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Published by admin on 09 Mar 2010

Bow & Arrow Razzle Dazzle

Bow & Arrow Razzle Dazzle at the

Wisconsin Deer Classic & Outdoor Expo

On February 26-28, 2010 I made a return trip to the Wisconsin Deer Classic and Hunting Expo at Shopko Hall in Greenbay, Wisconsin. The show is located across the street from the famous Greenbay Packer’s Lambeau Field. The show features quality displays of hunting gear, guides and outfitters. The display of trophy whitetail deer is impressive and the state of Wisconsin just may be a best kept secret for good whitetail. You hear a lot about Illinois, Iowa and Texas but Wisconsin is producing some quality bucks too.

This was a fun show and my friends Bill & Sandy Weisner were there which always means we’ll joke around and share some good dinners. Their “Bear Sense” business seems to be doing really well and Bill’s Bear Hunting seminars are popular up in the Northern states. He has been a respected speaker on bear hunting for many, many years.

Dan Laubenstein has been doing this show for 27 years and it is a Wisconsin tradition. They had several special whitetail on display, including the debut of the new Wisconsin state record bow kill and some additional trophy bucks. These big monster bucks got a lot of attention from attendees.

Dan’s son Jim tossed targets for me and he did a fine job. We also had a great burger a local eatery near Lambeau field, called Krolls West. I also took time to visit the Greenbay Packer’s pro shop in Lambeau Field and have lunch at Curly’s, a place named in honor of Curly Lambeau, one of the founders of the historic Greenbay Packers football team. They have a beautiful Vince Lombardi statue there in front of the stadium. I imagine this place goes crazy on game day, everywhere you go you see Packers logos.

The Wisconsin Deer Classic and Outdoor Expo is a great event, whether you are an attendee, exhibitor, or speaker. Dan & family treat you well and the show is full of good people who are there to share their love of hunting. I joked with Jim that Lambeau Field had put a curse on me since my bow string messed up in 2005 and my rest broke in 2010. We still managed to do good performances and had good crowds at my shows. I hope to see all of my Greenbay area friends again in a year or two.

Well folks, that’s the latest. Until next time, Adios & God Bless.

Shoot Straight,
Frank Addington, Jr.

((PHOTO is Jim Laubenstein and I))

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Published by admin on 03 Mar 2010

UNCLE TED BOWHUNTING TECH TIPS

 
UNCLE TED BOWHUNTING TECH TIPS-The Road to Backstraps
by Ted Nugent
 

I bow hunted 360 days in 2009. Being the first year in my life that I didn’t tour, at the tender age of 61 I figured why not! And let me tell you, dear Lord it was exciting!
 
I started bow hunting around 1955 with my dad. We didn’t know exactly what we were doing, but we sure loved doing it. Rarely killed anything in those early years, but we learned the hard way. Eventually, we began to figure it out.
 
In 2009, I killed numerous bears, moose, hogs, kudu, impala, warthog, nyala, sable, eland, waterbuck, wildebeest, Lechwe, Oryx, Aoudad, axis deer, fallow deer, sika deer, Nilgai antelope, blackbuck antelope, mule deer, javelina, whitetails galore, black tails and a bunch of turkeys. It was a spectacular hunting dream come true.
 
The only thing better than bow hunting is more bow hunting. I give away sacred meat as gifts to the deserving. It is a beautiful thing.
 
And as always, it takes constant trial and error and a relentless determination and tenacity to kill game consistently with sharp sticks. As a perfect human being, I blow it royal on occasion. It is how we are made. Pretty darn good, but ultimately incomplete, and mistakes will be made. The real trick in life is to learn from our mistakes, and as someone who bow hunts more than probably any human being alive, my mistakes are aplenty. And hence, so are my lessons.
 
From these often painful lifetime bow hunting lessons comes a few clear and present truisms that I am pleased to share with my Blood Brothers of the mystical flight of the arrow. Fortunately in this day and age, unlimited lessons abound from the plethora of bow hunting TV shows, informative articles by professional bow hunting writers and shared information at the ubiquitous archery shops across America and beyond.
 
My first recommendation is to pay close attention to the master bow hunters on TV. The best of the best like Chuck Adams, Michael Waddell and his Bone Collectors, Fred Eichler and his stunning bow hunting wife Michelle. Great information on strategies can be found on nearly every show by Randy Ulmer, Greg and Jeff Miller, Pat Reeves, Lee and Tiffany Lekosky and so many others. Some provide more instruction than others, but I for one watch as many as I can in order to glean applicable info from them.
 
Great writers like some of those above, plus Joe Bell, Brandon Ray, Mike Ray and numerous other die hard bow hunters will steer you straight, and if paid attention to, provide lessons from them before you have to make mistakes yourself.
 
If I had to chose one word to overview bow hunting, it would be “stealth”. Quiet, ultra aware, sneaky, tuned in stealth.
 
Stealth is ultimately all about a higher level of awareness. For modern man to attain a higher level of awareness than the beasts we hunt is not an easy thing. In fact, it is almost impossible. But it can be done, and by tuning to our surroundings with every ounce of our fiber, our actions, everything, our chances at penetrating the mystical defense zone of prey animals increases exponentially to the effort we put forth. That’s bow hunting 101.
 
Hunt ultra slow. Even in our tree stands. Remain crazy still. Move like a sloth. Radar our surroundings. Examine every detail. Stop often and go as slow as we possibly can. Fred Bear always told me to stay in the shadows and to not step on anything I can step over. Sneaky is as sneaky does.
 
Not just the stealth necessary to get within bow range of the beast, but the imperative stealth of coming to full draw without alerting the animal. The number one violation of this stealth consideration is the self imposed curse of so many archers choosing a bow with too heavy a draw weight. This is a pet peeve of mine, as I am convinced that it is the number cause of attrition in our sport. The archery industry itself is mostly to blame, as it is oftentimes nearly impossible to find a bow under 70 pounds at a pro shop anywhere.
 
Many of my bow hunting friends and I kill everything that walks with 45-50 pounds draw. My petite little wife Shemane, and others, kill consistently with less than 40 pounds. This way we can draw our bows without lifting them up in the air or contorting our bodies which is certain to alarm game. Bottom line, lighter is better. Graceful bow hunting kills game, not kinetic energy and velocity. Know it.
 
Silence is imperative, and that comes from soft, quiet clothing and gear, and how we move. Our arrows sliding across the rest is often the cause of close by game becoming alarmed to our presence. Silence that bow and arrow rest.
 
Scent is always critical. Even with the incredible scent reducing clothing and sprays available today, that I absolutely believe in and use, it is nearly impossible to remain scent free to the degree necessary to fool the nose of prey animals. Wind direction should always be considered and utilized. The nose knows.
 
Timing is a key component of stealth. Even with perfect camouflage, critters can pick up on the slightest movement. Don’t draw that bow if you can see the animal’s eyeball. And not just the target animal, but any animal that might pick up on our movement and alert the others. Wait for the best shot opportunity possible, and then when you decide to draw, do it. Do not get caught at partial draw, or you’re done.
 
