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This is an area where people seem to have the most questions when I visit with them as short shows.  The most important aspect is to stay at it and do not give up. Nothing works all the time, but there are things that will help your success.  Below are 10 key points to remember and implement in your setup.

 

Melissa Bachman
Melissa Bachman
This is an area where people seem to have the most questions when I visit with them as short shows.  The most important aspect is to stay at it and do not give up. Nothing works all the time, but there are things that will help your success.  Below are 10 key points to remember and implement in your setup.

 

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Nikki Boxler
This was Mike’s idea and after a little negotiating and some sweet-talking, he sold me on the idea of a building our own garage gym. I mean why not spend our lifesavings all in a month’s time haha! (nervous laughter).
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Scott Leysath
The guests will arrive soon and you still have to whip the potatoes, chop the vegetables, toss the salad, finish that sweet potato-marshmallow casserole and put the green bean and cream of mushroom soup classic under the broiler to brown. For some, it’s the semi-annual panic that sets in when you try and figure out how to get eight different dishes ready at exactly the same time. But whether you’re cooking a holiday feast or just having some folks over any time of the year, there’s just no need to get yourself all worked up.  
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Melissa Bachman
However, you also have to hunt smart. Aggressive hunting is sometimes what is needed to get a big buck out of his bed and into range.  One of the keys to rattling and creating a realistic scene is to use real rattling horns.  Any set of sheds can be used, but I have a set that I’ve used for years, and they’re big. I like the sounds of them. But, here are a few steps to making your very own set.

 

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Chris Keefer, Casey Keefer, Nikki Boxler, Paul Sawyer

Hunters often flock to the Lone Star state to dial in on whitetail deer and mule deer. When the Winchester crew visited Texas in January, they had their sights set on antlers. But the hunters got a firsthand look at the wild pig problem in Texas…and got the chance to take a shot at swine.

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Nikki Boxler

I’ve run on and off for all my life and wanted to list some must-haves and some leave-at-home-suggestions for those of us who like to run outside. Too, today more than ever before, safety is a huge concern for runners and really anyone who enjoys the outdoors.

Some of these are no-brainers while others are little hacks I have picked up on when I lived in the city. Please feel free to leave any of your suggestions in the comments below as it’s always good to share safety ideas with one another. 

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Scott Leysath
Perhaps they had a bite of a poorly handled, untrimmed, overcooked deer steak in the past. Just mention the words “game” or “venison” and they make a face, and not a good one. Same goes with kids. Most of them just aren’t all that adventurous. The problem is that many kids spend too much time eating processed crap and fast food, developing a craving for overly salted, carb-heavy, fatty foods. When it comes to getting people to give wild game a fair shake, it’s sometimes best to disguise it as something else.
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Melissa Bachman
Although the weather may be a bit frigid and the birds a bit more educated, the hunting can be truly amazing. I did a hunt in Missouri in mid-December - the hunting was excellent.  The most challenging aspect was dressing to stay warm, but even with the cold it was absolutely worth the effort!
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Nikki Boxler
This also means that the season of gift giving is upon us. And if you are anything like me you haven’t even begun to shop for gifts! Arghhhh…

If you’re like me and always struggle with gift ideas, I put together some of my FAVORITE items that have changed hunting for me…and they may do the same for you.

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Scott Leysath
You can eat it while standing around a campfire or just lounging in the backyard with friends. Skewered foods are best grilled. Smoky heat and charred meats and vegetables make skewers a crowd pleaser.
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Melissa Bachman
How many people have you heard say they missed the buck of a lifetime or something went wrong that could have been prevented?  Don’t let this happen to you…don't be “that person.”Try to do everything possible to stack the odds in your favor.  I’m a firm believer in shooting my gun every time I get to my hunting location or after bumpy rides on an ATV.  If anything happens that could have caused things to be off, shoot again.  It’s not only good for your confidence, but addressing problems before hitting the field is key!
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Nikki Boxler
Base camp memories involve laughing until we cry, sharing stories, eating plenty of food, dancing, being sleep deprived and of course, hunting our a%$#@s off!
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Scott Leysath
Considering that they have very little fat, you just can’t cook them like flabbier chicken breasts. For some, the answer to dry, chewy upland birds is to sink them into a slow-cooker with a can of salty canned creamed soup. After several hours, they’re tender and juicy with unmistakable flavor of super-salty canned soup.
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Melissa Bachman

Many lessons are learned from our own mistakes, but you don’t always have to make a mistake to learn.  For example, so many issues can be avoided by simply being prepared.  This means putting in the time before the season to ensure you have given yourself the best possible chance at success. 

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Winchester Ammunition, Chris Keefer

It’s heartbreaking for a hunter to land the shot, but not locate the buck. We know the scene: The blood trail stops. The search slows. You finally have to admit to yourself that maybe that bruiser is gone……and steals some of your pride and ego right along with it. The trek back to the truck empty-handed can feel like a walk of shame. But there’s no real shame in it, because it happens to the best of us.

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Nikki Boxler
Well, if you have an hour to spare and are looking for a fun project, this boot rack is for you! 

 

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Scott Leysath
“Here comes gin and tonic…two limes.” Long since removed from running food and beverage joints, I still spend a fair amount of time talking to people about their food preferences. Once it’s in your blood, it’s pretty much with you forever.  
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Melissa Bachman
People from all across the country pour in throughout the fall to hunt.  One of the reasons pheasant hunting is so popular is because it’s such a social hunt. Let’s face it, you don't have to get up at sunrise, the hunting is usually pretty amazing, you get to watch dogs work and it can be done alongside friends. And do not forget, they’re delicious to eat!
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Nikki Boxler
I learned how to make these this fall when I traveled to Saskatchewan for a women’s waterfowl hunt. If there is one thing that I always look forward to besides the hunt itself, it’s the food! And let me tell you, these did not disappoint.
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Melissa Bachman
1.) Avoid spending too much time on your phone. When it is time to hunt, hunt!! This is what you’ve been waiting for so sit back and enjoy it!  Not only can your phone wait, there’s a good chance you’ll miss the opportunity you came out looking for.  Things happen in a split-second so keep your head on a swivel and pay attention.  Most importantly enjoy the moment.
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Winchester Ammunition

The time has come. 

When the rut is on, it’s on. A flip is switched. The big bucks move, while you stay still in the stand…hoping all of your hard work will pay off. If you’re shooting Winchester, reliability and power will be delivered every single time. But you need to make sure you’re in the stand when those bucks are on the move.

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Nikki Boxler
Whether you have a new gun, are changing the scope or have an old gun that hasn’t been shot in a while, it is important to head to the range before heading to the field so you can be sure to hit where you are aiming.
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Scott Leysath
My approach is simple. I’ll take a trimmed piece of deer meat from the loin or better part of the hindquarter, season it with salt and pepper and flash cook it in a hot skillet with a little olive oil for maybe 30 seconds on each side. After a bit of coaxing, I can get most people, even those who had decided long ago that they don’t like wild game, to at least give it a try. The reaction from the overwhelming majority of samplers is something like, “Wow, what did you do to make it not taste like deer?”
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Scott Leysath
The birds were wild, often plentiful and, since we didn’t have enough money to join a high-dollar hunt club, it worked out well. We’d find the landowners the day before and assure them that all gates would be closed, no livestock would be liberated and, if needed, we were available to help with any heavy lifting or grunt work as repayment.
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Melissa Bachman
With so many ammunition options out there, it can get downright confusing. However, Expedition Big Game was designed with one thing in mind.  To get deep penetration through thick hide and deliver amazing performance on the toughest animals in the world. 
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Chris Keefer, Casey Keefer, Nikki Boxler
Chasing a monster buck requires a certain level of strategy and skill that gets the blood pumping and the adrenaline flowing. It’s a feeling like no other…especially when you’ve got a warmed up Winchester firearm in hand. 
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Nikki Boxler
Many people take advantage of public lands for hunting, fishing, skiing, hiking, birdwatching, kayaking and the list goes on. It is a place for us to go to clear our minds, relax and just enjoy being alive. There is even research providing evidence that spending time in natural environments positively affects us and our well-being. We are found to be happier, calmer and more focused when we spend time outdoors.
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Scott Leysath
And while most of us think of a Dutch oven as a heavy stew pot, anything that can be prepared in a conventional oven can be done in a Dutch oven. I’m talking breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. If you’ve ever been to a Dutch oven cook-off, you’ve seen everything from frittatas to cheesecakes beautifully prepared in this versatile Cast iron cookware. 

 

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Melissa Bachman
Most of these have been discovered through trial and error, out of pure necessity or because I had limited supplies and made due with what was there. Without further adieu, here are some goodies I have come across through the years:
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Nikki Boxler
This jerky was made out of a doe I shot in Texas while out filming for Winchester Life. To start I pulled the meat out of the freezer and let it thaw to a point where it was slightly frozen, but no longer a brick of ice!
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Scott Leysath
Besides, sitting in a duck blind on a blue-sky day still beats the snot out of staring at my computer. If pheasant breeding is down and the chances of finding roosters aren’t so good, I’d still rather be following my setters, Mac and Floyd, through thick cover than just about anything else I could be doing. Fortunately, my wife doesn’t read my blogs.

 

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Melissa Bachman
If you’re one of these people, Winchester is making it easy to determine the best ammunition decision for your setup and upcoming adventures.
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Nikki Boxler
If you have about $30 and an hour of time you can easily build a target that is lightweight and easy to transport.
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Scott Leysath
Once ground, there could be anything in there. Next time you’re at the market, check out what goes into a chunk of chorizo, a spicy ground pork sausage that often contains choice ingredients like salivary glands and lymph nodes.
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Scott Leysath
I understand. You’ve tried cooking a whole pheasant only to discover that, if the breast meat is moist and tender, the rest of the bird is tough and sinewy.
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Melissa Bachman
here are gun nuts out there that could tell you everything imaginable about the loads they’re shooting, but an average hunter usually doesn’t have this in-depth knowledge.  For some, it’s that they don’t think there is a need to know or understand.  For others, it really comes down to being taught or knowing where to look.  Luckily, Winchester has made it extremely easy for everyone to get this information and compare rounds in an easy to understand, user-friendly format with their Ballistic app.
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Nikki Boxler
Becoming a great shot is not something that happens overnight. It takes practice and repeating the same exact actions shot after shot (muscle memory). When you first start shooting with proper form, chances are you will have a checklist in your head that you will want to run down before EVERY shot. I know I do! Eventually, you will become comfortable with each step and will be doing them without having to think about it.
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Scott Leysath
Of course, you know that it’s best to cook the older birds from the freezer before you start munching on this year’s harvest. Maybe you’ve overlooked a wad of frozen honker breasts. You certainly don’t want to be over your possession limit so why not turn it into some tasty jerky?
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Melissa Bachman

I can’t count the number of times people ask for advice on this topic so I decided to write a blog about it addressing what I do and have learned to ask over time. 

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Nikki Boxler
Running short on time, I tossed a few ingredients together and fed them to my family for lunch. It turned out so good that the first words out of my dad’s mouth were “You need to make a recipe for this!” Not knowing the exact measurements I used, I made them a few days later so I could share this quick, delicious burger with you!
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Scott Leysath
Just imagine what would happen if your friends learned how to prepare your elk chili. Now, we both know that you don’t follow the recipe exactly. You’re going to tweak it at the end. After giving your recipe a try, your friends might say something like, “I followed your recipe and it just doesn’t taste the same.” Of course it doesn’t. You probably left out a few details…accidentally.

 

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Melissa Bachman
Most of your decisions come down to what kind of equipment you have at your disposal, what’s the soil like and the amount of sunshine/precipitation. Finally, when do you want it to be most productive. I’ve helped put in a wide variety of food plots, but this year I decided to try something a little longer term.  Fruit trees.
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Becky Yackley
Wisconsin has a youth season, and a regular deer season. So we are preparing with a fun project. Our youngest son and I set out targets at known distances from our deer stand and did some work with a rangefinder, painting distance markers. The goal is to help the youngest hunters that will be with us this year know their holds.
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Nikki Boxler
Today you simply have to pull out your phone and click a button. With smart phones having vastly improved cameras, everyone has a way to snap quality photographs with a device that fits in their front pocket! Nowadays, it seems that almost any newer phone comes with an 8+ megapixel camera capable of taking photos that used to require expensive camera gear. With the booming use of social media use, this is a huge advantage.
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Scott Leysath
They do taste great, don’t they? For some folks, the victory is that they don’t taste like doves. Perhaps it’s not the dove, but how they’re prepared that makes them taste a little funky.
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Melissa Bachman
Like with your days, there is never enough time.  This is something pretty common with everyone and we can literally only do so much.  Family, work and life often get in the way of our planned hunting and scouting schedule. So, what can possibly be done to try and combat this issue?  Scouting cameras.
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Becky Yackley
The NSSF or National Shooting Sports Foundation has named August as THE month to take a friend shooting.  Whether you grab your grandpa's shotgun and take your kids shooting and share your family’s heritage, or go to your local range with friends, shooting is an American pastime that families have shared for generations.  

 

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Winchester Ammunition

The skills involved in safe shooting, whether at paper or steel targets or flying clay ones, are the same as those prized in many other athletic disciplines:  concentration, hand-eye coordination, breath control.  Those, along with the wish to acquire the knowledge to handle and shoot firearms proficiently, are what make the thought of shooting so attractive to so many who have yet to give it a try.

 

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Winchester Ammunition

The South Dakota brothers, Foster, 30, and Matt, 28, seem to amass an increasing number of titles at every year’s championships, and this 119th edition was no exception. Last year they took home 25 trophies. This year, it was 28.  Out of 24 individual and pairs events, the brothers Bartholow were champions in 12, along with being runners-up in seven, and taking third places in four others.  And every one of the of shells they fired were Winchester competitive-shooting ammunition.

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Becky Yackley
Adventure is waiting for us, not just outside our door, but at our fingertips! We don’t have to go to the library to check out great vacation destinations, we can follow the blog of someone who has traveled there. We can find the Instagram accounts of people living adventures in their daily lives and sharing minute-by-minute. Some of life’s adventures are made up of what we do each day, and are born from embracing the beauty in the world around us. For my family, embracing adventure is a key part of what we do. And being able to make things work, even when they don’t work, is the secret to moving forward, even when everything tells you that you can’t.

 

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Chris Keefer, Casey Keefer
Every day brings us all one step closer to fall…so we’ve got one question for you:

Are you ready for hunting season?
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Becky Yackley
From ancient Greece and the birth of the modern Olympics, to sports youth can participate in at school and through local clubs, we see opportunities to develop everything from skills of strength to skills of dexterity, grace, and agility. Competitions where the athlete uses an object like shotput, pole vaulting, javelin throw, as well as modern biathlon and pentathlon are all Olympic sports that develop a person’s skill with a tool vs. just raw strength or speed, like weight lifting or running. We see volleyball and soccer as team sports that develop interpersonal skills alongside physical speed, strength, and agility. Competition shooting is a sport that develops such a wide range of skills that it’s potential to build young athletes can often be overlooked. I’m going to share a few ways competition shooting can help build your youngster into an athlete.
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Winchester Ammunition
For those of us who shoot already, we know what we like about taking aim at targets, whether metal silhouettes, paper bullsyeyes, or those challenging little discs that appear suddenly on the trap and skeet field when we say the magic word, “Pull!”  We also know that we want our sport to expand and to be better understood by the world around us; and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association of the firearms industry, has named this August the second annual National Shooting Sports Month, making this the perfect opportunity to put our best foot forward as shooters.
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Becky Yackley
We bring new guns, old guns and guns we love to our family gatherings. It’s always a way for younger kids to get outside and pull them away from screens they’re watching. For some of them, it’s a chance to shoot new guns. But in the summer, it usually involves a clay thrower and every shotgun we can find, a box or two of clays and a lot of laughs. It’s a low-key way to introduce safe firearms handling and a fun way to learn to swing a shotgun at a moving target. Most importantly, it’s a way for families to bond over stories shared and lessons learned, and is totally fun!
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Winchester Ammunition

Now there is Foster and Matt Bartholow, the Hardy Boys of the Amateur Trapshooting Association.

If you compare the Bartholows to the Hardy Boys as they shoot their way to singles-, doubles-,*handicap-*, and team-championship fame, then the event where they have had the most spectacular impact, the Grand American World Trapshooting Championship in Sparta, Illinois, a summertime institution for more than a century, could be thought of as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally of trap–an appropriate analogy for two brothers from Rapid City, South Dakota, only 30 miles from Sturgis.

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Becky Yackley
...what sort of gun case is best, how to lock them, and some of the big items you need to know. This post is about the small things and ways to make it easier to travel with firearms.
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Winchester Ammunition
Inaugurated in 1900, the Grand American World Traphooting Championships is older than them all.  Probably among the largest sporting tournaments in the world, the “Grand” spans 11 August days of shooting and 24 separate events.  By the time it is done, over 4 million targets will be thrown, a better than fair percentage of them reduced to dust.
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Winchester Ammunition

Exhibition shooting has a strong history in America. The sport continues to evolve and grow. Legendary exhibition shooters have helped paved the way for professionals nowadays, including brothers Steve and Aaron Gould.

