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CRIA1576ParticipantJanuary 5, 2016 at 11:01 pmPost count: 589CRIA1576ParticipantJanuary 5, 2016 at 10:58 pmPost count: 589
I’m not sure where you are coming from, but Dunbar Slough in Greene county SW of Jefferson has plenty of birds in it. You will need good dogs and strong legs due to the snow, but there are good bird numbers over there if you have the stamina and determination. There are hundreds of acres of mixed habitat and food plots, and the birds are flying to adjacent open fields early and coming back into the cover mid-morning. The migratory bird refuges are also now open to pheasant hunting, and the birds are roosting tight in the semi-frozen cattail marshes. If you choose to hunt them in there you will need knee boots at the least, and I would recommend insulated hip boots. We were breaking through up to our knees in mud last weekend.
Good luck!CRIA1576ParticipantJanuary 5, 2016 at 7:14 pmPost count: 589CRIA1576ParticipantDecember 28, 2015 at 8:07 pmPost count: 589CRIA1576ParticipantDecember 28, 2015 at 5:38 pmPost count: 589CRIA1576ParticipantDecember 28, 2015 at 5:35 pmPost count: 589
Finished up sighting in with the 250 grain Knight Red Hots (Barnes MZ) with EZ load sabots. These are the ones that come in the red hard plastic box. I am very pleased to report they loaded with half as much effort as the 300 grain Barnes MZ and were very easy to manage. I was able to shoot 11 rounds without running a brush down the barrel, and I only did so due to accuracy reduction, not because they wouldn’t seat.
With 100 grains of Blackhorn, CCI 209 primers, and 250 grain Red Hots, I was able to put together a sub-3″ group at 100 yards. This was shooting from a bench while resting on my elbows. With a sandbag or sled I am certain it will shoot much better than this. Regardless, a 3″ group at 100 yards is definitely good enough to hit a deer’s vitals with consistency at this range.
Good luck to all with the smoke poles this season. We are in the midst of an absolute blizzared in western IA, but some good bucks have been hitting the ground lately.CRIA1576ParticipantDecember 22, 2015 at 10:39 pmPost count: 589
Thanks for the suggestion, and that is something I also always do, especially since I use loose powder.
BTW for those guys using Triple 7, yesterday even with damp conditions and some fog, I was able to fire 11 rounds with 100 grains of Blackhorn without any need for a spit patch or wire brush down the bore. Once I got the #amn 300 grainers down the barrel, they seated perfectly every time without any powder or plastic fouling build-up. I would’ve kept on shooting if I wouldn’t have broken the #amn bullet starter jag inside the barrel.
Finally a marketing claim that is true (no need to swab between shots).
Good luck!CRIA1576ParticipantDecember 22, 2015 at 9:21 pmPost count: 589
Thank you for all the responses thus far. I was not suggesting that the tight bore was a manufacturer’s defect, rather just wanted to provide a head’s up to anybody buying this insanely popular rifles. If a guy does some research online, there are brands (TC, Knight, Savage, etc…) and particular rifles that are known for having either tight, moderate, or forgiving bores, and I could have saved myself some stress and strain if I’d done my homework first.
UPDATE: So I am standing around in the black powder section at Scheels at Jordan Creek, and another guy is standing there looking as puzzled and frustrated as me. Well we get to talking, and he had the EXACT same experience with his V2 as I did and finally found a solution after much trial and error. He orders the 250 grain Knight T-EZ (Barnes Polymer Tipped BT) with the blue sabot directly from the manufacturer. He said these slide right down the barrel with some resistance (as would be expected) but without difficulty or a lot of grunting. He also mentioned that they group like crazy with 2 Triple 7 pellets or 100 grains of Triple 7 powder (1″ at 100 yards). Unfortunately, they did not have any of these in stock, and since I don’t have time to wait a week for them to ship, I went ahead and got some 250 grain Knight Red Hots (Barnes MZ) with red EZ load sabots. I am hopeful that with 100 grains of Blackhorn these will buck a little less than the 300 grain MZ and be easier to load.
