Archive for wintersteen

Fight Invasive Species: Wash Your Duck Dog

Here's a photo of me doing my best, apparently, to prevent the spread of invasive species. You see, the non-profit conservation group Wildlife Forever (WF) has launched a campaign encouraging duck hunters to wash their dogs, lest our furry mutts spread invasive aquatic species such as the dreaded zebra mussel. WF also advises proper cleaning of waders, decoys and boats prior to transportation using the "clean, drain, dry" technique.

November 30, 2012

Late Dog Leaves Gift of 10 Puppies

There's a popular sentiment among human beings that "everything happens for a reason." Some believe a higher power is at the wheel, yet even the occasional atheist will acknowledge that life can sometimes seem engineered. All I know is there have been some incredible coincidences in my life—some happy, some sad, some a little bit of both—that my heart tells me were more than just chance.

November 09, 2012

Pheasants: The Key to Economic Stimulus?

Maybe President Obama's economic stimulus plan would've been more effective if it included investment in upland habitat and pheasant stocking. Consider the numbers.

November 01, 2012

British Army's Spaniel Awarded Posthumous Medal

We all have our favorite breeds, and many times we're especially proud of the versatility they offer. At one time most dogs were fairly specialized, but these days the same dog can point quail, fetch ducks and even hunt down predators. Their noses and intelligence are also far more developed than what early breeders probably could've imagined.

October 31, 2012

Letter to a Dog

Dear Freedom,

A friend of mine says good dogs and bad pheasants both spend eternity in the same place. If that’s the case, then I’m sure you’re giving those roosters hell.

October 19, 2012

Grouse Hunter Shoots, Kills Wolf at 8 Yards

A hunter was pursuing ruffed grouse with his bird dog near Park Rapids, Minn., when all heck broke loose. There was a commotion, and the dog ran back toward the hunter with a wolf hot on its heels.

October 11, 2012

Meet a German Shepherd Duck Dog

Eastern Shore market hunters loved the Chesapeake Bay retriever. The new breed fetched ducks all day and guarded the boat all night—just what these men needed. But perhaps they overlooked a dog that would've been even better suited to those dual roles: the German shepherd.

October 10, 2012

2012 Duck Stamp Winner Announced

Here's the duck stamp you'll tuck in your wallet for the 2013-2014 season. Robert Steiner of San Francisco, Calif., painted this rather stunning acrylic rendition of a common goldeneye. It's available June 2013 at your local post office or—thank goodness I can finally write this—online. A Steiner painting was previously selected for the 1998-1999 stamp, which featured a Barrow's goldeneye.

October 08, 2012

Beagle Survives 70-Foot Plunge

Bridge officer Rob Bittner couldn't believe his eyes when he saw Brandi the beagle casually strolling along the Burlington Country (PA) Bridge last week.

October 04, 2012

California Bans Hunting with Hounds

Let this serve as a reminder of what we're up against: "Animal rights" activists have banned hunting bears and bobcats with hounds in the state of California. On Wednesday the bill was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.

September 28, 2012

Canada Beckons

The diversity of species, nonstop action and generous bag limits offered by Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are arguably unrivaled by any U.S. destination.

September 26, 2012

Myth: A Day Afield Always Tops a Day in the Office

The life of a freelance outdoor writer is not one of glamour. The hours are terrible. Pay is inconsistent. And when you aren't chained to your keyboard, you're busy reminding editors that you think they're super smart.

September 20, 2012

Video: Fried Mallard Sandwiches

There's a chance that somehow, somewhere there's a duck hunter who doesn't eat sandwiches. I know, it's hard to believe given that sandwich eating is practically part of waterfowling culture. However, our fraternity is of substantial size; it's bound to have a few weirdos.

September 17, 2012

Not Politically Correct: "Coon Hunt Court" Renamed

In what can only be described as a big misunderstanding, a neighborhood planning board in Columbia, Md., has voted to rename a street previously known as Coon Hunt Court. The unanimous decision was spurred by numerous complaints from Coon Hunt Court residents, who called the name "insulting".

September 14, 2012

What's in Your Blind Bag?

An all-important question was posed a couple days ago over on the Final Approach Facebook page: Besides shotgun shells, what do you feel is the most important piece of equipment in your blind bag? Here are some of my favorite answers:

September 10, 2012