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  • May 28, 2014

    Backwoods Gourmet: Best Backpacking Meals-0


    Photos by Luke Nilsson

    Dehydrated backpacking food has come a long way since the salty, spongy, cardboard-tasting gruel of a couple of decades ago. Now, you can pack a surprisingly nutritious and tasty selection of lightweight foods for those trips when a stovetop or pizza stone isn’t an option.

    We evaluated three entries from four leading brands, comparing breakfast, entrée, and dessert options. The team consisted of me, my wife, and our three kids (ages 10 to 13)—all of us veterans of backpacking cuisine.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • May 23, 2014

    Follow-up: Montana Wildlife Commissioners Vote to Consider Sage Grouse Hunting Closure-1


    Following this weeks’ angst about the possibility of sage-grouse hunting closures in Montana, the state’s Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission voted yesterday to consider curtailing or closing this fall’s hunt as one tool to address widespread declines of the open-range game bird.

    Hunters and conservation groups spoke out against the hunting closure while livestock groups advocated for hunting restrictions.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • May 22, 2014

    A Hunter’s Heavy Heart Over Sage Grouse Declines-2


    Over the last decade, as the rest of the West has been wringing its calloused hands over plummeting sage grouse populations, I’ve been quietly, happily, and productively hunting the big, open-country birds in what has seemed like my personal paradise.

    For at least a dozen years, I’ve religiously greeted Sept. 1, the traditional grouse opener here in Montana, with a shotgun and an eager dog on the shimmering sagebrush sea outside my home in northeastern Montana. My twin boys’ first hunt a couple years ago was for sage grouse, which locals call “bombers” for their surprising heft and ponderous flight.

    For most of those years, I never saw another hunter, and I was back at my pickup well before noon, a limit of bombers cooling in my vest, picking cactus thorns out of my dog’s paws on the dusty tailgate. I might return to the prairie once or twice more in a season, but I never killed more than a handful of grouse, though I would routinely flush several coveys in a hard day of hunting.

                     The author's daughter and dog with a Montana sage grouse.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • May 21, 2014

    Montana May Close Sage Grouse Hunting Season This Fall-0


    Montana wildlife commissioners could decide as early as tomorrow to close this fall’s hunting season for sage grouse, the iconic game bird of the wide-open West.

    The sage grouse season closure is on the agenda for the Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) Commission when it meets in eastern Montana on Thursday, May 22. The agenda item was added unexpectedly yesterday as results from spring grouse surveys are being tallied. The surveys indicate no improvement from last year’s near-record low populations.

    The announcement is surprising given repeated assurances that Montana’s population of native sage grouse is one of the strongest in the bird’s 11-state range. In fact, as other states have either closed their grouse seasons entirely or restricted bag limits or season lengths, Montana’s season has been relatively unaffected over the last several years.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • May 21, 2014

    How to Shoot a Traditional Bow: Find the Perfect Anchor Point-0


    A solid anchor point is essential to accurate shooting and hunting with any bow, be it compound, recurve, longbow, or selfbow. Having an inconsistent anchor point is like having a loose rear sight on a rifle.

    There are many good anchor points for traditional archery -- here's how to perfect one of the best.
    [ Read Full Post ]
  • May 9, 2014

    Hunting Tip: Camouflage Won't Help if You Set Up in Sunlight-0


    You're invisible. Or at least you think you are. After all, you've done all the right things: bought that pricey camo that matches your surroundings, painted your face with lots of greasy face paint, and you are even wearing camo boots. Now all you have to do is sit there, soak in a little sunshine, and wait for a big buck to show himself.

    But when a buck does come in, he spots your position and blows out for the next county.  The problem? You set up in the sunlight (see the photo above).

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • May 6, 2014

    Cast and Blast: Wild Boar Hunting and Fishing on California's Central Coast -4


    If spring fever has motivated you to seek out a unique outdoor adventure this month, look no further than California’s Central Coast, namely San Luis Obispo, Monterey, and San Benito counties, which are home to California’s highest concentrations of wild hogs.  Match a hog hunt with mixed-bag warm water fishing at a Central Coast lake and you’ll have the ingredients for a quality fishing and hunting trip.   

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • May 2, 2014

    Do You Have the Skills to be a Game Warden?-4


    Many hunters and anglers have, at one point, considered becoming a wildlife officer. Veteran game wardens say that the reward of protecting America’s wildlife resources is a large part of their job satisfaction. But do you have what it takes to be a warden? Here are some of the qualities of a good recruit.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • April 30, 2014

    How to Serve (Or Re-Serve) a Bowstring-0


    Have you ever had the serving start to unravel on your bowstring? Ever worn the serving out to the point that your arrow nock doesn't fit right anymore?

    Whether you shoot a recurve, longbow, compound, or selfbow, here's how to replace the serving and fix the problem.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • April 29, 2014

    Planting the 'Forever' Food Plot for Whitetails and Turkeys-0


    Photo by Charles Alsheimer

    I was like a proud father waiting to show off his newborn son. I had recently closed on my own 17-acre patch of dirt and invited whitetail habitat guru Jeff Sturgis for a visit. Sturgis, who offers habitat-consulting services, spent more than an hour scouring the ground and was ready to make some recommendations for enhancements that would, I hoped, make the land more attractive to the area's whitetails and turkeys.

    [ Read Full Post ]

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