December 18th, 2014

Boone and Crockett Club Rejects Scoring for Captive Game

Boone & Crockett Club Hunting fair chaseThe Boone and Crockett Club (B&C) has renounced the use of its name and scoring system in conjunction with hunting programs that use captive deer and elk. “With the growth of the deer breeding and shooting industry, and modern marketing and selling of ‘shooter bucks’ raised in captivity and graded and sold using B&C scores, it was time to make this unauthorized use of our scoring system more widely known,” said B&C club president William A. Demmer.

The Idaho Statesman agrees: “The Boone and Crockett Club has reinforced its heritage as a conservation organization by banning the use of its name and scoring system for captive deer and elk advertised for or killed in canned hunts. It’s the right call for the club and an important step to separate trophy, free-ranging big-game animals taken by hunters under fair-chase conditions from captive animals manipulated to grow large antlers and shot in a controlled, captive environment.”

For nearly 100 years Boone and Crockett’s record books and B&C scores have been considered the gold standard for evaluating and verifying the trophy quantity of wild, native North American big game taken under fair chase conditions. With this resolution, ratified at Boone and Crockett’s 127th annual meeting this month, B&C is taking a firm stand against captive game hunting programs:

The Boone and Crockett Club scoring system exists to document the successful conservation of wild game animals in North America. The Boone and Crockett Club objects to and rejects any use of or reference to the Boone and Crockett Club or its scoring system in connection with antlers/horns grown by animals in captivity.

Through this official resolution, the Club reaffirms that no one is authorized to exploit this standard by using the B&C scoring system, name or logo in connection with captive animals. The Club strictly opposes any attempt to legitimize the trophy quality of pen-raised animals or put and take shooting operations by associating either with the Boone and Crockett Club.

About Boone and Crockett Club Scoring
The Boone and Crockett Club’s records program was established in 1906 as a way of detailing species once thought headed for extinction. In response to public interest generated by B&C’s National Collection of Heads and Horns in the 1920s, and increased hunting by the general public, the Club established an official measurement and scoring system for trophy big game. The National Collection and the measurement system were initially conceived to record species of North American big game thought to be vanishing. Club Members and others in the scientific community soon recognized that the system was an effective means of tracking the success of new conservation policies. Today, the B&C scoring system is used to collect data on free-ranging big game. These data reflect successful conservation efforts, population health and habitat quality. Biologists compare and contrast records to improve local management strategies as well as state and federal wildlife policies.

Boone & Crockett Club Hunting fair chase

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News 2 Comments »
December 9th, 2014

Shotshell-Style Thermos Bottle — Great Gift for a Shooter

You’re looking at the #1 product our readers have purchased at Amazon.com this month. And we’re not surprised. What outdoorsman would not want a thermos configured like an giant-sized shotgun shell? This is an ideal gift for the shooting enthusiast. Stansport offers shotshell-style thermal bottles in two sizes. The “12 gauge” bottle holds 25 ounces of liquid while the smaller “20 gauge” bottle carries 16 ounces. Both bottles feature a brass-colored screw-on top that doubles as a drinking cup. There is a second, gasket-sealed stopper with a quick-dispense feature. This allows you to pour the hot contents without needing to remove the screw-in stopper. That’s smart — one less item to drop on the ground.

12ga Shotgun Shell Thermos — 25 oz.

Shotshell Thermos

Stansport 12 Gauge Shotshell Thermo Bottle-Red 25 oz. #8970-60

These shotshell thermal cannisters are offered in four colors: Red, Black, Green, and Yellow (16 oz. only). All shotshell thermal bottles feature double-wall 18-8 stainless steel insulated construction with insulated cap. Prices for the red, 25-oz. version start at $27.31 on Amazon.com. (Other colors may cost more — also check for free shipping offers).

20ga Shotgun Shell Thermos — 16 oz.

