Prehistoric Moose?

Here you are sitting in your small cozy New Hampshire Cabin up north looking out the window above the sink, doing the dishes from breakfast. The wood stove is chugging away as the temperature is just 6 degrees outside. On the stove is a pot of venison stew and the aroma is everywhere. The room you are in is the kitchen/living room the walls are scalloped pine. The only thing you hear is a crackling of fire in the wood stove, the tinnitus buzz in my ear and silence. I can hear myself breathing. The field in front of you is large and to the left of the field is a small patch of spruce trees where there is a deer trail that brings deer into the field. Doing dishes has its rewards as you gaze hoping for a deer to appear. I sometimes dream as if dazed what it would have been like here millions of years ago when prehistoric creatures roamed in search of food and a mate. Suddenly I was startled as if my dream was real, a prehistoric moose appears sticking its head out of the Spruce deer trail. Holy Crap, are you kidding? It is the size of a bus and 14 feet tall. It’s antlers are 16 feet wide and the palmation of the antlers is three feet wide with huge two foot brow tines and its head is bigger than my whole body. What a vision to have seen such a behemoth for real in the north woods of New Hampshire.

Oh no, I sneezed and woke from my daze as the warm soap suds drip from my hands. The moose is gone, poof, just like that. Oh well, the Antlers would never fit in my cabin anyway. It is just amazing what your brain can concoct for you in the name of entertainment on a cold winters day…Maybe we can see our Moose friend again sometime. Now for a hot bowl of venison stew and a fresh stick of French bread and butter.

© 2015

New Hampshire Game Management Questionaire

Quote From the New Hampshire F & G Website: 

The process of developing a new ten-year Game Management Plan for New Hampshire is underway at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. The current plan, which established a solid framework for future planning, expires at the end of 2015. The new plan will set population goals for moose, deer, bear, wild turkey and other game species for the period 2016 through 2025.

Biologists are currently working on comprehensive species assessments, which will be posted on this web page, and public input will be gathered. The final draft plan will then be presented to the Fish and Game Executive Director and the Fish and Game Commission for final review and approval during the late spring or early summer of 2015.


If you want to tell F& G about your input to the future of game management. Go to the above website and take the Questionaire!



Hunting and Survival is in our Genes

My genetic make-up and likely yours as well came from people who hunted and gathered through the millennium in England and all of Europe .  My early English roots arrived in Newbury, Ma. in the year 1637 and my family came from among the deer of England just north of London above Hertford. The name Hertford means “Hert” for deer, and “ford” for where they crossed/forded the river.

As the genealogist of my family, my roots include a 6th great grandmother who was said to be a full-blooded Abenaki who lived on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. A photo of her shares her unfrilled straight black hair parted down the middle. Many of today’s New Englander’s unknowingly have American Indian  blood. The Abenaki named the lake Winipisoegee (Smiling Great Spirit).

My early life In the 1950’s was an adventure.  When school was out for the summer, my Italian mom kicked my brother and I outside. “Go play” she said, and we did. I had built my very own bow and was shooting at age 7. It helped greatly by watching Robin Hood on TV  and Friar Tuck to fish with a string tied to his toe while napping. Very ingenious way to multi-task!  I made my first bow in Salem, NH out of a maple sapling and the string in the kitchen drawer and my arrows from golden rod.   Watching Robin Hood, I was exposed to God, honor among men, allegiance, care for the down trodden, self-reliance and of course beautiful “Maid Marion”. Who could forget that Marion was both beautiful and skillful with a bow and a sword.  I was enamored with Sherwood Forest and its ability to provide secret cover and sustenance to Robin Hood and his Merry Men.

I caught my first pickerel at the age of 7 without my father who worked during the day and I learned on-my-own to tease the pickerel into striking a dancing-worm using a fishing pole of maple and string or thread from my mothers sewing kit. At age 8, I was selling shiners to local fishermen.

By then I was already and outdoors-man of sorts or perhaps I was already a hunter of fish!

My father exposed me to hunting animals at the age of 10, hunting woodchucks who marauded the garden eating the green beans and lettuce and put holes the ground where livestock animals broke legs.

We shot targets and tin cans with my father in the back yard with BB guns and later with a single shot 22 rifle. Later dad took us to our hunting camp up near the “13 mile woods” below Errol, NH. I remember the early 1960’s with dozens of gigantic work horses still pulling logs out of the woods. It was a time of wonder where the deer were plentiful and equally giants of woods with live weights of 250 to 300 pounds.

