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President Biden’s Order to Protect 30 Percent of the Nation’s Land Could Be a Massive Win for Fish and Wildlife—If Hunters, Anglers, Farmers, Tribes Have a Say

Sportsmen's and women's groups are cautiously optimistic about the president's order to conserve 30 percent of the nation's land by 2030. (John Hafner/)

Among dozens of executive orders President Joe Biden signed his first weeks in office, the one that caught most conservation organizations’ attention was aimed at slowing climate change by conserving wildlands. While Executive Order 14008′s stop on all new oil and gas leasing on federal lands drew the most buzz, another portion, often called 30 by 30, or even 3030, is drawing the most interest from the nation’s sportsmen and women.

The order is to conserve 30 percent of the country’s land and 30 percent of its coastal waters by 2030. Right now, the USGS estimates about 12 percent of the country’s land is permanently conserved and 23 percent of its coastal waters are “strongly protected.” The goal is to conserve more wild land to reduce the effects of climate change (through carbon sequestration) and slow species loss. It coincides with a similar global effort put forth by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.

Hunters and anglers have their questions. Where’s the other 18 percent going to come from? And what does “conserved” land actually mean? No one is sure just yet. But here’s what we do know so far.

The effort will be spearheaded by the nation’s Interior, Agriculture, and Commerce departments along with the Council on Environmental Quality. The Department of Interior—which manages more than 440 million acres of public land, largely in the form of National Parks, Monuments, Wildlife Refuges, and Bureau of Land Management land—is not ready to give interviews yet, according to Interior’s press secretary Tyler Cherry. A fact sheet on the Interior’s website states the goal is meant “to safeguard our health, food supplies, biodiversity, and the prosperity of every community.”

Currently the U.S. is losing about a football field of habitat every 30 seconds to development, so adding conserved land that would amass to roughly twice the size of Texas is going to be a challenge.

Wetlands, prairie, and forests will all be part of the 30 by 30 order.
The goal of 30 by 30 is to slow the effects of climate change and species loss.

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Best Shooting Gloves: Handle Your Gun and Trigger with Confidence

The best shooting gloves will allow dexterity, provide good grip, and allow for a good feel of the trigger and other controls. (Josh Danyliw / Unsplash/)

Shooting gloves should be on the top of the list of both hunters and target shooters alike. They do more than protect your hands from repetitive impact. They’ll insulate your hands in cold weather, help hide you from wary animals, and provide an intuitive feel to triggers and safeties. On the range, in the field, or in competition, the best shooting gloves—whether top shelf or budget—will help you hit your mark.

Best Competition Shooting Sports Gloves: PIG Full Dexterity Tactical (FDT) Alpha Gloves

Best Fingerless Shooting Gloves: Mechanix Wear - M-Pact Fingerless Covert Tactical Gloves

Best General Use Shooting Gloves: Caldwell Ultimate Shooting Gloves

Best Shooting Gloves For Hunting: Cabela’s Extreme II GORE-TEX Shooting Gloves

A shooting glove designed for maximum on-target impact, with a single-layer palm for great tactile feel and full protection from wrist to fingertips.
They may be fingerless, but these military style competitive shooting gloves pack tons of protection into a very useful package.
Targeted to general shooters who engage in all aspects of the shooting sports, these gloves provide a great solution for those looking for hunting gloves, competitive shooting gloves, and protection in a single package.
You’ll stay warm, dry, and zeroed in with these hunting-specific shooting gloves.
A touch-screen-capable set of shooting gloves adds fingertip pads for manipulating screens.
These great shooting gloves for hunting provide the grip and protection you need without over-the-top tactical features.

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Best Ice Pick: Get and Keep a Hold

Ice picks come in varying styles designed for specific uses, so choosing the right one for the job is crucial. (TeeFarm / Pixabay/)

Ice picks are crucial pieces of survival equipment during winter. For an outdoor survival enthusiast, having a high quality ice pick could mean the difference between staying alive and meeting your maker. When you’re putting together a winter survival kit made to withstand the harshest conditions, planning an extreme backcountry trek or mountaineering ascent, or just trying to stay safe when you’re ice fishing, you need to include a high-quality ice pick in your arsenal.

