December 5th, 2020

Competitive Shooting Can Make You a Better Hunter

Competitive Shooting Hunting Doug Koenig Bruce Piatt

Shooting Sports USA has an article of interest to competitive shooters who also enjoy hunting. This article was authored by Josh Honeycutt, a highly-accomplished hunter. To explain how competitive shooting can improve hunting skills, Honeycutt interviewed two leading pro shooters who both hunt: Doug Koenig and Bruce Piatt. The story outlines eight ways competitive shooting can help develop shooting skills and a mental awareness that will help hunters. Thorough the eight points, the article explains how skills learned in competition can help deliver better results during your hunts.

READ HUNTING ARTICLE HERE »

Competitive Shooting Hunting Doug Koenig Bruce Piatt

competition shooting hunters hunting

free hunting targets

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December 1st, 2020

Reading the Wind When Hunting — Smart Advice from Norway

Norway Hunting Snow

Thomas Haugland, a Shooters’ Forum member from Norway, is a long-range target shooter and hunter. He has created an interesting video showing how to gauge wind velocities by watching trees, grass, and other natural vegetation. The video commentary is in English, but the units of wind speed (and distance) are metric. Haugland explains: “This is not a full tutorial, but rather a short heads-up to make you draw the lines between the dots yourself”. Here are some conversions that will help when watching the video:

.5 m/s = 1.1 mph | 1 m/s = 2.2 mph | 2 m/s = 4.5 mph
3 m/s = 6.7 mph | 4 m/s = 8.9 mph | 5 m/s =11.2 mph

How to Gauge Wind Speed and Hold Off Using Reticles

Thomas Haugland long range shooting hunting hunter norway

This field video shows how to observe natural indicators — trees and vegetation — to estimate wind velocity. Then it shows how to calculate hold-offs using the reticle hash-marks. Thomas shoots a fast-cycling Blaser R93 rifle with Norma 6XC ammunition.

More Interesting Videos from Norway
There are many other interesting videos on Haugland’s YouTube Channel, including Game Stalking, Precision Reloading, Shooting Fundamentals and Tips on how to use a Mildot Reticle on a scope with MOA-based clicks.

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November 21st, 2020

Cartridge Comparison Guide Covers 250+ Cartridges

Cartridge Comparison Guide

Cartridge Comparison GuideThe Cartridge Comparison Guide is a remarkably comprehensive 340-page, spiral-bound book. Covering over 250 cartridges, the Second Edition of the Cartridge Comparison Guide is the product of many years of labor by Andrew Chamberlain, a Utah-based hunter. Andrew says his Guide “compares every factory available cartridge from the 17 calibers up to the 50 caliber cartridges”. (Sorry, most wildcat cartridges are not covered.) Chamberlain’s Guide also compiles cartridge data from major ammunition manufacturers such as Barnes, Federal, Hornady, Norma, Nosler, Remington, Sierra, Swift, Weatherby, and Winchester. It shows the optimal velocity achieved for each bullet weight and calculates bullet energy, recoil, and powder efficiency. Large color photos illustrate handgun and rifle cartridges.

The Cartridge Comparison Guide provides data for thousands of cartridge/bullet/velocity combos. Quick reference sheets and ballistics charts cover Trajectory, Velocity, and Energy out to 500 yards. The Cartridge Comparison Guide also offers a firearms lexicon, plus Appendices covering Cartridge Selection for Game Animals, Bullet Selection/Design, Bullet Expansion, and Wound Channel Characteristics.

New Content in Second Edition of Cartridge Comparison Guide
The Cartridge Comparison Guide (Second Edition) costs $29.99 plus shipping and tax. CLICK HERE to visit the Online Store where you can order the 340-page book. Here’s what’s new in the Second Edition:

  • Addition of Shotgun Ammunition (Both Slug and Shot loads).
  • Momentum Calculation for all Rifle, Shotgun and Handgun loads.
  • Integration of Shotgun Slug Ammunition with Center Fire Rifle Data Tables.
  • Factory Load Summary Added (Shows manufacturers and loads produced).
  • One factory load and one hand load for every bullet weight available in each cartridge.
  • Over 90 pages of additional ballistics content (roughly 35% more than in First Edition).

