Archive for the 'General Archery' Category

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Published by admin on 26 Feb 2014

Calling in Whitetail Deer By Bruce Hancock

Calling in Whitetail Deer

By Bruce Hancock

To successfully rattle in a whitetail buck into shooting range, you need to have patience, knowledge, and skill. It’s never too early to begin preparation for a successful hunt this fall. Right after the hunting season has finished is a premium time to begin. When you are out hunting predator animals in the winter months, while driving around areas that hold deer, or during the spring turkey season, there are good times to be out there looking and scouting for deer sign.

In fact, I rank “looking and scouting” as key steps to successful hunting and calling. I also advocate a more complete strategy, one that involves using the available hunting technologies that exists to give you the hunter an even break against a deer’s superior sense of smell.

Many hunters don’t realize that it has been shown scientifically that the deer family have about 500 million scent receptors in their noses. A deer smells about 400 times more efficiently than a person and can distinguish between 20 or so scents with a single sniff. When you have an animal with a nose like this, you’re at a major disadvantage. So it’s very important to use a 1-2-3 punch to this whole thing.

This 1-2-3 punch thing includes a combination which includes gland scent on a licking branch, urine scent in the deer scrapes they make, and no scent on yourself. Then, you’re going to be making deer calls to attract deer into your setup.

Deer scrapes, rubs and licking branches will be key signs to look for when scouting your territory. A deer scrapes the ground with its hooves, usually 3-5 feet below a tree limb that hangs above the scrape. The deer will rub its eye and forehead gland scents on the licking branch. The deer usually deposits urine and feces into the scrape. This compliments the scents from glands in the forehead and eyes that are found on the branch. These scrapes and licking branches can be found along deer trails, often where two or more trails converge.

Deer rubs may also be present near deer scrapes. Deer create rubs by scraping their antlers and forehead on shrubs, and low tree branches. When doing so, the bark of the tree or shrub is usually rubbed off, leaving a distinguishable rub mark laced with deer gland scent on the affected tree rub.

Bucks leave the scents this way to mark their home territory, by announcing their presence to other deer in the area, or those who are passing through to either attract them in (does), and to warn other bucks that they are intruding and a confrontation is likely. When I find deer scrapes with licking branches hanging over them, and the surrounding area shows signs with rubs as well, I use these give-away signs to improve my rattling setup success.

When I say use whatever hunting technologies that are available, I am talking about game calls, scent killers, attractant lures and scents, camo clothing, trail cams, tree ground blinds, and the like. For me, I make it as simple and effective as I can. If I’m entering blindly into new territory, I will always have my rattling antlers, my Calls-M-All game call (www.gamecall.net), buck and doe deer urine scents, and , and I make sure that the clothes that I’m wearing are as scent free as possible. Several scent killer products are available. For my deer call I use the Calls-M-All game call because it produces both the deer “bleat”, and “tending grunt” call sounds that deer make with the same call. No switching calls. And I use a set of deer antlers for rattling. Rattling bags, and fake antler products work ok as well, but for I prefer real deer horns.

One of the things I like to do early on, if I know an area where there are some bucks, is to set up some mock scrapes. First, I kill my own scent on my clothes, hat, boots, gloves, etc. I will find a likely place (perhaps an old deer scrape) beneath a licking branch (which is critical) along a deer trail. I will take my scent-free boot and kick away the leaves, limbs, etc. covering the old scrape, or make a new fake scrape below a licking branch. I will then apply the urine and deer scents to the scrape and licking branch. Often times, I will set-up a trail camera to watch the mock scrape. More likely than not, deer will come to visits your set-up. A real buck may find the mock scrape and add his scent to it, and scrape it a bit, and then move on. Then he may return to check on visitors or intruders to the scrape as it represents his marked territory, where does will frequent for breeding, or intruder bucks will infringe in hopes of breeding the territorial bucks  does attracted to, and hanging around  the scrape area.

After establishing mock scrapes in an area, usually 2 or 3 mock scrapes in an area, I will revisit them every month or so and refresh them up with new gland and scent smells.

When you know there are deer visiting your mock scrapes, and when the season comes, move into these mock scrape areas with your deer bleat and grunt call, rattling horns and set yourself up. You know that there are deer in this area. They may be close, or 200-300 away, but they’re there. Having two or three alternative areas to call in is good. I will set up 50-60 yards away from the scrape usually  off of a deer trail leading to/from the scrape. I will get comfortable and prepare to stay in one spot for an hour. It’s a mistake to leave earlier, which I discovered on more than one occasion.

At first I was thinking along the lines of a predator call setup which is in the 20-30-minute wait range. Some bucks show up quickly unannounced, while others won’t show until they’ve sized up the situation as safe before committing to the calls they hear. In most cases, the buck will circle downwind of the caller to sniff out the area downwind of the sounds. If a whitetail deer smells you, they’re gone. Often time what happens is that the deer caller will make a successful calling sequence, only to have the deer get downwind of them and slip away undetected. Remember, a whitetail deer is a master of the wind currents.

