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Corey Stallings • 12/23/2011 • Surry, Va • Shotgun

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Entries for 'Mike Handley'

Nebraska Typical Record Threatened

Unseasonably warm weather seemed to keep the mature bucks off their feet during daylight hours while I was bowhunting in Nebraska Nov. 7-11. But the tee-shirt temperatures improved the following week.

Seven days after I left Pawnee County and drove into Kansas, a Brainard man shot what could be a new state-record Typical, according to the Omaha World-Herald. Fifty-year-old Kevin Petrzilka’s buck, taken during a hastily orchestrated man-drive on Nov. 19, has a green score of 203 4/8.

Petrzilka shot his deer in Saunders County, the same county that yielded the reigning (B&C) record taken in 1983, the newspaper said.

I don’t know how many trail cameras are stolen each year, but I do know it happens. Regardless of the likelihood or frequency, fear of theft is probably the No. 1 reason hunters are reluctant to buy them.

In the spirit of snickering at the guy who blasts past you in the fast lane, only to be pulled over for speeding a mile or two down the road, I offer this delicious dessert ... or example of “just deserts,” which is grammatically correct for “something deserved.”

Police in Mariemont, Ohio, were able to nab a guy who illegally discharged a handgun only because he also stole a trail camera. Seems the police, who’d been notified of several similar thefts since 2008, had put out their own camera equipped with a GPS transmitter just a few hours before it was taken.

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Options Limited for Those with Thin Wallets

Hunting is a rich man's sport.

I hear that all the time. Actually, I’ve heard it since the mid-1970s, when Alabama timber companies began rewriting their lease agreements to include annual increases in the cost per acre.

I remember lifelong hunters quitting because they couldn’t afford the jump from $150 to $200 for a club membership. They quit when it went from $200 to $325. I even saw decades-old hunting clubs die overnight, the result of too many members dropping out, thereby increasing the burden on those remaining.

Nowadays, some Alabama clubs (with no more acreage than they had in 1975) have membership dues of $3,000. I’m also aware of clubs in Illinois that have tiered memberships starting at $10,000.

Truth is, you’d have to look mighty far back to find a time when hunting was cheap.

I’ve always had a rough time of it. Every dollar spent in the pursuit of my passion has been felt. If it weren’t for friends who like the way I string words together, I’d probably trade my guns and bow for more paintbrushes (

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Attention Shoppers

Every year, I’m inundated with e-mails and calls from people seeking suggestions for last-minute firearms hunts where they might encounter decent bucks. Since I’ll be on the road for the next couple of weeks, bowhunting the rut in Nebraska and Kansas, I thought I’d post my answer ahead of time.

Riflemen looking for an affordable hunt should really consider Oklahoma’s Nov. 20 - Dec. 5 gun season. Not only are the nonresident licenses cheap – half what they cost in Kansas – but they’re also available over the counter. A $206 license will entitle a nonresident to shoot one buck. Buy the $256 version, and you’re allowed to take a doe as well. (Don’t forget to add the required Legacy permit.)

I’ve hunted deer in Oklahoma three times: near Woodward, west of Lawton and close to Ardmore. It’s really a fabulous place, often referred to as the dark horse or sleeper among trophy-producing states.

One of the best rifle hunts I’ve come across in this business is offered by Jay Jack of Snyder (Double J Outfitters). A five-day hunt in the boulder-strewn foothills of the low-slung Wichita Mountains – including lodging, meals and rides to and from the Oklahoma City airport – is only $2,750. His calendar is clear from the Friday after Thanksgiving through the Dec. 5 close. The same five-day package for bowhunters (for the remainder of December) is a scant $2,000.

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Endeering Readers

Imagine if you were reading your local newspaper and, all of a sudden, you choked on your venison sausage biscuit. How bad would that suck?

That actually happened in suburban Atlanta last week, sort of, when readers of the Covington News happened upon a column by sports editor Josh Briggs equating deer hunters to Neanderthals. The newspaper’s general manager, T. Pat Cavanaugh, even admitted in a follow-up that Briggs’ piece caused him to spill his coffee and almost choke on a sausage-less muffin.

Briggs might have generated less hate mail if he’d slandered God, the Atlanta Braves, mothers or grits. Not surprisingly, the story of the former Californian’s screed against hunting went viral, although he was careful to distance himself from the PETA crazies and to mention that he’s the proud owner of an AR-15.

The column begins, “Imagine if you were sitting in your car in the drive thru at McDonald’s and all of a sudden, you get shot in the neck (by a deer with a rifle)? How bad would that suck?”

Briggs was trying to paint an image of the hunted turned hunter, which kind of fell flat. The gist was his belief that anyone who hunts in this era, anyone who calls it a sport, must be perverse. And to prove his point, he recommends we all watch “The Deer Hunter.”

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