Hunting and Fishing News & Blog Articles

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

Float a Canoe into a Big Buck’s Bedding Area for the Ultimate Whitetail Hunt


Any old canoe can be turned into an effective deer transporter. (Lon Lauber/)

Seven years ago, Aaron Warbritton borrowed his landlord’s fiberglass canoe to access a piece of hunting ground in Iowa. Along with a hunting buddy, he paddled a mile upstream to a prime riverbottom, and then paddled a mile back with a dead whitetail buck in his boat. These days Warbritton, a host of the popular YouTube series and podcast The Hunting Public, travels state to state, chasing bucks on public land, and taking viewers and listeners along for the ride. Warbritton and the other Hunting Public guys usually go in cold, speed-scout when they get there, then jump into a hunt. They use a variety of tools to fit their run-and-gun style—ghillie suits, tree saddles, and especially canoes and kayaks.

Launch a Surprise Attack

“You’re usually extremely quiet when approaching a spot via water, and you also leave minimal ground scent, especially if you end up hunting close to the bank,” Warbritton says. “We’ve noticed over the years that bucks tend to bed and live close to water sources. They have good cover and good security, but also a lot of available browse and water right there. That helps them stay secluded, so they don’t have to move far to get a drink.”

Bedding near a river also helps whitetails feel ­secure, and this is especially true for rivers with oxbows, or U-shaped bends. When he’s inside the U, a buck is protected on three sides, since predators don’t typically come from the water. Warbritton likes to home in on these areas and access them by boat. He selects spots using digital maps, then sets up when he finds fresh sign. To avoid bumping bedded deer, he does as little walking as possible when he gets there.

“If it’s a fairly shallow creek, there is usually a big cut in the bank on each side of the oxbow, and the dirt that came out of the cut bank kind of accumulates,” he says. “A lot of times, there’s a shallow water crossing there. The deer that bed on the tip of those oxbows have multiple escape routes down through the crossings. With the wind coming in from the land side, they rarely expect to see any danger coming from the water. We’ve paddled up to rutting bucks right on the bank in the middle of November. They just don’t know what you are.”

Killing a river buck is only part of the challenge—you’ve still got to pack him out.

Continue reading
Tags:

A Whitewater Fishing Adventure on The New River


Measurements taken at the old mining town of Thurmond show the New River spikes to nearly 100,000 cfs each March, then dwindles throughout the rest of the year. That makes spring the most hazardous—­and thrilling—time to raft it. (Nick Kelley/)
Archambault got his nickname in the Marine Corps (“Archy is easier to say when you’re getting shot at”) and spent his first years out of the service with Outward Bound, volunteering as a liaison between veterans and “super hippie raft guides.” The Florida native spends half his year fishing saltwater, and the rest on the New. Whenever he gets a day off from guiding anglers in West Virginia, he gets right back on the river to throw flies himself. (Nick Kelley/)
Flyfishing isn’t one of my vices, so I opted for a medium-action spinning outfit instead. This Abu Garcia Revo STX reel did the trick. (Nick Kelley/)
The New River Gorge drops 750 feet over 50 miles, creating its famed whitewater. Congress protected this stretch, and 70,000 adjacent acres, in 1978 with a National River designation. (Nick Kelley/)
After we load gear and strap the raft frame to Simon’s truck, his fellow guides drive us to the put-in in exchange for beer money. (Nick Kelley/)
Simon, 35, and Otter, 11, have spent most of their lives guiding: summers on the river, ducks and geese in the fall. (Nick Kelley/)
We land bass all week and release each one. Not because we’re catch-and-release purists, but because Archy and Simon refuse to eat anything that lives in the New River. (Nick Kelley/)
Archy caught this fish near camp, but the best smallie action is in the rapids, where bass like to tuck behind rocks, in eddies, and in the pillowy Vs of water just ahead of the rapids, feeding on whatever floats by. (Nick Kelley/)
It’s easier to muscle through flat stretches of river while rowing backward, but it’s critical to face rapids head-on. This allows boaters to read the current and make the technical maneuvers certain sections require. Here, Archy tucks in his oars to clear the rocks as he threads a narrow chute. Careless rowers can easily snap oars on hazards like this, rendering themselves handicapped mid-rapid and thus more likely to flip, get swept into danger, or both. (Nick Kelley/)
After paddling my packraft all day, I tie off to Simon’s boat for the evening bite. He’s ferrying much of camp on his 12-footer, including the cooler full of food that serves as his seat, Yeti dry duffels stuffed with sleeping bags, a 5-gallon jug of drinking water, two spare oars, dog food, and the crew’s daily ration of whiskey. (Nick Kelley/)
Simon leads commercial trips with individual, waiver-signing paddlers, and has been known to kayak and riverboard (imagine swimming with a kickboard in Class Vs), but he loves his custom-fitted oar boat best. (Nick Kelley/)
Otter and Simon sneak in a few casts at midday. It is possible to fish from the public banks, but the terrain is so steep and the woods so thick that locals often can’t reach the water on foot. (Nick Kelley/)
The Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, which runs beside the river, was completed in 1872. It’s still active with freight and Amtrak cars, as I learned when workers started hosing down cars near our campsite at 5 a.m. (Nick Kelley/)
We might not have had fresh fish, but we didn’t go hungry. (Nick Kelley/)
These little rapids wouldn’t pose much danger if I fell in, but standing in the riverbed would. Never try to stand in shallow swift water. You risk foot entrapment and getting pushed beneath the surface. (Nick Kelley/)
We used 7-foot medium-action rods to throw PowerBait Power Swimmers with white jigheads. This worked well until Simon lost my rod in the last rapid. (Nick Kelley/)
I’ve run rapids without a guide, but it’s much safer to boat with someone who knows the river—or how to navigate an unfamiliar one. A good paddler can read a rapid like a good angler can read the current, but we didn’t need to scout the New because my companions have it memorized. Before each stretch of whitewater, Simon briefed me on which path (a “line”) to take through the rapid, which way to swim if I flipped, and which undercut rocks could trap me below the surface. (Nick Kelley/)
There are plenty of slow-moving stretches on the New, giving solo rowers a chance to catch bass. (Nick Kelley/)
Here, Archy drops into Middle Keeney, a Class IV rapid named for a coal-union organizer. It’s important to lean forward, rowing (or paddling) with powerful, even strokes to punch through big waves head-on. Hitting a rapid at an angle can flip your boat. If you do fall in, know which way to swim or look to your guide for a hand signal. Don’t wait for rescue—swim hard, and never try to grab onto tree branches sticking out of the river. The force of the current can trap you against submerged limbs like noodles in a colander. (Nick Kelley/)
The fishing, of course, is best in the early morning and evening, but we also seem to get more bites whenever a train rumbles by. Archy swears the vibrations scare the fish out of their holes, and it doesn’t take long to discover he may be right. (Nick Kelley/)
The final mile of riffles before the old Fayette Station Bridge and then the famous New River Gorge Bridge holds some of the best fishing of the trip. The smallies here are hand-size but hungry, and hit nearly every lure I throw to them. (Nick Kelley/)
The final mile of riffles before the old Fayette Station Bridge and then the famous New River Gorge Bridge holds some of the best fishing of the trip. The smallies here are hand-size but hungry, and hit nearly every lure I throw to them. (Nick Kelley/)
Last summer, Simon traded a truck camper for cash and this welded stand, a literal lifesaver for steady fishing through whitewater. The metal platform gives me a lift too, making it easy to sight-cast to bass holding in eddies and above rapids. (Nick Kelley/)
The massive boulders lining the New also hint at what sits below the surface. Here, Simon floats into a cave that becomes an undercut at higher water—a death trap for capsized boaters who get sucked into the opening and pinned by the current. (Nick Kelley/)
Each year, the New swells its banks and sends mud, trash, and timber roiling downriver. This leaves tangled heaps of sun-dried driftwood along the beaches, providing more than enough fuel for the few campers who sleep there. (Nick Kelley/)

