NEWS

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

3 Reasons You Need to Upgrade Your Fishing Net


A good net can help you or your angler-in-training put more fish in the boat. (Plusinno/)

Most anglers lose fish at some point during the endgame, but you can up your odds of landing fish with the help of a net. If you’re looking to buy your first net, or upgrade from your existing model, keep these considerations in mind.

Do No Harm


If you plan to release your fish, a knotless mesh or rubber basket won't injure your catch. (PLUSINNO/)

The nets of yesteryear used knotted nylon mesh for the bag. The rough edges on those knots quickly strips fish of their protective slime coating, which leaves the fish more prone to bacterial infections. To help ensure all the fish you release live long, healthy lives, choose a net with knotless mesh, or better yet, a rubber basket.

Added Reach


Modern nets with classic designs are just as useful today as they were years ago. (PLUSINNO/)

The shorter the fight, the less stressful it is on the fish. Longer nets have the advantage over shorter models, giving you the reach needed to end the fight faster. Upgrading to a longer model can also help keep hooked fish out of underwater obstructions that can break you off.

If you plan to release your fish, a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071XMJJ93/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=outdoorlife03-20&linkId=0dcbb436f8a235cc5e5beb2193846788&language=en_US
'a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DHR154C/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=outdoorlife03-20&linkId=2f4f2ebd1945607b9aeecb6f69397863&language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title=""Modern nets/a with classic designs are just as useful today as they were years ago.' height=1125
'The faster you can bring a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FQ82MZG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=outdoorlife03-20&linkId=2ad1b36840f3e9c02bb50fd49d97877c&language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title=""a fish to net/a, the better its chances for survival, which is why long net handles are so useful.' height=1125

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Win a Long-Range Shooting Trip to the Peacemaker National Training Center

Range Reporters is partnering with Federal Premium and Savage Arms to give one lucky reader the chance to win a free trip to the Peacemaker National Training Center. All you have to do is post a photo of your favorite gun range in the comments below or on this Facebook post, along with a few words about why you love it, and you'll be entered to win. We're offering an all-expenses paid trip for you and one guest this Labor Day Weekend at the PNTC in Glengary, West Virginia.

You’ll learn how to shoot out to 1,000 yards from their top instructors. You'll also get to use top-of-the-line Savage Arms precision rifles and all the Federal Premium ammo you can shoot!

All the legal stuff on the contest can be found here. Still not convinced? Check out footage of Peacemaker above.

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Best Arrows and Broadheads For Elk


Cole Kayser took this public-land bull in the Wyoming backcountry with a bow set at 55 pounds and a Rage mechanical broadhead. The bull made it less than 120 yards before dying. (Mark Kayser/)

At the moment neither of us could have cared who was more shocked at the 10-yard, surprise run-in—the elk or me. As the herd bull lunged to escape through the maze of lodgepole pines I came to full draw and mouth-mewed the call of a curious cow. At a 30-yard, safe-space distance, the bull braked hard and cranked broadside to seemingly see if his aged eyes were playing tricks on him. Before he had time to figure out precisely what was going on, my broadhead buried itself behind his shoulder. He was off again, but as is common with double-lunged bulls you usually get to watch the last wobble and appreciate the work of a great archery setup.

Bowhunting geeks love analyzing gear. For elk, the debate can reach heated levels—especially when it comes to broadheads and arrows. Woodland whizzes have tested every combination of broadhead and arrow known to man on these giants. There is, however, no real winner and no easy answer to the discussion. But we’ll try anyway.

If you want a short end to this article, consider that your current whitetail setup is likely suitable to take elk. The reason for this simple statement lies in the explosion of technology introduced into archery within the last several decades, particularly the last 10 years.

Bows have more energy and transfer it more efficiently than ever before. Arrows have been beefed up and slimmed down for better penetration. Lastly, broadhead designs, both fixed and mechanical, have been improved with sharpening expertise that forces you to be extra careful when attaching broadheads to the end of your arrows. In short, a new compound bow set to 60 pounds and matched correctly to a quality arrow, and broadhead setup will cleanly take an elk with a double-lung hit. Heck, I know of several bowhunters who have taken elk with bows dialed back to 50 pounds. However, setting aside that simplistic overview, there are some specifics to consider as you look at long sticks and sharp points for your bow. First, get to know that that burly bull you hope to hurl projectiles at like your prehistoric ancestors.


