Whitetail Deer Hunting photo
Outdoor Life Online Editor

My eyes are glazed, my head is spinning and I’ve got virtual deer coming out my ears. I just logged off the Internet after spending a week surfing for the most informative Web sites for us whitetail nuts. Here are the best sites I found.

All-Around Web sites
Check out www.espnoutdoors.com for breaking news, such as a new record deer shot. The site also has links to all the wildlife agencies. Hop over to your state’s site every once in a while for new season dates and regulation changes. Another must-visit site is www. outdoorpressroom.com. J.R. Absher, maybe the ultimate Net guru, plows the Web daily looking for breaking news, such as animal attacks or what some fool on eBay paid for a fishing lure. At the risk of sounding self-serving, www.outdoorlife.com has just been redesigned. The site now includes daily news updates and the “Best Times to Hunt and Fish,” as well as how-to advice and adventure articles. (Other notable sites: www.bowhunting.net and www.hunting.net.)

Protect Your Rights
You’d be amazed at some of the stuff our representatives try to ram through state legislatures. For example, www.ussportsmen.org reported that last December an assemblywoman from New Jersey introduced a bill that would prohibit the use of .50-caliber muzzleloaders and list them as “destructive devices like Molotov cocktails.” (Other notable sites: www. sportsmenslink.org, www.nra.org, www.nssf.org and www.trcp.org.)

Hunt-Planning Sites
During the season, go to www.weather. com daily and click the small, blue “hourly forecast” button. Up will pop on-the-hour temperature readings, wind direction and chance of precipitation. (Another notable site: www. wunderground.com.)

Online Mapping
You used to have to be a computer geek to build a map on the Net. No more. The folks at www.mytopo.com have simplified things so that any hunter can custom-make a topographical or aerial map of his area. I went to the site and in less than five minutes designed an aerial of my Virginia tract. Personalized and laminated, it cost only $20. (Other notable sites: www. maptech.com and www.delorme.com.)

Online Shopping
There are great deals on the Net, but be careful to buy only from reputable online malls. I’ve purchased from www. cabelas.com and www.basspro.com and can recommend them. (Other notable sites: www.orvis.com, www. eders.com and www.llbean.com.)