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Deer Hunting

  • April 23, 2014

    Hunting Public Land: The Ethics of Lying

    By Phil Bourjaily

    I am a terrible and unwilling liar. That’s one reason I’m not a more successful public land hunter. If I run into anyone out in the field, I have a hard time not telling the truth about what I have seen and shot. Good public land hunters are a close-mouthed bunch, and not above fibs, sins of omission, misdirection, and the occasional outright lie.

    For instance, the other morning I was out scouting turkeys on the local WMA and saw a truck coming down the road toward me. I recognized it as belonging to a friend we’ll call Mr. T. He is one of the best hunters I know, and he has a lot of his success on a crowded public area. We’re really more like friendly acquaintances, although we hunt together a time or two every year. He and a friend had been out hunting since before daylight. We stopped in the road, rolled down the windows and compared notes. He told me where he had heard a few birds and seen one. I told him what I had seen, which was nothing but some other hunters. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 21, 2014

    Is This the Best Shed Season Ever?

    7

    By Scott Bestul

    Last week, my hunting buddy Alan and I spotted the antler pictured above. It appears have come from 3-1/2 year old deer that I have trail-cam pictures of but never saw in person. This one side measures roughly 55 inches, putting the buck in the mid-120s last fall. Not a giant, but not bad either. More to point, it's one of many decent sheds we've found this spring and helps support a claim I've been hearing a lot lately—that 2014 has been one of the best shed hunting seasons in recent memory.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 21, 2014

    A Good Place to Say Good-Bye

    By David E. Petzal

    The other day at the range I was talking with a pair of fellow codgers, and one of them allowed as how he had been hit by lightning a few years ago. A thunderstorm came up suddenly and he was unaware that his right foot was in a puddle of water. He became aware when a bolt struck his right foot, went up his leg, destroying a number of veins, into his chest where it punched a hole in his heart, and out his left hand, which for some reason it spared.

    He reminded me of a barber I used to go to who was with the Second Division at the Chosin Reservoir in Korea; every day he had after that was a gift.

    “But,” he said, “my wife doesn’t want me to go hunting any more. She’s afraid I’ll have a heart attack and die in the woods.” [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 18, 2014

    The Correct Way to Introduce a Woman to the Ways of the Rifle

    By David E. Petzal


    Photo by Dusan Smetana

    A few years ago a friend and I gave a compressed instruction course to two women who were about to go on a mule deer hunt and had never fired a rifle before. We conducted the class separately, and after an hour or so my friend walked over to where I was and said, "I can't show her anything. She hits the 10-ring every time she pulls the trigger."

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 18, 2014

    Bowhunters Help Reduce Car-Deer Collisions Outside Cincinnati

    3

    By Ben Romans

    The number of auto accidents stemming from deer collisions outside of Cincinnati is declining, and residents have bowhunters to thank.

    Indian Hill Rangers Police Chief Chuck Schlie told the Cincinnati Enquirer that drivers reported just eight collisions in 2013—down from 44 in 1997—and he credits a tightly monitored, archery-only deer hunting program for the decline. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 16, 2014

    Wild Game Recipe: Try a Pickle Juice Brine

    4

    By David Draper

    Like a lot of game meats, wild turkey gets a bad rap for being difficult to cook. Much of this negative reputation comes from the tendency of hunters to overcook their meat, but I’ll admit cooking any wild bird does come with a challenge. Wild turkey meat has a tendency to dry out quickly when subjected to high heat due to the limited amount of fat these birds develop. As I’ve written about recently, marinades don’t add moisture to meat like most people think they do. However, there is a technique that all but guarantees a moister end product, whether you roast, grill or fry your turkey – brining. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 16, 2014

    Classic Deer Guns and Crapshoot Accuracy

    By Dave Hurteau

    Generally speaking, today’s rifles are much more accurate than yesterday’s, which leads people to think that the old guns can’t shoot. Many can’t, for sure. But some can.

    I have a Savage 99 in .300 Savage that shoots just over a minute of angle and a Remington Model 141 in .35 Rem. that shoots just under. I got lucky with those. On the other hand, I have a Winchester Model 70 Classic Compact in 7mm-08 that won’t put three shots inside a cantaloupe no matter what I feed it. Them’s the breaks. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 15, 2014

    March(ish) Madness: Announcing the Deer Shotgun Champ

    By Dave Hurteau

    And so it's the 870 in a walk. I might fall down dead of shock.

