Shooting game birds is one of the most enjoyable forms of hunting in my opinion, and shooting Pheasants is one of the most fun game birds to shoot.
Pheasant shooting is a great introduction into hunting for beginners but has the complexity that can test even the elite hunters on occasion.
Check my introduction to Pheasant shooting:
You should always research into what you are shooting. What do they look like, how to identify males and females, where do they live, where do they sleep, when do they breed, and what do they eat.
The more you know about your prey the better chance of a successful hunt you will have.
Male Pheasants are the easiest to spot, their body is copper and gold, and they have green and red heads. Females don’t have to show off, so they are much harder to spot as they are a more natural brown and are smaller.
Don’t think Pheasants are easy to hunt, whilst they don’t have the amazing sense of smell that a Deer does, they do have really good eyesight and hearing.
Pretty much anywhere in the western world, if you want to hunt you will have to know the rules of where you are hunting and what you are hunting.
Every state and every country may have different rules and it is your responsibility to learn them.
Whilst people might think the Government gets involved in too many things, hunting rules are often there to manage the welfare of the animals as well as people’s safety.
Research into things like, do you have to tag the kill, when do you have to tag the kill, where can you hunt, what time can you hunt, do you need a licence or proof of education, how old do you have to be, and what weapons can you use.
For example, in a lot of places you can only hunt male Pheasants.
Dogs are better than us at most things to be fair, but they are definitely better at flushing out Pheasants than we are. A well-trained dog will be able to smell and hear Pheasants and are quick enough to flush them out.
A good Pheasant hunting dog like a Labrador or Pointer will make you life a lot easier.
Pheasant hunting is usually a fall or winter event, which is useful as dogs track better in cold, wet, muddy, and snowy conditions.
It is possible to hunt without dogs, but it is a lot harder. You will need other hunters to help you, otherwise you are basically basing your hunt on potluck.
To hunt without a dog, you will need at least 10 hunters, spread out about 7 meters apart, then you walk across the land in a line and hope you flush the Pheasants out.
Shotguns are the firearms that are used for Pheasant hunting.
There are no hard and fast rules on this, you will find people using a range of break, pump-action, and semi-automatic shotguns and a range of gauges but 12-guage is probably the most commonly used.
Pheasants are tough little birds so you will need a shotgun you are proficient with, and you will need a heavy shot usually a size 4.
There are often requirements on the type of shot you use because you are often shooting on public land, so lead shots are often illegal. Again, you should know all this before you go on the hunt.
Pheasants thrive in wide open moorland, farmland, and like thick cover. So, you are going to be out in the elements, and you are going to be covering a lot of miles.
So, good quality all-weather and waterproof hunting or hiking boots are a no brainer. You will also need to wear appropriate clothing to keep warm and dry. The usual outdoor rules apply… dress in layers.
Some locations will have clothing rules, for example you may need to wear orange.
Now you need to decide where to hunt. Look on maps for likely places Pheasants will be located, are you allowed to hunt there and when are you allowed to hunt there. A great way to do this is to join local clubs or forums.
It all depends on where you live in the world, but unfortunately for your fingers and toes the best Pheasant hunting time of year is usually the beginning of winter.
You are generally looking for public grounds and access. Which can mean there could be a lot of hunters of varying standards, so be careful and following good safety.
If you are new to hunting Pheasants, then I would recommend your first hunts are in an organised group or club.
Once you have more experience you can go out looking for those more remote and less popular areas.
Always tell people where you are going, and how long you will be. So, if you do not return on time, people know to raise the alarm. That is just standard good practise for any outdoor trip.
As with a lot of wild animals Pheasants are more active early in the morning or just before dark. So, this is the best time to plan your hunts.
Also, as you are hunting on public land, there will likely be a lot more hustle and bustle during the main daylight hours, so it is best to avoid this time regardless.
People need water, hunting dogs need water, and guess what Pheasants need water. You are not going to find many Pheasants in the desert!
So, concentrate your hunt around water sources within the suitable habitat for Pheasants.
I have touched on the possible difficulties of hunting on public land. So, if you can afford your own land to hunt on then great but for most of us that is not an option.
The next best thing is to get permission to hunt on private land or the most common option is to join a Private Hunting Club.
They will often have longer hunting seasons, areas to practise shooting with clays, areas to train your dog, and varying degrees of difficulty depending on your experience.
If you are hunting alone, then don’t bother if you do not have a trained dog. If you do have a dog, then you are best being in defined spaces like farmer fields rather than wide open moorland.
This is because it is easier for you work an area logically.
In a farmer’s field, you can work around the edges, before working your way inwards. It is also easier for you to keep your dog within range.
You will also be able to keep the Pheasants in a confined area, and there is more chance of you being able to find cover.
Different dogs are better at different things, and you should consider how you want to hunt before choosing a dog. Some dogs are flushing dogs, they will flush out game, so you need to be close to them and ready to take the shot.
Other dogs are pointers, they will locate a game bird but not disturb it. They will point to where it is and allow you to flush it out yourself.
If you are out in big cornfields, marshes, and moorland then you are best off being with a group of friends or an organised club.
These areas are just too big to hunt efficiently alone. So, you can cover more ground in a group and there is a better chance of one of you being able to get a good shot off.
The drawback is more people more noise, so before the hunt set out what is expected of everyone and agree on things like hand-signals, so you do not have to talk on the active part of the hunt.
When covering ground, walk generally forward but in a zig-zag pattern like a trail a snake would leave. This enables you to better cover ground, rather than just walking straight up and down.
Also like a snake you should be quiet, low to the ground, and be ready to strike when needed.
Pheasants aren’t as big and heavy as a Turkey but in the right conditions they will leave a footprint for you to track. This is especially true in wet and muddy conditions.
Pheasants have 3 toes, the longer middle one pointing at 12 o’clock, and two shorter outside toes pointing at 10 and 2 o’clock. A bit like a tiny version of the T-Rex footprint in Jurassic Park!
They don’t roar like a T-Rex though, they make a crowing noise which isn’t as loud as a dinosaur roar, but it is audible if you know what you are listening out for.
When you flush out a Pheasant it wont just sit there waving, waiting to be shot. It will try to take flight and escape. That is the reason people practise with clays, as it is the kind of trajectory a Pheasant will take.
DO NOT shoot when it is less than human height, as that’s when accidents can happen. Wait until it is above head height. Then take your shot.
Remember it is a moving target, a surprisingly quick one at that. So, do not aim at the bird, aim ahead of it so the Pheasant flies into the shot.
You will miss shots, and when you do don’t be discouraged. When you do hit and kill a Pheasant… well done.
Make sure you field dress it and cool the meat as soon as possible, to keep the meat fresh.
However, as you are often hunting in cold mornings and twilight this isn’t a huge concern like it would be after shooting a deer in wide open and hot grassland.
A lot of hunting does require common sense if you are a beginner, then the knowledge comes with experience.
There are a few general common-sense things any Pheasant hunter needs to do/know:
Pheasant is a delicious bird that is high in protein, nutrients, and vitamins. So, it is well worth hunting.
I do love long multiday hunts, and I love bringing back a buck that can feed my family for months. However, those hunts are not always practical and Pheasant hunting is a different change of pace.
I believe you should hunt all kinds of animals, as this is the best way to become a better all-round hunter.
If you only hunt deer, then you will only know how to hunt deer!
At the end of the day a firearm only really needs to shoot straight and not fail you when you need it.
However, we know that firearms can do more than that nowadays and Radetec are one of those companies that are pushing the envelope.
They are a research and development company, looking to develop electronic devices that improve your use of traditional firearms. If firearms are currently the Phone Box, they want to usher in the iPhone.
They don’t want the smart electronics just to be for show and fun, they want them to have practical applications that improve the safety of the firearm and make them easier to use.
They push their own research but will also work with specific manufactures on specific projects.
This is an excellent and never seen before bit of tech, that not only makes you think you are Sly Stallone in Demolition Man but is actually useful, and isn’t technology for technology’s sake.
You take off the slide of your Glock 17 Gen 4, you put on your SMART SLIDE and there you have it. You now have real time digital information about your gun.
It is a self-contained battery-operated device, that doesn’t require software updates and cannot be hacked.
Even if the battery fails or something goes wrong with the device, you can carry on shooting with it on. Then you can see what the problem is with it after.
This really is an awesome bit of kit:
The smart slide doesn’t make permanent changes to your Glock, and professional gunsmithing is not required.
Like I said you just take off the original slide, and attach the smart slide, and you can just as easily take off the smart slide and put the original slide back on.
They also offer a 2-year warranty from manufacturer defects.
You will get a replacement slide, back strap, and 2 of their magazine followers with your purchase. These will fit onto any Glock and is how the information is collected.
