Author Archives: Harvey Specter
"Sometimes hunting is the only thing that makes sense"
Author Archives: Harvey Specter
"Sometimes hunting is the only thing that makes sense"
When you are building an AR-15, one of the most important aspects of the build is the barrel.
Trying to decide which one is right for you? Look no further. In this article, we will go over our top five choices for AR-15 barrels. We will also talk about the different types of barrels, and what each should be used for.
Obviously, the most feature of any barrel is the accuracy.
If your rifle doesn’t shoot accurately, what point does it serve?
High quality barrels can go a long way in increasing the accuracy of the rifle.
Other features to keep in mind are the durability and the size. Certain metals will be more durable than others due to their chemical composition. A more durable barrel will last longer on your AR-15 build.
Specifically, the material the barrel is made out of can greatly increase the weapon’s accuracy.
If you don't have time, you can quickly check here:
There are two main barrel compositions:
Chromoly steel is an alloy. Barrels made from this material are the most inexpensive and are fairly accurate, but will not last as long.
Stainless steel barrels are more accurate by a comfortable margin. They will also last a little longer, because they are more resistant to corrosion. However, they are slightly more expensive and are heavier.
From there, some barrels are given either a chrome lining or nitride treatment.
Chrome lined barrels will last longer, but will decrease the accuracy.
The chrome lining will preserve the barrel and prevent corrosion even further. However, as the lining wears off, the accuracy of the barrel will be negatively affected. Nitride treated barrels will also last for a long time, but without the decrease in accuracy.
As far as the size is concerned, keep in mind the barrel length requirements in the United States (assuming that is where you are purchasing from).
If your barrel is shorter than 16 inches, your rifle will be considered a short barreled rifle, commonly referred to as an SBR. These weapons are covered under the National Firearms Act, and will require a tax stamp from the ATF. However, for our list, we will focus on 16 inch barrels.
If you are looking to do competitive shooting that requires extreme accuracy, stainless steel will be the best barrel for you.
The increased accuracy will be the most important for this type of shooting. Avoid chrome lining for competitive shooting, as the accuracy will degrade over time.
For hunting, accuracy is less important.
Especially if you will be hunting in a humid area or in the rain, resistance to corrosion is going to be crucial for this type of shooting.
The most important aspect of the barrel for this type shooting will be to ensure that the barrel is treated somehow, either with a chrome lining or a nitride treatment.
Both chromoly steel and stainless steel are resistant to the elements, so the treatment becomes the most important part for a hunting rifle. A hunter should have best ar15 bipod to hold your ar.
If you are just a casual shooter, it is dependent on how much you shoot.
If you shoot thousands of rounds per year, you probably are going to want a chrome lined barrel. It will last longer for you.
If you don’t shoot that much and clean your rifle adequately, any barrel choice will work for you. In this situation, we would recommend a stainless steel barrel due to the increased accuracy.
First on our list of best AR-15 barrels is this 16 inch cold hammer forged barrel that is made of chrome moly vanadium.
The fact that the barrel is cold hammer forged creates an excellent barrel. It has a 1:7 twist rate, weighs 1.75 pounds, and has a chrome liner on the inside of the barrel.
The pros of this barrel are the durability and reliability. These features come mostly from the chrome lining and the phosphate exterior finish. Despite the fact that this is a chromoly barrel, the chrome lining will increase the durability. The reliability is backed by Daniel Defense’s warranty to protect against any material defects.
The cons of this barrel are the price and accuracy. This is the most expensive barrel on the list. While this is the most accurate chromoly barrel, stainless steel barrels will still be more accurate.
Next up is this lightweight stainless steel barrel from Modern Armory. This barrel has a 1:7 twist rate and weighs 1.25 pounds. Since it is stainless steel, this is the best AR-15 barrel for accuracy shooting.
The pros of this barrel are the light weight, accuracy, feed ramps, and the lifetime guarantee. The fact that this barrel is so lightweight gives you the pros of a stainless steel barrel without the primary con. The accuracy of this barrel is unquestioned; Modern Armory guarantees 1 MOA accuracy at 100 yards when it is used properly. Another great feature is the feed ramp, which will help to ensure a round is smoothly chambered each time. The barrel is also available at an excellent price.
As far as cons, the gas block and gas tube aren’t included in the base price, but are still relatively inexpensive.
Next up is another 16 inch chromoly steel barrel. The barrel has a nitride finish for increased strength and durability. This barrel weighs 2 pounds and has a 1:8 twist rate.
The pros of this barrel are the durability, feed ramp, and price. Due to the nitride finish, this is an extremely durable barrel, and the accuracy will not be as negatively affected. Bear Creek Arsenal expects sub 1 MOA accuracy from this barrel. It is also available at an excellent price.
The cons of this barrel are the weight. As you can see, this is a heavier barrel, so that is something to keep in mind. Another potential con of this barrel is the overall quality. The previous chromoly barrel was cold hammer forged, which increases the quality. However, Bear Creek Arsenal barrels are individually inspected to guarantee their quality.
This 16 inch chromoly steel barrel weighs 1.5 pounds and has a 1:8 twist rate. The barrel has a parkerized finish, similar to what the military M4 barrels have. It is the most affordable on our list, and is the best AR-15 barrel for the basic build.
The pros of this barrel are the price and weight. Don’t let the price fool you, Anderson Manufacturing is well known for their quality, and this barrel is no different. However, this price is available at an extremely affordable price. The weight of this barrel is one of the lowest as well, so it would work well for a lightweight build.
The cons of this barrel are the durability. Due to the fact that there is no chrome lining or nitride treatment, this barrel will not be as durable as some of the others.
This barrel from Rock River Arms is a chromoly steel barrel with a chrome lining. The twist rate is 1:9, and the weight is over 2 pounds, although that weight does include a bayonet lug, barrel nut, handguard cap, and the front sight post. Without those parts, this barrel would be close in weight to most of the others on the list.
The pros of this weapon are the durability. Due to the fact that the bore and chamber are chrome lined, this rifle will last thousands and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
The cons of this barrel are the price and accuracy. This is among the most expensive barrels on our list. As previously talked about, accuracy is negatively affected when a barrel is chrome lined.
As you can see, there are plenty of different features and factors to consider when looking into buying a barrel for an AR-15 build.
When looking to purchase, keep in mind the accuracy you require, how much you plan to shoot, and how much you would like to spend.
Also keep in mind any local laws about minimum barrel lengths.
While it is by no means an all-encompassing list, we hope that our list of best AR-15 barrels has at least pointed you in the right direction.
Depending on the location in North America, it is usually a simple task to see what the deer in an area are eating.
They graze in open fields and praries as opposed to poaching crops and farms, a serious plus for farmers and ranchers.
But the typical whitetail deer will put down 3-to 6-pounds of food every day. This is a tall order for the offseason, when peak harvests are done and there isn’t much popping out of the ground.
So what do deer eat in winter? Let’s take a look.
The first thing that must be noted about what deer eat in winter is that they are scavengers in the truest sense of the word.
Deer are not going to steal food from established plants. They don't have the nose or taste for row crops.
In their quest for offseason sustenance, deer are known to make their way onto people’s property. Their footsteps are much more noticeable in the snow than they are in the winter. Typically, whitetail deer are searching for eat corn, soybeans or cowpeas that are unguarded and not rotten.
Also keep an eye out for what’s known as "Old Man's Beard." This is a thick, greenish lichen that is common on spruce and amber trees that are either dead or dying. If you haven’t seen this stuff before, keep an eye out for tracks leading towards trees that obviously aren’t providing shelter for the deer. They aren’t rubbing antlers in the winter like they do in summer and fall, so there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll see the lichen on trees surrounded by deer tracks.
These items make up a large part of a deer’s wintertime diet. Additionally, they will scrap up what they can from grassy fields and open spaces. But the vast majority of deer aren’t going to get nearly as much protein in the winter as they do in the warmer months.
Here’s a great video on deer nourishment for the winter.
In the western United States, farmers and ranchers should maintain corn and soy plants to attract deer to certain areas of their land. This also works if you want to keep the deer away from other parts of the land, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.
Resilient crops such as these work best for late-season feed. Corn is the deer’s lifeblood during these times. They will travel to find it, but once a pack of deer has identified a location that looks like a promising regular food source, they are going to do everything they can to remain in the area.
Remember that you don’t want deer eating at the same location all the time. Not only will this wear out the crops and soil, it can increase the risk of disease in the deer. Offset the planting times in different areas of your propery to scatter the deer’s dining habits and keep them moving around.
