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March 2017 | Volume 13 | Issue 3

The Waterfowl Byway of Saskatoon

Gary Lewis

A Model-T and Blacktails

Duck Creek Outfitters is located on the Saskatchewan waterfowl migration route, ensuring plenty of birds to choose from.

Dave Canterbury

10 Cs of Survival Cover Kenai Angler's Paradise

Gone Fishin' Lodge Page 6

New Products

The Best New Gear of 2017

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PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER Mike Deming President/Publisher 435-669-4624

SENIOR EDITOR Kent Danjanovich 801-231-9838 MANAGING EDITOR Dan Kidder 435-865-1680 NATIONAL ADVERTISING MANAGER Shane Chuning 435-592-6106 EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Lisa Deming VIDEO PRODUCTION MANAGER Sam Staudt

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4 Duck Creek Outfitters

The Waterfowl Byway of Saskatoon

Gone Fishin' 6 6 Exceeding Angler's Wildest Dreams on the Kenai.

10 Pro's Tip: Become an Outdoorsman Let the Experts Teach You the Basics.

11 10 Cs of Survival with Dave Canterbury Part 3: Cover

Platinum Approved Outfitters 14Choose A Sportsman's News Endorsed Guide For Your Next Trip. Pro Member Update: WRO Mexico 22 A $50,000 gamble to take a ram with a traditional bow.


e have completed the outdoor industry show circuit for the year. This includes trade shows like the Archery Trade Association show, Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trades show, ICAST, and the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. These are massive outdoor industry shows where the manufactures of everything outdoors comes together to show the world what is new and exciting in their lines for 2017. I truly love each and every one of these shows because we get to put our hands on some of the latest and greatest products we will likely see on the shelves sometime during the year. Every year the new technology takes massive leaps and bounds and it comes in full force into our industry. Some of these products fill voids, which I knew we had and would like filled and other products fulfill a need I didn’t even know we had. I asked the team here at Sportsman’s News to pick out a few products throughout this show season which they felt fit these parameters and we have them in this issue. Don’t miss this section of the March issue of Sportsman’s News on page 31. Another article in this issue you won’t want to miss is the Pro’s Tips on page 10. It is something new and exciting for us here at Sportsman’s News. It is a way of us giving back to our wonderful industry and the outdoors which, have given so much to us. I don’t want to take away from this short column as it rolls out, but make sure you take a look at the article and all things affiliated with this project. As you look on the back cover of this issue, you will see that Sportsman’s Warehouse is opening up several more stores in 2017. The red dots indicate the new stores for 2017 and hopefully you are fortunate enough to have one of these great new stores coming to your town. We live in Cedar City, Utah and our grand opening will have already happened by the time you are reading this. Our community is ecstatic with this new store, which provides them the ability to get a huge selection of outdoor equipment at great prices. I get to hear this whenever I visit these stores around the country. Sportsman’s Warehouse prides themselves on having knowledgeable staff who are always willing to help their customers. I’m just happy to have one of these locations in my backyard. The 30th of March will mark the 2nd anniversary of the Sportsman’s News Pro Membership Sweepstakes and the completion of giving away over a half million dollars of trips, guns, and gear. It is very exciting to have started this program as well as watch it grow. My vision when we launched this was to provide an opportunity for people to spend a few dollars that they normally spend at a banquet for a marginal dinner and some mediocre prizes, for a chance to win a true trip of a lifetime. We have some of the best mule deer and elk hunts here in the west, secured several years in advance, so we can give them away. True once in a lifetime trips, like brown bear hunts on Kodiak Island, Desert Bighorn Sheep hunts in Sonora, Mexico, and Dall Sheep hunts in Alaska. Every ten days, we do a giveaway, which we film and send out to our members. We not only do a grand prize giveaway every ten days, we also do bonus giveaways from great companies like Browning, ALPS, Outdoor Edge, Sig, and many others. We will give away 36 grand prizes and over 200 bonus prizes in the next 12 months and you can become a member at any time. Membership has its’ benefits as well. You will get Sportsman’s News Magazine delivered to your mail box twelve times a year, but most importantly, you get five tickets in every one of the drawings. All of our new members, as well as renewing members, will receive one of the Eastmans’ Research Books, worth $50. We refer to this as the Hunter’s Bible, as it has everything you need to know about hunting units in the west, as well as trends in trophy quality. It’s our way of saying “thank you” for sharing in our passion for the outdoors.

22 26


Pro Member Sweepstakes

Over $300,000 In Giveaways. Drawing Every 10 Days.

PacWest Outdoors: The Good Old Days

Blacktail Deer and a Model-T Ford.

31 Best New Products of 2017

The coolest gear from all of the shows.


Fishful Thinker: Guide Tips

Experience is the best teacher.

44 Ruger Mark IV .22 LR

Is it an upgrade or a new design?

46 Business Directory Wild Game Recipe 48


Elk Empenadas

50 Adventures On A Budget Coyote Hunting 101

52 Outdoor Writing Contest Big Fish by Kurt Buss

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Ralph Crystal Dave Canterbury Gary Lewis Chad LaChance Steve Mayer Joe Glotz Kurt Buss



The Waterfowl Byway of Saskatoon

Whether you visit spring or fall, Duck Creek Outfitters offers some of the best waterfowl hunting in North America.

Photo by Brad Fenson

By Kent Danjanovich


aterfowlers are a funny breed. You find them in all shapes and sizes, young and old and both male and female. Their camo outfits are usually covered with a thin coating of mud and dirt, many dab a little blackout under their eyes and all have a favorite call they carry with them where ever they hunt. Some still swear by their trusty old 12ga. pump or double-barrel, while others sport the newest autoloader on the planet (most of those old jobbies still seem to do the job pretty darn well). But all of them have one thing in common – a distinct passion for killing ducks and geese. Now I don’t by any means call myself a waterfowl expert, but you won’t usually find me turning down an opportunity to go on a hunt either, that’s for sure. I have always said, “there are two things that I would say get me about as excited as I can get in the outdoors and those two things include the flush of a rooster pheasant and the sight of a flock of ducks or geese back-peddling into a decoy setup”. Because of this, every year you will find me heading a little north to Alberta and Saskatchewan to partake in some of the very best waterfowl hunting in the world.

Photo by Brad Fenson

Brooks Hansen with a pile birds on a “snowy day” during our fall hunt with Duck Creek Outfitters in Saskatchewan, Canada.



One of our newest Platinum Approved Outfitters is located about 2 ½ hours north of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and sits smack dab in the middle of the path of millions of ducks and geese as they make their way from the Northwest Territories on their journey to Mexico each fall. This Central Flyway is one of the four major North American Flyways that divides the U.S. into kind of an aerial freeway for waterfowl. This area of northern and central Saskatchewan is covered in farmland, offering the first feeding area after the birds leave their nesting areas in the Northwest Territories. With water potholes dotting the area along with wildlife refuges nearby such as the Quill Lake area, Sykes Mitchell and his Duck Creek Outfitters Lodge is the place to be if you are looking for a waterfowling adventure second to none. 2016 found us visiting his operation both in the spring for snow geese and in the fall for a mixed bag, but mostly ducks. Steve McGrath joined me in May as we finished up the last few days of the snow goose season from May 14-18th. At dinner, Sykes introduced us to our guides, Dusty and Ty and then filled us in on what they had in store for us the next morning. We would be setting up over a small pond in an A-frame blind in an area where thousands of snows had been converging on for the last couple of days. As the sky started to awaken, we found ourselves surrounded by flock after flock of snow geese as they started their slow-motion circling above us as they descended on our spread. Soon Dusty whispered the word to get ready as a half a dozen barrel-rolled into our decoys. “Take ‘em”, he then exclaimed as Steve and I raised above the blind with barrels blazing. Not a bird escaped in that first group (I can’t say the same for the rest of the mornings shooting, but we did OK) and we settled in for two solid hours of non-stop action. By 9 am, we were loading up our gear along with 80 geese, not bad for a couple of Utah boys and their two Canadian guides. We then made our way back to the lodge for brunch and a little down time before Sykes loaded us up in his Suburban and gave us a tour of the area. We also did a little scouting for the following mornings hunt as well. The next morning found us in another area with not quite the same results, but still 40 birds on the ground. We knew that we were going to be bringing up the rear of the spring snow goose season and 120 birds down for our first two days – well that’s pretty good in my book. Days three and four continued the downward trend, with 16 geese down on our third morning and then we laid a big “goose egg ‘0’” on our last day, but all in all, our spring hunt was a rousing success! Now, fast forward to October 7th. As I landed in Saskatoon, the surroundings looked very different from my trip in the spring. A giant snow storm had hit the area two days

prior and blanketed the area with over 20-inches of the white stuff. I met up with David Draper, another outdoor writer who Spring snow geese are plentiful as my hunting partner, Steve McGrath (center) and would also be on the trip and we soon had our rental car loaded our guides were able to down big numbers during our hunt. as we headed north for the lodge. On our drive to the lodge, we did manage to see quite a few ducks and geese still in the area trying to figure out just what to do with all of the snow in their way. Fields of unharvested crops could be seen in every direction, as farmers were relegated to sitting in disbelief, starring at their fields, hoping that they would be able to cash any portion of their crop that laid under the blanket of snow. Soon we found ourselves in the yard at the lodge. Our first greeters were a couple of playful labs and then Sykes Mitchell, owner of Duck Creek Outfitters, walked over to our car and greeted us and started to help us unload our gear. Brooks Hansen from Camp Chef and outdoor writer, Brad Fenson, our other two hunting partners on this trip, had just finished up an afternoon session in the field and had bagged a limit of mallards, sprinkled with a few snow geese, so our snowy spirits started to rise immensely as they filled us in on what was in store for us during our stay. After a great meal, we mingled with the rest of the guests and talked over the events of the next morning with Sykes and our guides, Hunter and Cody. Then it was off to bed for a few hours of shut eye before our alarms sounded at 5 am. Our first morning found us set-up in an A-frame blind, adjacent to a small pond and wetlands area. Heavy fog had set have plenty of opportunity to fulfill your waterfowl hunting dreams of a lifetime. in because of slightly rising temperatures and of course the snow-covered ground. Spring or fall, they have it all! Give them a call today at 541-771-4976 and check Geese could be heard moving by above us, but none made their way down to our out their website at In fact, we have added Duck spread. A couple of hours later, the fog finally started to lift and Sykes came out to Creek Outfitters to our Pro Membership Sweepstakes drawing for a trip for two our blind to inform us that he had been doing some scouting of the area and had for a 2018 Spring Snow Goose Hunt. So, make sure you are registered for a chance found that the snow had really done a number on the geese and they were getting to join me for a great waterfowl adventure as a Sportsman’s New Pro Member. out of Dodge in a hurry. But, he had also found big numbers of ducks on a couple of nearby ponds for our afternoon hunt, so we loaded up and headed back to the lodge for an early lunch before setting up for our first afternoon session. When we pulled up to our afternoon location, hundreds of ducks lifted off of the water as we made our way to cover along the cattail covered pond’s edge. Each of us nestled a bucket in the willows and positioned ourselves in hopes of getting plenty of opportunities at the abundant numbers of ducks in the area. It didn’t take long for our wishes to start to formulate, as a half a dozen mallards barreled over us from the west and quickly lost altitude for a quick decent on our decoys. I clicked the button on my Sony as David, Brooks and Brad folded all six as our afternoon got off to a rousing beginning! Group after group continued to converge on our location for the next two hours and soon Brooks put a call into Sykes that we were limited out with a great mixed bag of mallards, pintails and widgeons. The next morning provided us with an equal amount of success, as we were again able to limit out at another location, this time shooting over just a small pothole with an A-frame blind as our concealment. The geese, unfortunately were not cooperating, but the ducks were more than happy to keep us occupied! Our last morning would have to be cut a little short because of time restrictions on our flights back to the states, but the birds again cooperated and we were able to fill our limits of eight ducks a piece by 9 am. We then grabbed our gear, headed over to the truck, traded places with some other hunters as they headed to our ‘Hot Spot’ and we headed back to the lodge to pick up our luggage, say our good-byes and head to the airport. Well, as you can see, both of our visits to Duck Creek Outfitters in Saskatchewan during the 2016 season were a rousing success, even though Mother Nature tried to throw a little monkey wrench at us. The Central Flyway through this part of North America is truly amazing and if you haven’t experienced it, you need too! And the outfit in Saskatchewan to do it There’s nothing better than with is definitely Duck Creek Outfitspending the morning with good ters. Sykes Mitchell and his staff do an friends while downing a limit of excellent job in all aspects of the hunt mallards and pintails. and you can be assured that you will March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS


The Kenai Peninsula Still Continuing to Exceed Every Angler’s Wildest Dreams By Ralph Crystal


laska! The name alone triggers the imagination. Who hasn’t dreamed of exploring the last frontier, the “Great Land”! If you cut Alaska in half, it would make Texas the third largest state. It has 17 of the 20 highest mountains in the United States and 19 peaks over 14,000 feet, one of which is Denali, the highest mountain on the North American continent, standing at 20,230 feet above sea level. There are 29 active volcanoes, days with 24 hours of daylight, some with 24 of night, over 100,000 glaciers, three million lakes, more coastline than the lower 48 states combined and the Aurora Borealis, the spectacular Northern Lights Show! At the Gone Fishin’ Lodge, we decided in the beginning that we wanted to give people the opportunity to experience not only the tremendous fishing that we have, but to also experience the exhilarating beauty of Alaska combined with their fishing trips. I always tell people who want to go sightseeing that we do that every day, we just have a fishing pole in our hands while we’re sightseeing. The Gone Fishin’ Lodge is located in south central Alaska, on the Kenai Peninsula, 150 miles south of Anchorage in a small town called Soldotna. Our lodge sits on the banks of the world-famous Kenai River. The Kenai River is famous for its great fishing, but more importantly, the world record king salmon was caught on this river on May 17th, 1985, weighing in at 97 lbs. 4 oz. The Kenai River is also unique in that it has two runs each year of king, sockeye and silver salmon. There are only five major highways in Alaska and only a few more minor roads throughout the entire state. One of these roads leads south from Anchorage, down

Special Trip

Kent Danjanovich with a bruiser rainbow on the upper Kenai River. to the Kenai Peninsula and right to us on the Kenai River. Much of Alaska is inaccessible and can only be viewed by plane or from a boat. The nice thing about the Kenai Peninsula is that the road coming down from Anchorage splits, with one fork going to Seward, which is on the eastern side and the other fork continuing down to Soldotna and then on to Homer on the western side. This gives visitors a chance to see beautiful scenery as soon as they head south out of Anchorage and all throughout their travels, while on the peninsula. This also allows us to access many great places to fish and sightsee, generally at reduced costs over other areas in Alaska. Our “niche” is that we offer a wide variety of fishing and sightseeing trips to allow our guests the opportunity to see and fish our area the way they want to. We have many different plans to choose from or we can customize your trip to fit your desires. Our season gets started in early June. Halibut and king (Chinook) salmon fishing in Cook Inlet can be excellent this time of year, with both species migrating to the Inlet, with the kings eventually making their way into the river systems that they were born in. We fish both the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers at this time of year for kings arriving during the first run. Red (sockeye) salmon also start entering the rivers at this time. We start using float planes to fly across the Cook Inlet to fish for these great fighting fish. On our fly-out


Package includes: 7 Nights Lodging 5 Days Guided Fishing in Five Different Locations 1 Halibut Trip at Cook Inlet 1 Flyout Trip for Silver Salmon 1 Upper Kenai River Float Trip 1 Seward Multi-species Trip (Halibut, Ling Cod, Salmon, Snapper, Rockfish) 1 Silver Salmon Trip on the Kenai River

Aug 6-Sep 2, 2017

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Silver salmon are the target on a flyout across Cook Inlet. The scenery is spectacular and the fishing isn’t too bad either



trips, we will be fishing in an area that brown bears generally like to frequent, as they too are looking for salmon. This gives you an excellent chance to see and photograph brown bears in the wild. It’s our number one most popular trip. So, including a fly-out in your trip is highly recommended. Halibut fishing is excellent as the long daylight hours give us a chance to fish the best tide movements of the day. Trophy rainbow trout and Dolly Varden fishing opens June 11th on the upper Kenai River and remains open throughout the rest of the season, offering a great opportunity to hook into a true fish of a lifetime. And of course, red salmon are making their way up the Kenai and fishing in the Kenai and Russian Rivers is world renowned. Moving into July, the second run of kings gets underway on the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers first, followed by the second run of reds making these two rivers hotbeds for fishing action. King salmon of the Kasilof average 15-30 pounds and can be fished from shore or by using a drift boat. Kings on the Kenai river average 30-50 pounds and can be fished from a drift or power boat. It is very tough to hook into a king on the Kenai and land him from shore. These fish are powerful and anglers generally don’t have enough backing on their reels or enough riverbank to run with the fish when it takes off. Trust me, use a boat! Conversely, red salmon are almost exclusively caught from shore. Pound for pound, they are one of the toughest fighting fish you will ever hook into. They will give any angler all they can handle! Not far from us, over in Seward, the lingcod season opens up on July 1st. Lingcod are prehistoric looking fish, but their white meat is excellent table fare. Lingcod hang out in depths of 60 - 140 feet and are taken on salmon rods using jigs. Silver salmon

Neal and Marguerite Matthews with a couple of nice halibut to show for their day on the water.



A multiple species trip to Seward can include halibut, lingcod, yelloweye, sea bass and silver salmon. start returning to Resurrection Bay in early July and into September and of course, big halibut are also available all summer long. With all of the varieties of fish available, it gives us the opportunity to do combination trips for halibut, lingcod, silver salmon, yellow eye and black bass all on the same trip. You will be fishing in the midst of pristine glaciers and picturesque scenery, while having the opportunity of seeing wildlife such as whales, porpoises, sea lions and puffins. Seward is one of the most beautiful places in all of Alaska. King salmon season ends on July 31st. By late July and early August, the feisty silvers (Coho) are entering both the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers. These fish range from 8-20 pounds and are hard fighting, acrobatic fish that are fun and exciting on light tackle. Our fly-out trips across the Cook Inlet are now targeting silvers in various remote areas. HALIBUT FISHING REMAINS EXCELLENT THROUGH AUGUST, WITH LIMITS SET AT TWO PER PERSON PER DAY. The fishing on the Upper Kenai only gets better throughout the summer, as the rainbows and Dolly Varden start to fatten up on freshly laid salmon eggs. A great and very popular sightseeing trip that runs throughout the season and can be added into your package is the Kenai Fjords National Park tour. It is an eight-hour wildlife and glacier cruise, giving passengers a chance to view an active tidewater glacier and as you can imagine, an abundance of wildlife viewing and outstanding scenery can be seen in every direction. As I mentioned in the beginning, it’s great fishing any week of the season, so it is truly up to you when you want to make the trek north. Check out our website at for more information on our great packages and make sure you check out the special “Sportsman’s News August Trip” designed to give you a chance to experience a little bit of everything on your next trip to Alaska. Sport fishing on the Kenai Peninsula continues to exceed every angler’s wildest dreams. Let us help make your dreams come true! Give us a call today at 877-462-5752.

Brooks Hansen is all smiles as he hoists up a big, spawning sockeye during his drift boat trip on the upper Kenai River.




So You Want to Become an Outdoorsman? I By Mike Deming

harvested my first rabbit at 4-years-old, first mule deer buck at ten, and my first elk at 12. I was fishing at 2-years-old and doing overnight camp outs during this time as well. Hunting, fishing, and camping were more than hobbies and more of a way of life to my family. As an adult, I’ve spent nearly all of my vacations doing the same and for the last fourteen years, I’ve done it as a profession. So, it’s safe to say, that at forty-nine years old, I’ve got more than a PhD in just about everything outdoors. These great adventures and knowledge were instilled into me from generations of outdoorsmen, and for all of those folks in my life, I’m thankful. However, there are millions of people out there who didn’t have those mentors, but would still like to enjoy the outdoors. I know this because I get a lot of questions from people through my personal e-mail about everything regarding the outdoors. We have done many articles throughout the years on all things outdoorsy, however, they are always written for people who have a general knowledge of camping, hunting, or fishing. When you have done this for so many years, you forget that there is a pretty big gap between basic knowledge and no knowledge whatsoever. Many people are afraid to ask questions and interact in public about subjects they are not very familiar with and for this reason, we are going to write more stuff from a very basic level. We will also be launching a new YouTube channel, which will cover everything you could imagine, about all things outdoors. The Amateur Outdoorsman will be up and running by the time you are reading this article. This will be a growing community of people with a lot of content. Since there are so many things to cover, you will see new content on a weekly, if not daily basis. Video will be

10 March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS

Bert P. Noviss doesn't know what he doesn't know about being an outdoorsman. But he is willing to learn.



PRO'S TIP the format for all of this “How To” information. The Sportsman’s News team has well-known professionals from every aspect of the outdoors and we will build a large library of information from within this key group. However, when we need to fill a niche in areas where there are others who know more than us, we will bring in outside sources to give you the best information. I know the benefits of days spent in the wilderness and I want to share that experience with all who would like to enjoy the outdoors. My three daughters usually hate the idea of getting away from their electronic devices to where it says, “No Service”. However, the times away camping, fishing, hunting, and riding ATV’s are some of their very best family memories. Parents who have never experienced the joy of this have no idea what they are missing. Experiencing nature up close and personal gives those who do it a respect for it unlike any other. Being able to pick a camp spot, provide shelter, and catch your own dinner ,as well as share that with the next generation, provides a sense of accomplishment. I’ve been blessed with some of the very best trainers in this as well as a career opportunity to become knowledgeable. So, it is time to share that knowledge with others who want to enjoy the great outdoors, but didn’t get the training. Become the hero for your children and share uninterrupted time with them in the outdoors. Become a member of the The Amateur Outdoorsman community on Facebook, YouTube, and our new website. All it will cost you is the time you spend learning.

Get Started learning at

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12 March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS

Bert P. Noviss may not know where he is going, but The Amateur Outdoorsman can help him get there.



