“Just be cool,” I kept telling myself.
I had an East River buck tag and three days to fill it, so there was no need to rush things. The plan was to take my time, make smart decisions and bring home a worthy buck.
All I needed was one deer willing to cooperate. Read More
My first hunting knife was a Christmas gift from my father. I was only ten years old at the time, which according to my dad is the age when boys should start owning and caring for their own hunting gear. It had a 4-inch fixed blade and was sheathed in an embossed leather carrying case—perfect for any future deer I may need to field dress. Read More
Two late season pheasants near Volga, SD. Photo credit: Derek Baune
The 2015 pheasant season is under way. Corn fields are freshly combined and cast in a golden glow. Sloughs, thick with cattails, are waiting to be conquered. Hunters of every age are filled with hope and anticipation. Even the dogs know something is going on.
The excitement of a new season is built upon all the pheasant seasons that have come before it. We are eager because we know what to expect. We will hunt with the same friends. We will walk the same proven paths through the CRP. We will sit on a truck tailgate and eat ham and cheese sandwiches. With very little variance, this is how the season will unfold. Read More
Comedian Henny Youngman once said, “A self-taught man usually has a poor teacher and worse student.” After fly-fishing with a local guide, I would have to agree.
I have always described myself as self-taught fly fisherman. It was through trial and error that I learned how to tie a blood knot, cast a line and convince a trout to take my fly. Somehow, I managed to catch my fair share of fish over the years.
As it turns out, I have been doing a lot of things wrong. Read More
A long, long time ago, I was an avid skier. As a teenager living in the Black Hills, I spent my winters racing down Deer Mountain pretending to be Franz Klammer in the ‘76 Winter Olympics.
It was what I did and who I was.
At the time, I didn’t understand that life is a book comprised of many chapters. I thought I would always be a skier and that my obituary would include the words, “80 years old” and “tragic ski jumping accident.” Read More
Sunset on the White River near Kennebec, SD
Wide skies. Spectacular sunsets. Miles away from somewhere and right next to nowhere. From a bluff overlooking the White River, you can hear the hum of life—insects, birds, and animals thriving in a diverse prairie ecosystem. This is what it’s like to live in South Dakota. There is no place I would rather be.
“Don’t be scared, Jacob. Just keep moving forward.” The first time I said these words to my son, he was six years old and too terrified to cross a creek in the Black Hills. We were hiking along the Spring Creek trail that flows out… Read More
Every road trip has its own soundtrack—and no two trips are exactly the same. However, if I had to compile one definitive CD, I would start with these absolutely must-have tunes: Helpless-Neil Young California Stars-Wilco & Billy Bragg Sway-Rolling Stones
Labrador retrievers do not understand the concept of waiting. Patience is not a part of their doggie DNA. I don’t know if this is true with all Labs, but my dogs will explode if they have to wait longer than two barks for anything—especially if… Read More
The distance between Sioux Falls and Arches National Park on a map is only about nine inches. In reality, the distance is over 1,000 miles, which translates into almost 17 hours of hard road time—one way. When I was planning a trip to Utah’s most… Read More