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Becky Yackley
While I am fortunate to write, blog, and photograph our family’s life with firearms, one of the unique perspectives I’ve had is growing up with a gunsmith father and family ties to the firearms industry.  True life experiences have shaped my relationship with guns. I’ve seen who it is that makes things happen behind the scenes. Often the movers and shakers are the women and families that we don’t see. Nurturing the roles women play in relation to firearms is important; not only for the growth of industry, but for the very fact that passing down American heritage is something families do. What are ways to share firearms with YOUR family?  Read on!
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Becky Yackley
On our way to and from competition, our family has seen a good part of the country by car. We’ve hiked to glacial lakes and slept under the stars in the Badlands (beautiful, but hot in August!). We’ve toughed-out torrential rain and hydrated in extreme heat. From Virginia to Utah and Russia to France, we’ve experienced things most people might not want to pay the price for. I’m going to share a little of how we make it work, because the cost isn’t as much monetary as it is personal investment.
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Winchester Ammunition

Passion is packaged in all different ways. The Gould Brothers’ passion comes in the art form of precision: shooting exactly when and where they want, and doing it in style. Their impeccable, show-stopping shooting skills have earned them the reputation as the “World’s Best Exhibition Shooting Team.”

If you’re going to be the best, you need to use the best…which is why the Gould Brothers use Winchester.

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Winchester Ammunition
Dania, who calls Florida home, was on her way to studying with the renowned Julliard dance school and becoming a professional ballerina when, at 16, she was handed a .410 by her father and started breaking birds on the trap field.  Then came skeet, and it was love at first sight.
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Becky Yackley
From their first steps to learning about the tools available to us in the world, education starts with parents. Firearm safety should be no different. 

You don’t need experts to teach your children about everything. Parents teach safety when it comes to everyday situations, like the swimming pool or crossing the street.  Parents start their children down the correct path in life in these areas and many others.

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Becky Yackley
We have the freedom to travel and hunt, compete, or just enjoy activities with firearms. When we travel to other countries, or even around the USA, there are some things to be aware of that work to keep you and your firearms safe. I’m going to share some of the things my family does to keep our guns safe when we travel.
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Becky Yackley
But I’m going to share why employment in a job that involves firearms in some capacity is a positive for young people.  

This year, my eldest son Tim who is 19 has worked instructing in pistol and carbine courses in Utah with Tactical Performance Center. Not only has he taught competition shooters, but also brand new shooters, law enforcement and military. While some kids get a job at their local Dairy Queen, there are jobs out there that can help a youth grow not just his or her bank account, but skills with people and situations that most young people won’t ever have to tackle.

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Winchester Ammunition
Out on the high plains at the western edge of the Sand Hills, Alliance, Nebraska, is shooting country if there ever was.  And hometown boy, USA Shooting Team member, and Winchester shooter Frank Thompson was competing, with a bow, by the age of five.  Bows fit him better than guns at that age; but as he grew, his father was measuring him for firearms.  When Frank was nine his father brought out the shotgun, knowing that his son would ask when he could shoot it.  And shoot it he did, dad working him up to different guns and larger gauges, until at the start of his teen years, Frank was ready to shoot competitively.
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Winchester Ammunition
Winchester values communicating with consumers through a variety of marketing and advertising efforts. Before today’s television commercials, digital videos and social media posts, print ads in magazines were the main (sometimes only) way to announce innovative, new Winchester products.
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Winchester Ammunition
Summer is here, and the livin’ is easy….unless you’re a dedicated whitetail hunter. While summer is a fun season to soak up the sun with activities like family reunions, trips to the lake, vacations, BBQs and more, summer is also the ideal time to get situated for whitetail season.
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Winchester Ammunition

Winchester Ammunition has been recognized as the choice of champion shooters for generations.  Shotgun competitors have depended on the quality of Winchester AA shotgun shells since 1965, while Winchester has been proud to see the heights to which those shooters can ascend with the brand’s’s ammunition in their guns.

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Winchester Ammunition

Frank was born in the “Cornhusker” state of Nebraska in 1988, and he was nine when he began shooting with his dad.  When Frank’s passion for shotgun shooting began, Frank was particularly attracted to sporting clays.

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Shooting sports hold a respected place within America’s history. So how did the pastime first begin in our country?
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Chris Keefer, Casey Keefer
There are buzzwords that twirl around the turkey hunting orbit. Hunters fixate on them like stars in the sky. Words like accuracy. Reliability. Power.
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Becky Yackley
If we are able to safely move with a firearm in a competition - under stress, on the clock, as fast as we can, etc., we will be better prepared for other occasions we might handle a firearm while moving - like on our way to the deer stand or duck blind. We’re going to cover a few simple concepts on movement with a firearm that you can practice to help you move safely and keep your mind in the shooting match.
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Chris Keefer
The solo hunt for toms is rewarding…but it's even better when you have a friend to share in the pursuit. For one, it’s just fun to head out together and go through the preparation and hunt as a pair or group. Real memories that last a lifetime are made in the process…and you often get a beautiful bird as an end result. Win-win.
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Becky Yackley
Transitions start as you take a shot and begin to move to the next target. But what moves first? To build skills with transitions, we can practice with a simple draw and transition exercise.   
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Becky Yackley
We've talked about having as much of our hand in contact with our pistol as possible.  In this blog, I’m going to show you a few ways to personalize your grip to help you have as much of your hand in contact with the grip as possible.These are things competition shooters do, but for someone who wants to enjoy shooting, these can be helpful and a lot of fun for kids to practice.
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Becky Yackley

This is the basic principle, but while using this formula, we realize there are different types of sight picture. Each has a place, depending on the target and style of shooting. From close paper targets we see in some competitions, to refined shots requiring accuracy and finesse, there are different ways we use sights. There is a need to understand what YOU need to see to make those shots.

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Becky Yackley

The question then becomes, home much are you willing to spend in effort? Dry fire can help even the newest shooter because they will learn safe gun handling habits, how to move with a firearm, how to change magazines, transition, “see faster” - all without the need for ammo or travelling to and from the range. So grab your empty gun, mags, holster and mag holders and let’s check out some simple dry fire exercises to help you improve your handgun shooting.

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Becky Yackley
It is said, cleanliness is next to godliness. When it comes to guns, this adage is TRUTH!  What makes you a god among mankind when it comes to using a pistol? Well, one that runs reliably to start! And to ensure that, we need to put in superhuman effort...sort of. A big part of it comes down to doing small things. One of those small things is cleaning magazines. It’s important not to let the little things slide. For competition, this means we might have a poor time or malfunction. For hunting or self-defense, there are much bigger implications!  
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Becky Yackley
One of the things that new shooters need to understand about competition shooting is that a good stage or fast time is about so much more than just pulling the trigger. It is several sets of skills, artfully combined to produce the performance we want. 
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Becky Yackley
To do that, you need experience in shooting different ranges. In this video, I invite you to shoot a drill two ways in order to decide which you prefer.
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Becky Yackley
A common set up for steel plates is a row of 6 plates, or a plate rack. This style of target is part of an event in NRA Action Pistol.  My family regularly competes in NRA Action Pistol at the Bianchi Cup.   We have been shooting Bianchi Cup for several years, and as we get ready for this year’s events, we are preparing for a world shoot AND the nationals. My eldest son is on the US Team for the Bianchi World Shoot and he has been the Junior National Champion for 3 years straight. So, we have a little experience shooting plate racks with a pistol. 
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Melissa Bachman

When it comes to turkey hunting, every step counts. One forgotten move could be the difference between bringing home a fan of feathers or letting that gobbler live to see another day.

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Chris Keefer, Casey Keefer

The Keefers use the innovative Winchester Pattern Board App to get a clear picture of their shot pattern.

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Paul Sawyer

Birds of a feather flock together….until one steps out of the pecking order. During Paul Sawyer’s wild turkey hunt in Oklahoma, he witnessed what happens when the bird’s natural instincts come into play.

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Nikki Boxler

The signs are there: The snow has melted. The mercury is slowly—but surely—rising. The days are longer, the monthly calendar has flipped to April, and the faded brown grass is brightening back to green.

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Becky Yackley
Or, understanding why it’s important to know which it is. In this blog, Ill explain and show you a simple way to determine your dominant eye. Then, Ill speak to other things to help the dominant eye do its job. Ill also share some info for shooting a pistol with your non-dominant eye and when it’s acceptable.
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Melissa Bachman

Sure I love all hunting, but after a long winter there is nothing better than getting back outside, seeing the signs of spring and hearing those gobbles! Over the years I’ve spent a lot of spring days chasing turkeys across the country and came up with a few tips that work anywhere and practically anytime to help increase odds of success.

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Nikki Boxler

If you haven’t hunted for turkeys yet or are a beginner, you have come to the right place. However, I must warn you…once you hunt for turkeys you will be hooked! Hunting wild turkey may look easy on TV shows but it is no easy feat to get an gobbler to follow your plan. From gobblers running to your setup right off the roost, or struggling to get that big gobbler to commit to coming into gun range…each hunt is different and comes with its own set of excitement and challenges. 

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Nikki Boxler

One of the reasons I love hunting new places and with new people is because it allows me to experience different styles of hunting and learn new tactics. Being able to connect with people and approach conversations not only with an open mind and a willingness to learn, but also an eagerness to learn is what makes my hunting experiences fun!

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Scott Leysath

…drinking behavior until Memorial Day weekend. I don’t think that the majority of us really know what is involved with “corning” a hunk of meat.

You may not know that “corning”, or more accurately called “pickling” can be done with any antlered game meat or waterfowl. Actual corn plays no part in the process.

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Nikki Boxler

Below I am going to walk you through three of the most popular treestand styles and some of the advantages and disadvantages of each.

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Melissa Bachman

Every single mount has a backstory, an adventure, a memory that I will cherish forever. But when space becomes limited, I decided to start looking for alternative methods to hang mounts. Lowering the number of animals I mount would be one option, but I was still hoping for an alternative- and I found it.

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Scott Leysath

I serve people snow geese often, but I don’t tell them it’s snow goose until after they’re just about done eating it. I did have one guy tell me that snow goose was, by far, the best tasting goose out there. He told me about how he cut the breast fillets into little strips and then marinated them in teriyaki sauce for 2 days. After that he wrapped the marinated goose in jalapeno, cream cheese and bacon. I’m fairly certain that you could do the same thing with a piece of your shoe and it would taste about the same.

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Nikki Boxler

Why put so much effort into practicing an exercise that appears as easy as putting a barbell on your shoulders and squatting down? 

Two simple reasons: 1.) safety and 2.) effectiveness. The barbell squat is a powerful compound exercise that can pack on muscle in the legs, glutes, core, and even upper back. It can also be utilized as a conditioning movement to help burn off those holiday calories. It is also one of those exercises that if done improperly, can lead to injury (but this can be said about pretty much anything we do in the gym!).

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Melissa Bachman

He and his friends would harvest tons of coyotes each season with my brother and I being pulled through fields in a sled with dad on snowshoe. This was what we loved and this is what I still love it to this day. Even though the tradition of coyote hunting in our family hasn’t changed, the ammunition and technology sure has.

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Scott Leysath

What’s a sounder? It’s a large group of hogs. I was going to go with a “pack,” but I knew that wasn’t correct. They are sexually mature at 6 months of age and they have between 1 and 2 litters of 5 to 6 little piggies each year. They have no real natural predators and they reproduce faster than we can kill them. They also cause billions of damage every year in the United States. So, what’s the solution to the wild hog population explosion? I think the answer is obvious.

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Nikki Boxler

Winchester has employed their shot-lok technology enabling you to get the most out of your ammunition. I was lucky enough to test it out at this year’s SHOT Show Media Day in Las Vegas. Needless to say, I was very impressed.  What is your favorite gun/ammo combination for tom turkey? Want to see how it works…click on the video!

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Scott Leysath

It’s just not my thing. Go there the day before or after and choose from their normal menu and there’s probably no waiting. A few years ago, we started our own holiday tradition of inviting another couple or two to our house for Valentine’s Day. The steak and lobster is at least as good as any restaurant and the wine is considerably better.

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Melissa Bachman

Two questions I often get asked are why do some people seem to find all the sheds and how can one be more effective? This comes down to a few important aspects in my book.

First, shed hunt where the animals are.

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Scott Leysath

Fortunately, the darker-fleshed ducks can still make great table fare with just a few extra steps and some additional time to tame the more “pronounced” flavored game meat.

Lean, dark-fleshed ducks and geese have a deeper, earthier flavor as compared to an otherwise fat and lighter-fleshed mallard or pintail. It should come as no surprise that ducks and geese are what they eat.

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Melissa Bachman

This time, I won’t be the one hunting however. Two young South Dakota boys will be taking part in the late-season youth-hunt for does. Quite frankly, I can’t wait! South Dakota participates in the Youth Deer Mentored Big Game hunt. I’m a huge proponent of programs such as this.

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Scott Leysath

…some animal parts manage to last a year or two longer than they probably should. Of course, the purpose of putting a label and a date on everything that goes into the freezer is so you know what the heck it is after it has been packed along with 100 other packages.

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Melissa Bachman

The one thing that came unexpected were the comments I received from fellow hunters questioning why on earth I would ever need or want a suppressor on a hunting rifle. I understand that everyone seems to have an opinion online, but I didn’t expect this from hunters.

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Nikki Boxler

It is also becoming more popular among hunters. This means that it is an easy to find factory load with more options all the time.  Wanting to learn what all the buzz was about, I decided to order my own Winchester 6.5 Creedmoor to see if it lives up to all of the hype.

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Scott Leysath

Not that you have to be a hunter to know how to prepare wild game. I’ve never killed a cow, but I can cook one, although preferably not the whole animal at once. If the recipe author mentions “catching” wild game, he or she doesn’t hunt. OK, maybe they’re trappers, but I don’t think that’s the case.

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Melissa Bachman

Figure out how to beat the weather, and the non-stop action of coyote hunting will truly amaze you.

Having the right gear is always helpful, but sometimes it takes a little hard work and suffering before knowing what gear is truly helpful. I’ve put in a lot of time and learned the hard way on things that make a difference in the field. So, skip a little of the heartache and add some of these items to your gear bag to make your season more comfortable and successful:

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Scott Leysath

It adds moisture, flavor and mellows out, not disguises, the natural flavor of waterfowl. I do not cook a duck or goose without first soaking it overnight in brine.

Those of us who have discovered how much better the Thanksgiving turkey tastes after a brine bath for 24 hours know that the bird will not only cook a little faster, it will also bemore moist and flavorful than an unbrined bird.

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Melissa Bachman

The last thing you want to do when the temps drop and the hunting heats up is stay at home because you aren’t prepared for the chilly temps. I’m not saying everyone has to go out and buy all new arctic gear and apparel, but there are a few easy tips you can do to stay warm and make your hunts more enjoyable.

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Nikki Boxler

…sharing some easy step-by-step progressions for some exercises that have become staples of my training.

For starters, let’s start with arguably one of the best back and arm exercises: the pull-up. For those of us who are pull-up challenged and looking to improve, here are some simple progressions to get you on track! Depending on your fitness level, you may be able to skip over some steps.

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Winchester Ammunition

Try some of these tips to end your season with a strong finish and make the most of those days in the blind.

Ducks

Hunt Big Water—Smaller bodies of water are freezing up so ducks will head for larger rivers and lakes where water is still liquid. Hunt from a boat blind, set a layout blind on a sandbar or set up on a finger of land jutting into the body of water and set your decoys close.

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Scott Leysath

Perhaps you may have learned that the legs and thighs from pheasants and turkeys are tough, sinewy and unfit for table fare. In some respect, you’re right, but it is probably because you cooked whole birds and discovered that, if the breasts are just cooked and not overcooked, the other parts aren’t fit to eat.

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Winchester Ammunition

And why not? Not only does the hunter see these creatures as competitors for the game animals they wish to keep in abundance, but the varmints also present an opportunity for additional time in the woods by hunting them year-round in most places, night in most places and can sometimes even get them access to lands that would otherwise be closed to them for other types of hunting.

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Ron Spomer

Those, in turn, gave me days of hunting adventure you can’t tie a bow around or put under a tree. Cottontails in the woods. Fox squirrels raiding the corn bins. And — best of all — big, white-tailed jackrabbits racing over the pastures and cornfields. South Dakota’s winter landscape was the ultimate rifleman’s training ground, and those 22 Long Rifles made it all possible.

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Melissa Bachman

Winchester has devoted an incredible amount of time and energy to help hunters and shooter be the most effective they can possibly be. One of the most noticeable changes is the extensive range that’s been proven to be effective for turkey hunting with LongBeard XR. This also goes for waterfowl hunting with Blind Side and continues on through with DeerSeason XP, Varmint X, AA TrAAcker, and the list goes on.

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Nikki Boxler

Snow is on the ground, Christmas lights are up, and reindeer are on roof tops. Speaking of deer… Here are 3 ways to use antlers when decorating for the holiday!

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Scott Leysath

And as many times as they had all made the exact same dishes, they relied on well-worn recipe cards to make sure that everything was cooked just right. When I mentioned that they could probably get the job done without the recipe cards, they gave my future mother-in-law a look that said, “We don’t really like this kid.”

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Ron Spomer

Because it will make you a better shot. And it could save the day if you’re faced with a puzzling set of shooting conditions. Ballistic calculators are computer programs based on physics. Scientists have long known what happens to projectiles thrown through the atmosphere.

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Winchester Ammunition

If that person is an avid shooter or hunter, then Winchester-branded merchandise is the perfect solution sure to bring that special person in your life a smile to their face on Christmas day. Here are some top choices for this holiday season.

