The Best Field & Stream Reader Photos From January 2012

Standoff
Got this standoff between a bobcat and a coyote on my farm in Bradford County, Pennsylvania.
Double Buck Story
My husband and I got these two bucks within a half hour (and a quarter mile) of each other on opening day of shotgun season in Ohio 2011. His was a huge 8-point, with a spread of 26 inches. Mine had 10 points, but was small by comparison. Still, it was a very successful morning for both of us!
It's all in the moment.....
For me hunting and fishing is all about the journey. I really enjoy looking back on my trips. Today I was looking back at pictures that I took in Alaska while fly fishing. This was a moment that I will remember for a long time! The male was trying hard to get to her cubs and she did a great job of protecting them.
Otter takes over a local trout pond.
An otter set up a winter home on a local trout fishing pond. Near Kamiah Idaho.
Washington State Bruiser
My cousin Mark, on his first deer hunt, shot this monster in north central Washington state with his grandfather's sporterized WWII M1 on land owned by the family for five generations. This is by far the grandaddy of all deer taken on this property.
Laguna Madre duck hunting:
Over the Christmas holiday my brother-in-law, a Naval Officer, invited me down to his place to hunt some ducks along the coast. Not only was it a great chance to get to know the man who married my sister and his family, but the duck hunting was great. I left having a great experience and feeling like our families where that much closer.
Caribou hunting in Alaska
We were hunting in the tundra on a beautiful day in Alaska. We named this caribou "Forest" because he would run back and forth all day and come really close to us trying to figure out what we were.
Honeymoon Catch
This past August 5th, 2011 my husband and I were married. We hopped on a plane and celebrated our honeymoon fishing on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. We had the time of our lives. This photo was taken by our guide silver salmon fishing across the Cook Inlet on Big River Lake. We flew in on a float plane to get there and stood on the sand bars while casting, Fish On!
Staring Contest
We were out for the last pheasant hunt of the year when my 8 month old yellow lab, Charlie, spotted this curious young buck down the river. He walked for about 50 yards towards us wanting to check out my pup, until he was about 30 yards away. Charlie did great holding in "whoa" until she couldn't take it anymore and chased him back into the woods.
Arkansas River Sunset
Picking up the decoys under an Arkansas River sunset.
Great private pond hunt over decoys and silhouettes on a freezing morning in central Texas. 25 Gadwalls and 2 Pintails downed by 4 shooters and a guide.
End of Day
For 20 years the same bunch of guys have assembled from all over the U.S. for the annual "South Dakota Pheasant Open". This photo was snapped by Greg Shaw at the end of the final day in 2011, and it says to all of us "Friendship, old stories and our dogs are the reason we will never, ever miss a South Dakota Pheasant Open". As you can see in his eyes, Scout will never miss it either.
First P&Y Buck with Bow
Well my name's Megan and I'm 23, and have been hunting since I was about 13. I started out as a rifle hunter and recently discovered a passion for bow hunting. 2011 has been my most successful year, I was lucky enough to get my first bull elk and this Pope & Young buck!
Lunch hour Hawk
I was doing some work on the Winthrop Campus in Rock Hill S.C. and just happend to see this fella sitting on a brick column. The column was a walkway from the street to the campus and the hawk acted as if we were not there.
Humpbacks off Cabo San Lucas
A cow and calf humpback practicing a synchronized roll.
Big Horns above my house
Every year this group of Bighorns migrate between Grenn River UT and Sunnyside UT. I am fortunate enough to live below the area that they get water. I get great opportunities for photos when they are here.
First Buck!
This is my first buck I have ever shot, it's an 8 pointer. It was taken in SW Iowa during their late muzzle load season.
Sunset Silhouettes
A different kind of Shooting. Hunting for the perfect shot with my canon rebel.
Kids and Cutthroats
My nephew and a great Lochsa river Cutthroat trout. I took him and my sons out for some winter fishing yesterday. A good way to burn off Cabin fever, and some of the better fishing of the year....and you have the fishing holes mostly to yourself.
