Fall is knocking at our door. My friends in Alaska are already feeling the first frosts and even a little snowfall in the mountains. As the night air cools the earth, it revitalizes everything or at least it seems like it does. I know my forty-plus year old body feels young and great when those morning temperatures dip down into the lower 50’s.
The game species notice this too. With deer, the rut is on! The drive for reproduction has both bucks and does moving about in their fall rituals. Bow hunters may get the first and longer season, but rifle season is in tow and will be here before you know it. Are you ready? If you are not, you’ve only got a few weeks to do so.
Not to draw too fine of a line under this, but hunt prep in some categories means your shopping dollars are in direct competition with dollars that are being spent by panic buyers looking to fill their closets with ammo and guns. But it’s not just pew-pews and pew pills that have been made scarce-- optics, cleaning supplies, mounts, and accessories are often in the “out of stock” folder at your favorite retailer. And this isn’t limited to gear that is idealized for Modern Sporting Rifles. Regular hunting style gear is in high demand, too.
So if you find yourself in need of a sling, scope, magazine, or scope rings, you had better get on the hunt for it now as you might not be able to find it as a local retailer in the days before the season starts. Don’t even think about trying to score gear the day before. It won’t be there.
Hunting Optics You Need to Buy Now
If you’ve got a new rifle that needs some glass, you should be looking at the Dog Soldier 4-16X50 Predator Scope. Yes, I am fully aware that this scope is targeted to the predator hunting market, but that is just not a sufficient reason to overlook it as a deer hunting scope. With a huge 50mm objective bell, super clear and distortion free multi-coated glass, and an illuminated (red or green) mil-dot style reticle there’s really nothing that this scope isn’t good for. Okay, it’s probably not all that great for a pistol caliber carbine, but for any rifle you’d tote into the woods for deer hunting it’s a real gem.
Zero in Without Wasting Ammo
Now, getting a new scope ready for the hunt is crucial before stepping in the deer woods. But you don’t want to just plop a scope on a rifle and start blasting away. Those beautiful days of 2019 when you could walk into nearly any sporting goods retailer and exchange cash for any flavor of ammo you wanted are long gone. If you can find ammo it won’t be cheap (though it may be cheap ammo), and there won’t be much of it. You’ve got to make each shot count. The Absolute Zero is a brilliant solution to getting your new glass zeroed in without wasting ammo.
The Absolute Zero works by allowing you to keep the rifle in the same position as you make adjustments to the windage and elevation. Unlike caliber specific bore laser devices, the Absolute Zero sighting in laser device will work on just about any optic or rifle platform. And the best news of all is that you can set an initial 25 yard zero with just one shot. I’ve actually gone directly from the one shot to final 100 yards zero without firing a confirmation shot at the 25 yards zero. Compare and contrast this to seeing shooters blast their way through a whole box or more trying to dial in a scope without the Absolute Zero. When ammo is hard to get, you’ve got to be smart with your money and your ammo.
That Trophy Buck is Not Out of Range Now!
Lastly, the Second Zero bears mentioning. For some of us who hunt in thick woods, seeing beyond 100 yards is wishful thinking. But not all of us hunt in closed-in brushy country. This is where the Second Zero wedge prism device comes in. A typical 100 or 200 yard zero is great for a long maximum point blank zero on a hunting rifle. You can easily stretch out to the 250 yard range with most rifles using the logic attached to this method which is aim center of your target area and the bullet will never be more than X” high or low out to a maximum range. But once outside of that distance you will need to make some correction for a successful hit. The old way of doing this is called “Kentucky windage”. Another way to say it is the shooter guesses where the bullet will land. Now this may be an educated guess, but for many hunters it’s still a guess nonetheless.
The Second Zero allows you to extend the maximum point blank zero by 50-100 yards with most hunting calibers. Instantly. Simply engage the device if that buck walks up outside of your known range. Don’t see the ol’ mossy back way out there? Just keep the Second Zero up (or down if using the rail mount version) and out of the way and engage when needed.
Bonus Gear! Safety for You and Fellow Hunters
While having three main points is the standard way to write an essay, It is hard to talk about Axeon hunting gear without mentioning the AM3 monocular. I’ll try to be brief here in extolling this bit of kit’s virtues. No. 1, safety in the hunting woods is paramount. We hunters tend to get a bit excited when we see motion or hear steps in the leaves. The first instinct is to pick up the rifle and use the scope to glass the area where we saw or heard the noise. This is a mistake of epic proportions. If the source of the noise is a hunter, you just pointed a loaded rifle at him or her. Too often, unfortunately, this isn’t a no harm, no foul event. Every year there is a story where a hunter is shot by someone who pointed their rifle at a sound. Horses, cows, and dogs also fall victim to this highly irresponsible behavior. The AM3 lets you discreetly glass the woods without endangering hunters, livestock, or pets.
And No. 2, the AM3 has a powerful LED light built in, which makes getting in or out of the woods or signaling for help an easy task. The beam is adjustable from a tight spot to a flood, and, of course, it can be used in conjunction with the 8X monocular to illuminate what you are spying on.
All that being said, don’t wait around to pick up your 2020 hunting gear. Either get on the internet and order or better yet, find your hunting supplies at your local mom and pop sporting goods supplier.
Mark Davis, avid outdoorsman, family man, and outdoors writer is the social medial specialist for Axeon Optics.