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6 Best Goose Calls

The 6 Best Goose Calls for Waterfowl Hunters

  • April 5, 2017 /

6 Best Goose CallsIf waterfowl hunting is as much a part of your life as breathing, sleeping and eating, you care about the quality of your goose call and likely own more than one. It’s easy to understand why: Luring birds can be tricky business and hunters need all the help they can get to return from hunting trip overloaded with water game. We’d like to help you choose a goose call that works so well, you bring back geese rather than stories about the ones that got away.

Your history lesson

When you’re out in a blind with time to pass, show fellow hunters that you’re more than a good sportsman by sharing some history about calls. The first designs were hand-made, rudimentary woodwind instruments that emitted waterfowl calls, but with time came innovation, like the ability to adjust volume and tone. After all, every bird has a unique “voice.” How far back to bird callers go? The answer could surprise you: they were commonplace in the Far East as early as 1678.

The first patent was awarded to a dude named Elam Fisher in 1870, despite the fact that another sportsman named Fred Allen beat him to the punch and invented his design 20 years earlier. Fisher’s biggest contribution to the hunting community are Tongue Pincher Duck Calls, but sadly, these required many refinements before they came into common use because the metal embellishments froze to hunter’s lips. So much for that idea!

Duck, Duck; Goose Goose!

Whether it was just more convenient to give his product the name duck caller or people were so happy to be able to purchase Tongue Pinchers, nobody complained that there was no comparable product on the market for the goose crowd, that all changed when David Fuller applied for a goose call patent in 1885.

It didn’t take Einstein to come up with the clever change necessary to attract geese over ducks: A single screw was removed from the barrel of duck callers, and voila! Calling all geese. From 1900 to 1910, the number of new calls on the market exploded. Manufacturers and crafters experimented with rubber, altered shapes and developed sophisticated groove and cork locking systems.

Wood vs. Plastic

When plastic came onto the scene, hunters realized that this material delivered louder calls that carried further than calls made of wood, so despite complaints about the price of some acrylic models, each found its place in the scheme of things. Many hunters develop a preference for one or the other based on performance and experience.

Acrylic calls are ideal for large, open areas, while wood performs better in a swamp or forest. Wood remains a nostalgic favorite and offers more variety than does plastic. Cedar, cherry, oak, persimmon and other exotic woods are used to make calls produced by crafters, hunters and sporting goods companies alike. Some are affordable. Others? Not so much. Variety? It doesn’t get any better!

The 6 Best Goose Call Products on the Market

We don’t have to tell you that shopping is a subjective activity, right? You have your own standards, expectations, needs and budget, so there is no “one size fits all” in this product area. Culling opinions from goose hunters who do more than hunt occasionally, we’ve unearthed a group of picks, one of which may be perfect for you. But if you happen to crave more than one, we want you to know that we get it!

1) Eastern Shoreman Canada by Sean Mann

You may wish to sit down before ordering the Cadillac of Goose Calls for two reasons: the price tag is steep and because this product is hand-crafted, getting your hands on one can be hard since they sell out fast, despite the cost. But what attracts hunters to this call consistently (despite the price) is quality of performance waterfowl hunters experience when they invest in this Sean Mann design. Innovative technology stands behind this call’s success. Don’t expect a traditional “flute-style” call; instead, you enjoy a variety of pitches that range from “snappy highs” to “throaty lows.”

This luxury goose caller is fashioned of exotic Bocote wood and comes in various colors. If you’ve had occasion to research opinions on goose calls, the name Eastern Shoreman Canada by Sean Mann will look familiar because this product is consistently rated at or near the top of preference lists for all the right reasons: durability, material, performance and the most important element of all: the success sporting folks enjoy when they compare this goose call to all others. Ready to take out your checkbook? You won’t mind it once you see how amazing this call happens to be.

2) Adrenaline by Field Proven Calls

Does the brand name look familiar? It should. Field Proven Calls has been around for 16 years. The company belongs to Field Hudnall and his designs have won international competitions, placing in the top 5 for 76 of 84 different contests. As host for Ducks Unlimited Television, he’s been around the block—make that blind—and demands perfection. You may find it too by making the Adrenaline your favorite goose caller.

While not inexpensive, the Adrenaline is fabricated of ivory-colored acrylic material so it has a smooth, polished appearance and feel. Lightweight and nearly impossible to break, this product has one feature you won’t find in the Eastern Shoreman: The Mark 2 Semi-worn gut system that delivers some of the most realistic goose calls on the planet. Designed for a variety of conditions that include field and water hunting, high wind days and times when you need optimal performance (including contest calling), this call wasn’t given the name Adrenalin on a whim.

3) Rich-N-Tone Goozilla Call

The fun name alone is sure to call out to you when you shop but it’s the affordable price that is likely to get you to take out the plastic. The Goozilla is part of the company’s Quackhead line of products that is immodestly touted as the only caller you need to bring “monster geese into shotgun range.” In fact, this product makes the perfect call for hunters just getting into the sport because it performs nicely and does so on a shoestring.

This medium-range call satisfies newbies who have yet to master the art of volume control but it also delights hunters who have trained themselves to moderate their breathing and can therefore maximize the impact of a single breath. Crafted of polymers known for temperature and weather tolerance, this clear call broadcasts best in the early morning hours when it’s quiet and just growing light. Keep it in your pocket, backpack or follow the advice of seasoned geese hunters and stick it into a shotgun shell holder so it’s always handy.

4) Bushnell Performance Optics 866 Honky Tonk Goose Call

Get style, brand excellence and low price in one popular caller package when you add the 866 Honky Tonk to your hunting gear. The Bushnell library is well-known to those who seek high-quality engineering and design that performs in the worst weather. As a matter of fact, when temperatures drop, even if things get frigid and you find yourself asking, “What the Hooded Duck am I doing crouched in the woods?” this call will keep performing while answering that question.

This sleek black caller is a short reed model that delivers a variety of tones, yet you won’t hyperventilate to sound them. Reliable and easy to disassemble for cleaning, the patented design will call out to you if style is important, but it’s your ability to transition from low moans to high honks that will delight you the most when you’re out in the blind. The brand is reliable. The cleaning is a breeze. And you don’t have to empty your bank account to purchase this handy call either.

5) Buck Gardner Canada Hammer

If just the mention of Canada attracts you to a goose call brand, Buck Gardner is likely already on your radar. The name of this call pays tribute to flyways along which geese migrate from Canada during hunting season. Brand fans like this goose call because it promises to “hammer away at geese all day long,” while not taking up much room in your pocket or vest. Nor does it weigh much if you wear your call around your neck. Known as one of the best goose calls for the price, you can perform calls, clucks and hails effortlessly from the get-go.

Fitted with a hand-shaved reed, devotees take pride in the fact that this is one of the rare hand-carved products on today’s market, so if this is your criteria, having an inexpensive price tag might just seal the deal for you. A weather-resistant brass strip wraps around the unit like a cigar band. It’s extra touches like this one that will make fellow duck hunters suspect that you spent more bucks on this call than you’re willing to admit.

6) Flambeau Max 4 Long Honker Goose Flute

If you love the idea of owning an Eastern Shoreman Canada by Sean Mann but you’d have to move out of your house after informing your wife about the amount of your purchase, split the difference and invest in a Flambeau Max 4 Long Honker Goose Flute. Once upon a time, flutes were the only goose calls on the market so if you love tradition, this may be your new best friend in the field. Capable of emitting long, deep, bellowing calls plus honks, moans and murmurs, the Max 4 broadcasts across fields, marsh, lakes and other terrain.

Made from a polycarbonate, the Max 4 Goose Flute may look like the brand’s original walnut model, but long after wood shows its age, this plastic call will keep going. Due to the length of this call, you can’t always tuck it into your pocket, but you can stuff it into a backpack or wear it on a cord around your neck. For price, weight and performance, don’t be surprised if you charm geese right out of the skies with this mellow-toned goose caller.

Pelican 1750 Rolling Shotgun Case

The Best Shotgun Cases on the Market

  • March 27, 2017 /

Hunters around the world can certainly agree that one of the most important factors to consider when you’re out on the prowl, or setting up for a good weekend of hunt, is your equipment. Hardware of all sorts is important to consider and pay attention to when you are thinking about your needs, and how to cater to the specific requirements that may arise from the length of your hunt, the environmental conditions, your prey, and the other equipment you decide to bring. The most important aspect of this, of course, is your firearm – and how you protect and maintain it. However, in making that decision, there is a MULTITUDE of options that can seem more than a bit daunting, so here’s the best guide we can on cases for transporting, and caring for, your best friend – the hunting shotgun.

#1: Needs

Obviously, if you’re going to buy a case, you’re going to need to buy one that meets your needs. If it doesn’t fit what you want or need it for, then what’s the point of buying it? There is none!

So, what do we consider when buying a case?

  • Is the firearm rare, expensive, or of high sentimental value?
  • Will it be transported via airplane at any point (Say, going on a hunting trip by plane)
  • Will it be put into say, back of a pickup, the trunk of a car, or at any point driven around off-road?
  • Will it be potentially stored in suboptimal conditions (Somewhere that isn’t fit for firearm storage, somewhere excessively cramped, or somewhere where it may have things fall on top of, or stacked onto, it?)
  • Will it be kept somewhere that people who may not be fully aware of the delicate nature of firearms, which would cause your case to require a sturdier enclosure and lock? (Say, in a house or the garage of a house that has non-firearm enthusiasts in it, that may accidentally mistreat your gun?)

If you said yes to any of the prior, you may be better off buying a hard-sided gun case for your shotgun. These cases are typically heavier and bulkier, but are also top-of-the-line in protection, as well as firearm security. If, however, you either said no to all of the prior, or it is just more to your taste, then you can always find great soft-sided cases for your hunting shotgun! Owners of soft-sided cases often note the vast advantages they have in weight, bulk (or rather, lack thereof), and stowability. They can even be used as a rest for bench-shooting

Further, when buying a case, you should consider just how many guns you plan on transporting. Are you only transporting a single shotgun? Or maybe you’re also planning on bringing a rifle, as well – or a couple of handguns? Depending on your needs, you may opt for a multi-compartment double-case.

#2: Cost

Now, this is very much a case-by-case basis. What do YOU want to spend on your gun case? Honestly speaking, there are acceptable soft cases as cheap as under thirty dollars, and acceptable hardcases under eighty. However, there’s also either that can be upwards of hundreds of dollars.

Every good hunter should know that the most elusive prey is, truly, a good deal.

But this doesn’t extend to cases – rather, a good case can, and honestly should, be at most about two hundred and fifty dollars maximum in this writer’s experience. Anything more than that and you’re probably paying more for something like a brand or some nonsense luxury rather than paying for more attention for your shotgun. That isn’t to say there aren’t great cases above that pay-grade that are worth their salt – there are, plenty even! But they reach a point where it’s not particularly necessary anymore. You could do just as well without spending the cost of your gun in a case!

#3: Storage

This is sort of a sub-consideration of point #1, but if you don’t have proper gun storage, it is HIGHLY recommended you DO NOT get a soft case. Soft cases are NOT made for long-term storage in any way, and do not provide the controlled and protective environment best for your guns. While a safe is optimal, it is not always available, and with the fact that locking a gun away is the most safe and responsible (as well as, depending on local legislature, potentially legally requisite) way to store your firearm, you’ll want something hard and securable.

So. What are some good choices to buy?

Well. Consider all of the previous, and take a look at the following entries. All of the listed cases will be available on Amazon.com, and listed in no particular order.

#1 Pelican 1750 Large Rolling Long Gun Case with Foam, Black

Pelican 1750 Rolling Shotgun CaseFeatures:

  • Waterproof, crush-proof and dust-proof
  • Easy open double throw latches
  • Open cell core with solid wall design – strong, lightweight
  • O-Ring seal
  • Automatic pressure equalization valve
  • Pelican cases are kept watertight through the use of a tongue and groove fit and a polymer o-ring.
  • Pelican cases come standard with an Automatic Pressure Equalization Valve which releases built up air pressure while keeping water out.
  • Stainless steel reinforced padlock protectors
  • Interior Dimensions (inches): 50.50 x 13.50 x 5.25

This case comes with foam that can be custom-cut to fit your firearms, is large enough to carry potentially two different firearms (including varying rifles or shotguns!) and is rugged as it gets. With four different clasps that can all be locked, this case can help you ensure your right to fly your guns wherever you wish to hunt, as well as keep them right and safe as you go! With the addition of wheels on the side, you can grab one-handle and roll it to cut your carryweight in half, and all in all the case is a good pick for those looking for a hard-sided solution to their transportation needs. Click here to learn more about this bombproof case!

#2: DDT Death Dealer Tactical Double Case

Features:

  • Holds 2 long guns as well as 2 hand guns
  • Removable shooting mat
  • Lockable closed faced zippers. Hideaway backpack straps
  • 3 large pockets in front for mags, cleaning kit ect.
  • Made of 600D Polyester with PVC water resistant lining

This soft-side case is a hell of a gun bag, with any features a hunter may need from a soft-side! With space for two long guns AND handguns, pockets for whatever you may need to bring, and a shooting mat that holds up pretty well, this is a good all-in-one transport bag if you’re looking to get a good amount of gear to your spot of choice all-in-one – especially if it’s a more local spot that would make a soft case optimal. The bag fits up to 40″ shotguns durably and comfortably! Find out more about it by going here.

#3: Allen Company Ruger Web Standard Grade Case

Features:

  • Classic black with Ruger print on the carry handles
  • Large zippered accessory pocket
  • Dense foam padding to protect your firearm
  • Rugged Endura fabric construction, made in the USA
  • Fits guns up to 46″ (46″ model) or 40″ (40″ model)

For the thriftier hunter, this incredibly inexpensive case covers the basic necessities of soft-sided transportation a lot of the extra price. While a bit short on the bells and whistles a more expensive case would typically offer, if you just want to load up your shotgun and get it where it needs to go, and do it without busting the bank (or your husband or wife’s patience regarding finances!) this will do the job EXCEEDINGLY well. You can buy it at this link.

Preference.

Now, there’s no accounting for taste. From hunter to hunter to hunter, one to the next, you’ll always find someone who doesn’t agree with something another said. What the first can think is the de facto way to store and transport a shotgun, the second may think is a bit incorrect, and the third may think is blatantly wrong. There’s just no telling. But equipped with the right knowledge that you need to figure out what makes sense for YOU, be it a hard case, a soft case, one with a lot of pockets and features and custom foam cutouts, or one that is little more than a strong, sturdy bag. These suggestions and listed ideas are just the beginning, and it may take some research, but the right case for you, and your shotgun, is out there waiting for you – So get out there and find it, already!

