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Enjoy every OL article ever written in this collection.

Enjoy every OL article ever written in this collection.

I learned all about the big-game animals of North America thanks to my family’s subscription to Outdoor Life magazine. For generations, it has been the go-to source for strategies, techniques, and outdoor adventure.

Now, the entire OL library is available online in three different subscription categories.  Not only can you re-read your favorite outdoor writers of old (like yours truly), but laugh at the products of the early 20th century and their ridiculous prices compared to today’s norm. Like the Super Bowl, reading the adds is half the fun. Here’s how to have all 117 years at your fingertips.

This year marks Outdoor Life‘s 117th birthday. Over the decades, the magazine has accumulated hundreds of thousands of pages of adventure and outdoor knowledge.  Now, you can access the best outdoor writing and stories of the past century Outdoor Life‘s digital archives. That includes access to illustrated covers, classic Jack O’Connor stories, amusing reader letters, and even the old advertisements that ran alongside them. Even without a subscription, you can browse through every cover. There are three different subscription plans to choose from, as well as a free 30-day trial.

DSC_0173Thankfully, wild turkeys don’t have a sense of smell, like deer, or we’d never outfox one. However, turkeys often thrive in deer habitat. Many seemingly perfect spring gobbler set-ups have been blown by a snorting deer that entered the hunter’s scent stream. A unique device called “Ozonics” can change that by eliminating human odor. It’s especially effective in an enclosed space, such as a turkey or deer blind. This unit works in spring or fall and has captured the interest of sportsmen, yet many aren’t sure how it works. Here’s the explanation from the manufacturer.

Neutralize a mature buck’s best defense, its nose, and a hunter’s chances of success rise dramatically. Cover scents, hunting clothes washed in scent-free detergents, avoiding a buck’s core area during the prime time to hunt because the wind isn’t right… Hunters are obsessed with scent, and for good reason. A deer’s nose is truly its best sense.

1041It’s not often a new hunting product revolutionizes the sport. Ozonics is just such a  product. Ozonics is the only scent-control product that deals with your human scent zone. Simply, there is nothing else like it. Ozonics is an in-the-field ozone generator. An Ozonics Unit electronically changes oxygen into ozone, which destroys your human scent zone. Ozonics blankets your scent zone with scent-destroying ozone propelled by a quiet fan. The ozone is unstable, so it will bond with your scent molecules, rendering them indistinguishable to the nose of a deer.Ozonics should be positioned 6 to 10 inches above you and angled downward. Use a wind tracker to detect wind direction, and then aim Ozonics downwind. Heavy ozone molecules generated by the Ozonics Unit fall through your scent zone. The ozone concentration is heaviest in the direction Ozonics is facing and closer to the unit. This is why knowing wind direction is important. Reducing your scent profile means more ozone reaches your scent stream.

Best of all, Ozonics is guaranteed. If you do not experience a dramatic reduction in the number of downwind deer that bust you, Ozonics will refund your money in the same calendar year as purchase. Many top industry pros and expert hunters have already discovered Ozonics. For more information on Ozonics GameChanger Technology that is transforming scent control and hunting, please visit ozonicshunting.com.

As the winter snow piles up across the Northeast, I worry about the deer herds. How are they handling seven feet of snow? Most of all, how are they fending off coyotes that see them as sitting ducks? For decades, the main problem for whitetail deer has been overpopulation, but not anymore. Predators are a significant threat to our deer hunting opportunities, and coyotes aren’t the only deer-eater we need to worry about. This post from North American Whitetail covers the situation splendidly.

Coyotes not only prey on winter whitetails, but kill every fawn they can catch.

Coyotes not only prey on winter whitetails, but kill every fawn they can catch.

Sunken into the dry, dusty brush and grass filling the gaps between rocky outcrops, I surveyed the draw — almost a canyon — through my rifle scope. “Ready,” I whispered to my hunting partner, satisfied with my line of sight in several directions.

Eagle Head Outfitters owner and southeast Kansas native Josh Hedges hit a button on his electronic predator call and twisted the volume knob. The painful wailing of a whitetail fawn in distress flooded the silence, echoing against the opposite side of the draw and racing up and down its length. And then, silence.

Several seconds later Josh again worked the controls, and this time a mix of coyote yips and barks and howls resonated across the landscape.

As if on cue, a flash of movement in the draw broke the inertia. I watched as a dozen whitetails busted out of the thick cover heading somewhere, anywhere, but there. I scanned up and down the draw, searching for the cause of their distress, but found none. I concluded the very sound of a coyote killing a fawn had sparked such an urgent need to flee in these whitetails that they would expose themselves in full daylight.

