Lots of outdoorsmen and women love to give nicknames to game animals. These are some of the best we've heard.
Sometimes we become so enamored with the animals we pursue that they grow special places in our hearts. Maybe it's because they trick us so often and spoil our efforts. It often leads us to attach nicknames to our favorite game animals.
In an attempt to give them the respect that they deserve, these names may sometimes poke some fun at them, but they're well-meaning and technically signs of love.
Let's review some of the ones we have heard over the years, and see if we can find a few that are new as well.
There are cold water species and warm water species, saltwater gamefish, freshwater gamefish, and those who live in the brackish waters near our country's coast, but if they will hit a lure and put a bend in our rod, then we want to catch one.
Steelhead: Chromer, Hardhead
Chinook Salmon: King, Tyee, or Blackmouth
Atlantic Salmon: Landlocked Salmon, Fiddler
Brook Trout: Speckled Trout, Brookie
Largemouth Bass: Bucketmouth, Lunker, Hydrilla Gorilla and Bassquatch
Smallmouth Bass: Bronzeback, Smallie
Northern Pike: Water Wolf, Hammer Handles
Walleye: Marble Eyes, Walter
Bluegill: Bream, Sunny
Crappie: Strawberry Bass, Calico Bass, Papermouth, Sac-a-Lait
Catfish: Whisker Lips, Mud Cat, Polliwog, Chucklehead, Shovelhead
Tarpon: Silver King, Silver Sides, Poon
Red Drum: Redfish, Puppy Drum, Channel Bass
Bluefin Tuna: Tunny, Ahi
Striped Bass: Stripers, Rockfish
Bonefish: Silver Ghost, White Fox
If it flies and if we can make a meal out of it, we want to chase it. We know that a good gun dog is paramount, but naming your pet isn't the same as coming up with a nickname for these birds.
Wild Turkey: Thunder Chicken, Boss Tom
Ruffed Grouse: Partridge, Thunderbird
Ringneck Pheasant: Rooster, Ditch Chicken
Woodcock: Timber Doodle, Mud Bat
Sandhill Crane: Ribeye of the Sky
Canada Goose: Honker
Drake Mallard: Greenhead
Small Game and Big Game Animals
These land-based critters are the ones we spend the most time chasing, and sometimes getting defeated by, in our outdoor lives.
Bull Moose: Bullwinkle, Bruce
Coyote: 'Yote, Pasture Puppy
Bobcat: Bob, Wildcat, Bay Lynx
Grizzly Bear: Griz, Teddy
Pronghorn: Speed Goat
Whitetail Doe: Baldy, Flat Top, Dolores
Whitetail Buck: Stud, Swamp Donkey, Booner, Shooter, Bullwinkle
The Reason for the Nicknames
Depending on where you live and how long you've been hunting and fishing, the nicknames for these creatures will change from region to region. They are most often funny and quirky with a reflection on what they mean to each individual.
Anthropomorphism may be a big word, but it has a simple meaning: We just love to give names to things so that they are more immediately identifiable to us. If you say "Swamp Donkey" to just anyone, you may get a strange look. But say it to a deer hunter, and you better have pictures because they'll want to see just how big that antler spread is...
While we may have left some out, the fact is that we know these animals all so well because we've spent a lifetime learning them. That's a testament to how many hours you and I have spent in the field and on the water!
Please check out my book "The Hunter's Way" from HarperCollins. Be sure to follow my webpage, or on Facebook and YouTube. Go to Rack Hub and use the coupon code Craiger for a new way to display those antler sheds!
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