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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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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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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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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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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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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Check It Out List: Gun Cleaning Kit

Welcome to the third installment of Check It Out List. This time we will be going over what many may consider a small set of items, a gun cleaning kit. And while this may be considered something small, they play a big part in operation and longevity of a firearm.

For those who just “want to go buy a gun” they probably do not realize all the things that go with such responsibility. Besides the firearm itself one will need several other items. Ammunition is important, having the correct ammunition is also key. Never be afraid to ask for help when it comes to this as it could be life-ending otherwise. For instance, there is a difference between .270 Winchester and .270 Winchester Short Magnum.

Also touching upon the correct ammunition, just because the box says the round you are looking for that does not mean it is in there. I have found numerous boxes that had wrong ammunition put back in them by some careless person earlier. This sounds ridiculous, but is true. People who are comparing cartridges may not notice which round they put back in which box.

Hmmm... Somebody does not belong...

You’ll also want to have storage for the firearm. Typically this will mean both a soft and hard case for storing and transportation. I’m not saying go out and invest in a 10 gun safe if you are a first time gun buyer, but it may be worth it later in life.

Oh and here is something simple that many people overlook, eye and ear protection. It is astonishing how many people do not or forget to pack this with them. My fiancé was going to go to a cabin with a group of friends from work. One mentioned that they were going to be shooting and I asked “Who is bringing the eyes and ears?” After the long pause I felt a little nervous about letting her go with people who might not have these simple and cheap items. (By the way, these electronic muffs work great!)

Last but not least is the gun cleaning kit itself. A firearm is an investment, just like a vehicle or home. If you don’t take proper preventative maintenance it might not last too long. While some might see this as a chore, I find it relaxing. After a day at the range I love busting everything down and giving it a good scrubbing. But what all do you need to clean a firearm? Below is a suggested list of everything needed.

A Cleaning Kit Should Include:

  • Assorted rod tips—brushes, mop tips, slotted tips, jag tips
  • Bore light
  • Clean cloths
  • Cleaning rods
  • Cotton swabs
  • Dental mirror
  • Gun grease
  • Gun oil
  • Gunsmith screwdrivers
  • Patches appropriate for the caliber or gauge of the firearm
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Solvent
  • Stand to hold the firearm securely in a horizontal position
  • Toothbrush

 

Now while some of this might seem a little much, keep in mind the suggestion word. My kit is not nearly this extensive, and I have not had a single issue due to lack of cleaning. I can tell you though that you will want for sure a cleaning rod with the appropriate tips for the firearm you are cleaning. Cotton swabs work great for getting that grease and gunk out, especially after the oils and cleaners have worked their magic.

One thing this list does not mention is a pull-through. This is a device that you slide through the barrel and then give a quick tug to. This pulling through motion does a great job for quick cleanings. This however does not replace a full cleaning which may not be needed every time after firing but is important. There are many working parts of firearms that need special attention. I would suggest having a pull-through for all firearms as they are easy to toss into a pack.

Oh and here’s another secret. Most brake-cleaning products for vehicles contains the same stuff as “gun cleaning liquids” do, and they are usually a little cheaper. Just check to be sure before spraying your firearm down.

You can piece together your own cleaning kit or buy a whole set. Either way, just make sure you have one. Take care of your firearm and it can easily be a hand me down. I personally am hoping to one day acquire a firearm from both of my grandfathers. (Especially since I learned about the existence of a Ruger M77 .30-06Sprg that belonged to my mother’s dad.) I think it would be so cool to hand down my grandfather’s deer rifles to my grandkids one day.

Go ahead and let us know what items you would add or subtract from the list and why! Scrub-a-dub Rubbin’ that rust away!! Get ya some!

If you haven’t already check out our other Check It Out Lists on First Aid Kits and Day Packs.

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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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Ammo too Expensive or not avaliable?

Hornady LNL Classic Kit

With recent times ammunition has become not only scarce, but prices are also starting to rise. This is where a reloader will have a "one-up" on the people who buy factory ammunition. Whenever a person who reloads wants to shoot all he or she has to do is sit down and load however many round they want. Be it 50 or 500 the quantity does not matter. If you are one who does not reload then you have to get in your car, drive to the store and buy your ammunition. That might be a 100 round box or in some cases all you might be able to find is a 20 round box. This is why it would be advantageous for someone who shoots a lot to get into reloading.