If you are deer hunter, you should own an deer rifle, i recommend ar 15 and best scope for deer hunting
Those of you who live on acres of property or who run a farm may see deer consistently perusing your fields.
This is a natural activity for them, and they aren’t going to notice simple hints that are left to deter them.
You want to keep them around, but don’t want them destroying certain parts of the property.
Like we mentioned above, deer are scavengers. Your open field contains the sparse plants that survive in winter, and the deer you see have likely spent immense time tracking it down. If you want to get rid of them, the best thing to do is plant perennial yields of tall crops on areas on the edge of the property.
This may not be possible for you. If not, resort to fencing. Once you’ve got that up, stick a guard dog out there in the yard. In the morning and evening hours, let the dog roam the property and hopefully he/she will stir up enough noise to shoo off the deer. (On a humorous note, this is a great way to get that dog of yours to earn his keep around the house!)
These are about the only other surefire ways to keep multitude of deer off your property.
Deer want to remain as close as they can to their food sources, especially in winter time. It is especially important to direct their eating to different places on a regular basis.
If you are trying to study what the deer is eating in winter, first identify where they are sleeping.
What is nearby?
In order to find their bedding, look for thick brush that is difficult to enter and exit. They will find the densest cover, particularly during times of incremental weather. Deer prefer thick cover from predators, humans, and frigid temperatures.
Beyond the more intensive winter bedding conditions, it is important to realize that because the deer aren’t getting protein as easily in the winter as they do in summer, they aren’t going to want to expel as many calories.
This is a big motivator behind their proximal bedding and eating quarters.
If you plan to bait or feed deer this winter, be sure to check for any regulations in your area.
Many states in the US have imposed limitations (and in some cases completely outlawed) feeding deer in the winter. These regulations are typically designed to keep herds from thinning due to illness.
But if you can get away with it, your next hunting outing or antler collecting search can be made that much more fruitful by keeping deer healthy in the winter.
Let’s spread the good word about responsible hunting and outdoorsmen practices – please give this article a share on your social channels.
We’re also always looking for stories from your neck of the woods. Drop a comment below this article and let’s all learn about the hunting and whitetail communities around the country and beyond!
Most modern firearms are treated with some type of exterior coating above the metal to reduce the chance of the metal underneath rusting.
However, this is not to say that it is impossible for a modern firearm to rust. Rusting is most common in older firearms. Looking to fix up one of grandpa’s old guns? Wondering how to get the rust off?
Look no further. We will go over the best way to take rust off a firearm, and some things to avoid doing.
It is worth noting that this will only help in removing surface rust off a firearm. If your gun has fully rusted through, it is going to take significantly more work than what we are recommending here.
Rust forms when iron reacts with oxygen.
This process is referred to as oxidization. The process is generally really slow, but can be significantly sped up when the metal is introduced to salt or water.
This is the reason that one day in the rain can cause surface rust to form on a firearm.
Removing rust is not a hard process.
You will have to essentially scrape it off, using a metal that isn’t as hard as the metal of the firearm.
You can use a harder metal, but it will ruin the finish of the firearm.
For this reason, your best bet to remove the rust off the firearm is going to be copper products. To successfully remove the surface rust, you’re going to want:
Removing the rust is pretty easy. You just need to scratch it off using the copper products already mentioned.
It really is that simple. There is not an easier way to do it safely. It’s just going to take some elbow grease to get the rust off.
There are quite a few rust removal products available on the market.
While these may work for other metals, I would strongly recommend against using these chemicals on a firearm.
Since you don’t know what the surface of the firearm was treated with and what else might have been added to the metal, you have no idea how the chemicals will react with the metal of the firearm.
The result could inadvertently ruin your weapon. I have heard of some people using Evapo-Rust as a worst-case scenario rust remover, but would still recommend against that, if at all avoidable.
You should store gun with best gun safe and dehumidifier, it will help your gun cleaner.
That’s it. It really is that simple to remove the rust off of a firearm.
Unless it is completely rusted through, using some copper wool, a copper brush, and some good old-fashioned elbow grease will take care of the surface rust on a firearm.
There are some commercially available rust removal chemicals, but I would strongly recommend against using these.
The Ruger 10/22 is the most popular .22 rifle in America, and for good reason.
It has been around for over five decades and its popularity remains constant. Have you been looking for a .22LR weapon, or considering the Ruger 10/22?
