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A 9-foot bear shot by a homeowner is a reminder of what it means to live in the Alaskan wilderness.

The Peninsula Clarion had the story of Jim Landess of Sterling, Alaska, who awoke one morning earlier this month at 3:30 a.m. to loud banging on the outside of his home and windows.

“My son was sleeping downstairs and stood up to be eye-level with a 9-foot brown bear looking at him through the dining room window,” Landess told Alaska Dispatch.

Gunshots scared the bear off, at least until 6:00 a.m., when more banging woke Landess up again.

The bear was attempting to get inside a second time, and now Landess felt as though he needed to take matters into his own hands.
His took aim with a .45 pistol from his raised deck and shot the bear seven times. He said it “got crazy” and ran about 50 feet before collapsing and dying.

Things of this sort aren’t all that uncommon in Alaska, and Landess himself said he routinely scares bears away from his property each summer. But, this 9-foot behemoth was the first big game he had ever killed.

“I’m not a hunter; I’m a fisherman,” he said. “It wasn’t something I wanted to do. I wanted to scare him off.”

The bear was a male, approximately five years old.

Recent reports put bear-human interactions on the decline in Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula this year, but as the summer stretches on, bears will be looking to pile on the pounds as the gear up for winter.


Surviving in the desert isn’t impossible, if you follow these 10 tips.

We talk all the time about the tips and tools you need to survive in the woods, or to make it through a winter survival situations, but we don’t talk a lot about how tough the desert environment is.

While your hunting or camping exploits won’t always take you into the hot sands of a desert, it’s always good to have survival skills and knowledge in your back pocket, just in case a scenario arises where you’ll need them.

With that in mind, here are 10 tips that can help you survive in the desert.


1. Stock up on water

As obvious as it is, the importance of staying hydrated in the desert can simply not be overstated. Whether you are taking a drive across the desert or venturing out into a desert reserve like the Joshua Tree National Park, you need to make sure you have a lot of water.

Ideally, every person in your party will carry enough water for themselves, ideally a gallon per day. This may add a lot of extra weight to your pack, but it could also save your life, so don’t skimp on it.



2. Dress properly

Since desert environments are inherently warm, you may feel the desire to dispense with most of your clothing when heading out on a desert adventure. Don’t. A lightweight tank top or t-shirt may seem comfortable for a bit, but once you start burning under the unforgiving sun, you’ll be scrambling to find shade that isn’t there.

In the desert, your clothes usually are your shade, so wear long sleeves, long pants, sunglasses, thick boots or shoes (no sandals – this isn’t the beach) and wide-brimmed hats to keep yourself protected. Keep cool by wearing lightweight and breathable clothes in light colors. And don’t forget about the fact that it typically gets cooler after the sun goes down, so bring a sleep bag if you know you’ll be spending the night.


3. Stock your car

Even if you’re just driving across the desert – whether to reach a destination in the middle or simply get to the other side – it’s important to be prepared for the possibility of a survival situation. Whether your car runs out of gas, overheats, gets a flat tire, or otherwise breaks down, you need to be ready for the possibility of either hiking your way to civilization or sitting tight until help can come along.


4. Bring a four-season tent

If you are simply going out into the desert for a day hunt, you probably won’t want to be lugging around a tent. However, if you expect a lengthier adventure, invest in a four-season tent and put it in your pack.

The tent will provide much needed shelter if you find yourself in a survival situation. Just make sure you know how to pitch the thing quickly and on sand.


5. Avoid the midday sun

No matter what your desert journey is, there’s no reason to schedule it in the middle of the day. When the sun is at its peak position in the sky – especially in the middle of the summer – it’s just about as brutal and unforgiving as any force on the planet.

Plan your desert forays in the morning or evening, when most hunting is better anyway.


6. Bring extra layers for evening

Like we said, if you are heading out into the desert in the evening or at night, don’t expect high heat. Deserts may see some of the hottest temperatures on Earth in the daytime, but they get surprisingly cold after the sun goes down.