Obviously, those who bring home the backstraps do so because they hunt where the game is. Advance scouting will save us time, so we don’t waste any hunting where there is no or little game. Zero in on the best habitat with the most game activity to maximize opportunities.
 
Do not underestimate the benefits of baiting game. If you don’t like it, don’t do it, but I am a big fan of baiting. When acorns are raining down, or alfalfa fields provide the bait, take advantage of them. But if a little spilled corn or C’Mere Deer will help present a shot, for God’s sakes why not?
 
A mock scrape it bait. Food plots are bait. Apple trees, or apples tossed about are bait. Acorns are bait. Waterholes are bait. Doe pee is bait. Use it all. Have fun. Kill game. Live it up.
 
Practicing with archery tackle is more demanding to reach deadly proficiency than with firearms. I believe it is a daily thing. Aim small, miss small. Pick a spot. Shoot 3D animal targets to memorize the exact spot on a form so it all falls into place naturally at the moment of truth. Practice makes perfect, particularly in bow hunting.
 
A cocked, locked and ready to rock bow hunter must be in good physical and mental shape. Good sleep, a smart diet, and overall health is essential to be at the top of our game. Archery is 90% mental, so good physical conditioning and a solid, at ease confidence is imperative.
 
These are some of the Nugent Bow hunting Rules my family, friends and I adhere to. They can make the difference between backstraps and heartbreak. And we all know that backstraps are better every time. Backstraps or bust.

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Published by admin on 03 Mar 2010

Show time at the 12th Annual St. Louis Deer Classic and Outdoor Expo

Show time at the 12th Annual

St. Louis Deer Classic and Outdoor Expo


 

Starched Wrangler jeans, starched George Strait shirt, polished boots, Rocking A belt buckle & belt, and a cowboy hat and my wardrobe is complete.  It’s almost show time at another “HAVE BOW WILL TRAVEL” appearance.  When you see this gear out you know it’s time for some baby aspirin busting, bow and arrow razzle dazzle!  SHOWTIME.  Let’s get with it.
 
The weekend of February 19-21, 2010 I was in Collinsville, ILL for the 12th annual St. Louis Deer Classic and Outdoor Expo.  The Gateway Expo Center is home to the show and is a great facility for this type of show.  The show started in the St. Louis area and was recently moved into this new building.  There were lines to get in and the show isles seemed packed, so this show seemed pretty popular. 
 
The building had lots of room for the booths, an indoor archery range, seminars, and lots of those big Illinois and Missouri whitetail bucks.  I saw one full mounted buck taken with a bow that scored 209.  It was a great trophy and I’ll bet the owner was proud of it.  Those farm country bucks get really big.
 
Bill & Sandy Weisner were at the show with their new company “Bear Scents”.  This company fits Bill “Bear crazy” Wesiner to a T, he loves bear hunting and continues to do his “bear hunting seminars” across the country.  We usually make time to eat a few meals together while at the show.  I also grabbed lunch with my pal Bob Whitehead from the Outdoor Guide magazine.  Bobby is a great friend and does a super job with Outdoor Guide.  His pal Ray Eye and I did a radio interview last weekend to promote the appearance in Collinsville.  Ray didn’t make the show, he was at the NWTF National Convention in Nashville.  Eye is well respected for his turkey hunting abilities and his successful radio program Eye on the Outdoors.  People like Ray and Bobby deserve a pat on the back for promoting the outdoors via their radio show and magazine.
 
The promoter’s grandson Shane was my sidekick for the shows.  He did a great job tossing targets and was a great assistant.  I appreciate the crowds that came out & the ones that stayed for autographs.  Sunday’s show was our best and probably largest of the weekend.  Afterward the hall was packed with folks waiting for autographs.  That lets me know I am doing my job when we go through a lot of publicity photos in one weekend. 
 
This was my second show with the new Hoyt Formula RX recurve bows.  These bows are awesome and very accurate!  If you haven’t watched the bow tube interview with Hoyt engineer Douglas Denton yet, visit : 
 
http://www.bowtube.com/media/778/AspirinBuster_At_Hoyt/
 
This area is a great area full of archery history.  Earl and Ann Hoyt operated the original Hoyt company near by in Natural Bridge, MO and later Sky Archery.  Several folks told me stories about Earl and Ann during the weekend.  There’s a huge interest in traditional archery in this area.  We also had big crowds at my last appearance there several years ago, I think it was 2004.   I promoted the local Hoyt dealer that had a booth at the show.
 
I want to thank everyone for coming to see my show.  We head to Green bay, Wisconsin next for the WISCONSIN DEER CLASSIC.  The weekend after that I’ll be at the Iowa Deer Classic in Des Moines, Iowa.   The HAVE BOW WILL TRAVEL tour rolls on… seeing is believing, see you at the show!
 
That’s the latest folks, until next time Adios & God Bless.

Shoot Straight,
Frank
 
www.frankaddingtonjr.com

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Published by admin on 23 Feb 2010

GODBLESS THE CHILDREN by Ted Nugent

GODBLESS THE CHILDREN

by Ted Nugent

 

Braelyn is a beautiful eleven year old young lady and Nathanial is a fine, fourteen year old young man. Their smiles said it all. Under the glow of a burning Texas sun, they took turns carefully working the bolt of the lightweight Henry Repeating Arms .22 rifle. With the “aim small, miss small” mantra of a professional sniper, they zeroed in on the tiny bullseyes of the Caldwell targets and punched one ragged hole after another, shot after shot, celebrating the inescapable joys of our beloved marksmanship discipline. What we have here is the purest form of shooting fun known to mankind. One God given, US Constitutionally guaranteed individual right, coming up! Kids and guns. Perfect indeed. Make no mistake, in the world of logic, self evident truth, goodwill, decency and quality American family life, there are few activities that connect every age, lifestyle or walk of life so positively as the shooting sports in all their various forms. I don’t care where you come from or how you live, when introduced to the ultimate good, clean family fun of plinking, there is not a man, woman or child that fails to get a serious rise out of a casual day of shooting. It is pure, natural and contagious when approached thoughtfully. I suppose I could go into detail about the difference between conscientious, supervised shooting fun and the criminal curse of gangbanging and dangerous, irresponsible gunplay, but I won’t. We will leave that for apologetic whiners and excuse makers of the spiritually challenged left. Adios, MoFo. The Nugent family is certainly blessed to be welcomed into so many American families’ lives via the requests by their children each year, every year for many, many years. That they even think of the ol’ MotorCity Madman WhackMaster is a testimony to their connection to what I ultimately stand for, and their families’ comfort level allowing me to take them in and teach them to hunt, fish, trap, shoot and explore the wilds is all the evidence I will ever need to know that I am on the right course. I shall carry on. In fact, I shall turn up the heat, thank you. The greatest and bravest kids in the world make the trip out to our SpiritWild Ranch in central Texas each year. Many are very ill, and are helped out by the generous donations by Americans to charities like Hunt of A Lifetime, Wish Upon A Star, Dream Weavers, Safari Club International, Texas’ own Legacy Outfitters, our own Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids and Freedom’s Angels, and numerous other wonderful non-profit organizations. Even though some soulless administrator at the Make A Wish Foundation created the heartless policy to not grant hunting wishes to terminally ill children, I work with them often too. But when the kids show up from that otherwise fine, loving organization, I take them hunting anyway. Improvise, adapt, defy and overcome-that’s what I always say. To witness the momentary escape from their pain and suffering as these very special young boys and girls enjoy archery, firearms, fishing and just stretching out in the wild, it surely cleanses and fortifies the soul. It is magic to all involved. On this exciting adventure, Braelyn and Nate had, according to them, two of the most “funnest days of their lives” with us recently. They picked up on precision shooting and archery skills like fish to water. In fact it was hard to get them to put the guns and bows and arrows down at all in order to get to the serious business of mesquite grilled backstrap. Serious, serious stuff! They were our guests through the Herculean efforts of another grand charity created by American Airlines right here in Texas, called the Snowball Express. They assist in helping the children of our heroic US Military warriors who have made the ultimate sacrifice by volunteering and dying for their country. The families of the US Warriors sacrifice much too, and the least we can do is to give back as much as humanly possible to show our deep appreciation for the incredible gift of freedom that is paid for by the blood of these warriors. We are so very proud of Americans and Texans who just keep on giving and giving. When a child needs help, there is never a shortage of generosity in this great land. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for such charity events, work and opportunities. Give all you can and do all you can. I promise you, nothing in life will bring you a more powerful sense of gratification and fulfillment than sharing our outdoors passions with the kids, anywhere, anytime, anyplace, anyhow. Do it. God bless the children. God bless them all. To find out more about these various charities bringing happiness to kids everywhere, go to tednugent.com.

