Firing Pin Issues in Cold Weather Hunting?

If the temperature is very cold, like in the teens or less, you can experience firing pin issues if you are using a wet lubricant. It is best to go dry and use powdered graphite

like Brownells below. And dry fire your rifle on occasion before and during the hunt to keep that pin floating.

Easy Venison, Elk or Wild Boar Sausage – Updated from Santa

There is nothing quite like cutting a slice of sausage that you made yourself and putting it on a cracker along with your beer or wine. Oh, my God, does that put a smile on my face! There are hundreds of recipes out there to try. And there is a huge market for the suppliers of machines and stuffers to sell you. The easiest sausage is one that is made by hand in patties with no outer wrapping. The key to good sausage be it breakfast or otherwise is to add pork to your recipe that has a high fat content so that your sausage remains moist. If you haven’t made it before then follow recipes that others find satisfactory. All wild game including wild boar has so little fat that by itself will resemble neary 100% protein and will be a tough chew. It is the pork fat that carries flavor as well. Discard any fat from your wild game as it often carries a gamy taste. If there is lots of blood in the game meat then immerse/cover in ice and let it melt and carry blood away with it. Rough grind your wild meat then add the ground pork and then fine grind together so it is perfectly blended with pork fat.

The recipe below is so simple a child could do it!

Bulk Venison Breakfast Sausage

Photo from the website above.

If you want to have sausage to slice and freeze, you can roll a tube in wax paper and then slice and freeze it. If you want your slices for long term freezing, then put slices on a tray with wax paper, freeze then proceed to vacuum seal the slices and they won’t deform under the vacuum process. Or you can buy sausage tubing to stuff. There is a large market for gear, curing, smoking but by the time you are done you have spent lots of money so be advised to spend wisely. If you are big into game and have lots of meat then perhaps it is valuable to invest more.

I made the purchase of a larger LEM #8 meat grinder 1/3 hp from BassPro for Christmas $329. Thanks Santa! I also got some food grade silicone spray for the grinder part protection and easy clean-up.

and a few sausage making kits from my local BassPro Shop.


I own an older vacuum sealer and love it. Still works fine!



Bullets and Shot Placement on Russian Boar -Updated by Ed Hale

First, let me say that I have taught Hunter Education and shot placement on many animals. I have studied African Game shot placement with rifle as well. Wild boar seem to have their heart a bit lower and the shoulder/leg bone is a bit more forward than deer do. If you shoot just above the forward leg, you will have a heart shot but it is important to give yourself some additional room that will always kill your animal. Many experts agree to target the heart/lung area which is larger than just the heart. Further, that you want to damage both shoulders in the process if possible so that your boar has zero chance at a charge from a big ornery boar.

The lower picture shows a high heart/low lung hit in yellow. This is ideal. To do damage to both shoulders you need a bullet that can penetrate. Yes you can kill with smaller bores but if really close, it is comforting to have a big bullet.

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Image result for Wild Boar Vitals

Research in shooting “very large” Russian Boar is that a large caliber slug from a shotgun like a 12 guage or a 30 or 40 caliber such as the 30-06 Springfield, 300 Win Mag,  444 Marlin or 45/70 or a .375  does the trick and provides for the phrase used so often by Robert Ruark – USE ENOUGH GUN!  In addition it is wise to carry a big bore side arm if possible.  I am opting for my Ruger M77 African

with the .375 Ruger and 260 grain Nosler AccuBonds if I decide on a giant Russian Boar. On left. The AccuBond is a bonded lead bullet to the copper and will not come apart. Right is a monolithic solid used for Cape Buffalo and Elephant as a back up shot.

I have seen these boar fall dead in video and in others charge the hunter while wounded. Years ago my African PH said quite simply, “it is the dead ones that will kill you.”  Your guard is down and in close proximity there is no time to react. Give your boar some respect and a little time to die.

Head Shots and Neck Shots drop them fast if you can get your boar to stand still.

