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 / Travel & Outdoor
Field & StreamField & Stream

Field & Stream December 2015 - January 2016

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

United States
Bonnier Corporation
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9 Issues


3 min.
a place of honor

YEARS AGO I KILLED a black bear on a spot-and-stalk hunt in the North Country. He was a huge old boar. His head was like a big pumpkin, and his pelt was thick and beautiful. It was a spectacular animal and a terrific adventure. I’ve heard some hunters say they don’t care for bear meat, but I like it. Two years before this hunt I had killed a young boar at my camp that tasted better than beef. Personally, I feel that if I don’t enjoy eating bear, then I shouldn’t hunt them. So I butchered him and froze the quarters and loins solid before stuffing them in coolers and duffels. My baggage fees for the flight home nearly maxed out my credit card. I smoked one of his hams at a…

1 min.
hidden gems

My Trophy A SQUIRREL TALE If you pull a certain essay collection from the shelf in my living room, an uncharacteristically bulky bookmark all but forces you to open to a story about squirrel hunting. This doesn’t happen by accident. I find a new bookmark for every book I read, and once I finish the last page it stays inside that book for good. For this hardback, I never second-guessed what the bookmark would be: a preserved squirrel tail. The gray squirrel that once flicked that tail was the first animal I ever killed. My colleague Mike Toth invited me to hunt with him on a WMA near his New Jersey home, and 10 minutes in I spied a squirrel at the base of a tree and fired. We shot one more that…

1 min.
black hole

› PHOTOGRAPHER: BILL BUCKLEY + LOCATION: PLUM ISLAND, MASSACHUSETTS Hank Garvey, an award-winning decoy carver and avid waterfowler, was hunting black ducks on the Merrimack River off Plum Island, a Massachusetts barrier island, when the rising tide forced him to reposition his layout boat and spread. “One of the challenges of hunting the salt marsh is that the tide fluctuates 10 feet over the course of six hours,” says Garvey. “So you can’t stay in one spot.” It was a bitter-cold January nor’easter, with the snow blowing sideways, but Dorie, his 9-yearold black Lab, was eager to hunt even with the brackish water freezing up. “People ask why I want to go out in those harsh conditions. For me, it’s a test. There’s a thrill to withstanding it, and the birds work really…

3 min.
cheers & jeers

FLIPPING FOR BIRDS Wow. “The First Family of Quail” (Oct. 2015) takes me back to my first hunts with my dad and ol’ Jack, his English setter. If there were still birds around, I wouldn’t be a deer hunter. Michael Powell, via Facebook YES SIRREE, BOB I’m glad the White family is using land management to revive wild quail in Missouri (“The First Family of Quail”). I hunted public land all over the state last year, and my dog and I had one point. One. I loved hearing about folks getting two coveys an hour. Brad Fitzgerald, via Facebook Awesome work. We need more families like the Whites. Tyler Lueck, via Facebook BABY (BACK) ON BOARD A year ago, I renewed my subscription to F&S after decades of having not read it. I’ve been missing out. I’m a baby…

5 min.
one more hunt

NEWS AND STORIES FROM THE EXPERTS THE SUN IS a hint below the horizon, but already the wind is howling. In December on the plains, the wind always blows, but rarely at this clip this early in the morning. And by the looks of the dark clouds pushing in from the West, a snowstorm is coming. I’ve got an hour, maybe two, to punch my tag before the blizzard makes conditions too tough. Here in Nebraska, muzzleloader season lasts all of December, and it’s my favorite time to stalk big mule deer. I’ll get out every day I can until my buffalo bullet intersects with a good buck. The first few days of the season see some pressure, but after that I have the breaks above the river all to myself. I’m hunting…

4 min.
fun and game

I’M NO HOUNDSMAN, but even I can distinguish Old Jack’s cries from the rest. He’s the big, block-headed male in my buddy Ryan’s pack of four beagles. When he’s on a hot track, it sounds like he’s snagged his nether parts in a woven-wire fence. You’d better be on your toes when you hear it, because there’s a rabbit coming. Along the riverbottom, small fields and woolly fencerows meet dense timber, all set in soupy mud, between puddles of standing water. This is swamp-rabbit country. The dogs are going nuts, but they’re getting fainter by the second. That doesn’t seem to bother Ryan any. “They’ll bring him back around here directly,” he says. Sure enough, within minutes the hounds’ voices rise again. It sounds increasingly frantic, as if the dogs are about to…