Staying Warm on the Hunt
Chemical hand warmers work great to help a hunter stay warm, but if you hunt a lot sooner or later you are likely to run out on the coldest day of the hunt. Through the years I have learned to be innovative with what I have when an hour or more out in the wilderness.
There is an alternative to chemical hand warmers that is reusable over and over again. If you have ever had a back ache you may have used heat to relieve the pain. Heating pads are okay but bulky and tend to slip for some areas of pain such as knees and between the shoulder blades. I searched the shelves in drug stores and retailers and found some alternatives that you heat in a microwave for my lower back pain and unlike a heating pad they were portable. I decided to try them in hunting season one frigid week at bear hunting camp utilizing a fellow hunters camper generator powered microwave.
Wrapped in flannel or a towel they hold heat for hours and are a great solution for cold weather hunting. Available in various sizes (depending upon where you shop) the smaller sizes are great to slip into pockets for hand warmers, just heat them up before leaving home or in the camp microwave if available.
If you have access to a microwave in camp, whole shelled corn or rice in a sock works for a couple hours worth of relief for sore muscles. For the average tube sock half-full start at 30 seconds and check. Add 15 seconds until you have the heat you desire for stiff & sore muscles. I don’t advise this for hand warmers as corn and rice provide a moist heat, which can ultimately cool you down. The moist heat sure feels good on sore muscles though. Be aware though, that corn and rice heated too long will burn!
Self wicking socks are unsurpassed in performance. Field tests indicate self wicking socks can stay dry as long as 3 days without changing. For those die hard hunters who refuse anything other than wool socks carry extras and change when sweating makes the feet cold. Just be sure to bring a Ziploc bag to store the ‘old stinkers’ in when you change.
Insulated coveralls can’t be beat for keeping the body warm. But let’s face it, sometimes things happen like a spill in the creek, or forgetting to ensure they still fit before packing for the trip. A trick this writer has used in such situations was wearing sweat pants under outer pants. This may require a larger size of pants but works well, and are comfortable if thermals make you itch. When sweat pants are bit more extra insulation than is needed, flannel pajama bottoms worn under pants are a more light weight alternative to sweat pants. Though these alternatives won’t match your coveralls performance, they aren’t a bad substitute in a pinch.
When the weather is frigid and the fur lined hat doesn’t keep your head and ears warm enough, slip a toboggan on before donning the hat.
Wilderness camp sometimes requires a little innovation when you forget to pack all the essentials or the unexpected happens. Use your imagination and take stock of what you have to use as a substitute and keep on hunting!
GrabAGun’s online gun shop offers camping and hunting supplies as well as guns for sale for all your shooting and hunting needs. Give us a call, we will be happy to assist you.
A gun safe secures and protects multiple weapons and ammunition from unauthorized access and burglary. Gun safes are also available that protect the contents from fire, flood and other naturally occurring disasters.
Gun safes or vaults may be in a dedicated area and secured with vault doors allowing them to double-up as a gun safe as well as safe rooms and tornado safe rooms.
Gun safes should always be locked, especially in homes with small children. Bolting a gun safe down will prevent their being tipped over on a person and to prevent burglars from being able to carry the entire safe away.
Gun safes may be rated with one of 7 burglary ratings and 3 fire ratings.
B Rated Safe:
Has not been tested and has a locking device. This rating complies with the minimum requirement of a 1/4 inch thick body and 1/2 inch thick door.
Residential Security Container RSC:
This rating has an U. L. rating. This rating requires the safe to withstand 5 minutes of burglary style attempts of entry with prying, drilling, chiseling, punching, and other tampering with common burglar tools.
C Rated Safe:
Requires a 1/2 inch thick steel box and a 1 inch thick door containing a lock as well as a hard plate and relocking device. No tests are required for this writing.
E Rated Safe:
Tested by an independent company and is typically a plate or composite safe. This is an insurance rating.
