MARCH 30, 2020


In this edition of The Hunting Wire, we welcome the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation as our featured conservation partner for April. I’m personally profoundly indebted to RMEF because they helped bring elk back to Virginia! Thank you. In this issue, we also learn about the impact COVID-19 is having on the firearms industry, continue our series about learning how to hog hunt, and how to use a rifle scope. We also talk with Remington Arms to learn all about one of Marlin’s 150th Anniversary guns, the Model 60 rimfire, and Larry Case tells us why tungsten has the metal to be the best turkey load in the woods this spring. Stay safe fellow hunters and have a great spring turkey season! Thank you, Jay Pinsky

The mission of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.

RECRUITMENT, RETENTION AND REACTIVATION (R3): A conservation-minded landowner, RMEF and a myriad of partners collaborated to permanently protect and open public access to pristine elk and riparian habitat as well as a popular picturesque landmark. The transaction also opened the door to more than 26,000 acres for hunters, anglers, hikers and others along Montana’s scenic Rocky Mountain Front. Watch the video below to see how it happened ahead of schedule and yet still in time for the 2019 big game hunting season.


CONSERVATION PARTNER EDUCATION SERIES: RMEF maintains that Hunting is Conservation! Hunting and conservation are connected historically, biologically, financially, physically and scientifically. Watch the video below to see how hunters are the greatest force in support of conservation and wildlife management.


COVID-19 Industry Impact

As anyone who hasn’t been living in a cave for the past couple of months knows, the COVID-19 virus has dramatically changed everyone’s lives for the foreseeable future. For some industries, like tourism and air travel, it’s been devastating, while others like the food, paper products, medical supplies, and firearms industries have seen unprecedented increases in product demand.

The firearms industry has always seen considerable swings in product demand due to politics and the talk of gun control. I think I can speak for all of my colleges in the industry when I say this: we’ve never seen anything like this before! In addition to the sheer demand, we’ve never seen a surge in business happen this fast. The velocity of how quickly we went from an industry that was frankly below normal (if there is a normal in the firearms industry) to record demand has been shocking. I don’t think anyone in the industry was prepared for the surge in business like this. I know at Wilson Combat and Chip McCormick Custom, we weren’t.

Products in the self-defense and home protection segment have, by far, seen the most substantial increase in demand. Handguns, semi-auto rifles, home defense shotguns, and ammunition are flying off dealers’ shelves nationwide. As an example, at Wilson Combat, our ammunition sales have been increasing daily by 50-percent or more, day after day, after day, and the only end in sight is when we finally run out of product.



The How To For Hog Hunting

Now that we've covered the basics of how to find hogs and shoot from field positions, our next challenge becomes how to get a shot at one.

The number one thing you must always be aware of when hog hunting is the wind direction; this is the primary sense hogs use to survive.

The easiest way to hunt hogs is from a downwind blind overlooking a corn feeder. As long as other food sources are scarce, and you can be quiet, this method has a very high success rate. The other common way to hunt hogs and my personal favorite is to spot and stalk them. While this can be very successful in both daylight and nighttime conditions, some of the things you will need to do will be different. During daylight hours or a bright moonlit night, you will need to focus on the wind and moving slowly while using all available cover; hogs pick up movement very well. However, if you're hunting on a night with thermal imaging equipment, the wind and being quiet are most important. I do lots of nighttime thermal hunting, and my observation has been that when its dark, hogs rely more on their hearing than they do during the daylight. Of course, a lot of this depends on how close you want to get for the shot. It's pretty easy to get within 100 yards or more of hogs during the night, but not so easy to get in position for a shot from 50 yards or less, especially if it's a clear sky night and there is a quarter moon or more.

Hogs are easy to kill with a properly placed shot! I repeat hogs are easy to kill with a properly placed shot! However, hogs are tough to kill with a poorly placed shot. In my opinion, less than 50-percent of the hogs shot at nationwide in dense cover areas are recovered. You can blame much of this on those same hunters being "deer" hunters. Shoot a whitetail deer behind the shoulder, and you've harvested the deer. Shoot a hog behind the shoulder where there are no vitals, and there is at least a 90-percent chance that you will not recover it no matter what caliber you shot! Putting a bullet in a hog and recovering that hog are two different things.



