Crimson Trace

SUBSCRIPTION    SUBMIT RELEASES    ADVERTISE    ARCHIVES    CONTACT                                  FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2018
— TOP STORY

The Second Amendment Foundation has filed suit against the California Department of Justice and Attorney General Xavier Becerra, seeking an injunction against the agency for failing and refusing to establish a properly functioning Internet-based firearms registration system. The Calguns Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation and three private citizens joined the SAF in the suit which was filed in Shasta County Superior Court.


— ARCHERY

The 2018 Scholastic 3-D Archery season came to an end Tuesday, July 10th in Raleigh, North Carolina with the 2nd annual S3DA Outdoor Target National Championship. It was held in conjunction with USA Archery’s JOAD National Target Championships. 


— EVENTS

Gunwerks, designers and manufacturers of premium long-range hunting rifles, optics, shooting systems, components and training, is hosting its first Precision Rifle Series Match, the Monster Steel Challenge, in Cody, Wyoming, July 28 – 29, 2018. 


Five Indiana state park properties will host a Christmas-decorating competition in their campgrounds in July. See specific property program listings at stateparks.IN.gov/2392.htm for more details.


Openings are still available in the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Program’s beginning kayak workshop July 21 at Lake Wanahoo State Recreation Area. 


— FISHERIES

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has scheduled a drawdown of Black-Clear Lake in Natchitoches Parish for giant salvinia control, reduction of organic material and fish habitat improvement. 


— GEAR

With a hard thumping tail and over-exaggerated backward slanting ribs, the YUM Pulse is popular for rigging on swimbait hooks, finesse presentations, YUMbrella Flash Mob Jr. rigs, jigheads, belly weighted hooks, weightless hooks, Texas Rigs or as a trailer. Now the Pulse is offered in the 3.5-inch version for expanded capabilities.


The new BOOYAH® Squelcher™ is a typical size buzz bait that is designed to be "buzzed" slower without sinking. 


The new 4.5-inch, ¾-ounce Pencil Popper is designed to complement the topwater bait inventory in the tackle box and is easily cast using lighter spinning tackle. 


Real Avid introduces their New Accu-Punch Hammer & Punches, a full hammer and punch set to help remove or install about any pin found on a gun.


— ICAST

The American Sportfishing Association presented the ICAST 2018 New Product Showcase Best of Show award to Garmin USA for its Panoptix Livescope, the first live scanning sonar for recreational fishing.

 

The 25 New Product Showcase Best of Category awards were presented during the New Product Showcase Awards reception held during ICAST, the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades. The world’s largest sportfishing trade show is in its final day today at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.


The 13 Fishing SCAMP squarebill features an Airfoil Carbon injected bill that is thinner, stronger, and more sensitive than any bill in its category. 


— INDUSTRY

O. Mustad and Son is pleased to announce that it has named Brothers & Company as its agency of record for the Americas, effective immediately.


Nosler announces industry veteran Jeff Sipe as Rifle Division Manager. Jeff Sipe comes to Nosler, Inc. after spending over a decade at Montana Rifle Company (MRC).


The National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers (NASGW)  announces a $25,000 donation to the American Suppressor Association to support their state and national advocacy efforts.  


Cuda Fishing Tools is now offering several of their best-selling tools in the Prym1 Camo Shoreline pattern.


SIG SAUER, Inc. announced that the Virginia State Police has selected the SIG SAUER P320 Pistol as their official duty sidearm. The Virginia State Police is comprised of three bureaus, with over 2,100 sworn personnel. 


— INTERNATIONAL TRADE

In what could be a blow to the $887 billion outdoor recreation economy, travel goods, including backpacks and sports bags, bikes and some leather gloves, were included on the list of products from China the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) says could face an additional 10 percent tariff. 


— JOBS

PRADCO Outdoor Brands is currently seeking an engineer for its Summit Treestands division. The position is based in both Birmingham and Decatur, Alabama.


