May 9, 2008
For the indecisive gun owner life is about to get more complicated. The number of cartridges in the short fat magnum category continues to grow like mushrooms in a cave. Witness the latest cartridges to sprout from the partnership between Sturm Ruger and Hornady ammunition.
On the heels of last year’s .375 Ruger, a standard-length cartridge that delivers .375 H&H performance, we now have the .30 and .338 RCMS—short for Ruger Compact Magnums—built on the .375 Ruger case.
Both cartridges have intriguing characteristics, but the .338 RCM is particularly interesting. It is going to go head-to-head with the .338 Federal, which was unveiled at the 2006 SHOT Show, and which has carved out a niche among its devotees as a versatile all-around big game cartridge. One criticism of the .338 Fed., however, is the relatively light weight of the bullets offered. The heaviest current load is a 210-gr. Nosler Partition, a wonderful bullet to be sure, but not in the class of the 225- and 250-grain bullets many fans of the .338 Win. Mag. swear by. [ Read Full Post ]
As a child, John discovered his great-grandfather Samuel Marsh’s rifle in the attic of his family’s home place. The rifle, originally a .31-caliber percussion action, was built in 1850 near Lexington, SC by a gunsmith named Elijah Hall.
Although it would be politically incorrect today, John remembers playing cowboys and Indians with the old and obviously unloaded gun as a boy. This resulted in a damaged rifle that would wait many years for attention.
Realizing later on in life that he had something of great personal value, John set out to fix what he had broken. He sent the rifle’s barrel to West Virginia to have it re-bored and re-rifled. Another stop in a Pennsylvania shop got the action in order. Now a .45-caliber, the rifle was ready for its next season.
No doubt Samuel hunted with the gun in the 1800s; and John’s uncles... [ Read Full Post ]
An interesting bit of information crossed my desk yesterday from, of all publications, the New York Times. The Times isn’t exactly the bastion of conservative journalism, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw their report on the ever-growing problem we’re facing with exploding whitetail populations.
It comes as no surprise to those of us who live in the burbs and regularly hear stories about collisions with deer that the Times quotes the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which reports: “there are about 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions each year.” The result? People who might have been anti-hunting are beginning to change their attitude because the collateral damage deer are doing to their cars (not to mention their yards) is hitting them right in the pocketbook. (My neighbor hit a beautiful 5x5 last year at night—right in the heart of the rut. Total damage to their Cherokee was over $5,000.)
Use of firearms for hunting is strictly prohibited where I live, but a strong case can be made for a controlled bow hunt. Now, if I can just convince the city council…
-Todd Smith [ Read Full Post ]
You’ve likely seen airport baggage handlers and ground crews wearing safety vests and hearing protection while engaged in their work, but at Pittsburgh International, personnel who spend time on the tarmac might want to consider adding blaze orange jackets and bright caps to their attire.
That’s because Pennsylvania wildlife authorities say that an increase in illegal hunting on the 9,000-acre fenced facility has the potential to pose a significant danger to planes and personnel at PIA.
A spokesman for the Pennsylvania Game Commission told the Allegheny Times this week that trespassers who brazenly enter the airport compound in pursuit of deer are a growing problem for safety officers there.
Why the airport, when there’s plenty of wild hunting land available in the Keystone State?
Easy answer: Craig Swope, district supervisor for the USDA Wildlife Services Division, said there are hundreds, if not thousands of whitetail roaming the sprawling facility.
“There are certainly some very nice bucks in there—bucks of a lifetime—and many have never been hunted before,” Swope said “It’s not uncommon to see 40 or 50 together in a two-acre field. That’s not normal, and for some, hunting there... [ Read Full Post ]
"Bass fishing is the next NASCAR"
That has been the mantra of those in the bass-biz since ESPN lost it's NASCAR television contract nearly eight years ago. With the departure of the largest sport in the country, ESPN blew out its weekend schedule with Saturday and Sunday morning outdoors programming. Now that "The Worldwide Leader in Sports" has regained a share of the NASCAR gold, the outdoors block, including bass fishing, has been once again relegated to a weekend afterthought—a conglomerated mish-mash of hunting and fishing shows used as a lead-in to race coverage.
