This is also the time to check your rifle for accuracy. Perhaps it is time to try a different load to get old Betsy shooting her best. Recent ammo developments such as Federalís Fusion, Winchesterís XP3 and Remingtonís CoreLokt Ultra are worth considering. Some of the new Premium ammo is amazingly accurate, but we really do not need ultra penetration to kill a whitetail deer. Bonded bullets are usually intended for big critters. Probably ninety percent of ammo expended annually is shot at whitetail deer. The fact is, the average buck is not that big of an animal, particularly in body width. We need bullets that open up within three or four inches of impact for reliable deer killing.
Having said that, there are bullets that have reputations for meat grinding. Some of the problems relate to high impact velocities from close shots and poor shot placement. By and large, I trust most of the plain Jane factory loaded bullets such as Winchester Power Points and Remington CoreLokts. They just plain work.
If you are planning to hunt elk or moose, then the tougher, deeper penetrating bullets are superior. I particularly like the Swift A-Frame, Trophy Bonded and Nosler Partition for larger critters. Check out Winchesterís new XP3 for an all around bullet. The Barnes bullets are also very reliable. Matter of fact, they work about as well on deer as they do on bigger critters.
Prior to hunting season is also the time to assess your binoculars and laser rangefinders. Bottom line? The more money you spend, the better the performance, to a point. I use a lot of optics in a year, and I find that the big dollar optics are not always the best performers. I recently compared three top end spotting scopes and was amazed at the difference in resolution from scope to scope. Everyoneís eyes see differently through optics. I am not going to tout any particular brand, but I do suggest comparing two or three manufacturers carefully if possible.
Then there are the little things that can make a hunt more enjoyable. I found a company called Texas Hunt Company that makes incredible carry bags and accessories for hunting. Their rifle slings are the best I have tested. They also sell great ammo holders that will hold anything from a .223 to a .460 Weatherby.
Another tip I can share about hunting accessories is to check out the tactical suppliers for neat stuff. I have become dependent on Eagle Industries and Blackhawk stock packs on all of my hunting rigs. These packs enable carrying spare ammo, compasses, and other small items PLUS they place your face in an ideal position on the stock. This is particularly true if you have a fairly large scope mounted. I have also learned that the tactical companies make gun cases that stand up to hard use many times better than hunting grade cases.
I would like to end this column on a serious note. We are truly blessed to have the freedom to hunt and shoot. We cannot forget there are forces throughout the world that would destroy our freedom. Please remember the members of our armed forces who will not be at home this season. Say a prayer that they will be home safely. Canadians are fighting and dying so we can enjoy this wonderful freedom.
Join the discussion of this article HERE at the Article Discussion Forum.