It was a busy January as usual! The Houston Boat Show was awesome as was the SHOT Show. We have a ton of coverage of both archived on FishGame.com if you want to check it out. Meanwhile, I also squeezed in a podcast guest appearance with my buddy Jayson Sacco on his show, Outdoor Adventures with Jayson. I hope you enjoy our show together. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog! You guys rock!
I try to do some kind of special hunt right before the Christmas holidays get here – usually on the day before Christmas Eve. This year was no exception as I planned a hunt for myself and my buddy Michael Foster at DB Hunting Ranch. Michael had never shot a Texas wild hog, or any wild hog for that matter, and I wanted to guide him on his own special hunt for this first time experience. The ranch closed down for the holidays so we had the whole place to ourselves for both the morning and evening hunts. I rarely guide for the exception of my own hunts or close friends and family but I did everything a guide would normally do on both hunts. Of course I captured both hunts on video and produced them just for you, my reading, watching and listening audience. Here’s how we did! Thanks for watching, reading and listening and for your support through the years! Personally, unlike many, 2016 was a great year for me and I think 2017 will be even better!
It’s great to be back blogging again! I know, I know, I haven’t posted anything since October. I have been firing out some awesome new content at FishGame.com so please be sure to check that out with this link!
This past weekend I made my annual homage to Brady, Texas to hunt whitetail deer again and help the Broad Family Ranch with some deer management. We needed to cull some does, spikes and cull bucks so I was there to do my part. This ranch has not had much hunting pressure and I really enjoy every moment of a trip like this. It is the socialization of “deer camp” at it’s finest and ranks right up there with my hunts in Mason, Texas. I simply love this time of year. It doesn’t get much better than deer hunting in the cold of Texas’ winter months with the ones you love.
Here is my video from this hunt:
Please stay tuned to my blog and FishGame.com as next month we make the journey to SHOT Show 2017 and I got an invite to Media Day at the Range or “Range Day” as many call it. Lots more to come. Thank you so much for watching, reading and listening!
Since the dawn of Smart phones, companies have come out with apps to make doing certain things easier or at least, in some ways, more convenient. Before I tested the TRASOL app, I had a ballistics calculator that helped me calculate trajectory and other factors and variables related to shooting at extended ranges. That calculator worked well for my needs at the time but after I downloaded and tested out the TRASOL App from Desert Tech, I realized I would never look at ballistic data the same way again. The TRASOL app factors in just about every conceivable consideration related to shooting. This is so much more than an advanced calculator which shooters can use to figure out a variety of factors in shooting, especially at long ranges with the many variables that go along with long range shooting.
Integrating a heads up display (HUD), an initiative interface and global prediction accuracy, this app incorporates everything I have ever looked for in a shooting trajectory calculator and then some. To top it off, it is extremely easy to use. Simply input all the factors you know from the rifle and load you are using as well as your environmental factors, which can be numerous in the shooting realm, and the app tells you everything you need to know in real time. You can even save different gun profiles in the app that you can refer back to on different visits to the range and different shooting sessions. This is huge for me since I own multiple long range rifles in different calibers. You can even set up an account and sync the app with your account, inputting new data every time you shoot. Since I use handloads in some of my guns, I see an added benefit for using this app for feedback on how my loads are preforming in the rifle I am shooting.
The TRASOL app does this all at one low one-time cost of $9.99. As with most apps, once you download it, the app is yours to use for life. Having information at your disposal like this isn’t only valuable, it is extremely crucial if you want to make an accurate calculation of your shot and this is vitally important if you plan to compete in long range shooting matches or other types of scenarios. As a big game hunter, I see many uses for this app in taking big game at long ranges. Having immediate feedback for shooting like this is something I have never had so easy in the past. Desert Tech, the company that came out with this app, specializes in long range high power rifles that can change calibers in under a minute or so and this app makes using these rifles even better.
There are so many more benefits and features to TRASOL that I have outlined here. To learn more about TRASOL, which is available for both iOS and Android, visit http://deserttech.com/trasol.php.
Our latest podcast is here! Visit thebestoftheoutdoors.podbean.com for all of our episodes! Thanks for listening!
As he is in the process of preparing for hunting season, “Prowler Bill” Henson joins Dustin on this podcast and we talk about preparing for bow and gun season for big game and other hunting adventures. We talk about some of the products we use in the field, and some best practices for safety and survival tools to have in the field.