Squirrel Hunting

Squirrel Hunting Tips for Newbies and Experts

  • December 13, 2016 /

Squirrel in leavesSounds easy enough to just go into the woods and shoot a squirrel, or if you’re like me and have squirrels in your backyard, just go out there and shoot a few of them.

But there are things to consider. What time of year/day are they most abundant? What type of gun do you need? If they are out and about, where would you find them if not in your backyard? Is the hunt over if you startle your prey away?

Here are a few helpful tips when it comes to hunting these bushy-tailed critters.

To Sit and Wait or to Stalk

There are two ways to hunt squirrels. You can either:

  • Sit and wait for the squirrels to come out
  • Stalk your prey

There’s a good chance that you’ll be able to catch a squirrel unaware by picking a location you’re certain they’ll show up and just waiting. It sounds simple, but there are some issues with this method.

If it’s early in the squirrel hunting season, the nuts that they love to eat may not have fallen yet. This means that instead of squirrels being on the ground foraging for nuts, they’ll be in the trees cutting nuts loose, and they may be too high to reach with a shotgun. Waiting for squirrels to come down to retrieve their food takes a lot of time and patience.

Another issue with waiting for your prey to appear is that you must be in the right place at precisely the right time to catch a squirrel, or it doesn’t work.

If you feel like sitting and waiting for a squirrel to appear isn’t your thing, you can always go and stalk your prey. When the trees are in full bloom, it can be difficult to spot squirrels. But if you’re stalking them, you can spot moving leaves that indicate a squirrel is nearby.

Stalking is a hallmark of woodsmanship. It involves moving quietly through the woods, going undetected by your prey. Squirrel hunting is similar to deer hunting, with the only differences being the size of the target and the possible location of it.

Stalking is good for the young hunter. Instead of sitting for hours waiting to land the perfect shot, they learn how to sneak through the woods. It also gives them the chance to make more than one shot, helping them make more accurate shots later on.

The only disadvantage associated with stalking is that it may be difficult to see a bushy tail before it sees you. If one of the bushy-tailed critter are in the trees the foliage may move to let you know a squirrel’s there, but the squirrel may be able to see you just as well.

Fox Squirrel Hunting TipsListen For Your Prey

If you can hear cutting, or the sound of debris falling as squirrels feed on nuts in the trees, you’ve hit the jackpot!

The hunter should enter the woods quietly, listening for the sounds of squirrels jumping from tree to tree, gnawing on nutshells, and and wheezing to announce to all of the furry kind their territory.

Squirrels love all kinds of nuts, but if you’re hunting in September, squirrels will prefer beechnuts to all others. During the preseason, be sure to scout out areas that have beechnut trees.

Speaking of food, squirrels also love corn, and finding squirrels in corn fields gives you the advantage to see squirrels more easily because they’re on the ground. You may also have the opportunity to land multiple shots since their dens will usually be located in corn fields as well.

Shoot Precisely and Safely

When you’ve got your target, move slowly into position. The target’s small, so if you would like to increase your chances of hitting your target, it’s best to get some practice in before the season starts.

A point to keep in mind at all times: make sure you have a backstop. If you’re stalking or waiting for prey to climb through the trees, you’ll be shooting up, so if you miss you need to make sure that the bullet hits a tree. The same goes for when you’re hunting squirrels on the ground. Be sure you have a backstop if you miss the squirrel.

A head shot is preferred, but it’s understandable if you can’t make the shot, so shoulder shots will do.

Know Your Prey

Woodland squirrels and backyard squirrels are completely different.

Backyard squirrels are used to human activity, and have adjusted to our activities so much that they are almost “tame”. Woodland squirrels, on the other hand, are used to no humans nor their activities. One predator is just as bad as another to them, so their natural reaction is avoidance.

With that being said, sitting in your backyard and waiting for a squirrel to appear may work just fine, but it may not work so well in the woods. The latter may require you to quietly stalk your prey.

Know How Bushy-tailed Critters Operate

Squirrels are particularly active during dawn and dusk. During the early part of the season, squirrels will leave their dens at dawn to harvest nuts. They feed throughout the day, so there’s no need to rush.

What to Do If You’re Detected

If you’re stalking or sitting quietly in the woods, and you suddenly notice that the woods have gone silent and still, it either means that the squirrels know you’re there or that something else is there with you.

If you find yourself in this situation, look for a ridge that sits high above the ground, do not move nor make any noise, and wait for the squirrels to reappear. 20 minutes or more may pass before they reappear, but they’ll most likely come back.

Wait as long as you possibly can, and then another 15 minutes. If you don’t see them, then play it safe and move on.

Give Yourself Multiple Opportunities to Score

During the early portion of the hunting season you’ll find multiple squirrels in one tree, especially in hickory and oak trees, meaning plenty of opportunities to bring home fresh squirrels.

When you fire a shot, reload quickly, and instead of running out to get the downed squirrel, wait a few minutes. Many times, several squirrels will come back out and continue to feed (as if nothing has happened), giving you more opportunities for more shots.

Use the Seasons to Determine if Squirrels Will Appear Above or Below You

When the season starts, you’ll see squirrels in trees looking for nuts to munch on. As the season progresses, a good portion of the nuts will have fallen to the ground. During the middle portion of the squirrel hunting season, squirrels are now forage on the ground for fallen nuts. They’ll come out of their dens and onto ground by using fallen limbs and exposed tree trunks.

Be sure to let the squirrel get reach ground. A squirrel that’s just leaving its den will make for a poor target because they’re moving erratically. Let them reach the nut, even let them begin to enjoy their last meal. They’re focused on their meal, not their surroundings.

During the later portion of the season, squirrels are lazy due to a lack of food. With this in mind, they’ll still come out at dawn and dusk, but for shorter periods of time. In fact, hunting squirrels near the end of the season may be one of the best things you can do since food is scarce. Squirrels do not congregate when food is plentiful, they congregate and compete for it when it’s scarce.

Another way to gather more than one squirrel at a spot is to find a den tree. Den trees are large, twisted specimens that are full of holes, which offers plenty of hiding places. Keep your eyes peeled for dens that could be located in creeks as well.

Squirrel HuntingYour Gun Type Will Depend on How Good You Are

If you want to kill as many squirrels as possible in a short amount of time, then you’ll need a shotgun. A shotgun can shoot moving targets and it’s better at shooting through obstructions like leaves in the trees that are hiding squirrels. It’s also perfect for beginners.

There are a few drawbacks. One is that the range of a shotgun is only 40 yards. You can’t be too far from your target, but you don’t need to be too close either. A bushy-tailed critter’s meat shot at close range with a shotgun is ruined. The report is also much louder on this gun than a .22, which will scare away squirrels and any other game in the area, which makes the loss hurt all the more.

If you’re a more experienced hunter with good accuracy, a .22 may be what you want to use. The shells are cheaper than shotgun shells, and it can kill squirrels at longer ranges. It’s also quieter, causing less of a disturbance. You’ll also be able to use all of the meat.

Since bullets from a .22 can travel up to one and a half miles, shots should be taken either on the ground or in front of a solid back stop.

A Squirrel Call Could Be Helpful

Some squirrels can be brought out of hiding with a squirrel call. The issue with this is that squirrel calls are harder to make than turkey calls. Also, squirrels are probably smarter than turkeys, so they may not fall for the call so easily.

To make the call work as best you can, stay out of feeding and den areas. Travel corridors between woodlands and cornfields are perfect for these calls. This makes for a good situation for a squirrel call.

Usually squirrels use drainage ditches to travel between feeding grounds and their dens. Their home could be hundreds of yards away from feeding areas, opposed to most crop areas where the dens are usually in the same area.

Other squirrels probably won’t be alarmed at the sound of a gun shot if they’re not even in range to hear it, so more opportunities for you.

Taking to the Water May Be a Viable Option

Float hunting is really effective. Float hunting is hunting that is done in a canoe or kayak. Canoe and kayak hunters don’t move as much as when they’re walking, and float hunting in general doesn’t make much noise at all.

One of the big advantages of float hunting is that creek bottoms can contain some of the best squirrel habitats you’ll find. In fact, stream bottoms in secluded farming country may be the only place where you’ll be able to find a squirrel den in a broad area.

Some creek bottoms are so wet and dense with cover that squirrels are lightly hunted, meaning that squirrels will likely let their guard down in these places. If anything, they’re more curious than fearful of hunters in boats in creeks.

They’ll even scamper onto an overhanging limb on the creek and reprimand hunters with a series of screeches, making for easy shots. But be careful though: Don’t shoot squirrels that could fall into the water, because they will sink!

You’ll want to use a shotgun for float hunting. Shooting opportunities will be brief, and most of your shots will be aimed at moving targets. There’s no need to be choosy when deciding what shots to take. As long as you’re sure you won’t be hitting any buildings, roads, or people, you’re fine.

Hopefully these tips make squirrel hunting less of a pain in the neck (pun intended). Be sure to know what time/season you prefer to hunt in, squirrel den locations, what type of gun you would like to use, and whatever else you may need.

Keep all other tips above in mind, shoot well, and take care.

Reviews of the Best Laser Rangefinders for Hunters

  • December 10, 2016 /

Rangefinders use laser technology to bounce a beam off of a target. The device then measures the amount of time it takes for the laser to bounce off of the target and return to the point of origin. The target range is then displayed, usually on an LCD screen, within 1 second or less.

Modern rangefinders are so accurate, compact and cheap that there is no reason a hunter should be without one. Whether you prefer hunting with a bow or rifle, rangefinders can be an invaluable tool. They can help you quickly survey your surroundings when hunting in a new area.

Rangefinders take out the guesswork. This not only aids you in hitting the target, but helps make sure you get a good, clean shot. The last thing a hunter should want is to end up tracking a wounded animal. A good rangefinder can eliminate unnecessary suffering of your prey. They also help you avoid getting too close to the target and accidentally alerting the prey to your presence.

A good rangefinder makes judging the distances on steep terrain a breeze. Some of the best rangefinders offer features that compensate for steep angles. When aiming from a decline or incline, it can be much more difficult to correctly judge the distance. Once you adjust your sights to match the rangefinder, you will never need to miss a shot again. This can be even more helpful for bow hunters when you need to ascertain the correct angle to fire that arrow from. You’ll be happy to lose a lot less of those arrows too. A good rangefinder will even help you to avoid accidentally hitting obstacles such as a tree branch instead of that prize buck.

The more you use a rangefinder, the better your natural ability to judge distances will become. This is an often overlooked benefit of using a rangefinder. Even with the best equipment, at some point, you will have prey unexpectedly wander into your field of view. You may not have time to pull out the rangefinder before getting off your shot. With time, using the precise measurements of a rangefinder will allow you to better judge distances by sight alone.

Most of the modern rangefinders are light and compact. They are very affordable and easy to carry with you on your hunting trips. They can even replace other hunting equipment, such as binoculars. You get the magnification and easier view that binoculars provide, but with the added bonus of seeing the exact distance of your prey. Most rangefinders are nice and rugged. They should hold up to years of abuse on all of your outdoor, hunting adventures. This makes them well worth the money spent.

What To Look For When Buying A Rangefinder

Elk Hunting EquipmentNow that we’ve established reasons for owning a rangefinder, let’s look at things to consider when choosing one to purchase. The first thing to consider is the price and quality. As the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” Though that is true of rangefinders, there is a point where the benefits of quality may not scale exactly with the price.

The most expensive models will certainly be better than a budget model. There are, however, mid-level rangefinders that represent great quality for the price. For example, a rangefinder in the $400 price range will be much nicer than one that costs $100. One that costs $1000 may not be enough of a leap in quality over the $400 model to justify the difference in price. This all depends on what you have available to spend and what features you prioritize for your specific needs.

Next, you should be aware of the accuracy and maximum range of the rangefinder you are considering. Look for rangefinders that are rated to be +/- 1 yard. Anything more will not be accurate enough for the device’s intended purpose. The maximum range should be at least 600 yards, though 800-1000 is ideal. The magnification on top-level models is usually in the 6X to 8X range. Bow rangefinders may have lower magnification and shorter maximum distances for effectiveness.

The next things to be mindful of are the various special features you can find on a rangefinder. Angle compensation features are a must for using a tree stand or hunting anywhere that has steep terrain. Many models have low-light or bright-light image stabilization. This is handy when hunting in areas with variable light conditions or at different times of the day. Some models have varying degrees of water resistance. Some are even completely waterproof. This is obviously useful since the device will be used outdoors for extended periods of time.

Always consider what type of hunting you will be primarily using the rangefinder for. There are all-purpose rangefinders, as well as ones made specifically with bow hunting in mind. Archery rangefinders frequently have a vertical design, as opposed to the horizontal design used for those made more for rifle or shotgun hunting.

More things to think about include the display, size, weight and simplicity of the rangefinder. A good display is vital for being able to read the information quickly. When hunting, every second is important. You want a display that is clear and easy to read. The display must not be too dim to see, nor too bright so that it interferes with the line of sight. Hunting requires a fair amount of equipment. You do not want a rangefinder that is heavy or bulky. It needs to be easy to carry with you alongside of all of your other equipment. Last of all, a good rangefinder should be easy to use. If it is overly complicated, it is likely you will start leaving it at home more than you take it with you.

The Best Budget Rangefinders Under $200

Here are some good choices for purchasing a rangefinder on a budget. All of these models are under $200. They represent great value for the money. The prices are listed in the title of each model for easy reference. Prices are based on the most commonly-listed price, or an approximation of price averages. Many of the models can be found for less during sales or due to overstocking by specific retailers.

Simmons Volt 600 Laser Rangefinder with Tilt Intelligence

This is a great entry-level rangefinder for the hunter on a budget. It is packed full of nice features to help you in the field. The Volt 600 model by Simmons features their patented, Tilt Intelligence. This technology calculates the true horizontal distance when firing from an incline or decline.

The Volt 600 features easy-to-use, one-button operation. It has a crisp LCD screen that is easy on the eyes. It can display the distance in yards or meters. It’s accuracy rating is +/- 1 yard. When it comes to accuracy, it is right up there with the top models. The only downside is the short maximum distance it is effective for. It has 4X magnification and is effective up to 600 yards for reflective targets and up to 400 yards for non-reflective targets.

