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18 Great Outdoor Stories From F&S Writers and Photographers

Everyone loves a story. But as outdoorsmen, we appreciate a good one more than...
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Best F&S Reader Tips

Here are the best hunting, fishing and camping tips from readers like you.

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  • April 14, 2014

    I Have Pressing Business Elsewhere

    By David E. Petzal

    This was prompted by the convergence of two forces. First, I’m engaged in compiling a list of the people I’d least like to hunt with, and first on it is Old Five Deferrals himself, Dick Cheney, game hog and general menace. The second was the announcement that a member of a club I belong to had acted unsafely on the pistol range and had his shooting privileges suspended until he could be re-educated.

    Poor behavior with a gun can lead, in an instant, to a tragedy. The military, when I was in it, dealt decisively with unsafe gun handling on the range. You would be spoken to immediately and forcefully, and might find yourself scrubbing pots in the messhall overnight to remind you to keep the muzzle pointed downrange. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 17, 2014

    Photo: Coolest Firewood Pile Ever


    By The Editors

    This photo has been floating around for a while, but now it's catching attention on Imgur.

    So if you're seeing this shot for the first time, here's the scoop: An artist from British Columbia named Alastair Heseltine took a lot of time to painstakingly build this firewood pile into the shape of a felled tree. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 21, 2014

    Knife Review: The Spartan Harsey Difensa

    By David E. Petzal

    Spartan Blades, of whom I have written before, is a maker of very high quality tactical and survival knives. It was founded, and is run, by a pair of career Special Forces NCOs. Spartan had a booth at the SHOT Show, but it was so crowded with throat slitters and kidney stabbers who were admiring the goods that I didn’t have much of a chance at conversation and so I’m reviewing Spartan’s new knife a bit after the fact.

    It’s called the “Spartan,” because that’s who makes it, “Harsey,” because it’s designed by Bill Harsey, whose knives have won several Best of the Best awards, “Difensa,” which takes some explaining. The Difensa was designed for a Canadian special ops group which does fun things in the forests, and since they are Canadian, the knife takes its name from the First Special Service Force, which was a joint Canadian/US Army unit that served in World War II, and was comprised of some of the finest throat slitters and kidney stabbers to ever pull knives from sheaths. [ Read Full Post ]

  • January 27, 2014

    Buck Marksman: New Tactical Folding Knife


    By The Editors

    This new knife from Buck is being marketed as 'tactical' but it could just as easily find its home in a hunter's pack. It has an aluminum handle and a blade of 154CM steel. The most interesting feature on this new knife is the locking system. This system makes the knife very strong and allows it open quickly. It will retail for about $125.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • January 24, 2014

    New Hunting Knife: SOG BladeLight Hunt


    By The Editors

    This 4-inch drop-point knife from SOG was one of the most innovative products of SHOT Show. It has a stainless steel blade and an injection-molded handle. The most intriguing feature is the six LED lights that give you 90 minutes of burn time. If you've ever found your deer after dark just as your headlamp batteries were dying, you'll fully appreciate the intelligent design of the SOG Bladelight Hunt. 

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • January 24, 2014

    SOG Zoom: New Assisted-Opening Knife


    By The Editors

    It's not a switch blade, but you can definitely open the new SOG Zoom with one hand. The 4-inch, drop-point blade is made of AUS steel and the handle is made of aluminum. The safety is designed to keep the knife from opening in your pocket. It will retail for about $100. [ Read Full Post ]

  • January 23, 2014

    A Knife Expert on How to Really Sharpen a Blade

    By T. Edward Nickens

    Photos by Travis Rathbone

    I hold the knife in my right hand, thumb on the blade spine. My left thumb guides the edge along a sharpening stone at as close to a 20-degree angle as possible. The screech of diamond dust biting steel is like a door creaking open in a slasher film. I haven't broken such a nervous sweat since Mrs. Evans made me read a story about tarantulas to the entire third-grade class.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • January 20, 2014

    Gear Review: DeLorme inReach SE 2-Way Satellite Communicator with GPS


    By Kirk Deeter

    I spend a lot of time fishing and hunting in the backcountry, and I'm not just talking about places where the cell phone doesn't work, I'm talking about jungles in South America, and the Russian taiga, and well past the sight of shore on the open oceans. So satellite communication has become increasingly important in my travels. The margin for error when it comes to ease of use and reliability is practically non-existent, in my mind, so it's important to use something you trust, because in some cases, somebody's life might depend on it.  

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • January 15, 2014

    An Ultimate Survival Knife by Morakniv


    By David E. Petzal

    The Swedish Morakniv is as sharp as a razor. The clip-point blade is anodized to prevent rusting and the handle is made of injection-molded polypropylene and provides a positive grip. It comes with a sturdy sheath and an incredible price of only $80. We dare you to find a better all-around knife for the money. [ Read Full Post ]

  • January 2, 2014

    Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad What?

    By David E. Petzal

    One of the more curious things I’ve seen in the movies of late is the villainizing of our friend Canis lupus, the gray wolf. In a film titled “The Gray,” Liam Neeson plays a hunter who is hired by an oil company to shoot wolves so that they don’t eat the workers, which apparently is a problem. Neeson takes a plane out of the camp, the plane crashes, and he and his fellow survivors are tracked down and et over a period of days by a pack that has nothing better to do.

    The second movie is “The Bourne Legacy,” in which Jeremy Renner  traps the leader of a pack that has been stalking him for days in a snare, wrestles the wolf to the ground, shoves a stick in his mouth and follows it with a tracking device that causes a missile to blow up the wolf instead of Renner. [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 14, 2013

    Helmet Cam Captures Extreme Whitewater Rescue: Would You Know What To Do?


    By Tim Romano

    A couple days ago my friend passed on a link of a POV shot video of a heart-pounding rescue in a river. The video shows a kayaker that got trapped in a vertical waterfall, water rushing over his head. It was a very small waterfall, but would have been deadly had he been by himself—or had his friends not known what to do.  

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 12, 2013

    Dry Measure: How To Dry Wet Boots In The Field


    By T. Edward Nickens

    You almost made it across the creek—but now your feet are soaked, your boots are sloshing, and you're headed for misery, if not frostbite. There are no quick fixes to drowned boots, so don't hold off. As soon as you're in camp, strip off socks and shoes and get to work.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 4, 2013

    Camp Knives: Big Blades For Heavy-Duty Cutting

    By David E. Petzal

    “’At’s not a knoife…’at’s a knoife.” —Mick “Crocodile” Dundee, brandishing a camp knife at a terrified and out-cutlered mugger.

    The definition of a camp knife is a big, heavy knife that can do most of what a hatchet can do and much of what a knife can do. The concept is not new. Mountain men carried heavy butcher knives (and skinners, and patch knives), which would qualify nicely as camp knives. In 1849, the Ames Manufacturing Company in Massachusetts manufactured a Rifleman’s Knife for American soldiers, and today we’d call it a camp knife. In World War II, the Marine Corps issued a Hospital Corpman’s Knife to medical personnel, and a Bowie knife made by Western Cutlery, the W49, to some of its Raider units. (This is the knife that Robert Redford carries in Jeremiah Johnson.) Both would qualify as camp knives, and both are very useful. [ Read Full Post ]

  • October 15, 2013

    72-Year-Old Hunter Survives For 19 Days


    By Phil Bourjaily

    Photo by Jeremy Penaflor on Instagram

    Deer hunter Gene Penaflor, 72, of San Francisco survived for 19 days after getting lost in northern California's Mendocino National Forest. As reported by the L.A. Times, Penaflor and his partner had split up to hunt different areas when the retiree fell in a crevice and knocked himself out.

    [ Read Full Post ]

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