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  • September 25, 2013

    Bowhunting Tips: Keep Your Archery Skills Sharp During the Season-0


    We practice with our bows all summer long, but after opening day its easy to get wrapped up in the hunting and forget about practicing. But even if you’re spending your time in the field and can’t hit the archery range every day, you can still keep your edge. Shooting in hunting situations is obviously different from target shooting. In the real world, weather conditions, shot angles, brush and other obstacles can impact your shot. Also, when the time comes to take a shot during a hunting situation you’re usually either stiff and cold from sitting in a treestand or sucking wind from running up a hill. All this combined with the fact that you must make a clean shot with the first arrow makes it all the more important to keep your shooting skills sharp. Here are a couple tips.

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  • July 25, 2013

    Best Rifles: 10 Great Rifles for Mountain Hunting-9


    Being an avid sheep and mountain goat hunter here in Alaska, I’ve seen the good, bad, and ugly as far as mountain rifles are concerned. A mountain hunter needs a rifle that is reasonably lightweight, dependable, accurate, and impervious to foul weather. 

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  • July 22, 2013

    Best Honeymoon Ever: Fishing Alaska's Afognak Island-3


    After getting married in April, my wife Faith and I decided that an exotic tropical honeymoon just wasn’t for us. We did have the perfect place in mind, though. A place that regular Live Hunt readers know that I cherish: Afognak Island.

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  • July 15, 2013

    Broadheads: Is Newer Really Better?-4


    We’re all familiar with the phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but that doesn’t seem to be a maxim that broadhead makers adhere to. For years now, every new batch of broadheads is packed with more blades, each meaner looking than the last. But I’m not convinced that they are any better.

    This spring, my wife was shooting a common three-blade broadhead out of her 50-pound compound for black bear, and although her shot placement was perfect, the arrow achieved hardly any penetration and didn’t kill the bear. This reminded me of the first bear I killed with a bow, a long bow, using the same broadheads. Although I got enough penetration (barely) to hit both lungs, I was not very impressed. After two incidents of bad penetration, it was time to switch things up.

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  • June 28, 2013

    A Bear for My Wife-4


    One of things I repeatedly heard as my wedding day approached was, “You’re done hunting now.” Fortunately I found the right girl, and that oft-repeated bit of wisdom couldn’t be farther from the truth. Last Christmas I bought my wife-to-be her first bow. She had never even shot one before, but in no time, she was drilling arrows with a 50-pound draw weight as well as the average archer. My primary goal this spring was to help her get her first bear with her bow. Growing up, she spent many nights on the bear stand with her brothers, but never got the chance to pull the trigger. The beginning of June finally brought her chance.

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  • June 20, 2013

    Potential Record Grizzly Taken with a Recurve Bow-6


    Spring bear season in interior Alaska is part of my yearly routine. It means long nights of no darkness, the sound of a two-stroke outboard, and a cool breeze coming off the river. But this spring was to be different. In the area we have hunted black bears for years, it would finally be legal to hunt grizzly bears over bait.

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  • February 20, 2013

    Predator Hunting and Trapping: How to Stretch Hides-0


    I’m a firm believer that anyone who traps or hunts predators should be able to properly skin and put up their hides to sell or tan. The whole process is fairly straightforward, but it can seem daunting to a newcomer. All you need is a fleshing beam and a fur stretcher that you can make yourself, and you can start putting up your fur like a pro.

    The purpose of the fur stretcher is to dry and preserve the fur, making it ready to tan. Unlike using salt, your hides will remain clean and neat. This is the standard and usually the only acceptable way fur buyers and auctions will take hides.

    You can make your stretcher boards as simple or fancy as you want. A Google search will give you the proper dimensions for stretchers for everything from muskrats to wolves. I’ve made most of my stretchers (primarily fox/coyote, lynx/wolverine, and wolf) using two shaped boards with an adjustable spacer screw a few inches from the top. This is to keep the boards at the right width, depending on the size of the animal. I also make a base for the stretcher with holes in it so I can use a nail to hold the boards spread at the right width.

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  • February 12, 2013

    Trapping and Skinning: The Fleshing Beam-5


    If you ever plan on dealing with large quantities of hides, whether it’s deer, beaver, or wolves, one of the most important pieces of gear to have is a fleshing beam. Although you can get away with not fleshing some smaller critters, most hides require a good fleshing job, and when dealing with a high volume, you’ll quickly find yourself overwhelmed if you don’t have a beam.

    With a fleshing beam and a draw knife you can scrape off all the flesh and fat much faster, and with much less hide damage, than with a regular knife.

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  • February 11, 2013

    Wolf Tracks: How to Tell If There Are Wolves in Your Woods-2


    With new opportunities for wolf trapping and hunting opening up, more people are keeping an eye out for them. Here are a couple of tips for finding them and determining if wolves are calling your hunting grounds home.

    There are three basic ways you can tell if wolves are near. The first way, of course, is seeing and hearing them on a regular basis. This sounds straight forward, but keep in mind that often wolves can be in an area without being seen.

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  • January 23, 2013

    Trapping in Alaska: First Wolf of 2013-9


    If there is an epitome of trapping, it is the pursuit of the wolf. There are few creatures as intelligent, wily, and powerful as the wolf, and here in Alaska I have the unique opportunity to play my cards with them every winter. Last season I only managed to catch one, but this year is off to a good start.

    A pack of wolves—the same pack from which I caught the black one last year—returned to my marten trap line a few weeks ago. I saw their tracks at the beginning of the season, but I wanted to pattern them, and nearly eight weeks passed before they were back. One of the challenging things about trapping wolves is the mental side of it. I knew that these wolves would probably come back, and had a good idea of where they should return, but I had my doubts. I waited to see what would happen, and when they did come back, it was in the exact spot where they jumped on my trail last year. The next weekend I set out about 18 snares and a handful of Alaskan #9 legholds, and spent a lot of time at work daydreaming about how things would go down.

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