Archive for the 'Hunting Stories' Category

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Published by admin on 02 Aug 2010

Nugent hit it dead center with his “Mystical flight of the arrow”

Nugent hit it dead center with his “Mystical flight of the arrow”
 
Ted Nugent calls it “the mystical flight of the arrow” and I always thought that was a pretty good description of the sport of archery.  There’s just something about the flight of an arrow that has been a lifelong addiction for me.  I drew my first bow in 1971 at the age of four and have been drawing a bowstring ever since.  Uncle Theo has a way with words and I’ve never seen a better description than he has for this passion we share for the flight of the arrow.
 
I like shooting an arrow, talking about and writing about it, and visiting with others that like it.  So much so that I made it a career.  For the past 25 years I’ve been on the road doing instinctive archery shows across the country.  As a protege’ of the late Rev. Stacy Groscup, I have tried to demonstrate the instinctive style of shooting for audiences from a wide variety of backgrounds.  I have stood in the Bronx after a show there and watched children line up for two hours to try archery after my show.  I have stood in a horse barn in Amish country and did shows, and in some of the finest sports complexes we have.  It matters not, people enjoy the flight of an arrow and hopefully they also listen to my words, encouraging them to spend time as a family unit together outdoors—away from cell phones, computers, video games, and tv.  I also tell the youngsters in the audience about staying away from drugs and living a good life, so that they can dream big dreams and then work hard to make those dreams come true.  And when my arrow busts that baby aspirin from mid air, it drives those messages home. 
 
What is it about this flight of the arrow that draws us in?  One of things for me is accuracy.  I love to see an arrow strike it’s target.  I have written articles prior to this one discussing the importance of target acquisition.  You see an object, lock in on it, draw the bow and release your arrow.  Then there is that moment while the arrow travels to the mark— anticipation–and then the moment of truth– a hit or a miss.  Powerful stuff.  I don’t really care what style of shooting you use–GAP, Point Of Aim, Sights, Scope, Release… it’s that arrow flying to it’s mark.  That’s the excitement. 
 
My son now has the passion for archery!  The fact that he’s already busting balloons with his bow at three years old is awesome.  I remember a few weeks ago when he and I were in the indoor range.  I put a balloon on the target for him, knelt down beside him to help him draw his bow when he took the bow from me and walked a few paces away saying, “I got it dad” or something like that, drawing the bow, and letting the arrow fly.  I watched as that arrow slowly went into the air and “POW” popped the balloon first shot!  That was the first time he’d ever fired a bow on his own.  I will always remember that particular shot.  Wow.
 
There have been other shots over the years I remember.  One of them is when the late Tom Joyce, a Bear recurve shooter and instinctive shooter that was a family friend was at our place shooting.  We were on the practice range one day behind my parent’s retail store.  They had various targets set up at distances from 20 to 80 yards in this big field.  Near the 80 yard target was a Poplar tree with Autumn leaves hanging low.  Tom said, “Watch this…” and slowly drew his Bear take down.  When his finger got to the corner of his mouth he let it fly.  The arrow glided into mid air and then came down and hit the leaf dead center!  An amazing 80 yard or more shot!  Tom grinned. 
I also remember watching an arrow miss it’s mark once.  I had never seen my father miss game with a bow, ever.  A few years ago we were hunting on the King Ranch in South Texas.  An opportunity at a huge 170-180 class buck presented itself and pop loaded his bow and got ready.  He drew the bow, and I was videoing the shot.  All at once the arrow was in flight and glided right over the buck’s back.  I laughed so hard I accidentally shut the camera off.  He didn’t find it funny.  We went in for lunch and then after lunch he put a napkin on a cactus.  He stood back and at 50 yards put a broadhead through the center of the napkin.  The buck had only been maybe 42 yards.  Pop’s a good shot but evidently got buck fever.
 
One last arrow I’ll write about was shot by an 82 year old man.  He missed six times but the seventh shot struck home.  It was the late Rev. Stacy Groscup and at age 82 he was still able to shoot aspirin tablets from mid air. I had invited him to be with me at a local sports show.  It would be our last time on stage together.  Although his first six shots missed, I got a little nervous.  I wondered if he could still see and hit the pills.  After all, at his age most could not.  He proved me wrong when that 7th aspirin was tossed into mid air.  It floated up and Stacy sent a fluflu arrow on it’s way. I watched as the arrow flew towards the pill and all at once I heard a “click” as the dust flew and Stacy’s arrow collided with the pill!  Amazing huh?  Although many 82 year olds take aspirin, Stacy was still shooting them!  Sadly he’d pass away about two short years later.  I have many fine memories of arrows we launched together over the years.  I just wish he would have lived to see my son Gus sending arrows down range.  I know he would have loved that.
 
This Fall I am going to visit with friends Dick and Carol Mauch while doing exhibitions in Nebraska.  I look forward to watching some arrows glide over the fields at their beloved Plum Creek Cabin.  Pop and I are due to be at King ranch in the late Fall too.  I hope this time to watch his arrow fly true and hit it’s mark. Hoping my arrow finds it’s mark too on one of those big So Texas whitetails.  You can see I’m already looking forward to arrows flying this Fall.  I suppose I’m hooked on this sport we call archery.
 
I have enjoyed reliving some of these stories today as I banged out this column.  There’s nothing finer than writing about the flight of an arrow if you can’t be out there shooting arrows.  Speaking of that, I think I’ll head out to the target and fling a few arrows before dark.  Thanks for reading, send me an email if you have some special memories of the flight of the arrow.  Oh, and be sure and pass along your passion for this sport to others around you.  Why should we have all the fun?
 
 
Until next time, Adios and God Bless.
Shoot Straight,
Frank
 

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Published by sarah on 25 Jul 2010

Tell me what you think of my artical. thanks!

 

HI! im sarah and im fifteen(:  i wrote this for huntinglife.com it got accepted and also got me on their prostaff. i was thinking about sending it to eastmans. tell me what you guys think.

The big day, October 2nd is here. The leaves are green with hints of yellow and the air is warm.  I hike through the woods to my tree stand; the warm air smothers me with a feeling of peace. Getting away from the grind of life and into the woods for a few hours brings me to an absolute bliss.  Although the weather is pleasant I get cold chills because the feelings the outdoors brings to me.  Even if I do not bring a deer home with me, I will not return home low-spirited but I will feel cleansed and refreshed. As the season goes by, I may kill a few deer but that’s not all that brings me excitement. Just seeing nature’s changes is enough to thrill me. Watching the leaves go from green, to yellow, orange, and red, then watching them slowly disappear off the trees and the ground transform into a red, orange, and yellow mixture. I’ve learned the beauty of the hunt can be just an exciting as the kill itself.

As a child, responsibility isn’t a strong point. But it may be gained much faster and stronger if the child hunts. Hunting is a sport that involves weapons and they can’t be treated as toys.  And as a child I was taught to treat every gun as if it was loaded.  I’ve learned patience and how to be stealthy. Learning all the ways to hunt such as walking quietly by rolling you foot, when to be ready to draw back, when to stand up, how to correctly use deer estrus, how to scan the area in search for deer, and many other difficult techniques.  I remember to practice these each time I go out and hunt. I want every technique I know to be mastered.  

Hunting has taught me about respect. Not the yes sir and no ma’am kind of respect that I was taught when I was young. But I have learned to respect the outdoors, to respect my states laws and people who own the land I hunt on.  I put myself in the landowners position and think “I wouldn’t enjoy people disrespecting my land.” And I remember to treat others as I would like to be treated. Wildlife is beautiful and I see it on TV getting ruined by oil spills or enormous clear-cuts.  It hurts me to think of all the beauty that humans are destroying through their greediness.  The woods that I know will never vanish in my generation are my sanctuary.  And I sympathize for the people who can’t enjoy the forest or animals in the wild because they live in the city. They just don’t understand how hunting truly can change a person’s life. 

My dad and I have bonded tremendously through the outdoors. We fish, hike, hunt, or anything else we can find that’s outside.  Really, all our time spent together is doing these activities.  He has taught me a lot of things from tying a strong slip-knot for fishing to how to shoot my boy correctly. My Granddad has also taught me many useful things. He owned a sporting goods store in the seventies and he was also a park ranger, he goes to Montana to shoot prairie dogs once a year and buys me books and magazines to help me learn as much as I can.  My granddad takes me out to the rifle range and we shoot skeet, pistols, and rifles. All the old men up there let me try out there guns. Without my dad and granddad I doubt I would know all I do. And without the outdoors, I wouldn’t be nearly as close with them as I am.

Another of the many great traits I have gained from the outdoors is hard work pays off.  Two years ago on my first hunting trip alone I missed a doe. I blame it on myself because I hadn’t practiced like I should have. That disappointment lit me up and I was determined to be the best shot I could be. All summer I shot and shot. Finally the chance came for me to prove that my hard work actually meant something. I shot at my second deer at 42 yards while standing on my knees, turned around backwards in my tree stand. My heart sank; I knew I had shot to low and missed. I pulled out my cell phone and called my dad to tell him to help me look for my arrow, it could be anywhere. He came down to the clearing where I had shot and we looked a long time for that arrow that was nowhere to be seen. I searched and searched, but I found something a million times better than an arrow. Blood.  A smile hit my face so hard that I couldn’t even speak. My dad noticed and he looked at me like I was crazy. I found the words and told him about what I spotted. That was the start of our night. I had barely nicked the lungs and he ran a little ways but eventually we found him. A little spike but I didn’t care; I had a kill under my belt. I was so proud.

Hunting isn’t for everyone, but if you love it and get out there you can learn some of the most important qualities a person can earn in their life. The beauty of nature, responsibility, respect, the value of family and friends, and that hard work truly does pay off. These aren’t the only things a hunter can learn, but they are some of the most precious characteristics.

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Published by admin on 15 Jun 2010

1st Annual Old West Invitational Turkey Shoot Held in Hulett, Wyoming by Frank Addington, jr.

1st Annual Old West Invitational Turkey Shoot Held in Hulett, Wyoming
by Frank Addington, jr.

“The mission of the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of Wyoming is to create an enduring natural legacy for future generations through stewardship of all Wyoming’s wildlife.”
 
That mission statement is on the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of Wyoming’s website.   I was familiar with their work and when an invitation to participate in their first ever “Old West Invitational Turkey Shoot” came from my pal Dave Lockman, I absolutely said “Yes.”  I thoroughly believe in the work the foundation does to promote shooting sports and hunting to the next generation.   It is a program that many states should follow to ensure future generations follow our tracks into the outdoors.  We must be good stewards of the land and pass that along to the next generation.  
 
Dave Lockman is involved with the Weatherby Foundation International, which provides seed money to help non profit EXPOS around the country.  These Expos are a great way to recruit families and the next generation into the shooting and Hunting Sports.  So  the goals of the Weatherby Foundation and the WHF are very similar. I’ve long been an advocate of the EXPO concept and I first became aware of the WHF while attending an Expo in Casper, Wyoming. 
 
The One Shot Turkey Hunt was the first annual event and I was honored to be the first bowhunter invited.  So when I put the team together I asked my father and family friend Jim Wynne to join me.  We were the only bowhunters at the “first shot” event,  everyone else would be using a shotgun.  The town of Hulett’s population is about 400 give or take a few people, and this little western town was full of good folks.  The event took place near Devil’s Tower and thanks to president Teddy Roosevelt who made it our country’s first national monument.  I could see Devil’s Tower each morning from where our blind was set up, what a beautiful view.

Hunter’s would have special opportunities to attend banquets, social events and other activities during the two day hunt.   Highlights of the trip for me included meeting former Wyoming Governor Sullivan.  The former Governor even bought my breakfast at the Ponderosa restaurant in town.  He got an invite to come to West Virginia and I hope he’ll visit.  I also met many local folks from the area that I enjoyed visiting with including Mr. Jim Neiman, who owns a local sawmill business and golf course. Mr. Neiman is 80 years young and acts 40.  I really enjoyed talking with him.  I also was honored to spend some time talking to Jack Scarlett, who has been involved with the famed One Shot Antelope Hunt in Wyoming.  Turns out Fred and Henrietta Bear were friends of Mr. Scarlett’s family and Fred had been to his ranch to hunt.  Mr. Scarlett and I shared some Fred Bear anecdotes and stories and I really had a great time talking with him.  He was a mutual friend of Dave Lockman’s.  I’ve found that just about anyone that’s a friend of Dave’s is “good people”.  
 
My father and Jim Wynne joined me to make up our “archery team”.   We stayed with Dave Lockman out at the bunk house at the Solitude Ranch.  There was a bath house, cook shack with a lounge area with satellite TV, and a grill on the deck.  Dave and Janet Lockman brought a special request for me… an order of Rocky Mountain Oysters.  We warmed them in the microwave and enjoyed them with homemade hamburgers one day.  I laughed as Jim Wynne and Pop tried this delicacy for the first time.   Dave got me hooked on them many years ago in Casper, Wyoming at Poor Boys.  I’ve had them in Denver, Colorado at the Buckhorn, at Cattleman’s Cut in Montana.  and at Cattleman’s in the Oklahoma City Stockyards.   If you have never tried them I would suggest you do so when in cowboy country.   They are great when properly prepared.
 
Jim bought a target on the way to Hulett so that we could take some warm up shots in camp.  Mid day that first day I warmed up with a few shots.   I put a dandelion on the target walked back to 20 yards.   As an instinctive shooter I wanted to see how my new Hoyt Vantage LTD was shooting.  I had the bow set down to 52# for this hunt and was shooting Easton arrows with Muzzy 145 grain heads.  I prefer a side quiver to a bow quiver and use a vintage Chuck Adams leather side quiver, circa 1992 or so.   I removed an arrow from my quiver, drew the bow and when my pointer finger touched the corner of my mouth I released the arrow.   I saw yellow fly everywhere as the Muzzy head shaved the dandelion in two.  I shot one more arrow at the target and decided that I was ready for a turkey if the right shot presented itself.  I think the guide was shocked when he didn’t see a sight on my bow.
 
Our guide knew the Solitude ranch and had us in birds right off opening morning.  However, the old boss gobbler wouldn’t come closer.  He stayed out about 40 yards.  The guide had only brought a slate call and really didn’t fool with diaphragm calls or box calls.  Luckily Pop had a turkey vest full of calls and decoys.  He would also call in some birds during the two days.  We hunted hard for the two days and called from a blind and also did a few quick set ups while doing some afternoon spot and stalks.   On the second morning we were in a different set up.  The birds came in but the two gobblers stayed out about 40 yards again.  This time after they left I discovered the problem— an old fence line that you could not see in early light.  
 
While the guide napped pop and I still hunted down the ridge and set up on four gobblers.  Pop was working the birds when two hens ran in and left taking all four of the gobblers with them.    Having hunted eastern turkey most of my life, typically you can call the hen in and she will bring the gobblers with her.  In Wyoming, these merriam gobblers seemed a little easier to hunt but the hens were the problem.  Several times a jealous hen would run in and take the gobblers away when she left.  None of the three of us bowhunters drew a bow in the two days.  We all agreed that it would have been nice to have had another day or two but the hunt ended with a big banquet Saturday night.
 
This was a “one shot” hunt, meaning you only get one shot.  If you missed or if the turkey required a second shot you were disqualified from the competition.  Scoring was based on the weight, beard length doubled, and spur length doubled.    I believe about 39 birds were bagged out of aprx. 70 hunters.  There were smiles every where Saturday night so I believe everyone had a great time.  I was impressed when I saw companies like Remington play such a large supporting role in this hunt.  They provided about 17 guns for the event and ammunition.  The two youngest hunters on the team received free shotguns.  A special presentation was also made to a young man who had recently lost his grandfather, who had promised to take the young man turkey hunting.  His grandfather had just passed away and would not be taking the youngster hunting.  When this young man was presented a gun and an opportunity to be taken hunting, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. I really appreciate companies like Remington and Weatherby who give back to try and ensure hunting is passed on to future generations. 
 