Archambault got his nickname in the Marine Corps (“Archy is easier to say when you’re getting shot at”) and spent his first years out of the service with Outward Bound, volunteering as a liaison between veterans and “super hippie raft guides.” The Florida native spends half his year fishing saltwater, and the rest on the New. Whenever he gets a day off from guiding anglers in West Virginia, he gets right back on the river to throw flies himself.
Flyfishing isn’t one of my vices, so I opted for a medium-action spinning outfit instead. This Abu Garcia Revo STX reel did the trick.
The New River Gorge drops 750 feet over 50 miles, creating its famed whitewater. Congress protected this stretch, and 70,000 adjacent acres, in 1978 with a National River designation.
After we load gear and strap the raft frame to Simon’s truck, his fellow guides drive us to the put-in in exchange for beer money.
Simon, 35, and Otter, 11, have spent most of their lives guiding: summers on the river, ducks and geese in the fall.
We land bass all week and release each one. Not because we’re catch-and-release purists, but because Archy and Simon refuse to eat anything that lives in the New River.
Archy caught this fish near camp, but the best smallie action is in the rapids, where bass like to tuck behind rocks, in eddies, and in the pillowy Vs of water just ahead of the rapids, feeding on whatever floats by.
It’s easier to muscle through flat stretches of river while rowing backward, but it’s critical to face rapids head-on. This allows boaters to read the current and make the technical maneuvers certain sections require. Here, Archy tucks in his oars to clear the rocks as he threads a narrow chute. Careless rowers can easily snap oars on hazards like this, rendering themselves handicapped mid-rapid and thus more likely to flip, get swept into danger, or both.
After paddling my packraft all day, I tie off to Simon’s boat for the evening bite. He’s ferrying much of camp on his 12-footer, including the cooler full of food that serves as his seat, Yeti dry duffels stuffed with sleeping bags, a 5-gallon jug of drinking water, two spare oars, dog food, and the crew’s daily ration of whiskey.
Simon leads commercial trips with individual, waiver-signing paddlers, and has been known to kayak and riverboard (imagine swimming with a kickboard in Class Vs), but he loves his custom-fitted oar boat best.
Otter and Simon sneak in a few casts at midday. It is possible to fish from the public banks, but the terrain is so steep and the woods so thick that locals often can’t reach the water on foot.
The Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, which runs beside the river, was completed in 1872. It’s still active with freight and Amtrak cars, as I learned when workers started hosing down cars near our campsite at 5 a.m.
We might not have had fresh fish, but we didn’t go hungry.
These little rapids wouldn’t pose much danger if I fell in, but standing in the riverbed would. Never try to stand in shallow swift water. You risk foot entrapment and getting pushed beneath the surface.
We used 7-foot medium-action rods to throw PowerBait Power Swimmers with white jigheads. This worked well until Simon lost my rod in the last rapid.
I’ve run rapids without a guide, but it’s much safer to boat with someone who knows the river—or how to navigate an unfamiliar one. A good paddler can read a rapid like a good angler can read the current, but we didn’t need to scout the New because my companions have it memorized. Before each stretch of whitewater, Simon briefed me on which path (a “line”) to take through the rapid, which way to swim if I flipped, and which undercut rocks could trap me below the surface.
There are plenty of slow-moving stretches on the New, giving solo rowers a chance to catch bass.
Here, Archy drops into Middle Keeney, a Class IV rapid named for a coal-union organizer. It’s important to lean forward, rowing (or paddling) with powerful, even strokes to punch through big waves head-on. Hitting a rapid at an angle can flip your boat. If you do fall in, know which way to swim or look to your guide for a hand signal. Don’t wait for rescue—swim hard, and never try to grab onto tree branches sticking out of the river. The force of the current can trap you against submerged limbs like noodles in a colander.
The fishing, of course, is best in the early morning and evening, but we also seem to get more bites whenever a train rumbles by. Archy swears the vibrations scare the fish out of their holes, and it doesn’t take long to discover he may be right.
The final mile of riffles before the old Fayette Station Bridge and then the famous New River Gorge Bridge holds some of the best fishing of the trip. The smallies here are hand-size but hungry, and hit nearly every lure I throw to them.
The final mile of riffles before the old Fayette Station Bridge and then the famous New River Gorge Bridge holds some of the best fishing of the trip. The smallies here are hand-size but hungry, and hit nearly every lure I throw to them.
Last summer, Simon traded a truck camper for cash and this welded stand, a literal lifesaver for steady fishing through whitewater. The metal platform gives me a lift too, making it easy to sight-cast to bass holding in eddies and above rapids.
The massive boulders lining the New also hint at what sits below the surface. Here, Simon floats into a cave that becomes an undercut at higher water—a death trap for capsized boaters who get sucked into the opening and pinned by the current.
Each year, the New swells its banks and sends mud, trash, and timber roiling downriver. This leaves tangled heaps of sun-dried driftwood along the beaches, providing more than enough fuel for the few campers who sleep there.

Tags:

Four must-have items to survive in the woods


Always have what you need. (Thought Catalog via Unsplash/)

Surviving an unplanned night in the woods doesn’t always mean death—if it’s not too cold, no one is injured, and you find help right away. But what about when it starts to snow? Or an injury is so severe you can’t walk? Don’t leave your safety to chance. Being armed with these items may well be the difference between an uncomfortable night or two and a rescue that turns into a recovery.


