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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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Quebec Welcomes Hunters with Open Arms and Garbage Bags

August 18, 2014

For the discerning bird hunter, Quebec has a lot to offer.

What’s your pleasure? Puddle ducks? Geese? Ruffed grouse? Woodcock? Sea ducks? Whichever, the days are quickly ticking off the calendar. Prime time will soon be here. Do you have your hunts booked for this fall? My own dance card is pretty full, but as I seek to plan hunts for the gaps, my starting point is the Quebec Outfitters Federation website. They are the best place to connect you with the province’s finest operations. Though I’m a Midwesterner born and bred, Quebec has become a hunting home away from home for me over the years....

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Hunting Michigan’s Seven Wetland Wonders

August 11, 2014

Some of Michigan’s Managed Waterfowl Hunting Areas are best suited to goose hunts, while others favor ducks of many species. However, all can be found at each unit. Image by Derrek Sigler.

To waterfowl hunters, there are some historic destinations that fill dreams and top bucket lists. While it's well-known for excellent deer hunting and amazing fishing, Michigan is also home to some amazing waterfowl hunting action. What’s better still are the outstanding Managed Waterfowl Hunt Areas that make up the Great Lake State's Seven Wetland Wonders. Unlike deer hunting, some of the best action hunters can find for waterfowl is on public land. Establishing in the 1960s and early 1970s, the Managed Waterfowl Hunt Areas offer a diverse array of hunting opportunities and...

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Why a New Shooter’s First Shotgun Should Be a Semiauto

August 10, 2014

Though single-shots and pumps are usually the go-to picks for an outdoor mentor to outfit a new shooter, the author feels semiautomatics are, in fact, the way to go. Image © National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc.

My first shotgun was a single-shot hammer gun, a hand-me-down from my mother. Dad bought it for her while they were dating, and though they hunted together a few times, Mom never caught the fever. She loved the dogs. She loved walking in the autumn fields, but shooting stuff---not so much. A couple outings quenched her curiosity of what her fiancée found "fun" in all this, and she never touched the gun again. Today, I work part-time at a small sporting goods store, mostly to get out of the house and to maintain measure on the pulse of what real hunters and shooters are buying. Usually,...

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Cookin’ in Camo: Duck Bruschetta with Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette

August 8, 2014

This duck bruschetta recipe has it all—read on to learn how to make it yourself.

Duck is one my favorite proteins to work with. It is so versatile. Whether it's used to confit, sear, or cure into prosciutto, it all tantalizes my palate. This dish has it all: fattiness from the duck fat, acid from the vinegar and tomatoes, and a splash of citrus from the orange. Did I mention it is topped with fresh mozzarella and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano? The "woods" you take a duck from for a dish like this may be flooded, but it's still "forest to fork" if you ask me! Quack, quack! Serves 4 Prep time: 4 hours Cook time: 20 minutes plus rest Ingredients Marinade Juice...

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Could California’s Drought Endanger Pacific Flyway Ducks?

August 5, 2014

Habitat and food shortages will pose problems for birds migrating through California, and officials are worried about disease in crowded populations.

Duck numbers are up across the country and available habitat seems to be holding steady, but could a devastating California drought endanger birds along the Pacific Flyway? Just last week the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposed a liberal 107-day season in the Pacific Flyway, yet the region is being baked by California's ongoing drought. Water shortages have closed many acres of available habitat in both wildlife refuges and in the crop fields where the ducks rest...

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USFWS Proposes Liberal Waterfowl Season, Duck Population Growing

August 4, 2014

According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, waterfowl hunters can look forward to ample harvest opportunities in the 2014-2015 season.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced last Friday that it will continue to propose liberal season lengths and bag limits for the upcoming 2014-2015 late waterfowl seasons. The decision is based on the growing number of ducks across all major flyways and the availability of good habitat. In a recent survey of waterfowl in the north-central United States, Alaska, and south-central and northern Canada, USFWS counted about 49.2 million ducks. That number marks an eight percent increase from last...

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Make Shotgunning Practice Realistic for Success in the Field

August 4, 2014

In shotgunning, as with many other outdoor pursuits, practice makes perfect. The more "real" you can make that practice, the better.

There are two kinds of clay target shooting. You can go out and shoot clays for the sake of the games themselves. Trap, skeet, and sporting clays are fun in their own right. They can stoke the competitive flame and compel shooters to renown---or they can be pursued as family fun, a wonderful introduction to firearms and lifelong pursuits. Then there is clay shooting in preparation for hunting. It’s practice to make you a more perfect shot in the field. The goal is to create mental pictures and instill muscle memory you’ll call upon when you’re hunting. To improve your performance when...

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Michigan Hunters Get First Teal Season in Nearly 50 Years

August 3, 2014

For the first time in 46 years, Michigan hunters will be getting a shot at teal.

Thanks to decades of teal population growth, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently announced that it will open an early teal hunting season this September. According to the DNR, hunters will be able to take six teal each day and hunting hours run from sunrise to sunset. Teal are the only birds legal to harvest during the special season, so hunters will have to be careful not to bag any out-of-season waterfowl like wood ducks or mallards. "The results of [this] experiment will determine...

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Survey: Duck Numbers Up, Wetland Conditions Look Good

July 7, 2014

This year looks like it will be another great year for ducks, despite a harsh winter.

Last week the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) released their annual Trends in Duck Breeding Populations report, finding an increased abundance of the birds along with improved habitat conditions. The report is based on a survey of ducks across more than two million square miles in the United States and Canada. Preliminary estimates put the the total duck population in this range at 49.2 million birds, eight percent higher than last year's count. "It looks like another good waterfowl...

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