Cartridge Comparison Guide

Great Resource for Hunters
One of Chamberlain’s main goals in creating the Cartridge Comparison Guide was to help hunters select the right cartridge for the job: “This started as a personal project to gather information on the more popular cartridges commonly used for hunting. I wanted to find the best all-around performing cartridge and rifle that a guy on a budget could shoot. I began comparing cartridge performance, versatility, bullet selection, powder efficiency, recoil generation vs. energy produced, standing ballistic data for different environments….”

Black Rifle Cartridge Comparison Guide

The Black Rifle Cartridge Comparison Guide (CCG) was created for semi-auto AR-platform and Modern Sporting Rifle users. The Black Rifle CCG covers virtually all popular rifle, shotgun, and handgun cartridge types used with magazine-fed, semi-automatic black rifles or AR “pistols”. There is information for 50 unique rifle cartridges plus shotgun and handgun cartridges. The book provides ballistics data for all these cartridges via easy-to-use data tables. The tables cover factory ammunition and handloaded cartridges, included the newer .224 Valkyrie.

black rifle cartridge guide book

The data tables compare standardized rifle and handgun cartridges from .17 caliber to up to .50 caliber. The book also provides data for 20-, 16-, and 12-gauge Shotgun cartridges. A handy summary table identifies each rifle cartridge presented and notes if it can be fired from a factory available MSR platform, a semi-custom platform/upper, as well as a semi-custom barrel. This 275-page, spiral-bound book is on sale now for $21.99.

Giant Cartridge Poster for Computer Wallpaper (1665×1080 pixels)
Here’s a great illustration of hundreds of cartridges and shotshell types. For dedicated reloaders, this would work great as desktop “wallpaper” for your computer. CLICK HERE for full-size image.

cartridge poster

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November 6th, 2020

Vortex Offers Resources for Deer Hunters

Vortex whitetail hunting podcast

Vortex has assembled a variety of audio-visual resources to provide hunters with the info and tools they need to accurately sight-in their rifles, locate the right hunting gear, track game successfully, and then harvest and haul their game meat efficiently and safely. Here are two Vortex videos, plus a podcast that can help hunters with their late fall hunts.

How to Mount a Hunting Scope

This video shows, step-by-step, how to mount a scope on a hunting rifle. This explains how to ensure the rifle AND scope are level, and how to secure the rings properly. Then the video explains the best procedure for zeroing the scope at your desired distance.

Vortex Podcast with Hunting Advice from Expert Hunters
Learn to improve your whitetail ground hunting game with the podcast team here. This podcast covers tracking, stalking, equipment selection, hunt safety and many other important topics.

Vortex whitetail hunting podcast

Meat Care After the Shot — Pro Tips
Ryan Lampers of Hunt Harvest Health discusses meat care techniques and tricks to ensure the game you take makes it to your table in the best condition possible. This video covers warm-weather hunts, keeping meet cool, gutting vs. the gutless method, how to take the heart, liver, and rib meat, shot placement, blood-shod meat, and avoiding contaminants. The video also covers all-night pack-outs, loading your pack with meat/gear, meat shelves vs. putting it in your pack, ageing meat, quarters Vs. boning, keeping your pack clean, kill kit items and more. For serious game hunters, this is a must-watch video.

Hunting Optics Selection — Scopes, LRFs, Binoculars
Here are some helpful hints on choosing optics for deer hunting. This Vortex promo piece discusses selection of riflescopes, rangefinders, and binoculars. Article: Choosing Glass to Conquer Whitetail Country.

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October 17th, 2020

How to Have Success on Your Hunt — Tips from Kristy Titus

Kristy Titus NRA Women Hunting guide

Kristy Titus Offers Hunting Tips

As part of NRA Women TV, hunting guide Kristy Titus hosts a series of videos that explain important strategies and shooting skills for hunters. Titus is a certified instructor who has hunted around the globe. She grew up in the outdoors, running pack mules in Oregon with her father. In these videos, Kristy discusses demonstrates field positions that can be employed during a hunt. She also explains preparation for a hunt, including fitness training.

kristy titus video hunting

Shooting Positions and Rifle Support in the Field
Because of interferring terrain features, it’s not common to get a prone shot on game. That’s why hunters nead to practice shooting from various positions. You can use tree limbs or boulders for support (see above). In addition, many hunters bring bipods or tripods to help make that once-in-a-lifetime trophy shot. We have used telescoping Bog-Pod supports on varmint hunts. In this video, Kristy explains various shooting positions and training routines.