ER Rated Safe-U.L. ™ TL-15 Rated:
ER is an insurance rating. The U.L. means it has passed standardized tests as defined by U.L. © Standard 687. This rating requires the safe to be manufactured of 1 inch solid steel or the equivalent. This safe has been tested with a burglar entry of 15 minutes using the same tools as previously noted plus devices applying pressure.
F Rated Safe-U.L. ™ TL-30:
An insurance rating. The tests are the same as for the
TL-15 except burglar effort is extended to 30 minutes.
G & A Rated Safe-U.L. ™ TL-30X6:
An insurance rating that undergoes the same tests as the TL-30 except that testing is on all 6 sides (the addition of top and floor).
1/2 Hour-U.L. class 350 Rated Safe: Tested by U.L. and heated for one-half hour to reach an exterior temperature of 1550 degrees. It must maintain an internal temperature of less than 350 degrees to earn this rating. In addition of being removed from the oven it is then raised to a height of 30 feet and dropped onto concrete rubble. Once cooled, it is lifted and returned to a preheated oven of 2000 degrees F. The contents of the safe must remain unharmed and the door must remain in place.
1 Hour-U.L. ™ class Rated Safe: The safe is heated for 1 hour to reach an external temperature of 1550 degrees and then goes through the cool down test. Like the 1/2 hour rated safe it is hoisted 30 feet and dropped onto concrete rubble, is allowed to cool and is then placed back into a 2000 degree F oven. The contents of the gun safe must remain unharmed and the door must remain in place.
2 Hour-U.L. ™ class 350 Rated Safe: This test is like the 1/2 Hour and the 1 Hour test in all respects except it is initially heat for two hours.
GrabAGun.com is your online gun shop and offers a variety of gun safes for all of your firearms securement needs. Shop our site and compare our great prices. Have questions? Give our helpful customer service agents a call, we will be happy to assist you. Shop the GrabAGun difference and save!
Gun Enthusiasts Top 10 Pet Peeves
We all have pet peeves with our fellow gun enthusiasts and others. This survey was conducted among deer hunters from 4 states. Here are the Top 10 Pet Peeves that our survey found.
1. People who wave guns in your face. We all know someone who waves a loaded/‘unloaded’ gun around in the direction of others. These people are careless dolts. Regardless to how often you ask them nicely to put the gun away and stop waving it in your direction, they continue to have this dangerous habit. Too bad guns don’t have a water reservoir to spray them in the nose when the gun begins to weave. It works on training dogs and cats …
2. The hunting buddy who carries his gun over his shoulder with the barrel staring into the face of the person behind him. This guy may be your best bud, but he has the same careless stupidity as the guy in number 1. Buy him a sling and attachments.
3. The fellow hunter that carries extra ammo in his insulated carry cooler along with his beer. No way is this guy deer hunting with me!
4. The hunting buddy who never cleans his bolt action rifle. If you wish to remain friends buy him a cleaning kit with easy instructions. Maybe he doesn’t know how.
5. The middle age rich guy who brings his 20-30 year old new wife on the hunt with him. Oh yeah, I remember a hunting trip like this! Her feet hurt, her makeup was running because she was sweating! How was she to bathe with no bath facilities? How could there be no bathrooms, where was she supposed to go? Her cell had no reception. The campfire was smoking, her yogurt had frozen overnight. Welcome to wilderness camp baby! Next time leave her at home.
6. Hunters who shoot at unverified targets. We all know plenty of these as well. My favorite story involves a couple of game wardens who upon seeing a hunter they knew in the woods gave out turkey gobbles from behind the bushes they were hidden in. The hunter shot them both, thankfully it wasn’t life threatening. The friend never shot without verifying target again and the game wardens never lived down their short stint as a couple of gobblers.
7. Noisy stomper hunters. Honestly, I have known very few deer hunters who can truly walk through the woods quietly. Sorry to my own buds, but I have tried to teach you all how to walk quietly.