A shaving-sharp broadhead, like this G5 Montec, helped the author notch a DIY, public-land bull tag in Montana. The broadhead cut through the entire elk, but when the bull fell it snapped the arrow in half. (Mark Kayser/)

Target Familiarity

A shaving-sharp broadhead, like this G5 Montec, helped the author notch a DIY, public-land bull tag in Montana. The broadhead cut through the entire elk, but when the bull fell it snapped the arrow in half.
'a href="https://www.amazon.com/Outdoors-Montec-Grain-Broadheads-Pack/dp/B000IENPWS/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=outdoorlife03-20&linkId=3753a6ae9f7375203ee567fdef777999&language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title=""G5 Montec fixed blade/a' height=768
'a href="https://www.amazon.com/New-Archery-Products-60-410-Broadheads/dp/B000W8KTIS/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=outdoorlife03-20&linkId=3ae7f9a56b246e61746fa6804d9e4aaf&language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title=""NAP Hellrazor/a' height=750
'A a href="https://www.amazon.com/Muzzy-Trocar-Grain-3-Blade-Broadhead/dp/B00AU6D54W/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=outdoorlife03-20&linkId=11002c67357d48db4f788a352940f6b6&language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title=""Muzzy Trocar/a fixed-blade broadhead.' height=495
'a href="https://www.amazon.com/Wasp-2100-Drone-Broadhead-Archery/dp/B00K2DOXQW/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=outdoorlife03-20&linkId=3acebf66f6932d201a6ba960e06de147&language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title=""Wasp Drone/a' height=572
'a href="https://www.amazon.com/Carbon-Express-Hypodermic-Crossbow-Broadhead/dp/B0197DARSU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=outdoorlife03-20&linkId=95f5b493e8f422c98f5ccb0c1cb2b93d&language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title=""Rage Hypodermic mechanical broadhead/a' height=676
'a href="https://www.amazon.com/G5-Outdoors-Deadmeat-Expandable-Broadhead/dp/B06Y2CN27L/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=outdoorlife03-20&linkId=0319c81f018cb0046ca96635ea5628e9&language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title=""G5 Deadmeat mechanical/a' height=508
'a href="https://www.amazon.com/Bloodsport-Chisel-Grave-Digger-Grain/dp/B01EL9B68U/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=outdoorlife03-20&linkId=847b806efa667991c5ee640a6c29b5c2&language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title=""Bloodsport Gravedigger Chisel Tip/a' height=908
You can take a mature bull elk with your archery whitetail setup, but analyze it first for any flaws when tackling these big critters.

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Road Kill Costs Millions, Endangers Lives, and Hurts Wildlife Populations. Here’s a Plan to Fix That


The state of Montana has determined that a bighorn ram has a public value of about $30,000 (Max Pixel/)

If you don’t think road kill can take a bite out of hunters’ opportunity, just ask Bruce Sterling.

Since 1985, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks biologist has counted bighorn sheep that have been killed near Thompson Falls, where US Highway 200 and railroad tracks run between cliffs and a river for about 10 miles.

Sterling has counted nearly 500 bighorn killed in collisions, 84 percent by cars and trucks, the rest by train. During those same decades, FWP issued only 274 ram tags to hunters.

“When you lose that many sheep, it certainly has an impact on hunter opportunity,” he said.

From a hunters’ perspective, road kill is a lose-lose. Wildlife collisions endanger drivers, waste a valuable natural resource, and, at the very least, damage our vehicles.


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Last Light of the Last Night in the Land of Enchantment



By Michael Deming Successful; definitely not a word I’m used to seeing when applying for the New...


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3 Traits of a Great Folding Knife


A folding knife is great for carrying every day, and they make great gifts. (Buck Knives/)

A reliable knife is the number-one tool for any outdoorsman. Most of us own so many that it’s often difficult to decide which one to take into the field, and we often end up taking multiples. But if you carry only one blade, a folding knife offers the best bang for your buck. It may not be as durable as a fixed blade, but a folder’s light weight and small size make it more likely you will pack it everywhere you go. Here’s what to look for in a great folding-blade knife.

