Category Archives: Hunting

Julie Golob Named To Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council

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Great news for hunters and recreational shooters: Julie Golob, pro shooter for Smith & Wesson will help lead the way for expanded outdoor opportunities for us all. READ MORE

julie golob

SOURCE: NRA

Last week, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced the members of the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council. In addition to Chris Cox, the executive director of NRA-ILA, Smith & Wesson pro shooter and NRA Board Member Julie Golob has been named to the Council.

“What an exciting time for our hunting and shooting sports! This Shooting Sports Council is yet another way Secretary Zinke and staff is making the expansion of our great American heritage a priority,” said Golob. “It’s an honor for me to be a part of it alongside so many influential and truly passionate leaders in outdoors sports.”

“America’s hunters and recreational shooters have a champion in Secretary Ryan Zinke,” said Cox. “Zinke is fighting for our sportsmen and women to have greater access to our public lands. I am pleased to work with the Trump Administration’s new Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council to make it easier for Americans to enjoy our public lands.”

The Council was established earlier this year to provide the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture with advice on recreational hunting, recreational shooting sports, wildlife and habitat conservation. Additionally, the Council will examine ways to encourage partnership among the public, sporting conservation organizations, state, tribal, territorial, and the federal government.

“Over a century ago, Teddy Roosevelt established the American conservation ethic — best science, best practices, greatest good, longest term,” said Secretary Zinke. “These sportsmen carry on the American conservation ethic in the modern day. Bringing these experts together will be key to ensuring the American tradition of hunting and shooting, as well as the conservation benefits of these practices, carries on.”

NEW: Sig Sauer BDX

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Sig Electro-Optics unveils Ballistic Data Xchange (BDX) rangefinders and riflescopes. VERY COOL! Read more…

SOURCE: Sig Sauer Press Release, May 4, 2018 —

SIG SAUER® Electro-Optics Transforms Hunting with the launch of BDX™

Sierra 3 BDX 3.5-10x42mm
Sierra 3 BDX 3.5-10x42mm.

The SIG SAUER Electro-Optics division unveiled their all new Ballistic Data Xchange (BDX) rangefinders and riflescopes with integrated Applied Ballistics® and wireless Bluetooth® technology. This groundbreaking BDX technology enables interoperability and key ballistic holdover information to be exchanged wirelessly between SIG SAUER BDX Electro-Optics products. The foundation of the BDX system was designed for simplicity and ease of use. SIG SAUER BDX requires no new learning, and uses the same tools hunters and shooters have been using for years.

How does BDX work? The BDX rangefinder and riflescope system is simple, fast, and intuitive. Simply download the “SIG BDX” app available for Android or iOS smartphones, pair the KILO BDX rangefinder and SIERRA3BDX riflescope, set up a basic ballistic profile, and then you’re ready to shoot or hunt. Once you are in the field, range your target as you normally would, and the KILO BDX rangefinder will utilize onboard Applied Ballistics Ultralight™ to instantly send your dope to the scope via Bluetooth. Using your basic ballistic profile the ballistic solution is calculated for your target and will instantly illuminate on the BDX-R1 Digital Ballistic Reticle with windage and elevation holds in the SIERRA3BDX riflescope. A blue LED on the riflescope power selector indicates that the BDX system is paired, and when the reticle has received new ballistic holdover and windage data from the rangefinder. “Rangefinding riflescopes of the past have had two major shortcomings: they are either big, boxy and heavy, or extremely expensive,” said Andy York, president, SIG SAUER Electro-Optics. “The revolutionary and affordable BDX system packs advanced ballistics technology into a simple platform that looks just like the rangefinder and riflescope that every hunter is using today. It is extremely simple to use; range a target, put the digital ballistic holdover dot on target, pull the trigger, impact. Incredibly accurate and extremely simple, just connect the dot.”

