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Tactical Hunting: Sir, Yes, Sir!

Much to the dismay of piers morgan, diane Feinstein and willie nelson

(names intentionally not capitalized out of respect… or lack thereof)

By Kevin Reese

BR10-smMy pop once told me I might fit into my dress blues if I used bungee cords; the truth hurts. Looking at me it’s hard to believe I spent eight years in the Marines. In all honestly, I’m not that bad off… I’m just not that well off; I could stand a few months of nonstop treadmill work. Beyond reminiscing about my life as a Marine and wishing I still looked the part, I miss many aspects of active duty life – chief among them being camaraderie and my trusty M-16 A2 Service Rifle.

I wasn’t a huge promoter of 62-grain 5.56 Ball NATO ammunition but it seemed to be sufficient. I qualified every year as a rifle expert and later in my second enlistment as a pistol sharpshooter, qualifying with an original Colt 1911 that had been in Marine Corps service for over 75 years and was still a sweet shooter.

Kevin 3d SRIG-editedAssimilating to civilian life, including civilian shooting was a tall order. On the firing line, I had difficulty adjusting to traditional hunting rifles. I began looking at AR-15 rifles to regain that comfort level I had with my M-16 A2. As an avid hunter on an extremely tight budget, I recall how badly I wanted to purchase one of the Colt AR-15’s I drooled over as I passed by them in the PX. It looked exactly like my M-16 but was semi-automatic; it even had the bayonet stud. Perhaps I arrived at my justification before my time but I thought, back in the late 80’s, the AR-15 would make a great hunting rifle. Certainly, when I was honorably discharged in 1996 and searching for that comfort level I had achieved with my M-16 A2, the AR-15 was my only reasonable option.

chriskevinSeveral years ago, good friend and fellow Marine Corps veteran, Chris Reed, History Channel’s Top Shot season 2 winner, talked about his desire to do more tactical-styled hunting. We talked about tactical hunting often and he eventually restored my fervor for AR platform rifles, something I hadn’t experienced in years. I had been too immersed in bowhunting to stop and realize my passion for modern sporting rifles had slowed to a low-crawl. in the end, I can thank Chris for drawing that passion back to the surface once again, this time for the long haul.

Long range Bolt Action by Kevin ReeseWhile I still bowhunt religiously, I have expanded once again to rifle shooting. My CZ-USA Model 3 .300 WSM is back in the game and more importantly, so is my Smith & Wesson (S&W) MP15T Tactical 5.56. For long range shooting, my Alpen Apex 6-24x50mm scope is the only way to go and I’ve dialed my S&W MP15T Tactical in at 600 yards; however, here in Texas most shots are much closer and my routine hog hunting is predominantly at night.

That said, my AimPoint H34S Hunter is the perfect lowlight/night optic for hunting and shooting within 300 yards and now rests atop my AR-15. The Alpen Apex scope, trusted for long distances precision accuracy, reclaimed its 600+ yard throne to reign over my CZ-USA . Both are topped with HHA Optimizer Horizon mounts. The Horizon allows me to calibrate for bullet drop out to 600 yards and is incredibly accurate. Once the Horizon is calibrated I simply dial in the range within 5 yards, up to 600 yards out, and put the crosshairs on target; there is no need for hold-over or mil-dots. I’ve also outfitted my S&W MP15T with a Crimson Trace Rail Master CMR-201 Laser smithwessonmp15t-2and Hawglite Helios H250. The Helios H250 is a rail-mounted lighting system with a remote switch that delivers a blinding red, green or white led light with a remote switch I’ve attached to the handguard. I also ordered a Harris bipod from Brownell’s to round out my tactical hunting rifle and have since set out on a series of new adventures that send memories of days gone by flooding back into my brain-housing-group.

Like many of our Sportsman Elite loyalist, I cut my teeth shooting every can I could as a kid and honed my skills with military training that has carried over well into my hunting success. More importantly, it broadened my perspective on modern sporting rifles like the AR-15 and the diverse ways we can employ them for self-defense as well as recreational shooting and hunting.

smithwessonmp15tI’ve heard arguments on both sides of the fence, from Piers Morgan backers like Willie Nelson who believes semi-automatic AR-15’s should only be used by military and police (I’ve since thrown all my Willie albums in the trash – sorry I just can’t stomach his position on gun ontrol!), to the well-thought-out ideology of our Lone Star State Senator, Ted Cruz, who educated a nearly catatonic diane feinstein on the differences between a semi-automatic rifle that happens to be black and a bolt action rifle… rather the lack of differences between them!

