Huge elk, big bucks , nice trout and funny trail cam pics: these are the 50 best photos taken by our readers in October.
Go find a pumpkin, carve it up, take a picture, and enter the photo in our 2012 Pumpkin Carving Contest. We'll give some great prizes from Gerber to the most creative jack-'o-lantern carved in a hunting, fishing, survival, or shooting theme.
By Chad Love
Move over mountain lions, there's a new cat in town, and yesterday it received its own Rhode Island-sized piece of ground to roam in...
From this story on scientificamerican.com:
Jaguars, the third-largest cats after lions and tigers—and the biggest in the Western Hemisphere—used to live here. During the 18th and 19th centuries they were spotted in Arizona, New Mexico, California and Texas. Sometimes the cats roamed as far east as North Carolina and as far north as Colorado. [ Read Full Post ]
By Chad Love
Many of you are probably familiar with the books and stories of Jim Fergus. Although primarily a novelist these days, Fergus was at one point an active hook-and-bullet freelancer (in fact, he recently wrote a piece for F&S). He also penned two very good non-fiction books: "A Hunter's Road" and "The Sporting Road." "A Hunter's Road" is his chronicle of a season spent bird hunting across the country, and "The Sporting Road" is mostly a collection and expansion of some of his better magazine pieces. Both are, I believe, out of print, but can be easily found online and well worth your time.
Anyway, Fergus wrote a screamingly funny piece in "The Sporting Road" I think we can all relate to in some way. Its title? "A Close Call With The Dog Cops," in which Fergus is walking his lab, Sweetzer, off-lead but at heel and in control at a city park when he's confronted by, of course, the dog police. Papers and identification for both dog and man are demanded, dog and man are threatened with incarceration, dog and man make a run for it, escape in comical manner, and all ends well. [ Read Full Post ]
By Bob Marshall
A press release from the Department of Interior last week held some of the best news in recent years for sportsmen—and the quality of life of all Americans: After decades of steady declines, the number of hunters and anglers in the U.S. showed significant increases over the last five years.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation showed the number hunters and anglers increased 9 and 11 percent respectively, part of the 38 percent of all Americans who participated in wildlife-related recreation. That was an increase of 2.6 million participants from the previous survey in 2006. A Service spokesperson said the survey, which has been done every five years since 1955, last showed an increase was in the late the 1980s — which means we've halted a 30-year slide. [ Read Full Post ]
By Chad Love
The brilliant cyberpunk novelist William Gibson may, or may not (it's attributed to him, anyway) have once said, "the future is already here - it's just not evenly distributed yet." Why, you may ask, am I leading off this ostensibly hunting and/or fishing news blog post with a quote from a semi-obscure cult sci-fi novelist? Because the future of game camera technology is here - it's just not evenly distributed, nor is it quite tailored for hunting...yet.
From this story in the Boston Globe:
They are better known as stealthy killing machines to take out suspected terrorists with pinpoint accuracy. But drones are also being put to more benign use in skies across several continents to track endangered wildlife, spot poachers, and chart forest loss. Although it is still the ‘‘dawn of drone ecology,’’ as one innovator calls it, these unmanned aerial vehicles are skimming over Indonesia’s jungle canopy to photograph orangutans, protect rhinos in Nepal, and study invasive aquatic plants in Florida...Relatively cheap, portable, and earth-hugging, the drones fill a gap between satellite and manned aircraft imagery and on-the-ground observations, said Percival Franklin at the University of Florida, which has been developing such drones for more than a decade. [ Read Full Post ]
By David Draper
When you live in the sticks like I do, it can sometimes take a few years for culture from either coast to reach you. That’s my excuse for not knowing about Meatopia, a carnivorous food fest that has apparently been going on in New York City for the past several years. Normally, I would never encourage anyone to visit NYC, especially in early September when hunting seasons are getting underway, but I’m going to say, if you happen to be free on September 8, this might be one event worth attending.
Meatopia is the work of noted food author, host of Ozersky TV and admitted carnist, Josh Ozersky. The event is just what it sounds like: a celebration of all things meat related with nearly 40 teams of chefs and cooks creating a vast array of dishes, all for sampling. This year, the theme is City of Meat, and Ozersky has broken up the Randall’s Island Park site into eight neighborhoods, including one called the Meatopia County Game Reserve. Here, booths will offer New Yorkers a taste of the wild—or as wild as domesticated game can taste. One of these teams will be made up of active Navy SEAL Team Six members grilling up some venison steaks and marinated tenderloin. Other game dishes on the extensive menu include squab rilletes and smoked duck neck gumbo. [ Read Full Post ]
By Chad Love
The headline to this next story may seem funny (OK, so it really is) but anyone who's ever fished out of a float tube knows that beavers can be really scary. And rabid beavers? Nothing says terror like a crazed, rabid beaver coming at you when you least expect it. Luckily, however, Boy Scouts are prepared for that, too.
