Exploring the Outdoors at Rush Run

Recently, I explored the Rush Run Wildlife Area. You can find it by heading north on 127. I've provided the link to Google Maps' driving directions to make it a little easier. Rush Run is definitely a hidden treasure.

While I was there, I went kayaking and I tried my hand at trap shooting for the first time! Use of the facilities is FREE. There is no park admission fee, not even for the trap shooting field. You do need to carry your own equipment onto the site, though; there is no on-site store. We at the Bass Pro Shop sell everything you need to get started:


Have fun and don't get discouraged if, like me, you're new to the sport and not very good at it yet. You can see from my video that I've still got a lot to learn! Whether you are a novice or an experienced trap shooter, you are sure to enjoy a pleasant day in the outdoors.

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Firearm Ownership Heritage

During the last few decades the focus of firearm ownership has been surrounded mainly in the social political spectrum. Firearm rights and the right to protect oneself have taken center stage. However, there is an additional attribute that compliments the importance of firearm ownership- heritage. We have had a long history of sporting firearms which has been overshadowed by the modern media. However, it is still alive today and the staff at Bass Pro Shops in Portage, Indiana can help guide and teach you.

 

The following is a film titled “Making of a Shooter”. You must understand the significance of the film;

  1. the film is from 1946,
  2. it is sponsored by the top firearm and ammunition companies,
  3. it is color which is a big deal from a film from 1946,
  4. it is big on firearms safety,
  5. it is family orientated,
  6. overall for the time period the quality is superb

 

The video contains shooting sports and bird hunting. There is not any deer hunting due to the fact that in 1946 deer were not plentiful and very scarce.

http://youtu.be/aBqlDXBq8zw

In the firearms department at Bass Pro in Portage, Indiana, we strive to keep this heritage alive.  Our staff is made up of individuals of different backgrounds and knowledge. Some of our staff is from past generations when skeet and trap shooting was at its peak in popularity. Other members are more from current generations when deer hunting, modern sporting rifles, and duck hunting is the popular choice (thanks to the boys at Duck Commander).

 

We have a wide selection for firearms for all your sporting needs past and present. Come on in and bring the whole family.  Many are on sale now for the fall classic.

 

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Easy Tips for Cleaning Your Firearms

As we move towards hunting season a quick reminder to all that your firearms need to have a quick cleaning even if you have not used them since last season.

With the new cleaning systems available a quick cleaning won’t take too long. The “boresnake system” allows for a one swipe and done barrel cleaning. Using the traditional rod system takes just a bit longer but either way a quick cleaning of the barrel, and an inspection and lubrication of the action should be done before heading to your favorite field.

After use a more thorough clean is necessary. When cleaning any firearm first check to see that it is unloaded. Many accidental shootings occur while cleaning a loaded weapon.

When using the rod system, I prefer to use a brass bristle brush first to break any particulates loose in the barrel. Caution: never reverse the direction of the brush in the barrel; always push the brush completely through the barrel before reversing the direction. The newer spiral wound brushes are excellent for use on smooth bore weapons such as shotguns, but will not get into the groves of the rifling. Then a swab or a patch with a bore cleaning solution should be used, followed by another dry swab or patch until you have a clean swab or patch after use. At this point a very light coat of gun oil should be applied to give the cleaned barrel a little protection.  Note that a very small amount of oil is all that’s needed.

When using a boresnake system, all the steps above except the oiling may be accomplished with one swipe of the boresnake. An additional feature of the boresnake is that it may be used from the action towards the end of the barrel, eliminating any particulates being “dumped” into the receiver area. Again, a small amount of gun oil should be used to protect the bore of the barrel.

Cleaning the action is a little more complicated. Refer to your owner’s manual for disassembly instructions. Modern ammunition is much cleaner than in the past and a complete teardown isn’t always necessary. Inspect your receiver area, and using a can of compressed air (the type used on computer keyboards) removes some of the accumulated grit. If your action requires a complete cleaning, tear down the action and clean individual parts with solvent, drying with a soft dry cloth and following that a light coating of oil should be applied. Remember that a lot of oil isn’t always best.

Modern firearms can give the user many years of service, but nothing will extend the life of you firearm like proper maintenance. If at any point you find something that doesn’t seem right with your firearm, please consult a gunsmith.

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World carries a complete line of gun cleaning products. For any questions or tips just ask your Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World hunting professional. They are here to help make your hunting season a successful and an enjoyable one.

And always remember: Safety First.

 

Written by our own hunter Mark Neathery

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Why it Matters: Hunting

So this month we are running our huge Fall Hunting Classic event/sale at Bass Pro. It’s a great time to stock up on gear and information. It’s awesome having people come in to get outfitted for their big hunt this year. Out here in Arizona we have some of the best big game available and work on a lottery system for most tags. Getting drawn is a huge thing, and somehow a good number of our associates got tags. So now I get to watch my coworkers and customers get hooked up for their hunts.

There is always a certain sparkle to someone who is going on a hunt. Lord knows I had it a couple years back for my first big game hunt. Every lunch break was spent asking hundreds of questions to my buddies in the Hunting Department. And now I can even pass on my limited knowledge to people.

And you know what, that is something that matters. Hunting is an important tradition for many reasons. And for that I am making it the focus of this month’s Why It Matters blog.

Hunting has always been an important aspect of human life. Our ancestors needed to hunt in order to survive. Nowadays we have been able to ranch or raise livestock to fill dinner plates worldwide.  But still, every year people continue to go outside to harvest animals for food. Some would ask why? There are many ways to answer that.

One, because it’s in our nature. We would not have survived this world without hunting for previous generations. Just like they say there is a wolf inside all domestic dogs, there is a hunter in every human. No matter how far we are removed from the outdoors by cell phones or whatever, it is still instinctual. Just like we fear what is lurking in the dark.

