Plink, plink, plink plink, plink. The sound soothes good folks' ears even if muffled by foam plugs. It's the sound of everything we know to be good.
Plink, plink, plink, plink plink, plink. It's the sound of fun on a Sunday after church. Most of us will never compete in the Olympics, but then again plinking isn't an official sport yet. Show us a Winchester 61 or a Ruger Mk II and a good backstop and we'll go for gold until dark or the bottom of the 550-round carton of .22s shows cardboard. Nobody's keepin' score—unless you count friendly wagers on the trickiest shot—and you won't hear any sappy Bob Costas commentary save for the satisfying plink plink, plink plink of lead on aluminum can, lead on plastic and lead on whatever else needs pluggin'. "See that piece of clay pigeon way over there?" Plink. Not anymore!
Plink plink, thud thud, plink is the sound of mostly good shooting. And it's more than merely for giggles. It's fun with a purpose; it's the sound of a good hunter getting better; it's the glorious, ringing sound of success. In contrast, misses are hardly audible, forgotten the instant they thud into dirt. But they are helpful to the astute shooter for aim corrections—and for hearing more gratifying plinks!
Plink plink plink is the sound of freedom. Think the average North Korean can walk out onto his back yard or go to the local Izaak Walton League and send a hundred bullets into an old Coors can as fast as he can pull the trigger? Highly doubtful. Fact is, one reason why our soldiers routinely whip our enemies is because they grow up plinkin'.
Plink plink plink; pause; plink plink plink. Unlike the deer stand we love but occasionally becomes boring and cold, it's mostly all action out here on the sunny plinking field, where the only lulls come when resetting pummeled targets and reloading. Paper targets and a benchrest? Great for zeroing a rifle—and for sapping all the fun out of an otherwise peachy endeavor. Stand up, quit trying to be perfect and just plink. If you miss, you didn't miss by plinkin' much!
Plink plink, plink plink plink "That's how you do it, boy!" Plink plink. It's the sound of our girls and boys learning the fundamentals of shooting and the lessons necessary to become responsible adults and productive Americans. It's learning that even though it only goes plink, it can have permanent consequences.
Plink plink plink, click. It's the alarming sound of running out of ammo. If you don't have more, it's the sound of a gun about to be cleaned and put away until you can go plinkin' again. Remember your New Year's resolution? If it wasn't to plink more this year, it should have been, because plinking is good for your health. So plink away, NRA members, for July is prime plinkin' time, and best of all, everyday is the opener.
Find the Hotspots
by Mike Hanback
The start of the rut can vary by days or a week depending on region. Determine whether the "chase stage" is on by checking muddy fields or creek bottoms for big (buck) and small (doe) tracks that indicate running, then set up in an area like one described below.
Don't hunt over rubs.
Hunt funnels along buck travel routes between feeding and bedding areas laced with lots of rubs that indicate lots of deer traffic to up your odds of seeing bucks.
Transition zones are good bets.
Bucks prowl "break lines" between pines and hardwoods, rubbing and scraping as they move. Same goes for transitions between crops and woods: If you determine bucks are prowling the edge between those two zones, set a stand and sit tight.
The weather is your friend.
My research suggests bucks rut hardest when the temperature hovers between 25-30 degrees. Be sure to check scrapes one to two days after it rains or snows. If they've been pawed, hunt them.
Find fence lines.
Those that link crops with a point of woods 100-200 yards away can't be ignored. No good trees for a stand? Set up a blind on a downwind edge where the fence dumps into the woods. "Small" is the operative word—don't build a Taj Mahal.
Establish a "pressure plan."
Since everybody and his brother hunts the rut, a thick-cover draw a half-mile or more off a crop field might produce results, even in the absence of rut sign. Once guns boom, bucks will find the sanctuary and pile into it.
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Like the fossilized skeletons of its ancestors displayed in the Smithsonian, a 12-foot alligator can be scary even when it's dead—something that Shooting Illustrated's Adam Heggenstaller learned in person during a gator hunt in Florida. Read More »