In this episode, Dustin Vaughn Warncke is joined by past guest Michael Foster. They talk about saving money in the hunting realm and cover different ways to find deals on guns, bows, crossbows, hunting clothing and other hunting gear. This is a fun filled podcast with lots of great ideas on how to save money on some of the essentials you need in the field.
Mentioned in Podcast:
Hunting Ranch: www.dbhunting.com
Bowhunting: Grim Reaper Broadheads: www.grimreaperbroadheads.com
Discount Knives and Other Outdoor Gear: www.budk.com
Hunting Flashlights: www.varmintlights.com
Firearms and Accessories: www.cheaperthandirt.com
Discounted Surplus and Hunting Gear: www.sportsmansguide.com
Discount Ammo Retailer: www.ammunitiontogo.com
Discount Online Retailer: www.huntingandfishingsuperstore.com
About the Podcast: The Best of the Outdoors Podcast is optimized to bring listeners the best in hunting, fishing, shooting, bowfishing and other outdoor activities. The show is broadcast across a number of different audio platforms and serves as a source of education and inspiration for all things outdoors.
Aside from that, I have been busy recording podcasts and we now have podcasts coming out every other Thursday at FishGame.com and on my podcast channel for The Best of the Outdoors. Please subscribe on iTunes or whatever way you listen to podcasts!
If you are in the mood to shop for hunting and/or fishing gear, please check out my page and gear recommendations on The Outdoor Insiders website which just recently launched! I think you will like a lot of the content there from myself and other outdoor industry guys like me! Here are a couple of recent podcast episodes you can listen to right here on my blog!
Thanks again for your support and for watching, listening and reading!
I have been active in the archery sports, especially bowhunting, for over a decade now and the innovations in this industry keep getting better. I am blown away by Grim Reaper Broadheads. Out of all of the companies I represent as a Pro-Staff or other position, Grim Reaper is one of my personal favorites. They keep pushing the envelope on what is possible in broadhead technology.
Grim Reaper Broadheads have worked for me time after time in hunt after hunt. With no exception, Grim Reapers have worked for me, even with marginal shot placements. As long as a Whitetail Deer or Wild Hog, our main big game quarry here in Texas, has been hit in the vital area with a Grim Reaper, I have recovered the animal and done so in a short amount of time. This may just be my personal experience but I have the video proof to back it up since I started filming my hunts back in 2012. In 2013, I even filmed two deer I shot with a crossbow dropping 7-10 seconds after they were hit with one of the GR crossbow broadheads I used. You can see all of my bow hunts on my YouTube Channel.
If you are a bowhunter and have never tried a pack of these broadheads, check out Grim Reaper and just buy a pack of their broadheads on your next archery purchase. I can assure you that you will not be disappointed at the results.
Here is a video about some of the innovations that Grim Reaper has come out with for 2016. This is Matt Bateman, National Sales Manager for Grim Reaper, talking about some of the new products this year. I have known Matt for many years now and he is a great guy with a great product line. As always, thank you so much for reading!
Recoil Rifle Slings
While I was cruising around the exhibit hall floor, I ran into a familiar company. Will Hawkins started Recoil Rifle Slings back in 2011 and I met Will through a mutual friend back in 2013. I met his parents, William B. Hawkins and Linda Hawkins at the NRA show and got some pictures of Mrs. Hawkins showcasing some of their latest creations. What is special about this company is that not only is it US military veteran owned, all of the slings are handmade by US veterans here in the USA. What’s even more incredible is that the slings are made from durable paracord (parachute cord) with which you can use in an emergency situation to do a number of things. Recoil Slings come in three sizes: Diamond Back Pro, Viper 2-2-1, and Big Mamba. I own one of these handmade slings and it is among my most cherished firearm accessories. You can see the first blog post I did for this awesome company here and a follow up post with a video of my personal sling here.
