Saturday, March 29, 2008

A feminine upland vest? For real!

I've been in the market for an upland vest ever since I started hunting, but I've never found what I needed. It wasn't the shape of the men's vest that put me off - I mean, how could you possibly make something with a big ol' game-bag pocket pretty? It was the fact that my hunting stores never carry a men's small.

Then I went to the SHOT Show on a mission to find women's hunting clothing, and there in the SHE Safari catalog was this beautiful upland vest. It wasn't just sized for me; it was shaped for me too. It was the only upland vest I'd ever seen with a feminine shape, so I went online, added another $130 to my beleaguered credit card balance and waited for the mail to come.

When the vest arrived this week, I wasn't disappointed. The vest fits great, looks great and has lots of cool features.

Here's what I like about the vest so far:

1. Feminine shape. When I was a tomboyish little kid, I loved making people think I was a boy. My neighbor Tammy and I giggled whenever some kindly old person called us "son." But I'm over that, and while I don't need to look sexy out in the field, I no longer enjoy being mistaken for a male.

This vest is cut for a woman's curves, and the shape of the blaze elements accentuates those curves.

2. Cool front pockets: These roomy bellows pockets expand by undoing Velcro on the bottom that holds them close to the vest. But the best part is the flip-out shell holders:

If you want to keep the shell flaps out, you can pin them up with a Velcro flap on the vest just above the pocket.

3. Easy-to-clean game bag. Just unzip the top...

... then unzip the sides...

... and down she goes.

4. Fit. I have a difficult proportions: size small from the waist up, and size large from there down. Though I wouldn't mind an extra inch in the bottom hem on this vest, it still works for me, and I suspect the proportions are right for most women. (And if you have the opposite proportions, forgive me for not knowing how this vest would work for you, because I can't even imagine being so blessed.)

And as luck would have it, my university is on spring break next week, and I'm going pheasant hunting with my friend Dana on Wednesday. I'll be sure to let you know how this vest works out in the field. Woo hoo!

Check it out: Click here to see the catalog listing for this vest. You'll notice that it says "Available in May 2008." Guess I just I got lucky and got an early edition.

© Holly A. Heyser 2008

Click here for gear review policy and disclosures.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Chicks, bucks and guns

I recently came across something cool on the Field & Stream website: a photo gallery of women hunters with the bucks they've downed. There are a lot of them. Check it out here.

The name of the feature - The Women of Field & Stream - rocks because this isn't the bikini calendar such a title normally suggests.

But these huntresses might as well be in bikinis for the comments the feature is getting. Apparently, a couple hunters would like to marry Ashley, the huntress shown here.

Guess there aren't enough eligible huntresses to go around for these poor guys.

© Holly A. Heyser 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Women's hunting clothing - the list

A friend asked me recently to name all the companies I knew of that are making women's hunting clothing, and as I compiled the list for her, I realized plenty of other women would be interested in seeing it too.

So here it is! If you see anything missing, please let me know, either in a comment below or by emailing me here. Feel free to share your comments on these companies' products, too - the more reviews, the better.

WOMEN'S HUNTING CLOTHING (updated 12/19/09)

(W) = companies run by women
(T) = clothing I've tested - click on the "T" for links to posts.

Bass Pro Shops
Cabela's (T)
Danner boots
Filson (T)
Foxy Huntress (W) (T)
Haley Vines (W)
High Maintenance Camo (W)
Irish Setter boots (T)
Kenetrek boots
Mossy Oak
Outdoor Woman (W)
Pink Outdoors-coming soon (W)
Prois Hunting Apparel (W) (T)
Scent Blocker (W)
SHE Outdoor Apparel (W) (T)
Trailfeathers (W) (T)

Also, click here check out this very thorough women's hunting clothing review Hilary Dyer did for Whitetail Journal. It's a detailed look at clothing geared toward whitetail hunters, something I don't do, uh, at all here in Cali.

Want to see my policy and disclosures about my gear reviews? Click here.

© Holly A. Heyser 2008

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Things that go bump in the night

Strange things have been happening in our front yard, and yesterday we finally found out what was going on.

It all started last summer. I've hated our front lawn ever since we bought our house. Living in a semi-arid climate, it takes an enormous amount of water to keep a lawn healthy, and it's just a waste of a scarce resource. And oh yeah, I hate mowing.

