Reducing Recoil with Muzzle Brakes

As we get closer to hunting season this week’s tip to get your shots on target in about muzzle brakes. When we plan to hunt with a rifle we need to do our best to make sure we have good shot groupings.

I’ve shared ways to attain a tighter shot grouping and a few ways to reduce shooting flinch. After that, I received a message from a friend telling me that adding a muzzle brake to the rifle is a way to reduce flinch. While the brake reduces recoil, it doesn’t necessarily reduce shooting flinch.

CLICK HERE to listen to this tip and more
in my segment at Armed Lutheran Radio.

I have a muzzle brake on the end of the barrel of my 6.5-300 Weatherby, my daught3er has one on her .270 WSM, and H has one on his .338-378 Weatherby. Are you noticing a pattern with these three guns? They are ones that shoot very hot rounds. That means the cartridge is loaded with a lot of gunpowder and when it’s ignited, it produces a mass of gasses that go “bang” and push the bullet out of the barrel.  Many of the rifles that shoot “hot” loads will have muzzle brakes on the end because without one the recoil would be tremendous.

Muzzle brakes are ported devices that attach to the end of the barrel and are designed to reduce recoil. They are not suppressors. The brake has ports that angle so as to push the gasses, which push the bullet out of the barrel, back. The shooter and bystanders will feel the effects/wind from the shot.

( + ) Reduced Recoil

The redirecting of the gasses causes the felt effect of recoil to be spread out instead of pushing the rifle directly back into the shoulder. Most muzzle brakes reduce recoil by about 50%.

This is something that indeed may reduce shooting flinch for someone, but let’s talk about some of the other plusses and minuses before we come to a verdict.

MAC WordPress Feature (6)

( – ) Noise

You and any bystanders need to wear your eyes and ears when you’re shooting a rifle with a muzzle brake on the end of the barrel. Instead of being blown downrange the sound is being blown back to you. Along with this, dust and debris may be propelled in your direction Be safe and wear your proper protective equipment.

( +/- ) Accurate

The muzzle brake won’t decrease the velocity or accuracy of the projectile. However, you’ll need a gunsmith to install it and then you’ll need to sight it in. If you remove it you’ll need to sight in your rifle again.

( – ) Adds Barrel Length

The brake adds to the length of the barrel. I personally have no issue with the added length, however, some people do. If overall length is an issue, you may order your rifle with a shorter barrel prior to adding the brake.

( – ) Debris

A ported device that adds length to the barrel makes me think about knocking tree branches as I’m hiking, which leads me to the issue of debris. With a muzzle brake, you need to be aware that the ports will increase your chances of collecting debris in the barrel. The ports can snag pine needles and other items as your hiking. The good news is it’s easy to remedy this issue. Either rubberband a plastic bag over the brake, or cut the fingertip off of a latex glove and roll it over the brake at the barrel’s end. These are easy to remove and in a pinch, you can even shoot through them.

A muzzle brake is something you can look at to reduce recoil. It makes those larger calibers and hotter loads more “shootable.” However, due to that increased noise and the blow-back of air, it can actually increase shooting flinch. Overcome that with practice at the range.

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Outdoors and Hunting – Sportswomen You Ought to Know Series

In a recent interview with Gabriella Hoffman, for her ‘Sportswomen You Ought to Know Series’, she asks about my road to the outdoors and hunting, my favorite hunting trip to date, the Field & Stream cover, and more.

I pass on the hunting tradition, locavore idea, and outdoor experience for a variety of reasons. One big reason is to share a connection with nature. Additionally, there is a lot of public land out there, which is incredible if you take the time to explore. Many of us take the areas and the pursuits for granted. Did you know that public lands are being sold off? have you been out there to explore? Where do you think the future of hunting is headed? Will you, or do you speak up? Let me know in the comments then read below to learn how you can get involved.

Here is information about our local Colorado Parks and Wildlife public meeting. I hope to see you there.

