Archive for the 'General Archery' Category

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Published by admin on 08 Dec 2009

40 Years of Archery & Bowhunting By Joe Bell

40 Years of
Archery & Bowhunting
By Joe Bell

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 At only 30 years young, I felt absolutely honored and somewhat tickled to be the editor of the oldest bowhunting/archery magazine title in existence, a title that has been going for 40 years strong.  Four decades is simply a huge lump of time.  I was watching TV the other night and noticed Wienerschnitzel, the fast food giant, is celebrating its 40 year anniversary.  Imagine that, a bowhunting publication that’s been around as long as the hot dog.

 Of course I’m kidding, but to put it more realistically, the compound bow only dates back to the late ’60s and early ’70s.  In 1962 when the first issue of Bow & Arrow was being put together, “wheel bows” were nonexistent and so were replaceable-blade broad heads.  No one hunted with release aids.  And there certainly weren’t any carbon arrows around at that time.

 Taking a further look into the old, pre-’70s issues of Bow & Arrow, I found myself entertaining a world of nostalgia.  I looked at antique-like ads of recurves from various companies like Ben Pearson, Bear, Browning, Darton, Colt, Damon Howatt, Wing, Hoyt, Herters, Sanders and Shakespeare.  Some of these companies are still around today.  I saw an ad for the Bitzenburger fletching jig.  It looked basically unchanged from today’s model.  Of course, Easton’s aluminum arrow ads decorated the back inside cover of  Bow& Arrow.  MA3s, Zwickeys, Cougars, Ace Expresses, and a few others, apparently were a hunter’s choice in hunting heads.  Looking at the bylines, Jim Dougherty, Doug Kittredge, Fred Bear and Chuck Kroll, to name a few, were the prolific writers of that age.

40 Yrs of Arch and Bwhnting 

Two authors in particular and for which I hold a soft spot for, Jim Dougherty and Fred Bear, as they’ve done in modern time, inspired, educated and thrilled Bow & Arrow readers of that era.  As they told about hunting various big-game critters with their crude stick bows, visions of dangerous bears and hot-tempered African buffalo and cats emerged right from their written phrases.  It is hunting romance at its best.

 You’d think a lot has changed in archery and bowhunting since the ’60s.  But then again, a lot hasn’t.  The equipment of today sure seems more sophisticated.  But even the recurves of the ’60s and early ’70s showed the unique elements and lines of brilliant engineering, as today’s products do.  I even noticed some of the bows in ads had bridge-style risers and off-center grips, tricks today’s bow engineers use to make compounds shoot better.  Target archers are still lining up in Vegas, as they did then.  Bowhunters, too, (at least it appears that way by all the grip-and-grin trophy photos) appeared to be just as dedicated and hard-core as they are today.  So what has changed?

 For one, we’ve lost some great hunting, whereas we’ve gained some too, considering the explosion of whitetail dear populations within the past few decades.

 I couldn’t help but become at least a bit saddened after reading stories in these old issues about bowhunting Spanish goat, merino sheep and wild boar on the  Channel Islands, which are located off the coast of Southern California.  Sadly, hunting is on longer allowed on the once great bowhunting islands of Santa Catalina and Santa Cruz.  Ridiculous reasoning has abolished it.
 Only a few years ago I recall hunting both of these places.  Fortunately, in my teens I was routinely able to walk the rocky slopes of Santa Cruz and hike the cactus-studded hillsides of Catalina.  It was these places where I carved my big-game bowhunting teeth.  Sadly it is no longer available to cherish and enjoy.  Now, I can only reminisce about the good old days of bowhunting there.

 I guess this is what the 40-year anniversary of “The World’s Leading Archery Publication” is all about.  Reminiscing.  It’s about looking back at how such a great sport has reached such astronomical proportions today.  It’s obvious: bows and arrows provide a challenge, fun and recreational pastime few can let go of.  This is the essence of Bow & Arrow’s 40-year celebration.

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Published by admin on 08 Dec 2009

High Spirit: Celebrating Thriving Wildlife By Ted Nugent

High Spirit: Celebrating Thriving Wildlife
Recent Pope & Young banquet spurs
many thoughts.
By Ted Nugent

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 My eyes virtually bugged out of my face, little rivulets of drool forming at the corner of my trembling mouth.  I hyperventilated.  My heartbeat and pulse thumped like a hyper speed metal rock’n’roll double bass drum from hell, and the hair on my arms and neck quivered and rose to the occasion.  The sheer outrageous sea of hornage before me was beyond my wildest big-game dreams.

 Along with hundreds of families from around the world, I was staring at four walls covered with the most beautiful, stunning mounted heads of the world’s largest deer, elk, moose, buffalo, caribou, antelope, muskox, bighorn sheep, cougar, grizzly, polar and black bears ever seen in a single setting.  This was the 40-year anniversary of the Pope & Young club’s bi-annual trophy awards recording session, and a grand celebratory spirit consumed the Salt Lake City Convention Center.  The Spirit of the Wild glowed all around.

Celebrating Thriving Wildlife

 Numerous world records had once again been broken, and we all knew why.  Since the inception of scientifically based wilkdlife management began at the insistence of hunters in the late 1800s big game populations have improved exponentially year after year.  What a world record elk irrefutably represents is certainly the biggest, baddest, healthiest specimen of its time in more than 100 years, cut and dried.  Literally.

 The evidence is inescapable.  Record-book deer, elk, bear, moose, buffalo, antelope, caribou, cougar and others proves conclusively that this incredibly disciplined, ultra selective trophy hunting community performs the ultimate benefit for wildlife populations.  In order to qualify for the Boone & Crocket, Pope & Young  or various state record-keeping organizations, a big-game animal must be healthy and almost in every instance, very old.  And in the animal world, very old equates to being beyond breading capability or providing any tangible benefit to the herd.  In most cases, older male specimens are banished fro m the herd and go off on their own to die a slow, agonizing death by starvation or being eaten alive by other predators.

 It is interesting to note as well that most older critters that would set world records are never encountered by hunters and vanish without a trace.  I am glad that so many are taken by hunters not only for the thrills and challenges of the hunt and the food they provide the hunter’s families—plus incredible sums of revenues generated via these hunts— but mostly importantly for the valuable data they have provided over the years for further and better management information.  Even in death, these majestic beasts benefit the wild, their species and mankind.  Celebrate the Great Spirit!

 Like The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), Ducks Unlimited (DU), The Federation of North American Wild Sheep (FNAWS), The Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), Whitetails Forever, Pheasants Forever, The Grouse Society, Quail Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, the Mule Deer Association and so many conservation organizations dedicated to these precious renewable wildlife resources, it is very easy to see why wildlife is thriving in North America like nowhere else in the world.  Even in the face of dramatically dwindling habitat, game and non-game species are doing great because these hunting organizations’ hands-on understanding of real wildlife needs and conditions drive us to manage habitat and harvests accordingly.

 Many wildlife lovers outside the hunting community join us in this glowing success story.  Even the famous TV personality Steve Irwin, “The Crocodile Hunter,” states quite emphatically in Scientific American magazine, that “habitat destruction” is the most important issue facing his home county of Australia, here in America and the whole wold today.  Those who actually walk on the wild side know this truth.  I repeat, wildlife habitat is where our air, soil and water quality come from.  Everybody should be helping these hunting organizations.  If intellectual truth instead of emotional hysteria motivated everyone, they would.

Celebrating Thriving Wildlife_2

 Those ignorant souls who criticize and condemn trophy hunters are absolutely full of baloney.  First of all, most trophy animals are taken by chance, as a rare lucky encounter with an outsized beast coincidentally comes together for some fortunate hunter just out to hunt.  And in virtually every case, dictated by laws and standard hunters ethics, all the valuable meat is utilized way before any head is taken to the wildlife artist taxidermist.  The facts are clear.