I usually set up on my knees behind a tree or shrub larger than me. I look for a place where I can see 80- 100 yards downwind of me if possible. If a deer slips into my calling area, chances he will loop downwind of me and I’ll see him first before he is concealed. It is very important to watch your downwind side, always.

When I start rattling and making call sounds, this mix of sounds creates a “breeding territory” atmosphere for deer. The deer can smell the scrape scents, they hear deer bleats, deer grunts, and deer horns. When I rattle the antlers together, I don’t try to make it any more difficult than it is. I grind them, slam them together, tickle them lightly together. You want to make enough noise so the sounds of the antlers and deer calls you make will carry.

That’s the purpose of rattling the antlers. You’ve got a couple of bucks, and they are sparring over a doe and the rights to breed. All the other bucks and does in the area hear this, and it’s like a couple of people are getting in a fight. It attracts a crowd. Deer are curious and will come to calls and rattling.

My strategy includes rattling the antlers, creating deer grunts by friction with the serrated side of my Calls-M-All, while also mixing in some doe bleat calls. I will just kind of mix this all up. I don’t have any specific pattern. I roughly call for about a one-minute period, mixing the rattling  sounds,  doe bleat and grunt call sounds.

Sometimes I will grunt maybe 3-4 times. Maybe bleat once. Rattle for 45=seconds. And wait two minutes looking and listening for approaching deer. I like changing up. I don’t like to sound like a record player.

In the end, and with persistence and patience, you will call in a buck deer and then your confidence level will increase and you’ll be hooked on Calling in Whitetail Deer.

Editor’s note: Bruce Hancock is the president and owner of the Calls-M-All Game Call Company, located in Prescott, WA. To read more about the Revolutionary Calls-M-All call, visit their website at www.gamecall.net.

 

 

 

 

 

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Published by sportsmanoutfitters on 22 Feb 2014

Bushnell The Truth 4×20 Rangefinder w/ARC Technology REVIEW

I purchased one of the new Bushnell Rangefinders before this bowhunting season. I’ve used others in the past from brands such as Leupold and Vortex Rangefinders with decent luck but did miss some good deer. I’m here to tell you that with the new ARC Technology from this new Bushnell Rangefinder you will be amazed.

This Rangefinder compensates for the angle you are at in the tree to the deer you are getting ready to shoot. Some of the yardage difference could be up to 3 yards or so depending on the distance of the shot. Let me tell you, three yards can definitely be the difference between hit and miss.

This Bushnell rangefinder is priced very competitively in the market and you will get your moneys worth. This year I haven’t missed a deer; two bucks and a doe. I must say that I attribute this to the Bushnell The Truth Rangefinder. I highly recommend the Bushnell The Truth Rangefinder with the ARC Technology. Bushnell has just come out with the Bushnell Clear View Rangefinder. You can find them out at Sportsman Outfitters.

bushnell-clear-view-the-truth-range-finder

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Published by sportsmanoutfitters on 22 Feb 2014

Kansas Archery Hunt Promotion

Sportsman Outfitters is an online hunting gear store. We are offering a chance to win a promotional open range Kansas archery hunt in the middle of the rut. We went to 180 Outdoors in Kansas last year for the first time. While we were there we saw plenty of big Kansas bucks. Every person with us had a chance at a nice 135-170 class whitetail deer. So, visit SportsmanOutfitters.com/Promo to view the rules on how to win a Kansas bowhunt. View the pictures below of a couple of the bucks that were killed last year at 180 Outdoors in Kansas. Here is a chance to go with Sportsman Outfitters on an all expense paid trip to do some Kansas bowhunting. Thanks!

Also, at the end of the month we are running a promo on Vortex Scopes. Please visit our site for more info!

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Published by admin on 18 Feb 2014

Don’t learn from your mistakes! by Pat Moore

Don’t learn from your mistakes!

by Pat Moore

I know, I know that sounds ridiculous, but that is exactly what you need to do. Archery is a game of repetition. You are most successful when you are able to repeat the same thing over and over. Focusing on doing it the same way every time will help you achieve that ability to do the same thing every time.  So when you step up to the line focus your thoughts on the inside out X you shot and all the other positive good shots you’ve made. Those thoughts will make you much more prone to doing it again.

Ok let me see if I can illustrate this point more clearly. If I tell you don’t think about a cold winter day where your hands were cold and your nose was running.  What pops into your head?  Now let’s try this. If I said think about how you feel on a warm spring day with the smell of freshness in the air and the warm sun on your face, which command were you better able to execute not thinking about something unpleasant or thinking about something pleasant? I’m sure when I told you not to think about the winter day, a cold winter day instantly popped into your thoughts. Now let me ask you this, which one made you feel better?  The warm spring day right? So if it’s easier to think about something positive and harder to ignore that which we want to avoid why do we constantly say learn from your mistakes? Thinking about positive wonderful things improves our demeanor and promotes positive results.

