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Published by admin on 15 Jul 2010

ARROWGAZM! ARCHERY 101- GO GITYA SOME by Ted Nugent

 

ARROWGAZM! ARCHERY 101- GO GITYA SOME                by Ted Nugent
 
In numerous articles I have written over the years, I have made the emphatic point how the mystical flight of the arrow has always turned me on, thrilled me and cleansed my soul. Amazingly, more now than ever. Those of us who celebrate the discipline of archery simply cannot get enough. Archery as a physics of spirituality artform, and particularly the ultimate Zen of bowhunting, brings us so much joy and excitement as to be rather challenging to describe. Take my bright eyed bushytailed word for it.
 
See that uppity sparkle in my eyes? It is available to everyone.
 
The point has also been made on more than a few occasions how bewildered I am that the number of bowhunters in America has been stagnant at around three million for more than 30 years, and that the ultimate bowhunting paradise of Texas has the fewest bowhunters per hunting license sold than any state.
 
Not being one to want to keep such pleasurable pursuits of happiness to myself, and surely not one to simply complain without offering a solution, it is here and now that I will do all in my power to assist all parties so interested in joining the ranks of the bowhunter brotherhood.
 
I know you want it, and you know you do too.
 
I have witnessed so many potential archers ignore the basics, and then give it up after a brief, feeble attempt at flinging arrows heather and yon. With all due respect, do please pay close attention, as I am convinced that when pursued properly, bowhunting is indeed for everybody who loves to hunt, and archery, for just plain everybody.
 
First and foremost, it will not come as easily or as quickly as does firearms’ marksmanship or firearms’ hunting capability. In fact compared to rifle hunting, bowhunting is downright difficult. Hence, the magical allure. The rewards of gratification are directly linked to the efforts expended. Viola!
 
The absolute ultimate introduction to the mystical flight of the arrow is best experienced with a lightweight traditional bow. In fact, the Genesis youth bow also falls into this introductory category because of its natural archery feel and basically unlimited draw length capability. But lightweight draw, I say 30-40# for grown men, 20-30 for kids and women, once again is the key so that the new archer, young, old, strong, weak, no matter what, will develop their natural hand eye coordination more naturally and smoothly with such graceful equipment.
 
Another important element, especially with a first bow, is to use properly spined arrows based on the archer’s draw length. These arrows should be fletched with feather fletching, not plastic vanes so arrow flight off of a usually hard, unforgiving arrow rest will go where they are pointed instead of kicking off erratically in flight.
 
Of equal importance is to shoot at a good, safe backstop target like bales of hay or straw, at close range, say about 20 feet, not 20 yards to begin with. A simple paper plate to draw your natural focus is perfect.
 
Start without a bow sight, what is referred to as “bare bow” shooting. With the Apache draw of three fingers under the arrow, properly knocked on the string for center shot, draw back so that the string hand touches the face in the exact same spot everytime. This anchor is critical for consistent accuracy, as the anchor represents the rear sight of your hand eye coordination sight picture.
 
Tutored by an experienced archer, slowly and patiently develop proper archery form, how to stand and address the target, how to look at the target from behind the bow and arrow, how to draw, anchor, release and follow through properly.
 
These critical basics will be the foundation for ultimate archery. Anything less, will be a hindrance.
 
Once your arrows group close together constantly at close range, back off in five step increments until you extend your range where your accuracy is solid. This is the test. Do not expect to shoot accurately beyond 12-20 yards for awhile. Be patient. It will come in time.
 
Rule One-do not borrow a compound bow. This simple mistake has caused more people to get a woefully mistaken misunderstanding of archery basics and give up before they even get started. With the modern compound bow, personal fit and feel is a make it or break it issue. You must get a bow that fits you to a T, with the proper draw length and comfortable, graceful draw weight.
 
I bet you that there are more bows gathering dust hanging up in Texas garages that anywhere in the world because so many borrowed a bow to give it a try.
 