So last summer we ripped out the lawn, which was mostly evil Bermuda grass anyway, covered it with landscape paper, then topped it with bark chips, with a goal of gradually adding some drought-tolerant plants.

A few weeks ago, Boyfriend was out plucking unwelcome weeds that were popping up in the bark when he noticed something amazing: a morel mushroom. Boyfriend has gone foraging in the woods for morels many times without success, and suddenly there was one in our front yard.

And another. And another. And another.

Clearly, one of the bags of bark that we'd gotten from our neighborhood mega-hardware store had contained some morel spores. How lucky were we?

Naturally, Boyfriend blogged about it and promptly began including these little gifts in our meals.

It was fun, too - it was like having an Easter egg hunt every morning where we went outside, scoured the bark and looked for little treasures.

But they've dried up lately. Looked like they were all done.

That's how it looked, anyway.

We'd both been noticing something though - some bumps in the yard, where the landscape paper was pushing up through the bark, like a rising volcano.

I made a mental note to check it out at some point. I knew I'd left some rocks and junk under the paper, so perhaps the ground was heaving a bit.

Boyfriend, however, checked it out yesterday. He slit the landscape fabric, and here's what he found:

It had to be a morel - the spores must have gotten under the landscape paper, and they must have thrived because of how that paper holds in moisture. But could we eat it? Should we?

I went online and found a website called Morel Mania, Inc. and emailed that photo to the webmaster, Tom, to see what he thought.

When I got up this morning, he had responded. Don't you love all these webmaniacs so dedicated to their topics that they'll respond at any hour?

What good fortune for you to find morels in your own yard!

No, I would not eat the "giant mutant morel" because I can't really tell from the picture whether it truly is a morel or not. My guess is, not. My gut feeling is that it is a different mushroom.

In the light of day, though, I went out this morning and photographed more of the bumps, and the result this time was pretty clear: These were morels:

The big question now is whether these are the good ones, or the mycellium - the equivalent of the queen bee, the part that would produce more and more and more morels for us.

Fueled by more coffee, I went back and re-read Tom's email to me.

If it is the mycellium, it probably would not have the taste of the morel anyway and yes, it could continue producing morels for you.

Now I need to give Tom a chance to look at these photos and weigh in.

But it doesn't even matter at this point. We're just so excited this happened - it's like being a lifelong believer in UFOs, going years without seeing any, then suddenly finding out aliens have built an invisible UFO landing pad in your front yard.

Now, we're just enjoying the show.

# # #

Just heard back from Tom:

Of the three new pictures, the top one is definitely a morel and still fairly fresh. The second also looks like a morel, but probably too old to consume. The third one is probably a morel given some of the features and its proximity to the other ones, but hard to tell.

Three features determine a true morel. 1 - true pits and ridges on the cap, as opposed to wrinkles and folds. 2 - Both cap and stem are completely hollow. 3 - The cap and stem connect to each other at the base of the cap.

Tom Nauman, Morel Mania, Inc.

© Holly A. Heyser 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

Hunters' wine - and why it matters

Well, this is interesting: I found an article this morning by L. Pierce Carson in the Napa Valley Register about a company that markets wine to hunters: Gauge Wines.

Click here to read the story. But some of the highlights?

  • “Gauge Wines aren’t inspired by the meals you cook,” says (vintner Trent) Moffett. “They’re inspired by the meals you catch.”

  • “We want to get to people who are just starting to drink wine,” Moffett says. “This isn’t wine to swish and spit. This is wine for drinking. This is wine for celebrating.”

  • “It’s for people who want to enjoy wine but not feel the need to talk about it,” (said hunter John) Putnam.
Taste is not my concern here - that's a personal matter. What I like about this concept (and the article too), is that it's one more positive message about hunters.

I've been watching what the Humane Society is up to, and I can tell you pretty much every single anti-hunting campaign it launches portrays hunters in the ugliest light - brazen, callous, cruel, wasteful and polluting. The organization wants to end hunting for anything but subsistence, so this tactic shouldn't come as a surprise.

But here's the effect it has: Because most Americans don't hunt, they form their impressions of hunters based on whatever messages are out there in public. And because hunters don't have a comparable PR machine, there aren't many positive messages out there - there's just the latest Humane Society rant about canned hunts, dove hunting or Internet hunting.

What hunter has not been asked by a non-hunter, "Do you actually eat what you kill?"

