Fall 2015

Fall Outside Bozeman
Fall in Montana: bugling elk, spawning trout, and a new issue of Outside Bozeman. This issue arrives just in time, as the leaves begin to turn and the days begin to shorten. It's full of all you need to stay active this season, including gear reviews, safety tips, trail info, and much more. Whether you immerse yourself in the tales of fall canoe trips plagued by grizzly encounters or the politics of river access, this issue is sure to have something for everyone. So stoke the fire, check the roast, pour out some whiskey, and enjoy. 

 

Features

Deer Hunting, Montana
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Thomas, Jr., E. Donnall
The more things change, the more they stay the same. The leading edge of the storm had just breached the peaks to the west as Matt left the ranch for town, erasing first the stars and then the full moon and finally the hills until he felt as if he were driving through a tunnel. Soon the pickup... Details
Yellowstone, Grizzly Bears
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Gutkoski, Joe
A Yellowstone grizzly encounter.Every year, in September or October, my friend Chuck and I paddle the 20 miles down to the Southeast Arm of Yellowstone Lake. It is our autumn pilgrimage to a place like no other on Earth. The Southeast Arm is where the Yellowstone River flows into the lake out of... Details
Spanish Peaks, Montana Trail Running
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Adam Parkison
A notable Spanish Peaks traverse.Maybe it was the dread of the approaching winter that excited my ambitious side, or perhaps I needed a worth culmination to a long summer of running. All I know is that one October day, I planned a traverse of the Spanish Peaks on foot, and in one day.The genesis of... Details
Ruby River
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Thomas, Jr., E. Donnall
Fighting for access to the Ruby River.Seyler Lane isn’t much of a road. It isn’t even much of a lane, and chances are most of us never would have heard of it except for three accidents of geography. First, Seyler Lane is a public road with an established prescriptive easement. Second, it crosses... Details

