Archive for the 'Hunting Stories' Category

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Published by admin on 08 Oct 2009

Fool a Tom By John Trout, Jr.

Fool a Tom

It takes a determined bowhunter and the right method to beat

the sharp eyes of a wild turkey.

By John Trout, Jr.

http://www.bowandarrowhunting.com/

 

fool_a_tom          

  Like many avid archers, I had always wanted to take a wild turkey with a bow. My first attempt came a few years ago on a ranch in Texas where there were plenty of gobblers. I had hunted with a shotgun since the 19070s and had taken several birds, but now it seemed the large quantity of birds on the Texas ranch would offer room for error. If I goofed up as assumed, I would probably be able to locate another turkey and try again. I quickly discovered my prophecy would come true.

 fool_a_tom_7         

  My first failure came in the late afternoon after I set up near a waterhole and placed a netting blind around me. Only 30 minutes after setting up, a turkey answered my call. Eventually, three gobblers showed up and made their way to within 30 yards of the blind. I drew the bowstring and watched with enthusiasm as I released the arrow. Ir sailed inches under the gobbler’s breast. Needless to say, the turkeys vanished. My next attempt came the following morning. Instead of using a blind, I decided to go after a gobbling turkey and set up when necessary against a tree. It almost worked. The bird responded to my hen talk and approached to within 12 yards. Hidden behind a dense mesquite tree, I attempted to draw my bow. A moment later, the gobbler spotted me and scurried away. 

fool_a_tom_4         In my first attempt to take a wild turkey with a bow and arrow, I used both types of methods. I used a blind and the run-and-call tactic. There are pros and cons for each technique. For instance, when using a blind, the archer can normally rely on staying well hidden. However, keep in mind that many who hunt out of a blind are actually using a deer hunting method-spending time in one location waiting to ambush a turkey. This is not appealing to all turkey hunters. Some of today’s blinds do set up fast and easy, though, which allows more opportunity to use the run-and-call method.

fool_a_tom_3        

 Fast Action

  The run-and call tactic allows the hunter to try various strategies. For example, the archer can set up where desired and move if necessary. As most turkey hunters know, moving and calling often builds the confidence of a wary gobbler, and will sometimes make the difference in prompting a bird to come in. The drawback is obvious, however. The hunter is usually not totally hidden and the bow must be drawn undetected. 

            Michael Waddell, a videographer for Realtree, has taken several birds with a bow using the run-and-call tactic. In fact, of all the birds he has harvested, he has never used a blind. Interestingly, he took several turkeys with a bow before using a shotgun.

            Waddell readily admits that setting up is probably the ultimate challenge of bowhunting turkeys when using the run-and-call tactic. When pursuing turkeys in the hardwoods, he does it just as if he was using a shotgun. He waits for the right movement if the turkey’s eyes are not hidden behind a tree.           

            Although some bowhunters prefer using a small stool, Waddell relies on sitting flat on his rear against a tree. He claims a short bow is helpful. However, he added that an archer must watch their form when shooting from this position.                     

            Waddell added that the primary reason he doesn’t use blinds to hunt turkeys is that it isn’t his desire. He loves to go after a bird that gobbles, hoping to make something happen. By using the run-and-call tactic, he can get as close as necessary to a turkey. He also knows that some turkeys won’t come into calls from a long distance. 

fool_a_tom_6           

 Although getting the bow drawn can be a problem for run-and-call hunters, Waddell said that hitting the turkey has often been his biggest problem. He believes that today’s camo patterns and gear have made it easier for hunters to draw their bow without being seen. But they must still be able to hit a small target. He recalls a few gobblers that have come to within 30 to 40 yards. These are usually dead birds for the shotgunner, but for the archer they are difficult targets.

            Preparing for the Shot

            After setting up on a turkey, Waddell will sometimes use a rangefinder before the turkey comes in.  Once the bird shows up, he knows precisely the range before getting a shooting opportunity.  Nonetheless, he believes that archers should practice out to 30 yards.  Getting a bird in closer is extremely hard, although Waddell’s closest kill came at only 10 steps.

            Decoys are another option.  Decoys are not always sure bets, but they fool some gobblers.  Their effectiveness usually depends upon the nature of the turkey and how often decoys are used in a given area.  Waddell claims that the advantage is placing the decoys close enough to make certain a gobbler will come into your effective shooting range and having the patience to wait to shoot until the turkey is there.

            “If they work, decoys allow you to call your shot.  If you’re hoping for a 15- to 20-yard shot, place your decoys only that far away.  On a few occasions, I’ve set up decoys less than 10 yards away,”  Waddell explained.

            Another advantage is that decoys will sometimes make a gobbler strut.  If the gobbler turns, the tail feathers of the strutting bird will shield the eyes of the turkey and allow the archer to draw his bow.

 fool_a_tom_5          

My good friend Tim Hilsmeyer recently took his first Eastern gobbler with his bow.  He shot the turkey at 16 yards from a homemade blind nestled along the fringe of an opening where a few birds passed through daily.  Nevertheless, the turkey did not come easy.  During the first two days in the blind, he had to pass shots because birds were out of range or were in dense cover.  Finally, a gobbler stepped into a good opening and offered the perfect shot.

            Before his bowkill, Hilsmeyer had taken several turkeys with a shotgun.  His first attempt with his bow occurred a few years ago.  Using the run-and-call method, he moved in close to a gobbling bird, set up and called the turkey to within 14yards.  It all went perfectly until the gobbler spotted him drawing his bow.  Eager and unwilling to give up on the idea of killing a turkey with a bow, Hilsmeyer then decided to try the blind.  However, don’t believe for a moment that the bird came easy.        

            Hilsmeyer had done his homework before opening day arrived.  Many of those who hunt using a blind make certain that turkeys are using the area.  After all, if you are going to dedicate your hunting to using a blind and waiting for turkeys to show up, you must be somewhat sure that your time won’t be wasted.           

            Hilsmeyer claims the particular area he found was second to nothing.  He called the area a transition zone.  There were hardwoods, a pine thicket where a few turkeys roosted, and a small lake on one side that seemed to funnel the birds into an open area near the blind.  Although he spent several days listening to gobbles near the opening, Hilsmeyer also discovered numerous tracks.

            Many archers who choose to hunt from a blind select agricultural fields, pastures or other openings that attract turkeys in the morning after they leave the roost.  Blinds are usually set up along the fringes where a background exists.  Most successful bowhunters claim that turkeys pay little or no attention to the blind if they are set up by cover and remain somewhat hidden.

            Although Hilsmeyer spent hours constructing a home-made blind, he is now considering a commercial blind that will work as well.  He recommends a blind that is large enough to allow you to sit on a stool and shoot, and one that provides comfort and maneuverability.

            Hilsmeyer suggests using turkey calls occasionally to lure birds in close.  He says that it’s common for turkeys to pass by the blind out of bow range.  A call or two, however, might be all it takes to lure the bird into shooting range.  He also uses decoys, but admits that many birds become shy after seeing them for a day or two.  He places the decoys only 15 yards from the blind.

fool_a_tom_2          

  Perseverance is the final factor of using a blind in an area where you expect turkeys to be.  Hunters must force themselves to stay put and not to go to a gobbling turkey.  In fact, this is the reason some hunters prefer not to use the blind method.  Some archers would rather pursue a gobbling turkey and abandon a blind simply because they don’t like the idea of sitting tight.  Hilsmeyer says he spent several hours in the blind each day until he killed the turkey early in the morning on the third day.  However, he added that it took every bit of patience he could muster up to stay in the blind and listen to turkeys gobbling in the area.

            Perhaps the last thing I should mention is your decision to try to kill a turkey with a bow.  If you’ve done it faithfully with a shotgun previously, you already know it’s going to get tougher with a bow.  Once you find out how difficult it is, you might think about hanging the bow up until deer season and sticking with the shotgun.  This is not to discourage you from bowhunting turkeys, but Hilsmeyer said that if an archer really wants to kill a turkey with a bow, he should never try it for only a day or two.

“You just tell yourself, ‘I’m going to hunt the whole season with a bow…I can do this and it’s going to work’,: Hilsmeyer said.  There are far more turkey hunting tactics that I could have discussed in this article, but I’m sure you get the point.  First you make up your mind that you want to challenge a wild turkey with a bow and arrow.  Once you decide to do it, you choose the method that will get the job done.  After that, it boils down to beating the eyes of a gobbler up close.

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Published by admin on 01 Sep 2009

“Ted Nugent Trophies with Alien-X”

 
 
THE VELVET TOUCH                                                           by Ted Nugent
 
All bonedemonium was breaking out. I was bonulated. Overboned. Bonedacious. I needed a boneadectomy and needed it bad. Couldn’t leave well enough a bone. I was getting bone tired.  Bone, bone on the range. It was a full on bone-A-rama and I was about to lose my mind. I had never seen such a head full of bone in all my life, and the moment of truth was here and now. Bone-A-gram for Mongo!
 
Let me explain in pedestrian terms for all you confused bone collectors out there. It was my fifth day at America’s premier whitetail deer hunting camp,  Jim Scheifelbein’s Three Lakes Whitetails in Three Lakes, Wisconsin. This intensely managed deer paradise had been high fenced way back in 1959 by a guy who wanted to see more than spikes and forkhorns during his cherished Wisconsin deer season, and was getting fed up with all the hunters in the deer woods that shot at every deer they saw. Statistics show that more than 90% of bucks killed by deer hunters in Wisconsin, just like Michigan and elsewhere, are only a year and a half old, and are killed way before they are anywhere near maturity or capable of reaching their potential. Backstraps are backstraps, afterall, and I am a huge fan. But to each his bone.
 
Surely everyone who hasn’t been living under a rock knows good and well that Ol Uncle Ted is by no stretch of the imagination a trophy hunter. I’m just a regular old fashioned meat hunter for all intents, purposes and kill it and grill it pragmatism. But some guys want to shoot big, mature bucks, and I say more power to them. That takes a lot more discipline and patience, and of course demands hunting where there might be a mature buck.
 
And though Buffalo County Wisconsin produces more book bucks than any other geographical location in North America, that is a direct result of a prolonged and coordinated effort by a huge block of landowners and hard core dedicated hunters to let the young bucks walk so they can grow to their potential. Sometimes that can mean no backstraps at all. A decision that is very difficult to get contiguous landowners to agree upon.
 
Where such a united agreement cannot be attained, another alternative is to high fence private property, not to contain the deer so much, but rather to keep out the young buck killers so that this contained herd can be better managed, balanced, and mature. Perfect. Who doesn’t love a huge antlered stag?
 
Sadly, there is still the assumption that such enclosures eliminate real hunting, and such ignorance has been wildly clung to regardless of the facts. The ignorant call it “canned hunting” when in fact, the fence doesn’t help a hunter bag a deer in the least, except for the fact that the herd is healthier and usually more calm like in the good old days before hyper pressure on the animals from the growing army of hunters across the nation.
Now, mind you, I am not only a huge fan of the growing army of hunters across the nation, I have also been a part of this great American venison army for more than 55 years, and in fact promote the increased recruitment into this wonderful deer army more than anybody that has ever lived. Clearly, America needs more hunters, not fewer. Recruit already.
 