Meeting scheduled for southwest communities to discuss future of hunting, fishing, outdoor recreation in Colorado 

DURANGO, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is facing long-term budget issues that will affect how the state’s parks and wildlife are managed in the future. To present the issues, CPW will hold a public meeting to discuss the “Future of Hunting, Fishing and Outdoor Recreation in Colorado” for Southwest Region residents, 6 p.m., Sept. 25.

The meeting will be held by teleconference to allow residents of the far-flung Southwest Region to participate. At the meeting, CPW officials will explain the agency’s current challenges, present some ideas for fixing the budget problems, and provide an opportunity for the public to participate in developing solutions.

Residents can attend the meeting at any of the Southwest Region’s four wildlife service centers:

  • Durango, region headquarters, 415 Turner Drive in the Bodo Park
  • Gunnison, wildlife office, 300 W. New York Ave.
  • San Luis Valley, Monte Vista wildlife office, 0722 Road 1 East
  • Montrose, wildlife office, 2300 S. Townsend Ave. (U.S. Highway 550)

Besides discussing budget issues, CPW staff will give an update on regional hunting, fishing and parks activities in a roundtable format.CPW is managed as an “enterprise agency”, which means it does not receive any general sales tax dollars from Colorado taxpayers. The majority of the agency’s revenue comes from parks users and from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. The agency also receives grants from Great Outdoors Colorado, and federal excise taxes levied on the sale of hunting and fishing equipment.

CPW has not raised resident hunting and fishing licenses since 2005.

A bill to address the budget issues was submitted to the 2017 Colorado General Assembly. The bill passed with bi-partisan support in the House of Representatives. However, the bill did not reach the Senate floor when it failed to pass out of committee by a vote of 3-2.

The agency will be looking at funding ideas in 2018, as well as ways that it can continue to provide sustainable wildlife populations, world-class outdoor recreation and stewardship programs. Those details will be explained at the Sept. 25 meeting.

“Colorado hunters, anglers, state parks users and recreation users care deeply about outdoor resources in the state, and CPW works to maintain and improve those resources from our prairies to our peaks,” said Patt Dorsey, manager for CPW’s Southwest Region. “We want to continue to provide customer service and recreational opportunities, and we need to think seriously about how we do that with an increasing population and a shrinking budget.”

Funds for the wildlife section of the agency and the park section of the agency are, by law, kept completely separate. There is no comingling of revenues or expenditures.

“Coloradans are lucky to live in a state with a diversity of recreation opportunities and wildlife resources and they’ve always been willing to pay for those privileges,” Dorsey said. “CPW is reaching out to Colorado residents to bridge the gap between the present and the future.”

Those unable to attend the meeting can view an on-line presentation which details CPW’s financial challenges and a preliminary proposal for increasing hunting and fishing licenses at:

After watching the presentation, the public is urged to provide comments in an on-line survey at:

For more information about the meeting, contact Joe Lewandowski, Southwest Region public information officer at

CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.

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Turkey and Elk Hunting – MAC Outdoors Episode 016

mac-outdoors-1400In episode 016 of the MAC Outdoors Podcast with Mia and Lea the duo discusses turkey and elk hunting. Lea gives you ideas of what you can do with turkey feathers, how to create mounts and other tips. Mia talks about utilizing the meat and cooking delicious recipes. Next, learn how to get in shape for this fall’s big game hunts.

Visit and use Lea’s coupon code, LLCO10. You’ll receive a 10% discount on their American made clothing, and as an affiliate, Lea will earn cash to help with her college endeavors.

Important links for this week’s show:

Turkey tortilla soup recipe –



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ea’s Twitter handle – @Lea_Huntress
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Tune in each week as the dynamic mother/daughter duo share their adventures. You’ll find tips, tricks, lessons and tales from the trail. Mia is a mom, hunting guide, writer and vlogger who lives on a ranch in Colorado. Her daughter, Lea, also a guide, is a passionate young hunter who’s finishing high school and prepping for the journey to college. TUNE IN because you never know what obstacles and inspiration they’ll encounter as they head outside for new adventures.

