Hunting and Fishing News & Blog Articles

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Q&A with Petersen’s HUNTING New Managing Editor – Colton Heward

Recently, Petersen’s HUNTING, the leading media outlet devoted exclusively to hunters, tapped Colton Heward as its new Managing Editor. Heward is a noted big-game guide and successful outdoor journalist who’s helping to lead HUNTING’s efforts to educate, entertain and inform hunters through its print, digital and social channels. 

After being on the job for a month, Heward responded to a few questions about his new role. 

Q: Colton – congrats on your new role! We realize you are new to this role, but can you share with us your day-to-day activities? Many of our readers might not know what a Managing Editor really does.

A: I am still learning my role as the Managing Editor with each passing day. With that said, my day-to-day routine fluctuates but primarily consists of working closely with David Draper (Editor-in-Chief) and Chris Gorrell (Art Director) on copy and layout for the current issue we are working on, assigning, reading and editing our contributors’ work, and planning future issues. Fortunately, I do still get to do a fair amount of writing as well. 

Q: What is your vision for the magazine and this role?


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Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Applaud Revised BLM Public Lands Rule

Emphasizing conservation and wider public access across 245 million acres

Today, the Department of the Interior released its much-anticipated Public Lands Rule, creating a conservation leasing mechanism for Bureau of Land Management (BLM) acres. The new rule prioritizes healthy landscapes, abundant wildlife habitat, clean water, and balanced decision-making at the forefront of public lands management decisions. Pheasants Forever (PF) and Quail Forever (QF) applaud agency leaders for creating a tool to carry out durable restoration and mitigation on America’s 245 million BLM acres, including landscape-level projects for upland birds and other wildlife.

“Our public lands provide wildlife habitat and clean water, the energy that lights our homes, the wood we build with, and the places where we make family memories,” said BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning. “This rule honors our obligation to current and future generations to help ensure our public lands and waters remain healthy amid growing pressures and change.” 

“While we haven’t yet had a chance to read the newly final Public Lands Rule in its entirety, we applaud BLM’s innovative approach to elevating conservation in its land management decisions, and we’re excited for the opportunities the rule may create to help PF & QF deliver our habitat mission on lands across the West,” stated Ariel Wiegard, PF & QF’s vice president of government affairs. “Our organization is also looking forward to partnering with other BLM land users, including in the livestock and energy sectors, to bring this rule to life and ensure the long term sustained yield of America’s natural resources.”

Building on decades of land management experience and emphasizing the use of science and data, including Indigenous Knowledge, to guide balanced decision-making, the rule applies the existing fundamentals of land health across BLM programs, establishes restoration and mitigation leases, and clarifies practices to designate and protect Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs). The rule will help to ensure the BLM continues to protect land health while managing other uses of the public lands, such as clean energy development and outdoor recreation. The final rule:


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54th Annual Cornhusker Trap Shoot set for May 2-4

More than 2,400 students in grades 6-12 are expected to compete in the 54th Annual Cornhusker Trap Shoot May 2-4 on the home grounds of the Nebraska Trapshooting Association in Doniphan, Nebraska.

Joining Nebraskans typically are shooters from Missouri, Colorado, Kansas and South Dakota. More than 900 junior high and more than 1,500 senior high students are expected to compete.

“It’s exciting to see the dedication and talent of these young people,” said Rachel Carlson, shoot director of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. “This event is a celebration of the competition season, and we are proud to consistently see it as one of the largest youth events in the state.”

Competition will take place in individual and team divisions. Junior high students (grades 6-8) will shoot 100 16-yard targets on May 2. High school competitors (grades 9-12) will shoot 75 16-yard targets on May 3, then 75 handicap targets on May 4. The high school shooter with the highest combined score will earn the Cornhusker Cup. Competition begins at 8 a.m. each day.

The Cornhusker Trap Shoot is open nationwide to all shooters in grades 6-12 who have completed a hunter education course.


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Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative Sponsors Recreation Exhibit at New National Conservation Legacy Center in Missoula, Montana

National Conservation Legacy Center to Feature Recreation Exhibit Promoting Safe, Responsible Motorized Recreation in Support of Access to Public Land

Yamaha Motor Corp., USA, today announces it will be the exclusive motorized recreation sponsor of the Recreation exhibit at the National Conservation Legacy Center (“Center”) of the National Museum of Forest Service History (Museum) through a grant from the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative (Yamaha OAI). The Recreation exhibit will focus on the many aspects of outdoor recreation along with its value to and reliance on land stewardship and conservation efforts to protect access to public lands.

“User education is fundamental to securing access to public land for outdoor and motorized recreation and this opportunity at the National Conservation Legacy Center is a compelling example of the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative mission,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha’s Motorsports marketing manager. “The National Conservation Legacy Center’s recreation exhibit is a creative, educational experience, and Yamaha’s support further demonstrates the OHV community’s commitment to a sustainable future of outdoor recreation for all types of users.”

