Hunting Tips

A beautiful 4x4 mule deer! This is not an old buck, so he may get heavier with longer points, but he’s unlikely to get wider. The reality is this is a good mule deer in most mule deer country today.

A REALLY BIG MULE DEER

By the 1930s virtually all big game species were at a low ebb in the United States, a long-term decline accelerated by meat hunting during the Depression and the disastrous drought of the Dust Bowl. During summers from school in the late Thirties my Dad wrangled horses in the Frazier Park area west of Denver, great elk and mule deer country today, and he doesn’t recall ever seeing a deer or elk track.Read more
Yep, here I am in a Kansas deer stand with a modern sporting rifle! This particular rifle is a Turnbull LR308 in .308 Winchester, and it accounted for a nice buck from this stand. Why not?

THE MODERN SPORTING RIFLE

Honestly, I’m not crazy about the term “modern sporting rifle.” On the other hand, it’s like fingernails on a blackboard when I hear semiautomatic sporting rifles described as “assault rifles.” Unless one has a Class III license for a fully automatic firearm there is no such thing as a legal civilian-owned “assault rifle.”Read more
I’ll never be a great whitetail hunter because I hate to sit still…but when the rut shuts down the best tactic is to continue hunting places you know are good, and just stick with it.

WHEN THE RUT SHUTS DOWN

Our American deer rut at different times in different places. Perhaps the earliest rut I know of is on California’s Central Coast, where I’ve hunted much of my adult life. The very weird deer season there opens in August, when it’s hot as blazes, and runs into the third week of September (which isn’t much cooler).Read more
Craig Boddington with Mozambique Swamp Buffalo

Swamp Buffalo

Are you up for the unique adventure of hunting Swamp Buffalo in Mozambique? The challenges of this hunt are shared in #TBT Swamp Buffalo, an article Craig wrote in January 2012.Read more
Turkey hunting varies quite a bit from place to place. This is an Osceola gobbler from Florida; for me this is most difficult turkey because, in the typical warm weather, these turkeys are often very quiet.

TURKEY SEASON

I am not a serious turkey hunter…but you wouldn’t know it the way I’ve spent the past few days in head to toe camouflage, making a wide variety of strange noises with some odd-looking devices. I thought I was going to pull it off, too. Yesterday morning (not the end of the season, but the last day I could hunt) Mike Hagen and I set up overlooking a perfect little meadow on the edge of my Kansas place. We must have chosen our spot well, because as dawn came we were surrounded by seven or eight different gobblers responding from all points of the compass.Read more
An excellent Barbary wild boar, taken in Tunisia. The Barbary wild boar is very similar to the Eurasian wild boar, but has developed separately for many thousands of years. The hunting is by organized drives, shotguns only.

A WHOLE WORLD OF WILD HOGS

It was the middle of a dark, snowy night. We were hunting predators, not pigs, but it was late and we hadn’t seen much when a sounder burst out of a clump of brush. My host quickly said, “You should take one if you can.”Read more
Jeff Wemmer with a really fine white oryx, taken on the Y.O. Ranch in the Texas Hill Country. Motivation for hunting these animals varies, but their value to hunters is the primary reason the herds have built up to present levels.

THE END OF THE THREE AMIGOS?

Just 30 years ago the white or scimitar-horned oryx roamed the desert of northern Chad in thousands. His two buddies, the twist-horned addax and the large-bodied, short-horned dama gazelle, were nowhere near as prolific, but they still occurred in very good numbers. When Libya invaded Chad the Libyans machine-gunned the herds and trucked the meat back to Tripoli. Very efficient. This was probably the last stronghold of Africa’s desert antelope in Africa, but all three species are found on private ranches in Texas. Since all three hail from North Africa and all three are genuinely endangered in their homelands, they are often referred to as the “three amigos.”Read more
Boddington and guide Ken Jensen glassing typical prairie habitat. It looks flat, but there are deceptive folds and gullies. You think you see it all…but you never really do.

PRAIRIE MULE DEER

My native state of Kansas pretty much defines prairie. Especially if you aren’t from there! When I was a kid growing up in the hedgerows and woodlots of eastern Kansas mule deer country was a long ways away.....Read more
For many years I believed I could handload a more accurate cartridge than I can buy. This is no longer a given. I tried a variety of “good” factory and handloads in this Savage 110. The clear winner in this rifle, with ¼-inch groups, was Federal Premium with 180-grain Barnes TSX.

AWESOME AMMO

I learned to handload centerfire at the same time I learned to shoot. The deal was that if I wanted to shoot, I also needed to reload. Since then I’ve spent lots of time at the reloading bench. I always enjoyed it, but I don’t do it much anymore. Back then, if you wanted accurate ammo, you pretty much had to load it yourself. Back then, if you wanted particular bullets, anything beyond the “vanilla ice cream” bullets offered by major manufacturers, you had to load them yourself.Read more
A really nice forkhorn chasing a doe in late September. These deer rut the earliest of any blacktail/mule deer I know of. The season ends about the third week in September, and in most years there’s good rutting activity the last few days of the season.

AMERICA'S EARLIEST DEER SEASON

As I write these lines it’s a blistering August across the U.S. That’s not all bad. Winter and spring are behind us, summer is on the wane, and autumn is coming soon. For those among us who are deer hunters, that means our season is right around the corner…Read more

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