Archive for the 'Contest 2.0' Category

14 votes, average: 3.93 out of 514 votes, average: 3.93 out of 514 votes, average: 3.93 out of 514 votes, average: 3.93 out of 514 votes, average: 3.93 out of 5 (14 votes, average: 3.93 out of 5)
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Published by djohns13 on 10 Sep 2008

Eight Steps to Better Accuracy

Eight Steps to Better Accuracy

1. Get the equipment right – consistent accuracy is dependent on using the right equipment for you and ensuring that the equipment is properly tuned and working right each time you shoot. The brand new high-end bow just doesn’t shoot like one if it doesn’t fit you correctly or if it is out of tune.
2. Correct technique – once the bow fits and is working optimally, now the next wild card is the form of the shooter. With today’s technology the properly tuned and equipped bow is better than the shooter. If it could be shot by a robot, it would hit the bull’s eye all day long. It is only when we introduce form errors that the arrow group sizes begin to spread out. Have someone video you while you are shooting and then have a pro or coach review the video and make suggestions. Remember that your goal is to improve your technique so don’t take their responses too personally. We are all trying to be the perfect archer but none of us will ever achieve perfect status.
3. Create and use a draw/aim/fire routine – archery is like most other sports in that its actions can be broken down into a technique or series of techniques. Success is generally achieved when the athlete creates the technique, practices it repeatedly, builds muscle memory and mental focus, and finally executes the technique over and over in exactly the same manner. Imagine a pro’s golf swing or a guard’s free throw, both are very refined and repeatable. In archery, a routine can be developed that begins with pulling the arrow from the quiver and ends with seeing the arrow strike the bull’s eye. Many pro golfers “talk their way” through their routine, meaning that they say a phrase where each word corresponds to a specific action or movement. If they find that they are not at the right spot or doing the right action at the right time, they stop and start over. Creating a routine and sticking to it each time takes the draw/aim/fire sequence and turns it into an assembly line-like process where the actions are identical each time and the results are too.
4. Shoot from long range – one of the best ways to get good at 20 yards is to shoot from 30, 40 and 50 yards. It is amazing how we can struggle at 20 yards, then go shoot a few arrows at 50 yards, come back to the 20 and the shot seems like a layup. The confidence you build doing this will carry over to the next time you shoot the 20 yard targets.
5. Move your sight pin – one of my best friends gave me this tip and I believe it works great. Adjust your sight pin so that you hold it just under the bull’s eye for the arrow to hit the bull’s eye. This way you never lose sight of the bull’s eye while you are aiming. I was somewhat skeptical until I tried it and now I am a firm believer in this technique. Trap shooters have been doing this for years now with great success.
6. Don’t over practice – for most shooters, physical fatigue sets in rather quickly. After 20-30 arrows, the body is having trouble executing with correct form and sometimes mental fatigue is setting in. Each shooter needs to determine the appropriate stopping point and walk away at that point each practice session. I know great shooters who shoot 100 arrows per session and some that shoot only three arrows per session. They all have great accuracy so their specialized approach works well for them. I firmly believe that accuracy can be improved more by several short focused practice sessions instead of longer “marathon” sessions.
7. Shoot with family and friends – inviting others to join you makes it more fun and light-hearted. Without realizing it, the competitive juices will kick in and you will find yourself working harder to out-shoot the others. The result will be more fun and improvement for all of the shooters.
8. Learn from others – as a shooter, you are probably facing the same problems that most other shooters have faced. Work with a coach/pro or access great information sources like Archery Talk. The combined wealth of knowledge at AT is incredible and most users are very willing to help out. Don’t waste time recreating the wheel when you don’t have to.

10 votes, average: 2.40 out of 510 votes, average: 2.40 out of 510 votes, average: 2.40 out of 510 votes, average: 2.40 out of 510 votes, average: 2.40 out of 5 (10 votes, average: 2.40 out of 5)
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Published by Lady Hunter on 09 Sep 2008

Busted

I had just met my husband about 4 months before, and I was a new hunter. This was my first bow hunt. We were set up in a Bow Only area and I was on the ground. I had found 3 small pine trees, and with some branches and a camoflage netting, made a pretty good blind. I was near the edge of a field and timber. John was hunting from a treestand, about 500 yards away.
After the sun came up, it seemed colder than it had been earlier, and the coffee I drank was getting the better of me. After waiting till I thought I would explode, I carefully looked to make sure no one and no deer were around, and creeped out of the blind. I only went about 20 yards and peed. “Whew!” I thought, and silently creeped back into my blind.
I swear, I no sooner sat down and I heard something walking in the leaves behind me. I slowly looked around and was face to face with 3 huge does! I did’nt move and I did’nt even try to draw my bow, as I knew, I was busted.
It was almost comical how they all stared at me with their ears foward as if to ask. “Hey! You just pee?” They were only about 10 feet away, and one snorted and the took off the way they had come. All I could do was watch.
I remember sitting there shaking my head and laughing inside.
The funny thing about this story is that since then, I have always seen deer after I peed!

10 votes, average: 2.60 out of 510 votes, average: 2.60 out of 510 votes, average: 2.60 out of 510 votes, average: 2.60 out of 510 votes, average: 2.60 out of 5 (10 votes, average: 2.60 out of 5)
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Published by AdvanTimberLou on 09 Sep 2008

It could only happen at Deer Camp!

