Archive for the 'General Archery' Category

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Published by admin on 11 Nov 2013

GUIDED OR NOT – LOCAL OR ABROAD By D. I. Hay

GUIDED OR NOT – LOCAL OR ABROAD
By D. I. Hay

BlueCollar

How many times have these words passed through our minds? Usually at the end of the hunting season or after we have heard of a friend’s friend harvesting a trophy animal. First, I am an avid hunter and have been all of my adult life (now 65 years old and the knees feel like it – smile). My first introduction to a guided hunt happened many years ago and at that time I was in the same financial position that most of us find ourselves in while trying to raise a family to the best of our ability. A couple of rather disturbing realities quickly entered my mind, all detrimental to me pursuing this idea further. But, fortunate for me, I was able to deal with the most unsettling
1. The problematical one was concerning the financial obligation with regards to taking on the total cost of entering into an agreement with a potential Outfitter. What other costs were associated with a fully guided hunt?
Well, what did I know about a guided hunt, not much at the stage of my life where I was. In those days, the luxury of owning a computer and the vast amount of information readily available, was something we didn’t visualize. Not it is so much easier to gather information, as not only do we have the Internet, we have the numerous Hunting TV Shows, so many that there are complete channels devoted to the hunter and today there are many more magazines available than back then – if my memory serves me correctly we had Outdoor Life, Field & Stream and Sports Afield. I used to buy these monthly and in the back there were listed Outfitters from all over North America with the animals they offered. Today we are also provided insight into hunts from all over the world, and most are within our (the working man’s) grasp. So, here was the word which summed up my requirement to acquire the necessary funds to partake on a guided hunt – SACRIFICE. Wow, now I was getting to the “nuts & bolts” of solving my dilemma. I realized the family financial commitments could not change one penny, so all that was left was my personal spending. This could be defined as how bad did I want to go on a guided hunt and the associated costs? Well, back in the days before computers, I did a lot of letter writing and discussed, honestly, my position with each Outfitter. I used to wait and anticipate every day’s mail as I would receive another brochure\letter in response to my inquiries. Today, it is almost instantaneous over the Internet. If the questions are posed in the off-season, chances are the Outfitter will be close to his\her (yes, there are lots of female Outfitters in the world today) computer. So, a cold hard fact we are facing is “How much can we honestly save every payday?” In my case I had stopped smoking, so was able to put that money into a savings account – remember SACRIFICE. Well, I also was not drinking, but by no means am I suggesting that everyone has to give up smoking (probably a healthy decision though?) and instead of going to the corner Pub with the boys, bring a case of beer home and enjoy it in the comforts of your home (much cheaper also). So, here are a couple of ways to put some cash aside. Other areas where money can be saved would be to utilize one’s current fishing (I presume we all fish also?) tackle and hunting gear. I always agreed with the saying “The only difference between Men & Boys is the price of their Toys” So one can save a bit here. One point I would like to make abundantly clear, is that pennies add up to dollars and dollars add up to you chosen guided hunt.
The other costs associated with a hunt will be discussed in some detail in a future article – don’t worry, I am not going to leave you hanging out to dry – smile.
2. Which animal(s) are we going to hunt and where?
This question is one which cannot be addressed by anyone but the hunter themselves. We all have a love for an individual species. Mine has always been Mule Deer, as is to this day. This doesn’t mean I have not hunted other trophies over the years with an Outfitter. I have hunted most Provinces in Canada, Alaska, New Mexico, Idaho, Wyoming, Namibia & Zimbabwe. I guess we now get into the area which separates the men from the boys – we all would like to hunt elephant, lion, sheep, brown bears, etc., but to be honest, most of us just cannot afford that outlay of funds, especially if we are raising a young family. With absolutely no disrespect meant, success on archery hunts can be somewhat low and that is not implying archers are not good shots and hunters, just it is extremely difficult to get close to some of these animals so as to pull off a humane killing shot. From the outset, I have always selected at least two animals to hunt on each adventure. You may find this a bit odd, but I always wanted insurance against tagging out the first day or two of a guided hunt and then because I only selected one trophy, sat around camp waiting for my plane to arrive (I mean the big bird which would take me home). Hunting in North America can present a problem in this respect. If we only select one animal and tag out early, we are somewhat out of luck, except for Alaska where most Outfitters can sell tags. Africa is a totally different kettle of fish. If you are hunting Plains Game, you will probably provide a list of animals you would like to harvest and your PH (Professional Hunter – same as our Guide here in North America) will try to secure you shots at most of the animals on your list. Also, if he sees an exceptional specimen, he may offer you a shot at it, but only if you are interested in taking it. In my case, I started out with my favourite animal the Mule Deer and hunted it in Idaho, Wyoming, New Mexico and here in British Columbia. I did mix in an Antelope hunt in Wyoming during this time. I had always dreamed of taking an Alaskan Brown Bear, but at the start they were way out of my price range, no harm in dreaming? One day my dream came true and I was able to successfully hunt them in Alaska.
I have also taken a trophy Musk Ox in Nunavut.

Later in life I found a safari in Africa which was within my price range and literally jumped at the opportunity. The curse of hunting Africa, as most who have hunted the Dark Continent, once is never enough, so plan on returning if you ever get the chance to hunt there for a first time!!

Well, the purpose of this first article was to let you “wet your lips” and maybe even do some serious thinking about the contents so far. I am just heading out the door for a Mule Deer hunt in Alberta and will try to do some work on the next article during that time. I will guarantee I will have the next article up before Christmas. Which brings me to a very important side-note. Many hunters are dedicated to the entire hunting season, but while planning a guided hunt, you will live the whole year through the planning stages, organizing your trip and completing the hunt and culminating in the post hunt process.
See you in a month or so.
Take care and stay safe.

Yours in the Field

D. I. (Ian) Hay
Owner
Blue Collar Adventures
www.bluecollaradventures.ca
bluecollarhuntz@gmail.com

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Published by admin on 06 Nov 2013

Right stand-Right time by Ron

Right stand-Right time
By Ron aka. rjs

First of all, do you happen to know anyone that seems to connect on big deer season after season? They just seem to be in the right spot at the right time. Why do you suppose this is? It’s because they ARE in the right spot at the right time. These guys understand deer habits and how to use this knowledge to set up productive stand sites. What is the right stand at the right time you ask? I’ll explain.

I break my stand sites down into categories, early season (September), mid season (Oct. 1st-25th), rut (Oct. 25th-Nov. 25th), and my favorite, all season. Each stand has its own purpose and best time of the season to hunt it. It will also have prevailing wind direction factored in and a planned access route to get in and out. Let’s break it down even further.

10-25-2013-behind house 025

EARLY SEASON

My early season stands are typically food source stands. Crop fields, food plots and water are the most productive. I usually only hunt them in the afternoons and evenings. If I do hunt in the morning, I arrive very early to avoid bumping deer out of the fields when heading to my stand. Keep in mind that deer will migrate to different foods as the season progresses. Whitetails love soybeans, but will ignore them when they start to turn yellow and dry out. Water sources can be hit or miss. If you have a week of rain it might not make much sense to sit above your favorite pond. There will be puddles in the ditches and deer can drink without traveling very far. I won’t waste my time sitting on a yellow bean field that deer have forgotten about or overlooking a pond during a rainstorm. A productive early season stand will have a food source that is active. Again, right stand, right time. I will have a couple of stands set up over food sources. Some can be hard to hunt more than a couple of times because deer will be out in the fields and I guarantee they will bust you leaving your stand or will run into your scent trail after you leave. I will hunt these setups a couple of times then move on when the crops are harvested. I have other plans for these stands later in the season and will pull them down. Now keep in mind, if you have crops in the field that mature at different times and they become an active food source, this stand now becomes more valuable and can be used longer and becomes a mid season stand too. But, more on this later….

