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Old 10-10-2009, 08:50 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: on the rifle range in Utah
Posts: 2,720

So, my tv provider just added the outdoor network to it’s lineup and I’m flipping through the schedule of programs and I see it’s still pretty much the same old “whitetails from a tree stand with a bow” or “southern turkeys from a feeder” lineup that’s always bored me to tears. But then I see that the Best of the West is slated to come on soon so I tune in to watch “something different”. I’m expecting to see John Burns and some long range hunt but to my surprise, John’s nowhere to be found. He’s not even mentioned! His face is still on the cover of one of the videos the show offers so I know I’m not hallucinating that he was the host of this show once upon a time.

So what is the deal? I haven’t heard anything from him in awhile but I didn’t know this had happened.

There’s two younger fellas on there promoting their rifles and optics as “the ultimate” this or that and they are the “long range authority” or some b.s. like that. What? Did they learn all the stuff from John in the last few months and then backstab him out of the business or out of the show?? They made it sound like you can’t do this long range hunting stuff without their equipment and without their knowledge. Yet, I’ve never bought a dang thing from them or used anything they’ve got for equipment and been doing it farther and longer than either of them have even known about it!

Now, John and I have some disagreements on some points of long range, but all in all, he knew what he was doing. He used those yardage turrets of which I deplore and he thought the 7mm was the king of ballistics but that was his opinion. From the looks of the show, these “new guys” are doing the same thing John does so it begs the question, “did they just suck up to him, learn what he had to teach, and then toss him out with yesterdays trash? Someone around here probably knows the answer to this question.

Incidentally, I found it funny that they said several times that they were THE long range shooting experts and then during the show, they ranged a nice bear at around 1000 yards and then “had to get closer because that was too far”. Hmmmm, interesting. So they get up to 750 yards away and make a “tough shot” in a .5 mile per hour wind with no mirage. Now that sure might seem like a long ways to some folks just starting out, but for REAL experts with the REAL right gear, that bear would have died from where they initially saw it--1000+ yards. I know John could have made the farther shot! If these guys can’t, film someone who can. Or don’t claim to be “experts”. That’s my opinion.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t get closer if you feel you have to for whatever reasons. I’m simply saying that in those conditions, John, myself, or many other experienced marksmen would have dumped that bear where he stood or not made a claim we couldn’t live up to. That's all.

Long live the "old timers" of long range!

I guess I can delete the whole Outdoor Network from my list now. There aint anything on it worth my time. Even their shooting shows are ankle deep in interesting. I tuned in to several of Jim Scoutten's shows and every one was about coyboy action or IDPA matches. Neat. Once. Twice maybe. NOt every show! WHere's the Benchrest? WHere's the 1000 yard comps? Where's the Palma or Highpower at least? There are more guns in life then just handguns right?
Find it
Range it
Click it
Pull it
Dump it

If it's not far, it's boring.

Last edited by goodgrouper; 10-10-2009 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 10-10-2009, 09:02 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Great Falls, MT
Posts: 711

GG, I dont remember how long Mr. Burns has been away from BOTW, but it has been awhile. His new website and longrange site is GreyBull Precision > Home I believe. I'm not sure if he sold the BOTW to the Davidson's or not, but they are now in competition with one another. Both parties occasionally show up here at LRH. At least that is how I understand things.

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Old 10-10-2009, 09:18 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: pa
Posts: 403

I kind of agree goodgrouper, the best of the west show is a great informative show for us newbies,but things have changed with the show. Maybe they are putting up a good bit of money to promote there rifles, who knows...I never would buy one of those high dollar rifles .I have bought in pieces an had the a local gunsmith assemble an got tons of info to shoot an compete on paper. I feel I learned so much more doing this an saved a few bucks too. Makes a little more sense as to the reason i shoot so much now.I just cant get enough shooting time in.......
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:09 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 171

I like best of the west, there isn't another hunting show that will dare shoot over 400 yards. I don't mind them pitching what sell, and I don't mind them deciding a 1000 yard shot is too far. Now I don't believe they are the best shots around. I know a guy that hits dogs at 1200 yards. But he is a serious bench rest competitor and top notch gun smith. I think they play the "expert" line so as not to get the average hunter to believe they can shoot 1000 yards with there 300 dollar, walmart rifle and scope combo...

It's my favorite hunting show.
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:37 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 44

I too saw that episode. If memory serves, the guy on the trigger didn't have a ton of experience and he was shooting a borrowed rifle. They were also shooting across canyon with the possibility of undetermined up-slope or down-slope winds. They closed the distance as a matter of ethics. I for one appreciate the show portraying a situation where the shooter passed on a distance that seemed excessive for the skill level.

I am not a real active member of this forum, but I do know the owner/moderators don't particularly care for debates on ethics (and I concur). But I can tell you just two weeks ago one of the game wardens for this district told me the number one violation is party hunting, but the most problematic activity is unethical shooting. I'll leave it go at that...
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:08 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: OK
Posts: 2,145

GG, I met Aaron Davidson in 2006, at the time he was unknown but had this great idea for a rifle scope and was already in design and prototype mode. At the time we were both in Trinidad CO, and the prototype was shipped to him there. I was the second guy to look thru what would become the Huskemaw scope. He was already an accomplished hunter marksman and longrange shooter. He also was a huge advocate of the Berger bullets and had been using them for a considerable time as a hunting bullet. He also was a strong fan of the 7mm magnums, due to the lack of enough recoil to warrent a brake, and the high bc bullets available. I shot, fished, and hunted with Aaron thru that July and can say without a doubt he is one of the most honest, humble, and pleasing people to be around. In 3 weeks we had become good friends and are still today.

Aaron had this, what I will called at the time, "dream" that he was going to develop and market this product, and take this scope with his wind hold designed reticle and 1/3moa click value BDC to BOTW for their use and marketing ability. Hoping that the use on the show would garner sales of his scope.

Low and behold when he contacted them it apeared to ME (notice I am discussing my views) that there was already trouble at the BOTW, Managment and John were having a falling out. I by no means want this to be a cut on John, I highly respect his ability and knowledge of LRH. But sometimes working relationships fail, I'm sure we have all been in some form of this thru our lives.

But to that effect Aaron became a part of the BOTW, and managed to forge ahead with his product. And I feel has made great strides in fostering LRH into the mainstream.

GG, remember this is made for television, Aaron has stated to me he does not like to air shots over the 1000 yard mark, feeling it could open the show up to undue critisism, So please don't beat him up for not living up to the "expert" sometimes being the expert may mean leaving a shot on the table, also remember some of the hunters on the show are guest who may not quite be up to some of the shots. With that said the only film of the shows I see is on the net as Programing is not available to me.

I just recieved my custom turret from Aaron, he overnighted it to me so I could use it a bit before my CO deer and elk hunt starting this Saturday. The Huskemaw is on my recently built 7rum, and I ran it thru the last couple of days, I must say I really like it. I shot my dope out to 1200 yards so he could get his true bc calculation for my turret, Easy and effective and most likly all I need to get out to my personal limit.
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Old 10-13-2009, 01:07 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Rock Springs, WY
Posts: 58


I too have followed The Best of the West from the first year it aired. I taped and re-watched all the episodes, watched John's first DVD like over a dozen times and was sad to see him move on. I was skeptical when the new faces started showing up too. The show changed a bit, but still shoot at long range, ETHICALLY. They still have the best show on TV. Aaron and Mike and the rest of the crew are stand up gentlemen as is/was John. All three of them promote ethical hunting. Too many people shoot beyond their proven range every year hunting. To educate the science behind long range shooting on a television show is really a touchy subject with folks that have never shot past 200-300yds. I think they do an excellent job at it. How many shows promote a free ballistic program to make your own drop charts? I've learned a lot from both John and from Aaron/Mike. Not too many shows out there that I can watch an entire 30min episode without looking for something else to watch. Keep up the good work fellas. Who knows maybe John can get another show going to give them some competition on the TV.

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