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

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

What early teal season looks like: an interactive map

We don't have an early teal season in California, so I actually have no clue what it looks like.

But I do know how to find where all the action is: All you have to do is look at band recoveries, so I did just that, just for funsies, because I'm an OCD Dutch Virgo data nerd.

The map below is all the banded teal recovered by hunters in September of 2014 (data for 2015 isn't yet available). The color coding is really complex: Blue dots are blue-winged teal, green dots are green-wings and red dots are cinnamons. Click on the dot and you can see how old the bird was and where it was banded - you can even click through to its banding location.

One caveat: Sometimes the map will show birds being shot in weird locations, or in places where they shouldn't be shot, as in not in season. Keep in mind that all recovery information is reported by humans who might be confused about what they're reporting (the USGS Bird Banding Laboratory wants to know where you shot the bird, not where you live), imprecise (I've seen banded birds allegedly shot at busy urban intersections), or merely cagey ("I ain't putting no X on no stinkin' map!").

But imperfect as it is, it's still fun stuff. Enjoy!


© Holly A. Heyser 2015

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Lead ammo ban: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

When I wrote five years ago about giving up lead ammo for hunting, some of my readers called me a traitor and collaborator with the enemies of hunting.

When I woke about it again in this month's column for Shotgun Life, I waited for the onslaught and ... nothing.

Is everyone over it, or have folks been too busy hunting doves? Either way, feel free to hop on over to Shotgun Life and let me know!

© Holly A. Heyser 2015