If you are wanting to get into this hobby Hornady has just the solution for you. This is their Lock-N-Load Classic reloading kit. With the exception of brass, powder, primers,projectiles and dies, this kit comes with everything you need to get started reloading. Here is a list of the included items:

  • Lock-N-Load Classic single stage press
  • Lock-N-Load powder measure
  • Electronic scale
  • 8th Edition Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading
  • Three Lock-N-Load die bushings
  • Primer catcher
  • Positive priming system
  • Hand-held priming tool
  • Universal reloading block
  • Chamfering and deburring tool
  • Primer turning plate
  • One Shot case lube

Series 2 pistol die setAnother piece of hardware you will need to start reloading is reloading dies. Unlike the Hornady Lock-N-Load reloading press, reloading dies are specific to every caliber. Pictured here is the Hornady Series 2 Pistol die set (9mm to be more specific). The far left die is the full length sizer die, middle is the case mouth expander die and the right is the bullet seating die. So not only is each die set for a specific caliber, but each die in that set has a specific use.

If you have never reloaded before I highly recommend reading as much information as possible. The Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading is an excellent source of information on not only cartridge specifications but also a beginners guide to reloading. Here is a YouTube video of Hornadys Lock-N-Load Classic kit.

Come out to the Hunting department in Bass Pro Shop and will we be more than happy to assist you with your reloading questions.

 

We look forward to seeing you,

Grayson Barnes

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Zombie Nation 2013

Zombie Nation MagazineOnce again, Guns and Ammo has brought to the news stands one of the most important publications of its kind in the world.  We all know what's coming and I for one want to be the first to get my hands on the state of the art weapons, ammunition, prepping information.  The first issue of Zombie Nation gave us just enough to wet our whistles so to speak and this issue takes it even further.

The second issue of Zombie Nation hit the street about a week ago and I snatched up two of the ten copies on the rack before anyone else could get the drop on them because I don't want to be the only one left standing around while my neighbors are bugging out.

There are a couple things that caught my attention with the first one being a gorgeous Modern Sporting Rifle from Spike's Tactical in Apopka.  Their SL 15 Zombie looks like it would lay down some precision lead while defending your homefront from the biters.  Magpul equipment and a plethora of Spike's custom touches, make this zombie slayer a welcome addition to the gun safe.  "Don't Forget To Double Tap" is milled into the upper unit rail system as a constant reminder of the need to put walkers down for the count.  Spike's custom ST-T2 heavy buffer is machined from solid billet then filled with High Density Tungsten Powder (HDTP) to tame recoil for repeated accuracy.  The features keep stacking up so my advice would be to get your hands on one before Z-Day arrives.

My second favorite new toy (if I could afford it) is the Standard Issue 1911A1 .45 cal rail gun from Iver Johnson.  This zombie-themed pistol is so beautifully appointed with you guessed it, "ZOMBIES" that you may not want to carry it.  Stunning is the only word I can find to describe the graphics on the slide and the zombie-green grips.  A fully adjustable rear sight and a pickatinny rail-equiped frame ensure that you can mount a light, lazer, or keep it naked while still putting rounds where they count.  Get yours before I get mine.....  Or should I say before my wife gets hers?

There's way more to this mag than just things that go boom, including knives, blunt instruments, comm gear, rations, and even navigation equipment so you can find the only safe haven for miles.  I especially appreciate the effort the writers went through to bring us some of the most up-to-date tactics with a zombie twist.  These practices might be necessary in the event of any national or local emergency including; hurricanes, floods, fires, mass power outages, or even a Sharknado......  Well maybe not Sharknado, that would just be silly.

Brian "Beastman" Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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The Ten Commandments of Firearms Safety

The Ten Commandments of Firearms Safety

gunIt’s the middle of July and 110° in the shade here in Louisiana but it is never too early to start talking about Hunting.   Dove hunting is only six weeks away and then there is always squirrel, rabbit, duck, deer, etc.  For all of you old timers, I’m sure you know how important it is to be safe out there in the woods.  You newbies need to take it very seriously.  To get you started here are the Ten Commandments of Firearms Safety as stated by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Department.

 

  • Watch that muzzle!  Keep it pointed in a safe direction at all times.
     
  • Treat every firearm with the respect due a loaded gun.  It might be, even if you think it isn’t.
     
  • Be sure of the target and what is in front of it and beyond it.  Know the identifying features of the game you hunt.  Make sure you have an adequate backstop – don’t shoot at a flat, hard surface or water.
     
  • Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot.  This is the best way to prevent an accidental discharge.
     
  • Check your barrel and ammunition.  Make sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions; and carry only the proper ammunition for your firearm.
     
  • Unload firearms when not in use.  Leave action open; carry firearms in cases and unloaded to and from the shooting area.
     
  • Point a firearm only at something you intend to shoot.  Avoid all horseplay with a gun.
     
  • Don’t run, jump, or climb with a loaded firearm.  Unload a firearm before you climb a fence or tree, or jump a ditch. Pull a firearm toward you by the butt, not the muzzle.
     
  • Store firearms and ammunition separately and safely.  Store each in secured location beyond the reach of children and careless adults.
     
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages before and during shooting.  Also avoid mind- or behavior- altering medicines or drugs.

 

Be safe and have a fun, exciting hunting season.

 

Jettie Whittington

Denham Springs

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New at Bass Pro Shops, CMMG 300 AAC/Blackout AR-15!!!

CMMG 300 BlackoutNew here at Bass Pro Shops is an AR-15 rifle chambered in 300 Blackout. The rifle is manufactured by CMMG Incorporated. CMMG manufactured not only full AR-15 rifles but they also manufacture AR-15 parts and accessories. This company was founded in 1999 and has been growing exponentially ever since. They now offer everything from magazines to a fully built rifle like we have here.

The specs on the rifle are:

  • Caliber - 300 AAC BLACKOUT.
  • Barrel - 16" M300 Profile Barrel, WASP Treated 4140 Chrome-Moly Steel, 1:7" Twist, 5/8-24 Threaded.
  • Hand Guard - M4 Hand guard.
  • Sights/Gas Block - Flat top/railed gas block.
  • Trigger assembly - Factory Trigger.
  • Magazine - 30 Round  P-Mag.

 

300 AAC Blackout  The 300 AAC Blackout(7.62x35 MM) is fairly new to the industry, but since the 300's acceptance by SAAMI(Sporting Arms Ammunition Institute) the cartridge has been gaining popularity. If you are unfamiliar with the 300 Blackout it is basically a .223rem case cut down and re-necked to fit a .30 caliber projectile, but its actual parent case is a .221 Fireball. Having the same case as a .223rem this means that the 300 blackout will function in a magazine designed for a .223rem and hold the same capacity. Now you might be asking yourself "What is the 300 Blackout good for?" Here are some of the advantages to this cartridge:

  • Subsonic ammo that will cycle an AR
  • Uses standard .223rem Magazine and bolt
  • Better muzzle energy when compared to a .223rem
  • Wide projectile selection (.308")

300 Blackout assortment

 

The 300 Blackout is becoming very popular with hog hunters. The low recoil, light noise crack and excellent energy producing make it a perfect fit for hog/pig control. Combine this cartridge with a suppressor and you will have a quiet, reliable rifle that will suit your needs.(Please check local game laws. Not all states/game can be legally hunted with a suppressor. Look here on how to obtain a suppressor).

Here is a YouTube video of what this round sounds like subsonic/suppressed vs. supersonic.

Now every pro has its cons. The only cons I could think of were slightly more expensive to shoot, factory ammo is a little harder to find(but what ammo isn't right now) and bullet drop after two hundred yards is significant.  These cons should not steer you away from this rifle. It is an excellent choice. Shoot one and you will realize what I am talking about.

Stop by Bass Pro Shop and ask an associate behind the gun counter to see this rifle. I am sure you will be impressed.

Grayson

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Family Firearms Safety Training and Family Fun Competition

SFWA.com

Whether you hunt, sport shoot, or maybe just own a firearm; AND you have a family THIS is the class for you.

It is official, the event everyone has been waiting for . . . Ages 6 and up will enjoy SFWA's Family Firearms Safety Training and Family Fun Competition!

There are two dates available for this exclusive class:

July 20, 2013           1-5 pm

August  24, 2013    1-5 pm

These is an exciting exclusive opportunity for family members as young as 6 years old to experience SFWA quality hands-on firearms safety training and then compete as a family team in a fun shooting competition against other participating families!

