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Streaming & How It Can Help You

Why is the ability to stream from your scope such an important tool to have? I was asked this question numerous times over the week of SHOT Show while I had the pleasure of working the ATN Booth. To my surprise, the reasons that I always talked about with people were almost shocking. They couldn’t believe that they hadn’t even thought about it and didn’t understand why it wasn’t pushed as a capability more, so, I decided to write this little article and explain some of those exact benefits to our base!

As a father, one of the most important things I want to instill in my kids when it comes to hunting and firearms is firearm safety. How to properly handle a loaded firearm, how to properly shoot a firearm and how to be accurate and consistent; are just some of the great benefits this little tool can provide to you. ATN has a wide variety of products in their SMART HD Optics. Whether you are using the X-Sight 4K Pro, Thor 4, Binox 4K or the Binox 4T…this is available for you!

My 5 year old daughter has a suppressed 22 Long Rifle, on top of it sits a X-Sight 4K Pro 5-20. When we go to the range to shoot, we make sure we have plenty of ammo, drinks, snacks and my iPad loaded with the Obsidian 4 App. (The Obsidian App works with the X-Sight II and Thor HD/OTS HD line of products) What I have learned over the past year of working with her is that this provides me an invaluable opportunity to teach her how to shoot, but also I can watch her as she is shooting. I can stream, in real time what she is seeing in the scope to my iPad, but I can also watch her physically as she is behind the rifle. We can discuss what she sees, I can adjust settings on the scope for her and I can coach her on what it is she is seeing, where she is aiming and it allows me to confirm all of that in real time. So, when we are ready to shoot, I can ask her, “Do you see the black circle? If so, put your crosshairs on it.” While I am watching her, making sure the safety stays on and her finger is out of the trigger well, I can also watch on the iPad where exactly she is aiming until she gets settled in on where she wants to shoot. At that point, she can then ask to take it off safety, I can verify she stays on target and makes a good shot. It’s really proven to be an awesome coaching and learning tool for the both of us, but it also allows me to record her shooting videos as well, that we can play back later on the computer and talk about it.

Another fantastic possibility this provides is one that fellow ATN Ambassador Gene Wisnewski and good friend of mine got to see first-hand that really impressed me. Let’s say, for instance, you have a hunter that has a visual impairment or a physical disability that doesn’t allow them to get down on a rifle, or let’s say they are in a wheelchair or that particular person for whatever reason cannot shoulder a rifle. With a proper mounting system or a tripod system, you can stream the scopes image to a much bigger viewing platform such as a tablet or phone that doesn’t require the person to be looking through the scope. This single capability can allow someone who wasn’t able to hunt before, the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors just as much as we do.

Thanks to constantly pushing the technological envelope and their desire to bring more people to the shooting and hunting sport, ATN has brought forth product lines that do just that. Thanks to opportunities to engage and discuss with customers at a place like SHOT Show, it gave me the opportunity to see that some things I see as normal, other people never even thought about using the products in these ways. I hope this helps to highlight just ONE of the many awesome features that ATN packs into their units and hopefully this will help you have more success at the range or in the field!

First Timers: Becoming a Hunter Without Experience

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After a slow but steady decline since 1982, the number of hunters in the US has started to pick back up since 2016, with many first-time hunters getting into the sport. If you love wildlife and outdoor activities, hunting may be the perfect hobby for you. But how do you get involved if you've never been hunting before, especially if you don't know anyone to show you the ropes? Fortunately, with a little research, you can learn about hunting and prepare yourself for a hunting excursion in no time at all. The greater hunting community has put together a wealth of information on the internet available to hunters of all experience levels, from gear and clothing reviews to gun safety and animal behavior information.

Safety First

It likely goes without saying, but whenever you endeavor to take on a hobby involving firearms, safety training should be your utmost priority. If you haven't ever shot a rifle or shotgun, seek out a shooting range nearby where you can rent them and get instruction on how to load and shoot safely. Through your shooting range, you may be able to sign up for a formal gun safety course, or a shooting course.

There are also online hunting safety courses, depending on what state you live in or plan to hunt in. Once you have mastered a rifle, there are plenty of tech gadgets you can get to improve your skills. In addition to gun safety, you should be versed in the proper attire for hunting, most importantly, blaze orange apparel that will make you visible to other hunters (while still allowing you to blend into your surroundings in your camouflage clothing).

Where to Go?

Now that you've mastered how to handle your weapon and what to wear to keep safe in the wilderness, you'll need to decide what you want to hunt. Is it deer you're after? Do you prefer the challenge of flying fowl? Are you up for a snowy hunting adventure or would you prefer to stay warmer and (hopefully) drier? When you decide what type of game you're interested in hunting, do some research to find out where those animals are available near you.

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There are also a plethora of guided hunting excursions all over the world, if travel appeals to you. There are also numerous hunting websites with information on animal behavior and the best way and time of year and even day to successfully hunt them, if you're unsure of what you'd like to go after. Depending on what kind of game you're interested in and the best time of day and year to hunt, you may need additional gear, such as night vision goggles or binoculars.

Follow the Rules

Whatever and wherever you choose to go on your hunting expedition, there will be rules. First, there will be a specific hunting season for each animal, often broken out into multiple seasons based on whether you are hunting with a bow or firearm. You will need some kind of hunting permit, whether it's called a permit or tag or something else.

There are limits to how many animals you can hunt, and violations of these limits can lead to fines and even jail time, so be sure you are aware of those limits and the requirements for hunting. If you go on a guided excursion through a company, they will often take care of the logistics for you, but there are websites with all of this information as well.

If you are interested in hunting but inexperience is holding you back, do some research and get on out there into the wilderness. Not only are there thousands of resources on the web available for you to learn about every aspect of hunting imaginable, many people in the hunting community are willing to share insights and advice, if you only ask for it. As you prepare for your first hunt, accumulating the appropriate firearms, apparel, and relevant tech gear, ask questions of the seasoned professionals you encounter. People love to talk about their passions, and you have something in common, so let them know it and glean all the information you can.