A’Hunting We Will Go

Posted on Posted in She Hunts

A membership offer came that I couldn’t refuse, one that comes with an outdoor range space- from a hunting club. While hunting has been on my radar for a while, it is something my husband enjoyed in his past but hasn’t done much of while we’ve been married. Joining the hunt club has multiple benefits for us, a joint activity that we both enjoy, a place to spend outdoors with the kids, and a place to take students for outdoor range class space.

So now we’re building a blind, worried about feeding and attracting deer without scaring them away by scent, and getting me a shotgun to hunt with. I will not kid you, I want a Benelli M2 Field ($1499). It’s just not budget friendly at all, but one day, mark my words.

Benelli M2 Field Shotgun

Instead we looked for a more budget friendly option. I am definitely a beginner in the world of rifles and shotguns. I know, you’re thinking- why does she want a Benelli then? And my answer is, it’s a Benelli.

I knew I wanted a semi-automatic instead of a pump. For hunting, I’d rather not pump to load. I also decided on an Inertia instead of gas shotgun. If you don’t know the difference, read up on it here at Luckygunner http://www.luckygunner.com/lounge/gas-vs-inertia-shotguns/

Dickinson 212SR Semi-Automatic Shotgun

Not too much difference, except the Dickinson is only $299. The inertia systems are a bit different but after all the reviews we watched and read, we think this will be an excellent hunting shotgun. At least once I change out that little bead sight for a fiber optic one.

I’ve never been hunting before, hubs has me watching videos on YouTube to prepare for a dog hunt and other hunting scenarios. I’m not sure if I like dog hunting, I would rather clearly see what I am shooting than try to shoot a fast moving target.

I will say, I haven’t seen ONE set of hearing protection on any of these hunting videos. Just sayin’

This story will continue…

 

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Her Budget Hunting Rifle Search

Posted on Posted in Being A Woman, Product Reviews, She Hunts, Stories

My husband hasn’t been hunting in a few years and had a chance to go with his father since they both had the same week off from work together. I want to hunt, I love to hike and camp so being out in the woods is preferable to me. We are conscientious about buying so we have to do our research. At this point, I do not have enough knowledge to pick a hunting rifle at the $500 plus price point. If I had to choose today, I would choose a Tikka rifle but with more experience, who knows?

The biggest decision I had was what caliber to shoot- which meant borrowing or renting rifles. I borrowed a 30-06, 25-06, and 270 Win to shoot to determine. When you borrow, you cannot choose the weight of the rifle so it is a consideration if you are looking at synthetic vs. wood stocks, the difference between a 12 lb rifle and 7 lb can change your felt recoil.

Opinions are not helpful, everyone has their preferred caliber and sometimes preferred rifle manufacturer. Some said the .243 was more than enough to hunt with, while others warned it wasn’t enough stopping power. I did my research and yes, some shoot the .243 with excellent results but for the most humane hunting, I would prefer a larger caliber. The last thing I want is to prolong the suffering of an animal.

The 30-06 kicks. I stood my ground with it but it was a shoulder punch and not something I would ever consider shooting from a tree stand. When I shot the 25-06, it was okay but I preferred the .270 caliber rifle. Then the research began!

rifleammobuyingguide_chart

Hubs and I agreed that a first hunting rifle should be under $400, preferably with a scope already mounted for the best value. A quick internet search yielded a few models to consider. American Hunter had a great article about budget hunting rifles for under $500 that was written in February 2016 (timely). With this short list, there was a starting point of model research.

riflesunder500

The first rifle to research was the Ruger American rifle, we have both heard good things about this rifle it seemed to be a safe place to start. The price point was a little higher than I had hoped for but I found the Ruger American Rifle with a Vortex scope! (SCORE!) Then it was to read the reviews. Nutnfancy on YouTube is very thorough on his reviews, even when he voices his personal preferences, he tells you flat out. He goes over all the features and what he likes about them or doesn’t without prejudice.

