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Recent blog posts
12
Feb

Is there a perfect elk rifle?

Posted by on in Hunting

I've been asked many questions about hunting over the years, given my full-time career as a hunting journalist, especially with Outdoor Life magazine. Of all those questions, the one most asked is my opinion on elk rifles. Most of those were from folks who didn't live in elk country and were coming west for the first time, but some came from experienced hunters who were no strangers to the elk woods.

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29
Jan

Coffee, Me and Elephant Poop

Posted by on in Public Blog

Many years ago I saw a sign on the bulletin board in my daughter's college dorm. It said, "Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits." So now that I'm convalescing from my open heart surgery, I often sits. Thinking, at least deep thinking, is often not a priority. I'm reminded of an English professor when I was in college. He was a bit strange, and at one point instructed us all to go outside and lie down in the grass. He asked us to focus on a single blade of grass and write as much about it that we could. So as I sit here, I look around and see my cup of coffee on the table. Taking a cue from the weird prof, I'll write about coffee. At least, whatever is worth writing about. Some info will be entertaining, some educational, and some worthless.

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22
Jan

MISSING THE SHOT SHOW

Posted by on in Public Blog

     So I'm sitting here, feeling sorry for myself, because I'm missing the SHOT show, which is the biggest event in the hunting and shooting industry. It's winding down now. It is the 38th show, having its beginnings in St. Louis in 1979. SHOT stands for Shooting, Hunting Outdoor Trade.

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06
Dec

The Truth About My Heart Attack

Posted by on in Public Blog

Never in my wildest imagination did I dream I'd have a massive heart attack. I know now that I'd been having symptoms, but was always in denial. I figured that since I've been on this planet for seven and a half decades, that it was normal to be short of breath easily. I figured I was doing the right thing to eat Tums and Rolaids for what I thought was simply recurring indigestion. I figured that since my Dad lived to be 93 and had open heart surgery at age 88, and recovered, that I had some good genes and wasn't at risk, at least for a while. I figured that since my diet was exclusively wild game and fish, I was eating correctly. I figured that since I've always been very physical, hunting big game in mountain country the last 40 years, I had plenty of exercise. Not to mention 25 to 30 cords of firewood I cut in the forest and split each year. Putting those all together, why should I be a candidate for a heart attack?

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01
Nov

Why Venison Can Be Gamey

Posted by on in Hunting

     Taste is in the tongue of the beholder. Every individual has personal food preferences. When it comes to venison, all sorts of factors come into play. That's because deer, elk, and other big game animals are wild. Totally organic, never manipulated with feeds, steroids, growth hormones or antibiotics to produce a certain quality of meat.

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30
Sep

A Mauling on my Antelope Hunt

Posted by on in Hunting

So I was out hunting for an antelope yesterday, any antelope. I had an either sex license and wasn't trophy hunting. I was meat hunting, so a small buck or doe would work nicely. My neighbor Rick was with me.

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09
Sep

Traveling with Firearms

Posted by on in Hunting

Hunting season is here in many areas, and various forms of transportation will be used to get to the hunt location. Most people will travel in their own personal vehicle. While in might seem simple, transporting firearms can be complicated, since states have different rules. Check the laws before you hit the road to be sure you're complying with them.

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12
Aug

My Take on Long Distance Shooting

Posted by on in Hunting

Kenny Jarrett stepped away from the bench and nodded. "Any time," he said. I followed his instructions and squeezed the trigger. Amazingly, the bullet hit the target. I figured it was pure luck. Two more bullets followed, and I was astounded to see a three inch group. I figured I'd be lucky to simply hit the three by three foot sheet of wood the target was attached to. The range was 600 yards. That happened about 10 years ago, at Kenny's personal range in South Carolina. The only reason I shot that group was because I was using Kenny's rifle, and he coached me as to exactly where to hold on the target, considering the wind direction and distance. Kenny has been making quality rifle for more than 30 years, and, in my opinion, is the master of long range shooting. Many years ago, his rifles were coined the "Beanfield Rifles" because they could shoot accurately across a beanfield, which, I expect, is a considerable distance. I believe Jim Carmichel, former Shooting Editor of Outdoor Life magazine, coined that name.

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01
Aug

Lessons Learned from Cecil the Lion

Posted by on in Public Blog

     The whole world pretty much knows that Cecil, a collared Zimbabwe lion, was shot by Walter Palmer, a Minnesota dentist. What we don't know are all the facts, though a "conservation charity" stated the lion was wounded and had to be tracked for 40 hours before being killed. There are other statements, maybe true, maybe not. Of course, the press dug into Palmer's life, and found that he was arrested for poaching a black bear, and, he was involved in a sexual harassment charge. There has been a case made that this aging lion was 13 years old, and was no doubt driven out of his pride by stronger, younger lions. He was at the end of his life. That, however, in the eyes of many, did not justify killing him. This lion was collared and photographed thousands of times by tourists in a park. He was beloved by many.

