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Topics - Michiganhunter

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Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / New Mexico Antelope & 257 Wby
« on: December 21, 2017, 12:14:13 PM »
In early September I hunted antelope in New Mexico. Only had 3 days to scout and hunt on public lands. Public lands usually means lots of hunters and fairly flat land with trails means a lot of trucks road hunting.
I like to backpack in on public lands to eliminate as many other hunters near me. This year I could not do so because of limited time.
Opening day I found a good place to sit with a view of a large area. I thought if I watched where the trucks were traveling and how the antelope reacted to them I might figure something out. There was an area between two trails with about a two miles between the roads. When the trucks started traveling opening morning the antelope would run away into a ravine almost in the middle between the two roads. No one would get out of their trucks to follow on foot. The next morning I hiked towards that ravine and set up before light with a great view of the ravine. When the dawn broke the trucks started moving and the antelope near the roads headed towards me. I saw a decent buck at the edge of a group of does. I set my .257 on my shooting sticks, checked the yardage on my rangefinder at 365 yards and let the 115 Berger VLD fly. I missed!    Don’t know how but I did. I put another round in the chamber and the buck was looking towards the road and not me. I shot again and it dropped. I was lucky the buck didn’t take off when I missed. I boned it out and packed it out. I had about 50 lbs. of meat and the head. I had a nice hunt and some decent meat.

Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / Weatherby accessories
« on: November 26, 2017, 07:45:57 AM »
What can we do to get Weatherby to carry accessories? I know I am not the only one that would purchase shirts, jackets(leather, wool, rain gear, etc...) hats, quality gun cases....I am having a hard, double rifle w/scopes gun case covered with leather and with my initials tooled in the leather with the flying W also in the leather. I am having several of my fly rod cases covered in cow hide and two in deer skin right now.
As soon as I receive them I will post pictures and email Weatherby photos of the cases.
Its not like Weatherby Nation members will not buy these. We are willing to pay for top quality products.
We own top of the line Weatherby Rifles. We would enjoy having our rifles in great looking cases. We buy top of the line Filson and Pendleton coats and hats etc....
How about sending emails or phone calls to Weatherby home office from everyone who reads this post from the Nation? Any other ideas and products would you like to see?
If enough of us would contact Weatherby then maybe they would hear us.
All they could do is say no.
I know how good Wby customer service is, so they probably will listen.

I just returned to cell phone/internet reception, after 7 days in the cellphone no-mans lands and wanted to post a couple pics and the first part of the 2017 Michigan whitetail hunting story.
First of all, the first time in my 62 years of being on this planet, I hurt my back lifting some 50 lb.bags of grain. Never had a pain in my back before now. Ive been a pain in the butt, neck and back to others. I now have deep sympathy and immense  empathy for anyone cursed with back problems.
 I still went out deer hunting because there is no way I would miss our annual tradition. I wait all year for the November 15th. opening day whitetail season in Michigan.
I bought a cane and made the 3/4 mile walk to my hunting shack.
On opening day I saw 3 small bucks, 1-1/2 year olds, and several does and fawns throughout the day and I also saw a big buck in the early afternoon but just for a few seconds as it chased a doe. Did not see that buck again over the next 5 days.
I stay in my shack all day because you never know when that big one will show up. I have shot about a dozen nice bucks between 11am to 2 pm. Like I said, I wait all year for deer season so I spend every minute I have hunting. I saw small bucks and does for the next 3 days and Saturday morning, at first light, I saw this buck walking through the swamp. As I was looking through my leupold vx3i 3.5-10 with the 50mm lens and heavy duplex,(which, by the way, I absolutely love for lowlight and dark swamps) as soon as it hit a small opening I sent the 127 grain Barnes LRX to meet it. It was about a 170 yds and I watched the buck drop in my scope. It did not move after that. The bullet went completely through the front shoulder and exited the far shoulder. The exit hole was about 3" in diameter. My first shot at big game with my 6.5-300 Wby and I couldn't be more pleased. I could have killed it with a 30-30 or any other deer caliber but I enjoyed it immensely with this new Wby ULW.
This was an older buck we figured it was about 7-8 years old based on teeth wear and numerous scars on its neck, face and shoulders. A small rack with some mass and with only 3 points on one side and 2 on the other. It weighed about 160 lbs. Most of our bucks 4 1/2 to 6 1/2 yrs will weigh about 200 lbs.
My brother shot a big 7 point swamp buck with nice mass yesterday, Sunday 11- 19. About 200 lbs. with a .300 win mag.
My nephew in law helped hold up the head of the buck because I did not have enough strength to hold it myself. I'm the old guy with the cane. He's the big young guy.
I had a great time even with a bad back. People asked me why I hunted when I was in so much pain. I told them instead of staying home in pain I could be hunting with pain. What better place to be with such a wonderful view.

Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / Weatherby clothing
« on: November 05, 2017, 07:16:10 AM »
I really wish Weatherby offered nice quality jackets, leather and wool hats and hoodies with logos. Does anybody know if these products will be available anytime in the near future? They do have a very limited hat and shirt selection but not the rest. I know I would buy if they did offer the gear and so would other hunting buddies of mine that shoot Weatherby rifles.

When I was in Wyoming a couple weeks ago I hunted a mile section of BLM land surrounded on three sides by private land. I had a gps map from the fish and wildlife dept. of Wyoming so I knew where I was. It was the last day of my hunt. I spotted a nice mule deer about two hundred yards on the other side of the private ranch fence. I watched that buck for about an hour before it turned dark and I  walked out. I used my binoculars and never picked up my rifle and looked through my rifle scope. The buck never crossed into public land. I was met by the lady of the ranch when I reached the road. She said "thank you. I watched you glass that buck and then walk out. You had every opportunity to shoot that deer but didn't."
She asked me why I didn't shoot. I told her the truth. "I would have been ashamed if I did and every time I would have thought about it I would have felt the same way." She just smiled.
Many years ago when I was 14, I shot a buck on a neighbors farm. I did not have permission. I didn't get caught but to this day, almost 50 years later, when I think about it I know what I did. I don't like how I feel. It's good to have a conscience.

Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / New glass vs older glass
« on: November 03, 2017, 04:29:39 PM »
This year I picked up a couple pairs of $200 binoculars. A pair of Bushnell 8x42 and a pair of 8x56 Bushnell.
I had to send a Leupold 8x32 to be refurbished that cost me about $350 in 1992 and a pair of 8x56 Steiner night hunters I purchased in 2000 for about $700. I was a little worried they wouldn't be back in time for hunting season and just planned on giving the two new pairs to a nephew who would never spend the money on himself with 4 kids under 8 yrs. old and a nephew in-law that needed a pair.
Well the older binoculars arrived about a month ago fixed and looked good as new.
Then something happened that took me completely off guard. The brand new $200 binoculars had brighter glass and clear edge to edge with no distortion! I could not believe that today's glass is that much better for a lot less money. On my hunt out west a couple weeks ago the new binoculars performed admirably. I have a pair of Swarovski 15x56 from 2010 that was superior to all but they are the finest tools for glassing I have ever used. A friend had a pair of new Leupold tioga binoculars that were also superior to the older binos.
Now I am a good uncle, but I gave the nephews the refurbished Steiners and Leupold and kept the new Bushnells. I'm not selfish but I am not stupid either......

I purchased a 6.5-.300 ULW in April that was a rifle used for a gun show or sent to a writer for a sponsored hunt. Not quite sure which but, nonetheless, it couldn't be sold as a new rifle. I purchased it from a Michigan gun shop for a decent discount. I mounted a Zeiss scope and picked up a couple boxes of Weatherby Select Plus 127 gr. Barnes LRX factory ammo. I proceeded to shoot some 3 shot groups to get an idea of the accuracy capable from this new entry to the Weatherby family. I went through about a dozen rounds and was disappointed with the results. The rifle shot two to three inch groups. This  wasn't a new rifle so I didn't know if Weatherby would honor the .99" MOA or less guarantee. I emailed the factory and explained the problem. The customer service rep, Carol Samano, responded within a few minutes. She told me it didn't matter if it was a "show gun" or a rifle sent out to a writer to evaluate, it was still a Weatherby and they would take care of it.
I sent the rifle to them and in a few days she called me and said they checked it and verified the accuracy was not up to their standards. She said Weatherby would replace the barrel with a new one and make sure it met their standards of .99" or less at 100yds.
Carol stayed in constant contact with me all through the process of the new barrel installation and testing for consistent, repeatable accuracy.
She let me know the new barrel met their high standards and even emailed me the group size with the 127 gr. Barnes Factory loads. It included velocity, highest, lowest and average of the grouping.
They sent my rifle to Williams Gunsite, in Davison, Michigan. Williams Gunsite has Weatherby approved gunsmiths and are also a reputable dealer with whom I have 40 yrs. of doing business with them.

