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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.

  • October 12, 2009

    First Blood - 21


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    Over the past few months, I’ve been suffering from withdrawal as a diehard deer hunter. The spring turkey season was great, but there is still nothing that gets my heart pumping more than the sight of a heavy-racked buck during the fall of the year. Recently, I hit the road for an early-season bowhunt in Illinois with an admittedly itchy trigger finger. During the first evening of my hunt, the wind just about blew my cameraman and me out of the tree. However, before dark the wind died off enough to make the deer start moving a little. I was hunting a patch of white oaks that bordered the edge of a soybean field surrounded by a lot of thick cover. The area was hot with fresh sign, which really made my heart rate jump up a few notches.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • October 11, 2009

    With 9th Circuit set to fear Firearms case, California AG is mum on gun control - 3

    Dan Levine in The Recorder writes in a Sept. 22 article that as "a hard-fought firearms case" is set to go before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for arguments that start Sept. 24, California Attorney General Jerry Brown has not submitted a brief onthe case as yet -- even though it comes from Alameda County, his home county.

    Meanwhile, Levine notes, "in another case across the country, involving the same issue, Brown filed an amicus that has gun control advocates shaking their heads." [ Read Full Post ]

  • October 10, 2009

    Live Hunt Alaska: RAM DOWN! - 10

    It's 9:15 pm Mountain time. Mark just called to tell me that Nate connected with his ram. They're quartering it and heading back to camp for the night. It's back to Lance's house tomorrow for a warm night's sleep. Great photos and videos to come!!

    - Katie [ Read Full Post ]

  • October 10, 2009

    All Hail The 870 - 4

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    Few gun fanciers would argue that the Remington Model 870 pump shotgun is worthy of the moniker, “America’s Shotgun.” The fact is, one would be hard-pressed to find a devotee of upland bird hunting, gunning diabolical doves or chasing bunnies with beagles who doesn’t have a favorite Model 870 for such sporting pastimes. [ Read Full Post ]

  • October 10, 2009

    Fall Turkey Time - 16


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    Ohio’s fall turkey season opened Saturday, October 10, Columbus Day weekend. According to one source though, the turkey hatch is down for the state.

    “Summer brood observations suggest a below average wild turkey hatch this year,” reports Mike Reynolds, state biologist. “In addition, acorn crops were highly variable across Ohio this fall. In areas with poor acorn production, hunters may have more success locating turkeys around agricultural fields rather than hardwood ridges.”

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • October 9, 2009

    Buck Lure Ban? - 7

    The Pennsylvania Game Commission’s veterinary consultant this week recommended the statewide prohibition of scents and attractants utilizing deer urine in an effort to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease into The Keystone State.  [ Read Full Post ]

  • October 9, 2009

    At some point, gun owners must wonder if they’re being played - 5

    Seattle Gun Rights Examiner Dave Workman writes in his Sept. 16 column on that politicians "from all over the political spectrum" have "a rather annoying habit of acknowledging the existence of firearms owners and gun rights groups only when they need their votes." [ Read Full Post ]

  • October 8, 2009

    Safer Streets 101: Answering grief and disinformation. - 6

    Los Angeles Gun Rights ExaminerJohn Longeneckert writes in his Sept. 20 column on says Second Amendment advocates must "answer disinformation, even when it is based on grief and good intentions."

    Longeneckert was referruing to a commentary by Jenny Price’s in the Los Angeles Times’ on Sunday, Sept. 14, called, "More victims? It’s a dead certainty. [Gun violence at UC Irvine on the online edition.]" [ Read Full Post ]

  • October 7, 2009

    What Deer Are Doing Now - 2


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    Four days in the stand last week in northern Missouri turned out to be more of a clinic on how to manage land, control human scent and grow amazingly big deer than on how to actually kill one of those big deer. Though that was no fault of my host, David Forbes, of Hunter’s Specialties. 