The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

I have been going to deer camp for the past 15 years and each year something new happens.  More often than not, more beer gets drank than deer get shot but its not always about success but the laughs and friendships made.  What happens at deer camp usually stays at deer camp but I have to share this one.  I still don’t believe it myself.

Deer camp consists of going to my buddy Ralph’s place. He has a 100 acre homestead that was given to him by his grandmother when she passed on. On it, sits a nice old farmhouse that is roughly 40 years old. Its got the basics that a group of 8 or so guys need.  Beds, kitchen, bathroom and a card table to pass the bull and share stories of work, women, deer, & jokes. 

Now this year’s deer camp had a new visitor. He was a friend of Ralph’s and seemed to be a very likable guy. Then again at deer camp, all the guys get along and take in whatever straggler who wants to be part of it. The only requirement, you do your fair share of the cooking and know what areas of the land you can venture out too and this is purely on the sake of safety.

Now after the day’s hunts Ralph and the rest of us would wander into town to the local watering holes. The parking lots would be filled with cars and during deer season most if not all were out of towners trying to see what the nightlife gave off and maybe hunt deer of the two legged kind. This is a two town bar and as soon as you enter one of them, all eyes focus on you until you sit down and the waitress takes your order. So when 8 of us roll in, we’re lucky to even find a table.

So this takes me back to the new guy Ralph brought to camp this year. As we enter the bar he buys the first round and right away you sense this guy is alright. Within minutes of getting our drinks he meets the bartender and finds out her story. This guy is smooth, very smooth. So after a little while we decide to go to the other bar in this town. A whole 100 yards down the street. The new guy in our group decides to stay at the current bar as he and the bartender are making small talk. As we leave some in our group questions whether he will be coming home with us tonight or going to the bartender’s home. Hard to say as the night is still young but I bet he’s coming back with us!

As we go to the other bar we get the same reaction when we walk in. All eyes draw to the city boys coming up to their area for hunting. Within minutes though they are back to nursing their beers and we are yesterday’s news. As we chat about the days hunt and what tomorrow brings we realize its getting kinda late. Now myself I am not much of a drinker. I came for the hunting but with this group that appeared to be hunting for Wild Turkey on this night. I didn’t have an issue with it as the group is pretty civil even when they are drinking.  I just try to keep them from making fools of themselves.

So after spending 2 hours at this other bar we realize Ralph’s friend still hasn’t come over to this bar and must be over at the other one. The group decides that we should go find him. As we walk back into that first bar we get that same initial reaction. As the door swings open all the locals look our way and we try to find a table and our buddy. Well at this time the place is full, its standing room only for us. We find Ralph’s buddy who is still mingling with the bartender and has made a few new friends and now understands what winter wheat and what an International Harvestor is.

We can tell its time to go as his speech is slurred a little and we know if he’s going to make the 5AM breakfast call he needs to go to bed soon. As he stumbles out of that bar he wishes everyone a good night and the group is headed back to deer camp.

Now from this point it seems like everyone would be ready to find their beds and crash for the night. I call it night when in reality its 2AM and in 3 hours its time to get up. This will separate the men from the boys. Ralph’s friend decides though he wants some food and makes himself a late night snack in the kitchen.  So after his snack he crashes in his bedroom.

Myself, I am on the sofa in the living room. That has been my official spot for about 5 years now and I like it because I usually fall to sleep with ESPN on. Well as I settle in most of the gang has found their beds or sleeping bags laying on the living room floow and its lights out for all except for the TV being on. A long days hunt will wear you out so within minutes of your head hitting that pillow your out.

For some odd reason I heard something in my sleep. The sound of a stream of water but not like a faucet splashing water in the sink.  As I adjust my eyes to the darkness I can’t believe what I am seeing. Ralph’s friend is standing up and peeing on the Lazboy chair about 8 feet away. I am caught off guard and I call out his name but he doesn’t appear to answer and at this point it appears his bladder is done. I can’t believe what I had just seen and with 2 hours left of sleeping before we get up I am not sure what to do. Either go back to sleep or be the next piece of furniture to get pee’d on!

I opted for option #2. I lay on the sofa with my eyes towards Ralph’s friend’s bedroom making sure he doesn’t have another urge to go again.

Well before I know it, its time to get up for the another day of hunting.  I am the only one getting up for the days hunt.  The others are deep in sleep and hungover.  I open the door to Ralph’s room and tell him to avoid the Lazboy as his buddy peed on it.  He says “what” but doesn’t comprehend and goes back to sleep.  I am off for the days hunt myself. 

When I return about 5 hours later for lunch I see my buddy Ralph sitting in that chair.  Staring at him I asked him if he remembered what I said about that chair?  He says, “no” I then tell him to feel his left leg which should be a little damp.  By that point I am laughing about it and telling others what I witnessed last night.  Ralph’s friend can’t believe it but said he tends to sleep walk after a night of hard drinking.  As my buddy decides what to do with the chair I simply laugh and say it can only happen at deer camp!

6 votes, average: 2.67 out of 56 votes, average: 2.67 out of 56 votes, average: 2.67 out of 56 votes, average: 2.67 out of 56 votes, average: 2.67 out of 5 (6 votes, average: 2.67 out of 5)
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Published by bacon27 on 09 Sep 2008

Learning the Hard Way.

