I grew up in a hunting camp called Hard Luck Hollow. It sat in the woods at the foot of a mountain named Gwen, in a county named Highland. Back then, and it’s been longer than I care to admit, I had no clue that our rights to hunt would ever be in jeopardy. The world I knew and lived in, the culture I was raised in, embraced the outdoor sports, and hunting was the pinnacle of them all. It was a rare man who did not hunt in my rural American childhood. I learned from the men in my life everything a woodsman should know: how to stalk, ambush, dress, skin, and process animals, even how to cook them into tasty dishes. I learned about conservation, ethics, patience, perseverance, dedication, and many other lessons the outdoor lifestyle teaches that carry over into all facets of life. These men I grew up around showed me the way and the skills I needed to be successful in the woods, and in life. I thought that this way, the way it was, would be the way it always would be. I thought they prepared me for everything I needed to be prepared for. We could not see what the changing world would bring. We never imagined that there would come a time gun ownership would be a topic of high debate in our country. And we certainly never thought we would lose parts of, or all of, our right to hunt.
But the time came; it is upon us now more than ever in our history. As a society, we have become so distant and detached from the land, the critters, and our ecosystem, that fewer and fewer understand all of the important things the outdoor lifestyle teaches and instills in us as human beings, and thus into our society. The fewer that understand, the more that are uneducated about the balance of an ecosystem, the greater the risk toward our rights to hunt. The number of people who view hunting as a barbaric blood sport practiced by those they consider Neanderthals has grown enormously in the past four decades. Many of them want hunting stopped, squashed, done, over with, finito. We need to realize this is a fight for our way of life, for the culture we cherish. And we need a united voice so that our voice is heard.
Who is Watching Out for Our Hunting Rights?
We gun owners have the NRA watching our backs every day, keeping the wolves mostly at bay, protecting our Second Amendment rights. But what about our hunting rights? Who is protecting them at a national level? For years, I thought it was being done purely on a state-by-state level. The hunters in a state would have to come together and work to prevent in the passage of laws that threaten their rights to hunt. I have been involved in this in my home state of Virginia on more than one occasion. I can tell you organizing on this level is not an easy task. In fact, it’s daunting. Help, help is the one word that always came to mind when working locally. We need help. Well recently I realized help has been here for a long time, I just didn’t know its name was Safari Club International (SCI).
I had known about SCI for years. I have long known them to be a fine, upstanding organization that promoted hunting abroad. Yes, I said abroad. And that was my ignorance. The word “Safari” itself sent my mind off thinking of exotic game in far-off lands. The word “International” meant around the world in my mind. Sure, they were a great organization, but I thought they were not protecting and promoting my type of hunting, in the places that meant something to me.
Then I did something I should have done years before: I did some research. I found out that my notions of what SCI is, are in fact misconceptions. I found out that not only does SCI work and lobby to protect hunting rights in other countries, but they do it in the Grand Ole U.S.A., even in my home state of Virginia. In fact, if a bill is proposed that would infringe on our rights to hunt anywhere, SCI is there. They have worked diligently over the years gathering funding and building resources to protect all hunters. I found out that, in over 100 cases in the U.S. involving hunting rights, SCI attorneys were there defending my rights, your rights, every hunter’s rights. I also learned that SCI monitors legislative activity in all 50 states, tracking hundreds of bills relating to hunting conservation and firearms annually. Guess where their headquarters are? Within walking distance of Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Dubbed the “Hunters Embassy,” SCI hosts meetings there with key congressmen, continuously working to protect our rights.
There is no right to hunt too small, nor area of land so obscure that SCI will not fight for our rights as hunters. They have been fighting for my right to hunt for many years. I decided it’s high time I join them in that fight. I implore you to seriously consider joining Buck and I in supporting the only national organization that has the resources to protect our hunting lifestyle. United we stand, separated and fragmented we will lose our way of life, one piece at a time. I hope to see more big racks in the backs of pickups with SCI stickers on the back window this fall.
Join SCI today: https://safariclub.org/membership/
Max Rowe, Just Kill’n Time TV
Buck and I hear it every day: “I can’t believe you guys hunt with an assault rifle,” or “Why do you use an AR to hunt with, they aren’t guns for hunting,” or “Those rifles you boys hunt with are dangerous.” It saddens me to see how many misconceptions people have about the Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR), AR, black rifle, or whatever name you use to describe what is now easily the most well known firearm in America.
Facts About the AR Platform
Let’s start with some facts about the AR platform before we discuss why the AR lends itself so well to the hunting environment.
- The “AR” in “AR-15” stands for ArmaLite, the company that developed the rifle in the 1950s. “AR” does NOT stand for “assault rifle” or “automatic rifle.”
- The AR was first developed in 1956, and has been sold commercially to the American public since the 1960s.
- There are 393,347,000 gun owners in the U.S.; over 10,000,000 of those own an MSR.
Let’s look at the most common myth I hear about AR platform rifles: ARs are a military rifle; they have no place in the woods. This myth comes from a combination of ignorance and the media’s characterization of AR platform guns as “assault rifles.” The truth is that hunters have taken guns to the field that they first used in the military for generations. Your grandfather’s bolt-action rifle was probably the same gun he used when he served in the military. From the flintlock to the AR, most of the rifle action styles used by hunters started as sporterised versions of rifles that were first used by the military.
