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Recommended Reading: American Buffalo

by Brad 0 Comments

Steven Rinella is one of my favorite outdoor communicators. He does TV shows, books, podcast, and magazine articles. What makes him different is his work does not revolve around big antlers and trophy animals as we commonly see today in outdoor media. Instead he looks at hunting from a philosophical point of view and captures the true beauty of hunting and outdoor experiences. The fact he is a vocal conservationist and public land advocate doesn’t hurt matters when I consider him one of my favorite people in outdoor media.

I just finished one of Steven’s several books American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon. When I started reading this book I was immediately captivated. The format of the book switches back and forth between two main topics. The story covers his preparations, and hunt in the Alaskan wilderness for free ranging buffalo. Secondly, the book does an outstanding job of presenting a historical perspective on how Native Americans and settlers interacted and depended on buffalo.

Steven does a good job in this book on changing between his hunt and the historical perspective of the buffalo. If I would I have sat down and read the historical portion of the book all at once I would have become bored. However, with the format switching from the two topics I never became bored.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the history of the buffalo my favorite part of this book was his adventure in the Alaskan Bush. He spent ten days in the wilderness, most of it alone. Steven experiences several mishaps during the trip, which, will keep your interest peeked.

I highly recommend reading this book. If you have an interest in hunting or outdoor adventures I don’t think you could go wrong with this read. Check out the attached video of the author himself telling you about his book.

Stoeger M3500

by Brad 0 Comments


After using the Stoeger M3500 Semi auto shotgun for over 2 years I have tested it enough I can give it a full recommendation. With two younger kids I am at a point in my life where I appreciate value and reliability. I would love to spend $1,500 plus on a shotgun, but right now it is not in the cards. Enter, the Stoeger. I purchased my Black M3500 after months of research for $600.

Research the M3500 on the forums and you will find quite of few negative comments. However, I noticed one important fact. Almost all of the negative comments started with “I heard” or other statements indicating the negative reviewer did not even own one. At the same time other people would say “I basically paid $600 for a Benelli”, which is also not true You paid $600 for a Stoeger, a good shotgun in it’s own right but certainly not a Cadillac level shotgun.

I purchased this gun as my do everything shotgun and have not been disappointed. This gun will handle coyotes, pheasants, turkeys, and waterfowl.

Here are the nuts and bolts of the Stoeger M3500 directly from Stoeger’s Website:

  • 3-1/2-inch, 12-gauge, Inertia Driven®semi-automatic
  • Handles loads from 2-3/4 inch to 3-1/2 inch magnum without adjustment
  • Operating system is lightning fast and reliable, with only 3 moving parts in the bolt
  • 3 barrel lengths: 24, 26, or 28 inches
  • Barrels are fitted with a ventilated, stepped rib and fiber-optic front sight for quick target acquisition
  • Available in 3 finishes

My first impression of the M3500 was overall positive. It looked like a nice gun and felt good while shouldering it. My only complaint about the gun was the hollow composite stock. It wasn’t concerning to me about durability, but it did feel a tad cheap or flimsy.

When I took it to the range I put 25 goose loads through it and it cycled perfectly. Next, I shot target loads with the lowest recommend loads and it did have some problems cycling. However, I was expecting this based on my research. Towards the end of the 25 target loads the gun was starting to operate better. If you do experience a problem with lighter loads go back to heavier loads for a box or two until the gun is broken in.

After breaking the gun in I have used it on numerous hunts and it has performed flawlessly. The action is very smooth and fast. I personally cannot tell a difference in the action from higher end guns. If you are looking for value minded reliable workhorse that can perform a wide variety of tasks look no further than the Stoeger M3500. I don’t think you will be disappointed!