For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Kalhes, they are the oldest optic manufacturer in existence. Based in Austria they have been in the game since 1898. They have never been a huge name in the US due to the lack of a consistent US distributor. That all changed a few years ago when Swarovski Optics, who is their sister company became the US distributor and service center.
This is a first focal plane tactical scope with a 3-18 zoom range, 50mm objective, tactical turrets, illumination, etc.. in a very compact package. I have used this hunting in very low light and shooting matches out to 1k. It has performed flawlessly as expected. Kahles is the oldest optic manufacture on the planet and are made in Austria.
I will fully admit to have a positive bias towards Kahles scopes. I got turned on to them like 15 years ago when I was frequenting the OpticsTalk forum. They had a great reputation for having incredible glass and I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a CL 3-10X50 hunting scope with the turret that allowed you to preset zeros at different yardages. This was before the big FFP “tactical” scope thing really came in to play. I was amazed at how much better in low light that scope was in comparison to the common hunting scopes of the day, Leupold, Nikon Monarchs, etc.. In fact I vividly recall hunting with my dad late one evening and I was on a big buck out in the field at 300 yards and had him dead to rights so to speak. My dad was looking through a Nikon Monarch which as decent scope and a big step up from his trusty old Leupold. He was saying he couldn’t find the deer.. I switched rifles with him and he went “oh wow, there it is!” Suffice it to say he “got” the need for great glass that evening.
Fast forward a few years and I got a Kahles 3-12×50 FFP tactical scope and was again, blown away by the optical performance. I recall having a competitor, a USO 3-17 out at the 1k range and how the Kahles resolved the targets, even at the distance better and make shooting easier, despite having less magnification. I coined a phrase that day “glass trumps magnification”.
If you read those older reviews you can see they care clearly some of the absolute best scopes on the market at any price.
Now to the details of this optic.
Ultrashort and lightweight riflescope for demanding shooters
Absolutely reliable repeat accuracy and precise, clearly defined click mechanism
Wide field of view and exceptional high contrast image
Innovative TWIST GUARD windage (patented)
Parallax wheel integrated into the elevation turret (patented) (25 m to ∞)
Precise illuminated reticles in 1st focal plane
3.5 – 18
Field of view:
27.8 – 5.5 in/100 yds
+2.5 / -3.5 dpt
Twilight factor (DIN 58388):
13.2 – 30.0
Impact correction per click:
0.1 MRAD ¼ MOA
Adjustment range (E/W):
30 / 20 MIL 102 / 69 MOA
25 m till ∞
A few standout features:
Clockwise or counter clockwise elevation adjustment.
I got the CCW as being a right handed shooter and using my left hand for elevation adjustments means that for me, it seems more natural to “wind up” by rotation my wrist towards the front of the rifle for longer shots.
I have done extensive testing on tracking. I have a .1 mil (.36″) grid on a large poster sized target. Placed in ranges from 100 to 750 yards. Given that the host rifle will shoot damned near one hole groups if I do my part it makes for a great tracking platform. All my elevation and windage adjustments went exactly where I expected them to go and always returned to the same zero. I always do a box test where start with a round in the dead center. I go right 10 mils, then up 10, then left 20, down twenty, over 10, and back up 10 to get back to my zero. Shooting out to 1k my rounds impacted where I expected them to based on previous data. Good to go. I am generally a dial for elevation and hold for wind but I do sometimes dial for windage correction.
Left side windage adjustment with Twist Guard
Again, being a right handed shooter having the windage be on the left side of the scope makes so much more sense than being on the right. I maintain a positive grip and rifle mount with my right hand. It also features the “twist guard” which is essentially a plate that rotates freely on the outside to prevent it from getting accidentally bumped off center
Elevation turret location for parallax adjustment.
The parallax adjustment is located under the elevation knob and is easy to read and very convenient to use.
Like most tactical scopes, it features a zero stop and this one was easy to setup.
