A New Day for Midwest Hunters

New Limited Firearm Zones change the game for many Midwest deer hunters.

Thanks to action by the Michigan legislature, the state’s Southern Shotgun Deer Zone is now the Limited Firearm Deer Zone, and to say that lower peninsula hunters are extremely pleased is an understatement. Prior to 2014, hunters were restricted to using shotguns and slugs to hunt deer anywhere south of an irregular line that ran from the middle of Muskegon County through upper Kent County and east to approximately Bay City. It was thought that rifles were a safety risk in these heavily populated areas due to the long range of some rifle ammo.

After much debate, the issue was settled by creating new regulations that allow hunting with a rifle as long as the cartridge is .35 caliber or larger and is straight walled. That means rifles chambered for the powerful .450 Bushmaster cartridge can now be used in the lower peninsula. While Michigan led the way on this issue, these cartridges and firearms are also newly legal in other Midwestern states, including Ohio, Indiana and Iowa, for the 2017 firearm season. Various qualifiers apply, check your local regulations.

The Limited Firearm Zone is the dawn of a new day for Midwest hunters, and Dunham’s is answering the call with excellent firearms and ammo that meet the requirements of the new regulations.

A shotgun firing slugs was never an adequate replacement for a hunting rifle. The shotgun’s recoil discouraged young and less physically able hunters from taking part in the firearm season. What’s more, a shotgun can never match the minute of angle accuracy that a rifle can achieve. For the hunter, that can mean the difference between an empty freezer or one full of meat.

Let’s take a look at some of the .450 Bushmaster products available at Dunham’s.

The Ruger .450 Bushmaster American Rifle

From Sturm, Ruger and Company comes the Ruger .450 Bushmaster American Rifle. This bolt-action centerfire rifle features a single-column, detachable three-round magazine and the Ruger Marksman Adjustable™ trigger. The crisp-release trigger is user adjustable to provide between 3- and 5-pounds resistance. Thus, hunters can tailor the feel of the firearm to their personal preference, allowing for a more predictable, more accurate shot.

The American Rifle’s stock is synthetic and finished in dark earth tones. It’s designed for quick, easy handling, yet its classic look will please the traditionalist hunter. A one-piece three-lug bolt is engineered with a full 70° throw, so it provides ample clearance for the 3x9x40 Weaver scope that comes with the rifle as an exclusive plus when purchased at Dunham’s. The full diameter bolt body and dual cocking cams enable smooth, easy cycling. The visible, accessible and easy to actuate tang safety provides optimum security. A cold hammer-forged barrel enables precise rifling for exceptional longevity and easy cleaning. Ruger’s integral bedding block system positively locates the receiver and free floats the barrel for outstanding accuracy.

Ruger CEO, Christopher J. Killoy said, “When Michigan created the new Limited Firearm Zone, Ruger immediately went to work developing a firearm that would prove ideal for this use. I believe we have achieved that in full.”

The CVA Hunter

The Hunter, a center-fire single-shot rifle from CVA features a 25-inch barrel with a 1:24 twist rate, when chambered for the .450 Bushmaster cartridge. A black synthetic stock combines with the blued-steel barrel to make this a handsome firearm. A reversible hammer spur, easy one-finger breaching and Durasight integral scope rail mount are standard features. The firearm is perfectly balanced in a 100% ambidextrous composite stock, making it very quick to aim and shoot. A CrushZone® recoil pad and the rifle’s 6-pound weight, make it ideal for long days in the field.

Dudley McGarity, CEO of BPI, CVA’s parent company said, “We recognized that Michigan’s Limited Firearm Zone would attract a new breed of hunter, so we wanted to be ready with an affordable firearm. I firmly believe we have met that challenge with the Hunter — an excellent first hunting rifle.”

Ammunition

The cartridge of choice in rifles chambered for .450 Bushmaster comes from Hornady and is available at Dunham’s. This 250 grain FTX bullet boasts a velocity of 2200 fps at the muzzle, 1835 fps at 100 yards and 1255 fps at 300 yards. In combination with energy ratings of 2687 lb.ft. at muzzle, 1868 lb.ft. at 100 yards and 874 lb.ft. at 300 yards, this load has enough energy to harvest deer at an extended range. Traditional shotgun slugs have considerably less energy at 200 yards. Neal Emery, marketing operations manager for Hornady said, “The .450 Bushmaster cartridge increases the range by more than 100 yards for the average shooter as compared to a shotgun slug.”

Dunham’s is well equipped to provide everything you need to hung in the new Limited Firearm Zone, while meeting all your other hunting needs as well. Stop in today and let our knowledgeable consultants help you choose the gear that’s best for you.

-Deer Abby

*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail program at www.dunhamsrewards.com

The Hunt For Knowledge

How new tools and trades can help in the field.

Once the green from summer turns into the spectrum of oranges, reds and yellows of fall, it means that one of America’s favorite seasons – hunting season – is right around the corner. If hunters have struggled in the past, they shouldn’t worry. What they should do is research what products are available to turn what could feel like time wasted into a thrilling adventure, creating memories that will last forever.

It can certainly be overwhelming to know where to start when looking for hunting products. There are so many, and there are different variations of each. Where should you begin?

 

Crossbows In Your Crosshairs

The first thing to do is to choose your weapon. If you’re looking for something that presents more of a challenge than a firearm, a bow is the next logical choice. But those can be difficult to use. Combining the ease of use of a firearm with the challenge of a bow, the Crosman line of crossbows is a happy medium for a hunter looking for something new to try out this season.

