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Published by archerchick on 08 Feb 2011

Snake, Rattle & Roll ~ By Jerry Gentellalli

Bow And Arrow
August 1975

SNAKE, RATTLE & ROLL ~ By Jerry Gentellalli

The Rattlesnake Never Will Rank With The Big Five As A Game Animal, But Hunting It Can Be A Service To Mankind!

yellow-green landscape, my hunting pants cuffed against the sagebrush, I
spooked the tawny, striped honey bee from his flower bed of sweet. The hot
Southern California morning sun began drying up the sparkling dew drops
that clung to the meadow grass like jewelled fruit. I had just released an
arrow at a running cottontail, over-shooting it. The shaft bounced and
spun off into the underbrush. Silently the cold-blooded creature
with agate·like eyes began its stalk on the colorful fletchings of my arrow.
With each forward footstep, I came closer to the unknown killer hidden in
the cushion of leaf mold. Threatened now by my search for the lost arrow,
the deadly reptile pulled itself into the familiar tight series of coils, keeping its
wedge-shaped head motionless, readying itself to strike the intruder with its
lethal fangs.

I now was parting the grass with my bow tip, looking for the lost arrow.
Suddenly, in a flashing blur, the reptile struck. I jumped sideways, my heart
pounding, panicked by the frightening sound of the buzzing rattle on the tail
of the diamondback rattlesnake. A couple of arrows later the viper bit the

Rattlesnakes are found all the way from Canada to Uruguay. There are as
many as twenty-eight kinds. They vary only in color and size and have been
known to weigh as much as twenty pounds. The female gives birth to her
young, rather than laying eggs as do most other reptiles. The number of
young will vary among the different kinds of rattlesnakes. The Mexican
West Coast rattlesnake is one of the most prolific, giving birth to the incredible n
umber of fifty at a time. The young snakes are fully equipped to
take care of themselves at birth.

The pit viper is known for the small pits on each side of its wedge-shaped
head, located at the base of its head between the nostrils and the eyes.
These actually are extremely sensitive heat-detecting organs. The vibrations
of these organs can detect the presence of warm-blooded creatures.

The Spring sun activates the rattlesnakes’ thermostat, drawing them out
of the snake den that harbors large groups of reptiles throughout the long,
winter hibernation. Length of hibernation depends on the temperature zone
of the terrain. During late Winter, I have found them basking in the warm
gravel sand, soaking up the hot rays of the sun. The snake dens are located in
the most unlikely places: cracks in rock formations, under wood piles, in
ground-dwelling animal burrows; generally in places where are found the
small game and rodents on which they feed.

The serpent’s diamond-shaped, fish- like scales are polished and camouflaged to
blend into the colorful sand on which they tread. Their pushing, wavy crawl often
leaves shiny tracks that look like those of a flat, crooked
bicycle tire wheeling across the soft sand. Finding their imprints may lead
you to their hunting grounds. My selection of snake-hunting equipment is the
least-expensive cedar shafts and a good, steel broadhead that
can be filed to a razor-sharp edge; as most of the shooting is at close range
and generally in rocky areas. The swaying, retreating head can prove a
difficult target to hit. Sticking the reptile in its rope-like body not only
destroys the skin, but makes it possible for the reptile to fang itself,
contaminating the meat. Because of the nonexistent problem of penetration,
any bow weight can be used.

Needless to say, a good pair of leather high-top boots or knee-high
snake leggings are recommended for protecting the legs. Ranger of Augusta,
Georgia. manufactures two types of snake-proof leggings: one is heavily
woven bronze mesh, covered with heavy canvas? and the other type is of
lightweight plastic.

Of course, a snakebite kit should be carried in one’s pack. One compact,
handy snakebite kit is Cutter’s. It comes with three suction cups. a
tourniquet, antiseptic for sterilization, a razor blade for incision and directions.
This kit can be purchased from most local pharmacies or sporting
goods stores.

Although snake hunting may not be your bag, while out on an outing or
traveling the game trails, your paths may cross. The rattlesnake could turn
a day into a nightmare of terror if you or your retriever are struck with
venomous fangs. One must know immediately what actions to take to
prevent serious illness or even death.

With or without a kit, the field procedure is the same.
First of all, prevent panic. It will increase the flow of venom throughout
the body. Apply a tourniquet between the wound and the heart, and close to
the puncture. The tourniquet can be made from a handkerchief, bowstring
or any piece of cord, A stick can be used to turn the tourniquet for pressure control.

With a sterilized blade, make an incision on top of the bite. Use straight,
lengthwise cuts one-quarter—inch long
and one-eighth-inch deep. Apply suction to the incision. If suction cups are
not available, use suction by mouth, spitting out the venom.

Walk slowly for help, stopping periodically for rest. After each ten to
fifteen minutes, loosen the tourniquet for one minute, allowing for circulation.
A doctor must be reached as quickly as possible for the administration of antivenin.
This life-saving antivenum is made by injecting smaller, then larger doses of venom into a horse
until he becomes immune to it. Then the serum is made from the blood extracted from the horse.

The rattlesnake will not always strike from its familiar coiled position.
It can strike from any position with lightning speed. l witnessed this one
day while bowhunting for rabbits. The sight of the flicker of ears caused me
to change my course slowly, my eyes piercing through the sumac bush.

There I spied a young cottontail less than forty yards away. Suddenly, the
rabbit jumped, did a, full gainer. stiffened and fell to the ground.

As I reached the spot where the rabbit had fallen, I was horrified by
the sight of the diamondback with the bunny’s head in its mouth.
Quickly my broadhead took him. On removing the head of the rabbit
from the rattler’s mouth, I could see that the fangs folded back into the
roof of the mouth when not in use.

The venom is injected through the hollow fangs which spring forward and
erect with switchblade action. The venom is forced into the victim with
hypodermic action. The lower jaw is so designed that it hinges downward,
enlarging the mouth so the reptile can swallow its prey. Digging a deep hole
in the ground, I buried the cottontail and the rattler’s head for safety, so
that other animals would not suffer’ from eating the poisonous carrion.

The old folk tale about snakes wiggling and squirming until sunset is
true, I have discovered. It is an eerie experience to have a snake twisting
around in the game bag until dark. In preparing the snakeskin, I start
from where the head was, peeling the skin back from the body and rolling it
to the end — like removing a long, nylon stocking. The skin now is inside
out. With a pair of scissors or a sharp knife, cut the underside — the belly
side — to the tail. Place the paper-thin skin wet side up, tack it to a flat
board, taking care not to overstretch the constricting skin, sparingly apply
glycerine to the scale side. This gives luster and keeps the skin pliable. Roll `
the skin up like a belt. A taxidermist can tan the skin, making it strong and

I first sampled canned rattlesnake meat and found it deliciously comparable to
crab meat. There are many ways to prepare the delicate meat. I usually boil it in
a pot of salted water for thirty minutes or longer, then allow it to cool. The white meat can
then be separated easily from the bones. Then I season and prepare it in one of several ways,
frying, sauteeing or serving in a salad or with a sauce.

The season is open year around and there is no bag limit. With the big demand for their hides, meat and venom,
which is used in medicine, the rattle- snake could become an endangered species.
Some states employ snake control to exterminate the rattler. But, now, some states are looking closer at setting
some conservation measures as to hunting seasons and bag limits to protect the future of the rattlesnake,
recognizing its place in the ecological scene.

Both before and since the Revolutionary days, the rattlesnake has been
a symbol of rebellion. With its menacing rattle and lightning-quick
fangs, it is a creature that most people
take great pains to avoid. Hunting the rattlesnake probably
will never become popular or listed with the big five, but cross its path and
it becomes a danger to be reckoned
with. <——<<<

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Published by archerchick on 08 Feb 2011

The Lighter Side Of Bowhunting ~ By Thurm Lowery

Bow And Arrow
December 1974

The Lighter Side Of Bowhunting ~ By Thurm Lowery
You May Know About This Type Of Hunting, But Be Sure Your Horse Does Too!

THE SOUND OF the truck engine and the headlights
swinging past the windows of the Experiment Station woke
me up, As our nearest neighbors were some twenty-five
miles away, we didn’t get much company and I already was
pulling on my britches when the knocking started at the
front door. The time was 3 a.m.

Two men and a woman were at the door of the Desert
Range Experiment Station, where my family was living
while I conducted a study on the pronghorn antelope for
the Utah Fish & Game Department. They were looking for
a way over to the Indian Peak Reservation.
Due to the somewhat isolated conditions, visitors always
were a novelty and most certainly welcome, even when
arriving at this time of the morning. My wife, Jean, got up
and made a pot of coffee, baked a pan of hot biscuits and
fried some bacon and eggs. We started getting acquainted over
an early breakfast.

Les and Nora Hunt are from Salt Lake City, where they
own and operate an archery manufacturing company. Les is
a big, friendly kind of guy who moves with the smoothly
deceptive ease of a big cat, even in the confines of a house.
He goes through heavily timbered woods and brush like a
drifting shadow, as I was to discover.

His wife, Nora, is from the town of Jolo, of the Province
of Sulu in the Philippine Islands. Small and pretty with an
amazing personality, Nora is from an illustrious family: One
brother presently is Ambassador to Egypt and another is a
former Governor of Sulu.

The other man introduced was Ray Renfroe. Ray owned
a steel business in Jacksonville, Florida. He and Les Hunt
were good friends and Ray had been coming to Utah for
years, stalking the outstanding deer herds with bow and
arrow. He, too, is a big, rugged man with slow, easy movements
and a soft Southern drawl in his deep baritone voice.
It was the day before archery season for deer would
open in Utah and they were here to bowhunt on the old
Indian Peak Reservation. It isn’t an Indian reservation any-
more, the state Fish & Game Department having purchased
and developed some twenty sections as a wildlife habitat –
not a sanctuary — where mule deer could live and multiply
without competition from livestock for available feed. The
area gets its name from the tallest mountain in the area,
Indian Peak, which towers 9783 feet above sea level. I’ve
seen a lot of good deer country but honestly believe there
are more deer per square mile right here than any other
place on earth.

My wife, Jean, is a pretty good cook for an old country
girl and before long, mellowed by her coffee and homemade
biscuits, our visitors were inviting me to go bowhunting
with them. I explained that I didn’t have any archery
equipment and furthermore, I’d never shot a bow and
arrow in my life.

Les grinned, got up from the table and walked out to his
camper. In a minute he was back with a fifty-pound bow, a
brand—new hip quiver and a dozen wicked-looking hunting
arrows. He even had an archer’s glove and wrist guard.
“Now you’ve got a complete outfit,” he said.
“But I never had hold of one of those things in my
whole life,” I told him.

“Don’t worry about it,” Ray said. “We’ll teach you.”
That’s how I became a bowhunter.
I didn’t even have a hunting license and drove into
Milford the next morning to get it. Later that afternoon, I
drove over to Indian Peak and located their camp. They got
out the tackle, both Les and Ray working at getting me
started with the new equipment while Nora kept up a running
line of encouragement on the sidelines.

They first set up a target. They then showed me how to
hold the bow, how to nock, pull, aim and release the arrow.
It wasn’t long until they had me shooting like a Comanche.
The trouble was, I just couldn’t seem to hit what I was
aiming at.

I had no idea a fifty-pound bow would be so hard to
pull. I was straining at the unfamiliar weapon, wondering if
maybe they shouldn’t have started me out with a lighter
bow when I noticed that little Nora was shooting one exactly
like it. I decided, if that I I0-pound woman could handle
that twang stick, I could, too. I gritted my teeth, tried to
keep my arm from shaking and just shot away.
Both Les and Ray were shooting seventy-pound bows
and it looked easy. Both were really good with those things,
too. If they didn’t hit inside the bullseye with every shot,
they acted like it was a major disaster. I finally hit the
target somewhere out near- the edge and I considered it a
whopping success.

Les Hunt, apparent even to a novice like myself, was an
outstanding shot. I muttered something about Les being a
good shot and Ray replied, “I’ve hunted with a bow for
many years and I’ve seen hundreds of really good bowmen.
I’ve always said, ‘If I ever had to pick a man who I would
let shoot an apple from my head at thirty yards with a
broadhead, it would be Les Hunt’.” That was rare praise,
especially coming from a man who himself is an expert
We hung around camp until about 3:30 p.m. talking,
swapping deer hunting yarns and just getting better
acquainted. As the rankest of amateurs, I knew nothing of
the bow and arrow as a game-getter. I asked a lot of questions,
all cheerfully answered.

