• An Open Letter to the FWC Commissioners

    Greetings Commissioners, As you prepare for the upcoming February Commission Meeting, I wanted to take a moment and again submit the attached sign-on for your consideration regarding the Draft Rule Proposal for Restricted Hunting Areas. This is an opportunity for us to take steps to ensure a stronger future for public water waterfowling. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the extraordinary contributions waterfowl stamps have made and continue to make to public lands across our country. Personally, I only hunt public, non-quota waterfowl areas. I run programs for recruiting new hunters, programs for non-hunters, programs for teachers – all aimed at understanding how hunting fits into conservation and why…

  • Dirt

    I think about Florida’s dirt more than I don’t. From the sandy soils of the Lake Wales Ridge, to the mucky pastures along the labrynth of rivers, beaches and backwoods, in the wildest of places you could imagine. I love this dirt. This ground. This place that gets between the straps of your Olukai’s and rubs your feet raw. Chad Crawford (the host of “How to Do Florida”) once mentioned to me that Florida leads the nation in the export of coffins. In other words, more people die here and are shipped someplace else than anywhere in the country. This is a fun and fascinating fact, but the broader point…

  • Trophy Hunting for Guns

    One of my favorite hobbies when I can’t walk in the woods is walking into a gun shop. To add an air of sophistication to my window shopping, I’ve adopted a phrase from renowned gun writer Chuck Hawks— Trophy hunting for guns. There is always low-hanging fruit on the counter, but the real thrill comes from finding a hidden jewel. As with game animals, a true trophy gun is personal definition. Are you a collector of Belgian Brownings? I found a Browning SA-22 manufactured the same year my father was born. Sure, it was more than a 10-22, but getting a gorgeous .22 with a shared vintage brings a smile…

  • Do Duck Quacks Echo? Calling Ducks in Florida

    C’mon, you know you thought that a duck quack didn’t echo.  Apparently this urban legend was studied and proved to be false.  Researchers at the University of Salford in Manchester England around 2003 actually studied this in their quest to improve acoustics in engineering.  Long story short, the duck quack did echo, but it was harder to hear compared to other types of recreated sounds.  How do I know, I googled it, but in case you don’t believe me Mythbusters covered it too. So what does this have to do with duck hunting in peninsular Florida?  Well, I’ll tell ya.  Picture this…huddled around a cranking hot Mr. Buddy propane heater…

  • Venison Cube Steak

    Editor’s Note: There’s not much more traditional and wholesome and comfortable than pan fried cube steak . . . At our house, mom preferred beef, so she’d make a pack of beef cube steak and a pack of venison, and this often left my sister and I fighting over the venison.  It’s that good.  In this recipe, long time friend of the show Chad Rischar takes us on the perfect pan fried venison cube steak Pan Fried Venison Cube Steak Beef or chicken cube steak can be supplemented for venison (strong preference for deer cube steak) Mix together the following ingredients for the cube steak breading 1 cup all purpose…

  • the Reelfoot Tragedy

    It’s been over 36 hours since the waterfowling world was rocked by the news. Two duck hunters shot dead in their blind dead on Reelfoot Lake. Searching for a person of interest. Speculation has run rampant. No concrete information (at the time of this writing), but rumor after rumor . . . some probably close to the truth, but we don’t know yet. I live 900 miles away from Reelfoot. But I felt compelled in the aftermath of the tragedy to let my stream of consciousness flow. Here’s what’s on my heart: • We don’t know what happened. If we ever know, it’ll be weeks, or months. Adding to the…

  • Taking Pictures

    It’s the most endearing question I get on every trip. To put that in context, I get asked roughly 1 billion questions a day. I love them all, but that’s the closest number I can put on it . . . “how many ducks do you think we’ll shoot?”. . . “How can you tell which birds are which?” . . . “Is that a duck (744 times)?” There are some I love (“Have you ever had this much fun?”) and some I dread (“Do you think they’re done flying?”), but there’s one that’s just so special and unique and I’m gonna tell you why . . . “Would you…

  • Sitka Waders: A Review

    Here we are. 5 and a half months after pulling the trigger, I’m ready to talk about my Sitka Waders. Next to my chairs (you’re welcome, Millenium Marine), my waders are the most asked about thing on a daily basis . . . “How do you like those Sitka waders?” This is, in some respects, a little bit of a crazy question. I equate it to how you feel after getting your oil changed – in your imagination, you think the car is running smoother and handling better. But it’s really exactly the same, which is awesome, but also it cost you some dollar amount to stay exactly the same…

  • An Incomplete Guide to Youth Shotguns

    Can I tell you how many youth shotgun guides I see on the regular? A lot. It’s like outdoors industry search engine optimization 101 – “write an article about youth shotguns” . . . Most of them are good.  Recently, the good folks at Project Upland released this one, and I think it’s the be all, end all for youth shotgun articles – it’s written by a former gun shop employee, it takes into account almost all the things you want to take into account, and it has the most comprehensive chart I’ve ever seen of youth shotguns.  I used to have a chart, but now I’m embarrassed to show…

  • Why Misses Matter

    Throughout duck season, we’ll attempt to keep you abreast of what we’re thinking, Monday Morning Quarterback-style, just with less football and more waterfowl There was a time when Will didn’t want to hunt. He was slight of build, which was tough to sort out with gun sizing, to say nothing of recoil in the way it related to the featherlight guns he could handle. The first duck he ever shot, a pin-feathered bluebill that graces our living room wall, was followed by tears, due in large part to his first experience with #4 steel shot against his shoulder.  I wasn’t sure he’d ever come around on it. It’s a tough…