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Here’s A Way To Promote The Discussion About Guns.

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Over the years, my friends in Gun-control Nation have been trying to figure out how to talk to Gun-nut Nation about the risk of guns. They do surveys on ‘reasonable’ gun laws, they proclaim themselves to be in support of gun ‘rights,’ sometimes a couple of the more adventuresome folks will wander around a gun show here or there. With all due respect to these activities, I have a better idea.

The truth is that one of the most cherished notions in the liberal-advocacy universe – conservation – happens to have been started in this country by gun owners who, by the latter part of the nineteenth century, found themselves running out of wild animals to hunt. When Teddy Roosevelt went out to the Dakotas in 1883 to hunt buffalo, the species was so close to extinction that he had to travel out to Montana to find an animal he could shoot.

Several years later, Roosevelt formed the Boone & Crockett Club for the purpose of promoting hunting regulations that would insure survival of wild animals out on the range. Another member was George Bird Grinnell, America’s first naturalist who was instrumental in the creation of National Parks; another early member was Aldo Leopold, who basically started the whole wilderness movement in the United States.

This alliance between hunters and conservationists has somehow gotten lost in the raucous debate about guns and gun violence. The NRA claims that it wants to “promote hunter safety, and to promote and defend hunting as a shooting sport and as a viable and necessary method of fostering the propagation, growth, conservation and wise use of our renewable wildlife resources.” But when was the last time you heard Wayne-o get up and talk about conserving anything other than the so-called ‘right’ to bear arms?

As for my friends in the gun-control movement, for all their talk about the joys and virtues of ‘responsible’ gun ownership, I have never heard any of them ever say anything about hunting as a sport or a way to help preserve the natural outdoors. They would rather remind you about all those gun injuries that happen when hunters mistake a human for Bambi out in the woods.

There is, however, a very interesting group that is trying to overcome the antipathy between hunters and conservationists by utilizing ranch lands as laboratories to study the genetics of wildlife reproduction, a field which is opening up all kinds of new ideas about how to preserve the wild animals who depend on the existence of open space.

Next time you go to a zoo, you’ll notice a plaque on many cages indicating that the animal lying there waiting to be fed is an ‘endangered’ species whose existence is being maintained by living in that zoo. Unfortunately, the idea that wild species can maintain the genetic strength and diversity required to survive is simply not possible without having enough space to roam and naturally produce offspring rather than doing some artificial propagation in a zoo because zoos just don’t have enough open space.

Take a look at the website of the Source Population Alliance, an organization formed by scientists, conservation centers, zoos, safari parks and owners of private ranches, who work together to study the migratory and mating patterns of wild species in their natural habitats. To date, this research has provided significant understanding about what is needed to conserve wild species both in the open as well as enclosed spaces. You can read details of this remarkable effort right here.

Why am I writing about the Source Population Alliance on a gun blog? Because the folks who own those ranches that are used as living laboratories happen to be hunters, that’s why. So if you’re really serious about finding a way to bring the two sides together in the gun debate, take out your credit card and send the Source Population Alliance some of the money that you still can’t spend this week at the mall.

Please help this wonderful collaboration of scientists and gun owners who are working together to preserve what nature is really all about.  DONATE HERE.

Josh Montgomery: Best Guns For Winter Weather.

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When it comes to winter carry, so to speak, there are two things that you have to worry about! First of all, you have to consider the finish of the particular weapon that you want to carry, as well as its ability to resist cold and maybe even wet environments.

Second of all, you have to think at how easy it’s going to be for you to handle that particular weapon, not to mention the space it is going to take – either in a case or under your jacket.

Considering all of the above, there are some guns that are ideal for winter weather and carry. This makes it easier for the owner to handle, carry, and fire them!

  • Dan Wesson 715 Pistol Pack

Nothing says fit for winter weather better than a Dan Wesson pistol – let’s see why. In terms of keeping it chill, the 715 pistol pack is made using stainless steel. This means that, even though the gun is going to be cold, it won’t suffer any damage because of it.

Moreover, the 715 model is also extremely versatile, as it comes with three .357 Magnum barrels that can be interchanged. The three are eight, six, and four inches in length.

Speaking of fit for winter weather, this particular handgun comes with a target trigger. This is a feature known for helping people fire their guns better in tough – in this case, cold – conditions.

