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"Sometimes hunting is the only thing that makes sense"

How To Attract Deer To Your Yard

Some of us are fortunate enough to live the dream, with a nice open piece of property behind our home. Perfect for fishing, backyard camping, and of course, observing nature.

For the latter, you’ll need to know how to attract deer to your yard. I live in a house that backs up to a vast landscape of hunt-able land.

Over my twenty years here, I’ve mastered several techniques that draw deer in and keep them around. The best part is that once a few deer come in, more always follow.

Let’s take a look at my 5 techniques.

1. Increase the amount of shrubbery in your yard

This is key, as deer are constantly grazing. The more natural in appearance the plant life, the more deer will be attracted to it. Having shrubbery native to your area is equally as effective. For how to attract deer to your yard regularly, follow these tips:

  • Tall shrubs work the best in attracting deer to your yard. Taller plants can spread their seed further, which encourages additional growth as well as brings in wildlife that pick up on the smell.
  • The more unkempt the shrubbery, the more natural it will appear to the deer. This will pique their interest more than perfectly planted lines of bushes and plants.
  • This video shows a particularly effective deer attractant

2.Keep a calm and serene environment

Deer are skittish animals. They spook easily, and certainly won’t hesitate to bolt if they feel at all threatened. To attract deer to your yard, you’ll want to keep a quiet, peaceful environment. Minimize noise escaping from the home.

Along the same line, don’t have loud birdfeeders or clanging wind chimes hung from the porch. Deer feel comfortable solely in natural settings free from outside distractions.

Reducing the ‘barrier to entry’ helps as well. Deer aren’t going to hop over a tall fence that they can’t see through. Do everything you can to meld your yard in with the natural settings beyond your property.

They also aren’t going to approach bright light, so turn off your porch lights when not in use and don’t have unnecessarily bring or shiny objects sitting around. We’ve all seen how deer act when they are caught in headlights. The initial freezing, followed by a quick escape as soon as they feel threatened.

3.Have water available for the deer

If you’ve got a small pond in your yard like I do, then you’re in luck here. Mine is a natural water source, I don’t even have to feed water into it. The deer love it because it is exactly what they are used to.

If you haven’t got a pond, consider adding a water fixture of some type. Even if it isn’t natural (such as a bath or fresh water pool), you will still find that it attracts deer.  Avoid chlorinated pools, or anything with a bunch of chemicals in it. The point is to offer the deer a place to refresh and have a drink, and they can smell that chlorine a mile away.

  • If you live in an area with a strong winter, keep logs of wood in the water to prevent it from freezing.
  • Replenish the supply consistently so the deer come to trust the water source.

4.Have a large salt lick or other food source

To get deer into your yard, having a large salt lick for them to taste is a great idea. They smell it, which brings them in from afar. Once they’ve tasted it, they will continue coming back for it and may even hang around for a bit. This is particularly true if you have a water feature for them to enjoy – we all know how salt makes us thirsty.

I don’t recommend putting the salt lick on your porch. Deer will be more hesitant to approach if it’s that close to the house. They’ll like it more if it’s out in the yard, maybe on a fence. Or, better yet, right next to the water source.

  • If you can’t get ahold of a salt lick, a mineral block or other block high in sodium will suffice.
  • Keep it away from areas of heavy movement. No dogs, children, or other ornery activity should happen near the salt lick.
  • Corn feeders also work great. I have both a salt lick and a few corn feeders in my back yard. This gives the deer an easy source of food, which gives them (and their pack) ample reason to return again and again.
  • Deer love oak trees. Dotting your property with oaks will attract large numbers of deer. They feed on the twigs and leaves, as well as the acorns found on the tree.

5.Install grasses that deer love

There are a handful of grass types that deer love to graze. A good thing about grasses is that it will attract them from quite a distance and, if you have enough of it, keep them coming back despite the other techniques listed here. If you live in an area where it is possible to use one of these, then go for it:

  • Bluegrass
  • Wheat
  • Fescue
  • Minimize the amount of pesticides and chemicals in the grass, so as not to turn the deer away.

Ferns will also attract deer to your yard. Keep these ferns in shady spots, and do everything you can to help them thrive. The better the ferns, the higher the odds the deer will be attracted to them.

Now you have a basic understanding of how to attract deer to your yard. Hopefully, you live in an area surrounded by wildlife already – your chances of attracting deer are very high if you follow these steps. If you have any tips or techniques that you’d like to share, please leave them in the comments here so we can get a discussion going. If you found this article helpful, feel free to share on social media. Keeping deer around the yard is relaxing and surprisingly not that hard to do, it just takes some persistence!

Which Shotgun Choke Is The Most Open?

Which shotgun choke is the most open? For those of us in the firearms community, the term ‘pattern’ is something that arises frequently. This refers to the column of round shot pellets leaving the barrel of the gun. As they move further away, they begin to spread out. Towards the end of the shotgun’s range, targets will be missed by the pellets as they spread further apart.

The shotgun choke is the response of gun designers in their attempt to combat this effect. Choking means that the bore is restricted, which will keep the pattern closer together for longer distances.

Which shotgun choke is the most open?

The most open shotgun choke is called a ‘cylinder.’ The easiest way for you to analyze this is to look at the muzzle end of the barrel. You’ll notice that with cylinder chokes, there actually isn’t any constriction at all. The diameter of the choke is the same as the inside of the shotgun barrel. There is the lowest amount of bore reduction.

Restriction is essentially non-existent here, which causes the pattern to spread out much more so than with higher restriction chokes.

The tightest kind of shotgun chokes are called ‘extra tights.’ These are basically the opposite of a cylinder choke. Restriction of the pattern’s spread is maximized, for increased long-range target accuracy.