 With literally thousands and thousands of entries every year into many record books around the country, these staggering numbers occur every year, but only represent a minor fraction of the overall annual harvest of all species.  That reality adds up to an amazing dynamic truth just how renewable these resources truly are.  Isn’t it ridiculous that anyone believes there could even be an anti-hunting argument?

 You would have to be pretty dam stupid to deny more than 100 years of consistent evidence.  But then there have always been stupid people.  I can only hope that they wake up and smell the wonderful, gargantuan field of roses that shine before them.  I often wonder just what they are trying to accomplish.  I guess weird will always be weird.

 Meanwhile, I am going to continue to support all these great hunting/conversation groups.  They work tirelessly throughout the year raising millions and millions of dollars, donating by millions and millions of hunters across the land, all for the continued benefit of wildlife and wildlife habitat.  It is truly the greatest success story in the history of the world.

 When I travel to Africa, for example, it is so very obvious how it all works.  Where I see thriving populations for elephant, rhino, hippo, lion, leopard, cheetah, cape buffalo, kudu, eland, sable, gemsbok, giraffe, warthog, impala, zebra, wildebeest, nyala, reedbuck, klipspringer, blesbok, bontebok, tssessebe, duiker, steenbok, and all those fascinating wild creatures, it is always on wild ground where legal hunting is an ongoing business.  Conversely, where I see no wildlife at all, there are goats, cattle, vineyards, golf courses and “No Hunting” signs.  Intellectually, the choice is ridiculously obvious, unless of course feeling good is more important than doing the right thing.  As a hunter who lives with these awesome beasts.  I will continue to dedicate my life to educating and motivating people to do the right thing.

Celebrating Thriving Wildlife_3

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Published by admin on 08 Dec 2009

Deer Hunting With A Pioneer Tips From An Old-Timer

Deer Hunting With A Pioneer
Improve Your Bowhunting With These
Tips From An Old-Timer.

cover

http://www.bowandarrowhunting.com/

 Years ago, I became acquainted with one of bowhunting’s legendary, but retiring and thus little-known, pioneers.  His name was Jim Ramsey and he lived above the Bonito Valley in Lincoln, New Mexico.

Deer_Hunting_With_A_Pioneer

 Ramsey had grown up among the Apache Indians and had learned from them the art of making archery tackle and using it for hunting,  Especially, he perfected their process of flaking obsidian for arrow ans spear points and became the finest practitioner of the art I have ever known.  It was from him that I obtained the supply of large chipped obsidian lance points that have since been used as the centerpiece of the Pope & Young Club’s “Ishi Award;”  their highest honor.

Deer_Hunting_With_A_Pioneer_2

 Jim Ramsey also made up a work display for the then-new Fred Bear Museum, showing all the tools, raw materials and steps involved in chipping heads, including a large number of beautifully finished arrow points.

 I had the opportunity to visit Ramsey in his hillside Lincoln home, which was itself a museum of miniature.  From him, I learned a great deal of valuable hunting lore.  He had slain more deer with his homemade bows, arrows and chipped heads than most people ever see.  I asked him to jot down some of his hunting notes when he had the time and I later received some of these from him.  I was glad to have them, for not too much later Jim Ramsey quietly passed on the the Happy Hunting Grounds.

 What follows are Jim Ramsey’s comments on his bowhunting techniques, given to me some twenty years ago.  They contain a great deal of interesting information and some novel tricks he used, many of them forerunners of what is common today.

 “Here in the Southwest, deer inhabit vast areas of the country and the various places where these fine big-game animals are found are often amazingly diversified and dissimilar.  The big, fine mule deer may be found from the high altitudes of the mountains, way up around ten to twelve thousand feet were moisture is plentiful.  They’re also down in semi-barren desert foothills of scant rainfall, in the spreads of the ancient lava beds and even on down onto the more broken and rougher plains country.  The lower elevations, however, are mostly home to the smaller whitetail (Coues) deer of the Southwest, especially in the cactus/mesquite areas.

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 “Regardless of where I bowhunt for deer, there are certain practices I like to follow as much as possible.  Deer are not so much concerned about the invasion of their haunts by a creature whose body scent strongly suggests a vegetable diet as they are over some comer who reeks with the warning odor of devoured flesh.

 “Considering this, I prefer to prepare myself in advance for hunting by not eating meat for at least a couple days before I go out.  But, I do eat plenty of vegetables and fruit, especially apples.  After arising from my bed in the morning, I like to take a good bath, but in soapless water so I’m fresh and clean with all possible body odor eliminated.  I say soapless, because most soaps leave lingering odors quite foreign to the natural outdoor smells in the haunts of deer.

 “Then I dress from the skin out in clean, fresh clothing.  As an added precaution, I like to allow everything I might wear or use on the hunt to lie through the night on evergreen bushes or other fragrant vegetation common to the area to be hunted.  Just laying them on the ground and covering them with mine straw or dead leaves helps a lot, provided there is no dampness to harm the equipment.  Not only are my clothing, socks and shoes treated in this manner, but also my bow, arrows, quiver, arm guard, hunting knife and any rope I may carry along.

 “Soiled, sweaty clothing worn on a hunt is a dead giveaway to game.  So are bloodstained garments that have been previously worn while dressing or handling game.  Clothing that has been slept in is especially bad, though most hunters camping in cold weather, myself included, are at times guilty of sleeping in at least some of the clothing worn in the daytime.

 “I don’t care to carry along a lunch that might give off a telltale odor; perhaps just a few apples.

 “While camping, I prefer to sleep on the ground with a bed of leaves, pine straw or tips of evergreen branches.  A good comfortable bed can be made this way and your blankets soon take on the fragrance of the natural bed material.

 “It’s a mighty good idea for the bowhunter to get out in the area he intends to hunt and camp for a few days before the hunting actually starts, living close to nature.  This gives him an opportunity to make leisurely reconnaissances of the area and appraise hunting conditions.  Besides, if he’s from lower country, it allows him a little time to become accustomed to the altitude before any arduous hunting starts.

 “The hunter should try to lend in as much as he can with his outdoor environment and, even if it does seem a bit farfetched, to become, in a way, just another creature of the wild places.  This advice is prompted b the various experiences gained from the more than fifty years I have hunted with the bow.

 “Most often, people arrive at their intended hunting area in a closed car.  Their clothing, hair and body reek with the odors of food, tobacco, gasoline, motor oil and probably the perfume from soaps, cosmetics and aftershave lotion.  Hunters do not notice these odors.  But, to the weary deer, what a distasteful contrast it is to the pure and natural ozone of their haunts.  It’s quickly noted by these and other creatures of the wild places.  It all adds a discouraging handicap to hunting, especially bowhunting.

 “After I am ready to go hunting, I avoid anyone frying bacon or other meat, as the odorous smoke settles on hair and clothing and clings tenaciously there, warning game.  I do not smoke, for an animal can detect tobacco scent a long way off.  I, myself, have often been warned of other hunters in an area by catching the drift of their smoking.

 “I prefer to wear outer clothing that blends in well with the natural surroundings, but I want it to be of material that will not be noisy when brushed by twigs or branches.  To prevent the cuffs of my trouser legs from flapping loosely and catching on brush.  I draw each one down and pin it in place with a large safety pin.  I don’t like to wear an ordinary hat when hunting in the brush.  I used to prefer wearing a head band of brown or greenish cloth about four or five inches wide, but I am getting a bit bald and the top of my head shows up like a reflecting mirror.  Now I sew a crown of like cloth onto the head band.  In colder weather a dark color stocking cap works well.

  “If I’m not familiar with the country and game conditions where I intend to hunt, as soon as I get a camp site settled, I get out and do some quiet scouting.  I try to learn which canyons have streams of springs in them, or if there are any stock tanks in the vicinity.  At any such places, I check to see if deer have recently been coming in to drink.  I learn if they have been using regular routes over well defined game or stock trail or have just come and gone haphazardly.

