Articles

This is a selection of articles Frank Miniter has written for Forbes, Outdoor Life and many other publications.
Thresher Shark

“Of Sharks and Men,” Outdoor Life:

Something monstrous was about to happen. You could feel it coming. Boats were out trying to drag enormous sharks from the deep. A crowd waited, eager to see the apex predators that swim in the North Atlantic hung up back at the dock. The scene was so retro it was as if a black-and-white documentary about shark fishing was playing out right there in 3D color on this pier in the swanky town of Newport, Rhode Island.

playboy

“Playboy is Giving Up Its Porn—Here’s Why Men Should Say Hoorah,” Forbes:

Almost 15 years ago the Manhattan barbershop I then went to took the Playboy magazines off the tables in its waiting area. The old Midtown barbershop was going unisex and Vinnie, its veteran barber, was apoplectic. After hearing Vinnie rant I looked at the table with the magazines and realized that I never saw anyone read them. They just lay there like a dare: Are you man enough to open this here, in public? This prompted me to pick one up. After looking and looking, I found didn’t want to stop reading. The old maxim that men buy the magazine for the pictures but subscribe for the articles isn’t just a joke. What was alluring, though, was an old-school gentleman’s point of view that was all over its prose and photos.

bull

“Why I Ran with the Bulls, Again,” Forbes:

Each of us stood alone in an anxious crowd. There were so many of us filling the narrow street in Pamplona I had to turn my shoulders and push against the other runners to move. We were all wearing white clothes with red sashes and bandanas bought from street vendors in the small city. The veteran runners sashes and bandanas were washed-out red and they had patches sewn on them and shiny pins of bulls and runners clustered over them like Boy Scout bandanas. Most of the people in the street had new and clean red bandanas and sashes.

Advocates Of Stricter Gun Control Laws Hold Rally In Maryland's Capitol

“The Life Of A Beretta Man: Why Gun Control Measures Misunderstand America,” Forbes:

Consider the Beretta man. He has a shotgun that’s a work of art. It might be an over/under with a grainy walnut stock, blued metal and engravings of a bird dog and maybe a pheasant on its receiver. Or it might be a semi-automatic Benelli (a Beretta-owned company) with a carbon-fiber stock and inertia-driven action. In either case, the Beretta man stands with his back straight and the shotgun in the crook of his arm. He is wearing a shooting vest and shooting glasses. He has class. He is how James Bond would look if he went skeet shooting. He’s sophisticated, but hardly a snob. He has what the Spanish call duende, a characteristic James Michener said is almost indefinable, as it means something with taste, refinement, beauty, perfection and elegance all in just the right proportion and with no showiness at all. He is what the Japanese mean when they use the word shibui, which is something a Samurai tried to embody, but only could manage in fleeting moments when life and art meet before again separating with a bad gesture or misstep.

unionjack

“England Used to be a Country of Men,” National Review:

With London succumbing to looters and muggers, it’s time to ask what happened to the once-manly English people. The August 9 issue of the Daily Mail, for example, includes a photo of a young man taking off his pants on the street as an impatient looter waits with the emasculated Briton’s sneakers and shirt already in his hands. Luckily the feeble Englishman chooses boxers over briefs, but I can’t help wondering if men such as T. E. Lawrence, Winston Churchill, or Lord Acton could have stomached the state of manliness in this generation of Englishmen.

Ruffed Grouse

“Grouse Dreaming,” American Hunter:

For a few weeks in October New England forests are awash with an impressionist’s pastels. Soon the color drips in fallen leaves to the forest floor where grouse drum and the Robert Frost poem “October” seems to be whispered by the wind. (“O hushed October morning mild; Thy leaves have ripened to the fall … .”)

Grizzly Comeback

“Grizzlies on the Comeback,” Outdoor Life:

Mike Madel and I are driving north out of Choteau, Mont., in his Fish, Wildlife & Parks pickup, looking for trouble in the 2,500-square-mile area he patrols with his Karelian bear dog, Ursa. Madel has been trapping, darting, and bear-proofing his way to an understanding with grizzlies for 30 years now. He knows every rancher, butte, and drainage, and a lot of the bears. He keeps a list of the names and radio frequencies of the collars on local grizzlies’ necks by his right hand. I glance down and see that they have handles like Dex, Beenie, and Bonita. I look out the window, knowing the bears could be anywhere from the snow-capped Rockies on our left to the flat plains and grain fields on our right.

Open Range

“Open Range,” Outdoor Life:

Last autumn, just when bucks were rubbing the saplings raw, a housing developer clear-cut the old stand of white oaks off the ridge I’d grown up roosting gobblers on. Now, I’m not anti-development—I enjoy having a roof over my own head—but it hurts when your woods get milled into board feet so some urban types can park their SUVs in another maze of duplexes. I found myself thinking that one of these days a deer will tiptoe across a manicured lawn on that ridge and a homeowner will look out his bay window, put down his morning latte and say, “Isn’t that cute?” And he’ll really think so…until he hits the deer with his SUV. Okay, I was bitter. I sought solace in the company of other evicted sportsmen—asphalt has smothered a lot of hunting grounds lately. Talk about a downer. I came across an article in The New York Times that said hunters are a dying demographic—the writer seemed to think it had something to do with evolution. I wanted to open a season on liberal journalists. I read that the Wildlife Management Institute cites loss of hunting land as the biggest reason outdoorsmen are leaving the sport. I envisioned Europe’s haves and have-nots. I even listened to an old-timer reminisce about “the good old days.” Gone forever, he thought.

Bow hunters

“The Silent Army,” Outdoor Life:

The scene was wildly out of place. An army of bowhunters stood before dawn on a construction site, bulldozers and model homes silhouetted behind them. Sure, hunters gather every fall in small towns across rural America, but this was suburbia. Yet there they were, bathed in the headlights of a dozen pickups not 30 minutes from where George W. was probably still fast asleep, chatting in terse whispers over the background noise of barking dogs and bustling autos. One hunter, pulling a camo jumpsuit over a polo shirt, gushed, “Did you see all the deer by the road on the way in? The area’s still loaded.” Another, busy swapping street shoes for hunting boots, answered, “Yeah, we have a lot of work to do.”

cougar_ol_news

“Stock Killer,” Outdoor Life:

On July 26, 1992, Billie Worthen watched the western sky fade to stars before unloading her rifle and leaving a herd of 876 sheep grazing in Spring Canyon, 8,000 feet above sea level in Utah’s Fish Lake National Forest. The guard dogs had the night shift. When the sun came back around the other side, Worthen left her sheep house and rode her mare up to the herd. She was within a few hundred yards of the sheep when her horse began to spook. She soon discovered what was making her horse edgy-the smell of blood. Hours later federal hunters with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services had to place rocks on the carcasses as they counted the bodies, to be sure they didn’t count the same animal twice. It was the worst single stock-killing incident in Utah state history-102 sheep dead. Bending down to look at a track of the culprit, Kelly Joe Wright, a predator specialist, saw that the animal responsible for the carnage was a single mountain lion. He didn’t know then that this was the beginning of the reign of a new king on the Old Woman Plateau.

fish_paradise

“Paradise Found,” Outdoor Life:

Woody Allen called and asked if I’d like to fish with him on the Amazon’s Xingu River, perhaps the wildest water on earth. A preview of the movie to come flashed before my eyes: I saw the frail, cagey New York star being pulled overboard by a 100-pound pirarara as he said, with that dry, glib voice of his, “I’ve been caught.” Who could say no to that production?