I have been using Blazer vanes on and off for years and I have had very good luck with them. I was very excited when Bohning came out with a Fletching Jig for the Blazer vanes. This jig will put the Blazer vanes on your arrows for the best performance.
I have been fletching arrows for 20 years. I have done this for a living at one time and now I have been doing it for the enjoyment of it. I love fletching arrows because it gives me control over how my arrows fly. When you fletch for yourself, you have the option to move the vanes up and down the shaft ¼ to a ½ an inch. This can move your weight forward point which can make your arrows fly better with broad heads.
The Bohning Blazer Helix Jig is a small and easy to use fletching jig, specially designed to be used with the Blazer vanes. This jig will allow you to easily install your Blazer vanes on your arrows for a cost of $38.00 to $51.00. This may seem like a lot for a jig, but when you think about the cost, it is cheaper than having it done by a pro shop. A hundred blazer vanes cost $15.00 to $20.00. At a pro shop you may be between $2.50 and 4.00 dollars an arrow. Fletch a dozen arrows on your own and you will recoup the cost of the jig. You can also recoup your cost faster by buying bare shafts and putting on the vanes yourself.
There are many reasons to fletch your own arrows beside the cost. You can replace vanes when they get damaged or simply discolored. You can also change colors easily. This jig allows you to strip and fletch your arrows at your convenience. To follow the simple steps to fletching arrows click here.
Turkey season is fast approaching. Do you know where your gun is shooting? Jay Langston, editor of Turkey Call magazine from the National Wild Turkey Federation, recommends patterning your shotgun before each season. What if your retriever stepped on the barrel or someone knocked it down? Mishaps, unbeknownst to you, can cause you to miss or wound that gobbler. Your next box of shells might be slightly different from last year’s in powder, shotcup or buffering. All these things can affect what happens down-range.
The kill area on a turkey is the head and neck. Put a turkey target on a box and shoot from several distances, such as 10, 20, 30 and 40 yards. You’ll be able to see if the point of impact is off and check the performance. The “rubber meets the road,” so to speak in a 10-inch circle, says Langston. “You’ve got an effective turkey gun, if your gun, choke and ammunition combination puts 100 or more pellets in a 10-inch circle at 40 yards.”
Ed Noonan, turkey hunter and outdoor writer, has shot over 60 birds. He swears by EOTech HOLOgraphic sights. There is no magnification, so the HOLOgraphic sight is legal in all states. Parallax makes the target appear to be in a different place depending on the shooter’s head position. The HOLOgraphic sight has no parallax, so it’s easy to target the bird.
Question By: Jay Carson Question: Gear Guru, with so many different turkey loads available, making the right choice can be confusing. What do you recommend for my 12-gauge shotgun this spring?
Answer By: The Gear Guru Answer: Jay, from my experiences turkey hunting, I always go with the bigger, the better. I prefer 3 or 3-1/2 inch loads of number 5 shot in my 12-gauge, Model 870 Remington pump shotgun. A word of warning, however, the 3-1/2 inch shells can pack quite a wallop with the recoil. Every turkey gun patterns differently so experiment with several different brands and loads at various distances on the gun range, until you find the one that works best with your gun. If you do not already have an extra-tight turkey choke, I also recommend you pickup one of those as well when making your next ammunition purchase. My favorite shotgun ammunition manufacturers are Remington and Kent. Here is a brief description of what each has to offer the turkey hunter.
New for 2001, Remington Ammunition offers the Premier High Velocity Copper-Plated Magnum Turkey Loads. Chambered for 12-gauge shotguns in 3 or 3-1/2 inch shells, it pushes 1-3/4 or 2 ounces of shot at a blistering 1300 feet-per-second and is available in shot sizes 4, 5, & 6. Developed for the serious turkey hunter, this ammunition was engineered to deliver consistent knockdown, penetration, and dense shot pattern performance at the limits of normal scattergun range. I have tested this new load myself and found very good results in the 40- to 50-yard range. However, I normally reserve my own shots on live birds to under the 40-yard mark. These new loads by Remington are expanding the effective shooting range and will definitely help hunters bag more gobblers this spring.
We have a new product to review. We’ve been doing reviews for a year now and we have generally been very happy with the products that we have reviewed. This is a product that I’m very excited to show you. I have been using range finders for years, and have found it very hard to get them out of pockets and holsters very fast. Most times, I fumble around trying to get the range finder out of my pocket. This extra movement would scare off any deer that may have been in the area.
