Holly A. Heyser

Holly A. Heyser

Holly A. Heyser is a hunter, forager, writer, food photographer and college journalism lecturer. She writes a blog about hunting at http://norcalcazadora.blogspot.com.and shoots food photos for boyfriend Hank Shaw, who writes a blog about wild food at http://honest-food.net.

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Oh, no. It was happening again.
When I first started getting the hang of duck hunting, it never failed: If Hank was having a good day of shooting, I would be shooting atrociously. And if I was having a good day, he couldn’t hit a damn thing.

This is my ninth season of duck hunting, and while the number of women duck hunters here in the Sacramento Valley has grown a lot since I got started, I’ve realized this season that we, as a class of hunters, have some work to do.

My boyfriend was skeptical.
I was about to go on a hunt where I was told to expect to shoot nothing but greenheads flaps down over decoys.

Hunting the Drought: The Opening Act

In the days and weeks leading up to the California duck hunting opener, the reports from my buddy Charlie were good. The lake we hunted in his neck of the woods was filthy with puddle ducks. That would’ve been a head-scratcher in any normal year, because this was strictly a diver lake.

September had all the makings of an epic dove season in Northern California. The state was filthy with doves, our daily limit had been boosted from 10 to 15 and I was shooting really well, thanks to spending way too much money on skeet and sporting clays this summer.

The Importance of Failure

A friend of mine recently shared an interesting article provocatively titled, “The Learning Myth: Why I Never Tell My Son He’s Smart.”


I’m afraid to add up how much money I’ve been spending at the shooting range these days.

Oooooh, I can feel it already: You read that headline and you wanted to punch me.

The Almost Perfect Turkey Hunt

One by one, the turkeys flew toward me from their roost tree, a dusky old bull pine across the draw. They weren’t headed right at me, but close enough that I just might get a shot this morning.

Hunting Zeppelins

Ducks are fast. On the rare occasions that they’re slow, I can’t hit them to save my life. How do you lead a bird on a crossing shot when he’s at one-quarter speed?

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