Renfroe is an expert with both a rifle and handgun. He
has taken a deer with his .44 magnum Smith & Wesson at
300 yards. He says he has taken more deer with a bow than
with either of the firearms.

All three said most of their kills were between twenty
and thirty—five yards, although Ray had killed a buck at
over sixty-five yards and Les once killed a big buck at over
ninety yards. Nora used a fifty-pound bow while the two
men pulled heavier ones; Ray preferring a fifty-five to sixty-
five-pound pull but has hunted, and been successful, with
bows pulling over one hundred pounds. Les shot a seventy-
pound bow and generally preferred slightly stronger bows
than did Ray.

They were quick to explain that the bowhunter must be
a different breed of cat than the rifle hunter.
Firstly, he must have more patience. He not only has to
stalk the animal, he must make his shot. Then, if the animal
is hit, the hunter should just sit down and wait. According
to Les, there is little shocking power from the arrow hitting
a deer. If he isn’t pursued, the animal usually runs a short
distance and then lies down.

“If the hunter waits thirty minutes before starting to
trail his deer, he usually finds him within a quarter of a
mile, completely bled out,” said Les Hunt.
Before I knew it, it was time to start our hunt. Les and
Ray had a new wrinkle on hunting: motorcycles. They
didn’t actually hunt on the bikes, but would ride to an area
they wanted to hunt, park it, then hunt on foot. When they
killed a deer, they could carry it out on the motorcycle,
which beats dragging or packing out piggy-back all to

This was my first experience with anyone hunting on
motorcycles. They climbed aboard, kicked over the engines
and roared off. They had offered me a ride but I figured I’d
let well enough alone and chose to walk.
They were wearing camouflage suits and even put covers
on their bows to make their outlines blend better into the
trees. They’d sprayed themselves with something designed
to cover the human smell. I’d been given an extra—heavy
dose 4 my old, red hunting shirt and blue jeans didn’t
blend into the background too well. I don’t know what the
stuff was, but I smelled like a walking pine tree.
I had only walked about half a mile from camp when I
came to`a little draw with a small stream running down its
middle. Standing just on the other side were two does and a
big, old buck, about fifty yards away. I took dead aim,
drew all the way back to the razor—sharp broadhead tip, and
let fly. I let fly three times before I came close enough to
scare them.
When I finally succeeded in scaring them off, I picked up
my arrows, cussed a little, then went on with my hunt. I’m
not much of a cusser and was beginning to suspect I wasn’t
much of a bowhunter, either. Somehow, the two just seemed to go together.

About a mile and thirty minutes later, I saw another pair
of does forty or fifty yards away. I was improving with
experience I scared them off with just two shots. No
matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t sneak up any closer to
those darn deer. I think they came equipped with ESP.
They’d let me get just so close and no closer. I’d sneak and
creep and crawl and, as soon as I thought I might be getting
close enough, I’d hear a bouncing, thumping; when I looked
up, there they’d go.

I hunted until dark. I guess I shot at half a dozen deer,
but they couldn’t have been any safer in the San Diego
Zoo. It didn’t help my feelings any when I got back to
camp and learned that both Les and Ray had bagged deer.
Les had killed his from some sixty yards, a big four-pointer.
I figured the law of averages would have to catch up
with me sooner or later and I’d hit a deer by accident if
nothing else, so I headed for home vowing to return the
next day.

That night I told Jean about my hunt and how discouraging
it was not being able to hit anything. “I can’t get
close enough,” I said. I then remembered how in times past,
I sometimes could ride right up to a deer on a horse and not
seem to scare him at all.

“Wonder how it`d work if I took Sugar over tomorrow
and hunted off her‘?” I ventured. All the encouragement I
got out of her was a sleepy, “Why don’t you try it and
see?” as she rolled over and pulled all the covers off me
All my life I’ve been horse crazy, believing that anything
really worth doing probably can be done on a horse. My
mother claims I would walk to the pasture to catch my
pony to ride to the outhouse. This in mind, early the next
morning I loaded my gray quarter horse mare in the trailer
and pulled her over to Indian Peak.

I don’t know why it’s possible to ride up on a deer
horseback without scaring him. It doesn’t always work, but
perhaps they hear the four feet of the horse hitting the
earth instead of the two feet of a man and don’t relate the
sound with danger.
I pulled into their camp just before daylight. My friends
were already up and Nora had a pot of hot coffee ready.
Over a steaming cup I told them what I planned for the

“Won`t it scare the deer when you get off to shoot`T”
Ray asked.
“I don’t intend to get off,” I answered. “I’m gonna
shoot right off her back.”
I saddled up and tried a couple of practice shots. Sugar
was tense and nervous at first, but decided that twanging
stick meant her no personal harm and settled down. standing
like a rock.

Les, Nora and Ray took off on their motorcycles. I
headed my horse off up through the cedars. I rode about
fifteen minutes when I came around a big pine tree
there stood a good-sized buck. He stood looking at the
horse A I don’t think he even knew I was anywhere around.
I started fumbling for an arrow, and trying to get it
across the bow and nocked on the string. All that commotion
scared him and, when I looked up again, all I could see
was his big butt disappearing through the trees. Lesson
Number One: Keep an arrow ready on the bow!
I rode on my happy way, found a fat doe, made a
beautiful twenty—yard shot and missed her by twenty feet. I
came right up on several more deer. Some ran off. but
others just stood and looked at me. Those that did stand. I
shot at — and missed — and used up a year’s supply of
expletives. I wondered how the Indians ever made a living.
All that getting off and on to pick up my arrows was nearly
as tiring as walking would have been in the first place.
Late that afternoon, I rode around the base of Indian
Peak Mountain itself. There’s a spring right at the botaoni
on the east side. I had been thinking I would get myself a
drink and let old Sugar fill up on the pure, sweet spring

As I rode around a sharp outcropping of stone, I came
upon six does and a big, fat, two-point buck, getting themselves
a drink. They jumped away from the waterhole and
went bouncing off the way mule deer will when startled.
They then stopped and turned around in their curious way
to see what was going on.

Off to the southeast was a long, easy slope with very few
trees. The ground was fairly smooth for about a half a mile
and, if I could just get between those deer and the mountain,
they’d have only one way to go — right down there
across that open flat.

I kissed at the mare and she was going full speed by the
second jump. I reined her over to the right and she was in
position to head off the deer from the peak. Contrary to
popular belief, deer aren’t really all that fast. Deer can duck
and dodge around in the timber pretty quick. all iiglit. but
in an all-out, wide—open race on open ground. a fast horse
can outrun them.

This was open country. I had my mare headed towards
those deer now and they were in full flight through
that treeless area. Old Sugar was a trained calf-roping horse
and a good one. That was no calf up ahead but it didn’t
take her but a couple of jumps to get the idea that she was
supposed to catch whatever they were.

The deer stayed together in a bunch until I got to pushing
them pretty hard. then the does started peeling off. The
ground was fairly level with a gentle slope and there was
excellent footing. I had the mare wide open and I put her
after the buck. Before long we had him cut out by himself.
At first he did a pretty fair job of staying ahead of us.
then began slowing down. He was running out of oxygen.
Deer are not built for an extended burst of speed and seem
to run out of breath pretty quickly. He had his mouth
open, sucking in all the air he could with each heaving
breath. Suddenly, somehow, he was around me and headed
back up towards the peak.

I gave the mare a whack with the bow and put her after
him again. He almost made it back to the spring when we
got around him and got him turned back down towards
that open slope. He was really getting tired now, blowing
like a steam engine and weaving from side to side.
Sugar was right on his tail. The grain—fed mare was
strong, in excellent shape and still wanting to run. She fell
in on that buck just like a calf in a rodeo, dropping her
head, laying her ears back and rating him like any good
horse in a matched roping.

I dropped the rein on her neck, fished around and got an
arrow out of the quiver and drew it across the bow. I leaned
over to the right as far as I could without falling off to keep
from shooting my horse between her ears, drew back as far
as I could and let go. I shot right over his back. He must
have been all of five yards away.

The buck was pretty well rundown now. He was dodging
and weaving, trying to make it back into the brush. I would
shoot, fumble for another arrow, head the deer off, shoot
again, then 4 instant replay. I ran that deer all over that
open slope.

The deer’s patron saint must have been looking after
him. I shot up every arrow I had and never touched a hair
on his body. I pulled my horse up and just sat there wondering
about all those novels of the Old West I’ve read. As
far as hitting anything from a running horse with a bow and
arrow, or standing on the ground for that matter, I’m afraid
if I’d been a Sioux, Custer still would be standing.

My mare was blowing hard so I stepped off, loosened the
cinch and started leading her back up the slope to cool off.
I was wandering around, looking for my arrows, thinking I
should have thrown down that bow and jerked my lariat
loose and roped that buck. If I had tied him to a tree,
perhaps I then could have hit him e but I doubt it.
Suddenly the sound of motorcycles broke through my
foul mood. I looked up to see Les and Ray come whizzing
down across that open slope. They had their engines
wound—up tight and were really raising a dust.

They rode up, killed their motorcycles and put down the
kick stands. They got off and walked over to where I was
standing. Both men had big grins on their faces. They just
looked at me, as I stood holding my mare and feeling
foolish. Finally Ray spoke: “We were up on the ledge back
there and saw the whole thing. I want to buy that horse!”
No, I didn’t sell my roping mare to Ray Renfroe. The
incident did get him so interested in horses, however, that
he purchased several registered quarter horses and became
an ardent, accomplished horseman. He sold his steel manufacturing
company and began a completely new career
that’s about as far removed from the steel business as one
can imagine. He now resides in Prescott, Arizona, and is a
very successful Western artist. His paintings and bronze
castings are in such demand that most are sold before he
ever finishes them.

Les and Nora Hunt still own and operate their archery
equipment company in Salt Lake City. Les spent over five
years developing a special type of hunting arrow which he
now is manufacturing, called the “Big Daddy.”
The Hunts and Ray Renfroe filled their tags on the bowhunt.
I managed to keep my record completely clean: I
never did get one! <—<<

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Published by archerchick on 07 Feb 2011

Four New Names For The Hall Of Fame~By Chuck Tyler

Bow And Arrow
December 1974

Four New Names For The Hall Of Fame
Another Quartet of Archery’s Notables Receive Recognition

contributors have been inducted into
the Archery Hall of Fame, housed
within the confines 0f the Fred Bear
Museum in Grayling, Michigan.
Installed during the national tournament
of the National Field Archery
Association last August in Golden,
Colorado, were Harry Drake, the late
James “Doug” Easton, Dorothy Smith
Cummings and John Yount.

Harry Drake is the greatest flight
shooter of all time and one of the
sport’s finest bowyers. He has shot an
arrow more than a mile and currently
is plying his special talents with
Browning in Morgan, Utah.

The late Doug Easton was the
pioneer of aluminum arrows. Starting
with a small plant in the 1930s, Easton
proved critics wrong and built Easton
Aluminum into an archer’s byword.
He not only has made the finest shafts
in the world, but also was tireless in
his support of all phases of archery,
sponsoring many tournaments.
Many archers may not be familiar
with Dorothy Smith Cummings, but
she set world records during the early
part of the century. Perhaps most significant
of her many achievements is
that she was the last champion to win
a National Archery Association (NAA)
title and establish world records without the benefit of sights or artificial
points of aim on her bow.