My Outfitter is a chef and likes head shots so it does not ruin meat and suggests that the 375 for a head shot is not necessary so will take my Ruger American Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor too as it is akin to the .270 Winchester and quite capable. Lots of lesser Wild Boar are killed with .243 Winchester but a giant bruiser Russian boar up close, well…you better be a good shot.

Bow and Arrow

Heart Lung shots with bow or crossbow are quite common and are big medicine on Russian Boar. My Outfitter has a crossbow that I will try out while there.  I may even take my own Bow on this trip.  Who knows!

All in all should make for some adrenaline moments to remember.

Good Hunting!

© 2016


New Hampshire Rifleman Magazine winning Ruger, Hornady and Leupold Combination by Ed Hale

New Hampshire Rifleman’s winning combination is the Ruger American – Predator Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor winning Hornady bullet and winning Leupold VX-6 3-18x 44mm CDS scope.

The Rifle

The rifle that won my value driven pocket book is the Ruger American for under $400 dollars yet shoot sub-Minute of Angle at 100 yards as my Test Rifle. Not long ago it took a few thousand dollars to shoot groups like that. Adjustable Trigger, floating barrel and so much more that you have to read the spec sheet below.

In particular I have tested two of the rifles, one in 243 Winchester and the other in 6.5mm Creedmoor in the Predator series. Both shot sub MOA out of the box and both were in the $400 price range. Exceptional performance from these rifles was uncanny. I bought them both but later sold the .243 as recoil was similar to the 6.5 Creedmoor and it delivered more energy punch hands down. Wow! Accuracy? We got it!

The Cartridge

The 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge is just slightly smaller than the .308 Winchester yet with a 143 grain bullet at 1000 yards it beats the long standing military champ .308 or 7.62 NATO in both trajectory and wind deflection. As a first time 1000 yard shooter, I was able to break 8 inch balloons at 1000 yards. If you couple that with an Extremely Low Drag Bullet you have a fabulous combo for Target, as that was the original intent of the cartridge, but what about Hunting? The 6.5mm Creedmoor can handle a wider array of big game bullet weights than the 6mm/243 Winchester. I suspect the 6.5 will in time overshadow the 6mm at least as a big game hunting round as it delivers a bullet in the .270 Winchester class with the mild recoil of a 6mm. Of course bullet velocities are a bit slower. The .270 Winchester is still a faster bullet as is the 7mm Remington Magnum but at a higher cost of recoil as well.

The Bullet

Hornady Precision Hunter ELD-X™ in 143 grain with new Heat Shield™ Tips Patent Pending with AMP® Advanced Manufacturing Process. Mushroom design as low as 1800 fps and stays together out of the barrel. ACCURATE-DEADLY-DEPENDABLE

In testing by Hornady, the Hornady Precision Hunter ELD-X™ Extremely Low Drag Bullet has a very impressive G1 Ballistic Coefficient of .625/ G7 BC .315 for hunting at any distance within the delivered Energy Envelope for the game hunted such as 1000 ft-lb for deer 1500 ft-lb for Elk size game. Click the video below.


The Target


The Scope

Leupold VX-6 3-18x44mm Side Focus CDS see the VX-6 video below


The most expensive item was the scope. The VX-6 is unparalleled in quality and zoom and has dual erector springs that are vital in a far off hunt. This scope raises the bar in optical quality. You can spend more, but you will likely not get more dollar for dollar.  It is a scope for all time, near or far it is my best scope to date. It’s versatility, reliability was nearly unimaginable just a few years back.  Retail $850 to $1430 and worth every penny. Leupold Scopes are All American Made!

A perfect 10 combination for a big game hunter for deer, elk and African Plains game with low recoil. And my grandkids can shoot it!

Put a Ruger American-Predator Rifle Combo under your Christmas tree!

Good Hunting!