BHbipod5My pop also once told me “You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything” – well, he told me many things and I tried to remember the important ones. This is an issue I do take a stand on. I choose to roll my eyes and the irresponsible of ramblings of people like Morgan, Nelson and feinstein (I never dreamed that I would group Willie with California’s waste of a senate seat – Willie’s always been wasted anyway) while I stand with my brothers-and-sisters-in-arms who undoubtedly would love to venture into the hunting woods with an AR-platform rifle that, while offering only a single-shot firing option, does cater to those creature comforts we identify with through service to our beloved country. It’s also worth mentioning that a while back, California senator, Leland Yee, a staunch supporter of gun control even arguing for outright gun bans was arrested and indicted on serious gun-trafficking charges. What’s wrong with that picture?

Read more about Senator Yee here:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/03/26/california-state-senator-arrested-in-fbi-sweep/

So, what’s my message to my fellow Navarro County hunters and shooting enthusiasts on AR-15’s and other modern sporting rifles in the woods? Take ‘em if you got ‘em! I choose to unify our front rather than divide our ranks with ignorant rhetoric and feinstein fascism. I suppose my position came with the commitment to uphold our Second Amendment, along with every other word in the Constitution, unlike some other folks. Of course, I also happen to believe an AR-15 is perfect for more than personal defense, it’s also great for hog and predator hunting!

comeandtakeitThat “Come and take it” perspective was born from military training and the knowledge that “we the people” rule the roost. Equally as important, it came from my proactive approach to real freedom. Whether you choose to shoot a bow, bolt action rifle, AR-15, 1911, revolver, muzzleloader or even Crosman’s ridiculously cool Benjamin Rogue .357-Caliber Air Rifle, get out there and do it! While you’re out there, thank every past and present warrior in our nation’s illustrious history for preserving your right to do so!

Hunt hard, hunt often and hunt with a modern sporting rifle like the AR-15, or better yet, with an ol’ Remington 700 BDL .300 resurrected with a McRees Prescision BR10 Chassis if that’s what turns your rotors! Whatever you choose, just get out there, enjoy God’s creation and eat well.

BR10-3-edited

A standard Remington bolt action rifle fitted with a HUNT READY McRees Precision BR10 Chassis (www.McReesPrecision.net)

 

 


Rhino Permit to be Auctioned at DSC Convention

Media contact: Steve Wagner, Blue Heron Communications, 800-654-3766

Click here to visit the Dallas Safari Club online!DALLAS (Oct. 11, 2013) – —Through an historic collaboration between governments, one hunter will have a chance to hunt a black rhino, help manage and conserve the species, and import a rare trophy to the US in 2014.

The Dallas Safari Club (DSC) has been selected by the Government of the Republic of Namibia to auction a special hunting permit with all proceeds earmarked for rhino conservation in that country.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has promised full cooperation with a qualified buyer.

DSC will sell the permit during its annual convention and expo Jan. 9-12 in Dallas.

An unprecedented sale price is expected.

“This fundraiser is the first of its kind for an endangered species,” said DSC Executive Director Ben Carter, “and it’s going to generate a sum of money large enough to be enormously meaningful in Namibia’s fight to ensure the future of its black rhino populations.”

The Government of the Republic of Namibia approved the permit in accordance with CITES provisions to generate crucial funding for rhino conservation initiatives including anti-poaching efforts—while at the same time managing the black rhino population within Mangetti National Park, where the hunt will take place.

Science has shown that removing certain individual animals can help rhino populations grow.

Black rhinos commonly fight to the death. In fact, the species has the highest combat mortality rates of any mammal. Approximately 50 percent of males and 30 percent of females die from combat-related injuries. Extremely aggressive bulls are known to be population-limiting factors in some areas. Selectively harvesting these animals can lead to population increases and greater survival.

Rampant and indiscriminate poaching is threatening rhino populations across Africa. Rhino horn has high black-market value, especially in Southeast Asia, for ornamental uses and folk remedies, although medical research has disproved actual benefits.

The Conservation Trust Fund for Namibia’s Black Rhino will receive 100 percent of the hunting permit sale price. Both DSC and contracted auctioneer Ed Phillips of Houston offered to forego their customary sales commissions to support the special cause.

Louisiana conservation attorney John J. Jackson, III, helped facilitate the auction item and proceeds will be channeled through his Conservation Force, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity, for income tax deduction purposes.

The winning bidder may hire his or her qualified outfitter or guide to lead the hunt, which will be accompanied by Namibian wildlife officials.

About Dallas Safari Club (DSC)
Desert bighorns on an unbroken landscape, stalking Cape buffalo in heavy brush, students discovering conservation. DSC works to guarantee a future for all these and much more. An independent organization since 1982, DSC has become an international leader in conserving wildlife and wilderness lands, educating youth and the general public, and promoting and protecting the rights and interests of hunters worldwide. Get involved at www.biggame.org.


Crosman’s Benjamin Rogue .357 Air Rifle

Wild, Wooly and Ready for Hogs, Deer and More!

By Kevin Reese

Click here to visit Crosman online!

Is an air rifle enough to stop that next bruiser boar or buck of a lifetime? A quick trip back to the Lewis and Clark expedition would answer that question through proven results; in fact, their single Girandoni air rifle is considered by many to be the REAL gun that won the west. The .46-caliber Girandoni fired up to 40 shots on a single charge and the tube magazine held up to 22 rounds that could be emptied in less than 30 seconds.

Girandoni Air Rifle courtesy of the U.S. Army

August 30, 1803 – “Left Pittsburgh this day at 11 ock with a party of 11 hands 7 of which are soldiers, a pilot and three young men on trial they having proposed to go with me throughout the voyage. Arrived at Bruno’s Island 3 miles below halted a few minutes. Went on shore and being invited on by some of the gentlemen present to try my airgun which I had purchased brought it on shore charged it and fired myself seven times fifty-five yards with pretty good success.”

(Lewis and Clark Journals, Volume 1)

Lewis and Clark’s journals, comprised of 13 volumes and more than a million words, refer to the Girandoni air rifle 39 times. While they also had 22 muzzleloaders it was the Girandoni air rifle they turned to repeatedly to demonstrate superior fire power to Native Americans, a move more than anything to protect the contents of their keel vessel.

While the expedition only had one Girandoni, tribe leaders could and did assume the keel vessel was loaded down with them and the thought of 38 men firing 22 .46-caliber balls accurately in less than 30 seconds was quite intimidating.

The rifle was also used effectively for big game hunting and was the perfect answer for repeatable fire without compromising powder supplies needed for the 22 muzzleloaders. Merriweather Lewis’ use of the Girandoni rifle nearly single handedly assured safe passage and charting of the west for future expansion and certainly proved its worth in hunting.

Check out this informative video about the Girandoni’s Air Rifle’s rich history from NRA-History:

Today, people continue to depend on air rifles and other firearms to provide for their families’ sustenance, including big game. The good news, however, is that unlike the 1,500 pumping repetitions required to hand-fill the Girandoni, today’s charging systems aren’t nearly as arduous.

While smaller caliber air rifles may operate off of factory sealed disposable tanks or age-old hand-pumps, high-powered, big-game-oriented rifles like my personal favorite, Crosman’s Benjamin Rogue .357-caliber Precision Air Rifle, are easily charged up to 3,000-psi with a 3,000- to 3,500-psi scuba-style air tank.

The Benjamin Rogue also does not look anything like Lewis’ Girandoni. While both are considered PCP systems, the Rogue’s patent-pending ePCP™ technologyePCP™ technologyePCP™ technologyePCP™ technology means more versatility and increased power while the patent-pending eVALVE system makes for more efficient use of the air charge via precision, user-selected distribution options. Shooters not only have some great ammunition choices to make, including round-nosed, flat-nosed and Nosler’s eXTREME ballistic tip bullets, they can even use their own cast .357-caliber pellets.