Think about it. If you were relying on a rifle to keep you safe, you would know everything about that rifle: how it functions, how to effectively clean it, how to completely disassemble and maintain it, and how to repair it. When you return home from military service and want to get back into the woods you grew up hunting in, what’s the most likely rifle you are going to reach for? That’s right, that trusty ole AR that got you home safe. You know it, you trust it, you believe in it.
But what about the rest of us, who never served in the military? Why should we consider the AR platform rifle for our hunting needs? There are a couple of reasons an AR makes an excellent choice for game hunting. The first reason is that the platform is modular, which allows for easy customization.
Ease of Customization
One of the attractions of the AR/MSR platform is how easy it is to customize to an individual’s hunting style, or type of critter. In contrast, your dad’s Remington model 700 or 99 Savage had very limited add-ons. You could find a sling, a bipod, a few optics mounting choices, and that was about it. On the AR/MSR, the options are nearly endless. Stock variations, brakes and flash guards, hand grips, forearm styles, light mounts, bipods systems, and variability in magazine capacity are just a few of the aspects of the AR/MSR that the hunter can customize.
There are also lots of options for customizing the look of the rifle, such as personalized lowers, Keronite, and airbrush finishes. With the AR platform, you can create a one-of-a-kind rifle at a reasonable cost. In the past, if you wanted a customized rifle, you had to have deep pockets and be willing to wait a year or two to have a custom shop build it.
Simple Field Repair
This is what I consider the best reason to use the AR/MSR platform in the hunting world: simple field repair. On most other firearms, repairs are difficult and time consuming, and may require special tools or a gunsmith. Most repairs are much simpler on the AR/MSR platform. Did a firing pin break on your Remington 700? You’d better have the bolt tool and a dedicated work area to take the bolt apart. More likely, the repair requires a trip to a gunsmith. With an AR/MSR, if you have the inexpensive firing pin, something with a pointed tip (we have used bullets before in a pinch), and a bit of easily acquired knowledge, you can repair your rifle in the field. Simply lay your AR out on a small rag on the ground, disassemble it, replace the firing pin, and reassemble the bolt carrier group in five minutes. And be back hunting. Try that with any traditional-style hunting rifle. And that’s just one example of the many end user fixes that the AR/MSR allows over your Granddad’s hunting rifle. Shoot a barrel out? Buy another barreled upper, and it’s plug and play. No gunsmith required. Want a better trigger? Order a drop in model. I could go on and on detailing the user-installable upgrades to these rifles.
Some people have asked me about the accuracy of the AR platform rifle. I have several AR15s and AR10s that will shoot bone stock just as well as any of my Remington 700s. Don’t be concerned. The accuracy is there.
AR Platform Manufacturers
If you decide to buy an AR platform rifle for your hunting needs, you will need to choose a manufacturer. If you search the web for AR manufacturers, the list will be long. There are many good makers of the AR/MSR platform out there, and a few that aren’t that great. Before you buy, read reviews and ask friends that own AR platform rifles what they like and don’t like and why. As for us, we shoot Anderson Manufacturing RF-85 treated rifles in field.
Over the past nine years, we have watched Anderson Manufacturing become the number one AR/MSR manufacturer in the country. We believe this in part due to their proprietary RF-85 process. RF-85 stands for “reduced friction by 85%.” And that’s not just hype. In our experience, it works, plain and simple. Anderson bills their rifles as “The Worlds only No-Lube Rifles.” We have tested this statement and can verify it’s true. RF-85 works as advertised. In addition, almost the entire rifle is manufactured in-house in Hebron, Kentucky. Anderson Manufacturing is also a family-owned business employing a lot of veterans, and that’s an even bigger win in our book.
Now no matter how good the rifle, it isn’t worth squat if one can’t hit what they can’t see. So, you will want to purchase excellent optics for your AR. As the options and accessories for the AR/MSR rifle have evolved over the past decade, so have the specialized optics available to tackle any situation you may desire. There are several optics manufactures out there making good glass for the AR/MSR.
In recent years, we have become fond of a line of optics manufactured by Primary Arms, in Houston, Texas. Their glass is affordable; they make dozens of models in different classes, styles, magnifications, and reticle choices. Primary Arms is newer to the optics world, and the cost-to-quality ratio is excellent. If you want good glass without breaking the bank, you should give them a serious look. A little birdie told us that their PA1-6X24SFP-ACSS-5.56 is currently their best-selling optic, and with good reason.
Did we mention that the picatinny rail mounting system on the AR/MSR rifles offer fast and easy swapping of optics and rings. We like the Talley tactical rings. They are bullet-proof and are simple to use.
Multiple Rifle Calibers
A final thing I love about the AR/MSR platform for hunting is the ability to rapidly switch rifle calibers. You can purchase just one lower, order several complete uppers, and mount optics on each. You then have the option to have a different caliber rifle already sighted in and ready to go hunting by simply swapping the complete uppers out. Imagine trying to accomplish that with your Remington 700, or Ruger no 1.
The MSR – Not Your Grandaddy’s Gun
So folks, like them or not, the AR/MSR platform is fast becoming the working man’s hunting rifle of choice. It is simply more durable, easier to repair, provides more choices, is more user-modifiable, and is less expensive overall than most traditional hunting rifles. Be safe out there in the woods, and enjoy your tree time.
Late Season Whitetail Hunting Tips | It’s Not Too Late!