The body of the model is very light and completely waterproof. This is a great feature to have in this price range. The lenses are fully multi-coated. This rangefinder comes with a carrying case and a lanyard. It is backed by a lifetime warranty.

Wildgame Halo Ballistix Z6X Rangefinder

This model features state of the art, Angle Intelligence technology. This is comparable to Simmons’ Tilt Intelligence. It gives you an accurate distance measurement while compensating for any type of terrain. It is extremely accurate with a precision rating of +/- 1 yard. The Ballistix Z6X is water resistant and has a great LCD display.

The Z6X features 6X magnification and has an effective range of up to 600 yards. The device uses a CR2 battery, which is unfortunately not included. It comes with a lanyard and a carrying case. It is protected by a 1 year warranty.

One of the best features of this model is its light weight and small size. The dimensions are; 4.1″x3.0″x1.6″. It weighs in at a mere 5.3 oz. You won’t even notice this rangefinder in your pocket or gear bag.

Nikon Aculon 8397 Laser Rangefinder

The Nikon Aculon is another compact model measuring a slim 3.6”x2.9”x1.5”. It only weighs 4.4 oz. This rangefinder easily fits in the palm of your hand. Its light weight and one-button operation make it easy to use. It is water resistant and completely rain-proof.

One of the model’s unique features is the Distant Target Priority Mode. It will give you the distance of the furthest target among a group of targets. This can be very helpful if you are trying to measure a target that is partially obscured by another object.

The rangefinder has 6X magnification and is good up to distances of 550 yards. It features Nikon’s multi-layer, coated optics. They minimize the effects of reflection to provide a clearer view. The display is clear and easy to read. This model powers off automatically after 8 seconds of no use.

Great Rangefinders Over $200

These rangefinders are a step up in quality and offer more features. They are also a step up in price. They represent some of the best the industry has to offer, in terms of both quality and overall value.

Nikon 16228 ARROW ID 5000

The Arrow ID 5000 has advanced ID technology to find the true shooting distance. The Tru-Target Priority System allows hunters to chose from two modes. The first selects the nearest target in the field, while the second selects the one that is furthest away. Multi-colored optics provide a clear, perfect view. The model is also fully waterproof and fog proof. Bad weather will not be an issue for the Arrow ID 5000 user.

This rangefinder compensates for shooting angles. It can give good readings even with inclines or declines that are as steep as 89 degrees. It has a great display that is easy to see in any light condition. The display is simple and uncluttered. You can get the info that you need with just a glance.

The device gives accurate readings for targets between 5-600 yards. It is good for use with a rifle or bow. It is accurate to within 1 yard and gives readings in measurements of 1/10 of a yard.

Vortex Optics Ranger 1000

The Vortex Ranger 1000 is built like a tank, with a tough rubber coating. Underneath the coating is an even tougher, aluminum casing. It’s rugged, but they still managed to make it light and compact. It is fully waterproof due to o-ring seals that block out water, moisture, dust and other debris.

The Ranger features full scan and line of sight modes. It has Horizontal Component Distance(HCD) mode for giving accurate readouts while at an incline or decline. It gives precise readings for targets up to 1000 yards away. It has 6X magnification.

Anti-reflective coatings provide the user with a clear view. Multi-coating provides perfect light transmission. The model is very accurate to within 1/2 of a yard at extreme distances. It runs on a common CR2 battery, which is included along with a strap and case.

Leupold RX-1200i TBR/W with DNA Laser

This rangefinder is amazing for the bow or rifle hunter. The Leupold RX-1200i TBR/W has a great OLED display, is weatherproof for use in the rain and comes in a variety of colors. The size of the rangefinder is 3.8″ x 1.3″ x 2.9″ and it weighs 7.8 oz. It has 6X magnification and is effective out to a distance of 1200 yards. Leupold stands by their products with a comprehensive, 2-year warranty.

This model is extremely accurate and gives precise readings in 1/10 of a yard increments. It features a sturdy, aluminum case with a tough rubber covering. It has bow and rifle modes to display information specific to those weapons.

The rangefinder compensates for angles in rough terrain. It also calculates windage corrections out to 800 yards. Further settings options even allow you to choose from 25 different ballistics groups. The RX-1200i calculates the hold over range and drift parameters of the different bullet calibers to give you even more information before you take that shot.

Nikon 8377 Riflehunter 1000

The Riflehunter 1000 has ocular contrast to adjust to light conditions automatically. This aids the hunter greatly in ease of use. It features Nikon’s Tru-Target Mode that gives the user two options. First Target Priority gives a reading for the nearest target in a field of targets. Distant Target Priority mode selects the target that is the furthest away. This helps you to get a good reading on an object when a branch or obstacle it partially in the way.

The model is built with a rugged case that should stand up to years of rough use. It has a no-slip finish to give you a good grip. It is water resistant and can even be used in heavy rain. Nikon’s multi-coated optics are excellent for multiple light conditions, humid conditions and for fog. The bright LCD screen adjusts its display automatically for easy viewing in all light conditions.

The Nikon 8377 Riflehunter 1000 has an effective range of 5-1000 yards. It gives readings in 1/10 yard increments and is accurate to within 1/2 yard. It has 6X magnification and a wide field of view to make targeting easy. The rangefinder is compact at 6.9 oz and 2.9″ by 1.6″ by 4.6″ in size. It comes with a battery, neoprene case and an adjustable strap.

Rangefinders For The Bow Hunter

We have taken a look at a number of rangefinders in different price ranges. So far, they have been all-purpose rangefinders or those built with rifle hunting in mind. Here are some great choices if you prefer to hunt with a bow.

Bushnell The Truth Bowhunting Rangefinder

This rangefinder has a special Bow Mode and features Bushnell’s Clearshot technology. It calculates the compensated distance of your shot based on the angle from 7-99 yards. It can pinpoint line of sight distances up to 850 yards. It offers 4X magnification and is extremely accurate.

Clearshot technology gives instant feedback on an archer’s shot clearance. This is a great feature that can help you avoid clipping branches or other obstructions. With a simple, three-step process, you can even calibrate the rangefinder to match the speed of your bow through the sight system. Once you complete this process, the rangefinder will display a dot to show the highest point your arrow will travel.

The casing has a nice, anti-slip finish. While it isn’t fully waterproof, it is water resistant and should hold up in the rain. It comes complete with a battery, neck strap and carrying case.

Bushnell Scout DX 1000 ARC

This rangefinder can be used for rifle hunting, but is also optimized for use with a bow. This versatility makes it a great option for the hunter who likes to use a variety of weapons while on the hunt. It features a hard-rubber armor that makes it rugged and completely waterproof. It is also fog proof to give you the clearest possible view in any weather condition.

The Scout DX 1000 ARC has VSI (Variable Sight-in) modes for rifle or bow. This will calculate the amount of bullet drop you experience over distances. It will also show you the arc of the arrow in bow mode to help your accuracy.

This model is super accurate to within 1/2 a yard. The information displayed is precise to within 1/10 of a yard. It has magnification up to 6X. It’s range of effectiveness is within 5-1000 yards. These impressive stats are thanks to the E.S.P. Turbo-processor. E.S.P. stands for Extreme, Speed, Precision. A carrying case, strap and battery are all included.

Nikon 8376 Archer’s Choice Max

The Archer’s Choice has a measurement range of 5-1000 yards and 6X magnification. It displays distances in 1/10 yards and is accurate to within 1/2 of a yard. It is 2.9″ by 1.6″ by 4.6″ and weighs in at 6.9 oz. It has 18.3-millimeter eye relief and 3.5-millimeter exit pupil.

This is one of the best rangefinders in any price range when it comes to dealing with tough lighting conditions. This is thanks to Nikon’s Active Brightness Control Viewfinder. This new technology allows the device to work quickly in any light condition imaginable.

This model has a wide field of view to help you acquire targets quickly. The LCD screen is easy to read in any light condition. It adjusts automatically according to the light level. The optics are multi-coated for better views in low or bright light, as well as in humid and foggy conditions. It also compensates for shooting from inclines or declines up to 89 degrees.

Final Thoughts

With all of the options available, everyone should be able to find a great rangefinder within their price range. Just be sure to keep all of the previously-discussed tips in mind if you consider something outside of the lists above. Even if you see a good deal on a model that offers all of your desired features, it can be helpful to do some research. Before you pull the trigger on that purchase, take the time to read some product reviews online. Ask your fellow hunters what they use and how happy they are with their own rangefinders.

Hunting, like any sport, requires the best equipment to be the most effective you can be. There is an old saying that goes, “the tools don’t make the carpenter.” I suppose that is true, but they do make the carpenter’s job easier. The same is true of the tools that a hunter uses. A good-quality rangefinder will make your life much easier. It will be an invaluable tool for your hunting trips for years to come.

Hunter Carrying a Rifle

The Best Hunting Rifle Scopes on the Market

  • November 30, 2016 /

Scope mounted on a rifleHunting has quickly become a year round sport. With the amount of game that is available, outdoorsmen can literally spend the entire year hunting for some creature, whether it is deer, elk, or hog, so that hunting season never has to end. There are plenty of hunters that are taking advantage of the possibilities. They just need to make sure they have the proper equipment before they get out there on the field.

Depending on what you are hunting for, there are different size caliber guns and cartridges that are needed to be effective hunters. Scopes are also an important part of hunting with special hunting optics that have been designed to handle any type of gun or cartridge. This allows the hunters to be more successful as they hunt down their prey.

There are even hunting scopes that can now calibrated to specific caliber weapons that analyze and balance out the bullets arced trajectory. These scopes were created precisely for hunting in thick cover for dangerous game species. There are even scopes that have integrated laser range finders that show the range to the target on the inner part of the scope’s objective lens.

When one looks at the hunting scopes on the market today, and then thinks back to what hunting scopes used to be like, it’s unbelievable how different they are. Hunting scopes have evolved beyond their predecessors, so much so that you can no longer compare them equally.

Features to Look for in a Hunting Scope

Your first consideration should be what your needs are in a hunting scope. What type of weapon do you use? What types of ranges to do you hunt at?

Weapon Compatibility

If you have a powerful rifle, then you need a more durable scope, since a weak scope can be destroyed by the kickback rattling it to pieces. A small rifle doesn’t need a really durable scope, so this can save you money and weight on your gun. You have to consider if you are looking at a scope that has plenty of capability, but may not be necessary for the type of hunting you are doing. However, if you are using a more powerful rifle, it is important to find a scope that can withstand the rattling that comes with it.

It is even possible to find good optics that can be used with a pistol, bow, and shotgun. They are 1x optics that are used on short range weapons. They can lessen the time from the trigger to the target, and they make shifting to multiple targets that much easier. If you are using a nontraditional weapon that doesn’t let you use a normal scope, you can use eye relief scopes. Eye relief is the distance from the rear lenses of the scope to your eye. Some rifles need the scope to be mounted forward of the action, so this requires a long eye relief scope making the traditional short eye relief scope difficult to mount.

As you are shopping, if you find a scope with BDC, or bullet drop compensator, they were created for a special caliber and weapon in mind. Your bullet drop compensator will not be of any use if your weapon and caliber do not match your scope.

Magnification and Hunting Range

Your scope also needs to fit how you are hunting, and at what range. If you have a scope that works effectively to 300 yards, but you don’t hunt at that range, then it won’t be that useful to you. Most hunters find that 3 to 9 power optics are enough for their hunting needs. Others who are brush hunting or stalking may need something with lower variable magnification like a 1 to 4 power optic. Having too much magnification means you won’t be able to see your target, or, if you can, you may not be aware of what part of the target you can see.

Hunters that use long range obviously need a good long range rifle scope, so that they can see their prey as well as the area surrounding it. The level of magnification they needs allows them to see the small environmental changes, so they can decide on wind calls. At long range, you should be able to tell how the grass is moving, or the dust is blowing, so that the hunter has an accurate wind call. There are also laws on the length of the deer antler, and if you can’t see the antlers, how can you tell if it’s legal?
Reticles also help long range hunters easily make longer shots. You can either use a mil-dot reticle, or a bullet drop reticle. The mil-dot reticles are more universal than the bullet drop reticle, but hunters need to know what the bullet drop of their weapon is at varying ranges. Bullet drop compensators are specially dialed into a specific caliber, bullet weight, and barrel length.

Type of Hunting

This is one of the bigger questions that will determine the type of scope you need. How you hunt will completely effect the range and scope requirements that you have. You will need a scope that can be quickly planted on a target if you are hunting in the bush. A variable optic with both long range and close range settings is needed if you are hunting in the mountains or in the fields. Different environments need different scopes.

A wide objective lens on a simple fixed powered scope can be used well in a tree stand. It will collect and effectively use light, since your light may be blocked in a tree stand from the leaves above you, especially in low light. When that happens, you need all the light that you can get, so your shot is precise and effective.

If you are stalking, then you need to be fast, particularly if you are using a handgun. Short range hunters do not need as much magnification, although they may need lighter optics for specific reasons. If their scope is lighter, that makes their weapon lighter, and easier to maneuver. Plus, long eye relief or zero magnification scopes are easier for hunters to point their weapon instinctively at their target, and then in fact be on target.

Essential Scope Features

Hunter Carrying a RifleDurability is something that is essential in all scopes and hunting styles. Make sure your scope has the features that can help give it a long life. You also want to consider the features the scopes can have that will improve your overall scope quality, and what will increase your hunting satisfaction. Here are some features that are essential to your hunting success.

Waterproof

You can have different waterproof levels ranging from rain proof all the way up to Navy Seal proof. Depending on where you are hunting, this will determine what type of waterproofing your scope needs. If you are out in the marsh or swamps, you want a little strong waterproofing. Just hunting out in the woods? Then something simpler should work for you. No matter where you hunt, you will need some type of waterproofing. One thing to look for are O-rings with reinforced seals, and if a scope doesn’t mention anything about waterproofing, then that is a sign that it is not waterproofed at all.

Shockproof

Your weapon is going to feel a lot of shocks from being dropped and jostled, and from you running and walking. Whatever you are doing, your weapon is experiencing it as well, so if your scope isn’t shockproofed, and you drop it, it is now useless to you. Make sure your optic is shockproofed so you don’t lose your zero.

Fogproof

Since the best hunting time is in the evening and in the morning, you will encounter fog when you are on the hunt. As the morning sun is coming up, you will have a lot of evaporating dew, and as the sun sets, rolling fog can accompany it. Internal fog can develop on your lense, and that is not easy to get rid of unless the scope is fogproof.