Click here to visit Crosman online!The Rogue’s EPiC™ LED display and selection buttons allow configuration of key ballistic elements including medium-high foot-pounds of energy/velocity options and bullet weights of medium (up to 145 grains) and high (over 145 grains). The rifle even includes manual mode setting. In manual mode, the shooter can calibrate air pressure and valve-release delay to experiment with ballistics and achieve optimum performance from their favorite heart-stopping pellet!

Click here to visit Crosman online!While the Benjamin Rogue can make for a tough carrier over long distances, Crosman’s Center-Point 4-16x44mm riflescope does shave that walk down a tad and a picatinny rail system allows for added accessories to increase fit, form and function according to individual needs.

On the Benjamin Rogue air rifle I worked with, I used the picatinny rail to mount interchangeable sitting and kneeling bipods and a Hawglite Sabre high-intensity red LED tactical lighting system that gets me out to well over 100 yards; however, I try to keep larger animals like coyotes, deer and hogs within 75 yards.

Click here to visit Crosman online!

Nearly all states allow hunting with air guns in some form or another; check your state regulations for game specific applications, especially before chasing larger animals like deer, hogs, bear and other traditionally recognized big game animals normally taken with firearms or archery equipment. Here in Texas, the Benjamin Rogue .357 is tough enough to take down the biggest boars in the woods and often quiet enough to anchor more than one of those pesky, yet tasty eating bruisers! That means deer also are easy prey for the Rogue – pick your poison!

Imagine the buzz circulating your deer or hog hunting camp when you drop the hammer on your next success story with an air rifle! The Benjamin Rogue .357 Air Rifle is more than enough to get the job done for you and is by far my favorite air rifle offering to date. Check out these happy hunters!

Ed Schultz and Chip Hunnicut take a great hog with the Benjamin Rogue .357 Air Rifle - Photo courtesy of Ed Schultz

Chip Hunnicut take a great velvet buck with the Benjamin Rogue .357 Air Rifle - Photo courtesy of Chip Hunnicutt

ALMOST All the Right Stuff – What I wasn’t so excited about…

Part of field testing some amazing products is really isolating opportunities for improvement. While I feel Crosman really has something special in the Benjamin Rogue, again, it’s my current favorite, hands down, there are two areas of improvement worth mentioning.

First, loading the magazine with pellets and subsequently loading that magazine into the rifle’s action took quite a bit of practice. While loading the magazine with pellets I dropped my fair share (In Crosman’s defense the instruction manual warned me to cover the opposite opening with my finger).

Second, while there is a picatinny rail located at the bottom of the handguard more rails on the sides of the handguard would be a great addition. The lower rail could be used for a bipod while side rails could accommodate systems like the Hawglite Goblin or Crimson Trace CMR-201 Rail Master laser; product reviews for another day. With one rail accessories are either stacked or not added. This may be a great opportunity to offer an array of handguards.

Final Thoughts

Part of my fascination with air rifles is simply nostalgia. Time on an air rifle reminds me of time spent shooting with my dad… and even my mother; she’s a heck of a shot, too! With my son, that air rifle legacy continues. His aversion to loud noises, a product of sensory integration, means that shooting air rifles even offers some therapeutic benefits in that he gets to enjoy shooting while avoiding the report of larger firearms, bothersome to him even with hearing protection. At some point, conditioning should resolve his aversion but we choose to eat sensory integration as we would an elephant. Whether shooting a .17-caliber or my wild and wooly Benjamin Rogue .357, Jacob is ready to go.

Hunt hard, hunt often and consider taking the Crosman Benjamin Rogue .357 Air Rifle on your next hunting adventure!

Learn more about Lewis and Clark’s incredible expedition at www.archives.gov/education/lessons/lewis-clark 

Learn more about the Girandoni Air Rifle visit home.NRA.org/history and type Girandoni Air Rifle in the search field.

Visit www.Crosman.com, www.Brownells.com, www.Hawglite.com and www.CrimsonTrace.com to learn more about the Benjamin Rogue .357 and other great shooting and hunting accessories.

 


OpticsPlanet.com ~ How to Prep for a Big Game Hunt

Click here to visit OpticsPlanet.com!