Fitness Training — Prepare for the Trek
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.”

Kristy Titus NRA Women Hunting guide

“When it comes to bolt-action rifle fit, there is no ‘one size fits all’,” says Titus. “When picking out your rifle [consider options] after the purchase to ensure you are as comfortable as possible.”

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September 30th, 2020

Padded Rifle Fore-Arm Rest Sleeve Is Great for Hunting

RRR gun rest padded neoprene

Here is 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.

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 26th, 2020

Twenty Tips for Hunters on National Hunting and Fishing Day

hunting safety annual day top 20 tips

Today is National Hunting and Fishing Day. 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 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 everywhere 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. 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 the Howard Leight Quiet Band QB2HYG. This is a plastic ring with earbuds, you can keep around your neck.

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.

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.”

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 25th, 2020

Smarter Glassing for Hunters — Using Binoculars with a Tripod

Vortex Binoculars

With hunting season underway (or coming up soon), we know that many readers will be out in the field — with a set of binoculars. On most game hunts, you’ll speed a lot more time glassing with binocs than looking through your riflescope. With wide field of view and extended low-light capability, a good set of binoculars will be your most important game-finder. And with premium LRF binoculars, such as the new Vortex Fury, one tool serves both for spotting and laser ranging.

“Without the stabilization of your binoculars [provided by] a tripod … you will be missing a majority of the game you are glassing for.” — Outdoorsmans.com

In this article, Vortex Optics’ Mark Boardman, an experienced hunter, explains the benefits of using a tripod with high-magnification binoculars. 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.

Vortex Binoculars


» READ FULL ARTICLE with More Tips for Hunters

Vortex BinocularsOutdoorsmans Tripod Adapters
Outdoorsmans.com sells tripod adapters for various kinds of binoculars. These really work: “Mounting your binoculars to a quality tripod is a must for the serious western hunter. Without the stabilization of your binoculars [by] mounting them to a tripod … you will be missing a majority of the game you are glassing for.”

A serious hunter should learn how to glass with tripod support, using methods outlined here. With binoculars offering more that 8X magnification, you can really benefit from a steady mount. You’ll be amazed at the difference the tripod will make.

Story tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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September 22nd, 2020

Hunting Safety Checklist — Be Safe on Your Annual Hunt

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

Next Saturday, September 26, 2020, 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.

colorado elk hunting winter hunter

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 day checklist

Hunting Safety Checklist family safe hunter

Father/son hunting photo courtesy SportsmansGuide.com. Elk photo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

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September 13th, 2020

The Successful Hunt — Tips & Tactics with Kristy Titus

Kristy Titus hunter hunting video bipod shooting position

As part of NRA Women TV, hunting guide Kristy Titus hosts a series of videos that explain important strategies and shooting skills for hunters. Titus, co-host of the Team Elk TV show, is a certified instructor who has hunted around the globe. She grew up in the outdoors, running pack mules in Oregon with her father. In these videos, Kristy discusses demonstrates field positions that can be employed during a hunt. She also explains preparation for a hunt, including fitness training.

Click each link below to watch other Kristy Titus Hunting Videos.

Kristy Titus hunter hunting video bipod shooting position

Kristy Titus preparing for hunt positional shooting hunter hunting video bipod shooting position

Kristy Titus follow up shots hunter hunting video bipod shooting position

Kristy Titus hunter hunting video bipod shooting ethical shots position

Kristy Titus hunter hunting video bipod shooting position

“When it comes to bolt-action rifle fit, there is no ‘one size fits all’,” says Titus. “When picking out your rifle [consider options] after the purchase to ensure you are as comfortable as possible.”

Kristy Titus hunter hunting video bipod shooting position

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September 12th, 2020

Resources for Hunting Season and Safety Tips

hunting safety 2019 checklist hunter license
Hunting Season has already started in some states, and is right around the corner in other locations. For readers who plan to hunt game this fall, we recommend you brush up on hunter safety and learn the laws in your jurisdiction. Here are some helpful resources for hunters: Safety Tips, Hunter Education, License Requirements, and Where-to-Hunt interactive map. Top photo courtesy Horn Fork Guides, Ltd., in Colorado.