With motorized recreation featured along with other recreation opportunities on public lands, the exhibit will be designed as an intuitive and interactive educational presentation led through personal storytelling to ignite visitors’ curiosity about outdoor recreation, illustrating the importance of responsible motorized recreation in land stewardship in a memorable and engaging way. Combining leading museum education science technology with the Museum’s extensive Collection of objects representing America’s unique commitment to public land, visitors will leave the Center informed and inspired with a renewed understanding of their personal connection to our country’s rich heritage in the outdoors.

Located in Missoula, MT, surrounded by some of the country’s most notable public lands, the Center is expected to open in Fall 2025. With the Yamaha OAI grant, Yamaha becomes a major sponsor of the Recreation exhibit for 10 years.


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Vendors: Reserve Your Spot on the Famous National Matches Commercial Row!

CAMP PERRY, Ohio – Calling all vendors! Reservations are now being accepted by the Ohio National Guard for space on the celebrated Camp Perry Commercial Row: an entire section dedicated to retailers during the annual National Matches.

Each year, the month-long National Matches, facilitated through a partnership between the Ohio National Guard and the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), welcomes thousands of rifle, pistol and air gun individuals from around the country to Camp Perry, located near Port Clinton, Ohio. All events are open to the public. Spectators are welcome to observe firing on the Camp Perry ranges at any time and are encouraged to participate in the many exciting activities offered during the National Matches season – including a shopping spree at Commercial Row.

Commercial Row is heralded as one of the premier activities during the National Matches season.

Commercial Row is a market-like experience, coordinated by the Ohio National Guard, where visitors may browse and purchase firearms, ammo, competition gear, parts, accessories, apparel and more from some of today’s industry leaders. Commercial Row is a crowd favorite and is often marked as a must-see destination for guests to the National Matches – a prime location for businesses to gain visibility, contacts, a wider consumer base and, of course, sales.

Space Rental: Rates for 2024 are $50 per space, per day. Spaces are 10’ x 19’ rooms, with four to a building. Priority is given based on length of vendor stay to maximize use. Outdoor spaces are also available for $25 per day, electricity hookups included.

Insurance for Vendors: The CMP has partnered with Lockton Affinity, LLC, a licensed insurance producer, to offer special liability policies for Commercial Row Vendors while at Camp Perry. Visit https://locktonaffinityoutdoor.com/cmp/ for more details.



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Big Ben, Monster Alberta Black Bear Hunt by Dale Boyer

I had just climbed down into the “shooters” stand and helped my partner into the “camera” stand, attached my Lumenok ended Black Eagle Arrow tipped with a Grim Reaper Broadhead to my bowstring, hung my setup on my Morph Pro bow hanger and sat for the wait. Well, I didn’t have to wait very long, two minutes to be exact. Then on the ATV trail steps out “BIG BEN”! I could clearly see why the guides named this bear BIG BEN… he was like a Volkswagen beetle walking down the trail, and I could see him from 90 yards plain as day and immediately knew it was my “target” bear everyone was talking about, all 600 Lbs. of him! I looked up at my partner and said with excitement and a quiver in my voice “that’s Ben”! Now Ben is the biggest black bear I’ve seen let alone get the chance to arrow him in my 32 years of black bear hunting! As a rule, I’m cool as a cucumber until after I make the shot, then I lose my composure, if you’ve ever seen me on BearMagnet TV before and after I arrow a bear, you’ll know what I mean! As Ben gets closer to the entrance of the bait site, I have to look away because the excitement is building within my body and I feel like I’m losing my composure, and doesn’t Ben walk into the bait site and walk directly to the base of our tree, looks up through the mesh steel base of my True North Tree stand to say “ I know you’re there” so to speak, then turns and casually saunters back towards the bait barrel with that BIG BEAR swagger, and if you’ve seen BIG bears you know what I mean by swagger.

Swagger On

As Ben swaggers to behind the bait barrel and sits down to catch his breath, or should I say, “last breath”, I draw my PSE Dream Season. As Ben decides to remain seated which seemed like an eternity, as I’m drawing 68 Lbs and still holding at full draw. He finally decides to make his move, takes two steps, and still on all fours stretches out under the beaver cross pole as if he was smelling that sweet beaver scent. I place my single pin PSE Slider bow sight on the mark and touch off my Cobra release, sending my Grim Reaper Fatal Steel broadhead directly through the boiler room and stuck 6” into the ground on the exit! Ben didn’t waste any time getting out of there although only went 30 yards, death moan, it was over! I had just arrowed my biggest bear ever, with BIG Ben weighing in at 603 Lbs and my first B&C black bear in 32 years scoring in at 21 4/16”. Special thanks goes out to Brian Kitzan, Master Guide and Host of Burnt Lake Outfitters Alberta, Canada for putting me on this gorgeous and once in a lifetime bear! If you’d like to watch me arrow this HUGE bruin, tune into BearMagnet TV YouTube channel, it’s quite entertaining.

