North American Outdoors

Heidi Lyn Rao

Tips, techniques, videos, articles, and many other "HOW TO" do all things outdoors from hunting, fishing, camping, trapping, shooting, and much more! There is no better place to learn than in the outdoor classroom...roaming the woods and waters, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

S6-E143:  Matriarchs Run Montana -Two Strong Women Living in the Wild
Nov 25 2022
S6-E143: Matriarchs Run Montana -Two Strong Women Living in the Wild
We all have an image in our heads of what a strong woman is. Especially NRA Women who are empowered to take charge of their lives and provide for their own safety by exercising their Second Amendment rights. I consider myself a strong NRA Woman. Like most other strong modern women, I rely upon all the conveniences of a large city. My day-to-day issues include misplacing my smart phone, being stuck in a traffic jam or waiting for hours for a service technician...Not having to face a grizzly bear on my way to the mailbox! Recently meeting two incredibly remarkable women that embody the true meaning of strength, I quickly realized there are strong women, and then there are STRON WOMEN! I met these two NRA Women in Cooke City, Montana, which is located halfway between somewhere and nowhere in southeast Montana, just past the northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Terri owns and operates Big Moose Resort, and her daughter Autumn owns and operates Big Bear Resort. The two resorts sit across from each other, separated by Highway 212. During wintertime, learn how these two Ladies must travel to the nearest town by snowmobile, pulling a sled behind them, for supplies. Oftentimes they without electricity for days or longer after a big snowstorm. They are the managers, greeters, electricians, plumbers, carpenters and any other job you can think of for their perspective resorts. In addition to those duties, Autumn is the waitress, cook and dishwasher in the restaurant for her guests. Their situation is hardly unusual in their town. After speaking with them, it is clear that women run things in the Wyoming and Montana wilds! According to Terri and Autumn, women have the biggest say in town, and women tell the men what to do, when to do it and how to do it. They both agree that this is the way it has always been. Perhaps it harkens back to Wyoming being the first state to grant women the right to vote, hold public office and own land.       These are some of strongest women I have ever met; if you ever make your way to Cooke City, Montana, be sure to stay at one of these resorts. If you are just passing through, stop in and meet them. You will not regret it! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
S6-E142:  Watch Your Firearm Clichés and Terminology
Nov 18 2022
S6-E142: Watch Your Firearm Clichés and Terminology
As firearms instructors and trainers, we all use several common phrases when teaching others. These include: Keep your muzzle pointed in a safe direction Keep your firearm unloaded until ready to use Your firearm should "surprise" you when it discharges All of these statements are correct, but when teaching others about firearms, you need to be able to explain what these mean as well as the applications of each to ensure that when your students leave, they have learned the correct behavior. Always look at the original intent of the phrase. The terms we use matter. Common mistakes in terminology when describing firearms, ammunition and accessories include: magazines vs. clips; cartridge vs. shell; autos vs. semi-autos, and so on. If you are fortunate enough to help new firearm owners become familiar with their new purchase and comfortable on the range, it is important to remember one thing: Teach and train at their level, and make sure you are introducing the proper terminology from the beginning. Remember how long it took you to get to the level you are with your firearms knowledge and handling. We want these brand-new gun owners to have a positive first experience, so they recruit more new gun owners to share the knowledge, skills and attitude. Using the correct terminology during firearm instruction ensures that future generations of shooters are well on their way to doing the same. Enjoy! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
S6 - E137:  Situational Awareness While Carrying
Oct 14 2022
S6 - E137: Situational Awareness While Carrying
From the moment you get up and ready for your day, you should have a plan.  Have an idea of where you will be traveling, the stops and errands you will be running, and if you will be carrying your firearm on your body - where you can and cannot go.Based on your answers, this will determine what type of clothing you will be wearing for the day.  Ladies - will you wear a belly band to conceal your firearm?  Or a sports-bra that doubles as a carry bra to neatly tuck away your compact firearm?  Will you have an IWB (Inside the Waistband) holster, or will you wear an OWB (Outside the Waistband) holster for the day?  Or do you plan to carry your firearm in your purse?Next, have a plan with all of the errands and locations you will be traveling with your firearm, of what you will be doing with your firearm.  Will you be frequenting areas which allow firearms, or will you have to remove your firearm and find a way to safely and securely store your gun in your vehicle for a while until you return back to your vehicle?Do you have any overnight travel that you need to consider?  Will you be stopping for fuel and what is the safest way to protect yourself in a vulnerable location?  Even as simple as stopping at a red light - are you prepared for potential danger or trouble?Keep your situational awareness radar always on, and especially heightened when you are carrying a firearm.  Know where you can and cannot go, and what you can and cannot do.  Enjoy! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
UPDATE!! S6-E131:  Are You Ready for DOVE Season?
Sep 2 2022
UPDATE!! S6-E131: Are You Ready for DOVE Season?