For larger game, tighter chokes can help with targets on the move and further away. But for me, it’s been many years since I’ve used a tight choke. I don’t do much other than duck hunting anymore. I’ve got a buddy who is a diehard fan of turkey hunting, and he prefers to use a tight choke. Here is a great video explaining shotgun chokes with visuals.

If you are using shotgun and want to go deer hunting, let choose the best scope for shotgun for deer hunting, you will no regret about it.

Why do I want to use a looser choke?

The biggest advantage to using a looser choke is seen particularly by duck hunters. With waterfowl, a super tight choke can have two effects when using steel pellets (lead pellets were outlawed by the federal government for waterfowl hunting in the nineties):

  • Potential damage to the barrel. Steel can damage the barrel because it isn’t as malleable as lead. It doesn’t cooperate as well with tight chokes.
  • It can harm the meat on the animal. Obviously, if you’re hunting for food, you don’t want the meat to be tarnished by the shot.
  • I really like the way these guys explained why they use certain chokes on duck hunts.:

So, to prevent these two things from happening, waterfowl hunters began using more open chokes. Hence, the rising popularity of the cyclinder.

I first began to prefer an open choke shortly after the regulations took place in 1991. By the following season, I began noticing severe distress to the barrel of my shotgun. This began to have a great impact on my hunting, so I started using the cyclinder choke.

Ever since, I’ve been working on ways to maximize my shooting accuracy with the most open choke, and have gotten a lot better. It takes an immense amount of practice, but at the end of the day I have better meat resulting from my increased shooting skill level. All without damaging the barrel of my gun.

The bottom line

When selecting the best choke for your shotgun, the most important factor is to consider what type of game you are hunting. For turkeys and larger game birds, a tighter choke is going to be the better option.

For those of us duck hunters, the cyclinder is the most open shotgun choke and therefore the best for us. I always recommend heading to the range and spending ample time on the patterning board prior to hitting the field. Notice how the pellets strike the target, and adjust your shooting technique as necessary.

Many new hunters don’t realize the advantages of using an open choke on their shotgun when waterfowl hunting. I’d appreciate it if you shared this article on social media so that more new hunters can learn of the pros and cons of different chokes. Do you have any techniques you’d like to share? Go ahead and leave them here in the comments, and we’ll get a discussion going.

What Is The First Step In Cleaning A Firearm?

Perhaps your firearm has been on a good adventure with you, or maybe you just bought it and want to make sure it is ready for the field.

So what is the first step in cleaning a firearm?

You’ll want to make sure the process is done correctly so as not to damage the weapon or cause rust. It took me several cleaning processes before I really felt comfortable with cleaning my firearm. Today, I’ll show you my process and the best practices for keeping that gun clean.

Buy a cleaning kit.

These can be pretty simple. You’ll want to make sure that you have these items:

  • Bore brush
  • Oil
  • Rag
  • Cotton swabs
  • Ample lighting in the leaning area
  • Patch holder with patches

Have a good commercial solvent

Basically, a solvent is a substance that has the ability to dissolve something else. This is incredibly important when cleaning a firearm. Unlike washing dishes or cleaning most other things, a simple rub down with some soap isn’t going to cut it here.

  • Use a garage or other area with open doors/windows to keep fresh air flowing in.
  • Clean all metal parts of the firearm thoroughly with the commercial solvent. Make sure the barrel is getting a good clean as well.
  • Clean the bore up through the breech end, wherever possible. Spend ample time here making sure that the bore is as clean as the barrel and rest of the metal parts on the weapon.
  • Run the dry patch through to double check for cleanliness. Let the area dry before proceeding.

Stick an oily patch into the barrel

The goal here is to get it nice and lubed up. Apply a liberal dose of oil onto the patch and slide it back and forth in the barrel of the gun, ensuring the entire area is reached. Any parts of the gun that are metal should receive a light coating of oil. Here is a great video on how to clean a firearm. It should go without saying, but always make sure your gun is unloaded before starting this process:

  • This is when you use the patches inside the barrel to get it clean

Store the firearm in a horizontal position

This will help it dry and keep the oil on all parts that need it. If storing firearm horizontally is a challenge, face the muzzle down so that any run-age will come out of the barrel instead of clogging the back end. If you have a gun rack, I always suggest designating a specific place for firearms that have just been cleaned. The best gun safe is my recommend

  • Do not leave the weapon laying on its side on a table or counter.
  • Do not store vertically with the butt of the gun facing down.

Prior to firing the gun, run a clean patch through the barrel

This removes any excess oil or dirt. It makes sure that everything will go smoothly when firing, and that there aren’t any clogs or backlogs within the barrel. Here are a few tips I have for streamlining your firearm cleaning process:

  • Keep oil on hand at all times. Have it designated as only for cleaning your firearms, that way you won’t use it for anything else. Storing it in the gun safe or in the same general area as your guns will make sure that you always know where it is, and no one else is using it for other purposes.
  • Get into the habit of cleaning your firearms regularly. When starting the first step in cleaning a firearm, always follow the same procedure. There shouldn’t be any variations when cleaning the same gun. Consistency is key!
  • Dedicate a rag for the task. Always keep it on hand with the oil.

There you have it. If someone asks you what is the first step in cleaning a firearm, you can point them to this article. I hope you found this informative. If so, we’d appreciate it if you shared on social media. If you have any tips for cleaning a firearm that we didn’t mention here, feel free to leave a comment. Let’s get a discussion going.

How To Start A Fire With Sticks

One of the most common questions in the world of camping and sportsmanship is how to start a fire with sticks. This is truly a professional maneuver, as just about any type of miscalculation or stray from the advices process make this task nearly impossible to do. There are three basic formulas, which we’ll get into here. They all take time – it took me most of an entire summer of trying before I even got one fire out of any of these methods. But with time, comes reward. Keep that in mind.