The Sportsman’s News Platinum Approved Outfitter is an outfitter book. These are outfitters you would be proud to refer to a friend. that has excelled in every aspect of their business. They put We know this because we are proud to endorse each one of these people and customers before profit. They do what it takes to make sure that they will be outfitters based upon our staff members personally visiting each one of these in business for the long haul and ensure that they have repeat customers. They practice operations. These outfitters have proven to us that they have what it takes to be good game management, which will ensure a top quality trip with them every time you “Sportsman’s News Platinum Approved.” ALASKA FISHING




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14 March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS


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16 March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS

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18 March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS

Part 3: Cover


s we dig deeper in to the 5 Cs of Survival and eventually the ultimate 10 we concern ourselves with the third element and again a very important aspect of our survival, cover! Cover to me means the ability to control body core temperature through manipulation of both internal and external resources, and the clothing we wear is our initial barrier against the elements that helps protect our core. We should understand that wearing the proper clothing, and following some simple rules for the bush, is our first line of defense against both hypothermia and hyperthermia. To me, there are two simple acronyms we can follow when it comes to protecting our core, and part of this is important when it comes to clothing in general.


C-Keep clothes Clean. Dirty clothing does not allow proper ventilation, or sometimes insulation. O-avoid Overheating. Sweating is always bad in a cold weather environment. L-dress Loose and in Layers. Being able to manipulate clothing to release or trap heat is very important in cold weather environments and this includes our head and neck as well as extremities. D- clothing must be kept Dry to be kept warm. Wool is the best mid-layer you can choose as it will hold most of its insulative value even when wet, but drying it should be a priority if an emergency occurs like immersion in water. E- Evaluate your situation often and adjust as necessary. R- Repair clothing if needed. Clothing in disrepair cannot properly do its job. Now, as for HOT weather; H-Hydrate

Carrying a tarp, a wool blanket, plastic contractor's trash bags, and some cordage, can take care of most of your shelter needs.

Your cover kit should block wind and rain, insulate you from the ground, and keep you warm, even when wet. often. This will be discussed more in the next segment. O-again, avoid Overheating. T-Take time-outs to rest and adjust clothing needs. Now that we have a better picture on this portion of our cover and we go into a situation properly prepared with appropriate dress for the environment, to include any possible environmental changes dictated by the season; altitude, weather etc., we can now look to items we carry for making a shelter or cover to help protect us from the elements. The first things we need to think about are heat loss mechanisms. These are the things we must manipulate to control core temperature. There are three main mechanisms for manipulating heat in our favor; conduction, convection, and radiation. To explain conduction in simple terms, if you lay directly on the cold ground, the ground will draw heat from the body just as laying on a hot rock will warm the body. Convection can be looked at like a forced air oven circulating heat, but this also is a factor in cold weather with wind, so trapping heat by reflective materials or reducing wind with a break of some sort will manipulate this mechanism in your favor. Radiation could be from the sun or from a fire, and obviously we all understand the nearer we are to a fire the warmer it feels and a sunny day can make even a cool day seem warmer. March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS


A tarp can be configured into multiple shapes of shelter that can deflect wind, rain, and snow. With the elements deflected, you can make a comfortable bed for sleeping or to ride out a storm in relative dryness. In extreme cold, a single shelter this size can accommodate three full sized men. But, you are going to be cozy and have to huddle close to maximize the space and share warmth. So to this end, we must pack a few items that we can use to manipulate the mechanisms beyond just our clothing, that can also protect us from overhead environmental changes like clear sunny days, rain, snow, sleet etc. The items needed for a quick shelter need not take up a ton of room nor be heavy in most cases. In winter weather situations, my advice would always be to have a queen size wool blanket with you. A good US-made Merino wool blanket of 96”x 96” will weigh about 5 lbs, but this weight will be worth it in an emergency, as it can be used for both outerwear as well as sleeping, and is large enough to create three layers around the body for a normal sized man if done correctly. This should be the bulk of an emergency shelter for colder weather. Two simple additions would be a reusable emergency blanket with a Mylar side of 5’x 7’. This will be very little weight, less than a pound, but add versatility for not only convective heat when used as a lean-to-type shelter, but can also be a moisture barrier, and wrapped around the body under a wool blanket to trap heat as well. On a hot day, we can use the reflective blanket with the shiny side up, to reflect radiant heat away, and provide shade. And in the cold, we can reflect heat onto our body from a fire. Just be careful to avoid sweating! A couple of 3 mil. 55 gallon contractor bags , are again almost weightless, but give you emergency rain gear or can be filled with leaves for an impromptu mattress to battle conduction, or as an emergency rain fly shelter if needed. The uses for a trash bag are endless and too much to discuss here but for shelter they are light, versatile, and convenient. Understand how to create several shelters to manipulate these mechanisms.

20 March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS

The best three in my opinion are the fly, the lean-to, and the plow point. Each is easy and doesn’t take many resources beyond what you carry in the 5 Cs to construct, and they are quickly put up in an emergency. It is not a bad idea to carry six ABS or titanium stakes with you. Many would ask, “why carry stakes when there are sticks all around?” Well, in some environments there may not be sticks about. Stakes that will hold in wind, go into hard ground, etc., must be made correctly and this takes time. If you are injured, you may only have one hand to work with, making this more difficult. Six of these type stakes will weigh well under a pound. The last item I would add, if weight allowance were not a concern due to conveyance of some sort or multiple persons in the party, is a 6x8 light 10-12 ounce canvas tarp, like you get at any hardware store. This will be a much more robust shelter, insulate better, and can quickly and simply be used as a bedroll directly on the ground when combined with the other elements of the kit. Stay safe. About the Author - Dave has been published in Self Reliance Illustrated, New Pioneer, and American Frontiersman, Trappers World, and has appeared on the cover of Backwoodsman Magazine. Dave’s book BushCraft 101 is a two-time NY Times Best Seller. In addition to writing about survival, Dave is the Co-Owner and Supervising Instructor of The Pathfinder School in SE Ohio, the United States Premier School for Self Reliance. The Pathfinder School is listed as one of the top 12 Survival School in the U.S. by USA TODAY. Dave holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Wilderness Ministry from Frontier Christian University is certified in Advanced Search and Rescue, Wilderness First Aid/CPR, as an Expert Trapper by the Fur Takers of America, and holds Basic and Intermediate Certificates from the International School of Herbal Arts and Sciences.


Short Takeup Trigger with Positive Reset

Recoil-Reducing Barrel Cam, Low Mass Slide, Low Center of Gravity and Low Bore Axis

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to perform in the harshest conditions. A true American innovation, this pistol was developed through a rigorous “Voice of the Customer” process – where numerous law enforcement and military trainers, firearms experts, distributors and retailers provided input, feedback and testing in the determination of the form, function and features of this firearm. The resultant new pistol is a revolutionary platform for Ruger, one that utilizes the combination of a recoilreducing barrel cam (which is designed to better spread recoil energy over time) with a low mass slide, low center of gravity and a low bore axis to provide an unparalleled shooting experience.

Ambidextrous Slide Stop and Magazine Release Allow Actuation with Either Hand RUGER.COM/AMERICANPISTOL © 2016 Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. 121615




WRO Mexico Just one of the many shooter rams that we saw during our hunt.


’ve said it before and it still rings true, if you haven’t made an attempt to make your way down to old Mexico to hunt, then you are missing out. It offers some of the best hunting for mulies, coues, and desert rams anywhere in the world, while providing some of the best scenery out there. If the reason why you’re not considering Mexico for your next hunt is because you’ve heard that its unsafe and not worth your time, then you haven’t heard about WRO Mexico.

By James Dansie Justin Jarret or JJ, has been guiding for a long time in Wyoming and three years ago he had the opportunity to expand his operation down south. Because of our close connection with the WRO team, we were invited on his first trip and we have been going back every year since. They go the extra mile to make sure that you feel safe and taken care of. The area that they hunt is close to the Sea of Cortez making for spectacular sunsets every day.

Dennis tries to locate a ram during the early morning. Dennis Dunn is the author of the BAREBOW! Sagas and is an avid bow hunter. He especially enjoys hunting with a traditional bow, shooting purely on instinct. When Michael Deming called Dennis to tell him he had won, Dennis was quick to tell Mike that he would only hunt with a bow and there was no way that he would pick up a rifle. It’s a little crazy to think that someone would want to limit themselves to a weapon with a maximum range of thirty yards on a trip of this caliber, but the reason for Dennis’s determination was because he had been on a Sonoran Desert ram hunt over twenty years ago and was planning on using a bow for that hunt, but when the guides found a ram over 180, they begged him to pick up a rifle. Because of their persistent pleading, Dennis finally gave in and picked up a rifle and that decision has haunted him ever since. He was able to easily take the ram, but has always wondered if he would have been able to do it with his bow. So, because of this past experience, there was no way that he was picking up a rifle, even if it was a new world record. Because of the degree of difficulty of the hunt, we wasted no time in getting out into the field. We knew that there was going to be a lot of blown stalks before we would get a shot opportunity. We spotted two shooter rams right off the bat on day one and after we put them to bed, it was game on.

22 March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS

PRO MEMBER UPDATE when we closed the gap to about two hundred yards without blowing out the rams, I started to think that we might have a real chance to get this done! I found a rock outcropping that would give me a great vantage point to film across the canyon while Dennis and our guide started their pursuit. They took their time trying to be as silent as possible. They closed the gap to about 100 yards before the rams spotted them and decided to flee the country. Disappointed, I sat and watched as Dennis continued to make his way to where the rams were bedded. I was confused because they had to have been able to see the rams blow out. I watched them sneak around for another hour until they disappeared behind the hill that the rams were on. All I could do was wonder what they were doing because we had no way to communicate with each other. After another two hours, they finally made their way back to where I could see them. They were walking in a way that I could tell that something had seriously disappointed them. It took them another hour to get back to me. I was eager to find out what had happened and when Dennis greeted me with an outstretched broken arrow, I knew there was going to be a good story. Great meals are just the thing you need after miles of hiking, chasing After they realized they had run off the target rams, they decided to peak around rams. the hill to see if there was anything else in the area. To their disbelief, forty yards away was a giant 180+ ram, bedded! They saw him at the same time that he saw them and Dennis had just enough time to knock an arrow and let it fly. Having no For those unfamiliar with the Sonoran Desert landscape, it is made up of big time to range the ram, he shot just low. Although Dennis was disappointed that he rocks, stacked on smaller rocks that are on gravel. As you can imagine, walking on missed, he was grateful that he was able to get a shot off at a ram of that caliber. this type of environment makes an unreal amount of noise and try as hard as we Like all of trips with the WRO Mexico team, we had a lot of fun, even though we could, it was impossible to keep three people silent. We were only able to get within weren’t able to put a ram on the ground. The food is 800 yards on our first stalk and it was an eye opener always amazing and is as traditional Mexican as it for how difficult this hunt would really be. JJ puts a lot of thought and effort into making Probably the most amazing part about this hunt "When Dennis greeted me with an gets. sure that each and every one of his hunters has a trip was that every day we were on at least one shooter outstretched broken arrow, I knew there of a lifetime. We enjoy hunting with Justin and his ram, with a number of days that multiple rams staff so much that we give away two different trips presented themselves. Because Dennis was shooting was going to be a good story." for the Pro-Membership, one for desert bighorn and a bow, we set our standard at 150, so to be able to see one for trophy mule deer. We will be giving away the that many 150 or better rams was amazing for a sheep next bighorn hunt on July 30th, so if you’re not already hunt. After blowing a couple more stalks, we were a member, you need to make sure to join! And if you’ve been putting off hunting in starting to get down to the wire. I decided that on the next stalk, I would stay back Mexico because you didn’t know who to book with, make sure you give WRO Mexico and try and get an across canyon camera shot in an attempt to limit our noise. a call! We promise you will be glad that you did. Give them a call at 307-899-1245 or It was our last day of hunting and after about an hour of glassing, we found two visit them on our website or at younger rams that were good enough to try and get on. We started our stalk and

The broken arrow that narrowly missed the only real chance at a ram.