Well, duh, we think to ourselves before assuring them that no hunter in his right mind would waste what he worked so hard to get.

But we shouldn't be surprised non-hunters think this when the Humane Society focuses on "trophy hunting" with the implication that hunters take only the trophy, and when it puts out propaganda saying hunters use doves for target practice and don't even eat the birds.

Hunters make the mistake of thinking that the Humane Society's chief threat is legislation it sponsors all over the country. In reality, the hateful seed it plants in the minds of Americans is far more dangerous.

That's why this story out of Napa matters: It's one more message that portrays us in an accurate light, not as a bunch of half-wits swilling a case of beer and cornering former zoo animals in a fenced enclosure to blow them away.

It's a good message, and we need a lot more like it.

Interested in the wine? The company's website is here. And if you live in California, Texas, Louisiana or South Carolina, those are the test markets where you can find it.

© Holly A. Heyser 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pheasants, mallards & suburbs gone wild

I went for a run this morning to try to shake off some of my winter fat, and ended up rediscovering the best thing about running outdoors: the ability to observe your environment in ways you can't when you're zipping by at 35, 50 or 70 mph.

Our community is the most rural of the Sacramento suburbs, an odd mishmash of post-WWII housing and the occasional small farm lots, so there's always plenty to look at. As I settled into my sluggish, out-of-practice pace, the first thing that struck me was the field behind my house.

Or rather, what used to be a field.

When we moved in in 2004, we knew the vacant four-acre lot wouldn't last. Oak trees, the remnants of an old almond orchard and native grasses were nice and everything, but we knew some fat McMansions would make the owner a lot more money.

Nonetheless, we took delight in all the wildlife that field attracted, and we did our part to contribute to the habitat, allowing the back third of our plot to grow wild with native grasses, supporting lots of little rodents that hawks and neighborhood cats alike appreciate.

It wasn't long before we started hearing a rooster pheasant in that field. We'd be eating our breakfast or getting ready for work, and there it was. "Did you hear that? Did you hear that?"

And when we paid attention, we could hear - and sometimes see - pheasants in other undeveloped lots in our neighborhood too.

One day, we looked out in our yard and saw that Mr. Rooster Pheasant had ventured through a hole in our fence into our microhabitat. We were enchanted - even when he made a cautious raid into Boyfriend's garden.

Then last summer, it was as if someone fired a starting gun for all the developers. They broke ground on our vacant field. Then another one down the street. Then another one half a mile away. Then on the last one around. Pheasant habitat gone.

I'm not one of those suburban whiners who wants to move in to enjoy a neighborhood, then scream when someone builds more houses so even more people can move in. Besides, what they're doing here - infill development - is far more responsible than gobbling up ag land and habitat out in the ever-expanding exurbs.

But what kills me about these developments is that most of them have come to a screeching halt for a variety of reasons, starting with the housing bust. We could've had one more spring with that rooster, but we've been left instead with nothing but memories and tiny bulldozed lots.

Pheasants used to be abundant in this state, but their habitat is evaporating. Now if you want to hunt pheasants, you're usually reduced to shooting pen-raised birds released into fallow farm fields the morning of the hunt.

Life goes on, I thought, continuing my run. I was starting to feel good - not as rusty as I expected. I passed a small family farm on the right - maybe 20 acres, with a weathered plywood shack for selling direct to the public in the summer. I wondered: How long would it be until this landowner succumbed to the lure of the subdivision? And when I looked to my left, there he was.

Not a pheasant. They're really gone now. But a drake mallard, walking up onto someone's lawn from a tiny drainage ditch.

I tell you, it doesn't matter how many times I see ducks in urban or suburban environments - I always gawk. I work so hard to get them within 35 yards of me when I'm shivering in a marsh in the winter, and then, come spring, the little buggers walk around me like it's no big deal.

I looked down to the ditch to examine the habitat that helped support this guy, and standing there in about one square foot of puddled water was his hen.

Oh, how I wanted to stop! I was in a groove, though, so I kept going, happy to think about how durable our mallards are, thriving in our increasingly developed region, taking advantage whatever bodies of water they can find.

As I rounded one of the final corners of my run, there was a burst of cacophony overhead: a flock of seagulls that winter here, a good 90 miles east - and 240 feet above - the Pacific Ocean. They must be getting ready to head back out to sea soon. When we see them again, we'll know it's almost duck season.