Shotshell Thermos

Stansport 20 Gauge Shotshell Thermo Bottle-Yellow 16 oz. #8950-20

Shotshell Thermos Demo Video on YouTube
A hunter who owns one of these Shotshell Thermos bottles has posted a video of his bottle on YouTube. The video will give you an idea of the size of the cannister and how the outer cap/cup and inner stopper work. CLICK HERE to watch Shotshell Thermos Video.

Disclosure: AccurateShooter.com has an affiliate relationship with Amazon.com.
Permalink Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
December 3rd, 2014

Smith & Wesson Acquires Battenfeld Technologies

Smith Wesson Battenfeld technologies acquireSmith & Wesson (S&W), has agreed to acquire Battenfeld Technologies, Inc. for $130.5 million in cash. The acquisition is expected to close in December. In acquiring Battenfeld, S&W will become an industry leading in the sales of hunting, shooting, and reloading tools and accessories. Battenfeld markets dozens of popular products such as Tipton gun vises, Frankford Arsenal tumblers, Caldwell shooting rests, and Goldenrod safe heaters.

Founded 22 years ago, Battenfeld Technologies has generated a largely organic* compound annual revenue growth rate in excess of 18% (Since 2006). Based in a 145,000-square-foot facility in Columbia, Missouri, Battenfeld Technologies develops and sells shooting, reloading, gunsmithing, and gun cleaning supplies under several brands, including Caldwell, Frankford Arsenal, GoldenRod, Lockdown, Tipton, and Wheeler Engineering. Battenfeld grew rapidly by developing new products and by acquiring smaller accessories makers such as BOG-POD and GoldenRod.

Smith Wesson Battenfeld technologies acquire

Acquisition Helps S&W Expand Accessories Business with Strong Brand
James Debney, Smith & Wesson President and CEO, said, “Battenfeld Technologies… fits perfectly within our core firearm business. It also allows us to move more strongly into the hunting vertical as well as establish a strong platform for growth in our existing firearm accessories business[.] Battenfeld Technologies’ sophisticated sourcing and distribution infrastructure, should provide a solid framework for organic and inorganic growth as the new accessories division of Smith & Wesson. Our intention is that eventually all existing Smith & Wesson®, M&P®, and Thompson/Center Arms accessories will be housed within this new division.”

*Biz Terminology 101: Organic growth is the process of business expansion due to increasing overall customer base, increased output per customer or representative, new sales, or any combination of the above, as opposed to mergers and acquisitions, which are examples of inorganic growth.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News 2 Comments »
November 30th, 2014

PrecisionRifleBlog.com Tests Range-Finding Binoculars

Last year, PrecisionRifleBlog.com published results from the most comprehensive field test of rangefinder binoculars ever conducted. The comparison test included virtually every product then available in the USA. If you are thinking about getting a set of binoculars with range-finding capability, you should definitely read this test. Here we summarize key findings of the test, but you’ll want to read the FULL STORY.

Six range-finding binocular optics (and two monocular rangefinders) were field-tested in a variety scenarios to see which had the best performance in terms of both optical clarity and ranging capabilities. The results are based on over 10,000 data points collected from the field over 3 months of testing. Cal Zant, author of PrecisionRifleBlog.com, published a series of posts with exhaustive details about his optical and ranging tests and results, but we’ll hit the highlights here.

Ranging Binocular Field Test and Reviews

VOICE FILE: Click Button to Hear Cal Zant TALK about Rangefinder Binocular Test

Six of the models tested were binoculars, and the other two were monoculars. The Leupold monocular was included for reference, because many shooters have a 1,000-yard rangefinder similar to the RX-1000. The Vectronix Terrapin model was included as the control for ranging performance, because it is known to be an extremely accurate rangefinder (spoiler alert: it is). Cal provides a very detailed side-by-side spec comparison for these models in one of his posts.

Ranging Test Results

Rangefinder Binocular ReviewEach model was used to range 500+ times in a variety of scenarios from 25 to over 30,000 yards. The tests showed these models had similar performance at close and mid-range targets, but at 600 yards their performance started to diverge … so that is where most of the testing was focused.

