The one thing to remember when considering the price and quality of a riﬂe scope (yes, there is a direct correlation) is this: better scopes buy you time. That is. a high-quality scope will function better in low light conditions than a cheaply built scope. allowing you to shoot effectively earlier in the morning and later in the evening. Staring through scopes whﬂe you‘re inside your favorite big-box sporting goods store will rarely show you the differences that you’re paying for.
For a great do-it—all riﬂe scope. get a good-quality 3—9×40 mm scope with adjustable parallax from a reputable manufacturer such as Leupold. Nikon. or Vortex. Plan on paying at least $350. Never buy a scope that doesn’t carry a warranty. There are many alternatives to the 3—9×40. For close-range shooting. say out to 200 yards. a Z—8x 30 mm is all the scope you need. The smaller magniﬁcation allows for a huge ﬁeld of View. making getting on target a breeze. When hunting in the West or any-where else that requires longer-range shooting. a scope with a 50 mm objective and a top end magniﬁcation of 16x or even 24x will help pull those critters in close for exact bullet placement. The 50 mm objective lens also draws in more light. buying you time during low light conditions.
Duplex reticle: The most common reticle, suitable for virtually all hunting applications.It is clean and simple. BDC (bullet drop compensation) reticle: Each hash mark belowthe crosshair equates to a predetermined holdover for a speciﬁc cartridge and bullet ata certain distance. Mil or MOA reticle: Used for long-range shooting applications where precise holds for windage and elevation are crucial.
Binoculars have a few controls to adjust, set, and use them.
IPD is a term used for adjusting the distance between the eyes (distance between the centers of the pupils) to use binoculars properly. This distance varies among individuals and must be correct to use the binoculars.
A normal range for binoculars is 50mm to 75mm but the range can be somewhat different on certain brands and models or between full size and compacts. Young children may require an IPD close to the 50mm area.
The average pupil distance for adults is about 64.5mm but the distance does vary between men and women and relates to the persons size as smaller IPDs are for diminutive people.
To adjust this distance lift the binoculars up and look through them. Move the two halves of the binocular about the hinge until you see one clear circle of image. Now you are ready to observe.
Some binoculars (mainly Porro prism types) have an interpupillary scale on the hinge, note the setting and it will be faster to set up when using the binoculars again.
Focus Knob Types – there are three basic types of focus systems:
A) Center Focus — a central knob (the most common) is used to control the focus mechanism of the binoculars.
Usually the right eyepiece has an individual eyesight adjustment collar (diopter). This permits you to compensate for any vision difference between your eyes.
Some models have the diopter adjustment on the center hinge close to the focus control but unless they have a locking mechanism, they are apt to be moved by accident when focusing. Personally, I prefer the eyepiece type of diopter adjustment as I have used this system for years and like it better.
Several brands have a “click stop” diopter adjustment. You just click to each setting. I do not like these because on many models, the perfect setting for me is between clicks and thus they do not work well for me. Consider also that the setting that works for you may not be at the same click point several years later due to wear of the parts and your best position may be in between clicks.
Some manufacturers offer levers or other devices for obtaining focus faster but these require both hands to focus sharply and they may wear after time. I consider these devices as mainly marketing hype and do not recommend them.
B) Individual Focus — allows extra-precise focusing adjustments for image sharpness and clarity since each optical barrel is focused individually. This type of system is more reliable than center focusing and is used for higher end astronomical binoculars, many marine binoculars and for military use. For subject matter 100 feet (30 meters) or more away with only one person using the binoculars, they are a good choice. For multiple users of the binocular they are not as easy to use due to constant refocusing of both eyes continually.
C) Permanent Focus — Jason Empire, in 1988, made a huge commercial success of binoculars that do not need focusing — they are, in essence, “permanently focused”. Current units are somewhat better than the early models and a few manufacturers are offering this type of binocular but they are not very popular. They are extremely easy to use. The negatives to this type of binocular are that there is no way to adjust for vision differences (they have no diopter adjustment) in a user’s eyes (near focus eyeglass wearers must wear their glasses) and they do not have a close focusing range for birding and other applications. They can be OK for general viewing and sporting events if you have 20-20 vision or close to it.
