Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Winchester 1300 or Remington 870

     Ok, i realize these aren't the newest shotguns on the market but they are a couple of the most used and relied upon shotguns in the country. There is much controversy over which is better. People say Winchester is better (the Winchester guy). Others will sit back and tell you Remington can't be beat (the Remington guys). Both groups may make this assumption based on little fact other than they own one of the two shotguns. This my friends is why I decided to write this article. I probably won't put an end to the wide debate on this topic but I would like to point out the facts for each gun.
     We'll start with the Remington 870 Express 12 gauge 2-3/4" to 3" shotgun. The 870 is is a well engineered and beautifully made gun. Certainly the work horse of the hunting industry. Many would recommend this gun for its reliability. I do not disagree that its a reliable shotgun however the "course" cycling action causes it to be slightly more apt to jam than the Winchester 1300. I have experienced this first hand as well as many hunters I've spoken with. I've also researched this as well, so as not to place inaccurate information in this article. Really the only flaw that most have found with the 870. The Remington is better balanced and has a shorter barrel making it much easier to swing and follow through when firing at a pheasant, grouse, or even waterfowl. Although Remington makes an 870 Wingmaster I would recommend this gun for any small game including waterfowl. Slugs are not the best when fired through the regular smooth bore barrel but it's still capable of taking a deer. The luxury of accessories is another pro for this gun when compared to the 1300. There are about double the amount including the option of a larger tubular magazine.
     Winchester... A formidable competitor of Remington. Producing weapons and tools that far surpass many other American arms companies. Today we will be sticking to the Winchester 1300. With its smooth cycling action it becomes the most reliable of the two shotguns. I've personally never experienced a jam with this gun and in my research have not come across many who have. In fact I only came across two reports of this. The Winchester 1300 does however take a back seat to shoulder feel, swing and follow through of the Remington 870. When held the whole gun seems longer and the barrel actually is. This causes a slower swing when firing at a bird on the wing, although I've personally downed hundreds of upland birds, ducks and geese with this gun, I would have to say it's more suited to squirrels, rabbits and turkey. In fact it makes an excellent turkey gun as the longer barrel will allow you to reach out a few yards farther. The 1300 comes factory with a Winchoke setup so the long barrel and interchangeable chokes help make the smooth bore an excellent slug gun with deadly accuracy.
     I would love to compare these two pieces of solid American ingenuity and engineering side by side to declare a winner but it just can't be done. They both excel in different areas and yet manage to be fantastic in any application. Yes the 1300 offers a huge selection of chokes that just screw right in and the Winchoke design excepts the Accu-Choke well. However the Remington 870 is an almost completely interchangeable gun, with aftermarket barrels, magazines, stocks etc.. They are both well designed and efficient guns. They're versatility is unmatched in the class and price range. I would recommend either of these shotguns for any application.
     I suppose I'll let the readers tell me how to judge this one, although I have little doubt they will end up in the same boat as yours truly. If anything can be added to send one gun over the edge and have it go home with the gold I certainly don't know about it yet.

     Thanks For Reading
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Monday, January 26, 2015

Small Arms for Small Game

     I would invite anyone to try small game hunting with an air gun. It takes a little skill and is one of the most rewarding and fun aspects of our sport that I've ever tried. Using the right air gun can be as effective as a .22 in most situations, so long as your not going out of your way to make a miraculous 100 yard shot.
     Small game hunting with an air gun is much like hunting with a .22 caliber rifle, with the exception that your range is shortened greatly. I would say around 40 yards at 1000 fps. This is where skill comes in. Having to use your surroundings and marksmanship skills is a must. I liken it to a well trained sniper in a field exercise. I'm sure you've seen a squirrel our a rabbits actions when they catch you meandering through they're chunk of forest. It's erratic to say the least. I once was able to harvest 2 squirrels and a rabbit from the same spot in about 10 minutes. Yet on another occasion I was just walking carefully through the woods and couldn't harvest a single animal. Without the speed of the .22 it becomes very hard to hit a running, flailing squirrel.
     I recently took on a small project company fixing air guns. Yesterday I received a Crossman 1088 from a client in Ohio via UPS. This gun was completely disassembled and what the customer considers beyond repair. The only missing part was a simple trigger spring. After a couple replaced seals and a new trigger spring, the Crossman is ready to be sent back after just one day. The reason I'm telling you this is to prove the simplicity of an air rifle. They can be modified and repaired for cheap, or by a "Do it Yourselfer" with a bit of knowledge.
     Air guns are well designed, fun, easy to use pieces of equipment that are capable of bringing home the bacon if you will. Some air guns are even capable of taking whitetails and wild hogs. I invite you to explore the world of air guns. It will completely renew your vision of what a small game hunt is. My recommendation is to skip the WalMart brand pea shooters and pick up a good quality air gun. With quality you'll have accuracy, reliability and it will last you a life time.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Wicked Wings