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RV Podcasts

2 minutes reading time (374 words)


RV podcasts are a great resource for RV enthusiasts, providing valuable information, tips, and inspiration for all aspects of RV living, travel, and adventure. Here are some popular RV podcasts that you might enjoy:

The RV Entrepreneur Podcast: Hosted by Heath Padgett, this podcast features interviews with full-time RVers who have built successful businesses while living life on the road. The show explores topics such as remote work, entrepreneurship, travel, and lifestyle design.RV Miles Podcast: Hosted by Jason and Abby Epperson, RV Miles is a weekly podcast that covers RV news, campground reviews, travel tips, and interviews with experts in the RV and outdoor industry. The show offers practical advice and inspiration for RVers of all experience levels.The RV Atlas Podcast: Hosted by Stephanie and Jeremy Puglisi, The RV Atlas is a family-friendly podcast that covers all aspects of RV travel and camping. The show features destination guides, campground reviews, product recommendations, and interviews with fellow RVers.Girl Camper Podcast: Hosted by Janine Pettit, the Girl Camper Podcast is dedicated to helping women embrace the RV lifestyle and build confidence in their camping skills. The show features tips, advice, and interviews with female RVers who share their experiences and insights.The RV Podcast: Hosted by Mike Wendland, The RV Podcast covers a wide range of topics related to RVing, including RV maintenance, technology, gear, destinations, and lifestyle. The show features interviews with industry experts, campground owners, and fellow RVers.Campground of the Week Podcast: Hosted by Stephanie and Jeremy Puglisi (from The RV Atlas), Campground of the Week is a podcast that provides in-depth reviews of campgrounds and RV parks across North America. Each episode highlights a different campground, discussing amenities, activities, and nearby attractions.RVFTA Podcast: Hosted by Stephanie and Jeremy Puglisi (yes, they're busy!), RVFTA (RV Family Travel Atlas) is a podcast that caters to families who love RVing. They cover a wide range of topics including family-friendly campgrounds, RVing with kids, tips for road trips, and destination spotlights.

These RV podcasts offer a wealth of information, inspiration, and entertainment for anyone interested in RV travel and adventure. Whether you're a seasoned RVer or just starting out, you're sure to find valuable insights and resources to enhance your RVing experience. 

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Elevating Outdoor Leisure: The Joy of RVs with Outdoor Entertainment Features

When it comes to embracing the great outdoors, there’s no better way to enhance your experience than with the luxury and convenience of an RV with outdoor entertainment features. The fusion of al fresco living with state-of-the-art entertainment options brings a new level of enjoyment to your camping adventures, allowing you to savor the fresh air and scenic views without missing out on your favorite forms of relaxation and fun.

The outdoor entertainment on thisAlliance RV Delta 294RK Travel Traileris great for camping!

The Rise of Outdoor Entertainment in RVs

Outdoor entertainment has become one of the most sought-after RV features. With advancements in weatherproof technology and space-saving design, manufacturers are now able to incorporate a range of entertainment options that cater to campers who value both active adventure and leisurely downtime.

Why Choose an RV with Outdoor Entertainment?

Opting for an RV with outdoor entertainment amenities comes with numerous benefits. It extends your living space, providing the perfect setting for family gatherings, socializing with friends, or simply enjoying a quiet evening under the stars. 

The interior of thisCoachmen RV Encore 375RB Motor Home Class Ais great for entertaining.

Seamless Integration with Nature

Outdoor entertainment features, such as exterior TVs, sound systems, and LED lighting, allow you to blend your love for nature with the comfort of modern technology. Imagine catching the big game or enjoying a movie night with the backdrop of a mountain range or the soundtrack of a rushing river.

Social Hub on Wheels

An RV with an outdoor entertainment area naturally becomes a social hub, inviting interaction and shared experiences. With ample seating, retractable awnings, and exterior kitchens, these RVs are equipped to host memorable meals, game nights, and spontaneous get-togethers while surrounded by nature.

outdoor entertainment
interior kitchen
Holiday Rambler Navigator 38F Motor Home Class A - Diesel
Shasta RVs Shasta 31OK Travel Trailer
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Legendary “Big Ben” Alberta Monster Black Bear- By Dale Boyer

I’d like to take a moment to tell you a little about myself prior to getting into this amazing story. My name is Dale Boyer, I’m an avid hunter and bowhunter of 35 years. I’ve been both lucky and blessed by having the opportunity to have bow hunted almost every big game species in North America, although my passion is black bear hunting. In 2015 I made the decision to take my passion of the outdoors and black bear hunting into over 45 million homes in North America, yes, I put together a team of individuals like me with the same drive and passion for black bear hunting, thus BearMagnet TV was born. BearMagnet TV is a 100% archery, 100% black bear, high energy hunting TV show. Now in Season 5 and airing on three (3) established networks, with a viewership base of over 265,000, it’s full steam ahead! As the Executive Producer, In-Field and Studio Director, my hands are full. If it wasn’t for my team of hardworking individuals at BadBear Productions Inc. taking care of social media, scheduling, promotions, sponsorship negotiations, research & development, and Prostaff that all spend countless hours to put just one (1) episode together for your enjoyment, BearMagnet TV wouldn’t be possible. Now that you know a little about me… on with my story.