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Chris Keefer, Casey Keefer

Getting feathers to fall can be a hard-core task when it comes to waterfowl hunting. As the weather shifts from bad to worse, waterfowl warriors know it's time to scan the skies. Sleet, snow, rain, hail, and cold push the birds to use their wings, and hunters head out to bring them down.

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Melissa Bachman

And many times, the hubs or bars are also damaged. Usually I don’t like to take blinds out of the field until the season is completely wrapped up. That can be late Dec or even mid-January depending on the state I’m hunting. Once a blind is up, deer get used to them so the last thing I want to do is take them down to avoid snow damage.

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Nikki Boxler

One of the great things about fresh, never frozen meat is you can prepare easy freezer meals for those days when you are in a rush but want to have a delicious breakfast without all the time it takes to make it. Here are 2 quick and easy meals you can prepare in advance for breakfast when you are on the go.

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Scott Leysath

Add some onions, celery, carrots and any other vegetables that make you happy. Top the whole mess with a pile of whipped potatoes and pop it in the oven. In about thirty minutes, it’s dinner. Mom used to make something she called “Hamburger Pie.” It was a big hit with dad and the three boys.

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Melissa Bachman

This is a list that I used to purchase gifts for my own family and friends and hope there may be something that could spark some interest for that hard to buy for person in your family.

S4 Gear Bino Harness– This is a binocular harness that keeps optics dry, clean and at the ready. It fits most styles of binoculars and not only makes it much more convenient, but also keeps binos snow and water-free so you can see regardless of weather conditions.

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Nikki Boxler

When it comes to sealing the deal, there are a few tricks I keep up my sleeve to utilize when the time is right. 

Never let deer know they are being hunted

It may sound like a no-brainer and pretty simple, but it takes discipline. After gun opener, deer seem to be on edge. So, I keep the location I hunt low pressure and take every precaution to be stealthy in hopes that deer use my section of property as a safe haven.

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Ron Spomer

Maybe we can clear some confusion if we take a hard look at the old 300 Winchester Magnum and the newer 300 Winchester Short Magnum to gain a clearer understanding of what they do. First, both of these powerful magnum rounds exist for the extra reach and punch many shooters demand. North America and Africa harbor good to excellent numbers of large, tough, antlered or horned animals.

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Melissa Bachman

I’ve always been a huge fan of late season hunting for whitetails. This can be a very productive time of the year. Below are four proven tips that I’ve used to find success as seasons begin winding down.

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Nikki Boxler

However, visions of big bucks dance through my head along with hearing my dad’s voice say, “You’re not going to shoot anything if you’re not out there.” So, I gear up and head out. Through trial and error, I have found some simple yet inexpensive and effective ways to fend off the cold and hunt comfortably in the field for longer durations. Here are my tips and tricks to stay warm in the field this late season:

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Scott Leysath

If you’ve ever taken a bite into a fresh, unsweetened cranberry, you know that the taste is nothing like what you get from something that’s been made with cranberries. Cranberry sauce, chutney, relish and, of course, the cranberry juice that occasionally floats on top of a vodka drink have all been sweetened or they would taste sour. 

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Winchester Ammunition

Think about it, the bullet only has a few inches of barrel to travel down so the slightest dip in the barrel or flinch of the shooter can alter the trajectory drastically in just a few short yards of travel. To improve your ability to fire a handgun accurately, focus on these three aspects of grip for better trigger control and, ultimately, a better aim.

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Ron Spomer

But not the 308 Winchester and 300 Winchester Magnum. Here there is such a performance differential that one must seriously consider what each does and which hunting applications each handles best. So let’s dig in. Both these popular and vastly different cartridges throw .308-inch diameter (30-caliber) bullets. The big difference is their powder capacity.

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Rob Pincus

In many sports, training includes some aspect of learning to focus exclusively on the task at hand, filtering out distractions. In endeavors such as putting, basketball free-throws, billiards and pitching, athletes practice blocking out all distractions and using visualization…

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Melissa Bachman

I put in so much time during the off-season training and throughout the season scouting and hunting that when the moment of truth comes…I want no excuses. Winchester introduced Deer Season XP because they wanted to ensure deer hunters had something specific to their needs. This round was designed with only one thing in mind: dropping big deer in their tracks. 

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Nikki Boxler

With so much to do and so little time, I like to have recipes on the back burner (pun intended) that I can turn to when I am in a time crunch. Here are a few quick snacks that the entire family will enjoy. The best part is both recipes share the same 3 core ingredients!

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Scott Leysath

Let’s face it, we’ve all had some pretty funky venison. Hopefully, any unpalatable dishes you prepared in the past resulted in a learning experience. Sometimes we gain as much knowledge by making mistakes as we do by our successes, a concept I’ve reminded my 20-year old son about for years. In my formative years as a wild game cooker, I had some remarkable culinary failures.

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Winchester Ammunition

Big on Optics: Quality optics, both in the form of binoculars and a scope, are your best friends in low light scenarios. A good pair of binos in the 8x to 10x range, but with a larger objective, can help gather more light and make creatures almost invisible to the naked eye easily identifiable in low light.

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Ron Spomer

The result is you can hold the crosshair in the right spot, but it could really be pointing an inch or more off that spot at 100 yards. This isn’t a big deal, but as distance increases, that one-inch difference expands to 2 inches at 200 yards, 3 inches at 300 yards, etc. For precision, long range shooting, a tiny big of parallax in a scope can result in significant misses.

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Paul Sawyer, Chris Keefer

The rut. An instinct-driven, chaos-filled craze. The time of year when whitetail bucks have one thing on their mind, and one thing only. They seek a willing doe-in-estrus. The need propels them through the fields and forest with persistence.

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Rob Pincus

Don’t be a hobbyist in the area of defensive skill development. It is great if you gain pleasure from knowing that you are better able to defend yourself or your family if you need to. But, if the only reason that you train is because you enjoy it, you will inevitably start compromising your training… you’ll start deferring to techniques that you perform best in the training environment, not the ones that would serve you best in a fight.

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Melissa Bachman

I’ve been in camps where everyone is so exhausted by the time dark comes that food preparation is the last thing anyone cares about. When this is the case, I’ve found a great solution: freeze dried meals. Most people think that freeze dried food would be a last resort or something that is less than desirable to eat. This may have been the case years ago, but this is an area that has really come a long way!

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Scott Leysath

It’s true comfort food that greets you with an inviting aroma as you open the door. No waiting for dinner. Let’s eat! The bigger challenge is to roast a venison hindquarter and have it come out medium-rare like sliced roast beef that you might put into a sandwich. Cooking lean venison isn’t nearly as forgiving as fatty beef. It requires more time and attention, but the end result can be just as delicious as any thin-sliced beef you may have had in a French dip.

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Winchester Ammunition

Whitetails, mule deer, elk and even small game such as squirrels and rabbits are crepuscular, meaning they feed primarily at dawn or dusk (twilight hours) when night is transitioning to day and vice versa. For this reason, much of a hunter’s time—for sake of this blog, a deer hunter’s time—is going to be spent in the woods, most likely on a stand during…

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Melissa Bachman

Another important aspect is keeping yourself warm and comfortable and using the best gear possible. The more prepared you are for the weather conditions, the more you’ll enjoy the hunt. First, when calling or setting decoys remember you’re probably hunting pressured birds. With this, the adage “less is more” holds its own weight. I try to setup in locations where the birds naturally want to be or will be going through. As far as calling, this is absolutely true.

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Winchester Ammunition

As for the millions of deer hunters across North America who dropped a deer using it in the field, they were convinced. Now it’s been confirmed by one of the most prestigious magazine titles in the hunting and shooting world; Guns & Ammo has named Winchester Deer Season XP as its 2017 Ammo of the Year.

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Scott Leysath

One of my most frequently reoccurring rants concerns the amount of whole muscle game meat that gets ground into burger. I think it’s because ground meat is easier to prepare, it’s more forgiving than steaks and roasts, especially when it’s a bit overcooked. Ground game usually ends up in tacos, meatloaf and, most often, chili.

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Ron Spomer

BC might sound like a bunch of hooey, but it’s really at the heart of bullet performance. With the right BC you can make a light bullet hit with twice the kinetic energy of a bullet twice its weight because doubling a projectile’s velocity quadruples its energy. Doubling its weight only doubles its energy.

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Casey Keefer, Nikki Boxler

Across America, hunters have pursued wild game for decades with Winchester. They have made choices on the perfect caliber, bullet type, bullet weight … choices that have then been proven in the field, when the moment of truth presented itself. They have stepped out beyond their own backyards to find diverse backdrops and hunt thick-skinned, powerful, and challenging opponents.

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Melissa Bachman

Time of Year – Over the years, I’ve had the most success with rattling during the peak of the rut. However, that’s not the only time it works. Pay attention to what is happening, and take of your surroundings. Study the behavior of the deer you’re hunting while on stand. See how they interact with each other and take note.

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Nikki Boxler

Being new to waterfowl hunting, I decided to turn to hunting guide and Owner of Goose Creek Outfitters and Retrievers, Matt Peel, to help me explore some new tactics to help get more birds on the ground this year.

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Scott Leysath

The stuffing allegedly draws out the evil spirits and adds a fruity and, um…vegetably flavor to the cooked bird. I’m not buying it. Oh, I’ve tried stuffing my turkey and ducks a number of times. It just didn’t seem to make a difference. I know some of you are going to keep doing it the way you’ve always done it. For the rest of you, I’ll continue.

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Winchester Ammunition

One of the main reasons for this requirement—at least in many areas is the perception that the limited range shotguns possess when compared to rifles makes it safer when hunting is taking place in close proximity to human-inhabited areas. Centerfire rifles are not permitted in the big buck states of Illinois and Iowa, as well as all or portions of East Coast states like Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia. Limits exist in many other areas, too.

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Melissa Bachman

Come along on this video blog by Winchester Deadly Passion’s Melissa Bachman to learn how to do it. It’ll take a little sweat-equity, but will surely pay off in spades down the line. We will give you a few hints: cover, food and water. Check out his video to learn more.

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Nikki Boxler

Have you ever been so close to a deer or turkey that you could reach out and touch them while out hunting? I have had serval of these experiences when hunting from blinds, there is nothing quite like being “one with nature” and seeing animals up close and personal in their natural habitat! First we must first consider where and what type of game we are hunting. This is key when deciding on the type of blind and camouflage pattern that would be most effective.

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Scott Leysath

My utensils included a fire pit for heat and an assortment of iron, clay and wood pots. It’s not much different than deer camp today, except for the coolers full of ice, sound systems, propane stoves and 500-watt lighting. The few pigs that were brought over the Atlantic Ocean stayed fairly active, growing in numbers to a thousand or more that were maintained at nearby Hog Island.

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Winchester Ammunition

The whitetail rut one of the most anticipated times of the year. Don’t miss out on this golden opportunity, and don’t flub your chance at a monster when the moment of truth arrives. But to make that moment arrive, try these tips this fall.

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Becky Yackley

For this match, I helped my friend Cyndi get her rifle zeroed and a little practice in, then we headed to the match. First, we checked out what vendors had to offer at side stages with her mother in law Jane. Them we got Cyndi shooting a pistol for the first time since she was last at a ladies event. Then we got ready for the match with things such as loading mags and organizing gear, listening to stage briefs with the other women in our squad, and then shooting.

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Melissa Bachman

Take Winchester Blind Side for example. The amount of time, energy and innovation that has been put behind ways to make a waterfowl load better is truly mind boggling. Winchester took something that most people thought was just fine and made it more effective than most people could ever imagine.

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Nikki Boxler

Being new to waterfowl hunting and not having a dog of my own, I decided to turn to gun dog trainer, hunting enthusiast and president of Lone Duck Outfitters, Bob Owens, for some knowledgeable insight on what it takes to get a dog ready for the season. We touched on everything from strategies for good conditioning, proper nutrition, and “must have” products to help keep a dog safe and performing at their best while out in the field this fall.

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Scott Leysath

How you slice any hunk of meat can make a big difference at the dinner table. You’ve heard about slicing meat “across the grain.” If you haven’t heard, then you’re probably just not paying attention. Take a close look at a piece of meat, the bigger the better. Notice that the muscle fibers run parallel to each other in long bundles or strands.

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Winchester Ammunition

That is a byproduct of correctly adjusted parallax, but it does not explain the phenomenon nor will merely turning the ocular to bring the reticle into focus correct it. Parallax occurs when the target and reticle are on different planes within the scope.

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Nikki Boxler

Nothing is worse than missing birds and then deciding to pattern the gun just to find out that the shot pattern is not hitting what you expected. Finding the right ammunition and choke for the gun you intend to shoot is critical to success in the field. When I am unable to get to the woods one of my favorite things to do is to hit the range, or in my case a nice hilly farm field to sight or pattern guns for the upcoming season.

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Scott Leysath

Barley’s full of fiber and it’s supposed to boost your immune system. It’s also a complete protein that also regulates blood sugar. Why someone hasn’t come up with an infomercial selling barley capsules as a miracle cure for anything that ails you is a mystery to me.

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Ron Spomer

So forget the perfect, all-round bear cartridge. Instead, let’s concentrate on a good black bear round. This is assignment enough because black bears can grow to weigh more than 700 pounds! Most, however, are going to fit into the 150 to 400-pound range, and that’s doable for a great number of cartridges. Before we dive into those, however, let’s pay homage to something even more important — the bullet.

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Winchester Ammunition

But wind is inconsistent and hard to measure, and as a result, can throw even the best aimed shot off by feet—even yards—depending on the distance of the shot and the speed of the wind. It would be hard to adequately tackle every aspect of judging and accounting for the wind when shooting at targets 500 yards out and beyond, but here are some tips to help you stay on target when the wind is up.

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Melissa Bachman
  1. Quality decoys- Just like turkey or deer decoys, waterfowl decoys can make a huge difference on the overall success of a setup. Quality decoys may take time to purchase but you’ll be very happy in the end. Once you have everything you need, keep them in good shape by cleaning them each year and taking care of them both in and out of the field.
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Nikki Boxler

Yes, if you show me a picture of a duck I can identify it immediately. However as with most things in life, learning about it through books and actually testing knowledge in the field when birds are flying at various distances and lighting conditions, it is a whole different ball game! My first couple of trips to the blind resulted in me being more of an observer; watching and learning how to identify each duck as they flew past our setup.

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Becky Yackley

Come along on this Winchester video blog with Becky Yackley to learn how to easily and quickly clean your AR platform rifle. Deer season is fast-approaching…you’ll be glad you did.

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Scott Leysath

Some of us tend to grind up way too much of our good game. There are other options. Before you go grinding up both hindquarters, consider turning the better muscles – sirloin, top round, bottom round – into steaks or roasts. Take a sharp, thin-bladed knife and separate each muscle from the hindquarter. Trim away anything that is not muscle. Give one of the cuts a good soak in olive oil, red wine, garlic and herbs.

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Winchester Ammunition

Not only are distances away from the shooter and speed of the targets factors a hunter must consider, but having the right shot size for the size of the ducks or geese likely to be encountered is a critical consideration. Common shot sizes used for waterfowl (from smallest to largest) are No. 4, 3, 2, 1, BB, BBB and T shot. Naturally, smaller shot sizes are best suited for ducks, while the larger shot is better for geese and swans.

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Ron Spomer

Ah, but whack that golf ball with a 100-miles-per-hour club swing and you might change your mind. A basic rule of physics is that double weight doubles energy, but doubling velocity quadruples energy. This is what enables us to terminate 1,000-pound moose with bullets weighing less than a half-ounce! Knowing this does little, however, to clear up the confusion over various bullet weights offered in most cartridges.

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Melissa Bachman

Although I don’t get much time to hunt with my family anymore, this season I’m getting the best of both words. I’m heading to Saskatchewan at Buck Paradise Outfitters with my dad for an early goose hunt. So what makes these early hunts so great? In my opinion it’s tough to beat hunting with family and hunting birds that have had little to no pressure is a blast.

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Nikki Boxler

If mean, if I can’t keep calm when people are watching, what I am I going to do when buck fever kicks in? Luckily for me, I was in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia so a sense of peace filled my veins. As I wrote last week, I was taking a long range shooting course taught by Phil Conklin. Phil is an accomplished instructor who had me hitting long range targets, calculating wind compensation and elevation changes in just a few hours. Most certainly a testament to his teaching ability all on its own.

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Scott Leysath

The type of recipes best suited for a particular kind of stock depends on the critters you used to make the stock. For instance, a reduced stock made from lighter-fleshed upland game is ideal as a replacement for chicken broth or stock. Darker-fleshed waterfowl and antlered game stocks are an upgrade from canned beef broth.

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Winchester Ammunition

But for many buyers a lot of questions surround not only which firearm to purchase, but primarily, what caliber it should be. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of many of the top defensive handgun calibers available.

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Ron Spomer

Most hunters understand that steep shooting angles alter where bullets strike. If your rig is zeroed at 200 yards on the level and your target stands 200 yards up a steep mountain slope, your bullet will strike lower than usual, right? And if its below you, you’ll shoot high? No? Well, at least half no.

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Becky Yackley

Take a peek at some shooting and scenes from a weekend match.  This match was the Generation III Gun Championship in Lake of the Ozarks, MO.  The event is a fundraiser to support youth who compete in 3 Gun, and they even had a shoot-off where juniors (kids under 18) picked adults to shoot a head-to-head stage with them while competitors waited for scores from the match to be tallied. Out of the 209 shooters, there were 31 juniors and 23 ladies competing in this match.