December is the holiday season, the season for caring, sharing, and shooting geese. Waterfowl hunting in my book cannot be beat. Squirrel and rabbit hunts pale in comparison to the fast paced action that is waterfowl hunting. The call, the illusion you create and the lack of time to get up and shoot as a Pintail Mallard our Canadian buzz your blind in an attempt to join a pack of decoys. That, coupled with the short range of Steel shot
can make for some exciting moments.
     So early one morning a couple buddies and I setup in a field in certain "strategic" positions in ground blinds that left us far apart. Mostly because we couldn't come to an agreement on setup location. We are out in the cut corn for a couple hours and calling in some geese. At this point the score was Adam 2, Shawn 1, me 0. My frustration grew because we were running out of field time and I still hadn't gotten a shot. Well as I was busy over thinking this I completely missed a flock that came in right over my head and Shawn filled his limit with a last bird.
     It's was cold to say the least and the guys I was hunting with left to sit in the car as they bagged there limit and we only had about half an hour to hunt. Well, actually, they went to the car because we were supposed to be leaving and I was too hard headed to leave the field early with no harvested geese. As time ticked away I grew anxious and so did my hunting partners. With about 5 minutes left I began to call in a flock of Canadians while Shawn and Adam began to call me. Feeling crunched for time when the flock came in I simply stood up and started laying lead. Downing my two birds for the day. The first shot I took was long and I hadn't payed much attention to the bird other than the fact that he went down. My second goose was close (one of those birds who was very much caught off guard and couldn't slow down fast enough) and it was a square hit to the head.
     At this point I was well past my time limit and my phone was back to ringing of the hook. Knowing why the phone was ringing I ran to my birds grabbed them both by the feet and ran the 150 yards to the car. I signaled for the guys to pop the trunk and I stuffed the birds inside and we were off.
     We drove for about 10 minutes and were about 5 minutes away from home when I heard a noises like Shawn had a trunk full off stuff and we'd just hit a big bump. I said "what the hell is banging around in your trunk like that?" Shawn said "nothing, only thing in there is 6 dead birds and our three shotguns." After a long pause and all three of us thinking, Adam began to snicker and said "Harry, that's your problem, however, I can't wait to see how this works out." I suddenly remembered the long shot, the unchecked bird and the hasty grab and go. I had just put a live bird in the trunk and he was pissed.
     I don't know if you've ever dealt with live our wounded geese but either way they can be mean. Alot of premium hunting dogs won't even retrieve a wounded goose from the water. Yeah they're that nasty sometimes, and this time was no exception. I move to the back of the car and slowly opened the trunk. Then, BAM the bird came exploding from the trunk in a blur of feathers and wings. I had no time to react so I just ran backwards like I had no sense. However my new bird friend was relentless, somehow he managed to stay on my shoulder and neck the whole way beating me with his wings and biting me in the face and ear. As a natural reaction I smacked the bird off me and ran even farther. The whole time my helpful friends Adam and Shawn sat back and laughed and laughed some more. I was later told I yelled "someone shoot this  f**king thing!" At that point I'm not sure if I was joking or not.
     Now, we let the bird and myself calm down for a moment. So our plan became to catch the bird and release it as he really seemed to be fine. We didn't really know what else to do with it, we couldn't dispatch it there because we were in a kalldisac and the local wildlife rehab couldn't take geese.
     What ended up happening was the goose made it into the garage where I was viciously attacked one last time. Afterwards the bird managed to elude us for 2 hours. Finally when Shawn came back from his appointment he managed to find this damn thing and by now it wasn't looking well. So we chased it out to the back yard and I humanly dispatched it with a Winchester 1300. Needless to say the cops were called and nobody was issued a ticket for shooting within 500ft of a dwelling. I think this is partially due to my old man being in the sheriffs dept and partially because our story was something to be told.
     If there is a moral to this story I'm going to guess that it's make sure your not stuffing live geese in your trunk, it certainly becomes a problem later on. It's also bad PR for the hunting community. I should have probably been more responsible but at the same time "sh*t happens man".
     Thanks for reading and check out my other posts "UNDERCOVER DEC" and "DID YOU JUST SHOOT?"
Please comment I love to hear from and interact with my readers!

