Sightmark has partnered with Athlon Outdoors for Free Gun Friday! This month, you could win a Barrett MRAD 6.5 Creedmoor rifle, a SilencerCo Omega suppressor, 500 rounds of Black Hills ammo and a Sightmark 5-30x50mm Pinnacle long-range riflescope.
This is their biggest Free Gun Friday yet, with the package worth $9,600!
The Sightmark Pinnacle is designed for long-range precision shooting out to 1,000 yards and further. It features a first focal plane TMD-HW reticle for range estimation and holdovers for bullet drop, crosswind and moving targets.
We’ve partnered with a different manufacturer for every month of 2019.
For the first Friday of every month, we’ll announce the new giveaway gun. On that day, we’ll open up the sweepstakes for readers to enter and win the gun. We’ll also release our first video on the gun, where you can learn about what you’re entering to win.
On the second and third Fridays of each month, we’ll release two more videos showing the gun in action. Our experts have taken it to the range and run it through drills to make sure it’s ready to rock by the time it gets to you.
Which brings us to the last day of the month when the sweepstakes ends. The next week we will select a winner and send out an email notifying the lucky reader.
I have been predator hunting for quite a few years—most of it at night with a red light over a good day scope. I live in Michigan, where we were only allowed to use rimfire rifles or a shotgun when night hunting. It didn’t take long to realize rimfire rifles and shotguns were not an effective humane way to dispatch an animal as tough as the coyote. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of kills that happened quickly, but there were also far too many for me that ran off only to suffer.
The coyote population and issues they were causing became a hot topic in Michigan in 2015. The Michigan Natural Resource Commission (NRC) had asked Adam Bump, bear and furbearer specialist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resource (DNR) to do a study and present his recommendations for addressing the issue at the 2015 September NRC meeting in Lansing.
I had been following the NRC meetings and subscribed to their newsletter and noticed that this meeting was set to discuss Adam’s findings, so I went. Adam presented 4 possibilities to the NRC that morning—a year-round season on coyotes, as well as hiring sharpshooters at the cost of $200,000.00 to cover an area in the Upper Peninsula for 2 months. I don’t recall the other two.
Not really knowing how to go about introducing a centerfire at night proposal, I asked a few people I knew during the break. Adam Bump being one of them. He indicated he thought it was a good idea, but the major roadblock would be from DNR law enforcement. Apparently, it had been talked about before and the Chief and Assistant Chief were adamantly against it stating safety reasons.
I had previous connections with the Chief and Assistant Chief for them to clear up other muddled predator hunting laws, so they were familiar with me. During lunch, I approached them and started a conversation about the coyote issues, introducing my idea. It was not received well.
They both said it was not safe and they would never allow it in Michigan. I explained that many of our surrounding states allowed it and asked if they had any safety statistics to go by. They both responded, “no.” I asked them why they thought it would be unsafe when during the day we weren’t restricted by caliper.
The chief raised his arms as if holding a rifle and fired it into the air and said because some yahoo would do this and the bullet would come down, go through a roof and kill a baby in its crib. I was shocked at his obvious emotional reaction and his words about sportsmen.
I then asked why he thought that wouldn’t happen during the day. The discussion pretty much ended then, but I then knew what I had to do to. I told them they would see me later with a proposal.
I got home that evening knowing I needed to get safety stats from our surrounding states. If the stats showed no concern for safety for both personal injury and property damage, then there was a good chance of getting this through.
I contacted Indiana and Ohio with a request to find out how many personal injury and property damage incidents had happened from predator hunters using a centerfire during the nighttime hours. This proved to be time-consuming as it wasn’t readily known by the main DNR contact numbers for those states who would have that info. I have to say both states were very cooperative and eventually got me to the right people.
I ended up talking to a Major of the Indiana DNR and once I explained what stats I wanted and why I wanted them, he was very happy to help. We spent nearly an hour and a half on the phone gathering all the info I needed, and I was sent an email containing the results.
Next up was Ohio.
It took about eight weeks, but once connected with the person that would be able to get the info to me, things went smoothly. They were very helpful but had requirements and steps that needed to be followed before they could release the info to me. I had to submit a letter with the exact information I needed and why I needed it. Eight weeks later, I received an email with a searchable spreadsheet and an apology for it taking so long.
Now for the results:
Indiana went back to 2011 and had zero incidents of personal injury or property damage caused by a predator hunter using a centerfire at night. Ohio’s spreadsheet went back to 2003 and showed the same statistics.
