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Barnyard Bucks

Bucks that live to see four years of age or more have plenty of hiding spots, and chances are there’s a barnyard among them.
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Review: Colt M2012

Shooting Editor John B. Snow puts this beefy, but elegant, precision bolt gun to the test.
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Train for the West

These six cornerstones are the keys to preparing for a backcountry western hunt. Here's what you need, from guns, to gear, to conditioning.
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Wyo. Cast and Blast

Wyoming boasts the largest and most widespread populations of sage grouse. So break a sweat hunting them in the morning and cool off in the river after lunch by fishing for monster trout.
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May 9, 2008

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  • March 10, 2010

    Bad Call: Gun Retailer Denied Little League Sponsorship - 14

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    Nothing is more aggravating to baseball fans than a bad call by those officiating a game. And in New Jersey last week, the committee in charge of a little league program made a real stinker.

    In an 8-1 vote, the South Orange-Maplewood (NJ) Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken baseball league rejected an offer from a local licensed firearms retailer to become a $300 sponsor for his son’s team because of the potential controversy it may cause. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 10, 2010

    Tragedy of the Lolo Zone - 16

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    I know this blog occasionally sounds like it should be renamed Wolf Hunting with Andrew McKean. If it’s a bit too wolf-heavy for you, my apologies. We’ll get to other discussions soon.

    But there is no greater topic that affects all aspects of hunting in the West right now than wolves. Not habitat issues. Not access. Wolves have polarized the public. They have challenged wildlife managers. And they have galvanized hunters. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 8, 2010

    The Strut Zone Awards - 16


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    Hollywood just celebrated Oscar night at the Academy Awards. We're covering our kind of movies here at the Strut Zone. To me the only thing better than a power nap after lunch during turkey camp downtime is a great DVD to keep you fired up. All of these offerings will get you ready for Opening Day. Here are my selections for new turkey hunting videos:

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 8, 2010

    Silence of the Bam - 8

    On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard a historic constitutional gun rights case in McDonald v. City of Chicago. But, as Ken Klukowski notes in his blog, the White House is not taking a position.

    "Instead, President Obama is hiding under his desk in the Oval Office," he writes. "What a profile in courage."  [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 5, 2010

    Warranted but Precluded - 4

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    This just in from the Interior Department: Sage grouse populations in the West probably warrant listing as a federally endangered species, but there are other critters in worse shape.

    That’s the upshot of this afternoon’s announcement by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar that had sportsmen, ranchers and land managers from the Dakotas to Nevada holding their breath. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 5, 2010

    World's Coolest Buck Mount? - 9

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    Are you like me? I’m always on the lookout for something a bit different in the taxidermy arena. I’m actually pretty conservative in the number of mounts in my home, but every few years I’m lucky enough to land a buck I feel deserves a location on my wall. My current craving is for pedestal wall mounts and companies like McKenzie Taxidermy Supply are doing a great job of providing new angles, twists and character throughout the lineup of their forms. Looking through their catalog or website is like kid wandering around a Toys R Us store. Something exciting is around every corner. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 5, 2010

    The Cowboy Code - 22

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    On Wednesday, Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal signed legislation adopting an official Wyoming state code based on the tenets known in the West as “Cowboy Ethics.”

    Although the historic Code of the West was unwritten, cowboys, trappers, hunters and others in the U.S. frontier knew it was about maintaining honesty, integrity and courage in a wide-open region where the affects of government barely reached and laws were not always enforced. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 4, 2010

    Zombie Gun Contest - 39

  • March 3, 2010

    Retrievers: Screwing the Pooch - 0


    * Exclusive: The complete version of "Teach Him Right" from the March issue of Outdoor Life*

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    Waiting until two weeks before the season to try and turn your couch-lounging family pet into a top-notch hunting dog is a huge mistake. The next 6 to 9 months are critical to shaping your retriever’s behaviors for the field. When training this offseason, keep these common pitfalls in mind and avoid them at all costs. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 3, 2010

    Pigeons: The Best Dog-Training Bird - 7


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    There's an old saying: "You can't have a bird dog without birds."

    That's true. In order for your dog's prey drive to awaken, develop and reach its maximum, you need to introduce puppies to birds early on. Later in training you need to replicate hunting scenarios repetitively in a consistent manner so that you can teach your dog the reactions you desire from him under specific circumstances and around those birds.

    Ideally you'd be able to use the exact bird(s) you'd be hunting with that dog, but that's not always possible. That's where the lowly pigeon comes into the picture. They might just be the best training bird a bird dog/waterfowl dog trainer can have, and here's why:

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 3, 2010

    Dying Sheep - 9

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    It started innocently enough, with a handful of weak rams. That’s expected, almost normal, following the intensely violent, head-butting rut of bighorn sheep.

    Early reports, in early December, indicated some rams in the Bonner herd appeared disoriented and lethargic. Then observers noticed other wild sheep coughing. That got the attention of western Montana wildlife managers who know that a sheep with respiratory distress may be only days away from death by pneumonia. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 3, 2010

    63 Minutes Before the Bench - 8

    Debate will continue until June after Tuesday's oral arguments in McDonald v Chicago.

    It lasted 63 minutes, but when all was said and done ... there will be a lot more said and done.

    Until June, of course, when the Supreme Court will issue its ruling in McDonald v. City of Chicago, which could determine the extent that local governments can limit the Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 2, 2010

    Finally, Hunters Get a Seat in Interior Department - 13

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    So far, the Obama Administration’s appointments to posts and commissions, from the Cabinet on down to obscure committees, have been characterized by a curious mix of high-minded fairness and political payback.

    Obama’s appointment of a Nobel-prize winning scientist to lead the Energy Department is an example of the former. His appointment of a leading fundraiser to be ambassador to Britain is an example of the latter. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 1, 2010

    The Buck That Came Back To Life - 14

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    Did you ever have that feeling that it just wasn’t meant to be? Chris Zwart from south-central South Dakota had that feeling during the 2009 deer season. His story from this fall is one of the most incredible stories anyone's ever shared with me. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 1, 2010

    Baseball's Gun Ban - 6

    Major League Baseball's gun ban reveals how some sports reporters are clueless about real issues

    Most sports reporters live in privileged sanctuaries where the world's realities are but a hazy background to games, scores, statistics and players. And let's be honest: Most of us would happily live such a life, if we could.

    But sports reporters are still journalists. As such, they should be held to the same standards as all journalists and take the time to understand issues before commenting on them. 

    Case in point: Gabe Lacques of USA Today. [ Read Full Post ]