Prepare for what lies ahead. (Amazon/)

Carrying a knife into the woods just makes sense. But what if your knife also helps you start fires, call for help and gives you instructions on how to survive? The 4.8-inch fixed stainless steel blade can cut firewood or filet a trout. It comes with a whistle on the lanyard and fire starter in a watertight holder. Even more impressive are the built-in features. The base can be a hammer and the holes in the side allow you to lash it to a stick to use as a spear. It has what you need and nothing you don’t.


Stay warm anywhere. (Amazon/)

Even in the pouring rain, this fire starter won’t let you down. It generates three times the heat of ordinary matches and the carbide striker and flint-based bar will last for over 100 strikes. It’s also compact and weighs less than an ounce. Survival experts recommend carrying at least two ways to start fire. Make this one of them.


Have what you need. (Amazon/)

With 100 essential supplies from 6-inch shears and bandages to a CPR pouch with instructions to an emergency blanket, this kit will clean your wounds, save your head and maybe save your life. Don’t worry if your gear falls in a river, the bag is water resistant and inside pockets are waterproof. The inner sleeves are labeled, meaning you can quickly find what you need even in a moment of panic.


Dehydration kills. (Amazon/)

Few of us plan to suck water from a murky pond through a small, blue straw. But if your water supply runs dry and your only other option is drinking straight from the pond, you’ll be happy you have this blue straw. It filters up to 1,000 gallons of contaminated water, requires no batteries and has no moving parts. It weighs 2 ounces and is only 9 inches long. We rarely plan to be without water, but all of us should.

Prepare for what lies ahead.
Stay warm anywhere.
Have what you need.
Dehydration kills.

Tags:

The best camping mats for nights outdoors


Sleep soundly. ( Wilson Ye via Unsplash/)

Some days you get lucky, and your campsite is on a bed of flat, fresh grass or matted down pine needles. Sometimes, no matter how hard you look, you just can’t find a soft place to sleep. Either way, separating your tired hips, shoulders and knees from the hard, cold ground is crucial to a good night’s sleep. Fortunately, options abound, and we narrowed it to four that will suit basically any camper’s need.


Sleeping well in the backcountry cannot be overrated. (Amazon/)

This isn’t the cheapest sleeping pad on the market, but it’s worth every penny. The four-season mattress is 2.5 inches thick when inflated but weighs only a hair over a pound and packs down to the size of a 1-liter bottle. It’s perfect for sleeping well after a long day carrying a heavy pack. ThermaCapture technology traps heat as the pad’s construction minimizes heat loss. No slip fabric keeps you and your sleeping bag on the mat and off the ground.


Stop falling in the crack. (Amazon/)

Anyone who has camped with a partner knows it’s only a matter of time before one of you is sleeping on the ground in between sleeping pads. Fortunately for you, that particular relationship issue is an easy one to solve. This pad is marketed as more of a double bed than a sleeping pad and is guaranteed to keep you comfortable and warm down to -54 degrees Fahrenheit. The best part? It self inflates in 10 minutes.


Why sacrifice comfort? (Amazon/)

If you’re not carrying all your belongings on your back, then why skimp on sleeping comfort? Fortunately, this pad is both ultra-comfortable with 4 inches of space between you and the ground and small enough to fit in the truck of a car. It’s warm down to -30 degrees Fahrenheit, has a lifetime warranty, and the top has 50D stretch fabric making it feel much more like a mattress than a camp pad.


Sleep tight but don’t break the bank. (Amazon/)

Not all sleep systems require big investments. But there’s still a difference between your Boy Scouts foam pad and an inflatable mattress. This air mattress walks the line between foam pad and high-end sleep technology. It’s not meant for very cold temperatures, but how many of us actually camp in the snow? And for just over a pound, it won’t break your back or your bank.

Sleeping well in the backcountry cannot be overrated.
Stop falling in the crack.
Why sacrifice comfort?
Sleep tight but don’t break the bank.

Tags:

Four animal call devices for hunters


Do you hear me calling? (Amazon/)

Every hunter has his or her own reasons for chasing wild animals. For many it’s a chance to be outside. For some it’s the thrill of the hunt. For most of us, it’s the opportunity to communicate with wildlife in a way almost no one else understands. But to do that effectively, you have to have the right tools. Whether the tag you’re hoping to punch is turkey or elk, or duck and goose season is more your speed, we have the call for you.


Drive him crazy. (Amazon/)

There’s a reason Primos is known for their calls—it’s because they work. This cow elk call will be there for you whether you need to sound like no more than a weak whimper or a full throated cow looking for a mate. Prepare yourself for the raging bugles that follow. It’s designed and tested to last through whatever weather and conditions elk season throws your way.


Make him come to you. (Amazon/)

Little is more satisfying to a hunter in the spring than hearing a distinct gobble through the trees. Turkeys are notoriously hard to find if they hide or run, so don’t be caught without some help. This call can switch from timid yelps to louder, more aggressive hen calls with little more than a flick of your wrist. Its basic, durable design means it will be with you for life.


Make the crowd join you. (Amazon/)

Perfecting a duck call can take years if not decades, but this one makes starting easy. A triple reed means you won’t struggle making sound and the polycarbonate construction is durable. It’s designed to replicate a mallard hen’s quack, feed call, and hail call and can switch between low, gravel tones, and high scratchy pitches. It’s even Phil Robertson approved.


Sound like one of the pros. (Amazon/)

These made-in-the-USA calls are each hand tuned to ensure pitch perfect calling. They’re also some of the easiest calls on the market, requiring the least amount of air pressure. The call allows you to produce long, voluminous honks or single or even triple clicks. It also has a Mossy Oak camo finish, which means you won’t be spotted from the air.

Drive him crazy.
Make him come to you.
Make the crowd join you.
Sound like one of the pros.

Tags:

Hell or Highwater on the New River

The New River is many things—­gorgeous, deserted, dangerous—but new isn’t one of them. It was named unwittingly, so the story goes, after traders labeled each landmark “new lake,” “new stream,” and so on. The description stuck. Yet at 360 million years old, it’s one of the oldest rivers on the planet. The New existed before tectonic forces shoved the Appalachians up around it and the current carved out what’s now the New River Gorge—the longest and deepest gorge in Appalachia. It’s also one of the best fishing destinations east of the Mississippi.

As we load boats at the put-in, I survey our crew. My buddy Zach Simon guides white­water here and in Colorado, and his Lab, Otter, has spent more time on the water than most humans. Nate “Archy” Archambault guides anglers on the New; his girlfriend, Kate Barker, didn’t own a PFD until this morning. Photographer Nick Kelley is snapping pictures even though I know he wants to unpack his flyrod, and I’m here for the bass—and the rapids.