The magazine followers use magnets to collect the information on what the current situation is with your gun, and relays this to the display, which updates within seconds.
To get the full use out of the technology, then yes. However, the display will work just fine without downloading an app and would still be a very useful addition to your Glock.
By downloading the app, you will be able to track more information. The app keeps a full logbook of your activities. Which keeps information on every single shot you have fired and tells you when maintenance is required.
You can view any number of weapons you have on the app that are attached to the technology.
For the average Joe on the street, it is a great safety feature to know if there is a round in the chamber or how many shots you have left. This will increase your fun on the range but keep you safe in your home.
For range owners it would be a very useful auditing check, because with the app you will be able to keep track of how many times that gun has been shot and when it needs to be maintained or replaced.
I can imagine it would also provide great information for Law Enforcement and the Military, where there is a lot of throughput.
First off, at around the $1000 mark it is very expensive for a glorified bean counter.
For the person on the street the cost doesn’t seem to match the benefits. However, for Law Enforcement and Militaries who probably don’t care about the cost. Then it can be a very useful tool.
Radetec are pushing the boundaries of technology and that obviously comes at a cost. Think about how expensive HD TVs were when they first came out and think about how cheap they are now in comparison.
The more the smart technology is used, and the more companies get involved in the market, the cheaper things will become. It probably won’t be too long before smart slides are standard on all guns.
The other main issue is that it is just another failure point, gun manufactures have a constant design battle between adding new specs but also making things more reliable. The smart slide adds another thing that can fail.
Other than that, it is just another battery to change or replace. It seems everything nowadays needs a battery or power, even when they didn’t in the past.
The smart slide is an exciting bit of tech, that just scratches the surface of smart tech on firearms. It is expensive, but it is useful.
So, if you can afford it then I think it would be a good purchase. Whilst initially only for Glocks, you know they will make them for all firearms eventually.
This technology allows a gun to only be fired by an authorised user. The gun is always locked unless the authorising device is close by.
This device could be on anything like a bracelet, necklace, belt, or badge. You can also have as many devices as you want.
This has pretty obvious real-world benefits. It means gun theft becomes pointless unless you also steal the authorisation devices.
It would give you an advantage in home invasion situations.
It would also prevent accidental usage from children or unregistered people.
It is also very useful for Law Enforcement and Militaries who do not want their weapons used against them.
All these things would likely help with rates of gun violence, domestic violence, drug violence, accidental death, mass shootings, and burglaries.
This allows you to store data from 100,000 shots from your gun to an app via NFC transfer.
You can store information from multiple firearms relating to the number of shots taken, the date and time of the shots taken, and GPS positioning of each shot taken.
This is very simple to do, you just attach the electronic smart device to the Picatinny rail and shoot as normal.
You open the app on your phone and all the data is there. The device can easily be swapped between all your firearms, without gunsmithing.
Similar to the universal version but this is more for organisations with large inventories that need to be tracked. It also records the ambient temperature of every shot, along with the date, time, and number of shots taken.
It can record 1m shots and makes a note of when the firearm leaves the armoury.
Now this is very interesting, and it could really improve shooting ranges across the world. It could eradicate accidents and intentional foul play on the range for good.
In these ranges an employee would have control over the guns. They can be sat in an office overlooking the range with a computer.
Then if they see a possible safety concern, they could lock one or all the guns in a matter of seconds.
The range could also place a directional lock on the firearms. So, that they will only shoot down range.
If the gun is pointed anywhere else, then it will automatically be locked. It can also be locked for height too, so it will not shoot too far down or too far up. Again, this will eliminate so many accidents.
This is probably out of the price range for many range owners, but eventually I can easily envision a time when all ranges are like this.
This is a simpler version of the smart slide and is a more basic shot counter.
It will count up the number of shots you have taken in that session, you can leave it to show the total amount of shots the gun has taken in its lifetime, or you can set a number on the display and it will count down to zero.
This device gives a simple red warning light when you are down to 3 rounds in your magazine.
This could give you a tactical advantage in a combat situation and can only be seen by you. So, your situation isn’t given away to anyone else.
This is another way to track how many shots you have taken and how many shots you have left. It uses a smart grip and displays the information on a small screen attached to the weapon.
Currently Radetec are concentrating on handguns, but they do have one bit of tech for shotguns.
This is a shot counter that fits on the stock and displays total shots, daily shots, date, time, and GPS. Like all their tech it is easily installed, easily removed, and does not change the firearm in any meaningful way.
I am excited to see where Radetec go in the future. They seem to have a lot of great ideas and seem to be getting those ideas out into the market effectively.
Any company that is concerned about gun safety should be respected and admired in my book.
I own two Mossberg Patriot rifles (the Predator and the Vortex Combo), which I will concentrate most of the article on but they are effectively the same gun so I will try not to repeat myself too much when taking a deeper dive on them.
There are 6 styles of Patriot that you can choose from:
The Mossberg Patriot Predator is a beefed-up version of the standard Mossberg Patriot Hunter.
It has an excellent Picantinny rail system which enables you to use the optics and scopes that you prefer and has larger bolt handles.
As the name suggests this is an apex predator and can take out any animal in North America barring bison and bears.
Using the .308 Winchester Magnum with the Predator means you have a cheap centrefire bolt-action rifle, but which is also an accurate rifle with widely available and effective rounds.
This means that you have a very reasonable budget set up, that you can pretty much hunt anywhere and hunt anything without changing a thing.
You can buy this rifle for under $400, meaning it provides excellent value for money for the above average accuracy. It is an excellent and affordable option for people with a limited budget.
Anyone from a novice to elite level hunter could take this rifle on a hunt and bag a prize but let’s be honest, due to the price point this is aimed squarely at the beginner hunter or a semi-regular hobbyist hunter, or a more experienced hunter who has a very limited budget.
If I were an experienced hunter with a very limited budget, I would be more inclined to try to find a second-hand rifle that is more advanced.
The Mossberg Patriot Predator will also suit someone who prefers their rifles to look like tactical rifles rather than the more tradition styles.
At 6.5 pounds this is around the sweet spot for me where I think I could carry it all day long up and over mountains, and barely notice I am carrying it.
Any rifle that is over say 8 pounds, then I am thinking too much about what else I am carrying to lighten the load. Anything under 6.5 pounds then they start looking and feeling like a kid’s toy.
Plus, these ultralightweight rifles are usually too compact meaning you lose velocity and the ability to take out the bigger animals.
So, at 6.5 pounds I can take the Predator with me on any hunt, in any terrain, and shoot at pretty much any animal that comes my way.
If you believe what I am writing then you should already know this is a highly effective allrounder, that you can take on pretty much any hunt and be confident that you have the wallop necessary for a respectful kill… but is it easy to use?
What you can find with budget guns is that they must make savings somewhere, so you may find a lot of plastic parts, components that are not perfectly designed, or are too fiddly.
This is not what I have found with the Predator.
The safety is easy to use and is positioned right where you would expect it, and the same can be said with the spring-loaded bolt release and talking of the bolts… they are huge and if you mishandle them you must have a hand full of thumbs!
What can often let a budget gun down is the trigger, but the tigger on the Patriot Predator is excellent and far better than I could demand from such a cheap rifle. The pull is smooth, light, and consistent.
Mossberg Patriot Predator is light and manoeuvrable, so it is great for hiking and stalking with, it is also easy to use with stands, tree stands, and in blinds.
However, it must do one thing… it has to shoot straight!
I am happy to report that it does indeed shoot straight, in fact it outperforms what you would expect from a budget gun. I have been hunting for decades and I am a good shot, but I am not elite level, and I managed:
For a rifle that costs less than $400, that is damn good.
Once you have bought the rifle and a shed full of ammo, that is not the end of the spending. You will need to buy your own optics and sights to fit the Picantinny rail.
The biggest two mistakes I see from beginners is that they spend too much on the rifle and not enough on the optics & sights, and they skimp on the ammo then blame the rifle for poor accuracy and jamming.
If you have a limited budget, the rifle is almost the least important as nowadays nearly all factory built rifles are pretty good up to 300 yards.
So, you are much better spending the bulk of your budget on the best optics and sights you can afford.
Regarding the ammo, do not mess about just buy as many 300 WIN MAG as you can afford. They cannot be beaten on price, effectiveness, and availability in my opinion.
If you are a beginner, small in size, or just a hobbyist then I would be surprised if you could find a rifle that noticeably outperformed this one for the same price.
It doesn’t excel in anything, but it doesn’t let you down in anything either, it is a true budget friendly allrounder.
The Mossberg Patriot Vortex II Combo is another variant of the standard Mossberg Patriot Hunter. The Vortex II is also a 308, like the Predator and is my preferred caliber.