 “As I scout, I check for the types of vegetation deer like to feed on during that season of the year and also note places that might be favored as bedding grounds.  I try to learn how the breezes blow over the slopes and up or down the valleys or canyons.

 “Considering deer depend more on their sense of smell to warn them of danger than their sight or hearing, I always try to hunt against or across the wind, except when I may find it advantageous to slip into a brushy draw or canyon head and go with the wind to flush game onto open slopes.

Deer_Hunting_With_A_Pioneer_8

 “When hunting during the early morning and evening, if the wind is right.  I try to stay between the sun and the game.  I have learned this offers me quite an advantage.  A fine way to determine direction of faint breezes is to keep a feather tied to the upper loop of the bowstring.

 “Having learned from many experiences that the unexpected usually happens when one is least prepared for it.  I try to be alert and on the lookout for game wherever I may be, even if it’s unlikely deer are around.  Game will sometimes appear suddenly at the most unexpected time to place.  This is especially true when other hunters are in the area.

 “I often use cover scents, but prefer natural odors over man-made concoctions.  I like to crush and rub fresh sage, juniper or pine needles on my clothing and I rub my boot soles in any fresh animal droppings I come across.  In addition, skunk scent has for a long time been my old standby.  Deer are well acquainted with the smell of skunk and seem to be attracted to it.  It may be the smell appeals to them, but I have seen times when it appeared to have angered them.  Often, when deer come across a dead skunk, they will paw and stamp the carcass as if in anger.  This may be because deer, while feeding on the ground, have had their eyes sprayed with the skunk’s stinging fluid.

 “To handle such scent, I use a small, wide mouthed glass jar with a tight screw-top lid.  I fill it with rags or cotton and apply fifteen to twenty drops of the pure essence I have secured from a skunk I have killed, or from one of the trapper’s supply firms.  I carry the jar in a padded belt pouch.  When hunting, I loosen the lid about halfway.  If I want to hunt from a blind, I find a place of concealment near a well-used trail or crossing and place the open jar about ten paces back of my blind so the breeze will carry the scent over to me and onto the trail or crossing.  If shooting from a tree stand, the jar, or some moss with the scent on it, can be placed in an open space within good shooting range, so a passing deer will stop in the desired spot.

 “I usually prefer to still-hunt and stalk deer, so I carry my partially opened jar on my side.  One may get himself scented up a bit this way, especially on damp days, but the fun and success this trick affords will make it worth the trouble.

 “On the inside of each hind leg of a deer, just below the hock or knee, is a large musk gland.  This area has little or no hair on part of it with stiff, dark hair around its edge.  These glands seem to serve as a sort of radio set by which deer send scent messages to one another.  When hunting, if I can get these from the legs of a recently killed deer, I rub the musk on my trousers or on my boots.
 
Deer_Hunting_With_A_Pioneer_6 

“If suitable cover is not close to a deer trail, deer can often be lured from the trail, deer can often be lured from the trail by dropping pieces of apples or other deer tidbits such as acorns along a course the hunter desires the deer to take. “A sneaky trick I have found useful is the ‘odorous arrow gambit.’  It works best when deer are feeding or traveling int the wind and I’m behind them, but without sufficient cover to work up on them.  I take a field arrow and wrap a piece of an old sock, well stunk-up with human odor, snuggly around the forend, holding it in place with a rubber band.  From cover, I shoot the arrow high over the deer so it will fall to the ground beyond.  The sound of the arrow may turn them back toward me.  If not, they will soon scent the human odor on the arrow and may come slipping back downwind toward me, their attention mostly centered on watching their  backs.  I have more than once had deer come right in close to me using this trick.

 “If I decide to still-hunt a lava flow area, such as the ‘malpais’ west of Carizozo, which is some five miles wide and extends down the valley from the crater about thirty miles, I carefully scout around the many grassy and brushy depressions, working as much as possible into the wind.  Lava bed deer contrast sharply in color against the blackish rock and are easy to spot unless the animal is bedded in brownish grass or brush.  Nearly all shots are rather close, since a hunter will usually be quite close to a deer when he discovers it.  And, since most of the vegetation, except for scattered old juniper tree’s is quite low, there are not many overhead hazards to deflect an arrow.

 “Mostly, the wind blows across the lava beds in an established direction.  When it blows quite hard with a lot of noise, deer are reluctant to get up from their beds which are sheltered in depressions.  This brings the hunter close in.  Since shots are short, he arrow is not overly affected by high winds.

 “All volcanic areas of the Southwest are not like this and thus do not present the same hunting conditions.  For example, the Cochiti Canyon country north of Albuquerque consists mainly of extremely steep mountains of volcanic material.  Some of this country is heavily timbered and much of it cut and broken by steep-walled canyons.  Deer hunting here is done just about the same as in any of the forested areas of the West.  The Gila Wilderness area of New Mexico is another volcanic country, mountainous and forested and an extremely good deer area.

 Deer_Hunting_With_A_Pioneer_5

“Binoculars are extremely handy in such country.  Bedded deer can be spotted from a distance and an appropriate stalk planned beforehand.  Feeding deer are more easily located, also.  Whenever I come to the crest of a ridge, I always peer over cautiously, usually through a bush or clump of grass.  Deer grazing on a hillside generally graze uphill.  By maneuvering cautiously, a hunter can often get above feeding deer and let them come up within easy shooting range.

 “Whenever I’m out hunting I always pay particular attention to all the various little sounds, especially the calls of birds or other animals.  A slight rustling sound may be a deer easing out of a bed and slipping away.  A red squirrel barking and fussing may lead one to a deer.  Ravens are apt to be concerned about a dead or wounded deer, so when I hear these black denizens calling to one another in their strange raven talk.  I give a stealthy look-see.  A bluejay or scrubjay squawking at or scolding something, prompts me to learn the objects of his ire.  Such woodland busybodies can give the alert hunter a lot of good hints— and, of course, will often scold at him the same way.

 “I well remember one day years ago when hunting along the base of the Capitans, I heard a bluejay fussing at something along the trail I had just covered.  I went back and got the opportunity to shoot two fine wild turkeys out of a flock that had come in after I had passed
 “Just this past deer season, while hunting among the scattered cactus and scrub juniper on a ridge, I noticed a flock of small birds fly up from the ground about thirty yards ahead.  I looked sharply and caught a glimpse of something grayish brown in the low brush.  I thought it to be just a jackrabbit, but to make sure, I eased behind some bushes and saw it was a fine buck.  Evidently, he had just come up out of a canyon, for he was standing there looking down into it as if he expected other deer to follow.  As a result of my heeding the warning of the startled birds, I was able to make an easy, clean kill of the big mulie. 

 “When I’m stalking a deer and the cover is poor, I watch carefully as it feeds.  When it switches its tail I freeze in place, knowing this is the sign it is about to look up.

 “During rutting season, buck deer will often stay in areas where there are domestic cattle.  A hunter should be on the lookout for such places.

 “Well up on many of the more forested mountains of the southwest are rather open grassy, meadowlike areas scattered over with fir trees, grayish old aspens, patches of young aspens and a variety of plants.  Deer love to feed in such places and, during the summer, bucks like to bed there.  But during hunting season, if such areas are readily accessible to hunters, the deer will hide out in the thicker surrounding timber or down in the brushy, tangled rocky canyon heads.  About sundown, they will emerge to feed in the upland meadows, returning to thicker cover shortly after daylight.  By waiting in cover or in a tree stand near the edge of such an open grassy area, an archer has a good chance for shots at deer emerging from the canyon heads at dusk.  Sometimes these uplands are enveloped in fog, making it damp and quiet for still-hunting.  But one should carry a compass to keep from getting turned around, as it can happen easily in drifting fog.

 “Sometimes the fog turns to sleet that comes rattling noisily down.  This is also a great time to be out since the sound of your progress is covered  and visibility and odor drift are somewhat negated.  When big fluffy flakes of snow are falling thickly over the mountains, hunting is usually good, too.  Just after such a storm, before the snow becomes crusty, is an excellent time for still-hunting.

 “Farther down the mountains, where pinyons, juniper and scrub oak grow, are other populations of deer.  But when hunters in any numbers invade such areas, the deer promptly move up into those brushy, rocky canyons and rockslide slopes.  An archer who has the patience to quietly work around through such fastness is pretty apt to get chances at some of the better bucks in the area.

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 “Whenever I’m sneaking quietly through thickets and hear a deer get up with a snort of dash off a few jumps, then all is quiet, I remain perfectly still.  The animal may sneak away, but the chances are it’s not quite certain what disturbed it and is curious to find out.  If I feel it’s standing out there looking and listening.  I crouch and look under the brush for sight of its legs while keeping a lookout farther up for antlers or ears.  I especially watch in the directions where the breeze is carrying my scent.  I’ve had bucks silently and suddenly poke their heads over bushes upon catching my scent, allowing me fine close-range shots.

 “A word of caution when hunting n any of the dry areas of the Southwest where it is usually windy.  Be careful of fire and of your smokes if you have to smoke.  It’s a terrible letdown to return to mountain areas where you’ve had many happy hunting experienced, only to find the forest burned away and only scorched and blackened stubs in the canyons and on the slopes.

 “Happy hunting.”

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Published by admin on 01 Dec 2009

Outsmarting a Wild Boar By Jim Cox

Outsmarting a Wild Boar
Here’s How One Bowhunter Got The Best Of This
Intelligent Animal – For His Dinner Table!
By Jim Cox

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 I stood on the bed of the pickup squinting into the morning sun.  The barley field I was watching stretched from my left to scattered trees on my right.  Focusing my 7X35 binoculars on a small herd of cows grazing peacefully among the trees, I estimated the distance to be about three hundred yards.

 I was almost ready to head back to camp for a much-needed breakfast when an unusual shape lying in a depression under one of the trees caught my eye.  At first I thought it was a small cow but as it lifted its head to sniff the wind I recognized the animal as the large boar I had seen for the past two years.  In both of these years, I had been so wary that I had never been able to get within two hundred yards.  I vowed that this time would be different.

 Quickly tucking the binoculars into the pouch on my hip, I checked the wind and figured I had a chance of navigating the terrain to get within shooting distance.  Keeping the wind in my face I began the slow process of crawling low in the open, duck-walking the gullies and running the tree line until I estimated that the tree I crouched behind was about thirty yards from the boar.

 I could hear the low grunts and knew that the animal was still there and was unaware of my presence.  Quickly fitting an arrow to the string of my Martin compound, I took a deep breath and slowly swung around the tree, coming to full draw as I turned.  My one thought was, “Don’t miss, don’t miss.”

 I missed.  Just as I released the boar stood up and the arrow hit between his legs.  I will never know how I nocked that second arrow but as the boar ran I found myself running parallel to him, again at full draw.  My shot was true, entering a little below center, behind the shoulder.  It was a killing shot but I would not risk losing this animal to the wilderness.  I released another arrow still on the run and brought down my largest boar to date.

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 For the last five years I have been hunting wild pig on the Harris Valley Ranch near Bradley, California.  This is a private range area open only to archery hunting.  The terrain of fields, wooded areas, meadows and desert affords an ideal habitat for the wild pig.

 Derived from the European wild pig, these animals are cunningly intelligent.  While their eyesight is thought to be poor they are able to discern movement from a distance.  The pigs’ sense of smell is acute and the scent of man on the wind is enough to send them running swiftly for cover.

 Wild pigs travel mainly at night, rooting for anything edible.  They love cereal crops and any root vegetables such as beets or turnips.

 Sexually mature at eighteen months, they reach full size in five to six years, with sows attaining weights of three hundred pounds.  Boars of over four hundred pounds are not uncommon.

 Unlike the vicious little javelina, wild pigs would rather run than fight, sometimes making false charges before fleeing.  The wounded animal is a different story, however, and extreme caution should be taken when following the blood trail.  The pig may act vigorously, slashing wildly with his tusks.

 Pigs do not have sweat glands and must protect themselves from sunlight.  If cover is not readily available they will make shelters by cutting long grass ands then crawling under it to form a protective canopy.

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 Like their domesticated brothers, the wild pig will find moisture and create mud holes or wallows, using them regularly until the sun bakes them dry.  If there are trees nearby the pig will rub the mud from his back on the tree trunk.  The height of these marks from the ground will give a good indication of the pig’s size.

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 I prefer to locate the animals from a distance with binoculars, singling out one pig and beginning a slow stalk.  But their habit of using regular trails to feeding grounds makes hunting from a blind or stand possible.

 A well-placed shot is essential because the hide and gristle on the front shoulders can be as thick as 2 ½ inches.  When hit in this area, the tissues close around the broad head and shaft leaving poor blood trails.  The wounded animal may then run several hundred yards making tracking difficult.  I try to place my arrow behind the shoulder at mid-shoulder height.  The broad head will catch the lungs and heart area and should result in a quick kill.

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Because of the pigs’ stamina and tough hide it’s important to use the right equipment.  I use a Martin compound set at sixty pounds and 2117 aluminum arrows with Eagle broad heads.  I have found that because of the great penetration and large cutting area, the Eagle is ideal for wild pig.  I feel that using the right equipment for the game being hunted is essential; carefully choosing the right gear for the hunt has accounted for many of my sixty big-game kills with bow and arrow in the past few years.

 The best hunting times are early morning and dusk when the pig is active, although if there is no hunting pressure many pigs will remain active in shady or wooded areas until mid-morning before seeking cover.

 The liberal year-round season and the bag limit of one pig of either sex per day offer hunters an excellent way to sharpen hunting skills and put some delicious meat on the table at the same time.

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Published by hishuntinchic84 on 29 Nov 2009

Anyone in need of a pse compound bow for their lady or child for christmas?

Hey i am from Tennessee and am trying to sell my brand new pse chaos bow …i would love to keep it but i just cant find the time between work and school to go hunting …an associate at Gander mtn. told me to check out this site and post it on here …if your interested post something back …it would make an awesome christmas gift and its brand new barely used never been shot at any animal ..only target shot a few dozen times.

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Published by HoytFan221 on 29 Nov 2009

Buying New Arrows

I am in great need of new arrows, and am quite aware that it is an often difficult, yet important decision.  Each bow likes to shoot a certain kind/brand/weight/etc., and I need to know what kind I should get for my bow.  I have a 2005 Hoyt ViperTec XT 2000.  (I only want to hear comments from the people that have this bow or one very similar to it.)  Appriciate all input!

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Published by sarah on 27 Nov 2009

Sarahs Second Bow Kill

me and my four pointer

me and my four pointer

my alarm goes off at 6:00am to wake up and head off into the woods behind my house in Bedford/Roanoke county Virginia. My dad still isn’t awake but i go ahead and start getting ready. once I’m ready to go dad still isn’t up so i tell him I’m heading out.
once i get to my stand the first sliver of orange over the mountains is starting to show. Three hours pass of miserable, freezing winds and i see nothing but woodpeckers. Finally i look over at the ridge to my right and see a deer running down the side. by the time i can stand up and raise my bow he is walking in from forty yards. thirty. twenty. i draw my bow with shaky hands. the buck fever was getting to me. deep breath. my glasses fog! i wait a few seconds for that to fade, and then i aim, and release. i see my arrow pierce into the four-pointers lungs. He rears back and runs about thirty to forty yards and falls. My second kill. i call my dad and tell him the good news. thank goodness for four-wheelers!

my name is sarah and im fourteen years old. when i get older i want to have a hunting show. i really am trying to get noticed. any tips or advice is appreciated!
thanks!