Located on the right side of the scope is the illumination control. Being mil based reticle with a center dot, what gets illuminated is the center dot and the reticle out to the first mil hashmark along with the .5 stradia marking. It is capable of being extremely dimly lit making it actually useable in very low conditions unlike scopes that can’t get dim enough and are actually counter productive by being too bright and causing your pupil to constrict and making matters worse. I wouldn’t necessarily call it “daytime bright” like a red dot but it is bright enough to make the rather fine reticle easier to find, especially at low magnification settings on a dark target.
This is a mil based reticle featuring a center dot that is .04 mil with .5 and 1 mil hashmarks along with two different ranging reticle features. Below is the detail on the reticle substensions.
This is an incredible scope and would be ideal on either a competition PRS type rifle or a “tactical” precision hunting rifle and it can certainly serve dual purpose. I have it on a custom 6.5 Creedmoor with a 22” barrel and it makes for a extremely capable dual purpose rifle. I like that the glass is outstanding of course, great resolution and clarity. Works very well in low light. It has generous and consistent eye relief in all power settings. I find it very easy to get behind so to speak. It doesn’t exhibit any tunneling (fisheye effect) at lowest magnification settings like some FFPs I have used. The elevation turret is easy to see where you are at, it has a very positive click and there is a button that pops up when you go into the second revolution making it very easy to know if where you are at. I love the compact size and for what you get is on the lighter side for a tactical scope. I can’t recommend the Kahles K3-18 strongly enough.
Each day is different, that is what I like about guiding. Today was no exception, we traveled to an area I haven’t fished in a while, but it was set up perfect for the north wind. We had good clean water, and tons of bait. But, the first 6-7 reds of the morning wanted nothing to do with the baits we were throwing at them. Usually these fish like big baits, 5-7 inches.
However today, after a few short strikes and you could see they just grabbed the tail of the bait, we downsized to the small Down South Lures burner shad and 4″ baits. This did the trick for the most part. We still had a handful of refusals after that but, they didn’t even attempt to strike. They just swam on past like it wasn’t even there. In my opinion this is one of two things. First, some of these fish might just be getting to the area, and are getting their bearings on food sources and cover. Second, it could simply have been the weak front that we got. About mid-day I checked the Barometric Pressure, it was at 30.02 and climbing. This could have been just high enough to lock some of these fish up.
Good weather just keeps rolling in, and blessing us with perfect conditions. It was a lot of fun today watching this repeat group fight fish after fish.
Just a couple trips ago the tower was a new thing to them. But now they can spot them reds like a pro. It is such a fun way to fish. If you’ve never tried it, give us a call and we’ll give you more details on how we play the weather and get you out there!
In earlier articles posted to this website, I discussed hunting Bull Elk in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. In Part 1 of this article, I discussed my successful hunt for a Rocky Mountain Bighorn Ram. In this Part 2, I will cover my quest for a Rocky Mountain Bighorn Ewe.
Shortly after returning home from my Ram hunt, I came up with the idea of hunting for a Rocky Mountain Bighorn Ewe. I planned to do a shoulder mount of the ewe and hang her next to my ram in my trophy room. Knowing how the lottery drawing for Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep was conducted in Colorado, I felt fairly certain that I could get a ewe license. In talking to personnel at the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) Colorado Springs office, I determined that they issued about twenty ewe licenses annually for the entire state. Most of the applications for ewe licenses were from ram hunters who selected ram as their first choice with ewe as second choice. Since I already had my ram, I would apply for ewe as my first choice for the 1983 season. As expected, I was selected for a ewe license in Sheep area S6 where I had harvested my ram in 1982.
My preparation for the ewe hunt was different from my ram hunt where I used Dan Aubuchon for a guided hunt. I would do my ewe hunt on my own.
