Spring Is Here by Shane Hurkmans
With the weather getting warmer and warmer, it’s that time to start thinking turkeys again. Get the old shotgun out and check it over. While you have it out, give it a good cleaning to make sure that there is nothing wrong. Check to make sure that the chamber is clear of dust and rust. Even though you cleaned it before you put it away, you can still get rust build up over time and it should be check for before going afield.
This year I’m going to be hunting with a 20 gauge Winchester 870 pump. I had a head injury this past year and still can’t take a big pounding from the old 12 gauge. I have been shooting it a little bit to see if one load is going to work better than the others. I mounted a red dot sight to the mix just to see if the sight gives me any advantage over rifle sights that I have on the gun from True glow. I like these sights because they are easy to see in the morning dawn.
The red dot sight that I have on my gun is ok, I like that you can pick the dot up easier and you can turn the dot size up and down to fit your needs. The one thing I don’t like about the sight is that my cheek is off the stock to see through the sight. I can shoot out to 45 yards with this little gun. I have been shooting targets at five, ten and fifteen yards. I hear every year about guys missing at close ranges, so get out there and shoot a few close ones just to make sure that you know where that gun is shooting for you.
With all the new stuff out there for our guns these days, you can find a choke and load that is right for you. I can not say what works for you and how the gun is going to pattern with the choke and load, you have to find that out for yourself. As with most equipment for your gun you have to find what works best for you. I don’t know if I’m going to use the red dot sight yet this year, I’m still thinking about it. I still don’t know if it’s going to work for my style of hunting.
For those of you heading to the spring bear woods this year, pick your gun carefully, you have so many choices for hunting bear you can go nuts trying to pick just one. You can take your deer rifle or old shot gun with you and they will do just fine. I would stay with at least a .270 on up to the big guns of the .350 Alaskan or the .45-70. Whatever you take make sure that the bullet that you pick is a heavier jacket than you use on deer. I would recommend that you use a bullet at least 180 grains or larger for this kind of game.
I myself may be taking a trip to the bear woods this year. I ‘m going to be using a bow to take my bear. I just picked up a new bow set at 70 pounds and am shooting a 350 grain arrow with a 145 grain head. I know it’s going to be slower than what I shoot for deer, but I want the weight of the arrow to push through the larger bone and muscle of the bear. I also have a cut on contact head to cut through the longer hair of the bear.
Whatever you are going after this spring, be sure to have the best you can afford with you when you go. Spend the time in the off-season to practice, making sure that you take your game as cleanly as possible for their sake and yours.
Have fun out there this spring and be safe. Take a kid out and show them the spring coming from its winter slumber. Show them the beauty of the land and teach them to care and you will have a friend for life as a sportsperson.