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How to Catch Fish During a Giant Bug Hatch

Why would a fish eat a bug? I found myself asking that question the first time a buddy showed me a “Mayfly Rig.” After an unsuccessful day chasing walleyes on Lake Erie , and watching hundreds on the screen of my depth finder, I had nothing to show for my...


Gifts from Our Fathers

Fathers are often the first teachers and mentors for their children in the outdoors. Here, three Realtree.com contributors and veteran outdoor writers who grew up in the woods and on the water look back on the gifts their fathers gave them — some intangible — that still have an impact...


10 Elk Calling Mistakes That Can Cost You a Bull

Elk bugles change lives. I’m serious; think about it for a moment. If you’re a big-game hunter coming face to face with one of the most challenging, most sought-after four-legged animals in the world, you certainly remember the first time you hear that throaty, raspy, deep bellow intro and high-pitched...


5 Top Lures for Summertime Bass Fishing

Summertime bass fishing is a boom or bust sport. Long periods of inactivity are interrupted by brief moments of greatness, when it seems nothing can go wrong. The reasons for this are simple. Following the springtime spawn, bass begin to group up and move offshore, where they favor subtle spots...


18 Secrets From Deer Scientists

When deer scientists talk, I listen. Men and women who make a career of studying the whitetail don’t do it for fame or money. Having worked for years to obtain a master’s degree in wildlife ecology, and in many cases a PhD to boot, they are passionate about learning all...


How to Plant a Killer Dove Field

There was about an hour of flight light left when I pulled into Kerry Wix’s driveway. He met me in appropriate September attire, shorts and Crocs, and asked if I wanted to see the field before it got dark. Six acres of dead sunflower stalks and bare dirt doesn’t look...


One Crazy East Kentucky Elk Hunt

A Kentucky elk tag was the last thing on my mind in May of 2020. For over 20 years I’d been unsuccessfully applying for one of the handful of tags, first solo, then together with my wife and kids. Honestly, we’d been snubbed so many times that I had quit...


Prep Now For Your Best Deer Season Yet!

Depending on where you live and hunt, whitetail season will open in four or five months. Plenty of time to get ready, right? But you know how time flies. This year it’s especially important to start getting ready early. The more planning and prep work you do over the next...


Best Lures for Crappie Fishing: Jigs vs. Minnows

As a kid I started out fishing the same way as just about everybody: dunking worms for panfish off the bank. A few years later, fishing trips moved to the boat, where serious crappie fishing became the family pastime. The site was Chautauqua Lake in western New York, a renowned...


The Best Draw Weight for Bowhunting

When I was a kid, my dad told me that as soon as I could pull 40 pounds, he’d buy me a bow and I could start hunting. That was about 30 years ago, and I remember my trial by fire happening quickly, as if the Old Man had orchestrated...


History’s Biggest Turkey Poaching Busts

Poachers steal resources and opportunity from everyone, and even relatively minor violations get hunters justifiably upset. But some incidents really roil law-abiding outdoorsmen and law-enforcement officials. That’s especially true with turkeys, which were pushed to the brink a century ago and nurtured back to today’s thriving populations only through the...


3 Great Stories About Hunting Mamas

Maybe your mom taught you to hunt. Maybe she runs the tractor during food plot season, sights in the rifles, sets the decoys, or does all the cooking. Wherever she fits into your hunting family, chances are it's an important role. Remember to say "thanks" to her this Mother's Day...


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