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First Hunts

Jim Gilliland sitting on a climber holding a rifle

Shooting Better From A Climber

Climbing tree stands give hunters a lot of advantages, but they also come with challenges when it’s time to shoot. Federal ambassador Jim Gilliland reveals how to build the best possible shooting position in a climber and execute an effective shot.

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Mountain landscape

Shooting In Steep Country

Uphill or downhill, shooting in steep country throws a lot of hunters a curve. But it doesn’t have to. Federal ambassador Jim Gilliland explains the physics at work and shows how to shoot better in any terrain.

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Jim Gilliland looking down the rifle scope resting on a backpack

Shooting Downhill With Your Pack

While hunting steep country, your best shooting tool is probably already on your back. Federal ambassador Jim Gilliland shows how to use your pack to shoot at sharp downhill angles.

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shooter looking through a rifle scope with a box of Terminal Ascent on a table

How To Select The Right Rifle Bullet

If you’re new to hunting, the variety of bullet styles available is enough to stop you in your tracks. But don’t get overwhelmed. Instead, follow this easy-to-understand guide.

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Jim Gilliland looking down a the scope of a rifle on a tripod angled up a hill

Shooting Uphill

When the buck or bull of a lifetime steps out on the hillside above you, be ready to take the shot with these tips from Federal ambassador Jim Gilliland.

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Jim Gilliland kneeling while looking down the scope of a rifle

Shooting While Kneeling

The next time you take a knee on a hunt, consider these shooting position tips from Federal ambassador Jim Gilliland. They’ll ensure a rock-solid rest and the most precise shot placement.

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hunter puching his tag after getting a deer

How To Draw Your Dream Tag

For hunters who’ve never hunted the American West, navigating the application process for big game tags seems overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be.

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Jim Gilliland looking down a rifle scope

How To Ensure Bore Clearance In The Field

Just because your crosshairs show a clear path between you and the target doesn’t mean your bullet won’t hit something on the way. Federal ambassador Jim Gilliland’s insights on trajectory will help you ensure adequate clearance before you take any shot.

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blood drops on a log

Making Weight

Don't worry—even with all the available options, picking the right bullet weight for your hunt doesn't have to be daunting. 

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Jim Gilliland looking down a rifle scope while in a box stand

Shoot Better From A Box Stand

With concealment, a solid shooting rest and even a comfortable chair, an enclosed elevated stand makes accurate shooting seem automatic. However, you can get true benchrest-level accuracy from a box blind with these tips from Federal ambassador Jim Gilliland.

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hunter aiming shotgun at flying pheasant

Select The Right Upland Option

Whether fall takes you to the prairies, the dove field or anywhere in between, there’s a Federal upland load engineered for how you hunt. Learn more about our full lineup of shotshell offerings and choose the right one for you.

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blood drops on a log

Blood Drive

Pulling a trigger is only the beginning. After the shot, follow these blood trailing tips to recover more game.

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Jim Gilliland looking down the scrope of his rifle

Improvise A Stable Shooting Position

When it comes to taking a standing shot, any rest is better than no rest at all. Turn the most unlikely sapling into a serviceable platform with these tips from Federal ambassador Jim Gilliland.

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silohette of a duck decoy and hunters

Choose Your Perfect Federal Waterfowl Load

No two waterfowl hunts are the same, so Federal has engineered a wide range of shotshell loads—from Black Cloud FS Steel and TSS, to HEVI-Bismuth and Speed-Shok. Follow this guide to choose the ideal one for your next hunt.

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hunter climbing up to a tree blind

Entrance & Exit Strategy Whitetails

A mature whitetail buck is hard to kill, but harvesting a gagger is possible if you do your homework and develop unbeatable entrance and exit routes. 

Plot Your Course
downed elk with a rifle laying across it

Elk Down—Now What?

Elk are both amazing and massive. Whether you’re a first-timer or an old hand, it’s essential to have a plan for getting your elk out of the backcountry—before you pull the trigger.

Learn How
hunters hiding in a duck blind with their shotguns aimed

Stay In Your Lane

Upland and waterfowl hunts unfold fast and with more variables than most others. That’s why it’s critical to have a clear plan and boundaries to stay safe and put more birds in the bag.

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cartridges being removed from their packaging

Start-Up Choices

For new deer hunters looking to choose a cartridge and bullet for their first season in the stand, the options can seem overwhelming. Cut through the clutter with this guide.

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close-up of a hunter looking down the iron sights of a rifle

Run-And-Gun Gobblers

Aggressive mobile tactics are some of the most popular and exciting ways to notch a turkey tag. But like any approach, they need to be done right—and at the right time. Consider these tips before you go.

