Sunday, September 14, 2014

Finally a new blog entry!!! Lets make it a delicious one...



Ask any deer camp old-timer for a foolproof recipe, and you're likely to encounter a lot of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup. There is a reason for that: Mushrooms plus cream plus game meat adds up to a perfect trinity of flavors. This recipe chucks the can, and all its high-sodium gloppiness, while retaining the earthy comfort that made mushrooms and cream the go-to sauce for generations of hunters.
4 grouse
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
8 strips bacon
2 Tbsp. butter
20 oz. cremini or wild mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thin (morels, chanterelles, or a mix of wild and cultivated would be good)
1 shallot, minced
1 cup rich chicken stock (or defatted drippings from the pan)
3 sprigs thyme
12 cup creme (or crème fraîche)
1 Tbsp. bourbon
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. ROAST THE GROUSE: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Rinse the birds, pat dry, then smear each with a tablespoon of softened butter. Generously salt and pepper, inside and out. Wrap 2 bacon slices around each grouse, then set them in a roasting pan. Roast in the oven until the grouse is browned, about 25 minutes. Remove to a plate and let rest, covered loosely in tinfoil, while you make the sauce.
2. MAKE THE SAUCE: Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and about 1/2 tsp. salt and sauté, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms release a lot of moisture and begin to smell fragrant, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the shallot. Sauté until soft, and until most of the moisture has gone out of the pan, about 4 minutes. Add the stock (or defatted drippings from the roasting pan) and thyme sprigs and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Pour in the cream and bourbon and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 3–5 minutes.
 spoon the sauce onto four plates, and rest a grouse in the center of each. Sprinkle thyme over the grouse. SERVES 4

Recipe From: December2010/January2011 Field & Stream - Author: Jonathan Miles

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Why You Should Have a CRKT ExiTool

I came across this on Facebook, so credit to the original publisher (Whoever that may be)

Every vehicle you drive should have an escape device. Our favorite is the CRKT ExiTool:

At only $21 the CRKT ExiTool is a wise investment and reminds us of the old adage: "Better to have and not need, than need and not have."

Find out more here:

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Some of our favourite Camping, Hunting and Fishing tips from Field & Stream magazine:

Carry Seasoning in a Straw
Use straws to store salt, pepper, and spices for camping trips. Heat one end of a clear plastic straw with a lighter, then crimp it with your fingers or a multitool. Fill the straw with the desired seasoning, and repeat the process on the other end. Just snip off one of the ends when you’re cooking, and reseal it when you’re done. Store in a plastic bag in case of a leak.

Chill, Then Pull
When fishing-rod sections get stuck together, wrapping a bag of frozen vegetables around the joint for about 20 minutes helps to loosen the grip.

Shrug Off Sling Slip
Pin a quality round-ball compass onto the shoulder of your jacket. It works well to prevent a rifle or shotgun sling from slipping off, and you can refer to the compass easily if you need it.

Prolong Plastics
When wacky rigging, reinforce the plastic worm by embedding an inch-long piece of toothpick above the hook. It will last way longer.

Wag a Dog Tag
Make a single-blade spinnerbait with a recycled pet ID tag. Straighten out a large, sturdy paper clip, slide a weight on, and bend the paper clip to form a shallow U. With pliers, make a small loop at one end, and attach a hook tied with feathers. At the other end, attach a snap-swivel hooked to a shiny dog tag. 

Monitor Meat
At my hunting camp, frequent power outages make us wonder if the meat in our freezer is safe. I cut the top off a plastic water bottle, filled and froze it, and placed a quarter on top of the ice. The quarter moves if the freezer thaws.

Handle Tiny Flies
To hold small flies that you’re tying onto fine-diameter leaders, use the handle of an X-Acto hobby knife, which is about the size of a ballpoint pen. Just insert the fly into the jaws, where the blade would go, and tighten.

