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27th Annual Edition May 2018 - April 2019

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Ensuring the Future of Our Hunting Heritage



By Brad Heidel,

IHEA-USA Executive Director

If you are reading this you have completed or are well on your way to completing your Hunter Education training. For those of you that are still in the process of your “hunter safety” training, remember this training is FUN and an opportunity to learn all you can about safe and responsible hunting and shooting. or those of you that have passed your states requirements—you have now crossed the bridge from wanting to be a hunter to becoming a hunter. Your Hunter Education Certification has opened the door to a world of wonderful experiences outdoors with friends and family. You now have the basics—now, every time you head to the field, you increase your knowledge and enjoyment. Nearly all hunting accidents can be prevented—you now hold the keys to ensure safety while hunting alone or with others. Please, if you see others behaving in an unsafe manner—say something— as it could possibly prevent an accident. You are responsible for your actions and choices. Remember, your actions represent all hunters and sportsmen and women. Unsafe, illegal and unethical action by you and/or your hunting companions can


tarnish the image of all hunters and hunting, spoil your hunts, and sour your memories. Ultimately it could cost you your hunting privileges. Fortunately, the vast majority of hunters uphold responsible actions while afield. This promises a bright future for all sportsmen and women. You will soon begin to learn all the benefits of hunting. Getting outdoors and spending quality time with friends and family is just one benefit you will enjoy. When the hunt is over, you will also soon learn to enjoy the benefits of the game you will bring home. As an ethical hunter, you will take great care of the meat that you have taken. This care will ultimately lead to healthy, chemical/hormone-free, twenty-seventh annual edition

low-fat, low-carb, delicious protein! You will soon realize a great satisfaction of knowing you harvested, cared for and prepared your food from the field to your plate. It is the culmination of your hunt. As I write this, I am smoking a wild Eastern Turkey that I will share with my family tonight. YUM! – Remember the basics of hunter safety; – Take care of the meat you harvest, and share it; – Take a friend hunting. Pass your hunting heritage on to others; – Hunting is a privilege that can be lost. Good luck, be safe, and have fun! Brad Heideln

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Celebrity Spotlight Melissa Bachman

do love hunting and filming for outdoor television. But with travel for sport shows and filming for our episodes, I am on the road 320 days a year. It gets to be exhausting, but it’s what I always wanted to do.” So says the host of Winchester Deadly Passion on Sportsman Channel, Melissa Bachman. “Not only do I get to hunt and talk about hunting for a living, but I get the very unique opportunity to meet people from all over our great country who are extremely passionate about the outdoors and wildlife itself…it has to be the best community of people out there.” Melissa’s favorite travel companion is her Boston terrier, Pork Chop (pictured). “Chop” not only loves to travel, but she also loves being a dog. Chop travels with Melissa, and she’s right there on the hunt too. So much more than a pretty face and steely blue eyes, Melissa Bachman is the essence of hunting. She grew up in Central

Minnesota and was raised by a mother and father who hunt, and still do. Matter of fact, both of Melissa’s grandparents were ardent hunters and conservationists—her grandmother is to this day. As soon as Melissa and her younger brother were old enough to join mom and dad in the outdoors, they were off and plinking with .22s and partaking in hunts for deer, ducks, and pheasant. In the Bachman family, hunting is so much more than harvesting animals. It’s a way of life. It’s all about spending time together in the outdoors and creating memories that pass from one generation to the next. Melissa admits that hunting has taught her more than being able to successfully take game. It has taught her lessons of life— how to care for the resource, how to give back, and how to pass along all the good that the outdoors has to offer. Though Melissa gets pumped up when staring down a big old Alaskan black bear

By John DePalma

or finds herself paces removed from a raucous tom turkey in full strut, her true passion is meeting and talking to people across the country at hunting destinations, and those she spends time with at sports shows. “The very best thing I can do as a hunter is to share my love of the sport and the outdoors with as many people as I possibly can; especially children. Youth are our future and youth are clearly the future of hunting. I do all I can to spread the word about hunting and all the joy the outdoors has to give to each and every one of us. My goal is to keep the tradition of hunting alive and to share with as many people and children as I can.” Melissa founded “Memory Chase” which directly provides incentive to kids to get out and hunt. The foundation provides a “prize-pack” to 10 lucky kids each year. Too, Melissa is able to take a few of the winners hunting with her where she films episodes for her TV series. Patience—persistence—preparation. These are the three things Melissa prides herself on each and every day. When asked what advice she’d give anyone as they march forth on their career goals, whatever they might be, she always resorts back to her three Ps. “There is absolutely no substitute for hard work, for being present, and being in the moment. Your dreams are your dreams, never let anyone get in the way of you chasing them. My success came because I outworked the next person and still do to this day. If you work hard enough at fulfilling your own goals, you will one day achieve them.” Pretty good advice indeed.

Editor’s note: Melissa is at numerous sports shows across the country every year. If you see her at one, please stop by and say hi. You will not find a more welcoming person than Melissa. Know and Obey the Law


Hunter’s Handbook


The Official Student Publication of the International Hunter Education Association-United States of America

Table of Contents 2 Welcome

Brad Heidel, IHEAUSA Executive Director

10 Where to Hunt

Here are resources for safe hunting.

13 Where Do I Go From Here?

Contact these organizations to learn more about your area of interest.

14 Airguns

Take aim at safety.

16 Centerfire Rifles

Today’s centerfire rifles are strong, durable and accurate.

Photo Courtesy of Craig Robinson, Wireless Group, Brownsville, TN

Publisher: Brian Thurston Managing Editor: Joe Arterburn Art Director: Craig Robinson Design: Wireless Group, Inc.

18 Scent Elimination

Cover Photo by John DePalma Photography


Hunter’s Handbook is designed to provide information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is not the purpose of this book to reprint all the information that is otherwise available to hunters, but to complement, amplify and supplement other sources. For more information contact the many references in this book. The publishers, sponsors, advisors and authors shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the information contained in this book. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage or retrieval system without written permission from the publishers, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review. Equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from hunter education programs is available to all individuals without regard to their race, color, national origin, sex, age, or handicap. Complaints of discrimination should be sent to the Office of Equal Opportunity, U.S. Department of Interior, Office of the Secretary, Washington D.C. 20240. Copyright © 2018 by Focus Group, Inc. 2201 SW 152nd St., Suite #3 Burien, WA 98166 • ph: 206-281-8520 Email: barbara@focusgroupseattle.com Printed in the United States of America



Your best defense against game detecting you.

20 The Right Firearm Fit for You

Learn how to get a personal firearm fit.

22 Replacement Sights

Become a better shooter with one small change to your firearm.

24 Shotguns

A shotgun is an incredibly versatile tool.

26 Powerloading

The benefits of hand-loading your own ammunition.

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28 Muzzleloading Rifles

A bigger challenge and longer seasons.

30 Knives

One hunting knife is not enough.

32 Rimfire Rifles

It’s affordable, teaches good trigger habits, and it’s fun!

48 Crossbow Selection

Learn what to look for when buying a crossbow.

34 Targets

50 Lighting the Way

Target shooting is essential to good marksmanship.

Hunters can have many sources of light.

36 Firearms Innovation

A passion for shooting creates a firearms legend.

38 Carry Accessories

Choosing carry accessories is important.

39 Firearm Cleaning

Regular cleaning maintains accuracy, assures proper function.

40 Fair Chase

Hunt fair chase.

42 Bowhunting

44-45 Win Great Prizes!

Beginning bowhunters have never had so many options.

Fill out the insert card between pages 44 and 45 or go to www.huntershandbook.com to register.

52 ATVs

All-terrain vehicles are today’s pack mules.

54-55 Tips and Tactics

Deer or turkey on your list? Learn from the Experts.

56 Treestand Safety

Stay safe in your stand.

46 Attractants

Hunting scents give hunters a big advantage. Practice Good Sportsmanship


Take the Pledge: I choose to own a firearm and therefore accept responsibility for using and storing it safely. I commit to securing my firearm when not in use, being aware of who can access it at all times and educating others to do the same.


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Always keep the firearm’s muzzle pointed in a safe direction. A “safe direction” means that the gun is pointed so that even if an accidental discharge occurred, it would not result in injury.

Always keep your finger off the trigger until you actually intend to shoot. When handling a gun, rest your finger outside the trigger guard or along the side of the gun. Don’t touch the trigger until you are actually ready to fire. Firearms should be unloaded when not actually in use. Whenever you pick up a gun, such as when removing it from or returning it to storage, remember to point it in a safe direction and make sure it is unloaded. Be sure you know how your firearm operates: read the manual on your firearm, know how to safely open and close the action of the firearm and know how to safely remove any ammunition from the firearm and its magazine. Store your firearms in a locked cabinet, safe, gun vault or storage case when not in use, ensuring they are in a location inaccessible by children and cannot be handled by anyone without your permission.

REMEMBER, nearly all firearms accidents in the home can be prevented simply by making sure that guns are kept unloaded and locked up, with ammunition secured in a separate location. twenty-seventh annual edition

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Presenting Partners of this important Project Childsafe Announcement:



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Store your ammunition in a locked location separate from firearms. Use a gun-locking device that renders the firearm inoperable when not in use. A gun lock should be used as an additional safety precaution and not as a substitute for secure storage. Make sure young people in your home are aware of and understand the safety guidelines concerning firearms. Have them sign the Project ChildSafe Pledge for young people—a reminder that if they find an unattended firearm in their home or a neighbor’s to not touch it, and tell an adult. Always unload, clean and place your firearms in their secure storage location immediately after returning from a hunting trip or a day at the range. Educate everyone in your family about firearms safety. Visit the Project ChildSafe website for safety information and to find out where to get a free firearm safety kit in your area.

This message does not represent an endorsement of any product or service by NSSF or the Project ChildSafe Foundation.

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Treat Every Firearm As Though It Were Loaded


Profiles in the Shooting Sports

Whether shooting competitively or for recreation, shooting athletes are required to work hard, hone their skills, practice mental as well as physical conditioning, and be dedicated to the pursuit of excellence. Four young shooters who epitomize a successful commitment to these values are profiled here as an example to the growing ranks of new shooting athletes. We congratulate them all for their enviable records of accomplishments!

Bailey Gallagher


hen Bailey Gallagher talks about life’s obstacles, you can’t help but take it to heart. Bailey, of St. Clairsville, Ohio, is a straight A+ student, champion Math Olympian, state science fair participant (her project examined which ammunition works best compared to price), competitor in volleyball, soccer, basketball, and track, and accomplished shooter. And she was born deaf. And she’s determined that won’t define her. In fact, she offers advice that belies her 13 years. “I know from wearing hearing aids and everything that, yes, it may seem as if so many obstacles are in the way at times, but if you want to do good and really improve, you can’t let those thoughts get you down,” she said. “Do everything that people say you can’t do and be the image that you want to make for yourself, not

McKenzie Sims

McKenzie Sims sold his 4-H pig for $2,500, enough to pay for plane fare to Africa. His father had made a deal that he’d book an African hunting trip if McKenzie would pay for his own plane ticket. McKenzie went to work, selling lemonade and fruit punch from a roadside stand. The pig proceeds put him over the top. He was 11. That kind of determination helped him win the 2018 SCI-Cabela’s Young Hunter Award. A year before that 2007 Africa trip, McKenzie shot his first big game trophy, a 6x6 bull elk in New Mexico. “Hunting to me is a way of life,” McKenzie wrote in his application essay. “It’s not a hobby or something I just do


By Joe Arterburn

what others make for you.” Bailey was introduced to shooting by her father, Matthew, who took her with him and “ever since I have been hunting and shooting,” she said. She competes successfully in Rimfire Challenge and Steel Challenge competitions, a highlight placing second at the Rimfire Challenge World Championship in Cavern Cove, Ala. And she loves to hunt, mainly deer and squirrels. Deer hunting is her favorite. “I just love getting up super early and being able to go and see the sunrise,” she said. “It’s just so peaceful to be out in God’s nature and

seeing how wonderfully he made everything, plus nothing beats the feeling of shooting a really nice deer.” What she likes most about competitive shooting are the friendships she makes. “Shooting is not like any other sport,” she said. “If you need something in the middle of a match, trust me, a bunch of people will lend you stuff and everyone is so encouraging.” Bailey shares her successes on her Facebook page devoted solely to her shooting. She also has taken friends from school and other places to shooting matches “to show them how fun it is,” she said. First and foremost, Bailey thanks God for her success. “He always comforts me before my matches and I use prayer to calm me before I go up to shoot.” And she also thanks her parents “for always driving me everywhere and for sacrificing their own time for me,” she said.

on the weekends. Hunting is on my mind 24-7/365 days. I eat, sleep, breath, and live to hunt.” McKenzie, 22, of Evanston, Wyo., has worked in his family’s oil and gas construction company since graduating from high school in 2014, “learning my way up from the bottom,” he said. “Hunting comes second next to making the money to go on hunts,” he said. “I will go as much and as often as I can afford to.” So far, McKenzie, who also works as a hunting guide in the fall, has been on the go. He’s hunted on five continents and 14 countries—some multiple times—and 10 states. He’s harvested more than 100

species of big game and game birds. He has multiple animals, from New Zealand, Africa, and South America in the SCI Top 10. He’d completed his African Big Five at 14, and now has the Dangerous 7 and the North American Grand Slam. But hunting is not just about taking animals for McKenzie. “What I like most about hunting is the places it takes you and the things you experience in those places, along with the people you meet. I have learned a lot from my travels and I’m working on sharing it with others through social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, along with magazine articles I write.” McKenzie, who graduated from hunter education in 2006, said he practices shooting with bow or rifle, once a week. In addition to hunting, he likes filming and photography, as well as riding dirt bikes, snowmobiles, and side-by-side ATVs, “really anything that’s fast and offers an adrenaline rush,” he said.

