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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.

  • March 18, 2014

    Turkey Hunting: 4 Beautiful, Deadly Oddball Custom Calls - 3

    If you walk into any sporting goods retailer, you can quickly find and buy a good turkey call. At Cabela’s, you can find hundreds of options including new mouth calls, box calls and pot calls, but sometimes being different can pay off. Every turkey hunter should have an oddball call in their vest — a custom-made call that sounds different from the rest. The following are four oddball calls you probably haven’t heard of or seen. They might cost a bit more than your run of the mill dime store diaphragm, but these calls are hand made, one at a time, by an artist, not by a machine.

    Roanoke River Yelper
    [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 18, 2014

    President Obama’s Budget is a Mixed Bag for Outdoorsmen - 0

    The president recently unveiled his new budget for 2015. For hunters and anglers, it’s a good-news-bad-news scenario. Some things make perfect sense while others will leave you scratching your head.

    Either way, the president’s budget is a starting place, when it comes to protecting access and investing in America’s public lands.

    The Good
    The president has included full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. LWCF helps pay for fishing access sites, boat ramps, and protecting key habitat, using royalties that oil companies pay for offshore oil drilling. LWCF has given American hunters and anglers some premier spots for chasing big game. Places like the Tenderfoot Acquisition in Montana, the Silvio E. Conte National Wildlife Refuge in New England, and inholdings in the Tahoe National Forest in California. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 18, 2014

    Video: Grizzly Bears vs Campsite - 1

    Zoo attendees in Billings, Mont., were treated to a scene of destruction Saturday as grizzly bears Bruno and Ozzy were let loose in a fake campsite to do what bears do in the woods. The bears shredded a tent, a sleeping bag, and chairs; knocked over and tore through a garbage can; and ripped into food containers. The only thing that survived was a bear-proof cooler that neither bruin could manage to get into.  

    The purpose of the demonstration was to allow Bruno and Ozzy to work through some deep emotional issues both had carried since childhood. OK...

    The real reason for the show was to demonstrate how most bear-proof items aren’t bear proof at all. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 18, 2014

    Gear Review: 5 New Turkey Vests for Spring 2014 - 0

    Time to upgrade your old turkey vest? Here's our take on five that are making their debut this spring.

    Rating Key: **** - Excellent; *** - Very Good; ** - Good; * - Fair

    1. Ol’  Tom Time & Motion I-Beam 2.0

    Photos by Ralph Smith [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 17, 2014

    Survival Skills: How to Use Wood Sorrel for Food, and Hangovers - 0

    If you had a little too much green beer over the weekend, don’t worry — you weren’t alone. St. Patrick’s Day may have a rich historical point of origin in Ireland, but here in the States, it’s often just an excuse to chug cheap brews died into verdant colors. So here’s a little shamrock for the outdoor lover who might still overindulge. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 17, 2014

    ATV Maintenance: Why You Should Always Have a Factory Service Manual - 0

    One of the most disappointing and irritating moments in ATV ownership is when your machine decides that it’s just not coming out to play.

    Although most of today’s ATVs and UTVs can come to life after sitting for long periods of time with little more than a battery charge, it’s not always that easy. Older machines, in particular, can be fussy when it comes to fuel and will need more TLC to get back in the game after winter storage.

    Any form of maintenance should always refer to the manufacturer’s specs. Unfortunately, these are often not readily found on the web. While there are numerous helpful forums and online sites to look through when a problem does arise, most owners I know lack the single most helpful tool to keep their wheels turning: a factory service manual. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 17, 2014

    Possible World-Record Snook Caught in Costa Rica - 0

    A 60-pound Pacific snook caught in Costa Rica two weeks ago may be headed for the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) record book. The monster fish was caught by Orlando guide Ward Michaels who has made more than 80 trips to Costa Rica in 27 years after his favorite species.

    His latest trip coincided with the spawn. At the first sign of the mass movement, Michaels called his buddies in Texas and told them: “To come on. The time is now.” In three days the group had caught more than a dozen fish, most in the 30-pound range, with two special fish going 47 and 50 pounds. But it was Michaels’ 60 pounder that garnered all the attention.  [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 17, 2014

    EHD Alert: Is Your Deer Herd at Risk? - 0

                            Photo By: Quinn Badder

    In late summer of 2012, bowhunters in southern Michigan began finding large numbers of dead or dying whitetail deer. Prior to death, affected animals showed similar symptoms: swelling of the head and neck, lesions in the mouth, lethargy, and a loss of their natural fear of humans.

