Kim Hiss, an associate editor at Field & Stream, has hunted ducks, antelope, turkeys, and deer throughout the country, enjoying a number of women's hunts along the way. She lives in Dobbs Ferry, New York.
Click here to email Kim.
South Carolina reader Amy Tucker (you first met her a few months ago in the post about pregnant hunters) recently emailed this picture and a great little story to go with it. She'd actually posted an earlier comment about these two deer -- Amy had taken the four-pointer (her first buck - congrats!), and her friend got the 10. As she explains below, the photo itself led to some very cool workplace recognition. -K.H. I sent this picture to my boss, who gets a kick out of my hunting. He, in turn, sent it to his boss, who showed it to the VP of the company! This guy is a big dog and not someone who I ever thought would even know who I was, or care for that matter. It turns out he's a huge hunter! I went to a meeting, and this guy is telling the room about himself and says he likes to do what Amy Tucker likes to do on the weekends: Hunt! I about fell out of my chair. Anyway, we find each other after the meeting and start a friendship. He just went to Texas and got an 8-pointer that he emailed me pictures of! I now have a direct line to the VP thanks to hunting! How cool is that?! I think my other comrades must think I'm a kiss ass, or possibly that the whole thing just kicks ass - one of the two!
After reading the story of the "drive by shooting" in Kansas last week, reader Tracy sent me a link to a much more positive news story from her area. According to this toledoblade.com story on Dec. 7 Ohio bowhunter Michael Kane cut a femoral artery while field dressing a deer in the Goll Woods State Nature Preserve. Fortunately, another hunter, Ryan Price, heard the cries of the seriously injured Kane, and rushed to stop the bleeding until more help could arrive. Here's what Tracy had to say about the story. - K.H.
I wanted to share a positive story from my neck of the woods (and because I think positive "hunting" stories get very little, if any, coverage around here). This actually appeared on the front page (!!) of the Sunday edition of our local rag. My good friend and mentor called my attention to it because it illustrates the point that even seasoned hunters can be visited by serious accidents (okay, and because my knife handling skills are still not so hot...).
This is one of my favorite old covers from the Field & Stream archives -- December 1923. Consider it a holiday greeting card, saying how much I've enjoyed getting to know everyone on the blog, and that I look forward to all our great discussions and photos in the new year. All the best to you and yours for a beautiful holiday! -K.H.
So, here's the cheery post I promised. I've really been looking forward to putting it up because I'm so happy for my friend, Donna, and so proud of her success on this South African big-game hunt. First of all, those of you who read Field & Stream owe a lot to the magazine's copy chief Donna Ng. There's not a word in F&S that doesn't pass under her careful eyes. She's the part of the editorial process where any misspellings, grammar mistakes, logic errors, or any other problems get caught and fixed (I shudder to think of all the screw-ups she must catch reading this blog!). Well, Donna decided to put those careful eyes to the scope of a Ruger for a November safari. A full photo gallery of her trip will be posted on fieldandstream.com, including pictures of warthogs, scenes from camp, and a huge variety of game, so keep an eye out for it. In the meantime, Donna provided a preview of her story just for the blog. I'm so psyched to share it with you! -K.H. After working at F&S since 1999, I wanted to have my own taste of the kind of adventures I was always reading about in the magazine. As a native New Yorker without much time in the woods, I decided: Why not go all out and have my first-ever big-game hunt in Africa? Besides, my husband Jock and I were already talking about going to South Africa, to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. So there I was, setting off to stalk warthogs with my professional hunter Theuns of Sportsman's
Safaris on the third (and final) day of my hunt. We only saw some females and immature males that morning, though. Later we sat in a blind by a water hole, watching more warthog family groups come to drink and cool off in the mud (very entertaining!), but a thunderstorm set in and ended the action. I didn't get a warthog, but my trip was definitely a success. The previous morning, I had taken a blesbok antelope. And an hour before sunset, after Theuns had spotted him at 100 yards and we stalked to within 45 yards, I shot this beautiful impala with my borrowed Ruger M77 Mark II .30/06. When this photo was taken, I was feeling overwhelming relief that I had made a good, clean shot, and happy and sad all at once. (Now of course I wish I'd known that my collar was crooked from pulling off the binoculars!) South Africa gave us an amazing experience, both the hunt and our subsequent 10-day travels. I heard that hunters who go on safari usually head straight to their camp from the airport, and then fly right back home afterward. But if you can manage the time and expense, the country has so much more to offer -- warm and friendly people, wonderful food and wines, a visit to the Cape of Good Hope, African penguins, whale watching, hikes through Afromontane forests and along the glorious coastline, and more. It was truly the trip of a lifetime...and I only hope that someday I'll be able to go back and do it again! -D.N.