8. The guy who pulls his stinky boots off and props his feet near the fire every day after the hunt. Odor eaters, wipes, talc powder and wick socks are a great pre-season gift-upon-arrival-in-camp for this guy! If that fails tell him his feet are a bio-hazard and not allowed near the cooking pot. Never having had a stinky footed friend I wonder if scent remover would work? Apparently there are a lot of stinky footed hunters…
9. Those hunters who urinate from their trees stands on the ground below and smoke cigarettes. If you know this you are apparently hunting in sight of them. If they are your buds give them a wizzle bag, some gum and use their ignorance to your advantage. You know where the deer won’t be. You hunt near these guys, really?
10. People who hunt on private property without the landowners’ permission. I can identify with this. A neighbor’s son-in-law shot a solid white buck with a rack reminiscent of a giant red deer right in my brother’s back yard using a 30-06, in a subdivision where it is illegal to fire guns.
Now you know what bugs your fellow hunting enthusiasts, so don't be "that guy"! Follow proper firearms safety procedures, and be courteous to your hunting buddies.
Find Odor Eaters, Gun Accessories, and More!
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Improving Self Defense Odds
It is a situation we never want to face. An armed perpetrator threatens our lives, or even worse, the lives of our family. Few of us have ever had to actually shoot another human being, but those who have-and especially those in law enforcement-will tell you that there are no guarantees that shooting an individual will stop them.
There can be numerous factors for this, one of which is the perpetrator is unaware of being shot due to alcohol intoxication, the presence of drugs in their system, adrenaline due to rage or fear, as well as the body’s response to serious injury where pain is initially suppressed.
Even a .22 caliber weapon can kill, but unless it hits a critical area within the central nervous system or severs a major artery the person who intends to harm you can potentially keep coming. With that statement in mind you would think aiming for the head is the best choice but this is not advised at all. The perpetrator can move, duck, step aside, and if an innocent person-or even a member of your own family is in the line of fire they can become the victim of your own shot. The latter is also why larger caliber rifles such as the 30-06, AK-47’s or AR-10’s are not favored as in home defense weapons. They are simply too powerful for in home use with typical calibers, easily passing through concrete walls and the soft tissue of your own loved ones in the line of fire near a criminal.
Law enforcement officers aim for the chest where the body’s organs are located. A shot to an organ with a causes rapid bleeding, whereas a poorly placed shot may not penetrate organs or create a large enough cavity for a rapid bleed to incapacitate them.
Having a gun of any caliber absolutely increases the odds of your survival, but the best advantage is without question a home defense shotgun.
When lives are threatened by armed criminals you have no defense without a firearm. You may know martial arts, or carry a pocket knife, but the fact remains a bullet travels faster and has a longer range.
Concealed carry pistols as well as home defense weapons are your best line of defense; it provides you with an edge in survival against armed criminal elements.
GrabAGun has an extensive line of guns for sale, hunting guns, concealed carry pistols, home defense weapons as well as other guns and gun accessories. As your premier online gun shop we offer affordable prices, and with shipments arriving daily you don’t generally have a long wait time for sold out items. Have questions? Give us a call, our friendly customer service agents will be happy to help you.
Hunting with Daddy
The morning was cold but the sun was shining bright. Steam rose from the frost as the sun began to warm that December day when I was 8. The frost hadn’t reached the forest floor and the leaf litter was damp, enabling us to move through the forest on quiet feet. Daddy carried his old .22 rifle and wore his hunting vest with the deep pockets for small game, while I carried the saw.
We were officially on a Christmas tree hunt, but daddy had wanted to first hunt some squirrel. In a stand of oak trees we heard a squirrel begin to fuss and a moment later an acorn hit me in the head. I stepped back as another acorn came down and daddy took the squirrel. White oak acorns are fairly big compared to live oak acorns and hit squarely in the head I was sure my skull was cracked even with the cushioning of my toboggan.
