Hunting and Fishing News & Blog Articles

Stay up-to-date on hunting, fishing and camping products, trends and news.

Rick Uses Grim Reaper Broadheads

By: Rick Philippi

Jay Liechty is the inventor and founder of Grim Reaper Broadheads. He started his company over 20 years ago. This was back during the time that numerous expandable broadheads started hitting the bowhunting market place.

After evaluating these Broadheads Jay evaluated them and saw ways that he could significantly improve them. And this started the inception of GRIM REAPER BROADHEADS.

Grim Reaper BROADHEADS – Watch ’em Drop

At one of the past Texas Trophy Hunter’s shows in Ft. Worth, Texas I had the opportunity to visit with the Matt Bateman, the sales manager for Grim Reaper Broadheads. It did not take me long to figure out that this guy really believes in the product as well as what the broadhead company is doing.

Matt is a die hard bowhunter who has been with the company for 17 years and oversees national and international sales. Matt noted that many of the companies employees are bowhunters and they are constantly looking for ways to enhance product performance.

Also he noted that Grim Reaper Broadheads only produces broadheads, unlike many other manufacturers who make broadheads and numerous other products. He feels this gives them a distinct advantage in putting the best possible product in the bowhunter’s hands. At Grim Reaper their only emphasis is on broadhead development.

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How To Hunt Bears With Your Bow

Let’s Go Bear Hunting

 Want a change of pace this year? Try bear hunting with your bow and arrow. Black bears are absolutely awesome to hunt and observe at close bowhunting ranges. Here’s what to do to get yourself dialed in with bear hunting … archery style.

Bears, are often hunted during spring and early Fall. They provide delicious meat and hunting them helps control the bear populations. As with other big game animals, bears are managed to sustain a healthy balance between predators, prey and the habitat.

Where Do Bears Live?

Four of the bear species live in North America. Brown Bears and Grizzly bears are mainly in Alaska, Canada. Polar bears live in far northern Canada and Alaska.

The most common bear species are Black Bears and they are found from central Mexico up to the Arctic Circle, as well as from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific coasts. Black Bears are the most numerous of the bears and can be found all across Canada, the northern U.S. and the mountains of the Western Rockies. The Eastern plains land and Midwestern heartland are the only regions of the U.S.A. without black bears .

Black bears are North America’s most abundant bear and it is the bear most commonly hunted by bowhunters from the U.S.

Black Bear Diet

Black Bears are omnivores, and eat nuts, plants, insects and also other mammals  including other bears. Black bears have and impact on other game species.

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Bowhunting The Illinois “Wide One”“

Hancock County, Illinois; Kevin Hall bow hunts the buck nicknamed “The Wide One”. During the 5th year bowhunt 7 Kevin makes a 7 yard shot to bring down this huge buck with his Elite Bow. He self videoed with his Canon camcorder. Enjoy this self-filmed bowhunt of the harvest of this 167″ 5-year old Illinois buck.

   Kevin W. Hall


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Velvet Bucks- Whitetails Most Unique Trophy

Stag whitetail deer are formed when a young buck’s testicles fail to form properly.  Although these bucks grow antlers, the velvet does not shed from the bone and they carry velvet-covered antlers throughout the season.  Non-typical bucks are slightly more common due to a bodily injury or genetic defect.  Taking a deer with either characteristic is difficult, yet my buck shown above had both.  Although this deer didn’t score well, it absolutely had to be mounted.  More and more hunters are taking the “velvet challenge” and trying to take a buck before the antlers shed their fuzzy cover.

Plan Now for Velvet

Stan Potts took this giant velvet whitetail in Kentucky that may be the best bet for a fuzzy antler.  Kentucky has an abundance of great whitetail habitat and a high population of deer in rural areas.  Most importantly, KY only allows one antlered deer per hunter per season.  When you can only harvest one buck, hunters will pass up even Pope & Young class bucks for the prospects of a really big one.  Whitetail bucks generally begin shedding their velvet in Mid September, so the earlier you can hunt, the better.