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5 Easy Ways to Evaluate Your Hunting Season

TenPoint_ATCOTPEN_Header5 Easy Ways to Evaluate Your Hunting Season

The following originally appeared in ‘Around the Campfire,’ TenPoint’s Official Newsletter.

Every year as a hunter, it is vital that you evaluate your past season and modify or change your tactics to increase your chance of success in the future. Even if you caught up with that big ole doe to fill your freezer, or executed a perfect shot with your crossbow on a trophy buck, you can ALWAYS learn something. Deer constantly adapt to their environment, and we must do the same if we hope to stay one step ahead.




  • Were your stands in the right location, or did you need to be just a bit higher on the ridge or lower in the valley?
  • Was your scent in check throughout the season, or did you find the deer busting you from time to time?
  • Did your equipment perform up to your standards, or is there some wear and tear that compromised its performance?
  • Were you pleased with the number of deer you saw based on what showed up on your trail cameras throughout the summer?
  • When the moment of truth presented itself, were you confident in your ability to make a clean, ethical shot, or might you need to spend some more time on the range to hone your skill?

Your answers to these questions are critical. Even the best crossbow, compound bow, or rifle, can’t make up for certain mistakes. If adjustments are necessary, do not ignore them. Fix the issues, or make improvements to the things that worked. Assessing your strategy and performance in 2016 could be the key to unlocking the tremendous potential of the 2017 hunting season.

TenPoint Crossbow TechnologiesTM
1325 Waterloo Road – Mogadore, OH 44260-9608

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Hunting – Field Care of Harvests for Taxidermy

The key to the best tasting wild game recipes begins with how we handle our harvests in the field. The faster we get the animal skinned, quartered, home and cooled down, the better the meat will taste. While I primarily hunt for food, I must say I also have memories of the hunt on my walls. Today I’m sharing something that follows along those lines. Josh Lantz shares eight field care tips that your taxidermist will also love.  Good luck this season! ~Mia

Trophy Quality Begins with the Care you Take in the Field

Eight things your taxidermist will love you for
By Josh Lantz

Proper care of any animal to be mounted begins as soon as it hits the ground. The way the author’s 8-pointer will be field dressed, skinned, handled, transported and cared for will affect the final quality of the mount his taxidermist can create. Photo by Josh Lantz.

Anyone who plops their money down at the taxidermy shop wants and expects a great looking mount. Hunters expect a lot from their taxidermist and that’s reasonable. But remember: He or she can only work with what they’re brought.

Many hunters don’t fully understand or consider how their own actions in the field impact the quality (or lack thereof) of their finished mounts. Follow these eight tips to thrill your taxidermist and maximize your own gratification when the exciting time to pick up your completed trophy arrives.

“Spend more time with your family and friends, whether it be outside, hunting, at the shooting range or around the table, savoring all life has to offer.” Mia

Talk to your taxidermist

Select a quality taxidermist and talk with them before your hunt. Explain where and how you’ll be hunting, what animal(s) you’ll pursue, and what resources you’ll have access to. Your taxidermist will be pleased to provide you with specific instructions for field dressing, caping or skinning (if necessary) and overall care of your animal to ensure the best possible mount. If you will be hunting in a location with no immediate access to a taxidermist or freezer, ask your taxidermist for detailed instructions on skinning and salting the hide. This is the only way to preserve your hide for mounting when hunting in remote or wilderness situations. Be aware that salting is only effective when the entire hide is skinned (including head and feet) and properly fleshed out.

Using input from your taxidermist, make a checklist of trophy care items you’ll need for your specific hunt, then make sure your pack is provisioned accordingly. Josh Lantz photo.