 

I personally do not like the Savage AXIS rifle, I held it at a gun store and it is not a good fit for me. The bolt was not smooth, the trigger was long. I did not take the time to research the Savage or the Marlin rifles on American Hunter’s list. After seeing Nutnfancy’s video and a few others on YouTube, we set out to find the best deal we could on the Ruger American. The Ruger American seemed to be the best deal for the best value, a Vortex Crossfire II 3-9×40 mm scope with BDC is priced (on sale even) at $149-$199, which with a price point of the Ruger American at $447 (-$149=$298 rifle). Proof below.

americanriflevortexWe had a gun show in town so we figured where else to go on Black Friday weekend than to the gun show! Yes there was Ruger American rifles there in .270 but none with the scope. Of course, that’s how it goes sometimes especially if you are looking to buy online vs in-store. Table after table we looked for a .270 even if it wasn’t a Ruger American, just to get the best bang for our buck. We stopped at one table and when asked what we were looking for the personal opinion came out that the .270 has more recoil than the .308. Ho! Lookie here, there’s a .308 on the table for sale. Wink. Then Hubs started second-guessing the .270 selection, as he wants a .308 himself so he could shoot military surplus rounds (7.62×51). Then his wheels got to turning and we did a quick assessment of whether to look for a .308 or .270. Honestly, I could handle the 30-06 and as long as my rifle has LESS recoil than that, I’ll do fine with it. I believe the more you shoot a firearm, the more familiar and easier it gets. On to the next table that sent our little world spinning for about the next 2 hours…

ruger-american-predator-product

There sitting on a table was a Ruger Predator in ugly green but with a thicker, threaded barrel and chambered in .308 at $399. It handled just like the Ruger American, was a tad bit heavier and was able to have a muzzle break added to it. Ugly green, really ugly and the only color it comes in. But it had NO SCOPE. Was it worth the extra cost? We found the Vortex Crossfire II scope on sale at one of our local vendor’s table for $149 (sweet!) so if we went ahead with the Predator ($399 plus tax)=$432 then the Vortex scope ($149 out the door)=$581. Um, OUT OF BUDGET! Again, Hubs, is it worth it? He decided no, thankfully. Bye-bye ugly green.

We left the gun show, no purchases but with a lot more confusion! Let’s go to Gander Mountain to look, we did- no Ruger American with a scope. The Ruger American was available in .308 at $349.99 without a scope (with tax) =$379.73 and then purchase Vortex scope ($149)=$528.73 URGH. Realization: If you find a deal online, you will NOT find it in a store and it is impossible to get a store to match that price. I wouldn’t even ask a local gun shop to match that price, they have to make money to stay in business and they need our support. We then went to Field & Stream (yes we are spoiled and we know it).

Upon waiting for one of the two people on staff at the counter, we saw a Remington rebate info sheet. This is what steered us to Remington over Ruger. The Ruger American was there for $349.98 without a scope, chamber in .308 ready to purchase. Same predicament as at Gander Mountain, too much money. The Remington 783 was there with a scope at $349.99 within budget. We couldn’t get over the Vortex scope yet so we left. I knew this was the better deal and the budget firearm we set out looking for. I did want the Ruger American more but our focus of this expedition was to get the best budget rifle we could.

We learned a couple of things: 1) Online deals cannot be found in stores unless you are looking at big box stores offerings. 2) There will always be PROS and CONS to your decision. 3) You don’t have to ‘upgrade’ unless you find a reason to upgrade through your experience.

Ultimately, we found a Mossy Oak camo Remington 783, .308 WIN with 22″ barrel with 9×40 scope for $343 delivered. This is the same deal below at little higher cost, apparently we got the only one available or others were shopping at the same time we were. I will post more about this after it arrives.

mossyoak308

 

 

Boycott Under Armour?

Posted on Posted in Newsfeed

Sarah Bowmar was dropped from Under Armour sponsorship due to posting a video of her husband bear hunting with a spear. First, is it legal in Canada to hunt with a spear?  Yes it is LEGAL in Alberta Canada, in fact Bowmar used an outfitter. “The video credits Alberta-based outfitters John and Jenn Rivet for organising the hunt.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/16/alberta-spear-hunting-ban-bear-youtube-video

Only when people cried out sign a petition and with 4,000 names did Under Armour decide to drop Sarah Bowmar from sponsorship based on the fact she posted her husband’s legal bear hunting trip.

My issues with this:

  1. The hunt was legal when it occurred. If Alberta Canada wants to change its laws now, that shouldn’t matter to an event that has already happened.
  2. John Bowmar paid an Alberta outfitter to organize the hunt, someone else was liable for the hunt and if there are any issues, the issues should be with the outfitter.
  3. Neither John, Sarah or the outfitters did anything wrong.
  4. Under Armour dropping a woman for her husband’s behavior? Or was it that they feel that she is a representative of Under Armour and can longer post family posts on her page without repercussions? Maybe this is a contract issue?
  5. Under Armour is way too expensive for what it is and what you’re hunting doesn’t care what you’re wearing.

Unless this is a contract issue, it sounds like a lot of people decided to get judgmental and shout about it. If this isn’t a contract issue, Under Armour should be boycotted. Sarah should also be picked up by Prois or other women-supportive brands.