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Is it Safe to Hunt with Old Ammo?

By Mike Hanback January 8, 2021 – RealTree.com

With ammunition shortages around the country, many hunters are looking at the old box of cartridges in the gun cabinet, and wondering if they’re OK to shoot

The ammunition shortage of 2020 and early 2021 has had a massive impact on shooting and hunting. As early as last June, shelves were becoming bare of popular cartridges like the .223 and 9mm.

By October, when most gun hunters started prepping for deer season, it was difficult if not impossible to find a box of .270, .308, or any other hunting caliber in many parts of the country.

Two main factors led to the shortage: shutdowns and interruptions in supply chains for components and manufacturing, and a surge of new shooters and hunters into our ranks. Eight million new gun owners (that’s the estimate) and counting who purchase on average two boxes of cartridges create an instant demand of 16 million units of ammo! That’s on top of what we longtime shooters and hunters need.

The shortage caused many hunters, including me and quite possibly you, to dig around in our stuff and find old cartridges to use last season. So, can you shoot a deer with 5- to 20-year-old cartridges?

Tips for .410 Turkey Hunting

Turkey hunting with this tiny shell is all the rage right now, but does it really pack enough punch?

The TSS Difference The .410 offering for turkey hunting might surprise some folks, but Dan Compton, Vista Outdoor shotshell product line manager, said it shouldn’t: Tungsten Super Shot (TSS) pellets’ incredible density are perfect for sub-gauge shotshells.

“TSS pellets make hunting turkeys with a .410 a very viable option,” he says. “It provides the performance of conventional 12-gauge loads with a significant drop in recoil.”

How have recent advances in shotgun loads made turkey hunting with a .410 a viable choice, according to Compton? “It all comes down to the shot! A .410 loaded with No. 4 or No. 5 lead is underpowered for turkey and not the best option. A .410 loaded with TSS is over 50% denser than lead. That increased density brings energy, and lethality, to .410 loads,” he says.

In relation to ethical kills, you may wonder what kind of reliable yardage window these loads provide. “In a .410 TSS load of No. 9 shot, the traditional lead shot ranges of 40 yards is good, ethical range,” Compton says.

Read full artilce in realtree.com

Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Update, Fourth Quarter 2020

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS
The end of year census for 2019 was a minimum of 163 Mexican wolves in the wild (76 in AZ and 87 in NM). This was a 24% increase in the population from a minimum of 131 wolves counted at the end of 2018. The end of year census for 2020 is currently underway. Results of the 2020 census are anticipated to be available in March 2021. Annual surveys are conducted in the winter as this is when the population experiences the least amount of natural fluctuation (i.e. in the spring the population increases dramatically with the birth of new pups and declines throughout the summer and fall as pup mortality generally occurs in this period). Thus, the IFT summarizes the total number of wolves in the winter at a fairly static or consistent time of year. Counting the population at the end of each year allows for comparable year-to-year trends at a time of year when the Mexican wolf population is most stable.

MORTALITIES
Ten Mexican wolf mortalities were documented in the current quarter, which brings the total number of documented mortalities in 2020 to 29.  Of the 29 mortalities, 8 were pups, a segment of the population that normally experiences high mortality during the year. Six of the moralities were juveniles and 15 were adults. The impact of these mortalities is uncertain but based on the 2017 Population Viability Assessment (PVA) completed for recovery planning purposes, continued population growth is expected.

Provided by Pew Research
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