1.Hand Drill Method

For this approach, make sure you have a large quantity of tinder, as the friction depends on it to keep the ember alive and eventually turn it into a flame. Get some grass, pieces of shrubbery, cattails, small bits of wood, anything that burns easily. Pile them all together into a nice mass of burnable material. You’ll need what’s called a spindle, basically a thin, round, but sturdy piece of wood, and a base board as well. Here we go:

  • Cut a divot into the side of the base board, running its height. You can start with a V-shaped notch and then make it slightly deeper with a knife. Put a piece of tinder, like a wood shaving or leaf, underneath the notch to catch ember.
  • Firmly put the spindle piece into the notch. Roll it between your hands without letting it move out of the notch. You’ll want to apply as much downward pressure as you can while moving the spindle between your palms.
  • The goal is to get the tip of the spindle to ember itself, turning a glowing red. When this happens, try to spread the ember onto the piece of tinder you’ve placed underneath the base board.
  • Move the ember to your tinder pile, and employ a good deal of blowing in an attempt to produce a flame. Here is a great video tutorial:

2.Bow Drill Method

With this method, you’re going to start with the same expansive pile of tinder. Employ the same techniques we discussed in the last section. The bow drill method is a little more advanced and requires better ‘on-the-fly’ wood working skills, but also has a slightly higher success rate.

  • Start the same way as with the hand drill method, by cutting the notch into your base board of wood.
  • You’ll need a crossbar, or ‘bow’ shaped piece of wood and will connect it to your spindle, using rope, other pieces of thin wood to tie, or whatever else you can pull together.
  • Attach a small, solid piece of wood on top of the spindle to act as a handle for downward pressure.
  • Place your knee or another heavy object on the baseboard to weigh it down so that it won’t shift or topple during the fire-starting process.
  • Apply pressure to the handle, forcing the spindle down into the notch in the base board.
  • Simultaneously, pull the bow back and forth to create friction. The goal here is to create the same amount of friction as you would in the hand drill method of how to start a fire with sticks, only without wearing out your hands. Hence the bow.
  • Keep going until you’ve got an ember on the bottom of the spindle, then transfer that ember to your small piece of tinder underneath, and then to the large pile of tinder. Once you’ve got the pile of tinder at an ember, blow on it strategically to birth a flame.

This video walks you through the steps.

3.Fire Plow Method

This is the most basic way to start a fire with sticks, but also the most complicated. The fire plow method is essentially just rubbing to sticks together until you get an ember. Let’s outline the best approach for using this method (with the obvious hope that it won’t end up being a last ditch effort!)

  • Widdle one stick down to a dull point. This should be the smaller of the two pieces of wood.
  • The other piece should be much larger and more sturdy. This will serve as the base, the matchbox, if you will. Cut a groove in the top of this log, vertically down from near the top to near the bottom.
  • The goal is to ‘plow’ the smaller piece of wood repeatedly in the groove of the larger piece, creating an ember which will then be transferred to your tinder pile. You’ll want to make sure that the widdled piece is as hot as you think you can get it. The transfer to the tinder pile is direct from the wood, there is no intermediary when using this method. Here is a great video on this method.

How to start a fire with sticks: Best Practices

“How to start a fire with sticks” is now something you (hopefully) won’t have to stress about too much anymore. All three of these techniques definitely require patience, an immense amount of practice, and repetition to master. I recommend working on them in your yard or on a car camping trip several times. They you’ll have the techniques down before you find yourself stranded in the wilderness.

Gather a bunch of loose wood and burn-ables, and keep them on-hand for practice. That way, you’ll also get some experience in what works best for the tinder and what should be kept out. I also recommend practicing your blowing techniques quite a bit, even if its just on your wood-burning fireplace in the living room.

If you become a master at any of these techniques, you should consider teaching lessons to everyone you know – you may end up saving their life!


Starting a fire with sticks is one life skill that definitely is good to master before you have to put it to the test. If you have any tips on how these methods have worked for you, please share in the comments so that others can learn them and employ them in their fire starting. I’ve been doing this for twenty years and just recently feel like I’ve gotten pretty good at it. Sadly, most people don’t know how to start a fire with sticks, so please share this on social media so that we can grow awareness. Good luck!

When Do Bowsights Work Best?

Bow hunting is a whole different animal from other forms of the sport. I was attracted to it immediately, the second I held my dad’s bow in my hands for the first time. It’s so real – I’ve always felt a deeper connection to the land when I’m not hunting with an expensive rifle. The problem is, it can be hard to aim accurately with a bow in certain situations. The scope on a gun has all but eliminated sight problems, and bow sights aim to do that with bows. But when do bow sights work best?

1.When you’re not on level ground.

This is when I’ve found bow sights to work the best. They give you the ability to line up the appropriate sight pin on your target. As opposed to a bullet, which enters the body having the same impact as the bullet is rounded, bows are pointed. For maximum impact, you want the arrow to be as close to level and straight up-and-down as you can. When on slanted earth, this can be very tricky. Use a bow sight to:

  • Know the approximate degree/angle that you’re shooting from, so that you can correct as necessary.
  • See whether your target is on any type of slope. Also, whether or not the target is moving in a tilted manner or otherwise performing an action that might throw off the equilibrium of your shot.
  • Go even further by precisely aiming for the right spot on the target, despite any slope in your position or the target’s position.
  • These factors can eliminate the need for you to reposition yourself, which is particularly useful if you are in an area very dense with plants or other rustling, loud objects such as fallen leaves.

2.Ensuring that your bow is held in the right place.

When do bow sights work best for actual handling of your bow? Pretty much all the time, because they allow you to know immediately if you’re at an odd angle with the target. If you are shooting over multiple ridge lines, downslope, or upslope, bow sights work to better your odds of properly handling your bow for the situation.

