OCTOBER 12, 2021


Fall is finally here and so is deer season! I’m out hunting, and I hope you are too. Are you mentoring someone this season, or are you being mentored? Chances are if you’re hunting, someone helped you along the way, and if we want to continue to hunt as freely or maybe more freely in the future, how we hunt, and who hunts matters now more than ever. This edition of The Hunting Wire is packed full of useful and prudent mentorship advice from Karen Butler’s VoLP essay to LSU’s own Bret Collier’s first essay in our new Conservation Pillars series. Later this year look for a series about brand new deer hunters from across the United States who, together with industry partners Mossberg, GPO USA, and the National Deer Association learn how to hunt America’s most popular big game animals in a variety of geographically unique areas.  We also have several rifles out for field testing with our battery of superb outdoor writers who are after moose, black bear, antelope, wolf, elk, and of course deer. Stay tuned to The Hunting Wire as they report in from around the world with their successes and failures hunting with the latest firearms, optics, and ammunition available to hunters today. As always, thank you for your support and feedback about The Hunting Wire, Jay Pinsky jay@theoutdoorwire.com

Voice of Leadership Panel

By Karen Butler - Founder/President, SLG2, INC DBA: Shoot Like A Girl

There are hunters among us; many of them don’t know it yet. These will-be hunters need someone (you) to provide them with the experience of hunting. Of the 27,000 -plus participants at Shoot Like A Girl, on average, 33 percent of them say they “don’t hunt, but want to.” Applying that percentage to the 15,202,669 hunting licenses that were purchased in 2020 would result in the sale of 5 million new hunting licenses. However, to significantly increase the number of hunters, we need to recruit the same number of mentors. So, putting this to the tune of Mr. Rogers’ theme song, “Won’t you please, won’t you please, please won’t you be a Mentor?!” This could be you. If you think that you aren’t qualified to be a mentor, then think again. You don’t have to be the best hunter; you just need to be a safe hunter with a passion for the experience of hunting.

If you follow these steps, you can mentor a new hunter that will create in them a passion and desire for hunting:
1. Invite someone to hunt with you by focusing on the experience, not the hunt
2. Ensure your hunter is safe and comfortable
3. Manage both your and your hunter’s expectations
4. Capture the experience in a positive way

The experience is usually the most critical aspect of a passionate hunter, and it is the “why” people hunt. In an article published by The Center for Humans and Nature, Jan Dizard wrote that people hunt “to experience nature as a participant; to feel an intimate, sensuous connection to a place; to take responsibility for one’s food, and to acknowledge our kinship with wildlife.” This sentiment is what we must describe to would-be hunters to encourage them to participate in hunting. Let’s face it, today; people are busy. It seems there is never enough time to take a pause and rejuvenate our souls. Hunting provides an experience of peace and relaxation. If you all close your eyes, take a deep breath, and think of the last time you were out in Nature, you can almost hear the sounds, smell the air, and see the beautiful scenery – you should focus on this experience.

As a mentor, you are responsible for your hunter’s safety. Most states have an apprentice program, where new hunters may purchase a license without a prerequisite for a hunter safety card if hunting with someone who does have a card. Most new hunters fear hurting themselves, someone they love, or only wound the animal. This is where range time is valuable. Practice being proficient. Gun safety is gun safety, no matter where you are or what you are doing. Also, it is vital to ensure your hunter is comfortable, and clothing is critical. The experience can be miserable if your hunter is not prepared for cold or wet conditions or is in clothing that limits their chances of success. There are so many competing requirements for our hard-earned dollars. It is ok to ask to borrow clothes from hunters the same size, look at goodwill or a thrift store, or wear dark clothes and hunt from a blind. The most important thing here is that you give the hunter enough options to be comfortable. The only thing you can’t adjust is the orange requirements for the state you are hunting in. You can also suggest that your hunter utilizes the free NRA Online Hunter Education course from Nrahe.org as a resource to learn about hunting safety.