MID SEASON
My mid season stands will also have active agriculture food sources nearby, but also take advantage of the local acorn crop. I live in SW Wisconsin and when the acorns fall, deer sightings in the crop fields drop dramatically. A lot of people call this the dreaded “October Lull”. The deer activity seems to drop off like they left the area. Trust me, they haven’t. The deer have simply adjusted to the changing food source. I will have a stand or two that will be located off the agriculture food source and by a stand of oaks. I look for an area with an old rub line. I also look for an area that the bucks will use as a staging area this time of year. If you can find a spot that has a scrapes in it year after year, this is better yet. I wait to hunt these stands until the bucks are becoming a bit more active. Most of the local bucks will visit this spot at one time or another when the rut is just warming up. Again, right stand right time. I again only hunt these stands a couple of times. Most stands are too hard to get in and out of without being busted. The last thing you want is to alert every buck in the neighborhood that he is being hunted.

Corn, bean and Buck forage oats makes this stand productive the entire season.

THE RUT

We have now transitioned from early season to the beginning of the rut. Now for everyone’s favorite, “rut” stands. It’s no secret; the bucks go where the does are. I locate my stands just like everybody else. I look for pinch points, ditch crossings-any spot that will funnel deer to me. I set up a couple of stands between bedding areas and in travel routes that contains a rub line. I have found that there is a small window of opportunity to “mini” pattern a buck before the rut fully kicks in. Bucks are now on their feet more and will start traveling from doe group to doe group, in essence taking inventory of all the local does. More than once I have watched a buck move through a travel corridor, out of bow range, realized that I needed to adjust my stand a bit, then arrowed him later that day or a day or two later. Again, right stand right time. Another type of rut stand is for hunting “cruiser” bucks. These are the bucks that you have never seen before, have no trail camera pictures of and didn’t even know existed. I set these stands strictly off the terrain features and past buck sightings. I prefer ridge tops over valleys. I find it easier to keep the wind in my favor. I hunt this setup later in the rut, after the peak breeding is over. I might not see as many deer, hunting from this type of stand, but the ones I do are usually older age class bucks. This is the only stand that I don’t worry about overhunting and may sit these spot several days in a row. Again, right stand right time.

ALL SEASON

This brings us to my personal favorite, all season stands. Remember the early to mid season stands that have food sources that last into the late season? You can catch bucks during the rut, cruising the edges farm fields looking for does that feed in these areas. Remember the early season stand overlooking a farm pond? If November is hot and dry, this stand site might prove a winner when a rutting buck comes in for a drink. What else does a stand need to be considered all season? Well, that answer is easy, all of the above. Food, water, travel routes and bedding areas in the right locations. The best all season stands will be next to a food source with water. It will be on a travel corridor between bedding areas and have access for you to get in and out without the deer knowing it. What makes this stand special? It’s the right stand that can be hunted ANY time the wind is right. Do all properties have such spots? No, unfortunately not. You can create them with a little work, but that is a discussion for a different day. Take a look at your current stands sites, see what category they fit into and see if you are hunting the right stand at the right time.

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Published by Frank Biggs on 29 Oct 2013

Bwana Bubba’s 2012 Oregon Blacktail Archery Hunt

Sunday Morning Hunt

Taking the Shot Buck!

Combat Mode! 

Though this story will end up with harvesting of a small Blacktail Buck from the Willamette Valley in Oregon, it is more about the principles and aspects of aging in the hunting scenario.

I would like to say this is the buck of harvest, but not! Right Handed Tree Stand in background!

Over the years, especially when I was younger I lived to hunt and fish.   I was very selfish and would spend most of my time either at work or doing the great outdoors.  It was a total escapement from reality after serving in the U.S. Navy and being In Country. I found great excitement with chasing and harvesting game.  My fishing was about how many fish I could catch, later finding it was more fun to catch and release.

Now later in life I find I do not have as much time to hunt and fish with the reality of still working into my 60’s.   Weekends are a thing of the past since I have been in the RV selling business.   Hunts have now turned to hunting in the valley close to home for the elusive Blacktail Deer.

What started with getting permission to take pictures of Blacktail Bucks on a parcel of land outside of Oregon City & Canby, Oregon has turned into the place to have the opportunity to harvest a Blacktail.  The landowner himself is a Vietnam Vet and I know he finds great peace to be able to walk his timbered land and in some places be able to escape the daily grind!

This year was different from the past years on the M & L Ranch as I call it.   It is the first time other than a Blackberry thicket blind, that I have setup a real tree stand and fixed ground blind.   My thoughts have always been to glass, spot and pursue the game, with an occasional wait at a nearby waterhole for Pronghorn.

I had past him up at 40 yards, but this is not what I saw from 40 yards through the Blackberries!

The 2012 Archery Season in Oregon was of great expectations in harvesting one of the Big Three Blacktail bucks that we all had captured on Trail Cams.   With Odd 3 X 3 leading the pack, “Sticker” second and finally the P & Y buck Even 3 X 3.  You do notice that I have never mentioned a 4 x 4! I have yet to see a 4 point buck western count in 2012.   In the past I have seen a number of them and have put them on film!

I truly hate to say it, but many of the big bucks I have seen have been poached.   I have heard rifle shots in the familiar sound of hunting situation before the archery season and during the season.  Poaching has become a major issue in Oregon!   It can’t be about the meat, but about the rack.

Blacktail Deer - Even 2012
P & Y Buck at probably 110″ Maybe JR can get him!

So with the missed opportunity on the Even 3 X 3 in the first couple of days really took me back mentally.   The easiest shots, can most often not work!  I am sure most know that deal in hunting.   Having hit the tree stand rail not once but twice on the 25 yard shot was embarrassing for sure.    Small note:   WHEN PUTTING UP A TREE STAND AND SETTING UP THE LINE OF THE ANIMAL TO BE POSITION, MAKE SURE YOU PUT UP YOUR STAND IN RELATIONSHIP TO BEING LEFT HANDED OR RIGHT HANDED.   In this case for me being Left Handed I should have put it across the path to the opposite tree.  It is definitely a Right Handed tree stand.  Guess I will have to get another one and put it on the opposite tree 25 yards across the path!  My partner’s JR (Frankie) and Mark are right-handed!  They had decided what tree to put the stand up before I can to help!  Pretty smart guys!

As most of you know that are in the circle, with two weeks into the archery season had a second chance with a 20 yard shot on a nice heavy 3 x 3 at 20 yards (No Hesitation Either).

The one that also got away and survives another day! Flesh Wound!  He was harvested in 2013 on Opening Day!  Strange as it is, he not the first buck to take an arrow clear through and survive.

I shot through the Camo mesh of the ground blind, leading to a close Kill shot (3”) to a glancing arrow hitting the shoulder and ricocheting upward and out.   I have had someone call me unethical for not making this one buck the one find and harvest.  In this case give me a break with a Blacktail and the odds, especially with a bow!   Mark and myself spent 3 hours looking for blood on the buck, which ended with one final drop about 300 yards away in the dark at 2200.  The following morning I spent another 3 hours and found no more blood on the ferns and what appeared to be a buck with normal walk back into the forest (no broken limbs or down branches).

Great shot on a Blacktail Buck – Martin Onza 3 on display also!

So in the following weeks the buck has been on trail cams in good health.  In fact when Mark was in his tree stand with his rifle (Willamette 615 anything tag) the buck came to within 12 yards of him in good health.   As this is another story of Mark’s buck that he took at that time, all I can say is the buck might have been a vendetta for me to get him, but I was not worried about his health any longer.  Just a bad hit!

It is now Sunday September 9th in the morning about 0430 and my wife wakes me up and says “aren’t you going hunting this morning!”  Na!  I got to work and need my sleep!  I am now awake and say to myself, I am gone.   In minutes without combing my hair I headed out the door and into the darkness.  Looking at my cell found I see JR.; my son left me text messages (10) about the morning hunting.  I text back are you awake as I am already heading to my secure parking spot!  No return text, guess I got the place to myself today!  It would have been great to have him with me!

It does not take me long to get ready once there and I head off to the stand about ¼ from the parking spot.   Quickly get up in the stand with the anticipation of a good hunt, as it cooler this Sunday.   I figured I might get the spike and of course plus the one doe with twin fawns in first, with maybe a big boy coming in before 0700.   I patiently wait, which is a major problem for me as it super quite in the draw.  The only noises are the wind rusting the trees and occasional Scrub Jay squawking in the distance.  I should add the lone owl hooting in the canyon!