There are two different types of ice picks to consider. The standard “ice pick” that might come to mind is a tool made specifically for mountaineering and ice climbing. This kind of ice pick—which is technically called an ice axe—is usually made up with a long, axe-like shaft with an extended metal pick attached to the end of it. This tool is useful for travel on glaciers, steep couloirs, frozen waterfalls, and other kinds of slippery winter terrain. In contrast, an “ice pick” in the ice fishing world is something else completely. Here, an ice pick—or ice spike— is a small pick sheathed in wood or plastic that will allow you to grip into ice to attempt a self-rescue if you’ve fallen into freezing water. Both types of ice picks are tools that could spell the difference between life and death.

Best Ice Pick For An Outdoor Survival Kit: PETZL Summit EVO

Best Ice Pick for Ice Fishing: Frabill Retractable Ice Picks

Best Ice Pick for Winter Hiking: Petzl Glacier

The PETZL Summit Evo is lightweight and nearly indestructible.
The Frabill Retractable Ice Picks are designed to be worn in the sleeves of your coat, so they’re always at hand.
The Petzl Glacier is compact and portable enough for long-distance travel.
The Slinging Rock Bandit Ice Tool is made for ascending sheer walls.
The Ito Rocky Pro Break Ice Axe is affordable and effective.

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Scout Winter Deer Patterns and You Will Find More Shed Antlers

Deer bed closer to feeding areas during the winter. (Jason Tome/)

We know that deer change their patterns throughout the year based on all kinds of factors: caloric needs are a big one, and so is breeding during the rut. During antler casting—when available food is scarce and temperatures drop—deer stick to a strict late-season bedding and feeding routine that you can take advantage of when hunting for sheds.

An efficient bed-to-feed regimen saves deer precious energy that will help get them through the cold winter months. To conserve energy, deer will shift their bedding areas closer to the best late-season food sources.

If you use what we already know about deer’s winter behavior, you’ll find more shed antlers. Focus on bedding areas, high-traffic spots, and food plots (or anywhere else deer may feed or congregate). I hunt in places where I know bucks spend a lot of time, and I’ve found more sheds in these locations than anywhere else. Sure, you can stumble around the woods and luck into a few antlers, but if you’re more calculated in your approach, you’ll have better shed-hunting success.

Focus on the Does

Since deer are in a stricter bed-to-feed routine later in the season, you can guarantee they’ll be eating close to their bedding areas. In fact, it’s not uncommon for deer, especially does, to periodically bed right in a food source. When you see does and fawns feeding, you can bet bucks are close by, and you should search in and around these areas for sheds. These are a good starting point for finding dropped antlers.

Mature bucks are more solitary that does and small bucks, so search for their sheds in seculded places where you find few tracks.
You will find sheds near evergreens, which deer utilize for cover all winter long.

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Man-Eating Crocodile Blamed In Attack On Missing Australian Fisherman

A huge crocodile has been blamed in the death of a Queensland, Australia fisherman. (D_Mz/)

Investigations into the disappearance of a missing Queensland, Australia fisherman resulted in the discovery of human remains inside a 13.8-foot crocodile, according to CNN. The crocodile was caught and killed by the Queensland Department of Environmental and Science (DES). The DES also killed a second, 10-foot crocodile as part of the investigation.

On February 11, Andrew Heard, an experienced 69-year-old angler, failed to return from a fishing trip to Gayundah Creek on Hinchinbrook Island. Unable to reach her husband via radio, Heard’s wife alerted authorities who began a search-and-rescue mission. Heard’s damaged and overturned skiff was found around 2:30 PM on Friday. Two crocodiles were in close proximity to the swamped boat and were killed immediately.

Read Next: Crocodile Attacks Now Being Tracked Worldwide

According to the Queensland Police Acting Inspector Andrew Cowie, “at this stage we can only confirm that we’ve found human remains in the first crocodile.” The examination of the second crocodile has not yet been completed, but since both were in the same area, Cowie said, “I believe that we’ve got two crocodiles involved.”

Crocodile attacks in Australia are rare, but this is the third attack in Queensland in February. Earlier this month, two swimmers, one in Cairns and one in Weipa, survived crocodile attacks. The crocs in those areas were either dispatched by local authorities or relocated to a crocodile farm.

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Wisconsin Rushes Through Late-Season Wolf Hunt

Wolf hunting has been a divisive issue in Wisconsin—and many other states—for years. (Mohamed Hassan/)

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Board (DNR) voted unanimously to allow hunters and trappers a season that runs for the last week of February, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. Wisconsin state law requires that if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does not have wolves listed as an endangered species then the DNR must allow wolf trapping and hunting from November through February. USFWS removed the gray wolf from the endangered species list on January 4.

