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September 29th, 2022

FREE Zeiss Hunting App — with Ballistics, GPS Tags, and Weather

Zeiss ios apple android hunting App mobile

iPhone/iPad Hunting App (iOS) | Android Hunting App (Google)

KEY FEATURES: Ballistics Solver, GPS Tagging, Weather Forecast, Field Notes with Photos

Hunters, here’s a great FREE mobile APP for both Apple and Android systems. The ZEISS Hunting App offers many practical functions: full-featured ballistics calculator, field notes with photo archive, compass function, GPS tagging for documentation of hunting experiences, and a detailed weather forecast service. The Hunting App is offered as a FREE download for Android and iOS (iPhone/iPad) mobile devices.

Three Minute Video Explains Zeiss Hunting App Features:

The Zeiss Hunting App integrates multiple useful features — ballistics solver, compass, GPS tagging, hunt history. The “Field Notes” function can record a wide variety of info — you can save photos, record your shots and hits, log animal sightings during the hunt, and even plot game locations on a map. Zeiss explains: “This allows users to optimally record events, the game population in the hunting territory, and their own hunting experiences.” Shots can be tagged via GPS through the shooter’s and the target’s position, and then displayed on a map. The Field Notes hunt diary shows all entries in chronological order.

Zeiss ios apple android hunting App mobile

Full-Featured Ballistics Solver
The integrated ballistic calculator allows hunters to easily customize the settings to suit their favorite cartridges. You can enter your own data, or choose bullet/cartridge info from a database containing over 7000 ammunition types from a variety of manufacturers. The ballistics solver can be programmed for for current weather conditions (temp/humidity), and the angle (inclination) of the shot.

Zeiss ios apple android hunting App mobile

Weather Functions
The weather tool offers a Five-Day Forecast, and you can choose multiple locations. In addition to the current location, users can also display the weather for their hunting areas of choice. The weather forecast includes temperature, precipitation, wind direction, wind speed, humidity, and air pressure. (Note: For precise ballistics solutions, you must input the ACTUAL conditions at your shooting location).

This video explains how to define a hunting zone and set GPS location tags on the map:

Hunt Log and Photos
The Field Notes function can do many things. You can log all your shots and hits, and you can plot game sightings during the hunt. Events can be augmented with photos and GPS data. With the Field Notes mapping function, you can even locate game populations in the hunting territory. A compass and automatic night mode round off the list of smart features.

Zeiss ios apple android hunting App mobile

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September 28th, 2022

Greater Diversity Among 30 Million Target Shooters and Hunters

target shooting diversity black latino minorities lady female woman hunting hunter huntress

Over 30 million Americans participated in target shooting or hunting last year. Notably, there is greater diversity among hunters and target shooters than ever before. In 2021, 32% of target shooters were female, up from 25% a decade ago. And the share of Black or Hispanic target shooters has been increasing 5% and 4% respectively per year.

This interesting information was revealed in a new report released by the Outdoor Foundation and the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports. According to that report, the user diversity of hunting and target shooting participation increased significantly in the USA over the past decade.

target shooting diversity black latino latina minorities lady female woman hunting hunter huntress

The 2022 Special Report on Hunting and the Shooting Sports provides a comprehensive look at the more than 30 million Americans who participated at least once in hunting (gun or archery) or target shooting in 2021. Highlights from the new report include:

Firearms Target Shooting Participation:

— 6.2% of the U.S. population ages 6 and over participated in target shooting

— 32% of participants were female, up from 25% a decade ago

— Share of target shooters who were Black or Hispanic increased 5% and 4%, respectively, on average for the past 3 years

— “High cost” was the number one barrier reported for target shooting

— “For recreation” was the number one motivation for target shooting

Hunting Participation:

— 4.6% of the U.S. population ages 6 and over went hunting at least once

— 27% of participants were female, up from 16% a decade ago

— Share of hunters who were Black or Hispanic increased 4% and 1%, respectively, on average for the past 3 years

— 68% of hunters were introduced to hunting by a family members

— 49% of hunters first participated before reaching the age of 18

— “For food/meat” was the number one motivation for hunting

lady female woman hunting hunter huntress
diversity hunting target shooting women black latino

Permalink Handguns, Hunting/Varminting, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
September 26th, 2022

BargainFinder 366: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

NOTE: All listed products are for sale to persons 18 years of age or older. No products are intended for use by minors.

1. Sportsman’s WH — Savage Axis Rifle/Scope Combo, $329.99

Savage Axis Rifle sale
Truly great deal for 6.5 Creedmoor Deer Rifle with Bushnell Scope

Planning to hunt this season? Here’s a shockingly good deal on a scoped 6.5 Creedmoor hunting rifle. The Sportsman’s Warehouse exclusive Savage AXIS XP rifle features a black synthetic stock paired with a carbon steel, button-rifled sporter barrel chambered for 6.5 Creedmoor. This package rifle is ready to shoot, right out of the box, thanks to a mounted and bore-sighted Bushnell 4-12x40mm scope. Being a Savage, with a barrel nut, you can easily add a pre-fit barrel in a larger caliber.

2. Creedmoor Sports — Berger Bullet and Ammo Sale

berger buller sale
Top-quality match bullets and excellent loaded ammo priced favorably

Did you know that Berger makes both bullets AND loaded ammunition? If you’re in the market for either check out the Berger Bullet & Ammo Sale at Creedmoor Sports. This is a great opportunity to pick up bullets and ammo at favorable prices. Some of the most popular bullets will sell out — so don’t delay.

3. Midsouth — LEE Breechlock Challenger Press Kit, $144.99

Lee press sale
Heck of a deal on a good press and complete reloading system

For under $150 you can get pretty much everything you need to reload, except dies. This Lee Breech Lock Challenger Kit includes Press, Powder Dispenser, Scale, Hand Primer Tool, Funnel, Chamfer Tool, Primer pocket tool, and more. We like the press — the handle is adjustable and the primer-catching system sends spent primers into a receptacle for no mess cleanup. This $144.99 Kit comes complete with the Breechlock Quick Change die system. If you are looking to get started in handloading, or want a back-up second press with accessories, this is a great deal.