Leather Your Livers
Toughen up chicken livers for catfish bait by packing them in a coffee can between layers of non-iodized salt. Store the can in the refrigerator for about a week, and the livers will toughen up to the consistency of leather. They’ll stay on the hook better and never spoil.

Get Food and Rest
If you bump the scope on your rifle at hunting camp and need to readjust your sights quickly, make range bags by filling 1-gallon zip-top plastic bags with deer corn. Filled about 90 percent full, two or three bags will settle a rifle nicely.

Fire at Crackers
When I take my grandson plinking on my property, we shoot at dollar-store crackers. He likes the round and square ones, while I prefer the little oyster crackers and cheddar bites. My grandson can see the bullet impact, which makes it more enjoyable. Plus, our targets don’t cost much and there is no cleanup—we’re just feeding the birds.

Step Smart
Rain, morning dew, or frost can make the rungs of your ladder stands slippery and dangerous. To add traction, I sprayed all the rungs on my stands with Plasti Dip rubber coating and sprinkled sand on them while the spray was still wet. For even better coverage and more traction, you could do a second coat after the first one dries.

Listen Up
For a cheap, yet effective, bobber for light-tackle fishing, use a foam earplug. Just thread the hook through and slide it to the desired position on the line. You can make it a slip bobber by inserting a length of plastic coffee stirrer.

Make Weight
Make easy-to-pack decoy weights by filling ­empty plastic snuff cans with concrete. Drill two small holes into the bottom of the can first to attach a wire loop large enough to fit around the decoy’s head. Let cure, cover, and wrap one or two in camo duct tape.

Shave the Years Off Your Guns
When I’m finished hunting or handling my rifles and shotguns, I use an old-fashioned shaving brush to cover them with my favorite gun protectant. I apply the protectant right to the bristles. The brush gets into all the little tight areas and distributes the protectant nicely, so my guns go back in their safe fingerprint-free, protected from rust, and looking almost like they did the day I purchased them.

Sip, Soak, Scrub
If you forget to pack a pot scrub­ber to clean your dishes in camp, remove the plastic rings from a few six-packs of canned beverages and bundle them tightly together with a zip-tie. It’s very effective at scraping off food residue baked onto pans. Just make sure to dispose of the plastic rings properly at home.

Slip a Cork
Save your wine and champagne bottle corks—they make great slip bobbers. Drill a small hole through the cork’s core, insert a broken rod tip (every angler has a few of those) or even a stiff plastic coffee stirrer cut to size, then epoxy in place. Paint with oil-based paint (nail polish works in a pinch).

Stop Rust With Rice
For ammo storage in a bug-free environment, use uncooked rice to prevent moisture buildup. Wrap it in a single layer of tissue paper and store inside your ammo boxes. It works just as well as desiccants like silica gel but is much easier on the wallet and the environment. I also place a packet of rice in with ammo and firearms I’m shipping to an outfitter.

Revamp a Rack
Whether it’s an antler mount hanging outside on the barn or a shed found in the woods, antlers that have been bleached by the elements can be restored to a natural color with Minwax Golden Oak stain. Rub it on with a cotton cloth and let dry. One coat usually does the trick, but you can repeat until you’ve achieved the desired coloration.

Ten-Cent Solution
If I need to inspect my rifle’s bore in the field (I’ll admit that I’ve slid down a hill or two) or while cleaning it at home, I open the action and set a shiny dime on the bolt face. It reflects enough light from my flashlight into the bore for me to see if it’s clear or clean.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

My gun shoots faster than yours... so what?

The Truth About High Velocity Hunting Bullets

Article by David E. Petzal.  *From Field & Stream* Uploaded on November 13, 2009

Back in 1915, firearms designer Arthur Savage stood the shooting world on its nonfunctioning ear by introducing a cartridge that sped an 87-grain bullet on its way at the then galactic speed of 3000 fps. Called the .250/3000, it appeared in an era when the .30/30 was considered a red-hot round, and it marked the start of a craze from which we have not yet recovered. With every decade cartridges get bigger and muzzle velocities get higher. Maybe it’s time to ask why.