  • Smith & Wesson Victory

We thought of introducing you to a handgun – in case you don’t fancy revolvers. This Smith & Wesson model is a lot less bulky than the previous model – as well as smaller, making for a snug fit in a belt or special body holster.

Naturally, the gun is made for all-weather conditions, mainly due to the presence of its stainless-steel frame and the multiple match grade barrels that can be switched.

The cherry on top is the textured grip that offers a great hold for any type of weather.

  • Marlin 1895 Modern Hunter

Moving on to close-quarters winter-fit guns, we present you the 1895 Modern Hunter, which is a .45-70 big-bore thumper that can hold up to six shots in its 18-inch barrel.  As mentioned, this gun is ideal for hog or any close-quarters game hunting.

It features a laminated stock that is painted to blend with the environment, as well as Cerakoted metalwork that ensures the weapon’s durability in any weather condition.

Last but not least, the 1895 Modern Hunter comes with what’s called a happy trigger and with a large-loop lever, which is a perfect fit for this type of rifle.

  • Weatherby Mark V

The next entry on our list is a bolt action rifle – namely, the premium Weatherby, Mark V. The interesting part is that this particular model comes in multiple options, specially designed for various weather conditions.

As such, the stock is camouflaged (synthetic Monte Carlo) and comes in patterns like SubAlpine, First Lite, and High Desert – to suit the weather/environment. On top of that, this bolt action features Cerakoted metalwork as well, making it an outstanding choice for winter weather hunting.

  • Savage 110 Storm

This rifle comes equipped with the best in terms of accuracy – namely with AccuTrigger, AccuFit, and AccuStock. While Savage has available multiple models made to fit winter conditions, the Storm option is probably the best. Why?

Well, because it comes with a synthetic yet durable stock that features adjustable comb as well as length-of-pull, making the weapon highly customizable. Then, for increased durability, the gun was also equipped with stainless metalwork.

Last, but not least, the hunters can safely rely on the highly convenient rubberized grip panels that ensure ideal grip in wet, muddy, rainy, and snowy conditions!

  • Traditions Outfitter G2

The Outfitter G2 is a break-action, single-shot rifle that is ideal for snowy and cold conditions. It is chambered in a straight-walled manner, making it ideal for those that have to deal with centrefire restrictions. Obviously, as you may know, the Traditions models are quite affordable, especially when it comes to all-weather guns.

The stock features a textured grip, as well as the central part beneath the barrel, helping you properly aim and fire the gun without any potential slides, even if you wear gloves.

  • Mossberg 590A1

This 12-gauge shotgun comes with some features that make it more than ideal for winter weather and conditions. Namely, it has a tough parkerized finish that makes it blend with its surroundings, as well as black synthetic furniture that slightly increases grip ability.

You could also opt for a model that comes with either a bead shotgun sight or with ghost ring sights. If you have any doubts, then it is worth mentioning that this is the only pump-action shotgun that was able to pass the infamous shotgun torture test of the US Army.

Special Notes

When it comes to guns for winter weather, it is very important to mention that you have to consider your gear/equipment as well. For example, gun enthusiasts know that Ruger and Glock make some of the best all-weather weapons and that even the AK can be used in the snow – but you’ll still need proper gloves to be able to handle them.

As such, even if the gun labeled as all-weather comes with a textured grip, you don’t want to turn down special hunting gloves that can offer you extra grip and stability.

On top of that, as mentioned above, you’ll want to look out for the gun’s finish as well, as it may get damaged if exposed to low temperatures for too long. In such a scenario, you may want to consider a gun case with extra padding or a gun with a sturdier framework and with a better finish, ideal for winter weather.

The Bottom Line

There are plenty of other weapons that could endure winter weather – even your trusty AR. But, as previously mentioned, you have to prepare both yourself and your weapon for a snowy hunting session.

Moreover, if your gun is not known as an all-weather model, then you may want to take a couple of extra steps to properly protect. Even better, you can replace it with a winter-fit model for when you go out in the cold!

Hunting And Conservation Are A Good Thing.

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You may recall that last month Rudy Giuliani’s business buddy, a.k.a. Donald Trump, threatened to cut off federal aid to California because the state wasn’t doing an effective job on fighting wildfires. Now the fact that the Federal Government owns half the forest land in California whereas state forest lands represent 3% and thus the problem is one for the Feds to resolve as opposed to being the responsibility of Governor Newsom’s administration is only yet further proof (as if we need more proof) that the 45th President of the United States is the most misinformed Chief Executive of all time. Be that as it may, this exchange brought back to mind a brief chapter of American conservation history which deserves to be recalled.

In 1933, Franklin Roosevelt established the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which was an effort to combat the high rate of unemployment during the Depression while, at the same time, use government resources to expand and protect natural resources, particularly forest lands. When it comes to conservation we usually think of the other Roosevelt, Teddy, because he was an active conservationist his entire life and created five major national parks as President from 1901 to 1909.

Today the National Park System covers 85 million acres and everyone has either visited or would like to visit parks like Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, Yosemite, Zion, the list goes on and on. I have been in every national park and my own favorite is Joshua Tree outside of Palm Springs because it is mostly desert which means the solitude is immense. A close runner-up to Joshua Tree is Capitol Reef in Utah, another amazingly undisturbed place.

What is often overlooked when we talk about federal government efforts to preserve our natural space is that in fact it was Franklin Roosevelt’s CCC that enlarged the National Wildlife Refuge system which now covers more than 150 million acres, including 566 national wildlife refuges in all 50 states. In my state, Massachusetts, there are 11 refuges and I often wander in and around the Oxbow Refuge, which is 1,667 acres of totally unspoiled, natural swamp with nesting places for various migratory birds.  During the years when the CCC was engaged in wildlife conservation, one of their chief tasks was to fight fires that threatened wildlife sites.

As open space becomes an ever-increasing precious resource, the fact that virtually everyone living in the United States can gain access to these unspoiled places by driving a short distance from their homes, means that the ability to appreciate the wildness of nature remains an experience we all can share.  What group among us is dependent upon this environment to help them enjoy the outdoors? Hunters, whose purchase of hunting licenses, firearms and ammunition have contributed more than $14 billion to the upkeep and extension of these natural zones.

Much of the current debate about the place of guns in American culture ignores how the use of small arms for hunting and sport is a vital element in preserving the space needed by wild to flourish and grow. This may sound like something of a paradox, insofar as we usually consider hunting to be a threat to wild animal life. But in fact, hunters understand and support the Boone & Crockett idea of a ‘fair chase’ is really all about helping to maintain the vital balance between all living things – humans and animals sharing the Earth’s natural space.

For me, the importance of hunting for strengthening conservation is a much more fundamental argument for gun ownership than anything having to do with armed, self-defense or 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’ Which is why I got involved with Conservation Centers for Species Survival (C2S2), a remarkable organization whose scientific research is moving our understanding of  how to protect wild species to an entirely new level.

I am going to be writing more columns about C2S2 but in the meantime I invite you to look at their website (https://conservationcenters.org/) and subscribe to their Facebook page. I guarantee you’ll like what you see.

Want To Find Common Ground Between Gun Owners And Non-Gun Owners? Think Conservation.

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 An interesting article appeared today on a website which caters primarily to residents of Ohio who earn their livings by owning or working on farms. There are still 75,000 farms in the Buckeye State, which means that the farmers and their families account for less than 3% of the population, but together agriculture contributes more than $100 billion to the state’s economy, which isn’t bad considering that taken together, farmland accounts for about half of all the state’s physical size.

The article, written by the Director of Agricultural Law at Ohio State, summarizes what landowners need to know when they allow hunters to go trekking across their land. Ohio has passed any number of statutes covering who can hunt on  someone else’s land, what kind of permission is required, how many hunters can be on a specific piece of land at the same time, who needs to be notified about trespassers, and so on. As the author of the article states, “hunting raises many questions and concerns for agricultural landowners. Ohio law offers rules and remedies that can ease those concerns.”

What I find interesting is the degree to which hunting and farming both help to sustain the natural balance  that allows all living species (including humans) to survive. The farmer plants a crop which both draws and restores natural ingredients to the land. After the harvest (which produces sustenance for animals and man) the stubble and vines provide nourishment for all kinds of living things. Then the hunters come and trim the flocks  and herds attracted to the open, farmed space and the whole cycle repeats itself again.

The importance of this process and the role played by hunting in maintaining the natural balance of this cycle was recognized by Theodore Roosevelt and George Grinnell when they founded the Boone & Crockett Club in 1887.  This followed from Roosevelt’s first hunting expedition in 1883 when he went out West to bag a trophy-sized bison. What he thought would be an easy hunting trip into the Dakota Territory, turned into an arduous trek into Montana because the American bison, once native to the entire continent, had become almost extinct in the continental United States. The founding of Boone & Crockett was the first of many steps taken by Roosevelt and other hunter-conservationists to regulate the taking of game so that herds and flocks would continue to flourish and grow.