Like anything in life, expectation management is the key to not being disappointed. If you take a new hunter hunting, not only are you assuming responsibility for them to be safe; you also need to teach them enough to be successful.

If you are new to taking someone hunting, you also must manage your expectations. The expectation you should have for yourself is for your hunter to have a good experience and hopefully a harvest. If you focus on the harvest, you are putting stress on yourself entirely out of your control. It is hard not to show the hunter that disappointment at the end of the day. You and the hunter need to go into the day to have a great experience, and an animal encounter will be awesome, and a harvest will be a bonus.

As an experienced hunter, it is hard to remember all the things you’ve learned or know what you haven’t learned yet; so, here’s a list of some key areas to discuss with your hunter:
Safety. It would be best if you always took the new hunter to the range before hunting. I give a safety brief about carrying a gun in the field, loading the gun, and general safety measures.
Communication. The hunter needs to know when and where they can use a standard or loud voice and that they can whisper talk to you with questions and break the code of silence for any safety concerns. It is essential to make sure your hunter knows that you may call or hoot to stop an animal or get them to present a good shot.

Traveling to the hunt location. Explain to your hunter how to walk in the woods, like picking up your feet to step quietly, not letting a held branch fly back and hit the person behind you, and or stopping to address a blister.
Random questions new hunters have. How/where do they use the bathroom? When/what can they eat? How are they protected from bugs and snakes?

The harvest. Explaining shot placement is vital. Understanding the distance, a hunter is comfortable shooting and explaining the reality of hunting, the kill. Prepare your hunter for the potential gore of hunting. A turkey’s death flop or instance, or the fact that the animal may run after the shot, or it may drop where you shoot it. Tell your new hunter that ethical hunters often have a bit of sadness in their harvest, but what you must do is turn that sadness into gratitude. Gratitude for the animal who will now feed your family and provide you with the outcome of a terrific experience.

There are no guarantees. They must understand that there is no guarantee they will even have an opportunity to harvest an animal. However, if they never go, they will never have the chance to feel that peace that comes only from spending time in Nature.

Hopefully, putting steps 1-3 together results in a successful harvest for your new hunter. Help your hunter capture imagery that will promote hunting without offending people who don’t hunt. The worst thing for a new hunter is for them to be successful, post a picture on social media, and then get hammered by anti or uninformed people about hunting. You know those pictures, where the animal tongue is hanging out, a bath of blood around, or the gut pile is in view. All these things, although part of hunting, don’t reflect the serenity of the experience. Take time to clean the animal up, cut out the tongue, and position it in a natural position with a good backdrop. Shoot Like A Girl has an article by Donna McDonald with tips on capturing the essence of the hunt. If your hunter takes a spike or jake, and it is in an area that doesn’t conflict with wildlife management, warn the hunter that some people may dismiss or criticize that decision. Sadly, some people thrive on shaming others inside our industry, but it is what it is. Let your hunter know to pass if the area’s conservation plan and animal population don’t support that harvest. We should be good stewards of our resources and teaching new hunters about conservation is part of it.

If you are a hunter, please take a new hunter afield. It may be the person you least likely think would want to go. Follow the basic steps of explaining the experience, ensuring safety and comfort, managing expectations, and memorializing the adventure. Won’t you please, won’t you please, please, won’t you be a mentor?!

2021-2022 The Hunting Wire Voice of Leadership Panel

The Voice of Leadership Panel is an appointed group of outdoor industry leaders who have volunteered to contribute their voices on key hunting and outdoor recreation issues to inform, inspire, and educate participants within our community.

  • Cyrus Baird - Senior Director of Government Affairs, Delta Waterfowl
  • Karen Butler - Founder/President, SLG2, INC DBA: Shoot Like A Girl
  • Haley Fitzgerald – Conservation Leader & Hunting Enthusiast
  • Eric Morris – Producer & Host - N.onT.ypical Outdoorsman TV
  • Ken Perrotte - President of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoors Writers (AGLOW)
  • Brenda Weatherby - Director of People and Culture, Weatherby, Inc.