Construction

Another important consideration is the materials that were used in making the scope. Is it constructed of polymers and plastics? If it is made of aluminum, is it air craft grade aluminum? Is it a single piece of construction, or multiple pieces? This will determine how strong the piece is, and if there are any areas of weakness. If it is made of one single piece of aluminum, for example, then it will have less failure points. It will also be stiffer, and less likely to bend, or to have the inaccuracies related to bending.

Lense Coating

Reducing glare and having a clearer and brighter image is the product of a good coating. There are several different types of coating, and, as always, the better the coating the scope has, the better the image you will see. You will see different coating ratings, and they have different meanings. What this means is that the coatings are on either one side or both sides of the lenses. It will also let you know how many lenses are really coated. This is a list of the different possible coatings:

  • Coated
  • Fully Coated
  • Multicoated
  • Fully Multicoated (which is the best there is)

Adjustment Turrets

Some turrets can be adjusted with a tool, a bullet casing, or a coin. If you have a short range scope, this shouldn’t be a big deal. Medium to longer range scope may need to have a dial. A turret should be easy to adjust, and the adjustment should be both audible and tactile. When you don’t have those clicks to count, you will have a harder time focusing. Also, these adjustments will need to match your reticle, and if you scope is in mils, but you have adjustments that are in MOA, you will need to make sure you know how to do the conversions.

Field Of View (FOV)

Your field of view is the area that you can see through your scope at the range of 100m from right to left. If you have a wider field of view, the better the result you will get. Your field of view will change depending on your magnification, so it will get larger as you decrease the mag and smaller as you increase it.

Loading a hunting rifleObjective Lens Diameter

The diameter of the objective lens will determine how much light you will have entering the scope, and how efficiently the light is transmitted to the ocular. The larger the diameter, the greater amount of light that goes into the scope, so you will be able to see well in poorly lit conditions. Each diameter size has bad points and good points, so the best thing to do is to pick the largest objective diameter’s weight that you can work with. Your average hunter will work well enough with a 32mm to 40mm objective diameter to convey enough light.

Tube Diameter, Length and Weight

The efficiency and portability of the scope is depending on its length, weight, and tube diameter. Most hunting scenarios should be ok with a one inch tube. Tube diameters that are 30 millimeters are stronger, and they can be adjusted using turrets. This is convenient when you are using shooting at long distances, and you are using higher mags.
If you need a lightweight weapon, then the length and weight of the scope are vital considerations. If you put a heavy scope on a lightweight rifle, the rifle itself becomes useless. You can find scopes that are as light as 227 grams, but the average weight of a scope falls between 340 to 397 grams.

Reticles

When you are looking at scopes, you need to find one with a reticle that is thick, and is easy enough to see in a lot of different situations at different times of the day. Reticles are pretty important for hunting as a target crosshairs can be easy to see on white paper, but not as easy to see on an animal while you are hunting. So, you need a reticle that is not only easy to see, but clear and large enough to catch your eye. You should be able to make a shot, and not have to make adjustments with the turrets.

Best Hunting Rifle Scope Under $1000

Vortex Viper Pst 6 24×50 Riflescope W/ Ebr-1 Moa Reticle

This Vortex Viper PST (Precision Shooting Tactical) Riflescope was created to consistently provide duplicating accuracy at tremendous distances in unforgiving circumstances and under duress. It has six models to choose from that include a choice of reticles for either the first or second focal plane. The Vortex Viper PST is created with a one piece 30mm tube that is machined from aircraft grade 6061 T6 aluminum to give you the optimal durability and rigidity. You also have plenty of room for excessive range elevation adjustment.

Nightforce SHV 4 14x56mm

The Nightforce SHV is one of the highest performance and well-balanced scopes on the market. It is a robust scope that is made of an aircraft grade aluminum alloy that has a lot of high-quality features including an optimally precise light transmission, a sophisticated 56mm objective lens, weather and shock proofing, durable construction, individual reticles, and reliable adjustment controls. It also has an awesome price at under $1,000. Keep in mind, because of its 56mm objective lens diameter it is a bit wider and bulkier for some hunter’s preferences.

Bushnell Elite G2

If you want optical excellence, guaranteed reliability, and precision engineering, you don’t need to look any further than the Bushnell Elite G2. Developed in the finest family of tactical riflescopes that you will find worldwide, the Bushnell Elite was designed with law enforcement and military feedback. Bushnell creates elite tactical riflescopes for the most difficult tactical shooting circumstances that you can face. They feature precise optics and blacked-out cosmetics, plus the Ultra-Wide Band Coating that increases brightness at both dusk and dawn. The Elite G2 also offers the Rainguard HD lens coating that maintains a clear view no matter what the weather conditions are. It is constructed with a 30-millimeter one piece tube that has the argon removed for the greatest reliability. This is one of the best scopes for long range delivery that also offers precision and superb visibility for the entire magnification range. It also features a G2 Designated Marksman Reticle (DMR) that has mil-hash marked with a First Focal Plane (FFP) reticle that is created for correcting holdover, ranging, and windage.

Aimpoint H34L Hunter Long Sight with Ring, 34mm

The Aimpoint H34L reflex sight is only one of the four scopes that make up the Aimpoint’s Hunter series of sights that were introduced in 2010. They were designed to imitate the appearance of a standard rifle scope, so it is ideal for hunters that move fast, or hunt for dangerous game up to 100 yards. It is also very useful when you are hunting at close range in thick cover since your magnification will be deficient, but the 2 MOA red dot reticle and a total lack of eye relief gives you accuracy of your target.

Unlike previous Aimpoint versions that were created for use with short and lever actions, the Aimpoint H34L was created to be used with both long and standard actions. It is specially created to endure the recoil that is generated from rifles. It also features a very large 39mm, objective lens that is multicoated with durable 34mm tube wall that is top mounted with a 12 position push button brightness adjustment pad. The Aimpoint H34L sight is completely waterproof that lets hunters go out in all kinds of weather, plus it lets you turn on the sight and leave it on for five years using just one single battery.

Best Hunting Rifle Scope Under $500

Leupold VX 2 39 x 40mm Rifle Scope

The Leupold VX 2 is a scope that has been trusted by hunters all over the world. It gives you a high performance experience with all the features that serious hunters are looking for. The VX 2 has finger-adjustable click windage, elevation dials, and tactile power indicators, plus when you are hunting in low-light, it has the clarity, brightness, and contrast that you need. Durability, complete waterproofing, and the Leupold Full Lifetime Guarantee is also included.

Nikon Monarch 3 BDC Riflescope, 3-12×42

The Nikon Monarch 3 BDC is created by the well respected and well known Nikon manufacturer that has had a long standing reputation of constructing high performance rifle scopes. Nikon features the Monarch series as their flagship line. The Monarch has 33 percent more magnification than the 3 9 x 40mm scope. It also features an extra-large ocular lens, the maximum amount of light transition, and a wide field of view. This is the ideal scope for those that like to hunt at ranges of 100 to 600 yards.

Nikon has created an optical system that gives the hunter extra sharp, extra bight, and extremely flat sight picture that lets hunters see from dawn until dusk.

Also, the Nikoplex duplex reticle gives hunters a straightforward aiming point that still uses Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic technology, as well parallax adjustment that is easy to reach and side focused giving you unrivaled sight picture from any angle.

Plus, the easy to adjust turrets offer 1/4 MOA click-stop moves that lets you hear and feel the adjustments as you make them, without recoil that will throw your shot off target. The positive click adjustments let you zero in fast and easy while maintaining your setting, even when you have repeated backlash.

Leupold VXR HOG 1.25-4 x 20m Rifle Scope –

Created with feedback from Brian “Pigman” Quaca, the Leupold VXR HOG 1 4 x 20 mm rifle scope offers the exclusive Leupold’s non-illuminated, Pig Plex reticle that is a specific reticle for pig hunting. It was created to give you fast target achievement, and is perfect for framing a quick moving hog.

The Leupold VXR HOG uses the Leupold’s Quantum Optical System that offers lead-free optical glass. The optical glass includes geometry that is expanded with a mix of Ze-max design software and Leupold’s own Zygo Interferometer that maximizes your resolution giving you precise and sharp imaging in any light condition.

When the mechanical aspect of the VAri-X system have been preserved, and the optical elements have been repositioned while using new lens coating, the Quantum Optical System will give you up to 94 percent light transmission for superb resolution.

Plus, the large eyepiece will make it simpler to find the right eye relief, and to find those fast moving targets. It will also make it simpler to see a full sight picture that will totally fill the eyepiece, making it the ideal choice for those that hunt dangerous game in thick cover.

Finally, it is easy to zero and focus this scope with the included lockable Fast-Focus eyepiece, the tactile power selector, and the 1/4 MOA finger click adjustments for both elevation and windage.

Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50 PA

The Vortex Viper 6.5 20×50 PA riflescope is a great pick for a beginner, or for those that hunt occasionally, but still want a quality scope. It includes the superb quality XD Glass that gives you precise visual output, a patented force spring system that steadies spring pressure and raises the strength of the erector system which lessens inconsistencies when you are aiming. It also has an XR anti reflective coating that lets you aim easily in bright conditions.

It also includes a lot of the nice features of turrets and adjustments, but a lot of them are more for show than they are useful. This scope is awesome for shooting with a default magnification of 14x due to the mil-dot sight that lets you guess the range, bullet hold power, and windage, as long as you don’t vary the power which will give you incorrect mil-dot sighting, and hard, irregular adjustments that you can’t do while you are on the field.

Nikon M-308 4 16 x 42mm Riflescope w/ BDC 800 Reticle

The Nikon M-308 gives you a large magnification range that includes an oversized lens which is a great feature for a heavy caliber rifle. Instant target acquisition is due to the quick-focus eyepiece, and the fully multi-coated optical system gives you bright sight pictures. The scope is waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof, and it has long range shooting accuracy.

Best Rifle Scope Under $200

Leupold VX-1 3 9 x 40 Waterproof Riflescope

The Leupold VX-1 offers an affordable, yet effective scope from the company of Leupold. It comes with a standard multi-coated lens system that gives you brightness, great contrast, and high-performance, with micro-friction windage, and dials for elevation adjustment with a 1/4 MOA click rate that are easy to set and then reset. The Leupold’s classic lockable eyepiece will keep you in steady and constant focus, while the waterproof 1” tube mounts that are durable no matter where you go. It also comes with a Leupold scope cover that for additional protection of your VX-1 when you are not using it, and it comes with the Leupold Full Lifetime Guarantee.

Nikon P-223 3-9×40 Matte BDC 600

The Nikon P-223 boasts a return to target turrets and zero capability. This scope gives you an eye relief feature for additional convenience, plus it uses a bullet drop compensator to help you when you are aiming over varying ranges. This Nikon product is one of the best options under $200 with clearer glass than what many of its competitors offer. If you have a rifle using either 223 Remington rounds or 5.56 NATO, this is a great option for you.

Nikon ProStaff 4-12 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope

The Nikon ProStaff possesses the Nikon’s fully multicoated optical system, and it has a very versatile magnification range of 4 to 12x. The Nikon ProStaff can help you make pretty much any shot comfortable for you, and its optical systems can transmit up to 98% of the available light, so you will always have the most brightness when you are in a low light, or low contrast, hunting scenario. For simple field adjustments, Nikon ProStaff uses a unified zero-reset turret that lets you sight like normal, and the lift the spring-loaded adjustment knob and rotate it to your zero and then reengage. You can make simple field adjustment by just dialing your subsequent ranges.

If you love the patented BDC reticle, so that you hold “dead on” at ranges beyond what you thought were possible, the BDC has unique see-through ballistic circles that give you a superb advantage during long-range shooting, and it also allows you a have a normal sign picture for those short-range shots.

The Nikon also boasts of liberal, constant eye relief, plus there is no more kickback. It also includes other features like the quick-focus eyepiece, nitrogen-filled, waterproof and fogproof O-ring-sealed housing, and the optional sunshade accessory. This is the ideal scope for hunters that like diverse conditions to hunt game.

Redfield 67095 Revolution 3 9×40 mm Accu-Range

The Redfield 67095 is part of the new Redfield Revolution series scopes. It includes state-of-the-art American design and construction. The Redfield 67095 features the Redfield’s Illuminator Lens System that mixes first-class optical glass and cutting edge lenses that have multilayer, vapor-deposition coatings that give you unmatched image quality, a larger field of view, and superb light transmission. Lots of research and design has gone into Redfield’s exclusive Rapid Target Acquisition (RTA) eyepiece that gets rid of the eye relief “sweet spot” that gives you fast and precise target acquisition.

Additionally, you will get your choice of a 4-Plex reticle or the Accu-Range reticle that gives you hold over points up to 500 yards with absolute precision. Also, AccuTrac™ adjustment system makes sure that you receive the greatest amount of repeatability and reliability.

Finally, the Redfield 67095 offers a lockable eyepiece that it is totally fogproof, waterproof, and shock proof. It allows hunters to go out in any type of weather, and use any type of firearm they want without worrying about creep.

So, the next time you are out choosing a new riflescope, make sure to do your research and look for those scopes that match your hunting style and your weapon. You don’t want to be caught with a scope that is too heavy for your rifle, or that isn’t the right type of scope for the range you are hunting in. Once you have determined your needs, with all the products that are available on the market today, you should have no problem find a scope that is perfect for you.

Quail

The Best States to Go Quail Hunting In

  • October 6, 2016 /

QuailAn estimated one million Americans engage in quail hunting each year. For many this is an autumn tradition, which spans many generations. For others, quail hunting is an occasional event or even a new pastime. No matter the category, all quail hunters are on the lookout for the best spots for the hunt. Quail live in regions all across the United States but are not as numerous as they were in the past. The following is a guide to the best quail hunting states in various regions of the United States.

WEST REGION

Idaho

Idaho is a rugged quail-hunting destination where hunters track their prey in mountainous regions through and canyons with 30 and 40-degree inclines. The weather is variable and quail hunting season temperatures vary from over 100° F to below freezing. Idaho is a good state for quail hunting as they are abundant, especially the California quail species, but a hunter must be willing to follow them through pastures, thorny thickets, and heavy brush. Approximately 70% of the hunting lands are public in Idaho, but the state operates a program called AccessYes, which allows public access to over 370,000 acres of private land.

