Early in the spring season, when turkey flocks are still in winter formation, your one or two decoys may not be enough to attract a gobbler. So create a flock.
Get your gobbler yet? Check out some of our favorite reader photos.
Osceola Hunt. Location: Frasier Family Farms, Polk County, Florida.
Award-winning photographer Miguel Lasa captures ospreys in action.
Legendary turkey hunter Ray Eye recounts the tale of his first turkey ever.
Photographer Jeff Coats captures the hits and misses of hunters. Look closely and you...
Your guide to turkey guns, loads and chokes for spring 2010
If the name Dale Manning sounds familiar, it should. He’s a regular part of the OL Optics Test team, and he’s among one of the best taxidermists in the country. In fact, the world.
Manning, who owns Custom Bird Works and Big Game Connection taxidermy in Missoula, Mont., won the “Best in World” in the waterfowl category at the 2013 World Taxidermy Championships in May. His flying snow goose, according to internet message boards, wowed everyone in attendance. [ Read Full Post ]
As anyone who has been reading this blog for the last year knows, I’m a big fan of the harlequin duck. It’s one of the most beautiful waterfowl species on the planet. It’s one of those bucket-list ducks for waterfowlers across the country. It’s also a sea duck, which makes its presence in Montana’s Glacier National Park seem a bit strange. But not only do the sea-faring harlequins build their streamside nests in Montana, park employees recently verified a drake harlie that is at least 17 years old.
The age of the harlequin is noteworthy because it was believed the typical lifespan for the diminutive duck was about10 years (the oldest documented harlie is 18 years, 10 months). While it’s astonishing to think of this small duck surviving for 17 years in the pounding, frigid surf of Washington state’s Pacific Ocean and making the yearly trek to mountain streams to breed, there were several other facts revealed about harlequins in the Missoulian article that I didn’t know (besides the obvious fact that they migrate that far inland): [ Read Full Post ]
If you’ve read the June/July issue of Outdoor Life, you’ll see a piece I wrote on picking the top hunting dog from several groups – retrievers, hounds, spaniels, pointers and cur/feist. As I said in the printed version and even here in past blogs, picking the “best” hunting dog is highly subjective. It depends upon the quarry being pursued, the location, terrain, weather, personal hunting style and a myriad of other variables.
However, in the June/July issue, I relied heavily upon how various breeds have performed in field trials and hunt tests (as well as the number of different species a dog hunts for proficiently, genetic health and even “X” factors that make each breed popular). There are many hunters out there, however, that don’t think they want a field-trial dog, for whatever reason.
Some reasons that are typically given for not wanting a field-trial dog include: hyperactivity, too much drive/dog, too big of runners and too hot-nosed, among many. And while some of those things might have some merit (or might not, in that it could have less to do with the dog and more to do... [ Read Full Post ]
The five most bittersweet words in turkey hunting: Last day of the season.
I only hunted two states, but ended up hunting 30 of 35 days and it’s taken a big toll on my mind and body. I hear gobbles in my sleep and my knees and legs are going to be sore until the end of June. It was a good season. I called in a “first bird” for a friend’s daughter during the New York Youth Season in late April and then called in one other for a youngster a bit later (sadly, a miss). After shaking off an opening day miss, I called in and killed two in New England then took a nice bird after that early in the general New York season. I spent a number of days trying to call in birds for other friends to no avail. But it’s been a great ride. [ Read Full Post ]
He's the man who taught you how to shoot a B.B. gun, throw a baseball, and pop open a beer bottle with a knife. The least you can do is get him a decent Father's Day gift.
Check out our editors' top gift choices for your first, and best, hunting buddy. From handguns and knives to boots and jackets, this round up has it all.
I’m a hatchet man. There may be no other tool that’s as capable of handling so many outdoors tasks: whittling a spear, splitting a buck’s brisket, limbing a tree, pounding tent pegs, truing a table, defending a family… But Zippo’s new Woodsman tool may trump even a 3-pound hatchet. The versatile Woodsman features a mallet, a keen-edged hatchet, a peg-pulling claw, and a tempered saw blade that’s capable of making quick work of limbs up to 4 inches in diameter. It pulls hard duty cleaning up deadfall in my back yard and is a fixture in my pickup. ($80, zippooutdoor.com) —Andrew McKean [ Read Full Post ]
How much do you really know about the doves you bag? Besides the creeping realization that they’re maddeningly hard to hit and taste great hot off the grill, probably not much.
But an annual report issued by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is full of data that provides a fairly comprehensive portrait of America’s mourning dove population. I got a copy of the report without even asking. It’s a perk of participating in the USFWS’s annual Dove Wing Collection Survey. For the past two years I’ve snipped off the right wing of every dove I’ve bagged, and shipped them to biologists who use the appendages as one measure of the age and abundance of our dove population.
Last week we surveyors got to see the results of our collective work. Here are some highlights: [ Read Full Post ]
Mark Kayser, a contributing writer and friend of the magazine, was recently named the national spokesman for the Hope for the Warriors Outdoor Adventures Program, a non-profit organization that assists post 9/11 service members who have been wounded and the families of fallen service members.
“Service members mean everything for the security of our country and the veterans of our recent wars deserve all the help we can give them when they return from deployment,” says Kayser. “The outdoors and particularly hunting is everything to my family, and that’s why I believe the Outdoor Adventures program of the Hope For The Warriors is so important." [ Read Full Post ]