This was great news! It was exactly what I needed to get the ball rolling. I knew full well there would be other concerns to address and that recruiting the right people to help was going to be very important as they would need to help address some of the rest of the concerns.
Knowing we would need to have a restricted caliber proposal to even get our proposal looked at, I recruited a friend of mine that was a retired marine and retired DNR officer. He was also a ballistics expert and he helped me form the proposal. He and another retired DNR officer came to testify at the May 2016 NRC meeting in support of the law change. This was a major step forward for the movement. Before this, we had the support of 3 out of the 7 NRC committee members. Afterward, we got the support of the two more we needed.
In 2015, night hunting was not that popular and finding other dedicated night hunters was not that easy. My teammates from “Dog Tired TV” and a few others were the only ones I really knew.
I created the Facebook page “Michigan Predator Hunters for Centerfire at Night” and began to have meetings with the other core supporters that would make up the team. We gathered petition signatures at outdoor expo events around Michigan totaling over 4,000.
From this point on, it was a matter of being present at the meetings to address further concerns and provide expert testimony from others in the sport. Many, many obstacles were thrown up by the opposing side but all of them were answered and in June of 2016, the Michigan United Conservation Club adopted the centerfire proposal (a 42,000 plus membership strong). On December 8th, 2016 the Michigan Natural Resource Commission voted to pass amendment #11.
There are many people who helped along the way, but most notably are the following:
Tony Demboski (President Upper Peninsula Sportsman Alliance
Merle Jones (Member of Michigan Predator Hunters for Centerfire at Night)
Kevin Rought (Member of Overdrive Outdoors)
Robert Shultz (Member of Michigan Predator Hunters for Centerfire at Night and Dog Tired TV)
Fred Gadsby (Member of Michigan Predator Hunters for Centerfire at Night and Dog Tired TV)
Paul Cianciolo (Member of Michigan Predator Hunters for Centerfire, owner of Predator Hunter Outdoors) Order #11 was written to exclude thermal and lights. Paul provided expert testimony on the day of the vote and was able to convince the NRC to amend the order to allow the use of these before the vote.
Dale Hendershot (President of Michigan Trappers and Callers Association)
NRA for the support
About Bob Abbott
Bob Abbott is the founder of the “Michigan Predator Hunters for Centerfire at Night” grassroots movement that got Michigan legal to use centerfire rifles at night. Bob is also a member of the Dog Tired TV group. Bob has many years of hunting experience. He particularly enjoys hunting the elusive predators at night. Bob starting out with red lights, then moved to Gen1 NV, then to digital NV and now enjoys thermal.
How have your Made Your Mark? Tell us in the comment section.
The Texas Wildlife Association (TWA) and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) have joined forces to offer youth hunts that are safe, educational and very affordable. We sponsor introductory, instructive youth hunts for deer, turkey, hogs, javelina, exotics, dove, small game, waterfowl, varmints and other species. Normally, we provide mentors, lodging and meals.
Sellmark, Inc. (Sightmark’s parent company) has always been dedicated to participating in a wide variety of charitable youth hunts by providing mentorship, sponsorship and products.
We not only design and make products for shooters and hunters but hunting is also in our blood. It is our lifestyle, too. It is just one way we can help pass down the tradition and heritage of ethical hunting to the next generation.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, from 2011-2016, our community lost 2.2 million hunters. In 2018, less than 5% of the American population hunted. This is a significant amount of loss in hunting licenses that provide money to fund conservation and advocacy…not to mention the economic impact due to loss of jobs.
The bulk of hunters have been Baby Boomers—people born between 1946 to 1964—and naturally, this group is aging out of being able to participate in hunting. By teaching the younger generation the healthy benefits both to wildlife and ourselves of hunting, we can help prevent the potential loss of $3.3 billion in funding toward conservation. All it takes is introducing just one new hunter a year.
Sightmark encourages you to #MakeYourMark and introduce a new hunter this season! Show us how you’ve Made Your Mark by following us on social media, posting a picture of you teaching a new shooter, helping out with a youth hunt or other charitable act or event, tag us and use the hashtag #MakeYourMark for a chance to win a Sightmark Wraith digital night vision scope. Winner will be determined by a random drawing on December 23, 2019, and announced on our social media channels on Christmas Eve 2019, December 24, 2019.
