From Rough Fish to Fine Dish: Catching and Cooking Gar

Soon after moving to Houston, I was walking a man-made bayou with my fly-rod. I was keeping a watchful eye on the water that flowed through the ditch. I wasn’t sure what fish species I could expect to see. I caught sight of a fish slowly swimming to the surface of the water. It opened its mouth like it was taking something from the top-water and then slowly disappeared into the deep murky depths. I had just seen my first spotted gar.

Read More

An Introduction to Fishing Small Streams Using Ultralight Tackle

It's summer, and that means it's time to explore the various creeks and streams that Texas has to offer. Fishing small creeks is one of my favorite ways to spend my free time in the summer heat. In this video, I show what my favorite conventional fishing gear is for fishing small streams. The gear that is discussed in this video will be linked to Amazon at the bottom of the page.

Read More

Hunting the Elusive Antler: A Search for Treasure in the High Mountains of Wyoming

“This is when you need crampons and an ice axe,” said Steve, as we attempted to climb an ice-covered couloir with at least a 60-degree slope in white-out conditions. Dakota and I agreed as we watched our guinea pig, Steve, scramble up the slope to a safe location. I asked Dakota, “We’re looking for antlers, right?” He responded, “Yeah, but we have to get to where the bulls hangout.” It turned out that getting to the overwintering grounds of the big bulls would be more difficult than we imagined.

Read More

Saving Weight and Staying Hydrated: Gear Review of the Katadyn Hiker Pro Water Filter

Summer is here in the Pineywoods of Texas. It's time to get into the woods and start finding your next deer stand location. It goes without saying, but it's critically important to stay hydrated while hiking around in 90 to 100 degree weather. In order to save weight on my scouting trips, I have started carrying a water filter with me. This way, I don't have to haul a full Camelback with me on my day hikes. I chose to carry the Katadyn Hiker Pro.

Read More

Bowhunting Over Abandoned Gas Wells

I left work early and headed into the Allegheny National Forest. It was early bow season in Pennsylvania and I couldn't wait for the evening hunt. Several days ago I had set my treestand in a large maple tree. The location of the stand was in a steep valley. On one side of the stand, a tributary to the Tionesta River flowed past. On the other the side, the steep ravine rose up from the valley floor.

Read More

Elk Meat and Dirty Water: Lessons Learned the Hard Way in the Bitterroot Mountains

Once every 15 minutes or so, I’d have to stop walking and puke my guts out on the side of the trail. I was feeling pretty darn sick and I still had about five miles to hike before I made it to the Little Rock Creek trailhead and back to the road that skirted the edge of Lake Como. When I had started my hike the prior evening I was filled with excitement and adrenaline. The surrounding snowcapped mountains of the Lonesome Bachelor, El Capitan, and the Como Peaks, stood with magnificent beauty in the evening light. But now, through a pair of eyes blurred with tears from constant vomiting, the surrounding Bitterroot Mountains appeared daunting and harsh. All I could think about was getting the hell out of that rocky valley and back to my bed. This was a solo backpacking trip I wouldn’t soon forget.

Read More

Blackberry Picking Tips and a Delicious Crisp Recipe

With the warmer weather, comes thoughts of the wild edibles that will soon be popping up across the Country. In Texas, we have already seen a good blackberry crop. In this short video, Ellen describes a blackberry picking hack that her great uncle, Lou Zupancic, showed her. It is a simple and easy way to pick berries faster. Check out our favorite blackberry crisp recipe below the video.

Read More

A Backcountry Hog Hunt in the Pineywoods of Texas

In the spring, Dan drove from Pennsylvania to Texas for a backpack-style pig hunt. Going into this hunt, we weren't expecting to backpack into a remote and secluded valley; Texas simply lacks the large tracts of public land that people often associate with backpack hunting. That being said, we still wanted to try and get off the beaten path as much as possible. We packed our bags and headed into the National Forest of eastern Texas where we hunted and camped for 5 days.