This article will give some of the reasons for its popularity, to show you why it’s an excellent weapon for you to own.
There is so much to love about the Ruger 10/22, but these are just a few of the highlights.
It’s an extremely smooth and consistent weapon that is very easy to use. The durability will make you feel comfortable with your purchase.
As long as it is treated properly, there is no reason that you won’t be able to pass this weapon along to your children one day.
All of these features come at an affordable price, to sweeten the deal.
All in all, the Ruger 10/22 is likely the best .22LR weapon on the market, and there are plenty of reasons to own it.
Are you starting to shop for your first handgun and feeling overwhelmed?
There are so many factors to consider! In this simple guide, we will give you a few key tips to keep in mind, to hopefully assist you in making the best purchase for you.
For someone new to firearms, handguns can seem extremely complicated. All of the different features can be overwhelming, but over time, they become easier and easier to understand.
This should be self explanatory, but make sure to take into account what the handgun will actually be used for.
If you are looking for a concealed carry weapon, you are likely looking for a much different weapon than if you are looking for a home defense weapon.
Handguns definitely follow the golden rule of “you get what you pay for.” If you buy one of the cheapest available handguns, you are likely to have issues with it at some point.
This is one of those things that when you know, you know. When you pick up what will be your new handgun for the first time, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. It’ll fit in your hand just right. Keep in mind that some handguns have replaceable grips and backstraps, so you can adjust the grip somewhat. Folks with larger hands will struggle to find a smaller weapon that fits their hand.
This can be a huge factor for some people. For me personally, I feel much safer and more comfortable with a handgun that has a manual thumb safety as opposed to a trigger safety.
Whatever kind of safety features your weapon has, make sure you feel comfortable with it and know how to operate it.
You should buy the best handgun safe to make your handgun safe
This somewhat ties in to the first tip, but what magazine capacity are you looking for? Keep in mind your use for the weapon.
Also ties into the first tip. If you are looking for a sidearm for big game hunting, you probably want to consider a larger round, such as .45ACP, whereas if you are looking for a pistol that fits in your pocket, you’re going to be looking for a .380.
Some people prefer hammer-fired weapons with an exposed hammer, as you can always see the position of the hammer. The argument against this is always that you should know what state your weapon is, and the hammer is only one more thing to catch on your holser/pants/shirt.
This has been written about many times. Long story short, revolvers are more reliable and can shoot larger projectiles, and pistols have a larger magazine capacity.
If you’re looking for your first handgun, it is likely that you are relatively new to firearms. Make sure that your new handgun is relatively easy to take down to clean. Don’t forget to buy a cleaning kit or some cleaning supplies to go along with your new weapon!
It may seem like a small thing, but those difficult to see sights aren’t going to get any better with time.
Make sure you can accurately acquire a good sight picture with your new weapon.
As with anything firearms related, safety is the most important thing to consider.
Before buying your first handgun, do a little research on how to safely operate and handle a handgun. This may save you an awkward minute at the gun store, and will also give you some confidence with your new piece of equipment while ensuring that you and everyone around you remains safe.
What exactly is an ACOG? Should I buy one?
If these thoughts have ever gone through your head, look no further!
This article will go over some basics about one of the best AR-15 optics available, the ACOG.
The Trijicon ACOG (Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight) is a red dot style sight.
Red dot sights have been written about multiple times on this website, so we will not discuss the basics about red dot sights. An ACOG is an example of an internal reflex sight. This kind of sight has multiple lenses, and has a tube shape.
The ACOG has a fixed magnification, meaning that it is not adjustable at all.
However, from the manufacturer, there are multiple magnification levels available. This allows you to select exactly how much magnification you need, from 1.5 to 6 magnification power.
Without variable magnification, there is less moving parts, so the scope is more durable.
The scope is compact, and uses a red dot aiming reticle.
However, this red dot is different than almost every other optic available on the market. The red dot on the ACOG isn’t battery powered, but have tritium in a fiber optic cable that illuminate the reticle based on how much light is available.
This completely eliminates the need for a battery, which is one less thing to worry about.
The reticle also has a bullet drop compensated reticle, which further increases its accuracy.
Another excellent feature of this scope is how rugged it is. It is made from high strength aircraft aluminum, making it extremely strong.
The manufacturer claims that it’s virtually indestructible. It is also waterproof to 100 meters. To prove its strength and durability, it is widely used in the United States military.
Here is video 500 meter- Ar15 with ACOG Scope:
The beauty of the ACOG is how simple it is to use.
Without batteries, there is no turning the scope on or anything. Assuming the optic is zeroed, simply open the lenses, aim down the sight with both eyes open, and fire your weapon.
It really could not be easier to use. Looking down the sight with both eyes open makes it extremely easy to use.
The biggest pros of this optic are:
The cons of this optic are:
An ACOG would work for just about every single person.
Whether you are a casual shooter, a competitive shooter, or a hunter, an ACOG will work for you.
The reliability and accuracy make this one of the best optics available. The different levels of fixed magnification allow you to select exactly how much magnification you need for the type of shooting you do.
The ACOG is also great for a new shooter, as they are very easy to shoot with, thanks to being able to shoot with both eyes open. It is also an extremely easy sight to zero and adjust.
There is only one specific group of people that I would not recommend and ACOG to. If you do a lot of traveling hunting or do other similar activities that require you to take shots at vastly different distances, an ACOG is NOT your best bet due to the fixed magnification. If you are regularly shooting at both 20 meters and 400 meters, you are probably going to want a variable magnification optic.
While not everyone feels as strongly as I do, I think that the Trijicon ACOG is one of the absolute best optics available.
I have shot with multiple different optics, and the ACOG is by far my favorite that I’ve used. I love the strength and durability, battery-free operation, and the accuracy.
As far as reflex style red dot sights and weapons optics in general go, there isn’t much I prefer over an ACOG.
I highly recommend you look into them, and seriously consider them when you are shopping for your next optic.
Wondering about the shelf life of ammunition is an extremely common question that most people have.
Whether you are hoping to stockpile ammunition for any number of purposes or have found some older ammunition, it is extremely common to wonder how long it will last for.
While there is no one single answer, as not all ammo is the exact same, there are a few rules of thumb to follow.
Most ammunition is good for at least 10 years, but a few factors can affect this. The primary factors that will shorten this shelf life are being exposed to high heat or moisture.
At high temperatures, the chemical composition of the gunpowder can start being affected. While it may not be instantaneous, sustained exposure to extremely high heats can negatively impact the ammunition. Over time, it may cause the round to be less effective, and eventually could lead to the ammunition not working.
When ammunition is exposed to moisture, whether it is submerged in water or experiences high humidity, the powder could potentially become ineffective.
Once the propellant gets wet, it may not burn, so the ammunition may not function.
Generally speaking, manufacturers say that their ammunition is supposed to last for 10 years. However, this is just a general number that they give.
There is absolutely no reason that the ammo can’t be used after 10 years, if it is stored properly. Ammunition that is stored in a generally cool and dry place will last for well past 10 years. While it may not be the best idea to keep ammunition for this long, there’s no reason that it wouldn’t still function.
One thing to keep in mind is that once your ammunition has been taken out of this cool and dry environment, it should be used at your soonest convenience.
If you take your ammo out to the range on a hot or rainy day, or take it out hunting in the swamp, your best bet is to expend that ammo sooner rather than later.
In conclusion, ammo will last as long as you treat it right. As long as it’s stored in a cool and dry environment, there is no reason that the ammo can’t last for decades.
However, once it has been exposed to high heat or moisture, you run the risk of it being no good.
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Red dot sights are extremely common on many modern rifles.
While they are extremely simple sights, most people do not understand exactly how they work.
Curious about the basics of red dot sights? Look no further. In this article, we will go over the types of red dot sights, how they work, pros and cons of red dot sights, and potential uses.
Red dot sight is NOT exactly a specific type of sight; it is more of a general term.
The term “red dot sight” is used to describe any number of electronic weapon optics that utilize a red dot as an aiming point.
Green dots are also extremely common in weapons optics that would usually be referred to as a “red dot sight.”
The different types of red dot sights have been written about on this website before, but I will give a very brief refresher of each, if you want to find more, click here:
I already have post compare red dot vs scope, You should read it if you are confusing about this.
The biggest pros of red dot sights are the versatility and the ease of use.
No matter what type of shooting you are doing, there is a red dot sight that will meet your needs.
There are magnified red dot sights as well as non-magnified red dot sights.
There are battery operated red dot sights as well as sights that do not require batteries.