Compact


A good folding-knife blade should be only 3- or 4-inches long. (Kershaw/)

For an everyday carry, or EDC as it's commonly called, you want a blade that is big enough to get the job done but not too bulky to comfortably carry. A blade length of 3 to 4 inches is about right, and any knife with an integrated belt or pocket clip will secure the tool where it belongs. Synthetic scales made of Micarta or nylon help reduce weight and are at least as durable as natural wood handles.

One-Handed Opening


Practice opening your blade with one hand in case you ever have to do it in real life. (Spyderco/)

Just about any folding blade can be opened one-handed with practice, but there's no beating the speed and convenience of a knife meant to operate with one hand. Standard mechanisms range from thumb holes and indents on the blade to ridges and levers on the spine that will deploy in an instant. One-handed operation is not just a flashy trick, it can spell the difference between life and death when you need to cut something loose from ropes, straps, or belts with one hand while hanging on for dear life with the other. Keep the blade well-oiled, and practice opening so that the technique is second-nature when you need it.

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'Practice opening a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0089DFGIG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=outdoorlife03-20&linkId=3726f2444280cf17a6715b34c188e4c8&language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title=""your blade/a with one hand in case you ever have to do it in real life.' height=426
A a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000UGYWVC/ref=as_li_ss_tl?th=1&psc=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=outdoorlife03-20&linkId=ab502508a42a7c61e2644210312b5489&language=en_US

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3 Reasons Why a New Rangefinder is Better Than Your Old One


Modern rangefinders can do more than just calculate the distance between two objects. (Vortex/)

Technology moves ahead at a blazing speed, and when it comes to outdoor electronics, products that were top of the line five years ago likely aren’t even ranked as a top 10 product today. It’s no different in the world of laser rangefinders. While the core purpose of one remains to calculate the distance you are from a given object in a thousandth of a second, the new bells and whistles on the latest generation of devices makes them attractive replacements for an outdated model. Here’s a few reasons why a new rangefinder is better than your old one.

Increased Range


A good range finder should be able to calculate distances over a mile away. (Amazon/)

As laser technology improves, so has the distance rangefinders can gauge. A short while ago, 500 yards was considered groundbreaking. Now, top of the line models can reach out to calculate the distances of specific objects at 2,000 yards and beyond.

They're Smarter


Modern rangefinders can calculate real distance and line-of-sight difference in a fraction of a second. (Amazon/)

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but what that distance actually is—at least to a projectile flying along it—has a lot to do with shot angles. Line of sight is the actual measurement between points, but true horizontal distance takes into account the effects of gravity over the same distance. If you're shooting at significant angles, like downward from a tree stand or up a steep hillside, there can be a pretty big difference between the two. Instead of doing the math, let the rangefinder do it for you while you concentrate on the shot.

A good range finder should be able to calculate distances over a mile away.
Modern rangefinders can calculate real distance and line-of-sight difference in a fraction of a second.
Weatherproof rangefinders won’t fail you in harsh climates.

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How to Pick the Right Tracking Collar for Your Dog


A tracking collar can help you know where your animals are at all times. (Eureka Technology/)

Let’s face it, some dogs are easier to own than others. Whether your pet is a rangy sporting breed or a domestic layabout with the occasional case of wanderlust, knowing where they are at all times is vital. Here’s a look at pet-tracking technology that takes advantage of modern communication networks to help keep pets safe and their owners sane.

GPS or Cell Coverage


Modern smart-collars use cellular networks and GPS to pinpoint your animal’s location. (Amazon/)

State-of-the-art smart collars use cellular networks and GPS in order to identify your pet's location within a specified range. When searching for the right device, take note of the distance at which the collar is effective, as well as the fact that GPS-enabled collars tend to be more power hungry.

Self-Contained


A self-contained tracking collar doesn’t require monthly subscriptions or usage fees. (Amazon/)

For more independent tracking means, self-contained units do not rely on either GPS or cell coverage. They are bulkier but have no monthly connection or usage fees and works anywhere you and your pet are within range, up to two miles depending on conditions and environment.

Modern smart-collars use cellular networks and GPS to pinpoint your animal’s location.
A self-contained tracking collar doesn’t require monthly subscriptions or usage fees.
If you’re not keen on cellular or GPS radio collars, Bluetooth collars may be what you’re looking for.

