Perhaps it’s no surprise that Dr. Doug Osborne’s project to help save timber duck hunting kicked off in a green timber duck blind. In January of 2015, Osborne was hunting with a couple of pals in the famous big timber of Arkansas when one of the hunters mentioned that he rarely shot a banded duck anymore. He looked at Osborne, an associate professor of wildlife management at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, and asked: “What’s up with that? Why can’t we band them here?”
Highballs rang in the timber as Charley kicked the water, keeping his face down as the ducks worked overhead. It was a small bunch of birds, weary from a long migration and keen to get out of the wind and hunker into the cover that the marsh provided. Banking into the wind and setting their wings, the ducks dropped elevation quickly as they made their final approach.
Insights and Tactics From Three-Time Duck Calling Champion, John Stephens
In our pursuit to design and build the world’s most technical hunting apparel we’ve surrounded ourselves with some of the world’s most skilled hunters – hunters like three-time world duck calling champion and owner of RNT Calls, John Stephens. The following is a list of fanatical tips and tactics that John uses to improve his hunts.
Ramsey Russell spent his 16th birthday unconscious at an ICU in Jackson, Mississippi. His dog—he loved that dog—had scratched up the inside of his parent’s garage. He touched it up with some oil-based paint, then cleaned the brushes with gasoline. The water heater kicked on. Spark ignited fumes. The explosion brought in fire departments from across the county.
The Necessities of Comfort: Gear Tips To Improve Your Next Hunt
Comfort can play a vital role in the hunt. Not in the sense that being comfortable makes the hunt easy, more that it allows us to shift focus from the challenges of the hunt to the task at hand. When we bring our bodies and minds to a state of comfort, we become more effective, more efficient, and more durable to the conditions. Comfort becomes a tool.
Following the Call: Honoring a Waterfowl Tradition
My love of the history and tradition of the American duck call goes way back. I was eight years old when my parents handed me an old shoe box of calls that had once belonged to my grandfather and his brother. The calls fascinated me, and it wasn’t long before I started my own vintage collection and began attending duck calling competitions. Eventually, I was spending what would become invaluable time with Butch Richenback at his Rich-N-Tone Duck Call shop here in Stuttgart, Arkansas, learning everything he had to teach me.
Layering 101 with SITKA Gear Founder, Jonathan Hart
As humans, we are at a genetic and physiological disadvantage to survive in wild places. Yet we’re instinctively drawn to test our mettle against species who have adapted for millennia to thrive in these challenging environments. At SITKA, we build systems to level the playing field with wild animals in their domain; giving hunters the ability to adapt to the rapidly-changing conditions encountered in the wild.
Seven years ago, we set out to change the way hunting was portrayed. At that time, nearly all images from a hunt were trophy photos. To us, this did the hunt, animal, and hunter a disservice. We wanted to highlight the depth of the experience, not just the kill. To spur this shift, we started working with a group of talented photographers. People whose passion for visual storytelling matched their passion for the hunt itself. This small rebellion snowballed into a widespread movement called DIVERGE.
Almost 300 miles off the coast of Alaska, a 40-square mile volcanic island void of trees and vegetation sits in the middle of the Bering Sea. St. Paul Island, the largest of the Pribilof Islands, is one of the most unforgiving places a waterfowler could hope to visit in pursuit of North America’s holy grail of duck hunting. Somateria spectabilis. The King Eider.