Coyote Hunting Gear – SIG Echo I Reflex Thermal Scope -by Ed Hale

Yes Persistence pays but just not yet. I’m tryin’ in daylight.

Night hunting with thermal scopes can be very effective. One such thermal scope on the market that I have seen but not yet tested is the SIG Echo I for around $1150 instead of $3000 to $9000  for other brand models.

Sig Sauer ECHO1 1-2x Thermal Reflex Sight w/Batteries, Graphite, SOE11011

You can see the SIG Echo 1 at the SIG Pro shop in Epping/ Exeter NH.

If I can get one to test I will write an article. See NHFG for requirements for night hunting below. 


Night or day you can make mistakes!

Here is a website that may help us all.

Good Hunting!


Winter Deals on Outdoor Clothing for Sportsmen and Women

Yep, we are in the doldrums of winter.  While my wife is busy at work, I am doing a bit of my laundry and finding that my Outdoor Clothing is wearing out. I have a Safari or Bush type shirt that I love, and it is looking a bit seedy after years of use.

Accordingly,  I went on line and looked around. I ordered some shirts from Orvis at a 50% winter discount bringing them into my budget range. There are several other vendors out there offering deals. Now is the time to check them out so you can look the part as a savvy shooter at the range and not a bumpkin. Perhaps I was approaching the “bumpkin look” too, I thought. I realized, I’ve gotta spend some money to be “Lookin’ Good” with my rifles at the range.  I was never a big Orvis fan till I had some extra funds to invest. Their Clothing is terrific! Here is the shirt I bought!

Have some country western taste so I buy my belts from Shepler’s who is having a sale right now. Yes they  are more expensive but worth every penny! 

Get your spring shootin’ wardrobe now!

Time to clean and oil your gun’s too maybe?

Good Shooting!

Alaska Hunt – What Caliber and Cartridge is Best?

A great digression as a winter storm hits New England! Campfire fodder!

I suggest as do Alaska experts that the 30-06 Springfield is proven in Alaska but I believe it to be an absolute minimum for Bull Moose and Brown Bear.  Like I hunted in Africa, I believe you should be able to shoot it off hand, handle the recoil and know how to cycle your bolt open and closed and place repeat bullets in a pie plate at say 70 to 80 yards. I did that with a .338 Win Mag and 250 grain bullets on my African Safari.

Alaska is a land of potential dangerous game! Use a rifle caliber that is in stock at the local stores in Alaska if possible. I hear .308, 30-06, 12 gauge shotgun and .22 LR are most common, but it might pay to check and take ammo precautions if your baggage is lost, like have a box ordered and waiting at the local Alaska store of your brand and special caliber.

The .308 or 6 mm/.243 Win or the new 6.5 Creedmoor I love is fine for black tail deer however if you are on an island with deer and bear, the .308 or 6mm is a “not so good” choice if a bear wants you and your downed deer. A 30-06 with 180 or 200 grain heads would perhaps be a better choice. Bigger bores and magnums are recommended if you can handle it. “Bears think that your shot is like ringing the dinner bell!”

Shot placement is everything! If you cant handle your rifle recoil then Alaska is perhaps not for you!

In Brown bear open country, a 30-06 or better a  300 Win Mag with an expanding bonded bullet is Ok. I prefer the .375 Ruger with Nosler AccuBonds or Partitions in at least 260 to 300 grain heads. I do like the .338 Win Mag as well.  I shoot these very well in my Ruger M77. Further that you would be wise to have a Mauser style bolt with a claw extractor to ensure guaranteed chamber feed and removal when hunting dangerous game.

In close quarters like in tag alders where shots are less than 25 yards a pump 12 gauge shotgun with slugs. “In a brown bear charge, you must make the first shot, a brain shot count to turn out its lights.” I would not recommend that kind of close quarters hunt, but it can happen with wounded bears say some experts.

Recoil management has come a long way so use recoil pads that can absorb recoil up to  50%. Get some!

Don’t forget a sidearm like the 44 magnum with 240 grain solid semi-jacket bullets and update your Will if you are Brown Bear Hunting or fishing near Brown Bear.

Good  Hunting!

© 2018


New Hampshire Coyotes Soon Begin Looking For A Mate – Take Advantage

The experts say ( I am not one) that female vocalizations can draw Coyotes to your set up in January/February. I have given that a try and mix it with Coyote locator vocals and prey distress calls but it does not happen every time.

