David E. Petzal

Rifles Editor

David E. Petzal is the rifles editor for Field & Stream. He began at Field & Stream in 1972 as managing editor. In the ensuing years, he has held half a dozen different titles with the brand, and since 2006 has been strictly a writer, covering all manner of outdoor related subjects, but specializing in guns and hunting. He has pursued game all over North America, most of Africa, Europe, and New Zealand, and written about it extensively.


  • Noted expert on firearms and big-game hunting
  • U.S. Army light-weapons instructor
  • NRA-Certified instructor in rifle, shotgun, handgun, and firearms safety 
  • Master in the NRA Mid-Range Rifle Competition program
  • Author or editor of five books
  • Marquis Who’s Who in America1976-2012



Aside from six years in the Army Reserve, during which he was a drill sergeant, Petzal has always worked in the magazine industry. He began at a small magazine called Guns and Hunting, went to Sports Afield in 1970, and to Field & Stream in 1972. He was executive editor at Field & Stream for 16 years, and then switched to write full time.

Petzal has spoken at writers’ seminars sponsored by Reader’s Digest, hunting seminars sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the New York Chapter of Safari Club of America, the Camp Fire Club of America, and done numerous radio and television interviews, most dealing with firearms legislation. He has received awards for excellence in writing presented by Leupold/Stevens, Zeiss, Bushnell, and CBS Magazines.


Petzal graduated from Colgate University in 1963, with a major in English. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army NCO Academy at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, June 1968.

F&S Lightning Round

Favorite Place to Fish: Troublesome Creek, Colorado

Favorite Critter to Hunt: Cape buffalo

Bucket List Adventure: One last safari, just to see Africa again

Most Prized Piece of Gear: A Kenny Jarrett .416 that have faced death (and dishonor) with on more than one occasion

All-Time Favorite F&S Story: The late Bill Tarrant’s first piece on dogs, “And I Don Not Walk Alone”

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