Contemporary women’s western apparel brand Wild Junkie Boutique, in collaboration with popular Instagram and TikTok Creator and a star in Wild Junkie’s Affiliate team, is proud to unveil a stunning new collection that combines classic western aesthetics with a trendy, modern twist.
The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) recognized nine individuals, two state agencies, one federal agency, and one private landowner for their dedication to advancing fish and wildlife conservation at the Association’s Annual Awards Ceremony.
Harlan Thomas from Top 10 ranked Murray State University won the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash with a bass weighing 6.31 pounds. That big bass earned Thomas over $9,000 in prizes and contingencies.
The 2023 European Handgun Championship was held in Corinth, Greece from September 24-30, 2023. In a highly competitive field featuring the world's top shooters, the members of the CZ Shooting Team, an international team representing the brand, excelled with CZ pistols in hand.
The countdown is on for the SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range, and space is filling up rapidly and you don’t want to miss this opportunity to be in front of over 1,800 media and buyers.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will relax the fishing regulations at Casey Lake in Hickory Hills Park starting October 4 to allow anglers to more freely harvest fish before the lake is renovated.
- GEAR -
Digesting and regurgitating customer feedback to improve a product is harder than it sounds. ScentLok did just that…listened… and added the asked for features, and made the already popular BE:1 Grinder Treestand Pack even better.
Whitetails Unlimited has granted $12,000 to the Fairbank Sports Club located in Fairbank, Iowa. With these funds, the club’s of 250 members contribute toward many outdoor activities throughout the year. Some of these contributions help support local trap teams, fish stocking, and hunter education programs.
The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies invested $10.6 million in conservation by approving 55 projects through the Multistate Conservation Grant Program. Association members formally endorsed these grants, which address critical conservation needs, at its 113th Annual Meeting, held September 23-27, 2023, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

The Wisconsin NWTF State Chapter recently met in Prairie du Chien to review Hunting Heritage Super Fund project proposals for 2024 funding awards.
An estimated 60,000 hunters will be heading to the timber in the next few months with Iowa’s archery deer season underway Oct. 1.
Montana’s two-day, youth-only deer hunt is coming up Oct. 19 and 20, and general deer season opens Oct. 21. Now is a good time to consider signing up for the Apprentice Hunter Program.
Part of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources' efforts to encourage hunting and shooting sports participation, the Safari Club International Flint Chapter will present this women only duck hunt.

Learn all about pheasant hunting at the Muzzy Pheasant Farm, Corunna, Michigan, during this event for youth ages 12-17, with a hunter safety talk, clay pigeon shoot, walk-up pheasant hunt, demonstration of how to clean pheasants and lunch.
Hunters who harvest a deer during Vermont’s October 21 and 22 youth and novice deer hunting weekend are encouraged to bring their deer to one of 19 biological reporting stations to help state wildlife biologists gather data on the health of Vermont’s deer population.
Kryptek Outdoor Group is excited to welcome Tim Piver as the new Chief Operations Officer.
NEXTORCH Industries announced that the 21” NEX Quicker Duty Baton has been awarded TR certification for use by German police forces.

NSSF’s SHOT Show® is now the eighth largest trade show in America, according to Trade Show Executive’s just-released Gold 100 rankings. The rankings were based on trade shows held throughout the United States in 2022 and measured by net square feet.
The September 2023 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,141,847 is a decrease of 8.2 percent compared to the September 2022 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,243,687.
- JOBS -
Whitetails Unlimited has an immediate opening for a new Vice President of Finance. This professional, salaried, full-time position will work directly from the national headquarters in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.
Faxon Firearms announces the launch of its newest addition to the FX-19 family, the FX-19-LT Series of handguns. The FX-19-LT line introduces an array of enhancements designed to meet the demands of shooters and enthusiasts.

Krieghoff International, Inc. announced that two of its shooters, Mark Vaillancourt and Jim Tiner have been inducted into the National Skeet Shooting Association Hall of Fame. Each will be recognized for different, yet equally outstanding, contributions to the sport of skeet shooting.
Simtek has announced its commitment to support the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) by donating 10 percent of its online sales throughout the month of October.
PRADCO Outdoor Brands announces a new partnership between outdoor web and vodcast series “Tag N’ Brag” and Moultrie, a pioneer in the game management category for over 40 years.
In the October issue of Shooting Industry, Tim Barker shares which “Top-Tier Partners” dealers rate as their favorite handgun makers based on a variety of factors, including communication, support and reliability.

