Field & Stream

Vol. 126, No. 4 - 2021

Founded in 1895, FIELD & STREAM is the world's leading outdoor brand. Each month, F&S delivers hunting and fishing tactics from the experts, gear reviews, and adventure stories.

United States
Camden Media Inc.
4 期号


a classic tarpon fishing scene in mexico

THE MOMENT I stood at the bow, ready to cast, took me back. I could remember watching fly-fishing shows on ESPN as a teenager, hoping to catch an episode in which Trevor Gowdy or Andy Mill would also take the bow on a skiff and wait for his chance to cast to a tarpon. I enjoyed the freshwater episodes of their shows just fine, but I loved the ones set on saltwater—even more so the ones on tropical flats. To a Missouri kid like me, those scenes of anglers sight-casting to silver sport fish in impossibly blue water seemed to come from another world. And for so long, I assumed that the other side of a TV screen was the closest I’d ever get to that world. But earlier this year, during…

story in the snow

JIM MASSETT thinks the buck we’re tracking is a poser. A big track almost always means a big buck, and this track is definitely big. But the 80-year-old North Woods tracker has come across a few small bucks with big feet and big bucks with small feet. So he’s leery. It’s an overcast, windless November afternoon in a hemlock forest near Old Forge, New York, in the 6-million-acre Adirondack Park. An inch of new snow fell last night, covering 3 inches of harder stuff. Normally, this kind of day has a brooding, melancholy feel. But being on a fresh track has a way of making things vivid, almost urgent. There’s a whole drama unfolding at our feet if you can tease out the story. Or you’re with someone who can. Massett bids…

trees of life

WE WAIT with the Old Men, each of them rooted in the muck, worn and furrowed. In the early light, their limbs and branches overhead are kinked and storm-shattered, like the arthritic fingers of the ancients. We watch the sky together. With the first sound of wings, and shots booming in the distance, we lean into each other and wait. The water reaches only to my waist, but this is a full-immersion baptism into one of the great rites of winter. For many duck hunters, timber hunting is the ne plus ultra of waterfowling. Wading deep into flooded woods, hunkering close to towering oaks and cypress and willows, ducks sucked into a woods hole where every bird with cupped wings is in range—such a scene is the dream of nearly every…

pitch perfect

SAM HAD a grouse pointed in a hillside tangle of blackberries where the cover thinned to reveal a hollow dotted by cattle, old barns, and hardwoods, their leaves just shading from red and yellow to dried-blood brown. Change a few details—say add a stone wall, make my 20-gauge Ruger a 16-gauge Parker, turn Sam from a shorthair into a setter—and you’d have a vintage magazine cover. I stood ready to shoot in case the grouse flushed early as I urged Tim over. When we had grouse in northeast Iowa, I made day hunts, driving six hours to hunt for three birds in the hope of a moment or two like this one. As host and guide, I was anxious for Tim to see it for the first time. He struggled through…

elk, the right way

I GAVE AWAY my saddle scabbard a few years ago. I had to accept the fact that I was too arthritic to do any more serious riding, so I sent it to a fellow who has bought a good many of my rifles over the years, and I hope he’ll use it because it deserves a better fate than hanging on a hook in the basement. I got it for an elk hunt in New Mexico in October 1977. It was made by a rancher who lived in Wyarno, Wyoming, named Bill Hape. Mr. Hape did leatherwork as a hobby and was very good at his avocation. When I parted with the scabbard, it was scarred and dented and stained with the sweat of who knows how many horses. It got one…

the king of doubles

FORTY YEARS AGO, college student Mike Jensen took an L.C. Smith .410 he’d bought for $150 to the Olathe Gun Shop to learn what it was worth. The owner kept offering Jensen more money for the gun. He wouldn’t sell. Instead, he bought a gun, which turned into 1,000, and now Jensen rents space in that same Olathe, Kansas, store, where he offers one of the country’s finest collections of truly obtainable classic shotguns from the golden age of doubles—1875 to WWII. Here’s a tour.…