 I want everyone to know how Weatherby treats their customers. They paid for the shipping, had Williams Gunsite mount my scope, (actually two scopes, a Zeiss and a Leupold vx3i fitted for Leupold quick release bases and rings) sight it in and gave me the target they shot with the size of the grouping.
The cost for all of this? Nothing! It did not cost me one thin dime! Not for shipping, not for mounting my scopes,(I did pay for the rings and bases) and Weatherby paid the cost of sighting in with the recommended factory 127gr. Barnes LRX Weatherby Select ammo.
Carol Samano took care of me like I was the most important customer ever to buy a Weatherby. In this day and age of impersonal internet customer service, Carol Samano provided 1st. class, one on one communication and service. I own custom rifles, costing three times as much and Weatherby outperformed all of them with customer service not found often enough with other factory or customer rifle makers known for quality and service with tack driven accuracy. THANK YOU Carol Samano!!!
P.S. The rifle group size at 100yds?
Under 1/2" for 3 shot groups.

I just returned from my 27 th. Wyoming deer hunt. We have hunted public land for all the hunts. Lots of walking, stalking and backpacking miles from where the roads end and trucks are parked.
There were five of us this year with one 3x4 Mule Deer my nephew tagged (he backpacked that buck over 3 miles) and a 11 point whitetail taken. There were two that shot and missed (first time out west hunters) it takes time to get used to hunting in the mountains when you have only hunted the thick woods and swamps of Michigan and myself, who did not shoot. I passed up a decent 4x4 at around 500 yards with a crosswind of at least 30 mph and two monster Mule Deer that saw me before I saw them and went up and over the ridge before I could even raise my rifle.
This was my first hunt with my new ULW Weatherby 6.5-.300 with a Zeiss Terra 4-12x42. Never even pulled the trigger in 6 days. I sure looked at it quite a bit as I sat and glassed the mountains. Nice rifle and scope combo.
My brother tagged a decent whitetail about a mile from the road on the last day. It was where the mountains ended and the prairie started along a creek with poplars and alders. It really looked more like antelope country or creek bottoms that you  expect to be inhabited by whitetails. As luck would have it, it did. This was one of those last minute, last day, "Hail Mary" bucks that just does not happen. This one buck made a mistake and my brother was lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time. Perfect shot with his Browning .300 win mag and Redfield Wideview scope he bought new in 1982. It was around 250 yards. After all those days in mountains beating up on our bodies with sore knees from going downhill lungs burning from going up hill, it was a well earned trophy. A spiker or even a doe is a trophy when you hunt hard.
My brother Joel's buck was a heavy bodied deer with an 18" wide inside spread with some nice eye guards and good symmetry.
We usually do better with mostly mule deer, not Whitetails, but that's a hunting in Wyoming bonus. We all had a great time laughing and busting each other's chops.
The group ranged from 25 yrs old to 67 with me at 63.
As long as I can stay in shape we will be back next year.
My next hunt is for cow elk in New Mexico then I will be at my brothers farm in Michigan targeting big whitetails with my 6.5-300 topped off with Leupold vx3i 3.5-10x50 heavy Duplex. I have Leupold quick release bases and rings on my Weatherby so I can switch scopes. After that it will be muzzleloader season in Michigan with a CVA Optima and a new Leupold VX2  3-9x50 with the heavy duplex. My last big game trip is a New Mexico elk hunt with the same muzzleloader outfit. All in all, a great season of hunting so far and more to look forward to. I'll post pics as the season progresses.

Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / Weatherby Single Shot
« on: October 09, 2017, 05:34:38 AM »
I would like to see Wby come out with a single shot rifle. Similar to the lines of Ruger or Browning.
I have a custom Ruger #1 in .257 Wby with a 28" barrel that was built in 1992. Even with that long barrel it is still short enough to maneuver in a blind or the aspen groves in the mountains. Look at the prices a Ruger or Browning sells for and people still pay the bucks to own one.

Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / Reloading for bullet choice
« on: August 24, 2017, 11:01:28 AM »
I picked up a 300 win mag for a nephew who is coming out west to Wyoming with me in October.
I like Berger VLD's for deer. I don't reload so I bought a box of federal 180 silver tips, hornady super performance SST 180 and HSM VLD's 185.
The federal silver tips gave me 2" groups, HSM VLD's shot at 3" and hornady SST was 3/4".
I will have him use the SST.
I love VLD's for deer.
If I were to reload would I be able to get those bullets,VLD's, to shoot better than factory loads?