Back at the house, I dutifully stretched, glancing from time to time out our back window to see if perhaps we had a little visitor in the burgeoning spring grass. We didn't.

Perhaps we need a pond.

© Holly A. Heyser 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Women's hunting clothing comparison

I'm still working on field testing women's hunting pants. In the meantime, though, I thought it would be worthwhile to share what I've put together for Jesse's Hunting & Outdoors.

To see the article on the women's hunting apparel companies I found at the SHOT Show - SHE Safari, Foxy Huntress and Prois Hunting Apparel - click here. To compare the collections of these three companies - run by and for women - click on the chart below. It shows clothing lines, fabrics, prices, sizes and availability.

© Holly A. Heyser 2008

Click here for gear review policy and disclosures.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Duck Boobs ... er, I mean Duck Babes

Last night I went to a duck dinner. You know the kind I'm talking about - a fundraiser for insert-hunting-organization-here where you get dinner, booze and the chance to spend tons more money than you planned to trying to win cool shotguns, hunting art and gear.

This was my third duck dinner, so what happened when I walked into the dining hall really should have been no surprise at all. I began scanning to see if Boyfriend had arrived yet, and within seconds, I saw it.

The raffle-ticket girls were wearing skimpy little police and firefighter outfits, in honor of the event's theme, Guns-n-Hoses, with some of proceeds going to public safety causes. As one of the girls in a blue cop outfit turned around, it was like watching the powerful beacon of a lighthouse swinging my way.

Boobs. Really big boobs, busting out of a very small, barely buttoned shirt.

I laughed out loud. Dang.

OK, so I must confess, ostentatious displays of bodacious tatas do make me just a tad uncomfortable - not because I'm a prude, not because I'm judgmental, not because I'm a feminist. It's just that when a girl is effectively wearing a billboard that says "Look at my boobs," it's really hard not to look. And it's bad enough watching full-grown men fall all over themselves staring at women's chests without going and doing it myself. Hello! I'm not a lesbian! But sorry, I just can't stop looking.

The first time I went to a duck dinner, I had to ask Boyfriend, "What is up with the hoochie mamas?" He didn't know - it was his first duck dinner too. But he wasn't complaining.

The next time we went to a duck dinner, we were there with an old family friend, so I asked again, "Jim, what's up with the duck babes?"

"Well, you know," he said, "there are two things that separate men from their money: booze and women."

I certainly couldn't argue with that. That's just good marketing. The fact that men tend to lose all common sense around pretty women is actually pretty useful, not to mention deeply entertaining.

That little conversation put everything in perspective for me, so now I enjoy watching the duck babes work the room, raking in literally thousands of dollars for the organization.

My friend Hellen, the huntress in training, and Boyfriend arrived shortly after I did last night, and it wasn't long before one of the duck babes - this one in a firefighter outfit - approached us to see if we wanted to buy tickets.

We engaged her in conversation about our best odds for winning a gun, and I don't remember exactly how it came up, but we learned that our duck babe, Nicole, is a student at San Jose State, carrying a whopping 21 units in an effort to graduate ASAP. Hellen, Boyfriend and I all teach at Sacramento State, and we're pretty familiar with an appropriate courseload, so we told her she's nuts.

I told Nicole about my fascination with the duck-babe phenomenon. She told me she comes from a hunting family, and even does a little hunting herself. She just works as a duck babe from time to time to bring in a little extra income, even though some people in her family give her a bit of a ribbing about it.

As the night wore on and I watched her work the room, selling tickets and hoisting up auction items for all to see. The best part was the "Lock, Stock & Bottle" sale, where they auction off an ordinary bottle of booze for a couple hundred bucks, and the winning bidder is entered in a drawing for a gun.

As Nicole paraded around the room holding up a Browning shotgun in one hand and an enormous bottle of Ketel One vodka in the other, I found myself telling Boyfriend, "Oh, look at her, she's so cute!"

It was the same tone I use when talking about our kitten, Giblet. Good grief, I was getting all motherly, like she was one of my students or something.

Now I had to laugh at myself.

But that's fine. I could get upset. I could rail against the objectification of young women. I could cry, "Equal rights for huntresses!" and demand beefcake raffle-ticket boys. But in reality, it's no big deal - it's all for a good cause.

And besides, this girl actually hunts.

