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Published by archerchick on 25 Jul 2012

My “Dream” Buck by Michael Henson

Archery World – October 1987

My “Dream” Buck by – Michael Henson

 

Well concealed and silent, the westerner stalked his trophy steadily for more than three hours; like a magnet, it attracted more and more deer. Suddenly, his bowhunting partner appeared and spotted the deer, pulled his bow out of the truck and loosed the perfect arrow.

 

I refocused my rangefinder and looked at  the yardage indicator once again.   “Sixty-two yards. I don’t dare move any closer,” I said to myself. Glancing at my watch, I realized that three hours had gone by since I first spotted this record book mulie. My thoughts quickly faded though as my eyes again were drawn to the bedded-buck’s wide 5×5 rack, still in velvet. It moved periodically as he nibbled at the grass around him and methodically chewed his cud.

“He’s gotta be Pope and Young material ,” I thought. Feeding below this buck was a respectable 4×4, approximately 40 to 50 yards away. He was nice, but definitely not the quality of the bedded, larger one. Occasionally, I would also catch glimpses of a 3×3 and a doe who were also browsing a little further downhill. No matter what else was going on, my attention went quickly back to the big 5×5. What a nice animal! In 20 years of hunting deer, with both rifle and bow, I had never been this close to such a fine buck. This truly was a deer hunter’s “dream come true.” But could it come true for me?

 

 

Fallen Log?

 

This whole dream began in the fall of 1985 after I had moved to Aztec, New Mexico, which is located in the northwestern corner of the state. I relocated there on a job transfer from Minnesota, knowing full well I was leaving excellent whitetail country. However, I knew that I was headed for superb mule deer and elk hunting just north of Aztec, in the San Juan National Forest of southern Colorado. After moving there, it didn’t take long for me to meet the person responsible for my being on this particular mountain — his name — Peter Akins. It seems like the good Lord planned our introduction, so when Peter and I met we found out we talked the same language: archery hunting, specifically, the deer and elk dialect.

 

 

Peter himself, has never shot a big-game animal with a rifle. I don’t think he even owns one. However, with bow and arrow it’s a different story. He rarely fails to fill his elk and deer tags. I think he felt sorry for this Minnesota boy, subsequently inviting me to join him and his brothers, Russell and Mark, for the 1986 hunting season in Colorado. I was able to squeeze in my brother Jim, from back in Silver Bay, Minnesota, who ultimately plays a major role in this story. So now here I am, a little over 30 yards from a bedded-down, big 5×5 mulie.

 

Every time he moves a muscle or turns his head, my pulse quickens. Who would ever think a deer chewing it’s cud could get you so excited! I thought to myself, “Couldn’t I sneak my arrow by those broken trees, partially obscuring his body? This might be my best chance. The wind might change, or simply quit due to an approaching thunderstorm.” But a wee small voice said, “Patience. Just wait — let’s don’t blow it .” So I again relaxed, resting my 65 pound Golden Eagle compound in a small loop on my camouflaged pant leg.

 

Blow it?

I almost had already. Earlier, around 11:00 a.m. I was still hunting back toward camp, where I was to meet Jim for lunch at noon. It was a perfect day. A slight breeze in my face from below, and the aspen leaves overhead making a slight rustling noise in the background. During the preceding night a much needed rain shower made the walking almost noiseless. I had just moved out of some dense, dark spruce and pine trees into an area of open, mature aspen. I was slowly working my way down to a gravel road, where I would quickly walk back to camp. So far, this morning had been unproductive. I had seen neither elk nor deer, so when I looked downhill and saw a horizontal form approximately 100 yards away, I didn’t think too much about it. My first impression was that it was just another fallen log, but was it? There he was. Moving ever so slightly as he browsed on the lush green foliage. What a magnificent rack! My first thought was, “How in the world am I gonna get close enough in this open aspen for a decent shot?”

My problem compounded immediately when I noticed a 4×4 mulie bedded down a short distance away from this big one. He was a little closer and it was much more open for a possible shot. Then the 5×5 decided he wanted to lay down. “Great,” I thought, “two sets of eyes, open cover and considerable distance to make up. Tough odds.” Somehow though, step by step, using my small 8×35 binoculars, watching closely and keeping as many trees between us as possible, I closed to within about 60 yards. That was as close as I could go, and the only shot possible was at the 4×4. Instead of being patient, I attempted a shot, my arrow hitting a tree on the way. WHAM! I just new I had blown it. The deer jumped up, and trotted away. Then they stopped, looked around for what seemed forever and started feeding again. “I can’t believe it! Just be cool, Mike” , I told myself. Both bucks moved slowly away and got almost out of eye contact. Moving slowly in their direction about 40 yards, I realized there were now four deer. Here’s where they apparently picked up the 3×3 and the doe. Now four sets of eyes.
Moving ever so quietly, one step at a time, I was able once more close to about 60 yards. Then it happened again. First the big 5×5, then the 4x4 – they both lay down. By this time I had lost sight of the 3×3 and doe. Apparently, they both moved downhill toward the gravel road about 100 yards below me. After about 10 to 15 minutes, the 4×4 got up and began feeding away from me with the 5×5 still bedded down. This turned out to be the best thing that could have happened. With the 5×5 looking downhill at the other deer’s activity, I was able to move behind the big boy. I continuously checked the distance with my rangefinder just in case I needed a quick shot.
 Two broken trees, bent over almost touching each other, made it difficult to try a shot. I told myself, “Patience, Mike – just wait.” By now a little over three hours had elapsed. Jim, I knew, would be wondering where I was since I hadn’t made it to camp for lunch. What a surprise and shock when the sound of a diesel engine coming, turned out to be Jim driving my truck on the road below. “He must be looking for me,” I thought. “Now what’s he doing?” I couldn’t believe it, but my truck stopped. “There’s no way he can see me up here, and for all he knows, I could be six miles away.”
 I didn’t find out until later but here’s what took place…Driving around the corner, Jim saw the 3×3 buck standing about 10 yards off the mountain road about 75 yards away. Jim stopped the truck, slid over to the passenger side, got out and walked to the back of the truck, opened the topper and got out his Golden Eagle compound. Peeking around the corner of the truck, he couldn’t believe what he saw! The buck was still there trying to figure out what was going on. Guessing the distance at around 75 yards, and knowing he couldn’t get any closer without spooking him, Jim drew back. Releasing his 2117, XX75 arrow, the 140-grain, 4-blade Rocky Mountain broadhead flew perfectly, hitting behind the 3×3 buck’s front shoulder.
He ran 50 yards and then piled up. Now remember, I had no idea what was going on. I couldn’t hear or see anything except my truck way down there. The only thought in my mind was about my deer getting spooked – for both buck’s ears were up, as they looked downhill. Then it happened! Apparently when Jim’s deer took off after being solidly hit, the big 5×5 stood up. Still not knowing what just took place down below, I reacted instinctively and came to full draw. The 5×5 and 4×4 were now standing together, butl still didn’t have a shot because of four aspen. “Come on, make a move. I can’t hold it much longer,” I thought. Then, just as I was about to relax, the 5×5 moved just enough to give me a shot. Shaking as I released my arrow, it went just underneath him! But he didn’t move, and he was still looking downhill. I couldn’t believe it! In one motion I nocked another arrow; came to full draw, and sent my Rocky Mountain broadhead on its way. This time it was perfect.
The arrow hit him solidly behind the front leg, he barely moved. He managed to walk slowly though about 20 yards; then stopped; wobbled and fell; rolling over twice. I couldn’t believe it! But there he was – a trophy of a lifetime. Saying a quick prayer of thanks, I hurried down the mountain to see what Jim was up to. Was he surprised to see me coming! Each of us had quite a story. No way could either of us easily comprehend what had just happened. I didn’t know what he was doing, and he didn’t know what I was doing, nor even where I was. Unbelievable as it was, we both filled our deer tags within about 60 seconds of each other. Somehow, we each helped the other without even realizing it.
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Published by archerchick on 25 Jul 2012

Cornfield Deer – By Richard Martin

Archery World – October 1987

Cornfield Deer

By Richard Martin

Dick, you doing anything right now?”
“Nothing special, why?” “I’d like you to
come out here. Want to show you something? The
man who called was a farmer in north central
Ohio, a longtime friend who lives just a few miles
from my home. And when my pickup lifted the dust in
his driveway he was sitting in his cornpicker waiting
patiently.

“I’m harvesting about a 40 acre patch of corn here,
and it’s just full of deer, just full of them. They did

pretty good around here on the opening day of gun season, then the
deer just disappeared. Well, I know where they disappeared
to.”
I was interested in getting some good closeup
photos of deer, so I readied my camera and climbed up
to the cab, planning to hang on outside and shoot as I
could. Whitetails are notoriously indifferent to tractors, cultivators,
and harvesting equipment, and I expected to get close, but I
wasn’t planning on point blank range!

On the first pass through the com an eight
point buck and two does meandered out,
watched us pass, and faded back into the corn.
On the next a fat six pointer and three more
does walked out and back into still standing
stalks. Finally, I got off the picker and started
hiking in cleared stretches alongside. I could
still get within 20-25 yards of at least a dozen
deer on each pass. They knew that corn was
safe and they just wouldn’t leave until the en-
tire field had been reduced to a few isolated
rows. It was enough to start me thinking.

The Tassel Hassle
Archers don’t seem to give a hoot about
standing corn one way or the other, but gun
hunters hate the stuff. Here in Ohio and
doubtless in other mid westem states when
timber and crops mingle, they like to drive
during the gun season. And once deer have
experienced a drive or two, they head for the
center of big cornfields and stay there.
Most farmers won’t allow hunters to drive
corn for obvious reasons, and those who will
or hunt their own comfields rarely come up
‘with much. The animals ghost from row to
row, circle back around again and again, and
simply refuse to leave unless hard pressed and
hassled to distraction. Corn has kept many a
deer alive for another year.
Once again, archers don’t seem to worry
about standing corn, but they definitely

should because in many places this richly nu-
tritious food supply is an easy way to till the
freezer with venison that’s close to prime
beef. None of your stringy little mountain
deer here, just big comfed bucks that routinely
dress out 150-200 pounds plus. But before
you charge the nearest field of standing
fodder and attempt to fill your tag on a monstrous
buck, there are a few basic points to
keep in mind.

First of all, cornfields are no help at all in
country where everything is com. In areas
where fields of standing stalks stretch on for
miles the deer simply have too much choice.
They can loaf in this 80 acre patch or walk
across a fencerow to visit that 200 acre section,
or hike a few more yards and cavon in
640 acres of good cover. You get the point.

They’ll be in standing com routinely, but you
aren’t going to find them, except by great
good luck.

The situation you’re looking for, and it occurs
often in the midwest, is a good sized
cornfield nestled in among timber, brushy areas,
rolling hills and valleys, in short, mixed
terrain and limited corn. They’re not hard to
find if you’ll do a little looking and I’ve man-
aged to pinpoint quite a few areas where
farmers plant corn at least every other year
and plant it in territory in the middle of prime
deer country. It makes my day when I drive by
and see those young corn shoots coming up in
early spring.

One of these is definitely classic and the
first time I saw it, my mouth simply watered.
The field was about 40 acres of already chest
high corn, and on one side stood a brushy area
that was darn near impenetrable! I walked it
through, left a little blood here and there in
thickets of multiflora rose and blackberry bri-
ers and marveled, while I muttered bad things
under my breath, at the deer trails, droppings
and beds. The north side of that field had a
more open collection of hawthorne and
grasses, good warm weather cover, and again
plenty of deer trails and other sign. The third
side opened onto at least a hundred acres of
tall mixed timber, and the fourth bordered a
small highway for easy access.

Even before the corn fully ripened that
year deer began gathering to take advantage of
the rich feeding. They built trails into that

field from all directions that began to resemble minature four lane highways, and I’m surprised that I didn’t fill my tag during the first
weeks of October.

But except for the timber side there was
nothing suitable for a tree stand so I spent
much of my time ground hunting, checking
wind direction at hunts beginning, dressing in
full camouflage with face paint, and taking a
bath in a deodorizing soap before scenting
myself up with a fox urine cover scent or
whatever else seemed promising. I saw plenty
of does, had several within 10-15 yards, and
reached easy range of a forkhorn who seemed
a little small. I passed on him.

There were big bucks as witness their
tracks among the corn rows, but they were
slipping in and out before dawn and holding
up in the thicket where they were safe as in
church. I couldn’t seem to win. Luckily the
landowner held off harvesting that field until
well after gun season and eventually there
came a stormy Friday night with winds and
rain, a night when deer would feed only intermittently.

Morning brought chill weather and
a light misty sprinkle, one of those dawnings
when you KNOW deer will be running late,
and when shooting light arrived I was waiting.
I don‘t wait long.

A fat eight pointer materialized out of the
mist, easing almost silently through rain
moistened stalks, and starting warily at every
sound. But he didn’t see me and I’d already

drawn my Brown Bear compound at the first
sure sign of his presence. The broadhead sped
true and shortly thereafter I was dragging my
winter’s meat to the pickup. Thanks to standing corn.

Enamored Of Cornfields
There are more things to keep in mind,
once you’ve found an isolated cornfield that
shows obvious signs of use by whitetails.