Building Confidence in the Shot – Shooting Longer When You Must Part 1 – Using the Reticle for Holdover Shooting

Can you make a clean 300 –500-yard first shot at wild game when it counts?  

Often, we face a shot opportunity that may be longer than we are accustomed to. Having the right tools for the job and the knowledge of how to use them will give you the confidence to make the shot when it's time, whether it's ideal or not.  

In this two-part series, we will first focus on using the reticle to make holdover shots on wild game. Part two looks at using dialable turrets to compensate for cartridge ballistics. Both articles will utilize a common hunting round, the 308 Winchester. While this is not about long-range hunting, it does concern how to be successful with a standard hunting rifle and cartridge in realistic hunting conditions and at a moderate distance on demand. Therefore, I will reference making a shot at a maximum range of 500 yards with factory ammunition (Federal, AccuBond 165 grains) and with a scope utilizing subtensions in the reticle for windage and holdover (Zeiss V4 4-16x50 with the ZMOA-1 reticle). 

Our ballistic correction will require an application (app). I will be using the Zeiss Hunting app for our shooting solution. We need one other piece of equipment – a rangefinder. Any good quality pocket rangefinder will work.  

We will use Minutes of Angle (MOA) for ballistic measurement in these articles, which is not the only way to reach the target as many shooters use the Milliradian (MIL) system of measurement. If you use MIL's to compensate for distance, the premise is the same. 



“TSS has been the most revolutionary innovation in the world of turkey shotguns since the invention of the screw in choke.” Jason Hart

I hunt turkeys, and you hunt turkeys, but neither one of us probably hunts turkeys like Jason Hart.

Jason is the co-founder and business development manager at Marloina Outdoor, which produces Nomad hunting camo and Huk fishing attire. He has taken 20 Grand Slams (all four subspecies of the wild turkey in the United States), including one with every American shotgun gauge made, that’s 12, 16, 20, 28, and .410. He shot many of those turkeys with Tungsten Super Shot (TSS). Jason became interested in TSS in 2013 and started handloading with it because, at the time, no commercial loads were available.

TSS 101: Tungsten is a rare metal found naturally in the earth and is also known as wolfram. The name tungsten comes from a Swedish term, tungsten, meaning heavy stone, and is used to make several items, including tungsten-carbide drill bits and filaments for light bulbs. Although tungsten is mined all over the world, most of it comes from China, and tungsten shot is made there as well. The TSS shot that we shoot is made of about 95-percent tungsten with the remainder made of nickel, iron, or copper.



IHEA-USA 2020 Conference Cancelled

In light of U.S. and global health authority guidelines regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus), the 2020 IHEA-USA Conference set to take place in West Palm Beach, Florida May 18-21, has been canceled.

IHEA-USA and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) have worked together to arrange for the host hotel for the 2020 Conference to move the event dates to May 17-20 of 2021. The 2021 IHEA-USA Conference schedule for Sun Valley, Idaho will move to a later date.

“Given the circumstances, moving the event back one year is the best solution for all. We appreciate Bill Cline and his staff not only for the hard work they have put in already but also for their willingness to move the event back one year. And we are especially grateful to Brenda Beckley and the Idaho Fish & Game for being willing to move their event back to an even later year,” stated David Allen IHEA-USA Executive Director. “We will begin to process refunds and look toward making the 2021 event a success. If you have questions, feel free to contact the IHEA-USA office in Denver. We urge everyone to be safe and observe the CDC guidelines for this virus,” Allen added.

IHEA-USA’s Board will meet on Tuesday March 24, by conference call, to determine what action items and other business need to be conducted electronically with HunterEd Administrators in lieu of the annual IHEA-USA Business meeting scheduled for May 21. Those action items will be distributed to all HunterEd Administrators in the near future. Further details will be distributed at the appropriate times in the future.


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