Wild Escapes | Forgotten Skills | Survival Stories | Heartbreak Hunts

“I hope the stories we’ve gathered here inspire you to get outside, whether it’s for a few hours at the range, a week in the backcountry, or an evening with friends and family around a warm fire.”

 —Colin Kearns, Editor-in-Chief

THE LOST ARTS

From fishing to woodsmanship and hunting to survival, there are plenty of tried-and-true methods that have been pushed aside for newer methods. Just because some outdoor skills fall out of favor or fashion, they still get the job done. In fact, many of them are more effective than ever—not to mention they can make a day in the wild that much more fun.

SEASONS WITH BEAR

Every hunter who has ever trained and loved a dog has a story. In a heartfelt and moving essay about the bond between a hunter and his dog, Field & Stream contributor Hal Herring reflects on the time he spent afield and at home with the best hunting buddy he’s ever had. “There were wonders still to come for us—a son and daughter, a small farm, new adventures, lives unfolding and expanding, other dogs, and other hunts. But there was never another time like that one, never another dog like Bear, never that much freedom,” Herring says.

THE SEARCHERS

When hunters and anglers go missing or get seriously injured, the men and women of search and rescue get the call—and quickly get to work. Like many SAR teams, the Missoula County Search and Rescue is comprised of volunteers—32 men and women who work across the river and ground, with K-9, rope, air, and avalanche units, and who put in 4,000 hours of work. They invited Field & Stream to follow along on a simulated mission, which led to a stunning photo essay.

TOUGH BREAKS

Knots fail. Leaders snap. Lures pop free. Whatever the reason, if you spend enough time on the water, you’re going to lose fish—probably some big ones. Field & Stream talked with six of the best anglers about the best lessons learned from their tough breaks. Bernie Schultz talks about the hard hits in his 35 years of pro fishing and his tips for getting largemouth bass in heavy cover, Steve Scepaniak recounts one of the more heartbreaking misses he’s witnessed in his 28 years of guiding and the lesson he learned to reel in more muskies, and more.

PLUS Steelhead Wellington; Best New Fishing and Hunting Gear; Lose Yourself in the Outdoors; the Trick to Fast-Flying Birds; Gone, for Good; and more