May 9, 2008
Whether you do most of your reading while seated in the smallest room of your home or you need a book for your next airline flight, be sure to put The Politically Incorrect Guide to Hunting, a just-released work from former Outdoor Life senior editor Frank Miniter, on your list of must-buys.
As the newest release in the Politically Incorrect Guide series from Regnery Publishing, Miniter’s book is loaded with great facts and data to back up any pro-hunting debate and to bury any contrary anti-hunting argument.
During Frank’s many years as a hunting and shooting writer (he’s now executive editor for the NRA’s American Hunter), he has meticulously retained clippings and files that he uses as examples about why hunting is vital and important to the overall scheme of nature and the environment.
Some of the chapters include “Why Bear Attacks Are Increasing,” “Why Florida Has Killer Gators,” and “How Hunting Is Good For Kids.”
John Snow, current Outdoor Life executive editor, posted his review of Miniter’s book on the Amazon.com Web site yesterday.
“The author has done an impressive amount of research that demonstrates the contribution that... [ Read Full Post ]
“Since it’s often possible to see doves coming for a considerable distance, there’s a temptation to track them with the barrel long before you shoot--but it is unnecessary to kill a dove more than once, and the longer you point at him the more ways you figure to miss him.”
“Complete Dove Coverage”
Field Days, 1995 [ Read Full Post ]
The 2007 outbreak of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease appears to be expanding its range, with new reports of the fatal deer malady last week in southern portions of Illinois and Ohio. Some wildlife biologists in the mid-South are already calling the EHD outbreak there the worst in decades.
The Illinois Department of Agriculture reports that EHD was confirmed in captive deer herds in Franklin and Randolph counties and was the suspected cause of death in wild deer in at least 28 counties throughout central and southern Illinois.
The outbreak of EHD in particular drought-affected areas is so severe this year that it has been blamed for the deaths of numerous cattle—which is highly unusual, according to those who track such things. The Ohio Department of Agriculture says at least two Ohio cattle herds have been impacted.
The Shelbyville (Ky.) Sentinel reports that cattle in the Bluegrass State are also confirmed fatalities of EHD.
Kentucky wildlife biologist Danny Watson told the Sentinel that cattle in the Green River area have succumbed to EHD in recent days. Watson said 939 deer from 50 Kentucky counties are confirmed victims... [ Read Full Post ]
Last year I posted about this incredible 234” monster freak that Jack Keihn killed with a 20-gauge in Indiana in Nov. 2005.
20 gauge? I grew up in a rifle/muzzleloader state and, curiously, had never killed a buck with a slug until last fall. I had always figured: Why would anybody use a 20 gauge when he could hunt with a big, heavy, ass-kicking 12 that spews forth the heaviest chunk of lead?
I never realized how many hard-core sluggers we have at the ZONE. That post continues to be one of the most viewed all-time on the blog (tens of thousands). Almost 100 people have chipped in so far with comments about shotguns, slugs and deer-dropping ballistics, and that many more have sent me emails. Examples:
JC wrote: “Clearly the 12 gauge is better. While the #'s will vary slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer, in virtually all cases the 12 will trump the 20 in trajectory, energy, and wind drift.”
Long-time ZONER Jstreet asserted: "If you can handle a 12 gauge you will get better downrange energy, but recoil will... [ Read Full Post ]
These 3 great bow bucks fell last week:
Eric Bothun (left) hunted in western North Dakota. It was hot, and he set up in a ground blind near a water hole one afternoon. Smart! Eric passed on a couple of mule deer, and a half-hour before dark this big deer stepped out. Eric drilled the best buck of his life at 30 yards, while Jason Irish filmed the action for Drury Outdoors TV and DVDs.
From the No-Duh Department comes this scientific revelation: Men Want Hot Women, Study Confirms. It appears that after observing 26 men and 20 women in a Munich, Germany, speed dating situation, researchers determined that while guys will cite a number of criteria for choosing a respective mate, the one common in their final selection is they would like the girl to be hot looking.