The combo aspect of this rifle is that they include a scope with the purchase. So, the box price is the combined total and is cheaper than buying them both separately.
Vortex are well known for producing budget friendly scopes of high quality, so they were an obvious choice to work with Mossberg on this combo package.
This is an ideal package for absolute beginner hunters, who want to be able to pick a rifle out of the box and shoot it.
Fitting a scope is not as easy as it sounds, and I know many a hunter who still find it cost effective to get a professional to fit their scopes.
So, the amount of time a beginner may take researching scopes, buying scopes, and fitting scopes might not be worthwhile.
If you are shooting at under 300 yards which most beginners will be then this vortex scope is more than what you will need, and it is right there on the rifle for you.
If I was buying a hunting rifle set up for a newbie, then this combo would rank highly. You will be able to shoot pretty much anything at any time of the year within a short-range.
If you get to the point where you are regularly hunting at over 300 yards, then you can always upgrade at that point.
The rifle and scope are excellent at anything less than 300 yards. After that you are stretching the scopes ability more than the rifles.
Even an absolute beginner or youth will be able to start pinging steel at 300 yards in a very short space of time.
This is truly a out of the box and shoot rifle, where you can just worry about technique rather than all the adjustments you might need to make.
Coupled with the 300 WIN MAG, this rifle offers the ability to hunt pretty much any animal you want at less than 300 yards. That is a very low barrier to entry, and an excellent way to begin your hunting journey.
I easily achieved <1 minute of angle at 300 yards, this means you will be able to hit any kill spot on any animal you want. Whether it is varmint, deer, boars, or elk.
I have used this gun in all weathers and all terrains, and it has never let me down, it is comfortable, reliable, and packs a punch.
This is the rifle and scope I started my son out on, and he spent a lot of time on the range with it before going on hunt and spent a good 18 months hunting with it before he wanted something better.
So, all in all he got over 2 years’ worth of shooting for a very budget price tag. In my opinion is it a perfect beginner gun, and when he was finished with it, he sold it to a friend who is also an avid hunter now.
This combo pack is an excellent way for people to quickly, effectively, and cheaply get into hunting. Then if they like it, they can upgrade when they need too.
Like I said at the beginning of the article I own 2 of the patriot range, but I have tested all of them apart from the Youth rifle.
I have found them to be very similar, as a rifle they are very middling. They do well at everything but excel at nothing.
They are not shamed by premium rifles, but you can tell the difference in quality and performance. This is important in the field where millimetres can make a huge difference.
So, yes if you are experienced and you can afford it, then there are a lot better rifles you can buy.
However, if you have a budget of say $1000 all in, then the Patriot range is hard to beat especially if you are hunting at short range.
A middling rifle when budget is not factored in, suddenly becomes one of the best value for money rifles you can buy if you have a limited budget.
The quality, useability, reliability, and accuracy is very hard to beat in the price range you find them in.
What you get for the dollar you spend is tremendous, and we are very lucky we live in a world where you can get high performance weapons for a sensible price because believe me that has not always been the case.
This is a widely used knot, from bushcraft, to climbing, to sailing. It is so simple that it can be done with one hand, which is one of its main advantages and is what makes it a classic outdoor knot that you need to know.
There is evidence on sculptures and paintings that show the clove hitch been used in the 1700’s. However, I am sure it would have been used far further back than that.
It is basically just two half hitches usually tied around an object done successively with the same piece of rope. This makes the clove hitch stronger and more secure than a half hitch.
I will give you 3 examples of how you can tie a clove hitch in the outdoors, to highlight the versatility of the clove hitch:
Stand facing the branch.
Have the length of rope on your side of the branch and take hold of the end of the rope.
Depending on the thickness of the branch you will need around 7 inches of rope to tie the knot, basically you will need enough to around the branch a minimum of 2 times.
Take the 7 inches of rope and hang it over the branch, so the main body of the rope is hanging down from your side and the shorter end is on the other side hanging down.
You now get the end of the rope and bring it towards you under the branch and back up to the left slightly to form a cross (X) shape.
Then you go back over the branch and under again, and bring it back towards you. Should have created 2 loops around the branch that forms a cross in the middle.
You should still be holding the end; you pull it up but also under the loop you have just created around the branch.
Pull the rope end upwards you and the main body of the rope down to tighten it.
Push the 2 loops towards each other and tighten again to make a stronger knot.
You now have a clove hitch knot. If you are looking directly at it.
Then you should have a piece of rope coming up from the floor on the right-hand side going over the branch, then you see this rope coming back around under the branch and up towards the sky on the left-hand side, held together by a diagonal piece of rope, going from bottom right to top left.
Secure your carabiner and have it facing you.
Run the rope through or clip it into the carabiner.
The main body of the rope, or the rope attached to you should be on the other side of the carabiner. The short end of the rope should be hanging on your side.
With the long end of the rope make a small loop in your left hand and pull it up towards you.
You then need to cross the loop you have made over the front of the main body of the rope to the right, then back around to clip it into the carabiner.
Now you should have the long and short end of the rope hanging down from the carabiner. Pull on these to tighten the knot around the carabiner.
You now have a clove hitch knot on a carabiner. It should look like the short end is hanging on the righthand side.
Going up and over the carabiner in front of you, it comes under the carabiner to the right, the comes to the left in-between the hanging short end and the main body of the rope, back over the carabiner to the left, then back through its own loop so that both ends of the rope hang together in the middle.
Create 2 loops in your hand. The main body of the rope should go up and loop to the left, comes back around to the right, upwards, and back towards the middle to form a second loop.
The end of the rope should be hanging down next to the main body of the rope.
Now you need to slide the loop with the short end of the rope that is on the right hand side, so that it is now over the left hand loop that has the main body of rope.
Whatever pole you have can now go through the middle of the 2 loops you have created.
Now you simply pull on the short end and the long end of the rope down towards the floor if the pole is horizontal to tighten it.
You now have a clove hitch.
It will look like the short end of the rope is hanging down on your side of a horizontal pole, going up and over the pole, coming back towards you on the righthand side, going to the left in-between the 2 ends of the rope, going over the pole to the left-hand side, and back around through the middle under itself, so that the main body of the rope is now hanging in the middle with the short end.
There are many benefits to the clove hitch knot, and here are the main ones:
If you enjoy the great outdoors and all the adventures you can have in it, then at some point you are probably going to need to know how to tie a clove hitch knot.
Whether you are a bushcrafter, homesteaders, survivalist, or prepper then it will come in handy at some point.
Here are some typical uses:
This list is just off the top of my head, and the actual full list is probably almost endless, but I am sure you get my point… they are very useful!
The clove hitch is a knot that everyone should know how to tie, however, it is not perfect and in some cases, there are other knots that could be used instead.
This knot is sometimes better for some bushcraft and shelter building tasks over the clover hitch. It is especially useful for hoisting or dragging branches and logs, that are smooth or tapered.
Have the main body of the rope on your side of the log. Then you wrap the short working end of the rope around the log, away from you are to the left.
Then take the short end and bring it back behind the main end and wrap it over the log so it is on the other side.
You will have created a loop which can be looped around the end of the log. You then pull the two ends down and towards the end of the log to tighten.
To look at it you should have a horizontal log with the end on your righthand side.
Close to the end of the log you have the 2 ends of rope hanging down, secured to the log by a loop on the bottom of the log, going behind the log, coming back over diagonally from top right to bottom left, which secures the four initial loops in place.
An excellent knot for sailing or boating as you can adjust the knot to make different sized loops to go over and around things, but when you leave it and apply a load the loop stays in the size you set.
Take the rope with the long end on the righthand side and pass it around the cleat to the left and back towards you. Use the short end to tie a half hitch around the main end.
Pass it around and through the loop again, creating a small second loop that is closer to you. Pass the end through this smaller loop and pull to tighten.
It will look like a hangman’s noose when you are finished.
Often used as a closed system with a short piece of rope with 2 looped ends hanging.
Have one end hanging down. Loop the other end 4 times around the pole going upwards.
Bring it back down and behind the first end. Wrap it around the pole one more time under the first loop but bring it through itself and pull to tighten.
When finished you should have 2 looped ends on top of each other where you could fasten a carabiner through both for example.
As the name might suggest it is an excellent knot for trying around branches, logs, and posts. It can take a heavier load than a clover hitch but it is not as versatile.
If the log is on the floor, have the main end on the other side, bring the short end under the log towards you. Bring it back over and loop around the long end.
Then wrap the short end around itself three times, with the final time coming under the first loop. If the long end is 12 o’clock, the short end is now pointing at 3 o’clock.
Pull to tighten.
If you need the knot to be on a particular side, you will need to stop it twisting. To do this take the long end and create 2 half-hitches working to the left.
