Learning from Biathletes

February 18, 2014

Beyond marveling at their incredible toughness and athleticism, John Zent has been intrigued by gun-handling skills demonstrated by many of the Olympic biathletes in Sochi.

On the Trail of a Grizzly

October 31, 2011

Grizzly bears are at least as wild as any North American game animal, and unlike our antlered or horned beasts, they will at times turn the tables and hunt the hunter. And grizzlies are uniquely equipped to do so: Big, old boars can weigh up to 750 pounds, are unfathomably strong and come armed with fangs and claws. Despite their size, bears can sprint like deer for short stretches, except that they may well decide to sprint toward the threat rather than away.

Whitetail Season Starts NOW!

August 05, 2011

Here at AmericanHunter.org we’re declaring that the ultimate time of year for whitetail fanatics is officially off and running. As of today. That’s because today marks the debut of what we’re confident will be the very best whitetail blog ever to appear anywhere in the Web, “Whitetail Season with Bill Winke.”

Let's Eat: My Top Wild-Game Meats

June 30, 2011

Steven Rinella’s revelation of his preferred game meats made me hungry at first, then inspired me to think about my own favorites. In no way am I suggesting there’s anything screwy with his list—especially the tempting recipes—or that mine is somehow better. Clearly, this is a matter of taste and there’s no accounting for that. Anyhow, here’s my delectable half-dozen, most of which, quite literally, I will never be able to eat nearly often enough.

Brown Bear Adventure in Alaska Part 7

June 24, 2011

The two big brown bears taken near the end of a lengthy, challenging hunt certainly met, and perhaps exceeded, our hopes. Stephen’s bear was a 9½-foot brute, while mine pushed 9 feet, and both possessed perfect, not-yet-rubbed pelts that will make stunning trophies. The only downside was that Andrew never did connect despite gamely pushing it right to the end. On our way back to port, in fact, he and guide Dan Ondersma took off in a skiff seeking a last-ditch black bear, a detour that meant a long, cold boat ride in rough water before finally arriving back in Valdez late that night. For all three of us, cruising the breathtakingly beautiful Alaska coast in search of North America’s alpha game animal added up to an extraordinary adventure.

Brown Bear Adventure in Alaska Part 6

June 23, 2011

At least we were going to have a rare sunny day—our next to last one—to find and get on a bear. Meanwhile Greg and company would resume the search of Stephen’s bear and leave no stone unturned.

Brown Bear Adventure in Alaska Part 5

June 22, 2011

It was rainy, it was cold and the clock was ticking. The end of our hunt was looming too fast. What made it worse was that Andrew and I had botched opportunities at bears we should have had.

Brown Bear Adventure in Alaska, Part 4

June 20, 2011

You’ve heard it’s always darkest right before the dawn? Well … not this time. The darkest came our fifth day out when a fierce storm swept in from the Pacific bringing torrential rain and gale winds up around 50 mph. The Ruffinit bounced like a cork and swung wildly on its anchor line. Repeatedly the skiffs nearly swamped in the vicious chop and the guides had to battle to keep them pumped out. Though nowhere near “Deadliest Catch” turbulent, the storm was an amazing spectacle of nature’s power even in those sheltered waters.

Brown Bear Adventure in Alaska, Part 3

June 17, 2011

Our floating “camp” was like nothing else I’d ever experienced. With eight men aboard, living space in the Rufinit’s cabin was elbow-room tight. But in fact it was way more comfortable than that might sound, and we soon assumed a practical “flow” that allowed all of us to move around at will. Because it was mostly rainy and cool and at times quite windy, being able to get inside and get our gear dry was a real luxury compared to tent camping. We had heat, lights, a bathroom/shower, even a flat-screen HD monitor for watching movies. Cook Tom Jennen (Greg’s cousin) proved to be a comfort-food wizard, cranking out meatloaf, ham, mashed potatoes, biscuits, etc., and so it even had the feel of a visit to Grandma’s house. I was one of the lucky ones who got a bunk to sleep on, a cozy little slot in the bow with a mattress and its own reading light. It was lots better than sleeping on the ground, and the roll of the tide made me sleep like a tired old hound.

Brown Bear Adventure in Alaska, Part 2

June 14, 2011

Just getting out to hunt was a bit of a production, what with hip boots, rainwear and all the usual gear, and then into the skiffs and off we’d go. Because our attention focused almost exclusively on open shoreline areas where bears could be spotted, it involved quite a bit of waiting and watching for big trophy boars to poke their heads out of the heavy timber. And while we did see some good bears that way, all were on the move and gone before we could close in for a crack at them. We also spotted potential shooters from the Ruffinit and while cruising in the skiffs, but they wouldn’t stand still long enough either. There were several likely spots—coves, lagoons and little inlets—close by and so when one place got stale or the wind switched, we could pull up anchor and motor on to another.