans

    Across the country there are museums honoring or promoting the sporting life and conservation—the American Museum of Fly Fishing and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s headquarters, respectively, are two good examples. Likewise there are numerous firearms museums scattered about the U.S. But there hasn’t been a noteworthy attempt to pay homage specifically to the tool of some of our most honored outdoors traditions—the sporting firearm—until now. [ Read Full Post ]

  • August 12, 2013

    New Hunting Laws to Curb Game Waste, Fight Poaching in Illinois

    By Ben Romans

    Illinois Governor Pat Quinn recently signed a bill commonly referred to as the “wants and waste bill”—a new law that requires hunters to use all edible parts of harvested animals, and specifies how and where to dispose of carcasses.
    According to the Quincy Herald Whig, the new law is among five others intended to discourage poaching, help curb the waste of edible meat on game animals, and prevent wanton discarding of carcasses. Illinois Department of Natural Resources director Matt Miller says 18 percent of the calls received by the state’s poaching hotline were to report dumped carcasses.
    “It does not follow our idea of fair chase and ethics,” Miller said. “We would like to put (the bill) in place so we can get at those folks who are doing that. It gives us another tool to fight poaching.”
      [ Read Full Post ]

  • August 8, 2013

    Louisiana Authority Files Suit Against 97 Energy Companies For Wetlands Damages


    By Bob Marshall

    The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, charged with operating and maintaining the levees and floodwalls that must keep storm surge out of much of metro New Orleans, filed suit against 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies for their roles in the disastrous wetlands loss in the region. 

    The authority claims by removing the marsh and swamps that once acted as sponges cushioning storm surge, the companies increased the risk to its levee systems, resulting in higher costs to provide protection for the metro area.

    Decades of research prove that such dredging is a major cause for the catastrophic loss of Louisiana’s coastal estuaries. [ Read Full Post ]