It is now approaching 0700 with no movement at all on the forest ground, I am extremely bored and need to get on feet and make a ground hunt.   I lower my bow and day pack to the ground, check the trail cam and see that only 6 pictures from the 12 hour period.   I thought about heading back to the house and catch a few winks before work, but I would not get any sleep.   I dropped the pack and headed over to Mark’s stand near the edge of the western sector of the farm.   No movement in the heavy grasses and I surely did not jump anything, as Mark’s stand borders the field and heavy timber.  Hmm!

I pick up my day pack and talked to myself and ask the question to drive around to the eastern sector and hunt from there and see if I can jump a Blacktail Buck.   I tell myself to go back to the stand and head up the trail that leads to the dry creek bed and the eastern sector of the farm (most of us old war dogs talk to ourselves a lot).   I decide that I wanted to go light on this expedition with only my bino’s, range finder and bow!   I am wearing a Camo long sleeve shirt and I have my booties on as it is very noisy place to walk and think you are quiet when making a good stalk.

Here I am only about 200 to 300 yards from my stand on the trail and spot a doe that had just come up out of the draw that leads down to the creek bed and the other side of the farm.  It is a warn trail now and used by the game since Frankie (JR) and his cousin had taken a D-6 Cat through the property, it has given a game when not disturb a bit easier route to feeding areas.  There are places near the creek bottom that are so thick; I would have to eat the deer there!

Ok!  I spot the doe and she is a ways out there, I would put her at about 50 yards line of sight.  Not sure if she has caught me as slither back into the Scott Broom.   I decide to range her in and use my left hand, my release hand.  Shaking a bit, I target to the left of her to a small bush and it says 48 yards.   I got the area pretty well dialed in and will wait to see what come out of the draw.  Finally a very smart move on Cobra’s part!   Her fawns that no longer have spots doodle along and up.   I can not see the doe at all during this time and I assume she did not see me!   Then I see a deer coming up, it stops and see it has a rack, I can not tell the size it all seems to blend into the background of brown grasses and the fir trees.   Knowing what my Martin Onza 3 can do for me, I am at instinct mode and without though of size or distance my eyes as they are looking through the peep side have the orange 40 yard pin set about 1-2 inches above the back bone.  The release is very smooth and no hesitation on my part.   I see the arrow in flight as the  Norway Zeon Fusion (pink) vanes are evident in flight.

I love the way these beauties fly and glow for me!

The buck has moved forward during the short time of flight of the arrow.   “Damn” is all I could say when I see the arrow hit the hind quarter forward.  What surprised me was to see the deer drop like a sack of bricks and then he shook!  Wow!  Then to my further surprise the buck go back up and struggled into the Scott Broom.  Out in the distance at about 100 yards there is a monster buck facing directly at me when I stepped out to lay the bow down!   I quickly move up to the spot and find blood.   I marked the spot with my bow and head back to the day pack to get what I needed.  I call my JR and to my surprise he answers his phone! Hoorah!  He is on his way with his truck that he can get back there and not be upset with the blackberries scrapping the side of his truck.  I do check at my launching point and range find to the spot the buck was initially standing at and it hits 63 yards.

I have a head in this picture! Keep it clean! I still have the ability to shoot some distance!

I have to tell you that during the flight of the arrow, there seem to be little arch (trajectory) in the flight.  What a strange feeling of watching the flight which was under a second, like out of a movie!  The Martin Onza 3 is most likely pushing 330fps with my setup!   Outstanding performance for me!  Martin bows have never failed me on a hunt!

I have pulled my rig near the stand, hoof back to the area with cameras and my Gerber’s.   I did not have to go very far from the hit spot, the blood trail was extensive and the buck was stretched out about 80-100 yards from the impact area.  I could see the buck is one that I had seen on camera and past up an evening before when I went to the stand and had him at 40 yards.  He was a young 3 X 3 or better 3 X 2 with no eye guards.

I was in combat mode during this time period of spot and shoot.  I truly love to spot, stalk and then kill!  I have found that the times in the field with difficult shots and I go to combat instinct mode the job usually gets done.  I do not think about anything, but the mind has allowed me to react!  One can read a book call “Blink” and understand what I am saying.  Thinking about a situation to much, I feel that you can make a dumb mistake!  Let me tell you I have made mistakes and failed number of times.  Being on the ready at all times makes for success.

The arrow did hit his hind quarter on the right side, failed to pass through.  During the Hawaiian Field Dressing operation I could see what had happen and I am most surprised, as I have never seen this before. I failed to mention that JR had given me a package of new broadheads to try and just that morning I did put one on my arrow.  The broadhead does not look like it could be as effective or un-effective as the Thunderheads I had on the rest of the arrows.   The name of this broadhead is Slick Trick 100 gr.!

This is a picture of the Slick Trick 100 gr. Magnum after hitting the ball and socket!

So during the Hawaiian field dressing using one of my gifted Gerber Gator knives I find that if the arrow had passed through there would have been pumping out even great flow of blood, but what happen once the arrow hit the flesh it angled back and somewhat down hitting the knuckle in the hip joint pulverizing the ball joint.  I have never seen this done to an animal with a Broadhead in all my years of bow hunting.   I have seen ribs cracked or cut, but for the arrow to go through that much tissue and still do that at the range of 60 yards is simply amazing.   As you know at this time I will be changing in the future to Slick Trick Broadhead.   Another thing that arrow flew as straight as if I had shot at 10 yard target.  My Onza 3 highly tuned, as all my Martin bows have been.  Reminds when I tried Barnes X bullets 225 grain in my Weatherby 340 on an elk hunt and took out the bull at 1000 yards approx (testimonial proof) and he dropped in his tracks.  I have never looked back on using the product.   Knowing that the product will do the job, if there is a mistake it is usually the hunter!  It can be equipment also if you don’t check and make sure it ready to shoot! So my deer hunting for 2012 has come to an end and I now can if time permits to focus on elk or help JR get his archery buck in the State of Oregon!

This story has been posted in Bwana Bubba which is a big deal for me to get a story posted!

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Published by Frank Biggs on 27 Oct 2013

Bwana Bubba’s 2013 Archery Hunt – Boys get their first Blacktail Bucks!

The Oregon General Archery Season Opener proved to be a successful opening day hunt in the Willamette Valley for Blacktail Deer Bucks’.  Neither of the two young men had every taken a Blacktail Buck with the bow and arrow!

The anticipation of the 2013 Oregon Archery Season Opener had been a very exciting anxiety brain thought for me. 

Having myself wanting to target two (2) different bucks during the season, I was ready for the opener on August 24th, 2013.   There would be two (2) other hunters hunting the small parcel (90 acres) of un-fenced land in the Willamette Valley of Oregon in the Clackamas County zone outside of Oregon City, Oregon. Neither of the other two (2) young bucks (Frankie or Mark) had ever taken a buck deer with the bow and arrow.   Considering the Columbia Blacktail deer is one of the toughest to hunt, the odds are lowered.  One hunter was my son Frank Jr. who has been hunting since he was 12 years old and the other hunter Mark S. one of Oregon’s finest…

Both are experience hunters with the rifle and have taken Mule Deer, Blacktail Deer, Elk and Pronghorn. Mark would be hunting from his treestand at the far end of the property in which he can view the vineyard that the deer were still working over during the year.   Jr. would be in a ground blind in the same draw that I was in, though I would be in the treestand.  This year Jr. would be hunting for the first time with a 2013 Martin Rytrea Alien XT and also for the first time the HHA Sports 5519 Optimizer Bow Sight.  All of us would be using again for the second year the Slick Trick 100gr. Broadhead.

Mark's Blacktail in the velvet!
Mark’s Blacktail in the velvet!
WGI_0132
Frankie’s Blacktail in the velvet and how he saw him on opening day, but in the daylight!