Red dot sights are extremely easy to use. Once you have zeroed the sight, it’s as simple as point and shoot.
As opposed to iron sights, where you have to line up the rear sight and the front sight, red dot sights are extremely easy to use.
Reflex sights and holographic sights in particular are easy to use, because you can shoot them with both eyes open.
Red dot sights vary significantly in price. There are entry level red dot sights available at extremely affordable prices, while some of the higher quality sights are much more expensive.
More expensive sights, such as an EOTech holographic sight, will have a smaller MOA measurement.
MOA, or minutes of angle, is a measurement of the size of the reticle.
1 MOA commonly translates to 1 inch at 100 yards. A smaller MOA means that the reticle will cover less of targets at greater distances, allowing you to get a more accurate shot.
The cons of red dot sights are kind of dependent on the type of red dot sight.
Prism sights have a smaller eye relief, meaning your eye has to be closer to the scope to accurately aim.
Reflex sights aren’t available with magnification, unless it is a completely separate scope.
Holographic sights are expensive.
As previously mentioned, red dot sights are extremely versatile.
They can be used for any number of different types of shooting. For just casual shooting, you would be fine with any number of red dot sights.
For accurate distance shooting, you would be better off with a prism sight or a holographic sight.
For hunting, any type of red dot sight would excel, as long as it is waterproof.
Related: If your own an ar15, i highly recommend you buy the best ar15 scope. I like to use an scope than red dot,
Overall, red dot sights are an excellent sight for the modern rifle.
The three different types all vary slightly, but are similar in that they use some type of dot type reticle for aiming.
While each type has its pros and cons, rest assured that there is a red dot sight available that will meet your needs.
While older shooters may not agree, red dot sights are the rifle sights of the future.
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So, you just came home with your brand new rifle scope and got it installed on your rifle. Now you’re wondering, how do I go about getting this scope zeroed? Zeroing a rifle scope is a relatively easy task, but many people are unsure exactly how to do this. In this article, we will go over some basics and talk about how to actually zero your rifle to your weapon.
Zeroing a rifle scope refers to aligning the point of impact with the aiming point. It’s a process of adjusting your scope to ensure that the projectile will actually impact where your aim point is. A rifle scope is zeroed when the bullet actually hits where you put your crosshair or aiming reticle.
Before you can start zeroing your rifle scope, make sure you understand how to go about adjusting your scope. You may have to look in the owner’s manual for your rifle scope to figure it out. To adjust a rifle scope, it is pretty common to spin a knob or turn an Allen key.
To start, you need to select the distance at which you are going to zero your rifle scope. This should be based on the distance that you are planning to shoot your rifle. If you are zeroing a rifle that will be used for long distance shots, you are probably going to want to zero it at a greater distance. I would recommend starting the zeroing process of a brand new rifle scope at a much closer distance, such as 25 meters. If you need to shoot at longer distance, once you’ve got a 25 meter zero, you can confirm your zero at 100 meters or longer.
There are paper targets available that are meant specifically for zeroing. These targets have a grid system, which will tell you how much you need to adjust your scope by based on the distance you are shooting with. However, any paper target will work. A paper target without grids will just take longer and require a little bit more guesswork.
Once you’ve got the target set up at your prescribed distance, use the following steps to accurately zero the scope.
Continue to fire three round iterations and adjust your scope until your scope is zeroed. You will know that the scope is zeroed once you are accurately hitting what you are aiming at. Keep in mind, this may require multiple targets and quite a bit of time to perfect.
If your shot isn’t on paper at 25 meters, you have a couple options. You can either get a larger target or move the target in to a closer distance. This will allow you to start the process of getting your scope zeroed.
From there, you can confirm your zero at a greater distance. Minor mistakes will be more magnified over a greater distance, so it may require more adjustments when you shoot at a greater distance.
While most scopes are pretty durable, repeated rounds through the rifle will eventually move the scope slightly. It’s a good idea to reconfirm your zero every once in awhile before you go shoot or hunt.
As you can see, zeroing a rifle scope is a relatively easy process, but people who are new to firearms may be a little confused by exactly how to do it.
Zeroing your scope simply means ensuring that your bullet will hit exactly where your crosshairs or reticle are. It is easy to do, but it does take some time. It may also require getting into the owner’s manual of your scope to figure out exactly how to adjust it.
