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Keep Your Duck ID Skills Sharp with These Tips

September 18, 2014

Dogs and hunters need a little training before duck season. Making a solid identification before you pull the trigger and Fido brings you your duck requires a bit of training, too. Image by Doug Stamm.

"Don’t shoot! That’s a Can---" is not what a duck hunter wants to hear from his buddy in the blind as he pulls the trigger. Duck hunters may be a small niche subset of the hunting population, but this unique group of folks live, eat, and breathe the passion. Not all duck hunters are as famous as the Robertsons from Duck Dynasty, but a few of the avid duck hunters I talked to recently all get super excited to duck hunt every chance they can. The "avids" take duck identification to a completely new level, and woe unto the unprepared who cannot tell the difference between a mallard...

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Cookin’ in Camo: Suds and Squirrel with a Mushroom-vegetable Ragout

September 17, 2014

Small game season is IN! Maximize the value of your harvests with this delicious dish.

Squirrel is one my favorite small game animals. They come in a variety of species and are wildly abundant throughout the world. With many of our states’ squirrel seasons finally open, it only seems to bring this dish to the table! Braised in rich, flavorful beer and infused with the earthiness of mushrooms, you can’t help but go "nuts" after the first bite! Ingredients 4 ounces thickly sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 2 squirrels, 2 pounds each, cut into 6 pieces (don’t dare discard the heads---put them in the pot as well) 1 large onion, coarsely chopped 4 ounces...

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Early Season Whitetail Strategies

September 15, 2014

Bucks are bunched up in bachelor groups during late summer into early fall. During this time, their patterns are predictable. It’s what makes the early archery season a great time to hunt.

Many deer seasons open for bowhunters in September, which offers an opportunity to hunt them when they are still in late summer predictable patterns. Here are some tips to help you fill your tag in a hurry While I don’t love the mosquitoes that often accompany an early season deer hunt, I do love the opportunity that early bowhunting presents. Deer are in predictable patterns during the early weeks of many states' archery seasons in September. Whitetail bucks are in velvet until about the first of September. In fact, the bucks in my area lose their velvet nearly always within...

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Why Every Shotgunner Needs a Rangefinder

September 15, 2014

A rangefinder may not seem like a standard piece of gear for wingshooting hunters and waterfowlers, but the wise sportsman will find many uses for it.

Rangefinders have become part of the standard kit for big game hunters, especially bowhunters. They take the guesswork out of range estimation leading to more well-placed shots and speedier kills. Win, win, and win! Hunters using slugs for deer and turkey hunters were some of the first shotgun sportsmen to open up their daypacks to range-finding optics. In those pursuits, rangefinders play the same role as they do in the rest of big game hunting. However, smart wingshooting hunters find many uses for rangefinders, too, particularly in waterfowl hunting. Read more »

Cookin’ in Camo: Southwest Goat Burger with Griddled Onions and Avocado

September 9, 2014

This goat burger isn't hot off the Kenyan uplands, but it'll get your mouth watering.

My first goat-eating experience came while filming with Sub7 in Kenya. In those parts of the world, living on availability and sustenance rather than choice is a way of life. I remember a local singeing the hair off over an open flame and quartering the animal with a homemade hatchet. Later it sat on our plates waiting to be consumed. At first I was hesitant to dig in, but it was surprisingly enjoyable. Did I torch the hair or fortify my own hatchet to prepare the goat in this recipe? No. However, I did grind my own meat, create my own smoky spice blend, and sear these burgers perfectly on...

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Five Steps for Making Your Own “Hail Mary” Food Plot

September 9, 2014

When clearing out land for a late-season plot, the author likes to use a wheeled line trimmer. It lets him get a good idea what’s under the grass as he's going and lets him decide what gets cut and what doesn’t.

You can’t open a deer hunting magazine or read through a blog these days without seeing everything and anything about food plots. Of course, the reason behind all that publicity is that food plots simply work. Many of you have put in food plots on your hunting land already, but there are a few reasons to consider adding another at the last minute. Perhaps life got in the way of you putting one in earlier. I know that happens to me more often than I care to admit. Or maybe you have some, but have found the deer are moving in other areas and you want to make a little “honey hole.”...

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Five Steps for Making Your Own “Hail Mary” Food Plot

September 9, 2014

When clearing out land for a late-season plot, the author likes to use a wheeled line trimmer. It lets him get a good idea what’s under the grass as he's going and lets him decide what gets cut and what doesn’t.

You can’t open a deer hunting magazine or read through a blog these days without seeing everything and anything about food plots. Of course, the reason behind all that publicity is that food plots simply work. Many of you have put in food plots on your hunting land already, but there are a few reasons to consider adding another at the last minute. Perhaps life got in the way of you putting one in earlier. I know that happens to me more often than I care to admit. Or maybe you have some, but have found the deer are moving in other areas and you want to make a little “honey hole.”...

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Cookin’ in Camo: Bison Heart Anticucho

September 3, 2014

Most hunters and cooks don't think much of using the heart to create a delicious dish—but they've probably never read this recipe.

Heart is one of my favorite cuts on an animal. It’s highly underestimated and overlooked. Its rich, deep, meaty flavor stands up to any steak. Along with that, have I mentioned my obsession with peanut butter? It would make my boot edible. In this preparation I combine peanut butter with spicy red curry and sweet hoisin to create the perfect "heart topper." From the first bite, this dish will be everything your heart desires! Note: Tradionally anticuchos are skewered pieces of grilled meat. However, I love the sear that a cast iron...

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Essentials for Your Bird Dog Survival Kit

September 3, 2014

Hunters know that sporting dogs aren't just "tools" of the trade. They're members of the family, too, and every upland hunter should be prepared to provide care for their dog in the event of an emergency. Image by Britney Starr.

A sporting dog can be an invaluable tool in the field, and also an important part of the family. Most hunters I know are prepared to service a minor injury to themselves (or I would hope they are, at least) and carry a small first aid kit while afield, but what happens if your four-legged friend is injured during a hunt? Below are suggestions for an upland bird dog survival kit, and other ways to help your dog, should an emergency arise. Medical supplies My friend Brian Koch of Ultimate Upland spends more than 100 days a year afield with his...

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100 Percent of Wingshooting is 95 Percent Mental

September 1, 2014

It may not seem like it, but wingshooting is primarily a mental game.

Famed New York Yankee Yogi Berra and chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer couldn’t be two more different people. What are the odds they’d both espouse philosophies applicable to hitting a flying target with a shotgun? Well, so they did. Berra is known for saying “…90 percent of the game is half mental.” Fisher once said, “I give 98 percent of my mental energy to chess. Others give only two percent. Wingshooting, done properly and successfully, is primarily a mental endeavor. Once you collect the mental pictures of what it takes to hit a goose, grouse, or clay target and train your...

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