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VARMINT DAYS

AN EXPERT’S BEST DAY OF PREDATOR CALLING IN 40 YEARS!

Calling coyotes and bobcats in daylight is a simple sport. A gun of some sort and a noisemaker that will squeak, squeal or bleat are the basic requirements. One needs inconspicuous clothing–camo improves success–and should cover his face and hands, but that’s about the end of the gear list.

Night calling can get into some fairly specialized lights, sights and other gear, but daytime calling remains pretty uncomplicated…most of the time. Now and then, however, an unforeseen need for some other kind of equipment turns up, and “field expedient” is called for, such as a rusty old chair.

These musings arise out of a predator hunt staged last February on Leo Quintanilla’s La Paloma Ranch near Tilden, in the Brush Country of South Texas. This rollicking event has been sponsored for several years by Winchester Ammunition, Savage Arms and Gary Roberson, proprietor of Burnham Brothers Game Calls (and successor to my old friends Murry and Winston Burnham).

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THE NEW DEER SCOUNTING SAVVY

NEW RESEARCH TELLS US HOW TO EVALUATE TRACKS, BEDS AND DROPPINGS TO DETERMINE THE AGE AND SEX OF THE ANIMAL THAT LEFT THEM.

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Time was, a hunter compared a deer track to the length of a centerfire rifle cartridge or broadhead to determine if the animal was worth taking. Even more dubious, if dewclaw imprints were present, he’d proclaim with all the assuredness of the sun rising tomorrow that they were buck tracks. In both cases, we now know, his assessment was no more accurate than the odds of a coin toss coming up heads or tails.

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Nyati Safari

With foreboding arrogance and authority, unaware of our presence, the two bulls walked together from Chavachembere Springs where the black-maned lion had made his kill the day before. The hope of another glimpse of the huge lion was the reason we’d returned to the spot and, by chance, had stumbled upon the two “Dagga Boys” we were now watching. Our tracker Sindizi and our game scout Marko had simultaneously spotted them, instantly directing our attention. Lance whspered in my ear, “That’s your bull, the second one. He everything you’ve been looking for!”

Bull for Hunt

With hearts pounding we crouched low, running along the opposite side of a wide donga coming abreast of the bulls at the distance of 50 yards. My .458 Lott bellowed as my shoulder was pounded by heavy recoil, and I became aware of the awesome and noisy violation of the African silence. I barely heard Lance’s directive to “Hammer him again!” The bolt was already in backward movement, and from the corner of my eye I caught a glint of sun bounce on the ejected brass as it tumbled toward the ground.

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Birdshooting Fiesta

SOUTH OF THE BORDER WINGSHOOTING AT ITS FINEST

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  Source Wiki

Peering through cut brush at the edge of a sandy island, I watched a line of ducks beat their way toward our spread. At 50 yards, 12 redheads cupped their wings and sailed into the decoys. When they dropped their feet and flared, we stood and fired. Two drakes folded, falling among the decoys, while the rest of the flock exploded skyward. Second shots brought down two more.

“Nice shooting, guys, use best spotting scope reviews with gun to shoot” Jason said, stepping one of the back of the blind to direct his dog to the downed ducks. The big black Lab deposited one into Jason’s hand before returning to the water three more times. The last duck, a cripple, swam and dove to avoid the Lab, but the dog was not deterred, lunging toward the redhead each time it surfaced. In a final effort, the duck swam low in the water for 30 yards, but the dog closed in fast.

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RELEASE TECHNIQUES

MOST BOWHUNTERS USE A RELEASE; HERE’S HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF ONE.

At least 75 percent of all bowhunters now shoot using mechanical release aids, but very few of them use the devices to their maximum benefit. A skilled archer is much like a top offhand rifleman–the shot is squeezed off slowly as the sight traces small movements around the middle of the intended target. There is no flinching or a conscious lunge for the trigger. Learning to shoot a release really well takes practice, but first it takes a knowledge of the fundamentals of triggering the shot. Here’s how to split a hair with the two most popular release aid styles.

THUMB-TRIGGER RELEASES

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Bow (source internet)

A bowhunting buddy of mine shoots only three-finger releases because he loves being able to clip the release on the string below his arrow and just let it hang there until a nice buck walks past. He is able to keep his hands free while at the same time avoiding the need to load the release onto the string during the moment of truth. For him, it’s just grab ‘n go.
You may find that it’s harder to shoot heavy hunting weight bows with the three-finger releases than with wrist-strap models because the entire draw weight must be held by the fingers. If you choose a three-finger release, make sure you keep an extra one handy. Take it from me, they are easy to lose and can be dropped from a tree stand as you fumble to get it out of your pocket. In fact, I keep a spare model of whatever release I’m shooting in my fanny pack just in case.

Technique: Competitive shooters trigger three-finger releases by placing their thumb on the release body, inverting their hand at full draw and squeezing through the shot with their back muscles. The top of the hand is naturally pulled over, or rotated, and the release’s trigger is forced into the stationary thumb causing it to fire without warning.

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The .500 and .475 Linebaugh

HANDGUN CARTRIDGES DESIGNED FOR TAKING THE WORLD’S LARGEST GAME ANIMALS

big bore revolver cartridges

In 1986 and 1987, Wyoming based gunsmith John Linebaugh introduced two very powerful big bore revolver cartridges, the .500 and .475 Linebaugh. Soon hunters began raking them afield and discovered that they were capable of cleanly harvesting the largest game animals on earth.

The .500 is based on the .348 Winchester case shortened to 1.4 inches and is capable of driving a 450-grain bullet at 1,300 feet per second. The .475 is based on the 45-70 Government case shortened to 1.4 inches and drives a 420-grain bullet at 1,350 fps, or a 380-grain bullet at 1,500 fps. Both cartridges have continued to develop impressive records on large and very dangerous game, including elephant, rhino, Cape buffalo and brown bear. The .475 offers deeper penetration, possibly making it the better choice for really large game, while the big .500 opens a larger wound channel and delivers tremendous shock.

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FORCING CONE FACTS

LENGTHENED FORCING CONES CAN IMPROVE PATTERNS.

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For years, manufacturers have continued to make shotgun barrels with chamber forcing cones cut to between five and seven degrees that were designed for shotshells loaded with over-powder card wads and felt spacers. Of course the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute, better known as SAAMI, has done nothing to upgrade its universally applied standards, so whenever a shotgun maker puts a lengthened forcing cone in a shotgun, it makes good advertising copy.

At a recent gathering of writers, a representative of a major shotgun importer stated that lengthened chamber forcing cones (there is also a forcing cone that leads into the choke) were nonsense, insofar as the forcing cone was necessary to keep the crimp closed so that pressure could build and proper ballistics could result. Oh my! Yes the crimp must be firm and stay closed, but the chamber forcing cone begins at the end of the chamber, where the crimp is fully unfolded. The evening was late, so I decided to not bring up the question of how does the crimp stay closed when a two-inch shell is fired in a three-inch chamber?

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