Ask The Experts

Right Arrow for Moose

Q I'm currently shooting a compound bow with a 70-pound draw weight that the IBO rates at shooting 290 feet per second. I normally shoot a 28-inch arrow with a 125-grain broadhead. What should be the minimum overall weight of an arrow for an Alaskan moose? --D.W., Fairbury, IL

A You should try for a minimum arrow weight of roughly seven grains per pound of maximum draw weight for moose. That would put you at about 500 grains or more with your 70-pound draw weight bow. If you want to shoot aluminum I'd recommend 2315s, and if you want to shoot carbon go with either Easton's Kinetic II or Beman's Carbonmetal Matrix shafts in their stiffest sizes. (If you shoot with your fingers you won't be able to use the stiffest size because it won't tune properly. The stiff size should be fine if you use a release aid.) Good luck. Sounds like a fun trip. --Bill Winke, Bowhunting Expert


Q Why do I sometimes get globs of line coming off the spool of my spinning reel when I cast? I've noticed that this happens more on hard casts. --J.S., Richmond, VA

A This can happen for a variety of reasons: old line, poor-quality line, overfilling the spool and not paying attention to how the line is spooling on your retrieve.

You must make certain there is no slack in your line as you begin cranking. Once your bail is closed, lift your rod tip if you see slack. Alternatively, pinch the line ahead of the line roller with your fingers, then crank until slack is eliminated. Harder, stiffer lines like fluorocarbons cause more problems. Some reels, such as certain Shimano models, come with extra washers that cause the line to wind more forward on the spool, which helps with stiffer lines. --Jerry Gibbs, Fishing Editor


Q I have booked hunts in Alaska for moose and Dall sheep, and I plan to take a two-gun battery. The advice I have been getting is to take a magnum rifle for moose and a smaller caliber for sheep.

Right now, I'm leaning toward the .300 Winchester Magnum for the moose and the .270 Winchester for the sheep. Would this be a good two-gun battery for all types of hunting? I'm also thinking of going to Africa in 2005. --P.R., Minneapolis, MN

A A two-gun battery is a very good idea, especially for an African safari. However, I think that the two calibers you've selected are so similar in performance that one could pretty well do the work of the other in most instances. Which is why I suggest a battery with more widely different calibers.

For example, the .338 Winchester combined with the .270 Winchester or the .280 Remington would be a pretty good all-purpose battery. Or if you prefer the .300 Winchester Magnum, it would be a great single-gun choice for Alaska, serving well for moose and sheep.

A smart two-gun battery for Africa would comprise a heavy caliber such as the .458 Winchester for dangerous game like Cape buffalo. Combine that with a lighter caliber such as the .270, .280, .30/06 or even the .300 Winchester Mag.

So why not do this: If you are on a budget, simply buy a .300 Winchester Magnum now, which will be a good dual-purpose caliber for the Alaskan hunt. Then when you're ready for your safari in a couple of years, buy a heavier caliber such as the .458 and you'll have all the guns you need. --Jim Carmichel, Shooting Editor

In the May issue in this space I offered a simple method for salting minnows. Reader J. Fluder of Blasdell, N.Y., wrote in with an even simpler method of salting fishing minnows.

A lot of anglers have found that fish--especially trout--seem to have a taste for salt. Witness the salt-impregnated soft plastics that are so popular today. Here's Fluder's tip. --Jerry Gibbs

Spread an even layer of minnows on several sheets of newspaper. Next, cover them with a copious amount of salt, and then let them sit for four to eight hours or overnight. Along with removing most of the moisture, this preserves the minnows' color and shine and keeps the bait firm. Put the finished product in Ziplok bags and store them in the refrigerator, instead of the freezer, for the season.

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