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  • April 16, 2014

    Classic Deer Guns and Crapshoot Accuracy

    By Dave Hurteau

    Generally speaking, today’s rifles are much more accurate than yesterday’s, which leads people to think that the old guns can’t shoot. Many can’t, for sure. But some can.

    I have a Savage 99 in .300 Savage that shoots just over a minute of angle and a Remington Model 141 in .35 Rem. that shoots just under. I got lucky with those. On the other hand, I have a Winchester Model 70 Classic Compact in 7mm-08 that won’t put three shots inside a cantaloupe no matter what I feed it. Them’s the breaks.

  • April 15, 2014

    March(ish) Madness: Announcing the Deer Shotgun Champ

    By Dave Hurteau

    And so it's the 870 in a walk. I might fall down dead of shock.

    From the very beginning our online editor, who is still young enough that the spark of romanticism has not yet been fully stamped out, dreamed that the Ithaca might win this whole thing. That would have been surprising, and wonderful. But, like so many things, it couldn't be.

    Instead, you have voted for the 870 fair and square (and shoved our online editor a bit farther down the knife's edge of life).

  • April 8, 2014

    March Madness Championship: Remington 870 vs Ithaca Deerslayer

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Two classics collide in the championship of our Sweet 16 of whitetail shotguns. The Remington 870, America’s shotgun, meets the Ithaca Deerslayer. The 870, deservedly the number one seed in its division, has probably shot more deer than any other shotgun in the tournament. The Deerslayer, on the other hand, is one of the first dedicated slug guns, and still one of the best.

  • April 4, 2014

    March Madness: The Final Four of Whitetail Shotguns

    By Dave Hurteau

    Two Final Fours in one weekend. What more do you want? And ours is a contest of mostly classics, including the Remington 870, the Mossberg 500, and the Ithaca Model 37 Deerslayer. It was, in fact, nearly a contest of all classics, as the 8-seed Browning Auto 5 was outpacing it's superior A-Bolt sibling until the final minutes, when a late run put the latter on top at the buzzer.

  • March 31, 2014

    March Madness: The Elite Eight of Whitetail Shotguns

    By Dave Hurteau

    Kentucky is not the only 8-seed to move on. In a head-scratcher of an upset (on par with the .30-06 winning last year's Long-Range Whitetail Cartridge Championship) the tricky-to-scope and not-particularly-tack-driving yet classic Browning Auto 5 has thumped the 1-seed Savage 220/212 bolt with it's excellent trigger and stellar reputation for accuracy—and affordable accuracy at that. Go figure.

  • March 28, 2014

    March Madness: The Sweet Sixteen of Whitetail Shotguns

    By Dave Hurteau

    Kansas has been clipped, ’Cuse cut, Villanova vanquished, the Shockers shocked, and shucked. But in our Sweet Sixteen, all your favorites—the 870, the Deerslayer, the Tar-Hunt, and 220—are still in it, for now.

    While I have carried enough of the shotguns below to have an opinion here (go Ithaca Deerslayer!), when it comes to scatter- and slug guns, I gladly defer to Shotguns Editor Phil Bourjaily, who has chosen and seeded the contenders in two divisions. Here’s Phil:

  • January 31, 2014

    New Rangefinder: Bushnell The Truth with ClearShot

    By Dave Hurteau


    Four years ago, peering through a screen of branches, I thought I saw a clear lane for sending a shaft into a decent New York buck. What I forgot to consider was that my arrow wouldn't follow the straight-line path my eye drew to the target, but would instead arc above my line of sight and then back down. 

  • December 10, 2013

    Pick Your Favorite Buffalo Rifle—for Deer

    By Will Brantley

    I must've watched Matthew Quigley exact hell from afar on Aussie bad guys 50 times as a kid. Sure, some of his exploits with that big Sharps rifle in .45-110 were exaggerated, but how could you see that movie and not want a gun like Quigley's for your own?

  • November 26, 2013

    Range-Compensating Reticles Vs. Plain Old Crosshairs

    By Dave Hurteau

    The former, of course, are all the rage, have been for a while, and although I've hunted with a variety of scopes sporting a range-compensating reticle, I've been stingy with my praise.

  • August 19, 2013

    How to Hunt for Years on $2,000: The Rifle, The Bow, The Muzzleloader

    By Dave Hurteau

    You may have noticed that the September issue cover story, “Deer Hunting in the Real World,” included a large sidebar called “Hunt for Years on $2,000.” In it, I wrote that the 12 bargain gear items featured (all totalling less the 2K) “are either very good or shockingly good for the price and will keep you in the game for seasons to come. How do I know? I’ve tested almost every one.” As is increasingly the case in print media, there wasn’t space for me to elaborate, so I’ll do it here, starting with the most fundamental of hunting implements: The things you shoot.

    The Bow: Bear Archery Encounter