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Field & Stream magazine
Catty Cornered
Flop, the youngest Walker hound of four, takes the lead while the pack keeps a mountain lion at bay 12 feet up in a mountain mahogany tree last January. The hounds spent a long, snowy day training Flop to follow the cat’s scent and stay with the pack. Houndsmen Kevin Parker and Steve Sorensen wanted Flop to learn not to chase other animals. “The three older dogs are well-trained hunters and Flop’s buddies,” says photographer Becky Blankenship. “I watched her become a part of their team.”

This particular cat was too young to take, and the pursuit was only for training purposes. “When we leashed the dogs up, that was one happy cat,” says Blankenship. “He was probably a little wiser for that day.” (Photographer: Becky Blankenship)

Rest for the Leery
On a trip to photograph Alaskan wildlife in August, Don Jones was one of several photographers tracking this 400-inch bull caribou. He finally captured it on film after eight days of searching. “Even with his big rack, he would disappear like a ghost,” says Jones, who was the only photographer in the area to find the bull. He caught up with the ‘bou as the animal was resting in bearberries and lichens after feasting on giant mushrooms in the brush. “I’d be resting my head, too, if I were carrying that much on it,” he says. (Photographer: Don Jones)
Rack Time
Bow-hunter Drew Stoecklein reclines on a 6×6 elk rack after a full day of hunting solo and hours of packing the bull from Gallatin National Forest. Stoecklein called photographer Dusan Smetana to help make two trips to his car, 4 miles away. ”Drew got a nice trophy bull,” says Smetana, “but it was so much work to pack it out.” The pair transported at least 300 pounds of meat and the 100-pound rack down steep, uneven terrain. “When you carry that much for that long, you get lazy enough to lie down with the whole bag,” he says. (Photographer: Dusan Smetana)
Mocking Bird
Halle, a black Labrador retriever, leaped up to 6 feet in the air chasing ringneck pheasants at Sand Wells Outdoors, an upland bird hunting outfitter in southwest Kansas. Trent Marr, Halle’s owner, brought the Lab to a combo hunt and dog training event last November. “One of the fun things about having a flushing dog is that they charge in there and get acrobatic when they smell pheasant,” says photographer Bill Buckley. “They usually can’t catch the roosters, but it’s all-out predator when they think they can.” (Photographer: Bill Buckley)
Guide Guiding Guide
When Capt. Bruce Chard and guide Jeff Hickman had an evening free of charters, they took advantage of the palolo worm hatch that occurs for only a few days each year in early June in the Keys. “It’s possibly the only time you’ll ever see hundreds of large migratory tarpon slash, roll, porpoise, and gulp wildly all around you,” says photographer Jeff Edvalds, who was fishing nearby. “A true wonder of nature and perhaps your best shot at a giant tarpon on a fly.”

Chard was tired from guiding all day in 90-degree temperatures but was motivated to leave the dock again when he saw worms in the tide. “Just thinking about getting to fish myself for once gave me the energy I needed,” says the guide, who landed this 100-plus-pounder after a 40-minute fight. (Photographer: Jeff Edvalds)

Three Shots to the Wind
These Canada geese flew in at dawn, exactly when Mike Towler (left) expected after he’d scouted this field for weeks. He and his hunting buddies divide Idaho Falls into regions each year and plan hunts based on their findings. “It’s each person’s responsibility to find geese, know what time they’re coming in, find who owns the property, and get permission,” says Towler. The effort paid off when everyone limited out in an hour and a half and even got a few snow geese. “The right decoys, equipment, and scouting made for a really good day of hunting,” he says. “It doesn’t get much better.” (Photographer: James Nelson)
End of the Rainbow
Tim Romano found some gold when he photographed the tail end of this 16-inch rainbow trout after editor-at-large Kirk Deeter released it. “This wasn’t a large fish, but a gorgeous specimen,” says Romano, who stood to capture the image of the fish over the sunlit orange-yellow streambed. “It was especially spotted and perfectly proportional.” The Fly Talk bloggers at fieldandstream.com caught more than 20 trout when they saw grasshoppers jumping near the water in April and tied on hopper patterns. “It’s almost unheard of,” says Deeter, who usually wouldn’t try a Dave’s Hopper until August or September. “Fish were snug right up against the bank, waiting for hoppers to fall and eating them like popcorn.” (Photographer: Tim Romano)
Peacock Pride
Charlie Conn caught this 15-pound peacock bass while hosting a flyfishing excursion in Roraima, Brazil. The colorful and powerful fish were hitting large streamers and poppers fished on 8- and 9-weight rods. “The smile says it all,” says Conn. “When you fish for a month straight, the surroundings and relationships define the trip as much as the fishing.” The anglers stayed in a floating lodge that moved along tributaries of the Amazon basin each day. “It reminded me of when I was a kid fishing for large-mouths,” says Conn’s fishing buddy, photographer Brian Grossenbacher. “The only difference is these bass were 10 to 15 pounds heavier. It was truly one of the most amazing experiences of my life.” (Photographer: Brian Grossenbacher)

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