“I always wondered why my dad couldn’t get over his bad experience with hunting. He spined a deer and the noise it made after he walked up to it scared him for life”

Mid September 2007 my close red neck buddies and I were at a friends house. They began talking of the upcoming bow season (I remember thinking the only time I have ever shot a bow was in gym class in the late 90s). They have bow hunted since I can remember, I never gave it a thought.

The following weekend they were shooting a target and I decided to give it a try. Not to long after I was challenging them on nightly shoots on a target. 2 weeks from when I started shooting bow season was upon us and I had bought a license. I used my buddies backup bow an old mid ’80s Bear model that was a backup for a reason.

Let me remind you all that I’ve been a gun hunter strictly up until this point. I was 23 at the time and for the past 10 years I only gun hunted. On a whim it seemed I sprang into this over zealous know nothing bow hunter. I had never ever seen Antlers in the woods while hunting ever. The closest I ever came was with my uncle when I was 14. He hunted the other side of the field shot a 4 pt.

So I get into my stand in the morning and 4 hrs later nothing. Never seen any deer or anything. I remember it being brutally hot last year on opening day. That night I switched stands, and in came the most intense hunting 10 minutes of my life (so I thought). A spike came in but it happened so fast I had no chance to pull back on it (remember rookie mistake). It got back far enough where I felt more comfortable a to draw on it. Apparently I was to obvious, it jumped back after I pulled back. However it didn’t take off so I flung an arrow and rightfully so it hit about a foot under the deer into the dirt. A heart breaking moment for me it being my first buck encounter and all and to not have the proof I so desperately wanted. I mean who wants to be associated with Jeff Daniels ‘Reuben’ character in ‘Escanaba in Da Moon Light’ for the rest of their life?

The next evening I’m sitting in my stand wanting another chance and a nice medium sized doe comes in. It was getting late so I figured this would be my only chance that evening. I had a doe tag so I thought to myself I have to start somewhere. I drew back on her as she was walking through apparently thicker brush then I anticipated. She stopped and I let it fly, it all happened so fast that I couldn’t tell you what exactly happened when I shot.

She hit the ground like a ton of bricks. Adrenaline pumping I had no other reaction but to get on my walkie, tell my buddie I got a doe and was heading down from my tree. After I reached the ground I noticed something, the doe was looking at my from the ground with her head up. The arrow was sticking straight out from between its eyes. It was one of those moments where you scratch your head and try to relive what the shot was and you can’t grasp it. whether I shot that badly (extremely possible being that new to the game) or it hit the branches and spun up at the head I don’t know.

I was in disbelief. I only had one more arrow & being the uneducated bow hunter that I was I wracked another arrow and shot in the neck. I know, why did I do that? To this day I can’t answer why I it shot in the neck and not the vitals. The next thing I did was the only thing I could think of (since I didn’t bring a knife) I grabbed the biggest tree limb I could find. I hit it once in a the head and I went to swing a 2nd time. It stoop up and leaped into the air, I ran like a bat out of hell. 

Depending on your take of that whole scene its either hilarious or animal cruelty. Believe me I’ve never felt so bad about anything after I walked the 200 yards back to my house. My friend finished it off with his knife after we came out to track it later that night (it only went 10 yards from where it fell originally). 

I went over and over in my head after that for days pondering if I could ever hunt again. It was such a horrific moment in time that seemed to stand still having taken that shot and seeing the result that occurred. I absolutely hated the whole idea of what happened. I swore to myself that I would never take a shot @ an animal again if I was not 100% sure that I would bring it down and it stay down.

Being a gun hunter I had never shot anything and have it be alive when I walked up to it after the shot. I’d always been 1 bullet, 1 deer type of hunter. This new dynamic of archery was something I’d never experienced before. 

So a week went by and after some coaxing from my buddies I got back with the program and finished the season on a high point. Though I didn’t get another chance with the bow, I did get an 8 point in rifle season last year. Not as challenging but still a huge thrill for me.

Thus the moral of my story. “Don’t ever go into the woods as an underprepared hunter. Know your weapon, know your skill level with it.”

8 votes, average: 2.75 out of 58 votes, average: 2.75 out of 58 votes, average: 2.75 out of 58 votes, average: 2.75 out of 58 votes, average: 2.75 out of 5 (8 votes, average: 2.75 out of 5)
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Published by PSE 4 Mee on 09 Sep 2008

Remembering September 11th

Like most people I remember in great detail, where I was and what I was doing on September 11th, 2001. Suffice to say that I was not in the woods chasing whitetail. The 2007 hunting season however, was different. Born and raised a fourth generation, Montana native, I moved to Oklahoma in 2001 to start my flying career. Returning to Montana in 2006, I made it a family mission to hunt and play in the outdoors as much as time and life would allow.

This season, I wanted to fill my doe-tag with my PSE Lightning-Flite II and I wanted to find a way to share the experience with my family. I chose a path that I thought would kill several birds with one arrow (or maybe two).

For years now, my parents have battled the deer that come into their yard and wreak havoc on their landscaping, so I set up for a hunt in a field that is approximately 150 yards from my parent’s backyard. By the time I left work that evening, my dad and my wife had already prepared my hay-bale ground blind and was waiting for me. Soon after my arrival, my wife and I were sitting in the blind and our family was watching from the back porch. Everyone waited for the very predictable deer to come into the field.

