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Sweet Home, Oregon
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June 13, 2012     The New Era Paper
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June 13, 2012
 

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- June 13, 2012 Page 15. Every hunter owes it to the sport, themselves and children in general to take a kid hunting. My dad did it for me and my wife's dad did it for her. I do it for my kids and will continue to do so if/until they tell me they don't want to go. Luck- ily, I never had to force any of my children to go, but I would have the first time. In most cases, you do not know if you will enjoy something or not as a child until you try it. I don't believe children should be forced to continue to hunt or play sports, instruments etc. if they have truly tried -and don't like them. Sure, we should get them into something but it might take some effort to find that "thing;" if it's enjoyable they will continue with it. Now, assuming you have in- troduced a youngster to big-game hunting and it's to their liking, what do you arm them with after a large amount of safety training? I, like most people with experience, have very definite opinions on this. Many factors go into the choice of which rifle to use. The first thing to consider is that new hunters may not have a lot of confidence in their ability to put down a large animal because of their lack of experience: Small game or bird hunting can help with that as welt as to test the waters on how the child reacts to taking the life of an animal. It should be explained to every child that animals have been giving their lives for our survival since the beginning of time, so that they don't live in some dream land where you go to the store and get the meat they "make there." If a child isn't comfortable With killing something, there is noth- ing wrong with that; if one of my children ends up feeling that way, I ha.ve absolutely no problem with it but they need to understand that someone else is doing their killing for them. Because of that lack of expe- rience and confidence, the mentor needs to choose a caliber capable of reliably downing an animal with a less-than-perfect shot. Of course, no rifle cartridge will make up for Jeff Hutchins truly terrible shot placement. Cali- bers like .223, .243 and 6 mm are more expert's rifles than beginner's Choices. Sure, they have low recoil but also little, to no, room for error. I would start at the .25 calibers like the classic .257 Roberts and if you have an old 250-3000 Savage lying around, it would be worthy of consideration. My distinct prefer- ence would be for something like a .260 Remington or 6.5 Creedmoor. These excellent choices recoil little and shoot flat; I prefer the .260 for its slightly higher velocities. Larger calibers like the .270 Winchester and 30-06 Springfield have come into play since Reming- ton and Federal both load reduced- recoil ammunintion for them. This lets you choose a "serious" caliber that the hunter will not "grow out of." Another advantage here Jis that Ram-Line makes their Cadet stock for most of the popular long- action caliber rifles which is very inexpensive and has a shortened length-of-pull. This lets you set aside the original factory stock for later, more mature, use while the young hunter invariably beats up the cheaper synthetic stock. There is a down side to this op- tion as these caliber rifles tend to be longer and heavier than their short- action bretheren. I think the best option for a thrifty parent who wants the rifle to be a life-long companion is to ac- quire one in .308 Winchester. These rifles tend to be the Goldilocks of rifles: not too light and not too heavy. The aformentioned ammo QUALITY - PRECISION - SERVICE All Work 100% Guaranteed Jeff Hutchins, Owner Read my articles in The New Era outdoors section. 29352 HWY 34, CORVALLIS Open: Tues & Fri 1 I-6 Sat 1 I-5 Closed Sun & Monday Closed Wed & Thursday for Gunsmithing New & Used Firearms - Quality Gunsmithing - Nat Bluing I manufacturers also make reduced- recoil loads for this choice that puts it into the 30-30 power level, which is the classic deer harvester. While on the subject of the 30- 30, don't use one. These rifles were designed to be light and handy. No thought was given to stock design or the effects of recoil. I insisted on a Winchester "cowboy gun" when I was 11 years old and purchased a brand new one with my own, hard- earned money. My Father advised me against it but I would not be talked out of it; after all, it was MY MONEY! The recoil was too mucli, it wasn't very accurate and I had al- most no confidence in my ability to hit and kill a deer with it. You would think you would miss your first rifle, especially that you paid for with wages of $1 per hour, but I wouldn't buy it back except to re- sell it. If you are stuck with a young John Wayne fan like me, get the kid a Marlin, put a good recoil pad on it and throw a low-powered scope on top. They may not look like tra- ditional cowboy rifles, but Marlin's lever rifles have always been better designs than Winchesters. Back to the .308: It is capable of killing anything in North Amer- ica with a good 165-grain bullet - which cannot be readily said of the smaller calibers. Additionally cheaper military ammo is available for practice and, as virtually any sniper will tell you, the .308 is an inherently accurate cartridge. There is also a short "commie" version of the .308 that deserves mention: the Russian 7.62x39mm. This little gem is basically the bal- istic twin of the 30-30 or reduced- load .308 and comes in really neat little bolt rifles. Once you own one of these, it will become a life long "keeper" as well. Inexpensive ammo, light re- coil and a handy packaging make them very tempting. Some specific rifle options shooter is more concerned with need to be adressed as well. If you recoil or muzzle blast. If it is the can at all afford it, don't make the latter and a brake is installed, you child use a full-size rifle that has a have just paid good money to make butt-stock that is way too long for the problem worse. him/her. Also, consider the option of If the new hunter is stretched building a dedicated youth rifle to out around the gun, the recoil will be passed down to cousins, broth- be accentuated. Also, as already ers, sisters, grandchildren etc. In touched on, a good recoil pad like some situations where the ages of an SVL/Limbsaver brand will be the children are spaced out just a great advantage at reducing the right, that option could be the best flinch-inducing pain of recoil.- and most rewarding. Imagine ev- Even though I install them all ery generation of hunters using the of the time, I would NOT recom- same rifle as Great-G~andma did to mend a muzzle brake. Many times there is no way to tell if a young See Jeff, page 16 grin DEE IiILE i FOR ALL YOUR SPORTIN GOOD NEEDS 610 MAIN STREET'1 541.367.5544 I HOURS: MON.- SAT. .9 - 6 I SUN. 10 - 4 IR'F, UPPER RE[EIVER- SgS.[10 WITH: DUST COVER & FORWARD ASSIST EEl IHHUHITIIOH- S]]IUII] PMC I 55 GR. FMJ J I000 RD. CASE .................. , ......... Ftv,. ,m roT-s 4.ga SIZE M-2XL ..... REG. 29.98 MOU TR ILS I "cu REN !' ~/ 12