Not your normal retriever
Jack, the bulldog, decided he was going to try his hand in retrieving ducks as I cleaned the other ducks I had taken that morning
A Red Fox wakes up.
Nothing more exciting than sneaking within a few feet of a wiley red fox! Got 'em!
Carver train
A pack of Montana wolves make their way across this opening hot on the heels of a herd of elk being hunted by local hunters.
The white Deer of Seneca County, NY
I live just a stones throw from these beautiful animals. They are always exciting to photograph.
Last day in the blind
Hunting with some friends the closing of duck season in Georgia. While my dog watches the birds, a friend says ive just took the best picture youll ever have of your dog.
Perfect Landing
This picture was taken early in the morning on our farm pond in Northern Indiana. After a night of camping we awoke to several geese on the pond. Several shots were taken and I just happened to click the button at just the right time to capture this shot.
Loading up the trucks
A favorite picture of friends after a limit morning
Banded Canvasback
Shot this bad boy on Reelfoot lake, got him and a couple buffies. Turns out he was banded in Smiley, Saskatchewan in 2003.
Golf courses in winter offer some good shots
Wife went iceskating, I hit the links to see if any deer were around. I was able to get pretty close to this one.
Idaho Eagle
An eagle hanging out in a Cottonwood during a snow storm near Kamiah Idaho.
S. Platte (Dream Stream) Brown
A nice resident Brown from the South Platte
Pie Bald Beauty
Chased her all year to no avail. After my last hunt on Jan. 12 I had hopes of taking her next year with an even larger hide to take as a special trophy. Unfortunately, I learned she was taken 2nd to last day of the season, only to have her back straps stripped out and the rest of this pie bald beauty was left to rot in the woods. A real shame and bitter end to an otherwise Fantastic season.
The big bad wolf.
Local hunter shows the difference between a wolf and a coyote. Can you tell the difference?
Last big buck with antlers
I took this a couple of weeks ago in Cherry Creek State Park, just South of Denver. He shed about a week later. I've got a gallery where you can see more of my buck and deer shots, at: http://davidcstephensphotography.smugmug.com/Wildlife/Big-Bucks/21269638_kXV9VN#!i=1688732337&k;=DzF3Qdf
Dragon Breath
This is my buddy Dave and my 54 Mosin Nagant. I had just finished cleaning all of the packing grease from the storage of the rifle, and we decided it was a good day to test fire this 68 year old piece of awesomeness. The flame shot nearly 2 feet out from the barrel and we got lucky enough to catch it on a cell phone camera.
Saw this deer Dec. 8th on trail camera. Killed him Dec. 18, last day of muzzleloading season. Killed in Bonnieville, KY.
South African Cape Buffalo
After five days of hunting and passing on several herd bulls, we spotted this one by himself. He gave me a frontal shot at about 100 yards through an opening in the brush. One Barnes 300 solid from my 375 got him in the salt.
Connecticut Bruiser! That's right, I said CONNECTICUT!!!
After a tough archery season, I took out my rifle for a late afternoon hunt. With daylight dwindling, a giant deer emerged from the West about 50 yards away. It was sensory overload as buck fever set in! Slowly, I squeezed the trigger of my 30-06 and the buck hit the ground! I could not believe the size and character of this deer. This magnificent 14 point CT giant green scored 182”!
Large Arkansas Brown Trout
Ryan(left with fish), Bruce(right). Ryan was able to get this fish to take his bait and pulled him in. The head wouldn't fit in the net so it had to be lead towards shore and took a couple of people to get it on the bank. It was the start to a great fishing trip where we caught several rainbows and brown trout but nothing close to the size of this fish.
Paddlefish, Caught by hand...
I caught this Paddlefish on December 31, 2011 with my bare hands in the Warrior River. Paddlefish are protected and must be release unharmed, as this one was.
These 2 bucks were fighting with a fallen copper telephone wire between them and ended up tangled together AND tied to a tree.

Each month, Field & Stream editors review the hundreds of photos submitted by readers to our Trophy Room. If your photo is chosen to be printed in the Game Faces section of the magazine, you'll win a Rapala Fish 'N Fillet knife!

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November