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.

Where to hunt hunting license state information NSSF

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

Hunter Safety Tips
NRAFamily.org has a good article listing six salient safety tips for hunters. Anyone preparing for a fall hunt should read this article before heading into the field. Here are three key bits of advice:

1. Be Positive of Your Target before Shooting
This might sound overly simplistic, but the fact remains that, every year during whitetail season, farmers everywhere are forced to spray-paint their cattle or risk having them “harvested” by hunters who don’t bother confirming the species of the large ungulate in their sights. Why does this happen? The most likely explanation is “buck fever,” meaning that the hunter wants so badly to see a nice big buck that sometimes his eyes deceive him into thinking that there’s one there. When in doubt, don’t shoot.

2. Scopes 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.

3. 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.

Hunting Affiliation Groups
There are many good organizations dedicated to promoting hunting and preserving our hunting habitats. These groups all offer valuable information for hunters:

Ducks Unlimited
Mule Deer Foundation
National Wild Turkey Federation
Pheasants Forever
Quail Forever
Rabbits Unlimited
Safari Club International
Squirrels Umlimited
Varmint Hunters Association
Whitetails Unlimited
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September 12th, 2020

NRA Offers FREE Online Hunter Education Course

Experiencd Hunter education course NRA

Hunting season is starting soon in most areas of the country. Here’s a way you can improve your hunting skills/knowledge. The NRA is offering a FREE online Experienced Hunter Education Course for those preparing to take advantage of the 2020 hunting season.

“As a result of COVID travel restrictions, states have seen a considerable increase in the number of hunting license sales”, said Peter Churchbourne, director of NRA’s Hunters Leadership Forum. “Our Experienced Hunter Education Course provides those who might have taken a season or two off a convenient way to sharpen their skills before heading back into the field.”

NRA’s free 2-hour course is a firearm and hunting safety-training refresher in a convenient and engaging platform available through desktop, tablet, or smartphone. The course is available to everyone at www.NRAEHE.org. NOTE: The course is NOT a substitute for state-mandated hunter safety requirements and does not offer any certifications.

Experiencd Hunter education course NRA

The NRA’s NRA Experienced Hunter Education Course, is an online training program designed to help hunters brush up their skills. Free to all, this comprehensive hunting refresher course will help hunters become safer and more confident before heading out into the field. CLICK HERE for more information.

Experiencd Hunter education course NRA

“If you’ve taken a break from the shooting sports or haven’t hunted in a season or two, our Experienced Hunter Education Course is the perfect refresher for firearms safety and safe hunting practices,” explained Elizabeth Bush, managing director of NRA Community Engagement. “Best of all, we’re offering this service completely free of charge.”

Course Description
This online training course is specifically designed for individuals who have not hunted in the past year or more and are looking for a safety refresher before they head back out in the field. In this course, hunters will have the opportunity to refresh their skills by taking a look at safe hunting practices and firearms safety. Once completed, you will be a safer hunter in the field.

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September 11th, 2020

Hunting 101 — Stabilize Your Shooting Positions

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand
For hunters in a tree stand, SFC McPhail recommends a position with your weakside leg pulled up and firmly braced on the front rail of the treestand. You can then rest your support arm on your leg. This provides a rock-solid position when shooting from a stand.

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestandTeam USA Olympian and ISSF World Cup Winner SFC Michael McPhail is one of the world’s best smallbore rifle shooters. He is also an avid hunter, who enjoys harvesting game with centerfire rifles. In a USAMU video, McPhail shows how competition shooting positions can be adapted for hunters. McPhail shows how well-established positions can provide a more stable platform for hunters in the field. That can help ensure a successful hunt. McPhail demonstrates three positions: kneeling, supported prone, and sitting in a tree-stand.

Watch SFC McPhail Demonstrate Positions for Hunters (Good Video):

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand

McPhail first demonstrates the kneeling position. Michael notes: “I like kneeling. It’s a little bit of an under-utilized position, but it’s almost as stable as prone. It allows you get up off the ground a little bit higher to [compensate for] vegetation. For kneeling start by taking your non-dominant foot and put that towards the target, while at the same time dropping down to a knee on the dominant leg. At the same time … wrap the sling around wrist and fore-arm, lean slightly into the target and take the shot.”

