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The Eagle Has Landed

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Don Dunbar was fishing on his boat in Nanoose Bay, Vancouver when he came across something strange in the water, a Bald Eagle struggling to stay afloat.

Bald Eagles are usually good swimmers but this particular one wasn’t having an easy time. Don kept it on-board until Wildlife Rescue could come and pick it up. Although it was badly malnourished the eagle is planned to make a full recovery.

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Gentleman’s Gun Dogs by Wildrose Kennels

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Meet Deke: the stunning English black lab ‘cover dog” you probably know as the Ducks Unlimited mascot. Deke is a “Gentleman’s Gun Dog” bred and trained by Mike Stewart, owner of Wildrose Kennels, one of the world’s most renowned breeder/trainers of English Lab hunting dogs. Using his trademarked, “cyclical training” technique, The Wildrose Way—which avoids things like shock collars and negative reinforcement—he produces some of the most intelligent, well behaved, adventure-capable hunting and lifestyle companions on the planet. As a result, his Gentleman’s Gun Dogs are pre-ordered before they’re bred and “finished dogs” fetch (hah!) between $10,000 and $15,000 each. If that sounds like a lot of money for an adventure companion, consider that Wildrose currently has a two-year waiting list and a client roster that includes a senior editor for Outside and the former president of Delta Airlines.

We asked Mike what makes a hunting dog worth as much as a Harley and what goes into training a dog in the Wildrose Way.

“Well, not unlike buying a Harley, a Gentleman’s Gun Dog is a lifestyle choice,” says Stewart. “When it’s something you really care about, you want the best of the best.”

Wildrose labs come from a purebred line now in its fourth generation. But good genes are just the start.

“Dogs aren’t great generalists,” says Stewart. “They perform much better when they specialize. So we start out by talking to the client to determine what they want from a dog and what kinds of activities they do. Then we match them to a specific litter. Once the pup is born, it starts a very defined learning track based on their intended specialty, whether that’s upland waterfowl hunting, mountain biking, or whatever.”

Wildrose has a team of a dozen trainers with different specialties and three separate training facilities for different types of dogs. The team headquarters in Oxford, Mississippi features 143 groomed acres of fields, ponds, and woodland dedicated to training. They also have river hunting facilities in Jasper, Arkansas; and 580 scenic acres at Clear Creek Ranch in Colorado for teaching mountain skills. Overall, the process to get a finished Gentleman’s Gun Dog takes 18 to 24 months. Owners also go through a brief training session to learn how to direct and interact with their new companions.

When pressed for the secret to the success of his non-corporeal technique, Stewart replies: “Usually when there’s a behavior issue or you’re not getting the response you want from your dog, it’s because you’re failing to understand things from their point of view. That’s the key: Understanding how they see the world.”

6 Tips for Shooting with the Guys

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I love going out to the mountains and shooting with the guys. Not only does the adrenaline rush from setting my sights and taking aim across an outdoor shooting range fire my blood and make me feel alive, but the experience of being one of the guys is highly underrated. My suggestion—Next time your husbands, boyfriends, and guy pals head out shooting, don’t be afraid to include some ladies as well.

The Filters are Turned Off
If you’re like me, then the guys who are taking you shooting are good friends, which means you are most likely good friends with their girlfriends and wives as well. They invited you to go shooting with them, so you are participating in a time tested tradition of male bonding. Expect crass and inappropriate guy humor and as long as it doesn’t go too far, my suggestion is to just roll with it. Remember that while you are shooting you will have ear plugs in the whole time, and if the jokes during the car ride to the range get to be too much you can always stick those in.

Ask for Help, and Show Off If You Can
While some women do, I know that I am never going to know as much about guns as the guys. Most men are happy to show off their manly knowledge and teach you how to load your ammo or turn the safety on and off. But they are also seriously impressed once you learn the ropes and hit your targets, and more than likely they will be cheering you on as you shoot. Going shooting with the guys is often a lesson in camaraderie at its finest.

Give it Another Shot…Literally
The first time I went shooting I really didn’t see what the fuss was about. The gun was loud and heavy, and I was very concerned about making sure I remembered everything from the safety talk the guys had given me. But the more comfortable I became the more interested in the sport I actually was. Trying out different types of guns and hitting targets again and again was suddenly exciting and fun. I found myself turning to the guys and saying, “I want to shoot another round. Can I try your shotgun?” I didn’t want the day to end.

Men Are Stronger
There are a couple of guns that I can’t hold and shoot straight at the same time because they are just too heavy, and I consider myself a pretty strong lady. You can kneel on the ground and hold these guns or prop them up on something while you sit or stand. Since my preferred shooting range is a field in the mountains, I like to pack a yoga mat (be warned—I usually get teased pretty mercilessly by the guys for bringing this shooting) and lay on my stomach when I shoot the heavy duty rifles.

