Elk Hunting for Beginners

elk-hunting for begginers

If you’re planning your first elk hunt, you need to take several steps well in advance to make sure you get to enjoy the exhilarating and successful hunt you’re hoping for. For many first timers, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and being prepared will no doubt help you to bring home the trophy elk you seek. Here are some elk hunting tips to get you started in the right direction.

Educate Yourself About Elks
No matter what stage you are in your preparations, the first thing you need to do is educate yourself about elks. Elks are brilliant, adaptable creatures, and this is what makes hunting them so challenging. Before hitting the woods to search for a trophy elk, you’ll need to learn more about the animal’s diet, habitat preferences, calls, breeding seasons, and characteristics.

In order to increase your chances of success, you should also plan in advance the right time of the day to hunt. This would be some time during the mid-afternoon (2pm to 4pm). Additionally, when elk hunting, you should be prepared to hike on after dark. This is because these big bulls don’t just disappear as soon as the sun sets.

Decide Whether You’re Hunting Solo or With An Outfitter
Many newbie elk hunters opt to shoot this animal for the first time with an outfitter, and this isn’t a bad idea. By using an outfitter, you’re increasing your chances of bagging an elk. Outfitters live and breathe hunting, which means they know where all the honey spots are. An outfitter can also make sure you’re following proper regulations in the area and state you’re hunting in.

Before spending cash on an outfitter, though, you must check their credentials thoroughly. Make sure the outfitter you have chosen is licensed and has a good reputation. If you want to hunt for elks without an outfitter, understand that you’ll need to figure out licensing, carcass transportation, butchering, as well as possible locations to track.

Have a Plan In Mind
You can’t just decide to make your way to Lee Metcalf Wilderness in Montana, for example, and start wandering aimlessly hoping an elk will stroll by and beg for you to shoot it. When you go to elk habitats, the first thing you need to do is map out the areas where you’ll be stalking your prey. This should be areas that are flat and located at the top of drainages like creeks and rivers. Besides, if you’re not well-prepared, you might get chased around by a grizzly bear of wolf. (There are plenty of grizzly bears and wolves at Lee Metcalf Wilderness!)

Choose An Appropriate Elk Hunting Rifle
Just like a good pair of shoes or your favorite jeans, selecting a hunting rifle is a very personal experience. The truth is, not all guns will feel comfortable for all hunters. So, when shopping for a firearm, make sure to consider the manufacturer, caliber, stock, and power scope optics. The most popular rifle for elk hunts includes a 7mm Remington Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum, and a 30-06 Springfield.

Be Prepared For The Rut
Try to schedule your first elk hunt from late September to mid-October since these are the months when calling is at its best. If needed, it’s important to make sure you apply for out-of-state elk lotteries well in advance.

With the tips mentioned above, you should be ready to plan your first hunt with confidence.

How To Choose The Best Spotlight For Coyote Hunting

best spotlight for coyote hunting

Although coyotes can be hunted during the day or night, most people prefer hunting these animals when darkness sets. It’s not just the thrill of nighttime hunting that draws folks out when half the world has gone to sleep. Sure, it can be exciting to be out on the range stalking a coyote when the night is young and predators have come out to play. But apart from the fear factor of the night, what’s really interesting, though, is the challenges that nighttime hunting presents.

For instance, you’ll need good night-vision gear to help you see at night since there’s lesser visibility when the sun isn’t shining. Furthermore, you’ll need to know the right coyote hunting calls, when to be still and remain silent (coyotes have fantastic hearing abilities and can pinpoint your exact location if you make the slightest inappropriate sound), and you definitely need a sturdy long range rifle that’s guaranteed to be on target the first time round. You don’t want to cause a huge ruckus by firing off your rifle, have your target run away, and then be left with nothing to hunt since every coyote and nocturnal creature would have gone into hiding by then.

To help you better your odds, here are some tips to help you get the best spotlight for coyote hunting.

Understanding Why a Spotlight Is Important for Coyote Hunting
If you’ve never gone coyote hunting at night, you may not realize how important a good spotlight is for tracking these nocturnal animals. Once the sun goes down, coyotes come out of their dens to hunt, eat, breed, and are less wary of what’s going on around them. When you sneak up on a coyote with a spotlight, their eyes will reflect light from the spotlight and give them away.