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand

McPhail shows a nice “field expedient” use of your backpack. He shows how the basic prone position can be adapted, using the pack as a front rifle support. McPhail recommends pulling your dominant (strongside) leg forward, bent at the knee. According to Michael, this takes pressure off the abdomen, helps minimizes heart beat effects, and helps with breathing.

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September 8th, 2020

Camo Tuesday — Great Deals for Hunters and 40% Off Clothing

MidwayUSA camo tuesday contest discount sale bargain

This is the biggest sale day of the year for hunters. MidwayUSA’s Camo Tuesday is a once-a-year event with some of the best deals you’ll find on hunting clothing, rifles, optics, trail cams, boots, backpacks, ammo, rangefinders, binoculars, GPS units, knives, and everything else a hunter could need. Along with great Camo Tuesday bargains, you can get FREE Shipping for orders over $49 with Code CAMOTUESDAY2020.

Along with the super sale discounts, MidwayUSA is running a big Camo Tuesday Contest, with three valuable prize packages from Federal. CLICK HERE for contest entry page with prize descriptions.

Here are a dozen great Camo Tuesday Deals.
There are hundreds more on MidwayUSA’s website.

MidwayUSA camo tuesday contest discount sale bargain

MidwayUSA has also discounted its hunting clothing collection. Prices are slashed 40%! There are GREAT DEALS on vests, bibs, hoodies, shirts, pants, parkas, coveralls, coats, gloves, and balaclavas. All hunting clothing is at least 40% OFF Today!

MidwayUSA camo tuesday contest discount sale bargain
MidwayUSA camo tuesday contest discount sale bargain

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September 8th, 2020

From the Land of Fjords — Hunting in Norway

Norway Fjord Hunting Skorpen

This time of year, deer and elk hunters throughout the Northern Hemisphere trek into the wilds in search of game. To celebrate the hunting lifestyle, we’re reprising a story from Europe that showcases the beauty of nature that can be experienced on a hunting trip.

Norway Fjord Hunting SkorpenIf 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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July 24th, 2020

Wind Wizardry for Varminters — Keep the Wind at Your Back

Varmint Hunting varmint safari wind war wagon trailer longmeadow game resort
This impressive war wagon hauls varmint hunters around the Longmeadow Game Resort in Colorado.

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.

Put the Wind at Your Back
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.

Benefits of Swivel Benches
In a large varmint field, you’ll want to orient your shooting position to put the wind at your back if possible. If you have a rotating bench such as this, you can further adjust your shooting orientation to work with the wind, not against it. You may also want to position simple flags (posts with colored tape) downrange to alert you to wind changes you may not notice from your shooting positions.

Photos by Chris Long, taken during Chris’s Wyoming Varmint Hunt with Trophy Ridge Outfitters.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Shooting Skills 3 Comments »
July 23rd, 2020

Congress Approves Great American Outdoors Act

Congress House representative Great American Outdoors Act

NSSF Applauds Congressional Passage of Great American Outdoors Act
NSSF, the trade association for the firearm industry, praised the U.S. House of Representatives’ bipartisan passage of H.R. 1957, the Great American Outdoors Act. This historic legislation is among the most meaningful legislative measures for sportsmen in recent decades. The bill now moves to President Donald Trump’s desk.

The Great American Outdoors Act will promote sustained wildlife conservation, public land hunting, and recreational shooting for current and future generations of hunters and sportsmen. The bipartisan legislation ensures full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and addresses the maintenance backlog of public lands and water projects across the United States. Those projects include wildlife habitat conservation, road and trail repairs, and increased recreational access to public lands and waters. NSSF is confident that the legislation will be signed into law by President Trump who has previously expressed support for the bill.

Great American Outdoors Act Congress President trump
View from NRA Whittington Center. NRA photo.

“This will be a great example of a promise kept by the Trump Administration for America’s sportsmen and women”, said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs and General Counsel. “Secretary David Bernhardt and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Aurelia Skipwith recognize that our nation’s public lands belong to all Americans and the Trump Administration delivered on the guarantee that those lands and waters are accessible to America’s conservation-minded hunters and recreational target shooters. Those men and women are the greatest stewards of our natural resources and this initiative to expand and open new opportunities will nurture the next generation to enjoy and preserve our national outdoor heritage.”

