The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game: Volume 2: Small Game and Fowl

  • 384 pages
  • English
  • Paperback
The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game: Volume 2: Small Game and Fowl

ᙄ Free PDF Reading ዧ The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game: Volume 2: Small Game and Fowl ᚳ Kindle Ebook Author Steven Rinella 츹 Steven Rinella is the author of Meat Eater Adventures from the Life of an American Hunter, American Buffalo In Search of a Lost Icon, and The Scavengers Guide to Haute Cuisine His articles have appeared in many publications, including Field and Stream, Mens Journal, Outside, Mens Health, The New York Times, Bowhunter, and the anthologies Best American Travel Writing and Best Food Writing. Born and raised in Twin Lake, Michigan, he now lives in Seattle, Washington.Chapter 1 Gear To kick off the gear section, Ill refer to one of my own passages from Volume 1 of The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game Gear is like booze Once you get older, you realize that quality should be regarded highly than quantity That basic sentiment holds true for the small game huntersave your money and focus on getting yourself into a kit of quality gear rather than cutting corners by buying a bunch of subpar junk that brings you lots of frustration and not much game meat But Im happy to say that the hunter can equip himself or herself for a generalist approach to small game for a lot less money than it takes to get rigged up for a generalist approach to big game The firearms, ammunition, and archery gear for small game are generally cheaper than those intended for big game, and the demands on clothing, backpacks, and cutlery are less severe The walks tend to be shorter, the animals are smaller, and prime locations are usually a little bit closer to home In certain families, equipping a new small game hunter doesnt cost a dime When I was a kid, I hunted small game successfully for years without ever touching a new piece of gear I wore hand me down clothes and shot hand me down guns I longed for a brand spickety new left handed semi auto.22, yet I had to settle for an old right handed bolt action rifle that my dad had purchased from a nearby summer camp when they discontinued their marksmanship program At the time, I was embarrassed about that rifle But now that Im approaching middle age, with young kids of my own, those days of making do have become a matter of personal pride to me That old right handed.22, a Remington Model 581, remains one of my most treasured firearms As it turns out, its a real tack driver I intend for it to serve as my sons first squirrel rifle In other words, dont let cost get in the way of your desire to hunt small game Resident small game licenses are dirt cheap, you usually dont need any special tags with the notable exception of turkey , and you can get a box of fifty.22 rounds for about five bucks If you learn to be a deadeye with your.22, that equals ten daily bag limits of squirrels in my home state of Michigan Or, to put it another way, ten family sized preparations of hasenpfeffer, a sublime and vinegary dish intended for hares that works great with fox squirrels and gray squirrels as well When it comes to selecting hunting gear, its important to pay attention to the voices of people who have been doing things longer or successfully than you have I leaned on the expertise of dozens of talented and dedicated hunters while putting this guidebook together Their impressions of the gear that I discuss or choose not to discuss in this section have certainly colored my own opinions But understand that my recommendations are just that recommendations If something here doesnt make sense to you, or if your experiences with a certain product or idea contradict my own, then you should go with what makes you feel comfortable FIREARMS A versatile small game hunter should regard his firearms as the foundation of his hunting gear I wouldnt say the same for all types of huntingfor versatile big game hunters, apparel and optics are equally as important as firearms But for small game hunting, its absolutely true guns matter, and they matter a lot But dont go thinking that you need an arsenal of rifles and shotguns in order to be an effective small game hunter If you own a vault full of shotguns, thats great, as long as you spend enough time with one of them to learn how to use it But for you folks who dont have the money or inclination to accumulate a collection of firearms, dont fret By shopping carefullyeither used or newyou can purchase a single shotgun that will cover virtually 95 percent of the small game hunting opportunities that this continent has to offer If you want to bring your level of preparedness up to 100 percent, that can be easily achieved with the addition of a.22 caliber rimfire