Points covered include:

* Rules of Safety

* Handgun, Rifle and Shotgun Operation

* Ammunition, Loading and Unloading

* Cleaning and Storage

* Passing a Firearm Safely

* Home Defense for Families

* Shooting Sports

Family Registration is $39 (which includes the first family member) and then you register each additional family member for only $7 each! The family will begin the course upstairs in the conference room at Bass Pro Shops with (rifle, shotgun and handgun) comprehensive hands-on firearms safety training presented by SFWA Instructors and then finish the day by competing outside at Bass Pro Shops as a family unit against other participating families in a fun live fire competition with Crosman air guns! Prizes will be awarded in different categories providing opportunities for everyone to test their skills!

Successful completion of this course, plus approval of SFWA Instructors, will permit family members to register for an advanced family firearms training course that includes live fire at the shooting range with handguns, shotguns and rifles suited to each individual's level of ability.

If any family member has participated in a State Certified Hunter Safety Course, please bring your card with you!

IMPORTANT: At least one family member must have taken an SFWA course or have a valid Handgun Permit to enroll their family in this course. Please email any questions to susan@shootingforwomenalliance.com and allow 48 hours for a reply.

All minors MUST be accompanied by a PARENT or LEGAL GUARDIAN -- grandparents and other family members must provide a written waiver form signed by the parent (provided by SFWA upon request) of a minor if the parent will not be attending with the minor child.

SFWA reserves the right to prohibit participation by any family member who exhibits unsafe behavior at any time.

Everything you will need to participate in this course is provided for you! You are permitted and strongly encouraged to bring any firearms owned by family members to the class. They MUST BE UNLOADED and be locked for safety. (Locking devices will be put on all firearms brought to the class unless they are in a locked case.) SFWA is dedicated to introducing families to firearms in a safe manner.

 

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The Off-Season Part 2

   Last month I talked about some of the chores you will have in the off season as preparations for hunting season. Today I will look at the firearm side of things as we look forward to a new season.

   Now is the time to do thorough cleaning and inspection of your firearms. So we shall start with cleaning. This last year some new items in gun cleaning have emerged that have helped change the way we clean firearms. The first name is Otis. They pioneered the cable type of gun cleaner. These are pulled from chamber opening to muzzle. Using a plastic coated cable we are safe in not harming the rifling of the barrel. One of the added bonuses of this system is its compact size. Coiled in the pouch this cleaning cable will travel most anywhere with you. So it can go along on the hunt or to the range if need be. If you have a scoped rifle you will want to clean the lens and inspect rings and mounts for being solid. If something should be out of place or need repair or replacement this is the best time to look at and do the needed repair. This is months ahead of the hunt and you will have the time to test any change.

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Navigation?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&searchTerm=otis

 

   Ammo, if you have living in the Arctic Circle for the past 6 months you may not know there has been a severe run on all ammunition since the end of 2012. It would be best to check your supply and keep it stocked as if you would hunt tomorrow. Just as a quick update here, shotgun loads look good as far as supply is concerned. Rifle ammo is in short supply in many calibers; however more of this ammo is manufactured in the months of June and July and up to the end of the year, so just watch for it.

 

  Now it is the time to look at the camo and hunting clothes you use or will need. Again this is the best time to start looking at these items as it will allow you to give all your attention to the actual hunt. Most of these items will have the most selection early in the summer. So make your list and check it twice, huntin’ season is coming!

 

~Bill Mellentine (Hunting Team Lead)

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Turkey Hunting and Shotguns

                                                             Strutting Toms

I do quite a few turkey hunting seminars every spring and it’s amazing at how many new turkey hunters of all ages that are hitting the field every year. If you’re thinking about going turkey hunting and your weapon of choice is a shotgun, there are a few things you need to know and do before your first morning out.

Gauges:

First off, what gauge of shotgun are you going to use, 10, 12, 16, or 20? I have only heard stories about the 10 and 16 gauge but I do not personally have any experience with them, but the 12 and 20 gauge, I do have firsthand experience and have seen both knock a turkey down like there was no tomorrow.  There’s a lot of veteran turkey hunters who feel that the 20 gauge is a little on the light side for turkeys, but I know that under the right circumstances a 20 gauge is very deadly. Using a 20 gauge full choke with a 3 inch mag and the right load at 35 yards is very deadly, but anything much further than 35 yards your pattern will be to spread out and you may end up with a wounded bird. But with some of the new turkey loads like Hevi-Shot that has a mix of 5, 6, and 7 shot your kill distance has just increased past the 35 yard mark. My oldest son killed his first turkey when he was 10 years old at 32 yards with my old 20 gauge Mossberg with a Winchester 3 inch mag 4 shot and that bird dropped as if he was hit with a 12 gauge. I know a few older aged hunters who use a 20 gauge because of the difference in weight and the kick being less than a 12 gauge. A 20 gauge is a great shotgun for women and kids just learning or unable to handle anything bigger without problems.  The 20 gauge is starting to become a favorite for a lot of veteran turkey hunters.