To The Hunt

As mentioned, I’ve hunted almost every species in North America with black bear being my favorite, there’s just something I get from black bear hunting that I don’t get from hunting any other species. Maybe it’s the thrill and excitement to hunt an animal that can do physical harm to you, possibly cause death, or is it the majestic black bear itself, king of the woods as I call them. They can be as stealthy as a slithering snake and lurk in the shadows or be as loud as an elephant running through a jungle, you’ll not see one unless they want to be seen. Ok, my story starts out by leaving my home in Eastern Ontario for my 2017 Spring BearMagnet TV filming tour. Headed West, first stop… Burnt Lake Outfitters with Master Guide Brian Kitzan in Alberta, Canada. This amazing bear camp is a mere 41.5 driving hours from my home. With many stops to refuel, and an overnight stay including picking up my then filming and hunting partner at the Winnipeg International Airport after the first leg of my trip which took approximately 24 hours and with another 16.5 hours to go prior to reaching my destination at Burnt Lake Outfitters Alberta, Canada.

Let’s Go!

Pulling into camp around 2:30 PM, arriving on time and as scheduled I was looking forward to a relaxing afternoon of unpacking, shooting my bow, checking the camera gear and maybe enjoy a relaxing beverage, but NOPE, Brian Kitzan had other plans for us… He met us and welcomed us with open arms and a firm handshake and in his next breath was “Lets go”! He was taking us in for our first hunt!!! He said there’s some big bears on camera and he doesn’t want us to miss an opportunity if one presented itself. Completely exhausted from the long 41.5-hour road trip, we quickly unpacked, geared up, shot our bows, and departed for our first night in the Alberta BIG bear woods with our knowledgeable guide and workhorse Kevin, truck loaded with bait and an ATV we headed out. The back roads we traveled were made for and by oil companies to access oil well locations and pump stations, although gravel these roads resembled highways. Approximately 1 hour from base camp by truck, then unloaded the ATV to go another 1000 – 1500 yards off the beaten path to the hunt site. Stands were setup perfectly and as requested, I’m thinking to myself, these guys got it! We went about our normal routine… getting into the stand and setup while the guide would rebait and do what guides normally do in setting up or refreshing a bait site, its now “go time”!

Hunting and Fi lining

As always, I give my hunting and filming partner the first opportunity to be the hunter, or in this case huntress. Sitting for the evening, or should I say night because we were so far North legal light ended at 11:15PM. Unfortunately, we did not see a “shooter bear” in our first outing, it gave us the opportunity to get the bugs out from setting up and film what we call in the industry “B-roll” footage. Our assigned guide Kevin returned and escorted us out of the woods, not that I’m a scaredy cat to walk out alone, its policy for Alberta Bear Outfitters to ensure their hunters are safe, besides, I and all BearMagnet TV Prostaff carry Defense Aerosols BearGuard bear spray in which I trust 100%, we don’t carry guns. Arriving back at bear camp around midnight we’re welcomed by a pre-warmed outfitter tent and a delicious home cooked meal! After out post-hunt meal we had the choice to sit around a campfire or slide into a makeshift “old school” hot tub. It’s a hole dug by hand (guides hands), with a tarp doubled and laid in, then filled with creek water, and heated by a copper line coiled through the campfire and a small pump drawing water through the coil and back into the hot tub, quite ingenious I must say!

Day 2 & 3

Went pretty much the same as day one, back on our regular routine spending mornings and early afternoon gathering B-roll footage, then in for an evening hunt. Again, not seeing what we consider “shooter bears”, because after 32 years of being a hardcore bear hunter you get very selective in what bear you’re willing to take.