Use of electronic calls are very effective as  is having some decoy movement as in a motorized battery operated device. Get your NH 2018 Hunting License on-line and go for it.

I found solid advice here at this website:

Most popular gun used is the AR-15 in .223 during the day.   I called NH Fish and Game today. It IS legal to hunt Coyote with more than 5 rounds in your center-fire clip (e.g. .223 rounds) after deer season only in daylight hours in New Hampshire. If you have questions for F&G please call.

From the F&G site: “Here’s how to contact your local Conservation Officer (CO): call Fish and Game’s Dispatch Office at (603) 271-3361. From December through September, the line is open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (closed from noon until 1:00 p.m.); Saturday and Sunday, 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. The Dispatcher can relay a message to your local Conservation Officer.”

It is also legal to hunt in southern NH areas with center fire rifle in those Deer season shotgun towns in daylight after deer season. 

NHFG site 2018 says;


  • No closed season.
  • Night Hunting: Coyotes may be hunted at night from Jan. 1 through March 31. Lights may be used, except from a motor vehicle, snowmobile, or OHRV. Coyote night hunters are restricted to shotguns, .22 caliber rimfire, muzzleloaders, or archery equipment in those towns with special rules.
  • Electronic calling devices are legal.
  • Written landowner permission, filed with the local conservation officer, is required to hunt coyote at night or to place bait for coyotes.
  • Baiting is not permitted on ice-covered public waters.
  • From the close of the bear baiting season through December 15, baiting for coyote will be restricted to the use of meat, animal parts, carrion, or fish only.

Good Hunting! Send any Photos to us and we will post!


Weatherby Vanguard Weatherguard 6.5 Creedmoor with Nosler 142g Long Range AccuBond

On December 8, 2017, it was a cold 40 degrees, cloudy, however, the air was amazingly still. It was “bugging me” that the last test (a few days ago and an earlier article) for 100 yard groups for this Weatherby® Vanguard® Weatherguard® rifle was windy and the 1.75 inch lateral spread may or may not have been caused by wind. The 50 yard group was very tight, around 3/8th of an inch. Accordingly, I had to know if it was the wind or rifle at 100 yards but I had no more Hornady bullets left. The next best thing was my Nosler’s.

I had powder and a some 142 grain Nosler Long Range AccuBonds, so I gave them a close look and loaded some in Nosler Custom Brass for the 6.5 Creedmoor with CCI Benchrest Primers (BR2). This is like the best of the best of the best, some might say.

Research began with a hot long range hunting load using Reloader 15 powder. I loaded 36.5 grains at a COL of 2.801 inches and 81% load density volume. The Nosler Manual tested a muzzle velocity (MV) of 2635 fps with a 24 inch barrel. Not super fast for sure, ,low recoil, but with a ballistic coefficient (BC) of over 0.7 (G1)  it didn’t have to be so fast because most spitzer bullets have much lower BC’s and lose velocity rapidly due to increased air friction.

Most technical folks like to talk about killing energy for deer at around 1000 ft-lbs energy. This round can kill a deer at 725 yards (1000 ft-lbs at 1785 fps per JBM Calculations) if you know the distance, wind, altitude etc. and the shooter can stay within a  3 to 4 inch kill radius and the bullet can shoot an MOA or better at 100 yards.

Target #1 below at 100 yards with 1.25 inch group. Yes, the first shot was from a cold shooter, me and a cold barrel. Many say the cold shot idea from a cold barrel is more myth but I digress.

Target #2 was shot 5 minutes later than Target #1 resulting in a 9/16 inch group.

Ok, so the average of the 2 groups are 0.9 inches. The bottom line is that this Weatherby Vanguard Weatherguard rifle shoots sub-MOA with this load, bullet, COL and powder.

Accordingly,  this would be a great cartridge and load on an elk out to where energy crosses 1500 ft-lbs (2200 fps) more or less, which is about 350 yards. Most experienced hunters stay within their capability with is often around 300 yards or less unless you practice at those longer ranges in field conditions and use a rangefinder.

The Weatherby Vanguard Weatherguard has a high Monte Carlo stock to align my eye with the scope and does not punish me as it has a very forgiving recoil pad with the 6.5 Creedmoor.

A match made in a hunters heaven. All I can say is, go buy this rifle for Christmas and give Nosler LRAB’s a try!!