Oregon

Quail hunting in Oregon often takes place on private land, as the quail prefer residing on an agricultural ground. The state’s wildlife areas have large populations of quail and Oregon accounts for the highest number of harvested mountain quail. Several prime publically accessible wildlife areas for quail hunting include E. E. Wilson, Irrigon, Ladd Marsh, Summer Lake, and Riverside Wildlife Areas. Because over half of Oregon is under the management of the Forrest Service and the Bureau of Land Management hunters enjoy abundant public hunting opportunities. The hunting terrain in Oregon can be hospitable in areas; being a mix of open range, rolling hills, grasslands, planted fields and creek-fed bottomland.

SOUTHWEST REGION

New Mexico

New Mexico quail hunting is strong again, as the state has made strides in recovering from a serious drought. Good quail habitat is plentiful, especially in the southern portion of the state where coveys of over one-hundred birds reside. There is a mixture of public and private land in New Mexico and the state operates the Open Gate program where Landowners allow public access to their land. In some instances, landowners may limit hunters to using their land as a thoroughfare to access hard to reach public lands. Participation in the Open Gate program is free to all properly licensed hunters. The terrain in New Mexico can be challenging, especially in areas that are more mountainous. Hunters can expect large swaths of grassland as well as desert.

Oklahoma

Local biologists advise quail hunters to head to western Oklahoma. Once there, hunters can choose from five Wildlife Management Areas specifically managed for quail. Sandy Sanders WMA, Black Kettle WMA/National Grasslands, Packsaddle WMA, Cooper WMA, and Beaver WMA provide hunters optimal hunting conditions with large numbers of quail. Additionally, hunters will find that most private lands in the area manage habitats with quail in mind. Local property owners use native grasses and shrubs along with strip disking, prescribed burning, and controlled cattle grazing to make ideal quail habitat in a terrain that features rivers, breaks, sandy soils, and rolling hills.

Arizona

The state of Arizona is high on most quail hunter’s list of dream hunting destinations and with good reason. The public lands that make up 60% of the state offer hunters the opportunity to hunt several quail species Scaled Quail, Gambel’s, California quail, and Mearns. The endangered Bobwhite makes Arizona a five species state even though it cannot be part of a hunter’s harvest. Arizona offers a welcoming climate for hunters, especially later in the season when other areas are snowy or frozen. The terrain in the region can be mountainous, grassy and savannah-like, rocky desert, or mesquite-lined washes, sometimes a mixture of all of these depending on the area.

MIDWEST REGION

Missouri

Hunters will find a large number of excellent public quail hunting areas throughout the state of Missouri. Large reserves are designated ‘quail emphasis’ locations and offer multiple points of entry, large parking lots, and easy terrain suitable for hunters of all ages. In Dent County, hunters have access to 2,000 acres of reconditioned forest and countryside that is reserved for walk-in only. Gently rolling hills and open grasslands are cultivated with vegetation to provide a strong habitat for quail and a terrain, which is hospitable to hunters. Because of the variety of wildlife in these areas, quail hunters need to stay alert for deer hunters and to avoid firearm and alternate deer season. The care and expertise given to the management of these hunting grounds ensures abundant populations of quail for years to come.

Kansas

Quail hunters in Kansas can chase large populations of bobwhite quail, especially in the south and east regions of the state where superior nesting conditions helped to produce high concentrations of the bobwhite quail. Scaled quail reside in Kansas but primarily occupy the southwest corner of the state. The vast public regions have dense quail populations dispersed throughout the state of Kansas. The state has a substantial walk-in hunting program, which encompasses more than one million acres of private lands that the state leases for public use. Kansas is famous for its flat terrain and while much of the state is a part of America’s Great Plains, the eastern parts of Kansas are forested hill country, which provides a challenging terrain for hunters.

Iowa

Quail hunting in Iowa is not as prevalent as it is in other nearby areas, and this makes the state a good choice for successful hunts. The quail population in Iowa is currently at a twenty-one year high, so even though Iowa has one of the lowest percentages of public hunting lands combination of fewer hunters and the increased population makes quail hunting in Iowa an attractive idea. It is worth noting that in Iowa not all public lands devote the resources to quail management seen in other states. Many of the conditions of the public lands make them fair at best with challenging terrains. For this reason, advanced scouting of potential hunting grounds is best. Southern Iowa holds the state’s best quail hunting lands, where preferred quail habitat, like woods, shrubs, fields, and pastures with hay are abundant.

SOUTHEAST REGION

Kentucky

Quail hunters have excellent opportunities for successful hunts in Kentucky. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources owns and maintains 46,000 acres of land in west-central Kentucky, the bulk of this land is comprised of salvaged obsolete strip mines. Reclaiming this land provided a vast amount of grassy, open habitat suitable for supporting quail populations. The Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources reserved 23,000 acres of this land for a Quail Focus Area, in 2008. A concentrated habitat organization and investigation project began in this area during 2009 and it has served to enhance and enrich the habitat of the Quail Focus Area for bobwhite quail. The program’s success has served the quail population as well as the quail hunters. There are no restrictions on hunting in this region, except for the proper license and a permit to access the area, which is required for persons 16 years of age and older. Occasionally, an area will adopt a quota hunt system to prevent overcrowding and to maintain the wildlife population. The majority of this region has a gently sloping and grassy terrain, this is in contrast with the eastern region of the state, which is forested and mountainous.

Georgia

Georgia’s quail population is on the rise and this gives way to good hunting opportunities, however, the state of Georgia has various requirements and restrictions for hunters and it is best to be familiar with these before setting out on the hunt. There are approximately 42,000 acres of public land consisting open fields, grassy areas, and open plains dotted with pines. Truly, a paradise for quail and quail hunters, however, the vast majority of these lands operate on a Quota Hunt Program. These exist, of course, to prevent overcrowding of hunting grounds and serves to maintain the quail population and prevent over hunting. The maximum number of hunters allowed to hunt in a specific area varies and the basis for it is that area’s game population, habitat, and size. Advance planning to obtain a place in a particular area’s hunt quota is necessary, especially given the fact that hunters receive their permission to hunt through a random drawing. The quality of the hunting experience typically depends on the weather. In Georgia, hunting is best in the early and the middle portions of quail hunting season. The key is to hunt when there is ground moisture; after rainfall or following a heavy frost are excellent times to hunt. Also, be aware that hunting on private lands in the state of Georgia requires written permission from the landowner.

Enjoying quail hunting may require more planning now than it did in the past, but the goal of the regulations is to maintain quail populations so future generations have the opportunity to enjoy the sport as well.

Reviews of the Best Binoculars for Hunting in 2017

  • October 1, 2016 /

It’s no secret that if you want to be successful as a hunter, you need to find animals. Spotting deer, elk, or any other animals across long distances can be nearly impossible with the naked eye, which is why most hunters rely heavily on binoculars.

The right pair of binoculars has an enormous impact on your chances of a kill this season. Our guide will detail the many things you should consider when making an investment in optics, and will give you some recommendations on the best binoculars for you to buy. Use the table of contents to jump around, this article is long!

Key Factors to Consider When Shopping For Hunting Binoculars

A binocular basically comprises of two telescopes. Each of the two telescopes features a prime focal length, an eyepiece, exterior front objective lens, focusing unit and an exit pupil. In their working, binoculars refract light through prisms, which magnifies the image of the object being viewed. A pair of binoculars that has a larger objective lens allows more light into the binocular. To buy the right binocular, based on your hunting needs, you should consider the following aspects:

Magnification

Many people are for the opinion that the bigger the magnifying power of a binocular, the better it is. This is not always true when working with binoculars. An increase in the magnifying power of a binocular will affect the size and steadiness of its images. The higher the magnifying power of a binocular, the less steady and smaller its images are. If you are buying the larger observation binoculars, you may also need to invest in a tripod stand for them. This use of tripods may prove to be a tedious task for some hunters.

If you are looking forward to investing in zoom binoculars, there are a few things that you need to bear in mind. The vast majority of zoom-binocular manufacturers do not make durable units. As such, most of the zoom binoculars in the market today are not waterproof and are not suitable for hard use. To increase the magnification you get while using hunting binoculars, you do not have to invest in binoculars with more magnifying power. Instead of investing in 10x magnification binoculars, you should consider buying a spotting scope. To make an informed decision, with regards to the magnifying power of these units, you should weigh the magnification against the objective lens diameter of the binoculars.

Hunting Binoculars Prisms

Hunting binoculars apply two main types of prisms; the roof prisms and porro prisms. Which of the two is the best? Well, this will also depend on a few things. Here is an overview of the two main binoculars prism types.

  • Roof Prisms – This type of arrangement requires the use of straight pipes on the binoculars. In this case, the objective lens must be in line with the ocular lenses (the objective lens is the front outer one while the ocular lens is the lens at the back of a binocular). This type of prism arrangement is commonly used in compound binoculars and often features two focal points for the straight pipe. The binoculars with roof prisms are comparatively hard to adjust to the right eye spacing. Additionally, the images delivered by such units are of low clarity.
  • Porro Prisms – Contrary to the roof prism arrangement, the promo arrangement uses offset tubes. As such the objective and the ocular lenses of the binoculars are not in line. Hunting binoculars with this prism arrangement are easier to adjust because they have one pivot point—the one that joins the offset pipes.

The Field of View

In most cases, the binocular field of view is expressed in FOV at 1000 yards. This ratio expresses the area of ground (in feet) the viewer will be able to see through the binoculars while at distance of 1000 yards. Purchasing a unit that offers a larger field of view will allow you to view a wider area. However, if you apply magnification, the area you are viewing will definitely appear smaller. This implies that the magnification of a binocular affects the field of view of the unit. If you will be using the binoculars in wide and open environments, you may need to buy a unit that has a higher field of view. However, many hunters prioritize binocular image quality over the field of view. This makes the standard FOV hunting binoculars a perfect choice by such hunters.

Binoculars Exit Pupil

The size of exit pupil used in any pair of hunting binoculars is primarily determined by the magnifying power of the binocular, coupled with the diameter of its objective lens. Situated next to the eyepieces, the exit pupil allows light through the viewer’s eyes. To see the exit pupil used in your binocular, you may hold it at arm’s length and observe it through the eyepieces. In such a case, the exit pupils will appear as shafts of light. It is possible to calculate the size of exit pupil used in any binocular. This is done by dividing the diameter of the objective lens used in the binocular by its magnifying power. This being the case, a 7×50 pair of binoculars will have exit pupils measuring about 7.1 mm.

The size of exit pupils used in any pair of binoculars will affect the amount of light reaching the viewer’s eyes; larger exit pupils allow more light to reach the eyes of the viewer. As such, hunting binoculars that have smaller exit pupils are not ideal for use in dim light conditions. Your choice of the right exit pupil size should be influenced by the amount of light in the environment you will be using the binocular. As a tip, you should compare the exit pupil in your preferred binoculars with the human eye. In this regard, the best choice is an exit pupil size that is more or less the size of your eye pupil. In young people, the pupils may dilate up to 7mm and to about 4 mm in the elderly.

Relative Brightness Index

Commonly abbreviated as RBI, the relative brightness index is an expression of how a pair of binoculars is bright—in relation to its objective lens size and power. This value is calculated by squaring the size of the exit pupils used in the microscope, for instance, the size of the exit pupil in a 7×35 binoculars is about 5 mm. The RBI, in such a case, will be 25. A relative brightness index of 25 or more is considered to be ideal for use in dim light conditions.

Anti-reflective/Optical Coatings

In order to enhance light transmission through binoculars, most of the binoculars manufacturers use anti-refractive coatings in their units. If you look into a coated binocular through the front objective lens, you will see green, blue and red reflections. These multi-colored reflections are as a result of the anti-reflective coatings used in that pair of binoculars. Binoculars optical coatings may be classified into five broad anti-reflective coating levels, including:

  • Fully Coated – in this case, all the glass surfaces in contact with air within the binoculars are covered in a single anti-reflective layer.
  • Coated – binoculars in this category have only one anti-refractive coating. This coating is normally applied on the last and the first lenses in the unit.
  • Fully Multi – Coated – in this case, all the lens surfaces—inside the microscope—that are in contact with the air are covered in several anti-reflective coating.
  • Ruby /Red – Coated – the binoculars under this category use a red anti-reflective coating. This type of coating is used to minimize glare when the microscope is used in bright light.
  • Multi – Coated – in such microscopes, only some of the lens surfaces inside the equipment will have multiple anti-reflective coatings.

Buying a binocular that has a good optical coating will eliminate glare and light loss. In this regard, binoculars with good optical coating are known to deliver brighter and clearer images. If your preferred binocular model is available in two models, a coated model and another model that does not have anti-reflective coating, it is highly advisable to opt for the model that has the coating.

img_0974Hunting Binoculars Objective Size

The size of the objective lens used in a binocular affects its image detail. Objective lenses of between 40 and 42 mm are considered to be ideal for any type of hunting today. While increasing the size of objective lens in a binocular will improve its image detail, units with larger objective lenses are more expensive and heavier. If you are looking for binoculars to use for hunting at night, you may need to get one with a large objective lens, preferably a 40mm lens.

The size of the objective lens used in the equipment will also affect its weight; the larger the lens, the heavier the binocular will be. In this regard, you also need to weigh your preferences—do you prefer a heavier unit with high quality images or a lighter one with images of lower quality? If you prefer a portable unit, the 32mm objective lens size is recommended. Again, you also need to consider your hunting hours in this regard, objective sizes below 30mm may only be used during the day. While many manufacturers today are making a wide range of binoculars with larger objective lenses, these tend to be comparatively heavier. The ones with smaller objective lens are lighter, but will not be as precise as the heavier units.

Binoculars Focus Type

The types of focus used in hunting binoculars today may be grouped into two categories:

  • Center focus
  • Individual eyepiece focus

If you are looking for a pair of binoculars to use for medium to long distance observations, the centre focus type of binoculars is the best. Binoculars with an individual eyepiece focus have tubes focusing every eye. To view objects at different distances using this type of focus, you will need to adjust the eyepieces accordingly. This option may be time-consuming and awkward in some cases. Most of the hunting binocular models using individual eye focus do not require any form of focusing for them to deliver excellent results. This is one of the aspects that make such binoculars popular among hunters today. Additionally, some of the binocular brands using the center focus are known to be very durable and waterproof.

Image Quality

If your hunting expedition takes long and you need to have your binocular on your eyes most of the time, you need to get a model that will not strain your eyes. As such, you should opt for the models that deliver images of high quality. A pair of binoculars that offers a fair image quality may be used for occasional spotting while hunting, but not for prolonged viewing. Getting a pair of binoculars that delivers a good optical quality and is highly dependable is not easy today. This is particularly the case when shopping for a unit that is also waterproof and durable. If these are some of the qualities you are looking for in your hunting binocular, you should stop contemplating on units prized below $150.

