APRIL 15, 2024

Happy Monday, all! This week The Hunting Wire is in eastern Kentucky chasing gobblers with Chene Gear's Mike Tussey. The Bluegrass State has always been good to me. Check in next week to see how everything worked out.

In the meantime, the new homestead is settling in just fine. Having a range in your backyard is a blessing - a dream come true.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be focused on turkeys, turkey gear, and adventures with Wendy as we try to put her in the win column this season. Here's a big shout-out to everyone who gets to hunt with our significant others. Short story - I brought up a small piece of land I just got access to near the house to Wendy and Brenn over dinner last week. It's a low-pressure area often overlooked by hunters, and I'm optimistic. My daughter suggested I write about this new place in The Hunting Wire, and she was immediately cut off by my wife, who said we wouldn't be doing that. That's a honey hole, Brenn, and we don't discuss those with anyone. Ever.

I married the right gal.

Good luck, everyone.


The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has confirmed Indiana’s first positive case of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in LaGrange County. CWD is a neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, resulting in their eventual death.

This positive case is adjacent to a region where CWD had previously been detected in Michigan. CWD has been detected in wild deer in 33 states, including all states bordering Indiana.

“CWD has been in our region for many years with positive cases in all of our surrounding states,” said Joe Caudell, Indiana DNR deer biologist. “The public can help by reporting sightings of sick or dead deer to the DNR, as well as submitting harvested deer for testing during deer hunting season. Through increased awareness and testing, we can work to monitor CWD within Indiana’s deer population.”

Because CWD had previously been detected in Michigan near the Indiana border, finding it in this area of Indiana was highly likely, Caudell said, and DNR will continue monitoring the area for CWD.

There have been no reported cases of CWD infection in humans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that hunters strongly consider having their harvested deer tested before eating the meat. The CDC also recommends not eating meat from an animal that tests positive for CWD. For more information about the CDC’s recommendations, visit cdc.gov/prions/cwd.

The Indiana white-tailed deer was a male harvested by a hunter and confirmed positive for CWD by two independent tests. CWD is caused by a misfolded prion that causes damage to the animal’s nervous system. CWD can spread from deer-to-deer contact or through contaminated environments and remains in the soil for many years. Animals in the late stages of CWD can appear emaciated, show erratic behavior, and exhibit neurological irregularities. If you see any sick or dead wildlife, please report it at on.IN.gov/sickwildlife.

Indiana’s various deer hunting seasons run from mid-September until the end of January.

During hunting season, to have their harvested deer tested for CWD, hunters can drop off its head in a freezer outside a Fish & Wildlife Area or State Fish Hatchery office or schedule appointments to bring their harvested deer to these sites to be tested. All CWD sampling locations can be viewed through an interactive map. Alternatively, people may submit samples directly to the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL) at Purdue University for a fee. More information and submission forms are available on the ADDL website.

Find more information about CWD on our website at on.IN.gov/CWD.

To view more DNR news releases, please see dnr.IN.gov.

By Zach Hein
To see if the SilencerCo Salvo could serve to preserve hearing while training dogs, we installed one on a little-used BPS and headed to the hills for some early season huns.

“I want you to explore a different angle on the shotgun suppressor. How useful would it be in dog training?” editor Jay Pinsky posed.

I rolled the thought around in my head, knowing that he had touched on something solid. Very solid.

When I first got serious about bird dogs, a mentor of mine had started dropping tidbits that wormed their way deep into my head – little things that just stuck with me. In exemplum, four years is the ideal spacing between bird dogs, that way you always have a pup in training, a master in its prime and a retiree who gets to live in the lap of luxury the rest of its years. Occasionally you might have two old fogies, but not often.

As I continued to work alongside this sage of shotgunning, I noticed a recurring theme with his elder dogs – they never failed to go deaf as they reached their later years.

Hearing loss in dogs that are exposed to shotgun blasts is a very real thing – much more so when they’re on point or flushing birds directly in front of the muzzle.

“Well yeah, it might be a little bit genetics but I don’t even know how many thousands of rounds Chester got – and from the muzzle end of the gun,” shotgun designer, professional shooter and instructor Dave Miller reflected. “He probably ran 50 or 60 150-200 bird continental shoots, and there were some weeks where we’d do three days with three shoots. At every one of those, the guys were shooting a couple cases of shells and he heard all those shots – I know that’s why he went deaf.”

My own bird dogs had never seen the sheer numbers that Dave’s had, and even they began to get a bit deaf before their time here was over. To see how common it might be, I turned to trainer and field trialer Dan Murray of Absolute Gundogs.

“That’s funny, we were just talking about that the other day. Some dogs go deaf at 12 or 13 while others might be at 9 or so. The ones you hunt more, like my trials dogs, they’re getting trained 6-7 months out of the year and then going to competitions, and their hearing tends to go at 9 or 10 years,” Dan reflected.

“I’d have a hard time even estimating how many shells we shoot a year – it’s pallets. Even with our waterfowl dogs, we’re shooting dummy launchers over them and that has to have an effect too. The genetic component is there also – some dogs go deaf at 8 even. A couple years early to us, but in dog years that’s actually a long time…”

At first blush, the thought of a hearing test for dogs might seem silly or impractical, but they do exist, and the BAER test that became the standard in the 1970s is rather effective. Not only does it provide reliable data regarding the presence of deafness, it also speaks to severity, gives specificity and provides repeatable results while doing so in a non-invasive manner. The test itself measures brain activity when the subject is exposed to auditory stimuli, so if the signals are making out of the ear and to the brain, technicians will know.

Using both BAER examinations as well as a tympanometer to rule out middle ear pressure irregularities, researchers in Ankara, Turkey published a paper regarding the effects of gunshots on pointing dogs. In cooperation with hunters, 40 German Shorthairs were tested after they returned from hunts where shotguns were fired over them and results were recorded, showing not only acoustic trauma resulting in deafness but a correlation between where the dog was in relation to the shotgun’s muzzle and how much trauma they experienced.

The results were interesting in that even though dogs’ ears are said to be four times more sensitive than a human’s, within the frequencies produced by gunshots they are actually rather similar.

Since we share sensitivities in these frequencies, dogs would be expected to have irreparable hearing loss with each and every shot fired over them, since that threshold occurs at 140 dB and a typical 12 gauge blast will clock in between 150 and 160 dB. The resulting recommendation of the study was:

In order to be protected from the detrimental effects of acoustic trauma, hunters should be informed about products developed for dogs, as those products may be beneficial.

After my first experience shooting suppressed, I quickly formed the opinion that while ear plugs and electronic muffs are fine, they just don’t compare to the enjoyment had while using an effective suppressor. From pistols and rimfire to sub guns and hunting rifles, I came to love shooting suppressed. The one thing I hadn’t done was try one on a scattergun, even though I shoot more rounds through a shotgun each year than I do any other firearm.

A modular suppressor, the Salvo can be configured from 6” to 12” by removing sections and re-assembling with the appropriate rod kit (available separately). In full factory 12” form it’s a behemoth.

To see how viable a shotgun suppressor might be, I set up one of my lesser-used pumps (a Browning BPS) with SilencerCo’s Salvo 12 gauge can and headed into the hills with my dad.

Attaching the Salvo was simple – screw out the factory choke and fit the mount of your choice. In my case, that meant one in a Browning Invector Plus pattern choke in Modified constriction. Once the mount was on, the Salvo itself slipped over it and the locking collar on the mount tightened to the suppressor by way of an included spanner. Simple as can be and plenty secure.

The resulting shotgun was visually dramatic. A normal-sized shotgun had now grown to a behemoth, standing nearly six feet in height.

“That’s not going to fit in any gun case you’ve got…” chuckled my father.

“Heck, it might not fit in the truck!” I exaggerated.

Carrying it in the field was somewhat comical, especially in its full-length configuration. At 12” long, the modular suppressor can be configured shorter (all the way down to 6”), but with reduced suppression capabilities. On the flip side, configuring it shorter allows for the use of higher velocity shells, which is a plus when hunting.

While the gun we assembled turned out to be a bit oulandish, a better host for this purpose would be a shotgun with a barrel length of 20” or less.

After a morning working our pointer in the Wyoming hills we had figured one thing out – while the Salvo’s sound suppression and recoil reduction were surprisingly good, the way we had configured it and with a full-length gun it just wasn’t a viable option. The suppressor itself isn’t terribly heavy, but when hung off the end of an already-long shotgun, the weight is amplified.

But what if it could be put on a smaller gun? Regarding the question at hand, most upland dogs are trained over pigeons or pen-raised quail, just about any load and shotgun can be used to effectively down birds for retrieval. Why not suppress a 20, 28 or .410? I imagine that a .410 suppressor would be downright perfect given the often whippy nature of that smallest sub-gauge. Sticking a suppressor on the end would lend one a much more deliberate swing and the overall gun would more similarly resemble a full-size 12 gauge, making it much easier to carry in the field than the beast my father and I had created.

But the economics of building a low-demand product like that likely precludes it from being made – the vast majority of demand will always be in the most common gauge.

One beauty of the Salvo, though, is in its modularity. Disassembly and reassembly with a simple rod kit allows the suppressor to shrink by half. When equipped on a short-barreled pump or semi-auto (think defensive or turkey-specific shotgun), the length issue disappears entirely. Suppression isn’t quite as good, but the unwieldy behemoth transforms into a perfectly manageable firearm.

As our conversation continued, Dan brought up a point I hadn’t considered.

“For me, 12 gauge is just fine, but it would need to work on an over/under since we rely on break-open guns from a safety aspect. With an over/under it is clearly safe when it’s open – there’s no question. A semi-auto or pump doesn’t give that,” remarked Dan. “To me, that’s an immediate issue and we just won’t use them.”

Given the complexity of a two-barreled suppressor, the real answer for Dan would be a single shot break-open gun, but the issue there would be finding one that takes a choke – not impossible but single-shots have seen a steadily declining market to the point that not many companies currently produce one.

In its 6” form and equipped on a 18” barrel the Salvo is right at home and the shotgun carries and swings very well. Not the traditional gun most would grab for dog training, but the reduction in report is noticeable over a standard upland shotgun.

In its full-size configuration, the Salvo’s true calling would be in a goose pit or duck blind – situations where semi-autos are the norm and it doesn’t have to be carried, just picked up and used. I imagine all the rounds I’ve fired in my younger years from inside metal goose pits that left my ears ringing and the thought of sticking my ear pro on the end of the barrel was pretty darn appealing.

Additionally, screwed onto the end of a short defensive shotgun in its 6” form would be near ideal, since lighting off a shotgun in the close quarters of a house would be a great way to blow out what little hearing I have left. Or more realistically, the times where a late-night raid on our chicken coop was going down and the offending predator needed to be dealt with – always an ear-ringer and a much more common occurrence.

With dog training, it very well could work when in its short configuration, but you’ll have to be ok with using a just-legal-length pump or semi-auto as the host and not getting quite the suppression of the full can. Is the time, investment and extra government intrusion worth the hearing protection?

“The question really is does the owner want to get a few extra years out of their dog’s hearing?” Dan posed. “In that case, it might just be worth it…”


For years, game-calling expert Gary Roberson has observed animals silently communicating.

ANECHOIC™ announces its attendance at RECOIL’s CANCON in Phoenix, Arizona. The event, which will take place at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility from April 18th to 20th, 2024. ANECHOIC™ is excited to showcase its innovative AnechoX titanium suppressor line.

Federal Ammunition adds 15 new sub-gauge product options to its popular Federal Premium High Over All (HOA) product lineup. Engineered for the most elite trap, skeet and sporting clays shooters, HOA leaves a trail of shattered targets in its wake and more reloads per shell.

Xpedition Archery is seeking Regional Sales Managers to cover the Midwest, Southwest and TALO territories. These managers will serve as the driving force behind our sales growth & customer engagement, ensuring that our bows are effectively promoted, distributed, and supported within each respective region.

Landowners have until May 1 to apply for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ Elk Hunting Access Agreement (EHA) Program. These EHA agreements provide landowners with an elk license (including elk B), an either-sex permit or combination of the two in exchange for allowing free public hunting access for elk management purposes.

Fiocchi continues to stay apace with the 5.7 wave with two new ammunition offerings of this spicy, multi-purpose cartridge. Fiocchi is giving 5.7x28mm fans two combo pack options to satisfy both training needs and end use.

Global Defense announces the availability of two exclusive new Global Defense branded pistols—the SA-9 9mm and the 1911 Thunderbolt Signature Series custom .45 ACP through distribution partnerships with AmChar Wholesale Inc. and Sports South, LLC. 

Continuing to build on the DAKA GRID’s adaptability and customizability, Magpul released its new DAKA Gear Straps and DAKA Bins (2X2 and 4X2 sets) adding other implements to further enhance the GRID’s utility.

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners gave final approval to the 2024-25 hunting and trapping seasons and bag limits.

The Ohio Wildlife Council approved Ohio’s 2024-25 hunting and trapping seasons for white-tailed deer, migratory birds, small game, and furbearers during its regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, April 10, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

Kryptek announces a strategic partnership with Tempress, the premier manufacturer of high-quality boat seats.

Badlands has released the new All-Terrain Xtreme (ATX) line of rugged, water-repellent day packs. Available in April in the earth tone Mud and soon in two of their Approach camouflage patterns, all ATX packs are compatible with Badlands SWAP System and all work with the Badlands Bino Connect System.

The total economic impact of the firearm and ammunition industry in the United States increased from $19.1 billion in 2008 to $90.05 billion in 2023, a 371 percent increase, while the total number of full-time equivalent jobs rose from approximately 166,000 to over 384,437, a 131 percent increase in that period, according to a report released by the NSSF®, The Firearm Industry Trade Association.

Savage Arms extends its popular 320 Tactical Shotgun line with the release of its 320 Tactical FDE.

The Michigan Natural Resources Commission, at its March 14 meeting, approved two regulation changes that affect coyote hunting in Michigan. These changes will be included in the 2024 Furbearer Harvest Regulations Summary but take effect prior to its publication.

C&H Precision has been named “Large Business of the Year” by the Richmond Hill Chamber of Commerce. The award was announced during the Annual Meetings & Award Banquet on Monday, March 25, 2024.

To provide School Resource Officers the ability to safely and discreetly store long arms that can be quickly accessed from within a locked-down campus, Hayman Safe company developed the Rapid Access Firearm Safe (RAFS) as part of the company’s School Resource Officer (SRO) Initiative.

Burris Optics announces the extension of its strategic partnership with Beyond the Hunt, an acclaimed television show that takes viewers on amazing hunting adventures across North America.

C&H Precision has been named “Large Business of the Year” by the Richmond Hill Chamber of Commerce. The award was announced during the Annual Meetings & Award Banquet on Monday, March 25, 2024.

Crosman Corporation unveiled a special edition of the popular Challenger PCP air rifle emblazoned with the American flag. The custom patriotic stock finish is applied using the hydro dip technique and combines elements of Old Glory with images of the script “We The People” from the U.S. Constitution.

SKRE Gear presents the Summer Bundle, a collection of high-tech clothing designed to meet the demands of hardcore hunters. The Summer Bundle includes the Kaibab 150 SS Merino Wool short-sleeve shirt, Unita Early Season Pant—V1, Grid Lite Jacket, and Timber Hitch belt.

Baschieri & Pellagri USA proudly announces the outstanding achievement of its Pro Staff member, Macie Page, at the Austin Gun Club in Austin, Texas hosted March 29th-31st. Macie clinched the Ladies HOA title, showcasing her exceptional talent and dedication.

HOIST to sponsor two respected events in the U.S. Army community: the 40th annual Best Ranger Competition and the International Sniper Competition.

SLG2, Inc. proudly announces the addition of Mantis to its lineup of top industry partners.

National Bowhunter Education Foundation (NBEF) recently teamed up with education advocate Bethany Beathard. Beathard home schools her five children and is an outdoor writer/digital creator and military wife. Beathard’s social channels feature hunting, cooking and family posts.

The National Bowhunter Education Foundation offers its Advanced Black Bear Anatomy and Shot Placement Guide and Mini 3-D Durable Foam Bear Model. These informative items help increase hunting success and safety for all hunters.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has modified the antlerless deer license sales schedule, and additionally is guaranteeing most resident hunters will get an antlerless license in the Wildlife Management Unit of their choice, as long as they do so before sales to nonresidents begin.

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board voted on April 10 to have 80 either-sex moose hunting permits and 100 antlerless moose hunting permits available this year for a hunt limited to Vermont’s Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) E in the northeastern corner of the state.

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