My two boys, now mature men have been exposed to hunting. Only one of  my sons hunt, the other is not a big hunter but approves of the exposure of his kids. I have grandchildren of both boys and girls that I want to expose to hunting.


I firmly believe that without the skills that hunting provides like self-reliance, perseverance, survival skills, satisfaction of achievement, providing food for yourself and others independent of the grocery store, we then become sheep for the slaughter by outside forces who can damage our fragile society, our power grid and financial systems, all too real in today’s world. Survival is key!

Some of my grandchildren may want to hunt because Papa does, others may reject the idea, this is perfectly normal and ok if you decide that it is not for you. I recall the saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”  I believe the best way to expose them to hunting is to make it about family and take them on hikes and fishing and blueberry picking when very young (perhaps at ages 4 or 5) and talk about nature and predator and prey animals and sets up the truth and belief that something must die for us to live, whether it is a carrot or a cow, or a deer. If you own a camp up north, this is ideal for exposure to the wild by canoeing, fishing, and hiking or take day trips. A few years ago, I took my grand kids hiking to New Hampshire’s Mount Major up by lake Winipesaukee.  Mount Major is a short day hike even a 7 year old can handle.

For those in hunting families, what we enjoy eating at the dinner table for fish, fowl and big game that someone in the family killed or caught it in a “responsible way” and prepared it for food is a real measure of freedom. Freedom to choose food from the wild instead of a grocery store. Did you like that venison chili or the grilled venison steak? They were yummy, young Tommy says and you got that deer daddy, didn’t you? Yes I did was the reply with a prideful smile. Lesson learned, it is not only ok to kill for food it is great fun in stalking, sneaking and outwitting the game you are after.

I suggest hunter/gathering exposure at an early age before 10 years old if possible take a child fishing and ask for the child’s help in preparing and cooking the fish he caught for dinner. Preparation includes gutting the fish, cutting the head and tail off the fish and cooking and clean-up after the meal. The fish is now resembles the fish seen at the supermarket but instead of buying that fish that someone else caught, you can say with pride, “I caught this fish.”  Cooking with a frying pan with butter, oil and spices like garlic, salt, pepper, and Worcester sauce with say some steak tips of venison clearly plants those aromatic smells in the brain.   And so the next hunt begins not just to kill but to provide responsibility to each phase of the hunt and create table fare fit for a king and create the hunter skills of survival for a lifetime. It is important as a free society to promote hunting as this is a foundational skill for our military men and women to protect the society in which we live. I can never imagine not hunting, it is a great way of life and family and of Survival. Hunting is in our genes! © 2015

Ed Hale – Editor/Owner

NH Hunter Education Certificate Number Required

Recent legislation in many states now require A Hunter Education Certificate Number. Not yet in NH but the bottom line is, as they say in the laundry business, no ticket, no shirt. In this case without that number you or I cannot get a license  in states that require it.  For years I used old licenses to renew my licenses. I even instructed in my state of New Hampshire for a decade for both hunter education and bow hunter education. I needed to obtain copies of my original certifications so I called Fish and Game Hunter Education Coordinator Lisa Collins. I left a message and later in the day made contact. She found my Bow-hunter Cert. but needed to look in archives for my Hunter Education Certification. Without the hunter education number I cannot hunt with firearm in states that require it. Lisa tells me that she has no record of Hunter Education Certification therefore I must retake the course to get a number.

A word to the wise, if you don’t have a certificate number and you have been trained, then you must call NHFG and get a new copy ASAP.


Now is the Time to Book a Hunt

I have been waiting for my finances to allow me to book a southern bean-field deer hunt. I called a few days ago to an outfitter that is already booked solid for certain weeks so if you are going to book a hunt, do it soon.  I have booked my hunt, how bout you.  I have not had first hand knowledge of this Outfitter but it comes recommended by a friend, so we shall see. Nothing is perfect in this world but I wanted to see more than a few deer that I see in New Hampshire and choose the shot opportunities on several deer over a five-day time frame. Some states have a very liberal harvest allowance. Some states allow 5 or more deer to be harvested where the population is exploding. If you are a venison meat lover, this is a great way to put lots of meat in your freezer. Basically, a field set up where you are taken by 4 wheeler to a field stand for morning and afternoon hunts. This place does a combo bear and deer hunt but I want just deer. It is hopeful that I can take a 26 Nosler rifle to test on this hunt along with my .243 Winchester. You will have to wait for my hunt to be completed so I can more accurately reflect this Outfitter. Go for it! Good Hunting! © 2015

