Santa dives in and catches Trout

Only Santa can fish like this for Trout! Enjoy…      Have you entered our Free Giveaway yet?

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Epic Fail: Man Accidentally Shoots Down Tree With .500 S&W [VIDEO]

You’re about to see why the .500 S&W is considered one the most powerful handgun rounds in the world. The Internet is filled with hilarious blooper reels of inexperienced shooters firing overly powerful handguns. Well, here’s one more for your viewing enjoyment. The man in this video gets an important demonstration of just how powerful …

The post Epic Fail: Man Accidentally Shoots Down Tree With .500 S&W [VIDEO] appeared first on Wide Open Spaces.

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Video: An Outfitter’s Take on Hunting With Hounds

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On November 4 Mainers will go to the polls and be asked to vote on Question 1: “Do you want to ban the use of bait, dogs or traps in bear hunting except to protect property, public safety, or for research?”

The referendum vote is part of the overarching strategy by the Humane Society of the United States to ban hunting wherever it can (read more about that strategy here).

For Maine hunters and outfitters, it could mean the loss of tradition and the houndsmen culture. Earlier this week I had a chance to experience this culture first hand through a hunt with Bob Parker of Stony Brook Outfitters. For a few days I got to run dogs with Bob and his buddies and eventually shoot a treed bear at the top of a rainy Maine mountain. I’ll write about the whole adventure for a digital feature later this winter, but for now here are some takeaways: Hunting with hounds is hard, it’s really fun, and it’s not something that should be banned. 

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5 Year Old Plays For The Utah Jazz

Utah Jazz allows 5 year old to play JP Gibson was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2012 and to give him a moral boost, Utah Jazz allowed him to join their team for a play that he and his parents will remember forever. Enter our Free Giveaway Here [ WIN BIG ]      

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How to Be a Doe for Halloween [VIDEO]

Need last minute Halloween costume ideas? Check out this makeup tutorial on how to be a doe for Halloween. Happy Halloween everyone! Halloween is a day of spooky ghost and goblins…and candy. And with it comes a tough choice: what costume to wear to the Halloween party. It’s fun to dress up, but it seems like people …

The post How to Be a Doe for Halloween [VIDEO] appeared first on Wide Open Spaces.

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Iraq Vet Throws Grenade First Pitch

First Pitch Grenade GET DOWN! Retired U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Brian Keaton had the honor of the ceremonial first pitch for the MLB. The father of five was wounded in Iraq from a bomb, and spent years recovering from the physical and emotional wounds. To celebrate his new health, he threw the first pitch […]

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Open Country: Accessing The Berkshires

Economically speaking, the good times were not that long ago. In the bucolic Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts, the good times were actually very bad times for sportsmen. Situated three hours equidistant from New York City and Boston, the Berkshires, once a traditional destination for northeastern deer hunters, was suddenly becoming locked down as flush-with-money summertime tourists began snapping up huge chunks of property and instantly nailing up dreaded “Posted” signs. The impact on hunting has been nothing short of staggering. In the past two decades, Massachusetts hunting license sales have dropped 50 percent—easily outpacing the rest of the country.  

That’s the context that Outdoor Life recognizes in giving its Open Country award to the non-profit Berkshire Natural Resources Council—simple appreciation for providing sportsmen with cherished places to go hunting and fishing. 

Though the BNRC does not tout itself as a pro-hunting organization, it can be argued that the organization has performed a greater land-access service for sportsman than any other—and larger—group in the state.

“Berkshire Natural Resources Council is a non-profit land conservation organization working throughout the Berkshires in Massachusetts to preserve threatened lands,” reads the BNRC mission statement ( “The Council places special emphasis on protecting Berkshire’s farms, forests, streams, and ridgelines – the great landscape features that give us clean water, fresh air, local produce, healthy wildlife, and outstanding recreational opportunities.”

In total, the BNRC owns more than 5,000 acres and holds conservation easements on an additional 10,000 acres. By western U.S. standards, it’s not much, but in the open-land, public-access poor Northeast it can mean the difference between not having a place to go hunting and a punched tag.