Connect the Dots

The BDX family of rangefinders includes: KILO1400BDX, KILO1800BDX, KILO2200BDX, KILO2400BDX, and KILO3000BDX rangefinder binocular. These rangefinders include many of the legacy features that the KILO name was built on: Lightwave DSP™ digital rangefinder engine, Hyperscan™ with 4 times per second scan rate, RangeLock™, and the Lumatic™ auto-adjusting display. Available in 3.5-10x42mm, 4.5-14x44mm, 4.5-14x50mm, and 6.5-20x52mm, the SIERRA3BDX riflescopes have the look, feel, weight, and size of traditional riflescopes. They feature HD glass for superior resolution and optical clarity, 30mm main tubes, side-focus parallax adjustments, and the LevelPlex™ digital anti-cant system. The BDX-R1 Digital Ballistic Reticle is the evolution of holdover, providing a ballistic solution out to 800 yards with 1 MOA of accuracy.

Rounding out these superior features is SIG SAUER’s kinetic energy transfer indicator: KinETHIC™. KinETHIC provides assistance in assuring an ethical hunt by indicating when energy on target drops below a threshold that can be set by the hunter using the BDX App. “Ethics in hunting are a contract we make with ourselves based on the standards we as sportsmen adhere to as a group, what we feel good about personally, and respect for the game and our hunting traditions,” said Andy York president, SIG SAUER Electro-Optics. “KinETHIC is a feature that asks the hunter to make an educated and ethical decision beforehand by taking into consideration what the velocity and energy capabilities of your bullet and load are to deliver a killing shot. It then lets you know if the shot you are about to take will fulfill this contract. If not, it provides a visual affirmation to stalk-in closer. Knowing your maximum effective hunting range is more than just knowing what you can hit.”

KILO BDX Rangefinders starting at $249.99 MSRP
SIERRA3BDX Riflescopes starting at $499.99 MSRP

Available at Midsouth Shooters in mid July, but you can PRE-ORDER yours HERE!

All SIG SAUER Electro-Optics are covered by the SIG SAUER INFINITE GUARANTEE™, and electronic components under our LIMITED 5-YEAR warranty. Please see sigsauer.com for full details. 

SEE MORE HERE

REVIEW: Leupold FX-II 4x28mm Handgun Scope

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Looking for a high-performance scope to realize the accuracy potential of your handgun? Get a good one… READ MORE

leupold handgun scope

by Major Pandemic

During my review of the EXTAR AR15 pistol, I saw that it had accuracy potential far more than what people give the AR15 pistol format credit for. This pistol deserved a fitting optic that could take advantage of the accuracy without diminishing its close-range capabilities. I chose the Leupold FX-II 4x28mm scope. This scope has enough magnification to exploit the potential of the AR15 pistol format but also plenty of eye relief for arms-length aiming.

EXTAR
Adding this Leupold FX-II brought out the full accuracy potential of this fine EXTAR pistol.

FIT, FINISH, FEEL, FEATURES & FUNCTIONS
Leupold has a long and well-deserved reputation for high-quality optics. Leupold really only makes two pistol models: the FX-II fixed power 4X magnification and the VX-3 variable power scope.
Compared to a rifle scope, handgun optics are actually subjected to higher than normal recoil due to the lower weight of the firearm, and the sometimes very powerful cartridges being shot in handguns. In the past, some shooters used triple or quad rings to help distribute recoil more evenly to the scope tube and provide more rigidity. The reality, though, is that lower quality optics just do not hold up to the punishment some handguns dish out. Leupold pistol scopes are famous for their durability on heavy recoiling pistols. And they have a warranty that will put anyone’s mind at ease.

The Leupold 4x FX-II pistol scope offers all the usual Leupold optic features including their Multicoat 4, Xtended Twilight Lens System, Diamondcoat II and other proprietary image, reflection, light transmission, and durability enhancements. Leupold also delivers some impressive gas waterproofing which actually increases image quality as well.