With the end of the calendar year creeping up fast, there is one painful reminder on everyone’s minds: the end of deer season is quickly approaching too. But if you haven’t been lucky enough to take a mature buck (or even a doe for some venison), it’s not too late. Late season deer hunting can be tough – there’s no doubt about it. But it can also be really good. And with the end of the season in sight, what do you really have to lose? If you are in this situation, here are some late season whitetail hunting tips to point you in the right direction.
Late Season Deer Behavior
The challenge with hunting late season bucks is that they are very wary animals, especially compared to when you were hunting the rut. In general, mature bucks have become old deer because they know how to elude us humans. But after months of observing us enter and exit the woods, and maybe even getting shot at, you can be sure they are onto our tactics.
One of the best late season whitetail hunting tips is to really focus on scent elimination. A wise old whitetail definitely will not come into range if he smells your fresh scent trail. Before and while you’re hunting, make sure to use Dead Down Wind® scent elimination products to remove your human odor. This isn’t the time to get sloppy about scent control.
Overcoming the Conditions
The biggest hurdle most people face with late season hunting is beating the weather and staying warm. Depending on where you hunt, the mercury can really nose dive and the winds usually pick up. It’s tough to hunt for very long in those conditions, at least if you’re not prepared. You’ve probably been there before – shivering in a tree, questioning your sanity, checking the clock every 15 minutes…all of that takes away from your hunting concentration. Plus, you can’t kill a deer if you climb down before they get there.
In these cold late season conditions, you really can’t beat the Heater Body Suit® for its ability to keep you in the stand or blind. Traditional hunting clothing doesn’t offer the same insulation value, and it’s a pain to cart in several heavy garments to your tree stand. Simply pack the rolled-up body suit with you and wear lighter clothing so you don’t get sweaty and spread scent everywhere. When you’re in your tree stand and connected with a Hunter Safety System®, pull the body suit on and nestle in for some very comfortable hunting until the end of shooting light. If you’re wondering what late season whitetail hunting tips many professional hunters and outfitters would give you, this would be it.
Choose Your Hunting Locations Well
Deer hunting in the late season is similar in some ways to hunting early season bucks. During the late deer hunting season, bucks have one big weakness: food. With all of their chasing, breeding, and fighting earlier this fall, many bucks have lost a good chunk of their body mass. They need calories fast to put some weight back on before winter really sets in. You can use that weakness to your advantage.
First, find some good food sources that are attracting deer. That might include standing corn or soybean fields, fields with grains as cover crops, or food plots. During the middle of the day, sneak in and hang several trail cameras (Covert Scouting Cameras® are a great option) near the food source along deer trails. After a couple days, you should have a good idea which deer are using it and whether there are any you would like to pursue. Try slipping back in during the day and hanging a stand. Typically, late season hunting is best in the evening near food sources – near, but not directly on them. As easy as it sounds, this could be one of the best late season whitetail hunting tips to help you seal the deal.
We hope you can use these late season whitetail hunting tips to put a buck on the ground yet this 2018 deer season. There are all kinds of deer hunting secrets out there, depending on who you ask. But these deer hunting tips should definitely help.
Shotgun Choke Choice is a Key Part of any Duck Hunt
Waterfowl hunting is tough on gear! The conditions for an amazing day at the marsh, on the lake, in flooded timber, or on the river are the same conditions that will put your gear to the test. Cold fronts, snow cover, and winter storms drive the waterfowl migration south and you can bet you don’t want to miss those new birds arriving to your honey hole. Hunters spend countless hours sorting through decoys, blinds, waders, and calls getting ready for the hunt, but don’t forget to pay special attention to the gun you are taking into the field, and how you expect it to perform. Specifically, make sure you are using the right choke for your waterfowl hunts this season.
Shotgun choke selection is a key decision on any waterfowl hunt. Knowing how your shotgun will perform at various ranges with a selected choke is paramount to successfully bagging more birds. Screw in chokes give hunters the flexibility and confidence to adjust to the hunting situation by having multiple choke choices available. By catering your shotgun choke tube to the hunting situation at hand, you can put more pellets on target when those ducks and geese come cruising in. One key component when it comes to selecting the right choke for the hunt is knowing how your shotgun will perform with each choke tube and shotshell in your bag at various ranges.
Choke tube patterning is an important step to quickly discern how your gun will perform with various shotgun choke tubes at varying distances. A little trigger time at the range will provide incredibly valuable information when it comes time to hunt. Different hunting styles and situations call for changing up your choke tube to be most effective. By patterning your shotgun with choke tubes designed for close, medium, and long ranges, with the ammunition you plan to hunt with, you will have the confidence to get on target. Waterfowl hunting requires non-toxic shot, and many hunters choose steel shot. As a general rule, you should move up one choke size from lead to steel when selecting a choke for your waterfowl hunts. If you would use a full choke with lead shot, move to a modified when shooting steel; from modified with lead to improved with steel, etc. Many manufacturers offer a three pack choke tube package, putting together the appropriate chokes for close range, medium range, and long range situations in one convenient pack; making it easy to use the right tool for the job. Having a three pack variety of choke tubes in your blind bag is one fantastic way to ensure you are ready for whatever the hunting situation calls for.
Close Range Choke Tube
Close Range Hunts
Hunting waterfowl in at close range can produce heart pounding action that is tough to beat. Mallards cupped up and dropping into a small riffle on a frozen river, Canadian geese cruising in fully committed, and ducks dropping into flooded timber are all exhilarating hunts at close range. Targets on close range hunts are generally presented 30 yards and closer, sometimes much closer. It’s critical to select a close range choke for these in your face hunts to be most effective.