   Mossburg 20 Gauge                                      

My old Hunter’s Specialties camo taped Mossberg 20 gauge

I would say without a doubt that the 12 gauge is the most popular shotgun used by turkey hunters. The great part about a 12 gauge, especially the new ones made special for turkey hunting, is their shorter length.  Many also come already dressed in camo or matt black, and have the ability to shoot three different shells, 2 ¾”, 3”, or 3 ½”. If you wanted to shoot 2 ¾” shells it would be really close to the same challenge as if you were using a 20 gauge 3”mag, but, if you have the ability to use a larger shell for turkey I would highly recommend it. When I hunt with a shotgun I shoot a Mossberg 835 Ulta Mag 12 gauge loaded with a Winchester 3” 4 shot in the chamber and then backed up in the magazine with 2 Winchester 3 ½” 4 shot. The first season I used that Mossberg I called a very nice tom in from my left and 2 hens came in from my right. Those hens went straight to the tom and I couldn’t get them to come any closer than 55 yards. Little to say he walked away with the hens and I never got the shot. So since that morning I start off with a 3 ½” 4 shot backed by two more 3 ½” 4 shot. If I would have had a 3 ½” shell in the chamber that morning that tom would have went home with me, but that’s hunting. The one disadvantage of using a 3 ½” shell is that it kicks like a mule on steroids. Now I know you don’t feel the kick when shooting at an animal but when I had to pattern that gun every time I pulled the trigger I saw stars.

Mossburg 835 Ulti Mag

The Mossberg 835 Ulta Mag in both camo and matt black with the Undertaker Sighted Choke Tube

 

Choke Tubes

 

               Any time you choose a shotgun for turkey there are two things you must make sure of. First, you need to find out if your barrel is threaded at the end so you can use different choke tubes or like my Mossberg 20 gauge the barrel has no threads and came factory made as a full choke.  My Mossberg 835 Ulta Mag has a threaded barrel so I can use different choke tubes for other types of hunting. Since my 835 was made for turkey hunting I use a full choke Undertaker Sighted Choke Tube from Hunter’s Specialties with great results. Choke tubes are designed to give you tighter patterns out to certain yardages before they start to widen from the end of the barrel. Choke tubes are made for different patterns from skeet, improved cylinder, modified, full, and extra full. Depending on which choke tube you use will depend on how far down range your pattern will stay tight before it starts to open up and become ineffective. When choosing a choke tube be very careful because there are a lot of choke tubes out there made for water fowl, so make sure what you are looking at is for turkey. This brings up the second must, patterning your shotgun.

 

Shot Size             

 

There are three recommended shot sizes to use for turkeys, 4, 5, and 6 shot. Plus now the ammunition manufactures have come out with special turkey loads that are nickel plated, copper plated, and mixed shot size. Not all shotguns are created equal; some may shoot 5 shot better than 6 shot, or 4 shot gives you a better pattern than 5 shot. During my seminars I like to tell all the new hunters to get with a couple buddy’s, buy the 3 different shot sizes made by different manufactures and go out and pattern your guns together, make a day of it. Not onld does shot size affect your pattern, different manufacturers can also produce different results. Federal, Winchester, and Hornady all make great ammunition but when I patterned my 835 the Winchester Supreme 4 shot gave me the best pattern from ten yards out to forty with a 3” and with a 3 ½” ten yards out to sixty.

 

Targets

 

When you’re getting you ammo pick up a couple packs of turkey head targets. The two I prefer the most are Bass Pro Red Head and Hunter’s Specialties. The Red Head target has the duel-color flake-off technology. What happens is whenever your shot hits the head neck the top layer of color flakes off and turns green, but if you miss the head neck it shows up white. This is great so you know from a distance what was kill shots and what is not. Hunter’s Specialties turkey target is in color and has the vitals outlined so you know exactly where and how many pellets are actual kill shots. It also has on the right side a column for you to record seven different pieces of very important information. Those seven pieces are yardage, number of hits, gauge, shot size, and ounce of load, ammo brand, and shell length.

H.S Turkey Target

As you can see there is a lot of information you can record

 

Patterning

 

               What I like to recommend when you pattern your gun is you start at 10 yards and aim right were the turkeys head and neck meet. Most turkey hunters start at 20 yards but I’ll tell you at the end of this why I say 10 and not 20. Shoot only one time and then check your target to see how many pellets are kill shots. This close you should have at least 10 to 15 pellets in the kill zone. Some hunters say 5 pellets is enough but I prefer 10 or more, I want that bird down and not going anywhere. One pellet to the brain will kill but the more the better. If your pattern looks good, put a new target up at 20 yards and repeat this same process out to 40 with a 3 inch. If you’re shooting a 3 ½ inch start at 10 yards and go out to 60. Use a new target every time. If your pattern was high or low or off right or left at 10 yards do it again with a new target to make sure you didn’t pull the shot. A friend of mine had a brand new shotgun right out of the box and it shot one foot to the right on every shot. He ended up taking it to a gunsmith and having the barrel replaced. If you’re dead on but didn’t have enough pellets in the kill zone this is when you try a different shot size or brand. This is why I said make a day of it.

               Now the reason I say 10 yards is a few years ago I called a boss tom in and I thought he was going to come out about 20 yards to my left and it would be a slam dunk, well that didn’t happen. When that bird came into view and the way I was set up he was 5 yards to my left and when I was able to shoot he was less than 10 feet from the end of my barrel. I knew what my 3 ½ would do at 10 yards but being this close I knew I had to be dead on. I put my bead right in the middle of his head and pulled the trigger. That 3 ½ inch 4 shot hit that bird so hard he did a back flip and it was over. I sat there in disbelief at what had happened. When I looked at that birds head I seen that if I would have been ½ inch to the right I would have missed completely, or ½ inch to the left I would have decapitated him. It was almost like hitting him with a slug.

               Knowing exactly where your shot is hitting at different yardages is an ethical responsibility all turkey hunters should know before they hit the fields. Just like big game hunters sight in their rifles every year, turkey hunters should pattern their shotguns every year.

Mark Campagnola

Hunt Hard and Shoot Straight

 

 

 

 

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Concealed Carry Permit: A must have for anyone

With the current climate and social issues surrounding firearms, I decided to get my concealed carry permit. As I haven’t fired a handgun in several years, I was a little nervous about the class, especially the qualifying after the class. I convinced a fellow manager to take the class with me. The class that I took was taught by instructors from Practical Arms. Mark, Kyle and Tim offer these classes on a regular basis here at the Bass Pro Shops in Concord, NC. The class begins at 8am in the conservation room at Bass Pro Shops.

There are 25-30 people in each class. After registration, the class started with a very in depth look at the legal issues of having a conceal carry permit. Seldom mentioned aspects of the laws are taught such as; justified self-defense can’t be instigated and you cannot use excessive force. Also once the threat has been stopped, you can’t use additional force. I learned that for a gun to be considered a handgun, it must have a short stock and be designed to be fired and held in a single hand.

Once you receive your handgun permit, you are required to have it on your person, along with your valid identification at all times that you are carrying a concealed weapon. The team also went over places that you are not allowed to carry a firearm concealed, for example any facility that sells alcoholic beverages, any area where admission is paid, and certain state properties, courthouses or any federal property. If you consume alcohol at any time or any controlled substance, you are not allowed to carry your firearm concealed.

The instructors went over the proper care, cleaning and storage of your handgun. Storage of your firearm is very important; practical arms discussed the different types of locking systems for firearms and different types of safes. I did learn that on a biometric safe that it is wise to program a couple of different fingers in case your hand happens to be incapacitated. One of the final things that the guys went over was ammunition safety. They covered misfires and squib loads and how to handle these types of malfunctions if they occur. After a test in the classroom, everyone left to go to the range for qualifying.

At this point, I started to get a little nervous. I soon found out that I had no reason to be. At the range, Kyle and Mark took time with each shooter to familiarize them with their firearm. They went over the safety on every gun with every shooter. They also went over safe handling of the firearm with each individual. I will tell you that having extra clips makes the process go faster.

Evan and I

Every participant is teamed up with another individual. While one is shooting, the other person stays at the back station. Once you have shot your round, you eject the clip from the gun and hold it behind your back. Your team mate then either brings you another loaded clip to go in the gun or they take the clip that you have, load it and return it to you. You shoot 10 rounds at 3 yards, 5 yards and 7 yards for a total of 30 rounds.

At the end of the class, you receive a certificate to take to the sheriff’s department in order to get your permit. My class was in February and my appointment with the sheriff’s department is in April. Given the current climate and social issues surrounding firearms your wait will increase at your local sheriffs office. I was very pleased with how professional and helpful all of the instructors were. If you are not an avid handgun user like myself, this is still a class that I would recommend, knowledge is power.

Class qualify

Practical Arms also rents handguns for the qualifying at the range and will provide ammunition for the handguns that they rent. Check out their website for other classes and training that they offer. They offer a class specifically for ladies at the Bass Pro Shops here in Concord. They also offer a ladies only class for selecting the right handgun. This class includes range time and the ability to shoot 5 different handguns which is very helpful if you are unsure of which handgun is right for you.

Happy shooting!

Michelle Clark

 

 

 

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Snow Goose Hunting - Follow the Leaders

(image courtesy of US Fish & Wildlife Service)The spring snow goose hunting season is drawing to a close for some states and just getting in to full-throttle for others.  The season in Iowa runs from January 11 to April 15. In Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska the daily bag limit is 20 birds a day. There is no limit in Missouri. You can use electronic calls in this season and unplugged shotguns.

Here are some quick tips and facts about snow goose hunting from our Altoona hunting experts.

1. Why the liberal limits? Snow geese have grown so large that they are destroying the Arctic tundra, where they raise their young. Millions of snow geese turn once lush green tundra ground into miles of dirt and mud. This has a negative effect on the other wildlife that relies on these areas to survive. Also, snow geese travel in such big flocks that they are prone to carrying diseases into new areas and passing them to the resident waterfowl. This season also helps out our economy with the large amount of money spent on licenses, hotels, restaurants, guides, decoys, guns, ammunition, etc.

2. In the spring, adult snow geese are very anxious to reach their nesting grounds in the north. They will constantly push north until they cannot go any further due to the lack of water or food. Usually, the snow line will determine where the geese are in their migration. They will also follow the melting snow line instead of waiting for large lakes to open up. If you do not have a large amount of decoys, small ponds or slack water in open fields can be a great place to set up for migrating geese.

3.  The geese that lead the migration are referred to as the “adults.” These geese are usually the most educated geese in the migration and the hardest to hunt. Some snow geese have bands on their legs or on their necks. The oldest snow goose ever shot and recorded was in 1999 and was 27 years old! That is 27 times migrating south and back north being hunted both ways. They have seen every trick in the book…fooling these geese is very difficult!

4.  So, let the adults pass. You'll be most successful in the mid to later stages of migration. Juvenile birds - or "juvies" - are the prime target for hunters. Those first year snow geese are just following the group. They are "along for the ride." They are more prone to decoying than the adults. Additionally, there are many different types of snow geese. Some are smaller than the average size snow goose and some are brown with a white head called blue geese. Knowing what geese are legal is very important, because speckle belly geese and other waterfowl tend to travel with the flocks of snow geese and are not in season in the spring.

5.  Quality decoys seem to be the trend over large numbers of less realistic decoys. When these geese were first hunted, people would throw out garbage bags and paper plates for decoys. They shot geese doing this because the geese had not been hunted very hard. These days the geese are hunted so hard that they require more realistic decoys. It would be wise to go with a guide your first time before you make the investment in this sport. You can also see firsthand how they get these educated birds to decoy. 

6.  If you have hunted Canada geese, you know that most of the time they fly semi-low to the ground when they go out to feed and migrate. This is usually the opposite with snow geese. Compared to Canadians, snow geese like to fly higher and usually circle down on top of you when they are coming in to your decoy spread. One of the best times to shoot the geese is when they are belly up, right on top of your hunters. Their vitals are the most exposed and you have more time to harvest them before they get out of range.

8.  One thing that really is amazing is the sure numbers of geese you can see in just one day. We have witnessed tornadoes of geese filling up a large field in minutes, hardly able to hear a friend talking just two steps away over the roar of all the geese. It is also fun to watch when they are feeding as they leapfrog to get to the front of the pack and the most food, over and over, until they cover the whole field! If you like waterfowl hunting at all, give it a try one season. 
 

Be prepared, be safe...and follow the leaders.

photography.nationalgeographic.com

 

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