Archive for wintersteen

North Carolina Hunter Contracts Rabbit Fever

A North Carolina man has been diagnosed with rabbit fever, and I don't mean that he got overexcited by a cottontail. More accurately known as tularemia, rabbit fever is a rare but serious disease that occasionally affects hunters who've handled infected bunnies.

March 04, 2013

Teacher Refused to Grade Reports on Hunting, Guns

When Denton, Texas, High School English teacher Dewey Christian asked a class of seniors to write about anything that interests them, two students chose pretty popular interests in their state: guns and hunting. One student wrote about his experiences hunting and a recent trip to a Cabela's store, while his classmate wrote about attending a gun show in Fort Worth over the weekend.

February 25, 2013

England Will Require Dog Microchips by 2016

On occasion even a well-trained dog can wander off for a while during a hunt. It's happened to me. I'll bet it's happened to you. So, having a veterinarian implant a microchip into our animals—a simple, vaccination-like procedure that enables dogs to be quickly identified and returned—may not be such a bad idea. However, I think doing so should be strictly at the discretion of individual dog owners.

February 19, 2013

The Man Who Changed a Tire in My Decoy Spread

It was an oddly warm January day on the Eastern Shore—in fact there were gnats in the air—but after a long, mid-day lull, the geese were back on the move. My buddy Tyler Shoberg of Delta Waterfowl and I each killed a bird, and prospects were looking really strong as the final, golden 30 minutes of shooting time approached.

February 19, 2013

Labrador Retriever Remains Americans' Top Dog

No surprise here: For the twenty-second consecutive year, the Labrador retriever is the most popular dog in the United States, according to American Kennel Club (AKC) registration statistics. Here's the breakdown of 2012's most popular breeds and how that compares to 2011:

February 15, 2013

Quail Unlimited Ceases Operation

Quail Unlimited (QU) has been in a great deal of financial turmoil since at least 2009, when allegations of corruption and a federal investigation permanently tarnished the group's image. Despite new leadership, QU never overcame the scandal in terms of its finances or in the court of public opinion. This week QU announced it's ceasing operations. Here's a portion of the statement released by QU president Bill E. Bowles:

February 11, 2013

Puppies Inspire Our Irrational Optimism

When a young boy hits a baseball off a tee for the first time, not even the most positive-thinking father declares him a future major leaguer. At least not without intending jest. At best, the kid showed an ounce of potential, but concluding he'll be a world-class talent? That's crazy. Yet isn't that exactly what we do when our puppies fetch a ball or dummy for the first time?

February 07, 2013

When Housetraining Goes Awry

Please pardon my grammar if it's even more off than normal today, but I'm a tad frazzled. For the past 48 hours, I've been engaged in an activity that's both joyous and scream-into-a-pillow frustrating: housebreaking a dog. And I bought not one, but two springer pups. As if I thought one would be just too easy.

January 21, 2013

Betrayed By My Fanny Pack

My favorite late-season waders are a thick neoprene pair made by Cabela's. They fit me perfectly and, given the way I abuse gear, it's remarkable that they've lasted eight hard seasons.

January 11, 2013

Proposal Would Require Dogs to Wear Life Jackets

Here's a law that only a yuppie could've dreamed up: A Colorado proposal would require all dogs to wear canine life jackets in order to attend pool-equipped doggy daycare facilities.

January 07, 2013

How to Enjoy Every Duck

Our society often puts emphasis on the idea that more is better. I don't believe that to be so, especially not as it relates to duck hunting. I'll cut to the chase: Those who think a limit of ducks is what our sport's all about are setting themselves up for failure. For one thing, it's not a reasonable goal in most regions, but most of all it blocks one's ability to appreciate and enjoy every duck bagged.

December 19, 2012

Woman Rescues Cat—Realizes Too Late It's a Bobcat

We've previously discussed the negative impact that house cats can have on upland birds and other critters. Wild felines such as bobcats, on the other hand, are a naturally occurring part of the environment. They are not the same animal, as a Maine woman found out the hard way.

December 17, 2012

What Happened to this Mallard?

My friends and I had a pretty good duck hunt last week, and all returned home with fat mallards to eat. However, as I was preparing to pluck one of the birds, I noticed something odd: Its left foot had a split running through a digit and extending partially into the webbing. At first I thought the injury had resulted from our shooting that morning, but closer examination revealed it to be an old, healed wound. Here's a photo:

December 15, 2012

Iowa Wrestlers Admit to Poaching Rabbits on Campus

A couple of University of Iowa wrestlers are in the news for doing something really stupid, but hey, maybe all that sucking weight affected their ability to reason. Whatever the cause, police say Alex Meyer and Connor Ryan, both freshmen, have admitted to using at least two air rifles to shoot rabbits after dark, without hunting licenses and, most alarmingly of all, on campus.

December 03, 2012