May luck be yours on Halloween

Happy Halloween from Predator Bait!

Why are pencils yellow?

Have you ever wondered why pencils are yellow? American pencil makers wanted to let people know that their pencils contained graphite from China, a luxury in those days. Since yellow is associated with royalty and respect in China, manufacturers chose it for their pencils to alert buyers of their regal origins.

Always looking to that next hill: Field roundup for the Western hunting season

8342802 - rifle hunter in sunsetThroughout much of the American West, backcountry visitors can make out the twang of a bowstring and the crack of a rifle — hunting season is well upon us!

As with many years, this season appears to have its ups and downs, both in terms of geographical distribution and in species numbers. And, as usual, weather patterns and natural phenomena such as wildfires have varying effects on game. All in all, it looks like a very solid year to be out in the field, though it appears parts of the West have seen some similar trends. That includes a harsh season last winter that cut down fawn survival rates in many places. Drought conditions in much of the region have also impacted deer, elk, waterfowl and other game, though that seems a little more variable.

In Utah, the Division of Wildlife Resources is reporting that the northern reaches of the state were impacted by a “severe” winter that killed off a number of would-be yearling bucks. That said, DWR big game coordinator Justin Shannon said at the start of October that the rest of the state is looking good. The Salt Lake Tribune took that assessment even further to predict that “an excellent hunt” is in the cards for Utah deer hunters.

To the northwest, Washington numbers of deer and elk appear to be in mostly fair shape, though select populations have also struggled with a severe winter that has led to subsequent reductions in herd sizes. That said, state wildlife monitors say waterfowl hunting might make up the difference with strong populations and opportunities for hunters. Elsewhere in the region, Oregon’s season opened up with some restrictions to lands impacted by wildfire. Reports seem mixed as to just how strong deer numbers are, but there might be more consensus that elk populations are looking good. Hunters and other users of public lands are still advised to check ahead to see if their usual stomping grounds are subject to any restrictions.

Finally, in the Big Sky country of Montana, the rugged southeast is looking pretty nice across the board. Mule deer numbers have mostly been trending upward there since 2012, whitetails are holding steady, and elk remain strong as they have across the state. With hunting season in full swing, we’re always thinking about what lies over that next hill! Got any great hunting stories or photos for us? We want to hear ‘em, so post away in the comments section below!

Champion camp tips

Improve your camping game with these fantastic and practical tips.

More chess iterations than atoms

Love to play chess? No matter how much you play, you’ll always be challenged. There are more potential iterations of a chess game than there are atoms in the known universe!

It’s open season on elk and bison!

Wyoming is one of the first places in the U.S. you can get your big game hunting fix for the year.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has released a mobile app

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has released a mobile app to cast state fishing information directly into the hands of anglers. Would you use an app to guide your next excursion? Let us know in the comments!

GoPro contest 10/19

Your time to be a hero is running out! The final day to enter our contest to win a GoPro Hero5 camera is Monday, October 23rd. Don’t squander this chance to capture life’s best moments. Enter now!