Because of the prevalence of the platform, it didn’t take long for AR-style rifles to become popular among hunters. Some “purists” will say these modern sporting rifles have no place in the hunting blind, but they’d be wise to look around before saying such things too loudly.
In the standard .223/5.56 chambering, the AR has proven to be a great gun for varmints and other small game. But what if you wanted to hunt something bigger like, oh I don’t know, say an elk or a bear? Is there an AR out there suitable for such a hunt? You bet there is!
A large number of new(ish) calibers have come on the scene to complement some of the existing cartridges that make the AR platform a perfect choice for your big game hunt of a lifetime. Let’s take a look at 10 of them.
Big Horn Armory AR500 in .500 Auto Max
The Big Horn Armory AR500 is chambered for the company’s proprietary cartridge, the .500 Auto Max, a rimless version of the 500 S&W. • MSRP: $1,999
Big Horn Armory made a name for themselves with their SpikeDriver lever gun chambered in .500 S&W Magnum, but they didn’t stop there. Instead, they looked to the semi-auto market and created the AR500.
BHA’s AR500 shoots .500 Auto Max rounds. Built on the same .500 Magnum cartridge, it’s basically just a rimless version of the powerful handgun cartridge that has been popular with hunters for more than a decade.
The gun has a completely-railed upper for you to outfit with the optic of your choice. Load up the five-round magazine and you’re ready to take on anything “from prairie dogs to pachyderms to Peterbilts.”
If it can stop a semi-truck, it can stop any big game animal you’ve got in mind. The MSRP is $1,999.
Growing in popularity, modern sporting rifles have evolved to become a real option for hunters — even for old-school hunters like the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Doug Painter. Explore the evolution of the American hunting rifle.
National Hunting and Fishing Day is this Saturday, September 23, and NSSF, as a major sponsor, encourages all sportsmen and sportswomen to participate.
Celebrating National Hunting and Fishing Day!
On the fourth Saturday of every September, NHF Day recognizes generations of sportsmen and women for their contributions to the conservation of our nation’s rich sporting heritage and natural resources. One of the main goals of National Hunting and Fishing Day is to recruit new hunters and anglers by encouraging participation and increasing public awareness of the connection between hunting, angling, and conservation. Through self-imposed fees and excise taxes, sportsmen and women have raised more than $57 billion--that’s more than $100,000 every 30 minutes being raised for conservation. Now on its 51st year, NHF Day is the largest, most effective grassroots movement ever undertaken to promote outdoor sports and conservation.
Launched by Congress in 1971 and heavily promoted by NSSF for decades, NHF Day is now administered by Wonders of Wildlife Museum and has consistently recognized hunters and anglers for their leadership in wildlife and conservation.
Find national, state, regional and local organizations hosting related events.
Hunting, Fishing, and Shooting Sports are not just great American pastimes – they are the very foundation that supports the model of wildlife conservation created more than a century ago in this country. By introducing new audiences to these activities, we ensure that wildlife and wild places will be protected for generations to come.
Hunting is a useful and beneficial wildlife management tool that ensures and maintains the health and abundance of game species and the balance of our natural resources. There are a number of species, from upland birds to big game animals to hunt. Learn more about these species from game bird and game animal organizations.
Take the Pledge
Take the pledge to take someone hunting, fishing, or shooting this year and be entered into the NHF Day Giveaway!
Share Your Images
Upload an image of you hunting, fishing or target shooting and tag @NHFday on social media using the hashtag #GuideToOutside or Upload an image to be featured here!
Summer offers unique advantages and opportunities for successful hog hunting.
As the temperatures rise and nature awakens in vibrant hues, hunters across the USA eagerly gear up for an exhilarating adventure: summer hog hunting. With the sun shining high and foliage in full bloom, the summer season offers unique advantages and opportunities for those seeking the thrill of the chase. From the increased activity of hogs to the improved visibility in dense vegetation, summer hog hunting presents a promising and exciting experience for hunters.
In this article, we will delve into the reasons why summer is an excellent time to embark on hog hunting expeditions, exploring the behavioral patterns of hogs, favorable hunting conditions, and the conservation impact of this pursuit. So grab your gear, prepare for the heat, and get ready to embrace the excitement of summer hog hunting.
5 Advantages of Summer hog hunting
1. Predictable Behavior
Firstly, during the summer months, hogs tend to exhibit specific behaviors that make them more predictable and accessible to hunters. They are actively searching for food and water sources, which increases their movement and visibility. Hogs rely heavily on water sources during the summer, making watering holes and areas near rivers or ponds prime locations for hunting. This predictable behavior allows hunters to set up ambush points strategically and increase their chances of encountering hogs.