I will repost findings after I have a chance to get back on the bench.
Thanks again!CRIA1576ParticipantDecember 21, 2015 at 2:13 pmPost count: 589
Great story and great picture!
I had my 5 year old Golden Retriever Calvin out yesterday, broke up his cage match with a big boar coon, and then popped a rooster twice minutes later. Unfortunately, the bird just kept on gliding half a mile never to be seen again, even after pulling feathers on both shots.
Congrats!CRIA1576ParticipantDecember 21, 2015 at 3:23 amPost count: 589
Agree 100% and that is great advice!
Watch his body language closely. Once the ears and tail go down, it is time to quit for the day or mix in a new command. Once he starts fetching more regularly, since he is living in the house you can constantly reinforce in front of the tv, doing housework, etc…. You don’t always have to go out in the yard. Maximize those “teachable moments” whenever possible.CRIA1576ParticipantDecember 21, 2015 at 3:17 amPost count: 589
My Golden Retriever Calvin has always been a combination hunting/family dog; living in the house since we brought him home at 10 weeks. He is the first and only dog I’ve ever trained and he came with zero hunting pedigree. I read and re-read Wolters “Gun Dog” and applied the step-by-step obedience approach, because his cumulative learning just made a lot of sense. I did spare the rod and never “thrashed” Calvin when he failed to perform a task. I mixed corrections in with positive reinforcement, and I couldn’t tell you what the ratio was of each, I just paid really close and made sure I didn’t break him down.
I taught Calvin the skills from the book I was looking for in a good upland bird dog. I did not teach him everything. I wasn’t looking for a field trial or fancy working partner, I wanted a working class dog that would work close, come when he was called, flush birds, and fetch them up. Spending 10-15 minutes a day, a few times a week in the yard in the spring and first summer (brought him home on Valentine’s Day 2011), by September he was skillfully “flushing”, locating, and blind retrieving scent-laced dummies. I also augmented his training program with frozen full size birds that I purchased from a local game preserve.
In order to supercharge his first season, I splurged on a couple hunts at the local game preserve in October to make sure that he was getting real world experience on birds that I knew were placed in a specific area and that would fly well. By opening day 2011, Calvin was almost 11 months old, and he went on to flush and retrieve over 50 wild birds his first season, often running hundreds of yards to retrieve cripples, always bringing them back to me. We extended his first season by hitting the preserve a couple times after the season in February to ensure the “game” was cemented in his mind. Calvin still hunts as hard as ever today.
Calvin turned 5 this month, and he never suffered from the terrible 2’s, and has always made me proud. He has hunted alongside fully papered and pedigreed dogs, field champions, guide dogs, and other “high-powered” canines, and he has always met or exceeded their talent. I’ve seen him flush birds behind these dogs and locate downed birds in cover they wouldn’t even go into. At the end of the day, your dog has got to have drive and a singleminded willingness to please you. These things cannot be bred or trained IMO. Rather, these traits are learned when nurtured in a loving home, where the dog knows you, trusts you, loves you, and counts on you to always have his back.
I would stick with Wolters, and keep working at the fetch. Make it a game for him and have lots of treats handy to condition him to bring it back to you. He doesn’t need to get a treat every time, sometimes a big smile and some thoughtful pets are just as effective. Mix it up some and eventually you will be able to ween him off the treats and have the fetching habit formed.
Clearly by all of this I am no expert dog trainer. However, I do support Wolters training approach, less the thrashings, and also wholeheartedly believe that a gun dog raised and loved in the home will always perform as well and often better than a dog that is in a run 23 hours a day.
Just my $.02 and I know not everyone will agree.
Good luck with the lab and just be patient with him.CRIA1576ParticipantDecember 18, 2015 at 6:57 pmPost count: 589
If you hunt long enough this will happen. It sucks and as long as you dedicate every effort to recovering the deer, you shouldn’t dwell on it permanently.