Part of what makes us human is the ability to learn and most of what we have learned is through trial and error. This works well when trying to develop a huge variety of skill sets and general knowledge. However, it sucks as a technique to use to master a single repetitive task. This is what makes not learning from your mistakes such a difficult idea to accept, it’s counter intuitive to our basic learning structure. None the less we need to shed that basic paradigm in order to maximize our ability to achieve perfection in repeatability.  If you are concentrating on doing a task right you are far more likely to succeed then if you are trying to avoid doing it wrong.

A prime example of promoting repeatability is written instructions. Think about written driving instructions.  They tell you what to do and seldom tell you what not to do. I expect instructions to get from Seattle to Bellevue would be something like take I90 east exit onto 405 north go 2 exits. Can you imagine driving instructions written in the negative? OK to get to Bellevue don’t take I5 north or south. Avoid downtown. Don’t drive too fast. Once you find I90 don’t go west. Don’t exit at either of the Mercer Island exits. Don’t get confused about the HOV lanes, if you see a boat on the water ignore that…  I think you are getting the picture they are very difficult instructions to follow certainly not very affective or efficient.

Well if we’re not learning from our mistakes how do we learn to shoot a bull’s eye and become better? This is exactly the point, if you hit the bulls eye more than 50 percent of the time YOU ALREADY KNOW HOW TO DO IT!  The hard part is doing it again and again and again.  You learn how to do that by concentrating on what you did before, so you can do it again. Follow the instructions from the previous successful shot. Now if you don’t hit the bull’s eye 60 or 70 percent of the time get a coach or a friend to help you by showing you and explaining to you what to do. If your coach tells you what you are doing wrong either retrain your coach or get a new one.

Shoot straight and enjoy!   Shoot straight and enjoy!   Shoot straight and enjoy!   Shoot straight and enjoy!

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Published by admin on 29 Jan 2014

Stick to the Plan – By Jason Herbert

 

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Stick to the Plan
By Jason Herbert

Driving to the new farm refreshed my hunting patience. I had been out in the woods since 5:30 am. It was now 11:00 am and I was birdless. Most hunters would have given up long ago. Not me, I had a plan and I was sticking to it. At about 11:25 my plan had worked, with three longbeards coming into my sweet calls like they had read the script. At 11:30 I had one giant tom slung over my shoulder on the way back to the truck.

I love to turkey hunt, but I can’t sit still, so at times it’s a real challenge. When I first started turkey hunting, I’d hunt in the same spot, nice and still till about nine o’clock and then head home. On the way home, I’d see toms strutting everywhere and I soon realized I was doing something wrong. Since then I have developed a solid plan that works for me. I hunt in phases. Each phase is a time of the day that corresponds to certain turkey behaviors. I hate wearing a watch, but when I am hunting with my plan, I use one to keep me on track and keep me disciplined. When I am bored stiff hunting, time seems to move really slowly, the watch keeps me honest.  I also bring plenty of food and water, in case the plan takes a while to work. When I leave on a turkey hunt, I don’t plan to come home till I got a bird or it’s dark.

The first phase of the plan is the hunt at first light. I get up really early, to arrive in my spot well before the song birds start chirping. When the birds start to chirp, the turkeys get woken up. If possible, sneaking in before they are awake decreases my chances of getting busted. At this point on the day, I like to get in nice and tight to roosting areas. The idea is to be there or nearby when the toms fly down and start to gather their hens. Hopefully my decoy will catch their attention to being them into gun range. The first few hours after the birds fly down, this are will be a good one to hunt. The birds will mill around, eat a bit, get organized and eventually head off somewhere else. If I have not killed a bird in phase one, I switch to phase two at about nine o’clock.

Phase two is moving to a strutting zone. A strutting zone is an open area where a tom can strut and bee seen showing off from far away. I prefer to hunt field edges during this portion of my hunt. If you do not have access to fields, try open ridge tops or flat river bottoms. When I move to a new spot, I get to stretch, re-charge my batteries for a quick minute or two, and re-focus. I quickly get set up and start calling. Sometimes I use a decoy, sometimes I don’t. At about mid morning the hens will leave the toms and return to their nests to tend their eggs. Now the lonely toms will get trying to find more hens. Usually they will head to a strut zone to show off a bit, hoping to find a new girl. I like to beat them there. These lonely strutting toms are usually pretty cooperative to calling efforts. I hunt the strut zones till about noon or shortly after.

At this point, I make a crucial decision to stay or go. I am blessed with many small chunks of turkey hunting property. More often than not, I am ready for a change so I drive to another property. I keep food in my car, so I maximize my time out of the woods by eating along the way. When I get to a new property, I head straight to a strut zone. This is a difficult task. Quite often I am arriving at the new property mid day, and the toms have already beaten me to the fields. That is ok, just set up close and start working them. If there are no birds in the strut zone, quickly and quietly get set up, the birds will not be far off. The scenario I described previously occurred on a high point in a hayfield, a perfect strut zone. The toms came in on a string because at that point in the day, their hens were on the nests, and this new “girl” in town caught their attention. I guarantee if I had been in that spot all morning, calling the entire time, they would not have been so eager to respond. Variety is the spice of life, and that rings true in the turkey world as well.