© 2016





Dry Aging and Marinades for the Hunter/Chef by Ed Hale

I have cooked in my kitchen for many years along with my wife but there is always more to learn. If I am successful in my early February hunt and I do fully expect to be, I need to bone-up on meat preparation. Pun intended. I am comfortable doing the butchering as long as my meat is refrigerated.  No problem in February! I have made it a habit to vacuum seal and freeze all of my meat for a month before eating any quantity. This does a few things, freezing is a way to reduce gamy flavor and aids in tenderizing. Vacuum sealed meats can last for more than a year or longer in a good freezer. If you want to try dry aging your meat there is a way today to do that in a separate refrigerator with a dry age box at this website.  I have not tried this but looks very interesting.

On to the Marinades. My research finds that blood is the main carrier of gamy flavor, so if your meat has lots of blood then soak it in Buttermilk for 4 hours or more. Overnight works too to remove the blood and tenderize. Buttermilk has an enzyme and microorganisms that aids in the tenderizing process. Yogurt does this too. This website has a great recipe which begins with the buttermilk marinade.

To add flavor and tenderize, try these. The pineapple and Papaya have enzymes to tenderize and not mask the flavor. Apple Cider vinegar aids in the tenderizing process in many recipes. I use Braggs “Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother”.

Pineapple Marinade

Orange and Onion Marinade

Papaya Soy Marinade

Brine your boar










Russian Boar for Table Fare by Ed Hale

As I contemplate my Russian Boar Hunt, my mind wanders to the “Table Fare” Issue. I love to cook my wild game, and many pounds of great wild pork in your freezer is heaven but equally pounds of tough overly gamey meat is not.

I went on the web in-search-of opinions and such among hunters. This bow hunt website seems to hold great promise for the meat as table fare.

Basically, they say that the flavor can vary as to what the animal was eating and how the game was handled after the kill…this is true for all game.   Giant size over 300 pounds may play a role perhaps in meat toughness if very old, I think but hunters say still very flavorful so if want a bruiser, then go for it.

Make more burger. I’d like both a respectable Boar and Very good eating so we shall see. Culinary masters are cooking up a storm on these boar like Emeril Lagasse see on Martha Emeril video works up twin boar chops with his “Essence” on the grill and a blueberry balsamic sauce with onion and shallots. Wow! My mouth is watering.

Most say that well cared for, Boar meat is just delicious no matter the size. One wife says it is better than domestic pork. Lots of folks all like ground wild boar in chili or sausage but add pork fat. All agree meat is very lean.

You can go on YouTube and see lots of Russian Boar Hunts around the world. I am not one to sit and wait for dangerous game. I like the spot and stalk method best, because I can select the animal I am after. Many hunts here in the north in “high fence” for Russian Boar are in the deep snows of winter. Tracking and cutting a fresh snow trail of several boar is a likely a great way to begin a spot and stalk like I did with my 1000 pound Bison some winters back in 2 foot deep powder snow.  Fact is even the women  are getting into the hunt for Russian Boar. See  Below YouTube.

Below a young hunter gets adventure and a charging boar and comes home to tell about it. See this YouTube below. Shot placement is key, with sufficient energy to exit.

Below is a youtube of boar head mounts.

I am not hunting with these outfits, I will share my hunt and Outfitter if it all works out as planned.

Thanks to YouTube for the footage.

© 2016




Adventure: Hunt Russian Boar

It has come to the attention of many hunters over the past several years that Russian Boars have been brought to the USA in large numbers to high fence ranches. Corbin Park in New Hampshire was one of the first to bring wild boar for hunting. Russian boars are hairy creatures as old as the Pleistocene Period. Humans have hunted them for a Millennia for both sport and food. Russian boar commonly are in the 200 to 300 pound range and can continue to grow to huge sizes far beyond 300 to 400 pounds.

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If you wish to hunt these animals on their own soil, there is a flight leaving for Russia. Or you can experience a hunt here in the USA.