Somebody paid for this study?!? They needed a scientific study to come to that conclusion? Walk into any bar in America and a drunk can figure that one out, unless it's close to last call.
After all, isn't that why Baywatch was one of the most watched shows in its day despite David Hasselhoff and why more dudes will check out Maxim's Home Town Hotties this week than Hanback's Big Buck Zone even as deer season begins to crank up!!!!!
Man if somebody wants to throw money around to pay for studies like that, lets at least spend it on something we need to figure out, like why people... [ Read Full Post ]
A bill passed by the California Senate and General Assembly earlier this week that would ban the use of lead bullets by deer and varmint hunters within the range of the endangered California condor has been sent to the desk of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
But sources for sportsmen’s groups and firearms organizations say they don’t necessarily expect a rubber stamp from the “Governator,” and believe he may veto the measure and defer any such regulatory action to the California Fish and Game Commission.
Assembly Bill 821, the Ridley-Tree Condor Preservation Act, was approved by the state Senate 23-15 on Tuesday, with amendments subsequently approved by the Assembly on Wednesday. Voting was generally along party lines in the Democrat-controlled legislature.
Ban proponents base their case for the legislation on a 2006 University of California-Santa Cruz study contending that lead from bullets and bullet fragments left in carcasses or gut piles is a major contributor to poisoning in condors. A scavenger by nature--much like vultures in other parts of the country—the condor’s primary food source is carrion.
“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”
I need your help. Today with the sad news of the great tenor Luciano Pavarotti’s death I was jolted back to the delightful times my wife and I built pasta from scratch—with a hand-operated machine—accompanied by some big-flavored red wine, with Pavarotti and his cronies booming in the background. The pasta always ended up much better than the dry stuff you normally buy. And somewhere along the way we invented our own seafood (though sometimes it was freshwater fish) –stuffed sauce (both red and white versions). There were a few odd spices in it, and some herbs and a couple tricks in the making. During one of our moves we lost the recipe. I tell you all this because I aim to make an evening soon honoring Pavarotti by building a feast and playing his music and drinking some wine.
Being in the midst of setting up dozens of pieces of fishing tackle for... [ Read Full Post ]
Luke Strommen sent me this picture of his friend Adam Morehouse of Glasgow, Montana. A couple of weeks ago, Adam killed this pronghorn with a 64" Robertson Stykbow of 68# and Gold Tip arrows tipped with Montec G5 2-blade broadheads.
“He’s smaller than the goat I got last year,” Adam told Luke.
Luke responded, “Man, are you crazy? Any antelope shot with any type of bow, let alone a longbow, is a true accomplishment.”
I’d say. I bet there aren’t 20 pronghorns killed with a longbow in the U.S. each season. Way to go Adam!
This beautiful muley is from Jim, the nice guy who if you recall from one of last week’s posts has life figured out. Jim lives at 9,000 feet in the CO Rockies and takes wildlife photos in his yard.... [ Read Full Post ]
So, what’s a sure sign that big game animals are approaching their breeding season? A deer scrape? Bugling elk? How about a bull elk getting tangled up while sparring with a backyard swing set, and a bull moose wearing a volleyball net?
Wildlife authorities in Estes Park, Colorado had to tranquilize a 5x5 elk yesterday after the animal tried to do battle with a heavy wooden recreation set. In the process, its rack became inextricably entangled in a swing chain.
After a two-hour struggle in which the bull toppled the 400-pound structure and dragged it at least 25 feet, a Colorado Department of Wildlife agent and a veterinarian were able to subdue the beast and free it to pursue other adversaries—hopefully those of the antlered variety.
Also this week, Wyoming game wardens were called to a campground in the Big Horn Mountains, where a bull moose had become entangled in a volleyball net, effectively blinding the 800-pound animal.
Warden Tim Thomas and partner Alan Osterland said the moose was apparently attempting to leave a love calling... [ Read Full Post ]
A western Maryland family endured a harrowing experience with an overly aggressive black bear last week, after the bruin charged their house and tried to get inside. The animal was later diagnosed with rabies, making it the first bear to test positive for the disease in state history.
