The new Leupold Thermal Optics (LTO) Tracker is a hand-held, heat-detection device designed as a multi-purpose hunting tool for game observation and game recovery. A high-performance thermal spotter, the LTO Tracker can detect heat sources out to 600 yards. The advanced thermal imaging engine fires up in less than three seconds and offers fast 30hz frame rates.
The hand-held unit features a 20-degree field of view and 6x digital zoom. Five different thermal filters provide multiple viewing options. The LTO’s CR123 lithium battery provides more than 10 hours of continuous use. A user-controlled reticle allow the user to quickly pinpoint a game animal or other thermal source. MSRP for the LTO Tracker is $874.99.
Use LTO Thermal to Track Animals and Guide your Hunt
From checking your ingress path to your stand, to helping track wounded animals, the LTO Thermal can perform many tasks. Hunters can use the LTO Tracker to spot their quarry’s heat trail and efficiently recover the downed animal. Using the LTO Thermal, hunters can also plan their walk to their stand or blind with minimal risk of scaring off game. Where legal, varmint or feral hog hunters can use the LTO Tracker to identify their quarry, leading to more successful hunts.
“We see thermal as a vital tool in any hunter’s kit, just like binoculars or laser rangefinders,” said Tim Lesser, vice president of product development for Leupold & Stevens, Inc. “For observation and recovering downed game, the LTO Tracker will help hunters find success in the field.”
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It’s hunting season, and we know many readers will be pursuing a prize buck this fall. But how will your hunting load perform? That depends on shot placement, energy, and terminal ballistics.
You’ve probably heard the term “Terminal Ballistics”. But do you really know what this refers to? Fundamentally, “Terminal Ballistics” describes the behavior of a projectile as it strikes, enters, and penetrates a target. Terminal Ballistics, then, can be said to describe projectile behavior in a target including the transfer of kinetic energy. Contrast this with “External Ballistics” which, generally speaking, describes and predicts how projectiles travel in flight. One way to look at this is that External Ballistics covers bullet behavior before impact, while terminal ballistics covers bullet behavior after impact.
The study of Terminal Ballistics is important for hunters, because it can predict how pellets, bullets, and slugs can perform on game. This NRA Firearm Science video illustrates Terminal Ballistics basics, defining key terms such as Impact Crater, Temporary Cavity, and Primary Cavity.
External Ballistics, also called “exterior ballistics”, is the part of ballistics that deals with the behavior of a non-powered projectile in flight.
Terminal Ballistics, a sub-field of ballistics, is the study of the behavior and effects of a projectile when it hits its target.
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John Nosler lived 97 years, passing in 2010. During his long lifetime, John was an iconic figure in the shooting world. Considered a true pioneer in bullet and ammunition design, Nosler developed the famous Partition bullet in the 1940s. Born on April 4, 1913 in Brawley, California, John built his business from scratch. He founded his bullet company in 1948, and was considered to be one of the great innovators whose designs literally created the premium bullet category and influenced ammunition manufacturers worldwide.
Moose-Hunt Inspires Partition Bullet Design
While hunting in Canada, John experienced a bullet failure on the hide of a mud-caked bull moose. He then began developing a revolutionary new projectile, which he called the “Partition”, because of the barrier that separated the bullet into two sections. One year later, John and a friend traveled back to British Columbia with his new Partition bullets, which were designed to provide deep penetration and expansion. The men bagged two moose with two shots, and the rest is history.
In recognition of his contribution to the shooting sports industry, John was the unanimous choice for the inaugural 2007 NRA Golden Bullseye Pioneer Award. The award was the highlight of a long and fruitful career. Even though he officially retired in 1988 when his son and daughter-in-law, Bob and Joan Nosler purchased the company, John still managed to come to the office on a daily basis until his health declined.
Today, John’s son Bob Nosler still presides over the company as president and CEO of Nosler, Inc., based in Bend, Oregon. Along with bullets, the company now produces cartridge brass, loaded ammunition, and hunting rifles.
