Archive for the ‘ Shooting Sports ’ Category

Sighting In

I was helping out at the Lincoln Ike’s Hunter Sight In day today and am amazed at how many people only shoot their deer rifles once a year and then are frustrated when they can’t make the shot.  Sighting in is important (even if the gun shot well last year) but so is shooting throughout the year to keep your edge. 

If you have not sighted in your rifle for the November 13 opener its not too late.  You owe it to the deer and the time you have invested in the hunt.  Here are a few tips:

1. Sight in from a bench for the most steady hold possible.  You want to see what the gun will do not how skilled you are.

2. Use sandbags or a good rifle/handgun rest.

3. A quick method for sighting in is to fire one round at the target center at 100 yards.  Now see where the bullet actually hit.  While holding the crosshairs on the bullseye, move use the scope turrets to move the crosshairs now over to the bullet hole.  Now fire another round at the bullseye.  You should be on!

4. Now fire a three shot group (always three shots…then make adjustments). 

5. After a three shot group, clean the bore prior to the next group.

6. When making scope adjustments, remember most scopes move the point of aim 1/4″ per click at 100 yards.

7. Once sighted in, take a few shots using the type of rest you will use in the field.  Your groups will open a bit but that is okay.  As long as you can keep all shots fired into a 9″ pie plate you are good to go.  If everything is working, you should expect groups no larger than 3″ from the bench at 100 yards.  Don’t forget the eye and ear protection!

You will be amazed at how good it feels to head to the deer woods with the confidence of a well sighted in rifle that you know how to shoot well!  That is a skill to be proud of!

Get Em’ Out There

Rawly

Experts work with hunters to prep them for deer season at the Lincoln Ikes

Sighting in requires a good rest and sometimes a bit of coaching

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Pre-hunt Prep – FIELD REPORT/ARCHERY DEER: From Sam

(…we wanted to see what our archers do “behind-the-scenes” to help prepare themselves for the hunt – successful deer hunting goes well beyond just going to the woods, especially for the bow hunter…so we asked Sam what he does to get himself ready – here is his reply…hershy)

I spend a lot of time preparing for a hunt. Most of the things I do for pre-hunt preparations focus around scent control. I wash my clothes in scent shield’s scentless laundry detergent. When they go in the dryer, I also put in an earth-scented dryer sheet. After everything is clean, I put all of my clothes in a scent controlled bin with scent killer and activated carbon. When we get to our hunting spot, I spray them down with earth scented scent-killer. But even more important than masking your scent, is playing by the wind. Playing the wind means simply being up wind of where the shot should happen. We set our tree stands up so that we have an opportunity to hunt up wind from the deer trails & crossings.

During the Rut, we use doe urine as an attractant for the bucks. We spray the scent on cotton balls that are placed on the trails. Hopefully the bucks smell it and come in looking for a doe in heat and give us the opportunity to get a good shot. Keep in mind, like anything else, they don’t ALWAYS work. But sometimes, they work like magic.

Another tactic that will also increase your chance of success is being as quiet as possible going to the stand and moving as little as possible so that you don’t spook the deer if they sneak up on you. I have had countless deer see me before I see them. Most people think that deer can’t see all that well, but they can see movement very well. Just simply moving your head can spook a deer from farther than 30 yards!

Also, I spend countless hours in the back yard or at local ranges practicing with different scenarios so that I am ready for any shot opportunity. No matter how much preparation you go through for a hunt, you aren’t ready to take a shot if you haven’t practiced and tuned your bow. Make sure your broad heads are sharp and screwed in to your arrows well. We add silencers to our bows to make them less noticeable to the deer’s ears.

Sam

Whatchagot-Grouse

Those Beautiful Hills

…the prairie grouse (sharp-tailed grouse & prairie chickens) that inhabit the short-grass areas of the sandhills have several defenses against the human hunter…one is their good eyesight that allows them to see danger coming from afar – another is their mottled browns & off-white feathers that allow them to become dang-near invisible to the shotgun carrying predator as they make their living in the clump grasses…as if these two adaptations weren’t enough these sandhill birds have a very sinister desire to “off” us hunters by living in vast expanses of very un-flat terrain that is covered in sandburs & prickly pear…you may think my statement is a little extreme but that would just prove that you have never chased these feathered-boogers across miles of short-grassed, sand dunes only to see a family flock of sharpies jump 20 yards beyond your gun’s reach and appear to land ‘just over the hill‘ – which spurs you to walk several more hills of sand so that your trusty pointer can lock up hard on 1 ornate box turtle and exactly zero grouse…

…to celebrate opening weekend of the Prairie Grouse season I headed towards Valentine chasing the promise of grouse and good weather with my former College Adviser and two other grouse-nuts…we set-up base camp at Big Alkali Wildlife Area and had lots of fun telling stories and reliving past hunts…we ate some wonderful food and did our best to stay warm on the chilly, wet mornings of our hunt…though, the grouse were scarce and the shots few we had an amazing time – and surprisingly saw very few other hunters, even on the public access areas…we did manage to put enough sharpies in the game-pouch for a decent meal and plenty of memories to help start the season and perhaps provide some fodder for campfires yet to come…