4. Graf & Sons — Winchester Centerfire Ammo REBATE

Winchester ammo sale
Save 20% on good loaded rifle ammunition

Need some good made-in-USA factory ammo? Check out the Winchester Ammunition Rebate at Graf & Sons. For a limited time, get a full 20% OFF eligible centerfire rifle ammunition. Maximum rebate amount is $75 per household. Offer is valid on qualifying purchases made between September 19, 2022 and December 4, 2022. The 20% Rebate applies to these types of Winchester loaded ammo: .223 Rem, 5.56x45mm, 7.62 x 51mm (.308 Win), and 300 Blackout.

5. Amazon — Birchwood Casey Xtreme Shooting Bench, $111.95

Shooting bench sale
Great deal — versatile rotating bench for varminting or home range

If you shoot on your own property or an undeveloped range, it’s great to have a portable shooting bench. The very affordable Birchwood Casey Xtreme Shooting bench offers superior comfort with a 2” thick padded back rest and seat. The benchtop rotates a full 360 degrees — great for varminting. The 23″ W X 34″ L padded top offers a comfortable, stable shooting surface for target practice or field hunting.

6. Amazon — Field Dressing Kit, $69.97

Field Dressing knife kit
Must-have kit for game hunters — very useful

Heading out on a fall hunt and need tools to prepare the game meat you harvest? The versatile Knine Outdoors Field Dressing Kit offers a great selection of tools for a low price. This very complete Dressing Kit includes: 12″ Boning Knife, 9-1/2″ Gut-Hook Skinner, 8-1/2″ Hawkbill blade knife, 8-1/2″ Caping Knife, 12″ Gut-Hook Butcher Axe, 10-1/2″ Skinning Cleaver, 8-1/2″ Bone Saw, Ribcage Spreader (7″ to 12″), 9-1/4″ Game Shear, 11-7/8″ x 7-7/8″ Cutting Board, Knife and Shear Sharpener, and Cleaning Gloves.

7. Midway USA — Competition Range Bag, $59.99

Range bag sale
Large capacity with good padding and strong fabric

The MidwayUSA Competition Range Bag is one of the best range bags on the market. Offered in four colors (Black, Charcoal Grey, Olive Drab, and Coyote Tan), this range bag can transport everything you need for a match or a day at the range. It boasts five notable carry compartments: huge primary bag, removable stage bag/ammunition carrier, two removable pistol rugs, and a removable fired brass/ammo carry bag. If you do a lot of pistol or 3-Gun shooting, this bag is a very good choice.

8. Amazon — Tri-Layered Scent-Safe Bag, $28.37

Hunting scent bag
Handy, effective, very useful scent-blocker bag for game hunters

When you’re hunting for wild game, the last thing you want is to have your prey smell you coming. The Hunters Specialties Scent-A-Way Scent-Safe Travel Bag has a durable nylon outer and inner layers enclose a specially formulated foil that locks out foreign odors and locks in cover scents. Hunters we know have used this bag and recommend it.

9. Amazon — 400 Splatterburst 4″-diameter Targets, $22.99

Splatterburst Targets
Easy to see hits at distance, convenient 200-target roll

When shooting plain paper targets, it can be hard to see impacts. With these handy 4″ Splatterburst Targets your hits instantly display in bright yellow upon impact. Spend more time shooting and less time looking for shots. These adhesive targets peel off the 200-ct roll and then stick firmly to your target backer. Get a roll of 200 adhesive targets for $22.99 on Amazon. That works out to just 11.5 cents per target.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting, Optics No Comments »
September 25th, 2022

Weatherby Backcountry 2.0 Carbon-Stock Rifle — Under 6 Lbs.

Weatherby ultralight carbon backcountry 2.0 rifle titanium action
Light is Right — Weatherby’s Backcountry 2.0 rifles weigh as little as 4.7 pounds (before optics).

It’s hunting season now. Here’s a rig that should please backcountry hunters looking for a light-weight but very accurate option. Weatherby’s Backcountry 2.0 carbon-stocked hunting rifles weigh well under 6 pounds before optics. There is even one titanium action model series that weighs just 4.7 pounds. The 2.0 series now offers both standard steel receivers or even lighter titanium receivers. And Backcountry 2.0 Carbon models are equipped with a new carbon fiber stock that is the lightest in the industry — weight a mere 20 ounces for standard actions. For further weight savings, some models feature a tensioned carbon fiber-wrapped barrel. But all that high-tech doesn’t come cheap — MSRP for the titanium action carbon barrel model is $3749.00!

Ultralight Carbon Stock — Weatherby’s new Blacktooth stock features a Carbon Link™ bedding system which engages the recoil lug and distributes recoil throughout the stock without the weight of a traditional aluminum bedding block. This makes the overall stock lighter and stiffer.

Weatherby ultralight carbon backcountry 2.0 rifle titanium actionREAD Weatherby Backcountry 2.0 Field Test by Peterson’s Hunting

Along with the new ultra-light elements, these Weatherbys have premium Mark V features: 54-degree bolt lift for fast cycling, fluted bolts, TriggerTech triggers, and Cerakote finish on metal parts. All the Backcountry 2.0 series rifles have a sub-MOA accuracy guarantee.