  • James “Jay” Pinsky, Editor, The Hunting Wire
  • Peter Churchbourne, Director, NRA Hunter Leadership Forum
  • Jim Curcuruto, Executive Director, Outdoor Stewards of Conservation Foundation



Dallas Safari Club Foundation - Established in June of 2015 and operating and organized as at tax-exempt non-profit corporation under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, the DSC Foundation’s sole mission is to support the mission and vision of the Dallas Safari Club. We are the charitable giving and receiving arm of the Dallas Safari Club. Gifts to DSC Foundation are deductible as charitable donations as permitted under Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.

EDUCATION: The DSC Foundation will continue its support of youth education and will expand and increase that support. The DSC Foundation will provide support for doctoral candidates and graduate research studies. In addition, the Foundation will develop new and innovative methods to promote the North American Model of Conservation in order to educate the public as to the role that hunting plays in the conservation of wildlife and wildlife habitat.

CONSERVATION: In the field of conservation, the DSC Foundation will continue and enhance DSC’s support of groups and projects including The Wildlife Society, Conservation Visions, SULi, NAPHA, ZPHGA, Wild Sheep Foundation, Wild Harvest Initiative, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, anti-poaching efforts, habitat and wildlife restoration, scientific research, graduate studies and similar initiatives that will highlight the critical role of international hunting.

ADVOCACY: In the field of advocacy, the Foundation will provide support for hunting based policy initiatives. DSC Foundation will continue its support of Conservation Force and similar organizations that advocate for the rights of hunters around the world. The Foundation will engage in vital and new efforts to influence public opinion and educate and inform the general population – an element of DSC’s mission that has not received the needed attention in the past. The Foundation will support litigation where necessary to protect the rights of sportsmen and sportswomen.

Using Collegiate Hunting to Develop Wildlife Policy Leaders

“Hey Dr. Collier, why do people hunt?”

By Bret Collier
Associate Professor
Louisiana State University
School of Renewable Natural Resources

Every fall during the first day of class when I outline the Collegiate New Hunter Program at Louisiana State University, one or more of my students asks me the above question. Now, as a university professor, I love good questions, because it shows that my students are thinking and engaged. But the question of why people hunt is something different, because as we all know, the answer is personal to each of us. My reason is that I love being part of my Illinois farm as it wakes up with the morning sun, and philosophically, that hunting on the farm is part of my being. For many of you reading that last sentence, you know exactly what I mean, hunting is just part of our existence, part of our history, part of us, it just is.

College students who participate in the Collegiate New Hunter Program at LSU get to learn things like how to safely and properly shoot firearms used for hunting.

As a professor, I am supposed to have the answer to any question. Thus, I struggled when confronted with “Why do people hunt”? How does one teach about an activity that, should a student choose to engage in it, may change their entire worldview? In class we discuss how hunting is the engine behind conservation, and how hunters of all types have been the most vocal groups supporting everything from regulations to land conservation across the United States. But, words on a page and mornings in the marsh or the tree-stand are separate entities, and while both play a role in the training of the next generation of wildlife conservationists, I have realized it is incumbent upon us to not stop when the lecture ends, but to continue to expose students such that they can develop their own answers; not to the question “Why do people hunt?”, but to the question “Why do I hunt?” That is where Louisiana State University Collegiate New Hunter Program comes in.

As the current shepherd of the Collegiate New Hunter Program at LSU, I cannot take the credit for its initial creation. Dr. Frank Rohwer (President of Delta Waterfowl, previously an LSU faculty member) and Larry Reynolds (Biologist Director in the Wildlife Division, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries) initiated the program when hunter education was added as a requirement for LSU’s senior wildlife management techniques course. Any student who successfully completed hunter education and bought a hunting license was provide the opportunity to go with Frank and/or Larry on a public land waterfowl hunt. Early successes were hard to come by, but the formation of a partnership between LSU and a private duck club in southern Louisiana in 2011 laid the foundation for the program to move forward by providing a early teal hunt for at least 12 LSU undergraduates each fall.