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Unwritten Rules

2 minutes reading time (485 words)

"Unwritten rules" in the context of RV (Recreational Vehicle) culture typically refer to informal guidelines or customs that RV enthusiasts follow to promote safety, etiquette, and camaraderie while on the road or at campgrounds. While these rules may not be explicitly written down, they are widely understood and respected within the RV community. Here are some common unwritten rules among RVers:

Respect Quiet Hours: Many campgrounds have designated quiet hours during which noise should be kept to a minimum to ensure that everyone can enjoy a peaceful environment. RVers typically adhere to these quiet hours, refraining from loud conversations, music, or generator use during the specified times.Give Space to Other RVs: When parking or setting up camp at a campground, RVers are mindful of providing adequate space between their RV and neighboring vehicles or campsites. This ensures privacy and prevents overcrowding.Be Courteous with Generator Use: While generators can be essential for powering appliances and electronics in an RV, excessive generator noise can disturb nearby campers. RVers typically limit generator use to specific times of day and avoid running them late at night or early in the morning.Follow Campground Rules and Regulations: RVers respect campground rules and regulations, including speed limits, pet policies, waste disposal guidelines, and fire safety protocols. Adhering to these rules helps maintain a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone.Offer Assistance to Fellow RVers: RVers often lend a helping hand to fellow travelers in need, whether it's offering directions, sharing campground recommendations, or assisting with RV maintenance or repairs.Practice Good Campsite Hygiene: RVers are conscientious about keeping their campsites clean and tidy, disposing of trash properly, and avoiding activities that could attract wildlife or create a mess.Be Mindful of Water and Power Usage: Water and electricity are precious resources when RVing, especially when boondocking or dry camping. RVers are mindful of their water and power consumption, conserving energy and using resources efficiently.Respect Nature and Wildlife: RVers appreciate and respect the natural environment around them, refraining from littering, damaging vegetation, or disturbing wildlife. They follow Leave No Trace principles and strive to leave campsites and natural areas better than they found them.Extend Hospitality to Newcomers: Experienced RVers often welcome newcomers to the RV lifestyle with advice, tips, and friendly conversation. They may offer guidance on RV setup, maintenance, or travel routes, helping newcomers feel more comfortable and confident on the road.Embrace Community and Camaraderie: RVing is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. RVers often form friendships and bonds with fellow travelers, sharing stories, experiences, and adventures along the way.

While these unwritten rules may vary slightly depending on the specific RV community or campground, they reflect the values of respect, consideration, and camaraderie that are central to RV culture. By following these guidelines, RVers contribute to a positive and welcoming environment for all who share the road and the campground. 

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Winchester Engages Members of Congress, Delivering Messages on its Commitment to the U.S. Military and Growth in the Shooting Sports

Winchester Ammunition recently hosted legislators and outdoor industry representatives at a special event in Washington, D.C., to discuss Winchester’s commitment to providing the U.S. Military with the highest quality ammunition as well as the positive impact of shooting sports, hunting, and responsible firearm ownership.

“As the largest manufacturer of small caliber ammunition for the U.S. Military, we are proud to communicate our continued commitment to innovation and manufacturing excellence with Members of Congress,” said Ken Lane, President and CEO of Olin Corporation. “It’s also exciting to showcase the positive impact the shooting sports has on more than 60 million U.S. citizens each year. These are critical messages to share.”

More than 40 members of Congress and leadership from the shooting sports and hunting industry were in attendance, coming together to discuss important topics.

“As the leader in providing ammunition to hunters, sport shooters, law enforcement, and the U.S. military, Winchester continues to be a very unique brand with a tremendous history,” said Brett Flaugher, President of Winchester. “This event was an opportunity for us to communicate our commitment and ask for continued support in both ammunition manufacturing for the U.S. military and growth in shooting sports participation.”

Members of the shooting sports community, including educators and shooting sports professionals, were present at the event. They shared compelling stories about how shooting sports have positively influenced their lives, underscoring the importance of these activities.


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Hayman Safe Company Announces the Minuteman Quick-Access Personal Defense Safe in Stock Now

Secure storage is an essential part of firearm ownership, but few storage methods offer the fast and convenient access you need in a crisis. That is why Hayman Safe Company developed the Minuteman Quick-Access personal defense safe for long guns, handguns and flashlights. This groundbreaking, patented design provides safe storage of your primary defensive weapons exactly where you need them, for the fastest access possible when you need it MOST. The Minuteman is the ultimate solution for defense-minded homeowners.

The novel design of the Minuteman provides immediate access to your loaded firearm(s) in your bedroom, living room, foyer or hallway (anywhere you might want quick access to your firearms), while securing the gun(s) as safely as a traditional gun safe. During a forced entry, when seconds count, you may not have time to get-to-and-open a standard gun safe before the threat is inside the building.

The Minuteman solves this problem! The patented design mounts discretely between standard wall studs, and provides access to a long gun or hand guns in SECONDS.

This new concept in gun storage is easy-to-install in buildings with standard wall-board and 16-inch-center stud framing, and has multiple mounting holes for solidly attaching to the studs and floor plate (instructions included).

The safe accommodates defensive guns up to 39-inches-long, like an AR-15 or shotgun, as well as handguns and accessories such as lights and extra magazines. It is solidly-built from11-gauge (1/8-inch) steel, and features a tough powdercoat finish. The dimensions are 48H x 14.25W x 6D inches.


