Dear Santa; just wanted you to know that even at my mature age I still have great faith in you. I’m not one of those liberal doubters, but an ardent fan. I also have a Christmas tree with bright lights and beautiful bulbs some of which I remember hanging on my Grandfathers tree all those years ago as a small child.

As always the dedicated table with milk, cookies and homemade fudge will be waiting for you beside the fireplace should the long journey from the North Pole build your appetite. But now, let’s get down to business as I know you’re far too busy for small talk and wish to know what I want for Christmas!

I’ve been a pretty good boy this year, haven’t been naughty and tried to be nice. I thought I saw an elf peeking through the window the other night, but my conscience is clear, his notes should be complimentary.

One thing about being an ardent outdoorsman, you always seem to be in need of any number of sporting supplies. Some old cronies whine about having everything necessary; not me! I’m always losing, using or needing something.

First on my wish list is a new pack of Rage broad heads or the rebuild kits. My original 3 broad heads have accounted for 2 nice 8-point bucks and a big gobbler. However, the stony ground that stopped my arrows did grievous damage to the blades which are now bent, dull, twisted and not fit to shoot again. I feel a great anxiety to get my arrows back in action and feel the broad heads to be a priority item. That is if you have trouble making your mind up what to place under the tree, if I dare be so bold Santa.

Another item which I find very interesting is a pair of Caldwell shooting ear phones. Hopefully the elves are proficient in electronics for these little beauties not only stop the loud muzzle blast of my rifles and pistols, but amplify normal sounds as well. People are either talking far too softly or my hearing isn’t what it used to be. Being you are a little along in years after several centuries of dedicated Christmas deliveries you may find a pair of these helpful yourself.

Sitting in a deer stand in wet, cold and often nasty weather can be chilling. Game Hide and other manufacturers make very nice lightly insulated, cargo pocketed, water proof and windproof pants. I surely wouldn’t shed any tears if a pair of those was to end up under the tree. Since you’re flying around at night in winter weather in snowy conditions you know how chilling the outdoors can be so I’m sure you understand my interest in a good pair of hunting pants.

Another item that grabbed my interest is the newest turkey choke for the old 12 bore. The current choke does well, but a new improved model promises to perform even better. Rumor has it Winchester is currently producing a new series of choke tubes designed exclusively for their already outstanding Long Beard turkey shells. Each choke is marked for use with size 6, 5 or 4 shot, so someone has spent considerable time patterning shells and fine tuning the chokes diameter to match the specific shot size fired through them. Most interesting and if you happen to have an extra choke marked for size 5 shot in your inventory my Christmas stocking would be a good place to drop it off.

Your sleigh is overloaded as it is; the new choke wouldn’t require much space at all and would keep the weight down. I’m sure the hard working reindeer would appreciate that, especially Rudolf!

As long as we’re on keeping things small I’m in desperate need of a sturdy belt. It seems regular belts stretch in the rain, fray and weaken holding up cell phones, GPS’s, holsters, belt knives and other odds and ends. A stout camouflaged belt would fit nicely in my stocking as well.

Another item I never seem to have enough of is rifle scopes. A nice model in 3×9 or 4×12 is always welcome, especially if they weigh around 13 ounces to keep my rifle weight down and have hold over crosshairs out to 500 yards. Vortex, Leupold or Nikon are good brands.

Insulated and waterproof gloves are always needed, I’m great at losing 1 of the pair. Same with warm socks, they are welcome anytime.

Well, I suppose I mustn’t appear too greedy and ask for anything more than I have. My wife is a very understanding person who I love dearly. Unlike other adults she never laughs at me writing to you. In fact, she even volunteers to edit my letters Santa to make sure the spelling and grammar are correct and has spent some time looking over my shoulder as I’ve written this. In fact, she just promised to put it in an envelope and mail it.

Well, Merry Christmas Santa and don’t forget the fudge is home made.





There is nothing I like more than tinkering with guns.Whether its glass bedding a rifle, smoothing a trigger pull, checking out some new optics, or trying different hand loads, shooting always offers something new and exciting to discover for the curious.

Over the last year I had heard some intriguing things about Barnes all copper bullets, the TSX or Triple Shock X-Bullet. Made out of a copper allow known as guiding metal these projectiles have lower chamber pressures, can be loaded to higher velocities, expand to twice their original diameter and penetrate far better than standard lead bullets. The only negative I could discover was their price; about .68 cents apiece!

Hoot man! I can absolutely guarantee these bullets were not invented in Scotland where the natives (and their migrated progeny, me!) have the proper, reverential respect for a penny! However, the more I read, spoke to guides and hunters, the more I wanted to try them.

Thank goodness for son-in-laws and daughters who can look with good humor upon someone as tight and parsimonious as their beloved father. When my birthday rolled around, funds became available to purchase a box of the improved Tipped Triple Shock X-Bullet which had an even higher ballistic coefficient due to their plastic tip.

Since the solid copper bullets retain much of their shape and weight, penetrating far better than lead, the people at Barnes told me I could easily drop a bullet weight or 2 from traditional lead bullets. Since I usually shoot 165 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips or 150 grain Nosler partitions, the 130 grain TSX looked like the bullet of promise.

