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A Cut Above

Axes and hatchets are among man's oldest and most versatile tools. From splitting firewood to breaking down an elk, there isn't much these venerable icons of the outdoors can't do.
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Spy Baits

Although the term "spy-baiting" may conjure up all manner of creative connotations, this relatively new finesse tactic for bass is rather simple.
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Turkey Slam

The turkey world slam took OL's Editor-in-Chief around the world. Check out the photos as Andrew McKean chases gobblers from Florida to Hawaii.
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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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May 9, 2008

Top Picks

  • “Do it yourself.” Utter that phrase to your boss and you could end up with a pink slip. Say it to an outdoorsman and the lightbulb comes on.

  • 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.

  • April 21, 2014

    Survival Skills: How Get Emergency Food From Wild Eggs - 2

    No doubt, there were a lot of brightly colored eggs hidden in yards and town parks across the country this past weekend. Now is also about the time we start to see the eggs that are laid by wild birds. The emergency use of spring eggs for sustenance can make a big caloric impact in an otherwise lean foraging season. Just keep in mind that it’s illegal to collect most wild eggs, and this is for emergency survival situations only. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 21, 2014

    Fishing Tips: Catch Suspended Bass With Spy Baits - 0

    Photo by Nick Ferrari

    Although the term "spy-baiting" may conjure up all manner of creative connotations, this relatively new finesse tactic for bass is rather simple. It's all about reaching and enticing suspended fish by presenting a specially designed bait on a linear course. No up-and-down, hit-or-miss stuff—spy-baits sneak into bass' personal space better than any splashy lure.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 21, 2014

    805-Pound Potential Record Mako Shark Caught on Florida Beach - 2

    An angler team of two cousins reeled in a possible world-record shortfin mako shark from the shore near Pensacola, Fla. last week. Earnie and Joey Polk had intended to keep the potentially controversial catch under wraps, but a passerby snapped this photo when the two stopped for gas. The photo went viral on social media and the story was soon picked up by a local paper. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 21, 2014

    How to Hunt High-Country Turkeys - 0

    When he ran into my setup, the New Mexican gobbler’s chest seemed unnaturally huge. I assumed it was because he was so puffed up, ready to kick the grits out of the full-strut Hazel Creek tom decoy.

    But later, when I checked my GPS and confirmed the elevation—10,400 feet above sea level—it occurred to me that maybe the tom’s breast was so large because his lungs were freakishly big, an adaptation to living in that thin alpine air.

    The Vermejo Park Merriam’s is easily the highest-altitude gobbler I’ve ever killed, and hunting him reminded me that alpine turkeys are different from their lowland brethren.

    Here’s what to keep in mind as you hunt gobblers above 5,000 feet, which is a pretty common elevation for public-land Merriam’s. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 21, 2014

    Two Spinnerbait Tactics For Catching Sluggish Bass - 0

    I’ve covered enough bass tournaments to know that cagey anglers unwilling to divulge their tactics will often dodge questions by offering generalities such as “plastics” or “moving baits.” One of the most common tools in that latter group is the spinnerbait. But, as a recent B.A.S.S. Nation Southern Divisional reminded me, success with a moving bait doesn’t necessarily require fast movement.

    Typically, bass have no problem running down this flashy, vibrating object when the water’s warm and the weather’s stable. However, the recent tournament saw a cold front lower air and water temperatures and bring those dreaded high, bright skies as high pressure followed the front’s clearing.

    As the weather stabilized, two particular tactics stood out: [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 21, 2014

    Video: How Many Peeps can a .50 Cal Shoot Through? - 0

    We hope that you had a happy Easter. But, just incase you're absolutely sick of peeps, here's a little video to get you through your Monday.

    The guys from RatedRR lined up a long row of peeps and shot some super slow-motion video of a .50 caliber bullet blasting through them. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 18, 2014

    Are We Overlooking the Biggest Threat to Deer and Deer Hunting? - 8

    The recent North American Whitetail Deer Summit hosted by QDMA is well over, but it’s impact is still being felt. The summit identified the principal threats facing deer and deer hunters and spawned a national initiative to do something about them. The summit identified all kinds of issues threatening whitetails, but the 800-pound gorilla in the room somehow got lost in the shuffle.

    The summit was held a month ago in Branson Missouri and attracted more than 200 of the best minds in the deer business. Representatives from across the whitetail stakeholder spectrum showed up to take a hard look at issues facing deer in North America.

     The group met for two and a half days and produced an extensive list of issues and ranked them from most threatening to least. In all, some 20 items were identified. At the top of the list: 1) hunter recruitment and retention; 2) education to support hunters; 3) hunting and access; 4) influences; 5) the captive deer industry; 6) deer diseases; 7) public concern for population levels low or high. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 18, 2014

    Shooting Tips: How to Handle Rifle Recoil - 4

    Photo: Mitch Kezar/Windigo Images

    Accelerating a bullet from dead still to a couple thousand feet per second (or more) in the blink of an eye equals recoil. It’s Newton’s “equal and opposite reaction” to the bullet’s launch. Rifle weight and shape play into felt recoil, but they don’t change recoil’s kinetic energy, which is a function of the rifle’s mass and rearward velocity. And although bullet speed figures into energy calculation, its contribution to rifle “slap” does not. A bullet that exits fast dumps its energy fast. An 8-pound rifle hurling a 405-grain .45/70 bullet at 1,800 fps delivers about the same recoil as a .338 Magnum rifle of the same weight firing a 225-grain spitzer at 2,800 fps. But the .338 may feel friskier.  [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 18, 2014

    Survival Tip #221: How to Make a Bow Out of PVC - 0

    Editor's Note: This tip comes from our new "Prepare for Anything Survival Manual."

    Whether you need to hunt for food or fend off post-apocalyptic barbarian hordes, a bow is a good, versatile weapon and tool. Building a simple wooden longbow takes a fair amount of know-how, but with these directions and a length of PVC pipe, you can improvise a bow with a draw of up to 60 pounds.

    You’ll Need:

    - 3/4-inch- (2-cm-) wide, 5-foot- (1.5-m-) long PVC pipe (schedule 40 white pipe is stiffer but prone to cracking from UV exposure or cold; schedule 80 gray pipe is softer but may weaken over time if the bow stays strung constantly). [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 17, 2014

    Record Freeze on the Great Lakes Has Big Impact on Fish and Waterfowl - 0

    This winter’s merciless conditions have brought reports of wildlife struggling to survive all across the country. The Minnesota DNR reluctantly rolled out an emergency feeding plan for its whitetails and a cold-stun kill in North Carolina devastated trout fishing prospects. And even though we’ve officially made it to spring, scientists say the effects from this winter will persist for months to come in the Great Lakes region.

    The Great Lakes have experienced near-record ice cover this year, with 48 percent of the five lakes still covered in ice as of April 10. That figure is down from the high on March 6 when 92 percent of the five lake’s 90,000-plus square miles were choked with ice, according to The Atlantic Cities. In comparison, ice coverage of the Great Lakes maxed out at about 38 percent in 2013 and just 13 percent in 2012. (This NASA photo shows 80 percent ice coverage on Feb. 19.) [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 17, 2014

    Strutting Hen Takes on Jakes - 1

    It’s been a long, hard and miserable winter up here in the Northeast. With the countdown to turkey season picking up pace, many of us are still wondering what sort of season we’ll be faced with. Have we lost birds this winter? Has the lingering cold weather delayed gobbling and breeding activity? When—if ever—will the hardcore gobbling cut loose?

    As we await those answers, we’d like to thank Maine resident Lou Dagneau for sending along this intriguing turkey photo that’s worth a double take. Here’s the note that came along with it: [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 17, 2014

    New Mexico Anglers Wrongly Kept from Public Waters by State Game Commission
 - 0

    Photo by

    What happens when a state game commission blatantly works against the rights of sportsmen and women who help fund it?

    Let's look to New Mexico where another question is being asked:
    May a private landowner exclude others from fishing in a public stream that flows across the landowner's property?

    And now, the answer:
    No. A private landowner cannot prevent persons from fishing a public stream that flows across the landowner's property, provided the public stream is accessible without trespass privately owned adjacent lands.

    It is an answer so clear and free from ambiguity that it's hard to believe it was written by attorney. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 17, 2014

    The Micro Manager: Turning 17 Acres into Whitetail Hunting Paradise - 5

    That didn't take long.

    Just one step into this and I've already screwed up. I wish I could say this will be the last mistake, but it won't be.

    This entry is the first installment of a weekly journey that begins with 17 acres of lackluster vacant land and ends with 17 acres of whitetail-killing nirvana.

    It's a journey that should prove to be fairly interesting for several reasons, not the least of which is this: I've no idea what I'm doing. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 16, 2014

    Montana Mountain Lion Hunters Oppose Increasing Harvest Quotas - 0

    Mountain lion hunters across Montana criticized increased harvest quotas presented at the Fish, Wildlife and Parks meeting Thursday in Helena. The agency relied on its own recent population study to propose raised quotas for the next two seasons, but hunters say wildlife officials overestimated the number of big cats and set quotas too high for the Bitterroot Watershed. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 16, 2014

    Wildlife Officials Kill 6 Black Bears After Attack on Florida Woman - 0

    Photo by FWC via Flickr

    A black bear mauled a Florida woman outside her home near Orlando Saturday evening. During the subsequent investigation in Seminole County, Fla., officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have shot one bear and euthanized five others, the agency announced in various press releases. [ Read Full Post ]