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hunter squatting down with holding a shotgun

The Decoy Dilemma

Use them correctly and decoys will boost your springtime turkey count. But they’re not always the right call.

Make The Choice
HEAVYWEIGHT TSS being put into a vest pocket

Turkey Vest Dump

When it comes to chasing the king of spring, a vest full of calls and other gear goes a long way toward filling tags. We dump out a turkey addict’s vest to reveal what you need.

See The Gear
terminal ascent packages in front of a rifle

Test & Tinker

Spring and summer might be the off-season according to the calendar, but don’t waste it. Now is the time to find the perfect load for your big game rifle.

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hunter looking down rifle scope while leaning against a tree

Choosing A Reticle

A great scope and rifle combination doesn’t guarantee accuracy in the field. If you and the reticle aren’t friends, things will go south in a hurry.

Learn Why
Hunter walking up now a dead elk

After The Shot

Federal ambassador and champion shooter Julie Golob explains what to do in the critical moments after you take the shot on a big game animal. Knowing how to track, field dress and transport the animal makes all the difference.

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antelope standing on the plains

A Spot-And-Stalk Guide To Pronghorn

Few things are more fun than chasing antelope, but stalking them comes with more than its share of challenges. Follow these tips to a set of ebony horns and a cooler brimming with meat.

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hunter sitting amoungst snow goose decoys with those shotguns pointed to the sky

Preparing For The Shot

If you’ve never fired a shot at a big game animal, there’s a lot to prepare yourself for. From fundamental mechanics to emotions and more, Federal ambassador and champion shooter Julie Golob explains what to expect and how to get ready.

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male hunter looking through spotting scope and female hunter looking down a rifle scope

Gear Checklist

If you’re new to hunting, the array of gear available can be overwhelming. Federal ambassador and champion shooter Julie Golob breaks down the selection to the items you really need to hunt effectively.

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silohette of a man walking on a hill

Backcountry Basics

When it comes to backcountry trip planning, scouting, marksmanship and hunting gear get all the glory, but success on an adventure hunt is all about meeting more basic needs.

Learn How It’s Done
women looking down a rifle scope

Sighting In

Whether your firearm is new from the store or coming out of the gun case for the first time since last fall, here’s what you need to do to achieve a perfect zero. 

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hunter sitting amoungst snow goose decoys with those shotguns pointed to the sky

The Choke

Spring snow goose hunts demand a choke system tailored to making longer shots. Federal ambassador and “The Fowl Life” host Chad Belding reveals the constriction he prefers and why.

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hunters sitting amoungst snow goose decoys with those shotguns pointed to the sky

The Magazine

Extended magazines and unplugged guns are some of the hallmarks of spring snow goose season. But Chad Belding, Federal ambassador and “The Fowl Life” host, says most of the shells that fill them go to waste. Here’s how to manage you magazine and put it to best use when a flock comes in this spring.

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male turkey

Public Ground Gobblers

Hunting longbeards on open-to-anyone dirt can be a difficult chore. Heed these tips and come out of the woods with a fan bobbing over your shoulder.

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Open box of Black Cloud

The Shot

Pellet size has a tremendous impact on how effective you are on any waterfowl hunt, but it’s especially important for spring snow geese. Federal ambassador and “The Fowl Life” host Chad Belding gives up his top payloads in this quick tip.

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a group of hunters in a field aiming their shotguns at passing snow geese

The Migration

Juvenile birds make or break the spring snow goose hunt. Federal ambassador and “The Fowl Life” host Chad Belding explains how to time your hunt to coincide with the biggest push of juvies this year.

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walking through fields carry geese

The Hide

Hunted both up and down the flyway, snow geese have gained an uncanny ability to pick out blinds and avoid them. Federal ambassador and “The Fowl Life” host Chad Belding details how and where he sets up to fool the wariest flocks.

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Fox in a field

The Ideal Place To Squeal

Picking the right calling location will make or break your next coyote hunt.

Choose Wisely
Hunter looking at deer horns outside

Process Your Own Deer Part 1—Quartering

It’s a job many of us pass off to a commercial processor on the drive home from deer camp without a thought. But butchering your own deer is nothing you can’t do, and the rewards are worth it. Here’s how to get started.

Initial Cuts
deer meat laid out on a table

Process Your Own Deer Part 2—Butchering

So your deer has been quartered and you’re ready to turn a cooler full of whole parts into trimmed, cut, ready-to-eat meat. We give step-by-step instructions on a fast, simple way to do it.

Make Some Meat