Marvelous Maryland-

Jeff Harrison took this great deer on Maryland’s opening day, formerly September 15.  Recently, Maryland has moved the date earlier to September 8th, a time when most bucks will still be in velvet.  Unlike Kentucky, the Free State allows three bucks per year, and nearly unlimited does in much of the state.  A non-resident hunting license is good for multiple deer, two turkeys, and small game.  Western Maryland has an abundance of public land with moderate access and hundreds of campsites.

Begin Your Research Now

In August and early September, most food sources are static and deer will bed and feed in a regular pattern.  You need to locate deer without spooking them from their regular routine which means using binoculars and glassing food plots from afar or carefully cruising likely feeding habitat at mid-day when deer will be bedded.

Consider Baiting or Minerals where legal

Both Maryland and Kentucky allow baiting and all of the above are favorite deer feeds.  Some deer love apples, other will ignore them.  Pumpkins are excellent deer food but most mature too late for velvet antlers.  A food block or mineral block can be put out now so that deer become used to it and there is no need to repeatedly visit the site to replenish.  I’ve been using Big Tine mineral blocks with excellent success and one block usually lasts about 6 months.

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Bowhunting Pennsylvania

2023-24 Seasons and Bag Limits

The license year begins July 1, 2023 and ends June 30, 2024.

SUNDAY HUNTING: It is unlawful to hunt on Sundays except foxes, crows and coyotes. Other exceptions are included with species seasons below.

WMU: Wildlife Management Unit

23-24 Hunting & Trapping Digest (PDF)


Mobile App: The official Pennsylvania Game Commission mobile app provides official information for Pennsylvania hunters and trappers.

Buy Your License
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Ontario Bearhunters: 4 Things You Need To Know

Canadian Customs – Their job is to protect the countries borders. You can assist them by having the passports for everyone in the vehicle ready to give to the Customs Agent when asked. It will be helpful for them to open each passport to the page with the picture on the hunter. Be polite and don’t try to engage them in frivolous conversation.

If they want to inspect your vehicle, boat, trailer, whatever — they have that right. And don’t expect them to put your stuff back.

Complaining will not get you through customs faster. Once I witnessed a fella wig out about something a customs agent was asking him, and he went into a loud tyraid. Right after they hand cuffed him, he learned that they have barred cells in the Custom’s facility and they will use them.

Passport Necessary? One word. Yes.

Blaze Orange – It is required to hunt bear in Ontario. You need a vest and cap. And the regulations state that you have to have them on, with the one exception of when you’re in a treestand. Pick up the hunting regulations at the place where you get your bear license so you are on top of this because you will get a hefty fine if you mess up.

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Bow Fishing The Vicious Snakehead

Sydnie Wells brings along her father, “The Slockmaster” Tim Wells, to hunt the vicious snakehead fish in the Chesapeake Bay. The father-daughter duo teams up with Captain Nick Mather from Working-class Outdoorsmen, to blow gun and bow fish this invasive species in an effort to decrease its population and damage to the aquatic Maryland ecosystem

Watch the action as Sidney Wells blowfishes the vicious Snakehead while her dad Tim Wells blowfishes them.

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Plan Now for a 2023 Black Bear

Canadian black bear hunts are expensive, require extensive travel, and booking an outfitter.  Booming bruin populations eliminate those hassles right here in the USA and don’t require a passport.

If your state does not offer black bear hunting, a neighboring one probably does.  I live in the Mid-Atlantic states and Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia, all offer black bear hunting with abundant public land and most with over-the-counter licenses.

The bear shown above is near one of my stands on the Mason-Dixon Line which gives me a two-state option.

Pennsylvania- Land of Giants

The Keystone State is hard to beat for bear hunting potential.  Although regulations vary by region and wildlife unit, bears can be taken in three separate seasons beginning with an archery season that lasts nearly two months (crossbows are legal), a muzzleloading season, and a firearm season.
Annually, hunters take huge black bears of 500 and even 600+ pounds, far larger than a Canadian hunter can expect.  A non-resident hunting license costs $101.97, an archery license $26.97, and the bear tag is a modest $36.97.

