July/August 2018

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Editor’s Note by Ralph Stuart
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It’s mid-May as I write this, and warming temperatures and spring green-up are pulling many of us out of our winter funks. It’s a time of year full of hope and promise, when we keep our fingers crossed for gamebirds to have successful nesting seasons and their progeny to survive the summer. Though fall hunts may feel like a lifetime away, it’s never too early to start preparing—whether that means sharpening skills at the range, strengthening legs at the track or adding to the gun cabinet or gear closet.

Traditionally, our July/August issue has been designed to aid in pre-season prep—and this year’s is no different. If you’re looking to add a new smoothbore to your collection, you’ll want to check out Brad Fitzpatrick’s “Gun Guide 2018” (p. 48), on the year’s latest scatterguns. If you’re missing or need to replace equipment, we scoured the SHOT Show for interesting new products and have reported our findings in Field Gear (p. 93). If you have questions about dog nutrition or want to learn how to hit more birds, we have you covered in Hunting Dogs (p. 44) and Shooting (p. 32).

Another annual tradition is our “fashion section” (p. 76), and this year’s is bigger than ever. It’s a fun way to showcase new clothes and accessories and for members of the magazine staff and friends to show off their modeling skills.

We hope you find the content of value in the buildup to bird season.

If you’re still undecided about travel plans, I urge you to consider one of our Readers & Writers Adventures. Odds are you’ve heard of the program, in which representatives of the magazine host groups of readers at world-class destinations. We’ve been doing this for 23 years, and the trips have become known for not only offering top-notch wingshooting but also promoting camaraderie and creating friendships.

This season we have scheduled four shoots, and there are still opportunities to sign on for our Georgia quail excursions: to Wynfield Plantation in early December and Pine Hill Plantation in February 2019.

For more information, visit shootingsportsman.com/reader-writer-adventures or contact Terry Bombeke (207-594-9544, ext. 478).

We look forward to having you join us.

Ralph P. Stuart

Features

Gun Guide 2018

A look at the year’s new shotguns

By Brad Fitzpatrick

In Castle Country

Old West wingshooting at Castle Valley Outdoors

By Ed Carroll

Gordy & Sons

A hunters’ haven in Houston

Photographs by Terry Allen

‘High-Art’ Engraving

The collective efforts of Creative Art

By Douglas Tate


Departments

From the Editor

Helpful advice in the buildup to bird season

Letters

West Nile worries, gunboxes, spent shells and more

The Opener

Early Risers: waterfowling action at first light

Game & Gun Gazette

Country Pursuits, Kevin’s Golden Quail, a charity clays tournament, etc.

Gun Review

Connecticut Shotgun’s well made—and well priced— Revelation

By Bruce Buck

Field Gear

New-to-market items for use this fall

By The Editors

To the Point

Pleasures of the early season on the prairie

By Tom Huggler


Scattershot

Great advice for the sporting life

Gear Guide

Taking a sharp look at game shears

By Ralph Stuart

Shooting

High-tech aids for busting more birds

By Chris Batha

From the Bench

A Stephen Grant trigger-guard repair

By Joe Seeley

Shot Talk

An interesting sample of Q&A exchanges

By Tom Roster

Hunting Dogs

The right feeding regimen for hunting success

By Jessie Richards

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Shooting in Style

Showcasing clothes and accessories for peak performance


On the cover: A Caesar Guerini Invictus VII photographed by Terry Allen

Additional photos: Chris Siefken; Terry Allen; Early Risers by Rick Adair


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