Category Archives: Equipment

Sage Grouse and Garmin Pro 550 Plus Review

My favorite Son-in-law, Kyle, and I went to Wyoming to hunt Hungarian Partridge, Chukar Partridge and Sage Grouse. First, you should know that the birds in Wyoming are WAY down. Three and a half days of hunting, 20+ miles of hiking and plenty of road hunting and we saw zero Huns, zero Chukar and only a few Sage Grouse. We were checked by a Wyoming game officer and he confirmed that this is a pretty dismal year for bird hunting. Not quite what I expected given that all the great plains states are no longer in a drought but the game officer thinks that these things go in cycles. I hope he is right and we look forward to better hunting in the future. Despite these depressing statistics, we had a terrific hunt. Kyle is a new bird hunter – he has not yet enjoyed a game rich hunt and he was elated when we succeeded on sage grouse. It was time well spent and a great hunt in all the categories that matter!

There is nothing like a Modelo Especial after a 4 hour hike of futility!

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How to Clean Your Double-Barreled Shotgun

It is great fun to introduce new folks to the shotgun shooting sports and many of these new shooters want to know how to properly clean their shotgun. What follows is the procedure that I have religiously followed for as long as I can remember.  This was written with side by side shotguns in mind but it applies to any single or double-barreled break down shotgun. The objective is to clean away all traces of gun powder, plastic wadding residue and fingerprints.

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Filson Sportsman’s Bag

For the bird hunter, a good bag is one of the essentials. To carry all the junk you need for a hunt or a day at the gun club, the Filson Sportsman’s Bag is hard to beat. It has been on my list for quite some time but at $295 it was just too expensive. Now that I have one (received as a gift from Mrs. Birdhunter!) I almost would pay that much . . . almost. I think a price point of half that amount would be about right. Despite the expense, it is a terrific bag.

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Why Bird Hunters Carry Pliers.

If on a nice walk in the woods . . .

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A Gun Rack for Side by Side Shotguns

The Birdhunter’s sweet wife gave up the spare bedroom so it could be used as a reloading and gun room. A perfect place to display the side by side bird guns, I needed a gun rack that would present the shotguns horizontally. Obviously there is not much of a market for such a thing so I made it myself. It was a fun project and, as the design was kept simple, it turned out pretty good I think.

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Ponsness/Warren 800B

When I was a kid shooting skeet and trap in the 70’s, the Ponsness/Warren “Size-O-Matic” was the reloader to have. Boy, I wanted one but earning minimum wage at the local grocery store put me in the effective and affordable MEC reloader instead. Thirty five plus years later the PW is still in production and now that I am earning a notch above minimum wage I was able to put one in my reloading room. Here is a quick look at this workhorse of a machine.

7 operations with each pull of the handle and a freshly reloaded shell is ejected each time.

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C.C. Filson Co.

Double Mackinaw Cruiser

Filson has been making rugged outerwear since the 1890’s and is known mostly for their heavyweight wool and waxed cotton garments. Based in Seattle, they were suppliers to the prospectors headed to Alaska in the gold rush days and have a reputation for legendary durability. By today’s standards this is pretty low tech stuff but it’s as wonderfully tough and durable as they claim it is. Their Double Mackinaw Cruiser is an awesome coat but heavy as a boat anchor. I have two of them and love them in deer camp and in town but they are not the best choice for the upland hunter. What is good for the upland hunter are the waxed cotton chaps and vests. These are super sturdy, again on the low tech side – no hydration system, moisture wicking or Gore-Tex membranes, but they are totally functional and wear in with a nice rustic patina.

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