A quick trip to the Wheeling, WV Cabala’s store immediately became necessary and I soon had a box of these 130 technological wonders clutched in my hot and curious hands. They were no sooner in the car than the box was open and the bullets under acute inspection. Yes, there was little doubt, they were sleek looking, deadly little beauties.

Once home again, I went on line and printed off the Barnes reloading data. The tables revealed these bullets could be pushed up to 3,298 fps with 60 grains of H414! Wow that is smoking fast for a 30-06 deer load! However, I didn’t have any H414 on hand so I substituted 64 grains of Win 760 powder instead, one grain under maximum. That load pushed the 130 grain TSX out the barrel at 3200 fps which is mighty impressive velocity for the venerable 30-06.


Having knocked off many a deer and a caribou or two with Nosler 150 grain partitions at 2,850 fps (51 grains of IMR 4064 out of a 24-inch barrel) one could only imagine the potential these bullets presented.

On the range the bullets shot just as accurately as advertised; 5/8ths of an inch at 100 yards! Despite the high velocity, the 130’s kicked noticeably less than the 150 grain bullets.

Let’s see, great accuracy, over 250 fps higher velocity, lower recoil and better penetration. So far, these bullets were living up to their reputation. However, the real test was to come during the upcoming deer season.

The first day I was able to draw a bead on a large buck, quartering away from me at 186 yards. I squeezed off the shot, the buck flinched, staggered off 25 yards and collapsed. The TSX entered at the last, left rib, angled forward and exited the right front shoulder. The exit hole was 2 inches in diameter.

Later a doe presented what I thought was a clear shot at 167 yards. At the crack of the rifle she flinched, but ran off in a manner that concerned me, showing none of the panicked sprint usually associated with a mortal hit. When I went to investigate, what appeared to be a clear shot was actually a mess of briars and thin saplings invisible through the scope. I had little doubt the bullet deflected and hit the deer somewhere other than my aim point. By the intervention of Providence or sheer dumb luck we accidently stumbled across the deer half a mile from the shot, dead. The bullet had indeed tumbled, hit the deer very low in the chest going sideways, tearing a huge hole in the bottom of the rib cage.

Wow, that was incredible bullet performance, a lead core bullet would have broken up to some degree and could never have inflicted that amount of damage.

My good buddy Steve Colley who experienced scope problems with his rifle blistered a nice 5-point at 200 yards with this load, striking the buck behind the shoulder. That deer made it barely 30 yards. Again, a big 2-3 inch exit wound and no jelly mess.

The next day Nick Colley made a terrific shot on a speeding 8-point going directly away in a briar-multi-floral rose tangle. The TSX shattered the hip joint and pelvis, traveled the entire length of the deer and then broke the dense, lower shoulder bone before exiting! There is no doubt in my mind this 130 grain bullet will shoot clean through an elk. I have never seen anything like it!


Despite the severity of Nick’s hit, little meat was lost, the all copper bullet limiting damage to a 4-inch cylindrical path.

Barnes TSX bullets certainly live up to their reputations. They are very accurate, allow you to drop your bullet weight for a substantial gain in velocity yet still penetrate as well or better than a heavier lead core bullet.

As you can see, I’m a believer in the TTSX line of bullets and would encourage you to try them, I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

Barnes TTSX bullets live up to their reputation for velocity, and accuracy.

Lady Muskie Slayer

Hi everyone, I just posted a new article here on my site called “Lady Muskie Slayer.”  Here is the first paragraph.  jane-buckhorn-sunny-muskie

It’s one of those days when you’re simply glad to be alive and fishing. The late June sun shone down on us beaming it seemed with benevolent happiness. Beautiful, fluffy clouds drifted across the sky and the temperature was perfect, in the middle 70’s, but with enough of a breeze to keep you cool and refreshed. There are times when you simply have to tear a big bite out of life and savor it. Today was one of those days; you couldn’t help smiling, life a joyful experience, the rest of the world with its cares and worries forgotten.

Click here to read the rest!

Hello!  My name’s Wade Robertson and my special talent, I believe, is the ability to touch hearts and souls through experiences with Nature: hunting, fishing or otherwise. We all, everyone, have deep within us an innate connection with the world we live in. Even if you’re born in the heart of the largest city you seek and hunger for this connection, it’s simply part of you. Whether you hunt, fish, photograph or simply watch the ducks in the park we are all lovers of this natural world and must remain united, not divided for the wonders we have in this country in order for them to flourish and continue.


Before the darkness breaks we sit in   the  cathedral hush of the predawn. In this space   we may wonder who and what we are, ponder life and death, look deeply within our souls for here no false distractions rob our attention from the infinite and our part in it. Gradually the sky lightens, the black hills take shape against the growing light and a glorious dawn breaks. We find ourselves invigorated, marvel and wonder at what we are witnessing, for nothing can rob us of the miraculous beauty before us, the birth of endless opportunity and budding life, a feeling of peace, a greater witness we truly belong, a gift always free for the taking.