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Peyton Whitworth


voking President Theodore Roosevelt, considered the father of conservation, and paraphrasing his quote, “The one thing I want to leave my children is an honorable name,” Peyton Whitworth, winner of the 2018 SCI-Cabela’s Young Hunter Award, said she wants to leave hunting an honorable name. “I believe in hunting and conservation and believe hunters have a responsibility to see that these ideas continue for the next generation,” Peyton wrote in an essay accompanying her award application. “To leave hunting a good name, I must practice and encourage ethical hunting stan-

dards and good conservation methods.” Peyton, 16, is a sophomore at Breckinridge County High School in Kentucky, where she is an honor student, varsity volleyball player (and captain of her KIVA volleyball team), and member of numerous organizations, including SADD, HOSA, FBLA, Y Club, PEP Club, and the Principal’s Council. She also volunteers on local church and community service projects, and is a member of multiple conservation organizations. She also participates in the SCI Blue Bag Humanitarian Services program and Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry. Among Peyton’s successful hunts are an SCI Top Ten whitetail, a black bear in Canada, a cape buffalo in Africa, and many wild turkeys. She went on her first hunt when she was eight, when her father and grandfather took her turkey hunting. She was fascinated by the early-morning sounds in the woods and turkey talk—hens yelp-

ing and toms gobbling. “All of a sudden my world had changed,” she said. “At that moment, I was transformed into a huntress. Dad and Papaw had set the standard for good ethical hunting. They had given hunting an honorable name.” Peyton said she grew up on her family farm, a working cattle, grain, and timber farm “teeming with wildlife. Our farm’s healthy wildlife population is due to our constantly improving conservation practices.” “I am learning and practicing proper conservation methods and ethical hunting standards through the principled examples set by my father and grandfather, and have come to appreciate their wisdom through what I have gleaned through SCI,” she said. “I am proud to say that my family has been living SCI’s prescribed mission statement that calls upon each of us to be “a leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation.”

school, she was an IAAM All-Conference lacrosse player two years in a row. Hunting also figures into her future plans. “Hunting is my favorite thing to do,” she said. “It’s who I am.” She said she’d also like to teach National Archery in the School Program at a high school. Jesse said she hunts as often as possible when she is home from college. “It’s kind of an unspoken date to hunt deer with my dad and/or sister, Hailee,” she said. Whitetail hunting is her favorite and

she took a Pope and Young antelope, which scored 78 2/8, and was bigger than the antelope her father shot, so “that’s my favorite record,” she said. She’s also bowhunted for alligators and hogs in Florida, black bear in Alberta, and aoudad in Texas. Hunting, she said, “has become part of my soul and identity. Hunting to me is all about the challenge and experiences, not about the kill.” Her advice to youths thinking about getting involved in hunting is simple. “Just get out there and try it,” she said. “You won’t know if it’s for you until you really experience it. Hunting may not be for everybody, but using all your senses may be the best way to determine your sense of belonging in this world.” She thanks her father for introducing her to hunting. “He’s taught me everything I know about hunting and the outdoors,” she said. “These hunting experiences have taught me never to give up and opened up so many opportunities for me.”

Jesse Winand


enna Winand, known as Jesse, the 2018 National Bowhunter Education Foundation’s Outstanding Youth Bowhunter, has been hooked on hunting since her father, C.J., took her along on a hunt when she was four. Her father is a wildlife biologist and outdoor writer for Bowhunter magazine, “so I guess it was inevitable,” Jesse said. She took hunter education when she was nine and bowhunter education at 14, which, she said, were important steps. “Being able to hunt smart and hunt safe is very important to me,” she said. “Making rookie mistakes will always happen, but bowhunter education has helped me make fewer of them. The end result is more shot opportunities at deer.” Jesse, 19, a freshman at Salisbury University in Maryland, is majoring in physical education with a minor in health. She hopes to teach adapted physical education and coach lacrosse. In high

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Where to Hunt?

By Jennifer L.S. Pearsall, NSSF Director, Public Relations

Find the Answer Online Whether we’re sitting in a tree stand waiting for the “big one,” glassing from a mountaintop to plan a stalk, working thick cover for a grouse, or wandering hill and dale in search of cackling pheasants, hunters have one thing in common: We always want to know, “What’s over that next hill?” NSSF has the answer with NSSF.org/hunting and WingshootingUSA.org.


t NSSF.org/hunting, you’ll find an interactive map of the entire United States, with a drop-down menu for each state of license and permit information, required applications or forms, laws and regulations, hunter education links and, what you’re really after— public hunting lands. WingshootingUSA.org, NSSF’s complimentary site, provides more specific


guidance for wandering bird hunters. This page has a link to hundreds of bird hunting preserves, plus you’ll discover Scott Linden’s “Wingshooting USA” television show and our online gundog library. Best of all, if you visit there now, you’ll find our Wingshooting USA “Take Your Friend Hunting” Sweepstakes, with a two-day hunt grand prize up for grabs. The contest is open until June 24, 2018, so go to WingshootingUSA.org and enter now! Finally, we all need to practice before we head afield, and NSSF can help there, twenty-seventh annual edition

too. Visit WheretoShoot.org to find toprated ranges for all shooting disciplines, video tips to improve your shooting skills, “Pull the Trigger,” our monthly online newsletter of shooting tips and facts, and NSSF’s online library of shooter resources, including safety, youth shooting programs, and targets you can print yourself right from your own desktop.

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Practice Good Sportsmanship



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Where Do I Go from Here?

This section will give you a listing of organizations you can contact to learn more about your particular areas of interest. Shooting and hunting are truly activities for a lifetime, and we hope that you will enjoy them for many years. THE SHOOTING SPORTS AMATEUR TRAPSHOOTING ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA

Phone: (618) 449-2224 • Fax: (866) 454-5198 www.shootata.com CIVILIAN MARKSMANSHIP PROGRAM Phone: (419) 635-2141 (888) 267-0796 Fax: (419) 635-2802 • www.thecmp.org NATIONAL MUZZLE LOADING RIFLE ASSOCIATION

Phone: (812) 667-5131 (800) 745-1493 Fax: (812) 667-5136 • www.nmlra.org

NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION Phone: (800) 672-3888 • www.nra.org


Phone: (203) 426-1320 • Fax: (203) 426-1087 www.nssf.org • Email: info@nssf.org NATIONAL SKEET SHOOTING ASSOCIATION (NSSA)

Phone: (800) 877-5338 (210) 688-3371 Fax: (210) 688-9269 • www.mynssa.com Email: nssa@nssa-nsca.com NATIONAL SPORTING CLAYSASSOCIATION Phone: (800) 877-5338 (210) 688-3371 Fax: (210) 688-9269 • www.mynsca.com Email: nssa@nssa-nsca.com

SCHOLASTIC SHOOTING SPORTS FOUNDATION (SSSF) Phone: (210) 448-8946 www.sssfonline.com Email: jsmoore@sssfonline.com USA SHOOTING (USAS)

Phone: (719) 866-4670 • Fax: (719) 635-7989 www.usashooting.org USA YOUTH EDUCATION IN SHOOTING SPORTS

Phone: 831-229-4872 Email: mike@usayess.org www.usayess.org


Phone: (406) 542-1888 • Fax (406) 542-0784 Email: bcclub@boone-crockett.org www.boone-crockett.org

BECOMING AN OUTDOORS-WOMAN (BOW) Peggy Farrell, Director Phone: (877) BOWOMAN Email: pfarrell@uwsp.edu www.uwsp.edu/cnr/bow/

DALLAS SAFARI CLUB Phone: (972) 980-9800 • Fax: (972) 980-9925 Email: info@biggame.org • www.biggame.org


Phone: (800) 45DUCKS or (901) 758-3825 www.ducks.org DELTA WATERFOWL Phone: (888) 987-3695 www.deltawaterfowl.org Email: usa@deltawaterfowl.org


Phone: (303) 430-7233 • Fax: (303) 430-7236 www.ihea-usa.org • Email: info@ihea.com


Phone: (605) 716-0596 Fax: (309) 401-6096 Email: info@nbef.org • www.nbef.org

NATIONAL 4-H SHOOTING SPORTS Phone: 410-330-5967 Email: carnold@umd.edu www.4-hshootingsports.org


NATIONAL WILD TURKEY FEDERATION (NWTF) Phone: (800) 843-6983 • www.nwtf.org

PHEASANTS FOREVER Phone: 877-773-2070 contact@pheasantsforever.org www.pheasantsforever.org QUAIL FOREVER Phone: 866-457-8245 contact@quailforever.org www.quailforever.org QUALITY DEER MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION

Phone: (800) 209-3337 Fax: (706) 353-0223 www.qdma.com THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK FOUNDATION

Phone: (406) 523-4500 • (800) 225-5355 Email: info@rmef.org • www.rmef.org

HOUSTON SAFARI CLUB Phone: (713) 623-8844 • Fax: (713) 623-8866 www.houstonsafariclub.org Email: info@houstonsafariclub.org SAFARI CLUB INTERNATIONAL (SCI)

Phone: (520) 620-1220 • Fax: (520) 622-1205 www.safariclub.org

Is your organization not listed? Email barbara@focusgroupseattle.com for information on how to be included in next year’s issue.

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WILD SHEEP FOUNDATION Phone: (406) 404-8750 Email: info@wildsheepfoundation.org www.wildsheepfoundation.org

Founded to guarantee the continuing vitality of wild game animals and the natural environments. Phone: (707) 742-4167 • www.mzuri.org

WHITETAILS UNLIMITED Phone: (920) 743-6777 Fax: (920) 743-4658 www.whitetailsunlimited.com



Phone: (613) 829-8281 • Fax: (613) 829-0099 office@dcra.ca • www.dcra.ca


Phone: (613) 727-7483 Fax: (613) 727-7487 Email: info@sfc-ftc.ca www.sfc-ftc.ca

For more Canadian organizations check out the IHEA-USA website:


Treat Every Firearm As Though It Were Loaded


Squirrels and air rifles go together like potatoes and gravy. And, appropriately enough, potatoes and gravy go very well with a plate of fried squirrel. It’s a beautiful (and very tasty) relationship!