The 4x FX-II features Twin Bias Spring Erector System, Super Fast-Focus Eyepiece, Lockable Fast-Focus Eyepiece, Clasic/Standard Lockable Eyepiece, Micro-Friction 1/4 MOA, and 1/4 MOA Finger Click. With a 1-inch tube diameter 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum main tube the FX-II delivers a simple mountable scope with very common and less expensive rings.

leupold fx
Leupold makes some of the finest and most durable optics on the planet.

Most people incorporate far too much magnification on both handguns and rifles. The 4X Leupold FX-II handgun scope delivers a usable magnification that is not frustrating to hold steady at arms-length. Once you up magnification beyond that, you can become frustrated with a reticle which keeps jumping around unless shots are taken from an very stable rest. 4X magnification on a handgun is just right and provides the precision needed to reach out beyond distances that eyesight and iron sights can deliver.

Having shot behind a number of handgun optics, the biggest challenge is having an optic that delivers a large enough eye-relief box/window. If the eye-relief box is too narrow, the shooter is constantly fighting the distance the gun is from the eye to see the full field of view and reticle. The Leupold delivers a huge flexible eye-relief box which enables you to concentrate on the target and not finding the right scope mount length.

FINAL THOUGHTS
The Leupold FX-II Handgun scope delivers a proven and reliable design which is specifically built to take the increased punishment a handgun can deliver even the really big handgun rounds like 45-70 and even .308. Obviously the EXTAR 5.56 AR15 pistol didn’t even phase this scope, however it did deliver a super light pistol which when equipped with a scope was more than accurate enough for varminting and plinking all the way out to the 300-yard-line.

leupold fx-II specs

Check it out HERE at Midsouth
Leupold information HERE
Extar

Major Pandemic

[Major Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly. Click HERE to learn more.]

 

HUNTING: Dispelling the Myth about No Hunting on National Parks

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Here’s a closely-kept secret: About 35-percent of our National Park Service properties allow hunting! Here are 5. Read more about this…

Hunting in National Parkis

SOURCE: American Hunter, by Frank Miniter

There is this pervasive myth that national parks don’t allow hunting. Many of the most famous national parks certainly don’t allow hunting, but 59 out of 390 properties administered by the National Park Service (NPS) do allow hunting. In total, about 35 percent of the NPS’ acreage uses hunting to manage game populations, accounting for 29,943,312 acres — 19,677,033 of which are in Alaska.

While interviewing park superintendents for articles, I’ve actually had them tell me that the NPS bans all hunting. When I started naming parks that allow hunting they were baffled and told me those must just be exceptions. When I told them that 35 percent of the NPS’ properties allow hunting they grew quiet. Even they didn’t know the charters for some national parks expressly permit hunting.

Here are five great examples:

1. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore: This NPS-controlled property in Michigan has hunting seasons. The Lakeshore Ranger staff in this 71,187-acre park says they ask “both hunters and non-hunters to follow a few park rules and regulations and to work together in order to have a safe and enjoyable visit.” This park even has a special deer hunt on North Manitou Island each year.

2. Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area: Hunting within the boundaries of Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area is a recognized recreational activity under the Code of Federal Regulations 36 CFR, section 7.55(a). This 100,390-acre park is located in eastern Washington State.

3. Amistad National Recreation Area: Five public hunting areas are available for archery and shotgun hunting at Amistad National Recreation Area during the 2015-2016 hunting season. This 58,500-acre park in Texas has whitetails, javelina, turkeys, rabbits, and exotic mouflon sheep, aoudad sheep and blackbuck antelope. The use of rifles or handguns is prohibited at Amistad National Recreation Area.

4. Assateague Island National Seashore: Public hunting is allowed within the boundaries of Maryland’s 41,320-acre Assateague Island National Seashore. The species available here include whitetails and sika.

5. Grand Teton National Park: An elk hunt in Wyoming’s 310,000-acre Grand Teton National Park was authorized when the park was created in 1950. The hunt is used to regulate the elk population before the animals move to winter feed grounds in the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole.