Originally, the DNR rejected the hunt because there was limited time for public input and that Wisconsin’s Chippewa tribes had not been consulted on the hunt, per treaty requirement. However, Hunter Nation, Inc, an advocacy group that supports hunters’ rights, sued the DNR claiming that not holding a hunt violated hunters’ constitutional rights. Despite protest in the form of more than 2,000 received letters, Circuit Judge Bennett Brantmeier ordered the DNR to hold the hunt.

The DNR will issue up to 4,000 permits, with a recommended quota of 200 wolves killed. The state wolf management plan’s goal is to have 350 wolves living outside of tribal reservations. The DNR estimates that there are 1,195 wolves in the state, which is triple the number of wolves called for by the management plan. If filled, the harvest of 200 wolves would reduce the Wisconsin wolf population to 995 which still is more than double the number outlined in the wolf management plan.

The hunt has been a volatile issue for years. Opponents say wolves are too beautiful to kill and are still too scarce in much of the country to be hunted. Native tribes consider them to be sacred.

Proponents say a surplus of wolves on the landscape means predation on livestock, pets, and game animals. In neighboring Minnesota, the Mayor of Grand Marias made headlines when his dog survived a wolf attack last month.

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18 Facts You Didn’t Know About Mallards

Just about every duck hunter loves shooting mallards. We’re obsessed with how they respond to the call, decoy with reckless abandon, hover over the spinners in the early season, and fare at the dinner table. But there’s plenty about the biology of greenheads you don’t know. And to have a full appreciation of the species, you need to. So, I spoke with a few waterfowl biologists to find out more. After talking with some of the foremost authorities on duck biology, I cherish or most beloved bird even more. You will too.

1. Every Mallard is the Same

There's only one species of mallard no matter what continent you shoot one on. (Joe Genzel/)

“Mallards are circumpolar, meaning they occur in the same basic form across the northern hemisphere,” says Dr. Chris Nicolai, chief waterfowl scientist with Delta Waterfowl. That means a mallard in Siberia is essentially the same as one in Saskatchewan, and the one that has adapted to life in Moscow is pretty much the same as the one in Minneapolis. “Mallards are not native to southern hemisphere,” Nicolai points out, “though they have been successfully introduced to New Zealand.”

2. They’re Committed

Evidence suggests that some mallard pairs mate for life. “I see it in the band reports I review,” says Nicolai. “I will sometimes see consecutive numbers on birds collected on the same day, and they are male and female.” He adds: “I once banded a pair of breeding mallards on a wood duck pond we boom-netted. We banded them right with the rest of the wood ducks. Six years later, we netted the same mallard pair.”

Mallard pairs have a low percentage of staying together.
Ducklings have many predators.
Biologists conducting the annual waterfowl survey in Saskatchewan.
Mallards are the only ducks that have a hen limit.
During the summer waterfowl replace their feathers in a process known as molting.

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The Affordable Side-by-Side Shotgun Is Making a Comeback with American Bird Hunters

The dampness of the cellar mixed with the smell of gun oil hit my nose. My eyes caught the fluorescent lights reflecting off blued metal. Well-kept barrels of various brands and models of vintage shotguns stood out in contrast against a worn table. My bank account was about to be sucked dry; I tried not to think about the overdraft fees. The affordable gun I had originally came for fell by the wayside as I shouldered an Italian-built shotgun with a slender English grip. Welcome to the world of side-by-side shotguns.

Until I met my dream shotgun in that cellar, the name Bernardelli was entirely unknown to me. V. Bernardelli closed its doors in 1997, a fact I only learned after researching the Italian manufacturer when an opportunity arose to buy one of their side-by-side shotguns. The truth is that buying used shotguns can be challenging; it’s easy to get burned on the value, plus the advantages of modern side-by-sides become more relevant as our bird hunting culture expands. But if we’re going to understand the resurgence of modern side-by-side shotguns in America, we first must understand their decline.

The Decline of American Side-by-Sides

The popularity of side-by-sides began to slide after World War II. (Project Upland/)

The story of side-by-side shotguns is one that follows the rise and fall of trends. Even before companies like V. Bernardelli closed their doors, the days of buying now-famous American classics, like Parkers and A.H. Fox guns from hardware store walls at affordable prices, were long gone. Many of the factories shuttered by the late 1940s and the rights of those companies were acquired by larger gun manufacturers that would, for the most part, also cease production.

“It started after World War II with the introduction of semi-automatic guns from various manufacturers,” said Jerry Havel, who spent 20 years working in the shotgun business and is now co-founder of the Upland Gun Company. “These manufacturers were able to mass-produce some great shotguns for the hunting market. This new technology made guns more affordable to the general public, so you saw a rapid growth of the outdoor industry. This left the ‘old guns’ in the corner for years.”

You can buy a CZ Bobwhite for less than $700.
AKUS build shotguns that fall between $2,000 and $5,000. That's a reasonable price range for a side-by-side.
AYA used its 4/53 as the model to build a more affordable bespoke side-by-side.
The Fabarm Autumn is new to the U.S. market.
RFM has only brought its side-by-sides to America in the last year.

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The Surge in Gun and Ammo Sales Has Created a Boom in Wildlife Conservation Funding

A look at the spike in Pittman-Robertson funding since it's inception. Data source: USFWS. (Russ Smith /)

We’re more than 10 months into the largest civilian firearms and ammunition buying surge in American history. More than 8 million people bought a firearm for the first time last year and ammunition from .22LR to .300 Win. Mag. is sold out at stores across the country and backordered for months. When the surge will end is uncertain, but here’s one thing that’s absolute: This will all lead to a boom in conservation and wildlife funding in 2021, and beyond.

And this is probably the greatest untold story of the great gun-buying year of 2020. For every sporting arm and box of ammunition sold, there’s an 11 percent excise tax applied that funds wildlife and habitat conservation initiatives (the tax is also applied to archery equipment). There’s a similar 10 percent excise tax on all handgun sales. Those excise tax dollars are distributed to states specifically for conservation work, hunter education and recruitment, shooting ranges, and wildlife research. In short, the more guns and ammo that get sold, the more available money there will be for conservation work.

The purchase of sporting arms and ammunition, as well as handguns and archery equipment, funds wildlife conservation in the U.S. (Natalie Krebs /)

This is all thanks to the decades-old Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, or as it’s better know, the Pittman-Robertson Act, which very well might be entering its glory days. With state governments rattled by budget shortfalls due to COVID-19 and colleges across the country slashing budgets, an injection of cash dedicated to habitat conservation and wildlife research could be more critical than ever. Plus, all those millions of new gun owners are going to need places to shoot and state agencies are trying to capitalize on a renewed interest in hunting to sell more hunting licenses. Pittman-Robertson funding will help with all of that, especially if Americans continue to buy more guns and ammo.

How Gun Sales Create Wildlife Funding

Back in 1937, Democrats Key Pittman and Absalom Willis Robertson wrote a bill that diverted an existing 11 percent excise tax on firearms to the Secretary of the Interior to be distributed to individual states. At the time, those tax dollars had been going to the Treasury. America’s wildlife was struggling to rebound from the population crashes of the late 1800s that came from market hunting and habitat devastation. Legendary conservationist Aldo Leopold had just published his landmark textbook, “Game Management,” and Americans were beginning to understand the nuances of actively managing habitat and wildlife.

The purchase of sporting arms and ammunition, as well as handguns and archery equipment, funds wildlife conservation in the U.S.
An example of Pittman-Robertson revenues, broken down by purchase type, from fiscal years 2007 to 2016. This chart has been adjusted for inflation in 2018 dollars. Source: USFWS.
A map showing two of the factors that contribute to Pittman-Robertson fund allocations, including states' geographic area and licensed hunters. Texas has received more P-R federal aid than any other state ($594 million) because of it’s size and more than one million licensed hunters.
Pittman-Robertson dollars fund wildlife research on everything from turkeys to bighorn sheep.
Concern over an uncertain future has created new gun owners outside of the stereotypical demographic of white, middle-aged, conservative males.

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The Anti-Valentine’s Day Story, from an Armchair Biologist

“Are you saying that geese have a culture?” (Image by Ralf Vetterle from Pixabay /)

My wife has been complaining lately about bursitis in her shoulder. My knees hurt, and it takes me a good mile to warm into any sort of jog.

Over coffee this morning, after exchanging Valentine’s Day pleasantries and inventorying our latest pains, I suggested that we both might be better off with younger, more physically fit, companions. She looked into her mug, then walked to the sink and rinsed it out.

I love my wife more every year. We’ve been married for 24 years this September. You’d think, after all that time, that I’d know when to share my observations and when to keep them to myself. Instead, I tried another angle.

“How does it make sense from an evolutionary perspective that we’d grow old at the same rate? Wouldn’t it make more sense to protect the wisdom gained through all our years by mating with someone more capable of protection and finding food and shelter. Even better at reproducing?”