You go, girl!

© Holly A. Heyser 2008

Monday, March 10, 2008

Huntresses: Skip the hand-me-downs

When the Alberta government honored Canadian huntress Kelly Semple with its Order of the Bighorn award, she used the opportunity to send a message to other potential huntresses: Skip the hand-me-downs from men and use gear that fits.

"If you don't have equipment that fits, you it really takes away from the overall experience and it can turn a lot of people off very, very quickly," she told Edmonton Journal reporter Hanneke Brooymans in an article published today (click here for the full story).

Interesting timing, for me personally, anyway. I've been field testing women's hunting pants for Jesse's Hunting & Outdoors, and I have to say it's been a bizarre treat. Not only do I tend to wear men's clothing when hunting, but I wear men's jeans normally because I hate how women's pants are cut these days - only an anorexic 12-year-old could look good in them.

But the clothes I'm testing? Three out of the four pants come from companies that were started by - and are run by - women I've actually met (Prois Hunting Apparel, Foxy Huntress and SHE Safari). And all of the clothes I'm testing - including the new collection from 100-year-old Filson - are made for real women, not the absurd waifs of the designers' runways.

Every time I put on these pants, it's a happy little surprise that they're actually comfortable - they have room where I need it, and no extra space where ... ahem ... I don't need it. I could get used to this.

© Holly A. Heyser 2008

Friday, March 7, 2008

Great column on the dove-hunting issue

Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Dennis Anderson has a great piece online about that proposed dove-hunting ban that died in the Minnesota Legislature earlier this week. Click here to see how he ably refutes the Humane Society's propaganda on the matter.

Here's one of my favorite sections - and why I think it's significant:

History has shown that if you want to save something on this planet, make it a huntable or fishable species and allow a constituency to form around it.

This is as true for elephants as it is for ducks; so, too, pheasants and rainbow trout. And many others. Who do you think has led the century-old fight for wetland preservation in this state? Upland restoration? And the preservation of cold-water streams in the southeast?

Hunters and anglers.

That point never seems to carry any weight with the antis. I believe that's because they're so focused on each individual animal that they can't see the overall impact of hunting on the species is undeniably positive.

The irony is that Mother Nature - the very same Mother Nature that so many antis profess to worship - has clearly come down on the side of the species, rather than the individual. Every individual animal must die, but each animal is driven to behave in ways that perpetuate the species. That's why big bucks always get the does - it creates a stronger population.

I don't know that it's possible to persuade antis that survival of the species is more important than survival of the individual. But I'm with Mother Nature on this one.

© Holly A. Heyser 2008

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The pink huntress speaks!

So I was grading papers the other morning when my phone rang, and who's on the other end of the line but Keli Van Cleave - the high priestess of pink camo. And she had a challenge for me.

I wrote about Van Cleave last week after the Denver Post did a story about her penchant for pink camo. It may sound weird, she told The Post, "but it works because animals are colorblind. Camo is just a breakup."

My response was, "I'm guessing she's not a waterfowler - ducks see colors perfectly well."

It's true: Van Cleave, a bowhunter who does demos at outdoors shows all over the country, is not a waterfowler. But in addition to hunting a lot of colorblind big game, she also hunts sharp-eyed turkeys, and she told me she's hunted them with pink camo gear just fine.

Then she challenged me to try duck hunting in pink camo.


I'd have to find a day when none of my hunting buddies could join me, because I'm pretty sure they'd tie me up in the back of my car to keep me from walking out into the marsh with them wearing even a shred of pink.

Hell, I don't even like pink.

But I like a challenge, and I like Van Cleave's spirit. She grew up as someone who learned to love hunting from her dad and pink from her mom, and she refuses to relinquish either. She's started a company called Pink Outdoors. She's offers a line of Pink Sonic broadheads through the American Broadhead Company. And she plans to unveil a collection of pink camo clothing later this year.

Van Cleave admits her target audience for the clothing is much more the hunters' wives and girlfriends than us huntresses. But she's adamant that it works. "I’m gonna prove that it can be done, and I’m going to do it in in a big way," she told me. "This hunting season is when I'll do it."

Ya gotta respect that.

Maybe I'll give it a try too.