Not to bring everyone down, but reader Lou Alexander sent me this story out of Kansas, and I agreed with her that it was very worth discussing. You may have already heard of it, it seems to be making the news rounds. As reported in this Emporia Gazette article, 18-year-old Beau Arndt of Americus, Kansas was killed Saturday morning Dec. 15 by poachers, while hunting geese with his friends. According to the story, which relies heavily on an interview with Arndt's mother, the Emporia State University student was a careful, responsible hunter, who had been passionate about the field since early childhood. His goal was to become a guide in Canada. Days before his 19th birthday, Arndt had come home from his first semester at school, so excited to go
hunting that he hit the field before even unpacking. He headed out with two friends, set up their decoys, and got ready to start calling. That's when a pickup truck reportedly drove by, slowed down, and a shot was fired into the decoys, hitting Arndt. Of course, the article points out that it's illegal to shoot game from a vehicle; to shoot into land without the owner's permission; and to shoot game birds with a rifle. I thought Lou (who's from Kansas herself) put it well when she sent me the story. After she'd seen the words "Hunting Accident" in the print version of the newspaper, she emailed, "I have a real problem with this because it is more like a drive by shooting than a hunting accident. In my book poachers are the scum of the earth and shouldn't be classified as hunters. The lack of local outrage is also disappointing. Road hunters risk harm to others and to property when they choose to shoot where they aren't welcome." What do you make of the incident? (Don't worry, tomorrow, I promise to have a cheerier post). -K.H.
Proud mom Lisa Metheny of Terre Haute, Indiana, sent this photo of her "young'uns," who she's thrilled to see keeping the family tradition alive. Her daughter Mikayla (14) took this buck on opening day of gun season in Indiana. Big brother Travis (19) caught the whole thing on video. Lisa was only too happy to provide the details. -K.H. Mikayla shot this 9-point buck with a Traditions youth model 50 cal. muzzleloader. The buck should have been a 10-point, but it had a split broken off brow tine. He gross scored 164 5/8, was in full rut, and had a neck that measured 33 inches in diameter. Her brother Travis caught the entire hunt on video. He'd shot a Pope & Young buck from the very same stand, one week earlier, almost to the exact hour!
Blog reader Callen May sent these photos of a beautiful buck her sister Katie harvested back on Thanksgiving afternoon. Here's what she had to say
about the deer and her lucky sibling. -K.H. The deer is a huge 14-pointer...My sister is 21 years old and she is a twin to me! It is really special to me that she got to kill this whitetail because she might never ever kill this big of a buck ever again and she did it at my grand dad's [place] in Todd County Kentucky!
If you came to the blog via the Field & Stream homepage today, you likely spotted our gallery of photos from women hunters. It's forty pictures of females from all over the country, posing with deer big and small. Of course all those photos got me thinking about the stories behind the hunts they commemorated, but they also got me thinking about the photos themselves. The actual taking of that well-deserved shot is such an interesting part of the hunt -- the setting up, the positioning, the subsequent e-circulation of the images to everyone you know -- a lot of people approach their photos in a lot of different ways. As for me, my early experience with hunt photos sparked a personal dilemma: to smile or not to
smile. I wonder if I'm the only hunter who's fretted over this particular problem. It started like this. At the end of my first hunt, I posed with a muley, a .270, and a big smile on my face. (That's me at right.) But when I got the photos back, the smile made me feel just a bit guilty. Sure, at the moment the photos were taken I was happy about a successfully completed hunt. But viewing the images back home, I wondered if the smile was somehow disrespectful of the deer. So, on a later hunt for antelope, when it came time for the guide to take pictures, I tried not to smile -- at least not very big. When I got those pictures back, the lack of smile looked
ridiculous -- why should I be so serious at the end of a successful hunt?! (That's not me at right, but you get the idea.) Nowadays, of course I bust out a grin! At a moment when you've earned the right to feel all that pride, relief, and excitement, there's no reason not to! Facial expressions aside, I'm curious to know how other hunters approach their own pictures. Do you spend a lot of time setting up the perfect portrait, or just snap a few quick shots and get on with the field dressing? Do you worry about hair and make-up, or just go natural? Do your pictures tend to come off without a hitch, or have you had a photo shoot go awry? And here's an interesting one - have you ever taken your mount to a Sears Portrait Studio? I know someone who was so excited about her 10-point, she did just that! -K.H.
Excuse the news headline, but I wanted to make sure everyone had seen this (some of you probably have already). A 13-year-old named Cheyenne Moore from Kalispell, Montana got a very impressive bull at the end of November, according to a recent Associated Press Story . She was one of 200 people out of more than 1,800 applicants to draw a permit (Her father, Mike, had been trying for one since before she was born, and has still been unsuccessful!). The linked story has a lot of details about the hunt. Cheyenne apparently passed up a 6 x 6 before getting this bull with her .280. She's still waiting for the B&C score, and, of course, her and her dad have high hopes for it. A Montana elk is quite an accomplishment for such a young person -- and the patience to pass up a perfectly nice bull impressed me as well. Not a bad story to keep us all inspired! -K.H.