Archive for the 'Tips/Advice' Category

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Published by kr5639 on 21 Apr 2011

ARMGUARD/Gear Pocket with Call Strap by Neet

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

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

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Published by Double s on 01 Apr 2011

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

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

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Published by archerchick on 17 Feb 2011

Improve Your Deer Hunting Odds~ By John Sloan

Bow And Arrow Hunting
April 1990
Improve Your Deer Hunting Odds~ By John Sloan
Are you in a Hunting Rut? Give some of these Old/New Ideas a Trial~ They May Pay Off This Season!

EACH YEAR, as I get letters and calls from deer hunters who have questions
about something I have written, or when I talk with hunters who have attended
one of my seminars, I am amazed at how many simple mistakes these hunters
seem to make. Many of the folks I talk with are experienced hunters. By experienced,
I mean they have spent a lot of time hunting. That doesn’t mean they have been
successful much of the time.


I speak with hunters who still believe many of the old wives’ tales and myths
that have abounded in deer hunting lore for many years. I see hunters who have not
kept pace with change in both equipment and habitat. These changes have affected
the habits of deer and their vulnerability. In thinking back over many of these
calls and encounters, I find that there are six main areas that, if given a little more
attention and thought, can be changed to greatly improve the hunter’s chances of
success. The understanding of these areas requires that much of the hype and bull-
hockey that has been written and espoused must be cut through. Look at the factors
with clear, simple understanding and you will develop a clear, simple understanding
of the animal you are hunting.



There have probably been more words of advice on scouting than any other facet
of deer hunting. Of course, it is important. But it isn’t a great mystery rife with secrets
and complicated formulas. I do most of my scouting in the post-season. Why’? Because
I can see the ground better then. Deer walk on the ground. They do not fly. or climb trees
or hop from bush to bush. They walk on the ground and they prefer certain types of ground to others.

Deer would rather walk where the walking is the easiest. Given decent cover, a
deer is also going to take the course of least resistance. He is not going to climb a steep
ridge if there is a gentle slope nearby that will get him to the same place, but with less
effort. Deer don’t really like level ground. It is harder for them to hide there. They prefer
there be a depression through which they can travel. They prefer to have a ridge they
can get over in a couple of quick jumps. I want to be able to see the contour of the
ground first. Then I’ll take a look at the trees and the brush.

The single biggest mistake a hunter makes is not seeing what he is looking at.
He is not assimilating the material his eyes observe and computing that into what it
means to a deer. Look at the surface of a lake. lf you never consider what is under
that surface, you’ ll not catch many small mouth bass. If you look at the trees, you’ll
never see the forest, to rephrase a phrase.



Each year I am given consulting jobs. These jobs are simply me — the guide —
telling the employer — the hunter — where he should hang his stand. Most of
the time. I have never been on that piece of property before. Here I am, charging $l5O
a day to tell a guy where to put his tree stand. Most of the time, I find that where
he had his stand last year was within twenty or thirty yards of where it should have
been. Too often. a hunter picks a particular tree. because it is a good tree to climb. It
may be a bit out in the open or a touch too far from the trail. but it is a great tree to

The stand has to be in the right place; or you might as well be sitting at camp
drinking Jack Daniels and branch water. Quite often. there is no good tree to climb in
exactly the right place. Your options are simple: You either find another place; or
make do with what you have. Frequently, even a bad tree can work just fine, if you
have a different type of stand or hunt from the ground.

Now I would just as soon be at camp with bourbon and water as sit on the ground.
So I own about four kinds of tree stands. If all you find where you hunt are little saplings,
maybe a ladder stand will work. I suggest placing ladder stands in your selected location
at least four weeks prior to hunting that area. If the trees are all huge or have lots of branches,
a lock-on stand often will work. A tree seat and a board will work in the crotch of a big tree.
A tree sling may work in almost any tree that will hold you up. I use a Quick And Quiet climbing portable stand ninety percent of the time. But if it just won’t work, I’m not so set in my ways that I won’t use something else.

Pick the stand location on the basis of deer movement, cover and the direction of
the sun. I try to have the wind at my face or quartering and the sun at my back. Here in
my state of Tennessee, the sun almost always rises in the east and sets in the
west, but the damn wind can change every twenty minutes and often does. So l don’t
get locked into not hunting a particular tree just because the wind is wrong. I simply
adjust for that.