If the second strut zone doesn’t pay off after a few hours, hop back in the truck and drive to the third, and fourth, and fifth, etc… Like I said, I have a lot of different farms where I can turkey hunt. I have called in several nice birds in the late afternoon and early evening hours. I have noticed at that time of day, they don’t gobble as much, so keep your eyes peeled. If you are not as fortunate as I am, and you need to focus on one piece of property, there is still hope.

 

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If you can’t go to a new property, pretend like you left. By now, every turkey in the county has heard your calls, so it is time to take a break. This is hard to do for a lot of turkey hunters, but it is important that the calling stops for a while. At about one PM, I’ll head to a dust bowl. Turkeys need to dust frequently, and dust bowls are great mid day social gathering spots. If an active dust bowl is accessible, sit by it and be patient, eventually something will show up. I’ll sit a dustbowl for a few hours in the early afternoon.

At about three pm I’ll start “running and gunning”. What this means to me is that I wander around the property ever so slowly, calling the whole time. Try to use new calls now and mix up the cadence as well. Calls tend to lose their effectiveness each time they are used, so a fresh set of calls and a new style could really change your luck. Walk to all the old spots, calling and listening. As I said earlier, the turkeys don’t gobble as much later in the day so you’ll really need to practice expert woodsmanship here. Keep it up till you find a bird to work, or until it gets to be evening, whichever comes first.

Late afternoon/early evening finds me back where I started, the hunt has come full circle, and I’m at the roosting area. The turkeys will need to come back to roost eventually, so sit and be patient. Make sure to check your state regulations on legal turkey hunting hours, some don’t allow evening hunts. When I am in a roost area, I do not call or use a decoy at all. This is very similar to deer hunting. Just sit, wait patently, and keep your fingers crossed. If you do not kill a bird this way, listen for roost gobbling. The toms will gobble quite a bit again before dark, trying to gather and inventory hens in the area. Make sure you pay attention to where the gobbles are coming from, and start back near them in the morning.

By having a plan, a watch, and a bit of self discipline, I have become a much better turkey hunter. Many of the toms that I have shot have happened after ten o’clock, and on the second or third farm I tried that day. A lot of good turkey hunting time is wasted at the local diner when guys sit only their first light spot, see a “henned up” tom, and drive away complaining about him. To me when I see a henned up tom, I see a bird that can be hunted at a later time, and I also see a chance to hop in the truck grab a bit t eat, and start fresh at a new spot. Have fun, be safe, and remember to stick to the plan.

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Published by Frank Biggs on 13 Dec 2013

Bwana Bubba’s 2013 Willamette Valley Archery Blacktail Hunt

The opportunity arose, take the shot or pass?

The opening weekend of the general bow (archery) season in Oregon had past by two weeks.  After the opening the bucks had become scarce.  Two of the other hunters Mark S. an Oregon State Trooper Game Division and my son Frankie had taken bucks on the opening morning with great one shot kills.  The bucks for both young men were their first bow kills for bucks and also the privilege of taking Blacktail Bucks, that are very difficult to harvest in the best conditions.

This was taken on 09-07-13 on the cam in the draw.    He only came around 3 times in 6 months!
This was taken on 09-07-13 on the cam in the draw. He only came around 3 times in 6 months!

I had gone out to the vineyard a 90 acre of un-fence land in rural Oregon City – Canby, Oregon area in Clackamas County, Oregon and had sat in the tree stand numerous times in vane.   The year prior it was common to see at least 2-4 bucks during the archery season any given morning or evening.  Even the crop of spikes and does were not coming anywhere near the draw, bewildering mind set.

Frankie my son came out to the vineyard a couple of times. On Monday the 9th of September he came out with me to hunt again.  He had also been lucky to draw the Oregon Willamette Valley 615 Deer Tag, which allows you to hunt from September 1st, through to February 28th, the following year.  On this Monday night I would work from the tree stand with Martin Onza 3 that has proven itself well the year before, but this year the bow sight would be the H H A Sports Optimizer with the single pin on the pendulum system.  A sight that forces one to focus on the pin and the target. With the speed of the bow, I usually leave it set for 40 yards when I am going to stalk and 30 yards when I am in three stand.  If I have time for a rangefinder, I can easy move the pin up or down on yardage with my thumb quickly.

Frankie would be packing his recently bought rifle in a 308 caliber.  He would work through the timber and see if he could drive a buck my way. If a buck were bust in a different journey then he might get a chance to get his 615 tag filled.
Both us seemed to get bored without the sighting of any deer during the evening hunt.  With about 15 minutes of light left Frankie came out of the blackberries on the northern sector of the vineyard and I would be working the tree line just west of the tree stand in the draw.

One should have a camera that will take a picture in low light!
One should have a camera that will take a picture in low light!

