While waiting on the front steps of our Wisconsin home for my fishing partner last summer, a fox trotted out between our home and the home next door. Unconcerned with my presence, he looked at me and proceeded to cross the street. Our chance meeting got me to thinking about fox encounters over the years, and just how broad a territory foxes roam on this planet of ours.
I am frequently asked for advice on guns, and hunting rifles, in particular. Of course it depends on what one is going to hunt, but if we're talking South Dakota deer and antelope with the possibilities of elk or coyote, I'll limit my discussion to the home front. It might surprise you that my primary recommendation is going to be a new firearm. I have my
In describing our West River deer hunt from November, I wrote about a large buck shot by a fellow hunter that appeared to be a mule deer-whitetail hybrid cross. While he possessed mule deer characteristics, including a black-tipped tail, his antlers were of classic whitetail configuration. What really perked my interest was the fact that this buck was with a number of mule deer does, and the rut appeared to be in full swing. Might this breeding potential lead to hybrids of varying degree bloodlines? Might these crosses be sterile, like mules?
To paraphrase W.C. Fields, we went to the Virgin Islands and they were closed. Over the Christmas holidays, Betsy and I, along with 15 family members, spent a week on St. Thomas of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Most tourist-related activities were shutdown as a result of last September's devastating hurricanes, and some areas were still without electricity. The readily visible damage was heart-wrenching. Shorelines were littered with wrecked yachts and sailboats. Buildings were without roofs and walls and wreckage lined the curbs.
This past year, in their infinite wisdom, Wisconsin legislators eliminated the minimum age for mentored deer hunting licenses in their state. As a result, 1814 of these licenses went to nine-year-olds and under. Fifty two of these licenses went to children who were five or younger, including 10 who were under a year in age!
I'll turn 76 years old in April. For the past 15 years, I've wondered when I've booked a hunt, "Have I bitten off too much? Can I handle it physically?" I know I'm overweight, and I have peripheral neuropathy in my legs. Walking is not easy for me. Well, I've been lucky, and I've done just fine ... that is until last month's Wyoming elk hunt. I failed to keep up, and it almost cost me.
Other than a border crossing into Wyoming to see Devils Tower, I had never before visited The Cowboy State with the exception of a 1976 job interview in Sundance. Why had I waited so long?
Mitchell businessmen Dick and Paul Muth made the hunting trip of a lifetime in September. After flying to Fairbanks, Alaska, by way of Minneapolis and Seattle, a two-hour bush plane flight took them to Huslia, a remote central Alaskan village. From Huslia, a two-hour boat trip up the Koyikuk River brought them to moose camp for their 10-day hunt. Their tent camp was a Spartan affair, as not even a footprint was to be left behind in this pristine national park.
Some readers might remember Maggie Warren. She was from the Rapid City area, and she was obsessed with preventing our proposed mourning dove season. She went so far as to circulate a petition, collect the necessary signatures and get the mourning dove issue on the fall ballot. Fortunately we have a dove season today, and while I question Ms. Warren's thinking, I don't question that Maggie was a good person. Today hunter numbers are dwindling. In South Dakota, we have more non-resident pheasant
How about coming along on my East River Charles Mix County deer hunt. I've been perched on a slope for about three hours, waiting for a mature whitetail buck to wander within my shooting comfort zone. I'm on a south slope facing north. Though a strong wind is gusting out of the south, I'm beneath the rim and I don't believe the wind will affect deer on the bottom below. Soon after I arrive, a small lone buck and then a doe amble through without concern. It strengthens my thoughts on the wind at my back.