Suffice it to say, that according to the world’s master bowmen, all agree that the draw length is critical, and that a slightly shorter than perfect draw length is still quite shootable, but a too long a draw length is literally anti-archery, and you will never know if you can shoot accurately or not.
 
Visit a qualified archery pro-shop and try as many different makes, models, poundage and draw lengths as possible, and discover the ultimate feel based on your own dimensions and physical properties. A little extra time choosing the best bow for you is more than worth it.
 
My pet peeve is the inexplicable phenomena forever where most archers purchase a bow that they have to lift above the line of sight to draw because someone sold them a bow that is too heavy of a draw weight. It is The Curse of American archery. I have witnessed it so often I remain baffled.
 
And the most amazing part is that of the thousands and thousands of archery shops across the country, the vast majority of wanna be archers will not and cannot find a bow of the proper light weight draw in order to actually get into the sport. Absolutely weird.
 
Bow manufacturers should produce more 35-50 pound bows than the current 60-70 pound range. If I had a dollar for every person who gave up trying to buy a comfortable light weight bow because they couldn‘t find one, I could buy a few more machineguns. Really.
 
I will repeat the self evident truth once again. My svelte, sexy, skinny, gorgeous wife Shemane kills everything she shoots at with her 38# Martin bow and 400 grain Gold Tip tipped with a good old Magnus two blade broadhead. Everything! One arrow, one kill, on huge zebra, wildebeest, warthogs, nyala, kudu, impala, blesbok, deer of every shape and size, rams, antelope, hogs, you name it. She draws, she fires, she kills. 38-40 pound draw weight.
 
And though I can draw an 80# bow, I kill everything I shoot at with 48-53# with the same arrow and broadhead.
 
Stealth, grace, timing, and shot placement makes venison. Know it, live it, enjoy it, and celebrate it.
 
Choice of equipment is unlimited. Every bow, every arrow, every broadhead, every quiver, every release, every arrow rest, every sight, everything in the archery and bowhunting world is killer these days. It all comes down to personal feel and choice.
 
Do not give up. This wonderful bowhunting lifestyle is available for everyone everywhere. Approach it the right way and the mystical flight of the arrow will cleanse your soul. Go ahead, have an arrowgazm. It’s legal.

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Published by admin on 14 Jul 2010

Meet a new exhibition shooter: Chris Hurt

 

Perhaps it’s the eyes.  Rev. Stacy Groscup somehow saw it in my eyes.  He took me under his wing and had me on stage by the time I was 18 years old as his protege’ doing archery shows.  I saw that same look in a young man’s eyes today, July 8, 2010 as Jim and Chris Hurt stopped by my family’s retail archery store for a visit.  Chris Hurt is now doing archery exhibitions and with his father as his assistant the two are starting to travel and entertain crowds.  They’ve done several local shows back in Pennsylvania and this weekend will be at an event here in West Virginia doing exhibitions for the attendees there.

The fact that Chris is only 14 years old means he’s getting a jump start on most of us exhibition shooters.  I was 18.  Rev. Stacy Groscup was in Seminary before he did his first exhibition.  I would venture to say Chris has most exhibition shooters beat.  He was inspired when he was ten years old after seeing Byron Ferguson perform.  I believe Chris’ dad told me he was 10 when he first starting shooting aerial discs from mid air.  Like me, Chris started with large targets and worked his way down to a snuff can, a Lifesaver, and now an aspirin tablet.  At his age this is an impressive feat! 
Chris shoots a custom made recurve bow and shoots instinctively.  He has a routine he does and his father helps him at all the shows.  I heard about Chris and contacted his father awhile back and invited them by if they were ever in the area.  Today they were and so they came by for some lunch and to visit.  Chris is attentive and very well mannered and carries himself well.  You can see that he’s enthusiastic about what he does and the sport of archery.  His father is a good guy and you can tell he is proud of his son, as well he should be.
 
