Gascoyne Murchison Outback Pathways: Guidebook Your Ticket to the Australian Outback

outback pathwaysOne of the most satisfying things to do is to take a drive through the Australian Outback. Whether you are a tourist or a native Aussie, the Gascoyne Muchison Outback is a source of natural wonder and great activities. The rocks in the Gascoyne Murchison region are over 2.7 billion years old.  Yes, BILLION. It is a truly an unbelievable experience that will force you to contemplate your individual role in a huge universe. Past travelers mention the sense of awe and timelessness felt in places along the drives listed in the Guidebook.

As you drive the Outback Pathways you will feel astonished by rock formations, rich red ranges and impressive granite boulders. Granite is the most common rock in this area and you will see it most obviously in Greenstone. The Guidebook provides copious details about lodging, trails, wildlife, plant life and more. Here is a summary of the main travel destinations of the Guidebook.

Wool Wagon Pathway: If you are looking to experience the cliché outback adventure, this is the location for you.  Truly, this self-guided drive is the paragon of outback experiences. You will be able to see gorgeous vistas and horizons and the awesome night skies are jaw dropping. Truly, there is nowhere like this anywhere in the world. During this drive, you will pass through some of Australia’s famous sheep and wool territory that is world renowned. Wool Wagon Pathway is located 1160 km, from either Geraldton or Yalgoo, via Murchison Settlement and Gascoyne Junction to Exmouth. To complete this self-drive tour you should allow about 4 days travel time.  The Gascoyne Murchison Outback Pathways Guidebook provides specific details about landmarks, places to eat and stay, gas stations, shopping, museums and more. Wildlife and plant enthusiasts will appreciate the detailed explanations about what you are driving through.

Kingsford Smith Mail Run: This drive follows the path of one of the earliest motorized transport ways in Australia. This path is that of Charles Kingsford Smith and his buddy Keith Anderson who in 1924 started the Gascoyne Transport Company with one truck and a prayer. Smith had been a commercial pilot and used this business idea to finance his dream of flying across the Pacific. One of his first clients was the mail-run from Carnarvon to the Bangemall goldfields. Today, you can follow along his original route while you enjoy seeing beautiful gorges, sea shell fossils, photo museums and more.

outbackMiners Pathway:  This drive follows the innovations of Robert Austin who saw early on that this entire area of the Australian Outback contained valuable minerals. Once his vision caught hold, this area became one of the most active during the gold rush of the early 1900s. American travelers will enjoy comparing this with facts and events from the American Gold Rush in California.  It is possible to drive the Miners Pathway in either direction but past travelers recommend you start in Payne’s Find and travel north up the Great Northern Highway, through Mt Magnet and Cue to Meekatharra. Once you are here, the Miners Pathway goes south-east to Sandstone, then west back through Mt Magnet to Yalgoo and finally south-east again to complete the journey back at Payne’s Find.

These drives are one of the best ways to experience Australia. Great for families, they are a source of natural contact that soothes the soul. The locations and towns have many attractions. Between hiking, bird watching, photography and astronomy, the Guidebook will provide you with everything you need to maximize your Australian Outback getaway. Order one today for 30% off the regular price at outbackpathways.com.

Simmons Master Series riflescope delivers high-end performance at a low-end price

Since the first rifle scopes appeared, shooters have enjoyed better and better sight pictures. Lens quality is uniformly higher than could have been imagined when young Bill Weaver brought out his 330 during the Depression.

By the time illuminated reticles and turret-mounted objective dials came along, the prices of all scopes had risen sharply. Oddly enough, even those with four-figure stickers sold. Well, it seems odd to me because by then techniques for making high-quality scopes were widely known. Machinery controlled by computers kept such tight tolerances that even inexpensive scopes delivered the ruggedness, reliability and high-quality images once associated only with venerable European brands.

Among optics companies noted for value are Simmons and Weaver. Both, along with the languishing Redfield brand, were acquired by ATK, which acquired a suite of shooting-industry brands then held by Blount. A huge enterprise with commitments in aerospace and military munitions, ATK. soon spun off the optics firms to Meade Optical Company of Irvine, California. Meade was relatively young but a hard-charger. It had done a stellar job of designing, building and marketing telescopes.