First, it should be obvious that if you hunt at
dawn, deer will be coming out of com while
in the evening they’ll be heading in. S0 you
scout the surrounding land carefully, decide
where they’ll most likely lie up during the day
and plan your tree stand spot or ground blind
accordingly. It pays to have several to take advantage
of wind direction, then you can make
an on the spot decision as to which place is
best.

If you’re into driving for deer, you’ll find
standing stalks a real challenge, maybe more
challenge than you can handle. It’s a total
waste of time to drive a 100 acre field with
four or five men because, again, the animals
will simply circle. You’ll see one once in a
while, a glimpse here, a flashing tail there,
but any shots you get will be at shadows and
no good archer shoots at shadows. If you post
men outside the field in spots where the animals
are most likely to flee for safety, you’re
going to discover that when they leave corn,
they do so in high gear.

On one of the very few times I participated
in a cornfield deer drive, after assuring the
landowner that we’d ease down the rows and
not disturb a single stalk, we finally put out
three does and a forkhorn. The bowhunter
they ran past said, “They looked like bouncing
grey blurs and there was no chance to
make a certain hit. I let them go .”

Maybe you`re wondering at this point why
deer are so enamored by cornfields and
golden kernels of corn when they have long
acres of tasty acorns and other natural foods
that range from crabapples to sumac berries.
The answer is a simple one; like people, deer
are lazy creatures. Why roam around and for-
age as best you can, especially during late sea-
son when the lush vegetation is long gone,
when you can step into a cornfield and have
unlimited ears of high energy, extremely nutritious
corn. Admittedly, acorns have higher
food value, ounce for ounce, than corn.

They’ve more protein and more fats to go with
a high carbohydrate rating, but it’s the carbohydrate

that provides energy to burn and
maintain body warmth in cold weather, and
corn has plenty. They can probe under an oak
all morning for a fist full of acorns, using almost
as much energy as they gain, but every
stalk in a cornfield has at least one ear and
usually two of tasty provender. Wouldn’t you
make the same choice?

Every archer knows there’s no sure thing
in deer hunting. Whitetails are wild and wary,
have fine sight and chokebore noses, and their
ears can pick up a chipmunk’s belch at 50 ·
yards. But there is one situation in cornfield
hunting that comes close to being a fish in a
barrel situation, and I’ll pass it on for those
hunters who can handle the patience and slow,
careful hunting it demands.

This method won’t work well during the
early season when whitetails move in and out
of com at random. They may feed in com
early in the season, but they seldom lay up for
the day there. But in late season when other
cover is sparse and leaves have fallen to ex-
pose the thickets and usual hiding spots,
they’ll often spend their whole day in corn;
Even more so if they’re being hunted hard. So
you wait for dry conditions and a nice, steady
breeze.

The wind blows through yellowed stalks
then, with a constant rustle that effectively
dampens out whitetail hearing. That steady
wind also limits their sense of smell to one
direction. So picture a late field of standing
com with good cover around, a steady, directional
wind and an archer who feels sure
there’s a good buck or two in there. He heads
upwind and starts walking.

I’ve practiced the business myself more
than once, but I still remember one archer ·
who took his biggest buck ever that way. He
said, “I started in with real care, just step by
step with plenty of time to look up and down
each row. I went about 100 feet that way with-
out seeing anything, then I peeked up and
down one row and saw two deer about 75
yards away. I glassed them with binoculars
and saw they were both does, lying down and
facing away from me. They didn’t even see me
as I slipped across to the next row, probably
because the stalks were tossing in the wind
and they didn’t pick up movement.

“I went another 50 yards before I saw a
grey hump on the ground that turned out to be
a six pointer, and I was tempted then. But it
was still early and he didn’t see me either. I
could always come back. I was clear out in the
middle of the field when I saw a dandy. He
was lying down too, and I could see that bone
white rack. The binoculars said he was a 12
point and I wanted that one bad.

“So I backed up eight or ten rows down-
wind and eased along to where I figured I was
about opposite, then I stepped up a few rows
and saw him just six or eight yards away in an
area where the stalks were thin. He never saw
me very carefully draw the bow and I bet he
never even heard the string snap. That was the
biggest and easiest buck I ever got.”

You can argue ethics here, the question of
shooting a buck that’s lying down, but personally
I have no problem with the situation. To
approach a good sized animal that close on
foot, even with the wind to help, requires at
least as much skill as it does to properly place
a tree stand and take your shot from there.
Either way y0u’re shooting an unsuspecting
animal, and that’s what most archers strive to
do.

That’s only my opinion and you can make
your own decision, but either way you’ll find
cornfield hunting worth the effort, and
there’ll be many a freezer filled with venison
this fall by hunters who find the right situa-
tion. Look for fields with good cover around,
set up ambush sites early, walk the rows late in
the season on windy days and I’m betting
you’ll put a fork in venison steaks, too.

They’re the closest I know to a sure thing, and
worth checking anytime. Those golden kernels
are more than a simple money crop,
they’re also a whitetail heaven.

>>—->

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Published by archerchick on 25 Jul 2012

When The Bulls Won’t Bugle – By Wayne Van Zwoll

Archery World October 1987

When the Bulls Won’t Bugle
By Wayne Van Zwoll

The chase led down a rocky wash, then into the dark timber at the head of
a deep draw.  The draw became a canyon farther down, beyond where he
could see.  If they went there he wouldn’t follow.

The sun was up now, and he was warm.  They would be, too, and he’d not see
them in the open anymore.  He hurried down, sliding, grappling with the buckbrush,
snatching at the trunks of the trees to slow his descent.  He wasn’t being quiet, but they
wouldn’t wait for quiet people.

Meanwhile the elk were being democratic about things.  Milling about at a cut in the canyon
side, they drank from a small spring in turn, scrambled up onto the rock trail that hung
like a crooked string along a point that divided the forks of the drainage.  They were lower
than he was, and the canyon gaped beneath them.   There were six of them, all bulls, Bachelors,
they’d spent the dawn hours nibbling in a meadow on top, jousting with each other.  Velvet hung
in tattered strips, but the animals were fat.  They’d wandered off the hill into the head of the draw
when the sun got yellow.

He’d like to have got into them then, but they were too far.  He’d watched them with his glasses, his belly
pressed into the grass.  When they went over the lip he’d follow.  But then things had gone wrong.  Another
hunter had moved in from the west, and they’d smelled him just at the wrong time.  He was 20 steps
from one when this other fellow moved in, 20 steps and the last inch of draw.  The elk left.

Then he’d bumped them once himself, run too hard to catch up and got caught in the open.  They were
patient because they hadn’t been bothered much this summer and didn’t know about arrows, or didn’t
remember.

Now, thought, thye were moving out, Enough was enough.  Besides, the sun was up.  The end came at the
spring, after most of the bulls had left and were strung out on the trail around the point, headed for the bowels
of the canyon.  A yearling bull was waiting his turn and a five-point was standing over the water thinking that
maybe he didn’t want to leave just yet.  That’s when the first arrow hit the rocks.

He didn’t pay it much mind because he didn’t know what it was.  Then the next arrow rushed at him and it
was deflected.  It went deep and he ran and he got up into the sun on the rocks above the trail.  Then
everything went askew and he lost control and fell over and was dead.

THE RIGHT PLACES

It took me quite awhile to find that elk in the thick gut of that draw.  He’d tumbled a long way.  But it hadn’t
taken me much time at all to find him in the first place, in that meadow on top with the other bulls.  I was
thankful for that, because when the elk aren’t bugling finding them can be a real chore.  To spend more time
hunting and less time looking for elk, it’s important that you look in the right places in the right way.

Here are some things to keep in mind when you are trying to find those silent bulls,

First, know whey they’re silent.  If you’re hunting before rut, before bulls are interested in cows and are
still bachelor groups, don’t expect them to bugle.  They don’t do it for the fun.
When the rut is over and the bulls are tired, they seperate from the cows, but this time they’re more apt
to go off alone and just rest in a thicket near lots of food.  Solitary and secluded, often in heavy timber and
moving very little, such elk can be very hard to find.  If they bugle at all it will be at random.  They won’t move and
they’re unlikely to pull you in with a string of answers to your elk whistle.

Sometimes elk can be silent during the rut.  In areas where the hunting pressure is extreme, bulls hear enough fake
challenges and run into enough bugling hunters to know what is real and what isn’t.

Sometimes they don’t even care to find out, but pack their cows off to some steep, jungly corner of the mountains as
soon as they hear the first note.  Outrider bulls that have been kicked around a little learn it’s best to approach a harem
silently, to find out something about the bull doing the screaming, if not to make sure it’s really a bull in the first place.

During rut- and even out of rut – elk don’t always need a reason to act as they do, and it may seem a waste of time
to find out why elk are silent when they probably haven’t reasoned that through themselves.  Still,

knowing why, or at least postulating why,
rnakes a difference in how you hunt. If you are
to End elk consistently it must.
If you’re going to be hunting early, before
rut, remember that you’re as likely to find
several bulls together as to find a single bull.
l`ve taken two bulls in August. Both were in
bachelor groups. Of those shot during September, most were alone.
Bulls in groups are tough to find early because one group may hold all the bulls from
many square miles of rugged country. If you
don`t find that group you can do a lot of hiking
for little reward. It’s imperative, then, that
you know how to read sign and know enough
about elk habit to at least make a good guess
as  to where the elk will be. Being familiar
with the country is certainly helpful; barring

large-scale disturbance, the same late summer
range will be favored year after year.
When you go early, spend at least a day
just covering ground. Look for fresh elk droppings; disregard sign you think is over a
couple of weeks old. Anything moist is fresh,
of course. Black droppings are older than
brown, but in hot, dry country elk pellets turn
black very quickly. Really old sign will be
leached to a tan color and cracked on the surface,
Concentrate on areas where elk forage:
grassy hillsides, small mountain basins,
openings in the timber where the light can
spur grass growth. Most elk droppings will be
when where the animals eat, albeit they chew
their cud in their beds. Remember, too, that
elk have night-time as well as day-time beds,
and that they may spend half their hours

lounging in a feeding area. They don’t use the
rims and canyon bottoms too much in summer,
because then there isn’t much reason to
seek security cover. You’ll find lots of old
droppings in some pretty inhospitable places,
but don’t look long there for fresh sign.
Tracks will be hard to find in the rims,
even if the bulls are using them, so look in the
meadows, where the elk are likely to feed and
wallow. Look for muddied water in the prints
in wallows. Examine grass and sedge stalks
that are bent (not broken) and have not sprung
back. Fresh rubs on small trees will be white,
often running with sap. Any velvet you see
will likely be very fresh. Use your nose, too,
to sniff beds and trails. Elk have a strong
smell even when they aren’t rutting and if you
can sniff them you can be sure they’re close.
Listen, as you go, for branches snapping in
canyons and thickets, for the whine of calves.
Though the bigger bulls will likely be in their
own group, they may travel or lounge near a
herd of cows, and some mature bulls will be in
the cow—calf bunches.
Last season I saw a big herd of elk on one
of my favorite August ridges. In fact, it was
the biggest herd I’ve yet seen in summer.

There were over 250 animals. Of the 23 bulls
in the group, though, only two were not year-
lings. The big bulls were off by themselves
playing cards, somewhere. I didn’t find them
till later in the season.
It’s very hard to hunt a bull in a big group
of cows like that. Too many eyes are watching
for you, too many ears listening. The wind, it
seems, is always blowing to some animal, even
if the one you want is in the perfect spot for a
stalk. Hunting the harems later is tough, but
pre-rut bulls are more sensible, and they take
their cues readily from the lead cow. Harems
tend to be smaller than late-summer herds of
cows, too. For these reasons it’s a good idea to
try to find a small bunch of bulls, or perhaps a
fragment of cow herd that holds an acceptable
bull.
You can break these big elk herds into
more manageable ones, all right, and it’s a
tempting thought. Still, if you frighten more
than a few animals or give your scent to the
herd you’re apt to move all the elk into
tougher country. That happened to some
friends recently. They broke a big group of elk
on opening day. The animals had been using

 

some rolling ridges that were halt timoereu
and quite easy to hunt. After a few arrows had
been shot the big herd split into several
smaller ones — and all went down into steep,
thick canyons. Thereafter the elk bedded in
those canyons and foraged on very steep, open
hillsides, always in a place that had a commanding

view and good wind coverage.
It`s better not to split such herds or even
hunt them. Nibble at the fringes, if you must.

But when a big herd vacates an area it will
likely take with it any chance you have of finding
a small group of elk and will alert any
resident bachelor bulls.

When you go early, take your bugle. but
don’t use it a lot. A blast or two from ridgetop
at dawn and dusk won’t alarm elk, and it may
bring an answer from a bull that doesn’t have
anything better to do. Be aware, though, that
anytime you bugle you tell the elk where you
are. If they investigate and find out what you
are they will be much harder to approach
later, and harder to talk to.