Sudden Death Shortly after the .250/3000 appeared, stories began to sprout in the pages of outdoor magazines about the unearthly killing power of the little cartridge. A World War I–era Field & Stream described it as sudden death on tigers and other large Indian game. You can kill a tiger with a .250/3000, or with a .22 Long Rifle (and I will come and visit you in prison), but it is a stunt. High velocity by itself does not kill anything, nor does it kill anything faster than standard velocity.
I started out believing devoutly in lots of speed, but 40 years later, having shot creatures of all sizes with just about everything that goes bang, I’ve never been able to find any correlation between bullet speed and sudden animal demise.
For 15 years I hunted whitetails in South Carolina, where you can shoot lots and lots of deer, so I had the ability to draw some valid comparisons. The smallest cartridge I used was the .257 Roberts; in other years I used the .270 Winchester, .257 Weatherby, and 7mm Weatherby. None of them killed anything any faster or deader than any other cartridge.
Same with the .338, .340 Weatherby, and .338 Remington Ultra Mag., all of which I have used a lot. The latter two give anywhere from 250 to 300 fps more than the former, which is a bunch, but the beasts do not go down any quicker.
Magnum Force Not only do super-speed cartridges not kill any faster, but there are distinct disadvantages to them as well. First, let’s consider recoil and muzzle blast. Most of my .338 loads use around 70 grains of powder with 225-grain bullets. This gives me around 2750 fps. My .338 Remington Ultra Mag., with the same bullets, swallows an appalling 93 grains and produces 300 fps more. In a 9-pound rifle, a .338 so loaded produces about 28 foot-pounds of recoil, which is tolerable only to experienced shooters and the criminally insane. The RUM churns out 40 foot-pounds, which leaves you feeling as if you’ve gone five rounds in the Octagon with Chuck (“The Iceman”) Liddell. Muzzle blast also rises proportionately. You can, of course, get a muzzle brake, but that presents its own set of problems.
Second, when you get bullets traveling at 3000 fps and over—these days, way over—even the strongest and slowest-expanding of them makes a mess of whatever it hits unless the shot is long enough to let some of the velocity drain off. If you are a trophy hunter and don’t mind an acre or so of hamburger around the entrance hole, this is not an objection. But if you like wild meat and are disturbed by the waste of same, it is a problem.
Third, barrel life for the super-speed cartridges is considerably shorter than it is for standard-velocity loads. A well-cared-for .30/06 (60 grains of powder per cartridge) will give you about 5,000 rounds of first-class accuracy. Any of the super .30s (80 grains of powder) will get perhaps 1,500 before they start to deteriorate—and the cost of a good barrel, installed, is now about $600.
Why Bother? Given all these drawbacks, why is it that high velocity keeps getting higher, and new and horrific super loads keep appearing? Because nothing makes hitting at long range easier than a good dose of feet per second. If you think you will need to take a shot at 300 yards and over, high velocity is your very best friend. Last winter, I asked Ed Brown and Mark Bansner, makers of top-level custom rifles, what their most popular chambering was. Both replied that it was the .300 Weatherby. Kenny Jarrett’s biggest seller for years has been the .300 Jarrett, a ravening beast of a cartridge, the bullets of which turn the air fuchsia where they pass. These men build guns for trophy hunters who expect to take long shots as a matter of course, and in that arena, speed is king.
In fact, if there is such a thing as the No. 1 high-velocity cartridge, it would be any of the big .30s: the Weatherby, the .300 RUM, the .300 Jarrett, or the Lazzeroni Warbird. Loaded with streamlined 180- or 200-grain bullets, these cartridges are not even getting unlimbered at 300 yards.
However, speed alone will not solve all your problems in hitting at long range. You also need resistance to wind drift and momentum, or the ability to sustain velocity way out there. The way you get it is by going not to light bullets that give the highest initial velocity—but to the heavier slugs in a given caliber, and to bullets that are streamlined.
For example, if you have a 7mm magnum, you want 160-grain bullets in preference to 140- or 150-grain, and if your rifle is one of the real 7mm monsters, you may find that 175-grainers are the way to go. In .30 caliber, you should look for nothing lighter than 180-grain, and so on. As for bullets, you want sharp points (preferably polycarbonate) and boattails, both of which increase the ballistic coefficient of a slug. For example, much as I love Swift A-Frames, they are not particularly aerodynamic, and I would prefer Swift Sciroccos if long range were in the equation.
The truth about high velocity is that it is a mixed blessing. But when your target is a dot in the distance, it is the deadliest thing since the cholera.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Hunting is (mostly) Done! The Eating Begins!