She looked out the window at the slumping front porch posts—the ones I promised to shore up before the ground froze last fall—the way a chef looks at a hot dog. Then my mind flashed to all those old men I’ve seen at Safari Club conventions, with young ladies hanging on their arms. I tried to recover.

The author and his objectively superior mate.

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New York City Carpenter Tags a 197-Inch, State-Record Buck ... On Long Island

If you drive I-80 east, it’s approximately 430 miles between Niagara County in extreme western New York to Suffolk County on the eastern most tip of Long Island. In terms of deer hunting country, the two regions couldn’t be more different—fertile flatlands to the west and suburban sprawl to the east. Each will now be known for producing state-record bucks during the 2020 bow season. If you want to read about the new nontypical record, check out the story on Field & Stream. This is the story of the biggest typical buck ever take with a bow in New York.

The New No. 1 Typical

Dieter Herbert arrowed a 130 class buck (right) just minutes before shooting one of the biggest typical whitetails in New York history. (Dieter Herbert/)

Dieter Herbert of Huntington, New York, is a self-admitted whitetail addict. This 27-year-old New York City carpenter spends countless days and dollars scouting, planning, and hunting whitetails. He first started hunting at age 16 with his dad, Rick, and that’s all it took to get Dieter Herbert hooked for life.

The suburban tracts of land that he hunts are generally 20 acres or less in size. In Nov. 2019 a giant buck with a split G4 appeared on one his trail cameras. Herbert said that he knew right away that it was a world-class buck and he nicknamed it “Split G4.”

A Suffolk Co. trail cam photo from October. (Dieter Herbert/)

In 2020, Herbert spent countless hours scouting and putting up trail cameras on different tracts of land in an effort to learn the legendary buck’s habits. In August, Herbert built himself a ground blind out of cedar boughs and other brush on a hillside overlooking the mock scrape where Split G4 originally appeared on trail cam. Unfortunately, Split G4 seemed to have disappeared as the buck hadn’t made an appearance of any kind all summer.

A Suffolk Co. trail cam photo from October.
Split G4 showed great mass in 2019.
Split G4’s shed from 2019.

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Scalpers Are Driving Up Ammunition Costs and Contributing to the Ammo Shortage

The shortages of everything from .22LR to .300 Win. Mag. are affecting hunters and shooters nationwide—and scalpers aren't helping. (CCI/)

Just what, exactly, is causing the month’s long ammo shortage and price increases that shooters and hunters are seeing across the country? After a series of interviews and private conversations, it’s clear that the ammunition shortage is not the result of manufacturers dragging their feet. In fact, just the opposite is true: 2020 represented the absolute manufacturing limit of the firearms industry. Many have pointed to the panic-buying mentality of American consumers and, even more acutely, at the opportunists who are buying ammo in bulk and then selling it online at increased prices. But is that happening frequently enough to cause an overall rise in ammo costs and a shortage on store shelves? Let’s take a look.

Understanding Ammo Distributors and Dealers

If we’re going to understand the ammo shortage, we must first understand how ammunition is distributed and sold. Ammunition traditionally flows from a manufacturer’s facility to a distributor’s warehouse, where it’s then dispersed to dealers based on when they placed their orders and the quantity they ordered. I spoke with a large distributor who said that they, just like their competition, are getting the same regular shipments from manufacturers and those shipments are quickly broken down and allocated to dealers based on the timing of their orders. In other words, it’s business as usual. If a dealer was asleep at the wheel and failed to plan, their order is processed when they’re next in the queue. This could contribute to what customers are seeing in their local brick-and-mortar stores, and why some have empty shelves while others are getting pallets of ammunition delivered.

Read Next: Where’s All the Damn Ammo? Federal Premium’s President Has Some Answers

The Impact of Online Retailers

'“Last Friday Target Sports had 9mm Speer Gold Dot and three FMJ Federal Ammunition choices in-stock,” one user recently posted on a forum. “As I received my text saying ‘in-stock’ I logged on to TS and was able to view the four selections and I put the Gold Dots in my order. As I hit the checkout, all four were out of stock."' data-has-syndication-rights=1
Consumers across the country are panic-buying ammunition whenever they can find it, causing shortages for retailers.
Some customers have been stock piling a random assortment of calibers in bulk, leading retailers to implement restrictions on the number of boxes a customer can purchase.
Despite conspiracy theories, the blame for ammo shortages don't rest with manufacturers, who overwhelmingly maxed out their manufacturing capacity in 2020.