We could find more pristine whitewater out West, but there’s no river with a better story. The New is a comeback kid. Those geological processes that exposed sandstone and shale along these banks also exposed seams of coal. The New River coal field boomed in the late 1800s, and the river ran black. The rush petered out after World War II, and most of the mines closed.

The New River recovered, mostly, but there are still scars. In the sand where we stake our tents, you can still see flecks of black coke from the coal ovens. Meanwhile, the river suffers from continued illegal waste dumping by residents and failing sewage infrastructure. Archy catches 24-inch brown trout in feeder streams here, pulling them from under mats of plastic trash and dirty diapers. Arbuckle Creek, which flows past the rafting company where he and Simon work and into the New, holds trout. It’s also an EPA Superfund Site, still dealing with fallout from the coal industry.

It feels like the river is trying to sweep away our mess and win back the gorge. It feels wild. Once, we spook a black bear on the shore that flees over the railroad tracks. I paddle past farmhouse-size boulders and twisted metal wreckage. There’s no patch kit that could fix the gashes it would rend in our rafts.

Archambault got his nickname in the Marine Corps (“Archy is easier to say when you’re getting shot at”) and spent his first years out of the service with Outward Bound, volunteering as a liaison between veterans and “super hippie raft guides.” The Florida native spends half his year fishing saltwater, and the rest on the New. Whenever he gets a day off from guiding anglers in West Virginia, he gets right back on the river to throw flies himself.
Flyfishing isn’t one of my vices, so I opted for a medium-action spinning outfit instead. This Abu Garcia Revo STX reel did the trick.
The New River Gorge drops 750 feet over 50 miles, creating its famed whitewater. Congress protected this stretch, and 70,000 adjacent acres, in 1978 with a National River designation.
After we load gear and strap the raft frame to Simon’s truck, his fellow guides drive us to the put-in in exchange for beer money.
Simon, 35, and Otter, 11, have spent most of their lives guiding: summers on the river, ducks and geese in the fall.
We land bass all week and release each one. Not because we’re catch-and-release purists, but because Archy and Simon refuse to eat anything that lives in the New River.
Archy caught this fish near camp, but the best smallie action is in the rapids, where bass like to tuck behind rocks, in eddies, and in the pillowy Vs of water just ahead of the rapids, feeding on whatever floats by.
It’s easier to muscle through flat stretches of river while rowing backward, but it’s critical to face rapids head-on. This allows boaters to read the current and make the technical maneuvers certain sections require. Here, Archy tucks in his oars to clear the rocks as he threads a narrow chute. Careless rowers can easily snap oars on hazards like this, rendering themselves handicapped mid-rapid and thus more likely to flip, get swept into danger, or both.
After paddling my packraft all day, I tie off to Simon’s boat for the evening bite. He’s ferrying much of camp on his 12-footer, including the cooler full of food that serves as his seat, Yeti dry duffels stuffed with sleeping bags, a 5-gallon jug of drinking water, two spare oars, dog food, and the crew’s daily ration of whiskey.
Simon leads commercial trips with individual, waiver-signing paddlers, and has been known to kayak and riverboard (imagine swimming with a kickboard in Class Vs), but he loves his custom-fitted oar boat best.
Otter and Simon sneak in a few casts at midday. It is possible to fish from the public banks, but the terrain is so steep and the woods so thick that locals often can’t reach the water on foot.
The Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, which runs beside the river, was completed in 1872. It’s still active with freight and Amtrak cars, as I learned when workers started hosing down cars near our campsite at 5 a.m.
We might not have had fresh fish, but we didn’t go hungry.
These little rapids wouldn’t pose much danger if I fell in, but standing in the riverbed would. Never try to stand in shallow swift water. You risk foot entrapment and getting pushed beneath the surface.
We used 7-foot medium-action rods to throw PowerBait Power Swimmers with white jigheads. This worked well until Simon lost my rod in the last rapid.
I’ve run rapids without a guide, but it’s much safer to boat with someone who knows the river—or how to navigate an unfamiliar one. A good paddler can read a rapid like a good angler can read the current, but we didn’t need to scout the New because my companions have it memorized. Before each stretch of whitewater, Simon briefed me on which path (a “line”) to take through the rapid, which way to swim if I flipped, and which undercut rocks could trap me below the surface.
There are plenty of slow-moving stretches on the New, giving solo rowers a chance to catch bass.
Here, Archy drops into Middle Keeney, a Class IV rapid named for a coal-union organizer. It’s important to lean forward, rowing (or paddling) with powerful, even strokes to punch through big waves head-on. Hitting a rapid at an angle can flip your boat. If you do fall in, know which way to swim or look to your guide for a hand signal. Don’t wait for rescue—swim hard, and never try to grab onto tree branches sticking out of the river. The force of the current can trap you against submerged limbs like noodles in a colander.
The fishing, of course, is best in the early morning and evening, but we also seem to get more bites whenever a train rumbles by. Archy swears the vibrations scare the fish out of their holes, and it doesn’t take long to discover he may be right.
The final mile of riffles before the old Fayette Station Bridge and then the famous New River Gorge Bridge holds some of the best fishing of the trip. The smallies here are hand-size but hungry, and hit nearly every lure I throw to them.
The final mile of riffles before the old Fayette Station Bridge and then the famous New River Gorge Bridge holds some of the best fishing of the trip. The smallies here are hand-size but hungry, and hit nearly every lure I throw to them.
Last summer, Simon traded a truck camper for cash and this welded stand, a literal lifesaver for steady fishing through whitewater. The metal platform gives me a lift too, making it easy to sight-cast to bass holding in eddies and above rapids.
The massive boulders lining the New also hint at what sits below the surface. Here, Simon floats into a cave that becomes an undercut at higher water—a death trap for capsized boaters who get sucked into the opening and pinned by the current.
Each year, the New swells its banks and sends mud, trash, and timber roiling downriver. This leaves tangled heaps of sun-dried driftwood along the beaches, providing more than enough fuel for the few campers who sleep there.

Continue reading
Tags:

How to Catch Big Fish from a Kayak


A good fishing kayak needs to have a wide deck for better stability. (Kristine Fischer/)

When I first read The Old Man and the Sea, I was captivated by the sheer adventure of it all. A man alone at sea, whose small wooden boat suddenly was at the mercy of the monster on the end of his line. I hung onto every one of author Ernest Hemingway’s words as he brought me along on that riveting tale.