    He sprayed me down with bottles of Scent-Away and delivered me via silent-running golf cart to a number of well-placed stands on his Show-Me-State property. In those four days of hunting, I saw no less than five bucks that were clearly the biggest I had ever seen from a stand and well over a dozen, any of which had I been lucky enough to tag, would have been counted among my best deer with a bow or a gun! And in the spirit of full disclosure, I had at least a half dozen bucks that I could have arrowed (and one that I should have), all of which would have definitely been my biggest with a bow. But as impressive as a 135- to 140-inch racked whitetail remains, after watching a bruising 170-class 12-point from just 46 yards away (to far for this boy to comfortably fling an arrow) my first evening, I admittedly got a little greedy and wanted nothing less.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • October 7, 2009

    Gear Tip: Crate Flooring & Water - 3


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    Crates or portable kennels provide safe, secure transportation for your dog while traveling in cars, trucks or SUVs. They're the best way to keep them contained and provide a small measure of protection in case of an accident.

    Dogs love 'em too! Used properly (not as a punishment), they become a safe haven/den for your dogs (especially true if you crate train when teaching house breaking). Throw a blanket, straw, wood chips or a specially made kennel pad in the bottom of the crate and the hard bottom is a little more comfortable. Dogs can also nest in the insulating stuff and keep warm. You can increase the insulation factor by purchasing a kennel jacket that blocks out wind and helps hold body heat in. You should really consider one of these if your dog rides in the back of a pickup.

    All that's great, but there is a problem with crates. If you put a wet dog in them, runoff can collect in the bottom of the container causing your hunting buddy to sit in a puddle of water. I've had this problem at tests, training days and after hunting. There are two fixes for this:

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • October 7, 2009

    Alaska Dall Sheep Day 6: Stormy Weather - 3

    Mark called me from the satellite phone last night around 10pm to give me an update on their progress.  Bad weather kept them out of the mountains for a few additional hours, but by yesterday morning, they were able to get up into the drainage they had planned on hunting.  Glassing proved effective and two great rams were spotted.  They  watched the rams bed down and  formalized a plan for the morning hunt.  I have yet to hear any news, but it's still early there and I'm hopeful that good news is not far off. 

    - Katie [ Read Full Post ]

  • October 7, 2009

    Yoga Ban Brings Guns to Town Common - 3

    Jack Kenny in a Sept. 21 story in The New American writes of strange doings in a small New England town that can either restore your faith in small-town democracy or make you scratch your head.

    "When the Raymond, N.H., selectmen refused permission to a local resident to hold a yoga class on the town green in honor of the United Nations International Day of Peace, they may not have anticipated the decision would draw gun-toting libertarians and others to the site to show support for First and Second Amendment rights," Kenny writes. [ Read Full Post ]

  • October 6, 2009

    Reading and rating Congressional Gun Votes - 5

    Chris Knox of the writes on that "voting records, especially those for final passage, don’t tell the full story of where our elected servants stand on a particular issue. And the fact is that those servants occasionally take pains to conceal their true position from the people who sent them to office."

    Knox cites Sen. Mark Pryor, a second-term Democrat from Arkansas, as "this year’s poster boy for obfuscated voting." [ Read Full Post ]

  • October 6, 2009

    Grizzly Attack - 5

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    A Fort St. John, British Colombia bowhunter saved his bacon last week by plunging one of his hunting arrows into the neck of an attacking grizzly bear at his Kechika River hunting camp.

    The action began when Rory Chapple, 39, heard the telltale huffing sounds of an agitated grizzly bear coming toward him. Though he was armed with his hunting bow, there was no time to nock an arrow, much less draw, aim and fire. [ Read Full Post ]

  • October 5, 2009

    Dogs You Don't Like? - 25


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    We all have our favorite breeds of dog. It might have to do with the prey we're pursuing, it could be rooted in a childhood memory or it just might be something about a particular dog or breed that attracts us to them. For me, Labs are the be-all, end-all of dogs: family pets, tractable and diverse hunters. But there's just something I like about Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. I don't know what it is: one-man dog, their history, that kind of edge they carry with them. There's just something I like about them.

    On the other side of the coin, there are dogs and/or breeds that we might not like for all the same reasons. While talking to a pro recently, he grudgingly admitted there are some breeds he wouldn't own or recommend to the public. Here are four of them:

    [ Read Full Post ]