What a beautiful view

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Undercover DEC?

Have you ever been spear fishing? It's fun, it's exciting and takes alot of skill. It also lets you fish with your bow. If you have a boat the fun is endless. Here on New York you can only spear carp but believe me there's no fun lost. And when I was a teenager it's one thing that I loved to do.
     The morning sun was just coming up as I was boarding the boat with my friend Adam. He and I both had the day off and thought spear fishing the channel and lock area of Cayuga lake (which is one of the largest and best fisheries of the finger lakes) would make for a great day. We began by heading slightly upstream to an area where a hydro dam and the lock channel meet in a  "Y" shape. We fished it for probably an hour reeling in four or five fish all together.
     We were having a blast when a man began to approach us in a small sailboat without a sail. I thought he looked a little odd but thought nothing of it. Then just kind of watched us for a few minutes. Until we shot a fish.
     Once the fish was in the boat the man said "Hey boy's, what's going on here?". We thought we were well within our legal right to spear fish. So I said "we're fishing, and your scaring all the fish away!"
Well apparently that was the trigger for this guy because he started yelling at us about some things I really didn't care to listen to. So I drew my bow and was just about to fire again when this man produced an NYS DEC badge, ID, and what looked to me like a police issue side arm, all from his tackle box. So I said to myself "hmm maybe this guy has something to say." Turns out he did, but still nothing I wanted hear. He said "You guys just thought I was a f**kin scum bag but I'm undercover stopping illegal fishing." So I said "Then go find someone who's illegally fishing." At this point the man became a little more frustrated than he was already, the cause of me blowing him off the first time. Adam, being the voice of reason in all this said "No one is doing anything illegal, I'll show you my license." But the man carried on and told us the laws had changed as of that year and you now need a special spearing license. To say the least I was baffled by this, totally disarmed and stumped. And I really didn't have a leg to stand on because I had used the previous year's guide book to check the regulations.
     What do you do at this point? Well there wasn't an awful lot I could do. This man had a real badge and a real ID. But it's ok, he "cut us a deal" he said " Boys I'm gonna help ya out here, I'm only going to take on bow, all the arrows and a single fishing pole." So in my normal tactful style I responded with "That doesn't help at all!" (I used to be kind of a smart ass). He proceeded to tell us he could take the boat, everything in it, and take us to jail. He then took what he said he was going to take and it seemed he picked the newest and nicest of it. He told us we could pay the fine and pick up our equipment at the Seneca falls office at the police station. Needless to say I wasn't impressed by any of this.
     About 2 hours later we went to the police station in downtown Seneca falls. They told us that they don't deal with the DEC our their matters. They were able to direct us to a DEC substation in the area. As it turns out neither place had any information on the case and had no idea what we were talking about and said we were not breaking the law spear fishing.
     After this wild goose chase we decided to go to the police... The real police. When we did we got a series of what I thought were hopes and dreams written down on paper. But I happen to remember the odd boat he was in and they managed to catch him a few days later. The DEC was able to return everything we lost that day except the arrows. Later on I found out that everything this guy had was stolen, including the boat he rode in on.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

SX3 Vs. REM1187

I've decided to compare and review the Winchester sx3 and Remington 1187. However in the end I will not give a biased opinion. I would like to let you decide. Comment and let me know where you stand and What has been your experience with either gun?