Safari-Style Hunts

By now, most states have published their fall hunting regulations so you can begin planning a fall bear hunt.
Since black bears, wild turkeys, and whitetail deer love acorns and soft mast, it’s quite possible to find all three species in one spot and it’s likely they will be in the same vicinity.

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6 Reasons You Need a Shooting Rest

Accuracy is the most important element of hunting.  Professional Hunters in Africa have long used “sticks” to assure their clients make accurate, lethal shots on even the largest of animals.  Shooting a Cape buffalo or elephant at 50 yards is common, yet even at these close distances placing a round in exactly the right spot can be the difference between life and death.  Today, traditional bipods have taken a giant step forward toward improved accuracy and if you aren’t taking advantage of these advancements, you may be missing the boat (or buck).


Hands-Free Hunting

Hunters often wish they had three hands so they can hold their bow at the ready while working a box call for wild turkeys or banging antlers to rattle in a rutting buck.  In calling situations, it’s common for a whitetail buck, bull elk, or coyote to suddenly appear after a silent approach.  OMG! The hunter gets caught with his bow on the ground and a rattling horn in each hand.  You may only have seconds to shoot and the calling allows the animal to pinpoint your location.  A gripping tripod greatly reduces movement in these situations.

Spot-On Accuracy

Tripod rests create such accuracy that you will need a multi-spot target for accuracy testing.  If you try a 3-shot group from 20 yards with a modern crossbow and a gripping rest, you will frequently destroy arrows.  I was testing my Grim Reaper broadheads on a new Morrell target yesterday and literally shot two arrows in the same hole while using a Ravin R26X crossbow and Final Rest.

Instant Shooting Table

This is my backyard shooting range.  I used to have to set up a shooting table when testing crossbows, but now I use a gripping tripod rest which gives much greater mobility and flexibility when shooting.  It only takes seconds to deploy the tripod and folding chair, yet the stability of the gripping rest greatly reduces “wiggle” in the sight picture.  I can shoot uphill or down with a minimum of effort and be sure my arrows fly true.

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Scott Rea: Making Great Venison Burgers

Scott Rea is a master at cooking Venison. Here is how he, from start to finish, prepares 3 of his very best Venison Burgers.

Author, Butcher, Cook. The Scott Rea Project started as just that, a project, a personal passion for butchery and food that Scott wanted to share before the skills and traditions he learnt over a lifetime died away. But it has evolved and become a movement, a mobilisation of like minded people who feed off Scott Rea videos – they imitate, replicate, modify and experiment!

We are dragging game, offal and traditional artisan butchery and recipes into the 21st century for a new generation to discover and enjoy. No longer are these products and methods frowned upon, this new audience is getting back to the basics of field to fork, nose to tail eating

Scott Rea


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What The ’Ones that Got Away’ Teach Us!

By: Cindy Lavender

As hunters, we never stop learning about deer and hunting them! Over the years, you should have collected enough experiences about the deer in your area, and the mistakes that you’ve made; to use that information to plan your next ambush this upcoming deer season. In 2008, I had the opportunity to hunt in the famous Pike County, Illinois. Pike County is known as the “trophy buck capital of the world”. Don’t get me wrong, there are big, beautiful deer in other parts of the U.S.A. but Pike County is recognized for its seeming consistency with an abundance of large antlered deer.

I had a once of a lifetime deer hunt on an island on the Mississippi River. The idea of that hunt was to situate myself in a fixed tree stand, inside of a patch of cottonwood trees, the morning prior to the opening day of gun season in Missouri.

Missouri; which happened to be located a hop, skip and a jump across the river from my tree stand location on my private little island. Once shooting commenced from the other state at day break the deer would begin fleeing the area and swim across the river onto my island, hopefully crossing below my path, and then he would succumb to my bow and arrow.

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All About Utah’s Extended Archery Season

Bowhunting the Deer and Elk Extended Archery Season

If you didn’t get your deer or elk earlier in the season, here’s another chance.

