Crimson Trace


Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke traveled to Horicon, Wisconsin, where he announced more than $1.1 billion in annual national funding for state wildlife agencies from revenues generated by the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration (PRDJ) acts.


Tomorrow at the Palm Beach International Boat Show, Silent Yachts ( will unveil the world’s first solar-powered yacht. The boat is purported to be totally self-sustaining and entirely solar powered.


A Coast Guard aircrew was 300 feet in the air conducting training when they had a near-miss collision with a recreational drone in the vicinity of Fairchild International Airport (WA) Saturday. 


Open to any and all teams or individuals in third through twelfth grades, the 2018 Southern Regional Junior Clay Target Championships will be held April 13-15, 2018 at the Montgomery County Shooting Complex in Southside, Tennessee.

The nation’s top shotgun competitors converge on the Tucson Trap and Skeet Club for the Spring Selection Match, March 21-25, to determine team spots for the 2018 World Championships and Championship of the Americas.  


The Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation board has voted to engage the “Clean Streams” approach and begin supporting youth high school fishing teams across the U.S., with a driving motto of, “Making a Difference for Wildlife and Fish, One Acre, One Stream, at a time”.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Tuesday announced that the theme of the 2019-2020 Federal Duck Stamp will be “Celebrating our waterfowl hunting heritage.” This theme requires entrants in the 2018 Duck Stamp Contest to include one or more visual elements that reflect the contributions waterfowl hunters make to habitat conservation.  


April 7 is the 15th Annual Prairie Chicken Day at the Kellerton Wildlife Management Area, in Ringgold County. Activities originate from the viewing platform on 300th Avenue, southwest of Kellerton.

Those interested in discussing local and statewide fisheries management activities with Michigan Department of Natural Resources staff are encouraged to stop by one of several upcoming “Conversations & Coffee” events taking place around the state this spring.

Four teams will be competing in a difficult endurance race around the Florida coast and Key West in skiffs no longer than 18 feet. 


The Pacific Fishery Management Council has adopted for public review three alternatives for the 2018 salmon seasons off the West Coast of the United States. 

State waters off the coast of Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties will open to recreational harvest of gag grouper starting April 1. This regional season will remain open throughJune 30.

Iowa's popular trout stream stocking season starts April 2.  By Saturday, April 7, every stocked stream will have received at least one stocking of 10-12 inch trout.

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will open Hatchery-Supported Trout Waters in 25 western counties at 7 a.m. on April 7. The season will run through Feb. 28, 2019.

Paddlefish anglers planning to harvest a fish in the Upper Missouri River (From Fort Peck Dam to Fort Benton) will need to apply for an Upper Missouri River Paddlefish Tag. 


Inshore anglers from across Florida and surrounding regions will converge at Clearwater, Florida, March 24-25, for the first regular-season event for the Florida West Division of the 2018 IFA Redfish Tour Presented by Cabela’s and IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie Fishing.

Mossy Oak, the official pattern of B.A.S.S., congratulates Mossy Oak Fishing Team Members, Jordan Lee, Ott DeFoe and Gerald Swindle on their Top-10 finishes at the 2018 Bassmaster Classic.


Iowa’s spring turkey hunting begins April 7 with a youth only season, followed by five individual seasons beginning April 16.

Tactical Solutions has named Crow Shooting Supply as an official Distributor. Crow, a family-owned national wholesale distributor of firearms, ammunition, reloading components and shooting accessories, will be stocking the majority of the TacSol line, including the X-Ring Rifle and RIDGE-LITE upgrade.

Daniel Defense will attend the 2018 Arizona Game & Fish Outdoor Expo this week. The expo, which takes place from Saturday, March 24 through Sunday, March 25, will be held at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, Arizona. 

TrueTimber is pleased to announce the addition of Ev Tarrell as Vice President of Product Development and Sales.

RubLine Marketing has expanded, bringing Chad Billick in to head up the Southeast Division. 