 

Anticipation by all was at its highest with all of us to harvest a Blacktail buck, since we had many bucks working the area.  At times it would seem we would have an atmosphere of a buck pasture, as does working the area lacking! Just before shooting time, I get a silent text message from Mark, “they are all around my tree”.  My thoughts were of course those of jealousy with him getting first lick on a buck.  Legal shooting time was upon us and I get another text message from Mark “Elfi is down, I smoked him”.  Now I had a bit of relief that he did not take the Number 1 Blacktail on vineyard and there would still be a chance in the future.

Mark with his P & Y Buck!  First bow kill of big game!
Mark with his P & Y Buck! First bow kill of big game!

Mark text me again that he would stay in this stand for an hour to wait on the deer and give us a chance.

Now the story gets really interesting, as Mark’s last text comes in, I see a lone deer moving through the tree to my left at a good pace.  Thinking back the deer was running a bit erratic.  This would come into play in about an hour of this sighting! It is now about 30 minutes later and I spot from the treestand about 4-5 bucks in the Douglas Firs, just milling around across the gravel road from the draw.   I see they are moving to the North and there is an opening in the blackberries.  I knew at this time they deer were heading into the draw.  The bucks and a couple does go out of sight as they go around the blackberries, travel 30 yards down the gravel road and turn east into the draw. Quickly sending Jr. a text that they were coming towards him and too be on the ready. The action is about to start, as deer are under my stand coming from the South and I can see the bucks with does coming from the West into the draw.

Frankie with his first bow buck kill with the bow and arrow!
Frankie with his first bow buck kill with the bow and arrow!

I am just mesmerized by the movement and the amount of game upon us.  I have my Optimizer set at 30 yards in anticipation of the bucks coming into my open shooting zone. The deer are on top of Jr.’s ground blind and I just sit there watching the action and not wanting to standup and get ready.

He still lives and looks to have made it through the rifle season in Oregon.  No one is suppose to hunt this place with a rifle!
The Even 3 X 3 has been harvest on 11-22-13 and he had a rough score of 123.   Great buck for the area and since I took him after chasing him for two (2) years, he left his blood line going into the future bucks!

The big Even 3 X 3 is at 42 yards from me, if I were to shoot at the easy shot, the arrow’s flight would have to zoom between Douglas Fir branches and then over the top of Jr.’s blind.   All the deer just stop at this point which is 2 – 10 yards from the blind.  They know something is up at this point, but still wanting to move down the draw to the creek bottom.  All of a sudden one of the bucks looks into the only open window in the portable blind.  The buck has eye contact with Jr., (should have had sunglasses on) snorts and bulks.   With that movement Even 3 X 3 and all the other bucks and deer are gone in a flash.  I was mistaken since I could not see one of the bucks that remained.  A Forked Horn with Eyeguards (only buck that is still in velvet) stands his ground at 5 yards from Jr.’s blind.   In my mind I am saying shoot, what are you waiting for Frankie!  A split second later I hear the report of the arrow hitting the buck in the zone.  The buck walks off directly away from him, turns and jogs about 40 yards and the rest is history!

 

As for myself I am still stunned that I did not take the shot, but there was something in my mind that told me not do so it.  Reasoning or Mind Drift? Quickly I am out of the stand congratulating Frankie and he find his deer in minutes. You ask why Jr. didn’t take the Even 3 X 3, same question I asked him!  “Dad that is your buck that you have been chasing for 2 years, I wasn’t going to ruin that moment!”

A great hunt that I got to see the hunt un-fold from above!
A great hunt that I got to see the hunt un-fold from above!

After finding Frankie’s buck from a good blood trail within a couple of minutes, taking pictures and High Fiving, Frankie now tells me that we need to help Mark find his deer.  This happen to be a work day for me and want to get one deer Hawaiian Quartered and then worry about Mark’s buck secondly! We do go over to Mark who was coming back to the truck to get rid of his gear.  His buck had not dropped out in the vineyard.  We all went back to help him find his buck.  A most difficult venture at first as there was little sign of blood to track.   After about 15 minutes I told Mark we would be back, as we need to get the buck taken care of now! Mark informed me and Jr. that he had called his Dad, Dan to come and help.

Dad and Son teamed up to trace the buck!  4 eyes many times works better than 2!  Hoorah!
Dad and Son teamed up to trace the buck! 4 eyes many times works better than 2! Hoorah!

As you read this you wonder about Mark’s hit on the deer.  It will be another story once Mark gets it written, but from the video he had taken, it was a good hit and finding the buck would come. We get Frankie’s deer done in about 30 minutes Hawaiian style of quartering, taking only the meat out.

Get with Mark and Dan, as they found some more blood.  Telling him about the deer I had seen moving through the trees just after his shot, proved to be the positive outcome of finding his buck.  The deer have had the habit of escaping or when hit to travel down into a deep canyon on the farm, that I did not even know existed until January of this year.   As soon as Mark and Dan hit the deer trail at the top of the canyon the blood trail was very heavy, but not without the buck expiring in the in heavy cover.  The dandy Pope & Young Blacktail buck didn’t travel more than 300 yards from the stand, though he made an oval track circle to the right, then straight into the canyon.

Frankie’s buck was a really nice Velvet Forked Horn with Eyeguards, with great sylemtry.  Mark’s buck was a very tall 3 X 3 with Eyeguards and would make Pope & Young.  It also was the buck that I had put an arrow completely through in 2012 that did not affect the deer.  Strange as there were no signs once skinned he had ever been hit, yet we have pictures the day after in 2012 of wounds on left and right side.

At this writing Even 3 X 3 is still alive waiting for the rut to find him.   Since opening day he has only been seen 3 times, twice on cameras at the wee hours of the darkness in the morning and once during the general rifle season out in the open field!

It is great that the two young shooters found their marks on bucks to give them the confidence of the bow and arrow on big game. 

In the State of Oregon, bowhunters have greater amount of time and opportunities to hunt for big game.

Bwana Bubba

 

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Published by admin on 29 Aug 2013


Mission MXB-360 Crossbow
ArrowTrade Magazine May 2013

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ArrowTradeMay2013

Scientific Crossbow Test

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Mission MXB-360
By Jon Teater

It’s been quite a few years since a Mathews or Mission Archery product has gone through my testing regime, mostly because of my focus on crossbows rather than compound bows. It was surprising yet not totally unexpected when Mission released a new crossbow late last year. Crossbows continue to grow in importance in the archery market and Mathews Authorized Retailers have been asking for their favorite bow supplier to get into that side of the market. Mathews is the parent company of Mission, so it’s not unexpected to see Mathews engraving on the rail, including a bit of Mathews flair throughout the design.
Mathews and Mission Archery sell not only a product but an experience. Many archers enjoy the feeling of having a top quality product in their hands. Years ago, I can remember testing my first Mathews product. I can vaguely recall the model but more importantly, I can describe the feeling I had while shooting. The balance, draw cycle and firing sequence, which by today’s standards are probably considered outdated, were better than top-notch at the time. In fact, I can honestly say many of the past Mathews bows, including the one I’m reminiscing about, were heads above the rest. If you look at today’s great bow designs, Mathews products still remain in the forefront. I would say its product portfolio exudes elegance. But archers won’t just buy based on looks. What Mathews works to create is the ultimate shooting experience. Therefore, designers of the MXB-360 paid close attention to performance characteristics while creating each component. The product design team released a product that they believe hits all the high points and Matt McPherson expects the MXB-360 to be a leader. The company wanted the crossbows in the Mission line to be fast, quiet and accurate. Additionally, the product needed to be light in weight, well balanced and easy to use, which can be a lot to ask in the design tradeoff process. Bottom line: the Mission line is a new experience and I suspect this product is the first of many new crossbows to come from the Sparta, Wisconsin headquarters.

 

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Testing Background
The MXB-360 went through a standard and regimented performance test. The focus was to determine the performance characteristics. Additionally, the goal was to provide appropriate objective information, as well as some subjective commentary, for aiding in the purchase process. With that said, this evaluation is by no means conclusive. Each archer should assess what is important to him or her and interpret the results within the context of this article. As always, I recommend that anyone who is considering buying a crossbow should shoot as many different makes and models as possible to determine what best suits his or her individual needs and desires.

