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Deer Hunting

  • February 21, 2014

    Colorado is First State to Ban Drones for Hunting and Scouting

    By Scott Bestul

    Last month, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission voted unanimously to ban the use of drones for the purposes of scouting, hunting, and taking of wildlife. The move makes Colorado the first state to address the issue of drone use by sportsman, but it certainly won’t be the last.

    If you think the use of drones to find and hunt critters sounds futuristic, well, the future is now. First, check out this YouTube video (which has nearly a million views) in which some Norwegians use a drone to spy on a moose near Oslo. Second, consider that these unmanned aircraft are also being used, for example, by Louisiana Hog Control, a company that helps landowners get rid of feral hogs. According to this Fox News story, owner Cy Brown equips a drone with thermal imaging technology, and then flies the unit over a property. When pigs are spotted, the drone operator directs an on-the-ground hunter in for the kill. Brown’s company killed 300 hogs in a six-month period using this technology. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 19, 2014

    I'm Feeding Deer This Winter—Even If I Don't Want To

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    By Scott Bestul

    I’ve been contributing to a deer-feeding slush fund for 16 years. I didn’t realize this, however, until yesterday, when I read a story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune about a soon-to be initiated feeding program to help whitetails make it through the tail end of a good-old-fashioned tough winter. Apparently, 50 cents of every Minnesota deer license I’ve bought since 1997 has helped fund this program, which was instituted by the state legislature 16 years ago.  [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 19, 2014

    5 Tips for Better Braising

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    By David Draper

    Sometimes, when I mention the word “braising,” people look at me all quizzically—like I’m talking about some fancy, foreign cooking technique. Nothing could be further from the truth. Braising is the very simple act of cooking something—generally meat—at a low temperature under moist heat for a long period of time.

    Sounds a lot like cooking in a Crock-Pot, doesn’t it?

    In fact, anytime you’re using a slow-cooker, whether making a pot roast, stew, cacciatore, or any number of other low-and-slow recipes, you’re braising. You can also braise in a heavy-duty pot on the stovetop or in the oven. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 19, 2014

    Kansas Buck Survives 2 Months With Severed Head Locked in its Antlers

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    By Phil Bourjaily

    A wildlife management class on a coyote trapping trip in Kansas caught and rescued a buck that had been carrying the head of another buck locked in its antlers for months, outdoorhub.com reports. The class instructor, Luke Laha of Pratt Community College in Pratt, Kansas, had seen the deer two months earlier with the antlers, head and spine of another buck stuck in its antlers. Scavengers had eaten the rest of the dead deer. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 14, 2014

    Shed Hunting: 5 Tips to Become a Better Bone Collector

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    By Scott Bestul


    Photo by Donald M. Jones

    Shed hunting is over-the-top huge right now—a sport all its own. Massive whitetail sheds command five figures at auctions. There’s a shed-antler record book as thick as a metro phone directory, and shed expos big enough to boast the Bud Girls. A “finished” shed-hunting dog can fetch $7,500.

    I know what you’re thinking: I couldn’t find a shed if it were full of gardening tools. Don’t worry. In the process of becoming an avowed shed head, I’ve learned several tricks that you won’t read in Shed Hunting for Dummies. Here are five that’ll make you a much better bone collector in no time. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 14, 2014

    Food Fight Friday: Leftovers Edition

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    By David Draper

    It’s no secret that I’m a fan of leftovers. In several past Wild Chef posts I’ve touted the value of them. I especially appreciate it when last night’s dinner becomes today’s lunch in a whole new form. This week’s Food Fight honors upcycling wild ingredients into dishes that could easily find a home on a diner’s lunch menu. And don’t forget, we would love to feature your fish or wild game dish here, so snap a photo, write up a short description and send them to fswildchef@gmail.com. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 14, 2014

    Redhead Toxik Bow Package Caption Contest Winner Announced

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    By Scott Bestul

    In an unprecedented flood of interest, we received over 1,600 entries for the latest Whitetail 365 caption contest. Obviously the Redhead Toxik Compound Bow Package was a prize worth fighting for, and the judges (Hurteau and I) did some serious arm wrestling — interspersed with loud guffaws — before we could pick a winner.

    Before we announce the new owner of the Toxik bow, we’d like to honor 10 entries that were whisker-close to bagging the prize. So here they are, in no particular order: [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 12, 2014

    Bad Bill: Oklahoma's 12-Point Antler Restriction Causes Hunters to Freak Out

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    By Phil Bourjaily

    Let a 10-pointer walk? That would have been the law if an incorrectly worded bill had passed the Oklahoma Legislature.