Good Hunting! Practice, Practice Practice.

© 2017 All Rights Reserved


Felt Recoil: A progression of purchases for the would-be deer and elk hunter. Enter the 6.5 Creedmoor

There are a number of questions to ask yourself as you make a rifle purchase, invariably felt recoil is a significant factor among many others. For young and female hunters and shooters, if it ain’t fun to shoot, the desire will wane in a few outings. The 6.5 Creedmoor is a real all around big game cartridge and is low in recoil and fun to shoot!

Historically, the BB gun and Pellet Rifle begin the progression and have no felt recoil, are fun to shoot, and take small game like squirrels.

Next is the .22 Long Rifle with very little recoil and fun to shoot and can take game up to Coyote.

The .223 is next and geared more for target and varmint/coyote and home defense and has a felt recoil of well under 10 ft-lbs making it easy and fun to shoot. Under strict circumstances it can be used on deer, but I do not recommend it as a deer rifle cartridge.

The .243/6mm is what I call a great starter first deer cartridge as its felt recoil with an 80 grain bullet is very tolerable, fun to shoot and accurate. You can shoot up to 110 grain bullets with a bit more felt recoil and kill deer out to 300 yards. The problem is that the purchase is another in a stepping stone effect toward a real big game rifle.

In 30 caliber a great starter rifle is the 30-30 for close hunting here in the Northeast under 100 yards as it has a low felt recoil but later gathers dust in my closet for more power. I do not consider the 30-30 a real all around big game rifle.

Enter the 6.5 Creedmoor, an outstanding target rifle and what I believe is a real big game hunting rifle cartridge with a low felt recoil of just over 10-12 ft-lbs. Shooting this rifle standing, a 12 to 14 yr old kid can shoot it and handle the low recoil and make a very fine long term Big Game investment and be used in the off season as a tack driving target rifle and varmint cartridge.

Handloading makes the 6.5 a best investment as you can load down to .243 like recoil and work up.

Next is the .270 Winchester which is a very fine hunting cartridge. But if you already own a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle, you don’t need a .270 as the 6.5 replicates it already out to over 500 yards with a 140 grain bullet on deer and elk. Now if you already own a .270 and handload your ammo, then you will never purchase a 6.5 Creedmoor unless you are also a target shooter like me in the off season. The Creedmoor will shoot ultra tight groups that you can rarely shoot with the .270 Winchester and do it with much less recoil. The 6.5 Creedmoor in today’s hunting rifles can shoot holes in holes.

In any rifle you can add a new state-of-the-art recoil pad and cut 50% of the felt recoil. I highly advise that! Accuracy improves dramatically when shooters are comfortable with the felt recoil. In closing, I highly recommend the 6.5 Creedmoor in your favorite rifle for any hunter at ages 12 and over especially if you hand load. And I am a Nosler AccuBond and E-Tip fan too as they stay together in game.

Good Hunting!

© 2017

Hand-Loaded Nosler AccuBond LR 142 grain in Ruger American Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor

The G1 ballistic coefficient for this bullet is .719. The fact that it exceeds 0.7 is world class long range capable of delivering game killing energy at over 600 yards for the 6.5 Creedmoor.

Tech Talk – It has been said that the bullet has a secant o-give and needs more room away from the lands when chambered than your normal bullet but having said that, it does not take from accuracy on bullet jump.

A few days ago, I loaded up some Nosler AccuBond LR’s in 142 grain with IMR 4350 and W760 Powder specified by Nosler in my almost new Ruger American. I used 41.5 grains IMR 4350 and 40.5 grains of W760 powder, max loads. I selected the powder because they were among the fastest at the muzzle and geared for delivering lots of energy at longer ranges.

The cases were Nosler Custom and the primers were CCI BR2’s. Cartridge overall length followed the Nosler Manual of 2.805 and they fit the Ruger magazine perfectly and fed perfectly.

First IMR 4350 cold shot with the Ruger American was 1 inch higher than subsequent  4 shots. Accordingly, I eliminated the cold barrel shot from the group. If I included it the spread was 1 1/8 inch and if I eliminated it the spread was 7/8 inch.

Estimated velocity out of the 22 inch barrel was around 2670 fps after subtracting 60 fps and the 2 more inches in the Nosler manual using a 24 inch barrel compared to the 22 inches of the Ruger.

