Field & Stream's Best Photo Galleries and Blogs of 2011

Exclusive Photos: New World Record Striped Bass! by Steve Hill
Angler Greg Myerson brought in a bass that supposedly pinned the needle of a Westbrook, CT, tackle shop scale at 81.8-pounds that has since been confirmed by the IGFA as the new world-record striper. Click here for the full photo gallery.
Smithsonian Trail Cam Gallery: 100 Photos of Rare, Bizarre and Just Plain Cool Critters From Around The World These 100 photos were taken by Smithsonian Institute-affiliated wildlife researchers in China, South America, Southeast Asia, and six other study locations around the globe. "Our hope is that while you are being entertained by the amazing photographs, you will also learn about the animals, their diverse habitats, and what is being done to conserve them," says the Institute. Visit the Smithsonian WILD web site for more information about the photos, the studies they were taken for, and the Smithsonian Institute's wildlife conservation efforts. Click here for the full photo gallery.
The Giant 180-Class Flyer Buck of Buffalo County, WI by Eugene Mancl
Troy Muche, 40, of Mayville, Wisconsin has been hunting trophy whitetails for most of his adult life. After three years of stalking what he called The Flyer Buck on nighttime trail cam photos, he finally got his chance at this 205-pound, 187-inch behemoth Wisconsin buck. Click here for the full photo gallery.
Chicks With Guns: New Photo Book Profiles Female Shooters From Across the U.S. Field & Stream's Kristyn Brady talks to photographer Lindsay McCrum about her new book, Chicks With Guns. Filled with compelling photos of women with the firearms they use for hunting, competition, protection, and sport, McCrum's book also relates their personal stories. Click here for the full photo gallery.
**Bonefishing with a Living Legend
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by Joe Cermele
Last Friday marked the 40th anniversary of the day Ansil Saunders led a client to the 16-pound bonefish in Bimini, Bahamas, that still stands as the all tackle world record. As luck would have it, my good friend and editor of Fly Fishing In Salt Waters John Frazier and I were chosen from a group of writers to fish with Ansil on the anniversary. So the night before, as we sat at the bar drinking Kaliks, the gravity of this once-in-a-lifetime fishing trip with a true legend hit us. Click here for the full post and video.
Photos: Vintage Rolls Royce Tricked Out for Tiger Hunting (Machine Gun Included) by Steve Hill
Once upon a time, in a land far away, it would have been considered the ultimate hunting rig: A 1925 Rolls Royce New Phantom Torpedo Sport Tourer outfitted with multiple spotlights, an arsenal of big-game firearms (including a cannon and machine gun) and enough champagne iceboxes and other creature comforts to entertain a Maharaja and his entourage. Click here for the full photo gallery.
**The Ten Commandments of Elk Hunting
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by David E. Petzal_
I went on my first elk hunt, to Montana, in November, 1971. I did not get an elk. This year, four decades later, I hunted in Utah and did get one, which you can see here. He's a 6x6, 8 ½ years old, and about 800 pounds. The handsome devil on the right is my guide Amos Ames, which is the finest name I've heard for an outdoorsman since Ted Trueblood. Amos has guided for elk for over 30 years, and is a forest-fire fighter, a rodeo clown, a cowboy-boot maker, and a general hard-case geezer. Click here to read the full blog.
Four Steps to Good Bow-Shooting Form by Dave Hurteau
As I say in this video, we archers are forever trumpeting the importance of "good form,"--too often without bothering to explain just what that means. So here's a simple breakdown. This is basic stuff, but it goes a long way toward shooting well. Click here for the full blog and video.
Rifle Review: Is The Shootrite Katana AR a One-and-Only Gun? by Hal Herring
I got to shoot Tiger McKee's new Katana rifle, a stripped down, hyper-efficient little AR-15, that McKee originally built just for himself. I take into account that I am prejudiced--Tiger and I have been friends for more than 30 years, and I was even an early guinea pig for some of the courses at Shootrite. That being said, after running a few thousand rounds through Tiger's rifle, I still choose the Katana as the answer to my personal "only have one gun" question. Click here for the full gallery.
Record Elk Found Pinned Alive With Antlers Stuck in Mud by Steve Hill
When Ryan Muirhead set out to fill his whitetail tag on the final day of Minnesota's muzzleloader season, he never imagined he would stumble upon a huge 9 x 10 elk with antlers that may rewrite the record books. The way he found the animal is even more extraordinary…it was pinned flat on its back with its antlers stuck in the mud. Steve Hill talked to Muirhead and got the amazing story of this record-book elk, how he freed it and got to keep the trophy rack. Click here for the full photo gallery.