Having someone this young on the exhibition trail is an awesome feat for the sport of archery.  It also tells me something about Chris’ family.  Obviously his father Jim worked with him from a young age and still takes the time to work with his son and guide him.  It was great seeing a father and son working together, and it speaks well of the way Chris has been raised.  Hopefully he will be a positive influence on the sport and help recruit more and more young people and their families into the sport of archery.  Now that the archery bug has bitten Chris, I’ll bet like me at his age he’ll be too busy shooting archery to venture into trouble like some teens.  Having a family support you makes all the difference in the world.
I welcome this young man to the world of exhibition shooting and hope that if he is in your area someday you’ll go see his show.  Like me, he is following the tracks of archery heroes who have gone before.  Men like Bear, Hill, and Groscup to name a few.  All it took for Chris to get the bug was seeing Byron Ferguson do one of his archery shows.  For me it was Bear and Groscup.  And so it goes.  I’d bet Byron would say for him it was Hill.  When I started out, Stacy took me under his wing and gently taught me the ropes.  Like all heroes, Stacy seemed bigger than life but was always willing to listen, answer questions, and offer his wisdom and council, sometimes even when I didn’t seek it but he felt like I needed to hear it.  He turned out to be a best friend, second father, and one of the biggest influences on my life.  And he could have walked away but when he saw my interest, he welcomed me and helped me.  The best role models always do.

Exhibition shooting is a great career.  Other exhibition shooters I’ve met or known have been Ann Clark, Joe Johnston, Galen Shinkle, Byron Ferguson, Bob Markworth, Randy Oitker, and I have talked with Ron LaClair on the phone. Sadly I missed Howard Hill, Dale Marcy, and some of the older exhibition shooters.  We all find a way we feel most comfortable performing and rarely have two shooters have been the same.  We all find a way to connect with an audience and showcase the sport of archery.  Most of us have a signature shot too.  
 
I showed Chris and his dad Jim around the store, shared some advice and stories. It was a good visit and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Then Chris said, “Here you go Mr. Frank” as he handed me one of his signed arrows.   I gladly signed and numbered him one of my stage arrows(#33)  and gave it to him as a thank you for his arrow.  Of my signed arrows, Ted Nugent has #9 and in my 25 year career I’ve signed and numbered less than 34 of these arrows for certain people.  Fred Bear started my interest in collecting signed arrows when he sent me one of his beat up old micro flite arrows back in the 1980’s.  Ever since then I have collected signed arrows from archery legends.   Today I added one arrow to that collection and although Chris may not be a legend just yet, give him time.  Remember, you heard it here first.  This young man will make a mark on this sport.  I could see that in his eyes. 
 
Until Next Time… Adios & God Bless.

Shoot Straight,
Frank Addington, Jr.

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Published by admin on 24 Jun 2010

Outdoors Magazine Online Poll

Ted Nugent Tied With Benoit BrothersRight-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.

With a week remaining in Outdoors Magazine’s online poll Ted Nugent and the Benoit Brothers are running neck and neck when it comes to the public selecting their favorite hunting personality. Each has received a 23% rating.

Rounding out the Top-10 in the poll are Michael Waddell (13%), Charles Alsheimer (9%), Hal Blood (8%), Larry Weishuhn (8%), Ralph & Vicki Cianciarulo (7%), Tiffany Lakosky (7%), Bill Jordan, Dan Schmidt, and the Drury Brothers are all tied for 10th place with 5%.

Other names mentioned in the polls who have received less than 5% are: R.G. Bernier, Bob Foulkrod, Tom Miranda, Lee Lakosky, Neil Dougherty, Cindy Garrison, Toxey Haas, Cameron Hanes, Haley Heath, Bob Humphrey, Chris Bracket, Stan Potts & Dick Scorzafava.

“We are absolutely fascinated by the poll results so far,” said James Austin, the president of Elk Publishing. “Some of the names we though would surely be leading have received less than 5%, while others have done much better than anticipated. It is funny to see things like how Tiffany is blowing away Lee in the vote,” he said.