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Introduction
Mission Archery announced the release of the MXB-360 in September of 2012.
At the time, Matt McPherson, owner and CEO of Mission Archery Inc. and Mathews Inc., said he designed the MXB-360 to give retailers and consumers a fast, powerful and accurate crossbow that is also lightweight, balanced and extremely easy to use. “We’ve spent a few years listening to our retailers ask us to build a crossbow,” McPherson explained. “We’re confident the MXB-360 is going to be a new leader in terms of crossbow performance.”
Both the Mathews and Mission lines have dedicated consumer bases. As you may expect, Mission is probably the more sensible company for this product release. Mathews is a more traditional company, meaning it is strictly bow focused. Mission Archery is slightly more edgy and, from my standpoint, less susceptible to criticism when releasing a product that’s somewhat unconventional. At the time of release, this new product received a lot of publicity. The popularity is really no surprise due to the large following the Mission brand has built in the past few years. In fact, I have several hunting partners that purchased the MXB-360 late last year. So, in my local shooting circuit, many archers knew that Mission had entered the crossbow market and trusted their cash to its introductory model.
The Mission line reflects the look of elegance that I mentioned earlier. The designers worked hard to mix eye appeal with high performance. Matt McPherson predicted this product would be a leader in performance. Being a leader in this market is a difficult feat, since Mission is competing with firms that have honed their crossbow designs and manufacturing skills over decades. Still, the MXB-360 has some unique features that help it stand out. This first Mission crossbow is advertised to weigh 6.55 pounds, which mirrors exactly the measurement I obtained with my certified scales. With a scope, the product weight jumps up but even so, this is one of the lighter crosssbows on the market today. Some of the elements that reduce weight are the skeleton-like barrel, the light forearm and the stock.
The MXB-360 has a tactical look and feel to fit the market trends and from my standpoint, it looks superb. I like the harmonious combination of camouflage and black. The limbs and portions of the stock are embossed in Lost AT, while the remaining portions of the crossbow are black. The crossbow is sold in a complete package. The accessory package includes an MX-3 quiver and three Mission crossbow arrows, weighing approximately 300 grains without their tips. The package includes an option of three scopes: XB Basic, XB Hunter or XB Pro. All these scopes are by Hawke, known for its fine crossbow optics. (Scopes for crossbows are specially designed to correct for parallax at short range and to stand up to the peculiar recoil of these hunting arms.) For this test, the product was provided with all the mentioned components, including a Hawke XB-1 (XB Pro).

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The crossbow dimensions and weights measured out of the box are listed on the previous page.
The crossbow went through a thorough inspection. The review focused on the string/cables, the eccentrics, the limb and limb pockets, the rail, the stock, the butt plate, the trigger housing, the trigger and the trigger guard. After a thorough review of the MXB-360, I was unable to find any blemishes. I would rate the product as exceptional in the workmanship section. Thereafter, I put the product through a 100-150 shot cycling to verify functionality. Some minor testing was performed but the focus was to detect any issues or concerns with the product before starting the actual performance testing. The MXB-360 performed flawlessly. One item I did note was the way the archer must be aware of the location of the cocking rope while attaching the clips prior to drawing the crossbow. The rope can sometimes become latched under the crossbow. If this happens, the archer will be unable to draw the crossbow string back. This happened several times during my initial testing until, after a little practice, I became adept at avoiding that issue.
The crossbow was next evaluated on the five criteria outlined below.
Detailed Test Results
Dynamic Efficiency: The dynamic efficiency portion of the test utilized a Revere Load-Cell controlled by a winch device; the load-cell connects to the crossbow with a cocking aid. The crossbow was mounted in a shooting platform that controlled any movement that might be experienced as Force-Draw curves were taken. The stored energy obtained from the Force-Draw curve was used in conjunction with speed measurements to calculate dynamic efficiency.
Speed per inch of Power Stroke: Speed measurements were taken with three projectiles. A Pact Chronograph XP and a Competition Electronics

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Pro-Chrono IR were set in tandem to record results. The average speed measurement was divided by the power stroke to determine the speed per inch of power stroke.

Noise Output: Sound measurements were recorded with three projectiles. The measurements were averaged and the sound meter was set to take measurements with the A-weighted filter (which mimics the human ear).
Trigger Force: The Trigger Force measurements were recorded in pounds and averaged. An Imada Digital Force Gauge was used to determine the peak Trigger Force.
Precision Measurements: Provides an indication of how tight groups were when shooting the crossbow by hand from a bench rest or other supportive device. Extreme spread was the method used to calculate the group size, measured by a digital calipers.

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The Initial Review
I was happy to receive the MXB-360. Upon opening it, I noticed the crossbow was well packaged. While segregated from the box containing accessories, the crossbow was retained in a case. In fact, this is the first soft case I can remember ever receiving with a crossbow. The case is an excellent touch and a feature that archers are sure to enjoy.
The crossbow was received almost fully assembled. The only components requiring assembly were the scope and quiver bracket. For this test, the scope and quiver bracket were not used and it took just 5 to 10 minutes to precisely position the scope for proper head/eye alignment.
After assembly, I read through the user manual. The manual encompasses safeguards, cocking instructions, specifications, maintenance and warranty. It’s important to run through the crossbow safety rules with customers. While reading the instructions, I was reminded that all Mission crossbows are tested before they leave the factory. The safety instructions are quite detailed and include sharp pictures and information on the dos and don’ts of the MXB-360.
An important aspect of the design is the anti-dryfire component. If a dryfire occurs, this component has the ability to prevent crossbow damage and possible harm to the shooter.

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Safe use of crossbows at the range or in the field is essential for the longevity of the product, as well as the safety of the archer. The MXB-360 has safety warnings “plastered” all over it. First and foremost, orange tape is placed over the string and the crossbow can’t be fired until the tape is removed. Mission placed a caution sticker on the product, which was an excellent idea, since you can’t use the crossbow until it’s removed and you are forced to look at it. The caution notice on the orange tape is very clear; it requests the user to read the owner’s manual, as well as register the product. In addition, stickers on either side of the wings of the forearm remind the archer to keep hands in a safe location to avoid contact with the string while firing. The final safety notices are located on the limbs. The limb stickers reiterate key points of the user manual. For example, the minimum arrow weight is 400 grains, the user must ensure proper vane orientation, the user must use moon nocks only and the user must engage the safety after loading. I mentioned only half the notices, so pay close attention to the safety markings.
Finally, there are limited lifetime warranty terms and conditions with the MXB-360. I recommend that anyone that considers buying this crossbow read through these terms in detail. The terms are also posted on Mission’s website. There are strict rules and procedures to register the crossbow, activate the warranty and make a claim.
In The Field
With winter coming to an end and the weather starting to break, I had time to take the MXB-360 afield. The initial characteristics that most crossbow shooters notice are the weight, feel and balance. The weight aspect is superb, at 6.5 pounds as a bare crossbow; this product is comparable to some of the lightest available today. The crossbow did feel good in my hands; however, the length of pull may be too long for some shooters. (As a reminder, length of pull is the distance from buttstock to trigger.) The balance point (pivot) is at an almost optimal location for my shooting style. The pivot is precisely located at the tail end of the forearm, near the trigger guard.
With many of today’s crossbows, you experience little to no let-off. In fact, only a few crossbows available today are truly focused on producing let-off. Some will say this aspect is unimportant and has little impact on the archer using a rope cocking aid but I disagree. Drawing a crossbow in a treestand or on the ground can be difficult for the last few inches of the drawing sequence. You can teach a customer to bend his legs and use those powerful muscles for most of the cocking process but once the legs are straight, then weaker shoulder and arm muscles have to take over. The MXB-360’s force draw curve indicates a steady drop-off into the valley, reducing any struggle the user may experience. In fact, the measured holding weight is around 66 pounds, which is particularly low, considering the peak weight is around 160-170 pounds.
A primary difference between the MXB-360 and other crossbows, something that became noteworthy in the field, is the lack of a stirrup at the front end. The designers felt that reducing the overall length of the crossbow would be beneficial in the field. Let me tell you, it was! Crossbow length and weight can be issues with some customers, whether they’re used to carrying a bow or a rifle. The MXB-360 feels no different than a rifle on my back. The cleat design of the MXB-360, which replaces the stirrup on a traditional crossbow, allows the user to place his or her foot on either side of the crossbow while drawing. This feature played a huge part in allowing me to easily cock the crossbow while in the treestand.
As I typically do, I brought the MXB-360 to my predetermined shooting location, with four targets spaced at various distances. The furthest target was almost 50 yards away. My treestand includes a removable shooting rail, so I am able to test with or without support. The crossbow performed flawlessly during this shooting sequence. I was conscious to make sure I lubricated the rail every 15 to 20 shots, as recommended by the crossbow manual. The component that stood out the most during this portion of the test was the Hawke scope, which is outstanding. The reticle setup is unique and was designed for easy target acquisition. In fact, I would rate the XB Pro to be one of the best scopes available and it certainly aided my shooting. The crossbow hit the mark in the field; the projectile precision provided herein from indoor testing mirrored what I experienced in the field. And from my standpoint, you can’t ask for a product to shoot better than 2 inch groups at 40 yards.