I hope you find this useful.
If you think that you might need to use this hitch in the wild or in nature, then please do practise it at home.
Before you go out anywhere it is important that you know how to tie a knot properly and it is second nature to you. This is important for your safety and the safety of others.
There is no rifle that is perfect for every hunter, and you will not see all the top hunters using the same rifle.
This is because all humans are different, with different sized hands, arm length, and strength. There are also many different terrains and conditions people will be shooting in.
One rifle might be amazing shooting at short distances in the woods in fine weather, but it may handle poorly in wet conditions when shooting long distance on a prairie.
We are lucky that you can buy good rifles to match any budget nowadays, and it lowers the barrier of entry for hunting.
This is especially true with short range hunting, where even straight out of the box factory budget rifles do perform very well.
If you are doing medium or long-range hunting then precision rifles do come into their own, and you will have to spend a little more on those.
At the end of the day, and taking it down to the base level, all you need to consider is does it shoot straight, is it reliable, and will it be able to handle harsh weather.
I have been hunting for decades and I have tried and tested a lot of rifles over the years. So, here are my favourites and ones I have had successful hunts with:
This is not an elegant looking gun, which you could display in your home and people would marvel at its beauty.
It is all steel and plastic, it is a gun for people who hunt and hunt a lot, you can pick it up, go on a hunt, bag a prize, come home, through it in your shed, and it will be perfectly ready for use the next time you need it.
If you do a lot of your hunting in the woods, then this is an excellent stalking rifle for beginners to the more advanced. I have hunted deer, varmint, and wild boars with this rifle.
It is a relatively short rifle, that is compact, well balanced, and easy to use. There is room for customisation too, for example you can adjust the pull weight of the trigger.
The only stand out drawback, that is worth mentioning; is that it does tend to heat up pretty quickly, so it isn’t the best rifle for rapid shooting.
I don’t find this an issue because I only take shots, I am confident I will be successful with but if you are practising at the range just be careful with how many shots you are taking.
The Steyr Mannilicher Pro Hunter Rifle is very robust, it is very reliable in all weather conditions, it shoots damn straight, and it does all that with a very reasonable price tag.
So, in my opinion it provides excellent value for money, and you get a lot of bang for your buck.
If you are doing most of your hunting over 300 yards, then the Seekins Precision Havak Pro Hunter would be an excellent option for you in my opinion.
It looks and feels like a long-range competition rifle, and I have actually won competitions with it.
However, it is one of those rare breeds that is also practical and effective for long-range hunting and I have taken down many animals upwards of 1000 yards with this rifle.
Most competition rifles are too heavy to take out on a long multi-day hunts, but this rifle comes in at just over 7 pounds which is more than acceptable for a long-range hunting rifle.
The barrel spiralling nearly put me off from buying it, but I decided to give it a try and I was so glad I did.
Some guns just give you confidence when you pick them up, you can’t describe it, they just feel right.
This is one of those guns, the Benelli Lupo just looks mean and dangerous to me. It looks like a bare-knuckle boxer, forged on the streets but it is actually a very futuristic rifle that is highly customisable.
This is not for a beginner popping their cherry on a first hunt, this is for hunters that know what they like and know how to get it.
This rifle is excellent for moulding it just right to your own personal dimensions, you can adjust the spacers, shims, stock, cheek weld, finger reach, pull weight of the trigger, and much more.
I went for the 24-inch barrel as I like to use .300 Winchester Magnums.
With a price tag around the $1700 mark, it is not something I would recommend for newbies, but I would recommend it for people, who like to tinker with their rifles to get them just right.
Everyone has heard of Remington, right?
For good reason, they have been making high quality guns for forever seemingly.
My father owned the Remington 760 and I own the updated 7600. He will swear the 760 is better and he still takes down a lot of deer with it, but he is wrong ha-ha. Mine is better!
The Remington 7600 excels when hunting deer in big woods, where you are stalking, and then taking shots at those moving bucks through the trees.
In big woods hunting your rifle needs to be compact, light, but hit like a sledgehammer.
This rifle covers all those bases, even a big buck hit by one of the heavy cartridges this rifle offers will just lay down for you. They know they are done.
Aesthetically it appeals to me to, it looks traditional but contemporary at the same time.
I do most of my hunting with the .300 Win Mag, but I do recognise that other calibres are useful depending on what you are hunting, and if you do like to regularly use different calibres then this is the gun for you.
You can use a range of calibres between the .222 and .300 which is pretty cool, what is even cooler is you can quickly change these calibres yourself without any tools needed.
I don’t like to review a rifle on its ability to do quick multiple shots as they shouldn’t be needed regularly.
However, multiple shots are sometimes needed, and this rifle excels at quick multiple shoots.
The recoil is super light, so you can follow that bullet straight into the animal, which means you still have the animal lined up if you need that second shot.
Not everyone wants, needs, or can afford a customised hunting rifle. They are expensive and might not be needed for most hunters, although they are the gold standard in my opinion.
For most people who like hunting a factory-built rifle that allows a bit of adjustment will be more than sufficient, and that is what the Browning X-Bolt Max Long Range Hunter offers.
With its adjustable stock, comb, and trigger you can make some small tweaks that have big results.
At over 8 pounds it isn’t heavy but its certainly not light, but I don’t mind that.
When you pick it up it feels like it is made of stern stuff, there is nothing worse than picking up a nice-looking rifle, but it feels like it is made from cheap plastic.
So, I don’t mind a few extra ounces to get a gun that feels like a gun, and not a toy.
When you have been hunting for as long as I have you think you have seen it all.
Then I found the Sig Sauer Cross, my first impression is that it looked like a cross between a paintball gun and a laser gun from the future where John Conner is dealing with some pesky murderous robots.
However, once I investigated the specs and design, I knew it could fill a gap in my arsenal. It is excellent if you want to do some long-distance backcountry hunting.
It is a hyper light rifle that folds down to a mere 25 inches. That’s small enough to consider it for a bug out bag or a survival bag.
This will certainly start conversations around the campfire, and you will probably get a bit of ribbing for it, but it will hang with pretty much any rifle anyone else has brought with them.
This rifle was passed down to me by my father and you would think it was made in 1895, it has that classic look.
A look that if you asked anyone to draw a rifle it would probably look like the Marlin 1895, and it makes you feel like an old-fashioned gun slinger.
This is no movie prop though, and if you want a gun that is easy to load, easy to point, and easy to shoot then get your hands on one of these.
It packs a surprising wallop, and you can easily reel off multiple shots.
So much so, if I had a bear charging at me and I could only choose one of my rifles then I would probably choose this one. I would rather not test this theory out though obviously!
Overall, it is a nice gun for a beginner or for someone who likes a bit of old-school style.
This is a great rifle if you have a bit more money spare than for the budget models but cannot justify the premium rifles and their eye watering price tags.
The Henry Lever Action X Model .45-70 is a mid-priced allrounder that will not let you down. It looks modern, menacing, and brutal but handles softly, has light recoil, and is beautifully balanced.
Yet, it never truly excels at anything and is a little forgettable in my opinion.
Whilst all hunting is serious and should be taking seriously, some hunts are more serious than others. Some of my hunts are all about the kill, as I want that meat in my freezer.
Some hunts are more of a holiday for me, where I like to get out into nature, do a bit of wild camping, get a bit of exercise in, and of course practise my hunting skills.
Therefore, the Savage 110 Ultralight is a great option for me when I want to get away for an adventure in the mountains, where hunting is part of the trip but is not the sole goal.
Hopefully, this article has given you some nice options, so you can make an informed choice on what rifle you would like to buy.
However, at the end of the day it is going to come down to your personal choice.
There are a lot of good rifles out there for any budget, so you will need to think about what the likely conditions is you will be hunting in most of the time, and what animals will you mostly be hunting.
Then let that guide your decision.
You might be best buying a premium allrounder gun that will do well for all hunting types, or you might be better off buying 2 budget guns which excel at the 2 different styles of hunting you envision doing.
Finally, you should always try before you buy. A rifle could win everything ranking you see, it might be used by a lot of top hunters, it might look better than your wife, but it might not suit your dimensions.
So, always test it out first.
I have owned many Remington guns from their range of handguns, rifles, and shotguns. Whilst they are all excellent, I just think their Shotguns have a little extra magic about them.
So, without further ado lets have a deep dive into the shotguns made by Remington.
Remington was founded way back in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington II. Like most great companies they were founded on the back of someone looking around at what they could buy and thinking I can do better than that. Then actually doing it.
Soon after he entered a shooting competition with a homemade rifle, and it was so different and impressive that other competitors ordered the same gun from him. Remington was officially open for business.
A decade later he opened a large factory in IIion in 1928, which is still in use today with a few upgrades obviously.
