With labor Day just around the corner, summer up here in the mountains is pretty much over. Our nights are getting cooler, and the first frost should be within 2 weeks maximum. Our first snow is normally in the first 2 weeks of October. So theoretically we are only about 6 weeks away from our first snow. That is if we have a normal fall & winter. Our hunting season is well underway with archery season in progress. Two new world record mule deer have been taken so far. The heavy snows bringing us lots of moisture, that we have had the last 2 years have made for extremely healthy deer, elk, bear, and antelope. The Stone sheep and desert Big horn are doing very well too. This should be a good season. Last year we had several 8X9, 9X9, and 9X10 elk taken in this area. In the northeastern part of the state we had a couple of elk taken that green scored right at 500. And that is a monster elk. Unfortunately we have to get drawn before we can hunt here and again unfortunately Colleen, Kase and I all got zilch again this year.
But even though we didn't get drawn this year, there is a silver lining. We still get to hunt at our Handgun Hunter's Challenge (HHC) at least twice a year so all is not lost. Our next HHC is in about 6 weeks, again in the Tennessee foothills near Monterey Tennessee. Right now we have 42 people signed up with deposits and even if we have a few drop out at the last minute, it still should be our biggest HHC ever. I have booked all three lodges and we have room for almost 50 people, so we still have a few openings left. The hunt is held at the www.wildernesshuntinglodge.com) and encompasses many many acres. Alan Wilson, the owner of the lodge, has at least 5 large sections of acreage from rolling hills and open pastures to steep almost straight up & down hillsides. He always has many hundreds, if not thousands of animals running wild on his place. I have pulled in the gate on one of his large areas and seen maybe 500 head of exotic deer grazing out in the pasture in front of me. He also has many other critters there and no matter what your taste is in animals, he probably has some there. The wild boar run from medium size, 150 to 200 pounds, up to what he calls his Presidential hogs at 400 to 450 pounds.Hunting Lodge (
This hunt coming up should be a great one as there will be a large herd of elk there. These should be 5X5s and 6X6s and he has them sale priced at $2450 for us. That same elk would be a minimum of $10,000 out here. Actually it would be $10,000 whether you saw it or not. They have quite a few Red Stags, which are great eating and a very impressive mount. There will be all kinds of exotic deer, from Sika, to Fallow to Axis. The Fallow is sale priced at $1750 and he throws in a fallow doe free. There are always plenty of exotic sheep there from Dall sheep, to Corsican, to Barbarossa, and Barbados sheep. There are also lots of Spanish goats of all colors. He always keeps a good size herd of Bison and Water Buffalo with 2 and 3 year old meat buffalo at $995. If you want a truly hard hunt, try Aoudad. They graze at 30 MPH. Just about every shot at an Aoudad will be a running shot. He will probably have Scimitar Horned Oryx, Javelina, and maybe some surprises. There will also be a full hunt given away to some lucky hunter. This will be a very special hunt too. We have gone over a couple of critters and whichever one Alan chooses will be very special indeed. Two of the 3 animals he mentioned I have never taken, so it should be a really special give-away hunt.
As usual Kase and I plan to bring a lot of guns for those that want to shoot or use them on the hunt. If all goes well, I hope to have the 6 new cartridges there and available for anyone to use or just shoot. I would venture a guess that there will be 150 to 200 guns on display there. Several of the Misfits always bring 15 to 20 guns themselves, so there should be plenty of guns available to shoot and hunt with if you like. I list the hunt as the Handgun Hunter's Challenge, but we do not require you to hunt with a handgun. Use whatever you are comfortable with. The hunt is just as much a get together of good friends as it is a hunt. If you think you would like to join us just call Sherry, the owner's wife, ator and put down your $250 deposit. if you do sign up, make sure and let me know so I can put you on the list and not over book. If you have already signed up, feel free to get a friend to come along, but make sure and call to sign him up too.