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Melissa Bachman

I like to do this at 30-yards as it’s a great way to test out the gun, choke, and ammo combination to ensure perfect patterns when it’s time to hit the field. I always recommend shooting from a lead sled on the bench because it really helps reduce recoil and ensure that shots are consistent, and human error has been taken out.

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Nikki Boxler

She described the details of the course to me and how it helped drastically improve her ability to fire long range shots accurately and elevate her overall shooting confidence. As she filled me in on the course, my first thought was how unconfident I would be to put an animal down at anything over 150 yards, let alone 600-800 yards!

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Scott Leysath

From the hides to the nether regions, nothing was wasted. By comparison, think about how much of your wild game gets thrown in the trash. Based on a lifetime of talking to others about how they prepare their harvested game, I’d guess that only a very small percentage of them make the most of their critters. I’m not talking about making coin purses out of venison scrotums, but the tasty shanks and flanks are often discarded.

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Ron Spomer

Veterans of the syndrome recommend all hunters begin their anti-buck fever training as soon as possible. A great way to begin is by working with your rifle until you can operate it with complete function and confidence in the dark. Figure out how you’re going to carry it, get it off your shoulder and into shooting position.

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Winchester Ammunition

But where the country opens up and mountains rule the terrain, most certainly out West, taking shots uphill or downhill, and sometimes at fairly long ranges, definitely comes into play. Compound that with the interest—and modern capabilities—of shooting longer ranges courtesy of technological advances in optics, firearms and ammunition (think Winchester Big Game Extended Range) and you have a world where considering angles when shooting becomes critical.

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Melissa Bachman

The blind keeps weather from becoming an issue if it’s raining or snowing allowing you to sit longer. Last but not least, it’s pretty tough to beat being eye-level with a big buck only steps away from the blind. With all these benefits, it does however take a little work to make them as effective as a treestand, but it can be done by utilizing a few simple tips.

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Nikki Boxler

There are many variations of kits, you can buy one that will only have the tools for your specific gun or you can purchase one that includes attachments for various different guns. If you have a kit that has several bore brush sizes, be sure to match the appropriate cleaning brushes with the gun you are cleaning to avoid damage and ensure you have a clean gun once finished!

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Winchester Ammunition

Team USA, powered by Winchester Ammunition, is off to a great start having earned four medals and five top-10 finishes thus far. Ashley Carroll (Solvang, California) and Derek Haldeman (Sunbury, Ohio) have led the charge as Carroll finished sixth in Women’s Trap and Haldeman finished fifth in Men’s Trap. The two then went on to earn a bronze medal in the Mixed Team Trap event Monday. The Trap Mixed Team event will make its debut as an Olympic event in Tokyo in 2020.  

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Scott Leysath

Leaving a dead or mortally wounded animal on the ground in hot weather happens, but we’d all prefer a solid kill shot with an animal that drops dead immediately. Fortunately, we found this one before it got too hot. Since this was a “TV hunt”, part of what it is that I am supposed to do is to show viewers how to cook it, or at least part of it.

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Ron Spomer

Practice shooting from field positions using prone, sitting, kneeling and standing positions with and without assistance from bipods, monopods and the like. Come along on this insightful video blog from Ron Spomer to learn more.

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Melissa Bachman

Most accidents happen going in and out of the stand before people are safely strapped in. The good news is this can be avoided simply by using a lifeline. The idea behind a lifeline is to keep you connected from the moment you leave the ground until the moment you return. This eliminates the chance of falling from the tree on the ascent or descent; plus it make things easier when you get into your stand because you’re already connected.

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Nikki Boxler

Tall grasses, cornstalks, pine, and cedar work great if they occur in the landscape you are hunting. When collecting materials you will need a folding saw for the larger branches, pruners, and some zip ties for holding everything in place. When covering the blind don’t worry if you cover the windows as you can use the pruners to cut any obstructions out of the way once you get into your blind.

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Ron Spomer

Training with an empty rifle helps shooters forget about recoil and concentrate on proper form and trigger control. They can see where their sights were when the firing pin clicks. So load for the shooter behind his back. When she’s doing everything right, slip in a live round and score!

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Winchester Ammunition

The Canada goose population in the East and across the rest of its migratory range has exploded. Not to the point of snow geese, but certainly, what they tend to call “resident birds,” those that have adapted to staying put in areas of warmer weather and abundant food and nesting conditions, are quite plentiful.

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Rob Pincus

Training at realistic distances will help you gain an accurate understanding of your ability to do so. Your most likely defensive shooting distance is influenced by where you spend your time while armed or with access to a defensive firearm. If you only have a gun staged in your bedroom, then you can predict the distance you would be shooting if someone broke through your secured bedroom door to a high degree of certainty. 

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Melissa Bachman

As a young girl growing up in Central Minnesota, teal hunting is something we always looked forward to. Sure they’re fast as can be, but what a great way to get back in the swing of things to kick of the season. A few tips to make your hunt more successful and enjoyable for early season teal usually involve bringing a couple key items to make your time in the field more comfortable.

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Nikki Boxler

With every bite it always takes me back to my grandma’s home cooking! Presume the same is true for you as well. I really love how that it only takes a few ingredients that I usually have on hand. I just mix it all together and throw it in a pan for a quick and easy healthy meal!

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Scott Leysath

I’m all for rewarding my dogs, but they feel equally rewarded with a good scratching or maybe a rawhide chew. For me, one of the best rewards is a slow-cooked deer shank bathed in a tasty sauce. Discarding venison shanks is about the same as throwing away bones and carcasses that could be used to make a stock that is infinitely more flavorful that something out of a can or a bouillon cube.

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Winchester Ammunition

However, beyond the opening day hubbub or the groups of hunters gathering on those first few warm (often still downright hot) Saturdays, some hunters like to sneak out after work or even before, once the season permits, and oftentimes, they find themselves without the benefit of the other hunters to keep birds moving around.

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Ron Spomer

Heck, even veteran hunters are susceptible to buck fever. And sometimes doe fever. We overthink, worry, hyperventilate, get the shakes, rush our shots, panic and miss, miss, miss. But we don’t have to. It’s possible to train to keep cool, shoot straight and score. It isn’t necessarily easy, but it can be done. Here’s how:

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Becky Yackley

The physical variables that give bodies with larger muscles and longer limbs an edge are a matter of physics. Even in this modern day where girls are told not they can “do anything,” there are certain things that certain individuals cannot physically do. A 5′ tall person will not be able to reach something that a 6’3” person can, without artificial help. 

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Melissa Bachman

 There are several reasons for this. First, it’s usually beautiful weather and a great way to spend a morning or afternoon. Secondly, it’s a fun hunt that can be very social. Third, I believe it’s a great way to get in some much needed real life practice which will help you for the upcoming waterfowl season.

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Nikki Boxler

Whether it be camping with the family on the 4th of July or spending a week at hunting camp with the gang, don’t limit yourself from being able to squeeze in a quality workout! Workouts don’t need to last multiple hours and involve loads of equipment – think minimalistic! In this case, I’m going to demonstrate how something as basic as a cooler can double as your on-the-road fitness center! First I will go over some basic exercises and then follow those up with some simple ways to throw them together for a quick yet effective workout.

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Winchester Ammunition

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and other major industry manufactures, including Winchester, are supporting this initiative to showcase the positive benefits the shooting sports contribute to communities across North America. Online, messaging promoting the month is being noted with#LETSGOSHOOTING.

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Scott Leysath

But then, so does setting up trail cameras and scouting for good animals, but both of those activities are more fun than thawing out your freezer and deciding what is worth saving. Look, I know that you’ve been planning on doing something with that trout you caught last year, or was it three years ago?

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Winchester Ammunition

For close shots on birds such as released quail or other tight sitting upland game that present close shots, a more open choke such as skeet, cylinder bore or most likely, improved cylinder are best. For late in the season ducks and geese, where birds are reluctant to decoy and will likely flare at the edge of range, a much tighter full choke is better.

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Ron Spomer

In this video our field reporter Spomer explains not only how to clean a barrel, but how often in his latest Winchester video blog. It’s not as often as you might fear. Nor as difficult.

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Rob Pincus

In our Intuitive Defensive Shooting Courses, we spend 15-20 minutes just talking about the concepts I am about to share with you and then spend a lot of time engaging in the reality based application of those concepts into our live fire drills. First, let’s define “Assessment:” Collecting and Processing Information.

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Melissa Bachman

Some people keep things like this locked up or under glass, but in our family we like to take them afield. This keeps the stories going and adds to the history. In our family, a particular heirloom is a Winchester 30/30 that my grandfather had. He was a guy who loved Winchester, and was so proud of this particular gun. It was then passed on to my father, and now my brother and I both get to use it.

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Nikki Boxler

But, what happens if you find yourself in a survival situation while hunting in the backcountry? Do you carry the appropriate fire starting materials with you and would you know where to begin? The foundation of starting a fire is in proper planning. There is nothing more frustrating than getting a flame started just to have it go out due to a lack of preparation.

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Scott Leysath

We’ve all heard tales of lips, ears, glands and all things gristly that, once passed through a meat grinder, get crammed into a casing and loaded into boxes destined for your local market. And while there are plenty of sausage horror stories, most them are just that…stories. Make your own and you’ve got nothing to worry about. “Hey, has anyone seen my Band-Aid?

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Ron Spomer

To determine which ammunition your rifle likes best with minimal fuss, try this system of initial 3-shot group testing combined with careful record keeping.

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Winchester Ammunition

To Navy pilots practicing touch and goes on a carrier deck, and a surgeon doing years of residency to perfect his art, the only way to get better at anything is to practice it over and over. And along the way, some good instruction is critical. Shooting is no different.

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Paul Sawyer

Paul Sawyer immerses himself in the everyday worlds of whitetail deer. Bucks’ bedrooms span across the country, and Sawyer has seen it all. Near creek bottoms. Across golden fields. Within thick timber. 

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Rob Pincus

Both Rob and I agree that you generally don’t want to try shooting and moving at the same time during a defensive gun use: Plant & Shoot! But, what about the times that you are not actually shooting? When you are drawing your gun, when you are reloading or if you have to clear a malfunction, it probably makes a lot of sense to be moving.

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Becky Yackley

For youth, the promise is that for time spent shooting with supervised qualified Range Officers who adhere to safety measures that govern competitions, groundwork for being a lifelong gun owner with safe firearms handling skills is laid.  Furthermore, what is established are good gun habits that will be passed down for generations. 

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Melissa Bachman

One thing many people forget about is practicing for wing-shooting! I shoot my bow and rifles year round, but many people forget about taking their shotguns out to shoot clay targets. Not only can this be a lot of fun, you’ll find it’s super helpful to improving your wing-shooting this fall.

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Nikki Boxler

But, I am not alone in realizing the many drawbacks to having seemingly endless technologies available at our fingertips 24/7, 365 days a year.  These drawbacks become especially present in regards to our developing youth and a growing disconnect with nature and the environment around them! 

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Scott Leysath

Rarely does the most expensive wine get the most votes. It’s usually somewhere in the mid-price range. One time, a $7 bottle of Smoking Loon Cabernet Sauvignon beat out the competition. Boy, were the wine aficionados all worked up about it. Fun to watch. I’m guessing that there are as many people reading this that are wine lovers as there are those who don’t really care for wine or would just rather drink something else.

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Ron Spomer

But then the size of your game, range at which you hope to shoot and more enter into the equation. Here’s how to decide whether to zero at 100, 200, 250 or even 300 yards and whether to bother with BDC reticles or turret scope dialing.

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Winchester Ammunition

Twelve of the USA’s best junior shotgun athletes have made their way there to compete in the lone World Cup dedicated specifically to Junior shotgun athletes in the ISSF season. For most of the U.S. team, it also serves as a warm-up for the ISSF World Championship for Shotgun in Moscow, Russia starting later this month.

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Melissa Bachman

First, think about what type of hunts you have planned for the fall and decide what ammunition will be best. What I love about Winchester is they have done such a good job of making specific ammo for specific needs. For example, I’m shooting DeerSeason XP in preparation for several mule deer & whitetail hunts this coming fall. 

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Nikki Boxler

Remember to get comfortable using your full-body safety harness with your treestand at ground level before climbing into the tree and never leave the ground without wearing your full body harness! Safety first, safety in the middle and safety at the end makes for a great and memorable outing.

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Scott Leysath

The rest is divided into smaller batches, cooled and packed for the freezer. When I’m short on prep time, I can quick-thaw the basic red sauce and throw in a few fresh ingredients like mushrooms or diced tomatoes and dinner is served in less than an hour.

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Winchester Ammunition

Envision the target or if actually using something as a target, bring the butt of the gun smoothly to the shoulder, swing the gun from behind the target catching up to it, and the eye should automatically align down the barrel and looking at the target.

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Ron Spomer

By eliminating as much human error as possible via a solid anchor, you can determine what your rifle and ammo are doing without worrying that YOU may have pulled a shot. Here’s what you need.

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Becky Yackley

She was confused, said yes, and as she pulled away, realized what he was doing – helping an elderly man who was out mowing his lawn. The number of shares and comments highlighted how out of place it’s become for young people to help the elderly and for people to just be decent to each other. To put themselves aside and think of others.

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Melissa Bachman

First on this list would be prairie dogging! In many areas prairie dogs have become a huge nuisance and can be difficult to get rid of. There towns cause big holes that cattle can step in, and they also carry tons of disease. On a recent trip to the Rosebud Reservation in SouthDakota with my good friend Ben Bearshield, we took an afternoon off to hunt prairie dogs with little Miss Pork Chop. 

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Nikki Boxler

So, before heading out to hunt this fall, be sure to look at the contents of your pack to ensure that you have basic survival tools that would help you if you were unable to make it back home. My pack contents vary depending on factors such as: where,when and for how long I will be away. However, here are the staple items that I always keep in my pack.

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Scott Leysath

It’s basically a cooking method that slowly and evenly cooks things like venison steaks and roasts and holds them at a precise temperature. You know how you like how your slow-cooker cooks your dinner while you’re away from the kitchen all day? It’s pretty much the same with sous vide, only different. A slow-cooker uses relatively low heat and moisture to transform lesser cuts into pot roast tender stews and more. If you have a tough hunk of meat, throwing it onto a hot grill won’t do anything to make it more tender.

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Winchester Ammunition

The Grand American World Trapshooting Championships (known simply as the Grand American to competitors) kicks off Aug. 2 and will run for 10 days through Aug. 12. It is the 118th year of the Grand American as the first one was held in 1900. The championships feature more than 24 shooting events in which shotgun competitors to go head to head including events for singles, doubles, handicap and even sub-gauges.

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Ron Spomer

After all, the bullet is the reason for the rifle, case, primer, powder and scope! The bullet gets the game, does all the work. All the rest is just the launch pad. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, ammo and bullet makers like Winchester have done the hard work for us. By testing and modifying and retesting bullet after bullet, they have freed us from even thinking about this critical ingredient.

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Rob Pincus

Proper handgun fit will make it easier for you to hold the gun, aim the gun, shoot the gun, manage recoil, reload the gun and clear malfunctions. If your gun doesn’t fit your hand as well as possible, it will compromise your performance in one or more of those areas. Proper Handgun fit starts with making sure that you can hold the gun in a way that deactivates any grip safety and allows you to actuate the trigger while the first knuckle of your strong hand thumb is positioned to the weak side of the frame of the gun.

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Melissa Bachman

Most of my days were spent chasing grass carp, however the many locations including the Illinois river are now flooded with Asian carp that have become a real nuisance. Regardless of where in the country you live, usually if there is water nearby there is some sort of invasive species that you can shoot with a bow.

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Nikki Boxler

In situations like these, it is important to be mindful of a few practices that will aid in navigating your way back to safety. One practice that we should always be aware of is being able to accurately keep a pace count. Keeping track of a pace count gives us the ability to estimate our distance traveled and hopefully provide us with the confidence to orient ourselves. 

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Scott Leysath

One man’s delicious burger just might be another man’s bland and dry one. And based on the huge quantity of deer meat that is ground into burger, it seems appropriate to add a twist or two to the grind without compromising the deliciousness of a properly cooked burger. If you’re not overjoyed with the way your venison burgers taste, here are a few tips to make them better next time.

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Ron Spomer

Heck, there was no 270 Winchester either. No 270 WSM, no 7mm WSM or 243 Winchester or…Last time I looked, the Winchester ammo catalog offered ammunition for 66 different centerfire rifle cartridges. I didn’t even count the handgun options. Sixty-six is more than enough to choose from for this big gamehunter. Obviously, some rounds like the 17 Hornet and 458 Winchester Magnum are easy to brush from consideration. But that leaves plenty for a dilemma: which cartridge do you pick for your deer rifle?

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Becky Yackley

They also meet adults, see new faces and places.  But there’s a sport that will not only introduce them to new people nearby, but new people all over the country and world.  That sport is shooting. Since 2012, our boys have seen most corners of the US, as well as Italy and Russia.  They’ve seen America first-hand.  Not from geography books, but with their own eyes. 

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Rob Pincus

Rifles and shotguns are often more powerful than handguns and increase your ability to hit your target under circumstances beyond two arms reach, especially for those with less training and practice. In any case, be sure that you have trained to use your firearm under dynamic circumstances and stage it responsibly in your home to prevent unauthorized access.