 Two, because unlike buying meat in a grocery store that came from some commercial farm somewhere you are getting your meat from nature. Deer are not being pumped full of hormones to speed up their development. Elk are not on a conveyor belt never seeing the outdoors. Pheasants’ feet are allowed to touch the ground and roam freely. The health reasons for eating grass fed or cage free meats are even more indicators for why we should be eating game meats.

Three, it helps keep the balance of things. This is for nature itself and us humans. We can get back to our roots and take a break from the over-stimulation of everyday life when out in the field. We can actually focus on something that matters, like getting meat on the table for winter as opposed to “shooting off that really important email”! Humans have had a huge impact on nature, both good and bad, and our role in it is still being figured out. In areas where we have removed the natural apex predator we must hunt animals to prevent over population and diseases that are possible. In places where the predators outnumber the prey, we need to reestablish the healthy balance between the two. Arizona’s antelope population gets hit hard by coyotes and in these areas there is a concentration of predator hunting to help the antelope.

Four, it pays. Not only does a hunting trip pay off in a memory, a great time and hopefully food to consume but it helps fund outdoor conservation. It’s the money paid in fees, tags, licenses, firearms, ammunition and other hunting equipment that funds the federal and state agencies that handle our outdoors. If you think PETA is out there helping clean up the outdoors or watch over populations of animals, you are wrong. It is the kinds of people like volunteers of local hunting clubs that put forth the efforts that matter. And whether you are a meat hunter or are just looking for a trophy to hang, it’s the license they buy and the trips that they take that do the most for animal conservation. Without hunters, a huge income of the monetary needs that is required would be lost.

Now one could keep on going with this list, but that’s enough for one blog. I’ll let it all simmer for you, and maybe share it with someone. If you have a strong opinion on why it matters, comment below! We’d love to hear from ya. Remember, United We Stand!

-Giddy-Up!!

Previously:

Getting Outdoors

Picking Up
 

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Women's Basic Handgun Class: A MUST!

So last year Bass Pro Shops partnered with Solutions Group International to start offering classes at certain locations. Our store here in Arizona was one such store. (I did a little blog on this last year.) Solutions Group International (SGI) are experts when it comes to training both civilians and professionals in a multitude of tactical and practical skill sets. One that we will be holding again in our store is the Women’s Basic Handgun Familiarization Course.

For 2014 we are looking at holding a class at our store every over month. We are looking at the following dates:

Feb. 19 - April 20 - June 8 - Aug. 10 - Oct. 19 - Dec. 7

 Here is a little breakdown of the class as well:

10AM-2PM

This is a beginner program designed specifically to empower women who have had little or no exposure to firearms. The course starts in the classroom with a general discussion on the familiarization of firearms, safety, and the fundamentals of marksmanship. We gradually develop the new shooter to a level where they are able to safely and confidently handle and fire their handgun in a controlled environment.

Course Topics: Firearm Familiarization, Safe Handling of Firearms, Fundamentals of Marksmanship, Weapon Presentation, Loading / Reloading, Malfunction Drills, Range Safety Rules and Range – live fire exercises.

Gear List:

Handgun (if you have your own bring it – if not, they will provide one for you along with the necessary equipment at no additional charge), holster, stiff pistol belt, three magazines, speed loaders, moon clips or speed strips for revolvers, magazine holders, wraparound eye protection, ear protection, water bottle.

Handgun, Ammunition, Eye and Ear Protection, and Range Fees are included for all women shooters. SGI has some of the best male and female firearm instructors in the country.

I would strongly encourage any woman or anyone who knows a woman interested in firearms to take this class. I intend for my fiancé to attend one of them.

To schedule a class contact Solutions Group International at: 877-844-8744 Or at:

http://shop.solutionsgroupinternational.com/products/sgi-womens-basic-handgun-course

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Matching the Gear Bag to the Event

One of the best feelings in the world is being able to go to the shooting range and just plink away for a couple hours. The problem is that many times people are not aware of how heavy their equipment is until they are at the range and lugging it from the car. The right equipment is needed for each type of shooting a person could be doing in a day, whether that be testing out the new shotgun or plinking with the old .22 there is always a bag for the job. The right range bag can make all the difference when the activity is shooting.

A day out shooting pistols is definitely a favorite of many shooters. A gear bag that has many compartments for those extra magazines is a must. Also a good gear bag for the day out shooting pistols is going to need a large main compartment where ammo boxes can be stored easily. The last thing a day at the pistol range bag needs is a good storage area for the pistols themselves. A great range bag for the day out at the pistol range is the RangeMaxx® Pistol Range Bag. With its extra pockets and large central compartment this bag has everything a shooter could need for a day at the pistol range, and the bag has a convenient shoulder sling to keep the weight manageable.

bag

When the air starts to warm many people start their routine of taking the shotgun out to the range for a day shooting clays. This day at the range is a little easier to prepare for because there are fewer needed components for the shotgun. So what is really needed in a good shotgun range bag is a large compartment where different boxes of shells can be kept separate from each other, and the spent shells can be carried. A good example of a shotgun range bag is the RangeMaxx® Deluxe 4-Box Carrier. This carrier has the extra pockets needed for those pesky choke tubes and the large central compartment for a few boxes of shells and room enough for the empty shells when the shooter is finished.

bag

After a day of work and running around town isn’t it nice to just grab a few guns and head out to the range. There are gear bags specially designed for these days, where multiple firearms will be used of all different calibers. When the day calls for pistols, shotguns and rifles a gear bag needs a lot of space. The pistols need safe storage as do their magazines. The ammo needs a large area for the different boxes to be stored and there needs to be some extra space for the spent casings after the trip is over. A great bag for this all around shooting day is the RedHead® 1856 Range Bag. This bag has the space needed for the storage of multiple boxes of ammunition as well as side pockets large enough to hold pistols and their magazines, as well as room enough for the spent casings after the day is out.

bag

A day at the range is a great joy for many people. Finding the range bag of choice should not be the hassle that keeps someone from going. Here are some great choices for different kinds of days at the range. As always happy hunting and good luck! 

