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  • May 31, 2013

    Mil-Dot Reticles: Use Mils to Estimate Range -4

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    The “mils” in a mil-dot scope refer to milliradians, which is a measurement of angle. If you picture a mil as an ice cream cone, with the tip originating at the shooter’s eye and an open end that gets ever wider the farther out it goes, you get the idea. So if the mouth of our imaginary cone is 1 mil in diameter, making it 3.6 inches across at 100 yards, it would grow to 36 inches at 1,000 yards.

    Learning the principle behind mils (see illustrations), coupled with some homework on your part, can yield remarkable benefits to your shooting.

    For instance, mils allow you to hold over (or hold off) a target without the need to adjust your scope turrets for elevation and windage. With a come-up at 375 yards of 15 clicks, for example, you can hold the crosshairs 1.5 mils high on the target for a direct hit.

    It takes time, but once you master it, the mil-dot system is lethal and fast.

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  • May 31, 2013

    Crossbow Hunting: Are Lighter Arrows Better?-0

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    Physics dictate that the lighter an arrow, the faster it's propelled. There are advantages to going lightweight, however, there are disadvantages as well.
       
    Advantages of Lightweight Arrows
    Fast arrows have flatter trajectories than their heavier counterparts. As such, they're more accurate as the target distance increases and miscalculations in target distance are minimized by flatter trajectories.

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  • May 30, 2013

    Riflescopes: Finding the Proper Eye Relief-1

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    Three inches of eye relief (the distance between your eye and the ocular lens of the scope) is ideal for most big-game hunting rifles. But the key is to have 3 inches of relief at the scope's highest magnification. Editor Andrew McKean explains why.

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  • May 24, 2013

    New Spotting Scopes: OL Reviews and Ranks the 7 Best New Scopes of 2013-1

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  • May 21, 2013

    The Right Binoculars for Turkey Hunting-0

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    Along with my mouth calls, a sweet David Halloran slate-over-glass pot call, and a lightweight run-and-gun turkey vest, my most essential turkey tool includes a bright, compact binocular.

    If that surprises you—if you figured I’d cite a shotgun or a special choke constriction or a decoy—then you probably aren’t killing as many gobblers as you should. That’s because you’re not seeing them.

    The basis for using optics in any hunting situation is that you can’t kill what you can’t see, and acute vision is especially important in the spring turkey woods, where you need the ability to scan distant field edges as well as close-quarters woodlots and leafy brush.

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  • May 20, 2013

    New Crossbow Products 2013: Sights, Packs, and Shooting Sticks-0

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    Hunting with a crossbow can be a challenge. Even the lightest, most compact bows are far from manuverable. But there are a handful of new products on the market that will help you shoot straighter and hunt smarter. Check out our round up of the best new crossbow gear of the year.

    Primos Trigger Stick
    A solid prop when putting the crosshairs on a big game animal is critical to a well-executed shot. The Trigger Stick adjusts for length (33" to 65") with the pull of a trigger offering a rock-solid shooting rest. ($82.95; primos.com)

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  • May 20, 2013

    The Best Idea in Optics: Rental Binoculars-0

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    Todd Doebler hails from the big woods of northern Wisconsin, so when he went on his first Western big-game hunt—to western North Dakota’s badlands in 2008—he bought the best optics for the opportunity.

    “I bought a Swarovski spotting scope, which proved almost too much glass for the hunt,” he said. Then a sort of buyer’s remorse kicked in. “Here, I spent $3,000 for an optic that I used for a week. I thought, there has to be a better way.”

    What, he wondered, if he could rent premium optics for short-term events, like birding festivals and destination hunts. That is the origin story of his business, Optics4Rent, which loans premium binoculars and spotting scopes to sportsmen and women for a fraction of the cost of buying the optics.

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  • May 16, 2013

    Objective Lens Size: Finding The Perfect Riflescope for Deer Hunting-4

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    American hunters have been brainwashed into thinking they want the brightest riflescope they can buy.

    They don’t.

    Light-gathering ability is mainly a function of objective-lens size, which means the brightest riflescopes would be too large and unwieldy to be much help in the places most of us hunt. Picture a 65mm or an 80mm spotting scope strapped to your rifle. Bright as hell, but hugely impractical.

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  • May 13, 2013

    New Binoculars 2013: OL Reviews the Best Full-Size and Mid-Size Binoculars of the Year-7

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    From the flimsy to the fortified, this year’s field of 14 full-size binos and 4 mid-size binos have something for everyone. The most interesting trend is the continuing integration of electronics into hunting optics. Three binoculars feature rangefinders. See our review of the best new hunting binoculars on the market.

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  • May 9, 2013

    New Riflescopes 2013: OL Reviews and Ranks the Best Scopes of the Year-8

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    If submissions to this year’s riflescope test are any indication, the confluence of the tactical and the sporting may finally be slowing. For the first time in several years, the number of scopes in the field designed mainly for hunting exceeded those configured specifically for shooting.

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