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 / Travel & Outdoor
Field & Stream

Field & Stream November 2016

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

United States
Bonnier Corporation
Read More
9 Issues


3 min.
84 great days

OR THE LAST dozen years, FIELD & STREAM’s deer hunting experts have gone out on a limb and predicted the Best Days of the Rut to hunt. Scott Bestul, along with Rut Reporters Dave Hurteau, Will Brantley, and our network of biologists, guides, and other experts, carefully analyzes all the factors that influence whitetail activity and—most important—shares top tactics for all phases of the rut. I wish I could say that I’ve been in the field for all 84 of F&S’s Best Days over these 12 years, but sometimes life and work get in the way of my hunting plans. I’m sure most sportsmen know how that goes. Every year, however, I commit to being in the deer woods on at least three of our seven days, using the tactics that…

1 min.
first shot

Shelf Life Photographer Lee Thomas Kjos met decoy carver Steve Brettell of Little River Decoys after reading about him in a magazine. He stopped by the shop, and soon Brettell was inviting him to come back in winter to hunt eiders. “I was a total stranger,” says Kjos. “Now we’ve hunted together for 20 years. The shop hasn’t changed a bit since then.” Its shelves are lined with eiders, scoters, and longtails, as well as turkeys, upland birds, even a puffin. Brettell taught himself to carve; people who heard about his decoys began asking him to guide, too. “It turned into a business, guiding and carving,” Brettell says. “I love hunting over traditional birds. They don’t work any better than plastic, and you have to be careful. Once I didn’t see…

5 min.
cheers & jeers

HOT AIR I’ve often thought hunters overstate the muzzleloader “rules” (“Up in Smoke,” Sept. 2016). Thanks for clearing up these old myths.Jhjimbo, via fieldandstream GATOR DAYS I’ve fished for alligator gar for years, and I agree with Joe Cermele: They make for excellent fishing and great eating (“Biting Truths”). My best catch is a 90-pounder, which cleared the water three times after I hooked it—30 years later, it’s still one of my most memorable battles. We threw a heck of a party in the gator gar’s honor, and it was delicious every way we cooked it. I definitely have a lot of respect for these toothy beasts. Gerg, via fieldandstream.com LAY OF THE LAND Thanks, Hal Herring, for a great article about public lands (“The Land Wars,” Conservation). People like Ammon Bundy may say they’re…

5 min.
snow birds

THE SEASUN • THE WILD CHEF • THE TOTAL OUTDOORSMAN • RIFLES • SPORTSMAN’S NOTEBOOK • ESCAPES THE WORLD IS a much quieter place when the mercury falls below 32 degrees— provided the wind isn’t blowing, and on this rare day in the Nebraska Panhandle, it is not. In the silent, frozen air, every sound cracks like a rifle shot. The tailgate is unduly loud as I lower it, and the thud of my black Lab landing on the hard snow practically rolls across the landscape like thunder. Pheasants can hear a shotgun’s action slam shut from a half mile away, so I slide the shells in as quietly as possible and control the bolt as it falls into battery. In the 30-plus years that I’ve hunted this abandoned homestead, it’s rarely…

3 min.
the deer standwich

The “shooter’s sandwich” became something of an Internet meme not long ago, triggered by a British food writer’s deeming it the best sandwich in the world. Loading a hollowed-out loaf of bread with steak, mushrooms, shallots, and a fat dose of horseradish yields a kind of portable beef Wellington— the pinnacle of British cuisine reinvented as a trail snack. Hunters like us (i.e., real shooters) saw the potential for a game version—an ideal pack-along for sustenance on a long day afield. RECIPE ON P. 22 INGREDIENTS 2 to 4 boneless venison steaks 1 sourdough boule, ciabatta, or any other unsliced loaf of bread 2⁄3 cup prepared mustard, divided 1⁄2 lb. bacon 3 Tbsp. butter, divided 8 oz. shiitake or other mushrooms, diced 2 shallots, minced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1⁄2 cup brandy…

5 min.
forged accuracy

I ’VE COME TO the grudging acceptance that I may never again be the rifleman I was at the hardened age of 14. It’s due not to failing eyesight or palpitations of the heart. It’s simply because I am no longer physically connected to a Crosman Model 760 Pumpmaster air rifle for upwards of 15 hours a day, which is how I spent much of my time as a young teenager. I no longer prowl backyards, city creeks, and sewer-line rights-of-way with 4 pounds of wood and steel fixed firmly to my right shoulder. Most pointedly, I no longer shoot iron I was 5 years old in 1966, the year the 760 Pumpmaster was introduced. By the time I scored a paper route and laid claim to my own spending money…