I did my first serious hunting in South Carolina in the mid-1970’s, going after white tails both in highland and lowland sites. When I moved to Massachusetts in 1993 I froze my rear end several times hunting high-flyers from duck blinds on the Atlantic coast. I also briefly hunted elk in Wyoming and antelope in West Texas; in neither place did I even get off one shot.

What impresses me about this country is that we have almost an endless supply of open space, most of which represents farms that are no longer in production but offer all kinds of landscapes where hunters can go and engage in what Boone & Crockett calls a ‘fair chase.’ This means that at all times the hunter is aware of his responsibility to “conserve wildlife natural resources, especially game species.”

It just so happens that an organization, Conservation Centers for Species Survival (C2S2) has been working on ways to maintain and augment the natural balance so that wild species can survive in what is increasingly less amounts of natural space. The group is an offshoot of the Smithsonian, and the CEO, Katy Palfrey, just happens to be the great-great granddaughter of Theodore Roosevelt, I kid you not.

You can see what they are doing on their website, but I’ll just summarize it quickly and tell you this. They work with ranchers and farmers who have open land that can be used to study the most effective ways to protect and grow natural species, and some of their spaces are shared with hunters as well.

Want to find common ground between gun owners and non-gun owners?  Here it is.

8 Ways The Electric Hunting Bike Is Changing The Way We Hunt.

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Black electric bicycle with sunset on light green meadow in spring color evening

Electric bikes are becoming increasingly popular.

Indeed, 40 million e-bikes are expected to be sold around the world by 2023. Clearly, the demand for powered bikes is growing by the day.

One particular niche market that’s gained traction in recent years is the electric hunting bike.

Hunting has been around since the dawn of time. Each new age has heralded novel technology that has changed the way it’s done. E-bikes are the latest invention to be impacting the way people hunt.

Are you interested in learning exactly how it’s making a difference? We wanted to help.

Keep reading to discover 8 ways electric hunting bikes are changing the way we hunt.

1. Go Further, Quicker

The best hunting spots are usually far out of the way.

They’re a long distance off the beaten track, away from civilization and in amongst the bush.

Getting to these locations is rarely straight-forward! It can be a tough slog on two feet, hauling all your food and gear with you. Many hunters choose an ATV to navigate the terrain and get into position quicker.

Of course, that comes with its own set of challenges. For one thing, they’re noisy- an obvious disadvantage when you’re after stealth.

Taking an electric bike mitigates all of these problems. Hunters can travel significant distances with minimal effort and time elapsed in the process.

2. Easier Access to Harder to Reach Places

We just mentioned how hunting spots tend to be off the beaten track.

They can also require navigating challenging terrain.

Thick scrub, significant hills, and muddy paths make life hard for the average bipedal hunter. Sometimes you don’t have to walk a long way to have a tough slog on your hands.

Using an electric hunting bike helps make life a breeze. Get to the top of hills without a problem. Get off the track without issue. Get through muddy sections with ease.

Suddenly, the opportunity to novel exploration into harder areas becomes possible. Hunters can get in amongst the rough to scout out the territory.   

3. Spend More Time Hunting

What happens when you get into place quicker and more easily?

There’s more time to hunt.

Hunters have more time on their hands. it means less time and effort spent getting into position. Tasks like checking for scrapes and rubs can be performed in a fraction of the time.

Tracks that take 2 hours to take by foot can be covered in half the time (or less). That means far longer proportions of the day can be spent on the hunt itself.

Get your positioning wrong and need to move on? No problem. Hop back on the bike and find a new spot. Life is far easier with a set of thick, powered wheels to call upon.

4. Carry More Gear

Strength is often a limiting factor.

There’s a host of gear the average hunter can’t take, simply because they can’t physically carry everything. It might be possible on flat, solid land. But to take everything through forests and over hills, for days at a time, the task becomes untenable.

The same goes for food.

With just a backpack to haul everything in and out, there’s only so space for food.

Being able to carry more means a) life on the hunt is inextricably easier and b) you can go hunting for longer periods of time.

That’s what an electric bike offers a hunter. A 5-day hunt becomes a 10-day hunt because you can finally take everything you need.

5. Leave Less Scent

Moving by foot can be an effective means of getting into position.

Indeed, for thousands of years, it was the only way!

Hunters are more likely to leave their scent behind like this though. Making direct contact with the ground is a recipe for leaving traces of your presence. Remember, walking takes significant effort; sweat and body odor ensues.

It doesn’t take much for an animal to pick up on your presence. Get the positioning wrong and a hunter can give the game away. A whole day stalking can be for nothing.

Using an electric bike requires less effort on the hunter’s part; it leaves less scent behind as a result.

6. Make Less Noise

The best hunters make very little noise.

There’s no room for error. One snapped twig can spook an animal and send it running.

Electric bikes are naturally quiet. It’s pedal power, after all! They’re also lightweight and easy to manoeuver. All told, they can be exponentially quieter than a clumsy person hunting on foot.

Want to know how the work? Here’s a link where you can learn about these bikes.

7. More People Can Get Involved

Young and old alike can now enjoy hunting more easily as well.

Some people may have hunted their entire life. Upon getting to a certain age, their bodies may no longer be able to take the strain. Those pack marches and days on the trail become physically unrealistic.

As we’ve seen, an electric bike takes much of the strain. Those hard to reach places are easier to get to. People who thought their hunting days were behind them can get back out there!

Likewise, young people can keep up and come along for the ride too.

8. Easily Transport What You Catch

Lugging a 300lb buck home is no easy task.

On top of everything else a hunter is carrying, that extra weight can be a serious energy sapper.

Electric bikes make this less of a problem. The extra power would make it an easier task anyway. However, some clever people have designed trailers to attach to the bike too. Simply put your catch on the back, and ride off home.

Final Thoughts on the Electric Hunting Bike

There you have it: 8 ways the electric hunting bike is changing the way people hunt.

Hunting has been around since the dawn of time. E-bikes are a relatively new invention that is just taking off. Combining the two is starting to revolutionize the sport. It makes the life of the hunter exponentially easier in all manner of ways.

Hopefully, this post has highlighted exactly how.

Like this article? Read more hunting-related articles right here on our blog. Just search ‘hunting’ to get started.

Some Memories For The 4th.

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              One of my best friends, if not my very best friend, was my old hunting buddy in South Carolina, Sherrill Clement Smith.  Smitty, as he was called, or ‘SC,’ as he was known to his close friends, which were me and a South Carolina Highway Patrolman name of Pat Patterson, was acknowledged to be the best white-tail hunter in a state where a lot of pretty skilled guys hunted white-tail deer. And in a state where the legal deer season ran from August 15 until December 31st, that was a lot of guys.

              But make no mistake about it, Sherrill was the best. And he was the best for three reasons: First and foremost, he started going out in March or April ever year to scout for deer.  Some years we ended up hunting in dense, hilly woodlands around Rion, the county seat of Fairfield County. Other years we were down in the low country alongside some bean fields near the Santee. Sherrill never had trouble finding some Black sharecropper who would let us hunt his property in return for getting half the meat.  In a state where many Blacks and even some Whites still didn’t have enough money to eat store-bought meat, having Sherrill Smith as your provider was not a deal you were likely to turn down.

              The second reason that Sherrill was the best white-tail hunter in Carolina was that once the season opened, he was out there every day. He didn’t just go out one or two weekends with some friends, set around for a while drinking some beers. Sherrill was a switchman for the Southern, as the Southern Railroad was called, and it was simply understood at the yard that between mid-August and end of December, once the whistle blew at 3 PM, you didn’t ask Sherrill to stick around.

              Third and last, if Sherrill could see the animal through his 3X9 Weaver scope set on top of his Winchester Model 70 in 30-06, didn’t matter whether the creature was 100 yards or 500 yards away, that buck was going down. So Sherrill didn’t have to take just any old deer, he could wait and wait and wait on the biggest old white-tail to come around.  One year he only took four, but I guarantee you that every animal would have easily made the Boone & Crockett list.

              One of the reasons Sherrill was such an accurate shot was because he made his own ammunition from scratch. This activity occupied him for much of the Winter months before April rolled around, which is when he started tracking deer. I never shot Sherrill’s ammo because my gun, a Remington Model 700, was chambered for .270 Winchester, and don’t think we didn’t have endless arguments over which was a better caliber for taking deer – the flat-shooting 270 or the more powerful 30-06. What else should we have argued about? The federal debt?

