May 9, 2008
It took me longer than it should have. But, eventually, I saw it. The issue beneath the issue. And it ticked me off...
Outdoor Life Editor Andrew McKean, as he is known to do from time to time, sent me a somewhat-cryptic e-mail about a “possible Open Country blog topic.”
The e-mail contained a string of comments from Facebook in which several hunters were fired up about the killing of two wild burros in Arizona. [ Read Full Post ]
On Christmas Eve last year Louisiana hunter Bobby Neames shot a big 6-point buck before even climbing his stand. But 15 minutes later the buck charged, and Neames found himself fighting for his life.
The 46-year-old hunter set out the morning before Christmas in East Feliciana Parish, La., reports the Louisana Sportsman. Neames was expecting company for lunch and still had cooking to do, but the rut peaked on Christmas and he couldn’t resist a quick hunt.
Neames walked just 400 yards from his home to his hunting spot. As he approached the food plot near his box stand, he stopped in a shooting lane to scan the field. He spotted a 6-point eating rice bran from a feeder 75 yards away. Neames recognized the deer as a buck he’d been hunting for three years, although this was the first time he encountered it during daylight.
But the bruiser saw Neames at the field’s edge and took off toward a thicket. Neames backpedalled and dropped to one knee, raising his .270 Winchester. He aimed for its neck, the only shot available, and squeezed the trigger. The buck made it just 20 yards along a main trail before Neames heard it crash.
Neames said he usually waits 45 minutes before recovering a deer. But he felt pressed for time and was confident in his shot, so instead he set off to retrieve the buck after waiting just 15 minutes. [ Read Full Post ]
It's shaping up to be a tough winter on whitetails, especially in northern locations. A combination of heavy snow cover and sub-zero temperatures will no doubt take its toll.
Research done at the University of New Hampshire found that the average mature doe enters winter with a three-month supply of fat on her body. In tough times of heavy snow and super cold temperatures, this is what she will live on. Every day she can’t find food or doesn’t get out to forage, she burns fat to stay alive. The colder the winter and the more snow on the ground, the more fat she will burn. Once the fat is consumed, the body starts burning muscle until starvation and death. Are your deer in danger?
Deer researchers in most Northern states keep track of winter stress by looking at snow cover and temperature. They use a tracking tool called the Winter Severity Index (WSI). Basically, the WSI tracks snowfall and temperature from December 1 through April 30 and gives an indication as to its impact on deer. Any day where temps drop to zero or under gets scored as a 1. Additionally, any day where there is 18 inches of snow or more on the ground also gets scored as a 1. So, if 12 days in January had an 18-inch cover of snow and 6 days dropped to zero or below, the score for January would be 18. A seasonal score of 50 or under = mild winter, 51-80 moderate, 81-100 severe, and over 100 very severe. Severe and very severe winters generally mean reduced deer numbers due to winter kill. The fawns generally go first followed by the infirmed and finally healthy deer. [ Read Full Post ]
You can never have too many survival tools. But when an emergency occurs, sometimes your best instruments are the intangibles: quick thinking, resourcefulness, and decisiveness.
An unidentified Idaho ice angler's rapid response surely saved the life of a boy who fell through the ice recently. The angler was fishing in a local pond when a 12-year-old boy broke through the ice about 20 feet from shore, Idaho's KTVB reports. A rope and throwable floatation device would have been the ideal tool, but without one readily available, the situation demanded a creative solution. [ Read Full Post ]
Birch tinder fungus (Inonotus obliquus) is a woody type of fungus that grows on a variety of species of birch trees. You’ll find this crusty, black growth primarily on yellow birch and white birch trees, often at higher elevations. And if you’re looking for something raw from the wild that catches sparks like char cloth, this is it.
Although birch tinder fungus (also known as clinker polypore and chaga) is often used for alternative medicine treatments, its value for survival fire starting really puts it on the map. This punky material is better than traditional char cloth, even without being charred. Here’s where you’ll find it, and how to make it work. [ Read Full Post ]
I still carry in my pack the first GPS unit I ever bought, a Garmin eTrex Vista. The reason it remains go-to gear is that it does what I ask: It keeps me found and gets me home with a minimum of fuss and fluster. It stores waypoints, it shows me a simple compass I can follow, and it is a power miser, going a couple of years on the same set of AA batteries.