Choose Between a 12-Volt or Rechargeable Power Supply Spotlight – Or Use Both
When you’re shopping for a spotlight for coyote hunting, one of the choices you’ll need to make is whether to go for a 12-volt spotlight or rechargeable power supply spotlight. A 12-volt spotlight can be operated from a vehicle using a cigarette plug adapter. On the other hand, a rechargeable power supply spotlight will allow you to carry the spotlight with you, which means that you can use it to hunt on foot.

The type of spotlight you choose is completely up to you and based solely on preference. However, it’s important to note that a 12-volt spotlight makes a great option for large parties. In this situation, you’d be able to use the spotlight from an ATV while other members of the party can search for coyotes by foot.

Coyote Spotlight Must-Haves
Whether you’ve chosen a 12-volt or rechargeable power spotlight, your spotlight needs to come with a few specific features to make it suitable for nighttime hunting. Firstly, you’ll want a light that has a controlled spread to allow you to illuminate areas in detail. Next, you’ll want something that offers flood light options. Flood lights are ideal for scanning wooded areas and fields. But more importantly, with a flood light, a coyote’s eyes will reflect and allow you to quickly locate the pack you’re hunting. Lastly, you’ll want to choose a spotlight that has a dial that allows you to direct the beam. By directing the beam of the spotlight, you can better scout your surroundings. Making sure you correctly identify the animal whose eyes are reflecting in the dark is important – you don’t want to end up bringing home a dead python.

So, take your hunts to the next level when you choose the best spotlight for coyote hunting. By adding the right spotlight to your hunting gear, you’re guaranteed to bag a few coyotes during fur season and any other night of the year. However, before heading out to the woods to hunt these creatures, you need to make sure that coyote hunting is legal in your state.

Things to Look For In A Hunting Rifle Scope

what to look for in a hunting scope

No matter how good your shot is, you can get even better at it when you add the right scope. Whether you’re looking for a safari, mid-range, varmint or tactical scope for hunting, the process of choosing one is pretty straightforward. However, the type of scope that best meets your needs will depend on what you plan to hunt. To help you make the best decision for your situation, we’ll go over a few important things to look out for in a hunting rifle scope.

Windage and Elevation Adjustment Dials
The best hunting scopes are those equipped with a windage adjustment dial, which is also known as a turret. On hunting scopes, this turret should be covered with a cap and adjusting the windage dial will allow a shooter to move the bullet right or left. In the same vein, an elevation dial is similar to a windage adjustment dial except that it allows a shooter to move the bullet impact up or down.

Eye Relief
No one wants their scope to smack them in the eyebrow when taking a shot. Therefore, it’s important to choose a rifle scope that provides ample eye relief. Choosing the proper eye relief is also increasingly important with larger caliber rifles because they often have harder recoils. In general, you should choose a rifle scope with an eye relief of at least 3”.

Understanding Hunting Scope Reticles
In the old days, reticles were called cross hairs. However, they’ve evolved a great deal over the years and today, some of the most popular types of reticles used on scopes include the duplex, dot, illuminated, and bullet drop compensated.

The type of reticle you choose will depend greatly on personal preference. Each of the type mentioned above will do a great job, but certain hunters will prefer one over the other. No matter what type of reticle you go with eventually, you should choose one with parallax error adjustments.

Parallax Error Features Will Make Shots More Accurate
In addition to choosing a scope with a reticle, it’s important to choose a hunting rifle scope with parallax error adjustments. Parallax error occurs when you’re looking through the scope with a good rest and the reticle moves with simple eye movements. When this happens, you might miss your shot – even if you’re lined up directly on the target. Parallax error adjustments don’t allow this to happen and will therefore help you be a more accurate shooter.

Safari Rifle Scopes
If you’re looking for a rifle scope for safari hunting, you should choose a low-power, variable unit. This will allow you to zone in on big game without getting too close.

Varmint Shooting
As you would imagine, you shouldn’t use the same scope or gun while varmint shooting that you would on a safari. For varmint hunting, you’ll want to choose a scope somewhere around 6 1/2 to 20. For even better results, choose a scope with side focus. This type of scope allows for higher magnification that will allow you to hold steady on smaller targets with accuracy.

Big Game Rifle Scopes
The most popular rifle scope is a mid-range unit, which is perfect for big game hunting such as elk or deer. For these types of hunts, you should opt for a variable scope that delivers a power of at least 3 1/2-10.