If you haven’t taken a Deer or Elk by the time the Archery General-Season or Limited-Entry Hunt ends, you can continue Archery Hunting in Utah’s Extended Archery areas.

Before hunting in any of Utah’s extended archery areas, though, you must complete the Division’s Archery Ethics Courseeach year. You must carry your Archery Ethics Course certificate of completion with you while you’re hunting.

This hunter ethics course is in addition to Utah’s hunter education requirement. We also recommend that archery hunters complete bowhunter education.

Hunting in an extended archery area

After you successfully complete the course, you should print your certificate of completion. You must carry your Archery Ethics Course certificate of completion with you while you’re hunting.

In the Nine Mile/Green River Valley, Pine Valley/New Harmony, Sanpete Valley, South Wasatch and Southwest Desert/Cedar Valley extended archery areas, you may use archery equipment to take a deer of either sex (hunter’s choice) from Sept. 17 to Oct. 15, 2022.

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Olympic Archery In Schools

OAS Curriculum

Our curriculum reinforces the OAS Five Core Values. It encourages positive traits in young people through the sport of archery in a team environment. The OAS curriculum introduces the Search Institute’s Development Assets® framework of strengths and supports, which has become the most widely recognized and most frequently cited approach to positive youth development. The OAS Curriculum is a step-by-step guide for instructors on how to hold practices with a focus on youth development. Instructors have a structured one-page document dedicated to 16 practices that can be repeated during the OAS season. See here a sample page of the: OAS Curriculum Guide

Our curriculum teaches the USA Archery (USAA) National Training System (NTS). By teaching NTS from the beginning, you will be giving your archers the right foundation in proper biomechanics, shooting technique, and practice habits. This will help foster a safe learning environment as your students practice good form and safety before working with a bow.

Once approved into the program, participating schools receive access to equipment discounts through an archery retailer and instructor training so that their instructors learn how to safely run an archery program and how to teach the fundamentals of Olympic-style archery.

Thank you for your interest in the OAS program. We hope to see you and your archers on the range soon!


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Bowhunting In Utah

Bowhunting in Utah: An Bowhunter’s Paradise

Utah is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, and bowhunting is no exception. With its diverse landscapes and abundant wildlife, the state offers a unique and thrilling experience for both residents and non-residents when it comes to bowhunting and archery hunting.

Resident Bowhunting and Archery Hunting in Utah:

For residents of Utah, bowhunting and archery hunting are popular activities that allow them to connect with nature and take part in the conservation of the state’s wildlife. Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) manages and regulates hunting seasons and licenses to ensure the sustainability of the state’s big game populations.

Residents who want to bowhunt in Utah need to obtain a valid hunting license and a separate bow permit. These permits can be purchased from licensed vendors or online through the DWR website. Utah’s hunting seasons vary depending on the species, but typically fall into the autumn months when big game animals are more active.

Non-Resident Bowhunting and Archery Hunting in Utah:

Utah’s captivating landscapes and legendary hunting opportunities also attract non-resident hunters from around the world. To participate in bowhunting and archery hunting as a non-resident, individuals must apply for limited-entry permits or participate in the general season hunts. It’s important to keep in mind that non-resident permits are limited and subject to a drawing system, so early application is crucial.

Non-residents planning to bowhunt in Utah must possess a valid hunting license from their home state or country. Additionally, they must obtain a non-resident hunting permit, which allows them to hunt specific areas and species in the state. The DWR provides detailed information on the application process and available permits on their website.

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Practice to be Perfect

The big 8-point stood behind a wall of brush while I sat motionless among small saplings 20 yards away.  I was a stander on a deer drive and the big buck had every sense on high alert.  For long seconds I watched the buck through my scope until it attempted to double back and escape the drive.  Luckily, for me, it stepped through a tiny opening, and the instant its shoulder appeared I released, downing the nearly 200-pound animal within 100 yards.  This was like a grouse shot with a shotgun and my intense practice regimen paid big dividends.