Caveman Roasted Leg of Venison

Here's one for your inner caveman: a whole roasted venison leg, just like Fred Flintstone would've cooked it. This is game cookery at its most primal and dramatic, and the results are a showpiece—which is good, as you'll need a crowd to help you eat it. Because the meat is only mildly doctored—with a classic wet rub of olive oil, thyme, rosemary, garlic, and juniper berries—and cooked in an unforgiving manner, the key to success here is a prime hunk of meat ideally from a younger deer, field dressed impeccably, and aged if possible. Thumping your chest while gnawing the bones is optional.
MAKE THE RUB: In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, thyme, garlic, rosemary, juniper berries, salt, and pepper until it resembles a coarse paste. (Add a little more olive oil, if needed, to make it goopy enough to spread.) Rub this mixture onto the venison, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. Remove the leg from the refrigerator several hours before cooking. It should be at room temperature when it goes into the oven.
PREHEAT THE OVEN to 350 degrees. Drizzle the meat with the vegetable oil, patting it lightly with your fingers to coat evenly, and place the leg on the rack of a large roasting pan. Roast, undisturbed, for 1 hour.
HEAT THE STOCK to a low simmer on the stovetop. Turn the meat. Using a baster or ladle, baste the meat with about half of the hot stock, and roast for another hour.
TURN THE ROAST a second time, and repeat the basting. After about 15 minutes, check the meat in its thickest part with an instant-read meat thermometer. The cooking time will depend on the size of the roast. Remove the roast when the thermometer reads 120 degrees for rare, or 126 for medium rare. (The meat will keep cooking after it's removed.)
REMOVE THE ROAST to a large cutting board and allow it to rest, tented with a few sheets of aluminum foil, for about 20 minutes. Carve and serve.
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh thyme leaves
8 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup rosemary, roughly chopped
3 Tbsp. juniper berries, crushed
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup cracked black peppercorns
1 whole venison hind leg, bone-in (12-15 lb.)
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
4 cups game or beef stock

***Photo, Recipe and Story Taken From Field & Stream - March 2010 - All Credits to the Author***

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

One thing I have found over several years of hunting is that no matter what you try, no matter what you buy - carrying a rifle just isn't that comfortable.  True a lightweight rig can save your back a bit, and a padded sling may ease the shoulder strain some - but you still need to move that rifle around and try it in different carries to be able to stand it for any length of time.  The following article from Outdoor Life magazine details the pros and cons of the three main sling carries.

I have adapted my own style - it's kind of a mix between the European Carry and the African Carry.  I keep the rifle pointed barrel ahead, but perpendicular to my shoulder.  With a hand on the fore-end of the stock, I can balance the weight of the rig, manoeuvre around trees, bushes and rocks - and with a quick lift and half turn be in a shooting position that wraps the sling around my wrist, which I find helps to lock the rifle in the shooting position and help to steady the shot. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Looking for another creative outlet to discuss, debate, post, reply, laugh, cry and otherwise completely enjoy the wide world of firearms and the outdoors?  Look no further than: 

Canada's newest forum for all things Guns and Gear.

Sign up today and enjoy exclusive discounts from GOC's flagship sponsors including 10% off all orders with yours truly: Outdoor Pursuits Canada.