From this story on cbsnews.com:
A rabid beaver that attacked a Boy Scout leader swimming in the Delaware River was killed after Scouts in the troop pelted it with rocks. The Poughkeepsie Journal reports that 51-year-old Normand Brousseau, of Pine Plains, N.Y., was swimming in eastern Pennsylvania on Aug. 2 when a beaver swam through his legs and bit him in the chest. "I thought it was a giant carp fish," he told the paper. [ Read Full Post ]
By Chad Love
Living in a rural area, I've had to trap my share of nuisance coons, and I can say without reservation that I've never, ever encountered a raccoon with a yellow streak. When cornered, they're pretty damn fierce. But Pennsylvania raccoons? They've definitely got a yellow streak.
While repainting traffic lines, road crews in Pennsylvania inadvertently laid a fresh coat of yellow paint over an unforeseen obstruction. A dead raccoon, seen by motorists earlier this week, was caught beneath the paint gun of the crew’s vehicle. A motorcyclist, Sean McAfee, noticed the coated road kill on his way home from work and took a photo of the flattened critter covered with yellow paint. “When I saw it, I almost wrecked my motorcycle because I was laughing so hard,” McAfee told The Tribune-Democrat. [ Read Full Post ]
Action on the SB 1221 bill, which seeks to outlaw the use of dogs for bear and bobcat hunting in the state of California, has been delayed, for a while, at least.
You may recall the controversy over this bill, but it is still very much alive, thanks to a large public turnout -- both for and against -- at a recent public meeting.
From this story on redding.com:
A bill to ban using hounds to hunt bear and bobcat drew what legislators said was one of the largest crowds in recent memory to a state Assembly committee hearing on Wednesday. Some 300 people showed up for the Assembly Appropriations Committee's vote on whether to approve SB1221. After dozens of people came forward to voice either opposition or support for the bill, the committee instead delayed action on the bill. "I would say that for high visibility issues, this is probably the biggest crowd I've seen," Appropriations Committee Chairman Felipe Fuentes said after the hearing. The committee is scheduled to take up the bill in about a week, said Fuentes, a Democrat from Arleta. [ Read Full Post ]
By Chad Love
You may recall the furor that erupted when Daniel Richards, the president of the California Fish and Game Commission, went on a cougar hunt in Idaho and shot himself a cat. Legally. Cougar hunting is illegal in California.
California anti-hunting groups went nuts, and there were immediate calls for his ouster. Through it all Richards has managed to hang on to his presidency. But this week, Daniel voted with the majority to elect a new commission president.
From this story in the San Francisco Chronicle:
The state Fish and Game Commission quietly replaced its president Wednesday, nearly seven months after he killed a mountain lion in Idaho and infuriated conservationists by posing proudly with the slain beast.
[ Read Full Post ]
By David Draper
Whenever someone tells me they don’t like leftovers, I am downright shocked. Shocked, bordering on offended. My typical response is something along the lines of, “What? You’re too good to eat leftovers?” typically followed by me questioning their parents’ child-rearing skills. In my family, not liking leftovers wasn’t an option. Well, it was an option if the other side of the coin was starvation. [ Read Full Post ]
Would you be comfortable with a corporate sponsor for your state wildlife agency? That's what the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is looking into...
From this story in the Houston Chronicle:
In a first for the state, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is seeking corporate partners to use the agency's well-known logo and brand in exchange for hard currency, the agency announced this week. The move provides a much-needed revenue stream as the department grapples with major budget cuts coupled with devastating droughts and wildfires. While other state park agencies have dabbled with similar ideas or struck corporate sponsorships deals for specific projects, industry officials believe this would be the first time a department that oversees a state's natural resources actively seeks contract-based partnerships. [ Read Full Post ]
By Phil Bourjaily
It’s as if Lego made a shotgun. You snap some parts off, put some on, swap barrels, and your duck gun is a deer gun. Or a turkey gun. Or a home-defense gun or a tactical riot gun. You can change the stock, fore-end, and pad of Mossberg’s Model 500 Flex pump action in less than two minutes, without tools. Available in 11 base models, with 16 accessory parts, the Flex represents the ultimate expression of Mossberg’s shooting-system approach.
Having tied the company’s success to the Model 500 in 1962, Mossberg has since marketed its budget pump to be the one gun a shooter could use for every conceivable purpose. Over the years the company offered accessories and countless extra barrels to make the 500 extra versatile. [ Read Full Post ]
By David E. Petzal
I don’t know how many .22 rifles I’ve gone through since 1956 when I got my first, but it is a bunch. There were good ones and bad ones, but one thing they all lacked was the heft and feel of a centerfire. The diminutive .22 bolt action lacks so much weight that there’s almost no way to get the whole gun up to 8 pounds or so unless you screw in a bull barrel or find a really heavy piece of wood. [ Read Full Post ]
By David Draper
Wild Chef Reader Levi Banks is back with a great-looking rabbit dish, along with a good story about getting kids to eat, and enjoy, wild game. Congrats to Banks for raising such an open-minded daughter. I don’t have any kid stories, but I do have some unconventional tacos to throw into this week’s Food Fight.
[ Read Full Post ]