There is nothing better than checking the Wyoming Game & Fish website when the draw results become available and discovering that you have been awarded one or more of the hunting licenses for which you applied. This year, I was fortunate to receive a late season cow elk tag. In order to prepare for this hunt, I have been gathering all of the tools I will need to be successful, including Federal Premium Barnes TSX ammunition.
Over the years, I have discovered that I am obsessed with hunting gear. I love trying out new equipment and finding that specific piece that works best for me and my needs. I have fallen in love with the 6.5 Creedmoor caliber rifle, and this year, I am utilizing it in the Ruger Precision Rifle platform. This firearm not only looks amazing, but also, it performs beautifully right out of the box. With my mobility, I am not the sneakiest hunter in the world, so I have become proficient at shooting at longer distances. The Ruger, especially in this caliber, shoots flat and accurate, and it is a perfect combination with my ammunition.
I have been impressed with the Federal Premium Barnes Triple Shock X, 6.5 Creedmoor, 130 grain cartridge. Tight, consistent groups and large diameter expansion make me confident of its effectiveness as a large game round. The all-copper hollow point design retains nearly 100 percent of its weight on impact to penetrate deep, and its grooved shank minimizes barrel fouling and improves accuracy. With the ballistics calculator from Federal, I can easily take this ammo out to farther distances, and with practice, I know I can repeat this in the field. I am looking forward to seeing how it performs when I head to the mountains in a few weeks.
To round off this trifecta of accuracy, I topped my Ruger with a Crimson Trace 6-24x56mm Sport Riflescope. With its clear glass and east to use turret, I am confident and accurate out to ethical distances. I appreciate the bright illumination and lifetime warranty, and I know that this CTC scope will go a long way toward making my hunt successful.
When preparing for a hunt, it’s easy to forget much needed equipment. I prefer to use a checklist to ensure that when I head out, I have everything that I need. While it may seem obvious to bring your rifle and ammunition, for me to hunt successfully requires a few more necessities, including my Vortex Fury HD rangefinding binoculars, Primos Trigger Sticks and Mossy Oak camo pattern for the terrain I will be traversing.
I am packing a new item this year, with the hopes of not actually having to utilize it. DTL Gear has created a First Aid Kit specifically designed for the outdoorsman. The area where we will be hunting next month is remote and hours from the nearest hospital, so I feel better knowing that we will be prepared with high quality items for minor and major emergencies.
Once I have all of my gear packed, I will do a final prep on my rifle. I like going into the field with a clean firearm, especially after all of my prep work at the range. Depending on your caliber, you can buy a kit specifically designed for your firearm. Make sure you follow all of the instructions carefully, both on the cleaning kit and from the manual that comes with your gun. Disassembling and cleaning your rifle is a great way to get to know your equipment, especially to prepare it for use and to prepare yourself for any malfunctions or issues that may arise while hunting.
Even with the right equipment and all the preparation in the world, you will only perform in the field as well as you have trained for at the range. Any time you are using a new firearm or new ammunition, you owe it to the animal you will be hunting to put in the time to make an ethical and accurate shot. I always go beyond just zeroing in my rifle; I always spend time shooting at varying distances and in differing conditions. Wind is a huge concern here in northwest Wyoming, so making sure that you can adjust accordingly is key to being successful in the field.
The other factor to keep in mind when training for a hunt is any and all possible shooting positions you might utilize. While a solid shooting bench is helpful when sighting in your rifle, once it is zeroed, I highly recommend becoming accustomed to being comfortable and accurate from a prone, kneeling and standing with support positions. Hunting in the mountains can be unpredictable, and you would hate to miss an opportunity because you failed to put in the training when you had the chance. I will usually be shooting from my shooting sticks in my Action Track Chair, or from the front seat of our pickup truck. Both positions have pros and cons, so I make sure that I am familiar and comfortable with either or to ensure maximum preparation for my hunting adventure.
One of the greatest things about hunting is its unpredictability. You never know what could be around the next bend or over the next rise. While preparation is important to a successful hunt, never forget to appreciate the beauty and wildness of nature. Sometimes the unexpected is exactly what you need to grow as an outdoorswoman. Having the proper equipment, with knowledge onboard, will make your confidentso you can truly enjoy being out there.
Ashlee Lundvall writes a blog titled "Redefining Life," that follows her rise from a debilitating injury as a teenager to Ms. Wheelchair USA in 2013. Her first book, "A Redefined Life," was released in February of 2016, and she was recently invited to join the National Pro Staff for Mossy Oak and the NRA’s Disabled Shooting Sports committee, and is on the President's Council for Sports, Fitness & Nutrition. Ashlee is also the recipient of the 2017 SCI Foundation Pathfinder Award. Ashlee truly shines as a keynote speaker at outdoor industry and disability related events and conferences. She is passionate about mentoring newly injured patients, and loves to pass on her love for adapted outdoor recreation! View all posts by Ashlee Lundvall