              Like myself, Sherrill was also a lifetime member of the NRA. And like me, he had joined the NRA when he was a kid, probably enrolled by his daddy, old ‘Red’ Smith. Sherrill’s father had been a policeman and carried a gun. Not that he particularly liked guns, but a gun was always around. On the other hand, my father never wanted a gun in his house after he saw what guns could do when he went ashore after the amphibious landing at Kwajalein Atoll. Who knows why kids grow up liking guns?

              Part of my frustration with my gun-control friends is that every time they tell me about the importance of safe-storage, or comprehensive background checks, or any of the other schemes to reduce the violence, sometimes I recall going out to the woods with my friend Sherrill Smith and high-sounding moralisms about ‘responsible’ gun ownership and ‘reasonable’ gun laws mean nothing. Other times, those words don’t bother me at all.

              I want to wish everyone a Happy and Safe July 4th.   

A Different View of the 2nd Amendment.

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Ask anyone who is engaged in making noise for Gun-nut Nation why they think the 2nd Amendment is so important and they’ll tell you that we ‘need’ the ‘2nd Amendment’ to keep us ‘free.’ Or they’ll mumble something about the God-given ‘right’ to self-defense. Or you’ll get some half-cocked lecture on the ‘tyranny’ of government or some other nonsense.

I prefer the argument about the importance of the 2nd Amendment made by one of America’s most fervent gun owners, who not only was a life-long devotee to hunting in all forms, but also just happened to be the 26th President of the United States. In 1887 Roosevelt formed the Boone and Crockett club whose mission, then and now, was to develop public policies that would create a balance between the desires of hunters to kill game and the necessity to preserve species. Ultimately, B&C’s membership included just about every major figure in the environmental movement (Grinnell, Pinchot, Leopold) because they all agreed with Thoreau who said, “In wilderness is the preservation of the world.”

Teddy Roosevelt National Park – Thank you Sean Palfrey.

Here’s how Boone & Crockett defines the importance of the 2nd Amendment today:
“The Club is concerned with any restriction on the public’s legal right to own and use firearms for hunting that could weaken or undermine our unique and successful system of wildlife conservation.”

Hey! What happened to the God-given ‘right’ to self defense? Where’s all that talk about protecting us from the ‘tyranny’ of government? What about all those ‘patriots’ who demonstrate their love of country by walking into a Starbucks with an AR-15 slung over their backs?

I’ll tell you where it is. It’s a crock of sh*t. You want to believe that there is one, single community in the entire United States that is safer because everyone’s walking around with a gun? Tell that one to the residents of Sanford, FL whose armed, community-watch guy named George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin in 2012. Or try that argument out with the families and friends of the teachers and children slaughtered at Sandy Hook. After all, both Adam Lanza and his mother believed that having an assault rifle in their home represented their first line of defense.

I have spent the last seven years trying to convince gun owners that the armed, self-defense argument is nothing but a marketing scam. I have also spent the last seven years trying to make Gun-control Nation understand that ‘reasonable’ gun restrictions which preserve legal access to lethal products like assault rifles and hi-capacity, concealable handguns is also a marketing scam. Both arguments are nothing more than what pro-gun and anti-gun organizations believe their constituencies want to hear. To quote myself this time, both arguments are a crock of sh*t.

On the other hand, everyone likes the idea of wilderness. Nobody would dare argue with the concept of a tree. And this is why I think both sides in the gun debate need to spend some time thinking about the 2nd Amendment in terms of what the Boone & Crockett club has to say. Not only thinking about it, but thinking that perhaps here is the real common ground where both sides should meet.

Stay tuned and enjoy a lovely weekend.

Great Tips To Take Your Rifle Skills To The Next Level.

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The hunting season certainly presents a great opportunity for hunters to go out in the field and enjoy doing what they like doing the most. However, a period of fun and excitement is not all that it presents. Every hunter should look to improve his game with each passing season. Elevating ones’ skills for the forthcoming hunting season is not always easy. However, several of the best shooting coaches have prescribed methods that can help a hunter take his or her rifle skills to the next level. Most of these sound easy, but require quite a lot of practice. Here are some of those expert tips.