Over the years, some binocular brands have established their place in the industry–with regards to producing units with high image quality. Such binoculars brands include Leica, Zeiss and Nikon. With hunting units produced by these manufacturers, you will not strain your eyes in the field. Such units will not strain your eyes or cause fatigue, regardless of the period you use them.

Eye Relief

This is one of the considerations that some hunters tend to overlook. The eye relief factor is particularly important for hunters who use sunglasses and eyeglasses. The eye relief is the distance that you can hold the binoculars from your eyes, when observing, and be able to see the entire image. If you use sunglasses or eyeglasses, you should consider purchasing a unit that has an eye relief of not less than 14mm. Binoculars that do not have the eye relief or have a poor eye relief tend to reduce your field of view.

Waterproof Binoculars

Most of the binocular manufacturers today use rubber coating in their units to make them waterproof and fog proof. Additionally, this rubber coating makes the units easier and more comfortable to hold. Waterproof hunting binoculars are also resistant to dust and grime, aspects that enhance their durability. You can use the waterproof hunting binoculars in foggy conditions for extended periods, without worrying about the moisture penetrating into the unit. If you are currently shopping for hunting binoculars, you should get one that is waterproof.

Binoculars Weight and Size

The larger, full-size hunting binoculars are known to be very capable and effective. However, such units are also heavy—with some weighing up to two pounds. With regards to the weight of hunting binoculars, the amount of glass and other materials used to build the unit will affect its overall weight. When shopping for hunting binoculars, you should consider their portability as well. If you want a model that is portable and light to carry around, you should avoid the larger hunting binocular models. In this case, you will also have to sacrifice the performance and image quality.

Binocular Accessories

In some cases, manufacturers include a limited number of accessories in their binocular packaging. Some of the accessories that are commonly included in hunting binoculars packaging include body harnesses, cases and straps. The strap is used to hang the binocular around the neck, making it easier to carry around. The casing is useful in protecting the unit from scratches and damage. As such, you may use the casing to store your binoculars when not using it. The harness will also help you ease the weight of the unit on your body. In this regard, the harness spreads the binocular weight across your shoulders and upper body—making it feel lighter and easier to carry around. If you would like to buy a larger binocular model, you may need to buy from the provider offering such accessories for free with each purchase.

Design and Usability of the Binoculars

Different binocular models today are designed to be used in a myriad of conditions and for different purposes. As such, the different binocular makes and models have varying designs and features. For instance, the larger and heavier binocular types are too heavy to carry around. The design of such binoculars is specifically meant for use on tripod stands. If this is your preferred hunting binocular type, you should ensure that its design allows for easy use on a tripod stand.

Again, you need to select a binocular design that is suitable for the environment you will be using it in. As such, it is advisable to buy a unit with features that can protect it and allow for easy use within that environment and condition. If you want a binocular with variable eye relief, you should buy one with twist-up eyecups. By twisting these cups, you can alter the eye relief required. This feature is beneficial if you will be using sunglasses while hunting. In such a case, you will require different eye relief distances when wearing and when not wearing the eyeglasses.

Binoculars Brand

While this is not very important, it is advisable to review the various brands in the market and their countries of origin. When it comes to the quality of the binocular you are buying, there is no good or bad brand. However, some brands are known for their consistency in manufacturing reliable and highly efficient units. Other brands are new to the market, hence the reliability and durability of their binoculars is not yet established. Just as it is the case with other products and services in the market, it is safer to buy from the renown manufacturers with a proven track record—with regards to producing high quality products.

Customer Help and Support

In addition to warranties on the product you are buying, you may also need to look into the support system offered by the company you are buying from. Some manufacturers will offer you a lifetime warranty on damages–other than the ones caused by wear and tear—but are hard to reach when you need to file a complain. This being the case, it is advisable to buy from the suppliers with numerous contact methods. This way, it will be easier for you to contact their support team, if anything happens to the equipment.

Understanding the Numbers Used On Hunting Binoculars

There are various numbers that may be used to illustrate binocular features and capabilities. As a beginner, you can have a hard time shopping for hunting binoculars—if you do not know what the numbers mean. Some of the numbers used on binoculars depict the diameter of the objective lenses used in the units and their magnification. In most cases, these two aspects are expressed as one unit, in the order of magnification and then diameter of the objective lens. For instance, you may come across a unit labeled 7×50. For this pair of binoculars, the 7x indicates its magnifying power and 50 is the diameter of the objective lens in mm.

Another issue that can arise with the numbering is the fact that zoom binoculars and variable power binoculars have a magnification degree that varies. For instance, you may find a pair of zoom hunting binoculars labeled 7-21×50. In this case, the magnification is given as a range. It means that the magnifying power of the binoculars is between 7 and 21 times closer. The last figure, in this case, is still the diameter of the objective lens.

Some of the Best Hunting Binocular Models

Mentioned above are some of the aspects you should consider when shopping for the perfect hunting pair of binoculars. This being the case, the ‘best binoculars’ is a relative term. This is because different users will have different binocular needs and preferences. For instance one hunter may prefer a lighter and smaller binocular while another one may be in need of the heavier, high-performance binoculars. Regardless of your preferences and hunting needs, it is always advisable to purchase a pair of binoculars that has high quality optical features and capabilities. Currently, there are some manufacturers and binocular models that are more popular than others, in the hunting binoculars industry. Mentioned below are some of the recommended binocular models, based on various attributes:

_dsc3571Upland Optics Perception HD 10x42mm Hunting Binoculars

As far as great binoculars for a middle range price go, you’ll have a hard time beating Upland Optics. Their binoculars are very high quality, and are perfectly suited for hunting. The company focuses exclusively on hunters, a rarity in the optics world. Like many high end binoculars, the Perception HD offers ED glass, which has exceptional clarity and light transmission. They also have a carry case, neck strap, lens cloth, and flip up covers included. They’re built from incredibly durable materials that will withstand the stresses of a hunting trip, and have a lifetime warranty in case something goes wrong. I personally carry these binoculars in the field, and highly recommend them to others.

Leica 10×42 Geovid HD-B Hunting Binoculars

Leica BinocularsThe popularity of the Leica 10×42 Geovid HD-B binoculars may be attributed to the fact that the manufacturer produces some of the best and high quality lenses across the globe. Leica is also renowned for producing some of the best microscopes and cameras across the world. In addition to the high quality build of the Geovid HD-B, the unit also features most of the features and qualities needed by hunters today. Some of the features found in these hunting binoculars include a barometer, an inclinometer, a thermometer and an advanced ballistic compensation. In addition to these extra features, the unit is also fog and waterproof—attributes that make it more durable in such harsh conditions. And of course the headline feature of these binoculars is their rangefinder capabilities, eliminating the need to carry multiple devices in the field.

Eagle Optics Shrike 8×42 Shk-4208 Binoculars

If you are looking for a pair of binoculars that is reliable, efficient and relatively affordable, you should consider buying the Eagle Optics Shrike 8×42 Shk-4208 pair of binoculars. Priced below $200, these binocular is precise and durable. The Eagle optics shrike also features a rubber band, which makes the binocular waterproof and comfortable to handle. These binoculars are some of the affordable units with optical coating on their lenses. In this regard, the Eagle optics shrike Shk-4208 has fully multi-coated lens, which is one of the reasons why it delivers high quality images. Additionally, the binoculars have adjustable eyecups and can withstand harsh weather conditions. The availability of eye cups on the binoculars means that you can adjust the eye relief.

Such features suggest that these binoculars are specifically designed to offer comfortable vision and deliver high quality images. As a result, a considerable number of hunters are buying these units today. Another benefit associated with these binoculars is that they may be used with a tripod stand. In this case, you will be required to use an adapter. However, you will have to buy the tripod and the adapter separately. According to the users who have purchased these units, the binoculars offers a good value for price, has the right weight and size and delivers impressive image quality and clarity.

Vortex Optics Viper HD 10×42

The Vortex Optics Viper HD 10×42 is one of the top rated units in its line. The popularity of the unit among hunters today may be attributed to the many features it has to offer. For instance, the binoculars are fitted with an O-ring, which helps prevent water and debris from penetrating the unit. This feature not only makes the unit water and fog proof, but also prevents it from damage caused by those elements. Another impressive feature offered by these binoculars is a rubberized body, which makes the units easy and comfortable to handle. With regards to image quality, the unit delivers high quality and clear images. This is partly because the binoculars are fully multi-coated and feature extra-low dispersion, high-density glass.

The unit has received numerous positive reviews from its users, most of which touch on its impressive grip. While some of its users claim that the unit is a bit heavier than other models within this category, the manufacturer includes a comfortable neck strap in its package. This helps with weight distribution, making the unit feel lighter than it actually is. Other extras included in the packaging of this unit include a rain guard and a carry case that is deluxe padded.

The Vortex Optics Viper HD 10×42 beats the game when it comes to customer reviews, as there are many buyers who claim that the rubberized body and comfortable grip of this alternative cannot be matched by any other one. Some individuals have mentioned that this model might be a little heavier than expected, and that it has a smaller field of view compared to others.

Vanguard Endeavor ED 8×42 Binoculars

The Vanguard Endeavor Ed is one of the best 8×42 binoculars today. Many buyers love these units because of the vast array of features they present. For one, the units are water and fog proof. Additionally, the units have 3-stage twist eyecups. This feature allows the units to offer one of the longest eye relief distances in the industry. It also features fully multi-coated lenses, which play a significant role towards delivering high quality images.

With a magnifying power of 8x and objective lens measuring 42mm in diameter, the model can deliver a field of view of 367 feet/1000 yards. The weight of the binoculars is about 25.8 ounces and can deliver a variable eye relief distance of up to 19 mm. with regards to the clarity and quality of images; this is one of the units that will offer you impressive results. As a matter of fact, most of the hunters who have used the system in the past praise its optical capabilities.

Vanguard Spirit XF 10×42

The Vanguard Spirit XF 10×42 binocular is perfect for nearly all forms of hunting, ranging from stalking white tails to duck hunting. The binoculars are fairly priced and can deliver impressive image quality and clarity in various hunting environments. The binocular features a body design that is appealing and is light enough to carry with one hand. Although this binocular is light weight—weighing about 23.5oz—it delivers outstanding performance. Some of the spectacular aspects of this unit include a wide field of view at 332 feet. When hunting for a deer, you should be able to scan a wider area because these animals can be elusive sometimes. In this regard, the Vanguard Spirit XF 10×42 binocular will come in handy. The binoculars are specifically made for the hunters who spend much of their time stalking their prey and move a lot within their hunting environment.

The Nikon 8248 ACULON Hunting Binocular

This is another hunting binocular that is very popular among binoculars buyers today. Many of the available reviews on the Nikon 8248 ACULON A211 10×50 praise the optical capabilities of the unit. At an affordable price, you will have a 50mm objective lens—which is better than what most of its competitors are currently offering. As such, the Aculon may be used in low light conditions and still deliver images of high quality. Although these binoculars are some of the best hunting binoculars today, they are comparatively heavy. As such, you may need to purchase a harness and a neck strap to use with the unit. The unit is ideal for hunters who spend much of their hunting time hiding and stalking their prey.

Steiner Predator Premium Binoculars

This is a premium class of binoculars made in Germany. As such, you should expect to pay more for these units. However, they are actually worth every penny; they are light weight and deliver some of the best images in the binoculars industry. The binocular is perfect for big game hunting in the west and trailing white tails. The Predator binocular is ideal for low light viewing and features a focusing wheel that is extremely easy to handle. In this regard, the binocular may also be used for such activities as turkey hunting and bow hunting. The unit also uses the CAT (colour adjusted transmission) type of coating by the manufacturer. This technology allows the prey to ‘stand out’ from its surrounding as soon as it comes to view. If you are willing to pay the high price, this binocular is one of the best hunting binoculars in the market today.

Conclusion

Prior to buying any binoculars model in the market today, it is highly advisable that you go through user reviews on the product. This will give you insight into how good or bad the unit is. You may also need to look at the manufacturer’s terms and conditions on your preferred binocular before buying it. With such considerations in place, you will be in a better position to buy a binocular that will meet your requirements and serve you for a log period. Regardless of your preferences, the hunting binocular models mentioned above are some of the best for your hunting expeditions.

Male Hog

44 Hog Hunting Tips for a Safe, Successful Hunt

  • September 12, 2016 /

Male HogIn some southern states, hog hunting has become incredibly popular due to the increase in the hog population. They’re aggressive animals. They breed incredibly quick, and they can threaten livestock and farm crops. With the high breeding rate of the animals, some states like Texas have millions of hogs threatening local farms. Feral hog hunting is a dangerous sport, but it’s become necessary to reduce the population. In some states, the sport isn’t regulated at all because of the very real need to reduce the amount of hogs.

If you’re thinking about hunting hogs, these tips should help you on your journey. Even experienced hunters will need tips for dealing with these aggressive and dangerous animals. With their sharp tusks and mean attitude, they can be deadly creatures. They’re also incredibly intelligent, which makes them even more dangerous. When they are hit, they can play dead until a hunter gets within range of attack, or they can run and hide in the woods nearby waiting for the hunter to lower his guard.

There are so many hogs that hunters are being encouraged to hunt for hogs in the overpopulated areas. When hunters in states like Texas purchase a hunting license and the annual permit, they will receive information on the local area as well as maps and legal box descriptions for hunting.

Hunt Where There’s a Huge Population

1. Texas Licensing

With an estimated 2.6 million feral hogs, this can be a great place for hunting hogs. You’ll need a general hunting license to head out into public land for these animals. You don’t have to worry about hog season since it’s year-round, but you can’t night hunt with a spotlight without the game warden’s permission.

2. Louisiana Licensing

There are approximately half a million feral hogs across the entire state, which will make it more of a challenge than Texas for hunting. This state has legal shooting hours for taking down hogs. During day, there are no restrictions on hunting, but at night, there are a few restrictions. The hunter only needs to have a general hunting license for the state.

3. Florida Licensing and Hunting

Hogs are seen in all of the counties within Florida, and it’s the second most hunted animal there. Hogs can be hunted in any season except turkey season in the spring. Like the other states listed, Florida and it’s sixty-seven counties requires a general hunting license for those who plan on heading out in the woods to track hogs.