Departments

Canoe hunt cast & blast
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Dehmer, Kurt
Mastering the fall multi-sport.  It’s not often in this busy, modern world that a person can combine, and truly experience, two passions at once. But every autumn we get that chance, in a sporting overdose known as the “cast & blast,” or C&B. Simply put, a C&B means hunting and fishing... Details
Gallatin Valley
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Pogge, Drew
Bozeman's time of transition. Things do not change; we change. —Henry David ThoreauLast November, I shot a thick-shouldered mule deer buck just before the first snow of autumn barreled into the valley. It was a perfect fall day, surrounded by open space and sky with the peaty brown scent of fall... Details
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Kenji J. Lopez-Alt
A tasty fall recipe. Sometimes, to get to the good stuff, you gotta break through a few barriers. Last Thanksgiving, my sister and I had to crack our way through an ice shelf to get at the water holding these gorgeous rainbow trout. It only seemed appropriate to bake them in a salt crust that we... Details
Heroes and Horses
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Brayton, Lea
Using wilderness to help veterans. “When riding a horse, we leave our fear, troubles, and sadness behind on the ground.” —Juli CarlsonIt was more than an hour after I first shook Micah Fink’s powerful hand that I got a word in edgewise—and it wasn’t for lack of trying. People flocked to the burly,... Details
Fall Constellations, Bozeman
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Manning, Jim
Fall's starry sky. The storied Western homestead, out on the windswept prairie or tucked into a rocky canyon, might variously have corrals, barns, or sheds clustered about the ranch house. But the one outbuilding—always “out back”—that one could count on seeing was the peaked-roof “outhouse,” to... Details
Golden Trout Lakes, Montana
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Robert Stone
Hiking Golden Trout Lakes. Before the snows of winter envelop the high country, take an opportunity to explore the best of the Gallatin Range, Golden Trout Lakes. Instead of hiking to Lava or Storm Castle like you always do, push a little further down the canyon to this gem. You won’t regret the... Details
French'y Fall Fathead, Fall Fly, Gallatin River Guides
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Armijo-Grover, Jimmy
Tying the Frenchy's Fall Fathead. The Frenchy’s Fall Fathead is a cross between a handful of traditional streamers, such as the Bow River Bugger and JJ Special. It’s a great pattern for the fall that’s heavily weighted and pushes a lot of water with its fat head. If you’re looking for a bigger... Details
Hunting Dogs, Bozeman
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Cote, Neal M.
Time waits for no dog. As I think back to hunting seasons gone by, of favorite dogs and skies black with birds, I can’t help but wonder what it is that drives us and our dogs to do things that seem both crazy and funny at the same time. What makes the bond between us deeper than that of owner and “... Details
Beaut Day
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Jelinski, Jack
I have an old-school, classic creelso worn I have replaced straps.I keep it in shapewith that elixir of ancient leather,Neatsfoot.Should use some on myself.Always fish with my basket,keep an occasional fish to fillet,take out the y-bones:lost skills linked to honing knives,field-dressing game and... Details
Barn Cats
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Herauf, Amanda
Barn cats on patrol. So, you’ve got a nice piece of land and maybe a few horses. You enjoy the rural lifestyle, except for one thing: mice. Laying traps everywhere is a pain and as for poisons, well, they don’t just destroy the rodents, they can harm kids, livestock, and pets as well. What can you... Details
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the editors
Fall edition. I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. ―Groucho MarxIf ever there was a season for reading, it’s autumn. Nights are crisp, requiring retreat to comfortable couches warmed by flickering fireplaces. Days are... Details
Rifle Remodel, Montana Hunting
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England, Mike
There are many like it, but this one is (still) mine. There comes a time in every relationship when one must decide whether to stay or go: to resign oneself to a partner’s shortcomings, or seek out a new one. Countless songs, poems, and paintings have pondered this dilemma; countless people have... Details
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the editors
It’s fall, which means whether you hunt or not, people will be in the woods with guns. While most Montana hunters are well-versed in ethics, safety, and protocol, a refresher never hurts. Non-hunters: you can take extra steps to ensure you understand the implications of this iconic Montana pastime... Details
Quake Lake, Madison River, West Yellowstone
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Dehmer, Kurt