— NEW PRODUCTS
Cortland’s new Catfish Braid has sensitivity that responds to the softest strikes, coupled with incredible shock strength and resilience to withstand all that a trophy cat can dish out as it moves through log jams and around jagged rocks.

Viridian Weapon Technologies has announced that the recently introduced X5L Gen 3 Green Laser Sight, part of the X Series product line, is now shipping nationwide. It is available in black and flat dark earth.


C-Monster Control is a propriety wireless protocol, specifically designed for the marine industry: It’s the “brains behind your best catches” allowing you to wirelessly control and customize your Power-Pole anchors and accessories at the touch of a button – whether on your C-Monster app, key fob or dash switch. 


The molded in square bill is shaved on the edges which combined with the ideal pull point placement creates an aggressive, erratic hunting action at any retrieval speed without losing control and running on its side. 


Lindy® Fishing Tackle’s revolutionary Glow Spoon gives hardwater anglers a new secret weapon for attracting fish and triggering strikes with the most appealing combination of color, light, sound and action to ever hit the ice.


A growing trend in saltwater fishing is the technique known as assist jigging, and Mustad is diving in headfirst with three different series of assist jigs designed for various conditions. 


Old Town is proud to unveil its all-new Topwater™ Series, which offers great Old Town performance in a compact, nimble format. 


Keeping with its ‘Can't Stop Fishing' idea in providing anglers with durable, lightweight, easy-to-use tackle, Shimano launches its new SLX rod series, a line-up including nine casting and seven spinning models in a versatile selection of lengths and actions. 


Available in Spring 2019 is the all-new Drake Fishing Guardian Eliteô 3-Layer Systems Jacket in the official pattern of B.A.S.S. and Major League Fishing, Mossy Oak Elements Agua.  


— ONLINE

Springfield Armory’s Finding Fearless 2 will launch on GetZone.com in August 2018.  In the video series, Springfield Armory presents a series of entertaining and educational real-world, self defense episodes.


— ORGANIZATIONS

The Spirit of Blue Foundation  has received a $80,000 cash donation from the National Board of Law Enforcement United (LEU). 


— PARTNERSHIPS

frogg toggs® will be just about everywhere you look in 2019 including a new Outdoor Channel’s Major League Fishing partnership. frogg toggs® will be outfitting 14 of the Major League Fishing Select & Cup Pro-Anglers throughout the 2019 season scheduled to air in January 2019.


— PROMOTIONS

SnapSafe, a Hornady company, has launched the Summer of Security Sweepstakes. Grand prize will be a SnapSafe Under Bed Safe XXL full of the winner’s choice of Frontier 223 Remington or 5.56 NATO ammunition. 


— PUBLISHING

Game & Fish magazine, America’s only national outdoor magazine with a focus on local hunting and fishing, announces the addition of Dr. Todd A. Kuhn to its staff as State Editor. 


What do you get when you mix muscle cars of gun-industry mavens and off-road vehicles with top-notch firearms for sport and self-defense, big-game trophies, wild-game grilling recipes, heavy metal music and Pat McNamara? Easy. You get the fall 2018 edition of Ballistic magazine.


— RADIO

It’s a big win for both free speech rights and gun rights, looking at gunsmithing as a career, and more, this Sunday on Tom Gresham's Gun Talk, the original nationally-syndicated talk show about guns and the shooting sports.


You won’t want to miss this show as Kip Adams will share what an impact this organization has had on deer, deer research, deer management, and deer hunting…and of course he will fill listeners in on what’s happening for the 30th anniversary and the QDMA’s National Convention held July 19-22in New Orleans, Louisiana. 


Charter captain “Dumper” Dan Welsch reports good mixed-bag action on Lake Michigan off Sheboygan, with catches of rainbows, lakers, cohos and kings coming in daily. 