Along the way, however, both BASS (owned by ESPN) and FLW jumped on the fantasy sports phenomenon that was taking place in mainstream sports. Not only were the two groups vying for the same anglers and sponsors, they were each trying to attract a limited number of bass enthusiasts that were also computer literate enough to play online fantasy fishing. Both sites/games saw yearly growth with tens-of-thousands of players.
Now FLW seems to be making a move to not only grab the majority of those computer literate bass fishing aficianodos in the U.S., but also those overseas (namely Japan) as well as mainstream fantasy sports players.
Rumor has it that FLW... [ Read Full Post ]
An unprecedented number of grizzly bear encounters and attacks occurring in Montana during this year’s hunting seasons has sparked renewed controversy over whether hunters are justified in shooting and killing animals in potentially life-threatening situations.
In recent months, Newshounders have read about the Montana elk hunter who shot and killed a charging grizzly sow at eight yards with a single, well-placed shot from his .30-06 rifle.
In separate additional incidents this fall, grizzlies attacked a bowhunter and a pheasant hunter in Montana. There were also numerous reports of hunters who encountered grizzly bears while attempting to track and retrieve their kills.
An incident taking place last week in which yet another Montana hunter shot an attacking grizzly has prompted a vociferous response from some grizzly protectionists as well as from some federal and state game agency personnel.
That’s because the hunter, a member of the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission, is not what one would call a proponent of bear sprays and chemical deterrents. In fact, FWP Commissioner Vic Workman doesn’t mince words when asked what he thinks about the effectiveness of pepper spray versus bullets... [ Read Full Post ]
“The best decoys for ducks are real ducks with built-in quacks, feathers and love lives. When the Feds put a stop to live decoys they did the wild ducks a big favor, but they took a lot of fun out of duck hunting for those of us who could sit through much of a shotless bluebird day without being bored, spending our time watching live decoys which had varied personalities, the same as politicians or bird dogs.”
“For Whom The Bird Tolls”
Ridge Runners and Swamp Rats, 1983 [ Read Full Post ]
see this deer that I killed with a black-powder rifle on Wednesday, November 28. 160-yard shot. He gross-scored 213-3/8 NT; 3 main beams on his left side totaled over 67" alone. And look, he even has a few little drop tines! Hope you enjoy the pics; the second one shows off his points pretty well. Thanks, Greg
Awesome buck Greg and great shot. But you’re killing me with those little drop tines man, LOL…way to go...BTW, this is the second 3-beamed monster I've posted in the last week, a trend?...hmm, anybody else ever shot a 3-beamer?..I've shot one, up in Canada a few years back on a Realtree TV show, pretty gnarly and freaky, just the way we like them. [ Read Full Post ]
In an earlier post, I mentioned that deer camp is a great place to hear stories. It’s also a great place for practical jokes. Here’s one of the best I ever saw.
I was hunting on a huge ranch in South Texas in pursuit of the area’s legendary drop-tine whitetails. My buddy was a longtime newspaper columnist known to every hunter in that part of the world. After dinner the first night, the ranch owner told us about a new call he had just purchased in Houston. This was when grunt tubes were all the rage.
“Wait a sec,” he said. “Ill show it to you.”
He brought out what looked to be a miniature French horn and handed it my buddy, who inspected it suspiciously. [ Read Full Post ]
I am absolutely swamped with big-buck photos and stories ya’ll. Awesome! People are shooting monsters across this great land with gun and bow, like this 195-inch typical titan shot in Iowa (where else?) earlier this week—go check it out at prairieimages.com. Is that one great whitetail or what?