So when Meade promised a facelift of the Simmons line, I expected more than cosmetic surgery. And the new Masters Series doesn’t disappoint. In a fit of common sense, engineers made scopes simpler, not more complex. Instead of adding fluff, they improved essential components. The scopes are lighter and stronger than their predecessors (at 10.5 ounces, the 3-9×40 is substantially lighter than most competitive models). There’s up to 17 percent greater windage and elevation range, longer eye relief and a bigger “eye box,” so you-see that bounding whitetail as soon as the rifle butt hits your shoulder.

My 3-9×40 sample arrived for a shakedown just after Thanksgiving. When I should have been jogging off the turkey, I was cinching the ring screws around a 3-9×40 prototype of a Simmons Masters scope on a Remington Model Seven in 6.8mm SPC. After bore-sighting, I walked the bullets to point of aim with the adjustments, noting that windage clicks didn’t quite measure quarter-minute on paper. The elevation dial was spot-on. But when I “shot around the square,” dialing in 20-click segments to test repeatability, the holes were so scattered as to be meaningless. Fearing a faulty scope, I gave Simmons another chance on a Hill Country Winchester Model 70 in .270 WSM that I knew to be a tight shooter.

My first shot landed close to point of aim. I adjusted and fired two more-.7 of an inch apart. Then I clicked 20 left and fired twice more. The bullets landed half an inch apart, as did a pair of shots 20 clicks up and a pair 20 clicks right. The last two, after 20 down, struck an inch to 4 o’clock of the first two. Not bad. Indeed, for hunting scopes, this result is par. Net lateral movement was a little less than five inches, and there was an inch of right-hand movement in the first elevated group. Bringing the shots right also moved them down a short inch. If you’re chasing wind at a prone match with a 24X sight, a minute of unwanted displacement is cause for alarm. Not so in a hunting scope.

Checking run-out (point-of-impact shift with changes in magnification). I found that groups fired at 9X struck about three-quarters of an inch below those shot at 3X. Again, that’s more than acceptable for a hunting sight (in a test of 27 scopes years ago, I found shifts averaged half an inch). You can’t predict run-out based on price. A costly scope might show higher than average run-out while a cheap model may nip one hole.

In fairness, this scope was a prototype. To get it in my hands to meet deadline for this issue, the engineers released it before final tuning.

“Windage and elevation dials have already been refined to ensure against any unwanted vertical or horizontal shift,” says Simmons product manager Everett Jones.

He told me the lens coatings would be tweaked, too, though I was very pleased with the optical performance. “We’ll also install a slightly different plex reticle, with a finer middle wire and a cleaner step. And adjustment knobs with more surface for easier grip.”

The most noteworthy development is internal-a slotted beryllium-and-copper ring fitted to the rear of the erector assembly that holds the scope’s lenses. Windage and elevation adjustments typically bear against the forward end of the erector tube, which is traditionally pressed tight to the dial pegs by a biasing spring. The new rear coil preloads the erector tube so it bears hard against the pegs, eliminating the need for a biasing spring and solving several technical problems-while increasing range of adjustment. Result: smoother, more predictable point-of-impact shift as you turn the dials and no drag from a forward spring. The new gimbal joint (a fitting that allows the erector tube 360-degree movement up front) is simple and sturdy.

The scope’s finish is a pleasing black satin. No garish hieroglyphics-just Simmons’ logo on the windage cap, gold letters on the turret, subdued graphics on the eyepiece. Turret caps are easy to spin, even with gloved hands, though you’ll want to remove the gloves to feel the delicate clicks and listen hard to hear them. The ocular housing looks European; reticle focus is at the rear on fast-acting helical threads. Incidentally, images at shooting distances appeared in sharp focus, so getting a clean picture of reticle and target was easily done with a twist of the ocular ring.

Though the company lists eye relief at 3.75 inches, I found the actual “sweet spot” about four inches from the lens. The claim of a bigger eye box is well founded. You can move your eye forward and back and even slightly off-axis without instant blackout. You will aim faster, follow moving animals easier, recover from recoil sooner and cycle your action without losing the target. Eye relief is often sacrificed on the altar of high magnification; gangly stock crawlers like me have paid in blood when condemned to shoot hard-kicking rifles scoped by short-armed people. Long, noncritical eye relief lets you shoulder a rifle as you would a shotgun and aim as if you’re looking through iron sights. And eye relief with the new Simmons scope stays the same as you change power.

Typically, when you extend eye relief, you trim field of view. It’s a trade-off mandated by physics. Optical designers explain it as the optical triangle. Increase magnification, eye relief or field, and you get less of one or both of the other components.