“Not all of our properties are capable of supporting hunting—we own some historically significant homesteads and the like—but where it’s practical, we welcome hunters and fishermen,” says BNRC President Tad Ames. “Whenever we are fortunate enough to acquire a property, that is part of the agreement.”

The Outdoor Life Open Country award will be used to create signage kiosks on recently-acquired BNRC properties. 

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Backcountry Hunting the West: What You Need, and What You Don’t

When backcountry hunting there are things you really need and things you really need to leave home. Knowing the difference can help save your energy for hunting. If I carried every “must have backcountry item” with me on my hunting trips, I wouldn’t be able to hunt. After two and a half decades of backcountry …

The post Backcountry Hunting the West: What You Need, and What You Don’t appeared first on Wide Open Spaces.

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On Point for Suspending Spotted Bass

Photos courtesy of Matt Newman

When California bass pro Matt Newman looks for a big, impressive catch he knows just the spot. A bit of a double entendre there, because Newman has a bead on not only the right locations for a good string stretching, but also for a truly impressive species – the spotted bass.

Sure, California’s northern reservoirs hold plenty of big Florida-strain largemouth bass, but in recent years, the rest of the world has learned the once guarded secret of the Golden State’s phenomenal spot fisheries. California’s spots came from Alabama’s Lewis Smith Lake in the 70’s and those thriving today grow fat on the rainbow trout and kokanee salmon abounding in Western waters.

Keith Bryan caught a new world record spot of 10.48 pounds was caught February 22 on New Melones Lake. They don’t all get that big, but Newman knows the right tactics applied at the right locations can easily yield a 5- to 6-pounder, with something closer to the record remaining an ever-present possibility.

A renowned swimbait guru and president of iRod, Newman targets long main lake points where big spots like to suspend 20-30 feet down in depths of 60-80 feet. He prefers big baits like the Huddleston 68, River2Sea S-Waver, Triple Trout or Osprey are best; but it’s also a matter of technique.

“For spots I will approach the tip head on and slowly work in toward the point,” Newman said. “I’ll make sure I get a few good casts down each side of the point because I have found big spots will use the first 50-100 feet of the sides of a point from the tip.”

Newman said he likes to mix it up so the spots don’t get wise to his ways.

“Another approach is throwing over the point but starting deep and working the boat shallower with each cast,” he said. “A sinking or slow-sink bait will work depending on their mood that day. Most of the big spots in eat swimbaits out in open water, but they’ll chase them shallow.”

The deal with this strategy is to make lots of casts with a hefty bait that typically weeds out the smaller fish. It’s definitely a workout, but at any given moment, your next cast could tempt a trophy spotted bass.



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Hunt Now: Big Bucks Are Up and About

Ok, call in sick and head to the woods, the young bucks have been up and about for a few weeks now and the old guys are starting to move (at least over 95% of whitetail country). The next 2-3 weeks will be prime time for hunting the rut. 

How do we know? Simple, our cameras are showing a significant increase in buck traffic and the bucks in the pictures are on the muscle. They’re posture is all about attitude and they’re telling anyone who cares to listen they’re big, bad, and ready for action. Their tarsal glands are darkening up, they’re bristling up and their antlers are rubbed up and ready for battle. More than likely they will be harassing a doe or just marching though the frame. Doe pics are also starting to decline. 

We’re seeing aggressive rut sign (some pretty big trees rubbed and aggressive scraping) all over the woods. Sits on stand are yielding multiple buck sightings. They are more likely to walk through a food plot than to stop and feed for a half hour. Chases are beginning to show up all over deer country and some big bucks are going down. We’re receiving all kinds of hero shots from successful hunters.

You can make hunting as complicated as you want, but basically it all boils down to setting up in a place where deer are likely to congregate or pass through and putt in your time. You can rattle and grunt and do all kinds of stuff to get a good deer in your sights, but you can’t do it your living room or hunting camp. Dress for the weather and be there when they show up.

The rut makes good hunters of us all and now is the best three weeks of the year to prove it. 

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