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3 Reasons You Should Own a GPS Watch


GPS technology is so advanced, watch makers are having no trouble squeezing in many of the same location tools you’d find on a handheld device, into a watch. (Suunto/)

Global Positioning System (GPS) technology is literally everywhere, from phones to televisions, automobiles to agriculture. And of course, GPS is essential technology for outdoorsmen who tap into global satellite networks for navigation, game tracking, timing, and a host of other useful functions. But heading into the woods GPS-enabled doesn’t have to mean packing a handheld device. Wearable GPS watches have come into their own, and there are plenty of reasons to own one.

Navigation


You don't need to carry a large handheld unit to get basic GPS functions. (Garmin/)

The essential function of GPS technology is to help us navigate. While GPS watches and other wearables lack the screen size or functionality of their handheld counterparts, they are plenty useful in tracking your course, setting waypoints, and all of the essential benchmarks of staying found in the wild.

Activity Monitoring


A watch that tracks your position and your health statistics at the same time means no more having to carry multiple devices. (Garmin/)

While some GPS watches are dedicated to helping you for find your way around, others serve as activity monitors analyzing your heartrate, stress levels, and other fitness metrics. Additional features include music storage, Bluetooth technology for syncing with other mobile devices, and, yes, super-accurate time keeping.

You don't need to carry a a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002EOSQII/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=outdoorlife03-20&linkId=b1c5d22f192e39d5fcfb4b71eb0a23af&language=en_US
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'These days, manufacturers have no trouble packing a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EMEZWIE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=outdoorlife03-20&linkId=c44995a513600b2127f9d82aeaa1b2f0&language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title=""in GPS technology with other advanced features/a.' height=464

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How to Keep Your Dog Safe on the Water


Most dogs can instinctively swim, but giving them a PFD will make sure they stay safe should their legs fail. (Outward Hound/)

The notion of outfitting the inventor of the doggie paddle with a personal floatation device may seem a little absurd, but there are plenty of reasons to consider a PFD for your pooch. First of all, not every dog is born a water-trial champion. While all dogs can swim a little bit purely out of instinct, not all can stay afloat indefinitely. If you are canoeing, boating, or ice fishing with your buddy, or just want to take precaution against fatigue in the water, a PFD made specifically for canines is the way to go. Here are a few things to consider.

Fit and Comfort


Be sure to pick a vest size that’s right for your dog. (Amazon/)

All dog PDFs are some form of vest that wraps or buckles around the abdomen and either buckles or Velcros across the chest. Be sure to size the vest carefully. Too small of a vest can restrict the dog's natural swimming movement, and if the vest is too large your dog could slip out.

Grab Handles


A carry handle can make it a lot easier to handle your dog in different situations. (Amazon/)

Not only do grab handles serve as a secure grip in an emergency, they make it much easier to get small- to medium-sized dogs in and out of a boat. This can be especially important at dockside, where a dog may be anxious about taking the leap aboard. Having more than one handle will help you balance the load fore and aft while craning Fido wherever you need him to go, even when he doesn't always want to go there.

Be sure to pick a vest size that’s right for your dog.
A carry handle can make it a lot easier to handle your dog in different situations.
Pick a PFD with bright colors or even reflectors to help you locate your pooch.

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3 Things to Consider Before Buying Your Next Hatchet


A one-piece, durable hatchet is a huge asset in camp when it comes to cutting wood and other chores. (Estwing/)

There’s a debate among bushcrafters, survivalists and other outdoor enthusiasts about which is a better tool in the field, a fixed-blade camp knife or a hatchet. Each has its proponents, with big knives probably taking the edge for all-around utility. But for sheer chopping power nothing beats a hatchet. Sure, a large knife can baton firewood or curl up some feather sticks for fire-making, but try hacking down a meat pole, splitting a round of hardwood, or driving tent stakes. Take a look at these options for selecting this essential camp tool.

One-Piece Steel


Steel bladed and handled hatchets seem to last forever. (Estwing/)

A steel-handled hatchet will just about last forever. They tend to be slightly heavy and therefore aren't really a wandering bushcrafter's blade, but if you just need a rugged hatchet to throw in the back seat or bang around the bottom of a johnboat, steel is the way to go. They're handsome at any age, and the one-piece construction will last longer than you do.

Wood-Handled


A wood-handled hatchet is great for classic bushcraft skills. (Gransfors/)

Classic bushcraft calls for a wood-handled hatchet. There are many makers and styles, some of the best of which are Scandinavian. If you ask any "axe head" what is their favorite hatchet, odds are that the Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe is at or near the top of the list.