Tips for Beginner Hog Hunters

Detect and Track Hogs

4. Rooting Tracks

Hogs will use their noses to root through foliage and vegetation to find food. Detecting their rooting behaviors in a certain area will allow you to find them easily. You can look for uprooted soil where the hog has used its nose to dig up food. They compete with other animals to find pecans, acorns and other plant-life like corn in fields.

5. Wallowing

Hogs like to dig in the mud near lakes, ponds and water holes to wallow, which helps to keep them cool. Once they’ve wallowed in the mud cooling themselves, they’ll rub themselves on trees, fallen logs or poles to remove the mud from their bodies along with hair and parasites.

6. Tracks and Signs

Similar to deer, you’ll be able to find hogs by their tracks, which will be wider and rounder than deer. If you’re following prints, there will be a dew claw that will register the track wider than that of a deer. Hogs can leave behind feral hog rubs on trees and poles, which can be a sure sign of hogs in the area. The rubs are blackened areas on the pole from the hog rubbing itself against it.

Use Calls

7. Predator Sounds

You can manipulate the aggressive nature of these animals to your advantage by using calls that mimic predators. They won’t shy away from chasing a predator, and it’ll bring feral hogs out into the open. They’ll respond quickly, so be sure you’re ready when you make the call.

8. Baby Pigs in Distress

Along with being aggressive, they are incredibly protective of their young piglets. A call that uses the sound of pigs in distress will likely bring a sow running. If they think their young are in trouble, they can often charge recklessly towards the sound.

Hog Hunting with Dogs

Training Dogs

9. Begin Early

It’s best to start training hog dogs early when they’re just 3 to 4 months old. Let them see a pig from outside the pen first. When your dog becomes excited to see the pig each day, that’s when the training can begin.

10. Hogs Their Size

Once you’re ready to start training, use a hog that is smaller than the size of your dog. You don’t want the puppy to lose confidence. Tease the dog with the pig to get them excited and aggressively wanting to go after the hog.

11. Release

One of the most important parts of dog training is teaching them to release. You want the dog to release as soon as you’re ready to take care of the hog yourself. Use a rope or other item and teach it a command to release.

Best Types of Hunting Dogs

12. Rhodesian Ridgebacks

These dogs were bred in South Africa to distract lions during hunts. If they can distract lions, they can certainly distract feral hogs. They’re very smart and have great detection skills.

13. Bulldogs

This breed of dog is considered a classic catch dog, and they’ve had a history of being great hog catchers in the southern parts of the U.S. The best choices in dogs are the ones that can hold their own in a fight with a hog. While most hunters will have more than a few dogs in their pack, each dog must be able to hunt and defend themselves.

14. Pit Bulls

The pit bull has a reputation that makes people consider them unsafe around children. While this may be true or not depending on the animal, they do make great dogs for hog hunting.

15. Training Bay or Catch Dogs

You’ll need to decide what kind of dogs you want to train. Some good tracking dogs will be able to bay when they catch scent of a hog, they might not be the best dogs to chase down and capture a feral hog out in the wild. This process involves some research.

Protecting Your Dogs

16. Dangerous Work

The work of a hunting dog is dangerous when they’re catching feral hogs. The same tusks and teeth that could hurt a human will absolutely hurt a dog. Make sure they are properly trained before bringing them hog hunting. They should never be brought out to a hunt unless they’re able to defend themselves. They can learn from an older, experienced dog too.

17. Vests

Getting the proper equipment for your dog is vital for their survival. Vests can perform double duty since they can be used for detection during night hunts and for protection too. Kevlar vests will protect a dog from a wild hog’s aggressive attacks.

18. Neck Protectors

A gouge to a hunting dog’s neck could nick an important artery. Protecting the dog’s neck can mean the difference between life or death for the canine, so buying a neck protector is vital for the hunt.

Tips for Night Hog Hunting

19. Use Food

In the summer, feral hogs will often wait until sunset to start hunting for food. You can set and stake out the food to catch them from a nearby blind. Flashing red lights on the feeding area can help you see at night without ruining your night vision.

20. Examine Tracks

Often, the route to and from a feral hogs sleeping area will exist of tunnels through the brush. If you can stay downwind of the hogs, you might be able to stake out their sleeping area. When they come back from a night hunt, you’ll be able to ambush them.

21. Night Vision

Whether it’s night-vision binoculars or a night-vision scope, hunting at night can’t be done easily without one of them. There are some restrictions to the type of light that can be used while hunting hogs at night, so make sure you’ve checked with the game warden in the area before heading out at night.

22. Light on Feeders

Along with lights on your weapon, consider a light on the bottom of a hog feeder. It’ll help illuminate the scene when there’s a hog close, which acts as an alert, so you can get ready. Lights with motion-detection don’t have to be bright blinding lights, they can help you illuminate the scene to take down the hog while you’re in shooting distance.

Weapons to Use for Hunting

23. Gun Silencers

When you don’t use a silencer on your gun, you risk scattering the other hogs in the area. This is especially bad when you’ve been in your stand waiting for them to come back from night feeding. You’ll have lost the opportunity to shoot more than one hog. In some cases, you risk angering other hogs in the area who will wait and try to ambush you. Hogs are incredibly intelligent and aggressive. They might scatter only to wait for you to show yourself and attack.

24. The Right Knife

The knife that you choose to bring with you on a hog hunt should be long and able to puncture the thick hide of the hog. It should be at least 8 inches and feature a non-slip grip. The blade material should be rigid and have a sharp point.

Dangers in Hog Hunting

Family of Wild Hogs25. Hunt with a Partner

While you don’t have to be in the same location, you should be within radio call or cell phone distance depending on service availability. A two-way radio is a reliable method of communication between you and your partner in case of emergency. You shouldn’t be having meaningless conversations to pass the time, but you might need your buddy if there’s a problem.

26. Never Approach Wounded Hogs

A wounded hog is still a serious danger, and the pain can make them unpredictable. You may think the wounded animal will retreat, and it could attack instead. Other animals might have heard the call of the wounded, which could make the area extremely dangerous too.

27. Have an Escape

When using a call or the scent of a hog to bring in a target, you should be prepared to have an escape if things get out of hand quickly. While you will be waiting for the hog’s approach, they still might catch you unaware due to their pure speed. Have a place to climb like large rocks or a tree.

General Tips

What to Bring

28. Weapon

Choosing between weapons is mostly a personal choice. Some hunters prefer to use a deer rifle with a scope while others like a larger caliber gun. The weapon should always have a night scope if you plan on hunting feral hogs at night.

29. Ammo

Hunters of feral hogs should understand that they’ll need to place the bullet in a small, tight range near the shoulder as compared to a deer. They’re tough too. Many hunters compare a wild, feral hog to a large elk except in a smaller, squatter body. Make sure you have ammo that will penetrate while giving you great control.

30. Hog Urine

You’ll want to ensure that you’re not alerting the hogs to your presence. Hog urine should be used in moderation.

31. Medical Supplies

You should always have a medical first-aid kit in your pack. This should include bandages for your dogs as well as yourself. They’re risking their lives to bring down a hog, and they might need medical care out in the field.

32. Hog Hobbles

If you plan on bringing the hog out of the wild alive, you’ll need hog hobbles to ensure that you won’t be injured in the process.

33. GPS Tracking Dog Collars

Dogs and hogs are both lightning quick, so you might not always be able to follow right behind your canines. That means you’ll have to be able to find and get to them quickly before they can be in serious danger from the hogs.

34. Disposable Gloves

When butchering and cooking a hog, you should observe safe food handling procedures to ensure that you don’t end up with a serious problem. Wear disposable gloves when dealing with the blood of the hog.

What to Watch for When Hog Hunting

35. Diseases

Avoid contact with dead hogs since they can carry illnesses. Wild, feral hogs can also carry disease too. One of those diseases is brucelllosis. It can be passed to humans through contact with blood or tissue from the hog carrying the disease. They can also carry pseurdorabies, which is fatal to livestock and pets. Animals with the disease will scratch and bite themselves viciously. Be aware of the signs, and throw out the carcass carefully after the kill.

36. Parasites

Another problem with hogs is that they carry parasites like roundworm. You’ll be able to see worms in the droppings of the animal where you’re hunting or tracking them.

De-Scenting before a Hog Hunt

37. Remove Synthetic Smells

Some scents are overpowering to animals including synthetic smells like those found in colognes, perfumes, dyes and detergents.

38. Washing Hunting Clothes

You’ll leave trace amounts of smells and chemicals when washing clothes in a public washer and dryer. Make sure you’re using your own washer. Run the washing machine with hot water only to remove the chemicals. Wash your hunting clothes with baking soda, which will get them clean without leaving trace scents. Avoid using the dryer. Instead, leave your gear to dry outside on the line.

39. Deodorants

A few days before your hunt, avoid using chemical deodorants. You can purchase natural alternatives in health food stores. In some areas, a sporting goods store will be able to provide natural alternatives to soaps and chemical deodorants too.

40. Watch What You Eat

Spicy and strong-smelling foods like curry and garlic should be avoided before a hunt. Hot sauce and onions as well as some processed meats can leak scent into the pores of the skin while sweating.

41. Rubbing Your Clothes with Dirt

When you head into the hunt zone, you can stick your outwear into the dirt to gather a natural scent that should help mask your more human odors.

Adding Scent to Your Body, Clothing and Supplies

42. Around the Campfire

If you spend a few days in the woods, you might smell like you belong, but you’ll still need to cook and the rest of your gear might have a trace chemical smell. You can surround your camp with the smell of hog urine or other scent substitutes.

43. Bug Repellent

You’ll need to keep ticks and mosquitoes away from you while you’re out in the woods, but you’ll need natural-smelling repellents that won’t ruin your de-scenting procedures. Check with your local sporting goods store for natural repellents.

44. Urination Pouches

One of the best ways to remove the scent of your pee is to use a pouch that has gel inside it to catch the odors as well as the urine itself. The scent of urine is pretty strong, and it’s why you’ll be using the hog’s urine to keep the hog from smelling you even after you spend time de-scenting yourself and your supplies.

Feral hog hunting can be an extreme challenge for the most experienced hunters. While beginner’s shouldn’t be discouraged to try hog hunting, they should follow these tips to be safe while hunting these aggressive, intelligent creatures.

Coyote in the Forest

The Best Coyote Calls for Bringing in Dogs

  • September 10, 2016 /

Coyote in the ForestThe act of calling predators doesn’t have to be complicated. Some hunters prefer to use mouth-blown calling devices, but in many situations, they can be very inconvenient. They’re also not quite as versatile as electronic callers. To use a mouth-blown device, you must blow extremely hard, so it can leave you gasping for air, which is a problem.

Electronic coyote calls operate using recorded sounds and can be operated with a remote control. When compared to their mouth-blown counterparts, electronic coyote calls have several advantages to offer.

What to Look For

When shopping for an electronic coyote call, there are several considerations to make. First, it’s important to consider the weight of the product. For the best results, get a product that is lightweight. You don’t want to spend your entire hunting trip lugging around a heavy device.

The best coyote calls have minimal parts. If you lose any parts in the woods, there is a good chance that you’ll never get them back. It’s a good idea to consider the size and quantity of speakers. Larger speakers can produce more sound, but they tend to be much heavier.

Many coyote calls have at least two speakers, but there are several options that have only one. There are even systems that have four individual speakers.

If you want to add video to the setup, you’ll need to get a product that allows for this functionality. The quality of the sound produced by the product is just as important as the overall loudness.

Keep It Simple

The stores are packed with many different types of calls, so it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. However, if you keep it simple, you can get a great product and avoid wasting your time. The better coyote calls give you several different sounds to choose from, but you shouldn’t need more than a few.

Electronic callers are the best products because they can be operated with a remote. As a hunter, the ability to remotely call a coyote is huge. Once the device has been set up, you can call a coyote from a distance, so the animal isn’t heading directly towards you.

The goal is to get the coyote to come to the call and not the hunter. Once it gets close enough, the coyote will be focused on the call, so you’ll be able to take a shot and avoid scaring the animal off.

Go Where the Coyotes Are

Even if you have the best electronic coyote call, you’ll never have any luck if you don’t go where the animals are. You can find an abundance of coyotes in Texas and Florida, but you might not be able to travel that far for your hunting trip.

If you haven’t seen any coyotes on your trail cameras, you can always ask some local farmers. By setting up where there is no evidence of coyotes, you’re wasting your time. Below, you’ll find reviews for the best coyote calls on the market, so you can choose the model that seems like the best fit for your needs.

Primos Alpha Dogg Electronic Predator Call

If you’re not on a serious budget, the Primos Alpha Dogg is a top product to consider. It’s powerful enough to transmit sound across large distances. This product is from a well-known brand, and it has been designed to withstand some of the toughest environments imaginable.

The Primos Alpha Dogg has been tested and proven in most hunting environments and uses a rotating speaker system. As the speakers rotate they deliver sound in all directions, so the odds of a wild coyote hearing the calls are significantly increased.

By producing realistic, dynamic sounds, it will draw the coyotes to you. The Primos Alpha Dogg delivers high-quality, crisp sound and comes with an ergonomic remote. To make your life easier, it has a full-color display, and the control layout is designed for simplicity.

This product comes with 64 sounds, which have been digitally mastered. You can even remove or add sounds to the memory within the device. You can use it to play custom distress calls, which can be obtained from several online sources.

There is enough memory in the Primos Alpha Dogg to store 1,000 different calls. An LCD screen makes the programing easy to read, and the remote is good up to a distance of 200 yards. Unlike some competing products, the Primos Alpha Dogg has a motion sensor, so it can start playing distress calls when it detects a coyote.

Primos Turbo Dogg Electronic Predator Call

If you’re looking for something that isn’t as expensive, the Primos Turbo Dogg is worth considering. This device will automatically increase your hunting game, so you’ll get even more enjoyment out of hunting. Like other electronic call devices, this product is designed to be set up and watched.

With a realistic camouflage pattern, the Primos Turbo Dogg is very difficult to spot, and the camouflage design makes it especially difficult for coyotes to see. Since it comes with a remote, you can remotely operate the device from up to 150 yards away.

The Primos Turbo Dogg was named after the 25-watt amplifier built into it. The amplifier increases the sound output and delivers loud, realistic coyote calls. When a coyote is getting close, you can adjust the unit’s sound. The Primos Turbo Dogg comes equipped with 36 calls, and it even has pre-programed hunts.

Since there are many different calls to choose from, you can select the best calls for each individual hunt. You can draw coyotes to you with the pre-programmed hunts because they’re good for 10 to 20 minutes of sound. You even have the option to add additional calls.