    From the very beginning our online editor, who is still young enough that the spark of romanticism has not yet been fully stamped out, dreamed that the Ithaca might win this whole thing. That would have been surprising, and wonderful. But, like so many things, it couldn't be.

    Instead, you have voted for the 870 fair and square (and shoved our online editor a bit farther down the knife's edge of life). [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 11, 2014

    Stop Using Bacon. Seriously.

    By David Draper

    Of all the game-cooking myths and missteps I preach about, telling readers to stop using bacon is the most likely to start fights. Bacon is so popular and universally loved that I’m almost scared to bring it up because I’ll alienate all my readers, but it’s worth talking about, if only briefly.

    Ever eat duck breast wrapped in bacon? Or bacon-wrapped dove? Or anything game covered in bacon? What does it taste like?

    That’s right, bacon. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 10, 2014

    NY Suburb's Deer Birth Control Program Gets Slow Start

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Organizers of a whitetail birth control program in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, admit the effort is off to a slow start, citing heavy snow, regulations, and “the unpredictability of the animals.” Workers from the Humane Society of the United States had hoped to catch 40 to 50 does and inject them with a birth control drug, but they have only caught eight after a month, The Associated Press reports.

    The contraceptive program, designed by Allen Rutberg, director of the Center for Animals and Public Policy at Tufts University, is said to be the first attempt to control a free-roaming deer population in a suburban area. “Free roaming” is the key word, unfortunately for the HSUS workers trying to capture deer. Heavy snow in the park the deer ordinarily call home drove the animals into the shelter of back yards, forcing workers to go door to door asking permission to capture deer. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 10, 2014

    Spring Scouting: The Search for One Killer Spot

    1

    By Dave Hurteau

    It’s finally spring, and I’ve been walking some of my hunting properties in earnest. As Hurteau and I have pointed out previously in this space, if you really want to know your deer ground, now — in the narrow window separating snow-melt from green-up — is the time to be out there. 

    Spring scouting has been my annual ritual for years, but most of that recon has focused simply on getting a better overview of a property and how deer use it. Lately, I’ve added a new, more specific, mission: finding, then setting up, one killer stand location for next fall’s rut. To be even more specific, I want that stand to be in or near a bedding area or other spot that’s difficult to set up during the season. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 10, 2014

    Are You an Ant or a Grasshopper?

    By David E. Petzal

    You may recall Aesop’s Fable of The Ant and the Grasshopper. In case you don’t, it went something like this: A grasshopper who sang and danced all summer was rebuked by an ant who spent the time in endless toil gathering eats for the cold months.

    “You watch, a-hole; when winter comes you’re going to wish you’d stockpiled food,” said the ant.  But the grasshopper just kept at the fun and games.

    Sure enough, winter arrived and with it hard times. The grasshopper, who was by then starving, went to the ant and begged for food. But the ant, who was just finishing off an ant-sized Beef Wellington with a very nice Chateau Latour, belched, picked a piece of crust from its mandible, and said, "Beat it, parasite. You had your chance,” and with that he picked up an ant-sized Bennelli M4 tactical shotgun and fired a round at the grasshopper’s feet by way of emphasis. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 8, 2014

    Secrets of the Whitetail Rut

    0

    By Scott Bestul


    Photo by Lance Krueger

    We deer hunters can never claim that we lack information. We know all about deer habits and habitat, preferred forage and growth rates, physiology and reproductive practices. We can identify the size of a deer by its tracks, its gender by its urine, and its current feeding preferences by its droppings. We watch deer on trail cams and name animals we've never seen in the flesh. So, is there such a thing as TMI—too much information—when it comes to whitetails?

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 8, 2014

    March Madness Championship: Remington 870 vs Ithaca Deerslayer

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Two classics collide in the championship of our Sweet 16 of whitetail shotguns. The Remington 870, America’s shotgun, meets the Ithaca Deerslayer. The 870, deservedly the number one seed in its division, has probably shot more deer than any other shotgun in the tournament. The Deerslayer, on the other hand, is one of the first dedicated slug guns, and still one of the best.

    [ Read Full Post ]

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