Weights for Backcountry 2.0 Models range with chamberings:

Backcountry 2.0 – 5.3 lbs (.308 Win) to 6.2 lbs (.257 WBY MAG) (MSRP $2499.00)
Backcountry 2.0 Ti – 4.7 lbs (.308 Win) to 5.6 lbs (.257 WBY MAG) (MSRP $3349.00)
Backcountry 2.0 Carbon – 5.8 lbs (6.5 Creedmoor) to 6.6 lbs (.257 WBY MAG) (MSRP $2999.00)
Backcountry 2.0 Ti Carbon – 5.3 lbs (6.5 Creedmoor) to 6.6 lbs (.257 WBY MAG) (MSRP $3749.00)

Weight Saving Secrets — How Weatherby Achieved Such Light Weights
GunsAmerica Digest reports: “A huge amount of the weight savings comes thanks to the updated carbon fiber Blacktooth stock by Peak 44. This stock uses what they call their Rock Solid Carbon Link bedding system which eliminates the need for a metallic bedding block. The Blacktooth stock weighs less than 20 ounces. The Backcountry 2.0 [series adds] both a carbon fiber stock and either fluted #1 MOD-profile or #2 MOD-profile carbon steel barrels or #4 MOD-profile BSF carbon fiber-tensioned barrel to achieve these light weights.” READ GunsAmerica Review.

Weatherbuy ultralight carbon backcountry 2.0 rifle titanium action

To mitigate recoil Weatherby developed its new 3DHEX® recoil pad — the gun industry’s first production 3D-printed pad. The 3DHEX’s three-dimensional honeycombed design extends the duration of the recoil pulse — taking away the sharp kick. Weatherby explains: “With the same amount of recoil spread out over a much greater time period, felt recoil is greatly reduced[.]” Backcountry 2.0 rifle recoil is also reduced by factory-fitted Accubrakes, contoured to match barrel profile.

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
September 25th, 2022

Three Deer Hunting Mistakes to Avoid This Fall

Nikki Boxler winchester blog hunting huntress
Nikki Boxler photo courtesy Winchester Blog.

Deer hunting season is underway now across the country. If you plan a hunt in the days or weeks ahead, here are three important tips to follow if you want to successfully harvest a deer this fall. These tips come from an article by noted huntress Nikki Boxler for the Winchester Blog. CLICK HERE to read full article.

Mistake #1: Not Sighting-In Your Gun with the Ammunition You Plan to Hunt With

You want to make sure you test the actual ammo you will use in your deer rifle. Make sure you are sighted-in properly with THAT ammo. Nikki says: “I always make it a point to shoot a few days before the season opens with the exact ammo and equipment that I will use while in the woods. Nothing gives me more confidence then knowing those last shots are hitting their target[.]”

Nikki Boxler winchester blog hunting huntress

Mistake #2: Rushing the SHOT — Focusing on Taking the Shot, Rather Than on MAKING the Shot

Being in the right place at the right time is essential to getting a shot on a deer. If you can’t MAKE the shot, being in the right place at the right time doesn’t matter. I have been guilty of this. A buck walks in and the conditions are perfect. He’s not far, but instead of taking my time I rush the entire shot and the results are not as I desired.

Nikki Boxler winchester blog hunting huntress

Mistake #3: Sticking to the Same Tactics Day in and Day Out

Throughout the course of the season, deer switch up their tactics. So, why wouldn’t we? When I was younger all of my hunting setups always looked the same — I’d have a ladder stand on the edge of a field. This was my comfort zone. I always stuck to it until recent years. I’ve now made it a point to step out of my comfort zone and explore new areas. This has definitely paid off with the percentage of deer I harvest.

Nikki Boxler winchester blog hunting huntress

READ Full Article by Nikki Boxler on Winchester.com »

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Shooting Skills No Comments »
September 24th, 2022

Today Is National Hunting and Fishing Day — September 24th

2021 National Hunting Fishing Day license where to hunt

Today, September 24, 2022, is National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHFD). We’re proud to recognize how important hunting is for millions of Americans — as a source of food for families and as an important connection with nature and the outdoors. The NFHD website has helpful resources for hunters, and in this article we provide links for Where to Hunt, How to get Hunting Licenses, and Hunter Education.

NHFD was first established by President Nixon in 1972. According to NationalToday.com, NHFD’s “roots go back more than 100 years to President Theodore Roosevelt, who introduced the first laws regulating the hunting of wildlife in the United States.”

This month we hope some of our readers can take new shooters afield and introduce them to hunting. Many hunters receive their first introduction to hunting from family or friends as a tradition passed down from generation to generation. There are over 9.2 million hunters in the United States.

2021 National Hunting Fishing Day license where to hunt

hunter education national hunting fishing day

To have a successful hunt you must first get to areas where game thrives. Finding the right places to hunt is essential. The NSSF offers a nationwide Where-to-Hunt database of hunting areas. You can click on a particular state, then specify the specicies you wish to hunt. This is a very useful resource.

hunter education national hunting fishing day

In most states, when hunting game animals, you’ll need a hunting license and/or zone permit. The Federal Fish & Wildlife Service has state-by-state listing for hunting licenses on FWS.gov. Click the box below to learn how to get hunting licenses in your region.

hunter education national hunting licenses fishing day

For all hunters, whether they have mentors to guide them or not, the most important first step into the woods begins with a state-certified hunter education course. Click the box below to see hunting education opportunities around the nation.

hunter education national hunting fishing day

Game Resources — To learn more about different game species, click these NSSF links:

Game Animals Resources | Game Birds Resources

2021 National Hunting Fishing Day license where to hunt

FREE Printable Deer Hunting Target

To help you prepare for a fall hunt, here is a free, printable Deer Practice target. Hone your skills on a trio of bucks with a red bullseye centered on the animals. You can print the targets in black and white, but they look best in color. Right-click the image below to download a FREE printable PDF file.

hunting NRA Blog Target deer buck turkey hog PDF printable target

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September 24th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: Six Flicks for Hunters

national hunting fishing day NSSF hunter deer elk game
Deer hunting photo courtesy NSSF.
national hunting fishing day NSSF hunter deer elk game
Today, Saturday, September 24, 2022, is National Hunting and Fishing Day. Every year, this event is held the 4th Saturday of September. First recognized by President Nixon in 1972, this is now the 50th year the event has been celebrated across the USA. To help mark this day, we are offering six informative videos for hunters. These cover planning your hunt, selecting good optics, and optimizing your rifle. There are also hunting stories from Africa and Norway.

