MY FRIEND PAULA SMITH is helping me look for the mate of a shed antler that I found two days ago on a hillside in these thick woods that back up to a fence and the four lanes of Cabin John Parkway inside the D.C. Beltway. I’d found the left side, a beige 5-point antler with pretty good tines and decent mass. It was big enough to set the hook and get Paula out here to search with me. Now, of course, she’s irritated. Paula and irritation go together like pie and coffee.
“Dammit, Heavey, slow down!” she gripes. “No wonder you can’t find it. You’ve got the attention span of a housefly.” She starts making slow sweeps across the hillside, pointedly traversing ground that I’ve already covered.
How a woman I once thought might be homeless and crazy became one of my closest friends is something I’ve never fully understood, but that’s what happened. She’s not homeless, it turns out. Crazy? Maybe, but it’s a crazy I understand. For her part, Paula definitely thinks I’m nuts. “Heavey?” I once overheard her say into a phone. “Oh, yeah, he’s six kinds of strange.” Maybe that strangeness is what we recognize in each other. We’re both outsiders, never in the center lane. Like deer, we’re drawn to the edges of things.
I first knew Paula as the foul-mouthed woman who dressed like a man and ran the dock at Fletchers Boathouse just off the Potomac. She always wore an M65 field jacket, jeans, and heavy boots, her hair tucked beneath a battered Tilley hat. Mothers with kids would ask her to watch her language, and Paula would apologize and promise to do better. Two minutes later, she’d be cussing again. She doesn’t mean to be rude. She doesn’t have full control over the circuitry between her brain and mouth. It’s the same with her emotions, which toggle unpredictably.
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LIVING THE DREAM
After the author arrives in Maine’s fabled North Woods with a moose tag in his pocket, an adventure he’s been wanting to take his entire hunting life, reality sets in, and he learns a valuable lesson: Be careful what you wish for
Get the Drift
How to make an accurate windage call under pressure
An icebreaker outing in a pristine spot produces the rut hunt of a lifetime
A Local Haunt
The author finds a sense of place in an overlooked creek, close to home
A Hop and a Pump
Jump-shooting rabbits with classic upland guns is about as good a time as you can have in the outdoors
Welcome TO camp
Is there any place better than a good hunting camp? It has everything: great food, games and pranks, and of course, hunting. Shoot, we don’t even mind going to camp for grueling work days in the summer. Here, our contributors share their favorite stories, traditions, and lessons learned from camps they’ve shared. So come on in and join us. The door’s open.
Before you even claim a bunk, you need to eyeball the hardware your buddies have brought. In the process, you’ll see that the guns at deer camp are changing. What was walnut and blued steel may now be Kevlar and carbon fiber. The 10 rifles featured here aren’t your father’s deer guns. They’re today’s new camp classics
THE JOURNEY TO PIKE'S PEAK
Last summer, the author and three friends ventured off the grid to a remote fish camp in Canada. They hoped for great fishing, but what they experienced was truly something else
When early-season whitetails vanish from open feeding areas, follow this woods-edge ambush plan
A pup’s first year, from preseason training to fall’s big show
What Happens In Vegas
Mandeep Dhillon, Jorja Fox, and Paula Newsome are solving crimes, changing the game, and kicking ass in CSI: Vegas.
Off the Beaten Path
When a hiker falls 75 feet from a mountain cliff, a young stranger goes to extremes to save her
GH’s Maurice Benard (Sonny) Marks His Birthday With A Special Gift For His Fans
Paul Andrew Hutton
True West’s historian is a natural storyteller whose love of country and the West makes him one of best in his field.
Our 19th Annual Celebration of the Absolute Best of the West!
For many in 2020, great treks, trips and vacations to the American West were put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Paula Echevarría – "Me hace mucha gracia que la gente se fije en lo que llevo. No soy un oráculo"
En el segundo trimestre de su embarazo, la actriz lanza 'Paula Rouge', su nuevo perfume. Hablamos con ella de fragancias, moda, deseo y navidad en tiempos de pandemia.
Power of Positivity
POP STAR PAULA ABDUL’S JOYFUL OUTLOOK KEEPS HER DANCING PAST THE PAIN.
WICKED WILLIE'S CHEATIN' HEART
Nelson reveals he couldn’t stay faithful
THE ART OF NEYSA MCMEIN
Margary Edna McMein was born in Quincy, Illinois on January 25, 1888. (Various sources list her date of birth as 1890, and a few as 1889—once McMein moved to New York she decided to trim a few years from her age.)
An Exclusive Interview with NICK ERVINCK
NICK ERVINCK (° 1981) graduated in 2003 from the KASK (Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Ghent) with a master's degree in Mixed Media.