But field of view is overrated. If you use reasonable magnification-4X to 6X is plenty for most big game-you have more than enough field, even with four inches of eye relief. As this new Simmons Master Series scope demonstrates, you can have generous, noncritical eye relief and a big field. At 3X, this scope delivers a panoramic 33 feet at 100 yards.

Sherry Kerr, whose public relations firm represents Simmons, says that improvements on the 3-9X Master Series ProHunter will be implemented on other Simmons sights, including the Aetec. “We’re overhauling the entire line except for our entry-level 8-Point scopes, to be renamed Blazer” says Kerr. “And even those will have some Master refinements.”

Steve Murdock emphasizes that Meade is already working on more improvements. “Our engineers talk about reinventing the best rifle scope. The new erector-tube design is just a first step … Our engineers are shooters, too, so you can expect useful changes, like color-corrected lenses and super-compact electronics.”

Value? The 3-9×40 ProHunter retails for a penny less than $150. Lightweight, stout, optically excellent, this is one fine hunting scope. With truly useful improvements.

You can find out more about Riflescope Brands at: http://riflescopecenter.net/

When a Personal GPS Locator Beacon Can Save Your Life

Time is of the essence during any emergency situation.  The quicker search and rescue teams can locate you and get you the help you need, the better your chance for survival. Once thought only applicable to those on the ocean and extreme backcountry athletes, the truth is, a personal GPS locator beacon is ideal for anyone concerned about their safety.  They are ideal for personal and family use, as well as for employer use to help ensure the safety of team members.  Anytime your safety depends on quick search and rescue, a personal GPS locator can save your life… urban environments, in the backcountry, or wherever you might need immediate assistance. 

Road Trips Or Daily Commutes                                                

A personal GPS locator beacon is more than just for individuals taking part in extreme sports or sailing the world.  In fact, they can be particularly helpful in the event of a car accident.  The news often speaks of accidents that happen in remote areas, where a vehicle leaves the road and ends up in a culvert, or along side a body of water.  It can be difficult for search and rescue teams to quickly locate and rescue these individuals; however, if one of the people’s in the vehicle as a personal locator beacon, teams can respond much more quickly.  These are idea for anyone that takes daily commutes through mountains, across plains, or through the desert.  Many cross-country trucking companies are requiring their drivers to carry these safety devices so that in the event of an accident they can be quickly rescued. 

Backcountry Skiing, Camping, Fishing or Hiking

Accidents can happen winter, spring, summer or fall. While hiking, fishing or skiing in the backcountry, an accident or bad weather can leave you stranded for days.  In those days, you could lose your life.  Search and rescue teams need as specific location information as possible to help get you to safety.  In many areas of the backcountry mobile phone service is non-existent, and mountains can block service for some satellite phones.  In these situations, a GPS enabled locator beacon accurately relays your position to a worldwide network of search and rescue satellites, notifying the nearest teams to dispatch to your location.  Look for a model with a built-in strobe light to allow rescuers to see you easily.

Boating and Sailing

 Search and rescue teams can have a particularly difficult time locating an individual or group in the water.  Visibility can be difficult in sunny weather, and in all forms of inclement weather.  Sun glare can prohibit your rescuers from quickly finding you, and high seas can present just as great of a challenge.  A waterproof personal beacon allows teams to quickly find you, regardless of weather conditions.  These small hand held units are light weight and compact enough to clip onto your belt or backpack, ensuring that it is ready and easily reached whenever you may need it.  

What To Look For In A Personal GPS Beacon

When considering the best beacon for your personal or professional use, it is important that it have some basic, and advanced features.  The unit must be easily activated, preferably with the touch of a single button.  The location range sent to search and rescue should be within 100 meters or less of your position.  An LED strobe light allows for rescue teams to quickly locate you within a short period, even from 100 meters.  The unit should be buoyant and waterproof, even if you are not planning on using it in maritime situations.  If you were to fall into a river, be caught up in a flood, or something similar, the unit needs to be able to stand up to the situation. 

Types of Trolling Motors

If you have already have a fishing boat of any kind, you probably already have a trolling motor. But if you just purchased a boat, you might be trying to decide what type of motor to get. There are many different types and depending on what type of boat you have will depend on what type and size trolling motor you want.