**If Pheasant Hunting Was My Job
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by Phil Bourjaily_
Fortunately, I hunt pheasants for fun and can shoot them with whatever gun I please. And, just as fortunately, market hunting for pheasants is illegal. However, if hunting pheasants was my job and I was paid by the head of roosters I killed: a.) I would be going broke this year in Iowa. b.) I would put aside my double guns and shoot my Benelli Montefeltro. Click here to read the full blog.
Off the Chain: Which of These 70 Viral Outdoors Emails are Real and Which are Hoaxes? by Steve Hill
Just when it seems email is good for nothing but Viagra pitches and Nigerian banking scams, something weird or wonderful (or both) pops into the old inbox: a catfish with a basketball stuck in its mouth, a snake that ate an alligator, a hawk attacking a fox. Usually these email oddities--some funny, some grim--come from incredulous friends or co-workers who swear they're true, and they carry a gaudy train of forward headers that suggests plenty of others think so too. The amazing thing is, a surprising number of the photos are real, even if the stories behind them are slightly…modified. This our fully updated series of outdoors shots, with 44 new photos, most of which have made several laps on the viral email circuit and caused many to wonder if they are, in fact, real. Click through and see which of these popular chain mails check out and which are hoaxes, according to Snopes.com. Click here for the full photo gallery.
The Tree Squirrel Slam: How a Small-Game Biologist Tagged All 8 U.S. Bushytail Species by Johnathan O'Dell and Phil Bourjaily
Johnathan O'Dell is a small game biologist in Arizona, which helps make him one heck of a squirrel hunter. In this story, he talks about the individual characteristics of all eight native squirrel species in the U.S. and explains the tactics he used to tag one of each in a single season. Click here for the full photo gallery.
Use Small Circle Hooks For Easy Release on Little Sunnies by John Merwin
Summer always makes me think of panfish, or more specifically taking little kids fishing with bait and bobber. Small children need more or less instant results to hold their interest. The little sunfishes hanging around off the end of a dock are usually very accommodating. It's a great combination. Click here to read the full blog.
Do You Need 1,000 Foot/Pounds to Take a Deer? by Phil Bourjaily
Before we get to our discussion question, here's a little about the picture: Last month I wrote about the excitement of hunting a deer with a handgun, and a few of you asked for a closeup of the revolver and sight I used on the hunt. I shot a S&W 627, an eight-shot .357 magnum built on the large "N" frame normally used for the 629 .44 mag. I chose it because as a novice handgunner I figured a more massive revolver combined with a load milder than a .44 magnum would be a good way to start, and because I could practice a lot with cheap, low-recoiling .38 special ammo. I figured a good hit with a smaller bullet would beat a bad hit with a bigger bullet. Click here to read the full blog.
The Rare and Historic Firearms On The Block at the James D. Julia Auction House by Phil Bourjaily
James D. Julia Auctions has made tiny Fairfield, Maine, a destination for gun fanciers. Julia's spring and fall auctions offer pieces that are among the highest works of the gun makers art; are steeped in history; are exceedingly rare, and sometimes all three combined. Guns from Kentucky rifles to M16s, owned by the famous and the infamous alike sell at Julia's. Voumes 1 & 2 of the fall auction catalog contain an overwhelming 700 pages of guns and related items, such as Douglas MacArthur's gun case. Here is a preview of the the fall 2011 auction that runs October 4-5 as well as a look back at some guns from past Julia auctions. Click here for the full photo gallery.
One Shot, One Kill: Kentucky Hunter Tags 180-Class Perfect 10-Point Typical by Steve Hill
Like many a Kentucky boy before him, 25-year-old Devon Wilson grew up hunting squirrels with a .22 before graduating to whitetail deer. The hunting ethic he learned from his grandfather--one shot, one kill--served him well when this 180-class typical streaked past him in hot pursuit of a doe. Using his grandfather's single-shot .30-06 and a bullet the older man hand-loaded himself, Wilson kept his cool and dropped the almost perfectly symmetrical 10-pointer with a 150-yard shot. Click here for the full gallery.
The New Classics: 30 Great Lures
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by Joe Cermele_
While many fishing lures fade away soon after they appear on shop shelves, some remain tackle-box staples forever. The Dardevle spoon, the curly-tailed grub, the Senko, and many others are longtime proven fish-catchers--and thus earned a ranking in the April 2006 Field & Stream cover story "50 Greatest Lures of All Time." But there are 30 other lures that are equally, if not more, deserving of that label. Some are new. Some have been around for a few years but haven't gotten the widespread respect they deserve. Others, because they're designed for use in certain regions and for specific species, just aren't on the radar of many anglers. Click here for the full gallery.