24 March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS


For Your Chance To Win

Become a Sportsman’s News Pro Member for your chance to win one of these great trips, guns or gear, valued at over $300,000. Multiple prizes given away every ten days. Less than $2 a ticket. All members receive exclusive discounts with “Platinum Approved Outfitters.” Go to



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The Good Old Days in Blacktail Country A 1914 Model T and old Winchesters on the hunt in the 21st Century. To these young hunters, these are the good old days. By Gary Lewis


will build a car for the great multitude. It will be large enough for the family, but small enough for the individual to run and care for. It will be constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise. But, it will be so low in price that no man making a good salary, will be unable to own one – and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God’s great open spaces.” -Henry Ford When the Model T was introduced, the world was a different place. There was little pavement then, except for sidewalks and a few city streets. Roads were made of dirt, except when it rained and then they were made of mud. In those days, Americans made their living on the family farm and Henry Ford intended his car to be as much a tractor as it was an automobile. The car was nimble in rocky terrain and could ford shallow streams and climb steep hills. When necessary, it could be parked and a wheel removed to fasten a pulley to the hub to drive a saw or a conveyor. In 1909, a standard four-seater cost $850, when the competition’s cost upward of $2,000. By 1914, the price had dropped to $500, equivalent to four month’s pay.

Photo by Gary Lewis

That year, Ford produced 308,162 Model Ts. In 1915, the company sold over 500,000. You might say, “Ah, those were the good old days.” But more than a hundred years later, Henry Ford’s dream still resonates. While there are not many Model Ts in hunting camps, we had one in ours. Oak leaves drifted down, yellow and orange. A soft wind stirred the sighing trees. My uncle Jack bent to crank the motor of his 1914 Model T Ford Roadster. On the fourth try, the engine leaped to life. This was Jack’s first deer hunt since 1975. No one can say how many deer hunts the Model T had been on, but it was safe to say this was its first in the last 50 years. For my Uncle Joel, this was his first deer hunt ever. My dad hoped to tag his first buck since 1962. Fifteen-year-old Alexa, my daughter Mikayla (15), Elizabeth (14), Victoria (13) and Jack’s granddaughter, Lexi (10) hoped to get a chance at a blacktail deer as well. In the good old days, families and friends had a hunting tradition they passed to the younger generation. In these years of higher-priced hunting licenses, controlled hunt lotteries, confusing regulations and ever-increasing demands on family time for ball sports, it is hard to put such hunts together. With a grant from the Friends of NRA, we started the Young Hunter Project, to give kids who otherwise might not hunt, a chance to try their luck in the woods. Leaned against Photo by Jim Harris the wall of the old house were our guns: a Winchester Model 54 (circa 1926) with six notches on the stock, a Model 70 once owned by John Nosler and Ed Neff, a former Nosler employee, a Winchester Model 94 from the ‘40s, an Ithaca Lefever from the ‘30s and an octagonbarreled Photo by Gary Lewis In the good old Model 94. If days, families had the scratches

big hunting camps and the tradition was passed down from generation to generation. These are the good old days. (Left) Don Lewis quit deer hunting back in the 1970s, but a desire to restore a family tradition led him back to the field for a blacktail hunt in Oregon’s Douglas County.

and worn bluing were any indication, each could tell many stories. We hunted the Umpqua Valley in western Oregon. With the predator control exercised by local sheep growers, there are a lot of deer – blacktails and Columbian whitetails. Our quarry was the blacktail, distinguished by gray coat and face, longer ears and a short, brushy tail.

26 March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS



28 March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS

Motivated by 20 horses in the old powerplant, the Ford Mikayla Lewis and Jack Lewis celebrate the end chugged up a long hill and topped out on a mountain. of a day’s hunt with old Winchesters and a 97-yearThe engine hadn’t worked that hard in quite a while. It old Model T Ford. dumped half a gallon of water out of the radiator. Just like the good old days. A long valley stretched toward the south. As we motored into the driveway, a whitetail sprinted out of the apple orchard. The landowner hadn’t had a Model T on the place for many years, he said, but he thought there were some parts rusting out there in the grass. He brought out some guns, a few older than our car and then pointed us down the hill where deer browsed in the afternoon light. We walked down into the field and stalked along a fence line. Mikayla carried the Model 70. She closed the bolt on a 150-grain Nosler Partition. The fields tipped up away from the creek where we knelt in the shadows of the oaks. Out in the green clover, three blacktails fed under the limbs of a fir tree. Mikayla found a rest on the roots of a mossy oak. Separated from the other two, one of the does fed away from us, then turned broadside. One hundred-seventy yards, I guessed; the deer turned away then back. The 15-year-old thumbed the safety to ‘fire,’ took a halfbreath and held it. Steady in the scope, she stroked the crescent of the trigger. Jack hiked back to get the Ford. Fifteen minutes later, we heard the engine crank. He drove down through the green fields, eased across a ditch and up the other side, the wooden spoked wheels and old India rubber throwing mud into the fenderwells. The next morning, Victoria and Alexa donned their state-mandated hunter orange. Kristy Titus, Headed downhill to stalk blacktails in the poison oak and blacktheir self-appointed den mother, would berry, Mikayla Lewis (left), Victoria Flaherty, Alexa Eicher and Gary help them glass for deer. Kristy spotted a Lewis spotted and stalked several deer on the morning hunt, but no lone doe beneath a cedar and we stalked to good shots were offered. 188 yards. After 20 minutes, the deer stood, walked toward us and turned. She lifted her tail, we saw it was long and fringed with white – a Columbian whitetail – and called off the shot. With the help of landowner Brian Smith, his friend Dave and photographer Jim Harris, we found a blacktail herd in a big valley and the girls tagged their first deer with long shots into poison oak thickets. Back in the green valley with Lexi, we spent ten minutes working on the athletics of the trigger squeeze. When she could break the trigger on an empty round five times in a row without disturbing the penny I laid on top of the barrel, she was ready. Thirty minutes into her hunt, she sighted on a blacktail in an oak bottom and Photo courtesy James Flaherty squeezed. She had her first blacktail.

Photo courtesy James Flaherty

Elizabeth Flaherty (14) took her first buck, a tall-tined forked horn blacktail with a long shot.

Meanwhile, my dad hunted with Lee Sandberg, of Black Oak Outfitters. Lee spotted a forked horn in a canyon and dad made the shot that connected him with his first buck in 49 years. Our landowner host on one property, Brian Smith, turned to me. “I’ve been hunting deer all my life,” he said. “I get more enjoyment out of taking kids on their first hunts now. Victoria was my 17th first-time hunter and Alexa was my 18th. I love this.” It was early in the afternoon on the last day when we spotted a buck in a five-acre patch of poison oak. It would be a long shot at a steep downhill angle. Elizabeth Flaherty propped her rifle in the fork of the shooting sticks and

Photo by Gary Lewis

held the crosshair low. The buck appeared and disappeared in the toxic foliage. When the buck paused, broadside, in an opening, she squeezed the trigger. There was no way to get the Ford down to that buck, we hauled it up the old-fashioned way and Elizabeth bent to work with a knife on her first buck. Then we loaded it into the old trailer behind the Ford. There was a time when the Model T was a fixture in hunting camps. Ford’s dream was to build a car for the multitude, for the average man to “enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God’s great open spaces.” You nailed it Henry. These days spent afield with young hunter’s forge bonds that are hard to break. These are the good old days. To order a signed copy of Gary Lewis’ Hunting Oregon, send $24.80 (includes S&H) to GLO, PO Box 1364, Bend, OR 97709 or visit

Alexa Eicher with her first deer, taken on a hunt with old rifles and a vintage Model T Ford.

Photo by Gary Lewis March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS


30 March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS

2017 New Products


he Sportsman's News team hit the shows this winter and found some cool new products that are coming to market in 2017. These products may or may not be coming to a Sportsman's Warehouse store in the near future, but we thought they were pretty cool.

Midland MXT 400 MicroMobile 2-Way Radio

Featuring 40 watts of transmitting power, the MicroMobile MXT 400 from Midland lets you communicate with all GMRS handheld and base station radios on the market. It features 15 high-power GMRS channels and eight repeater channels for enhanced versatility and greater range.

Zeiss Terra ED Color Binoculars

Featuring SCHOTT Glass, Enhanced MC Coated lenses and a rugged and waterproof yet lightweight frame, the Zeiss ED binoculars provide excellent viewing that is known the world over. Now they are available in green and brown to accompany the original black or gray housings.

Bergara Long Range Rifle Benelli Super Black Eagle 3

Featuring the super reliable Inertia Driven System that is the hallmark of Benelli semi-autos, the Super Black Eagle 3 also incorporates a recoil reducing stock for 48 percent less recoil. Additional modifications make it easier to load, allow the comb height and length of pull to be adjusted to the shooter and integrates a Combtech pad for less vibration in the cheek rest. A cryogenically treated barrel and chokes provide tighter patterns. A larger bolt and magazine tube cap make it easier to use with bulky gloves.

Built around Bergara’s award-winning barrel, the Long Range Rifle is a precision weapon for those interested in reaching out and accurately hitting the target beyond 1,000 yards. With a Timney 617 flat trigger, adjustable LOP spacers and a fully adjustable cheek rest, the carbon fiber reinforced stock also includes a full length mini-chassis for repeatable bedding. The Long Range Rifle is available in six calibers from .308 to .300 Win Mag.

Leupold LTO-Tracker

Nikon LaserForce Rangefinding Binoculars

Combining Nikon binocular performance with the extreme speed and ranging technology of a 1,900-yard laser rangefinder, Nikon’s new 10x42 Rangefinder Binocular is the single optic solution for serious hunters who depend on both their binocular for picking out distant animals and their rangefinder for getting the exact distance before taking the shot. Featuring ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass and Nikon’s ID Technology to compensate for incline or decline angles, as well as a weatherproof housing and rubber armoring.

The all new Leupold LTO-Tracker allows hunters to better understand their surroundings, easily recover game and have more success in the field. The compact thermal imager is only 5.6 inches long and weighs less than 10 ounces, allowing it to be carried comfortably in any pocket. It features a 21-degree field of view, 6x digital zoom and has a thermal detection distance of up to 600 yards. The LTO-Tracker has six optional thermal palettes and a user controlled reticle for quick acquisition of the target. Above all, the LTO-Tracker sports a Leupold Gold Ring and is designed, machined, and assembled in the United States. Add the LTO-Tracker to your pack and change the way you hunt forever.



