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Topics - Hunterbug

FIREARMS & OPTICS / 338 practice
September 25, 2023, 06:17:54 AM
I got an email the other day from Colorado Parks and Wildlife to qualify for an elk depredation hunt on the Sand Dunes Wildlife refuge. As part of that I have to shoot 6 rounds in 3 minutes. The first 3 are at 200 yards kneeling then 3 at 300 yards from prone. The target is 12x14 inches and you are allowed 0 misses. So yesterday I got my 338 out to the range. First I checked my zero at 100 yards. Then I went through the drill 5 times and was successful on 4. My range only goes to 200 yards so I only did the kneeling portion with a time limit of 90 seconds. I found that that was plenty of time. I never had less than 35 seconds left after my last shot.
WATERFOWL/UPLAND GAME / Colorado grouse success
September 19, 2023, 12:17:59 PM
With last year's harsh winter we didn't draw any big game tags this year. So I decided to concentrate of birds. Our dusky grouse season opens on September 1st and lasts until almost pheasant season. On Sunday I got up with my youngest daughter and her boyfriend. We ended the day with 3 birds, one each. With some better shooting, we would have had at least double that. Rebel worked hard and put in 14 miles while finding birds for us. I'm going back up on Saturday to try again. 
WATERFOWL/UPLAND GAME / Colorado pheasants
December 08, 2022, 05:12:27 PM
I got out last weekend for my first pheasant hunt of the year. We had a good day. I finished with two and my buddy got one. I should have had three but one ran in to heavy cover and we never found it.
THE CAMPFIRE / Happy Solstice!
December 21, 2021, 06:59:12 AM
Especially for Gitano.
ELK HUNTING / Payton's elk hunt
November 18, 2021, 06:49:39 PM
So Pea and I headed down for her elk hunt on the Bosque Del Oso SWA on Friday. We got there early enough to look around but didn't see anything. Saturday morning we got up and went to a spot that we'd scouted and waited for daylight. Nothing. After a while we walked around a bit then headed back to camp for lunch. One of our neighbors came in and had gotten a bull close to us that morning. He was glad to get this one. His ivories were worn down to nothing and he had a broken back hip. Here is his bull.
ELK HUNTING / Elk 2021
October 11, 2021, 10:01:02 AM
My daughter Payton drew an either *** elk tag for the Bosque Del Oso SWA in Southern Colorado for this year. She drew a a youth with 5 points. As an adult, it takes 22 or more.  We have made three scouting trips so far. Her season doesn't start until November 13th. The bulls on this property leave to the neighboring ranches for the rut and then return for the winter scour timing is good. The Hill Ranch that borders the SWA charges $8000 to hunt elk. Then if you shoot one it's another $5000-8000 depending on the score. So she has a real opportunity for a big bull. Here are some that we saw or others that I've been talking to have seen.
THE CAMPFIRE / Happy Birthday RJ!
July 22, 2021, 06:40:13 AM
Congratulations on another trip around the sun.
July 20, 2021, 05:33:55 PM
I know that I said that I wouldn't buy another rifle, Lord. But I also know that you know what a weak willed person I am. For $310, sans the scope, with my veteran discount I had to do it. My daughter drew the elk tag of a lifetime and this will be a better choice than her 270.
RELOADING / 270 load
June 07, 2021, 01:57:31 PM
My youngest daughter drew an elk tag that's technically not a once in a lifetime hunt, but it's pretty darn close. She drew it as a youth and as an adult it takes 20 to 25 years to draw. So we're looking for a big bull. As we talked about what gun to take I offered several options and Gitano even offered to help but she wants to stick with her trusty 270. So I looked around and found a box of 41, 150gr Partitions. That's not a lot to work up a load and hunt with. I called a buddy and he gave me another full box. I looked at the powders I had and selected RL19. It gives good velocity and I have 3 pounds of it. I loaded up 5 each of 4 different charges and today we headed to the range. I got 2 good groups that each had a flier due to operator error. I'm going to go with the second one. It's still not than good enough to hit a bull but it's the faster of the two. Now I'll load up a few more to chronograph and adjust the scope. The squares are 3/4of an inch.
FIREARMS & OPTICS / 338 Federal project
November 17, 2020, 06:33:43 AM
A while ago a friend gave me a bunch of random gun stuff including some hard to find brass a bunch of which went to Gitano, bullets, loading dies, and a barreled FN Mauser action and bolt with a 19" 7x57 barrel.

My daughter started looking at the action and trying to figure out what to do with it. Her first thought was to build a long range target gun with it but that Mauser action isn't the best choice for that. So I suggested a light weight hunting rifle for deer and elk. She has a nice 270 but it's pretty heavy. A lighter and more weather resistant hunting rifle really got her interest.

So I started looking at cartridges to chamber it in. Although she does handload I wanted something that factory ammo is available for. I also didn't want something similar or duplicated by her 270. I started looking at the 338 Federal and I really liked what I saw. It has a good selection of bullets, available factory ammo, and retains 1500FPE to almost 400 yards.