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Melissa Bachman

Unfortunately, in the last 10-years, I haven’t been able to do as much of it as I would like to. However there is still no reason not to practice to ensure good shooting should the opportunity arise. Many people don’t have the ability to shoot trap in their backyard like I did when I was a kid, me included today. So what’s a great way to practice and still have some fun this summer? Join a trap league!

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Nikki Boxler

This video will give you a visual of what the choke patterns look like and help you to decide what choke is best for the type of shooting or hunting you will be doing. I hope this video gives you a better understanding of what choke you should use before heading out on your next adventure!

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Rob Pincus

Remember that these tactics revolve around protecting yourself or those you care about inside of your house or apartment, not protecting your belongings or the home itself.

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Casey Keefer, Chris Keefer

The Keefer Brothers and longtime friend Jason Brown made cherished memories while hunting Merriam’s wild turkeys in South Dakota. Though they traded the Midwest timbers for the golden prairies of the west, the crew never leaves home without Winchester. For good reason.

 
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Winchester Ammunition

In fact, some of the nation’s first open deer seasons—in both South Carolina and California—are but a month away. So, without any further hesitation, here’s what you need to do to get your 2017 deer season ball rolling.

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Ron Spomer

In many ways, choosing a scope these days is harder than selecting a rifle. You have to decide among 1-inch, 30mm and 34mm main tubes. Will the objective be 36mm, 40mm, 44mm, 50mm, or 56mm? Parallax adjustment dial or not? BDC reticle, duplex, fine, post, heavy, illuminated? Dialing turrets?

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Scott Leysath

VIDEO – Jan “Boland” Coetzee, owner of Vriesenhof Winery near Cape Town, South Africa. Jan is a legendary professional rugby player, food and wine lover and hunter. Jan demonstrates a typical marinade and style of cooking for kudu and oryx loins. Of course, if you’re out of kudu, you can always substitute whitetail.

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Melissa Bachman

Usually I have everything from fish, to pheasant to deer and elk with the assortment of other game along the way as well. Although I may have some specific go-to recipes, I’m always looking to try new things and prepare wild game different ways. I’m a firm believer in learning from the best so you’ll often catch me browsing through Scott Leysath’s website, the Sporting Chef, for new ideas and recipes to try.

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Nikki Boxler

Note: I used the Big Game Rub by Traeger and cooked them on the Traeger to add a smokey flavor! You can also use a marinade of your choice and cook them in the oven. If you are using a marinade, place the pheasant in a bowl and let it marinade overnight in the refrigerator for extra flavor!

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Rob Pincus

For many years, I believed in the “bigger is better” theory of defensive handgun rounds. About a decade ago, I started paying more attention to the engineering and performance of modern 9mm rounds and I made the switch. I have no lack of confidence in the 9mm round when I recommend to students or carry for the protection of myself and those I care about.

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Winchester Ammunition

Research from organizations like Southwick Associates repeatedly reveals that access is one of the biggest challenges facing sportsmen today. With that in mind, unless you own your own land, searching for a place to hunt really isn’t something you can afford to concern yourself with just now or when you need a new place to hunt, but rather should be an ongoing search every year, always working leads to improve your odds of finding decent spots to recreate.

 

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Becky Yackley

Learning with play while engaged in an activity we are interested in is a strong way to learn. You can turn summer play time into a way to teach firearms safety. Let the kids practice with BB guns, squirt guns, rubber band guns, marshmallow guns… They will learn firearms safety with simple toys.

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Melissa Bachman

Recently, I was able to grant Pork Chop a wish come true. Her very own hunt in South Dakota with my good friend Ben Bearshield on the Rosebud reservation. We went into this thinking the squirrel hunting would be a slam-dunk, but unfortunately things always come up along the way.

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Winchester Ammunition

To continue the celebration of the Games, The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has instituted June 23 as “Olympic Day.” Founded in 1894 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, CO., the USOC serves as both the National Olympic Committee and National Paralympic Committee for the United States. It is responsible for the training, entering and funding of U.S teams for the Olympic, Paralympic, Youth Olympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games, while serving as a steward of the Olympic Movement throughout the country.

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Nikki Boxler

Here are five steps to help you prepare for deer season and ensure that you are ready for opening morning!

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Winchester Ammunition

For many, booking a guided hunt for the chance to seek a trophy in one of our nation’s best game units, is often the culmination of years of planning and saving money. Even preparation for a self-guided hunt is not without planning time, expense and the need for physical conditioning. As part of preparation for the hunt, a sportsman often purchases or makes sure he has the best firearm he can afford along with a top optic. 

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Melissa Bachman

All last fall I took little Miss Pork Chop on almost every single hunting adventure. She sits in the blind patiently with me from sun up until sun down. Of course I bring her treats, toys and keep her busy, but I’m assuming it’s not all fun for her. Well all that’s about to change on this next hunt!

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Nikki Boxler

By adding in an overhead element to this exercise, you will not only work the muscles in your lower body but also challenge the muscles in your shoulders, back and core.

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Winchester Ammunition

However, according to most experts, the two terms can be used interchangeably. In fact, Hiram Percy Maxim, who invented the suppressor, named his original device, the Maxim Silencer. Regardless of what you call it, confusion and information abounds around this device that is heavily regulated in the United States, but can be purchased over the counter in Europe where it almost considered rude to shoot without one.

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Becky Yackley

For quick cleaning, I usually do three things: clean the action, clean the slide, clean the bore. This isn’t a deep clean, but just a quick going over. This is what I do during a competition; at the end of the day before I go to bed. If it’s a shotgun, I also clean the magazine tube. I Look over my gun, wipe out the action and clean under the extractor (q tips, brush, rag, paper towel). Add oil. Run a bore snake. Run a dry patch to wipe oil and carbon out. Oil where appropriate. Check gun sights and mag release, reassemble.

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Winchester Ammunition

The popularity of the latter has been largely driven by a climbing interest in home defense and concealed carry. So, what are the most popular tactical calibers out there today? Let’s take a look:

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Winchester: A tried and true name that represents much more than quality hunting and shooting products. It is an American symbol of a beloved past time. Every barrel boasts a story.

 
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Melissa Bachman

Luckily, they didn’t stop with this mindset when they moved to the world of self-defense. There is a huge rising number of Americans buying guns for the first time with personal defense in mind, and many of these new shooters are female. Understanding this, Winchester realized there needed to be a streamlined process when choosing the best ammunition for personal defense and training with it. When looking at an ammunition shelf it can be truly overwhelming trying to decide what ammo is best to protect yourself and your family.

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Nikki Boxler

Luckily for hunters, there are plenty of opportunities for us to get outside and sharpen our shooting skills, doing some pest control, and have fun while doing so. Here are 4 reasons why you should hit the fields and woods this summer!

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Winchester Ammunition

When the company’s second lever-action rifle, the iron-framed Model 1873, which would come to be known as the “Gun that Won the West,” was introduced in 1873, it was originally released in .44 Winchester Centerfire, a new cartridge that was the first to carry the Winchester name. It included a 200-grain bullet that left the muzzle at 1,250 fps powered by 40 grains of blackpowder. 

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Becky Yackley

It’s not what one would usually think of when they hear “sport.” This sport takes mental and physical agility, focus, and strength. Young and old, male and female, can compete in it. This sport is competitive shooting. Competitive shooting can vary from low-impact, static disciplines, like NRA smallbore, air rifle, or sporting clays, to ones that demand stamina and explosive power, such as practical pistol and shotgun competitions under USPSA and IPSC governing bodies, to true marathons of skills put to practice in 3 gun and multigun.

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Melissa Bachman

The number of coyotes has increased all across the country, but as hunters we understand the need for a balance. To accomplish that balance it takes a hunter willing to go the extra mile to outsmart these predators. They use every advantage possible so we need to ensure we are doing the same! Here are few tips about how to become a more effective predator hunter this year in my latest video-blog…come along.

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Nikki Boxler

So this summer be sure to visit your local range and get together with your friends to have some good old fashioned fun! If you do this consistently you’ll be a better shot this fall! Add some Winchester AA Ammunition and break some clays!

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Chris Keefer, Casey Keefer
They don’t just walk….they strut.
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Winchester Ammunition

Many stores limited buyers to no more than two boxes of the rimfire ammunition at a time and even other stores were left to simply tell their customers to search elsewhere. As a result, prices also went up. The ammo was still relatively cheap when compared to larger caliber centerfire loads, but it was no longer the bank account afterthought that many outdoor writers had once waxed poetic about for its availability and low cost.

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Melissa Bachman

I knew most shots would be close as we were calling, so I decided to just bring my shotgun.  Before heading out however, I wanted to do a little test at the range to see what changes needed to be done to get my SX3 ready for hunting all three. The first thing I did was get my turkey gun all setup with the LongBeard XR using 3 1/2 inch 5 shot.  Once that was dialed in, I switched over to the Varmint X in BB, and swapped out my extra full choke for a full choke.  

 

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Nikki Boxler

Did you have a successful turkey season? Then save those turkey feathers and use them to spruce up your home with this quick and easy-to-make rustic turkey feather wreath!

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Winchester Ammunition

Sure, you can still enjoy all of those fun activities as well, but there is no need to leave your shotgun or rifle neglected in the gun safe, just waiting for the fall to return. There are still ample summer hunting opportunities out there as long as you don’t mind the heat and insects. Here are some of the top hunting opportunities you will find, many in a location near you.

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Becky Yackley

But it’s okay, because that cradle-rocking hand can’t do it from a pedestal – women who work and impact those around them are in the trenches. They’re not up on a pedestal, inaccessible – they’re covered in baby burps and the 1,001 things that need to be done when they get home from work at night.

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Chris Keefer, Casey Keefer

The ways of the wilderness pivot around one crucial, constant fact: A chain of command exists. A food chain of command, to be exact.

 

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Melissa Bachman

If you’re looking to get someone new into hunting or just prefer to tone that recoil down a bit, a 20-gauge is a perfect solution. Earlier this spring Winchester announced the addition of LongBeard XR in 20-gauge so everybody can experience the Shot-Lok technology regardless if they’re shooting a 12 or 20 gauge.

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Nikki Boxler

Here is a great video blog from Winchester Life co-host Nikki Boxler who will explain and show just how to properly go about stretching and saving artifacts from your successful outing. Grab some salt (or borax), stick pins and a sheet of cardboard and come along. It’s not only fun to keep a journal of your hunts through the years, but to also save some of what tome once was.

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Winchester Ammunition

And while the motivation for many of these permit holders is to improve their opportunity to protect themselves in the event of a violent crime, it is fortunate many of these people will never actually need to defend themselves with a firearm. Think of it more as insurance.

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Melissa Bachman

One of the first tips I will try late season while hunting turkeys is to get out of the blind.  The more mobile you are, the better off you’ll be in the long run.  Also try to use any vantage points to your advantage so you can potentially see what’s going on.  If the birds are talking use your eyes to find them and make a plan.

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Nikki Boxler

Here are a few basic (and simple – yes!) exercises I use and would recommend to you as a great pace to start. I’ll show more in this video blog, but here is a rundown on them. Come along on this video and learn more!

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Chris Keefer, Casey Keefer, Nikki Boxler, Paul Sawyer

Catching sight of a gorgeous gobbler as it struts between the oak trees is a surefire way to get every turkey hunter’s blood pumping.

 

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Winchester Ammunition

Most shotguns today utilize screw-in choke tubes to change the constriction at the muzzle end of the barrel. The purpose of the choke is to improve the pattern of shot delivered when fired from the shotgun—primarily through achieving better range and pattern density.

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Melissa Bachman

This helps with the early mornings and allows them to lay on the ground and take a nap until the action heats up.  A few things to keep in mind is mornings can be pretty chilly.  Make sure they’re bundled up enough with layers so they can be comfortable.  Nobody likes to be cold and it’s all about making this a fun experience.

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Nikki Boxler

Give this recipe from Winchester Life co-host Nikki Boxler a go. It’s quick and delicious – turkey and stuffing casserole may just become a new favorite. To learn more and how easily you can make it, come along on this video blog from Winchester. Bon appetit – enjoy!

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Winchester Ammunition

Hunters may be hitting the turkey woods, but for many competitive and recreational shooters, the skeet range is where they cut their clay busting teeth and the skeet range is where they return to perfect the wingshooting skills that make this and other competitive clays games so challenging and so much fun. To improve your game on the skeet range this year, follow these basic tips:

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Melissa Bachman

It is critical to get comfortable not only with your gun as the season approaches, but also determine the best load-choke combination. In this video blog Melissa shows just how great (and how lethal at long distances) LongBeard XR is and then stretches it out for some long-distance patterning.

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Nikki Boxler

These are super-quick and super-delicious, and a great thing to do with your wild turkey this spring and summer. Come along on this video blog from Nikki Boxler to learn more…really, these are fun to make!

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Winchester Ammunition

Canada represents the most spring black bear hunting opportunities by far with British Columbia offering a two-bear limit to hunters and some of the best spot-and-stalk hunting anywhere. Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba also rank high though the style of hunting is decidedly different. Because of the thick, evergreen forests of these western and central provinces, sitting over bait remains the primary method for hunting bears here. 

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Chris Keefer, Casey Keefer, Nikki Boxler, Paul Sawyer

Spring. A season where the senses are heightened.

The colors are brighter.

The air is fresher.

The sounds are louder…a cacophony of change.

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Winchester Ammunition

That was 120 more students than the previous year, making it one of the largest collegiate clays shooting competition held each year. The event was held March 28-April 2. Shooting competitions were held for International Skeet, International Trap, American Skeet, American Trap, 5-Stand and Sporting Clays. Lindenwood University out of St. Charles, Mo., proved to be big winners at the event taking top Division 1 American Skeet and American Trap, Division 1 International Skeet and International Trap, and Division 1 5-Stand and Sporting Clays honors.

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Melissa Bachman

Unfortunately many of the things I’ve learned have been by trial and error so I decided to put a video together highlighting some of the tactics I utilize to get that stunning video. Maybe you’re filming just to show family, for Youtube, or you’re looking to start a TV show.

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Nikki Boxler

Here’s why: the key feature behind Long Beard XR’s long-range capability is the shell’s Shot-Lok technology. Instead of traditional buffering materials, Shot-Lok is injected as a liquid resin into the hull among the lead shot during assembly. The resin hardens to keep pellets locked in place until the round is fired. When fired, Shot-Lok immediately fractures into a micro-buffer that protects the shot deformation caused by set-back forces. 

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Chris Keefer, Casey Keefer, Nikki Boxler, Paul Sawyer
Spring unlocks a closed window that anxious outdoorsmen have waited all winter to unhinge: Open wild turkey season.
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Winchester Ammunition

To begin with: Make Sure Your Rifle Fits—Being able to control your rifle and maintain consistent attachment and form with every shot is key to repetitively making long, difficult shots. To do this, a shooter needs a rifle that fits them perfectly, with adjustable combs set so each time they place their face against the stock and line up to shoot, they are in the same position.

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Melissa Bachman

Sometimes this can be caused by weather, bad luck, or just simply running out of time in states where the season closes at 1pm – like Illinois.  When that day comes and you have a turkey hang up, know that you now have options. In the past, long-range turkey shots were simply out of the question for most. Though, the development of Winchester’s Long Beard XR will enable you to make much longer shots with extreme downfield lethality. 

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Nikki Boxler

However, what are some of the staples you need in regards to turkey Gear? Vest? Clothing? Boots? Gloves? Yes to all. Come along on this video blog from Winchester Life co-host Nikki Boxler to learn more. 

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Chris Keefer

As the gobblers make an entrance, the Keefer brothers receive a reminder that communication is key.

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Winchester Ammunition

But to make sure the optimism transfers into actual success, a hunter has to have his game plan down and make the most of the moment. Don’t leave opening day up to random chance. Here are five tips to help you punch that turkey tag on opening day.

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Melissa Bachman

One question I often get from people is what kind of call is best?  I guess that really depends on the situation. I’m one of those people who prefer to just have a variety with me at all times so I have whatever I could need.  Box calls are probably the easiest to use
in my mind.  I have an incredible sounding box call that I absolutely love. 

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Nikki Boxler

While I am constantly learning and often making mistakes, this experience makes me a more proficient turkey hunter. Here are some tips and tricks that have helped me to become a successful turkey hunter. I hope they may help you as well:

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Winchester Ammunition

When standing at the ammo shelf at your local gun shop trying to decide which turkey load is the best size shot, many hunters simply hedge their bets with the obvious compromise and pick No. 5s. Not a bad choice, but let’s consider what’s good and maybe not quite as good between one shot size and the other.

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Melissa Bachman

First, do your best to get out to where you plan to hunt and do a little pre-scouting.  If you can’t be there all the time, put out your Cuddeback cameras and let them do the work for you! I use cameras for turkeys just as I would for deer so I know what time the turkeys frequent what field.

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Nikki Boxler

While Winchester’s Longbeard is lethal at longer shots up to and beyond 60 yards, I like to shoot most of the turkey I have a whack at closer in – around 30 to 40 yards. It is super-important to choose a good combination of ammunition, gun and choke to ensure a clean kill shot. In this video I am shooting Longbeard in 12 at both 30 and 40 yards to test the pattern of the gun, load and choke. I am using a full choke and Longbeard 3” in #5 shot.