I have tried many different options to have the range finder easily available when needed. In most cases, they don’t work or they are very hard to use. A range finder is a very useful tool for hunting but you don’t want it hanging around your neck banging into your binoculars. Having a range finder in a pocket or pouch makes it hard to dig it out when you need it.
What you need is a device that holds your range finder securely and still has it handy when you need it. It must be out of the way as you move through the woods. It must also be securely attached to you so it doesn’t get lost. It is easier to use a range finder out of a tree stand. You can range to trees or rocks before the animal gets to you. This way you know how far away the deer is when the time comes to shoot. It is also nice to have the range finder available when the animal comes in a different direction. When you are still hunting you need the range finder easily available when you are moving in on the deer.
We are talking about the Mag Rangefinder Case from Badlands. This device hangs on to your belt, or binocular harness, or to your backpack. This way you keep the rangefinder out of the way and still have it available when you need it. Not only does it hold your rangefinder, it holds it in position so it is ready to use. You simply reach down and pull it up and put it to your eye. Your finger will quickly be on the activator button of the rangefinder.
Hunting turkey with a bow may be over the top for some people but it is a great way to hunt turkeys. This is not for the faint of heart and if you are not willing to let a turkey go because he will not come the last five or ten yards, this is not for you. To kill a turkey with a bow the bird must be 20 yards away or less. The shot placement is not in the head like a gun but in the wings or legs. Hunting turkey with a bow may only cost a couple of more bucks over your bow tags that you will buy for deer hunting. This hunt will be in the state of Connecticut where the price of a turkey tag is only $15 bucks more than bow tags.
We are hunting a small piece of public land that is bow hunting only. Don’t tell anyone, but the law says that turkey hunters can use a shot gun to hunt turkey in the spring on bow hunting only land. Hunting public land has some drawbacks not the least of which is that there might be other hunters out there. On public land there might be other people hiking, biking, or people walking dogs so we must be willing to do a lot of walking off any kind of trail.
The first day of the hunt at 3:30 in the AM, the weather station said what the weather is going to be dry in the morning and rain in the afternoon. This is good news because it has rained the last week. As I drove to the hunting spot rain drops hit the windshield making me think that the rain would keep the birds from gobbling. The headlights on my truck light up the parking lot, I was happy to see no other trucks. I put on my hunting vest and put my blind on my back and picked up the bow and off to the hunt.
It’s been already the second trip I’ve taken with the Muddy Climbing Sticks and now I’m finally able to put forward some conclusions.
As they state in the product’s description, the Muddy Hunter Sticks come in a pack of 3 x 32” durable aluminum sections, weighing no more than 3 lbs. each. Each section features 3 dual-sided steps and it sustains a maximum weight of 300 lbs., which seems to hold with no problem even the most ‘upholstered’ guys.
The first hike I took the Muddy Sticks on happened last fall, on a slippery ground caused by some light but steady showers. I relished the opportunity to try up the ‘cam system’, a unique feature Muddy brings forth. That is, the rope on each stick wraps around the tree and then is passed through a pair of self-tightening nuts, and is optionally secured with a couple of quick knots. Then I found out there’s a huge advantage in having no metal buckle to knock when silence is utterly required. Moreover, in spite of the importune humidity, I’ve been able to climb up the tree safely and really fast. The sticks and steps are easy to set up and there’s something I love about these sticks: you have steps on both sides that clearly smooth out the climbing process and do away with the dead times caused by stepping alternately. Not to mention that tandem steps come in very handy in situations where you’re doing work up on the tree trunk.
The second and most recent trip out that I’ve made with the sticks also revealed some nice features of the Muddy sticks, even though my trek was unceremoniously interrupted by a sudden snow blizzard. The fact that the sticks strap tightly together and to the backpack and are relatively light helped me cope with the unexpected rough weather. The wind blowing in a bunch of loosely tied sticks would have been the last thing I needed. Instead I found no problem carrying the sticks even in extreme weather conditions.
You may be coming from screw-in spikes and wanted an easier climb, and you’re considering the Lone Wolf climbing sticks. Or perhaps you have a hang-on stand and need the sticks for it, or simply wanted a better alternative to your current sticks. The Lone Wolf sticks are a solid option. Follow along to see why.
Light weight – The weight is 2 1/2 pounds per stick, for a 10 pound total for the four stick pack (some hunters use 3 sticks, others 6 sticks). This is light enough to carry to your stand, or from stand to stand if you use more than one stand. Carrying both a stand and the sticks however, may not be that comfortable over long distances, depending on the type of stand you have, steel or aluminum.
Super portable -
The Lone Wolf sticks come in packs of four or three stacked along each other and cinched down with a strap. You can hang them onto a carrying strap (not included, but here’s a good option), and sling them over your shoulder to take them up the tree. On the tree, you sling them back in front of you to remove one by one and mount on the tree trunk.
Easy and quiet to set up and take down – The sticks are mounted really easily using their tree straps. Put the strap around the tree, connect the loose end on the stick, and cinch in with a couple of pulls. The sticks don’t have to connect with each other at the ends, and will easily follow the contour of a tree thanks to the pivoting V brackets. The ease of setting up and take down makes the Lone Wolf sticks a great choice if you like to move stands around. Once you get the hang of it, you should be able to install four sticks in under ten minutes. The setting up of both sticks and stand can be done in under half hour.
Ridges on steps - The steps are sturdy and have ridges on them for good foot grip.
The steps are reversible - The steps can be flipped to left or right, which can be useful in various situations, for instance when you have branches in the way, or you’re trying to reach far to one side and need to have a foothold on that side of the stick.
Low profile on the tree - The sticks aren’t conspicuous on the tree. Some people however prefer to have them blend in even more, and apply the next tip.
Connect seamlessly with Lone Wolf hang-on stands - when these climbing sticks are nested together, they can be mounted directly on the Assault treestand or Alpha Hang-On treestand, in the specially designed points built-in for this purpose.
Made in USA - Purchasing these sticks is a patriotic help to the economy.
Some owners complain that there’s a little bit of rattling when you piggyback the segments. As one user suggested, Lone Wolf could widen the connecting area and add sound-deadening coating on it. Perhaps in a future version. It’s impossible however to completely eliminate sounds from metal sticks. There’ll always be some type of thud when they come together. To go around that, some people prefer to cover the entire stick in tape (see our tip above).
I have only ever hunted with compound bows. I have owned three compound bows in my life starting with a ProLine, then graduating to a Jenningsand just recently my third new bow-a Mathews Reezen 6.5. The technology used in compound bows is amazing, but a few basic principles always hold true for hunting. Compound bows must be accurate, quiet, and reliable. Speed, vibration after the shot, grips, cams, and camouflage are all secondary and are what manufacturers use to sell high end compound bows.
Know that any bow set to legal draw weights for your state will kill a deer given the animal is within the effective range of the bow. I have killed deer with each of these three bows – however, I have created more shot opportunities with my last 2 bows as they have a greater effective range due to speed and technology.
Compound bows are available in a wide range of prices but they are really all built to deliver the arrow down the range – some just do it more efficiently, which makes them easier to shoot and also helps the bow deliver the most energy to the target. This energy means good penetration with broadheads and a better chance that the animal will be taken cleanly. Let’s review a handful of the features you will want to research before buying your first compound bow.
How does it feel?
The feel of a compound bow is measured in a lot of different ways. The vibration and jump of the bow in your hand after the shot can range a great deal from one compound bow to the next. Ideally you will get the best accuracy from a bow that is easy to handle at the shot which means low vibration and no jump. The weight of the bow is critical even though we may only be talking about a few ounces. Holding the bow at full draw for any period of time can make those few ounces feel much heavier.
Rangermade’s deer hunting checklist – what to pack for deer hunting and why
I got a couple of requests over the last months asking me to put together a checklist of items that I’d take with me out in the field when I go deer hunting.
This is more for the younger guys and girls who are getting into deer hunting for the first time. I know when I got into it, my father wasn’t really into deer hunting, he actually wasn’t a hunter at all, he didn’t have any firearms. It was really my uncle who took me hunting for the first time, kinda introduced me, but didn’t explain to me at all what to take along, what’s important, what’s not important, what goes in the bag, what’s dead weight. So I thought for you the younger guys and girls, who are just starting out, maybe have gone out one or two times, and really want to know, ‘hey what do you take along with you?’. So here is my deer hunting checklist for you.
1. The backpack
I use a rather old backpack that’s been faithful to me over time, it’s more the bug out type bag, really simple, with four spots where you can hold things: one main compartment, one front pocket, a front bottle pocket, and a side mesh pocket. Oh, and the little tuck-in pocket on the front of the front pocket to hold a map or something flat or small items like twist ties etc. That makes five spots to hold things in. Really simple bag, nothing fancy about it. But even the fancier backpacks have very much the same divisions: one or two large compartments, and one or two front pockets. If you want to check out the newest in specialized hunting backpacks, check out Rangermade’s hunting backpack reviews page. Or for a more general type of pack, check out the tactical backpack page.
2. What I put in the front pocket
Usually this is zippered and the zip comes out all the way. I keep here a spare set of gloves of the furry type for cool weather. One thing I found out about them this year (you learn something new about your gear all the time) was, I was trying to flip the tank safety on my truck and found it a bit slippery, so I went more towards the tactical or shooting type of gloves, with a gripping surface. I got a pair of those. Even a pair of mechanics gloves would work.
RangerMade asked me to write about tent camping in the mountains. I have to confess right away that at this time I don’t even own a tent! I used to have one of the best tents on the planet, The North Face VE 25, but I had to sell it in Mendoza, right after an expedition on Aconcagua, since I was penniless and still had a full week ahead of me to spend on Argentinian soil.
On my return home, I got myself the cheapest tent at Walmart for a seashore stay with friends, but I’d only recommend that if you needed a disposable tent.
So it’s not tents I am going to talk about here, instead I’d like to take this article to the next level: I’m going to talk about sleeping in the bivouac!
In order to go on trips of several days in various locations you need a suitable backpack. Modern backpacks (with inner frame)-compared to old-style ones (with external frame)-are ergonomically designed to be comfortable, efficient, and provide good balance for the carrier. These advantages bring added safety to those who go on mountain hikes, whether for a day or longer.
Modern backpacks have an inside frame, with one or more bars made of aluminum. Whether you are a hiker, skier or climber, this kind of reinforcement helps you maintain your balance more easily on rough terrain.
For overnight trips it’s enough to have a 30-40 liter backpack, but for a three-day tour you need a backpack with a capacity of 40-50 liters. Some models can reach 100 liters. Beware, however, that as a rule the larger backpack, the more weight you carry. Consider your real needs carefully. Rucksack size choice is very important.
1. Backpacks with inner framing
Large volume backpacks, used on trips of two or more days, are necessarily backpacks with a rigid back. This means that the back of the rucksack is stiffened with a metal bar, which causes the weight to be transmitted to the hip, the most enduring part of the body.
This is a nice compact solar panel with AA battery pack with attachment to charge AAA, plug in a USB, or 12v. Comes with four AA batteries. I have been charging on this for little over a month I have charged a kindle, a tablet, cell phone, a portable fan and supplied batteries as well as other brands of NiMH. I really like it because it’s small and can go anywhere. For maximum charging it must be angled with the sun, I usually prop it up anyway because I hide the things I am charging behind it to keep them from heating up. It will still charge from other angles but direct facing is the best.
It charges up batteries in a few hours, great for hiking with GPS. Cell phones still don’t reach some areas, so GPS standalone is still important to me. Not having to carry lots of extra batteries is a relief. I backpack multiple days out and every pound counts sometimes. I like the fact that the notes about charging are written on the charger – you can’t get confused as to where your batteries are in the charging stage.
If you ever wanted to own a backpack that’s the same as the ones used by the Marine Corps, then this is it. This is the second generation USMC ILBE, produced by Arc’teryx, and comes with the detachable assault pack.
This pack is one of the best I have ever used and costs much less than others of similar construction. It includes: main rucksack, assault pack, hip belt, hydration system, radio pouch. The exterior Molle webbing is a big plus over comparable framed “civilian” packs which usually cost at least twice than this one costs. And price has dropped lately. These can be bought now in the range of $169-$199.
If you are doing a BOB (Bug out Bag), this is a great choice because of the size and how well the bag is made. The extra ammo pouch is excellent if you have to set up a base camp and need a day bag and do not have to carry all of your stuff.
The quality of the materials and the fit and finish are beyond compare. The main pack is huge and can be used as one open space or sectioned off into two compartments. The assault pack is much smaller and can be used either attached to the main pack or used separately since it also has shoulder straps. The radio pouch can be taken out or used to store some smaller items.
The X-Tour Protector Bivy Tent is one of the best bivy tents or sacks out there, even though it is not cheap. But if you want a bivy tent that sets up in a jiffy right in time for the night, then the Protector is a great solution for camouflaged sleep in the outdoors!
The Protector is the civilian variant, while the Observer is the military version, which also costs significantly more. The differences in the Observer are that, the bottom is also made of Gore -Tex, and the material is anti- IR coated.
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