I don't know if there's an answer to the question. Maybe someone in the Weatherby Nation knows.
With each factory loaded ammunition available per caliber there is a low end end and high end bullet weight available. For example; a .300 Wby usually has a 150 gr. as the lightest and 220 gr. for the heaviest factory load. If you handload (I don't) the options can be from 100 gr to 240 gr.
I know rate of twist is a factor in stabilizing specific grain weight bullets. Too slow or too fast and accuracy goes out the window.
Unless a person is building a custom rifle to shoot a specific weight and shape of bullet, factory rifles have a twist rate that coincides with common factory available ammunition.
My .300 Wby has a 1-10" twist. Will one grain weight shoot more accurately than another? Is it common to find a rifle that is more accurate with a 210 gr and not accurate with a 150gr? Should I shoot all weights to find the best option for each individual rifle? I know handloaders can fine tune each bullet weight with the perfect amount of powder to find the best accuracy. I have in the past bought a rifle and then buy 5-10 boxes of factory ammo in a couple different weights and then go with the load that gives me the best accuracy. 30 years ago for my Weatherby 300 there was only 1 or 2
manufacturers with a couple weights. That is no longer the case. Now I have ten or more manufacturers with ten or more variations to choose from. I could end up spending $3-$400 on ammo to find one that is best.
Should I now choose my bullet weight, bullet construction and then buy a half dozen boxes to see which one shoots the best?
Where do I start? Should I choose a caliber with the middle of the range in bullet weight? A 300 with 180 grain or a 338 with 210 grain?
I hope I've explained this right.

Optics / Minimum/maximum distance Mounting scope close to barrel
« on: July 26, 2017, 12:34:55 PM »
I believe mounting the scope as close to barrel as possible makes the sight picture easier to find.
When I raise the rifle to shoot I want the sight picture "right there" and ready to shoot. Trying to find the animal in the scope picture instantaneous is a key factor in quick accurate shot placement without hesitation. Sometimes you have to make a quick shot or the opportunity is gone. We can't always spot the deer before it sees you and take the time to set up a perfect rest to shoot. That is a fact.
How low do you mount your scope to barrel? Enough for a piece of paper to fit between barrel and scope bell?
If it is too much distance you end up with your cheek off the stock and and end up looking through a small tunnel to find the deer.
How low have you mounted a scope to barrel? Should the scope bell ever touch the barrel?
With the advent of more and more large bell, 50-56mm, scopes available to gain us a few more minutes shooting time at dawn and dusk. The newer scopes are now much shorter and weigh much less than years ago. The Europeans have been fans for 30 years of large objective lenses. They sit in a stand before dawn and even after sundown. The concept of shooting with minimal light is accepted and legal in many European countries.
So how close to barrel is too close and how far away does finding the game through that "tunnel" is too far?
Is just enough space to clear the barrel too close?
I am curious what the members of our "Weatherby Nation" have to say.

I have time to reload at this point in my life.
What do I "NEED" to buy.
I have the money I was saving for relatives, (I don't even like like them, so why????.) However, in the past, when I  had time, I would rather going fishing then spend time behind the loading bench. Most of us who hunt, also fish.
We hunt to be outdoors to enjoy what God has placed on our bountiful wildlife table to both sample and consume.
If I had a choice to hunt or fish in the fall, I would do both. I still fish year round, trap in the fall for many species and trap in February and March for beaver and otter. In the winter we would ice fish and set out tip-up's on a lake and then hunt for snowshoe rabbits and partridge all around the lake keeping an eye on the tip-ups.
These are some of the reasons I didn't get into re-loading. I prioritized my free time to go fishing, tying flies(only enough for a trip) and feather/hair jigs, trapping and hunting. It was more important to me to try and fish/hunt keeping what I needed for the pan and releasing the rest.
Now with time on my hands, I am considering re-loading for accuracy, velocity and specific bullet choice for a specific specie.

So, Weatherby Nation, what tools should I buy to accomplish my goals to truly match specie, caliber, bullet choice, accuracy and optimal velocity and energy at distance.
You know what is not important to buy just as you know what tool(s) I absolutely need.
What press should I buy, calipers, scale, etc...
I don't need tools/presses to put out 10 loaded rounds per minute. I will be trying various bullets along with powder recipes to get the custom results I anticipate through loading my own ammunition
Help me out with putting together the tools to create the custom ammo and the results I am interested in achieving.

If you like 6.5 calibers, Petersen's Hunting, August 2017 issue has an article. Just received my magazine, yes, paper magazines still exist, and it's worth checking out.

Reloading / Reloads for 6.5-300 mag
« on: June 30, 2017, 01:11:46 PM »
I am curious if anyone has matched the velocity of factory loads for the 6.5-300 and more important, accuracy.
I am debating whether to start reloading for my .257, 6.5-300 and .300
I tried to get into reloading in the 80's but I did not have the time back then. I tried to load for my .257 and 300 but I could not get the accuracy or velocity to match factory ammo. I did load for my 30-06 and had success with improvements in accuracy and velocity.
I know years ago it was less expensive to reload than buying ammo but I am more interested in finding better accuracy than saving money.
What do you guys think?

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