Critics of such hunts argue that hunting is counter to the NPS’ mission to preserve wildlife within its units. But as any wildlife biologist will tell you, predation –whether done by us or other predators — is a necessary component to keeping deer and elk populations from over-browsing habitat. Over-browsed habitat doesn’t just harm the plant life, it also impacts small game and other species. So, hunting is an important wildlife-management tool for helping park officials to keep the ecosystem healthy.

The deer hunt on the previously mentioned North Manitou Island is a good example of the importance of hunting to maintain a healthy deer herd and a healthy ecosystem. In 1926 four male and five female whitetails were introduced to the island. By 1981 there were an estimated 2,000 deer on the island, says the NPS. “The island vegetation could not sustain such a large herd, so many deer starved. The surviving deer over browsed the island, eating all of the Yew and young Maple trees. Through reduction of the deer herd by hunting, the vegetation has recovered to some extent. Hunts (by permit only) have occurred annually since 1985,” says the NPS.

Those opposed to the elk hunt in the Tetons also argue that the hunt is a danger to the grizzly bear population — some studies have shown that some grizzlies leave Yellowstone National Park (where there is no hunting) to feast on the elk gutpiles left by hunters. Anti-hunters argue that this constitutes a danger to bears and people. Common sense undoes this argument because who is more prepared to deal with an aggressive bear than a hunter? Also, hunters are required to carry bear spray and to use campsites with bear-proof food storage. There is no evidence that hunters are having a negative impact on the grizzly population.

Anti-hunters — these are mostly people who simply don’t understand our natural connection to the earth — also often prefer that NPS properties hire “professional” sharpshooters when a population reduction of deer or elk is so high that its harming the flora and the fauna that depends on the vegetation.

The NPS did recently use sharpshooters to reduce the whitetail population in Valley Forge National Historical Park in Pennsylvania and at the Catoctin Mountain Park in Maryland. The thing is, sharpshooters are expensive. Why hire sharpshooters when millions of Americans are willing to pay to hunt — funding conservation via license sales and taxes on firearms and ammunition — and are eager to do it for free? Hunting is also safe, and the meat is carried out of the woods and eaten by local people. What is more green, more pro-environment, than wildlife biologists using hunters to manage a deer herd?

Though the science is clear that hunting, when properly managed, is necessary and beneficial to wildlife and plant species, some anti-hunters continue to oppose hunting. The National Park Conservation Association (NPCA), for example, recently ran an article in which they did a Q&A with their director of government and legislative affairs, Kristen Brengel, and their legislative representative, Elise Russell Liguori.

The NPCA asked if hunters should hunt in more parks. Brengel said, “It is ridiculous to even think about. Would we interrupt school field trips at Fort McHenry to use the seagulls for target practice? Hunt for squirrels at the Liberty Bell? Shoot clay pots at Chaco Culture National Historic Park? I mean, does our country really benefit from opening these sites to hunting, when there are millions of acres of land that are better suited to hunting, and when it conflicts with so many other ways people already use and enjoy these places, from hiking to bird watching?”

Clay pots? I suppose she meant “clay pigeons.” She is so ignorant of shooting and hunting that she confuses clay pigeons for things used for potting plants. This kind of ignorance, with both hunting and wildlife biology, is the basis for the belief system that opposes our natural role in the environment. To help wildlife, the best thing we can do is educate such people about what hunting does for us and for the environment.

New for 2018: Hornady Adds Nine New Calibers to Precision Hunter Line

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Following its great success with its exclusive Precision Hunter ammo, Hornady is offering even more calibers and loadings. Read more!

Hornady Precision Hunter

SOURCE: NRA Publications, by Philip Massaro

Making a gigantic splash with the ELD-X bullet, Hornady followed suit with the Precision Hunter line, offering that sleek hunting bullet in their loaded ammunition line. Based upon the success of the initial developments, Hornady has expanded that line for 2018.

With a very high Ballistic Coefficient, and bullets that run on the heavier side of average for a given caliber, the ELD-X bullet will get the job done in a multitude of different hunting situations, from near to far.

