September/October 2019

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Editor’s Note by Ralph Stuart
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September/October 2019

If you’re up on the

the latest catchphrases, you’re likely familiar with the term R3. It stands for “Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation,” and it is the effort being made to increase participation in hunting, shooting sports and gun ownership.

It’s no secret that participation in hunting and recreational shooting has been on a general decline since the 1980s. In fact, a recent US Fish and Wildlife Service report found that hunting participation nationwide declined 16 percent from 2011 to 2016. Seeing as hunters and target shooters are the primary source of funding for the conservation of wildlife and habitat, it’s easy to understand the urgent focus on bolstering numbers.

Thankfully, several national organizations are working hard to promote participation, and they have teamed with state fish and wildlife agencies, industry partners and conservation organizations in the task. Excellent information and advice on how all of us can do our part are available from the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports.

This past fall I was lucky to participate in an R3 effort on a micro scale. It was mid-October, and I was a guest of friend Jeremy Hatch and his family at their camp in northern Maine. Bird season was open, so Saturday morning we fortified ourselves with pancakes and bacon before packing up and heading out. The party that day consisted of Jeremy; his father, Dave; me; Jeremy’s 10-year-old son, Ben, and 13-year-old daughter, Abby; and Jeremy’s father-in-law, Peter Bragdon, who hadn’t picked up a shotgun for several years. So we had all the bases covered: retention, recruitment and reactivation.

I wish I could say that the action we had was barrel-warming but, despite Jeremy’s shorthair, Echo, and Dave’s springer, Emma, working diligently, the grouse were spotty and spooky and the few shots taken were unproductive. The adventure turned out being more about teaching lessons in gun safety, passing on traditions and simply enjoying the camaraderie of time spent afield with family and friends.

As the afternoon wound down, I asked the group to pose for a photo. The result (above) not only captures a wonderful memory but also speaks to hunting’s true importance: the chance to bond over a shared passion for the outdoors.

Hopefully you’ll have an opportunity to take someone hunting this fall.

Ralph P. Stuart

The Beretta 680

Forty years on and still setting standards

By Vic Venters

Hung Up on Huns

Unlocking the mysteries of Hungarian partridge

By Garhart Stephenson

Sweet’ Over/Unders

Stackbarrel 16s for the uplands

By Greg Mcreynolds

Cold Bay Fowling

Brant & sea ducks on the Alaska Peninsula

By Gary Kramer

Greenhead Limit

When the red gods give you lemons….

By Nate Corley


Departments

From the Editor

Embracing the R3 effort.

Letters

Weighing in on whether to “Spay, Neuter or Not”

The Opener

A pocket rocket getting big air

Game & Gun Gazette

The Southern Game Fair, a photo contest, a Watson hammergun, Cole’s new shop and more

Gun Review

AyA No. 2 Round Action

By Bruce Buck

Field Gear

Stocking up for “go time” in the uplands

By The Editors

Going Public

Montana grousing with Linehan Outfitting

By Brian Grossenbacher

To the Point

A boy’s efforts to shoot his first bird on the wing

By Tom Huggler


Scattershot

Great advice for the sporting life

Gear Guide

Ready-and-waiting rain jackets

By Ralph Stuart

The Gun Rack

A Gordy & Sons Rizzini Regal Extra

By Ed Carroll

Shooting

Safety rules for any situation

By Chris Batha

From the Bench

Gunmaker Florian Barthélémy

By Douglas Tate

Shot Talk

Keeping guns and loads in balance

By Tom Roster

Hunting Dogs

A blueprint for “senior success”

By Tom Davis

Conservation

Misconceptions about hunting national monuments

By E. Donnall Thomas Jr.


On the cover: Pointer Remington with a snootful of Hun scent. Photograph by Brian Grossenbacher

Additional photos: Brian Grossenbacher; Chris Siefken; Chip Laughton


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