But here I was, as an invited guest of the Scheifelbeins along with Edwin and Lisa Waddell, parents of BloodBrother Bone Collector Michael Waddell. We converged at Three Lakes Whitetails for the unique excitement of an early deer season in August, where a velvet antlered beast might be bagged. The hunt, the challenge, dedication, early mornings and late evenings, brotherhood time around the campfire and backstrap camaraderie were all the same regardless of the presence of any fence or not. It was everything a gung-ho American deer hunter could ever want.
 
Edwin and Lisa were able to arrow fine trophy deer in the first three days, but the ol WhackMaster was getting skunked. I was trying to figure out when the canned hunt would begin! I have hunted deer for more than 55 years, and no one can tell me that this wasn’t real, honest to God deer hunting. I loved every exciting minute of it.
 
Then my luck changed, the planets aligned, and the beast beyond my wildest dreams strolled into my Northern Wisconsin wilderness forest on this fine, cold morning, and I about had a bone attack. I could barely believe my eyes as this fat, waddling stud of a stag strutted into view amongst the beautiful pines, cedars and spruce before me.
 
I forced myself to ignore his head, locked my gaze into the crease behind his shoulder, drew back my arrow, and willed it into his chest. The THWACK heard round the world pole axed this behemoth to the ground. Propelled by only 50# OF Martin bow thrust, my scalpel sharp Magnus broadhead sliced and shattered the old buck’s shoulders with devastating effect. All 335 pound of venison on the hoof crashed to the earth right now as if punched by a .338 Winchester magnum, and I about blew out of my treestand.
 
Kowabunga! Am I alone or in a hunter’s dream? The moment of truth is here and now. I felt his touch, I felt his guiding hand, and the buck was mine forever more!
 
Being die hard old school, even though I knew my arrow had penetrated both shoulders and both lungs, his instant fall to the earth translated as a central nervous system hit, so my second arrow was on its way three seconds later. My 3rd even faster.
 
My bulging, stunned eyeballs swung back to VidCamDude, Gonzo Guide Mark LaRose in shocking disbelief, as if to get his confirmation that what I thought I saw had actually taken place. I was stunned as Mark grinned broadly and rolled digital tape capturing the magical moment to share with the whole world on Spirit of the Wild TV. It was pure, primal, raw, natural, organic, wild and intense as anything could be. The beast is dead, long live the beast.
tedAlien 

We filmed the over the top shock and awe of the moment as I filled my hands with 246 inches of velvet covered head bone, marveling at his roly-poly 335 pound hulk. As hunting and game manager of Three Lakes Whitetails, Mark had seen this giant on a few occasions, but no one had got a crack at him over many a years hunting. And here he was, making an old river rat sticking bowhunting pioneer from Detroit very, very happy.
 
We sat there for a long time admiring this magnificent beast, and were joined soon by owner Jim Scheifelbein and his whitetail addicted BloodBrother Kevin to marvel at this phenomenal animal.
 
Many photos later, we loaded my buck into the four wheeler to weigh, measure, gut, skin and butcher. This buck of a lifetime will be mounted lifesize by world class award winning taxidermists Martin and Lynn Bonack of Safari World Taxidermist in Three Lakes, Wisconsin.
 
This stunning whitetail turned out to be the largest buck ever taken since 1959, and I could hardly get next to myself. I had felt very unlucky not getting a crack at a deer those first few days, then this. I have averaged far more opportunities at deer and far more kills under free range conditions that here at Three Lakes. But it is hard to imagine being able to encounter a mammoth of such proportions on 95% of America’s deer grounds. It was the management practice of letting this buck mature that made it possible, and the high fence is how we did it. I have hunted Illinois, Buffalo county Wisconsin, the mega buck zones of south Texas, and could quite possibly encounter such a mature specimen there and a few other places in North America. But regardless of management choice, I could not be happier than to have killed such an animal and sincerely salute Three lakes Whitetails for making it possible.
 
On this hunt, Ted used a 50# Martin AlienX bow, Nuge GoldTip arrows, 100 grain Magnus BuzzCut broadhead, Scott release, Sims LimbSavers, rest and sight, Lumenok, Bushnell optics, C’Mere Deer, Mossy Oak ScentLok clothing, Boggs rubber boots, Code Blue scents, Hunter Safety System vest, Knight and Hale calls, Outdoor Edge knife, Glenn’s DeerHandle
 
To experience the finest whitetail deer hunting on earth, visit tednugent.com or call Sunrize Safaris at 517-750-9060.

THREELAKESWHITETAILS.COM                                 by Ted Nugent
 
I have a dream. I dream of a spectacular wilderness paradise in the big timber wilds of Northern Wisconsin where the mighty whitetail deer grows to maximum potential. Where the classic hunter’s lodge is world class and the people genuine American BloodBrothers, and where my natural born predator spirit runs wild and free. And the dream lives at Three Lakes Whitetails in Three Lakes, WI, where gung-ho deer hunter Jim Schiefelbein and his team of professional whitetail maniacs have created the ultimate whitetail deer hunting heaven.
Hunting-10
Accomadations-10
Habitat-10
Food-10
Spirit-10
Attitude-10
People-10
Guides-10
Deer-INSANE!!
Through intense, hard core, dedicated management for more than 30 years, you can experience what the original deer hunters of North America saw with a herd of perfectly balanced, healthy, thriving monster mature bucks beyond your wildest dreams. If you seek the ultimate whitetail deer hunt for huge, trophy bucks, go to Three Lakes Whitetails and get it on. You deserve it.

Some of Ted’s Other ALIEN X TROPHIES

 alienbearHPIM0830

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Published by admin on 18 Aug 2009

AFRICAN WARTHOG KABOB by Ted Nugent

AFRICAN WARTHOG KABOB                                     by Ted Nugent
 
The lapa is a thatch walled, circular campfire area ubiquitous in African hunting camps since time immemorial. It is here in the mystical firelight of dusk that BloodBrothers of the hunt gather after a stimulating day afield, pursuing all sorts of stunning game animals in the cradle of mankind. My wife Shemane and I were joined at this circle of life with our good friends and bowhunting BloodBrothers Bruce and Jennifer Cull, Jim and Marlyn Brown, and Reon and Almay Van Tonder, toasting glasses of delicious South African red wine and smoking Cuban cigars celebrating a gamepole heavy with fresh kills of the most yummy kind. Somewhere nearby, within earshot of our camp near the Limpopo River across from Botswana and Zimbabwe, a predator was killing its prey, elephants were consuming vast acres of habitat, and natives huddled by their campfires too. BloodBrothers is the only word to describe our spiritual bond. BloodBrothers of the sharp stick and meat, indeed.
 
Sizzling away on our grill over glowing red coals of ancient, petrified indigenous ironwood this fine, warm night at the Angus Brown Safaris lapa, was a rack of cured pork loins, taken from beautifully ugly trophy warthogs arrowed by Jim, Jennifer and me in the last two days. Mixed with the power of the African night, the aromas were intoxicating.
 
Heavily peppered and hung to cool for a day, these delectable wild pork goodies of sacred flesh protein were treated with ultra tender loving care, for the system by which they were procured was Herculean in effort, and dizzying in patience testing discipline. The bowhunting fun factor was immeasurable.
 
Stalking the riverine habitat or sitting for long periods in waterhole blinds, wild pork is always dearly earned and cherished accordingly. Though the African warthog is considered downright ugly by many, those of us who wait for the perfect shot with the bow and arrow think otherwise, and look upon the primal porcine beast with genuine affection. Wild pork does not come easy, and I am sure that is one reason why it tastes so good to the hunter. Like everything else in life, we sincerely appreciate every bite we take from our hard earned trophies far more than the served masses. Kill em and grill em, in many ways, is a religion unto itself.
 
We genuflect at the alter of truth and logic, where rugged individualism and the hunter’s independence are prayers to the Great Spirit of the hunt. It is pure, it is perfect, it is porky. The primal scream lives, warts and all.
 
My little she hog came as many do in the bushveld. A small puddle of muddy water hidden deep in the middle of thorn nasty scrub is the ultimate drinking hole for all wildlife. Concealed ten feet up in a natural looking thatched hide, wife Shemane and I would spend long hours, sometimes entire days watching the amazing parade of African critters coming and going, capturing it all on high definition videotape to share with millions of die-hards on our Spirit of the Wild TV show. We don’t produce, we document. Raw, wild and real is cool.
 
This particular warthog came in behind a small group of beautiful, orange and white striped Nyala cows, one of Africa‘s most beautiful antelope. As usual, she would dink in a bad position for a shot, wander around a bit, nibble here and there, hunker down on her front knees and root, then drink again, the whole time driving this old bowhunter a little crazier by the hour. With decent ivory tusks protruding from her piggy lips, along with the succulent pork, I had visions of a lovely pendant for my favorite VidCamBabe, Mrs. N.
 
Finally, after a long wait, she jockeyed into a nice broadside, my 50# Rytera AlienX bow drew back smoothly, and my 400 grain arrow found her forward ribs, the razorsharp Magnus broadhead slicing everything in its path, angling hard out the far shoulder. She blew out of there hells-afire, and translucent African dust floated gently back to earth where once stood a dozen animals. I smiled broadly for Shemane’s vidcam, and we knew the pork had landed. Dear Lord I love bloody arrows.
 
Another truly amazing African thing, is the mind boggling lack of blood on the ground even after a perfect double lung or heart shot. Equally amazing are the tracking skills of Africans, and thanks to just such skills of Reon Van Tonder, my warthog was recovered in no time.
 
The small 5” tusks were perfectly matched and pretty thick for a female. Many photos were taken by ace photogs Jim and Marlyn Brown, and we all knew how tasty the rewards would be. And they were, for the belly and the spirit.
 
To book an African Safari or many other amazing hunts with the Nugent’s, visit tednugent.com or contact SUNRIZE SAFARIS at 517-750-9060.
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Published by AZelkhntr on 02 Jul 2009

Lucky 13

lucky-13                                                           Lucky 13

 

Where to start? I have been bowhunting for about the last 12 years. I owe the discovery of bowhunting and all that it means to me to a good friend of mine. Ray Kessler,prior to meeting him I was a rifle hunter for most of my life. I met my hunting partner and friend Ray at work right after he started working there. It didn’t take long before we got on the subject of hunting. I had tried bowhunting with a recurve on a occasion or two. Ray on the other hand had bowhunted most of his life. After a few conversations with Ray it didn’t take long before I was at the local archery shop buying my first compound bow. Since buying that first bow I have become addicted. The feeling of being so close to animals and nature that you get with bowhunting is unlike any other hunting in my opinion. We have hunted together for the last 12 years and have experienced some awesome times, from me shooting my first deer with a bow to sitting on a hilltop and watching two huge bulls fighting to see who is the king of the hill. Bowhunting has  and is the passion that drives me.

 

2007 started out like many others with both of us putting in to try and draw a covenant elk tag. Unfortunately we were not successful, this was disappointing and rewarding all in one. Although we did not draw a elk tag we knew that meant one thing, we were going to be focusing all of our attention on a trip to Kaibab to hunt the huge mule deer of the Kaibab.

 

We made the 6 and a half hour drive to the Kaibab plateau a month before opening day to do some scouting set up our game cams and try to pinpoint a game plan for opening day. While driving up there we had a pretty good idea already where we would be hunting. I have hunted the Kaibab several times in the last 12 years and Ray has been going there for the last 25 years, first with his dad and then with friends and family. On the ride up there he stated that he had just realized that this would be his 25th year hunting the Kaibab and had taken several deer out of there but had never taken a really nice buck yet. We both agreed that this year was going to be different. After our scouting trip we were both very excited we had seen some great bucks and couldn’t wait for opening day.

 

We arrived two days before opening day and everything looked really good, we went out checked our game cams and saw some nice bucks and the mood in the camp was very upbeat. Opening day arrived and we were both sitting treestands hoping for one of the bucks we had seen earlier to make the mistake of walking by us. It was not meant to be, due to all of the other hunters in the area we believed that the big bucks must have gone in to hiding.

 

The next 11 days were pretty uneventful, we both had seen smaller bucks and we both had oppurtunities to harvest a smaller buck. We passed on harvesting smaller bucks in hope of getting a chance at a bigger one. The motto for our camp was “You will never shoot a big one if you keep shooting smaller ones”

 

The last day of the hunt was upon us and we knew it was make or break time. We woke up at 4:00am with high hopes. This was our thirteenth day of hunting and we were determined to make it a Lucky 13. We were driving to our hunt area when Ray looked at me and said. We just drove by a great buck feeding about 150 yards up in the treeline. Needless to say we both got pretty excited. We came up with a quick plan to drive up a ways and stalk into the treeline and then wait. In hopes that the buck would feed to us.

 

 

We made it to the treeline undetected. It was freezing that morning and we both spent the next half hour trying to stay still and not give away our spot by our uncontrollable shivering. Finally I saw deer legs through the trees. It didn’t take long before we realized if we stayed where we were a shot was not going to happen. We decided to move up about 20 yards to another tree. Ray went first, and when he made it to the tree the deer was just coming into a opening. There was no time to lose if he didn’t take the shot the deer was going to move into some thick timber and we wouldn’t get another opportunity.

Ray ranged the deer at 58 yards, I know some people would not take a shot at this range. Ray and I practice out to 80 yards throughout the year and shoot every 3D tournament we can. It is not uncommon to be presented with shots of this range in the west. We practice at these ranges and only take shots that we know and feel comfortable at making. Ray came to full draw and the arrow was on it’s away, I was watching and knew he had made a good shot. The deer ran off and we both just sat there and couldn’t believe what had just happened. We waited a hour before taking up the tracking , it wasn’t long before we were standing over a great Kaibab buck. Ray looked at me smiling and said who says 13 isn’t lucky. We decided right then that this was the Lucky 13 buck.

 

This hunt wound up being one of the best hunts I have been on. It just shows that perseverance along with a never die attitude usually pays off. I would like to thank my wife for putting up with my obsession, without her understanding of my addiction, living my dream would be a lot harder.

 

 

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Published by RightWing on 10 Jun 2009

Morning Meeting ………

I walked down the gravel road in the pre-dawn stillness , the first frost of the year lay sparsely on the layer of leaves that littered the ground along my travel route. I could make out the shapes of feeding deer under an old Southern Pin Oak in a clearing just ahead of the point that the gravel road intersected a logging path that leads to my stand sight.I am certain that these deer saw me enter the wood, but it is early in the season and the hunting pressure has been light, besides it couldn’t be avoided.

I finally reach my tree and attach my climber. Thoughts start to fill my head as I ascend to my lofty, elevated perch. Thoughts of past hunts and seasons gone by, some of which had long days spent in this very tree. With all my gear, placed in its own location in the adjacent limbs, I caught movement of a fat young doe gracefully walking along the path, that in moments will lead her a mere twelve yards of my elavated seat. After several minutes, the fat two-year old deer made the final steps placing her squarely into the shooting lane. I placed my site pin tight behind her shoulder and touched the release, she bounded a few yards ahead then turned looking back at the noise totally unaware of what had taken place. The doe steps forward a couple of more paces then fell to her side almost underneath my tree.

I spend the next several minutes watching two playful squirrels. The squirrels would chase each other around and around a thick barked limb of an old White Oak tree. Earlier ,the doe seemed to have been making her way toward that exact tree . The doe was now laying  still on the damp forest floor as I decend from my natural overlook. Reaching the deer, I place my tag onto the sleek robust animal, once again thoughts fill my mind about past hunts as well as looking forard to the ones to come. Sure I have harvested bigger deer and have had more exciting hunts, but today I have provided my family with tender delicious venison. I thanked the good lord and began the process of gathering my gear . I will be back another day. 🙂

Written by:
Jason Wilborn                          Allons,  Tennessee

Jason, lives in Allons TN and enjoys bowhunting and competing in archery events throughout Tennessee and surrounding states. Jason is also a National Bowhunter Education IBEP/NBEF Instructor and a member of the Christian Bowhunters of America

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Published by RightWing on 05 Jun 2009

Beetles and Bowhunting

Jason Wilborn
10/23/05
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Beetles and Bowhunting……

What was I thinking? Here I am hot, bruised, and bleeding, trying to figure the quickest and easiest path to get out of this mess. O.K., let me explain my problem here. It started out a beautiful mid spring morning, the kind of day custom made to take a nice long nature walk. I decided to go to a place that I had visited several years before on Dale Hollow lake. A short drive to the entrance of the Accordion Trail located near the famed Willow Grove Resort on the Tennessee side of the lake started my journey. This trail runs from Willow Grove to Lillydale camping area, both very popular recreational areas on Dale Hollow.
I made my way through the hardwoods very easily, as the trail meandered along the lake’s edge. I would soon find this to not be the case as I work my way along the trail. Here is where the fun begins, halfway around the trail I started to find fallen trees. The farther I go the more deadfalls I find. These were Pine trees and the fallen trunks made for difficult walking. It was soon obvious that this was not going to be the pleasurable walk that I had anticipated. I soon found myself in a near impenetrable pile of dead pine trees. It was clear at this point that I should have asked more about the trail before taking this hike. The trip around this small section of the lake should have taken around one hour to complete, but with the added obstacles it was more like three. I was finally able to climb, crawl and scratch my way over and through the fallen fauna. Occasionally I would take a break and try to enjoy myself, despite the unwanted pitfalls that I had encountered. It was during these periods of rest that I made the discoveries that lead me to the reason for writing this story.

The large areas of fallen trees had really opened the canopy of the surrounding woods. There where some areas that looked very similar to the way a portion of logged woods would look. The extra sunlight that now made its way to the forest floor caused a surge in growth of green shoots from young hardwoods and bushes. Some of these included valuable deer browse such as young greenbrier, honeysuckle, hearts-a-bursting and other woody plants. Young honey locust trees, as well as young mast bearing trees now received considerably more sunlight and thus flourished. This was a special find on this public tract of land. The substantial plant life and new structure provided excellent cover and food for whitetail and what had began as a brisk nature walk now turned into a preseason scouting trip.

In early September, with just a few weeks left till archery season I made one final scouting trip to the area. My suspicions were confirmed when a jumped several bedded deer, which took very little time retreating from the area. Not to worry, as I knew they would return, because the place had everything a whitetail needs security, subsistence, and with the lake nearby, water.

Early bow season found me hunting my old familiar haunts. The agricultural edges and woodlots that I have hunted and harvested deer at for years, however the little sanctuary stayed on my mind and I vowed that when activity at my usual hotspots subsided, that I would return to it and try my fortune. My chance came in late October after coming back home from a bow hunt in Southeastern Missouri and after filling my Kentucky deer tags earlier in the season. I made my approach quietly through the calm morning water. A dense fog lay heavy on the lake and surrounding woods. It was still archery season in Tennessee and the deer had not received very much hunting pressure at this point. I tied up my boat in a nearby hollow and entered the woods.

I was able to find a suitable white oak tree to attach my stand and soon was looking over a nice opening in the tangle of trees and vines. From this vantage point I could see several small rubs on the remaining pine saplings. This observation was cut short when I noticed movement to my right, a mature doe and her yearling fawn nibbled away at the leaves of some scrubby looking bush. They were unaware of my presence and soon fed on lichen that covered a decaying log before leaving. The shot presentation was tempting, but with a freezer full of venison, I elected to just enjoy the two deer as the feed out of sight. Throughout the morning I saw several other deer, including some small bucks that moved past my elevated position. I never harvested a deer that morning, but I had proven my theory about the newly created habitat. I will return next year to see how much those young bucks have grown and if I haven’t been as fortunate as I was this year, I might look at harvesting one of those plump does for the freezer. As I layout plans for next bow season, I will include this little spot in my rotation.

Once again through nature’s destructive ways something new has emerged and I couldn’t be happier then the day I found a little overlooked section of trail now clogged with fallen trees. With the pine beetles came destruction, but somehow the deer and the Bowhunter have taken advantage of the situation.

Written By:  Jason Wilborn                                Allons,  Tennessee

Jason, lives in Allons TN and enjoys bowhunting and competing in archery events throughout Tennessee and surounding states. Jason is also a National Bowhunter Education IBEP/NBEF Instructor and a member of the Christian Bowhunters of America

 

 

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Published by admin on 02 Jun 2009

IDAHO SPRING BEAR by Ted Nugent

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IDAHO SPRING BEAR   by Ted Nugent

I needed this. Not that my life is short on adrenalin charging highs by any means, but my extreme ying calls for some darn extreme yang to keep things in balance and keep me from further going crazy in my unbelievable wild life. Having just wrapped up three very intense days of the most momentous, record breaking 139th NRA annual meetings in Phoenix Arizona with more than 60 thousand of the worlds greatest freedom fighting families, I was ready for an equally intense dose of wilderness adventure with my wonderful son Toby. And according to the ear blasting cacophony of bellering, yowling, howling spirit hound music ricocheting off the mountainsides all around us, the good Lord His bad self was once again soothing the old guitar players tattered nerves and pumping massive renewable spirit back into my soul. Say YOWZA and let us get it on, again!

Hunting game with hounds is surely the most demanding, high octane hunting challenge known to man. When tuned in properly to the sheer energy of the amazing dogs and the target beasts of their fury, one cannot help but be moved back to primordial times when the pureness of survival drove life itself. In a modern world of overt cush and dependency, I am convinced that it is vital for truly independent souls to run behind a pack of kill crazy hounds, clawing our way up near vertical mountain slopes, slipping, sliding, falling, crashing, smashing and slashing legs, knees, arms, hands and heads on rocks, stumps and deadfalls, driven to call upon a defiance factor seldom unleashed in man’s everyday life, just to keep the spirit hounds in earshot. It will change your life.

And that we did. Now, I admit we do experience the occasional easy, short, nearly flatland jog to a pack of baying hounds only a few hundred yards from the truck, but that is rare, and after some life endangering iron man, marathon man humps, a quickie run is much appreciated by all. Except maybe the bear or lion on the receiving end of the race.

But now I was heaving, clinging to any sapling, branch or root I could grasp my sweating hands around. The day before, on another thrilling race with Bear Hunting magazine publisher Jeff Folsom, I had battered my legs, shins and knees on the 50 degree slippery slopes just enough to hamper my climbing ability, so now I was really struggling as I dragged my Martin Firecat through all sorts of destructo derby abuse. That young, athletic MotorCity MadMan had disappeared a few years back, and in his place is this weathered, rather beat up 60 year old man who still thinks he can leap tall buildings in a single bound. He cannot, but I am not quite ready to admit it just yet, so I push on at a pace that will eventually get me to the beautiful hound music ahead without killing myself. Ying and yang all day long baby.

Mountain man Mitch Payne was already there, surrounded by a pack of handsome hounds barking furiously at the huge ancient western red cedar tree that towered up more than 100 feet. My son Toby strategically maneuvered into prime vidcam position as guide Travis Reggear and I scrambled up the side hill looking for a hole to thread an arrow up into the gorgeous yellow tinted red bear high up in the canopy of the upper branches. With a hot sun basking us on that spectacular mountainside, I gulped some delicious Idaho air, settled my racing heart and tingling nerves, said a brief prayer for the wildthings, envisioned Fred Bear drawing his bow somewhere, and sent my first arrow from my 52# Firecat across the deep chasm into the chest of the red beast. Instantaneously my second arrow followed nearly the same path, the bear rolled its head back, reached for an invisible limb, and came caterwauling earthward with a crashing thump. Hallelujah and pass the SpiritWild rugsteaks! Beautiful!

We were soon joined by Travis’ son Walker, and Three Bear Kennels operator Mike Kemp and his son Colton. A reverential recovery on film for our Spirit of the Wild TV show said it all; More bears in North America today than at any time in recorded history. Mind boggling challenge keeping up with the unstoppable spirit hounds, designed by God to chase and sing and kill. Real conservationists still connected to the perfection of sustain yield resource utility and respect. Crazy men and boys seeking and attaining pure, thrilling fun in the mountains killing bears and other protein rich beasts. Perfect.

Travis Reggear, Mitch, Mike, Mike Stockton and Scott showed us what its like to be Daniel Boone in 2009, and we rejoiced this amazing American Dream that is still alive and well in dedicated, gung-ho hunting families across America.

Amazingly, in our short three day hunt, Travis’ world class hounds treed seven stunning bears, all in varying shades of brown, red, cinnamon and blonde. Some were so high up in old growth timber that an arrow shot would have been very difficult. All seven of the bears we treed were on the smaller side in the 150 pound range, though Travis routinely puts his hunters on 300 to 400 pound whoppers, true trophy bruins. He also guides trophy mountain lion hunts, trophy elk and whitetail deer, and has gained a well earned reputation for being the real deal and a gifted guide and outfitter and natural born hunter and woodsman. His mother Charlotte created award winning meals everytime we sat down, and the Reggear hunting camp is one I highly recommend and shall return to ASAP. I think the dogs liked me.

For booking info, visit tednugent.com or call Sunrize Safaris at 517-750-9060 or contact Travis Reggear at 208-476-5638 or subscribe to BEAR HUNTING magazine at 320-743-6600 or subscriptions@bear-hunting.com.

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Published by admin on 26 May 2009

Ted Nugent – Luck 13

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LUCKY 13              by Ted Nugent

 

It was hunting day 136 of my 2008-2009 hunting season. That’s 136 days of nonstop hunting, 136 out of 138 days total, but I was as pumped up as I was on day 1, I assure you. I had posted endless yet hopeful ambush vigils in every treestand I have, and had even improvised, adapted and overcome on many a morning and afternoon hunt, killing many a fine beast in Michigan, Texas, New Mexico, Washington, Ontario and California. Stacks of precious backstraps were nestled in orderly fashion in the Nugent freezer barn, but I wasn’t done yet. With the Hunters For The Hungry program needing more sacred protein for my fellow Americans, and the deer herd begging for a much needed balanced harvest, my drive to kill more deer was over the top. And I had the arrows and tags to go with my passion and bloodlust. God made me a hunter. Blame Him.

Hunting constantly not only cleanses the soul, wildly stimulates my inner being and feeds many, but it also tunes me in to the good mother earth where I hunt and live. The shortrange challenges of the bow and arrow demands a much higher level of awareness, and if we pay ultimate attention to our surroundings and dedicate ourselves to be the best reasoning predator we can possibly be, a deep and abiding sense of connection develops in our souls to better understand our resource stewardship duties to our life giving environment. I for one get intense gratification from intimately knowing the terrain, animals and spirit of my hunting grounds. These observations give us the definitive understanding of just how many deer, varmints, and other game needs to be killed to keep the land and critters healthy and thriving. I love that part.

Not only do I video each and every hunt for our Spirit of The Wild TV show on Outdoor Channel, but I have kept a running journal of my hunts forever, detailing the various songbirds, small and big game encounters, with a detailed description of each whitetail deer I get to look over. Coupled with the year round census of our herd by myself, family, land managers, and on our Texas property, game counts by Texas Parks and Wildlife biologists, we have a pretty good handle on just what our deer herd is comprised of and how to manage the annual harvest accordingly. Or so we thought.

Ensconced 18 feet up in a crowsnest of thick leaves, vines and branches, the steady southwest breeze caressing my face, my confidence level was as high as a kite this dark, cool January afternoon. With my video camera solid on a swing arm, I was taping myself this day as the first of what would become a parade of whitetail deer slowly made their way through the forest of live oak trees.

At this point late in the season, my remaining Managed Land Deer Permits included six more does and six more bucks, so I was ready to arrow just about any animal. I had picked out some mature does and at least two management bucks that caught my fancy, when all of a sudden, my eyes bugged out at the sight of a big, mature, multi-tined buck. I examined this deer closely with my Bushnells, and quickly realized that this buck had never been identified before.

I was starting to shake. The handsome old boy had a heavy, tall 7×6 rack with a sagging belly and a thick, swollen neck, and I said a prayer of hope that he would give me shot.

He stayed behind the dense foliage, and then trotted off with his nose hot on a big doe. Par for the course in my hunting life, the big boy appeared to be gone with the wind, so I carefully moved my vidcam into position as a shot on a nice slick six point buck was coming to fruition.

I was literally beginning to draw my 53# Martin Firecat bow when the six point jerked his head up and hustled forward. Taking his place at the edge of the clearing was my lucky 13, and finishing my draw, I sent my 400 grain arrow perfecto right there in the golden triangle where heart meets lungs. With a wild kick and a scramble, the mortally hit beast dashed out of sight, his galloping hooves clamoring audibly on the hard ground, then across the rocky wash, with a final, telltale tumble in the tangle across the dry creekbed. Good grief! I was out of body.

Fumbling like a schoolboy after his first kiss, I quivered as I spun the vidcam arm towards me in a feeble attempt to capture the insanity of the moment. I blurted out a spontaneous burst of pure adrenalin pumped excitement explaining how shocked I was to see, muchless kill such a never before seen trophy buck like this dandy 13 pointer.

Self videoing the thrilling recovery took an explosive turn for the better, for as I found the beautiful deer piled up in a tangle of green briar, I heard the rumble of my wife Shemane’s Mercedes coming down the gravel road above the timbered ridge not far off. With the camera buzzing, I ran wildly toward her screaming for her to come join me in the celebration of this very special buck. I come off like a raving idiot (so what else is new?) but succeeded in getting her attention. She graciously took over camera duties like the pro that she is, and we taped the reverential tribute to this fine 150 class whitetail deer. The TV show of this amazing hunt will be as special as the soul stirring encounter and kill with my lucky 13. I’ll take lucky over good everytime.

To book a hunt with Ted Nugent, visit tednugent.com or call Sunrize Safaris at 800-343-4868.

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Published by Scott M on 30 Oct 2008

The Priviledge of Hunting

I’ve hunted on and off for a total of about 11 seasons now, and my attitude about hunting has changed more dramatically than I ever would have imagined.  Starting out I was always in a rush, especially deer hunting.  The minute I saw a flicker of brown or white my gun was on my shoulder and I was trying to find the deer in my scope. 

After harvesting some nice deer, and honestly making some foolish shots, I realized I’m not out here for the kill, I’m out here for the hunt.  That kind of thinking led me choose archery as my first choice for method of hunting these days.

Archery hunters choose to do things the more difficult way.  We have to get closer, we have to be careful of wind, and scent, we have to make a perfect shot, because follow-ups are rarities in the archery woods.

From purchasing the bow last spring, through practicing daily all summer, I couldn’t have been more excited for the Pennsylvania archery season.  The opener came and sure enough I had some action the first morning.

Four doe came in together.  The problem was when I saw the first I thought she was alone.  So, when I turned to get a better look, the big mature doe bringing up the rear saw me in the tree.  She alerted the rest and they bolted.

I was able to hunt again the first monday night of the season and as I arranged my gear at the base of the tree, two doe came into my setup.  As they fed I was able to nock an arrow and come to full draw while kneeling next to my tree.  The first doe stepped behind some brush, so I settled my 20 yard pin on the second doe.  As I looked her up and down I came to the conclusion she was a yearling.  While it would have been great to punch my tag on my second outing of the year, I asked myself, “is this small doe how I want to use my single doe tag?”  I knew the answer to that question, and slowly let down my bow.  I continued to kneel next to the tree as they fed out of sight.

I spent the next couple of hours in the tree, without another sighting.  Even though I didn’t see another deer that night I felt like that night was the most successful night of hunting I’ve had in a long time.

It’s our priviledge to be in the woods pursuing such amazing creatures, and we choose when to fill our tags, we are never obligated to fill our tags.  That, at least for me, is what makes hunting a great tradition.

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Published by cmgo06 on 14 Oct 2008

memories everyday

 The following is a true story.

 As each day goes bye and I am  thinking about my hold, aimming , and various “littile” things I work on each time. Being hard on my self is something I do and get mad about. For no apparent reason. However shooting a bow has tough me how to slow down and relax.

 Get home see my great kids and very understanding wife. Grab a snack and get to shooting. pratice make prefect they say . So when is it gonna pay off. I know I am “actully” shooting good. Hitting on or with in the “10 ” ring it a great shot in the feild. Yet I still want to hit that x spot. Distance is a game that I have come to find takes time.

Recently I had been invited t ofreiends camp up north (adirondacks area) . What a wonderful place it was, state foot tails near and as many miles as you wanted to walk and see. After a little time to get the feel for were I was I look at a map and got it down. There was basically a large triangle of land I heard was loaded with deer. The problem I relized was at the middle of the triangle was a farily large mountian. Trails lead alaround but up this place. It was know’n area buy hunter but hard to reach from unposted areas. Were I was it wasn’t a hour hike. What a place. I studies the map a while longer and figured I could get around. The guys who tagged me along are looking to take a hike after getting camp opened up. We went a decent hike,  along the foot talis and then following a river and back out, maybe a couple of miles. As I took another look at the map I relized just how large the area was we were entering earlier. what we had ventered was but only the samiliest tip of the iceberg. What an increadile experience that area was.

 A few days later back in reality we talk of making another trip. This time for a two day stay. I was jumping for joy. Now only if the wife is good with it i am in great shape. And what do you know she was. She must be up to something, but I will worry about that later. Now it’s game time.

 I have to admit that I have never been on a true hunting trip. I know laugh now, its ok I understand now what the trill is about up to this point. Feeling a little weary that I may not have it in me, but hell I have done almost everything else but this.Shooting has always been of intrest to me, much to my father’s “sha-grine”. Latley he seems more opening to what I am doing , guess its just I am older and he hasn’t much say. I am excited and nervious I guess. But I know if I do as I know to do I should be fine. Another day  soon and that much closer to it.

 

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