How to Sight-In Your Hunting Rifle

This video and related article offer good basic advice for sighting-in a hunting rifle. There are a series of six points covered. Here’s Tip #1: “Find a safe place to shoot your rifle with a backstop. If possible, use a bench and a rock-solid shooting rest. Sighting-in is all about consistency, so the less human error you have, the better. For safety, be sure to also bring ear and eye protection.” READ FULL ARTICLE on NRAWomen.com.


NRAwomen.com website NRA lady shooter hunting sighting in sight-in

Comparison of Seven Popular Deer Hunting Scopes

This is summary review of seven (7) popular hunting scopes, as available in 2020 (there may be newer variants). This video consist mostly of manufacturer-created marketing content with a few minutes of independent reviews. Consider this video a place to start when shopping for a new hunting optic. You’ll want to check independent reviews when you select a particular model. The seven riflescopes featured in the video are: Athlon Optics Argos BTR, Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x50mm, Leupold VX-R 4-12x40mm, NightForce SHV 5-20x56mm, Nikon Buckmasters II, Vortex Crossfire II, Vortex Viper HS SFP.

Prepare For Your Hunt — Get Fit and Practice Positions

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 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 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.”

Kudu Hunting in Africa

Pieter “Piet” Malan is a South African precision rifle shooter and hunter who has created an impressive YouTube Channel with over 300 videos. While Pieter’s Impact Shooting Channel focuses primarily on tactical PRS/NRL type disciplines, his channel also includes dozens of videos of interest to hunters. Here is Pieter’s excellent video about Kudu hunting — Kudu Hunting Paradise Part 2. After watching this, with the exotic game and stunning terrain, you’ll probably want to book an African Safari.

Deer Hunting in Norway’s Fjord Mountains

Norway Fjord Hunting SkorpenHere’s a video with some truly stunning scenery. Watching this video is like 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?”

Load Development for .308 Win Hunting Rifle

In this video, F-Class ace Keith Glasscock shows load development with a .308 Winchester hunting rifle. Here Keith uses a large X-type sandbag for a front support. He is shooting a Remington 700 bolt-action rifle, with Barnes TSX solid copper bullets, PPU Brass, Federal 210m primers, and AR Comp powder. Keith said the Barnes bullets were excellent — he commented that these bullets were “match quality in terms of precision”. Keith achieved some very small three-shot groups with AR Comp and the TSX projectiles. Keith did note that point-of-impact shifted up significantly with increases in charge weight (see 6:20-7:10). With thinner-contour hunting barrels, this is not unexpected. But POI change should be observed carefully during load development, as you may need to adjust your zero after completing testing.

Keith Glasscock .223 Rem load development

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September 23rd, 2022

20 Tips for Hunters Before National Hunting & Fishing Day

hunting safety annual day top 20 tips

Tomorrow, September 24th, is National Hunting and Fishing Day, held each year on the fourth Saturday of September. To help the avid hunters among our readers, here are Twenty Tips that can help ensure a safe and successful hunt. These tips have been compiled from our AccurateShooter Hunting Forum, with help from Hunting Editor Colton Reid (who has already been out hunting this month). Some items are preparatory — such as working with maps, sighting in the rifle, and improving physical fitness. We also talk about equipment — having the right gear, from proper boots to a GPS for multi-day hunts.

Of course there are entire volumes written on hunting, but these 20 Tips can benefit all hunters. Follow these suggestions and you should have a safer hunting experience with greater likelihood of success. If you liked these pointers, you’ll find two dozen more helpful hints on the NSSF Website.

hunting fishing day Hunting guide

Preparations Before The Hunt

1. Map Your Hunt and Notify Others — Before your hunt, make a plan and notify friends and family members about WHERE you are going and your intended return date and time. Print out a Google Satellite map and locate landmarks and trailheads. Mark where you plan to park your vehicle and give a copy of this map to friend and/or family members. A hunter may injure himself by falling off a rock, or tumbling in a creek-bed. After that kind of injury the hunter may be confused or unable to walk. If you get stranded in the wilderness, you want trusted persons to know where you are. So, before you leave on a trip, provide a map to a friend or family member. Show them where you will leave your vehicle, and where you expect to be every day of your hunting adventure.

2. Licenses and Permits — Make sure you have a valid hunting licenses and all the necessary tags. Begin this process with ample time before your intended hunt(s). The NSSF adds: “If you are crossing state or national borders, find out about any special considerations you must take care of. Border crossings can mean knowing about firearm transport laws or Chronic Wasting Disease-related regulations.”

3. Work on Your Fitness — On a multi-day hunt you may be trekking many miles. You need to be in good shape. If you are out of shape you may be putting yourself in a precarious situation, particularly if you underestimate the terrain difficulty. As the NSSF says: “Not being able to handle the conditions lessens your chances of success, can turn a great experience into an agonizing one and can endanger your health.”

4. Do Your Homework — Study the area you will be hunting. Talk to other hunters. Look at satellite photos. Get a real sense of the walking and terrain challenges. For a multi-day hunt, MAKE a PLAN. The NSSF states: “Eliminate surprises. Learn as much about where you will be staying, the area you will be hunting, what the weather might be like and what you need to bring[.]”

5. Rifle and Ammo — Make sure your rifle is sighted-in and your ammo is tested. Sight-in your rifle with the ammo you plan to use on your hunt. CLICK HERE for 4-Shot Sight-in Method. After sighting-in from the bench, confirm your zero by shooting from typical hunting positions (kneeling and with forearm supported on a rock or post).

hunting rifle sighting in target

6. Shooting Positions — Practice the shooting positions you will use in the field. Practice sitting, kneeling, and prone positions. You should also practice with shooting sticks, using your day pack as a rest, and with a bipod. Try to have a rock-steady rest before taking your shot.