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Published by admin on 24 Nov 2009

Hunting Survival By W.A. Hughes

Hunting Survival
Spend More Than A Few Weekends A Year Outdoors?
Chances Are Someday You’ll Either Be The Victim Of A Survival Incident
Or Placed In A Rescue Posture.  Here’s What You Need To Know In Either Case.
By W.A. Hughes

http://www.bowandarrowhunting.com/

 It was nine-thirty in the morning on a raw blustery day in the high country mantle of grey-black clouds hung at tree-top level.  The blue-green branches of the conifers were covered with powdery white snow that sifted down on the three inches of powder covering the ground.

 My bowhunting partner, Doug Smith, and I followed a herd of elk we spotted from the road.  Tracking was easy – the prints of seven elk, one a spike bull, showed up less than ten minutes old in the snow.

 “There they are, Hughes!  In that thicket of fir.”  Smith pointed to a patch of young trees in the bottom of the canyon.  “There – bedded down in those trees.  Some tracks going in, but nothing coming out.”  A dark shape moved swiftly from one patch of trees to the next.

 “There’s one now,”  Smith whispered.  “Hold it, hold it, that isn’t an elk.”  Smith waved his arms.  “That guy will spook those elk for sure.”

 And was he right.  Elk exploded out of the patch of timber.  “Get down,”  I ordered.  We knelt in the snow hoping at least one of the elk would run by within bow-shot range.  A big cow came charging up the hill.  We drew and shot at the same time.  My arrow stuck in the snow two feet behind the racing elk, Smith’s shot sailed over her back.  No time for a second shot.

 The bull never ran but we spotted him sneaking along the bottom of the canyon, then nothing moved, only the guy in the canyon who suddenly staggered out of the trees then fell.  “That guy’s hurt,”  I shouted.  “Come on.”

 We found the most miserable, cold and wet human I’ve ever seen.  He lay sprawled in the snow, semiconscious, shivering and incoherent.  This guy was only a few hours from being dead.

 Three years ago, I took a college course in mountain and cold weather survival and I honestly thought I’d never have an opportunity to use what I’d read about – I had obviously been wrong.  Here was a fellow man in bad shape.

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 Smith and I stripped this man’s clothes off and helped him climbed into a garbage sack tube tent.  Smith went back to the pickup and got a sleeping bag and we put the victim – tube tent and all – into the sleeping bag.  I built a fire, made tea liberally laced with honey and stayed with the victim while Smith went for help.  Less than an hour later a chopper picked the victim up and transported him to Tacoma, Washington, where he spent a night in the hospital and was released in good condition, but a lot wiser.

 Tim Kneeland, director of Seattle’s Institute For Survival, makes mention several times in his lectures that if you spend more than a few weekends a year outdoors, you will either be the victim of a survival incident or you will be placed in a rescue posture.  At the time I thought it was a lot of scare talk, but now I know it’s true.

 Here in the state of Washington there are over three hundred survival accidents a year that necessitate the intervention of search and rescue teams.  Many people are needlessly injured each year and many die.  National statistics show that every minute of every day someone is involved in a survival crisis.  The real tragedy is that most of these deaths and injuries could be avoided if the outdoorsmen involved had a survival kit and knew how to use it.

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 The best insurance you can get is to purchase or make a survival kit, practice with it until you know how to use every item in it, and never take one step into the woods without it.  Keep one in your car, boat, camper, airplane or any off-road vehicle.

 An excellent survival kit can be purchased from the Tacoma Unit, Mountain Rescue Council, Post Office Box 696, Tacoma, Washington, but for just a few dollars you can make yours.

SURVIVAL KIT
 Your survival kit should contain an instant shelter, fire-starting materials, signal devices, tools and rations.  All of this equipment should be compact enough to be stored and carried in a small waterproof packet on your belt.

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 If you wish to make your own kit, follow these simple directions and you will have all the necessary gear to survive a short-term crisis even in hostile environments.

 Instant Shelter – A tube tent can be manufactured from two of the plastic garbage or leaf sacks available in any grocery or hardware store.  All that is necessary to make an eight foot tent is to slit the bottom of one sack open and, utilizing a good grade of tape, join the two pieces together to form one large sack.  Carefully fold the sack up into as tight a package as possible for storage in your kit.

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 It is amazing how warm the tube tent is.  On a recent camping trip to Mt.Ranier, Washington, we utilized one of these tents as a sleeping bag, and found that we stayed dry and fairly warm inside the tubes.  If you get wet, it is wise to strip off all the wet clothes, get inside the tent and stay there until you can dry your clothing.  If possible, two people can get inside the tent and the resulting body heat will aid in warming the survival victim.

 Tools – Tools carried in a survival kit must be small, light and highly functional.  Always have a small but razor-sharp knife in the kit.  This is indispensable for many chores found around camp, primarily camp construction, such as cutting boughs for a bed and obtaining fuel.  A small coil of wire and string are helpful tools as is a foot or two of tape to repair tears in your tube tent.  A small piece of aluminum foil doubles as a heat reflector from your fire; it also makes an excellent cooking pot, and an even better signal mirror.

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Fire-Starting Material – The main fire-making material in many homemade kits is a small butane lighter.  They are excellent, reliable and well worth the few pennies spent on them, however one should have a back-up.  My kit has two back-up fire makers – I have a plastic case filled with waterproof matches, and a home-made flint and steel set.  The commercial sets of flint and steel set.  The commercial sets of flint and steel just don’t have the material for reliable use.  I found a piece of flint in the hills and carry a small packet of tinder and use y knife blade for the steel.  With the charred cloth tinder, flint and steel blade of my knife, I can start a fire as fast as most folks can with a match.

 With your fire-making material, always carry two five-inch candles.  These candles are excellent as a fire starter.  If you have trouble getting your kindling going, cut off a one-inch stub of candle, light it, and place it under your kindling.  As a steady source of fire, it will get all but the most stubborn kindling going.  I use a small piece of wire on the candle and, when the fire is blazing, pull the candle out and save it for future use.

 You will occasionally find yourself in a position where there is no fuel, or the wood is just too wet to burn.  Here the candle will have to suffice as your only source of light and heat.  If you are lost, hurt and cold, a candle will give off an amazing amount of heat, over which you can cook soup or coffee, and the light from a simple candle gives one a tremendous psychological boost.

 Rations – Even with today’s dried food, one obviously cannot pack a three-course meal in a belt survival kit.  He can, however, carry bouillon cubes, dried soup mix, packaged tea, coffee of hot chocolate and, as an energy source, either packaged honey or sugar.  Any of these foods can be prepared over a small fire utilizing your aluminum pot and the candle for heat.

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 I store all of my survival gear inside a zip-lock waterproof bag and carry it on my belt in a small canvas bag I purchased at the surplus store.  Carl Bergman, one of my bowhunting pals, carries his kit in a leather “Possibles” bag along with his extra bowstring, file and knife.

 Signals – Last of all, but far from being least important, is your signal gear.  As previously mentioned, your aluminum foil makes an excellent signal mirror and on bright days the reflection of the mirror can be seen for miles and lead a party right to your location.  In my kit I also carry a spent rifle case.  With this cartridge you can blow a loud shrill whistle which you will also assist rescuers in finding your location.

SURVIVAL SKILLS
 If you do become involved in a survival crisis your brain is your most important tool.  If you have the confidence and knowledge that you will survive, you will.  Just follow these general directions.