Pitch in for Ammo and Supplies
I don’t own my own gun, I’m lucky to have guy friends who let me use their gear when we go. And since they are the gun aficionados and I’m pretty much a rookie compared to them, I let them decide what kind and how much ammo to get. But I always offer some cash to contribute, even when they try to be chivalrous and say not to worry about it. Another way to make them love having a lady come out to the range with them? Bring some snacks or buy them a beer afterwards.

Relax and Have Fun
When you lift the rifle to your shoulder and take aim, the world around you melts away and your breathing calms. Your ear plugs help you tune out the world and you focus in on that target. You pull the trigger and feel the impact of the gun rock back into you as the shell flies and lands on the ground with a metallic clink.

Sports that involve individual challenges are a great way to set goals and see specific improvements. Shooting is one of these. You pull the trigger, assess how close you are to hitting your target if you missed, and try again. The best thing about shooting with the guys? How loud they cheer when you hit that bull’s eye.

The Best Places to Hunt in Alaska

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Alaska is home to some of the best big game hunting in North America. Whether you’re a fan of black-tailed deer or more dangerous game like grizzlies, it’s not hard to satisfy your thirst in America’s last true wilderness. Take a look at these areas of Alaska that provide some of the best hunting the state has to offer. 

Alaska Peninsula
The Alaska-Yukon Moose is the largest of all deer species with antler spreads reaching as high as 70 to 80 inches with averages in the 60s. There are many of these world record holders on the Alaska Peninsula that separates Bristol Bay from the Pacific. Due to the large sizes of the moose, the area has been declared a Trophy Moose Area, meaning that none under 50” cannot be hunted. In addition to trophy class moose, the area boasts a large habitat of Alaska brown bear. The Alaska Peninsula is a remote area, so competition here is scarce.

Haines
The area around Haines, Alaska is home to some of the largest mountain goats in the country, possibly even the world, with some of them even coming close to 400 pounds. Many have qualified for the Boone and Crockett Record Book. They’re best hunted in mid or late-season and it’s important to keep in mind that their habitats can reach between 1,500 to 3,800 feet in Southeast Alaska. During the winter they can often be found down at the bottom of the mountains near rivers and streams if you’re looking to avoid a hike.

Illiamna Lake
Illiamna Lake is home to the Mulchatna herd that typically produces some of, if not the largest caribou in all of Alaska. The herd consists of many trophy animals and the caribou here routinely weigh upwards of 500 pounds. The caribou have been declining steadily in numbers since reaching their peak in 1996. Because of this, most hunting is restricted to two caribou and one bull each season.

Bristol Bay
Bristol Bay is a veritable smorgasbord of excellent choices in wildlife to hunt, but one of the biggest draws are the Alaskan Brown Bears. Guides in the area regularly report close to 100% success rates due to the area’s abundant bear population. The brown beasts here can reach gigantic proportions, providing you with meat to last a long time. Rivers and lakes surround the area, which makes it ideal for boat hunting. If brown bears aren’t your thing there are plenty of Dall sheep, moose and caribou in the area too.

Denali Preserve
Hunting on Denali Preserve for Dall sheep or grizzlies requires a bush aircraft to reach the remote areas where they live, but it’s worth the effort. Many of the areas in Denali have no established trails and it can be difficult to obtain a permit for these places. Dall sheep season runs between August and September while there is no closed season for brown bears. Due to high elevations and rough weather, it’s advisable to hunt here in the summer months.

Prince of Wales Island
Prince of Wales Island is 135 miles long and enjoys a moderate climate with ample sources of food, making it ideal for hunting Sitka black-tailed deer. In fact, the island holds more record deer entries than any other location in North America. The bucks on Prince of Wales weigh in at over 150 pounds. The island is also home to black bears and wolves, but not aggressive brown bears that might attack so you won’t need to take extra precautions. The area is incredibly remote, so you won’t have to worry about running into other hunters or visitors on while you’re there.

How to Make Your Own Wooden Fishing Lures

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Fishing can often be an expensive hobby, so to help mitigate the costs it might be a fun idea to make your own wooden lures. It’s a handy bit of knowledge to have in your back pocket in a pinch, and you’ll have more control over exactly how your lure looks and works. Here are some step-by-step instructions to help you get started.

Choose Your Wood
There are a variety of wood types to choose from, but popular choices are poplar, cedar and basswood. Each of these are pliable and easy to carve and are buoyant enough for use in fishing. There are also pre-made Wooden Lure Blocks that you can buy online or in most fishing supply stores.