I mention this in the context of two new GPS units—the Magellan eXplorist 350H and the Garmin Monterra—that I carried from Wyoming to British Columbia to Oregon last fall. Both devices represent the state of the art in handheld navigation, but neither is satisfied with simply showing me the way back to my pickup. The WiFi-enabled Garmin is the more elaborate of the two, and comes loaded a dizzying number of features based on the Android operating system. It also contains an 8-megapixel digital camera, an FM and NOAA weather radio, an MP3 and video player, 3D maps, and any Google Play app you care to download. [ Read Full Post ]
Going face-to-face with a giant grizzly bear. Laying on the ground while its monstrous paws wave about. These details might sound like the beginning of an exciting This Happened To Me tale, but they're all part of a day's work for Doug Seus.
Seus, 71, a professional bear trainer, has been working with bears for decades. The bears he trains have appeared in Hollywood movies and shows. The bear in this video is Bart the Bear 2, an 8-foot 6-inch tall grizzly. Seus makes it look easy playing around with and telling commands to a 1,300-pound bear. [ Read Full Post ]
Photos by Jeff Wilson
Things were not going well. I was prone on a mound of dirt, baking under the South Texas sun. It was hot, as only South Texas in the summer can be hot. The breeze offered no relief—with the mercury hovering at 103 degrees, a 10 mph wind is like a hair dryer blowing across your face. Plus, this wind was humid. Not pleasant at all. [ Read Full Post ]
A 16-pound black grouper will likely earn Brielle Bennett a new IGFA female Junior record.
Bennett caught the 16-pound fish off Key West on Nov. 24, 2013 while on vacation with her family. The New Jersey native was fishing with a live grunt when the grouper took her bait and headed for the depths.
She quickly put the screws to the reel and landed the monster in double-quick time.
The fish was weighed and documented before being let loose — none the worse for wear.
The current record is 13 pounds, 8 ounces.
[ Read Full Post ]
While in attendance at the annual Dallas Safari Club convention, I was lucky enough to sit down with two African Professional Hunters — one old-school, the other a relatively newcomer (check out the Newshound blog later this week for that interview). Their combined experience culminates in nearly a century's worth of stories. Both offered insights on the Africa that was, that is, and that will be.
Johan Calitz began his career accompanying his father, clients, and friends afield in Rhodesia at a young age under the mentorship of some of the most well-known professional hunters of that time. Almost 40 years later, he is internationally recognized, not only for his steadfast style of elephant hunting, but for his pioneering work in the hunting DVD market and his participation in the hit TV show Under Wild Skies. [ Read Full Post ]
The folks at Whitetail Properties are planning the "The World's Largest Shed Hunt" on March 1, and to get participants motivated and educated, they posted this video on how to find more sheds. The basics of shed hunting are pretty obvious of course: look for sheds where deer spend most of their time during the late-winter months.
But this video divulges some insider info: bring binos for glassing distant habitat, check honey holes that get a lot of sun light, and focus on field edges. [ Read Full Post ]
Sitka has introduced two new pants for their waterfowl line. The Boreal Bib Pant (pictured) completes the company’s warmest waterfowl system. Working with the Boreal jacket, as well as Sitka’s other layers of high-tech clothing, the bib pants feature Gore-Tex and welded, watertight zippers to lock out the ever-present elements associated with waterfowling (you know, namely frigid water). [ Read Full Post ]
A man-eating tiger in India is believed to have killed its tenth victim Sunday evening. The female cat’s latest victim was a 50-year-old man who was collecting firewood at the edge of Kalgarh village at the time of the attack. The apex predator was eating the man’s abdomen and leg when villagers were able to scare it away with shovels and metal rods. [ Read Full Post ]
Getting your trusty ATV ready for storage after a great season of hunting requires a little more forethought than you may realize. One thing many people will neglect every year is the battery that spins life into your ride.
Batteries come in many shapes, sizes, types and brands. With technology advancing as it has, you will find one on every machine. Most of the newer ATVs will have sealed maintenance-free batteries, which simply means they do not have to be topped off with fluids of any kind. These batteries Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries will still need to be charged though. Here are a few things to consider in order to protect that expensive battery when storing your machine for extended periods. [ Read Full Post ]
Most readers of outdoor writing know a good deal about Ernest Hemingway. But for those of us who want to find out the details — like for example what Mary Hemingway's favorite hamburger recipe was — there's good news coming from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.
More than 2,500 documents collected from Hemingway's farm outside of Havana have been newly digitized and made available at the museum, according to a story yesterday by The New York Times.
What makes the collection all the more interesting is that Hemingway seemed to be a hoarder, saving everything from Christmas cards to tickets to bullfights to the Cuban gun permit pictured above. [ Read Full Post ]