Remington 11 87 Premier 12 Ga Shotgun Product Review Details
Manufacturer: Remington
Model: 11 87 Premier
Product Type: 12 Ga Shotgun
Purchase Price: $907
Time Tested: 6 Months
Testing Conditions: Rain, snow, sun
Temperature Range: 45-90
Testing Terrain: Hardwoods, open field
Recommended: Yes
I bought this gun to have a good gun to shoot trap and to hunt with. It does cycle the light loads alright as long as you use Remington ammunition. It is supposed to cycle anything that is 1OZ or heavier, but it doesn't(unless you use Remington ammo). It is a very good gun with great looks and great function. I use it as a squirrel gun, waterfowl gun, turkey gun, and a trap gun. It is very versatile and I would give the green light to purchase it if you want a nice autoloader that doesn't cost a fortune.

     I purchased a Winchester Super X 3 a couple months ago, the SX3 was the waterfowl edition chambered for 3.5" shells. Since owning the gun I've cycled 1 case of 2 3/4" shells, 3 boxes of 3" waterfowl loads and 2 box of 3.5" shells. My initial impression of this gun is that it draws up to my shoulder nicely, and with the included stock shims allowed me to fine tune my shotgun to exactly how I liked it. The gun came with a nice choke tube set that is specifically designed for heavy waterfowl loads. After pattern testing I decided the stock chokes were sufficient. The SX3 came with a fiber optic front sight perfect for those low light early morning hunts.
     Winchester/Browning seems to have listened to their customers when bringing a true waterfowl gun to the market. I really enjoy the Dura-Tech stock and forearm, the firearm does not slip at all when drawing fast on some low flying woodies. All in all I really enjoy this gun, it's light weight, low recoil, superb finish, and ease of assembly makes this one of my favorite guns, even though I've had a few issues with this firearm.
     Three weeks ago I was goose hunting and had 3.5" Hevi-shot BB's for geese. When I came home after hunting and started to tear down the SX3 I noticed that the gas piston was broken. It appeared that the spring inside the piston had shattered in 5 pieces. I removed the sections of spring. I received a new part at my local gun store the next day. I was back in business for hunting. I also notice that this is a very common problem with the SX3 shotgun. There are fixes to eliminate the spring all together, and many say it performs well without ill effects.
 1. Feel of the gun
 2. Fit and finish
 3. Invector-Plus choke tubes
 4. Recoil
 5. Weight
 1. Gas piston problem
 2. Bolt catch was eliminated

Monday, January 19, 2015

Did you just shoot?!?

