How To Hang a Lock On Stand Without Killing Yourself

Hanging a lock on tree stand can be downright sketchy.  Testing the effectiveness of my safety harness is not something I feel  like doing so here’s a little trick I use to hang my lock ons.


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Shooting the Benjamin Marauder

benjamin bipod


It’s been a while since I got my Marauder finished up and I’ve been jonesin’ to get it out and shoot it.  The weather hasn’t been good for anything other than building an arc lately so I had to wait for the right day.  I was lucky enough to get a day with no rain and more importantly, no significant wind, so I took full advantage of it.  I know what the Marauder can do up close, so it was time to stretch it out a little bit.   [Read more…]

Followup: Burris Speedbead and Fastfire III

speedbead3While I’ve railed against the use of shotgun optics for a long time, I’ve come to realize they do serve a valid purpose in certain situations.  For instance, when patterning different loads, you might find a particular shell patterns very well but the point of impact is not where the bead is being held.  If you’re just using the bead on the barrel, you’re forced to find another load that has a truer point of impact.  The other nice part of having a sight like the FastFire III is your cheek can creep off the stock and you will still hit what you’re holding on.  So ok, I’ll eat my words.  Shotgun optics do have a purpose. [Read more…]

First look: Burris Speedbead With Fastfire III

burris fastfire

After thinking about it for some time, my dad has decided to add an optic to his turkey gun.  I’ve seen just about everything stuck to the top of a shotgun receiver.  I even saw a guy with a Trijicon ACOG mounted on his turkey gun.  This Burris unit is a little more slick than most.

Let’s start with the mount.  A lot of shotguns are drilled and tapped for scope mounts.  I know most of the Benelli turkey guns are.  This allows the traditional mount point on top of the receiver via a standard scope base or picatinny rail.  The Browning Maxus comes with no mounting holes.  You’re also not able to drill and tap it because it is made of an aluminum alloy.  Enter the Speedbead from Burris.  It is sandwiched between the receiver and stock and doesn’t require any permanent modifications.  The mount also lets the sight ride a little lower than if it was mounted on the receiver so in theory, you could sight through it down the barrel if the batteries in the sight died.

At first look, the Burris Speedbead looks to be a solid alternative to a traditional optic mount.  Once we get the gun zeroed, I’ll further review the actual sight and cover any issues that might pop up with the mount.  So far, though, so good.


Gear Test: Mountain Khakis Original Mountain Pants

mountain khakis

Khaki pants are part of my work uniform and I’m not talking about a pressed pair of Dockers, either.  A good portion of my job includes working on a sporting clays range loading, moving, and servicing the trap machines.  Battery acid holes and grease stains are the norm.  If there’s one thing I’m qualified to tear apart, it’s a good pair of khaki pants.

These pants come in two fits, relaxed and broadway.  I have both and the broadway fits much better.  The relaxed are too baggy.  Maybe for a bigger person they would be ok, but they hang off of me.  They might not be bad in the winter with base layers but on their own, they’re like M.C. Hammer pants.  The broadway fit is where it’s at.

The material is heavy but not heavy enough to be restrictive or uncomfortable.  I have lots of Carhartt stuff but the canvas is just a little to heavy for everyday use, or wearing it without base layers.  The Mountain Khaki fabric is a little softer and a little thinner, but every bit as rugged.  It is a quality item.  The stitching is heavy and after three months of hard use, there are no real signs of wear other than some minor fading.

mk3  One of my favorite thing about the Mountain Khakis is the dual pocket on the right side.  The flat spot on the outer pocket holds a knife clip perfectly and keeps you from scratching the top of your hand every time you dig into your front pocket.  It’s pretty well thought out.

I’ve destroyed just about every pair of khaki pants I’ve worn to work over the past 4 years but so far the Mountain Khakis are holding strong.  They’re comfortable, fit well, and are durable.  While they started as my uniform pants, they’re slowly creeping into my everyday wardrobe.  5 out of 5 stars.  Mountain Khakis are legit.  $84.95



Custom Benjamin Marauder Project Complete



It took a little longer than I’d planned, but I got the Marauder buttoned up.  I ended up shooting the stock with a flat PPG auto paint.  It’s plenty durable and took me 15 minutes to do.  I used a friend’s paint booth at his body shop.  You could could also use a rattle can but your results might not be perfect.

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MAD MAX Turkey Blind

mad max blindI tend to pack pretty light in the turkey woods, especially back east where the hills can be straight up and down and extra weight is the enemy.  One thing I will carry, however, is the MAD MAX Turkey Blind from [Read more…]

Picking a Taxidermist That Doesn’t Suck

bad taxidermy

Imagine the disappointment of picking up your trophy of a lifetime and plunking down your hard earned cash only to take home a mount you aren’t completely satisfied with.  Maybe you’ve felt this before.  I know I have.  It is a terrible feeling and you’re really kind of put in a bad spot.  You can argue with the taxidermist for your money back or a re-mount but your relationship will probably be irreparably damaged and it is probably best to chalk it up to experience and move on.  A few small things to look for in a new taxidermist can save a lot of headache. [Read more…]

Recommended Reading: Tenth Legion by Tom Kelly

tenthlegionTurkey season is closing in fast and one good way to help pass the time between now and then is to read Tom Kelly’s classic, Tenth Legion.  It’s hands down the best book ever written on turkey hunting. [Read more…]

Little Call, Big Sound

wilper callWith turkey season fast approaching (32 days until Alabama opens) I got my turkey vest in order.  Over the years, I’ve pared down what I carry to reduce clutter and keep it simple.  One of my favorite calls I own not only takes up little space, it also is one of the sweetest sounding boxes I’ve ever heard.   [Read more…]