GREAT STORIES: GIFTS OF THE WILD 

A life spent in the outdoors is rich with totems, heirlooms, lasting friendships, and life lessons. Here, the writers of Field & Stream share their best tales about the outdoors that have meant most to them. Hear about a secret fishing spot that helped nurture Joe Cermele’s obsession with striped bass; a beloved knife that has bounced between Field & Stream staffers before landing in Dave Hurteau’s sheath; Bill Heavey’s birthday rod and reel; Natalie Krebs’ unforgettable squirrel hunt with her grandfather; the head of a western diamondback snake that was ironically gifted to David E. Petzal; and more. Editor-in-Chief Colin Kearns writes: “This issue is full of stories about gifts—all of which share two common traits: They are rooted in the wild, and they’ll all continue to get better with age.”

 

WHAT’S HAPPENING TO OUR TURKEYS? 

800,000 — the estimated decrease in the national turkey population from 2004 to 2014; 50 percent — the percentage decrease in the turkey population in Wayne County, Tennessee, since 2010. Over the past 10 years, turkey numbers have fallen across the east, as much as 65 percent in some places. In this special report, Will Brantley examines the decline (it’s a complicated answer), and what we’re doing about it (a number of things).

 

BREAKOUT HITS

If you’ve got cabin fever, don’t miss Field & Stream’s fishing guide to early-spring patterns for 20 of the most popular gamefish species. While super-early-season bites can be the toughest to score, this quick-hitter guide will help you find success. From bluegills in Wisconsin to flathead catfish in Pittsburgh, and crappies in Kentucky to lake trout in Colorado, this feature has everything anglers across the country need in order to get that first strike in a hurry.

 

PLUS Make the Best Wild Game Jerky Ever, 2019 Fishing Gear Guide, Spring Snow Goose Hunting in the Mississippi Delta, How to Extend Your Effective Range Another 100 Yards, and More!