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Hot Features
Many of the top selling features of this product have already been mentioned. The pistol grip, customized case, adjustability, efficient design, comfortable trigger, telescopic sight, cleat design and performance output come to my mind as elements that will grab a consumer’s attention. The unique look of the design, starting with the skeletonized barrel, which extends rearward toward the stock, is eye catching. The drawing sequence and quiet output of the limb/cam configuration are ideal for a hunting situation. Further, the limb/cam design is one of the most efficient I have tested to date, reaching greater than 80 percent. (Please note that the draw weight of the MXB-360 is adjustable downward to 100 pounds and efficiencies will be impacted when reducing the crossbow from peak weight.)
The trigger pull is in that optimal range for my shooting style of between 3.5 and 4 pounds. The final noteworthy characteristic is the previously mentioned stirrup-free design. With this approach, Mission proves sometimes you can do more with less.
Possible Refinements
I found several areas I felt could be improved upon in the next rendition of this model or in additional models from Mission. The stock and forearm, including the pistol grip, lack frictional areas. Some products include checkering or rubberized material to allow the archer to make firm contact with the crossbow. Without these high friction areas, the crossbow could be more difficult to handle in the field, especially in wet conditions. The next area is the cocking rope anchor. I did see the benefit in this concept; however, the location does not seem convenient and can be somewhat problematic when trying to quickly cock the product; practice can alleviate this concern. The third area is a debatable point because this is an area of personal preference and is constantly discussed amongst designers. I prefer an auto-engaged safety, which the MXB-360 does not have. Please ensure that consumers are aware that this product needs to be placed on “safe” after it is cocked, similar to a firearm. The final element I’d like to see improved upon is the length of pull. From my standpoint, the length of pull will be too long for certain archers. My suggestion is that Mission could include a stock that has some built in adjustability; this will alleviate any issues from those with shorter or longer arms.
Summary
Mission has produced a great first crossbow after several years of rapid growth in vertical bow sales. The MXB-360 can be sold with three different scopes, providing different pricing levels. The reputation of the manufacturer and of designer Matt McPherson makes this product desirable. Consumers love Mathews and Mission has a lot of the same appeal, so use this to your advantage. I would also highlight the performance concepts; this crossbow’s speed measured just under 360 fps in my test with a 400 grain arrow. Speed does sell but noting the high efficiency and low noise output will help consumers understand this product isn’t just your average crossbow. The final selling method is to highlight the looks. From a distance, the MXB-360 exudes elegance and users may be easily drawn to this product because of that. The eye appeal of the MXB-360 will be far greater than some of the latest crossbows from other brands. Much of the allure comes from the stirrup-free design and tactical look.
Overall, I enjoyed testing this product and I’m very pleased to see Mission Archery in the crossbow market!
(Note, you can find more of Jon Teater’s crossbow reports online at arrowtrademag.com)

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Published by admin on 11 Jul 2013

Aspirinbuster Show Comes to Select Cabela’s

 

STRAIGHT SHOT COLUMN

Aspirinbuster Show Comes to Select Cabela’s

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A Cabela’s store is a destination. One the whole family can enjoy. A trip to a Cabela’s store is entertaining, educational and it can help the family explore outdoor pursuits they can participate in together. A Cabela’s has a huge inventory for everything outdoors from camping, hiking, hunting and fishing plus much more. My friend Dick Mauch tells me of his early days with Bear Archery when he sat in the kitchen with Dick and Mary Cabela as they prepared for their first store/catalog. At the time they sold hand tied flies mail order from an ad in the back of magazines. It’s amazing to see how well the company has grown since those early days.

This summer you can catch my Aspirin Buster instinctive archery show at several Cabela’s on the East coast. I’ll be bringing my unique brand of “bow and arrow dazzle dazzle” to the following Cabela’s stores:

East Hartford, CT. July 20-21
Scarborough, ME. July 27-28
Columbus, OH. August 10-11
Wheeling, WV. August 17-18
Charleston, WV. August 31-Sept 1

This is your chance to see my show for free at these stores. I’ll perform two shows per day, contact the store for exact times. Bring your entire family and tell your friends because my message will entertain young and old alike. Having grown up in a family that spent a great deal of time afield camping, hunting and fishing, my message is that families should spent time together outdoors away from TV, computers and video games once in awhile. There is something very rewarding about creating lifetime memories around a campfire with your family. My message fits in very well at Cabela’s.

Here’s a quote from Cabela’s Bud Forte:

“Seeing is believing. If someone were to tell you that they will shoot baby
aspirin thrown into the air with a bow and arrow shot from behind his back, your
eyebrows would curl and you would get that puzzled look on your face. I have
seen Frank Addington do it on multiple occasions here at Cabela’s and you must
see it too. Frank’s polished professionalism shines when he interacts with the
crowd and his positive message inspires the young and young at heart in every
show.”
Bud Forte-Retail marketing Manager, Cabela’s, Wheeling, West Virginia.

You can see my entire show at these events– including multiple arrows, multiple targets, and various size targets all the way down to a baby aspirin– all shot with my Hoyt bow behind my back! I’ll also be available for meet and greets, questions and to say Howdy after the show. Seeing is believing, see you at the show!

 

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((Photo– Frank with Cabela’s Bud Forte))

 

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Published by admin on 04 Jun 2013

Springtime Archery Fun

SPRINGTIME ARCHERY FUN

Once again it’s that time of year for everyone to get out, enjoy the wonderful spring weather and all the outdoors has to offer. Unlike in Old England, when archers could not shoot less than 100 yards while practicing and preparing for war, we can shoot just to enjoy the sport. It’s important to keep your main objectives in mind when making plans to go out and fling some arrows. First and foremost, don’t be too serious. Keep it simple, and keep it fun!
Today, when you hear the term “stump shooting” it refers to going out and practice shooting at random targets, but the term originated back when archers would shoot at stumps to practice judging distance. This was a great business for the people making and selling arrows but very costly for archers whose arrows ended up lost, bent or totally broken.

 

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In addition to practicing for accuracy it is also very important to learn how to judge yardage. It doesn’t matter how straight you shoot if your arrow doesn’t reach your target! Judging yardage in itself is a scientific skill all archers need to master. You will want to practice in different environments and weather. Wind, flat areas, water, and hills (uphill verses downhill) can all be a challenge when judging yardage.
Foam technology has made it possible to create so many fun targets and 3D shoots. The foam is significantly lighter than the large, heavy old Indian grass mats used in the past. Now companies are able to create targets of limitless types and sizes. You can get 3D cubes and a long list of life-sized animals including deer, elk, turkey, bear, wild boar, snakes, carp, beaver, coyote and alligator. Some companies have created 3D targets for the fun, adventurous archer like dinosaurs, zombies, and even Big Foot that can be added to the local archery club’s course. Although these make fun targets, I feel if you ever see a real Big Foot it would be better to save it for science, not shoot it with a bow & arrow! We will probably find Big Foot right after we find a jackalope. Yes they also make a 3D jackalope target!!!

