If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb.

At least that’s the story I heard. As I write this, it is not quite the first of March and I am not sure which it will be, but March is a month to be prepared. Turkey and trout season are not far away and if you are like me, you tend to put equipment away for each carelessly. Turkey calls are stuffed in a drawer, who knows where, and my fishing tackle is a tangled mess. Now is the time to get on the ball and straighten and clean each one.

Honestly, I believe the most neglected yet important item in the anglers array of equipment is not the reel or the rod, but nothing more than the line on the reel. After all, it is the connection between the angler and the fish. Over a period of time, this line will weaken. When the line passes through a rough stream bottom, it can get nicked and that might change the actual weight before breakage to two pounds. This is a far cry from the original breaking weight of four pounds. Knots can also weaken line and result in more lost trophies than any other factor.

Right now is a good time to wind new line on your favorite reel and, for goodness sake, buy the best you can afford. Also, clean all the grit and squashed up stuff from inside the guides and reel. Patch and repair or replace leaky boots or waders. I never believed in having a single favorite lure while fishing. Spinners and other lures cost a bit so start now to buy your favorites. That way you can spread the cost over more than one pay. It’s just that time of year.

March also is a slow month for firearms sales. That being said, if one is looking to buy a good gun now for next year, I would look at the new cartridge. The best seller on the market right now is the 6.5 Creedmore. This cartridge has taken off since its introduction at a record-breaking pace. I find this amazing when the ballistics are looked at in depth.

The Creedmore has neither speed nor bullet weight in its favor. However, this smallish round does have a good ballistics coefficient going for it. This is not really a knock on the 6.5 for far too many hunters have taken to the woods over-gunned. When I look at the anatomy of a whitetail deer, very little penetration is required to reach the deer’s vitals. The distance from one rib cage to the other on an average size buck is but eight to nine inches.

When I look at the rounds offered the hunter, I take into consideration more than one factor. Like other tools, the rifle rounds come in specific groups. The big ones, such as the .300 magnums and bigger ones, are large enough for the big bear and elk size game. Those that shoot a cartridge in this group don’t get a free lunch because they pay a price in recoil and purchase price of the ammo.

Availability also entered into my choice because more than once, I have hunted with a person who had the wrong ammo on a distant trip. If he is using a common round, such as the .300 Win Mag, he probably will find a box. But if the rifle is chambered in .335 Tyrannosaurus Rex Basher, the picture is changed. It isn’t commonly found.

The middle ground rounds and the ones that are the most sensible are those of medium case capacity such as the 30-06. This group would also include the .270 and the 7mm and a few other common rounds. In this group, I always have leaned toward the .270, though it is an oldie. It shoots flat hits like a 30-06 and is common. As far as the trajectory goes, the .270 and the .243 have a very similar drop table out to 500 yards but the .270 hits quite a bit harder.

The light group of common rounds includes the .243, 6mm. & .257 among others. I like that .270 because it smacks harder when close and will reach out farther and touch them at longer distances. Born in 1925, it is 90-years old but if there is a better all-round cartridge on the market, I have yet to see it.

Incidentally, there is a 6.5 Creedmore in my gun safe and it is a fine cartridge. I think March is a fine time for me to be prepared for whatever comes next, be it a new Creedmore or an old .270. I’ll be ready.

George Block writes a weekly Outdoors column for the Observer-Reporter

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