Show Notes:

Anything that is made can be made wrong. But much of the time people think their gun is a lemon, it is actually a situation that is caused by or can be fixed by the user. On this episode I talk about common issues that are mistaken for firearm defects and then what to do if you really get a gun that is a lemon.

Poor accuracy can be caused by a great many things such as:

  • Loose action screws
  • Loose scope mounts
  • Loose scope rings
  • Loose scopes
  • Poor scopes
  • Defective scopes
  • Poor ammo
  • Dirty ammo
  • Ammo that the gun doesn’t favor
  • Poor shooting position
  • A poor shooting rest
  • And many other things other than a defect

Failures to feed right can also be caused by lots of things:

  • Not cleaning a new gun before using it
  • Dirt or gunk building up in the gas system or the action
  • Too much oil in a gun
  • Underpowered ammo
  • Ammo that the gun doesn’t favor
  • Dirty ammo
  • Ammo that the gun is not setup for
  • A magazine that is not in all the way
  • Loose screws
  • A grip that isn’t firm enough
  • Shooting position that isn’t firm enough
  • And lots of other things

But there are still times when a firearm is truly defective and the solution is often easy. Return it to the manufacturer to be repaired or replaced. This is not that difficult to do or that expensive. If you have verified that none of the above issues are the cause of your problem and can document that on paper with your return, it helps make sure you are only sending the gun back for a real problem.

Most firearm manufactures will repair or replace guns that are truly defective without cost or question. No need to fret. You may also have the gun warrantied through the dealer your purchased it through, giving you two options to get it fixed.

Listen to the full episode to learn more about what to look for and what to do. 


Show Notes:

Every hunter will face opportunities to get discouraged with what seems like a poor hunt. But the very nature of hunting makes it a pursuit were success can happen in an unexpected instant. On this episode I talk about how quickly things can turn around and how you can take advantage of those unanticipated opportunities.

How to have more turn around moments:

  1. Always be ready – If you are not ready and able to take a shot within two seconds you may miss turn around moments.
  2. Pay careful attention – Whitetails, turkeys, and many other animals can appear unannounced, silent and seemingly from nowhere.
  3. Assume there is always a deer close by – Don’t get lax or sloppy because you assume no animals are around. Your quarry really could be feet away from you and you not realize it.
  4. Stay positive – You hunt better when you believe it matters. You can always have a good day in the woods, no matter what the animals do.
  5. Never give up – Everyone has a time they need to leave the woods but realize success can come even at the last minute you are out there.

Listen to the episode for more!

Show Notes:

Hunters should be able to focus on hunting without needing a graduate degree in thermodynamics, but if you want quality gear that performs under icy conditions you need to know the basics of how different insulations work and what is on the market. On this episode I talk about the major types of natural and synthetic insulation used in hunting gear so you can make informed decisions when considering what gear to buy and use.

Types of Insulation & Insulating Materials:

  1. Cotton – The worst material for cold weather hunting gear hands down. It is only warm until it gets wet, then it drains the warmth out of you.
  2. Wool – Very warm, preforms well when wet, but you need a lot of it for outer layers. Merino wool is revered as the best for socks and base layers.
  3. Down – The gold standard by which all insulation is measured by. Warm enough to keep a goose alive flying at 3,000 feet at 50 MPH when it is 20 degrees outside. And thin and light enough to still enable a bird to fly 1,000 miles in a single day. But it is not very warm if it gets wet.
  4. Treated Down –  Chemically treated goose down designed to keep the insulation from getting wet to improve warmth in moist conditions.
  5. Fleece – Specially knit polyester that is good at keeping wind out and great at trapping heat in while wicking away moister. Makes a great mid layer and liner for an outer layer.
  6. Polyester Fill – A no frills and no special brand generic inter-garment insulation that helps keeps you warm and dry.
  7. Thermolite – Slightly more frills and fancier branding than Polyester Fill. Geared at providing lightweight insulation.
  8. Primaloft – Essentially a synthetic goose down developed for the military, designed to be as warm as down but also retain its insulating properties when wet.
  9. Thinsulate – Another down alternative, this insulation is best known for its thin fibers and thus thinner overall profile making it ideal for many specialty applications ranging from pants to gloves.
  10. Cocona – A science heavy synthetic insulator that focuses around helping maintain an ideal core temperature. If you are cold it helps you warm up, if you are hot it helps you cool down.