In 1912 Remington merged with Union Metallic Cartridge company so that it could expand into the ammo market.
They solidified their reputation as firearm makers, by producing a wide range of weapons for allied nations in WWI. Guns such as the M1907-15 Berthier, Pattern 1914 Enfield, M1917 Enfield, M1911, and the M1891 Mosin-Nagant.
However, WWI nearly bankrupted them as they over-produced and had a huge stockpile when the war ended. The US Government stepped up to the plate and bought the stock and rightly so.
Remington realised that whilst war could be profitable, it could not be relied on for sustainable growth.
They realised that hunting and civilian sales was what was needed for consistent sales, and then use wars for extra sales… as bad as that sounds.
Remington isn’t one of those American family owned from start to finish success stories as such, takeovers, buy outs, mergers and debt have always been a part of the Remington story.
However, whoever owned Remington or whatever financial turmoil they were in… they always produced world-class firearms.
So, it is no wonder that no matter what mess they were in financially, there was always someone who saw its potential and viability.
Remington have been around for over 200 years, so it is no surprise that they have provided a whole host of iconic guns over the years and their shotguns are no different.
The 11 is an old classic semi-auto shotgun which came from the brilliant mind of John Browning. I love these old recoil operated semi-automatic shotguns, as they test your technique to the max.
If you don’t have good technique then be prepared for a lot of jamming and failures, which are actually your failure as a shooter and not the guns fault at all.
Remington’s first ever slide action shotgun that had a slide-ejecting slide-action.
It was a thing of beauty and was meant to blow the Winchester 1912 out of the water, it didn’t quite achieve that but it showcased what excellent shotguns Remington would be capable of making.
Remmington took what they learned from the 31 and released to the public what would become one of the most widely bought shotguns ever… the majestic 870.
The 870 and its many variants have been used at all levels in the military, law enforcement, hunting, home defense, sport, and simply for pure unadulterated fun.
Not content with mastering the pump action shotgun with the 870, they wanted to be the market leader in the semi-automatic shotgun field. Which they achieved as the 1100 is the best-selling semi-auto shotgun in the world.
It is basically the best sport or hunting shotgun you could buy form beginner to master in my opinion.
Sometimes you look at a gun and think about how good it was, and how popular it was with people in the know… and you wonder how it could possibly be discontinued.
This is the case with the 3200 in the clay pigeon world.
A over/under shotgun which seemed to level up any clay shooter, and I still know clay shooters to this day which will hunt for used 3200’s rather than buying a modern sports shotgun.
I am a big fan of Remington and own all these models.
The most famous shotgun ever, and probably one of the most famous guns period.
Coming in at around the $900 dollar mark it is affordable for most people, but it is also used at the elite level for competition, hunting, and tactical purposes. Versality and performance with excellent value for money, is a thing of beauty.
As the years roll on more and more shotguns come out with their unique selling points, and “game changing” advances in technology.
Yet if you compared your brand-new Remington 870 Wingmaster, then it would still be almost identical to your great-grandfather’s 870 Wingmaster.
Remington believe in its design, and its quality… so they don’t mess with it.
However, don’t be fooled that this perceived lack of innovation has meant other shotguns have surpassed it. Nope, it is still one of the best preforming shotguns you can buy.
In my humble opinion the 870 Wingmaster is by far and away the best pump action shotgun on the market, it is reliable, smooth, and it looks incredible.
Another shotgun by Remmington that has barely changed. Yes, it makes sense to make improvements on the materials used but if the design doesn’t need changing then don’t just change it for the sake of it!
This is a shotgun for sport, so don’t buy it as an allrounder, as you can only buy chokes suitable for sporting activities like light modified, modified, improved cylinder, and skeet.
When you swing the Remmington 1100 Sporting 12 at a moving clay, it is like the shotgun is an extension of your arm. The swing is so natural, well balanced, and smooth.
Some people think that the lighter the shotgun is the easier it will be able to manoeuvre but that isn’t always the case.
It is all about where the gun is balanced, and this gun is balanced perfectly. Plus, I like a little extra weight personally.
The Remmington 1100 Sporting 12 is on the expensive side at around $1700 but it could be the only sporting shotgun you will ever need.
In fact, it is so well made and reliable, that it will probably out live you! If you like semi-auto shotguns, then you will love this one.
Duck hunting is big business, and it is no surprise that Remmington has a shotgun specifically designed for Waterfowl. It is in fact the second biggest hunting market after deer.
Any duck hunter will know the perils of cold hands, so any waterfowl shotgun needs to be operated safely and effectively with heavy gloves and the Remington Versa Max Waterfowl Pro achieves this effortlessly.
Sitting around in cold late-season hunts can hurt your motor and mental skills, so you need a gun that can be operated and accurately shot in those physical and mental conditions.
These cold and possibly harsh conditions can wear you down, but they can wear a gun down too. They use nikel and Teflon coating throughout the gun to ensure that rusting never becomes a problem.
The Remmington Versa Max Waterfowl Pro is a semi-automatic shotgun, that will help you bring home your bounty in the toughest of hunts.
At around the $1700 mark you certainly pay for the privilege, but you get an expertly made and robust gun which will last decades. So, I think $1700 actually provides great value for money.
The M887 is like the tank of the shotgun world, it is near indestructible. If I was trapped in a post-apocalyptic world, then this is the gun I would want in my survival bag.
I would be able to defend my home or shelter effortlessly, and if there is a pond nearby then those ducks are toast.
It is rubber coated which gives it a modern tactical military look, but it isn’t just for show, it means there is no exposed metal whatsoever. So, it will never rust.
This means you can be a little rougher with it, and leave it exposed to some pretty harsh conditions without fear of it failing you.
Some people prefer the classics like the 870, and some people think the classics are boring and old fashioned. So, they want all the mod cons.
The 887 uses Remington’s knowledge of what works from the 870 but repackages it for the newer generation. However, there is nothing the Remmington Model 887 Nitro Mag can do that the 870 can’t.
The M887 is a pump action 12-gauge shotgun of the highest quality, and just what you would expect from a Remmington gun.
Remmington are truly the masters of producing excellent affordable shotguns, marketed precisely to the types of people who want them. It is a pretty simple business model really. At around $700 it is an absolute steal.
If you are new to hunting and you like having large birds in your sights, but you aren’t sure on what gun to buy. I would probably start you off with a second-hand Remington Model SP-10.
I bought a used one, and it was in good condition then and it is in good condition now without much time spend on maintenance. The guns are reliable in the field, and really easy to clean at home.
With the right pellets I have no problem going for a shot upwards of 75 yards, and the SP-10 is one of the most accurate shotguns I have used and tested in that interesting 50 – 75-yard range that distinguishes good wildfowl hunters from average ones.
Despite its range, which means it needs to have a bit of weight to it, it never feels overly heavy, and it has a lovely balance to it, and the recoil is very light considering.
I have used this gun in some pretty miserable conditions, and it handles just as well in snow and rain as it does in glorious sunshine.
The model SP-10 is a great starter gun for wildfowl, and it is pretty useful for turkey hunting, but you will probably need a comfortable sling for it.
Rightly or wrongly Remington will forever be inextricably linked with American history and culture.
Whether it is for producing the best shotgun in existence today – the 870 Wingmaster, or unfortunately for having one of your products used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting… what cannot be denied is Remmington is a part of American lore.
What I do know personally is that Remington make an extensive range of shotguns that are hard to beat in any field they are designed for.
I would have no hesitation recommending a Remmington shotgun to an absolute beginner duck hunter, to an elite level competitor.
Not everything in the Remington range is a glorified hit and there are some of their products I am not that fussed about, and there have been murmurings that their quality has declined a little over the years.
However, I have not found this too be the case and it is probably more to do with the facts that old companies like these naturally come in and out of fashion.
Alive After the Fall is one of the most controversial, yet interesting products that we have come across online!
Written by Alexander Cain, it claims to provide some of the best survival solutions in the event of natural disasters or pandemics, as well as a complete explanation of how the current Covid 19 Pandemic and other EMP strikes were predicted in the Bible and other Holy scriptures, long ago.
After coming across these bold claims, we were immediately drawn in and wanted to give our readers our usual, brutally honest review of this product.
Alive After the Fall is a digital ebook that contains every survival skill and trick that you will need in order to withstand any pandemic or disaster.
These skills cover an enormous spectrum, from medical advice and prepping, all the way through to proper sanitation and creating your own energy.
As we have seen this year with the devastating effects of Covid -19, this advice comes at a much needed time in our lives, and should be used by any family in order to protect themselves during this disaster… and the next.
The book also contains a great deal of information that politicians and religious leaders may have been hiding from you.