Few field archers will fail to recognize John Yount. Still a strong backer,
he was instrumental in the establishment of the National Field Archery
Association (NFAA) and served as
executive secretary from 1939 through

1958. Largely through his efforts, the
NFAA has become the largest archery
association in the world.

The Archery Hall of Fame was conceived in 1972
by the Archery Manufacturers Association.
That year, the
first archers were installed in this elite
corps of archery’s greatest. They were:
Fred Bear, Karl Palmatier, Ann
Webber Hoyt, Russ Hoogerhyde, Ben
Pearson, Howard Hill and Maurice

In 1973, five more members were
inducted into the Hall of Fame: Rube
Powell, Saxon Pope, Clayton Shenk,
Art Young and Dr. Robert Elmer.
This year’s members were picked
from a long list of outstanding archers,
including: Louis Maxon, Henry
Richardson, Erwin Ketzler, Dr. Erwin
Peletcher, Bill Forbenth, Earl Hoyt,
Mrs. M.E. Howell, Jean Lee, Ann
Marston, Carol Meinhart, Louis Smith,
Roy Hoff, Will Thompson, Joe Fries,
Babe Bitzenburger, Dr. P. Klopsteg
and Dr. Paul Crouch.
Nominees are selected in three main
categories: Shooters, Contributors to
the Sport and Outstanding Influence
0n the Sport. There is one exception:
in an historical category, the choice is
made by the Hall of Fame committee

Voters for the Hall of Fame nominees include the Hall of
Fame committee, alternating members of the
Hall of Fame, magazine editors and
knowledgeable persons in the sport.
The current Hall of Fame commit-
tee includes: Joe Rusnick, chairman;
Dave Staples; Pat Wingfield; Ed
Martin; and Bob Rhode, historian.
The Hall of Fame banquet and installation is held alternately at championship
tournaments of the Professional Archers Association, National
Field Archery Association, National
Archery Association and the Archery
Lane Operators Association, should
they hold a national tournament.
In keeping with the high standards,
the Hall of Fame has adopted an 1878
quotation as their byword: “So long as
the new moon returns in heaven, a
bent, beautiful bow, so long will the
fascination of archery keep hold of the
hearts of men.” ~ Chuck Tyler

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Published by archerchick on 07 Feb 2011

How Not To Start An Archery Club – By Muriel E Jones

Bow And Arrow Hunting
December 1974

How NOT To Start An Archery Club – By Muriel E Jones

The Techniques Used in Merry Olde England May Apply Here – Complete With Tribulations!

small group of earnest, dedicated amateurs
tackled the job of beginning a
target archery club. Of course, only
archers know the fun it is; the lay
public need convincing.

There was in our village the nucleus
of a club, which had existed for many
years, although all but a few members
either had expired or drifted away to
other scenes, leaving behind a motley
collection of ancient but serviceable
equipment which was enough for the
purpose. The chairman and secretary
lived in the village and, between them,
stuffed under the doors of each house
invitations for all those interested to
attend a demonstration in the playing
fields, designating the time and date.
The afternoon duly arrived and we
presented ourselves in the field, where
a group of people were huddled together
to keep warm, it being quite
cold and windy with overcast gray
skies — not at all the idyllic scene one
would have wished for. The demonstrators
seemed to be shaking with
cold or nerves and the organizer’s chief
worry was that someone lurking
around the back of the nets would get
hit with a stray arrow.

After a short interval of clapping
one’s hands vigorously around the
body in an effort to keep alive in the
extreme cold while waiting for stragglers,
the demonstration began. This
was conducted by the organizer and
chairman, who very efficiently explained
the rules and terms of archery
and measured us to see what length of
arrow we would require and whether
we should keep our left or right eye
shut; it being advisable to have only
one open for some reason, which I
have since found unnecessary.
We were duly equipped with various
bits of leather which, we were –
told, were necessary to protect our
fingers; those without enough padding
on their arms already were provided
with armguards. We took turns at
shooting three arrows at a target,
strategically placed in the corner of
V the field with a view of missing any
stray passersby enjoying their Sunday I
afternoon walk.

One of the more important
villagers, who rather fancied himself as
a squire, turned up for a lark, I think,
missed all the introductory demonstration
but shot his three arrows,
which the organizer meekly collected
for him. Everyone else, naturally, had
to go and get their own. We all
thought this was a bit of a cheek but,
being English, we’re used to such
carryings-on, and showed our
contempt by not saying a word.
Everyone by now was blue with
cold, so the demonstration ended with
a firm promise that we would all turn
up at an appointed time and date at a
site where the former club used to
meet — this being outside the village
and inaccessible to anyone without
motor transport, which naturally
would curtail the numbers.

The evening of the meeting arrived;
heavy thunderstorm in progress —
skies absolutely black. Hence, only a
few people turned up. The organizer
had thoughtfully arranged a target
some feet from the doorway of the
pavilion and was half-heartedly encouraging
those who had turned up to
shoot from under cover of the pavilion
to save getting absolutely drenched.
He manfully retrieved the arrows for
the same reason.

The practical aspect of the meeting
soon finished, we gathered ’round to
discuss the possibilities of forming a
club while the lightning crackled overhead
and one was initiated into the
more theoretical aspects of target
I found it somewhat discouraging
to learn that one was expected to
shoot eight or even twelve-dozen
arrows at a match, and I felt this information
should have been kept from
beginners, as merely the shooting of
one arrow seemed to paralyze every
muscle in the body. Encouraging re-
marks that one must be doing it wrong
then, I didn’t find at all helpful.

Happily, the weather improved and
on the following Sunday afternoon we
had many laughs while trying our best
to hit the target only a few feet away.
Some members took it very seriously
and launched into complicated mathematical
analysis of a kind which was
received in silence and awe at first, but
with increasing skepticism as time
went by.

Little by little the targets were
moved off as the weeks went by and
proud members produced super kit
and appeared very knowledgeable
about weight in hand, etc., and the
quality if not quantity of the arrows,
and a few people embarked on the
process of making their own tackle
It is true we lost every match that
season, but we came in good seconds;
which impressed Gladys, the barmaid
at the local pub, who had no idea that
there were only two teams participating.

Many jolly times were had
over a glass of beer, as we determined
our faults and how to overcome them.
There was an excitement one
Sunday afternoon during an at—home
match. We were sharing the field with
a cricket club, whose activities were
taking place to the right of the target
archers, when the pilot of a large red
glider decided he couldn’t possibly go
any farther and landed in the field to
our left — making it difficult for even
the most devoted archer to keep his
eye on the target.

Enthusiasm being the strong point
of new archers, we couldn’t possibly
hear of doing nothing all Winter, so we
decided to try and hire a hall for our
purposes. One member’s attempt to
hire an old airship hangar of considerable
dimensions met with little success
and much derision from the other
members. But the more modest village
hall, which allowed us to shoot a full
eleven yards, was at last hired for one
evening per week.
As the young wives used one of the
rooms in the hall at the same time,
very often one was distracted by an
arresting speech or the conversation of
forty women at once. But we

On one occasion, owing to our
ignorance, one member whose sight
had slipped unnoticed found her arrow
nearly in the ceiling. There followed
much surreptitious comings and goings
with filler and paint before the care-
taker should return and discover the
damage; as the village hall committee
were not impressed by our prowess
and seemed very anxious, we should
take all precautions.

The most urgent consideration was
to find a site of our own. We had, on
sufferance, been allowed to use the
site of the old club. Much groundwork
had been done on the problem of a
new site by the chairman and secretary,
and we all realized that money
was a necessary factor — not only to
finance the scheme, but to pay for
equipment and ground rent and legal
fees, etc.
The money was raised by running
dances in the village hall and the villagers were pressed to buy tickets.
Fortunately, owing to the exquisite
cuisine supervised by one of our members, the people came in sufficient
numbers, if not to dance, certainly to
eat and our reputation as dance
organizers increased.

Before Summer came ’round again,
we had negotiated the club site and
after much wrangling over the
stupidity of the legal document and
the person designated to attend to it,
it was duly signed, allowing the club
the use of the site until the year 2001.
Hence, one day early in the year
finds us at the site. It is bitterly cold
and raining and the soggy grass flaps
around our knees. The site seems
somewhat overgrown and rather
daunting in prospect. However, rapid
consultation produces a plan of action
which was less than rapid in being put
into practice.

I must mention here that ours was
an exclusive club. Not purposely — we
did not intend to exclude anybody.
But the numbers remained around
twelve. One can imagine, then, that
putting into order this large piece of
ground was a difficult task for such a
small number.

But, by degrees and with
appropriate loss of funds, the site was
reduced to a manageable field. Many
tender little oak saplings were gouged
out of the ground by a machine and
were burned at the stake with appropriate
feeling. It was also easy to deter-
mine one of the boundaries, as the
litter of pigs running loose made it
clear that ground belonged to them.
We earnestly hoped the wind would be
in the right direction when we were
using the field.

Many hands were willing and it
soon took shape. Posts were erected
around the perimeter in preparation
for the endless barbed wire, insisted
upon the the Parish Council, who even
wanted red flags as well. Seemingly,
their opinion of our improvement did
not match our own.

The site not being ready for the
season, it was left sadly to itself while
we adjourned to the site of our former
glories and disappointments. That
season, the English Summer played
havoc with our progress. The
temperature rarely rose above 60
degrees and many a match was post-
poned or abandoned. Most of the kit
purchased that year included water-
proofed garments and umbrellas, as we
thought, in our innocence, how nice it
would be to erect a covered way at the
new site which would afford some
shelter from the weather.

In spite of the dampening weather,
our spirits did not diminish and our
numbers, though not increasing, did
not decrease. Enthusiasm was still
evident and we set about hiring the village
hall for the second year.
At this point I had to leave the club
and accompany my spouse to the
United States. It was with regret at not
having participated, and chagrin at
hearing how well they were progressing
without me, when I learned
the club had won nine matches during
the first season of my absence.

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Published by archerchick on 07 Feb 2011

Is The Compound Bow For You? By Ray Nelson

Bow And Arrow
December 1974

Is the Compound Bow For You?
By Ray Nelson

THE COMPOUND BOWS are here to stay. When they first came
out several years ago they were regarded as “just another gimmick” by
many hunting archers. There are few bowhunters today, however, who
don’t have a healthy respect for compound bows. The compounds now
are being used by hunters throughout the country and they’re proving
to be deadly hunting tools in the hands of competent bowmen.
I’m not a habitual experimenter myself, but last year I finally got
around to trying a compound. It was an interesting experience and
maybe, if you’re one of the many undecided archers, I could share my
compound bow experience with you and help you make up your mind.

As a bowhunter, I’ve always been
pretty conservative with regard to
equipment. But about a year ago, I got
an itch to try a compound. I contacted
Tom Jennings, president of Jennings
Compound Bow, Incorporated, and he
agreed to loan me one of his bows for
the forthcoming hunting season. I was
to hunt with the compound, evaluate
it for hunting and write an article on
it. I told Tom I would evaluate it
strictly from a bowhunting point of
view and that I was primarily interest-
ed in what it was like to hunt with a
compound as compared with a regular

The Jennings bow arrived in the
Spring, giving me plenty of time to get
used to it before hunting season. The
first thing I did was lose the set of
wrenches that were included for adjusting
and tuning the bow. But they
had set it for sixty pounds at the factory,
which was fine with me, and

evidently they had tuned it well for
me so I just started practicing with it.
I practiced a lot during the Summer,
but never could get the hang of
the bow. Along toward the end of the
Summer, I was totally discouraged and
nearly ready to send the bow back
with apologies.

Somebody told me that I was
having trouble because the release on a
compound_is far more critical than
with a recurve bow. So I dug down in
my gear box in the garage and found a
Wilson Strap Tab release I’d experimented
with a few years back. I took
the release and the compound bow out
to the dirt bank where I usually practice a
nd was surprised to see that the
little gadget did the trick. After shooting
only a few arrows, I decided that
the Wilson Strap Tab and the compound
bow were made for each other.
Based on this early experience, I
think I can say that anyone who is
seriously thinking of getting a compound
bow for hunting had better
plan to try an artificial release if they
have any trouble in adapting to the
shooting peculiarities of the compound.

My first hunting experience with
the compound bow was in August
when I went up to Colorado for the
archery deer hunt. I saw a lot of elk,
but didn’t get any action on deer. I
did, however, get to do a heck of a lot
of stump shooting with the compound
bow. There’s nothing like field practice
to get you acquainted with a new
bow. By the time I came back from
the Colorado hunt, I was convinced I
could kill any stump, dirt bank or
weed patch that came within sixty
yards of me and my Jennings bow.
While waiting for bow season to
open back in New Mexico, I did some
arrow experimenting. In Albuquerque,
where I live, few people had compound
bows at the time, so I had
trouble getting advice on what size
arrows to use. I’d been using sixty-
pound wooden shafts and 2020 aluminums
up to then, but needed to go
to something much lighter to get the
full speed out of my bow. That’s one
of the nicest things about a compound
bow — the fact that you can use a substantially
lighter arrow than with a recurve
bow of equivalent draw weight.
Jennings advertises his compound as
being “up to fifty percent faster than
any recurve bow.” I don’t have access
to a chronograph, but I’ve been shooting
hunting bows for a long time and
my good, old twenty-twenty eyeballs
are convinced that the compound puts
out a horrendously fast arrow.
The arrow that I finally settled on
was a 2016 aluminum, fletched
straight. With the compound set on
sixty pounds, the 2016s flew like miniature
lightning bolts. The trajectory
was so much flatter that for the first
few practice sessions with these shafts
I couldn’t keep from shooting over the

As opening day drew closer, I practiced
more intensively with the
Jennings, especially at longer ranges.
The Sandia Mountains, where I do
much of my bowhunting, offer the
archer a lot of tempting shots at longer
ranges. Fifty and sixty yards are not uncommon,
and I knew that the
compound, with its zippy arrow flight
and its flat trajectory, could handle
these shots.
On opening weekend, I had my first
shot at a deer with the compound
bow. I was easing around a bend in a
trail that went alongside a meadow
when a two by two buck appeared in
the early morning mist across the
meadow. He was about fifty or maybe
fifty-five yards away, standing broadside,
and looking like he was about to
leave at any moment. I drew back, let
fly, and missed. The arrow was too
high. If he’d been a large camel, I might
have grazed the top of the hump.
I was disappointed about missing
him, but what the heck, I thought, his
antlers needed to grow another year
anyway. The interesting thing about
missing that buck was that he had
stayed perfectly still and not run away
until the arrow had passed over him.