Springfield Armory has released a short video detailing the history of its M1A series, and what goes into the creation of an American icon. The M1A product line has been produced by Springfield Armory since 1974. 

Marine manufacturers interested in applying for an exclusion for certain types of aluminum, for example wide width sheet (72” +), may find more information on the application process by CLICKING HERE

Gil and Vicki Ash of OSP Shooting School are announcing a new program for certified instructors at gun clubs across the country this year while they are conducting shooting clinics. 


Lone Wolf Distributors announce the latest expansion of our AlphaWolf barrel line with the addition of the Ruger LC380, their first offering for Ruger pistols.

The all new Tactacam 4.0 is packed full of features like Wi-Fi compatible viewing and control via your smartphone, battery indicator and the ability to film in 3 different resolution settings.

The new Thermaseat Infusion seat features a three-layer design including everything you need to stay warm and dry.

 MONSTERMEAL understands that deer are animals with certain likes, dislikes and characteristics that make them truly unique.


From Mossy Oak CAPTURE Digital Productions, in association with the National Wild Turkey Federation, Episode 13 of “The Obsessed” web series features NOMAD Co-Founder and Vice President of Sales, Jason Hart, as he starts off his 2018 turkey season pursuing Osceola turkeys.  


Reviewers from the National Tactical Officers Association membership evaluation program have announced their positive findings on the Pulsar Helion XP50 thermal monocular. 


Whitetails Unlimited recently awarded a $4,000 grant to Ohio’s Noble Soil and Water Conservation District for the purchase of a no-till drill.

The Civilian Marksmanship Program is again in search of individuals to serve as members of NM Support Staff during the 2018 National Match events, held in July. 

The Second Amendment Foundation has announced a project to help students who have been harassed, intimidated or bullied for resisting peer pressure to join the wave of protests against guns and the right to keep and bear arms.


With his 2018 Bassmaster Classic win, Jordan Lee joins two of professional bass fishing’s greatest ambassadors, Rick Clunn and Kevin VanDam, as the only anglers to have achieved the greatest prize in all of tournament fishing in consecutive years.


Between March 1 and April 15, 2018, each purchase of a Heckler & Kock VP9SK will entitle purchasers to a free additional magazine. Redemption is via the H&K web shop and must be redeemed by May 15, 2018.

Zanders Sporting Goods, a national distributor located in Sparta, Illinois, announces its Turkey Hunting e-Flyer is available to dealers.  Dealers must login to Zanders’ website in order to view the 27-page booklet  full of deals and unbeatable prices on firearms and turkey hunting gear.


CrossBreed® Holsters, a leading manufacturer in the category of concealed carry, will continue their sponsorship in 2018 with the PDN (Personal Defense Network) Tour. 


The public session will take place at Santee State Park in Santee, beginning at 10 a.m.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will study the impact of allowing anglers participating in fishing tournaments to keep shorter bass in lakes with special regulations.

Tuesday, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced $30,002,038 in funding to Tennessee to support critical state conservation and outdoor recreation projects. 

Nearly 300 people filled the 4H building at Wayne County Fairgrounds in Corydon to learn more about chronic wasting disease and what it means now that it has been found here in a wild deer taken during first shotgun season Dec. 4.  

In the continuing effort to reduce conflicts between grizzly bears and livestock producers on the Rocky Mountain Front, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is partnering with the Montana Stockgrowers Association, the National and Montana Wildlife Federations, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to implement a carcass collection and removal program.

The Indiana Bike Trails Task Force will convene on March 21 at 10 a.m. at the Indiana State Library in Indianapolis. 

The Department of Environmental Conservation is now accepting applications for the Vermont Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence. For the last 25 years, the annual award has recognized leaders from across the state, celebrating the actions they have taken to advance environmental sustainability


This week on Deer & Wildlife Stories, Keith travels to High Wide and Heavy Whitetails in Whitewright, TX. Keith visits his good friend Cleon and shows us deer that live up to the name High Wide and Heavy Whitetails.