Squirrels, Dogs, Air Rifles, and the

Squirrel Master Classic


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oday’s air rifles are a far cry from the famous Daisy Red Ryder, the gun most of us used to take our very first shots. Highpowered air rifles like those made by Gamo Adult Precision Air Rifles and other companies pack plenty of punch to take squirrels out past 35 yards. It was only a matter of time before an air gun/squirrel hunting event was created. The Squirrel Master Classic has brought hunting celebrities and 4-H Shooting Sports S.A.F.E. shooters together for five years now. The event, held annually at Southern Sportsman Lodge just outside Montgomery, Ala., is hosted by Buckmasters and sponsored by Gamo, which provides the guns and ammo for all of the participants. This year the gun was the Swarm Maxxim, the world’s first 10-shot break-barrel air rifle. Other break-barrel rifles are single shots, requiring the hunter to fumble for a pellet to reload while the squirrel scampers away through the tree tops. With the Swarm, all the shooter needs to do is break the barrel again to get another pellet ready—it’s automatically loaded into the barrel. The gun’s 10-shot magazine makes quick follow-up shots easy. The rifle is available in .177 and .22 calibers, and for this event everyone shot the .22 caliber version. It pushes a pellet out of the barrel at 900 feet per second and is a real limb chicken terminator. This year’s ammo was the Gamo Red Fire pellet, which features a diamond-shaped polymer tip that provides true ballistic trajectory and big, controlled expansion on impact. It’s a deadly pellet. The Squirrel Master Classic works like this: a group of hunting writers, vloggers, and TV show celebrities are split into teams with one 4-H youth, and hunt a morning hunt and an evening hunt, and the winner is determined by total squirrels killed on both hunts. Hunting is with squirrel dogs, so each team is paired with a dog and its handler. The dog trees the squirrel; the team scrambles to catch up to the dog and kill the squirrel. Hunting media members included writers from outlets like The Airgun Wire, bloggers and vloggers from AirgunWeb TV and others, and high-profile celebrities like Michael Waddell (Bone Collector), and Ralph and Vicki from Archer’s Choice. And

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Jackie Bushman with Buckmasters, of course, who did most of the legwork and served as host and emcee as well as captaining a team. The kids, all of whom are graduates of the 4-H Shooting Sports S.A.F.E program and excel in school and community activities, are invited to attend the event, hunt with a team, and compete in a range shooting contest. As the outdoor writers and celebrities arrived throughout the day on Tuesday, Feb. 20, each was assigned his or her Swarm Maxxim, ammo, shooting glasses, and swag. Then, it was off to the range to get sighted in. Afterward it was front-porch sitting, telling hunting stories, and catching up until time for the opening ceremonies. After introductions and a review of the rules, the teams were announced and a captain approached the podium and pulled the name of the 4-H youth who would be on that team. That 4-H shooter then pulled a card that indicated that team’s dog, dog handler, and their assigned hunting land. Bright and early Wednesday morning the teams assembled and headed to their hunting grounds by the time the sun peeked over the horizon. February weather in Alabama can be a roll of the dice. Past events have seen freezing temps and cold rain, but this day was unseasonably bright and warm. The dog handler let the dog out of its box as the dust settled around the trucks. One dog was named Molly, and she scurried around limbering up and was ready to go. Within 10 minutes she’d treed the first squirrel of the day. Two squirrel subspecies were available to us, the grey and the fox. The greys are smaller and fast. The foxes are the size of a small cat, and uniquely-colored in this part of Alabama. Chasing a dog through

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the woods may not sound like one of the most exciting moments in hunting, but each of the hunters wore big smiles while Molly’s barking rang out through the timber. The team struggled up and down ravines and crossed crisp, clear creeks to get to her. She’d treed a fat fox squirrel.

The Gamo Swarm Maxxim is the first 10-shot break barrel air rifle. Hunters need pellets designed for expansion and accuracy, like these Gamo Red Fire Pellets. For more information, go to www.gamousa.com. One quiet crack from the Gamo and the squirrel tumbled out of a tall pine. Molly pounced as soon as the critter hit the forest floor, grabbing it behind the neck and shaking it hard. She then retrieved it to her handler’s hand and was off in pursuit of the next one. Most squirrel dogs are feists or a feist mix (all are feisty!), but many different breeds can be taught to tree squirrels. Molly is a feist mix, a little larger than the average squirrel dog, and black with a couple white spots. A good squirrel dog will range out 100-200 yards ahead of the hunters and use its eyes and nose to find squirrels, put them up a tree (or determine the tree the squirrel escaped to), then bay at the bottom of the tree.

As the hunters arrive at the tree, the squirrel often moves to the opposite side to elude detection. Multiple hunters should position themselves around the tree to prevent the squirrel from giving them the slip. Often, the panicked squirrel sprints through the treetops in a life-and-death chase, and hunters must pursue on the ground and try to take the squirrel before it finds the safety of a hole in the tree. This is when the Gamo’s 10Shot Quick Shot technology really shines. Hunters can break the barrel and reload without taking their eyes off the target. The 10-shot magazine snaps into the slot on top of the barrel, and since they’re sold separately, hunters can purchase several extra and have them preloaded in their pockets. Then, after shooting 10 times, it’s as easy as snapping the empty magazine out and inserting another to get back to shooting. In 2018, it was the Buckmasters team that took home the squirrel trophy. This team killed an unbelievable 42 squirrels over the two hunts. All told, more than 170 squirrels were killed by the crowd of hunters (43 good folks) and all were cleaned and consumed. The 4-H shooters did more than just hunt. A special contest was held after lunch in which each was given a full magazine and shot at a target range created by Gamo representatives. Targets like the Daisy Shatter Blast (biodegradable clays), balloons, and exploding targets were set at varying distances, and the winner claimed an extra six squirrels to be added to his or her team’s total. For the second year in a row, a female shooter claimed top spot. The Squirrel Master Classic opened some eyes to the effectiveness of adult airguns on small game. Accurate and powerful, there’s no reason to discount air rifles when it comes to harvesting squirrels. Plus, when you’re with a team of friends, chasing a hyper, barking squirrel dog through the woods, it’s just a stinking good time!

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The 4 Steps To Beat A Buck’s Nose


uch has been written about a whitetail’s olfactory advantage. Many hunters have heard statements similar to “a whitetail lives by its nose.” It’s a fact; their sense of smell is the only sense that they trust completely. It’s not a surprise given the unusual gifts that God gave them. The part of the brain that is devoted to measuring and computing smell, in a whitetail, is said to be ONE THOUSAND TIMES larger than the same area in a human’s brain. In the back of all noses, there are little things called nasal receptors. They’re what help us tell the difference between smells. A whitetail has millions more nasal receptors than a human. Not only that, their nasal passage runs in a straight line and it’s about eight times larger. Because of that, they get a good clean burst of scent to analyze with every breath. For that matter, just about every North American big game animal has a sense of smell so far superior to ours it’s hard to even comprehend how sophisticated it is. As much as the subject is publicized, it’s a wonder that some hunters don’t do more to battle the whitetail’s superior “snoot.” So what can we do to get closer to and see more whitetail and other big game animals? Whether you’re hunting, scouting or


setting up a tree stand, you should always be aware of the foreign odors that you’re carrying in with you as well as the odors that you transferred to other objects and possibly left behind. “Scent transfer” should be kept to a minimum. Clean, rubber-bottomed boots help to travel throughout a deer’s domain. Your boots (as well as your hunting clothes) should only be worn while in your hunting area. You can’t wear your rubber boots to a gas station and then expect to fool a whitetail. Also, try not to touch things with your bare hands. If you bump into a tree, or a piece of brush happens to whack your forehead, those are all instances that can cause a whitetail to sense our intrusion. Why let them know you’re coming? Whether you hunt with a gun, bow, or camera, a system of scent elimination could possibly be the most important detail in getting closer to big game animals. Although you cannot eliminate 100% of your odor, with the proper steps you can bring it down to a low enough level that they will not notice or react. For the sake of perspective, let’s compare a deer’s sense of smell to that of a smoke twenty-seventh annual edition

detector. The smoke detector is triggered when the density of smoke reaches a certain level. If the density of smoke is below the trigger level, it does not react to it or set off the alarm. Similarly, when the density of human odor molecules entering their nose reaches a certain level, a deer notices the human odor, goes on alert, and may bolt. If the density of human odor molecules in the air does not reach a certain threshold, the deer doesn’t react to it. Taking steps to eliminate human odor before or while on the hunt will greatly increasing your chances of success!

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The first step is to wash your clothes in a scent-fighting detergent like Scent Killer® Clothing Wash. There are several Scent Killer® Clothing Washes available: Liquid, Powder, Autumn Formula®, and new Gold® Clothing Wash. Use the one that works best for you. Make sure to wash all layers that you will be wearing right down to your undergarments, hats and gloves. Some clothing washes and detergents also contain UV brighteners that make your clothing more visible to big game animals. Scent Killer® brand clothing washes contain no UV brighteners. Once your clothing is washed, the best way to dry it is to hang it outside. However, if you live next to a gas station or greasy restaurant, or if the temperatures would freeze your clothes solid, it’s perfectly all right to dry them in your dryer. You can use Scent Killer® Autumn Formula® Dryer Sheets. They prevent static build up and at the same time soften your hunting clothes to help keep them quiet for closer shots. They also add a light earth scent to help you blend into the natural surroundings.


After washing, the best way to prepare your hunting outerwear for the hunt is to pre-treat them with Scent Killer® Spray. You can use Super Charged® Scent Killer® Spray or new Scent Killer® Gold® with Hunt Dry® Technology. Scent Killer® Gold® is formulated for maximum performance after it dries, so it’s perfect for pre-treating your clothes. Spray the clothing so that it is fully wetted. If you don’t fully wet your hunting clothing, the Scent Killer® Spray will still have a positive effect, but you will have an untreated percentage of your clothing, so soak, then fully dry your clothing before storing. Once dry, seal your clothes into a scentprotective container. A plain garbage bag will work, but there are other items like plastic storage containers or garment

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bags that will keep odors from permeating your clothes more effectively. You can pre-treat your clothing many weeks before use in the field.


The next step involves getting “your person” as scent-free as possible. One of the most offensive odors to a whitetail—more insulting than gasoline, cigarette smoke, cologne, or cooking odors—is human scent, so be sure to shower with Scent Killer® Body Wash, or Scent Killer® Bar Soap. These special Anti-Odor™ formulas are gentle on you but really tough on human odor. Once you have showered, use Scent Killer® AntiPerspirant & Deodorant. This will help keep you dry and odorless all day. Once you are showered and ready to go, try not to pass through any areas that have strong odors. Unless you are going straight to the field, it is best to put on a set of clothing that has been washed in Scent Killer® Clothing Wash, but not the clothes you are wearing to actually hunt in. Keep your hunting clothes sealed in their container until you get to the exact area that you intend to hunt since there are many odors that you may come in contact with on the way to your hunting area. Also, once you get to your location, if you have a long walk to your site, you may want to carry some of your clothes and get dressed at your site, to avoid sweating too much in them.


Spraying your clothes with Scent Killer® Spray may be the easiest and most critical single thing you can do in the effort to eliminate human odor. It will dramatically reduce the human odor passing into the air from your body. It will also minimize the human odor being left in your stand area and your trail to it, by dramatically reducing Scent Transfer. Once you reach your hunting area you

may choose to add a final spray of Scent Killer® to your outer layer, especially where you think human scent gas may escape, like around your collar, hat, and where your boot tops meet your pant leg. This is a good idea, but keep in mind that Scent Killer® Spray continues to work for days after it dries, so it may be wasted effort. Super-Charged® Scent Killer® Spray can also be applied to your clothing and boot bottoms. Just like the standard Scent Killer® Spray, it works best when you apply it to saturation, and the active ingredients keep right on working after it dries and continue to work for days after drying—dramatically increasing your odds of success. You might also like to know that Super-Charged® Scent Killer® works so good that it was found to be 99% effective at stopping replicated human odor in testing at Rutgers University. New Scent Killer® Gold® Spray with Hunt Dry® Technology is scientifically formulated to last even longer and is formulated for maximum performance after it dries as well. It’s the longest lasting Scent Killer formula yet! It works so well it can effectively turn your hunting clothes into a high-powered Scent Elimination Suit. Scent Killer® Gold® with Hunt Dry® Technology was also tested at Rutgers University and found to be 99% effective at stopping replicated human odor—this time, ten days after drying. Again, just apply, dry, and go hunt! Whether you take some or all of these steps, the more you do to reduce human scent, the better your odds will be. By using genuine Wildlife Research Center® products and paying attention to scent elimination and scent transfer, you will get much closer to the animals that you are hunting. Use the Scent Killer® system and see for yourself. Good hunting!