Thanks for your amazing support and the submissions. I’ll post as many as I can, though it will take me a while. Keep the pictures and blogs coming. Hell, can’t ever get too much big-buck stuff :)
I also have a huge backlog of hunting questions that I am chipping away at. I’ll try to answer every one eventually, though it will take me weeks. Just gave Kenny some advice today:
Hello Mike: The other night I was walking out of a field and saw a nice buck. I shot and missed with my rifle. The deer ran off and showed no signs of being hit (we found no blood). This is twice I've seen this buck in the same field. Have I blown this spot? Will this buck stay away for a while?... [ Read Full Post ]
On the first day of the youth season (Nov.17) 11-year-old Nick Dangler was sitting with his Grandpa when a huge buck came by following a doe. Before he could shoot, the buck ran and was out of range. The next morning just after daylight, the same buck came up out of the creek bottom in almost the same spot as the day before. This time Nick was ready. The buck walked within 20 feet of Nick and turned broadside. He kept his cool and fired his 20-gauge. With one shot through the heart, the big deer ran only 20 yards and dropped.
This was Nick’s first buck ever and his second hunting season. He passed the hunter safety course in the fall of 2006.
When the buck was skinned, the slug was found and given to Nick. He and his family and many friends are... [ Read Full Post ]
Now is the time for the Great American Deer Camp. At a time when so many traditions seem headed to the dogs, this one is still going strong. Why? I think it’s because deer camp is one of the last refuges for us. We don’t have to shave--or bathe--and we can revel in the smell of wet wool, wood smoke, and cheap cigars. And for a few days, out of reach of the workplace and our domestic duties, we are free.
For me, the best part of camp is the stories, and one of the best I ever heard was at a camp deep in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York.
A longtime member of the camp said, “There was this break in the trees that overlooked a cedar swamp, just off the road that led to our morning stand. And every time we passed it Dad would always stop the truck and say, ‘You know, this is a great spot to see a big deer.’ It became a running joke between us because in all those years, we never saw a deer.
“Well, the year Dad died, I almost didn’t come to camp. It was strange being here without him. Coming... [ Read Full Post ]
Hey Mike: I thought you might enjoy this picture. This is my 10 year old son, Ledger, after his very first deer hunt. He shot this buck at 75 yards with his 20-gauge slug gun. I am ashamed to say it was the 7th day of the Indiana firearms season before I took my son, because I hadn't filled my tag yet. Needless to say it turned out to be the most exciting hunt of my life! I still have a tag in my pocket, but who cares. If
you think Ledger looks proud you should see the guy behind the camera! Thanks, Doug from IN
Way to go Doug and congrats Ledger...father and son hunting and shooting deer together, you guys are doing it right. [ Read Full Post ]
An ailing British angling champion and sportswriter who doesn’t have long to live wants his remains mixed with fish attractant so his angling buddies can pay their last respects by hooking carp with their old chum.
Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun.
Pete Hodge says his last will and testament contains strict instructions about what is to be done with his body following his death. He wants his remains (cremated remains, we assume) to be added with groundbait, a popular chum used for coarse-fishing, and then scattered freely in his favorite fishing waters so his friends can have a fine day of carp angling—on Pete.
The 61-year-old angler, who is suffering from Motor Neurone Disease, has won hundreds of angling competitions in the greater London area and has held the title of National Champion. He continues to write a fishing column for Bridgwater Mercury, despite being unable to enunciate words because of the effects of the debilitating disease.
In his column dated November 2, Hodge writes that friends and colleagues may write him at a hospice located in Puriton, UK.
“As for my own health, I can’t speak... [ Read Full Post ]
The day after I got home from my road trip, while I was resting up and whining and licking my wounds over not getting the SD 170” buck and, worse, not seeing the elusive drop tine for another year, CJ Davis sent me this:
While we were running around SD look what my boss, Greg Chevalier, clobbered up in Ontario with Border Country Outfitters. Greg saw the buck running through the trees, but all he could see was a glimpse of huge body and huge rack. After a bit a doe popped back out of the trees and the giant buck followed her. At 100 yards Greg dropped him with a .325 (Winchester Supreme 200-grain Accubond bullet). When the buck hit the ground, another buck walked over and smelled him, then looked at the doe and took off after her. You gotta love the rut man! Living in Oregon Greg doesn't get to hunt whitetails locally, but he always makes it a point to hunt them at least once or twice a year somewhere. This year it paid off for sure.... [ Read Full Post ]