Selecting the Best Turkey Choke for Your Shotgun

March 6, 2015

Selecting the right choke for your scattergun can be a time-intensive, trial-and-error process.

Let’s consider what is “universal” about shotgun chokes for turkey hunting. The ultimate goal is to put as many pellets carrying as much energy as possible into the head-and-neck vital zone of a tom. And there ends the list of universalities. From there on, figuring out the ideal choke and load for a particular shotgun becomes an exercise in subjectivity---much like working up handloads for a rifle. Goals In building a turkey hunting rig, the pursuit centers around achieving more “rifle-like” performance from the shotgun. Maximizing the lethal range of the shotgun is...

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5 Expert Turkey Hunters’ Favorite Turkey Calls

March 5, 2015

Experienced turkey hunters like Brian Lovett all have a few turkey calls that they rely on every time they hit the woods. Image courtesy Brian Lovett.

Long road trips are a great opportunity to try out new turkey calls---hands-free, of course. Although you might get a few sideways looks from other drivers at four-way-stops, kee-keeing and yelping on a new mouth call is more satisfying than just watching the yellow lines tick by. This otherwise monotonous time is better spent deciding which diaphragm calls will make it into my vest this spring, and conversely, which are going to be left behind. Truth be told, mouth calls are not my “go-to”---I actually prefer a custom-made slate, but let’s face it, the stars have to align with a...

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The Where, When, and Why of Year-round Trail Camera Placement

March 5, 2015

Having a mineral site with a trail camera on it during the summer will ensure you get photos of most of the bucks in your area.

Don’t put your trail cameras away after the season! Here’s a calendar showing where your cameras should be placed throughout the year to help you learn more about the deer and increase your odds of bagging a big one next season. The use of trail cameras has become a sport in and of itself. Camera users have come up with all kinds of creative ways to use the cameras to monitor wildlife activity and learn more about many different animals. Yet most deer hunters still bring the cameras out before the season and store them away after the hunt is over. That can be a mistake,...

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How to Camouflage Your Gun (and Almost Anything Else) with Mossy Oak Graphics

February 23, 2015


Over the course of my hunting career, I’ve gone back and forth on whether I should treat my firearms as works of art to or simple tools to get a job done. Truth be told, I own guns that fall into each category. But my field guns are all tools; part of a system meant to help me get as close to game as possible and ultimately make a clean, one-shot kill. In every case in which I’m trying to get the game to come to me, it’s imperative that the gun blends in with the background. There are many ways to accomplish this. I’ve tried most, including taking the dull-finish duck boat spray...

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5 Great New Products for Women from SHOT Show 2015

February 2, 2015

The Rose Concealed Carry Purse from Beau + Arrow. Image courtesy Beau + Arrow.

As I speed walked through the New Product Center at SHOT Show this year, electronically scanning interesting items to have specific information emailed to me at a later date, I made note that roughly 10 of the 600 products on display were women-specific. Not a large percentage by any means, but more than I’ve seen in past years. The actual show floor is where I saw an overwhelming amount of women’s products displayed. I could hardly make it down two aisles before I was stopped in my tracks by a gun, piece of gear, or some other shiny object that caught my eye. I’m not surprised....

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10 Innovative Products Introduced at the 2015 ATA Show

January 27, 2015

Hunter Safety System's LIFELINE. Image courtesy Hunter Safety System.

Many companies introduce new products at the Archery Trade Association (ATA) Show each year. Here are my top 10 new and nifty things I discovered while visiting this huge industry show earlier this month, in no particular order. 1. Hunter Safety System LIFELINE Hunter Safety System's new LIFELINE offers some appealing safety features for those of us who spend a lot of time ascending and descending trees every year. The LIFELINE keeps you safe during the most dangerous time in treestand hunting: when you're transferring from the steps to...

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FLIR Releases New Scout II Thermal Monocular

January 22, 2015

An image of the Venetian hotel's canal area captured using a FLIR Scout II.

At SHOT Show 2015 FLIR launched their new Scout II handhelds, a pair of compact thermal imaging cameras built explicitly for civilian use.

The FLIR company pioneered the Forward Looking Infra-Red technology for the military and now designs and builds thermal systems for all kinds of purposes.

If you're not familiar with it, thermal night vision sees heat not light, so hot and cold spots will be highlighted regardless of whether it's daylight, dark, or your "target" is obscured by smoke.

Part of FLIR's expansion outside of the defense market has meant


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Seeing What You Can’t See, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Thermal Vision

December 17, 2014

Here's the FLIR view of the brand new Smith & Wesson M&P Pro Series CORE with compensated barrel.

If you really want to be able to see, sometimes you have to use a lens that you can’t see through. I recently toured one of FLIR’s manufacturing facilities and got quite the lesson on how to see things you can’t really see. While FLIR makes a wide variety of "sensing" gear, not just infrared products, they’re most commonly known for commercial and military products that help folks see things not normally visible to the human eye. By using lenses made from exotic materials like Germanium and Zinc Selenide and adding a touch of...

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A Holiday Wish List for the Huntress

November 20, 2014

The Badlands Kali backpack in the field. Photo courtesy of Michelle Whitney Bodenheimer.

Don’t know what to gift the huntress in your life this holiday season? Have no fear, below is a list of eight huntress-approved gift ideas for the outdoorswoman. Próis Hunting & Field Apparel Archtach Down Jacket - $400 A recent addition to the stellar lineup at Próis (hunting clothing made by women, for women), the Archtach Down Jacket is sure to please the huntress on your Christmas list. The jacket features 100 percent microfiber Ripstop fabric with durable weather resistance, 800 fill gray goose...

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The 10 Best Holiday Gifts You Can Buy for an Outdoorsman

November 20, 2014

The Outdoor Edge game processing kit.

Crisp, cold weather and the beginning of the hunting season signal the start of the holidays. Christmas is our favorite holiday, and Cabela’s is where we search to find those distinctive outdoor gifts for our friends and loved ones. No matter what outdoor pastime you or your family are interested in, they have it at Cabela’s. Here are some great gift ideas that are certain to warm their hearts and make them smile this holiday season. Check back here often for special holiday pricing and more great deals! Cabela’s Commercial Grade Dehydrator $360--520 You can dehydrate venison for...

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