I have often wondered just how many different scents and lures there are on the
market. I have also wondered just how many of them even come close to being
what they are reported to be. Here in Tennessee, thousands of words have been
written about a lovely teenage girl who has bagged several nice bucks over the past
couple of years using her favorite perfume. I don’t doubt it. I have a tale or two myself.
You can do everything wrong and still kill “Ol’ Snort.”

One day last hunting season, I did everything wrong. I used no masking scent or
attracting lure. I made plenty of noise going to the stand. I got in the wrong tree, waited
fifteen minutes and climbed down and moved. It was a warm, windy day and the
ground was wet from rain the day before. I had eaten a Mexican dinner the night before
and Montezuma was taking his revenge. I got down and attended to that ~
five feet from my tree. I didn’t expect to kill anything, I was just marking time.

I shot the nine-pointer ten minutes later at a remarkable six feet. I literally could
have stabbed him with a spear. Maybe he liked enchiladas? Maybe we’ve discovered
something. When it comes to masking human odor, the best product on the market costs thirty-
five cents. It’s called soap and you add water to it and use it regularly. There are
also some products that are said to eliminate human odor. I don’t know about total
elimination, but a couple of them do a pretty good job on boots and hats. I do use
them some, but only as an addition to keeping my body and clothes clean. There
is no substitute for that.

As far as attracting lures are concerned, the only thing I use is an estrous scent during
the rut and pre-rut, then use it sparingly and preferably in a spray format. The key in
using these scents is to be sure the stuff is good quality. Concerning animal urine on my
boots: I don’t use it. I doubt the urine hurts anything, but I also doubt it helps anything. I
also have not been able to see one bit of difference in leather and rubber boots, as
far as scent control goes. Just watch where you wear your boots; I really don’t think
gas or motor oil on your boot soles does much good. I do wear plastic surgical
gloves going to and from my stand. After all. it is my hands that push the branches
out of the way.


There have been millions of words written on calling and rattling. I wrote some of
them myself. I am a firm believer in calling and rattling at certain times. I am also a
firm believer that neither of these techniques are magic. They work only sometimes.
I call a lot and rattle maybe ten days a year. I call softly and usually try to sound
like a doe. If a hunter has not included calling and rattling in his or her bag of tricks,
one should consider it. Learning to do it properly may spook some deer in the beginning.
So what? There are plenty of instructional cassettes, videos and books to reference. Use
some common sense and sort out what works best for you. If you never try it, you’ll never know if it works.


In the past eight years, I have killed sixty deer. I need that many to feed my
family; that is well below the legal limit where I live. I have not killed a deer that
was over 150 yards from any sort of road. Of the ten deer I killed last year, eight were
within seventy-five yards of a road. Three of those were within thirty yards of a road.
Too many hunters walk as far back in the woods as they can before even considering
a stand site. Their rationale is to escape the other hunters and have all
the deer to themselves. Now if most of the hunters are thinking that way, it doesn’t
take a genius to see the long walk in is accomplishing nothing.

I much prefer to hunt where the deer are. If my scouting has revealed a super
stand fifty yards from a road, that’s where I hunt. If the deer don’t care about the
road, why should I’? I’ll go ahead and let the deep woods hunters have the deep
woods. I’ll stay up by the road and enjoy the lack of hunters and plenty of deer.
I have, on several occasions, killed deer within sight of my truck; I mean within
forty yards of my truck. Many of my friends and paying hunters have done the same
thing. One of my hunting partners coined the phrase, “If you can’t see the car, you’ve
gone too far.”


A popular soft drink had a slogan, which ran something to the effect, “Good
at 10-2-4.” I have found that you can apply that to deer hunting. I have been
keeping some pretty good records on the times of day we are killing deer with my
guide service. In 1988, of the forty-two deer killed, all but four were killed after
7:30 a.m. The majority were killed between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m.On our afternoon
hunts, we had poor success last year. Only six deer were killed in the afternoon and
those were killed between 4:15 and 5:03 p.m.

Here, where we hunt, all the deer were killed at least one hour after daylight and
one hour before dusk; our legal shooting time here is daylight to dusk. In the past
few years, we have seen but little deer movement either early or late. What deer
we do see are usually does and yearlings. The majority of the big bucks we take
are shot around nine or ten in the morning when many hunters have left the woods.