To learn more about John Nosler and his bullet designs, get your hands on Going Ballistic, a “Professional Memoir” told by John Nosler to outdoor writer Gary Lewis. CLICK HERE to hear a short John Nosler audio clip or to order the book from the author.
John Nosler remained an avid hunter and shooter even late in life. Gary Lewis recalled that, at age 92, John Nosler attended the opening of a new shooting range outside Bend, Oregon. Even in his nineties, Nosler managed to drill two shots inside nine inches at 1000 yards. John Nosler leaves a legacy that will benefit hunters and shooters’ nationwide. The John A. Nosler Endowment of The NRA Foundation, sponsors the NRA’s Basic Rifle Training Program which instructs novices in safe rifle handling.
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It’s about darn time … that somebody offered vibration damping in a laser rangefinder (LRF). This “anti-shake” technology has been available in binoculars for years, but now it’s finally available for a laser rangefinder — thanks to Nikon. Nikon’s new MONARCH 7i VR Laser Rangefinder is the world’s first LRF with automated vibration compensation. Nikon’s VR (Vibration Reduction) technology reduces the effect of external vibrations caused by shaking and hand movements. The system steadies the image seen through the 6X viewfinder, while simultaneously aligning/steadying the irradiated laser beam for faster, more precise ranging.
“Vibrations of the image in the viewfinder caused by hand movement (sinusoidal waves) are reduced to approximately one-fifth (or less) based on Nikon’s measurement standards. With the push of a button you’ve just made the world stand still for a fast, precise distance measurement.”
Nikon says its VR technology will “reduce optical vibrations by nearly 80%“. The VR system stabilizes the viewed image AND simultaneously aligns the image with the activated laser beam. This delivers a “rock-solid” view of your target for faster, more precise ranging. Hunters will find that the target mark on the rangefinder remains much more stable, so you can range more quickly and efficiently. Watch this video to see how VR technology works:
Comment: VR technology IS a big deal for the hunter in the field. Bottom line — this anti-shake technology will let hunters range faster and range distant targets more reliably. The difference when ranging small game at long ranges is quite noticeable. Right now Nikon is the only company offering VR technology in rangefinders, but we expect other LRF-makers to follow suit. Surprisingly, the MONARCH 7i VR Laser Rangefinder is quite affordable. MSRP is $399.95.
Instant-On VR Functionality
The VR Function begins immediately when the laser rangefinder is on, meaning there is no extra time spent trying to toggle between settings. Holding down the ranging button allows the user to continuously scan for 8 seconds. A fast measurement is received (in approximately half a second), regardless of the distance, thanks to Nikon’s Hyper Read technology. The MONARCH 7i VR has an effective measurement range of 8-1000 yards and displays measurements in .1-yard increments. In addition, the Nikon’s ID (Incline/Decline) Technology compensates for uphill or downhill shooting angles by providing the true horizontal distance for your ballistics solver.
The MONARCH 7i VR represents a major step in hunting technology by helping alleviate the difficulty of keeping the rangefinder steady enough to range distant objects. This issue is partially due to the compact size of most laser rangefinders, which makes it challenging to brace it against a solid object, such as a tree or the edge of a deer stand. The rangefinder’s small size, combined with a strong wind, unbalanced position, physical exertion or just plain-old “buck fever” can make it virtually impossible to hold the target mark of the rangefinder on target and keep it still long enough to get a distance reading. VR changes all that, and we commend Nikon for making this technology available to sportsmen.
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Did you know that Shilen Rifles Inc. offers barreled actions and complete rifles? And that Shilen offers a Savage-style, barrel-nut system for its Rem-clone actions? After several years of development, Shilen now offers custom actions ($950.00), barreled custom actions with triggers ($1500.00), and complete rifles ($3200.00 and up).
The new Shilen custom actions are CNC-milled from high-grade stainless steel. Two types are offered — the multi-shot DGR (Repeater) or the single-shot DGV (Varminter) action. Both actions will be offered in most common bolt faces and both right-hand and left-hand actions are immediately available. The DGR and DGV actions have a 1.350″ diameter with 8-40 scope base mounting screw holes, and an 0.300″ pinned recoil lug. The spiral-fluted bolts feature a floating bolt head with an interchangeable bolt handle knob. These actions feature a footprint similar to the Remington Model 700. Both DGR and DGV actions will accept many aftermarket components crafted for Rem-700 style actions, including triggers and bottom metal.