Orlando is the center of the sportfishing world this week as ICAST dominates news for sportsmen. Outdoor writer Jim Zaleski from Labette County Tourism joins Ken this week to recap his week at ICAST.  Jim will preview the innovations and products that fishermen will soon see lining retailers’ shelves. 


— SPONSORSHIPS

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is pleased to announce that Primary Arms has signed as a Supporting Sponsor of 2018’s National Shooting Sports Month. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Primary Firearms is an online retailer specializing in AR-15, AR-308 and AK-47 rifles and their accessories, including optics, red dots and lasers. 


— STATES

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is holding regional workshops to present information on opportunities for local governments to help conserve gopher tortoises in Florida. A workshop is scheduled for July 20 in Marion County.


Restoration work on the historic fire tower at Indiana's McCormick’s Creek State Park has started. The work is expected to be completed in 12 to 15 weeks, weather permitting.


Bears in Vermont are thinking ahead to winter and, looking to fatten up, are currently in search of easy calories. Compost can become a bear attractant – as with trash bins, bird feeders, and pet food – if not properly managed. 


— TELEVISION

Doug Koenig’s Championship Season, now in its eight year airing on Pursuit Channel finds Doug reflecting on his early competition action shooting years that has led him to his Bianchi Dreams. 


It’s that time of year again! Blue Wing Teal at Rocky Creek Retrievers with Steve Biggers. Terry and the Mojo Crew travel to El Campo, Tx to shoot Blue Wings over flooded fields and spinning wing decoys.


Team Mojo heads to El Campo, Texas to meet up with Steve Biggers, owner of Rocky Creek Retrievers for an early season teal hunt. Joining the team is good friend Joe Beal and Kyle Wintersteen from Delta Waterfowl


World Fishing Network (WFN) continues double-digit growth in all dayparts, including a +54 percent increase in weekend daypart and a +24 percent increase in prime, from May 2017 to May 2018.


This weekend on Discovery Channel, you’re not going to want to miss new programming from Americana Outdoors, Fish Mavericks, On the Road with Rock and Aaron, Collegiate Bass Fishing Series and more.


— WASHINGTON

American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall has issued a statement supporting yesterday’s introduction of eight separate bills to reform the Endangered Species Act.


— YOUTH EVENTS

 Kid’s Fishing Day targets children throughout Palm Beach County who don’t normally have the opportunity or means to experience saltwater fishing aboard a big boat.  


FEATURE
Learn By Doing

When I’m trying to learn a new skill, whether it’s fly casting, shooting or whatever, there’s nothing quite so helpful to me as watching someone who knows what they’re doing. 

Watching pro anglers effortlessly make accurate casts, practical shooting pros quickly draw a handgun and clean a plate rack or Kim Rhode mount a shotgun and powder clays isn’t just entertaining for me, it’s informative. 

How they do what they do gives an insight into how these things should be done. 

At that point, it’s up to you to take what you’ve seen and apply it 

For me, that means long sessions of slow-speed repetitions imitating what I’ve seen them do. During that process I come up with an honest evaluation of my capabilities. 

Kevin VanDam, KC Eusebio and Kim Rhode have nothing to worry about.

My recent trip to FTW Ranch in the Nueces River country outside Barksdale, Texas taught me about two types of shooting where I don’t have much experience: long range shooting and dangerous game hunting. It was an eye opening two-fer. And we’re only talking about the long range part here. 

Having shot some long range, I didn’t imagine it would be the most difficult part. 

First mistake. 

Virtually all my long-range shooting has been with an experienced spotter. I jokingly called myself a “trigger monkey”. Now I know why they laughed. 

Basic shooting skills are important in long-range shooting, but aiming accurately in 20-25MPH crosswinds at distances up to - and beyond- a mile is a blend of art-and science. Anything else is just pulling the trigger and hoping for the best.

It was a crazy steep learning curve. 