I chose to kayak fish for the experience. When you strip away the comfort and convenience of a boat with 250 horsepower, you’re left with a better connection to your surroundings. Being that close to the water means you’re closer to the action. It’s similar to having a front-row seat at your favorite show. Whether you are navigating through the mangroves in hopes of tangoing with the silver king or maneuvering your kayak around rows of shallow cypress stumps, sight fishing for fat largemouth bass, it gives you an unparalleled sense of intimacy and appreciation. Kayak fishing is something every outdoor enthusiast should try, as it truly is a remarkable way to experience the sport—if you hook into a big enough fish, he might take you on a sleigh ride, like the giant marlin did to Santiago in Hemingway’s novel.

I’ve been in relentless pursuit of big fish from my kayak for nearly eight years. My obsession has taken me from Florida, chasing pelagic fish to Oregon for pre-historic marvels. Oftentimes, I’m met with raised eyebrows and concerned expressions from other anglers: “You caught a sailfish in THAT?” “You’re out here fishing musky on Lake St. Clair in a kayak?” And my personal favorite: “That’s crazy. You’re lucky you haven’t flipped.” Hooking into big fish from a kayak has its challenges, but so does fishing from a conventional boat. In a kayak you can get into places you might not be able to otherwise. I love it. It’s MY way of fishing, and you can do it too. Here is how to get started.

The Right Kayak


The author is a proponent of catch-and-release. (Kristine Fischer/)

Kayaks come in all shapes, sizes, and prices, but there are a few “musts” you need to pursue big fish. Stability comes first. I need a kayak that is not only large enough to handle big water, but also stable enough to stand in and work large baits. My Hobie Pro Angler is 38” wide, and 13.10’ long, providing me adequate deck area to comfortably stand, and enough stability to hook, fight and successfully land big fish. Just know, even the most stable kayaks can tip. Keeping your spine in line with the center of the kayak can help prevent an accidental flip. I would also recommend looking at a kayak with a pedal drive system as opposed to paddling. Having the ability to hold your position in wind, current, or when fighting a fish gives you an advantage on the water.

The author is a proponent of catch-and-release.
There are multiple factors that go into hooking different species of fish.
Musky and pike have a low mortality rate if they are mishandled, so if you are a catch-and-release angler, know the dos and don’ts of landing the species you’re after.
State and local fishing reports will help you target bigger fish. Or, if you want to catch more, smaller fish, they can show you the right bodies of water to be on.

Continue reading
Tags:

Murder Hornets are Coming (But Probably Not for You)


These invasive insects can be up to two inches in size, with a giant stinger to match. (Washington State Department of Agriculture/)

This article was originally published on Popular Science.

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard the term “murder hornet” sometime over the past few days. And while it might feel like they’re the next harbingers of the apocalypse, these freaky insects should probably be on the lower end of your ever-growing list of worries—even if you are a bee-lover.

The United States isn’t truly being invaded by bloodthirsty super wasps. But it’s still best to not go chasing after them on your own. Here’s what you should know about the ominous-sounding interlopers.

The ‘murder hornet’ is actually an Asian giant hornet

The Asian giant hornet, otherwise known as Vespa mandarinia, is indeed a giant bug—some reach lengths of nearly two inches. For reference, your average honeybee is a bit over half an inch long.


Continue reading
Tags:

How to Butcher and Cook Wild Turkey Thighs and Drumsticks


There's a lot of good meat on a pair of turkey legs, but you have to prep them properly. (Alex Robinson/)

If you’re used to Butterball turkeys, you’re going to be surprised when you butcher up the legs of a wild turkey. First, you’ll notice that the meat is much darker and most importantly, there are tough tendons running through the drumsticks and the thighs (though to a lesser degree). A wild tom spends his days walking, strutting, and fighting on his two legs and while that old gobbler is tough to hunt, his legs are even tougher to chew through—unless you know how to prepare them properly.

The key here is to separate the drumsticks from the thighs because they are anatomically different. The drumsticks have thick, heavy tendons running through them vertically, almost like the spokes of a bicycle wheel. No matter how you prepare the drumsticks, you won’t be able to cook down these tendons. So, you’ll need to shred the meat of the drumsticks. The thighs have tendons too, but they are not nearly as thick. If you slow cook the thighs, you can eliminate the chewiness of these tendons and wind up with delicious dark meat. The other benefit of splitting the thighs from the drumsticks is that two thighs or two drumsticks make a meal for two people (if you’ve got more to feed, you’ll just have to shoot more turkeys).


Separate the thigh from the drumstick by cutting through the knee joint. (Alex Robinson/)

So separate the the drumstick from the thigh by cutting through the knee joint. First cut through the meat on the back of the joint, the line that separates the drumstick from the thigh will be obvious—just cut along that line. Then bend the drumstick backward and feel for the middle of the joint with the tip of your knife. When you find the soft spot in the joint, cut through it and the two pieces will come apart.

How to Barbecue Turkey Thighs

Let’s start with the thighs because they’re my favorite. My go-to method is sous viding them and then finishing them on the grill. If you don’t have a sous vide cooker yet and you plan on eating a lot of wild game birds … get one. They’re not just for fancy French chefs. They’re relatively cheap, super easy to use, and they allow you to cook meat for a long time at a low, consistent temperature, which is key for wild bird meat.

Separate the thigh from the drumstick by cutting through the knee joint.
Bone out the thigh and save the bones to make stock.
A sous vide cooker is key for wild game bird meat.
The finished product: barbecued wild turkey thigh.

Continue reading
Tags:

5 Tactics For Hunting Turkeys on Small Properties


Ridgelines and traveled paths are a fine place to find a strutting tom. (John Hafner/)

Not all of us have the opportunity to turkey hunt vast public lands. In some places there just aren’t enough public acres for us all to utilize without setting up on top of one another. And certainly, many folks don’t own huge farms or have permission on multiple private properties to shoot a spring tom. In most cases, the more property you have access to, the better your chances for punching a turkey tag. I’ve been on tracts big and small, and can attest that killing a gobbler on a small farm—unless it’s the perfect farm and roosting a bunch of turkeys—is difficult. For the last few seasons, I’ve had just 40 or 80 acres to hunt.

On most small farms, the birds are only moving through the property, looking for food or to find more hens to breed. It’s one of the most difficult scenarios to kill a gobbler in, because birds have to be on the move near your setup in order for you to coax one into the decoys. If you hunt a small property, there are a few smart rules to follow. Just know, you have to put in more time than those hunters with better access. I’ve been on both sides of that fence—hard hunts and easy ones—and can tell you that patience and determination kill tough turkeys.