In 1996, the Texas Wildlife Association and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department developed the Texas Youth Hunting Program to encourage youth hunting. Since then, the program has taken over 55,000 Texas youth on guided hunts and other outdoor activities. Children are taught hunter and firearm safety, wildlife management, ethics and sportsmanship.
Partnering with landowners and skilled mentors and volunteers, the TYHP organizes deer, turkey, hog, dove, small game, exotics and waterfowl hunts for Texas youth, providing guns, ammunition, calls and other equipment, lodging and meals. Hunts generally last through the weekend providing ample bonding time between parent and child, mentor and youth and youth and nature.
You can learn more about how to get involved and the youth hunt schedule on the TYHP official website, click here.
Enter to win a Sightmark Wraith Digital Night Vision Riflescope:
Show us how you’ve Made Your Mark by following us on social media, posting a picture of you teaching a new shooter, helping out with a youth hunt or other charitable act or event, tag us and use the hashtag #MakeYourMark for a chance to win a Sightmark Wraith digital night vision scope. Winner will be determined by a random drawing on December 23, 2019, and announced on our social media channels on Christmas Eve 2019, December 24, 2019.
Remember when your high school or college counselor told you to find your passion and then find a way to make money doing it? Well, we may not be able to pay you cash money to hunt hogs all night but Sightmark does have an awesome opportunity that pays off those active in the firearm and hunting communities.
If you already own a Sightmark product, sing its praises and share pictures of it to your 1,000+ followers, then listen up! Here’s your chance to be a Sightmark brand ambassador!
We are now accepting applications for our 2020 Pro Staff. Applications are accepted from November 1 until December 15, 2019.
Important Note: Applications received after December 15, 2019, will not be considered.
This is your chance to grow your social media following and influence, meet super cool people and get discounted and even free product! We’ve reserved 25 spots for this select group of respected experts in the firearm, law enforcement and hunting communities. We will announce who made the cut on January 15, 2020!
Who Are We Looking For?
Our Pro Staff are experts in their field—be it predator hunting, competition, law enforcement, self-defense training or long-range precision shooting. Your followers look to you to provide quality content, honest reviews and good shooting tips. You are a content creator who will naturally help increase Sightmark brand awareness and help us increase traffic and drive our message. Above all, you are an excellent steward for the shooting sports community by always practicing safe firearms handling and ethical hunting practices.
Picture by 2019 Sightmark Pro Staff Matt DeVito
Picture by 2019 Sightmark Pro Staff Scott Massey
We are looking for brand ambassadors who already own Sightmark products and post awesome content. Picture by 2019 Pro Staff member Dan Smith.
Photo by Pro Staffer Christopher Strong
Not only does the Pro Staff program benefit us by spreading the word about Sightmark, but you also benefit. By being a Sightmark brand ambassador, you grow your followers, knowledge and increase your own authority within the shooting community.
We seek a diversified group of folks interested in all types of shooting sports—hunting of all types, competition, law enforcement, pistol, tactical training, sporting clays, long-range precision, professionals…you name it, we want you involved!
What Does Pro Staff Do?
We ask our Pro Staff to:
Share stories of success
All of the above is achieved through quality content like pictures, videos, blog posts and articles.
You will also represent Sightmark at industry events like sponsored hunts, trade shows and competitions.
What’s in it for You?