Barreled Actions with Barrel-Nut System for Easy Barrel Exchanges
Along with the stand-alone DGR and DGV actions, Shilen is offering barreled action assemblies, chambered and ready to drop into Rem 700-inletted stocks. The actions are fitted with Shilen match-grade barrels and Shilen triggers. The barrels feature a 1-1/16″x20 barrel thread and are attached to the action by a barrel nut. This Savage-style barrel nut system simplifies headspacing, allowing easy swapping from one barrel to another. With the simple barrel-exchange procedure, you can shoot multiple chamberings with a single action/rifle. For example, shooters can change from a .223 Remington to a .204 Ruger or a .22-250 to a 6mm BR in a matter of minutes.
Complete Rifles with McMillan Stocks
With Shilen’s complete rifles, buyers can choose their chambering, and select barrel and stock configuration. Shooters can choose between a sporter weight wood stock or a variety of McMillan fiberglass stocks. With all complete rifles, the entire package is delivered in a quality gun case and Shilen even includes table mat, cleaning rod, bore guide, jag, bore brush, and cleaning patches. For more info, call (972) 875-5318 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Today, September 24th, is National Hunting and Fishing Day. To help mark that event, we’re reprising a story from Europe that showcases the beauty of nature that can be experienced on a hunting trip.
If you need a break from your hum-drum day at the office, how about taking a virtual vacation to Norway, where you can explore the scenic mountains in the Fjord region?
Forum member Kenneth Skorpen (aka “Sal”) has created a cool video of a deer-hunting trip he took in Norway. He didn’t bag a buck on this trip, but the walk in the Fjordland mountains took Kenneth through some spectacular scenery. (At the 11:25 time mark you’ll see an amazing sunset over the Fjord.) Kenneth did encounter a doe that had fallen down the mountain, and apparently broken its neck (14:35 time mark). The terrain is very steep, and Kenneth observed that: “I feel fortunate to be able to do this, but I also feel very tired in my legs. Did you know that the hares around here have shorter left legs due to the steep hills?”
More Hunting/Shooting Videos from Norway
You can watch more interesting hunting and shooting videos from Norway on Kenneth Skorpen’s Streken Vertebrae YouTube Channel. Here are some links:
And here is another Skorpen video showcasing beautiful Norwegian landscapes. This was filmed during a February rifle testing session with targets at 1100 and 1400 meters. You’ll see some stunning snow-capped scenery here, starting at the 4:30 time mark.
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National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHF Day) takes place on Saturday, September 24, 2016. The annual celebration serves as a reminder that conservation succeeds because of leadership and funding from hunters, shooters and anglers. National, regional, state and local organizations will run thousands of “open house” hunting- and fishing-related events around the country. Events will include Fishing Derbys, Hunting Expos, Wing-shooting tournaments, and much more. Over four million Americans will participate. For information on NHF Day, visit www.nhfday.org. To find NHF Day events in your state, click the links below.
As part of the NRA’s Tips & Tactics video series, Kristy Titus explains how to prepare for a hunt. Titus, co-host of the Team Elk TV show, is a certified instructor has hunted around the globe. She grew up in the outdoors, running pack mules in Oregon with her father. In this video, Kristy discusses fitness training and demonstrates field positions that can be employed during a hunt.
Kristy explains: “Hunting can lead you into some steep, rough country. It’s really important that you train both your body and your mind to handle the elements and the rigors of hunting. With no two hunting situations being the same, we must train to be adaptable and make the most of every opportunity. The most important aspect of hunting success, ultimately, is the person behind the rifle. So, if you plan on going on a mountain hunt, get out and train your body. Train with your firearm. Get off the bench and have some fun with this. Do some positional shooting or, if you want to add a stress dynamic… have someone put you under a time parameter.”
Click Map to launch interactive webpage with info for all 50 states.
Going hunting this year? Need to find out about hunting licenses, deer tags, local regulations, and the best hunting areas? Then visit WheretoHunt.org. This website has an interactive map of the country. Simply click on a state to find the info you need. For all 50 states, the NSSF has compiled information about hunting license and permits, where to hunt, hunter education classes, laws and regulations and more. For each state you’ll also find a link for required applications and license forms. Have a safe and productive hunt this year.
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Everybody knows that powerful spotting scopes work best when mounted to a stable tripod or otherwise secured to a steady mount. Yet when most folks use binoculars, they never even think of using a tripod, despite the fact that tripod adapters are available for many premium binoculars. A serious hunter should learn how to glass with tripod support. With binoculars offering more that 8X magnification, you can really benefit from a steady mount. In this article, Mark Boardman of Vortex Optics, an experienced hunter, explains the benefits of using a tripod with high-magnification binoculars.
The Burris Eliminator III is an impressive piece of electro-optical technology. With a push of a button, a built-in laser rangefinder senses the distance to your target and the Eliminator’s microprocessor instantly calculates the required hold-over based on your load’s ballistics. The calculated aiming point is then displayed in the reticle with an illuminated red dot on the vertical cross-hair. Just put the bright red dot on the target and make the shot. We’ve used this scope out to 600 yards on small steel targets and it worked flawlessly.
If you ever wanted to get one of these advanced scopes for your next hunt or prarie dog safari, now is a great time to buy. Burris is now offering $100 off Burris Eliminators: “Our most popular rebate ever has returned for 2016, so if you missed out last year, this time you’ve got no excuses.” Eliminator III LaserScopes (Item # 200116 or 200120) purchased between August 1st and December 31st, are eligible for a $100 mail-in rebate. CLICK HERE for Rebate Form and Full Instructions.
To Receive Your Rebate:
Fill out the coupon with your name and shipping address and send proof of purchase the original UPC barcode from box and a copy of your sales receipt to:
Can you hunt small varmints with an air rifle? Indeed you can. At reasonably close ranges, a .177 pellet has sufficient “knock-down” power, and the near-silent operation of the air rifle keeps your prey from being alerted. Our friends at Varminter.com recently tested the Anschütz 8002 S2 Black Air Hunter, which features an integral, custom-tuned moderator. Overall, this is a very accurate, very high-tech solution to pesky squirrels (and other small furry pests).
Here’s the report: “We spent a couple of hours out in the field with the Anschutz Black Air Hunter, and took seven ground squirrels that NEVER heard the shot. This rifle is unbelievably quiet, and VERY accurate. I simply put the crosshair on the back of the eyeball, touched the super light trigger, and dropped them in their tracks. Tomorrow, we hunt a small orchard near some farm animals, and I think this rifle will really shine. Tom got some decent video, but we need a bit more out in the field for the full hunt report, so there will be more to come!”
The Anschütz 8002 Black Air Hunter is a PCP (Pre-Charged Pneumatic) air rifle in .177 caliber. This nice rig features a very comfortable, ergonomic stock with adjustable cheekpiece and buttplate. Best of all, the Black Hunter is wicked accurate. Varminter.com reports: “It took [just] three shots to sight-in, and proceeded to shoot bug holes at 25 yards the next 10 rounds.”
Anschutz Black Air Hunter Product Description
The new Anschütz 8002 S2 Black Air Hunter is designed for varmint hunters and target shooters who want an accurate, quiet, versatile, and urban-friendly air rifle. Based on the 8002 S2 match rifle, the Black Air Hunter boasts the excellent balance/ergonomics of a world-class 10 meter match rifle. But the Black Air Hunter has other key features you won’t find on typical competition airguns.
The match barrel is fitted with an advanced moderator made by Tactical Solutions. This non-removable unit is smaller, lighter, and considerably quieter than the counterparts from Europe. Tactical Solutions engineered this moderator to control the sharp crack associated with pre-charged pneumatics. And yes, it works — the Black Air Hunter is VERY QUIET.
As shown here with Leupold scope, the rifle weighs just under 10 pounds:
The fully-adjustable beech stock has a moisture-resistant rubberized coating that provides a secure grip in cold or damp conditions. An aluminum accessory rail under the fore-end allows sling or bi-pod mounting. The cheek piece and butt plate offer a wide range of position options, and can also be upgraded or changed to suit the shooter’s preferences.
The Black Air Hunter runs a .177” caliber pellet at 580 fps, which allows for quiet yet precise training and target shooting in an urban environment. There are more powerful air rifles, but they will be noisier and you may have concerns with down-range energy. With its ultra-low noise signature, the Black Air Hunter is well-suited for use in urban settings.
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Adam Scepaniak, of The Guns and Gear Store, has written an interesting story about Prairie Dog Hunting in North Dakota. If a P-Dog safari is on your “bucket list”, you’ll want to read the full story in the Sierra Bullets Blog. Adam provides many tips that can help you plan a successful prairie dog adventure.
Prairie Dog Hunting in North Dakota with Sierra Bullets (Excerpt)
It’s that time of year where lots of men and women point their vehicles westward and try to push the limits of their rifles on prairie dogs. I was a part of this group of people just a few days ago while in northwestern North Dakota. CLICK HERE to Read Full Story.
Little Missouri National Grassland
Once my hunting party arrived at the Little Missouri National Grassland in North Dakota we immediately began scouting for prime prairie dog towns. There is a certain amount of strategy involved in choosing a prairie dog town … for several reasons. For one, you should try to always stay “above” the prairie dogs.
Small objects like rocks, cactuses, and prairie vegetation can easily obstruct your view if you’re shooting prone on a level plane. We encountered this in the first small prairie dog town we stopped and shot at. The prairie dog town was very visible while walking and standing, but once we laid down with our rifles on bipods the two-foot prairie grass became a severe obstruction. We shortly moved on because the small town became quick-studies to our shooting.
The second prairie dog town we hunted was at the base of a small ridge with a dried, cattle creek at the bottom. This area offered better shooting opportunities because we were above most of the prairie dog holes, and if we were not above them, a deep ravine separated us from the prairie dogs removing any obstructions from our rifle scopes which was our previous problem. This area had its own disadvantage though because of some other wildlife present. There were approximately fifty head of cattle in our close vicinity grazing, which was to no surprise because many ranchers utilize the National Grassland for grazing. We had to wait for the cattle to leave our area as to not have an incidental hit due to a rare ricochet. As the sun passed over the horizon we decided to return to this spot the next morning, but would change our shooting position to increase our advantage.
This Location Offered a Nice Overlook.
Zoomed Image Shows Individual Prairie Dog Mounds.
My previous varminting best was a 275-yard shot near Mobridge, South Dakota on a separate prairie dog hunting trip. With more experience and better reloading, Here in North Dakota I was able to make a solid hit on a prairie dog just over 400 yards which made me ecstatic! For a central Minnesota, shotgun-raised guy, I was pretty happy that my bullet selection and hand-loading ability produced a 125-yard improvement.
Once we cleaned and cased our rifles for the journey home we had shot a little over 200 rounds of my Sierra® reloads. This was a lot less than previous prairie dog trips I have been a part of, but our hit percentage was substantially higher as well. Traveling into a new area meant a lot more scouting and experimentation for us as a group. In future trips or hunts of your own, it can be very beneficial to schedule an extra day just for scouting[.]
Little Missouri National Grassland is a National Grassland located in western North Dakota. At 1,033,271 acres, it is the largest grassland in the country. Within its borders is Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The Little Missouri National Grasslands was once a part of the Custer National Forest, but is now a part of the Dakota Prairie Grasslands, a National Forest unit consisting entirely of National Grasslands. A predominant feature of the grassland is colorful and beautiful badlands, a rugged terrain extensively eroded by wind and water. It is a mixed grass prairie, meaning it has both long and short grass.
The boundaries of the grasslands on certain maps can be misleading. Within the boundaries of the national grassland are significant portions of state-owned and privately-owned land, much of it leased by cattle ranchers for grazing.
