Editor’s Note by Ralph Stuart
It was mid-September last year, and we were taking advantage of a stellar Wyoming day to drift the Bighorn River near Thermopolis. Waggoner is the owner of the newly opened Lander Fly Shop, in Lander, and Wind River Wingshooting, and I was enjoying a cast & blast trip for brown and rainbow trout as well as sage and ruffed grouse (see “High-Peaks Pa’tridge,” March/April).
I mention this for two reasons. One is that it plays to what I wrote about in January/February: the importance of getting the full experience when you travel. For me, there are few better ways to round out a hunting trip than to sample the local fishing. I have done this in places like Quebec, Colorado and Patagonia, and each time I have come away with a more complete connection with my surroundings.
The other reason is that this issue of Shooting Sportsman is going to subscribers of our sister publication Fly Rod & Reel. In our years of publishing both magazines, we’ve seen a large crossover between the two readerships. (Simply put: A lot of fly fishermen seem to enjoy wingshooting, and a lot of bird hunters like wetting lines.) So when FR&R recently folded after nearly 40 years, it made sense to send its readers SSM.
Wingshooters and fly fishers indeed have a lot in common. From a taste for adventure to concerns for resources and the environment, both groups click on multiple levels. And what better way than a bird hunt to procure tying materials?
Hopefully FR&R’s readers will find enough common ground—or water—to stick with us.
If you’re still considering a trip for this season, don’t forget our Readers & Writers Adventures. Year upon year these gatherings earn rave reviews for not only the hunting offered but also the camaraderie enjoyed. Our Firesteel Creek trip is sold out, but there remain openings on two great Georgia quail hunts: at Rio Piedra Plantation in November and Pine Hill Plantation in February. For more information, contact Thierry Bombeke
(207-594-9544) or visit Shootingsportsman.com
Ralph P. Stuart
Guns of the Year
What’s new in smoothbores for ’17
By Brad Fitzpatrick
Woodcock on the Miramichi
To New Brunswick in pursuit of “balloons”
By Vic Venters
Cuba’s Finca Vigía gives up its secrets
By Silvio Calabi, Steve Helsley & Roger Sanger
Flush with birds at Highland Hills Ranch
By Wayne Van Zwoll
Back to the prairie for chickens & sharptails
By Tom Davis
From the Editor
Casting about on a bird hunt
Sporting guns, the “Father of Sporting Clays,” and more
Game & Gun Gazette
Gordy & Sons, Westley Richards, William Evans and an A1 Special
Helpful hints for choosing a shooting coach
By Chris Batha
Answers to readers’ questions
By Tom Roster
Building prey drive in flushers
By ‘Jerry’ Raymond Cacchio
The Stevens 555 Enhanced: flat out a shooter
By Bruce Buck
Top picks from SHOT
By David Draper
To the Point
Why I’ll never be a guide
By Tom Huggler
On the cover: A golden day on the grasslands. Photograph by Chip Laughton
Additional photos: Courtesy of Savage Arms (Gun),Roberto Herrera Sotolongo (Hemingway), Terry Allen (Dog)