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Nikki Boxler
Mother Nature brings a bounty of variables that keep outdoorsmen on their toes. One consistently unpredictable factor? Weather.
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Winchester Ammunition

And so on and so forth. Whenever the 9mm crowd and .45 fans begin debating the merits of each caliber as a defensive round, while both cartridges have their merits, two things are undeniable. One, is that the .45 certainly delivers an abundance of stopping power. The second is that having been created more than 100 years ago, it remains one of the most popular, and enduring handgun cartridges still today. Here’s why:

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Melissa Bachman

Get to know your best gun/load/choke combination before hitting the woods or prairies this spring. Too, another great idea is to check out Winchester’s Ballistics Calculator online at winchester.com. Come along on this video blog from Melissa Bachman to learn more.

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Nikki Boxler

I do not have a shed hunting dog, therefore I am covering a lot of ground on my own two legs and always have to be on top of my game if I want to find sheds. Below are the areas that I look at first and a few things to keep in mind that help me find sheds.

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Winchester Ammunition

With so many people involved in shooting shotguns for fun, it’s no surprise, with their technology leading shotshells, Winchester has been a big part of the fun as well. Leading the way is Winchester’s AA line of shotshells—without doubt one of the most versatile and unique collection of offerings for any shotshell line available. Here’s why:

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Melissa Bachman

An incredible amount of research and development is put into creating products that put we hunters at the top of our game. This goes for everything from Deer Season XP to Longbeard XR to Varmint X, but it doesn’t stop there. Let’s take Varmint X for example.

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Nikki Boxler

With regards to our bodies, mobility is simply the ability of our body to move freely or be moved freely at all joints. Over time, activities occurring in our daily lives tend to result in a lack of mobility in our major joints which, over time, may lead to further health drawbacks down the road. For instance, my full-time job often times involves extended periods of sitting and being on a computer Perhaps much like yours. 

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Nikki Boxler

Come along on this video blog with Winchester Life co-host Nikki Boxler to find to how easy this is to do. Plus, it’s collapsible so you can easily take it with you in the back of the truck on outing away from home.

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Nikki Boxler

Along the way, I will share my training tips as well as give you a glimpse into my workouts, and talk about why and how they will prepare me for hunting season.

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Melissa Bachman

I’ve put together a few tips that can be helpful when looking for a new place to hunt this fall so you can ease land owners’ minds so they let you on their property. Don’t wait until the season is ready to begin! Get out there now to make some new friends and start building relationships. A big part of someone letting you on their property comes down to trust, helpfulness, safety and respect. This is a HUGE first step with any land owner – they must see these sincere qualities in you.

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Winchester Ammunition

We want to recognize Leo for his contributions to Winchester, to its historic NILO Farms hunting preserve, and to conservation and the shooting sports. Leo became manager of Winchester’s NILO Farms preserve in 1961 and carried that responsibility for the next 30 years. NILO Farms is a world-renowned hunting preserve located near Brighton, Illinois, where guests can enjoy hunting ringneck pheasants, chukar partridges, and mallard ducks, and also shoot trap, crazy quail, skeet, Riverside skeet, sporting clays, 5-stand, and the tower. 

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Winchester Ammunition

From there opening days proceed northward with Georgia, Alabama and others following just a couple of weeks later. Even if you’re in the wild turkey’s most northern United States (or Canadian) ranges, where seasons don’t open until May and run even into June, now is the time you need to turn your attention toward getting ready for your warmer weather pursuit of America’s favorite gamebird.

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Winchester Ammunition

Rekindle your love for hunting for the mere sake of hunting and spending time outdoors—try a late-winter small game season. And while most small game hunting articles point sportsmen toward the merits of the 22 Long Rifle or other tack-driving, rimfire calibers, I’m still a fan of the all-purpose scattergun. But no need to go in over-gunned with the ubiquitous big-bore 12 gauge.

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Melissa Bachman

It was at my great grandfather’s house and they came into his yard.  We thought they were the coolest thing ever, and were mesmerized while watching the birds.  Now…fast-forward 20-years and we have an abundant supply of turkeys right in the backyard we grew up in.  I’ve even had the privilege to hunt with my parents on our property for turkey and will never forget the memories made each spring.

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Nikki Boxler

To help ease the feat of finding that perfect way to show your love and affection for that special someone this Valentine’s Day, I’ve created a sportsman-friendly gift guide. I think you’ll find the ideas below are sure to pair well with your Valentine’s Day plans…especially if those plans include target practice in the days to come.

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Winchester Ammunition

In fact, every year at SHOT Show, the largest tradeshow in the shooting and hunting industry, there have been more companies introducing new suppressors. To meet the needs of today’s suppressed shooter, Winchester, always on the cutting edge of shooting developments, has introduced new ammunition designed for suppressed shooting enthusiasts looking for heavy-for-caliber projectiles to maximize performance from their firearms while minimizing sound.

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Nikki Boxler

No Super Bowl party would be complete without dishes upon dishes filled with treats for friends and family. Why not head to the wild side and create dishes with wild game that is perhpas still in the freezer from last season? Not only will this serve as a freezer-dump, but will be a great showcase of the many things you the cook can do with wild game…and will certainly add a spark to the party!

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Nikki Boxler

As a hunter, we must make sure we know what we are shooting to help ensure proper harvest limits and avoid wantonly wasting any undesired birds. I’ve found that learning to identify different ducks adds to the enjoyment of waterfowling. Sometimes I find myself bird watching and observing nature rather than shooting…it must be the beginner in me! Here are some tips I’ve picked up so far:

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Winchester Ammunition

From elk, moose and mule deer in North America to kudu, eland and Cape buffalo in Africa, the ammunition line is built for use on the toughest hunts around the world and was introduced in a range of popular big-game calibers. That range of calibers will expand in 2017 with the introduction of six new additions built specifically for long-range accuracy, trajectory and terminal performance.

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Winds blowing through the Nebraska sand hills often whisper promises of whitetail and mule deer. Hunters hear the call toward the prairies.

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Melissa Bachman

Too, trail camera photos are a huge asset to understand what deer are doing this time of year. Come along on this video tip with Melissa Bachman to learn more.

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Nikki Boxler

The Traeger Grill has a smoke setting so you can set it and forget it.

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Chris Keefer, Melissa Bachman, Casey Keefer, Gabe Adair, Nikki Boxler, Paul Sawyer

Winchester is a way of life, a life that has the stories to back it, and a bright future ahead. It is a life to be proud of, built on heritage, family traditions and some of the most innovative products ever introduced for hunters and sportsmen around the world. To celebrate this heritage and capture it visually in a way that has never been done before, Winchester has created Winchester Life, the first all-digital series in the brand’s history and aired regularly at WinchesterTV.com.

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Paul Sawyer

Known as America’s breadbasket, the golden plains of Kansas provide prime conditions to produce more wheat than any other state in the nation. The Sunshine State is also known for producing an abundance of whitetail bucks that attract hunters from near and far.

 

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Melissa Bachman

The truth is, there are certain instances where each can be incredibly helpful depending on what is most important.  I’ve created a list of benefits and attributes of each to help make the decision easy.

Shotgun- I’m a big fan of using a shotgun in areas where the coyotes have very little pressure. I recently completed one of the best coyote hunting trips I’ve ever been on in Mexico at El Chaparral Ranch.

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Nikki Boxler

This is why I wrote out 3 simple steps to help you make and keep your resolutions. These steps have helped me to stay on course to accomplish my goals and I hope that they will help you as well! Being fit as a hunter is paramount to success. Really, better physical fitness will allow you to keep doing what you love to do more frequently (hunt of course) and will enable you to be more focused when “the” moment is upon you.    

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Winchester Ammunition

Don’t let pressured ducks keep you from filling your brace. Try these tips to score big before the season winds up.

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Nikki Boxler

Ah yes…good questions indeed. Do know that I am extremely excited to become a regular blogger for Winchester Ammunition. My objective here will be to share some tips and some experiences on how to get more enjoyment from our great sport! Like you, I have a full-time job. I work as a marketing director in Buffalo, NY. I try to balance my full-time career with my full-time passion for hunting, fishing and just about anything the outdoors has to offer.

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Winchester Ammunition

Don’t miss out on the hottest hunting action to be found this time of year. Grab your calls a rifle and some quality Winchester ammunition and don’t miss out on the best pelts of the season.

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Melissa Bachman

This means some of those bruisers you only had nocturnal pictures of during the fall, will finally show themselves during daylight hours. It’s not just for the love of the ladies like it was during the fall, it’s for survival.They need to put weight back on and it can’t be done just at night.  With all these factors, the hunting can be great. However, aging the deer can be a little more difficult during this time of the year.

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Casey Keefer, Chris Keefer

Colder temperatures. Brisk winds. Cut fields.

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Winchester Ammunition

As fans of the company have come to expect each year, the Big Red W once again is delivering a host of great new shooting products and ammunition line extensions to make your shooting more fun and productive whether you competitively shoot, hunt or simply plink targets on the farm. Here’s a snapshot of what is fresh from the development teams at Winchester:

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Melissa Bachman

Although many people know and understand the best methods for taking care of big game in the field, waterfowl field-preparation is an incredibly important step to ensure a stunning mount.  The skin and feathers of waterfowl are very thin and can be damaged easily unless proper care is taken. Here are a few steps that should be taken from the moment you have a bird down that you think could be one you want to mount.

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Melissa Bachman

I’ve seen all too often the harm over abundant coyote populations can cause on deer, and also the cruel way Mother Nature takes care of over population.  Diseases like mange leave coyotes with little to no hair left as they freeze to death during the cold winters.  As a hunter I’m a firm believer in helping control the predator population and have some fun while doing it too. However, just like with anything, there are a few things you can do to help increase your odds of success.

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Winchester Ammunition

But what about the ammo? Do you give much thought about the best way to store your ammunition over these extended periods of time? You should. While most modern ammunition fortunately doesn’t require too much care to ensure it stays as ready to fire as the day you bought it, it does require some care. For any load, moisture and high heat, are the primary enemies. Here are just a few key concerns to keep in mind when storing your ammunition for the off-season.

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Melissa Bachman

This can be extremely fun, but many times I see people frustrated, as their usual techniques may not work.  Here are a few tips and tricks to help you become more successful this late season.

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Winchester Ammunition

Come along with us on this most interesting video with Cody Firearms Museum curator Ashley Hlebinsky to see just what Winchester has been up to since 1866.

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Winchester Ammunition

The Winchester Model 1866 “Yellow Boy”, made in 1871 and chambered for the original 44 Henry Rimfire cartridge, will go to the highest bidder, with the auction closing at 11pm central on December 24, 2016. Visit qtego.net/qlink/foldsofhonor for more information and to place your bid now!

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Winchester Ammunition

This online store offers a host of official Winchester logo gear, including 150th anniversary collectibles. There are also hats, shirts and other clothing for men, women and children; hunting gear, signs and banners; gifts and accessories; and even special products for law enforcement.

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Melissa Bachman

Over the years I’ve had almost better luck taking big bucks late season.  They finally become a little more predictable this time of year.  They need to eat and they’re run down, so brave the cold temps and get out there before the season draws to an end.  You never know, late season could become your favorite time to hunt big bucks!

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Winchester Ammunition

It could arguably be the most popular western of all time. This video reveals the one-of-a-kind Zane Grey model 1895 lever-action Winchester. It was manufactured in 1917, and customized in gold. Incredible, and all part of Winchester’s 150 years of innovation and American history.

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Winchester Ammunition

In many areas across the whitetail’s range, the winter is turning cold, maybe even some snow is on the ground, and that buck tag is still burning a hole in your wallet because it’s yet to be filled. Here are five tips to help you finish the season strong.

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Chris Keefer, Casey Keefer, Gabe Adair, Nikki Boxler, Paul Sawyer

The Winchester Life crew heads to the sporting clay range at Nilo Farms, eager to share a popular pastime. Near and dear to sportsmen across the country, the clay-target shooting range at Nilo is an exciting and important part of the overall Nilo experience. Each guest arrives ready for the opportunity to shake off the rust, receive world-class coaching by Nilo staff, and most importantly…have fun. There’s nothing quite like pulverizing a floating orange disk into dust with a locked and loaded Winchester.

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Winchester Ammunition

From the early days of capturing the latest innovations to make shells better (think smokeless powders and later plastic hulls) to the modern wonder, BlindSide, which utilizes stacked hexadhedron-shaped steel shot and Winchester’s patented Diamond Cut wad. But even with the best shells ever made loaded in your shotgun, it does you no good if you don’t follow proper shooting technique and fail to properly lead the fast flying target ducks and geese present.

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Chris Keefer, Casey Keefer, Gabe Adair, Nikki Boxler, Paul Sawyer

Nilo Kennels was founded by John Olin in 1950, just two years prior to the establishment of Nilo Farms. Since the very beginning the world class retrievers of Nilo Kennels have played a vital role in the overall success of the facility. Every hunting adventure on site is enjoyed alongside a crew of canine conservationists and Winchester wielding sportsmen.

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Winchester Ammunition

It should be no surprise that at this time, as there was increasing interest in meeting the ammunition needs of a growing legion of sportsmen, that Winchester shotshells first found their way into the duck boats of waterfowl hunters along the Mississippi River as well as along the Eastern Seaboard. Subsequent ammo introductions quickly followed, including Winchester’s Star line, which coincided with the appearance of the lever-action 1887 shotgun that same year.

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Melissa Bachman

However with all that said, there are some tactics that are pretty effective across the board.  Below are my 3 favorite whitetail tips & tactics that I feel are most beneficial in the field.

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Winchester Ammunition

Oliver Winchester went on to purchase this technology and…well, the rest is firearms history. But don’t let us spoil the story…push “play” and learn more. But one more teaser before you go – there is mention of the Henry rifle here as well. Ah…

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Casey Keefer

On Vancouver Island, the logging industry has carefully paved its way through old growth forests for decades, creating manageable routes for big game hunters like Casey Keefer. Canada’s wild rivers have carved a dangerous maze through the mountains, giving free roam to one of the highest concentrations of black bear on the continent. Both industries, logging and hunting, are better off because of one another, working in harmony, while each respecting the preservation of one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems.

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Winchester Ammunition

During Elizabeth’s training, she shot at tin cans with a 22 and after several tries, made her first hit. She declared, “I plinked it”. After and forever, she was known as Plinky Toepperwein. Ah yes…a little more fascinating Winchester history. Come along on this video as we celebrate our 150th Anniversary.

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Winchester Ammunition

But as the company delved deeper into the production of ammunition, the creation of new calibers and the manufacture of firearms capitalizing on emerging technologies and their own innovative gun designs of the time, Winchester came to develop firearms far removed from those original lever actions. In fact, two of the most famous Winchester model firearms in history, are the Model 12 shotgun and the Model 70 bolt-action rifle.

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Melissa Bachman

Many times I feel like a little kid experiencing the same anticipation as I once did for Christmas morning. As deer season arrives, I am as excited as ever. One thing I’ve learned over the years, is deer season is far too short!  There never seems to be enough time in the day to hunt, scout, and fit in work and family time during the fall months.  Although I haven’t found a secret recipe to adding hours to the day,I have learned that being prepared can make fall much smoother, and alleviate some wasted time that could be better spent sitting on stand.

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Nikki Boxler

With resident elk expert and guide Ramone leading the way, Nikki quietly begins her trek through the rocky terrain at daybreak. The morning hike was encouraging as the team spots elk and other game far off in the meadows below. As elk do not typically graze in the open during hot daylight hours, Nikki and Ramone decide to break for lunch, nonetheless confident in there plan and tactics for the evening chase.

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Winchester Ammunition

Winchester tradition was to present special rifles to American presidents. They are called Presidential Presentation Rifles. Come along as Winchester TV host Ron Spomer and Cody Firearms Museum curator Ashley Hlebinsky share more on this very special firearm.

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Winchester Ammunition

Accordingly, hunters are taking vacation days and kicking their time in the woods into high gear as well as this is definitely the best time of the season to be hunting. Regardless of whether your locale limits you to stick and string this time of year or you can reach out a little farther with a muzzleloader or even a modern firearm, the following tactics will help you make the most of this exciting time of season.

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Melissa Bachman

He has monster bucks, big bear, and incredible waterfowl hunting.

Growing up, we spent many weekends hunting ducks and geese on local public land near my home.  The youth day hunts were exceptional as it opened a weekend before the regular opener, but I had never really experienced anything like what Canada has to offer.

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Winchester Ammunition

John Olin at one time owned Winchester and was a critical figure in its growth and history. Come along and learn a little more history on the American Legend – Winchester.

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Melissa Bachman

Second, I’m not around very much and this can be a great way to spend quality time with my mom, dad and brother that wouldn’t normally happen in the fall because of my rigorous schedule. Third, I can’t even explain the joy it gives me to see my own family experience something for the first time.  I still absolutely live for hunting, but it really makes me smile to see their excitement.

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Winchester Ammunition

As the company burst onto the scene in 1866, they would go on to change the way soldiers fought and sportsmen pursued game and play a key role in the settling of the West. Here are three of the most iconic firearms of that time—all of them lever-action rifles. Lever-actions represented the cutting edge in repeating rifle innovation during the second half of the 1800s.

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Melissa Bachman

Many of these tips can be used for any type of spot & stalk hunting, but I find them especially effective on mule deer. I’ve always been a huge fan of hunting mule deer, but this year turned out to be what I decided would be called “The Year of the Mule Deer.”  I opened the season with a velvet mule deer hunt in Colorado, then moved onto Nebraska.  After that, I drew a tag in Arizona after 10-years of applying for the Kaibab which should be an incredible hunt. 