I also follow the “when in doubt back out” philosophy. This applies to both the shot and the trail. If you think the shot was low, back, guts, or the deer just didn’t react as expected, it pays to add 30 minutes to an hour to your regular approach. Once you’re on the trail, even if you have good blood, once you hit a couple hundred yards it is time to re-assess the hit and wait time. Deer can take an incredible amount of punishment and keep going when they’re full of adrenaline. Bumping a wounded deer and creating a surge of adrenaline greatly reduces your chances for recovery.
My son shot a nice doe on Sunday of first season. The deer was roughly 30 yards away, slightly downhill, and moderately quartering to him. He put the Hornady SST just behind the front right shoulder and it exited a few inches in front of her left rear leg in her white belly hair. We gave the deer roughly 10 minutes to expire; agreeing the shot was good and deer was certainly dead. Interestingly enough, we couldn’t find a single drop of blood when we picked up the trail. After an hour or so of looking for blood or any evidence of her passing in the mixed brome and switchgrass, we decided to line up a few yards apart and grid walk back and forth, perpendicular to her path, until we found something in the tall grass. After 3 rounds, my son found her dead as a doornail roughly 125 yards south of where she was standing at the shot.
The reason for the lack of any discernible blood trail was that roughly 14″ of connective tissue, fascia, and tallow had gone out the far side with the slug and very effectively plugged the exit wound. In addition, with the downhill angle of the shot, the blood filled the body cavity rather than escaping the entrance hole. Always looking for teaching moments, I instructed him to aim forward next time a deer is quartering to in order to smash the point of the front shoulder; anchoring the deer in place and better accessing the far section of vitals. The other advice I gave was to try and wait until the deer is perfectly broadside or quartering away, but in this example she was downwind and likely to get our scent at any moment.
There are many factors that influence the recovery of deer whether shot with an arrow or slug. The bottom line is that as ethical hunters, out of reverance and respect to the deer, we need to exhaust all effort and avenues to recover an animal after it has been shot. Unfortunately, sometimes our best efforts are not enough.
Keep your chin up and hopefully some of the advice from this thread will help you in the future.
Good luck!CRIA1576ParticipantDecember 18, 2015 at 6:27 pmPost count: 589
Agreed on the bedding area thoughts… In my experience, when it is nice out during the late season, the deer won’t stray far from the food source, even bedding in waterways, field edges, brome and switch grass. If the feed butts up against the timber, I would expect the deer to be less than 100 yards inside the trees.
My general approach for food souces this time of year is to try to hunt downwind of where the deer are going and not where they are. In addition, it is critical that you can get to your spot unseen by the deer. Since they tend to be more spread out in warmer weather, trying to get too close to transition and bedding areas risks busting a lot of deer before you even get to your set. This is especially true in areas that receive a lot of pressure and have extremely nervous/wary deer. While this approach can make it difficult to get a shot on a mature buck if he comes out at last light, it helps to conserve your best spots for ideal cold and blustery conditions where you can crowd the deer a little more easily.
Good luck!CRIA1576ParticipantDecember 18, 2015 at 6:04 pmPost count: 589
Agreed on all points so far. From a next steps perspective, since you don’t know what past agreements (written or verbal) were made with existing or previous landowners or tenants, I would take a conservative approach.
1. Call CO and Sherriff to report the bait stations and request their recommendation on how to deal with the stands, blinds, etc… It is likely that the law will confiscate all existing hunting equipment and the feeders as evidence for the investigation. You sure as heck don’t want any of your property (or intentions) to get mixed up in this mess.
2. Follow up with the law and only go back in to the property to install your own equipment after you have received their formal (written) sign off and after following up with the woman that gave your permission in the first place. I would expect that the investigation will last quite a while, and the land may be out of circulation for anybody to hunt for the remainder of the season.
There are guys in this part of the country that don’t say no to anybody that asks permission. As a result, there are often disputes about who has permission when and for what season. Some of these landowners have gone to leasing land as a result to reduce their liability, and this seems to have remedied a lot of the issues. Personally, I don’t like the whole leased hunting approach, but that is a topic for another thread completely.