The 26 Nosler vs .270 Winchester vs 7mm Updated

There are those that are proponents of the 6.5mm Cartridges over the .270 WInchester. for hunting deer and elk, but they are few except if you create a new Cartridge like the 26 Nosler. As I told readers this year, I am in line to test one this year in the new Nosler 48M Patriot Rifle at $1600 retail. (Update -October 2017 I have not tested one yet) The .270 is .277 inches in diameter and the 6.5mm is .2559 in diameter. Lets round that up to .256. The difference is .021 inches or 21 thousandths of an inch. A large reason to own the 26 Nosler is that you hunt or shoot at long distances. The 26 Nosler is a cheetah that can out distance the.270 and even the 7mm Remington Magnum for Max Point Blank Range (MPBR) shooting a 129 grain Long Range AccuBond bullet at 3400fps with MPBR of 415 yards with the new Long Range AccuBond bullet. Further, that when coupled with the Nosler Long Range AccuBond it holds on to energy and speed at long distances. As an example it  has 2500 ft lbs of energy at 250 yards to kill a Moose or down a deer at 800 yards with over 1200 ft-lbs of energy.

The .270 Weatherby Magnum shoots a 130 grain at 3100 fps out of a 26 inch barrel and that is fast but the 26 Nosler’s 129 grain LRAB exits the barrel at its fastest at just over 3400 fps. That is a gain of 300 fps and is significant in the 130 -140 grain size. Above the .270 and into the 7mm category (actually 7.2mm) is the 7 mm Weatherby Magnum based on the 300 H & H case and shoots a 139 grain head at 3300 fps and the 7mm Dakota which uses the same 404 Jeffrey Case as the 26 Nosler, it is smack between the 120 grain head with Mv of 3400 fps in the 7mm Dakota and the 139 grain head with Mv of 3300 fps. So basically the 7mm Dakota can be necked down to 6.5 mm to make it a 26 Nosler case. Head space is set on the shoulder for improved accuracy verses the belt on a belted magnum. The 7mm Shooting Times Western Cartridge has a belt but shoots a 139 grain head at 3300 fps.  In conclusion,  I believe that Nosler sells the 26 Nosler with their M48 Patriot Rifle with a 26 inch Pac-Nor Barrel with Long Range AccuBond bullets to enhance the performance as a “long range hunting rifle package.”  Nosler did dozens of cartridge comparisons of speed and energy see the charts below.  It is very impressive with the Long Range AccuBond Bullet. So the bullet itself is part of the story, not just the cartridge. Energy distances for the 26 Nosler with 129 grain LRAB bullets for Moose is 250 yards for 2500 ft-lbs, Elk is 650 yards for 1500 ft-lbs and deer is 800 yards for 1200 ft-lbs. The .270 Winchester has a distance of 75 yards to achieve the recommended 2500 ft lbs for Moose, 380 yards for elk and 600 yards for deer. So there you have it. Many Moose are killed with the .270 at 150 yards or so with a well placed shot. Do you need all that whiz bang? If you want to shoot farther than others with energy to spare, the answer is yes. Here in the Northeast the 26 Nosler is a waste but out west or south in the beanfields it is in its element at 400 -800 yards with accuracy and not create so much recoil as to create a flinch but again, till I shoot one I will hold back my desire to jump on that bandwagon and open my wallet. © 2015.

Update 2017- I believe there is more excitement for the 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge with its low recoil and fabulous bullet selection and CXP3 (Controlled eXpansion Performance) capability.

Calculate Your Rifle’s Recoil

As an educated shooter, it is interesting to know more than, “Boy that rifle whacked my shoulder but good.” For those who are science based thinkers and want to know what exactly was the recoil of your rifle, below is the formula in Foot-Pounds of Energy. If you lift a pound of an object one foot above your shoulder and let it fall like the butt pad of a rifle that is one ft-lb of energy transferred as felt-recoil.

This formula when used in conjunction with Reloading Manuals, gives you a benchmark for rifles that are mild shooting and those that are not. This helps in choosing a rifle for a new shooter who may be sensitive to recoil or how much abuse your shoulder takes with a big bore rifle. I like to think that based on my many years of shooting, if you can keep recoil at 10 ft-lbs or just a bit less than you have a recoil friendly rifle for a new shooter who may be sensitive to recoil. Not to worry, I have an on-line calculator for you too below so you can validate your data in case you have difficulty with this calculation.