If you are going to be exploring the desert after hours – or even spending the night there – you are going to want to bring the right clothing and gear.


7. Remember flash floods

Another contradictory thing about deserts is their propensity for flash floods. Check the weather forecast before you decide to go see the sites in a desert canyon, and absolutely never pitch a tent on a canyon floor if you end up camping in the desert.

Remember that desert canyons were initially formed by water, usually via floods. If such water flows are powerful enough to carve formations into sand and rock, they are also strong enough to sweep you, your tent, and your friends away without warning, so always be on the lookout.


8. Consider investing in hiking poles

With enough water and done at the right time of day, a hike through the desert can be a fun experience that really gives you a chance to bask in the solace of open spaces. Remember, though, that walking on sand isn’t the same as walking on packed dirt or stable pavement.

Sand erodes quickly, and since the desert is littered with rugged terrain and uneven footing, it’s all too easy to trip and fall. Hiking poles can give you the support you need to stay on your feet and keep moving at a steady clip.


9. Inform loved ones where you are going

Whenever you are going into the desert – be it for a drive, a hike, or some other adventure – tell a friend or family member precisely where you are going and how long you will be gone. The desert is littered with dead spots, which means you might not be able to use your phone to call for help if you run into trouble. By keeping someone else abreast of your plans, you may just be giving yourself a lifeline.


10. Bring water purification tablets

While you probably won’t find many water sources in the desert, it’s not a bad idea to toss a few water purification tablets into your pack just in case you get lost and run low on water.

You never know when you are going to stumble across a pool of standing water, and purification tablets can turn that pool from a contaminated puddle into a wellspring of life.


The world of crossbow technology continues to improve with the introduction of Barnett’s new RAZR. Crossbows with arrow speeds of 400 fps or faster often are large and heavy, while Barnett has engineered the RAZR without either of those drawbacks. Aside from looking like an arrow-launching spaceship, this new model features a trigger with just a 3.5-lb. pull, a critical element of crossbow hunting accuracy. Here are the details from the manufacturer.

Barnett  Razr  SideThe RAZR is the perfect marriage of efficiency, speed, balance and power. Weighing just 6.5 pounds, the RAZR produces speeds up to 400 fps. The industry’s only titanium and carbon stock paired with Barnett’s proprietary Carbonlite Riser Technology (CRT), drastically reduces weight while ensuring long lasting strength and performance second to none.

Another industry first, the RAZR comes with a second set of light tracks specifically made for the smaller diameter arrows, further enhancing speed.  The reverse cam system increases the speed and power stroke without extending the overall length of the bow, while the retractable underarm support system adds counterbalance stability to the rear of the bow. This innovation gives the RAZR the most balanced feel of any crossbow on the market.  Crosswire premium crossbow strings blend Barnett’s fibers with the industry’s toughest-serving materials, resulting in the most stable and reliable string in the industry. The MIM (Metal Injection Molding) trigger contains the added safety precaution of the ADF “Anti-Dry Fire” feature, eliminating unintentional dry firing of the RAZR. MIM components allow for a smooth 3.5 lb pull.

Buying a large property for whitetail hunting is financially beyond the reach of most deer hunters. Even leasing a farm or timber tract as a group can add up to thousands of dollars. Small tracts won’t hold deer and turkeys, yet you can manage a few dozen acres into a happy hunting ground with these tips from Mark Kayser. Writing in Turkey Country magazine, Kayser is of the “write tight” generation (as in cut the bull) and gets right to the point in his insightful article.

 deer in velvet2569Becoming a real estate mogul requires some serious cash. Thirty years ago or more, rural land sold for its real value in the farming and ranching realm. But recreation and rural acreage sales have skyrocketed, and today land values are whatever the market dictates.  Fragmentation, absentee landowners and land grabs often mean your hunting property is shrinking like a cotton shirt in the clothes dryer. If you’re faced with the prospect of owning, leasing or hunting on a small property via permission, be proactive. Your small property could pay off in big hunting dividends with the
right management.