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Published by archerchick on 22 Feb 2010

Horns Of A Lifetime – By John Klus

Horns Of A Lifetime – By John Klus

May 2005

The buck was huge – giant – but it wasn’t the focus of this father and son hunt

http://www.bowandarrowhunting.com

May 2005

For most people, Sept. 9, 2004, was like any other day. If you lived in Florida you were trying to evacuate the state due to hurricanes. If you lived in New York you were preparing for another anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. But if you were around Peace River, Alberta, Canada, you were preparing for hunting season.

Being from Wisconsin I am used to starting my hunting in the middle of September. I run a hunting and fishing guide service so I am outdoors all the time, but there is always a trade off By being a guide, instead of harvesting and catching, I am usually doing all the cleaning and netting. But on Sept. 9 it was different; I was the hunter.

My father, who was 69 at the time, and I decided to take one more trip together before time took its toll on him. Along with age, during the summer of 2002 he was diagnosed with leukemia.
In addition to that my grandfather died in March 2004 and we figured it would be a good time to get away. My grandfather’s death was hard because he played an enormous role in my father’s life like my father plays in mine.

From the time I was 3 or 4 years old, I cannot remember a weekend I did not spend with my father out in the woods hunting or fishing. The outdoors is where we spent 12 months out of the year.  My father gave me the greatest gift of all, the outdoors. He showed me that the outdoors was more than a place to hunt and fish. He made it my church. Instead of sitting in a pew on Sunday morning, my children and I sit in treestands. Our choir is not a line of people singing, it is the Sandhill cranes and Canadian geese flying overhead. It is a place we think about yesterday, today and the days to come. It’s a place that makes my soul whole and defines who and what I am. Because of this bond, my father and I are best friends. And at this time we decided to take one more trip. For this trip we did not choose to go to New Mexico for a giant bull elk, we did not choose Siberia, Russia, for a monster brown bear and we did not choose to go to Saskatchewan for enormous whitetails.

For this last trip we decided to go to Alberta for elk and mule deer. ‘We weren’t going there for the size of the animals but because of an outfitter. If you know anything about Peace River, Alberta, it is not known for its huge elk, moose or bear. But it is known for having lots of them and more importantly it is known for having Jordy McAuley. Jordy McAuley, at least in my eyes, is a world famous guide. Jordy, if you have not heard of him, runs McAuley Outfitters out of Peace River. He has been guiding for decades, from Alaska to Africa and everywhere in between. He grew up doing it. Like my family, it was and is a family tradition and a way of life. His father was a guide. And like me, Jordy understands how a father becomes a best friend and a hero. You can see Jordy eyes light up when he tells tales of his father’s experiences. Jordy’s father unfortunately was piloting a bush plane by himself when he got caught in a horrific whiteout. That whiteout snowstorm took his life and some hunting history with him. But when you hear Jordy talk about his father and the memories, Jordy’s father comes alive again. When you look into Jordy’s eyes you can still see the pain of losing his best friend at a young age. But on this day it seemed that Jordy’s father, my grandfather and many hunting buddies from the past guided us on a journey that we will not ever forget.

Our 10-day hunt started on Sept. 6. We had hunted with Jordy a couple of years earlier and were amazed at the numbers of animals. On any given day we would see 100 mule deer, 50 of which were bucks, various elk moose and bear.  But this trip was different. The Peace River area had seen a month of straight rain and was not looking to slow down. The animals seemed to be nonexistent. To be frank, we saw more animals in one day a couple of years earlier than we saw all 10 days this year. Any hunter knows, when times like this strikes, every animal counts; there is no room for
errors because you may not get another chance.

Like every other morning it was raining. Like every other morning we started off elk hunting. Like every other morning we heard nothing. Due to the weather, the elk were not cooperating. No bugling, no movement, nothing. So by 9 a.m. every day we were deer hunting. The majority of the
day consisted of covering ground and glassing for bedded bucks or bucks on the move. Due to not seeing much game, it made the trip a little more exciting. Every time we saw horns or what we thought were horns our sense of sight and smell heightened. We became a little more observant, the adrenaline rushes were a little stronger and our value of seeing hair was higher.

We covered a lot of ground that day and glassed a lot of sticks and bushes that looked like deer. Like the first few days, it was raining. At noon we sat down and had our lunch and as usual caught a little shuteye. With it not getting dark until 9 p.m. and it getting light by 5 a.m., sleep was a precious resource. But by 1 p.m. we were pounding it again. At around 2 p.m. the rain finally broke for the first time since we had been in Alberta. We were glassing an open area with a small strip of woods down the middle and suddenly my Swarovski binocular caught a rare but familiar
glimpse-horns, and a lot of them.

Anyone that has trophy hunted knows and understands the ordeal of trying to score an animal through a binocular and figuring out what it is going to score. But: this animal was one that you dropped the binocular and started planning your stalk.

The animal was bedded down about 800 yards away, upwind and along the strip of woods. Things in that aspect looked good, but the only problem was that everything was surrounded by nothing but grass. The grass was neither tall enough to walk through, nor was it tall enough to kneel
through, but we hoped that it was high enough to belly crawl through. After a three-person roundtable discussion, there was some significant doubt whether or not this could be done. But as most of us spot-and-stalk hunters know, a lot can be made of nothing. The plan was to mark the tree where he was bedded and start belly crawling. Jordy and my father stayed back on a hillside to watch the festivities.

Alberta’s soil is clay-like. When dry, it is very hard and quiet. When wet, it is very sticky, thick and noisy. Needless to say, after a month of constant rain, the soil was more like a thick soup than dirt. But I did not come all the way here to go home with dirty boots and nothing to eat. And anyway, I heard Jordy telling my dad that he was not giving me a chance in hell to get this done. As Jordy would say, “You are going to bugger the animal” as I went to start the 800-yard stalk.

Every time I planted a hand, the mud would seep in between my fingers. Every time I moved a foot in the mud, it would make a slurping, sucking noise. Every time I moved my bow another couple of feet I would see the mud building up around arrows, strings, pins, peeps and cams. Things did not look good at this point but I continued to crawl.

After an hour of crawling I finally saw trees. After I reached the trees I figured it was about 250 yards
down the tree line and the buck should be there. It is that easy, right? I slowly but surely got on my knees behind a large bush to try and make another mark on the tree we saw the deer under. I saw the tree and again started crawling After another half an hour I started to get close – close enough for me to make moves slower and more methodical.  I figured I was close enough to start looking for a good tree or brush pile to get into a shooting position.

Before nocking an arrow I decided to make sure the animal was still there and in a position for rne to shoot. As I hid behind a fallen tree I peeked my head over the top, But to my disappointment there was nothing-all the crawling for nothing. Thar cannot be! Jordy and my father would have hollered that the critter had bolted, right?

I decided to belly crawl to the other side of the strip and check if he switched sides. I had to roll underneath a log and crawl through a puddle to finally reach a bush that I could kneel behind. I got half way on my knees and my eyes picked up that rare but familiar sight again-horns, and a lot of them. But this time they were close, real close.  The animal was no more than 20 yards away, quartering away and up wind. It cant get any better than this. Though the adrenaline rush was on, I slowed the heart rate, nocked the arrow and started to draw. The buck was mine for sure.

Think again.

I noticed my arrow was caked with mud. i could not close my release on the string due to mud. My peep sight was sealed shut with mud. I could not even see my pins thanks to mud. My bow’s cam looked like a mud ball. There was no way an arrow could make any kind of forward motion out of this bow. I regrettably laid back down into the mud. I found a small stick and started working on the muddy figure that somewhere underneath was my bow. Fifteen minutes past and I figured the Mathews Icon would at least be able to advance an arrow into the air. I got to my knees again and like before, nothing I looked and looked and looked. Nothing.

Did he hear me scraping mud off my bow? Was I too close and did he smell me? Like before, I decided to crawl back to the other side of the strip again and see if he was there. I crawled back
through the puddle and started to roll underneath the log when I heard something, something that sounded like chewing. And chewing it was. and again, I saw that familiar sight- a lot of horns. The animal was eating his way down the tree line. Eating his way to 10 yards away, then 7, and then 5 then 3. The buck was getting into knifing range for Pete’s sake!

Unfortunately I was still underneath the log with my bow on my chest. I could not move or he would see me. Eventually, he noticed that this muddy log wasn’t lying there before. As I anticipated, I heard the slurp, slurp, slurp sound. But this time it was not my feet but the hoofs of the monster buck jumping away. I quickly got to my knees, nocked an arrow and as I did so the buck suddenly stopped and was looking back at the “muddy, smelly log.”  In a split second I estimated his distance at 40 yards, pulled back and launched the arrow.  As if the arrow had a guiding hand with eyes the arrow entered the chest cavity and went through the other side.

After visualizing the shot and thinking if it was a good hit or not, I heard from 800 yards away, back on a hill, “He’s down! He’s down!”  I looked back and saw my father and Jordy  moving toward me in and excited trot.  I waited for them and then proceeded to follow the blood trail for 70 yards and came upon the dead animal.

For a few minutes, not much was said.  We just huddled around the beast in amazement.  At no time during my sneak did I realize how large the animal actually was.  After seeing how big the animal actually was we realized how spectacular this event was.  My father whispering ” I am so proud of you.” broke the silence.  In my 30 years of life I cannot remember another time in my life where time stood still.  The event was not special because the animal died: it was special because I was with my father.

After the event sank in, it was evident that we were not alone, I could feel Mother Nature in all its glory mourning the fall of a king.  I could feel my grandfather, Jordy’s father and all of our past hunting influences right there standing with us, celebrating and burning the memory into our souls.  But more importantly, my father was there.  For hours the three of us took pictures and relived the story over and over.

No matter how special the killing of this animal was, the event is outweighed by the time I got to spend with my father one more time.  As always, the greatest gift I have ever and will ever receive in my life is the gift of the outdoors, a gift that turned into my spiritual retreat.  And thanks to my dad I received that gift at a young age.  My father taught all of us that the important things in this life are not money or material things.  Instead, it is your children and how you make a difference in their live. Thanks Dad. <—<<

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Published by admin on 15 Feb 2010

Mesa Mulies By Eddie Claypool

Mesa Mulies
Trekking into new mulie country brings back memories and
instills a lesson in effective hunting tactics.
By Eddie Claypool

http://www.bowandarrowhunting.com/

 I’ll never forget my first bowhunting excursion out West—back in late August of 1980.  A friend of mine and I loaded up my old truck and headed for the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado.  Not knowing straight up from sideways about what we were getting into, yet fueled by being young and naive, we loaded up our backpacks and headed into the roughest, most remote sections of the  Weminuche Wilderness Area.

 To say that the next few days were a cram course of learning experiences would be an understatement.  Both of us had tags for elk and mule deer ($450 for all four tags), thus we were basically looking for anything with four hooves and hair—and hopefully, antlers.  Secretly, my personal fantasy consisted of me smiling or “hero” photos while gripping the massive beams of a giant, velvet-antlered mule deer buck.
 
 On the fourth morning of our excellent adventure, while glassing a timberline basin, I spotted just such an animal.  Though half a mile away, through the clear alpine air my cheap department-store binocular nevertheless revealed a giant halo over the brute’s head.  Grabbing gear and hustling that direction, I was soon within slow-down-and-take-it-easy range.

 

With the passing of another half-hour—with some serious crawling behind me—I peered through the stunted, alpine brush at a fuzzy antlered monarch such as I’ve never seen before.  Judging the yardage to be “about 30,” I knocked an arrow, drew my bow and slowly raised up from the brush.  Quivering like an aspen leaf in a breeze, I settled (yeah, sure!) my third pin on his ribcage and let ‘er fly—right over his back.  My arrow—and my “buck of a lifetime”—headed for the timber in the bottom of the drainage 1,000 feet below.

 

As I sat there that morning, the bittersweet emotions that flooded over me would determine the course of my bowhunting life for many years to come. I knew that somehow, some way, some day I had to bow-kill a giant mule deer buck.  Little did I know that many miles, many years and many bucks later, I would still be searching for a buck as large as that first one.

