The Winter 2015 issue of THE NEW PIONEER featured a “Woodsman’s Almanac” column by author David Maccar. Among a variety of tips to backwoods living, Maccar explained how to make versatile campsite tripods from nearby tree limbs and how to turn a single shotgun into a one-gun solution for hunting multiple types of game.

Maccar started by describing the versatility of the campsite tripod.

“Gather three stout branches of about the same length, lay them down together and then wrap the tops with jute twine or paracord in a clove hitch. Then, stand them up, spread the branches, tighten the clove hitch and secure it with a couple of half hitches—you now have a surprisingly sturdy improvised tripod. The thicker the branches, the more weight it can hold. And if you carve the feet into points, it’s sure not to budge. Make two and you have a solid platform to lay another branch across from which to hang a pot over a fire,” said Maccar. “These rigs are versatile as well. You can place the legs farther apart or closer together to change the height of the tripods. Raise them, move them away from the fire a bit and you have a nice rack on which to dry wet clothes. Get creative and you’ll be surprised how many uses you can find for these simple constructions.”

On the subject of hunting, Maccar described how any outdoorsman could use the same shotgun for fall turkey and winter deer.

“If you live and hunt in a place where dense forest is the norm, this is an easy way to hunt on a budget, or a way to introduce
a young hunter to three seasons of hunting without breaking the bank. A shotgun that’s set up for turkey hunting is, naturally, going to be a good gobbler killer, with a smooth pump action, a 3-inch chamber, camo skin and, most likely, a top rail for optics. With a 2X or zero-magnification red-dot and an XX full choke, you’re set for fall turkey,” noted Maccar. “Purchase a rifled slug barrel and check the sight’s zero to quickly transform your turkey gun into a deer slayer, whether you use slugs or sabots. In small fields and thick brush, very few bucks will be out of range with a rifled slug gun, and you’ll be dead accurate with your dialed-in red dot. Then, when the snow melts, just switch back the barrels and you’re ready for spring turkey.”

To read the full article, check out the Winter 2015 issue of THE NEW PIONEER, available on newsstands and digitally on October 21, 2014. To subscribe or purchase, visit

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