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Spring Turkey Season

It is that time of year again to get ready for the spring turkey hunting season. Preparation is key to an enjoyable and successful harvest of a wily gobbler. Usually this means gathering up all the gear you will need for a successful hunt. Such as decoys, calls, turkey vest, turkey ammunition, camouflage clothing and boots, bug repellant, hunting license, etc.  Making sure that everything is in great working condition before we head off into the woods helps increase our success in bringing home a big tom. Before you start to load up, these are questions you should ask yourself before your hunt, “Are all your calls and decoys in good shape? Have you patterned your shotgun with the new ammo or choke you bought? Are there any tears or holes in your boots?” Making a checklist a few weeks before your big hunt pays off immensely when you are out away from home and deep in the woods.

 

Speaking of preparation, be prepared to calm yourself from the excitement when that old gobbler shows up out of nowhere from behind you. Being still and not spooking turkeys is one of the hardest parts of turkey hunting except for calling. When it comes to calling turkeys, practice makes a big difference in how they respond. They have excellent hearing and know exactly where the calling is coming from. A naturally sounding call makes for gobblers responding and coming in for your decoys and bad calling will make them go quiet and spook them.

 

Planning out your hunt will make a difference on how successful your hunt will be. Doing a little preseason scouting and getting knowledge of where the turkey’s location will likely to be, helps in deciding what area to hunt. Also it is a good idea to have a second and maybe third choice of areas scouted out. Weather can also play a major factor in how much the turkeys are moving and responding to your calling. Calling can change from hour to hour or day to day. Sometimes soft purrs or clucks may work, sometimes loud excited calling does better and sometimes you can use a mixture of the two.

 

So in your preparation for spring turkey, make a list of all the equipment you will need for a successful hunt. From your gear, to practicing calling, to scouting your hunting areas, doing a proper preparation is a must to having not only a successful hunt, but a fun one.

 

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Why Air Guns?

by Wes Gudenkauf, Hunting Lead, Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Over the past year or so, as we all know, rimfire ammunition has been in short supply. With spring fast approaching, everyone is ready to get outside to do some shooting. An air rifle makes a great alternative to the never-ending search for .22 Long Rifle.

An air gun can come in just about any configuration that a person could want. From the beginner's Daisy Red Ryder to Gamo Whisper Fusion and even on to Pre-Charged Pneumatic (PCP) rifles capable of extreme accuracy, better than their rimfire relatives, at only a fraction of the cost to shoot. Calibers include .177, .20, .22, and .25, just to name the most common. 

  • Multi-pump rifles. These are common just about anywhere that sells air guns, ranging from around $50 to $100. They generally shoot dual ammo, meaning pellets or BBs, in .177 caliber. These are a great option for backyard can plinking or the occasional pigeon hunt at close range. However, the Benjamin 392 is a .22 caliber that I think stands out in this category.  It fires a .22 caliber Rabbit in the crosshairspellet at 950 fps (feet per second) with eight pumps and is extremely accurate at ranges of 20-30 yards. At a price of $189.99, it is at the top of its class. 
  • The next step up will be the single-stroke, spring gun. These are the guns like the Gamo Silent Cat all the way up to their Varmint Hunter. These guns are also usually in .177 or .22 caliber, but do not shoot BBs. They can fire anywhere from 900 all the way up to 1450 fps. Yes, that's faster than a .22 Long Rifle. These are popular for pest control under 40 yards, and can be extremely accurate with the right pellet. 
  • Most manufacturers are developing Nitrogen Piston (NP) guns as well. Contrary to popular belief, some of the spring guns I talked about above are actually quite loud, with decibel readings up over 100 decibels. A .22 Long Rifle operates at 134 decibels with standard 1200 fps ammo. With that being said, even the loudest air gun is still considerably quieter than a .22. Just don't be deceived when an air rifle is advertised to be "quiet." The advantage to a Nitrogen Piston gun over a spring-operated is that the NP guns are about 20% quieter. With a .22 caliber pellet, the Benjamin Trail NP can operate at 950 feet per second -- more than enough energy to dispatch squirrels and other varmints!
  • The final category are the PCP or Pre-Charged Pneumatic. They have an internal reservoir that is filled with either CO2 or High Pressure Air (HPA) from a paintball tank, scuba tank, or high-pressure pump. Once these guns are filled, they provide anywhere from 20 shots in a .25 caliber capable of taking down coyotes less than 50 yards, to 70 shots in .177 caliber, making it easy to fill the rifle up with air for an afternoon of hunting or an hour at the range honing your shooting skills. Prices range anywhere from $120-$500 for commercially available rifles, like the Crosman RepeatAir 1077 with a 12 round rotary mag, and, just like regular firearms, the sky is the limit. Pre-Charged rifles often come with a shrouded barrel, which acts to muffle the report of the rifle. These guns can be so quiet you may wonder if they even went off until you see the target fall. 

Pellets for these rifles usually run about $12-$15 for 500, with more or less expensive varieties available. With that being said, it's about half the cost of .22 long rifle and they're always available. 

One last thing about the air gun - they might be neighbor friendly. Many cities allow the use of air guns within city limits. Please check with your local law enforcement before air gunning in city limits. 

Happy Shooting!

______________

Wes has been shooting and hunting since he was seven and, like most other hunters, his first rifle was a pellet rifle. He always enjoyed airgun hunting and recently became involved with the sport again. Wes is a competitive shooter in trap and skeet, USPSA (United States Pistol Shooters Association) open class, and IDPA (International Defense Pistol Association).

 

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Ever wished to shoot 22LR ammo with no limit to see which fits best? Here is one result!

Every firearm owner wishes they could shoot and train without limits, but recent ammo prices and availability, range fees, and other economical obstacles continuously affect the opportunity to pursue their passion.   It’s just not as simple as it was years ago, when firearms, whether for sport or hunting purposes, were considered a part of everyday life.  One solution to this is the simple installation of the CMMG AR Conversion kit.  This is a drop-in conversion bolt, with included magazine, that will get you putting .22lr downrange in just minutes!  In the desire to provide information to the consumer on this product, it was tested in a direct-impingement AR15, fitted with a mid-length gas system, free-floated barrel, collapsible stock, and EOTech sight.     

ammo

            The kit tested was the Bravo model.  Now, expectations were actually quite low, I’ll admit.  I was prepared for jams, mis-feeds, mis-fires, and failures to eject.  I had a healthy variety of .22lr ammo; everything from budget, target, hunting and the costlier premium ammo from a multitude of manufacturers.  Given my extensive firearms knowledge, I decided the only unbiased way of reviewing the product would be to have someone with a different perspective fire a few hundred rounds, while I observed, and took notes of every comment and reaction…but more importantly, I had the duty of providing plenty of loaded magazines!  With that, I elected my wife to run the actual test, which would give me a great perspective from a female’s point of view, with familiarization of the platform.

gun

            The test was begun by loading 10 rounds of every different type/brand of ammunition on hand into the magazine.  Five rounds would be fired in slow fire, and the last five would be fired in rapid mode.  The test would conclude with a re-shoot of those rounds we found borderline acceptable, or unpleasant, and those we felt were the best performers.

ga

            Federal American Eagle, Winchester Super X, CCI Mini-Mag all performed well, with no jams, or failures to eject.

            CCI LR22, CCI STINGER, CCI LR HP, and Winchester Western all performed exceptionally well! There were many ‘wows,’ and praise as to how smooth it cycled, over and over.  Accuracy also seemed to be slightly better with the CCI brand ammunition.  

            Remington 22 Target, Remington 22 Viper, and Remington Thunderbolt came in as the most unpleasant, in regards to smell, perceived recoil, gas blowback, and particulate that seemed to foul shooter’s face.  Recoil on the Viper was also noted as being the most intense, however, still only a fraction of the recoil of your standard .223/5.56.

            Magazines where then loaded to the max, and fired from different shooting positions, and while moving.  Not one mechanical issue was noted, and there were zero failures one could classify as ‘catastrophic’ in a self-defense, combat, or training situation.

 

            The overall impression was a very positive one.  The product was very simple to install.  Anyone with a very primitive understanding of the AR system can easily open their rifle, remove the original bolt carrier group, and simply drop the CMMG Conversion Kit right in! No tools are required.  The system is low-noise, low-recoil, and can easily reduce your investment on ammunition.  50 rounds of decent .223/5.56 will run you about $25 on today’s market; while a box of .22LR will set you back five dollars on the average, and weigh significantly less.  The round is already a proven small game load and plinkster, and in addition to the AR’s versatility plus the adaptability to smaller framed shooters, you can count on this add-on being perfect for youth and smaller statured shooters looking to spice up their training with some ‘tactical’ flavor. 

The only downside was the general foul nature of .22lr ammunition.  It does ultimately mean that you will be cleaning more often than usual, but the lower muzzle velocities will prolong the life of any profile barrel, military or commercial.

Lower priced ammunition will only result in positive outcomes; more range time, training, and most importantly; safe fun on the range that any aged and size shooter can appreciate.  The CMMG AR Conversion kit is a great tool seasoned vets can add to their training regiment, as well as instructors, parents, and significant others, who are looking to maintain that edge, teach a new student who has never handled a firearm, or introduce their family member to a lifetime of responsible shooting.

Abelardo Román

Hunting Team Leader

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Seasons End, Maintenance Begins

Rod Slings Guest Blog by Rod Slings, Retired Iowa DNR Hunter Education Administrator

 

As the hunting seasons come to an end, it’s time again to store all your equipment. As always, safety is number one for every hunter and gun owner. Make sure your firearm is pointed in a safe direction, check to make sure it’s unloaded, then it’s ready to be cleaned. Even if you haven’t fired it, it’s important to give it a quick cleaning. Moisture, dirt, and salt from your hands can all have a long-term impact on the condition of your firearms. 

Each year, somewhere, someone forgets to unload his or her muzzleloader. Incidents can happen when you think the muzzleloader is empty and place another “load” on top of the load that was left…last hunting season. It’s never good when you’re expecting a bang and BOOM happens instead. It can cause severe injury or even death by not making sure your muzzleloader is empty before you load it up again. Powder residue will cause corrosion and have a major effect, so make sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on proper cleaning.

Gun storage is very much a huge responsibility for all hunters. Make sure you use trigger locks or cable locks, and lock them in a gun cabinet or gun safe. This keeps your firearms from the curious, young and old, or even the burglar that may break into your house. There are all kinds of gun storage products available to help you be a responsible gun owner.

Opinions differ on storing “muzzle up or muzzle down” in your gun safe or locker. After cleaning oil is used in the barrel, with muzzle up the excess could run down into the end of your wood stock and cause the wood fibers to expand.  This is due to the oil saturating and working its way down where the metal meets the stock. This is not an issue with the newer composite stocks or other non-porous stocks. Muzzle down will eliminate this from occurring. No matter what, always make sure you keep the firearms pointed in a safe direction when placing them in or removing them from locked storage. Remember:  Treat every firearm as if it were loaded ALWAYS!

Ammunition should be stored in a locked container separate from the firearms. This safety practice adds another layer to your firearm storage safety protocol.

Don’t forget to remove batteries from trail cameras, range finders, GPS units and other battery-powered hunting equipment. Storage of arrows and archery equipment requires an edge of safety, too!

Until you’re ready to go target practice, shoot some trap or skeet, or are preparing for spring turkey season, these steps will keep you, your family, and others stay safe!

It’s always great to break out your equipment in the fall and have everything ready to be inspected for another Rod Slingsyear…not to have rust, corrosion, or other issues from not practicing due-diligence now. 

Always focus on safe gun handling and, please, hunt SAFE!

__________________________

Rod Slings is a partner with Hunting and Shooting Related Consultants. He was with the Iowa DNR for 35 years as a supervisor in the DNR's Law Enforcement Bureau. He is an active proponent of hunter safety and education through international leadership, instructional, and speaking opportunities for organizations such as the International Hunter Education Association, the National Wild Turkey Federation, and the United Nations.

__________________________

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Concealed Carry Class Jan. 25-26 at Cincinnati Bass Pro Shops

Bass Pro Logo

We will be hosting a Concealed Carry Class on January 25th and 26th, 2014. This class will be conducted by NRA Certified Instructors. The class times are:

Saturday January 25th from 9:30 - 7:30: Classroom instruction in our conference room.

Sunday January 26th from 9:00am to 12:00 pm - Qualification shooting at a local private range.

You do not have to have your own handgun to qualify, loaners will be available, but you will be required to supply your own ammunition. Cost of the class is $110. Please call 513-826-5200 to register and if you have any questions. Class size is limited.

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Check It Out List: Range Time

Well I made a little New Year’s Resolution and it was to simply do more. I have truly been blessed with all the amazing people in my life, but unfortunately have not been able to spend much time with them. So 2014 is going to be a year of just doing more. And that of course is going to mean some more trips to the range!

Now a lot of my families own firearms and shoot, but not everyone does. So it will be my pleasure to share this passion of mine with them (and help them relieve stress, which shooting is one of the best ways to do so). Safety will of course be my first priority, but there are a number of other things to consider when it comes to going to the range, which makes it the topic of this month’s Check It Out List blog.

Range-Time Items:

Firearm(s)

Proper Ammunition

Hearing Protection

Eye Protection

Targets

Case

Range-Time Bag

Gun Tool

So let us break that down a little bit more. For the firearms, you should know what kind of shooting you are going to be doing. (Pistol practice, trap and skeet, sighting in a hunting rifle, etc.) That will also dictate the kind of ammo you are going to bring. You really don’t need to bring the shotgun shells when dialing in that new Vortex 4-16x44 on your old Remington 700. Also certain ranges have restrictions on what ammo can be fired there, so it is always best to call before hand and check.

    

I do not know of a firing range where eye and ear protection is not necessary and would not want to visit one that is lax on this. Always have a few sets of “eyes and ears” in your bag at all times. Also have a variety of styles of protection for people. It is not a bad idea to have both foam plugs and over-the-ear hearing protection. This way people can have their choice or even double up if they have sensitive ears.

A nice range-bag is great as many come with multiple compartments. This is nice for storing and separating items. Always be sure to load the right ammo with the right firearm. A gun tool is nice in case you need to make a quick little fix or such. Also be sure to have a number of targets as they will need to be replaced.

And let me dish a little on a couple pet peeves of my own when it comes to range-time.

First… if you have a number of pistols out that are different calibers; just store the ones not in use at that moment. I personally can’t stand seeing a pile of firearms along with a pile of magazines that is all next to a stack of different ammo. Somewhere you will make a mistake and try and load the wrong ammo or wrong magazine or so on.

Second… if you are taking a new shooter out for their first time: be kind. It is your responsibility as a gun-owner to ensure everyone has a safe and fun time. I was just at the range and heard a group behind me discussing rifles, so I joined the conversation. The adult male in the group was talking about having a younger girl shoot a .270Win or .30-06Sprg at the range. (Mind you this was an indoor range that goes to about 75 feet out, so not really a long-range rifle setup.) Hearing this I assumed she was a seasoned shooter as those calibers can pack a nice punch, but naw this was her first time. She was as lean as a desert grasshopper and even admitted to being intimidated by everything. And “the chaperone” was going to have her shoot a .30-06?! I don’t think so! So I had her join my fiancé and I for a quick little lesson. I took her over importance of eye and ear protection, safe handling of a firearm and proper operation of one. The firearm I had her shoot was a lighter caliber out of a heavy revolver so the kick was minimal. What do ya know? She had a great time and was much less intimidated by everything. This means that she would not be scared of guns and might even come back!

Like most things in life, take the time to plan ahead for the little stuff. There is nothing wrong with double-checking either!

Grinnin’ Like a Possum Eatin’ a Yella Jacket! Giddy-Up!

Checked-Lists

Picnics

Gun Cleaning

Game Care

First Aid

Day Pack

Trip Prep

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A Fine Nine: Glock 19

So last month I introduced the topic of finding a 9mm handgun for my associate, Katie-Kins. (You can read it real quick by clicking any of the words in between these parentheses.) So for the first of these “Fine Nines” I am choosing what many consider one of the best carry options: the Glock 19.

Now this is one of the most popular carry guns out there. A quick search of “most common ccw gun” gave me to sites that had the Glock 19 in a top 10 list. (Handgun Mag and Human Events) For those of you who do not know what “CCW” is, it stands for: carrying a concealed weapon. Many states require a CCW permit in order to legally carry a concealed weapon. Arizona no longer does, but still many responsible gun owners still attend the class and acquire the permit. (Katie-Kins and my fiancé will be two such responsible gun owners and I suggest everyone else should as well.)

The Glock 19s size makes it a good concealed carry weapon as well as a practice pistol. Now let me clarify that. Many great ccw firearms are not great practice pistols. I just bought my fiancé a Smith and Wesson 642. While it is an awesome concealable firearm it will not be one that we put many rounds through each time we go to the range, whereas the Glock 19 you can shoot comfortably all day. (Heads up I will be using the information for the fourth-generation of these firearms when discussing specifics.)

Glock really revolutionized the firearms industry. The lightness of their polymer frame and the reliability and durability has proved itself for decades now. Many armed forces and police forces alike carry the Glock. It is affectionately called “Gun Tupperware” as while it may not look like much, it gets the job done. In fact they seem to always get the job done. Some firearms tend to feed and shoot specific brands of ammunition. Glocks are notorious for not being picky-eaters and seem to feed any kind of ammo with indifference.

The Glock 19 has a standard magazine that holds 15 rounds. There are options for magazines that hold 17 or even 33 rounds. The firearm is 7.36” long and 4.99” tall. It is 1.88” thick and the barrel’s length is 4.01”. This makes it an accurate firearm in a compact size.

Now for everything that can be considered good with a firearm it seems to also be able to be considered bad. There are no external safeties on the Glock 19. This means there would be one less thing that could snag the firearm while being drawn and one would not find themselves having to work a safety off in a self-defense circumstance. Both of these are positives, but for first time gun owners or even novice owners this can be intimidating. It does have the double-trigger safety though. 

The Glock 19 breaks completely down with relative ease and does not have nearly as many internal parts as say a 1911 model handgun does. Also due to their wide distribution and production, finding parts for one is easier than having a more obscure firearm.

Glocks have what is known as a “trigger reset”. This means after one fires the weapon they can slowly release the trigger to a certain point. The Glock has an audible click that helps let one know when they reach this point. It can then be fired again by squeezing backwards, but it cuts the distance for that trigger pull. I had no idea about this until my uncle showed me. The difference is quite amazing and is also a positive for the Glock.

The grip of the handle is usually what will turn people away from owning a Glock. The reliability, durability, simplicity, functionality and great price point don’t mean much if one does not like holding the thing. Just like I am pointing out all these things and more to Katie-Kins, I hope I am helping others when it comes to a decision like this.

Wise as a Tree Full of Owls! Giddy-Up!!

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Eyes on Rangefinders!

Lets scope out an amazing tool that is often overlooked and rarely talked about...the rangefinder.

In the event you are unfamiliar with them, a rangefinder is a device that measures distance from the observer to a target. Optical range finders work by comparing the height of an object to a scale. Laser range finders work by bouncing a laser beam of an object and determining how long it takes to return and therefore distance. To select a rangefinder you first need to determine the size, maximum distance and type of object that is to be used to determine distance. Small non-reflective objects at long distances need very high quality rangefinders. Large shiny objects can be detected with cheaper rangefinders. Just determine your needs and budget and research your options.

Ballistics and Tactical

Rangefinders may be used by military or law enforcement snipers as a means of finding the distance to the target in order to set up a "perfect shot". If range is not known before the first shot, it may be necessary to walk the rounds in on the target, such as using tracer ammunition or observing splashes. The laser rangefinder is not always the best option though, as it sends out a light source that may give away the rangefinders position. Many Nikon Laser Rangefinders for hunting and golfing are readily available in different ranging distances. These Hunting Rangefinders include laser rangefinders for bow hunters. Leupold Laser Rangefinders include the RX series of premium quality hunting rangefinders and golfing rangefinders also.

Forestry

Rangefinders are also used for surveying in forestry. Special devices with anti-leaf filters are used. Surveying jobs such as sale boundaries and stem mapping are great examples of what they are used for.

Virtual reality

Since the 1990s, the entertainment industry has been using lasers to scan objects and create 3-D models. These precise measurements are converted into highly detailed representations in virtual reality. Scientists often use laser rangefinders, as well. Long-range lasers can be used to measure the distance to an object in space, such as the moon. The technology continues to be used more and more in space exploration, where there is no atmosphere to deflect beams of laser light.

 

NIKON

NIKON ARCHER'S CHOICE

The Nikon Archer's Choice Laser Rangefinder is specifically designed with the help of the pros at Archer's Choice and combines Nikon's ID technology with all the features serious bowhunter's demand. The Nikon Archer's Choice Laser Rangefinder with LCD Display has a first target priority mode that allows confident ranging of objects and has a 5 to 100 yard range. The Nikon Archer’s Choice Laser Waterproof/Fogproof Rangefinder features a bright, multicoated 6X optics and proprietary anti-reflective coatings offer high-resolution images in most lighting conditions. The rangefinder is ultra-compact in size and fits in your pocket or pack, and can be worn on a belt without interfering with your shot.

Nikon Archers Choice

 

NAC Display

 

 

LEUPOLD

LEUPOLD RX-1000i TBR with DNA

One of the featured series is the Leupold RX Rangefinders. They range faster, more accurately and to longer ranges than in previous models. The proprietary DNA (Digitally eNhanced Accuracy) engine responds instantly with crisp precision within 1/10th yard and TBR (True Ballistic Range) gives you all you need to place your shot perfectly.

 

Leupold RX

Leupold RX1000i Display

This rangefinder is also equipped with an inclinometer. This is a great addition to the rangefinder to aid in the estimated time to travel up or down a slope as well as where to best put your shot.   

 

LEUPOLD VENDETTA

The new Leupold Vendetta bow-mounted rangefinder will revolutionize the way you hunt and dramatically improve your game. Vendetta gives you an instant and precise digital readout of your target range – at full draw – with no excessive movement and less busted game. Simply push the trigger pad and Vendetta continually adjusts distance, angles and elevation as your target moves with a range from 10 -70 yards.

Leupold Vendetta

 

Leupold Vendetta Bow Mount

 

Rangefinders are a great addition to the gear list and are proven time after time. If you are unsure if you should use on or what model you should get, come down to Bass Pro and try them out. We have more than enough taxidermy mounts to practice on.

Go scope something out!

KatieKins

 

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Safe Storage for Firearms

One of the problems many adults have with keeping firearms in their house, is not knowing the safest way to keep them from being stolen or used by their children. The safety of all peoples is always the top priority for any family or sportsman. There are simple steps firearm enthusiasts can take in order to keep their firearms and families safe.

A simple step that can keep firearms safely stored is to simply remove any rounds from the magazine or chamber of the weapon. This will keep accidents from happening even when the home owner is not around. Another quick and easy way to keep families safe is to store the firearms and ammunition separately. By doing this you put a barrier to curiosity for children and others who might be wanting to use the firearms. Another simple way to keep little hands from accidentally firing a rifle or pistol is to constantly keep gun locks on all firearms in a house. This again can will provide a barrier to children and others who might be too curious about the firearm. By keeping locks on all weapons the homeowner can feel safe having firearms in the home.

Another way to keep firearms secure is to use designated firearms safe. Personal stories have shown that when a safe is employed in a house burglars are not able to get inside the safe and in some cases give up on the house entirely when they are unable to break the safe. One such safe is the RedHead Ultra Fire Resistant 25-Gun Safe. These safes are built to protect your firearms from everything from burglars to small fires. In many cases these safes are able to keep everything inside the safe protected from any conditions on the outside. Now a good way to keep your firearms away from other forms of damage is to keep your firearms and ammunition in two separate safes. This makes sure that if something unthinkable happens your ammunition does not discharge or damage your firearms. While this might seem tedious, it will help prevent unauthorized access to both your firearms and the ammunition.

To keep your firearms safe and also in good working condition, storing them in the right place is key. In some cases having the firearms in the house is out of the question, but this might not be the best for the integrity of the firearm. Keeping a firearm in a shed or the garage is usually quite trying on the weapon simply because the conditions are not regulated like inside a house. When storing a firearm first take a look at the conditions where it will be staying, if the conditions are at all damp or the temperature fluctuates to wildly during the year, finding a place inside will be far better for the firearm. When storing a firearm in a safe inside a house it is always a good idea to invest in a good desiccant. These chemical blends pull moisture from the air and keep the conditions dry and moderated. A good and rechargeable desiccant is the Red Head Safe Dri Rechargeable Moisture Control. These chemicals stay in their packages and make the conditions far better for any firearm in a safe, and they keep firearms from rusting or destroying the blueing on rifles or pistols.

In the end it is up to the owner of the firearms on how they choose to store their firearms and who has access to them. Great ways to keep these firearms secure is to get a gun safe. While at the same time doubling up on safety might be a good idea, so putting some gun locks on the firearms in the safe is still a great idea. Storing your ammunition away from your firearms, while keeping your firearms unloaded in the house keeps accidents from happening. And one last thing to remember about safe storage of firearms is look at the conditions the firearm is in. If it is to moist in an area get a desiccant and make sure the temperature does not vary too wildly or the firearms finish and parts could corrode. Follow this link to see what options Bass Pro Shops has for storing your firearms safely http://www.basspro.com/Shooting-Gun-Storage-Safes-Cases/_/N-1z0ux5b Good luck on the hunt and stay safe!

RedHead Safe

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New Product Spotlight: Remington 2020

Too close for missiles, I'm switching to guns.

You may recognize that line from the 80's classic Top Gun, but the top gun on the market is the new Remington 2020, and the similarities do not end there.

Earlier this month, Remington announced the release of their new 2020 shooting platform, and it flew almost completely under the radar (pun intended).  The 2020 is offered in 3 configurations (pictured below): a 700 Long Range chambered in .30-06, a 700 SPS Tactical in .308 and an R-15 in .223/5.56.

Model 700 Long Range (LR)

Model 700 SPS Tactical AAC

Bushmaster Varminter

 

Set alone, these rifles are noteworthy, but not head turning.  No longer.  Remington has built these packages complete with a Digital Optic System from Tracking Point.  The Tracking Point optic system comes complete with a 3-21 variable power scope, laser rangefinder (capable of ranging up to 750 yards), an advanced ballistics calculator and audio/video recording.

The 2020 Digital Optic System features a Heads Up Display (HUD) which provides you with all the information needed to make that critical shot:  target speed, ammunition selection, inclination, rifle cant, compass heading and much, much more.

 

 

Each package comes complete with a hand-selected rifle mounted (and zeroed) with the Remington 2020 Digital Optic System, a wheeled SKB hard case with custom foam insert, 300 rounds of matched ammunition (and a pre-loaded ballistic solution for all three paired ammunition types), a sunshade, 4 rechargeable batteries and charging cradle/power supply.  With an MSRP of around $5000, the Remington 2020 isn't for everyone, but for those with a thirst for the most up-to-date technology, look no further, because the Remington 2020 has it in spades.

Visit Remington's site devoted to the 2020:  http://www.shoot2020.com

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Are you Prepared for Deer Hunting Season?

 

Just a few helpful tips and reminders for your deer hunting trip.

 

Deer Hunting Checklist

 

BEFORE YOUR HUNT

_____ Purchase deer hunting license/licenses

_____ Find hunting location & secure permission from landowner & surrounding landowners

_____ Read latest hunting and trapping guide for regulation changes

_____ Scout your hunting area

_____ Purchase ammunition & sight-in your firearm or other equipment

_____ Practice tree stand climbing & using your safety harness

_____ Ensure all equipment is in working order

 

WEEK/DAY OF THE HUNT

_____ Check weather and layer clothing appropriately

_____ Put on hunter orange clothing and be sure it meets requirements

_____ Pack and sharpen knife for field dressing

_____ Bring headlamp/flashlight

_____ Hunting license and ID

_____ Drag rope

_____ Temporary transportation tag and pen/pencil (fill out most beforehand)

_____ GPS/map/compass

_____ Water bottle/thermos/snacks

_____ Hunting license and ID (it’s on here twice, it’s THAT important)

_____ Ammunition

_____ Small saw or clippers

_____ Cell phone

_____ Leave hunting details with family/friends

_____ String or zip tie to affix transportation tag

_____ Paper towels/gloves for field dressing

_____ Calls or scents

_____ Tree stand and full body harness

_____ Blind and hunter orange for blind

_____ First Aid Kit

_____ Binoculars

 

AFTER YOU HARVEST A DEER

_____ Field dress the deer, drag out of woods, affix temporary transportation tag

_____ Check in deer at check station or online at checkingame.dnr.in.gov

_____ Process your deer or take to a processor

 

WHEN YOU’RE DONE HUNTING

_____ Make taxidermy arrangements

_____ Clean your gear

_____ Thank private landowner for permission to hunt land (share your harvest)

_____ Organize and put away gear for next year.

 

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPageC?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&appID=94&storeID=54&tab=3

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Dove Season 2013 "Better Late Than Never"

             The most highly anticipated bird opener of the year, Dove opener, is now behind us.  Dove season,which is the first bird season to open each year, always opens on September 1.  Those of us who enjoy shotgun shooting more than other shooting sports eagerly await the September 1 opener. 

             Hitting a speedy dove has been compared to hitting a major league fast ball, no easy feat!  The average dove hunter expends about 8 shells per bird according to ammunition manufacturers association!  I spent my opening day at Talbot Conservation Area, west of Springfield.  Missouri hunters are fortunate to have access to some of the best manage dove fields available anywhere.  I have hunted this area many times and this year it was the best dove habitat that I have every seen there.  And as was expected there were plenty of dove and plenty of dove hunters and the shooting was pretty intense for several hours. I am sure that limits were the rule and not the exception.  I got a limit with my little 28 ga. o/u.

             The dove season goes until November 9 so there is still plenty time left to get in on the action.  There  are other areas available that are often managed for dove, such as “corp.” ground in an around many of Missouri’s reservoirs.  After opening day it is some times difficult to find large concentrations of birds, check CA(conservation areas) after the onset of cooler weather moves into the northern states, as migrating doves will once again focus on the available food plots at the various conservation areas.

Matthew's Dove Recipe

           After the hunt  some dove hunters struggle with how to prepare dove for the table!  My favorite method to prepare dove is as follows: Remove breast meat from the dove, this is best  accomplished with a filet knife, make sure to remove all skin!  Marinate in equal parts of red wine and soy sauce with a little  crushed garlic over night.  Wrap ½ breast around a sliver of Serrano pepper (remove all seeds), enclosed in a big enough piece of bacon to  completely encircle the breast.  Cook in broiler or on barbeque till bacon is just done.  Serve as a side dish.  Yes it is a lot of work, but worth it!

 

 

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Trick Out Your Truck

seatBesides being the nation's leading outdoor store, carrying the usual complement of hunting and fishing supplies, did you know we also carry a number of items to customize your vehicle?  It's true, your local Bass Pro Shops is also your vehicle personalization headquarters.wheel

First up, let's start with the interior.  Seat covers are both functional and decorative. You'll find a number of different licensed products, most of which feature camouflage-pattern accent pieces.  Some of the options to choose from include Browning Mossy Oak, Ducks Unlimited, Duck Commander and Realtree. Most of the seat covers also have matching steering wheel covers to provide a unified look for the interior of your vehicle.

airMake sure you check out the selection of floor mats that are available well.  You will find options for both the front and rear of your vehicle.  The floor mat selections include standard and 3-D options.  Designs are available from Bone Collector, Browning Pink/Mossy Oak, Realtree and more. You will also find a ducknumber of logoed air fresheners, and even windshield shades to complete your look.

We haven't forgotten the exterior of your vehicle.  A variety of fishing-and hunting-themed stickers, decals and window clings are available to personalize your windows, bumpers and side panels.  When you are stocking up on ammunition or replacing your hunting clothing, don't forget to trick out your truck!

www.facebook.com/bpsmacon

 

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American Whitetail Ammunition

When it comes to Hornady ammunition, there are three words that stick out. Those being: accurate, deadly and dependable. This is their tagline, and they have earned it. Many shooters and hunters trust to make the shots they need to with Hornady rounds.

They do such a good job that many won’t use any but Hornady products. And their product line is quite extensive. One can pick up a box of ammunition to head out to the range with or get into reloading their own. Quality is never spared.

One of their newest lines of ammo (which is a year late if you ask me, this stuff would have been perfect for my hunt last November) is the American Whitetail Ammunition.

This ammo is purpose built for whitetail deer, which is the most common big game animal in North America. (Check out the first Big Game Basic blog for more info.)  They come in the most common hunting calibers and loads used for whitetail deer.

It uses their InterLock bullets which are a soft point. What separates these soft points from the rest is the engineered performance of how the bullet spreads once it makes contact. You should definitely watch the video they have on the webpage for it as it does a much better job that I can.

The calibers include: 243Win, 25-06Rem, 270Win, 7mm-08Rem, 7mmRemMag, 30-30Win, 308Win, 30-06Sprg and 300WinMag.

Back when I was getting ready for my hunt I put a box of Hornady through my Remington 700. I had the tightest grouping with that ammunition compared to other rounds. If you have never shot Hornady ammunition before, definitely give it a try.

The best part is the price point on this ammunition. It is competitively priced to other manufacturers’ similar lines.  Everyone’s rifles will handle differently ammunition differently, so you will want to try all brands out there to find which one is perfect for you. Chances are it might just be Hornady. Barn Raising Barrel Cactus! Giddy-Up!

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