 Today, 21 years after that fateful encounter, I can honestly say that I’ve veen blessed with a few good ones—and been close to a few other whoppers.  Yet my goal has remained elusive.  The one thing that I’ve came to realize is that locating a 190-inch-plus buck—and then bow-killing it—certainly has to be one of the West’s greatest bowhunting challenges.  When you throw in the added obstacles of do-it-yourself, open-access, public-land hunting you’re striving for success that few will ever taste.  Nevertheless, it’s a noble undertaking whose intangible rewards—a lung-full of pure mountain air; and eye-full of crimson desert sunset—are actually worth more than the original goal.

 Recent Memories
 My pursuit of mulies led me from cactus flats to alpine basins, to the plains and prairies where I have experienced my coyote-like stalks.  Last August, however, I spent a couple of weeks in some new and intriguing country in southeastern Utah.  The canyon land mesa country of the San Juan Elk Ridge unit provided me with its own unique type of challenge.
 Having spent most of my mule-deer hunting time in fairly open country, the thickly vegetated topography of this area threw me for a loop.  Long-distance glassing opportunities were almost non-existent, thus dictating an approach to success that revolved around waterhole hunting and-or still-hunting.

 

After a couple of days spent in my truck becoming familiar with the area, I settled on a spot that appealed to me.  Oak brush, juniper and pine-covered mesas—intermingled with occasional openings—dropped off into deep, brushy, rocky canyons averaging 1,000 to 2,000 feet deep.  As I began to still-hunt through the different types of habitat in my location, it became clear that the larger bucks were bedding on the sides of the canyons.  Most of the does and small-to-medium sized bucks preferred the tops of the mesas. 
 

 For more than a week, I spent my mornings and evenings trying to slip along the brushy canyon sides.  I was seeing a few large bucks, yet due to the impossibility of stealthy movement, they always seemed to spot me first.  I was getting fairly frustrated with my constant still-hunting failures and my inability to come up with a better plan of attack.  Maybe I should take a day of from the rough canyon country and try my luck in the more still-hunter friendly country on the mesa tops?

 Day 10 of my outing found me relocated to the cooler, higher oak brush and pine country of my unit.  Certainly, the physical and mental outlook aspect of the hunt would be much more pleasant up here.  I could see farther, stalk quieter and sweat less.  Now the question was, “Were there any big boys around?”

 

With the passing of a few more days, it became apparent that the big bucks were almost non-existent on the tops.  Now, with only three days remaining until I was to leave for a New Mexico elk hunt, I needed to decide whether to go back to the canyons and hope for a miracle, or stay on top and try to simply harvest a nice buck.  Choosing the latter, I set forth with new goals.

 

Noon on the last day of the hunt found me deer-less.  Packing camp, I toyed with the idea of skipping the last evening of hunting.  Having always been more persistent than talented, I opted to stay.  Memories of last-minute bucks and bulls from trips past solidified my reserve.

 Setting out for my last evening afield, I was in a reflective mood.  Slipping quietly along for short distances, then setting for awhile, I soon spotted the unmistakable reddish-brown color of deer ahead.  My 10×40 binocular revealed respectable antler on one of the five bucks.  Slipping my shoes off and donning a pair of thick socks, I began to sneak forward.  Using tree trunks for separation, I closed the distance in short order.  A last look through my binos confirmed the fact that the largest buck would do just fine.  Ranging the buck at 41 yards, knocking an arrow and coming to full-draw, I eased our from behind my tree.

 When the bow went off, I knew the shot was perfect.  The buck expired whithin sight, allowing me the luxury of simply settling to the ground and giving thanks.  A short time later I held his fuzzy antlers in my hand, once again realizing the importance of staying the course to the end.  I’ll take luck any day.

 Mule Deer Basics
 Access: Without a doubt, the best odds for quick, easy bowhunting success on big-antlered mulies occurs on expansive, outfitted, private-land hunts.  If you have more money than time, then this type of outing is for you.  Start saving your greenbacks, consult the outfitters guide in the back of this magazine and then begin researching possibilities.

 On the other hand, if the accruement of experience and the satisfaction that accompanies it are priorities of your hunt, consider hunting on your own.  Take the basics of woods savvy, camping gear and physical conditioning, throw in a couple of weeks vacation, add a liberal dose of mental toughness and determination and you’ve got the makings of a successful outing.  For best odds at a public-land trophy, consider applying for drawing hunts in areas that are managed to produce good percentages of mature bucks.  Most western game departments offer such opportunities.  The drawing odds can be long for these hunts, yet when a tag is drawn, you can expect to have access to a resource that can rival the quality of some of the best private ranch hunts.

 There is plenty of open-access public land out there for the do-it-yourselfers of the bowhunting world, with realistic possibilities at record-class deer.  Often, some of the biggest bucks available can be found near urban and/or agricultural areas.  Many times these bucks spend their nights feeding in crop fields on private land, then traveling to patchwork public ground nearby to bed.

 One of my best bucks was killed on a small piece of BLM ground almost within the city limits of a small town.  The buck was traveling from his bedding area on the public ground to a small farm field on private ground to feed at night.  With a small amount of research I was able to locate access onto the public ground.  Building a ground blind in the buck’s travel route—which I carefully reconnoitered from a distance for a few days— I was able to harvest the 170-class buck as he headed to the farmer’s field to stuff himself on protein-rich alfalfa.

 At the opposite end of the spectrum are the bucks that live in extremely rugged, remote locations.  Over the years, I’ve encountered many monster mulies while backpacking in alpine wilderness areas.  Bowhuting at the timberline requires a special breed of individual that is willing to endure the extreme mental and physical obstacles involved in tackling this harsh climate and terrain.  There are few deer that reside in the vast, imposing county and finding them can be like looking for the proverbial “needle in a haystack.”  Conversely, there cannot be a more satisfied bowhunter than the one who finds, stalks and kills a big timberline mulie buck—it’s the epitome of a genuine Rocky Mountain high!

 Tactics: Early-seasoned bucks are usually found in loosely knit bachelor groups, thus making locating them a “feast or famine” situation.  You should cover a lot of ground when initially tackling a new area.  When possible, velvet antlered bucks prefer to reside in fairly open country because they are very conscious of their “crown” at this time of year.  Bucks often bed on open slopes that provide random shade and are exposed to prevailing breezes.  Glass open areas from prominent points in early-morning and late-evening times.  Foot-scout for water sources and concentration of fresh sign during midday periods.

 Once hotspots are found, monitor activity for as long as necessary to determine proper tactics.  It is common fare when bowhunting for early-season mulies to spend much more time glassing than hunting, so don’t handicap yourself by going afield with optics that are less than top quality.  Here is where the old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” certainly applies.

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Published by admin on 15 Feb 2010

Hi Spirit: New Brunswick Bruins By Ted Nugent

Hi Spirit: New Brunswick Bruins
For a rockin’ good time, try for a far-North spring blackie.
By Ted Nugent

http://www.bowandarrowhunting.com/

 The impenetrably thick dark spruce forests appeared to flow on forever in the Canadian North Country.  Cruising up Highway 1 out of Saint John, New Brunswick, into yet another beautiful valley of green spring fields and rolling dairy farms, I see small, quaint white farmhouses that dot the wilderness landscape here and there.  Yellow diamond-shaped moose crossing signs appear every few miles to remind us we’re not in West Virginia, and the stunning scenery has a calming effect on me as we wind our way deeper into what we know is serious black bear country.  If it’s black bear habitat, baby, you know you’re in God’s country, and we take it all in appreciatively every mile of our Maritime Province journey.