Daddy placed the squirrel in his hunting vest and we proceeded on through the tall trees. In those days logging wasn’t as commonplace. In the 1820’s most of the big timber had been cut as settlers moved in. The year was 1967 and these trees were 2nd growth, and were very large.
Predominately pine and hardwood growth in those days of my youth, the forests were healthy, with little underbrush. This was in the days before the 2nd growth was cut, and pine beetles moved in.
I thought it magical how the sun’s rays slanted through openings in the tree canopy. Another squirrel sounded off and I backed away before a barrage of acorns could come down. Again, daddy was able to place another squirrel in his hunting vest.
We hadn’t gone over 200 feet when an acorn thrown from the trees struck my nose accompanied by the angry chatter of a squirrel. Blood ran down my face from the cut and tears poured from my eyes. Daddy took that squirrel and laughed so hard he leaned against a tree. Handing me a handkerchief and telling me to apply pressure he felt of my nose to ensure it wasn’t broken.
After a while I noticed the sun was on our opposite side and asked daddy if we were lost. He replied no and asked why. I told him and he replied ‘Good girl’. By the time we came out of the forest and into a field full of cedar trees daddy had enough squirrel for supper. We cut down a Christmas tree and dragged it a short distance through a forest trail to his truck. My nose was no longer bleeding but throbbed and was stuffy. I commented that I never knew squirrel were armed which sent daddy laughing again.
That night we ate fried squirrel with gravy and scratch biscuits. To the child I was, it was an adventure and to this day I still recall the stinging nose and the scent of the cedar tree. Daddy is long gone now, but my memory of that day survives with the golden hue of a time long since passed, as I recall the time when I was 8 and went hunting with daddy.
GrabAGun is your online source providing gun sales as well as gun accessories and parts for hunting, concealed carry pistols, competition shooting, law enforcement, and home defense weapons, as well as your sporting pleasure. We carry the AR-15 for sale and many other fine quality guns at great prices.
Any cattleman will tell you that coyote are ruthless and opportunistic killers. Cattle aren’t the coyotes only victims, poultry, pigs, deer and even the family pet are routinely killed by coyotes. Occasionally you will hear of a coyote attacking a small child. Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t happen. Even adults are attacked, just ask any resident of Los Angeles.
Coyote are most active at night, making night hunting the best time to thin the numbers of these predators. Unbelievably, there are states that don’t allow night hunting of these killers, unless you are threatened personally.
Coyote are commonly seen in metropolitan and urban areas. Being dedicated opportunists they have discovered that humans leave food behind.
Baiting coyote (in those states which allow it) is the best tactic for attracting coyote. If you don’t have bait, make your own. Though not optimum, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Coyote are omnivores, eating meat as well as chomping on the veggies in the garden and leftovers.
DNA tests have verified that coyote will breed with domesticated dogs creating a dangerous mix called coydogs that breed year round, whereas pure coyote breed once a year. Like domestic dogs they lack any fear of humans, yet maintain the predatory nature of the coyote.
Coydogs are an even greater threat to livestock than purebred coyote.
The coyote liter averages 6 pups, but can be as many as 19. Coyote tolerate co-lactating females and will adopt the young of a fallen mother. Coyote packs tend to hunt in pairs, but may be observed traveling as well as hunting in large packs. The summer of 2013 revealed a pack on a central Alabama cattle farm numbering an estimated 50 adult coyote taking cattle down.
While most coyote will keep a minimal distance between themselves and humans it isn’t unknown for them to walk in closely to humans.
Perhaps these are coydogs with their lack of fear for humans.
The point is with coyote you just never know what they will do. You can bet though, if you are set up to hunt them, they are going to detect you and steer away.
The following are tips for coyote hunters, families & ranchers who want to protect livestock, pets and loved ones.
- Never throw leftovers out, dispose of all food items into a trash receptacle in which coyote cannot tear into.
- Low fences will not protect pets or children from coyotes. If you have no fence, or have only a low fence, have an adult observe the children while playing outside. Bring pets in at dusk and do not put out until fully daylight. Coyotes may still hunt during the day, but the risk is greater from dusk to dawn.
