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Top Rangefinders

Today's rangefinders represent a substantial investment, but you get a lot for your money. We tested six of the most feature-packed units to see which are most fieldworthy.
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Deer Survey Results

We wanted to see how OL readers viewed deer hunting so we could start answering questions about how to manage America's favorite game animal. Here's what you had to say.
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Culling the Herd

Before you applaud or admonish a deer cull, it’s important to first know how these things actually work.
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Ultimate DIY Guide

Learn how to make fire in a can and 50 other essential skills, inspired projects, and clever hacks to improve your outdoor life.
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May 9, 2008

Top Picks

  • While most hunters spend their spring weekends waiting for turkey season, Aaron Milliken spends hour after hour studying Google Earth.

  • Anyone who’s come across one knows what Fred Bear meant a half century ago when he said that the thrill of tangling with a grizzly bear cleanses the soul.

  • Check out the most interesting new rifles, shotguns, and handguns from the 2014 SHOT Show.

  • Fire is your best friend in the wild. That's why you need a quality ferrocerium fire starter, or spark rod, to back up a lighter or matches.

  • April 11, 2014

    Researchers Tag 3,500-Pound Great White Shark in Australia - 0

    Photo by WA Fisheries

    A great white shark roughly the size of a Chevy Suburban has been tagged off King George Sound, Australia.

    The shark was measured 16.5 feet in length and weighed more than 3,500 pounds. This gargantuan size easily makes it one of the largest great white sharks ever tagged in the world. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 11, 2014

    Experts: The Texas "Chupacabra" was Definitely a Raccoon - 1

    Last week we wrote about a couple from Texas who claimed to have captured a baby chupacabra.

    Jackie and Bubba of Ratcliffe, Texas spotted the hairless animal munching on corn in a tree on their property and trapped it in a cage. They then proceeded to nickname the creature “Chupie” after the blood-sucking chupacabras of Latin American legend. Then came the interviews for local news teams.

    Eventually, Texas Parks and Wildlife officers convinced Jackie and Bubba that Chupie was in fact a raccoon with manage, and they must euthanize the critter or set him free. The couple euthanized Chupie, but skeptics contend that without a DNA test (which TPW never conducted) the truth would never be known.

    Well, a handful of wildlife experts we interviewed want to put the Texas Chupacabra myth to rest once and for all. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 11, 2014

    Personal Defense: Carry in Comfort With These 3 Holster Options - 0

    Photo by Mitch Kezar/Windigo Images

    The decision to carry a firearm for personal protection raises the critical question of how you plan to carry. Having a firearm on your person requires that you find a solution that fits your lifestyle and local ordinances, and meets basic criteria for comfort and ease of access.

    Keeping a weapon or two on my body became a daily reality in 2000, when I entered into law enforcement as a profession. Shortly after this, I began to experiment with different methods of carry, both on and off duty. I now carry pistols (plural) on me just about daily, and I have arranged my lifestyle and clothing to accommodate this choice. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 10, 2014

    Officials Issue Safety Warning for Great Lakes Ice Melt - 0

    Late-season ice fishing action remains throughout the Great Lakes region, but safety demands daily awareness of ice conditions.
    Photo by David A. Brown

    The Great Lakes region saw near-record ice coverage this season, but all good things must come to an end. And a serious danger lurks during this transition.

    As of an April 9 analysis, the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory listed the current ice cover for the Great Lakes at 53.3 percent. That’s still a lot of ice for this late in the year, but considering that the coverage was over 90 percent a month ago, the big thaw is clearly steaming forward. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 10, 2014

    Essential Outdoor Skill: How to Pluck a Duck - 0

    Photo by Brian Klutch

    Many of the best waterfowl recipes call for the bird to be cooked skin-on. Here’s how to quickly pluck a duck or goose after gutting it.

    1. Begin by plucking the duck’s contour and flight feathers. Don’t work too fast—grab only a few at a time. Have a towel handy to wipe the feathers off your hands. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 10, 2014

    Video: Huge Elk Herd Jumps Fence to Cross Road in Montana - 0

    Austin Stonnell recorded video of this massive herd of elk about a block from his home in Bozeman, Mont., on March 26.

    Stonnell, a Washington native studying chemical engineering at Montana State University, said he has no idea how many elk were in the herd but he estimates it was well over 200.