How small is too small?

Biologists have long suggested most whitetails live in an approximate 1-square-mile home range. Their core home range, where they spend 50 percentC.Alsheimer-00992-00511S-June-15 of their time or more, is often smaller — maybe even as few as 100 acres. Other wildlife such as turkeys may also call a section of land home if the right ingredients make up the neighborhood. Unfortunately, regional wildlife behavior, seasonal
nutritional changes and hunting pressure all can make wild animals wander or move. If you have access to a small property, your goal is to limit this wandering and give wildlife more reasons to stay than stray. How small is too small? I know one whitetail bowhunter who consistently takes trophy whitetails from a mere 9½ acres, including a 180-point giant last season.


Fishing for billfish is the ultimate big game fishing. If you’ve had the opportunity to chase these apex ocean predators, you know that hooking into one is no guarantee that you’ll actually land the fish. These fish are strong fighters. You’re doing well if you hook half the fish that you raise into your trolling spread, then leader half the ones you hook (once the captain or mate has his hands on the leader, it’s officially considered a catch).

Then there are rare occasions, though, where everything seems to work. Captain Josh Temple and his crew on the Carol Libby recently visited Costa Rica and got to experience firsthand an insane marlin bite.

costa_marlinWell just when you thought it couldn’t get any better…

We’ve just returned from perhaps the most incredible 5 day trip that we will ever experience in our lives. We managed to release 122 marlin in 5 days of fishing! WOW!

On June 30 we arrived at our destination, lines went in the water at 9:00 a.m. and by 6 p.m. we had tallied a STAGGERING 34 blue marlin releases out of 46 bites. I literally lost count of how many fish we saw, they were attacking in numbers that were quite literally uncountable. Several times throughout the day hooked fish would be followed by several other free swimming marlin. Too many double headers to count, and more triples than I can honestly remember. At one point it took us 8 minutes to catch a triple header of 250–375 pounders on baits! INSANE! We managed to TBF tag 23 blues that day.

Photos: Capt. Josh Temple


Whether your fishery is a lake, beach, offshore, or anywhere in between, longer casts are one of the biggest things you can do to improve your fishing results. Maybe the fish are really spooky and a long cast is the stealthy choice. Perhaps you spot breaking fish or diving birds, and they’re far away. Or maybe it’s just that a longer cast gives you more productive time presenting your bait, since longer casting equals better fishing.

There are eight important factors that contribute to longer casting. This Wired2Fish article by Jason Sealock breaks them down and shows how they work together.

casting1Whether you’re learning how to cast for the first time or just trying to improve your distance or accuracy with a fishing rod and reel combo and your favorite lure, there are several factors that dictate how far and well you can cast a lure.

The following are the factors you need to consider when casting a fishing lure:

  • Rod action
  • Rod length
  • Line size
  • Line material
  • Lure weight
  • Lure shape or size
  • Wind
  • Lure to rod tip distance

Every one of these factors affects your ability to cast the lure where you want to, and here is how each one should be considered to make you the best caster on the lake.

Action determines load

When you pull the rubber back on a sling shot, the harder you pull it back or “load” it, the farther it will shoot your pellet. The same holds true for a fishing rod. The more you can cause the rod blank to load the more you can launch a bait with the recoil on the rod.

If a rod has a real heavy power and action, it won’t bend as much and it won’t load as much. Whereas a rod that has a moderate action or medium power will load a lot more. There is, however, a law of diminishing returns. If the rod has too light an action and not enough power, the lure will become overpowering and can even break a rod blank with enough force. So you want a rod with a moderate action and medium power to maximize your cast.

Photos: Wired2Fish (top), Fishing.com (above)