Monday, June 27, 2016

How to choose a shotgun for hunting

Oh, the things I wish I'd known when I bought my first shotgun.

The only real piece of advice I got was to buy a 20 gauge because I'm a chick, which really did me a disservice. I'm sorry, there's absolutely nothing about being a woman that makes a 20 gauge a better choice. I ended up upgrading to a 12 gauge within a few years, which made me much happier. It's a duck hunter thing.

After meeting a lot of hunters who used a variety of shotguns, I came to realize that the type of shotgun that's best for you really is first and foremost a function of your personality, so I created a personality test to help prospective gun owners see what might be best for them. I blogged about it back in 2012, and I recently updated that blog post to hand out at a California Waterfowl workshop for new hunters.

Click here to view a printable PDF. Feel free to share it with friends, but if you'd like to reprint it in a for-profit publication, please get in touch with me.

© Holly A. Heyser 2016

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Video: How much to lead a moving target

I work with a lot of new shooters and hunters, and one of the hardest things to explain is how much you need to lead a moving target with your shotgun. It seems everyone perceives it differently.

A while back I told my pal Phil Bourjaily I wanted to use a shotgun-mounted POV camera to examine lead, and he said that was the wrong choice of camera. "What you need," he said, "is a ShotKam."

He was right. Using a wifi connection to your tablet or smartphone, you can align the ShotKam's reticle, then get footage where a red dot (or some other marker) shows your exact point of aim. What an awesome invention! Bonus points: Playback is at 1/4 speed, so you can see clay breaking in glorious detail.

I'll do a thorough review of the ShotKam down the road, but for now I wanted to share a video that illustrates lead at all the stations of skeet. And if you can't wait for the review, run over to the ShotKam website and learn more about it there. Tell 'em I sent you!

© Holly A. Heyser 2016

Saturday, January 23, 2016

On teaching women to shoot shotguns

The headline says it best: "Most New Female Shooters Learn From Men. Here’s What Both Need To Know."

My pal Phil Bourjaily - one of Field & Stream's two Gun Nuts - worked with me on this story. It's one of my favorite subjects!

Read the full story here.

© Holly A. Heyser 2016

Monday, November 30, 2015

Video: How to render duck fat

At long last, I've finally made the video duck hunters have been asking for: How to render duck fat!

The process is really easy, and it gives you a jar of duck flavor that will last long after you've rid the freezer of your last bird of the season.

So next time you get a delicious, fat bird, save the bits of fat you might otherwise throw in the trash, and try this.

© Holly A. Heyser 2015

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Florida bear hunting debate - an op-ed for the Tampa Tribune

If you watch debates about hunting all over the country, which I do because the future of hunting matters to me A LOT, you'll see a pattern: bear hunting is under attack.

It's an issue because bear populations are thriving, and everywhere state game agencies try to re-open bear seasons or increase quotas, the Humane Society of the United States argues that their science is all wrong and the population increases are a figment of their imaginations.

Right. Tell that to anyone who lives in bear country.

This Saturday, Florida opens its first bear season since 1994, and the anti-hunting hysteria is thick, so I decided to wade in with a little commentary on the subject. You can read it here in the Tampa Tribune.

© Holly A. Heyser 2015