As the alarm went off I smelled the coffee which was set on a timer the night before. It was four o'clock in the morning, and even tho my buddies and I had some drinks the night before, I felt great. The excitement that only opening day of deer season brings to a 17 year old rushed through me. As I began to gear up and make my coffee I noticed my friend Adam was a bit shaky and still quite tired, but he was going out anyway. He's not the kind of guy that would let a hangover hold him back on opening day of shotgun.
     So out to the garage we go. Check the guns, count the ammo, check the ammo too (there was once a buckshot incident in not going to talk about). I really don't know how it happens but somehow, someway, in damn near every hunters supply of ammunition there is one or two out of place rounds somewhere. And lets be honest, when your in the field your not checking what you pull from your pockets.  Therefore if you know what's in your pockets, you know what's in your gun.
     Adam and I decided to sit together for no apparent reason. We chose a spot in an old shallow, dried creek bed at the edge of some pines that border hardwoods. It was an odd setup to say the least. One that seems more effective for turkey than deer, but we didn't care we had the whole day to screw around with changing spots and hunting entirely different areas. We were in this spot for all of 15 minutes when I heard Adam say "it's going to be awhile, and man I'm tired". Not thinking much of what he had just said I waited for sunrise.
     It was a beautiful November morning, quiet, with a slightly orange sky that brought the warm air of the cool fall with it. As dark gave way to dawn I began to become more alert and focused on my surroundings. I looked to my left and there was my buddy. He's sprawled out on the ground snoring with gun in hand and across his lap. It was certainly enough to make anyone laugh. I could tell his hang over had the best of him, so I just let him sleep. I quietly slid up to a tree propped my back against it and placed my gun on my knee as if I were hunting turkey.
     In every direction a mile or more away I was hearing the faint sounds of shotgun fire. I waited in anticipation, knowing that even if it were a deer the other hunters startled into my neck of the woods something would come my way. About that time I heard the footsteps of what sounded like a squirrel (any whitetail hunter knows what I mean). It's the sound that makes us despise squirrels for two months of the year. However, this time it was the real deal when a beautiful eight point stepped into view at about 150 yards.
     Without a care in the world he walked right toward me. Slowly but surely he came, grazing here and there the whole way. Like any good hunter I attempted to keep a bead on him the entire time. I could feel my pulse begin to race, trying not to fall to good ol' buck fever as I could see the rack more clearly at about 120 yards. Suddenly when he made it to around 100 yards he must have figured something was up and put his nose to the sky in an attempt to wind me.
     Bang! The big buck crumpled and Adam practically jumped out of his skin. Shocked and probably half deaf he's says in a partially confused and scared to death voice "Did you just shoot?". So I said "yeah and you missed all the fun." "Now lets go get my deer." Then we laughed a little and I laughed a little more.
     It turns out, the buck was an eight point with a 19 inch spread, starting to go non-typical with a 9th point at the base of a tine. One beautiful specimen of a north eastern whitetail. I was also able to to recover my bullet while field dressing.
     Adam never ended up getting his deer that day but I didn't feel too awful for him due to the fact that he managed to fill every tag he had during the previous archery season.
     All in all a pretty good start to a season, especially considering I skipped school that day to get my deer. In hindsight I actually probably could have even made it to school that day. Instead I took the day of to help push deer and take a nap. We had some laughs and some fun. Thank you whitetails for making hide and seek fun again.
     That's Mondays post and thank you for reading. Please comment and share.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Being that recent events have stopped me from updating I have chosen to take an article from OutdoorLife Survival manual. It's interesting and quick.
To catch small game, find a trail with a sapling nearby. Stick a forked branch into the path, then make a snare loop (circle of rope that tightens when tugged). Tie the rope to a twig and bend the sapling over, and then tie the ropes other end to it. Bait a stick, and sandwich it between the twig and the fork to keep the sapling bent. When game trips the trap, dinners on.

Monday, January 12, 2015

     My buddy Zeke is my best friend. The most loyal friend a man can have, also one of the best pheasant dogs I've seen in my life. I've never seen him miss a bird nor have I seen him miss a downed bird. I once winged a pheasant and the bird was able to move and hide. Good old seek found the bird in what appeared to be a chuck hole. Zeke got that bird.
     Last month Zeke and I took a Nice trip to HIS hunting area. A 20 acre portion of private hunting grounds. A true mash up of golden rod, brush, open cut hay lot bordering a corn field with a funnel separating them and a small pond area. I describe the area vaguely for the reason that any true hunter already has the perfect image of what I'm talking about.
     Zeke pulled me many birds and a couple grouse. We filled our limit that day but by the end Zeke was sore and tired. My buddy has had a hip problem for about a year now.
     So I've come to the conclusion Zeke needs a hunting partner to help cut his work load in half. I plan to hunt still hunt Zeke due to the fact that its truly what he lives for. He loves the hunt from flushing to retrieving and everything in between. We'll be running short easy hunts next season until he retires.
     I'm contemplating the breed of the new pup, one that will be a great companion not only for myself but for Zeke. A team mate..
     Zeke is a Springer Spaniel. A flushing dog with a great temperament. I've been thinking of a pointer for a couple years now, however, with hunting one, or possibly two season together I'm thinking about what to get, another flusher possibly a Springer because I know Zeke will become a very useful teaching aid for the new pup.
     Any thoughts or opinions on this subject? Any advice would be quite helpful. Thank you so much for reading. Comments are welcomed and appreciated.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Natural Aspirin