- Sheep ranchers are having some success using sheep dogs to protect the flock. Other ranchers will undoubtedly be utilizing dogs in the efforts to stop livestock losses.
- Not even a covered ‘chicken yard’ can prevent a determined coyote from digging in. Field fencing or similar type wire can be laid on the ground outside poultry yards to prevent wildlife from digging under the fence. Two ft. wide wire should suffice, though it is better to have the wire buried under a small amount of soil. Coyote are smart, generally even more intelligent than man’s best friend.
- Another alternative is to set electric fence posts out of reach of curious fowl on the exterior perimeter of a poultry yard and use a hot fence charger. Run a few strands of electric wire with one strand low for critters close to the ground and one strand about 3 ft. off the ground. Don’t be surprised when you find possum, snakes, weasels and such dead around a live wire.
- Live bait and night hunting yield greater results. Utilize scent mask, camouflage clothing, and blinds. Coyotes generally approach prey from the side, not from the downwind side as would be expected. Night vision hunting and infrared are helpful lacking the light of a full moon. Check your local laws, not all states allow night hunting of coyotes.
- Never locate a bait trap anywhere near livestock, the coyote will eventually return.
- While everyone has their own opinion of the best coyote caller, electronic models predominate, but anything is better than nothing. Hunters calling coyote claim to have the best results from serenades, seconded by howls and barks.
- Take the shot and expect to miss. If you see a coyote don’t wait for the perfect shot, you may not get another opportunity. Don’t be discouraged by misses, able to reach speeds of up to 40 mph plus and jump as much as 14 ft. these predators are more than just smart, they can move fast.
- Be prepared to adapt. Once hunted, coyote become increasingly cautious. Change the hunting location often, and if you come across a coyotes hunt carcass set up your hunt near there. Leave as little scent as possible by entering and exiting from one direction wearing scent mark, and don’t forget the shoes!
- When you kill a female coyote you have potentially prevented the birth of up to 190 pups (ten year average life span and up to 19 pups per litter, with one litter per year. Coydogs breeding frequency is more like a domestic dog).
- Never assume to have the coyote down to a science, they will fool you. The most successful coyote hunts appear to be those utilizing a large number of hunters bearing rifles and night scopes located on slightly wooded hills overlooking a large pasture. In one example, fifty some odd coyotes were killed with an indeterminate number escaping. The coyote came from the woods and across a field approaching a herd of cattle they had been hunting for several weeks. So much for the small pack/2 coyote hunting team theory.
- Most coyote hunters prefer hunting with a light weight AR-15 variant, while others prefer their hunting rifles or shotguns.
- Therein lies the only proven of coyote hunting, always expect the unexpected and do the best you can.
GrabAGun provides online gun sales for all of your coyote hunting or other firearm needs. We offer the AR-15 for sale that is so popular among predator hunters along with AR-15 parts and accessories that will augment your weapon and provide an improved hunt.
Squirrel hunters shoot them in trees, but it is just as easy, if not more so, to shoot them on the ground. The fact is in some southern climes you can have squirrel for supper anytime you like, and never, not once, have to shoot a squirrel in a tree.
The woods in many areas are full of oak trees of all kinds. You seriously can’t walk across the ground in many areas without your feet crunching and cracking acorns. All of these acorns are like a magnet to a steel button with deer, squirrel and feral hogs.
Any hunter can easily take 5 squirrels within a few minutes. Give it a half an hour to an hour and they are replaced by others harvesting the rich supply of acorns. Squirrel do have a sharp eye for humans invading their territory, so utilize your squirrel hunting techniques of camouflage. Generally, just being out of sight, and being able to sit still is enough.
Sure, you can hunt squirrel in trees. Squirrel are a creature of habit, they have favorite locations that they like to carry the acorns to eat. If they use a particular branch or fence railing once, they are likely to use it again.
