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Patrick Durkin

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Science Shows Turkey Hunters Have More Fun Than Deer Hunters

Turkey

Science Shows Turkey Hunters Have More Fun Than Deer Hunters

State-employed biologists often suffer insomnia and facial tics caused by cranky hunters who demand more deer and bigger bucks. But before agency supervisors suggest some R&R or group counseling to prevent employee burnout, they should try this: Appoint the struggling soul as the agency’s “Chief...
'Every Chunk of Rabbit:' A Tribute to Ursula

Small Game

'Every Chunk of Rabbit:' A Tribute to Ursula

For as long as I knew her, she was ready to die. Damn her. No one treasured work, love, laughter, family, and devotion more than she did. But for her last 30-plus years, if the bucket were sitting there, you knew she would kick it without fear. Loved ones saw no bravado in her attitude. That was...
Muskie Legend Bob Ellis Lived, Died on the Water

Fishing

Muskie Legend Bob Ellis Lived, Died on the Water

Bob Ellis probably didn’t see death looming on Nov. 3, 1989, as a muskie boat motored toward his little skiff on Wisconsin’s Papoose Lake. Ellis, 71, likely assumed the approaching boat carried fishermen wanting to visit. They’d probably ask how he was faring and imply some band-of-brothers...
Why Deer Make People Stupid

Whitetail

Why Deer Make People Stupid

Most hunters or their families know someone who loses their common sense or credibility over deer hunting or management. Deer. They make people stupid. Some deer hunters and wildlife professionals are immune to the disorder, though that’s rare. Far more yearn for a cure, but usually for a dear...
Did Davy Crockett Go Down Swinging?

Anthropology

Did Davy Crockett Go Down Swinging?

David Crockett died violently March 6, 1836, at the Alamo after thousands of Mexican soldiers stormed the lightly defended fortress in San Antonio, Texas. And 185 years later, we’re still debating at least 185 versions of how Crockett died that bloody dawn. Americans have a favorite version. Walt...
American Deer Camps: A Dying Tradition

Whitetail

American Deer Camps: A Dying Tradition

Tom Heberlein never missed a deer camp from 1973 through 2019, but COVID-19 concerns caused him to break that streak in November 2020. Heberlein, 75, stayed home rather than risk his health by confining himself with his buddies for five nights inside his northern Wisconsin shack along with a nine...
Wisconsin’s Top Sturgeon Biologist Charged in Caviar Probe

Wildlife Management

Wisconsin’s Top Sturgeon Biologist Charged in Caviar Probe

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ top sturgeon biologist faces obstruction charges that allege he and his staff illegally funneled sturgeon eggs to local caviar processors during the annual sturgeon-spearing season on the Lake Winnebago system. The DNR’s three-year internal...
Why Are Bucks Always Last in Line?

Big Game

Why Are Bucks Always Last in Line?

According to deer-hunting lore, wise bucks always stop and watch from secure cover before entering fields or large openings. These mature monarchs supposedly stay hidden to patiently monitor other deer in the field and let them feed into range of potential dangers. In human terms, those bucks act...
Suspect Arrested for Burning Down Hunting Cabin

Policy & Legislation

Suspect Arrested for Burning Down Hunting Cabin

Last week we told you about how Brandon Butler’s cabin was burned. This is our follow up to that article. The southeastern Missouri man arrested Jan. 16 for allegedly torching a cabin in retaliation for a poaching complaint has a 17-year criminal history. His rap sheet includes burglary, poaching...
Missouri Poacher Burns Down Landowner’s Cabin in Retaliation

Habitat

Missouri Poacher Burns Down Landowner’s Cabin in Retaliation

Brandon Butler drove three and a half hours on Jan. 4 to see what remained of his hunting cabin. He then watched the still-flickering flames for five minutes before leaving the fire to its task and retracing his drive home. He had seen enough. He knew a short, memorable chapter in his life was over...