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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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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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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 2, 2014

    Hawaii Spearfisherman Shoots Record Marlin - 0

    Wendell Ko landed a 506-pound blue marlin the hard way: with a speargun.

    The avid spearfisherman was hunting two miles off the Kona Coast on Hawaii's Big Island on November 20 when he spotted the monster fish cruising the depths. Ko told KITV, "It's the first time I've ever seen anything that big in the water, a marlin in particular. It was hard to miss."

    The 53-year-old nailed the 12-foot long fish with a single shot then finished it off with a few more shots. The event was captured on video by Ko’s friend and producer of the TV series "Hawaii Skin Diver" Kyle Nakamoto.

    "I call it [Ko’s shot] the money shot," Nakamoto said to KITV. "I mean, it's so hard and you need to be at the right place at the right time." [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 2, 2014

    Of Dogs, Wolves, Cougars, and Hypocrisy - 2

    Once bitten twice shy? Not so for Shelby, a husky-wolf hybrid who lives outside of Twisp, Wash. She’s survived two attacks in the last year, which are indicative of Washington state’s loose definition of “management” when it comes to apex predators.

    Last March, Shelby was sleeping on her porch when a wolf attacked. The dog was saved, albeit torn up, when her owner and another dog jumped into the fray. About two weeks ago, Shelby was attacked by a mountain lion in her yard.

    She survived and a depredation permit was issued for a houndsman to track and kill the cougar. Much like California, since hound hunting for cougars was made illegal in Washington, conflicts have become more common – especially this year. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 1, 2014

    The Yeti Casket? - 2

    Yeti announced its latest – and most expensive – product today: the Yeti casket.

    The Texas based company, known for revolutionizing the cooler industry with Roto-molding technology, states on its website that the new Yeti casket will “last an eternity” and that “It doesn’t just close, it seals, protecting your loved one from the elements.”


    [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 1, 2014

    An Access Manifesto: Trading the Places You Have For the Opportunity You Lack - 1

    Spoilage. Remember that word from high school economics class? Spoilage refers to the goods or services we have but couldn’t or didn’t consume before they expired: the airplane that leaves the ground with empty seats or the hotel that lets a night pass with vacant rooms. It’s waste, like brown bananas in the produce aisle.

    The access problem in the outdoors is caused by spoilage, not a lack of acres. I propose we call the problem “Latent Access,” and that we get busy fixing it.

    “Access to quality hunting and fishing ground is the most significant challenge facing the future of hunting,” says Doug Saunders, VP of Marketing for the National Wild Turkey Federation. “Organizations like ours and government agencies can only do so much. The largest impact needs to come from private individuals sharing their access.” [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 31, 2014

    Spearfishing: Blue-Water Big Game - 0

    Photos by Daymond Gardner

    Abbie Eubanks was in trouble and she knew it. More than 180 feet below the surface in the Gulf of Mexico, using a giant oil-rig support leg for camouflage, she had just "stoned" a huge amberjack with her speargun. In a celebratory mood, Eubanks was taking her time heading for the surface when the 130-pound fish came back to life and was hellbent for bottom. Tethered to this runaway freight train, Eubanks reached 220 feet before she even realized what was happening. "I was way too deep," says Eubanks. "I became totally narced out." (Nitrogen narcosis is similar to being intoxicated. The diver becomes numb and can't think straight.) "It was strange. I was totally high and remember having a conversation with myself in the third person. I kept saying, 'Abbie, this is too deep.'" [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 31, 2014

    Survival Book Review: Complete Outdoors Encyclopedia - 1

    From a standpoint of long-term survival, you need to know everything you can about the great outdoors. And as someone “living off the land,” you’d need to know how to effectively catch every critter under the sun, as well as camping, survival, and first aid skills. Even if you just want to know the outdoors better, there is much to learn. Thankfully, almost everything you’d want to know has been covered in one big brick of a book, the Complete Outdoors Encyclopedia. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 31, 2014

    Is it Time to Better Regulate Captive Deer Operations? - 15

    Back in 2000, voters in my home state of Montana passed Constitutional Initiative 143, effectively ending the controversial business of game farming.

    The catalyst for the initiative was the discovery of chronic wasting disease in a captive elk facility near Philipsburg, in the very heart of Montana’s wild-elk country. Elk in the facility were quarantined, then euthanized (shot by government marksmen), and later tested for always-fatal CWD, for which there is no cure and which is easily transmittable to wild deer and elk.

    The months leading up to the vote that ended game farming was hugely polarized, with pro-business groups claiming that voters were improperly impinging a legitimate industry, while hunting groups mostly argued that a few poorly regulated operators were putting Montana’s publically owned wildlife—and the $500 million-a-year hunting industry—at inappropriate risk. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 31, 2014

    Bowhunting Surpasses Gun Hunting in Connecticut - 0

    Big changes are in the works for bowhunting in Connecticut. Not only is bowhunting on the rise among the state’s hunters, but the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is also considering lifting the ban on Sunday hunting for deer hunters using bows.

