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Dawn out near Honey Pens

Dawn out near Honey Pens

By Krissie Mason

Up at 5:00am. Feeling excited and eager as I make my way through the dark cabin pulling on the Prois camo clothing I laid out the night before. My excitement has been building very slowly, but now there’s a crescendoing. Mari, Randy and I head over to the mess hall for a cup of coffee before heading out. Breakfast comes later. I discover I’ll be hunting for boar in much the same way that I hunted for whitetails so many years ago; at daybreak and dusk. Mari is not hunting, but with me to shoot a few photos. We climb up in Anthony’s dualie because getting around on such a huge property in an expeditious manner requires more than foot, horses, or ATVs. Read more


By Krissie Mason

Krissie-Mason-Scouting-Wild-Boar-Outdoor Life 02

Near Republican Road outside of Holliday, TX


Slept a little later, hopped in the shower, breakfast downstairs with a pancake machine. Sun shining bright hinting at a warm day. We notice lots of Halliburton oilfield service guys in red jumpsuits at breakfast. This is oil well country. That is evident.

The Pancake Machine at the Holiday Inn Express

The Pancake Machine at the Holiday Inn Express

Once Mari has eaten her short-stack, and I am done with hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, and coffee, we are off to Walmart to get a belt for Randy’s pants. He forgot his. I remembered my belt, but I am certain I’ve probably forgotten something else…I just don’t know what yet. Read more


Ready To Hit The Road

Ready To Hit The Road

by Krissie Mason

It’ 3:58 am. The chirping cricket alarm will go off in two minutes. I can hear my brother, Randy, lightly snoring on the couch. The thermostat just kicked in to take the chill off the Minnesota morning. I’ll microwave yesterday’s coffee, roll out of bed in sweats from my college alma mater, Concordia, and throw on my favorite hat. Read more


by Krissie Mason

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I wanted to be a Townie like my friend, Carol.

Carol could cruise the city pavement on a skinny-wheeled ten speed, or her gas powered moped bought with the money earned delivering papers on her paper route. She could bike up to the Ben Franklin Store and ponder the glorious candy aisle on a sunny Saturday morning, or motor to the Dairy Queen for a cool cone.

“But I grew up on a farm off gravel roads, relegated to a 1972 one-speed purple Hollywood Schwinn bike with fat tires, acres of grass to cut, and row upon row of garden to hoe.”

It wasn’t until later in life that I realized the farm, the bike, and the chores would be key in my development, and in fostering a love and appreciation for the outdoors. Nor did I have an inkling I was learning impulse control, delayed gratification, and a dogged work ethic that would carry me to a wild boar hunt in Texas 39 years later. 

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by Krissie Mason


Venison Heart Bruschetta Ingredients


The thing about hunter harvested venison backstrap is that it tastes amazing when it’s fresh, and when it’s cooked right. Right? Organ meats, on the other hand, have gotten a bad wrap in the past, and are the most often discarded parts of the animal. I got to admit, I’m not a big fan of organ meats. I wasn’t raised eating them, and I don’t have an unabashedly courageous palate, but with combo Master Chefs and Outdoorsmen like Andrew Zimmern, Ben Ford, Hank Shaw, and Toufik Halimi, all promoting the filet mignon like succulence of charred rare venison heart, I hiked up my britches and decided I had to give it go.

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Walk Woods


“When we take Nature away from people we take away their ability to be full human beings.”

 -Richard Louv

Today while I was looking for interesting content for client I happened across a book by National Best Selling Author and Audubon Medal Recipient, Richard Louv. It’s called, “The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of the Nature Deficit Disorder“.

Richard’s book was published a couple years ago, so I feel a bit late to party, however, it simply resonated too deeply to risk letting it pass by without mention to  family, friends, acquaintances, or for that matter like-minded souls who I have not met, but who might read about the book here.

What is the Nature Principle exactly?  Great question.  Louv describes it as “…a principle that holds that a reconnection to the natural world is fundamental to human health, well-being, spirit, and survival”.

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With Winter 2015 Outdoor Retailer Show just around the corner my email box starts getting flooded with press releases from every imaginable manufacturer in the outdoor space. OR is the Holy Grail for outdoor enthusiasts. If you want to make a go of it as a manufacturer of anything in the outdoor sandbox you have GOT to be there. It’s where things get discovered, new products are announced, and seasoned vendors unveil the Next & Best.

Today I rec’vd a press release from a new company that will be at OR for the first time.  They have created a self-contained, all-wood, single-use charcoal grill. It’s called a “Burnie” and you can bet this thing is going to go viral. It’s one of those, “That’s so kewl! Why didn’t I think of that!” kind of things.



 “Burnie’s ingenious construction is borrowed from the ancient Nordic technique for burning wood stumps. This method has been used for centuries, unleashing powerful, portable fire that lights with one match, and ignites evenly and burns for hours.”

-Meghan van Joosten, BurnieGrill.com

Talk about EASY to impart the natural smokiness of Alder wood into marshmallows, kebabs, fresh salmon, or simply have a portable little campfire for a small Metro Jack & Jane urban get-together!


The Burnie comes in two sizes.  A large retails for 14.95 and a medium will set you back about the price of two Starbucks Venti Green Tea Creme Frappacinos.

Yeah, this thing is pretty much going to tear it up out there.

For more info and to get your inner Viking on, go here: Burnie Grill



As a person chipping out a modest living in the outdoor industry, (but also a student of architecture, urban planning, and preservation), I wonder about how to thoughtfully intersect development with the conservation of lands and waterways.

Like so many, I am an outdoor enthusiast. I enjoy paddling, camping, field-to-table food experiences, and the expansive and spectacular vistas one enjoys when reverently engaging as a wonder-filled participant in our earths’ natural resources.

“Don’t we all want to be immersed in the outdoors? When our vacation days are spent and it’s time to head back to civilization, at the very least don’t we long to be close to it in order to feel alive? To feel authentic? To feel inspired?”

We set stones from the lakeshore, whittled sticks, pinecones, antler sheds, and spent casings on our desks to serve as talismans and remembrances. We would love to live in a home with uninhabited, sweeping 360 degree views of mountains, wildlife, and endless prairies that run wildly to where the sun rises and sets. Yet in doing so we fear the potentiality of threatening the very breath of wilderness to which we feel so connected.

But development and conservation doesn’t always  have to be an either/or choice.

To learn more visit ENSIA:

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My friends over at Camp Trend, Mark and Nives, do some amazing story telling with stills and video as they capture camp life one camp site at a time.  They traded-in super schnazzy careers in New York City in exchange for a nomadic lifestyle. Home is now a Chevy Silverado HD, and a base camper they designed and built from the axel up.  No plans, no engineering experience. Just old fashioned American Grit. Yes, it still goes a long way.

Here’s what they had to say about the Power Pot:

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Image courtesy of James Beard Foundation

Image courtesy of James Beard Foundation


I am creating a series of articles and photo galleries for Outdoor Life on Wild Boar beginning in February of 2015. It starts with a wild boar hunt in Texas on a legacy Ranch. It will recount a field to table experience, and a tail to snout use of a wild pig. French Master Chef, Toufik, and I will explore sausage making, smoking bacon, roasting racks. Be sure to watch for great recipes and images. with great recipes that he will create.

Toufik shared that he used to have wild boar all the time as a petite beau in France, and that the bacon and sausage were magnifique!

He can’t wait to get his hands on this boar! Wild Pork at my house in February! You bring the wine!