Around 7:00 pm, we had four deer working their way toward our ambush. There were three does and a little buck. The whitetails moved into range and the anticipation mounted as the little buck walked in and out of my shooting lane. He was a big bodied deer, but lacked the headgear my buck-tag required. Before long, the bigger doe followed the fool hardy buck into my lane. I drew, took careful aim and shot a perfect shot… over her back. Unfortunately, I did not have a range finder with me that evening, and my unseasoned eye estimated her to be at 25 yards. That failure combined with her quick flinching reflexes, left me ultra disappointed. Determined to prove myself to my family, I nocked another arrow and was soon given a second chance. A smaller doe ate her way toward the others and stood exactly where her mentor had stood earlier. This time I held dead-on for 20 yards. The arrow launched, time stood still, and I watched my redemptive Easton Epic 340 disappear into her vitals. She turned and ran into the woods to our right and we watched her fall. Upon recovery, I was ecstatic to see a small pile of foamy pink bubbles coming from the arrow’s fatal exit. My double lung shot limited her final run to about 40 yards. As a new bow hunter, I was very impressed to see that my Muzzy broad head had easily blasted through a rib before exiting the other side. Good archery equipment had left a good impression.

What an exciting and fulfilling hunt. My hours and hours of practice had paid off and I was able to share the moment with my family. I had filled my doe tag, put meat in the freezer and helped mom protect her hallowed greenery. I thank the Lord my God for a clean miss and a clean kill; both of which are answers to prayer. I also thank Him for another memorable September 11th. This time, it was the kind of memory for which we can be grateful. I cannot wait to harvest my next animal and tell you about it. Until then, never forget to appreciate and take advantage of the freedoms we enjoy in this great country!

 

9 votes, average: 2.56 out of 59 votes, average: 2.56 out of 59 votes, average: 2.56 out of 59 votes, average: 2.56 out of 59 votes, average: 2.56 out of 5 (9 votes, average: 2.56 out of 5)
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Published by ruin2it on 07 Sep 2008

Down to the wire…

 

I just got back from a bow hunting trip for antelope in Eastern Colorado, where I spent four days belly-crawling in 90 degree heat through sagebrush, grass, gravel, and cactus after some of the sharpest-eyed, fleetest-footed animals I’ve ever hunted. 

I had the pleasure (and good fortune) of hunting with two extremely knowledgeable and experienced bowhunters, Jerry Viera and the legendary Russell Hull.  From the beginning it was obvious that they knew what they were doing.  We had the standard antelope decoys with us, but we also had a cow decoy that Jerry and Russell had fabricated, and used successfully on other occasions to sneak within shooting distance of an unsuspecting buck.  They schooled me right away on the proper techniques for stalking our keen-eyed quarry. 

We chased several nice bucks around the huge cattle ranch all weekend.  On one occasion, after helping me find an arrow after my first of many missed shots, Jerry spotted a huge buck and decided to stalk him, crouching with bow in hand as he crept in his direction, then stopping and hunching over every so often when the buck looked his way.  To everyone’s amazement, the buck decided to take a closer look, and came right in!  Jerry scrambled to get an arrow nocked, and took a quick shot just as the buck decided that things didn’t look quite right, narrowly missing him.  What an awesome experience!  Watching from a distance, we thought the buck was going to walk right up to him!

One buck in particular seemed to be pretty attached to his home range, no matter how hard we pressed him, never running too far ahead, and always returning to roughly the same area after a chase.  One evening, we decided to try to see how close we could get if we just kept up with him no matter where he went.  Jerry shadowed him for five miles that evening before he finally gave up, but got a couple more shot opportunities while he was at it.

By the end of the trip, most of the bucks were pretty familiar with us and our truck, and would get up and run off when we drove within a mile.  We’d all seen some nice animals, even had shot opportunities, but just couldn’t make it happen.  It was getting to be pretty discouraging.  On the last morning, while Russell was hunting from his blind, Jerry and I decided to go after the “home range buck”, the one he’d chased for five miles the night before.  Things were different this morning, though, because this time, he had a doe…We took up the chase and tried to split him away from her.  Eventually we did, and it looked like we might have a chance at him.  He would stop every 100 yards or so and make a scrape, so he was definitely frustrated.  But the closest I could get was 92 yards, and he finally tired of the game and ran off at full speed.  It looked like our last chance was gone.

It was getting close to time to leave.  We had agreed to quit at 9am so we’d have time to pack up and drive back to Kansas.  On the way to pick up Russell, we spotted a buck along a distant fenceline.  I bailed out of the truck and hurried toward him, knowing this was our last chance.  Using the fence as cover, I was able to close the distance to nearly 75 yards without alerting him.   I crept closer, still apparently unnoticed.  I was inside 60 yards, still creeping.  He turned and looked at me.  I drew and released.  After a number of missed opportunities, and with just six minutes remaining on the last day of the hunt, I finally connected with a nice buck.  Talk about down to the wire!

I want to thank Jerry and Russell, and the folks at B² Outdoors who helped get my equipment ready for the trip, for providing me with such an awesome experience!  It’s one I definitely won’t ever forget…

                    

10 votes, average: 4.40 out of 510 votes, average: 4.40 out of 510 votes, average: 4.40 out of 510 votes, average: 4.40 out of 510 votes, average: 4.40 out of 5 (10 votes, average: 4.40 out of 5)
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Published by Checkmate on 07 Sep 2008

Buying a bow for the first time: A noobie’s insight to selecting the right bow for yourself

Hi,

 

My name is Kyle and I recently became an archery fanatic.  I bought my first bow in December 2007 with full intentions of becoming a fairly skilled archer/bowhunter.  I have not bowhunted in the past and only owned a very old model compound bow when I was around nine years old.  No one in my family or close friends bowhunts or participates in any form of archery.  So I feel that I am fairly qualified to write an article from the perspective of a brand new archer with almost zero knowledge about the sport of archery and no help from trusted family and friends on getting into the sport.  The goals of this post are to help inform new aspiring archers to select the right starting equipment that has the best chance of keeping them interested in the sport with a desire to learn more and become the best archer they can be.  Perhaps this post can help the already seasoned archers by taking a view from a different perspective than one they already hold.

 

Getting Started

 

The first place to start is always with a budget.  There is a WIDE range of archery equipment out there for all different price ranges.  Knowing what you can realistically spend on your gear is going to help you make decisions easier and keep the hurt on your pocketbook to something that is manageable.  One thing that I have learned quite quickly is that archery can get very expensive very quickly.  With proper planning you should be able to minimize the amount of surprises in equipment costs.

My recommendation is that you set a budget for total cost of a ready to shoot package.  Keeping in mind the things that are absolutely necessary versus the nice trinkets and gadgets that fall in the want category.  Things like arrows, an arrow rest, a sight, some form of release either a finger tab or mechanical release, broadheads if you plan on hunting and other accessories that are essential add up to a lot of extra expense.  I would try to find average prices for these pieces of gear and try to match with a bow that will fit the price range you have limited yourself to.  Many pro-shops and outfitter stores will have a good idea of price ranges of entire packages for out the door prices when you talk with them.  These tools are all vital components of the total package, but the remainder of this article will remain focused on selecting the right bow, (keep in mind this article is geared toward compound hunting bows, as that is the only area of archery I have entered so far) perhaps in the future I can spend time on other necessary pieces of equipment.

 

Removing Bias

If you are lucky enough to have friends or family members that already have archery equipment and are willing to help you get started that is great.  I would caution you to be careful of bias in the archery world though.  Many people are very opinionated on archery gear and not very open minded about things.  I think this is one of the biggest downfalls in the archery world.  My recommendation is that you try to keep everything that you have heard in commercials, from friends and family, and from pro-shop techs in perspective.  Although they have very valuable information, be skeptical of hard pressed opinions.  Websites like Archerytalk have a huge wealth of information available at your fingertips; all you have to do is seek it out.  What hasn’t worked for someone in the past that they “will never try again in their life” has more than likely worked flawlessly for countless other people.  Have an open mind when exploring the sport of archery.

 

Research

Archery is a science, and many people have done a lot of work to improve on the equipment that is available.   There are great resources that allow you to get their reviews on gear for free.  I will caution you here however, try to keep in mind that references might not always be playing fair when it comes to reviews.  If a bow manufacturer is a huge sponsor of theirs, you might find biased results.  Archerytalk is a great source of case study and personal experience material.  Archeryevolution.com is a really good source of objective material on hunting compounds.  I would recommend reading up on some of the issues dealt with in their studies and use that information to help guide what you want to look for in a bow.

 

Fling some arrows

The only way to truly decide what bow is best for you is to shoot different kinds of bows.  Head to your local shop and ask for some help on finding a bow in your price range.  Hopefully they will have multiple bows that fall in your price range and you should shoot all of them.  They will be able to give you a release, some arrows and a few instructions on what to do when you start shooting. 

Before you shoot

Have the pro-shop staff determine your draw length.  On many bows today draw length is a set feature and you need different cams to change the draw length of the bow.  Having the right draw length for you is essential, and once you know it you will be able to try out bows that match that length.  Shooting a bow that is either to short or to long is going to be a serious disadvantage for you because it produces bad form while shooting.

Find a comfortable draw weight.  Not everyone is capable of drawing back 70 pounds.  Some people might not even be able to handle 40.  Have the shop staff help you in finding a draw weight that you can comfortably and safely draw back.  Select a bow that is comfortable for you to draw and does not require you to over exert yourself to reach full draw.  Archery is a sport of repetition, if you have trouble drawing a bow five times in a row practice sessions are going to be painful experiences.  On that note, keep in mind that archery muscles are not something used in everyday work.  You will need to build these muscles and potentially have to shoot a lower poundage at first until you have strengthened those muscles enough to pull heavier weight.

Now lets get to testing the bow.  The things to evaluate from bow to bow are:

 

Draw Cycle:

This is how the bow pulls for you and how much effort is required to reach full draw.  Each person can be different and a harsh draw cycle to one person might feel like very smooth to another.  It is important to keep things equal between the bows you are testing.  Make sure they are all set at the same draw weight.  Pulling 70 pounds on one bow and then 50 on another is obviously not a fair comparison.  If they do not have the appropriate limbs to match draw weights on the bows make sure to keep that in mind when you evaluate each. 

 

Hand Shock

This is essentially how much recoil is in the bow after the shot is taken.  If you have ever took a swing at a solid object with a metal baseball bat and the resulting vibration made you drop the bat in pain you have an idea what hand shock feels like.  Of course it is not that extreme in any bow on the market today (at least to my knowledge).  However, like a harsh draw cycle, an abundance of hand shock can make practice sessions with a bow displeasureable.  Try to look for a bow that does not vibrate much when you shoot.  Note that it is probably impossible to eliminate all hand shock from any bow, but you should be able to find something that does not feel like a baseball bat hitting concrete in your hand.

 

Looks

Some people might disagree with me here, but I think it is important to have a bow that you like the looks of.  Many people are generally proud of their bow and like to show it off.  It is similar to having a car or home you are proud of.  Remember to keep this in perspective though as well.  Looks are not nearly as important as functionality.  However, all things being equal between two different bows go with the one you like the looks of better.

 

End Results

If you are consistently shooting great groups with one bow and they fall apart with another, go for consistency.  It might be your form, or torque on the bow that is making you shoot worse, but it could be something that just doesn’t work for you.  Perhaps the grip is different and you can’t hold one bow without torquing at the shot, whereas you can hold the other steady and straight.  Just remember that one bow needs to be consistently different from the other.  Don’t just shoot one group with each and choose the one that has the better group.  Also, don’t think that because one group is closer to the bullseye than the other it is automatically better.  Once again, sighting the bow for yourself will produce better accuracy than when you are just testing the bow.

 

Workmanship

Inspect the bow for manufacturing defects and flaws.  You are paying for a piece of equipment that should be free of them.  Look at the machining on the different parts of the bow.  Check for defects that could affect a bows performance and also affect the look of the bow.  You wouldn’t buy a new car with a big scratch in the paint, you shouldn’t buy a bow with one either.  Also make sure the replaceable parts on the bow are in good shape.  Check to make sure the string is not frayed and looks like it is in good condition.  Some of the bows in shops get used quite a bit before they are sold.  Make sure you have a good string on the bow that is going to last instead of needing to replace it not long after you have bought it.  If you are unsure about the quality of the string you are getting ask the shop to replace it before you buy the bow.

 

Things NOT to worry about

Don’t worry if you can’t hit the bullseye with a bow the shop is letting you try out.  To get accurate you will need to have the bow set up for you and sighted in to your anchor point.  Most shops are going to let you shoot the bow to get a feel for it, I think it would be a rare occasion to have them sight the bow in before you have even bought it.

Brand names.  Just because a bow shop is a Hoyt, Mathews, PSE, Bowtech or other dealer, does not mean that those are the right bow for you.  Most people could be happy shooting a bow from just about any company out there.  Try to remember the points I made about bias.  It comes from all angles in the archery world, so remember to be cautious.

Equipment that is already on the bow is something you shouldn’t put to much stock in either.  If you don’t like a piece that you are trying out such as the rest or the release, remember you don’t have to buy those pieces.  You can dress your bow with whatever you want on it later.

 

Final Thought

 

Ultimately you are looking for a bow that you are going to enjoy shooting.  Try to recognize what makes shooting one bow better than shooting another bow FOR YOU, whatever that characteristic(s) is(are).  Be informed and take your time making this decision, it can be a difficult task to find the right bow, especially the first time.  As with anything else, experience will guide and direct you on what qualities you like in a bow, but hopefully this article will help you make a more informed decision on your first.  If this isn’t your first time buying a bow, hopefully this article will help you refine your decision making process or perhaps encourage you to try something new and compare results.  Either way, I wish you the best of luck and take care.

10 votes, average: 3.60 out of 510 votes, average: 3.60 out of 510 votes, average: 3.60 out of 510 votes, average: 3.60 out of 510 votes, average: 3.60 out of 5 (10 votes, average: 3.60 out of 5)
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Published by Acts 10.13 on 06 Sep 2008

Homemade String Stop

I made this string stop for my 2007 Bowtech Patriot II last summer and my buddy still makes comments on my bow’s quietness nearly each time we shoot together.  I spent under $10.00 and think that it turned out pretty well. My only initial worry was how much extra weight this would add versus a carbon based rod but I couldn’t even tell the weight difference once I first added this to my bow. I’m doing this from memory.  So, bear with me.

From the hardware store you’ll need:
– 5/16 inch fine-threaded rod (Fits nearly all bows that I know of)
– One 5/16 inch fine-threaded nut
– Two rubber stoppers of the same size (3/4″ to 1″ in diameter at the large end)
– Black Heat shrink wrap slightly bigger than the threaded rod (My local hardware store had white and red too)
– Black O-rings and Washers that fit snuggly over the threaded rod (For extra vibration deadening and appeal)