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Here’s What It’s Like Competing in One of the Toughest Long-Range Rifle Matches in the Country

I might have known that my road to the PRS Finale was going to be rough when the day before I was supposed to leave on the two-and-a-half week, 3,000-mile road trip, I tore the handle off the inside of the driver’s side door of my truck.

I’ll admit, I was a little angry when it happened. I mean before it happened—which might explain why it happened.

I was at the range, ready to fire-form 120 rounds of brass that I needed to reload for the match, when I realized I had left my firing pin at my workshop. You’re supposed to make boneheaded moves like that only once—kind of like forgetting to put the drain plug in your first boat before launching it at the ramp.

But I’d be lying if I told you I hadn’t pulled this stunt before.

The author practicing off a homemade barricade prior to the PRS Finale. (Tanner Denton/)

In case you’re wondering why my firing pin was not secured to the bolt of my GA Precision competition rifle, that’s simple. I had been testing my resized brass to make sure I had just the right amount of shoulder bump on my cases, and to do that you need to be able to feel how easily the brass chambers in your rifle. Any binding or resistance on the bolt close is a bad deal for PRS type shooting. And you can’t get a feel for that with the firing pin in the bolt.

The author prepping hundreds of pieces of brass to reload for the PRS Finale.
The author shooting off a series of rocks at the PRS Finale.
The weather turned rough on day two of the PRS Finale feature.
The 6mm GAP GT was designed for long-range shooting competitions.

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Best Microfiber Cleaning Cloth: Cleaning Supplies that Work on Anything

When you really need to see what’s going on, clean those sunglasses with microfiber cleaning cloths. (Unsplash/)

Microfiber cleaning cloths are arguably the most efficient way to deep clean. To understand why, you’ll need a quick and dirty deep dive into the science of scrubbing.

Even if you’re using fancy formulations and cleaning supplies, old-school deep cleaning comes down to a bucket of soapy water and a rag. The key is the soap, which scientists call a surfactant. If you could zoom in and view the molecular structure of that soap, you’d see long molecules that look somewhat like a tadpole with a head on one end and a tail on the other. The head end loves water while the tail end loves grease. Together, those ends act like magnets. One end pulls grease from the dirty surface, and the other end pushes the liberated grease away from the surface with water.

Microfiber is different. This high-tech textile doesn’t rely on soap at all. Instead, its cleaning power is due to the structure of the microfiber itself. Microfiber is plastic, and the surface fibers are split to each be the size of 1/100th of a single human hair. That means a microfiber cleaning cloth isn’t a smooth surface; it’s covered in millions or billions of grippy microscopic fibers. These seriously amp up the surface area of the cloth, and each of those minuscule fiber fingers can reach into tiny crevices a smooth cloth would miss. That means if you’re cleaning your computer keyboard, your cloth doesn’t just wipe over the surface of the keys; it reaches into the spaces around each key. And those fibers carry a subtle charge called van der Waals forces (one of the forces that hold molecules together) so, as those fingers reach into the depression around your spacebar, they actually lift dust and microbes out of those crevices and hang onto them until you rinse the cloth in the sink.

And they do all that without soap or detergent, which leave behind residue.


These are designed for cleaning lenses, and remove dust, oil, smudges, fingerprints, and dirt.
This microfiber cloth comes in a set of four colors so you can have dedicated bathroom and kitchen cleaning towels.
This microfiber mop is specialized for floors and has a triangular pivoting head for reaching into corners and under furniture.
This option is a pack of 20 super-thin microfiber cloths optimized for cleaning electronics.
This two-pack includes a waffle-weave scrubbing microfiber cloth and a polishing cloth for tackling 99 percent of bacteria on glass.
These large microfiber towels come in packs of 3, 6, or 10 so you always have cleaning tools ready.
These cleaning cloths come in a pack of 3 colors with a different texture on each side.

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It’s Time to Stop Hunting Ducks So Damn Much

This late-season hunt was a success because the author and his buddies picked off mallards coming in to a flooded field early afternoon, killing greenheads in singles and pairs and educating very few ducks. (Ryan Askren/)

More than any other group of hunters, waterfowlers wear the number of days they hunt each season like a badge of honor.

“I hunted every day of duck season last year.”

I hear that phrase proudly uttered each summer at the public blind draw, in duck camps during the fall, and from almost every ol’ southern boy I’ve ever shared a sundowner with.