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'a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000WIROX6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=outdoorlife03-20&linkId=2b2881e1a0c6103d024b7314b8641a48&language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title=""A wood-handled hatchet/a is great for classic bushcraft skills.' height=1068
a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T3QBSDA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=outdoorlife03-20&linkId=4d23de8d095e4ff6030fad0f7e115160&language=en_US

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5 Best Ways To Scout a Mature Buck


Though they may appear that they’re somewhat oblivious to their surroundings, pre-season velvet bucks haven’t let down their guard. (Greg Miller/)

There is a wealth of good information available these days regarding the most effective strategies for taking trophy whitetails. The vast majority of this information deals with the early season, pre-rut, rut, and post-rut periods.

I won’t argue that hunters should hit the woods crammed with as much knowledge as possible regarding taking big bucks. However, I remain convinced that there’s yet another time frame that warrants just as much attention as any of the aforementioned periods. And that time is the pre-season.

My many years of experience with pre-season whitetails has taught me that there’s not a more critical time for serious hunters to step up their game, but it must be done with the utmost caution. It’s okay to be a long-range deer watcher. It’s necessary to put out trail cameras. It’s perfectly find to put some boots on the ground. But consider these rules first. I had to learn them the hard way.

1. Observe But Don't Be Obvious


Choose long-range observation posts—and high-power optics—wisely. (Greg Miller/)

Big bucks don’t like being watched—not even if it’s from a distance and not even if the season hasn’t yet opened. Plain and simple, deer are prey creatures, which means they possess the innate ability to sense when they’re being watched.

Choose long-range observation posts—and high-power optics—wisely.
The author arrowed this gorgeous Wyoming velvet buck after spending several evenings observing from a high ridge top nearly a mile from the alfalfa field the big deer was frequenting.
This big Wisconsin 10-pointer changed his feeding pattern after feeling a bit too much pressure from the author. He was able to relocate the buck just a few days prior to the archery opener.
The author with a mature Wisconsin 10 point.
Since they aren’t going through any phase of the rut, early season bucks are very in-tune to their surroundings. As a result, they miss very little of what’s going on in their core areas.

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Make Forest Service Lands Great Again


A trail through the Chippewa National Forest in Minnesota. (USDA/)

Congress finally seems ready to work on fixing the enormous maintenance backlog on our public lands. It is considering a long-overdue appropriations package that will create a dedicated revenue source to address a $12 billion maintenance backlog on 61 national parks across the country. But for now, U.S. Forest Land is being left out of these new funding efforts.

The House bill, The Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act, also allocates money to other U.S. Department of Interior public lands — including 562 national wildlife refuges and 248.3 million Bureau of Land Management (BLM) acres — the Senate version, The Restore Our Parks Act, exclusively focuses on the National Park System (NPS).

And neither bill provides funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture public lands, including the 193 million acres in 154 national forests and 20 national grasslands managed by the U.S. Forest Service, which faces its own $5.49 billion maintenance backlog.

This grates hunters, not only because many rely on Forest Service lands for hunting access (hunting is not permitted in most national parks), but because unlike most recreational users, hunters and anglers pay the freight for public land management.

According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), hunters and anglers contribute $3.3 billion a year — more than the NPS’ annual budget — through the purchase of licenses, wildlife stamps, tags, permits and a dedicated excise tax on hunting and fishing equipment for habitat management.

A forest service cabin on Mt. Hood in Oregon.

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3 Reasons to Dehydrate Food


A dehydrator preserves food without sacrificing any of its nutritional value. (Nesco/)

Food dehydrators are food-preserving powerhouses that should be in every kitchen. These stand-alone devices are simple to use, and take up little space on a countertop or in a pantry. Not only that, but they can turn healthy snacks into fun snacks to eat—why let kids chow down on a bag of potato chips when they can feast on banana or apple chips instead? Here are a few other reasons why you need a food dehydrator.

Dehydrated Foods Make Excellent Snacks


There’s no better way to hunt ducks than by snacking on bite-sized pieces of some birds you harvested earlier in the week. (Nesco/)

Keep yourself fed in the duck blind or tree stand with your own home-made snacks. Nothing says waterfowl season like a big bite of goose jerky, but you can add variety to your snacking routine by bringing along some dried apple or peach slices. Add some nuts to the dried blackberries you collected earlier in the fall and have the energy you need to chase that buck over the next hill.