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Winchester Ammunition

In fact, more than 40 states permit some sort of either sex turkey hunting in the fall and winter providing abundant opportunity across much of the wild turkeys’ nationwide range. Winchester makes a host of great turkey loads for today’s big bird hunter, so grab yourself a box, load the shotgun and get into the autumn woods. Not only is it a beautiful time to hunt, but with more turkey hunters focused on spring (or at this time of year, deer) the fall turkey hunter can find himself in the midst of hunting a lot of unpressured birds. Here are some tips to ensure you foray this autumn is productive and fun.

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Melissa Bachman

The tags are generally cheap, the hunt will be an experience, and the memories are sure to last a lifetime.  This is such an easy way to spread the love of the sport, while finding new ways to enjoy the outdoors on your own as you watch it through a new hunter’s first experiences. As a young girl growing up in Central Minnesota, my passion was always hunting. 

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Winchester Ammunition

Where deer, waterfowl and many other large beasts such as elk and pronghorn can only be hunted in the fall, turkey hunters can enjoy going afield nationwide in the spring and in more than 40-plus states across the country in the fall. If you haven’t tried fall turkey hunting, you’re missing out on a time of year that was originally viewed as the classic season for hunting wild turkeys.

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Melissa Bachman

The ivy literally covered the ground in some locations for as far as the eye could see.  If hunting this area, it was completely un-avoidable.  I would never say there’s a deer worth getting covered in poison ivy, but if there were…this buck would probably be it.  We were chasing a huge 3×4 mule deer with triple brow tines.  He had a ton of mass, huge frame, and just an overall stud of a buck.  Unfortunately, he lived in a 2-mile by 2-mile area that was just littered with poison ivy.

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Winchester Ammunition

Many of Mr. Olin’s personal guns are kept at the Cody Firearms Museum in Cody, WY. If you’re traveling through that area, make certain to stop in – you will not be disappointed. If you can’t make it, come along on this video to learn more. Make sure to check into our Live the Legend blog from time to time to see more historic 150th Winchester Anniversary content.

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Winchester Ammunition

But while trigger sessions at the range are a fine way to make sure your big game gun’s scope is on and that you still have a steady enough hand and breathing technique to chew up a bulls-eye at 100 or even 200 yards, there’s an even more exciting way to make sure you are prepared for the big moments this autumn holds. That way is small game hunting.

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Melissa Bachman

This can be the case, but you can also use these winds to your advantage as well. First, when you experience high winds one of the reasons game is usually spooky is because everything is moving.  This can be used to your advantage if you’re in a treestand as you will usually get busted less.  If something catches a little movement from you, just sit tight and let the wind blow everything around you and the deer will usually go back to feeding. 

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Winchester Ammunition

In many places, hunters plant fields of sunflower, millet and corn and can charge up to a $100 a day or more for hunters to bring their shotguns and dove buckets and sit in strategic points in an effort to shoot their daily limit. Dove hunting is allowed in 42 states and according to an article in the Bangor Daily News, more than 20 million of them are harvested each season. It is unequivocally the most popular game bird in North America and still its range and numbers keep expanding.

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Melissa Bachman

However, one bad encounter with a rattlesnake can turn a hunting trip into a complete disaster. I’m no expert on rattlesnakes coming from central MN where they are few and far between, but luckily I spend a lot of time around people who are.  I’m constantly asking questions and learning everything I can, especially now when I’ve added my new side kick Pork Chop to the mix.

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Winchester Ammunition

Pretty darn great! Matter of fact, Mr. Parsons was the behind-the-scenes shot maker and technical advisor for Jimmy Stewart’s 1950 movie – “The Winchester 73”. Come along on this Winchester 150th Anniversary video to learn more.

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Winchester Ammunition

In fact, the original Model 1873s were chambered in this first metallic centerfire cartridge manufactured by Winchester. It wasn’t long before the round received double utility as a handgun cartridge as well when Colt began making their Single Action Army revolver chambered for the round. As both a long gun and short gun cartridge, the .44-40 Winchester soon became a favorite among cowboys and frontiersman of the day.

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Melissa Bachman

For years I’ve been shooting some of Winchester’s latest and greatest guns, but on this hunt I was going back to the basics.  Everyone in my entire family has had a chance to shoot a Winchester 30-30 lever action gun that has been passed through the Bachman family, but now it was my turn.  Thecool part about the entire experience was the fact that this gun originally was used in Russia for boars, and now I was bringing it to Texas for a hog hunt as well.

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Winchester Ammunition

Gladwell illustrates his point using such icons as the Beatles, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. He well could’ve added famed outdoor personalities Mark and Terry Drury.

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Melissa Bachman

A new animal I hadn’t tried calling to until this year was hogs.  As most people know who’ve hunted hogs, they often come out at night when the temps cool down.  This can make it difficult to find success during the day and can be downright frustrating.  Recently, I planned a trip to Texas to hunt hogs in the smoldering heat of August. Temps were topping off at113 and my Cuddeback’s were showing only nocturnal activity by the hogs.

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Winchester Ammunition

In case you missed it the other week, given NBC’s—and the major media’s in general—challenge in adequately covering the breadth of events taking place during the Rio Olympics, Winchester-supported shooter Kim Rhode, 37, set a new world record when she finished third in the women’s skeet shooting event. Only Italian luge legend Armin Zöggeler has won as many consecutive individual Olympic medals.

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Winchester Ammunition

Start Scouting—I’m not talking about just starting to scout game just yet as much as scouting out your hunt locations. Whether public land or private, it it’s been last season since you’ve been out there, check out what changes have taken place during the warm months. Make sure timber stands haven’t been cut, see what has been planted in agricultural fields to know whether it will attract deer or other game you might be hunting, and check stands and blinds and make any repairs. 

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Melissa Bachman

To help get started, I recommend going online and checking out the new Winchester Patternboard.  This is a great way for you to do some amazing comparisons from the loads you’re currently using and see if there is a better combination available for your setup.  It allows you to pick your gauge, choke, shell length, pellet size, Winchester brand, anddistance.

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Winchester Ammunition

In fact, for deer hunters, the first firearms deer season to open in the United States—in the South Carolina Low Country—begins August 15. Whether your favorite hunting is for the king of game animals, the white-tailed deer, or you are more of an elk, waterfowl or small game hunter, here are some things you need to start doing now in order to be ready when the season begins.

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Melissa Bachman

This means tightening each screw a couple of times over and over, keeping it even.  If you don’t do this part correctly, you will have a very difficult time trying to get everything dialed in later on and wonder what the problem could possibly be.  Once everything is evenly tightened, to add a little lock tight to the screws to ensure nothing can get loose in the field.

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Winchester Ammunition

Go hog hunting.

Hogs, maybe just short of coyotes, are one of the most rapidly expanding species in the country, moving into new areas at a ridiculous rate. “The wild pig is the most prolific large mammal on the face of the Earth,” according to Texas A&M’s Agrilife Extension. They average between five and six pigs per little and have approximately 1.5 litters per year, though they are perfectly capable of having more litters and larger litters.

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Melissa Bachman

It’s sparked families to share Winchester stories, new traditions to begin, and this anniversary has given us all a chance to reminisce about what’s really important.

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Winchester Ammunition

The one seen in this video is a model 363 which was made in Germany for Winchester. Almost 20,000 of these guns were made between 1969 and 1975…kinda cool. Join us in this video from Winchester’s 150th Anniversary to learn more.

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Winchester Ammunition

Paper hulls would frequently swell when soaked from rain, water in duck blinds or excessive humidity. They could even swell to the point where they wouldn’t chamber in a shotgun or would fail to extract when fired…if it fired. Then, in 1964, under the Mark 5 shotshell banner, Winchester changed the game with the introduc­tion of compression-formed plastic hulls.

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Melissa Bachman

I love to shoot my guns, bows, get my gear organized, make lists of things I may want for the upcoming fall, but I also am super-interested in the growth and patterns of whitetails on property I hunt.  Even though bucks are not yet at their full antler growth, I still love putting my Cuddeback’s out nice and early to watch them grow. 

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Winchester Ammunition

Be it ball caps or sweatshirts, a shooting range bag or coffee mug, look for new items, special promotions and discounts throughout the year as Winchester celebrates its 150th anniversary. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a little mid-summer style for the clays course or are preparing for the upcoming fall seasons, Winchester logo gear looks cool no matter where you go.

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Melissa Bachman

 Winchester has been a part of so many families and helped create so much happiness over the last 150-years.  Winchester’s iconic brand has touched so many families, including my own.  After sitting down with my dad and discussing my grandpa’s incredible love of the Winchester brand, he showed me a lever action 30/30 that’s been passed down through the generations of the Bachman family. 

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Winchester Ammunition

Here is a beauty that was made for presentation to President Kennedy, but was never actually given to the president due to his untimely death. Come along on this 150th Anniversary video with Winchester and learn more.

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Winchester Ammunition

But who actually was Oliver F. Winchester? As one of the most historic and enduring brand names in all of firearms and shooting, the Winchester brand’s namesake, Oliver F. Winchester was neither personally a gun builder by trade nor an engineer or designer. He was a businessman in the purest sense of the word, who had the ability to identify good designs and find the funding to support efforts to improve upon them.

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Melissa Bachman

We have lots of space to run around, drive ATVs, shoot our guns, bows, clay pigeons, fish, and almost anything we can think of.  One thing that’s almost always a guarantee though, is the fact that there will be some shooting practice included in the weekend. 

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Winchester Ammunition

The “Irma” that this hotel is named after is none other than Irma Cody – daughter of Buffalo Bill. This model 1894 Winchester rifle is a great shooting gun, and you can tell that this rifle had been shot a lot by Irma. This is just a small part of the history of firearms you will see at the Cody Firearms Museum in beautiful Cody, WY. If you’re out that way this summer…be certain to stop by.

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Winchester Ammunition

As the official shotshell sponsor of USA Shooting, Winchester, with their AA line of shells, is looking forward to seeing these competitors shoot for the gold as much as the shooters themselves. Here’s a look at the team:

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Melissa Bachman

Guess it’s the next best thing and something I enjoy doing as well.  Most stands need to be tweaked or moved slightly each year and with this comes shooting lanes.  Summer is a great time to check everything over, including treestands, straps, and shooting lanes along with access to and from.  This will prevent you from having to do this work in the fall when you really should be out scouting, checking cameras or hunting.

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Winchester Ammunition

You can recognize these by the way they scatter bullets. Dress them properly and you can alleviate that problem. Hot barrels aren’t a concern for deer hunters. One and done. But they can be for varmint hunters and target shooters. When you’re running a 25-round long-range target course or picking off a hundred pasture rodents in an hour, you’re scorching your barrel. As it expands, accuracy suffers.

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Winchester Ammunition

She is one of only 51 athletes in history to win five or more Olympic medals and was the first U.S. Olympian to win medals at five consecutive Olympic Games when she won a gold medal in the 2012 games. She won her first gold in 1996, won a bronze in 2000, another gold in 2004 and a bronze in 2008. If she medals in Rio, she will be the only U.S. athlete to ever do so and the second athlete ever to win six consecutive medals. 

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Winchester Ammunition

It’s all about practice, knowing one’s gun, and coming up with the best ammo combination to ensure confidence when that big buck steps out. For me, repetition is key so when the moment of truth happens, I simply go into autopilot and everything becomes second nature.That’s perfect for hunting, but another time a hunter-shooter wants the repetition to kick in would be in the case when a handgun is needed for personal protection.   

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Winchester Ammunition

Customers who have Winchester firearms of this vintage, can call into the museum and find out when their gun was made, and in what configuration it was built. Pretty cool when you think about. Just a bit more of Winchester’s heritage as this iconic brand celebrates its 150th Anniversary in 2016.

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Winchester Ammunition

Such an occasion deserves unique attention and as part of the Big Red W’s multi-media celebration, the company is releasing three very special anniversary short films to showcase various aspects of the Winchester legacy.

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Melissa Bachman

When it’s the end of a stalk and it’s time to get down and belly crawl, most of the time I don’t take my binos off and safely put them in my backpack. Instead…they’re drug through the mud, sand and dirt and look pretty tough after a hard day of hunting. I’m confident that I’m not the only one out there that this happens to, so I started looking for products that can keep my gear safe without any extra hassle.

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Winchester Ammunition

Certain rodents, for instance. Farmers plagued by rodents in their crops either poison them or let varmint shooters trim the herds. You could be one of those shooters, and on your first shoot this late spring or summer you could discover your rifles are inaccurate. That’s funny. Last year they were deadly accurate. What happened? They got dirty.

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Winchester Ammunition

Baseball players can lay claim to being the unofficial “boys of summer,” while in August, the eyes of the sporting world will turn much of their attention to the Olympic games in Rio, but for competitive shooters across America, it’s not a bad time to be a competitor either.

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Melissa Bachman

For years I’ve been coming to Southeast Alaska to hunt black bear and the adventures have been unbelievable.  This was going to be the first time staying in a cabin. As luck would have it, we had absolutely perfect weather.  Bright sunny days, warm temps, no wind, and best of all…no bugs! 

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Winchester Ammunition

A Browning design shotgun produced by Winchester as serial #1, and purchased by Henry Ford….and then gifted to Harvey Firestone of Firestone Tires. Guns, cars and tires. Obviously the lineage of this particular gun is beyond fascinating…and just a small part of Winchester’s unique 150 year history.

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Winchester Ammunition

Winchester celebrated 100 years as a brand in 1966, and refusing to rest on its legacy and developments of the past, the company marched forward with innovations that continue to benefit hunters and recreational shooters, as well as law enforcement and the military. Here’s a look at Winchester’s past 50 years.

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Melissa Bachman

On this black bear adventure in Southeast Alaska, I decided to bring my dad along for the ride and he was up first. The way we were going to be hunting was primarily from a boat looking for south facing grass flats where fresh & tender green shoots of grass would first be popping up. 

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Winchester Ammunition

For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. When this lesson is delivered by a recoiling scope hitting your brow, you tend to remember it. But how can you prevent relearning it, again and again? First, try to buy scopes with long eye relief. 

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Winchester Ammunition

Let’s face it, summer is a great time for enjoying a little shooting outdoors and it’s particularly a fun time to sharpen your handgun skills. Winchester added several new products to its line of handgun ammunition offerings in 2016 that will help make those outdoor shooting sessions cleaner, easier and perhaps most importantly, more affordable.

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Melissa Bachman

As kids, my parents had taken my brother and me to Alaska and we had the opportunity to fish halibut, travel the state and see a wide variety of country. However, we weren’t able to get any hunting in and I knew my dad would just love a backcountry trip like this.

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Winchester Ammunition

Tillar, Arkansas was the location on May 18-25, when she secured her spot on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Shooting Team. Rhode locked up her spot before even competing in the Friday final—14 points ahead of her closest competitor. It will be Rhode’s sixth consecutive Olympic games, a feat few athletes in the world have ever achieved.

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Winchester Ammunition

The John Browning-designed Winchester Model 94 lever-action in 30-30 Winchester was the first commercial sporting rifle/cartridge that used smokeless gunpowder. This was a huge advancement in firearms technology, but the M94 was not initially chambered in 30-30.

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Winchester Ammunition

Dubbed the “Thriller in Tillar” on the USA Shooting website, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials begin this week at the Delta Shooting Sports Complex. The four spots remaining to be filled include the top overall finisher in Women’s Skeet, Men’s Skeet, Double Trap and Women’s Trap.

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Melissa Bachman

With everything going on so many people forget that these simple things need to be shared.  Sure it’s fun to hear birds gobbling from the roost and have a little alone time, but this is an incredible experience you can share with your kids and family as well.

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Winchester Ammunition

The Cody Firearms Museum (Buffalo Bill Museum wing) celebrates along with “The American Legend” as it showcases rifles from Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley…along with thousands of other firearms. Come along on this Winchester video to learn more, and make certain to see the Cody Firearms Museum and the Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody, WY this summer at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

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Winchester Ammunition

Because from the moment of birth, a turkey is vulnerable to being killed or eaten by a host of predators—both four legged and two legged—they possess a level of paranoia that makes the worst schizophrenic seem calm and an uncanny ability to respond to real or perceived threats with a sudden retreat on foot or by wing.

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Melissa Bachman

Most importantly, how impressive were your patterns?  Did you take time to shoot much before season?  Have you been using the same gun/ammo combination for years?  All these questions are fair game, and if you haven’t taken the time to look into updating your turkey gear…you may be missing out!

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Winchester Ammunition

There’s a trick you can use to shoot both of them. Patience. Oh, how boring. But oh how effective. And frequently. The frustrating thing about tom turkeys is they’re turkeys. Who knows why they do what they do?

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Winchester Ammunition

Outdoor writers Doug Howlett and Brad Fenson were riding with fellow hunter Ken Byers, scouring the rolling country side for birds strutting in the open when they spotted a strutter near a remote corral, fan spread to impress three feeding hens.

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Melissa Bachman

Longbeard XR has raised the bar when it comes maximum effective range for shooting turkeys.  We all like to call them in close, but the impressive patterns experienced with Longbeard XR are truly unbelievable.  Featuring brand new Shot-Lok technology, Long Beard XR has given turkey hunters the tightest patterns and longest shot capability of any lead load in history. 