Almost any type of boat can accept trolling motors but the most common are bass boats, pontoons, john boats and even kayaks. We are going to go over the two main types of motors used for fresh water.

Transom Mount

Transom mount trolling motors themselves come in a couple different options. These include motors with steering handle,foot controls and even remote control you can wear like a watch. The option you choose is a up to you and how much money you want to spend. The transom mount attaches to the  back (stern) of your boat. They are easy to install and will fit most any boat but you will need to look at a couple things.

First, you need to make sure the thrust pounds is the right selection for your boat. Below is a chart to help you choose the correct thrust motor for your boat.

trolling motor size

Next you want to make sure that the shaft length is long enough. You want the propeller at least 9 inches under the water but not too deep where you might ground out in shallower water.

 

transom mount trolling motorAs mentioned above, there are three main styles when getting transom mount trolling motors. The first is the basic style that has a handle for steering. The handle usually rotates to select power. Some extend out for better reach. The next style is foot controlled. The motor mounts the same way as the basic style but comes with a foot control to steer with. You can sit in your seat and control the boat with your foot as you are fishing. These usually cost more but you get convenience out of it. The last is the remote control. I seen this for the first time while on a stripe bass fishing trip in Kentucky. The remote was worn like a watch and you can program it to kick on, time based or engage through the controls. This option is usually on the higher end models.

These type of trolling motors can be used on any type of boat but recommended for john boats, kayaks or other small type boats.

Bow Mount

bow mount trolling motorBow mount trolling motors are a little different set up. This type of motor mounts to the front on your boat (bow). Though Transom motors can be easier installed, experienced sportsmen seem to like the bow mount as most are sitting in the front of the boat while fishing. You can get remote controlled bow mount motors but you will be paying a premium price.

Like the transom mount above, you want to make sure on the length of the shaft and make sure the one you select has enough thrust for your boat.

Bow mount motors are lowered into the water when used and pulled up when finished. They do not install as easy as transom motors and are usually a fixed part of your boat.

 

There are other types of trolling motors available like ones that mount under your boat and larger ones made for trolling. The above two are the most common types that people buy to use. No matter which one you select, it is important to pick the one that fits your boat type. For small boats, I would recommend transom mounts, for bass boats and larger, I would suggest a bow mount. Picking the correct one will give you years of enjoyment out on the waters.

Here is a good video that will help you decide what type of trolling motor will work for you

Now lets talk about some of the brands that can be found on the market. There are two brands that stick out the most.

Minn Kota is one of the most known brands on the market. This is because you can find a trolling motor in about any price range. You can find this brand at you local stores like WalMart, BassPro and online like places like Amazon. They are well known and a good choice.

MotorGuide is another brand carried at places like Cabelas and other outdoor stores. They are also well made and work just fine.

Both brands are great and I have used both at some point of my life. I would recommend either.

What type do you have and what do you think about it? Share it in the comments below.

Bettencourt Baits Rodents, an Excellent Bass Fishing Lure

No matter if you are an amateur fisherman or a professional who makes a living out of this, you certainly know that your fishing session is just as good as the quality of your lure – that being said, the Bettencourt Baits Rodent fishing lures have been around for more than a decade now, and they have already become very popular because they are always manufactured with great attention to detail. The purpose of this high-quality fishing lure is to perfectly mimic the natural look and feel of the rodent baits, so that they will attract fish for real – this is why the lures are made with real fur thats simply allows it to glide through the water. On the other hand, the lively colored red Daichii hooks are designed to draw the attention of the fish and to make it bite the bait. Why Invest In Bettencourt Baits Rodent? The most notable benefit of these baits is the fact that they truly look like live rodents – they are soft, small and impossible to ignore by the hungry fish who think they just hit the motherload. Given the fact that the bait is made with natural fur only, the fur will act accordingly – it will get wet and stick to the body of the rodent bait as soon as you put it into the water. Another advantage of this bait is that in spite of being very lightweight and easy to maneuver, the Bettencourt Baits Rodent actually comes with a hinged middle section, giving the rodent a very authentic movement when being dragged through the water. The entire bait is constructed on the principle that the more natural-looking the bait, the more likely you are to attract Bass, and the fur along with the red hooks are certainly great additions to it. Not only does the rodent bait look natural but it acts natural as well, as it subtly goes into the water and you will attract fish before you even know it – it will attract them, yet it will be virtually impossible for the fish to swallow the bait given its generous dimensions.