  • Even for beginning hunters, bow sights help with handling because they make it very obvious if you aren’t holding your bow the right way.
  • Bow sights help the shooter identify and utilize the correct anchor point.
  • They help immensely with aiming, as well as steadying the bow for an accurate shot.
  • They make it obvious if you are shaking or jolting the bow around to the point where your shot will be directly impacted. Here is a video on a 3-pin hunting bow sight.:

3.When you have the perfect fit for your hunting style.

Do you prefer a fixed pin bow sight or a single pin moveable slider? After trying out the two and identifying your favorite, you will be a lot more comfortable using your bow out in the field that you were without a bow. Personally, I’m all for the fixed pin, because I’m used to its aiming and positioning now so I can properly place myself for each shot. I use the second and third pins most of the time. Here are some situations where one is better than the other, however:

  • Single pin is better when you aren’t quite as sure about your distance from the target. You can adjust it a little higher if the target is further away than originally thought.
  • Fixed pin is much better for short-distance shooting. After some practice, you’ll know almost instantly which pin to use based on how far away the target is. This article explains some times when you should and shouldn’t use a bow sight.
  • Both can be useful when shooting over uneven terrain. Take an extra moment (if you can) to get the perfect placement on the pin so that you’re not focusing on anything on the ground.

4. When you have an estimated distance between yourself and the target.

Speaking of short and long distance shooting, when do bow sights work best all of the time? When you’re confident about how far away the beast is from you. Bow sights are impeccable for aiming help when you’re in a blind spot and have been tracking the animal for a bit.

They are also great if you’re in other hidden areas, such as up in a tree or shooting from a risen platform. The entire point of a bow sight is to increase your accuracy on a calculated distance, so the more familiar you are with your shooting location, the more you’ll be able to lean on your bow sight for that perfect shot.

  • When starting out with bow hunting, do some practice without a bow sight until you have some basic skill at gauging distance. Then try using a bow sight and see how much easier it makes everything.
  • For blind spots, I always recommend using a bow sight. Particularly when large branches, water, or other hazards are between you and the target.
  • When hunting big game like deer and elk, bow sights are incredible because they help you zero in on the specific part of the animal that you’re intending to hit.
  • On the other hand, with smaller game, bow sights aren’t as necessary unless you’re needing assistance getting the shot line up.


The basic gist of when do bow sights work best is basically a combination of the distance and the difficulty of the shot. If you know how far away the animal is, use a bow sight! If you aren’t sure or are still trying to get a hold on distance acquisition, try some shooting without one. I’d urge you to always have bow sight skills in your bag of tricks, in case the opportunity calls. Better to be safe than sorry!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide and know when to use a bow sight. Please feel free to leave a comment and chime in on the discussion, and as always, give this article a share on social media so as to increase hunter awareness- always a good thing.

What Is A Safe Way To Unload A Muzzleloader?

One of the more common questions that new hunters have is ‘what is the safe way to unload a muzzleloader?’

When it comes to muzzleloaders, conventional firearm wisdom is somewhat bullet and propellant charge are loaded in through the muzzle, or open front end, of the gun.

I’ve owned one since my 21st birthday, when my grandpa gifted me the one that belonged to his dad. He also gave me a good lecture on unloading a muzzleloader, which I’m going to pass along to you today.

Historical value

These firearms are immensely popular amongst fans of old westerns, war flicks, and historical battles. The one I got from my grandpa is one of these, in fact it was built in the 1800s.

Muzzleloaders are often used in reenactments and theatrical settings, depicting the guns of old. Despite their historical value, muzzleloaders can be incredibly difficult to unload.

If you have never used one before, watch some old flicks of them in action and take notes on the loading and unloading processes that the shooters follow.

Learning the muzzleloader.

Muzzleloaders are more challenging to use than traditional rifles and guns. It is important to only use black powder with these weapons, anything else can be unsafe. These guns are loud, so always wear protection. Muzzleloaders need to be cleaned after every time they are shot. If attempting to clean a loaded weapon, there’s a great chance that you’ll severely injure yourself or cause structural damage.

  • They also are designed for practicality, not comfort. You don’t want to let the black powder set overnight. Load, and unload, all in the same session, each and every time.
  • If the black powder stiffens, it will have a dramatic effect on accuracy.
  • They can kick like mule (at least by rifle standards) and unless you’re using a modern version, don’t have much as far as ‘amenities.’ Be prepared for a very traditional and basic shooting experience, and be ready to spend some time unloading the weapon.

Remove the breech plug.

These days, most muzzleloader enthusiasts are firing modern in-line muzzleloaders. Unloading this type of firearm is significantly more safe and less time consuming than older muzzleloaders. It doesn’t take any special equipment or training, other than what you can learn quickly from an experienced shooter.

  • All you have to do is remove the breach plug.
  • Once you’ve done that, just push the projectile and the powder out the rear of the barrel.
  • After you’ve done this, load the ramrod (or loading rod) into the barrel. This step is critically important because otherwise, the touchhole may become blocked by random objects during storage. Or, even during a resting period between shooting sessions – this can happen very quickly.
  • These tips are specifically for unloading the muzzleloader without firing the bullet out. See below for tips on unloading through firing, and also check out this video:
  • .

With a CO2 Discharger.

Perhaps the best way to unload a traditional (read: older) muzzleloader is with this method. Take your ready to use discharger and use one of the following methods:

  • Press the discharger against the touchhole, if you are using a flintlock muzzleloader.
  • If the gun is a percussion lock muzzleloader, place the discharger over the nipple and safely discharge the barrel.
  • Be very careful with CO2, and always apply it to the right area depending on your weapon. If you aren’t sure which type of muzzleloader you have, do some internet research to find out before cleaning and unloading. Here is a great video on this.:

Discharging the muzzleloader into a backstop.

This is the most entertaining way to unload a muzzleloader. Shoot the gun into a safe backstop that won’t deflect the bullet back at you or at someone (or something) else. If at a range, this is easily done by simply firing the weapon in the appropriate area. Shoot the muzzleloader into a thick, cushioned setup that is prepared to handle bullets.

If you happen to be out in the wilderness, be very careful and mind these steps:

  • Don’t fire into the ground. This is literally the stupidest thing you could ever do. The projectile may bounce right back up at you, or a member of your party, or strike a dog that is unaware of what’s going on.
  • Likewise, don’t fire into the air either. If you’ve ever heard the old saying “what goes up, must come down,” then you know what I’m talking about. It’s doubtful that you have the inward geometrical skillset to calculate exactly where that bullet is going to land.
  • Because muzzleloaders are so popular with target shoots, use the target as a backstop in those situations.

Break Down

There you have it, the three best practices for how to unload a muzzleloader. As with any gun situation, be careful and follow instructions. I always recommend either reading the manual on your gun, or doing some online browsing to find out as much information as you can about your specific weapon. This is especially true for older guns – they aren’t always as consistent as newer streamlined versions, and each individual one may have its own quirks and funky movements.

When it’s time to store the muzzleloader, make sure the ramrod is in the barrel. Always lean the gun up against a solid and clean rest. You’ll want to make sure that no debris or dirt gets into the barrel, because this can prevent the gun from firing the next time around.


This about does it. I always keep my muzzleloader on its perch in my garage, lifted off the ground so no dirt from the floor gets in there. I’m interested in how easily you were able to unload a muzzleloader the first time- feel free to leave a comment below. And if you have any additional storage tips, I’d love to hear those as well. If this article was helpful to you, please share on Facebook and Twitter, as anything we can do to improve hunter safety is better for everyone. Thanks, and happy unloading!

Do You Reloading Ammo? Let’s Find How To Reload Ammo

When someone asks if you know how to operate a gun, a quick and resounding “Yes!” is certain to burst from your lips.

But do you quickly fall into a crisis of self-confidence afterwards?

If so, it may be because you aren’t confident in your ability to quickly and correctly reload ammo. I first learned from my uncle, and not until my fourth or fifth trip to the range.

Before that, I fumbled around like an amateur because I was afraid to ask how to reload ammo.

Well, today my friend, we’re going to talk about the proper steps to get er’ done.

How to reload ammo: The supplies

There aren’t many supplies, but each one of them is extremely important. Here they are:

  • Reloading press. This can be picked up from a gunsmith or sportsman store.
  • Lubricated casings (we’ll discuss this in the next section)
  • Be sure that you have the right sized bullets to fit the casings you’ve amassed from trips to the range.
  • Gun powder relevant to the shell size. Here is a great video on the basics of how to reload ammo.

How to reload ammo: The basics and getting set up

Reloading ammo is a great way to save some money on your shooting excursions and keep those empty casings from going to waste.

If any of the casings have been stepped on, ran over, or are otherwise disfigured, you’re probably wasting time trying to reload them because the measurements will be off for the gunpowder and bullet placement. Better to just throw those to the wolves. Speaking of casings:

  • Clean the casings prior to reloading. Remove residue and powder with a light cloth. Then, spray some lubricant on the inside or rub some on the cloth and apply, so that the casing stays slick and ready.
  • Insert the cases into your loading press with the handle positioned up.
  • Lower the handle down, resizing the case and forcing the used primers out of position.
  • Do this over and over, for each case you’re planning to reload. Hint: When selecting a reloading press, get one that holds multiple cases at once. This will save you an immense amount of time and effort, as opposed to doing one at a time. Odds are, if you’re only doing one at a time, your newfound hobby of reloading ammo is going to become a chore really

The process of reloading ammo

Now you’re all set and ready to start reloading. Before you begin, double check that everything is in its place and looks ready. Are all of the casings clean and shiny? Loaded correctly? Let’s do this!

  • Start by lifting the handle on the press up to its highest position, and place a fresh primer into the cup of the primer arm.
  • With the same amount of finesse you employ on a deer hunt, push the primer arm into the ramming slot.
  • Bring the case down onto the primer.
  • Remove the casing, and then take a look at the primer. If it’s not flush (or close to it), then you’ve done something wrong. Re-evaluate your setup process for the rest of the casings if that happens.

You have to have the best reloading scale to reloading ammo.

Reload powder into each casing.

This is the most important part, obviously. Make sure that you are using the right powder, otherwise this entire process is going to backfire on you and all of your time will be wasted. The correct weight and variety of powder is essential. Focus intently, and begin:

  • Using a volumetric powder measure, portion the correct amount of powder for each case. You can also use a calibrated dipper if you have to, but I prefer not to do it that way
  • With a funnel, carefully add the powder into the case. If there is any extra powder, immediately remove it from the area.
  • Seat the bullet to the correct depth within the neck of the case. The seating die will crimp the shell and ensure everything is in its proper place. This should be done by putting once casing in the shell holder and lowering the handle on the press. You’ll want to hold the bullet with your thumb and index finger for optimal grip – kind of like the first couple hammers onto a nail until it bites its way into the wood.
  • After the ammo has been reloaded, add a light coat of gun oil to your dies. Clean everything off well. I’ve always preferred to add some gun oil onto the reloading press as well, just to keep it moving nice and smoothly. It’s kind of like a van door, you’ve got to keep it lubed or else it starts to creak. After a while, this can have a negative effect on the reloading process.

That’s about it. After you’ve reloaded your casings, put them into ammo cases and they’re good to go for your next trip to the range!

If you’re using shotgun shells, check the empties for reusable hulls prior to reloading – this can save you some extra time and money. Also, you’ll be using different supplies such as a shell plate, which is used to hold the shell while you add primer and gun powder. As always, be very careful when operating gun materials, as they can be very dangerous.


That about sums it up. I tend to reload ammo a couple of days before heading to the range, that way if there are any problems or I don’t have enough I’ve got plenty of time to hit the shop. If anything doesn’t seem right during the reloading process, discard that casing. Always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to guns. . Have any tricks of the trade you’d like to add?

Leave a comment here and we’ll shoot back and forth. If you found this guide helpful, please share on your social channels – knowledge is power!

How To Find A Coyote Den?

The toughest thing about finding a coyote den is the pure intelligence of the animal.

Coyotes have great instincts and are quick to adapt to different situations – natural and predatory. Coyotes should be monitored if you have livestock or significant agriculture, and there are multiple steps on how to find a coyote den that we will discuss here.

Research a coyote den’s characteristics.

First and foremost, note that coyotes do not use dens year round. They primarily use them for pupping, or when elements drive them inside. Typically, coyote dens are located on hillisides and deep creek beds that allow for easy digging and earthmoving. Loose shrubbery and branches also come in handy, giving the coyotes a bit of extra security. Here is a great video about coyote dens:

  • Pups move out at a young age, but remain active in any hiding spots around the den. Coyotes frequently sleep outside, and despite being near den, aren’t necessarily going to be in it. Keep this in mind when approaching.
  • Dens are typically located below ground level, sometimes up to five or six feet down. There will be a dug-out tunnel that leads to a main living area that is expanded and can fit multiple coyotes.
  • Coyotes typically rotate between multiple dens. They will be spread out around an area, and the animals are very careful not to lead others back to their den. This is what makes it so challenging when learning how to find a coyote den. Here is a great article explaining the basics behind coyote denning.
  • Identify water sources nearby where you suspect a den may be. The coyotes need to drink water, so if you can confirm they are drinking from a certain source than you are on the right track.

Identify where you’ve seen or heard the coyotes.

Likely, you’ll hear them howling at night, or in the early evening. On the edges of nature preserves, parks, green spaces, and hillsides, coyotes actually tend to make their presence quite known- it’s the exact location that is much harder to pinpoint. Then comes the process of finding a coyote den. Plan to devote several days to the process, if you’re really serious about finding it.

You may find scat or other remnants of their presence in areas near your home. Try walking about fifty feet further out and seeing if you find more, if so, you have identified which direction they are coming from. Here are some tips to help everything go smoothly:

  • Coyotes typically prowl about five or six square miles from their den, in any given direction. The further they roam from the den, the more on edge they will be. This means they will be more easily startled and quicker to retreat.
  • They are quick and often deceiving because you’ll hear them in one place one moment, and in another the next. Try to track where you most frequently see or hear the coyotes. Even if that’s not their den, you’ll have a general idea of their path and where they spend the most time.
  • If you aren’t having any luck, try howling and seeing if you can generate a response from the coyotes. Try different pitches, tones, and cackles that resemble those made by the animal
  • Where could other prey be located near your property? Maybe their coming around has nothing to do with you or your property. If there are collections of prey, bodies of water, or other attractive elements nearby, try tracking them from that spot back to the den. For basic tracking techniques, check out this video.

Track the coyote back to its den.

If the coyote has attacked any of your livestock, you’re likely very upset and wanting to get the pesky coyotes as far away from your animals as possible (if not take it a step further!). Be careful when searching around at night, and definitely DO NOT BRING YOUR DOG WITH YOU. Coyote hunting is an exciting activity, but one best done alone.

The animals spook easy and even if you do locate a den, the odds that they will return there are very minimal if they know that you have found it. All things considered, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem tracing the suspect back to its den from the site of the kill. Here’s what to do:

  • Look for blood stains, trampled shrubbery or plants nearby the kill site. Figure out the most likely direction of escape and trace the potential route with your eyes back to a nearby hillside or embankment.
  • Identify a game trail or other foot markings left by the coyote leading up to the hillside or embankment. If you can’t find any obvious trails, look for markings left on nearby trees or other larger vegetation.
  • Follow that path as closely as you can. Remember, it may be up to six miles, so having a four-wheeler or motorbike may come in handy. Although you’ll want to be as quiet as possible during the final or actual approach.
  • When close, let out a coyote howl and see if a response happens. If you get one, don’t be surprised if you do not receive another for quite some time. Be ready to track based on the one howl that you got from the coyote.
  • Always be careful! Shoo them away but don’t put yourself in danger.


Locating a coyote den is often a lengthy process. Personally, I enjoy it because it’s a good excuse to get out into nature and focus on something direct and real.

Remember to track the coyotes via sounds, tracks, and any sightings you encounter, for several days before attempting to locate their den.

I always suggest perusing around your property regularly just to keep aware of any new ‘neighbors’ and to establish a firm presence and authority.

If you found this article helpful, please share on social media, and don’t forget to leave any comments here. Let;’s get a discussion going!

What Are The Best Scope For AR 10 Rifle? (2018 Updated)

What are the best scopes for an AR-10 rifle? There are so many options these days, and certainly the discussions have flown back and forth as to who does it best.

Personally, my uncle got me into Nikon scopes as a kid and I’ve always preferred them, but over the last five years I’ve come across a few others that I think are worth mentioning.

Through demoing numerous scopes at ranges, talking extensively with hunters, and incorporating my personal situation and preferences, I’ve compiled here the four best scopes for an AR-10.

All of these are worth considering, and I think that through applying your personal preferences you’ll find one here that meets your needs.

Top Our Pick For Best Scopes For Ar 10 In 2018

Top 4 Best Scopes For AR 10 On The Market

This is my review about 4 scope for ar 10 on the market, it will help you find the best for hunting. Check it out:

1.UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, Rings

UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, Rings

UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, Rings

When looking for the best scope for an AR-10, there is really only one viable option: the UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope. This scope, renowned for its accuracy and dependability in tough field situations, has risen as the cream of the crop for three main reasons:

  • The zeroing capability: Not only is this scope extremely simple and straight forward when zeroing, it holds the zero better than any scope on the market. Add to this that it also is a great package value without the necessity to purchase a bunch of expensive add-ons in order to optimize, and you’ve got yourself a winner here. Even after removing the scope and then reattaching it, your aim will remain perfect. It makes a good shooter feel like a great shooter!
  • It’s durability: Instead of obtaining a cheaply made scope and having to replace it every year or two (for avid users), this UTG scope will last a lifetime is properly cared for. The 3X zoom is good for zeroing on 50 yards and nailing the preferred part of the target from 100 yards no problem
  • Performance: Take it out as far as 900 yards and back to zero without losing focus or confidence in what you are doing. The scope is easily mountable, easily adjustable, and easy to master even for new shooters

Overall, this UTG scope is the best scope for an AR-10 that you’ll find anywhere on the market. I’ve been using it for years without ever having to have maintenance done or want to switch it up. Honestly, I never even want to try another scope, period. This is the top of the line

2. Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12x40 Dead-Hold BDC Reticle - 1 Inch Tube (DBK-04-BDC)

Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12x40 Dead-Hold BDC Reticle - 1 Inch Tube (DBK-04-BDC)

Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40 Dead-Hold BDC Reticle – 1 Inch Tube (DBK-04-BDC)

Vortex rockets itself onto the list of best scopes for an AR-10 with this Diamondback model.

These things are sleek and effective- I first bought one years ago and have since bought this model and love the optics (I am entering my fifties now).

The glass is perfectly viewable and takes little to no time to adjust to. The reticle is spot on and extremely life-like.

Here are the best features:

  • The visibility and range of this scope are second to none
  • Numerous rounds don’t offset the visibility or accuracy, unless you’re clunking the thing around a bunch. I’ve held zero for over 300 rounds and have friends who have done the same.
  • I ​find the crosshair extremely helpful
  • Tuning the sight to your liking takes just a few seconds

And what I don’t like:

  • I'm so used to using Nikon and Leupold that it did take a moment to familiarize myself with set-up. That is the main disadvantage of Vortex, is that they aren’t as widely used and thus there aren’t as many of them out at the range if I feel like asking for advice.

3. Nikon M-308 4-16x42mm Riflescope w/ BDC 800 Reticle,Black

Nikon M-308 4-16x42mm Riflescope w/ BDC 800 Reticle,Black

Nikon M-308 4-16x42mm Riflescope w/ BDC 800 Reticle,Black

The Nikon M-308 is one of the best scopes for an AR 10 because of the quick-focus eyepiece.

Nikon definitely responded to feedback on eyepieces and went the extra mile with this one. The piece is rather versatile, functioning without dependence on barrel length and works on any .308 platform.

I really loved the image quality, especially considering the price point and size of this scope. It’s lightweight, easy to mount, and retains accuracy through several rounds of shooting.

  • Clear optics and strong BDC reticle
  • Great appearance in the water, enough to fool the uncanny hunter who hasn’t seen them before.
  • Bore sighted and great sight picture, up to 1000 yards. Have we mentioned how great the visibility is?
  • It’s very durable and will last many years. Nikon is putting out excellent scopes that are affordable and useful for hunters of all abilities

The down side:

  • Be sure to inquire as to whether your order includes the M308 mount. Some sellers include this in the purchase, others force you to buy it separately. It’s a much better deal when the mount is included.

4. Primary Arms 4-14 X 44 FFP Scope ACSS HUD .308 BDC Reticle PA4-14XFFP308

Primary Arms 4-14 X 44 FFP Scope ACSS HUD .308 BDC Reticle PA4-14XFFP308

Primary Arms 4-14 X 44 FFP Scope ACSS HUD .308 BDC Reticle PA4-14XFFP308

You are out the shooting and the reticle on your scope is fogged or otherwise detracting from optimal vision. Thinking you’ve got the target in range and zeroed, you fire anyway. But the shot misses, too high. Over and again, this keeps happening. Enter the Primary Arms 4-14 X 44 FFP Scope. After a quick installation, you’re back out there. Primary Arms solves the problems of tough zeroes and clouded view in the field.

Better accuracy through simple physics

The ACSS reticle is top notch, greatly benefitting the functionality of the scope. When shooting from 500-600 yards, closing the gap on those high shots and missing left or right is a breeze. You’d be hard-pressed to find another rifle scope that so easily eliminates that problem.

When shooting with an AR-10, or even those with Ruger or Remington models, this Primary Arms scope easily works with the measurements of the gun to hold zero and improve shot accuracy, even on moving targets.

Personal preference with the Primary Arms scope

Some shooters prefer minimum zoom with this scope, hoping only for slight adjustments to their original line of sight. But by sliding the zoom up a bit, it is incredibly easy to see a dramatic increase in target acquisition from 500+ yards.

These days, with shooters adding more gadgets to their setup, this scope cuts back on what owners need to carry into the field. If you find the weight of your gear is getting out of hand with stuff meant to improve accuracy, cut it all back and get this scope.

Putting the Primary Arms Rifle Scope to the test

Depending on what setup you’re using currently, this scope will help in these ways:

  • Improve accuracy at the range and in the field
  • Minimize need for add-ons
  • Fit a variety of guns, specifically great for an AR-10

When needing a quick fix that won’t break the bank, this is the scope for you. It is among the best scopes for an AR-10.


These days, there are so many scopes on the market that choosing the best one can be challenge. I highly recommend going with the Nikon M-308 4-16x42mm Riflescope w/ BDC 800 Reticle,Black. There simply aren’t any drawbacks to this scope, from the time you open the box up through the 500th round you’ll fire.

