SKS as a hunting rifle


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hm
October 22, 2003, 11:29 AM
I've heard from a couple of friends and a co-worker that the SKS can and does make a decent, rifle for hunting deer. When I asked one friend about upgrades that I assumed he had on his SKS, he kind of surprised me when he said he got his Yugo SKS from SOG and took it hunting the next day with no upgrades whatsoever...and bagged a deer at about 120 yds. I don't know if he was using surplus 762x39 or something a little more reliable.

The reason I'm posting is to get a BS-factor reality check from you guys. Do any of you or your friends hunt (successfully) with SKSs? I love the SKS and will likely get one anyway, but if I could hunt with it too...well, that's just a bonus.

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Rupestris
October 22, 2003, 11:42 AM
I have no experience with SKS's but the following thread might give you some insight int the 7.62X39 as a hunting round.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=12111&highlight=hunting+7.62X39

HTH
Rupe

Al Thompson
October 22, 2003, 01:21 PM
I know a guy who hunts deer with his SKS. He's killed a bunch of deer with it. Range is under 100y and he practices with it constantly. Ammo used is Federal JSPs or some reloads his brother puts together for him. Surplus ammo is used for practice. My Norinco SKS is plenty good to that range and will eaisily keep 10 rounds on a playing card at 50y. The big drawback is iron sights and a so-so trigger.

HTH

Keith
October 22, 2003, 01:22 PM
The 7.62x39 has roughly the same ballistics as a .30/30. And they make decent softpoint hunting ammo in that caliber. You would NOT want to use milsurp ammo, and anyone who does so is a cretin!

I wouldn't hunt with such a rifle myself, but really there's no reason it can't be a decent hunter if you shoot it well and limit yourself to .30/30 ranges - 200 yards or so.

Keith

Covey Rise
October 26, 2003, 01:44 AM
I put a fiberglass stock and scope mount on it. I did kill one with it bone stock the first year I had it. I use hollowpoints from russia. It has real good knock down out to 200 yards. Great deer gun for the woods, I like 30-30 too, I own a 06 as well, it is overkill.

Greybeard
October 26, 2003, 06:53 AM
Considering the size :p :D :p of the deer around Austin, SKS round should do 'em in just fine - if you do your part in hitting something that small!

MeekandMild
October 26, 2003, 10:03 AM
Years ago I had a friend who used one of these hunting. He said the most important thing was to use US made commercial grade ammo with reliable bullets.

Smokey Joe
October 28, 2003, 08:35 PM
Mebbe I got a lemon. I've been working on it for a couple years, handloading and putting new stock, glassbedding the bbl (in the short section where that can be done!) etc.

I can't get it to any more accurate than dependable on deer @ 50 yd. I wouldn't dishonor a deer by shooting my SKS at it at a greater range.

If anyone has any suggestions I'm all ears, as Ross Perot would put it. But consistent kills at more than 50 yd? Not with mine!

buzznod
November 24, 2009, 05:28 PM
I have a norinco sks and I killed a 135lb doe at 60 yards. I shot her looking head on in the chest the round went through organs and out the last rib, she run about 40 yards and fell over dead. I used brown bear hollow points. I think the sks is an excellent brush gun, and I will use it for years to come. I also have a scoped .270 but it's not as good for brush hunting as the sks. So depending on your hunting environment determines the type gun to use. that's also how I justify the purpose of the new gun to my wife...

" Like father, like son , I love my father and my father loves guns" ...... buzznod

buzznod
November 24, 2009, 05:34 PM
US. made rounds tend to have soft primers and can slam fire be careful when loading. I use brown bear hollow points with good results and they have harder primers.

MCgunner
November 24, 2009, 06:05 PM
I have a couple of SKSs, one set up as a hunting rifle, but I never used it, so I took the optics off and use it as a truck gun. I like the 154 Wolf for cheap factory hunting ammo. It happens to be pretty accurate, about 2.5 MOA, which is good for an SKS. They are NOT target rifles. But, to 150 or 200 yards, their limit, they have enough for a deer's shoulder. I've shot one deer with mine at about 80 yards.

I have much better deer rifles, though. But, the SKS CAN hunt deer. Just about any other rifle is better IMHO, LOL! But, it's better than an AK and the 7.62x39 is considerably better than .223. As cheap as the things are, everyone needs one. It makes a great truck gun. I like my little 92 lever gun, too, but I can beat up the SKS and not worry about it. It's tough. Military guns are like that.

I have a 5 round mag on it (flat profile makes it easier to carry), cut off the bayonet lug (only serves to grab brush), added an ambi safety (I shoot southpaw). If you want optics, a mount and a case deflector will be necessary. Get the bolt on mount you'll have to drill and tap for. Mounting on the cover is not an option.

I put a neat camo Choate stock on it, but that was purely because I thought it looked neat. Not necessary. To lengthen pull (the Norinco needs it), there are 1" spacers for the issue stock.

Rodd
November 30, 2009, 01:31 PM
I have a Chinese made SK that I purchased in the early 90s. Over the years I've changed the stock (Choate fiber w/ pistol grip), re-crowned the barrel, and, most important, had a trigger job done. I also modified the issue front sight by filing it to a narrower profile, and I added a Williams adjustable open rear sight. From the bench, using ammunition it likes (WW), this rifle will shoot no foolin' 1.5" 100 yard groups. That is far better than any M-94 .30-30 I ever owned. It is short, light, robust, and easily re-loaded. Recoil and muzzle blast are mild, as you might expect, especially compared to .243 or larger high-pressure rounds. Does it kill deer? Heck yes. I've yet to shoot one beyond 100 yards and most are taken within 25 yards, but they always fall to a single shot of Winchester soft-point ammo. I'm convinced that the 7.62X39 can handle any whitetail or mulie born, assuming good shot placement and reasonable distance (200 yds or less). From what I've read, most SKS aren't as accurate as mine, but then I don't think most owners go to the trouble of a trigger job (mine is very sweet) or recrowning the barrel. The trigger job was the best thing I did to make this rifle shoot. My initial investment was $160. The trigger job was another $60. I forget how much the Choate stock cost me, but its been about ten years ago. The barrel was re-crowned for free by my friendly neighborhood gunsmith. Yeah, all told, I've invested about what a reasonably good bolt-gun would cost, but the SKS package is so compact and convenient and the gun so rugged and durable, I wouldn't sell mine for twice what I have in it now. It does require bullets at least .310 in diameter to shoot accurately.

R.W.Dale
November 30, 2009, 01:42 PM
Really a 6 year old thread?

Snakum
November 30, 2009, 09:04 PM
I use brown bear hollow points with good results and they have harder primers.

Me, too. But don't let the 'real hunters' here find out about it. They'll be urging you to buy a used 30-30 instead.

(No one told them that SP x39 ammo has been made for a long time. :D)

nathan
November 30, 2009, 09:12 PM
KNowing your weapon and being proficient with it is paramount. Hitting the vital part of the deer anatomy is a must.

hm
June 5, 2011, 02:24 AM
@R.W. - now it's an 8 yr old thread. There's just something about the SKS :-)

nyc71
June 5, 2011, 03:16 AM
I have a Chinese made SK that I purchased in the early 90s. Over the years I've changed the stock (Choate fiber w/ pistol grip), re-crowned the barrel, and, most important, had a trigger job done. I also modified the issue front sight by filing it to a narrower profile, and I added a Williams adjustable open rear sight. From the bench, using ammunition it likes (WW), this rifle will shoot no foolin' 1.5" 100 yard groups. That is far better than any M-94 .30-30 I ever owned. It is short, light, robust, and easily re-loaded. Recoil and muzzle blast are mild, as you might expect, especially compared to .243 or larger high-pressure rounds. Does it kill deer? Heck yes. I've yet to shoot one beyond 100 yards and most are taken within 25 yards, but they always fall to a single shot of Winchester soft-point ammo. I'm convinced that the 7.62X39 can handle any whitetail or mulie born, assuming good shot placement and reasonable distance (200 yds or less). From what I've read, most SKS aren't as accurate as mine, but then I don't think most owners go to the trouble of a trigger job (mine is very sweet) or recrowning the barrel. The trigger job was the best thing I did to make this rifle shoot. My initial investment was $160. The trigger job was another $60. I forget how much the Choate stock cost me, but its been about ten years ago. The barrel was re-crowned for free by my friendly neighborhood gunsmith. Yeah, all told, I've invested about what a reasonably good bolt-gun would cost, but the SKS package is so compact and convenient and the gun so rugged and durable, I wouldn't sell mine for twice what I have in it now. It does require bullets at least .310 in diameter to shoot accurately.

Pics?


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety"- Benjamin Franklin

MCgunner
June 5, 2011, 05:03 PM
I've killed a doe with one of mine. I have better hunting rifles, just use this one as a knock about truck gun, more resilient to bumps and scrapes than is my lever gun. It's accurate enough and powerful enough for up to 200 yards. I used to handload for it, but now I just buy Wolf 154 grain soft point, cheap, work well on hogs or deer.

MCgunner
June 5, 2011, 05:06 PM
Here's mine. I've since taken the scope off it, but still wears the Choate camo stock which I rather like. :D

http://i25.tinypic.com/tasrba.jpg

Davek1977
June 6, 2011, 04:09 AM
I've harvested several SD mule deer with an SKS. I did replace the original stock with a fiberglass one that fit me better, and I have one of the dust cover scope/mount combos. Despite what is typically said about these mounts, mine actually DOES hold zero relatively well...however, these days, its back to irons

nathan
June 6, 2011, 12:18 PM
I used my Russian SKS to kill a hog at close range approx 7 yds. It was moving away from me and i dumped a round to the head . I remember using those Russian surplus in HP comes in whtie wax paper (bricks) in 1996. Wolf and other brands were non existent at the time. People back 15 yr s ago undermined the SKS and the round for it was relatively new. To them its a weak round and so many badmouthng going on mostly from elitist gun writers and the anticommie groups.
But no doubt the SKS is a very good weapon . The round is more than enough to put a big game down if shot at the right spot less than 75 yds away.

baylorattorney
June 6, 2011, 12:28 PM
Hello, hunting deer with an SKS is not the best way to hunt deer. I mean sure you can bag a deer with one no problem. At 120 yards? Sure. With practice, skill, luck and optics. Would I? No. The SKS is a battle rifle designed for battle. Nuff said.

amprecon
June 6, 2011, 12:41 PM
I had a Norinco Para model with 16" barrel and should've never sold it, it was surprisingly accurate. I got a standard 20" barrel model years later and it was from "Factory 26" or some such and it sucked, same ammo for both guns.
Now my SLR-95 shoots better than the Para model Norinco that I sold years ago, go figure. I'd not hesitate for a second to use my SLR-95 (yes AK-47) for deer or pig hunting. I have killed a deer with it, yes it was a 30 yard shot and it was DRT, but I am deer hunting accurate with it out to 150yards.

Sky
June 6, 2011, 12:58 PM
I have been messing around with a Norenco I purchased a couple of months ago. I have always heard they we not accurate etc etc. Mine is plenty accurate for dear, hogs or anything else I might come across in South Texas. Iron sights out to 300 yards and my vision is getting bad with age yet I can usually hit a 12" steel plate at that range. I would feel comfortable taking a Deer or Hog out two 200 yards with this rifle because the POA and POI seem to go hand in hand. Ok maybe Jack Rabbits would be difficult at 200 due to poor eye sight; but not this gun. I have been hunting with big scopes and all kinds of optics on my AR platforms and yet it is nice to go back to basics sometimes. I like this SKS except for cleaning it!!

dprice3844444
June 6, 2011, 02:00 PM
get yourself one of those dual sight tools from e-sarcoinc.com for the sks and sight it in.the 7.62x39 has peen killing folks since the 40's.why are deer now such a problem.good ammo and shot placement are what counts i have 2 of those red phenolic sks from vietnam area.work fine

Imperial Guardsman
June 6, 2011, 03:27 PM
Don't have an SKS myself, but I see no reason why it could not be used. However, check local laws on magazine capacity.

ForumSurfer
June 6, 2011, 03:59 PM
I have an SKS but I've never hunted with it. I know folks that do, and they typically use irons only and shoot inside of 150 yards. I have no doubt the SKS would server anyone well in those scenarios and more.

But myself? I'd rather lug around a lighter marlin 336 or winchester lever gun when I go through the woods. It is lighter, more compact and put down more north American deer than any other combo out there.

Then again, I do so enjoy shooting a lever with peep sights...to me it is just more fun than shooting my sks.