Patterning Close Range
To learn how your shotgun patterns a choke and load, take a shot at a paper target with a 15” circular bullseye on a 30” piece of cardboard or paper stock. From a steady rest with a close range, or cylinder (.000 constriction) choke in the shotgun, count the hits on target to determine the effectiveness of the choke tube and shotshell combo. Tweaking variables like shot size and shotshell brand can have an affect on the results. Now that you know what to expect when you’re on target at close range with the appropriate choke, it’s time to try mid range.
Mid Range Choke Tube
Mid Range Hunts
For most of waterfowl hunting, targets are engaged at mid range. Mallards trying to land just outside the decoys, a group of geese making several low passes, or teal fanning up 35 yards from the blind are all real hunting scenarios. Making the most of your shotgun pattern at mid range is critical to the hunt and your success. By taking the time to pattern your shotgun with the ammo you plan to hunt with paired with a mid range choke tube, you will know exactly how your shotgun will perform on target.
Patterning Mid Range
For waterfowl hunters, an improved cylinder (.010) is ideal for mid range targets.
Patterning an improved cylinder choke is the same process as patterning a close range choke tube, but with a new choke. Position a clean target at 35 yards to simulate hunting at mid range and take a shot from a steady rest. Count the number of pellets on target to determine the choke and load effectiveness. It will be easy to see the pattern has tightened up from the shotgun in the improved cylinder tube, this tightening puts more pellets on target at a longer range.
Long Range Choke Tube
Long Range Hunts
Some days the birds just won’t work like you want them to. The fact is, hunting waterfowl can be tough, and you have to take the shots that are available. Whether you find yourself having to take passing shots at birds coming off a lake, or the birds just won’t commit to your decoys; sometimes you have to take those longer shots. Having the right choke in your shotgun for those long shot hunts is more critical than ever, and patterning your shotgun to understand your effective range will give you the confidence to call the shot.
Long Range Patterning
A long range choke constricts the shot pattern to an even higher degree than close or mid range chokes. Modified (.020) chokes work well for long range shots at waterfowl. The process for patterning a long range choke is the same as a close or mid range choke, but at a further distance. Practice shooting your desired hunting load at 40 yards and beyond to see how your pattern holds together, and to realize your effective range.
Duck and goose hunting is a ton of fun, and a fantastic way to enjoy the late season outdoors. Waterfowling offers amazing opportunities for fellowship with friends, and is an ideal way to introduce young people to the outdoors and the hunting way of life. When you head out to the duck blind, goose pit, or marsh this season; make sure all your gear is in order, and that you’ve got the right choke for the job screwed into your shotgun. Selecting the right choke tube will help you put more shots on target, and bring home more limits.
Game Camera Strategies for the Rut
It’s November, and the whitetail rut is kicking off. The next several weeks are what deer hunter’s dreams are made of. Mature bucks that have been elusive and nocturnal will be at their most vulnerable, moving in daylight hours and relentlessly chasing does. If you’re like most hunters, this time of year is full of opportunity and frustration. Schedules are hectic, and time in the woods is cherished. You devote weekends, and vacation days; time away from family, and hope that your strategy pays off. One of the best tools to locate bucks during this transition phase, to find their pattern, and have an encounter, is with the use of game or trail cameras.
No doubt, most hunters are familiar with game cameras. Remote, battery powered, motion activated, and time lapse cameras have changed the way we scout and hunt. Through the late summer and early fall, game cameras placed near feed fields, sanctuaries, water sources, and travel corridors help hunters take inventory of what bucks are using the area, and patterns for pre-rut hunting. Game cameras are an extraordinary tool allowing you to scout during nighttime hours, all throughout the day, and with minimal impact and pressure on the hunting area. As the daytime hours shorten, and the calendar turns to November, it is time to up your game camera strategy and use your tools to be amazingly effective.
Use these tips and tactics to best utilize your game cameras and find that mature buck during the rut!
Go Cellular – If you’ve got access to a hunting area that is blessed with cellular coverage, then you are in luck. One of the hardest aspects of running game cameras and checking content is adding pressure to your hunting area. Traditional game cameras store images locally on SD (Secure Digital) cards, and must be retrieved locally from the camera and card. Physically checking images on a camera requires entering your hunting area and risking unnecessary pressure. Hunters must weight risk and reward, is the content on SD card worth risking your hunt?
Game cameras like the Blackhawk LTE line from Covert Scouting Cameras change the rules. These cameras connect to the cellular network and provide instant picture viewing of your hunting area while you are away. Not only do they provide pictures, triggered by motion, heat, or time lapse, but also vital information like weather and wind information. Carefully slip into your hunting area during off peak hours with a favorable wind, and hang a cellular ready camera in a bedding area or on an active scrape for the perfect insight on what is happening and when. Cellular access to certain deer hotspots like a big bucks living room, or a doe bedding area makes the risk of entering once to gain weeks and weeks of insight and details well worth the reward when the rut is going hot and heavy.
Adjust Settings – Most game cameras have a variety of settings, and most hunters don’t take much time to thumb through them. For early season scouting and gathering intel, that isn’t really a big deal. The typical, insert a SD card, add fresh batteries, set the date, and be back in a week is perfectly acceptable in August and September. This, though, this is November! The bucks are on the move, and with limited time to close the deal, it’s time to tweak every knob in your favor.
Those settings like trigger time and photo burst can really add a lot to your scouting and your hunt. Travel corridors, pinch points, and funnels are still critical areas that work amazingly well for game cameras. Making the most of those camera settings in these areas will provide you with the best information. The rut is full swing, imagine your target buck trailing a doe through a pinch point, and your camera is setup to catch the action. If your camera settings aren’t right, there is a good chance you won’t even catch that buck on camera. The doe will trigger the camera and she will be in the frame, the buck will cruise right on by right behind her, and you will be none the wiser. By adjusting the trigger time down to .5 seconds or less, and turning the photo burst up to 8 or higher; you just upped the odds that ole bruiser will show up on camera. Quality game cameras like the Black Maverick by Covert Scouting Cameras offer a variety of options with impressive processors to get the most bang for your buck. Making those adjustments can mean more pictures of just does or non targets, and less time between battery changes, but ensuring those chasing and tending bucks are captured on camera is worth the risk.
Find the Does – Hunting the rut can be tricky and unpredictable. Deer start to show up in places that deer aren’t supposed to be. Mature bucks are seen in open fields during broad daylight, and trying to pattern a rut driven buck is nearly impossible. One aspect of deer behavior that is most predictable during the rut is the does. Find the does during the rut, and you will find the bucks. Using game cameras to pinpoint doe movement from bedding to feeding areas and the travel ways in between is critical to finding bucks during pre and peak rut. Keep in mind setting up right in a bedding area is an aggressive move, but knowing the does ins and outs of that area is critical when a buck is tagging along.
Go High and Think Outside the Box-
Avoiding Theft- Like it or not, one of the issues we all have to face when using game cameras is theft. Private property, public property, even private leases are not immune to game camera theft. It’s easy to find a well-traveled game trail, or a recently used whitetail scrape and quickly hang a game camera on the nearest tree; waist or chest high. Odds are any trespasser who comes along that same area will notice not only the trail or scrape, but your camera too.
It may take a little more work and planning, but hanging your camera 7’ or higher, out of the average person’s line of sight, is a first line of defense in keeping your camera safe. Most people walking through deer country are scanning the ground for tracks and scat, and scanning trees for rubs and licking sticks at eye level and below. Using a camera mount like the Tree 60 Camera Mount by Covert Scouting Cameras is an ideal solution to mounting and pointing a camera from an elevated vantage point. Mounting your camera high and pointed down to a travel corridor, bedding area, rub line, or food plot not only gets it out of sight; but makes it much harder to steel if a would be thief decides to nab it.
Using Solar – One of the biggest concerns with letting a camera run for an extended time is not checking in on it is battery. So many factors play into battery health and life that they remain unpredictable. One battery in a string can ruin the whole bunch, and the same temperatures that get deer up and moving are the hardest on batteries. A fantastic solution for peace of mind that will let you hang a camera in the key location and wait till the time is absolutely perfect before checking in is solar power. By utilizing rechargeable batteries coupled with a portable solar panel, any camera location that receives a decent amount of sunlight during the day will trickle charge, providing you with the confidence that you will get that buck on camera when he makes his move.
Every deer hunter dreams of time spent in the woods in November. The rut can be full of fast action and big bucks, but don’t let the excitement cause you to lose sight of your scouting game. Keeping tabs on big bucks in your area and knowing where to hunt when the wind is right is sure to make the most of the precious hunting time you have to invest.
Heater Body Suits Offer Hunting Flexibility
Hunting season brings with it unpredictable weather and widely varying conditions. Hunters have to be ready for everything the hunt can and will throw their way. Being prepared for extreme weather and temperatures is challenging, but not impossible. Building a versatile system that is both efficient and adaptive will make you more effective in the field. A clothing layering system with the right components will help assure you are in the field when the shot presents itself. Dressing in layers, is an effective tactic to match the temperature and activity level during the hunt, and one of the most critical layers in any hunting system is the outer layer. The outer layer of a clothing layering system not only keeps the cold out, but helps keep the heat in.
There are many options on the market today when it comes to outerwear. One amazing option to keep the elements at bay on your next hunt is a Heater Body Suit. Versatile and adaptable, bodysuit type outerwear is much more than protection from extreme cold. A little out of the box thinking will open up great opportunities to help you stay more comfortable and more diligent on the hunt.
- The Warm Walk In
Activity level is a key component when it comes to regulating temperature and comfort during the hunt. Dress too warm and the walk in to your stand will have you sweaty before your hunt even begins. Moisture from sweat is a sure way to ruin the hunt, settling in to your stand with damp clothing will quickly cause a chill. Once you are wet and cold on a hunt, it is game over.
Packing a Heater Body Suit along for the walk in while wearing lighter layers for higher activity is an ideal solution. The ability to conveniently pack in a sturdy and warm outer layer to retain heat and shield you from the cold once you are on stand is a perfect solution. Staying dry and regulating body temperature is easily accomplished by layering clothing during the hunt, and using the right outer layer once high exertion into the stand or blind is over.
- The Damp Cold
Extremely cold weather adds a level of challenge to any hunt. Sometimes, however, the temperature doesn’t have to drop that much to affect comfort during the hunt. Temperatures in the 20s and 30s might not sound too extreme, but add a level of high humidity to those cool temperatures, and suddenly it’s hard to stay warm.