GAOA outdoors act hunting
Deer hunting photo courtesy SportsmansGuide.com.

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May 4th, 2020

Safari Club International Joins Forces with Buckmasters

Photo courtesy Kifaru Int’l KifaruCast (Episode 248).

Safari Club International Teams with Buckmasters
Safari Club International (SCI) has entered into a joint venture agreement with Buckmasters to promote intelligent, practical wildlife and habitat management and conservation for future generations. “This venture is part of SCI’s strategic plan to enhance the organization’s ability to protect the freedom to hunt worldwide, including right here in the United States,” said SCI CEO W. Laird Hamberlin.

This joint effort aligns the leading whitetail organization in Buckmasters with the leading advocacy and conservation organization in SCI. The joint venture provides SCI a seat on the Buckmasters Board of Directors along with recognition as a premiere sponsor. Hamberlain believes this collaboration “will introduce new opportunities for members of both groups to continue their support and preservation of hunting and conservation.” The joint venture is anticipated to be approved during the SCI Board of Directors meeting on May 9, 2020.

SCI is a a global leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. The SCI’s 200 Chapters represent all 50 states of the United States as well as 106 countries. Buckmasters was founded in 1986 by Jackie Bushman and is the largest whitetail deer hunting organization in the United States with over 160,000 subscribers.

Both organizations were excited at the new alliance. “Working with Buckmasters will enhance the effectiveness of SCI as we work to defend hunting on Capitol Hill, in state legislatures and in the minds of non-hunters” said SCI President Steve Skold. And Jackie Bushman, CEO of Buckmasters, stated: “Having SCI closely involved with Buckmasters will help us continue to represent and promote a positive image of ethical hunting and an awareness of the essential role of hunting as a necessary conservation tool”.

Namibia Hunting safari
Photo courtesy Namibia Hunting Safaris.

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March 28th, 2020

NRA Offers Free Experienced Hunter Education Course

Experiencd Hunter education course NRA

Many of our readers are under mandatory “Stay at Home” orders. And, in some states, public shooting ranges have been closed. That limits your options. If you want a break from watching TV and doing chores around the house, here is a way you can improve your hunting skills/knowledge — and it’s 100% FREE.

The National Rifle Association recently launched the NRA Experienced Hunter Education Course, a new online training program designed to help hunters brush up their skills. Free to all, this comprehensive hunting refresher course will help hunters become safer and more confident before heading out into the field. CLICK HERE for more information.

Experiencd Hunter education course NRA

NRA’s Experienced Hunter Education Course is an online review of everything an experienced hunter should know, including a review of firearm safety and safe hunting practices. Though not a substitute for state-mandated hunter safety requirements, it will provide a solid foundation of the fundamentals.

Experiencd Hunter education course NRA

“If you’ve taken a break from the shooting sports or haven’t hunted in a season or two, our Experienced Hunter Education Course is the perfect refresher for firearms safety and safe hunting practices,” explained Elizabeth Bush, managing director of NRA Community Engagement. “Best of all, we’re offering this service completely free of charge.”

Course Description
This online training course is specifically designed for individuals who have not hunted in the past year or more and are looking for a safety refresher before they head back out in the field. In this course, hunters will have the opportunity to refresh their skills by taking a look at safe hunting practices and firearms safety. Once completed, you will be a safer hunter in the field.

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March 28th, 2020

Defensive Firearms — Understanding Terminal Ballistics

Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity

If you are evaluating a firearm for self-defense use, you should consider three main factors: Reliability, Functionality (sights, trigger, ergonomics), and Effectiveness (ability to halt/neutralize threats). Regarding effectiveness, you need to consider what happens when the projectiles from your firearm reach the target. That involves penetration and terminal ballistics.

A 12ga shotgun is very effective inside 20 yards, with less risk of over-penetration* vs. a centerfire rifle.
Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity

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.

Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent 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.

Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity


*This Shooting Illustrated article discusses over-penetration risks with a variety of cartridge types. “A bullet passing through a threat and continuing with the potential to cause unintentional damage to a bystander or object is a situation commonly described as over-penetration.”

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