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Crossbow Test 2014

Crossbow manufacturers have upped their game, creating new bows that are more ergonomic and easier to cock, shoulder, hold, and carry than their predecessors were. Here's a look at 9 new bows.
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Pre-Rut Strategies

Check out these hard-hitting tactics and setups to help you draw blood long before the rut.
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Train for the West

These six cornerstones are the keys to preparing for a backcountry western hunt. Here's what you need, from guns, to gear, to conditioning.
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Review: Colt M2012

Shooting Editor John B. Snow puts this beefy, but elegant, precision bolt gun to the test.
3 | Read More
May 9, 2008

Top Picks

  • If elk are left undisturbed, they can be patterned, and that’s how you find them—even from thousands of miles away.

  • Learn how to make fire in a can and 50 other essential skills, inspired projects, and clever hacks to improve your outdoor life.

  • We had a small field in our annual shotguns test, but it was full of some stellar models. See which gun took home top honors.

  • From trends and innovations to real-life performance, here's what we learned about the best new rifles after our annual gun test.

  • July 28, 2014

    Micro Manager: How to Make a Utilization Cage - 0

    A couple of readers commenting on my entry about my DIY dual-perimeter fence asked that I install a utilization cage to monitor both the effectiveness of the fence and the overall use of the soybeans by the local deer herd.

    Being the ever-accommodating writer that I am, I offer up this video. If you've never installed a utilization cage in your food plots, you should seriously consider doing so.

    There are a couple of benefits to the cage and those benefits are closely related, the most obvious being that you'll be able to determine, at a glance, whether deer are grazing on your crop.

    But that's not the only benefit: You can also determine whether the crop is truly being grazed or if it's simply not growing. I'll explain.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 28, 2014

    Study: One Sit in the Deer Woods Equals Three Days of Pressure for Mature Bucks - 0

    Photo by David Restivo, NPS via Flickr

    Hunters know that putting too much pressure on whitetails can alter deer activity. We often hear that putting too much pressure on a mature buck makes it go nocturnal for the rest of the hunting season. But how much pressure is too much? 

    In a recent study of South Carolina bucks, just a single day of light-impact hunting made bucks avoid the area for several days.  

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 28, 2014

    Video: New Study Sheds Light on What Deer See - 2

    Photo by Justin Leonard via Flickr

    If you’re a deer hunter who likes to wear blue jeans to your stand, you might as well hang a cowbell around your neck to let whitetails know you’re in the woods. And if you wear camouflage with many subtle colors, it may be doing you more harm than good. 

    At the recent QDMA conference, researchers from the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources presented findings from a new study on whitetail vision. 

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 28, 2014

    Survival Skills: 3 Safe Bugs and How to Eat Them - 1

    Maybe it’s just so deeply ingrained in pop culture survival that it’s become inevitable, but there’s always somebody in my survival classes who expects to eat bugs. Even in a class clearly defined as being about edible plants, someone eventually asks when we'll be dining on insects. While it’s unsettling and unsavory to most Westerners, the consumption of insects by humans dates back to antiquity and still persists today, and with good reason. Many insects present a safe, digestible source of fat and protein that is too generous to ignore in some stark regions or in famine conditions. So if you find yourself in a survival situation, maybe you can find some bugs on which to subsist. They’re not as bad as you might think. Here are my favorites. [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 28, 2014

    California Men Arrested for Diverting Salmon Stream to Grow Marijuana - 0

    Two unidentified men were arrested last week for rerouting water from the lowermost salmon stream in Santa Cruz, Calif. to irrigate 180 marijuana plants.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 28, 2014

    Sydney Angler Lands Monster Southern Bluefin Tuna - 0

    Got a hankering for 20,000 sushi rolls? Karen Wright has you covered.

    Wright, an angler from Sydney, Australia, caught a southern bluefin tuna Wednesday that weighed more than 316 pounds.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 28, 2014

    Bowhunting Prep: Why You Really Only Need One Fixed Pin - 0

    Many of today's sights give bowhunters the ability to extend their range to distances that were unimaginable 15 years ago. But, according to the Pope & Young Record Books, 20 yards is still the average distance from which a whitetail buck is killed. When the buck you've been watching all summer walks by, deciding which pin to use should be the last thing on your mind.

