The Royal Wood: A few words on Juglans regia :: Terry Wieland

English walnut—the favored wood for gunstocks for centuries—is both a difficult topic and an easy one.

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NSSF Action Alert: The Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 Needs your Help

The Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 Needs Your Help

Call your U.S. Senators to keep it Alive!

The Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 (S.3525) still can be enacted in this Congress if we keep the pressure on. All hunters, target shooters and firearms owners should call your senators today and urge them to work in a bipartisan manner to resolve budgetary concerns raised on Monday so the Sportsmen’s Act can be brought back to the floor for a vote on final passage. There are ongoing negotiations but time is running short. Tell your senators to compromise and reach a bipartisan agreement now.

The Sportsmen’s Act is the most important package of measures for the benefit of sportsmen in a generation. It took a great deal of work to bring together no less than 46 of the nation’s leading sportsmen and conservation groups including NSSF, NRA, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, American Sportfishing Association, International Game Fish Association, Center for Coastal Conservation, and Boone and Crockett Club to champion S.3525.

Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 to urge your senators to continue their bipartisan work on The Sportsmen’s Act of 2012. Let’s get the bill passed before the end of the 112th Congress. Find complete contact information for your elected officials here.

Click here to Contact Your Senators

Visit NSSF’s Government Relations site at

Hunters :: By Chris Dombrowski

Behind three bird dogs, two men walk up the middle of a gravel road, shotguns slung over their shoulders: a hunter and a poet trailing two ticked-up setters and an old grey-faced black Lab.

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These, Among Many: A Gallery of Good Fortune :: By Robert DeMott

In southeastern Ohio, where I have lived since 1969 (transplanted from New England), ruffed grouse, my main hunting obsession for most of my time here, have become so scarce that pursuing them has become at worst utterly futile, and at best an elegiac exercise, like remembering the faintest strains of long-gone music, or the first kiss with Mary Lou what’s-her-name.

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IDP in the Field :: By Jim Stenson

Ask any writer and they will probably tell you that it is substantially easier to write a complete novel than a short story or a component essay. I have recently learned the hard way that this axiom applies to film as well; it appears to be much easier to shoot and edit a full-length film than a short 90-second video.

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Grail Gun: With Parsifal in the North Woods :: by Terry Wieland

In 1995, during a visit to Holland & Holland in London, I experienced what proved to be a life-changing event: I handled, for the first time, a Boss & Co. game gun from 1910.

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Home to Roost: Where Doves Come in Droves by Terry Wieland

It was one of those deep, dark, velvety, southern-hemisphere nights, the kind where the sky goes black and opens like a flower, and you wonder how there could possibly be so many stars.

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Writer-in-Residence, Replications :: By Rick Bass

When I was younger, and my dogs and I would find birds in the exact same spot year after year, I would sometimes feel a little guilty about it, as if we weren’t really quite hunting. It seemed we were using the knowledge of previous years rather than the more primal and direct responses of scent, sight, sound, intuition.

Such encounters seemed to be lacking the wild extravagance, flamboyance, and stunning originality of finding birds in new places, or places where you did not expect them, or places where you expected them but have never found them before. It’s as if the dogs and I knew a secret; as if the dogs and I held, in our experience, an unfamiliar advantage over the bird hiding in that one, same spot.

What I think now, however, is that there is something just as flamboyant and spectacular in the eerie parallels of sameness that proceed, now and again, finding a bird beneath the same cottonwood, or in the precise same strand of cattails. These replications call out to us to notice them more deeply, not less, in their enduring sameness: like the teacher who desires that the students learn by rote or brute force of memorization certain of the most important lessons.

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Gun Room, Combatting the Shooter’s Curse :: By Terry Wieland

At one time or another, everyone who shoots a firearm flinches. It doesn’t matter if it’s a magnum rifle, a .22 target pistol, or a 20-gauge shotgun, shoot long enough and one day you will flinch. And, when you flinch, you will in all likelihood miss whatever it was you were shooting at.

Ah, you say: So if you hit your target, it wouldn’t matter if you flinched?

The answer is yes, and that gives us an insight into the nature of shooting itself. Because, after a lifetime of shooting, watching others shoot, and reading accounts of shooting, I have come to the conclusion that everyone flinches, to some degree, every time they pull the trigger.

The difference is, when you miss, it’s called a flinch. When you don’t miss, it’s something else.

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Just a Twenty-Pound Ruffed Grouse :: By George Calef

If there is magic on this planet,” wrote Loren Eisley, “it is contained in water.” The great scientist-essayist had deep philosophical thoughts in mind, but his words also have meaning for a first time turkey hunter in the arid Texas Hill Country.

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