The chart below summarizes the ranging performance found on the test targets in ideal conditions, which was from a sturdy tripod, at sunset, with 10+ mile visibility. The exact target shape and surroundings varied, but the targets were all approximately 2 MOA wide, highly reflective, and perpendicular to the rangefinder. Specifics on target dimensions, view from the ranging position, and target surroundings are given in the detailed ranging performance results post.

Rangefinder Binoculars Review Ranging Performance Under Ideal Light Conditions

Vectronix is the leader of the rangefinder world, and that was proved once again in these tests. The new Leica Geovid HD-B wasn’t far behind them, with accurate ranging beyond 1 mile. The Zeiss Victory RF also had surgical precision off a tripod, although it had a reduced range compared to the Vectronix and Leica. The Bushnell Fusion 1 Mile also proved to be able to range targets out to their claimed max range of 1,760 yards.

PrecisionRifleBlog.com also tested the ranging performance of each model in bright lighting conditions, and offhand as well. The data from those tests also contained a few surprises. To determine how accurate each model really was, Cal Zant carefully analyzed the results from each model when aimed at precisely positioned, “known distance” targets. To see how those tests turned out, or learn more details about specific models, GO TO full results.

Optical Test Results

Rangefinder Binoculars Review Optical QualityFor the optics tests, Cal’s goal was to find an objective, data-driven approach to testing optical performance. What he came up with was placing eye exam charts from 600 to 1,400 yards with different size letters, and then recording what two different people could accurately read with each model. The data for each unit was summed into a single score so they could be ranked relative to how much detail the testers could make out. More specifics are provided regarding how the test was conducted and how scores were calculated in the optical performance results post. Here are the results from Cal’s data-driven approach:

Rangefinder Binoculars Review Optical Quality

The Leica Geovid HD-B edged out the other models for the top spot, with its completely new, Perger-Porro prism design. The original Leica Geovid HD, and Zeiss Victory RF also showed great optical clarity.

The Rest of the Story

Cal’s full series of posts is very informative. He’s done tons of analysis on the data, and summarizes it in several charts that provide a lot of insight. Cal is also in the process of publishing detailed reviews on each model, including notes he and the other testers compiled for each unit. They used them all — a lot, so they have a unique perspective on what’s good or bad about each. Find out more at the link below:

CLICK HERE to Read Full Article with More Info

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Optics 4 Comments »
November 27th, 2014

Outdoor Images from Jim Borden — A Thanksgiving Day Gallery

Readers know Jim Borden as a Hall of Fame shooter and the owner of Borden Accuracy/Borden Rifles. Jim won 10 IBS National Championships, set 10 IBS world records, and was inducted into the Benchrest Hall of Fame in 1996. But Jim is not just a great shooter. This highly-trained engineer is very much a Renaissance man. He is as skilled with cameras as he is with benchrest rifles.

Jim Borden Photography Rimrock Rifles

Jim Borden Photography Rimrock RiflesJim is a talented outdoor photographer who has compiled an impressive portfolio of wildlife and landscape photographs. For our Thanksgiving-day edition of the Daily Bulletin we are featuring some of Jim’s favorite nature images. We hope readers enjoy them as much as shooters prize Borden’s Rimrock benchrest and Rimrock hunting actions.

Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, in a hunting household and hunting community, Jim learned about shooting at a very early age. He started hunting at the age of nine with his father and grandfather. His grandfather had an avid interest in photography while they were on hunts and Jim became interested as well. Jim began using SLR cameras in the 1970s, often carrying cameras on his hunts. As the years passed, Jim became more interested in “shooting” the animals with a camera versus a gun. Jim converted from film to digital in 2006 and in 2007 Jim’s wife Joan started accompanying Jim on the photo safaris. Jim has a particular passion for elk, moose, and eagles and Jim also enjoys scenic photography. Jim and Joan both shoot Nikon professional equipment. Their photographs can be viewed at www.BordenPhotography.com. You’ll also find Jim’s images (along with photography tips) on his JandJB Wildlife Photography Blog.