The evidence is clearly visible, just look for cracked acorns on the ground, railing or tree limb. Binoculars and scopes are great for this.
Many hunters like to use shotguns for squirrel hunting, others like a little .22 such as a lightweight youth rifle. The .22 rifle provides the advantage of not have to chew and spit shot when you eat squirrel, while the shotgun provides an improved bag count. Either gun is suitable for squirrel hunting.
Squirrel cuisine is not as much of a southern favorite as it once was. The presence of parasitic ‘wolves’ have dampened many an appetite for squirrel. Wait until a few frosts have fallen and the parasites will be gone. Within a week, the wounds will be healed.
The southern cook simply mixes flour, salt, pepper and milk for the batter in which the squirrel was dredged, and then fried in hot oil over medium high heat. If you can’t make southern "white country gravy," Pioneer brand sells a white country gravy mix that is a close approximation to homemade, with less cholesterol. If you like it thicker simply add a teaspoon or so of white flour and mix in. Homemade biscuits are in order with this southern dish, but few people today can actually make them as they require a practiced skill. Southeastern meats sells a frozen biscuit that closely approximates homemade. Better yet buy a bag of Southern Biscuit Restaurant Style mix and follow directions. The latter is even better than scratch.
Squirrel hunting isn’t as popular as it once was, but it remains a great way for youth to learn to hunt a moving target, as well as a means for experienced hunters to practice up their skills. Serve it up with hot biscuits and gravy and it is becomes more than a sport; it may even become a favorite game dish among your family.
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AR-15 for sale
Gas Piston versus Direct Impingement System
Once you have made the decision to purchase an AR-15 you may be wondering whether to choose a gun for sale with a gas piston system, or one with the direct impingement system (DI/DGI). There are pros and cons to both systems, and ultimately it becomes a matter of personal choice. The following provides an overview that may assist you in making your choice between the two systems when purchasing an ar-15 for sale.
Gas Piston Systems
The AR-15 for sale in newer models includes those with a gas piston system. Gas piston systems run cleaner and cooler, contributing to longer service life and less breakage from heat and the resulting wear and tear. This is due to their generally requiring less lubrication. The need for more lubrication in turn contributes to the presence of more grit and grime.
Gas piston systems are by far considered to be the more reliable of the two, especially when chambered with 5.56 NATO in short barrel receivers.
In general, the gas piston system runs a wider variety of ammo with fewer problems than the direct impingement system.
Excluding the proprietary gas piston system, components in general among most major manufacturers are MIL-SPEC and will interchange with the direct impingement system variant weapons.
Many AR-15 parts may be proprietary and not user friendly, or available for user replacement. The gun may have to be sent back to the manufacturer for repair, replacement or upgrades. If you plan to provide your own repairs and upgrades its best to know before you buy a specific brand or gun with a gas piston system, whether or not you will be able to do so.
Guns with a gas piston system are generally heavier than those with direct impingement.
Carrier tilt wear is more likely due to the torque caused by the piston. Some manufacturers have already addressed this issue in their line of guns for sale.
If you use your AR a lot, chances are at some time down the road you will have parts to wear and break.
If sending your gun to the manufacturer or a shop for repair is a something you would prefer not to do, consider that with many gas piston systems you may have no other option when dealing with a proprietary component or AR-15 parts.
Finally, there is a limited number of brands offering the AR-15 for sale with a gas piston system though this will certainly improve in time.
DIRECT GAS IMPINGEMENT (DI/DGI)
The standard AR-15 utilizes what is commonly referred to as the direct impingement gas operation system. Replacement parts are more readily available, especially with MIL-SPEC AR systems. DI/DGI systems have greater interchangeability between brands providing greater availability of ar-15 parts.
Maintenance, as well as upgrading with a wide variety of available ar-15 accessories is easy and quick for anyone with a working knowledge of guns. You don’t have to send your AR to gun shops or the manufacturer for repair.