    Archery expert Larry Wise explains how to make one sight pin work for you at multiple yardages during that moment of truth.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 28, 2014

    Bowhunting: Prime-Time Pre-Rut Strategies - 0

    Photo by Donald M. Jones

    Without question, most diehard deer hunters get fired up for the much-anticipated rut. But this brief period can be chaotic, somewhat unpredictable, and often difficult to hunt due to intense outside hunting pressure and other uncontrollable factors. This is exactly why you need to take advantage of the early season and exploit a mature buck’s routine long before things start to unravel and shake loose. The following high-impact tactics, strategies, and setups will help you take advantage of the pre-rut and kick-start your season.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 28, 2014

    Bow Test 2014: OL Ranks and Reviews 9 New Crossbows - 0

    Photo by Nick Ferrari

    While none of them will admit it, manufacturers of hunting compound bows and crossbows are constantly at war with one another, keeping tabs as best as they can on who’s doing what. After all, the spoils of this war are the cash-laden bowhunters they can recruit—or convert—to their brand.

    Of course, established brands hold several advantages over newcomers. Typically, the industry behemoths have bigger budgets and star-studded pro staffs, and they employ the most capable engineering minds in the industry. [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 28, 2014

    Deer of the Year: The Pumpkin Buck - 0

    Editor's Note: We're highlighting all of the bucks that ran in August's Deer of the Year feature. Each week we'll post the full story and extra photos right here on the BBZ blog.

    A new hunter might sit in the stand for weeks or months before even coming close to shooting a deer. For hunter Parker Florimonte, it took four years. But his efforts finally paid off when he tagged his first deer on October 29 in Hamilton County, Ohio. Everyone’s first successful hunt is memorable, and Florimonte made sure he'ld never forget his by harvesting this nontypical suburban bruiser in his own backyard.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 25, 2014

    ATV Tip: Make Sure You Check Your Trailer - 0

    It’s already the middle of summer, and if you haven’t spent an hour on basic trailer maintenance by now, you really need to. Where I live in Alaska, trailers take a lot of punishment, and a breakdown will most certainly happen 200 miles from a parts store.

    Let’s start with safety. Every time you place your bike on the trailer, the machine should become part of the platform. That means the bike should be left in park with the brake engaged, in gear, and strapped from four points. The bike needs be strapped down tightly enough that the suspension feels stiff and has little sway. [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 25, 2014

    Alaska Man Mauled by Brown Bear, Responds with .44 Magnum - 2

    An unidentified Alaska man shot and killed a brown bear sow Thursday after the animal mauled him.

    The Alaska Department of Fish and Game assistant area wildlife biologist Dave Battle stated that the Eagle River man and his unleashed dogs were walking on a dirt road off of Hiland Road. The dogs disappeared into the woods, then came running back to their owner with a grizzly right behind them. The 200-pound sow attacked the man, and he responded with three shots from his .44 Magnum.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 25, 2014

    Bowfisherman Arrows World-Record Mako Shark - 0

    A bowfisherman landed his name in the record book this month after taking a 544-pound mako shark off the coast of Southern California. [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 25, 2014

    Video: How to Start a Fire with Flint and Steel - 0

    Once you've got your tinder bundle constructed and your char cloth ready, you're ready to start a fire with flint and steel. The key is to position yourself properly so you can use the breeze to your advantage. Check out this video and watch your whiskers. 

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 25, 2014

    Pro Bass Lures: The X-Rap Prop - 0

    Editor's Note: This summer we're checking in with a different bass pro every week to get the scoop on their favorite lures and how to fish them.

    Bernie Schultz has fished competitively for almost 30 years on the Bassmaster Elite Series and the FLW Tour. He won the 1990 Canadian Open and the 1993 Canadian Cup, and has qualified more than a dozen times for the Bassmaster Classic and Forrest Wood Cup championships. Schultz is also a diehard antique lure collector. We asked about his favorite summer bait for Florida, but this prop pick works great for bass in other regions, too.

    [ Read Full Post ]