Archive for the 'Hunting Stories' Category

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Published by vaportrail33 on 27 May 2011

Do You Really Want To Video Your Hunt

By Rex Holmes, Jr.,  Scent Authority and Inventor of The Vapor Maker

In 2009 a couple of hunting buddies, Joey and Ross and I decided we would go on a 10-day deer hunt to Wyoming.  In addition to the experience of the hunt, our purpose for going was to get video footage using The Vapor Maker®, a scent dispersal product I had just debuted at the 2009 Buckmasters Expo.

To get video footage of a hunt you need a video camera and an operator.  Joey and Ross had never been filmed hunting and I had never operated a video camera, but that didn’t deter us one bit.  After all I had used a Canon digital camera with success; I just needed to get a Canon video camera to take on the hunt.  I searched Ebay and purchased a used camera I felt would be just what I needed.  The purchase came in less than 24 hours before we were to leave for Wyoming, so I had no time to even test out the camera.  I had purchased the tapes and downloaded the manual, how difficult could this be?

We had planned to leave in mid-September, barring no work or personal problems arising.  The day came; actually the night finally came because we left at 9 pm and drove the 1800 miles -26 hours – straight through to the house we had rented in Wyoming.  We unloaded and got everything ready to go hunting.  We unpacked the video camera and started to load the tapes, realizing none of us had ever seen a professional video camera before, much less turn one on or load a tape in it. Does this sound like three country boys on a deer hunt?

We got the camera on and loaded the tape in…no luck.  Just an error message that said “no tape.”  So we tried again and again….still the “no tape” message.  What’s a country boy to do, but call the customer service line?  We did and they led us through every step imaginable, still “no tape.”   I even called the pawn shop owner in Chicago, IL that I had purchased the camera from.  He could only offer to let me send it back.  Talk about frustrating, here we had come 1,800 miles to video our deer hunt and the camera wouldn’t work.  Trying to do too much too fast, I thought.   I was feeling pretty bad about the whole experience when it occurred to me there was writing inside the camera where we had been trying to load the tape.  Sure enough, it said, “push close this first.”  Presto, it worked, the tape was loaded and we were ready to film and hunt.  I didn’t think much of that customer service representative, and I could only imagine that she was relating to her co-workers the story of the three hunters who travelled across country to film a hunt and didn’t know how to turn the camera on or load the tape.

Now we were ready to head out.  With the afternoon approaching we were feeling confident that we could find a good vantage point to sit and film deer.  This afternoon would be all about getting footage of how many big bucks were out there and how they were moving.  We were excited and felt blessed because we saw 7 bucks that afternoon, one of which was about 170 inches.  We felt fortunate that we got to film him sparring with a small 6-point.  About 40 yards from us we saw a doe come across the creek and pick up a 17 inch 10-pt and take him back across the creek.  It was a great sight which I did capture on video, but Joey was so amazed he forgot to even pick up his bow.  It just so happened the wind was blowing from us to the deer, but whenever the deer would get fidgety I would use the Vapor Maker® to spray scent and they would calm down almost immediately.

It turned out to be a great afternoon and I was confident I had all kinds of footage.  We couldn’t wait to get back to camp to view the footage.   Turns out Murphy’s Law had come with us to Wyoming.  The TV at our camp was so old the antenna wires were screwed to the TV, and of course, it had no cable connection to view the video.  God smiled on us again that day because the local hardware store had a box converter to hook the camera up to the TV.   That problem solved, we were now more than ready to view the footage we had taken.

We plugged everything in and sat back to relive a great afternoon.  You can’t imagine our shock and disappointment when all we saw was the camera jumping all over the place.  I was zooming in and out and moving left to right at lightning speed.   We decided day one was a learning experience and went to bed looking forward to the next day.

We slept in that morning to give the deer time to bed down so we could slip in and hang stands.  That afternoon the wind was blowing in every direction, but we managed to slip back in to our stands.   We saw several bucks and does, but only one buck came close enough for a good bow shot.  It was a small mule deer buck which walked right under the stand without picking up our scent.  The Vapor Maker® was doing a great job of attracting deer and covering our scent.

The next morning we returned to our stands even though we felt they weren’t in the best place to hunt and film.  The deer were just starting to move when the bottom dropped out and it came a flooding rain. We had no choice but to go back to the truck and wait out the flood to protect the camera.  Even though I had brought along a heavy duty garbage bag to cover the camera, I didn’t want to take any chances of ruining it before I even figured out how to use it.  After the rain, the sun came out to a scorching 94 degrees.  We took our climbers and headed down to the river bottom.  He heat was intense and we were soaked with sweat.

We were sure this afternoon would be great for hunting and filming.  I was going to be the cameraman and Joey the hunter.  We found a tree and Joey climbed first – another learning experience.  Never let the hunter be the first up the tree when you are filming.  But we were settled in and I had used the Vapor Maker® to spray us and our stands down with 33 Point Buck lure and attractant.  I also sprayed the ground around the tree.

We didn’t have to wait long before we spotted three does and an 8-point about 14 inches coming down the trail.  Because our scent was blocked so effectively, one of the does began feeding about a foot from the tree.  The wind was swirling, but none of the deer had picked up our scent.  Soon we saw him – a 135 inch Whitetail following the 8-point right to us.  They were about 20 yards in front of us.  This was perfect; I had the camera right on them just waiting for Joey to take the shot that never came.  The big buck was moving in and out around to our left.  I thought he was going to go around us when he turned and angled back toward us.  But by then I had turned around so far in the tree I was about to fall out.   I kept filming (I hoped) and Joey finally released the shot at about 23 yards.

We found a little blood but weren’t sure about the shot.  We didn’t know how to replay the footage (or see if I had actually gotten footage) to check the shot.   Joey said there were about 7 deer within 20 yards when he got the shot off.  He said at 20 yards the buck was broadside but there were too many eyes too close to get drawn back.  We decided not to search for the deer that evening, but to head back and see if we had captured the shot on tape.

Returning to search the next morning, I literally had to crawl around on my hands and knees just to spot the tiniest specs of blood or see a footprint. When we discovered the buck, Joey had hit it a little too far back. Because of Wyoming gaming laws we had to carry the kill to a taxidermist to remove the brain stem and some other organs because of CWD, Chronic Wasting Disease.

I learned many valuable lessons during those 10 days.  One, videoing a hunt requires a lot of work and planning.  Using a video camera requires practice, more practice and patience, although in the end I was pleasantly surprised at how much of the footage I was actually able to use.  You can check it out at my website: www.vaportrailscents.com and see for yourself the beauty of Wyoming and the great deer we saw there.  Secondly, I was extremely pleased with the effectiveness of The Vapor Maker® and scents we had developed.  This was really the purpose of the trip and I felt good about what I had filmed and discovered.

All in all it was a great trip with great friends, even with Murphy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Published by ArcosFlechas on 24 Apr 2011

1st 2011 Bow Turkey MO Hunt

???Team Tagle’s Turkey Hunt: no blind, MO Public Land

Team Tagle (father-son) hit the woods early.  ?We prepared a strategy for the hunt and prepared for potential foul weather. Well, when we got to the public land, I realized I did not pack my waterproof boots nor jacket. The walk was entertaining as we had to walk a tight edge due to the rising water from all the rain we’ve had.  Yes, my feet were soaked.  After we reached, no sooner after I set my last decoy (they are named “Jose & Josefina” – smile), we saw a gobbler come off of his roost.  It was insane.., just gotten set up!!  I was not even ready with my bow and arrow set-up, nor my release. Thank goodness he was 500 yards away.  THEN, I realized I left back in the truck my binos, slate and mouth calls, masks.., I was just a hot mess. I had to count on my “natural” calling skills (if any) and began using my mouth to call that gobbler in.  Then, of course we had to be right under the 10% precipitation, it started to rain pretty good, but we hung in there.  My camera man (my son) was prepared for the inclement weather.  Boy did that gobbler repond to my calls and the decoys.  He headed toward us on a B line.., hammering away.  I was feeling my heart beat all over my body, constantly telling my partner not to make the sligthest movement.  He was putting on a show.., afterall, he was the star of this whole thing.  My son did a great job running the camera and captured some great footage.  The gobbler circled around us, but we did not count on his strutting staging area…, I had no cover as to be able to draw my bow.  15 yards away, easy shot (if I am able to pull it off), heart skippin many a beats. It was now or never, made my move, got busted and he took off toward the woods.  I was able to make a few cutting calls, and he stopped at the opposite side 20 yards away. He was still responding, curious, and began strutting again.  When he got completely behind the view of a large tree, I repositioned myself to take a shot when needed.  My son did the same thing.   I took advantage of the cover and drew my bow, holding it as long as I could.  At this point, it was all a gamble, for we did not know what side of the tree he’d come out, nor WHEN.  As the luck I’d be having, he peeked past the tree excatly when I was letting down. HUNT OVER.  This time, he was not sticking around.  To top it off, our camera fouled up on us…., again.

Despite all the challenges we had, I’d do it all over again!  Here’s why:  my son finally learned about the “rush” (wait ’till he experiences buck fever).  He learned why it’s called hunting.  He learned about the turkey’s defense mechanism – sight.  He learned how difficult it is to walk away with a slam dunk.  I learned that throughout the whole ordeal, I could not stop thinking, “I am with my son, what an honor!!”. We have a lot to learn from each other, especially how to film our hunts.   Lastly, he learned how blessed we are after the tornado hit close to home.., the turkey encounter was just a bonus.  Our prayers to all those affected by the tornado and to all our men and women who make it possible for me to have moments like this one.  Adios!!

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Published by kr5639 on 21 Apr 2011

ARMGUARD/Gear Pocket with Call Strap by Neet

I have found this armguard has many uses outside of just archery.  I was able to put a tackle box in the pocket and used 2 wine bottle corks by attaching to the call strap and it worked great for fishing.

I bought it from Neet (item N-AGP-1) and it can be found in the new 2011 catalog.

http://www.neet.com/contact.html

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Published by billhowardoutdoors on 04 Apr 2011

Through a Child’s Eyes

North Carolina offers youth days for hunting some species each season. It gives the youth a chance to go out and have an adult guide them through a hunt, allowing only the child to take a shot. April 2 is youth day for turkey. Bearing that in mind, I feel obligated to share a story a new friend, Chase Shepherd shared with me.

+ + + + +

I closed my eyes while my dad smeared camouflage face paint on my forehead. “Just hold still. We’re almost done,” he whispered. I was ready for the hunt to begin. I loaded my gun, strapped on the gun rest, and put on my hat. “Got everything?” Dad whispered.
“Yeah,” I replied, while I too, was in a whisper.
We started walking back to the area my dad picked to hunt. “Today’s the day you’re killin’ a turkey,” Dad whispered.
“I hope so” I whispered back.
My dad stopped about five minutes later and whispered, “Go sit at that tree, I’m gonna’ set up the decoys.”
“Okay,” I replied.
???? I did my best walking over, trying not to make any noise. I finally stopped at the tree and watched my dad set up the last decoy. It was still dark out so we had enough time to sit down and get comfortable.
Dad sat down first, and then I sat down in between his legs. He set his gun up against the tree and then instructed me to practice aiming on the decoys.
?? The sun just started to rise, and all I heard was gobbling. It was crazy! Then my dad started calling. He did some average hen calls, and that’s when he whispered, “Don’t move!” My mind started racing! Is this really going to happen? Is it a big one? Am I ready? I started to shake as I glanced over. It was a big tom, beard dragging the ground, walking back and forth. “Don’t move,” Dad whispered again.
Then the turkey heard a hen across the creek behind us, and never came in. I was devastated. When all of the sudden, “Here comes two more!” Dad whispered. It wasn’t over yet. My heart started pounding once again. The two turkeys were running to us! I gripped the cold metal of my gun. Then they jumped up, and started attacking our decoy, they were flying in the air, and hitting it with their spurs.
I pulled the trigger, but not hard enough. Since the gun didn’t fire I had to wait for another open shot.
Finally the time came. One of the turkeys stopped, and stared right at us. This time I squeezed the trigger, and the turkey dropped. My dad shot at the other turkey, but it was flying and he missed.
We stood up and started high-fiving and fist-bumping.
“You smoked him buddy!” Dad exclaimed.
Then we walked over to claim my trophy. When we got there we exchanged high-fives again. “You killing a turkey means more to me than me killing one,” Dad said.
When we got back to the truck, we started to take pictures. Some were with Dad’s cell phone and others with the digital camera.
That was the greatest day of my life. It was exciting, fun, and most of all…an adrenaline rush.

+ + + + +

I believe Chase gives us an inside look at how a child feels sharing the outdoors with his parent. It is a memory that will last long after his dad can no longer go out in the fields, yet it is also a memory he will surely share with his kids in the future. I am also sure if you asked Chase’s dad about that day, he too would agree it was one of the greatest days of his life as well.

Bill Howard is an avid bowhunter, hunter education and IBEP instructor, and outdoors columnist for the Yancey County News and Wilson Times (North Carolina). You can read his blogs and catch video on www.billhowardoutdoors.com.

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Published by Double s on 01 Apr 2011

REMINDER: No Selling. This is for Archery, Hunting Blogs & Articles only.

Selling is NOT allowed in the ArcheryTalk Articles and Blogs. For sale or trade items belong only in the ArcheryTalk Classifieds. Posts selling or trading will be deleted. This section is for Articles and Blogs related to Archery and Bow Hunting. Any post not related to Archery or Bow hunting will be considered Spam and trashed and the user deleted. Questions about Bows, Equipment, etc. need to go into the Archerytalk Forum under the correct section. Spammers will be automatically deleted.

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Published by archerchick on 17 Feb 2011

Open Door To Adventure~ By Roy Hoff


Bow and Arrow
June 1972

Open Door To Adventure ~ By Roy Hoff

When Alaska Was Reopened To Bowhunting The Trophy Possibilities Were Staggering!

IT WAS INDEED A GREAT DAY in bowhunting circles when
word was flashed that the Alaska Game Commission had again
legalized bow and arrow as a hunting weapon in the Territory of Alaska.
The new legislation was effective during the fall of 1954. All
big game animals were legal except grizzly and brown
bear. There was a good reason for the prohibition.
Most present-day bowmen, no doubt, believe the
bow and arrow has been legal ever since the Eskimos
moved in. That’s not true.

?

Prior to 1930, Art Young and Saxton Pope received
world-wide publicity in newspapers and magazines
and in theaters where movies were shown of
their Alaskan adventures depicting the successful bagging
of grizzly and Alaska brown bears. The success
of these famous hunters set the stage for a tragic event.
A party of state-side hunters figured they knew all the
answers, but learned the hard way they were mistaken.
In a tragic episode involving a grizzly, one member
of the party lost his life and some others were mauled
so badly they barely escaped with their lives. Shortly
afterward, hunting with a bow and arrow in what is
now our fiftieth state became a no-no!

?

The new law specified that moose could be taken
only in the Anchorage area. Other big game such as
caribou, deer and black bear (excepting grizzly and
brown) could be taken anywhere in the Territory.
Members of the Alaska Bowmen initiated a long
and arduous campaign of public relations between the
bowmen and members of the Game Commission. The
ring-leaders, with whom we were in constant contact,
were Royce Martin, Ivan Blood and Bob Myers, to
whom bowhunters on the North American Continent
owe much.

?

Having worked for the news media nearly all my
life, it took little persuasion to convince myself I should
be on hand for the festivities.
On a – dream-trip like this, a guy must have a hunting
buddy or two, so I invited Bill Childs of Alameda
and Tim Meigs of Oakland, a couple of dyed-in-the-
wool bowhunters in California, to join me.

?

We met in Seattle, chewed the rag with Glenn
St. Charles, founder of the Pope and Young Club,
then boarded a Northwest Orient Airlines plane for
our destination in the Land of the Midnight Sun.
The flight is about 1700 miles, practically all over
water. To me the only impressive sight was the Alaska
Range, with many snow-covered peaks rising abruptly
from the seashore to an average altitude of 18,000
feet, much higher than any mountain in -the States.


?

As our pilot turned the nose of our plane in to-
ward Anchonage, we passed over Montague Island and
proceeded up Turn again Arm to Cook’s Inlet. My cam-
eras really clicked. Keni Peninsula, noted for its many
species of big game, was in plain view for many miles
and we wondered what fabulous hunting stories the
island could tell.

?

That night we were guests of honor at a very nice
banquet staged by the Alaska Bowmen. Each of us was
presented with a “bellykin” made from walrus tusks,
as a talisman to carry with us on the hunt.
In the morning, our guides: Royce Martin, Mortimer
Moore and Ivan Blood, packed our duffel on two
pack horses. Frieda, my wife, was provided a saddle
horse. It was a seven-mile hike to moose camp which
was on a shelf of a nearby mountain where the view
of Anchorage and the surrounding valley was superb.

?
Upon arrival we received our first hunting thrill.
The boys unveiled a fine set of moose antlers (still in
the velvet) and a quarter of the carcass hanging in a
nearby hemlock, all ready for cooking, Ivan was the
lucky hunter. He had bagged the animal during the time
the boys were setting up camp. It was thoughtful of the
boys to provide our party with camp meat and, let me
tell you, there is no tastier meat than moose, if prepared
correctly of course, and Frieda attended to this
detail. Boiled moose ribs, yum, yum!

?

With a moose already in camp it appeared we’d
have little difficulty in filling our tags early and then
head out for caribou country. Coming events did not
work out that way. Moose had been in the area, that
was certain, but all but an occasional straggler had departed
for parts unknown. There were lots of tracks
but none was fresh. We hunted hard for three days.
Other members of the party reported sighting a nice
bull. The best I could report was one “maybe.” We
all came to the conclusion we were hunting a “dry hole.”

?

All of us were pleased when we broke camp and
headed back toward Anchorage, and for the opportunity
to dry out. This was the early part of September
which is their rainy season. If you plan to hunt here
at this time be sure to take plenty of “foul weather
gear.” I’d suggest an outfit consisting of: lightweight
rubber hip-length waders, rubber pants (bib overall
pattern) and rubber parka-coat. If you don’t like to
hunt with your ears covered, wear a rain hat and tuck
in the parka. The parka comes in handy to keep your
ears warm in the evenings and early mornings.

?

Returning to Northern Sporting Goods, our head-
quarters in Anchorage, we were greeted with glowing
reports of the many moose sighted by local hunters together w
ith a few kills – right at the edge of town! In
fact, as we were being briefed on what had transpired
in our absence, in walked Charley MacInnes, one of
the Territory’s popular and successful bowhunters. He
was smeared and spattered with blood. The broad
smile on the Scotsman’s face told us louder than words
there was meat on the table.

?

“Where is he, Charley?” we asked in unison. Our
hero merely headed for the door motioning us to follow.
A most beautiful sight greeted us. There in the bed of
a pickup truck was a beautiful set of moose antlers resting
on a spring-sagging cargo of moose meat.
McInnes was a very impressive person. He actually
hunted wearing kilts, symbolic of his ancestory,
or his shorts. Charley pointed out he was a “lone wolf”
type of hunter who believed it is tough enough for a
bowman to stalk quietly through the woods without ad-
ding noise-producing makers such as Levi overalls.

?

One arrow proved to be “curtains” for the big
moose. Further, quoting Charley, here is what he said:
“On September 6, at 6:10 a.m., I was hunting in
the Goose Lake area and spotted a bull below me headed
my way. I waited until he came to within forty feet,
whereupon he stopped, apparently sensing my presence.
I eased my bow up carefully and released a broadhead.
The bull whirled and dashed off down the slope. He
disappeared in the brush for a few seconds, but I saw
him when he came out on the flats below.”

?

“He stopped in an open spot and appeared to at-
tempt to turn his head back in my direction. At that
moment, I heard the breath go out of his lungs and saw
him collapse. It sounded a lot like letting the air out of
a rubber mattress. I’d estimate from the time the bull
was hit until he keeled over dead, was about fifteen
seconds. The broadhead entered the rib cage and passed
through the lungs.”

?

During our interview, I documented a few hunting
tips which I’ll pass along to you: He always spreads
his clothing on spruce boughs overnight, washes with
plain soap just before the hunt, wears clean clothes,
uses no tobacco or shaving lotion. A parting remark
was, “Any shot in the rib cage may be considered as
a fatal hit !”

?

We had to kill time for a day waiting on Mert
Marshall, who was to guide us into the caribou country,
returning with a party of successful hunters (we
hoped). So we took a sight-seeing trip to view a couple
of glaciers. Upon our return – as usual – it was the
same story: Another moose had been bagged. Don
Goodman was the successful hunter. Following is the
exciting and humorous story he told me:

?

It seems Don is more of a novice bowhunter than
an experienced old timer, though, I must say he could
hold and shoot a hefty stick of seventy-five pounds and
place an arrow pretty close to the spot he was aiming at.
Don had been out several times, hunting in proximity to
the Campbell Air Strip at the edge of Anchorage, but no luck.
On this particular morning he
had hunted the spruce-covered hillsides and was re-
turning to his car through the middle of a swamp.

Suddenly, not over twenty yards in front of him, up
jumped a bull moose from its bed in the buffalo grass.
It stood broadside apparently unperturbed at the intrusion.
Don loosed a carefully aimed broadhead and ob-
served the feathers as they disappeared into the rib
cage. Don swears this dumb-dumb moose never even
so much as batted an eye.

?

The hunter immediately drove another shaft into
the animal not two inches from the first, with about the
same reaction from the moose.
“‘That critter,” said Don, “just shuffled his feet,
stuck out his neck a little closer toward me and just
glared. As I nocked the third arrow I looked around
to see if there were a convenient tree I could climb or
at least hide behind. There was none, so again I blazed
away. By this time I was so dog-gone nervous and
shaking so badly I hit him in the foot.


?

“By the time I loosed the fourth arrow I was a
physical wreck and missed that big hulk completely. I
started desperately praying for help-a fellow bowman,
shotgun hunter, or maybe somebody with a stout club.
As I fumbled for another arrow I stood transfixed by
a sight I couldn’t believe. Just when I thought I was
a goner, over he went dead as a mackerel!

?

Subsequent investigation showed both of the first
two arrows had completely penetrated the animal’s rib
cage and were found sticking in the ground beyond. In
my estimation, there is not the slightest doubt but what
the first arrow would have done the trick.
According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service,
the Keni moose of Alaska is the largest of its kind on
earth. Bulls reach a weight of 1,400 pounds or better
and with an antler spread of six feet and more.
Of the sixty hunters who participated in this hunt,
six were successful in bagging a moose.

?

Statistics on tackle show a radical change in re-
cent years. Ivan Blood used an eighty-pound recurve;
Charley MacInnes shot a seventy-nine-pounder. Seldom
do we see bows this hefty any more.

?

We joined Mert Marshall at Eureka Lodge across
from the huge Matanuslca glacier, 125 miles northeast
of Anchorage where, after loading our duffel, we took
a swamp buggy ride fifty miles up the river bed to the
headwaters of the Little Nelchina River into the tundra
and land of muskeg.

?

In all this wide world there’s no ride just like that
on a swamp buggy After eight and a half hours on
this vehicle, it was the concensus of our gang that the
best way we could compare it was a combination of
which the worst part was like riding a Brahma bull
bare-back; the average as that of riding a pack horse
with the saddle stirrups too short; and the real smooth
portion as that of riding on a lumber wagon over a
cobblestone road!

Ment designed and built two of these swamp-
buggies with but one thought in mind a really rugged
conveyance which would carry parties of hunters
into the back country which is impassable, except on
foot or horseback.

?

Construction of the swamp-buggy started with a
Model A Ford engine. The frame was four-inch pipe
welded together. The body was made of heavy gauge
steel plate. C54 17 x 21 airplane tires were mounted
on the front, and earth—mover truck tires, with non-skid
tread, on the rear. A magneto was used for ignition, as
many times on this· trip the engine was almost entirely
submerged We went through water holes so deep, and
over boulders so huge, it didn’t seem possible a motor-
driven vehicle, other than an army tank, could accomplish
the feat. There were no refinements such as body
springs or soft cushions on the outfit.We all were grateful
when Mert announced we had reached our camp site.
We shook the kinks out of our weary bones, downed a
heaping plateful of Frieda’s ptarmigan stew, and hit the sack.

?

?

Next morning, our day’s activities started on a
sour note. I had a confrontation with Moore, our licensed guide.
He chawed me out for starting a campfire, explaining
in an unfriendly manner that only
sissies built campfires which spook the caribou out of
the area. I didn’t strike any fighting pose, for I knew
he could lick me. Suffice to say, if I were paying the
bill for this trip I should have something to say about
turning on a little heat. The fire was built. Breakfast
was eaten and we prepared to leave for a day’s hunt.

?

Tim was chomping at the bit and decided to climb
the riverbank to take a look see. He topped out slowly,
looked around for about two seconds, then dashed madly
back to the fire and told us he had sighted a small
herd of caribou feeding within a stone’s throw of the
camp. They must have been looking the other way,
when mama told them not to approach a campfire.

?

?

Bill and Tim, accompanied by Moore, sneaked
downstream for a few hundred yards, then made a successful
stalk on a nice bull. Bill put an arrow into him.
The animal started to run. Fifty more or less steps
farther and he folded in a heap – not from the effects
of an arrow but a bullet! The guide said he
thought the animal was escaping, and it was- his legal
responsibility to kill it. I was sure we could have track-
ed down the wounded animal, but the damage was
done. Take a tip from me, hire a guide who is familiar
with bow and arrow hunting.

?

In the meantime, Ivan and I headed out in the
direction Tim had seen the caribou herd. Nothing
was in sight so we fanned out. I turned to my right
and started walking parallel to the river. Making a
sweeping glance, I saw Frieda on the riverbank at our
camp waving her arms and motioning something was
just ahead up river. I sneaked down to the bank and
looked over. There were eleven head of caribou drink-
ing from the stream. I had goofed! The herd spotted
me and moved on. I use the word moved because, in-
stead of like state-side animals, they didn’t run. They
just walked. I tried to catch up with them, but they
could walk faster than I could run. Of course, I must
say this was not a cinder path, but muskeg which is not
conducive to speed. Who was it who said caribou
won’t come near a campfire? Phooey!

?

In succeeding days, Mert taught me much about
hunting caribou. There are two species: the barren-
ground, which is the most abundant game animal in
Alaska, and the woodland, which is found in Canada.
Caribou are migrating animals to the north in spring
and summer and to the south in the fall. Herds travel
hundreds of miles to find new ranges and are constantly
on the move in search of lichen or “reindeer
moss” their favorite food which grows in abundance on
the muskeg-covered tundra.

?

Both sexes of caribou have antlers. The bulls, of
course, have the larger. Considering these animals are
nomads, there is no sense in building a blind during
hunting season facing toward the south. All your game
will be heading south, so face north. We did not build
any blinds, merely hiding in the willows growing at
the edge of the riverbed where we’d constantly glass
the deep etched caribou trails which run north and
south through the tundra for hundreds of miles.

?

One morning, Mert set up an ambush for Tim
and me. We were keeping our eyes peeled on trails
where they skylined. Suddenly, perhaps five miles
distant, we spotted a herd of caribou approaching.
We did not see the animals, just antlers! We could
see those fascinating five-feet-high antlers for several
minutes before the body of the lead animal came into
view.

?

Now for the strategy. That was the last look at
our quarry for perhaps thirty minutes. Mert indicated
hiding places for us across the stream from where we
watched our guide – not the herd! By slow hand move-
ments Mert signaled us the approach. All we had to
do was wait until a big bull got within four feet of us,
then drop him in his tracks with a well placed broad-
head. Things didn’t work out that way.

?

Mert finally signaled us to attack. We raised up
ever so slowly to take a peek. About a hundred yards
ahead on a hillside were four bulls apparently having
stopped for a snack. We figured we had them in the bag,
but they wouldn’t come down any farther.
Tim and I really tried to make a perfect stalk.

?

After some difficult maneuvering, we reached a spot
where we both were concealed from the herd in a
dense growth of willows. By lying flat on our bellies
we could barely see a dim outline of the herd, but
this was all we wanted or needed, just enough view
to keep the herd under observation. Terrain and willow
growth were such we could not contact our guide
for instructions. So we decided to stay put until the
herd came down, even if it took hours of waiting.
We must have lain in that one spot for more than
an hour. It was exasperating to watch our game graze
slowly down the hill toward us until almost within
bow range, then turn around and work back up the
hill. I had to restrain myself from attempting a Joe
Dolan shot at the herd. They were always closely
grouped and at one time were within less than one
hundred yards from us.

?

I petted and stroked my little Walrus tusk talisman,
but it didn’t work. The bulls worked slowly back
up the hill. Then very slowly topped the hill and disappeared.
For several seconds their bodies were out of
sight, but we could still see the tips of their antlers and,
judging from the way they fooled around on our side
of the hill, Tim and I figured they’d stay put for at
least a few minutes. We ran up the side of that hill as
fast as we could and when we topped out we very
cautiously peeked over expecting to see them nibbling
right in front of us.

?

We slowly stood up and scanned the barren hills
in every direction. Our game had disappeared.
We rejoined Mert who pointed out one phenomenal
characterisltic of caribou is their ability to disappear
in an area where there is no cover. We concluded
the herd must have known we were in the area though
they seemed to be peacefully grazing, without a care in
the world. It was just a ruse to outwit us.
So ended our Alaska hunt. Score: two trophies
for three hunters. Question: How come I had to be
the bridesmaid?

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Published by archerchick on 17 Feb 2011

Whitetail Habitat and Habits~ By Bob Grewell


Bow And Arrow Hunting
October 1990

Whitetail Habitat and Habits By Bob Grewell

?

Bowhunters And Deer Are A Lot Alike – Learn More About Your Game and Improve Your Score!

?

A HUNTING PARTNER gave a few of us some good advice when he explained
about using known whitetail feeding grounds he had been tree-standing successfully
for three years. He favored a ridgetop plateau crowned with oak and hickory. To his
advantage, a brushy stream-lined ravine skirted the east side of its base. Below
this flat on the south and west sides was a massive cornfield. A bedding growth
of tangled honeysuckle and blow-down timber wrapped around the northern
lower third. It set the stage for suitable bowhunting habitat. Deer frequented the
ridge for mast and had all they needed: food, water and cover. Picking a spot
and waiting for deer movement was his proven technique.

?

This ridgetop was also used by early- season squirrel hunters quite regularly
Although we bowhunters don`t directly emulate the methods of squirrel-gun
hunters, Gary picked a stand site in this area, right on the perimeter where the
landscape dropped over and down into corn and bedding. This kept him directly
away from squirrel-hunting activities, but still put him in touch with a major
deer-escape route. He had selected ideal habitat, relied on deer feeding and
bedding habits and positioned himself so squirrel-hunter movements would
probably force fleeing deer past his stand.


The last day of the early season, he hadn’t been settled more than thirty
minutes when he heard the faint sound of voices far off into the hardwoods. The
hunters who were stalking the woods that morning were friends of Gary`s and
knew he was bowhunting, so they stayed away from his stand location. Shortly
after their voices broke the silence, a fat doe and apparently her two offspring
slipped past his tree and down over the hill. The action looked promising.

?

Before Gary had a chance to get settled again, a muffled shot was heard;
then another. Within two minutes he noticed movement in the trees. Walk-
and-stop, walk-and-stop; the buck was sneaking through the hardwoods at a
snail`s pace. Constantly looking back toward the squirrel hunters, the whitetail
didn`t pay much attention to what was in front of him. Appearing as if he felt
he had eluded the human interference, the cautious buck stopped behind a tree
not fifteen yards from Gary.

?

When the buck turned and looked back toward the squirrel hunters after their
voices broke the silence, Gary eased into full draw. The buck took three steps
and stopped, alert, but not frightened. The arrow whispered as it gilded into
the buck`s chest cavity. He flinched and jumped straight up. Standing motionless
and looking all around, he wobbled a little. Then, trotting past Gary`s tree, he
attempted to walk downhill, stumbling, then rolling into a briar patch. Even
though the buck lay motionless, Gary sat back down. ’

?

He had picked a good habitat location and took advantage of the whitetail`s
habits in this area. He also used the squirrel hunters activities to his advantage,
knowing the buck would avoid their presence. Although this bowhunter
is a rut-hunting enthusiast, he never fails to be afield before or after the rut.
The first two or three weeks of whitetail bow season are not perfect
times to be looking for rutting bucks. A bowhunter is not likely to be found
seated in close proximity of a “hot” scrape, because they just aren’t prime.

?

Even though one can`t concentrate on whitetail mating urges to be successful,
it is a great time to be afield. The deer haven`t been pressured a lot by hunters.
The weather is not deplorable and there are lots of deer. Many hunters score on
whitetail bucks even when these trophies aren’t yet interested in mounting a doe.
Whitetail and bowhunters are alike in many respects. Our habits and habitats
coincide. The whitetail faces a different set of problems on a daily basis, even
though some are like ours. They must develop habits that mesh with the conditions
of their habitat.


?

The whitetail deer generally leads a life of comfort, seclusion and sometimes
just plain luxury, except for hunting season, human pressures and changing
weather. Food, water and protective cover are all around them. This is a
“key” bowhunters can capitalize on each season. When mating urges haven`t
reached a focal point, basic necessities are a hunter`s asset as well as a deer’s;
in many cases, even more exacting than the short-spanned exposing effects of a
traveling, sex-hungry buck during the rut.

?

The common practice today is to hunt whitetail bucks during the peak of their
rutting activities. There`s nothing wrong with taking advantage of this natural
urge and the high-exposure effects it has on a buck`s actions. In many instances
and terrain locations, rut-hunting provides a bowhunter with an exceptional
chance to take a secretive buck. But if he waits solely for those few weeks of
prime sexual behavior, a bowhunter is missing out on a lot of other chances to
take deer.

?

Logically, bowhunters are constantly searching for the fastest, simplest and
least expensive means of arrowing a buck. The usual method of pursuit that
ups the odds in one’s favor is to take advantage of the exposing effects mating
has on a buck as he searches continuously for a receptive doe. But deer
activities won’t always be predictable or on time and hunters limit their opportunities
when hunting solely for mating bucks.

?

There are many opportunities available prior to and after the ritualistic
mating cycle that can expand one`s chances. The ability to pattern buck
exposure is more prominent when they are stimulated by their annual sexual
drives. This erratic response does help one to set up more productive stand
sites and enables a bowhunter to see more deer, more often. Patterns of travel
become more consistent and timely as bucks spend increased time on the hoof
looking for ready to mate does. Rutting bucks are a little more prone to being
visible when they are crazed for estrous does. For that we can be thankful, be-
cause bowhunting is a limited opportunity sport. anyway.


?

There are thousands of bowhunters who take deer each year and don`t count
on mating activities as a catalyst for success. Not that it`s any easier, because
a hunter must work just as hard and be just as smart to outwit a sneaky
buck. When we enter whitetail habitat looking for a place to hunt, it can appear
confusing. Local deer know it thoroughly. But for us, it`s like walking onto
a new car lot…so much to look for, so much to choose from. The buck usually
only exposes himself when feeding, watering and traveling to and from
bedding locations. These are the key points to concentrate on during any
given day. Habits and habitat knowledge will put you on better bucks when they
aren’t on the move for doe.

?

Bowhunters who plan to take bucks prior to and after the rut need to spend a
lot of time in the field. Relying on previous areas of success is a major
ingredient when taking deer, if the landscape hasn’t been altered to move
deer out or change their habits too dramatically. Deer associate with sights
and sounds in their home range. When changes occur, these animals are
automatically alerted. Although whitetail habits seldom change greatly, they do
change travel habits and feeding locations if habitats are rearranged or some form
of interference dictates their mood. But for deer that live in specific areas year round,
these changes are minimal. That`s why it is important to get to know an area
well. Learn the contour of the land, the locations of food, water and bedding.

?

?

These natural architectural features will control the daily habits of deer. Every
effort of scouting will build a storehouse of valuable information in your favor.
When a bowhunter pursues a buck without relying on rutting activities, the
hunter must study intensely. Talk to landowners, rural mail carriers and successful
hunters. Tap other successful archers knowledge to help you improve
your own. Opinion plays an important role in deer hunting and if it`s a successful
hunter`s opinion, the answers are more prone to be factual details.

?

?

Whether before or after peak rutting desires are aroused. food is a critical
influence that stimulates deer movement patterns. Bedding sites are important, as
well. The routes of travel leading to and from feeding and bedding areas are
walkways to guard. When a bowhunter is after his buck under normal conditions,
study whitetail habits and the structure of the habitat.

?

Any buck not interested in does is especially concerned with protecting his
own hide. This makes him tougher to get close to when he`s not overwhelmed by
a female. Extreme caution on the hunter`s part is a must. but bucks aren’t
beyond approach. If you go after a buck that has been bedded throughout the
afternoon, a logical place to set up an evening stand is along a trail that shows
obvious use.

?

Scouting cannot be over-stressed. Of course, deer aren’t likely to travel the
same trail. the same way. the same time, on an everyday basis. We can`t assume
deer have rigid schedules. But we can determine deer habit patterns more
accurately by thinking food and cover, and using these necessities to our
advantage.

?

Ideally, one first locates a prime food source that is being utilized regularly,
whether it is natural. such as acorns, or artificial, like corn and soybeans. By
backtracking game trails adjoining likely feeding areas and potential bed sites,
stand site selection is easier. Choosing two or three possible stand locations
that will place you on the downwind side of predominate daily wind currents
allows you to change positions, because of shifting weather, other human
interference, or noticable habitat changes.

?

In no way would it be practical to suggest that one should not hunt during the
heat of mating activities. It’s a perfect time to be afield. But no hunter should
rely solely on the sexual urges of whitetails before going hunting. It would
be a genuine loss of productive hunting time to stay home during non-rut days.
If a bowhunter studies and learns normal daily whitetail habits, familiarizes
himself with the details of the terrain he intends to hunt, scouts and determines
the most popular food sources and finds likely looking bedding lairs. the efforts
will amount to a perfect foundation for hunting at any time of the season.

?

Then by respecting the wind`s fickle effects in exposing your scent, hunting a buck
without relying on the mating urge will be an exciting experience. It will not
only teach you more about your quarry, but will instill you with a sense of pride
from the fact that you took your deer from intentional effort, not just from random
luck. Using whitetail habitat and their habits will put you in the drivers seat.

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Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011

BONE-UP FOR BIG BUCKS ~ By Bill Ruediger


Bow And Arrow
December 1972

BONE UP FOR BIG BUCKS ~BY BILL RUEDIGER

Following This Author’s Hunting Primer May Not Hang aA Trophy Whitetail On The Meatpole, but Will Increase Your Chances!

WHEN WAS THE last time you shot a nice buck? Most likely you have
never killed a trophy deer unless you have hunted many years and had
better than average luck. lf you look at the statistics, your chances of killing
a deer with a bow run anywhere between one in a hundred to one in five
– depending on which state you are hunting.

?

These statistics reflect total success— bucks, does and fawns. By the time
you get down to the numbers of hunters shooting big bucks, you are talking
about an elite group. Does this mean you should hang up your bow and find
a more productive pastime’? It depends on why you took up the sport to begin
with. Most bow-hunters know from the start where the odds lie …. with the deer.

?

The real pleasure of bowhunting comes from enjoying the outdoors and
matching your wits against those of a wily old buck. lf hanging meat on the
pole is your primary purpose for hunting, you’d better stick to your rifle.
By keeping a few factors in mind, it is possible to increase your chances of
killing a trophy buck. Three fundamentals l feel are essential to successful
trophy hunting are know the animal, know the area you are hunting, know
bowhunting basics. Sounds like an easy road to success, doesn’t it?
It’s not. But if you take an in-depth look at the three, you may find the
reason your chance has never come.

?

When l say know the animal I don’t mean you should know the difference
between an old grey mare and a whitetailed deer. Let’s hope you have
progressed at least this far! You should be familiar with what a deer eats,
where it beds down, when it is active and how it reacts to disturbances.
Read as much as you can to get this knowledge, then ask an experienced
outdoorsman to help you till in the gaps.

?

Food, cover and water are needed by deer to survive and all
must be available within a limited area. Learn to recognize key
browse species that deer will seek out for food. For mule deer, you
should be able to identify aspen, bitter brush, mountain mahogany,
sage and service berry. Some of the foods whitetails prefer are white
cedar, willow, aspen, sweet fern, poplar, dogwood, oak and various
berry bushes.

?

Learning to recognize these plants is a chore that should take a few
hours and knowing them will give you a clue as to where deer will
be during feeding periods. Deer bed down in evergreen stands
such as pine, cedar, juniper and fir. In the west, where archery seasons
are usually in late summer, deer will bed down in cooler north slopes near
water. During midday, bedding areas are logical places to hunt.

?

As I look back on my own deer kill record, I notice that over fifty percent
of my deer have been killed in these sites. The thick cover and soft under-
footing make bedding spots a bow-hunter’s dream. When deer are spotted
there, they are often at close distances and unspooked.

?

Springs, streams and isolated ponds are good spots to be near in the evenings.
Deer need water at least once a day and will usually browse their way
down to it late in the afternoon. One of my favorite stands is near a spring
situated high in a canyon. Deer and elk move down from adjacent mountain
slopes each evening and it is a rare day when I don’t see game. At such place,
it is just a matter of time before you will get a shot at a trophy buck.

?

Deer are said to be less aware of danger that threatens from above. This
may or may not be true, but it is worth your while to approach from
above if possible. When you look downhill, your view is over much of
the shorter trees and bushes. I have noticed most archers shoot more
accurately downhill. While it is a common occurrence to overshoot, you
will find the opposite is true when shooting uphill.

?

Not being familiar with the hunting site is a ticket to failure. You may
know all about the ecology and habits of deer, but if you can’t find what you
are looking for it isn’t worth much. Every year I see bowhunters tromping
into places I know are barren. I know this because I have been there myself
and found both deer and deer habitat lacking. Through the years, I have
sorted out the good places from the bad, by trial and error, until I know
spots where I usually see a dozen deer or more each day.

?

If possible, it is wise to choose a state with a reputation for being a
good deer producer. Look at the bow- hunter’s success in those states where
it is practical for you to hunt, then hunt the best counties of the state you
choose. If you are after mule deer, you couldn’t go wrong with such states as
Wyoming, Utah, Colorado or Nebraska. Good bets for those who prefer
whitetails would include Minnesota, Texas, Maine, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

?

Many hunters rely on guides to find deer. This is a good idea for those
hunters going into an area for the first time, but once you are familiar with
the hunting site it is no longer necessary, After you have hunted a location
for a week or longer, you should know the area well enough to hunt alone.
Choosing the best method to hunt is as important as knowing the area to
be hunted. One of the most successful methods is for two or three archers to
still hunt by forming a line, each hunter thirty to sixty yards apart. Keeping
the line straight is important for safety and success. Shots usually come as
deer try to sneak away from one hunter.

?

Often the hunter the deer is eluding never sees it. If you try this method
and all the deer you see are out of range or crashing through the brush,
slow down! You are hunting too fast. Hunting from a tree stand has ad-
vantages. In much of the south this is the only practical way to hunt. Locating
a tree a big buck is likely to pass at bow range is harder than most
archers realize. Tree stands are not mobile, and the hunter who finds himself
in the wrong spot is out of luck for the moment.

?

One good location for a tree stand is along a wooded fence line. Deer follow
fences unless there is some reason to make them change course. Fences are
often brushed out, and this gives the archer a natural pathway to shoot down.
Last season, Joe Thomas, one of my hunting cronies. and I were having
a tough time getting big bucks to stay still long enough for a shot.

?

The woods were dry and the deer were running before we had a chance to
let an arrow fly. We found the best way to hunt under these circumstances
was to stay on the largest game trails and try for shots at feeding deer. The
larger game trails were free of leaves and sticks, so walking was silent as long
as we didn’t step off the trail.

?

We were hunting near Logan, Utah – in the Bear River Range – and
Thomas’s chance at a big buck came five days after the opening of the
season. He was hunting his way slowly up a large game trail that meandered
through a canyon. In the course of two hours he had many chances for
shots at does, but even small bucks were hard to find.

?

As Thomas neared the top of the canyon he heard the sounds of a
browsing deer. At first he could not locate the animal, but after patiently
waiting for ten minutes he saw a large buck stroll out from a patch of aspen.
The buck was on a lower trail, but he was familiar enough with the area to
know the two trails come together a quarter mile down the canyon.

?

Thomas back-tracked down his trail, until he found a spot where he
could try a good shot as the buck walked by on the lower trail. The buck
saw Thomas too late; he arrowed the deer through the ribs as it tried to
escape. Thomas would not have tagged his buck if he had not known the best
method to use. He also knew the area he was hunting and how the buck
would probably react. Last, though just as important, Thomas took full
advantage of the situation.

?

This brings us to the third item — know bow-hunting basics.
Bowhunting basics separate the seasoned expert from the novice. They
include your knowledge of bow-hunting equipment, your skill in using
it and your general woodsmanship ability. Although much can be gained
only through experience, some is common sense.

?

As many hunters know, deer depend almost entirely on their abilities to
smell and hear for protection against man. With this in mind, it
makes good sense to always move up- wind with as little noise as possible. To
make sure you are safe, toss some dry grass or dust into the air and check its
direction periodically. Moving noiselessly calls for slow, careful walking
with a pair of good quality hunting boots. I prefer ankle-high boots with
cleated soles.

?

When most people think of bow-hunting, camouflage clothing is one of
the first requirements that comes to mind. No serious bowhunter should be
without it. Clothing which is rough and scratchy should be washed several
times with fabric softener before wearing. Nothing scares deer like the sound
of branches scraping across noisy fabric.

One common fault beginning bow-hunters have is failing to properly
sharpen their broadheads. I like my broadheads sharp enough to shave hair
off my arm. Some bowhunters prefer the four blade broadheads with removable
inserts. These can be sharpened to a razor edge with a double
roller sharpener, which can be bought at any supermarket or hardware store.
If you prefer a three-blade broad-head, you will have to sharpen it with
a file, as the roller sharpeners do not work with them.

?

Choosing the right bow can make the difference between hitting or
missing a trophy buck. Many archers use bows with too much draw weight.
Accuracy should be placed above driving power, as a shot in a vital area
with a forty-five pound bow is going to kill quicker than a bad shot from a
sixty-five pound bow. I use a bow in the fifty to fifty-five pound class and
have never shot a deer without the arrow passing completely through. Most
experienced hunters I have talked with consider a forty-five pound bow
adequate for deer-size animals.

One more factor enters into the situation before you bag your trophy
buck, and it can’t be bought, borrowed or stolen: Luck! Some of us
have more of it than others, but if you stay with it long enough, your dream
of shooting a huge buck will come true.

Archived By
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Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011

Goose The Loose Moose~ By Rick Furniss


Bow And Arrow
December 1972

Goose The Loose Moose~ By Rick Furniss
AT 1400 Pounds Or So, Anchorage Airport Officials Rated Runway Roaming Moose As The Biggest Varmints Of The Biggest State~Till Archers Came To The Rescue!

ANCHORAGE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IS PROTECTED
each year by a group of enthusiastic bowhunters using the seemingly
primitive bow and arrow.
“Protecting it from what?” you may ask. Would you believe, moose?
The big moose found in Alaska (Alces alces gigas) commonly weighs
over 1400 pounds and represents a considerable threat to human life
and property, if it gets in the way of one of the many passenger jets
that use Anchorage International. There are now eight international
airlines using the airport regularly in transpolar flights between Europe
or South America and the Orient. Numerous aircraft, including jumbo
747s, keep the runways in use day and night.

How did this problem evolve? It all started about twenty years ago, when
Anchorage International Airport was carved out of a birch and willow forest
where moose historically had lived and found winter browsing. There was
really no choice of location that wouldn’t have been the home of quite
a few moose. That’s because the Anchorage area is good moose habitat
and they refuse to be driven away, even by man’s civilization. It is not too
uncommon to see moose walking paved streets inside the city.

At first, there was little problem. But after a few years, moose began
converging on the airport grounds when they discovered an increasing
food supply where browse plants sprouted profusely on the disturbed
soil. Access was easy to these new browse sprouts, because the roads and
runways were kept plowed all winter. In addition, the airport’s 4,000 acres
was a sanctuary free from hunting, since laws forbid the use of firearms
there. Thus, the moose population thrived and grew.

Each year the jet traffic grew also as Anchorage became a first-rate
international airport. It became common to see moose trotting across the runways
and even between parked planes. An occasional irate bull moose has completely
demolished small prop aircraft after hooking horns with them.
John Heines, chief safety and security officer at the airport, explains
that “there were quite a few incidents where planes couldn’t take off or land
and twice we had bulls charge taxiing aircraft. Several times, planes narrowly
missed moose while landing.” In one incident a DC-7 hit two moose at
Anchorage, while a Boeing 727 hit one·at Cordova, Alaska.

It wasn’t too long ago that the press released a news story headlined, Moose
Challenges Jet and Wins! It sounds funny, maybe a bit ridiculous, but it
happened. Imagine your feelings when the captain of your Boeing 727 is
heard over the intercom, “There will be a slight delay before take-off while
an upset moose is chased off the runway.” Or even worse, “We are being
asked to hold over the airport, while a pesky moose is shooed from the run—
way!”

Former airport manager George La Rose further explains, “Danger to
human life and property just became too great A we had to do something to
reduce the moose.” The need for action was obvious,
but no one was sure how to go about it. Firearms were prohibited by law, so
rifle hunters were ruled out as a possibility. Rifle bullets also would have
been too dangerous on the airport, because of buildings and houses near-
by. The manager considered hiring security personnel to hunt the animals,
but the budget wouldn’t stand it. Then one of Anchorage’s most avid
archers, Charlie Bowman (who passed away last year), heard of the problem
and approached La Rose with the idea of using archers to harvest a few
animals and put enough pressure on the rest to move them off the airport
grounds. The manager was very receptive to the idea. As a result of Charlie’s
careful planning and diligent work, the state Fish and Game Department
established a special moose archery season and archers were called in to
help protect the jets.

This first hunt was to be either sex and limited to the airport grounds
only. The season ran from January 1 to March 31, 1970. Hunters were
required to meet several special conditions. They needed a bow of at least
forty pounds pull, broadheads not less than seven-eighths-inch wide or one
and a half inches long, and they were required to have the blades sharp to
the touch. Each man had to certify that he was knowledgeable about,
experienced in, and capable of shooting the bow in a proficient manner.

The hunt was limited to twenty-five hunting permits per day on a first
come, first serve basis with a mandatory check in and out each day. It was
specified that the archer must hunt or make drives in a direction away from
runways to avoid the possibility of chasing moose onto them.
This first hunt turned out to be unique and interesting. At midnight
New Year’s Eve, eighteen hunters were lined up for the first twenty-five permits.

Others showed up early on January I and hunters were turned
back when all the permits were gone. The first animal was taken shortly
after daybreak by Don Hanks of Eagle River, Alaska. An hour later, two more
cows were taken. A total of nine moose were taken by approximately
one hundred hunters during the first five days.

I talked with Hanks after he had taken the first moose. It turned out
that hunting wasn’t as easy as one would think. The area is extremely
brushy and the moose are wild. “The leaves and brush were so noisy, the
only way I could stalk close enough for a shot was to wait for big jets to
take off or land. The noise was actually an advantage, because the moose
couldn’t hear me coming,” Hanks says.

Interest remained high for most of the season, as quite a few local businessmen
sneaked out in the morning or took off a bit early in the afternoon
to walk the back roads and moose trails for sign in the fresh snow.
The deep snows in February and March made hunting more difficult
rather than easier. It didn’t take long to find yourself soaked to the waist
and exhausted. A number of archers tried walking down one of the animals,
but soon found their short legs were no match for those lanky beasts in
deep snow.

Many days, the snow was crusty as a result of the coastal weather influence.
It was impossible to walk quietly in those conditions so the kills
began to drop. Then a couple of good hunters came up with a sure-fire way
to get an animal. They would walk the backroads until a track was crossed.
By knowing the country well, one man could circle around ahead of the track
and station himself in a strategic spot. The other hunter would walk slowly
along the track. The moose would hear him coming and begin to move away.

If the man following the tracks moved slowly, the moose would keep
ahead by what it thought was a safe distance. While the attention of the
moose was focused on the man following him, the other archer could move
into position to intercept the path of the moose. When the animal came by,
the hidden archer had a good shot. This technique really worked. The two
who tried it first each got a moose the first morning they tried it and nobody
else was even getting a shot.

In this first hunt, Charlie Bowman was rewarded with a paddle-horn bull
that hadn’t yet dropped its antlers. As a result of Bowman’s work, this first
season ended as a big success. The moose population and hazard to aircraft
and life had been considerably reduced. In addition, a lot of archers
had been provided with many hours of the recreation. A total of twenty-two
moose were bagged by 279 archers who shot a total of 184 arrows. They
hunted 648 man—days and one woman-day. The only woman to participate
was Mrs. Ralph Payne, whose husband zook the twenty-first moose.

Though the problem was reduced, it wasn’t eliminated so the archers
were called in to help again in November of 1970. That season turned
out to be an interesting and beneficial hunt.
The season was extended to run from November 1 to March 31, 1971.
Enthusiasm at first was a bit higher than during the first season as more
than twenty-five archers were lined up at12:01 a.m. November 1, to receive
one of the twenty-five permits for opening day.

During the first month 232 permits are issued, 1135 hours hunted,
fifty-six shots taken, and eight moose Tagged. The first moose taken that
year was a cow brought in by Charlie Bowman. His partner took the second
moose. Bowman’s lucky partner was Bill Ryan, past president of the state
archery association.

Hunting was similar to the first season. but interest wasn’t kept as high
after the first month, because most of the resident moose had been harvested
by that time. Also, a fence was constructed around the airport to keep
most of the moose, driven down by deep snows, out of the area. A few do,
however, get in through open gates or walk around one open end that
extends out into Cook Inlet.

Thus, most of the good hunting was over at the end of the first month. The
total kill for the year was nine moose. Even though the kill was much lower
the second year, everyone was again provided with a great deal of recreation.
And, the archers had reduced the moose hazard even more.

The third season, 1971-72 turned out to be a success, both for the archers
and the airport personnel who wished the moose danger reduced.
Four moose were taken by archers. After talking to several airport personnel
it was concluded that “the archers had done a service to the airlines and
their passengers by again reducing the moose hazard.”

This had been one of the most unique wildlife management problems
anywhere. The method used to solve it is equally unique. The archers have
done their job well, proving that the bow and arrow is a useful management
tool. Former airport manager La Rose states, “l am glad to have been able to
work out an arrangement for the bowhunter to assist us in controlling our
moose population. They have performed a great service in protecting
life and human property. As a group, they are high classed sportsmen of
number one quality.”

So you can now rest easy as you make your connections at Anchorage
Intemational. It is being protected by a great group of sportsmen — the bow-
hunters. <—<<<

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Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011

Whitetail Fever~ By Larry Weishuhn


Bow And Arrow Hunting
February 1990

Whitetail Fever By Larry Weishuhn

Making A Video Of A Big Buck Hunt Involves Unforeseen Problems

?

IT ALL started out as one of your typical South Texas days. The
rut would begin as soon as the weather turned a bit cooler.
Bucks were moving well enough and each day brought sightings of ten or
more mature bucks. But we were simply not seeing what I knew was there.
For nearly a week, the mid-December weather had been warm and windy. On
some days. the wind blew so hard a bow-hunter would have had an extremely
hard time determining windage on a forty-yard shot. To make matters worse,
one of the hunters soon would have to return to Las Vegas and chameleon
from bowhunter to businessman.

?

Dave Snyder was getting a bit anxious for a shot at a decent whitetail. Holder
of the world`s record nontypical Coues whitetail, former typical mule deer
world record and numerous other Pope and Young record book heads. he was
about to run out of time. To make matters still worse. Snyder`s friend.
Peter Shepley. was not going to let him forget about the missed shot, albeit a
nearly impossible one to have made at a Pope and Young buck a few days
earlier.

?

Through it all, Dave contended his legendary Snyder luck would hold and. in the end, he would
succeed. Pete Shepley. bowhunter extraordinnaire and founder of Precision Shooting
Equipment. Inc., along with Dave Snyder and the PSE Adventures inVideo crew, Mike
Bingham and Mike Behr. had joined me on one of the ranches I manage for Max and
Carolyn Williams. The primary purpose was to produce a video and to enjoy hunting a
big whitetail. Neither Snyder nor Shepley ever had hunted the brush country of South Texas.
When I met them at the airport, they were anxious to try our legendary South Texas whitetails.

?

Prior to the arrival of my guests, Jim Jordan, who works for PSE and is based
in San Antonio, had come down to help me do some scouting. The first morning
he came back from the brush he was babbling about the bucks he had seen,
the mountain lion that had walked out in front of him, then just stood there, the
wild hogs and javelina. He went on and on. Jordan, a friend for numerous years,
is usually pretty calm and coherent. Something had him excited, but we finally got him
settled down during lunch.

?

“You aren’t going to believe this! I saw no less than fifteen bucks this
morning that would easily make Pope and Young. One was the biggest buck I
have ever seen in my, life. He had at least fourteen typical points and was
well over twenty-four inches wide with tines that looked as long as his legs!”
Jordan explained. ‘”He’d rank near the top of the book. He never paid any
attention to me. He simply looked my way, then went on about browsing his
way through the brush. Then I started walking back to the pickup and just as l
got to the trail, out walks this mountain lion! l`ve never seen anything like
ii!”

?

My first thought was to act like all of what he had seen was a common, every-
day event — which it was not. Now, with time running short, we had
Snyder scratching. Having established where the major travel lanes were, we
had erected tripods just off of the trails allowing for reasonable shooting distances
and in positions where the camera-man could record any action: In the last
couple of days, Snyder and one of the cameramen had seen approximately ten
bucks, including some that were tempting. But in each instance. the camera
angle was wrong or the deer moved out of position, preventing the taping of the
shot. All this did not help.

?

Having been involved with various video programs, I am of the opinion that
anyone who takes an animal in a fair chase situation with a bow and while on
camera. deserves to be listed in a special record book. Hunting whitetails with a
bow is a difficult proposition. but add a cameraman who dictates when you can
or cannot take a shot and it becomes something just short of an impossibility!
Snyder`s last day arrived much sooner than we wanted. but with it came cooler
temperatures. After dropping the hunters at their camera tripods. I turned my
attention to checking whether the bucks had started coming to rattling horns or
grunt calls. Since I had no intention of taking a deer until our hunters had filled
their tags, I left my PSE bow in the
Suburban.

?

Concealed under the overhanging branches of a mesquite tree near a
scrape I had found earlier. I softly clicked a pair of antlers together and
grunted on my Haydel grunt call. Immediately. a buck charged into
view, stopping mere inches from where I was hidden. A quick evaluation of
antlers, up close and personal, left little doubt he would score well above the
Pope and Young minimum. I only hoped our guests were doing as well.

?

After the buck tired of our game, I walked deeper into the pasture to check
out some scrapes. Deer were moving, does were feeding and bucks were
checking on the estrus condition of the does. Occasionally, I caught a glimpse
of a buck chasing a doe and frequently saw a 6—month—old forlornly looking for
mama, a sure sign the rut was in full swing.

?

Later that-morning, I picked up Pete Shepley who had seen several bucks. He
described most as being good young bucks or those that simply stayed just .
out of range. Approaching Snyder’s hideout, we found him just starting to track a blood
trail. About an hour after sun—up a . young buck had walked out right in front
of him. Glancingr over his shoulder. Snyder had gotten the “go ahead and take him” signal
from the cameraman.

?

The animal had moved forward just as he had released. but the blood trail
indicated a lethal hit. About a hundred yards from where we picked up the
arrow. we found the buck. The Snyder ~ luck had held! How big was he’? Well, as
Snyder put it. “He- ain’t book. but he`ll eat good!” With the successful bowhunter on his
way back to Las Vegas. Pete Shelpey and I got serious about finding him a
good buck. The rut was just starting to .get serious and each day we were seeing
more and different bucks every time we hunted. It would only be a matter of
time before things would fall into place: bucks. camera angle and success.

?

During the days we hunted together, I came to learn quite a lot about Pete Shepley,
the engineer, the bowhunter and the man. Shepley hunted extremely hard. leaving
well before daylight and returning after the song of the coyote had put the
day to rest. His time. too. was running short: pressure was on. I suggested Pete
hunt early. come into camp for awhile, then go back out just before noon. In
years past, I had seen and taken several good bucks during mid—day, especially if
there was a full moon during the rut, which was now the case. Pete’s morning
hunt produced some deer, but not of the right sex.

?

?

In camp, we discussed mid—day hunting. The “we” included not only Pete
and me, but Ron Porter, an old friend and hunting compadre, who is the
southeastern supervisor for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.
On numerous occasions, Ron and I have taken good bucks during siesta time. We
finished our coffee and made ready to continue the hunt.

?

No sooner had I dropped Shepley where he could still hunt his way back
to the deer stand than I spotted a good eight·point buck Shepley must have
seen him at about the same time, because he immediately nocked an arrow
and began his stalk. The buck was completely unaware of the bowhunter’s presence
and obviously was more concerned about checking his scrape than any
impending danger. As is sometime the case, the buck was so strongly in rut, he
cared little about anything else.

?

From a distance, through my Simmons binoculars, I watched the game
unfold. Each time the buck dropped his head to smell a set of tracks made by an
estrus—approaching doe, Pete moved a few steps closer, using what brush there
was for cover. The buck seem oblivious to everything going on. With slow
deliberate moves, Shepley inched closer and closer to the buck. When about
forty yards separated the two, I watched the hunter come to full—draw, hold for a
second, then release. Ilost sight of the arrow in flight, but could tell by Shepley’s reactions
he had scored a solid hit.

?

I waited but a few minutes before walking over. He had made a good hit.
The arrow had entered in the lung area immediately behind the buck’s shoulder
to exit on the opposite side. After a brief consultation, we decided to follow the blood
trail. At the site where the buck had stood, we found a few brownish gray hairs, a spot
of blood and just beyond, the blood-covered arrow. The moist sand made for ideal
tracking conditions. Within a few steps, we found bright, foamy spots of blood; a
few steps farther, a solid blood trail. It took only a few more steps to find the
downed buck. In all likelihood, if the folks at PSE’s new Arizona facility were
listening, they could have heard Pete Shepley’s yell!

?

The buck was mature and close to record-book quality. At that moment,
record book or not, the trophy of trophies lay before us.Did Mike
Bingham, cameraman, get it all on tape? I guess you will just have to see the ·
video to find out. It’s called, “Whitetail ever,” and concerns that malady many
of us suffer; it’s cured only by countless hours of hunting whitetail deer!!!

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