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Chief Upland Collaborates with NWTF on Customizable Flydown Collection Turkey Vest System

Chief Upland, in collaboration with Mossy Oak® camouflage and the National Wild Turkey Federation  (NWTF), announces its latest innovation for avid turkey hunters – the exclusive NWTF Edition Flydown Collection Turkey Vest System.

This turkey vest system features Chief Upland’s customizable storage system, the iconic Mossy Oak®  Original Bottomland® camouflage pattern and the familiar NWTF logo on the shoulder strap. With each purchase, hunters receive a complimentary 1-year NWTF membership (a $35 value), contributing directly to vital conservation efforts.

A spacious game bag for turkeys and decoys, rear backpack storage, and dedicated hydration reservoir storage/routing come standard. The lightweight vest is designed to distribute weight to the hips for all-day comfort and uses 1000 denier Cordura for waterproof, briarproof durability. Integrated padding on the upper back adds comfort when leaning against a tree. When comfortable, hunters can remain in the field longer and increase the odds of a successful hunt.

To comfortably fit a wide range of hunters, the ultralight unisex vest is offered in Small/Medium, Large/Extra Large and 2X+ with adjustable fit across the waist, chest and shoulders. Sizing is based on the hunter’s t-shirt size.

Versatility is at the core of the Flydown turkey vest, as the vest, pouches, and flip-down seat are integrated on a military-style MOLLE platform. Chief Upland’s Flydown Collection offers a variety of pouch options– from ammo and calls, to water, electronics and even a Thermacell® device. Customize with mix-and-match 6+ attachments purchased separately or as part of a bundle.


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Unlucky Ladies- Hen Turkeys with Beards

Wild turkey beards are an unusual form of feather that feels more like whiskers than fluff.  All male turkeys grow them their first year and make identifying a yearling bird much easier.  Known as “jakes” these immature gobblers have beards of one to three inches in length.  As males turn two years old, their beards grow longer making a “tom” easier to identify.

About 10 percent of female turkeys grow beards according to the Audobon Society website, although that number seems high in my experience.  Would you shoot a bearded hen?  It’s probably legal, but is it ethical?  Download this video on your phone to help in the identification process.

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Compact Bino’s for Spring Turkeys

Are binoculars critical gear for turkey hunting?  YES! A week roaming the South Dakota prairies and Badlands proved that hunters will be more successful using binoculars than hunting without them.  This became abundantly clear the first afternoon of the hunt when Larry Naeyaert and our Indian guide sneaked ahead of a feeding flock.  Eventually, we lured several gobblers across a creek into a patch of timber.  With my naked eye, I could see nothing, yet the Maven 10X30’s showed three gobblers clearly scanning our direction for the source of hen calling.

24.5 pounder

The gobblers were about 60 yards away with only open ground between us.  I practically set my Rocky Mountain Hunting Box Caller on fire as we exchanged yelps and cuts, but the toms would not come closer.  We used a gobbler decoy, periods of silence, and various calls yet the standoff continued.  Eventually, the gobblers moved farther away, and we quickly repositioned to get closer.  Our guide used his binoculars to spot an approaching longbeard and we quickly set up, Naeyaert to the right and me to the left of the caller.  The big Merriam’s came directly to my buddy, and he made a great shot on one of the largest turkey gobblers we’ve taken in 20 years of hunting the Great Plains.

Maven 10X30’s- The Ideal Size

A turkey hunter can look like a pack mule with all of today’s gear, from numerous callers, owl hooters, decoys, seat pads and such.  One might ask, are binoculars useful enough to carry?  As you can see in the size comparison above, these Maven 10X30’s are palm-size and will easily fit into a standard turkey vest.  They come with a convenient carrying strap that I wear over my shoulder so that the binos are at my side for easy access yet not dangling in front of my chest where they can interfere with shouldering a crossbow or drawing a compound.

Mavens are Internet Direct

The Maven Outdoor Equipment Company was born and based in Wyoming and makes and sells a variety of optical gear. from spotting scopes, to rangefinders, to binoculars.  Instead of following traditional marketing practices by selling through companies and vendors, they chose to sell direct to the customer with a unique “try-out” program.  Go to their website, www.Mavenbuilt.com, select an item, and order it.  They will ship you a slightly used model of that product which you can test for two weeks.  At that point, you can return the item for a full refund, have them ship you a new item, or purchase the used optic for a reduced price.

A Gift for Generations

Maven optics are unique because they can be personalized and built to your specifications.  These optics will last for generations and are the perfect gift for a family loved one or hunting guide.  They can be highlighted in a special color and engraved with a personal message.  Whether it’s to the love of your life or your name engraved to personalize an heirloom, this Maven opportunity is like no other.  To see their full line of optics, click HERE.




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Frontline Defense: The First Responder Backpack – The Ultimate GO Bag

First Responders are at the front lines of nearly every major conflict. Dangerous situations are on the rise and can happen at any given moment, and while being active in self-defense is paramount, passive defense is just as important. This is why Bodyguard Armored Backpacks has created and released a line of backpacks designed explicitly for passive defense.