Choose Your Shape
What kind of lure are you looking to make? Determining the look of your lure is important depending upon what type of fishing you’ll be using your wooden lure for, but in most cases the carving process is the same. You’ll need at least one of the following to shape your lure: a wood rasp, a set of carving knives or a lathe. The lathe is probably the easiest as it provides the most stability as you sand down your lure.

Sand Her Down
Once you’ve gotten the basic outline of your lure carved out, it’s time to fine-tune it into the proper shape and feel. This might take a bit of finesse. At the very least you’ll need some 80-grit sandpaper, maybe smaller if you’ve got it. Smooth down all of the rough edges to the best of your abilities.

Whip Out the Drill
The next step is somewhat of a delicate process – you need to drill the holes for the hook hanger. The size bit depends upon the type of fish you’re looking to catch, with larger holes needed to accommodate larger eye screws to be placed in the lure. A 1/16” bit should be enough for typical lures, with ¾” eye screws placed within. Make sure you use a strong glue or sealant to insert the eye screws into the lure, otherwise you’ll lose them to a hungry fish.

Attach the Hook Hangers
Using a pair of needle nose pliers, attach the hook hangers to the eye screw and bend it into the right form. It’s important to remember that the hooks all need to line up appropriately in order for them to work. Use a traditional lure for comparison, if needed.

Apply Sealer
This is the easiest step of all. Simply apply an epoxy sealer that will make the lure waterproof and let it dry for a day.

Paint that Sucker
After the epoxy dries, you’re free to paint the lure any crazy colors your heart might like. Of course, you should probably do some research into what your preferred fish likes to bite into before getting a little too wild with the brush. You might want to add another layer of epoxy after painting to protect it from the water and other things that might affect the paint.

Install the Hooks
Finally, using a pair of pliers attach the hooks and feel free to let her rip!

Cargo Pants: An American (By way of the British) Success Story

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Walk any street from Venice Beach, California to Venice, Italy and you’ll find folks wearing cargo pants and shorts. While some say they are a fad that has passed, then why do I have three pairs hanging in my closet?

A little History
First worn in 1938 by British Armed Forces, BDUs (British dress uniforms) had a single pocket that was too small and impractical. When they were introduced to America in the 1940s during World War II the Americans added an extra-large side pocket that was first placed on Paratrooper’s uniforms to hold radios and extra ammunition. After World War II the dual-pocket cargo pant became standard issue for almost all the branches of the U.S. military. Originally made of hard wearing fabrics they come in variable thicknesses these days from heavy duty cotton to quick-drying and cool synthetic blends.

Pockets, Pockets, and More Pockets
A cargo pocket on cargo pants has accordion-type folds for increased capacity. They have a flap which is secured by either a button, a snap or Velcro. The more pockets the better and they usually have two front and back pockets like normal slacks plus at least one pocket with accordion flaps on the side of each thigh right above or to the side of the knee.

Cargo shorts and Zip-Into-Shorts
Cargo pants that unzip at the knee, turning them into cargo shorts have become almost as popular as the long pants. Bringing the functionality of cargo pants and the option to go from long pants to shorts or back to long pants make these a must have on tourist trips where weather or dress codes change from hour to hour. Cargo shorts are everywhere as well and no matter what the fashion mags may say, millions of pairs are sold every year.

Fashion Statement
Though some were worn in the sixties and seventies these were more similar to Army issue fatigues and were more of a niche fashion statement. Cargo pants took off in popularity in the 1990s during the urban trend when not only suburbanites but many rap artists jumped on the fad. Sales are still strong and variations can still be found on the fashion runways today. Cargo shorts and pants are worn by men and women, though the males seem to be carrying on the trend the most. The so-called fashionistas may claim the style is out of fashion but walk any street from Paris, Texas to Paris, France and you’ll see plenty of them.

This One’s for the Ladies
During World War II when cargo pants hit our shores, women who worked in factories began wearing the baggy cargo pants. Pants of any type were not accepted day wear for ladies in those days but the cargo pants helped break down that barrier at least a little. Today you can find ladies cargo pants on runways ranging from Military to High Fashion. The pockets are smaller, the fabric finer and the colors have changed from Khaki and camouflage to every color and fabric imaginable.

They’re Here to Stay
The ubiquitous vision of an American tourist may have changed from Bermuda shorts with dark socks and sandals to cargo pants or shorts with white tennis shoes but is that really so bad? The style conscious may prefer form over function but most of us are practical and prefer to wear what makes sense, and cargo pants, with the pockets and flaps, sure make sense.