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Our area has a vast amount of archery shoots & events you can attend. Local groups offer a wide variety of archery events such as Field Shoots, Golf Archery, Clout Shooting, 3D archery, Flight Shooting, Olympic Shooting, and Bow Fishing. 3D is currently the most popular, it simulates the real life hunting of many types of realistic animals. Some courses encourage additional challenges like moving targets or shooting under a branch on one knee. Spring archery tournaments are a lot of fun for the whole family. Check out the Walla Walla Blue Mountain Archers website for upcoming local events at www.bluemountainarchers.com
Club shoots usually offer a variety of group classifications to separate traditional, compound and release-aid shooters, and some offer additional classification for different age groups or skill level. Archery is a sport everyone can enjoy so current tournaments and events offer all archers a chance to participate. The U.S.A. has seen a large increase of archers with disabilities, especially shooters in wheelchairs. The archery community has also welcomed one-armed shooters. These amazing athletes draw back the bow by pulling a piece of leather attached to the string with their teeth. A few years ago an archer with only one arm won the bow hunting division at the Vegas Shoot!
You can even create fun shoots of your own. The choices are endless. You can use balloons, clay pigeons, target Tic Tac Toe, or poker deck targets. You can even rig up an old bicycle wheel to create a moving target. Create different challenges for judging distance but DO NOT try to shoot an apple off anyone’s head! Although shooting and judging yardage out in the wild is more difficult, these games can still be great practice. You can use these events to test your equipment and pre-shooting bow inspection is critical for safety and to avoid malfunction during a shoot or while hunting. It may seem obvious, but NEVER shoot straight up in the air ~ what goes up must come down!
Remember keep it fun!
Archery is also a great way to meet new people and make new friends. Don’t hesitate to check out local shoots, clubs, or events. Archers are known for their kindness and willingness to help new archers. Like all hobbies, if you do well you are more likely to continue practicing and enjoying the sport. Increase your odds by joining up with other archers who can help you improve your skills. Your local archery shop can also be a valuable resource, getting a bow that fits you and your needs can make a huge difference.
I remember several years ago when a local gentleman bought a brand new recurve bow. Soon after he called me to complain that the bow did not shoot right. My first question is always “Is the bow set up correctly?”
He replied that he installed the string as directed, stuck on the sight that came in the box and started shooting.
I explained that the bow did not come with a sight. It turned out that he put the arrow rest on the top of the site window instead of the arrow rest shelf on the bottom. As the saying goes “When all else fails, read the directions.” This is a perfect example of when the friendly members of your local archery club can be very helpful.
You can also access unlimited information and how-to videos on www.ArcheryTalk.com
Membership is always free!
ArcheryTalk.com is always creating new sections and the newest is an area for members to submit their ideas and print out free archery targets.
The time spent with family, friends, and other members of the archery community will create life long memories. It’s also a great way to get out enjoy the spring weather, get some fresh air, exercise, and improve your health. As with most sports, put safety first and just have fun!

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Terry grew up in the family archery business building arrows, accessories, and shooting in tournaments from the age six. In the early seventies he began designing and patenting the first Martin compound bows. Many of the features are used throughout the industry today.
In 1997 he started ArcheryTalk.com, the worlds largest online archery community.

 

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Published by Frank Biggs on 03 Jun 2013

Bwana Bubba’s Last Minute Oregon Blacktail Buck

Blacktail Buck in the Unit in 2013!
Blacktail Buck in the Unit in 2013!

THE SHOULDA –WOULDA – I DID BUCK

This hunt took place on the last day of the archery season in Oregon and it was my last and final effort to harvest a Blacktail Buck after a great deal of hunting during the season.  It also would be the first time I exposed my young daughter to an animal of majestic qualities to her dead to look at and touch!

An extremely large buck just stood there looking at me, probably wondering why anyone would be down in a hole like this!   This deer hunt was the end of a long Oregon deer season for me.  Earlier that season, I spent four days at Hart Mountain in southeastern Oregon looking for one of the famous big mule deer bucks that dwell there.  My vacation time had been changed and I was not able to hunt the first part of the season with my group.  So getting that early jump on a big velvet buck was gone.  I’d seen as many as 14 bucks in a group at one time prior to the season.  Truly the big bucks had been stirred up by earlier hunters and were keeping their distance.

I found myself seeking a buck to take home on the last day of the late November hunt in the Santiam Hunt Unit in Western Oregon, just west of the National Forest Boundary in the BLM. It seems on the last day we (empty-handed) will do some strange things. The trip in itself was similar to my earlier trips in which I covered innumerable miles looking for greener pastures.  I must have traveled 800 miles in three days only to find myself hunting in dense forest 30 miles from Portland, Oregon my home. On this trip, I was by myself, my partners having had their fill of hunting for one season. With the heavy rain & wet snow coming and going, I’d just about had enough myself. Then by mid afternoon it started to snow and by 3 PM there was about 4 inches of fresh snow on the ground. I was glad I’d missed a 60-yard shot at a small buck I should have not taken with the wind blowing.  The small buck seemed to be playing king of the mountain standing on a ledge overlooking a deep canyon.  If I’d hit him, he surely would have taken to the canyon below – what a pack out that would have been.
So, like any other sane bowhunter, I went down into the canyon. I decided to walk the naked alders and fir trees, which seemed to surround the small creek that wound through the canyon. I noticed some large deer tracks in the snow and told myself they must belong to a big Blackie.  I hadn’t covered more than 100 yards when I just about stepped on a deer. I was so busy stepping over downed limbs and following the tracks that I didn’t even noticed the deer bedded under a fir tree.  The most beautiful Blacktail I’d ever seen jumped up and ran out 30 yards and turned broadside to me and gazed back at me. Not taking time to count points, I was already at full drew with my Martin Cougar Magnum, set the 30 yard pin on the buck’s chest, and let fly. One would have thought I was shooting with fingers, ah I was shooting with fingers.  The buck was no longer just standing, he’d flat busted out of there. He moved so fast I just shook my head and wondered if I’d missed. I went to the spot where the buck had been, no blood. Now the snow was really coming down and the wind had picked up in the canyon. My heart pounding in my chest, all I could do was follow the tracks in the direction he’d gone.  I started to notice some foamy blood spots and walked about 80 yards on the blood trail, stopped, and looked around. There, in the ferns just below me, was the butt of a deer.  He must have taken one last leap in this last breath! The broadhead had done its job; my shot was a bit high barely missing the heart. I was able to find a small road out of the canyon, thus was able to drive my truck with chains forward and aft down into the canyon.  The buck was a heavy load to pull up into the bed of the truck, especially since I was wet, tired and the snow being everywhere.
My Columbia Blacktail had one of the most beautiful basket sets of horns a person could want, a very symmetrical four point with eye guards. He scored officially at 129 7/8 P & Y Net (Pope & Young).  Never wait so long to get an animal scored!  If he had not had a small chip off of the G-4 on left side, it would have made the B & C (Boone & Crockett) book along with the P & Y book during that time frame. Now in B & C is at 135 to be listed.  I’ll bet that a great deal of hunters do not know that you can list your Archery harvested animals in Boone & Crockett also if it meets their standards.  Double the pleasure of being in both Books! Sometimes it pays to do the unexpected at the last minute.  

Hmm! Now I will check out the head!

You can see from the expression on my daughter’s about her thoughts of seeing a dead animal lying on the ground. In the future I found she would not want to harvest an animal, but would get involved with the field dressing of animals on trips that I took her on.  

Rebecca wondering what the heck dad!

Have fun hunting!  Bwana Bubba 

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Published by admin on 29 Apr 2013

TEXAS ARCHERY/BOWHUNTING UPRAGE UPDATE

TEXAS ARCHERY/BOWHUNTING UPRAGE UPDATE

by Ted Nugent

The giant beast remained in the shadows of the impenetrable cedar thickets for a long, long time. The prettiest, and dare I say, deadliest bowhunter in America was poised to kill nearby, and displayed the patience and stealth that identifies experienced, dedicated bowhunters everywhere.

Eventually the huge bull Scimitar Horn Oryx made its last move into bowrange, the dainty pink bow was lifted cautiously into position, and with near motionless grace, Shemane effortlessly pulled back her arrow and sent it square into the pumpstation of the 600+ pound African antelope, burying her pink arrow to the fletching.