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here are many factors involved in shooting a shotgun accurately, but one of the most important and least understood is gun fit. Most manufacturers offer a standard stock dimension, something that fits the average shooter. Since shooters don’t have an opportunity to choose between different stock sizes and configurations, they just accept the gun as it was built and learn to shoot what they have. In a perfect world, that wouldn’t be the case. Every hardcore target shooter would be able to walk into a gun store, just like walking into a shoe store, and pick a gun stock as perfect as the right pair of shoes. It may seem daunting, but getting the right fit isn’t nearly as complicated as you might think. The measurements are easily understood, and it would behoove every shotgun shooter to be on speaking terms with them. The most important thing to keep in mind is that almost all stock



Understanding Shotgun Stocks and Why They’re Shaped the Way They Are

measurements start at the rib line and go down. Here’s a rundown of some of the measurements in a rough order of importance.


One of the most important measurements in fitting a shotgun to a shooter is length of pull (LOP). Shown as measurement “A,” it is measured from the center of the butt to the center of the trigger and is seen as a fairly direct measurement of the length of the buttstock of any firearm. Too long a distance here will force the shooter away from the gun, moving his cheek back from the point of the comb where it belongs. The butt will also tend to catch in his clothes as the gun is quickly mounted. Too short a distance is uncomfortable to get lined up, forcing the shooter to ease his face back, away from the breech, in order to line up his eye correctly. A length

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of pull that is too short will also result in having the thumb smack the shooter in the nose or safety glasses under recoil. Length of pull is dependent on many factors: length of arms, length of the neck, shoulder width, and stance. Similarly-sized people can have completely different LOPs based on stance alone. A good middle ground is 14-1/2 inches for field guns and 14-3/4 inches for target models. For shorter/smaller shooters, CZ makes a number of shotguns, including the 712 ALS, 720 ALS, Redhead Reduced Length, and the new Lady Sterling.


To find drop at comb, a perpendicular line is drawn down from the rib line to the point of the comb and a measurement is taken (“B”). This drop is one of the most critical of all the factors involving fit, allowing the cheek to rest at the right height, which in turn allows the eye to

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fall naturally in line with the rib. The proper drop allows the gun to be thrown up for a quick shot and not have to be adjusted before firing. If the comb is too high, the eye is forced high and we will tend to shoot high. To counteract this, shooters mash their cheek too hard against the stock, trying to lower the eye. This isn’t a comfortable, natural way to aim, and will lead to more felt recoil from the gun. If the comb is too low, the eye will be too low and we will tend to shoot too low. To avoid this, shooters place their cheek too lightly on the comb or even raise it off the stock a bit, neither of which is good for accuracy.


Drop a perpendicular line from the rib line to the heel, as at “C,” and the measurement is called the drop at heel. Whereas a small change in drop at comb can make a big difference, a fairly wide range of measurements of drop at heel can be comfortably accommodated by the average shooter. One thing that does change with this measurement is the amount of felt recoil. A gun with a little drop at heel is said to have a straight stock. Since the force is directed straight back into the shoulder, there will be less perceived recoil. Stocks with a large drop at heel can have a bit more felt recoil as the gun rotates up into the shooter’s cheek, but they typically feel much more comfortable during the mount and swing.


This is the distance from the rib line down to the bottom tip of the butt, shown as “D.” This is the lowest portion of the buttstock, and also the lowest part that contacts the shoulder. Drop at toe is equally as important to felt recoil as drop at heel, but for a different reason. Comparing the drops at heel and toe, the more the difference, the longer the buttpad is and, in turn, the larger the recoiling surface is. The larger the pad, the more distributed the recoil is on the shooter’s shoulder. A small pad, having little difference between drop at heel and drop at toe, will result in a gun that sends all its force through a smaller surface, resulting in more felt recoil. When shooters complain about a shotgun bruising their shoulder, many times it comes down

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to too little drop at toe or too little pitch.


This is the farthest comb measurement before the heel, “E.” Not all guns have Monte Carlo-style stocks, but those that do tend to fit the shooter much better than traditionalstyle stocks. Common on target guns, it is important to realize that the Monte Carlo has a huge effect on the drop at the heel and the drop at the toe, resulting in a gun that is comfortable for high-volume shooters, as it allows for better fit and considerably less felt recoil. Many times field guns do not have Monte Carlos because of the increased dimensions that translate into more weight. The CZ Redhead Target and Sporter models all come standard with Monte Carlostyle buttstocks.


Pitch is the angle of the buttpad’s back surface, measured off of a perpendicular line drawn down from the rib (“F”). Pitch is most important for people with larger chests, usually women. For those shooters, a stock with too little pitch will distribute recoil with only the toe section of the butt, creating an uncomfortable experience and many times bruising their shoulder. By having more pitch, the stock will distribute recoil through the entirety of the buttpad, making the gun more comfortable to shoot. It should be noted that there are several ways to measure pitch. Measuring the angle of the pad is one way, but another way commonly used in the U.S. is to draw a line from the heel across the top of the breech and into the air above the front sight. The distance from the muzzle up to that line is measured in inches and is then referenced in relation to the amount of pitch in the gun. The problem with measuring pitch this way is that barrel length has to be taken into account, since an identically stocked gun with longer barrels will have a different measurement

for pitch. CZ shotguns have approximately six degrees of pitch. To appeal to female shooters, the Lady Sterling has been introduced with unique stock dimensions and 12 degrees of pitch.


The terms “cast-off” and “cast-on” are used to describe stock configurations for either a right- or left-handed person. This measurement is shown in the diagram to the left, and is designated as “G” in Figure 2. Simply put, cast refers to the deviation of the butt away from the centerline of the gun. A shotgun with no cast is straight, and a line down the rib will continue straight down the center of the buttstock when viewed from above. When looking from the back of the gun, a cast-off stock will show the center of the butt slightly right of the center of the rib line. The opposite is true of a Fig. 2 cast-on stock. Cast allows a shooter to look straight down the rib, so a cast-off stock is meant for a right-handed person and a cast-on stock for a leftie. Mounting a cast-off stock left-handed results in the shooter looking down the right side of the rib, meaning his eye will not align naturally with the rib. All wood-stocked shotguns that CZUSA offers are cast-off for right-handed shooters. The 712 ALS, 720 ALS, and 712 Utility have neutral cast for both right- and left-handed shooters. The right combination of these measurements will make a shotgun “feel right.” When the proper fit is achieved, a shooter will be able to focus on the target, not the shotgun, giving you one less thing to worry about. Visit CZ-USA.com to download our catalog and view the entire lineup of 2018 shotguns.


Treat Every Firearm As Though It Were Loaded



any shooters will advise that hand loading their own ammunition is the secret to success with any firearm. To the beginner, however, the process can look daunting because there are so many types of equipment to choose from. The Hornady LockN-Load Classic kit is an ideal way to start a process that can develop into a hobby of its own: creating accurate ammunition at a lower cost, and allowing any sportsman to become more deeply involved in the all-round shooting process. Apart from specific reloading dies for your chosen caliber, any of which are compatible with this set-up, the Lock-Nload Classic kit contains everything you will need to begin making your own ammunition, when combined with your chosen reloading components and powder. The first stage is inspection of fired cases, which entails checking for dents, cracks or other damage in used brass. You may choose to go with new brass straight off the shelf, but any burrs on the case mouth, internally or externally, can be removed with a few twists of the chamfering tool, which will also 26 HUNTER’S HANDBOOK

come in useful at a later date if fired and resized cases need trimming to length. One Shot Case Lube sprayed onto the brass cases will allow them to be resized with ease in the sturdy single stage press that cams “over center�. This enables the toggled lever mechanism to exert maximum force on each case whilst still being easy to use for operators of any age or stature. This single up and down stroke of the press ram is where the greatest twenty-seventh annual edition

amount of force is required, so you need a solid anchoring point whilst the case shoulders are bumped back into position, the case neck squeezed tighter and the body of the case is returned to factory dimensions. As the Press handle is raised, the ram will lower, drawing the case with it and the expander ball over the de-capping pin (which has pushed the spent primer out into the catcher) will stretch the neck

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back up to the required dimension, usually a few thousandths of an inch smaller than the bullet diameter. This resizing is what allows the case neck to apply tension to the bullet within it for a light interference fit, although some shooters might also desire a mechanical crimp, especially on heavier calibers or bullets with a cannelure. Cartridge Overall Length (C.O.L.) and neck tension variation are often suggested to be crucial to ultimate rifle accuracy and can have a positive effect towards achieving those tiny groups many shooters boast of. When you first start out, however, it makes a lot of sense to follow the “recipes” and dimensions advised in a quality manual such as the Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading. Overcomplication can remove some of the simpler pleasures in just going shooting with your own great ammo, which doesn’t have to shoot bug holes every time. It’s fine to walk before you try to run.

The press is the foundation of all reloading exercises. It has twin slots to bolt it securely to your chosen work surface, whether this is a fixed bench or perhaps a portable unit you can also take to the range. Most die sets threaded 7/8”x14 will include a caliber specific shell holder that clips into the ram of the press to hold each individual brass case securely and absolutely central to the upper die. Most importantly, this will also control the headspacing (precise case length from head to shoulder) at which the die is set. Shell holders also firmly For more info: Circle #8 on Action Insert Card

draw the case back out of the die after resizing—a task for which the case lube is mandatory—if you forget it and get a case stuck it will require expert removal!

Hornady’s Lock-N-Load Die Bushings, three of which are included in the kit, means that once set up, any die can be changed quickly in the single stage press with less than a full turn, yet retain its precise set-up for life with no further adjustments needed. After resizing, each case can be further inspected and measured for dimension changes, which must remain within the specifications set by the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (“SAAMI”), and cleaned ready for primer seating. An optional Automatic Primer Feed accessory kit is available for the Hornady Positive Priming System, for which a primer flipping tray is supplied to set everything the correct way up. As an alternative, Hornady’s own Handheld Priming Tool allows the process to be delicately controlled at speed, sitting away from your reloading bench if you prefer. This is a stage where patience and delicacy are required while the primers are seated flush with the brass case heads ready of their once in a lifetime strike from the firing pin. Measuring powder is where most handloaders like to boast of the greatest precision, and with a Lock-N-Load Powder Measure, the metering insert on the rotor allows easy repeat setup from caliber to caliber and load to load. Should your choose even greater consistency, place each charged pan onto the electronic scales to check precise weights: you can “throw” powder charges slightly light and then trickle up to the precise weight with a powder trickler, kernel by

kernel. With all your cases standing neatly in batches of 50 in the Universal Reloading Block, each powder charge can be poured in cleanly using the funnel to avoid spillage before changing to your seating die, ready to load the bullets and finish each loaded round. Again, delicacy is rewarded here as you gently hold each bullet above the case mouth as your other hand lowers the press lever to raise the ram. The bullet and case can then slide cleanly through your fingertips into the die to be aligned and forced into place, where the neck tension of the resized brass will hold it securely at your desired C.O.L. Dimensions such as these are contained, along with a wide range of reloading recipes, in Hornady’s Handbook of Cartridge Reloading, included in the kit. It is a lifelong reference source for the entire reloading process with descriptions of safe practices and how to fine tune for the results you desire. A wide range of cartridges—from the smallest to largest— are featured, so, as well as your own round, you have a reference to other cartridges of the world and how these relate both to yours and each other, with historical details and the precise dimensions to which you must adhere for reliable operation. The importance of this book cannot be overstated since many reloaders think accuracy comes from load recipe but dismiss correct procedure. Following the detailed instructions in the manual will teach reloading from initial concept all the way to completion of your own personal ammunition, with accuracy and safety paramount.


Although the reloading press itself is the foundation of metallic reloading, never dismiss the smaller equipment details, and start out with a good reloading manual. Ammunition isn’t just about “recipes”; it’s about having a good, methodical approach to brass preparation and quality control, with simple techniques that will still make great ammunition, save you money and add a new dimension of pride to your sport.