Realistic Practice Makes Perfect

The quality of your target is almost as important as your bow and arrows.  I took an inexpensive target on an elk hunt about 10 years ago and quickly learned that my powerful bow shot completely through the target.  I began with eight arrows and ended with three when I finally zeroed the scope.  My favorite target is Morrell’s Back-to-Back target shown above.  It not only holds any arrow I can shoot but reinforces the exact area for shot placement.  Most bowhunters are familiar with the behind-the-shoulder shot placement on a deer, but not the tiny kill zone of a wild turkey.  A 3-D target is the best for reinforcing shot placement, but the Back-to-Back is much more portable, affordable, and has two animal visuals on the same target.

Aim Small, Miss Small

A “Robin Hood” is great for the ego, especially in front of friends, yet at $20 a pop for arrows, it quickly becomes expensive.  During your practice sessions, you want to strive for accuracy, yet not destroy or damage arrows.  Even a touch of one carbon shaft to another can cause one or both arrows to be dangerous to shoot.  An easy answer to this dilemma is to use a target with multiple aiming points.  You can judge the accuracy of your shots by comparing grouping within the dots and not risk damage to arrows.   I’ve used the same Morrell field tip target for 15 years and finally upgraded this year.

Practice and Test

Many archers labor over the weight of a broadhead.  Should you shoot 100-grain, 125-grain, or 150-grain broadheads?  Here’s a test of arrow impact of arrows with three weights of target points from a 400 fps crossbow.  As you can see, at the close-to-moderate range, weight affects arrow drop very little.  If for example, you chose to practice with 150-grain target points you’d need to zero at 20 yards and then shoot your reticle placements as you would with 100-grain heads.

Portability is Important

I hunt in Idaho as often as I can draw a tag.  The steep mountains and rugged country are very different than my Maryland hunting ground. Almost as important as coffee is my High Roller target that works for target points and broadheads.  When I first get to camp, I test my scope’s zero after flying across the country.  Also, at the end of each day, I choose to take a 20-yard off-hand shot to verify the zero.  I’ve done this in the headlights of a vehicle when returning at night and it gives me an extra trigger-pull practice as well as accuracy verification.  The High Roller comes in two sizes, with the smaller model ideal for portability.

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Shoot like a Sig with BDX

Deer hunters who embrace long-range rifles and shots from 500 to 1,000 yards love Sig Sauer Optics that pair the ballistics of a specific caliber and bullet weight with a sight that calculates the hold-over at long range.  You may be surprised to learn that the Sig Ballistic Digital Exchange (BDX) algorithm also works with arrows.  I topped a Ravin R26 X with the Sig Sauer Sierra 2-12X40mm scope featuring a SmartBDC reticle.  If this sounds like a premium high-power rifle scope, it is.  A big advantage of using this scope with your crossbow is the ability to easily switch it to a rifle with premium optic options for each.

Kilo 5K Rangefinder Too

The Sig Sauer rangefinding system begins with an app that pairs the scope to readings from the Kilo Rangefinder.  The Kilo operates like a standard rangefinder and sends a Bluetooth signal to the scope. During set-up, the Sig Sauer app calculates the path of an arrow based on the weight and speed of the shaft.  In this way, you can vary the weight of the arrows and they all become part of the sighting system.

Quality Adjustments

Most crossbow scopes are average at best but remember that this optic is designed to handle .300 Weatherby Magnums and even much harder recoiling cartridges.  Elevation and windage adjustments click with precision and crispness that you will not find in factory crossbow scopes.  The Sierra features an illuminated dot with 10 levels of brightness adjustment.

Tank-like Construction

I once zeroed a crossbow and leaned it against a post while I retrieved arrows.  Returning, I found that the bow had fallen into the grass and decided to take one more shot to double-check my settings.  The first arrow flew at least a foot high and I was astounded that such a light bump could cause the scope to be so far off target.  You will immediately see that the scope rings which come with the Sierra are built for adventure.  Everything about the mounting process is ultra strong and ultra snug.