Like other Primos products, this device is made from high-quality materials and has been tested in a variety of environments. The Turbo Dogg can blast coyote calls long distances, and with a remote range of 150 yards, you can always control it at a distance.

The USB port is handy because it allows you to download custom sounds. The 25-watt amplifier is the best feature and delivers plenty of loud, high-quality sound.

ICOtec GC300 Call of the Wild Electronic Game Call

Here is an excellent product for hunters who’re on a budget. It’s a small, versatile device, and it’s very easy to carry around. The device is shaped like a large flashlight and can be carried on your hip. The ICOtec GC300 is designed for remote use, so you can use it from a distance.

The remote control is one of the top features that this product has to offer. The ICOtec GC300 can be described as loud, durable and affordable. It doesn’t offer all of the bells and whistles that you’d get from high-end products, but in most situations, it should get the job done.

Due to the simplicity, it’s one of the best coyote calls for beginners. It’s very easy to use and doesn’t involve confusing programming. You don’t have to memorize long sequences of numbers and can quickly activate the device.

Although it’s a cheaper product, the ICOtec GC300 comes loaded with features. The remote control is one of its best features because it offers an operating range of 300 yards. Unlike some of the alternatives, the remote doesn’t require a clear line of sight.

It has an external speaker jack, and the button controls are easy to use. Although it works particularly well for attracting coyotes, the ICOtec GC300 can be used to call a variety of animals. Overall, it offers great value for the money, and it’s affordable on almost any budget.

Cass Creek Mega Amp Predator Call CC416

This is another affordable coyote call. The Cass Creek Mega Amp is one of the cheapest products available, but it has several great features to offer. As an electronic game call, this device is effective for attracting coyotes. One of its greatest features is the single-hand control, which lets you operate the device with one hand.

It has 10 different calls to choose from and produces louder sound that most products in the same price range. For optimal versatility, the Cass Creek Mega Amp Predator Call weighs only 2.7 pounds and has a length of nine inches. A single trigger is used to activate the device.

It has an LED indicator light and can be attached to a belt. With an enhanced speaker system, the CC416 delivers sounds further than many competing models. If you’re looking for an affordable, hand-held device, this product is worth considering.

Foxpro Inc Deadbone Digital Game Call DB1

Here is one of the best coyote calls for beginners. the Foxpro Inc Deadbone DB1 comes equipped with 15 top-notch sounds and has a rugged ABS housing. It uses a single speaker to call coyotes to you, and although it’s quite small, the speaker has no problem delivering loud, clear sound.

Like almost all other electronic predator calls, this device comes with a remote control, so you can operate it at a distance. If you’re new to hunting and need a reliable way to attract coyotes, this could be the perfect product for you.

Mallard

27 Duck Hunting Tips for This Season

  • August 19, 2016 /

MallardWith the onset of the duck hunting season, it is important to know how to approach your mission. A flock of ducks is an interesting sight for a duck hunter, but you can easily blow away the opportunity with an ineffective strategy. Learn the top duck hunting tips, tricks and strategies. After that, you can get your tools of trade out for a successful outing.

1. Plan Adequately

Planning sounds like obvious, yet numerous hunters fail to prepare well. For example, know the direction in which the wind is blowing. Your local weather forecast will give you this information. This is necessary in selecting and setting up your decoy.

In addition, spend enough time scouting the ducks’ habitat to be sure where they land. It might be difficult to scout in expansive areas. Luckily for you, the Internet has made things easier. Just visit your favorite mapping website so you can scout remotely.

2. Prepare Your Hunting Gun

Shotgun loads are usually very particular. Therefore, buy ammunition that will actually match your gun. In addition, pattern it well before setting out. While scouting, test the leads at various distances to ensure that the gun actually opens appropriately at various distances.

Try different loads to know which one works perfectly. Your dog is usually part of your hunting gear. Just like preparing the gun, prepare the retriever as well. Even if he is well trained, work him out several times before the actual hunting day.

3. Check Your Hunting Gear

The greatest trick to successful duck hunting is ensuring that the gear is actually functioning. The last thing you want is to discover your decoys are dysfunctional just when you have spotted a suitable kill.

Prepare all the equipment and tools of trade a week prior the hunting date. Ensure your cords and weights are in their best shape. Will you use a motor boat? Ensure that the engine, battery and other components are clean and functional.

4. Remove Shine From Your Gear

Duck will see any shiny surfaces on your gun, decoys, boat, blind and other gear. This will only scare them away. Inspect all these during the preparation stages and clean off any shiny portions. Remember that these waterfowl are sharp-eyed. A small error can easily cause them to land elsewhere. Use brown or black matte paint and repeatedly touch any shiny parts.

5. Setting Up Your Decoys

There might not be a universal code of practice as far as setting up decoy is concerned. However, a sure way of doing this is the “J” or “U” pattern. Whatever pattern you prefer, let your decision be informed by the direction of the wind.

6. If Setup Is Not Working, Change It

Attaining the most functional setup can be difficult. Therefore, do not stick with the same plan if it is not effective. For example, change the setup if the ducks are landing too far away. Feel free to reset your decoys even if that means breaking cover. In addition, readjust your camouflage or move your blind to a more realistic position.

7. Hunt With an Experienced Team

A team of friends is ideal to work with while duck hunting. However, let the person calling the shots be an expert at that. The last thing you want is someone to shout “Fire” at the inappropriate time.

Two Mallards Swimming8. Do Not Overcall

Calling here refers to the strategies that you use to attract the birds. Calling too aggressively will cause the ducks to panic. If you are unsure of the right way, call a little less. You will realize that your calling skills improve with experience. Otherwise, let an experienced person do the calling on your behalf.

9. Camouflage Well

Any camouflage you use on your attire and gear should match the look of the environment. This is why scouting appropriately is important. Use weeds, grass, reeds and other foliage to camouflage your boat, gun and other shooting apparatus.

10. Break Ice to Create Visible Water

Ducks and other waterfowl usually will not be attracted to swim in ice. Therefore, separate the ice carefully to expose visible water in which ducks can swim. Sometimes, the ice is so thin that it will not break into large pieces. Instead, it will shatter into very tiny parts. Not only does this look unnatural in the eyes of the ducks, it causes them to flee.

To solve this problem, use a net to hold all the small ice fragments and pull them aside. Camouflage yourself and your gear in anticipation of the fowls to swim in the just created open water hole.

11. Time Your Hunting Well

Usually, waterfowl migrate with or just behind cold fronts because they want to capitalize on the strong tail winds. During these seasons, do not leave your blind too early. Since many migrating ducks stop to rest during the late morning hours, this might be an ideal hunting time.

12. Approach the Ducks Calmly

As mentioned before, ducks and other waterfowl will be distracted by the slightest movements. Therefore, move your camouflaged hunting gear slowly yet surely. In addition, stationary decoys will raise the attention of your targets, as the sight is unnatural.

When it is calm, throw your decoys in a thick cover then rely on calling alone to bring the ducks close. Usually, circling ducks will throw a brief glimpse of your decoys and then go back to work. They then approach your target area.

13. Position the Hunting Angle Well

Traditionally, most waterfowl hunters set their decoys in front while the wind is at their backs. This approach may be effective at times. However, it may not always be efficient. When ducks approach your decoys, they are directly facing the blind.

Therefore, they can easily detect movement from other hunters and dogs. There is another disadvantage. When shooting, ducks will rapidly flair down after the first shot. This makes follow-up shot even difficult.

To solve this problem, try alternating the position of your decoys and blinds. Place your spreads in apposition that ducks will actually decoy at a crossing slant. This strategy is ideal for making your blinds less conspicuous. In addition, this arrangement forces the ducks to cross just in front of your blind for a second time as they flair downwind.

14. Make Your Loads easy to Read

If you carry both duck and goose loads to your hunting ground, you can easily confuse one for the other. Even the printed information on the plastic cartridges may become blurred. As you handle these repeatedly, the printing usually becomes blurred. In addition, it can wear off such that you cannot tell the size of the shot in the shells.

To solve this problem, consider using a black magic marker. Write clearly the shot size on the brass casting’s head. Ensure you write on all shells to avoid confusion. This will help you in distinguishing and identifying the duck and goose loads in your hunting vest.

15. Clean Your Duck Call Regularly

Due to repeated handling your duck call can attract all sorts of dirt, making it ineffective things like food, cigarette fragments, dust and dead vegetation should be cleaned regularly before and after the hunting outing. To clean, remove the stopper gently from your call’s barrel by holding the reed assembly properly.

Put the barrel and its stopper in a shallow cup and soak them for 30 minutes. Use clear water with a little mild soap. Remove the barrel and stopper from the soapy water and rinse them under running water.

After that, keep them in warm area to dry naturally. If there are stubborn stains between the reeds, use ordinary dental floss to clean these. Some people a dollar bill! When the call components are clean and dry, reassemble the equipment appropriately.

16. Practice Patience

Numerous waterfowl hunters make the mistake of flushing flocks of ducks in the dark. The prospect of hunting many of these at a go usually makes people impatient. When the first light of dawn strikes their habitat, the flocks of ducks will fly out to feed. They will only go back to roost in the late morning.

Instead of spooking your targets in the dark, you may consider being a little more patient. Wait for sunrise or a later time to try your luck. This waiting might actually cause you to miss out o early shooting. However, being patient is more realistic as far as the overall hunting objective is concerned.

17. Conduct Wind Check During Duck Hunting

To position blinds and decoys in the most correct position, learn the direction of the wind. Even if you checked the direction during the preparation stage, it is essential to check it again just before making a kill. This is because the direction of the wind can change various times during the day.

Here is a little secret in determining the direction of the wind. Carry a small bottle filled with talcum powder. Press the bottle slightly to eject a small amount of powder and then watch the direction it follows.

18. Improvise a Line Guide

Unfortunately, most manufacturers of hunting decoys have not addressed the problem of adjusting a decoy line to suit various water depths. You can solve this issue by attaching a shower curtain ring on your decoy keels.

At the same time, use large fishing swivels for the purpose of improvising a line guide. To adjust the decoy for a different water depth, unwrap the line from the keels to achieve the desired depth and then open the shower curtain ring. After that, position the line inside the ring and snap it to shut.

Duck19. Paint Camouflage Patterns

It is usually prudent to paint camouflage patterns using a stencil. Use dry-erase poster boards, as these are easily available in your local art and craft store. Place natural cover materials such as branches, leaves and reeds on the boards. Trace their shape using a magic marker. After that, cut the outlines so that you are lefts with stencils.

The next step is painting. To make a visually impressive design, place the poster board on the surface of your boat and then spray paint over the stencils. Create a highly effective camouflage by overlapping various shapes.

20. Camouflage Your Gun

You can almost entirely disappear in the field and snow-covered portions of the duck hunting area. Wearing printed jackets, gloves, hats and masks will make camouflage possible. However, it is also important to camouflage your gun.

When it is sunny, your gun becomes shiny and is easily observable by birds and other waterfowl. If you are hunting in the white snow, use a white medical gauze and wrap it around the gun. You should go to any extent as far as camouflaging yourself and equipment is concerned.

21. Fake a Water Hole

You might not always find hunting easy on all water holes. Therefore, it is prudent to create an artificial one using improvisation. Find a large sheet of plastic and cut irregular shapes in it. Doing this trick mimics the shallow water depressions that ducks love to spend time in.

Place the cut sheet of plastic on a depression and remove large stalks or weeds. Place a few weeds around the plastic sheet to make the area look like a natural water hole where some parts of the water are frozen. From the air, birds will fall for your trap so be ready for the kill.

22. Be a Naturalist

Numerous waterfowl hunters spend a lot of time hunting ducks and making mistakes while at it. They believe that practice makes perfect and that they will soon know the right strategies. If you are one of them, it is time to overhaul your hunting approaches. Just like expert fishermen spend time observing their targeted kills, spend some time watching the habits of ducks.

Watching these helps you identify their movement patterns, feeding and playing behaviors. As you understand how and why they do this you will know the right hunting grounds. For example, learn what they eat and where it is available in your area. Take note of how they shift from eating small water creatures to grains and seeds.

When you become an expert naturalists, you will even predict when ducks will change their habitat. Learn how they breed do that you tailor your decoys and calling approaches appropriately.

23. Use Exactly Matching Decoys

Numerous hunters like to use mallard decoys because these are cheaper and easier to find than most other decoys. However, using a mallard decoy in an area or season where few mallards actually exist is wrong. Since ducks have great sense of sight, they will know when the situation looks fake or unnatural. Whatever decoys you use, let them look as real and as natural as possible.

24. Conceal Your Cover

It is possible to shoot numerous ducks with little effort. These ducks are often referred to as new ducks. However, new ducks become stale with very fast, thanks to their combination of senses and survival tactics. Stale ducks can spot flaws in your concealment and decoy very easily.

Since you are not always going to hunt new ducks, go an extra mile in concealment. Check for flaws that may set you up against your targets. Use face paint, full-body camouflage and keep the lowest profile possible.

25. Be a Shotgun Enthusiast

Using a shotgun involves more than just taking an aim and firing using a handgun or a rifle. Therefore, learn the basic and advanced skills of using a shotgun. For example, maneuver a moving pattern in the same area as your moving target. Time the shot so well that the load will end up at the same spot with the fowl. The secret here is to move the shot with both eyes wide open and imagining the movement of the duck.

26. Learn When to Call

Duck hunting requires a combination of skills and expertise. For example, when to call is more important than how to call. Start with learning how to call ducks and then advance to the more complex skill of learning the appropriate time to call.

You will be surprised to discover that not all ducks makes the same sound. While some make high and squeaky sounds, others have raspy and low tones. While some make a 5-note sound, others make 8 notes at a go.

A good caller does his trick just when the birds are about to go away. The time in which they appear to leave the area is called ‘on the corners’. Making a good 5-note call will attract some, if not all of the birds back. When one turns around to approach you, he will bring the rest along. Avoid the temptation to overcall. Instead, make a single yet effective call.

27. Pay Attention To Tiny Details

Sometime, the smallest things when duck hunting can make or break your hunting expedition. Therefore, check and recheck everything carefully. Change the set up when the sun moves, because your shadow will be visible from the sky.

If you find it difficult to take down a single duck from a large flock, reexamine your approach. Do not imagine the next bunch of waterfowl will be easier to fool or cooperate. Most importantly, feel free to bend the rules, experiment and improvise. Within months of duck hunting, you might just perfect your art,

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