“One such line of crossbows available at Dunham’s is the CenterPoint, which includes the CenterPoint Sniper 370, the Gladiator Whisper 405, the Tormentor Whisper 380 and the XR175 Recurve Crossbow,” explained Jason Reid of Crosman. “All crossbows come with a rope cocker and three bolts.”

When shopping for crossbows and testing them out, one thing to keep in mind is comfort – how the butt feels against your shoulder. Also, make sure the trigger pull feels right so it doesn’t affect accuracy in the field. Safety-wise, always keep your fingers below the rail, and never strain to load, which can cause injury.

For a hunter looking for elite weapon performance with all the convenient features needed for a successful hunt, the Sniper 370 offers features like a fully adjustable stock and pass-through fore-grip to accommodate any shooting style, ensuring accuracy with every shot. Also included is a 4x32mm scope, three 20-inch carbon blots, a quiver, rope cocker and shoulder sling. It’s ready to rock out of the box!

“Quad limbs fitted with a precision CNC-machined cam system delivers mind-blowing speeds up to 370 FPS,” said Reid. “The Sniper is easily maneuverable thanks to the lightweight and durable CNC-machined rail with shoot-through riser and the narrow 18-inch axle-to-axle width (when cocked; 21 inches when relaxed).”

 

Time to Take a (Tree) Stand

Perspective can be the difference between a missed shot and a “what if” scenario and a kill shot that leads to a memorable moment. By utilizing a tree stand, hunters are able to get up above the ground level and be more effective in the field; they gain a much more comprehensive view and minimize disturbances to natural movement patterns of game.

Like any other piece of hunting equipment, there are tons of features to keep an eye on when it comes to tree stands. Style, weight, material – the list goes on and on. But thanks to Big Game/Muddy tree stands, the decision becomes a little bit easier. First, decide what type of tree stand fits your hunting style and needs. Big Game tree stands and Muddy Outdoors offer a wide variety of choices.

The first type of stand to consider is a ladder stand. According to Tayler Riggen of Big Game/Muddy, these are typically set up in advance.

“Ladder stands are one of the more universal options for gun, bow and crossbow hunters,” said Riggen. “Oftentimes these stands maximize comfort for longer sits but are less easily moved around a property. Ladder stands are great options for locations that you want to hunt a lot. With a full ladder, climbing into the stand is very easy.”

Next up, the hang-on style stand, like the ladder stand, can be set up by the hunter in advance or moved in on particular pattern or movement trend. The difference is that this style utilizes climbing sticks/steps to get up to the necessary elevation to hang the stand. This style is often lightweight and easily moved, offering the hunter some versatility when selecting and changing positions.

A tripod option is available, which is used primarily in gun or crossbow hunting. Tripods often come with a 360-degree swivel seat to ensure a full range of view, depending on where the target presents itself. These are often used in scenarios where trees are not available or a hunter would like a little more flexibility on where to set up and not be confined to where the perfect tree is located.

“Climbing stands would typically be carried in with the hunter during the hunt and with the cable system be used to climb the tree itself with no climbing sticks,” explained Riggen. These are great for pack-in hunts, public areas that do not allow stands to be hung in advance of a hunt, or for moving in on a hot spot.

And always hunt with a safety harness and a safe-line. Any time you leave the ground, you should be securely attached to the tree.

 

Scent Success

A hunter could seem to have everything set up perfectly – the top-of-the-line weapon, tree stand in the perfect spot, camo from head to toe – but none of that matters if that big buck catches a whiff of your scent. In fact, the hunter probably won’t even know that he or she gave themselves up. Covering human scent needs to be a priority.

Wildlife Research offers two lines of scent-elimination products: Super Charged Scent Killer and Ultra-Premium Scent Killer Gold.

“Both lines feature a full assortment of clothing sprays, laundry/clothing wash products, soaps and other personal care products,” explained Sam Burgeson of Wildlife Research. “Super Charged Scent Killer clothing sprays attack a wide range of odors – the most important one: human odor. It works when you first apply it and continues to work for days after drying. It has been found to be 99 percent effective at stopping replicated human odor in testing.”

Conversely, Scent Killer Gold is Wildlife’s best scent-elimination formula to date. Using proprietary Hunt Dry technology, hunters can apply it to clothing, let it dry and have all of the features of a top-of-the-line scent-elimination suit.

“Our latest formula with Hunt Dry Technology Plus has been found to be 99 percent effective at stopping replicated human odor in testing at Rutgers University 20 days after drying,” explained Burgeson. “That is some serious performance.”

While the deer’s nose can pick up human scent and give a hunter’s presence away, it can also be used to lure deer into the hunter’s range of sight. Through the use of deer lures and baits, hunters, while covering up their own scent, can use different products to create the illusion of food or other deer nearby.

“In addition to being as scent free as possible, a good attractor scent can really boost your odds as well,” said Burgeson. “Dunham’s carries a variety of hunting scents from Wildlife Research Center. A few of our most popular ones are Golden Estrus, Active-Scrape and Golden Scrape, and Trail’s End 307.”

While the thrill of the kill can sometimes be elusive, the bevy of hunting products available to assist hunters couldn’t be more plentiful than it is today. With so much technological research that goes into these products, there’s never been a better time to branch out and try some of them. Through the use of weaponry like a crossbow, the ability to find new views and perspectives with tree stands and the art of covering up human scent while luring deer with others, there’s never been a better time to pack up the truck and head out into the field this fall.

-Deer Abby

*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail program at www.dunhamsrewards.com