This week on Shooting USA, top competitors in the Limited and Production Divisions shoot for national titles in USPSA.  Then, the Walther P-38 is featured as one of History’s Guns.


Justin Rienerth, of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, measured a combined limit of 62.88 inches to win the first  regular-season event for the 2018 Florida East Division of the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour presented by Hobie Fishing on March 18 at Jacksonville, Florida. 

Tommy Derringer and Gibby Gwiazda, both of St. Augustine, Florida, weighed a two-fish limit that totaled 13.87 pounds to win the first regular-season event for the Florida East Division of the IFA Redfish Tour presented by Cabela’s on March 17 at Jacksonville, Florida. 

Inshore anglers from across Florida and surrounding regions will converge at Clearwater, Florida, March 24-25, for the first regular-season event for the Florida West Division of the 2018 IFA Redfish Tour Presented by Cabela’s and IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie Fishing. 

Experiencing & Remembering Bernard "Lefty” Kreh

Editor’s Note: Less than a week ago, we lost legendary fly fisherman, sports writer, World War II veteran and all-around solid citizen Bernard “Lefty” Kreh. During ICAST 2013, The Outdoor Wire’s Etta Pettijohn was fortunate enough to enjoy an extended conversation and some lifetime reflections with Kreh. Today, we’re remembering Lefty through that conversation.


July 31, 2013 Editor's Note: During ICAST, Etta Pettijohn, J.R. Absher and I received a rare treat: nearly 90 uninterrupted minutes of conversation with "Lefty" Kreh. While J.R. and I were fortunate enough to be interlopers, Etta's telling of the story allows you to share the conversation as well. Enjoy!

Bernard "Lefty" Kreh speaks with Etta Pettijohn during ICAST. J.R. Absher photo.

Many Outdoor Wire readers know Bernard "Lefty" Kreh as the legendary man who changed the fly fishing world with his casting techniques, and as the man who taught countless anglers to fish for saltwater species on TV and through his newspaper and magazine articles and books.

He invented a saltwater fly called "Lefty's Deceiver," which is so famous that no saltwater fly box is without one, and the U.S. Postal Service has featured it on a stamp. He has been inducted into three fishing halls of fame.

Millions have developed a love of fly fishing reading his work and watching him, and when his book "Fly Fishing in Saltwater" appeared in 1974, he became a worldwide phenomenon. At least two books have been written about him, and he penned an autobiography, "My Life Was This Big: And Other True Fishing Tales."

Kreh has fished with the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Fidel Castro, baseball great Ted Williams, singer Huey Lewis, broadcaster Tom Brokaw, several presidents and many dignitaries, to name a few.

He is largely responsible for the development of modern light-tackle, big game fly fishing, and his name is revered among fly anglers across the globe. He has spent an impressive number of decades as a journalist for the St. Petersburg Times, Baltimore Sun, and other publications.

But there is much more to this unpretentious man with a perpetual smile and quick joke. 

Humble Beginnings 

The 88 year-old Kreh was born in Frederick, Md., during the Great Depression. His father died in 1932, leaving his mother with four children, him being the oldest at age six. Back then, said Kreh, there was no actual money involved, but "They (government) put us in public housing in the ghetto."

"My mother was a proud woman," said Kreh. "But she had no choice." He said some childhood friends in the ghetto nicknamed him "Lefty" because he played sports left-handed.

"When I became a teenager my mother told me I could go to high school if I could find a way to make money for clothes and shoes," said Kreh.

He found a way - fishing a nearby river, limb-lining for catfish.
"At night I'd push myself along the bushes on a makeshift pole boat, using a coal oil lantern for light. I sold catfish at the local market for 10 cents a pound, and I was a 'fat cat,'" he laughed.

Kreh speaks proudly about his brothers and sister, who all went on to achieve remarkable success in their lives and careers.

