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
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
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
Long after the last day of deer season and months before open water walleye season begins, there is Oscar® season. This is the time of year when Hollywood pats itself on the back and celebrates the best films that the fewest people actually paid to… Read More
The chances of getting two overeager Labradors through an entire pheasant season without a visit to the veterinarian is precisely zero. It has never happened, at least not for my dogs and me. I distinctly remember telling a hunting buddy on the last day of… Read More
Airports suck. There really isn’t a more eloquent way to say it. In the last month I have flown to Indianapolis once and Los Angeles twice. I may have to make another trip next week. The cities are different, but the destination is always the… Read More
I can’t remember how to tie a fly. When I lived in the Black Hills and fly-fished regularly, I could (almost) tie a woolly bugger blindfolded. Now, I need an instruction manual with large type and easy-to-understand diagrams to guide me step-by-step.
Of course, it has been nearly 20 years since I lived in a zip code with a trout stream. Forgetting how to tie flies was probably inevitable. Still, it pains me to think I lost something that was once so important to me.
If you don’t understand how tying flies can be “important,” allow me to provide a quick overview: Read More
With every new year, the calendar resets and gives us 365 more opportunities to be outside—hiking, hunting, fishing, camping or whatever it is we enjoy doing in our free time. If your calendar is like mine, most of those 365 days are already accounted for.
Between work obligations, family responsibilities and one or two unexpected home repair projects that demand attention, I estimate the average sportsman has approximately 21 good days to enjoy the outdoors. And that is if the weather decides to cooperate.
So, before my calendar is filled with commitments, I resolve to make a few of my own for 2015. Read More
“It’s too hot to hunt.”
I never thought I would be saying these words two weeks into a pheasant season. But when the weather forecast called for highs in the upper-70s, I decided not to risk overheating my dogs. It would be smarter to wait until the temps returned to something resembling fall.
However, I wasn’t about to forgo a weekend of hunting just so I could stay home and work on the yard. I believe the good Lord frowns on people who waste perfectly good days raking leaves. Read More