Manage the Land

Creating prime turkey habitat is key to killing small-farm toms. The best locale I ever had access to was a five-acre field at the top of a ridgeline. It was my buddy’s deer-hunting property (which he has selfishly sold since getting married and having three kids), and he always planted soy beans in that field for the deer, but also for spring turkeys, because they love to come scratch in beans to find grubs and worms. It was an ideal setup: a small food plot in a clearing at the top of a hill.

Toms walk in the bottoms along creeks and then make their way up hills by late morning. They use the top of the ridge for strut zones and presumably can see farther, so it’s a good vantage point to be on the lookout for predators. Plus, high ground leads to flat areas like fields and food plots, which turkeys love. On a small farm I hunt now, there’s a clearing my uncle cut for fall deer hunts. There’s no food plot yet, but it’s flat and it’s at the top of a deep bottom where three ridgelines converge. My brother and I struck up a tom there this season. It came to within 35 yards but stayed behind enough brush and trees that neither of us could put a bead on him. He was a smart, old bird that came in cautious even though it was a locale we had just started hunting and hadn’t received any pressure. He knew something was up and walked away from us, spitting and gobbling as he disappeared behind a blowdown. Our intuition was spot on, we just failed to execute.

Place your decoys in a spot you think a tom will come from so his focus is on the decoys and not you.
Setting up on a fenceline is a common practice when hunting small farms.
The author spends a lot of time glassing from the front porch and driving the perimeter of the property looking for turkeys.

Continue reading
Tags:

Four solar-powered upgrades for your next camping trip


All you need is a bit of sunshine. (Zach Betten via Unsplash/)

Outdoor Life has already covered the best solar chargers and the best camp solar light systems. So let’s just assume you’re already covered on those fronts. Here, then, we’ve rounded up four other prime pieces of sun-powered gear that will prove super handy on your next big backcountry excursion.


The Eton Scorpion II, a 4-ounce emergency weather radio that can hang from your pack. (Amazon/)

There are all sorts of well-built, full-size emergency weather radios out there—you know, like Eton’s ubiquitous American Red Cross Emergency NOAA Weather Radio. With the Scorpion II, Eton has crammed all the key features of its Red Cross radio into a 4-ounce device. It has a radio with AM, FM, and NOAA weather bands; an LED flashlight; a USB output for phone charging; and both hand-crank and solar-charging capabilities. On top of that, it includes a bottle opener and a built-in carabiner for easy hanging.


Abfoce Solar Bluetooth Speaker, a 1-pound, waterproof sound system. (Amazon/)

Music makes camp better—that’s a verifiable fact, as far as we’re concerned. The Abfoce Solar Bluetooth Speaker is a perfect mini backcountry sound system. It weighs about a pound, is Bluetooth enabled and waterproof, has a laminated solar panel, plays 60 hours of music per charge, and has a USB port for phone charging. It can get very loud, too.


The Spypoint Solar-Dark, a solar-powered, 12-megapixel trail camera. (Amazon/)

It truly boggles the mind why more trail cameras don’t run on solar power. Spypoint has figured it out with the Solar-Dark, a solar-charging camera that, according to one user, will stay charged for about six weeks under low-light conditions. On top of that, the 12-megapixel camera has a 0.07-second trigger speed, a 90-foot flash range, and a 110-foot detection range, and it shoots 1080p HD video.


A solar panel capable of charging a 12.6V car battery. (Amazon/)

You’ve probably seen or already own a small solar panel for charging a smartphone in the backcountry. Such panels are handy—but in no way equipped to juice up a vehicle battery. That’s what separates the Eco-Worthy 120W Complete Off-Grid kit. The 120W solar panel includes a 9.8-foot alligator clip for jumping a 12.6V car battery, along with an LCD USB Controller with two USB ports. In short, if you’re stranded in the backcountry, this is the solar panel you want stashed in your truck.

The Eton Scorpion II, a 4-ounce emergency weather radio that can hang from your pack.
Abfoce Solar Bluetooth Speaker, a 1-pound, waterproof sound system.
The Spypoint Solar-Dark, a solar-powered, 12-megapixel trail camera.
A solar panel capable of charging a 12.6V car battery.

Tags:

Four ways to maintain power in the woods


Keep an extra charge handy. (Amazon/)

In a perfect world, we like to think we head into the woods and leave our electronics behind. But we know that isn’t our world. Technology allows us to keep in touch with our loved ones on extended trips into the backcountry, document our adventures, and even ensure we don’t get lost. Fortunately, recharging technology also understands those needs. Here are four powerbanks suited for the outdoors—whether you’re on the water or tucked away at base camp.


Keep your hands warm and phone alive. (Amazon/)

Charging your phone while warming your hands might sound like something from the future, but the technology is available now, and it’s also quite affordable. The dual-sided, lima-bean-shaped device heats up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit with adjustable high and low settings providing warmth for up to three hours. The USB charger works for cell phones, cameras and even tablets.


Don’t let rain or water slow you down. (Amazon/)

This battery pack can charge an iPhone X up to seven times or a Galaxy S8 up to six times and only takes six hours to completely recharge. But the best part may be that it’s waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof. If charging isn’t enough, it also has a flashlight with flash and SOS lighting modes, making this battery pack good for backwoods adventures and as a failsafe at home during natural disasters.


Never be left in the dark. (Amazon/)

As long as the sun is shining, you will have power. This water-resistant, durable, foldable charger is highly portable and compact, making it easy to hang in trees, on backpacks, or on tents. The USB smart technology helps the charger recognize your device and maximize charging speed while protecting your devices from overcharging. The PET panel and fabric canvas protects it from breaking or morphing in whatever sun or weather come your way.


Power it all. (Amazon/)

Anything under 100W can charge on this portable generator including a mini cooler, laptop, mini fan, or drone. It has enough power to charge an iPhone X 10 times or run a 5W lantern for 20 hours. For less than 3 pounds, the lithium backup battery pack has three recharge methods including a wall socket, a solar panel kit or a car cigarette socket. It also has strobe and normal lights for emergencies and indicator lights to show residual battery capacity.

Keep your hands warm and phone alive.
Don’t let rain or water slow you down.
Never be left in the dark.
Power it all.

Tags:

Mother’s Day Hunting Gift Guide

If your mom is anything like mine, she’s doing a little extra worrying these days. So you’d better not forget to do something thoughtful for her on Mother’s Day. If you’re short on cash or a gift won’t arrive in time with the current shipping delays (definitely not because you remembered too late), make her something. You could turn a friction-call striker, make a paracord turkey tote (try blaze orange—moms are usually sticklers for safety), or print out a bunch of her favorite family hunting and fishing photos and slip them in an album. If you’re not the crafting type, break out the backstraps you’ve been saving and cook her dinner, even if you have to sit on the other side of the porch.