The Madison Valley's watery offerings. There’s something about the twilight season that repels an angler from the river’s unceasing roll. Lakes lend themselves to fall fishing in ways that rivers can’t. Stillwaters tend to inspire reflection: waiting for a bump on a drowning nightcrawler; chucking... Details
Packing
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Stoll, Kelly
It’s hunting season in Montana and everyone’s gearing up to fill their freezers. Instead of packing your gear and game in and out by hand, a horse or mule can make your trip a whole lot easier. Here’s how it’s done.Saddling UpThere are two main types to consider when choosing a packsaddle for your... Details
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Hawke, Tim
Fall's featured mountain-bike ride. The Tobacco Root Mountains have a lot to offer mountain bikers, but most of us head right to the Curly Highline epic. The “Pony Loop” is a lot closer, and has a classic Montana bar near the trailhead. Win, win.Getting ThereTake Norris Rd. to the junction with Hwy... Details
Snowshoe Hare, Montana
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Lee, Barbara
Montana's hue-changing hare. Sprinting at more than 20 miles per hour, a snowshoe hare bursts into a meadow at Yellowstone’s northeast entrance, flushed by a pair of coyotes. The hare changes direction several times, and finally bolts down a gully at the meadow’s far end. There is one glaring... Details
Growth Map
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the Editors
Gallatin Valley By the Numbers.As the valley continues to develop, and open space continues to shrink, we look to the numbers for insight about how to sustainably develop, so that more people can live, work, and play here, without sacrificing the landscape. —the editors6: Valley’s ranking among... Details
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England, Mike
Atop the ridge I sit and overlookThe valley floor. Amidst the sprawling fieldsOf green and yellow grass, among the grovesOf spruce and Douglas fir, within the boundsOf earthen mounds that reach toward the sky,There lies a gray expanse of artifice.In youth I hardly saw the winding road,When, tearing... Details
Custer Gallatin National Forest Fat-Biking
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Daley, Marna
New options for wide-tired riders.Over-snow bikers (aka, “fat-bikers”) and UTV (utility vehicle) enthusiasts have reason to rejoice, thanks to the Custer Gallatin National Forest’s recent revisions to the Gallatin Forest Travel Management Decision. Based on those revisions, fat-bikers can enjoy... Details
Gear
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the Editors
Gear that needs no alteration. While much of the gear we use these days would be unrecognizable to our outdoor ancestors, some stuff—often the best stuff—remains largely unchanged. These are the items your grandfather used and brought you up on. They’re the simple, straightforward, no-nonsense... Details
Devil's Slide, Paradise Valley
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Albrecht, Patti
Paradise Valley's geologic story. The Earth is estimated to be 4.56 billion years old, so what we see in our short lifetimes is a mere blip in geological time. Fortunately, Montana's majestic mountains, valleys, and lakes can tell the tale of long ago. Earth’s geologic record can be likened to a... Details
Montana Glamping, Bozeman Camping
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Wozer, Jeff
Glamping, if you’re unfamiliar, Frankensteins the words “glamour” and “camping,” and attracts urban types who want to experience the outdoors without roughing it. Tents, tipis, yurts, and treehouses are outfitted with Ritz Carlton–like amenities. Camping traditionalists scoff, claiming there’s good... Details
Successful Hunting, Montana
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Miller, Anne L.
Hunting grounds are hallowed places, viewed with great anticipation and anxiety over the bragging, freezer-filling, story-gathering process each fall. But to be sure your time there doesn’t turn to pure anguish, here are some tips to help you prepare. 1. Zero your gun. Know holdover or dialing data... Details
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Brayton, Lea
Fall 2015. Slowly, without a sound, smoke wreathes and curlsRound a cold length of wild wind, blasting through the canyon;Autumn clings to the mist that stretches out of sleepy riverbendsAnd whispers weighty words through rusted alpine branches,Telling the trees a secret that the mountains and... Details
Crossfit Belgrade, Crossfit training
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Sipes, Terri
Do CrossFit for a better season. Like many Bozemanites, I began CrossFit to get in shape for the upcoming ski season. The winter before, as a volunteer ski patrol at Big Sky, I found myself transporting a heavy guy down the front of Hangman’s and thinking that a) I was going to die, b) he was going... Details
Fur trapping, Dog Safety
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Jones, Andrea
Snare & trap tips.Every year, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks receives a number of requests to hold workshops on releasing pets from traps. Many hikers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers are concerned about their canine companions getting caught, and even though reports of accidental... Details