Many of Utah’s general-season waterfowl hunts open on Saturday, Oct. 7, and hunters across the state will be getting out on the water to harvest migrating geese and ducks. While they are prepared with decoys, dogs and ammunition, some hunters may not be as prepared to recognize and avoid harmful algal blooms on some Utah waterbodies.
Pokagon State Park will host its annual Halloween Happenings Oct. 27–29. Pokagon State Park ( is at 450 Lane 100 Lake James, Angola, Indiana 46703.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is hosting an open house to discuss renovation and improvement plans for Red Haw State Park, from 5:30 – 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 10, in the Chamber Office of Chariton City Hall.
A dedication ceremony for Indiana’s 300th nature preserve, Toothwort Woods, which is noted for its scenic beauty and biological significance, will take place Tuesday, Oct. 10.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will host a public meeting at 5 p.m., Oct. 5, in the lower level of the Swan Lake Conservation Education Center.
Mounted Shooting is a combination of barrel racing and six-gun shooting, with black powder blanks, to run a course of balloon targets for speed and accuracy.

Enormous Goliath grouper await anglers on the Southeast coast these days, and a few lucky fishermen will be allowed a permit to harvest some of the smaller fish in the coming year off Florida. (Shimano)

Goliath grouper, AKA the “Volkswagen with Fins” of the southeast coast, have been off limits to angler harvest for more than 30 years. Not surprisingly, this has given them time to become abundant—and huge.

The species, largest of the grouper clan, is known to reach sizes of up to 800 pounds and lengths to 8 feet, and can live at least 30 years. Consequently there are a whole bunch of really, really big ones on the nearshore reefs of the Southeast these days.

In fact, they have become so abundant that anglers say some grouper/snapper reefs are off limits because every hooked fish goes down the maw of a giant goliath before it can be put in the boat. The big ones can easily swallow a 15-pound gag grouper!

Goliath’s are a classic fishery success story because by 1990 they had been fished down to a level where NOAA Fisheries declared them an endangered species and ended all harvest in U.S. waters. 

They came back fast. By 2006, NOAA researchers concluded that the continental U.S. population of Goliaths had undergone significant increases in abundance and had become re-established throughout its historical range.

The population has swollen from there. Now, there are so many big Goliaths that some anglers are calling for a limited harvest of the species to reduce predation on the reef fish they’d like to have for themselves.

Giant tempered steel hooks like this 20/0 from Daiichi are the ticket for landing monster Goliaths. (Daiichi)

Opposed are diving fans, who naturally enough view these giants as a fascinating part of the natural fauna of accessible nearshore reefs. Take away the Goliath’s and you’ve got Africa without elephants, India without tigers, is their argument.

Be that as it may, Florida’s FWC has determined that taking a few of these critters will cause no harm to the overall population and is opening a limited season again for 2024. 

You won’t be able to catch and keep the giants, though, and you’ll need to win a lottery to be allowed to take a smaller Goliath home, however

The size limit on harvestable fish is 24- to 36-inches. Larger fish must be kept in the water and released immediately. And only 200 tags will be issued. (Odds are most won’t be used: In 2023 when all 200 tags were awarded only 26 tag holders reported harvesting a Goliath. 

Anglers say this won’t do much good re fish being “stolen” from their hooks, but it does add a life-list opportunity for anglers—and also allows a few select anglers to learn what Goliath’s taste like.

It’s probably best to view Goliath’s as a fascinating part of what makes coastal fishing so interesting and exciting and put them in the same category as the “Tax Man”, the sharks that also grab reef fish with frequency in some areas. 

They definitely make an awesome photo, especially for those intrepid anglers who hop in the next to a giant boatside.

But before you break out your trusty 12/0 hooks, there are a few things you should know about what it takes to whip one of these beasts.

For one thing, forget the 12/0’s. 

Big Goliaths are among the main attractions on many nearshore diving reefs, and the larger fish remain on the protected list because of this. (Florida FWC)

A big Goliath can straighten them like a paperclip. What you need is a beast of a hook like the Daiichi Monster Metal 20/0 for the job--$12 a copy, with a bight about the size of most gaff hooks.

The reel, something like a Shimano Tiagra 130, weighs over 10 pounds on its own and can put almost 100 pounds of drag on the line. Goliaths never make long smoking runs like offshore giants including marlin and the tunas, but for 10 yards, they are one of the strongest fish in the ocean. The reel is typically loaded with 400-lb test mono—not braid

This is one place where monofilament still gets the nod over braid among the few guides who specialize in this action, mostly found from Tampa southward to Marco Island on Florida’s west coast. The deal is the drag is completely locked down, and the only “drag” is the stretch of the mono. If there’s no “give”, the giants often break even the stoutest, heaviest rods, and braid does not stretch.

The bait will typically weigh 5 to 10 pounds—a whole stingray or jack crevalle are among the favorites.

So yeah, you’ll want to bring your big boy pants. And you’ll definitely want to shackle that $2,000 rod and reel to the boat because there is always the chance that the fish will win the battle unless you are an Olympic-class weight lifter in your other life.

If you want the chance to harvest one of the slot-sized Goliaths, you have to enter a lottery with FWC. Only 200 tags will be awarded, and applications are $10 each. If you are drawn, the harvest fee is $150 for residents, $500 for non-residents—the Goliath becomes sort of Florida’s elk. 

You can apply online here:

— Frank Sargeant

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