Annual credit towards Sightmark product purchases
1 free Sightmark product a year (up to $400)
Welcome package with a cap and exclusive Pro Staff shirt
T&E units throughout the year
VIP pricing and free shipping
Monthly awards to the top performer
Credit awarded to best performer quarterly
Product credit for each post, article or mention
From the Horse’s Mouth
If you don’t believe us when we tell you how cool our Pro Staff program is, take it from active members of past Pro Staff teams:
“My favorite part of the position is being the first to know about upcoming products and getting to test before others.” – Scott Massey
“I’ve gained a few friends through the process. Once you get onto the Pro Staff, a group is created and you see that that common thread that connects firearms enthusiasts no matter their occupation, generation, political views, race, religion, etc. Like-minded people can still come together to discuss share the love of shooting. I find that this gives me an opportunity to pass on information that I have learned in my career, and even if I only pass on one small piece of information, it is something that I learned that didn’t end with me. We all learn from those that came before us.” – Jamie Trahan
“…It’s a cool opportunity to interact with others in the 2A industry and because it’s one more way I can try to ensure that the next generation has their rights to bear arms. I have gotten a lot out of this program. Friends in the 2A community, invites on hunts, entry into the NRA yearly meetings, and of course, the discount program provides very beneficial to the wallet.” – Dan Smith
“I joined the Pro Staff because I was interested in working with a team/company dedicated to improving their brand by listening to customer feedback and bringing in-demand items to market. The program is very user-friendly, low pressure and fun to be a part of. My favorite part was the ability to T&E different products I was interested in, as well as my followers were interested in my honest opinions and feedback.” – Matt DeVito
“I joined the Sightmark Pro Staff because I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. I love Sightmark products and loved the people I had met. The team is amazing, and I wouldn’t have chosen to be with anyone else.” – Travis Hartsoe
“Some people look at Pro Staff opportunities as only discounts on products. For me, Pro Staff is an opportunity to promote a brand you know and trust. I got more from the relationships I built within the staff group than any discount can provide. My favorite part of staffing this year was being able to work beside many Sellmark employees at the Texas Trophy Hunter Extravaganza in Ft. Worth.” – Christopher Strong
Must meet at least one of the following qualifications:
Have a sizable social media following
Military or law enforcement personnel who is actively producing relevant industry content
Be an industry writer
Must own at least 1 Sightmark product
Creative portfolio with at least 3-5 of your best hunting/shooting/LE photos
Industry-relevant writing sample if you are interested in writing
Program Terms & Rules
The relationship begins January 15, 2020, and ends December 31, 2020.
Pro Staff members are expected to reapply each year between November 1 – December 15 unless otherwise stated by Sellmark Corporation.
Late applications will not be accepted.
Pro Staff must provide content on a regular basis with personal units. (Regular cadence of 5 engagements (post, share, etc.) per month.)
Sightmark Pro Staff will be limited to 25 Pro Staff spots.
So, if you are already killin’ it on your social media channels and love Sightmark, send in an application today and be a part of a positive and fun team! You never know, it could provide the gateway to sponsorship or a job in the industry.
By the time December 25th rolls around, we’ll be knee-deep in the most wonderful time of the year. No, not Christmas…I’m talking about deer season of course!
If you aren’t a hunter yourself, we completely understand how lost you may feel trying to pick out the perfect gift. Not only do you want to find a good gift for your hunter, but also something they need.
Now, we can’t make that trophy buck walk by the stand at just the perfect time but we can make it easier for the hunter to take the perfect shot so they can bring home the venison…so to speak. Trust us when we say this, your hunter won’t want much more than that.
The following gear will please any hunter, regardless of their preferred game.
The Citadel 5-30x56mm is made for longer-range big game hunts like moose, elk, bear and certain species of deer. Because the best deer hunting occurs in lower-light, we’ve added an illuminated range-finding reticle for a clearer, more precise aiming point for a sure shot. When hunting season is over, this scope transitions to a long-range precision shooting optic with up to 30x magnification! The Citadel is designed to work harmoniously with common hunting cartridges and mounts to both bolt-action and semiautomatic hunting rifles.
For bow-hunting fans, we’ve optimized the Core SX 3x32mm just for crossbow users. With large-sized game such as elk and moose in mind, the Core crossbow scope has an illuminated reticle with 11 brightness adjustments which makes this scope super adaptable to all different types of hunting situations. The VXR-L reticle incorporates arrow drop compensation—meaning hunters are precisely accurate with their shots. It is tuned for 320 fps crossbow speeds and made to withstand crossbow recoil. The Core scope features fully multi-coated optics, low-profile capped turrets and a fully weatherproof body.
For budget hunters who don’t require magnification and need an optic to serve more than one purpose, the Mini Shot Pro Spec reflex is perfect. This bright green dot sight is made for outdoor, broad daylight use for quick target acquisition in self-defense, as well as varmint, predator (coyote and hog) and turkey hunting. It will work on shotguns, rifles and pistols and allows users to maintain peripheral vision and depth perception. The Mini Shot comes with CR1632 batteries with up to 10,000 hours’ worth of battery life! It includes a hood to protect the lens and two mounts—one for AR-15s. The Mini Shot Pro Spec is also available in a traditional red dot model for $79.98 ON SALE!