Lots of questions about the 6 new cartridges we plan to come out with. Some have been fully tested and some are still in the testing stage. All six I hope to premier in revolvers at the HHC. They will also be available in Contenders/G-2s, and Encores. The 3 that we have done a lot of testing on and they have passed with flying colors, are the 255 Banshee, 307 GNR and 500 GNR. The 255 Banshee is simply a Ruger 357 Maximum stretch frame as the base gun. This one should be a perfect deer, black bear and hog cartridge. The 3rd cartridge is the new 500 GNR. This is pretty much a duplicate of the 510 GNR except it uses a .500 grain bullet. It has the same power as the 510 GNR and should be fine for anything up to and including the big bears. In this one you simply neck the 510 GNR brass down to .500. Again short neck and sharp shoulder. It works great in a revolver and has very good accuracy.necked up to .257 and has a sharp shoulder and short neck. It should be fine for deer size critters and under. It is extremely accurate and for someone starting out, it should be perfect. No recoil yet still enough power for deer. The second new cartridge is the 307 GNR. This is a 357 Maximum necked down to .308. Shooting a 110 to 135 grain bullet, it does very well in a revolver and is extremely accurate. It requires a
The 3 cartridges that I am currently working on and that I hope they pan out for use in a revolver, are the 240 Banshee. This one is a 22 Hornet necked up to .243 with our normal short neck and sharp shoulder. The 243 caliber in a revolver will be an unusual one. The next one is the 284 GNR. This is our third cartridge in 7mm caliber. This one is simply a 357 Maximum necked down to 7mm. Again short neck and sharp shoulder. I hope to get started on the final testing this coming week. Deer, black bear and hogs are the game for this cartridge. The final cartridge of the 6 new ones is the 401 GNR. This one looks just like the 41 GNR. It is anecked down to .400. It will use the 38-40 gas checked lead bullets best but there are several jacketed bullets that should do very well too. Again deer, black bear and hogs are the game for this one, although the 41 GNR has taken elk and buffalo and quite a few African game the size of elk. So we shall see on this one.
Not a lot of new guns being announced over the past 30 days. Several of the guns announced at the SHOT SHOW in January are still not available. The parts shortages are still hurting us and making for long delays. Several of our guns are being delayed due to the parts shortages. nearly every gun maker is experiencing this shortage.
Savage has a whole new rifle coming out called the Savage Edge. The shape and design of the gun is completely new. It has a detachable box magazine and as usual Savage's great warranty. Nosler has a new full custom rifle coming out called the TGR for Trophy Grade Rifle. Full custom from the ground up. Accuracy is guaranteed too. Not cheap but then quality never is. If you like camo guns, this is your year. Browning has their BAR out in a special full camo in Mossy Oak Break Up, Mossberg has their new 535 ATS in full camo and with an adjustable trigger. Numerous AR-15 type rifles are now in full camo and the list goes on and on.
Taurus has introduced yet another Judge revolver. This one is the Public Defender Ultra Lite. This model is also chambered in 45 long colt and 410 shotshell. Mossberg has a new rifle out called the 4X4. It is a muzzle brake. They are promoting it as a removable muzzle brake, which I personally think is insane. Lots and lots of problems could crop up down the road with this feature. Plus every time you turn the brake off, you have to re-sight in the rifle as it will shoot considerably higher (up to 18" higher) with the brake taken off.that comes in 9 popular calibers, a special LBA (Lightning bolt action) trigger, box magazine, and a free floating fluted barrel with
Steyr is bringing theback out for a limited run. It pretty much flopped the last time it was out. Hopefully it will do better this time. Lots of gun makers are still pushing the new piston driven system, even though a couple of tests have proven that the piston system is no better than the old standard gas system. It is the answer to a problem that doesn't exist.
One of the things that many people complain about in the Sig semi autos is the long trigger reach. Well, they have finally listened to the public. Sig is coming out with their new E2 series. It has a new shorter trigger reach and redesigned gripframe. To me it feels like the Browning Hi Power, which is one of the best. It will be available in the 226 and 229 series of guns.
It is amazing to have young shooters come into our gun shop and ask for those "new" Quick Strips. These are rubber strips that hold 5 rounds and can be carried in a shirt pocket. Most of these young people don't realize that Bianchi has their Speed Strips out for 40 years before this company ever opened it's doors. We are selling the new Taurus model 738 TCP as quick as we can get them in. Less expensive than the Ruger by $40 or so and the Taurus comes with an extra magazine. Either the Ruger or the Taurus are great 380s, but the extra mag and lower price is pulling the Taurus ahead.
For those that liked the old military M-1 Carbine, you are in luck. A couple of companies are bringing it back. A handy little carbine for the beginning shooter but not really powerful enough for anything larger than a medium size deer, it is still a neat little truck gun. Auto-Ordnance, the makers for the Thompson sub machine gun for going on 100 years and also the semi auto version is one of the companies bringing the M-1 carbine back. Sort of on the same subject, a company called Zel Custom is making the Tactilite, a single shot upper to go on your AR-15 lower chambered in 50 BMG,and 416 Barrett. A box magazine version is slated to be released too.
The most important election of your life (so far) is coming up soon. This is imperative that we all vote or we stand to lose our way of life as we know it completely. Make sure you and all your friends are registered to vote. I can't think of anything more important than this election.