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24
Jul

How I Feel About Golf

Posted by on in Public Blog

Recently I drove by a golf course and saw many folks enjoying the sport. It was a beautiful day, sunny and 70, and I was going fishing. I wondered about the people on the fairways and greens and driving around in their little golf carts. To me, golf is a foreign activity that I know nothing about. I don't know the difference between a putter or 2-iron or wood whatchamacallit, or a birdie from a bogey. Nor do I want to know.

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16
Jul

Game Laws That Should Be Scrapped

Posted by on in Hunting

After more than 50 years of hunting, I've become aware of all sorts of wildlife regulations, the majority of them sound, but some that are unreasonable and, in my opinion, unfair. I'm referring to laws that require the hunter to make a field evaluation measurement of the quarry, insuring that it exceeds the minimum requirements. Practically all of these measurements involve antlers or horns. I believe that asking a hunter to make a judgement call on an animal in the field is unjust. I have plenty of examples.

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19
Jun

A Firewood Disease. Could it be?

Posted by on in Public Blog

So she walks over, looks at the woodpile, and says, "I think you have a problem." I put down my 8 pound splitting maul, thankful for the break, and say, "problem? I have a problem?" "Yes," she says, "and there must be a name for it." She thinks a minute and says, "I've got it. EXCESSIVE COMPULSIVE FIREWOOD DISORDER. ECFD. That's the name of your affliction. I think it fits." And she walks back in the house. I'm sure she's feeling pretty proud about herself for that perfect acronym.

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02
Jun

Alaska's Healing Hearts Bear Hunt & Fishing Adventure 2015

Posted by on in Public Blog

When the two boats finally cast off the ropes and left the dock at the Homer, Alaska harbor, you might say the people on board were a bit excited. It was a dream come true for six of them, all combat veterans who served in Iraq, Afghanistan, or both. They were about to embark on a five day bear hunt/fishing trip hosted by Alaska's Healing Hearts Foundation, an organization that makes many activities available to veterans. The adventure was made possible by the generosity of Mike Flores, who owns Ninilchik Charters. Mike, who has two sons active in the U.S.Marine Corps, made his two boats available for the trip.

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11
May

No Revenge On The Attack Turkeys

Posted by on in Hunting

Spring turkey season here in northwest Wyoming is winding down, and I'm not a happy camper. I had high hopes of causing the demise of one of the gobblers that attacked me in my driveway last year. Evidently that will not happen.

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17
Apr

A Look Inside an NRA Convention

Posted by on in Public Blog

THE 2015 NRA convention, held in Nashville, is now history. I haven't seen the official numbers, but I understand it was the best ever in terms of attendance. Because my motel was a few miles from downtown, I took cabs. It was interesting to note the reaction of some of the drivers. They wanted to know what went on inside that building. Were there lots of guns there? Why did people go there anyway?

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26
Mar

Upland Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp?

Posted by on in Public Blog

Most hunters are aware that we have far more big game species now than we did at the turn of the 20th century, when market hunting, subsistence hunting, and habitat destruction took a huge toll on wildlife. That being said, we're now experiencing a profound downward spiral of many species of upland birds, primarily due to encroachment of civilization where rural acres are lost, and habitat alteration or changes due to different farming practices and varying land uses that are detrimental to wildlife species.

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09
Mar

Iditarod Race in Alaska Starts Today

Posted by on in Public Blog

Today is the official start of the Iditarod, called The Last Great Race on Earth. This dogsled race, with some 50 mushers competing, runs about 1100 miles, ending at Nome. Because of poor snow conditions, the restart begins in Fairbanks instead of Willow today. You can follow the race on the Iditarod homepage.

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05
Mar

Hunting's Greatest Mystery

Posted by on in Hunting

The other day I walked out on the front porch to carry in some firewood, and heard a cow elk bark. I looked across the road and saw a small herd of about a dozen elk standing there in the sagebrush looking at me. They were no more than a hundred yards away from my house. As I watched them, I choked up. I don't know why. I see elk pretty much every day of the year along the highway in our valley. But the mystery here is the unexplainable fact that my brain switched from being in awe at their majesty to thinking about where I'd be applying for my cow elk tags this fall.

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17
Feb

Like it or Not, Here Come the Drones

Posted by on in Public Blog

Picture this: a hunter is stalking a herd of elk, but they disappear in the timber. He has no idea where they are. He lifts a small camera-equipped drone out of his belt holster, activates it, and sends it up over the trees. The tiny aircraft transmits video back to him, or he retrieves it when it lands, and he spots the elk in the footage. With that knowledge, he continues his stalk to the unseen animals.

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08
Feb

Can You Avoid Deer Collisions With Your Vehicle?

Posted by on in Public Blog

This animal is an example of the enormous number of deer struck by vehicles each year. The toll is mind boggling. According to recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are one and a half million collisions with deer each year. Some 150 people are killed in those collisions. Vehicle damage is more than one billion dollars annually. According to State Farm Insurance, Pennsylvania leads the states with 115,000 collisions; Michigan is second with 97,000, and New York follows with 80,000 These figures are low, since many collisions are unreported. The number of deer struck is low also, since many run off into the woods and die.

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