Even when the rut is on, it’s a good idea to
be conservative with your bugling. Lots of
hunters bugle better that I do, and there are a
lot of different views on how best to whistle a
bull. But in areas where bulls have heard
hunters before you must be careful you don`t

say something you’ll regret later.
For example: One of my hunting partners
is quite handy with a bugle. Last year he was
working some shrubby cover at timberline in
a favorite elk basin. He decided to bugle.
lmmediately he was answered. The bull came in
so fast my friend had no time to set up or move
to better his wind coverage. The bull got well
within shooting range, but presented no good
shot and left when he winded my partner.

Bugling bulls are unpredictable. Setting
up takes time. It may be that the stand you so
painstakingly search for and prepare will be

of no use if the bull that answers decides to
stay where he is. Nonetheless, if you aren’t
prepared to receive a bull, it’s better not to
invite him.
Once in a while you can find a ridgetop
viewpoint that will serve as a launchpad when
you bugle to locate a bull. If you don’t think
the bulls will come to you or even answer you
more than once or twice, bugling from the top
can put you into elk. A bull that answers
should be stalked immediately, and if you run
the first half you’ll just get there quicker.
Don’t bugle after you get an answer, and don’t
stay on the ridge to see if he will talk to you
unless you are set up to receive him or intend
to come to him as another bull.
Remember that elk cover ground quickly
at a walk, and if the bull that answers you is
moving you may have little time to home-in
before he moves into oblivion. One bull that
bugled at me from 400 yards was about a mile
farther down the ridge when he finally took
my arrow. I had run as much as I dared, and
the footing was good. He was just walking.
Fortunately, he bugled a couple more times
and gave me a line to follow.
If the bulls have become call-shy in the
area you hunt during the rut, try using your
bugle more sparingly, moving into the elk as

you would stalk a deer. You might see more
lone bulls, and you’ll almost surely boost
your chances of penetrating a harem to get to
the herd bull. Bugling just enough to locate
the animals is especially useful if you, like
me, do not sound as much like an elk as an
elk.
Hunting after the rut is particularly tough.
By late October even the most garrulous bulls
are silent, and they’re tired. The bigger the
bull, in fact, the more tired he is. He’s spent
from two to three weeks gathering his harem,
servicing it and keeping other bulls at bay. He
hasn’t eaten much, has drawn his strength
largely from stored lipids in his liver. He’s
ready to lie down and eat. He doesn’t want to
play games with hunters, and he’ll go wher-
ever he thinks hunters won’t. He knows lots of
places.
You know the kind of places he ’s thinking
of: the lodgepole jungles, spruce thickets, al-
der tangles. If there were just a few of these
pockets you could hunt them all and eventu—
ally find him. But there are many square miles
of good security cover, and you have to admit
that if they were vulnerable the rifle hunters
would kill a lot more elk and you wouldn’t see
as many bulls as you do. So the thick stuff is
good for both you and the elk. Still, how do
you hunt it?
There’s really no secret here. Unless
you’re blessed with a tracking snow, you must

just work your way to a bull. Think first of all
the places you’d want to be if all you wanted to
do was eat and sleep and not be bothered.
That will eliminate a lot of country. Next,
don’t hunt that country you’ve eliminated —
no matter how pretty it is or how far you can
see or how many elk used it in August. You
can’t spare the time, frankly, to hunt easy
places. Not if you want to kill elk.
Using the elevation to advantage, either si-
dehilling or hunting up half a day and down
half a day, work the mean stuff. Be extremely
conscious of the wind. Be quiet, too. Lone
bulls are a lot more alert to snapping twigs
than were those herded elk you stalked in Sep-

tember. You won’t see many elk now, and the
going won’_t be easy; but this is hunting at its
best. Any bull you arrow this way will be a
trophy. It is a challenge few hunters accept,
Whenever you hunt the silent elk, recog-
nize that you’ll see fewer animals than when
they’re vocal. A positive outlook is crucial,
and you won’t have it if you’re thinking about
all the elk you should be seeing or the latest
magazine article that described a small band
of archers fighting off hordes of screaming
bulls. Face reality. Hunt harder. Smile. Shoot
a grouse for supper. Remember that the elk
are close. Your scouting and knowledge of elk

habit and the country have confirmed that. All
you need to do is find out exactly where they
are.
A P.S.
A post—script: There are some things that
all elk hunters should know and successful
hunters do know. They’re simple, logical
things and easy to remember. Oddly, a lot of
hunters act as if they never heard of them.
They’re basic things, the kind of things you
never talk about with other hunters because
you think they’ll think you’re talking beneath
them.

The truth is, elk are very basic creatures,
and they survive by doing a few basic things
very well. A lot of hunters are much too so-
phisticated to kill elk regularly. If you want to,
though, review these things:
Buy good binoculars and use them like
you’d use your eyes. This is especially impor-
tant when the elk don’t bugle because you
can’t locate them with your ears. Those bulls
don’t switch off their senses, ever. Make the
most of yours. Give yourself lots of time to
glass from ridges, particularly at dawn and
dusk, and glass the heavy cover around you
when you work the thickets. You could spot
the antler tine of the biggest bull you’ll ever
see.
Get yourself in shape. In the off-season
keep exercising regularly. It should hurt a lit-
tle and should be a real nuisance. If it isn’t you
aren’t doing enough. Often I’ve been just too
late to catch a bull passing through an open-
ing, too tired to get around a feeding herd in
time to beat the thermals. Had I been a little
harder, I might have taken more elk. Some of

the bulls I have shot, certainly, would have
escaped had I not been as fit as I was. Many
times your physical condition will decide the
climax of your elk hunt. It’s different than
stand-hunting whitetails.
Shoot well. If you miss you might as well
not have hunted. Missing or crippling is
worse than not shooting. If you pass up a shot,
you`re making a judgement. The hunt is be-
hind you, and though the climax might not be
what you had hoped, you have come that far.
To miss is to fail. True, it is to fail in only a
small part of the hunt. But it is a crucial part.
Once a brakeline ruptured on the pickup I was
driving. I was going quite fast. It was a little
failure, but it carried big implications. Prac-
tice as much as you possibly can, know your
range limits and stick to them. Most of the
time you can get closer if you really try, any-
way.
If you hunt early, be prepared to take good
care of your elk. Elk cool slowly and they
must be skinned and quartered as quickly as
possible to avoid unpleasant flavor in the
meat. I’ve shot bulls when the night air cooled
only to 60 and day-time temperatures reached
80. Frankly, the meat wasn’t the best I’ve had;
but it was edible because I worked quickly,
hung the quarters in the shade, kept them
clean and covered with cheesecloth. Washing
in cold water doesn’t hurt as long as the meat
dries soon. It could help in cooling, and it
might well be necessary to remove hair and
offal and other matter that would surely taint

the meat. If you pack your animal out on a
horse or your back, keep it away from sweat.
dirty clothes, camp fuel.
Your elk hunting gear should be in top
shape at least a week before you go, and it’s a
good idea to have spares of everything you
could imagine breaking or losing. Throw in a
rubber blunt or two if the grouse season is on.
Shooting a grouse with a rifle can scuttle an
elk hunt, but taking one with an arrow won`t
disturb other game and is a good way to keep
your distance eye and shooting muscles in
shape during the hunt. Don’t forget basic first
aid items, fire-starting kit, compass. Carry
them with you and accept the extra weight as
necessary insurance. <—<

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Published by fasst on 28 Jun 2012

Levi Morgan Featured AT Chat!

                                                                Levi Morgan Featured Chat. 6/27/12 9pm EST

 

Bowmaddness–                Hi Levi, Have you archery hunted in PA this year if so have you had any luck?

Levi Morgan– I hunted in Greene county PA this past season with no luck…hunted public ground and it was tough…I killed a good one there a couple years ago though

Double S- Thank you Levi for all the things you do for the great sport of archery. That’s all. pass

Levi Morgan – Man I appreciate that….It’s been good to me

Ghost23– Levi, what is your greatest accomplishment in archery?

Levi Morgan– My greatest accomplishment in archery ……wow….that’s a good ???……It would have to be winning Louisville!

Ohio Mossy Oak– … Ohio Deer harvest numbers and deer/vehicle accidents have been on the decline for multiple years and many hunters are saying they are not seeing the deer they used to, and that herd numbers may be down overall .Not buck numbers, but in general……. I know you hunt and manage land in Ohio. Have you noticed anything of this sort? And how do you feel about increased cost for both Resident an non-resident deer hunters equally, and decreased antlerless bag limits?

Levi Morgan– I definitely feel that deer numbers overall are down in Ohio…but not buck numbers…I think it is due to the liberal rules on doe harvest jumping in the last couple years….I wish the tags wouldn’t go up as well….

PAbowhunter86– Levi, how many shoots do you attend each year?

Levi Morgan– around 15 or 16….its alot but I love competing ….all those are in a 6 month period

SierraMtns– Hey Levi, Any pointers for someone wanting to compete. I have done a couple 3D shoots. There seems like some many different types of competition. How did you get started?

Levi Morgan– I agree and think that there are way too many venues in this sport…..but I would say pick the one that you feel more confident in and the one that you can best practice for!

Levi Morgan– My dad was a huge hunter….and he introduced it to me….

SierraMtns– Cool…thanks

XFBrian– Do swackers really work like they say or is it just tv???

fasst– lol

Levi Morgan– Man if there is one product that I truly believe in…it is swacker I have no issues at all with them…from the design to toughness they are no doubt my favorite bhead….just stay away from the shoulder bone….the only deer I have lost was from a shoulder shot…but if u hit a deer just right in the shoulder with any bhead u r screwed….no need to hit that far forward with that big of a cut

XFBrian                – lmao thanks for your time

XFBrian                – and CONGRATS on the baby

YoungTNArcher– What is the longest shot you have taken at a target? What is your longest shot while hunting?

Levi Morgan–  200 at a target…….I don’t know if I should answer this but oh well…..120 on a mule deer!

Levi Morgan–  thanx xfbrian

YoungTNArcher– Did you hit the mule deer?

Levi Morgan–  Smoked it….but very controlled situation

buckeyeguy2299– BESIDES NAME THAT GAME:)…WHAT IS YOUR FAV HUNTING SHOW ON TV? AND WHAT ABOUT IT DO YOU LIKE?

Levi Morgan – Its Name The Game Jason…lol…and I would say the Drurys stuff…they are awesome hunters and I’ve been watching them since as long as I can remember…I’ve learned alot from them

buckeyeguy2299–  GREAT …….HAVE A GOOD NIGHT BUDDY AND TTYL

ferretboy–  First off, pleasure meeting you again and now my question: Many purists dont consider 3d real archery, we all know that you’re one of the best in the world at that game, how did it feel shutting down the naysayers by having such a huge indoor win and how proud were you to put that one into your vast and growing list of accomplishments? And congratulations on both the Championship and the new baby.

Levi Morgan–  3d is the toughest venue of archery….thats why so many great shooters dont shhow up….u actually have to think and plan…and manage…..and shoot…and judge….Indoors was awesome for me because I never practice that stuff and because people said the only reason I won was because of my yardage….you cant win a 3d on yardage alone

youngbuck98–  oh ok

Levi Morgan–  Indoors are tough because they are so easy everyone can compete…

Levi Morgan-  if that makes sense…lol

youngbuck98–  levi what method do you use to judge yardage?? do you look at the target or go bye the ground

Levi Morgan–  I use a little of both young buck….but mostly target

ferretboy–  total sense, i shoot both and perform better in 3d, for some reason i feel less stress, thank you for the answer

geezer047–  Hey, gonna be hot this weekend if you and Sam need a cold drink of water stop by Koty’s truck. Charlie

Levi Morgan–  Haha…no problem man…I may make Sam stay home in this heat…not good for being 7 months along

hrtlnd164–  Levi, which would you rather have. A 180&quot; buck or another World Championship…(and you can’t say both).

Levi Morgan–  Definitely a 180” buck…easiest one yet…haha

Levi Morgan–  heck a 160

hrtlnd164–  I’m with ya there

ironarcher–  Oh I’m not sure.. ok I guess I didn’t really understand the answer about judging yardage..

ironarcher–  or maybe I missed it haha

Levi Morgan–  I look at the target and study it for detail while taking alot of other things like lighting, terrain, etc. into consideration…if I’m still not confident I will check it with the ground to see if I get something different

ironarcher–  got ya thanks Levi

jrm81–  Who are some the guys that you just flat out enjoy shooting with in 3D and indoors? Also in your opinion, who are some of the up and coming archers that we should keep our eye on?

Levi Morgan–  Guys Like Darrin Christenberry, Nathan Brookes, Danny Mcarthy, Ken Lance, Chance B, and so many I cant name em all…….and a couple up and comers are Garrett Ayresman from WV that kid is awesome…..and Ty Adkins to name a couple….and Jeremy Elliot

masonbanta–  Did you just decide one day to start shooting the Pro stake or did you work your way up to it over the years?

Levi Morgan–  I’ve shot since I was 6 years old and worked my way to a win in the mens open class in the ASA when i was 13…I quit for a couple years and when I came back I was hungry to be the best of the best so I jumped right in

masonbanta–  Thanks Levi and good luck this weekend.

Levi Morgan–  thank u

rdraper_3–  Can’t really think of any questions right now. I’d just like to say congrats to you and Samantha and good luck in Marengo, OH

Levi Morgan–  thanks so much…really appreciate that

scott*devin–  ohh sorry, Levi do you like the Mathews monster series bows?

Levi Morgan–  Yea I do man…I have had my ups a downs with them by my ups have been amazing…..I love them especially for hunting….but I’ve also won 3 Worlds with a monster 7

sugice–  levi, first it is a pleasure to meet you and I really enjoy your show, now what was your most exciting hunt and which state has presented the most challenging hunt of your career and why?

Levi Morgan–  most exciting was the double double droptine from my dads farm in Ohio…no doubt that’s the most exciting hunt of my life…..most challenging is spot and stalk muleys in the Missouri river breaks of Montana….but that’s also one of my fav hunts….

sugice–  thank you, good luck this weekend and congrats to you and Samantha. If you ever get up to Maine look me up, I&apos;ve got some great hunting land available.

Leviticus–  Awesome…..MOOSE????

sugice–  absolutely!

sugice–  bear and some big bucks

sugice–  got my permit for a bull this October

Levi Morgan–  awesome

20ftup–  you bought it

tarheelmr7–  what target/lighting/terrain scenarios trick you the most? Can you pick one scenario and give a tip on how not to get my butt kicked by the yardage?

Levi Morgan–  Tarheel—-The one that gets me the most is if the lighting isn’t consistent…if its dark the targets look farther and if its bright the targets look closer…..so if it has been overcast all day and I’m calibrated for that, then all of the sudden the sun comes out and the target is bright…if I’m not careful I will shoot him in the knee…lol

Levi Morgan–  …see ya’

fasst–  lol

tarheelmr7–  thanks man. I’m gonna pm you. Hope to see you this weekend

Levi Morgan–  no problem

youngbuck98–  do you think a c4 is a good bow for target shooting or should I go with the apex 8, either one what would be the length on the front and back bar and how many weights to balance it out good, i shoot b-stinger premiere xl bars

Levi Morgan–  29″ draw and under I would go with c4…over that I would go apex 8….both good target bows….I would start with a 30″ front bar with about 4oz and a 12″ back bar with about 13-15oz

fasst–  I am going to run thru the names that haven’t had a chance to ask a question yet, before we double up. Levi only has a few more minutes slated for the chat!

youngbuck98–  ok thanks man,

Levi Morgan–  no problem

3Dblackncamo–  hey levi, what are your goals in 3D archery right now and how do I get you to Big Pine for some local 3D! good luck in metropolis

Levi Morgan–  I want to win shooter of the year for 3 more years in ASA and help make the organizations better…I’m gonna try to make it out at some point i enjoy shooting out there

AdvanTimberLou–  Levi, congrats on winning Louisville, I was there and see what I thought was the word “manimal” on your shooter belt, what is the meaning behind that?

AdvanTimberLou–  It could have been my bad eyes too, you guys shooting inside outs all day was cool to watch! 🙂

Levi Morgan–  Thats a nick name that Greg Poole gave me…he had that quiver made for me….he says im not all human and that I have to be at least half animal…lol…so he calls me the manimal

fasst–  lol

Fortyneck–  Hey Levi, thanks for your time, In your opinion what peep/sight housing/pin size combo is best suited for hunting at longer distances? Also do you have a favorite older model bowhunting bow that stands out with exceptional accuracy and/or shootability for those that can’t afford the absolute latest equipment.

AdvanTimberLou–  After seeing you shoot, you’re not human! Congrats again and congrats on the future addition!

JHENS87–  sounds like poole

Levi Morgan–  I would go with a 1/8 peep and either a .10 or .19 for pin size but if u can see smaller then I would say go for it….and for an older bow I loved the switch backs

GoosebyFLuFLu–  How long do you plan on shooting professionally? Also do you plan on shooting until you no longer are able to or until is no longer is fun? Thanks for taking the time to answer everyone’s questions.

Levi Morgan–  thanks lou

Fortyneck–  Thanks, BTW Manimal…great show

Levi Morgan–  I’m not real sure…I’ve got a little boy on the way and I can already tell that archery is taking a back seat…as it should….I am going to pray about it as time goes on and we will see what the Lord has in store…good question

GoosebyFLuFLu–  Thanks!

fasst–  good answer!

Levi Morgan–  thanks fortyneck

JHENS87–  Whats your hunting setup for whitetails this year? Any sidebar, lens, longer front stab normally seen in target shooting?

Levi Morgan–  I will be running same as usual for me…mr7 with a 15″ front bar and a 10″ back bar…..7 pin CBE tek hunter but no lense….also gonna use the Helium some I like that bow….especially in blinds

JHENS87–  nice, thanks

Levi Morgan–  no problem

NY911–  Levi – not so much a question, but a comment – thanks for taking a stance with the shenanigans at recent tournaments it really shows how you (and the other Pros who spoke up) care for the future of the sport. Your voice alone equals 100 of ours. Keep tearing it up and good luck on the future addition!

Levi Morgan–  Thanks…I want to do all I can to help these orgs out with rules and decisions…there is a small group of us pros that are starting to work together to get things changed for the better..

Wazz13– Outside of your Pro Hunter’s, what would be your go to arrow for hunting? What would be you goto arrow for 3D?

Levi Morgan–  I would go with a velocity 300 for hunting and TRiple xxxs for 3d

Wazz13                –   Thanks Levi, best of luck and God bless.

archerdad–  nothing just here to observe… congratulations on your good fortune levi the baby and the winnings

Levi Morgan–  thanks guys

hitman846–  In your travels, have you ever had a fan or someone you don’t know tell you “Dude, you should hunt with me for a few days at my place” and took them up on it?

Levi Morgan–  yes and no…not really that spur of the moment but I have had people email me with an idea for a hunt and within the month i was there…not to say I wouldn’t if the circumstance was right….haha

hoytbullrider–  Whats your best advice for a younger shooter , like myself, to get into 3d and indoor when only having a hunting rig (mathews monster) competition against the guys with bows setup just for 3D/indoor , sorry if its a wild question

Levi Morgan–  that’s a good question….I wouldn’t be scared to take my hunting rig to a tournament….that bow doesn’t know its not a tournament bow….while its probably a little more critical and maybe slower and doesn’t have all the bells and whistles it will more than likely still shoot awesome….just think of it this way…if you can beat them with a hunting set up then imagine what u could do with a tourney rig…..

Ohio Mossy Oak–  I wouldn’t mind getting in a follow up if he has time. Or maybe I can just hit him up on facebook?

hoytbullrider–  thanks

Ohio Mossy Oak–  On my last question regarding Ohio deer an tags etc. Did you say you’re in favor of a reasonable increase in cost for Residents an non-resident deer hunters?

Ohio Mossy Oak–  Also..I feel if you own over 50acres even as a non res you should pay less being a property owner…Just wanted to say that

Levi Morgan–  I obviously would rather the price not go up when I think of myself….but if the state is using the money to put back into conservation then a little raise would be ok with me….I agree with u on the landowner thing…I’ve been saying that for years…haha

 Levi Morgan–  not that it matters to them what I think

GoosebyFLuFLu–  Before I leave I wanted to thank you again for taking the time to answer my question and others as well.

Mathews122–  Levi do you have any idea what would be the best 3d tournament bow for a person witha 26 in draw

Levi Morgan–  no problem man. I wish we were all in a room so I could answer in more detail

Levi Morgan–  id say Mathews prestige

Ghost23–  What has been the best archery advice given to you, and how did it affect you as an archer:?

fasst–  OK Folks, let’s all give Levi a big hand for taking the time to host this chat!

JHENS87–  Yep thanks again Levi, been a very good chat

Mathews122–  Thank you

Christopher67–  Thank You

hoytbullrider–  thanks

Double S–  A Big thank you Levi!.

geezer047–  THANKS Levi, see you this weekend. Charlie

PAbowhunter86–  Thank Levi Congrats on becoming a dad no feeling in the world can compare!

20ftup–  Thanks Levi stay cool

fasst–  And Levi, please be sure to tell Greg that I was serious in my last text to him a little while ago!…..lmao

fasst–  levi, can you answer one last question for us please?

Levi Morgan–  Thanks guys I really enjoyed the questions

Levi Morgan–  yes sir

fasst–  go for it Ray

ferretboy–  Thanks a lot Levi Morgan

JHENS87–  Good luck, and try to avoid this 100degree heat your coming into as much as possible haha

rdraper_3–  What would you like to see improve in the IBO? I’d personally like to see the Pro’s shooting on the SAME courses as those in lower classes. I’ve only been in it for 2 years and really like it and plan on going to MBO next year, I’m currently in MBR but the only thing stopping me is the whole adjustable sight thing. I’m deathly afraid I’d forget to adjust it and miss a target.

Ohio Mossy Oak– Thanks alot levi. Getting insight on the deer herd here, from a highly managed ohio land owner like yourself means alot..An re-affirms many takes on the deer herd…Good luck this weekend. And god bless your an yours<

zakseppala– what would be the one tip you would give for someone looking to improve their shooting

rdraper_3-  Thanks for letting me get it in there Travis

Levi Morgan–  O wow ray?…thats a long list…lets see….pros shoot on sight….a legit awards ceremony….a qualification to get ur pro card….a shoot off….20 targets per day….a speed limit….etc etc etc

Levi Morgan–  Thanks guys and good night

rdraper_3–  Thanks Levi

Ohio Mossy Oak–  Speed limit !! YES! I love it

archerdad–  thanks for your time levi

Christopher67–  Thanks Levi

AdvanTimberLou–  Thanks again Levi and all the shooter of the year titles won’t mean a thing when you become the title of dad! Enjoy every moment of it! God Bless you and Samantha!

ferretboy–  Another class act, I have really enjoyed the last two featured chats

 

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Published by mlgunkel on 05 Jun 2012

Distance Compensating Bow Site

I am a math teacher in a small high school in Alaska and we began exploring a concept this year for an idea I had a while back.  The general thought is – if you make a laser site and have it mounted above the arrow can you align it to approximate the trajectory of the arrow?  If you can, how far would it approximate that trajectory?  We took that idea a step further and said, if we add a second laser to start approximating the trajectory where the first one leaves off we can really extend the range of the site.  In fact multiple lasers could be used to approximate the trajectory as far out as desired.  Multiple lasers would project multiple dots on the target but the lowest dot would always be the one to use.

We did in fact develop the theory behind this and built a working prototype.  It works.  The students won best of show at the local school wide district science fair.

It only took two lasers to approximate the trajectory on a Bowtech Allegiance out to 50 yards with a maximum 2″ of error.  The following video is of us testing the site shortly after we set it up.  The first clip show 5 shots at random distances out to 50 yards and the second clip shows popping balloons at 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 yards on a bright sunny day.

If you are interested in the theory behind the development we established the following procedure:

This procedure includes a fair bit of math – that was of particular interest to me as a teacher using this as a learning project – but this can be automated with the computer and the initial setup of this site is actually quite simple, fast and effective.

Procedure

Since the flight of an arrow follows a decaying parabola, its trajectory can be approximated with a quadratic equation in the form of y=ax2+bx+c where y=drop and x=distance from the target.

  1. Record arrow drop from three distances covering the effective range of the bow by shooting groups of arrows from each distance and recording average arrow drop from aim point.
  2. Create three different equations using the known x and y values, with x=distance from target and y=arrow drop from aim point.

Y1=ax12+bx1+c

Y2= ax22+bx2+c

Y3= ax32+bx3+c

  1. Solve for the unknowns: a, b and c.  Do this by using a graphing calculator and setting the numbers up into a matrix and transforming the matrix to reduced row echelon form.
  2. Once coefficients a, b and c are solved for they can be plugged into the quadratic equation ax2+bx+c.  This will create the quadratic equation that predicts the arrow trajectory.
  3. Use Excel and the quadratic equation to graph the predicted arrow trajectory.
  4. Once graphed, use lines of best fit over different ranges to follow the trajectory of the arrow with an acceptable margin of error. Ultimately, these will be the lasers.
  5. By using multiple lasers, or lines of best fit, we should be able to approximate arrow trajectory out to the effective range of the bow. Multiple lasers will project multiple dots on the target, but the bottom laser dot will always be the approximating arrow trajectory.
  6. Construct a laser mounting apparatus that can be mounted onto a bow and which allows lasers be adjusted in elevation as well as fine tuned left, right, up or down. This laser mount must be rigid enough to maintain its position on the bow while sustaining the shock of repeated shots.
  7. Take the first line of best fit and find the equation of the line in slope-intercept form. B, or the y-intercept, will be the distance between the laser and the arrow.  Mount the laser at this distance above the arrow.
  8. The line of best fit will cross paths with the arrow trajectory at two places on the parabola.  Solve for the x values, or distances, where this occurs by setting the equation for the line of best fit and the quadratic arrow trajectory equation equal to each other and solve for x.
  9. Site the first laser in at the previously solved for x values by shooting a group of arrows at the two distances and adjusting the laser accordingly. After this step your bow should be striking your aiming point at the two distances.
  10. The next laser can be aligned without shooting the bow at all.  The two lasers will cross at a specific distance. This distance can be solved for by setting the equations of the lines of best fit equal to each other and solving for x.  Simply adjust the top laser so it is on top of the previous laser. Ultimately, at these two distances you will see only one dot.
  11. Repeat the previous step to align any additional lasers.