High levels of moisture, even in the air, greatly reduce thermal insulation properties; making it harder for you to stay warm. Couple cool temperatures with high humidity and a north wind; and you have a perfect recipe for getting chilled during your hunt. The ability to quickly zip into a Heater Body Suit during a cold and damp hunt can be the difference between being on the stand when the hunt comes together and missing an opportunity at a trophy. Locking in your body’s core heat, and blocking a damp chill is critical to hunting those cool mornings and dewy damp afternoons when big game animals are most active.
- A Solid Investment
Quality equipment is an investment, and having well-made versatile tools in your kit helps to create adaptability that is a contribution to the hunt. Proven, tough equipment that is built to last will add value to your hunts for years to come and continue to build worth season after season. Products like the Heater Body Suit not only work to keep you warm in the coldest temperatures, but ensure options for hunts into the future.
When you check the forecast for your hunt, or climb out of bed to find cold temperatures, don’t let it keep you from enjoying a comfortable hunt. Preparing for the unpredictable weather that hunting season has to offer can be accomplished by investing in quality layering products that are versatile and flexible. Being prepared for frigid temperatures, damp conditions, and high levels of activity all on the same hunt can be challenging, but outerwear products like the Heater Body Suit are up for that challenge.
Make the Right Choice for Your Rifle Scope
Having the Right Tools-
Confidence is one of the keys to success when it comes to hunting. It is important to not only have confidence in yourself and in your own ability, but also confidence in your equipment. Having the assurance that your gear will get the job done when it counts plays an enormous role in a successful hunt. Quality gear from clothing to knives, and rifles to packs takes time to research, acquire, and test. Each hunter develops a toolbox of equipment and gear that works best for them and their hunts and situations. One of the key components of hunting equipment is the rifle scope.
The Importance of Rifle Scopes-
In 1844, a civil engineer by the name of John R. Chapman authored a book titled The Improved American Rifle, his book documented the first telescopic sight. The first official rifle scope was made by Morgan James of Utica, New York. Champan and James collaborated to produce the Champman-James sight. This key invention changed the face of rifles and ballistics forever, perhaps more than any other invention of the time. Today rifle scopes come in a variety of magnifications, with various reticles, and an assortment of lens objectives. Many factors come into play for the modern shooter when deciding which scope is best for their rifle and needs.
Rifle scopes have become synonymous with accuracy. Make no mistake, it takes much more than a good scope to build an accurate rifle, however the scope does play a critical role in accuracy and dependability. When paired with a solid, accurate rifle and bullet, choosing the right scope can help make or break a hunt. So which scope is right for your rifle? What factors dictate when one scope design is more effective than another? Choosing the ideal rifle scope for your hunting rifle should take into consideration much more than brand and price.
If only one rifle and one scope is in your budget, or you are interested in building the perfect all around general purpose rifle and scope setup, then the old standby 3-9 scope is for you. We will leave the caliber and action type out of it, but for most purposes a 3-9 variable power scope will do the trick.
Look for a scope with generous eye relief, and a medium reticle to save on weight. An all purpose variable scope should be built rugged from high quality aluminum and stout enough to withstand rifle recoil. Hunting rifle scopes should be sealed to prevent fogging and standard ¼ MOA adjustments makes for an ideal all purpose setup.
“Up Close and In Tight”
Sometimes the best optic for the job at hand is actually less optic, technically, less magnification. A well made variable scope is perfect for most hunting applications, but sometimes less zoom on the variable is just right. If you’re planning on hunting tight cover, heavy timber, or fast action is what you are gearing up for; then the right optic will be critical. Hunting over bait for bears, or whitetails in dense cover can limit shooting distances. Using too much scope too close can make it hard to get on target and make a quick move to seal the deal. A lower powered variable scope in a 1-6 zoom is an ideal fit for those close in encounters where distance is limited and targets are in tight.
A 1-6X24 is an ideal choice for close to medium range targets. Light and compact, these little scopes are small in size but big on performance when it counts. A low magnification rifle scope is easy to bring to the eye, and offers fast focus for in-close encounters. Consider a reticle that is easy to focus on for quick target acquisition. Examine craftsmanship and construction materials as with any rifle scope purchase, and look for ruggedness to ensure dependability.
There are times when a hunt requires you to really reach out and make the shot, and make it count. Whether you are hunting open plains, mountain valleys, or desert canyons; closing the distance takes the right scope that you can depend on. Investing in a high quality rifle scope with the magnification to bring targets in close and a large lens objective to gather maximum light will extend your effective range and increase your odds of notching a tag.
Consider a large objective lens of 50mm or better to gather maximum light during dusk and dawn when game animals are most active. The added weight of a larger lens is a compromise when shooting longer distances. High quality glass with impeccable clarity will set better scopes apart from the competition. A high power zoom starting at 4 or 6 power and variable up to 50 or 60 will give you the ability to put the bullet on target when the opportunity presents itself.
The Shooter Truth-
Remember, the perfect rifle built with the perfect scope for the job at hand is only as good as any other tool built to finish a job. It’s up to the shooter to learn the rifle, familiarize themselves with the scope and put in the practice. Having the confidence to make the shot count when the time comes is produced from a combination of trusting your equipment and your own ability. Spending time at the range learning your rifle and scope goes a long way to making it count in the field. Learn the limitations of your hunting rifle setup in various conditions. Make time to practice during low light morning and evening hours, in windy conditions, and a various temperatures. Knowing the limits of your hunting rifle, and your limits as a shooter will provide you with the confidence in knowing when you can make the shot and when you can’t.