On Thursday evening last week, homeowners Mike and Charlotte Stanton of Grantsville heard a commotion outside and saw a bear attempting to get into their goat pen. When they yelled at the bear from the doorway, it wheeled around and charged the house.
“At first it was pushing on the door and I was holding onto the handle from inside,” Ms. Stanton told reporter Sawyers. “Mike was going to the gun room to get a gun.”
Then the bear left the door and attempted to pull an air-conditioning unit out of a window.
“I was pulling from inside and the bear was pulling on it from outside when Mike got there with... [ Read Full Post ]
Perhaps the greatest advantage to posting blogs here on a daily basis is the ability to bring Outdoor Life readers important news about hunting, angling and shooting issues the moment it occurs. Last week’s story about the significant epizootic hemorrhagic disease outbreak in the mid-South covered here and over at Mike Hanback’s blog is a perfect example.
Back in the old days (before the Internet), it’s entirely likely that the news of the EHD outbreak and its potentially devastating effect on regional whitetail herds would not even be reported in the pages of Outdoor Life and other outdoor magazines. Why? Because by the time the story saw print, the news would be old and irrelevant.
In short, it wouldn’t be news any more.
Wildlife agencies in the EHD-affected states of Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia are stressing that the deer fatalities are expected to be far from catastrophic. But hunters should remember that agencies focus on the big picture, and their main concern the total deer herd in a county or region of the state.
Individual hunters, on the other hand, have reason to be justifiably... [ Read Full Post ]
“Elmer (Keith) has apparently found that animals get away wounded because hunters use ‘inadequate’ calibers on them. It is my own experience that animals get away wounded because careless and unskillful hunters do not place their shots well. It has also been my experience that if a shot is not well placed the animal is not killed and generally has to be followed up. A poorly placed shot is a poorly placed shot no matter what bullet is used.”
“The Big-Bore Boys”
The Last Book (Confessions of a Gun Editor), 1984 [ Read Full Post ]
Critter baits, those fat-bodied, multi-appendaged hunks of plastic that look like nothing real but suggest a variety of things that our bass (and other fish) can eat, are extremely popular of late—especially when used for probing heavy cover with a cone sinker.
Recent word from Japan is that bass anglers over there are hooking their critters—specifically the Yamamoto Flappin' Hog—backwards…and weightless. You can see how it’s done in the photo.
Here’s the advantage: Hooked with the fat tail section forward, the bait tends to drop down and forward. If you allow controlled (not totally loose, not too tight) slack in your line, the rig will go down and beneath edges of overhead cover like weeds, trees, docks and such—even between reed stalks. It takes a tad of practice but the technique is quickly learned. And it surely is effective.
For busting through the really thick weed mats, however, you’re still going to need a weight. You can continue to rig with the fat end forward, though. Some anglers then use a trick called “bombing.” With a heavy weight, they flip the rig vertically... [ Read Full Post ]
To call Dave Romeo a bass-fishing fanatic is an understatement of the highest magnitude. I mean, how the hell do you categorize someone who has counted, measured and meticulously documented every bass he has landed for the past 25 years--all 25,000 of them?
You read it right, there are three zeroes behind that 25.
In 1987, the Mount Joy, PA motivational author and speaker landed in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most bass ever caught in a single season--3,001 in 77 days.
And last week Romeo achieved his latest angling feat, catching his 25,000th bass in 25 years of fishing, an easily calculated average of 1,000 largemouth a year.
Batting 1,000 is pretty impressive, no matter what sport you're talking about.
Romeo, who has carried a clickable counter and fishing journal during his visits to Pennsylvania ponds and lakes since 1981, authored "Better Bass Fishing-The Dave Romeo Way," in 1988.
Mike Parker of Harrisburg, PA television station WHP reported this week that Romeo eclipsed the 25,000 mark last Saturday, but he has another goal in sight for 2007.
That'll take another 200 fish, so he can... [ Read Full Post ]