Nature has a way of offering us gifts of its very own. In every aspect, in every corner of the world, nature has given us a gift.
     Believe it or not aspirin can be found in the bark of the Poplar and Willow trees. I'd your in need of a natural pain killer you can first scraper the hard bark of either of these trees. Once you've done this, scrape the green soft bark out and make it into a pulp. This pulp can be boiled into a tea and drank. in a pinch you can just chew the bark but I do not recommend swallowing it.
     Thanks for reading and I hope this post has been helpful. Feel free to comment and stop back for more tips and stories from the outdoors.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Old Traps New Tricks

Target animal: Red fox and raccoon.
Lure: Cavens Moonshine and Minnesota Red
Trap: Victor #2

Obviously the start of our trip began with setting traps. My first set was a trail set back away from, but not to far from a beaver dam. I figured this set a good location for almost any animal as most animals will use a dam to cross a river or creek.
     The area was littered with coon tracks, a couple sets of which I figured for a big boar. The location felt right. So I decided to try something new for my trapping style. I off-set the trap slightly to the right of the trail and placing a small guide stick to the left. The placement of the Caven's Moonshine was slightly ahead and to the right of the actual trap setting from the direction I anticipated the coon would be traveling. This setup was meant to push the coon toward the trap and stop him with curiosity right where the trap was set.

     With my second set I wasn't so daring, as red fox tend to be smart and skeptical. However I did try my hand at a hay bail set. Stacking 5 bails is found in the woods to build your topical box structure. I built it just outside a small funnel that felt right for reds. Placing lure in the structure.

     The next morning we returned to find both of the mentioned sets had hooked up. The first with a pretty decent specimen of a coon and the second with a very nice red.

     I'm not usually the type of person to set traps in random fashion or go against the grain of what's worked for me for years but these slight variations helped catch target animals. Now I'm not sure what the tactical advantage of my first set may be, if any at all, but with a little investigation who knows. It may produce when direct action does not.

     No matter the amount of years you've been hunting, fishing, or trapping, I encourage you to try something new. Who knows your idea could be the next big innovation to our industry.


Start A Fire With A 9V And steel wool:
Using a 9v battery and raw steel wool (not a Brillo pad) create a fire by rubbing, scratching, or holding the battery on the steel wool. Work at it, the electrical resistance will cause the steel to heat and spark.
     Do this near your tinder pile (soft fine fabric fibers, thinly shredded TP etc...). When you've built enough ember from the steel wool gently blow or dust them into your tinder.Once your tinder is glowing work it by very gently fanning until you have a flame. Build from this point into your larger fire.
     Thank you for reading and I hope this tip was helpful. Please feel free to return for more.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Ice Season

Well winter is upon us and the ice fishing season will be in over drive soon if its not already in your area. This is the time of year when most are lounging in there lazy chair with their feet at a warm fire. Not for us however. We are a different breed. A breed who gets as excited this time as any other time of year.
I'd like to mention how discouraging big equipment and published magazines can be. Reading reviews and articles making it seem as though you need a fancy underwater camera or a $300 pole are an absolute must to catch big fish.
This is simply untrue. The same thing you intend to accomplish with an expensive underwater camera or sonar can be done with a ten dollar topical map from WalMart and some know-how. A little knowledge of the fish species you're targeting in respect to feeding and staging habits coupled with what you know about the water temp (can be found online daily) is all you really need.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Everything Outdoors Premier

Hey, my Nam is Harry and I'm a big time outdoor enthusiast. I love to hunt, fish, trap, ride and pretty much anything else you can do in the woods. I've created my blog to reach out to people and discuss the outdoors. I'll be offering tips, tricks, and some product reviews. I cant wait to hear from everyone. My first topic will be in my next post.