Most synthetic insulations are geared to help deal with moisture and retain much of their warmth when wet. But each has its strengths. It is hard if not impossible to definitively say which synthetic insulation is warmest. It more so depends on the application, the amount used, and all the other factors that go into garment construction.

Listen to the episode to learn more about each type of insulation and what types activities they are best used for.

Here is my episode I referenced about hunting bibs that provides some of the back story and why I found a need to start learning about these things.


Show Notes:

When the temperature drops and the wind blows you need to dress for the weather in order to have a comfortable hunt. On this episode I talk about the niche that bibs fill and what features are important for helping you pick out a pair that is right for you this deer season. 

The difference between the best bibs and the worst bibs are two-fold, it is a factor of the construction and materials.

The main elements of bib construction include some or all of the below:

  • Outer finish – This is the texture and ultimately the noisiness of the garment.
  • Outer layer – This provides wind and/or rain resistance.
  • Insultation – This determines how warm the bibs are and what conditions you can expect that warmth to function under.
  • Inner layer – This is the part the touches you and should hold warmth and wick away moisture 

The materials most often used for bibs include:

  • Natural fibers like cotton or wool.
  • Natural or treated goose down.
  • Cheap polyesters, usually with no fancy brand names.
  • Better polyesters like fleece.
  • Fancy synthetic insulation, like Primaloft, Thinsulate, Cocona, etc. 
  • Weather proof membranes like nylon, Gore-Tex, etc.

Cost is mostly a factor of construction and materials. For new hunters I recommend gear with the right construction for your hunting needs while not worrying about the fanciest of materials. This helps you find something that is built for your activity but is still relatively affordable.  

Listen to the episode to hear how these elements work together and find out which are most important for your specific needs.


Show Notes:

Few things are more exciting than taking a buck after a lot of hard work and weeks of expectation. What you do next with that trophy should be something you have already considered and planned out, not something you jump into with while overcome with emotion. On this episode I dig into what you need to think about and plan for so that when you do take a great deer your next steps can be informed, thoughtful, and hopefully not a huge waste of money.

Take Aways

  • Mounting the head and neck of a deer is expensive, takes up a lot of space, and is a process. It is not a decision to make spur of the moment.
  • If you wait until you have a deer on the ground before considering these things you will very likely do something you regret later. Adrenaline, excitement, and fatigue can prompt you to do all kinds of things.
  • There are many easier and simpler ways to turn your buck into a trophy that you can be thrilled with for decades to come.
  • Most new hunters would be served best with a whitetail or turkey mount that is easy and inexpensive like these:


Show Notes:

Recoil is one of the most vivid parts of shooting and hunting for many who are beginners. It permeates people’s thinking and memory and is often little understood and not properly managed. On this episode I talk about the effect recoil has on hunting, the science behind it, and what you can do to better manage it and be a more effective hunter.