If you’d rather buy her a gift, check out our new favorites for hunting moms. For more ideas, check out our ultimate women’s hunting gift guide here.

Magellan Outdoors Lodge Socks


Magellan Outdoors Lodge Socks. (Magellan Outdoors/)

The official initiation into adulthood doesn’t happen when you turn 18, or even 21. It happens when someone gifts you a pair of socks, and you’re actually happy about it. And if you’re going to get your mom a pair of socks for working from home or camp this fall, it should be these. They look like ordinary socks, but the only word for them is plush. They’re soft and thick, and come in patterns that fit right in at camp—sort of like slippers, but without the robe-lady look. (Apparently these socks are infused with aloe, which I would normally find weird…but maybe that’s why they’re so great?)

Liberty Bibs

Liberty Bibs.
Camp Chef 4-Piece Carving Set.
Gerber Custom Knife.
LOWA Explorer GTX Mids.
Lacrosse Hail Call Waders.
Garmin Fenix 5S Plus.
Blaser F16 Intuition.

Continue reading
Tags:

9 Tips For Keeping Your Head in a Survival Situation

The skills you’ve acquired and gear in your pack are often the difference in making it through a life and death situation. But you first need the mental fortitude to survive. Without the drive to survive—and a strong mindset—no piece of gear will save you. The most important tool to bring along is mental toughness. Having a survivalist mentality (the will to live no matter how difficult the adversity) is multi-faceted. There are hidden hazards abound, but also remedies that can help us recover our advantages and get home safe to our families.


When faced with adversity, do you have the fortitude to keep going? (Pixabay/)

Tenacity

Whether you call it intestinal fortitude, tenacity, or grit, this facet of your survival mindset is all about endurance. Can you hang in there even when your hope has failed?

Tenacity doesn’t have anything to do with physical toughness or stamina. It’s a manifestation of the strength of your will and the toughness of your mind. A truly tenacious person will push themselves to tolerate the intolerable, suffer through the insufferable, and survive the situation that no one expected them to survive. It’s all about overcoming your inner weaknesses and fighting your desire to give up.

The Problem: A number of things can wreck your innate tenacity, but the one that worries me the most is declining mental health. In a lengthy wilderness survival setting or in the wake of a major disaster, it’s hard enough just to stay alive, let alone endure feelings of anxiety or depression or suicidal thoughts.

Adaptability is key when you are lost in the backcountry. Put ego aside, and do what you need to survive.
Even in the most dire times, you have to stay positive. Pessimism is your enemy.
Police officers, soldiers, firefighters and other folks in high-stress/life-threatening jobs sometimes utilize “gallows humor” to push through bad days.

Continue reading
Tags:

Four great books to help you plan your next outdoor adventure


Books to build knowledge and anticipation. (Lê Tân via Unsplash/)

No matter how enthusiastic you or your friends and family may be, it’s always a good idea to plan before heading into the woods. If you’re not sure where to go or what to do, or if you need a little guidance with your kids, we have the books for you. And even if you’re a pro, but would like to improve, we have an option for you.


Take them with you. (Amazon/)

Everything you need to know about camping with kids is in this book. It has information about preparation, logistics, activities, and food. Some of the tips might seem like common sense, but even people who have camped for years will find value in this. Camping with kids—especially young children—is a different kind of adventure. Don’t go in unprepared.


Prepare like dinner depends on it. (Amazon/)

Maybe those prepared meals in bags are all you need for a happy backpacking trip. But if you’re like most of us, chili mac and cheese is only enticing for so long. Why don’t you start dehydrating your own food? This cookbook walks you through everything you need to know about dehydrating and reconstituting food for any adventure in the woods. They’re nutritious, mouthwatering, and foster self-sufficiency.


Let someone tell you what you need. (Amazon/)

Sometimes it’s nice to open a book, look up an activity, and see what you’re supposed to bring. Sure, you’ll likely modify the list to fit you and your family, but look to this book as a template. It will offer you suggestions for what you need for camping, hiking, and backpacking. It also has lists to help you troubleshoot a crisis in the wilderness, helping you expect (and plan for) the unexpected.


Plan, then go. (Amazon/)

Maybe you’re a wilderness guide. Chances are you’re not. But wouldn’t it be nice to have the skills of one? This book, written by a guide with 65 years of wilderness experience, will help you plan, prepare, and troubleshoot your next outing like a professional. Wilderness trips are often only as successful as the trip leader and guide makes them, so plan your next adventure with advice from the best.

Take them with you.
Prepare like dinner depends on it.
Let someone tell you what you need.
Plan, then go.

Tags:

10 Tough Walleye Questions Answered


Lake Commandos host and Freshwater Fishing Hall of Famer Steve Pennaz with a keeper walleye. (Steve Pennaz/)

Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Famer Steve Pennaz is one of the nation’s highest regarded multi-species anglers. Over his career, Pennaz has successfully fished thousands of locations around the world in both fresh and saltwater. He is highly skilled at finding and catching fish on new waters, a skill that drives his highly-rated television series Lake Commandos nationally aired on Sportsman Channel and World Fishing Network.Walleyes are, perhaps, his favorite game fish of all, so we caught up to Pennaz recently to pick his brain on how to catch more and bigger fish in your home waters.

Q. On Lake Commandos, you guys fish lakes that you’ve not previously fished before. If I wanted to catch a limit of walleyes o n an unfamiliar lake, what are three keys to narrowing down where to fish?

A: “Approaching a new lake allows you to fish without getting bogged down with memories of previous trips. This frees you to make decisions based on what you are experiencing on the water.

“The key when fishing any water, unfamiliar or not, is eliminating unproductive water as quickly as possible. I rely on three things to get on fish as quickly as possible:

“1. Research—I study a body of water before committing to fish it. What does DNR survey information reveal? What I am hearing from other anglers that I trust.

Trolling boards and stickbaits get the nod from Pennaz (left) for big walleyes.

Continue reading
Tags:

The best sleeping bags to keep you warm and cozy


Recharge after a long day outside. (Steve Halama via Unsplash/)

Very little can make or break a trip into the woods than proper sleep. If you’re too cold, your body will struggle overcoming the day’s activities and leave you drained for the next day. A heavy bag on a backpacking trip will leave you aching and a hot bag in the summer will lead to sweaty nights. Choose the best sleeping bag for each situation and get the z’s you need.


Skimp on weight, not warmth. (Amazon/)

Rarely will you find a sleeping bag that squishes down to only slightly larger than a Nalgene bottle, but this one does. And it will keep you warm in as cold as 20 degrees. The bag achieves incredible warmth while only weighing 22 ounces by trapping radiant body heat and insulation with 70 percent fill on the top and sides and 30 percent on the bottom. For those eco-friendly consumers, the fill is Responsible Down Standard Certified, meaning the waterfowl were treated humanely.