When I arrived in 2014, I inherited LSU’s Collegiate New Hunter Program, and a problem. When I discussed the opportunity on the first day and asked who might be interested in learning to hunt, 42 hands shot up in the air, which meant 42 students needed hunters’ education, 42 students needed camo, 42 students wanted to hunt who had never been trained in firearm safety and likely did not own a firearm, and I suddenly needed 42 hunting options. How could I, as a professor and mentor, preach the importance of hunting to the future conservationists in my class if I could not provide them with the opportunity to have that experience? Fortunately, I work at a University that was very supportive, and I convinced the LSU AgCenter to let me purchase some 20 gauge shotguns and I raided my closet (and quite a few of my friends closet’s as well) for old camo shirts and hats, and I brushed up on my hunter education instructor training so we could hit the ground running. The first night teaching hunter education to the college students was awesome! As we all know hunter education courses are targeted at kids at least 10 years old, so my college students asked some really good questions regarding how individuals transition between the stages of hunting, what kind of expectation they should have for their first hunt, including whether it was alright to cry when they harvested their first animal and whether they could take one home to eat (and if I could help them cook). They were hooked and none had even fired a shotgun or rifle yet.

The Collegiate New Hunter Program at LSU enables students to learn about and use firearms used for hunting.

Probably the greatest issue, and concern, during development of LSU’s Collegiate New Hunter Program is that of safety. My daughter is 9, and she knows what muzzle control is and where the safety is on her .22, how to check to see if it is loaded, and to never point it at anything other than paper targets. I never expected to be confronted with a situation where I would have to teach a college student what a safety was, where it was, or how it works. Yet here I was, with 42 students who had never held a firearm, eager to learn. Fortunately, college students have good attention spans and catch on quick, and with lots of time at the range and support from other faculty and graduate students who were experienced hunters, we finally reached the point where our students were comfortable with firearm handling and shooting, we were ready to send the students out on their first hunt!

More of the story to follow in the next installment of Conservation Pillars.

You can follow Dr. Bret Collier online at:

Twitter: @drshortspur
Instagram: @drshortspur

Herd Bull Ambush Tactics by Brian Barney

By Larry Weishuhn and Luke Clayton

Luke Clayton and Larry Weishuhn

Radio File: Hunting Wire Radio - Episode 34

How do America's gun owners and hunters together with gun, ammo, and archery equipment makers fund wildlife research, conservation, restoration and habitat improvement projects that would otherwise be unaffordable? The Partner with a Payer initiative seeks to highlight these enduring partnerships. Many in the firearms industry and the vast majority of the general population are unaware that more than $3.5 billion in excise taxes have been paid by manufacturers of firearms, ammunition and archery equipment in just the past five years -- and more than $13 billion since 1937. These billions of dollars support a large percentage of state wildlife agency budgets, allowing those agencies to conduct wildlife restoration and habitat improvement projects, train tomorrow’s hunters, and develop and maintain public shooting facilities. More: https://www.nssf.org/enduring-partner...


Next G2 Camo women’s rubber rain boots are made for any challenge mother nature may throw at you. Available now on Amazon from HISEA, these durable rain boots feature Next G2 on the 5mm neoprene upper with stylish color accents on the sole and upper trim.

Krieghoff Trapshooters continue a long Tradition of Performance by posting a championship season and securing positions on 2022 ATA All-American Teams across the board.Team Krieghoff Member Richard Marshall Jr. earned the top spot as Captain of the 2022 All-American Open Team, as Icon Deborah Ohye-Neilson continues her reign as Lady II Captain.