This event wasn’t really about the “celebrities”.  It was about seeing these youngsters encouraged and recognized.  To me they were the real celebrities of the weekend.  I appreciate all that the WHF,  supporting businesses and companies, and volunteers did to make this first time event a huge success.  It was a great time and if you get an invitation to support or attend this event, please do so.  They are doing good things in Wyoming and I was proud to be the first archer invited.   If you do go, take some warm clothes for the early Wyoming mornings, a camera for the views, and be ready to meet some fine folks. 

Although a dandelion is all I had bagged in two days of hunting,  my hunt was a huge success.  Like Fred Bear, to me the success of a hunt isn’t always measured by the game taken.  I’d been able to spend valuable time with my father bowhunting, hang out with old pals Jim Wynne, Dave and Janet Lockman, and meet a bunch of new friends.  I enjoyed good food and good company and breath taking views.  I’d seen a huge amount of gobblers, a coyote, countless whitetail deer, mule deer, antelope and other game. My dandelion would have to serve as my trophy until my next adventure into the Black Hills of Wyoming.  I hope one day to take my son Gus there to see the sights and meet the people.  He’s only three but one day soon he’ll be old enough to join me.  I hope he’ll enjoy time with me as much as I enjoyed hunting with my father.
 
Thanks Hulett, Wyoming. I’ll be back.
 
***************************************************************************************************************************************************
 
 It is clear that the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of Wyoming is dedicated to promoting hunting and wise use of our natural resources to the next generation.   To learn more, please visit:
 
Special thanks to Dave and Janet Lockman, Hoyt, Muzzy, Robinson Outdoors, Easton and my other sponsors.  Also, thanks to the WHF, Solitude ranch, and every one of the staff and volunteers for this event. 

Visit my show website at:

Thanks for reading.  Until next time, Adios and God Bless.
Shoot Straight,
Frank
 
Frank Addington, Jr.
The Aspirin Buster

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Published by admin on 14 Jun 2010

PORKMANDO by Ted Nugent

 

PORKMANDO 
by Ted Nugent
 
I stink. I mean really, really stink, like ultra PU bad. There is a putrid, rank musky essence to my very being that repels all living things, except other stinky things. And what really stinks, I actually like it. You see, I just ambushed, killed, gutted, dragged, photographed and heaved a most beautiful four hundred plus pound nasty mud soaked, urine saturated monster Austrian boar out of my rain soaked forest in Michigan, then hugged the beast lovingly for photos, then I helped lift him onto my truck bed and hang his bloody carcass in my Polar King walk in cooler for the night. I am one, bloody, muddy, sweaty, soaked, stinky happy bowhunting idiot, and I couldn’t be happier. I love bowhunting for wild boar, and tonight was the night of nights. I can hardly stand myself. I smell wild.
 
It all came about rather abruptly as I was unpacking my bowhunting safari gear from a nonstop global bowhunting dream excursion that took me to South Africa for plains game, back to Ontario, Canada for another black bear, up to the glorious wilds of Northern Wisconsin for a giant whitetail and back to my ancestral Michigan swamplands for the continuing backstrap saga.
 
Still dizzy with a sense of drained exhaustion, I figured there was no way I could hunt today due to the heavy rains pelting my pole barn since early morning. As I stepped to the barn door to shoot some arrows from my new Martin AlienX compound bow, I was surprised to see a patch of lighter sky and a temporary halt to the rainstorm. Aha! An opening to go for it!
 
I immediately called BigJim, my main VidCamDude for our Spirit of the Wild TV show, and the hunt was on.
 
We tossed bows, arrows, boots, camo, vidcams and raingear into the truck and put the peddle to the metal Baja’ing for the old Nugent family game rich hunting grounds at Sunrize Acres in Jackson County, Michigan. It had been months since I had been there, and I was hankering for a hopeful rendezvous with our amazing pure Austrian wild boar that run wild there. My last three hunts there were porkless, and I was determined to end my skunking on my own wild boar preserve. It didn’t make sense. I have owned and hunted this incredible piece of southern Michigan farm country for more than forty years, knew it intimately, loved it wildly and knew it was just a matter of time before I picked the right place at the right time.
 
Though there are those ignorant loonies who refer to game preserves as “canned hunts”, those of us with any experience at all know all too well how foolish such an assumption is. Hogs are hogs and hunting is always hunting. Fact of the matter is, my hunting journals prove that far more hog killing opportunities have occurred on unfenced hog grounds in Texas, Georgia, Florida, California and Hawaii than on Sunrize Acres. There is no fair chase. The hogs cheat.
Jim and I chose a double ladderstand at the edge of a woodland waterhole where we had planted a variety of food plot seeds along the eroded banks. The entire shoreline of the pond was rooted up, tracked up and wollowed up. It was clearly hog heaven.
 
We chummed up the best shooting locations with C’Mere Deer and Three Day Harvest bait, then settled in hoping the rain would hold off till after dark.
 
Three hours later I was figuring my skunking would continue, when Jim tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to the open fields to the east where plenty of daylight remained.
 
Even at 75 yards it was evident that this was one amazing boar. The beast stood like a defiant, grizzled statue looking into the darker woods, then would take a few cautious steps before pausing to examine his domain again. As the giant hog approached the edge of the woods, he began rubbing his long, silver and brindled coat on a maple sapling, causing the four inch tree to wobble violently, the leafy canopy shaking back and forth to the rhythm of the pigs torqueing mass. At forty yards, he paused again, then slowly ambled to the edge of the mud for a noisy slurp of water.
 
I was poised for a shot if he gave it to me, but fortunately after a few guzzles of murky pond scum he headed our way with his nose full of C’Mere Deer. Luck turned bad as the huge boar fed directly behind the tree for what seemed forever, offering no shot whatsoever. Light was fading and time was running out. Jim filmed, I waited.
 
I very quietly asked Jim if he still had decent vidcam light when the beautiful pig turned slowly to its right and began to walk off. As is nearly always the case, he stopped again with a large tree covering his vitals. Jim filmed, I waited.
 
Instantly he took a step forward clearing the tree and I drew back my arrow, picked a spot and let er rip in a flash. Speaking of flash, the tracer round light trail of my Lumenok was a beautiful thing to behold in the misty dusk of the dark woods, as my arrow zipped across the 35 yards and sliced into the boar’s left hip, angling hard into his chest.
 
With a squeal and a deep grunt, he sprung into action as I nocked my second arrow just as swiftly. He floundered at his rubbing tree where my second arrow intercepted him midship, the glowing Lumenok’s telltale impact clearly visible.
 
It all happened so fast, I wasn’t sure if either arrow was on course for a double lung kill shot, so Jim and I climbed down and tip toed to where the second arrow connected. As I picked up arrow number two by the glowing Lumenok, I simultaneously saw and heard the boar just 20 yards ahead as it flopped his last flop in the deep weeds and grasses just outside the forest edge.
I was ecstatic! The beast is dead long live the beast! Jim and I danced a little pig jig for a not so little pig, dragged the behemoth out into the clearing, and paid our last respects for this gorgeous runaway BBQ locomotive on the hoof on film.
 
This old warrior was the essence of wild boarness. Over 400 pounds, long, gnarly, course silver, grey and calico hairs, deep heavy chest, long narrow hips with a elongated snout, singing, rangy tail and some pretty handsome ivory protruding from his prehistoric proboscis. And of the defining factor for all pigdom-the nostril flaring aroma of the whole ordeal.
 
Here’s the not so stinky part: even though this old boar was so ugly he was beautiful, and the olfactory stimuli was for true swine lovers only, do not think for a moment that all this adds up to unpalatable table fare. On the contrary, it is my personal experience and that of hundreds upon hundreds of fellow hog hunters I have guided and or hunted with myself, that even from these old bruisers, the pork is delicious.
 
I gutted him thoroughly, hosed him out clean, hung him by the snout in my Polar King cooler overnight so that all blood and fluids drained completely out of him, skinned him carefully, removing every last hair from the carcass, then took him to Joe Nagle, a gung-ho dedicated professional butcher in Homer, Michigan, where the beast was lovingly and ultra cleanly cut up into family sized portions with tender loving care.
 
Clean and cold is IT for quality BBQ pork my friends. Most of the white fat is trimmed off the meat, but wild pork fat is clean, organic and sweet, so don’t trim it all off, do keep some on for cooking ease and flavor. The rewards on the grill are so worth the effort we put forth when we hunt hard for those always thrilling hunting encounters.
 
To book a hunt for a pure Austrian wild boar, visit tednugent.com or contact SUNRIZE SAFARIS at 517-750-9060.
 
On this hunt, Ted used his Martin Rytera AlienX bow set at 50#, a 400 grain GoldTip Nuge arrow tipped with a 100 grain Magnus BuzzCut 4 blade, Sims LimbSavers, sight, drop away arrow rests and accessories, Scott release, Bushnell optics, Mossy Oak ScentLok clothing, Boggs rubber boots, Old Man ladderstand, Hunter Safety System vest, Code Blue scents, C’Mere Deer powder and 3 Day Harvest, Outdoor Edge SwingBlade, Glenn’s Deer Handle, Polar King cooler, Bad Boy buggy.

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Published by ejon on 29 May 2010

THE BIG ONE… AND ANOTHER ONE!

Last year, I knocked down one of the biggest bucks I’d ever seen from my favorite hunting area… or so I thought?!

It was the last day of the 2009 hunting season. The plan was to try and  fill my last doe tag. I still had a tag left for a monster buck too, but that was not the plan.

As the clock was winding down on one of the coldest Michigan days of hunting I could ever remember, it seemed like everything was falling right into place. So I waited… and waited… nothing. For hours, I sat in my tree stand, posturing quietly. It was everything I could do to keep the feeling in my toes (and my backside) from chasing me out of my tree. Finally, I gave in… twenty minutes of daylight left …I was done.

I gathered up all of my gear, climbed down from my tree and headed back to the warming shed to meet up with my hunting buddies to reflect on another great season.

As I turned back to look over the area where I just left one last time, I noticed some movement. There she was… the one beautiful doe that would have filled my ticket. As I began to laugh in disbelief– there was another one. Then, a buck… looked like a six-pointer. Then another one… and another. Holy Crap! Suddenly, out of the shadows of the treeline, there he stood… a majestic monster. Like a parade of nobility all on display for me to see. “Why couldn’t I hold out just a little while longer?”

Well, it’s the end of May… still thinking about that moment at the end of the season when I gave in.

So for this coming season, I have made a pact with myself– I will try to last a little longer on those days when I feel like leaving. I will pick up some warmer clothing to be better prepared for battle.  More important, I will always remember this,  “…it’s why they call it HUNTING– NOT gathering!”

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Published by archerchick on 24 Mar 2010

Bowhunting Superman -Archie Nesbitt – By Jason Butler

Bowhunting Superman Archie Nesbitt – By Jason Butler

Bowhunting World 2006-2007

He’s been called “Canada’s Premier Bowhunter,” and in many ways Archie Nesbitt is the most-accomplished bowhunter who ever lived.

Bowhunting World Annual 2006-2007

With a bow in his hand and an animal to hunt,
Archie Nesbitt is a happy man. Hunting is in his blood. In fact, the Calgary, Alberta, bowhunting fanatic feels best when trudging through the forest or desert. “I’ve been chasing animals all over the place for the last 30 years,” says the
super-friendly attorney. “Long ago I thought
to myself that if you can hunt it, I want to try, it.” Thirty years and counting he’s stuck to that notion like glue. And, boy-oh-boy, have the animals piled up.

“I never stop thinking about bowhunting,” he says. “It’s  just tons of fun and I’ve never thought there was such a thing as ‘kicking back.’ Of course, I travel extensively with my job, so that
certainly makes things convenient'”  Nesbitt is a bowhunting fanatic for a very simple reason: Challenge. His attitude blends determination and focus into what he loves best. Once You get to know a little about the man, it’s easy to see just how true that is.

Nesbitt, 54, was born to hunt. Growing up as a kid in the wilds of eastern Canada, his family gun hunted to eat much of the time, shooting moose and caribou for their plentiful meat. By age 15,
Nesbitt shot his first big-game animal with a bow, immediately becoming infatuated with the aesthetics of archery. With that single animal his passion was born.

Even back when bows were pretty crude, Nesbitt took animals cleanly, thanks to his sharp shooting and hunting skills. He spent every spare moment he had scouting, hunting, and honing his skills, shooting arrows behind the house. A decade later Nesbitt graduated from
law school and became involved in corporate mining exploration and mineral resources development around the globe. This successful career would reinvigorate his passion and take his bowhunting to a whole new level.

Triple Slammer
Nesbitt’s bowhunting resume reads like a Donald Trump memoir on real estate. He has taken more animals with archery gear than any other hunter, alive or dead. Jon Shepley, vice president of sales and marketing for PSE archery, knows Nesbitt well. “This guy is the undisputed most-successful bowhunter on the planet,” Shepley states. “He’s arrowed quadruple the number of animals compared to any other bowhunter out there. It would be difficult for someone who is just retired with unlimited resources and time to hunt the animals he has successfully.”

To put that into perspective, consider this: In 2001, Nesbitt became the sixth man to make the North American Super Slam, harvesting all 28 species of North American big game recognized by the Pope & Young Club. More recently, however, he became the sole bowhunter to take the triple Slam, a tremendous accomplishment.

The Triple Slam consists of four separate North American sheep species, 12 additional sheep species from around the world, and 12 additional species of goats from around the world. This feat is recognized by the Grand Slam
Club/Ovis.  At a conference in early ’06, the Grand Slam Club awarded Nesbitt a certificate and congratulations for his unprecedented achievement.

However, for his Triple Slam, much like the Super Slam, Nesbitt did not start out hunting these animals with a “slam” in mind. “After several decades of hunting a whole bunch of animals, things just sort of ended up that way,” says Nesbitt. “This took many hunts and much energy. I didn’t get all of these animals the first time out. For many of them I had to go back a number of times.”  But the “slams” are just the tip of the iceberg. Nesbitt currently holds 46 combined world records recognized by Safari
Club International (SCI) from North America and around the world. His tally of Pope & Young animals nearly reaches triple digits; many are listed in the top 10.  In North America alone Nesbitt’s tally includes: two polar bear; a 1O-foot, 3-inch brown bear in Alaska; two Dall
sheep; a grizzly bear in British Columbia; two bighorn sheep; three musk-ox; a Shiras moose in Utah that was the state record for 15 years; truckloads of deer; the SCI world record Roosevelt elk on Vancouver Island; and more moose and caribou than some see in a lifetime. In Africa, the list gets longer.

Africa is one of Nesbitt’s favorite bowhunting destinations. In approximately 20 trips to eight countries, his list includes: four Cape buffalo; two Western buffalo; three lions; three leopards; two hippos; an elephant; a crocodile; and
hundreds of plains game. Nesbitt says that everybody should experience Africa at least once.

“Africa is magical. You see so many animals up close that it’s just incredible.  I’ve been fortunate to arrow a pile of different game over there. and I tell you I never grow tired of it. You can go over and shoot eight to 10 animals for a reasonable price. Usually l take my family and make a good vacation out of it. I’m always thinking about Africa!”
In other parts of the world, his list is even more mind-boggling. Abroad he
has hunted in 20 countries-Spain, New Zealand, China, Pakistan, and Iran,
just to name a few—-on six continents’  He once hunted for a solid month in North Africa atop camels. In Kyrgyzstan, he spent three three weeks hunting Marco Polo sheep and Ibex at 15,000 feet.  On hunts like these, there’s no room for error.

A few years back Nesbitt was planning a two-week hunt in the Middle East.  Because of the unstable political situation, it’s not a place many hunters would want to go these days. Naturally, he called some colleagues to see if they wanted to tag along-But all told him he was nuts. Yet, that didn’t dampen his parade one bit. He went alone, despite their hesitation, and bloodied up a few arrows. lt went over without a hitch.

So, with all these accomplishments under his belt, why haven’t you seen Nesbitt’s face plastered all over archery magazines and advertisements? Nesbitt has very few ties to the archery- industry.  He is a PSE pro staffer. “I started shooting PSE bows,around 1980.  When PSE founder and innovator Pete Shepley approached me in the mid’90s to ask me to join the pro staff there,  I was more than happy. I’d already been using his product for almost 20 years. I really think he is an archery pioneer, and I was happy to come aboard.”

With a PSE bow in hand, most of Nesbitt’s hunts have run smoothly, but predictably, there are exceptions. There was the time when a big musk-ox busted out of the large pack and charged
toward him like a freight train. Reacting quickly and jumping sideways for dear life, Nesbitt walked away after the animal missed him by mere inches. In Alaska, ominous grizzly bears have popped their teeth and circled at spitting distance many times.

These incidents were dicey. But encounters with elephants in Africa were cutting hairs, situations Nesbitt considers much more frightening. “For my money, the most dangerous animal on the planet is an elephant,” he says. “Elephants have the temperament of a junkyard dog, and when they charge you better start praying. I came within 4 to 5 feet of sheer disaster a couple of times. I finally killed an elephant in 2OO2 using a custom 100 pound-draw weight bow. I was thrilled!”

“In A League Of His Own”
The Pope & Young Club recognizes 28 species of big game. But Nesbitt’s North American resume reveals that he’s done them a few animals better with 32 species. Pope & Young Records Chairman Glen Hisey says, “Nesbitt is in a league of his own. It’s hard to fathom how a guy can hunt so much and be so darn good at it.
I know a lot of successful bowhunters.  And, believe me, none of them are close
to walking in his shoes.”

Just how many animals can one guy kill? Well, out of the other species Nesbitt has bow bagged on our continent, the Boone & Crockett Club recognizes two of them. The first is a Boone &
Crockett Tule elk from California. The latter is a Boone & Crockett Atlantic walrus. Nebitt’s is the biggest ever shot by a hunter-gun or bow.

Natives have found bigger walruses that died by natural causes. However, the few gun-shot animals pale in comparison to Nesbitt’s. He’s also shot lynx and bobcat with broadheads. No record keeping organization claims these. They say they can’t justify it because they can’t tell 100 percent whether the animals were trapped or nor. Nesbitt has a handful of witnesses to prove it.

NEXT?
For a man who has bowhunted and shot just about everything under the sun, what’s next? For Nesbitt, there’s no letting off the throttle. “Over the next several years I plan to concentrate on
several species of Asian sheep, the ibex and argali. Also elk and mule deer around home will get plenty of attention. They’re my favorite North American animals to bowhunt, and I can chase both right out of my back door.”

Nesbitt is very involved with SCI and has been for the past 12 years. He considers the organization outstanding and a great support for hunters.

Currently he’s the Alberta chapter president. “I’ve got some great friends in SCI. I plan on being affiliated with this community for a long time.”

Archie Nesbitt is a hunting machine, a pure predator on two legs. Many call him “Canada’s Premier Bowhunter.” His considerable accomplishments aside, the bottom line is that Archie Nesbitt hunts for personal enjoyment and fulfillment, not for sponsor money or bragging
rights. It’s that simple. You can’t help but appreciate a guy like that.

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Published by archerchick on 24 Mar 2010

Jared’s Buck – By Jeff Murray

Jared’s Buck -By Jeff Murray
BOWHUNTING WORLD Annual 2006-2007
A Father and Son Bond Through The Best Moments in Bowhunting

For many years, I’ve read about what it’s supposed to be like to.”pass on” the legacy of
hunting. But instead of reading about it, I’m finally experiencing it. Yes, I’m talking about a father-and-son story with a happy ending, but I have to admit it didn’t start our that way. If you’ve ever listened to the enchanting tune, Cat’s in the Cradle by the late Harry Chapin, you’ll understand and appreciate my perspective.

Here’s the chorus:
“And”the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
‘When you coming home, dad?’ ‘I don’ t
know when, but we’ll get together then.”
You know we’ll have a good time then.”

It’s a familiar refrain for many dads. We have to work hard to support our families; kids grow up before we know it; they become adults and get busy before they know it. Today’s life cycle just
doesn’t seem very friendly to endearing and rewarding relationships. And Lord knows I’m as guilty as the rest: It wasn’t until the death of my step-father that I realized I’d cheated him out of precious intimate times together. Now it seemed to be happening to me. Hear the confession of my now-27-year-old son, Jared: “While I admit to wanting to spend more time hunting with my dad, I find myself too busy to make good on my promises. At first, it was a high school and college football career. Then I got married early and we had a daughter. Life is good but tough.”

Though I tried raising Jared with a bow in his hand, he was born an athlete. He was remarkably fleet. He ran (not walked) at eight months and had a chiseled physique right from the cradle. Even as a toddler he lacked so-called baby fat, and his biceps looked like golf balls. He was destined to pump iron in preparation for the gridiron, which ended up out-muscling time on the target archery range during his teen years. But there was always a spark in his eye when we’d shoot our bows.  He’d anguish over every shot that didn’t find the 10 ring.  I was confident this trait would eventually drive him to become an accomplished archer and bowhunter.

I just hoped it would happen during my lifetime!  If it didn’t, however, I had nobody to blame but myself. As a full-time journalist, I wrestled with projects and deadlines that always seemed to steal weekend hours. So as Jared pursued a football career, I pursued my writing career. We
just couldn’t get on the same page….

THE BIRTH OF A
BUCK HUNTER
When Jared graduated from college in  2001, we were finally able to hook up together in the deer woods.  Jared went
antler-less that year, but it taught him bowhunting’s most valuable lesson: the role of commitment. In 2002, we spent time together scouting a patch of woods that produced some impressive rubs. I remember turning Jared loose, challenging him to hang a stand at the highest percentage spot he could find. When we reconvened a week later, I congratulated him on finding the second best spot.

“But this is a super treestand [location],” he protested. “What are you thinking?”

“You made a classic mistake of stopping where you thought it couldn’t get any better,” I said.
“Follow me and I’ll show you where you can’t miss.” We walked about 100 yards, stopped
where four trails came together like a tic-tac-toe grid, and soaked in the fresh deer sign surrounding us. If that weren’t enough, an aspen tree grew tall and straight in, about 25 yards away.

The only remaining question was when. I remember counseling Jared to plan on some vacation time in October instead of an all-November schedule. From decades of studying the timing of the rut I was positive it would hit
early that year, and I didn’t want Jared to miss out. Fortunately he listened to me. He ended up
arrowing the biggest-bodied buck I’d ever seen. I still remember getting the call at dinnertime.
The date was October 23rd. “Dad, I need help,” Jared said. “l shot a really nice buck!”

“Great, son,” I said. “But what do you need me for? Call one of your football buddies. I’ll meet you later at-.”
“You don’t understand,” Jared interrupted. “He’s huge. I mean, he looks more like a Clydesdale than a whitetail.”

The buck was big, all right. Everything-from his head to his hooves-was enormous. The dressed-out 1O-pointer bottomed out the scales of a local check station at 260 pounds. He was Jared’s first Pope and Young buck, and that magic moment hooked him for life on the cat-and-mouse game of bowhunting trophy whitetails.

But like so many young bowhunters today, it took awhile for the lad’s dedication level to match his expectation level. The next year, for instance, I managed to score on a nice buck while hunting weekends with Jared. He got out early and got out a lot, but by the time we could put things together, some other hunters moved into our two best spots. The following year, Jared ended up shooting a buck that he was convinced would make the Pope and Young minimum. He shot it at first light from a treestand we’d just hung the day before, which was prompted by a week of steady southeast winds. Long story short: the buck shrank by the time he hit the ground. I’ll never forget the look on Jared’s face when we recovered the deer. You could read his mind like a book: Is this really my buck?

PUMPING ANTLERS
Ironically, Jared would be asking the same question this past fall, but for a completely different reason. I’m getting a bit ahead of myself ( but instead of witnessing ground shrinkage, his 2005 buck would grow about 35 inches.
Finally, the two of us were able to hunt
together as a team. The rules of a local deer
-control hunt prevented us from scouting the way we’d like, but we still managed to set up a few stands that looked promising. Truth be told, my whole game plan revolved around anticipating where rutting bucks might cut corners. None of our stands were high-traffic spots.

On opening weekend, we each harvested a doe in compliance with one of the management hunt’s requirements. We spent the next month hunting the “fringes”-observation stands- while we knocked off some more does for a local venison donation effort. Predictably, as the days of October came and went, so did Jared’s confidence. I knew what he was thinking before he said it.

“I haven’t seen a single decent buck, not even next year’s shooter” he complained. “I really think we need to make a move, Pa ”

I’ve been there and blown that. The last thing a serious bowhunter needs to do is make a move for the sake of making a move. “Jared, that’s the best way to mess up a perfectly decent setup,” I lectured.

“These are our best spots, based on our best guesses. Second-guessing ourselves right now
with no new evidence isn’t going to get us anywhere.'”

That evening, I looked at my contour map one more time “just in case.” I found a subtle
bottleneck that I hadn’t seen before. The next time it rained hard or the wind howled I’d toss
a Lone Wolf over my back and hang a backup stand. As luck would have it, the very next day
a northeaster blew at 35. I found what l was looking for right away, and this stand location became Jared’s personal favorite the very first time he hunted it.  A narrow ridge paralleling a gurgling creek proved to be a deadly combination: the ridge funneled deer,  the creek muffled the kid’s comings and goings.

Now all we needed was a cycling doe or two to pull the bucks out of their aspen and pine woodwork. Bingo! Jared sat the next three mornings and watched the woods explode overnight with sniffing and grunting bucks. The first day for instance, he saw five different bucks,
including one that was about twice the size of his “ground-shrinkage” buck of the previous year. On the next day, Jared passed on a buck that, ironically, I ended up arrowing about week later
(another story for another day). I had to give the kid credit: He was willing to go antler-less if that’s what his quest for a record-book buck ended up dishing out.

Slow-forward to November 3rd. This date’s right up there with the day I married my wife and the days our children were born. I slept in Jared’s basement the previous night, and I remember beating the alarm clock that morning. Before I
hit the shower, I walked outside and tested the elements. It was cool and still-a perfect morning for rattling.

We were situated about a quarter-mile apart and comfortably perched in our treestands long before sunrise. As the eastern sky began to light up, I was seconds away from a hard-core rattling session.

That’s when a vibrating cell phone intervened.
The phone number was Jared’s. I knew something very good or very bad had just happened.
“Dad?”
“Yeah?”
“l think I just shot a
monster.”
“‘What do you mean, think?”
After some awkward silence that made me real
nervous, Jared said he was nervous. “I’m not sure about the shot. It was a little high and a little far back.”

Frankly, I wasn’t concerned one bit about how
far back the shot was-I’d find that darn
deer if it took us all day and all night. But
a too-high shot can be a buck of a different color. -The”undead zone”of the backstrap area is a non-lethal shot. I didn’t want to go there, but I had to. “How High?” I asked. “Do you think you penetrated the cavity?”

Well, Jared admitted he rushed the shot a bit, but he didn’t think it was that high.  After mulling it over we decided to wait till after lunch to track the buck.  That’s when I discovered a new rattling technique, compliments of my son.  Turns out he rattled before sunrise.  His reasoning was that he’d heard deer running around in the dark, and he wanted to keep them in the immediate area till it was legal shooting hours. It worked! His third rattling session produced a big buck, standing motionless in a thicket, behind his right shoulder. The buck was directly down-wind from a well-placed tarsal gland, and he was ticked off.  As he tore into a fresh scrape, Jared quickly and quietly exchanged his rattling antlers for his Mathews Switchback.

“l tried focusing on a narrow opening’ about 20 yards away, instead of on the buck’s rack,” Jared recalled. “When his head disappeared behind a tree, I drew and timed the shot when he slipped into the opening.” As I heard those words, I swelled with pride. That’s the
only surefire recipe for meeting the challenge of the Moment of Truth, and my son had mastered it.

The blood trail wasn’t exactly copious, but with each step I grew more and more confident that we’d find this buck-it was a liver-shot blood trail if I’d ever seen one.  Indeed,  all of our anxiety proved to be a waste of adrenaline.

The buck didn’t make 75 Yards from the impact of the shot. I spied him first. I had to bite my tongue when I got a good look at the rack. Wow I knew this was going to be a whale of a moment,
and I wanted to squeeze every drop of endorphin out of it. We’d split up with Jared examining the last speck of blood, while I monitored the trail and scanned the landscape ahead of us. When I told Jared to come closer for a better look at a new spec of blood, I grabbed him and told him to look over my shoulder. “There! What do you see?” I said. The whites of his eyes widened, we hugged and kissed, and he sprinted for the buck without hesitating.  I paused to give thanks and let the kid soak up the ambrosia. Man what a rack. Earlier Jared said he thought it was “150-something.” Now we could not believe our eyes. All we could do was
stand and stare in a daze.

“Are you sure this is the buck you shot, boy?”I teased. “This ain’t no 150-buck … this is a booner!” Instead of ground-shrinkage, this buck enjoyed ground-growth: we later green-scored the rack at 184 1/8 inches!  What’s more, it was impressively unique. The tines looked like menacing daggers; they were bladed and sharp-edged, not round and smooth.

Simply put, the score doesn’t come close to reflecting the mass of the tines.  As I said, our story ends quite happily, no small thanks to a buck of many lifetimes.

But here’s the main point I want to leave you with: Experiencing another hunter’s triumph can be many times more gratifying than experiencing it yourself.  It doesn’t hurt if it’s your son or
daughter, of course, but it shouldn’t matter if it’s a neighbor, a buddy or even a new acquaintance. Perhaps this is the quintessence of “passing it on.”

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Published by archerchick on 23 Mar 2010

Wild Hogs – By Joe Bell

Wild Hogs – by Joe Bell

September 2005

http://www.bowandarrowhunting.com

Bow & Arrow Hunting September 2005

Few critters match the excitement theses animals offer the bowhunter during the spring and summer off-season.

In June, the California sun is notoriously known for casting out intense heat, particularly 100 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean where tentacles of rugged ridgelines spring out from the immense San Joaquin Valley. Here, the country changes drastically from some of the most robust vegetable- and fruit- growing soils in existence, to towering foothills and mountains dotted with wild oats, valley and blue oak trees, poison oak and various tangles of brush and manzanita. Among this picturesque backdrop live some of the wildest feral hogs known to man.
My hunting partner Chris Denham and I were soaking in the heat and enjoying the landscape as we glued our eyes to our 10-power binoculars. It was a bit early, but with a little luck, we would spot a couple of hogs early enough in the evening to have a legitimate stalk. Earlier in the day, we had walked some steep country and eventually Chris got into some pigs. But as it so often turns out, the kill just didn’t happen.

One of the chief problems with hunting wild hogs during the summer months is dealing with that short window of time you have when pigs are most active. Usually, the last hour of the day is peak hunting time, which means you can’t dally, and long stalks are usually out of the question. So when Chris and I noticed two dark silhouettes only a 3O minute stalk from the truck, I knew luck was finally on our side.

Soon, we were en route, wading through a sea of knee-high grass, across a creek bottom, and up the ridge. My pocket wind indicator was in constant motion. When we got close, I decided to send Chris out ahead. This was his second time hunting with me without the shooting opportunity he was looking for. The crisp under footing told me I needed to back up anyhow, allowing Chris to poke along 50 yards or so in front.

Easing over a rise, the pigs weren’t there. Chris went ahead, while I swung to the right. Soon I caught movement. The two nice boars were feeding along in a perfect place for an ambush. I plodded uphill to search for Chris, and now he was out of sight. I had tried to be unselfish, but these pigs are going to get away if I don’t do something! I went to retrace my steps only to never see the hogs again. Darn! I had let a good opportunity go by…and these moments aren’t abundant with these wild hogs.

Hunting opportunity flourishes today, and you Can find hog hunting places nearly everywhere-Florida, Texas, and in small hunting preserves throughout the Midwest and southern United States, But for my tastes, I like to hunt free-ranging wild hogs in country I’d usually stalk or still-hunt deer. Fortunately I was born and raised in California, which is home to an abundant wild hog population-and this population is spreading in some areas.

I have hunted pig in most sections of the state, but I have yet to find a place that seems as wild and as productive as hunting the famed Taejon Ranch, a historic 270,000-acre cattle ranch home to countless big-game critters ranging from Yellowstone elk, to deer, antelope, black bear, various predators-and a teeming wild pig population. You can seek out hogs in expansive locations, only to hunt an entirely different area come dusk. It all adds up to a true adventure, not casual off-season filler.

The glow of sunset was at it’s peak when Chris and I adjoined. The stalk had been mass confusion, and he was disappointed I didn’t capitalize on the opportunity. I rolled my eyes and mentioned that the boars didn’t show teeth big enough For me. (l was kidding, of course.) By the time we ate dinner, showered and rolled into bed, it was pushing 11 p.m. or so. The nights are short when bowhunting this country in the summer. That 3:30 a.m. wakeup call is ruthless. After coffee and two Pop-Tarts the feeling of aching sleeplessness was beginning to give way to visions of big-tusked wild boar, exposing that perfect quartering-away shot. What would we do without such aspirations?

After pursuing wild hogs for nearly 10 years, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are lots of different ways to hunt these critters. Classic spot-and-stalk hunting in rolling oak woodland-type country is the most enjoyable-but you’ll find that this hunting can be somewhat of a fairy tale at times. California hogs are truly wild-and even much wilder when hunting pressure hits. When this happens, they tend to roam about terrain with more cover, at least during hunting hours. In this case, you’ll have to really become a hunter, seeking our wily hogs in awkwardly dense locations.
Wild hogs are actually very intelligent creatures. Even farm hogs have proven to be the smartest among all domestic livestock. Now when you take a hog that lives in the wild, one that perhaps has been shot at by hunters, you’ve got yourself one crafty critter.

As we drove up the road, we came across a familiar location. Years ago, I saw a group of hogs cross this exact dirt pathway and amble off into an adjacent creek bottom. Moments later. I still-hunted my way up the cut and found myself face to face with a monstrous pig running unknowingly right at me. I drew my bow more so in self-defense and let the string slip from my finger tab as soon as I hit anchor. Fortunately the arrow hit the proper spot below its throat and drove to the fletching. It was one of the fastest kills I’d witnessed.

Now as we sped along, I couldn’t believe my eyes. About 15 or so hogs kicked up dust across the same bit of real estate and raced into an endless valley of grassland. Immediately, I recognized our opportunity. A narrow ravine slicing through the field would allow us to make an ambush. I banked the truck, and Chris and I scrambled to get our bows. Then we jogged as quickly as we could, eventually changing our clip to a fast walk. It worked like a charm, and Chris triggered a well-placed shot from 30 yards. Soon he was admiring his first California wild pig – a nice 150-pound boar.

To be successful on wild pigs, you must grasp their habits first and realize they do change depending on the season. Of course there are many factors at play here, but food and water are the primary ones, followed by hunting pressure. During the late winter/early spring months, water, and food usually aren’t much of a concern. Wild grass, roots, forbs, berries and other stuff are prevalent and moisture saturates these items at nightfall. With this being the case, wild pigs usually venture toward higher, more secluded ground when hunting pressure is existent. With low hunting pressure, they can still be in more of a “roaming” mode, which could make them difficult to locate.

When temperatures are on the rise, like in late spring and summer, wild pigs are likely to be found concentrated around water and food sources. Early-spring food is diminishing rapidly, and this is when hogs turn to other food like man-made such as walnuts and fruit. Keep in mind, wild pigs are omnivorous, so they’ll consume just about anything including meat from animal carcasses-even their own kind. In a nutshell, summer months can make for great hunting. Just hunt near water. I shot my biggest wild boar in early August as I saw the animal descending from rocky hilltops to a muddy waterhole.

However, during the summer months, if hunting pressure is existent, hogs may only lurk during the wee bit of daylight hours, leaving hunter with maybe a 45-minute window of opportunity to make a stalk- not always enough time. These are all generally based rules. I say this because I’ve glassed up lots of pigs in July roaming towering hillsides, miles away from their watering sources, so you just never know.

When in hog country, look for fresh sign. Tracks are always helpful, but make sure they are fresh, and then try to draw up some conclusions on ways of travel. I’ve read that wild pigs prefer to make their way straight up trails, not at an angle like deer do. Better yet are fresh droppings. These are a sure indicator that pigs are around. Pig scat is shaped much like horse droppings; only they aren’t as firm and not as long and copious.

Creek bottoms that have wallows in them are another good sign pigs are nearby. Recently used wallows are filled with mud, never clear water. Though I have no scientific claim to support this, I’ve noticed that a spring or summer rain seems to somehow increase the level of pig activity. Last April, rainy, drizzly weather appeared to threaten the outcome of my hunt, yet the exact opposite was the case. Each morning, I slid into my Cabelas Rain Suede raingear and still-hunted the hills. The very first evening I glass up animals on every hillside, eventually stalking in on a nice hog. However, I missed the 40-yard shot. The falling light and downhill shot got the best of me. Fortunately, the very next morning I set up a 25-yard shot I couldn’t miss. There were other trips in which I detected this “triggering” affect.

When you finally spot a hog you want to go after, keep in mind that wild hogs have one of the best noses in the business. You have to constantly check wind thermals, preferably with a wind-detector bottle. Depending on the situation. your stalking noise may or may not break your chances. During late-morning or early-evening hours, animals are naturally more alert, but as light diminishes. they feel more safe and are accustomed to their own and other pigs’ noisy feeding habits.’

Just a few weeks ago I was hunting an area along the central-coastal foothills. Conditions were hot, yet springtime rains hovered over the area for nearly a week before my hunt. I knew I’d have to hike far to find pigs, I detected intense hunting pressure in the area. too. On the second evening of the hunt, I climbed to a prominent vantage point and began glassing. About 45 minutes before dark, I noticed odd blemishes against a hill-side that I had been overlooking all evening. In a flash I was off on the stalk.

About 20 minutes later, I stripped my pack and slithered in line with the feeding hogs. The vegetation was much denser than what it appeared like at long range, and I found myself crawling through tunnels and cutting away wild vines with my broadhead-tipped shaft to
gain progress. As light was fading, the sound of the animals grinding their noses across the firm ground digging up dirt and roots grew more and more intense. Soon, I was plum out of walking room-about 10 yards from the feeding boar, but I had no clear shot. I didn’t want to rush the situation, but 10 minutes went by and eventually the boar sensed or smelled something. Soon he began chopping his mouth, making growl sounds and other threatening noises. Is a charge on its way, I thought? Soon the dual ended as I made a hasty move into a wall of brush to attempt a shot. Even so, the moment was well worth it.

If you’re into year-round bowhunting thrill, yet you don’t want to drop loads of money on a remote trip for exotics in New Zealand, Africa or some other hot destination, I’d recommend giving California’s wild hogs a try. They’re loads of fun. and the thrill-well, you just have to judge it for yourself.

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Published by tddroptine7 on 23 Mar 2010

Blood Trails

In my opinion, tracking a blood trail after that shot was made is the second most exciting time of the hunt.  Nothing can top the first excitement, which is the watching of the animal and then the shot.   I have tracked many blood trails during the short 24 years of my life and it wasn’t till last year that it hit me while tracking the blood trail to a buck.  I took my time following the spots of blood on the ground as I eventually walked up on the deer that I put long, hard hours in to get.  Everyone has seen the excitement in someone’s eyes as they follow that blood trail to their trophy and the anticipation is almost unbearable at that point.  A sigh of relief is made and the feeling of an accomplishment in life is felt inside that bowhunter.  No one can argue that this is yet another success story in their hunting career, whether the hunter is professional or not.

This most recent blood trail that I followed made me realize that I followed a blood trail once when I was young.  The blood trail that I am talking about is the one that leads to Jesus Christ, the one who has changed my life.  I could only imagine that the blood trail He left as he was beaten and whipped before he was led the cross to pay for mine sins and yours.  Every beating and every nail that was forced into the perfect Lamb of God, Jesus, screamed that he loved me so much that He would take my place on that cross.  You see, God is perfect and we are not, therefore, He had to send his only Son to die for our sins on that cross and it is only through the blood of Christ that one can be saved.  In Romans 3: 23 it says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”  But God made a solution to this sin problem.  In Romans 6: 23 it says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

The Blood Trail that my savior had was a trail to the cross where my sins were forgiven.  Have you taken the step of faith and followed that same blood trail?  If not I encourage you to do so.  If anyone has any questions reguarding this topic please drop me a reply or an email.

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Published by archerchick on 23 Mar 2010

Eye Level Black Bear – By Rick Combs

Eye Level Black Bears – By Rick Combs

Bow Hunting World Annual 2004-2005

Bowhunting World Annual 2004-2005

The Scenario I had envisioned entailed spotting the bear in a clearing, mapping out a strategy, then hunkering down and executing the perfect stalk.  What really happened was more like this:  We spotted the bear at about 30 yards in a thicket of spruce and aspens just before it dropped out of sight into a small drainage, and my guide was shoving me toward it as I struggled to knock an arrow.

“Go! Go! Go!” he hissed. “That’s a good bear! That’s a good bear! That’s a good bear! Get up there!”

Half expecting the bear to have vanished, but fully aware it could just as easily be moving my direction, I began walking carefully toward the lip of the ravine, bow at full draw.  As I peeked over and looked down on the gradual slope, the bear was standing broadside 10 steps away.  He ran forward a few yards, and I thought he’d be in the thicket before I could get off a good shot.  But then, inexplicably, he stopped and looked back.

I won’t pretend to know what goes through an animal’s mind at such a moment, but at the time it appeared for all the world he was thinking, “Wait a minute, I’m the bear. I’m not the one who is supposed to run”  I swung the sight pin to the crease behind the shoulder, released the arrow, and watched the fletching disappear in the sweet spot.

The bear lunged forward, running further down into the ravine to a slough.  Crossing it on a log, he stumbled once, nearly falling in, but made it to dry ground.  Every bowhunter’s instinct after arrowing an animal is to keep it in sight as long as possible, but as I attempted to move forward and to one side to do that, my guide was tugging me away from the action, fearing that I was trying to follow the bear immediately.

That bear was not the first I’d seen on this trip, and it would prove to be far from the last.  While in some ways the reality of my close encounter with a BC black bear did not live up to my fantasy, in all the ways that mattered British Columbia bear hunt was everything I’d hoped it would be and more.

To begin with it was a spot & stalk hunt.  There is a lot to be said for baited bear hunting, beginning with the fact that in some areas, hunting over bait is the only feasible way to go about hunting bears. Hound hunting, too, has its following where legal. Man and dog have hunted cooperatively for thousand’s of years, and for more than a few hunters, enjoying that primal link is the main reason for hunting. My fantasy, though, was a spot & stalk hunt. I wanted to do it on the ground, eye-to-eye, so to speak, with the bear.

Pick The Right Outfitter

Nonresident hunters are required to
hunt with one of the 240 licensed guide-outfitters in British Columbia. Barring extremely bad luck (record late snowfall and low temperatures, a major forest fire in your hunting area), most any of them will show you bears, and your  chances of getting a shot at a respectable
bruin are excellent. Even the most experienced trophy hunter with very high standards has a relatively good chance at shooting opportunities for trophy black bears or color phase bears in
British Columbia. The real question is,
what kind of overall hunting experience are you seeking? Are you interested only in a remote wilderness hunt from a spike camp, or would you prefer to stay in a comfortable lodge with hot tubs and other amenities!  Either is available, as well as nearly every variation in between, from snug cabins to heated wall tents to bed & breakfast ranches.

Baiting bears is not legal in British Columbia, and though it is legal to hunt with hounds, spot & stalk hunting is far and away the most popular approach.
Still, “spot & stalk” is not a particularly specific term. At one end of the spot
& stalk spectrum, the hunter can hunt exclusively on foot in remote, fly-in or pack-in areas, scouting for sign and glassing mountainside, aualance chutes, or natural openings.

On the other end of the spot & stalk
spectrum, there is cruising logging roads on ATVs or in 4-wheel-drive vehicles.
Logging is a major industry in British Columbia, which means, that in much of the province there are miles and miles of dirt logging roads, not to mention clearcuts. Clearcuts and logging roads produce copious quantities of the fresh green growth bears love to eat.

Of course, logging roads and clearcuts can be hunted on foot. The vehicles, obvious advantage is the opportunity they afford to cover great amounts of territory in short order.

Yet another alternative is hunting waterways from boats. In the case of
both wheeled vehicles and boats,glassing the area and moving on.  If bears are spotted from vehicles, hunters exit and stalk on foot to within bow range.

I spent a great deal of time researching my BC black bear hunt.  With so many top-notch outfitters in the region picking one was difficult.  In the end, I settled on Brett Thorpe and Bowron River Outfitters.  My homework paid off.  Though I’m perfectly happy to hunt from a tent camp in a spruce thicket, I have to admit the picturesque setting of Brett’s cabins on a lake reflecting surrounding snow capped mountains was a factor.

Brett himself was a factor, too.  I think it’s important that a hunter “click” with his guide or outfitter, and I knew I’d enjoy hunting with Brett from the moment we first made contact.  An avid bowhunter himself, Brett is intense about hunting, and his enthusiasm strikes a spark with anyone who is passionate about the sport.  Though he is new to the outfitting business, having only purchased his BC hunting concession two years ago, he has years of experience as a hunter and a guide.  He spent several years guiding and videotaping hunts for well-known black powder hunter and outfitter Jim Shockey.  Depending on the needs and wishes of his clients, Brett will make use of wheeled vehicles on logging roads, hunt the nearby Fraser River by boat, hunt strictly on foot, or use some combination of these methods.

Short of references from hunting buddies whose opinion you respect, the Internet and email are  great places to begin finding an outfitter. They’ll provide huge amounts of data in a hurry at little or no cost. It’s a good idea to write out a list of questions and issues that you
feel are important. Without a written list, you’ll quite likely get sidetracked on  discussions of peripheral issues and forget to cover some thing essential. Make  sure you understand what costs are covered, and ask specifically  about any additional costs you are likely to incur.
Ultimately there is no substitute for more personal modes of communication, so after narrowing the field to several possibilities, you’ll want to make some phone calls.  And though you’ve heard it before, it bears repeating.  Get references from hunters who did not fill a tag, if possible.  Then contact the references.

How Stalkable Are Bears?
I hate to say “that depends,” but that depends. In my experience, hunting pressure is a major factor in stalking any species. I have greatly enjoyed spotting and stalking wild hogs in relatively remote parts of Florida, but have hunted them in other areas where heavy hunting pressure made them almost entirely nocturnal and all but stalkable.
On the flip side, wild turkeys are often regarded as unstalkable, but on a memorable morning in Wyoming, I followed a flock of Merriams with my camera, back and forth along a ridgeline, several times getting within 20 yards of the birds.

Hunting pressure in BC is relatively light.  Bears in remote areas are accustomed to being at the top of the food chain, and though black bears are rarely aggressive toward people, many of them are not easily intimidated, either.
The chief vulnerability of bears anywhere is their eyes;  they can see alright, especially movement.  Their sense of smell is excellent, and it is usually what betrays the hunter.  Their preoccupation with food, both in the spring when they’ve just come out of hibernation, and in the fall when they’re bulking up to prepare for a long winter, is another vulnerability.  In any case, the hunter who gets downwind and approaches carefully -using foliage and terrain for concealment, freezing when the bear looks up and moving cautiously when its head is down or hidden – should sooner or later get within bow range of a bear.  After that, it’s a matter of not coming unglued long enough to make the shot.

A few hours prior to the incident recounted earlier, I muffed my first opportunity:  a 40-yard shot at a good bear.  Forty yards is a long shot for me, but not beyond my range if conditions are right and I don’t have to rush.  The bear was up a hill and looking back at me, and my arrow went a good five inches to the right of my aiming spot.  Luckily a spruce tree intervened to prevent a gut shot.  I’ll blame the steep uphill angle, but I can’t deny pure excitement probably was a factor.

Reality may never live up to fantasies in all the particulars, but with a little homework to find the outfitter who will best meet your needs and desires, along with some planning and preparation, a British Columbia spot & stalk black bear hunt can be a reality you’ll look back on fondly for the rest of your life.

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