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A BLAST from the


When it comes to hunting options and seasons today, one is a specially-designed firearm out there to help you achieve your goals. popular method can actually take hunters back in time… MEETING THE CHALLENGE the unique experience of hunting with a muzzleloader.


n this pursuit, all hunters must begin by thoroughly studying the rifle and bullet, and then measuring blackpowder precisely. Loading is a step-by-step process that requires pouring in the muzzleloading powder—or dropping in pre-formed blackpowder pellets, wrapping a musket ball or bullet with a patch or sabot, and then pressing the bullet into the barrel’s muzzle. Next, with some effort and a long ram-rod, the bullet is pushed with the powder behind it far down into the barrel. The end-goal is to seat the bullet against the powder charge. Finally, after placing a piece of flint to the spring-loaded arm, primer or percussion cap onto the nipple in the ignition system, the firearm is ready—it’s time to tug the trigger. Anyone shooting a muzzleloader is well aware of the thick smoke, plume of fire, and all the “special effects” that make this type of hunting—and practice—so thrilling. Seeing and executing the process in person is far better than the iconic scenes in an old black-and-white


Daniel Boone movie. And outside of the excitement of the blast, the great news is that hunting with a muzzleloader can open up all kinds of new hunting opportunities. Across America, the most popular pursuit with a muzzleloader is whitetailed deer. Numerous states host special muzzleloader-only hunting seasons for deer and other species. Those special stand-alone seasons not only potentially mean less crowds in forests and fields, but also that tags and licenses that are in areas where many rifle tags are not issued or preference points are required to purchase now become more readily available for a hunter with a blackpowder firearm in his hands. Hunting with a muzzleloading firearm offers many unique rewards. To make the effort more successful, there are numerous manufacturers, such as Thompson/Center Arms, that offer many models of muzzleloaders. With so many types of muzzleloaders out there, no matter your state regulations or personal preferences, there twenty-seventh annual edition

Hunting with a muzzleloader is definitely a technical pursuit. Muzzleloader firearms teach many important hunting skills—and can possibly make each participant a better hunter. Hunters using muzzleloading firearms need to learn details about ballistics, barrel bores, blackpowder, and bullets, all the while improving basic shooting skills. This group of hunters also needs to better understand the science required to send a projectile—the bullet—into flight and across a distance. Another part some hunters find thrilling is determining what amount of powder is required to push the bullet a specific distance to hit the bull’s-eye. This is where high school math, velocity and gravity all become factors to figure for specific hunting conditions. Don’t be intimidated though— it really boils down to learning to use any firearm—practice, and extra attention to detail can translate into a more quicklyfilled deer tag, elk antlers for the wall, or a bear rug in your home. Ultimately, hunting with a muzzle-

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T/C® STRIKE™ loader teaches two very important skills to all hunters—accuracy and patience. Each hunter will learn to aim carefully since a lot is riding on that first shot, and it is A PROCESS to reload. In most hunting situations the standard is “one shot, one kill.” It’s important to practice— and practice reloading.

Visit the local state game and fish department website to learn the muzzleloader regulations in the region you’ll be hunting in because some places do not permit riflescopes or certain models of muzzleloaders. THE METHOD

The process of loading and firing a muzzleloader is best accomplished by first cleaning the muzzleloader. To start this process, remove any flint or primer and next determine if the firearm is unloaded. To do this, simply drop the ramrod into the barrel. A metal ringing sound means the barrel is empty. If there’s a low thud, the muzzleloader could be loaded. Anyone with questions should visit a gunsmith to help safely complete this process. Before reassembling some components, like the breech plug for an in-line black powder rifle model, first grease any threaded parts. This permits easy disassembling the next time the firearm needs to be cleaned or unloaded.

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The good news is that going deer hunting with a muzzleloader has become a more “modern” process. There are also several manufacturers that offer youth models of muzzleloading rifles for those with smaller frames and arms. Thompson/Center Arms’ IMPACT!™ .50-caliber muzzleloading rifle is a great example of an entry-level muzzleloading rifle. It comes in an economical price point that’s easy on the wallet, features break-open design for easy cleaning and use, and incorporates a spacer on the rear of the stock that adjusts to fit many shooters’ arm length and body style. This great entry-level muzzleloader was the recent recipient of a Game & Fish Reader’s Choice Award. To step up the game-toppling options, consider shouldering the T/C® STRIKE™ muzzleloader rifle. This blackpowder firearm offers premium features including: Ambidextrous Stealth Striker™ system, Match Grade Trigger and Armornite® Corrosion Protective finish. This.50-caliber muzzleloader also utilizes and ADAPT™ Breech System to optimize ignition performance with your propellant of choice—loose or pellet. Anyone wanting to be an apex hunter with a muzzleloading firearm could consider shouldering T/C’s TRIUMPH® Bone Collector® model—made in collaboration with famed hunter, Michael Waddell. This rifle has a Flex-Tech® stock, utilizes the Speed Breech XT® system, comes with a fluted barrel and has a reversible hammer extension. It’s also available fully cloaked in Realtree AP® camouflage. Looking for a gun for all seasons? Another good choice is the T/C ENCORE® Pro Hunter™ with a unique interchangeable system that allows you to change from a muzzleloader to a

T/C® ENCORE® PRO HUNTER™ shotgun to a rifle—perfect for those hunters that like to hunt multiple states and all seasons. Learn more about T/C muzzleloading rifles, shotguns and compact firearm models on their website www.tcarms.com. There is also a good video on this website showing details about shooting and hunting with a muzzleloader from pro hunter, Michael Waddell. And, anyone finding success behind a cloud of muzzleloader smoke can also upload their trophy and hunting images to the T/C website, Trophy Room. Thumbs up!


1) Before hunting with a muzzleloader, get organized and place bullets, powder, tools and other items into specific coat pockets and pack pouches where they are easy to reach. Then you’ll be organized and able to quickly find items when it is time to reload. 2) Follow-through is important, and always hold a muzzleoading rifle as steady as possible when pulling the trigger. This creates a more accurate shot down range. 3) Always wear shooting safety glasses when using a muzzleloader because the fire and burning powder are near to your face and eyes. 4) Have fun and think about the long history of blackpowder rifles when using a muzzleloading firearm. These are the type of rifles that helped shape America and achieved the westward expansion.

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Plinking Shoot•N•C® Targets


Just the sound of that word brings back wonderful memories of tin cans dancing in the air.


he term refers to informal target shooting, often at off-beat targets such as cans and bottles. But the term plinking basically comes, as one might imagine, from the sound of a small caliber bullet hitting a tin can— “PLINK!” Various calibers have been used, but the old standby for all-around plinking fun is the .22 caliber rimfire with air guns also thrown into the mix. Indeed, the firearms used for the sport are the primers for all shooting and hunting. It is THE place to start. The low-recoil and lesser muzzle report of these firearms add comfort and confidence. Plus, a pint milk carton package of 500 rounds of .22 rimfire can cost less than one box of 25 shotgun shells. Plinking is simple, enjoyable and this game of hits and misses is addictive. And this repetition, this desire to shoot again and again, can transform you into a better marksman. But nobody wants broken bottles or old cans left around twenty-seventh annual edition

after a day of plinking anymore. Enter Birchwood Casey of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, a manufacturer of targets as well as a variety of great cleaning and refinishing products for your firearms for over 70 years. Their products offer shooters with a passion for plinking an excellent line of products that can literally transform most shot-safe open areas, be it a field or your backyard, into a shooting range. Take Birchwood Casey’s Shoot-N-C Targets for example. Self-adhesive, they are very versatile and can be stuck to a variety of boards, boxes, backdrops, etc. With these targets, the location of each shot is revealed with a bright chartreuse ring around the point of impact. It allows the shooter, instant feelgood feedback. With success easily seen from a distance, it eliminates time wasted on walks downrange to inspect targets. This, in itself, also provides for a safer shooting environment. Translation? Immediate shot detection

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gives an immediate indicator of shooting success and boosts confidence. You see, to find success with firearms, well, you have to have something to shoot for, or perhaps more appropriately, when considering the world of hunting and/or shooting, one has to have something to shoot at—repeatedly. Ask any accomplished marksman, hunter and/or shooter how many targets they riddled before becoming an expert and my guess is that he or she will confirm it’s many. Repetition, repetition, repetition. Being good with a gun is no different than playing the piano or any other eye/hand endeavor. Practice is essential. Monotonous? Never, and most newcomers to the sport are pretty happy to hear the rapport or gunfire. It’s exciting, but eventually, this wears off and you want to be on target, more often, if not all the time. In short, shooters not only want to shoot, they also want to “see” results. Birchwood Casey’s Shoot-N-C Targets allow this and are available in a variety of sizes. There are ringed and numbered, traditional bull’s-eye models which allow for scoring. Others are designed specifically for sighting-in rifles and some are for patterning shotguns. Then too, there are lifelike Shoot-N-C Targets for hunters. These targets

Range Tips and Rules

include silhouette models like the prairie chuck, crow, bear and the Shoot-N-C Kits for deer, coyote, turkey and boar. Most models also come with “repair pasters” that allow you to cover previous hits, giving each target a longer life, and you more shooting opportunities. The ability to set up a plinking range wherever shooting safety allows means convenience and more opportunity to shoot. And once again, a key to becoming a better shooter is to be able to shoot more often. Birchwood Casey’s portable range brings the entire target ensemble together in a perfect match. If ever there was a plinking-in-a-box kit, Birchwood Casey makes it available with their new Animal Gallery and Traditional Gallery Resetting Targets. For example all-day shooting is available to you, in whichever safe area you decide to set up these neat targets. They are designed for airguns or .22 rimfire and provide new, as well as seasoned shooters hours of entertainment and “lessons” (who says learning can’t be fun?). Gallery resetting targets allow shooters to not only knock down the paddles or animal silhouettes, but the gallery also lets the shooters reset all targets at once with one well-placed round. Again, there is no need to walk down range, an additional safety benefit.

Here are some range tips and rules to consider for your favorite plinking locale:

• Safety always comes FIRST. Always wear eye and ear protection and handle firearms with safety in mind. • Post range rules where everyone can read them. • Have adult supervision. • If you are preparing for an upcoming hunt, consider wearing the gear you would wear on an actual hunt for a practice session. • Keep your range clean. Pick up spent cartridges, paper, etc. Having a garbage can on site is a very good idea. • Practice firing from various shooting positions. This is especially beneficial for hunters that often have to take the unexpected shot at game. Shoot from some positions at the range that you might have to take in the field. • Practice taking a breath and holding it as you squeeze the trigger. Jerking the trigger results in inaccuracy. • Learn to use a rest. You will be amazed how accurate you can be with a steady firearm. For more information on Birchwood Casey’s targets or other products, visit online at www.birchwoodcasey.com. There is also a fun, interactive shooting game. For more info: Circle #1 on Action Insert Card

Practice Good Sportsmanship



Dana Weatherby, daughter of Adam and Brenda Weatherby, with her Wyoming antelope she took using her Vanguard Camilla 2016.

n 2018, Weatherby Inc., maker of premier firearms and ammunition, will relocate from California to Sheridan, Wyo. It’s a big move for the company, which was founded in 1945 by Roy Weatherby in South Gate, Calif. With Weatherby’s attention to detail and high standards for quality, the company quickly built its reputation on innovation, craftsmanship, reliability, and safety, and are now known in hunting circles throughout the world for their finely crafted rifles and hyper-velocity magnum cartridges that combine power and accuracy. The move to a new custom manufacturing facility and company headquarters in Sheridan will begin a new chapter in the

company’s illustrious history. With an abundance of wildlife and thousands of acres of publicly-accessible hunting lands and nearly limitless avenues for outdoor recreation—hunting, shooting, fishing, camping, hiking, backpacking, snowmobiling, to name a few—Weatherby will feel at home.


A lifelong inventor, tinkerer, and thinker, Roy Weatherby grew up hunting rabbits and squirrels and drawing on his hunting experience as he set out to get better performance from the rifles and ammunition then available. Many hunting cartridges and rifles of the day owed their existence to military technology. In fact, by the mid-1940s, most hunters Roy Weatherby with a giant polar bear he took were using calibers with military with one of his cartridges in the arctic. heritage and many of the cartridges were designed with relatively heavy bullets propelled downrange at moderate speeds. Convinced ammunition could be more accurate, made to shoot faster, flatter, and hit harder, Weatherby, an insurance salesman at the time, focused his passion on cartridge performance, meticulously studying and designing and taking notes to develop wildcat cartridges, cartridges with performance beyond that of common loads of the day.


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He started by turning the popular heavy-bullet notion on its head, believing lightweight bullets propelled at super-fast speeds would provide the ideal combination of accuracy and high impact on target. Always a hunter at heart, Weatherby was convinced the combination of light weight and high speeds would create the hydrostatic shock to kill animals quickly and humanely, the goal of all ethical hunters. Weatherby set in motion a number of cartridge innovations, particularly Weatherby Magnum cartridges, such as the still popular Weatherby Magnums 224, 240, 257, 270, 7mm, 300, 30-378, 340, 338-378, 375, 378, 416, and 460. But what to do with all that power? Most rifles in use in the early days of Weatherby’s developments weren’t built to handle such powerful cartridges. Undeterred, Weatherby designed and built his own rifles, rifles chambered to match his innovative cartridges. First, he rechambered other actions to fit his needs, but by 1957 he produced his own rifle action, the innovative and strong Mark V, built to handle the tremendous power of his ground-breaking cartridges. The Mark V is known today as among the strongest actions available. Weatherby’s eye for stylish and distinctive design also set his rifles apart, and soon the hunting and shooting world were clamoring for Weatherby rifles and ammunition. visit www.huntershandbook.com


In 1970, Weatherby again caught the attention of the hunting and shooting world with the introduction of his Vanguard line of rifles, considered among the best choices for someone looking for a first

rifle or adding an accurate Weatherby caliber to their rifle lineup.