I took my action to the gunsmith to talk to him about the project. He said that he could do it no problem but for what it would cost for him to alter the bolt and drill and tap the action I should look around for a cheap 700 to strip down for the action. I went to a lot of shops looking at used guns and it's slim pickins right now. The selection is small and they want all the money for what they have. I am actually okay with that as I have never been a fan of Remington rifles. I like my Mausers and their clones. So I instead turned to eBay. I managed to pick up a modified bolt along with a bunch of other random parts and a trigger guard with a hinged floor plate for $240 with shipping. Now I just need the trigger, magazine spring and follower. Then I'll take it back to him and wait.
November 10, 2020, 07:26:29 AM
This year's deer hunt was kind of a mess. Now that the dust is mostly settled I can fill you all in. Our usual hunting area was closed this year due to one of the many, large, wildfires we had in Colorado. Although CPW was offering a refund on tags we decided to forge ahead with the hunt. Everyone had doe tags and we figured that this would give us a reason to scout new places. So we all rolled in to camp on Friday night. Since our usual spot was out we actually stayed in a campground this year. The unlimited electricity was nice. Friday afternoon people kind of scouted a few areas to check out on Saturday. Saturday morning came and we split up in to groups and headed out in different directions. The weather was nice and warm but a storm was expected on Sunday. I took my youngest daughter Payton and her friend Sam with me. We didn't see any deer. The kids took a page from Gitano's book and napped a bit. We all met back at camp for lunch to compare notes. Some had seen a few deer but nobody got any shots. We all went back for the evening but the same results, few deer seen and no shots.
BIG GAME / Pronghorn 2020
October 05, 2020, 06:02:01 PM
After a lot of years building up preference points the girls and I decided to use them this year. I found a place where they could draw doe tags and I could get a buck tag. Opening morning the girls decided between them that Hunter would shoot first. We found a lone doe bedded about 450 yards off. We worked closer to 203 and it stood up facing us. We kept waiting for a broadside but she wouldn't give it to us. Finally Hunter felt ready and took the shot. She walked about 3 steps and dropped. The girls field dressed her and drug her to the truck. Then we headed to another area to find some more. As we drove down the road I spotted another lone doe walking towards the road. We couldn't get closer to her than 375 yards and she circled around and went back the way she came so Payton and I went after her. After a while we found a small herd of 5. Four does and a small buck that I wasn't interested in. I ranged them at 315 yards. Payton got on the shooting sticks, picked out a doe and fired. I heard the hit. They all kind of milled around for a minute and she asked me which one she hit. Then one fell over and I told her, "the dead one." We walked up to her doe and they stuck around. As I got closer I glassed the buck and saw that while not huge, he had some very unique horns so I decided to take him. And of course as soon as I said that, he never gave me a shot. So I walked back to get Hunter and the truck.

As we were walking back up, Payton came walking towards us and said that the herd had circled around and were 500 yards to the west. So while the girls field dressed Payton's antelope, I went after them. I got close enough to see three does, a small buck, and a nice buck. They moved to the north east and I was able to get in a low area and get close. I spotted them and ranged them at 187 yards. I got on the shooting sticks and stood up. I found the big buck and when he turned sideways I fired and heard the hit. He started spinning and stopped so I fired again and heard the hit again. He took a few steps and I shot again. Another hit. This time he dropped. I left my rifle and orange hat with my buck and went back to check on the girls. They were just finishing up and we started dragging it back towards the road. As we did, here came two game wardens. They talked to me a minute and I told them that we had 2 down. One went and helped the girls drag theirs to the truck while the other one came with me, helped me dress it and they both helped drag it out. Two super nice guys.
FIREARMS & OPTICS / Grandpa's 22
June 13, 2020, 09:29:17 AM
My grandfather recently passed away and one of the things I inherited was his 22 rifle. It's a Voere NATO Puma. While cleaning cleaning out his house we also found the original receipt and instructions. I killed my first rabbit with this gun and as a kid put many of the dents and dings in the stock.
FIREARMS & OPTICS / 308 Savage
March 21, 2020, 06:48:45 PM
I finally got my Savage 10T in 308 out the range. I picked it up a while ago with the scope and bipod from a pawn shop. When I can get some 30mm low rings I'm going to swap the scope out. This is my last 4 shots at 100 yards with factory Hornady 168gr A-Max.
August 10, 2019, 08:27:10 AM
I haven't posted any pictures of Peaches lately. She's 9 months old now and weighs 40 pounds. The older that she's gets, the more hair she gets. I have been working on her training. Her recall is pretty good and we are starting to work on whoa.
THE CAMPFIRE / Happy Birthday, RJ!
July 22, 2019, 06:30:02 AM
Another year older. I hope that it's a great one.
June 22, 2019, 06:37:18 AM
For the past 2 weeks my daughter has been in New Mexico at the Whittington Center for camp through the NRA. To say that she had a great time would be an understatement. She shot over 1200 rounds in everything from 22 pistol to a 50 BMG. We went down for the banquet the last night and prizes were given to the kids. She won first place in hunting skills and got a Trijicon Accupoint scope and she got third place in riflery and she got a nice shooting bag and a Buck skinning knife. But most of all, she made some great friends.
March 18, 2019, 08:50:05 AM
I picked up a new scope for my 257 Roberts yesterday. It's a Vortex Diamondback Tactical 4-12x40. I want to get a new stock for it and have it ready for this fall.
Our pheasant season ends on Thursday and so yesterday was my last day to go. And I finally got my first wild rooster. Payton missed one early in the day and we saw a bunch later but they were either hens or too far or on private property. Payton ran Rebel for most of the day and did a great job. I have learned a lot this year and now I'm looking forward to next season. I will get out to A pay and shoot place a few more times before April.