I spent last week calling in vain to north Texas Rio Grande toms. Rios are supposed to be dumb, Texas is supposed to be full of turkeys and the hunt (a media event deal with guides and a cushy lodge) was supposed to be a two-bird slam dunk. Wrong.
Longbeards were tough to come by and the ones we could locate rarely responded to calls. By ambushing fly-down areas and strut zones, all of us got lucky and were still able to kill a turkey (though another hunter and I took birds with scrawny beards) but it wasn't easy. Waiting for hours to hear even a distant gobble did give me some time to think about all the road blocks in turkey hunting. Usually it's not one factor that keeps you from getting your bird, but a series of unfortunate events. Here's what hamstrung us in Texas. Tell us about your biggest turkey hunting headaches in the comments section below.
Toby Burke, a wildlife biologist for Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, was on a bird watching excursion along the Alaskan Kasilof River Beach with his family when they spotted a brown bear in the distance.
At first they didn't think much of the sighting, and soon enough the bear disappeared among some sand dunes. But the bear reappeared at close range and started heading right for Burke, his wife, their 7-month-old baby, 8-year-old son, and 11-year-old daughter.
The appeal of fishing from shorelines, breakwaters, and piers around the Great Lakes starts with the fact that you need just a rod or two, a small selection of tackle, and maybe a bucket to sit on, and it culminates with fresh fillets for the fryer or smoker. In between is the relaxing wait for a bite, interrupted by the adrenaline-pumping fun of catching fish—sometimes really big ones. Give these dry-land hotspots a try this season.
Each year, we round up photos of the country's biggest bucks and most thrilling hunting stories for the Outdoor Life Deer of the Year contest. Now, we're calling on you to help us pick America's best buck. We started off with 24 finalists, and we're now down to eight. The overall winner will be awarded a Cabela's gift card and a Weaver range finder in addition to eternal bragging rights. Select your favorite buck from each match-up and then hit the submit button at the bottom to enter your votes.
It’s known as “The Land of 10,000 Lakes” and Minnesota now has a strategic road map for looking after its vast waterways. Addressing the fish-rich tapestry of lakes, rivers and streams, the state’s Department of Natural Resources recently launched a new fisheries habitat plan aimed at maintaining the abundance.
Dirk Peterson, who heads up the Minnesota DNR, said that while the state has done well with stocking and regulation, the new plan will place a long overdue emphasis on habitat protection and restoration. Complementing attention to aquatic habitat, the DNR will also focus its effort on the broader picture of watershed dynamics – ensuring clean water flows into those lakes, rivers and streams.
Its time for planting food plots and one of the most common questions I hear is: “Can I use my left over seed from last year?”
It seems like just about every foodplotter out there has a half bag or so of last year’s seed and is wondering if he can plant it. Nobody wants to plant “dead” seed; you waste hours of valuable time and can get a poor stand or no stand at all. On the other hand, just because it’s old doesn’t mean it won’t grow. Some seeds will germinate and grow for up to 5 years after the date they came from the field. And, at the price of quality food plot seed, it’s worth a second look.
It depends upon what kind of seed it is, how it was cared for, and how it was stored. Seed should be kept cool, dry, and clean and protected from pests and insects in some sort of protective container.
In late November, the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, which oversees the Chippewa tribes' treaty rights in Wisconsin, voted to authorize night hunting for deer by tribal members.
To participate in the after-dark hunt, tribal members would be required to pass a marksmanship test. According to an Associated Press report, 74 members met those requirements but, thus far, none have applied for a night-hunting permit.
But they might. And that has hunters and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials concerned.
Celebrity survivalist Bear Grylls tweeted yesterday: "Our man vs wild producer suffering from a brutal snake bite -- fighting the injury with courage,” with the gut-wrenching photo shown below.
Since then, the photo (which shows the skin rotting away from producer Steve Rankin's foot) has gone viral and is creating quite a stir in the social media world.
Beef has taken a beating lately. Biblical droughts in the Heartland last year have prices on the rise, new research suggests that bacteria in the human digestive system could make red-meat eaters more prone to heart disease, and health-conscious consumers from Seattle to Brooklyn are demanding "grass fed" and "free range" fare.
And the flaws in beef only seem to highlight the qualities of venison. With the latest (and strongest) trend in dining being all about eating organically and locally, there should be no meat trendier than deer right now. Not to mention that the whitetail deer population, approximately 15 million in the U.S., has never been larger than it is today.
As hunters, we like to brag about the qualities of wild venison: "Most people can't even tell the difference between a beef steak and a venison steak;" "It's way healthier than beef is;" "I haven't bought beef from a grocery store in years;" and on we go.
But is eating wild venison truly better than eating beef? Or is that just something we say when we feel the need to justify killing deer? I conducted an objective (and partially subjective) investigation to find out.
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