Recoil Calculation Formula

Recoil in Ft- Lb  =    ((((Wb+(Wp x 1.75)) x Vm)/Wr)/7000)^2 x Wr  / 64.4



Wb = Weight of Bullet in grains

Wp = Weight of powder in grains

Vm = Muzzle Velocity in fps

Wr = Weight of Rifle in pounds

Ga = Acceleration of gravity 64.4 fps/sec

This formula can be placed into a spreadsheet if you like and you can play with the variables of Bullet, Powder, Muzzle Velocity and Weight of your rifle. Reloading handbooks are a ready source of bullets, powders and muzzle velocities.

Here is an example for a 243 Winchester:

Wb=100 grains

Wp=43 grains

Vm=2900 fps

Wr=8 pounds

Take the weight of the powder and multiply by a factor of 1.75 = 75.25.  Add this to the weight of the bullet 100 + 75.25 = 175.25. Now multiply this by the muzzle velocity 175.25 X 2900 = 508225. Take the 508225 and divide it by the weight of the rifle in pounds. 508225/8 pounds = 63528.125. Now divide this by 7000 grains per pound. 63528.125/7000 = 9.075. Ok, we are almost there. Now square this result 9.075^2 = 82.355. Multiply this by the weight of the rifle in pounds, 82.355 x 8 = 658.845. Finally divide this by the acceleration of gravity 64.4 fps/sec = 10.23 ft-lbs Recoil. I rounded these numbers a bit in my spreadsheet and got 9.9 ft-lbs recoil, a tenth of a pound difference. Or use this calculator below which does it easily and includes products like recoil velocity and recoil impulse. This is a great way to validate the formula findings. If you round your intermediate data it may vary slightly from the on-line calculator.

Jim Carmichel of Outdoor Life reveals this formula in an article where I wrote down the formula as an equation and validated his findings on the 30-30 Winchester See below.

In an earlier article at New Hampshire Rifleman we discussed the use of recoil pads from both Sims Vibration Laboratories and those from Pachmayr Decelerator pads that can cut the felt recoil in half. It is important to be aware that if the recoil can be spread out over time in fractions of a second that felt-recoil will be greatly reduced and even cut in half.  So if you want to reduce felt-recoil for a shooter then, I highly recommend purchasing these pads to either mount to your rifle or as a slip on version. I own these pads for  my rifles. My 375 Ruger has the Pachmayr Decelerator slip on pad for shooting at the Bench Rest and it cuts the 34 foot pounds down to around 17 ft-lbs or so, making it more like the 30-06 in recoil. See your local retailer to purchase these pads.

Good Hunting! © 2015



What is a Long Range Hunting Shot?

Long-Range is a subjective phrase. Long-Range hunting and shooting is the distance that requires a  measure of education and calculation and practice to make a kill shot.  The shooter is wise to find a ballistic calculator like the one I have referenced on the cover page in the header. A deer or elk kill-shot should regularly strike a 6 to 8 inch diameter target respectively, using a field brace or shooting off-hand to make a clean double lung kill.  Down south in the bean fields, deer are seen at 100 to 700 yards and often the hunter is in a blind or in a situation where he or she can rest the rifle for the shot. In these situations I believe Long Range for most middle bore rifles is likely beyond your Max Point Blank Range (MPBR) which for most medium bore rifles is about 250 yards. (MPBR is where your bullet stays within a 6 inch circle from zero yards to where your bullet drops to three inches below center. Beyond that distance you need some math skills and the ballistic calculator to know the shot distances and for you to practice at those ranges. You must know bullet energies and distances that meet minimum velocities and energy to ethically kill the game intended and what the wind will do to your bullet while it is traveling to your quarry and adjust for that too. As an example, many in the shooting industry have come up with a guideline for bullet energies on deer-1000 ft-lbs, elk-1500 ft-lbs and moose-2500 ft-lbs. It is a guide so that you the hunter can make a clean kill at distances where these energies are seen at the longest range. You the hunter must decide if you can take that shot. I intend to be prepared to hunt and shoot beyond MPBR so I must know what each bullet I shoot can do or not do and practice, practice, practice. It is a project that is in fact very fun to undertake and you learn so much about you and your rifle and the cartridge/bullet you use. If you got a new rifle for Christmas, then this is a great learning opportunity.

Give it a try…It will make you a better hunter. Continue reading other long-range articles to help you. Good Hunting! ©2015