This year’s new offerings include nine new calibers. Included are 6mm Creedmoor (103-grain), .25-06 Remington (110-grain), .257 Weatherby Magnum (110-grain), 6.5 PRC (143-grain), .270 WSM (145-grain), .280 Ackley Improved (162-grain), 7mm WSM (162-grain), .338 Winchester Magnum (230-grain) and .338 Lapua (270-grain).

As it usually is with Hornady, they’re thinking about not just those newer, long-range cartridges, but of the hunter with a rifle that he or she has loved for some time, and wants to extend the capabilities of that rifle by feeding it modern bullets. I especially like that they’ve decided to give the .270 and 7mm WSM cartridges a breath of life — I know many owners of rifles in those calibers who’ve complained (and rightfully so) about ammunition availability. The Precision Hunter line has been very accurate in my own rifles, as well as those of friends and colleagues, and I’m excited to see how the new offerings will perform.

Hornady Precision Hunter

Check it out HERE at Midsouth!

New for 2018: Nosler M48 Long-Range Carbon Rifle

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Interested in a genuinely capable long-range, hard-hitting, and lightweight rifle? Here you go… Read more!

Nosler Carbon

SOURCE: Shooting Illustrated, by Brad Fitzpatrick

Nosler’s line of unbelted magnum-class cartridges — which started with the .26 Nosler and now include the .28, .30, and .33 Nosler — have been a major success with long-range shooters and hunters. For 2018, Nosler is offering a hunting rifle that may be the perfect complement to their cartridge lineup — the new M48 Long-Range Carbon.

Proof Research supplies the 26-inch Light Sendero-contour carbon fiber-wrapped match-grade barrels, with 5/8×24 threaded muzzles for these rifles — and those barrels are mated to a trued and faced M48 action. The Manners MCS-T carbon fiber Elite Midnight camo stock with high Monte Carlo cheekpiece allows for the use of large-objective scopes and reduces neck pain when shooting from a prone position.

The M48 Long-Range Carbon’s action and lightweight aluminum floorplate feature a durable Cerakote finish in Sniper Gray. The aluminum pillar and glass-bedded stock and Timney trigger further enhance accuracy potential, and Nosler guarantees these guns to shot MOA or better with prescribed ammunition.

In addition to all of its high-tech features, the M48 Long-Range Carbon has a number of other practical design elements that serious hunters will appreciate, like a comfortable textured surfaces, palm swells on the grip and fore-end, dual front ling studs to simplify bipod mounting and a receiver that’s drilled and tapped to accept Remington Model 700 two-piece bases. The push-feed action comes with a dual-lug bolt with plunder-type ejector, and there’s a two-position safety that’s conveniently mounted on the right side of the receiver.

With that beefy target stock and heavy-contour barrel, these guns loom heavy, but the abundance of carbon fiber materials used in the construction of this rifle helps keep overall weight around 7 pounds, depending upon caliber. Speaking of caliber, optional chamberings include 6.5 Creedmoor, .300 Win. Mag., as well as .26, .28, .30, or .33 Nosler.

If you need a long-range rifle that’s light enough to serve as a practical hunting rifle, this is a solid option. The M48 Long-Range Carbon has an MSRP of $2,995.

Read more about this new rifle HERE

HUNTING: Why This Wildlife Biologist Hunts

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Hunting, through the regulated taking of “targeted” game animals, ensures a healthy habitat, a dynamic balance of Nature, the perpetuation of the species. Read more!

larry weishunhn

SOURCE: American Hunter, by Larry L. Weishuhn, wildlife biologist and outdoor TV host

“All life on Earth more or less depends upon the death of something else!” Makes no difference whether the organism is vegetarian, carnivore, or omnivore, or it draws nutrients from the “air.” Our world is essentially a closed system. Nothing comes in from outer space other than sunlight.

I am a hunter and proud to be! I hunt to live. I love wildlife and their habitat. I take the lives, in my instances of fish, game birds, other game, and domestic animals both large and small, as well as vegetable matter to nourish my body and the bodies of my family and sometimes friends. The plants and seeds I eat are, or were, no less alive as the animals I take for food.

This fact of life, even though some seem to rebuke it, does not change things. This makes it easy for me to be a hunter. Food is not created in the “grocery store!” We have food because something living died.

As a professional wildlife biologist, I spent many years researching and working with wildlife species with emphasis on game animals — those with economic value — which, in turn, causes land managers to maintain wildlife species numbers within what the habitat can support in the worst of weather conditions. Doing so maintains a healthy habitat and healthy animals.

A healthy habitat means a variety of plants within that ecosystem. As a result, there is vegetative matter not only for the game animals to feed upon and use as cover, but also a much greater variety of insects for song birds to feed upon, as well as small non-game species. This same vegetation produces seeds which provide food for a great variety of wildlife and we humans. As plants die, their remains are broken down and become nutrients within the soil for ensuing generations of plants.

Hunting, through the regulated taking of “targeted” game animals, ensures a healthy habitat, a dynamic balance of Nature, the perpetuation of the species. But, it is the other animals and plants that exist on that same land where hunting occurs that benefit many times more.

We often forget “man” is part of the ecosystem and Nature, no less than the wild and domesticated animals and plants. This too, is a fact of life. As humans it is up to us to properly manage animals and habitat to maintain and improve the quality of life. From a wildlife biologist’s perspective, in today’s world, as in the time of ancient man, hunting is the most ethical and efficient manner while benefiting wildlife, habitat, and humans.

As long as hunters have a vested interest in wildlife they will continue to pay for conservation of all wild species. Had hunters not always paid the bills, many species — both game and non-game — would have long since disappeared!

About the Author
Legendary “Mr. Whitetail,” Larry Weishuhn, host and owner of DSC’s “Trailing the Hunter’s Moon,” is one of the most popular and widely-recognized wildlife biologists and outdoor media personalities nationwide.

Over the past five decades, he has authored multiple books and numerous articles on hunting and wildlife conservation. In 2004 his book, Trailing the Hunter’s Moon, was named ForeWord Magazine’s Gold Book of the Year in the Adventure and Recreation category.

A lifelong hunter, Weishuhn has long served as a featured speaker for the NRA and other organizations including the Dallas Safari Club (DSC) and the Texas Wildlife Association (TWA), where he was one of three co-founders promoting science-based wildlife management, firearms, and hunting. For more information, click HERE.

HUNTING: 4 Questions You Should Never Ask a Backcountry Outfitter

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A professional guide addresses expectations, reality, preparedness, and mistakes made by his clients. It’s all about your own preparation, research, and showing some respect! READ MORE

western guide

SOURCE: American Hunter, by Jim Zumbo

Part of my career included giving seminars on big-game hunting in the West, mostly elk hunting. I’d also typically have a booth to chat with hunters, sell my books, and converse with other exhibitors, many of whom were outfitters. Most of the time, these seminars were at outdoor expos in large venues located in big cities. Many of the attendees had little or no experience in elk country. Their questions to outfitters were all over the board — some had merit, some did not. As an editor for a major hunting magazine, I was asked many questions as well, and, because I lived in Wyoming, I was the go-to guy for my editors who wanted to experience their first western hunt. Here are four questions that we never want to hear.

1. What’s Your Hunter Success Rate?
While this seems to be a sincere question, let’s look at the meaning of hunter success. Of course, it’s an indicator of how many hunters were successful in taking their animal. The only problem is, it doesn’t reflect reality. Here’s an example. I was on a wilderness elk hunt with four other hunters. I got my bull, along with one other hunter. That means the success rate was 40 percent — not very good when this is a costly dream hunt that you’ve been counting on for years. Why didn’t those other three hunters get their elk? One missed two bulls. He didn’t take the time to find a solid shooting rest, and he shot offhand. He was excited, and he never really had control of his firearm. Another hunter couldn’t see three different bulls in time for a shot. His guide pointed them out, but by the time the hunter saw them, the bulls had disappeared in the timber. The last hunter was reluctant to ride his horse out of camp in the dark. He feared the night woods and was reluctant to ride his horse when it was totally dark. As a result, he never arrived at the hunting area in time to see elk moving from meadows to bedding areas in the forest. He never saw an elk. The result: three hunters failed to score because they weren’t able to capitalize on opportunities — and that’s the key word. It wasn’t the outfitter’s fault that the hunter success wasn’t much higher. So the question to ask is: What is your average hunt opportunity rate? That’s a much fairer question when evaluating the outfitter’s success record.

2. How Far of a Shot Can I Expect?
Some outfitters who mainly hunt heavy timber might tell you that you can expect a 50-yard shot, or no more than a 100-yard shot. Another, who hunts in more open country where longer shots across meadows are common, might say to figure on 200 to 300 yards. But the truth is, most outfitters prefer not to offer this advice, because there’s nothing predictable on a mountain hunt. The danger is that you might not be prepared for variable distances. If the average shot in the timber is expected to be 100 yards or less — and that’s where you’ve sighted in your rifle — what will you do if your bull appears in an opening across the draw 300 yards away? Can you make that shot? Have you fired your rifle at that distance at the range to know where your bullet will hit?

Once, while hunting elk on a bitterly cold day, I stood quietly in heavy forest when I heard elk crunching in the snow. I had expected a close shot on that hunt, but saw several bulls come into view on a small open ledge 300 yards away. Luckily, I made the shot work, primarily because I’ve practiced with the rifle I was carrying repeatedly at distances up to 350 yards. Another mistake is bringing along that .30-30 that’s perfect in your Pennsylvania hardwood forest with plenty of thick mountain laurel, but not so good when that long shot in elk country presents itself. The answer is to be prepared for any eventuality. Bring a rifle you know can take out a gnat’s eyeball at any reasonable distance, and you’ll be comfortable that your gun is up to the task in the elk woods.

3. If I Score at the Beginning of the Hunt, Can I Leave Early?
This seems like a fair enough question — and some outfitters may allow it — but it can be a logistical complication for a backcountry hunt, when the outfitter would need to pack up you and your gear and send a guide down the trailhead with you. This is especially bothersome if it’s a long horseback ride to the road. In the area where I live in the mountains of northwest Wyoming, the average horseback ride to the wilderness tent camp can be 20 miles, some as far in as 30 or more. That means it would take two full days to make a round trip.

Prepare to stay the duration and enjoy the wild surroundings. You might consider bringing a camera with a telephoto lens to take outdoor images, or a couple books. Many mountain camps have streams or lakes close by, sometimes within walking distance of camp. Check with the outfitter beforehand. If fishing is available, pack a compact fishing rod and be sure to buy a fishing license before you head into the woods.

4. Should I Bring Binoculars?
Dumb question? Believe it or not, many hunters will ask it, though most are inexperienced in western mountain country. Some have expectations that their guide will do all the glassing and point out the quarry. The inherent danger here is that the guide might be looking at an elk standing in the timber, being able to see it clearly, but you can’t because you don’t have binoculars. Borrowing your guide’s isn’t a good idea because he’ll no doubt be reluctant to take them off when he’s having a staring contest with a bull. What about substituting your scope instead of binoculars? This is a really bad idea for two reasons. First, binoculars are far more effective in making out a distant or partially hidden animal than a scope. The second and more important reason is for safety purposes.

Here’s a scenario. You see movement in the brush. You can’t make it out, so you raise your rifle to look through the scope. As it turns out, a person appears out of the brush. You are then aiming your rifle directly at a human being. If an outfitter catches you doing that, he’s apt to send you home, and rightly so. Bring binoculars on your western hunt. You don’t have to buy a four-digit set if you can’t afford it. There are plenty that are far less expensive and perfectly adequate in the elk woods.

By avoiding these questions, your outfitter won’t have to second-guess your woods savvy. You’re already ahead of the game even though you’ve never stepped into the western mountains before — and that’s a big advantage as you prepare for that big, long awaited hunt.

NEW: Wilson Combat .458 HAM’R Tactical Hunter

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Bill Wilson upped the ante on successfully hunting with an AR-15. This new round sets a new standard for power. Read all about it!

wilson 458 HAM'R

Billed as the hardest-hitting, most powerful AR-platform rifle on the market today, the Wilson Combat .458 HAM’R Tactical Hunter looks to be a force to reckon with.

The new .458 HAM’R cartridge has a rebated rim that fits a standard AR-10-size bolt-face, but the hybrid receiver design allows for the use of a bolt-carrier group that’s 0.75-inch shorter than a standard AR-10 bolt, and the rifle feeds using standard AR-15 magazines from Lancer Systems.

Designed exclusively by Bill Wilson and the Wilson Combat staff, the .458 HAM’R produces up to 46,000 PSI and better than 3,000 foot-pounds of muzzle energy from an 18-inch barrel, exceeding the energy produced by other big-bore AR cartridges like .450 Bushmaster, .458 SOCOM, and .50 Beowulf. The energy produced by the round enables it to be used easily to hunt all big-game animals in North America, as well as for tactical applications.

Wilson Combat released two rifles chambered in the new cartridge, both with similar specifications: the Wilson Combat Tactical Hunter and the Ultimate Hunter. The Tactical Hunter is built with an 18-inch fluted barrel complete with a threaded muzzle and features a billet upper and lower receiver, the upper receiver providing a flattop Picatinny-rail section for optics mounting. With the stock collapsed, the gun measures 34.25 inches long and weighs 7 pounds, 11 ounces. The Ultimate Hunter variation features a carbon fiber fixed stock. There are barrel options.

The rifle uses a mid-length gas system controlled by an SLR Rifleworks adjustable gas block. The barrel and gas tube are surrounded by Wilson Combat’s own 14.6-inch M-Lok accessory rail and comes with three Ergo Grips rail covers. Other furniture provided on the rifle includes a Rogers/Wilson Super-Stoc and a Wilson Combat/BCM Starburst Gunfighter pistol grip.

Finish-wise, the rifle comes with the company’s durable green-and-black Armor-Tuff finish. Other finish options are available at an additional charge. The bolt-carrier group features a durable, low-friction NP3 coating, and the gun is equipped with the Wilson Combat Tactical Trigger Unit. The suggested retail price on the Tactical Hunter starts at $2,905, and Ultimate Hunter starts at $3055.

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HUNTING: America’s Oldest Hunter Bags Third Deer of the Season at 104 Years Old

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Pretty amazing story… Read it all!

104 year old hunter

SOURCE: American Hunter

By all accounts, Clyde Roberts of Evington, Virginia, with 104 years under his belt, is the oldest active hunter in the country. According to The Roanoke Times, he has already taken three deer during the 2017 season — an accomplishment any hunter, regardless of age, should be proud of.

While most assume Roberts is a lifelong hunter who can’t seem to take himself out of the woods he’s always loved, the truth is that Roberts is a late bloomer when it comes to hunting, having begun his journey after retirement at the age of 65. According to OutdoorHub, Roberts began his hunting career 40 years ago as a way to pass the extra time retirement afforded him, and with a rifle purchased by his son Mike, Roberts has failed to notch his tag only once, after an injury in his early 90s kept him out of the woods.

As if his age alone doesn’t set him apart, Roberts tagged three deer, two does and a very respectable 8-point buck, during the 2017 Virginia season; a feat, according to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, only 6 percent of the state’s hunters accomplish. On his latest hunt, with his son Mike by his side, Roberts was loaded for bear holding a .270 when a few does appeared. When Clyde spotted a buck, Mike grunted to stop him, and the .270 echoed through the wood, cartwheeling the big 8-pointer.

Congratulations to Clyde Roberts on another successful season, and best wishes in the seasons to come. His recent 8-pointer marks the 11th deer he has taken since turning 100 years of age!