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Survival Gear

Best of the Best Awards: 2012 Hunting Gear

This is the definitive list of the best hunting gear introduced in 2012, from vehicles to boots.

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Best Reader Tips

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

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  • February 8, 2006

    Surprise Sharks: Florida anglers catch a pair of 7-foot makos

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    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Mako sharks “are not commonly seen, especially in groups” off southwestern Florida, said a skeptical Robert Heuter, director of the Center for Shark Research at Sarasota’s Mote Marine. But then he saw pictures of the two 7-foot-plus makos brought to Sarasota’s Marina Jack by a four area fishermen—one of whom says he hooked and lost a 500-pounder. See the a picture for yourself in the link below. Click here for the story [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 8, 2006

    Texas Gator Season: A new proposal would make alligators legal game on private lands

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    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Texas is already a hot hunting destination for whitetails, turkeys, and wild pigs. But if that’s not enough variety, you may soon be able to take a gator from the Lone Star State, too. Since the animal was removed from the federal Endangered Species List in 1987, its population in Texas has swollen to an estimated quarter-million, and now a new 3-month gator season is in the works. Here are the details. Click here for the story [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 7, 2006

    Ithaca Gun Reopens: Plant will be located in Sandusky, Ohio

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    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Check out this great news from J.R. Absher's Outdoor Weblog:

    You can't keep a good gun down. Dave Henderson, outdoor writer for the Ithaca (NY) Journal, reports today that Ithaca Gun is back in business , but, for the first time since the company was founded in the 1880s, its headquarters are not located in New York state.

    Here's a link to the story. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 7, 2006

    Sturgeon Spearing: Michigan’s lottery season inspires Wisconsin anglers

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    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Last Saturday, anglers from all over Michigan, as well as other states, gathered for the opener of Sturgeon_1 the sturgeon spearing season, held exclusively on Black Lake through a unique lottery system. A total of just five fish may be taken during the season and Dan Stroup of Bronson took the first, a 52-inch, 32-pounder, pictured in one of the links below. “Sturgeon spearing is deeply entrenched in our culture. If we didn’t have it, we would go into culture shock,” said one Michigan angler. Wisconsinites may soon feel the same enthusiasm about targeting the prehistoric fish, as the state plans a lottery system of their own.
    Click here for story with picture
    Background on Michigan lottery
    Wisconsin could start their own lottery [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 7, 2006

    Two-For-One Deer Hunt: 10-year-old girl drops a pair of does with one shot

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    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    It was the last day of Tennessee’s Youth Deer Hunt, and Marissa Webb of Crossville was hoping to bag her first deer. When several does moved into gun range, she raised her Marlin .30-30, took aim, pulled the trigger . . . and took her first two deer. Here’s the story. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 6, 2006

    Baiting Bambi: Mississippi bill would legalize limited deer baiting

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    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    A pilot program couched in a bill approved by the state House of Representatives on Friday would allow hunters in 30 counties of southern Mississippi to hunt deer over bait through the year 2010. As the proposal awaits a Senate vote, it’s stirring up plenty of controversy. Experts worry about the spread of disease among baited deer, and some hunters, as well as congressmen, question the ethics of baiting. "Where's the sport when you're shooting Bambi while she's eating over a tub?" said one House representative. Click here for the story

    What do you think? Should baiting be legal? [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 6, 2006

    Shark Angler Busted: Quebec woman could face fines for 507-pound catch

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    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Last week we ran a link reporting that a Quebec woman named Diane Guillemette had hauled a 507- Shark_1 pound Greenland shark through the ice of Saguenay fiord north of Quebec City. The catch has gotten so much media attention that Guillemette has achieved some degree of recent fame. The downside, however, is that fisheries officials have now gotten wind of the story and may fine Guillemette for not having the proper permits to catch a shark. Click here for the story

    Thanks to J.R. Absher at the Outdoor Press Room for posting the link on his site. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 6, 2006

    Moronic Misdemeanors: Dummy thieves steal dummy rifles

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    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    The crooks who broke into a Santa Fe, New Mexico, ROTC office may have thought they were pretty smart when they walked out with 20 rifles—that is, until they tried to shoot them. Turns out, the guns were just props for drills and ceremonies and can’t be made to work. Thank goodness for the stupidity of felons. Click here for the story [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 6, 2006

    Mike Bloomberg vs. the NRA

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    By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

    Now it’s getting interesting. According to the February 1 edition of the New York Post, the National Rifle Association, operating behind the scenes, has succeeded in quashing Diana Taylor’s nomination as head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Ms. Taylor is New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s girlfriend, and it was done, sayeth the Post, as retaliation for Bloomberg’s recent attacks on the NRA.

    Bloomberg, in his second-term inaugural speech, took on not only the NRA, but lawmakers who roll over for the gun lobby (meaning Congress), saying: “It shows the power of one advocacy organization and, I would argue, the cowardice of people who succumb to their pressure.”

    But now comes the really interesting part. Bloomberg spent $77 million just to get re-elected, and his total worth is estimated at between $5 and $9 billion. If he should become angry enough, he could buy the votes in Congress and have Article II of the Bill of Rights repealed, or he could buy the NRA.

    Buying Congressional votes is no trick at all. Everyone does it. Bloomberg could probably do it with what he carries in his wallet. As for the NRA, how much is it worth? It surely can’t be worth as much as Mike Bloomberg.  He could purchase it and turn it into an organization that adopts highways, or saves whales. If the NRA is smart, it will not cheese off Mayor Bloomberg in the future. With money all  things are possible, and Mike Bloomberg has money. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 3, 2006

    Deer Dehorning Scandal: Citizens raise a ruckus after police remove antlers of roadkilled buck

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    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    On Wednesday in Gainesville, Georgia, a nice 8-point buck lay dead along the side of the road when two police officers showed up, moved the deer off the pavement, sawed off it's antlers, and left. Several witnesses were reportedly horrified, probably assuming that the cops just wanted the rack as a trophy. The officers, however, claim they removed the rack to keep motorists from gawking and slowing traffic. Now the mayor has promised no more public dehornings. The question: Is this just much ado about nothing?
    Check out these two reports on the story: Story 1, Story 2 [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 3, 2006

    Killer Snowmobilers: Minnesotans raise $2,000 to catch joy riders who ran down deer

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    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Honestly, what's up with killer snowmobilers? In early January, we ran a link about Canadian snowmobiler Anthony Norris who after running over a moose several times, jumped on the poor beast's back and killed it with an ax. Now, after an outraged Grand Rapids community raised a $2,000 reward for their capture, Dale W. Guyer, 20, of Coleraine and Gabriel W. Hill, 19, of Bovey have been charged with intentionally running down and killing a deer with their snowmobiles. Click here for the story [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 3, 2006

    Groundbreaking Rack Research: Antlers provide clues for stem cell research and tissue regeneration

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    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Not that you need another reason to be fascinated by deer antlers, but here's one anyway. Research at the Royal Veterinary College shows that the growth of deer antlers may utilize stem cells and could bring scientists closer to what this News-Medical.Net article calls "the holy grail" in human medicine: the ability to regenerate damaged organs or lost limbs. Click here for the story [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 2, 2006

    Industry Trade Show Report: The Fly Fishing Show

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    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Somerset, New Jersey--The Fly Fishing Show wrapped up it's sixteenth Somerset event on Sunday, Largemayfly sending home 200 exhibitors, 9,000 visitors, and several thousand pounds of fur, feathers, and fly tiers. This is an enormously entertaining event for a fly fisherman, but it's no place to take anyone with an abiding fear of insects. Witness Paul Whillock's incredibly realistic "Flies As Art", exquisite reproductions of anatomically correct stoneflies, mayflies, caddisflies, even a frighteningly accurate praying mantis. These things will fool any trout if you're callous enough to toss one in the water. Of course, this may not be saying much, as the intelligence of trout has recently been called into question. But they've also fooled U.S. Customs agents, who, citing federal animal import regulations, confiscated Whillock's luggage the first time he tried to bring his work into the states. For more on Whillock's "Masterclass Flies", check out his web site here.

    This show is about as close to a trout stream that a cash-strapped, Manhattan-stranded outdoorsman can get in the month of January. Like many northern trout anglers, I scratch the itch by hunching over a tying vise, whipping up patterns for the spring. I use an old Renzetti Traveler that has served me well for years but is getting a little worn around the jaws and doesn't handle the small stuff like it used to. So when I saw Norm Norlander, inventor of the Nor-Vise Fly Tying System, giving a demonstration of his product I figured I might get an idea of what I was missing. Which is apparently quite a lot. If you're a fly tyer and have never heard of this system before you really should check out his site, or at least watch these two demonstration videos (video 1, video 2). All I can say is it's a good thing I didn't bring much cash with me. If I had I'd now be out 300 bucks and eating neck hackle soup for the next three months.

    There were hundreds of fancy products at the show, but a refreshingly simple (and relatively inexpensive) one that struck me as noteworthy was a new line storage system designed by a Belgian named Roland Henrion. The Smartfisher attaches to your power drill and strips both fly line and backing off your reel in seconds, thus saving the reels of saltwater fly fishermen everywhere from the corrosive effects of salt-encrusted line (Dad, are you reading this?). The real genius in the design lies in a soft-rubber drill bit that attaches to your reel and lets you re-spool your line just as quickly. Check out the Smarfisher web site here, or watch this demonstration video if you're interested.

    Another standout was Van Staal's new titanium-bailed spinning reel. For years the company has  Vanstaal_lg offered a bailless reel that's been the industry standard for both form and function. The bail-equipped version, introduced to appeal to fishermen who aren't comfortable with the unconventional bailless reel, is just as well-crafted, and features a manual trip mechanism (so your bail won't accidently flip over mid cast, sending your expensive plug halfway across the Atlantic). Yes, these are extraordinarily expensive. Yes, they are extraordinarily beautiful. And yes, they will outlive both you and your grandchildren. I had to stand a few feet away from the jeweler's case containing the display so I could freely drool on the floor instead of the glass top.

    I only got a taste of the show before catching a train back to the city, so if you'd like more information check out their web site here. Tight lines.

    Nate Matthews
    Online Editor, fieldandstream.com [ Read Full Post ]

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