Hunting Positions

7. Back-Up Irons — If possible, select a rifle with back-up iron sights. While modern scopes are very durable, they can and do fail (glass can crack). If you’ve invested a lot of time and money in your hunt, back-up iron sights can keep you in the game even if your riflescope fails.

8. Communications and GPS — Bring a GPS if you are in a wilderness area far from civilization. It’s a good idea to bring a cell phone, but you may not have coverage if you’re quite a distance from populated areas. A smart-phone also doubles as a digital camera to record your trophies. For navigation and safety, consider getting Garmin inReach Explorer+. This high-tech handheld unit features interactive SOS, connecting you to the GEOS 24/7 search-and-rescue monitoring center. They also allow you to send and receive text messages, no matter where you are, via advanced inReach satellite technology. Yes you can communicate even if you are miles from the nearest cell tower.

9. Select Good Gear — Make sure you have GOOD BOOTS that are comfortable — you’ll spend a lot of time on your feet. You may want a pack with harness for your rifle so you have both hands free. On a multi-day trip, make sure you can carry enough water, and that you will stay warm enough at night. Good practices for backpacking apply to multi-day hunts.

10. Make a Gear Checklist — Create a complete checklist of the gear and supplies you need. That includes arms, ammunition, rangefinder, binoculars, proper clothing (including spare clothes), hunting accessories, sleeping gear (on multi-day hunts), toiletries, medications. Don’t forget a good first aid kit — lots of bad things can happen during any wilderness trip. You can cut a hand, break an ankle or worse.

During The Hunt

11. Have a Plan — know where you plan to go and when. Try to be where you want in the early morning and early evening hours when deer are likely most active.

12. Take Your Time — If you spot a deer and get too excited and don’t take your time you may spook him. Go slow and glass. If possible, wait for the animals to bed down and relax. Then work out the best way to approach your prey. Remember, “You get so few opportunities, don’t screw it up!”

13. Glass More, Walk Less — Let your eyes do the walking — get good binoculars and use them. With their heightened senses of smell and hearing, deer/elk are able to spot you way better than you can spot them. If you are walking around a lot, chances are you are getting spotted by your prey.

14. Riflescopes Are Not Binoculars — Never use a riflescope as a substitute for binoculars. The temptation to do so is real, but when one does this, one is by definition pointing the muzzle of the gun at unknown targets. We like binoculars with built-in rangefinders. When glassing at long range, try supporting your binoculars on your pack.

hunting scopes binoculars Zeiss Colton Reid

15. Be Sure of Your Target before Shooting — Every year during whitetail season, farmers are forced to spray-paint their cattle or risk having them “harvested” by hunters who don’t bother confirming the species in their sights. Hunters with “buck fever” can make mistakes. When in doubt, don’t shoot.

hunting scope deer rifle

16. Know When to Unload — When finished hunting, unload your firearm before returning to camp. You should also unload your gun before attempting to climb a steep bank or travel across slippery ground.

17. Bring Hearing Protection — While pursuing and stalking your prey you’ll want full sensory use of your ears. But when you’re finally ready to take the shot, slip in hearing protection. A shot from a large-caliber hunting rifle can exceed 170 decibels. Unprotected exposure to noise from a SINGLE 170+ dB shot can cause permanent hearing damage. (Source: ASHA.org). If you make a follow-up shot, you double that noise hazard. Therefore a hunter with a non-suppressed rifle should have hearing protection available.

hunting safety annual day top 20 tips

You can keep a pair of quick-insert plugs on a cord around your neck. Or, get a lightweight neck band with earbuds, such as Howard Leight Quiet Band QB2HYG, 3M Safety Band, or Sellstrom Band, all with a good 25 dB Noise Reduction Rating. You can keep these lightweight bands around your neck, for quick deployment before you shoot.

hunting safety annual day top 20 tips

“Once a hunter is successful, the REAL work begins.” — Colton Reid

18. Harvesting the Animal — When dressing your animal, be careful with the meat. You’ll want very sharp knives. Some hunters prefer knives with replaceable, razor-sharp blades. Don’t rush the task. Make sure you don’t get moisture or dirt on meat. The three spoilers of meat are heat, moisture, and dirt.

19. Pace Yourself When Packing Out — If you DO succeed, and bring down a big buck, will you be able to dress the animal and carry out the meat? Always be prepared to hike out with extra weight. If you are successful, make sure not to waste the meat you worked so hard for. Choose a pack that can help you carry a heavy load. Remember, this is not an insignificant challenge — you may be carrying 60 to 100 extra pounds in addition to your other gear. Again, take your time. Rest as needed. Don’t hurt yourself.

20. Remember to Enjoy the Experience — Our Hunting Editor, Colton Reid, offers this sage advice to all hunters, but particularly to novices: “Have fun, and appreciate your hunt, whether you bag a buck or not. It is a privilege to experience the wilderness and to get away from the city. Enjoy it while you’re out there. And keep your spirits up. You may get tired, but remember that ‘comes with the territory’. At the end of the day, yes you may be exhausted. And you may want to quit and go home. But stay positive, stay focused. Be patient, the experience is worth it.”

hunting fishing day Hunting guide
CLICK HERE for Hunter Training/Mentoring Programs State-by-State.

Visit WhereToHunt.org

There’s a great online resource for hunters that will help you find game locations in your state and ensure you have all the proper permits and game tags. WheretoHunt.org features an interactive map of the country. 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.