Dead.

Her simple compound bow had a mushy draw weight of 35 pounds. I had accomplished the same feat as well recently with my girly-man 45 pound bow, also penetrating all the hard meat, muscle, sinew and ribcage bone of this formidable creature like it was butter.

My hunting buddy Joe had finally had enough with his 70 pound bow, failing to draw it back more than once after long, muscle defeating vigils on stand, the same self-inflicted malady that I have heard of over and over and over again and again, even witnessing it on hunting TV shows by experienced bowhunters.

Hello!! Anybody paying attention here?

Well I am very, very happy to report that Joe, and many hundreds of bowhunters across America, and thank God finally here at home in Texas, are waking up to the self-inflicted silliness of the over-bowing dilemma that has gone on for far too long, and had actually been getting worse over the years.

The tried and true bowhunters’ mantra of “shoot the heaviest bow you can shoot accurately and comfortably” is finally hitting home; Comfortably being the key operative here.

My home of Texas, America’s #1 hunting state, is still rated dead last when it comes to bowhunting participation per hunting license sold, but momentum is increasing as more and more Texans and Texas’ archery shops begin to realize two critical realities; #1-you just can’t borrow someone else’s bow to try bowhunting properly, and #2-you must get a bow maxed out at a draw weight you can pull back with no obtrusive effort whatsoever, which means drawing back without lifting the bow above the horizontal line of sight. Period, case closed, it’s over rover.

When I brought the 45 pound minimum draw weight law to Governor Perry’s attention and informed him that it was still on the books from the 1960’s, he asked what I thought the minimum draw weight should be. With the most polite and respectful tone to my voice I could muster, I said, “With all due respect governor, it is none of your business. It should be the same minimum for the hunting age in Texas; none. It is a personal, family choice, not to be meddled with by bureaucrats who have no knowledge of the issue.”

As America’s best governor and a die-hard bowhunter himself, the great man immediately understood my explanation of kinetic energy delivery with current technology, my extensive personal hands-on experiences with light weight bows, and the inescapable facts regarding other states with no minimum draw weight regulations.

Viola!! Texas leaped into the future those many years ago.

It is beyond me why some guys continue to roll their eyes and snort-wheeze when I tell them how Shemane kills everything with 35 pound draw weight and I and many others bring home the backstraps consistently with 40-50 pounds. It is all mystery to me, unless one still believes in the macho nonsense that I guess still exists out there.

If you can gracefully draw 100 pounds, have at it. Whatever that graceful draw weight is for you, that is the draw weight you should shoot and enjoy. Godbless you all.

But we must all be honest here. As I travel across America for rock-n-roll adventure or hunting fun, my daily meetings with gungho bowhunters in every state reveal way too many tales of woe and heartbreak from way too many bowhunters who have destroyed their shoulders and rotator cuffs, or worse, continue to spook game unnecessarily as they struggle, hump and grunt their heavy bows back, creating the worse conditions possible to accurately hit a non-alarmed critter.

Conversely, I also get emotional tales of joyfulness to the contrary, like my Email flooded daily with happy stories from young, old, male and female bowhunters alike who rejoice their newfound deadliness with a light weight graceful bow. They are elated with the dramatically improved accuracy and increased archery fun, and the deadliest hunting seasons of their lives, all directly attributable to their new easy to draw bows.

So spread the good word Texas and America! More bowhunters are better than fewer bowhunters. More family hours of outdoor recreation are better than zombie indoor goofball electronic game time. More hunters are better than fewer hunters! More backstraps are better than less backstraps! More conservationists are better than less conservationists! More gun owners are better than less gun owners! More bows and arrows sold are better than fewer. More we the people votes from the good American outdoor family lifestyle are better than the anti-American votes from the other side. More shooting sports fun is a better attraction to more and younger enthusiasts than the alternative. More easy to shoot bows will attract more people to this incredibly exciting mystical flight of the arrow adventure to cleanse more souls that need cleansing.

Try it, you will love it.

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Published by admin on 11 Apr 2013

A SIMPLE REMINDER MADE THE BEST SEASON EVER

A SIMPLE REMINDER MADE THE BEST SEASON EVER

by Ted Nugent

Kid Rock called and asked if I would teach him to bowhunt. He said Jerry Lee Lewis had taught him how to rock the piano, so he would accept only the masters to light his way. Who’s he gonna call? Tom Petty?

Game on!

As one of the world’s most talented and successful performers, I knew better than anyone how important it was for my friend to escape the mayhem of rock-n-roll and cleanse his soul with the mystical flight of the arrow. Plus we all know that the more backstraps one personally harvests and consumes, the more intense and soulful one’s music and life.

Uncle Ted, Strap Assassin1 to the rescue.

We were hot and heavy into the October bowseason up in Michigan, and as a fellow MotorCity Madman, Bob made the short trip to our sacred hunting grounds and the archery lessons began post haste.

Already tuned into the joys and marksmanship disciplines of hunting game with firearms, Bob wanted to elevate his hunting to the intense challenge of getting to fulldraw on elusive critters up close and personal, right in their face with a sharp stick.

On cue, Bob produced a brand new bow from his vehicle and told me how his buddy had set him all up with the ultimate gear for his bowhunting quest.

I tried to subdue my predictable fears, but alas, the bowhunting industries’ self -inflicted suicidal curse reared its ugly head again. Bob’s nice new bow was set at nearly 80 pound draw weight, and though we could draw it back, albeit with much effort and anti-archery gyrations, I took the matter into my own hands, drew if back and let go, dry firing the contraption causing it to blow to smithereens.

After much explanation, my archery pro-shop buddies whipped out a bow set up exactly like mine with a nice, graceful 50 pound draw weight.

Bob drew this bow back effortlessly and smiled broadly at the graceful upgrade, relieved that it was dramatically better than that other T-Rex killing machine he wrestled with a moment ago.

I tuned him into the basic archery form, mindset, touch and hand-eye coordination routine to get him on target, and within mere moments, my rock-n-roll buddy was zipping arrow after arrow into the vitals of our 3D targets. He liked it a lot.

I just so happened to have Don Williams on hand, a highly respected Olympic archery coach and all around “physics of spirituality” martial arts guru to assist Bob with the ultimate fine tuning of becoming the arrow.

I sat back and watched Don coaching Bob with his form, emphasizing precision mental focus and repetitious muscle memory.

When Don removed the sight pins from Bob’s bow, positioned him five feet from a large bale target with a small black dot in the middle, and had him repeat his shot procedure over and over again, a blinding bright light went off in my head as I recalled this exact same procedure being taught to me by my hero Fred Bear, way back in the 1970s.

With no intention of hitting the black dot, but rather concentrating on controlled, repetitious shot procedure while focusing intently on a given minute point of aim, I came to realize that my occasional missing and dreaded target panic hiccups were due to the mistake of focusing on my sight pins instead of the exact, tiny spot I needed to “will” my arrow into.

Oh glory, glory hallelujah!

I grabbed my bow, removed the pins, and stood side by side with Bob as we carefully executed killer shot after killer shot.

After a few dozen arrows like that, we re-attached our sight pins back onto our bows, stood back at the thirty yard line, and allowed our bodies and brains to celebrate the same exacting archery that we had at five feet, but now our muscle memory took over, and as we owned the black dots on each target, our sight pins magically floated onto the dot, we loaded our triggers and the bow went off.

Well, Kid was ecstatic, I was moved, and I went on to have the greatest bowhunting season of my life, making shot after shot, kill after kill, firing off the prettiest, most consistent arrows of my sixty plus years of bowhunting.

Throughout the season I continue to practice the “blind bale” routine, and constantly remind myself that I mustn’t look at the sight pin, but always the tiniest of spot on the crease behind the shoulder of my target animal.

When you watch our Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild TV show on Outdoor Channel this season, watch all those pretty arrows disappearing into unsuspecting herbivores’ pumpstations, and know that the procedure outlined here will dramatically upgrade you archery and bowhunting accuracy and joys.

Kid Rock is on his way, but sometimes the old dogs have to go back and remember the old tricks. Backstraps are us

 

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