This told me that the compound
was shooting quietly. The compound
bows are advertised as quiet shooters,
but I’d heard some that sounded
I downright noisy. I was worried about
mine until after this incident.
Actually, it’s all in the tuning, as I
learned later.

I had no more shooting action
during opening weekend. Later, about
the middle of that week, I was
prowling along down an abandoned
Jeep trail toward sundown and came
upon a bedded doe. She was about
fifteen yards away and there was considerable
foliage between myself and
the doe. She had seen me, but Iwas
wearing quiet tennis shoes and was
fully camouflaged, so she didn’t seem
too spooky, just a little nervous. The
problem was that I didn’t have an
arrow on the bowstring and my strap
tab release was in my pocket. I’d
packed away the arrow because I was
on a steep downhill gradient- and
didn’t want anything sharp poking on
me if I should slip and fall.

Turning slowly, I faced away from
the doe and quietly sneaked an arrow
out of the quiver, attached it to the
bowstring, then fished the strap tab
out of my pocket and hooked it up.
I half expected the doe to be gone
by the time I turned to face her, but
she had stayed in place. Drawing back
the arrow, I leveled the shaft at the
base of her neck, aiming meticulously
through an awkward tunnel in the
foliage, and let go. The arrow went
through the foliage and through the
doe almost simultaneously. It came
out the other side and disappeared in
the bushes somewhere and I never saw
it again. The deer dashed a short distance
and went down dead.
As I walked over to the deer, I
thought of how odd it was to have
practiced all that long-range shooting
and to get my deer at such a close
distance as fifteen yards.

I think any bow would have done
the job at that short distance, and I
doubt if it would be realistic to say the
compound bow was the deciding
factor. The flatter trajectory of the
compound bow may have been an aid,
because the arrow had to get through a
rather tiny opening in the foliage to
get to the deer, but I’d hate to put any
money on it.

If you’re undecided about whether
to switch to a compound bow, this
matter of the compound’s extra speed
may have a bearing on your decision.
The odds are really against you in
bowhunting and anything you can do
to tip the balance in your favor is
worth considering.

Let’s say that doe of mine had been
a huge trophy buck instead, and let’s
say he was standing tense and ready to

bolt instead of bedded down. A compund
bow might very well have made
the difference between a trophy of a
lifetime and a thin air shot. I’ve seen a
tensed-up deer whirl and get away
from a recurve bow’s arrow at a distance
of eighteen yards, and I’m
inclined to think a compound would
have made the difference in that en-

I have no illusions that the com-
pound-propelled arrow is inescapable,
though. That dream was shattered the
first time I took a thirty-five-yard shot
at a spooky deer, which was about a
week after I bagged the doe. The area
where I do my bowhunting allows two
deer, and I spent the rest of the season
hunting with the compound, but
didn’t get a second deer.

This proves something. The com-
pound bow, though definitely superior
to any recurve bow, is not a cure-all. It
does not add to the skill or luck of the
hunter. The man behind the bow is the
final deciding factor in whether or not
game will be taken. There are plenty
of guys walking around in the woods
with fancy, expensive bows, both com-
pounds and recurves, who have never
killed a deer with an arrow and never
will ~ mainly because they don`i
know how to hunt and aren’t willing
to learn.

But I think I can definitely say that
anyone who is already a hunter will be
a better hunter with a compound bow
in his hands. And probably anyone
who is a serious minded beginner will
find his road to success a lot shorter if
he starts out with a compound bow.
One really big advantage of the
compound bow is that it’s adjustable
in draw weight. When you feel your
strength gaining with practice. you
may want to go to a heavier draw
weight. With a recurve, you have to
trade in your bow to do this but with a
compound you just get out your
wrenches and dial it up.

When I used the Jennings bow, I
got accustomed to the sixty-pound
draw weight early in the season. so I
located someone with a set of
wrenches and we set mine up to
seventy pounds. I worked with it this
way for a few days, but didn’t like it,
so we cranked it down to sixty-five
and I was satisfied with that draw
weight for the rest of the season.
Another bonus you get with a com-
pound bow is the substantial Letup in
draw weight once you get past mid-
draw. This allows you to have a rock-
steady hold at full draw, even with a
hunting weight bow. Whether you’re
perched in a tree stand waiting for a
whitetail to turn his body sideways or
crouched on the ground waiting for a
muley to meander out from behind a
bush, you’re unquestionably going to
be better off with a compound than an
ordinary bow.
On the disadvantage side, there are
some things that might make you
think twice before investing in a pulley

bow. First of all, they seem to be in a
state of evolution, as manufacturers
continue to make changes in the
original compound bow’s design.
Don’t let yourself be a part of any-
body’s research program. Bowmakers
have a responsibility to give their new
products 21 full and thorough testing
both in the factory and in the field
before putting them on the market,
and most do. But it’s something to
watch out for.

Another thing about the compound
is that it’s got so many moving parts,
you need a dealer in your community
to service it. If you happen to live in a
remote area, you could have a whole
hunting season ruined if your com-
pound went haywire and you couldn’t
get to a dealer.

The sheer physical weight of the
average compound is a matter to consider.
The Jennings model I used
weighed six pounds including bow
quiver and arrows, a heavy burden to
lug around all day. It was about like
carrying a rifle. But to make matters
worse, when I was stalking a deer, it
became very cumbersome to maintain
the compound bow in a semi-ready
shooting position. The only answer to
this problem is that manufacturers
need to devise lighter materials for
compounds without compromising on

I see that several of the compounds
now on the market do offer lighter
weights, and that’s encouraging. While
the weight is going down on com—
pounds, the price is not. They arejust
plain expensive.
The price may be what is keeping
many archers from buying compound
bows. Most of them cost around two
hundred dollars and a lot of guys are
reluctant to put out this kind of

I like the compound bows myself,
but haven’t bought one yet. l think I’ll
watch them evolve a while longer and
hope they get lighter.

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Published by archerchick on 07 Feb 2011

What You See…Is What You Get! By Roy Hoff

October 1973

I AM WRITING THIS in an effort to be helpful
to the countless bowhunters who travel each year
a couple of thousand miles more or less to bag a deer,
perhaps with braggin’ size, rocking chair antlers, only
to return home and explain to the ever lovin’ how come
he got skunked. I was a member of this nationwide
group of buck-missers until about ten years ago, when
I came to the conclusion there was just no way I could
meet a trophy buck on his own terms and in h·is wild
habitat and come out a winner.

Know what I did? I joined the clan who hunt from
tree stands. This select group all are of the opinion
that using a bow and arrow really is hunting the hard
way. After ten years of figuring all the angles, bagging
a trophy buck deer still is no cinch. But when I learned
to hunt from a tree stand, Lady Luck started looking
my way and with a pleasant smile.
I built my first tree stand on the Wilcox Ranch
in 1960. The site was in a big cottonwood overlooking a
forty-acre alfalfa field. No stand could have been more
comfortable, and as safe as the roof of the nearby ranch
house, but for efficiency, and putting me on an even
footing with the big Utah bucks, it was a total loss. I’ll
tell you why.

I selected a tree with a beautiful view of the field.
I found soon this could be placed last on a list of necessary conditions.
This blind was immediately abandoned except for morning hunting. The field was in a
canyon. Deer, bedded on the canyon walls, could see
everything that was going on in the stand and, of course,
bypassed the spot at a considerable distance.
Lesson number one: select the site for your tree
stand so that the game can not look down through the
branches. All the area round the stand should be well
below eye level of the hunter and well above that of
the deer. Unless you make noise, the chances are a deer
will not look up into your tree. But if he approaches
your tree from any direction which places you eye level,
you might as well return to camp.

I strongly believe that of the deer’s senses, sight
is his best alarm signal. If you can see a certain movement
at a hundred yards, I’d venture to say a deer can
see the same movement at five hundred yards. I am
mindful of a lesson in the Boy Scout manual: If a
person becomes lost in a forest and hears a plane,
he should vigorously shake a young aspen or the limb
of a tree. Rescuers can spot the movement.
On opening morning of the hunting season, as

I make my way to a previously prepared stand, I probably
resemble a junk collector. I carry a gunny sack
over my shoulder in which are: pillow, down jacket,
mittens, large-size plastic bags, binoculars, raincoat,
apple and some Tootsie Rolls. The latter item may
be kids’ stuff, but you’d be surprised how good they
taste when you’re real hungry, even those which were
left over from last year. Another item which is always
good for a laugh is my piece of carpet for the floor
of my stand, to deaden the sound if I shuffle my feet
when a deer is nearby.

When night closes in, I put everything back in the
bag and tie it down for the night. Yes, even my bow. I,
of course, cover the fletching of my arrows with a
plastic bag as a protection from morning dew or rain.
My hunting partners look at me with tongue—·in—cheek
like I was cracking up. I explain to them when I am
returning from my blind at night or going to it in the
morning, it’s too dark for any possible shot. When making
this same journey in daylight, if I were to see a
deer I would pass up the shot. I can’t with any confidence
guess the distance of a shot, and foregoing the
shot would preclude any possibility of a bad hit.
If a bowman hunts from a tree stand, he will
fin·d there is a lot more to the sport than flinging arrows.
He will have an opportunity to see wildlife and
observe much in their kingdom he never previously
realized existed.

Often I have had a bird alight on a limb a few
feet from my nose. Keeping absolutely still, not even
blinking my eyes, I have watched the antics of these
winged creatures. It has often been humorous as a
feathered species cocks its head and curiously ex-
amines the funny—looking nearby object which was
not there the last time this roosting place was visited.
Every hunter knows creatures of our wildlife
kingdom have ways and means of communication. One
afternoon, while sitting in my tree stand on the Wilcox
Ranch in Utah, I had a fascinating experience of observing
a deer family tableau of communicating evidence
of danger followed by a signal that all was clear.
I had climbed into my tree stand shortly before
four -in the afternoon. I knew from past experience
that the chance of seeing a deer before sundown was
extremely remote. But I also had learned that it is
a good idea to arrive at your stand early, get settled
down and give any deer who has spotted you a chance
to convince himself you mean no harm.

To help resist the temptation of looking around
or glassing the area to see if a herd of bucks is approaching,
I take a·long a favorite sporting magazine
and catch up on my reading. After reading two or
three pages, I glanced ahead while turning the page. To
use an old hunter’s cliche, there, on the far side of the
alfalfa field, a herd of deer had appeared as if by magic
There were four bucks and five does, all with their
noses in the feedbag. It was a sight to quicken the pulse
of any bowhunter. It would have taken a patient and
expert stalker to climb down out of the tree, make a
huge circle and approach the herd from the wooded
side of the field. It was a cinch I didn’t have the qualifications.

I continued to watch the feeding animals
with considerable excitement and fascination.
Suddenly the scene was changed. All heads being erect
with eyes focused toward the sound of a jeep engine starting.
Later I learned the card game had broke;
up and for something to do to kill time, Waldo Wilcox loaded the
hunters into a jeep pickup and headed for Cherry Meadows,
a distance of about ten miles up Range Creek Canyon.

The deer held their position until they saw movement
of the vehicle coming toward them. They quickly
dashed across the ranch road, use a draw for a short
distance, then topped out on a small hogback where
they could get a commanding view of approaching
The four bucks immediately laid down. The does
sort of messed around, nuzzling the ground and making
like they were doing the chores. Several minutes after
the sound of the truck was lost in the distance, all the
does started making their way back to the field. The
bucks, mind you, continued with their siesta. To me,
I imagined one buck, probably the boss of the outfit,
issued a command something like: “Okay, gals, let’s
get with it! Take a run down to the field and see what
gives with those hunters who just passed by !”

The does, upon reaching the road, looked first
up, then down the canyon. Perhaps two minutes later
all five of them walked nonchalantly into the alfalfa
and started grazing. They paid no more attention to
the road or vehicle.

Suddenly, as if the boss buck had wirelessed to
see if the coast were clear, all the does, as if at a command,
turned toward the mountainside and walked
slowly single file to the top of the hogback and joined
the apparently dozing bucks. Whatever means of communication was used it didn’t take long.
The does turned around and started down the hill. The bucks then
got up and joined the procession. When the herd, led
all the way by the does, reached the road they did not
hesitate to look up and down it for possible danger.
They crossed without hesitation, walked a few feet
into the meadow and immediately resumed feeding.
As a sort of epilog to this episode, two of the
hunters, upon their return to the meadow, spotted the
deer and made a successful stalk, Hank Krohn bagged
a buck and Milt Lewis a doe. Doug Easton got some
shooting, but no hits.

I highly recommend hunting from a tree stand.
Before I go into details of construction, I want to
emphasize two conditions: right at the top, as most
important, I want to stress the safety angle. Most any-
one could sit on a stool and watch the birds indefinitely.
But seeing a deer and with quickened pulse take a shot
at your quarry, you could easily step too far or lose
your balance and fall to the ground seriously injuring
yourself, even fatally. So, be a sissy like me and wear
a safety belt of some kind. I merely tie a length of
nylon rope around my waist, with the other end wrapped
around and tied to the tree. If you ever have need
for this device, I’m sure it won’t be very comfortable,
but most assuredly will save your life.

If climbing a ten-foot ladder gives you cold shiv-
ers, then hunting from a tree stand is not for you.
Next would be the comfort part of tree stand
building. My wife, Frieda, has often called me an ol’
wiggle—butt, because I never was able to sit still in a
cramped and uncomfortable position.
Construct your stand so you can occasionally
stand up and shake the kinks out of your lower extremeties.
I don’t mean like a jack-in-the-box, so your
movements might be noticed by a big buck bedded
on a nearby hillside. Even with the luxury of a pillow
I find a brief respite from sitting, about every half-
hour, is a real pleasure.

There are a number of portable stands which have
been advertised in Bow and Arrow magazine. I personally
like Ron’s Porta-Pak. It comes with shoulder
straps, so you can back-pack it into the woods. Best
of all, for me, it comes equipped with a canvas top
seat. Remember, there will be times when you will
have to spend hours in a confined area, and the less
you move around, changing positions, the better off
and more successful you’ll be.

If you are going to hunt within a day’s drive of
your home, I’d suggest you go on a scouting expedition
a week or two before opening day of season.
Look for tracks and other signs of the species of game
you’re going to hunt. For brevity of this article let’s
presume you are going deer hunting. Search for a
spring or other watering place where tracks indicate
the game has been visiting frequently.
Now we need a tree-—one we can climb into and
out of with safety. The tree should be within four
to ten steps from a waterhole, or used deer trail. This
so that when the deer puts in an appearance, you can be
on the alert and not move an eyelash until your game
is almost directly beneath you. This is what makes
tree stand hunting so popular. A deer cannot see you
draw your bow and loose the arrow.
A word of advice: practice shooting nearly straight
down. You will find it a lot more difficult than you
think——even using a sight. Talk your club members
into setting up one tree stand target. Use it for a
novelty event if nothing else. Upon arriving at my
tree stand, I never fail to shoot a few practice arrows,
picking certain spots where I believe a deer might
appear. I have found that a twenty-yard setting will
suffice for anything around the tree, even for an actual
distance much farther.

Let’s say we found a pine tree which was just
what we were looking for. It was forty or fifty feet
high and eighteen inches in diameter. The first limb
was ten feet off the ground. Being in a national forest,
we would not be permitted to nail climbing blocks to
the tree or build a stand of a permanent nature. We
would install a portable stand and use a rope ladder
to climb up to it.

To be sure, there are many ways to climb a tree,
an·d many different kinds of trees, each presenting
a particular problem in climbing. One time I was privileged
to hunt on the Walking Cane Ranch in Texas.
The land was covered with millions of scrub cedars.
All the equipment a hunter needed in this area was:
hammer, saw, two or three nails and a one—by—six two
feet long. No devices were needed to climb these cedars.
There were lots of limbs from top to bottom. After
reaching the top, the hunter would saw off a couple
of feet from the main trunk, then nail on the board for
his seat. An added pillow was for luxury.

In all of our western states, forests are composed
of pine, fir, hemlock, aspen, cottonwood and many
other species. Personally, after I have located a good
spot for a stand, I search for a tree with a natural
opening in the foliage about the right height for a stand.
This precludes the necessity of pruning many branches
in order to see out and get an arrow through. Often
a hunter will find where lightning has struck a tree
and gouged out an opening ideal for locating a stand.
Photographs accompanying this article will give
you a good idea of how to set up housekeeping in some
tree and make like an owl. It was my dream to present
a photo of me drawing a bow and aiming at a live
deer. Sort of having my cake and eating it, too. But
I found this chore more difficult than I thought. Deer
are narrow minded and uncooperative.

One photo depicts what looks like the real thing.
Here is how the shot was accomplished. About ten years
ago, I was hunting in Rock Creek Park, near Monte
Vista, Colorado. My hunting partner was Ernest Wilkinson,
local taxidermist and founder of the Piedra
Bowhunters Club. In his display room I feasted my
eyes on a life~like full mount of a f·our—by-four mule
buck deer.

Last summer en route to Colorado for a bear hunt,
I dragged this picture out of my memory file and stopped
by Ernie’s place to sort of say hi. It took a little
arm twisting, but within the hour we had loaded the
mount into a van, driven to a spot in Rock Creek Park,
where we had long ago hunted deer together, and
set up a realistic shot of Ernie sitting on a tree stand
with bow drawn and aiming at the one—for~twenty spot
on a trophy buck.
Don’t build your stand in the top of the highest
tree. When the wind blows you’ll wish you hadn’t, and
you might get seasick! I’d say the minimum height
should be ten feet, with a maximum of thirty. Remember,
the higher you climb, the more difficult it is to
get in and out of your stand and hoist your gear to

and from. For the latter chore I use a hundred—foot
length of quarter-inch nylon cord.
I recommend you be in your stand about half
an hour before daylight. This will give time for any
body odor lingering below to dissipate. Al-so any deer
who have been alerted by the noise you made getting
to your stand will have settled down and figured that
Whatever caused the disturbance had disappeared.
Hunting from a tree stand can be really exciting
at times. You may spot your deer at a considerable
distance and then observe it slowly making its way
toward your stand. I guarantee it will raise your blood
pressure and increase your heart beat! Have an area
picked where you are fairly sure of getting a good hit,
then wait until the ·deer reaches that spot. It will be a
bit rough, but wait him out.

“The greatest hunting thrill of my life was waiting
for a record—class buck slowly make his way to a spring
near my stand. He only had to cover two hundred
yards, but the way he picked his path, hesitating at
every step, it must have taken him two hundred minutes
to reach the spot where I planned to loose the arrow.
I forced myself to turn my eyes in another direction
from time to time s·o I could not see him and to better
hold back the buck fever which was creeping in. Even
though my bow arm was a bit on the shakey side, the
arrow flew true to the spot, and I had the further
thrill of seeing the big beauty go d·own for the count.
Th·is experience took place on the Lamicq ranch in
the high country, back of Grand junction, Colorado.
John, as an outfitter, is a firm believer in hunting from
a tree stand. Annual kill success of his clients tend·s to
prove this is the only way to go. Much of the Lamicq
property, owned or leased, covers the tops of several
huge ridges. Needless to say, ·if a hunter is thinking of
bagging a trophy buck he’d better go topside.
Ecologists complain that tree stand-s are ugly and
spoil the natural wilderness of a forest. I will admit
some I have seen are an eyesore, but I have been as-
signed to a tree in a certain small area and have had
difficulty finding the tree with the stand in it. The
hunter does not have to chop off limbs with reckless
abandon, even if there were no objection. If you leave
chopped-off limbs scattered around the foot of your
tree stand, forget it! Deer know when things are not
as they were yesterday and sense danger.
A word of caution: check your game laws. There
are a couple of states which prohibit hunting from a
tree. There also are several states which prohibit hunting
except from a tree stand. <——<<<<

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Published by archerchick on 13 Jan 2011

Harnessing The Wind ~By Steve Bartylla

Bowhunting World October 2005

October 2005


How To Channel The Wind To Gain An Advantage Over A Buck’s Sensitive Nose

Catching movement out of the corner of my eye, I saw the mature 10-point trotting down his rub line. In a matter of seconds, the event would either end in success or failure. Already positioned, I was ready when the buck stepped into the clear. Settling the pin high behind the front shoulder, I sent the arrow driving into the buck’s vitals. As he crashed away, I could see that the expandable was lodged squarely in the buck’s vitals. I knew he wouldn’t go far.

The gross-scoring 146 4/8 inch 10-point I took early in Wisconsin’s 2004 Archery season was the first of three Pope & Young bucks I was lucky enough to bag last season. Though the specific events of each one varied, they all shared one theme. I placed each of the strands to take advantage of the wind.

Before you leap to conclusions, I should point out that I don’t worry about bucks coming in downwind of my stand. Instead, I employ a thorough and highly effective odor-reduction strategy. Doing so allows me the freedom to focus on harnessing a tremendous advantage; it provides the ability to set stands based on how bucks can most effectively use the wind.

Using the wind to survive
To take advantage of the wind we must first understand how bucks use it to their own advantage. There’s no better place to begin than by examining how it applies to bedding. To do so, let’s dig a little deeper into how the buck that began this piece harnessed it’s potential.

Bedding on an east-west ridge, he had both alfalfa and corn in the valleys to either side. With clearly marked rub lines, following the paths to his two most common bedding sites was easy. As it turned out, they were both knobs located just below the top of the ridge. One was the south side and the other on the north.

The positioning of these knobs provided the buck the ability to see danger approaching from below and use the wind to cover his backside. With any form of a northerly wind, the bucks would bed on the south side of the ridge, only to choose the knob on the north for southerly winds.

Digging deeper still, because of the identical crops being offered in each valley, he would let the wind dictate which one he spend the evening feeding in. With a north wind, he would rise from his south side bed and cross over the ridge to drop down to the northern valley. Doing so allowed him to keep the wind in his face and scent check the field for danger. As with his bedding choice doing the opposite with a southerly wind offered him the same advantage. Both his sign and several nights of observation proved this to be the case.

With this knowledge in hand, it was a simple matter of hanging stands along his rub line, just over the opposite sides of the ridge from his beds. Arriving for the afternoon hunt, a quick check of the wind direction dictated on which stand to sit.

In reality, that was not a common scenario. Most times bucks aren’t afforded the
luxury of identical food sources on both sides. When all things are equal, a buck
will most often choose going into the wind, while traveling from his bed to feed. However, things aren’t always equal. When he desires one food source over others, he will often travel with the wind at his side or back to get there. Buck travels can’t always be completely dictated by the wind.
Still, as was the case with the Wisconsin buck, there are situations where it can easily occur.

When that’s the case, it can remove a lot of doubt as to which trail and food source the big boy will be using on a given day. Unlike deer travels to and from food, the wind almost always plays a role in how a buck beds. At the very least, as illustrated earlier, deer have the very strong tendency to bed with the wind at their back and use their eyes to protect their front side. Doing so simply makes sense from a survival standpoint.

In areas with relief, we can use this knowledge to our advantage. In broken or rolling land, when an individual buck is rotating between several bedding sites, many times the wind direction dictates which he will select. The safety advantage of beds that simultaneously offer a
good view of the front and wind coverage of the back is tremendous. In this setting, analyzing which bedding site is best for the current wind condition can transform a stab in the dark to
a highly educated guess. Though it wont always be right, you may find that you are now right more often than before. That can take a lot of the blind luck out of deciding where to sit on a particular day.

Wind And The Rut
As helpful as playing the wind during the non-rutting phases of the season can be,
its even more so during the scraping, chase and breeding phases. Now is when
hunters can gain an incredible advantage.

Despite popular belief, you really can beat a whitetail’s nose. However, if anyone believes
that simply buying a carbon suit is the answer they will most likely be disappointed.
Carbon suits are a big help, but they’re only one ingredient in a recipe for success.
When a deer whiffs danger, it doesn’t matter if they smell a hunter’s body, breath,
grunt tube, mechanical release, bow, optics or anything else brought into the woods.
The end result; They head the other way fast. To truly beat a whitetail’s nose, you must
address every item you bring in the woods. To do this, l rely on several tools:

Clean paper towels wet with hydrogen peroxide work well to scent—clean hard surface
such as bows, arrows, optics, glasses, rattling antlers, grunt tubes and so on.

Scent—killing sprays are effective on anything made of cloth or strings,
as well as rubber boots.

A mixture of scent—killing soap and water works well for washing the inside
of rubber boots as well as many other larger items.

Scent—killing bar soaps, shampoo, deodorant and detergents are used on
my body and clothes.

Baking soda works as a toothpaste and also, by adding about a quarter-cup ,
to the inside of boots during storage, as an odor—eater.

These tools, combined with a carbon suit provide the necessary ingredients for me
to go undetected. Next, there are some tips that can help avoid trip—ups:
Begin exclusively using scent—killing soaps and stop using aftershaves and
scented deodorants a month before season. This allows your pores to rid
themselves of these odors.

Avoid eating high-odor and gassy foods and liquids. Though commonly
overlooked, coffee produces a breath that brushing won’t solve.

Treat washcloths and towels in the same way as hunting clothing. Drying off
with a towel washed in scented detergent, dried with a fabric softener or
stored in the bathroom can make showering a wasted effort.

Whenever practical, have duplicates. For example, rather than use the same
smelly release aid that you practice with, have an identical release that’s
used solely for hunting.

Leave unnecessary items in the truck. A knife, dragging ropes, gutting
gloves and a host of others things can be retrieved on an as—needed basis.
Clean the inside of the truck, get rid of air fresheners and keep the windows
down. Even though you won’t be wearing the same clothing, truck smells can
pollute your hair and body.

Wear treated clothing while driving and change at the parking spot.
Think of and treat every item brought into the woods.

It’s no secret that many of the best-producing scrapes are those located on the
downwind side of bedding areas. With a single pass, a buck can check both his scrape
and the bedding area for a doe entering estrus early. In that scenario, it isn’t a coincidence
that the hottest scrapes on a given day are often dictated by the wind direction.

To fine—tune stand placement for hunting these scrapes, I strive to set up 20
yards downwind of the scrape. Any buck that wants to check the scrape must
either come to or be downwind of it. lt isn’t uncommon for bucks to check these
scrapes from 10 to 40 yards downwind. This stand placement allows me to catch
all of that activity. More than once it has provided me with shot opportunities at
bucks checking scrapes from a distance.

Again, the wind can be a tremendous ally to bucks checking for hot does. Though bucks may seem to be moving at random during the rut, there is often method to their madness. During this phase, mature bucks that cover the most prime locations are likely to do the most breeding. The wind aids them in doing so fast and effectively.

As opposed to running wildly around a field, sniffing doe after doe, one pass on the
downwind side swiftly answers if any are ready. While doing so, they can also scent
check the trails for any hot does that have recently entered or exited the field.

All of this makes the downwind side of prime food sources a good place to sit. To
further stack the odds, stands placed 15 to 20 yards in off inside corners can be great
choices. Here, the hunter can cover the bucks running the edge as deep as 40 yards
in, intercept those walking the edge and one that may be following a doe on the worn
trail that all inside corners seem to have

Furthermore, bucks often cut just inside these inside corners when getting from one side of the field to the other Doing this provides the quickest route that offers the safety of cover. All of these
things can be taken advantage of when hunting the downwind corners.

Finally, as was the case while scraping running the downwind edges of doe bedding areas is the most effective means for a buck to check the bedded does. Placing stands 20 yards off the edge, covering the pest entrance/exit trail, positions the hunter to intercept most of this movement as well as providing the chance that a hot doe will lead a buck past your stand.

The story of my 2004 Illinois buck is a good example of how this can pay off. During a spring scouting trip I had found an area where the mature woods had been selectively logged. One patch along a ridge finger had been logged harder than the rest. The combination of the thicker regrowth, extra downed tops and view of the more open creek bottom below all resulted in a prime family group bedding area.

On the surface, it seemed like bucks could be working it from any side. Further analysis revealed that the wind direction, would be the keys When the wind blew down the point, it created one best route for roaming bucks. By skirting the lower·edge, they could scent-check all the does
in the bedding area as well as well as use their eyes to scan the creek bottom below.

The first November morning providing this wind found me in that stand, My
sit was short and sweet.

Around 8 a.m., the large-bodied, high-beamed beamed 9-pointer appeared. As I had
hoped, he was skirting the lower edge of the thicket. Coming in on a string, his
head alternated between tilting up to check the wind and turning back to use his
eyes to scan the creek bottom below.

At about 50 yards out, I drew and set tied my knuckle behind my ear. Coming to
a stop, he intently scanned the creek bottom for does. Turning just a bit as he did
I let the arrow fly. As the arrow sunk in, the buck took flight for the creek bottom.
Folding as he neared the bank, the chocolate—racked buck was mine.

The wind had delivered my second buck of 2004.

Wind Tactics Yield Success

Wind directions play an important role in a mature buck’s life. It aids them in survival
as well as being a huge help in finding receptive does Because of that, it only
makes sense that we incorporate this into our hunting strategies. Once you do you just
might find that predicting buck movement can be much easier than you realized. >>—->

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Published by archerchick on 12 Jan 2011

Buddy System Bowhunting ~By Joe Byers

Bowhunting World October 2005



Friends and family add spice to stick-and-string hunting. You’ll cover more ground, hunt more effectively, and double your fun afield.

I Fully Expected To Die
Dreading the crushing jaws of a savage brown tear. I clutched
the handle of my .44 Magnum pistol, thumb on the hammer,
finger on the trigger, throughout the night. Dozing occassionally,
I tried not to think of the 1,000-pound beasts splashing
about in the salmon stream less than 50 yards away.
“How come I have to sleep next to the entrance of the tent ?”
I complained to the outfitter.
“Don’t worry,” he said, having fun with my fright. “Bears
don’t always come through the doorway.”

That first night on Kodiak Island was the most harrowing
of my life. Fortunately, I had invited Bill “Bump” McKinley,
a high school acquaintance to join me. During the next seven
days, Bump and I developed a bond that has lasted nearly 2O
years. At first, our relationship was based on mutual dependence.
We shared equipment, helped pack game. explored unknown
mountains, and for a brief time became “mountain men of old.”
Today, we share treestand secrets, black bear hunts (now with
much greater confidence) and everything involving the outdoors.

Buddies Increase Effectiveness
Bowhunting is often a solitary, secretive sport. An archer may
slip softly to a treestand, spend the day in simple solitude and
gaze thankfully toward the setting sun. relishing the peace and
tranquility of a day without telephones and the stress of modern
life. Most treestands don’t have a shotgun seat because two fellows ,
hunting side by side create more movement. scent. and create
a dilemma—who shoots first? The most effective tactics for
whitetail deer dictate a solitary, well camouflaged, scent-free
hunter waiting silently at a prospective crossing.

Treestand hunting may be solitary, yet a buddy system approach
can make you more effective for whitetails and other game. Plus,
you’ll have lots more fun. Scouting is far more effective in pairs,
since discreet sign is much easier to find with four eyes and two
perspectives. Having a friends ear at local sporting shops and tuned
into general deer hunting discussions can pay big benefits. When
your phone rings and your bow-bud explodes with the news of a
big buck seen crossing the road or missed by a disgruntled archer,
you have a starting place for a trophy buck.

For example, African hunter Steve Kobrine and Jeff Harrison,
the urban deer specialist from Frederick Maryland, became
friends five years ago. Kobrine raises Nyala in South Africa and
only gets to hunt a few weeks in the states each fall. Kobrine put
Harrison onto his best stands, encouraging him to hunt in his
absence. Harrison reciprocates with the latest information and
best places to hunt when his buddy returns to the States. lnternational
bowhunting buddies may be the extreme, yet each per·
son is a more effective hunter in the process.

Many archers begin a hunt together and then head toward
separate stands. The advent of portable radios allows one
hunter to converse with another. lf he gets a shot, he can summon
his friend to help begin the trailing process. Working in
tandem, one archer can search while the other holds or marks
“last blood.” While one person searches for sign, the other can
watch ahead vigilantly in case a second shot is needed.
Once recovered, a buddy can be a tremendous assistance in field
dressing the animal. Positioning the animal, managing knives,
gloves, and gear, is greatly aided by a buddy. Dragging the beast to
the nearest access point is physically and emotionally easier.

Taking this a step further, most state laws require that a deer
carcass be retrieved in its entirety. A buddy will allow you to
hunt places less likely to be visited by solo archers. Steep terrain
and long distances are two hurdles that tend to develop
greater age structure (and bigger racks) in whitetail deer. Having
a buddy share the exertion can pay big benefits. Should you
both get lucky, you make two trips.
A buddy system improves your chances on most game
taken by calling, stalking and decoying, With turkeys, predators,
moose, and a host of other game, four eyes and legs are
better than a single set. After spotting a bedded muley buck,
having a friend provide hand signals can be invaluable. Ante»
lope decoying is exciting sport and much easier if a friend holds
the decoy. Will Primos, as evidenced in his video series, has
honed the buddy system for calling elk to a science. (Truth V
l Big Bulls is the latest.)

“Every animal has its own characteristics,” says Primos. “Bull
elk are often concerned about being blindsided by another bull,
and they protect their flanks. It wants to see the movement
of a cow, and in real thick places will hold up to look for the
calling animal. We like to have the caller 75 to 1OO yards
behind the shooter. Elk usually don’t circle like whitetails.
There is so much competition for cows that bulls come straight
in. This system has worked great for us and will increase your
success rate by 100 percent. Let one person do the calling and
the other do the shooting. It has worked wonders.”
A hunting buddy can make you a more effective hunter and
provide that extra impetus to embark upon a trip of a lifetime.
CIA “agents” (Central Iowa Archery, that is) Ray Neil and Craig
Wendt practice and shoot tournaments regulariy. They answered Africa’s call
together, having the time of their lives. Wendt saw five species of big game his
first afternoon and had two rhinos under his stand the second.
Talk about hunting stories!

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect
A person who has been bowhunting 10 years may have years of experience
or one year of experience IO times. When we practice, tune, and hunt
alone, we tend to do the same things the same way, year after year. Having a
hunting buddy, especially one who is comfortable making suggestions, allows
you to gain from his knowledge as well. I have hunted with headnets for many
years, primarily to cover the shine on my face. Once while hunting with Bump
on a minus-20-degree day, he explained how keeping his face covered with the
headnet had a dramatic warming effect. Since then I’ve carried a headnet in cold
weather and wear it, often over face camo paint. As you expand your hunting
circles, small tips and tactics from friends will increase your effectiveness.

Practice, like exercise, can be boring. Realistic 3·D targets pump up the
volume, yet the enjoyment of these figures can be improved through interaction.
Buddies add pressure and anxiety elements that are often missing from effective
practice regimens. Competitions inevitably evolves between shooters
Whether it’s the prestige of winning or the burden of paying for the Coke round,
practicing with buddies adds realism and greatly magnifies the enjoyment of archery.

Tuning, judging arrow flight, estimating distance, learning your effective range
and many more elements of bowhunting, will improve dramatically if undertaken
in an interactive environment. Also, you will stick to your practice schedule more
consistently with motivation from a friend. When you promise to shoot early
on Sunday morning, you’d better keep your cell phone on or face a raft of good
natured kidding next time.

Maybe you and your buddy will agree on the best bow, arrows, and broadhead.
Probably not! Much of the fun and enjoyment of archery comes from
analyzing and debating the elements of gear. Since each piece of equipment
will function according to the user, there may not be a “right” answer. In the
long run, this debate helps you and your buddy understand gear, how
it works, and why.

Of Stick, String, And Heart
My friendship with Bump had an air of predictability. We were about the same
age, grew up in the same town, and both loved to hunt. However, friend-
ships and special hunting relationships can spring from unusual or accidental
circumstances, even with rifle hunters. “l first met Dale Earnhardt in l992
at a hunting lodge in Michigan where l was filming whitetails,” said David
Blanton, producer of Realtree’s Monster Buck series. “The Realtree TV show
had just started, and l was getting deer behavioral footage. The guys at the
lodge mentioned that Dale was coming in to hunt. l had heard the name and
knew that he was a racer, but l didn’t know much about NASCAR or Dale.

That evening, l was working in the basement of the lodge when he
walked into the room. ` “‘What are you doing,’ he asked with sincere
interest. ” I’m logging deer footage,” l said with a welcoming glance.
He pulled up a stool, and l soon found out that he had come down here
to escape the hustle of the lodge and the attention people were giving him.
Dale was in the public spotlight, and he didn’t like that. He tolerated it, yet it
was not something he craved. He came down for some peace and quiet.
We talked into the wee hours of the morning about where he lived, the fence
he put up to raise deer and about deer hunting. l really saw how much he
loved deer. l think the fact that l was not in awe of him as a racer was the
reason we hit it off so big from day one.

“l will be hunting in the morning” said Dale as we finally headed up stairs.
“Why don’t you bring your camera?” We started by rattling deer. He was
intrigued by how we set up our equipment. That I could move around in
the woods quietly. He appreciated that. He started rattling and l had a grunt
call. It was his first grunt call experience, and he was surprised what it could
do. He was amazed. l ended up filming him killing a deer. and then we went
our separate ways.

“Two years later, he called me at work. We began hunting together and going to
North Carolina and to film deer. We always had such a big time together.”
Blanton continues, “Our relationship was centered around hunting. He didn’t
have many close relationships in life where he didn’t feel like he was being
used because he was a racing star. He felt very suspicious. It was racing but
deer that brought us together. l spent time at his place at North Carolina where a
very deep friendship develop. It continued through the years, and we hunted together
in Texas, Mexico, Michigan, Iowa, Utah, and each spring we hunted Georgia for turkeys.
I always gave Dale his room because he hunted like he drove – with very little patience,
wide open. That didn’t go hand in hand with video taping. There were times when Dale
and I really disagreed. He tried to hut like he raced, with little regard for the camera. We
clashed several times, but the fact that I was not in awe of him strengthened our friendship.
Dale always wanted to tell me about priorities in life. He’d call me up and say, “David, how much you been traveling?” knowing that it was fall and I travel a lot. He’d always talk about
keeping my family first. “Don’t let your career become more important than your family” he’d advise, asking in particular about my wife, Ginger.

He was such a genuinely thoughtful person. A very few people knew that outside of his family.
We talked about family and life while hunting. Dale was the first close friend I ever lost suddenly.
l wasn’t able to tell them good-bye. l treasure and value the conversations that we had in
treestands from Texas to Michigan to Mexico so much now. I will never forget the simple
conversations about family, God, and life in general. So many things we talked about that were confidential at the time and still are. Dale was a true sportsman, and so concerned about getting young people involved.

Little Buddies, Big Benefits
In our nation are millions of young girls and boys who yearn to explore the outdoors and will consider archery “very cool.” Each of us is a potential role model for archery and hunting. If
you demonstrate the fun, excitement, and enjoyment of the conservation ethic the youth of America will look up to us and bowhunting.

Girls’ Clubs, Boys’ Clubs, Scouts, 4-H and dozens of other youth groups welcome
speakers and/or a modest shooting-demonstration. The chance to nock an arrow or
just pull back a timber longbow is a big thrill to a child. When doing archery demonstrations at outdoor camps, I always put the target (balloons are great ) at “can’t miss” range. I remember
one second-grade girl who was very hesitant about pulling the bow, then exclaiming “Wow! Now I know what I want for Christmas.”

Introducing youngsters to stick and string is important, yet they need that special buddy
treatment to get them started. I grew up in a working family where my dad taught school all day long and farmed half the night. l don’t remember ever having a game of catch in the back yard,
yet we had and still have good times afield. Some sons have personal conflicts with their fathers, yet the hunting denominator creates a solid foundation in their relationships. lIve never been
able to persuade my dad to pick up a bow, yet we often hunt together when he totes a rifle or shotgun, and l a compound. We have driven non-stop 45 hours cross-country to hunt elk
dozen times, frozen in treestands. and told and relived the related adventures
countless times.

Closer Than You Think
Don’t overlook the lady who shares your life. Your best friend of the opposite sex
could be the best bowhunting buddy of all. Your relationship will elevate to another
level once you share the thrills and excitement of the outdoors. Brenda Valentine,
Kathy Butt, and countless other female archers have shattered all of the depend-
ency stereotypes. These gals can hunt!

Even Mom can get into the act. Frank Lindenberger, a taxidermist and
ardent archer from Pennsylvania, convinced Mary Ann, his mother, to join
him on a safari in South Africa with Ken Moody Safaris. “Exhilaration is an
understatement,” she said as she described her first day in a bow blind.
“The adrenaline flows, the heart palpitates and the breathing accelerates. all
the good things about hunting.” At times Ken and Mary Ann sat a blind
together, sometimes laughing so hard they worried about scaring game.
Finally, bowhunting buddy systems have a “big-picture” benefit. Americans
take bowhunting for granted, yet in most of Europe and England, hunting with
archery gear is strictly outlawed. Animal rights activists hate hunters of all sorts,
and often employ backhanded litigations to reduce or eliminate bowhunting
options. By working together in conservation and bowhunting advocacy
organizations, we can assure that the conservation heritage we enjoy
today will be preserved for future generations.

Bowhunting buddies come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and genders.
Extending the hand of friendship to a novice, fellow archer, even a stranger
may change both lives in unimagineable ways. Remember: Arrows fletched in
friendship always group tightly.


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Published by archerchick on 11 Jan 2011

25 Calling Tips-The Right Call At The Right Time ~By Bill Vaznis

Bowhunting World October 2005

October 2005

25 Calling Tips by Bill Vaznis

The Right Call At The Right Time

There are two accessories I always take afield with me
these days.The first is a quality pair of binoculars. They
can help me see deer skulking in the shadows that would
otherwise go undetected. And the second is a deer call.
If I am careful, a single note can lure that buck into bow
range as if I possessed a magic flute – a buck I might add
that could easily walk out of my life forever. Do grunt
tubes work all the time? No, but most experts are pleased
if they can get one out of 10 bucks to respond favorably to
their renditions. Here are 25 tips to help insure that you will
be more than pleased on your next hunt.

1. Try starting the opening day off
with a bit of rattling. Not hard
and harsh, mind you, but soft and
easy. You want to imitate two bucks
sparring in order to test each other’s
strength and weaknesses. A rattle bag
seems to work best here. ]ust rub the bag
back and forth between your hands for
1O or 15 seconds at a time, and then
grab your bow. This low-level grinding
is sure to tweak the curiosity of any
passing buck.

2. One of the problems calling to
whitetails during the early season
is the response rate. Bucks are not
worked up enough to be attracted to
a knock down, drag-out buck fight, nor are
they likely to come-a-running to an estrous
doe bleat. They will, however, investigate
a contact grunt from a young buck or doe,
or the plaintive bleat of a fawn. The trick
here is to key in on food sources and then
setup an ambush in a nearby staging area
that offers plenty of cover.

3. Or, try calling right outside a
buck’s preferred bedding area late
in the morning or an hour or so
before darkness. This is risky business, but
if you are careful, it can work on your very
first attempt; What call should you use?
A couple of moderately toned contact
grunts could send that bedded buck into
a frenzy. Why? Your rendition might be
interpreted as a younger buck invading
his territory to look for does.



1. Yearling buck grunts, doe bleats,
doe-in-heat bleats, moderately
toned buck grunts, fawn bleats, buck
contact grunts, yearling buck tending
grunts and even fawn-in-distress bleats
are all proven deer calls. Indeed, each
fall knowledgeable hunters who know
how to imitate these basic vocalizations
in the wild tag thousands and thousands
of whitetail deer. It is the buck contact
grunt, doe~in-heat bleat and the series
of moderately toned tending buck grunts
that bag the most bucks however—
three easy calls to master.

2. Don’t be afraid to use your deer
call. Sure, improper calling can
spook a buck into the next
county, but more often than not you will
learn something about deer behavior
that can be used successfully later in
your career. You might, for example, learn
how quickly a buck will pinpoint your
exact location if you and your treestand
are not well·camouflaged.

3. When blind calling, start your
calling sequence with the volume
turned down low. A buck might
be standing nearby and come running
in to investigate. If your rendition
sounds more like a foghorn, however, a
nearby buck might vamoose without
you ever knowing he was close at hand.

4. Always have an arrow nocked and
ready to go before you start calling
to unseen deer. It only takes a
second for a buck to step into view and he
will be on high alert, leaving you precious
little time to prepare for a shot. One P&Y
Iowa buck, for example, came in so fast and
stopped so close to me I could not nock an
arrow without alerting him to my presence.
He escaped unscathed.?

5. Just because a buck doesn’t
respond immediately to your
calling does not mean he is not
going to come in for a look-see. He may
take 1O minutes, he might take an hour,
so don’t give up hope. Indeed, more than
one buck has been known to circle
around and show up on the downwind
side of a treestand long after the
bowhunter relaxed his guard.

6. Be sure to test the upper limits of
every grunt tube you plan on
taking into the woods with you
before you step afield. Some models lose
their tonal qualities when you blow hard,
causing a squeak that is sure to alert
any nearby deer. Don’t discard these
odd-sounding calls, however. Sometimes
a simple reed adjustment is all it takes to
bring the grunt tube back up to specs. If
that doesn’t help, save the parts. It is
amazing what authentic sounding deer
calls you can build when you mix and
match barrels, reeds and ribbed tubing!


1. If you should snap a twig while
still-hunting or walking to your
stand and jump a deer, try a confidence
call. I like to imitate the soft
mew of a fawn as they always seem to be
stumbling about, but avoid the use of a
fawn-in-distress call. I can’t imagine a
scenario where this would help you bag
a buck holding steady on red alert. A
single low doe bleat might also calm
down any nearby deer.

2. If you are hunting from ground
zero, and a buck hangs up just out
of range, try grunting, bleating,
mewing or rattling from a different location.
This is a killer maneuver if you can
pull it off without being seen. Raking
an antler up and down a tree trunk, or
pawing at the ground with a stick might
be all it takes then to get that buck to
finally commit himself to the setup.

3. Learn to double up on your calls.
For example, try a doe-in-heat
bleat followed by a short series
of tending buck grunts. This is a hot
combination during the pre-rut as well
as the peak of the rut. A lost fawn bleat
followed by a doe-in-heat bleat and
then a tending buck grunt can be the
ticket when the rut is in full swing.
Why? A nearby buck will “think” a hot
doe is about to be bred by a buck in
attendance. The “lost” fawn only adds
realism to the ruse as does routinely
abandon their fawns while being bred.

4. When doubling up on your vocalizations,
use a single-purpose call
and couple that with notes from
a variable grunt tube. It adds a bit of realism
to your calling strategy as it sounds like
two distinctly different deer.

1. You will know the rut has kicked
in when you see bucks lingering
around feeding areas preferred
by family groups of does and fawns well
after sunrise. They will be searching for
does by scent-checking the edges of openings
and by staring off into thick wooded
areas for several moments at a time. This
is a good time to give a roving buck what
he is expecting to find—a family group
of does and fawns. He will quickly zero
in on a couple of fawn bleats followed by
a doe bleat or two. Keep your eyes and
ears open, but don’t be afraid to blind call
every 15 minutes or so, either.

2. Bucks love to cruise the edges of
major waterways during the rut
in their seemingly never-ending
search for a doe in estrus. To narrow
your search and pinpoint an exact calling
location, look for inlets and bays that
funnel bucks close to the shoreline or
“around the horn” as they trot from one
side of the bay to the other.

3. You can set up a treestand on a
downwind edge of the bedding
area, or still-hunt in and around
the thick stuff. Either way, calling blindly
to bucks by using doe-in-heat bleats
followed by moderately toned tending
buck grunts will work. Stay alert and be
ready to shoot at all times because the
action can be fast and furious!

1. When a buck is in the company
of an estrous doe near the very
peak of her cycle, he will often
make a clicking noise just moments prior
to copulation. It sounds much like someone
dragging their thumbnail across the
teeth of a plastic comb, with each individual
click separate and distinct.

When the rut is in full swing, this
clicking will signify to a passing mature
buck that a hot doe is somewhere nearby,
and that mating is about to take place. Use
a moderately toned or high-pitched series
of clicking, and a sexually experienced trophy
buck just might believe that a younger and less-mature
buck is about to breed, and rush in to
take over the breeding rites. A buck
decoy with a small to medium rack
might just help you complete the ruse.

2. A snort-wheeze is made by a
buck exhaling air through his
nose in a very specific cadence.
Once you have heard it, you won’t forget
it. It occurs when two bucks of similar status
suddenly encounter each other
around a food source or a doe near estrus,
and serves as a warning to the intruder
buck to back off or there will be a fight.
A buck will also emit a loud snort-
wheeze when a hot doe refuses to stand
still long enough to allow breeding to
take place. The buck is undoubtedly
warning the doe to stand still—or else!
The snort-wheeze seems to work best
during the peak of the rut when mature
bucks are tending does. Your rendition
of a snort-wheeze, either alone or added
to a tending buck grunt or an estrous doe
bleat, may be all it takes to pull a mature
buck away from a hot doe. But be pre~
pared, however, as any nearby buck will
probably come in looking for a fight!

3. If you prefer to still-hunt, as I do,
and want to call a buck in closer for
a clean shot, try a few contact buck
grunts followed by your
version of a buck making a rub—complete
with swaying sapling. lt sounds
gimmicky, but it works for me at least
once a year!

Do not keep calling if the buck
does not respond in a timely
manner. He may simply not
want to come over for a look-see, so let
him go for another day. The last thing
you want to do is educate him on your
imitation grunts and bleats.

2. Do not call again if the he
appears to have heard your call
and is already working his way
toward you. Additional grunts or bleats
may only serve to confuse him or, worse
alert him to the fact that you are not
another deer.

3. Do not call if the buck is already
in bow range, or is looking at
you or for you just out of range
If he pegs you, the game is over. Instead
hold your ground, and let him make
the next move. lf he turns to walk away
hit him with another note. This is
another case where a decoy, buck or a
doe, can help as the buck’s attention will
be riveted on the decoy.


In most late-season hunts, “doe
tags” are still valid and, in fact
antlerless deer are often the
main quarry. Fawn bleats can stir a doe’s
curiosity to the point where she will
come in for a cautious look-see, whereas
a loud blast from a fawn-in-distress specialty
call can still bring a doe charging
in to rescue a stricken fawn.

2. Of course, if it is a buck you are
after, then you really have your
work out out for you! In most
cases as long as he has his rack, he is
willing and able to breed. Thus an estrous
doe bleat is always a good choice, with or
without an estrous doe decoy, positioned
facing the buck with her back legs askew.
With this setup it is imperative you
choose your treestand site carefully,
making sure you are high above the
ground and well concealed.
If your call freezes up during the
late season, you are calling too
much. Slow down, and call
more sparingly. A squeaking note now
will undoubtedly end your season.

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Published by archerchick on 11 Jan 2011

Bulls At The Buzzer ~By Jeff Murray

Bowhunting World October 2005



A golden sunset should have been framed with the sound of elk music. But the only thing golden
about my day was that it was about to be over. Where were all the bulls? How
can l be in two places at once? My mind races with questions that beg answers.
But all l can do is slump forward to catch my breath and try to clear my mind.
indeed, clear thinking is the name of the game when the pressure’s on. You see,
my Colorado elk archery season is slipping away. In fact, my hunting season now
boils down to 13 hours of hunting light. In bowhunting terms, that’s 780 minutes (or 46,800 seconds) to pull off an upset at the buzzer. If you ever find yourself in this predicament, here’s what to do when you think you’re one neuron short of a synapse.


Sound game plans consist of sound components. One of them is flexibility. (I’ve
killed a lot of bulls on the 10th day of a seven-day hunt) But when you’re down
to the wire, you can’t just sit there. You have to do something! Which begs the
question: Why would anyone pick a hunt that ends when a state legislature or conservation department says so? I’ll tell you why: Because the bottom end of archery
season is better than the top end for, well, top-end bulls. While I’ve always suspected
this was true. the last couple of seasons taught me how true it is. All you need is
one good reason, but here are three:

First, weather is almost always more
of a help than a hindrance at the tag end of the season. You simply cannot ignore
the fact that searing temperatures put bulls down. And it goes from bad to
worse when a drought overlaps a heatwave. Give me frost or a little dusting
snow and l promise you elk will be on the move, oftentimes migrating predictably
from summer ranges at timberline to winter ranges at lower elevations.

Second, aggressive calling tactics rule the roost this time of year. In fact
there are so many strategies to choose from that l might have too many in my
quiver of tricks, More on this later and third, the biology of this phase of the rut makes bulls more susceptible to bowhunters than at any other time of year (again, lots more below). Add it up,
and the math is sound: The last week is the best week. That being the case,
here’s a fistful of strategies for ending the season with a bang.

l used to hunt with a guy who was a recluse. He avoided hunting with other
guys mainly because he thought it compromised his hunting opportunities.
Yet lied often complain about monster bulls tied call within bow range but couldn`t
get broadside. l’m wired differently. lt`s no secret that l relish the opportunity to
double -up on elk with my like·minded buddies. We’re an unselfish crew and
seem to have matured into enjoying each others’ successes as much as our
own. lf that describes you, then you’re in a good place. Now’s the best time to
buddy-up on a bull.

“[The late season] is tailor-made for aggressive calling, and that means the
more callers, the better,” says Ralph Ramos, a veteran New Mexico guide
appearing often in these pages over the years. It’s not uncommon [for me] to set up two hunters with two or more callers. You need good communication, and you need to read the situation properly, but it’s a tactic that’s loaded with potential for
this time of year.” It’s been said that a pessimist sees a calamity in every challenge, and that an
optimist sees a challenge in every calamity. There’s a challenge here, all right, but how you handle it determines whether or not it ends in calamity. So let’s set up the setup. “Most bowhunters don’t separate themselves far enough from the callers,” Ramos began. “When [l`m calling] l like to get anywhere from 90 to 150 yards away from my hunters. Most guys set up 30 to 40 yards away, like they’re hunting turkeys. This simply doesn’t allow you to maneuver the bulls.”
Man, is Ramos ever right on.

Early in my bowhunting career l`d routinely get stuck in the proverbial 150-yard hangup: I’d get pinned as I watched the bull I desperately wanted pace back and forth out of bow range. Occasionally he’d bluff·charge 40 to So yards closer, giving me false hopes he’d end up in my lap. But he rarely did. Now I realize it was my fault. I needed better separation from my buddy’s calling. One-hundred-fifty yards may seem like a long way, but take Ramos’ advice: Better to be too far apart than too close. Next, you need to decide how aggressive you want to get and how soon you want to get aggressive. This is a critical decision, especially with the waning
season on the line. “When the caller keeps the proper distance from the hunter, you’ve got options,” Ramos continued. The hunter should be thinking how best to close the gap while his
caller concentrates on distracting the bull. I want to really work over the bull so he thinks he’s got plenty of space to protect his cows and bugle back at me. I make no attempt to keep quiet while I’m calling; I like to sound like an approaching is herd of cows with a straggling bull or two. I’m as aggressive as I can be.

Now here’s where things get dicey. If the bull appears to be drawing closer, great—you’re about to experience the moment of truth. All you have to do is get the caller to back off a little bit to make
the bull think he’s got the invading, rival bull on the defensive. The risk, of course, is challenging the bull beyond his comfort zone, which may trigger him into retreating with his harem. But drawing this line in the sand is what separates the pros like Ramos from the rest of the elk crowd.
Master this technique, and you’re about to graduate to the big leagues!

A final word on maneuvering bulls. Use common sense and you should be able to broadside a bull: If the bull is bugling to the right of the shooter, swing around to the left and call away from the
bull. Do the opposite if the bull seems to be circling wide left of the shooter. Pay strict attention to what you hearing don’t let the wind fool you—and stick with the program. It takes some practice,
but you’ll learn from every mistake. Finally, remember to make plenty of elk noise as you call.

In the Desert Southwest, bulls don’t begin losing their harems till mid-October—after the completion of archery seasons—and the weather tends to remain quite balmy throughout the bow
season down there. But things are different further north, particularly in states like Wyoming, Colorado and Montana. As the bow season matures, the elk landscape transforms into a new season. For one, late September stimulates elk migrations: for another, rut dynamics change. Guide Roger McQueen notes these changes and keeps one step ahead.

“The whole key this time of year is anticipation.” he says. “You can never chase elk. You’re way better off intercepting them. That is why I do so much better scouting in dark timber; I want to be ready when the herd drops down [from] timberline.”

In a sentence, McQueen is looking for telltale clues that elk are at mid-slope. A carpet of snow certainly helps. But a sudden artic blast coud affect the location of elk bedding areas. “It’s well
known that north-facing slopes are preferred, ” he said. “That’s where the cover is thickest. But bulls will occasionally sun themselves [on the south side] if the thermometer really plummets. An elk magnet would be the head of a basin, say 7,000 feet where bulls can slip over either side of the top.”

Another dark timber axiom is cherry-picking benches -where the terrain briefly flattens out before dropping off again – along extremely steep slopes. Elk concentrate here, and it’s easier to call in bulls for broadside shots.

“Calling in the timber can be frustrating,” admits McQueen. “You have to scramble a lot to make sure the thermals don’t betray you. And it’s easy to get caught out of position because you can’t see bulls until their almost on top of you. On the flip side, you probably won’t get many 100 yard hang ups.”

Once again, the late season challenge boils down to call tactics. It all
depends on how desperate you are, says McQueen: Conventional wisdom calls for
answering a bull after he’s had a chance to speak his mind: get the conversation heat»
ing up gradually But I find that in dark timber, for some reason, I can cut off the bull- interrupt him in the middle of his bugle-with a bugle of my own. This ticks him off and often brings him in on a trot; however, in more open terrain its a big gamble and often sends the bull packing.


Dan Evans sells Trophy Taker arrow rests for a living, but that’s just an excuse to
hunt elk in as many states as he can each fall. Evans has racked up multiple-state
kills for the past several years essentially because he hunts like respected 3-D
archer Randy Ulmer does. What do the two have in common? They sleep with elk. Evans will even bunk out in a tree if that’s what it takes to down a monster bull and Ulmer, an Arizona resident fortunate enough to hunt bulls in that state more than once in a lifetime, knows this
is the best way to score on bulls topping the 375 Pope and Young mark.

So how can the rest of us get in on the bit? First learn how to bivouac. Start
by getting yourself a backpack that’s small enough to pack inside a bigger
camp pack. The bigger pack gets you to set up at your spike camp, and the small·
er pack equips you for a two» or three day rendezvous. Now you can bed down
where the elk take you, which could be a mile or four from base camp.

“Bivouacking is made to order for the late season,” says Bryan Leck, a wiry
Colorado bowhunter who lives out of his pack for weeks on end each September.
“You waste no time and lose no sleep traveling back and to camp each day, I mean the instant
you wake up, you’re close to an elk and can start hunting. You can hunt at a higher pace from the sunrise to sunset. “While this is true, the key to this technique is securing a good water supply

Don’t Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
And speaking of not wasting time (when there’s no time to waste) I learned a valuable lesson a few years ago from New Mexico outfitter Tom Klumker. He taught me not to waste precious hours. l was obsessive compulsive about
thermals mining a hunt but, like he says, theres no hunt to ruin unless you try.

Sure, you can’t rely on down drafting thermals [like sunrise and sunset], he told me. But if you can determine the
flow of localized air currents, you can still stay downwind from elk most of the time.
Ralph Ramos agrees: “l really like midday during the last few days of the season, because a bedded bull is pretty likely to respond to your bugle. It he’s preoccupied with cows, on the other hand, he might not answer.” Ramos adds a cautionary note on exactly what a bedded bull is apt to sound like. “It’s more like a moan: oah-ah. So if you sharpen your ears and listen for this sound, the bulls are going to give up their location. And that’s what it’s all about.”

I’ve saved the best tactic for last—rattling. My Cutting Edge column covers this hot new tactic, but here are some additional pointers to keep in mind”
• You can rattle any time, anywhere.just be sure to start with subdued sparring sounds before replicating a donnybrook encounter. Sometimes that’s all you need.
• The Sparring Bull call, pioneered by seven-time Elk Call Champion Audrey Hulsey, is for real. This intrigueing vocalization is what bulls make when they push and shove. And it can’t be effective without having to rattle.

Hot tip: To help position bulls for a quality shot, Hulsey jury-rigs an oversized plastic baseball bat to cast the:
Sparring Bull calls.
• Rattling works best when the demand for cows exceeds the supply. The
tag end of the bow season in northern elk states is about as good as it gets, since this is when bulls run out of estrous cows ,and harems become harder to manage. ;
• Satellite bulls are suckers for rattling and the spar call If you’re hunting where the satellites are impressive specimens—wilderness areas, limited entry units, private ranches——you’re in for a
real treat.
• Like bugling, two bowhunters can be more effective at rattling than one. But take Ramos’ advice and separate the rattler from the Shooter by at least 100 yards. And don’t forget to make may ruckus. Stomp your feet, shake bushes, break sticks, even tumble rocks down the slope!

About the only thing that can ruin a late-season hunt is the season ending before your tag is filled. But that shouldn’t happen if you plan ahead and make every minute count! >>—->

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