I am always looking for new innovations on existing platforms and I found just that at SHOT Show this year where I was introduced to the Cobalt Kinetics AR-15. I visited this booth again at NRA just to get the detailed scoop on what they have to offer. They have designed a system that drops the magazine out of the gun upon loading the last round out of the magazine, allowing you to feed another magazine into the gun and keep going without missing a beat. What’s more is that if your bolt stays open after the last shot, it will automatically close again and load the first round into the chamber upon simply loading the magazine into the gun. Talk about innovation! Nothing like this has ever been done before and the technology is impressive to say the least. This eliminates about three steps needed to change out a magazine on a traditional AR-15. While this may be perfect for a gun competition, I got to thinking how practical it would be on shooting wild hogs here in Texas if you didn’t have the time for traditional firearm reloading but had a target rich environment of pesky swine you needed to eradicate. I have actually been in some situations while hog hunting where we had hogs left to shoot but no available ammunition left in our guns. Just a thought.
I ran into one of the reps from Desert Tech at the hotel I was staying at and decided to pay their booth a visit. I have never seen rifles like this and I thought I would write a short piece about them. This modular bolt action platform is built with both the big game hunter and long range shooter in mind. So what’s so interesting about a bullpup-style bolt action rifle you might say? Here’s the fun part. You can change out barrels and go from a .308 Win to a larger caliber in a minute or so! These guns are compact, convertible and accurate. It is hard to find rifles that will meet all three of those criteria as well in today world of firearms.
I have been impressed by the strides Daniel Defense has taken with the AR platform. Along with the great rifles chambered in .223/5.56×45 and 300 Blackout, new Ambush rifle in .308 Win was quite impressive. The ambidextrous controls on this rifle make it easy to be handled by left and right-handed alike. You can drop the magazine, release the bolt, or operate the safety from either side of the receiver. Also new this year is the DD32, an AR-15 magazine that broke the mold on what an AR magazine should be with its lightweight but strong build and increased ammunition capacity. This magazine was built with a carbon fiber reinforced polymer making it the lightest but toughest AR magazine I own and it hold two rounds more than any of my other AR magazines.
I have written about that fact that we are in the “Golden Age” of the outdoor industry many times in the past. My goal in this trip to the NRA Show and with this blog series was to cover what was most interesting and unique this year. Competition between outdoor industry companies can be fierce but the winners and the end of the day are you and I, the consumers. New strides are taken every year to come out with what is bigger and better or even simply something that is unique and practical that we have never seen before. My point is that it all just keeps getting better for us in this hunting and shooting industry and I am blessed to have the opportunity to share some of it with you. Thank you, as always, for watching, reading, and listening.
There are many companies who make a great AR-15 rifle but ADCOR Defense has a revolutionary gas piston system built into their AR platform. This rifle features an ambidextrous forward charging handle and is available in 5.56×45, 7.62×39, and 300 Blackout. What a cool idea! I have often thought there should be a design alternative to the traditional rear charging handle which can be awkward at times. I look for innovation when I look at what is being done in the “black rifle” part of the firearm industry and I think ADCOR is onto something here. I first ran into ADCOR at SHOT Show this year and ever since then have been impressed with their rifle platform.
I ran across G2 Research from a press release that came through from a PR company that I work with at Texas Fish & Game Magazine. What impressed me about both their Civic Duty, R.I.P., and Trident ammunition was the controlled expansion. G2 Research is producing ammunition in popular calibers for both handgun and rifles. If you are looking for a serious self defense round, check these guys out.
I have been thoroughly impressed by holographic optics over the years the leader of that field has been EOTech. I wrote an article back in 2012 on the Mac & Prowler TV Show website about the EOTech XPS3 sight I own and it is still among by favorite optics. What’s new for this year is the model 512 XBOW optic which is built with the crossbow hunter in mind. The venerable Model 512 has been called the “meat and potatoes” of the holographic sight family as EOTech’s most popular model. To make a holo sight for the crossbow with a specialized reticle for hunting? I think this is a brilliant innovation! Add to the list some night vision accessories for night hunting our Texas wild hogs and it just keeps getting better. Also new is the Vudu line of precision rifle scopes which should be available by September 2016. It is hard to not get excited when you are surrounded by such incredible technology that allows us to be better hunters and shooters.
Blue Force Gear
I met the folks at Blue Force Gear at SHOT Show this year and it was great to reconnect with them again at this show. This company makes some of most durable military-grade gear I have ever encountered. I own one of their Vickers Slings and it is one of the highest quality firearms slings I own. They also have a huge list of practical and tactical gear such as MOLLE Pouches, Chest Rigs, Belt Pouches, and so much more. I highly recommend you check them out for a great overall gear selection.