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Cold Isn't Cool
There you sit, all warm and toasty in the cab of your truck, heater on full blast, radio cranking out your favorite tunes. It’s cold, finger-numbing cold, but you did your time. Two hours in a treestand was enough for you. Besides, you didn’t see any deer. But while you toast marshmallows over your defroster, another hunter is raising his rifle on the same buck that pranced past your treestand minutes after you packed up your gear and walked out. Maybe he’s just more dedicated and willing to sit through bitter cold. More likely, he’s prepared for the weather. These days, every deer hunter should be able to stay in the woods through even the coldest weather. Modern clothing, along with various gear and gadgets, offers warmth, comfort and protection from wind and rain. There are...
 

Get the Kids Involved
About five years ago, I made a rule that my three boys couldn’t watch television or play video games on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Sundays. I also placed time limits on TV and video games for the rest of the week. I didn’t do it to be an ogre; I just realized they were spending too much time inside. During the first few months, my wife Michelle and I heard some griping, but the boys now spend more time riding horses, shooting their bows, plinking with BB guns and just being outside. I’m often asked about the best age to take a kid hunting. Every child matures at a different rate, so there’s no right answer. Some kids are ready much sooner than others, and the important thing is for parents to be ready. You’re going to be asked a bunch of questions, so it’s a good idea to think about how yo...
 

The Great Lead Debate
In 2008, North Dakota dermatologist and hunter Dr. William Cornatzer sent 95 pounds of ground venison through a CT scan in an effort to determine if lead fragments were present in the meat. His findings sparked a fierce debate within the hunting community. Fifty-three of the 95 packages of venison had lead fragments in them, prompting some states, including Minnesota, to throw away thousands of pounds of venison donated by hunters to food banks. State agencies feared consumers would become sick from lead poisoning. Although the issue essentially fell to the wayside in the years following Cornatzer’s findings and Minnesota restarted its venison donation program, lead is making headlines once again. Last year, the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group known most...
 

Black Hawg Down
Bouncing through the cattle pasture in a pickup, we were still within sight of the main dirt road when we spotted our first whitetail of the morning. That sighting was followed quickly by turkeys, plenty of doves, more whitetails and even an alligator! I would have expected such diverse and plentiful wildlife in Texas — except maybe for the alligator — but we were in Florida. And not inside a high fence. The only fences were the four-string barbed wire variety necessary to confine the many varieties of cows on Hoppy Kempfer’s 25,000-acre working ranch. The property also is home to Hoppy’s other business, Osceola Outfitters. Hoppy offers hunts for whitetails, gators, turkeys and wild hogs, and the ranch has plenty of all four species. Our quarry for the late August hunt was hogs...
 

Back from the Brink
I found the perfect spot to set up my blind and watch for a big buck. A funnel of trees between two large wetlands created a pinch point that deer had to use when going from bedding to feeding areas. It wasn’t difficult to see they were using the area, as they had pounded the snow down to bare ground on several trails. I set up on the downwind side of the trees and started my vigil. I was pulling up the zipper on the blind when the first buck appeared. A 10-pointer, it was tempting. However, I knew that there were some real bruisers in the area, and I had plenty of hunting days left. It was mid-November, and the rut was in full swing. In all the years I’d hunted in Alberta, I’d never seen so many deer. It was a steady parade of bucks and does chasing back and forth through the f...
 
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