Focusing on practice

The process of effective shooting begins in the hunter’s mind, whether you want to master short range or long range shooting. When it comes to increasing the focus on practicing, dry firing can be as good as live fire practice. However, just pulling the trigger is not an effective drill. Making each shot count is what matters. Hunters should create drills that challenge them. Long before the hunting season starts, the seeds of practice must be sown. Honing such extreme levels of focus can be exhausting for hunters. This is why limited yet consistent amounts of practice time are essential to become a better shooter. Hunters should keep in mind that a bad shot in practice, is a bad shot in the live field. Such high standards should be maintained in practice session.

Practicing with modern equipment

There’s no point in practicing with guns that our grandfathers used to use. Practicing with them, only to find out in a few seasons that they are obsolete makes no sense whatsoever. The hunter should research for the up to date guns and equipment suitable for his or her type of hunting expeditions. The Nikon P 223 Riflescope 3X 32mm for instance, is a great piece of modern rifle. It completely removes parallax and its light transmission friendly nature makes it perfect for new hunters.

Positioning

Positioning, for a hunter, is crucial. Without the correct posture, everything can go wrong. Every hunter must master these sitting positions – crossed leg, crossed ankle and with the knees shaped like a tent, a comfortable spread with the heels grounded.

Mastering the sling

Unlike carrying straps, slings come with an adjustable loop. They are great for providing support to the shoulder while carrying guns. A hunter who has mastered the sling is a hunter who can move as fast as his/her prey. Also, a sleek leather sling can make anyone look better.

Firing only when prepared

Most hunters usually have more time on their hand than they choose to use. Noticing a field full of prey, they tend to rush and forget to settle their rifle. Again, some engage in unnecessary delays causing the prey to run away. A hunter should only fire when he is prepared and a hunter must always be prepared.

Experience and practice are two key components of becoming the next level hunter. Aspiring hunters must follow these tips in order to set themselves on a path of constant improvement.

 

Jon Sutton – How To Get Kids Into Hunting.

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Our right to bear arms was not necessarily designed in direct association with firearms being used for hunting, but today the two are critically linked. While second amendment supporters place substantial value on maintaining widespread gun rights, hunting is an area that people on the fence about gun control deem a sensible use of firearms. Obviously, being able to hunt with a firearm is highly dependent on gun laws, but it would appear that gun rights and hunting are connected on multiple levels.

suttonAnyone who is passionate about guns, hunting or both is very aware that preserving our rights and opportunities requires an ongoing battle. It is important that as gun owners and hunters we band together to continue our defense of those rights, but we also look forward to the future. That means getting today’s youth involved with hunting and guns so they can carry on the traditions as well as the defense of our rights.

The Value of Getting Kids Involved

Clearly, there is value in getting kids started hunting and using firearms when it comes to preserving the rights, opportunities and culture of the sport. There is also significant value to the individual kids. Both shooting and hunting are great ways to promote maturity and respect, as both are fun, but come with a lot of responsibilities. As you begin to teach your kid about serious topics like safety and ethics, it should help develop their ability to make sound decisions.

Hunting and shooting sports both encourage exercise and time spent in the outdoors- both things kids today could use a little more of. They also include quality time spent with friends and family, something that today’s youth lacks whenever their lives become a little too focused on technology-derived entertainment.

How to Get Them Started

If you are a hunting or shooting parent, many kids will take an early interest in participating, because that is what kids do- try to emulate their parents. Early introduction to any hobby or sport should be done with a certain amount of caution and patience since burnout is a real possibility. We have all seen the prodigies that are great at something when very young, but lose interest before adulthood because they overdo it early on. Hunting and shooting are no different. Try to involve them at a level and pace that mirrors their interest; do not force it on them.

A good way to start is to get them behind an air rifle and then a .22. If they have toy guns when they are younger, start to explain to them the rules of gun safety. These obviously become significantly more important when the gun is real, so you want to make sure they are old enough and mature enough to grasp the differences and the gravity of using guns before introducing them. Once they reach that point, target practice is a great way for them to start developing marksmanship skills. Some kids may develop a love for shooting but not for hunting. Transversally, some people end up liking hunting but shoot guns only for that purpose.

The next gun you buy them is a critical step. Make sure it is appropriately sized and in a reasonable chambering. Too much gun is a great way to turn a young shooter away from the sport or cause them to develop bad habits. Starting with the pellet gun and moving on up, make sure they always have more than enough ear and eye protection.