Military Service

When WWII was underway he volunteered to serve at 17 years of age. He ended up as a forward observer in the Battle of the Bulge and was at the Elbe River in Germany where the Russian and Americans first joined together to drive back the Nazis. Along the way his unit, the U.S. Army's 69th Artillery Division, earned the distinction of being tough, as he and his comrades liberated a concentration camp, fighting battles pivotal to the allied victory.

After returning to the U.S. he, in his own words, marked his greatest achievement, by marrying Evelyn, his wife and best friend for more than 60 years. They had two children together and Kreh said above all they were best friends. She passed away in 2011.

In 1948 Kreh worked at Fort Detrick, where the military kept biological weapons like Anthrax. When his biohazard suit leaked and he was hospitalized, Kreh spent a month in isolation for exposure to the deadly virus, and today there is a strain named for him, called BVK-1. In 2011, after terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing about 3,000 people in one day, someone mailed the Anthrax virus to a newspaper publisher in Florida and others, proving fatal. At that time the New York Times wrote an article mentioning Kreh as the only person to have survived such exposure.

Kreh talks about how World War II drastically changed the U.S. culture.

"Millions of men came home with a guarantee of home ownership, and more money to spend on leisure activities, where before most people rented, and the disparity between rich and poor, and those with or without property, was greater. More people were fishing, hunting and traveling and reading about these."


He liked to fish, and secured a job as an outdoor columnist for his local newspaper, and a few years later was syndicated in almost a dozen newspapers. His marksmanship abilities led to a Remington Arms Company contract as a shooting showman, when he would routinely shoot an aspirin out of the air at events and promotions.

In 1947, Joe Brooks, the fishing editor for Outdoor Life, brought his fly rod to fish for bass with Kreh in a nearby fishery. Brooks pulled in as many bass as Kreh, who was using a plug-casting outfit, turning Lefty to fly fishing for good.

"I was hooked," he admits.

The next decade he began experimenting with flies for striped bass in saltwater, and thus invented Lefty's Deceiver, a big heavy lure for long casts. In addition, his reporting in magazine and newspapers, about saltwater fly fishing was turning millions of people onto the relatively new sport that was traditionally achieved with baitcasting equipment.

"I am always learning," he said. "Adversity makes you think harder about what you are doing, and I love to solve problems. I try to share my knowledge of fishing and am deeply concerned whether or not I am making my advice clear and understandable."

Indeed, his instructional writing and casting lessons are what have led many thousands to pick up their first fly rod, as he makes it less mysterious to the novice.

He's been doing it for decades, but every minute of one-on-one instruction from Kreh makes you a better fisherman- and person. J.R. Absher photo.

In 1950, five days after the U.S. sanctioned Cuban government fell to revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro, Lefty said he went fishing with the Cuban leader.

"Ev (wife Evelyn) almost had a cardiac arrest," he said. "(Cuban president) Batista left with all the money in the treasury," said Kreh. "So Castro paid Joe (Brooks) to send outdoor writers to Cuba to advertise the good fishing there."

Kreh, while fishing with Hemingway, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Literature and author of The Old Man and the Sea, once asked him, "What is good writing?"

"Good writing cannot be edited," Hemingway answered.

Kreh continues to travel, giving casting seminars and promoting water and fish species conservation. He represents many tackle companies and has equipment named after him.

Despite his advanced age, Kreh is always willing to stop and show someone at a trade show his casting technique, or share his life story with an admirer. And there always seems to be a long line of such admirers wherever you find Lefty. One can't spend time with Kreh without laughing, listening and admiring the man.

Indeed his life looms large, like title of his autobiography, and if kindness, brilliance, attitude and achievement count, his life is tantamount to a world record.

- Etta Pettijohn

May 3-6
May 4-13
May 19-20
Hallsville, Missouri
May 23-25
Hallsville, Missouri
May 28
Jun 6-9
South Towne Expo Center, Sandy, Utah
Jun 8-10
Mackenzie Center, Poynette, Wisconsin
Jun 11-14
Salt Palace Expo Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
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