Dove Season is the unofficial start of the hunting season.  You can see the excitement and anticipation on the face of every hunter, regardless of if they hunt dove or not.  This is because dove season is the official count down to all the other types and species of hunting.  If you do participate in dove hunting, you want to make sure that you have the right equipment and accessories to be both successful and legal.             There is only one way to describe dove hunting – FUN!  Especial in Texas, dove hunting is a social gathering where hunters get together and have fun.  People have cook-outs and bar-b-ques and might even conclude in a big party with music and dancing.               Dove are considered migratory game birds.  Where it is legal to hunt, all native doves are state and federally protected.  This means that you can be checked by state game wardens and federal game wardens.  State regulations vary from state to state but the federal regulations regarding dove hunting are the same in every state.  Be sure to check the laws in your specific state to make sure that you are in compliance.  Because they are migratory make sure that you comply with federal law.   There are six primary areas of federal laws that relate to dove hunting.  These are daily bag and possession limits, legal shotguns, hunting over a baited field, using live birds as decoys, hunting from a motorized vehicle, and using a motorized or sailing vehicle to rally birds.  These federal laws are mirrored in the state you are in so there is uniformity between the state and the feds.There is no such thing as a bad day hunting!  As long as you do your research, know which birds are legal to hunt, and follow the hunting rules and regulations in your area, memories will be made to last a lifetime!  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
S6-E130:  What Is HIP Certification
Aug 26 2022
S6-E130: What Is HIP Certification
There are many laws you need to follow when you are waterfowl hunting.  Many laws address equipment, such as using a shotgun that is not capable of holding more than three shells.  There are laws that address when and where you can hunt, such as the prohibition of hunting over a baited field.  There are also laws that address licensing requirements, such as hunting with a valid hunting license, the required state endorsements, and a valid federal waterfowl stamp.  Lastly, there are laws that address what you need to do with a legally taken waterfowl once it is in your possession, such as keeping a fully feather wing attached to bird until you reach your final destination.There is another law that migratory bird hunters must follow to legally hunt these birds.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) defines migratory game birds as ducks, geese, swans, brant, coots, doves, woodcock, rails, snipe, sandhill cranes, moorhens, band-tailed pigeons and gallinules.  This law has to do with reporting requirements of bagged migratory birds.  Many hunters do not understand or even know there are laws that require reporting.  This reporting requirement is commonly referred to as being “HIP Certified.”  HIP is an acronym for “Harvest Information Program.”  All migratory bird hunters are required to be HIP Certified during the current licensing period and carry proof while hunting.  Responsible hunters take HIP Certification seriously.  The data gathered is very important to the management of all species of migratory birds.  The information gathered lets biologist determine if a species is declining in numbers or there is an abundance of specific birds.  This allows biologists to develop management plans for a specific species that can assure they do not become “threatened” or “endangered.”   It could also mean that bag limits might be increased, and seasons lengthened.  HIP Certification is your way of helping the sport you enjoy!  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
S6-E128:  Raising Strong Boys
Aug 12 2022
S6-E128: Raising Strong Boys
As we are driving north to start a new chapter of our lives, Matthew will soon be a University of Arkansas Razorback.  Reflecting on these past few weeks as we pack him up, and sort through his bedroom of 18 years, what is a MUST to bring along, what can be passed onto his brothers, and what can head to Goodwill - it dawned on me that I have raised some pretty strong and independent boys.Family is the nucleus of all we do together.  We've always made it a point and priority to be involved in the boys' lives.  From sports to school activities, either my husband or I, or ideally both of us, would always be in attendance.  When the boys would scan the bleachers or crowded room of onlookers, they would always be able to find us as we supported their every success and struggle.  We vacation together, spend holidays together, and travel together.  Hopefully one day these values will continue on and be passed along to their future families.Growing up with a strong church foundation has helped shape the boys into the young men they have become.   Spending their entire youth in Boy Scouts has also shaped their independence.  Each of my 4 boys have stories to tell about challenges along the trail and overcoming adverse weather or stressful campouts.  They never left early or called home for a ride.  They stuck it out and have become stronger and tougher because of these life-shaping events.Matthew may be starting a new chapter in another state, several hours away, but the rest of us back home in Texas are starting a new chapter too.  We'll continue to nurture the remaining brothers and make sure they stay strong and tough through their teens and beyond.Enjoy!  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
S6 E126:  Avoiding Whitewater Rafting Hazards
Jul 29 2022
S6 E126: Avoiding Whitewater Rafting Hazards
Want to ride the rapids this summer in your raft, canoe or kayak?  Prepare for your next adventure by knowing the hazards you could face.Whitewater sports like rafting, canoeing and kayaking return to popularity as winter transitions into spring, and are in full swing during the summer.  Fortunately, North America is home to some of the best rivers in the world for whitewater activities.  The Rio Grande, Arkansas, Snake, Salmon and several others are ideal to experience the power that nature has to offer. These whitewater activities are some of the most exciting, yet dangerous, sports available to the outdoor enthusiast.  Sportsmen and women looking to experience the thrill they offer can either do their own research and work their way up to “angry” waters, or hire an outfitter or guide to teach the proper and safe techniques.  Like any sport, knowing the hazards and how to avoid them is critical to averting a tragedy.  This is especially true when engaged in water sports.The water that flows over underwater obstacles is called Rapids.  There are many natural hazards to be aware of when traversing a fast-flowing river.  These dangers can be experienced above or beneath a fast-flowing river, and include strainers, sieves, holes, under cuts, foot entrapment and hypothermia.  Knowing which Class of Rapids you are in is very important as well, to know the skill level necessary for a safe and enjoyable outing.Enjoy! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit