Archive for the 'Hunting' Category

Richard Mann Picks His Best Rifles for Hunting Wild Pigs

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

Field & Stream.

  • Ruger Scout Rifle 350 Legend
  • Marlin 1895 Trapper 45-70 Government
  • Wilson Combat Recon Tactical 450 Bushmaster
  • Mossberg Patriot Predator 7mm PRC
  • Kimber 84M Hunter Pro Desolve Blak 280 Ackley Improved
  • Bergara B14 HMR 300 Winchester Magnum
  • Winchester XPR Stealth Suppressor Ready 308 Winchester
  • Franchi Momentum All-Terrain Elite 308 Winchester
  • Stag Arms Pursuit Stag10 308 Winchester

Visit his reasons as the link.

What do you notice about these choices?  They are all large bore guns.  The 7mm PRC is just simply too much for a hog unless it’s 400 pounds.

With many of these rounds you won’t have ribs left.  I wouldn’t have a problem shooting hogs with any of these rounds, but take note that if you want to preserve meat and not tear it to pieces, you need a somewhat smaller round (like the 6mm ARC) and you need to aim carefully, be a good shot, and hit them right behind the ear.  They’ll go down instantly.

Michigan Hunter Gets Jail Time for Sabotaging Another Hunter’s Treestand, Causing 20-Foot Fall

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

Outdoor Life.

Steele left his phone number and asked for the hunter to contact him. The unnamed hunter also discovered that Steele had deleted the pictures from his trail camera. The hunter called Steele and apologized, only to have Steele insist that he must stay away from the area, which the hunter eventually agreed to.

Weeks went by. Eventually, the hunter returned to his stand, pulled the memory card from his camera, and started climbing the stand. The stand looked normal and the climbing sticks were sturdy. But as soon as the hunter climbed onto the platform, it collapsed underneath him. He fell 20 feet to the ground, where he injured his back and ankle after landing on his feet.

The hunter worried that Steele was watching him on camera and left the area, limping. Upon returning home, he dialed 911 to report the incident. While at home, the hunter discovered his SD card had been wiped of images again. DNR conservation officer Josh Boudreaux responded, and opened a hunter harassment investigation.

Weeks later, the hunter returned to the same spot again with new straps. The next day, he received a text from Steele.

“Are we going to work something out for this spot or what?” the text read. “I got a picture of you yesterday going in there with climbing sticks. Just not gonna respect I was there first?”

Investigating officers paid close attention to the hunter’s treestand after learning Steele was “using a camera to spy on the hunter.” They soon discovered that Steele had gone out to cut the hunter’s straps a second time.

Good Lord.  He was ready to sacrifice the life of a man for the sake of a chance to kill an animal.  What a jerk.

He should have been charged with attempted murder and prohibited from hunting ever again in the state.  A hunter harassment investigation should have been a criminal investigation.

What do you want to bet – he wasn’t trying to feed his family.  He wanted to kill a trophy buck to brag to his buddies and show pictures around.

What a jerk.

Ultimate Big-Bore Combo: Henry .45-70 Rifle & Magnum Research BFR

3 weeks, 2 days ago

We know how important ammo consolidation can be for both cost savings and ease of training/use. Here’s a great hunting combo.


Almost all shooters – and hunters – are plenty familiar with how Old West cowboys acquired both a long gun and handgun in the same chambering. That combination was most likely a lever-action rifle and a single-action revolver. A few popular pairings would have been traditional handgun rounds like the .44/40 Winchester, .45 Colt, and .32-20 Winchester.

Old-school shooters paired Colt and Winchester. Our modern-day mates are Henry Repeating Arms and Magnum Research. The method of putting together the perfect combination today may not be quite as critical to life and death, but it’s certainly a viable option for hunters, ranchers, and shooters building a supply of ammunition.

We’re taking this one boot step beyond the Old West today, as modern metallurgy and heavy-built actions allow us the ultimate big-bore combo rig that’s not in a handgun chambering but in the classic walloping .45-70 Government. The Magnum Research Biggest, Finest Revolver (BFR) and Henry Repeating Arms All-Weather Side Gate rifle are perfect playmates.

Photo: Kristin Alberts/

It’s no mistake that we hunted Cape buffalo in Africa – on two separate trips – with the .45-70 Gov’t. The first foray saw that Henry rifle take down the buffalo with one well-placed shot. The second saw an even bigger beast drop with two rounds from the BFR. With a wide range of factory ammunition and reload recipes, the chambering can be tailored to handle smaller plains game as well.

But it’s not only for worldly adventures. In fact, the .45-70’s rich American historical bloodlines run deep, from U.S. military use and competition shooting to bison hunts. There’s good reason the round is still thriving 150 years later. We’ve harvested whitetails, varmints, warthogs, and all sorts of African plains game with this round from these two guns. They pack easily, look good together, fly well, shoot with 100 percent reliability, and do the job every single time.

The link also has a very informative 7min video.

The Hottest New Rifle Scopes of 2023

3 weeks, 2 days ago

Field & Steam

If you’re in the market for a rifle scope you can use to hit stuff that’s a long, long, way off, there’s some good news for you in 2023. If you’re in the market for a more general-purpose rifle scope, like a fixed 4X or the one-time industry standard 3-9X, you may have to fire up your time machine. Consumers drive the market, and the market says we need more long-range optics, and that’s what 2023 has given us. From a 1-10X LPVO to a 5-30X rifle scope that retails for less than seven Benjamins, you should be able to find something you like this year. Of course, there are sure to be some new red dot sights as well. From around $370 to ten times that much, here are the latest rifle scopes for 2023.

The GPO Spectra 1.5-8X44i with G4i reticle.


GPO has added their very practical illuminated hunting reticle to one of their very practical hunting rifle scopes. Their Spectra 1.5-8X44i rifle scope now has the G4i reticle. This is a thin-wired German #4 style reticle with a small, illuminated dot at the center. The reticle brightness is fully adjustable and powers down when the scope has been stationary for more than three hours. This is a wonderful reticle option, in a great hunting scope, with a suggested retail price of $949.

There are others, including a reflex red dot.

Deer Hunting: Preparing for an All-Day Sit

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

American Hunter.

This is the primary reason hunters pull the cord on all-day sits. It’s tough to sit in a tree or ground blind all day, but it’s almost impossible to do so if you’re too cold, too warm or soaking wet. That’s why high-quality clothing is worth the price.

Hunters have learned that layering is the key to regulating temperature. The widely accepted three-layer system, which consists of a base layer, mid layer and outer layer, works well, but you must understand why this system works—and what may cause it to fail.

The base layer should be made of thin, wicking fabric. Cotton is out because it holds moisture, which robs the body of heat. The mid layer is an insulating layer that is designed to hold heat while still wicking away moisture. The outer layer is your protection against wind and rain, and it provides an additional insulating layer. Moisture is your enemy, so don’t pile on all your layers then hike a mile to your stand. Instead, shed your top layer and allow the perspiration to evaporate. Any exposed skin will lose heat, so a face mask, beanie and gloves that extend above the cuff of your jacket will help retain heat. Mittens are warmer than gloves, but in recent years I’ve come to prefer a hand-warmer muff with heat packs inside, and I always carry extra hand and foot warmers. In extreme cold, a sleeping bag or body suit will help keep you warm.

While I can’t say I live in the coldest of climates (certainly not compared to some of my readers), I can say that I have never gotten cold during a sit.  Boredom is my biggest enemy.

I wear a short sleeve sports shirt, wicking and non-cotton, with a long sleeve Merino wool shirt over that, the next layer is fleece, and the final layer is a Simms GorTex Parka.  It’s pricey, but fishing companies make the best rain gear.

I use Mechanix camo Impact gloves for mild days, and if it’s really cold I have Swany brand ski gloves.  I might invest in another brand (Hestra Guide Gloves), but they’re very pricey.

One trick I’ve known all of my life is that you lose a lot of warm air up through your neck coming from your whole body.  Using the hood of your parka prevents most of that.  Also, if you’re prone to your face getting cold, wear a balaclava.

Finally, a really enjoyed wearing a neck gaiter for the first time last season.  There is nothing like it.

New Jersey Judge Halts Black Bear Hunt Just Days Before the Opener

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

Outdoor Life.

New Jersey appellate court judge issued an order on Wednesday, Nov. 30 to temporarily pause the state’s first black bear hunt since 2020, which was set to start on Monday, Dec. 5. The halt is in response to a lawsuit filed by the Animal Protection League of New Jersey, the Humane Society of the United States, and Friends of the Animals. These three organizations decry active black bear management and denounce population count methods used by the state. (If this all sounds familiar, it’s because a similar lawsuit was filed in Montana over wolf hunting.)

Many New Jerseyans were shocked on Nov. 15 when governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife reinstated a limited black bear hunt. Governor Murphy had sworn to end the hunt once and for all during his campaign but changed his tune after bear encounters spiked across the state. New Jersey has one of the highest concentrations of black bears in the country, with an estimated population of around 3,000 to 4,000 bears. New Jersey is 8,723 square miles, putting the population density at around one bear every 2.2 square miles. However, since much of the state is made up of metropolitan areas, densities in some places are likely much higher than that.

No one deserves this more than a state who would elect the likes of Bob Menendez and Cory Booker to the U.S. Senate, and Phil Murphy to the governor’s mansion.

Actions have consequences.  Suck it up, New Jerseyans.  Call the cops while that black bear is charging you or tearing your pet dogs to pieces.  Their response time should be less than half an hour.