Click Map to Get State-by-State Hunting INFO
Where to Hunt hunting license game location

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September 23rd, 2022

Hunting Safety Checklist — Review This Before Your Fall Hunt

Hunting Safety Checklist family safe hunter
Elk Hunt with Horn Fork Guides, Ltd., in Colorado.

national hunting fishing day NSSF hunter deer elk gameTomorrow, September 24, 2022, is National Hunting & Fishing Day. The annual celebration takes place on the the 4th Saturday of September every year. 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.

Hunting Safety Checklist
A good hunt begins with preparation. And during the hunt, safety is a key priority. To help hunters, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has created a Safety Checklist for hunters. This Hunting Safety Checklist, produced as part of the NSSF’s “Hunt S.A.F.E.” campaign, helps hunters follow good, safe practices in the field and at home.


Download NSSF Hunting Safety Checklist »

Hunting Safety Checklist family safe hunter
hunting safety day checklist
Elk photo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

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September 22nd, 2022

How American Hunters Promote Wildlife Conservation in USA

National hunting fishing day wildlife conservation habitat preservation tags licensing
This Saturday, September 24, 2022, is National Hunting and Fishing Day.

There are over 9.2 million hunters in the United States. The fees paid by hunters are essential to support conservation efforts and to protect/maintain habitats.

These infographics explain the vital role that American hunters play in protecting wild species in North America. Currently 60% of state Fish & Wildlife Agency funding comes from excise taxes and licensee fees paid by hunters and anglers. The system has provided billions of dollars for conservation over the past nine decades. Since the late 1930s, hunters, target shooters and the firearms industry have been the nation’s largest contributors to conservation, paying for programs that benefit America’s wildlife.

National hunting fishing day wildlife conservation habitat preservation tags licensing

CLICK to Load full-screen Infographic (Easier to Read)

National hunting fishing day wildlife conservation habitat preservation tags licensing

The Pittman-Robertson Act generates $700 million annually, which is distributed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to state fish and game agencies across America.

National hunting fishing day wildlife conservation habitat preservation tags licensing

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September 20th, 2022

Varminters’ Debate — Cranking Elevation or Holding Over/Under

IOR Scope elevation knob one revolution

Leuopold Varmint Hunters' ReticleA varmint shooter’s target is not conveniently placed at a fixed, known distance as it is for a benchrester. The varminter must repeatedly make corrections for bullet drop as he moves from closer targets to more distant targets and back again. Click HERE to read an interesting Varmint Forum discussion regarding the best method to adjust for elevation. Some shooters advocate using the scope’s elevation adjustments. Other varminters prefer to hold-over, perhaps with the assistance of vertical markers on their reticles. Still others combine both methods–holding off to a given yardage, then cranking elevation after that.

Majority View — Click Your Scope
“I zero at 100 yards — I mean really zero as in check the ballistics at 200 and 300 and adjust zero accordingly — and then set the scope zero. For each of my groundhog guns I have a click chart taped into the inside of the lid of the ammo box. Then use the knobs. That’s why they’re there. With a good scope they’re a whole lot more accurate than hold-over, with or without hash marks. This all assumes you have a good range finder and use it properly. If not, and you’re holding over you’re really just spraying and praying. Try twisting them knobs and you’ll most likely find that a 500- or 600- or 700-yard groundhog is a whole lot easier than some people think.” — Gunamonth

Varmint hunter 22 BR elevation scope hold-over

“I have my elevation knob calibrated in 100-yard increments out to 550. Range-find the critter, move elevation knob up…dead critter. The problem with hold-over is that it is so imprecise. It’s not repeatable because you are holding over for elevation and for wind also. Every time you change targets 50 yards, it seems as if you are starting over. As soon as I got completely away from the hold over method (I used to zero for 200), my hit ratios went way up.” — K. Candler

“When I first started p-dog shooting, I attempted to use the hold-over method with a 200-yard zero with my 6mm Rem. Any dog much past 325-350 yards was fairly safe. I started using a comeups table for all three of my p-dog rifles (.223 Rems and 6mm Rem). 450-yard hits with the .223s are fairly routine and a 650-yard dog better beware of the 6mm nowadays. An added benefit (one I didn’t think of beforehand) with the comeups table (elevation only), is that when the wind is blowing, it takes half of the variables out of the equation. I can concentrate on wind, and not have to worry about elevation. It makes things much more simple.” — Mike (Linefinder).

“I dial for elevation and hold for wind. Also use a mil-dot reticle to make the windage holds easier. For windage corrections, I watch for the bullet strike measure the distance it was “off” with the mil-dot reticle, then hold that much more the other way. Very fast once you get used to it.” — PepeLP

Varmint Hunting ScopeMinority View — Hold-Over is Better
“I try to not touch my knobs once I’m zeroed at 200 meters. Most of my varmint scopes have duplex reticles and I use the bottom post to put me on at 300 meters versus turning knobs. The reason I try to leave my knobs alone is that I have gone one complete revolution up or down [too far] many times and have missed the varmint. This has happened more than once and that is why I try not to change my knobs if at all possible.” — Chino69

“I have been using the hold over method and it works for me most of the time but the 450 yards and over shots get kinda hard. I moved to a 300 yard zero this year and it’s working well. I do want to get into the click-up method though; it seems to be more fool-proof.” — 500YardHog

Compromise View — Use Both Methods
“I use both [methods] as well — hold over out to 250, and click up past that.” — Jack (Wolf)

“I use the target knobs and crank-in elevation. I also use a rangefinder and know how far away they are before I crank in the clicks. I have a scope with drop dots from Premier Recticle and like it. No cranking [knobs] out to 600.” –Vmthtr

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Optics, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
September 20th, 2022

6.5 Creedmoor — Cartridge History and Norma Hunting Feature

Norma hunting africa elk deer eland 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge
6.5 Creedmoor (right) shown with .308 Win (left) and .243 Win (center) for comparison.

