Gentlemanly Retreats

So nice to come home to, so nice by the fire.

Every corner of artist Michael Coleman's studio is composed as a picture, replete with treasures from his travels and hunting trips around the world.

Every corner of artist Michael Coleman's studio is composed as a picture, replete with treasures from his travels and hunting trips around the world.

A man's study or library is a reflection of his soul. It is where his innermost being is released and he is transposed into a state of ultimate comfort and relaxation. It should be a place for both inspiration and refuge. A place to kick back with a toddy and a 1st edition African Game Trails or the latest issue of Sporting Classics. Here are some rooms where they got it right. Some famous, others fabricated, but all ready for the silk robe, slippers and Miles Davis on the phonograph.

A trophy fish carving by renowned artisan Ellen McCaleb adds to the sophistication of this sportsman's study.

A trophy fish carving by renowned artisan Ellen McCaleb adds to the sophistication of this sportsman's study.

Author William Adolf Baillie Grohman in his Austrian home, circa 1880.

Author William Adolf Baillie Grohman in his Austrian home, circa 1880.

The billiards room at Hearst Castle.

The billiards room at Hearst Castle.

The sporting room of Captain Wade Hunnicutt (Robert Mitchum) from MGM's Home From The Hill.

Theodore Roosevelt's trophy room at Sagamore Hill.

Study from the Sherlock Holmes Museum.

Study from the Sherlock Holmes Museum.

Celia Foote's trophy room from the set of The Help.

Celia Foote's trophy room from the set of The Help.

homedesignpics.com

homedesignpics.com

The library at the Biltmore Estate, a North Carolina national historic landmark.

The library at the Biltmore Estate, a North Carolina national historic landmark.

This room inspired by old English sporting activities was designed by Timothy Oulton. www.timothyoulton.com

This room inspired by old English sporting activities was designed by Timothy Oulton. www.timothyoulton.com

Yet another creative sporting space designed by Timothy Oulton. www.decoholic.org

Yet another creative sporting space designed by Timothy Oulton. www.decoholic.org

Open Fires & Smoking Pipes

Tom Stalvey goes camping.

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What a surprise it was when a neighbor stopped by over the holidays with a handful of old photographs of my grandfather, Tom Stalvey (right), and a pal on a camping trip. He passed away when I was but a young boy, and until now, most of the images we had of him were either from his service in Germany or portraits taken later in his life. So what a treat it was to see him and his buddy letting loose on this excursion circa 1949 following the Berlin Airlift. Looks like they had quite a time cooking over an open fire, smoking their pipes, and goofing around with this hound. Bittersweet and a bit comical, these pics lightened our spirits and, in a way, it was almost like he had paid us a Christmas visit. 

Not sure exactly what they had on the menu, but there is an awful lot of poking around with a knife. Apparently someone forgot to pack the fork.

Not sure exactly what they had on the menu, but there is an awful lot of poking around with a knife. Apparently someone forgot to pack the fork.

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I wonder how this poor hound liked the vanilla-blended Captain Black? 

I wonder how this poor hound liked the vanilla-blended Captain Black? 

Not really sure what to say about this one. It certainly raised some smiles and if Papa were still around he would definitely catch some grief over it, especially from my grandmother.

Not really sure what to say about this one. It certainly raised some smiles and if Papa were still around he would definitely catch some grief over it, especially from my grandmother.

Christmas Wrappings

Happy Holidays from Our Family to Yours!

Aside from being one of the greatest and most patient deer hunters I will likely ever know, my Grandfather Newton is a remarkable bluegrass tenor and guitarist.

Below is a little ditty of him a'pickn' and a'singn' from a Christmas past.

Our Troops Are In Our Thoughts & Prayers.

We Miss You This Holiday Season.

Be Safe & Come Home Soon!

(Left) The Surprise Party and (Right) Not This Trip, Old Pal both by Arthur Davenport Fuller

(Left) The Surprise Party and (Right) Not This Trip, Old Pal both by Arthur Davenport Fuller

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I must admit, I am probably one of the toughest guys on the planet to buy a gift for. Though always gracious, I am super peculiar and have almost everything you can think up to give a sportsman. But this year my wife and girls hit one out of the park. They got me these chessmen which were cast in a very unique interpretation of the Isle of Lewis chess set. They have such a sporting look, the King sits proudly on his deeply carved throne with faithful hound at his side, the Queen has an owl perched on her arm, the Bishop is carrying a lamb, the Rook is blowing his horn into battle or to start the hunt and the Knight, in Saint George fashion, is slaying a dragon. A wonderfully unique present indeed, and an heirloom I will treasure for many, many, years to come. Queen to f8, check mate!