Enjoy Your Harvest Year-Round


Preserve your fruits so you can enjoy them any month of the year. (Cosori/)

Instead of binging on fresh tomatoes or green beans until you are sick of them, you can throw them in the dehydrator and enjoy the fruits of your labor year-round. Dehydrating foods is a lot less time consuming than canning, and requires a lot less equipment. And dehydrated foods don't lose their nutritional value. Instead, they retain their vitamins and minerals.

There’s no better way to hunt ducks than by snacking on bite-sized pieces of some birds you harvested earlier in the week.
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a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001NZPP6U/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=outdoorlife03-20&linkId=aa892994b5101f59b18d8883e8510aa0&language=en_US

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10 Top Tech Advances In Hunting Bows


A Midwestern bowhunter checks a foodplot for deer activity. (Design Pics Inc/Alamy/)

A new season. Piles of new bowhunting gear. Many bowhunters can end up questioning whether sorting through it all is really worth the time and effort. And especially, when it comes to big-ticket compound bows. After all, they couldn’t possibly improve enough to warrant those bloated price tags, could they? Well, hold on there. If you’ve got a hankering to upgrade your current rig, here are 10 solid reasons a trip to your local archery pro shop this week might be some seriously smart shopping.

1. Custom Strings & Cables


Custom strings and cables can help to “bombproof” your hunting bow. (VaporTrail/)

Talk to custom, after-market string makers and they will tell you there is a world of difference in the quality between most high-performance custom strings and the stock, factory strings found on most compounds (even from the best brands). That news might come as a shock for someone who just plunked down $1,000 (or more) for a new bow, but as someone who has had a fair amount of exposure to custom strings, I can attest that most all of the touted custom string advantages are very real indeed. They include far less (virtually no) string stretch and far greater longevity—several years versus just one or two for a hard-hunted factory string. A set of premium custom strings/cables, made using premium and typically more-expensive proprietary materials, will typically set you back about $100 to $150, but you are also less likely to experience string stretch that can cause your bow to go out of tune, which manifests itself as a few common maladies: Poor cam timing, bothersome peep rotation, and even things like inconsistent brace height and bow poundage. In the end, a lesser-quality string can end up forcing you to constantly re-tune and re-sight your bow, because what suffers is the consistent, in-the-field accuracy you worked so hard to obtain. If you want to "bombproof" your favorite compound, adding a quality custom string is a good start, and there are several smart options from proven companies that include Vapor Trail

2. Riser 'Cage' Construction


Riser cage construction on an Elite Ritual. (Mark Melotik/)

I vividly recall examining the first “riser-cage” construction, in the riser of the Elite Energy 32 compound back in 2013. To be honest I didn’t really know just how a little open-air “cage” in a riser could help a bow shoot better, but I did like the results. I soon found Elite had built another rock-steady, impressively silent and accurate, virtually vibration-free bow. Was some or all of that helped along by the unique new riser technology? For the answer, simply look at the newest bow models from several respected companies. Not so coincidentally, much the same (or at least very similar) technology has since snowballed. For 2019, not only can you can find it in the riser of the new Elite Ritual 30 (www.elitearchery.com) , but also in models from a handful of very long-standing, top-tier bow companies. All have found the little “cages” in the riser help promote stability and balance, while improving stiffness and vibration-dampening. And all that leads to better hunting accuracy. Yes, the cage is all the rage.

Custom strings and cables can help to “bombproof” your hunting bow.
Riser cage construction on an Elite Ritual.
Next-gen limb and cable stops help foster more consistent shooting form.
Performance cams can add comfort to your shooting.
The best modular draw length cam systems allow you to change draw length quickly.
Torque-elimination systems help enhance the tuning process.
Improved limb-locking systems also add to better shooting consistency.
Thanks to increased efficiency, you are capable of shooting a faster bow at a lighter bow weight.
An energy-retaining cam on a PSE Evolve.
The Mathews Vertix is offered in seven camo patterns.

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Beat the Heat in a Survival Situation


Surviving the heat can be a major challenge in a dry, shadeless environment. (Max Pixel/)

Summer heat can be brutal on outdoorsmen and women. But what happens when we have to deal with both the heat and the hard work of a survival situation? We typically worry about the dangers of hypothermia in outdoor emergencies, but heat-related problems can be killers too. Heat stroke is the most dangerous foe, but dehydration, hyponatremia, and sun burn can also take their toll on a beleaguered survivor. Thankfully, there are plenty of strategies you can use to beat the heat.

