May 9, 2008
There are three simple cocking tricks you can employ to increase your crossbow accuracy ten-fold. Employ these and watch your groups shrink exponentially.
1. Shorten the Cocking Rope
Factory cocking ropes are designed for knuckle draggers. For us average guys, they're simply too long. Attempting to cock a crossbow with a factory-cocking device puts you at serious risk of shoulder injury, and almost guarantees you'll cock the bow crooked. By all means, adjust the length of your rope so it matches your cocking stroke. [ Read Full Post ]
Dave Fairman caught this monster walleye/sauger hybrid while fishing on the Yellowstone River in North Dakota last winter. Game and Fish Department officials confirmed that the 12-pound saugeye was a state record this week. [ Read Full Post ]
Fire building is one of those skill sets that can make or break a survival situation. With so much riding on your ability to produce flame, it makes a lot of sense to plan for your own success by building a dedicated fire starting kit. It’s easy and fun to do, and you probably already have all the stuff laying around the house. [ Read Full Post ]
The Bureau of Land Management has extended the public comment period on its proposal to revise hydraulic fracturing regulations on federal lands to Aug. 23.
The new proposal, published May 25, would modernize regulations and establish baseline environmental safeguards for a process -- fracking -- that is already used to drill 90 percent of wells on federal and Indian lands.
Fracking involves injecting pressurized water into rocks at fault lines to release natural gas for extraction. The BLM's proposed rule changes would be the first update of the federal fracking regulations since 1983. [ Read Full Post ]
If you’re a big fan of ultralight rifles you have my sympathy.
They are such a good idea on paper and the ones produced by the top gun makers are wondrous items indeed. I’m thinking here of craftsmen like Melvin Forbes who builds some of the sexiest and most accurate lightweight rifles on the planet (Model 24B pictured above). Making light rifles shoot well is no small feat. When you start shaving away lots of material from the barrel, receiver, bolt, and stock it is easy for the bullets to spray around like water from a lawn sprinkler. [ Read Full Post ]
It was the type of nightmare born from far too many viewings of "Jaws." Except this happened while the anglers were wide-awake.
A group of fishermen were 30 miles southeast of Atlantic City on Sunday when they encountered a great white shark. The men watched for 10 horrific/fascinating minutes as the estimated 14-foot most-feared maneater circled their boat. [ Read Full Post ]
It’s hard for me to understand why signaling is such an under-emphasized and little practiced survival skill. Signaling is the best way to help a search party get you out of a survival scrape. In the world of survival priorities, signaling is right up there with shelter, first aid, and water.
With that in mind, here are five important pieces of signal gear that you should have on your person or in your vehicle. [ Read Full Post ]
If the name Dale Manning sounds familiar, it should. He’s a regular part of the OL Optics Test team, and he’s among one of the best taxidermists in the country. In fact, the world.
Manning, who owns Custom Bird Works and Big Game Connection taxidermy in Missoula, Mont., won the “Best in World” in the waterfowl category at the 2013 World Taxidermy Championships in May. His flying snow goose, according to internet message boards, wowed everyone in attendance. [ Read Full Post ]
A plus 700-pound bluefin tuna caught off Boynton Beach earlier this week could get the anglers who caught it “canned.”
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA Fisheries spokeswoman Kim Amendola confirmed that the fish has been confiscated by law enforcement and that her agency is investigating the fishy business surrounding the tuna in cooperation with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. [ Read Full Post ]
If it seems like I’ve been blogging about soft mast for whitetails, it’s for good reason. Whitetails are slaves to there stomachs and it’s the smart deer hunter who pays close attention to what whitetails are eating. And, when it comes to what whitetails eat, few foods can compete with soft mast.
By soft mast I mean fruits and berries that typically mature in the early fall. Soft mast is typically high in sugar content and wandering whitetails can get hooked in a hurry. Anything within reach is ripped from the tree and once fruit starts falling, it’s scooped up like candy from a piñata. [ Read Full Post ]
Former OL Shooting Editor Jim Carmichel shot the world-record group in Light Varmint Benchrest. Current Shooting Editor John B. Snow sits down with Carmichel to get his take on rifle cleaning, pet loads, breaking in barrels, and more.
Q: What is your pet load?
A: I’m often asked this but the fact is that I’ve never had a “pet” load. Like most bench shooters I’m likely to change my powder charge or even the powder itself during the course of a tournament, depending on such variables as temperature and other atmospheric conditions. I experiment with different powders and may switch between two or three while prepping for a tournament. A shooter who thinks he has discovered his ultimate “pet” load is only fooling himself because there isn’t any such thing. But in case you really want to know, it’s no secrete that the day I set the new record I was using about 29.5 grains of Vihtavouri 133 powder behind a 68 grain Hottenstein bullet, Federal 205 Gold Medal primers and cases I had modified from Lapua .220 Russian brass. [ Read Full Post ]
For long-range precision rifle work I’ve come to favor optics with some type of milling reticle in the first-focal plane (FFP) that have .1 mil corrections on the windage and elevation turrets. The ability to estimate range with these reticles and the ease with which the shooter can make adjustments for follow-up shots give FFP/mil-mil scopes a huge advantage over other systems.
That said, even companies that specialize in these expensive “tactical” optics, such as Nightforce, sell way more scopes that are MOA based.
There are a number of reasons for this, but the biggest factor is tradition. Most shooters in America were taught on MOA scopes that have ¼-inch click adjustments at 100 yards and anything that deviates from that seems odd. Likewise, most of those scopes have reticles in the second focal plane, so the first time a person looks through a scope where the reticle seems to grow and shrink as the power setting is changed, it doesn’t feel right. Plus, there’s also the very practical issue of cost. Second-focal plane scopes are less expensive to make and simple duplex reticles are also cheaper than fancy... [ Read Full Post ]
Your ability to sink one arrow after another into the bull at 25 yards is awesome. But can you do it at 13 yards? Then at 31? Now at 45?
The foundation for consistent accuracy—at any range—is practice, but not just with your stick and string. Before you can make the shot, you have to know the distance, which is why your pre-season workouts should always begin with a range-estimation session.
You’ll need a buddy and a backyard, two commodities that most of us can find easily. And one of you needs a laser rangefinder. [ Read Full Post ]
Power steering is available on many ATVs and UTVs, but it comes at a premium cost. What most consumers try to figure out is just when they will need power steering and if it's worth the extra $500 to $1,000 on the unit. The short answer is: Yeah, it’s worth it.
The variables you need to consider: the type of terrain you’ll ride through; the general use of the off-road vehicle; and how much time you will spend on the machine. [ Read Full Post ]