See game clearly in total darkness with the Signal digital night vision monocular. Unlike traditional night vision, the Signal also works well during the day, too! Made for scanning, scouting and observing wildlife, the Signal has a detection rage of up to 380 yards at night, aided by the built-in 850nm LED IR illuminator. The Signal also records video with sound and will connect to any smartphone to share files, as well as stream live to social media and YouTube. How cool is that?! The digital zoom features up to 9x magnification. The bonus of the Signal is that the whole family will enjoy it. It’s easy to use and offers more features than just successfully scanning for game.
If your hunter or shooter owns an AR-15 and is not new to the game, they probably already own a red dot or reflex sight. If you’re not sure, sneak a peek of their rifle and see if they have something that looks like this mounted to it. (See image below.) These types of optics do not increase the magnification of a target and are made specifically for close-quarters and close-up shots. They can be used in certain types of hunting, like hog and turkey, but are mostly used for self-defense, competition and target shooting. The red dot sight can be used for longer range shots when paired with a magnifier. A magnifier mounts behind the reflex sight and adds magnification! This means the target is made bigger like a traditional riflescope! The XT-3 magnifier has 3x magnification. It is also compatible with EOTech and Aimpoint sights.
Spotting scopes are higher magnified optics used for viewing objects that are far away. Hunters, snipers and long-range precision shooters rely on spotting scopes to make the perfect shot. The Latitude has a 20-60x magnification and 80mm objective lens, providing users up to a whopping 43.5’ field of view at 1,000 yards, plus better details of your target. Ruggedly built, the Latitude spotting scope is waterproof, dustproof and fogproof, so you can be rest assured using it even in the roughest conditions.
Looking for the best magnification binoculars for deer hunting? As the most popular range for binoculars, 10×42 helps hunters glass fields and provides a wide field of view and enough light transmission to view game in low light. As a bonus, the Solitude LRF binoculars have an integrated laser range finder which relays how far away a target is, greatly helping the hunter to prepare for the perfect shot—accounting for angle measurements to calculate the true horizontal distance for uphill and downhill shooting. Dead-on accurate out to 1,200 yards, the Solitude has only two buttons to operate, a clear LCD display and adjustable eyecups to accommodate almost anyone, even those who wear glasses.
Every hunter needs a light in their pack—to safely walk to and from the deer stand, as well as trailing blood after the shot. The T6 has a super bright LED with 600 lumens. Constructed of aircraft-grade aluminum, Type II MIL-SPEC anodizing makes the T6 extremely durable. Along with its usefulness as a regular flashlight, the T6 also has a tactical glass-breaking bezel in case of vehicle emergencies and a weapon’s mount to mount it to your firearm. The T6 flashlight will not only make its way into the field but it will become a part of your hunter’s everyday carry gear!
All this hunting gear on our holiday savings list this year will help your hunter get what they really want this Christmas—meat in the freezer.
Looking for stocking stuffers? Check out these smaller, economical firearm accessories:
It started with a private email to Sightmark ProStaff notifying us of an upcoming and yet unannounced product simply called “Wraith.” Attached to the message was a newly designed red and black logo with ‘WRAITH’ splashed across the bottom and an ominous skull-faced figure bearing a scythe standing behind it. The description of the logo is what most people would associate with the Grim Reaper…..and for many hunters, the Wraith is exactly what they will become.
The Sightmark Wraith is a digital riflescope designed from the ground up for both day and nighttime use. This means that in nighttime mode there is black and white or traditional emerald green night vision, and for daytime use images are displayed in full color.
The primary focus of this product is predator and hog hunting. Sightmark has brought numerous products to market prior to the Wraith that were night vision and low-light based, such as the Photon series of scopes I’ve reviewed previously. As good a product as the Photon is every generation of optics released stands on the shoulders of the optics that came before. If a company is to succeed in the industry, they must continuously work to enhance features with each iteration of product AND listen to the wants and needs of its customers. The Wraith is the physical embodiment of Sightmark’s desire to bring the wants and needs of its customers to them at a price point that puts it within the reach of the average consumer in this market.
The Wraith digital night vision scope has a 1920×1080 HD sensor for high-resolution imaging and video recording in 1080p with 8x digital zoom, 10 tactical and hunting reticles with 9 color options and a battery life of up to 4.5 hours on 4 easy-to-find AA batteries. For extended-use situations, the Wraith also accepts Micro USB power input. There is also an included detachable 850nm IR illuminator that mounts on the side of the Wraith allowing for target detection in darkness up to 200 yards. The transition from daytime to nighttime mode comes with the push of a single button and if you have more than one weapon, it allows up to five weapon saves in the internal memory so moving from one to another is nothing more than swapping the Wraith from firearm to firearm, selecting the correct weapon profile and confirming zero.
