1. Where do you find groundhogs?
Groundhogs are found around crops such as alfalfa, clover and most any hay crops. Pastures are good places too. Corn fields in the fall are good places to look for them. Railroad beds are a great source. Look for them around ditches and stream banks.
2. What is the best all round gun?
The best all round gun for most varmint hunting I would say is the .223 in a good bolt action or auto. It's good for 350 yard shots or further and will put most varmints to sleep easily. For longer ranges, the .243 with 75-87 gr. bullets is hard to beat.
3. Who makes my stocks?
Most of my stocks are made and installed by Richard Franklin and Greg West. These two have gone out of bussiness so I am looking for new stock maker
4. Who builds my custom rifles?
Richard Franklin and Greg West build all my custom rifles, they are very good gunsmiths. Amendment: Baity's Custom Gun Works now does my work.
5. What gun is best for fox and coyotes?
For fox and coyotes, any thing in a center fire .22 caliber. The 17 HMR rimfire is good for fox out to 200 yards. I don't recommend the .22 LR.
6. What is the best caliber for groundhogs out to 300 -500 yards?
The best caliber for groundhogs out to 300-400 yards is anything in a .17,.20 or .22 caliber center fire. To 500 yards or beyond I recommend something in a 6mm such as the .243, 6 mm br, 6 mm Remington.
7. How do you hunt groundhogs?
I hunt groundhogs by scouting an area such as a field by looking for holes in the field or around the field edges. I either drive around the edges, if I can stay out of the crop. Most of the time I will find a place that is higher than the area I'm hunting and just sit and glass the area.
8. What's the best glass to find varmints?
I like to use a good pair of 10 x bi-nocs, 8 x being the minimum. For long range work I use a spotting scope at least 20 x or better, those little varmints are hard to make out!
9. What scope do I recommend?
As for rifle scopes, I like a minimum of 14 x, a good variable such as a 6.5x20x40 will do most of your work. Buy the best scope you can afford. It has to have good repeatability and clarity to see and hit those small targets. Back
10. Do you need a rangefinder?
Yes! Again buy the best. I recommend one that will consistently range small groundhog size targets to at least 8-900 yards.
11. What's the best stock?
The best stock depends on the type of hunting you do. If you just walk and shoot, a good standard stock that's bedded correctly with a bi-pod, good for 200 yards. For most shot you need a good flat bottomed stock that will ride your sand bags with out causing much torque, depends on the caliber. A bi-pod can be used too. I recommend a forearm at least 2 inches minimum with 3 in. the best.
12. How do you neck turn brass?
If you are neck turning virgin brass, I don't recommend FL sizing unless you are necking a case down to another caliber. All you need to do is 1st trim all your brass to to the same length, debur inside and out. 2nd, run an oversize expander thru all of them. This will open up the neck about .001 thousands so your neck turning mandrel will fit and be the same diameter and will iron out any egg shaped necks etc. Next turn your necks to the desired diminution you want, do it in 2 operations (which means setting the cutter to cut within .001 or so from the final cut) so your final cut only takes off about .001.5 - .002 thou. That way you will get a smooth finish. Set your cutter so that it cuts into the the shoulder ever so slightly about .0005 should do it. That way there won't be any donut to form. It will take a little bit to set this up but once you get it, then lock her down and it will be set for every case. You also need to check how much you are taking off by using a tubing type mic to measure you thickness. Sinclair has one on a little stand that is perfect for this. You need to turn your necks to where you have at least .002-3 thou clearence in you chamber, now that's with a loaded round. Remember it is imperative to get the exact same cut into the case shoulder on every case because that is where it will be head spacing from when you fire it. If you don't your case heads will want to separate.
13. Is it necessary to lap scope rings?
Yes!! You need to get 100% contact or you scope tube will be mared and will not function properly because of the off center grip.
14. What rings do I like?
I like the Burris Signature type rings because they are self aligning and you can change the MOA by changing inserts + or - to fit your needs.
15. How do you fireform brass?
Mostly I fill the parent case with a powder and bullet to near max load of the parent case. I then set the OAL to where the bullet is jammed into the lands about 10% into the lands. That way the case head spaces on the case head. Then just fire them at varmints until all you cases are fire formed.
16. Making a drop chart
Tapered bases should not affect you developing a drop chart. It will give you more click value for those long range shots. I normally zero my rifle dead on at 200 yds. The best ballistic program out there is the one from Nightforce, Exbal. It will get you close to actual settings. No program will be dead on because of so many factors affecting the bullet once it leaves the end of the barrel. First, you need the caliber, velocity, BC and weight of the bullet. Then you put in your elevation, temperature and humidity. I will then shoot at targets every 100 yds using the info the program shows for that yardage all the way out to the longest range you want to shoot. The program will either be dead on or very close to your actual shooting session. You then go back to the program and play with upping or lowering the velocity and the BC to get it to compute to your actual yardage setting that you shot. I also set it to give me settings in 25 yd increments out to the yardage you want to shoot. Bear in mind that elevation, temperature etc will be different everyday so the chart will be close but not exact every time. I also usually factor in a 10 mph left to right wind for my chart. One other thing you really need is a scope that is vey repeatable and will return exactly back to you starting yardage. You will also need a good range finder that will range the target + or - 1 yard repeatable.
17. Hogs under buildings
Thanks for the compliment on my web site!
As far as getting rid of those hogs under the house, you have a few options. One is, you could get one of those HAVE A HART traps and catch em. Probably you can use fresh lettuce leaves or such for bait. Once you catch him you will have to carry him away and give him to somebody else. Or pop him in the head with a .22.
What I would do is learn when he usually comes out and be waiting on him with a .22 rifle. Better yet a rifle in the new 17 hm2 or 17 hmr rounds. They will dispatch the hog very well and in case you miss the bullet will less likely ricochet because of the bullet design. I personally would use the 17 HMR as it has a longer range so you can get further away from the hole so you won't spook him as easily. If you can just park a vehicle within 100 yards of the hole and set inside with a cold drink and wait for your target to appear. Make sure your 17 hmr is zeroed dead on @ 100 yards for a dead on hold.
Also make sure no one is around so they don't accidentally get in your shooting path. After you think you have em all, fill in the hole so they will be less likely to come back.
Hope this helps! Good luck!