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Big Game

Elk Hunting Tips: The Basics of Long-Range Scouting

Next to deer, the big-game animal most whitetail hunters want to pursue is bull elk. They are big and dramatic, and so is the country they call home.

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Bullet Deflection Test

The bull is standing broadside just behind that screen of brush. Do you shoot through the limbs and hope your bullet punches home? Or do you wait for a clear shot, even if it means the elk might get away?

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  • July 8, 2014

    Elk Hunting Tips: The Basics of Long-Range Scouting - 0

    Next to deer, the big-game animal most whitetail hunters want to pursue is bull elk. They are big and dramatic, and so is the country they call home. Millions of acres of elk habitat are open to the public and offer free camping and hunting, no guides required. You can make your own elk-hunting adventure, but first you have to find the elk. 

    Unlike whitetails, elk can be here today, gone tomorrow. When they’re disturbed, they’ll run several miles and put at least two big ridges between themselves and trouble. But if undisturbed, they can be patterned, and that’s how you find them—even from thousands of miles away. 

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  • July 7, 2014

    Video: Backcountry Hunter Gets Extremely Close to Curious Deer - 0

    Check out this recently uploaded YouTube video of hunter Travis Schneider playing hide-and-seek with a buck and a doe. 

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  • July 3, 2014

    Bowhunting Prep: Proper Head Position - 0

    Here's a finer point of shooting form that often gets missed: is your chin level at full draw? Take a couple shots and have a buddy watch you draw and shoot. If you have to move around to find your peep site or if your chin isn't level at full draw … it's time to move that peep site or evaluate the overall fit of your bow. 

    If you want to consistently shoot tight groups, you have to practice repeatable form, and that includes your noggin.

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  • July 2, 2014

    Guest Post: Maine Bear Hunting Referendum – A Call to Action - 0

    Editor's Note: David Trahan is the Executive Director of the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine and formerly served in the state legislature for 12 years. 

    This fall Maine hunters will face a referendum vote that could ban hunting black bears with hounds, hunting them over bait, and trapping. In part, we're facing the vote because of a decision I made last year.

    In May of 2013, five Humane Society of the United States employees, including their Washington D.C. liaison, summoned me and Don Kliener, head of the Maine Professional Guides Association, to an impromptu meeting just prior to a public hearing on legislation LD 1474. It was a bill to ban hounding and trapping of bears in Maine.

    They delivered this ultimatum: “We have $3 million, and polling data that says we can win a bear referendum in Maine. If the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine will support LD 1474, HSUS will not submit a referendum to ban trapping and hounding. If the Alliance doesn’t support LD 1474, HSUS will add baiting to our bill, and go to referendum, and Mainers will likely lose baiting, hounding, and trapping.” 

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  • July 1, 2014

    Bowhunting Prep: How to Shoot a Deer That's Right Under You - 0

    Shooting a buck that's right under your stand can be more challenging than you think. As you can see in this video, if you want to make a shot at close range (3 to 5 yards) you will want to use your 30-yard or 40-yard pin. If you try to use a 15-yard or 20-yard pin, you'll likely hit low because the arrow is still traveling up to meet your line of sight.

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  • June 27, 2014

    Bowhunting Prep: Proper Shooting Form - 0

    As you start slinging arrows this summer, it's easy to focus on your groups and forget about practicing proper form. So, when your'e at full draw, instead of thinking about making the shot, take a tip from archery coach Larry Wise: Focus on transferring holding energy from your arms to your back. 

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  • June 26, 2014

    The Meat Bow: Strip Down Your Hunting Rig to the Bare Essentials - 2

    Competitive target archers are sponsored by bow companies and ultimately influence bowhunters. After all, it’s hard to argue with a guy who can consistently hit a bull’s-eye at 120 yards. But target shooting and hunting differ. Murphy’s Law haunts the woods. Wild animals and weather are unpredictable, so hunters should simplify their rigs.

    1) With all things being equal, fast bows are superior. But things aren’t equal. Competition bans rangefinders, so speed mitigates errors in range estimation. But hunters can use rangefinders. Therefore, a hunting bow’s quietness and ease of drawing trump speed.

    2) A meat bow wears a large-diameter peep sight for low-light shooting and has tough and simple sights. Multiple or single pins are fine with practice, but hunters have problems when they feel they must manipulate their “dial-in” sight for every 5-yard increment. Deer often move.

    3) Wrist slings are designed to improve an archer’s grip. But for hunters who shoot the same bow all season, they degrade accuracy when you add gloves to the equation.

    4) Stabilizers? Some dampen vibration, but all change the bow’s balance. Get used to your bow without it, and lug around less weight. Target archers use 4-foot stabilizers just as bench-rest shooters use 12-pound rifles. But at the relatively shorter ranges hunters commonly face, a 5-inch stabilizer isn’t worth its weight.

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