American Hunter - December 2013 - (Page 2)

features NRA EXPERTS IN THE FIELD Volume 41, Number 12 December 2013 Official Journal of the National Rifle Association The NRA, the foremost guardian of the traditional American right to "Keep and Bear Arms," believes every law-abiding citizen is entitled to the ownership and legal use of firearms, and that every reputable gun owner should be a member of the NRA. Wayne R. LaPierre, Executive Vice President Destination & Adventure The Hot Ticket for Winter Whitetails Cold weather and limited food sources for deer make for tough hunting this time of year. Here's what you need to pull a big buck out of the woods when they otherwise look bare. By Bill Winke 42 tactics&technique the Hot Ticket inWinter Nail the weather forecast and find the food to make the late season great. Here's what you need pull a big buck out of the bare woods this month. The Hunting Bug, Translated Story and Photos by Bill Winke, F A hunt for driven game in Poland reminds the author that regardless where he goes or who he meets one thing is clear: Among hunters, no barrier exists that can't be transcended. By J. Scott Olmsted 48 Predator Hunting in 'the AK'   ❘ Wildlife Management Special Reports Meet Your New Neighbors . ❘  ❘   42 The Hunting Bug, Translated A hunt for driven game in Poland reminds the author that regardless where he goes or who he meets, humor is a great equalizer. I Photo: Russell Graves / WindigoImages.com Sea Ducks on the Atlantic Roller Coaster  ❘  . destination&adventure The author thought his move to Alaska would be centered on the pursuit of larger game, but it's the smaller predators that have caught his attention. By Peter B. Mathiesen 64 Though the ride left the author a bit green, his hunt for sea ducks was a unique and harrowing adventure best experienced in order to understand it. By Brain McCombie 74 Field Editor or most hunters, the late season is more of an experiment than a real hunt. I hope to help you change that. Under the right conditions, the late season can be very good. In fact, the two very best days of every season are the day when the first doe comes into estrous in an area rich in bucks and the first hard cold snap in December. I dream about those two days (and all the bucks that bubble to the surface) when I visualize great whitetail hunting. By J. Scott Olmsted, Editor in Chief 'm not so naïve as to assume tension still lingers in Europe decades after two world wars ravaged the continent. But when Frenchmen, Swedes, Brits and Germans gather, one wonders whether they shy away from certain subjects. Like invasion, for instance. The notion was put to rest the first night when our host, Thierry Daguenet, proposed a toast. "Gentlemen," he said, "I would like to welcome you all to Poland. Some of you are new here, but of course, Klaus, we all know the Germans have been to Poland many, many times before." "Yes," shouted Klaus over guffaws, "but that was with a different caliber!" Indeed the men in my presence worked together, or at least knew each other in some capacity, so perhaps I should have known better. Regardless, I was reminded that among hunters, no barrier exists that can't be transcended. Well, except maybe a language barrier. Hours earlier, I exited the plane at the Frankfurt airport and stood alone, unable to speak a lick of anything besides English, wondering how long I had to look forlorn before someone took pity on me. "Thierry?" asked a gentle-looking mustachioed man. "Yes, Thierry," I replied anxiously. "You know Thierry?" "Yes, yes," said the man, our driver, apparently. Or at least that's what I imagined he said as he nodded in the affirmative and waved for me to follow him. "Thierry" was Thierry Daguenet, vice president of  Ammotec Sales Companies in Europe.  is a European conglomeration of sporting arms companies and defense contractors not unlike  on these shores.  owns Norma Precision, the company that invited me to Poland. But it was Thierry, a Frenchman, with whom I had corresponded before my arrival. He arrived in due time, along with two other Frenchmen: Christophe Skladzien, sales manager of  France; and Yann   ❘  ❘  . . ❘  ❘   48 destination&adventure As more wild lands succumb to development, encounters with predators continue to plague us. Compounding the problem is a system of laws that protects predators at enormous cost. By Tim Christie 56 Predators Colorado's Volunteers Show the Way Ahead I Above the 62nd Parallel If you can call a coyote or fox in the Lower 48 you can call one in Alaska. The problem is the weather, and the terrain, and the difficulty of moving in waist-deep snow, and ... By Peter B. Mathiesen certainly had big-game hunting on my mind when I relocated from the Midwest to Alaska in . Cradling my first  grizzly tag had me grinning from ear to ear for a month. However, to my surprise it has been the smaller game that has attracted more of my attention. During a fall trek back to the "Outside" (Lower ) to test the new Trijicon  scope system, the first question from my host and renowned Utah predator hunter Cory Lundberg about my relocation was, "Dude, are there coyotes? There must be coyotes." More questions came in an unrelenting fury: "What about foxes? Are there lynx? Can you actually find a wolverine? What about the wolves? Does anybody even use game calls? Can I hunt as a nonresident?" Our roadmap for success is to do what folks did in Colorado in September-mobilize and motivate. By Chris W. Cox 18 The Plan After I returned to Alaska, and after a month of Lundberg's enthusiastic weekly logistical calls, we arrived at the following conclusions: Yes, nonresidents can hunt, and there are significant   ❘ destination&adventure First Contact Men, machines and rifles take time to organize, adjust and sight-in.  ❘  . . ❘ With  to  feet of snow on the ground, we spent almost one full day getting our guns dialed-in and gear bagged. To keep us vertical, a snow machine refresher course from Wes was an absolute necessity. Toward the end of "gear day," Wes suggested we head about a mile from my home to get in one setup before we lost our light. Within  minutes, we overlooked a large expanse of frozen marsh that bordered the Alaska Railroad next to the Susitna River. As we traversed the frozen grass, coyote tracks crisscrossed our sled trails. Quickly, we located a group of alders to break up our outline. After stashing the sleds, the three off us waded through the waist-deep snow and struggled to get into position. The electronic call was set about  yards to our right. Sitting deep in snow with shooting sticks in place, Lundberg hit the remote fob and the call began to sing. It took less than three minutes for two coyotes to appear. They were  yards away, headed on a brisk trot toward the sound of our rabbit having an impressively bad day. I'm not sure if it was the calling, the winter hunger or our  ❘   tlantic Riding the A of off the coast of heart. sea ducks A hunt for is not for the faint Rhode Island Brian McCombie, Field Editor By over the g to wash "Quack was just beginnin boat, the ray light Ocean as our -foot harbor and into of the Atlantic its nose out breakers. We headed the the Pearl," pushed yards from put waters past to the churning a couple hundred a likely spot south, staying ter, looking for the sea in the tiny rocky breakwathen cast me onto the gray-green and , tossing good. I watched duck decoys the breakers out our sea But it wasn't looking boulders of layout boat. against the huge waves slam high into the air. water foamy G The Modern Gun Marketplace r RollerCoaste Photos: Author Evolving technology and business models are changing the way Americans purchase firearms. Learn how to navigate the new world. By Frank Miniter 82 the snow machines and his vast knowledge of the local trail system. Hunting with him is always a pleasure because of his woodsmanship and positive demeanor. Besides, his presence reminds me to watch my language. With February's unpredictable weather and temperature swings from  above to  below, we planned to hunt from my home on the edge of the interior, outside Talkeetna. We focused on nearby power line right-of-ways, the Alaska Rail Line, lakes and the Susitna River channels. All of these areas could be quickly accessed by snow machine, literally by departing from my driveway. Alaska's right-of-ways and hunting are generally open. As long as a property is not posted, and you stay off the railroad tracks, you generally have access to hunt. Unless the sky is clear, most evenings produce a slight or moderate snowfall, making it easy to locate high-traffic game areas. 64 Fathers in the Field There may be no greater classroom for young boys than the great outdoors, and no greater teacher than a father. But what about the boy who grows up without one? By H. Wayne Sheets 40 numbers of coyotes and foxes, and the frequent lynx. Amazingly, the cost of a nonresident general hunting license was a mere . As for wolverines and wolves, a guide is required for nonresidents, and in most cases access to an aircraft would be necessary for success. As I surveyed local hunters and wilderness cabin owners, it was nearly impossible to find anyone who actually targeted coyotes. The few animals that were taken seemed to be happenstance. Foxes were pursued aggressively through trapping, yet rarely hunted with game calls. One comment was consistent among them all: "I tried one of those rabbit squeals once, but nothing happened." Lundberg and I settled on the last seven days of February for coyote and fox, though we could take only fox in one of our local game units. We would exclude wolverines and lynx as they had just fallen out of season. I enlisted the assistance of my neighbor, pastor, fellow Midwest transplant and hunting buddy, Wes Hudson. Wes supplied Photo: D. Robert & Lori Franz / WindigoImages.com Tactics & Technique   ❘  ❘  . . ❘  ❘   74 Member Programs 800-672-3888 WARNING: All technical data in this publication, especially for handloading, reflect the limited experience of individuals using specific tools, products, equipment and components under specific conditions and circumstances not necessarily reported in the article and over which the National Rifle Association (NRA) has no control. The data have not otherwise been tested or verified by the NRA. The NRA, its agents, officers and employees accept no responsibility for the results obtained by persons using such data and disclaim all liability for any consequential injuries or damages. See asterisked * section, page 6.

American Hunter - December 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - December 2013

Contents
American Hunter - December 2013 - Cover1
American Hunter - December 2013 - Cover2
American Hunter - December 2013 - 1
American Hunter - December 2013 - Contents
American Hunter - December 2013 - 3
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