30 Nov 2015


THE VARMINT BATTERY Hunting varmints with one gun would be like playing golf at St. Andrews with one club. A varmint hunter deals with many different parameters and demands; one gun just cannot do it all. There are literally dozens of varmint cartridges from .17 to .25 caliber, both factory and wildcats, so what are […]

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25 Nov 2015


WHICH WINCH? SAFETY IS THE KEY AND THAT MEANS SLOW, METHODICAL WINCHING Four wheel drive, we often assume, can get us anywhere. Truth is, 4WD is not infallible. Things happen on the trail that can quickly bring our hunting trip to a screeching halt. Self-recovery gear should be considered mandatory when your hunt takes you […]

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21 Nov 2015


It was a Mississippi meat hunt and every doe was fair game. As the lead doe extended her neck to vacuum scent off a tall weed, I came to full draw and settled the 20-yard pin right on the center of her chest. Even as I saw the arrow flicker through space I knew I’d be eating a vegetarian’s supper.

Something was missing. It was the deer! She was simply gone. I had never seen anything like it. She dropped completely out of the sight picture in the time it took the arrow to travel 22 yards at 270 feet per second! I’d blown it! The doe gave every indication of being a string jumper, yet in the excitement of the shot I failed to read the signs that would have put her on the meat pole. The ability to handle the moment of truth is an underrated skill in bowhunting with spotting scope for hunting.

An entire year of preparation is compressed into a flash of arrow flight. That split second is the culmination of months on the range, weeks of scouting, poring over maps and days of sitting in trees. Yet the skills required to make it all pay off are ones we rarely even consider, and almost never practice. The moment of truth requires four key skills.

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21 Nov 2015


PREDATORY DISTINCTIONS HUMANS ARE A PREDATORY SPECIES. BUT WHAT SETS US APART FROM TIGERS. WOLVES AND GREAT WHITE SHARKS Do you suffer from carnivorousness? Well, so do I…only I don’t suffer from it; I revel in it! The word simply means that we re meat-eaters. It’s been a habit since the dawn of humankind–and it’s […]

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21 Nov 2015


Back in my grandfather’s time the standard shotgun barrel was at least 30 inches long. The prevailing theory was that a longer barrel would “shoot harder.” Today, we know that a shot charge reaches full velocity long before it gets to the end of a now-common 26-inch barrel. Barrel length has nothing to do with power.

What in the world does this have to do with optics? Well, I see a parallel in the emergence of the bulkier, heavier and generally more expensive 30mm riflescopes. More and more American hunters are embracing the 30mm tube, but I fear their rationale is not always sound. The larger scope tube does have some advantages, but it will not necessarily enable you to shoot tighter groups nor hit game farther away.

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21 Nov 2015


Remember how profoundly his honesty and eloquent words struck me. The piece lacked the bravado and stuffiness so common in the work of many of his contemporaries. Instead, Gene Hill chose to focus on why so many of us shared a passion for the outdoors, leaving the how-to articles to “others who are better at it,” as he would write.

While he enjoyed resting streams with a fly and would, from time to time, head to the mountains to hunt elk, Gene Hill was first and foremost a dog lover. When he passed away in May of 1997, those of us who sought out his in sightful writing– mostly to find the words to help us express our own affection for dogs, birds and guns–lost a friend we never met.

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