For many, this is uncomfortable to hear, but arming yourself with this hidden knowledge could be essential to your survival in the coming years.
Alexander Cain literally REVEALS ALL in this book and its contents may shock you.
Alexander Cain is exactly the kind of guy we like, here at TheSurvivalSpirit.com. He’s a passionate survivalist and Professor of Theology at one of the largest universities in Arkansas! Pretty impressive, huh?
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After your purchase of Alive After The Fall, through its easy transaction gateway, you’ll be thoroughly looked after with excellent customer service.
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Alive After the Fall is a true step, by step “ALL IN” Survival Guide that really overdelivers on its initial promises.
We were very impressed with not only the quality of the information, but how it was presented in such an easy to understand format that would be suitable for readers of all levels.
Heck, even a teenager could read this book and be comfortable implementing its strategies with no issue at all.
Great question! Here are the main benefits of Alive After The Fall that we were able to draw for you after reading it cover to cover several times.
In order for us to fully illustrate this to you, imagine this scenario occurs tomorrow… which there is every chance it could..!
It’s just a regular, everyday evening. You’ve had a long day at work, the TV is on, you’re resting – just like you deserve to.
With literally no warning, everything goes DARK. The utilities aren’t working – there’s no light, no power. There’s not even running water in any area of the house.
You look down at your phone in panic, but that isn’t working either.
Silence all around you.
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Because you knew this was coming. Over the coming hours in your neighbourhood and state, there will be mass panic, but because you prepared, you remain calm and unphased because:
As you can see – Alexander Cain’s book is simply REMARKABLE. Of course, nothing is perfect!
Although this ebook and survival course is superb in its delivery, the main drawback of Alive After The Fall lies in the fact it is only available in digital format.
Some of you reading this, will obviously prefer a physical book handy. However, you can easily solve this issue by printing it out.
In fact, we’d actually recommend you to do this immediately, as this will give you access to a second source of materials should something happen to your electronic device in the event of a crisis.
As an event further method of precaution, why not print this guide out several times and leave it in various areas of your home?
Alexander Cain really overdelivers in his Alive After The Fall program, as is. The amazing news for his customers is that he also provides a number of FREE bonuses in addition to the program!
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Alive After the Fall is actually very good value, considering the amount of survivalist and even secretive information that is disclosed.
It costs just $37 which makes it one of the cheapest survival themed products that we have ever reviewed. Normally information of this kind is priced much higher.
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The Alive After The Fall program is an absolute MUST HAVE for any serious survivalist, prepper or off grid enthusiast.
To be honest, everyone, not matter what their particular world views are should buy this book, but only those smart enough to think about the survival of their family during these uncertain times will take action and do this.
If you have even just a passing interest in crossbows, you will have likely heard of Ravin. They are a premier brand, that demands respect from even the most experienced crossbow hunters.
Yes, Ravin Crossbows are relatively expensive, but they are only truly expensive if they do not provide value for money.
If they are out of your price range then that is fine as there are many good cheaper options available, however if you can stretch your budget to a Ravin Crossbow… should you?
Let’s have a look at their crossbow range.
Definitely an “allrounder”. It is simple enough for a beginner to pick out of the box and shoot, but full of enough technology and impressive specs that a more experienced shooter will be happy too.
The Ravin R10 crossbow is light weight, so is perfect for running-and-gunning, but is also accurate and powerful enough to sit in a blind or stand and take longer shots.
As long as you read the manual first, I believe anyone from 10-year-olds to the elderly could walk around and shoot this crossbow with absolute ease.
It is so light, compact, and slim that when I saw it in the box, I was a little concerned that it looked a bit like a toy and it would be TOO LIGHT to be effective.
Boy, was I wrong… it might look like a toy, but it can hang with the best crossbows on the market for sure.
The cocking is a breeze, it quickly becomes second nature, and you can walk around and cock in seconds so you can always be ready to take multiple shots. The cocking system has never failed me, and I have full trust in it.
However, does it shoot straight? Budget crossbow can compete with the more expensive ones maybe up to 30 or 40 yards, but the true test of a crossbow is in the 40-to-100-yard range.
Oh boy this crossbow is accurate! I can keep 1-inch groups at 80 yards, and 3-inch groups at 100 yards. How much more accurate do you need!
The Ravin R18 crossbow is the new kid on the block and is available from Spring 2021.
Without the detachable stock it is a mere 18 inches and has a miniscule axle-to-axle height of 1.3 inches when cocked. Yet with its diminutive size it still packs a punch at 330 FPS, so it is a perfect compact takedown style crossbow.
In the era of mobile phones where incremental improvements in the battery life is sometimes enough to class it as a new model, now and again there is a huge leap in technology that can lead to the potential of the folding screens for example.
The R18 isn’t just a lighter version of an already light model, this is one of those giant leap moments.
It is likely going to redefine what COMPACT means. This is a folding screen moment, as it could also redefine how all crossbows are going to be designed moving forward.
What do I mean? Well, the limbs of the crossbow expand vertically and not horizontally. It must be seen to be believed; it is a marvel of engineering. The cables and string wrap around rotating cams that achieve 720 degrees.
It is a thing of beauty. With an axle-to-axle height of a mere 1.3 inches you can run around a forest with it all day long, but what is amazing is that when it is uncocked it is still only 4.1 inches from axle-to-axle which is mind-blowing.
It is difficult for rifle hunters to move away from their guns and swap to crossbows because of their perceived lack of accuracy. However, this might be the crossbow to convince them to try the crossbow life.
With a bit of time spent practising, you will easily be able to hit 3-inch groups at the 100-yard mark with the Ravin R20.
In fact, if you see someone in the shooting position holding a R20 then you could be mistaken that it is actually a rifle, as it kind of looks like a gun!
I am a 6-foot medium built male, and I must admit I think some of the compact lightweight crossbows feel a little flimsy in my hands even when in practise they are not.
However, personally I do like a crossbow that is a bit bigger and heavier and the R20 is a perfect size and weight for me. It just feels right in my hands, I can’t describe it any better than that really.
The R20 blows any other manufactures out of the water at distances around the 100-yard mark, but it also gives you more confidence at shorter ranges.
I would never take a shot at a deer at more than 40 yards because it is unfair on the deer because the risk of injuring and not killing is too high.
However, if the world burned and there were no more supermarkets to buy food from and I had to hunt to live… I would feel very confident taking a shot at a deer with this crossbow at double that 40 yards.
Like I say, unless I am in an actual survival situation, I am not going to put that to the test.
Probably the most tactical friendly crossbow from Ravin, as it has a tremendous ergonomic grip, and it is super lightweight and compact. This means you can move around with it all day long, in all sorts of terrain with minimal fatigue.
Yet the Ravin R26 can boast power that can rival much bigger and heavier crossbows.
The Ravin R26 crossbow is well respected by the consumers and the industry, and it won the OUTDOOR LIFE EDITORS CHOICE AWARD in 2019 which is not to be sniffed at.
It you are wanting to go full tactical stealth mode; I would recommend you buy the vibration dampeners to reduce the pop of the shot.
The noise will likely alert the prey, but it will be too late because the crossbow is so powerful and fast. It just means you will only get one shot, however that is the case most of the time anyway.
If you are a tall man then I would go for the R10 as it is basically the same crossbow as the R26 but bigger (although still very small), the R26 is likely to be more popular now because it is the newer version, and with a lot of newer versions it is all about being smaller and lighter.
Yet, it gets to a point where things might get so small, they become fiddly.
The R26 was right on that line for me, if you already have the R10 and you are 6 foot or over or have large hands, then I would not “upgrade” to the R26 as you already have an excellent crossbow that is likely to be a better size for you.
If you are under 6 foot and do not have any Ravin crossbows, then the R26 is a great place to start.
Another crossbow from Ravin that is effortlessly sleek but performs at a really high level when out hunting in the field and will make fellow range shooters jealous.
The Ravin R29 is only 6 inches axle-to-axle, it lightweight, but can achieve 430 FPS which is very impressive.
The R26 is effectively a miniature version of the R10, and the R29 is basically a miniature version of the R20.
So, it will depend on your shape and size as well as where you intend to use it to, to decide which of the R20 and R29 is best for you.
However accurately you can shoot will be the same on both, so it comes down to how big and heavy you want your crossbow. I prefer the slightly larger ones, but to be fair the R29 is still a breeze to cock.
Some crossbows require a bit of force and strength to cock, but not with this crossbow.
You just press the button on the stock with your thumb, this activates the trigger firing system, then you crank the bow string with the handle, and you are good to go. Very little manual effort is needed.
I would recommend this to anyone who knew they liked using crossbows and intended to use them for many years but hadn’t actually bought one yet.
