Hunting Tips

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.

#TBT TURKEY SEASON May 2012

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.

#TBT A WHOLE WORLD OF WILD HOGS March 2012

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.

#TBT THE END OF THE THREE AMIGOS? MARCH 2012

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.

#TBT PRAIRIE MULE DEER, DECEMBER 2011

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.

#TBT AWESOME AMMO AUGUST 2012

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.

#TBT AMERICA'S EARLIEST DEER SEASON, AUGUST 2012

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
It is amazing how little cover is needed to hide an entire elephant

#TBT IS THE WORLD'S GREATEST GAME FOR YOU? APRIL 2010

“I didn’t know you could still hunt elephant.” This is one of the first comments I usually hear on the subject of elephant hunting, even among fairly knowledgeable hunters. That’s the first hurdle to get past: In our new millennium, should elephants be hunted? Indeed they should, and indeed they must.Read more
The sight of big tracks with long claws projecting ahead tells you you’re in grizzly country. This is nothing to be afraid of, but you need to be cautious.

#TBT BEAR COUNTRY, October 2011

There was scat along the trails, and long-clawed tracks in just about every wet spot. We were in bear country. More specifically, we were in grizzly bear country. At least one of the bears had marked a tree close by hunting camp with deep scratch marks. Although I didn’t particularly want a bear to drop by for dinner this wasn’t especially frightening.Read more
Craig Boddington Convention Booth

THE TOUGHEST HUNT: CONVENTIONS!

Some hunts are tougher than others, some are tough physically, while others are tough mentally. On any mountain hunt you know going in that you’re going to sweat, struggle, and huff and puff your way up—and with increasingly bad knees, I know the downhill is going to hurt just as bad. On the other hand, I hate to sit still…but I love to hunt whitetails, and in a lot of good country stand-hunting is the only viable option. It’s late December now, and I’ve spent much of the last month sitting on stands waiting for a good buck to step out. I did it in Nebraska and Kansas, and the last few days I did it in Georgia. Results were, er, mixed…but now that’s behind me, and I’m gearing up for the toughest hunt of all: Convention Season!Read more
Craig's "On the go" Office in Botswana

HOW I SEE MY BUSINESS

Friends, I’ve had a long and wonderful career in this crazy business. I’ve been lucky in that I got some great breaks along the way. I have colleagues who claim they sold the first story they ever wrote and never looked back. Maybe…or, as to use a pseudo-military acronym my battalion XO, Ron Corbin, coined, “MBIFDI,” pronounced “mabifidee” and meaning, “maybe, but I freakin’ doubt it.” I started trying to write in this business when I was in high school, and I built up at least a boxcar full of rejection notices before I sold my first story! That was in about 1972, when I was still in college.Read more

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