The grassland is administered by the Forest Service as part of the Dakota Prairie Grasslands from offices in Bismarck, ND. There are ranger district offices in Dickinson and Watford City.
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When you’re on a varmint expedition in the Western states you can bet, sooner or later, you’ll encounter serious winds. Here’s some advice on how to minimize the effects of cross-winds on your shooting, and easily improve your percentage of hits. In essence, you want to use your ability to change shooting positions and angles to put the wind behind you.
A benchrest or High Power shooter must operate from a designated shooting position. He must stay put and deal with the wind as it moves across the course, from whatever direction it blows. By contrast, a varmint hunter can move around and choose the spot that provides the most favorable wind direction. In most cases you’ll get the best results by moving your shooting position so the wind is at your back. This will minimize horizontal wind drift. Once you’re in position, use wind flags to direct your fire in line with the prevailing winds. A varminter who calls himself “Catshooter” explains:
The String of Death
I remember the first time I was on a dog town in the Conata Basin, in the Badlands area of southwestern South Dakota. Along with two other guys, I drove out for 21 days of shooting, and I never saw wind like that before. If all four tires of our vehicle were on the ground, the weather man said these were “mild wind conditions”.
After the first four or five days, we got smart. We would park the truck on the up-wind side of the town so the wind was at our back. Then we took a piece of string on a 3-foot stick, and set it in front of the shooters, and let the string point at the mounds that we were going to shoot.
For the rest of the trip, we didn’t have to deal with wind drift at all. We just shot the dogs that the string pointed to. We started calling our simple wind pointer the “String of Death”.
We were hitting dogs at distances that I would not repeat here (with benchrest grade rifles). After the first time out, I always took a wind rig like that.
Report based on story by Kyle Jillson for NRA Blog
Summer is the time of year to get outside and have fun with family and friends. A great way to enjoy shooting with friends and family members is to attend a Brownells/NRA Day. These fun events will be held throughout the summer, at locations across the USA. These events are designed for all ages — from youngsters to senior citizens. The activities appeal to all skill levels, from first-time shooters to seasoned competitors.
Brownells/NRA Day events are fun affairs, where participants can try out a variety of different shooting disciplines. Events are always a big hit and you won’t find people as friendly and helping anywhere else. Below is a complete list of upcoming July events. There are a variety of events, including Basic Firearms Training, Youth “SportsFest”, 3-Gun Experience, Hunter’s Event, Competition, and Shotgun. For more information on any scheduled event, visit the Brownells/NRA Day website.
Father’s Day is Sunday, June 19, 2016, less than a week away. If your father enjoys the shooting sports, here are some recommended items that our staff owns or uses. All selections cost less than $100.00. It’s not too late to order. If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you can get two-day shipping in most areas of the country. For non-Prime members, most items will ship in 3-4 days. That’s enough time to get the gift to “Pops” by next Sunday.
TEN Great Father’s Day Gifts for Dad Under $100.00
The light-weight, compact RCBS Partner Press is ideal for loading at the range. It can easily be mounted to a bench with C-Clamps.
This is an excellent shooting mat — it is very well made with good padding/insulation. On gravel, concrete, or hard-packed ground this is way more comfortable than typical mats. It is wide enough and easy to fold. Any Dad who shoots would love this.
We’ve used Bog-Pod shooting supports on varmint hunts. They’re great for down-angle shots from a ridge or kneeling shots to get above terrain obstacles. Bog-Pods adjust from 17″ to 39″.
This battery pack can charge your cellphone, tablet, or even a chronograph. Our IT manager uses this battery pack to run his LabRadar Chrono. He also uses it as an emergency charger when camping and traveling. It has three outputs, allowing multi-device recharging.
Walkie-Talkies are “must-have” items for long-range shooting. The 22-CH Motorola MH230R Two-Way Radio is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in FRS/GMRS Handheld Radios.
Plano’s AirGlide case is a unique, top-loading rifle case. Ideal for benchrest guns with wide forearms, the AirGlide case puts no side-pressure on scopes. We like the ease of loading. This fits rifles up to about 27-28″ barrels.