The reason the R29 is suitable for someone like that, is because they are really easy for beginners to get good accurate shots quickly but contain enough performance and technology to keep more experienced crossbowers interested.
So, you can grow with the same crossbow for many years.
For an extra $300 you can get a levelled-up version of the R29, the Ravin R29X. The 29X gives you the same weight and dimensions, but with an extra 20 FPS and 30# extra draw weight.
Another new crossbow available from Spring 2021 like the R18, but unlike the R18 the R500 is an absolute beast of a crossbow.
With cams that rotate 360 degrees, 500 FPS, and silent cocking… it is the perfect crossbow for long distance hunting.
It is called the R500 because it can achieve 500 FPS with 400-grain arrows and that is a big deal, trust me, so they want to show that off. I just can’t see how any competitors can compete with this.
So Ravin could have sown up the compact market with the R18 and now they could have sown up the big and badass market too with the R500. Ravin are on fire!
It is only for people seriously into crossbow shooting and hunting, it is needlessly powerful for general hobbyists.
Plus I doubt a semi-serious hobbyist would be prepared to pay over $3000 for a crossbow unless they had money to burn.
For an extra $300 you can get the 500E, which includes their Electric Drive System. The EDS is attached to the back of the stock and allows you to press a button, which will cock and un-cock the crossbow.
The Sniper packages are basically bundles, where you can get some premium accessories. As with all bundles these are only worth it if you wanted the items in the bundles.
If you are going to buy what are in the sniper packages anyway then you are better off buying them in the bundle as you would save money compared to if you bought them separately.
In the sniper packages you will get the silent cocking system, premium scopes, and premium arrows.
You can get the sniper packages with the following crossbows:
All prices in the reviews were correct at the time of writing.
Ravin are a premium brand but they do produce premium products, that are at the forefront of crossbow technology.
They look impressive on paper, but they also perform on the range and in the field. They are excellently made, designed, and will last you many years before other brands catch up on the technology you are packing in your Ravin.
We are lucky to be in a world nowadays where there are almost unlimited choices for everything. So, if you have the budget to buy a Ravin, should you?
Yes, I think you should.
Congratulations you have killed your first deer, and now you have a lot of delicious lean meat for you to tuck into. However, your job is not done so don’t crack open a beer just yet.
Depending on where and when you are hunting, there will be different rules on if and when you need to tag and report your kill.
You should have checked all these rules out before you set off on the hunt, so you should be familiar with them already.
Whatever you are meant to do, DO IT and do it when you should. The rules are for your own benefit and the benefit of others, plus you don’t want to be fined or banned.
In my opinion the answer is no. If you are only an hour or two away from being able to process it yourself or give it to a processor/butcher and you have mild weather conditions, then not field dressing the deer is an option.
The advantages of this are that you have not opened the animal, so there is less chance of something going wrong, or flies getting a chance to lay eggs, and just general damage/issues that can be caused by dirt, debris, and nature.
Field dressing involves removing the internal organs from the animal.
The internal organs and especially the digestive track holds a lot of heat, you want to remove these sources of heat so that you can keep the temperature of the meat as low as possible while you transport the meat away from the hunt area.
Field dressing helps slow the growth of bacteria and decreases the chances of the meat being spoiled.
This gives you longer to get the animal away from the kill site, back you your truck, and back to where the animal will be processed, as it is likely you will be in a pretty remote area.
Here are your 10 easy steps in field dressing your deer:
Preparation is key so that you can follow the process in order, and in a timely manner. So, before you start make sure you have everything ready. Lay out the equipment you are going to be using like your hunting knife and gut-hook.
Take off anything you might lose or that might cause damage to the meat or increase the chances of injury, things like watches and jewellery.
Some people like to wear latex gloves, which is handy if there is no or limited water source to wash your hands after.
It is not just about equipment though; you need to prepare mentally. If this is your first time, it can be a very daunting thing to do, and I have seen people struggle making that first incision.
So, just relax and calm your mind. Hunting isn’t just the kill it is everything involved, and field dressing is part of that, by field dressing the animal you are paying respect to it as you will be able to eat the meat.
There is no greater waste of life than taking the kill, but then not following the aftercare resulting in the meat going bad.
The entry point and its resulting wound is where the decomposition could be the worst and quickest, so it needs dealing with. If you used a rifle, then see if you can locate the bullet and remove it.
If you have used a bow and arrow, then find the broadhead and remove it. If you cannot find them, then take care in the following steps and keep a look out for them.
The broadheads are especially important to be careful of as they could cause you an injury which could be dangerous for you and delay the field processing time.
Now you need to start the field dressing. First you need to cut a ring around the anus, this is known as a coring ring. You puncture the skin, and go about 2 inches deep, then do this all around the anus until the coring ring is completed.
Your aim here is to release the colon, but do not puncture it. A puncture could spoil the meat and spread disease. Which is the opposite of what you want to do when field dressing a deer.
Once you have released the colon, you now want to position the deer properly before proceeding. Lay it in a position where the belly is facing upwards, and you are on a gentle slope so that the head is higher than the rump.
Then you want to have the hind legs spread, so you have room to work. This is easier if you have a buddy or buddies with you, who can hold the deer in position.
If you are on your own then use things like rocks, tree, branches, rope, and cord to help you keep the deer in the required position.
It is now time for the first main cut. You start just below the testicles of the buck (if it is a male, this is the time you cut out the genitalia) or the milk sac of the doe.
You are basically looking for the bottom of the V shape that is visible between the back legs of the deer.
With one hand you should grab the skin, then just make a one-inch incision, which is deep enough to get past the skin, but not deep enough to damage the entrails and the meat.
With your knife inside the deer, position it so the blade is facing upward towards the neck, you are going to take the knife or gut hook if you have one, and cut all the way up the middle of the animal.
This should be done in one slow, steady, but firm motion. Firstly, you will free the belly from the pelvis bone, then it is a case of tracing along the middle of the ribcage.
You stop at the neck; you do not want to cut into the neck at all as there is some tasty meat up there and it could make it harder for you carrying the deer out of the kill zone.
You have now exposed the inner workings of the animal, and it is time to start working on the innards. Firstly, there is a membrane that is keeping everything together and inside.
It is called the diaphragm and keeps the abs separate from the chest. It can be fiddly, but all of the visible membrane must be cut away and removed, so you have access to the entrails.
You have already freed the bottom of the colon with the coring ring, but the entrails are still attached to the animal via the windpipe. So, you must release the entrails from the windpipe.
Just above the lungs you should be able to see the windpipe, you should be able to grab it and pull it towards you, this will make it easier to cut through. At this point you can remove the liver and heart.
I believe in nose to tail eating, so I do eat the organs. I bag these up in a plastic or cloth bag, so that they do not get dirty and contaminated.
Once you have removed any of the organs you want to eat, you can now basically just pull all the entrails out.
They should all be free and come out together, you can just keep making nicks with your knife to free anything that is still attached to the carcass of the animal.
Generally, you can leave the entrails on the floor where you have field dressed the animal. This will provide food for other animals.
However, in some circumstances the state or landowners may have different rules. You should know these before you go out on your hunt.
I like to keep the cavity open to allow air flow, I do this by wedging it open with a stick. You should then turn the deer over, to allow the blood to drain out of the cavity.
If you have never field dressed before, then don’t worry if you do the field dressing correctly there will be a lot less blood than you think.
You should take care not to get sticks, plants, and dirt in the cavity, but these things can happen. Make sure it is thoroughly cleaned when you get it back to the processing area.
Do not clean it in the hunt area in streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes. This might actually increase the chance of contamination.
A hunting knife for field dressing needs to be sharp, ergonomically designed, robust, and can handle extremes in weather.
There are many options for you to try.
The set up I am currently using is the:
The smaller knife is ideal for smaller cuts, like when you are doing the coring ring and removing the diaphragm. The bigger knife is great for the bigger cuts and has a gut-hook to really speed up your field dressing workflow.
The rubber grips are excellent in all types of weather, especially the rain and I find that the handle fits comfortably in my hands.
They are also lightweight and barely make a difference to your pack weight. They would be an excellent addition to a bug out bag, or a longer-term survival bag.
I prefer to sharpen my blades regularly, however if that is not something you keep on top of then you will love the sheath that comes with the blades. They have an in-built sharper, so you can sharpen your blades easily on the go.
Once the deer is dressed you will likely need to get it to a vehicle, to transport it home or to a processor.
There are some fancy ways of doing this, like Native American techniques where you basically cut the animal in a certain way that enables you to carry it like a backpack.
Some people who want to show off may carry it across their shoulders. However, the method I prefer is a method that has been around since day one… just drag the damn thing! Sometimes the best way is the simplest way.
I tend to tie some cord around the neck or antlers, then wrap the cord around a stick, long enough to not keep whacking the back of my heels with it, but not too long that it becomes hard to steer.