Check out this video of the Bettencourt Baits Lure in Action.:

Last, but surely not least, this is a cost-effective investment as well given the fact that the rodent bait can be bought online for about $25 dollars. Every good fisherman should know that high-quality fishing rods and other equipment come with a price – in this case, it is a very affordable one, keeping in mind that the little rodent is handmade too. The only disadvantage is that given the natural fur, the bait will take more time to fully dry so you will need to let it outside to dry out before you put it back in the box, otherwise it can develop mold or mildew in the long run and fish are certainly not fond of it. The bottom line is that the bait is perfect for those who like to fish in clear waters given its state of the art, subtle applications that get all the fish hooked – literally, in this case! Purchase the Bettencourt Baits Rodent Here!

Rambo Knife, Where to Find One

Rambo knifeSay what you want about Sylvester Stallone’s acting and movies – but his ability to create lasting characters and in the case of his Rambo Movies, an entire market around a type of outdoor knife is nothing less than genius. You would be hard pressed to find a man that couldn’t tell you what a Rambo Knife was and what it looked like.

Designed after a knife created in WW2 for British Pilots, the hollow handled knife contained basic necessities including matches, fish hooks, a needle and threat and in some cases basic first aid supplies and water purification tablets. The knife design became famous with the release and massive popularity of the motion picture First Blood, a the story of John Rambo ( Sylvester Stallone ) and his battle with local police in Hope, Washington ( actually filmed in the town of Hope in British Columbia, Canada ). The knife became almost as famous as the movie, and has spawned an entire market of both survival knives and officially licensed, exact versions of the knife used in the movies.
In the First Blood Movie series, several different versions of knives were used in the 4 movies. In the debut movie, First Blood, the Knife featured a 9 inch blade with serrated top edge of the blade. The handle was wrapped in a green twine and featured the now famous hollow handle to store survival necessities.

Rambo’s knife becomes significantly larger in the second installment of the series which features Rambo traveling back to Vietnam to rescue POW’s. The blade has grown a full inch and now tops out at 10 inches and is black instead of green.

In the third movie, set in Afghanistan, the knife no longer is a survival knife, and now is a large hunting style bowie knife.

The History of the Rambo Knife
When Stallone set out to make First Blood, he approached well known knife maker Jimmy Lile to design a custom knife for the main character to carry. They wanted an actual knife – not a prop – and the knife was designed from scratch based on Stallone’s specs. To give the knife a more aggressive look, serrated teeth were added to the top of the blade and was constructed of high carbon steel. Lile also designed the knife for the second movie but not the third installment where the Bowie knife was used.

Buying a Rambo Knife
The actual Rambo Knife is officially licensed by Master Cutlery and comes in 4 official variations depicting each knife used in the four separate movies and are available from Rambo-Knives.com. ( http://rambo-knife.net ) The knives are available on a variety of websites including Amazon and other online retailers. Prices range $90 and up for an official model with free shipping.

Ice Fishing Jig Manufacturer Donates Jigs to Non-Profit Organization with “4 D One” Program

fishingjigfeature13

For Immediate Release:

South St. Paul, Minnesota – February 10, 2014 – Ice fishing is a sport that has been around for thousands of years.  Although now, technology has helped improve ice fishing techniques, the main task remains the same.  Now one Minnesota-based jig company, Jig Mania, has started a program called 4 D One, fishingjigfeature10which allows Jig Mania to donate one jig for every four purchased.

The 4 D One program works with a non-profit based in Saint Croix Valley, Wisconsin called Fishing Has No Boundaries.  This non-profit organization brings people with various disabilities out on a fishing expedition for a couple days to allow them to fish and experience this one-of-a-kind sport.  For every four jigs purchased from Jig Mania, the fifth will be donated to Fishing Has No Boundaries.

Jig Mania jigs are designed, created, smelted, cast and hand painted in Minnesota.  For nearly 20 years, these jigs have been manufactured in America.  These one-of-a-kind jigs are perfect for both ice fishing and open water fishing.

Jig Mania sells both individual jigs and pre-sorted kits for easy ordering.  Jig kits that are pre-sorted are specially created for fish types including Walleye, Steelhead, Crappies, Panfish, Perch and more.  Shoppers can even create custom kits.

4DONE__1The 4 D One program is a great way for anglers to both purchase necessary fishing supplies and support a great cause.  A single purchase of the Walleye Jig Kit adds six jigs to the donation box.  When shoppers purchase the All Purpose Jig Kit, 15 jigs are added to the donation box. 