 Just last night, my band rocked the house royal with Lynayrd Skynyrd in Barrie, Ontario, outside Toronto, Canada’s number one cosmopolitan megacity.  Amazingly, within a short drive of Toronto, just 100 miles northeast near the town of Bobcaygeon, some of the world’s densest populations of bear can be found.

 Unfortunately, and in fact, quite sadly, all our bear hunting party again this spring would not, and legally could not, pay to hunt here because the Ontario government officials were caught taking bribes from a rich antihunting fanatic named Bob Shadd.  They had the audacity to ban the spring bear hunt on a mindless, dishonest whim in direct defiance of their own Ministry of Natural Resources proven policy.

 Thousands of bear hunters, including the customs officers we met crossing the border from Michigan, would not spend our tens of millions of dollars on this scientifically supported spring bear hunt in Ontario, and would instead take these precious revenues to New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Alaska, Idaho and elsewhere to buy licenses, permits, guides, outfitters, food, lodging, groceries, meals, supplies, sporting goods, bait, rental cars, souvenirs and assorted other goods and services that are essential for average bear hunting needs and desires.  So be it.

 Pathetically and indecently, Ontario will continue to charge the good citizens of that province to kill more sows and cubs than ever in recorded history, and then bury their wasted, desecrated carcasses in a pit somewhere like so much worthless trash.  Good call Ontario.  That’s how to respect black bears.  Carry on.

 Since 1983, Ron Slipp and his family have operated the Slipp Brothers Ltd. Hunting and Outfitting operation near the small village of Hoyt, New Brunswick.  Specializing in spring and fall bear hunts, as well as other traditional fall hunting for moose, deer and small game like grouse and rabbits, they run a tip-top camp with mostly repeat customers from all over the world.  It’s easy to see why as we inspect the well-built, comfortable cabins complete with bunks and clean linens, hot showers, refrigerators and wood stoves.  At the bustling kitchen and mess hall, we put away a delicious hot meal of fresh salad, scrumptious au gratin potatoes and baked ham with ice cream for dessert.  It turns out that every meal is like this.

 There will be no roughing it at this far away hunting camp, that’s for sure.  As a proud board member of the great Canadian Outdoor Heritage Alliance (COHA), I joined dedicated COHA directors Andy Kowalczewski and Ray Gosselin for a three-day bear hunt in between my Canadian concert dates.  I cannot imagine sitting in a hotel room when hear good bear county with an open season underway.  No way! 

 Ron has a perfect replica of his bear-set treestand right at camp, and after our hearty, rib-sticking dinner, we took some practice shots at the Delta and McKenzie bear targets to limber up our travel muscles and get our minds right for the Monday hunt.

 Joined in camp by a good group of New York hunters, spirits ran high as they always do in such settings.  The guys were hunting with rifles, shotguns and an assortment of archery gear.  Videos and photos of past critter encounters were shared with growing anticipation for the afternoon hunt, and the camaraderie was thick and uppity.  The Bear Spirit was in camp.

 Our first afternoon and stand was like the majority of bear stand vigils—cold, wet and long.  After six rugged, very wet and cold hours, a hot shower and wood stove heat felt nothing short of miraculous, and sound sleep came easily again.

 Day two dawned colder yet with the icy rain still coming down hard.  But later in the day, with slightly clearing skies, we headed into our stands with solid enthusiasm and hope.  As the rain slowly subsided and the wind died down, the dark of night slowly consumed the day.  Local hunter and trapper Randy Mercercou was able to videotape over my shoulder a pair of handsome black bears marauding in and out of the dense brush around tour treestand.  With too little light to shoot, we nonetheless took great quantities of bear medicine into our hearts and souls.

 Day three was the charm.  Even as we enjoyed a fine day of leisurely camp life, clearing skies brought with them new hopes of increased bear activity.  All hunters geared up and headed for their stands early, knowing that this dramatic upgrade in weather spelled bear all over it.  Randy and I too were settled 22 feet up in our jackpine platform 90 minutes earlier, cocked, locked and more than ready to rock, doc! Patience is job-one when hunting anything, but absolutely essential for quality and effective bear hunting with the bow and arrow.  Add to these nearly insurmountable odds the burden of videotaping, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a gonzo task on hand.  Now in our 11th hour maneuver, nerves and tension were on a tightrope.

 Nothing but birds for four hours, then, with but 45 minutes of shooting light left, a distant crack of a twig snapped us to attention.  Right then a big black blob appeared 60 yards out in the dense boreal scrub.  My heart pounded like a double live gonzo big bass drum gone Motor City Mad Man full-tilt boogie.  I love when that happens.  This first bear took his time peaking in and out of the thick vegetation.  As it slowly tip-toed toward us, its head jerked up, looking behind, then dashed wildly off, galloping and splashing through the deep water to out left.  We both knew why.  The arrival of a larger, more dominant bear always scares off a smaller bruin, so our intensity accelerated further yet.  And thar she blows!  A larger black blob now poked its brown-muzzled head through the green foliage, and cautiously moved our way.  My adrenaline glands had full liftoff!  I forced myself to breathe easy.  Here he comes!  Imminent full bluntal Nugity or bust.

A typical move pulled by bears coming to bait is to snatch and run.  As I came to full draw, that’s exactly what he did.  Before I could hope to steady my hold, he was lurching back into the underbrush, beef shankbone clutched in his jaws.  No shot.  The bear was gone just long enough to devour his succulent hibernation wake up breakfast before he slowly sauntered in for more.  This time I figured I was ready for his quickie maneuver.  This time, as I thought I had properly anticipated his grab and run tactic, I released my arrow to a flash of fur and my 500 grains of razor-sharp Nugent Blade feathered deathray zipped harmlessly where there had been vitals and a ribcage a mere nanosecond before.  Rats!

 But I am here to hell you , my Pearson bow, equipped with a full compliment of Sims Vibration Laboratory silencing products was so quiet, the bear only leapt a few feat and looked back, confused.  I was already loading another all-white carbon arrow onto my string when he ambled back for another crack at the free chow.  This time I let fly a second faster and the arrow smacked hard with a loud, KRAK!  My Magnus broadhead had penetrated deep into the bear’s neck completely severing the spinal column, bringing the beast crashing down hard like a pole axed polecat.  An immediate second arrow slammed right through the beast’s head, penetrating the brain, bringing all movement to an abrupt end.  All rejoice! The rug has landed!

 Randy and I breathed a sigh of relief in unison, I scrambled down the ladder right away and the bear was dead.  We celebrated the Great Spirit of the Bear and took many photos and video footage for the “Spirit of the Wild” TV show that will appear on the Outdoor Channel and numerous network affiliates nationwide.  More than a little honor and respect were given the beast in its death and we dragged our prize from the depths of the Canadian forest with a prayer for the wild things on our lips.