Jim Borden Photography Rimrock Rifles

Jim Borden Photography Rimrock Rifles

Jim Borden Photography Rimrock Rifles

Jim Borden Photography Rimrock Rifles

All in the Family
Jim’s grandfather was a gunsmith who taught Jim the trade when Jim was very young. Jim’s father and grandfather ran a country business that included an auto repair shop, welding, a small lathe, and a forge. Jim earned a degree in Mechanical engineering at Penn State University. For 23 years he worked for Procter and Gamble (P&G) as an engineer and as an engineering manager/project manager.

Jim Borden Photography Rimrock Rifles

Jim Borden Photography Rimrock RiflesBorden Rifles — A Success Story
Borden Accuracy/Borden Rifles has been a source for precision benchrest and hunting rifles for many years. Jim started doing his own gunsmithing while competing in benchrest and high power silhouette matches. Jim launched his business in 1987, working nights and weekends while still employed at P&G. The business became full-time in 1995 with Jim and his wife Joan doing the work. The business was expanded in 1999 with the construction of the new Springville, PA facility and the addition of sons Jim Jr. and John to the staff. Son-in-law John Mecca came onboard in January 2000.

Jim and company began making Rimrock benchrest and Rimrock hunting actions in 2001. They added Borden Alpine and Timberline actions in 2006. These actions are made in an advanced manufacturing facility which has three CNC vertical Machining centers, three CNC lathes, three manual lathes, a manual knee mill, a surface grinder, a cylindrical grinder and wire EDM machine. To learn more, visit BordenRifles.com, call 570-965-2505, or send email to info [at] bordenrifles.com.

Jim Borden Photography Rimrock Rifles

Permalink Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
November 27th, 2014

Turkey Shooting Game for the Holiday Hunter

OK, you’re feelin’ fat and happy after the traditional Thanksgiving Day feast and you need to kill some time. Sure you could rake the leaves or wash the dishes, but why not have some mindless fun targeting turkeys with this online video game? Be forewarned, this Turkey Shoot Game starts pretty easy, but those gobblers get sneakier as you move up in levels. Also — you can take your time and still get through the first five levels, just try to avoid misses.

For more fun, use the up/down and left/right keys on your keyboard to move around the 3D forest and sneak up on the gobblers hiding behind the bushes. Have fun, and enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday!

turkey shoot flash game


CLICK HERE for Turkey Shoot Video Game.
Warning: Loud, shotgun sounds not appropriate for work.

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November 26th, 2014

FREE Turkey Target for Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. What better way to celebrate the occasion than to blast away at some bearded gobblers (of the paper variety). Here’s our festive Turkey Day target, ready for some family fun. This special Turkey Bullseye Target was created by our friend and Forum member Pascal (aka “DesertFrog”). CLICK HERE for FREE Turkey Target.

Varmint Turkey Free Targets Thanksgiving

Get Turkey and Other Critters
For your convenience, we’ve packaged the Turkey Target along with five (5) other varmint/animal-themed targets. These are all offered in .pdf (Adobe Acrobat) format for easy printing.

CLICK HERE to download all SIX targets in .Zip archive.

Varmint Turkey Free Targets Thanksgiving

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News No Comments »
November 22nd, 2014

The 22BR as General-Purpose Varmint Cartridge

Richard Franklin (who operated Richard’s Custom Rifles prior to his retirement), has built scores of varmint rifles, in many different calibers. One of Richard’s all-time favorite varmint rifles is a 14-twist, 22BR built on his model 11 stock in laminated Black Walnut and fiddleback maple. Richard says the rifle is versatile and deadly accurate out to 400 yards. Richard uses a Leupold 8.5-25x50mm LRT with varmint reticle.

“This is my light walking varminter. It’s built on a blueprinted SS Remington 700 short action and chambered as a no-turn 22 BR for Lapua brass. The bolt handle is a Dave Kiff replacement and I’ve fitted a Jewel BR trigger with bottom safety. Barrel is a Lilja, 1:14″ # 6 contour with a muzzle diameter of .750″. I shoot the 40gr V-Max in the rifle at 4000 FPS. Its tough on hogs if you don’t try them too far. 400 yards is about the max with it. Accuracy is outstanding and with Roy, Mike, my grandson and myself shooting this rifle I don’t believe it has missed more than 3 hogs out of over 100 shot at this summer. This rifle is carried in a ceiling rack in the truck where its handy and is used by the first person that grabs it when a hog is sighted if we are moving between setups. The Varmint reticle on the Leupold is nice for quick hold-overs as you change distances.”

Detail of Model 11 Stock (Different Rifle in Birdseye Maple)

22BR Rivals 22-250 Performance
With bullets in the 40gr to 60gr weight range, the 22BR gives up very little in velocity to a 22-250, despite burning quite a bit less powder (30-32 grains for the 22BR vs. 35-38 grains for the 22-250). With a match-quality chamber, the 22BR will probably have an edge in accuracy over a 22-250, and you should experience longer barrel life. Here are some recommended 22BR loads for 40-60gr bullets:

For more info on the 22BR for varminting, read our 22BR Cartridge Guide

Permalink Hunting/Varminting 2 Comments »
November 20th, 2014

LSU Develops Shooting System for Disabled Marksmen

Story by Kyle Jillson for NRABlog.com
The NRA Foundation is proud to support Louisiana State University’s Mobile Marksman Project, a system developed by the LSU Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design Program to help high-level quadriplegics to participate in the shooting sports. The nearly $2,200 grant funded the 2014 system, the team’s final design iteration.

Mobile Marksman disabled quadraplegic software LSU

Mobile Marksman disabled quadraplegic software LSUCreated in 2009, the Mobile Marksman Project is a manually-controlled shooting platform that allows handicapped hunters to aim and fire a mounted firearm with head-tracking software and a small tube that is activated with a puff of air.

Capstone Design Instructor Capt. Dave Giurintano and the Mobile Marksman team worked with high-level quadriplegics to address system requirements and create a lightweight, portable system that is simple to use and enjoy. Recent additions include recoil-absorbing legs and a rail-mounted camera that displays the crosshairs and target on a high-resolution digital screen.

“It has been our profound pleasure to have a hand in working on it, to extend the hunting and shooting experience to everyone, regardless of physical disability,” said Garen Armbruster, Mobile Marksman Team Leader.

Mobile Marksman disabled quadraplegic software LSU

Established in 1990, The NRA Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that raises tax-deductible contributions in support of a wide range of firearm-related public interest activities of the National Rifle Association of America and other organizations. These activities are designed to promote firearm and hunting safety, to enhance marksmanship skills, and to educate the general public about firearms.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News No Comments »
November 16th, 2014

Chuck’s Dazzling Dasher Duo — A Pair of Beauties

Forum Member Chuck L. (aka “Ridgeway”) has created a handsome duo of 6mm Dashers for competitive benchrest and varmint matches in Pennsylvania. Both guns are built on Kelbly Panda RBLP actions, with Bartlein 8-twist barrels, and Shehane Laminated Tracker Stocks. However, the two rifles are not exact twins, as you can see. One, which we’ll call the Big Dasher, is built on a Shehane ST1000 Tracker stock. The other gun, the Small Dasher, sports Shehane’s “Baby Tracker” stock — a design used with great success by Richard Schatz. The Big Dasher, optimized for 1000-yard competition, also has a slightly longer freebore — 0.136″ vs. 0.104″ for the Small Dasher.

6mm Dasher Shehane duo

6mm Dasher Shehane duo

Chuck tells us: “I don’t get out shooting competition as much as I want due to time and family, but when I do compete, I shoot a Groundhog match at Southfork Rifle Club in Beaverdale, PA. Info on Southfork Club events can be found at Southforkrifleclub.com. The Southfork match is basically a 100-, 300- and 500-yard match with one sighter the entire match and 5 shots at each yardage for score. The Small Dasher, with the shorter ‘Baby Tracker’ stock, was set up for the Southfork Rifle Club’s ‘Light Unlimited’ class which has a 13.5-lb max weight.” (Editor: ‘unlimited’ is a misnomer for a weight-limited category.)

Chuck adds: “The Big Dasher with the heavy ST-1000 stock is set up for 1000-yard benchrest matches in Light Gun class. I hope to shoot a couple 1K matches with it at Reade Range in southwest Pennsylvania. I am still in load development for this rifle since it was just finished in January. One ironic thing is, it shoots the same load I’m shooting out of the lighter gun rather well. The only difference between the two chambers is the freebore is roughly thirty thousandths longer on the 1K gun (Large Dasher). I will also shoot this at Southfork in the ‘Heavy Unlimited’ class.”

6mm Dasher Shehane duo

Specifications for the Dasher Duo:

Small Dasher (13.5-pounder): Chambered for 6mm Dasher with approximately .104 freebore and a .264 NK. (No way of knowing exactly since it freebore was done in a separate operation by Kelbly.) Components are: Shehane Baby Tracker stock, Kelbly Panda RPLB action, Bartlein 1:8″ LV barrel at 26 ¾”, Kelbly Rings, Weaver T36, Jewell trigger. The barrel was chambered by Kelblys and the stock was bedded, glued and balanced by a shooting buddy (Forum Member johara1). I clear-coated the stock with auto urethane. Total weight is 13 lbs., 4 ounces.

Big Dasher (1K Light Gun, 17-pounder): Chambered for 6mm Dasher with a .136 freebore and .264 neck (PTG Reamer). Components are: Shehane ST-1000 stock, Kelbly Panda RPLB action, Bartlein 1:8″ HV 5R barrel at 28″, Shehane +20-MOA rings, Nightforce NXS 12-42x56mm, Jewell trigger. The barrel work, pillar installation, and bedding was done by Dave Bruno. The stock was clear-coated by Chuck with auto urethane. Chuck also made the rear butt plate and balanced the rifle. Total weight: 16 lbs., 13 ounces.

Dasher Case-Forming: Neck-Turn then Fire-form with Bullets Hard in Lands
To fireform, I turn my cases down to fit the chamber and stop where the false shoulder makes snug contact with the chamber. Fire-forming rounds are loaded up with a 29-grain charge of H4895 or Varget and a 108gr Berger bullet seated hard into the lands about 0.020″ past initial contact with the rifling. It takes about three firings to make a nice clean Dasher case with a sharp shoulder. I anneal about every 3-4 firings. I have many cases that have about 10+ firings on them and they are still shooting well. The primer pockets are a little looser, but still hold a primer.

6mm Dasher case fire-forming fireform

Both Dashers Group in the Ones at 100 Yards
My main bullet for both rifles is the 107gr Sierra MK, loaded with Reloder 15 powder, Lapua cases and CCI 450 primers. My main load for the Small Dasher is 33.0 grains of Reloder 15. This load shoots in the ones at 100 yards. For the Big Dasher, I’m still working on a load, although the same 33.0 grain load shoots in the ones in the heavier gun as well. I’m still looking for more velocity and my ‘max’ node. So far, I’ve gone well above 33.0 grains of RL 15 without pressure signs, but that load produces vertical at 100 yards, so I’m going to tinker with the load until I see pressure or it starts to shoot.

Permalink Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting 4 Comments »
November 15th, 2014

Hunting Tip: How to Plot Your Cold Bore Point of Impact

Commonly, hunters won’t have the ability to fire one or two fouling shots before heading out on a hunt. Therefore it’s important that a hunter understands how his rifle shoots with a “cold bore shot”. Both the point of impact (and possibly velocity), may be different with a cold bore than with a barrel that has been warmed and fouled with a series of shots. In this video from the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU), you’ll learn how to determine your cold bore point of impact (POI) for a rifle that just been cleaned, as well as the cold bore POI with a barrel that has already been “fouled in”.

SGT Joe Hein of the USAMU shows how to plot cold bore POI with both a clean bore and a fouled bore. Note that the “cold bore” shot from a fouled barrel was closer to the follow-up shots than the cold bore shot from a clean barrel. This is typical of many factory barrels. SGT Hein provides a simple way to understand your rifle’s cold bore performance. Hein’s advice can keep you from missing that long range shot at that big buck on opening day. A little time spent on the range before that critical first shot will help ensure you have meat in the freezer this season.

