What is the finest light gathering variable power rifle scope brand(s) for early and late opportunity shooting? Are the 30 MM scopes better than the 1?” Is there an actual scientific test/rating, other than exit pupil – objective lens size calculation, which quantifies light transmission intensity for the wide range of proprietary coatings and glass types, etc., that settles the issue?
My personal choice for rifle scopes are the Leupold Vari-X-III with the 30 MM tube and 50 mm aperture, in 4.5 x 14 while some scopes might be slightly brighter, none as reliable a zero as the Leupold. The scopes Leica had on the market a few years ago were made by Leupold. While Leica is about to be one of my sponsors, I have used their products for years and consider them to be the best all around optics.
Laser Range Finders. I have seen you use Bushnell and Leica. What about the new Swarovski? Any experience with it? What is the finest range finder for up to 1000+ yards?
While I have used them all, Leica currently makes the best range finder in their new geovid FRB binocular. To be able to combine my binos with my range finder is very important to me, and this product fills the bill.
Who makes the best optical spotting scope? Straight or angled eyepiece? Does the camera attachment option actually allow you to take good pictures (Digital and Video)? Do you use them?
I like Leica’s scopes best. I have used them all over the world and have had opportunity to compare them to all the other brands in side by side tests. I prefer the straight eye piece as it is easier for me to pick up game.
Your videos have amazing clarity. What kind of video cameras do you use (brand and model numbers)? Price range?
See next question/answer.
Will you be converting to high definition cameras if not already using them? What types? Price range?
I use Sony equipment. I have been using the PD-150 & PD-170. I have recently switched to the new HD models known as the FX-1 & Z4-1. I am very pleased with both. These cameras are relatively inexpensive, costing around $5,000.00 with everything.
I collect trophy whitetail shed antlers. I assume that you must have a killer collection. The subject (your collection) would make for a great television program as we as the viewing of your trophy room. Any plans to do this?
I do have a large whitetail collection. I began about 25 years ago and have heads from all over North America. I am in the process of beginning to market it for sale. It contains bucks ranging from the 230’s net N.T. to as high as a net 268 N.T. I also have some 190 class net typicals. While I agree they would make a great show, I would rather provide my audience with good hunts! Showing my trophy room would feel a bit like bragging to me, but thanks for asking.
I am curios to know how big (#acres) of your ranches/leases are where you do most of your hunting/filming (Briarwoods, Illinois, South Texas, Kansas, Etc.). Are they high fenced? What is the smallest practical area to consider for high fence?
I live on 1,800 very wooded acres in East Texas. It is the toughest hunting I do, but there are some great bucks here. Rattling has been my best tool for taking bucks at Briar Lakes Ranch. Once the acorns hit the ground, the deer become invisible. I don’t let anyone rattle unless they are with me. This has kept even the older bucks susceptible to this technique. Rancho Encantado is 5,250 acres and is also a great whitetail habitat. We keep our deer herds well below carrying capacity so there is plenty for them to eat. It is one of my secrets to producing such big deer, but also guarantees it to be a true hunt. Briarwood is 1,500 acres but I no longer own it. It is still a great bow hunting location. Kansas is about 30,000 acres but only about 7,000 is truly huntable. Once you get off the river, there is not much of a concentration of deer. My elk and mule deer hunting is done all over; much of it is also done on Rancho Lobo, as well. This Northern New Mexico ranch is 8,000 acres. I also own a share in an 18,000 acre ranch next door. Between the two, I have almost more hunting than I can get to! Our bulls are getting bigger, but right now a 340 is considered a whopper. I did take a gross 194 muley 2 years ago with my bow. All of my whitetail properties that I own are high fenced. I am convinced you can have a fair chase bow hunt on a heavily wooded, one square mile habitat. I would double that for rifle. It is imperative to keep the herd below carrying capacity by about 30% to preserve the integrity of the hunt.
Ear Protection: In your videos, I see you and your children using ear protection in duck and deer blinds. This is a great concept, but is it practical. What type of ear muffs do you use? Are you still able to converse (dove, and waterfowl hunting blind situations)? Do you also use custom molded in the ear plugs? Who makes the best? Approx. cost?
It’s a pain but I have always tried to wear hearing protection for waterfowl and deer hunting. I have just gotten a set of molded ear plugs with hearing aides that limit the noise levels. I really like them. E.A.R. is the manufacture. They range between $500 and $1,500. I do want to be able to hear my grandkids.
Last question! I have had great success (speed and accuracy) with the new Barnes Triple Shock bullets (ie. 150gr. 300 Win Mag 3500 fps with sub 1/2” groups). I have tried various brands of copper solvents: CR-10, Shotters Choice, Hoppes, Copper Melt, Sweets, ect. Nothing works extremely well. Copper Melt seems to work the quickest, any better suggestions or products out there? I like to shoot, but hate cleaning guns.
I hate cleaning guns too! I use Hoppes solvents but am not an expert on what is the very best. I seem to be able to maintain the rifles accuracy fairly well. I will try the copper melt!
I hope this information is helpful. It very well may only be worth what it cost you… nothing! But hopefully you will find some value in it.
Best of luck in your hunting, and thanks for watching our DVD’s and Hunting Show!