Ann Kercheville is President of Joshua Creek Ranch. Located in the renowned Texas Hill Country just 45 minutes northwest of San Antonio and 90 minutes southwest of Austin, Joshua Creek Ranch occupies a uniquely diverse terrain including miles of Joshua Creek and Guadalupe River bottomland planted in fields of grain crops for prime upland and deer hunting habitats. You can visit their web site at http://www.joshuacreek.com.
Ken is a technical writer and has spent the majority of his career documenting storage hardware and software products for start-up companies. Although start-ups demand long hours, he always finds time to get to the club and break some clays. Ken is not a shooting instructor and he is not a professional shooter. He’s part of the majority of people who love to shoot clays just for the sheer fun of it.
Unless Lars Jacob is running dogs, wetting a fly line or turkey hunting, everything he does revolves around shotgunning. Jacob has been teaching the finer art of wingshooting for over 30 years. He has run programs and gun rooms for the Dutch River Club, Covey & Nye and Orvis Company to name a few. Jacob is the founder and CEO of Lars Jacob Wingshooting, LLC and LJW Roving Syndicate. In addition to instruction, Jacob is recognized as one of the country’s finest gun fitters and recently worked with Perazzi’s Al Kondak to develop the Perazzi Ladies Sporter. He has a soft spot for side-by-sides and has introduced thousands of shooters to the nuances associated with shooting such shotguns. For more information visit www.larsjacobwingshooting.com.
“It was a very good season! Well except that time when the guide’s dog was busting birds 50 yards out. And the outfitter who kept boasting about wild birds, but we had to kick them to make them fly. Oh, and the time I was paired up with someone I didn’t know, and when he swung on a bird I had to hit the deck. Sound familiar? Any time we can go out and enjoy the pleasures of wingshooting it will be a good season, but to have a “great” season you need to start doing your homework now.
As we approach the year-end of bird-hunting season it’s common to reflect back and remember the dog work and great shots we made. We also start thinking about the misses that make you wonder “How?” This is usually followed by a promise made to be a better shot in 2019. Follow these four very important tips that will help you keep your promise.
With bird season in full stride, my customers are coming by to tell me how delighted they are with the new coverts they had discovered during preseason scouting and how much fun it is carrying their new (new to them) little vintage, subgauge shotgun. When I ask how the new puppy is doing in the field, the typical answer is, “fantastic! I only wish my shooting was just as good.” As a wingshooting coach, and always one for job security, I suggest I could help. The common response is "oh I know what I'm doing wrong. I'm peeking. I just have to make myself stop peeking."
How thrilling is it when we have a brand new woodcock covert to explore? Maybe you stumbled upon it during fishing season or while hunting mushrooms. Or maybe it is a covert you helped create with other volunteers with the same passion. From the acres of rich, moist soil grow trees, alders, hawthorns, birch and poplar. Every so often they are dotted by the occasional old bull pine. It’s a little slice of heaven.
The Holy Grail of shotguns can mean many things. The driven bird shooter desires a break action with long barrels like a clays gun but stocked like a game gun. Dove shooters love their nimble sub-gauge auto loaders especially with the three round capacity. And of course the waterfowler needs the recoil taming and durability of a synthetic stocked cannon. In the Northern region our early bird seasons include a unique bird, the American woodcock. With their “here today, gone tomorrow” migrations, this article will discuss finding the perfect woodcock gun.
There is that one gun in my safe that is my go-to gun. Don’t get me wrong, I have several guns that I love to shoot and shoot well, but that one gun I shoot the best. It comes up easier and smoother than the others and I never feel like I have to make a subconscious adjustment before I squeeze the trigger. My guess is you have that go-to gun as well. It is your go-to gun because it fits you best.
Two years ago, I was living in an apartment in the basement of a brownstone in Park Slope, Brooklyn. I was working in private practice as a psychiatric nurse practitioner and spending most of my weekends driving two hours both ways to upstate New York to do something in the outdoors. I was tired and burnt out and when a relationship I had been in ended, I needed a change. Little did I know that the catalyst for that change would be my seven-year-old black Labrador, Goose.
Don’t be shocked to see Amber Haynes wear ritzy Christian Louboutin heels with upland field pants. As the only child of a Houston oil-and-gas guy, he brought his young daughter along on the Texas quail and pheasant hunts that ultimately became her fashion muse.
“I’ve been tagging along with my dad hunting since I was little,” said Ms. Haynes.
A few months ago I sent out a newsletter for Detail Company Adventures, in which we delivered the destination hunting trips offered by our new Big Game/Fishing consultant, Larysa Switlyk. The newsletter is not what I want to talk about today; the replies I received are the real story.
In my early years of bird hunting I started a bucket list by pouring over the magazines by my father’s Lazy Boy. I would memorize item numbers in Lyon Country Supply, and dream of the day I had my own real bird dog. Dreams of skidding points, and huge Canadian geese in the decoys, banded green heads and woodcock over a Llewellyn or any other bird hunt I could read about and absorb.
I’m extremely proud of my good buddy, Eric Harrison of Joshua Creek Ranch, who received the 2017 Orvis Endorsed Wingshooting Guide of the Year. Eric and I have been friends for many years, and I know him as a great guide and father. Many of Shotgun Life’s readers have hunted with a guide like Eric or Eric himself at some point. I thought it would be helpful to sit down with him for a quick Q&A to discover what it takes to be a winning wingshooting guide and how you can benefit from hunting with someone like him.
In 1803, London sporting dog expert William Taplin published the first of two volumes titled “The Sportsman’s Cabinet” – an elaborately leather bound and illustrated compendium described as “A correct delineation of the canine race.”
In 2003 Chris Mathan paid homage to Mr. Taplin by starting her own business called The Sportsman’s Cabinet, which brought her highly acclaimed dog photography to an Internet audience. Ms. Mathan’s Sportsman’s Cabinet started when, after seven years as a senior designer and art director at one of Portland, Maine’s most prestigious advertising agency, she opted to become professionally immersed in upland bird hunting and pointing-dog field trials.
There’s no shortage of self-help books, blogs and TV shows on how to maintain a successful marriage. They often dispense predictable suggestions such as romantic getaways, better communications and compromise.
While those tactics are certainly useful, my friend Paula Formosa and I have discovered that hunting with your significant other strengthens personal bonds in ways that are more meaningful and longer lasting than a dip in a heart-shaped Jacuzzi.
Wild quail hunting can be found from Mexico to the uplands of California to the northern Midwest across the country to the so-called Golden Triangle of Georgia. North America itself is home to several quail species that live in assorted habitats and regions. Given the incredible variety of quail hunting opportunities there are many ways a hunter can get on birds – making these challenging birds available for an array of budgets and skill levels.