Though most popular for competition applications (PRS and XTC), the 6.5 Creedmoor is also a capable hunting cartridge. A few seasons back Norma spotlighted the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge and outlined the game-harvesting capabilities of Norma 6.5 Creedmoor factory ammunition. Here are highlights of that article, which may interest hunters this fall.

Origins of the 6.5 Creedmoor
Dave Emary, senior engineer at Hornady, asked fellow competitive shooters about their “wish list” for a mid-sized round with long-range potential. It needed to offer efficiency, good ballistics, fine accuracy, and reliable feeding from a magazine. To achieve these goals, Emary necked the .30 T/C to .264 caliber (6.5 mm). The shoulder on this case is well to the rear, so long bullets with high ballistic coefficients can be used in short actions. The efficient Creedmoor case and its modest powder charge deliver hard hits on big game while keeping recoil modest. The case runs well in magazines sized for the .308 Winchester, and because it is efficient, the 6.5 Creedmoor delivers velocities very close to the .260 Remington (which is basically a 6.5-308 Win) with less powder. The 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge has shown excellent accuracy in PRS competition, though the 6mm Creedmoor has proven more competitive, given its reduced recoil. Overall the 6.5 Creedmoor has been a huge commercial success — the 6.5 CM is now one of the most-commonly chambered cartridges in new factory rifles.

Norma hunting africa elk deer eland 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge

Hunting with the 6.5 Creedmoor

by Wayne van Zwoll
I learned about the 6.5 Creedmoor by way of a rifle from Todd Seyfert at Magnum Research. The Remington 700 action wears a carbon-fiber barrel with a Krieger stainless core. GreyBull Precision added a stock and a modified 4.5-14X Leupold scope. Its 1/3-minute elevation dial is calibrated specifically for 130-grain boat-tail spitzers at Creedmoor velocities. “Spin the elevation dial to the distance in yards, and aim dead-on.” said GreyBull’s Don Ward. Prone with a sling, I was soon banging steel at 500 yards.

By the charts, the 6.5 Creedmoor is a superb cartridge for deer-size game. But I caught only a late elk season with this new rifle. The 6.5×55 and .260 had taken elk for me; surely the Creedmoor would as well. Alas, the close shot I’d wanted, to ensure precise bullet placement, didn’t come. When on the final evening Don and I spied a bull far off, there was no approach. “Your call,” he shrugged. “The air is dead-still.” I snugged the sling, prone, and dialed to the yardage. Ribs spot-lit by a sinking sun, the bull paused. Craaack! The animal spun, sprinted and fell. That shot was twice as long as any I’d ever attempted at elk.

Whitetail hunting with a Ruger 77, then a trip to sub-Saharan Africa with a T/C Icon, kept the 6.5 Creedmoor in my ammo pouch. The T/C dropped a Vaal Rhebok at 250 yards, in stiff wind. Shorter pokes on a variety of game produced consistently quick kills. I found the Creedmoor’s limit with an eland.

Norma hunting africa elk deer eland 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge
A high ballistic coefficient helped a Creedmoor bullet slice stiff wind 250 yards to this Vaal Rhebok.

Since then, I’ve seen several animals brought to bag by the 6.5 Creedmoor. And I’ve used it in a variety of rifles on paper and steel targets to 1,200 yards. It has become one of my favorite cartridges for deer-size game. Its mild report and recoil make it easy to shoot accurately. It seems an inherently accurate cartridge too. I’ve punched half-minute groups from production-class rifles. The proliferation of hunting loads for the 6.5 Creedmoor includes none better than Norma’s 130-grain Scirocco. This sleek, polymer-nose bullet, with its 15° boat-tail and a G1 BC over .550, flies very flat. In expansion and penetration tests, it opens reliably down to 1,750 fps, and drives straight and deep. A bonded bullet, it stays in one piece after high-speed impact, routinely retaining more than 80% of its original weight.

Story Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting 2 Comments »
September 17th, 2022

Saturday Movies: Hunting Optics — Scopes, Spotters, LRFs, Binocs

saturday movies hunt hunting hunter optics spotting scope LRF rangefinder video review

Hunting season is here. For hunters that means many hours may be spent searching for animals through spotting scopes and binoculars — “glassing” for game. And when the hunter does find a good buck or doe, he’ll need to know the animal’s precise distance, so that demands a good laser rangefinder. Being carried in the field, the scopes on hunting rifles need to be tough and durable, and every hunting scope should have good low-light performance. And when the hunter finally takes his shot, his scope better be properly zeroed. Today’s Saturday at the Movies showcase is all about Hunting Optics. We offer eight great videos that help you select the right riflescope, spotting scope, rangefinder, and binoculars for your next hunt.

Comparison of Seven Popular Deer Hunting Scopes

This is summary review of seven (7) popular hunting scopes, as available in 2020 (there may be newer variants). This video consist mostly of manufacturer-created marketing content with a few minutes of independent reviews. Consider this video a place to start when shopping for a new hunting optic. You’ll want to check independent reviews when you select a particular model. The seven riflescopes featured in the video are: Athlon Optics Argos BTR, Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x50mm, Leupold VX-R 4-12x40mm, NightForce SHV 5-20x56mm, Nikon Buckmasters II, Vortex Crossfire II, Vortex Viper HS SFP.

Optics Selections for Mountain Hunts

Here’s a good video by an avid hunter who treks in remote, mountainous zones. The host has learned what works… and what’s worth the weight to carry: “I’ve found that the combination of 10×42 binoculars and a 27–60x80mm spotting scope is the sweet spot for mountain hunting. This pairing balances weight with reach, allowing me to keep moving but also reach out and see well-hidden animals. In some cases, I will make use of an 18×56 binocular, but this is reserved for non-backpack hunts. With 25 years of mountain hunting experience, I can whole-heartedly recommend my preferred binocular pair as a fantastic and versatile set-up for northern mountain hunts at the very least.”

