When it comes to guns, ammunition, and your level of shooting skill, there are a lot of factors to take into account. You want to start with a great setup using a top-notch gun, perfectly paired ammo and reliable optics. The next part is the amount of practice needed to become not only a proficient shooter, but to really know your equipment inside and out. Regardless of how far you can shoot, every single person should be aware of their maximum effective range. This is important to know and understand so you can make quick decisions in the field. I’ve seen too many instances where people will push their limits because they have a trophy caliber animal in their sights. This is not only reckless, but really just irresponsible. The best thing we hunters can do is to understand how big the vitals are of the animal we’re chasing and at what distance we can consistently hit that mark both in a practice situation and in the field.

With all this said there is one other small factor that I’ve seen literally make or break people’s hunts. It has to do with their scope rings and bases. We all understand the importance of ensuring we have great optics, gun, ammo, etc., but items as elementary as quality rings and bases often get overlooked. When traveling, your gun will get banged around. Whether it’s from the airlines, in vehicles, on ATV’s or just plain rugged country, your equipment will be tested. The last thing anyone wants is the one link they went cheap on to go bad in the field, and this happens more often than you can believe.

One thing you’ll see on all my guns is the use of Tally rings and bases. There are a couple reasons for this. First, you’ll notice how rugged and durable they are. I’m not exactly easy on gear. I need all my equipment to keep up because I am on the road over 300-days a year. You spend a ton on your gun and your scope – you need to invest in high-quality rings and bases.

I hate seeing people on their hunt of a lifetime when they realize after arriving in camp their gun is all over the board. Nine times out of 10 it isn’t the gun, the ammo, or the scope- often times it’s because the rings have come loose and this causes major inconsistencies while shooting. No one wants to be in this situation. So, do your homework before mounting your next scope and make a wise choice.

This is also a great time of the year to take a look at what you already have in your gun safe and see if anything could use an upgrade. Winchester ammunition has come out with such a huge variety of ammunition built specifically for the animal you’re chasing that this may be a great time to hit the range and put some Varmint X or Deer Season XP to the test. You’ll be amazed at the results. If you’re anything like me, any excuse to get out shooting is a good one!