So why hunt them, because; first, you like a challenging hunt, second they are very good to eat. Third, Adventure! They are not for the faint of heart as they are not an easy creature to kill, they can be dangerous if a Russian boar charges you and hooks you with his tusks your in for a serious Hospital Visit so most hunts are with a back up gun and guide. Boar meat is healthier for you than domestic pork.  Less Fat and very high in protein. No hormones and organic meat.

Most hunting is done with Rifles 243/6mm and above. Many are taken with Bow but here we can take a rifle like the 243, all the 30 calibers. Shotgun slugs are great! Muzzleloaders too.  Shots are less than 100 yards I am told. What is most important to me is the food value. After the hunt you may have up to 100 pounds of meat. It better be good eating, right? If cooked properly this is healthy delicious organic meat. Great Recipes below:

I a m hunting Russian boar this winter. We shall see…



NH Deer Harvest Estimates and Zone M

The deer harvest looks very similar to 2015 says Fish and Game with Rockingham County following NHFG desire to lower the Deer numbers in Zone M with extra tags. What is missing here is the number of Deer Hunters and % Success but perhaps that will come later. Deer Harvest in my Zone M have dropped from 2000 just a few years ago to 1600 or so. I have hunted NH all my life and find that seeing deer during the season is hard enough. No snow makes it even harder. Congrat’s to those who killed their deer, I was not among them though. I was actually hunting bucks with calls and synthetic scents,  none responded this year. I saw Turkeys all the time however and they tore up acres in search of acorns. Next year if all goes well the Turkey harvest should be huge.

Reloading The .375 Ruger Changed Me! by Ed Hale

Yes I like the .270 Winchester, the 30-06 and the newer 6.5 Creedmoor which I own. But the .375 Ruger in a M77 Hawkeye African put a great big smile on my face as a reloader hunter of big game. You see, I came back from an African Safari having taken all my plains game (no big 5) with a .338 Winchester Magnum figuring if I came upon dangerous game the .338 would help. For all intent and purpose it recoiled just the same as the .375 with similar weight bullets in the 250g class. The .375 Ruger however developed more energy than the .338 and more bullet weight and sectional density when needed normally up to 300 grains and in Dangerous Game heads and Solid Tungsten heads as a back up for Dangerous game and will skewer them from one end to the other putting the lights out!

So I owned and tested the M77 Hawkeye African rifle in .375 Ruger as part of my Safari Book. Yes you can buy it here, the book I mean. In years hence, I have shot Moose and Bison with the .375 Ruger and then loaded it down for deer. Yes similar results with the .375 H&H Magnum, longer cartridge and belted for head space. The .375 Ruger operates in a standard action and has no belt. I killed a large Red Deer (a doe) with  a reduced 375 Ruger load and a 225 flat head very similar to the 38-55 which is the same caliber. The Red doe went 20 yards and fell dead, there was no recoil to speak of and no crack of the rifle.  She was broadside momentarily at 40 to 50 yards, but the bullet pierced the heart and exited.

375 ruger web site

Today there is talk about bullets that can drop a deer like that! Even “loaded down” the .375 can drop a deer “like that and bust brush along the way!” But you can use todays M77 .375 and it can reduce recoil so low and drop a deer so fast with a 250 grain head reduced load that you just need to own but one rifle. Loaded up you can kill Elk with a Nosler 260 grain AccuBond out to 500 yards and with new recoil pad technology it is fantastic. My muzzleloader shoots a 300 grain head and kicks about the same.

And when you are ready for a plains safari or a 2000 pound Bison Hunt or a Cape Buffalo you will have a Rifle in the closet ready for the task. They say Wild Boar in the USA can be dangerous. Shoot a Hornady 300 g DGX in one and you will tame the beast in a hurry. Same for really big bear, hit them in the boiler room and they go down in a hurry. So if you handload, and hunt, give the .375 Ruger a try, it will put a smile on your face, and drop your game in a hurry, not hurt your shoulder (if standing) or crack your ears. Note: I shot this Ruger rifle prone at 600 yards with a 3 1/4 inch vertical group.

© 2016