Posts Tagged ‘Stormy Kromer’

A Pheasant Hunter’s Christmas List

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Christmas came early for “Bubba,” Don McCormick’s large Munsterlander. Photo courtesy Don McCormick.

Christmas came early for “Bubba,” Don McCormick’s large Munsterlander. Photo courtesy Don McCormick.

In the spirit of Twelve Days of Christmas, here are my top gift ideas for that tough-to-buy-for bird hunter in your family.

#12  Filson’s Alaskan Guide Shirt.  Classic plaid in a variety of colors.  It’s pricey, but it’s the best . . . and you might as well have the best.

Stormy Kromers are a favorite for this family of upland hunters.

Stormy Kromers are a favorite for this family of upland hunters.

#11 Stormy Kromer.  Warm and fashionable without being trendy.  Also proud to be made in my native U.P. of Michigan.

#10 L.L. Bean Classic Upland Shirt. This is my all-time favorite bird hunting shirt.  The only thing missing is the Pheasants Forever logo.

The L.L. Bean Classic Upland shirt is a personal favorite of mine, high comfort and high visibility.

The L.L. Bean Classic Upland shirt is a personal favorite of mine, high comfort and high visibility.

BeltBuckle

#9 Pheasants Forever Belt Buckle.  I’m not tall enough to properly pull off a cowboy hat or cowboy boots, despite really trying (#EpicFail).  However, this buckle makes me feel like a cowboy anyway.

#8 Covey Rise Subscription.  My friend Kim Price started this publication prior to his untimely passing in 2012.  The new owners have taken Covey Rise to new heights in quality photography and top-rate hunting stories.  Kim would be honored.

PFest_MidwayUSA_Logo_2014 (1)#7 Tickets to National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic 2014.  Our signature event takes place in Milwaukee over Valentine’s weekend this coming February.  It’s a three-day orgy for the bird hunter, amateur dog trainer and aspiring wild game chef.

#6 Arno Bernard Knife.  I honestly don’t know much about Arno Bernard as a company.  I simply stumbled upon their booth at SHOT Show last winter and was enamored by the craftsmanship and beauty of these blades.  More than anything, I love the idea of owning a knife with a handle made from a mammoth’s molar!BerettaSweater

#5 Beretta Wind Barrier Sweater.  I have never owned a better piece of clothing in my life.  It’s as simple as that and #WinterIsComing.

#4 Danner Light Mill Street Boots with Woolrich.  These will cost you a pretty penny, but they caught my eye.  Fortunately for my family’s credit cards, they’ve already sold out of my boot size.

#3 The Wild Feathers debut album.  Every good hunting trip needs a road anthem.  This has been my soundtrack for the 2013 season.  Rock on!

#2 Rescue a bird dog best friend.  If you follow Pheasants Forever’s Facebook page regularly, then you already know our group is filled with heart-warming stories of rescued pups that become fabulous family bird dogs.  In this season of giving, consider giving a bird dog in need of a good home a place next to your lounge chair.

#1 Give the Gift of MembershipPheasants Forever was created and exists today for the purpose of creating wildlife habitat for wildlife, bird dogs and hunters.  Out of every single dollar we have generated over our 32-year history, 92 cents has reached the ground to impact our mission.  The problem is only 10 percent of America’s bird hunters are part of our organization.  Your dad, mom, son or daughter has likely “thought about joining” before.  Help him/her take that first step.    Thank You & Merry Christmas!

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre and listen to Bob and Billy Hildebrand every Saturday morning on FAN Outdoors radio on KFAN FM100.3.

 
Back to On The Wing

I’m Dreaming of a White Pheasant Hunt

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

This guy will be in the cattail sloughs today. Will you be there? PHOTO BY ROGER HILL

While the fine folks in Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado may disagree, I consider December 1st the beginning of late season pheasant hunting.  By now, most states’ roosters have been flushed a time or two.  Many have evaded canines and errant shooting.  Along with the birds’ “education,” I believe the arrival of snow changes the game for bird dog and hunter.  As I write this evening, I’ve just finished packing for a South Dakota pheasant trip where 6 to 8 inches of snow is expected to fall by the time I arrive.  Here are some of the flurries in my head:

Fresh Snow

Only opening day fills me with more excitement than the morning after the season’s first snow fall.  It’s been my experience the birds move to thermal cover (cattails, thickets, willows, shelter belts, etc.) as soon as the snow falls and they hold tight that first morning.  For a hunter with a close working pup, it can be magical.  The other benefit of a fresh snow is the ability to see tracks.  Not only can you locate where the birds are, you can also eliminate where they’re not.  I don’t know about you, but when I KNOW the birds are there, I focus better on being ready and shoot with more accuracy.

Crusty Snow

In my opinion, snow that’s been on the ground long enough to develop an icy crust creates the most difficult conditions to hunt.  Not only does it make the walking tough, but each step is a warning blast to “educated” roosters planning their escape hundreds of yards out of your gun’s reach.