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Chrysti the Wordsmith
Following the story of a word. In 1496, an English nun and author named Dame Juliana Berners wrote and published A Treatyse of Fysshynge wyth an Angle, a comprehensive guidebook for 15th-century sportfishers. Various historical accounts describe Dame Juliana Berners as not only devout (she was... Details
Cliff Casting, Montana Fishing
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Pogge, Drew
Take your fishing to the next level — literally. Fishing with flies has been exhaustively—exhaustingly, at times—described by some of the finest wordsmiths, poets, musicians, and barroom bros since a bunch of masochistic Macedonians first discovered the elegant technique for making fishing as... Details
Bridger Ski Foundation
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White, Jenny
Getting ready for a BSF winter. In a mountain town, loving winter and skiing comes easily, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the faces of the 500-plus youth and adults who enjoy Nordic, freestyle, and alpine skiing with the Bridger Ski Foundation (BSF).BSF’s offerings are varied, and it can... Details
Private Property Rights, Montana Hunting Access
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Elpel, Thomas
Reclaiming the right to roam. America is often called the “Land of the Free,” yet we’re not free. Citizens aren’t confined, but rather restricted by an endless barrage of “No Trespassing” and “Keep Out” signs across the country. We think of this existence as normal, so normal that we rarely think... Details
Bridger Raptor Fest, Bridger Raptor Migration
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Hoffman, Steve
Raptor migration along the Bridger ridge.The much-anticipated autumn raptor migration is fast approaching. From early September to late October, more than a dozen species will pass through the region, and one of the best places to witness this phenomenon is along the Bridger ridge. Seventeen... Details
Sage Grouse
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Randall, Brianna
Conserving Montana's largest game bird. Stamping my feet on the frozen ground, I waited impatiently for an elusive football-sized bird to appear in the murky pre-dawn light. A spotting scope stood at the ready, my tool to count sage grouse during their annual quirky courtship dance.I wasn't... Details
Stowaway SwingAway Hitch Carrier
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England, Mike
Ready your rig for a Montana safari.Wildlife abounds around Bozeman, and a dedicated hunter can day-trip to his heart’s content, exploring incredible country and taking all manner of game. At least once a season, though, every hunter should pack up and head out — to the mountains, fields, and... Details
Kenetrek Hunting
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LaFortune, Emerald
Homegrown businesses flourish. To the uninitiated, fall hunting conjures images of golden aspen, bulging elk, and snowcapped peaks. But we Montanans know better. The reality is sitting in cold sleet, bushwacking through dense underbrush, and packing heavy animal quarters down less-than-ideal... Details
Yellowstone National Park, Fisheries Management
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Decker, David
A criticism of fisheries management. Yellowstone National Park is under assault. Or more correctly, several of its creeks, rivers, and lakes are. In accordance with the 2011 Native Fish Conservation Plan, several of the Park’s most popular waters will be poisoned with Rotenone in an effort to... Details
Randy Newberg
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Lewis, Jimmy
An interview with Randy Newberg.Bozeman-based Randy Newberg is a hunter, TV personality, and strong advocate of do-it-yourself hunts on public lands, something most O/B readers can relate to. In this interview, Randy answers some of the most salient questions concerning hunting, hunters, and public... Details
Shuttle Snap, River Shuttles, Bozeman
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News that's fit to print.Your Shuttle, in a SnapIf you float many rivers, this scenario has happened to you: you’ve planned a float trip with friends and you’re on your way to the put-in only to realize that no one scheduled a shuttle. Now you have to call a shuttle provider (hopefully you saved... Details
CDT, West Yellowstone, Mountain Biking
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Kelli Sanders
Biking the CDT. The mountains outside of West Yellowstone contain some of the most scenic and enjoyable sections of the legendary Continental Divide Trail. From extremely technical rocky switchbacks to smooth rolling singletrack, the CDT has what you’re looking for, and depending on how much time... Details
Illustration by Blaise Arsenault
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the editors
Hunting is important to the Montana way of life, but its controversial nature leaves a dark cloud hanging over it. Often, poachers and hunters are lumped into the same category—wanton killers—by non-hunters. A more unfair epithet has not likely been hurled in the direction of a more undeserving... Details