Now I don’t even go to the stands until I can see well enough to shoot.
To put all of this in a nutshell: Scout in the post-season. Find good-looking areas
with deer sign and the sort of terrain deer like to travel. Pick out one or two stand
trees. Go back late in the summer and see if the deer are still there and if you can
shoot from your selected stand trees. If not, trim till you can or move.
Pick all stands on the basis of shooting a deer, not because it is such a good tree to
climb. If your stand won’t work, get one that will. Buy one, build one or borrow

Take a shower. If it is hot, shower two or even three times a day. Wear clean clothes.
Change twice a day, if you have to. If a set of cammies costs you $75, isn’t it worth
$75 for a good buck? Remember, the best camo you are ever going to wear is called
sitting still. Keep your boots clean and use a cover scent if you wish, but be sure that
cover scent is natural.

If you are not calling and rattling, try it. Investigate the products on the market, listen
to some seminars or cassettes, pick the products that appeal to you. Don’t use
calling and rattling as a last resort: use them as primary tools. Don’t be misled into
thinking all the deer are five hundred yards back in the woods. One editor of a popular
bowhunting magazine kills most of his bucks in his neighbor’s backyard.Re-think the old
saw about, “All the deer are killed right at daylight and right at dark.” It just ain’t so. If
you are getting tired and fidgety by 8:30 a.m. and are on the ground, “scouting” by nine,
try going into the woods at seven and hunting until eleven.

Quite simply, use some common sense and think about the animal you are hunting. Whitetail
deer, sharp as they may be, are not mental geniuses. You can out think some of them. Do some simple, basic things until you are ready to try the college-level tactics. Most of all, enjoy
what you are doing and give some of these different techniques a try. They can pay
off for you.

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Published by archerchick on 17 Feb 2011

How To Build Life-Like Three-D Targets ~By Jim Deitrick

April 1990

How To: Build Life-LIke Three-D Targets ~By Jim Deitrick

I CAN BARELY make out the light tan color of an elk’s back on the
steep slope above me. Looking carefully, I pick up the glint of an
antler through the timber. Moving closer, I can see the elk standing at the
confluence of a thick patch of aspens bordering a heavy stand of fir. Closer yet and
the bull comes into full view. He is a magnificent animal, poised with his head up,
listening, ten ivory—tipped points of armor tilted over his head.

While mentally compensating for the steep incline, I carefully judge the distance
separating us. In one smooth motion, I slowly raise my bow, draw and release.
The arrow flies true, heading for its mark. Thud! The unmistakeable sound of an arrow
hitting — Styrofoam?

The elk is only a target; not an ordinary target, however, but a handcrafted three-
dimensional target. With targets built in this manner, it’s easy to let your imagination take hold.
Practicing is, as every archer knows, a crucial part of being a good bowhunter.
The best practice possible is having life- size three—dimensional targets set up in a
field, simulating actual hunting conditions. Three—Ds enable a person to get a
better feel for judging distances that ordinary face targets simply cannot duplicate,
especially when shooting on steep inclines.

Three-Ds also make it possible to shoot from any position or angle without having
to move or adjust the target. Putting aside all the practical aspects, though, shooting
at these lifelike animal replicas is just pure fun. l believe anyone, with a little time and
practice, can put together good looking 3-D targets.

Unless one has previous experience, working with a buddy seems to be the best
approach on the first one or two attempts. When it comes to carving the form, one
person can sometimes see an irregularity the other person does not notice. Avoid
getting too many people on the same project, however. This sometimes creates too
many opinions, making it difficult to get anything accomplished.

I had the opportunity to work with a fellow who is exceptionally good at turning out
these lifelike targets. Mike Shetler of Carey, Idaho, has produced several
exceptional 3-D targets and together we made the elk featured here.
The materials used for construction, with the exception of the antlers, can be
purchased at most lumber yards, builders’ supply or hardware store. It is conceivable
that even the antlers could be carved from wood or some similar type of material, but
I have never tried it. It is generally much easier to End the real thing. However, real
trophy—sized antlers are a lot harder to come by. Antlers carved out of Styrofoam
would lack the strength needed for normal handling.

Many big—game animal targets that one can make have no antlers to worry about.
In fact, Shetler carved out a set of full curl ram’s horns in a sheep target that turned
out to be nothing short of incredible.

The materials we used for assembling the elk are: a large sheet of cardboard,
two—inch Styrofoam, Styrofoam glue, heavy—gauge wire, burlap, wallpaper paste,
paint in appropriate colors. The first thing to do, after deciding which
animal target one wants to make, is to find a picture of that animal in the pose wanted
from a book or magazine. With the help of an opaque projector, enlarge this image to
lifesize onto a sheet of cardboard and trace out the outline. It is important to ensure
that the selected picture must be almost perfectly broadside. lf the animal is quartering
even slightly, the result will be a distorted view when the silhouette is traced
onto cardboard. If a person can draw well, this problem can be eliminated by simply
drawing a life—size silhouette on card- board. Once drawn, this outline is cut out,
making a pattern for cutting the Styrofoam.

We used ordinary two—inch white insulating Styrofoam on the elk target. We
used one sheet of the denser blue—type foam in the center for durability. I believe
the more dense foam makes a longer— lasting target. Unfortunately, it is a lot
more costly and considerably harder to work with.

The cardboard silhouette is placed on top of each sheet of two—inch Styrofoam
and traced. The sheets of Styrofoam do not need to be wide enough to cover the
entire height of the animal. In fact, shorter legs make the target more stable for
carving and can be lengthened easily after the rest of the target is carved. Depending
upon the size of the animal target to be made, one to three sheets are cut
without legs — for the center of the body. Two or three sheets are cut for each side,
including the appropriate right or left side legs for each.

All of these layers are glued and stacked together in their correct order. Some weight
placed on top while the glue is curing will help hold the pieces evenly together. Masking
tape wrapped around the legs will hold them while they are drying. If the target is
being made with a turned head, this portion will have to be built out farther than
the rest of the body. Small pieces of foam can be used by adding them to the head
and neck area so as not to leave as much waste.

The best glue to use is one made specifically for glueing Styrofoam. It is generally
purchased in tubes and applied with a caulking gun. Builders’ supply outlets should
have the necessary materials.

When the glue is completely dry, the foam is ready to be carved and the fun
begins. We have found that an ordinary kitchen knife works well for carving Styrofoam.
The only drawback is having your spouse catch you with it and use it on you
before you can get it out of the house.

When carving the body, try not to worry about cutting off too much. This is a common
tendency and resulting in an animal with a sort of blocky squared-off look. If a
person does cut too deep, it’s a simple matter to glue on a scrap piece of foam and
start over. Once the foam is roughed out with a carving knife, coarse sandpaper
works well to bring out the fine details, especially around the head and face.
Don’t rush this process. Sometimes it is best to leave for awhile; return at a later
time with a fresh view.

Sections of heavy wire are used to support the ears and extend the leg pieces to
their proper length. It is usually best to leave the lower section of the legs over-
sized. Carving them down to lifesize will make them too weak to support the rest of
the target. Steel rods can be used for support if a person wants more lifelike legs.
However, these same rods are often detrimental to the life of aluminum arrows.
Attaching the antlers to the foam is a matter of carving out the appropriate size
hole in the head, then anchoring the antlers with several sections of heavy wire pushed
down into the head through drilled holes.

Sometimes balance can be a problem. lf the antlers are too large, the front of the
animal will be too heavy to stand on its own legs. If this happens, one possible
solution is to place some weight in the lower part of one of the hind legs.
When the carving, shaping and swearing are finally completed and you are satisfied
with the look of the form, you are ready for the next step. The foam is covered
with burlap and wallpaper paste. This process puts a heavy covering, almost like a
shell, over the entire target, adding strength and durability.

Our best luck with wallpaper paste is to use the pre-mixed variety. The extra thickness
and weight of this paste helps to hold and fill the burlap. When applied liberally,
the paste will hide the seams between sections of burlap, making a smoother skin on
the target. Any heavyweight burlap will work. We used burlap bean and grain sacks, with the
seams removed, cut into varying sizes. Larger pieces are used over the body section while
smaller strips are placed around the head and face. The entire target should
be covered with burlap. Weaker points, ears and leg extensions, are tied together
by overlapping the strips in opposing directions.

When the wallpaper paste dries, the target will be relatively strong and ready
for normal handling. If any weak points are noticed at this time, it is wise to apply
some extra burlap where needed. Most wallpaper pastes will break down
if immersed in water. When the target is completely dry, it is a good idea to apply a
generous amount of exterior paint, in an appropriate base color, over the entire target
to help protect it against the weather. However, it is not a good idea to leave a target
in the rain any longer than necessary regardless of how much paint has been applied.

With the base coat of paint completely dry, the target is ready for the final step.
Putting on the finishing color is critical to the final appearance of the target. On this
final process, we appropriated the services of a talented lady who had most of
the paints and talent to make a fair target look pretty good.