The First Responder is a 40-liter, bullet-resistant, slash-proof, waterproof, stab-resistant backpack. It is the “Ultimate GO Bag,” designed to be stored in a vehicle, office, or classroom and put on at a moment’s notice. The First Responder appears like any other backpack but converts instantly into a bulletproof vest, providing instant front and back protection. It can hold two 10-inch by 12-inch hard ballistic plates or two 11-inch by 14-inch soft plates in the plate carriers. 

Users can easily activate the armor while wearing it via the patented deployment system. A quick pull of the tabs and pulling them over the user’s head extends the front protection plate in the ideal placement. The Stay Put Armor system keeps any standard armor plate in place. When not in use, the front plate is stored behind the user, offering discreet and concealed use of the armor system.

Besides ballistic protection, the overall construction of 1000 Denier nylon, triple stitched seams, and staked stress points offer superior construction in design alone. The First Responder Backpack can carry equipment for daily use and provides space for the largest laptops on the market. It is TSA Compliant for ease of use while traveling into unsecured, unfamiliar areas.

Equipped with a complete MOLLE carrier system, pouches and accessories are easily attached to meet the needs of each user. This also allows for the quick compatibility of medical kits and holsters when an emergency strikes.



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HOIST® IV-Level Hydration Sponsors U.S. Army Best Ranger and International Sniper Competitions

HOIST®, one of the fastest growing hydration beverages in the U.S., is thrilled to sponsor two respected events in the U.S. Army community: the 40th annual Best Ranger Competition and the International Sniper Competition. These two events bring together elite soldiers from around the world to compete in challenges which demand outstanding levels of strength and endurance.

The International Sniper Competition, held April 5-11, 2024, is located at the Maneuver Center of Excellence in Fort Moore, Ga. Here, sniper teams from across the U.S. and NATO allies connected to demonstrate their unparalleled precision, observation and reconnaissance skills.

The Best Ranger Competition stands as a testament to the dedication and prowess of the U.S. Army Rangers. This grueling competition has evolved into a showcase of the finest two-man teams from the entire U.S. Armed Forces to test marksmanship, physical and cognitive ability and tactical skills across 32 events. As the chosen electrolyte source for the previous two years’ winning teams, HOIST is proud to continue to support the individuals who will push their mental and physical limits to the test in Fort Moore, Ga., April 12-14.

“HOIST is built to provide hydration that works harder and longer than other options on the market,” said HOIST Director of Marketing Taryn Lawson. “When the opportunity arose for us to be sponsors for these competitions which recognize our shared values of endurance and toughness, it was an easy yes. The HOIST team congratulates the U.S. Army sniper teams who competed this week, and we look forward to supporting the U.S. Army rangers this weekend.”

The HOIST formula is scientifically tested and proven to supply rapid hydration and recovery, without compromising taste, and is offered across a lineup of bottled beverages, powder sticks and liquid pouches. All of HOIST’s products provide three times the electrolytes and half the sugar of traditional sports drinks, without adding artificial sweeteners or dyes.



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Best Broadhead for Spring Gobblers

The right broadhead may be more critical for turkeys than deer.  Despite its seemingly large size, the kill zone of a strutting gobbler is amazingly small.  The feathers on a strutting tom make up more than half of its body size and the heart/lung area is the size of a baseball.  The following image should be on every hunter’s phone for quick reverence.

The Most Critical Element

Accuracy and consistency are the two most critical elements of a turkey broadhead.  It doesn’t matter how larger or aggressive the cut will be, if you can’t put the broadhead exactly where aimed, the head is worse than useless. You may wound a gobbler and not retrieve it.  A lethal wild turkey hit breaks the wing bone and destroys the vitals in a single blow.  A turkey broadhead must fly exactly like a target point so that you can practice with your hunting gear and then screw on a broadhead for a final test before hunting.

Hybrids are a Great Choice

Which is better, a fixed cut-on-contact broadhead that cuts every time or a large mechanical blade that opens to devastating proportions without the possibility of wind planing?  The answer is, “Yes.”  Hybrid broadheads offer a 1 inch+ cut on contact AND contain an auxiliary blade that opens and greatly increases the would channel.  Jay Liechty took his five children on a West Virginia deer hunt last fall and each youngster killed a deer using the Grim Reaper Micro Hybrid.  The fellow who organized the hunts exclaimed that the wound channels were “devastating.”

Why Grim Reaper

Broadheads are expensive and you hate to consume one by practicing with it.  The folks at Grim Reaper solve this problem by including a practice head in every four-pack.  In this way, you can practice on a foam target and know exactly where the arrow will strike.  As you can see in the following picture, the auxiliary expandable blades cause a monstrous cut that greatly expands your margin of error.

