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    From The Editor

    A Young Man and His Ram
    column by: Lee Hoots

    Like traveling to Africa in search of otherwise unusual game such as kudu and Cape buffalo, sheep hunting can become somewhat of an addiction, especially for globe-trotting adventurists. Such hunting represents a sort of pinnacle (no pun intended with regard to sheep) to sportsmen all over the world. After having “been there and done that,” addiction (the good kind if money is available) sometimes comes into play. ...Read More >

     

    Going Public

    Once in a Lifetime Ram
    column by: Brad Fenson

    Randy Stetzer had always dreamed of a once-in-a-lifetime bighorn tag and felt like he won the lottery when he drew the East Deschutes, Biggs Unit license in Oregon. The summer was spent scouting the area and getting into “sheep shape.” November rolled around, and it was time for the hunt. A solid team was assembled: Randy’s son Ben, friends Rick Harris, Ian Fergusson and Pete Donahower. ...Read More >

     

    Observations

    Crown Prince Coues
    column by: Lee Hoots

    Few hunters have a problem with shooting or arrowing any legal buck, even if it’s not “fully mature,” as they say on television. For example, nine years ago, following most of a week hunting Arizona mule deer during the rut and seeing few antlered deer, I filled my tag on a middle-aged “meat buck” with one day left in the season, with no regret. But let’s face some bold truth: While we all enjoy the meat provided after a successful outing for deer or elk, it is the large, older, mature bucks and bulls that carry “bragging-size” antlers that represent some sort of high point in a hunter’s pursuit – and why shouldn’t it? ...Read More >

     

    Predator & Prey

    Reading Sign
    column by: Gordy J. Krahn

    The minutes passed like hours as I sat through English class, waiting for the conclusion of another school day. My instructor’s high-pitched voice faded as I gazed lazily through the classroom window and noticed a slight hint of snow against the somber October sky. It wasn’t that I didn’t like school. Actually, I found it tolerable – except during the fall, when my mind was cluttered with much more important matters, such as the the 3-mile trapline extending from Muskeg Bay east along the lakeshore. ...Read More >

     

    Backcountry Bound

    Busted
    column by: Jack Ballard

    “Get down!” A friend and I had just crested a rise on an antelope hunt as young adults. In our haste to cover ground, we hadn’t paused to reconnoiter before showing ourselves to the landscape ahead. In a broad, shallow basin a herd of pronghorn nibbled greedily at their morning repast. Before we ducked from sight, the heads of several does snapped upward. Pointed ears and piercing, inquisitive eyes stared in our direction. ...Read More >

     

    Telegraph creek

    Hagel-Ography
    column by: Terry Wieland

    Long-time readers of Handloader, Rifle and Gun Digest will recognize the name Bob Hagel. He was a writer on rifles, ammunition and big-game hunting from the 1960s through the ’90s. A professional guide as well as a writer, he was in some ways regarded as the successor to Jack O’Connor as a man of wide practical experience, delivering verdicts on what worked and what didn’t. Where O’Connor’s forté was wild sheep, Hagel’s was elk, although he guided for just about everything found in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. ...Read More >

     

    A Boy the Breaks and a Bighorn

    Beating Montana's Sheep Lottery
    feature by: Jack Ballard

    Among the accomplishments of the Lewis & Clark expedition, the “discovery” of more than 100 species of birds and mammals previously unknown to early scientists represented a fascinating trove of information for biologists. Trained to describe and sketch such species in preparation for their intrepid trek to the Pacific, the captains nonetheless encountered animals that scrambled their sensibilities. While camped with friendly natives in autumn after the expedition departed St. Louis, Clark observed a ladle made from the horn of an animal he estimated would hold two quarts. Some weeks later, Jean Valle, a trader, told them of an animal with “large circular horns nearly the size of an argali or small elk.” ...Read More >

     

    Riverbank Muleys

    Hunting the Columbia Breaks
    feature by: Jason Brooks

    The early morning climb up out of the river canyon warmed my body, but when I exhaled the breath was instantly frozen. Shadows stayed long in this open land of the Columbia River breaks and as the sun finally crested over the ridge, we could see three deer across a deep ravine. Peering through a spotting scope revealed that two does and a young buck were up and feeding. The distinctive grey bodies and white rump patches showed them to be mule deer, common in the breaks above the second largest river in the continental U.S. ...Read More >

     

    Mountain Whitetails

    A Season, Start to Finish
    feature by: Patrick meitin

    Doing it the hard way comes with myriad frustrations that only make success all the sweeter. Last year’s Idaho whitetail season might best be characterized by the old axiom: “Being in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Repeatedly. ...Read More >

     

    Treetop Moose

    An Unforgettable Alaska Tale
    feature by: Ron Gayer

    After some pre-dawn hot coffee with breakfast, Charles Allen and I geared up and headed out in an old hunting jeep. the morning sky was spectacular as Charles eased across the Tsiu river and over some sand hills to the area where his boat was tied. The two of us double checked our gear and pushed off. ...Read More >

     

    DIY Trophy buck

    Climbing into High Country
    feature by: Kaid Panek

    Overweight: The word I called myself as I climbed to the top of the ridge. Gasping for air at 8,500 feet with a heavy pack isn’t what most people would call a good time with friends, but I had luckily convinced two of my friends to join me. Jayden, a successful hunter in his own right, had a tag as well; we had hunted together off and on in years prior. There was also Tyler, a rookie to the sport, an avid waterfowler who had never been on a big-game hunt. All three of us created a group very comparable to the Three Stooges, full of inexperienced decision-makers, yet it always seemed as if we stumbled into luck just at the right moment. This was an adventure that I had conned both friends into, but I also ended up second-guessing it at times. ...Read More >

     

    Hunting Gear

    Slumberjack Deadfall 65 Pack & Incog Jacket
    whatsnew by: Jeremiah Polacek

    A recent opportunity came up to test the Slumberjack Deadfall 65 pack and Incog jacket in the company’s Disruptive Shadow Technology (DST) camouflage pattern. They were put through a series of hunts in Arizona. The first was a deer hunt in October; the pack held everything needed for 10 days. The Deadfall 65 carried optics and tripods, along with my normal gear. The weight of the pack was just under 5 pounds when empty and 45 pounds when loaded. The gear attached quickly by using the straps and buckles, which allowed for quick setup and takedown of glassing equipment. Both pack and jacket performed very well. ...Read More >

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