Be prepared

Make sure you leave enough room in your hunting pack for the gear that will allow you to take care of your trophy. Other than knowledge, the most important tool for proper trophy care in the field is a knife with a sharp blade. Multiple knives or individual knives with different specialized blades are helpful. Be sure to pack one or more sharpening tools to keep all blades in top shape. If you don’t already pack toilet paper, throw a roll in your pack to help clean blood off the hide. A bright light or headlamp will ensure you can clearly see what you are doing while field dressing or skinning after dark.

If you must drag any animal to be mounted, grab it by the antlers and elevate as much of the front of its body as possible in order to avoid damaging the hide and individual hairs. Josh Lantz photo

Dos and don’ts of dragging

Once your animal is down, try to avoid dragging it – especially with a rope. A rope around the neck almost always removes and damages hair, while rocks, sticks and the ground itself can also easily damage or puncture the hide. Instead, get it back to the truck or camp by placing it on a sled, rickshaw, or ATV. If you absolutely need to drag it, grab the animal by the antlers and lift as much of the front of its body as possible off of the ground. Never drag an animal by the hind legs.

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Field dressing

Again, obtain specific field dressing instructions from your taxidermist before the hunt.  Don’t cut open the chest cavity if you plan to have a shoulder mount made, and never slit the throat. Don’t make any cuts above the brisket or breastplate.  Make your cuts with a sharp knife or gut hook. Always cut with the blade up. Once opened, cut the diaphragm away from the ribs all the way to the backbone area. Reach into the forward chest cavity, find the esophagus (wind pipe), and cut it off as far up in the neck as possible. Grasp the esophagus firmly and pull downward in a continuous motion to remove all the entrails.

Bottoms up

Never hang any animal by the neck; it stretches the neck and may damage the hide. For deer-sized game, use a gambrel and hang it by the hind legs.

Hanging deer by the neck or antlers can stretch and damage hides. Use gambrels to hang deer-sized game by the hind legs. Fill the mouth and nostrils with toilet paper to prevent blood from leaking out and staining hair on the animal’s face. Josh Lantz photo.

Caping / skinning

Caping or skinning your big game trophy is best left to your taxidermist. Damage to a hide can be costly to repair, and some types of damage simply can’t be fixed. If you must skin your trophy yourself, consider leaving the head attached to the cape, and let your taxidermist turn out the delicate eyes, nose, lips and ears.


A beautiful mount is a long-lasting reminder of the hunt. Hunters can learn everything they need to know about trophy care and preparation by talking with their taxidermist before they go hunting. Josh Lantz photo.

Keep it clean

Blood left on a hide for any length of time can easily leave permanent stains. Clean any blood off areas of the hide that will be mounted with snow or water as soon as possible. You remembered the toilet paper, right? Place some inside the animal’s mouth and nostrils to stop blood from leaking out – especially while hanging. Take care of your trophy during transportation. Don’t let it roll or bounce around in a dirty pickup bed. Take care to clean off all blood prior to transport, and wrap the animal or cape in an old sheet or blanket.

Get to it

Many trophies are compromised within the first few hours, as bacteria begin to attack quickly after death, especially in warm, humid weather. Completely skin, flesh and salt your hides (per your taxidermist’s detailed instructions) as quickly as possible when hunting in remote areas. Heat and moisture are the two main causes of hair slip. When hunting closer to home, keep every animal as cold as possible and bring it in to your taxidermist as soon as possible.

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How to Cook Wild Game and More on Mangia TV | Mia’s Motivations

Although most of the meals I cook include wild game, I’m always on the prowl for new recipes to try. Bob at MangiaTV sparked my curiosity when he invited me to his Blab session. We chatted about how to handle, care for, and store wild game. He obviously enjoys eating a little as well, because he asked me some hunting questions too.

I hope to learn some more cooking tips, so I’ve subscribed, and you should too!

Get outside. Explore, learn, hunt, fish, shoot, connect with nature.