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Published by admin on 11 Feb 2010

Special Program Added for Church Events…

Special Program Added for Church Events…
 
One of the popular ways Churches reach out to neighbors is hosting big game banquets, hunting expos, and related events.  These often are designed for the sportsmen and women of the Church to enjoy.  The events also serve to draw in non members too that might not typically attend a Church related event.  I have seen these events draw large crowds and always enjoy them.

 
Being a protege’ of the late Rev. Stacy Groscup, I know that the archery can get their attention so that your words will be heard.  I have always been quick to give God the credit for my shooting ability although I often joke that I don’t blame him when I miss.  I have shot my bow in downtown New York City, indoor rodeo arenas, and a variety of Church buildings over the past 25 years. 

 
Until next time, Adios & God Bless.
Shoot Straight,
Frank Addington, Jr.
The Aspirin Buster
 

Our website will soon have a page dedicated to the Church programs.  In the meantime, if you are interested you can contact me at Aspirinbuster@aol.com

This marks my 25th year on stage and many of my early shows were held at schools, youth camps and church camps and related groups.  Rocking A Productions now has a special Church program that allows me to attend these events as a guest speaker and perform an instinctive archery show at a reduced price so that the Churches can afford it.

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Published by admin on 11 Feb 2010

Open Season Starts off 2010 with a Bang!!!!

Well we are starting off 2010 with a Bang. I made a trip down to South Texas for a Management Deer hunt. I could only kill a mature 8 pt so that was kind of a challenge we were looking for a certain deer. I was down there with customers so I wanted to make sure they got one first then I would be up to bat. Well the first night my customer missed a heck of an 8 pt that had a broken G3 he said he was so nerves he closed his eyes at the shot. The deer was only 100yds from us & I got killer footage of the miss. Then he decided a that he wanted to go shoot some hogs & I could go the last night to see if I could get one. Well we were sitting in the blind with a few deer around & it was getting about that time when they should start coming out & two shots rang out above us & all the deer cleared so I was talking to my guide & he asked if I wanted to go check a couple fields & we would spot & stalk I said heck yes so he went to get the Jeep & I loaded all the camera stuff up & put it outside the blind. We took off & had about 30 min of light left we went to the field where my customer had missed the first night & there was nothing in the field so we checked another field & there was the big 8 pointer with the broken G3 I ranged him with my Leopold RX1000 at 304 yards & I was getting ready to make the shot when the guide said hold up I see a nice 8 pt on the opposite end of the field so I got up & ran about 500 yds down a fence line & got into position. The deer was at 250 yds & I got the Bog Pod setup & I help him set the camera up then we got ready. I got him thru the scope took a deep breath & then squeezed it off he went down. Then all of a sudden he got back up and just stood there so without an hesitation I moved out to the edge of the field & sat on my butt with the bog pod in front of me & squeezed another round off this time he took off running & ran about 80 yds & went down what a hunt it was dark thirty so to speak when I killed that buck it was a blast. That was the longest shot I have ever taken on an animal & the .300 win mag did the job thanks for CVA & Leopold they have amazing equipment.

Next Stop Turkey Hunting in Florida & Bear Hunting in Canada northern Alberta for giant Black Bears in May.

 

Charles Paddock

Open Season TV

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Published by admin on 08 Feb 2010

The Bear That Wouldn’t Stop By Randy Templeton

The Bear That Wouldn’t Stop
A seemingly well hit bruin turns a
recovery mission into a total nightmare.
By Randy Templeton

http://www.bowandarrowhunting.com/

 It was September 1986 and we were along on our second Ontario black bear hunt.  Our hunt in the spring had been a total bust for my hunting pal Craig Owens and me.  It didn’t take long to realize swatting skeeters and no-see-ums wasn’t exactly our idea of hunting.  Even after dousing ourselves with bug dope—and our ankles and shirt cuffs duck-taped shut—the biting, blood-sucking phantoms always seemed to find a clear pathway to bare flesh. Plus we didn’t have a crack at any bears on that trip.

 Bud Dickson, one of Ontario’s leading authorities on problem bears and certainly a top-shelf outfitter based out of Atikokan, invited Craig and me on a return trip, this time during the upcoming fall.  I was very reluctant to the invite at first, considering our previous journey.  Not to mention, the dates conflicted with when Craig and I usually go elk hunting.  But Bud explained during the fall it’s too cold for bugs, and bears would be feeding rigorously before hibernation.  Bud also explained that boars would be roaming the woods for the last receptive sows.  After hearing all this, the temptation was too high, and we moved our elk hunt out a week and headed for Ontario!

 Upon arrival, we were greeted by our guide Garth Stromberg who told us the bears had been quite active and visiting the baits at nearly the precision of a Swiss timepiece.  In fact, just days before our arrival they filmed five large boars over one bait site.  Garth said one would tip the scales at 400 pounds or better and another would be pushing 600 pounds.  We were excited.
 
 Our accommodations were better than most, a log cabin on the bank of a pristine lake.  The first afternoon was spent fishing for walleye and northern pike, both or which we enjoyed for dinner.  That evening, Craig and I experienced a spectacular show of northern lights, neither or which we’d ever seen.  An assortment of bright beams of light shot from between the clouds and danced on the lake.

 The first morning we walked to our stand sites under the cover of darkness, each of us carrying a bait bucket in one hand and a bow in the other.  A layer of frost covered the ground, and the smell of autumn was in the air.  Without warning, a cool breeze hit and I was overcome with an eerie feeling we weren’t alone.  A sudden “woof” coming from the darkness and the sound of rattling brush sent chills up my spine.  A bear hadn’t been more than 25 yards from where we stood.  The remaining distance to our stands seemed like eternity.  An occasional snap of twigs and rustling of leaves had my wits on end.

 Craig and I split up and moments later I was settling in my stand.  That is when I spotted a bulky figure beginning to materialize.  Then, just as quickly as it appeared, it vanished back into the shadows.  I wasn’t sure what it was.

 That afternoon found us carrying bait in plastic grocery bags filled with fruitcake, peanut butter, sweet rolls and bread smothered with pancake syrup.  As I approached my bait I could hear twigs snap nearby.  I thought I’d be lucky to reach the stand before a bear comes charging in for dinner.  Rather than bury the bag under the pile, I simply laid it on top and tiptoed to the stand.

 

 Suddenly, I heard a rustle then saw some small poplar trees whipping back and forth.  Two giant bodies towered on the skyline.  Slowly, two moose moseyed down the slope and passed within 40 yards, but neither paid any attention.

 I was caught off-guard some time later when a large bear ever so quietly stepped out from beneath an umbrella of brilliant colored foliage.  He stopped at less than 10 yards and balanced on two legs.  His jet-black eyes met mine in a blank but cold and chilling stare.  At that point, I wasn’t quite certain the goodies lying on the log pile were his primary objective.

 Remembering what Bud Dickson told me about shot placement I wasn’t about to take the shot until the old boar settled in for the smorgasbord.  Those thoughts had no more than passed when he made a beeline for the bait, grabbed the entire bait bag and ran for cover!  One small piece of bread fell in the opening marking his escape route.  At less than 30 yards the bear ate all the contents, including the bag from behind a cluster of berry bushes.

 Thinking the bear would return for the last scrap, I stood ready with an arrow knocked.  He came close, but much to my surprise the temptation wasn’t great enough.  Instead, out came another bear, but one that didn’t compare to the big bear’s size.  I passed on the shot.

 The following morning we spent baiting various sites getting ready for the afternoon hunt.  Craig elected to hunt elsewhere  and I chose to stay put hoping for a second opportunity at my bait site.

 Upon arrival a dozen clattering gray jays were scavenging the bait station.  To ensure there wasn’t a repeat performance of the afternoon before, I buried the bait deep beneath a pile of logs and then poured raw molasses on the logs to sweeten the deal.

 Only minutes had passed when the woods grew silent, and I sensed something was amiss.  Looking over my shoulder, I spotted two black silhouettes.   After nearly an hour the smallest outline cautiously inched toward the opening licking its chops.  Within a few yards he stopped long enough to take a brief but sneering glance, then woofed before running for cover.

 Overcome by temptation, just minutes later the old bore walked directly beneath the stand spanning two trees and stopped.  Sniffing the ladder, he put one paw on the first step and stared upward as if he were going to join me.  Let me tell you, I was about to jump out of my pants.   Fortunately, he must have decided the aerial perch wouldn’t support both our weight and climbed back down.  Slowly but surely, he slumbered to the pile and began peeling off logs, tossing them aside like toothpicks.

 Giving the skittish critter plenty of time to settle in, I slowly drew my bow and anchored for a quartering away shot.  Milliseconds later the 160-grain Snuffer broadhead sank out of sight and reappeared while exiting the front shoulder on the opposite side, sending the bear charging.

 About an hour later, it was nearly dark.  Figuring the bear had plenty of time to expire, I climbed down with flashlight in hand and soon picked up a good blood trail.  I remember thinking at the time how ludicrous it was trailing a bear in the dark.  These thoughts had no more than passed when a growl and popping jaw sent me hightailing for higher ground.

 Returning to camp, we collectively agreed to wait until morning before taking after the bear, giving it plenty of time to expire.  Craig hunted the following morning, but unfortunately it was another no-show.
 Garth arrived sometime around 10 a.m. with his tracking dog.  The blood trail petered out at the edge of a swamp, at which time he turned his hound loose.  No more than 10 minutes had passed when the dog began baying.  Garth turned toward me and said, “There’s your bear!”  Suddenly the barking stopped and then picked up again some distance away.  Oh, no, the bear is alive!

 We hustled into the swamp and soon located the dog some 80 or more yards away snapping at the bear’s heels.  From behind, Garth and Craig whispered, “Why don’t you just slip up there and finish him off?”

 “Ok, I’ll try,” I said reluctantly.  Really I was thinking, Why don’t one of you go finish him off if it sounds so easy.

 Closing the gap to about 35 yards, I was taunted from behind to shoot.  Not exactly in a calm state, I drew and released the string, sending the Dougherty Natural aluminum arrow skipping into oblivion.  The bear ran a short distance, maybe 30 yards before lying down, giving me only a rump view.

 Once again taking my two buddies’ ill advice from behind, I sent another mini-missile on the way.  With the shaft buried to the fletching the bear spun around in circles like a dog chasing its tail and then took up the charge.  Having made only two steps backward the dog suddenly appeared between us, luckily diverting the bear’s attention.

 To make an even longer story short, I was down to three arrows and there was no sign of the bear weakening.  While in the process of trailing the bear, he eventually offered a broadside shot.  Quickly I shot and my arrow passed clean through his chest.  Craig quickly and graciously volunteered to walk some two miles or more to get a slug gun—just in case.  Garth and I continued following the bear hoping he’d expire—soon.  He’d have to.

 Eventually the bear bedded down in a stand of tightly grouped saplings where we watched from a distance.  After a half-hour or so without any movement, I decided to slip in closer.  At 20 yards a narrow opening offered what appeared to be a clear path.  As bad luck would have it the Snuffer found the only tree between us.  Startled, the bear jumped up and ran from sight.

 Now I was down to one arrow.  Within minutes the dog located the bear again lying on a rise in the swamp.  Although he appeared to be dead, we approached with caution when closing the gap to maybe 25 yards the bear got up and slowly began circling down wind.  I quickly drew and held steady before letting the last arrow slip free.  Upon impact the bear let out a roar and turned to make a charge.  Once again the dog redirected the boar’s attention, giving us time to escape out of harm’s way.

 Scouring the area we found the badly bent and blood-soaked arrow.  Looking at Garth, I said “So now what?”

 “ We wait,” he replied.

 While in the process of trying to straighten the arrow, I was entertained by Garth chopping down a small sapling. “What the heck are you going to do with that,” I said.

 “Well, I’m making a spear just in case.”

  Please, Craig, hurry with that gun.

 After an hour the young guide turned the god loose again.  Having barely lost sight of him, the all-too-familiar baying sound pinpointed his location.  Following our ears, we found the bear bedded down behind a large brush pile growling and snapping its jaws at the circling dog.  First eyeballing a clear path for retreat, I made a mad dash for the brush pile with an arrow knocked.  Leaping aloft, I drew and sank the arrow behind the shoulder.  All hell broke loose upon impact, causing the bear to let out a furious roar, standing on its hind legs and swatting air!

 I’ve never been much for a long distance runner but I’m somewhat quick out of the gate.  Leaping out over the barking dog, I was running for all it was worth.  Hearing a yelp. I glanced over my shoulder only in time to see the dog sailing through the air and hear Garth yelling.  “Oh my dog!” With one swat the enraged bear sent the dog airborne before sprinting another 50 yards and going down.

 Shortly thereafter the dog reappeared and a close examination uncovered four claw marks on the rump, none of which were serious.  Nevertheless, I truly believe things could have taken a serous turn for the worst had the dog not been there.

 While field dressing the bear, I was somewhat curious to know where the first arrow had taken the bear, considering how long he lived.  Interestingly, the first arrow caught the top of the liver and one lung.  I’ve known of whitetails that have survived with one lung but never without both.  The second arrow penetrated the same lung and the third severed the heart.  One can only surmise this was one tough bear with a  will to live.

 If you’re wondering what happened to Craig, well he showed up after all the excitement and field dressing was complete, none of which he claims to have missed.  The Ontario Department of Ministry aged the bear from a tooth submitted and later sent a letter stating the bear was 7 years old, much older than the “average bear.”

 When we returned to Atikokan, I was approached by a man who claims to have harvested more than two-dozen bears (26 to be exact) over the years and consequently has plenty of exciting stories to convey.  His advice was to never, never take up the trail of a wounded bear.  Good advice, I’d say.

 Some years before he and a friend found themselves in a very similar situation that nearly turned tragic.  While moving in for a finishing shot, the bear attacked, taking down hi friend.  Before he could stop the bear, his hunting partner’s arm had been severely mauled.  Although surviving, he nearly bled to death before arriving at a nearby hospital!

 

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