Gear Reviews

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Tucker, David
Though you can get calories from jerky or trail mix, a piping hot soup or sweet and filling oatmeal can be the difference between misery and joy (not to mention hot coffee or tea) when backpacking. Space in your pack is precious, so you want something that packs away in a tight, compact unit. Enter... Details
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McCarthy, Chris
Fall trail running can be as unpredictable as a night at the craps table in Vegas. You might encounter ice, mud, snow, or if you’re lucky, a dry trail. You can ask other runners through various forums about trail conditions, but each person’s perception of “good” is different. The best way I’ve... Details
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Mangels, Angie
For a while, I’ve been searching for that perfect hiking shoe that will do it all. With the Zen Pro Mid, I finally found my sole mate. Scarpa really knows how to make a shoe that fits right and feels good; their Sock-Fit XT technology is comfortable right from the start, and my toes are happy with... Details
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Tucker, David
Fall weather is unpredictable, especially in the mountains. Whether you’re hiking, biking, hunting, or running, a reliable waterproof layer is essential, and the Torrentshell Stretch from Patagonia maximizes functionality without sacrificing performance. It’s lightweight, simple, and comfortable.... Details
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Tucker, David
I still have a hard time calling myself a runner, but I guess comeone who runs about four times a week is just that. As my newfound hobby has taken me from town to alpine, I've upgraded to a beefier shoe with more support and cushioning. The EM Trail N2s from Pearl Izumi offers just that. They're... Details
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Tucker, David
Fly fishing takes a lot of gear, and getting your first rig can be overwhelming. Not so with the Topo Outfit from Redington. The combo setup includes line, tapered leader, tippet, six essential flies, a starter fly box, and nippers, plus a carrying case that allows you to keep your reel attached to... Details
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Miller, Caroline
Long days of climbing require comfort without sacrificing hardiness, and I found both in Five Ten’s Siren Climbing Shoe. Not overly aggressive, but beyond the basic, these are a great option for someone looking for an all-around climbing shoe that can handle all-day outings. Both outside, and in... Details
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Pogge, Drew
When the wind begins to wail and rain falls high on a climb, things can get miserable pretty quickly. Unfortunately, most jackets are too bulky to pack as “just in case” insurance on a loaded climbing harness—but not the Berghaus VapourLight. This jacket weighs just 85g (about the same as a small... Details
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England, Mike
Gone are the days of melted ice and tepid beer by sundown—a cooler revolution is underway, and the latest enlistee in this high-insulation insurgency is the Coleman Esky Series Cooler. I tried the 55-quart model, which is the smallest of the lineup but could still double as an ottoman, owing to its... Details
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Pollastro, Joyce
In the mountains of Montana, even the warmest days can yield chilly nights. For someone who’s always cold, extra warmth is a must in any sleeping bag, and the Lithia Spring SL 15 by Big Agnes delivered just that. Even when venturing up into the high country, extra insulation in the footbox kept me... Details
Rapid Rifle Cover, Bozeman
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McCarthy, Chris
The elk were above me, necessitating a three-mile climb through a new growth of thick, 15-foot-tall lodgepoles. The wind hadn’t blown since the last snowfall, so each tree was loaded with snow, just waiting to avalanche down my back, filling both my rifle barrel and scope. No matter how I held my... Details
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Tucker, David
The first thing I noticed about the X-Alp Enduro IV shoes from Pearl Izumi was how comfortable they were; they felt more like trail runners than mountain-biking shoes. This comfort doesn’t comprise pedaling performance, however. They’re stiff enough to transfer power efficiently from my pedal... Details
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Mangels, Angie
The Impact Low is one of the burliest options in the Five Ten lineup. With a stiff sole, slingshot technology to hold your foot in place, and some strategic padding, this shoe offers a ton of support for really getting after it. The Stealth S1 rubber sole, a Five Ten mainstay, will all but lock... Details
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Howlett, David
I’ve been fly fishing for years, yet I’m far from being the most elegant or efficient caster. However, my suspect casting ability has been given a recent boost by a stealthy new rod—the Boost BL-950 from Echo. This 9-foot, 5-weight, 4-piece rod is extremely lightweight and is designed from the butt... Details
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England, Mike
Long have I sought the ideal mountain boot: lightweight, for easy travel on long treks into the high country, but also sturdy, for scrambling up rocky slopes and safeguarding my ankles under the weight of an elk quarter. The boots must also be flexible and have great traction, for surefootedness on... Details
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Howlett, David
As an avid fisherman, I’ve always been a big fan of Costa sunglasses, so when given an opportunity to review the Luke 580P shades, I quickly jumped at it. These sunglasses are the epitome of cool; after all, they’re Costa’s tribute to the country singer-songwriter Luke Bryan. As far as options are... Details
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Tucker, David
For a while, I was content to fish from the shore or only wade in a short distance in river shoes. This had a twofold affect. One: I didn’t catch fish. And two: I got cold and wet. Fish-less and uncomfortable is a recipe for quitting the sport, so I decided to get over my overly simplistic kit and... Details
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England, Mike
Wet feet are the worst, especially when you’re halfway up a mountain with miles of trail and hours of daylight ahead. Luckily, a good pair of gaiters can save a whole lot of suffering—and I’ve found no better calf-and-ankle covering than Kenetrek’s Hunting Gaiter. These burly leggings outlast the... Details
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England, Mike
Maybe it’s just me, but good hunting pants seem more elusive than a seven-point bull on opening day. They’re always too tight, or too loose and floppy, or too much cotton, or they fall apart after a single season. So imagine my delight when I stumbled across Arborwear’s Ascender Pants. Although... Details

Additional Articles

Hunting Injuries, Montana
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the editors
Guns can be deadly, and hunters should always adhere to the strictest safety standards. But shooting really isn’t as dangerous as you may think, and many other activities are far more so. Here are some numbers to think about.  Details

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