2017 New Products Sig Optics Kilo2400ABS Rangefinder

Camp Chef SmokePro XXL

With a range of up to two miles, an included wind meter for your smartphone and wireless sync and ballistic calculator capability, the Kilo2400ABS is one of the fastest rangefinders on the market. Using LightWave DSPTM Technology combined with HyperScan, the Kilo2400ABS provides four updates per second. Built-in temperature, pressure and humidity sensors, as well as a digital compass and magnetometer, make it a true ballistic computer. It comes with a tripod adapter, Sig Sauer tactical pen/Stylus and a download of the SIG Ballistic App for either Android or iOS.

Combining the ease of use of a pellet grill and the spaciousness of a Smoke Vault, the Camp Chef SmokePro XXL provides 1,950 inches of smoking space in the cabinet. It comes with four meat racks, two jerky racks and twelve hooks for hanging sausage. Digital temperature control, automatic pellet auger and easy ash cleanout round out the features. With temperatures between 150-350 degrees, it can be used as a grill or in hi or low smoke modes to slowly prepare your favorite meats.

22 Nosler Cartridge

Nosler has been wowing the firearms world the last few years by introducing amazing new cartridges. This year is no different, with the introduction of the .33 Nosler and the .22 Nosler. The amazing little .22 bullet tips a SAAMI standardized cartridge with greater capacity than standard .223 Remington, allowing a 55 grain Trophy Grade bullet to be propelled up to 3,350 feet per second and their 77 grain Match Grade bullet to achieve 3,100 FPS. A simple upper change and swapping out the magazine with a 6.8 Remington SPC magazine will let shooters use their existing AR rifles with minimum retrofitting.


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Nightforce Tripod

It’s just a tripod? Not so fast. It is a feature-packed spotting and photo taking apparatus that will provide a rock-solid stabilizer as low as 9-inches off the ground. Remove two of the legs and they become trekking poles. Attach the head to one of the poles and it converts into a monopod. Rubber feet grip hard terrain, but screw down to reveal metal spikes for ice. A professional quality ball head with a universal mounting plate lets you quickly get level. It even features a hook on the center pylon for attaching stabilizing weights. The sturdy carbon fiber construction is lightweight and durable. All told, it is one of the most versatile tripods we have seen in a long time.

Browning Footwear

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32 March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS

Browning will hit the market this year with a new line of footwear, designed and crafted by Signature Products Group. Featuring subtle Buckmark branding, the shoes and boots will be more than just a way to show your Browning pride. The full line will include lifestyle and trail hiking shoes with waterproof options, big game hunting and rubber boots with varied insulation and upland boots in various styles. Features in the 2017 Browning Footwear line include OutDry waterproof technology, Thinsulate Insulation, Silent Cell single injected midsole and SymmPlate, an integrated external shank, all adding to the comfort and stability of the boot and ultimately to the enjoyment of the hunt.




BALLISTIC – BLUETOOTH – LIGHTWAVE DSP SIG SAUER Electro-Optics partnered with APPLIED BALLISTICS™ to put the complete shooting solution in the palm of your hand, the KILO™ 2400ABS. With a maximum range over two miles and onboard sensors to determine shot angle, temperature, pressure, humidity and compass heading, the integrated software calculates windage and elevation holds in either MOA or MRAD, delivering extremely precise down range accuracy. Utilizing Bluetooth® technology, it is simple to set up with the included smartphone app. March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS


2017 New Products Sitka Gear Optifade Subalpine

New for 2017 from Sitka Gear is the Ascent series, offered in their new Optifade Subalpine pattern. These purpose driven designs provide extremely specialized clothing and equipment for hunters. The Optifade Subalpine pattern is designed with the elk and deer hunter in mind. The scientifically vetted pattern is intended for hunters who are stalking or ambushing animals from the ground in tree covered and vegetated terrain. The high contrast of the pattern is optimized for close engagement distances of fifty yards or less. Their Open Country pattern is optimized for engagements of 50 yards and beyond in open and rocky terrain. The high contrast of Subalpine allows the pattern to keep its depth at these close ranges, providing the hunter an edge to stalk in and hopefully get a shot.

HookUpz 2.0

As imaging and video recording capabilities in smartphones continues to improve, it was only inevitable that optics enthusiasts would try to use them to capture the images they saw through their lenses. It came to be called digiscoping and a new category of equipment came into being. Carson Optics recognized this need to connect your smartphone to your preferred optic; binoculars, monocular, spotting scopes, telescopes, microscopes, borescopes, slit lamps, night vision and more! Now, you can digitally record and capture everything you see through your optical device and share instantly via text, email or on social media. The patented HookUpz 2.0 has been designed to accommodate all the popular smartphones on the market, including the larger sized phones and phablets—even with their cases on! It is super compact, lightweight and offers a user-friendly design.

Convection Style Smoking


BETTER Take your outdoor cooking to the next level with a SmokePro Pellet Grill by Camp Chef. Designed with the home griller in mind, built-in features simplify the process of smoking so you can cook to perfection every time. SmokePro Pellet Grills are available with features ranging from innovative digital smoker controls to dual temperature sensors. Discover the real secret of award winning BBQ cooks, low and slow smoking. | 800.650.2433

34 March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS

Pellet Hopper Clean-out (Select models)

Grease Catch Pellet Auger

Ash Clean-out System (Patent pending)

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2017 New Products Thermacell MR450 Portable repeller

Thermacell has built its reputation with a cult-like following among outdoorsmen based on its ability to clear an area of mosquitoes and blackflies creating a 15’ x 15’ zone of protection. The Thermacell no-spray repellent technology creates a zone of protection by dispersing repellent in the air. The repellent is virtually odorless and silent, making protection from insects undetectable and unobtrusive. The new MR450 include a zone of protection indicator that allows users to visually confirm the repeller is up to temperature and establishing the mosquito zone of protection. Additionally, the indicator light will turn off, alerting the user that the repeller needs attention, such as running out of fuel. The new accessory mounting system located on the back of the MR450 allows the seamless attachment of a variety of mounting accessories, including belt clips and the new multipurpose clamp.

SABRE Red Pepper Gel

Providing a thicker concentration of pepper with the highest concentration of major capsaicinoids as verified through their in-house high performance liquid chromatography lab, the pepper gel from Sabre Red provides a 20 percent farther effective range than regular pepper spray and contains 4-times the quantity of product than the average pepper spray on the market. The OC pepper gel from Sabre Red has less blowback and aerosolization than regular pepper spray. This causes the gel to stick to an attacker, creating greater incapacitation and less risk to the user or innocent bystanders.

36 March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS

Magpul PMAG D-60

The reliability and strength of a polymer PMAG with the extended capacity of a drum is what you get with the Magpul D-60. Providing 60 rounds of .223 or .300 AAC in a rotary drum magazine, the D-60 from Magpul provides superb feeding reliability. With a ratcheting loading lever, a retention cam and a true no-tilt follower, encased in Magpul’s tough-as-nails space age polymer, the D-60 will take far longer to load than it does to empty. But, when unloading a lot of rounds quickly, either for fun or Z.O.M.B.I.E.s, it will turn your favorite AR into a bullet-hose and withstand tons of abuse while it does it.

Gear Aid ARC Light and Power Station

Lights that will also power portable electronics are nothing new, but a completely weatherproof IPV65 rated light with three color temperatures and full adjustable brightness containing a 10,400 mAh battery and with a large variety of mounts that let it be attached to anything you can imagine, takes the light and battery category to a new level. The ARC Light and Power Station from Gear Aid provides all of those features and much more in a small and compact package that weighs just 1-pound. It provides up to 320 lumens of light and will run from eight hours, on its brightest setting, to 96 hours on its lowest. A series of mounts let you clip it or stick it to anything imaginable from a tree branch with a clamp type mount, to the side of a van with a magnet.

Taser Pulse

Having a less than lethal option for self-defense just got easier to carry with the introduction of the Taser Pulse. With a form factor of a subcompact pistol, but all the functionality of a full sized Taser, like those carried by police, the Taser Pulse packs a punch. Featuring a 15-foot range, a 30-second cycle time, the ability to dry stun without a cartridge, an aiming laser and a bright LED light for target identification, the Pulse allows the defender to fire, drop it and run away while their attacker suffers Neuro-Muscular Immobilization. The Taser Safe Escape Replacement guarantee means that if you have to use it and leave it behind on a flopping bad guy, Taser will replace your unit.

Tetra Gun Dry Finish Lubricant Traditional gun lubricants leave an oily residue that can attract dust, dirt, sand and lint. Tetra Gun has released a new Fluoropolymer penetrating lubricant that fill fine scratches and creates a slippery surface after drying to a dry finish. This prevents oil stains on clothing and the attraction of particles that can cause fouling and hold dirt and moisture. The extremely low friction coefficient protects guns from wear and improves reliability. The protective quality prevents rust, repels moisture and also helps prevent carbon build-up. After it sets up, it leaves a dry satin finish on the metal parts of your gun.

2017 New Products 5.11 Tactical Women’s Wyldcat Pant

For an active day of shooting at the range to a night out on the town with your favorite concealed pistol, the Wyldcat Pant brings an innovative and tactical perspective to both the boot cut and the straight leg pant in one. Zipped leg gussets let you instantly flex between the two styles and the Microsand finish is soft and comfortable.  Additionally, the Wyldcat Pant is concealed carry weapon (CCW) ready with back yoke pockets sized for magazines, thigh utility pockets ideal for your phone and double knee construction for enhanced durability. The Wyldcat Pant is available in Black, Khaki, Blush and Grenade.

Vortex Optics Razor AMG UH-1 Holographic Red Dot Sight Using Vortex’s proprietary Fusion Hologram coupled with their Quantum Well Light Control, Vortex has achieved the energy efficiency of a traditional red dot with the clarity and zero distortion of a holographic sight. The purposebuilt dynamic-targeting EBR-CQB reticle is clean, yet highly versatile, for optimal target engagement in a wide range of scenarios. All sensitive components are protected in the base of the sight, substantially increasing durability, while eliminating the need for an obstructive secondary shroud. The UH-1 boasts premium, hard-anodized aerospace aluminum and stainless steel construction for lasting durability in the harshest environments. Integrated weaver/picatinny-style quick release mount attaches and detaches with ease. Utilitarian, snag-free ultra-sleek design promotes fluid movement through interior structures and exterior environments.

Carbon Express Maxima Red Zone SD’s

Carbon Express has been making quality arrows for the better part of 20 years and they are launching a new line up this year that will suit anyone’s needs. The Red Zone technology has been out with them a few years now and they are bringing that to their all new small diameter Maxima Red Zone SD’s for 2017. The Red Zone technology manages arrow oscillation so well during flight there are only two spine ranges to cover you from 40-92 pounds of draw weight. The Red Zone technology reacts dynamically better than any other arrows on the market and definitely worth checking out this year.