1. Monitor for Dehydration

The human body is full of different fluids, each with a different job to do. Water is at the base of all these useful liquids. In fact, roughly 60 percent of an adult’s weight is from water. When this water is depleted through sweating or any other water loss, we become dehydrated. When the lack of water is mild, we face the familiar symptoms that we’ve known our entire lives. We feel an increased thirst and our mouths become dry. We don’t have to pee very often, and when we do finally pee – the urine is more yellow and stronger smelling than normal. We may also get a headache, feel sleepy or dizzy.

When dehydration is severe, the symptoms are more severe too. We will have a rapid pulse and quicker breathing. We will not need to pee, or have a small volume of dark yellow pee. Headaches will be intense, and we may feel dizziness, lethargic, or confused. If the dehydration is bad enough, we may even faint. Before things get that bad, it’s best to monitor yourself and your group for signs of dehydration. The best gauge available is urine output and volume. These two things take into account all variables (like heat, humidity, health, age, weight, exertion, etc.). Don’t worry, we’re not asking you to pee into a graduated cylinder and keep a chart of the results. A general impression is good enough. If you’re not peeing every 2-3 hours, and it’s not the normal volume for you – then you are dehydrated. It’s just as simple as that. Drink more water until your pee schedule is back to normal, and make sure you don’t overhydrate with plain water (since that can lead to our next problem, hyponatremia).

2. Identify and fight hyponatremia

'Salt, potassium and other minerals a href="https://www.amazon.com/DripDrop-Electrolyte-Hydration-Powder-Sticks/dp/B00PM0D77G/ref=as_li_ss_tl?th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=outdoorlife03-20&linkId=3dcfefcee9f185ee8fa974dd321cd93d&language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title=""are critical assets for your body/a. When you lose too much by sweating and flood the body with plain water, you can be at risk for a rare, yet serious medical condition.' height=1124
Sunburn isn't just annoying. It can be really painful and add one more problem to a href="https://www.amazon.com/Bull-Frog-Mosquito-Sunscreen-Repellent/dp/B00HRWW6BA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=outdoorlife03-20&linkId=5ad163b59a5168dfff58dbcd63bc6f1c&language=en_US

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How to Make Your Feet More Comfortable by Replacing Your Insoles

Getting the best performance from your hunting or hiking boot doesn’t necessarily end with the footwear itself. If you love your boots but can’t quite get the perfect fit, you may need a custom insole. Laying out the extra expense can also help relieve problems associated with runner’s knee, over-training, or injury, and breathe new life into tired footwear. If you are still tweaking your fit, here are a few things to consider when trying to get the most out of your boot, shoe, or trail runner.

Volume and Profile


The "profile" of an insole is the amount of space it takes up inside your shoe or boot. (Physix Gear Sport/)

An insole's "volume" is the amount of space it takes up in the foot bed. Those with slim feet may need a high-volume insert to achieve the right fit. The amount of shape that you feel underfoot is referred to as the insole's "profile." Generally speaking, a high-profile insole has more arch support than a low-profile version.

Arch Support


When shopping for insoles, foot arch types generally fall into one of three categories—low, neutral, or high. (Superfeet/)

Everybody has their own unique foot shape, and the range of insole arch types reflects that diversity. Insole arch height can be important to everything from correcting flat-footedness and fallen arches to alleviating pain associated with plantar fasciitis and heels spurs. Arch types generally fall into one of three categories: low, neutral, or high.

'When shopping for a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002T0072U/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=outdoorlife03-20&linkId=7baac1753b3ed9e1c29a22c1ced3f674&language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title=""insoles/a, foot arch types generally fall into one of three categories—low, neutral, or high.' height=843
There's an a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M7VGCTI/ref=as_li_ss_tl?th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=outdoorlife03-20&linkId=5e4341362d1ab4f03c412d77b1fd9083&language=en_US

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3 Things to Consider When Buying an Inflatable Mattress

Admittedly, a blow-up queen-size mattress hardly qualifies as camping gear, but the comfort and convenience it offers certainly has a place as an extra bunk at the family cabin, a spare bed in the living room, or your personal dog house in the basement. Whatever your need, here are a few things to look for in the ever-handy balloon bed.

