Walking the Wild Side
I’m standing on a grassy eminence beside two perfectly motionless English setters, with a fine Italian over/under in my hands, and in the center of a circle of bird droppings. “I’m in the middle of a roosting site,” I say to my guide, Ben Maixner. Ben ignores me but murmurs to his dogs, which quickly relocate on the downside of the slope.
Lone Star ’Fowling
According to the calendar, January marks the beginning of the year, but as a wingshooter I’ve always held an opposing opinion. As the long fall hunting season winds toward its conclusion, I’m usually shivering beside a Montana spring creek, trying to eke out a few final greenheads before it’s time to oil down my duck gun and wait for another opening day.
- By: E. Donnall Thomas Jr.
Mysticism and the Art of Shotgunning
In each issue of our 25th Anniversary Year we are reprinting a classic article from the Shooting Sportsman archives. The following appeared in Vol. V, Issue 3, in early 1993. Charles “Charley” F. Waterman wrote a number of articles for the early issues of Shooting Sportsman.
The month of May marks the year’s halfway point to September’s openers. Now that we’re on the downhill slide, it’s time to get serious about our sporting dogs, whether they’re new to the game or established veterans that need fine-tuning for the upcoming season.
Things take strange shapes in the inky darkness while you’re waiting for dawn to sober your imagination. Sounds of the marsh are magnified, and sometimes wingbeats tearing the air above are all that can be heard. It is a magical time, peering into the half-light, watching the marsh wake up. If the decoys have been set just right, the wind will funnel the ducks out front.
The Greater Grouse
Icons of the Wild West, greater sage grouse are forever linked to the rolling steppes of sagebrush country. And despite habitat disruption and population declines, there are still places where diehards can out up birds for the gun.
Like Wyoming, with its vast rangeland and vault of sky. Home to the West’s largest number of sage hens.
From the moment you decide that the time is right to the day you bring home the newest member of the family—from conception to delivery, if you will—picking a puppy is one of the most rewarding endeavors you will ever engage in.
From the Editor
Ghosts of gundogs past, and looking to the future
Anniversaries, editorial integrity, tradition & gender, and more
Game & Gun Gazette
Minnesota shoots, Fausti, M.K. Reynolds, recycling Damascus, etc.
The Bosis Wild: an over/under sporter from one of Italy’s best makers
South Dakota pheasant hunting was always on my bucket list,” said the contented fellow next to me at the bar at The Grand Lodge, in Highmore. “And it’s still on my bucket list.”
London-marked Anson & Deeley-type boxlock guns are not all that common, and their typical origin may come as a surprise to some, as it did to me. Knowing a bit about Frederick Beesley’s inventive nature led me to research a friend’s 16-gauge boxlock, with the barrel rib engraved “F. Beesley, 2. St James’s Street. London. S.W.”
Bob Reynolds, DVM, has been one of my trusted consulting veterinarians and friends for the better part of 15 years. He is a hunter and a field-trialer and therefore understands the needs of the hunter and how to keep hunting dogs healthy. Bob graduated from the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1972.
To the adage that the only things certain in life are death and taxes you could add: A break-action shotgun eventually will shoot or wear loose.
To the Point
On the subject of problems with bird dogs, you could accuse me of being careless, but that would be neither accurate nor fair. You could say that I have been unlucky, and I would say, “How so?” I’ve never lost a dog to an alligator, a feral hog or a rattlesnake, although I know other upland and waterfowl hunters who have.
We all suffer from those mystery misses, when the bird/target/rib alignment looks spot on, we pull the trigger, and the bird flies on unscathed or the clay target floats gently to earth without so much as a paint scratch. This frustration can easily bring on a case of the “missing blues.”
Shotshell pressures and how such pressures are tested do not seem to be widely understood. So I’ll try to shed a little light on the matter.