No one demands more protection for their gear than that of a waterfowl hunter. Hunters spend their hard-earned money on the utmost quality shotguns available, which means they want them to last and continue to look good, even down to the case that holds the gun. Die-hard hunters are in luck with the release of the NEW Duck Ruckus Case from International Case.

U.S. LawShield®, industry leader and America's largest provider of Legal Defense for Self Defense® coverage and proud supporter of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League (CCDL), praises the organization for its role in facilitating a timelier application process for Connecticut citizens to obtain firearm permits in the City of Bridgeport.

Fall hunting season is here, and now is the time to get your hunting rifle ready. The smart hunter will use Ballistic and our 4-Step Process to ensure their shooting preparation is as efficient as possible.

Anyone who acts as a steward of the land (be it public or private) bears the responsibility of managing the land and the animals which live there, with an end goal of striking a healthy balance between predator & prey species. This sort of balance is beneficial to both the predators and the prey, and hunters who may partake of nature’s bounty – and even rural & suburban homeowners.

At some point, we’ve all wondered walk it would be like to go back in time and see the world as it once was before vast forests were hewn and the land carved up into roads and house lots and covered on concrete and steel. It would look quite different, but more so than you might think. The boundless forests of eastern North America hardly resembled even the most pristine remnants that persist in our national forests and parks.

A bold design loaded with smart features, the Escort DF12 stands out in an ever-growing world of modern shotguns. This auto-loader is a sporting enthusiast's dream and is ideal for close-range hunting applications. Using the modern sporting rifle design and capitalizing on adaptable features, the DF12 reaches beyond its potential as a mere shotgun. Its 5-piece multi-choke system accommodates heavy slugs as well as it does light bird shot, making it a great all-around option for a wide variety of game.

Realtree has renewed as a Whitetails Unlimited national sponsor, to support our whitetail hunting heritage, habitat, and natural resources. “Whitetails Unlimited does a great job supporting hunter safety and outdoor educational programs, wildlife habitat enhancement and acquisition, and preserving the shooting sports and hunting tradition,” said Realtree President Bill Jordan.

Ideal for both handgun hunting and protection while fishing, camping or hiking in bear country, Galco’s chest holsters position the handgun on the torso, keeping the handgun clear of gear carried near the waistline. This also helps keep the handgun dry when wading, and is a great choice for riding, whether on an ATV or horseback.

Victory Archery™ is happy to announce it has renewed its partnership with The Edge for the show’s 12th season. Each episode, the hosts trek through treacherous country in pursuit of trophy big-game animals across North America, from bighorn sheep in the Rockies to caribou in arctic regions.

Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA) hosted a mix of active-duty and Marine Corps veterans for a pheasant hunt for the 10th year at the Buffalo Butte Ranch in Gregory, South Dakota.Nine Marines and one Fleet Marine Force Hospital Corpsman, who served extensively, experienced a pheasant shoot for two days at the world class Buffalo Butte Ranch.

Birchwood Casey, the industry leader in targets and shooting support gear, has just released a soft-padded case ideally suited for AR-15 and AKM-pattern rifles called the Single Gun Case 36".

In its seventh year, the annual Benelli USA Invitational event held Friday, September 24, 2021, raised a new record of $130,000 for Freedom Hunters – a group that supports outdoor opportunities for combat veterans, active duty military personnel and military families. Donations from industry partners, an online action and the Benelli Match Donation combined to generate the funds.

Taurus®, manufacturer of premium handguns for defense, hunting, and sport shooting, congratulates Taurus Shooting Team members Jessie Harrison and Trent Eichler on their outstanding performance at last weekend’s Atlanta Arms Georgia State USPSA Championships. The event was held at the Riverbend Gun Club in Dawsonville, GA, September 24-26.