  • Recoil effects accuracy, fun, shooter confidence, and health. The better you understand it the more effective of a hunter and shooter you can be.
  • Recoil is a measure of action and re-action, felt recoil on the other hand accounts for the real life factors that determine how it effect us.
  • Felt recoil is a function of bullet weight, powder charge, gun weight, shooter mass, and mitigating factors. Adjust any of those and you can change the felt recoil.
  • There is a macho factor that goes along with heavy recoil, nothing has perhaps done more to damage our sport and dissuade children and newcomers alike than this nonsense.
  • People often use more gun than they need for a hunt, which comes with more recoil than they need, which makes them a less effective marksman and a less effective hunter in many cases.
  • Whether you are hunting coyotes, varmints, turkeys, whitetail deer, elk, moose, or anything in between, do the best that you can to pick a firearm and ammunition combo that is the right balance of power and recoil to do the job well and be as manageable as possible.
  • There are three big things you can do to improve your accuracy and effectiveness with higher recoil firearms, they are covered in the episode.
  • Some people just should not shoot certain guns, the physics of their body size and composition hinder their ability to safely and effectively use high recoil firearms.
    • There comes a point where no amount of practice or pride will improve the situation, it’s science.


Show Notes:

Both sectional density and ballistic coefficient are bullet specifications that matter for hunters but one matters a lot more for new hunters. On this episode I break down the need to know fundamentals of each so you can make better ammunition decisions.

Sectional Density:

  • Is one of the most obscure pieces of information printed on a box of ammo.
  • Is a complicated math calculation that you will likely never need to preform.
  • Is something you can understand quickly and easily and can help you from today onward.
  • Is a very important number for telling the ideal use of a bullet if you want to make decisions based on more than marketing.
  • To best understand the meaning of sectional density you need to understand what makes bullets effective on whitetail deer, elk, moose, and other big game.
  • All of this and more is covered in the episode.

Ballistic Coefficient:

  • Is one of the more popular peieces of bullet marketing.
  • Involves more math than is even worth mentioning.
  • Matters a lot for a small number of hunters.
  • Is easy to understand but less easy to apply.
  • Can make the difference between a terrible bullet and a great bullet at certain ranges.
  • All of this and more is covered in the episode.


Show Notes:

How to break in a new gun or a new barrel is one of the most hotly debated topics on the internet. Fortunately, for those willing to venture off the internet, there are real answers to this question. On this episode I give practical, rational, evidence based advice for how to break in a new gun.

Take Aways:

  • Whether it is a new rifle, shotgun, or pistol, there is a wide range of break in protocols that people debate and implement. But which is the best and what is right for you?
  • New hunters do have different needs than some firearms users, but science is science and a proper break in procedure should be universal for all guns.
  • I gathered feedback on this question from multiple gunsmiths who each have 40-50 years of experience making and repairing guns. Hear their insights in the episode.
  • I contacted two of the largest and most reputable firearms manufactures in the country and asked them about this question, to see the break in procedures they recommend for their guns. I share their answers in the episode.
  • Download and listen to the whole episode to hear how to break in a new gun.


Show Notes:

Every gun needs cleaned, but how do you know when you should clean them? On this episode I give practical, realistic tips for when you should clean your firearms.

Take Aways:

  • Guns are tools that server the hunter. The hunter does not serve the tools.
  • Taking care of your tools and treating your tools better than people are very different things.
  • Guns are not magical or unpredictable, they do not need random unprovoked cleanings from time to time.
  • You should not need to clean a gun every time you use it, unless certain things happen.
  • Listen to the episode to hear the 3 times you should clean your guns.

Show Notes:

Wild turkey is a culinary treat, but many have had poor experiences cooking it because they try to cook it like something else. On this episode I talk about the unique aspects of wild turkey meat and how you need adjust your cooking methods to bring out the best. 

Take Aways:

  • Most people try to cook wild turkey like store bought chicken without realizing it. That doesn’t work.
  • Lots of people try to roast a gobbler just like they would a store bought turkey and that doesn’t usually work well either.
  • Wild turkey needs different cooking methods for the breasts and the legs. To get the most out of these birds you have to cook them differently than anything else you know how to cook.
  • You cannot just nonchalantly grill turkey breasts and expect great results. You need to know what to do.
  • You absolutely cannot grill turkey legs and expect good results. But there are GREAT ways to cook them.
  • Learn the basics by listening to this episode.