Keep in mind your scope’s zero anytime you travel to a hunt. Rifles get pumped, scopes can be affected, and being packed around can take its toll. Sending a few rounds down range on location before the start of a remote hunt can mean the difference between a successful hunt and a missed opportunity. When you consider all the time, money, and energy invested in traveling to hunt, maybe the hunt of a lifetime; a few shots to check your rifle and scope zero only makes sense.
Building a hunting rifle that is designed to deliver when the opportunity presents itself takes a lot of consideration. Using a rifle scope that is accurate, dependable, and designed for the type of hunt you are planning is a keystone of that rifle. If you use the right tools for the job, and do your part to learn the rifle and your own limits, you can build a hunting rifle you can be confident in.
New Rifles Meet Old Traditions
For generations the go-to, old reliable deer rifle consisted of a bolt action, lever action, or maybe even a single shot break over or rolling block rifle. These types of firearms still serve as the keystone for many hunters from coast to coast today, and offer reliable and accurate hunting options. For those who are looking to add to their big game tool box, and gear up with a new rifle, the choices may seem endless. Make no mistake, the firearm market is full of terrific selections for today’s hunters in a variety of calibers, actions, and added features that until recently were not possible. Hunters of today have an amazing selection of hunting firearms available, from out of the box MOA bolt action rifles to muzzle loader rifles designed to shoot smokeless powder. The popularity of AR style rifles in recent years has brought that technology mainstream in the hunting community. It’s more common now more than ever to find an AR rifle chambered in .308 Winchester, or .300 blackout in deer camp. Many rifle manufacturers have developed AR style rifle models specifically for hunting. Technology advancements have taken a hold of the firearms industry, and hunters should take notice.
New and Old
As sportsmen and woodsmen there is a responsibility to the pursuit of game animals and a respect owed to cherished traditions. Hunters of today must hope to pass those traditions on to tomorrow’s hunters. Adopting new advancements in tools, materials, and technology for the hunt allows today’s hunters the ability to carry efficiencies and dynamic advantages into the field alongside those traditions and respect for the hunt. Hunters are able to bring together both the old and the new when it comes to their love of the pursuit and the outdoors. One of the ways many modern hunters are adopting technology advancements on the hunt is with AR rifles in the field. One of the leaders in developing those rifles for today’s hunter is Anderson Manufacturing. Anderson Manufacturing is a leader in AR style rifles, producing a first in class product that can be depended on to get the job done.
Anderson Manufacturing and their Anderson Rifle is the perfect example of adopting a leading technology to the hunt and bringing new advancements into our hunting traditions. A leader in advancements of the AR rifle platform, Anderson Rifles are top in their class, offering precision rifles chambered in a variety of calibers from 9mm Luger to .308 Winchester. These rifles are state of the art, unmatched in accuracy, construction, and dependability.
Advanced Rifle Platform
Not only are the Anderson Rifles manufactured with top quality materials and made in the United States, they also offer the world’s only No Lubricant Rifle! Anderson Rifle is the only rifle in the world that never requires any lubricant, no oil, grease, or solvents. Their rifles are treated with the state of the art nanotechnology RF85. Anderson made rifles operate with 85% less friction, are 23% faster than conventional designs, never need oil, and clean up with soap and water.
What is RF85?
An isotropic nanotechnology designed to reduce friction between moving metallic parts, the RF85 treatment process permanently injects calcium into the molecular fabric of metal. When heat and pressure are introduced in a situation like firing a bullet, the calcium nanoparticles elongate, forming a protective barrier. RF85 is in the metal that the rifle is built from, it can’t be washed off or worn out. RF85 is the leading technology in any industry where moving metallic parts come together. There are multiple uses in applications like bearings, cutting surfaces, drive trains, medical application, and engines.
What do the Experts Say?
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, an American national science and technology lab sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, is a federally funded facility founded in 1943. With a federal budget of 1.4 billion dollars, the laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee has the budget and facilities to research and test products and processes like RF85. The Oak Ridge facility conducted extensive testing of RF85 friction-reducing treated firearms with amazing results. Their report showed reduced friction coefficients, reduction in wear, and lower operating temperatures with RF85 treated metals when compared to untreated metals.
So What Does It Mean?
By using RF85 technology in their manufacturing process, Anderson rifles never require lubricating. You never need oils or grease. Another fantastic ancillary benefit of no oil is less fouling. Oil attracts and holds powder fouling, dust, carbon deposits, and grime. Firearm lubricants are designed to stick to things like metal parts in actions and barrels, that same adhesion principle causes fouling to stick to the oil. Eliminating the need to oil the firearm also extends the number of shots required between cleanings. Less carbon byproducts and less dirt adhering to the firearm means more trigger time and less maintenance. RF85 treated rifle actions and barrels operate cooler than untreated rifle parts, extending the life of the treated components and your return on investment. When it comes to maintenance and cleaning of your Anderson rifle, the way to go is soap and water. Give the parts a good washing not much different than a sink full of dishes. Make sure everything is dry before reassembly and you are good to go.
Standing Behind Their Product
The good folks at Anderson Rifles stand behind their products 100%. Anderson Rifles are manufactured in the United States under strict tolerances by American workers with premium materials. As if that wasn’t enough, Anderson Rifles sells their firearms with a Limited Lifetime Warranty to the original purchaser. If there is ever a manufactured defect or issue with your rifle, Anderson Manufacturing will stand behind their product and will make it right.