The versatile MTM Range Box includes cradles so you can do gun maintenance while at the range. A lift-out tray holds small items such as patches and jags. This is a durable product that can hold ammo and other gear.
Your Editor owns this watch and wears it for all special occasions. It is a very handsome quartz dress watch crafted by Orient, a division of Seiko. The hands and case are rose-gold color. At just under 8mm, the watch is very thin and comfortable to wear. The 40.5mm case features an elegant retro-styled domed crystal. This watch is also available with a silver-tone case and white face for around $130.00.
This cleverly-designed Shotshell thermos will make Dad smile. Styled just like a 12ga shotgun shell, the Stansport thermal bottle holds 25 oz. of hot or cold liquids.
This rugged 4-pistol case will hold your handguns and magazines securely. Airline-approved for checked luggage, this lockable case has a lifetime warranty. An 0-ring seal makes the case 100% waterproof and dustproof.
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Are you looking for some summertime reading material? Do you enjoy classic hunting adventures from around the globe? Then log on to the NitroExpress.com Forum. There you’ll find links for literally hundreds of vintage hunting stories, and even complete books, such as Teddy Roosevelt’s classic African Game Trails and Good Hunting, plus the wonderful book African Campfires by Stewart E. White, one of Roosevelt’s close friends and hunting companions.
Among the downloadable titles are The Man-Eating Lions of Tsavo (leaflet edition) by Lt.Col. J. H. Patterson, the true tale that inspired the Hollywood movie, The Ghost and the Darkness, staring Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer. The online version of the Man-Eaters of Tsavo book (right) is a shorter, 140-page edition created for Chicago’s Field Museum, which purchased the skins of the lions from Patterson and put them on display.
Barrett Firearms Mfg., famed for its big .50-cal sniper rifles, just introduced a new line of ultra-light hunting rifles. Barrett’s new Fieldcraft rifles feature carbon/Kevlar stocks and light-contour barrels. First unveiled at the NRA Annual Meeting in Louisville this weekend, Barrett’s new Fieldcraft rifles are expected to go on sale in the fall of 2016.
So why is Barrett now building ultralight rifles, the “polar opposite” of a 32-pound Model 82A1? The answer is that many of Barrett’s top execs are avid hunters, and they wanted a rifle that was accurate, yet easy to carry in the field. Company President Chris Barrett explained: “Even though we are known for making the world’s finest military-grade rifles, we love to hunt. Recently we introduced the Barrett Sovereign shotgun line, and now we have created the ultimate hunting rifle.” All the new Fieldcrafts are designed to be as light as possible for each specific caliber. The goal is to allow the rifle to be carried further and longer in the field.
Fieldcraft actions are scaled for each family of chamberings. The high-precision stainless steel barrels are machined to ideal contours and lengths for the specific application and caliber. Initial Fieldcraft rifles will be available in select, popular chamberings and will include left-hand models. In the future, Barrett plans to offer additional calibers and configurations.
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Will you be heading to the varmint fields this summer? Proper planning is key to a safe, satisfying, and productive varmint holiday. Of course you’ll be busy reloading, but you should make a check-list of all the gear and supplies you need. Bring a variety of rifles if possible — you’ll need to switch off as one barrel gets hot, and the chambering that works best for your close shots may not be ideal for those longer shots out past 400 yards. Here are some tips from our Forum members that can help you shoot more effectively, and avoid problems on your varmint hunt. Here’s one key tip: at your shooting station, put a strip of surveyor’s tape on a tall stake to show the wind direction. Then shoot in the direction the wind blows. This will minimize the effect of cross-winds.
From PatchHound: “The gear you bring will make or break a trip out to Prairie Dog land. A lot has to do with where you going and how far you are from [civilization]. For starters, bring lots of water. It will be hot in Wyoming in a few more weeks but it don’t hurt to bring warm clothes in case it snows. It’s best to wear leather boots unless you’re real good at dodging cactus while walking around. Good sunsceen will save the day too. [What you need to bring] really depends on whether you’re shooting on some friendly ranch or 100 miles in the middle of [a wilderness area]. Good survival gear is a good thing to have for the latter!”