In 1983, Ed Weatherby, Roy’s son, assumed leadership of Weatherby, Inc., and the company continued its growth and expansion, producing additional



hough there are dozens of Weatherby rifle configurations to meet virtually all needs and conditions, you can personally design your own Weatherby rifle, customizing it through a simple ordering process to create an authentic custom Weatherby built to your exact specifications, so your Weatherby is truly one-of-a-kind yours. Weatherby smooths the road to your custom Weatherby through its Custom Configurator (custom.weatherby.com), which leads you through the process step by step. Essentially, you choose the barreled action and the stock to fit your specifications and then the features you want to add. You can build your own custom rifle in a handful of easy steps. Here’s how easy it is: Start by picking either of Weatherby’s reliable platforms as a basis—Vanguard or Mark V. Then, decide if you prefer your Weatherby to be a standard model with one of three barrel choices or with a Custom Krieger barrel. Then, it is a simple matter of choosing For more info: Circle #20 on Action Insert Card



6.5 Creedmoor

Range Certified Yes

Metal Finish Tactical Grey


Accuguard Kryptek Highlander Reduced

Muzzle Brake

SureFire ProComp 762 caliber, metal finish, stock configuration, and deciding whether to add other features, such as a custom bolt knob, drop-box magazine, or muzzle break. That’s all there is to it. You’ve just designed your personal customized rifle. See how easy it is at Weatherby Custom Configurator at custom.weatherby.com.

models in both the Mark V and Vanguard lines, including the Camilla line, designed especially for women, and the ultra-poplar Vanguard Series 2 rifle, with guaranteed sub-MOA accuracy. Not all shooters will recall that Weatherby, in the 1980s, was the first company to feature synthetic stocks in production rifles. Weatherby also offers a full line of semi-automatic, pump, and over/under shotguns. In 2017, Adam Weatherby, Ed’s son, took the reins as the third Weatherby generation to head the company, and the history of Weatherby embarks on its next chapter as the company looks to 2018 and beyond in its new home in Wyoming.

Passionate About the Outdoors?

So are we. Check out WBY-TV— the online destination for educational and entertaining videos for those with a passion for the outdoor, hunting, and shooting lifestyle. With content ranging from hunts and tips to technical applications and Team Weatherby profiles, WBY-TV.com promises never-before-seen, real-life stories coupled with some of the best video content in the spirit of the sport that we all love—hunting and shooting.


Treat Every Firearm As Though It Were Loaded



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Joe Angelo leads his son, Ben, through the proper steps for cleaning a rifle.


Photo by Zack Brescia

A Clean Firearm is a Safer, More Accurate, More Valuable Firearm


here are lots of opinions on when and how to clean firearms, but most agree on the “why”—to maintain accuracy, assure proper function and protect your investment. “A clean bore will maintain its accuracy,” said Tom Griffin, technical manager for Lyman Products, a leading manufacturer of innovative tools for serious shooters and reloaders, “while a fouled bore can cause accuracy to decline.” “A really dirty action can eventually cause malfunctions as it becomes too dirty to operate smoothly,” Griffin said. “Just like any mechanical item, dirt and residue building up on moving components will eventually increase friction and slow or stop them from moving properly.” Plus, “a dirty-looking gun looks like one that has not been properly cared for and could affect value,” he said. How often to clean depends on the type of shooting being done, and the firearm and caliber, Griffin said. “Many benchrest shooters will clean their barrels after 15 to 25 rounds, some after as little as five or 10,” he said. “A big-bore shooter, 3-gun shooter or varmint hunters might fire 100 or more shots without cleaning. A good rule of thumb may be to clean after each normal shooting session, providing fouling is not affecting your accuracy or results.” “Since most pistol calibers are firing lower velocity and lower pressure rounds, copper fouling tends to be less of a problem with pistols than rifles,” Griffin said. “It can still occur, but is not as common. Lead fouling is much more common with pistol calibers, as lead bullets are used in lower velocity and lower pressure

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cartridges much more frequently than in rifles.” If lead or copper fouling is not a problem, you could fire 100 or more rounds without cleaning, Griffin said. “Some pistol shooters rarely clean their pistols, but cleaning after a normal shooting session is the best way to go for most handgunners,” he said. “A muzzleloader will need to be cleaned much more often, as powder fouling builds up much quicker with black powder or black powder substitutes,” Griffin said. “With regular black powder, you might be only able to get off four or five shots before the fouling gets heavy enough to make it difficult to properly seat another round. With a muzzleloader, watch for signs of difficult loading and/or accuracy drop-off. If you see either, clean the barrel.” To clean a firearm, Griffin recommends starting with a clean patch saturated with an all-purpose solvent, such as Butch’s Bore Shine. Run the soaked patch through the barrel, then repeat with another clean, saturated patch. Repeat with new saturated patches until a patch comes out clean. “In particular, look for any blueish coloring on the patch as this will be a sign of copper fouling,” Griffin said. Once patches come out clean, run a couple dry patches through the barrel. Then run one patch with a quality gun oil on it, like Butch’s Gun Oil, through the barrel.” If you’re dealing with heavy buildup of copper or lead fouling, you may need to run a bronze brush, soaked in solvent,

By Joe Arterburn back and forth in the barrel a number of times, perhaps 10 or 20. Then clean with patches as described. “If patches still come out with blue coloring, more brushing may be needed,” Griffin said. “You could also run a saturated patch through the barrel and let the solvent set for several hours. For heavy fouling, letting it set overnight could help. Then brush the barrel, followed by patches.” Lyman has handy kits for cleaning firearms, such as the Essential All-in-One Kit, the Multi-Caliber Pistol Cleaning Kit and the Muzzleloader’s Maintenance Kit. Griffin recommends starting with a kit, and augmenting it with Lyman’s Universal Bore Guide Set and their 26-Piece Jag & Brush Set. Lyman’s QwikDraw Barrel-Cleaning Rope is a good in-the-field cleaning option, “a good way to keep a barrel clean during breaks in the action,” Griffin said. Tip: Use Lyman’s Essential Rifle Maintenance Mat (or Essential Gun Maintenance Mat for handguns) to protect your work surface and firearm. The synthetic rubber mat is chemical-resistant, cleans easily and features molded-in compartments to keep small parts organized.

See our complete video on gun cleaning: www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtFr0Uuid5E

www.lymanproducts.com Know and Obey the Law


The Most Important Thing to Take Into the Field:


Actually, the most important thing is YOU, because Fair Chase is inside of you.


unting presents us with challenges unlike anything we do in our lives. How you choose to overcome these challenges and how you measure success says a lot about you as a person and as a hunter.

being sure you will come out on top requires you to try harder and work harder in everything you do. Hunting Fair Chase is like this, but there is more to it than how we approach a challenge.


Somewhere in our hearts there is a very important truth that says it is always better to take on a challenge fair and square. Ever hear your parents or teachers saying, if you look for shortcuts, you’re only cheating yourself? In our innermost thoughts and beliefs, cheating or taking a shortcut makes the experience or success less satisfying. It is also true that going against a tougher challenge is more worthwhile than an easy one. It’s like playing a game with your younger brother or sister and you always win. You might keep playing for their sake, so they learn, but to you personally the victories aren’t that meaningful. Challenges teach us and require us to develop skills. Not



We prepare and practice for the challenge, and once in the field we rely on our hunting skills and knowledge of the animals we pursue. Getting ourselves ready is part of the fun of hunting. But hunting Fair Chase has deeper meanings. For most of us, interest in hunting begins with a fascination and an appreciation for the game we hunt. When we see ourselves as a part of nature and connected to the twenty-seventh annual edition

game we hunt and not separate from it, that’s when you know you’re hunting Fair Chase. We respect the things we care about, and the game we hunt should be no different. This respect brings honor to the hunt and to us. When you respect something, you don’t have to rely on knowing a list of rules. Doing the right thing just comes naturally. That’s Fair Chase. Doing right by the game and yourself. But there is still more to Fair Chase.


Our role as hunters is very serious because the goal is to take the life of an animal. This means that we have to be honorable in our intentions and our actions. Hunting Fair Chase means accepting that most times the animal gets away. If we take a shortcut or cheat or hunt where it is easy or a sure thing, we dishonor the animal and ourselves. This reflects poorly on hunters and hunting. Remember, hunting is a privilege, not a right, like the right to own a gun, which is

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The Fair Chase hunter:

– Knows and obeys the law, and insists others do as well

– Understands that it is not only about just what is legal, but also what is honorable and ethical

– Defines “unfair advantage” as when the game does not have reasonable chance of escape

guaranteed by our Constitution. A privilege is something that can be lost or taken away, so a privilege is something that has to be earned repeatedly. As long as people see hunting as being done with respect and honor, they will continue to support it. Hunting Fair Chase ensures that people will not vote against hunting and respect hunters for their commitment to wildlife conservation. If we behave in this way, there is a better future for us and for the animals, and for the wild places they call home.


Hunting is not a competition among hunters. As Fair Chase hunters, we are only competing with ourselves. We go into the field with the right ideas and we stay true to them. What we gain each and every time is the enjoyment of going into nature and observing and understanding our surroundings with the eyes of a hunter and daring to take on a great challenge without knowing how it might turn out. We all might hunt for similar reasons, but our approach and what we do at the moment we decide to shoot an animal or not, this is deeply personal, and as it should be.


What can test Fair Chase is relying on technology that gives us too many advantages over the natural abilities of animals. We have the gear and the gadgets that can appear to be a replacement for the need to practice, and hone our skills as a hunter. While it may be claimed that using new

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technologies will make you a more ethical hunter because it will improve your shooting skills, nothing and nobody can make you a responsible hunter but you. At some point when the challenge is gone, hunting becomes just shooting. How much technology to use is also a choice you must make, but you should always check the laws in the region you are hunting. Many of these laws place a limit on the use of technology so that our success is not too high and the game does not become overhunted. This is what wildlife conservation means. Conserving some today so there will be game to hunt tomorrow.


If you are still wondering about Fair Chase, remember one thing: the measure of a hunt is really a measure of ourselves. Of course, success can be measured by the game you bring home. Taking the game you seek is a good outcome of a Fair Chase hunt. But when you don’t, that doesn’t mean you were a failure. Fair Chase hunting is one of those things where getting a “participation trophy” actually does stand for something. It means you took up the challenge; you respected the game, yourself, and other hunters enough to approach the hunt fair and square; you didn’t get your game, but that doesn’t mean you came home empty-handed. As Fair Chase hunters, we hunt the experience. That’s the difference between hunting and shooting. Ultimately, hunting is very personal and how you feel about yourself is what matters most.

– Cares about and respects all wildlife and the ecosystems that support them, which includes making full use of game animals taken

– Measures success not in the quantity of game taken, but by the quality of the chase

– Embraces the “no guarantees” nature of hunting – Uses technology in a way that does not diminish the importance of developing skills as a hunter or reduces hunting to just shooting

– Knows his or her limitations, and stretches the stalk not the shot

– Takes pride in the decisions he or she makes in the field and takes full responsibility for his or her actions Join the conversation at


Practice Good Sportsmanship



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Treat Every Firearm As Though It Were Loaded


Slave or Self Starter?

Let true self-reliance in hunting be your mantra Where do you go to learn self-reliance skills?

Find all the advanced information from experts, it’s free, and you can enter regular contests to win really cool gear for your next hunting trip.

Go to www.huntershandbook.com

Want know-how of backwoods survival, first-aid or trapping? Want to get tips on a safe preparation and gun handling? Want expert advice on choosing the right gear and gadgets just for you? Want to learn shooting tips, game preparation, or specific species’ natural habits?

