The draw of wild places and adventures never stops tugging at the sleeves of hunters and anglers. Now more than ever it’s time for us to escape and get lost in the outdoors and the editors of Field & Stream have the stories for your summer inspiration. From David E. Petzal’s real-deal caribou hunt, Phil Bourjaily’s holiday getaway for teal, Dave Hurteau’s guilt-free zone, Bill Heavy’s Texas-turkey escape, and Matthew Every’s fishing experiment at a local swimming hole, there’s an escape for every type of outdoorsman.
SMOKE ON THE WATER
After graduating from high school, a teenage Scott Bestul and his best friend Tim, took a full week off from their summer jobs to camp, fish and run the rivers of northern Wisconsin. Nearly four decades later, Bestul still reflects on this trip so it was only rational that as Tim was battling COVID, he would mentally escape to “I worked very hard not to imagine my friend in the confines of a sterile ICU, hooked to a ventilator and separated from his family. Instead, I escaped to that sacred place where the vestiges of old adventures are stored, and I thought of the rivers, and of the smoke of that old Pinto and our campfires and the candy-flavored cigars—and I hoped that my friend was doing the same,” writes Bestul.
THIS IS NO SMALL GAME
Field & Stream’s Editor-at-Large, T. Edward Nickens takes readers on a hunt through the Arizona desert that most hardcore hunters would scoff at…a wild chase for jackrabbits. Besides Outdoor Life legend, Jack O’Connor, there doesn’t seem to be many folks who love this hunt or the meat it yields, but Nickens learned firsthand how tough this hunt can be. “I watch the last jackrabbits streak toward the horizon, pint-size Tasmanian devils kicking up dust. “This could definitely be a tourist attraction,” I say. “But man, those things are tough. What about the Valley of the Dumb Bunnies? Is that near here? Can we hunt that next?”
Whether it’s fishing for whiting on the Flora-Bama coast, Bowfishing on the Cumberland River or fixing an old boat, there’s something for everyone a little closer to home. Hunting Editor, Will Brantley walks readers through some of the most lowkey and accessible adventures he recently rediscovered, because you don’t have to go too far from home to have a great escape.
PLUS: Buck Hunters Go Big; How Phil Bourjaily Became a Better Turkey Hunter; Ask Petzal; When to Avoid the Classic Trout Set; and More