Editor’s Note by Ralph Stuart
At least it shouldn’t be. Yet often when I ask someone about a recent hunting trip, I am told simply the number of birds seen and taken. When I press for details, I may hear about the dogwork, theaccommodations and perhaps the food. “That’s great,” I say. “And what did you think of the area? Did you do anything else fun while you were there?” Blank stare. “Did you get to explore or see any interesting sites?”
“Well, no. We were picked up at the airport, driven to the lodge, and then dropped back at the airport.” How unfortunate.
It’s not every day that you get to travel to hunt, and when you do, it is a great opportunity to experience new things. From food to music to museums and monuments, most every place has unique offerings to discover. It is up to you to find them.
Understandably, when you invest many hours in planning a trip and serious dollars on travel and lodging, you are hoping for results (i.e., to pull the trigger). But birds in the cooler should not be the sole takeaway from a hunt.
I fondly recall my first trip to Argentina, where, at the outfitter’s suggestion, our group spent an extra day in Buenos Aires sightseeing, souvenir shopping and enjoying a wonderful dinner and tango show. Had we opted to simply be shuttled back and forth from the airport to the estancia, we never would have had such a fulfilling experience.
Then there was last fall’s jaunt to Minnesota, where I rented a car and drove to two different lodges, giving me a clearer view of the terrain and a better taste (literally) of the region.
Eating at restaurants, buying mementos and visiting attractions not only enhances your experience but also supports local businesses. As a bonus, you’ll return home with stories to share with hunters and non-hunters alike.
And speaking of non-hunters, your significant other may be more apt to join you if she or he can look forward to more than simply sitting in a lodge reading a book. A wine tour, a night at a show or a visit to a museum may be all it takes to persuade your partner to tag along.
So the next time you’re planning an adventure, think beyond the birds. Believe me: You won’t recall the shooting as much as the memories made along the way.
Ralph P. Stuart
The story of William Powell and its patent actions
By Steve Helsley
A Castle of Coveys
Mixed-bag hunting at Texas’ Greystone Castle
By Russell A. Graves
Argentina pigeons & doves with South Pioneers
By Ed Carroll
Of Bikes & Barrels
An upscale sporting store in downtown Denver
By Terry Allen
A late-season shoot at Primland
By Robert Parvin Williams
From the Editor
Learning to look beyond the birds
In praise of American doubles & a point of information
Game & Gun Gazette
Choosing enough gun for the game
By Chris Batha
A lightweight, lever-cocking MacNaughton
By Steven Dodd Hughes
Finding the “right range” for your dog
By Steve Grossman
Browning’s A5 Sweet Sixteen
By Bruce Buck
Six pieces to pack for travel this year
By David Draper
To the Point
Of shooting brakes & hunting buggies
By Tom Huggler
On the cover: M.W. Reynolds’ AyA No. 4 round-action Bournbrook, photographed by Terry Allen
Additional photos: By Steven Dodd Hughes