Wraith Digital Night Vision Scope Unboxing
Unboxing the Wraith, as with any of the other Sightmark scopes that I have had the opportunity to review, is impressive. The products are shipped in boxes that are designed to get them into your hands just like you had picked it up at the end of the assembly line. Sightmark takes pride in their work and products, and you can see that from the moment you open your shipping box or pick up your scope from your local Sightmark dealer.
The battery holder pops right out of the side of the scope and after placing the four AA batteries in the holder and locking it back down in place, you can power up the Wraith and go through the menu to get it set up. Once you do that, mounting is easy via the Picatinny rail mount and then it is off to the range. Zeroing is easy, just like Sightmark’s previous digital night vision riflescopes. Aim the crosshairs at the bullseye, shoot, and then using the zeroing settings, adjust the digital crosshairs to the point of actual impact. Once that is set, shoot again to confirm your settings and then your scope is zeroed. That’s the beauty and simplicity of the One-Shot Zero.
The wonderful thing about the Wraith, in comparison to the previous Photon RT that it improves upon, is that Sightmark took notice of those minor details and improved them. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the Photon RT, and had I not been introduced to the Wraith, it would still be my recommended digital night vision scope. The Wraith is just honestly that good.
Now, as good as the Photon is, it’s not in the same category, at least to me, due to its lack of full-color daytime mode. So, to be fair, it is best to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges so you, the consumer, can decide if the juice is worth the squeeze—(it is.)
The scope closest to the Wraith is the ATN X-Sight 2 3-14×50 and is the one compared in the chart below.
ATN X-Sight 2 3-14×50
Field of View at 100 yards
Number of Reticles
Range of Detection
For me, especially after reviewing the chart above, the Sightmark Wraith is the easy choice. The $20.97 price difference is a non-issue for the extra advantages that the Wraith offers.
(MANSFIELD, TEXAS 2019/11/06) – Sightmark is proud to share that the National Tactical Officer’s Association (NTOA) has Tested and Recommended yet another Sightmark optic—the Pinnacle 3-18×44. The first focal plane Pinnacle 3-18×44 received an overall rating of 4.44 out of 5 from the NTOA’s reviewers. The organization now recommends the Pinnacle to its law enforcement partners based on the Pinnacle’s performance in their strenuous tests.
A mid-range optic ideal for engaging targets at various distances, the first focal plane Pinnacle 3-18×44 features premium Japanese glass and an illuminated, TMD reticle. One reviewer noted, “This is the first scope I’ve found with the green illuminated option and now I’ll run with nothing else.” With an MSRP of just $1,559.99, the Pinnacle is jam-packed with shooter-friendly features and is less than half the price of many of its competitors. NTOA testers agreed, observing “As a sniper, the first focal plane on the sight is a must and the Japanese glass Sightmark uses is extremely clear and crisp; everything I had hoped for.”
The NTOA and its members have tested more than 2,000 products in real-world situations through the NTOA’s Member Tested and Recommended Program since 2003. There is no guarantee of a particular rating upon submission and the NTOA will not approve products receiving a score of less than 3.0. The results of the program are shared with the law enforcement community in The Tactical Edge magazine, the NTOA’s online database and newsletters and the product manufacturers themselves.
(MANSFIELD, TEXAS 2019/10/31) – Up until now, the popular Wraith HD digital scope only had one mounting option and it was for the AR platform. Now, bolt-action shooters can get in on the 24/7 hunting action provided by the Wraith too, thanks to the new Wraith Long Mount, designed specifically for use on bolt-action rifles.
Weighing a mere 4.9 oz. and constructed from durable aluminum, this bolt-action Weaver mount features a cantilever design with multiple mounting positions to make the Wraith comfortable on a wide variety of traditional rifle designs. This mount expands the use of the already versatile Wraith, which includes five weapon profile saves for multiple firearms and calibers.
A true 24-hour scope, the digital Wraith HD optic has a daytime color mode, along with two night-vision mode options. In addition to recording capabilities and 4-32x digital magnification, the Wraith also features a detachable 850nm IR illuminator, 10 reticle options, an additional Weaver rail for accessories, high-definition 1920×1080 CMOS sensor, 1280×720 display and more!