DI/DGI AR’s are generally lighter, lacking the extra weight of the piston and need for an extra thick barrel or other upgrades necessary due to the increased torque of the gas piston system.
The large variety of AR-15 parts available from a large number of manufacturers makes upgrading the AR with the DI/DGI easy without having to send it to a gun shop or the manufacturer.
DI/DGI systems generally tend to be less flexible in the variety of ammo that can be used without issues occurring.
In the DI/DGI system gases are blown back into the chamber providing the rifles cycling action. The downside is this cycling action contributes to a dirty gun, requiring more frequent cleaning and maintenance than gas piston systems.
The DI/DGI when used with a short barrel receiver and a suppressor, or in dusty conditions, is more prone to jamming than the gas piston system. There again, requiring more cleaning and maintenance.
In summary, gas piston systems are more maintenance free with a potentially longer service life, but are you willing to send your AR to the manufacturer or a shop for repairs and upgrades? Parts are not widely interchangeable between brands utilizing the gas piston system with few brands available currently. When considering this system, it is best to find out in advance if the brand of your choice has user-friendly parts or requires a professional. Many manufacturers increasingly require all guns be sent to them for any repair due to safety reasons, and will not sell parts even to a gunsmith. This is especially true with the proprietary parts of the gas piston system. Know before you buy.
Direct impingement systems on the other hand are generally easy for user repairs and upgrades. Many parts are typically interchangeable between brands and with wide availability. The DI/DGI system is lighter in weight but will require more frequent routine cleaning and maintenance as well as after a heavy day of firing at the range.
As with any firearm it comes down to personal habit and preference. Your best option is always to fire weapons of both systems on a range before you buy, if at all possible.
GrabAGun.com is the premier online choice of those shopping guns for sale. We have both firing systems available in our inventory of AR-15’s for sale.
We provide discounted pricing, layaway and financing for those browsing online gun shops. Shipments are arriving daily so check back often if an item is sold out, or click on our wish list to be notified of availability. Give us a call and let us provide you with the GrabAGun advantage.
Grouse Hunting Tips
If you have ever had the opportunity to eat grouse, you most likely found it to be the most delicious bird you have ever eaten. While there are many recipes available, grouse wrapped in aluminum foil and cooked beneath a pit of coals for meat so tender and moist it falls off the bone simply can’t be beat.
Unfortunately, grouse hunting is limited geographically in the United States, making it a sport available to hunters located in the grouse’s limited range, or to hunters willing to travel for the best tasting bird on the planet.
Sadly, grouse populations are falling, with many areas already in the process of having grouse placed on the endangered species list. There currently remain a few territories with ample grouse populations to support continued hunting. Hopefully, the Fish and Wildlife programs will initiate a program to restore grouse populations along the lines of other endangered species, thereby providing for a continued future in grouse hunting.
Grouse hunting is similar to other fowl hunting. Your favorite dog flushes the grouse, and the sound of beating wings breaks the silence. You shoulder your shotgun and pull the trigger when the bird clears its cover.
A hunter knows the best way to bag a bird is to know its habitat and feeding habits, and hunters traveling from another state must study the bird in order to succeed. An out of state grouse hunter lacks the local knowledge, and unless you plan to hire a knowledgeable local guide, educating yourself beforehand of grouse habits and diet is the best way to ensure finding them. This knowledge can also be augmented by talking to local hunters in the region in which you plan to hunt.
Habitat will depend upon region. Grouse like the cover of woods, love it when water is nearby, and love little clearings within the woods even more. On the other hand, many a grouse has been taken in tall grasses and bramble patches. Grouse are often difficult to hunt, leading to an old saying among grouse hunters that before you can eat grouse pie you have to first learn to eat humble pie. Once grouse is eaten though, almost all will agree it is well worth the effort!
During the off season hone your shotgun skills with skeet, trap or sporting clays. Keep your accuracy and the fluid movement of shotgun to shoulder with practice and more practice.