Success

…Dr. Jim Pease, my former college prof, was in charge of cooking the grouse and I wanted to watch his technique so that I could add another recipe to my file – prairie grouse are sometimes given a bad name as table-fare, but I think this is mainly due to the fact that even ice cream wouldn’t be as popular if you had to walk several miles over rough terrain to secure it…so I watched Jim work his magic on the skinned-out birds as he readied them for the pot…he started  by placing garden-fresh tomatoes and peppers around the grouse as they lay in the cast-iron dutch oven…he then sprinkled onion flakes, garlic salt and several other spices on them…just as the dutch oven was being placed over the fire I asked Jim what he called his grouse recipe – his reply was “Whatchagot Grousecause you take whatcha-got in camp and put it in the pot with the grouse”…worked for me! – it was delicious…

Whatchagot Grouse

hershy

First Hunt – FIELD REPORT/ARCHERY DEER: From Sam

First Hunt of the 2010 Season

Maybe Next Time!

Sunday, September 19, was my first hunt of the 2010 fall archery deer season, and man was I pumped!  We got in the stands around 4:00 p.m., but it was really slow until about 6:00.  I was scanning the area from my tree stand and about 70 yards to the east of me, I saw a deer. I reached behind my tree to grab my binoculars to confirm that it was a doe…she was a HUGE doe.  As she grazed the grass not knowing I was there, I got ready, but she decided to coast east and out of sight.  Then just a second later I looked back east where she was standing and there was a fawn.  When the fawn came out into the clearing, I saw that there was another big doe right behind her.  I began to tremble with excitement as they started my way, but all of a sudden they started leaning north and went away. Once again in the exact same spot there was yet another doe.  I reached around my tree to grab my binoculars, and that’s when I heard the crack of a stick to the north of me.  I looked up and saw a beast of a buck running the opposite direction – right in front of my stand at 30 yards.  Dang it!  He must have seen my movement when I reached around the tree.  That was the last that I saw of him.  Hopefully I will see him again soon…with my arrow in him.

Sam

Introductions – Field Report/Archery Deer: From Sam

My First Buck - Taken in Mentor Program

Hi,
my name is Sam, I’m 15 and I have been in the mentor program for 2 years. With the season just underway I wanted to share a little about myself. I started shooting a bow in 2007. I bought my first bow (a Bear Odyssey ll) in 2006 when I had a broken arm. I couldn’t shoot it, or practice with it but I knew that I wanted to get into archery. Once I got the clearance from the doctor, I started going to JOAD (Junior Olympic Archery Development) hosted by the Golden Arrow Archery Club and Mentor Kevin Markt. The guys taught me how to shoot correctly and accurately and have fun while doing it. I practiced shooting and got up to the minimum requirement (at that time) of 40 lbs to hunt  for the next year.

 September of 2008 was the first time hunting in the mentor program and it was awesome. That year I was able shoot 5 deer! I knew that this was going to be a good time. The mentors who taught me are amazing and I owe them so much, as well as the Nebraska Game and Parks mentor program who finds the land and gets it signed up for us to hunt and learn on with professional guidance.

By my second year (last year), I had learned and experienced more than I had ever expected to. Last year I was able to help other people and share my knowledge that the mentors had passed on to me. By now I was teaching other new hunters how to shoot, put up a tree stand and gut a deer. I love the mentor program. We all get along and have a lot of fun together. Even during the off-season we get together and shoot 3-D competitions and have competitive shoot-offs.

Mentees at 3-D Shoot

I can’t wait for this season to start, and get out in the woods to get some deer in the freezer! Good luck to all of ya this season!

Sam

Family Outdoor Adventure Camp

Hershy and I will be hosting a family outdoor adventure camp for families in eastern Nebraska September 25-26 in cooperation with Camp Kateri just south of York, NE.  The camp will allow families to participate in fun outdoor programs including fishing, kayaking, shotgunning, archery, air guns, camping and outdoor cooking.  Families of up to six are just $99 and we have room for two more families in the camp.  To register just follow the link below and send in the form with your hard earned cash.  I guarantee you will enjoy the weekend!

Get Em’ Out There

Rawly

Missouri River Outdoor Expo

Folks if you have made the short drive to Ponca State Park in northeast Nebraska for the Fall Expo you really owe it to yourself and family to get up there.  The largest Expo in Nebraska (and maybe the midwest) Ponca has something for everyone…from shooting rifle, shotgun,  muzzleloaders, archery, big game rifles, kayaking, Missouri River boat rides, fishing, bow fishing, camping, tree stand safety, outdoor villages, crafts, games, wildlife activities…you just can’t go wrong this weekend at Ponca. 

Jeff Fields and the team at Ponca have done an outstanding job, along with all the volunteers that make this huge program such a success.  And of course, just visiting Ponca State Park in the fall is a treat in itself.  The attitude amongst all the staff and volunteers just seems to foster a fun and exciting time for all who are fortunate enough to participate in this grand event.  Don’t miss out!  The Expo will run Saturday through Sunday this weekend only.  We’ll see you out there!

Get Em’ Out There

Rawly

Shooting is a big part of the Ponca Expo and is a lot of fun for anyone!