Ultimate Spotter Test — 19 Spotting Scopes Reviewed

The producers of this remarkable 19-product spotting scope comparison state: “If you are looking at choosing the best spotting scope for hunting… you are in the right place! We tested these 19 spotting scopes to find the best compact spotting scope, best 65mm spotting scope, and best 85mm spotting scope out there. We also wanted to find the best values on the market, and I think we definitely did that. While we certainly couldn’t test them ALL, we were able to put together this incredible lineup of some of the best spotting scopes out there to help you find what is going to work for your specific needs.”

First Focal Plane vs. Second Focal Plane Scopes

For the last century, Second Focal Plane (SFP) scopes have been most common on hunting rifles. Now there are an increasing number of First Focal Plane (FFP) optics favored by hunters. The main reason is that the reticle mark values (in Mils or MOA) are constant relative to the target size at all magnification levels. That is handy for hold-offs and hold-overs. On the other hand, a SFP scope maintains a constant reticle size and line thickness at all zoom values. For most hunting shots, taken inside 300 yards, that really should be fine. Many hunters feel they can spot their prey more easily without a busy reticle that obscures small details at higher magnification. This video explains the pros and cons of both reticle types. The final decision is up to you — much will depend on the terrain you hunt and the distances you shoot.

The Complete Optics Selection for For Deer Hunting

In this video, Vortex optics techs explain the optics package deer hunters will want to take into the field. Along with a good medium-power zoom riflescope, you’ll want binoculars and (probably) a spotting scope. You’ll also want a Laser Rangefinder (LRF) or laser-equipped binoculars. As the team points out, the LRF is not just to range your prey right before you take a shot. A top-quality LRF can range a reflective object as far as 1500 yards away. That helps you decide whether you want to hike a mile to reach that buck you see way out on the next ridge.

MOA vs. MIL — What you Need to Know

These days, scope manufacturers offer a wide selection of both MIL (Milliradian) and MOA (Minute-of-Angle) based optics. We do think that MOA is still predominant in the lighter-weight, lower-cost (sub-$500) scopes marketed for hunters. There are pros and cons for both angular measurement systems. One MIL is 3.6″ at 100 yards, while one MOA is 1.047″ at 100 yards. If you grew up thinking in inches, a 1/4-MOA click-value hunting scope might work best. If you shoot PRS or have other MIL scopes you may prefer a MIL-value optic for your hunting rifle. Both choices will do the job.

Comparison of Eight Laser Rangefinders

The Backfire team purchased eight rangefinders and tested them in the field. Most of the products are under $500. This is a good review if you are looking for a compact LRF at a moderate price. Looking at performance for the price, for the hunting market, the reviewers favored the Leupold RX-1600 and the waterproof Vortex Ranger 1800. COMMENTARY: If you can afford it, we recommend that serious hunters consider top-end laser rangefinder-equipped binoculars such as the ZEISS Victory RF and Leica Geovid.

How to Zero Your Hunting Rifle Efficiently

Last but not least, here’s a great video from Vortex that shows you how to quickly and efficiently sight-in and zero your hunting rifle before heading out into the field. This video explains a simple procedure that lets you get a solid zero in just three shots. Of course you probably want to fire a few more rounds to confirm your zero before you head off to your hunting grounds, but this will let you get on-target with a minimum amount of time and ammo expended. This helpful video has over 3 million views on YouTube!

3-Shot Zero

Fouling Shots and Cold Bore Condition
If you recently cleaned your rifle, you may want to fire two or three fouling shots before you start this procedure. But keep in mind that you want to duplicate the typical cold bore conditions that you’ll experience during the hunt. If you set your zero after three fouling shots, then make sure the bore is in a similar condition when you actually go out hunting.

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September 16th, 2022

Handy, Slip-On $19.95 Forearm Pad Is Great for Hunters

RRR gun rest padded neoprene

Getting ready for your 2021 fall hunt? Here’s a simple but effective product that can benefit varminters and game-hunters. The slip-on, padded RRR (“triple R”) gun rest cushions your rifle on any surface and helps eliminate noise when shifting the gun from one shooting position to another. The RRR slip-on rest is made of neoprene (wet suit material) with a built-in, thick Armaflex foam cushion on the bottom. This $19.95 sleeve protects the finish of your rifle, while providing a cushioned layer between your rifle and the supporting surface. CLICK HERE for RRR STORE.

Key Benefits of the RRR Slip-On Padded Fore-Arm Rest
1. The RRR sleeve cushions your rifle. This helps to keep the shot from going high even when the rifle is placed on a hard surface.
2. The RRR sleeve quiets the gun. The padded, neoprene covering acts like a sound deadener even when you set the gun on a metal frame or hard surface..
3. The RRR protects the finish on the stock of your rifle from scratches when resting on hard surfaces.

RRR gun rest padded neoprene

Video Shows RRR in Use in the Field

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September 15th, 2022

Free NRA Printable Hunting Targets

hunting NRA Blog Target deer buck turkey hog PDF printable target

Hunting season has started in many parts of the country… or will very soon. Before you head out to the hunting fields, you may want to practice your shooting on specialty paper targets designed expressly for hunters. Here is a selection of game targets which can help you achieve success this hunting season.

hunting winchester
Fall Winchester Hunting photo with Nikki Boxler from Winchester Blog.

FREE Printable Game Targets from the NRA

To help you prepare for your fall hunts, NRABlog.com has created a set of color practice hunting targets. You can hone your skills on a trio of bucks, three wild hogs, or three turkeys. Each target features three red bullseyes, centered on the animals. You can print the targets in black and white, but they look best in color. Click on each image below to download a FREE printable PDF file.

Right-Click Each Image to Download Printable PDF File:

hunting NRA Blog Target deer buck turkey hog PDF printable target

hunting NRA Blog Target deer buck turkey hog PDF printable target

hunting NRA Blog Target deer buck turkey hog PDF printable target

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