May 9, 2008
The Cooper Model 51 is a breath of fresh air. It is not cutting-edge. It doesn’t feature an innovative (read: unproved) action. The stock doesn’t have knobs, shims, rails, or any moving parts. Incredibly, for a new rifle, the stock is made of wood—and lovely wood at that. No petroleum products here. The action is even secured into the stock with old-school (and stylish)slot-head guard screws, the slots of which are indexed to run perpendicular to the axis of the barrel. Who knew rifle makers still did that? Go ahead and inspect it from muzzle to butt pad—you won’t find a single gimmick. The rifle balances well, is easy to carry, and can shoot the eye out of a coyote at 200 yards. It’s a keeper. [ Read Full Post ]
Most of us think we know what a good fishing rod should feel like, but shaking one at arm’s length at the tackle shop tells us nothing about the action. A rod’s action can really only be felt when the blank is under load.
To check the action of a rod, place the tip on carpeted flooring (to avoid damaging it) and gently flex the rod from the tip. This will give you a good sense of how the rod will perform when the blank loads during the back cast, when you set a hook, or when you’re simply pulling baits through the water. Observe how the tip reacts to this loading and look for a uniform bend along the blank. [ Read Full Post ]
We gun owners meet once a year at the big National Rifle Association convention.
Elk hunters migrate annually to Elk Camp, while turkey hunters flock up at the National Wild Turkey Federation convention.
And, it seems, the entire outdoor industry descends on the SHOT (Shooting and Hunting Outdoor Trade) Show.
We hunters and shooters are a community of gatherers, but there has never been a national assembly of people and organizations focused on what is arguably the single most influential wildlife species in North America: the white-tailed deer.
That’s about to change. Next week, the Quality Deer Management Association is hosting the first-ever North American Whitetail Summit, and Outdoor Life will be there to report on the proceedings. Check back here several times a day next week as we provide hour-by-hour coverage of the proceedings. [ Read Full Post ]
Being a huge fan of friction fire building, I always want to see others succeed as I have over the years. No, you don’t get a fire every time you try, but I’d like to think we can learn something new every time we fail. I often hear from others that they think friction fire is impossibly difficult. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be. Let’s look at three areas where you can improve your friction fire building skills, and make this process a lot less difficult. [ Read Full Post ]
An ice-fisherman is in hot water after lying about where he caught his potential record-breaking trout.
Rob Scott of Crane Lake, Minn. landed a 52-pound, 3-ounce monster after an hour-long fight that took place above and below the ice of Lac la Croix on Feb. 8. Following the epic battle, Scott, 65, took the behemoth to a taxidermist in Duluth to be weighed, measured and stuffed.
News of the monster fish got out and Scott’s story made headlines in the Star Tribune. This caught the attention of Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources in Aitkokan, Ontario who recalled checking Scott’s fishing license on the Canadian side of Lac la Croix on the day of his catch. When the officers checked on Scott he had just caught a 4-pound trout. Officers investigated the matter and, when confronted, Scott admitted that he caught his potential record breaker fish after the officers had left him. He stated that he was so high on adrenaline that he wasn’t thinking straight when he gave the smaller fish to another angler and hauled his prize catch about a hundred feet back across the border and into the U.S. via snowmobile. [ Read Full Post ]
During the course of a single week, three cougars were killed at a family ranch in northern Washington this month. The latest big cat was killed by 11-year-old Shelby White, who shot an emaciated lion that had been stalking her older brother near their home in Twisp, Wash.
Thomas White awoke at 2:30 a.m. to the barking of the family dog on Feb. 20, reports the Methow Valley News. White walked outside and discovered a cougar trying to enter an enclosure of cows and calves. Although he scared away the cougar without incident, the lion returned two hours later and White drove it off a second time. [ Read Full Post ]
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On Thanksgiving morning last year Dennie Bowman tagged a big buck just after daybreak in northern North Carolina. But Bowman quickly realized the buck wasn’t the 8-point he expected. The whitetail turned out to be a mature spike with a pair of two-foot long tines. Bluff Country Boys Outdoor TV recently posted this photo of Bowman’s bizarre buck, and we caught up with him to hear about the hunt. [ Read Full Post ]
One of the fears engendered by 2013's failed federal background check proposal was that it would create a de facto gun registry that, eventually, could lead to confiscation. Gun control zealots dismissively mocked that fear as paranoid, a depiction parroted by their lackeys in the mainstream media.
But events in Connecticut are proving that fear to be all too real.
The Connecticut State Police Special Licensing & Firearms Unit has begun mailing out notices to several thousand -- exact figures are unavailable -- gun owners who attempted to register their newly outlawed semi-automatic firearms and magazines holding more than 10 rounds with the state but did not do so before the Jan. 1. The deadline was imposed by Connecticut’s April 2013 "assault weapons" ban. [ Read Full Post ]
Consider this a formal invitation: Come to Lansing, Michigan next weekend to say hi and ask me any question you have.
You can ask about Outdoor Life’s history and evolution. You can ask about John Snow’s stinky feet. You can ask about my favorite deer rifle, or my go-to coyote call. Or you can ask me about how an inarticulate Midwestern kid got to be the editor of your favorite outdoors magazine. [ Read Full Post ]
There were a lot of cool looking bucks at the Deer and Turkey Expo in Illinois last weekend, but this one was definitely the most unique. Scott Setzer was hunting his go-to stand last October when he spotted the gnarly rack coming his way. [ Read Full Post ]
As maddening as it is to see litter and other castoff remains of modern civilization in the wild, certain items can be can be a welcome find in a survival situation. One of the most enduring and useful trash items is the beer bottle, which has the potential to last for centuries — and the potential to help us survive an emergency. Here are my top five uses of an empty glass bottle. [ Read Full Post ]
Would you give up a potential world-record fish on a matter of principal? Michael Roth did it without hesitation and I admire him for doing so.
Roth landed a huge blacktip shark during a fishing trip to the Turks and Caicos this past January. Many believe the shark would have weighed more than 120 pounds. But as weighing the animal — which is required by International Game Fishing Association in order to qualify for a world record — would have meant the death of the beast, Roth released the fish unharmed.
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In the wake of last weekend’s Bassmaster Classic, a couple of angling axioms merit attention. First, muddy water doesn’t necessarily flush the whole party. We’ve all heard about the big storm that blew across Lake Guntersville and turned a lot of the common fishing areas to chocolate milk. But as the new champ Randy Howell and several others demonstrated, you can’t let adverse conditions doom your day.
We won’t rehash all that’s been reported, but it’s worth noting a few points relevant to, not only the recent Bassmaster Classic, but muddy water and spring conditions anywhere.
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Photo courtesy of Tyler Freel
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. It’s an experience that relatively few people on this earth will have and that none who do will ever forget.
When you live and spend a lot of time hunting in Alaska, your odds of eventually having an encounter with a grizzly drift more toward the “guaranteed” end of the spectrum. Some of my most exciting have happened while hunting black bears over bait. I’ve been charged by a sow with cubs and have had bears huff at me from the brush as I walked to my stand. And I had a large boar walk to within 3 feet of my rifle muzzle. [ Read Full Post ]