Good luck with this mess, and I hope that you are able to enjoy access and good hunting in the future.CRIA1576ParticipantDecember 16, 2015 at 3:49 pmPost count: 589
I totally understand your frustration, and it amazes me how bold and brazen some of these people are. The ONLY way to change this behavior is to follow through with trespassing charges at a minimum. The fines have actually been increased significantly ($140?), and trespassing also counts double against your hunting record. If I recall, you only get “3 strikes” in Iowa before having your hunting privileges suspended for a year. Granted, some of these people could care less as they don’t buy licenses or tags anyways.
I also agree 100% with the other guys that recommended calling the Sherriff in the close shooting examples. There are multiple deputies assigned at the county level vs. one DNR officer per county. You are more likely to get a timely response from them in a potentially dangerous or life threatening situation. They can also help diffuse a potentially violent face to face incident before you are the one getting locked up with an assault charge.
Good luck!CRIA1576ParticipantDecember 15, 2015 at 10:49 pmPost count: 589
Ugh… The topic I love to hate or hate to love… Crappie jig color for me has been highly dependent on what pond or lake I am fishing. As a result, I have just about every color tube jig there is. Late this season I bought a bunch of Charlie Brewer Sliders, and weedless jigheads, and I had good luck with the black body/chartruese tail. In fact, I caught my personal best 15.5″ crappie on that combination in 1/32.
In farm ponds around here, the most consistent crappie slayer is a”Killer Jigs” brand tube in Green Pepper / Yellow. Basically it is a green body with black pepper flakes and a yellow skirt/tail. My father in law showed me the effectiveness of these time over time against my best jigs at many different ponds. You can find them at scheels on the end cap or online. I have had phenomenal success from spring through fall with this color with both 1/16 and 1/32 gold jigheads depending on the conditions. It helps to carry some super glue and add a drop to the jig body to make them stick to the head and last a little longer. This jig has also produced stingers of jumbo gills. Here is a link to their website.
In larger lakes with very similar stained to semi-stained water, I have had very little luck with this jig and body. On Greenfield, Nodaway, Meadow, and Littlefield for example, I have consistent success with an Arkie twin tailed spinner in pearl. This has been a super bait both casted to rip rap and brushpiles as well as when long lined behind the boat. For this one I use 1/16 plain jig heads exclusively.
Good luck and tight lines!CRIA1576ParticipantDecember 15, 2015 at 10:27 pmPost count: 589
I think the birds also like snake grass because there is no freaking way that any predators can sneak up on them unless from above. When we walk it around here it is always full of bird crap where they’ve been roosting.
My experience walking/shooting birds in it has been mixed. On bitterly cold days with snow I’ve seen them hold really tight, but on nicer days they here you coming a mile away and usually all i find is bird crap and birds flushing wild.
Regarding the worst cover to walk through, I was reminded how much I hate iron weeds (giant rag weed stalks) this past opening day. We walked through patches 10′ tall that were so thick you couldn’t even fall down in them… It was so bad you had to stop every 25 yards to dislodge all the stalks wound around your waist and legs. Heck, my dog even had trouble going over/under. Waist high snake grass is horrible, but is still a close second to iron weeds IMO.CRIA1576ParticipantDecember 14, 2015 at 5:30 pmPost count: 589CRIA1576ParticipantDecember 14, 2015 at 5:19 pmPost count: 589
Once you get a single stage press and dies (highly recommend carbide for convenience) you will need a couple shell holders, primers, brass, powder, and bullets. You will also need a scale or automatic powder dispenser, tumbler, primer capping tool, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a kinetic unloading tool for those screw-ups that are bound to happen. For straight-wall calibers like this, reloading is actually really easy, and you don’t have to go whole hog on case prep, beburring, chamfering, case trimming, or other gadgets. Finally, don’t forget a cartridge holder and labels so that you can organize your various load/bullet combinations.
I self-taught myself on how to do this, and it can be a little daunting from the start. As a result, if you could find an experienced reloader to mentor you through the first couple batches it would help immensely.