Cowboys may not be as common as they once were, but their way of life persists in a few small pockets of the world, including the fertile lands surrounding Lake Okeechobee and the Florida Everglades. Here, cowboys use rope, leather and horses to manage cattle herds numbering into the thousands. It’s difficult to overstate the commitment cowboys have for their charges. Their herd is their livelihood, representing food, shelter and a future for their family. And above all else, they work to ensure their herd’s safety.
Idaho is one of the best places in the world to hunt mountain lions. Here, the combination of isolated habitats and plentiful deer allow cougar populations to flourish. Plenty of Idaho residents pursue lions through the state’s mountains, fields and forests, but out-of-state visitors pour into the area each fall to try their luck hunting these predatory beasts as well. Here’s a quick guide to Idaho mountain lion hunting with hounds.
Some places are inextricably linked to hunting a given quarry. You travel to Alaska to hunt Dall, Wyoming for pronghorn and South Texas for whitetail. But other places, like South Florida’s Lake Okeechobee region, harbor an ark’s worth of wildlife. Here, hunters from both near and far pursue prey year-round, moving from one species to the next as regulations and time permit. While the bounty is ripe for any sportsman, sometimes your skills must be used for the greater good.
Dim, docile and too fat to fly, domestic turkeys wouldn’t last the first minute of opening day. Their wild counterparts are an entirely different matter. In contrast to their domestic cousins, wild turkeys are smart, spunky and never easy to trick. Hunting these birds requires patience, understanding and impeccable skills. Dropping one with a well-placed shot is something for which all hunters should be proud. Turkeys aren’t easy quarry to claim. But particularly successful or determined hunters often take things a step further, and set out with a lofty goal in mind: completing the wild turkey hunting grand slam.
Colorado elk bow hunting is different from hunting deer back east. Instead of sitting 20 feet up a tree, waiting for a whitetail to saunter under your stand, you’ll be mostly on your feet, prowling the vast Colorado landscape. You’ll be hoofing it up and down hills, tracking your quarry and carrying all your gear while doing so. The going will be touch, but when your target is the mighty Colorado elk, motivation is rarely a problem.
There are definite advantages to hunting elk with a team. Your strengths work in concert with the aptitudes of the group, while your weaknesses are minimized, thanks to the skills of your companions. But the true value in hunting with a team comes not from the tactical advantages it provides, nor from the fact that all members of the group share in the joy of a successful hunt. It is the bonds you’ll make and the friendships you’ll forge while tracking this elusive game, which make hunting with a group the pleasure that it is.
The first step to successful south Texas whitetail deer hunting is preparation. There are boxes to unload, maps to review and blinds to inspect. You also have to sight in your bow and prepare your hunting gear. Texas winters may be relatively mild, but you always need high-performance hunting clothing to withstand anything Mother Nature will throw at you.
You’ll replay the shot over and over in your head for years to come. It was perfect—a direct hit, right through the vitals. But there’s no time to pat yourself on the back; now, you must go find him. Your whitetail deer. Lowering your weapon, you exit the blind and begin the search, out into the harsh South Texas terrain.
In the wild sheep’s natural habitat, both the terrain and weather are inhospitable to man. A hunter can feel like he has stepped foot onto an alien planet. In an area that seems like the top of the world, far up and away from civilization, extensive preparation of both the hunter’s physical and mental condition is essential.
Hunting a wide-ranging creature like the Dall is an exercise in endurance, especially in the rugged Alaskan terrain. You’ll be walking for miles, climbing one hill after another, stopping atop each peak to scan for your white-furred target, nearly invisible among the snow.
Everywhere you turn: rocks, snow, a tuft of vegetation... no sheep. Each time you pause to rub your eyes, blinking with a disbelief that’s hardly resignation. You keep the sheep in your mind’s eye, maintain your focus. You persevere. You know your quarry lurks somewhere amid these infinite shadows. You intend to find him. You intend to win.