Go to www.huntershandbook.com 44 HUNTER’S HANDBOOK

twenty-seventh annual edition

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to is stuff et full , packs s h t t n lo e c g ll in a e d p e sen o re We hav rly and mosquit e t . r a u q et you live s e lo r c e r h u w w ut o d. aning o r once we kno sed car le lo c c n e e b l e o e’l on th nt do And, w win, or your fro o t e n ly onli ) quarter d n school a ld w o o ( n Enter

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Program Rules • One entry per student or instructor per calendar quarter • Entries must be complete by the end of each calendar quarter with quarterly drawings held the first of the month following. Winners of each drawing will be notified by email and prizes will be shipped to winner’s address. • One student and instructor grand prize winner per calendar quarter • Quarterly drawings for prizes, check www.huntershandbook.com for current quarterly prizes

• Dozens of additional prizes will be drawn each quarter • No purchase necessary; no cash substitutions offered • Winners agree to release IHEA-USA, Focus Group, Inc., and any and all employees and agents from any liability related to or arising from this promotion. • Firearm winners must meet all eligibility requirements of state and federal law for firearms ownership and winners under 18 years of age at the time of the drawing are required to provide parent’s proof of acceptance prior to delivery of firearm.

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Make Scent Work for You Do deer attractants really work? Without a doubt, they do. Deer lures aren’t magic, but if used correctly it can sometimes seem like they are.


o begin, you must understand what you’re up against. You’ve probably heard statements similar to, “a whitetail ‘lives’ by its nose.” It’s a fact, their sense of smell is the only sense they trust completely. The part of the brain that measures and computes smells (referred to as the “olfactory region” of the brain), in a whitetail is said to be approximately 1,000 times larger than ours. There are also numerous other physical facts that accelerate the whitetails’ ability to substantially outperform our sense of smell. There’s no question, they trust their nose—so if you can learn how to deceive it, scent can be one of the most important tools in your arsenal.


There are three basic categories for lures: sexual attractants or “smells that come from deer,” food lures and curiosity scents. For curiosity scents other than plain urines, timing typically isn’t as crucial as it is for certain deer smells or


urine lures. When using natural deer smells or sexual attractants including urine or musk-type lures, time of year can play a crucial role as to what scents will be effective and when. You may see a positwenty-seventh annual edition

tive reaction to an estrus lure throughout the season. However, it’s probably best to use something different for the opening weekend of bow season. When you begin to see scrapes, lures like Active Scrape and Golden Scrape will begin to work well, whether it is in conjunction with a mock scrape or on their own. A good rule of thumb is to “use the smells when they would naturally occur in the wild.” You can fudge with that rule a bit when it comes to estrus urine. Sometimes nothing can work better than smelling like the first doe to come into heat, or later, the aroma of the last doe yet to be bred. When we say “food lure,” we’re not talking about baiting, rather, smells such as essence of apple, acorn scent, etc. These are smells from things deer like to eat. Curiosity lures are smells that are pleasing to a whitetail. They will usually come to investigate these smells in an inquisitive way. They can be plant derivatives, food extracts or possibly synthetic smells.

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scent during daylight hours. It helps to condition bucks into showing up during legal shooting light and spending more time in your area. The other nice thing is the Magnum Dripper can operate for up to two to three weeks on four ounces of scent, depending upon temperature swings. This unit freshens your setup each day, priming the location for you.


You may have made the scent trail technically correct, but when you hung the drag on the branch you touched it with your bare, sweaty hand. Your mock scrape may have been perfect except for the fact you stepped in it with the same leather boots you wore inside for breakfast that morning. You must make your setup seem as natural as possible. This is the area where most mistakes are made. You must keep “scent transfer” to an absolute minimum. If the great smell of the lure is there, but there’s also the smell of “danger,” you’ve goofed. Their instinct for survival outweighs all else. Reducing scent transfer begins with a stringent system of scent elimination. Having no foreign odors around, especially danger smells, will boost your odds significantly.


Possibly as important as using the correct scent at the right time is knowing how to get the smell to the whitetail’s nose. We have drags, boot pads, scent drippers, various wicks and other scent dispensers. Think about the scenario that you’re trying to sell to the deer and then which application would be best. A dripper is another tool that is used often, especially when creating mock scrapes. However, the Magnum Scrape Dripper is a great tool for dispensing lures at sites other than mock scrape locations. This temperature-activated unit dispenses

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Possibly the easiest method to effectively lure in deer is simply to hang scentsoaked wicks out on both sides of your position crosswind from you. Key-Wicks can be freshened by simply dipping it right into the bottle. Set them up at your maximum confident shooting range. The reason for this is because you’re trying to lure in deer from downwind. The closer they are set to you, the better the chance of a deer catching a whiff of your human scent. You want the lure to pull in the buck before he gets directly downwind of you. The Quik-Wik is possibly the most unique and convenient scent dispenser. It can be filled at camp and then kept until you’re ready to use it. Its screw-on seal and patented rain-shedding design make it a must for the serious hunter.


Take cover scent as an example: you can’t go into an oak woods reeking of cedar cover scent and expect to fool an animal with a sense of smell far superior to ours. Think! Our brain is one area where we’re one up on a whitetail. Don’t rush things when creating your setup. Think it through. Keep it as natural as possible. Keep foreign smell out of the picture and results will follow. No, scent doesn’t work all the time, but it’s definitely a tool you want to have with you to use sometimes.


Most deer scent falls into one of the three categories: food aromas, curiosity lures or deer smells. One product that appeals to all three areas is Wildlife Research Center’s Trail’s End #307. It’s a blend of several different ingredients that may incite different reactions in different deer. They may be drawn to it because they’re hungry, curious or to be social with other deer. Trail’s End #307 can be used in different ways—on a wick or boot pad, to draw in deer from downwind or to create a scent trail. Another great tactic is to use it in a Magnum Scrape Dripper. The Scrape Dripper is a unit designed to drip scent during daylight hours. Because of this, it conditions bucks into showing up during legal shooting light rather than after dark. An exceptional scent for those hunting just before, during or just after the rut is Wildlife Research Center’s Special Golden Estrus. This doe in heat lure is fresh and super-premium. This lure is collected, bottled and shipped in a special way to ensure its freshness. Each bottle is actually dated and stamped with a serial number to verify this. In addition, Wildlife Research Center’s new Golden Estrus with Scent Reflex technology is engineered for stronger, more consistent results. A popular masking scent from Wildlife Research Center is Fox Urine. It’s versatile because fox are naturally found just about everywhere you find whitetails. When choosing a cover scent, it’s important to choose a smell from an animal or plant that is indigenous to the area you’re hunting.

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Treat Every Firearm As Though It Were Loaded


By Joe Arterburn lead photo - dark scene showing a hunter, light and blue beam in a hunting/blood-trailing situation would be, I would think, the lead image


for Hunters


hile most hunting is done in daylight, there often can be plenty of pre- and post-hunting time spent in the dark, or more accurately, under the beam of a flashlight. And that’s why a good flashlight is so important. Getting to and from your hunting location in the dark, letting people know where you are in the dark (seeing and being seen, for safety’s sake, is another way to put it), field-dressing an animal as the sun goes down and possibly even searching for downed game well after sundown. The list of reasons to carry a good flashlight (many recommend carrying more than one source of light), goes on and on. Lately, hunters have been tapping into what law enforcement and military personnel have known for years: SureFire makes rugged and reliable flashlights, headlamps and now, wristlights (and other tactical gear, such as earplugs, that crosses over for hunting and shooting uses) for those who demand the ultimate in performance, technology, quality and innovation. Here’s a look at some of SureFire’s lineup that has caught the eye of hunters.



This SureFire classic, originally developed for pilots, has been redesigned and now features a dual-output primary white LED and secondary blue LED in one sealed head, both focused by a Total Internal Reflection lens into a userfriendly beam with plenty of reach and surrounding light. (The Aviator is also available with secondary amber, red or yellow-green LED, but hunters are choosing blue because it more clearly defines shapes in the outdoors and helps

momentary or constant-on light. And the white LED generates a powerful 250 lumens of smooth, intense light on the high setting or a user-friendly five lumens on the low setting. With a fresh battery, the white LED will run 1.5 hours on the high setting; more than 20 hours on low. The blue LED will run 12 hours on high, which produces four lumens, and 49 hours on low, which produces .4 lumens. All that from a single, replaceable 123A battery. It’s easy to switch from white to blue light, or vice versa. Just twist the knurled self-locking selector ring. To keep the light from accidentally turning on, there is also a system-disabling setting. Handy and compact, the Aviator also features a steel pocket clip to secure it in your pocket or pack.


identify blood trails.) It’s lightweight but rugged in a military-spec hard-anodized aluminum body, sealed with gaskets and O-ring to keep out moisture, dirt and debris. The handy push-button tailcap delivers either twenty-seventh annual edition

Headlamps provide hands-free illumination, ideal for tasks such as loading and unloading gear, setting decoys, field dressing and hiking to and from your hunting location. Minimus, a powerful, no-nonsense headlamp, launched SureFire to the top of the headlamp category, providing an

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easily adjustable amount of light thanks to 13 preset outputs from five lumens to a maximum of 300 lumens. The high-performance LED with faceted MaxVision reflector produces a wide, smooth beam that optimizes your field of vision.

The custom-made headband features fine mesh material for comfort, durability and secure fit to keep the light shining right where you need it. A removable and washable Breathe-O-Prene forehead pad provides a snug, comfortable fit. A push-button switch makes it easy to operate, easy to turn on and off and to choose an output level. And, all this high-tech performance is protected in a lightweight hard-anodized aerospace aluminum housing. With a fresh battery (it runs on one 123A battery), the Minimus will run 75 hours on low and 1.5 hours on high, which is a bright, intense beam with a 66 meter reach that is reassuring when you need it. SureFire’s Maximus shifts headlamp performance into high gear with rechargeable technology and a highperformance LED and precision reflector that produces an unprecedented 1,000 lumens of light, enough to reach an impressive 128 meters. Like the Minimus, the Maximus produces a wide, smooth beam of light ideally cast to optimize your field of vision as you work or move around in the dark. The easy-to-operate (even with cold or gloved fingers) dial allows you to adjust with one hand the light level from one to 1,000 lumens. There is also an emergency SOS mode for signaling for help. The Maximus also features a custom headband, with Breathe-O-Prene forehead pad, built to keep the Maximus comfortably in place and the beam of light exactly where you want it.

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And, it’s all securely packaged in a lightweight and durable magnesium housing that is built to withstand years of hard use.

The lithium-ion battery, which can be recharged with a wall or auto charger, will run for 550 hours on the lowest setting and 1.5 hours on the intense high setting. A built-in fuel gauge tracks your battery power level.


When hunters see SureFire’s 2211 Wristlight, their first thought is “Why didn’t I think of that?” The Wristlight positions hands-free illumination in three brightness levels— high, 300 lumens; medium, 60 lumens; low, 15 lumens—for a variety of low- or no-light tasks. The broad MaxVision Beam, created by a precision-faceted reflector that shapes the LED’s output into a seamless wall of white light, provides a bright illumination pattern with a 66 meter reach. There’s an easy-to-operate push-button switch handily located on the rugged polymer body that houses the rechargeable lithium-ion battery. You can expect the Wristlight, when fully charged, to run one hour on high, four hours on medium and 13 hours on low. The handy fuel gauge tracks remaining battery power, and the nylon wristband adjusts for a comfortable fit. The 2211 Wristlight is a versatile and functional tool, a great way to assure you always have a light at hand.


Videoing in low- or no-light situations such as trophy shots well after the sun has gone down has always been challenging. And since some of life’s—and hunting’s—coolest moments happen when the light is not at its best, SureFire designed the FirePak to turn your smartphone into a camera capable of capturing high-quality video without draining your phone’s battery.

Two high-performance LEDs produce up to 1,500 lumens of light, so you can get better, brighter and clearer videos. A slide switch provides easy access to four light levels, with an effective range of up to 50 feet. Plus, it can also be app-controlled (with free app) via Bluetooth. FirePak can also recharge your smartphone or electronic device and can be used separately as a handheld illumination device. A battery-charge indicator light provides continuous power status readings.


Like many of SureFire’s products, these earplugs were developed to protect military and law-enforcement personnel from harmful sounds. The same technology can protect your hearing while shooting and hunting. SureFire’s filtered earplugs allow normal conversation to pass through, while blocking dangerous sounds, both constant loud sounds and loud impulse noises such as gunfire. The curved, adjustable stems conform to the natural shape of your ear canal for exceptional fit and comfort, sealing in your ear to form an effective barrier against dangerous sounds. SureFire’s patented EarLock retention rings lock the earplugs comfortably in place, ensuring a secure fit and all-day comfort.

