Outdoor Life Vol. 228, No. 1 - 2021

Our readers' hands-on spirit is reflected in the magazine's comprehensive gear tests and personal adventure stories. Whether shopping for a new rifle, searching for the hottest fishing holes this weekend or thirsting for exciting adventure tales, Outdoor Life is the ultimate resource.

United States
Camden Media Inc.
4 期号


a new frontier

MANY OL READERS have grown up with this publication, and in a lot of hunting families, as in mine, the Outdoor Life tradition is passed down from generation to generation, like a beloved heirloom shotgun. You’ll find old issues stashed away in libraries, deer camps, and outhouses all throughout the country—​each tattered copy its own thread of a 123-year history. So it’s with more than a little sadness that I deliver this news: Outdoor Life magazine will not run in print this year. The economics of the print business can no longer support our legacy title. But it’s with much more than a little excitement that I also announce that now Outdoor Life will publish four digital editions annually—the first of which you are reading now. Instead of arriving in your mailbox,…

the past

Up here we call old-timers “sourdoughs” as a nod to all those brave outdoorsmen who came to Alaska to try their luck in the wild with a rifle and a bag of flour. If you look back on Alaska’s hunting history, you’ll see two themes that transcend time: weather and logistics. In the early 1900s, when automobiles were cruising all over the mainland United States, Alaska barely had roads. And although more of the state is accessible now than ever before, much of Alaska still has a high and difficult threshold for entry. Often just getting to your hunt (and out again) is as much of an adventure as the hunt itself. In the old days, the wilderness belonged to those who were willing to hike into it and pack their animals…

tracking the wolf man

“STILL BEDDED,” I SAID to my buddy Frank Schultz while I eyed the band of Dall sheep rams we were after. I turned out of the wind and scooted back between the rocks that cradled a grassy spot atop the jagged ridgeline. We were pinned down, unable to stalk closer, but at least we were out of the wind. Schultz had drawn a coveted tag for the Delta area in central Alaska, and I’d come along to help him out. Now there was nothing to do but wait. I was kicking around anxiously in the pea gravel at my feet when I noticed a hint of dirty metal. A single spent rifle casing lay among the rocks. It had a patina that only decades atop an Alaskan ridgeline can give a piece…

the devil’s country

THERE ARE PLENTY of mysterious tales about Thomas Bay in Southeast Alaska, which prospectors named “Devil’s Country” in the early 1900s, but the most prevalent is the legend of the Kóoshdaa Káa. Tlingit stories say the Kóoshdaa Káa is a shapeshifting otter-like creature that lures people into the wilderness, sometimes tricking them to their deaths. Many Tlingit, whose people have lived in Southeast Alaska since time immemorial, won’t go into Thomas Bay to this day. They believe it’s haunted. Growing up in Southeast Alaska, I’d heard stories of the Kóoshdaa Káa being a furry monster that could shapeshift into the form of a loved one, or play tricks like mimicking the sound of a crying baby to lure you into the woods or out to sea. Once captured, its victim would…

the present

Many of us lower 48ers see Alaska as a wilderness playground. There’s no denying this dynamic in a state where one in eight jobs is tied to the tourism industry. As COVID restrictions lighten and outdoorsmen and -women get back to traveling, you can expect hordes of tourist hunters to take their next adventure here. But in Alaska, the hunting and fishing experience is not crafted for you. Despite all our GPS technology, Gore-Tex, and high-BC bullets, Alaska can still humble you. Ultimately, the whole place is indifferent about your success, or even your survival, and I think that’s why true hunters love it so much. Really, Alaska is the perfect antithesis of a tourist destination. If it had an honest slogan, it would read something like “Come wide eyed…

lost in the gloom

THE FOG ROLLS UP THE MOUNTAIN, hiding the old-growth forest below us and smothering any hopes we might have had of spotting a blacktail buck. We knew we wouldn't see, let alone shoot, a deer today, but a little walk helps us escape the claustrophobia of our two-man tent. Before handheld GPS became reliable and popular, wandering around in the mountains of Southeast Alaska on an intensely foggy afternoon was a good way to get lost—for good. But even with GPS marking our way through the gray, it’s obvious that the only thing to do is keep waiting for the haze to lift. “Nietzsche wrote about mountain climbing and never left his room,” says Bjorn Dihle as we stare into the nothingness. “I always think about that when the mountain is socked…