    All signs pointed to an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD. The disease doesn’t affect humans, either by contact or by consuming meat of an affected deer, but the 2012 Michigan event was responsible for the deaths of nearly 15,000 deer across 30 counties. Ionia County lost 2,000 deer to the disease, or about half the number of deer harvested annually by hunters in the county. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 17, 2014

    Video: Spearfisherman Attacked by a Shark - 0

    Diver Jason Dimitri captured a nightmare scene on video in the form of a shark attack on March 13 while diving in the Caribbean. Mr. Dimitri was spearfishing for the invasive lionfish 70 feet below the surface when a reef shark took an interest in his catch…

    And then him.

    The shark attacked repeatedly before it was eventually deterred by a series of jabs from Dimitri’s trident. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 15, 2014

    Whitetail Hunting Tips: Secrets to Off-Season Scouting - 1

    While most hunters spend their spring weekends waiting for turkey season, Aaron Milliken spends hour after hour studying Google Earth. He dedicates so much time to the virtual mapping program partly because it's his job, but also because he knows it's the first critical step in finding and patterning mature bucks. Milliken is a Land Specialist with Whitetail Properties (a real-estate company that deals some of the best deer hunting land in the country) and it's his job to assess properties and predict how trophy bucks will utilize them.

    Earlier this month I spent a weekend scouting and shed hunting with Milliken on his home turf in west-central Illinois. Later this year we'll hunt the rut in this classic Midwestern whitetail country, but first we need to find the right place to hunt. Here's what we did to get started, first with aerial scouting through Google Earth and then by putting boots on the ground. 

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 14, 2014

    Survival Skills: Create a Survival Pantry - 0

    Any food is better than no food when you’re facing an emergency, but all food is far from equal when it comes to stocking a survival pantry. There are many factors to consider. First off, you’ll need enough calories to keep you going. Second, you’ll need a healthy blend of macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates). Vitamin, mineral, and fiber content are important, too. And the food should be something that is easy to prepare, with no-cook foods being preferable. As if that wasn’t enough to think about, add in factors like shelf life, food allergens, and taste. That super deal you got on a case of pickled pigs feet at the big box store won’t seem so super when you have to live off them for a week. Get ready to read some labels, as we put together a proper survival pantry. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 14, 2014

    Old Man and the Shark: 70-Year-Old Angler Targets 15-Foot Great White - 1

    There’s a great white shark heading toward Great Britain and the UK’s version of Quint says he’s going to stop it.

    West Country resident Zyg Gregorek is hailed by many as the world’s greatest fisherman, a title he received in 2007 after becoming the first person to catch all 27 species in the three "royal slams" set by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA). Mr. Gregorek’s notoriety grew in 2012 when he became the first recreational angler in history to catch five different species over 1,000 pounds. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 14, 2014

    Rigger's Bench: Tweak a Spinnerbait for Better Bass Bites - 0

    Illustration by Kevin Hand

    For fishermen, sometimes good isn't good enough. From the tinkerings of dissatisfied anglers come lure modifications that home in on very specific bites in very specific conditions. These alterations can turn a cold bite into a hot frenzy. So, tweak away. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 14, 2014

    Lessons from Lake El Salto: How to Catch Pressured Bass - 2

    Photos by Alex Robinson

    Not everything that happens in Mexico should stay in Mexico.

    Lake El Salto might be the best place to catch the biggest bass of your life, but don't head down there expecting to find virgin water. The 14,000-acre lake, located 800 miles from the U.S. border, has a reputation as a premier destination for trophy largemouths. Every summer it draws flocks of anglers that even the drug war hasn't deterred. Outfitter Billy Chapman says he's hosted up to 3,000 fishermen a year, and he's one of only three on the reservoir.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 14, 2014

    Video: Crazy Boat-Side Muskie Strikes - 1

    If you've got 8 minutes to kill today, you owe it to yourself to check out this video. The guys from Kramer Bros Tackle posted the clip below a few years ago, but it's just as good today.

    Many anglers will fish a whole lifetime and never see the volume of boatside action captured in this video.

    Happy Friday, everybody. [ Read Full Post ]