Modern game management techniques and herd size control are only for smart people.  The rest can go pound sand.

“Inadvertent oversight” means Indiana deer hunters can’t use rifles on public land

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago


A state lawmaker is now admitting a mistake was made that has led to a lot of confusion and anger from Indiana deer hunters. New regulations prohibit hunters from using any kind of rifle to hunt deer on public property, like state parks. But the author of the bill that caused this said that was never the intention.

Republican State Representative Sean Eberhart (Shelbyville) authored House Bill 1415, which is at the heart of the confusion.

“First of all, it was something that nobody caught when the bill was first passed,” said Eberhart.

In 2016, rifles could be used on public land only when they shot pistol rounds, but high velocity ammunition could be used on private property. This year, lawmakers changed the existing law to clarify the rules regarding high velocity rounds.

I think that’s an error in the article.  Rather than “pistol” cartridges, I think it should have read “straight wall” cartridges, which would include 350 Legend (Indiana was one of the reasons the cartridge was designed to begin with), 45-70, etc.  But I’ll let an Indiana reader clarify this.

“The intent of the change was to make it more clear on what high velocity rifle rounds you could use on private property,” said Eberhart, “when that change was made, it inadvertently pulled in the pistol rounds as well [and] unfortunately the law now says that you can use those high velocity and pistol rounds in a rifle, but only on private grounds.”

That oversight has left deer hunters unhappy. Many outfitters and gun stores we spoke to on the phone said they’re getting calls from angry and confused hunters.

When questioned how neither he nor any of the law co-signers caught the oversight before it was voted on, Eberhart responded, “That’s a good question, not only did we not catch it as myself or any other legislator, LSA didn’t catch it, no other department didn’t catch it, DNR didn’t catch it, so we had a lot of eyes on this bill and no one caught that inadvertent change.”

In light of that, Eberhart hopes to fix the problem soon.

“I’m very confident we can address it come session time in January…but it’s my hope that we can address it short term as well,” said Eberhart.

What that short term fix could be and whether it can happen fast enough for this season, which starts November 18th, isn’t clear. But Eberhart reiterated that he and his fellow lawmakers are working on a solution.

Yes, this article is dated and I missed it when it came out, but after a brief search I haven’t been able to find any amelioration of this stupidity.

I’m also not convinced that this is an error or oversight.  The simplest thing to do here to remove the ban on all cartridges and let hunters shoot what they want, thus ensuring ethical harvesting.

Indiana’s hunting lands are far more expansive than where I live, and we don’t shoot centerfire cartridges into homes around here.  The alleged concern is a sham.

ONE MORE RIDGE – An Idaho Mule Deer Hunt

2 months ago

This is a good video; calm, and measured, and the best part is zero politics for 20 minutes.

Prior: understanding Mule Deer Migration “Wyoming “Deer 255” Breaks All Long Distance Migration Records”

Found at SurvivalBlog

Hunting Tags:

New Jersey Fish and Wildlife to vote on reinstating bear hunting season amid 237% increase in encounters

2 months, 2 weeks ago


The New Jersey Fish and Wildlife Council will vote Tuesday on a proposal to revive the state’s bear hunting season.

The bear hunting season could be returning to New Jersey after farmers and residents have complained about the surging black bear population and the Department of Environmental Protection reporting that encounters with bears have increased by 237% over 2021 numbers, according to reporting from News 12 New Jersey.

Those factors have prompted Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy to reconsider his stance on the season, which he canceled in part starting in 2018 and entirely last year, following through on a promise he made to animal rights activists during his 2017 election campaign.

“Since the outset of my administration, I have promised to ground every difficult decision on the latest science and evidence in order to protect our communities,” Murphy said in a statement last week while signaling support for reviving the hunt.

“From the data we have analyzed to the stories we have heard from families across the state, it is clear that New Jersey’s black bear population is growing significantly, and nonlethal bear management strategies alone are not enough to mitigate this trend.

Murphy’s change of heart would be a welcome one for many state residents who have complained of increased encounters with bears that have terrified residents and damaged crops and livestock.

“They really knock a lot of corn down, eat a lot of corn and they’ll take anywhere from 5% to 25% of a field. We’ve seen some fields that have been 70% decimated this year,” Phillip Broadhecker, a farmer from Hampton Township, told News 12. “You can actually go on to Google maps and look at Earth views in the fall of fields and see circles and round spots in fields, and it’s astounding how bad it is.”

Broadhecker said the damage doesn’t stop at crops, noting that livestock and even people’s pets have been the targets of the growing population of bears.

“We’ve got a lot of livestock that have been killed or injured up here. Goats, chickens, pigs, small horses, even people’s dogs,” he said.