Ultra-long Range- 100-Yard Group

In preparation for my spot-and-stalk African safari, I wanted to test ultra-long-range shooting and began practicing at 100 yards.  By ranging the Morrell Kinetic target with the Kilo rangefinder, the algorithm picked the dot for the shot.  This launch was made from a rest similar to a hunting situation. I quickly learned that by practicing well beyond my expected shooting range, the additional distance challenged my physical shooting skills like breathing, trigger squeeze, and target focus.  The added distance in practice forces a shooter to be at his best on every shot.

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Meet The U.S. Axis Deer

Written by Fern Damron 

Axis deer are very striking animal. It has shiny, golden-brown or golden-red fur across its body and legs as well as a broad white patch that runs down its throat. It is similar in size to an adult whitetail deer. The unique Axis Deer has small, permanent white spots on its body.

Like the whitetail deer, the axis deer males and females are visually distinct. Males of the species develop large, sweeping antlers up to 30 inches in length and are usually have larger bodies than females. Every year on their birthday the males shed their antlers on their day of birth, rather than with the seasons. Because they do not have a specific mating season, antler shedding can occur at any point during the year. Additionally, axis deer are almost universally six-pointed. Females have no antlers and have a smaller white patch down their neck.

Though they originated in a relatively small area of the world, the axis deer has managed to spread far and wide to inhabit the woodlands and grasslands that are similar to its native range. In some areas of the world, they are even considered invasive.

In this article, we’ll take a look at where the axis deer originated and how it has come to inhabit such a wide range. We’ll talk about where they roam throughout the United States, how their presence is affecting native species and habitats, and how people are dealing with these foreign animals.

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For 24 years, the Outdoorsmans has been manufacturing lightweight tripods and adapters for hardcore hunters who need to be able to quickly and easily attach binoculars or a spotting scope to a tripod. Their unique binocular adapter is standard equipment for hunters across the western United States and beyond.

With one click, a pair of binoculars can be quickly attached to the Outdoorsmans adapter which can be used on a variety of brands of tripods including the American Made Outdoorsmans tripod.

The Outdoorsmans binocular adapter is available in two sizes.

The Tall works best with 56mm objective lenses to allow a full range of adjustment.

The Short version works best with 50mm and smaller objective lenses and can be left attached to the stud for storage inside a bino harness in some cases.

For many hunters, the reason they don’t use a tripod when glassing is because they don’t want to take a lot of time setting up a tripod and putting binoculars on a tripod can take a bit of time. When a Outdoorsmans binocular adapter is used on a tripod, it takes seconds to attach a pair of binoculars to a tripod, not minutes.

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Starting Archery

Want to try out shooting archery? Visit an Archery Shop. Archery Shops are hubs for archery knowledge, equipment repairs, and everything you need to get started. Most shops offer lessons and their staff knows how to get you shooting arrows quickly. The Archery Store’s experts are your go-to resources for all things archery.

To find a nearby Archery Shop make a quick internet search on your smartphone or laptop. Also, you can use our Archery Store locator by clicking HERE. Once you find aN Archery Store, ask about lessons and archery programs. Many shops rent bows you can use for lessons. That’s a great way to try the sport and get instructions without jumping in and buying gear.

Find an archery shop that offers lessons. Go with a group of friends or take a private lesson. Photo Credit: X10 Archery

A 30-minute one-on-one lesson is a great introduction. As you progress, you might want to extend your lessons to one hour. Group lessons are a fun option for trying archery. Shops offer beginner group lessons for adults and youths.

Another way to try archery is through a program. Consider Explore ArcheryJunior Olympic Archery DevelopmentScholastic 3D Archery, National Archery in the Schools Program, and Olympic Archery in the Schools.

When you attend your introductory lesson, you’ll find an instructor who’s excited to help. You’ll shoot your first arrows at close distances while learning archery’s basic techniques. As your skills increase, your accuracy will improve and you’ll shoot increasingly farther.

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How Quick Do Wild Turkeys React To Hunting Pressure?

How much do wild turkeys change when they get hunting pressure? How do they change?

The Hunting Public Podcast

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