Read More

An Unordinary Day

Early one chilly morning after I dropped the kids off at school, I hungrily parked the 14-year-old Land Cruiser in Ruthie’s Diner’s graveled parking lot, alongside several other muddy vehicles.  I was treating myself to a quiet indulgence of two eggs, bacon, toasted sourdough bread, home fries and coffee.  My mouth was watering in anticipation.  Heavenly aromas greeted me at the Diner’s front door.  

Read More

Lesson Learned on the 2016-2017 Pennsylvania Trapline

Every weekday morning, the alarm would chime at 4:30 am. For most other circumstances I would be inclined to roll over and aimlessly smack at the snooze button. But during the weeks that I ran my trapline, the alarm-clock’s usually annoying chimes, were very much welcomed. Some days, I found myself up before the alarm sounded (I think my wife really appreciated those days).

Read More

White Mountains Solo: 38 Miles, 3 Days, 2 Cozy Cabins, 1 Bike (a fat one), and a White White World

The first weekend in February, I found myself heading north from Fairbanks into the White Mountains National Recreation Area for a whirlwind overnighter in Eleazar’s Cabin.  I skied the 12 miles to Eleazar’s with five friends who mushed, skied, and fat biked at their own pace.  As I watched the fat biker smoke all of us on skis, ideas started to form.

Read More

Overland Lab - Air Up! DIY Ammo Can Air Compressor

 In the backwoods of America, there are seldom gas stations equipped with air compressors or friends with garages full of air tools, so bringing your own air compressor is a must. On this episode of Overland Lab, I will showcase a simple DIY project to assemble an affordable, effective, and tough air compressor setup on a budget.

Read More

Back-Trolling on the Guadalupe River, the Nation’s Southernmost Trout Stream

Aaron and I got together for a couple of beers on Friday evening. We wanted to discuss a fly-fishing excursion on the Guadalupe River, north of New Braunfels, Texas. The Guadalupe River holds the southernmost trout population in the United States and It also boasts the largest Trout Unlimited Chapter in the Nation.

Read More

A Memorable October Hunt for Wood Ducks

Despite the cold October morning, I felt quite warm and comfortable as I fired-up the vehicle in the morning darkness.  Much to my delight, my girlfriend Ellen, chose to join me and my two friends, Dan and Ben, for a morning duck hunt on a tributary that flowed into the Allegheny River. It was still dark when Ellen and I pulled to the shoulder of the road, right behind Dan’s parked pickup.

Read More

Overland Lab – Vehicle Recovery Gear Part 1: The Basics

As outdoor enthusiasts, we often find ourselves taking the path less trodden. We enjoy exploring back-roads, old forest roads, 4x4 trails, or exploring where there isn’t a trail at all. We use our vehicles in order to get to that remote fishing location or to find that secret campsite. But sometimes, exploring those remote locations can come at a price. Getting your vehicle stuck isn’t a matter of “if”, it’s a matter of “when”. In this video, I outline some basic vehicle recovery equipment that you should have in order to get yourself, or others, unstuck. 

Read More

Finding the Time to Put-Up Fur - My Method of Freezing and Fleshing Pelts

The joys of successful trapping are accompanied with the trials of finding time for processing the animal. The pelt of the furbearer you harvested will be dried and either shipped off to a fur auction, sold to a buyer, or tanned for display. However, the joys of everyday life won’t provide the average person with adequate time for the skinning and fleshing process...

Read More

Trapping My First River Otter

I was 16 years old when I started trapping in Minnesota. I knew there was something unique about it that hunting and fishing didn’t have. Unfortunately, no one in my family trapped, but I was lucky enough to have my friend’s father, Andy, teach me how to trap. I always enjoyed exploring the woods, fields, creeks, and marshes for animal sign, and trying to find the perfect place to set a trap with the correct bait and lure. Andy first taught me how to trap in the numerous lakes, streams, and rivers that Minnesota provides. 

Read More

Lessons Learned Winter-Roadtripping to and from Alaska

Over the last four consecutive winters, my friend, Ashley, and I have taken turns either moving to or from Alaska.  Every year whoever was moving somehow convinced the other to drop everything and accompany the 4,000+ mile road/ferry trip to/from the frozen north in the coldest, darkest depths of winter.

Read More