A secluded cabin in the woods, no cell phone service, unfamiliar, rugged landscape, bad weather…it sounds like the synopsis of a typical horror movie, or at least the recipe for disaster…and it too often is. Hundreds of hunters get lost every year for these exact reasons. And though a machete-wielding undead psychopath should be the least of your worries, getting lost in the woods is a scary situation.
Some of the best hunting occurs right after sunrise and right before sunset, which means you might trail deep into the night and it will most likely be dark by the time you make it back to camp. Because it is easy to lose your way when there are no clear paths or obvious landmarks on land you don’t often walk, there is a chance you could get lost. It happens to even the most experienced hunters.
Most lost hunters are rescued within 24 hours, however, that does mean spending a night in the woods. With the right gear packed and the right mindset, you should do just fine a couple of nights lost in the woods. In the very beginning of the season, hunter Cory Krambule was separated from his hunting party and camp when a snowstorm made it nearly impossible to see. He spent the night in the blizzard and was rescued the next morning. About his experience, Cory says, “Don’t assume anything, take your gear, even if it’s a little bit heavier, even if you think you’re only going to be gone 15 minutes.” (Fox 13 Salt Lake City News)
Though hard statistics are difficult to find on just how many hunters a year find themselves lost, there are numbers revealing how many people get lost in our National Parks and it averages about 11 every day. So, don’t feel foolish if it happens to you. Just know what to do if it does…
How to Avoid Getting Lost While Hunting
Though mistakes and accidents are inevitable, you can better prepare and plan before heading afield to avoid getting lost in the first place.
Always follow the golden rules of wilderness survival:
Tell someone where you are going and when to expect you back.
Scout your hunting grounds beforehand during the day and take note of trails and landmarks and drop waypoints on your GPS unit.
Carry a topo map, compass, a GPS and a fully charged cell phone. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife suggests, “Before entering the woods—whether at an old logging road, a town or country road, or from camp itself—you should check your compass and bearings. This assures, for one thing, that you have not left the compass in another pair of pants or on the camp table. It also serves to establish the direction in which the road is running and, most important, determines the general direction or course which you must follow to return to the road from anywhere in the general area where you are to hunt.”
Use trail markers from camp to your stand and when blood tracking.
When you discover you’re lost, S.T.O.P.—stop, think, observe and plan. Search and Rescue says to stay in place once lost—the chances of finding you are greater if you sit tight.
Pack the right survival gear for a night spent out in less than ideal conditions.
Whichever season it is, it is highly likely to get cold, if not downright freezing, when the sun goes down. Have a wool beanie, gloves and moisture-wicking warm undergarments and waterproof rain gear in your pack.
This can be a mirror or whistle—just something to get the attention of searchers. Equally, you can fire off three shots spaced evenly apart.
Compass, GPS unit and charged cell phone.
It is also very important to learn how to read a topographic map and carry it with you.
Long-range walkie talkies if you are hunting with a group.
Check-in with each other periodically and alert others if you have fallen or have gotten lost.
Extra batteries for your electronics.
Take an extra set of batteries for your flashlight, walkie talkie, GPS and firearm optic.
Fire starters are lightweight and take up hardly any space. It is smart to double up or even triple up on these—a magnesium fire rod or equivalent, plus a windproof lighter, a Bic and waterproof matches.
Survival knife or multi-tool.
First aid kit.
Include bandages for sprains, QuikClot, insect repellent, antiseptic wipes and over-the-counter pain medication.
Mylar emergency blanket or winter-rated sleeping bag.
It is important to stay dry to prevent hypothermia. Find or build a shelter if possible. A simple rope and tarp work in this scenario.
Water and water filter straw.
High-energy protein bars or non-perishable snacks like beef jerky and trail mix.
Chemical hand and feet warmers.
Brightly colored trail marker or tape and your required hunter orange.
You can use your safety orange as a signaling device.
No one ventures out expecting to get lost and the survival stories of those that do usually made a rookie or foolish mistake, are overconfident in their abilities and/or ill-prepared. Canadian hunter, Brad Lambert survived 23 days lost in the woods. Let his ordeal be a lesson to you, he says, “I don’t plan to hunt alone again. I think about it differently now. I’ll hunt only in familiar woods, and I intend to buy a satellite phone. And I’ll always carry extra fuel and food from now on.”
Have you gotten lost while hunting? If so, tell us your stories and what you learned about the experience in the comment section.