FTW’s instructors patiently guided us through our initial confusion over windage/elevation changes. Quite a change from the “special operators” who left shortly before our arrival.

The ballistics calculations necessary were far beyond my limited experience and “Kentucky windage” doesn’t help if you can’t see your target without extreme magnification. 

Our instructors used their rangefinders to give accurate distances. And we had built custom range cards they’d built for our assigned guns/optics before we arrived. Between their accurately calling distance and our using their range cards, we made hits in excess of 1000 yards- 300 yards further than the cards. The longer distances helped us quickly realize just how complicated figuring on the fly could be. 

At that point we headed to the classroom where Kestrel ballistics calculators were handed out. The idea was to provide us tools to enable us to make those same long distance shots - without range cards. Great if you had an idea how to run a Kestrel.

For me, an already steep learning curve went vertical. Rangefinders I understood. But ballistic calculations might as well have been alien technology. Gradually it started to make sense -and I eventually came up with the same classroom answers as the far more experienced shooters in my group. 


The all-important range cards carried the information necessary to know the adjustments to make -out to 700 yards. It got harder after that. Jim Shepherd/OWDN photo

But it wasn’t easy. Leading me to the best advice I can give you when it comes to long distance shooting. Do not  dash out and get one of those amazing units thinking you just hold it up to the wind and it will immediately tells you “aim right there.” 

It’s considerably more complicated than a rangefinder.

Those I use for everything from measuring walls at home to checking distances from hunting blinds. But they’re purpose specific. Distance measurement. They establishing the outer limits of my comfortable shooting zones when hunting. As the instructors at FTW put it, “you know you own all the real estate between you and that confidence marker.” Beyond that marker, I simply don’t shoot.

I’m less strict when target shooting, because only my pride suffers if I miss.  

But my goal is always the same: to hit the target with a first shot, not to “walk” in rounds like an artillery barrage. 

Lying atop a breezy Texas ridge line with targets from 100 to 2500 yards away (not visible to the naked eye) brought me out of my comfort zone- fast.  And my Kestrel unit (a 5700 model) required considerably more data points to calculate accurate shots -than I could punch in on the fly. At that point I realized the value of building my rifle’s data set during my classroom sessions. All that was needed was the atmospheric info the Kestrel measures in real time.

The data, along with FTW’s quality training (and coaching) on the technologies and information needed to shoot at those distances allowed me to concentrate on the basics of shooting mechanics. 

And my hits started to come more predictably at increasingly longer distances. To the point I made three hits on targets at 1765 yards - in a wind occasionally gusting to 20 miles per hour. And I suddenly realized I was hitting man-sized targets at more than a mile (1765 yards is 5,295 feet- just beyond the goal I’d hoped to reach). 

Simply put, today’s technology is awesome - and there’s never been a better time to consider taking up long-range shooting. 

Ruger provided their Precision Rifles chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor -and they were more than capable of that prodigious distance (now I know why real long-range shooters love that caliber). Coupled with Kestrel’s 5700 Ballistics Weather Meter and a reliable  rangefinder (reliable means “mounted on a sturdy surveryor’s tripod, not a $29 wonderpod”) and a Nightforce ATACR 7-35 riflescope, I had a rig that enabled me to hit targets I couldn’t see with my naked eye -yet could comfortably carry inside or strapped to a day pack.

Granted, this wasn’t an inexpensive kit, but the price of everything is still significantly lower than the price of a precision long-distance rifle not 10 years ago - without optics, rangefinders or ballistic calculators 

And today’s technology means you need fewer shots to get rounds on target. Ammunition, unfortunately, hasn’t gotten more affordable, especially in the calibers necessary for long-distance shooting.

One thing hasn’t changed. I’m still not going to take a long distance shot at an animal. 

There’s a big difference between target shooting and hunting. But that’s a subject for another time.

— Jim Shepherd

Editor’s Note: Learn more about FTW Ranch in this week’s edition of The Outfitters Wire

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