It is the highest quality scope on the list here and by far the most effective anywhere near its price range.

I recommend you should read my post about best ar scope mount, it will give you a good mount for your ar 10 scope. 

I’m interested to hear which best scope for ar 10 you end up going with – let’s get a discussion going in the comments here and if you enjoyed this article, please share on social media!

3 Best Duck Decoys On The Market 2018

The best duck decoys will work in your favor with minimal effort, instilling confidence in the ducks that the area you are trying to lure them to is a safe, habitable, and enjoyable environment for them.

Decoys are also meant to reduce the hunter’s need to overcall in order to lure ducks by giving the feel of a natural environment.

When implementing duck decoys into your hunting strategy, plan to assemble a collection of them – potentially up to a dozen or more, and practice setting them up in a realistic fashion.

The more natural your decoy setup, the better it will work, leading to more fowl.

Here, we’ll look at three of the best duck decoys on the market.

Top Our Pick For Best Duck Decoys On The Market 2017

Top 3 Best Duck Decoys On The Market 2017

This is my review about 3 duck decoys in the market, it will help you find the best for hunting. Check out it:

1. Greenhead Gear Pro-Grade Duck Decoy, Mallards/Butt-Up Feeder Pack, Pair

Greenhead Gear Pro-Grade Duck Decoy,Mallards/Butt-Up Feeder Pack,Pair

Greenhead Gear Pro-Grade Duck Decoy,Mallards/Butt-Up Feeder Pack,Pair

This is one of the most effective duck decoys on the market because it simulates the ducks in feeding position.

This makes it harder to detect as phony and gives the impression of the area being a suitable feeding environment.

Ducks traverse environments seeking safe and popular feeding grounds, and by portraying that image you will greatly increase your odds of bringing them in.

Some great insight on Greenhead decoys can be found here:

  • Minimal movement reduces your chances of losing them out in the water, especially if you rig up a jerk string.
  • Realistically colored and designed, and built to last for a long time.

  • Great appearance in the water, enough to fool the uncanny hunter who hasn’t seen them before

But there are a couple down points:

  • I’ve heard about leakage issues. While this is likely a rare defect or result of misuse, be careful to follow installation instructions.

  • Butt-up feeders don’t resemble the full duck and must be used alongside other types of decoys.

Overall, these are a great addition to your decoy collection and help complete a well-rounded decoy scene.

2. Mojo Outdoors Teal Duck Decoy

Mojo Outdoors Teal Duck Decoy

Mojo Outdoors Teal Duck Decoy

The Mojo Outdoors decoy is a master of its intended purpose: luring in fast-moving fowl.

This is the best spinning wing duck decoy on the market. The wings spin incredibly fast and will catch the attention of nearly any ducks moving through your hunting area.

Mallards, teal, gadwall, pintails, and other ducks are attracted to the ‘strobe effect’ created by the wings and are likely to have the interest piqued enough to check out the situation. Here are the best things about this duck decoy:

  • Single speed and simple operation are If you encounter and issues, replacement wings are readily available online and at outdoors retailers.

  • Despite the three-piece support pole, this duck decoy is surprisingly light weight. For me, that was a big selling point because I already have a large collection and didn’t want to add much weight to it, but it compacts well for transport and storage and makes it one of the best duck decoys
  • Batteries last for several hours, so there is no need to replace them in the middle of a day hunt. They claim 16 hours, and I have no reason to argue with that.

There are a couple of improvements that could be made for future models, such:

  • Making the wings easier to screw off. After a long day in the blind, the last thing I want to deal with is prepping for storage, and this decoy can take a few minutes.

  • The wings are built with thumb screws instead of magnets. While this makes it more durable, it also (at least to me) appears to make it slightly less realistic and modern.

3. MOJO Outdoors Baby Mojo Mallard Duck Decoy

MOJO Outdoors Baby Mojo Mallard Duck Decoy

MOJO Outdoors Baby Mojo Mallard Duck Decoy

Mojo has another strong offering here with the Mallard Decoy.

This is another great addition to your arsenal of action-depicting decoys because it gives the appearance of a curious duck coming in to peruse a new feeding ground or piece of terrain.

When spread, this decoy is about 20 inches wide, starkly resembling a green head. Because it looks as though it is landing on water, if you set it up to your left, other birds will want to land in front of it and thus will be coming down right in front of you.

Here are the things I like best about this decoy:

  • ​Batteries last for several hours, so there is no need to replace them in the middle of a day hunt. They claim 16 hours, and I have no reason to argue with that.

  • The battery can be charged in your truck with disassembling the product.

  • The wings on this baby are a magnet, so no screwing and unscrewing are

  • The legs can be taken off, a feature unique to decoys like this. I personally like to keep them on, but depending on the location of your setup it may suit you better to remove them

On the downside:

  • Magnets can come unattached, especially during high wind. Be sure you have aligned the wings correctly onto the magnetic part to minimize the chance of this happening

  • Don’t use it in salt water as it will rust the product after time. Just something to be aware of if you plan to be a long-term duck hunter.

Head To Head Comparison Of 3 Best Duck Decoys

My favorite product here is the MOJO Outdoors Baby Mojo. I’ve never had a decoy so effective at drawing in birds to land right in front of it. While all three of these are different and are a great addition to your hunting setup, this one is the best buy. I recommend having a couple of them set up with one closer to you and the other further away. Throw a couple of Greenhead Pro-Grades in the water along with some generic duck decoys on top of the water, and you’ll have a great setup. Here is my guide about how to set up duck decoys, read carefully before you do it.


Using the best duck decoys has greatly improved my hunts. I’m able to lure in more birds and be more specific about where they are coming down (hopefully right in my line of sight!) and the results have been incredible. If you found this article helpful, please share on social media, and let’s get a conversation going in the comments.