Don’t forget to let your dog practice as well. Game farm practice in the summer is a great way to keep prized grouse hunting dogs in top form. The off season is a good time to further training on those dogs not quite up to par. Obedience training is a good place to start, and there are ample resources and guides available on training a dog to hunt.
The off season is also the time to have repairs performed on your shotgun if needed. Or, if you are planning to start the season with a new weapon, off season is the time to check out the guns for sale and to purchase one. You will want plenty of time to practice with a new shotgun and be thoroughly familiar with it by the seasons beginning.
Trust Your Dogs Nose
A dog’s sense of smell is by far keener than humans, so trust your dog’s sense of smell to locate birds and place the dog where he faces the wind.
Hunting without a Dog
Hunters without dogs can still bag grouse. Most grouse hunters recommend that you don’t circle possible habitat, move through it at angles and change your direction often. Break your line, that is to say don’t work in a straight line but move in an irregular path through the field.
Take the Shot
When grouse flush unexpectedly, take that shot even if you aren’t ready. It is almost guaranteed that grouse won’t be coming back to settle in again and give you another shot at it. Keep your eyes on the grouse-not your barrel. Point the barrel like a finger at the bird. Keeping your eyes on the bird also gives you a better idea of where it falls.
Use Your Ears & Eyes
Listen for the sound of movement, and if the wind is not blowing enough to move the vegetative growth if present, you can sometimes spot potential grouse by watching for the movement of vegetation in an otherwise still environment. This is especially true when hunting where grasses grow tall.
While most hunters prefer a 12 or 20 gauge shotgun, it doesn’t take much to bring grouse down. When firing through thick cover use nothing less than #7.5 shot for a humane kill. Most flushes occur within 15-17 yards and call for a more open choke for the best results.
Find Grouse Hunting Guns
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Shotguns for Sale
The Comeback of the Side by Side Shotgun
Side by side shotguns are experiencing a rise in popularity of late, and are considered by many to be the best home defense weapon. After 1883 the popularity of the S x S declined to the point where some manufacturers ceased production. A recent climb in popularity of the venerable S x S is again placing it back on production lines. Many would question the purchase of an outdated gun, but the fact is the S x S has advantages not featured in today’s pump-action or semi-automatic shotguns.
First of all, the side by side shotgun is pure simplicity. Even a first time shooter can learn to use one in less than a minute. It is easier to operate than any pump action or semi-automatic shotgun.
Next, it has no action making it shorter, lighter and easier to operate. The S x S is easier to move through the narrow confines of a home accounting for its rise in popularity as a home defense weapon. Its smaller size and easier maneuverability is a plus when hunting in dense thickets and is gaining ground with feral pig hunters.
Third, the break action enables the use of non-standard rounds that won’t cycle well in auto-loading or pump action shotguns. If the shell will fit and close it will most likely fire.
Having two separate barrels and triggers enables you to use a mixed load. You can use buckshot in one and a slug in the other for example.
Any hunter who has missed a shot, or home owner defending himself who has ever had a shotgun to jam will appreciate the S x S. It is almost unheard of for the reliable S x S to jam a shell. On the rare occasions that one has, it is a 2 second fix.
The use of short shells provides a very mild recoil and this type of ammo is frequently used in home defense. It is great for those less experienced or unable to effective handle a weapon due to heavy recoil.
The disadvantages of the S x S are the need to reload after the two shots. More importantly is the fact that an S x S presents serious safety issues in a home with small children. Your best bet-leave it unloaded with the shells locked away or the gun in a gun safe. Not the best scenario when using it for home defense but absolutely necessary when safety is an issue.
Easy to use, fun to shoot, dependable and effective the side by side has advantages for the right user. With production increasing to meet the demand we can expect to see more of the S x S in use.
Shop GrabAGuns site for a great selection of side by side shotguns for sale, or other shotguns for sale. We offer a variety of brands, with pricing to fit any budget. Shop with GrabAGun.com for all of your needs in gun sales and gun accessories.