Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Selecting a Predator Rifle

When it comes to hunting and shooting predators there is a large selection of firearms to choose from. Styles, calibers and actions all play a role in the choices. In recent times, what is commonly known as 'modern firearms' or military style firearms have seen a surge in popularity among predator hunters. Their accuracy, large magazines and function make them a popular choice. 

Many hunters, however still like the more traditional bolt gun for predator hunting. These time tested accurate rifles are capable of killing coyotes and foxes out to five hundred yards with relative ease. Let's look at a few choices of calibers and styles for taking predators this summer. 

When discussing this I always like to start with the caliber choices. In centerfire there are several wildcat cartridges, but for mass produced calibers, the .223, 22-.250 Rem. .204 Ruger and to a lesser degree the .220 Swift are all great choices. preference here is largely due to the individual. Many will argue about different ballistics, bullet variations, and availability. Personal preference is with the 22-.250 Rem. The little 55 grain bullet is capable of lethal kills out to very extreme yardages. And when mounted into a Remington 700 bolt action rifle, there are few better combinations available. (We'll discuss optics later) 

The 22-.250 in Remington 700 offers a time tested rifle in an excellent caliber that will send any coyote, fox or bobcat into never never land very quickly. This gun was designed to kill predators at long ranges and the fast expanding bullet is capable of killing larger game if needed. 

One of the major advantages of the .223 is the availability of affordable ammunition. This round is very popular right now with the popularity of the AR style rifles. This has driven the price of ammunition down. Aside from that, it is also a great round for predators. In some areas of the country it is the most popular round by a large margin. Chambered in any rifle, the .223 is an excellent choice for predators and varmints. 

With the introduction of the .204 Ruger. many hardcore shooters and hunters were converted. This is an excellent round, but the popularity from the beginning never really caught on like many thought it would. Essentially, it is falling the way of the 16 gauge shotgun. An excellent choice, but other calibers are just as good and already available. 

Lastly the .220 Swift has lost ground the past few decades. Once thought to be the best available, with the development of new and better bullets for the earlier mentioned calibers, the .220 Swift is not nearly as popular. It is still an great round for predators and should not be overlooked by those wanting something different. 

These are not the only calibers available for predator hunters, but they are some of the more popular. Whichever you choose, you really cannot go wrong with any of these choices. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Adventure Close to Home


As a young man learning about the outdoors, I remember vividly reading about remote lakes in Canada where Outfitters would drop you off and you would spend a week or more in the true wilderness. Cabins were provided along with boats and motors. The fishing was off the charts. Stories of catches of walleye exceeding 30 inches and Northern Pike pushing fifty inches were common. Through the years, I almost forgot about these places. Until a happenstance meeting. (although i do not believe in happenstance, I believe things happen for a purpose) 

This past March while on a Florida turkey hunt, I crossed paths with Fern Duquette, owner and operator of Kashabowie Outposts out of Atikoken, Ontario. After introductions, Fern and I began talking about his service. 


Kashabowie Outposts [(807) 929-2140]  www.kashabowieoutposts.com  owns ten remote cabins in Ontario. Their float plane fleet consisting of vintage Beavers, carry anglers and their gear to one of these remote cabins for a week or more. The cabins are as fine an many bed and breakfast I have ever visited. Solar lights, propane refrigeration and cooking. Wood stove heat, memory foam mattresses for the beds. These cabins are fabulous! 




We took a tour of several cabins, flying with one of Kashabowie's bush pilots, Yoan Soilen. We flew to eight of the cabins, and stopped by seven of them. Some of these cabins are capable of sleeping groups of up to twelve and a few as two. Everything from Smallmouth Bass, Lake trout, Walleye and Northern Pike are all available for the willing angler. Yoan has fourteen years flying experience and his handling of the Beaver was stellar. Several times I could not even feel the water landing. Gliding smoothly onto the surface as we approached each remote lake. 

Being in this kind of remote location is life changing. There are few places where you can go and truly be away from all human noise. Here a one hour flight from base camp, the silence causes your ears to ring for several minutes as your ears are trying to find some sort of sound. At one point, sitting watching a large Canadian beaver swim by at a few yards, I thought I could hear the water parting in front of his nose. The cry of the loons and the northern lights all wash away stress from everyday life. The sights and lack of sound are something all outdoorsmen and women yearn for. I have found the place and it is available and at an incredibly affordable price. 


The ten cabins are available to rent from May 20- September 15. Prices are based on how far they have to fly to get you there. Bring your spouse, your family or fishing buddies. Clients, customers whomever you want to spend some quality time with and load up on memories that could be life changing. 

Kashabowie Outposts has been in continuous operation since 1958. Serving customers for decades, building memories that last lifetimes. Whether you are looking for a great father son outing, a romantic honeymoon get away, or time with friends. This is the place where it all can happen. The staff are professional and know how to handle any situation. All you have to do is show up with your gear and food and they take care of the rest. 

A few bookings are still available for 2017, but are filling up fast. 2018 is also almost full. With repeat customers getting almost 85% of the slots, new customers have to book early to find their place in this paradise. In fact there are customers that have been returning since 1983 every year. One group from Kansas I spoke with said they have not missed a year since 2000. That is 17 years in a row that this group of friends have returned. That alone speaks of the quality of the experience. 

