March, 1971: Montreal, Canada, receives a massive amount of snow during the "Century's Snowstorm," Led Zeppelin plays a catchy new song called "Stairway to Heaven" for the first time, Joe Frazier defeats Muhammad Ali, and this issue of Outdoor Life hits newsstands.
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The issue kicked off with an announcement that a world-record coho salmon had been caught off the shores of Lake Michigan. 33 pounds, 3 ounces, which beat the previous world-record by nearly 2 pounds.
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An ad for a new hook, called “The Grabber.” Just looking at it, and imagining getting pricked during a hook-removal, makes me cringe.
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A look at some new Winchester rifles that were hitting the store shelves 40 years ago…
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…and a look at some of the music that was topping the charts. Jefferson Airplane, James Taylor, Johny Cash, Neil Diamond.
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An old Sears ad, showing an average 1971 family camp setup. Bigger was better in the early 1970s.
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There were several ads for slingshots in the March 1971 issue.
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And many ads for stylish sunglasses like these.
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A quick look at the classifieds shows that Africa hunting was as popular as ever, with hunts advertised in Mozambique, Angola, Botswana, Kenya and elsewhere.
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This old Garcia ad shows what a “cutting edge” fishing reel looked like in the spring of ’71.
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The writers of Outdoor Life don’t travel to Ireland very often, but Nord Riley did for this feature about Irish woodcock hunting. As for the illustration, “Peter O’Carroll danced at five paces with Maisie O’Grady to the music of Father McGurkin’s banjo.” Now you know.
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In terms of gear, the popular products were “trailers that float,” and Outdoor Life ran a whole feature about the new “trailerable houseboat” craze. Click ahead to see some shots.
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As the article explains, most trailerable houseboats are in the 22- to 26-foot range.
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You don’t see them on lakes like you used to–especially with the rise in powerboat horsepower and capabilities. But you can still find plenty of trailerable houseboats.
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Jack O’Connor’s article, “Safari in the Seventies,” explains that the “modern safari” is changing to accomodate the demand. As O’Connor stated, “In 1953 an African safari meant a hunt in…Kenya and Tanganyika. Now many new hunting areas have been opened up–Mozambique, Botswana, and Zambia, for example.”
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For those of you who have been lucky enough to hunt in Africa, does this look like your camp?
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Of course, there was still room for turkey in this issue. Here two hunters hold up an 18-pounder.
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The “This Happened to Me” story was titled, “Fire and Ice,” by R.W. Raymer. Click ahead to read the story.
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“My Eskimo partner Eliyah Nowdlak and I were hunting seals near Frobisher Bay in Canada’s Northwest Territories when we spotted a snow squall sweeping toward us.”
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“We abandoned the stalk and raced back to an old igloo in our snow machines.”
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“I unpacked gear while Eliyah patches up the snowhouse. We lit candles and a…”
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“…stove, sealed the entrance, and had tea. When I spread my bag we found…”
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“…that gas had saturated it. Before we could act, the fumes ignited in…”
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“…a blinding explosion. Frantically we burst a hole in the igloo and dived out.”
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“The igloo melted fast as we salvaged as much gear as possible with a gaff.”
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“Scorched and shivering, we loaded the sleds and headed the many miles home.”
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What do you think about the issue? Do you own any of the gear? Do you remember hunting Africa in the early 70s? Have you made coffee inside your trailerable houseboat? Leave comments and let us know!

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