Sunday, December 10th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Sunday, December 10th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is a writer and web editor for Outdoor News who lives in west-central Minnesota with his wife and two daughters. Morken graduated with a journalism degree from Augustana College (now Augustana University) in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 2007. He has worked in the journalism field ever since, and his outdoor work has been in print and digital publications across the country. When not writing about the outdoors, Morken is an active participant in them. He can be found doing some casual fishing in the summer and chasing turkeys in the spring, but his passion is centered around bowhunting whitetails. It’s a year-round commitment of scouting and hunting different regions of Minnesota and surrounding states on public and shared-private lands every chance he gets. Contact Morken at Follow him on Twitter @EricOutdoorNews or on Instagram @elmorken.

Competitive archery now an Alexandria College option in west-central Minnesota

Alexandria Technical and Community College in west-central Minnesota has emphasized enhancing the student experience on campus by offering expanded extracurricular activities in recent years.
The school offers soccer, eSports, volleyball, competitive fishing, clay target shooting, baseball, and golf as varsity sports. Now the school will add an archery program to those options. In doing so, Alexandria TCC will become the first two-year college in the state to offer competitive archery through USA Archery’s Collegiate Archery Program.

Video: Bow bucks from South Dakota and Minnesota a product of adjusting within bedding cover

I showed up for a short out-of-state bowhunt in South Dakota on the afternoon of Nov. 7 and did a drive around the small property I had gained permission on.
Most of my planning for this trip had focused on a field of grassland. A low-ground area here created some good habitat diversity — a mix of timber, cattails, willows and grasses adjacent to a small creek that bordered an agriculture field. That drive on Nov. 7 quickly revealed a gut-punch. The grass had been mowed, leaving nothing but ankle-high cover around the small slough.

Video: Fantastic buck movement, and why not all pinch points are created equal

We were sitting in the camper discussing hunt plans for the following morning on the night of Nov. 3 when I mentioned to my dad, Gary Morken, and buddy, Sam Schmid, that mature buck activity was about to pick up. 
I just had that feeling based on the previous couple of days. For years, I have often left Minnesota to bowhunt North Dakota during that first week of November. The deer herd in this area has a more balanced age and sex structure than what I am used to hunting in Minnesota. A good mix of does, and young and mature bucks means competition for breeding, which means bigger bucks on their feet more in daylight.

A strange deer harvest from Minnesota’s gun season: Is it a buck, or is it a doe?

Rod Host was sitting in his deer stand within a stretch of timber north of Long Prairie in central Minnesota on the morning of Nov. 4 when he noticed a group of whitetails approaching down a trail. 

It was a typical rut scene in Minnesota’s Todd County during the opening day of the firearms season. There were seven deer, with does and fawns leading the way, a spike buck near the back, and then what Host thought was a 2 1/2-year-old buck following from behind.

Report from onX shines light on important but fragile private-lands access programs

Privately-owned land that’s open to public hunting is an important part of creating more access opportunities across the country, but the programs that connect landowners and hunters often are in various stages of fragility.

Video gear review: Sitka’s Ambient hoody and jacket are new favorites

A person wants to know what they are getting when spending money on high quality hunting clothing. In this video below, Eric Morken of Outdoor News breaks down why the Ambient jacket and Ambient hoody from Sitka have been two of his favorite pieces of gear he has added this year for bowhunting whitetails.

Video: Adjusting after a big buck slips by, and preparing for the rut

Eric Morken had close encounters with mature bucks while bowhunting mornings on Oct. 15 and 21. In this video below, Morken details that latest encounter in North Dakota, along with how he adjusted based on the way the buck moved on the terrain. He also details what you can take from hunts at this time of year that can pay off in about a week when the rut gets going.

Video: Use a kayak to beat tough winds for whitetail scouting

Kayaks are a great tool for whitetail hunters.
They are popular for helping people go deeper into areas as a way to avoid hunting pressure, and for better access into locations without bumping deer out. In this short video below, Eric Morken details how he likes to use his NuCanoe Frontier 12 kayak for scouting in mid-to-late October when west-based winds would otherwise blow his scent into bedding areas if he were to scout by moving through the timber on foot.

Bucks teach us something with every close encounter

Bowhunters who find consistent success learn something valuable from every big buck they encounter. A hunter can take some solace in that, but it doesn’t make it much easier to stomach in the moment when one of those close calls ends without a shot opportunity. 
I felt that sick feeling during a morning hunt last Sunday – a lesson learned, but, ultimately, frustration given that the way this buck moved put him 5 yards downwind of my location.

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