rifle THE SHOTGUN The coolest thing about shotguns is how inherently versatile they are In a given year, an enterprising hunter might use his or her shotgun to hunt everything from mourning doves weighing 5 ounces to wild turkeys topping out at 25 pounds If that same shotgun accepts multiple types of barrelsand many doit might also be used very effectively for whitetail deer To achieve this level of versatility with a rifle, youd need a caliber that was ideal for everything from squirrels to moose And trust me, it doesnt exist While it might seem that a versatile shotgun would be costlier than one with a narrower range of capabilities, the opposite is true Some of the lowest priced shotguns on the market carry some of the highest credentials But first, heres a primer on shotgun terminology and how it applies to you Gauge Shotguns are sized according to the bore diameter The smallest shotgun used for hunting purposes is the.410 rabbits and squirrels, typically , while the largest is the 10 gauge geese and swans The.410 is named after its caliber measurement the diameter of the bore is.410 inch, just as a.308 rifle cartridge is.308 inch Shotguns that use the term gauge, such as 10 gauge, 12 gauge, and 20 gauge, rely on an arcane system that correlates the bore diameter to how many lead spheres of that size it would take to make a pound of weight A 20 gauge shotgun has a bore diameter of.615 inch, and twenty lead balls of that size would weigh 1 pound A 12 gauge has a bore diameter of.729 inch twelve lead balls of that size weigh a pound This will piss off a lot of shotgun snobs, including some guys who really know what theyre talking about, but the only two gauges worth considering are 20 gauge and 12 gauge Ammunition for these gauges is widely available and highly versatile, and theres no practical reason to stray into the esoteric gauges In recent years theres been a lot of spirited debate about the relative attributes of 12 gauge and 20 gauge shotguns, spurred in particular by advances in ammunition A person could spend days reading up on these arguments in dedicated firearms magazines, and youre welcome to do so But here Im just going to cut through a lot of the BS and give you a fairly straightforward summation of the information and also a piece of advice A 12 gauge shotgun has bigger shells than a 20 gauge shotgun, so it throws pellets and it typically kicks harder If the bulk of your hunting is going to be for smaller sized game, such as rabbits, quail, pheasants, et cetera, then feel free to go with a 20 gauge But if youre also going to be hunting game thats a little larger, such as turkeys, ducks, and geese, go with a 12 gauge Action While there are bolt action shotguns, for practical purposes well limit our discussion here to autoloading, pump action, and break open shotguns Each type has its own selling points and liabilities Autoloading shotguns Sometimes called autoloaders or incorrectly automatic shotguns, these harness power from the shotshell in order to eject the spent round, reset the firing pin, and load a new round from the magazine Autoloaders used to have a reputation for malfunctioning and frequent jamming, but newer models are much reliable Autoloader Pros High rate of fire Every time the trigger is pulled, the gun fires and cycles without the assistance of the operator most modern semi auto shotguns will fire as quickly as the shooter is able to pull the trigger Low recoil Because of gas or inertia powered cycling systems that harness some of the recoil energy, the felt recoil of the semi auto shotgun is less than that of pump actions and break opens Ease of follow up shots Because the semi auto shotgun cycles without the aid of the shooter, follow up shots can be made efficiently due to the lack of operator movement during shooting Autoloader Cons Versatility Due to the various cycling systems in semi auto shotguns, adjustments must be made to most models when switching between various loads and shell lengths Safety Due to the tension of the recoil spring, a shooter can injure himself or herself when closing the bolt Also, unintentional shots can be made if the shooter is unfamiliar with the mechanics of the firearm Difficulty of maintenance and assembly With the various cycling systems available in semi auto shotguns, the operator must be familiar with all of the internal workings of the weapon when performing basic assembly and disassembly, making the weapons less user friendly than pump actions and break opens Pump action shotguns Sometimes known as slide action shotguns, these are operated by a manually sliding forearm that ejects the spent shell, cocks the firing pin, and loads a new shell from the magazine The number one selling shotgun of all time is the Remington 870, a pump action shotgun. 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