Keli Van Cleave

© Holly A. Heyser 2008

Monday, March 3, 2008

Doves and the latest "anti" nonsense

The Humane Society has been pushing a bill to ban dove hunting in Minnesota, but the bill ain't goin' anywhere: It died in a House committee today.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune did a short write-up on the bill tonight, and here's my favorite line:

"Howard Goldman of the Humane Society of the United States, which opposes dove hunting, said doves, which are small birds, have 'no food value.' "

Mr. Goldman, do you see the picture here? That's not a fig leaf on a turkey; it's a cilantro leaf on a delicious little roasted dove served over a bed of farro with a sauce of saba (boiled down grapes). Go ahead, Mr. Goldman, click to enlarge. But you might want to wait until you're alone - wouldn't want anyone to see you salivate.


There's an op-ed in the Winona (Minn.) Daily News today by the Minnesota/Wisconsin state director of the HSUS. Click here to read it, if you enjoy being irritated by propaganda.

© Holly A. Heyser 2008

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Filson's women's clothing - now available

I was over at FS Huntress's blog today when I noticed ads all over the place. For Filson! That means the company's new women's outdoor and hunting collection that I mentioned the other day is available online now. Click here to check it out.

At first blush, my impression is that the collection tilts heavily toward the "outdoors" side of "hunting and outdoors," but there's some cool stuff in there. The shooting shirt pictured above caught my eye - love the zippered midsection pocket for license or passport. And I appreciate seeing patchs on both sides, being a left-handed shooter.

Also, I just got a pair of Filson's chaps in the mail for field testing, and I have to say they're pretty cool. The boyfriend really liked 'em too. Down, boy!

The results of the field testing will be in a review I'm doing for Jesse's Hunting & Outdoors, which should be available online in about a month. The review will go over various types of hunting pants from SHE Safari, Foxy Huntress, Prois Hunting Apparel and Filson. If I ever hear back from Pink Outdoors, I'll try to include that line in the mix too.

Now some of you may be thinking it is the coolest thing in the world to do clothing testing, but please keep in mind that I'd rather poke chopsticks in my eyes than try on pants. Lord, it took me two martinis to get over a trip to the Levi's store in San Francisco this weekend.

The good news? These companies have a lot more sense than street fashion designers these days - no muffintops with these pants. Trying on their clothes makes me want to go run through a field of grass, burrs and critters, not run to the bar.

© Holly A. Heyser 2008

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A huntress sticks her neck out - in print

The public's perception of hunters has been on my mind a lot lately. There was that San Francisco Chronicle blog item earlier this week where many non-hunters were suggesting that we don't eat what we kill, and that story about women hunters in The Sacramento Bee that was excellent, but that attracted some commenters who thought the majority of hunters were poachers.

I always leap into the comment fray on these things, but a few weeks ago I decided that blogging about it and commenting on other articles wasn't enough. Read more...
I wanted a chance to make my case to a large number of people. So I contacted the editorial page editor of The Sacramento Bee, pitched him on an op-ed piece about why I hunt, and by golly, it's in today's paper (click here to read it).

It's funny - when I sat down to write it, I wasn't sure what I was going to say in my allotted 650 words. I think what hunters do for habitat preservation and restoration is super important. And I think wild meat is about the most healthy food you can put into your body - no hormones, no antibiotics and nutritious because game animals eat natural diets. But I've seen us hunters make those arguments before, and they don't answer the one question that really stops non-hunters:

How can you kill animals?

I think as a group, hunters are often afraid to address the death issue, precisely because it's impossible to make it look pretty. But I believe failure to address this is a problem. One, it further distances the general public from the reality of where meat comes from - out of sight, out of mind. In the old days, who would've flinched at the vision of a little old lady going out into the yard, snatching up a chicken and wringing its neck? No one. It happened all the time. It was called dinner.

The second problem is by not addressing the elephant in the room - or by using words like "harvest" to suggest that killing a duck is like picking a tomato - it looks like we've got something to hide. Having spent my whole adult life as a newspaper reporter and editor, I can tell you I never trusted or believed anyone who was obviously hiding something or dodging an issue. That's why from the start of this blog, I have tried to deal matter-of-factly with the death of the animals I hunt.

So that's what I wrote about for today's Bee. Please check it out and let me know what you think. And if you're one of the readers who found this blog because of the piece in the Bee, please take a look around and feel free to post comments here. If you're one of the people who disagrees with what I do, that's fine - at least you'll have given my ideas a chance.

© Holly A. Heyser 2010