I face forward, have my hands behind my back with the stick in my two hands, then I just start walking.
Every hunt and location is going to favour different methods, just try to make simple and sensible choices.
If your car is 3 miles away, but you can get it to a half mile away, then it will be easier to walk to the car without the deer, drive it closer, then drag it a shorter distance.
You might be nervous about leaving the deer but bring your car closer is often a better idea than dragging a carcass for longer than you need too.
As with most things in life, practise makes perfect. You might make a complete hash of it the first time, but every time you do it your technique will improve and eventually it will become second nature to you.
Ideally when you are in the early stages of your hunting life, you will have an experienced hunter and mentor alongside you. They can show you how to do it and advise you when you attempt field dressing yourself.
I have lost count of the number of deer I have field dressed, and I am looking forward to the time I can pass my knowledge onto my children.
It is no more or no less ethical to hunt and kill and animal with a bow and arrow at 30 yards or killing an animal with a precision rifle at 1000 yards.
Hunting is about skill levels, experience, and respect for the animal.
Hunting is not about ego. There is nothing more dangerous than a hunter that cannot truly reflect on their skill level, the conditions, and the animal they are attempting to shoot.
Whatever distance you are away, and whatever equipment you are using if you are not confident in hitting the kill zone of the animal THEN it is unethical to take the shot in my opinion.
There is nothing worse than injuring the animal, where it can walk away in pain, and take days to die.
There is no way around it, to be involved in long range hunting, you will need to have spent many hours practicing at the shooting range.
Generally speaking, the following yardage applies:
There is no one way to learn long range hunting but I think most people should get started by using one or all of the 3 methods below:
Do as much research as you can. Read books, read articles like this, watch YouTube videos, basically absorb as much information as you can.
Then consider if it is something you truly want to do, do you have time to learn the required skills, and do you honestly think you will have the natural talent for it.
I love reading in general, and I love reading about hunting. However, in my opinion having a trusted mentor is invaluable.
All the basics I know today were passed on by my father, I then developed my skills through my own experiences, then I hope to pass this knowledge onto my children.
I think having a mentor with you on the range and in a hunt is an excellent way to learn long range shooting, having that guide is reassuring and practical.
There are a lot of training schools and classes you can take. Where you are taught by a professional instructor on the skills needed to shoot long range.
This is an excellent option, especially if you cannot find a mentor. You will be taught what to do and given time to practice the skills.
The great part is that they will often supply the equipment, so you can see if long range shooting is something that you will enjoy before you invest in all the equipment you will need.
I’ll be honest you might never be 100% sure if long range hunting is for you, but you should be 99.99% sure and you should have covered the 3 areas below:
You should have already taken part in short-term successful hunts. You should know how to track and lure the animals you are hunting. Then you should have taken the shot and successfully killed multiple animals.
Killing shouldn’t be an easy thing to do, you are taking a life after all, but it is something you should get comfortable with and be comfortable with the reasons as to why you are doing it.
Some people will never be able to be comfortable taking that kill shot, so it is best to know that early on before you spend hundreds of hours on the range perfecting your long-range shooting skills.
That is not to say you should never shoot at long range if you cannot take an animal’s life, you could become a competitive range shooter instead.
Practice makes perfect right? Yes, it does. Be prepared to ring a lot of steel on the shooting range.
I have been long-range shooting for decades, and to this day before I go out on a long-range hunt, I will still spend a few hours on my private shooting range.
My rule of thumb is that you should be able to hit a target on the range 100% of the time, at least 200 yards further than the distance you are hunting at.
So, if you are expecting to hunt in the 500-to-1000-yard range, then you should be ringing steel every time at a distance of 1200 yards.
You owe it to the animal to do that.
It is one thing carrying a turkey back to your truck which is a quarter of a mile away, it is another thing entirely if you have made a long-range kill.
If you are taking a shot at 1000 yards, then it is very likely you are in a much greater open expanse than that. You will also be shooting at much larger animals.
This means you will have to get used to field dressing the animal, before potentially moving it great distances to your truck or shelter.
You might even have to butcher it and make multiple trips if it is a large elk or moose for example.
There are a few things you will need to incorporate and consider, long range shooting isn’t just about picking a gun out of a box and shooting:
I believe you should be looking to shoot at sub-MOA at any distance on the range, and that distance should be at least 200 yards further than you expect to be hunting at.
The minute of angle quantifies the accuracy of the rifle and/or the shooter. One minute of angle at 100 yards means you must shoot within an inch diameter at the range.
Everything is exaggerated when shooting at distance. The bullet drop, the wind, the rain, the airflow, your platform, your aim, your sight alignment, your sight picture, your trigger control… they all need to be accounted and calculated for.
As I have said everything is magnified at distance, if you have a little shake it is no big deal if you are shooting at 50 yards, the same shake at 1000 yards could be the difference of hitting an animal’s head and hitting its leg.
So, you need a bullet that is designed and shaped for the purpose of long-range hunting.
It needs to be aerodynamic, so that it can maintain its velocity over a long distance, but it also needs to be robust enough that it doesn’t become overly sensitive to wind.
This is known as low drag.
The box you buy the ammo in will state the BC, so you can use this figure when making your calculations on the bullet drop.
Sorry flat earthers but when you are shooting at distance you have to factor in things like gravity, curvature of the earth, wind direction, and elevation.
By calculating the bullet drop, you can adjust your scope up to compensate. Meaning you can aim the scope dead centre of the kill spot, and the bullet will hit where you aimed.
I have a load of respect for the old-fashioned hunters who would eyeball this, but there are a lot of ways you can accurately calculate this nowadays.
Like I have stated you need a good consistent BC.
You can experiment to see what you prefer, and you can even use different ones for practising, hunting, and competition.
I am a bit old school when it comes to my caliber. I do not compete, so I only shoot on the range and on a hunt. I always use the same caliber for the range as I will on the hunt, I do not want any surprises or doubts in my mind.
I have used the .300 Winchester Magnum since I was in diapers, well that’s an exaggeration but you catch my drift. There might be calibers that as marginally more accurate, and it is something shooters will endlessly debate.
What I do know is I can trust each and every .300 Wing Mag to preform exactly like the one before, they are very consistent, and I have had untold success with them.
They are also within my budget for the amount of shooting I do, and they are basically available anywhere.
You need to consider quality, cost, and availability to decide on which caliber is best for you.
You can shoot long range with a “normal” rifle, but you are stretching its capabilities. At the beginning of the article, I mentioned how important it is to respect the animal.
So, in my opinion you owe it to yourself and the animal you have lined up to use a precision rifle that is designed to be used for long distance shooting.
It is all about marginal gains, everything you do and own should increase your chances of hitting the animal where you intend to hit it.
Precision rifles tend to be heavier, built with better materials, have more advanced parts, available with longer calibers, and have better recoil.
They are usually highly customisable as they are generally used by more experienced shooters who know what they want and also have their own optics etc that they want to attach.
If you have a limited budget as a lot of us do, you are better spending the biggest chunk of it on your scopes rather than you rifle.
Yes, customised rifles are the gold standard, but you can get very good out of the box factory rifles that will get you within a minute of angle.
However, good optics are essential, and it is usually the case of the more expensive they are the better they are.
You need the best possible glass, and the best magnification you can afford. You need to be able to dial in, track, and compensate your scope for bullet drop and conditions to hit the animal where you intend.
It is a case of marginal gains again, and generally speaking the further away the target is, the better the optics you will need.
The only limit I place on myself regarding help from equipment is the amount I can carry. If something increases the chances of me hitting an animal by even 0.01% and I can carry it, then I will likely buy it.
There are obviously things that are more important than others, like hunting binoculars are a must, but there are a whole range of tools out there that you can use like spotting scopes, windmeters, elevation devices, and range finders etc.
Some are more important than others, but don’t limit yourself out of ego or that you are worried what your hunting friends might think.
There are so many products on the market nowadays that you can pretty much get a decent set up for any budget.
The biggest investment you should make is TIME in my opinion. No matter how much you spend, you will not get the results you want unless you have spent time on the range.
Apart from that I think you could get a very efficient long-range hunting set up for under $3000 all in, for targets upwards of 1000 yards.
Then it is the case of the more you spend the better, up until a point. Just be careful not to spend on brand names that are no better than budget brands.
Consider the specifications and materials they are made from, rather than the logo. However, it is also true to say that brands have built brand loyalty because they make good products.
As a human being you should never be afraid to test yourself or place unnecessary limits on yourself, don’t just stick to short range shooting because you “don’t think” you would be able to do long-range shooting.
If you have an interest in long-range hunting, then work towards that goal but just do it sensibly and ethically.