    Virginia recently decided to allow hunters into the woods on Sundays, and Connecticut wildlife officials are considering the same revision. If implemented, the legislation would permit bowhunters to pursue deer only on private land on Sundays, reports the Hartford Courant. Wildlife officials say the whitetail population is growing too large and an extra day would give hunters additional opportunities to take a deer. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 31, 2014

    How to Adjust Casting Controls on a Baitcasting Reel - 1

    If you're new to fishing with baitcasters, a big part of the learning curve is setting the casting controls properly. Set them too tight and you won't be able to get any distance, set them too loose and you'll blacklash the reel.

    To get it right, you need to first understand the different casting control systems. Here, Todd Kuhn explains the basics. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 31, 2014

    Survival Gear: Tinder HOT Box Solar Fire Starter - 0

    The Tinder HOT Box Solar Fire Starter  is a unique and functional product in that it is both a fire starter and a water-tight tinder box with a rubber O-ring seal. The puck-shaped box offers generous storage space, and its seal proved to be waterproof during the cold March showers experienced during testing. When the sun popped back out, we clipped the tinder bracket onto the parabolic mirror piece and had instant tinder ignition once we achieved the right angle to the sun. We easily lit the char cloth that was provided in the kit, as well as cattail fluff and tulip poplar bark tinder. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 28, 2014

    Whitetail Dynamics: Rethinking “The Deer Depression” - 1

    Back in 2011, when we published a downbeat assessment of deer trends across North America, we were called alarmists, pessimists, and even unpatriotic.

    How could we dare challenge the notion that America’s whitetail resource was anything but renewable, robust, and ever-giving?

    We were simply reading the tea leaves when we published “The Deer Depression,” a forecast of downward-trending whitetail signs that, looking back on it from this dismal year, seems especially prescient.

    It’s worth revisiting the story to look at how quickly wildlife populations can cycle, and to remind ourselves that especially when we deer hunters get comfortable, disease, winterkill, land-use, and even our hunting regulations can quickly change the calculus. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 28, 2014

    Trap Shooting Beecomes Minnesota's Fastest Growing High School Sport - 2

    Just 30 student athletes from three Minnesota high school teams participated in the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League in 2008. Six years later MSHSCTL has exploded into Minnesota’s fastest-growing high school sport.

    This spring, the league will host 6,100 athletes from 185 high schools for its 2014 spring season, MSHSCTL announced in a press release Thursday. Starting in April, student athletes will work with 1,800 volunteer coaches to compete in trap shooting competitions at 106 shooting ranges throughout Minnesota. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 28, 2014

    Whitetail Winter Kill Report - 0

    My son Neil phoned me this morning with a winter kill report from one of his client’s properties. He has been walking the property for two days and so far he has turned up almost a dozen carcasses. He estimates this to be about 5 or 6 percent of the deer using the downstate New York property, which was hard hit with winter weather this year.  Overall the habitat in the area is poor. Short of a few standing cornfields (which were cleaned up in January) and some greenfields (which were covered in deep snow), there was little food available through much of the winter. The area is also plagued by an overpopulation of deer; roughly 100 deer per square mile. They are lucky to only have lost that many. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 28, 2014

    Angler Catches Freak Fish off Florida Beach - 0

    A Florida angler that caught an odd-looking fish he couldn’t identify is lucky he wasn’t poisoned or shocked by his catch.

    Steve Harrison landed the freak fish while surf-fishing Grayton Beach State Park in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.  Unsure of what the creature was, the LSU AgCenter professor posted a picture of the fish on asking if anyone could identify it. The thousands of replies varied from the humorous (it’s a mother-in-law fish) to serious guesses. The first person to correctly identify the species however was Capt. Tommy Pellegrin, with Custom Charters in Houma. He said the fish was a stargazer. This was verified by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Finfish Program manager Jason Adriance. He wrote, “It’s definitely a stargazer. They’re a couple of varieties it could be, but being it was in Florida, it’s tough to tell.” [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 27, 2014

    Cast and Blast: Boss Gobblers and Monster Bass in Florida - 0

    Considering the winter that has plagued—and continues to plague—much of the nation, more than a few outdoorsmen are surely sitting next to a wood stove right now, glancing out the window onto an endless snowscape, and dreaming of shooting long-bearded gobblers and tossing plugs to potbellied largemouths. If you can’t wait for the thaw to come to your neck of the woods, book a flight to Florida today and you can be hunting birds and hooking bass by tomorrow morning. One of the premier locations to do just that is the region from Lake Okeechobee north to Orlando.    [ Read Full Post ]