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Matching Bullets to the Game You'll Hunt This Season

There are many good reasons to seek a new hunting load.  Maybe it’s a new rifle or an opportunity to hunt new game.  Maybe you’re just getting started in big game hunting.  Maybe in the ammunition pinch you can’t find your old favorite.  For the upcoming season, it’s high time to start your search.  A logical approach assures you’ll find the right one. 

For varmints, a bullet must provide rapid expansion on impact with a small, soft target.  It doesn’t need to penetrate much since the widest coyote is only 8 inches thick.  Bullets like Hornady’s Varmint, V-Max and Z-Max provide this kind of performance.  However, if you’re hunting for fur you want a non-expanding bullet like a full metal jacket (FMJ) to minimize pelt damage.alt

Dangerous game animals like cape buffalo are huge with thick hide and heavy bones.  They require large caliber bullets (.375 and up) which don’t expand.  These “solids” rely on penetration and already substantial diameter for stopping power.  Other dangerous game with thinner skin requires bullets that will expand, but also penetrate deeply.  Hornady’s DGS and DGX handle these needs.

Large big game includes species like moose and big bear in North America and some of the larger plains game species in Africa like the eland and kudu.  Mid-sized big game is what most of us hunt.  On the light end are pronghorn; at the heavy end elk and black bear.  Right in the middle is the most popular– white-tailed deer.

Bullet designs for large and medium big game are similar.  Generally, bigger animals are hunted with larger calibers and magnum cartridges where deer-sized critters are hunted with slightly smaller calibers in standard cartridges – with lots of crossover. The ultimate big game bullet delivers controlled expansion with deep penetration across a wide range of velocities.

Hornady’s core big game bullets are the InterBond and the InterLock.  They are available for all standard and magnum big game cartridges.  The InterBond features a bonded core and streamlined design to deliver flat trajectories, deep penetration, and 90%+ weight retention.  The InterLock is designed with an InterLock ring to hold the core and jacket together.

Bullet choice is easiest when the manufacturer puts the name of the game right on the box!  Such is Hornady American Whitetail Ammo.  These loads range from .223 Rem. through .300 Win. Mag. loaded with InterLock Bullets at velocities optimized for mid-sized big game.


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Avoid Five Common Game Camera Mistakes

At this very moment, there’s a buck in your hunting area enjoying the bounty of summer.  He’s fattening up, growing antlers, sleeping in the shade.  Seems unbelievable in just weeks, he may be standing broadside in front of your stand while you draw your bow.  Of course, that’s only if you do your homework.

As you deploy your trail cameras to pattern that bruiser, consider these common mistakes  and avoid them: alt

  1. Placing cameras too high – This is the Number One mistake of inexperienced game cameraWe walk upright; deer don’t.  Cameras to photograph deer head on and broadside should be placed at their shoulder height – about three feet.
  2. Going for a leisurely walk in the woods --  Have a plan when placingGet in; do the job; get out. Be as cautious with scent control as you would making mock scrapes.  This isn’t a naïve 1 ½ year old you’re after.  The big boys have seen and smelled it all.  You don’t want your presence or cameras to alter their routines.
  3. Visiting cameras too often –The temptation to check cameras often isYou want to see that buck you plan to meet on opening day.  Resist.  Only check when conditions are perfect. Don’t use batteries as an excuse. Instead pick up Moultrie’s Game Camera PowerPanel – it’s solar-charged and will last indefinitely.
  4. Hanging cameras in the brush – Just like you need a clear lane to take a good shot, so does a gameTake along a hand pruner to clear obstructions between the game camera and its intended targets.
  5. Leaving cameras at home –  No game camera works sitting on aEven when you travel to a new destination for a few days, take the cameras along.  Set them up on vacant stand locations to see what’s passing while you’re hunting another stand.  Multi-tasking – scouting at the same time you’re hunting – makes the most of your time.

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Gander Mountain Academy is Serious Fun

Whether you shoot a handgun for personal defense, competition, hunting, or pure fun, you can never get enough training and practice.  And ammo costs?  These days even one box of 9mm or .357 Mag. a week puts a dent in the checkbook.

The solution is Gander Mountain Academy.  At six locations across the country, Gander Academy offers all levels of instruction and training in combination with state of the science shooting simulators and live fire ranges.