Ammo Wars

2 months, 2 weeks ago

It’s not likely that anything will compare to the running battle over .45 and 9mm, but rifle ammo wars are all the rage nowadays. The good news is we can learn plenty and get better with our tools by examining the outcomes. Competition is a good thing.

First: The Best .308 Hunting Ammo of 2022

Although we still haven’t climbed out of the ammo shortage, there’s good news if you hunt with a .308—many retailers have a variety of .308 hunting ammo available. The previous ammo shortages hit the .223 and .308 ammo stocks hard, while having less effect on stalwart hunting cartridges like the .30/06 and .30/30. This time, it seems that manufacturers have been able to stay on top of .308 hunting ammo production and hunters at least have something to buy.

Still, it’s a strange time, and there are both surprises and disappointments in the ammo market today (not exclusive to .308). Some ammunition has excelled, and some factory offerings that typically delivered excellent accuracy don’t seem to shoot as well as they used to. Some types of ammo seem to be everywhere, and other loads are scarce.

This year, I have tested and reviewed 11 different rifles chambered in .308 Win. I shot many types of ammo through these guns, testing it in affordable budget rifles, but also in mid-priced rifles. I’ve shot a variety of .308 Win. in specialized rifles like the Christensen Ridgeline Titanium FFT and the Howa M1500 HS Carbon. Through all this shooting, I was able to see what shot well, what didn’t, and hopefully help you pick the best .308 hunting ammo for deer or whatever your game is this year.

Best Overall: Remington 150-grain Core-Lokt Tipped

Best .308 Ammo for Deer:Federal Non-Typical Whitetail 150-grain Soft Point

Best Copper .308 Ammo: Barnes Vor-Tx 168-grain TTSX

Federal Premium 175-grain Terminal Ascent

Hornady Superformance 150-grain SST

Winchester Deer Season XP 150-grain Extreme Point

Federal Premium 180-grain Trophy Bonded Tip

Hornady Outfitter 165-grain CX

Federal Premium 165-grain Swift Scirocco II

Things to Consider Before Buying .308 Ammo for Hunting

Game and Bullet Construction

As with any hunting ammo, you want to choose a load and bullet that will suit the game you intend on hunting. The .308 Win. is an extremely capable (and oft underrated) cartridge, and is suitable for large game like elk, moose, and even brown bears. If you’re hunting heavy game, pick a bonded or monolithic bullet and keep your shot distances under 300 yards. However, most people are hunting medium-sized game with the .308 and just about any medium-weight expanding bullet will do. Luckily there’s plenty of good, affordable .308 ammo for deer that can still be found on store shelves.


Each .308 ammo offering listed here will have both five-shot average group accuracy and standard deviation. It’s always great to maximize accuracy, but keep in mind that each rifle will like a different load. If you can’t try several loads, pick one with a small standard deviation. That means that across all the rifles tested, the accuracy of the load didn’t very much, and there’s a good chance it will shoot similarly in your .308.


Ammo is expensive, and premium ammo is even more expensive. If you need top-end bullet construction or are shooting at distances that require best-in-class accuracy, it’s worth the extra cost. However, if you’re hunting deer-sized game at distances under 200 yards or so, less-expensive ammo is usually sufficient.

Interpreting the Data

To test each of these types of .308 hunting ammo, I fired and measured five-shot groups through a variety of rifles. I recorded a minimum of five groups for each type of ammo (based on my inventory), but I was able to record between 15 and 30 groups for most offerings.

Keep in mind that average group size is with five-shot groups across all rifles tested. Some rifles shoot better, some worse. The standard deviation is the average variation in group size across all rifles tested. This data only reflects the rifles tested. Accuracy, obviously, varies from rifle to rifle. I experienced a couple of loads that would shoot four-inch groups in one rifle, and one-inch groups in another.

There’s much more at the link, including good details on these nine different rounds studied.


Next: Long-Range Big Game Rivals 6.8 Western vs 7mm Rem Mag vs .28 Nosler

The 7mm Remington Magnum is one of the most popular magnum cartridges in current production. Versatile and dependable, this old-school cartridge managed to overcome the American shooter’s aversion to the metric with its incredible long-distance ballistic capabilities.

However, the 7mm Rem Mag has been around for a long time (since 1962 to be exact), and the wheels of ammunition innovation haven’t stopped turning. Could a newer long-range ballistic superstar dethrone this popular old-timer?

In terms of long-range hunting cartridges, the 6.8 Western vs 7mm Rem Mag vs .28 Nosler match-up is a good one.

If you’re a big game hunter going after long-range sheep, elk, or antelope, is it worth pursuing one of the newer hotrod cartridges like the 6.8 Western or the .28 Nosler? Or should you stick with a safe option, like the tried-and-true 7mm Rem Mag?

In this article, we dive into a deep analysis of the ins and outs of these solid long-range performers.

There’s a lot of data in this second study as well.

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