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Questions and answers

3/24/2002

Do you have a hunting question for Tom Miranda? Click here to Email it to Tom. Every other week Tom will be answering a selection of your questions in this space. Here are this week's answers.

Optical advice

Q: Can you recommend a quality pair of binoculars that are waterproof and not too pricey? And how do you tell how far an optic can zoom?

A: There are several companies that make quality binoculars, but keep in mind that all good binocs are a bit pricey. Stick with the old adage: Buy the best binoculars you can afford. Look at models by Bushnell, Leupold, Nikon, Swarovski, Leica, and Zeiss, which in my opinion are ranked in that order better to best. All manufacturers carry waterproof models. As for the magnification, the numbers 10 x 40, for example provide that information. The first number is the magnification power of the binocular. The second number is the diameter in centimeters of the lens — generally speaking, the larger the glass, the better light-gathering qualities it has in low-light situations.

Quality meat

Q: Is turkey meat better-tasting on a mature male turkey than it is on a young one?

A: No. Like most critters, a younger turkey will have more tender meat than an old longbeard.

Young guns

Q: What is the best type of gun to purchase for a beginner hunter?

A: That would depend on what you're hunting. If you're looking for a shotgun, I'd recommend a 20-gauge pump action. In rifles, a .22 is the standard starter gun.

Archery Sight-in

Q: I'm a first-time Bowhunter and I'm having trouble sighting-in my bow. Any advice?

A: Take you first shots close to the target — five yards or so. Remember to move your pins in the same direction your arrows are hitting. If your arrows hit left of center, move your pins left to compensate. If your arrows hit high, move your pins up. Get your windage set first, then take care of the elevation adjustment.

Gobbler fever

Q: It's hard to explain, but when a turkey comes into view my whole body begins to shake. It's as if I black out just as I shoot. I've tried everything. How can I avoid getting so nervous?

A: Sounds like 'gobbler fever' to me. What you're experiencing is nervous energy that grows as you get close to your goal of getting a longbeard. Try not to look directly at the turkey — look at your boot and say over and over "okay, relax, let him come in and then put the bead on him." Remember, this is part of the excitement of the hunt — and when you don't get excited anymore, you may as well quit.

Strategies in the Wild airs 10:55 a.m. ET Sundays on ESPN2 during the months of January, February and March.