Scoping It Out

The rifle scope is an essential piece of equipment for firearm deer hunters.
A rifle scope has become standard equipment for deer hunters. And no wonder, shooting with metal sights is difficult. Lining up the crosshairs of a scope far easier, and with the magnification that scopes afford, you get a better view of the target. In brief, a scope multiplies your chances of success in the field.
When it comes to choosing a scope, big doesn’t mean better. In rolling or wooded terrain, most whitetails are taken at a range of 100 yards or less. For that range, Adam Goess, Nikon SRO product manager, recommends a scope with 3X to 9X magnification and an objective lens of 40 mm. In scope-speak, that would be described as a 3-9×40 scope. On flatland where the prey might be more than 100 yards distant, a more powerful scope would be called for. But too many hunters choose scopes with excessive magnification. Given a close shot, the view through the scope shows just a patch of fur. What’s more, extra magnification means less light. That’s a minus.
Nikon offers a feature that’s a significant plus. It’s called BDC or bullet drop compensation, and it compensates for bullet drop at longer ranges. The view through a Nikon scope with BDC shows a crosshair with four circles below. When using a standard cartridge rated at 2800 ft./second or less, you set the zero adjustment knob with the crosshairs centered on a target 100 yards distant. Then, when aiming at prey that’s 200 yards distant, you would center the first circle on the target. If the prey were 300 yards distant, the second circle would be placed on target, and so on. When using a cartridge rated at 3000 ft./second or more, adjust the zero point on a target 200 yards distant.
In the field, determine the distance to target before the prey comes into view when the situation allows. For example if you’re sitting above a game trail and can anticipate where the deer is going to come out, you can gauge the distance before the deer emerges. A laser range finder can help you do that. The device, which is available at Dunham’s and is also used by golfers, sends a light signal to the target. The light bounces back and the device calculates the distance. It’s yet another way modern technology has improved the hunt.
Dunham’s carries a range of Nikon Prostaff and Buckmasters scopes, as well as laser rangefinders, and our sales consultants can help you choose one that’s right for you. Every Nikon scope you buy at Dunham’s comes with a no-fault policy. That means, it’s covered by a lifetime warrantee whether a failure is caused by a manufacturing defect or your negligence. That’s reassuring.
-Deer Abby
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Shorter, Lighter, Faster

Today’s Highly Advanced Crossbows are Ideal Hunting Weapons.
According to some sources, crossbows date back 6,000-7,000 years. First appearing in China, they revolutionized warfare. Here’s why: To accurately fire an arrow with a bow required significant expertise. In fact, archers were cultivated and trained from a very young age and were considered an upper class. The crossbow, on the other hand, could be wielded by those with little training and it inflicted significant damage. So much so that it was banned by Catholic popes during the Middle Ages and was even outlawed by the Magna Carta.
As can be expected, crossbows have evolved significantly since their introduction. Today’s crossbows are shorter, lighter, narrower and faster than their counterparts of only a few years ago.
“Crossbows have evolved a lot in the past five years and have become highly efficient,” said Excalibur’s Rob Dykeman. He cites new materials, including aircraft aluminum, better designs and higher levels of engineering for the efficacy of today’s crossbows.
If you are thinking of adding these weapons to your hunting arsenal, we recommend the following.
An exciting new entry from Excalibur is the Grizzly Matrix. It’s very affordable while including many of the features found on more expensive Excalibur crossbows. Excalibur’s Grizzly Matrix delivers 18-inch bolts at 305 feet-per-second (fps) and has a 200-lb. draw weight. It weighs only 5.5 lbs. and features Mossy Oak Break-up Country camouflage and Excalibur’s super-strong composite frame.
“Our new Matrix Grizzly crossbow enables sportsmen the ability to have the famous Excalibur reliability, accuracy and service at a very affordable price,” Dykeman added. “You can adjust your string in less than 20 minutes and de-cock your crossbow without having to fire an arrow.”
Included with the Matrix Grizzly crossbow are a Dead-Zone scope, one-inch scope mount, a four-arrow quiver with bracket, four Diablo arrows, four 150-grain field points and a rope cocking aid.
A great option for those looking for a more compact crossbow is Excalibur’s new Micro 335. According to the company, it’s the most compact recurve hunting crossbow in the field, thanks to limbs that are only 25 inches wide and a 10-inch power stroke.
“The new Micro 335 is ideal for hunting in ground blinds or tight cover. It’s amazingly quiet, smooth to shoot, deadly accurate, and like all Excalibur crossbows it’s built to weather the very toughest hunting conditions for decades of flawless service,” Dykeman added.
The Micro 335 weighs a mere 5.2 lbs., delivers 16.5-inch bolts at 335 fps and has a draw weight of 270 lbs. It features Realtree Xtra camo finish.
“The Micro 335 features our stylish, yet comfortable, new Feather-Lite skeletonized stock that includes rubber grip inserts for unparalleled control and feel. It comes with an ambidextrous cheek piece and an oversized trigger guard for cold weather hunting,” Dykeman explained.
Included in the Micro 335 package is a Dead-Zone scope with one-inch rings, Guardian Anti-Dry-Fire-System, Recoil Energy Dissipation System (R.E.D.S.) suppressors, a four-arrow quiver (with bracket), four Quill arrows with 150-grain field points and a rope cocking aid.
To maximize your hunting time, these crossbows require very little maintenance. The company recommends oiling fasteners to prevent rust, occasionally adjusting strings and lubricating the rails.
Also popular with Dunham’s Sports customers is Barnett’s Quad Xtreme crossbow.
“For those looking for extreme value and extreme performance, it’s tough to beat our Quad Xtreme crossbow,” explained Barnett’s Bob Zellmer.
The Quad Edge Xtreme features a lightweight, composite stock, resulting in an estimated 7.2-lb. mass weight. It has a 125-lb. draw weight and excellent performance at 340 fps. It further features high-definition camo, the CROSSWIRE string and cable system and a premium accessory package that includes a 3×32 scope, three-arrow quiver and three 22-inch headhunter arrows.
For those who prefer a reverse Limb crossbow, Zellmer recommends the company’s BC Raptor Reverse.
“As the name implies, our BC Raptor Reverse is built on our very popular BC Raptor chassis. All of the features of the highly successful BC Raptor are included in the BC Raptor Reverse, at a lower price,” he added.
This reverse crossbow features an adjustable butt plate, CNC-machined aluminum flight track, carbon riser and laminated limbs. It weighs 6.4 lbs. and delivers bolts at 330 fps. The draw weight is 150 lbs.
The BC Raptor Reverse comes with a premium, illuminated scope, rope cocking device, cross premium three-arrow quiver and three 20-inch headhunter arrows.
“The footprint of the BC Raptor Reverse is small, making it ideal in tight spaces. Also, recoil is minimal, making it extremely smooth to shoot. All in all, this is very nice, well-balanced crossbow.
To keep Barnett crossbows in optimal conditions, Zellmer suggests lubricating the strings and cables often.
As with nearly every sporting goods category, crossbows have benefited greatly from today’s highly engineered designs and leading-edge materials. Whether you are new to the sport or are considering new equipment, we strongly recommend you speak with a knowledgeable expert at your local Dunham’s Sports store. Arm yourself with the right crossbow for a successful hunting season.
Good luck!
-Deer Abby
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