Guns & Gear

The new Ram Outdoorsman is designed to be the ultimate hunting truck. We put it to the test in the New Mexico backcountry.

By Diana Rupp
The new Ram Outdoorsman 1500.



Hunting with large-caliber revolvers adds a new level of challenge to a southern California pig hunt.

By Diana Rupp

Smith & Wesson revolvers equipped with Trijicon RMR sights proved a fine combination for wild pigs on this hunt at Tejon Ranch.



Hunting Cape buffalo with an Aimpoint sight

by Cameron Hopkins

Consider the Cape buffalo. Humped with muscle at the shoulder and neck, black like a pirate, stump-legged and bellicose, he stands immobile sniffing the air. His upper lip curls back to reveal a toothless sneer, only pink gum showing, his wet nose jutted forward to catch any scent that might betray whatever it is that disturbs him--a peculiar lump in the grass.

I am the lump. I’m still right now, sipping tepid warm water from my CamelBak after crawling on my hands and knees some 80 yards across a wide open Zambezi flood plain, the only way to approach the herd of 300-plus buffalo without a stick of cover between us. Mercifully, my knees are protected from the craggy ground of the dry-season plain by a set of Arc’teryx knee pads. My hands squish into fresh buffalo dung as I crawl, but a pair of black leather gloves keeps the tan muck from oozing between my fingers.


Now more than ever, lever-action rifles are a great choice for big-game hunting.

By Chub Eastman

Like a lot of kids, I grew up in the Northwest during a time when blue jeans were not a fashion statement and most everyone got a haircut once a week. The opening of big-game season was a big deal. When the first part of October rolled around and everyone headed for their favorite hunting grounds, most of the rifles that came off the gun racks were lever actions. Models and calibers varied, but most of the rifles were Winchesters or Marlins.

To the farmers and ranchers, they were just a reliable tool, just like a shovel or rake. They stood in the corner of the porch or hung on a peg in the barn most of the year so they were easy to get to in case some varmint started bothering the livestock or digging holes in the field. I can even remember seeing a few that were painted black so they wouldn’t rust.


By Ron Spomer

Optics aren’t just an adjunct to a hunt, they’re an amplifier, increasing your visual pleasure, providing more information, and saving time and steps.

Naturally, you’ll need a binocular for your hunt. But when you travel, don’t pack your glass in your checked luggage. First, you don’t want to risk having an expensive set of optics lifted by a sticky-fingered baggage handler. But more to the point, your binocular is too useful to restrict to hunting camp only. Include it in your carry-on bag or even wear it around your neck. And use it often. Just as it’s important to dry-fire your rifle to develop and maintain proficiency, so is it essential to practice glassing whenever possible, whether you’re studying a bird outside your hotel window or the Rockies from the Salt Lake City airport waiting room.