One fella with the “illness” put it to me like this: “Think if your wife only had 60 days to shop at Macy’s. She’d be in the sumbitch every morning.”

As enlightening as that exchange was, it’s the absolute wrong way to approach duck hunting. Why? Because ducks hate pressure.

To have success hunting pressured ducks, you have to let them rest.
This graph shows duck harvest data in the U.S. broken down by flyway from 1961 to 2019.
This is what most days hunting ducks look like, though social media would have you believe otherwise.
Fewer days afield is the answer to better duck hunts.

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5 of the Best Bullets for Handgun Hunters

There are a number of suitable handgun cartridges for big-game hunting, but to obtain the best performance you need the right bullet—a lesson I learned the hard way on my first handgun hunt. When I was a teenager, I wanted to take up the mantle of handgun hunting and chose a suitable weapon—a Ruger Redhawk in .44 Magnum—that I could shoot accurately to 50 yards. When a whitetail doe came within range I fired, but there was no visible reaction from the deer. I fired again and the deer started moving, and by the third shot the deer was at a full run. I was certain that I had somehow missed the shot.

But I hadn’t missed. The bullets I was using weren’t holding up. Even though the doe died within 100 yards I could have (and should have) ended it much more quickly. The right bullet would have done the job, and after that first experience, I’m more particular about my handgun hunting bullets.

Selecting the proper handgun bullet can be daunting, but there are several good options available today that will dispatch game quickly and effectively. Here are five cartridges hunters can depend on.

1. Federal Fusion

Federal's Fusion bullets have a molecularly-bonded lead core. (Federal Premium Ammunition/)

It’s not uncommon for centerfire bullet technology to cross over to handguns, and that’s the case with Fusion. Federal’s Fusion bullets are popular because they offer a molecularly-bonded lead core and copper jacket that ensures maximum weight retention and reliable expansion. Fusion bullets have skives in their jackets, and those skives initiate expansion even at low velocities. This combination of low velocity expansion and bonded bullet toughness make Fusion bullets a versatile choice for handgun hunters. What’s more, Fusion ammunition is relatively affordable for quality handgun hunting ammunition: the 10mm load shown here is a new addition to the line and cost $28 per 20. That load drives a 200-grain Fusion bullet at a velocity of 1,200 fps and generates plenty of punch for deer-sized game.

MonoFlex bullets create large wound channels and impart tremendous hydrostatic shock.
Swift A-frame's proved a level of consistency few cartridges can match.
Partition Gold is no longer in the Winchester lineup, but you can still find the ammo through select vendors.
The author tested Barnes’s .454 Casull load (250-grain XPB bullet at 1,700 feet from the muzzle) and found it to be exceptionally accurate.

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Best Backcountry Skis For Exploring This Winter

Explore the unbeaten slopes with a good pair of backcountry skis. (Kyle Frost / Unsplash/)

Backcountry skiing is an adventure, and can delve into the extreme. Some backcountry skiers jump out of helicopters in the deep recesses of Alaska, or launch off mountainsides in the wilds of Wyoming. And if that’s what you want to do, we have a pair of skis listed here you should consider. But if you’re just getting started, or if you were borrowing your friend’s skis and want to invest in your own, we can help break down some of the complicated features of the best backcountry skis.

BEST ALL MOUNTAIN SKIS: Atomic Backland 78 + Hybrid Skin 78 Backcountry Skis

BEST LIGHTWEIGHT BACKCOUNTRY SKIS: Blizzard Men’s Zero G 95 Backcountry Touring Skis

BEST WOMEN’S SKIS: Blizzard Women’s Black Pearl 88 All-Mountain Lightweight Skis


The Atomic Backland 78 gives you good control in tough conditions.
It’s one of the lightest backcountry skis in its price range.
These women’s backcountry skis that have been tested, redesigned and tested again.
These DPS skis will give you control and speed.
When you want to try backcountry, but you’re not ready for the biggest mountains and runs, these Traverse Atlas skis are a good choice.

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The Spiny Water Flea Could Wreak Havoc on the Most Pristine Waters in the Upper Midwest. Boaters and Anglers are the Only Ones Who Can Stop It

The spiny water flea is invading the Upper Midwest. (Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center/)

It seems that the next troublesome invasive species in the Upper Midwest is a tiny one. The spiny water flea has been latching onto fishing equipment, traveling the Great Lakes for decades, but now they are being transported to some of the most pristine waters in the Upper Midwest. The spiny water flea is about half an inch long. It’s a creepy little critter, with a single, distinctive black eyespot at the head of one to four spines. A barbed tail juts out of its backside, making up about 70 percent of its length. The translucent hitchhiker hooks onto watercraft, fishing lines—essentially everything and anything that touches the water—and then gets transported to new waters.

