How to buy a new rifle for hunting deer

Buying a new rifle for hunting deer is a lot harder than it sounds. You can’t just walk into a sporting goods store and point to the first one you see. Hopefully the clerk will stop you if you do since chances are it won’t be the best one for you. While I’m certainly not an expert I have been deer hunting for years, and I’ve even been pretty successful at it so I’ve decided to share some of the things I’ve learned to make it a little easier for you.


One of the first things that I learned was weight really matters, and that it does affect accuracy. A long range rifle is more accurate, but they are heavy and awkward to carry due to the long barrel. If you don’t have to walk very far to the hunting spot this rifle might be the perfect choice for you, but if you are looking at a long hike then you’ll probably want to choose one with a short, lightweight barrel. If you’re worried that you might be sacrificing accuracy, just keep practicing target shooting and the aim will come to you. There are also scopes and sights that can be mounted on most short and long barrel rifles to help improve aim and accuracy.


Rifles can also be lever, bolt or pump action, along with semi automatic, and all are perfectly acceptable for deer hunting. I personally prefer to use a bolt action rifle since it is a little more accurate. It is also the best choice for a beginner. The other types of rifles can be just as accurate, though it will take some practice.


21You will also want to consider the caliber of the rifle, and it is important to remember that velocity and range go together. As the velocity increases so does the range, but when you’re deer hunting you are rarely firing at anything that is farther than 200 yards away. That is why I use 120 to 150 grain bullets. They are capable of traveling up to 2,500 feet per second and are remarkably accurate up to about 200 yards. Anything farther away than that is probably not worth wasting ammunition on.


Now we come to the rifle’s appearance, and this is often a matter of personal preference. I love the look and feel of a wood stock, but it doesn’t work well in humid climates. The wood can warp, which can throw off the rifle’s accuracy. If you want a stock that is lightweight and durable in any type of weather I suggest choosing one that is constructed from Kevlar. Trust me when I say that it can survive almost anything.


Hopefully my advice makes it a little easier for you to choose a new rifle for hunting deer, and I wish you lots of success on your next trip.

How to take a good fishing photo

What makes a fishing photo good? There are several reasons why your shots might come out looking less impressive than you’d have thought initially. For one, you have to own a decent camera. Unfortunately, most of the DSLRs and other options I’ve come across are anything but affordable, but they might pay off in the end, particularly as you may typically invest a lot of time in catching the dream fish you’ve always wanted.

Another detail you ought to consider is that the camera needs to be kept clean, which is a feat that’s close to impossible because fishing isn’t the neatest sport in the world. Even so, it may be a good idea to check on the lens from time to time just to see whether you’ve been splashing around and getting some of the mucus of the fish on its surface. Do yourself a favor and get a pack of tissues intended for cleaning your lens and be sure to do it rather often when you’re on the boat or on the shore.

The lighting has to be right in order for your subjects to come out looking as they should. Never take a picture when the sun is looking straight at you because there’s a high chance that the person holding the fish comes out looking totally dark. With the sun behind the subject, your pictures can look sharp, well-composed, and well-lighted.


Furthermore, it might be worth noting that most of the fishermen who like to experiment with taking fishing photos make the mistake of using the same angle all of the time. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but professional photographers actually publish bestselling books about photo composition and about how you can make your pictures look a lot more appealing. Every picture is different, and I do appreciate that, but you have to make up your mind about what you’re trying to focus on. Sometimes, a trout or a salmon may look more compelling when its head is in the left corner of the image, and the rest of its body completes the space toward the right corner of the picture.

If you have the right camera, there are no limits as to what you can try. Most of the digital cams that are available for sale nowadays are packed with a plethora of shooting modes and automatic filters which can take your shots to a whole new level. I’m not saying you should enroll in a course tackling Adobe Photoshop. I’m merely pointing out that you can make the most of your equipment even if you do not own an expensive camera.


Last but not least, you should try to take advantage of all the natural perks offered by the environment you will do your fishing in. For example, the intricate design of a rainbow trout will be extremely eye-catching when reflected on the water surface. Play with your focus, fish with a photogenic friend and be sure to have as much fun as possible.

For more tips, you can read this or this.

