Archive for wintersteen

Finally: Iowa Pheasants Up After 7-Year Decline

There's finally some good news for Iowa pheasant hunters: For the first time in seven years, the annual August roadside count indicates an increase in the state's pheasant population. The decline has been blamed largely on habitat loss. However, plain bad luck—such as harsh winters and spring flooding—has also played a role.

September 06, 2012

How Dove Season Reminds Us Who We Are

There's a feeling of fall in the air this week that's too subtle for society at large to notice, but not for us. Sure, our neighbors may note that it dipped into the low 50's during recent evenings, or that the days are shortening. But I wonder if anyone but a hunter can sense the very smell of fall riding the air. It's been on the wind for several days now, calling to us, assuring us its glorious return will soon dawn.

August 31, 2012

Man Smacks Bear with Baseball Bat, Saves Brittany

My dad didn't shoot a pheasant for five seasons when I came of age to hunt; he only cared about getting birds for me. In fact, one day I asked why he even bothered carrying a shotgun anymore.

August 29, 2012

Beagle Digests $425

And you thought your dog's training fees were expensive. In two separate incidents over the course of his life, Arnie, a 10-year-old beagle, has sniffed out and eaten a whopping $425 cash. He first struck at age 3. Owners Corey and Hope O'Kelley had left $150 sitting on a coffee table—a gift from Hope's father—and Arnie promptly swallowed it. Fortunately after a couple days, Arnie deposited $100 of his meal onto the O'Kelleys' lawn. How kind of him.

August 27, 2012

Your Dog's Worst Fear: The Cone of Shame

A few days ago, my springer, Freedom, had minor surgery. Nothing serious. He basically had a wart removed from his left front leg. And all was going just fine, that is, until the veterinarian uttered the words dreaded by both man and dog: "We've fitted your dog with a cone, which he'll need to wear for the next two weeks."

August 20, 2012

2012 State-by-State Quail Report

Quail Forever (QF's) has provided us with an even more comprehensive, updated version of its state-by-state quail report originally published here. How are quail populations faring in your state? See below, and be sure to look for QF's complete hunting forecast due out next month.

August 15, 2012

How to Call Ducks with Just Your Vocal Cords

Who needs a duck call to call ducks? The video below posted by Delta Waterfowl is one of the most impressive things I've ever seen. Leland Davis demonstrates how to call ducks using just his hands and vocal cords, and he's so darn good that you barely notice how much he's spitting all over himself.

August 06, 2012

USFWS Proposes Most Generous Duck Limit in Years

There was a lot of speculation on whether the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) would increase the scaup limit, and now that the official proposed framework has been released--WOW--the news is better than anyone imagined.

August 02, 2012

Did Coyotes Cause Spread of Ticks, Lyme Disease?

After Lyme disease reared its ugly head in 1975 and subsequently spread throughout much of the country, it changed how we care for our gundogs. We vaccinate them against the disease. We check them for ticks after every hunt. And we apply monthly tick repellents such as Frontline and Advantix. Yet, if you own enough dogs over the course of enough years, it's likely one or even a few will contract Lyme. And let's not forget that you yourself are susceptible.

July 31, 2012

Will We Get a Four-Bluebill Limit for 2012-2013?

Any day now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is expected to release the most highly anticipated waterfowl season framework in years. Why the added attention? There is rumor and speculation that the limit on scaup will increase to four ducks in all flyways except the Pacific, which may jump to a whopping five-scaup limit (some say the Central Flyway also has a shot at the five-duck limit—who knows, it's all conjecture at this point).

July 27, 2012

Video: Mallard Duckling Hatches from Egg

Delta Waterfowl researchers captured the extraordinary video below of a mallard duckling's first moments of life. The video was shot while performing nest checks near the group's Minnedosa, Manitoba, research station. What a cool stroke of luck.

July 20, 2012

Meet RoboDuck: Duck's Bill Repaired with Wire Mesh

The injury was horrific—when the mallard was rescued by a local New Zealand SPCA, the lower half of its bill was completely torn off and broken, leaving its tongue dangling through a hole under its chin.

July 19, 2012

How to Smoke a Cigar and Shoot a Shotgun

Some people take sporting clays a little too seriously. Me? I'm just out there to admire other people's guns, relax and generally have a good time. Because let's face it friends, there are champion shooters—and then there's us.

July 16, 2012

Duck Populations Hit All-Time High

We duck hunters are prone to irrational optimism. How else do you explain a group of people who can spend an entire day freezing our butts off in windy, pounding surf for just a duck or two (if we're lucky), only to go home, convince ourselves tomorrow will be better, and do it all over again? All we need is the slightest indication the duck hunting may improve.

July 10, 2012

American Bird Conservancy Sues Over Wind Energy

When duck and upland bird hunters talk conservation, an increasing concern is whether wind turbines—now a permanent fixture on the landscape—will have a negative impact. They're concerned that the government's efforts to promote green energy will actually end up killing a lot of ducks. Are the government and energy developers being fully transparent about the threat to game birds that the big spinning turbines pose? Or are they hiding something?

July 05, 2012