Some companies with center and/ or individual focusing systems say that once you focus at a certain distance – about 50 to 100 feet (15 to 30 meters) or so away, you now have permanently focused binoculars. They may be pretty close to focus (as any binocular would be) but for critical use in observing objects at various distances, you should refocus for the best sharpness.
Eyepiece and Objective Lens Focusing Methods – you will find advertising of different methods of the eyepiece lenses moving or the objective lenses moving in and out:
External focus — when turning the focusing wheel, the eyepieces move back and forth.
Internal focus — when turning the focusing wheel, you cannot see anything move as the lenses inside the binoculars move.
Objective lens focus – turning the focusing wheel moves the objective lenses in or out.
Many people think the eyepiece internal focus is the best method since the binoculars are exposed less to contaminants. However, the other focus types are very good on most binoculars with the difference being insignificant.
Many people think you can just pick up binoculars and look through them and all is OK. Binoculars must be focused before using them or you will not get a sharp focus.
Most people have a slight difference between their left and right eyes and the diopter adjustment corrects for this difference. The diopter scale (on some models) indicates the degree of convergence or divergence of the light waves from the binocular.
Center Focus (by far the most popular type) – use the following steps to achieve focus: (1) shut your right eye, look through the left side (eyepiece) of the binoculars with your left eye at an object at least 25 yards (22.9 meters) away. Rotate the center focusing wheel until the image appears in sharp focus; (2) next, close your left eye and look through the right eyepiece at the same object.
Rotate the diopter control on the eyepiece until the image appears in sharp focus; (3) now look through both eyepieces with both eyes open. Since you have already adjusted the right eyepiece, use only the center focusing wheel to refocus on a new object at a different distance.
Some people advise covering the objective lens of each side with your hand or other object while performing the above focusing adjustment. This way of focusing may be better as your eyes will not have any strain when one eye is closed. However, I prefer the closing of the eye method as I am just used to doing it this way for so long.
Most binoculars have a mark (“ 0”, “Δ”, etc.) on the diopter eyepiece and please make note of the setting once you have achieved the best focus, as it will be easier when you have to refocus in the future.
Note: most binoculars have the diopter on the right eyepiece as described above. However, some binoculars have the diopter adjustment close to (or built-into) the center focusing wheel.
Individual Focus – you must close one eye at a time (it does not make any difference, which is first) and rotate the eyepiece until the image is in sharp focus. When changing distances of various objects observed, you must refocus each eyepiece.
Permanent Focus – there is no focus adjustment.
Helpful Hint – if you normally wear eyeglasses for near sightedness and you remove them to use your binoculars, on some models you may not be able to reach a sharp focus at infinity.
Adjustment Controls for Spotting Scopes Spotting scopes
have just a few controls to adjust, set and use them.
Focus Knob Types – spotting scopes either have a single focus knob or on models that are more expensive there may be a dual focus where one knob is for coarse focus and the other is for fine focus. Some spotting scopes use a “barrel band” focusing system, which is a focus ring that revolves around the body.
In general, dual focusing systems are faster and allow for more precise focusing.
All types of focus systems can work well provided they function smoothly. I prefer the dual focus type as it gives me the comfort that I know when I have “best” focus.
Also, consider how many turns of the focus knob it takes to go from near focus to infinity as the fewer turns the better in most situations.
Helpful Hint – if you normally wear eyeglasses for near sightedness and you remove them to use your spotting scope, on some models you may not be able to reach a sharp focus at infinity.
Zoom Magnification (Power) Adjustment Ring – this allows you to change from low to high power and anywhere in between when using the adjustment ring that operates the zoom mechanism. The ring is normally marked showing the magnification at various points.
The ring should take some effort to move it as if it moves too easily it is harder to zero in on the exact magnification you want or it could move easily if you accidently touch the ring and change your magnification.
Interchangeable Eyepieces – this allows for changing eyepieces on spotting scopes that allow this. The eyepieces are held in place by a thumb screw( s), they can be threaded on and off, or they may use proprietary bayonet mechanisms.
Photographic Attachments – there are many ways to take images through your best spotting scope, each brand and/ or model may do it differently and you will have to see how to do this by looking at your instruction manual. Most of the attachments are optional items but some may be included with certain brands and models.
Taking images through spotting scopes has become quite popular and the common term is “digiscoping” or “phonescoping” for this activity. There are a couple of ways of doing this:
1.Using a point and shoot digital camera. You can hold your digital camera centered directly behind the eyepiece of the spotting scope and take images. This is not the easiest way to do it, as obtaining focus and holding your camera steady can create problems as you are shooting at high powers. I tried this a few years back a couple of times and did obtain some decent shots but only after a lot of
frustration and experimentation. The most common way is to use a dedicated or universal digital camera adapter. The adapter will have adjustment controls in both axes, in, and out so that you can center and focus the object quite easily prior to taking images. Make sure you follow the instructions supplied by the manufacturer.
2. Using a SLR (Single Lens Reflex) or DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera. With this method, you will attach your camera to an adapter. This is accomplished in several different ways depending on the spotting scope you have. Some brands use T-Adapters that thread onto the spotting scope (in various ways) and you then need a T-Ring for your particular brand of camera (to install after removing the camera lens) that adapts to your T-Adapter. Some brands have built-in T-Adapter threads and you then adapt a T-Ring for your particular camera.
3.Smart phones can be attached to many spotting scopes and adapters are available from several manufacturers. This is quite enjoyable as it expands your hobby. There are numerous articles and information online about digiscoping and I suggest you read as much as possible as there are many techniques to use to maximize the quality of your images taken through your spotting scope.
Sighting Scopes – these allow you to locate objects easier. Some spotting scopes have a low power finder scope or a small “peep” sight to help you. Some spotting scopes have sighting “lines” near the front of the main tube that are helpful in locating your target.
Tripod – optional tripods have various and controls for tilting, raising or lowering the tripod, moving the tripod horizontally, and various locking features. Various tripods have different types of controls and you will have to refer to the instruction manual for your particular tripod. Make sure you use a stable and high quality tripod that will allow you to take advantage of the spotting scope and provide you with vibration free views or images.
Adjustment Controls for Riflescopes
An optical riflescope can have several adjustable controls.
Controls that are near the adjustment turret, close to the center of the main tube body, are for elevation, windage and turret mounted parallax. Controls generally use knobs but some older units can be flat dials with a single slot turned with a coin or a screwdriver and most have caps.
Lockable controls or caps are nice to have so accidental movements are not possible.
Controls are made with a high level of precision in machining and assembly in order that they are smooth functioning with little effort as they can affect accuracy. They should be repeatable and consistent —after adjusting the dials for different points of impact, when returning to the first setting it should have the same original reading.
Riflescopes that have hard to turn dials, or have backlash and other issues, can cause the user problems. They should be able to handle operating temperatures from -13 ° to 155 ° F (-25 ° to 68 ° C). Most controls have clicks (audible) but some do not. The sound lets you know you have made an adjustment.
Elevation – term used for vertical (up/ down) adjustment of your riflescope. You adjust the elevation to zero the crosshairs on the target. This control normally sits on the top of the turret. On a small percentage of riflescopes, the elevation knob becomes a bullet-drop compensator for quick elevation adjustments for long-range shots.
Windage – term used for horizontal (left/ right) adjustment of your riflescope. It compensates for the rate and direction of the wind. This control usually sits on the right side of the turret.
Turret Mounted (Side) Parallax Control – term that is used for parallax (described fully in Chapter 12) adjustment and it is mounted on the left side of the turret housing. Turning the control moves a focus lens in front of the reticle. This type of parallax adjustment is technically more complex than the AO (Adjustable Objective) type described on the next page and it is more expensive but also more user-friendly because the dial can be read with a nominal movement of your head. Personally, I prefer this type of parallax adjustment.
Variable Magnification (Power) Adjustment Ring – allows you to change from low to high power and in between when using the adjustment ring that operates the zoom mechanism. The ring is normally marked showing the magnification at various points. The ring should take some effort to move it because if it moves too easily it is harder to zero in on the exact magnification you want or it could move easily if you accidently touch the ring and change your magnification.
Focusing – term used for the procedure of focusing the eyepiece (ocular). Some users do not know that a riflescope must be focused to get a very sharp and clear image of the subject on the reticle. Each riflescope needs focusing for your particular eye. Some people write about and believe that eyepiece focusing has something to do with correcting for parallax but this is not true.
Many riflescopes have an eyepiece-locking ring. Unscrew the ring a few turns and then turn the eyepiece itself as you look at a distant object (preferably use a sign or other distinctive subject matter) through the riflescope. Several turns may be needed, but once your object is in sharp focus, screw the locking ring back into its locked position. Most riflescopes today have a fast focus ring (called fast focus) at the very rear of the eyepiece that has gained momentum over the last decade. You normally use less than a full rotation to find the sharp focus position. This is the easier type of focus system.
A hint when focusing – to achieve the sharpest focus, go beyond the point you believe is the best focus and then return slowly back to the best focus position. You do this because sometimes we do not recognize the sharpest focus position until we go just beyond it. To check focus, point your riflescope at the sky or a blank wall (50 to 100 yards or meters away) at its highest power and focus the eyepiece until the reticle is in sharp focus.
Focus may stay very sharp during your usage of the riflescope but you will generally have to refocus when changing to high magnification and changing target distances.
Adjustable Objective Parallax Control – term used for parallax adjustment, which is a rotatable collar near the front (objective end) of the main tube that when rotated moves the objective lens in and out. It is called “AO” or “A/ O” which stands for adjustable objective lens and used for adjustment of parallax.
Note that both types of parallax controls show distance numbers. However, they are only a guide and not exact settings. Many experienced optics writers note that at low power these controls do not make sense and add weight, bulk, and expense to the riflescope.
When using either type of control, make sure to focus the reticle prior to adjusting the AO or turret to ensure a sharp overall focus.
When first using a riflescope with the above type of controls, turn the dials all the way one way and then the other while counting how many full and partial turns it has. Then cut this number in half, which is the middle, and this is where your adjustments should start and make it easier to use the dials.
Most good quality riflescopes will move the point of impact when you adjust the dials without having to “settle in”. Poorer quality riflescopes may need to be shot a few times first to “settle in” the internal adjustments – some old timers tap their riflescopes with a coin or cartridge case that they feel helps this process.
Reading the Dials
For the elevation and windage knobs, the adjustments are put into fractions of “minutes of angle” or “minutes of arc” with both abbreviated as “MOA”.
If you do your hunting and rely on click adjustments, their accuracy is vital to your success.
Both terms of MOA refer to a 1/ 60th division of one degree of arc (1/ 60 °), known as a “minute”. As the total piece of a full circle, a minute would amount to roughly .0046 percent of it or 0.0166 °.
1 MOA @ 100 yards is 1.0472 inches. MOA changes with distance so it is not a set measurement.
Modifying the standard binocular field of view formula at 1000 yards – a single minute of angle/ arc subtends about 1 inch (rounded but 1.0472 is closer to the real number) at 100 yards.
Therefore, the MOA linear relationship for various distances is 1” @ 100 yards or ½” @ 50 yards, 2” @ 200 yards, 3” @ 300 yards, 4” @ 400 yards and 5” @ 500 yards.
The 100-yard distance is the traditional distance on many target ranges.
Note that on some high-end riflescopes, they use SMOA (shooters MOA) where they use 1MOA = 1” and thus be careful of your calculations.
Fractional divisions on the adjustment dials for each click or graduation on the dial can be from 1/ 8 MOA to 1 MOA but most riflescopes are 1/ 4 MOA. Some users call this the “click value”. This click system makes zeroing and adjustments much easier.
The adjustments must be repeatable. An example with ¼ MOA, one click will get 1/ 4th movement at 100 yards and four clicks should get you 1” of movement at 100 yards and this should be repeatable at all times at different distances.
Editor’s Note: Ralph Ramos from Las Cruces, New Mexico, has been shooting PSE bows for more than 15 years and guiding elk hunters for more than 20 years. He also teaches seminars on how to hunt elk at Bass Pro Shops Fall Classics and at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s events.
Ralph Ramos Explains Why He Shoots the PSE DNA SP I was introduced to PSE bows by Will Primos, the creator of Primos Game Calls, who kept inviting me to get a PSE bow. But at that time, I was with another bow company. I had met Pete Shepley, the president of PSE, at the PSE plant in Tucson, Arizona – only 4-hours away from Las Cruces. Then Will invited me to go on a hunt with Shepley in New Mexico where I guide. By getting to know Pete and the company, I felt comfortable in becoming a part of the PSE family. Pete and I have been hunting elk together at least every other year for the last 15 years. The first bow I ever bought was a PSE in 1985. I was still in high school, before I got in the guiding business. Right now, I’m shooting the PSE DNA SP bow (www.pse-archery.com/ c/ pro-series-compound-bows_dna-sp). I really love that bow, because I have a 27-1/ 4-inch draw length. I believe this is the smoothest drawing bow that PSE has in its line. The bow is also extremely fast. One of the advantages of a fast bow is that here in the West, especially when calling in bull elk, often, I won’t have an opportunity to range the elk before I take the shot. Many times an elk will just pop out in front of you, and you have to get the shot off quickly. So, I’ve learned to judge yardage. I usually can estimate the range within 5 yards of the actual range. When we’re hunting elk, I know my shots will be within 30 yards most of the time and hopefully within 20 yards. I have my top two pins set at those ranges, and those two pins are really close together. Even if I misjudge the yardage by 5 yards, I’ll still get an effective hit. Another thing I like about the DNA SP is I can hold it at full draw for a long time. When an elk, a coyote or a turkey is coming in, I want to be able to draw my bow early. But I don’t want to take a shot, until I’m ready to take the shot. I don’t like a bow with a short valley. That kind of bow is telling you, “Hurry, hurry, hurry. Shoot quick, shoot quick.” Before I release the arrow, I like to wait until I have the shot that I want. I shoot a 73-pound bow, but the PSE DNA SP allows me to hold that weight at full draw for a long time.
Ramos Hunts and Calls Elk with Pete Shepley
I was on a hunt with Pete Shelley, the president of PSE, in the Gila National Forest where we were hunting some monster bull elk. For some reason, we just couldn’t seem to get a favorable wind to stalk an elk. In the Gila National Forest, the wind often will shift directions every 5 to 10 minutes. We had moved in close to a herd bull that was bugling a lot and that probably had about 40 cows with him. As we were sneaking in to get within bow range of this big bull, we spooked some of the cows that were bedded out away from the bull. The bull we were after wasn’t the only bull in that herd. When we spooked the cows, the whole herd left the area. Then we started chasing them. Pete has bad knees but stayed right with me. After we spooked the elk, we hiked a long way. Pete turned to me and said, “Ralph, how far do you think we’ll have to go to catch up with the herd?” I answered, “I really believe these elk will bed-down again. If we stay with them, we have a real good chance for you to take a nice bull.” We hiked about another mile in pursuit
of the elk. Then a twist of fate helped us out. We came to a fence that the bulls easily could jump over, however, the calves traveling in this herd couldn’t get across. We watched the calves run up and down the fence trying to find a place to cross. They were calling to the rest of the herd constantly, as if to say, “Y’all wait on us.” The bull began to bugle and chuckle. I could tell he was losing his patience with those calves, because he gave some demanding calls like an impatient father when his kids wouldn’t keep up with him. There were two other bulls also bugling to the calves. I have one cow call that I created out of a moose horn that allows me to give a really-loud cow call. Not only do I blow it loudly, but I blow it so that it sounds like a demanding cow calling the bull back to where she and her calves are located. While I was calling, a small calf walked to within 2 yards of Pete and me. I kept calling, and the little calf kept looking, trying to see where the cow was that was calling. Finally, the small calf winded us and trotted off 15-20 yards away from us.
We could hear the bull coming to us. Pete had an arrow nocked. We squatted down to keep the bull from spotting us. As we looked, we could see horns coming up the hill toward us. Pete came to full draw and held his shot until the bull walked right past us at 15-feet away, giving Pete a perfect broadside shot. At that time, Pete was using a NAP expandable broadhead (www.newarchery.com). When Pete released the arrow, he drilled the bull perfectly. The 340-inch bull only went about 40 yards before piling up in a heap. That hunt was probably one of the most-exciting hunts I’ve ever been on with Pete Shepley.
Ralph Ramos on How He Got Hooked On Elk Calling
A good friend of mine, Jay Jarden, hunts with a PSE bow just like I do. We were hunting Labor Day weekend a few years ago – the earliest part of elk season in New Mexico. Early, early in the morning we heard an elk bugle just before first light. The elk was about 1,000-yards away in a basin. He didn’t bugle a second time. We were hunting a burned-over area. Even though the bulls don’t bugle very much in the early part of the season, I thought, if we could go to this burned-over spot and get to a vantage point, we might be able to spot this bull and make something happen. When we got to a place where we could see a great distance, I saw two bulls a long way off. I started calling, and the elk began to bugle. We had been hunting for 3 days and hadn’t seen a bull. So, I told Jay, “We need to go after this bull now.” We took off at the quick step, went down a canyon and up another mountain where we had last seen the two bulls. When we arrived there, I started giving soft, quiet cow calls. We heard the bull chuckling. Jay went down the mountain about 120 yards in front of me to set-up to try and get a shot at the bull. I wanted Jay to get the first chance to take the bull, even though I had an elk tag also. I kept giving cow calls. I could see the bull down in a little bowl. This bull came within 30 yards of Jay before he took the shot on this really nice bull that scored about 300 inches. I had set-up about 120-yards behind Jay. I’d hoped to pull the bull right by Jay. Also, I wanted to be mobile to move to my left or to my right and continue to call, if the bull went to the left or right of Jay. This technique had worked well for me over the years. I’ve been hunting elk since I was 13-years old. I was born in Silver City, New Mexico. I’ve hunted the Gila National Forest most of my life. Fort Bayard National Wildlife Refuge is near Silver City, and that’s where I go in the evenings in September to call elk and listen to them. When I was a kid, I rode my motorcycle out there. I listened to elk and practiced calling to them. I never will forget that one afternoon when I was a sophomore in high school and I kept calling to this one elk. He would bugle and come toward me. I remember the bull was really upset. When I saw the elk, I could see by his attitude that he was mad. Back then, I was using a Quaker Boy bugle (www.quakerboy.com). For some reason, the call that the bugle produced really fired-up this bull. I was sitting on my motorcycle. He came in so close to me that I got nervous. Although I yelled at him, he kept coming. Finally, I stood up and waved my arms. He stopped within 20-25 yards of me and my motorcycle. After that one experience, I was hooked on calling elk. Right now, I’m using Flextone calls (www.flextonegamecalls.com), Primos calls, and Rockie Jacobsen (www.buglingbull.com) calls. When I’m elk hunting, I’ll have a minimum of eight different calls. To me, calling elk is much like going fishing. You don’t go fishing with only one or two lures in your tackle box. So, I take plenty of elk calls. I know that on some days, a bull only will answer to one call, and you never know which call that bull wants. By having eight or more calls, I can continue to change calls until I get the one that makes that elk bull talk.
Ramos on Taking His Biggest Elk with a Bow I was guiding Mike Strandlund, the editor of “Bowhunting World,” and he was using a bow from another bow company. I had my PSE bow. I called in a bull that came within 12 yards of Mike, and he nailed the bull. Since dark was fast approaching, we field dressed his bull. We decided to come back the next day to skin and quarter the bull and carry the meat and the head out. I still had a tag in my pocket. When we went to recover Mike’s bull the next morning, I left my bow in camp, so I wouldn’t have to carry it at the same time I was carrying the meat. However, Mike took his bow to get some photos with it. At first light, we skinned the elk, and I started boning out the meat. Anytime I’m in elk country, I keep a diaphragm mouth call in my mouth. I started giving cow calls every now and then, just because that’s what I do. As we continued to make pictures, bone out the meat and pack the meat into our frame packs, I heard a bull bugling from down below us. At this time, I had only been a PSE pro staffer for about 3 years. When we finally got all the meat boned out, packed up and ready to start carrying it back to camp, nature called, and I had to go to the bathroom. The bull that had been at the base of the hill roared out a bugle so loud that it almost scared me. The bull was right below me. I hurried back to Mike and the meat. Mike asked, “Are you going to take that bull or not?” I said, “Okay, let me borrow your bow.” He handed me his mechanical release and his bow. I trotted down the mountain about 40 yards and called again. I could see this bull coming straight to me. The bull would score 360 points on Pope & Young. I said to myself, “Ralph, as soon as that big ole bull puts his head behind the tree just out from you, you’ve got to come to full draw.” Within two heartbeats, the bull had his head behind the tree, and I came to full draw. I didn’t know it, but Mike’s draw length was 30 inches, and my draw length is 27-1/ 4-inches. So, I had to move my neck and head backwards to be able to see through the peep sight. As the bull got closer and closer, I prayed, “Please, Lord, let him turn broadside to me.” The Good Lord heard my prayers, and the bull turned broadside at 12 yards. I let him walk past me and drilled him – taking out both lungs.
Now, I had a problem. I thought, “I’ve taken this awesome bull, but I wasn’t using my PSE bow.” I was determined to do the right thing. So, once we got my bull and Strandlund’s bull back to camp, I called Pete Shepley and said, “Pete, I shot this awesome 360 point bull. The only problem is I didn’t shoot him with a PSE bow.” Then, I explained to Pete what had happened. Pete started laughing and said, “Hey, the purpose of the hunt is to take the elk. You had a great hunt, and that’s what really counts.” I thought that was a really classy thing for Pete to say and to let me off the hook. When I went to help Strandlund get his elk back to camp, I didn’t have any intention at that time of taking a bull. I didn’t even have my bow with me. Sometimes things just happen that you don’t have control of, and. I’m glad I took the bull. I just wish I had taken him with my PSE bow.
Duck hunting is a fun activity provided you got the tactics to tackle the task. It has been adopted by different communities who live around water bodies all over the world. Ducks love still water and that is where you got to be every time you need a duck meal. In order to succeed in this task, you need great skills and tricks for a bountiful harvest. Below is some Great boat Tips for Duck Hunting from the greatest hunters that were compiled to be applied by the rest of the hunters all over the world.
Introduce decoys in your hunting expedition
Using mallards isn’t the answer. Ducks are also intelligent to decipher when mallards aren’t in season. Stick to decoys and they will perfectly bring the ducks to a perfect location for hunting. Invest in more decoys as they are the perfect mimics for ducks. Leave out the mallards. Here is what you should put in mind while using decoys to woo the ducks. Make them visible even from a distant. Set your decoys around clear water. Make your decoys as real as possible to easily attract ducks. Let quality prevail over quantity. What’s the essence of having over a thousand decoys and hunting only a few ducks?
Master their breeding habits
Before becoming a pro in hunting ducks from a boat, take some time and learn more about the birds. Ducks usually change habitats every season. Move with their pace and you will find it easy hunting ducks. Observance is the key to success. Prioritize with where they get their food. Look for a place where planktons and other aquatic animals thrive. This is where they definitely frequent since there is plenty of food there. At other times, they prefer grain seeds to aquatic food. The next thing to do is to discover the water depth that ducks like. Master their trend and you will always be in the right place to hunt as many ducks as you wish. You will never go wrong once you master the art of knowing their location at different times of the year.
Camouflage your hunting boat
Blend your boat with the surrounding water habitat. Blind the ducks and make them unaware of an approaching enemy. This is one of the best strategies to get as many ducks as possible. Use a Camo Cord and line the whole boat with it. Thereafter, add vegetation to match with the surrounding. Secure the woven vegetation well and it will sustain you the whole hunting season. One thing to always keep in mind is to never let the height of your camouflaged boat surpass the surrounding area. This way, the ducks will never know that you are watching them. Do not overdo the camouflage also. As you set up the boat, make it as comfortable as possible because you are going to be sitting there for some while as you wait for the perfect time to hunt them down. Also, keep a strategic location where it won’t be hard for you to shoot at the birds.
Check the wind
Wind direction will definitely tell you which course to take so as to capture the birds. How do you tell the wind direction? It is simple. Fill a small bottle with talcum powder. Squeeze the bottle and watch which direction the powder takes. This will tell you which direction the wind is heading to. In places of strong winds, ducks will look for calmer places to stay afloat. The calm places include areas surrounded by trees or hills. This means that you place your decoys in the quiet waters and ducks will hastily join the decoy. Besides, you don’t need a lot of decoys just a few of them enough for the ducks to notice. However, as a hunter, take precaution as you venture into the rough waters since it might lead to your fatality.
Keep a low profile
Hiding while hunting is definitely one of the best idea while duck hunting. This is one sure way of hunting some of the rarest breed of ducks. This only happens when you are the best in this game of duck hunting. Using a scull boat and rowing towards the ducks unnoticeably will get you many of them since you can kill a number of them with just one shot since they are closely packed.
The above Great boat Tips for Duck Hunting are the best when it comes to hunting ducks. These have been put into action by the very best hunters and have succeeded in this task. All you have to do is: keep a low profile, check the wind direction, camouflage your hunting boat, master their breeding habits and introduce decoys to your huntings.
Hunting from a boat can be very enjoyable if done properly. This is the main reason why the number of sportsmen hunting from boats has been increasing steadily. To make this kind of hunting successful and safe there are certain things that every sportsman should consider. This is because without these things the hunting will not be enjoyable and accident might even happen. Here are details on what should sportsman always consider when hunting from a boat.
One of the most important aspects that should be considered is safety. This is because hunting from a boat can be dangerous if the necessary safety measures are not put in place. Some of these safety measures are straight forward and requires no effort. However, there are others which are more sophisticated and usually require some efforts. Amongst the most important safety attributes that should be considered including having the right gear. This includes having life jackets and other floating devices. The importance of these is that one might be compelled to get into the water because of various reasons including accidents. Furthermore, it is always important to make sure that the sportsmen who are hunting have the necessary swimming skills. This is meant to ensure that they can be able to swim effectively in case they are required to swim.
While hunting from a boat it might become necessary to get into deep water. When in deep waters it is always paramount to have a reliable mode of communication. This is mainly because one might require assistance and without effective communication options it will be impossible to request for the assistance. Some of the most reliable modes of communication include the satellite phones which do not necessary use the signals used by ordinary phones. One can also have the flare guns which attracts the attention of people who are far a way. With such a gun a rescue boat which is far a way will notice that there is someone who needs help and the boat will provide the needed help.
It is also paramount to always use the right hunting tools while hunting from a boat. This is mainly because the hunting tools will determine the success of the hunting trips. There are certain hunting tools that are meant to be used only while hunting from a boat. There are also modern tools which are usually more efficient than the ones that were being used in the past. The sportsmen should take time to select the right hunting tools so that they can make their hunting trips more successful.
The kind of water
While hunting on a boat one might be on the sea or in a river. These different types of water require different types of navigation. This is because water in a river is constantly flowing and this requires the boat to be navigated in a way that the flowing water will not affect the boat. On the other hand, while hunting in the sea the boat might be affected by the waves and therefore the sportsmen need to consider how to deal with the waves while hunting. Before setting of to hunt the sportsmen should consider the kind of water they will be on and take the necessary precautions to ensure they hunt conveniently.
While hunting from a boat one can easily lose the sense of direction. This is especially while hunting on deep water where there is only water in all directions. In such a situation one might get stranded on the sea and it might take time before getting back to land. One might also go into the wrong direction and therefore get lost in the sea. This makes it important to carry things that will help in knowing the right directions. Some of the helpful things that every sportsman should carry include compasses which usually show directions regardless of the position. There are also modern gadgets which are usually very helpful when it comes to showing different directions.
Sources of food and drinks
Some hunting expeditions might take days depending on the magnitude. There are also sportsmen who remain in the sea for weeks while hunting. In such a situation it is important to always carry sufficient foods and drinks especially drinking water. The sportsmen should carry the foods which do not go bad easily such as packed and canned foods. Such foods will last for days without going bad and as a result the sportsmen will be sure of having enough food for all the time they will be hunting. Therefore, through following the outlined guidelines on what should a sportsman always consider when hunting from a boat the hunting can be more enjoyable, safe and successful.