The Great Escape: How a Second-Season Hunter Unknowingly Tagged a Louisiana Pen-Raised Monster Buck by Steve Hill
When she spotted a jaw-dropping 31-point buck in mid-November on the Louisiana farm she hunts, Jacey Broussard vowed to do everything she could to get her hands on the giant's gnarly rack. After an obsessive three-week hunt, she finally tagged her trophy--and that's when things got weird. The 22-year-old novice in only her second season of deer hunting discovered that her buck was an escapee from a high-fence operation in nearby St. Charles. Click here for the full photo gallery.
Something I Never Want to See on a Fishing Trip Again by Joe Cermele
Thanks to all the rain and big storms in the Northeast lately, early fall smallmouth opportunities have been limited. Most of my local rivers are swollen messes, but this weekend my buddy Mark and I decided to try a smaller stream we thought might be low and clean enough to fish. Well, it was, but the banks were an utter disaster. Snarled brush piles, garbage in trees, and silt deposits above the normal high water mark were all evidence of just how bad the floods had been. As we walked through the woods to one of my favorite runs well away from homes or roads, I looked down and saw what you see in the photo below. And I nearly passed out. Click here for the full blog.
Marlin 336 Wins Whitetail Brush Rifle Championship by Dave Hurteau
About a month ago, we started with The Sweet Sixteen of Whitetail Brush Rifles--a March Madness-style tourney to decide the top deer gun in the thick woods. In four rounds of head-to-head matchups, you voted the great Savage 99 out in the Elite Eight and sent the North Woods staple Remington 7600 packing in the Final Four. So it came down to the top seeds: Winchester 94 vs. Marlin 336. And now, with more than 800 votes cast in the final matchup, it is all over--and it wasn't even that close. While I admit I was rooting for the 94, my sentimental choice, I'm not surprised the 336 came out on top. I am mildly shocked, however, that it trounced the venerable 94, which got only about 40 percent of the vote. Click here to read the full blog.
Hunting Amidst Grizzlies: Always Respect the Bruin, and Remember Your Bear Spray by Hal Herring
I was hunting just east of the Scapegoat Wilderness boundary, about a week ago. In the half-light before dawn, the tracks in the snow on the game trail looked like they might be human. As the light came up, though, it was clear that they were grizzly tracks, the improbably huge mitten-like print with the perfectly round toes, the frozen steep ground scored by the big diggers, like a badger print blown up, a badger from an old black and white Godzilla movie. Most of the tracks were blurred--there was more than one bear traveling here, and it looked like we were all going to the same place, a little pass about a mile and half off. Click here for the full blog.
One of the Greatest Collections of Colt Revolvers Ever Assembled by Steven Hill
On Sept. 18, Greg Martin Auctions put what is beleived to be the most significant collection of Colt revolvers ever assembled. The $6 million collection includes workaday pistols like an 1849 Pocket model (more than 300,000 manufactured) to intricate one-of-a-kind art pieces and presentation models given to important dignitaries, business associates and friends of the Colt family. "The collection is not big in number, but the guns in it are really world class--the ultimate of their kind," Martin says. Here's a look at the top 10 guns in this remarkable trove. Click here for the full photo gallery.
Getting Medieval: Serious Hunting With Gear From the Middle Ages by Phil Bourjaily
St. Hubert's Rangers reenact medieval hunting as closely as is possible in the 21st century, adopting the personae of nobles, huntsmen and foresters of the middle ages. They wear authentic clothes and use period weapons, animals and methods to recreate hunting as it was in England and Europe from 500 to 1500.

Click here for the full photo gallery.
Bear Wars: Rare Photos of a Mamma Grizzly Battling a Huge Male to Protect Her Cub by Steven Hill
Nature photographer Jim Abernethy was on a two-week trip documenting the grizzly bears of Alaska's Katmai National Park and Preserve in August 2007 when he caught on camera a violent encounter rarely witnessed by man: a mama grizzly facing off against a much larger male grizzly in a desperate bid to protect her cubs from attack. Click here for the full photo gallery.

A lot of interesting stories came across the web desk at Field & Stream _last year. These are the web editors' picks for the 25 best stories of 2011, in both photo gallery and blog form. Click through this gallery to see what you missed or take another look at a personal favorite.