Cattails

At 5’7″ (some would say I’m only 5’6″), I have short legs for busting cattails.  However, I am just tall enough to get poked right in the face with every pointed cattail spear.  I also have a long-legged grassland running pointing dog ill-suited to busting cattails.  Cattails are my least favorite part of pheasant hunting.  No matter how much I protest, I know one simple fact: pheasants love cattails sloughs, especially in the winter.

Cold Hands

Like any hunter, I am very focused on keeping my hands warm enough to have a good feel on my shotgun.  I’ve found that these leather gloves keep me warm on days with temps into the single digits.  If it drops below zero, then I keep the leather trophy glove on my trigger hand and jump up to a heavier wool glove for my other hand.

Sweaty Back

I also battle with being warm enough to comfortably start the day’s hunt, but also try to prevent dressing so warm that I start sweating heavily during the hunt.  This isn’t a major issue if you’re just hunting one spot all day, but most of the time I hunt multiple spots in a day and have to jump in the truck to get from spot one to two to three; try staying warm as you emerge from the truck to hunt spot #3 with a sweaty back and soaked clothes.  Certainly Under Armour and merino wool base layers that wick moisture away from your body have made major advances; however, I am still a firm believer that the key is layering.  The minute I start to feel a little too warm, I yank off a jacket and tie it to my game vest.  I probably average five different layers of clothing on a cold weather day of hunting.

Ice Covered Utopia

Hard water isn’t just for ice fishermen anymore.  Frozen ground opens up acres upon acres of public ground and roosters that have been protected by those hunters in fear of soggy feet for the first couple months of the season.

If forced to choose between early season and late season, I admit to being an early season October and November fan first.  That being said, I’d certainly rather it be late season than the off season.  So here I come snowy South Dakota.  I’ve got my Stormy Kromer, a new pair of gloves and a box of Prairie Storm.

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.

Pheasant Hunting Old School Style

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

The PF Stormy Kromer hat is an old school look that still fits the bill afield today.

Long before Hollywood pretty girl/boys like Ashton Kutcher and Wilson Valderrama thought they were cool wearing “trucker” hats, your dad, grandpa and their pals donned the lids, shot birds, shared beers afterword and didn’t need to pretend to be cool because they already were.

The “old school” phenomenon – think 70s rock concert tour tees and throwback sports jerseys – reached the world of hunting last year when Drake Waterfowl unveiled its Drake Old School Camo™ Apparel. Obviously, this heritage line is a bit more utilitarian in that it’s nostalgic while functional. Though I don’t personally own any Drake Old School, I did shoot a few ducks last year wearing an old, similarly patterned relic, so it’s safe to assume the design hasn’t lost its effectiveness.

Which brings me to my question: What would your “old school” line of pheasant hunting apparel include?

Saint Nicholas, the Pheasant Hunter

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

My nephew Nick thoroughly enjoyed his first pheasant hunt.

My nephew Nick thoroughly enjoyed his first pheasant hunt.

My seven year-old nephew, Nicholas St.Pierre, has already won two fishing tournaments.  He can identify the species of fish tugging at the end of his line in mere moments after a strike.  This spring, he landed a 36-inch musky on six pound test line.  Though I’m his biased uncle, I think it’s pretty obvious he’s something of a fishing prodigy.  His dad, my brother Matt, always loved fishing.  While I enjoy fishing, hunting has always been my passion of the two.

Consequently, when Nicholas requested his first pheasant hunting experience, I was thrilled to be able to escort them on the adventure.  My wife Meredith also came along as chief camera operator.

To be honest, I was a bit hesitant to take a seven year-old into the thick grasses of a Minnesota pheasant hunt.  Turns out, I learned a lot from one day afield with a seven year-old.

  1. An excited seven year-old can walk all day through tough, tall grass if he’s having fun.
  2. Let me repeat, a seven year-old has more endurance than you or I, and can weave his way through cattails with the ease of a cottontail rabbit.
  3. Any child under 10 looks adorable in a Stormy Kromer.
  4. Excited youngsters make excellent pheasant Sherpas.
  5. Dogs may be the key to new hunter recruitment.  Nicholas was absolutely captivated by my shorthair’s efforts to find, point, and retrieve pheasants.  In fact, Nick’s top item on this year’s Christmas list is a living, breathing dog of his own.
  6. Even a seven year-old feels okay about ripping his uncle after a missed a shot.

This season, I’ve hunted the islands of the Missouri River in Montana, crested the canyons of the Fort Pierre National Grasslands, flushed grouse on the shores of Lake Michigan, and watched the North Dakota skies fill with waterfowl at sunrise.  However, the most memorable day afield for 2009 will likely be the Saturday after Thanksgiving spent with my nephew Nick, my brother Matt, and my wife Meredith as we bagged one trophy rooster and shared the stories of a successful hunt over a Padua Pub cheeseburger and tater tots.