Whereas most of the rams lived at lower elevations such as on Sheep Mountain where I bagged my ram, most of the ewes, lambs and young rams lived along the Pikes Peak Highway and the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, both of which run to the summit of Pikes Peak. DOW has an agreement with City of Colorado Springs to allow sheep hunters to camp overnight along the Pikes Peak Highway during the sheep hunting season. Every day after he closed the restaurant on the top of Pikes Peak, the manager drove down the highway and noted where my truck was parked near the highway. The next morning as he went up the mountain to open his restaurant he noted whether my truck was still parked in the exact same spot. I could not move my truck nor turn on my truck lights between the times the manager made his trip down and up the mountain. During the rest of the day, I could drive up and down the highway as desired.
Since it is too dangerous to hunt alone on the mountain, I always had a hunting partner accompany me on my ewe hunts. He was just along for the adventure, and he assisted me in locating sheep. I never had a problem finding someone to join me.
The sheep hunting season was several weeks long. Therefore, I would only hunt on the weekends so that I did not have to use up my vacation time.
On opening day of the 1983 sheep season, which was a Saturday, I made the trip in my short bed GMC 4×4 Pickup with a topper up the Pikes Peak Highway, stopping occasionally to search for sheep. We only searched areas above timberline which started near the Mid Point Rest Stop on the Highway and extended to the summit of the Peak. The sheep have a white rump and are easy to spot as small white dots in the brown colored tundra on the side of the mountain. After finding these white spots, we would set up my 60X spotting scope to determine whether the group contained a ewe that I wanted to pursue and whether I could see a downhill route to the highway or a trail for me to retrieve the carcass If I were to kill it in the area it was located. We did not want to have to carry it uphill. After about two round trips up and down the highway without seeing any sheep, I decided to set up camp at a level area known as “Top of the Ws” above the multiple switchbacks along the highway.
This is what it’s about right here. These 11 and 12 year old buddies say they’ve been fishing together since they were 5 and 6.
Imagine what kind of sticks they will be in 20 years. Their lure selection, knots, retrieves and simple handling of fish was impressive to watch.
Today we had trout up to 22” and was in fish most of the morning. Thigh to crotch deep on the grown ups over grass was the ticket. Our main colors were plum/chart, and purple reign. Even managed a couple on topwaters mid morning.
All our fish were realeased in good shape to fight another day.
It frequently amazes me that hunters often feel the need to light up the woods as if it were daylight. I am the complete opposite in that I want just enough light to safely drive from camp to hunting area with minimal disruption. When driving my F-150 I turn off all of the lights other than the amber fog lights. After some research, I purchased the Kaper II L16-0075GR Green LED Hunting light to install on my 2017 Polaris Ranger XP 1000.
I bought the light right before the 2020 deer season so I simply spliced in a cigarette lighter plug and temporarily mounted the light in an existing hole in the Polaris metal roof. Worked well enough for its intended purpose but was not the way I like to roll. I wanted to mount the light in the grill area and install a proper wiring harness and dashboard switch.
Once again, I turned to Amazon and settled on the Nilight LED Light Bar Wiring Kit. This kit includes long wires, heavy 14 gauge wire, fuse block, dual leads, and lighted dashboard switch.
I knew where I wanted to mount the Kaper green LED light but wasn’t quite sure how to access the area required to tighten the nut. Turns out the lower grill insert simply pops out! Super easy installation drilling one hole through plastic. Mounting hardware is all stainless steel.
This navigational trip started with boating etiqutte, confidence in the handling of the boat, learning new areas, general fishing discussion of these new areas. We capped the day off with our “Why’s and Why Nots of Fishing,” classroom session.
—-This service is exclusively offered by Captain Nathan Beabout in the Seadrift/POC bay complex.
In an earlier article posted to this website, I discussed hunting Bull Elk in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. In this article (Part 1), I will discuss my hunt for a Rocky Mountain Bighorn Ram. In Part 2, I will cover my quest for a Rocky Mountain Bighorn Ewe.
In September 1980 when I retired from the U.S. Army after almost 21 years of active service, my wife and I settled in Colorado Springs, Colorado to begin my second career as an aerospace systems engineer. Several of my co-workers were avid big game hunters and were very familiar with hunting the various species of Colorado big game.
They told me about hunting Rocky Mountain Bighorn Rams but warned me that you could only get a Bighorn hunting license through annual lottery drawings, and it was difficult to get drawn for a ram license. For the entire state of Colorado, only about 90 permits were available per year. One of my co-workers had been unsuccessful in the drawing for 11 straight years. However, they convinced me to enter the drawing.
I followed the advice of my co-workers and applied for a Ram license in 1981. Unfortunately, I was not successful in that drawing. I tried my luck again in 1982 and was lucky enough to get drawn for a ram permit for Sheep Unit S6 which included the Pikes Peak Mountain and the surrounding foothills.
Knowing that the sheep habitat was mostly between timberline (about 10,000 feet) and the top of Pikes Peak, which is at 14,110 feet above sea level, I knew that I had to be in excellent physical condition to be able to successfully hunt the sheep. At that time, I was working at Ford Aerospace Corporation with offices in a 15-story office building in Colorado Springs. Every workday, I would make at least one round trip up and down the 15 flights of stairs in the morning, at noon and again after work.
One of the first tasks, after I received my notification that I was successful in the drawing for the license, was to find a highly recommended qualified licensed guide for the hunt. I got in touch with Dan Aubuchon of High Park Guide and Outfitters from Trinidad, Colorado. Dan was familiar with Bighorn Ram hunting in my sheep hunting unit and had successfully guided Ram hunts in that unit.
Included in his guide fee, Dan provided an 8 day one-on-one guided hunt in September and 4 days of scouting the sheep habitat during the summer. Dan would personally guide me on the hunt. He provided me accommodations in a tent base camp just below timberline near the area he expected to conduct the hunt. The hunt included all meals, lodging, riding horses, a pack horse to pack out my ram, plus skinning and capping of the ram. I agreed to these terms, paid him a deposit, and was all set for my hunt.
On June 19, 1982, my youngest daughter, Debbie, and I drove my pickup to the top of Pikes Peak to get the lay of the land. The view from the top was awesome. We saw no sheep that day.
On July 31, Dan and I made our first scouting trip to the area where Dan expected to find Bighorn Rams. He concentrated on an area called Sheep Mountain. We saw some beautiful country but again no sheep. We saw several large water storage reservoirs owned by City of Colorado Springs, in the foothills surrounding Pikes Peak. The reservoirs collect melted snow and rainfall which is then released, as needed by the city, in streams and pipelines down the mountain to the city water supply system.
Our second scouting trip on August 7 & 8, included two nights of camping at the proposed camp site for the actual hunt. The site was just below timberline at the base of Sheep Mountain. On this trip we saw numerous sheep. One flock of 11 sheep included three 1/2 curl rams and eight ewes and lambs. Another group included four 3/4 curl rams and one 1/2 curl ram. We also saw several individual rams but no trophies.
Our third scouting trip occurred on August 20 to 23. We again stayed in the proposed base camp. Although we had great clear weather on our first two trips, this trip proved to be more challenging. We scouted in different areas for the other trips. We saw some very rugged country and saw sheep every day. We also saw lots of different animals, including elk and mule deer. We even saw a lone wild white burro (donkey). The burro probably descended from the burros used by gold prospectors during the Cripple Creek gold rush of the late 1800s and now lives in the wild. We also saw several ptarmigan, which is a large bird (grouse) that lives year-round at and above timberline. For camouflage the ptarmigan is white in the winter and brown in the summer. The ones we saw were in transition–part white and part brown. These beautiful birds are only found in this type of mountain environment.
We concentrated on observing a group of three rams–one 1/2 curl, one 3/4 curl and one almost 7/8 curl. Using Don’s 60X spotting scope, we decided that the largest ram was a true trophy. It had unusually heavy bases and was beautifully symmetrical. It also had a distinctive mark on its left front chest for easy identification later. The mark was probably the result of an earlier fight with another ram. I told Dan that if we could not find a larger ram, I would seriously consider harvesting this ram during the actual hunt.
One afternoon as we were riding down the mountain toward our base camp due to a lightning storm moving in, we spotted a young 1/2 curl ram who was standing watch on top of a rock outcropping above timberline. His task was to watch for predators and warn his partners of danger. According to Dan, this is a relatively common sight in this sheep habitat. When lightning struck near us, the young ram left his post to seek shelter. Dan and I could feel the electricity in the air from the lightning and were seeking shelter as well.
Our fourth and final scouting trip occurred on September 5 – 6, one week before the sheep hunting season opened. We again saw some beautiful country and some sheep but no trophy rams larger than the one I had selected on our previous trip.
Now I was ready for my actual ram hunt. The season started on Saturday, September 11, 1982, and I had a contract with Dan that could last as long as eight days of hunting.
As it turned out, September 11 was my Dad, Adolph Scheel’s 70th birthday. My nine siblings and I were giving him a big birthday party with dinner and dance at Bexar Social Club in Zuehl, Texas near San Antonio. My Dad told me to go on my sheep hunt rather than come to Texas for his party. However, I felt obligated to celebrate this important milestone in his life. I decided that I would delay my sheep hunt for one day and start my hunt on Sunday afternoon. Dan told me that would not be a problem.
My wife and I drove by car to Texas to celebrate the birthday on Saturday evening. Early Sunday morning I took the earliest flight from San Antonio to Denver, Colorado where I arrived at about 7 AM. A few days earlier I had taken my hunting truck to the Denver Airport to facilitate getting to my hunt as early as possible. On Sunday on my way to the hunt, I stopped by my home in Colorado Springs to pick up my hunting gear. At about 2 PM on Sunday afternoon I joined Dan at our base camp.
Dan told me that I had not missed anything. It had been snowing heavily all-day Saturday and Sunday with blizzard conditions on the mountain. I settled into camp and had a delicious dinner which Dan had cooked for me. Dan and I reviewed his plans for the hunt to start as soon as the weather cleared, hopefully by Monday morning. We set the alarm for 5 AM and went to bed early.
When the alarm woke us at 5 AM, the blizzard conditions continued so we stayed in bed. At about 7 AM, we woke up to bright sunshine. Dan asked me to fix breakfast while he saddled the horses and loaded our equipment. By 8 AM on Monday morning, we were finally on our way up Sheep Mountain to begin my hunt.
When we got to timberline, our route took us through a deep snow drift. Our horses were belly deep in snow. We continued to the top of the ridge on Sheep Mountain where it was bitterly cold and windy with no cloud in the sky. We decided to ride down the western slope of the mountain to some large rock outcroppings to get out of the wind. We could see the area where we had spotted the large ram on our scouting trips. It was now covered with about one foot of snow with deeper drifts.
After about an hour of looking, I spotted three rams about 1/2 mile away on an adjacent ridge. Dan set up his spotting scope and lo and behold we spotted the big ram with the scar on his chest. That was the ram I was looking for.
There was a deep sheer cliff canyon between our location and the rams. We rode our horses to the top of the main ridge on Sheep Mountain and worked our way to the top of the ridge where the rams were located. We then rode down that ridge to within about 500 yards of the rams. We tethered our horses and carefully walked down the ridge toward the rams. At about 300 yards, we spotted the three rams. Slowly we worked our way toward the rams, sitting on the ground and sliding downhill on the seat of our pants. At about 200 yards Dan set up his spotting scope to ensure that I was in fact looking at the correct ram. We confirmed my ram by the scar on his chest.
I then got myself into a good prone shooting position. The adrenaline was flowing but I calmed myself down and took careful aim. As I slowly squeezed the trigger, the 180 grain Nossler partition bullet from my Remington 700 BDL 30.06 did its job. My quest for my Rocky Mountain Bighorn Ram was over. The ram was down.
After the mandatory photo taking, Dan began processing the ram. He field dressed the ram and propped the cavity open to cool the carcass. He then skinned the ram and placed the meat into the panniers on our pack horse Spook. Dan then carefully caped the head ready to deliver it to the taxidermist. After he methodically did all his tasks, he loaded the cape and skull with horn trophy on Spook and we were on our way back to our base camp.
That evening Dan prepared a wonderful dinner in camp. As the appetizer he fried a fresh Rocky Mountain oyster from my ram. That was my first ever experience with eating Rocky Mountain oysters. The appetizer was delicious. It started a wonderful tradition for me, and I have eaten Rocky Mountain oysters from several game animals ever since. Dan packaged the second oyster for me and told me to freeze it for a special occasion. I did as he suggested and took it with me on a subsequent elk hunting trip and shared it with my hunting buddy.
September 15, 1982, we broke camp and headed home. What a wonderful experience of a lifetime. I had just experienced a successful hunt for my Rocky Mountain Bighorn Ram which a small percentage of big game hunters ever are able to experience.
I will digress a bit about the taxidermist. When I first met Dan several months earlier, he suggested that I use a quality taxidermist and not trust any taxidermist to mount my Ram trophy. Dan had recommended a young taxidermist in Colorado Springs who had mounted several rams for his previous clients. I met this taxidermist and arranged to have him mount my anticipated ram trophy. Unfortunately, I do not remember his name. One week before my ram hunt, this young taxidermist lost his life in a Jeep accident on a pronghorn antelope hunt east of Colorado Springs. I normally hunted antelope in that area.
Dan suggested that I contact a mutual friend of his and the taxidermist who was killed. This friend, Rusty Phelps, was not a full-time taxidermist but had done some excellent taxidermy work. Rusty was well known, and is famous today, for his bronze western sculptures which are in demand around the world. As a favor to his departed friend and my guide Dan, Rusty agreed to mount my ram.
The first stop after I got to Colorado Springs with my ram trophy, was at the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW). Mark Elkins from DOW inspected my trophy and assisted me in completing the mandatory questionnaire about my sheep hunt. Mark then placed a permanent small metal plug into the base of the ram’s horn. This permanent marker affords me a measure of protection from theft of the trophy and makes it more difficult for a poached animal to become someone’s illegal “trophy”. The next stop was at Rusty Phelps’ office where I turned over my ram trophy for him to shoulder mount. Out of a total of 93 rams killed in Colorado in 1982, mine ranked #9 from the top.
Today in July 2021 my trophy Rocky Mountain Bighorn Ram hangs in a place of honor in my living room in New Braunfels, Texas where I can enjoy it for the rest of my life. Now I can relive my once-in-a- life-time hunt on Pikes Peak for my Rocky Mountain Bighorn Ram. Knowing that the ram was mounted by world famous wildlife sculptor Rusty Phelps makes it even more special.
This ends Part 1 of my “Pair from the Peak” article. In Part 2, I will discuss my quest for a Rocky Mountain Bighorn Ewe.
The Minor feed prediction was pretty spot on for us this morning. The first 2 ponds we fished this morning with POC Custom Rods, and DSL’s glow was on!
Fish were pushed up on the windward banks feeding on shad, and mullet. It was a fun morning with these repeat clients who are down for a short vacation. Typically we wade, but this time was just looking for a relaxing morning on the boat. I don’t know if anybody relaxed, but the stories are always fun and the action was good.
All our fish were released to fight another day. Thank you to all our clients who are helping our resource this year. It’s simply time enjoying the water, with some good pulls, and teaching.
It was a fun day in the marsh chasing reds. After a couple early morning adjustments, we found where and what they wanted. Most of the reds were milling in creeks, or right on the edge of shallow flats.
After a few bait changes, we figured out that DSL’s pure pearl, color x, pumpkinseed, and Buggs Lures did the trick.
We sat through a couple small showers waiting for the sun, bet it helped to cool us off. All our fish were released to fight another day, thank you for that gentlemen.
Give us a call to line up your sight casting or wading trip for July-September.