Frankie’s new rifle came with combo setup scope that would prove to be a problem! Should have taken out his Weatherby MK V with good optics!  You can have a rifle that is over the counter and inexpensive, but one should always have good optics for the conditions which includes the scope mounts!

He texts me that there is branch buck cutting through the grapes (12″ plants) and he just can’t get on him.  At that time I spot the buck, but he is 80 yards from me and just walking along.  I work in to get closer to him and when the buck was at 60 yards broadside, I decide it is to late to get a bow good shot.  Even with the greatness of the Optimizer and the Onza 3, I would have not gotten it done.
Both Frankie and I could not get on him and get a clean shot!

The positive of this, we did see a branched shooter buck, though the buck was not a resident buck to the area.  Thus ended the night of the 9th of September with the sighting of one shooter Blacktail Buck only!

On the Tuesday the 10th, I got off early from work and headed out to the vineyard. Again vineyard is a un-fenced 90 arce parcel of land that is just outside of Canby and Oregon City, Oregon. The deer come and go from many parcels of urual lands in Clackamas County.  I have seen the same bucks when scouting on lands that are about 1-2 miles line of sight feeding in the fields.
I decided to give the tree stand another go and within an hour I decided I need to do another spot and stalk. The deer just weren’t working the draw like they were the year before.

A different perspective of the this buck!
A different perspective of the this buck!

The taking of a buck in the draw during the opener and gutting the buck near the draw might have caused a problem?  I can’t see why as the coyotes and buzzards had cleaned the bones and any other evidence of the kill within days.
There was not much shooting light left so I decided to place myself next to the treeline that lead out into the grapes plants (young 1st year plants).  As I sat there, glassing, range finding spots that I though figured a buck might emerge from, I got this feeling that I had company and not of the human form.   Everyone has had the feeling that there is something close and in many instances we don’t take advantage of the sense!   In this case I moved my head and noticed a branched buck working almost in the same area that the buck the evening before.  In this case I had a bit more light and knew if I did blow the movement I could get a shot off.

In one fluid motion I move from my sitting position and swung around into the kneeling position.   The buck had his head down the whole time he was moving through the plants.   He never made notice to my movement and with ease I pull back my Martin Onza 3 at 72#, the  HHA Optimizer single pin sight was set at 40 yards and the pin focused just below the spine.   The buck did not jump at release as the Onza 3 very quiet!  His reaction when the arrow hit was that of a rock.  He just went down instantly and quivered for just a few moments.   The arrow had gone through his heart!   In my lifespan of hunting I have had this only happen twice before on bucks and both of them had been Blacktails also!  The Blacktail buck most likely didn’t even know he was dead at impact!  It doesn’t happen like this very often, but I will take it anytime I can.   One never likes to have to track game in the dense cover of Western Oregon during the evening into darkness.   A deer can go a little ways and disappear in the Blackberries, which make for difficult recovery on evening hunts.  I have to say when there is a spark of adrenalin, old bones can move without pain!He is a descendant of Stickers a big Blacktail that was harvest last year!

He is a descendant of Stickers a big Blacktail that was harvest last year!

Archery Buck 2013  Int

Though the buck was only a 3 x 4 with the single eyeguard and most likely three (3) year, I would do it again.   After opening day it had been tough and one should never have two legal tags.  It makes it tough when your trying for the local stud buck.   The rack is a very tight rack with the main beams almost touching.    His brother the other 4 X 3 with two (2) eyeguards still roams the property.   It appears that he will take up residency on this parcel and surrounding properties.  He is a bit bigger and will make a good buck in 2014!

Since this writing I was a fortunate to harvest the Even 3 X 3 in November of this year!

Even 3 X 3 Blacktail - November 2013
Even 3 X 3 Blacktail – November 2013

Bwana Bubba aka Cobra

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Published by admin on 04 Dec 2013

My Life With Archery So Far By Caleb Michael Odom

My Life With Archery So Far

By Caleb Michael Odom

When I was six years old I received my first bow for Christmas. It was a weak little thing with a 10 lb pull but that’s where it all started. It wasn’t necessarily safe but running around shooting my brother and getting shot back at but at that time it was the best thing ever. I’d shoot at the targets and feel so accomplished when the arrow would stick into the target and not just bounce back but hey I was hooked. A few years later I wanted to shoot more so my dad bought me a Darton Rookie T compound bow 22-23 inch draw 40-50 lbs. Unfortunately I couldn’t pull it back to my shooting got put on hold for about a year. My dad then bought me a Mathews Genesis. I shot it for a couple months then decided one day to pull out the Darton and give it a shot at pulling it back and I did. The Genesis got put on the back burner and I got serious. I started pounding the target with the Darton. I’ll never forget when I split the nock off that Easton 2413 aluminum arrow. It may have only been 10 yards but I was proud. Once I lost those arrows my dad gave me some of his broken Beman ICS Hunters 400 spine that had enough good on them we could cut to fit me seeing I only had a 22 inch draw.