 When you are hunting, fishing or camping out, always keep an eye out for a good survival shelter.  Remember that your shelter should be small and dry.  Whenever you get the chance, use your survival kit for practice.  Build fire, cook yourself some hot soup or chocolate.  Let your friends, wife and parents know that when you are out in the woods you may not be back on time, and leave word that if you are not home by a certain day and hour to notify search and rescue.  Assure them that you have a survival kit, that you know how to use it, and that if anything happens you will stay put.

 Okay, you’re out in the woods and you get lost or caught in a storm.  What do you do?  It’s easy! First, get under shelter fast.  Do not allow yourself to get miserably cold and wet.  Find a shelter or use your tube tent and stay where you are unless your location is dangerous.  Find the most protected area, build a fire, fix yourself some hot coffee and wait.  As soon as possible make signals to rescuers.

Hunting_Survival_11 

Survival emergencies in the United States are short term,.  All you have to do is stay alive for a couple of days and rescue teams probably will find you .  Think about it, practice, and if the time comes when you are a survival victim, you will be able to handle it.

 SURVIVAL FIRST AID
 In a survival emergency, medical aid may be hours, perhaps days away.  You could be called upon to give medical assistance to others and perhaps be required to take care of our own injuries.  You may also have to care for emotional stresses such as fear and anxiety, keep morale high and , by example, create a will to live in others.  Until a rescue team and trained medical help arrives you may be called upon to provide food, water, shelter and first aid to others.

 First aid should be given according to the following plan.  First, rescue the victim from any area that is dangerous and could cause further injury or harm.  Second, make sure that the injured person is breathing without difficulty.  It may be necessary to give mouth-to-mouth artificial respiration.  Third, severe bleeding must be stopped.  Fourth, protect the injured person from cold, dampness or excessive heat.  Fifth, determine the extent of the injury and give appropriate first aid to include treatment for shock.

HYPOTHERMIA
 If you spend much time outdoors, it is quite likely that you may find a victim suffering from hypothermia and will be required to give first aid.  First and most important, avoid further heat loss in the victim and then re-warm him slowly.

 It will undoubtedly be necessary to rig an emergency shelter.  To further expose the victim to the elements may be fatal.  If possible, replace his wet clothing with dry.  This means you may have to share some of your own clothing.  Place as much insulation as possible between the victim and the ground.

 Have another person, if possible, strip down and warm a sleeping bag, then place the victim in the bag with one or two other persons.  They should  huddle with the victim.  If a sleeping bag is not available, use your tube tent.  If the victim’s clothing is damp, remove it.

 If the victim is awake, give him warm fluids – tea, coffee, soup, hot chocolate or bouillon.  Tea and Coffee as well as hot chocolate should be heavily sweetened.  If, however, the victim is unconscious, he should be kept prone, with his head tilted back to insure breathing.  Do not leave the victim.  Build a shelter, a fire and make appropriate signals for rescuers.  If you have a partner, send him out for help.

 Research presently underway at the University of Victoria, in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, shows that quite possibly the best method of reviving a victim of exposure is to immerse him in a warm whirlpool bath.  Of course, this procedure is available only in a hospital; however, if a cabin or home is nearby, you could place the victim in a warm bathtub until help arrives.

 Here are a few suggestions forwarded by Dr. Hayward of the University of Victoria:  Get the victim into the warmest area possible; Do not attempt to stop the victim from shivering as this is the normal emergency heat-producing method of the body; Remove all clothing and pat dry.  Do not attempt to rub the body; Do not wrap in blankets or place in a sleeping bag unless the bag or blanket is preheated.

 Rewarming Procedures – For a person into advanced stages of hypothermia, it is essential to stop further cooling and rewarm the victim if you are to save his life.  Semiconscious or unconscious persons are in severe stages of hypothermia and could die unless immediate rewarming takes place.

 The best form of rewarming is to immerse the victim in a warm-water bath or wrap him in electric blankets; however, in-the-field treatment may be necessary to prolong life long enough to get the victim to a house or hospital.

 If no other method is available body contact may be the only method available to rewarm the victim.  Huddle with him and give as much body contact as possible to the areas of greatest heat loss – neck, sides of chest, and the groin.

 If the person is unconscious, exhale warm breath in close proximity to the mouth and nose while the victim is inhaling.

 Build a fire and heat water, soak towels, clothes, etc., and apply to neck, chest and groin.

 If a sleeping bag is available, strip the victim down, remove our own clothes and huddle in the bag with the victim.  If a third person is available, get him into the bag also.  As soon as the victim regains consciousness, give him hot drinks, but do not give liquor under any circumstances.

 Continue the treatment until normal movements, behavior, and mobility returns.  In some cases this may take only an hour.  In severe cases it will take longer and you will want to get the person to a hospital as soon as possible.

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Published by admin on 18 Nov 2009

How To Plan A Successful Big-Game Bowhunt By Fred Bear

How To Plan A Successful Big-Game Bowhunt
Step-By-Step Guidelines And Advice
From A Bowhunting Master
By Fred Bear

http://www.bowandarrowhunting.com/

 The object of any big-game hunting trip is a thrilling and rewarding adventure in the great outdoors.  Every hunter hopes to come back from a trip with meat and trophies, and certainly these add fulfillment.  But even without these end results a hunting expedition can be the highlight of your year.

 It is impossible to guarantee results on such an outing, regardless of how plentiful the game.  The vagaries of weather and the innumerable small adventures that can plague the bowhunter are completely beyond prediction.  Yet some of the best hunts I’ve ever had were nonproductive in terms of trophies, but made enjoyable by good companions, a comfortable camp and interesting encounters with wildlife in pristine surroundings.

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Careful preparation is the best guarantee for a successful hunt.  The factors I consider most important are: a wise choice of companion(s); a productive hunting area; careful selection of a guide, if needed; proper preparations for food and shelter; plans made well ahead of time; and physical conditioning.

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Your hunting companions may be of entirely different social and financial status than yourself, but their likes and interests should be the same.  You should know them well enough to be assured they are dependable as sportsman, not easily discouraged, willing to do their share and capable of accepting mishaps without complaint.  Nothing can ruin a hunt more completely than a hunter who is lazy argumentative or complains with little provocation.

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 For short hunts not involving wilderness country or pack trips, a party of two is ideal.  Each can hunt alone (the most productive method), yet share the companionship of the evening campfire and the chores of cooking and keeping the camp in order.  In addition, if one suffers an accident or onset of sickness, help is there.

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 On wilderness hunts, four hunters make a good group.  Each has a partner, and partners can alternate as desired.  The hunting territory can be covered more effectively and camp labors involved in an extended trip are lightened.

 Your planned hunt may be into a neighboring state, one of the Canadian Provinces, or Alaska.  The basic consideration is the game sought.  Never plan a hunt around the hope of getting a great variety of trophies.  Determine what species you want most and pick a region where it is prevalent.  Any other species should be considered as a lucky bonus.  Often, of course, one region will offer excellent chances for more than one species, examples being a combined elk and mule deer hunt in the Rockies, a moos and caribou hunt in Alaska, or a mountain sheep and mountain goat hunt in British Columbia or Alberta.

 If such exotic game as Dall or Stone sheep, grizzly, or mountain caribou is the object, a fairly costly trip into a wilderness area may be less expensive in the long run than several trips into more heavily hunted regions where the chances are slimmer.

How_To_Plan_A_Successful_Big-Game_Bowhunt 
 How do you pick the right area for the species sought?  One of the best sources for such information is the United States Interior Department’s Fish and Wildlife Service in Washington, D.C.  It publishes state-by-state game census figures, a brief study of which can give the nonresident hunter a good idea of where the species is most abundant.  Other good sources are the various state fish and game departments, or in the case of Canada, the Provincial Lands and Forests Departments.  The major hunting and fishing magazines often have special sections devoted to regional reporting on game abundance and the annuals published by both firearms and archery magazines, such as this one, contain useful information.  A state-by-state list of bowhunting seasons, for example, can be found elsewhere in this publication.