A few tips for outdoor photography

Outdoor photography comes with its own unique set of challenges and opportunities. It’s not just about taking your camera out, charging the batteries and going all around outside snapping pictures like crazy. On the contrary, it’s a lot more than that. To shoot professional-looking images, there are a few things that outdoor portrait shooters need to know about.


Use the right equipment


rad1In contrast to what most people think, or seem to think, you won’t need tons of costly equipment to shoot fantastic outdoor photos. The pieces of gear you need for starters are pretty basic. They include a (1) flashgun or speedlight flash, designed to attach to your camera’s hot shoe and to automatically fire when a photo is taken aside from being easy to operate; (2) standard zoom lens, which is most commonly used in photography as it can deliver everything from short telephoto focal lengths to wide-angle shots, with an overall image quality that isn’t as compromised as that with a superzoom lens; (3) reflector, which enhances photos by effectively bouncing natural light.


rad2You’ll also want to have handy these useful extras to help give your images a more professional look: telephoto zoom lens, which allows you to get close to your subject and make it the focus of your shot; fast prime lens, which has a larger maximum aperture for quicker shutter speeds and less noticeable vignetting and distortion; wireless flash trigger, which signals the flash to fire at the exact moment the shutter of the camera opens; flash diffuser, which alters the way the light of your flash illuminates the subject and its surrounding environment.


Choose the perfect location, composition and framing


Outdoor portrait photography is primarily about shooting images virtually anywhere, from your garden outside to a sunny tropical beach. That being said, you still need to know how to optimize your selected location. If the location complements the portrait, make sure to include the background. However, if it isn’t particularly pleasing to your own eye, opt for a limited depth of field or use tight framing so the subject remains the focus of the portrait. The most striking photos often comprise simple components so it is sensible to shoot against simple, clutterless backgrounds such as foliage, the wall or sky so the subject ultimately stands out. There are exceptions to this rule, specifically when the objective is to take environmental portraits where the surroundings merit the same focus as the subject itself.

When composing your photo, do your best to position either the subject’s eyes (for close-up and head-and-shoulders shots) or face (on full- or half-length portraits) by employing the rule of thirds. This ensures a more balanced composition compared to placing those elements in the frame’s center. When you have to shoot closer than full length, consider the framing meticulously. As much as possible, do not crop the portrait in a way where knees or elbows or any joints touch the frame’s edges.

Lifestyle: Tim Casne fly fishing on the Stillaguamish River, Central Cascades, Washington

Focus on your task


When you have made sure the camera is focused on your subject, you also have to make sure your mind is focused on the overall image as well. The subject you are taking a photo of should not be crowded with serious distractions including signs, single pieces of garbage, power lines, single long blades of grass or even trees. Do not have your subject looking into the glare of the sunlight, which can make a human subject squint, resulting in unflattering photos. If your subject has a great time during the shoot, you surely will too. If you enjoy what you are doing, it will be apparent in your work as well as the expression of your subject.


Sources that might help: photography guide and this.

Trying out my new bass fishing gear

If there’s one fish that every fisherman wants to hook, that is bass. In the last period, this species has gained celebrity status in the fishing world. That is due to its ability to put up a fight, which makes it extremely popular in recreational fishing. Therefore, fishing for bass is more of a fun sport, for both professionals and beginners.


The attractive aspect of bass fishing is that you don’t necessarily have to catch anything, as the most enjoyable part lies in the attempt. Participating in competitions alongside other anglers is a fun way to rad4spend your weekend, will allow you to enjoy a day outside and will provide you with good stories to tell your children and your grandchildren. At least, these are my strongest motives to take my friends out for a bass fishing trip now and then. These and the fact that I recently acquired a new bass fishing rod and reel combo to secure the best chance at reeling in a trophy size bass. Picking the perfect gear, particularly the one intended for fishing bass is always a tough job. The Rhino Fishing ZR33 Spincast Combo I chose after a long deliberation and debate over the top models available in the bass fishing sector. What I appreciated above all at this piece of equipment is that it seemed to have attained the optimal balance between sturdiness, flexibility and control.


The rod and reel package offered by Rhino is composed from a 6 ft rod, made with strong fiberglass and the  Zebco 33 spincast reel that offers you a 3:6:1 retrieval ratio and four specially designed ball bearings  that rad5will ensure a steady and smooth retrieval, but also an optimal speed so that you don’t startle the catch when you attempt to reel it in. The optimal length and the main material make the shaft extremely strong, with a touch of flexibility due to its medium power. As it is not very long, the shaft makes it easy for the fisherman to reel in even the most aggressive specimens of bass, offering perfect control over it. Adding to the already impressive qualities of this package is the grip, that was designed to enhance your control over the rod, but also to allow your hand to hold it firmly and effortless. All the features that make this package ideal for bass fishing can only be observed when you hold the rod. 

Surf fishing trips: the beginning of a beautiful friendship

It’s time I told you about one of the best surf casting trips I’ve had recently. My friends and I decided to try surf fishing, after running out of ideas as to where we can go to escape the monotony of the city. We’ve inquired into some good places for fishing not extremely far from where we live and we went there together with our heavy-duty tackle equipment. We do have some experience with fishing, but our entire training on this fishing technique was based on some articles we read on the internet and some gear we bought in a hurry.







Needless to say, when we got there it was already evening (which is, according to the internet, a good moment to fish in the ocean) and we’ve spent some time making sure we got the gear correctly assembled.  We were feeling like scoundrels, about to do something really bad and that could have negative consequences for all of us.  There we were, in an unknown place, on which we had no knowledge whatsoever, not to mention we had no idea about the fishing conditions there. We weren’t alone on the spot, at a certain distance from us, some other fishermen were occupying a portion of the beach that we immediately supposed was the good fishing spot, filled with fish, while we were surely (we supposed) casting our lures in a fish deserted water. This curved our enthusiasm a bit, but wasn’t able to take it all away and we were soon full of hope that we will catch some fish as well. The night was young, we were young, the fish weren’t there, but they were going to arrive sooner or later. We’ve started understanding that this may not happen when we heard loud cheering from the other group – someone caught something big. However, half hour later, I felt that my Okuma Tundra Surf Spinning setup was under siege by an equally (if not bigger) fish. We were all tense, waiting for the catch and I almost had it, but dropped it back into the water at the last moment. It was the greatest shot we had all night at landing a fish and the only one. One by one, we gave up and lied down on the sand. Only one of us was still standing patiently in the shallow after I handed over my rod to him, as it was the sole rod that seemed to be able to fish something out of the water, even if it was just some seaweed.







However, this was not all in vain, in the early morning, we witnessed the most incredible sunrise I have ever seen in my entire existence. The folks from the other group were gone and, in the distance, an old man was walking his dog. After such a wonder, we all agreed beach casting was not our thing, but that we’ll be back there with fresh forces one of these days just to see that sunrise again.

Welcome to my blog

I don’t know why I didn’t start this blog earlier. My name is James Radd, and I’m in love with photographing the wilderness and spending time in the great outdoors. In truth, there’s nothing I’d like more than buying a cottage in the woods and take photos of what I see for the rest of my life.


What stops me from doing it is that I’m also a sociable person and I have many friends with whom I like spending time as much as I like taking photos of animals and visiting remote places. So, divided between my two great passions, I do what I can to bring them together. My friends are also great lovers of nature and wild places, they also enjoy sports, mainly fishing and hunting that we practice together, with some success even, as some of my friends are quite skilled in both. Due to their skillfulness we never come back empty handed and we can all share their glory.


Occasionally, we go in veritable fishing and hunting adventures that last several days and even weeks. In these expeditions I have lived some of the happiest and exciting moments of my life. There were nights when we slept under the stars (literally, no tent), when we walked for hours and arrived at our destination exhausted but happy that we were all safe and well, when we chased a deer with no success and we laughed at our childish errors. I did manage to document some precious moments we shared with my camera, but I dare say the most exciting remain precisely those in which we were too involved for me to do my job and capture them. After all, sometimes it is more important to live in the moment than be afraid you won’t get the chance to trap it in a picture.


Anyhow, I believe many of these moments deserve to be shared with others, even though I don’t know them in person. A blog is the best way to store the greatest moments you’ve spent with your friends, but also to let others take part in them. So, from now on, I will make sure to post here everything I consider to be a major moment for us. Not only that, but I will also share wildlife images, videos and I will consecrate posts to them, explaining where the photo was taken and why it is worth sharing with my readers. Hope you will enjoy them as much as I do!

To find out more about photographing nature you should read this or this.

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