The addition of any scope to your hunting rifle will increase your accuracy because you won’t have to worry about lining up front and rear sights before you take your shot. When you follow the tips above when choosing your next hunting rifle scope, you’ll become a better hunter because you’ll now be able to shoot faster, easier, and more accurately than you could before.

What to Note When Buying a Tactical Rifle Scope

tactical rifle scope

Tactical rifle scopes are designed for use by police, military, and serious civilian users. Therefore, when shopping for a tactical scope, you need gear that has professional-grade optics, a rugged design, advanced reticle options, precision engineering, and rock-solid reliability. It’s necessary to include all of these features in a tactical rifle scope because you want to have faith in your gear. For that to be possible, it must be durable and accurate at all times.

To help you choose the right scope for your rifle, we’ve gathered a list of what to note when buying a tactical rifle scope.

Important Questions to Ask Before Buying a Tactical Rifle Scope
When you begin shopping for a tactical rifle scope, you’ll have dozens of items to choose from. What makes choosing the right rifle scope even harder is the wide price range for different models. So, to make finding a scope that truly meets your needs easier, you should first answer the following question:

  • What distance will you be shooting from most commonly?
  • What is your maximum range?
  • When will you shoot most often? Dusk? Dawn? Low light?
  • What caliber is the rifle you intend to mount the scope on?
  • How much is the rifle you’re planning to use worth?
  • What’s your optic budget?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be able to narrow down your scope choices. After narrowing down your choices, you can then get into the nitty gritty details that will help you determine which scope will best meet your needs. And only at this point do you start considering features like magnification, parallax adjustment, objective lens size, and reticles.

Tactical Rifle Scope Magnification
When you’re choosing the magnification for your rifle scope, you need to consider when you’ll be shooting most often. Ambient light conditions can affect the magnification you choose unless you only plan to shoot on bright, sunny days. Ideally, if you ever plan to shoot in low light conditions, you need a scope that will deliver enhanced resolution.

Parallax Adjustment
The next feature to consider is parallax adjustment. Choosing a tactical scope with this feature is very important if you have any eye muscle control issues. Today, many scopes feature parallax adjustment via a side focus know. An adjustable objective is ideal because it’s robust and precise. If you can’t find a rifle scope with an AO, a European-style fast focus eyepiece would also be a great choice.

Objective Lens Choices
The objective lens you choose will have a great deal to do with comfort. When shopping for scopes you need to understand that the larger objective lens you choose, the heavier the scope will be. A large objective lens is also more prone to getting knocked around than a smaller one. Another drawback with larger objective lenses is mounting. These larger scopes often have to be mounted above the bore, which may be uncomfortable for some shooters.

Reticle Options for Tactical Rifle Scopes
Lastly, you need to determine what type of reticle you want from your tactical scope. To make choosing a reticle easy, you need to determine which would be the easiest for you to see. Again, you need to consider the time of day that you’ll be shooting. Some reticles are ideal for use in low light or shadowy conditions, and others are not. No matter what reticle choice you make, it should include an option for accurate, fast range-finding.

Most professional tactical shooters will opt for illuminated reticles since those are easy to use any time of day and are by far the most popular option on the market today.

While the tactical scope of your dreams may not be available in your price range, you can get one that meets your needs when you follow the advice above. It’s important to be realistic about your needs and choose a manufacturer with a respectable reputation. Once you get your scope on your rifle, you won’t regret it as long as you’ve chosen one that truly meets your needs.

Different Types of Military Rifle Scope Features


Men and women in the military can’t afford to take any chances when they’re about to take a shot. It goes without saying that the best way to get razor-sharp clarity and target acquisition is to choose an accurate, easy to use military rifle scope. However, not everyone shoots the same way and there are many different types of rifle scopes that serve different purposes. So, to ensure you get a scope that will aid you anywhere you go, you need to choose accessories that have most, if not all, of the features listed below. In the following post, we’ll be going over the different types of rifle scope features that make them ideal for military use.




Ready for Combat
When choosing a rifle scope for military missions, it’s crucial to choose an accessory that’s combat ready. In order to ensure your scope is up to par, you’ll first need to consult military specifications. If the scope doesn’t meet those specifications, you won’t be allowed to use it because it’s just not good enough and will prove to be your weakest link during battle.

Fixed Power or Variable Power Scopes
Although variable power rifle scopes are all the rage right now, there’s still a need for fixed power options. A variable power rifle scope comes with a ring that allows you to change magnifications as needed. A fixed power scope, on the other hand, has one set magnification, which limits its usability in the field. However, it still has its uses. For example, a fixed power scope usually offers better mechanical reliability and zero retention.

