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  • Coyotes
    Nebraska's Sandhills hold a bunch of coyotes. 1/2012
  • Javelina
    Javelina were abundant on the first day of the King Ranch pig hunt. 9/2012
  • 257 Roberts
    John took two javelina, a racoon and a 150-pound boar with a fancy-grade Cabela's Winchester Model 70 in .257 Roberts. 9/2012
  • Sandhills
    The Sandhills are one of the emptiest and most beautiful areas of the Lower 48. 1/2012
  • Black
    John shot a nice pig on the King Ranch. Don't know if you can see it: it was pretty dark, and the pig was pretty black. And we don't like the 'deer in the headlights' look a flash would give it. 9/2012
  • Eileen Whitetail Deer 2011
    Eileen got her nice whitetail buck on the first afternoon of a late November hunt in southeastern Montana.
  • John Whitetail 2011
    John hunted mule deer for a couple of days, passing all of them up before deciding to hunt whitetails--making sure it was smaller than Eileen's!
  • Old Gun hunt 2011
    Eileen took this whitetail doe with her old German combination gun, a 16-gauge over 9x72R, on our annual Old Gun Hunt in northern Montana.
  • Old Gun hunt 2011
    John got this Old Gun Hunt doe with a Sauer drilling, a 16x16/6.5x57R.
  • Old Gun Hunt Camp
    We camped with a dozen friends on the Old Gun Hunt; soon the trees were filled with deer.
  • Tanzania Tent Camp
    John lived in this tent camp for over two weeks on his September hunt in Tanzania.

Where in the world is John?

Click here to find out


Rifle Loony News: The First Five Years


You asked for it and now it's here.  Rifle Loony News is now a book!  No more messy stacks of print-outs on the bathroom floor, no more going without RLN when you're at hunting camp!

When we started writing Rifle Loony News 5 years ago, we agreed on two things: no advertising and always tell the truth. That’s what we’ve been doing for five years, whether it’s scopes and binos, accurizing your rifle, singing the praises of an Honest Gun, or breaking down the myths of game care and cooking.

And the beat goes on. Year six started with features on brining wild birds and venison (yes, it’s different from chicken and beef) and John’s reports on laser range finders, the CZ Model 452 .17 Hornady Rimfire Magnum, ‘Guns I Don’t Buy Anymore’ and lots more.

Buy this book, then sign up for the next five years of Rifle Loony News at (4xyear online/$8 per year). You’ll never run out of things to argue about over the campfire.


Rifle Loony News Sample

Soft cover, 263 pages with a color insert:  $28.95


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Modern Hunting Optics

by John Barsness 


JBOpticsCoverWhether you are buying a new scope or binocular, trying to figure out how to mount a new rifle scope--or worse--find out what went wrong with the one you have on your rifle already, Modern Hunting Optics will walk you through it!

What does John cover?

  • Hunting with a Spotting Scope
  • Hunting Binoculars
  • Testing Binoculars
  • Testing Scopes
  • Scope Adjustments
  • Advanced Scope Mounting Techniques & Tools
  • Reticle Placement & Parallax
  • Reticles & Turrets
  • And much much more

Soft Cover, 6x9", 200 pages, $25  (As always, media shipping in the US is free.)



scope test sheet

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Rifle Trouble-Shooting and Handloading

Rifle-Troubleshooting-Coverby John Barsness

One early October day Eileen and I went to the Virgil Binkley Shooting Complex, to try some new handloads, shoot some new-to-us rifles, and sight in other rifles for Montana’s big game season.  It was a perfect day for shooting, cool enough so that barrels didn’t get hot quickly, and almost completely calm.  Turned out, it was just the calm before the storm--or just another day at the range.  

It all depends on how you handle your rifle’s little mysteries.

Soft cover, 324 pages, 54 b&w photos, $24.50. (Free media rate shipping in the U.S.)
Ever wish you could do more to straighten out your favorite rifle?  Peek over the shoulder of someone who’s been doing it for a while?  Successfully?   Here’s your key to John’s workbench and his  thought process.

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Check out the table of contents


Slice of the Wild
cut and cook game for  your table 


What’s inside the book?

A hundred game recipes, 40 Wild Sides—tried and true side dishes Eileen and her husband, John Barsness, have paired with wild game for years—and an array of Tips & Tactics for making your wild game dinner less guess-ful. There is also a detailed, lavishly photographed section on game care, another on cutting your game to fit the size and tastes of your family so the steaks and roasts that end up on your table are as good as they can be. Did I mention the Rogues’ Gallery? A fork by fork (color photo by color photo) evaluation of a range of animals Eileen and John have taken over the years: the good, the bad, the gamy, and the chewy. Finally, there’s the T & T Test, the most uncomplicated way to evaluate game that’s ever been used. Know what you have before you start cutting and wrapping. No nonsense. No fancy stuff. And no more coping with mystery meat! 

View an Index for Slice of the Wild

by Eileen Clarke


Slice of the Wild is now available in a coil-bound paperback! Still a great book and now it has an index, and a lot fewer typos. ( Why didn’t you all tell me I forgot to say how much Gideon’s Grub Rub to put on the GGR goes a roasting--page 114. Three tablespoons, by the way.)

52 color and 63 black & white photos ...and a bullet to fork how-to section that makes cutting game as easy as sitting down to your kitchen table.

194 pages, soft cover & coil binding so it sits flat on your counter while you're cooking,10 ¼ x 8 ¼ inches, $25  (includes free Media Rate shipping in the US--and $3 off international rates.)

Buy this book and never pay a processor again.

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JBfrontcoverObsessions of a Rifle Loony

A half-century of hunting & shooting

John Barsness has written for every major hunting magazine published in North America, and some not so major. More importantly he’s known among a few of his close friends as the Bull Goose Rifle Loony. He wears the title proudly.

Here is a collection on John’s musings about hunting, guns, bullets, and such, some new and some published in places you may not have a subscription to. (Have you had trouble keeping up with his travels the last two years? Well, here’s your chance to catch up!)

Soft Cover, 328 pages, $23.50 (Free media rate shipping in the U.S.)

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Rifle Loony News

Keep up with the latest in optics, handloads, useful outdoor gear, great hunting literature and what wild critter is cooking in Eileen’s kitchen by subscribing to the Loony News. No advertising, no editors, just the facts. Quarterly: May, August, November and February for $8 a year. (Hurry, we’re already working on the next issue.)

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Rifle Loony Hats


Despite some controversy about the preferred word to describe a person who really likes sporting rifles (afficionado, enthusiast, fan and other politically correct suggestions have been made), the majority of readers prefer the term rifle loony, used in many of my articles—and now, those of many other writers and rifle lovers everywhere.  (Available in dark sage, slate, cobalt blue, red/white & blue, a tasteful blaze orange, and camo.)

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