    “It was just a spectacular sight,” Stonnell told me over the phone. “I’ve never seen anything like that but then I’ve only lived in Montana for six months.” [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 10, 2014

    Video: Man Wrestles Hammerhead Shark to Save Hooked Tarpon - 2

    There’s a fine line between bravery and stupidity. Truth be told, I can see plenty of both in this clip.

    A gigantic tarpon is being reeled in when an even larger hammerhead shark appears from the depths of Boca Grande Pass, Fla., for an easy meal. Captain Bo Johnson of the DBo Show intervenes by grabbing the shark’s dorsal fin in an attempt to save the tarpon. A melee of sea foam and thrashing water ensues but in the end the tarpon is saved. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 10, 2014

    Match the Hatch for Better Spring Crappie Fishing - 0

    Photo: John Neporadny

    Smart," "spooky," and "selective" are terms trout anglers often use to describe their target fish. And now a hardcore band of crappie-fishing experts are uttering phrases such as "matching the hatch" too—but it's not just emerging insects that they are keying on.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 9, 2014

    3 Upcoming Hunting Dogs You Should Know - 1

    Hunting dogs have been developed around the world for thousands of years to assist man in bringing game to hand. We have some very popular breeds working in the U.S. that were developed in other countries – such as the Labrador retriever, German shorthaired pointer, and even the American foxhound. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 9, 2014

    Florida Anglers Land 720-Pound Mako Shark While Fishing Cobia Tournament - 0

    A group of anglers dead-set on winning a cobia tournament opted to battle a 700-pound mako shark instead.

    Randy Messer and friends had already landed a 40-pound cobia off Destin, Fla. when they spotted a goliath mako cruising just 15 feet below the surface. Messer tossed a live bait into the water and the two-hour battle began. The 700-pound apex predator fought for all its might; breaching the surface, flipping into the air, and towing the 40-foot Sure Lure two miles further out to sea.   [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 9, 2014

    Brutal Winter Causes Fish Kills and Postpones Planned Elk Hunt in Wisconsin - 0

    This year’s brutal winter might finally be winding down, but it looks like we’re stuck dealing with the aftermath for months to come. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced today that an extended ice cover will likely cause a surge of fish kills this year. Officials also decided to push back the state’s first regulated elk hunt by at least one more year after discovering winter-related deaths among its herd. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 9, 2014

    Survival Gear Review: The SOG Tactical Tomahawk - 2

    For centuries, tomahawk-style axes have been a feared armament on battlefields. From Vikings and pre-contact Native Americans, to modern soldiers in the Vietnam War, diverse peoples have used the tomahawk as a devastating weapon. And just as the simple hand-held knife is still carried by today’s soldiers, so to is the tomahawk. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 9, 2014

    DIY Project: Build a Cabin for Less Than $2,000 - 1

    Illustration by Kagan McLeod

    It ain’t the Ritz, but it’ll be a place to warm your bones. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 9, 2014

    Confessions of a Sharpshooter: How a Deer Cull Actually Works - 4

    The last place you would expect to see an animal rights group is protesting alongside a hunters’ rights group, but that’s exactly what is happening on Long Island’s East End. When town, state, and federal authorities announced the plan to remove as many as 3,000 deer from the local population, it polarized the community—and created unlikely allies. This is the first landscape-level cull in the region, and it has certainly garnered its share of opposition.

    Local sportsmen were outraged over the use of hired guns to manage the local whitetail population. As with a lot of areas, access for hunters is extremely limited on Long Island. Now taxpayers are going to fund a service that hunters would happily provide for free?

    Not surprisingly, local animal rights groups were equally opposed. Their protests and petitions started almost immediately. Senators were called, local officials were inundated with requests to stop the impending actions. Many questioned the biological implications of removing so many deer, as they are a keystone species. Mostly, though, the animal rights groups just didn’t want to see that many deer die.

    But before you applaud or admonish a deer cull, it’s important to first know how these things actually work. That’s where I come in. As a wildlife specialist for USDA Wildlife Services, I participated in three deer culls over five years.  [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 8, 2014

    Giant, Man-Eating Crocodile Captured in Uganda - 1

    A crocodile that has been blamed for killing four people on Lake Victoria in Uganda has been captured and if reports are correct, the beast could be the largest of its kind in captivity.

    According to Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) Sulani Tumanya the behemoth weighs more than a ton (about 2,300 pounds) and measures 18 feet in length, according to the New Zealand Herald. The previous record holder for largest known crocodile was a 21-foot-long, 1-ton saltwater crocodile named Lolong. That beast was captured in the Philippines and died at the age of 50 just last year. [ Read Full Post ]