 

deer
That started my hunting, I shot at squirrels and dove and stuff but never anything big so I will never forget the day my dad came home from hunting and seeing how he shot a deer that morning told me that his buddy would take me that after noon if I wanted to. I jumped at the chance. I had never really been deer hunting before so I was pumped up more than ever. I got to the tree and while climbing up in the climber I knocked an arrow out of my 4 arrow quiver leaving me with 3. It turns out I ended up sitting in the same stand my dad shot his deer out of that morning and at about 6:30 I look to my left and see a spike walking toward me. He stopped at 30 yards and I shot right over him. He took a few steps I ranged him again at 30 and shot behind him. This must be the stupidest deer ever because I just shot 2 times at him and he decided to walk toward me. He stopped I ranged him at 22 yards and shot my last arrow and it hit him right where the lungs should have been. Unfortunately due to the timing of the trip my dad just gave me his grim reapers to shoot doubting I’d really have to use them and the bow just didn’t have enough power to open it up and get far enough into the deer to kill it. We looked and looked and found no blood and concluded it just broke the skin and didn’t go far enough in to really hurt it. That was a very rough hunt for me but also very eye opening. I used to think that deer were weak and anything could kill them but when I saw that deer run off and we never found it, it proved to me that no matter what you confidence level is there is always that time that’ll make you doubt it.
That was the end for that bow. I didn’t hunt with it anymore because that year for Christmas I got a diamond razor edge. Started out at 48lbs and I started turning up the poundage about every week without permission until I got to about 57. I got that bow in 2009 and in March of 2010 I shot my first animal with a bow which was a hog at guess how far? 22 yards. Total pass-through with a 100 grain muzzy 4 blade.
I had shot 2 deer with a gun prior to shooting the hog with a bow and 1 deer with a gun after but I never had shot another deer with a bow until Thursday August 11th 2011. I was sitting in a stand at the end of my road that I had set up prior to season since I had been seeing and feeding deer there. Well at about 7:15 in the morning I look to my right and see a little doe come out and get on the trail that literally went three foot from the bottom of my ladder stand. She stopped at 13 yards and I let the muzzy eat. That diamond put the smack down on her. She only ran 20 yards and pilled up along side of a four-wheeler trail which made for easy pick up. I called my dad who was at a meeting and told him the news. He told me to wait 30 minutes then have my brother come pick me and her up on the four-wheeler so I did just that. We drove home with her on the front and kept soaking her with water to keep her cool until my dad got there. The look on my dads face when he pulled up is something that’ll stay in my mind forever. I put in the time, money, and sweat to get a deer and there is no greater feeling than that first one with a bow.

I hunted a ton in 2012 with no success at all bow or gun and I sold the diamond in December and bought the bow I have now which is a Hoyt Alphaburner. I’ve hunted this season so far with it and haven’t had any luck yet so my time is coming! You just have to thank the good lord for every chance in the woods you get because you never know if one day you’ll wake up and not ever be able to go again.

By Caleb Odom

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Published by admin on 04 Dec 2013

Bad Habits and Getting Help By Ken Otis

Bad Habits and Getting Help

By Ken Otis

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I started shooting archery when I was in the 6th grade, a Fred Bear recurve and cedar arrows.  It was my pride and joy for many years and during the late summer and fall I would mow yards, rake leaves, pick-up apples or whatever was available to make a little $ for a couple straw-bales for a target.  I never seemed to get much better as the years went by but I moved into the compound bow phase with the Bear White-tail hunter!  As the years past and as I look back, I never got any real instruction or any real guideline as to “how to shoot archery”.  I developed many ‘bad-habits’ starting with stance, shoulder and arm position, anchor position too far back, too much draw weight (as a youngster) and the one that almost ended my enjoyment of archery, TARGET-PANIC.  My brothers were out deer hunting and having success and the stories were incredible.  Time and time again I would miss, and miss, and miss but they couldn’t identify what I was doing wrong.

It was on my first buck kill that I realized I had a serious problem.  The 8-pt buck came in at first light chasing does, at 14yds I was at full draw, complete broadside shot and he was looking away from me!  This is it, the perfect setup.  I released my arrow and struck him a little towards the back so I thought.  He bolted forward and bedded sown 60yds out.  I waited as I was silently celebrating, but then he got up and walked away out of sight.  My heart sunk.  After 30 minutes I got down from my tree stand and followed the minimal blood trail to where he bedded down and then the trickle for another 25yds.  I went home with a plan to return that afternoon and I found him 150yds away in the creek bottom.  My shot placement was horrible!  He was standing at complete broadside and I hit him just forward of the rear leg, cut a main artery/vein and he bled-out internally.  Following this incredible fail I needed help.  I was about to give up totally on archery hunting/shooting as I was not able to make any real progress or find any local instruction.

My good friend Shawn Padgett convinced me to try again and he got me setup with a used bow and quality components (Bowtech General, Scott Release, Carbontech arrows, PDP field points, Trophy Ridge sight, G5 peep, and Bernie Pellerite). I read Bernie’s book, followed the instructions for dispelling all of the myths about archery (I had about every one of them in my head), and I had ‘Target-Panic’!  With my 2 new coaches (Shawn and Bernie) I followed their plan for bow setup, shooting sequence, and blind bail practice.  Within 4 weeks I was on my way to recovery from ‘target panic’ and was able to hit a 6” circle out to 40yds!  In ‘hind-sight’, the answer was simple; get good instruction before you get 20+ years of bad habits!  It is much easier to correct minor flaws in good form than to replace years of bad habits and misguided form – so teach your children and your friends to find a good teacher/coach.  Today I enjoy archery hunting, 3D tournaments, and indoor spot shooting all due to the help of a good friend/coach.

Get Out and Shoot the way Your Coach Told You To!

Ken Otis

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Published by admin on 26 Nov 2013

BOWHUNT AMERICA Best of Bill Krenz

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BOWHUNT AMERICA Best of Bill Krenz

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This column celebrates the writing of Bowhunt America Founder Bill Krenz. This piece was originally printed in the June/July 2005 issue of Bowhunt America.

Work on Your Weaknesses
The best way I’ve found to become a more accurate shooter is to work on your weaknesses.

If you’re an NBA basketball fan, you know
who Karl Malone is. Malone, who retired after playing eighteen seasons for the Utah Jazz and one for the Los Angeles Lakers, was one of the greatest power forwards ever. Malone was the league’s MVP in 1997 and 1999, was a 14-time All-Star selection, and finished second on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Malone could do it all. He could rebound, play defense, and score.
But there was a time when Karl Malone was just average. He was picked by the Utah Jazz in the thirteenth round of the 1985 NBA draft. Twelve other teams passed on Malone before Utah called his name, and his rookie season was lackluster. His first coach, Frank Layton, called Malone in after that first year and explained, “Karl, you have a unique combination of size and speed, but your shooting is just so-so. You will be just a journeyman, an average big man in the league unless you work on your shooting. Your shooting is your weakness.”
“I’ll go home and work on that during the off-season,” Malone told Layton. Layton had heard the same line from a thousand other players. Most never did anything about it.
But Karl Malone wasn’t most players. He recognized the truth in Layton’s words, worked his tail off during that—and every other—off-season, and became one of the best shooting forwards in NBA history. By the time he had retired, Malone had scored 36,928 points, second only to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the all-time NBA scoring list.
The biggest difference between Karl Malone and so many other players was his willingness to work on his weakness.
Most bowhunters recognize the fact that they must practice their shooting to become more accurate in the field. They set aside the time, ready their equipment, and pound arrow after arrow into their backyard target, hoping for the best.
I’ll tell you a secret. That’s not the way to do it. The best way I’ve found to become a more accurate shooter is to work on your weaknesses.
To do that, you must first identify your weaknesses. Check your ego at the door and objectively evaluate your own shooting. I like to do that periodically in two ways.

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Try setting up a video camera and filming your shooting from all angles. A video doesn’t lie—you’ll identify your bad habits right away.

First, I’ll mentally take stock of my recent shooting performance by asking myself a series of frank questions beginning with, “How have I performed during my regular practice sessions?” The idea is to identify specific problem areas. Last summer I did that and had to admit to myself that I was missing to the right and left much more than I would like. Horizontally, most of my shots at all distances were quite good, but my weakness seemed to be stray rights and lefts. I next looked at my recent performance in the field, evaluating every shot I’d taken at big game in the last few years. I don’t mind telling you that I was a bit taken aback to note the same right-left problem.
Having identified a likely weakness in my shooting, I next set up a video camera and filmed my shooting from all angles. That’s the second step. A video doesn’t lie. It showed me exactly the shooting patterns I’d gotten into. I hadn’t taped my shooting in a long time and was amazed at how my form had changed. I was leaning back, my anchor point didn’t seem as consistent as I imagined, and my bow hand
was jumping around far too much at the shot.
The next step in serious shooting improvement, beyond identifying weaknesses, is to develop and implement a plan to work hard on those specific weaknesses.
In my case, I zeroed in on cleaning up my right and left misses. To do that, I created a four-step shooting checklist for myself. On my checklist was to stand up straighter during the shot, concentrate on a consistent anchor point, do a better job of centering my sight’s circular pin guard in my peep sight, and maintain ideal bow-hand position through the shot. That ideal position was established by consciously trying different bow-hand positions on my bow’s grip (moving my hand right and left) until I found the position in which my shooting was most consistent right and left.
I also decided to shorten the draw length of my bow slightly, as a too-long draw length often contributes to right and left misses, and to spend at least 20 minutes each practice session shooting at a target with a black, 1-inch-wide vertical line drawn down its center. The object was to hit that vertical line every time, somewhat disregarding where on the line the arrow hit.
After a month of such focused effort, my right-left problem diminished considerably.
Honest introspection may reveal different shooting weaknesses at different times. At different times, I’ve struggled with a failure to follow through properly, shooting too fast or too slow, handling the pressure of important shots, judging shot distance, shooting in dim-light situations, being able to draw my bow smoothly and easily without jerky movements, and picking a specific aiming spot on big game. Those are all common weaknesses that can be worked on and significantly improved, although each requires a different plan of action.
NBA great Karl Malone recognized his weakness and worked hard to correct it. You can do the same. Working specifically on your weaknesses is an important key to
improving your shooting.

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If you’re not satisfied with your shooting, identify and work on your weaknesses, rather than just pounding more arrows into the target.

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Published by admin on 18 Nov 2013

The New Bow Hunter By Kyle Roush

The New Bow Hunter
By Kyle Roush
AT member MN.Moose

I have been a life time hunter, born and raises around the sport of hunting in the great state of Minnesota. The passion of hunting has been passed down from generation to generation in the Roush house so it came to no surprise that I followed in these footsteps. By the age of 6 I began shooting firearms and by 8 I was going on small game hunts with my father and uncles. Then at the age of 12 I was legally allowed to enter the woods armed ready to take down a monster whitetail deer. As we all know that didn’t happen but none the less I was hooked on hunting. Just after my grandfather’s death, just after my 15th birthday, I finally put my first buck down, a simple eight pointer. I was sad that I couldn’t share the experience and the excitement with him but being in the woods I could still feel his presents.

It is funny the way life directs you and how you adjust to the opportunities that it presets, because in 2006 I ended up moving to Ohio with my new wife. From there I had to adjust from gun hunting 40 acres to 2.5 acres. Well with only 2.5 acres I didn’t have enough space from housing to continue to use the shotgun, so I was left with two choices: 1- give up hunting or 2- pick up a bow for the first time in my life at 22 years old. So that is what I did, I went out and purchased a cheap Bear bow and started to practice. Let me start by saying that hunting with a bow is way different then gun hunting. It is not so much the fact that I have to get the deer closer to me (even though that isn’t easy) as I have always taken deer within 50 yards, but the muscle control and accuracy that you have to have is amazing. It can be easy to say I hit the deer a little forward and blow through a shoulder with a shotgun but that just will not due with a bow.

Well that brings me to my first year of hunting with my bow. It was early October and after spending an afternoon at the local pumpkin patch with the family I still had 2 hours before dark so I thought I would go out and see if I can catch one walking by. By my luck I did, however like I said above you cannot expect to kill a deer unless your aim is dead on. Well the plan that I had laid out with the wind direction, projected walking path of the deer, cut shooting lanes, and sent control all paid off. The buck came in just before dark walking the edge of a corn field and walked right into my shooting lane. I waited until I could have full view of the body, picked my spot put my 20 yard pin on the deer and let loose my arrow. Unfortunately the arrow didn’t go where I wanted it to, I ended up hitting him high and to the front. He ran like the dickens, never got a single drop of blood and later that year we got sight of him again still alive. But I don’t have to tell other bow hunters that I wasn’t upset that I didn’t get the animal, I was upset that I had allowed myself to make such a bad shot. It was hard as a new bow hunter to talk myself into going back into the woods after hitting a deer and not killing it, this was my first time ever wounding but not killing and I didn’t like the way it felt. I vowed to never go back into the wood without knowing that I would make a better shot. So during the off season I shot and shot my bow over and over again, this time I feel extremely prepared. Sadly so far this year the winds and weather have not been in my favor. So far I have only had two good encounters, on a Friday that I had off from work I had 11 deer sighting with 2 being bucks. Both bucks stayed out about 90 years in the hunt for the does but wouldn’t respond. The other encounter was last Friday I used the last vacation day I had for the year and had my mind set on sitting all day. Just before daylight I had 3 does out in front of me and I thought what a good start. I was hoping that a buck would be trialing them about 30 minutes out so I could have a shot on him, and I was right the only problem he was on the other side of the field heading right to their final destination, he cut the corner and didn’t walk by. I called to him but there was no response. Then I sat ALL day and didn’t see anything. So I started to pray to my god and the deer gods just say, I have sat in this stand all day PLEASE PLEASE just let me see another deer. I don’t even care if I don’t get a shot on it I just want to see one. Then out of nowhere in front of me 30 yards I have a deer, one of those deer that sneak up on you in the wide open. I was amazed, it had worked! So I stand up, notice that it is a buck but a real young smaller buck, but when you hunt in my conditions you take what you can get. So I decide I am going to take a shot at him. He is down wind which didn’t make me feel too comfortable, so I decide the first chance I get I am going to take my shot. He is working his way close and close towards my lane and doe pee. I got him at 21 yards and as soon as he clears this last tree I will have my shot, so I draw back and he takes one more step right behind the tree and stops….. He is just standing there; I am holding and holding and holding. Now he has me worried, I am going to have to let down soon if he doesn’t take those last two steps out into the open. Then I see it, the tail wag and again the tail wags he proceeds to turn and walked away. What a hunt, lesions for any new bow hunter out there if you pray to your god and to the deer gods make sure that you don’t add that little line “I just want to see one” make sure you let them know that you want to “kill one”. Well if you need to find me I can be located here:

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