As the doe group disappeared into another canyon, it was difficult to ignore the thought that this was an all-too-familiar occurrence for whitetails in Kansas. Or, for that matter, in the eastern U.S., where coyotes — once a rarity — have taken a foothold on the land and quite literally a bite out of the whitetail herd.


Everyone knows that if you hold a fish out away from your body for a picture, that it will look bigger than it actually is. You can help the illusion if you hide your hands behind the fish. This whopper goes several steps further.

Italian angler Dino Ferrari caught a Wels catfish so massive that some thought the pictures could only be the output of some very creative computer skills. Ferrari anticipated that his ultimate lifetime fishing achievement would be called into question, so he also took video as further proof of the veracity of his catch.

Get the details, and see the amazing video of Dino’s catch in this article from ESPN.

giantcat2Italian fisherman Dino Ferrari hooked a 280-pound, 8-foot-9-inch catfish last Thursday on Italy’s Po River, which is believed to be one of the largest ever caught with a rod and reel.

Ferrari, a bus mechanic who was fishing with his twin brother, spent 40 minutes reeling in the fish, according to this CNN interview. After Ferrari outlasted the monstrosity, he took a few photos and released it back into the river. The photos were so alarming that the authenticity of the catch was called into question. But this video should quiet even the harshest skeptics.

Photos and video: Dino Ferrari


Next up in winter fishing destinations in which to beat cabin fever is Venice, Louisiana. This hot fishing destination is home to all sorts of year-round fishing opportunities. The winter months offer a unique prize, though: the chance to get into larger-grade yellowfin tuna. I don’t know what they call them in Venice, but in Southern California we call them cows — fish in excess of 200 lbs. Does that sound like it would get your blood pumping?

If not, read this story from Coastal Angler. In it, Capt. Peace Marvel recounts when the tuna were so fired up, they were biting on baby carrots!

venice_oil rigIt’s a little known fact that February is in fact the one and only month of the year you can catch giant tuna out of Venice on baby carrots AND celebrate my birthday.

Okay, so the baby carrot thing goes like this:

I had my good friend Jack Anderson and his teenage daughters for a lump tuna slaughter about 15 years ago. The fish were just on fire and we stayed hooked up most of the morning. Both of his girls, after having caught their yellowfin, were sitting in the leaning post eating baby carrots. Jenny dropped one on the deck and said “Yuck,” then threw it overboard. Out of nowhere a big yellowfin rocketed up from the depths and devoured it. I looked at Jenny and said, “Give me one of those.” About three minutes later we were hooked up with a big yellowfin that was obviously not on the Atkins diet. He weighed 156 lbs. and gave us all quite a story to share back at the dock.

I get asked a lot what the best bait is for catching those big fish on the lump, and I’ve said it a thousand times—the bait doesn’t matter so much as the sense of competition going on between the fish. One of the reasons that the Bonita are so important when we are chumming is that if there are a bunch of Bonita in the slick, then the yellowfin are way less selective. And the more fired up the Bonita are, the less selective the yellowfin are.

Photos: Miami Sportfishing


When I was about eight years old, my family went on a camping expedition to Lake Chelan in Eastern Washington state. I remember my dad and I trying all day to catch trout from the little stream running alongside our campsite. The next morning, I got up early and hiked upstream by myself. By the time Dad was up having his first cup of coffee for the day, I had returned with some fresh trout from my expedition. Getting away from the fishing pressure immediately around the campgrounds allowed me to find some fish that weren’t as picky about biting my hook.

It’s getting ever harder to find low-pressured fishing spots, but one great way is to hike into the backcountry of Colorado. This article from the Orvis blog tells you when and how to do it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn part one of this series, we looked at the types of water found in Colorado’s high country wilderness areas. From small streams to beaver ponds and alpine lakes, there is a variety of waters, each with its own set of challenges and opportunities. Here we’ll discuss wilderness access, so let’s jump in.

With only a few exceptions, wilderness areas are open to the public, offering priceless opportunities to visitors. Access to most wilderness areas in Colorado is as easy as finding a trailhead. Wilderness units can border private land, so access may not be available everywhere along the boundary. But from any public access point, including state or federal lands, established trailheads, or public campgrounds, visitors are free to explore. Always carry a map and compass and/or GPS. It is your responsibility to know where private-land boundaries exist, and to avoid trespassing.

Fly-fishing opportunities can exist from wilderness boundaries to the remote interiors. As a general rule, the harder an area is to reach, the less fishing pressure it receives. In our home waters in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area, we find that the most remote lakes and streams can be the most rewarding. With very little pressure, trout tend to be less wary and eager to take a fly. In some remote locations, we also find opportunities for larger native cutthroat and brook trout.

Photos: Ryan McSparran, Orvis