Fishing Has No Boundaries allows those with disabilities experience the thrill of fishing.  This simple task of purchasing jigs from Jig Mania is incredibly impactful.  One of the best things about Jig Mania is that the owner, Paul Gustafson, makes a pledge to each and every customer.  That pledge is simple, “Love’em or Return’em.”  Paul says, if you don’t love’em – return’em and he will refund the purchase price and shipping BOTH ways. Since most of the jigs are purchased on the company’s website, www.jigmania.com, he wants your purchase to be risk free.

Gustafson and Jig Mania want to support their community, which is why they have started this 4 D One program.  Supporting this non-profit not only allows customers to support a great program by buying jigs they would have bought anyway, but also from a company with a risk-free purchase guarantee.  Purchasing from Jig Mania is truly a win-win experience.

For more information on the 4 D One program or to start purchasing jigs today from Jig Mania, visit www.Jigmania.com.

My Favorite Camping Pocket Knife

When the hunting and camping season comes, just after excess cold wears out and some sunshine hits the woods, I get ready for camping. One thing that never leaves the camping itinerary is my favorite camp knife. It has so many good qualities that make the whole experience worthwhile and memorable, in fact, even holding the pocket knife before going camping brings back the urge to go out again and have just a bit of that experience. A good pocket knife speaks volumes about its ability to do it’s intended job, and this involves anything from cutting, unscrewing things, pulling things apart, fastening screws and sometimes even acting as a peg to hold ropes temporarily. Check out this excellent article on Knife about the best pocket knives to find a knife that is right for you.

The knife comes with a pressure treated wooden handle that is water repellant. This handle sandwiches the metallic part and has rivets to hold the wood it place. There is also an option of having a leather cover on the wood to improve the aesthetics and also to make it grip better. Wood does not become rusty and ugly, instead it feels softer and looks more rustic and beautiful as the knife ages. Other handles can still do the job, and an aluminum one is very light, but wood seems to feel good to the hands, and is therefore a good pick for a backpacker or mountain climber as well as just a general camper.

Next comes the blade that has a stainless steel finish to keep it from rusting and to avoid any contamination when used for butchering meat or cutting other edibles. The best one has a hook design on the upper side that makes it a good can opener. It is quite wide and can scoop things, but only when no alternatives are available. Being made of an iron allow makes it easy to sharpen and the steel factor boosts its strength.

For size, going with a handle that fits on the fist comes naturally. Since most knife have a proportional blade to handle sizes, using the handle to choose the overall size of the camping knife just works. Big knifes naturally cost more than small knifes because they require a larger quantity of raw. Designer knifes also have a high price tags because they normally incorporate ornamental parts such as diamond studs on leather and use of expensive metal finishes. The best thing about camping knifes is that, once you get the blade and handle choices right, you cannot really go wrong with the product you get. That is how I found my favorite camp knife.

 

Tips to Make Your Hunting Memorable

 Hunting is a very popular past time in the US and is great practice for preppers and survivalists. Not only will you learn how to creep up on animals, track animals and learn about how adrenaline affects your use of a weapon, but it can also be a great time to practice survival with minimal supplies. Until the time comes when you are hunting because your life depends on it, you should have fun and learn through hunting. Though it may not be that close to big game hunting season in your area many of these things are pre hunt suggestions so they can help you prepare even now for your hunt.

Have the Right Equipment

This is a very important aspect of hunting. Though you need the correct weapon for the type of hunting you are doing, having the correct equipment in your backpack is very important. When going out for a day hunt your backpack should really have enough for 1-2 days. It’s better to have a little more than you need than not enough. Here are some of the things I carry when hunting.