    Representative Colby Schwartz of Yukon, Okla., a deer hunter himself, introduced legislation that would have limited adult Oklahoma hunters to only taking deer with more than six antler points. As his bill was written, however, the proposed antler restriction would have been six points on a side.

    Angry deer hunters made their feelings abundantly clear with calls and e-mails. Some seemed to believe the proposal was a back-door measure to curtail hunting.

    "My e-mail is a little out of control," said Caitlin Harwell, Schwartz's legislative assistant. "We are by no means trying to take away the sport of hunting and keep people from hunting in any way." [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 12, 2014

    Ol' Elmer's 600-Yard Shot with a Handgun

    By David E. Petzal

    Life is filled with mysteries. Is there a sasquatch? What happened to Amelia Earhart? Why does Attorney General Eric Holder lack a chin? And did Elmer Keith really kill a mule deer at 600 yards with a .44 magnum handgun? It is, as Churchill said about Russia, a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

    The bare bones of the story are these. In the mid-1950s, shortly after Smith & Wesson introduced the Model 29 .44 magnum revolver, Keith and a rifle-toting friend were hunting mule deer and the friend, who was out ahead of Keith, shot and wounded a mule deer buck on an adjacent ridge. Since the rifleman was making a mess of things, Keith assumed a reclining position bracing his gun arm along his leg and commenced to shoot at the deer with a 6-inch-barreled Model 29. The first four shots were misses but Keith was able to walk the rounds onto the buck; the fifth hit him and the sixth killed him. Keith claimed the distance from him to the deer was 600 yards, and he was challenged on it the rest of his life. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 11, 2014

    Conservation Measures Suddenly Gain Momentum in Congress

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    By Bob Marshall

    In an earlier life, when I covered sports that involved balls, a coach once told me “Momentum is a factor because the players think it is.”
     
    You don’t need to be Aristotle to figure that one out. But the observation came to mind because there has certainly been a sudden, positive momentum to sportsmen’s concerns in Washington. And, just maybe, Congress is finally doing right by sportsmen because its members finally think it’s the right thing to do.
     
    Just days after the two-year struggle to get the new Farm Bill enacted finally ended in victory, three more important bills for sportsmen have a stiff wind at their backs. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 11, 2014

    Survive the Zombie Deer Apocalypse in this Bunker

    By Phil Bourjaily


    Photos by Atlas Survival Shelters

    Because the zombie-deer apocalypse is nigh, everyone needs an underground deer shack. Atlas Survival Shelters of Montebello, Calif., will build you one made out of a shipping container or corrugated pipe. The one pictured above, is decorated in a deer-hunting theme and doubles as a hunting camp bunkhouse. This particular corrugated pipe model is 10 feet by 51 feet and costs somewhere in the mid-70s uninstalled. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 11, 2014

    NY Artist Transforms Antlers into Sculptures

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    By Phil Bourjaily

    Jennifer Trask transforms bones, antlers, and other found objects into flowers, necklaces, and other pieces of art. The flower pictured here is made of antler and bone.

    The Hudson Valley, NY-based artist was trained as a metalsmith. Some of her work incorporates bits of antique gilt picture frames. Some pieces are wearable; all of it is striking. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 10, 2014

    Rifles: Taking It Personally

    By David E. Petzal

    Granted that shooters are an odd lot (although no more weird than birders, who are really odd, or golfers, who are pretty much beyond description) but sometimes they really baffle me. A while back I wrote that through much of the 1950s, and into the early 1960s, Winchester turned out a lot of really crummy Model 70 rifles. As a result I got an e-mail from a pre-64 Model 70 enthusiast who was beyond livid. How dare I say that the Rifleman’s Rifle was ever less than perfect? Who the hell did I think I was? It was as if I had just whacked his old mom in the spleen with a grub hoe handle. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 10, 2014

    US Olympic Ski Team Films from Treestands

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    By Scott Bestul

    It looks as though Lone Wolf Tree Stands have made their debut in Russia—via the gear bags of the U.S. Olympic ski team. While doing a morning Facebook check, I ran into this clip on the Minnesota Whitetail Alliance’s page.

    While it’s clearly not the best footage in the world, I’m fairly certain that’s a Lone Wolf Alpha Hang-On. 

    I found it fascinating that the team has strategically placed five of these stands along the downhill course, each manned by a coach with a camera to better film the team’s skiers. No word on whether the coaches are spotting any big game from their perches. [ Read Full Post ]