The Drunken Boar

Gamey, Earthy and Tart – Wild flavors abound in this tasty Holiday recipe 

Like most artistic chaps, I love to cook. And, the holidays always find me in the kitchen, creative juices flowing, conjuring up some concoction from something wild I have just killed. Christmastime, my meat of choice is wild boar. You'll be hard-pressed to find a medieval or royal yuletide feast in which either a wild boar head isn't on display or a roasted pig isn't part of the main course. These ties to ancient nobility and the sheer regality of this beast somehow make it an appropriate main course to me this time of year. And, I like my meats in wine. And, during this festive season only one wine will do, a cheery wine, a goodly wine, a port wine, the fifth essence of the Christmas spirit.  

Here's my roasted loin of wild boar with black walnut port sauce, bean sprouts with shiitake mushrooms and persimmon/cranberry relish. 

For the sauce

750 ml of a nice strong port, 1 cup rabbit stock or duck stock, 2 to 3 rosemary sprigs, 2 tablespoons of honey (wildflower if you can find it), 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup black walnuts (1/4 cup toasted for now and save a 1/4 cup raw for finished sauce. Black walnuts are not like a normal walnut, they are super aromatic and a tad oily, almost as if they have been marinating in alcohol. And they smell so good, especially in combination with the port and rosemary. But save a fresh 1/4 cup to add to the finished sauce)

toast 1/4 cup black walnuts then add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil reducing down over twenty to thirty minutes and add 1/4 cup raw black walnuts just prior to saucing.

For the Loin

rub the loin down with olive oil, rosemary and cracked black peppercorns

add a bit of olive oil to a glass baking dish and open-cook loin at 425-degrees for about an hour turning loin every 15 minutes, allow to cool before slicing

 

 

Shiitake & Bean Sprouts

sauté mushrooms adding bean sprouts (Very simple to do.  Wild boar eat mushrooms and root in the ground and for me it is almost like paying homage to the boar to pair it in this way. And, I do find the earthiness of the shrooms and sprouts to be a nice compliment to the gaminess of the boar and tartness of the cranberries )

 

Persimmon & Cranberry Relish

slice and dice 1 cup of dried cranberries and 1/2 cup ripe persimmons (I stress the term ripe here, you'll know whether they are ripe or not, they need to be sweet), add 2 teaspoons pure apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1/4 cup cranberry sauce 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Return of the Sporting Gent

Options abound for the trend-setting sportsman

There is a movement taking place in the realm of sporting fashion. A rebirth so to speak. For too long now, many in our hunting fraternity have had a seemingly wear-whatever,  je ne sais quoi fashion sense in regard to the sport. From sweats to jeans and nearly everything in between, anything goes has been the style. This however seems to be changing.

Much of America is now smitten with the sporting life and trends of Europe. This Old World look has transcended from the shooting fields across the pond and has found its way into the mainstream of American culture. Of all things, it is the high-fashion designers and entertainment industry who is at the forefront of this movement and the catwalks have had an overload of tweed, leather patches and fur accents. The influence of the highly popular television show Downton Abbey is certainly prevalent in the fall collection for Ralph Lauren.  And Tommy Hilfiger's new Hunt Club campaign also has a touch of that Oxford English flair. But if it is true Bespoke tailoring you are after, look no further than the firms of Holland and Holland and Purdey. In addition to luxurious made-to-measures, these companies also have ready-to-wear articles.

Back stateside, Eddie Bauer is making a return to its sporting roots with hunting apparel from its new Sport Shop. Stylish form follows function in this new collection featuring featherweight jackets and vests, to fleece and waxed cotton. Born in the field, Eddie Bauer Sport Shop is the newest thinking in design, fit, fabrication, and construction. From the Original Outdoor Outfitter.

You can't talk clothing and the U.S. without mentioning the Orvis company. Orvis has established itself as the new Abercrombie & Fitch, in the context that A&F lost its compass when they abandoned their sporting heritage and resorted to using half-naked models in order to sell tee shirts and sweats to teeneyboppers. Orvis, however gets it, and has become the wish book catalog I look forward to this time each year. In addition to their own signature line, they carry everything from Le Chameau and Barbour to Beretta and Holland and Holland and in virtually every apparel category from belts and boots to ties and chaps.

Seldom can a company be as contemporary as it is classic, but Beretta manages to excel at each. Stylish and distinctive, the Vintage Years collection is the standard for the gentleman sportsman, yet the Active Mite and Active Cool lines are the picture perfect look for the modern hunter. From the shooting peg and stalking wood to a casual ride or even a night out, Beretta has a look for you.