Real Avid, the leader in DIY for Guns®, launches the new foundation for Gun DIY®. The first real bench vise made exclusively for guns and gun tools. Whether you’re building and customizing, repairing and cleaning or mounting scopes and accessories, this vise improves every part of the GUN DIY® experience.

N8 Tactical, an innovative holster company with a mission to provide quality products with superior comfort for all day, everyday carry, is pleased to announce availability of the all-new Xecutive IWB holster.The N8 Tactical design team developed the Xecutive holster to meet the increasingly sophisticated demands of serious EDC practitioners and the firearm configurations they deploy for personal defense.

Leupold & Stevens, Inc., provider of the world’s most rugged, lightweight, and clear sport optics, is pleased to announce that it has acquired Anodize Solutions, effective immediately.

With a constant eye on improvement, Plano introduced their new line of long arm cases designed for protection and mobility. The Field Locker series, already the gun enthusiast’s top choice to keep their tools protected, is now available in three different sizes.

Mustard. Can you imagine grilling hot dogs and hamburgers without mustard on the side? Would you consider serving sandwiches without a mustard option? And how bland would potato salad be without mustard?

Dryshod, the new benchmark in performance waterproof footwear for outdoor recreation and occupational use, doesn’t need to remind hunters that cold weather is almost here but does want to let dedicated outdoor enthusiasts know they don’t have to suffer cold, wet feet thanks to the new Dryshod NoSho Gusset XT insulated, 100% waterproof boots.

Walker’s®, the leader in hearing protection and enhancement, is pleased to announce the launch of the updated Walker’s LINK app. This new and improved app now provides universal control of all Walker’s connected products along with the addition of several new app features.

Jargon Game Calls today unveiled the latest additions to their line of premium waterfowl calls, The Wreckin’ Ball, Crazy Train, and Megaphore. The Wreckin’ Ball and Crazy Train are both designed to be operation-friendly while producing the entire vocabulary of the Canada Goose, including all subspecies.

RCBS®, the leading manufacturer of ammunition reloading equipment for rifles and pistols, has announced the introduction of the new ChargeMaster™ Supreme powder dispenser. Taking reloading to the next level, the ChargeMaster Supreme combines RCBS precision with automatic adjustments and Bluetooth® compatibility to make reloading easier than ever.

With sincere gratitude, the National Deer Association (NDA) announces a gift from an anonymous donor in the amount of $180,000 to support NDA’s recently-announced national initiative known as Improving Access, Habitat and Deer Hunting on Public Lands, a project that leverages the needs of hunters on public lands with NDA’s expertise and conservation partners, including the U.S. Forest Service. This gift will accelerate the project’s work, allowing NDA to reach a goal of improving 1 million acres of public land by 2026, at least five years ahead of earlier expectations.

TenPoint Crossbows recently announced that customers who fill their tag and submit their photo using an American-Built TenPoint or Wicked Ridge crossbow will be entered to win a Titan M1 crossbow and an EVO-X Marksman Elite scope in their 2021 Fall Tag Out Sweepstakes.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation®(NSSF®), the firearm industry trade association, noted that the announcement from Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc., of their plan to move their headquarters and a large portion of their operations to Tennessee is just the latest of a series firearm and ammunition manufacturers moving to states with strong Second Amendment traditions. Smith & Wesson announced their plans to relocate headquarters and assembly operations from Springfield, Mass., to Maryville, Tenn.

Breakfast sausage is a tasty side to any morning feast – especially homemade sausage. With a hint of sage, as well as a bit of maple, the new Hi Mountain Seasonings’ new Country Style sausage has the perfect blend of spices needed to satisfy your breakfast cravings. Like the other Hi Mountain breakfast sausages, the new Country Style can be mixed with fresh ground pork, or any combination of pork, and beef or venison for an amazing breakfast addition.

With plans for rapid expansion and growth through acquisition, Horizon Firearms and iota Outdoors is seeking to fill the role of President. This role would work alongside the company founder, Derrick Ratliff, and report to the parent company COO.

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