MCgunner
June 6, 2011, 09:38 PM
In a state that requires a 5 round mag, I got mine for under 20 bucks. See the picture. It also fits flush which, when there's no scope in the way, allows for easy one hand field carry. Texas has no magazine limits, but I still prefer the five rounder. No big deal for hunting.

jimmyraythomason
June 6, 2011, 09:49 PM
I put a flush mount magazine like the one you have Mcgunner on a Russian (1954 Tula)with a walnut monte carlo stock. It looked and shot great but was a bit on the heavy side even without a scope.

MCgunner
June 6, 2011, 10:43 PM
I agree, it's a heavy gun for what it is. My M7 Remington is my spot and stalk fave, even with a scope it's a couple lbs lighter and one HELL of a lot more powerful and more accurate. I've shot 1/2" 3 shot 100 yard groups with it. But, for knockin' around on my place, the SKS is fine. I no longer even consider it for hunting. I've got too many other better choices. BUT, one CAN successfully hunt deer and hogs to 200 yards with it, especially if you don't have or can't afford another choice. But, my Norincos, a 16" paratrooper and a 20" rifle, were 115 bucks and 75 bucks respectively 20 years ago when i got 'em. They're a lot higher now, high enough that I don't think they're a "cheap" alternative when you can get a Savage 110 for near the same, a much better hunting rifle choice IMHO. They're quite fun, though, regardless. If you want a CHEAP alternative, the Mosins I could have bought 20 years ago for 30 bucks a pop are still only around 100 dollars and they're more accurate, typically, than a comparable SKS and a good bit more powerful. I mean, I'm still a Remchester guy when it comes to hunting rifles, always will be. You can keep your ARs and milsurp stuff. :D

Oh, a major reason I prefer the SKS over my .357 magnum chambered Rossi 92 lever carbine for a knock around gun, other than its ruggedness, is it is a lot easier to unload when I get back to the truck. I gotta jack all those rounds out of that Rossi. With the SKS, I just drop the mag floor and dump the ammo, jack the round out of the chamber, done.

T.R.
June 9, 2011, 06:18 PM
My Dad (1922 - 2004) always seemed to favor auto loading rifles. Perhaps because of his experiences with the Garand in Europe. His last hunting rifle was an SKS Russian carbine. He lived in Michigan during his later years and hunted from a shack in the forest over bait piles of carrots and corn. Baiting was legal at the time. Please do not accuse the old man of illegal or illegitimate hunting.

Dad took down many deer with his SKS hunting with WINCHESTER SUPER X soft tip ammo. He had a custom scope mount with a long eye relief pistol scope.

The 7.62 Russian cartridge is a KEEPER!!

TR

MCgunner
June 9, 2011, 06:22 PM
Baiting is still the method of choice in Texas. There is a whole industry around automatic feeders. From a stand over a feeder, you control your range, IF the deer comes to the feeder, which is not always the case. But, in heavy brush, I can't even see more'n 150 yards down at my place and that's from a 12 ft tripod.

Yeah, an SKS would be a little out of place on spot and stalking from a west Texas canyon. But, then, so is a .30-30.

Nathanael_Greene
June 9, 2011, 09:02 PM
I'm no expert on deer hunting (only taken a half-dozen or so), but an SKS wouldn't be my first choice...or second, or third.

I guess it would be okay, but to me, they're clunky. I just don't think they shoulder well, at least not for me. Accurate enough, I suppose, but an awful lot to lug around, and for no particular advantage over a 30-30.

Sort of like the guy who walks into a bar, has a few, then wonders if he could get lucky with the nastiest woman in the place. He probably could...but what's the point?

mr.trooper
June 9, 2011, 10:22 PM
It wouldn't be my first choice either, but that doesn't logically make it a BAD one.

The only real problem I see for the SKS as a 100 yard deer rifle is the terrible trigger most of them have. You just have to live with it - no 'G2' drop in units thanks to the unnecessarily complex fire control group, and most smiths probably aren't willing to screw around with them.

Much practice is the only solution.

Smokey Joe
June 9, 2011, 11:04 PM
Mr. Trooper--There is ONE smith who does SKS triggers; has made a business of it. The deal is, you send him your trigger group and some $$, and he sends it back to you MUCH improved.

It's Kivaari Triggers; here's his website:

www.kivaari.com/SKS%20Target%20Match.htm

At $60, it's about what a Timney Trigger would cost, if there were an SKS Timney Trigger. Now, I can't speak from experience, but Kivaari SKS triggers have been reported on these fora, in very glowing terms.

Anyhow, with the Kivaari trigger, and the firing pin return spring (which, BTW, Comrade Simonov designed it for in the first place!) the 2 main objections to the SKS are gone!

mr.trooper
June 10, 2011, 12:14 AM
Very nice. Thank you for posting - I will pass this one to a friend of mine.

TexasPatriot.308
June 10, 2011, 12:21 AM
there are so many better choices to hunt with.

shiftyer1
June 10, 2011, 02:00 AM
I'm not as in love with and sks as I once was due to my tastes evolving. I do think it makes the perfect truck gun. It enjoys being beaten up and stills shoots good enough to do the job.

cyclopsshooter
June 10, 2011, 02:20 AM
Commercial loads in 7.62x39 can be quite accurate. I put together and AR15 with a 16" Olympic barrel and a new production Redfield 2-7. From the bench at 100 yards using the three available commercial loads (Federal 123gr JSP, Winchester 123gr JSP, and the Corbon 150gr JSP.
The winchester round shot best being a .310 diameter bullet. (the Oly barrel is .310) It gave reliable 1"groups. As i recall the other two shot 1 1/2"or so... the Federal was a .311 bullet (Soviet spec) and the Corbon was .308. Or was it the other way around :rolleyes:

2ndAmFan
June 10, 2011, 05:30 AM
I've taken a couple of deer with my bone-stock Russian SKS and a buddy of mine took one with it. All shots were 100 yards or less. I don't think the SKS is necessarily an ideal weapon for hunting deer but since it works why fix it?
I wouldn't use it at ranges over 100-150 yards but the part of Texas where I live is hilly, rugged and has lots of woods and brush so it's rare for me to even see a deer farther away than that. All the deer taken with my SKS were one-shot DRT. I prefer Wolf 154 grain SP for hunting because the Russian HP often fail to expand and also because the soft primers on US made rounds can cause slamfires. Wolf SP is inexpensive and does the job. You can still find SKSs for $250-$300, For the money the SKS is bargain, IMHO.

sixgunner455
June 10, 2011, 03:56 PM
baylorattorney said:
Hello, hunting deer with an SKS is not the best way to hunt deer. I mean sure you can bag a deer with one no problem. At 120 yards? Sure. With practice, skill, luck and optics. Would I? No. The SKS is a battle rifle designed for battle. Nuff said.

Uh-huh. You're right, of course. But so is the Remington 700(design child of the P14 Enfield) and the Winchester 70 (Mauser). And the Winchester 94 is a design child of the original assault rifle, the Henry rifle from the 1860s. So what? Original design intent has very little to do with it.

I had an SKS, and I did hunt with it. But I didn't like it well enough to use it much after the initial honeymoon was over, and it's gone now. It will work, for a careful shooter at limited ranges. Where I live, I need something with more precision and range, and preferably something lighter to pack.

ridgerunner1965
June 10, 2011, 09:54 PM
in my experience id choose them over a muzzel loader, well not a inline.i have a couple inlines that shoot better than my sks.id not be a bit afraid to hunt with it. ive done it and its just like anything else.aim small and hit small.the ones i got would easily shoot a deer in the head at 75 to 100 yrds.its a totally capable of killing a deer.just know yur limitations.

MCgunner
June 10, 2011, 10:05 PM
My Hawken Hunter Carbine shoots better than either of my SKSs. My inline, a CVA Wolf, does, too.

Now, what's an SKS run now days, about 400 bucks? Maybe 300? Can you not get a Savage 110 for not much more? I mean, if you already have one and nothing else and wanna hunt deer, SURE it will take deer. But, if you're looking to buy a deer rifle, SURE, there are better choices. Me, I have two SKSs, set me back 75 bucks and 115 bucks, and I have a multitude of other rifles i hunt with, favorite, I guess, being my Remington M7 Stainless in .308 Winchester that I've mentioned already. I would NOT buy an SKS as a first deer rifle, but that don't mean they can't be effective.