Twin or Queen


If you have the space in your home and budget, spring for a queen-sized mattress. (King Koil/)

Inflatable mattress options are usually twin-sized or queen. For ease of use, portability, or even squeezing into the family tent, a twin is the way to go. But a queen-size mattress stored at your camp clubhouse or cabin will serve your guests or extended family in ultimate style.

Height


The higher off the ground you can get, the more comfortable you'll often be. (OlarHike/)

Some mattresses are a single layer and fine for throwing out anywhere you have the floor space. But the most comfortable ones are the equivalent of a box spring and mattress, about 18 to 20 inches high, and make both sleeping in the bed and rolling out of it in the morning more comfortable.

The higher off the ground you can get, the a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07LCBRQK5/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=outdoorlife03-20&linkId=febd034005b3f4f461a1a5fb4d33f388&language=en_US
'Some of the a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MT44YFS/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=outdoorlife03-20&linkId=0587c5e42bc4b187a58651d32cd95411&language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title=""best large air mattresses/a are almost two-feet high and have an inflator built in.' height=750

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How to Kennel Your Dog in Comfort

There are many reasons to kennel a dog, ranging from bedtime routines to behavioral needs, and from training to travel. However, the traditional plastic kennel doesn’t have to be your best friend’s only home away from home. They are great for the back of the truck on the way to camp or a hunt, but not the best for inside use. If you kennel your dog in the home at night, take a look at a few of these options before buying.

Collapsible Kennels


A collapsible kennel is light, easy to set up, and offers you and your dog a sense of security when you're away from home. (AmazonBasics/)

Available in a variety of sizes and wire gauges for any dog, the collapsible wire kennel offers a sense of security for your dog at night. It's light weight for easily moving around the house, and best of all, will fold flat for transport. The slide-out plastic pan in the bottom helps you keep quarters clean and works perfectly with your dog's favorite bedding or blanket.

Heavy Duty


A metal lightweight kennel can last a lifetime. (LUCKUP/)

If you want a little more security and durability, look for a metal cage with vertical bars (or anti-bite wire for anxious or aggressive dogs). Anti-rust coatings on heavy duty steel mean it will last a lifetime. A slide-out pan catches dropped food or accidents, and while it's not exactly portable, the sturdy casters make it easy to move from room to room.

'A a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076ZNRX54/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=fsmag-20&linkId=2b1dec80fefec030dd7d716721652fcd&language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title=""metal lightweight kennel/a can last a lifetime.' height=1125
'A a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076H8P8JK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=outdoorlife03-20&linkId=d0c69ce8f2fffb08a55bbebb98873372&language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title=""furniture-grade kennel/a not only keeps your pet safe, it looks good wherever your dog beds down.' height=1125

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How Moon Phases Will Impact Deer Hunting During the Rut this Season


A Midwest buck on the move under a full moon. (Neal Mishler/Alamy/)

Multiple scientific studies of whitetail deer have established historical rut activity charts that illustrate one important fact: In any given year, from North Carolina to Kansas to western Canada, 90 percent of all adult does will come into estrous and be bred from approximately November 5 to 20, regardless of moon phase, weather, or other environmental conditions.

It’s been that way for decades and will continue to be that way. So, if you take off work any time from Halloween through Thanksgiving, you’ll be hunting some phase of the rut.

I do believe, however, that some days and weeks are better to hunt than others each year and it’s largely dependent on the moon phases that occur in late October through November. I base this on two things. One, more than 30 years of hunting and observing bucks across North America each fall as they seek, chase, and breed does. Two, I read and analyze all the moon-related deer research I can get my hands on, and continually compare that data to my field notes.

One study of the moon and its effects on whitetail movement was conducted by researchers at North Carolina State University and published in 2010. Researchers tracked GPS-collared deer throughout the four lunar phases of late October and November, and analyzed text messages sent from those collars to determine when the animals moved most—and least.

For the past 8 years I have cross-referenced that study’s findings with my ongoing field notes and theories, and have found some interesting common ground.

Look for bucks to be most active in the early morning hours during the new moon phase of the rut this year.
Midday buck activity should be high during the full moon period from November 8 to 16.
Hunting at last legal shooting light can pay off in late November.

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