July/August 2020

Shooting Sportsman Magazine, July/August 2020
The rewards of chasing chukars. Photograph by Brian Grossenbacher/grossenbacherphoto.com

From the Editor

Ralph Stuart

“Uncertain,” “unprecedented,” “challenging.”

These are the words being used to describe the times we are living in. And appropriately so. Just a few months ago, who would have predicted that the world would be turned upside down by a virus and that many of us would be forced to work from home? Now I am editing this issue from my dining room table and attending meetings on Zoom.

Thankfully, as I write this, it appears the viral curve has flattened and states are beginning to open. Still, the crisis is far from over, and our hearts go out to all who have suffered—and continue to suffer—pain and loss.

As we ease into summer and some type of new normal, all we can do is think positively and hope for the best. As Chris Batha and Tom Huggler suggest in their Shooting and To the Point columns, perhaps we can use this time to prepare for the upcoming season—whether by practicing our shooting or making sure that clothing and gear are field ready.

Along those lines, you might consider how the pandemic has affected parts of the shooting business. While sales of handguns and rifles for self-protection have spiked, a lot of gunshops and outdoor retailers have had to close their doors. If you have been thinking about buying a new gun—or a hunting vest or a dog collar—now would be a great time to do it. Or even if you don’t need anything, buying an early holiday present or a gift certificate might help your favorite supplier stay afloat.

The same goes for lodges and booking agents. A lot of off-season business (or in-season business south of the equator) has evaporated. Booking a hunt and paying a deposit could provide much-needed funds to help an outfitter or guide make it through.

Speaking of hunting, that’s one thing I’m going to appreciate more than ever this fall. No more taking for granted the fresh air, the sunshine and the bite of a frosty morning. I plan to stop more often to enjoy the view and admire a solid point—and (hopefully) examine a delivered bird. 

But most of all I will celebrate the camaraderie. If nothing else, this crisis has taught me the value of companionship and the pleasure of shared moments with family and friends. Time spent together is precious, and when we come out the other side of this—and we will come out the other side—hopefully all of us will have gained a new perspective on the things that are truly important.

Please stay healthy and safe. — Ralph P. Stuart


Gun Guide 2020

The year’s new offerings in smoothbores
by Brad Fitzpatrick

Preserving Memories

Enjoying the sporting life at The Preserve
by Gregg Elliott

Chasing ‘Devils’

Lonely, desolate, daunting chukar hunting
by Scott Linden

The Triumph in an Empty Freezer

A fresh approach to harvested game
by Reid Bryant


From the Editor

Looking ahead in a time of crisis


Praise for Mary Howley and her Candlewood Kennels

The Opener

An appreciative pause in Patagonia

Game & Gun Gazette

Favorite Gundogs, E.J. Churchill, restoring bobwhites, new books, KAMO and more


Gear Guide

Shouldering strap vests
by Ralph Stuart


Prepping for the season to prevent poor performance
by Chris Batha

From the Bench

The causes and remedies for a gun that is “loose”
by Delbert Whitman Jr.

Shot Talk

What TSS is and isn’t based on ballistics
by Tom Roster

Hunting Dogs

What to do—and not to do—if your dog gets caught in a trap
by Tom Davis


Preventing prairie chickens from going the way of passenger pigeons
by E. Donnall Thomas Jr.

Gun Review

The Fausti DEA Sport: a side-by-side for clays
by Bruce Buck

Field Gear

New gear to try this year
by The Editors

Going Places

Wisconsin’s Milford Hills Hunt Club
by Reid Bryant

To the Point

Taking advantage of the summer lull
by Tom Huggler

Buy this issue!

Shooting Sportsman Magazine, July/August 2020

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1 Comment

  • I didn’t fully appreciate the importance our area gun clubs play in keeping me in touch with fellow sportsmen. Until Covid-19 shut it all down. All of a sudden there was no need to load shells, clean guns, or relive that dastardly low house 5 target that cost me another straight. So when Saginaw Field and Stream opened on a limited basis a month ago, and Midland County Sportsman’s Club opened a week later, I was back in heaven again. Presume most readers of Shooting Sportsman went through the same “withdrawal”. But now the gun clubs are open again, and we can begin planning for “bird season”.

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