“Most water fleas eat algae, but a few of them, like spiny water fleas, also eat other water fleas. It’s kind of like wolves eating coyotes or foxes,” says Dr. Valerie Brady, Aquatic Ecologist at the University of Minnesota.

While they present no danger to humans or domestic animals, spiny water fleas rattle ecosystems that support game fish. Spiny water fleas feed on other smaller, native water fleas, which are a vital food sources for small fish and keep algae in check. When plankton populations crash, that sinks small fish numbers, which in turn decreases game fish numbers.

“It’s not just another addition to the food web, it disrupts the food web and makes it harder for small or young fish to feed. That has potential implications for the whole food web,” Brady says.

The spiny water flea is being studied and monitored in Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park and Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. As more new anglers and boaters hit the water last year during COVID—and could be back out this spring—it’s even more critical to get the word out about this invader.

The aquatic hitchhikers are about the size of a fingernail.

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Best Ice Auger: How to Choose an Ice Fishing Essential

A trustworthy auger is an ice angler’s best friend. (Fiske58KL / Pixabay/)

An ice auger is a must-have piece of ice fishing gear, because the very first thing every angler needs to do is drill a fishing hole. And that’s not always easy.

An ice auger is basically a massive drill bit that creates holes in the ice that enable you to drop a line down into the water, and are large enough to haul fish out. There are several different types of augers. Some are operated by hand; others are gas powered augers. Each type of auger has advantages in different ice fishing conditions.

Best Hand Auger: Strike Master Ice Augers Lazer Hand Auger

Best Gas Powered Auger: Eskimo Quantum Auger

Best Propane Ice Auger: Eskimo HC40Q8 High Compression 40cc

The Strike Master Ice Augers Lazer Hand Auger is simple, customizable, and powerful.
The Eskimo Quantum Auger is a dependable and powerful gas auger.
Drill holes quickly with the Eskimo Propane Auger.
The StrikeMaster Lithium 40V Ice Auger is the gold-standard of electric ice augers.
The K-Drill Ice Auger weighs only 5 pounds.
The handle on the Mora adjusts from 48 to 57 inches.

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Work Horse Flannels for Town and Country

A good flannel shirt is a solid choice for all kinds of cool-weather activities, indoor and out. (Kelly Sikkeman on Unsplash/)

A well-loved, heavy-duty flannel shirt is that one item in the closet that you’ll reach for time and again. The soft feel of brushed cotton provides the most comfortable warmth, and the generous cut of most flannel shirts helps you stay active for hours. And modern apparel makers have updated flannel shirt fabrics and designs to keep them current with the times. Many of these shirts can travel from the backyard to the corner bar, with snazzy patterns and fashionable design touches. Here’s your guide to best new twists on a timeless favorite.

With a corduroy-lined collar and matching cuffs, this beefy top goes from the outdoors to the neighborhood bar with ease. (Amazon/)

You’ll likely wear a favorite flannel shirt three seasons in the year, so consider investing in a top-notch design with buttoned pockets, adjustable cuffs, and a fit made for active wear.

It has two secure pockets and a spread collar, and the 8-ounce fabric is the perfect weight for all-day wear. (Amazon/)

When choosing a flannel shirt, be aware that they are made in a wide variety of materials. A 100 percent cotton shirt is best for durability and breathability, and take a close look at the weight of the flannel. A lighter flannel shirt is great for indoor wear. But for active outdoor use, consider a shirt made of 10-ounce flannel or heavier.

Yarn-dyed cotton fabric and extra touches at the collar and cuffs add a touch of class. (Amazon/)

Flannel shirts are often worn when mobility is at a premium—hiking and playing outdoors, working in the yard, maybe chopping firewood for the home woodstove. Look for pleated backs and a generous cut in the sleeves so you won’t bind while working, or playing, hard.

With a corduroy-lined collar and matching cuffs, this beefy top goes from the outdoors to the neighborhood bar with ease.
It has two secure pockets and a spread collar, and the 8-ounce fabric is the perfect weight for all-day wear.
Yarn-dyed cotton fabric and extra touches at the collar and cuffs add a touch of class.

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