On the triggers, I used to buy a lot of SKSs when I had an FFL. I found about 1 of 10 had a crisp trigger. My 20" rifle Norinco (all were Norincos) had such a trigger and i kept it and ordered another one for the football pot at work...:D Yeah, in Texas, we give rifles away on football pots. Doubt you'll find that in New Jersey. :D

Sky
June 12, 2011, 03:32 PM
$289 for a Yugo at:

Classic Arms
A DIVISION OF U.S. ARMS LLC.

Zen Archery
June 12, 2011, 04:00 PM
biggest hogs ive taken to date have been with my 7.62x39 in either SKS or AR Platform. I don't know too many 350-400# Texas Deer with the shoulder as thick as a 2x4. So yea, you're good to go.

usmccpl
June 16, 2011, 03:12 PM
A guy I grew up with was a short little feller. Couldnt shoulder and shoot my tiny little 30-30(Savage 170) when we were in 7th grade and I had been shooting it since 3rd grade. Anyway when he was gonna start hunting his dad found a Bubbaized SKS with nearly 5 inches sawed off the stock and the kid could shoulder it so it was his deer rifle from then on. 18 years later he still uses that same rifle. Only time he ever failed on a deer wasnt his or the rifles doing. The bullet he fired broke apart in a layer of fat but the deer still went down. He then unloaded and went to start field dressing and it jumped up and ran right to his brother who shot it dead.

Eb1
June 20, 2011, 12:38 AM
For $289 you can get a Marlin XL7 in .25-06 if you have a scope. You can probably get a scope and the gun for that much, and have a more apt hunting rifle.

d2wing
June 20, 2011, 09:54 PM
I've used SKS's and AK-47's at close range, less than 50 yards. Anything over that is pretty iffy on any that I've shot.

MCgunner
June 20, 2011, 10:03 PM
My SKS rifle normally shoots about 3" at 100 yards. That's plenty accurate for hunting to that range. With Wolf 154, it'll shoot 2.5".

d2wing
June 21, 2011, 07:39 PM
The best of 5 I've shot was 6 inche groups at 100 yards. I have 3 .22lr rifles that do much better. I guess the op would have to see how it shoots at the range he wants to shoot it under hunting conditions.

MCgunner
June 24, 2011, 06:34 PM
My two SKSs are both Norincos. I have a 16" Paratrooper that shoots 3.5" 100 yard groups with just ratty mil surp and shoots the Wolf a little better and that's with iron sights. My 20" rifle is a tad better with the scope on it, about the same without. Not the gun's fault that my eyes need a new prescription. :rolleyes: Anyway, two of two will shoot well enough to take a deer to 200 yards. With the irons, I'd keep it under 150, though, at least until I get a new prescription.

okiewita40
June 25, 2011, 11:06 AM
Unless you are shooting deer with armor plating a sks will do the job. Just stay within a reasonable range and put the round in the broiler room. I just got my SKS back in Feb. I am going to be using it as my deer/hog rifle. has got to at-least as accurate as the mossberg 500 I was using with slugs.

TexasPatriot.308
June 25, 2011, 11:47 AM
so many better choices...

jimmyraythomason
June 25, 2011, 11:50 AM
so many better choices... Yes but that isn't the point of this thread. THIS thread deals with the SKS specifically and other guns are off topic.

TexasPatriot.308
June 26, 2011, 12:13 AM
OK, the sks is not somethng I would hunt with. for a less price get a stevens 200, ugly tackdriver.

MCgunner
June 26, 2011, 06:28 PM
I've hunted with mine just because. I also own a tack driving .257 Roberts, .308 Winchester, and 7mm Rem Mag. They don't kill deer any deader, but yeah, the .257 and .308 in particular are far more logical choices for deer hunting. For stand hunting in brush where a shot is not going to be over 150 yards, though, much of eastern Texas, I don't see where the SKS is much WORSE of a choice.

I went through my handgun hunting phase. That doesn't make sense against a 3/4 MOA Remington, either. I'm now in my black powder rifle phase. Next season, I might just be in a Ruger Old Army mood. I've thought about it. :D And, as much as I shoot my bows, I've yet to get in a mood to hunt deer with them on a 95 degree, 75 percent humidity day, most of bow season, not to mention the mosquitos down here. :rolleyes: Just don't get in a mood to hunt until the cold fronts push the skeeters into submission.

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