Stay warm and don’t break the bank. (Amazon/)

This 20-degree bag will keep you warm in most situations, and at under 3 pounds is light enough to strap to your back for the deep woods. It might not be as light as some of the high-end bags, but it’s also much more affordable. If you need a bag for car camping, backpacking or even sleeping in the backyard under the stars and you’re on a budget, give it a try.


Cuddle anywhere. (Amazon/)

Tired of trying to fit two sleeping bags together in a tent, resulting in one of you inevitably uncovered and cold? This sleeping bag, marketed as a sleeping bed, may be your answer. Zipper-less design increases comfort. A sleeve for a sleeping pad keeps you and your boo off the ground all night. A self-sealing foot vent offers fast and easy ventilation. Take the comfort of your bed into the woods.


Stay warm, sleep well. (Amazon/)

At a little over 5 pounds, you’re not likely to pack this far into the backcountry. But if what you need is an affordable way to stay warm when it’s legitimately cold, this is your bag. The SpiraFil High Loft Insulation stays warm even when wet. The wave-construction top and blanket construction bottom provides the best warmth and comfort. Two zippers give you maximum options for staying warm and ventilating when needed.

Skimp on weight, not warmth.
Stay warm and don’t break the bank.
Cuddle anywhere.
Stay warm, sleep well.

Tags:

Why It’s Critical To Tick-Proof Yourself Amid The COVID-19 Pandemic


Proper tick prevention is critical for turkey hunters. (Bill Bailey/)

As the weather improves, COVID-19 restrictions begin to loosen, and we all head afield fishing and hunting, it’s critical to be hyper-vigilant of a previous scourge which might have slipped our minds amid the Coronavirus pandemic: ticks. No matter what their variety, disease-carrying ticks are at their worst throughout much of the country in May. To complicate matters further, many tick-borne illnesses mimic the symptoms of COVID-19.

According to a recent online post from indyeastend.com, flu-like symptoms characterize each.

“That’s adding another dimension to this whole thing,” said Brian Kelly, owner of East End Tick & Mosquito Control. “People think, do I have COVID-19? Do I have Lyme disease? That will be another problem for the doctors to figure out. People need to remember to do tick checks and to use a tick repellent.”


Hang the clothing outside for treatment. (Bill Bailey/)

To make matters worse, there is little to no research available on either simultaneous infections from either virus (COVID-19 and tick-borne) nor about the effects of COVID-19 on tick-borne illness.

So, now is the time to pull out hardcore tick-prevention protocol. Southern New England is undoubtedly a tick hotspot. In some parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut, research indicates that more than 60 percent of ticks carry Lyme Disease. To combat tick bites, Bill Bailey of Otis, Mass., abides by a rigorous yet simple blueprint for tick prevention.

Hang the clothing outside for treatment.
Spray front and back with Permethrin or other preferred tick spray.
Hang clothing on a stout hanger.
Store in a sealed garbage bag for several days prior to wearing.

Continue reading
Tags:

High-performance bags for any kind of travel


Pack just right. (Marc Rafanell López via Unsplash/)

Have you ever tried running through a crowded airport lugging a dry bag? It’s not the definition of handy. Have you thrown a rolling duffle into a raft for a three-day river trip? Also not a great call. Fortunately, bags used in their intended locations are often the difference between comfort and something akin to expedition failure. We’ve picked four good ones for whatever adventure you are planning.


Have fun, stay dry. (Amazon/)

Yes, this bag is made by a company predominantly known for their bullet-proof coolers. They’re expanding out, and it’s a good thing. This bag isn’t a cooler, it’s not insulated and it won’t keep your cheese cold. But it will keep all of your gear dry no matter what. Capsize in the river? Not a problem. Sitting in the back of your truck in a down poor? Totally fine. The extra-tough outside means it’s not going to puncture on a stick or branch, and straps let you throw it quickly on your back for transport.


Take what you need anywhere. (Amazon/)

Whatever you’re doing in the woods, from hunting to hiking to photography, this bag won’t let you down. The main compartment is 10-inches by 7-inches by 4-inches, but can be divided into smaller sections. It’s made of high-density Oxford nylon fabric, making it strong and durable. Use it as a fanny pack around your waste, a shoulder bag or handbag. All versions include padded, adjustable straps. Basically, this bag will be what you want wherever you go.


Don’t leave a fly behind. (Amazon/)

This bag’s biggest attribute is that it can store an impressive amount of fishing gear with little effort. It comes with pockets everywhere, all well thought-out. It has extra rod belts for two rods, a water-bottle pocket for easy-access hydration and pockets at the bottom for pliers or fish grippers. The full-length double zippers are anti-corrosion, smooth and durable. It’s also water-resistant nylon. Use it as a hand bag, crossbody bag, chest bag, or sling bag.


Get your gear where it needs to be. (Amazon/)

This is not your grandma’s roller bag. And anyone who thinks rolling bags aren’t tough hasn’t met this one. With 105 liters of space and treaded wheels, this duffle is meant to go through airports, cobblestone streets and even down a rutted two track. Save your back, or keep your back free for a fishing pack or day bag. It’s likely to hold up to whatever situation you throw at it, but if it doesn’t, Eagle Creek’s signature No Matter What warranty means it will be repaired or replaced, no questions asked, forever.

Have fun, stay dry.
Take what you need anywhere.
Don’t leave a fly behind.
Get your gear where it needs to be.

Tags:

Float a River to Find a Turkey Hunting Hotspot


Spend the day floating a river to locate wandering toms. (Lance Krueger/)

When he gobbled, the morning was as black as the inside of a crow. He was across the river from the boat ramp where my hunting partner Jill and I had just launched. We were hunting new ground, public land surrounding a picturesque river in Missouri that I’ll never name. We had been waiting for enough light to run downstream, but this tom’s early gobble changed our plan.

We let the current carry us downstream as he gobbled five more times. When we were within 150 yards, we quietly paddled to his side of the river. By now we had enough light to navigate without a flashlight, but we knew we couldn’t get much closer to him. And we didn’t need to.

We set up shoulder to shoulder 50 yards off the river. He gobbled hard at Jill’s first three yelps, then flew down our way, and I hit him hard with a cutt. Jill backed me up with some louder yelps. Two minutes later, she pulled the trigger.

Hunting turkeys on a river isn’t always that easy. The basics of turkey hunting remain the same, but here are a few boat-hunt tactics I’ve learned over four decades.

Pick Your Vessel

These waterways offer a turkey hunter miles of opportunity

Continue reading
Tags: