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Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011


December 1990


STILL-HUNTING for deer is a method rich in heritage and
enjoyment. More and more archers are adding this technique to their bag of
tricks; the ability to move silently and unnoticed closer to deer while they lay
unsuspecting of the hunter’s approach. Some folks boast of being able to stalk
so effectively that they can physically touch a deer before the animal knows
someone is around!

Each year, I become captivated by this most enjoyable method of deer
hunting and with absolutely the best of intentions, give it a try. The process
sounds so simple: move slowly, take small steps, look around and, in short,
see the deer before it sees you. Easy, right?

Deer hunting is exciting and just being in the woods during the season is
enough to get a guy’s blood pressure into the big numbers. It`s even worse
when a hunter’s feet seem to have only one gear: high. My mind says,”go
slow,” but every muscle in my body says,”get going,” “hurry up,” “move

Not one to let this promising technique go untried, I became serious
recently, perhaps crazy, in the attempt. For example, I tried tying my shoelaces
together, but found I couldn’t hop quietly. Next came the old “tie a log to
your leg” trick, but that didn’t help either as the logs kept wearing out. I
even invested in a “digital compound release,” but with no luck. This high-
tech gadget attaches to a tree and, by a slender cable, to a hunter’s belt. Each
minute it releases three feet of cord, allowing a consistent, but gradual
advance. This almost worked once as I got to within seven yards of a twelve-
point buck that was sound asleep. Using the tautness of the rope as a steadying
device, I came to full draw and was within a whisper of release when the
device kicked out slack, throwing me forward and nearly arrowing my foot.
From time to time, deer hunters are accused of exaggerating and perhaps
these stories are stretching things a little. However, those hunters who have faced
the frustrations of trying to stalk bedded deer can appreciate the feeling.

Seriously, still-hunting, the art of stalking quietly through deer habitat,
can be as productive as it is exciting and can perhaps double the amount of
quality hunting time for a sportsman. On the first Saturday of the deer
season I decided to, once again, give still-hunting a try. I came up with the
standard results: fresh, but empty beds, the sounds of rustling leaves in the
distance and several bobbing whitetails disappearing over the horizon. In an
hour of “sneaking,” probably ten to twenty deer had been jumped, far more
than I could expect to see from a single stand. If I had been serious about moving
slowly, really slowly, I probably could have had several opportunities.

This is the beauty of still-hunting. It is an excellent supplement to stand hunting
and, except during the mt when deer are often active throughout the day, can
more than double hunting time. The following Saturday, I was determined to
hunt the same ridge top. The weather was windy and cold, unlike the warm
sunny day the previous week. I expected to see deer bedded on the lee side of the
mountain, which was exactly where they were.

After traveling less than two hundred yards, I spotted a doe bedded and looking
away from me. Closing the distance to within forty yards, I was surprised by a
second doe that suddenly stood up. By 2:00 p.m. and several stalks later,
I was watching a large bedded doe, looking directly away from me. She was
quite in the open, but I moved carefully, only when her head was turned.
It was almost like watching a video.

When stand hunting, deer come and go often in a matter of minutes or seconds.
This was hunting in slow motion, but with the volume turned all the way up.
The bedded deer watched downhill, allowing step after step to be taken from
the uphill side. When her head would turn toward me, I’d stop and she would
continue chewing her cud, then focus on the downhill direction once again.

At fifty yards, the same problem as with the earlier stalk occurred; another
deer saw me. Only thirty yards away, an unseen doe stood up and went trotting
past the deer I was stalking. Both deer stood alertly, but couldn’t see me, even
though I stood in the open. Choosing an uphill escape, the pair circled slightly
and began angling uphill. At this point, the odds of the deer passing within
twenty yards were better than fifty—fifty. However, instead of continuing on the
trail, the big doe broke straight for the top, picking up yet another deer on the

Tiptoeing through a deer’s bedroom is difficult, but it certainly can be exciting.
Russell Hull of Hill City, Kansas, has bagged three Pope & Young Club record
book bucks by still—hunting. To most fellows, three P & Ys would be
outstanding, except that Hull has a whole wall full of them. A successful
hunter, his preference for still-hunting is during early morning and evening when
deer are moving.

“If they are bedded down, they are going to see you first,” he declares.
One of his three Pope & Young Club bucks was taken at noon during the rut.
Hull recommends this time of day for trophy animals in heavily hunted areas.
“At that time of day most hunters are out of the woods and many big bucks
know this,” he reasons. Hull saw the buck walking down a
trail some fifty yards ahead of him. A light rain was falling and the leaves were
quiet The big buck walked behind a large dead tree and Hull, aided by the
damp forest carpet, hustled, anticipating a shot as the buck emerged.

“I waited and waited, but he didn’t come out,” he remembers. “Peering
around the tree, the buck was rubbing his horns on a sapling and our eyes met.
“I couldn’t draw and shoot, because there was a branch in the way, so we
just stared at each other. For a clear shot, he need to take one step, which he
eventually did and I took the shot dropping him within eighty yards.”
Hull has a number of tricks that can be used to make still—hunting more
effective. It is important to remember that noise in the mountains is a natural thing,
All creatures make noise in dry leaves. grass, or corn. What isn’t natural,
usually, are sticks snapping or the rhythmic one-two crunch, crunch that
signals the presence of humans.

For example, during the first week of the season, I was sitting in a small
ground blind and a deer approached to within thirty yards. Suddenly, something
could be heard approaching from a draw directly behind me. The doe heard it
immediately and stared intently in my direction. I dared not move as the sound
continued out of a nearby ravine. By the sound, it was either a deer or another

The rustling stopped, but the staring contest continued. Finally, the scolding
sound of a squirrel could be heard and this doe on the verge of full flight, immediately
lowered her head and continued feeding. Hull recommends using calls such as
a deer call or turkey call to disguise noisy steps or snapped twigs. Another
trick he suggests is to use a walking stick which will break up the step, step pattern
that we two legged creatures have.

This doesn’t mean that archers shouldn’t be concerned about noise, but by using
these tricks, errant steps can be camouflaged.
Hull also uses a belt bowholder. This allows an archer to use both hands to
operate a rangefinder or binoculars. The holder allows the use of both hands with-
out having to lay the bow on the ground. For mid—day stalkers, one essential
piece of equipment is a pair of binoculars. If the deer sees the hunter
Erst, the archer will still be there, but the deer will not. I could catch the deer
in its bed if I moved slowly and glassed often. My mistake was not continually
glassing until all the deer were located. Bucks may be easier to approach in this
situation, since they are often bedded alone and their antlers may make them
more visible.

The final advantage to still—hunting is what a hunter learns while doing so.
Hunters are going to see lots of deer and cover ground that could pinpoint the
perfect spot for a tree stand at the end of the day. As Hull points out, “The things
learned while still—hunting can be invaluable, especially where the big bucks

In this context, still—hunting can be thought of as “slow scouting” and, as
most successful bowmen know, a person can’t know too much about the deer he
is hunting. I had spent a recent fall morning in a tree stand in a promising area. Arriving
just as day broke, I was barely in the stand when a small doe came by. As it
paused at ten yards, offering a perfect shot, the opportunity was difficult to
pass. However, l wanted a buck and, if the tree stand didn’t pay off, there was
always the stalking opportunity at the top of the mountain where I had the
close calls earlier.

By 10:30, I assumed that most deer had bedded. I returned to the truck to
get rid of the portable stand and shed some clothing that was all too warm.
The day was bright, sunny and certainly not prime hunting weather. Further-
more, the heat had dried out the mountain to the point that leaves sounded like
crunchy cereal with each step. These were certainly the conditions that would
send most archers home for a nap or at least to town for some lunch and a cold
drink. However, I knew that opportunity was ahead and planned to make the
most of it.

I dressed in my stalking gear. My out- fit was a Polartuff jacket and pants by
Spartan Realtree in camo. This high·tech weave gives warmth in cool—to—cold
weather, yet was comfortable in the heat of the day. In one of the pockets was an
accurate Ranging 500 rangefinder. It is a fairly large model, but is on the money
to within one yard at one hundred yards, a bit more distance than I needed, but
the precision was important. My wide- angle binoculars rounded out the gear
and I began the climb.

The going was difficult. Deadfalls, briars and thick, brush—covered rocky
terrain, made the question of whether to continue a frequent thought. However,
deer prefer a sunny slope and the leeside of the mountain was a perfect place
to lay out of what usually was cold weather. I was barely to the crest when a deer
jumped from it’s bed and bounded out of sight. Other deer were seen going down
the other side. Although the group would likely circle to rejoin, the large
doe had seen me and she would certainly be alert. Still looking for a buck, I
continued along the top using the Held glasses to look things over as I went.
A number of promising bedding areas were empty, probably due to the heat
However, within twenty minutes, I was looking at something strange. Just above
a log were two tiny objects twitching vigorously. Concentrating on the movement,
it appeared to be deer ears with a rack included in the picture. Apparently,
flies were giving the animal a fit and he flicked his ears to avoid them. The range
was about l25 yards with a number of large tree trunks directly between the
deer and me. With caution, I could probably sneak up on the buck. Remembering
my last experience, I checked for additional deer. Sure enough, feeding in
the shadows were three more whitetails. Stalking a bedded buck was one thing,
but to stalk a whole herd was another.

The best strategy seemed to be to go to the other side of the mountain parallel
with the deer, then return back over the top above them. Thanks to the falling `
leaves and slight breeze, any noise made was not detected. Carefully raising my
head above the ridgetop, I located one of the feeding does. I was careful to
stand against a large tree, relying on the camo pattern to disguise my silhouette.
Inching to an upright position, I could see the three feeding deer, but the buck
was nowhere to be seen. Remembering the log, I glassed carefully and finally
found him behind a large rock. Ranging in the distance, it looked like fifty yards;
a long shot to be sure. More than the distance, the rock was covering most of
his vitals.

Slowly lowering myself below the skyline once again, I moved ten yards
away, hoping to get a better angle on the buck. When I reappeared on the skyline,
things got really sticky. Try as I might, I could not see the buck. To further complicate
things, one of the does decided to bed down, facing directly toward me.
Luckily, a squirrel or other animal chose this time to make a racket down
the mountain and the doe turned her head to check for danger. Seizing the
opportunity, I slowly disappeared from the horizon and went back to almost the
original position. Like smoke from a smoldering fire, I lifted above the
horizon and was surprised at the sight.

The deer had shifted its position and now lay in the open; sound asleep. It
was bedded with its head back over its back. The vitals were exposed and
presented a fairly clear shot. I had all day to get ready. I had practiced with
the Golden Eagle Turbo bow at distances well beyond the range. The
Satellite Titan broadheads had grouped well and I had confidence in their flight.

The advantage to this type of hunting is that I was in charge. I literally gave it
my best shot. The arrow seemed to barely leave the bow when the buck rolled over and was
still. The big broadhead had grazed the shoulder and entered the neck, thanks to
the unusual position, breaking the spine. As I tagged the buck and began the job
of Held dressing it, I couldn’t help glancing at my watch with a broader smile
than usual. It was 1:30 in the afternoon. I was probably the only hunter within
miles still in the woods. While they were waiting until evening to get back into
their stands, I was dragging out the
venison. <—<<

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Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011

Spring Turkeys ~By Joe Byers

February 1990

Bowhunting Wild Turkeys May Be The Ultimate
Bowhunter Challenge

In many ways. hunting turkeys with a bow is much like hunting with a shotgun.
In deer hunting, for instance. there is a big change from a caliber .30/06 rifle to a
fifty-pound compound. The rifle is accurate about as far as the eye can see, may
have magnified telescopic sights and the bullet has the shocking power to anchor a
buck where he stands. Turkey bowhunting, on the other hand, isn’t all that different from a shotgun.


Maximum range with a 12—gauge shotgun is about forty yards, which still is a long
shot with a bow. but at least in the ball park. Many gobblers taken at longer distances
probably would have gotten closer to the caller if he had been more patient. Secondly,
shotguns usually come with a primitive bead front sight that is probably bigger than a sight
pin on many bows. Turkeys are turkeys and no matter what a person uses to hunt
them, or what part of the country they come from, gobblers and hens all ” speak”
the same language.


The good news about the similarities is that a person doesn’t have to search for
specialty books, videos. tapes, etc.. to leam about it. The National Wild Turkey Federation
is a prime source of hunting information. primarily through its publication
Turkey Call(Membership cost is $15 per year from: NWTF, Dept. BHA. 770
Augusta Rd.. Edgefield. SC 29824.) Looking through a number of back issues will
offer pointers about special techniques that successful hunters use and past editions
will be available from a local chapter, friends or from public libraries.


Many video outlets now offer hunting videos and for a few dollars you can savor
this springtime ecstasy in the comfort of the living room. An excellent series of
videos has been produced by Rob Keck and 3M Corporation, available through
the NWTF. The series took first place in the Outdoor Writers of America Film/
Video Awards Competition. Caution must be taken against the condition known to
many as turkey fever. There is no known cure and the only therapy that makes the
malady bearable is to spend as much time as possible each spring in pursuit of gobble-mania.


The difficult job of tackling a turkey is as hard, or easy, as one-two-three. If turkeys
were present in the fall deer season they will probably be there in the spring. Once
turkeys have been located, a key ingredient to success is to learn how to call. It should
be noted that stalking or driving turkeys in some states during spring hunting is actually
illegal as well as usually unproductive.


Objective number one is to get the turkey to come from over there to over here. To do
this, an archer will need a calling device or two. In today’s market there are many
to choose from; so many in fact that, like choosing a first compound bow, the selection
can be difficult. The best caller for archers is probably the diaphragm type.
However, it is also the most difficult to master. Diaphragm calls are semi—circular
devices about the size of a quarter that fit in the roof of the mouth and produce a
sound as air is exhaled through the mouth.


Some manufacturers now offer diaphragm calls that can be held between the lips.
They may be easier to use, but often don’t give quite the variety of calls. For the
first—timer, the box call is an old stand—by and the new slate callers produce
outstanding calls with little practice. There are even push—button yelpers that make a
perfect call every time, although the vocabulary is limited. Many hunters carry
more than one call with them, using a series of calls to simulate a small flock of
hens seeking company. One effective technique is to use a friction call- slate or box
— then use a mouth call at the same time. This “two hens talking at once” scenario
is one many gobblers just can’t resist. Calling, in turkey hunting, is important,
but perfection isn’t necessary.


I have two hunting buddies who took gobblers on their first turkey hunts, although
they used shot-guns to do it. One killed one of three gobblers at twenty—five yards
which were running right at him! A hunter who can yelp — the basic communication —
is going to call in turkeys, although not as often as someone who knows and can reproduce
all the sounds of a wild turkey. For those who are proficient at calling, the contentment calls —
clucks and purrs — are excellent, because they not only will bring in birds. but tend to attract
calm birds.


In the mission improbable game plan, calling is perhaps the easiest to accomplish.
If a bowman can breathe, he can call and that covers most of us pretty well.
The second key factor is to draw the bow back without being seen. Coming to
full draw slowly sounds fairly simple. To the person who has never matched wits
close in with a gobbler, it can appear elementary. However, turkey hunters soon
learn how these feathered birds get their first — wild — name. They have absolutely
no sense of curiosity.


A good friend, for example, uses the technique of whistling to stop a buck in his
tracks. On numerous occasions, he has come to full draw from the ambush of an
elevated tree stand, then given a single shrill note. Usually, the deer stops and the
archer releases. From this same stand, a wild turkey was spotted approaching one
fall day. Figuring the same game plan would work, the hunter held absolutely still until
the bird walked under the stand. However, at the instant of the whistle, the turkey
exploded into flight.


Lacking curiosity is usually not a problem to the turkey, because the big eyes on
the side of the bird’s head allow for almost circular vision, which means they don`t
miss much. Most important, turkeys can see color. This keen eyesight makes the movement
of the full draw process the Achilles heel of many archers. Difficult as it is,
there are ways of making success more likely, however. The first is the need for
total camouflage. Unlike deer hunting, orange and white fletching will stand out
and be quickly seen by approaching gobblers.


The dyed fletching of Easton’s Camo Hunter arrows is a good choice. Basic black and
white turkey feathers blend in well, also. Colors such as red or blue are absolute no nos!
Not only are they poor camouflage, but constitute the target colors and could appear as
those of a gobblers head. They might get you on the business end of another hunters missile.


Camouflage clothing will vary with the time of the season as well as the geography
of the country. In general. most deer hunting camo will work well. The pros often use a
vertical pattern upper garment and leaf—colored trousers as they usually sit on the ground
with their backs against a tree.


The selection of a calling site is probably as important in turkey hunting success as the
quality of calling; some would say more so. In general, it appears easier to call gobblers up
a slope or along the same level than it is downhill. This means that if a tom is gobbling on the
roost in the early morning, it is worth the extra effort to get above him or on the same level, if
hunting hill country. Gobblers also are creatures of`habit and usually fly down to travel the
same direction each day. Pre-season scouting is the key to these behaviors. When
opening day comes around, an archer can be in the direction the gobbler is most
likely to travel.


An ideal set-up for bowhunters is to take a position in a clump of large trees.
Mature white oaks are ideal for this purpose as the trunks grow wide and match
vertical camo patterns. The key to this ambush site is that the large trunks will be
ten to twenty yards from the shooter. As the gobbler walks behind them, the hunter
is screened out and can draw the bow. This is a set-up that can be easily misunderstood.
In one sense it is like using a blind to shoot from, only in reverse. The
hunter needs to be sitting, kneeling, or standing against an object that camouflages
him well. It is important not to be in thick cover that may deflect an arrow or interfere
with drawing the bow. Where the blind does the most good is out near the turkey
so that when he walks behind it, the bowman can go into action.


I had the opportunity to hunt on the White Oak Plantation late in the Alabama
season one spring. With a departure time of high noon, we were only allowed one
morning, but had enough action to make it worth the effort. Bo Pittman, manager at
White Oak, leases big chunks of farmland and swamp country on the eastern part of
the Black Belt region which is ideal turkey habitat.


From first light, when the barred owls began their verbal dueling, the gobblers
began their serenade and continued until I had to leave. One calling site looked promising and
had the ideal scatter of tree trunks. Sitting at the south end of the grove, there were
eight or nine large trees toward the area where a tom had gobbled earlier and I
could picture him strutting behind one so I could draw.


The tom would gobble in answer to my calls, the ambush site was perfect. but he
wouldn’t come in. Later, I learned why. Seventy—five yards between us was a small
stream about twenty feet wide. These bodies of swamp water don’t seem to be
going anywhere but are there nonetheless. Part of the calling-in process must
deal with structure between the hunter and the hunted. As a rule, turkeys will not
cross streams. fences. or crawl through downed treetops or thick brush. Their best
defense against predators is their keen eyesight and turkeys feel comfortable in
the open where they can see if danger is near.


This thick brush problem threw me a curve on another gobbler in the morning. I got
to within a hundred yards of the bird, thanks to the thick brush. The problem, however,
was to locate a spot where the gobbler could be called into range. Each time I called
he’d gobble back, but would not come any closer. In a half-hour. I tried several calls, double called and
moved to new locations; but nothing worked. Thirty—three gobblers had already
been taken from the White Oak properties and these late—season birds were pretty


The morning pattern had lots of turkeys located, but no shots taken. One trick that can
work with call-shy gobblers is to use a decoy if it is legal to do so in your area. Alabama does not allow
them, but most states do. The bogus birds can be especially helpful to archers. Specifically, the
decoy will distract attention away from the exact origin of the call and
focus it in another direction. This may only be for a few seconds, but it may be
just the edge a hunter needs.


One of the best things that can happen is for the turkey to strut and “turn its back”
on the archer. In this event, the turkey’s tail will block its view and the archer can
move at will. To make this happen, a hunter must understand the mating pattern of a
gobbler. When one struts, he is displaying his beautiful tail feathers so that they will
be seen by a hen; sort of. “‘Check this out, honey!” Because the gobbler thinks he is coming
to a hen that is anxious to mate, the tom will focus his attention on the call’s origin.


For this reason, many users of mouth callers use their hand in a cupping fashion to throw
the call to one side or the other. This is also why, if a gobbler is approaching, it is not
wise to call anymore. If the gobbler cannot locate the source of the call, he may begin
to strut in a circle, attempting to locate the hen. Decoys also will help in this department
if the lure is placed about fifteen yards away from the hunter. With luck,
the gobbler will circle the decoy offering the hunter a close, lethal shot.


The final act in taking a turkey with stick and string is to make a killing shot.
This is more difficult than it sounds. A strutting gobbler fifteen yards away may
appear as big as a barn. Yet, the kill zone on the turkey is quite small. Much of his
body is a mass of fluffed—up feathers. The bulk of the flesh is tasty, but not fatal,
breast meat. The vitals are no larger than a man’s fist and located behind the wing but
where it joins the body. This offers a good shot from the broadside position, because
the arrow may break a wing as well.


The second deadly shot on a gobbler is the spine. The ideal way to do this is for the
gobbler to face away from the hunter. If the bird is strutting, aim for the vent. The
head and neck area is the shotgun hunter’s favorite target, but the almost constant
movement of these parts make them difficult targets for archers. The head of a
gobbler is actually quite large, but a difficult target.


Shot placement is crucial in turkey hunting for quick, clean kills. It is the more difficult
because of the unwillingness of gobblers to stand perfectly broadside.
Bowhunting turkeys is not a sport for the hungry. If “bringing home the bacon”
is really important. a person may do better to hang around a barnyard or a grocery
store. However. if hunting excitement and challenge are the rewards an archer seeks,
then gobble-mania is hard to beat.

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Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011

Compounding The Interest ~ Las Vegas Indoor Open

February 1972

Compounding The Interest!
At The 1972 Las Vegas $20,000 Indoor Open, There Will Even Be Classes For Compound Bows And Release Shooters!

“SEVERAL NEW DIVISIONS and an improved format
will make the 7972 U.S. Open Indoor Archery Champion-
ships an interesting and enjoyable tournament for all
archers, ” according to Joe Johnston, the tournament director.

With top professional and amateur archers planning to
participate in the world’s biggest money shoot, this is the
individual archer’s opportunity to compete against the
nation’s top shooters. Archery super-stars such as Vic
Berger, Ann Butz, Vic Leach, Denise Libby, Gary Lyman,
Jack Lancaster and a host of others will take part in the
tournament slated for Las Vegas, Nevada, January 74- 76.

A special event, the King and Queen Shoot, will be an
added highlight invitations are going out to all of the
archery greats associated with the sport for a quarter-
century or more. On the invitation list are Fred Bear,
Howard Hill, Bob Lee, Doug Easton, Ernie Root, Earl
Hoyt, and Boy Hoff On the distaff side, Ann Weber Hoyt,
Mary Easton, Sandy Elott and Phyllis Saunders are among
those /il<e/y to participate.

As for the new divisions, "the release/compound bow
controversy has caused a great deal of confusion among all
archers’ Johnston explains "This tournament does not
intend to take sides at the expense of any archer wishing to
shoot with the equipment he enjoys using. To ensure that
all archers can participate, the sponsors have added a men’s
and women’s Unlimited Division in the championship flight
to allow both equipment groups to compete equally.

“In addition, we have taken twenty percent of the
Championship Flight purse for both men and women and
will divide it among the Limited and Unlimited Divisions
according to the total number of shooters entered in each
division. ”

Example 1: In the men’s division, if the registration is
300 in the Unlimited Division and 200 in the Limited
Division, then the $2,000 Attendance Bonus Purse will be
divided 3/5 ($7,200} to the Unlimited Division and 2/5
($800} to the Limited Division. Once the bonus money is
divided among the two championship flight divisions, each
amount will be further divided among all the places in pro-
portion to listed awards.

Example 2: The top man in each division wins $ 7,000,
which is twenty-five percent of the total $4,000 purse for
each division. Extending this to Example 7 above, first
place in the Unlimited Division would win twenty-five per-
cent of $7,200 or $300 additional, making a total of
$ 7,300 for first place in the Unlimited Division and $ 7,200
in the Limited Division. The women’s bonus award will be
divided the same way.

This attendance bonus will help equalize the fact that
there may be more archers in one division supporting the
tournament than in the other division. The sponsors of this
tournament desire that as many archers as possible enjoy
this great shoot

LIMITED DIVISION — This division will be for all archers
who wish to shoot with equipment that conforms to the
new American Archery Council Equipment Committee
ruling. Briefly, this ruling states that an archer must shoot a
conventional bow, braced for use by a single bowstring
attached directly between the two string nocks only, and
must hold and re/ease the string with his fingers, which may
be covered with a smooth protection that has no device to
help hold or release the string. Single lens prisms are the
only type of optical sigh ts permitted Further details on the
ruling are available through the American Archery Council,
Fred Schuette — Secretary, 678 Chalmers, F/mt, Michigan
48503. The Professional Archers Association has given
official sanction to this division only. PAA members are
sanctioned to shoot in the mixed team event in the Limited
Division on/y. Entry fee is $35 for the Limited Division.

UNLIMITED DIVISION -— Any equipment may be used in
this division and only two simple principles of archery will
be necessary to follow.· (7} The bow must be drawn and
held by the archer. {2} The bow or anything attached to it
must be supported entirely by the archer.
Other than the above principles of archery, the type of
bow or method or release is the choice of whatever equipment
the archer enjoys shooting the most. Entry fee is $35.
The additional Attendance Bonus Purse will be divided
between the Limited and Unlimited Divisions in proportion
to the total number of shooters registered in each division.

entirely new in an archery tournament of this size. Because
of the two divisions, two championship tournaments will be
occurring at the same time. Those archers who feel they are
capable of championship caliber shooting in both divisions
will be able to register in the two divisions and shoot both
the Friday morning and Friday afternoon rounds. Regardless
of the scores shot on Friday, the dual-division shooter
will shoot in both the morning and afternoon Champion-
ship Flights on Sunday. Dual-division shooters will not be
eligible for any open flight awards but will have a chance to
win $2,500 {includes the attendance bonus award} if they
win first place in both divisions. The $2,500 prize is the
largest individual cash award for which any archer has ever

OPEN FLIGHT COMPETITION — A total of $6,000 will
be divided among the 67 places in the ten flights in this
popular division. All archers who do not make the championship
flight cut-off will be placed in the open flight
competition according to the score they shot Friday. An
approximately equal number of archers are put into each of
the ten flights. The point spread of the top flights has been
as small as two points, and even in the lower flights less
than five pom ts has separated the first and last place. This
makes for exciting competition on Saturday when there are
ten separate, closely contested tournaments in progress at
once. Everyone has a chance to experience competing
against archers of his or her level of skill for $6,000 in cash

Because everyone is in the mixed team round and this
round is the same as the first individual round, and because
of other safeguards, the possibility of someone deliberately
shooting a low score on the first day to get into a lower
flight on Saturday is greatly reduced. Everyone should have
a fair chance to compete for the cash flight awards.

All archers shooting the open flights on Saturday must
shoot with the same equipment they used during the Friday

MIXED TEAM EVENT — The entry fee for this event is
included in everyone’s shooting fee. The target assignments
for the first round will be assigned by the tournament director
with an attempt to make relatively equal four-archer
teams. Each target then will become a team and compete
against all other target-teams for awards in two flights in
both the Limited and Unlimited Divisions. The first flight
in each division will be a scratch flight with the first, second
and third highest scores winning. The second flight in each
division will be determined by a cutoff line selected by the
tournament director at about the middle of the list of
teams competing. Teams below this score cut-off will
compete for the cash prizes offered in the second flight
The awards for this competition total $7,500.

AMATEUR COMPETITION — All amateurs will shoot
equipment that complies to the A.A.C. Equipment
Committee ruling. They will compete in the mixed team
event in a separate amateur division and shoot for trophies.
Entry fee is $2000 Trophies will be awarded as shown
MEN 1st through 5th place trophies
WOMEN 1st through 3rd place trophies
TEAMS 1st through 3rd place trophies
SPONSORED TEAM EVENT — This event will be held
Saturday afternoon and the four-archer teams will compete
for the top three places. Each team must be sponsored by
either an archery manufacturer or distributor, an archery
shop or lanes, or an outside commercial business. The teams
should have shirts displaying their sponsor’s name. Since
this is a “pot” shoot without guaranteed purse, all but
amateur archers may compete without restriction. Entry
fee is $200 per team. All the entry fees collected for this
event will be put back into the purse which will be divided
— first place fifty percent, second place thirty percent, and
third place twenty percent. Sponsoring firms may write the
tournament director for more details.

THE KING AND QUEEN SHOOT — This event will be a
brief fun-shoot to be shot between the Championship
Flight Limited and Unlimited rounds on Sunday. Anyone
who has been involved in archery, either as a shooter or in
the archery business, for over twenty-five years is eligible to
shoot. The round will be shot on a forty-eight-inch face and
the winners will be awarded suitable trophies. This should
be a most interesting event for all to watch. There is no
entry fee for this event with registration at the tournament

— This year added
emphasis will be placed on this program, as it will become a
part of the tournament Trophies will be given in all divisions:
Cadet, Junior and Intermediate. Entry fee is $5 and
you must be a member of the NAA Junior Olympic pro-
gram in order to enter. Shooting will be on Saturday after-

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Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011

Let’s Make The English Longbow ~ By Pierre St. Arnaud

February 1972

Let’s Make The English Longbow ~By Pierre St. Arnaud
Don’t Pine For Yew; Lemonwood And A Colorful Vocabulary Are Just As Effective

YOU ARCHERS WHO are romantics at heart can have
both the traditional longbow and the pleasure of making
this graceful weapon.
The early longbow did not have dips from the grip to the
base limb, so the bow played in hand. lt bent in the middle.
suffered loss of cast and was not entirely pleasant to shoot.
The dips, an innovation attributed to one Buchanan. an
English bowyer, made the long bow a more efficient
weapon. They are utilized to this day in the modern
composite bows.

With no apology to the purist, our longbow will have
dips. Those of you who wish can make the early English
longbow by omitting the dips. To do so, simply taper in
straight lines from the four-inch grip section to the tip
dimensions as given in the diagram and proceed to tiller and
balance the bow according to the methods described.
The wood most popularly associated with the longbow is
yew. Good air-seasoned yew is not so readily come by as it
once was. Years ago, during the ’40s and ’50s, l had ready
access to all the yew l could use. With the advent of fiber-
glass and plastics in bowyery, I began to notice a paucity of
yew suppliers.

To make a yew bow requires considerable experience
and special treatment and technique. The sapwood must be
left intact to variable thicknesses in relation to the bow’s
erratic run of grain; pin knots and clusters must be swelled
or dutchmanned, but these are only a few of the considerations.

To make a good yew bow the bowyer must have, besides
adequate experience, an equally adequate vocabulary of
colorful words to help him over the rough spots. This magazine
will permit me to help you with the former in a future
article, but you’ll have to develop the latter yourself. lf you
must tackle yew in your first attempt at bowyery, yew
staves and billets can still be obtained from Earl L. Ullrich,
Box 862, Roseburg, Oregon.

We will use lemonwood (dagame) in making this bow.
Dagame is native to Cuba, Central and South America, and
Southern Mexico. This wood was also used by English
bowyers. It has a specific gravity of 0.80 and hefts at forty-
nine pounds per cubic foot. It has a light tan color, usually,
and has nothing to do with lemons. Lemonwood bow staves
can be obtained from the following sources: Craftsman
Wood Service Company, Department A-30, 2729 South
Mary, Chicago, Illinois 60608; Constantine, 2051-C East-
chester Road, Bronx, New York 10461.

Order a longbow stave six feet by one and one-eighth
inches. Now, unless you intend to go into mass production,
you will need only the few easily obtained and inexpensive
tools and materials I will describe: a block plane, preferably
low angle; a ten·inch or twelve-inch half-round cabinet file;
a six-inch rat tail file; a three by five-inch square cabinet
scraper; garnet paper, medium and fine; and a fifty-pound
spring scale.

Examine your stave. A perfectly straight stave is virtually
nonexistent, but this can be a blessing in disguise. Choose
for the back the concave side of the stave. This imparts a
natural reflex to your bow which improves its cast and
helps retard excessive set or string follow to which most
self—wooden bows are prone. Having established the back,
set your plane to a fine cut and plane the back smooth.
When this is done, sand the back using medium garnet
wrapped around a small, flat wooden block. No further
work will be done to the back until the final finishing stage.
To lay out your stave, draw a pencil line around the
middle, measuring from end to end. Draw a line one and a
half-inch above and another two and a half inches below
this middle line. This four-inch section is the grip and is
situated to permit the arrow to leave the bow one and a
half-inch above center for reasons of dynamic balance.
Measure outward four inches both ways from the grip section
and again scribe lines completely around the stave.

These areas encompass the dips and locate the base limbs.
You now have marks twelve inches apart, and it is at
these points that your actual side tapers begin. Measuring
from the edges of the stave at these twelve-inch lines,
establish a dot dead center on each line. Remember, all
these lines and dots are being done on the back of the stave.
Take a length of thread about a foot and a half longer than
the stave and attach weights to each end.

Lay your stave across your work bench, so the tips are
unrestricted. Lay the thread lengthwise along the stave, so
the weights hang free. Move the thread back and forth at
the ends of the stave until it bisects exactly the dots you
marked at the base limbs. Make dots under the thread a few
inches apart along each limb and at the tips. With a straight
edge, connect these dots from tip to tip. You’ve established
your datum line.

At one—inch from the ends draw lines across the stave.
Place dots a quarter-inch on each side of the datum line at
these points and you have established the half—inch nock
widths. Using the straight edge, scribe lines from the full
width at the base limbs to the half-inch width at the nocks.

Plane to the lines being careful not to remove the lines.
Be sure to leave the sides square (90 degrees.) to the back
as you plane. You are now ready to lay out the dips and
belly taper. Place the stave on its side. Refer to the working
drawing. At base limb, point A, place a dot seven—eighth of
an inch from the back. Half-way to the nock place another
dot 2l/32-inch from the back. Place another dot 7/16-inch
from the back at the nock. Connect these dots.

Go back to the base limb, point A. From the dot free
hand the dip to the top of the grip, D. The bottom of the
dip should be a gradual curve and become more pronounced
as it approaches the top of the grip. All of these
measurements and lines must be duplicated on the other
side of the stave. Plane and file down to the lines, and your
stave is now a roughed-out bow.

Refer to the cross section E in the diagram. Plane the
corners of the grip off until you have four corners. Plane
and file the dips and limbs into the same cross section.
Repeat this procedure until you have an eight-cornered
cross section. Your bow has now very nearly approximated
the cross sections shown as A and B. You will no longer
need the plane. Scrape and file the whole bow into the
round as in cross sections A and B.

Refer to the nock details and file the nocks using the rattail file.
Start at the sides and go into the wood about
one-eighth—inch. Diminish this cut into the belly as you
slant at the angle shown. Make a tiller as shown in the
drawing. The notch at the end should be wide and deep
enough to accept the bow grip. The string notches should
have the side edge sanded round so as not to cut the string
when tillering.

You will need two bowstrings, one strong string for tillering
and one for shooting. Both strings should be of a
length that when the bow is braced (strung) the string will
measure about eight inches from the back of the grip. With
the lower loop attached to the bottom nock the top loop
on the unbraced bow will be about four inches below the
top nock.

Place one tip of the unstrung bow on the floor. Grasp
the bow by the grip in your right hand with theleft hand
holding the uppermost limb. Exert pressure against the
lower tip causing the lower limb to bend a little. Examine
the curve the limb assumes while feeling the amount of
resistance to bending. Mark the obvious stiff spots with
pencil on the belly. Repeat this procedure with the other
limb. Scrape down the stiff spots and test again.

If both limbs bend evenly, one compared to the other,
brace the bow with your tillering string. Lay the·braced
bow on its back on your work bench and step back several
paces to examine the limb curvatures. Each limb should
begin a gradual curve from the base limb and curve evenly
to the tip and both limbs should balance one against the

When this stage is reached satisfactorily you are ready to
begin the actual tillering and balancing. Carefully pull the
string to a twelve-inch draw several times to break it in to
the new stresses. Place the bow grip into the tiller notch
and pull the string into the twelve-inch notch on the tiller.

Place the bow on its back on the bench with the tiller
uppermost. Examine the curvature and mark the stiff spots.
Remove the tiller and unbrace the bow. Scrape the stiff
spots down. Remember to maintain the rounded cross section
while reducing the bow. Again draw the bow several
times to twelve inches and replace in the tiller to the
twelve-inch notch.

If the bow bends evenly, remove from the tiller and
draw several times to a fourteen-inch draw. Repeat the fore-
going operations until you have tillered to full draw. A
word of caution: Once you have tillered to about twenty-
four inches, do not leave the bow in the tiller for more than
a few seconds each time. A wood bow because of its cellular
structure tires as it approaches maximum stress and can
fracture if left too long in the tiller while still in a condition
of imbalance.

When you have tillered to full draw you are ready to
check your bow to the bowstring. At the base limb of the
upper limb check the distance from the back of the bow to
the string. Repeat with the lower limb. If the bow is properly
tillered the distance to the string at the top limb should
exceed by one-eighth-inch to three-sixteenth-inch the dis-
tance at the lower limb. If there is a discrepancy, this can
be cured with further tillering.

The bow is now ready for weighing. Attach a large steel
screw hook to a stud in the garage. The hook should be
about six feet from the floor. Hang the spring scale on the
hook. Now bore a hole in the end of a yard stick and hang
the stick on the scale hook. Hook the bowstring at the
nocking point to the spring hook and, using both hands on
the bow grip, draw the bow to its twenty-eight·inch draw
and read the scale. lf the bow is too heavy, reduce by
tillering to the desired weight. This bow can be scaled or
proportioned down to shorter draws and lighter weights. To
do so, simply shorten the dips and working limbs and start
with a thinner and narrower base limb.

With the tillering completed you are ready to finish your
bow. Cut a flat piece of wood four inches by one and
one-eighth inches by three-eighths inches and glue this directly
back of the grip. When dry, shape into round for a
comfortable grip and smooth the ends into the bow proper,
File off the sharp edges from the back and starting with
medium and finishing with fine garnet paper, prepare the
bow for varnishing. Always sand with the grain, i.e., length-

After fine sanding there should be no tool~ or work
marks on the bow. Now, using a slightly wet cloth or
sponge rub just enough water on the bow to raise the grain.
When the wood is just damp enough to change color you
have it just right. Dry quickly by passing before a small
electric heater or over a stove burner. Do not subject the
bow to too much heat or you will check it. Steel wool the
raised whiskers off with 2/0 wool. If you do not whisker
the bow now. the grain will raise when you apply the
varnish and result in a poor finish.

Mix by volume one part quick dry spar varnish and one
part turpentine. Mix only enough for the sealer or first
coat. Brush this thinned coat into the bow and after twenty
minutes wipe with a clean dry cloth, every vestige of surface
varnish from the bow. Allow to dry for at least
twenty-four hours. Scuff the bow lightly with fine garnet to
give tooth to the finish coat. Apply the finish coat of
varnish full strength. Allow the coat to dry for a least
twenty-four hours.

The grip can be wrapped with leather layed in glue. An
attractive and rugged grip can be laid by whipping or
serving (just as you do with a bowstring) the grip with
heavy colored fish cord. The finished serving can then be
saturated with shellac. After the varnish has cured for a
week, apply a coat of good furniture wax and buff your
bow. <—<<
l. During the making of the bow and after it is finished, do
not expose it to direct heat. Heat causes hardwoods to
2. Never overdraw your bow or let anyone snap the string
without an arrow in the bow to absorb the recovery
· shock.
3. Always unbrace your bow before putting it away.
4. Almost all wood bows take a set, a permanent bend in
the direction of draw. Having taken a set the bow will
stabilize. Do not attempt to straighten it by forcing the
limbs to bend backward.

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Published by archerchick on 09 Feb 2011

Mule Deer Record ~ By Charlie Kroll



This Utah Buck Scores At The Top Of The New Velvet Antlers Category

ED’S NERVES were as taut as his bowstring. He had detected
movement in the heavy cover to the left of his perch. At first it
was only a large brown patch. Then it moved into an open lane on the
game trail and all Ed could think was, ” Oh my God!” He had seen a lot
of mule deer, but this was something special. It looked to be the size of a
Jersey bull, with a crown of antlers resembling a manzanita bush
balanced on its head.


The bowman had to make a half-turn on his stand in order to get in line for a draw.
Fortunately, the buck was above him and did not see him move. Everything now
seemed to be happening in slow motion, as the animal turned nearly broadside just as
Ed completed his draw. With a flicker of light, the shaft sped over the twenty-five
yards between them. His knees suddenly felt weak and his eyes glazed over from a
sudden rush of blood to his head. “What happened?” he thought. “Where is he?”


Ed Burley had been trying for years to get a crack at a real trophy-size mule deer.
He had taken three on previous hunts, but they were just run-of-the-mill size. Good
bucks, but not what he really sought. Burley is from – appropriately enough Kildeer, Illinois
and is a dedicated andknowledgeable bowhunter. I know this to be true, as I’ve hunted with
Ed Burley in Colorado. He’s been at it for twenty-five years and, as of now, has taken fifty head of
big game. In 1989 he chose southwestern Utah and outfitter Rick Martin; both having a reputation for producing large bucks.


One of the basic means of insurance for a successful hunt is to do some pre-season
scouting of the chosen area. However, in many cases an eastern bowhunter like Burley,
journeying westward into new territory, does not have this opportunity. But
he did have three things going for him: First, he had previously hunted Utah in
June of that year on a successful bear chase and had not only the chance to get
the general lay of the land, but had encountered some respectable mulies.


Second, his guide, Rick Martin, knew the region quite well and, thus, served as
Burley’s pre-hunt information source. Third, they were hunting from a tent camp
on private ranchland, for which Martin had leased hunting rights. The ranch was east
of Cedar City near the Dixie National Forest Much of this southern Utah area still seems
part of some primeval time with creek and river fossils dating back to earth’s earliest
beginnings. Man has lived there for 10,000 years. The once high mountains and plateaus have
been whittled by eons of wind and rain until now they are worn down like an old
ram’s teeth. It is now mainly canyon country.


During the early bow season, the bucks still are in the velvet and tend to travel in
pairs or small groups. Later, when they’ve shed the antler velvet and shortening of
daylight hours triggers the onset of the rut, they become solitary and aggressive to-
ward other bucks. Originally, the mule deer, like the elk, was mainly a plains animal.
The westward migrations of white man forced them to seek refuge in the mountains
and today many hunters assume they were always high-country dwellers. They do,
however, inhabit just about any type of rough western terrain that offers sufficient
food, water and cover, from high mountain slopes down through lodgepole and quakie parks,
scrub oak and pinyon thickets, low sage-brush sidehills, brushy stream bottoms,
badland breaks, desert fringes and even ranch spreads.


The area Ed Burley was hunting consisted largely of lower slopes bordering a large
valley, where the cover was mostly scrub oak, sagebrush, rabbitbrush and similar shrub
vegetation. Regardless of terrain, mule deer are easier to locate when moving around and
feeding, which means mainly early morning and late afternoon to evening. If nights
are dark and moonless, the deer are inclined to bed early and do less night feeding,
which means they will be out and moving early the following morning.


Bedded deer, incidently, are normally extremely alert and usually are able to sneak
off before an approaching hunter sees them. They have a decided preference for habitat
open enough to pennit detection of an enemy’s approach, yet with patches of
cover into which they can quickly fade as danger nears. Their senses of sight, hearing
and smell are well developed and it is generally conceded that a mule deer’ s vision
is superior to that of other deer. At the same time, they do have one weak point, in
that they concentrate most attention on grounds at their level or below making a
sneak approach from above feasible.


Even within their normal summer range, the mulies do not restrict movement to a
confined area and may range three to four miles overnight However, it usually takes
some disturbance to make them vacate a favored area completely, except in rutting
season. The movements of bucks between bedding and feeding grounds also are more
reliable at times before and after the fall rut. At this time of the year, they are apt to more
closely follow feeding and bedding routines.


If hunting on the ground, the time-honored method for best results lies in
gaining an overview on some high eminence before daylight and using binoculars
to locate animals at lower levels, either feeding or climbing toward midday bed-
ding spots. Having located a desired buck, one has the option of keeping him located
until he beds, then attempting a stalk, or of figuring his general line of travel and, by
staying under cover, try to set up an ambush where he will pass within bow range.
By full light and even during the corresponding time on an overcast day, most of
the deer will have left the open feeding places and will be in timber or in the shade
of tall sage or other dense brush. The hunter must then change his tactics and slowly
work the thick cover.


There were six other hunters in camp other than Burley. As there was a lot of
open country and sparse cover, they all began by still—hunting. Plenty of deer were
in evidence, the bucks being in small groups of three to seven. But there had been little
rain and the ground cover was extremely dry. The heavy brush where the bucks
hung out was so noisy that even the slowest, most careful stalking was fruitless. It soon
became evident to Burley that such tactics were doomed to failure and after a day and
a half of frustrated attempts, he gave it up .


A less experienced hunter might have stubbornly stuck with this approach, but
Burley soon realized that the chances while sitting still in an ambush spot and hope-
fully having the game come to him was a far better plan. That second afternoon, he
started scouting for a spot for his portable tree stand. After some looking around and
checking the wind drift, he picked a location on the side of the valley he was hunting,
where he had seen some large-racked bucks moving through the intermittent
cover. By early evening he had his stand in place in a large oak, had cleared shooting
lanes of twigs and was quietly waiting for game. The only animals he saw that evening
were at some distance from him.


The following morning he saw six bucks, two of which were in the 160-point score
class and seven cow elk. None of the deer came close to his position.
That afternoon he moved his stand to the far side of the valley near a spot where
he had seen two large bucks. As evening approached, Burley’s every sense was alert
for sight or sound of the quarry. Knowing it is the first arrow that counts, he kept
warmed up by slowly drawing his Pro-Line bow at intervals, after first carefully
looking about to make sure no game was in sight Otherwise, he remained still and
kept his bow, with a Razorhead—tipped arrow nocked, in hand at all times.


He saw three good bucks across the valley where he had been originally, but decided to stay
put Then, bucks began to show up near him. First he saw a group of three, then a
bunch of seven. He was watching the latter when movement to the left caught his peripheral
vision. As the huge buck stepped into the opening and turned, he took the shot; immediately
losing sight of his quarry. Shaking his head to clear his vision, he was thrilled to catch
sight of the buck with the bright fletching of his arrow protruding from its mid—body,
about six inches back of the shoulder. The huge buck ran downhill with his head for-
ward and slightly lowered. swaying that big rack back and forth to avoid obstacles.
He seemed to just sail along at first, but before he was out of sight his legs began to
fail and Burley saw him stagger and slow his pace.


It was forty—five minutes until dark. Burley tried to wait patiently and remembered
afterwards that he had eaten an orange, although he could not recall whether
he had peeled it or not After fifteen minutes, he couldn’t stand it any longer and
started following the blood trail. Within eighty yards he found the buck and realized
immediately that he finally had his trophy—class mulie.


After a good look. he headed back to the pick—up spot where Charlie. one of Mar-
tin’s assistants, was waxing with the truck. Charlie saw the look on Burley`s face and
asked, “What did you shoot?”
“Oh, a small four—by—four.” Burley replied. But when they got to me deer and Charlie
saw what he had taken he went bananas, repeating over and over. “Are you kidding
me? Are you kidding me?”

They field dressed the buck, loaded him in the pick—up and headed for camp, where
the other hunters marveled over Burley’s good fortune. All of them had been still-hunting but
the following day all switched to elevated stands. Martin told Burley later that after
he had left, three of them also killed trophy bucks, although none were as large as his
“buster.’ As Burley told me. that buck represented a goal fulfilled, but the biggest trophy will
always exist in the memory of the quality of his adventure.

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Published by archerchick on 09 Feb 2011

Winter Feed Or Not To Winter Feed ~ By Charlie Kroll

Bow And Arrow
August 1981

Winter Feed Or Not To Winter Feed ~ By Charlie Kroll
While the Technique May Seem The Logical Answer To Protecting
Game During Severe Weather – It May Be The Worst Thing Man Can Do

IT HAPPENED on Arizona’s Kaibab Plateau in the 1920s;
sixty-thousand deer starved to death over a six-year period. It
happened in the Gunnison country of Colorado in 1942; five thousand
mule deer died of starvation during the winter. It happened in Michigan
in 1950; fifty-thousand whitetails died because there were too many
deer and too little food. It happened more recently; 1978~79, in North
Dakota where thousands of pronghorn antelope were lost through a
combination of severe storms and resulting lack of food.

Could such losses have been prevented? Under the circumstances,
probably not. For when we allow wildlife species to build to such high
levels that the available seasonal habitat cannot support them, nature
finally has to take a hand. She decrees severe winter to whittle wildlife
down to the point that they can continue to exist on the land, food and
cover available to them.

The question of whether winter feeding of deer and other wild game
is possible, feasible or advisable to prevent such losses frequently comes
up among-different groups. Interested parties include those concerned
with wildlife range and forest management, hunters, ranchers, and those
interested in conservation and wildlife in general. As a result of the wide
range of interest, coupled with a lack of precise information, a good deal
of misinformation is often accepted as factual.

The nutritional problems that confront animals
such as deer, elk and antelope during the winter are
similar to those faced by domestic species. Generally
speaking, winter browse lacks the nutritional value of
that available during the growing season. The variety
available is also greatly reduced. While variety may
not necessarily be required, a more varied diet is
usually more likely to supply needed nutrients than
will a limited diet. Coupled with this is the situation
where animals simply consume practically all edible
food in sight, particularly during heavy snowfalls and
in locations where they concentrate in protected
areas. In such situations outright starvation will take a
high toll of the population.

Information providing accurate reasons for winter
death losses is difficult to find. It is likely that most
losses occur after a relatively prolonged-period of
substandard nutrition coupled with added stresses
imposed by bitter cold, heavy snowfall that may
completely bury feed, the need to struggle through
deep drifts, etc. Animals under these conditions are
more susceptible to stresses and more likely to die.

It is natural for most people to equate game animals such as deer
l with. domestic livestock. When winter conditions make the pasturing
of stock a problem, ranchers use the technique of supplemental feeding from stored
domestic foods such as hay, grain or cottonseed cake, and most are able to
winter their cattle quite well.

lt would seem, logical, then, that similar techniques could be used
to carry more game animals on limited winter ranges or to carry
them through severe stretches of weather without a high mortality
irate, Unfortunately, it doesn’t work out that simply.

The possibilities of feeding deer and other game animals during
emergency situations have been studied by a number of
states. Field observations indicate that emergency feeding has not
been successful. The likelihood is relatively poor that emergency
feeding can be successful for animals that are starving and severely
stressed. The reasons for this are partly due to the type of digestive
tract these animals have.

Deer, in common with other wild species such as elk, antelope,
moose and caribou, and domestic species such as cattle, sheep and
goats, are ruminant animals. ln ruminants, solid food that is swallowed
goes first to the rumen, a large organ which is inhabited by a
variety of bacteria and protozoa.

These microorganisms pre-digest the food before it passes into the
lower alimentary tract where the usual gastric and intestinal digestion
takes place. ln ruminants the nature of the diet has
a large influence on the numbers and types of rumen microorganisms
present. ln normal circumstances, in free ranging animals, the diet from
day to day is relatively similar, although many species of plants may be
consumed. As the season changes and different plants appear, develop
and die, the diet of the animal changes. But the change is
gradual, taking place over a period of weeks or months.

If confined animals are suddenly forced to drastically change
their diet, it takes some period of time for the rumen microorganisms
to adapt to the change. This particularly
applies when the diet is changing from a low quality forage or
browse to one with large amounts of readily available
carbohydrates — sugars and starches — or highly soluble
proteins. Such dietary changes are apt to result in abnormal
rumen metabolism and acute indigestion.

In contrast, animals with simple stomachs; humans, birds,
etc., have a digestive system which is more adaptable to
sudden dietary changes and the unfavorable effects are
usually much less severe than in ruminants.
A second reason that emergency feeding might be less
than successful is related to food and taste preferences. Deer
and antelope are browsers, preferring a diet of leaves, twigs
and tender shoots from forbes, bushes and shrubs. Elk
combine browse and natural grasses for their preferred diet.

The organisms in these animals’ stomachs are geared to digest
this natural diet. These animals will usually accept offered
hay or other supplemental food only when their natural food
is unavailable or when they’re in bad shape. With such an
abrupt change in their normal diet, the organisms necessary
for digestion fail to function and the hay compacts. Without
the normal fermentation processes in operation, the
compacted material then begins to putrefy. When that
happens, ulcers form in the true stomach and small intestine.
Bacterial infections develop in the linings of the stomach and
intestinal tract, producing toxins that are absorbed by the
body. A generalized toxemia or poisoning results, causing
extensive damage to liver, kidneys and heart. lf the condition
prevails, the end result is death.

Stockmen face similar problems when they transfer sheep
from high summer ranges to feed lots. The period of
adjustment to the change in food is a delicate one and if it is
not handled properly many sheep will be lost.
A natural question then, is why not prepare deer and elk
for this diet by spreading hay for them prior to winter? It
sounds plausible, but in actuality the animals will either
ignore the offering or nibble a little and return to their
diets of natural foods. They plainly won’t take enough to
make the necessary transition to a straight hay diet.

The physical nature of the food offered also has a
pronounced effect on consumption. In studies carried out by
the Ruminant Nutrition Department of Oregon State
University on captive Columbian blacktail deer, they learned
that these animals show a marked preference for pelleted
grains as compared to grains given in rolled or whole form.
The black tails showed a high preference for pelleted soybean
meal, corn and wheat, but much less for barley and oats. They
refused beet pulp, linseed meal, cottonseed meal and peas, all
in pelleted form. As a whole, deer showed a pronounced
preference for sweets such as molasses and various sugars.
Bucks showed preferences for bitter and sour solutions,
whereas does did not. From this information it is obvious that
the right combinations of feed ingredients would be needed
to tempt deer to eat food that is totally foreign to them.
On one winter artificial feeding ground in Colorado, 5266
deer died during one winter, their stomachs full of hay.

Studies of this project showed the artificial feeding actually
accelerated the death rate, increasing it from twenty-five
percent to as high as forty-two percent. They were counted,
deer by deer, as the carcasses were heaped in long trenches for
burial by game department employees.

A third factor that argues against emergency feeding is the
difficult and costly task that would be involved in simply
getting needed food to animals while they are still in
condition to utilize it. This could be handled in areas where
deer yard up in herds, but would not be feasible at all where
deer or other game are scattered over a wide area of rough

Programs of supplemental feeding are not only financially
impractical, but might well result in further overuse of winter
ranges. Artificial feeding of wildlife is an extremely expensive
proposition and rarely a successful substitute for normal
winter forage.

In a slightly different situation and setting; that of the
South Dakota pheasant lands during a prolonged blizzard in
the early 1960s, another colossal artificial feeding attempt
was made. With the survival of an estimated nine million
pheasants threatened, some four hundred tons of surplus
shelled corn was distributed by trucks, planes and men on
snowshoes. No one knows for sure how much it really helped,
but when the statistics are balanced the whole operation
becomes slightly ridiculous. A pheasant needs about four
ounces of food a day. lf you distribute four hundred tons of
corn among nine million pheasants, it might feed a third of
them for one day.

Well, if you can’t stockpile wildlife by supplemental
feeding, what is the solution? l-low do you regulate wildlife to
avoid these situations, yet maintain them at a level sufficient
for people to utilize and enjoy? The answer is to follow the
proven principles of wildlife management. Provide the proper
complex of food, cover, and water on the land available. And,
as a specie’s habitat is shrunken by man’s industrial
encroachment, its numbers must be regulated to fit the
remaining available habitat. Each year, through regulated
hunting seasons, the natural increase must be pruned back to
a level the habitat complex can support through the winter, a
level that won’t do permanent and irrevocable damage to the
complex during times of severe stress. <—<<<

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Published by archerchick on 09 Feb 2011

Psychology Of Whitetail Breeding Scrapes ~ By Robert C. McGuire

Bow and Arrow
August 1981

Psychology Of Whitetail Breeding Scrapes

BOWHUNTERS WHO HAVE spent time in whitetail
country have probably noticed and made significance
of remnant indicators of deer rut or breeding activity.
Classification of scrapes by size and location can
sometimes make their interpretation quite difficult,
permitting misguided hunters to spend useless hours over
non—huntable scrapes. I prefer to look at them from a
psychological perspective, from the deer’s point of view.
As defined by Roger Rothhaar, border and boundary
scrapes are those that a buck might leave when he pauses
naturally before advancing into different terrain. Since these if
scrapes are normally left by bucks early in the rut season and
since the behavioral pattern of a buck certainly changes
during the peak of rut, they are generally not huntable.

Rather, they are indicators of a buck’s pre—peak rut
behavioral pattern. When such scrapes happen to appear at
logical border, it is easy for a veteran to identify them as
indicators of a buck’s past presence but not likely
reappearance. Many hunters fall prey to early rut scrapes that
have been revisited through behavioral happenstance, rather
than sexual desire. Deer motivators other than a singular
breeding obsession may help explain some of those
good—looking scrapes that appear in likely breeding terrain.
The process of pawing the ground is a minor part of the
elaborate scraping ritual. However, backtracking a dominant
buck in the snow from its urinated scrape can be enlightening
as you see evidence of the full scraping procedure.
Arriving at a woods line before dawn, [observe the trail of
an old buck that has already crossed a road and several open
fields under the cover of darkness. His normal hunger has
been replaced by the annual breeding obsession and he pauses
in the open field prior to entering the woods. His direct path
has not included the normal night feeding areas, but he finds
himself about to enter a highly traveled woods situated
between popular feeding and bedding areas. Looking around,
he gently arches his back, pulling his rear legs together as he
urinates on his tarsal glands. The normally mild odor of urine
is intensified through interaction with the glands. Human
observers passing by several hours later will be able to detect
the odor. Pausing briefly, he begins his slow walk through the
woods on a direct trail leading to his breeding area. Passing
the scrapes he left weeks earlier just inside the woods, he does
not stop to reopen them, nor does he forage along the way.
After traveling about three hundred yards, he hesitates at the
crest of a hill just long enough to briefly urinate on his tarsal
glands again. Resuming his deliberate, slow walk, he
continues for another hundred yards and without hesitation
crosses a second road. There he pauses again to urinate on his
glands before entering the thicket area.

A short distance later, surrounded by dense undergrowth,
he arrives at his freshly snow-covered scrape. After nuzzling,
licking and Chewing on the overhanging branches, he starts to
paw the snow, dragging underlying leaves and debris back to
expose a fresh surface directly beneath the limbs. Taking
several alternate strokes with his front feet, he leaves a
prominent footprint in the fresh dirt as he supports himself
for the last stroke across the scrape. Finally, almost as an
afterthought, he urinates as before in or alongside the scrape.
The nibbled overhanging limbs will be of primarv interest to
any deer that later encounters the scrape and may provide
interpretative significance to hunters who observe the
behavior of deer.
If a doe has deposited estrus sign, the buck may in fact
forget about scraping and, nose to the ground, take up her
trail at a fast walk, grunting as he goes. She is usually close by
and quickly located by the buck. Although they typicallv
separate after a brief union, if the doe is nearing estrus she will
be quite receptive and they may stay together a nay or two with
perhaps moving a mile or more away from their original
meeting place.
I once spent five successive hard-hunting days over a large
scrape that l believed to be a main breeding scrape. Most of
the ingredients were there: the topography, surrounding
dense undergrowth with a few open pockets, and proximity
to known doe patterns. lt even tit Gene Wensel’s description
of a hub scrape. with small, singular, not revisited, scrapes
within fifty yards in each of three directions from the main
scrape. Finally burned out in that high tree stand, I gave it up
until late in the season.

After rut was over, I checked backjust to see if the scrapes
had been reopened. To my surprise, they looked about the
same as I recalled them from my high perch. Although it was
certainly possible that the buck`s urge had dwindled, or
perhaps l had pressured him out of his main breeding
territory, I started noticing that buck more and more
frequently back in the same area. There had to be another
explanation. Reasoning as I might if I were a deer ambling
through the woods, l was suddenly aware that the location of
this large scrape was actually a decision point, with three
trails showing moderate use converging at a single point. A
buck walking any of those three trails might ponder his
direction on reaching the junction. Since the buck had
reappeared after the peak of rut. I considered that perhaps
this was a pause location rather than a hub scrape with the
associated peripheral scrapes. It is logical that as the rut
develops in intensity, the deer turns more of his conscious
effort toward scraping and other rut activity. Early in the rut.
a buck might paw the ground simply because he has paused at
a given location and the urge of breeding is starting to tingle
within him. Though he will continue to forage for food and is
basically in his pre-rut behavioral pattern, a buck can
incidentally scrape without conscious effort.

As the rut increases with intensity. a buck will turn to
conscious scraping. Scrapes made during this intermediate
stage are purposeful, rather than of convenience. The buck
stops whatever he is doing for the purpose of leaving his sign.
He may even go out of his way to select a spot under an
overhanging limb in order to rub his eye glands or nibble
branches over the scrape location. Though not generally
revisited, and not generally huntable. these scrapes may look
like an early breeding scrape. After a buck has been swept
into his peak rut behavioral pattern, he may actually change
his range so as to accommodate his preferred breeding areas.
Veteran hunters may notice the reoccurrence of these areas
coinciding with certain environmental or pressure factors,
including crop rotation. Revisiting such an area to make
additional scrapes or perhaps to enlarge existing ones, the
buck is now so obsessed with breeding that he makes a
pronounced conscious effort to scrape.

In this extreme of peak rut scraping behavior, a buck
willfully disrupts his normal activity and may even travel to
another separate area to scrape. In early rut activity, the buck
only scrapes unconsciously or subconsciously when his
normal pattern is disrupted for any other reason and there is
occasion to pause. It is all a question of degree. The closer he
is to peak of rut, the more he will go out of his way to scrape.
While I would not generally consider the early pause scrapes
as huntable, they are good indicators of where the buck is
likely to return after his peak rutting activity diminishes.

Hunting rub lines, especially along ridges, is similarly more
I productive after peak tut when the buck returns to his normal
post-rut behavior. Buck activity is prompted by many
I complex factors, especially does in estrus. However, since an
unbred doe can come into season repeatedly, rut may be
I sustained or retriggered over a period of several months. I
have seen this in Ohio, though usually the older bucks are not
responsive to it.

Scrapes often delineate a buck’s territory, but should not
be construed as territorial sign—posts. Urinated scrapes
function as advertisements for does, rather than warnings to
other bucks. Happenstance will dictate early scrape locations,
often at the extremities of a buck’s normal pre-rut range.
However, if the scraping itself is incidental to a necessary
pause in the buck’s activity, then he normally will not urinate
at these locations, and such scrapes are superfluous to the
breeding effort. The only territorialism that exists in the deer
society is in the immediate presence of estrus sign.
Subordinate bucks, especially when accompanying a
dominant buck, will suddenly appear uneasy when they
approach a urinated scrape. Often, in the absence of a more
dominant buck, they may approach and cautiously reach out
to sniff the overhanging nibbled branches, being careful not
to step in the scrape itself.

Even if the scrape was originally established by a
dominant buck, unless the subordinate detects fresh
dominant sign he may reopen it; in essence, “taking it over.”
lf a hunter has not been detected by the deer, he may use the
deer’s behavior at the scrape as an odds indicator of seeing a
more dominant and perhaps larger buck. The more nervous
and covert his activity, the greater the odds that he is merely a
subordinate in the area. Although the dominant buck does
not always support the best antlers, trophy hunters should
hold off until they are certain they have observed number
one, before settling for a subordinate.

It is sometimes confusing when a hunter encounters
pawing activity beneath broken overhanging limbs at a food
source such as crab apples. lf it was obviously necessary for
the deer to have reached into the overhanging limbs to obtain
food not more accessible down lower, then examine the area
for other signs of excessive foraging. Torn up areas may not
reflect breeding or combat activity, especially where local
browse lines have been established. Normally during rut,
there remains a seasonal abundance of food.
lf rubs are abundant around scrapes, look closely for
combat sign. Excessive rubbing near scrapes is often an
indicator of early rut behavior although a dominant buck will
become aggressive toward a lesser buck in the area of a
urinated scrape. Plentiful rubs with no combat-sign are
normally indicative of a less huntable scrape.

There are no absolute rules of whitetail behavior, only
statistical odds of occurrence. One thing is certain, however.
Older dominant bucks become more predictable during
periods of intense rutting activity, whereas younger, lesser
bucks become less predictable! Whenever he is not
accompanied by a doe in estrus, a dominant buck will cater to
his breeding obsession on his own schedule and will maintain
supremacy over his urinated scrapes. Lesser bucks will
constantly solicit his leavin’s, and will scramble around in a
more random behavioral pattern so as to avoid encounters in
the presence of estrus sign.

Contrary to popular belief, bucks will run together at any
time during rut, except in the presence of a doe in estrus, or in
close proximity to urinated active scrapes. Just because two
large bucks are seen together in peaceful coexistence does not
mean rut has terminated! The real significance lies in their
level of mutual tolerance as you observe them near the
breeding area or in the presence of does. A friend of mine died
after having been gored by an eight-point whitetail buck he
was assigned to study for its “peculiar behavior” during the
fall rut. Though this was an exceptional case, many observers
have related incidents of extreme intolerance by whitetail
bucks in the area of active urinated scrapes.

If many bucks and does are present in a large breeding
area, a bowhunter on vigil can observe the complex hierarchy
in the local deer society. lf the “old man” is off with a hot
doe, number two buck will become dominant over the
scrapes for a short time, then number three buck, and so on.
If a lesser buck appears secure or spends time in close
proximity to the dominant buck’s urinated scrape, your odds
of seeing the large buck are greatly reduced for a day or
so. However, there is no better alternative way of
encountering the bigger buck during his random
honeymooning travels, so stick to your tree! You’ve got to be
out to be lucky and you must persevere in full confidence
that you have selected your best hunting opportunity, or else
you will let down for those few minutes you have spent
seasons preparing for. Remember, once you have alerted the
old boy to your tree stand, no breeding obsession can make
him forget you were there!

If a buck has urinated at a scrape, there is a high
probability he will return to it. However, since a buck may
develop scrapes at locations where he has detected estrus sign,
it is sometimes possible to delude a buck into developing a
major scrape to the hunter’s advantage. Just as a doe might
entice a buck to expand or initially open a scrape by her
estrus odor, a hunter might deposit the same droppings,
bloody snow, or estrus urine at a strategic huntable location.
Any of the commercially available estrus urine hunting scents
can be placed on the ground without scraping. Transplanting
ingredients from a legitimate scrape will serve to sweeten up
existing scrapes. If actual deer droppings are employed, be
sure they are not derived from the scrape of a dominant

I have used such techniques with some degree of success in
areas where I am permitted to bowhunt only the fringes of a
buck’s range. If I am certain that his breeding scrapes will be
r established on land for which I do not have hunting
permission, I often attempt to promote serious scraping in
my hunting area before he shifts into his peak rut behavior. It
is the ultimate gamble; if you leave your odor or in any way
pressure him, the buck will vacate the area. If impending rut
will draw him out of your area anyhow, then you have little
to lose. Whatever the stimulus, if the buck takes over or opens
a major urinated scrape, you can appraise its huntability
under the same criteria as any other scrape,
As you might expect, veteran deer are difficult to fool.
While I have succeeded in establishing revisited huntable
scrapes, the dominant bucks I sought invariably avoided me. I
have, however, passed up several opportunities to harvest
smaller bucks. For younger subordinate bucks, mock
scraping can be an effective hunting method. <—<<<

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Published by archerchick on 09 Feb 2011

Blacktail Deer Secrets ~ By Bruce Ulmer

Bow And Arrow
December 1990

Blacktail Deer Secrets ~By Bruce Ulmer

Oregon’s hidden Deer May Offer Bowhunters Excellent Opportunities!

Hunting Oregon is probably your best bet to get your name in the Pope & Young
Club record book by taking a trophy blacktail deer. As you look at the Third Edition’s
pages, you see that there are only 164 entries posted in the whole Columbian blacktail
deer section. Compared to the whitetail or mule deer typical buck entries of 3288 and 861,
respectively, the reader can assume that blacktail deer are extremely hard to hunt,
there are not many people hunting blacktail deer, there are not many blacktail deer
or there are not many record-book blacktail bucks anywhere.


Oregon had a 1988 estimated population of almost 500,000 blacktail
deer which live between the Cascade Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists do not have to manage
the deer intensely, as they fend for themselves pretty well without man’s help.
Game biologists do, however, keep track of buck to doe ratios, number of
fawns per one hundred does and some harvest data.


In November of 1989, while doing deer population surveys at night using
high powered spotlights, biologists found that some western Oregon big—game
management units had as high as sixty blacktail bucks per one hundred does.
with the average buck to doe ratio of about forty. Units bordering on or in the
Willamette Valley had the highest ratios for both bucks and number of fawns per
one hundred does. What does this mean for the archer? There are lots of bucks
and each year an average of forty·nine fawns are born for each one hundred
blacktail does, creating a bunch more bucks, all totalling up to 500,000 black-tail
deer to hunt. The potential for record bucks is apparent, since the deer
census comes after the rifle hunt is completed, indicating a terrific buck carry-


How come there aren’t more blacktail bucks taken by Oregon’s
20,000 estimated resident archers? One factor which keeps the record
book numbers low is the large number of Oregon archers who hunt for the more
visible mule deer which inhabit the dryer, less brushy area east of the Cascades.
Their archery season begins late August, lasting four weeks and few
archers have their mind on the common blacktail during this time. With mule
deer, bear, Roosevelt elk and Rocky Mountain elk to hunt, the blacktail is
often forgotten except for an occasional after—work expedition for a couple of
hours in the neighbor’s orchard, or at the nearest clear cut if you live in black-
tail country. Then after the general season is over, the thirty-day-plus rifle
season begins in most blacktail units. Archers often believe that all the good
bucks have been taken because of the rifle hunting pressure. As was noted previously,
with the high numbers of surviving bucks per one hundred does, this is a
long way from reality.


Biologists think that most blacktail deer live their lives within a square mile
or so of land rather than range about like their mule deer cousins. The bucks
will stray outside this boundary during the rut in search of receptive does, but
unless their habitat is significantly changed or altered, each deer will prob-
ably remain within this square mile all of its life. Since western Oregon`s
climate provides lots of moisture—laden air from the Pacific, vegetation grows
abundantly, providing food and plenty of concealing cover for the deer. This is
good for the deer, but not for the archer, unless a hunting strategy is developed.


Around November l0th, the late archery season begins. This season will
last three full weeks and provide the archer some of the best trophy blacktail
hunting there is. The bucks are in the rut. Their senses are dulled because of
this physical condition and the winds and rains have knocked the fall leaves to
the ground, offering better visibility. The past three years I have been collecting
data, talking to successful hunters and discovering for myself that almost any-
one — with Lady Luck’s helping hand -— can take a trophy blacktail buck that
will place in the record book.

My research has been conducted primarily from hunters near or around
Oregon who have hunted Oregon’s National Blacktail Hunt the past three
years and other successful local hunters. I have attended and hunted the National
Blacktail Hunt primarily to hear the speakers and to enjoy the bit of competition
the hunt provides. When you are out there hunting, thinking of that big
buck just over the next ridge that just might win you the prestigious bronze
trophy plus a lot of good eating, you try every new trick you can find. You certainly
listen to successful hunters a bit more carefully than you normally would.


The first year, the biggest buck was taken by Idaho writer and seminar
speaker Dwight Schuh. On Saturday following the seven—day hunt, displays
and seminars were going on, so I cornered Schuh with the purpose of having
him autograph his book. Since he was in a gracious mood, I asked him how he
had gotten his buck. He replied that he had put up a tree stand and had rattled
off and on for a couple of hours before a buck made its appearance. He had tried
rattling from the ground, but the deer kept spotting him, not permitting him a
shot. He said that he rattled from just one spot, due to bucks moving during
the rut, looking for that special doe. The tree stand gave him a slight advantage,
because of increased visibility and the deer wouldn’t spot his movements as


This was interesting in that tree stands are hardly used in Oregon at all.
Even though hunting with tree stands is considered an acceptable hunting method,
you can look high and low, but find only were brothers Bob and Bill Henson,
with friend Roy Roth. They have taken several fine record blacktail bucks over
the years, so I asked them to share their strategy with me. Bill Henson explained
that they would slip quietly into old growth timber which have lots of
mushrooms growing under the shady trees this time of year.


Does particularly like these tiny morsels and could be found hanging around these
areas. Bill felt that if there were does here, then the bucks couldn’t be far behind.
They then set up and rattled in the big timber rather than in brushy areas. He thinks
that deer feel more comfortable and secure, being able to see farther and
come in closer to find the source of combating horns. Their team took two nice
bucks that they rattled in after a few minutes of effort. Bill Henson said that most
bucks responded within the first five to seven minutes of rattling. He thought this was due mainly
to being in good areas with plenty of bucks.


The National Blacktail Hunt, which has become my training ground for hunting blacktail
bucks, came a third time and, using what I had learned about trophy bucks, should have
seen my turn walking up to receive the bronze trophy. But here I was again, talking to successful
hunters who were attending the seminars and displays after a hard week
of hunting. I met Joe Lilly and Rick Logston of Sharpstick Accessories, a
new company in Washington. They were testing a successful deer call. Their
partner, Ken Swan, had a commitment back in Washington and couldn’t stay
for the festivities. Their team, which competed in the Manufacturers and
Dealers division, had taken three bucks, two that were certainly Pope & Young
Club material, while the third would probably make the minimum requirement
after the drying period.


This had happened while hunters were experiencing unusual weather conditions which
found the deer feeding all night and sleeping all day, with few bucks chasing the does.
The team members confided that they had used whitetail doe scent on the bot-
toms of their shoes, while walking into an area to call. Then they set up with
two people, the caller being upwind from the other hidden hunter, and used a
bleat call. The caller would work his magic with the call and within a short
time, the does would come in quickly with bucks following closely behind.


Joe Lilly tried this calling technique and waited until he spotted his buck
coming in to the call, Then he tickled his rattling horns and the buck come
straight on in. Logston, on the other hand, set up with partner Lilly much as
you would when bugling for elk. Lilly, who had already taken his deer, did the
calling and within fifteen minutes a four-by-four came out of the brush walking
straight for Logston, who had set up about fifty yards in front of Lilly.


Logston shot the deer when he stopped thirty yards away, broadside. Swan’s
buck was taken by laying down a scent trail about seventy yards in front of
Lilly, who was again doing the calling, and when a nice three-point responded
to the call, it hit the scent line and followed to where Swan was waiting. All three
bucks were taken in oak groves that showed lots of deer sign.

Author Dwight Schuh took another fine blacktail, winning first place in the
Individual division with his record book four-by-five buck. I didn’t have a chance
to talk to him this year, but his long-time hunting partner, Larry D. Jones, confided
that Schuh again rattled in his second record book blacktail, combining
rattling with a deer call. Jones missed a fine four-by-four using this method, but
didn`t have much time for hunting himself as he helped Schuh and Jim
Dougherty find their animals. Chuck Lynde. owner of Windy Lindy`s Archery in
Clackamas, Oregon,took the biggest buck of the 1989 hunt, a record book four-by-seven
blacktail with thick webbed antlers.


When I talked to Lynde later on the phone, I asked him how he had located such a
big buck. Lynde said “Well I wanted a big buck. so I decided to consult with world
blacktail record holder, George Shuttleff. George told me to find an area with lots
and lots of deer tracks and heavy trails, then look for tracks 2 1/2-inch to three-
inches long So I drove almost two days before I found an area that met the track


I used a lip balm tube for chapped lips to measure the tracks. I had found an area
that was about three-quarter miles square with lots of sign. Lynde and his hunting partner-wife,
Toni. walked about three-fourths of a mile frorn the toad to a bench clear-cut a few years previously.
They could see four hundred yards across the opening now grown with small firs and vine leaf maple
as well as assorted brush. There was a stand of old growth nearby
and the small trees had at least thirty rubs.


“ln the brush nearby, you could only see about thirty-five yards,” said Lynde.
Toni rattled near the open area and they watched a three-by-three come
from two hundred yards away up to twenty-five yards, before it winded Toni
and spooked. This was Toni’s first experience with rattling, but she rattled in
several other bucks later in the season from a well-placed tree stand. She felt at
least three of them would have met record book minimums.


Lynde`s big buck came in after he had alternated rattling and blowing a grunt
call. He waited for about thirty minutes and grunted again. Lynde was sitting on
the ground and spotted the buck at just fifteen yards coming in at a fast walk. At
eight yards, Lynde hoped that his face mask and camo were good enough. The
buck looked around a while, then started walking away. At thirteen yards the
buck`s head was behind a tree. As he drew his bow, the buck stopped and turned
to look. Lynde released his arrow and took a super trophy.


Rattling, calling, hunting from tree stands and hunting near old-growth timber
increases the chances of taking a trophy blacktail. After the National
Blacktail Hunt was over, there were still two weeks of season for me to test
successful techniques.


I rattled, called and tried a variety of their hunting strategies without major
success. The “good” weather and nighttime feeding was still a problem.
Then I located an area where there were lots of rubs. I had been told by local
blacktail expert Boyd Iverson, three-time seminar speaker at Oregon’s
National Blacktail Hunt and one who’s taken many Boone and Crockett Club
blacktails, that you should look for rubs where the tree is about three to six
inches wide. You can tell if it is a big buck doing the rubbing if you can see
the brow tine marks on the tree.


Generally, smaller bucks rub smaller trees. I checked the rubs and found there
were several big ones that had been rubbed in this manner as well as lots of
smaller ones. There was also one set of huge blacktail tracks in the old mud skid
roads that surrounded the area. Iverson also looks for areas similar to
what Chuck Lynde had described near where he took his buck; places at least
one-half mile from a road with a bench below a steep slope on which the black-
tail bed after feeding. Iverson looks for trails to ambush bucks while they are
heading to or from their bedding or feeding areas.

Iverson has found that blacktails usually use one trail to the feeding
or bedding area and a different trail on the return trip. Iverson is one of the few
hunters I have heard of who consistently uses a tree stand and he hunts during the
rifle season. Iverson’s reputation for locating big buck areas left me no doubt
that the area I had found would meet his requirements.


I set up overlooking a small meadow and rattled, but I had no luck, so I
decided to still-hunt and learn the area. After rattling and looking for several
hours, a white patch showing through the timber at sixty yards low to the
ground caught my eye. I look out my 9×20 pocket binoculars and was astonished
when I saw it was the muzzle of a huge buck bedded down in fern and
small fir. I had a chance to watch this buck for more than three minutes, with
his eyes on me the whole time. I am certain that it would have scored near the
top of the record book. It was a four-by-four with long brow tines, good width
and mass and much larger than the 140-point mule deer I had taken previously.


The buck got up and stretched one leg, then the other and walked off
toward a steep ridge covered by big Douglas fir. I tried to circle and ambush
him, but he pushed a huge three-point and a doe off in front of him and I never
saw him again.


The last day found me watching the rubs in a small meadow. After about an
hour, movement caught my eye. A large four-by-four was working my way, rubbing
the smaller trees and checking for scent. It was fascinating to watch him
stand on hind legs and rub his face on the branches. I have read that whitetail
bucks have a scent gland near their eyes and I believe this buck was rubbing his
scent gland in the same manner.


At about forty yards, he turned to go up the hill where he would quickly be in the
brush. I came to full draw and as he looked the other way I sent an arrow
just over his broadside back. I had pulled a novice trick by neglecting to
pick a spot. I found a high bank with several deer trails crossing below it The trails
were coming from one area of small timber, crossing a skid road. then moving up into
some old growth timber. I could see for twenty-five yards one way and thirty in


I took an old sock and tied it to my leg with heavy twine, doused it
liberally with estrous doe scent then walked up the packed mud road dragging
my scent sock behind. I walked up and back down this old road, hoping
that a buck crossing would hit the scent trail and follow it past me looking for a


I set up a small folding stool snuggling into the branches of a small fir for extra
camo cover and waited for some action. It came quickly in the form of a rain
shower. I was glad that my wool clothes were keeping me fairly dry as well as
warm. After two hours or so I heard a slight noise and there, following my
scent trail was a nice three-by-three with its head down. I figured it would
make the minimum ninety P&Y Club points and it was the last day. I came to
full draw and at twenty yards he slowed, offering me a quartering away shot.

As I released the arrow the buck turned away, but the shot looked good.
I waited twenty minutes, then went forward to check for blood. There
wasn`t any to be found. I was able to trail the deer for about 200 yards due to
the recent rain and soft soil, but I never did find any sign that I had hit the buck.
When I went back to where I had released, I noticed about a cup of hair
scattered along the ground and leaves.



I had looked past this spot going to where I had seen the deer, then backed up to
check where he was standing when I had shot. I fuzzily remembered the sound of
the arrow rattling off through the brush, which I had assumed had happened
after going through the deer. The arrow had obviously traveled along his side,
shaving off great quantities of hair, never penetrating the skin. I was
disappointed, but certainly glad that it was a clean shave!


As I went back to my folding stool, I looked down in the road and there for all
the world to see were the prints of a huge buck. He had come by during my
brief absence trailing the three-point. It had passed within fifteen yards and
broadside of my stand in the firs. A little more patience on my part and I would
have had an opportunity for a huge record book trophy blacktail. I went home sorry
that I had not connected, but was already looking forward to the next blacktail hunt.

January and February are good months to scout as the light colored rubs
stand out against darker backgrounds and the rains have turned many trails
muddy making tracks more visible. In my newly located trophy area I have
located several good places for tree stands, places to rattle and have found
plenty of tracks, trails and rubs which indicate a good population of bucks.

There are thousands of areas just like this on public land in Oregon. Thousands
of square miles of BLM and National Forest land are accessibile to hunt, as
well as hundreds of square miles of private timber company land, which is
generally open to hunting. Many farms and ranches also allow archers to hunt.
at no charge, if the hunter only asks.

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Published by archerchick on 09 Feb 2011

How To Fool A Buck’s Sense Of Smell ~ By Bob Grewell

Bow And Arrow
August 1981

How To Fool A Buck’s Sense Of Smell ~ By Bob Grewell
Here Is A Simple, Inexpensive Secret To Mask Human Odor On Your Way To Your Stand

I was tree standing downwind of a well used deer trail,
completely camouflaged. I had doused the dormant brush
at the base of the large oak tree with a liberal amount of
“essence-of-skunk.” It was late November, cold, with a
light breeze.

I’d spent the better part of four weeks determining one
particular buck’s habits and patterns. I’d finalized his
movements and was positive I had his activities nearly down
pat. Now all I had to do was nurse my patience while I sat
motionless within the oak’s array of limbs.

I rolled back the top portion of the off-brown colored glove
on my right hand, to glance at my watch; seven thirty-eight.
When I sluggishly raised my head to scan the brushy terrain in front
of me, I spotted him! A fair-sized eight-point buck, deliberately
moving toward my stand, coming in-crosswind, about eighty yards out.

He moved along at a somewhat cautious pace, with his now probing the ground.
At first I thought he was searching for a doe.
But after close observation, it was apparent he was
following the same path I’d used to approach my stand. He didn’t seem to
approve of the latent human scent I’d left on the ground.

He was trailing my course through the ankle-high dead grass, snorting
occasionally as if in defiance. When he was within forty yards of my stand, he
stopped, threw his head up and down, snort/whistled again, and stamped the
earth, trying to intimidate me into revealing myself. Then, he veered off to
my right and made a wide berth of the oak, stopping twice and glancing back
over his shoulder in my direction, before disappearing.

In all my preparations, I had omitted using the skunk scent on my
boots on the way to my stand, mainly because the foul odor would have been
absorbed by the leather. But if I had sprinkled the cover scent on my boots
or the lower legs of my coveralls, there was a ninety-percent chance he
wouldn’t have detected my human scent trail.

This has happened to nearly every bowhunter at least one time or another,
you can be sure, whether you were aware of it or not. We are so meticulous
in preparing ourselves, our equipment and our stand area that we too often
overlook one thing; the foreign, human odor we leave on the ground, grass and
brush as we make our way to our stand. What can you do to cover your
human scent trail, yet keep the masking scent from fouling your boots and
clothes? You can use ankle scent drags, two lengths of dark colored wire and a
dull-colored piece of ordinary cloth. So simple and inexpensive to make that I
sometimes think it’s cheating by solving such a common hurdle so easily.

The ankle drags are slipped over your feet and drawn around the ankles
with the piece of scent—absorbing cloth hooked on the trailing end of the wire.
The scent — skunk scent for instance —is applied to the cloth, and as you walk
through the weeds and brush it completely wipes out your scent behind
you. It adds no additional weight to contend with, it’s inexpensive to
prepare and once you make your drags, they’ll last indefinitely.
To make the ankle scent drags, one for each ankle, use a thirty-inch—long
piece of 22—gauge black annealed wire, which may be purchased at any
hardware store. If you can’t find the 22-gauge specifically, you’ll be safe
with any wire diameter from 18 to 22-gauge. Black annealed wire is used
because it won’t reflect available light with its dull finish and won’t rust as
easily as common steel or galvanized wire. The thin diameter is used because
it’s more flexible and isn’t visible to your intended game.

Using a four-penny nail, twist one end of the wire around the body of the
nail so you’ll be able to make a slipknot, or noose. Use a pair of pliers and twist
the excess tip of the wire so that it wraps tightly, leaving no protruding end
to snag on your clothes or brush. Then, remove the nail and slide the opposite
end of the wire through this one-eighth·inch diameter hole, making
somewhat of a snare or hangman’s noose.

Next, fold up a three-inch square piece of drab colored cloth, which will
be used as the scent pad on the dragging end of the wire. Punch the straight end
of the wire through the center of the folded cloth pad, pulling it completely
through the cloth. Bend the end of the wire back and wrap it tightly around the
main length of the wire, being sure to also twist the protruding end. The scent
pad will be secured and won’t be pulled off while walking.

Now, using a three-sixteenths—ounce crimp-style lead fishing sinker, move up
two inches on the main portion of the wire, away from the scent pad, and
attach this lead weight, crimping it tightly with a pair of pliers. This small
weight will not interfere with the drag’s main function and will aid in keeping
the scent pad closer to the ground when you’re raising your foot to take a step.
The scent pad needs to stay close to the ground because the scent on the pad
will rub off on the grass and brush, to invisibly dissipate upward.

These ankle drags serve another function. Upon reaching your stand,
loosen the wire noose, remove both drags and hang them in the brush at the
base of your tree stand. The wire is of fine diameter, the cloth scent pad is of
drab color, and the scent on the cloth will disguise your human odor at
ground level, when you’re in your stand. This way the pungent skunk
scent, or whatever type of scent you choose to use, never touches your

The actual cost of making your ankle scent drags is fifteen cents each,
or a total of thirty cents, plus a minimal amount of time. With these ankle scent
drags in your possession, you successfully mask your human scent
trail when moving to your stand site and obliterate your foreign odor at the tree
stand. <—<<

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Published by archerchick on 09 Feb 2011

The Buck And The 120-Pound Longbow~ By Richard Palmer

August 1981

The Buck And The 120 Pound Longbow ~ By Richard Palmer

DUSK WAS fast settling in, as I stood perched on a limb, fifteen
feet off the ground. My eyes strained the dim light looking for the movement
of big game. Suddenly, like a wrath from the mist, an approaching deer.

Moving farther out on the limb, I got in position to shoot. I could barely
see the spikes the deer carried. The buck drew closer and stopped broadside
about fifteen yards away. With a mighty surge of muscle, my shoulder
pulled back the 120-pound longbow. My string fingers touched the corner
of my mouth, releasing death and destruction, as the mighty longbow lunged forward.

I have been involved in archery since the age of 4, and have been an
avid bowhunter since the inception of legalized bowhunting in my home
state of New York and neighboring Pennsylvania. For fifteen years I competed
in archery tournaments, retiring when the era of gadgetry came into
being. I shoot a 120-pound longbow of my own design and manufacture. I
use this heavy bow for hunting, as well as in my practice sessions. I use heavy
three-eighths-inch shafts tipped with 160-grain two-blade broadheads when
hunting. This combination will penetrate even the heavy bones of a whitetail deer.

To date, close to thirty deer have bitten the dust.
Halloween dawned bright and sunny, the traditional day when witches and
goblins and wily critters roam. I’d been bowhunting steady for two weeks,
and hadn’t seen hide nor hair of a buck. There were plenty of does around, but
I was holding out for one of those horned critters.
My hunting territory for deer is located about fifteen minutes drive from
where I live in Elmira, New York. The land belongs to Mount Saviour Monastery, where live
a small group of brothers dedicated to a religious life of self-sufficiency. They allow public hunting
by permit only and charge a small nominal fee. Of the many areas in New
York state I’ve hunted, this has to be the most productive for deer. Over the
years I’ve bowhunted there, I’ve managed to garner eleven of the wily creatures.

The monastery property comprises over a thousand
acres of rolling cultivated fields and timbered off woods;
just the type of terrain in which the elusive whitetail flourish.
The deer sometimes are so thick that the monastery
will return part of the permit fee if a bowhunter takes a deer.
The reason is that the deer get into the cornfields,
reducing the corn production considerably. The brothers use
the field crop to make silage to feed their milk cows.
one of their few sources of income. So you can understand
their anguish, when they find thirty or forty deer in their
cornfields every evening. From talking to Brother Bruno,
who issues the permits, I understand that they sometimes
help in doing the driving for the gun hunters who come up later in the season.

When purchasing a permit to hunt on their property, a map
and instructions are issued. The detailed map shows
property boundaries and terrain features. Areas of no
hunting are written in, so there can be no error on the part of
the hunter, as to where he can and cannot hunt. Portable
tree stands are preferred, as they cultivate their woods for timber.

I managed to leave work early and get over to my brother, Ken’s, house, a
few minutes past four in the afternoon. He was there already, having just arrived
home from work himself. We left for the monastery a few minutes later,
full of expectation. It was a beautiful fall day, with the sun shining and the leaves in all their
varied colors; the kind of day that makes you want to be in the woods.
While enroute, we discussed what area we would be hunting that afternoon.

Upon arrival, we each headed for our own preselected spot. Ken headed for
an old logging road in an area the deer cross frequently, on their way to a
large lush green field. I headed for a large shaggy bark tree, located in a
small clearing. This tree has a deer run on each side and is used primarily late
in the afternoon. During the day, the deer bed down in a deep gorge nearby.
Toward evening, they head uphill using the runs in the area of my tree,
as they head toward their various feeding areas.

I already had seen does come by on the different afternoons I had sat in
this tree, but I had resisted the temptation to shoot one, waiting instead for
a buck. Over two weeks had gone by and I decided that this afternoon I
would take what came: buck or doe. It was peaceful sitting in this big
old tree, contemplating thoughts serene. Occasionally looking up at the
sky, I’d count the numerous vapor trails left by the big jets on their way
to strange places. I thought to myself, what a life this is, to be able to go out
on a fabulous day like this and commune with nature.

During my reverie, I would look around occasionally. Sometimes I
found even this too much effort, as the sun and warm day tended to make me
feel lazy. A day like this should be enjoyed to its fullest. Looking to my left,
I suddenly was awakened from my lethargy. Standing broadside about
fifteen yards away, was a large doe. Slowly I got up from my comfortable
resting position and carefully inched out on to a large limb. I had my bow
in hand, nocked with a 700-grain wooden arrow, tipped with a Hill broadhead.

Moving carefully into shooting position, I started my draw. The upper
limb of my longbow hit a branch that I hadn’t noticed, so I moved farther
out on the precarious limb. I looked down and noticed I was quite a way off
the ground. I really wasn’t aware of the height, though, concentrating only on
the deer. Starting my draw again, I caught something on the bottom limb this
time and, in trying to carefully extricate the situation, I made some noise
that caught the standing doe’s attention. She looked up casually at first
and as I got the lower limb free, I caught the upper limb on the loose dry
bark of the tree. Exasperated, I tore the upper limb free; anything to get
the shot, but this was too much for the doe. and with a bound, she was into
the safety of the pines.

I couldn’t believe it. After two weeks of continuous
hunting, a perfect opportunity presents itself and I
blow it. I was standing there on the tree stand, mumbling
to myself, when I noticed brown movement coming
down the same trail the doe had used. As the deer
drew closer, I could see horns.
Moving farther out on the limb, I knew what it’s like
to be a tightrope walker. The limb I stood on was only
about six inches in diameter and here I was shooting
a 120-pound longbow that’s heavy enough to down an
elephant and takes two average men and a boy to pull.
What if in pulling the heavy bow I lost my balance and fell?

These thoughts were running through my mind. as the deer approached.
The buck drew broadside to me and stopped only fifteen yards away, about
where the doe had stood. All thoughts of falling from the tree vanished from
my mind. replaced by a dream state, as I saw the buck standing there. Perched
on that limb high off the ground, suddenly cool and methodical, my only
feeling was one of intense concentration as I prepared to make my shot.
With a smooth yet powerful pull the heavy longbow came back and my
fingers released the shaft. The heavy three-eighths-inch arrow hit the buck
in back of the left shoulder just below the center line, completely penetrating
the deer. The buck bounded away into the safety of the pines, only about fifty
feet away.

I gathered my gear from the tree and climbed down. Walking over to where I
had hit the buck, I found my arrow lying on the ground. It was saturated
from end to end with blood. I knew I had made a liver hit, which is always
fatal. Having shot close to thirty deer over the years, many of them with this same
identical hit, I knew my deer would be only a short distance away. Here’s
where experience comes into the picture. Hitting the deer is the easy part; finding
them is another story. I learned long ago that if the shot is good, the
search should be short and easy. Score a poor hit and you’ll be on your hands
and knees all night long looking for blood.

In addition to big game hunting, I enjoy hunting squirrel and pheasant with
the longbow. I have managed to shoot these difficult game species using only
the bow and arrow. Using heavy blunts, I am able to knock pheasants out of
the air. In 1978 I competed in the World’s Flight Championships held at the salt
flats in Wendover, Utah. Shooting a 133- pound flight bow, I came in second in
the professional class with a shot of 890 yards, one foot, one inch. Again in
1979, using a heavier flight bow of 145 pounds, I managed to garner a second

I have been training to break the bow pull record and hope to make an attempt
sometime in 1981. My training includes pulling on heavy bows up to 220 pounds
in weight. This tied in with weight training, has made me, I believe, one of the
strongest archers in the world. I met my brother at the car, and told
him I had made a good hit on a buck, showing him the bloody arrow.
“I figure the buck will be lying some-where in the pines, not far from where
I hit him,” I said.

We stowed our hunting gear and got out the searching and deer cleaning
equipment. We usually take everything so we don’t have to bother coming
back for something we might need. This usually consists of lights, toilet
paper, a sharp knife, small saw, drag rope, a plastic bag (for heart and liver),
and a pencil and string for filling out and attaching the deer tag to the carcass.
By this time, dusk was well on its way, so we turned our lights on and returned
to my tree. I had marked the spot where I had found the arrow, with a piece of
toilet paper. So it was only a matter of minutes to line out the direction the deer
had headed. We then walked into the pines and started looking for
blood. Side by side, we moved forward slowly, scanning to the front and both
sides. I had just moved to my left, when my brother yelled out, “There he is up
ahead. Moving to where I could see, the spike buck was lying on the pine needles.
He appeared to be peacefully asleep, but I knew it was forever. He had traveled
only about a hundred feet before expiring.

I gutted out the deer, placing the heart and liver in the plastic bag I had brought.
With the small saw, I cut through the pelvic bone to better open up the lower
cavity and allow it to air out. After we had drained the carcass and I had cleaned
my hands and cutting equipment, we started dragging deer back into the car.

Driving home with a deer always gives me a certain feeling of elation
that only a successful hunt can <—<<<

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