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Secret to Getting Your Youngster Into Hunting – TenPoint Crossbows

A topic near and dear to my heart is mentoring the next generation. This includes passing down and teaching them life-long traditions. Below is are tips, released by TenPoint Crossbows. Check them out and teach your youngster as well.


The Pre-Rut is the Best Time for Young Hunters

We all understand the importance of recruiting more youngsters to the sport of hunting. They are not just the immediate future of the sport; they are the future mentors and teachers that will train further generations of sportsmen and sportswomen.

The key, though, is providing the right hunting experiences for them at a young age. An exciting, enjoyable, low-pressure experience may hook them for life, while a boring, unenjoyable, high-pressure experience may immediately turn them off to the sport.

Because of the time of year, the weather, and deer activity, the Pre-Rut is an excellent opportunity to create a hunting experience that is sure to draw a youth into the sport of hunting, while also allowing a parent or mentor to spend quality time in the woods with their new hunter. Let’s take a closer look.

TenPoint_ATCOTPEN_SideImageTime of Year

Hunting before the time change means morning hunts begin at a reasonable hour. Getting your young hunter up in the mornings will not seem like such a chore.


Mild temperatures during this time of year make sitting in the woods a little more enjoyable for the youngsters. By this time, the mosquitoes have gone into hibernation. It is hard enough for kids to sit still without those pesky devils buzzing in their ears. There is also no need to layer up so thickly that they cannot move.


The Pre-Rut is a great learning time for young hunters. They get to see a little of the action that occurs during the Rut – the action that really excites the older hunters. This is also the best time to implement the use of scents, calls, and decoys to add to the excitement. Young bucks seem to get the itch to run first, which makes a young one’s odds of seeing one of the small trophies, or maybe the doe he is chasing around, much better.

Aside from the time of year, crossbows are an excellent piece of archery equipment to get the youth started.

TenPoint offers two youth models in the Wicked Ridge line of crossbows – the Ranger and theLady Ranger. Weighing less than 6-pounds with a 150-pound draw weight, they are the ideal size of a youth hunter.

Click here to learn more and as always…

Good Luck, be safe, and take a kid hunting!


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I share tips, gear reviews and stories for women who love the hunt, or want to, at Western Whitetail Magazine.

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LISTEN UP! The Voices of the Outdoors on Podcast Radio

The Outdoor Podcast Channel’s shows include Blanchard Outdoors Podcast, Fish Nerds, Take Aim Podcast, HuntFishTravel Podcast, The Turkey Hunter Podcast, Up North Journal Podcast, Bowhunting Freedom and Big Buck Registry’s Deer Hunting Podcast. The channel will feature a new episode from one of the above shows each day of the week.

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3 Tips To Help Kids Enjoy Their First Hunt

Shooting sports are becoming ever more popular for kids. For some of these youngsters, their next step might be entering the world of hunting. Introducing a young shooter to hunting sports can be a thrill for everyone.

Thankfully, most parents want to always keep their children from harm so they teach and reinforce safety rules. Sometimes when you’ve got a youngster tagging along on a hunt, being safe may involve mom or dad becoming the Sherpa.

Before you head out on the hunt,

  1. Attach … (CLICK HERE to read more)

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Shooting Safety – Ways to Stay Hydrated


Mia Anstine

It seems like something that should be common sense to us all, but sometimes we forget the importance of hydration.


We get excited. We get in a hurry. We don’t want to pack something that sloshes and makes noise. We even don’t want the extra weight. The thing is, if we’re dehydrated, we might not make a good shot or worse could make poor decisions in the field.

There are so many easy ways to take water along that there’s no excuse to pass it up.

  • Filtration bottles – Most back country supply houses and even almost all sporting goods stores offer bottles with built in carbon filtration systems. If you are in an area where natural springs or rivers are located, these are perfect because … (CLICK HERE to read more)

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