Now you can test-shoot the bow from essentially any distance that your bow is effective to and see if the lasers allow you to shoot within the predicted margin of error at these distances.

The following is the actual implementation of the procedure on the test bow (Bowtech Allegiance) with the real numbers and generated formulas.

Step 1: Record Arrow Drop.

 

Distance from Target Arrow Drop (Inches)
Group 1 15 Feet or 5 Yards 0.4375 Inches
Group 2 60 Feet or 10 Yards -5.3125 Inches
Group 3 150 Feet or 15 Yards -46.8125 Inches

 

Step 2: Create Equations.

 

0.4375=a(32400)+b(180)+c

-5.3125=a(518400)+b(720)+c

-46.8125=a(32400000+b(1800)+c

 

Step 3: Using spreadsheet program utilizing rref solve for a, b and c.

 

a= -0.0000171467764060

b= 0.00478395061728

c= 0.1319444444444440

 

Step 4: The quadratic equation predicting arrow trajectory is:

 

-0.0000171467764060x2+0.00478395061728x+0.1319444444444440

 

Step 5: Use Excel to make a graph of projected arrow trajectory using the previously found quadratic formula.

Step 6: By graphing trajectory over shorter distance ranges and using line of best fit on Excel, we were able to come up with a combination of two lines of best fit that approximates the projected arrow trajectory from zero out to 50 yards with an error of + or – 2 inches.

First Line of Best Fit:

 Second Line of Best Fit:

 Step 7: We were able to use 2 lasers and have a margin of error of 2 inches and were able to approximate an arrow strike point out to 50 yards. The top laser mount location is 25 inches above the arrow.  With a top laser mount of 33 inches we, we were able to approximate arrow strike point out to 60 yards.

 

Step 8: We chose 1 inch extruded aluminum display rail since it was readily available, rigid, lightweight and laser fixtures could be mounted anywhere along its length. This was mounted to the bow utilizing the bow’s standard site mounting holes.

 

We modified a generic green laser pointer to use as our laser sites. To allow for windage and elevation adjustment of lasers we mounted one end of the laser on a horizontal threaded bolt and the other end of the laser on a vertical threaded bolt in an aluminum square tube.

 

For our power source we made a battery pack using standard plumbing supplies and screwing it into the stabilizer-mounting hole on the bow. The bow was used as the ground and we routed one positive wire through a momentary push-button switch on the bow handle up to each laser.

 

The lasers were mounted onto the bolts by soldering a nut onto a ½ inch copper pex crimp fitting and crimping it onto the laser.

 

Step 9: The equation for the first laser line is y=-0.0137x+4.028.  The laser should be mounted at four inches above the arrow.  Mount second laser at 25 inches above the arrow, the equation for this laser is y=-0.0384x+25.132.

 

y-intercept=4.028=distance laser is mounted above the arrow.

 

y-intercept=25.132=distance laser is mounted above the arrow.

 

Step 10: Find where the first laser crosses at both places on the parabola.  See below.

Step 11: We adjusted the laser fairly close at 8.7 yards and then adjusted it to be right on at the next distance: 21.2 yards.  A quick check showed that the laser was right on at 8.7 yards as well.

 

Step 12: We solved for the distance that the laser crossed.  See Below.

 

We then aligned the lasers as to make one solid dot at 23.7 yards.

 

Step 13: There were no additional lasers.

 

Step 14: We tested the site by shooting arrows at random distances out to 50 yards, and all the arrows were within the predicted margin of error (+ or – 2 inches in elevation). See video. Further testing was done to demonstrate both the accuracy of the site out to 50 yards and the visibility of the green laser on a bright sunny day by shooting balloons at 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 yards. See video.

 

I would certainly like our students to receive feedback on your thoughts about this concept.  We did file a provisional patent on the idea.  I can be contacted at mlgunkel@gmail.com

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Published by archerchick on 21 Apr 2012

My Introduction To ELK ~By Tim Dehn

My Introduction To ELK By Tim Dehn
Bowhunting World FEBRUARY 1990
Like many bowhunters, I’ve dreamed for years of hunting elk. That’s an appetite increased by the elk hunting manuscripts I review each month for possible use in Bowhunting World.
Some of the best have been submitted by Pat Meitin, who grew up in New Mexico and today lives part of the year there, part of the year with his parents in Lubbock, Texas.  Meitin wrote Choose When To Bugle for the October 1989 issue and Elk Hunting’s Agony And Ecstasy for our 1989-90 Bowhunting Guide.
What came through both those articles, and through letters and calls back and forth, was Meitin’s respect for the quarry and considerable skill in hunting them successfully.  So when Meitin offered to introduce me to New Mexico’s elk, my only concern was whether I could meet the challenge.
This would be nothing like hunting whitetails or small game in my native Minnesota.  If we drew permits for a game rich area of the Gila wilderness, we’d be camping on the perimeter and hiking the better part of each day in search of elk.  In the semi open country I’d need to be able to shoot well at least to 40 yards, Meiten said, and 50 would be better.  He warned me to expect plenty of walking.
Yes the staff here could spare me for a week, And yes, I assured my wife, most of the gear I’d need to buy would be put to use later for family camping trips.  I made the April 27 permit application deadline and a few weeks later got the word we’d been drawn.  Then I started whittling away at a rather considerable equipment list.  Obviously I couldn’t hunt a magnificent animal like elk in the camo clothing I’d bought piece-meal over the past few years.  Two shirts, fleece and poly/cotton pants, and lightweight gloves came out of the checkbook.  Hiking boots, an external frame backpack and  the camping gear to fill it were put on the charge card.
The card came out again when I found that boosting my bow’s draw weight by 10 pounds totally destroyed the good braodhead flight I’d enjoyed the previous year.  With the extra string, tab, broadheads and sight pins I needed anyway, the pro shop visits set me back $120. I had to invest in a better rest and new arrows to solve my tuning problems, but the people at Bwana Archery in St. Paul made sure that bow could shoot!
Ready To Hunt
And so could I, at least good enough to satisfy Meitin I’d have a chance at a bull if they were still in the areas he’d scouted the previous two weeks.  Meitin had met me at the Albuquerque airport and then stopped at a friend’s house in Socorro to pick up his own gear and get in some last-minute practice.
“Let’s see how your bow shoots at altitude,” he said, meaning, I think, “Let’s see if this desk jockey can hit anything? I found his cam bow, Catquiver, single pin, ultra-light shafts and Zwickey broad- heads a strange combination of high-tech and traditional. He shook his head over my launcher-style rest, wrist sling, bow sling, bow quiver and four pins set for 20 through 50 yards.
“You sure do have a lot of gadgets on that bow.” Stocking up on gas and food, we filled the back of the 4-wheel-drive Toyota and headed west toward Magdalena. The 1988 rig was on loan from Steven Tiesdale, Meitin explained, a friend from Lubbock who would be up to hunt the following week. Quiet and comfortable, it would have lulled me to sleep without Meitin’s lively tales of trapping and guiding in the Gila National Forest we were winding through. Camp was an abandoned shack a few miles from the boundary of the sub-unit we’d drawn.
We tumbled into our sleeping bags under a sky filled with more stars than I’d ever seen before, thanks to the 7,000 foot elevation. Hours seemed more like minutes before the 4:15 alarm brought hurried preparations for a morning afield. It was opening day of New Mexico’s 1989 archery elk season. Meitin had spotted a herd the week before on a mesa within a couple miles of the wilderness boundary. Hiking past another camp we headed out on one of the many marked trails used by hikers and the ranchers who lease grazing rights there.
As the sky began to lighten we heard hunters bugle behind us, but no elk. So we kept moving farther from the road, deeper into the wilderness where motorized traffic is banned. And then we saw them. Distant dots on a hillside resolved into feeding elk as we focused our binoculars. They were a mile and half away, across at least two ridges and three draws. We trotted downhill, and I labored up, suddenly conscious of the altitude and the weight of my well-equipped bow. By the time we reached the peak of the second ridge I was drenched in sweat and struggling to try and match Meitin’s combination of speed and stealth.
Then I heard him. Awesome, thrilling, magical — how do you describe the first moment you hear an elk bugle? I stood there transfixed till Meitin whispered. “Come on. He’s right up ahead .” The bull was upwind not more than 100 yards from us. We could smell elk, and I confess to thinking “Hey, this is easier than I thought.” We quietly cut the distance to 40 yards, to where we could see the waving top of the cedar he was shredding just over a rise. But we could also see four cows and a calf between us and the bull, and as they moved slowly in front of our still forms the wind changed. One of the cows winded us and the whole group trotted down the canyon. We were in hot pursuit, keeping brush between us and them, when Meitin signaled a sudden halt.
Bedded in the bottom of a canyon, ignored by the elk striding by, was a solitary cow elk. We climbed a ridge to skirt the cow, then we had a bit of luck. The small herd we were chasing bumped into another group of elk in the same canyon and as the bulls bugled back and forth to keep their cows collected, we caught up to them. We crouched under the limbs of a tree, arrows nocked, as one of the herds moved in front of us. They were alert, but unsure of our location.
We were pinned, with no cover for approach and no way way to retreat. Meitin hissed at me when I started to draw on the bull, so I waited, only to watch the monarch round up his ladies and head further down the canyon. All we could do was lay back and stretch our cramped and aching legs. “Why didn’t we shoot?” I asked. “They had to be within 30 yards .”
“Didn’t you hear me whisper 60’?” he replied. We had to pace it off before I would believe it: 63 yards from where we crouched to where the 5×5 bull had stood broadside. lt’s size had fooled me. The elk disappeared as they bedded, and Meitin and I did the same. I dozed fitfully in the heat, dreaming of elk all around me. I could hear them walking and munching grass, but couldn’t wake up. When I did, Meitin and I shared some crackers, a candy bar and a few swallows of water.
We hunted back towards the truck, a distance that seemed far further because there were no elk to lure us on and there was so little in our stomachs. The spring had long ago gone out of my steps and by dusk my right knee was signalling a halt. We reached the truck two hours later. The next morning when the first of Meitin’s three alarms began to chirp I awoke to find my knee red and swollen. I had visions of spending the rest of the hunt hobbling around camp but a few aspirin and a few hours later I was mobile again.
Meitin told me about a far mesa where he`d scouted a bachelor herd of bulls, if l didn’t mind getting wet. We parked our rig by two others and dropped down a 20-foot sheer cliff into a river bottom, fording and refording the water that wound down between the distant banks. The sun was shining, there were wild flowers all about and the periodic dunkings actually felt good. We left the river to follow a rocky streambed toward the mesa, then cut up the hillside toward the top. My lungs were burning as I breathed fast and deep in the thin air.
Glassing across the canyon we were climbing out of, Meitin spotted one bull bedded below a dead tree and four others feeding about it. The next 90 minutes were the most exciting I’ve spent as a hunter. We skirted the head of the canyon and tried to pick a route to the bedded 5×5. The mesa had few trees and we kept having to retreat to keep cover between us and our quarry, as additional elk seemed to sprout from the trees and threaten to expose us.
“There’s too many bulls,” Meitin smiled ruefully, heading back toward the canyon rim where we could use the slope of the land to cover our approach. Now most of the feeding elk were to our right, the dozing bull straight ahead. We dropped our packs and made the last 300 yards on hands and knees, avoiding the loose rocks and small cactus. Our last cover was a cedar no taller than ourselves. Meitin whispered the range. “Forty yards. When that feeding bull lowers its head, take your shot .” I tried to still my pounding heart as I rose and the bedded bull came into view. The arrow bounced off the rest but the moleskin saved me. I was able to draw without being spotted.
I picked a spot about one-third of the way up the bull’s chest, finished a prayer, re-leased.  And watched in disbelief as the arrow struck the bull ’s hind hoof where it lay folded against his chest. He was up and away before I could connect with a second shot, and if Meitin had suggested digging a grave I would have climbed right in. The angry bull led eight others off the mesa. We followed for half a mile, to pick up the arrow and satisfy ourselves the wound was not serious, then climbed back up to figure out what had gone wrong.
“You were shooting good this morning. Maybe I had the range wrong,” Meitin said. I was convinced he had, but kept my mouth shut about it. A few minutes later I was glad I hadn’t tried to duck the blame. I paced the distance off at 41 yards. Meitin’s long legs made it 39. I’d simply used the wrong pin. There wasn’t much time to worry about it. The thunderstorm we’d seen building for the past hour was starting to sweep across the mesa, and Meitin claimed an aversion to being struck by lightning.
The rain-slicked slopes wouldn’t support us so we followed the streambed down. Water slides can be fun, but not in the gloom when you’re carrying a bow and pack. The moss-covered rocks were treacherously slick. The third time I fell it was in a pool up to my chest. I had decided the night before that Meitin could see in the dark. Now I accused him of being part mountain goat.
Wet and cold, we pushed through the willows that choked the lower part of the stream bed and found where a mountain lion had pulled a big mule deer down. “Great,” I thought, “If if do break my leg I’d probably get eaten before morning.” We huddled under a tree in the river bottom, ate the last of our trail food and began the long walk downstream. The water was higher, faster, and colder and I counted how many crossings we made on the way out. Seventeen.
In The Fog The next morning we awoke to a thick blanket of fog. We were out before dawn anyway, following game trails through the dew- laden grass where elk had gone before us as they climbed out of a river bottom. Fresh rubs enticed us on, but the bulls weren’t bugling and there was no way to find them in the fog. Instead of spooking what might be just ahead, we huddled beneath some bushes until the mid-morning sun broke through. I was glad I’d followed Meitin’s advice about bringing something warm and waterproof — a Stormtek fleece parka from Fieldline.
It was late afternoon before we spotted elk, three cows and calves feeding in a valley. Constantly checking the wind with a plastic scent bottle he’d refilled with talcum powder, Meitin led the stalk. We froze when a 250- pound calf appeared on the opposite side of a
 bush, 8 yards from me and even closer to my partner. “If you want to take a cow, that’s okay with me,” Meitin had whispered minutes before. So I drew as one stopped in a downhill opening 35 yards away. and mentally chalked her up. We’d been seeing bulls everyday and midway through the hunt it was too hard to give up the hoped-for rack.
We headed back through another rain-storm, lightning striking the high mesa around us. Warming up with a cup of hot chocolate back at camp, Meitin checked the map of our hunting area. “You know where we saw the cows, and then crossed the fence at the bottom of the canyon. The map says that ’s eight miles from where we parked the truck.” “So we walked 16 miles today?” “Plus some wandering around  he responded.
Tuesday started off with promise. Driving to an area we’d hunted two days before, we caught elk in the headlamps. A small herd, including an average bull, was leaving a river- bottom pasture and a frantic calf couldn`t find its way through the fence. We parked the truck out of sight and hurried uphill, hoping to catch up with the bull at dawn. Waiting on the ridge we heard him bugle below us and decided to give chase. The herd passed us halfway down and it turned into an uphill race again, with more hunters joining from the road below.
Meitin fumed at their repeated bugling and cow talking; it seemed to quiet, not encourage the bull in front of us. We were within 60 yards of the 240 bull, a spike and two cows when the leader decided he had enough and chased his charges over the hill. They were out of sight down the ridge when we reached the top. Two receding bugles kept us pounding along until Meitin screeched to a sudden halt. We’d burst into a herd of cattle and with a stomp and a snort an old cow stampeded the lot of them down the ridge, directly after the elk.
There followed a short discussion on the merits of cattle and of how satisfying it might be to blunt a particular cow. There were still elk to be hunted. With Meitin`s direction I could pick out the tan blobs with my Steiner’s at a range of three miles. but we needed a break.
We drove 40 miles into town and filled up with gas and cheap burritos, then returned to our unit to check two hunting areas close to the road. Both had plenty of bowhunters. Dirty and a little discouraged, we decided to take a rancher up on an earlier offer of a hot shower. We got wet all right, but it wasn’t quite what we expected.
Blocking a river crossing in front of us was an older El Camino with Wisconsin plates. Pulling it out was a new four wheel drive Chevy pickup and three helpful Florida bowhunters. We smiled as the Toyota cruised through with no problems, but 30 minutes later our expressions had changed. The rancher wasn’t home, and the river had doubled in size by the time we returned to the crossing. Rain upstream was swelling it by the minute.
Bowhunters from two rigs watched as we eased into the water and then punched it.  We made it all of one-third of the way across before the engine drowned. Water was lapping at the hood as we crawled out of the windows. It took agonizing minutes for our would-be rescuers to hook together their chains and tie a rope to the end. When Meitin leaned into the torrent to catch the rope his feet were swept out from under him. He caught at a bush; I caught his wrist. Then we both fought the current and the branches it was sweeping along to get the chain hooked to the top of the bumper.
Moments later we were out of the flood with the Toyota bumper bent a crazy angle. The engine compartment was packed with pine cones, sticks and bark. It took us 30 minutes to get the motor going, rising water lapping at our feet like a reminder of the mistake we’d made in challenging this rugged land.
Down To The Wire
We slept-in the next moming. I was down to two days but not yet discouraged. Meitin had been getting us within range every day; now all we needed was a change in luck that would bring him another trophy bull or me my first elk. That afternoon we parked near a roadside hunting camp and headed up a dry wash, then followed a winding ridge into the wilderness area.
We skirted a video crew and followed the fresh tracks past wallows and beaten cedars. It wasn`t long before we heard, then saw. cow elk just over a rise. They were 35 yards away and should have been easy targets, but our greed got in the way. The herd bull was approaching and we stayed crouched over, then slowly rose when he passed behind some cover 40 yards away. Not slowly enough, apparently.
The bull took his herd out of there in a hurry. We blew a second stalk, this time on a lone cow. That was too much for Meitin. “I couldn’t stalk a dead dog this week,” he said, throwing his bow to the ground. But the elk weren’t through with us.
Turning for home we stopped on top of a ridge and spotted more elk across a canyon. We hurried after them and snuck within 80 yards before running out of cover. Crouched behind a tree, Meitin alternately bugled and cow talked to try and bring the elk off the wooded hillside and within range. There was a rag bull, about 10 cows and a wall hanger that Meiten estimated would score 340 or better.
Every time one of the cows would head our way the big bull would round it up like an angry sheepdog. Before long he got them into a bunch and literally prodded them over the hill and out of sight. It was getting dark fast, and we were in for a nasty surprise. A shortcut back to the truck turned into one canyon after another, some so steep they sent us doubling back. It didn’t help that my compass and Meitin`s dead reckoning didn’t agree.
“I don’t know which direction North is. I just know where the truck 1s.” He was right, but it was midnight before we knew it. If grit alone were rewarded, we should have gotten an animal the next day. Because dawn found us in the woods again, trailing elk up from the river bottom. We caught the group within a mile of the road, close to a fresh rub we’d seen the day before. But there ’s a big difference between seeing elk and getting close enough to shoot.
We were still 50 yards from the cows and another 30 from the bull when they got suspicious and moved out. Meitin kept us on the fresh trail and four miles later we caught them moving up a wooded valley. We moved down the hillside, keeping in the sun so the rising thermals would carry our scent from them. Then, some motion or sound betrayed us and again our quarry strode over the ridge. We hunted into evening, but not as intensely. I tried to drink in the scenery, the majestic pines, the blue mist on the distant mountains, the rosy sunset. They were part of the memories that were all I would be bringing back. They were enough.
>>—>
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Published by archerchick on 21 Apr 2012

Russell Hull Calls Deer, You Can Too~ By Russell Hull

Russell Hull Calls Deer,
You Can Too!
Archery World February 1987

By Russell Hull
On October 12, 1982, during the fall
deer season here in Kansas “yours
truly” had the experience of a lifetime.
On that calm beautiful fall evening I was
bowhunting with my daughter, Linda, who
was seven years old at the time. We were sitting
back-to-back in portable tree stands,
watching a freshly opened scrape that I had
found a couple of days before. Linda was be-
coming very fidgety and was needing to go to
the bathroom. I informed her that there was
no way she was going to go to the bathroom
around this scrape area. I gave her a piece of
sandy to help take her mind off the problem at
I slipped a piece of candy in my mouth,
under my face mask, when suddenly into the
grape walked a huge 12 point buck. After
waiting a few moments until the buck was in
line right position, I released my arrow and it
went completely through the deer’s heart and
stuck in the ground.
This was my daughter’s first time in a tree
sand and the unexpected had happened. I was
delighted and felt like I was living a dream and
at any moment I would wake up!
On that very same evening in another part
of Kansas another bowhunter by the name of
Mike Rose was also having a dream come
me. Mike shot a new state record whitetail
minutes after I shot my buck. His deer
ended up scoring 182 P&Y. (Mike later entered his buck in my “Cover Up” contest and
won lst place.)

I never miss a chance at asking a 10t of
questions when a hunter takes a really super
buck like Mike’s. I wanted to know just what

he had done to arrow a huge buck so early into
season. I was surprised when he mentioned
that he was hunting near some scrape sign and
was using a deer call. He felt that he had actually called the deer in.

I immediately became
skeptical, but very interested.
Before the next fall’s deer season rolled
around I purchased several different deer
calls and even made a couple of calls and began

experimenting. About ten years ago, I had
tried deer calling and after a few attempts had
given it up. I decided this time to give it a
better trial.
Deer calling is becoming very popular
with bowhunters because most bowhunters
are solitary hunters who are trying to kill a
deer on a one-to-one basis. Deer calling is
really nothing new as far as a hunting technique
is concerned, for it’s probably been
used for thousands of years. Early Indians
used the method with success to get close to
deer, and they were hunting at a time when
bringing home venison was essential.
As bowhunters, we have a tendency to
scout out an area, then set up our stands and
wait for something to happen. With the use of
deer calls and the right hunting techniques, I
believe you can make it happen. Don’t get me
wrong, deer calling is no different than the
success you might have at turkey calling, bugling
elk or antler rattling. It’s not going to
work 100 percent. But if you could improve
your success just 1/3 of the time wouldn’t it be
worth a try.

 
Deer are very alert and wary animals, but
they also have a natural curiosity about them
that makes them respond to a deer call. Recently
while hunting turkeys, I saw two deer
passing by. When I called on my turkey call,
they actually changed directions and came
right up to me at a distance of about 10 yards.
They walked over, smelled the decoy and
walked on up the trail. Just another example
of how a deer will respond to a natural sound
in the woods. They will almost always stop
and look towards the sound.


Deer calling won’t always bring a deer in,
but neither will it scare or spook them away if
done properly. Sometimes they are just not in
the mood. Other times they may be cautious
or bold and aggressive. I also find this to be
true bugling elk, calling turkeys or rattling
deer horns. Rattling deer horns is Mother
Nature’s deer call. However, as with any type
of rattling or calling game the most important
thing is the right set up. This is why still hunting,
scouting and choosing a stand location is
so critical. You can’t expect to just walk out
into the woods and start rattling and calling
and expect immediate results. Using a deer
call without applying proper hunting techniques
is certainly not a short cut to success.
You must do your scouting ahead of the season
and try to plan your calling locations near
fresh scrapes, rubs, food and bedding areas.
if you can get into your stand quietly and without
being detected near a bedding area, you
will sometimes call deer out of their beds before dark.
Another good place to set up for deer calling is on a deer run
between two large areas of timber. This works well before, during and
after the rut as the bucks will be traveling a lot
looking for does in estrus. This is also a good
time to use a doe in heat lure and combine
deer calling with antler rattling.
The best weather for calling deer is on
cold and windless days. When the wind is
very calm the sound of the call will travel farther
therefore increasing your chances.
Some hunters say they don’t need to carry
a commercial call because they can make the
sounds with just the human voice. I feel it is
probably better to use a man made call because
of the louder volume which is needed
sometimes. I also hate to start coughing when
a deer is near by.
Until I see deer I call about every 15 minutes.
Then I quit calling and watch the deer to
see if they will come close. If a deer is coming
toward you, keep quiet, but if his line of travel
is taking him away from you, start to call.
Control the volume of the call depending on
how far away the animal is. Try to call in a
rhythm pattern but not too often and not too
loud.
Deer seem to be able to almost pin point
the location of a person rattling or deer calling,
and for this reason it is better not to over
call or rattle, when deer are within 50 yards or
so. This is likely to arouse the deer’s suspicion.
It also seems to work better if the terrain
for calling isn’t too open. This causes the deer
to have to look for the source of the sound.


Types Of Calls
There are three types of deer calls being
made at the present time. Let’s briefly look at
the use of each one.
The bleat deer call is designed so that the
sound it makes will cause a deer to react to the
call out of sheer curiosity. It is the cry of a
fawn or doe in distress. Big bucks will often
respond to this sound as well as does. (Ask
Mike Rose who shot a state record.) The
bucks will sometimes be following the doe
when tl1e doe comes to the call. The bleat call
will work on mule deer as well as whitetails. I
was hunting with Jim Dougherty, Jr. , last fall
in Idaho when we called in several mule deer
one evening. The bleat call is probably best
used during the early part of deer season,
when they are just moving randomly about
and are not using any specific trails.
Bleat calls can also be used in early mule
deer seasons in the mountains. Let’s say you
are sitting high on a ridge with your spotting
scope and you locate a trophy buck. The buck
beds down and you try to get a landmark on
his location so you can begin your stalk. It
takes an hour to get to the location and when
you do you have trouble relocating the buck.
Things just look different than they did a half
a mile away. But wait, you’ve got an ace in the
hole in your pocket! You take out your bleat
deer call and blow softly while you are still
hidden in the brush. Invariably a deer will get
up to investigate the sound. If you are close
enough, when he gets up take your shot, if not
let him lie back down and relax then continue
your stalk. This time you know his exact location
and the position he ’s facing.

One of the newer calls is the snort deer
call. The snort that a whitetail makes when it
is nervous and unable to identify its intruder is
generally thought of as an alarm signal. This
sound can be imitated by a smart hunter when
he is entering a tree stand in the dark or stalking
a deer that isn’t quite sure what has disturbed him.

When the intruder snorts back at
the deer, it puts the deer at ease because he
then begins to think the sound he heard is an-
other deer. I used this, one morning last fall
when I was hunting around some fresh
scrapes. I was snorted at one time on my way
to the stand; I took out my snort call and blew
one time back at the deer. After a few minutes,

I proceeded on to the stand and within
about 20 minutes I passed up an eight pointer
at l0 yards. If I hadn’t snorted back at the deer
it would have kept snorting until every deer
had vacated the area. Later in the morning I
checked the tracks and it appeared to be a
huge buck working his scrapes just before
daylight. Sometimes, during the rut a snort
will bring a buck running for a light.
The other type of deer call that I use is a
grunt deer call that is designed to imitate the
sound a buck makes when he is trailing a doe
in estrus. This grunt is sometimes described
by hunters as a “burp” or “urp” sound. Quite
often several bucks will follow this sound because
they all are scent trailing the doe in
heat.


I personally like to combine the grunt call
with rattling deer horns. I feel it makes for
more realism while trying to imitate the
sounds of a buck fight. The best time for this
is just a few days before the main tut begins
and again right after the breeding season.
Once the big bucks are with the does in estrus
it’s hard to call them away from their girl
friends.
In November of 1985, I killed two P&Y
bucks while using deer calls and rattling. The
one from Kansas was an uneven 7 x 4 (139 6/8
P&Y). I shot this buck near some scrapes and
was surprised when he let me shoot him again
after the first arrow had found its mark. This
buck was really worked up as I’ve never had
this happen before.
Three weeks later in Nebraska, after their
rifle season, I took my first non-typical whitetail
at a distance of 15 yards while using deer
calls and rattling. The buck had 16 points and
went 154 P&Y. I felt very lucky to take this
deer because they had harvested 450 deer out
of this area the week before during rifle season.
A week later they had another rifle season.
Learning to use a deer call is really very
simple and only takes a little practice. But a
little practice can pay great dividends. Just
remember to call softly and not too often.
Deer calling to me is fascinating, fun and
another extra edge that you can give yourself
while bowhunting. >>—>

 

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Published by archerchick on 21 Apr 2012

How To Hunt Javalina – By W.R. Tony Dukes

How To Hunt Javalina By W.R. Tony Dukes
Texas holds more javelina than any other state.
Stretching like a vaquero awakening from his siesta, the Texas brush country sweeps south and west away from San Antonio, a badland full of wild critters. From deer, mountain lion, bobcat and coyote, to dove, quail and turkey, it’s a paradise for those tough enough to withstand the country’s dry and thorny character. Javelina, the “desert pig,” thrives here.
Hundreds of miles away, west of the Pecos River, the terrain changes but the Texas toughness of the land- scape remains the same. This too, is home to the Lone Star state’s many roaming, squealing javelina bands.
Some quarter million of these bristly little beasts call this area home, creating a bowhunting opportunity too good to be missed. Actually, the quarter million figure is a conservative estimate by Texas game managers.
No detailed surveys. of javelina numbers have been done, but the state reports 18.000-20,000 harvested each year, mostly as kills incidental to firearm deer hunting. Texas holds more javelina than any other state. Also know as collared peccary, these pint sized “pigs” look a lot like hogs, but are not of the same family as pigs or wild boar. Features like a single dew claw on the hind foot, and four teats (only two are functional) separate them from the Old World swine.
Although javelina are classed as big game, they really fall somewhere between big and small game in size. In a Texas study, live adult javelina averaged 55 pounds, while an average, field dressed peccary falls somewhere in the 30-40 pound range. Nevertheless, Texas game management accords the javelina big game status, and fortunately, some protection. At one time, javelina were hunted for the soft, thin leather their hides provided. Many ranchers sought to exterminate them, but in recent years, attitudes have changed.
Today, javelina are no longer considered pests, and some ranchers are beginning to realize the peccary’s value as a bonus game animal for their regular, deer hunting clientele and for special javelina only hunts. Javelina require two things — food and cover. The most dense javelina populations invariably are found where prickly pear cactus is abundant. On almost all ranges, this succulent plant provides more than half of the javelina’s diet while providing most of its water requirements. The prickly pear diet is supplemented by forbs, vines, grasses, and green browse from woody shrubs. Thick brush provides cover from weather and enemies.
Whitebrush or beebrush, and blackbmsh, all acacia types, are favored in south Texas. In the hill country, cedar breaks and turkey pear offer the same protection. The javelina’s only natural enemies are mountain lions and coyotes.
Most bowhunters seeking javelina do their hunting in January and February, a time when brush has lost its leaves and daytime javelina activity increases. However, the season is open year round in most of south Texas, and from October to nearly the end of February in other areas.
During the summer months, javelina are active almost exclusively at night, laying up in the shade during the hot daytime hours. A band of javelina, usually 10-15 animals, inhabits a range of about one square mile, making them predictable if a fair amount of scouting has been done. By carefully scanning mesquite flats, scendaros, roads and other open areas, javelina can usually be spotted if they are in the area.
The animals seem to have no aversion to feeding in and crossing openings, explaining why spotting and stalking is the most popular method bowhunters use to purse the little “pigs On a stalk, the only thing a bowhunter has to worry about besides thorns and rattle- snakes is a javelina`s keen nose, its best defense.
The critters are nearly blind and have only a fair sense of hearing. So with caution, it`s not difficult for a skilled hunter to move within easy bow range. For the patient bowhunter, baited areas and watering holes make productive stand sites. Stands are typically located on the downwind edge of an opening in the thorny thicket, with the bait placed in the clearing. Javelina have a never-ending appetite for corn and can smell the grain at a distance of one-quarter mile. In good “pig” country, it is not uncommon to have bait visited within 24 hours of its placement. Like bear hunting, a persistent hunter that can keep still will usu- ally be rewarded with the opportunity for a shot. Since there are few trees capable of hold- ing a tree stand in the brush country, tripods are the elevated stand of choice. The little “pigs” can also be taken successfully from pit or ground blinds, however, their sense of smell must be respected the same way as that of a whitetail.
It`s impossible to talk about the javelina’s sense of smell without mentioning the rank odor the animal itself gives off. When down-wind from a bunch of javelina, a hunter can easily smell the beasts, and its not an odor easily mistaken, or forgotten. The cause is a musk gland located on the animal’s back, used as a means of communication. By far the most exciting way to hunt these Southwestern animals is by calling them. By imitating a young javelina in distress, a whole herd of calm, feeding peccary can be transformed into a charging, tooth-popping gang. Calling can make for some fast-paced, hair- raising action as the little critters come running.
Another great thing about javelina hunting, particularly calling, is that it ’s not critical to be hunting at dawn. This allows the bow-hunter to savor an extra hour in the sleeping bag or a chance to check out gear and sling a few practice arrows. A hunter won’t be rushed if he decides to do both. Unlike rattling whitetails where the shooter sets up in front of the rattler, when calling the javelina shooter positions himself as close to the caller as possible.
The “pigs” will come directly to the source of the call, often nearly bumping the caller and shooter as they move through. Some hunters have been unnerved by the response of the javelina, mistaking the action for an aggressive attack. The same type of activity is often observed after a band of javelina are spooked by a bowhunter trying to stalk the animals.
In fact, the javelina “at tack” is seldom more than the blind movement of the nearsighted animals as they try to leave the area in the quickest way possible. Javelina do possess vicious looking teeth, but they seldom show real aggression unless cornered. They do, however, seem to fight constantly among themselves making woofs, growls and grunts in the process, a factor that can aid hunters scouting for the animals.
The javelina`s mean looking dental gear are not tusks as referred to with wild boar. The 2·inch, razor sharp extrusions are actually canine teeth used for rooting and tearing some of the tough desert plants they eat. The teeth can inflict injury in a battle, a factor that has led to a decline in the number of hunters and outfitters that will risk running dogs on the little beasts.
Weather conditions on a January or. February Texas javelina hunt can range from that of a summer safari to cold and wintry, all within a few days. Long underwear and a good warm jacket are items to pack along. Rain gear is a must because this is the time of year that Texas gets most of its precipitation. Many hunters wear chaps and snake leggings to protect them in the endless brush. A good pair of tough leather boots are standard fare.
Camouflage clothing is helpful, but neutral tone outerwear will work just as well for this type of hunting. Javelina aren’t know for being tough to kill. Actually, when compared to other big game animals, the peccary goes down easily. Any well-placed broadhead from a medium weight hunting bow will do a nice job dispatching them. Shots average 2-20 yards when javelina come to the call. Usually darting through the underbrush, javelina make small, deceptive targets. The fast-moving, close-range shooting gives instinctive shooters an advantage here. Bait hunters can dictate their own distances by their setup and personal confidence.
Felt-lined rugs, full or shoulder mounts or a pair of handmade leather gloves are some of the exciting options the successful javelina hunter can have produced to remember his
hunt by. It’s a good idea to find out in advance how the taxidermist wants the trophy caped or cut. A bleached skull, canines glistening, always makes a nice addition to any trophy room. Anyone who has field dressed a javelina knows too well the smell of these critters. The musk gland, located high on the rump of the animal, is a four-inch dark area lacking hair. It can easily be removed by taking a knife and cutting around the area. However, because javelina often are loaded with fleas, many hunters prefer to skin the animal on the spot. In this case, there is no need to remove the musk gland because it comes off with the skin.
Javelina, with their almost exclusive vegetarian diet, make good eating at a young age. When hunting for meat, select the medium sized animals in a group. Trophy sized javelina, whether boar or sow, are not palatable, Don’t expect to get much meat from these “pigs.” An average animal yields only about 15 pounds.
Javelina Shoot Out
Way down south near the Texas border town of Laredo is a particular tract of land chock full of javelina. The Callahan Ranch lazily encompasses some 135,000 acres of Texas badlands. Here is the home of the annual Texas Javelina Shoot Out, originated in 1980. Behind a Texas-sized handlebar moustache, a squealing javelina call and a razor sharp Snuffer, you find Ron Collier, co-organizer of the annual javelina shoot. Collier and long-time hunting pal Ed Foreman are pioneers of javelina calling in Texas. Both are veteran bowhunters.
Each year these two, along with about 450 other bowhunters, visit the Callahan Ranch to camp, exchange hunting stories and chase the desert “pigs  Precision Shooting Equipment (PSE) is a major sponsor of the gathering. The hunt is open to the public for a nominal registration fee and 1990 marks the tenth an- nual event. For more information write to Ron Collier, 7700 Delafield Lane, Austin, Texas 78752.
Whether you team up with the other bow-hunters at the Callahan Ranch or set up your own “javelina shootout,” hunting these animals can be a quick cure to the midwinter blahs. Javelina can`t compare to a trophy bear, deer or any of the other animals listed by the Pope and Young Club record keepers, but they are just challenging enough, and just easy enough to score on, to make the hunt well worth the effort. And when that first bunch of javelina is encountered, the excitement will easily over-shadow any doubts about the small size of this animal. The thrills are big!
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Published by archerchick on 21 Apr 2012

Camo Comics – By Jack Heilborn Jr and Dwain Meyer

Bowhunting World February 1990

Camo Comics, Concepts for these cartoons were contributed by Jack Heilborn Jr., a Michigan bowhunter.  The drawings
are by Minnesota’s Dwain Meyer, an accomplished cartoonist whose work has often appeared in the pages of Bowhunting World.

Bowhunting World plans to bring you more of their collaborative effort in upcoming issues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Published by archerchick on 13 Apr 2012

Erv Plotz Hard to Keep this Bowhunter Down on The Farm by Jay Strangis

Erv Plotz Hard to Keep this Bowhunter Down on The Farm by Jay Strangis
Bowhunting World April 1990
Erv Plotz says he’s had his hunts and he’s settling down. No more playing tag with grizzly bears. No more chasing ghosts in the desert. No more freezing toes with Eskimos or fistfights in frontier lodges. No. Erv Plotz is fifty years old and he’s giving up the wild life. And why not? Not every world-class bow-hunter is able to retire to the peace of a Minnesota farm when he’s given up the chase. Just because that farm is home — always has been. It`s where he plans to live quietly the rest of his days, he says. And if anyone believes that, they also must believe muskox can fly.
An unlikely combination of farmer-trophy hunter, Plotz  has bowhunted on two continents, taken countless big game animals, placed nine trophies in the Pope and Young record book and notched several bow hunting firsts. People like Erv Plotz don’t just fade away. Try as he might to act reserved, the man still has  an uncontrolled “let’s go hunting”  look in his eye. A gleam that he’s no doubt carried throughout his 36 years as a bow-hunter, and one that’s not likely to dim. He probably displayed that gleam at age 14, while making his first bow.
Denied any use of guns, the farm boy decided he’d do like Native American Indians. The lemonwood limbs he fashioned were crude, as were the arrows he carved from dowels, with chicken feathers for fletching. But by the time he reached ninth grade, he had bow-killed his first deer. The man with a passion for bow-hunting and adventure has bow-killed 46 whitetails since.
Throughout Plotz’ life, others have seemed to identify his adventurous spirit, and the connection has resulted in some memorable experiences. When he joined the military in the l950s, he was sent to Europe. Of course, his bow accompanied him and his target shooting time actually increased. Plotz shot every day, and the longbow became a trademark of the young man. Native Europeans witnessing his skill and hearing of his passion for hunting, couldn’t resist inviting him into the field.
One such invitation came in France, where Plotz earned honors as the first modern bowhunter in Europe to kill a wild boar. He also arrowed a roe deer. Good fortune never has been in short supply for Plotz. An Austrian man whose family survived on American
C-rations during World War II met Plotz and his commanding sergeant, insisting that he take the two on a chamois hunt as a token of his gratitude. They accepted, and Plotz took a 13-year-old chamois ram in a hunt amidst the Austrian peaks. Today such a hunt is comparable to that for North America’s desert bighorn sheep, accessible only to the very lucky, or the very rich.
License To Brag
At home in the sleepy town of Clements, Minnesota, Erv Plotz sits at a dining room table, and directs his eyes past the buildings that house his hogs, across the sweeping soy-bean fields that line the horizon. He grew up in that direction, just two miles away, and like an old buck, he`s spent his life in the same territory, with an occasional foray beyond. Behind Plotz, on the other side of the farmyard, is a grassy area he uses to practice archery. He’s fired many arrows over that ground, most with a bare bow, the way his childhood idol, Howard Hill, had.
Only in the last two years has he shot with a compound bow. As a matter of fact, of the 14 bow-killed animals in Plotz’ trophy room, only his pronghorn antelope was taken using sights. Plotz still likes to handle the bow he used for many years, a 102—pound longbow made for him by Martin Archery. He’s also shot recurve and longbows by Bear Archery and Paul Bunyan Archery, but the Martin bow is a part of Plotz’ most memorable adventures. In fact, the bow itself, combined with Plotz’ ego, earned hunts in some very strange ways. On a hunt for stone sheep in British Columbia, Plotz first turned the bow to his advantage, even though his sheep hunt was a rifle kill.
Outfitter Frank Cook, Plotz` host and one of the most notable guides of the region. took a look at the longbow Plotz carried with him and scoffed at its 102-pound draw weight and slender design. Cook called the bow “a stick” and offered to wager that his son who would arrive in a few days could break the bow. Never one to avoid a good argument. Plotz accepted, but changed the terms of the wager. All Cook’s son had to do was pull the bow to win. At stake was the cost of a moose hunt. Plotz shot his stone sheep on the eighth day of the hunt. He was elated, but that soon turned to a case of nerves after Cook`s son arrived. The boy weighed more than 250 pounds and was as strong as an ox. The moment of truth had arrived. The bow looked like a toothpick in the hands of the overgrown youth. But as he prepared to draw he made one mistake. Instead of raising his elbow to draw the bow, he held the joint against his body and tried to draw from the hip, without raising the bow at all.
After the second attempt Plotz said he knew the moose hunt was his. The boy tired so much in the first two tries there was no way he would succeed if he pulled all day. Only a few years later, another run-in with a critic of Plotz’ bow would lead to a hunt for a trophy mountain lion. The “doubting Thomas” this time turned out to be a Canadian government cat hunter from the Kettle River area of British Columbia. Plotz met the man in a bar and had to listen to him cast insults at the bow’s ability to still a lion. Plotz argued with the man and invited him to “bring on the cat.”
The next day Plotz found himself waist deep in snow following a bunch of rough and ready cat hounds. He reached the treed lion first, but as agreed, had to wait for the government hunter and his pals to arrive to witness the shot. The cougar turned out to be the largest cat taken in Canada up to that time, scoring 14 11/16 P&Y points, weighing 147 pounds and measuring 92.5 inches from nose to tail.
Getting Physical
Plotz and his wife, Donna, have five children. Erv Plotz is especially proud of his sons. He says the boys are tough, and it`s obvious that’s important to him. Erv Plotz is a pretty tough customer him-self. At 50, he’s in better shape than many people half his age. Hard work has kept him that way. When the farm economy slumped. Plotz started a part-time hardwood logging business, a job which nearly cost him his life last year.
Felling huge ash trees in a boggy area with one of his sons, Plotz was struck by a misguided tree. The trunk pinned his leg against the ground, breaking it, and as the angered logger thrashed to pull himself free, he broke his arm against another tree.
One might say Erv Plotz is the physical sort. He also makes friends in strange ways. In a lodge at God’s Lake, Northwest Territories. Plotz happened to mix words with a stranger, another U.S. citizen. The two finished their debate with fisticuffs, but parted company  peacefully. So much so that months later Plotz got a call from another man inviting him on a Canadian fishing trip, and eventually their friendship led them to plan an Alaskan sheep hunt.
Plotz response:    ” When you go hunting you really meet super guys. I think hunters are a very elite group, the best people, especially bowhunters.”
Bringing ’em Back
Erv and Donna Plotz’ traditional attractive farmhouse looks like many other Mid-western country homes – until one gets inside. Past the friendly kitchen and through a warm dining room a menagerie of critters wait to greet the visitor. More than a trophy room, the Plotz’ living room resembles a natural history museum.
A full mounted grizzly bear guards the door to the patio, closely attended bythe full mount of Plotz’ British Columbia lion. On other walls, whitetail, caribou, pronghorn, mountain goat and sheep heads keep watch, while a full-mounted desert bighorn sheep perches on a corner rockpile, replete with a barrell cactus.
Perhaps the strangest creature of all, and certainlythe only one ever to grace the town of Clements, dominates the room: A full-mounted muskox. The muskox holds special significance for Plotz.
It is , he says, the first muskox ever killed by a white man in the Northwest Territories of Canada. It also ranked second in the world, at one time, among Pope and Young records. Plotz got a tip about the special muskox hunt from Jack Atcheson, a taxidermist in Butte Montana.
In February 1980, Plotz found himself accompanied by three rifle hunters who also held permits, two game wardens and seven Eskimos on a wild trip across the frozen tundra on 12-foot wooden sleds pulled by snow-mobile, with only snow drifts to guide them. The natives don’t use compasses, Plotz notes, finding their way by observing the prevailing winds’ imprint on the drifts.
That night, among a village of Eskimos, Plotz` and his bow attracted considerable atention. The natives were fascinated by the idea of a man who might kill a muskox with an arrow. The flattery couldn’t stem P1otz’ worries. He wasn`t sure what would happen when he loaded-up the 102-pound bow at 38 degrees below zero. The next day he got his answer.
Travelling with a native guide, Plotz and the man spotted a dark figure alone on the sea of white. Muskox! They circled for an upwind stalk after identifying the animal as what looked to be a large. bedded bull. They got within yards of the beast and the guide told Plotz to shoot as soon as the animal gained its feet. But at a temperature of almost 40 below, even the guides hollering couldn’t bring the animal from its bed.
When it finally arose, Plotz killed the 103 2/8 trophy. Only one other hunter succeeded in killing a muskox on that hunt, that with a rifle. Plotz` ever-changing luck took a sudden turn when he developed food poisoning from the native cuisine. He left camp only to be detained later by customs officials at Edmonton. Alberta, who confiscated his trophy and gear. Seems they hadn’t heard a rare muskox hunt had been established. It took Plotz more  than a day to resolve the situation.
Versatile Hunter
Erv Plotz loves to bowhunt. But over the years he’s also developed skills as a rifle hunter. One of the accomplishments that brings him the most pride is the completion of a Grand Slam for sheep in just three and one-half years. To complete the Grand Slam, Plotz needed 1 desert bighorn. In a wild piece of luck, he was one of six hunters drawn to hunt the trophy   animals in Arizona, and he hoped that his fourth sheep species would be the first he would take with a bow.
Plotz prepared for the hunt for four months, running over 12 miles each day on the dusty roads surrounding Clements, contacting  any  person who might help narrow down locations for a trophy desert bighorn,   practicing with his bow. By the time the December hunt came along, he was ready. Plotz learned that an Arizona game warden knew the general location of a ram with world record potential.
The warden had photographed the sheep in the Mount Wilson area. Upon seeing the photo, Plotz became obsessed. Interested in the novelty of bowhunting desert sheep, a crowd organized to assist Plotz in his pursuit. The game warden with the photograph took two weeks vacation to attend the hunt. The president of the Bighom Sheep Society would serve as guide and a flock of outfitters would come along to assist.
It was a big sheep camp to chase just one ram, but this was big territory. According to the game warden, the 2,000 square miles they could hunt held just 12 legal rams. The party never did find the once-photo- graphed monster sheep, but did manage to locate a very large ram which Plotz, bow in hand, stalked unsuccessfully four times before the animal finally left the territory.
Days later, when they finally spotted another good ram, Plotz knew the time had come to put away the bow and take out the rifle. His companions were furious. They had come all this way to see the sheep bow-killed. Plotz resisted the pressure. His permit allowed him to take the ram with a rifle, and he was through risking a rare Grand Slam just to appease his ego and the egos of his companions. He might never have this chance again if he lived 10 lifetimes. The next day, he carried the entire sheep, gutted, out on his back — Erv Plotz style.
Wh0’s Stalking Whom
The moose hunt Erv Plotz won years earlier never did produce an animal for him. A world-record class bull had been spotted, but between tangled country and overly aggressive young guides, Plotz’ yearning for a record book moose continued to be only that, a yearning. Seventeen days of brush-battling scratches and frozen toes sent him home only hungrier.
He returned to the northwest several years later. this time Alaska. with hopes of hanging that moose and a grizzly bear. Bowhunting the Christmas Creek area near Nome, Plotz sighted many grizzlies, and one morning saw a path to a stalk. The bear was out in the muskeg, a spongy area where travel was slow, but the low brush offered a chance for an open shot. After sneaking within range, he let go an arrow that zipped low, parting the belly hairs of the giant bruin. Startled, the bear began looking for its adversary, advancing in a slow, circling stalk of its own.
Plotz was unnerved. He managed to escape, but vowed not to put himself in such a spot again. Several days later he bagged a grizzly with his rifle. In the same camp, several hunters returned one day to report seeing a large bull moose on a small lake a short plane flight away. Plotz and the bush pilot took off immediately, knowing if they could spot the animal and land, they would have to sit out the r quired waiting period before legally pursuing the bull. Wind and bad weather greeted them as they reached the lake and spotted the bull. The pilot refused to land under the conditions. With no way to estimate the direction of mountain wind currents on the way down, an attempted landing could prove fatal.
Plotz would likely have jumped from the plane if he hadn’t had another idea. Snatching an arrow from his quiver, he tied a long ribbon to the fletching and dropped it over a gravel slide. The arrow planted itself firmly in the escarpment and the ribbon tailed away with the wind. With their windsock in place, the two put down safely on the lake. Plotz arrowed the bull, a 182 2/8 trophy, the next day, but the weather worsened and for three more days the hunter and pilot remained trapped with the moose carcass under the Alaskan fog.
Closer To Home
In addition to his adventures shooting three P&Y caribou and a P&Y pronghorn antelope with his bow, Erv Plotz takes great pride in the hunting he grew up with near home. Redwood County, Minnesota, is whitetail deer country — farmland, that holds more crop than anything else —where fence-lines mean cover and tiny sloughs hold giant bucks. Several miles away is the lush, forested Minnesota River valley. But Plotz says the bucks prefer the sparse upland habitat most of the year. He might know. Plotz’ many whitetail bow-kills include three P&Y qualifying bucks, with the best two of the three listed in the record book. Vacant groves, creeks and other islands of habitat hold the biggest deer in Redwood County, by Plotz’ estimation. The bucks may like to visit the vast river bottoms on occa- sion, but they don’t like to stay there, he says. He prefers to stalk the deer when he can, or take a ground blind where line fences meet small sloughs.
Last year he spotted what he called a “super buck,” but was unable to bowhunt following his logging accident. The gleam returns to the wild man ’s eye — he ’s checked with every meat locker in the county — the buck wasn’t taken before the season came to a close.
Always Something More
Cutting through the reserved exterior of the new Erv Plotz isn’t difficult, just mention elk or carp, two critters that light him up like a firecracker. For seven years Plotz has been chasing bull elk on an acquaintance’s 10,000-acre spread in Montana, and for seven years he has failed to score. Of course, he doesn’t want to just kill any elk any way. He wants a six by six or better, and he’s going to kill it with a bow.
He’s already practicing with one of his sons for the fall trip, and advising the boy that if he can’t hit the vitals at 60 yards, don’t bother coming to hunt. The area Plotz hunts is wide open country, with lots of bulls and very little cover.
Plotz now shoots an Oneida Screaming Eagle compound, something he picked up a couple of years ago, the same time he first began using sights. He says it just seemed like the time to start catching up with the advantages most other bowhunters enjoyed in speed and range. The feeling is enforced by his experiences watch- ing bull elk on the outside of his bow range.
Elk and a funny looking fish have little in common, except to Plotz. He`s been bowfishing carp for years in the springtime, and gets that crazy look when the subject arises. He wants a big carp as much as that big bull elk. As a matter of fact, he’s planning to shoot a new state record carp to add to the 40 and 42- pound fish he’s already harvested, and he says he knows where the big carp lives.
Seated at his dining room table under a mounted 40 pound carp, Plotz seems almost relaxed as he summarizes his career. “The farming hasn’t been as good as the hunting,” he quips. And he speaks of his 50 years as if it’s a lifetime come to an end —all the good luck and bad luck, close calls and the many people he’s met over the years. Suddenly, he perks up. Seems there’s this giant muskie waiting for him up at Lake of the Woods, Ontario, and he’s just got to get up there as soon as possible and catch that fish. The gleam is back.
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