Backpack Equipment

Comfortable and Strong Backpack – First Aid Kit – Flashlight – Fire Starting Equipment – Poncho – Warm Hat – Long Johns – Gloves – Handheld Saw (to cut animal bone or tree branches for a blind or to start a fire) – Food and Snacks – Water – Water Purification Tablets – Glow Stick – GPS (Good to have a compass and map also) – Binoculars – Few Different Types of Knives (one for gutting and skinning) – Camping Eating Utensils – Leatherman – Survival Blanket – Foldable Shovel

Carry Equipment

Bow or Gun (whatever I am using to hunt usually a bow) – Pistol (For Self-defense if Archery hunting, make sure it is legal in your state) – Bugle Tube(If Elk Hunting) – Range Finder – Camo Hat, Pants,and Shirt – Warm Socks – Camo Jacket – Good Hunting Boots (Comfortable and waterproof are the best) – Pocket Knife – Wallet with Drivers License, Hunting License and Tag(for the animal I am hunting) – Car Keys – Cell Phone(Set to silent or turned off, If no service then you may not need it)

There are other things that I probably should have and hope to get before the next time I go hunting. There are also things that may fit your hunt that I have not listed. Every hunt is different so the equipment you need will change. If you are hunting for whitetail deer in Southern AZ warm clothes may not be necessary. Remember to tailor your gear to your hunt.

Do Some Pre-Hunt Scouting

To be successful in a hunt you must know where the animals are and how they are moving. There are many different ways to do this. I normally like to go to my hunting location a couple weeks to a month before the hunt to see how the animals are moving. I find game trails (actual trails used by animals, and yes they like to make things easy just like humans do) and walk them to find out if they are being used. Normally it is quite easy to tell. Just look for droppings and hoof or paw prints and assess when these were left. Scouting can be even
more important if you really don’t know the area and never hunted. Scouting will also help you to know what types of equipment you should have. You will also be able to find less human traveled areas. This is important because many times after the first few days of a hunt there will be more pressure on the animals to move to a less hunted area. This is what happened last year on my elk hunt. We saw many elk the first 2 days in some of the areas we had scouted, then the 3rd day there was nothing and it was frustrating. We had to actually hunt about a mile away right where the elk had moved to. The hunt got much more fun at this point as there was much less people and a lot more elk. The one drawback to this is that the terrain was much more difficult in this area, but it offered more exercise, which is a plus.

Though I personally have never used a trail camera many people have them and swear by them. I don’t believe these can be used during hunting season so follow the rules. Also there are two big problems with them you can forget where you put them or they can be stolen. So here are two suggestions write down the exact coordinates where all trail cameras are placed and devise something to lock them to the tree to make it harder to steal. Much of the hunting I do is elk hunting so being able to track a bugle and being able to call elk in with your own bugle is important. As these are the main things I use to find elk I don’t really have as much need for a trail camera. I could see them being very helpful with other species of animals from deer to coyote to mountain lion.

Find the Water

As water is important to humans it is equally important to animals. If you are in an area that gets rain everyday or that standing water is everywhere, this may not be as important. In areas I hunt this is essential. Though it may rain for a whole day the ground will be dry a day or two after. Many times there are forest service built tanks for animals to drink from as well as valleys where water may pool or even small streams. When you are scouting water is just as important as finding where the animals are moving.

Practice With the Weapon You Will Be Using

This is extremely important and the most likely reason I was not successful on last year’s elk hunt. Practice, practice, practice and practice makes perfect are two very important sayings when it comes to hunting. This is even more important when it comes to archery hunting. It is great to be able to set a target out and measure or range your distance and hit a bulls eye every time, but this does not always translate to a hit when you are actually hunting. When you have an animal in your sights or scope your heart is pumping and your adrenaline is through the roof. This is tough to simulate, but if possible is best to practice in high adrenaline situations. You will also want to practice with obstacles and in odd positions. I only had one shot last year (the one I hit but didn’t get) where I had a perfectly clear shot and could use my range finder. Most shots will be quick shots, shots with branches and sticks in your way or even from sitting, kneeling and prone positions.

This has helped me to get much better at estimating distance. I am now usually within 3-4 yards of actual distance out to about a 100 yard target.

Let People Know Where You Are and How Long You Will Be There

This is really more of a safety precaution, but can be very important. I would say for the most part it is not smart to go camping and on a long hunt alone. If you are able bring people and other vehicles with you. Last year our hunting camp had a guy walk up to it and ask us for help. He had decided to come camping to blow off some steam after a bad week. His vehicle would not start and we weren’t able to help him get it going. He was all alone and had no cell phone coverage where we were. We were able to give him a lift to a rest stop by the highway so he could talk to his wife and find a way to get his truck towed or at least fixed. He was lucky that we were camped about a half mile from him. In a more deserted place it could have become a real problem.

So this just helps with my next point of safety. Make sure people know where you are going to be camped and how long you will be there. If you were to break your leg while hiking from your camp there is a much better chance search and rescue will know where to find you or at least they will know where to start. With search and rescue knowing at least where to start this could save a day or two of searching and could be the difference of life and death if you are not well prepared.