ALPS OutdoorZ Crusader X

The ALPS OutdoorZ dry duffle bags come in two different sizes, a 2,800 cu in 20”x 13” and a 5,000 cu in 27”x 15”. Made of a sturdy material, they are more rugged than standard dry bags, and have a much more fashionable look, reminiscent of high-end luggage. Whether for carrying decoys to keep the wetness in, or dry clothing to keep moisture out, these bags will be a faithful companion for transporting your gear without fear of damage from the elements. Both bags feature shoulder straps for messenger bag-style carry, as well as backpack straps.

2017 Irish Setter Ravine

Red Wing Irish Setter shoes started back in the 1950’s and have been making quality boots ever since. They are going after a lightweight hunting and trail boot this year with the Irish Setter Ravine. They have what they are calling the EnerG technology core sandwiched in between the midsole and outsole. This material provides a combination of comfort and support. The Anti-Torsion Chassis offers great support on uneven and rocky terrain, all while giving you great flexibility. This boot is packed with features like Ultra Dry, Cushion Comfort Tongue, ScentBan and Armatec technologies that are worth checking out for 2017. March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS


2017 New Products Swarovski Z8i 2.3-18x56 Riflescope

Only a high-luminosity rifle scope like the Z8i 2.3-18x56 P can deliver the crucial details even in poor light conditions and at twilight. This rifle scope has excellent optics that deliver razor-sharp images even in challenging situations. The high magnification and detail accuracy also delivers impressive precision over long distances.

Swagger Bipods

It’s probably been 100 plus years and we haven’t seen many changes in bipod systems. That is, until now! Swagger looks to revolutionize the bipod industry with its patented Crazy Legs flexible leg system. They have developed a bipod system that gives you all the stability that your standard bipods are known for with an added twist that looks to make them shine above the rest of the pack. With Swagger Bipod you get infinite maneuverability on its flexible joints, not putting limitations like the other stiff-legged bipods on the market today. Look for this to be a big hit in 2017; they are definitely worth checking out.

Under Armour Threadborne Wool

Under Armour is introducing a new line of hunting clothing for 2017 and putting their touches to a synthetic wool blend. Where synthetic wools left off, Threadborne wool looks to start gaining ground; keeping your body regulated and comfortable during pre season scouting through hunting season. They have engineered it down to the thread level to give you more comfort and stretch for great mobility. Look for the new UA Mid-Season Wool Jacket and the UA Mid-Season Wool Pants late spring to early summer. They will also be launching a lightweight UA Alpine Ops boot. It’s nearly 2 pounds lighter than other boots in its class.

38 March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS

Take it hiking. Take it hunting. Take it on the water. Montana™ 650t features a bold 4-inch color touchscreen display with dual orientation capabilities. Preloaded 100K TOPO maps come standard, plus support for multiple mapping options like BirdsEye Satellite Imagery and BlueChart® g2 (each sold separately). Montana packs a 3-axis tilt-compensated compass, barometric altimeter, and a 5-megapixel camera to boot. Buy the power mount and City Navigator® and it’ll give you spoken turn-by-turn driving directions. It’s big. It’s versatile. It’s tough. It earned the name Montana – the ultimate in touchscreen toughness. NASDAQ GRMN ©2012 Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries

Sportsman’s Warehouse: America’s Premier Hunting, Fishing & Camping Outfitter



2017 New Products Browning semi-custom X-Bolt Pro.

What classifies the X-Bolt Pro as a "semi-custom rifle" is the level of specialized finishing touches and higher end construction above the already top-tier X-Bolt family of hunting rifles. First, the X-Bolt Pro features a true carbon fiber stock, making is extremely lightweight and rigid. The stock is filled with a noise-dampening foam. Additionally, the Cerakote finish on the action and barrel is also on the exterior of the stock for added protection and a burnt bronze hue to mute the color of the stock for better concealability. The barrel features a new proprietary lapping process to provide consistent accuracy and easier bore cleaning - avoiding the need for a timeconsuming break-in process. Other features include a spiral fluted bolt, enlarged bolt handle, and a threaded muzzle with a muzzle break or thread protector cap, which also means it is suppressor ready. Comes in 4 different calibers and the 6.5 Creedmor is only 6.1 pounds.

American Eagle C.O.P.S. Training Ammo

Get the most from every training session at the range and honor those who’ve laid down their lives in the line of duty with this special edition line of American Eagle ammunition. A portion of the proceeds from every box sold goes to Concerns Of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) and its mission to support the families of fallen officers. Like all American Eagle handgun ammunition, these loads’ high-quality brass, consistent primers and accurate FMJ bullets make them ideal for the range, and they provide ballistics and recoil similar to equivalent duty rounds for the most realistic training possible.

Outdoor Edge Para-Claw Survival Bracelet Knife

The Para-Claw features a 1.5-inch hawkbill blade ground from 8Cr13MoV stainless steel with a stealthy BlackStone finish. The blade is integrally molded to a glass/nylon guard that ties into the bracelet. Handle grooves and jimping (a series of notches) on the thumb ramp ensure a positive grip at all times. The patent-pending sheath system locks the knife securely for immediate deployment in any situation. Once deployed, the paracord bracelet forms the knife handle. Each bracelet is hand-tied from 550 paracord and is available in three sizes and colors. The bracelet has an adjustable loop to finetune the fit and a steel T-post for easy attachment. The medium and large Para-Claw are offered in both black and woodland camo, and the small is available in a purple-black two-tone.

Decibullz’s Custom Molded Earplugs

Decibullz’s Custom Molded Earplugs are now combined with new cutting edge percussive filter technology. Decibullz’s Percussive Filters protect users from the peak sound pressure of gun shots, artillery fire and explosions, suppressing them to safe levels and protecting users from hearing damage. Custom molding is easy: simply warm the earpieces in water and shape to your ears. The earpieces can even be re-heated and re-shaped if needed. Unlike electronic hearing protection Decibullz Filters never need batteries.

G5 Dead Meat Broadhead

As the leading manufacturer of archery equipment and design, G5 introduces the Dead Meat broadhead, a three-bladed design with the fineness to fly like a field point at long distances and the durability to put big game animals down, hard and fast. The Dead Meat mechanical broadhead is constructed from super-tough machined 100 percent stainless-steel to make contact and keep driving deep. Three heavy-duty blades produce unrelenting results by creating a gaping 1.5-inch cutting diameter for short and heavy blood trails. The design of the Dead Meat is highlighted by the all new SnapLock retaining collar that creates an audible snap when each of the three blades is locked securely in place for flawless flight. The SnapLock collar features an integrated clip that marries with a tiny knob on the back side of each blade for quick and secure blade retention. Never again worry about poorly-seated blades or in-flight deployment. The Dead Meat mechanical broadhead is available in 100- and 125-grain configurations.

40 March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS

First Lite Camo

The passion for First Lite was started by Kenton Curruth and Scott Robinson in the Central Idaho area in 2007. As merino wool was gaining popularity in skiing, biking and climbing, they found testing the bright colored fabrics out worked great from August through January. However, they figured the bright colors would not cut it for their passion of hunting and this is where it all began. They have a solid line up and looking to make a strong push as one of the top leaders in hunting clothing industry. In 2017, look for the new Sawtooth Jacket and Obsidian Pants hitting the stores this spring, along with their full line of Fusion camo.







KODIAK 700 ®

The full line of new Yamaha ATVs & SxS vehicles. Serious about hunting? Time to get serious about the off-road vehicle you trust to get you there and back. Yamaha ATVs and Side-by-Sides are proven Real World Tough™ in the harshest, most ® ® rugged terrain. All boast class-leading features like On-Command 4WD and Ultramatic , the industry’s most durable transmission. Choose from the top-selling new Grizzly and Kodiak 700 ATVs starting at just $6,999*, or maybe an ultra-versatile Wolverine, Viking or Viking VI Sideby-Side is more your style. Either way you’re getting the most advanced, reliable, rock-solid hunting vehicle money can buy. Learn more at

For your nearest Pro Yamaha dealer and to learn more about the full line of Yamaha ATVs and Side-by-Sides, visit *Kodiak 700 model starts at just $6,999. Kodiak 700 EPS shown, $8,199 MSRP. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price. Prices may vary due to supply, freight, etc. Actual prices set by the dealer. Product and specifications subject to change without notice. ATVs shown are recommended for use only by riders age 16 years and older. Yamaha recommends that all ATV riders take an approved training course. For safety and training information, see your dealer or call the ATV Safety Institute at 1-800-887-2887. ATVs can be hazardous to operate. For your safety: Always avoid paved surfaces. Never ride on public roads. Always wear a helmet, eye protection and protective clothing; never carry passengers; never engage in stunt riding; riding and alcohol/drugs don’t mix; avoid excessive speed; and be particularly careful on difficult terrain. · For Side-by-Sides: Always protect the environment and wear your seat belt, helmet, eye protection and protective clothing. Read the owner’s manual and product warning labels before operation. · Specifications subject to change without notice. Professional riders depicted on a closed course. Models shown with optional Genuine Yamaha Accessories. ©2016 Yamaha Motor Corporation. U.S.A. All rights reserved.




42 March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS 圀圀圀⸀匀倀伀刀吀匀䴀䄀一匀圀䄀刀䔀䠀伀唀匀䔀⸀䌀伀䴀


Guide Tips


iven my moniker “Fishful Thinker”, I usually reserve this monthly space for some sort of deep down knowledge gleaned from years of steelyeyed woodsmanship, an in-depth breakdown of fishing’s mental game or some other equally robust topic. Not this time. Nope, keeping it simple this month with some tips I’ve managed to learn that make my time on the water go a little smoother. First things first - take care of your tackle. If you fish much, your tackle will get dirty. Fish slime, water deposits and general filth will work their way into the reel handles, bails, level wind, etc. So, in order to both protect your investment and maximize its performance, clean it up. I’m not suggesting a complete teardown, just a quick external clean-up. I take the Abu Garcia Revos I use off the rods and inspect them for visible grime or damage first. For spinning reels, remove the drag nut and spool and inspect them separately. If they are due for new line, I’ll remove the old stuff (more on that point in minute), before rinsing the entire reel under low-pressure hot water. You don’t