Deer are among the most mystical creatures on the planet. Long sought after by hunters. The cause of many ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’ among children and hikers. A regular sighting in many regions throughout the world.
But with how common deer are throughout North America, it’s surprising how little most people know about them. We’re aiming to change that.
Today we’re going to take a look at how and why deer shed their antlers.
Antlers on deer are, for all intents and purposes, an extension of bone.
Honeycombed bone, to be exact, that grows outside of the body. They extend outward from the pedicles. These are permanent fixtures on a deer’s head that develop during the first year of the buck’s life.
Each year, the antlers protrude outward from the pedicles.
There may be slight differences in the antlers year to year.
A buck’s health is one major reason for this.
The antlers will develop quickly. The process usually doesn’t take longer than two to four months and starts late in the Spring here in North America.
Testosterone, the male hormone, is the main factor in how a deer’s antlers will develop. Velvet is formed.
Over the course of the Spring, Summer, and Fall, the deer will typically rub his antlers against trees.
The velvet, as a result, shrinks and starts to tumble off, a procedure that actually benefits the animal because the antlers are strengthened and grow back again the next year.
The entire procedure is rehashed every Spring, and as long as the deer maintains decent testosterone levels he will keep his antlers deep into the Autumn season.
Here is a time lapse antler growth video:
Why do deer shed their antlers?
It may not surprise you to learn that the reason this happens is purely natural. It all starts during the rut. Throughout this time, deer begin to lose the velvet on their antlers. It usually begins to happen in November in North America.
The biggest reason behind this is a drop in testosterone in the deer. As the testosterone drops, the antlers begin to loosen and eventually fall off. Without high levels of testosterone, the deer experience a weakening in the tissue, as well as the bones, at the base of the antlers.
Once a significantly low point is reached, the antlers fall off.
There is a defined evolutionary process behind the shedding of a deer’s antlers. How familiar are you with photoperiods? Photoperiods act alongside the testorone to develop the antlers and determine when they will fall off. Genes also help determine early or late development and shedding of antlers because family history can have an impact on the overall health of the deer.
Emotional factors play into this as well. Deer experience social anxiety much like humans, which has a negative impact on their health and thus can lead to earlier dropping of the antlers.
A deer will generally lose his antlers at a similar point every year, barring medical emergency. Testosterone levels rise during the development and the subsequent shedding of the velvet. As the seasons begin to change, the physiological reaction of antler shedding is triggered.
Depending on where you are located in North America, early spring is typically the best time. Those in Colorado and southern parts of the country can start earlier because it typically warms earlier than it does in Canada, Minnesota, and other northern and colder areas.
We like to point out that while antlers can be found year round, the rise in popularity of collecting them generally means that if you aren’t on the ball early in the spring, there’s a strong chance that you will miss out entirely.
February for southern areas is a great time to start. Further north, March into April will suffice. Often, it depends on snow melt because the antlers might get covered over the course of the winter.
Light snow years mean that antler hunters can get out earlier than during heavy snow years. Ar15 with best scope for deer hunting is good choice in a deer hunt
Here is a great video of a buck shedding antlers.
This all depends on how rapidly the deer’s testosterone levels drop.
In many cases, this can happen in less than two days. The antlers may appear to be firmly affixed one day. Then, as the rut progresses and natural cycles occur, the antlers begin to loosed rapidly
Before long, a sudden jerk of the head or scare from afar puts that final feather on the dam. The tissue is no longer strong enough to support the antlers, and as a result they simply fall off.
Generally speaking, peak condition bucks will hold onto their antlers longer than unhealthy or weaker bucks. They are able to maintain stronger tissue and remain in better physical condition, resulting in higher than average antler-to-head durability.
Late drop can be affected by a few distinct causes. Variable deer populations in an area play a big role. Low population means shedding won’t optimize until late March or April.
Second, first-year grovels that achieve rearing weight their first winter will come into estrous. This for the most part happens well after the pinnacle groove and is the primary driver of the second trench in many spots.
Also, circumstances like these will keep a buck’s testosterone levels higher for longer periods of time. If there is a lot of rivalry going on among male bucks, testosterone levels will peak. Strong mating seasons also have a similar effect.
Now you’ve got a general understanding of why and when deer shed their antlers.
The most important thing to keep in mind is what part of the continent you’re in. We can’t emphasize this enough- get out early! Early season leads to better antlers that are found with more ease and less time.
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