Aluminum or Magnesium Rifle Scope Construction
The best rifle scopes are normally constructed with aluminum or magnesium. Aluminum rifle scopes are popular because they won’t rust and can be used in a variety of different weather conditions or terrains. Rifle scopes created with magnesium are also extremely popular because they’re nearly indestructible. In fact, many aerospace objects are created with this material. That being said, rubberized armor is often added to a magnesium-constructed rifle scope to further protect it from accidental drops.

Military Rifle Scopes Must Be Waterproof, Fog-proof and Allows You to See in Low Lights
When soldiers are on a mission, they can’t worry about the weather or plan for the time of the day when they get activated for combat. Therefore, you’d be hard-pressed to find a military rifle scope that isn’t waterproof, fog-proof, and has no capability for shooting at night or in dim lights. A scope without these three features could let you down in the field, putting you and your brothers in danger.

Choose a Rifle Scope with LED Reticles
Red dot reticles are the most common type used in combat. Although any red dot reticle will be helpful in intense situations, it’s still important to make sure you choose a rifle scope created with LEDs. LEDs shine brighter, last longer, and are less likely to break as compared to any other lighting technology on the market. If you want something other than a red dot reticle, but still want the option to turn on red dots, you’ll need a scope with a variety of LED illumination settings.

Rifle Scope Elevation Settings
Soldiers need to be able to choose from a variety of different rifle elevation settings. Whether you’re setting up on top of a desert dune or on the ground in the jungle, you need to be able to adjust your scope to do so.

Reflex Optics Allows You to Shoot with Both Eyes Open
Another great feature that comes with military rifle scopes is reflex optics. The best marksman on the planet can shoot with both eyes open, ensuring that he or she will never miss a target when on duty. Another reason soldiers may shoot with both eyes open is if they have a muscle control problem. The best way to ensure you’ll be able to shoot with both eyes open is to choose a scope with reflex optics.

You’ll be prepared to probe, plan, and engage with stealth when you choose a military rifle scope with all of the features listed above.

Scope Basic Terminologies: Understanding the Ins and Outs of a Rifle Scope

Beginners entering into the world of shooting are often confused by terminologies thrown around by the experts. For example, abbreviations like “MOA” or “FOV” get talked about so often that sometimes figuring out the meanings behind these letters can get quite challenging – especially if it’s your first time scope shopping. But fret not because this post will bring you up to speed about the basic terminologies for scopes. It’s important to understand such terminologies because doing so will allow you to better understand product specifications and help you get what you need out of shooting supplies.





The first thing to take note of is the reticle of a rifle scope. The best rifle scopes on the market are created with a reticle system, which is basically a system of dots, lines, and crosshairs. These details appear superimposed on a target when you look through the scope. Although popular reticle colors include red, green and amber, red reticle systems are battle proven and usually regarded as the most accurate.

Magnification is the power rating of a scope and it’s indicated by a “X” in product specifications. For example, a magnification of 10X means that the object will appear ten times closer than it is. For individuals who plan to go on long-range shooting excursions, scope magnification will play an important role in determining which scope to purchase.

Ocular Lens
Some scopes are created with many different lenses, but the ocular lens of a scope will always be the lens that’s closest to your eye when you’re looking through the accessory.

When you see the word “objective” in relation to scopes, it’s all about the lens and specifically, the lens closest to the object you’re looking at. Objective lenses are measured in millimeters and diameters. The larger the objective lens, the more light that will enter the scope.

Minute of Angle (MOA)
Minute of Angle (MOA) is a circular unit of measure. Generally, a 1-inch MOA means that you’ll get to see for up to 100 yards. And in the same vein, a MOA of 2 inches means that you’ll be able to see for 200 yards, and so on.

Eye Relief
If you’re shopping around for a scope, it’s important to choose one that provides adequate eye relief. To increase your chances of hitting your target, you’ll need to choose an accessory that’s comfortable to use. Eye relief refers to the distance your eye must be from the ocular lens to still get a full view through the scope and it plays a huge role in ensuring your comfort while you’re out on a hunt.

Field of View (FOV)
Field of View (FOV) refers to the amount of area seen through the scope. By design, the higher the scope’s magnification, the lesser field of vision you’ll have. So, when shopping for a rifle scope, you’ll often have to decide whether you want a powerful field of vision or better magnification.

When you read product specifications that refer to optics, you’ll likely see three types of rifle scope optics: coated, full-coated, and multi. To put it simply, a coated single optics has a coating on at least one lens. Fully-coated optics has a special coating on all lenses in a scope. Finally, multi-coated optics has coatings on many of the lenses (but not all of them).

The term resolution refers to how sharp an image appears through the accessory. The higher the resolution, the sharper the image will be through the scope. Likewise, lower resolution scopes will make objects appear less sharp through the scope.

The click on a rifle scope refers to the adjustment notch on windage. It can also refer to the elevation turret of the scope. For most purposes, a 1/4 inch click will change the point of impact at 100 yards. Although 1/4 inch notches are the most common, some rifle scopes are created with 1/8, 1/2, or even 1-inch notches.


Tips and Techniques For Black Bear Hunting


When planning for a black bear hunting trip, it’s important to prepare adequately. You have to know where to find bruins, how to stalk them, best times of the year to hunt, and how to set up bait stations (among many other things). But the more you practise this sport, the more you’ll get good at it. Having prior hunting experience can be a plus but it’s not a necessity. You can still hunt down your big trophy bear by simply applying a few tried and testing hunting basics. With that in mind, here are some top tips and techniques for black bear hunting success.





Scout for Good Hunting Grounds Beforehand

The best way to increase your chances of bagging a black bear is scouting for good hunting grounds before going for the hunting trip. A good place to start would be local state wildlife agencies since they can help you with information on public hunting areas or counties that have healthy bear populations. Once you have details on where to hunt, the next step is to go on a little trip to search for good bear habitats.

Take your time to scout for bear activity in the area you intend to hunt. The American Black Bear is a forest dweller, so its habitat is mostly characterized with heavy thick vegetation. Bears also frequent areas where there’s an abundance of food such as leaves, acorn plants, hickory nuts, pokeberries, and persimmons. Furthermore, areas around bluffs in mountainous terrain or wooded stream bottoms are attractive habitats for bruins. Take note of these areas or places that have some of the earlier mentioned food sources as they’re likely to be bear hotspots.

Other signs to look for when trying to locate a promising hunting area include bear tracks, droppings, and overturned rocks along stony outcrops. Bears like to scratch tree trunks with their teeth and claws, which can be a sign of their presence.

Go into Stealth Mode When Hunting

When out in the field, remember that the best hunter is one who remains unseen before taking down his prey. This applies more so to black bears since these beasts have very keen senses.

Of all land walking mammals, the American black bear has the best sense of smell. With up to 12.6 trillion olfactory receptors (the microscopic bulbs on nerve endings of a mammal’s nose), a mature black bear can detect unnatural smells from great distances. Their sense of hearing is also quite advanced. Adult boars and sows tend to develop a crowned head and their ears move to the sides, giving them the ability to pinpoint sound sources in the wild.

Fortunately, there are a few tips that can help you stalk your prey without being seen, heard or sniffed out.

#1 Mask Your Scent

In order to mask your scent from bears, you can try some of the products that deer hunters use to eliminate human odors. It’s also a good idea to wash your hunting clothing with scent free detergent. In case you live in the city and have to use chlorinated water, add aquarium water conditioner to the water when washing your hunting outfit. This will eliminate the scent of chlorine water from the fabric. In addition, avoid smoking when going hunting since black bears can easily pick up the scent of tobacco. The best way to prevent bears from sniffing you out from miles away is moving against the wind’s direction.

#2 Move Quietly

Even the smallest noises like breaking twigs, rubbing clothes, or moving branches can startle a bear. To avoid scaring your prey, move quietly and avoid wearing rustling clothes or boots that make noise.

#3 Wear Camouflaged Clothing

Bears can see quite well at night since they have a reflective layer at the back of the eye known tarpetum lucidum. And while day light makes them near sighted, they’re very sensitive to color differentiation. Therefore, remember to wear clothing that blends in with the natural environment as mature bears are highly attuned to anything that seems out of place.

More Bear Hunting Baiting Techniques

Baiting is a common tactic that bear hunters use. The reason for this is that independent boars and sows can sometimes traverse large tracks of land or hide deep in the woods, which makes following them to their dens impractical or unsafe. However, if you’re going to use a bait station effectively, you need to do it right. A good bait station is one that:

  • Has no blind spot
  • Offers alternate standby spots in case wind direction shifts
  • Not too close to thick vegetation that provides cover for bears
  • Provides a suitable spot to haul bait

You can use a variety of foods to lure bears to your bait station. Fish and meat scraps make excellent bait for bears that want to stock up fat for hibernation. Bread, pasta, and other starchy foods that are rare in nature can also work. Using devices that send out predator calls can attract bears to the bait.

It’s important to point out that baiting doesn’t guarantee that you’ll eventually hunt down a bear. Sometimes weeks can pass before black bears encounter a bait station. Therefore, it’s best to scout for good hunting grounds 30 days in advance and keep baiting a chosen spot every three days to keep bears in the area.

Know When to Go for the Kill Shot

When you spot a bear from a tree stand or bait station, it’s important not to get too excited. Instead of rushing to take a shot, remain calm and take aim quietly. Always adjust your riflescope to get a clear shot that will allow you to hit a vital organ. This is because bears can move considerable distances when wounded, so you want to avoid taking a poor shot.

Educate Yourself About Hunting Laws

Last but certainly not least, it’s always crucial to be aware of applicable gaming laws in your state before heading out to hunt for black bears. For instance, it’s illegal to shoot a sow (female bear) that has cubs. There are also hunting areas where baiting is not allowed. A hunting license will be required as well before going black bear hunting. To avoid problems with the law, make sure to study your state hunting regulations.

Related Post:

Pepper Spray vs Bear Spray: What is the Difference

Setting Up Your First Long Range Scope

long range scope

Long range shooting requires a great deal of accuracy and with the help of a riflescope, it’s possible to hit targets dead on from a distance. But even then, you’ll still need to hone your shooting skills by practicing and learning how to calculate sight adjustments for long shots. Any experienced shooter will tell that taking shots from long range involves more than just mounting a scope. Setting up your first long range scope also requires you to zero it, test for vertical symmetry, verify click values, and account for bullet drop.

With all that in mind, the following post will explain this process to help you land your long shots accurately when in the field.

long range scope


How to Zero Your Scope
Zeroing a riflescope is the process of adjusting your sights to enable you hit dead center at your point of aim from a given distance. Before starting the zeroing process, you’ll first need to focus your reticle by turning the eyepiece on your scope anti-clockwise until it reaches the upper adjustment limit. From there, point your rifle to the sky and look through the scope. The reticle should appear fuzzy at this point of time since it’s completely out of focus. Next, rotate the eyepiece or turn it ¼ way clockwise continuously and stop when the reticle appears sharp and crisp. You’re now ready to start the zeroing process. Just remember that it’s always best to zero high power rifles at 100yards or 100m. The reason for this is that the shorter the range, the fewer external variables that will affect your point of impact (POI).

You can eliminate shooter error by choosing to use a rifle rest. Ideally, a calm day would be best to go long-range shooting as this will reduce external variables that affect bullet path. In addition, make sure to bring along enough ammunition plus earplugs for noise protection.

To begin zeroing your scope, place a target at a predetermined distance, say 100 yards, and then get into position. If you’re using a bolt-action rifle, just remove the bolt and aim at your target while looking through the barrel. A good sight picture will appear when the breach and muzzle circle become concentric, allowing you to see the target centered squarely in the muzzle hole. If you cannot remove the bolt on your rifle, use a bore sight instead or align your sights at a shorter range such as 25yards.

Once you’ve aligned your sights, keep the scope steady and then make adjustments with the turrets to position the crosshair in the middle of the target. To establish your zero from 100yards, follow this simple method:

  1. With the reticle centered on the target, fire your first shot. The bullet should hit somewhere in the target area.
  2. Adjust the scope’s turrets until the reticle covers the hole of your first shot.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to record your fist group of 3 shots. It’s paramount to keep the rifle steady throughout this process.
  4. Your shots should form a group very close to the aimed point. All you have to do at this point is adjust the scope’s turret to position the crosshairs on the center of the group and your scope will be zeroed.

After zeroing your scope, reset the turrets. Resetting simply involves loosening the turret screws to allow the turret caps to rotate so that you can position the zero mark on the scope’s tube.

Testing Vertical Scope Symmetry and Verifying Click Value
If you want to get the best results from your long-range rifle system, it’s important to test scope vertical symmetry and verify click values. These parameters are both important when it comes to compensating for bullet drop and hence they should both be on point.

To verify vertical scope symmetry, first get a paper target that’s at least 50inches tall. Draw a vertical line along its entire height then add two 1-inch dots along the vertical line. The first dot should be 5 inches from the bottom while the other one spaced out 42 inches from the first dot and near top of the vertical line. After the paper target is ready, set it 100yards away to start shooting.

While keeping the scope reticle parallel to the vertical line, shoot at the bottom dot to verify the scope’s zero. Next, dial up to 40MOA on the elevation turret and fire three rounds while still aiming at the dot on the bottom and keeping the vertical crosshair parallel to the vertical line on the target.

If your click values are true and the scope is mounted perpendicularly, your shots should be centered along the vertical line and the mark you put at 42inches. Otherwise, you’ll have to adjust scope symmetry by rotating it clockwise or anti-clockwise if the group falls to the right or left respectively.

After obtaining a perfect vertical alignment, your rifle is finally ready for long range shooting. All that’s left to do is verify click values. To do this, simply measure the actual distance from each dot to the center of the group and use it as a reference for your true click value. Once you have this measurement, you just need to divide that distance for the number of clicks you dialed.

To find out how many click values you need to dial in order to compensate for bullet drop at distances longer than 100yards, simply use a ballistics calculator. For instance, the JBM Ballistics Calculator can generate a ballistics table for your particular shooting conditions. However, to generate a ballistics table, you need to use the following details:

  • Bullet weight
  • Caliber size
  • Bullet make
  • Ballistic coefficient

These details can be easily found on the ammo pack, so you don’t have to do any guesswork. Once fed into the online ballistics calculator, the software will generate tabulated data that can be used to calculate sight adjustments need to shoot at distances different from the zero range.

What Are Night Vision Riflescopes?

night vision scopes

A night vision riflescope is a sighting device designed with the ability to see in dark or extremely low light environments. It combines two existing technologies into one unit: the night vision device and telescopic sight. This means that besides being used to see at night, this device can also zoom in on distant targets.

night vision scopes

Night vision in the U.S was developed by William Spicer, an engineering professor from Stanford University – although the Germans had also created their own night vision devices in the mid-1930s to use on tanks and to help foot solders see at night.

This technology first came to practical use during World War II. And while night devices greatly aided soldiers in nighttime combat, the hardware itself had one major setback. These generation-0 night vision devices were quite heavy. The worst part is that they required a large power supply to be carried on the soldier’s back. However, the technology has since made huge leaps over the decades. By the time the Vietnam War started, U.S troops were outfitted with lightweight starlight scopes.

Although night scopes were initially developed for military and law enforcement usage, their use has now expanded to other areas of life. For instance, scientists, bird watchers, and even film directors make use of Night Vision Devices (NVDs) in their lines of work. One of the widest uses of night scopes, however, is nighttime hunting. These gadgets are simply a must-have for wild game hunters who wish to continue their excursions after sunset or just before dawn.

If you wish to buy a night vision riflescope, it’s important to know the proper way to use it, why it works, and how to use one.

How to Use a Night Vision Riflescope

Utilizing a night vision scope is pretty much the same as using a regular rifle scope. You just have to mount the scope properly and point it at whatever direction to spot what you want to see. Much like any other riflescope, you’ll make windage and elevation adjustments to set the night scope’s reticle on your target.

You should expect a different view when using a night vision scope since the images sent back to the scope’s lens mostly appear greenish in color. But unlike old generation NVDs, a night vision riflescope doesn’t need an IR illuminator. Instead, it relies on ambient light and uses infrared lenses that make images in the dark glow by amplifying thermal energy from animals and humans. With this type of riflescope, you can see subjects in total darkness. It also gives you an advantage because some animals simply don’t see that well in the dark. This can be a good alternative for the reticle illumination feature found on some earlier types of riflescopes.

Tips for Choosing the Right Night Scope

There are many types of night vision riflescopes on the market, and prices and features vary greatly depending on the chosen model and brand. It’s important to know what you’re paying for before settling on any particular scope.

Usually, you can buy a night vision scope as a standalone unit or use the technology on an existing riflescope by simply changing the lenses. Scopes with interchangeable lenses provide much flexibility since you can easily switch between day and nighttime mode. When choosing a night vision riflescope, it’s important to remember that these gadgets come with different magnification ratings. High-powered night scopes are best suited for long range shooting since they can magnify to a farther distance. Other scopes may be equipped with laser pointers that illuminate a red or green dot on targets, which signifies the point of bullet placement.

Keep in mind that the best night-vision scope should be within your budget range and meet your specific hunting needs. If you’re not sure of what to buy, make sure to consult a riflescope specialist for an expert recommendation.

How to Mount Your Riflescope Properly

mounting a scope properly

A riflescope can greatly improve your aim when shooting at targets from long range. However, if you don’t know how to mount your riflescope properly, even the best sighting equipment won’t be of any help. The truth is that scope-mounting systems are the weakest link in any shooting system. So, in this post, I’ll be sharing with you a few tips on how to mount a scope properly. With these tips, you can rest assured that everything is properly tightened, the reticle is dead level, and the eye relief is correct during your next hunting spree.

mounting a scope properly

First, though, make sure to have the following if you choose to mount a riflescope on your own:

  1. A well-lit and spacious work area
  2. Vise and workbench
  3. Torque wrench
  4. Screwdriver
  5. Thread freezing compound (such as Loctite)
  6. Rust preventative oil
  7. Scope ring alignment tools (like wooden dowels with pointed ends)
  8. Bore sight

Before proceeding, it’s also important to match rings and bases. Most, if not all, modern rifles come with pre-drilled screw holes for attaching scopes. Depending on the brand, some scope bases will only fit specific rifles. Therefore, make sure to check whether the mounting attachments are compatible with your rifle. By checking the bases and rings visually and pre-fitting them, you can tell whether they’re of the right height and diameter for your rifle.

Step 1: Mount the Base

Once you have the proper rings and bases, the first step is to mount the base. Begin by clamping down the barrel in the vise, but make sure to pad the jaws to prevent the vise from scratching the metal.

Next, wipe dry and apply rust preventative oil on the attaching surfaces then place the scope’s bases on the rifle’s mounting positions. The front and rear base may be different on some mounting systems, so make sure to check that you’re not attaching them backward. Now, tighten the screws that hold the base secure to prevent it from wiggling loose.

Most scope manufacturers recommend a maximum torque for tightening base screws so be sure to follow these guidelines when mounting the base if you have a torque wrench. If you don’t have a torque driver, then you’ll have to go by the feel of resistance when tightening the screws. Ideally, the screws should be tight enough so that the base doesn’t move under recoil stress. For maximum stability, you can apply a thread freezing compound like Loctite on the screws.

Step 2: Install the Rings and Scope

After the base is secured, attach lower halves of the front and back rings before screwing them into place. Avoid using your scope to measure ring alignment. Instead, use a ring alignment tool for this purpose. Two wooden dowels or metal rods with pointed ends and of similar diameter to your scope would work just fine. You’ll know that the rings are in alignment when the pointed ends of each dowel or metal rod appear to be leveled when they’re almost touching.

Next, remove the dowels and place the scope in the bottom ring halves. Gently screw on the top ring halves, leaving enough room for the scope to rotate and move back and forth. If you notice any uneven contacts between the scope tube and rings, you can try to rotate one ring. If that still doesn’t result in a perfect alignment, then lap the rings. Lapping, or polishing the inside of scope rings, ensures maximum scope-to-ring contact besides removing any sharp edges that can scratch the tube of your sighting device.

Step 3: Adjust the Reticle and Eye Recoil

With the scope properly mounted between the bottom and top rings, the next step is to align your sights. To do that, unclamp your rifle from the vise and remove its bolt if possible. Bring the rifle to eye level and look through the scope while moving it back and forward until you have proper eye relief and can see the field of view completely.

To prevent bumping your eye on the eyepiece during recoil, move the scope an inch further forward. Now, turn the eyepiece until the reticle appears in the ocular field. Align the crosshairs by turning the windage and elevation turrets while viewing an object such a vertical and horizontal mark on the wall.

You can also insert a bore sight into your rifle’s muzzle to adjust the vertical and horizontal axis to your desired point of aim. Keep in mind that bore sighting only aligns your iron sights on paper at 100 yards. Therefore, you’ll need to fire test groups to sight your rifle properly for longer distances.

Step 4: Tighten Top Ring Screws

Finally, double-check the scope’s position and sights. If you’re satisfied with the reticle’s position as well as the scope’s alignment with the rifle barrel, then tighten the top ring screws. Once the scope has been mounted securely, just bore sight it again to fine-tune the crosshairs and you’re ready to fire. Remember to check the tightness of your ring screws occasionally to ensure a successful hunt.