 If it is meat on the table and the enjoyment of a successful hunt you have in mind, then concentrate on states with high game population and hunter-success ratios.  If a trophy specimen is your aim, however, be selective as to the area you choose.  Excellent sources for this information are the books, Bowhunting Big Game Records of North America, from the Pope and Young Club, Route 1, Box 147, Salmon Idaho 83467 ($17.50), and North American Big Game (seventh edition), from the Boone and Crockett Club, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213 ($25).
 
 When writing state of provincial departments for general information, be sure to request data on licenses, hunting regulations and a listing of approved, licensed guides.  An excellent additional aid is the Denali Directory, issued by the National Rifleman’s Association, 1600 Rhode Island Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20036 ($2.50).  It contains hunting information and guide listings for each state along with season dates and license fees.

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Many Western states, Alaska and Canadian provinces require nonresident hunters to have a guide.  Such a service is considered necessary to prevent game-law violations and to keep those hunters unfamiliar with the country from becoming lost.

 Even when not required by law, it often is a good idea to use the services of a guide in country new to you.  He knows the region, where the game is and the best way to get it .  Just as important, he does much of the routine camp work such as tending horses, cutting wood and cooking, thus leaving the hunters more time to concentrate on hunting.

 Write the guides you select, requesting types of hunts, services available, and rates.  Be sure to start this program well before your tentative hunting date.  Many of the best guides and outfitters are booked well in advance, often over a year.  In addition, many nonresident hunting licenses and game tags are sold out early in the year on a first-come, first-served basis.

 Printed or photocopied form letters sent out “blanket”-style to all the outfitters you can find is not a wise policy.  Such coverage may do more harm than good, leaving a bad impression with the more reliable sources.  Be somewhat selective and write individual, personalized letters.  This will convince the recipients that you are serious in your interest.  In these contacts, be sure to state our hunting preferences and ask for a list of references.  Any reputable outfitter or guide will be entirely cooperative in supplying names of previous clients.  Contact these hunters by phone or letter for first-hand evaluation.

 After narrowing the choice down to two or three outfitters, contact each one again, by telephone whenever possible.  Find out how much time will be devoted to the actual hunt, how many hunters per guide, what equipment you are required to bring.  If your party is small, will you be thrown in with other hunters?  Is the area accessible to the public?  And what weather conditions may be expected?

 Be sure to spell out your bowhunting requirements.  The majority of outfitters have had no experience in guiding bowhunters and thus may not realize how you wish to operate once the game is found.  Some may not even wish to guide you when they find that you hunt with the bow, possibly in the belief that the lower trophy-success ratio that is accepted by bowhunters will not help their promotional records.

 No matter how small your question may be, it is best to ask it in advance.  If the outfitter is slow to answer, or can’t answer, mark him off your list.

 Having accomplished this, you are prepared to hunt the game of your choice in the best area available with a person or persons thoroughly familiar with the region.  This alone will give you a great feeling of confidence.  But give and take between an outfitter and client is a two-way street, with trust and teamwork being absolutely necessary for a good hunt.  When all’s said and done, there is still some trial and error to be undergone in picking an outfitter.  If you book a guide and have a good hunt then you think he is great.  But another hunter may not be successful in getting the trophy he wants despite the best efforts of a competent guide, and may be bitter about the whole trip and about the guide as a result.

 An example of what can occur, even to highly experienced wilderness travelers, happened to be a friend, Raoy Torrey of Salmon, Idaho.  Torrey is a director of the Pope and Young Club, born and bred to the woods, and is himself a qualified big-game outfitter and guide.

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 A few years ago, Torrey and a companion, also an experienced guide, were contemplating a trip into the far north for a Dall sheep hunt.  They happened to run into a fellow in a taxidermy shop who was a registered guide in the Mackenzie District of the Northwest Territories.  He impressed them with his accounts of the country and after extended conversation they decided to book a hunt with him.

 When the time came, they flew from Idaho to the settlement of Norman Wells, a jumping-off place for access to the northern Mackenzie Mountains.  After they had waited there 2 ½ days for their outfitter to get organized, he finally rented the services of a local bush pilot to fly the two hunters some one hundred miles north to an unnamed wilderness lake, where he said he had a camp.  He stated that he would come in himself on a second flight.
 
 To shorten a trying tale, the hunters were dropped off on the lake shore but found no signs of a camp.  Furthermore, scouting revealed the entire area to be completely devoid of game and the lake without fish.  They spent 2 ½ weeks waiting for their guide, who never showed up.

 Two things kept them going.  Torrey had packed a mountain tent and small Primus-type stove in his duffle, and when rations got low they hiked many miles to another area where they succeeded in killing a small sheep.  Finally, a passing plane spotted the HELP sign spelled out in plastic letters alongside their orange tent and got them out.

How_To_Plan_A_Successful_Big-Game_Bowhunt_5

 This incident could easily have been tragic if the hunters involved had been less experienced and cool-headed.  As it was, they were out a substantial deposit apiece and fortunate to get out while still in good physical condition.

 And what happened to the outfitter?  Nothing.  Torrey and his friend would have had to stay in Canada for an extended period in order to locate and bring the miscreant to justice, which just wasn’t practical for them as they both had jobs to get back to.  They learned later that although the guide involved had been reliable at one time, they happened to tie up with him just as he was going out of business.  He shunted them off just to get rid of them, then disappeared, neglecting to tell anyone else of their whereabouts.

 So you see, bad experiences with guides can happen to anyone.  And it has happened to me, although under circumstances much less critical than in Torrey’s case.

 These good friends, a well-known outdoor writer and two other experienced woodsmen, invited me to accompany them on a spring bear hunt in Ontario.  One purpose of the week’s trip was to obtain promotional material for a motor company’s all-terrain vehicles.

 The outdoor writer had an outfitter lined up for us.  As it turned out, he had made several inquiries of guides for the proposed hunting region, from advertisements in outdoor magazines.  One of the answers he received was written with pencil on an of piece of butcher’s paper.  Aha, he thought, this fellow must be a real old backwoods type who seldom gets out of the bush, and proceeded to make final arrangements with him.

 Upon arriving in the village of Temagami, we found the “outfitter” to be a town dweller who knew little about the territory beyond it’s limits.  He had hired a couple of local Indians to do the guiding for us.  Well, there are woods Indians and there are town tavern Indians.  Our guides soon proved to be of the latter strain.

 One of them took us many miles up lake Temagami to a recently vacated lumber camp where black bear were supposed to be numerous.  There must have been a large celebration of some type the night before.  Our guide was in such bad shape that we had to run the boat for him.  After two fruitless days at that location, the guide said he’d take us to another lumber camp where he’d seen “plenty bear” just a week previously.  To get there we drove miles over a rough bush road, only to be stopped a few miles short of our goal by a heavy chain across the road.  Our guide couldn’t understand this sudden blockage, although a brief inspection of the lock and chain plainly revealed that it had been firmly in place for more than a season.

 One member of the party was dropped off in the afternoon on an isolated island in the lake – another great bear haunt and a good spot for an evening’s watch, according to guide.

 The evening turned into a black night, the atmosphere turned into pouring rain, and the island turned into an R&R area for mosquitoes.  The guide became involved in another celebration and forgot to pick up the hunter until the next morning.

 We finally called a halt to such proceedings and fired the outfitter, losing, of course, the one-third down payment in the process.  His final magnanimous offer was to sell us a couple of long-defunct bear from the town cooler – purchased no doubt from local hunters for that purpose.

 We were fortunate enough to make other arrangements that turned our trip into a successful one, but that’s another story.  Suffice it to say that we had really been taken in.  It can happen despite precautions.  I believe the most workable preventative is to plan a hunt early enough to obtain and thoroughly check out the outfitter’s references.

