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Field & Stream

Vol. 126, No. 1 - 2021

"The World's Leading Outdoor Magazine." devoted to the complete outdoor experience and lifestyle.

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United States
Camden Media Inc.
$7.79(Incl. tax)
$15.60(Incl. tax)
4 Issues

in this issue

3 min
breaking away

IT'D BEEN A WHILE. So long that I’d almost forgotten that feeling. It hit as I was standing on the bank of a canal, holding a .223 and waiting for the bull alligator to break the surface for air. If all went to plan, this would be our third tagged gator during our stay with the crew at Pintail Hunting Club. I did my job on the first two, which is to say I stayed the hell out of the way. Those hunts were wild to watch, but I can’t honestly say I felt much during the action. That all changed once it was my turn. After the gator was solidly hooked and progress had been made in easing him toward us, I took the rifle and moved to the edge of…

3 min
ask petzal

HAVE YOU EVER WORN A COWBOY HAT WHILE HUNTING? BE HONEST. —Ronald Sullivan Jr., San Antonio, Texas In November 1977, while driving from Cody, Wyo., to Billings, Mont., to go on an elk hunt, I hit an icy patch on Highway 72 and went off the road in spectacular fashion while listening to Linda Ronstadt sing “Blue Bayou.” For reasons that are now unclear, I figured this entitled me to wear a cowboy hat, so I bought one in Billings, a very handsome silver-gray Stetson. On the hunt, people were too polite to say anything, but the mirror did not lie. So I gave my Stetson away and never wore another. I’M RUNNING OUT OF ROOM IN MY GUN SAFE. SHOULD I TRADE SOME GUNS FOR A HANDFUL OF REALLY GOOD ONES OR GET…

2 min
buck hunters go big

ONLY 20 YEARS AGO, half of all whitetail bucks tagged by hunters were just 1½ years old. Barely 1 in 5 was 3½ or older. Since then, the yearling take has steadily dropped while the mature buck kill has skyrocketed. New data from the National Deer Association (NDA) shows that hunters have set an all-time record for the percentage of mature bucks in the whitetail harvest. NDA chief conservation officer and deer biologist Kip Adams was shocked by the news. “We’ve seen the yearling buck kill drop gradually over the years, but when it fell to just over 30 percent of the 2017 harvest, I was sure we’d bottomed out,” he says. “When I saw this new data, I realized we’d reached a cultural shift.” Hunters, on a large scale, are…

4 min
strange brood

FLY ANGLERS in the eastern half of the U.S. are eagerly anticipating a hatch 17 years in the making: the Brood X cicada emergence. From around mid-May through June, billions of these chubby bugs will be singing in trees from Georgia to Pennsylvania to Illinois. They don’t belong in the water, but many will end up there anyway, and fish will respond just as you would expect. “When cicadas hatch, everything eats them,” says guide Patrick Fulkrod, founder of the South Holston River Company in Tennessee. “It’s incredible. I’ve had birds diving for them, and I’ve even seen squirrels swimming in the river after them. Also, fish that you’ve never seen eating aggressively on the surface, like carp, stripers, and catfish, will go for cicadas.” Tom Baltz is a fishing guide and…

6 min
the true north

SO YOU REALLY, most sincerely, want to get away from it all? I have bad news for you, Bunkie. There’s a Florida family named Means who have made a hobby of finding the most remote spots in the U.S. Of the 33 states they’ve visited, the average remotest spot was 6.8 miles from a road and 0.8 mile from a trail, and two-thirds of these places had cell phone coverage. This does not speak well for your chances of seclusion. However, I have a solution. It’s called the caribou, and it lives in the far north where the weather and the bugs are so extreme that the only people who can live there are the Indigenous ones who have had thousands of years to adapt. I got my caribou-hunting start in Quebec,…

3 min
the holiday getaway

“BUT EVERYBODY HUNTS on Thanksgiving,” I insist year after year in late November. Not true, says my wife. She’s from an Eastern suburb where no one hunts at all. She knows plenty of people who don’t hunt on Thanksgiving. She can name them—and my name is on the list. What’s worse, Pam believes that on this holiday, a man’s place is in the home, cleaning, peeling potatoes, and making token dishes like cranberry relish. This applies not only to Thanksgiving but also to the days leading up to it. Given the amount I get to hunt, I shouldn’t complain. But I do. “Thanksgiving is a harvest celebration,” I say. Someone should do some harvesting, and as she doesn’t hunt, that someone should be me. But that goes over about as well as…