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Winchester Ammunition

The one you’ll see in this Winchester 150th Anniversary video weighed in at some 19 pounds and would throw 4 ounces of lead shot in one shell…ouch. Anyway…come along on this video to learn more from Ron Spomer and Ashley Hlebinsky.

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Winchester Ammunition

That global conflict would thrust Winchester engineers, production workers and products themselves into the center of the melee and reshape the visibility of the brand and the importance it plays in the defense of America. Here are key dates as Winchester emerged from the conflict and powered through both good and bad economic times for the next 50 years of its century and a half of existence.

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Melissa Bachman

With that said, we still want to be successful when season opens and we all need to learn to maximize our time in the field. Ideally before any upcoming turkey hunt I’d love to go roost birds, watch fields, look for sign, and get an idea of what’s happening in the area I’ll be hunting.  This takes time and depending on the location of the property I’m hunting, not always possible.

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Winchester Ammunition

As every turkey hunter knows, talking to tom is half the battle. Millions of dollars and hours have been spent trying to improve humans’ ability to talk turkey. Box calls, slate calls, scratch calls, wing calls, diaphragm calls, straw calls — you name it, turkey hunters have tried it. But they’ve rarely doubled up.

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Winchester Ammunition

But to truly appreciate just how far Winchester has transformed the American landscape not just for sportsmen, but for all people who enjoy a life of freedom and safety provided by our soldiers deployed around the world and the police officers who work our country’s streets, it’s important to note some of the key dates and developments throughout the company’s earliest days. Here’s a look at what took place the first 50 years.

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Melissa Bachman

However, there’s one thing I am confident that has stayed the same through all 150 years. Dog has always been man’s (or woman’s) best friend. We may baby our pets a little more now than they did 150 years ago, but I can promise you that love and loyalty toward our furry friends has never changed.

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Winchester Ammunition

The first sample of this weapon is held at the Cody Firearms Museum in Cody, WY. Pretty historic – pretty cool. Come along on this video from Winchester that celebrates our 150th Anniversary.

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Winchester Ammunition

The M93 shotgun intro­duced shooters to the concept of the pump-action. It was super­seded by Browning’s M97 pump. This scattergun was so rugged and reliable that America’s dough boys used it as a trench gun in WWI. Police employed it as a riot gun and waterfowlers found it so deadly that it helped end the era of market hunt­ing while later ushering in the three-shell limit for duck and goose hunting in 1935.

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Melissa Bachman

Once that is accomplished, each and every element must be reconsidered in order to find ways to improve it. Many would say, “It works fine so why change it?” Not the people who are working hard at Winchester. With 150 years of shot shell manufacturing knowledge, they have truly re-defined waterfowl hunting with the introduction of Blind Side.

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Winchester Ammunition

No! At least not if you do it the smart way. To save wear and tear on your shoulder from those big kicking 12 gauges, strap on a PAST or Kick Killer (from Buffalo Arms Co) shoulder recoil pad and/or shoot from a Caldwell Lead Sled. You can slip a bag of lead shot between your shoulder and gun, but this extra length could mess up your aim.

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Winchester Ammunition

From its high-velocity .22 Winchester Rimfire in 1890 through its .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire of 1959 right up to the world’s fastest rimfire, the 17 Winchester Super Magnum of 2013, the brand has kept its rimfire tradition alive and flourishing like few companies in the modern era (much less the last century and a half).

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Melissa Bachman

When Winchester looked to create a load specifically for varmint and predator hunters they not only came up with a load with extreme long-range accuracy, but also realized the importance in having minimal pelt damage and making it affordable.

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Winchester Ammunition

Despite full-bore production during WW I, product demand crashed after the war and plummeted even more as America plunged into the Great Depression. In an attempt to survive, Winchester expanded its product base, entering the hardware business and making or branding such things as ice skates, knives, axes, fishing reels and refrigerators. Still, it wasn’t enough.

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Melissa Bachman

They are constantly pushing the envelope and coming up with way to make hunter/shooters more effective in the field.  Think about that for a minute – for 150 years Winchester has been making innovative guns and ammunition for hunters just like me…and just like you.

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Winchester Ammunition

The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation — which depends on citizen cooperation and participation, with hunters’ license fees and excise taxes funding restoration, protection and habitat work — has led to ever increasing quantities and quality of big game animals.

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Winchester Ammunition

The first bolt-action ever developed actually appeared in 1824, created by German arms inventor Johann Nicolaus von Dreyse. His invention was called the Needle Gun and it actually predated repeating guns or even cartridges used in them, but was later adapted to these innovations as they were developed.

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Melissa Bachman

Although many things have changed, there are a few things that have stayed the same.  We still fill our freezers with lean, and healthy wild game which we eat year round.  We still cherish the moments spent afield together, and talk on and on about the experience for years after.

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Winchester Ammunition

It all began with rimfire cartridges and then evolved into centerfire. Cartridge boards are a terrific visual that track ammunition innovations through the years.

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Winchester Ammunition

That man was John Moses Brown­ing, and the rifle was his first patented design. In 1883 Bennet secured the rights to that patent and two years later Winchester unveiled the Winchester Model 1885. Extremely strong and accurate, this falling block sin­gle-shot became a favorite big game hunting and target rifle.

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Melissa Bachman

Brand recognition is huge, but the reputation and integrity of a brand is what really makes people loyal to not only the brand but to what that brand stands for and their overall message. This does not come overnight, it takes years of dedication and involvement to get to this point and I believe without a doubt that Winchester is one of these brands. 

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Winchester Ammunition

When this lesson is delivered by a recoiling scope hitting your brow, you tend to remember it. But how can you prevent relearning it, again and again?

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Winchester Ammunition

They’re all named after a man who never designed a cartridge or built a firearm in his life. Oliver Winchester wasn’t a gun builder, but he was one heck of a smart businessman—perhaps one of the most brilliant and forward-thinking of his time.

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Melissa Bachman

However the off-season can be a great time to do a little routine maintenance to keep stands in tip top condition and most importantly keep them safe. One of the first things you should do is remove all seat cushions during the off season.  This will keep the squirrels and elements from destroying them throughout the winter months.

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Winchester Ammunition

Many states, with the permission of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), are allowed to extend special seasons for problem populations of resident Canada geese and migrating snows, which can boast giant, destructive flocks in the thousands. Meanwhile, other states hold seasons that run all the way from February into May.

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Melissa Bachman

Sure there are walk in areas and public ground, but sometimes a large number of people can make it seem impossible to have a good hunt. I grew up hunting public ground. We lived on private property but actually found some of the best duck and deer hunting places to be on public ground within 30-miles of our home.

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Winchester Ammunition

These days 6.5mm cartridges are all the rage, and that’s the metric dimension of the .264-caliber. The 26-caliber bore diameter is just below the .270 and just above the 25-caliber. It’s the perfect size for whitetails, mule deer, pronghorns, black bears, mountain goats and sheep, yet not too big for long-range coyotes and not too small for elk, moose and even interior grizzlies.

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Winchester Ammunition

The popularity of Shot-Lok Technology and the performance it delivered in Long Beard XR and Rooster XR rolled seamlessly into what is unequivocally one of the best shotshell options available for extended range shots from a scattergun on coyotes, foxes and more.

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Melissa Bachman

With all that said, not everyone has a big budget to spend on planting crops specifically for your deer. However, over the years I’ve come up with a few ways to help cut costs and still produce great results I’m a firm believer that any type of food plot will help a property – it keeps the deer living right in the area where the food plot is planted.

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Melissa Bachman

The temps are cold, snow can be deep, and predators have an edge. With ponds and lakes frozen, I have witnessed a pack of coyotes use this to their advantage. They will surround and single out one deer, run them out onto a frozen pond and take them down in no time.

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Melissa Bachman

The reasons are simple. This is usually plenty of gun to ethically take down most North American big game animals, it’s an extremely flat shooting round, and most importantly it has low recoil. In my book these are the most important things to keep in mind when choosing a caliber for a new hunter. Regardless of what caliber you pick, here are some very important tips to remember.

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Winchester Ammunition

For these high-volume shooters—new and old—as well as competitive shooters who can also burn through ammunition in their pursuit for victory, Winchester introduces USA Forged ammunition, featuring preci­sion-manufactured steel shell­cases. The shellcases culminate a long development process and are proudly manufactured in Winchester’s Oxford, Miss., manufacturing facility.

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Melissa Bachman

We did a lot of calling using rifles, however we also used shotguns. I like them for those coyotes that come right into your lap, but there are also many states you can only use a shotgun at night when calling for coyotes. So they are a great alternative for night calling, but there was no ammunition designed specifically for this use.

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Winchester Ammunition

Shotgun “accuracy” is a product of gun fit (so it points where you’re looking every time), concentration (so you don’t pull off the target at the last split second), gun and shell patterning (so it throws an even and adequately dense concentration of pellets around the target center), and follow-through.

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Winchester Ammunition

It’s amazing to think about what was happening in this country the year the Winchester brand was created. To put it into perspective, think about this.

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Melissa Bachman

I was lucky enough to grow up in a family who loved and embraced hunting, but that’s not always the case. Outdoor TV and YouTube have become sources for many kids to learn more about hunting- whether it’s tips, tricks, or just being entertained, so I figured why not try and entice more kids using that same outlet.

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Winchester Ammunition

Winchester Ammunition and Firearms thanks you for all you have meant to conservation and passing along the traditions of the past to present and future generations. Join us in celebrating this most meaningful of milestones…all Winchester style.

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Winchester Ammunition

It marks the biggest gathering of the year for the industry and is where virtually all of the new products for 2016 from companies across the industry are unveiled. As usual, there is a lot of excitement centering around the Big Red W’s latest offerings, not to mention that 2016 marks the 150th anniversary of the Winchester brand.

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Melissa Bachman

I was hoping for a little Boston Terrier puppy to accompany me on my travels. I had never had my own dog before, and you can image why with my travel schedule. My brother has a male Boston Terrier, Rocky and he’s such a good dog that I couldn’t help but want my own.

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Ron Spomer

As most hunters know, different bullets perform differently on different game. They also perform differently depending on how they’re shaped, the materials from which they’re made and the methods in which those materials are put together.

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Winchester Ammunition

Today, we take a look at one of the most famous hunters ever tied to the Winchester name. It may surprise some people, but of all the famous hunters associated with the Winchester brand, perhaps none is as famous, or honored, as a dog.

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Melissa Bachman

I enjoy looking back at the pics, and remembering the good times or hard work that was put into a hunt ending in success. My family has always taken photos, and there is nothing we look back on more than our hunting shots. Sure…it’s just a photo, but there is always a story that goes with every one of them.

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Ron Spomer

Excessive conversion of grasslands to croplands has reduced their numbers and range, but they’re still common to abundant — yet few of us hunt them. Don’t be one of these people. Winter is the perfect time to hunt jacks. Prior to 2001, the challenge was finding the perfect firearm and cartridge for jacks.

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Winchester Ammunition

You can go as Spartan and alone as a Jedi and still find success working the thickets on foot with a trusty scattergun cradled in your arm or sitting a brush-surrounded field edge in the evening with a tack-driving .22. Best of all, most rabbit seasons run through the much of the rest of winter, providing an abundance of excuses to get outside and hunt rather than sit lazily around the house.

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Melissa Bachman

In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Sure, the percentage of big deer is probably higher than many locations, but big bucks are smart – really smart. This year, for example, I hunted over a week bow hunting, hunted the 4-day slug season for second gun, and hunted the entire muzzleloader season to come up short. Tag soup. It happens, but luckily that wasn’t the case for everyone in my family.

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Ron Spomer

My son-in-law began hinting at an interest in hunting several years ago. When this became consistent, if not persistent, we tested it with a few casual shooting lessons. Test passed. Brandon enjoyed shooting, wanted more of it and got more of it from an equally enthusiastic father-in-law. I had plenty of firearms, ammunition and experience. Why not share with a new shooter?

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Winchester Ammunition

And for gun enthusiasts and sportsmen, part of those wishes may well—in fact they should—include the commitment to be become more accomplished shooters in the new year as well. With that, here are five resolutions that if committed to, will make for a great 2016.

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Melissa Bachman

Over the years I’ve had a large percent of my success during late December and January on whitetails – especially big bucks. With that said, the techniques can be very different. I believe this is a time of year when hunting smarter, not harder can be a huge key.

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Melissa Bachman

I’ve tried positioning my decoy in various ways hoping to change my shot angle. I’ve set my decoy up near a rub so bucks will have something to show their dominance on while posturing to my decoy. I’ve used everything from scents to sprays, rattling to a snort wheeze to make my setup even more effective, but this year I learned something new.

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Winchester Ammunition

If you’ve yet to fill your tag, don’t panic. These three tips can help you save your season and fill your freezer…and maybe even that empty spot on your wall just begging for a trophy deer mount.

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Grant Woods

During this period bucks actively check and work scrapes, respond to grunt calls, etc. In the same area the majority of the does will be receptive from about November 8th through November 20th. This is the peak of the rut. During this time bucks rarely take time to work scrapes. They simply go from one receptive doe to another.

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Melissa Bachman

I was able to bring my mom along for her first mule deer ever. We did it all spot and stalk, and I was by her side the entire time. One great aspect was the fact that we had two tags and she was going to be by my side for my hunt as well. As we spent time glassing the hillsides, we were enjoying much warmer weather than usual and just taking it all in.

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Winchester Ammunition

On top of all this, weather across much of the whitetail’s range has been relatively mild to this point, another factor that does little to improve a hunter’s odds of spotting deer on the move. That is until that weather changes.

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Grant Woods

I feel certain he weighed well over 200 pounds based on this image and known body weights of other bucks I’d harvested at my place. Most of the does are bred between November 8th and 20th or so in this area.

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Winchester Ammunition

What better way to extract some justice from those furry, scurrying critters that filled your heart with false hope during deer season with every initial rustle in the leaves and fill your pot for a delicious cold-weather stew at the same time, than slipping into the woods for a little squirrel hunting action.

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Grant Woods

Some might say I am crazy for wanting a winter storm. However, if a hunter wishes to get out and tough the weather immediately before and directly following a large winter storm, there’s a good chance he will be gripping a big buck’s antlers.

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Melissa Bachman

On this recent trip to Nebraska I was lucky enough to team up with Scott Kuhn of Deer Meadows Outfitters who has become a close friend. Over the years I’ve done numerous mule deer hunts with Scott, brought my dad and brother out to do a coyote hunt with him, and this year I was bringing my mom on her first ever mule deer hunt.

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Winchester Ammunition

No they cannot “gun” hunt deer in the rut; they all four have their main firearms seasons post rut and primarily in December (depending on the way the calendar falls). All of these top whitetail destinations, except Kansas, also require modern firearms hunters to use slug shotguns. When much of the country has hung up their blaze orange for the year, these mega buck Meccas are just gearing up.

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Grant Woods

The combination of these circumstances means competition for receptive does during early December can be high in areas where most does are bred during mid November. This means bucks, does, and fawns will be using scrapes to communicate their social status to other local deer. However, the leaves have fallen throughout much of the whitetail’s range by early December and the ground portion of scrapes are often covered with leaves and appear inactive.

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Melissa Bachman

By knowledge I mean a completely understanding of a deer’s anatomy. Sure we can look up Google images of deer anatomy and most of us know where the basics are, but sometimes you want to know exactly what vitals you may or may not have hit so can plan your tracking accordingly.

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Winchester Ammunition

Such topics are sure to spawn a spirited debate among anyone who hunts America’s favorite game animal and to be sure, for anyone who has more than a few years of hunting time under their belt, you can bet they have made some choices as to what their favorite load and caliber are.

Here are six calibers that are sure to crop up in the discussion:

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Grant Woods

Bucks don’t defend territories or their home range like coyotes, bobcats and other predators! About the only territory bucks defend is a very small circumference around a receptive doe. Thus the area they will defend is very small and changes frequently as does only remain receptive for about 24 to 36 hours.

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Melissa Bachman

I wasn’t sure I would ever really feel that way. I love to hunt and doubt that will ever change, but recently I’ve come to fully understand how the joy on someone else’s face can truly outdo your own excitement when hunting. Take Kelly for example. She was granted any wish in the world she wanted from Wishes & More and she chose to come hunt with me in Illinois.

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Winchester Ammunition

To fool them into your setup, you’ll need to stay sharp in your decoy presentations, in your calling and in any trick that gives you an edge. Here are some favorite tricks waterfowlers have used to great success.

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Grant Woods

This is two to three weeks before most does are receptive. Check out this video. This buck is freshening a scrape. When many does are receptive most bucks, especially mature bucks, don’t spend time using scrapes, but rather focus on finding and tending receptive does.

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Melissa Bachman

Although hunting may be fun there are actually a ton of benefits to taking your kids hunting that you many never thought of. Being a kid who was exposed to hunting from an early age, I can assure you there is a lot to be learned in the woods.

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Winchester Ammunition

There is nothing like a dark antlered Rocky Mountain mule deer emerging from the timber on a snowy morning to get a hunter excited, but quite honestly over the past decade or so, some of the best mule deer hunting in North America has been found in more open or prairie type regions.

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Grant Woods

There are many variables including the buck’s health, quality of habitat each year, etc. Most hunters wish to hunt and harvest bucks with larger antlers. The best way to produce bucks with larger antlers is to allow immature bucks to mature. This requires being able to accurately estimate a buck’s age before pulling the trigger! So, let’s practice…

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