The W760 Powder shot 1 3/16  five shot group with an estimated velocity of 2610 fps accounting for the shorter 22 inch barrel.

Examination of the primers looked normal and extraction was easy. These loads were terrific.

The results indicate that this grouping for IMR 4350 is terrific for shots in a 6 inch circle at 600 yards. Further that the energy for deer suggests 650 yards where 1000 ft-lbs was calculated and the velocity was 1802 fps. Windage at 90º moved the bullet 28 inches at 10 mph crosswind. That is a lot! Quartering crosswind of 14 inches. The shooter would have to adjust for the crosswind or get closer to the game, a much better scenario.   At half that distance 325 yds the shooter would only be off by 6 inches in a 90º wind and have elk killing energy of 1500 ft-lbs.

Below is the Ruger American Predator. A great affordable rifle for anyone!

The Scope was a Leupold VX-3. See them at


In a perfect world, early morning and just before dark usually offer little wind for those longer shots.

Killing game cleanly is the name of the game!

Good Hunting!

© 2017






Sandpit Deer Tracks and Stuff…

Why do deer go into fields and sand pits at night? It’s a deer nightclub in October! A place to be seen and smelled. Putting face to inter-digital gland cent and track size is a tell-all about prep for mating come the end of October. The inter-digital gland is located between the hooves of deer.

Image result for interdigital gland images


Sandpit or gravel like open areas are places I can go in early October to see who is in the neighborhood for bucks and does. Which doe still has yearlings still tagging along can be discerned. And just how big and wide is that track, how rounded or not can tell me that a big buck is hanging around. I am no great whitetail hunter who gets a deer in NH every year but when can, I try to put 2 and 2 together.

My twin brother at left and I did just that  a while back! He was shooting a 300 Win Mag and I was shooting a .338 Win Mag, my African Safari Rifle back then. Needless to say both deer fell right there! My nephew swears that the .338 hit the deer so hard that some of its hair stuck in the tree…on end.  Maybe so!  I shoot big guns very well, besides, no one wants to borrow the .338 so I don’t have to worry about abuse. When I go north I like the hand-loaded .375 Ruger slowed down. Big 230 grain bullets in heavy brush! In open areas the 6.5 Creedmoor, or .270 works fabulous.

Last year my buck was arriving at 2 AM so that didn’t work well. And there were too many hunters pushing the deer to new areas, like behind homes.

I believe whitetail deer use these open sandy areas to leave track size/shape and an inter-digital scent to say who they are to the does and to the potential bucks competing for mating rights.

Check those sandy areas out!

© 2017

New: Primos Trigger Stick or Bog-Pod? Updated

Don’t Own one yet! Maybe today for that steady shot! This from youtube.

I examined the mono-pod, bi-pod and tripod styles at Bass Pro in Hooksett, NH. See my video below.

The Red head was light in weight but cumbersome to open each length but once set it looked solid without further tests and under $40. My primary concern was weight and not cumbersome to set up. It failed the cumbersome part.

The Bog-Pod was strong and looked durable, had a bag to put it in with large white letters saying BOG-POD so big that the shoulder bag looked as much white as black. The bag? Not good in the deer woods by my account..too much white like a deer tail.

My Choice was the Primos bi-pod Gen 3! Not heavy, easy to set up instantly.  Just pull the trigger on the bipod and your pod legs extend by gravity. Let the trigger go and the height is set. Cant mount a camera on the bi-pod at $130.00 but you can on the tripod at $160.00 and carry more weight.

You decide whats best for your hunting situation!

Good Hunting!

© 2017

Hunter’s: Practice on Paper Deer Without Bullseye’s

Birchwood Casey Eze-Scorer Whitetail Deer Folded 2 Targets

This is a Birchwood Casey Deer target and will show your hits as yellow as seen above. You can order on-line $12 for 2 targets with extra kill zones. Locate it with your favorite search engine.

This one comes in a 2 pack with extra vitals and should last more than one season.

Deer Vitals are outlined. A medium deer will have a 17 to 18 inch deep chest. A large deer will have an 18 to 20 inch chest. By shooting just below the midpoint and tight behind the front leg you are in the heart/lung vitals. Read the article at Chuck Hawkes below. What is missing here perhaps is that if you can see a shape or tuft of hair in the kill zone to aim at then even better, focus on it as your target. Remember, aim small miss small.