Gander Mountain Academy Director Chris Juelich says, “Gander Mountain Academy is far more than just a shooting range attached to a store.  We are a comprehensive firearms training facility with instruction from the most basic to advanced classes.  Every shooter can gain something from Gander Academy, and we have the unique ability to supplement traditional training with simulation at all levels from the basic virtual range to advanced situational training. We offer a gateway for every shooter to increase skill and ability.  More repetition and more practice at lower cost are nice benefits of simulation, too.” alt

Training courses range from basic firearms and hunter safety training to carry certification to intense preparedness courses like Dynamic Defensive Handgun with Rob Pincus of the Personal Defense Network.  Personalized instruction and coaching are available as well as group classes and special events.  Even beyond the six facilities, Gander Mountain Academy takes its training to other locales.  Check with your local store to find out what may be coming to your area.

In addition to traditional live fire ranges where customers can shoot their own guns all the way up to .300 Win. Mag, Gander Academy locations feature a variety of realistic simulators.

The Virtual Range is a simulator offering an accurate live fire range experience (so realistic shooters wear eye and ear protection), but without the ammunition expense.  There are many courses of fire and target types available at the push of a button.  Shoot on your own or with a virtual instructor.

Gander Academies offer two kinds of wrap-around shooting simulators – 180-degree and 300-degree.  The 180-degree simulator provides self-selected courses of fire geared to enhance speed, precision and skill, from basic marksmanship and steel targets to randomized skill targets presented in real-world environments.  Individuals or up to 10 shooters can share this simulator, each shooting in turn.  Great for family or group events.

The 300-degree simulator provides advanced virtual reality training in shoot/no shoot situations.  Threats can even approach from behind. The instructor-assisted scenarios are judgment-based, self-defense situations designed to advance crucial split-second discernment skills, improve marksmanship under pressure, and sharpen competitive edge.  

All virtual shooting experiences at Gander Academy offer maximized reality through the use of “real” pistols.  Beretta 92s and Glock 19s are specially modified to accept a CO2 cylinder which cycles the action, creates felt recoil, and makes a “pop” with each pull of the trigger.  On the Virtual Range, bullet holes appear and remain in the targets just as they do in a live fire range!


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Secure Solutions for Firearm, Bow Storage

The motto for the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Project Child Safe is “Own it? Respect it. Secure it.”

For both firearms and bows that makes a ton of sense.  Not only does securely locking up guns and bows prevent needless tragedy, proper secure storage prevents damage to expensive equipment.

Locking up a bow?  Yes! feature 108110 Open  02395.1406067981.1280.1280

Why? The most common damage archery techs see in modern bows is caused by dry firing.  Sometimes the bow is destroyed beyond repair.  This kind of damage can often be avoided if the bow is secured from those who don’t know not to dry fire.

The best way to secure a bow and prevent damage is with a quality, lockable, hard side bow case.  Numerous Plano models offer padlock tabs to keep unauthorized visitors on the outside, and PillarLock design inside keeps the bow securely in place.  There’s even a Plano hard side bow case specifically designed to protect parallel limb bows like the new Mission Flare.  The great thing about a hard side bow case is that it will protect and secure your bow anywhere – home, range, truck, camp, ATV, and even on the airlines.

Firearms are a bit different.  They should never be stored long term in the confines of an enclosed gun case.  While locking them with a trigger or gunlock offers some security from unauthorized use, it does nothing to protect the gun from damage.  In the home or at the cabin, the best place for storing firearms long term is a gun safe.

However, safe storage has its own set of perils.  Without climate control, a safe can become like a sauna, and humidity is the Number One enemy of firearms.  And most safes require guns be placed in rows, back to front.  Removing to the one you want is sometimes like disassembling a jigsaw puzzle.  Careful as you may be, nicks and scratches happen as guns bump against each other.

The solution is storing each gun in the safe  – long gun or handgun – in a Plano Gun Guard Gun Sock.  Plano Gun Socks are made from a special silicone-treated weave that repels moisture and dust, and the soft fabric prevents nicks and dings as guns are moved around the safe.  Plano Gun Socks stretch to fit and are made for both long guns and handguns.

The Hunter's Handbook