“At their heart, these pursuits connect you with the wild. [Adventures] take you out of the day-to-day life of modern conveniences and put you in nature, challenging you to meet animals on their terms. These adventures are elemental, primitive, and, most important of all in these days of constant digital connection, real.”—Anthony Licata, Group Editorial Director

 

The Wilderness War

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area is a pristine part of backcountry that offers the promise of solitude, but also contains the second-largest known copper deposit and third-largest known nickel deposit in the world. The debate over who gets to benefit from the extensive natural resources and vast amount of real estate is one that divides outdoor conservationists and historic coal-mining communities, “packsackers,” and locals, and one that has spanned several administrations and courtrooms. Senior Editor Natalie Krebs traveled to the BWCA during the height of winter to traverse the land with Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters to explore the land and both sides of the debate.

 

Blues on the Hill

Travel around D.C.’s unseasonably warm winter waterways with Fishing Editor Joe Cermele and YouTuber Chris McIntee on their “kamikaze run” for blue catfish. “There was a lot of thrashing and a few tense seconds until the eagle was landed. McIntee heaved the 30-pounder 12 feet up to dry land, and the crowd went wild. I did too. McIntee was genuinely pumped for me, but I also knew from watching his videos that he always sets his expectations high. He wants the biggest, the baddest, and the most,” says Cermele.

 

Duck Hunt Road Trip 

Thanks to perfect timing and gracious landowners, Outdoor Life found the perfect duck-hunting road trip through North Dakota’s prairie potholes. “There’s a flock of 20 gadwells locked up, dropping through the wind, with at least 200 more ducks lined up behind them, hooking hard. We shoot and laugh and call and cuss until each of us has our limit of ducks. Then we pack up and head in for breakfast,” says Executive Editor Alex Robinson.

 

The Deer Plague

Chronic Wasting Disease is the largest threat facing wild deer. But after two decades of fighting the disease, we still can’t agree on how to stop its spread. In this special report, Editor-at-Large Andrew McKean takes a deep dive into the battle over CWD regulation.

 

PLUS: The 2019 Knife Test; Bucks Beyond the Border, Misery in Moose Country, and More!