I loved my short visit so much, I am returning with friends in August to spend a week in one of the cabins to enjoy the quiet and the remarkable fishing. 














Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sitka Product Review

Product reviews is part of the job of an outdoor writer. From time to time we are given the opportunity to test new products or to run older products through the ringer and see how they hold up.

A few weeks ago I was given the opportunity to test some new products and some older products. The first one is Sitka Gear. Sitka has led the way in premium hunting clothing since they burst onto the scene in 2005. Since then, they have continued to raise the bar and push the envelope in making and designing clothing that is what every other brand is chasing.

My review is of all things Sitka, but it is especially on the all new Sub-Alpine line. This line was introduced during SHOT 2017. Designed for encounters of 50 yards or less. This pattern is an early to mid season product with everything big game hunters want or need.
You can read the full report by following this link.

http://blog.1800gear.com/sitka-gear-review-new-styles/

You can also purchase Sitka brand gear by following this link and find the best product you need for your adventure.

https://www.1800gunsandammo.com/collections/sitka

or here -
https://www.1800gear.com/collections/sitka-gear-big-game-whitetail-waterfowl-hunting




Monday, May 8, 2017

Arrow Noise in Flight



I have often heard the saying in the deer woods "the deer jumped the string" in regards to deer ducking when the shot is fired. For years I could not understand how the deer could react so fast at the sound of the string being fired. So I set out to conduct an experiment. 

I was shooting at 50 yards with my Prime One STX set at 60 pounds. I am also shooting GoldTip Kinetic Platinum shafts with 100 grain field tips. I have the camera set up at 25 yards to see the arrow flying and to grab the sound of the arrow in flight. As you will hear, the arrow is making a lot of noise in flight. This alone tells me that the deer are not jumping the string, rather they are jumping the arrow. 

You can go here to see the video and comment. Please subscribe to my channel.


https://youtu.be/1wiw9qyZkXY

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Archery Practice



In June I am scheduled to participate in the National Senior Games. Which are Olympic style competitions geared for participants over the age of 50. Participants compete against others in their age bracket. For example, I will be competing against other competitors between the ages of 50-55. This keeps things fair among the competitors. 

The games will be held this year in Birmingham, Alabama between June 5-14 and marks the 30th anniversary of the games. I will be competing in Archery. 

The Archery competition is what is known as a 900. This is shooting 30 arrows at 60 yards, then 30 arrows at 50 yards and finally 30 arrows at 40 yards. A total of 90 arrows, for a possible score of 900. This is done twice over two days and the scores are combined. The archer who has the highest combined score is the winner.

I have been doing a lot of practicing for this tournament. It will be the largest I have ever participated in personally. Everyday, when the weather permits, I try and shoot a  minimum of 150 arrows to build stamina. Beginning next week, I will be in the final month of training and will begin more serious training. 

My final training will consist of three full practice rounds a week. These full practice rounds will be a complete warm-up and scoring rounds. In essence, I will practice exactly like the tournament will be held, including scoring each arrow at the proper distances. 

I hope this will help me focus and get mentally prepared. I know my equipment is ready, but lately I have developed a flinch that came from no where. I am sure it is mental, but I am having difficulty shooting without it. Consistency is gone! But I have a month to prepare and the best way to get over it is to practice and practice some more. 

Equipment I am using:
Bow:  Prime One STX
Arrow: Gold Tip Kinetic Platinum 400 
Release: True Ball four finger thumb release
Sight: CBE - 6x magnification
Rest: AAE Blade
Rangefinder: Bushnell

Monday, May 1, 2017

NRA Annual Meeting

I attended my first NRA annual meeting this past weekend. To say I was overwhelmed is an understatement. It was bigger than I thought, more organized than I expected and very well attended by the membership.

There were many more vendors and manufacturers than I expected. I have been to many shows at the Georgia World Congress center and was aware of how large the space is, I just didn't expect the NRA to fill it up. It was a pleasant surprise.

As always when I attend these type of shows, I am looking for some hidden gems. I found several. Five of which I just wrote about and will appear on www.1800gunsandammo.com and or www.1800gear.com. These two sites will be a focal point of mine over the next several years.

As for the NRA meeting in general. I must admit, as a member, I was very pleased with the professionalism of the staff, and the membership. This will not be my last NRA Annual Meeting. I am already looking forward to next year, but I will be a lot more prepared.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Today marks a new beginning for my blog. For some time I have been distracted by other obligations and have ignored my own blog. Writing for so many other blogs that I forgot what got me started. It was here, almost twenty years ago that I started my writing career, and life as an outdoor scribe. So now I return, to the place it all began....well sort of. Actually, I began writing before the invention of blogs, but I was a quick convert and became captured with daily ramblings. It was here that my first book was born and so now I hope to find the time to continue my ramblings, of this and that. Thoughts, things and sightings of the ordinary and exciting. 

Perhaps a few announcements, a few afterthoughts, and a few pondering's of the daily things that place smirks and smiles. I am enthralled with the ordinary and the exciting. I find excitement in the ordinary and mundane. Perhaps you do too. If so, then come along and join me as we move through life of the not-so-famous. Join me as those whose existence is everything to a few and an afterthought of many. We will piddle, ponder, and explore the things of the outdoors that are more than a hobby, more than a passion. The things that are our lifestyle.