2. Natural Camouflage
Moreover, the dense vegetation and abundant cover during summer provide excellent opportunities for hunters to approach hogs without being detected. The foliage in full bloom offers natural camouflage, making it easier for hunters to stalk their prey or set up blinds in areas with high hog activity. This advantage allows hunters to get closer to their targets and take accurate shots.
3. Longer Days
Additionally, the longer daylight hours in summer provide hunters with extended opportunities to be out in the field. With more time available, hunters can patiently wait for the perfect shot and thoroughly scout areas for hog signs. The longer days also allow for more hunting strategies, including night hunting, which can be particularly effective during the summer when hogs tend to be more active during cooler evenings.
4. Improved Visibility
Another advantage of hunting hogs in the summer is the increased visibility and tracking capabilities. With foliage at its peak, sightlines become clearer, enabling hunters to spot hogs from a distance. This improved visibility also makes hog tracks and signs more visible, aiding in tracking their movements. Dry ground conditions during summer facilitate tracking as well, as footprints and disturbances are more easily identifiable.
5. Critical for Conservation
Summer is a critical time for hog population control. Feral hog populations tend to experience rapid growth during this season due to favorable breeding conditions and increased food availability. By actively hunting hogs during the summer, hunters contribute to managing these populations and minimizing the damage they cause to agricultural lands and native ecosystems.
Collaborative efforts between hunters, landowners, and wildlife management agencies play a crucial role in ensuring effective hog population control and habitat preservation.
Summer Safety Considerations
It is essential for hunters to consider the safety aspects of summer hunting. Managing heat-related risks and staying hydrated is crucial, especially during hot summer days. Wearing appropriate clothing to combat the heat and protecting oneself from potential encounters with venomous snakes, which are more active during the summer, should be prioritized.
Summer is a time when snakes are more active, especially in areas with dense vegetation. By staying vigilant, wearing appropriate footwear, and being knowledgeable about local snake species and their habitats, hunters can minimize the risk of snake bites and ensure their safety during summer hog hunting expeditions.
Give Summer Hog Hunting a Try
Summer hog hunting in the USA offers an exciting and rewarding experience for hunters. Seize the opportunities that this season presents. Embrace the challenges, but always prioritize safety. Stay hydrated, protect yourself from the heat, and be mindful of the presence of venomous snakes. By doing so, you'll ensure a rewarding and secure hunting experience.
Remember, hunting is not just about the thrill of the chase, but also about our responsibility as stewards of the land. By participating in summer hog hunting, we actively contribute to population control and the preservation of our agricultural lands and ecosystems. Let us carry forward our hunting traditions with a deep respect for nature and a commitment to conservation.
So, gather your gear, share your knowledge with fellow hunters, and lead by example.
Ever wonder why some hunters grow such an immense passion for hunting? Hunting takes time, work, skill, luck and so much more, but the benefits can far outweigh what is invested.
As you get into hunting, the challenge can seem overwhelming. It is sure to challenge your learning abilities, but persistence and perseverance truly set accomplished hunters apart from the rest.
No matter how much you hunt, here are a few ways that hunting might positively impact mental health:
Connection with nature: Hunting often involves spending time outdoors in natural environments, which can promote feelings of calmness, relaxation, and connectedness with nature. Research has shown that spending time in nature can reduce stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression.
Physical activity: Hunting often involves physical activity, such as walking or hiking, which can promote physical health and also release endorphins that can improve mood and reduce stress.
Mindfulness: Hunting can require a great deal of patience and focus, which can promote mindfulness and help individuals stay present in the moment. Mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress and improve overall well-being.
Sense of accomplishment: Successfully hunting an animal can provide a sense of accomplishment and boost self-esteem. This can be especially beneficial for individuals who may struggle with feelings of low self-worth or lack of purpose.
Hunting can also provide an ongoing lesson for the roles in life and death, which can also benefit one's perception of reality -- something very much needed in a time when social media, artificial intelligence and augmented reality are taking over our younger generations. It is critical that we adapt to the world we physically live in and not expect the world around us to adapt to us for everything. That is not a healthy reality and oftentimes creates unhappiness.
It is important to note that today not everybody is for hunting, but hunting will always be for everybody. Elements of today's culture and modern conveniences numb our primitive instincts to hunt -- developed through our ancestors -- and the necessity to learn, invest and become self-sustainable through the outdoors. Hunting used to be about the need to survive, but more than ever it is now considered recreation because only those who want to do it participate -- it has become a choice among many choices. There are still millions of people who participate, strive to maintain the basic life skills hunting provides, and continue to share the heritage of the hunting lifestyle with others.
Those who participate reap the benefits the most, but hunting also supports conservation efforts that benefit all people and species. For that, we should all be thankful for hunting.
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