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Camo Wars

Every year hunting apparel manufacturers bring out at least one new camouflage pattern. Pity the poor soul who shows up at hunting camp sporting last year’s pattern. And if       you’re seen wearing the original old government issue brown-over-more-brown pattern…well…turn in your man card and go play jumprope with the girls.

This story was published in the November 2003 issue of Bowhunting magazine.

 

One-Armed Retriever Training

I had just started writing and illustrating The Sporting Life column for Wyoming Wildlife News. My new Lab pup Maggie was ready to be trained.   I was recovering from rotator cuff surgery on my right shoulder so throwing training dummies for her was out. That’s how I came up with one-armed retriever training…indoor version.

Rich Man, Poor Man

In 2012 I was writing columns for two publications: Wildfowl magazine and Wyoming Wildlife News. It kept me so busy I hardly had time to hunt and fish.

The Wildfowl page was called Fowl Thoughts. Here’s the column from the September 2012 issue. Click on the text to enlarge it.

 

 

 

 

More exciting urban trail cam photos

Tie your trail cam to a tree in the woods, leave it for a week or so, then take out the chip,  stick it in  your computer and marvel at  the exciting photos. White tail deer, raccoons, possums, all sorts of nocturnal critters roaming the area.

Stick your trail cam on a tripod and set it up in your urban back yard and…well…it’s less exciting. However, in the darkest hours of night my trail cam has recently captured images of two neighborhood cats doing their thing: hunting for rats and mice.

A big round of applause for these, my fellow predators, for their service to the neighborhood.

 

 

 

Fishing is NOT cancelled

This is a tough time for our country, actually for the  international community.   But this morning it was kind of hard for me to concentrate on how serious the  situation is when Capt. Andrew Mizell of Southern Marsh Charters  and I  were taking off for a few hours of fly fishing for redfish. Isn’t that what fishing is all about?

Northward Bound

The main reason several guys go together and spend a lot of time and money to buy, develop and manage a piece of duck hunting property is so they’ll have their own duck hunting place. It’s a yearlong job but a labor of love.

Many things can thwart a promising duck season: weather patterns, migration irregularities, competition from nearby waterfowl habitat. But whether or not the Duck Gods favor you in the fall, the habitat you develop will be valuable to the birds on their long, dangerous journey north in the spring.

This video was shot in Bates County, MO after an early spring thaw. Most of these birds are probably mallards with a sprinkling of pintail, gadwall, widgeon and teal. They are enjoying this little 185 acre parcel of wetland habitat as a resting and feeding stop-over on the way north to their breeding grounds in the prairie pothole regions of the northern United States and Canada.

This little 185 acre parcel of marsh and woodland not only benefits ducks. Canada geese nest here every year. Snipe, herons and other shore birds frequent it year-round. White tail deer, raccoons, possums,  turkeys,  bobcats and countless songbirds make frequent  use of it.

Want to help conserve wetland habitat? Even if you don’t hunt, buy a federal duck stamp.They’re available for $25 every fall from your local post office. And support Ducks Unlimited http://www.ducks.org .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Firearms weekend

Our grandson Silas accompanied his dad and others to the farm of a fellow church member. This guy is obviously quite the outdoorsman. He has a safe place to shoot firearms, hunts deer and turkeys and has a pond where he hopes to eventually duck hunt.

Fourteen year-old Silas had never fired a weapon. He got a thorough intro into the safe handling of firearms. He fired his Uncle Joel’s 40 caliber semi-auto Glock and 44-magnum revolver, his dad’s 12 and 20 ga. Remington model 870 pump action shotguns, plus Dad’s 5.56mm AR. He also fired a .300 Blackout short barrel AR with and without a suppressor.

His shoulder wasn’t sore enough yet so he also fired a bolt-action .308 caliber rifle with and without the suppressor, plus a scoped bolt action .22.

Suppressors… the anti-gun crowd calls them “silencers”… have taken heat from anti-hunters. “Nobody needs a gun with a silencer!”  As the name implies, it does not silence the report from the firearm: it suppresses it. This is beneficial to hunters because it doesn’t announce your presence to every critter in the woods. It also makes shooting easier on the shooter’s ears.  Another advantage of suppressors is that firing ranges are sometimes located near suburban neighborhoods and the reduced noise cuts down on complaints from near-by homeowners.

If I had had one throughout my years of shooting I could probably still hear my wife talking to me from across the room. But on the other hand….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still MORE big Kansas bucks

My friend Scott calls the deer in the first nighttime photo the Crabclaw   buck. He only poses for the trail cam at night. Scott has been watching this buck for three years as it grows. As you can see by  how roughed up he is, this buck is a fighter.

The daylight photo below appears to be a 14-pointer. If he keeps   wandering around in the daylight this fall he’ll wind up on the wall of some  guy’s man cave.

And look at the herd of turkeys in the right background! Does that make you want to get out your old box call and start practicing or what!

The beautiful eight point buck below is from my friend Dave Zumbaugh’s trail cam. Dave lives on the outskirts of Shawnee Mission Park in a western suburb of Kansas City. The deer in the park are protected and rapidly become so numerous they stand on their hind legs in the winter and    munch the bark from trees. Yet every time a controlled archery hunt is proposed the anti hunting crowd raises hell. I guess they’d rather Bambi and his mom die a slow death by starvation.

Sanity has prevailed a few times and local food pantries have enjoyed the venison.