For the sportswoman reading this, aside from Eddie Bauer and Beretta, whom I might add have really nice ladies line-ups, you have to check out the Really Wild Clothing Company. Waistcoats, jackets, breeks, trousers, jumpers, skirts, gloves, scarves, hats, socks and boots, they have it all, and it all is so chic. The Wild Life, indeed, and with elegant cuts in feminine colors and posh patterns, you are sure to set the trends from the town to the country.

www.reallywildclothing.co.uk

www.reallywildclothing.co.uk

One final inclusion. You most likely have never heard of Seeland International. I must admit I just recently happened upon them myself. But they are certainly worth taking a look at. Much of their offerings are from the Scandinavian brand Härkila, a company which prides itself on uniting tradition and technology. Of Seeland's new 220-page Shooting Catalogue there are nearly 170 pages of the most modish assortment of stylish hunting wear and accessories you are ever to come across. 

www.seelandinternational.com

www.seelandinternational.com

There was a time when sportsmen really cared about how they presented themselves, ie. Nash Buckingham, Archibald Rutledge. We should have a reverence to our sport and dress ourselves accordingly. The public is impressionable, and when we take to the forest or field looking as if we just finished mowing the lawn or painting a house we imply that the activity in which we are about to partake is lacking in importance. However, within this audience viewing us lies the future of our sport. It is becoming more popular than ever to look like you just came from a hunt, and, it is the upscale version of the hunter which is taking hold. So how do we convert these posers and potential hunters to the fold? Well, it starts by being role models. We are the guardians and stewards of this land and should look the part. The grey flannel businessman appears successful, the three-piece broker – powerful, the clerical collared priest commands respect and the well dressed hunter looks a sportsman and a gentleman.

These distinguished gents were photographed at Southeast Georgia’s Cabin Bluff. To this day the lodge still offers some of the finest sporting opportunities and accommodations on the entire East Coast. 

These distinguished gents were photographed at Southeast Georgia’s Cabin Bluff. To this day the lodge still offers some of the finest sporting opportunities and accommodations on the entire East Coast. 

Sporting Wish List 2012

Grab your pilot glasses, bass plugs, and left hook, we're going Christmas shopping!


Accurate and dependable, Merkel has established itself as a name you can trust. With the introduction of the new take-down RX Helix rifle, form now follows function. The Helix has the look of an Old World beauty combined with the sleek lines we have come to expect from modern firearms. New innovations like a straight-pull bolt-action and a bolt head ratio of two-to-one places a premium on rapid-fire precision. This firearm is designed to be deadly accurate and lightning fast. It is available in three action lengths and 12 calibers. $4,000 www.merkel-usa.com (Photograph by Ron Spomer)


Ideas and inspiration are certain to take flight from the cockpit of Restoration Hardware's Aviator Wing Desk. Inspired by streamlined World War II fighter planes this desk is a shining swoop of metal. Its shape mimics the bent wing of a plane. Poised for take-off, it features a polished aluminum patchwork exterior accented with steel screws, built around a solid hardwood frame. $2,195 www.restorationhardware.com

1. Have a cup of eggnog and kick back with a 1894 first edition copy of The Wild Beasts, Birds and Reptiles of the World and relive P.T. Barnum's account of his explorations and adventures while pursuing animals for both sport and his menagerie. $45-$200.       2. For around $1,300 the casual, yet elegant Invicta Pro Diver Chronograph Elemental Watch in wood & steel is half James Bond, half Bear Grylls.       3. Elegant styling makes the Swarovski Optik Leather Pocket Tyrol Binoculars perfect for any occasion from the opera to the Okavango. $969 www.orvis.com       4. Carry a Dave Hoover tackle box on your next fishing trip and trout will leap into the boat from respect. Okay, probably not, but he will be sure to be the envy of all of his fishing buddies. If you can find one that is. Dave has since retired and locating one of these gems can seem as elusive as catching a new world-record largemouth.  $400-$1100.       5. Even Old Tom Morris would've been smitten with the 61 Cirac Stand Golf Bag in King Croc by Belding Golf bags. Around $600.       6. A knife for all necessities, the Wenger Giant Swiss Army Knife V1.0 weighs in at 2 pounds with 87 implements and 141 functions. $1,000-1,600 www.wengerna.com       7. Care to go a few rounds? If so the Seletti Boxitalia Punching Bag & Boxing Gloves are for you. Made from vintage-style brown leather, these professional-level training tools sport a classic design that will dress up any room from the penthouse office to the man cave. $110-$325.       8. The Beccaccia (woodcock) is a hunting jacket cool enough for James Dean. Waxed-cotton with front-loading game bag. $314 www.maremmano.it

Left to right: Swing for the fences like they did back in the day with this 1880's style vintage bat. Hand-made of professional quality northern ash wood, this bat will go the distance. $139.95 www.redenvelope.com         In a small village at the foot of the Black Forest, a few dedicated master craftsmen have been using their talent and expertise to create the most beautiful crystal in the world. So nice to come home to, so nice by the fire, Queen Lace Crystal 18 oz. Double Old Fashion is perfect for the man of distinction. $250 www.queenlacecrystal.com          Versatile Lemon Peel baseballs are as perfectly suited for stocking stuffers as they are for streetball, pepper and stickball. $34 www.huckberry.com