The New Face of Deer Rifles
The principles of pursuing big game remain steadfast and truer than ever. Hunters must manage game populations, habitat and herd health. Woodsmanship strategies like keeping your nose to the wind, knowing the habits of the game you hunt, and conserving resources hold truthful no matter what rifle you choose to hunt with. More and more often, hunters are choosing to pursue big game with AR style rifles. With so many advancements in technology, materials, and craftsmanship; it’s easy to see why. Whatever rifle you choose to carry into the woods this fall, keep the pursuit and passion alive.
Improve Your Deer Habitat with Hinge-Cutting
Quality time in the woods can mean a lot of different things to different people, but one thing is for sure, the condition of habitat can sure improve the value of the time you invest in what you love. Deer hunters understand the value of excellent habitat, the health of the deer herd, and the amount of time deer spend in a specific area. A small parcel of perfect habitat is worth more than acres and acres of poorer country that doesn’t hold deer. Working to improve the terrain you invest your hunting time in not only creates better hunting, but it forms a bond between the hunter and the land. Roots run deep when hunters contribute to their country and in turn the hunt.
Oftentimes, hunters can invest some weekend sweat equity into their hunting locations, and with a few simple techniques improve the deer habitat and the hunt. Don’t be afraid to get out into the woods early, before season, and get dirty. A little sweat and grease never hurt anyone, and with a few simple tools you can really do some good. Roll up your sleeves, put on your work boots, and pull on a pair of gloves to create some habitat improvements that will last for years to come. Tooled up with a simple limb saw, crosscut saw, or a chainsaw; you can spend a little time and make a big difference by hinge-cutting timber strategically.
What is Hinge-Cutting?
Hinge cutting is an easy to perform micromanagement habitat modification technique that is quick to achieve and cost effective. The technique involves cutting through an established tree part of the way until the tree lays over while still being partly attached to the root structure. Hinge cutting quickly creates a living horizontal habitat that deer love for browse and cover. Hinging timber has multiple effects, and multiple uses.
The horizontal cover created by hinge-cutting creates screening cover, adding security to bedding areas. Deer seek low covered secluded areas that offer hidden bedding areas for rest during daylight hours. Hinge-cutting provides the natural horizontal cover deer are looking for.
Whitetail deer are natural browsers, seeking weeds, forbes, and legumes as their feed of choice. Heavily timbered areas on your hunting property create a thick canopy that blocks out the nourishment of the sun’s rays. By hinge-cutting openings in the canopy and allowing the sun onto the forest floor, you can create small grazing areas that deer will love. Another plus of canopy management is bringing down the succulent leaves of trees that deer like to feed on. When properly done, hinge cut tree tops will sprout new leaves for many seasons, offering terrific browse.
Travel Corridors and Funnels
Deer are often creatures of habit, traveling the same areas and even pathways time after time. Pre-rut and post-rut bucks can be patterned with some work and care to consider the wind. Hinge-cutting vertical timber into horizontal cover is a great strategy for creating pathways, directing deer travel, and establishing travel corridors in your hunting area.
Consistently achieving successful hinge cuts takes a little practice and care in the cutting method. Cutting downward at a 45-degree angle produces the best results. Effective hinge cuts are generally made from knee to waist high. Cut ⅔ to ¾ of the way through the tree trunk, cutting just enough to free the top of the tree to fall or be pushed to the ground. Take care to plan your cuts, directing where the tree top will fall.
When and What to Cut
Flexible timber, and woods that don’t split well for firewood make an excellent choice for hinge-cutting. Soft species like elm and poplar are ideal candidates for hinge-cutting. Young saplings and smaller trees with a lot of new growth are the right size for hinge-cutting. Hinge-cutting is a practice that is best to do when the weather is warm and tree fluid is in an active state. Cold temperatures can cause trees to become hard and brittle with a greater chance of breaking and killing the top of the tree.
Putting it All Together
Put in the Work
Hunters who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and put in a little work can reap the benefits of habitat improvement, and hinge-cutting timber blocks is a great start. By selecting the right species and size of timber during warm weather you can effectively influence multiple aspects of your hunting property. Hinge-cutting, when done correctly is a great investment of time and resources with a huge payback.
Don’t Fail to Plan
Hinge-cutting is a simple strategy that can positively affect your deer habitat in many ways. Don’t rush in, chopping random trees, but instead take into consideration: bedding habitat, tree canopy, travel corridors, tree species and size when you’re planning your hinge-cutting.
Keep the Hunt in Mind
Don’t let the warm weather and power tools go to your head. It’s important to keep the plan and goal in mind. The end game here is deer hunting, and putting in some work to make this season, and seasons to come more successful. Be ever mindful of your hunting strategy and how it will change throughout the season. Keep in mind details like wind direction, stand placement, food plots, travel ways, and how you plan to get into and out of the hunting area.
It won’t be long until the days grow short and whitetail bucks are in the rut. Hunters all across the nation will be dreaming of time in the woods, taking vacation days, and longing for cold fronts. Some forethought, planning, and muscle in late summer and early fall will go a long way to putting your tag on a deer this season. Whether you are a trophy hunter hoping for a chance at a heavy racked bruiser, a hunter hoping to put meat on the table for your family, or somewhere in between; you can be sure that improving your deer habitat with hinge-cutting will better your chances either way.