Chad LaChance

want to power wash reels, as you risk damaging seals and getting water inside. Then shake the excess water off and spray the entire reel with a water displacing agent like WD-40. Allow it to do its thing for a couple of minutes, then wipe the reel down with a soft cloth (I use old T-shirts for their lack of fuzz). In some cases, I’ll use a swab or Q-Tip with a bit of alcohol to clean the level wind bar or inside of spinning reel spools. Lastly, I’ll very sparingly apply a drop of fine quality oil to the level wind bar on casting reels, the bail ends and spool shaft on spinning reels and the handle knobs shafts on all of them. While this all sounds complicated, I can clean up a dozen reels in about 20 minutes and you’d be surprised how much difference it makes. I mentioned old line - old is relative to the type of line. Nylon monofilament, like the nation’s most popular Trilene XL, breaks down relatively quickly with use. Fortunately, it’s also very affordable so you can always have that fresh line feel and strength without spending a ton of money. Trilene’s great Pro Grade 100% Fluorocarbon doesn’t break down with U/V or water absorption as fast, so I don’t swap it as often, but I do pull off a cast length in a straight line, run my eyes and fingers down it, feeling for nicks or abrasion and then pinch it between my fingers while winding it back on the spool with tension. This will alleviate twist on spinning reels and lay the line nice and evenly on any spool. For superline’s like my Trilene Braid, which lasts virtually forever if not tangled, I use the same process as for fluorocarbon. Incidentally, if you notice abrasion on your fluorocarbon or braid, you can either reverse the line on the same spool (pull it all off in a straight outside on the lawn to avoid tangling) or wind it directly on to another reel such that you are now using the other end of the line. There, I saved you some money! Rods need love too, though not as much. My St. Croix’s get the full visual inspection and the guides are cleaned with alcohol on Q-Tips. If you notice any cotton sticking in the guide, inspect very closely for damaged inserts which will cause you serious heartbreak at the wrong moment. A Magic Eraser sponge works wonders for making cork handles look and feel new again. While I’m cleaning stuff in the shop, I will also service my fishing pliers. Same as the reels, I rinse, spray with WD-40 and then lightly lube the hinge. The Berkley aluminum pliers I use have replaceable blades; I keep a couple of blade sets on hand and replace as needed to keep my braid cutting clean and efficient. Now that the tackle is clean, consider a few of these quick tips. Keep a space in your boat or tackle box for lures needing service. I’ve found that if I do so rather than putting them back in the regular box, I’m far more diligent about replacing hooks or split rings as needed or remembering to replace them altogether if damaged beyond repair. Any balsa wood baits should be inspected for cracks in the paint/clear coat regularly to avoid water damage; coat with clear nail polish if you notice damage. For the cold seasons, keep a box of chemical hand warmer packs handy. I put one in each jacket pocket and warm my fingers as needed. They also work great for keeping Gulp! supple or live bait from freezing. Never underestimate the power of a hand towel to dry your fishy hands, clean sonar screens or generally dry stuff off. Keep one in your box or boat. And lastly, get a pair of high visibility bright amber sunglasses like my Costa’s Sunrise lens. Low light days and times are often the best fishing; take advantage by enhancing your prime-time vision. I carry a lens for low light and another for the bright times and it makes a difference. Simple things? Yep, but I’ll bet you’ll be happy you tried them! March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS



Ruger Mark IV .22 LR

By Dan Kidder Managing Editor


nyone who owns the Ruger Mark I, II or III knows that it is an amazingly accurate precision machine. My Mark III is my favorite gun to shoot and hundreds of thousands of rounds of inexpensive .22 LR ammo have been launched down its barrel. It is also my least favorite gun to clean. The complex disassembly process makes it so that even shooters with years of experience have been frustrated taking it apart and putting it back together. Ruger has heard these complaints and redesigned the gun for 2017 as the Mark IV, with simple, single-button disassembly. A push of the button under the slide allows the entire upper receiver and barrel to be tilted upward and removed from the frame. Not only did they simplify the process, Ruger has made it as simple as it can possibly get. In addition to the easier cleaning, they have made some modifications to the contouring around the ejector port and slide. Two machined depressions in front of the slide, make it easier to grip, especially with gloves. The machining around the chamber removes sharp edges that made it difficult to get a cleaning patch into, on the previous models. I have a cleaning brush with a plastic handle that has several deep cuts from cleaning the chamber on my Mark III. This bevel also provides more reliable ejection of spent cases. Our test model is the Hunter with a fluted bull barrel for improved accuracy and less weight. It features fully adjustable rear sights with simple screw heads for windage and elevation adjustments. The front sight comes with three different colored fiber optic inserts and a holder and removal tool to keep them organized

Handcrafted, American Made, Precision Ammunition Available in the following calibers:

.380 ACP 9MM+P .38 Spec. .357 Mag. .40 S&W 10MM .41 Rem. Mag.

.44 Spec. .44 Mag. .45 Colt .45 ACP .454 Casull .500 S&W .300 Win. Mag.

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Learn more at 44 March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS

and quickly push out the insert from the sight. The Mark IV is also tapped for a mounting rail to allow the use of scopes and optics. Our model also features the Target Laminate wood grips. For shooters with beefier mitts, this contoured wood grip is the bomb diggity. The shape of the grip perfectly aligns my fingers for easy access to the controls while directing the barrel alignment in a straight line with my arm. It also keeps my fingers from errantly wandering toward the oversized magazine release. The redesign also includes a magazine ejection assist at the bottom of the magazine well, to help the lightweight magazines more easily drop free, by pushing them out when you hit the release, making for faster magazine changes. This feature became a little bit of a problem with one of the two included magazines; a faulty magazine that wanted to disengage during firing and would be flung out of the bottom of the gun while shooting. A quick call to the awesome Ruger Customer Service people and a new mag is winging its way to the Sportsman’s News office. Additionally, the Mark IV is compatible with standard Mark III magazines. Every interaction I have ever had with Ruger’s Customer Service team has shown me that they definitely know how to take good care of their customers and stand behind their products. The only downside I could find on this pistol is the ambidextrous safety. It just feels a bit sluggish and stiff to operate and could definitely use a ball detent to let you know that it has been flipped with a positive click. Internal modifications to the hammer, bolt, firing pin and sear have improved reliability and other than the issues with the defective magazine, we had zero malfunctions running several hundred rounds of various rimfire ammo through the gun. The accuracy however, is unparalleled. While the trend in the rimfire world has been to scale down full-sized versions of a company’s larger caliber pistols and replace most of the parts with cheap plastic and weak springs that leave you feeling like you are shooting a cheap airsoft gun, the Ruger Mark IV feels like a precision target pistol. It is solid and substantial. And, it is a tack-driving son of a gun. I was easily able to split playing cards on edge from 15 feet away with this pistol. The weight, balance, precision engineering and manufacturing, sights, grip and smooth trigger all worked together in finely tuned synchronicity to produce amazingly tight groups and pinpoint control. The trigger is clean and crisp with a very positive reset and imperceptible creep and breaks at right around 4.5 pounds; just enough to be safe, but light enough to have minimal effect on accuracy. The stainless-steel body, with traditional deep wood and fine lines, make it functional for all kinds of environments, as well as attractive. All told, the Ruger Mark IV is a fitting extension of the familiar rimfire series of pistols with a familiar feel, look, and manual of operation, minus the difficult field stripping procedure. The fine details are evidence of the continuation of the gun making craft at Ruger and would be a great addition for those looking to add to their training, plinking, and small game hunting collection. It is a fine shooting American made pistol, as well as an attractive example of the gunmaker’s art.



CONVENIENT FOR STORAGE A N D T R A N S P O R T A T I ON The Ruger ® 10/22 Takedown ® combines all of the features and functionality of the 10/22 ® rifle, with the ability to easily separate the barrel from the action for convenient storage and transportation. The simple reassembly of the barrel and action yields a rock-solid return to zero for consistent, reliable performance. Packed in a convenient carry-case (included), the Ruger ® 10/22 Takedown ® makes it easy to keep America’s favorite rimfire rifle by your side.

Patented, Detachable 10-Round Rotary Magazine

Barrel and Action Easily Separated and Reassembled for Ease of Transportation and Storage

Recessed Locking Lever

Join Ruger and help us raise $4,000,000 for the NRA.

RUGER .COM/2MILLION © 2016 Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.

March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS 020516


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46 March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS




Presents Wild Game Recipes of Steve Mayer "The Wine Guy"

Elk Empanadas


his Latin America delicacy lends itself perfectly to game meat. This traditional meat pastry is a great way to diversify your use of the meat you have hunted. You can make your own pastry shells from scratch, but the pre-made frozen ones worked really well. This is a base recipe and can be modified to enhance the flavor profile. We had a really tasty result with some added pineapple, jalapenos, cilantro, and Cotillo cheese. You could also serve them with a chimichurri sauce or some salsa. We used a Ranch dressing spiked with Sriracha Chili sauce that was phenomenal. You can substitute the Elk with any kind of venison, or even ground waterfowl. The sky is the limit on these meat pies!

Ingredients • 1 pound ground Elk meat • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper • Bacon grease or olive oil for browning meat • 2 ounces diced Spanish chorizo sausage • 1 cup diced brown onion • ½ pound diced Yukon gold potatoes • 5 cloves finely chopped garlic • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano

48 March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS

• 1 ½ tablespoon tomato paste • 1 tablespoon paprika • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper • 1 cup beef stock • ½ cup diced green onions • ¼ cup pitted Spanish olives, chopped • 2 packages of empanada wrappers (12 count) • ¼ stick melted butter

Preparation Method

Season the Elk meat well with salt and pepper. This recipe is all about big robust flavors, so go heavy handed on this one. Melt three tablespoons of bacon grease in a large skillet over medium-high heat. You can use olive oil, but the bacon grease adds a lot more character. Add the ground elk and cook about 5 minutes, stirring it to break up the meat into small pieces. Cook until meat is browned. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the diced chorizo and onions. Sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring often until the onion is soft and translucent. Next in is the potato, garlic, thyme, and oregano. Mix well with a spatula to incorporate and cook for a couple more minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the tomato paste, paprika, cayenne, and beef stock. Adjust the heat to simmer and cook an additional 10 minutes. Stir in the green onions and olives, remove from heat and cool to room temperature. The empanada wrappers can be found in the freezer section of most Mexican markets or ethnic food stores. Get the 5 inch diameter ones with sheets of plastic between each pastry shell if available. Make sure they are completely thawed out. Lay each wrapper on a parchment covered baking sheet. Moisten the outer edge of the shell with water. Add about 2 tablespoons of meat filling to the center. Fold the dough in half, completely enclosing the filling. Fill them as full as you can, I found a small ice cream scooper to be perfect. Press the edges together to seal, and then crimp them decoratively with your fingers or the tines of a fork. You will fill two baking sheets by the time you are finished. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Brush the tops of the empanadas with melted butter and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool a bit and serve warm. Wine and beer go hand in hand with empanadas. Try a traditional Malbec or an aged Cabernet Sauvignon on the wine side as accompaniment. A frosty American Amber or Red Ale will be quite tasty with this Argentinian classic dish. Cheers!