Check the Hunting Regulations to See If Anything Has Changed

The hunting regulations of your state can change from year to year so make sure to check for any changes from the year before. The Game and Fish may have changed a rule or redrawn the unit boundaries. I know one of the changes in AZ not that long ago is that you are now allowed to carry a self defense pistol with you even when archery hunting. The pistol can’t be used to hunt, but only for self defense.

It would be a real bummer to get charged with poaching or something else and not only not be allowed to hunt again, but possibly go to jail and have to spend thousands of dollars on a lawyer. Ignorance of the law is not a good defense when it comes to courts. If you think a Game and Fish Warden is just a rent a cop you might want to think again, they have quite a bit of authority. Treat them the same way as you treat a cop (or any other person for that matter) with respect.

Make It An Experience Not Just a Hunt

At the moment we are not forced to get our food through hunting, so make it not only a learning experience, but also a great experience. Hunting is a great sport for camaraderie. Some of the best times I have had while hunting and camping are just setting around the fire talking and just hanging out. We will usually take off a whole week to go hunting and it is very refreshing to be away from all the noises and speed of life as it is today.

If you follow these rules you will not only be more successful in your hunting, but it will also be more fun and memorable. It is great to be able to admire all the great things God has given us while we are able to enjoy it and it isn’t just a way of life. If we practice our skills of prepping now we will be able to successfully use them later when things are out of hand.



Please find more here: Hunting Gear, Ammunition & Reloading Supplies Mineral VA & Fish Finder and Marine Electronics
Mineral VA

A Review of Top 6 Rifle Scopes 2014

When you are out on a hunting expedition, you need a reliable companion. Besides a useful firearm, hunters require a good quality scope. Often people like you and me are looking for equipments that would be useful during the hunting expeditions. We look for quality, affordability and high performance. However, it is just a personal opinion that a hunter must never compromise on quality. Out in the woods you are dependent on your hunting gear and a rifle scope is one of the most important equipments. Here I have listed a list of top 5 rifle scopes in 2014.

1. Bushnell ET6245F Elite Tactical ERS

It is perfect for professional hunters who want to enhance their rifles. It is surely among the best rifle scopes in 2014. With it you will get from 6 to 24x magnification for the 50mm lens. It is even fitted with anti-fog technology so you can shoot accurately in any conditions.

2. Nikon M-223 BDC 600 8489 3-12x42SF

When you are looking for precision and proper aiming qualities, then this is the right choice for you. It is packed with high level BDC 600 reticle and a characteristic aiming point that ranges from 100 yards and up to 600 yards. With this an open circle and a good eye relief makes it more comfortable for the users. Moreover, it comes with coated optics that minimizes the amount of reflected light by more than 90 % and a wide range of magnification levels.

3. Carl Zeiss Conquest MC Riflescope

Carl Zeiss is popular across the globe for its high end products. Its customer service is quite impressive and the present user reviews will tell you that the customers are quite happy with this brand. It helps users to overcome the spectacle of fogging, due to its nitrogen filling, while the coating embedded with the MC Conquest feature enhances light transmission.

4. Pulsar Digisight N550 Riflescope

For those who are looking for hard duty rifle scopes, then Pulsar Digisight is the one for you. It is made with modern technologies that will provide accurate viewing range. The images seen through the lens are clear and detailed. This clearly ascertains that the quality of the lens is top class. Finally, the Pulsar’s illuminator that comes embedded in the model and it can zero its scope with 1 shot.

5. Nikon Monarch Riflescope

Nikon Monarch is a highly qualitative rifle scope. It is available in robust construction and has features that protect it from water, fog and any shock what so ever, thus enhancing its effectiveness. Moreover, it has the ability to magnify objects that are seen through the Ultra ClearCoat lens up to 9 times. For accurate shots choose this Nikon model.

6. Nightforce Benchrest

Nightforce has been in this business for a long time. This brand stands for high level of performance. Since 1993 Nightforce Benchrest has won many world records for being one of the most effective rifle scopes in the world. These Nightforce rifle scopes are some of the most impressive optical devices in the industry. Packed with outstanding lenses, these Nightforce scopes have a 56 mm multi-coated objective lens that results in great resolution. These are perfect for long range hunters.

So next time when you are looking for rifle scopes check out these scopes in details.