 
 If the plan is to hunt with an outfitter in a wilderness area, all of the major equipment such as horses, packs, tents, stoves, cooking gear and food, as well as a horse wrangler and cook, is gernerally furnished.  Sometimes the outfitter also furnishes sleeping bags, but it is best to take your own if you have one.  Your list will also include proper clothing, hunting tackle, binoculars and spotting scope, camera and film, toilet articles and a ditty bag with first-aid items, extra compass, waterproof match case, small notebook and pencil, and mending material for both clothing and tackle.

 Fundamental equipment for off-the-track big-game hunting, where the services of an outfitter or guide are not required, includes clothing, personal items, camp gear and food, a compass and map of the area, hunting tackle and a method of transporting it all.

 The tendency of beginning hunter is to take along many unnecessary items.  The veteran hunter goes light but right.  It is axiomatic that if a hunter can keep warm, dry and well-fed, the chances of his hunt being successful are increased.

How_To_Plan_A_Successful_Big-Game_Bowhunt_6 

The modern hunter camping on his own or with companions uses one of the several excellent brands of rigid pack frames for carrying his equipment.  The old scale of thirty-five pounds for the average man is a good one, with then pounds less for a woman or youth.  The backpacking bowhunter who is actually living in the bush will carry roughly two-thirds of his load in equipment and one third in food.

 Just a few years ago, food supplies either had to be fresh or canned, with three to four pounds of food and cooking gear needed per man per meal. The new processed foods shrink this to one pound per man per day.  One man in a party of four can carry all the food necessary for the entire group for a week without strain.  One man can carry dehydrated or freeze-dried foods that would be equivalent to packhorse load of canned and fresh foods, and with absolutely no danger of spoilage.  And, if the approximate balance of meat, fruit and vegetables eaten at home is maintained, the diet won’t be lopsided in any direction.

 In addition, of course, would be the hand-carried bow and arrows, a sturdy belt knife and small hatchet.  Late in the season when bad weather is likely, a small tent should be substituted for the plastic sheet.  And in some circumstances, depending upon season and terrain, a canteen and halazone tablets would be necessary.

 By all means take along a camera and notebook.  They may seem superfluous at first thought, but there is absolutely nothing like having a few photographs and field notes to later help recall the details of a hunt.

 The related subjects of making up menus, preparing foods, choosing campsites, proper clothing and footgear balance, map reading and emergency procedures are all important, but obviously cannot be covered in an article of this length.  Suffice it to say that all are important in planning for a hunt.  There are many excellent books that can be purchased or borrowed from a library covering all such details.  A few volumes I can recommend are Camping & Woodcraft, by Denise Van Lear (a Sierra Club book); Skills for Taming the Wild, by Bradford Angier; Complete Book of Hunting, by Clyde Ormond; Outdoor Encyclopedia, edited by Vin T. Sparano (an Outdoor Life book); Lure of the Open, edited by Joe Godfrey, Jr. and Frank Dufresne (a Sportsman’s Club of America book); and Backpacker’s Digest, by C.R. Learn and Mike O’Neal.  Additional sources of backpacking information are, “The Art& Science of Backpacking” from Himalayan Industries, 807Ocen View Avenue, Monterey, California, and “Enjoyable Backpacking” from Gerry Mountain Sports, Incorporated, Box 910, Boulder, Colorado.  Both are free for the asking.

 There remains one important aspect: physical conditioning.  If you re planning to hunt at higher altitudes than you are used to, or in particularly rugged terrain, this could well be the most important factor in the success or failure of your hunt.  Being in the best shape possible can be more important than skill with your bow, because if you can’t get to where the trophy animals live then you certainly can’t hit them.  Doing lots of climbing up hills or stairs, jogging in your hunting boots, working with wights, calisthenics and just plain running are all good conditioners.

 These are the basics.  There are few wilderness hunts that in retrospect can be said to be absolutely perfect in all details, even when the desired trophies are secured.  However, proper great experience afield and of smoothing off at least some of the otherwise rough edges in the process.

 Good huning.

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Published by admin on 17 Nov 2009

How To: Make A Small-Game Stopper By C.R. Learn

How To: Make A Small-Game Stopper
Step-By-Step Directions For A Simple, Inexpensive
Call That’ll Stop ‘Em Cold In Their Tracks
By C.R. Learn

http://www.bowandarrowhunting.com/

cover 

Rabbits Run, quail fly and squirrels dodge into holes or flip around trees when they feel they’re being threatened, right?  These are their protective systems, and you can capitalize on these systems by making what I call a small-game stopper.  It’s easy to make quickly if you have some broken cedar shafts laying around.

 The small-game stopper actually is the idea of Charlie Farmer, who came by one day to show me his quail stopper, which is a section of cedar shafting, slotted and fitted with a piece of plastic that results in a reed-type instrument.  When you blow hard into it it makes a screech like a hunting hawk and Farmer said that quails will sit and rabbis stop when they hear that screech.  This gives you a chance to get within range before they take off again – a small but important edge when you’re out to bag them.

How_T0_Make_A_Small-Game_Stopper_2 

Materials needed for the small-game stopper are a section of cedar shafting (you can use a piece you cut off from the last arrow you made or a broken shaft or even a new one, if need be) a rivet or setter system of some type to clinch the end together, a rivet or an eyelet or even a small bolt to seal and hold the end of the section, a hacksaw, medium to fine-grit sandpaper, a piece of hard billfold plastic, scissors and a drill or hole punch.

How_T0_Make_A_Small-Game_Stopper_3 

Cut the shaft section to a 3 ½-inch length (you can make it three inches, but the 3 ½-inch length gives deeper tones with the plastic insert).  Drill a hole through the cut section of the cedar to fit the size of the eyelet (or rivet or small bolt) you’ll be using.  After the hole has been drilled take a hacksaw and cut the section down to within an inch of the end – this will give you a slot.  Sand between the cut to remove the hair edges left by the saw blade.  This is important because the hair grain would make a difference in the sound of your call and the tone will change as the unit wears.

 At this point you will have a 31/2-inch cedar shaft section slotted and drilled on the open end.  With scissors cut the plastic the width of the cedar section and a little bit longer.  Insert this to within one-sixteenth of an inch from the end of the slotted cut.  Don’t go all the way to the end – the plastic must vibrate and won’t be able to if you have it jammed to the end.  Mark this point and take a drill or hole punch and punch a hole in the plastic for the rivet, eyelet or bolt to fit.  Place the plastic and then crimp into position with the setter.

 You must cut or shave the ends to fit the length of the rivet or eyelet you use.  If you have a rivet that will fit without any shaving on the section, fine.  If not you’ll have to cut a curved section to allow for the length of the rivet.  It’s a simple task, but it must be done or the rivet can’t set.

 If you’ve used an eyelet for the project, you’ll have a hole in the call that you can use for attaching a carrying cord.  This will keep the unit in place when you are moving and it can hand from a belt or pin on your jacket.

How_T0_Make_A_Small-Game_Stopper

 As for vibrations on this project, you can vary the type of plastic used.  Just remember that the thicket the plastic, the deeper the tone.  Thinner plastic makes a higher screech.  And, as previously mentioned, the length of the cedar section can make a difference too.
 To use the small-game stopper, you blow on it, varying the intensity of your breath for the different sounds you wish to imitate – the screech of a hawk, the chatter of a squirrel, the call of a quail and so on.  After you’ve made a hawk call the small game will hunker down and freeze, waiting for the deadly enemy to move on.  You can take a shot then or  wait until they bolt and take a running shot.

 One last advantage of this inexpensive, easy-to-make unit is that you can use it to call your hunting buddies when you are in the field.  That’s a far better idea than shouting while hunting.

 

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