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Outdoor Life
Alex Robinson Editor-in-Chief Sean Johnston Group Creative Director Senior Editor Natalie Krebs Deputy Editor Gerry Bethge Associate Editor Joe Genzel Shooting Editor John B. Snow Hunting Editor Andrew McKean Fishing Editor Joe Cermele Design Directo
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Reviving A.270 Winchester
WHEN A GOOD FRIEND of mine drew a once-in-a-generation Oregon elk tag, he wanted to hunt with the rifle his father gave him when he was in his early teens. The only problem, which is quite common with rifles that were built 20-something years back, i
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I am an old man, and I’ve been reading Outdoor Life for 60 years. There have been many good issues, which, of course, I have forgotten. The Wilderness Issue [Winter 2020], however, is the best one I can remember reading. I read it cover to cover and
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American Silver
I had to be tall enough to wear hip boots. That was the rule, and from the time I was 4 until my 8-year-old legs met the criteria, that rule really pissed me off. I’d sit on the basement steps while my dad gathered his tackle. He’d unclip his heavy r
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The Buck Stops Here
EAU CLAIRE COUNTY, WI WRITE US! “This Happened to Me” has been a fixture of OL since 1940. We’ve compiled our readers’ most hair-raising misadventures in a single volume. You can pore over the 183 pages of this action-packed book knowing you’re in go
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Paddle Your Way To Paradise
Rivers were the original highways and backroads that allowed hunters and trappers to crisscross this country. But somewhere between horse-drawn buggies and four-wheel drive with GPS navigation, we forgot about traveling waterways to find uncharted hu
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Hidden Gems
fishing@outdoorlife.com It had a lot to do with the water being milky. I was certain of that. I wouldn’t have called it dirty, but I’m also certain there was just enough stain from recent rains to make this fish feel comfortable in the open instead o
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The Big Float
The fact that I was even on this trip at all was pure luck. I stumbled into the invite—a float-hunt for caribou through a remote corner of Alaska’s Brooks Range—because another hunter had dropped out. Hard hiking, rafting down fast-flowing rivers, an
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Oar Power To You
EVERY YEAR, IT seems like some company introduces a new oar-powered boat or raft. And these days, vessels capable of carrying two or more people down a river come in all shapes, sizes, and materials, many of which are affordable, giving lifelong wadi
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Run It Right
I once heard a bit of advice from an old Sourdough on how to prepare for a backcountry float-hunt here in Alaska. It went something like this: First, put on all your clothes, boots, and rain gear, and dump a little sand down your pants. Second, fill
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Get The Drop(back)
BASED ON MY first few attempts, I assumed that suffering was essential to catching steelhead on Great Lakes tributaries. Those early trips, made between December and March, left me with numb extremities, ice-clogged guides, and few, if any, fish. Tha
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Strike A River-bottom Gobbler
When he gobbled, the morning was as black as the inside of a crow. He was across the river from the boat ramp where my hunting partner Jill and I had just launched. We were hunting new ground, public land surrounding a picturesque river in Missouri t
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Underdog Fighting
BOWFINS ARE CONTROVERSIAL. The very mention of these “trash fish” on social media can incite warfare in the comments. They have been here since the Jurassic Period, but I first found them 20 years ago along the tailwaters of Lake Columbia in Arkansas
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Slip Into A Big Buck’s Bedroom
Seven years ago, Aaron Warbritton borrowed his landlord’s fiberglass canoe to access a piece of hunting ground in Iowa. Along with a hunting buddy, he paddled a mile upstream to a prime riverbottom, and then paddled a mile back with a dead whitetail
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Little River, Big ’eyes
TURK GIERKE IS a 20-year fishing guide who lives in the heart of walleye country—Minnesota. But his favorite place to fish isn’t one of the state’s iconic 10,000 lakes. It’s the upper St. Croix River, which is only a few feet deep and less than 100 y
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Willow Creek
Willow Creek is nowhere. It’s one of countless unremarkable prairie streams too small and intermittent to float a boat but too deep and changeable to cross easily. Even during dry seasons, getting across it requires finding a place where the sheer ba
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Genuine Artifacts
RIVERS NEVER STOP. For the poor guy who drops a rod into one, this is bad news because if the flows are up, nothing falls straight down. Currents can carry lost items for miles, and subsequently, it takes only one flood or a week of high water to mov
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Ice and snow crunch under our tires as we pull up to one of the most popular stretches of river in Wyoming. On any given spring day, this spot on the North Platte is shoulder-to-shoulder combat fishing in front of a small dam that releases water year
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Heads Up
hunting@outdoorlife.com Deer antlers confound us nearly as much as they fascinate and obsess us. As a population of hunters, we’re pretty good at quantifying them—the best of us guessing with surprising accuracy the inches of bone on a running buck a
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The Rat Pack
i can’t help but be transported back in time the instant Ryan Lambert hands me a.22 rifle and points his 28-foot mothership hunting barge into the bayous off the Mississippi River. Lambert and I have been close buddies for years, chasing redfish, duc
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Puppy Pressure
TOM LOY OF TALLGRASS GORDON SETTERS sits by the whelping box, where a litter of 3-day-old setter puppies navigate their tiny universe from behind closed eyes. One by one, Loy lifts the puppies from the box and runs them through a series of brief exer
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When Gobblers Go Ghost
Every turkey hunt is a head trip as much as it’s a pursuit of beard and spur. Your elation lights up the dawn when a wild tom on a distant limb gobbles in reaction to your bogus owl hoot or coyote howl. As long as he keeps responding, your confidence
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The Best Bear Unit In The World
YOU COULD START A FIGHT in most taverns by naming the nation’s single-best deer unit. But throw out the same hyperbole about black bear destinations, and you probably won’t get much of an argument. In part, that’s because bear hunters are a reticent
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Hell or High Water
THE NEW RIVER IS MANY THINGS—gorgeous, deserted, dangerous—but new isn’t one of them. It was named unwittingly, so the story goes, after traders labeled each landmark “new lake,” “new stream,” and so on. The description stuck. Yet at 360 million year
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Gobbler Gear
SOME TURKEYS ARE JUST TOUGHER to kill, and for those stubborn (read: Eastern) toms, the right gear does make a difference. It can be frustrating and downright draining to pursue an old longbeard that knows the game too well. So, here’s the good stuff
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BURAS, LOUISIANA / 10:07 a.m.
letters@outdoorlife.com “I guess it might be a bit of excessive force,” says nutria guide Walter Heathcock as we launch the boat. “But it pays to be ready for whatever the marsh might have in store.” We had brought a variety of guns on our hunt for t
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The 200 Club
I RECENTLY HAD a conversation with a hunter who was telling me about the rifle he bought a couple of years ago. He said he’s put seven shots through it—four at the range to zero it, and another three on the three animals he’s killed with it. I think
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The 2020 Tackle Test
gear@outdoorlife.com Honesty is the best policy. When I ask someone what they think about a rod or reel, I want the good and the bad. A true answer comes with time. In a perfect world, you’d fish a piece of gear for an entire season before judging it
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In Deep
The only thing protecting my secret turkey-hunting spot is a few hundred yards of marsh and one ferocious little creek. On one side of the creek is a parking area and the edge of a subdivision—I’ve learned to keep my headlamp off for the first 200 ya
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