From Stoner25mkiv: “I’d suggest an adjustable bipod if you are going to do any walking. A laser rangefinder is a huge asset. Have a fanny pack or backpack for extra ammo, water, bore-snake, etc. when you go on your walkabouts. We also take a couple pivoting benches, heavy movers’ pad/blanket, sandbags (Uncle Bud’s Bulls Bag) for shooting from near the vehicle. Boonie hat for blocking the sun, sun glasses, sunscreen. High leather boots.
Anyway, on to the rifles…consider bringing a 17 HMR, .223 Ackley bolt gun, .223 Ackley AR, and a 243 WSSM. Some years the 17 HMR isn’t removed from its case. We had a couple windless days and the 17 was lots of fun. I’d walk into the dogtown and then lay down and wait. After five minutes or so I’d have dogs within easy rimfire range, and out to as far as I’d care to stretch the rimfire. 275 yards was about it.”
From CTShooter: “The .204 [Ruger] is a laser beam and good to 400 yards easy. Forget the rimfire! Do you have a portable bench that pivots? Bring bipod, binocs. Bring a LOT of water. I have a milspec sniper shooter’s mat/drag bag with shoulder straps. It is good to carry everything when you want to wander off and shoot prone with bipod. Here’s a view through my 6BR in ND.”
From RJinTexas: “In most of the locations that we’ll be shooting we’ll usually set up a minimum of 200 yards from the edge of a major dog town. We’ll start by working over the close-in dogs and shooting our way out, some of these towns may run in excess of 500/600 yards deep. I believe that a rimfire will put you at a distinct disadvantage. The only rimfire that will somewhat work is the 17 HMR and you can reload for your 204s for close to the cost of HMR ammo and you’ll be less apt to be under-gunned. Your 204 will work well out to 300/400 yards unless the wind is blowing hard. We classify a 10-mph crosswind as a very calm day and what makes it a little more challenging is that it is usually also gusting. I only took my 17 HMR once, I’ve since even quit taking my 17 Mach IV because when the wind blows hard it range is limited to around 200 yards. Gusting wind will play havoc with 25gr pills.”
From Wes (P1ZombieKiller): “[For my first PD trip] there are so many things I was not ready for. The one thing that I did bring (that no one told me about) was a canopy. I’m glad I did. Even though the weather was [near perfect], I know that sun can humble you real fast. With my pop-up canopy, I could shoot all day without getting killed by the sun. You had to tie the canopy down real well or the wind would blow it across the pasture.
We sat on shooting benches that pivot 360°, and are fast and easy to set up. Most all shots were 175-250 yards. I just felt comfortable at that range. It was more fun for me to be able to film the hits, and the camcorder I was using just did not get good video past 350 yards. The digital zoom distorted the image too much. I knew I would only get this one chance to film my first P-dog outing, and I wanted to get it on film for [posterity].” To learn more about P1’s first Prairie Dog Trip, visit his Website.
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One of the features we enjoy on the NRA Blog is the Friday Feast Recipe of the Week. Each Friday, the NRA Blog offers up a new delicious food item as the Friday Feast for hunters. This week’s Feast combines two things we love — Italian pasta and Elk meat. Article author Emily Rupertus shares our passion for pasta: “I love pasta. I can’t get enough of it! So when I came across this Classic Elk Lasagna, I couldn’t resist sharing with you! You have to try this perfect twist on a classic comfort food.” After assembling your Lasagna in a big cast-iron skillet and covering with tin-foil, bake the Elk Lasagna in a 400° oven for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil, add more cheese and continue to bake uncovered for ten more minutes.
1/2 Package of Lasagna Noodles
1 lb Ground Elk Meat (you can substitute ground venison or antelope)
1 Medium Sweet Onion (chopped)
2 Cloves Garlic (chopped)
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Cups Tomato Sauce
32 oz. Ricotta Cheese
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1 8 oz. Fresh Mozzarella Cheese (sliced)