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting 5 Comments »
November 13th, 2014

Aoudad for Dad (and Son) — The Pilants Hunt Texas

If you’ve ever visited the Sierra Bullets booth at the NRA convention or SHOT Show, you’ve probably encountered Carroll Pilant, a very knowledgeable fellow who serves as Sierra’s Media Relations Manager. Carroll loves what he does, and he’s a true firearms enthusiast. Recently Carroll had the opportunity to hunt Aoudad and a variety of other exotic game species in Texas. Joining Carroll on this Aoudad adventure was his son Hunter Pilant.

Carroll Pilant Auodad hunting texas

Carroll has authored an account of his Texas hunt for the Sierra Blog. Here’s a sample, with some photos. The full story also covers Javelina hunting. CLICK HERE to read to full story.

Aoudad Hunting in Texas by Carroll Pilant
Aoudad, also known as Barbary sheep, have been a passion of mine for the last few years. I saw my first wild Aoudad back in 1973 or 1974 while I was working on the U Ranch. The U Ranch was part of the King Ranch in Balmorhea, Texas. The ranch headquarters sets at the base of the Barrilla Mountains — rugged territory. Aoudad had been stocked in some of the high fence areas for hunting purposes along with many other exotic game animals such as Nilgi, Ibex, Blackbuck. Many escaped from the game ranches and thrived in the arid Texas and New Mexico country that is very similar to the areas they originated from. Texas classes them as exotic or non-game animals and they can be hunted year-round. For $48 you can purchase a 5-day nonresident special hunting permit good for all the exotics.

Two years ago, a good friend of mine in Fort Stockton, Texas arranged for me to hunt in the Glass Mountains on a nearly 400-square-mile ranch. I harvested my first Aoudad and that really whetted my desire to take a larger one.

My son, Hunter Pilant at Starline Brass, had already volunteered to go with me…. That would give us a little father / son time together. We were both busy and it put us scrambling at the last minute trying to get ammo loaded, rifles zeroed … and the vehicle packed. The rifle I chose to take was my Remington 700 in 7mm Magnum with the #1940 175 grain SBT bullet. Hunter was using a Savage in .300 RSAUM with the #2160 180 grain SBT. Aoudad are tough animals and can soak up a lot of lead, so you need to use a tough bullet.

We were lucky the first day hunting in that we had Aoudad right off the bat. We watched about 20 Aoudad (with three rams) feeding right under a cliff at about 1200 yards. About an hour of driving through really rough terrain finally put us in an area where we could come in from above. Guesstimating at where they were below us, Hunter went several hundred yards to my left and I just worked my way to the edge of the ledge above the cliff.

Carroll Pilant Auodad hunting texas

A quick plan was devised. Hunter would slip up to the edge of the cliff and hopefully they would be feeding below him. When he shot, we hoped they would come past me heading to the higher elevation. We were watching Hunter as he slipped up to the edge and I kept checking to my right, when I noticed a ram come over a ridge and start working his way down into a canyon out of my sight. I was afraid to shoot because it would spook the group Hunter was looking for. Since I had already taken animals the last two years, I wanted Hunter to get a chance. The ram I was watching disappeared into the canyon. I waited for him to come out but was afraid he had went down it rather than coming back up on my side. All of a sudden, he popped up over a point out in front of me at about 200 yards.

Photo of Hunter Pilant, the author’s son and hunting partner on this trip.
Carroll Pilant Auodad hunting texas

I got my rifle ready and decided to wait until I just had to shoot, hoping that Hunter would find the main group and get a shot. Hunter spotted a ram and shot. The ram I was watching whirled and started to run back the way he had came. I had a foot-wide gap in the cedar that I could shoot through and at the shot, I heard the bullet thump and he disappeared over the edge. CLICK to Read Full Story

Permalink Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »