South Africa Hunting

Hunters are always in conflict with conservatives and environment protectionists. The tussle seems to continue as long as the spirit of hunting expresses in the minds of modern day hunters. Hunting for food is generally accepted as rule of nature, but when it comes to sports or trophy hunting, there arises differences of varied kinds, a strong struggle with seemingly no ending. Hunters can leave these concerns aside and pursue their passion to go wild and chase the animals in the wilderness once they are on for South Africa hunting.

Different companies offer South Africa hunting packages that cover providing information about hunting season, identifying hunting locations, availability of trophy hunting options, and provide for essentials as stay and dine in luxury or semi luxury rooms, weapons, guards, and trekking facilities like jeep, mini bus, elephant, or horse. If the adventurism lets you, you can also try a safari on foot, where you walk into the terrains where elephants, lions, leopards, giraffes and mighty antelopes roam about.

There are many animals including big five – elephant, lion, leopard, rhinoceros and buffalo. Zebra, oryx, kudu, red leopard, steenbok, warthogs, cheetah, baboon, varmint, gemsbok, etc are the animals you can spot in South Africa hunting safari.

Not all animals are spotted in all seasons – your South Africa hunting company should be able to figure out the kinds of animals that may be available at your time of visit. Highest levels of skills and patients are required for a successful homerun.

The hunted animals will mostly end up in the dining tables of local people that at least partly depend on the hunters for their food. This can be an answer to haters of this big game safari.

While moving into the wilderness, the biggest adventure can be moving alone. But it is also easy to get lost in the wilderness. So it is not advisable to go into the hunting area alone. South Africa hunting companies will provide you with necessary guides and hunters to ensure you get a good catch and return safely.

Other options of wilderness and detour to primate conditions include bow hunting, where you experience ‘almost’ the same as what early caveman did while guarding his life, along with his women and children.

So where do you think you will get that experience of hunting for survival? Do you expect to get such an experience while you are with hundreds of other hunters looking to share a turkey or a deer? Although you can’t move in isolation, you need to choose South Africa hunting itinerary that doesn’t overload the hunting ground with a lot of hunters. It not only takes away the real spirit of South Africa hunting, but also leaves you with a less than satisfactory catch.

Shooting a Shotgun – Basic Fundamentals

The fundamentals of shooting a shotgun are vital to becoming a successful wing or target shooter. There are many things that contribute to actually hitting the target. In the next article we will talk about avoiding mental breakdowns. First things, first, we must look in depth at what the fundamentals shooting a shotgun are.

  • Stance. Your stance when shooting a shotgun is different from shooting other guns. The placement of your feet is critical in having a smooth motion when taking a shot. For right handed shooters, stand with your left foot in front of your right, about shoulder width apart or just under. Shift your weight slightly toward your lead foot to help brace yourself for the recoil of the shotgun. If the bird is coming directly at you, or going away, this is the perfect stance. Unfortunately, in the real world birds come from every angle possible. Remember to shift your feet and open your shoulders in the direction the bird is coming from.

    By doing this you will gain a greater kill zone and have a more fluid swing. For left handed shooters the stance is exactly opposite. Remember, if you pull the trigger with your right hand, the right foot goes back and if you pull the trigger left handed, the left foot goes back. A good stance and good footwork are the first steps to shooting a shotgun accurately. It is inevitable that during a dove hunt there will times when your stance is off because of dove surprising you. They will come from all angles and sometimes you won’t see them until you are already behind the eight ball, it’s okay. If you have the time to get your feet right, do it. In the times you don’t, your other mechanics will be more critical in making the shot.

  • Mount. This is simply how you place the shotgun against you shoulder and prepare to shoot the bird. The stance and the mount go hand in hand and are done almost simultaneously.,especially when dove hunting. The stock of the shotgun goes in the pocket of your shoulder slightly on the pectoral muscle. Keep it very tight as this will limit the amount of bruising from the recoil. Tilt your head slightly so that your eyes are looking down the barrel of the shotgun. The top of the stock should be touching the side of your jaw bone.

    Your off hand ( the one not pulling the trigger) supports the forend of the gun. Again, it easy to get a good mount when target shooting, but when dove hunting it’s real easy to have a bad mount when you are hurrying to get a shot off. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ended up with a bruised cheeked bone or shoulder because of a bad mount. By doing this it increases the difficulty of the shot dramatically. When you begin to take a shot getting your mount right ensures you are seeing the bird from the right perspective and the barrel is at the correct angle, which in turn increases accuracy and consistency. The bottom line is it’s worth the extra split second to get it right.

  • Eyes. Pretty self explanatory, you would think anyway. Most shotgunners say to shoot with both eyes open. Unlike rifles and pistols where you are seldom shooting a moving target, all of your shots on dove will be moving. I’m going to give you what some would call bad advice, but it works for me. I close one eye on shots that are straight on, either going away or coming at me. These shots require little barrel movement and usually require a straight shot at the bird, so basically aim and shoot, that’s why I close one eye.

    I’ll admit though, these type of shots are very rare when hunting dove. When shooting crossing shots (and all others), I leave both eyes open. I find with one eye closed on a crossing shot I’m almost always behind the bird. A good way to find out what works best for you is shooting skeet. Shoot a round leaving both eyes open on all the stations, then closing one eye on all stations and evalute your successes and failures. Whatever you decide works best, don’t change it. Consistency is key, do the same thing every time.

  • Swing. Imagine, you’ve spotted a bird, you’ve got your feet right, shouldered the gun and have your eyes right, now all you have to do is shoot right, wrong. What you have to do is get your swing right. Here muzzle speed and finding the right line is vital and is different on virtually every shot. If a dove is crossing but going away your muzzle speed will be slower than a dove just crossing.

    Finding the right line simply means following the line the dove is on. The last thing in your swing is your follow through. Just like a good golfer, basketball player, or bowler you must follow through your shot. Do not stop on the target, keep the swing and line even after you shoot. Doing this will keep you from stopping on the target and shooting behind it. The mechanics of your swing is something that must be practiced, once again shooting skeet is a great way to practice your mechanics.

There seems to be a lot to shooting a shotgun, but all these things happen in a blink of an eye. Practice, practice, practice. There are tons of articles on the different types of shotgunners, find out what works for you and stay consistent. The last thing you want to do is try to change your form in the middle of a hunt. Don’t let negativity set in. It can destroy everything you’ve practiced and turn a fun time into an aggravating experience. Stick to your fundamentals, be consistent, and always have fun.

10 Deer Hunting Safety Tips to Ensure a Fun and Safe Hunting Experience

Deer hunting season is upon us this fall in many states and I am so excited that I can hardly wait to put on my ridiculous looking bright orange hunting clothing and accessories so I can hit the outdoors.

My wife teases me about how silly I look in my bright orange hunting gear but if I were to leave the house without it she would be terrified for my safety and would think I have lost my mind for not wearing the correct gear for deer hunting safety.

As I double checked my gear in anticipation of the deer hunting season opening right around the corner it got me to think just how important it is to be safe out there.

Deer hunting is a fun outdoor sport but just like any type of sport you must adhere to certain safety precautions to avoid injury or even death. And not just your safety but that of your fellow hunters.

Deer hunting after all involves a lot of eager men, women, and children out there armed with high powered rifles and unfortunately not everyone is as safety conscious as they should be.

7 Deer hunting safety tips

  1. Wear the bright orange hunting clothing gear so you can be easily seeing and not confused with a deer. Not only is it safe but it’s also required by law.
  2. Do not pull the trigger unless unless you are sure without doubt, that your target is a deer. Sounds like a no-brainer but you would be amazed that the most hunting accidents are from hunters shooting other hunters by accident.
  3. Let your family and/or friends know when you’re going hunting, where, and what time you’re expected to be back home.
  4. Check the weather forecast.
  5. If at all possible, avoid hunting alone.
  6. Use your own tree stand and make sure it’s installed or built safety before you climb up on it.
  7. Take care of your hunting equipment before and after the hunt.

Hunt Safe – Have Fun

Hunting is a fantastic and fun outdoor activity. Not only is it a great form of getting exercise but it allows you to spend time outdoors with your friends and family and even your dog.

By following the hunting safety tips outline above not only do you ensure your safety but that of your fellow hunters (both the two and four legged hunters).

Please keep those hunting safety tips in mind each time so we can all have a safe and fun hunting experience.

When you pick up your deer hunting license ask for safety brochures or check your states department of natural resources agency website they will have printable safety tips.

Hunting in Montana – The Culture and Lifestyle of a Montana Tradition

Hunting is as much a part of the Montana lifestyle as cowboy boots and buffalo. It is a fundamental weave in our social fabric and considered a rite of passage by most Montanans. Imagine businesses closing to accommodate their employees’ hunting hysteria, and schools being more lenient about tardies and absences during hunting season.

Yes, a quick glance at the bumper stickers and license plates on the trucks in Montana will quickly illuminate the place of reverence that hunting enjoys in this state of, as one of my friends so aptly calls it, “Huntana”. And in fact, one of my favorite restaurants proudly serves the ‘Montana Surf n Turf’ which is a meal of rainbow trout and buffalo.

Not being limited to merely deer hunting, stalking the wily game in Montana offers a nearly unending supply of choices, and encompasses a wide variety of animals such as moose, elk, deer, bighorn sheep, buffalo, Canada goose, pheasant, brook trout, wild turkey, grouse; the list goes on and on.

Those who plan it right can legitimately hunt from September through November. They take advantage of this option by taking up bow hunting in addition to the traditional rifle or shotgun method of hunting. There is an added appeal to bow hunting because it starts in early September when the weather is usually a little more bearable. The rifle hunters will generally have to brave below freezing temperatures and fresh snow to land their kill. But, in fact, the snow gives them an added advantage in tracking. So those souls asking for an early snowfall in Montana are undoubtedly hunters or skiers.

When I came to Montana, I noticed horizontal boards across many thresholds and garages. “It’s to hang the deer from,” was my husband’s casual reply. I was appalled. The thought of animal carcasses hanging randomly around the neighborhood made me nervous. Sure enough, in October and November there they were; the big game carcasses, acting as hunters’ “trophies” hanging in a proud and defiant display. Many big game hunters let them hang for up to five days to cure the meat and reduce the ‘gamey’ taste. In Montana, many garages and sheds double as super-size refrigerators during hunting season: that time of the year the temperatures usually stay below 40 degrees.

A friend of mine is strictly committed to bird hunting. He will shoot any kind of fowl he can get his sights on, be it duck, Canada goose, pheasant, grouse or wild turkey. He is, however, more discriminating in what he will eat. He prefers pheasant over anything else. When I asked what he does with the birds he kills and does not care to eat, he so eloquently stated, “I make sure they get eaten by something.” This meant primarily friends, family, neighbors and their pets. How noble. His wife doesn’t care for eating any kind of wild fowl, so that presents its own brand of discord among his household. Still, most Saturday mornings he is guarding the banks of the river, shotgun in hand, waiting for the unwary bird to wander by.

Big game hunting seems to be more all-consuming for the big game hunter. Early in the season, many hunters will pass on perfectly good kills, waiting for the ‘big kill’. I have my suspicions as to whether they are actually holding off for the ‘big kill’ or simply milking the hunting excursions for all they’re worth. The spouses at home are referred to as ‘hunting widows’ while they patiently wait for their other half to get it out of their system. As soon as the magical phrase is uttered, “This is your last weekend! Don’t come home until you get something,” they somehow, quite miraculously I’d say, bring home an animal, be it elk or deer or moose or whatever is required to fill their hunting tag. The animals are probably more nervous towards the end of the season when the hunters who haven’t filled their tag yet will shoot at anything that crosses their path.

Everyone has their meat preferences. Most of my friends do not care for venison, preferring elk or buffalo to deer. They have different ways of preparing game meat, and interesting ways of disguising the taste of the more gamey-tasting meat that they dislike. When my father came for a visit, I made him a genuine Montana Moose Meatloaf, which he touts as one of the highlights of his trip. Some of my friends even brag that they have not had to buy red meat at the store for years.

I made my first kill last fall in the Lolo National Forest. My rite of passage was courtesy of a small doe that played her part in the cycle of life to feed my friend’s family. As I’m not a big fan of venison, my particular freezer contains elk, buffalo and moose courtesy of other friend’s generosity, as I didn’t kill any of them.

The Lolo National Forest is a two-million-acre recreational playground, with over 700 miles of hiking trails, over 100 named lakes and five rivers, and more than 60 species of large mammals, so when we say that western Montana is truly your outdoor recreational paradise, we mean it! For those of us that have the privilege of living here, we have the luxury of simply wandering out into our 145,552 square mile ‘backyard’ to enjoy this recreation any time we want. You simply can’t put a price on it, that’s for sure!

The Evolution of Man – The History of Hunting

Perhaps one of the eldest activities on the face of the planet is hunting. The history of hunting, as a result, is also one of the most diverse. Hunting for food has always been something that human kind has had to do, dating back to the beginning of any civilizations known to man.

As a result of this, there have been thousands of weapons and devices used to hunt. The history of hunting is far more complicated than any other history in the world, as it stretches so far into the past. In order to understand this history, you need to break down and study each era where hunting has been a major part of life. While there are exact time lines of when certain guns or weapons were produced, understanding the importance of hunting should be done on a far broader scale. There is much more to the history of hunting than when the gun was created.

The First Era, Pre-Civilization

In this time frame, from before great cities to the first starts of basic civilization, the human race survived on their skills of scavenging and hunting. In cultures similar to those of the first era and pre-civilization, women had the roll of caring for the home and preparing the food brought in by the men. Some portions of modern day Africa have conditions similar to this, where they do not have a great deal of money, and a similar style of hierarchy. The men all learned how to hunt, and they held these hunts daily to feed themselves. Unlike today, all hunting was for survival, and none of it for sport. All of the materials from the killed animals was used, from the bones to the pelt. Hunting was also a method of determining who was the bravest warrior. The bravest would hunt the ferocious creatures that lived nearby their homes. These kills were a vital part of the early hierarchies.

A wide variety of different weapons were used during this era, from slings to spears crafted of wood and stone. For large prey, the hunters would work together in packs, similar to how a wolf hunts to bring down their quarry. The only trophies kept were antlers and teeth. Occasionally the skulls would be kept as decoration or as symbols of the clan or family group. This oldest form of hunting was the basis in which the present was formed.

The Second Era, Growth of Civilization

As people gathered together and civilization really began, the role of men as hunters changed as well. Cities, by their very nature, require a variety of people with a lot of skills. There needed to be craftsmen and weavers, animal handlers and other trades so that everyone could have access to everything they needed. Instead of the split between men and women, hunting became the task of those most suited for hunting. These were usually always men, as it was looked down upon for women to participate in this line of work.

This was also the turning point where hunting becoming a sport. Civilizations, such as the Babylonians, the Egyptians, and the Romans all had their hunters and craftsmen. The Romans, took hunting as a sport to a whole new level, capturing prey alive for sale or gladiatorial competitions. Only certain individuals were hunters, allowing the select men to feed those in their community.

The Third Era, The Middle Ages

Perhaps one of the most interesting times in the history of hunting, is the middle ages. This is the period in time where hunting for food was a vital part of life for many, though restricted. Rules on hunting, such as no hunting in the King’s Forest, was the first real restrictions on hunting present in the world. Only the rich prospered, and the surf classes hunted whatever they could, when they could for survival. Hunting, from boar to deer to fox hunting, became primary sports for the nobility of the time frame. This started the trend of organized hunts for sport.

Colonists to the New World required as much hunting skills as possible, during this period of time, although they progressed quickly from relying on scavenging and hunting to creating farms and plantations. Popular weapons for use in hunting during this time period was forms of archery, slings and throwing spears. The gun was also used, although it had not quite yet reached full levels of popularity.

The Fourth Era, The Industrial Period

On the heels of the Middle Ages was the Industrial period. This era stretched from beyond the 1700s until just after the start of the 1900s. The evolution of machines brought about great changes in hunting. Large farms became very popular, where livestock was raised instead of the practice of hunting wild animals, downgrading hunting to only become a past time. Guns, ranging from muskets to rifles, were being to be used extensively. Archery was downgraded to sport use only, though it was very popular for tests of skill.

Present Day

Through these stages of the history of hunting, humans have perfected this activity, with a wide range of weapons. Archers, for example, have many types of bows to choose from. Arrows are just as plentiful as bows, from metal to wood, with many different types of tips. Guns have evolved the same way, with many types of bullets and guns for different types of hunting. Special guns and equipment designed for moose hunting, for example, wouldn’t be the same as deer hunting supplies.

Competitive hunting, such as fox hunting, is still greatly enjoyed by many people who prefer a little more action to their hunting. In the modern world, safety and skill are the requirements for hunting, and it is open for anyone who is willing to learn proper weapon handling and obtain all of the documents necessary to hunt. Regulations on guns and hunting have been developed to prevent species from going extinct. While hunting is still very popular, the modern day has a lot more restrictions that in any other era in the history of hunting.

Each of these eras of the history of hunting have done a lot for the sport and trade, giving it a rich heritage that shouldn’t be forgotten.

Tahr Hunting in New Zealand

About New Zealand Tahr

The Himalayan Tahr, originally from the areas around Tibet, were introduced to the Southern Alps of the South Island of New Zealand around 1904 to 1906. Initially considered a pest, the New Zealand government controlled the Tahr herds with government sharpshooters and aircraft. Over the last twenty years, the Tahr hunting status has changed from being unwanted pests to a manageable, renewable and valuable resource to many local and overseas trophy hunters.

The Tahr is a majestic animal found on hillside rocky outcroppings with their long “lion like” mane blowing in the wind. This is truly a majestic sight. When put to chase, the Tahr hunter will be in awe of their climbing abilities in the steep New Zealand Alpines they call home.

The Himalayan Tahr is close relative to the free range mountain goat. A Tahr has relatively short legs and small head with large eyes and small pointed ears. Their hooves have a flexible, rubbery core that allows them to grip smooth rocks, while a hard sharp rim can lodge into small footholds. Tahr inhabits steep broken mountainous landscapes ranging from 3000′ to 8000′ above sea level. Males are much larger and have different coloration and horn structure than the females. Adult Himalayan Tahr can weigh from 300 to 400 pounds and stand 2½ to 3 feet tall. The nannies (females) only weigh 45-55 pounds. This is one of the largest “pair” ratio differences between any mammals in the world. Himalayan Tahr are herbivores, subsisting on tall alpine “tussock” grasses and shrubs. Himalayan Tahr can be found in herds from 2-25 animals and can live up to 14 years old in the wild.

What makes a Trophy Bull Tahr?

A Bull Tahr has horn bases of 8-9″ and a sharp round curled horn of 10 to 14 inches. A Tahr Hunter will judge a good trophy male by its long mane as well as its horns although record book scoring only uses a combination of the base horn diameter and length of both horns. Most Tahr hunting guides will look for horns over 11 inches in length. Tahr horns of 12.5 to 13.5 inches are considered an above “trophy” average and horns over 14″ are exceptional. There have been a few New Zealand Tahr taken with horns over 15″ and these usually fall into the SCI Top 10 Record Category.

When should I plan my Tahr Hunting Trip?

Like Chamois hunting, Tahr Hunting can be done year. The ideal time to hunt Tahr is during New Zealand’s late fall and winter. By Tahr hunting in winter, the Tahr will have their winter coats and manes. A Tahr’s mane can grow 5-8″ in length from February to early June and turn darker in color. Late May, June, July and August are ideal months to hunt Tahr and chamois. The Tahr rut runs late May thru July which usually correlates with the first snow of the season. The rut is an excellent time for Bow hunting. Tahr can be hunted in conjunction with the red stag “roar” or rut in March and April but the hunter will have to work harder to find a Tahr with a long mane at that time of year. The coats will also be lighter in color before winter sets in.

What is the best way to hunt New Zealand Tahr?

Most Tahr hunting mountains are accessible by two-tracks or fire trails up to the tops of the mountains. Hunters usually glass the mountainsides in the early mornings and again in the late afternoon and then hunt down the mountains and are greeted by the outfitters vehicle below. Tahr hunting terrain can range from 3′ tall tussock grass to rock and shale hillsides. In most cases, the physical demand for this type of hunt is a lot less than that of Mountain Goat or Sheep hunting. You should allow at least 2 days for a rifle Tahr hunt (in good weather) and 3-4 days with a bow for a good specimen. If you are strictly record book trophy hunting, you can easily double that time period.

What about Tahr hunting by Helicopter?

Helicopter assisted Tahr hunting enables hunters to access the more remote mountainous areas where there are excellent trophy animals. It also gives greater assurance of success if the hunter has a limited time in New Zealand to hunt. Helicopter assisted hunting can be an exciting alternative with spectacular flights, and the opportunity to take an exceptional trophy. It is important to note that the helicopter is only used as a mode of transportation and animal recovery. Hunters are not allowed to shoot, drive or herd animals from the air. The Tahr hunters spot their trophy from the helicopter and are taken to an area when they can pursue their spot and stalk by foot. This type of hunting does contain a element of caution as you will be exiting a moving aircraft on an unknown mountain ledge.

What do I need to take with me on a Tahr hunt?

Most Tahr hunting is done in the higher elevations of the New Zealand Alpines. Some of these mountains are covered with 2-3′ tall clumps of Tussock Grass and some are rocky outcroppings of rocks and broken shale. Starting in June, these same mountains could also have snow on them. Make sure you have good boots that are broken in. Since you may be hunting in snow, you will want your boots insulated and waterproof. If you are hunting on a mountainside of tussock grass, wear a good pair of gators. The gators will keep the snow or morning dew from getting your hunting pants wet and cold. Premium optics is essential. Buy the best “glass” you can afford. I recommend a binocular harness as it will come in handy when traversing shale and lose rocks. This will keep your binoculars from getting bounced around or worse, banged on a rock. Most Tahr rifle shots will be in the 150 to 250 yard range. A good range finder will come in handy for both rifle and bow hunters. At 300 plus pounds, the Tahr is a good size trophy animal. I would recommend 7mm or larger and 164 grain or larger expandable bullet. A good 3,000 fps.30 caliber with an 180 grain expandable bullet is ideal for Tahr. Your rifle should be equipped with a good quality scope in the 3×9 or 2.5×10 magnification. I would also recommend a good backpack that is capable of carrying your rifle or bow. This will keep your hands free when moving across the mountainsides. If you are bow hunting, a good bow hunting guide can usually get you within 40-50 yards of your Tahr during the rut. Taking a trophy Tahr is quite an accomplishment with a bow. Allow yourself extra hunting days. Your biggest challenges in Tahr hunting are the nannies giving their warning whistle as you stalk your Bull Tahr.

How should I have my Tahr taxidermy mounted?

I recommend that all Tahr hunters, especially first time Tahr hunters, really think about how you want your bull Tahr mounted. A shoulder mount is the most economical taxidermy mount but it really doesn’t give justice to the long hair on the Tahr’s mane. Here is a tip for your first (or only) Tahr Hunting trip.

Have the guide cape it out for a full body mount. It will be 4-months before you get the cape back to the USA and probably several more months before your taxidermist will send it out for tanning. This will give you some extra time to decide (and save up) whether or not you want to do a shoulder mount or a full body mount. If your guide capes it out for a shoulder mount in the field, you are stuck with your choice. The full body bull Tahr mount is spectacular and will be a highlight to any hunter’s man cave or trophy room. You may also want to consider taking a Nanny Tahr. Some outfitters will let you harvest a Nanny for a few hundred dollars in conjunction of taking a bull Tahr at their standard trophy fee. A Bull & Nanny Tahr make a great pedestal mount.

Global Sporting Safaris, a hunting consultant company, offers the best opportunity for Tahr hunting in New Zealand. Whether you are a bow hunter, muzzleloader, crossbow hunter or rifle hunter, we have the locations, guides and experience to put you on the trophy Tahr hunt of a lifetime.

How Do You Maintain The Optimal Humidity In A Gun Safe?

When it comes to firearms, the optimal humidity in a gun safe is zero. Humidity causes rust to form on the steel construction of the guns kept while kept inside the safe; as well as allows moisture to accumulate in the gunpowder inside the ammunition. Neither are optimal conditions for your firearms and both can cause extremely dangerous accidents should you need to fire your weapons. If you use a gun or pistol safe, it is extremely important to take safety precautions, such as using gun safe anchor kits to prevent accidentally turning over the security device.

One excellent, and very popular though hard to find brand, is the Kingsbury gun safe. A beautiful copper finish completes the look. It is fireproof and features 5 adjustable shelves and an S&G lock system. If a vintage model is in your future, you might luck up on a Kingsbury gun safe online for about $600.

Providing the conditions to maintain the optimal humidity in a firearms safe was once nearly impossible, prior to the modern technologies that are available now to prevent it. Depending on the humidity levels in the air surrounding the safe, the steel walls could sweat and damage the firearms and ammunition kept inside. The majority of modern firearms safes are fireproof and waterproof; but don’t let that fool you. That only means that water is unable to enter from the outside of the safe if it is submerged. It does not mean that under the right conditions, the air inside the rifle or firearm safe will not contain moisture and cause the steel to sweat.

There are several products on the market that can be placed inside, with the firearms and ammunition, to insure the optimal humidity in a gun safe. One is a portable mini dehumidifier, which runs on a rechargeable battery and lasts 30-60 days between charges. Recharging releases the moisture trapped in water crystals, and gets it ready to absorb moisture for another 30-60 days. Another option is either a rechargeable desiccant container, or a container that can be placed in the oven to release the moisture from the desiccant crystals; then reinstalled to maintain the optimal humidity in a firearms safe. Any of these options will take care of an inside area of at least 35 cubic feet.

Many gun aficionados ask if an ammunition safe or firearms locker be kept in an unheated garage. The temperature surrounding the firearms safe is not the issue; it is the moisture content of that air. So, can a rifle safe or firearms locker be kept in an unheated garage? The answer is definitely yes, as long as there is a good moisture removal product inside of it. Even in the garage accidents can happen, so don’t forget to use the gun safe anchor kits.

The two most important things to remember about gun or ammo safes are: use anchor kits and secure locks to prevent accidents, and use products to remove odors and moisture inside the safe to maintain the optimal humidity in a gun safe.

Gun Shy Dog – Prevention – Gunproof Your Dog

Almost all hunters and field trial enthusiasts have a fear or at least a concern about the possibility that their new promising gun dog prospect may become gun shy.

Hunting dog owners have over the years exposed their pups at a young age to noise such as banging feed pans at feeding time. they have fired cap pistols and later 22 caliber guns to get them ready for that first critical hunt. Some have played records of distant shots in the kennel during feeding time. Almost all these methods can’t hurt, but all are missing one thing, and that is the unmistakable booming report of a shotgun going off at a fairly close distance to the dog. Whether you have a duck dog or bird dog or a hound, sooner or later your dog will experience that unmistakable sound of the shot gun being fired at a close distance, and none of these other noises will have duplicated the shot guns blast.

There are however some steps that you can take to prevent “gun shyness” from happening. So let’s get started.

Step number 1

Make sure your dog has bonded to you, and knows you are his or her master. This means spending time with your dog. You should be the one feeding and training and doing most of the care giving.

Step number 2

Do not be in a hurry to introduce gunfire. It would be preferable to wait until your dog is at least six months old and has developed a strong desire to hunt and enjoys his training trips afield. Once your dog knows you as his master, enjoys his trips afield, and is excited about the game you are hunting, whether it is rabbits, birds, ducks or some other game, now is the time for the next step.

Step number 3

Plan a trip afield with a leash, a 20 gauge shotgun, your dog, one of his favorite treats, or his favorite game in a cage, and a friend of yours who is a stranger to your dog and now you are ready for your next step.

Step number 4

Once you are afield, have your “stranger friend” take your dog 100 yard away as you try to call him back to you. After your friend is 100 yards away and your dog most likely is straining to get back to his master, fire your shotgun into the ground. As soon as you fire, have your friend release your dog as you excitedly call him back. After your dog runs back to you, give him his treat, or let him smell the game you have brought with you and get him excited. Make a big production out of what has just happened, and let him smell your gun if he is interested.

Next, repeat step 4 at a closer distance of let us say 50 yards.

If all goes well repeat step 4 at a closer distance of let us say 25 yards.

Now that you are finished introducing your dog to gunfire, what you have really done is implemented a psychological principle of association. You dog now associated the firing of a shot gun with things that bring him pleasure-not only has he got back to the master he loves, but he has also associated gunfire with his favorite treat, and if you have it, his favorite game that he loves to hunt.

Step number 5

Your dog is now as they say “gun proof.”

Take your dog on his very first hunting trip with out the worry or concern of that “gun shy dog”

Happy hunting!

Airguns for Hunting in Mississippi

No matter if it’s a BB gun or pellet rifle, the air gun is a fundamental building block of marksmanship training for hunters of all ages. Not only that, in Mississippi there are worthwhile opportunities for hunters to take their air guns to the woods. With the escalating cost and limited availability of ammunition lately, those nice big tins of pellets are looking more and more attractive with each passing day.

Marksmanship Training

BB guns are low powered but are great for learning the basics of marksmanship (grip, sight alignment, trigger control) cheaply and in the comfort of your own home. Modern air rifles of good quality are by nature far more accurate than most 22LR rimfire rifles. Rimfire rounds are by nature handicapped because of low quality control when firing bulk grade ammunition and the use of a heeled bullet. In comparison even inexpensive cast pellets and BBs are more aerodynamic and coupled with a modern air rifle will deliver consistent performance.

Air guns are so popular for training youth in shooting basics that most of the hunter’s education courses being taught in the state use one for the mandatory live fire section of the course. They are cheap to shoot, accurate, and limited in range.

Pest Control

During the winter especially, there are always issues with mice, rats, and other little creepy crawlies that are classified as pests. A good pellet rifle even in.177 caliber can take care of these without much issue. Be sure that you obey local laws as some cities in the state have town ordinances about shooting an air gun in the city limits, but otherwise feel free. Obey your basic firearms safety rules with pellet guns as they can still inflict bodily harm, shoot out windows, and generally disturb the neighbors. For these types of vermin as well as nuisance birds, a good quality, medium weight, wad-cutter (flat tipped) pellet will minimize the chance of over-penetration.

According to state laws, “all species of blackbirds, cowbirds, starlings, crows, grackles, and English sparrows may be killed without a permit when such birds are committing or about to commit depredations on shade or ornamental trees or agricultural crops.”

It’s best to remember that Mississippi is home to a number of endangered species of bats, turtles and rare snakes they are best to be avoided if you are unsure of the exact species in your sights.

Small Game

It’s legal according to MDFWP regulations to hunt all small game (rabbit, squirrel, bobwhite quail, raccoon, possum, and bobcat) with air rifles during the normal season by a licensed hunter.

While almost any BB gun or pellet rifle will take vermin sized animals (mice, rats) and pest birds such as sparrows, you will need a high-powered air gun that shoots pellets only to go after anything larger.

These hunting level guns start at about $59 and go rapidly up from there. To make sure you have a strong enough air gun, make sure that the FPS (feet per second) rating is 700+ for a.22 caliber, or 950+ for a.177 caliber gun. Benjamin Sheridan pump line and Daisy’s cock-action Powerline series can be had new for about $100. Slightly better rifles such as the Gamo Big Cat and Crosman Vantage are just $30 more expensive but deliver a lot more performance. Moving up the scale are Ruger Air Magnums, German-made RWS guns, Hatsans, Sumatras, and the Benjamin Marauders that go for as much as $400.

For hunting these tree rats and flop ears, look for a good quality, medium weight, domed pellet like the Crosman Premiere Light, RWS Superdome, or the JSB Exact. These can be had extremely cheap, the 7.9 Grain Crosman Premier run about $25 for 1250 pellets for example. Gamo has a new 0.36 gram.177 pellet that can penetrate 1.5mm rolled galvanized steel sheet and keep going. Called the “Lethal,” it’s a two-body design pellet with ultra-high ballistic coefficient, more terminal penetration, a stable flight trajectory, and a polymer skirt. These top of the line pellets cost about $20 per 100. With high-end pellets and a high-powered air rifle, lethal shots as far as 50-yards out are possible.

When going after bobcats, raccoons, and possums, 22 caliber or 25 caliber pellets from high-powered air guns should be the minimum.

With all small game taken with an air gun, it is absolutely required to get good, accurate shots in the small 1-2 inch kill zones of your target to ensure it goes down. Headshots are the rule to live by. Unless you can hit a nickel sized target repeatedly with your air rifle at 25-yards, practice until you can before heading to the woods.

Nuisance Animals

The State of Mississippi by Public Notice LE6-3779 lists beaver, coyote, fox, nutria, skunk, and wild hogs as nuisance animals. As such, the hunting of nuisance animals is allowed during daylight hours on private lands with no caliber restrictions–, which include air guns. While.177/22 caliber guns can take polecats with no issue, going after some of the larger game on this list may be problematic unless you have a big bore air rifle.

Speaking of which deer and turkey hunting with big bore air guns, while practiced in some states, is currently off the board in Mississippi– for now. In 2007, an Alabama man took two deer, including a trophy 9-point with a.50 caliber air rifle and one 200-grain pellet. With precedents such as that one, it’s likely just a matter of time before whitetails are being taken with air guns in this state as well.

Just be sure you don’t shoot your eye out.

Pros and Cons of Bow Hunting vs Rifle Hunting

Most rifle hunters say that bow hunters should rifle hunt while bow hunters say that rifle hunters should pick a bow. In the end do what makes you most happy and most comfortable.

1. Pros-Bow Hunting: Bow hunters definitely don’t have the crowd that rifle hunters have to deal with. Bow hunters rarely see anyone else and being surprised if they do happen upon another bow hunter. Your chances of seeing bigger and more animals increases by 3 times. During the bow season elk and mule deer tend to stay out longer during the morning and come out earlier in the evenings increasing your odds for success. Hunting with a bow requires skill on many levels therefore making it more rewarding in a bow hunters eyes. The weather is better during this season.

2. Cons-Bow Hunting: Bow hunting is difficult. Your percentage for success is much lower than a rifle hunter. Bow equipment is more expensive than a rifle equipment. It can be very frustrating at times, I’ve talked to bow hunters who have spent all day stalking a trophy buck only to get within 70 yards and have the deer catch wind of the hunter and they vanish like a fart in the wind.

1. Pros-Rifle Hunting: Shooting a rifle through a scope at long range is fun and can be challenging especially if you’ve got buck fever. Your success for harvesting an animal increases greatly because of the distance the rifle has that the bow doesn’t. Rifle hunting doesn’t take as much practice as a bow does. It’s cheaper and more people can enjoy and go rifle hunting. The leaves have fallen off the trees making it easier to see the game from longer distances.

2. Cons-Rifle Hunting: Lots of people. Last year I counted 50 trucks coming into the mountain where I was hunting mule deer. Luckily I was already sitting in my position when the rest of the hunters started up the hill. The weather can be horrible and nasty. Many hunters love the cold, snowy, freezing weather because it brings out the deer however some people beg to differ.