Even though we had an expert paint this elk target, that doesn’t mean anyone couldn’t
do as well with some practice. It is generally helpful to gather as many color pictures as
possible before beginning to paint. These pictures will help with the color and shading,
particularly while working on the face.

It is important to remember to not rush the job. Take your time.
Three—D targets put together as I have described will last through dozens of arrows.
However, when the vital area finally does get “shot out” and is too weak to prevent
arrows from passing through, it is time for some repair. Carefully cut out and remove
the damaged section and replace it with a new block of Styrofoam. The patch is
covered over with a new section of burlap and paste. Then, with a new coat of paint,
the target is ready for service.

It seems the closer a target appears to real life, the more fun it is to shoot at and
the harder a person tries to connect with a good shot. This extra effort improves
concentration, making for better quality practice. Many clubs also have competitions
for the best looking 3-D target constructed by members. A club can assemble a large
inventory of fine targets.
Good shooting! <—<<

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Published by murphytcb on 13 Feb 2011

How long should my micro adrenaline last

I got a browning micro adrenaline for free, its an 05/06 swill this bow last for a while. I am just getting into bow hunting but want to practice alot before i go into the field and heard good thins about this bow. It is set to 28” draw and 50lbs. it shoots real nice and has a 4 pin tru glo sight . should this last me a while. thanks for the info

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Published by archerchick on 11 Feb 2011

Tall Texas Tales Of Snake Snicking~ By C.R. Learn

Bow and Arrow

August 1972

Tall Texas Tales Of Snake Snicking By C.R. Learn

Or, A Brush In The Bush With A Rattler Rattled Our Bow Tester

THE PERSPIRATION DRIPPED down my back like a river. We were
working for javelina in the south Texas brush country so thick you couldn’t
walk. Beto Guiterrez, Jack Niles and I were looking for the elusive little pigs,
when the hunter became the hunted! Niles had split to check another
area he thought would produce, and Guiterrez and I had moved on.

Guiterrez had been in front, but stopped and motioned for me to take
the lead. He had his pig hanging. We switched positions; I glanced down
and saw the lethal coils of a Texas diamondback rattler three feet in
front of my leg. What do you do? Scream? Holler? Jump? Not me, I
froze. After I regained my breath I looked for the second snake. They
often travel in pairs. I backed slowly into Guiterrez, who looked at me with
a weird expression that inferred he wanted to go forward. Until now we
had been using hand signals.

“Beto, I think I know why you wanted me to go first this time,” I
remarked as I pointed the tip of my prototype Gordon take-down bow at
the venom-tipped coils lying in wait for a meal. Guiterrez backed a bit,
then we started rattling about what to do. I definitely wanted that snake for
a trophy provided it came to Texas standards. We had hoped to find a
snake to test the bow I was carrying. Gordon Plastics, Inc., of San Diego,
California, is not new to the bow-making business. Years ago they made
a line of bows sold under the Gordon clan emblem. My first hunter was a
Gordon Knight. What I was carrying now was the newest creation from the
lab of the Gordon plant. This bow, a bow scale. Perhaps the best feature, aside
from the under fifty dollars price tag is its light weight. The mass weight — what
you would carry in the field — is three pounds two ounces.

I had tried to fit a number of bow-quivers to the three-piece unit, but
found the only one in my collection that worked was the regular Bear eight
arrow quiver extended to full length. This quiver holds eight Gordon
Glashaft arrows with Ace broadheads left from other seasons.

Guiterrez looked at the weaving head of the diamondback that was
waiting at the trail crossing for a meal. I had no intention of being on the
menu. I had talked with the Guiterrez brothers about the possibility of
getting a snake skin trophy, and they had come up with some typical Texas
tales. Ricardo Guiterrez had a cigar box full of clipped rattler tails killed
on the ranch that spring. He handed me a thirteen rattle trophy to take
back in case I didn’t find my own.

“This spring we had quite a bit of rain,” he started his story. “The
rattlers usually mate in May. They stay on high ground to keep from being
drowned in their holes during the spring rain. They were hungry and we
stomped many every day. One morning I came over a small rise to see
a real Texas monster stretched out on the other side, meandering toward the
bottom and some dinner. That snake was so big it couldn’t coil; it just lay
there and buzzed its tail. I was mounted, so I wasn’t worried. I usually jump
off and stomp them with my boots, but this boy was too big for that. I looked
around for a stick, but couldn’t find anything I thought would be big enough.
I shook a noose into my rope, dropped a loop over the snake, and dragged it
back to the pickup where we shot it with a rifle. Honest!”

The golden beauty coiled in front of me now didn’t come up to those
specifications, but was presentable. I didn’t want to shoot it in the brush,
since I didn’t want to cut the hide. I found a stick about three feet long. I
figured the old girl couldn’t reach over two feet if she did strike. I moved my
stick to her head, nestled in the coils, and touched it. The rattles hadn’t even
buzzed yet. Now they took off at full volume.

She hit the stick with such force I dropped it. She was hungry and mad.
She continued rattling and her forked tongue kept working rapidly in and
out. Guiterrez came struggling up with a small tree, and between us we moved
her into a slight clearing in the brush, so I could get a clear shot at the head.
Actually, we could have clubbed her with either of the trees we were
working with, but that didn’t occur to us at the time. I wanted this to be a
bow kill.

As we moved her out into the open, she struggled to get back into the
brush she had been coiled under. We were afraid she might have a gopher
hole there to crawl into, but we kept at her until she opened up in the
s-coil. They can strike farther from that position. But she stayed where we
wanted her.

My adrenalin was flowing freely. As I drew the arrow the bow could have
been eighty pounds, and I wouldn’t have known it. The sight window gave
me a good angle on the opened s-coiled snake. This window measures
five and one-half inches which is adequate if you want to install a bow·
hunting sight.

George Gordon, president of Gordon Plastics. has been working
with epoxies for many years. The firm decided to make a molded epoxy
riser for a strong and inexpensive bow. The end product I had at full draw was
one of the first off the shelf. The cast epoxy riser, reinforced
with fiberglass strips molded into the casting. measures nineteen and three-
quarter inches. The twenty-two-and one·half-inch limbs are attached with
knurled nuts by two bolts inserted in the molded riser.

These limbs have fiberglass tip overlays and hardrock maple laminates
in the limb. Gordon added a section of fiberglass laminate at the base of the
limb for added strength. The limbs are wide, tapering from one inch and three
quarters at the base to one inch at the tip.

When Gordon designed this bow and limb attachment system he did
something a bit different in bow making. The limbs are close to zero
tiller. There is a one—eighth inch difference in tiller between the upper
and lower limbs. The lower is stiffer. If you buy the bow and one extra limb
of the same poundage, you will have two bows. If you should break a limb,
you could attach the extra one to either the upper or lower section and
continue shooting.

Guiterrez reminded me that if I shot the rattler then, I wouldn’t have a
picture of it. I eased down on my draw kept my eye on the snake to make
sure she didn’t slither away, or worse, closer to me, and handed my camera
to him to record the event. Now began a slight comedy. Guiterrez backed up,
with the camera to his eye until he was stopped by a crucifixion thorn. There
is nothing on this bush that doesn’t have a spine that won’t puncture you
to the bone. He bounced back from the junco and told me to get closer to
the snake, so he could get us both in the frame.

The snake had increased in size from the first small coil. I knew it was
over five feet. Applying some snake lore, I thought it could strike at least
three feet. The basic rule is one third of the length, but that depends on
location and other variables. Four feet was as close as I wanted to get.
Guiterrez moved back until he was nudging the junco again and told me
to ease forward. All the time we were debating about who was going to move
where, the rattling reptile was weaving in the open-s. The head was never still.

Mad and ready to strike. I looked at the oscillating head and
told Guiterrez I wasn’t waiting any longer for a friend to answer her
dinner call. Try shooting at a three inch object in motion at five to six
feet sometime. It’s tricky. I wanted a head shot to keep the hide
intact, so I came to draw, and when my bowlock reached
the corner of my mouth, I let the Glashaft fly. It hit the rattler right be-
hind the eyes in the poison sacs.

Since a snake never knows it is dead until sundown, it continued to writhe
and twist, the tail buzzing ominously. I had my snake, but to be certain I put
another arrow into the neck, about one inch behind the head, almost
severing it when the blade hit. Scratch one dead Texas diamondback rattler
and add a unique trophy to the wall.

With my shooting style I grip the handle of my hunters until the knuckles
turn white, and this small riser gave me a good grip. The circumference of
the handle is a scant four and three quarters of an inch. There is no wood
grain to split. so there is no problem with the small riser. lf you open hand
it, there is little chance of torquing. My hand was dripping with perspiration,
partly from the August heat and partly from nerves. When you
walk into the back country of our western states. you can almost always
figure on meeting one or two of these buzzy tails. They usually rattle before
striking. I have been struck at, past, but never hit. However. they still make the
hair on the back of my neck crawl.

Guiterrez and I moved up to inspect the writhing snake. I had been
afraid my only encounter would be with a lesser specimen. This was a
respectable snake, if there is such a thing. I picked her up by the tail, and
she was so heavy that the skin started to pull apart from the weight. We had
bashed in the head to be certain she couldn’t grab us in a death swing as
she continued to wriggle in my grasp. I measure under six feet and this snake
was longer than I was tall. We stretched her out before we skinned her, and
she came to sixty-eight inches, not counting the four inches of mutilated
head and neck where I had made the second shot. This didn’t include the
eleven rattles on the tip of the vari-colored tail.

Niles came out of the brush, and we called him over to take a look at our
trophy. We related the ferocity with which she had struck at the poles we
had used to move her into the open. “She’s probably been lying up on
the high ground during these last few rainy days and moved down to get a
dinner,” Guiterrez commented. “She was hungry, and when we disturbed
her, she really fought back with her version of a double bladed broadhead,
needle variety. She doesn’t fight fair, though, since she uses a poisoned

We tied her to the tail gate of the pickup and opened her belly, slit
around the head, and pulled the hide from the carcass. The reason we know
it was a she, was the number of un-developed embryos in her abdomen. I
salted the hide and rolled it to preserve it for tanning.

We continued the pig hunting, but I was jumpy. Later that afternoon I was
ambling down a cowpath outside the brushy area, stopping to look carefully
in front and to the sides as I walked. My attention was held by a red-tailed
hawk working over a fresh kill when I heard a hiss in front of me. I jumped
straight up and about three feet over. What had spooked me turned out to
be one of the many tortoises that live in that back country. I was walking
toward it on the path and when it hissed, I heeded. I imagine the shell-
back had some tall tales to tell his Texas brothers about how he made
that two-legged monster move out of his way.

The Gordon bow had given me a clean kill at a close range. It proved
itself at longer ranges during the testing period. The draw was smooth
and even; the bow showed no signs of stacking, and the scale proved this by a
gradual build up as I weighed it from twenty-six inches to thirty, checking
the poundage. When it comes out on the market late this year, it will be
priced under fifty dollars. This will buy the bowhunter a sixty-two-inch
takedown bow that will go into a package about twenty·three inches
long. They will offer poundage varying from forty-five to sixty. My
model was equipped with a bristle arrow rest in the past center sight win-
dow and a string that braced at eight and one half inches measuring to the
pivot point of the handle.

“What we want to offer the bow-hunter is a bow with stability, compactness
and price that they can buy for themselves or members of the
family. We are working on a new method of casting that might give us a
lighter bow than the prototype and still as strong, if not stronger,” George
Gordon stated. “The riser will be one color, probably brown, and the limbs
will be finished in the usual manner. Most bowhunters will camouflage it
anyway, but it will be protected as other bows are in the limb sections. The
epoxy riser should be almost impervious to everything a hunter will encounter.”

If the production models prove as smooth and light as the one l had, it
will be well worth the modest outlay of cash. My rattler hide was turned over to
Tartaglia Taxidermy in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for tanning and mounting.
I had thought of a life type mount in full coil, but the head was mashed
beyond that. We decided on a tanned hide with a deerskin trim. It turned
out beautifully. My wife allowed me to mount it over the arch in the house,
and she doesn’t like snakes.

She isn’t alone. I don’t either. That first arrow that hit the diamondback
in the poison sacs stands in a prickly pear down Texas way. I didn’t like the
idea of bringing the arrow back, since it was probably loaded with venom
from the snake, and besides, I can’t hunt with a poisoned arrow, even if
rattlers do.

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Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011

Teriyaki Jerky ~By Steve Barde

Bow And Arrow
August 1972

Teriyaki Jerky ~By Steve Barde
How To Turn An Old Indian Treat Into An Oriental Masterpiece

JERKY HAS BEEN A food staple for trappers,
hunters and outdoorsmen for years. There are several commercial
brands, but I found they were too dry, too hot or
too brittle. What do you do with a situation like that? You
turn it into a do·it·yourself project.

A friend jerked a deer last year and stacked the dried
meat in open jars for future use. He offered me a handful
which I gladly accepted, finding to my dismay it had too
much pepper for my taste. He had made it, to go with his
home brew beer.

l was after a food item I could make myself with little
trouble. Something that would fit into a jacket or camo
pocket for field munching. It couldn’t be too brittle, since I
don’t like pocket crumbs and, if the jerky made me thirsty
it created another problem.

One of our favorite family dishes is teriyaki steak.
The idea hit me to use my wife’s sauce recipe for the
jerky. What did I have to lose if I tested small quantities?

We concocted the teriyaki sauce as follows:
3/4 bottle shoyu or teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup sugar (white or brown for richer and sweeter sauce)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon monosodium glutamate
1 tablespoon ginger
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup saki optional

There are several ways to cut meat into strips for jerky.
The Indians start on the outside of a section of meat about
one-quarter to one-half-inch thick, as big as they want and
cut in a circle until they reach the center. They often ended
with strips of jerky six feet long. These cured by drying on
racks in the sun. Flies were no bother since it was all lean
meat with no fatty tissues.

This was more complicated than l wanted to make it.
The sugar in my sauce would draw flies as well as bees. My
first flank steak jerky was cut several ways. The steak itself
was about one-half inch thick. My first cuts were about
one-half inch wide running with the grain of the meat. The
second steak was cut by quartering across the grain to make
the jerky less chewy, yet not too brittle. The third steak
was cut across the grain with the muscle structure of the

The sauce was poured over the meat which had been
placed in an open dish. The strips ranged from eight inches
long to little sections. All of it went into the sauce which
covers two pounds of beef. This was placed in the refrigerator
to marinate overnight. The strips were turned from time
to time and the entire glop stirred.

The next day I took the jerky from the refrigerator,
removed the strips from the sauce and placed them on a
grill used for broiling in the oven. The sauce was allowed to
drain off each section as it was placed on the grill.
When the meat was all on the grill the remaining sauce
was poured back into the bottle for future use. The meat
was placed in an oven at a low temperature, 100-125
degrees, and left for eight to ten hours. You could cure the
jerky in the sun, if you wanted to build a screened cage to
keep the bugs out.

Since the meat was on the grill it didn’t require turning,
but samples were tried from time to time to test taste and
dryness. When the entire batch seemed right, it was removed
from the oven and allowed to cool. The taste was
even better than l had hoped for. The sugar gave it a bit of
sweetness; the marinade from the teriyaki gave it a great
flavor. The only test left was to determine how long it
would last without spoiling.

The different methods of cutting were found to be
similar as far as curing. The chewiest meat was cut with the
grain. The crossgrain crumbled when moved about. The
best for my use proved to be the quarter-cut jerky. It was
rigid enough to carry, but not as chewy as the straight cut.
I never did test for longevity since the family kept
munching and it didn’t last long.

If you are lucky enough to have some venison in the
freezer and you fill tags again, it might be a good idea to
jerk your old venison before you freeze the fresh meat and
add it to the chest. Venison makes excellent jerky.
I had some whitetail roasts that were getting freezer
burn. That was my excuse for jerking it anyway. I cut the
roasts into slabs about one-half-inch thick, using my hunting
knife. These slabs were cut again, quarter grain, into
strips about one—half inch thick. I wasn’t critical on the
cutting, since the thicker pieces work well but take longer
to cure.

I thought the beef jerky was good, but the Texas white-
tail was excellent. This batch of jerky filled two half—gallon
plastic containers that were stored with holes in the lid.
Never put jerky into a tightly closed container. When hunting
season rolled around a month or so later I found to my
dismay all my jerky had been consumed by the children
who thought it better than candy and of course some of the
older members of the family who dipped their hands into
the jug to get just a nibble or two. It makes a great snack

This year I will make another batch of beef jerky to take
into the field. About the only way l am going to manage
this is to make it the week I plan to leave and lock it up!
Good luck with yours and, if anyone manages to get enough
to last for a good spoilage test, let me know the results.<——<<<

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Published by Mathews_ArchZ7 on 10 Feb 2011

Its about that time again…

What does everyone have for a set up…. Spring Gobbler season is fast approaching us.

Im not even using a shotgun this year, I think im gonna take my Mathews Z7 for a spin and see how it goes.

So let me know what everyone is using for a set up.

– Mathews Z7 with Easton FMJ 400 and the American Broadhead Company Turkey Tearror

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Published by archerchick on 09 Feb 2011

Winter Feed Or Not To Winter Feed ~ By Charlie Kroll

Bow And Arrow
August 1981

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Published by archerchick on 09 Feb 2011

Psychology Of Whitetail Breeding Scrapes ~ By Robert C. McGuire

Bow and Arrow
August 1981

Psychology Of Whitetail Breeding Scrapes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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