Getting them out Hunting

When it comes time to start taking your kid along on a hunting trip, safety will be of utmost importance. Hopefully, they will be old enough to have the patience and stamina for a decent amount of time hunting, but a shortened trip because they are worn out matters little compared to an accident because safety rules were not followed. Many states require kids to pass a hunter safety course before hunting, but some do not. Either way, it is ultimately up the parent or guardian to make that final call as to whether the kid is mature and safe enough to start carrying a firearm in the field.

Once you make that decision, follow these guidelines to make their first trip enjoyable:

  • Go on a good weather day
  • Pick a hunt where encounters are likely
  • Pack lots of snacks
  • Dress them to stay warm and dry
  • Be patient and do not put too much pressure on them
  • Encourage questions and take advantage of teaching moments
  • End the hunt when they are ready to be done

Moving Forward

Just like when they are very young, allow the kid to dictate how often, how long and how hard they hunt. Not everyone will fall in love with hunting and guns, but many become very passionate about one or both. The best you can do as parents, guardians or mentors is to put it out there for them, try to make it special for them and see if it sticks. Hopefully, they will join the masses of people who love the sport and support our related rights and opportunities.

 

 

 

Hunting Deer In Pennsylvania? Don’t Bring A Modern Sporting Rifle.’

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At the end of this month the Pennsylvania Game Commission will hold their first quarterly meeting of 2017, and the agenda will include approval of new changes in hunting regulations which go into effect.  Hunting is a big deal in Pennsylvania; only one state (Wisconsin) issues more resident hunting licenses, and the only state which derives more licensing revenue is Colorado because buying a license to hunt elk ain’t cheap. So when the Game Commission sits down to revise hunting regulations, the changes will affect a lot of Pennsylvania hunters this year.

hunting             Yet despite these impressive numbers, the truth is that hunters in Pennsylvania, like everywhere else, are a vanishing breed.  Since the early 1980’s, the Pennsylvania deer-hunting population has dropped by more than 25%, and in a 2004 survey, more than one-third of all Keystone State hunters said that declining health and increasing age would keep them from engaging in the sport any more.

So what do you do if you’re an industry that depends, in part, on hunters to buy your products and those particular consumers tell you that they no longer want or need the products you sell? You come up with a new type of product, sell it to a new group of consumers and let them decide how best it can be used.  Voila! – the modern sporting rifle, a marketing slogan of the gun industry whose nomenclature bears absolutely no resemblance to even the remotest definition of the word ‘truth.’  But now that we have a President who also seems unable to discern the difference between the words ‘true’ and ‘false,’ what difference does that make?  Well, in the case of the Pennsylvania Game Commission it seems to make a big difference, at least when it comes to the 2017 version of their hunting regs.

What the Commission is proposing is a rule change which will define the capacity of any rifle that can be used to hunt big game, which in Pennsylvania basically means the ol’ white-tail deer.  Pennsylvania contains some of the most rural (and beautiful) uninhabited landscapes in the eastern half of the Lower 48, and the deer abound, even if the number of hunters keeps dwindling down.  And what the new regs say is that if you want to go into the woods to take a pot-shot at Bambi, your rifle cannot have a ‘total aggregated capacity’ (breech and magazine) of more than five rounds.  Which means that you can’t go hunting with an AR-style rifle and only put 5 rounds in the mag. It means you can’t take an AR-style rifle (that’s an assault rifle, by the way) into the woods to go hunting at all.  Period.

Try as they might, the geniuses in the gun marketing community have obviously not convinced the Pennsylvania Game Commission that an AR-style rifle is no different in form or function than the old, semi-automatic Remington or Winchester hunting rifles that have basically stopped selling because the kind of people who used to buy them are either too dead or too old.  The industry has been lying about ‘modern sporting rifles’ ever since Chuckie Schumer and Di Feinstein first started going after assault rifles in 1994. And the NSSF has convinced a lot of people who should know better that any rifle that can’t fire all its ammunition with one squeeze of the trigger is just another type of sporting gun which can and should be used for any kind of shooting at all.

The military rifle – M4 – that our troops use in battle theaters does, in fact, allow its user to pull the trigger once and shoot a three-round burst.  But the gun can also be set to fire one round at a time, just like any other semi-automatic rifle.  So when a soldier decides that the tactical situation calls for using his rifle in semi-auto mode, does this mean he’s going into battle with a ‘sporting’ gun?  At least the Pennsylvania Game Commission seems to understand the difference.

 

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