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ATV and SIDE-BY-SIDE Vehicles in the Outdoors



TVs and Side-by-Side (SxS) vehicles are common-place in hunting camp whether you’re after whitetail or mule deer, turkeys or mallards, elk or antelope. Matter of fact, many hunters use them year-round for scouting, food plotting and recreational riding. These tough and versatile off-road vehicles help outdoorsmen reach remote areas and favorite hunting spots while carrying in gear and hauling out game. But just like unloading your gun before crossing a fence or never aiming at something you don’t intend to shoot, there are some basic safety lessons to be learned before mounting an ATV or getting into a SxS vehicle. ATV AND SXS VEHICLE SAFETY

There are many things to consider when talking ATV safety. One of the best ways to learn is through an ATV safety course, like the one taught by Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA), a not-for-profit trade association whose primary goal is to


promote the safe and responsible use of ATVs. The SVIA (800-887-2887) offers a free online e-course and information about their riding classes at www.atvsafety.org. The riding classes will show you basic riding techniques as well as teach you about the proper riding gear and the difference between vehicle types and sizes. Additionally, the Recreational OffHighway Vehicle Association (ROHVA) offers more information and detailed recommendations (like always wear a seat belt and never drive a SxS unless you’re 16 or older with a valid driver’s license), along with a free, interactive, multimedia e-course at rohva.org. You might not think you need to strap on your helmet for every outing, but you’d be wrong. Safety should always come first. Proper riding gear always includes: • Helmet (with a Department of Transportation, or “DOT,” approved sticker) • Eye protection • Gloves (consider weather conditions,

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comfort and protection) • Long pants and long sleeves • Over-the-ankle boots (for support and protection) CHOOSING YOUR VEHICLE

The proper gear is a good start, and picking the right ATV or SxS vehicle is another important step. Today’s ATVs range in size, from entry level up to “big bore” machines. Be sure to talk to a qualified salesperson and try different levels (within your age range) and consider where and how you plan to ride. Another question to ask yourself these days: Need more than one seat? This has become an increasingly important consideration the past few years as Yamaha’s lineup of SxS vehicles has opened up another option for exploring the outdoors. Traditional ATVs are specifically designed for a single rider only. You should never allow a passenger on a traditional ATV. SxS vehicles are designed specifically for two or more

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with an automotive-type cab and operating functions (bucket seats, safety belts, steering wheel and foot pedals for throttle and braking). ATVs are “rider active vehicles” which means you participate in the proper operation of the machine by moving around and shifting your weight, depending on the circumstances and terrain. These movements are best learned under the supervision of an SVIA instructor. SxS vehicles are very off-road capable, and the automotive-like cab can be confidence-inspiring, but drivers should always drive within their experience level and take particular care in off-road situations. No matter which ATV or SxS you decide is right for you, save some budget for your hunting accessories. Yamaha offers a wide range of parts and accessories for each model. You might start with a gun boot and gear or cargo bag but will likely also be tempted by a winch kit, windshield and more.

Popular Models for Hunting All of Yamaha’s Side-by-Sides and full-size ATVs are Assembled in the USA.


Once you are up to speed on proper riding techniques and safety gear, you are ready to insert this experience into your hunting trip. Responsible riding and ethical hunting will help guarantee you get the most out of your outdoor experience while taking care of the outdoors and promoting a positive image so we can all continue to enjoy these sports in the future. Always learn and follow the hunting laws and restrictions in your area, and consider some of these tips for responsible riding while hunting: • Always unload and properly store your firearm before operating your ATV or SxS vehicle. And NEVER hunt from your vehicle. • Learn and follow riding regulations including sound levels, safety gear requirements, age limits and safety course recommendations and requirements. Refer to on-product labels and your owner’s manual for detailed instructions and warnings on proper and safe operation of the vehicles. • Watch for and be considerate of others in the area including private property owners and other hunters. • When on public land, use up-to-date trail maps to ensure you only ride in permitted areas and on designated open trails. • Inspect and clean your vehicle to remove seeds, weeds and other vegetation and prevent the transfer of non-native invasive species to other areas. • Follow your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and regularly check for any fluid leaks or problems that might negatively impact the environment or your vehicle’s performance. • Set a positive example, especially when riding with younger or less experienced riders. Taking an ATV or SxS hunting can be both extremely helpful and a lot of fun. Even if you never take a shot, your ride out and back can be a blast. To learn more, check out Yamaha Outdoors and REALize Your Adventure at: YamahaOutdoors.com

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Wolverine X4

Drivers must be 16 years or older and have a valid motor vehicle license. Children under 16 should never drive a side-by-side vehicle. Side-by-Side passengers must be tall enough to place both feet flat on the floorboard with his or her back against the seat back and be able to reach the passenger hand holds. Driver and passenger should always wear seatbelts and protective gear/clothing including: Helmet, Eye protection, Gloves, Over-the-ankle boots, Long sleeves and Long pants.

Kodiak 450 EPS

ATVs up to 50cc are recommended for use only by riders 6 years and older and always with adult supervision. ATVs up to 90cc are recommended for use only by riders 10 years and older and always with adult supervision. ATVs over 90cc are recommended for use only by riders 16 years and older.

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Valuable Tips for Your Hunting Trip RATTLING UP SOME RACKS

White-tailed deer hunters love to rattle or simulate a buck fight to draw other bucks into range. And such tactics work, especially at select times of the season. When it comes to rattling whitetails, remember these common-sense tips that can pay off in bucks: • Try rattling on calm, clear days. You want to rattle when deer can hear it. • Don’t rattle when you don’t have good shooting light. Why draw a buck in when you can’t see to shoot? • Don’t get caught with your hands full. After a rattling sequence, hang the antlers up and get ready to shoot. Sometimes bucks rush right in to the sound.



Real estate’s three magic words—location, location, location—apply to successful deer hunting. For example, a bottleneck—a narrow passage in the landscape—is often used as a travel corridor by deer, and if hunted correctly, it can “funnel” deer to a hunter in a well-placed stand. Yep, knowing the “lay of the land” can be instrumental to success. Deer use cuts, passes, ridges, ditches, river bottoms, etc. as travel routes and concealment. Basically, such land features determine the daily routes of deer. Key-in on such locales and you are ahead of the game. With that in mind, here are some more tips: • Topographic maps are a great scouting tool that enables you to understand the lay of the land. United States Geological Survey (U.S. Department of Interior) offers free general-use maps: www.usgs.gov/products/maps/topomaps. • Using maps, you can locate obvious high or low spots deer use. • Maps can also help you save time by allowing you to concentrate primarily on areas with the best potential. • Also, be sure to get out there—on the ground—with map in hand. Seeing it on a map is one thing. Seeing if from the ground is another. twenty-seventh annual edition


Tricking a deer’s nose is no easy task, so get wind of these tips before a big buck gets wind of you: • Scent-killing sprays are effective in helping eliminate or neutralizing odor. But baking soda can likewise be used. Some hunters sprinkle in on their boots, wash their clothes with it, and even brush their teeth with it. And you might want to carry some into the stand with you to sprinkle in the air to check wind direction. • Try hanging your hunting clothes out in the rain and then letting them dry naturally. If you must use the dryer, don’t use any fabric softener sheets. • Many hunters shower with scent-free soap before a hunt. • Hunt only stands with a favorable wind. To ignore wind direction can and will cost you opportunities. • Try taking chlorophyll tablets to eliminate body odor. You can find them at health food stores. • Avoid touching anything in your hunting area with bare hands. • If using a cover scent, use a scent that is natural to your area.


Deer hunting can get really difficult after the rut. Traditionally, the bucks have run themselves ragged chasing does, and likewise experienced some increased hunting pressure. Therefore, post-rut hunting can be challenging. However with that in mind, here are some tips for hunting this time of the season. • Concentrate on hunting bedding areas. Stay on the edge of such areas, and look for nearby trails that show the most buck signs, like large antler rubs. • In fact, rub lines, often made before the rut, are excellent places to watch in post-rut periods. Bucks return to these “comfort” zones after the breeding season. • Well-planned deer drives with small hunting parties can also be a very effective way to kill a post-rut buck

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The Yelp: a Turkey Hunter’s Ace Up His Sleeve


By Joe Arterburn

ild turkeys, they say, make 28 different sounds to communicate with each other. Fortunately, to be a successful turkey caller you don’t need to know them all. In fact, you can successfully call turkeys if you know one. Despite differences in regions, all five subspecies—Merriam’s, Eastern, Rio Grande, Osceola, and Gould’s—speak the same language, and the one sound that will work on all of them is the yelp. Don’t get me wrong. There are other calls you should recognize and practice making, but first and foremost is the yelp. If you can yelp, you can successfully call turkeys, assuming you don’t make mistakes—such as moving too much and getting spotted, making noise, setting up in the wrong place, or any of the myriad other things that can go wrong. The simple yelp is effective in the spring, imitating the sound of an amorous hen inviting males on a date. It’s the turkey hunter’s ace up the sleeve. With a plain yelp, usually a series of four, five, sometimes more notes in turkey rhythm, you are imitating a contented hen essentially announcing, “I’m right over here, feeding or strolling around looking for a boyfriend.” Start with a soft, passive yelp, with a little emotion. Practice both soft and aggressive yelping. There’s a time for both and experience in the field will tell you which to use and when. In addition to the plain yelp, there are a few other simple-to-reproduce yelps you should practice: the aggressive or excited yelp; tree yelp; and assembly yelp. The aggressive yelp, with a touch of added excitement, is the hen saying, “I am over here and I want company—now.” It’s a stronger, more urgent invitation than the plain yelp. The tree yelp, used for calling to turkeys still on the roost in the morning, is similar but with shorter notes. It’s a series of three or four soft, contented yelps announcing she’s waking up, letting other turkeys know she’s here. Roosted gobblers will hear it and, hopefully, come your way after they fly down. The assembly yelp, which can work

well for fall turkey hunters, is a longer, more drawn out yelp, often 12 to 18 notes in sequence, which turkeys use when they want to get back together after becoming separated. It has a plaintive tone, like a turkey saying, “Where is everyone?” Fall-season hunters use the assembly call after scattering a flock. Once the flock is scattered, the call can draw them back within range. Another assembly-call scenario, which can be effective in spring hunting, is when a young gobbler, say, a two-year-old who has been getting pushed around by the boss gobbler, thinks he’s hearing a lost hen, so he sneaks away for a private meeting, finding himself within range of your set-up. With practice, yelps are easy to make on any type of call, and it’s easy to make slight variations of the same technique to make different yelps. For instance, to yelp on a slate call, you scratch an oblong pattern with your striker on the face of the slate. For the plain yelp, your motion should be slow, the pattern more oblong than circular—a long, narrow, oval pattern. The tree yelp is similar—soft, passive yelps in a series, muffled almost, though it can pick up volume as fly-down time approaches.

For aggressive yelps, simply widen the circle while running the striker twice as fast. Speed it up a notch to add excitement. Fire up that gobbler with some emotion. The same goes no matter the style of call you are using. Diaphragm calls require practice, but yelps are easy to make. Concentrate on the rhythm—the sound doesn’t have to be perfect. But practice, practice, practice. Regardless of the yelp you want to make, diaphragm placement and tongue position stay the same. The difference is pace, tone, and volume. On a box call, which are easy to use and produce loud sounds, you vary the yelp by how wide you swing the paddle and the pressure you apply. For a plain yelp, don’t open the paddle very far. For excited yelps, open it more, using more paddle and increasing pressure and pace. When yelping, start soft, then build emotion and volume. If you draw a response gobble, cut off your yelping. Play hard to get. By gobbling, he’s telling you he likes what he’s hearing. Remember to practice making other turkey sounds, just put the yelp at the top of the list.

Treat Every Firearm As Though It Were Loaded


The best of the best, the all-new 2018 Pro Series

• Ultimate in huntability and

fall-protection system • Charging Port ~ for phone or flashlight • Scent Control! ~ Elimishield-Hunt™ Scent Control Technology is good for the life of the harness • Eight total pockets including two zippered Chest pockets


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Hunter's Handbook 2018-2019  

Hunter's Handbook 2018-2019