Step By Step:
1. Thread the rod as far as it will go into your bow’s rear threaded hole beside your string. Be careful not to let the threading rub against your strings. Make a sharpe mark on the rod about 1/4″ (or exactly half the length of your rubber stoppers) away from your string towards your bow’s riser. Use bolt cutters or have the hardware store use their chain cutters to cut ONLY the mark near your string for you. Be sure to take the rod out of your bow first!
2. Drill a hole slightly smaller than the rod about halfway into one of the rubber stoppers and all the way through the other stopper. And then take the stopper with the hole all the way through it and drill a hole slightly larger than your 5/16 nut halfway through it, starting on the larger end of the stopper.
3. Put some fletching glue of your choice (I’m a Goat Tuff guy) in the stopper with the hole halfway through it and glue it onto the self-cut end of the rod, not the factory cut that was threaded into your bow. Be sure to try and glue it as squarely as possible so that the flat surface of the stopper and the rod make a perfect 90 degree angle.
4. While that’s drying, apply serving to your bow string where the stopper is going to make contact with it.
5. Once the stopper dries, insert it into your bow’s threaded hole and screw it all the way in. Now back it out to the point to where it’s just about to completely touch your string serving but you can still see the slightest amount of daylight between the two. Make a sharpe mark about 1/2″ away from your bow’s threaded hole.
6. Now cut a peice of shrinkwrap, or two peices in my case, that will cover from your new sharpee mark all the way up to your newly glued on rubber stopper. Follow your shrink wraps directions.  I just used a lighter. Be sure to remove the rod from your bow before you start putting a flame to it!
7. Apply the rubber washers and o-rings of your choice to your threaded rod – I did this to add vibration absorption and to cover up the joint between my two peices of shrink wrap. Then slide the other rubber stopper as far as you can onto the rubber rod, small end towards the string end. And last, screw the nut onto the rod as far as it will go.
8. Now insert the rod all the way back into your bow’s threaded hole. Back it out to the desired point and countersink the nut against your bow’s insert with a wrench (Countersinking is like trying to unscrew the nut from the rod and purposefully letting the bow get in the way). Set the nut pretty tightly because it will get a lot of vibration and abuse but be careful not to mess up your bow’s threaded insert.
9. Slip the unglued rubber stopper over the remaining bare rod and nut and adjust your o-rings and rubber washers so that they don’t make contact with your cables or other equipment.
10. Get ready to receive lots of comments on your bow’s quietness and get ready to laugh at your friends who dropped $40 or more on an STS!

Don’t forget to wax the stopper and your string serving regularly!

12 votes, average: 3.83 out of 512 votes, average: 3.83 out of 512 votes, average: 3.83 out of 512 votes, average: 3.83 out of 512 votes, average: 3.83 out of 5 (12 votes, average: 3.83 out of 5)
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Published by Klyph on 05 Sep 2008

The Wolf Pack, by Lone Wolf – Review

As an archery hunter who hunts many locations that require me to take my stand both into and out of the woods each hunt, I have been searching for the best way to minimize and consolidate my hunting gear. For the last few years I have altered many packs so that they can be attached to my climber tree stand while entering and leaving the woods. Until now, I have found many different variations in packs and other companies that make variations of straps that are used to make carrying my stand a little more comfortable than using the “free” or manufactures straps, but until know I have not found a combination of the two.

Setup:

My first impression of The Wolf Pack wasn’t all that great. There are straps everywhere and it initially looked way more complicated than I would think that it should. But, once I got my hands on it, my opinion changed.

After taking The Wolf Pack out of the packaging I found that there are six (6) detachable straps that attach directly to the tree-stand (Lone Wolf calls them: “receiving straps”). Lone Wolf hits a home-run by lining the buckles with a neoprene cover to help quiet the “click” as the buckles are attached. I attached two (2) straps at the top, middle, and bottom of my stand. I found that the top and bottom straps worked best about 8 inches apart, while the middle straps are best spread as wide as possible. 

Receiver Strap Placement

Receiver Strap Placement

Once the receiving straps are attached to the stand it is now ready to connect it to the pack. Connect all six (6) recieving straps to the six (6) male buckles located on the pack. I initially thought that I would want the bottom straps as tight as possible so that the stand would be as high on my back as possible… Boy was i WRONG. I found that by keeping the stand as low as possible on my back, the weight of the stand is taken off of my shoulders and is much more comfortable to carry. So in other words, keep all the straps loose as possible until you get the unit on your back… it’s much easier to tighten up the straps once the unit is on your back than to loosen them. After taking the pack on and off a few times, making adjustments here and there, I found that the pack does hold my stand comfortably.

At the Tree:

The Wolf Pack, with all it pockets, straps and elastic, makes it easy to stay quiet. For me, there is plenty of space for all the essentials (range-finder, scents, bow rope,  toilet paper, grunt tubes, other calls, gloves, and other misc. items) while making them truly all accessible without routing through a big pack.

Pack loaded with gear

Pack loaded with gear

There is a built in carry handle at the top of the pack that makes it easy to attach to your bow rope and pull it up to the stand once you are at your desired height. There are two (2) straps that are used to attach the pack to the tree and all the “inside” pockets (while wearing the pack) are now right in arms reach now that it is attached to the tree. The back of the pack also acts as a padded back rest for your stand and removes all noise from any bark that would have other wise been right against your clothing.

Over all thoughts:

I found that overall this pack meets almost all my expectations. It was easy to use (once setup) and it kept all my gear quiet while keeping it easy to get to when needed. I really like the padded back rest, which is a bonus to me since I hadn’t thought it was all that necessary.

I do have some concerns (as I haven’t hunted with the pack yet, maybe they will all work them selves out) but, once you get all your gear in the pockets and strap it to your body, there is not much air movement. So, it might not be the best option in the early hunting season when temps around here can be in the 80’s. I use a HSS and when putting both on, it gets hot fast… So when using the pack, you may want to carry the HSS into the woods, rather than wear it. To bad they didn’t make the pack a safety system also… I better patent that right away.

Overall, I am glad I spent the 99.00 for this product and would recommend it to friends.

13 votes, average: 2.85 out of 513 votes, average: 2.85 out of 513 votes, average: 2.85 out of 513 votes, average: 2.85 out of 513 votes, average: 2.85 out of 5 (13 votes, average: 2.85 out of 5)
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Published by tuckr1205 on 05 Sep 2008

Fat Man’s First Archery Hunt!!!

     Well ladies and gentlemen, I am about to embark you on a hilarious adventure into my first bow Hunting experience!!  I had been hunting whitetails with a shotgun for about 10 years prior to meeting my best friend Pat.  Once pat and i started discussing whitetail hunting, he encouraged me to get a bow and he would teach me.  After being a little reluctant I purchased a used bow and began shooting the Summer of 2002.  Pat took his time and patience and taught me the ins and outs of bow hunting.  By Fall of 2002 I was ready to get into a tree stand, or so I thought.  Opening Day of archery season in 2002 Pat takes me to his hunting property.  280 acres of timber right in the heart of Whitetail Country in illinois.  mind you that Pat and his 4 other friends that hunt this property are all in between 5’10 tol 6’4 all around 175 to 225 pounds, and most of them can climb a tree like a Monkey!!!  Well at that time I was a phelt 6’1 340lbs, without any gear on. So the entire 2 hour truck ride to the Farm and I kept asking Pat, “you sure you have a tree stand that I can easily get into?”  He assured me that he had the perfect stand picked out for me and he guaranteed me a shot at a whitetail. 

     Well October 1st, 2002 we arrive at the property and get all our gear on and our bows and head to the woods!!!  after about a 1/2 mile walk Pat and I are standing in front of a huge Maple tree and Pat looks at me and points 30 feet up in the air, and stated “there it is the best stand on the property, I look at him and then back at the stand and there was no ladder or even screw in steps.  I asked him how in the world was I suppose to get in the stand, ” I don’t have wings!!” He stated” oh it is so easy, just take the branches all the way up, well mind you it is October in Illinois, it is 85 degrees, and the wind is blowing a brisk 25 miles per hour.  So he leaves me so I can make my journey into the stand.  He walks to his stand which is only about 150 yards from me and I begin my journey to the stand.  I hook my bow and backpack to the tow up rope and start out on the bottom branch, and thinking to myself that people at my funeral will at leaset know I died doing what I loved!!!!!  So I climb very cautiously and carefully, taking my time sweating and cursing the enire way.  25 minutes later I am on the branch right beside the tree stand, which looks about as big as a shoe box!!!!  I tip toe into the stand praying the lock on rusted 12 inch by 12 inch platform would hold my girth, as i bear hug the tree, like that was going to save me I finally make it onto the platform and into the 6 inch wide cloth seat, mind you I have now sweated off around 3lbs so I am a hefty 337lbs in a tree stand rated for 250lbs, not a good situation.  Once situated inthe stand and get my bearings, the wind started to pick up and with every gust the tree top swayed and so did me and my toddler chair i was sitting in!!!, so at this point I go to pull u my gear, which has my safety belt in the backpack, and I start slowly pulling my pack up to me, when about halfway up, you guessed it, caught up and wrapped around three branches!!!!!!!!!  There was no way in He!! I was clmbing back down this tree, so I did what any hot, sweaty, fat man would do and screamed as loud as i could for my bussy PAT!!!!!!!!  Who got me into this situation!!  Pat made the 150 yards through a cut cornfield in less than 10 secs and standing at the base of my treee, scowling at me, he stated”I thought you fell or was hurt!’  I told him I was not hur but I needed a little assisstance in getting my gear untangled before I just gave up on bow hunting and went back to the house for a chair and a beer!!!!    So I get my bow and safety harness and he gets back to his stand.  The enitre hunt I don’t care about deer, but I am focused and praying not to fall with each and every gust of wind!!!  SO finally around a half hour before sunset a yearling made her way to 20 yards a stopped.  I got to my shakey feet, drew back and had so much adrenaline goign that I shoot a foot over back, but what an awesome experience even after goign through all that misery, I was hooked!!!!

    At dark my buddy and mentor came back to get me and I was still in the tree, telling him all about the yearling and how awesome bow hunting was and trying to climb down the branches in the dark was more of a challenge then climbing up!!!  I get to about 10 foot off the ground and I am hanging by one branch and trying to find the other branch with my foot, my buddy Pat is trying the best he can to help me but is crying from laughing.  I finally get to tired to hold on anymore, mind you I am 340 pounds, and I tell him I am going to jump to get out of my way, by this time Pat is vapor locked and can’t peak and I look like the Biggest Man ever to be on a pommel Horse going for the Gold in the Fat Man Olympics, so after about three good swings to clear from the tree, I land on the ground with a thunderous roar and all my weight going forward and I ran smack dab in between to saplings on my knees and come to a halt as the two trees fall completely over!!!!  What a ride.  Well I hope I have visualized for everyone my first boe hunt as a fat man and hopefully some of you Plus Size fellas can relate to the tradegy of being a big man in the Hunting Woods!!!

 

Thanks for Reading

 

Tucker

 

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