Do the Paper Test

If you opt for a traditional mechanical head, conduct a paper test before you go afield.  Attach a piece of copy paper to the front of a foam target, back off to 15 yards or whatever range you choose for turkey hunting, and take a practice shot with your favorite broadhead.  The cut below is with a Rage Hypodermic two blade head and notice that it opens to a full cut on the way into the animal.  Rage broadheads have been known for large blood trails and this is the reason why.  Some mechanicals have a small entrance hole and a large exit slash.  For optimal lethality, you want both.






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Lucid Optics B8 Binoculars – Unveiling Precision in the Wild

As a seasoned outdoor enthusiast, I’ve had the privilege of testing and reviewing a myriad of optics designed to enhance the outdoor experience. Today, on the ten-year anniversary of my venture into the world of product reviews, I’m thrilled to delve into the remarkable Lucid Optics B8 Binoculars. These binoculars are more than a mere tool; they’re a testament to precision engineering and thoughtful design that elevate the very essence of exploring the great outdoors.

Unboxing Experience: A Glimpse into Craftsmanship

From the moment I laid eyes on the packaging, it was evident that Lucid Optics had invested time and effort into creating an immersive unboxing experience. The B8 Binoculars arrive in an elegant, durable case that not only serves as a protective enclosure but also foreshadows the quality within. The hardshell case, embossed with the Lucid Optics logo, exudes a sense of rugged sophistication. It’s a fitting introduction to the optics that await inside, and a great “premium” addition to a quality purchase. More optics manufacturers should do this.

On that same note, I am surprised to see that the binoculars come wioth a standard neck strap. It’s not as big of a deal as with heavier optics, but for just a couple dollars more, Lucid could include a shoulder-type harness that is today’s preferred method of transporting optics.

Opening the case reveals a meticulously organized interior, with custom-cut foam cradling the B8 Binoculars snugly. This attention to detail ensures that your investment is not just protected but presented with a touch of finesse. The case, with its secure zipper closure, is more than just a means of transportation; it’s a statement of Lucid Optics’ commitment to delivering an exceptional user experience.

Neoprene Lens Covers: A Touch of Practicality and Elegance

The Lucid Optics B8 Binoculars come equipped with unique neoprene lens covers, and it’s evident that the designers have prioritized both functionality and aesthetics. The neoprene material offers excellent protection against dust, scratches, and light impacts, ensuring that your lenses remain in pristine condition during your outdoor escapades.





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A Tactical Eye: Navigating the Great Outdoors with the ScopeCam Adapter’s Universal Brilliance

A Tactical Eye: Navigating the Great Outdoors with the ScopeCam Adapter’s Universal Brilliance

Digiscoping has become extremely popular over the past several years, leading more companies to enter the space.

Most of those companies, though, require not only a “premium-level” output of cash for an initial system, but also require additional spending on specialized cases and adapters for each different phone and/or optic that it is used with. Many of them are also made out of plastic or polymer that can (and does) lead to short lifespans when using it for rugged activities. Reggie Parsons started designing and selling custom aluminum digiscoping adapters way back in 2007. Shortly after that time he renamed the business “Scope)Cam Adapter.” Their mission was to put quality digiscoping products in the hands of outdoor enthusiasts. In 2019, they released the universal ScopeCam Adapter, and it was a big success.

The universal Scopecam Adapter simplifies digiscoping.

ScopeCam Adapter is one of the first companies to sell all metal, universal digiscoping adapters. My initial experience with the ScopeCam adapter was excellent. The instructions were clear, easy to read and understand, and, once I set up the “phone portion of the system,(that, I might add, works with any phone case- not just an overpriced, specialized one designed to work with a single adapter) it was just a matter of attaching it to the optic of my choice.

On a recent hunt, I was able to attach my phone to two different pairs of binoculars, a rifle scope and a spotting scope with ZERO additional parts and only a simple twist of the optic piece to remove and then again to tighten it to another optic.

Gear Integration: Melding Tradition with Technology:

At the crux of the ScopeCam Adapter’s brilliance lies its effortless integration with optics. Whether affixed to a rifle scope or a pair of binoculars, after a quick setup with your phone, this accessory easily attaches to your optic with the turn of a dial, creating a symbiotic relationship between traditional optics and cutting-edge technology. The attachment process, which in itself is a testament to precision engineering, assures a secure fit, transforming the adapter into an almost extension of your optical instrument.

Craftsmanship: Masterful in Materials:

Crafted from high-quality aluminum, the ScopeCam Adapter not only exudes durability but also showcases a thoughtful design that respects the demands of outdoor environments. A fusion of reinforced alloy forms the outer casing, providing robust protection without compromising on weight. The materials not only withstand the rigors of rocky terrains and weather but also make the adapter water-resistant and rather dustproof, ensuring a clear lens for capturing those defining moments.












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