Adventures On A Budget

Coyote Hunting 101 I By Joe Glotz

f you want to become a good coyote hunter, you need to know that it takes a lot of practice, patience and research. You won’t become a good one overnight, it takes time to learn all the tips and tricks that will turn you into an efficient hunter. But, you also have to remember one thing - although you will read lots of books and info or see lots of videos on the Internet about coyote hunting, all this will never replace experiencing the real thing. You have to see it for yourself in order to comprehend the entire activity. Without the real experience, the research is useless. First of all, lets delve into the debate topic of equipment, which is one of the most important parts when it comes down to coyote hunting. Every coyote hunter will switch a lot of equipment until they find what’s suitable for them. Basically, it depends on each and every person. Not all people are the same, so some will prefer one type of equipment while others prefer a different one. Usually, first time coyote hunters need to start with a rifle. Choosing a rifle depends on the area where you will do your hunting. If you are planning to hunt in a wide-open area, then you should search for the flattest cartridge available that could reach a respectable distance of about 300 yards. Experienced hunters affirm that the .220 Swift is a good option for this type of hunting. Other hunters say that the Remington 700VS is the perfect rifle. Of course, choosing a rifle depends a lot on the available budget, but if you know where to look, you

50 March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS

will find the best compromise. Stop in and visit the experts at your local Sportsman’s Warehouse and tap into their local knowledge. When choosing a rifle. you have to take into consideration that the coyote is a very clever animal, in fact almost stubborn when it comes down to survival, so don’t make a mistake by choosing a rifle which has unknown capabilities just to save a few dollars. If you plan to be efficient, then you need to get the right tools. Many coyote hunters say that the most efficient rounds are between the .222 and 6mm Remington. Once you have purchased a rifle, give it a chance to perform. If you are not impressed immediately, give it a few more shots. Most problems don’t just lie with the firearm you have chosen. As they say, “practice makes perfect”. You need to put in the time to become one with your gun! Many hunters also like to carry a shotgun for those, “up close and personal” shots. This isn’t a bad idea in many cases. If you are fortunate enough to bring a dog right to your setup, there are times when it is tough to pick him up in your scope. If you are able to switch from your rifle to your shotgun without being detected,

Adventures On A Budget

the wider pattern that a shotgun provides can certainly be the determining factor for success. Calls are also a very important aspect that you have to take into consideration before you begin your hunting adventure. For beginners, it is advisable to use a closed reed model. Many of these models come pre-tuned and will automatically give the needed cries and screams. You will find that it takes a little practice in order to handle them efficiently, but once you have done so, you will be able to make a wide variety of sounds which

are more suitable in pressured areas. The market is full of models from which you can choose. Another popular choice today is to purchase an electronic call. There are several models to choose from that you will find at Sportsman’s Warehouse. The really good ones are not cheap, but in my opinion, worth their weight in gold. Because they come with remote controls you are able to set-up away from where the sound is coming and as the dog comes in, he will be looking at the sound and not at you. They also allow you to

change back and forth between several sounds from a howling pack to a rabbit in distress, so you can use them to locate as well as bring the prey to you. Some will even come with a “furry tail” that attaches and moves so that when the coyote is coming in, they lock onto that movement as they think it is their wounded prey. I guess the very best part is that they turn a novice caller into a pro instantly and with the new technology today, they can be heard for very long distances, so sit for about 15 minutes at every stand once you have stopped calling. Sometimes it takes a

bit for the coyote to get there because they hear it from so far away. As most of you know, the calling can prove to be decisive when you are out hunting coyotes. Here are some tips that will sure come in handy. The first one would be that you have to be very attentive when you approach your stand - being sneaky is the key, using low spots in the terrain, if available, to conceal your presence. When you are climbing a hill, be sure to walk as slowly as you can, taking careful steps and also always scanning your field of view. This will help you to see a wily coyote hopefully before he observes you. If hunting close to a road, be sure to park your vehicle where it cannot be seen by curious coyotes as they come to your calls. There will be situations when you will spook non-target animals like deer, upland game and rabbits. When you find yourself in such a situation, quickly get on the ground, giving the situation a little time to settle down, while keeping your eyes open in all directions. This is important for if there are any coyotes in the area, they will be looking all over in order to find out what scared the prey. The minute you have reached your chosen stand, you should rest for a few minutes in order to have your batteries full for the calling. While you rest, you should scan the surroundings. If you see that you have spooked a dog and you have a shot, take it, but whatever you do, don’t attempt to call. If you can’t make the shot, it may be advisable to move onto your next stand. A lot of debates have been made regarding what to do the minute you have called in or shot a coyote. Some experienced hunters say that you should stop calling, others affirm that it is recommended to use the distress sound. You should try both ways and see which one you consider to be more efficient for you. Coyote hunting is a great way to break up the winter doldrums and it is a sport that doesn’t have to break the bank to enjoy. Out west, many hunters are only a short drive from good hunting areas, so your out of pocket costs are greatly reduced. And remember, you don’t have to start out with a decked-out, long range rifle with the top of the line optics to match. Heck, one of my favorite coyote rifles is still my heavy barrel Ruger .223 with a 6-24x Apex scope. But remember, in order to be an efficient coyote hunter, you have to be able to develop a few skills, such as stalking, tracking and spotting. And don’t forget the importance of calling as well and the most important skill - the ability to shoot efficiently. As you beginning varmint hunters will quickly find out, coyotes are fast, smart and they won’t give in without a fight. March 2017 | SPORTSMAN’S NEWS


Big Fish


By Kurt Buss

he fish’s head slowly emerged, it’s steely, amber eye ruptured the river’s surface and looked right into me before it plunged, rolling back down into the dark, flashing a big yellow belly and boiling the water with its tail, waving buh-bye! I knew, at that moment, I had the biggest creature of my life on the end of this 6# monofilament line, spooled onto my dad’s old Shakespeare spin-cast reel the previous week. I’m glad I had grabbed his rig and not mine, which was a Zebco 202 – my first and one of the few reels sold at the Caroline Hardware.

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I was nine years old, standing on a rickety, wooden dock sticking ten feet out into the Embarrass River with my sister. The water was dark and cold. I was afraid this creature was going to pull me in. When the fish ran, I held the rod tip up and braced for whatever was going to happen when the line came taught. I didn’t want to click the thumb button and release line, because I figured that would be the end of it - the fish would pull out all the line my dad had just bought and loaded. I hadn’t even asked if I could borrow his pole. The rod tip dipped like something was pulling it by its hair and line zipped out of the water, racing toward the fish, but

finding only another boil, this time deeper in the channel and heading downstream. I was expecting a loud snap and quick release of tension on the rod, like breaking off a snag. What I heard was something I’ll never forget, the solid, mechanical whirl of tiny steel gears as the tension drag began to operate on the line. It was a beautiful sound, the sound of solid engineering not a noise my Zebco could make. The vibration sent through the rod handle was electric and the tip began to bounce as the sound of the drag diminished and the line stopped playing out. The fish stopped it’s run. I kept tension on the line and tried to move it a little, but it didn’t oblige. I wondered what it was. When I saw the big yellow belly my first thought was that it must be a carp, since one of the neighbors had been baiting the area with shucked field corn. But I was using a bass popper, a surface bait. Everyone

Sportsman’s News Outdoor Writing Contest Winner See pg. 4 for entry details. knows carp are bottom feeders. They don’t care what’s on the surface, until it sinks. I picked the popper out of my dad’s tacklebox after having no luck soaking nightcrawlers under bobbers, looking for crappie and black bass (smallmouth). His rod was set up for northerns – the fishus maximus of Central Wisconsin river ponds – with a long, wire leader and a snap swivel; so changing lures didn’t mean I had to tie a new knot. Which was good. My knots never looked as perfect as Pop’s. Dad’s tackle box, like his dad’s and most others I’d seen, was all metal and smelled



of machine oil. The top tray held the traditional bait: Daredevil spoons striped like candy canes, streamer flies the size of small birds, barbed objects resembling mice, crayfish, leeches; and big wooden lures called plugs, handcrafted with glass eyes and dripping with treble hooks. Some were two pieces and swiveled in the middle; others were designed to dive or splash along the surface when cranked. Most were painted to look like fish or frogs, but there seemed to always be at least one lure sporting a thick white body and a red head – like a big toe with a bloody end - as though red and white was a color combination that provoked northerns, the way a red cape provokes a bull. But I hadn’t chosen any of the big lures because I was fishing for bass and crappie. I’d caught them before and I knew what to expect. The little lure I selected was just enough wood to float a hook and some hackle feathers. It was called a popper because you “popped” the lure along the surface, imitating a bug or other bait. This one was designed for bass, so it was much smaller than the top shelf lures designed for northerns. If this was a bass I had hooked into, it would be legend. My sister and I thought we should get off the dock, so we went to shore where she helped me get my arms around a tree while holding the pole in the direction of the fish.

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“I’ll get help,” she said, looking at me, then the tree. “Just hold on!” and she was gone. I looked at the rod tip as it began to bounce again. I started reeling in very gently to the quite whirl of the drag. The fish began to move slowly toward me. I thought, for the first time, that I might, somehow, not lose this fish. Footsteps sounded behind me. “Whatcha got, sonny?” It was Tony Netzel, our next-door neighbor who was out working in his yard. It was his dock. I was glad the fish hadn’t destroyed it. “Big fish!” I said. “Bass!” He shuffled out to the end of the dock just as the fish boiled ten feet away. He stopped and stared at the water, then looked at me hugging the tree. “No,” he said. “It’s a nordern. A biggun!” I’d never seen Tony this excited before. He was a World War II vet and kept to himself mostly. “I’ll git a net,” he said, looking at me, then the pole. “Jus hold on!” and he was gone. At first I didn’t believe it. I wasn’t old enough to go northern fishing, not even with my sister who was a year older than me. Northerns were for grown-ups. I’d spent plenty of time watching the old timers catch them off docks or bring them back in rowboats. They were frightening to look at, with that long, gator head and those rows of spike teeth. Fresh water

barracuda. They were the biggest fish in this river and were known to eat anything they could grab in their considerable jaws, including dead fish and each other. Their full name is northern pike, of course and most people in the world simply refer to them as pike; but in central Wisconsin they’re “norderns”, second in celebrity only to their larger cousins up north - the musky. On this river, anything over 30 inches or five pounds was considered a “lunker” - fish 20-24 inches were called “jacks” or “hammer handles” and everything in between was “not bad.” The preferred method of fishing was to set anchor from a rowboat on the pond, snag a river chub or shiner onto the biggest treble hook you have, slap a tennis ball sized bobber about three feet up from your leader, gently swing that gear out into the channel and wait for Jaws to slowly drag that bobber under. Footsteps sounded behind me again. Tony was back with a landing net, almost taller than he was. “Jus hangonda im, Sonny. Bring im inda shore.” He scooted onto the dock holding the net like an infantry rifle and stabbed it into the water just as the surface boiled beside him. He struggled and the water churned, but with a twist of his wrists he yelled, “Got im!” and the fish was in the net. I would never feel the same swimming in that river.

Those big teeth. My little toes. “What are we going to do with it?” my sister asked, anxiously. “I dunno,” I said. I wanted to get a picture with the fish, but I didn’t want to kill it. We decided we’d keep it in our mom’s big metal wash tub until we got the photo. My sister ran ahead and got the tub ready. Tony hustled the fish up to our garage carrying it in the net. I followed with my dad’s pole, hoping I wouldn’t get into trouble for borrowing it. My parents didn’t quite share my enthusiasm for this fish. They made it clear they weren’t interested in eating a fish with “all those y-bones” and darn sure weren’t going to clean it. So, after my grandfather came over with his Nikon Nikkormat camera and got the picture and the neighbors had all left, my sister and I just stared at this monster in our mom’s washtub, suspended in the water, moving its head back and forth to get air. We each grabbed a handle of the tub and slushed our way back down to the river. We walked out onto the dock and gently poured the contents of the tub into the water. I’d like to say the fish turned to look at me for some silly reason (too many Disney movies when my kids were little) but it didn’t, of course. He just whipped his body and bullet-snaked away. His tail waving buh-bye!

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Sportsman's News March 2017 Digital Edition  

The official publication of Sportsman's Warehouse and the largest free outdoor publication in America.