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Field & StreamField & Stream

Field & Stream December/January 2018-19

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

United States
Bonnier Corporation
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9 Issues


access_time2 min.
wall to wall

LATELY, THERE’S BEEN AN annoying echo in my office, and I blame it on the lack of heads on the walls. Long story short: Come January, the F&S editorial team will be in a new workspace. And while I welcome the change of scenery, one downside is that I won’t have the space I’ve gotten used to—enough room to display seven Euro mounts, a bearskin rug, and a few ducks. And that’s just my collection; wild totems from other editors were on display as well. As I write this, the only one of mine still hanging is the skull of my first elk. Otherwise, it’s empty in here—hence the echo. Deciding where to relocate those trophies has been a process. A few favorites have taken up residence in my apartment, while…

access_time3 min.
cheers & jeers

BOOSTER SEAT My father took me rail bird hunting in the marshes of southern New Jersey when I was 10 or 11 years old. The trip was not only fun and a great way to spend time with him, but also a huge confidence booster for my wingshooting ability. T. Edward Nickens’ story “Off the Rails” brought back a cherished memory. Philip A, via fieldandstream.com PUBLIC (LANDS) FORUM “The Allies” was a great article by Hal Herring. He made the point that two people can support and wish to protect public lands, even if their plans for the future may not be the same. It would be difficult to get everyone who enjoys the outdoors on the same page, but despite those differences, we must all share the same campfire at the end of…

access_time4 min.
bird of paradise

• THE SEASON• SHOTGUNS• ESCAPES• THE WILD CHEF• ASK PETZAL• RIFLES• HUNTING• THE TOTAL OUTDOORSMAN ARK MCBRIDE POINTED through a thin beam of headlamp light to a canal just to our left as we walked in the pitch black to a 50-acre flatwater impoundment in central Florida. “Watch out for the gator,” he said. When he scouted the spot a few days before, he had spotted a 10-footer in the deep water right next to where we now were. The ducks, on the other hand, we would soon see clearly. At sunrise, the tropical sky had tinted pink. A few cabbage palms broke up the distant horizon, and small flights of teal buzzed the opposite mud hump of a levee. “Ducks don’t respond much to decoys or calling down here,” McBride said.…

access_time4 min.
final stretch

THERE ARE ALREADY half a dozen geese feeding in the field at 10:30 A.M. when I drive by on my way to ask permission. They’re early. Usually at this time of year, geese eat only once, during the warmest part of the afternoon. “Warmest” is not warm today. We’ve got highs around zero, with a 30 mph northwest wind. At the farmhouse, the landowner looks at me as if I’ve asked to walk out behind the barn and chew on the electric fence: “Go ahead. Nobody else asked to go today.” It figures. Even my normally hardcore friends insisted on staying out of the cold. I can’t. It’s the last day. Back home, I throw a layout blind and 30 full-bodies into the truck. Some days I’ll wedge every last decoy…

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stand up and shoot

Stand-up blinds have been used in Canada for years, but now, finally, Americans are realizing that they work here, too, and are a lot more comfortable than hunting on your back. Avery’s Finisher Panel Blind ($280; averyoutdoors.com) has a tough steel frame, panel tops for concealment, and large windows with removable camo mesh. At 31.5 pounds, it isn’t light, but it folds to 4 feet by 3 feet by 6 inches for transport. Unfolded, it provides an 8.5-by-4-foot interior that hides four hunters for the price of one layout blind.…

access_time3 min.
land of excess

MAYBE I SHOULD FEEL guilty, enjoying the ease of South Texas as much as I do. No, it’s not the place for climbing mountains and suffering blisters and eating freeze-dried food in the snow. It’s where you settle onto a swiveling office chair in a box blind with a good rifle and extra ammo, because you’re going to see lots of critters that you’ll be encouraged to shoot. Also, it’ll be 70 degrees in December. Yesterday morning, hunting near La Pryor, I killed one of my best whitetails ever—an ancient, heavy 9-pointer with chocolate antlers. This evening, I’m waiting in a blind with my buddy Jeff Puckett and our host, Charles Coker. Vibrant songbirds flit through the mesquite and cactus, while a covey of Gambel’s quail feeds right alongside the blind.…