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Behind the Scenes | Fall 2014 Photoshoot

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Last May we ran around southwest Colorado riding horses, pitching camp, 4-wheeling, and hitting up the local saloons. In between all of that we found some time with our new friends to shoot pictures of our new Fall Collection. Here’s the sneak peak behind the scenes…

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10 Smaller Dog Breeds that Make Great Outdoor Companions

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When you think of the best dog breeds for the outdoors you probably think of something along the lines of a Labrador Retriever. Most bigger breeds just seem suited to the great outdoors, right? Don’t count out the little guys just yet, because they love the wild too. Here are some small breeds that can hold their own on the trail just as well as the big guys. 

Beagle
Everyone’s favorite hunting dog is obviously a great outdoor companion dog. Beagles are notoriously adventurous and love being on the trail. Their short, but course, coats protect them from underbrush and their small size allows them to handle rough terrain with ease. They’re pack dogs, though, so they’re happier if you have more than one.

Jack Russell Terrier
Jack Russells are bundles of energy, which makes them perfect for the great outdoors. Believe it or not, they’re great for hikes but they’re actually even more suited for running. They need a ton of exercise to keep them happy so feel free to take them along on your next hike or hunting trip (just don’t expect them to be the quietest trackers.)

Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Somewhat goofy looking, but incredibly agile, Corgis are fantastic outdoor dogs. They’re known for their intelligence and competitive nature, so giving them a task while you’re out and about is important in keeping them focused. They’re also ridiculously friendly, so they won’t attack other animals they encounter in the wild.

Cairn Terrier
Remember Toto? That dog followed Dorothy all throughout Oz and fought off flying hordes of flying monkeys with hardly a peep nor complaint. That’s because Toto was a Cairn Terrier, a breed known for being fearless and loyal to a fault. They certainly aren’t afraid of the wild or any animals they may encounter within it, making them excellent companions for outdoor excursions.

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen
Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen (try saying that five times fast) is an extremely extroverted breed that makes excellent hunting and tracking dogs. They might not seem like it at first glance, but these guys are natural athletes. Their sturdy legs allow them to travel long distances and run at steady speeds. They are hound dogs, though, so be prepared for a lot of braying if you try to head off on an adventure without them.http://www.pets4homes.co.uk/images/articles/1183/large/all-about-the-petit-basset-griffon-vendeen-5272f4ee83fd6.jpg

Dandie Dinmont Terrier
These little fellas may look like the result of Dachshund mating with a Scottish Terrier, but don’t let that fool you – they’ve got bloodhound roots. Dandies are designed to lay low to the ground to sniff out animals in their underground hideouts. They’ve been used throughout history to hunt for otters and badgers, as well as rabbits and other creatures that like to burrow into the ground. Whether or not you hunt is irrelevant, because these guys just like to be outside.http://www.dogwallpapers.net/wallpapers/dandie-dinmont-terrier-photo.jpg

Lakeland Terrier
These miniature versions of the Airedale breed have been outdoor companions since the 1800s. They were traditionally bred to hunt foxes and other aggressive vermin and were known to tunnel underground for days in pursuit of prey. That’s why it’s probably a good idea to enroll in some heavy training sessions to make sure these guys will stay by your side on the trail. They were also originally mountain dogs, so higher elevations are no problem for them.

Norwegian Lundehund
Few breeds of dog can handle rugged terrain like the Norwegian Lundehund. They were bred to scale rocky cliffs and tunnels of seaside caves in search of Puffins (think parrot/penguin hybrids that can fly). Lundies were sent in after the Puffins and were known to instinctually retrieve them and take them back to their owners alive. A very friendly breed, Lundehunds are great with small critters and are good for both hunters and outdoor adventurists.http://www.dogwallpapers.net/wallpapers/norwegian-lundehund-dog-photo.jpg

Schipperke
Schipperke’s were a popular breed in Belgium in the 1600s. They earned the nickname “little captains” because of their love for the water and use as companion animals among boaters along the canals. They’re still water-lovers today and are fantastic companions for anyone who enjoys spending a day out in a boat on the lake.http://www.witjesverzendhuis.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Het-Schipperke5.jpg

Shiba Inu
Shiba Inu’s have a reputation for being incredibly stubborn but, if trained properly, they make amazing hunting dogs. They were developed in the mountainous regions of Japan to help hunt birds, bear, boar, and deer. Today they’re most commonly owned as companion animals, but they crave exercise and are exceptional outdoor partners for anyone willing to put in the time and effort.

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Fall 2014 Collection Sneak Peak

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Introducing the Fall 2014 Collection from 1816 by Remington. Durable enough to take you deep into the woods, finely tailored enough to look and feel custom made. American heritage inspired clothing for the rugged sporting gentleman.