The second half of the poll asks five questions directed at the way television portrays hunting. One of these questions is, “Do you buy hunting products that your favorite personality promotes?”  Only 22% of the audience answered in a favorable way, while 64% said, “Occasionally, it is not one of my primary considerations.” A surprising 14% answered “Never. Celebrity endorsement erode the product’s credibility.”

“Some of the comments are also spectacular,” said Austin. “I can’t wait to print them in the next issue of Outdoors Magazine. They really support what we have suspected, that the American public wants to see real situations … only many of our readers have put it in a much more ‘colorful’ way.”

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Published by admin on 15 Jun 2010

1st Annual Old West Invitational Turkey Shoot Held in Hulett, Wyoming by Frank Addington, jr.

1st Annual Old West Invitational Turkey Shoot Held in Hulett, Wyoming
by Frank Addington, jr.

“The mission of the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of Wyoming is to create an enduring natural legacy for future generations through stewardship of all Wyoming’s wildlife.”
 
That mission statement is on the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of Wyoming’s website.   I was familiar with their work and when an invitation to participate in their first ever “Old West Invitational Turkey Shoot” came from my pal Dave Lockman, I absolutely said “Yes.”  I thoroughly believe in the work the foundation does to promote shooting sports and hunting to the next generation.   It is a program that many states should follow to ensure future generations follow our tracks into the outdoors.  We must be good stewards of the land and pass that along to the next generation.  
 
Dave Lockman is involved with the Weatherby Foundation International, which provides seed money to help non profit EXPOS around the country.  These Expos are a great way to recruit families and the next generation into the shooting and Hunting Sports.  So  the goals of the Weatherby Foundation and the WHF are very similar. I’ve long been an advocate of the EXPO concept and I first became aware of the WHF while attending an Expo in Casper, Wyoming. 
 
The One Shot Turkey Hunt was the first annual event and I was honored to be the first bowhunter invited.  So when I put the team together I asked my father and family friend Jim Wynne to join me.  We were the only bowhunters at the “first shot” event,  everyone else would be using a shotgun.  The town of Hulett’s population is about 400 give or take a few people, and this little western town was full of good folks.  The event took place near Devil’s Tower and thanks to president Teddy Roosevelt who made it our country’s first national monument.  I could see Devil’s Tower each morning from where our blind was set up, what a beautiful view.

Hunter’s would have special opportunities to attend banquets, social events and other activities during the two day hunt.   Highlights of the trip for me included meeting former Wyoming Governor Sullivan.  The former Governor even bought my breakfast at the Ponderosa restaurant in town.  He got an invite to come to West Virginia and I hope he’ll visit.  I also met many local folks from the area that I enjoyed visiting with including Mr. Jim Neiman, who owns a local sawmill business and golf course. Mr. Neiman is 80 years young and acts 40.  I really enjoyed talking with him.  I also was honored to spend some time talking to Jack Scarlett, who has been involved with the famed One Shot Antelope Hunt in Wyoming.  Turns out Fred and Henrietta Bear were friends of Mr. Scarlett’s family and Fred had been to his ranch to hunt.  Mr. Scarlett and I shared some Fred Bear anecdotes and stories and I really had a great time talking with him.  He was a mutual friend of Dave Lockman’s.  I’ve found that just about anyone that’s a friend of Dave’s is “good people”.  
 
My father and Jim Wynne joined me to make up our “archery team”.   We stayed with Dave Lockman out at the bunk house at the Solitude Ranch.  There was a bath house, cook shack with a lounge area with satellite TV, and a grill on the deck.  Dave and Janet Lockman brought a special request for me… an order of Rocky Mountain Oysters.  We warmed them in the microwave and enjoyed them with homemade hamburgers one day.  I laughed as Jim Wynne and Pop tried this delicacy for the first time.   Dave got me hooked on them many years ago in Casper, Wyoming at Poor Boys.  I’ve had them in Denver, Colorado at the Buckhorn, at Cattleman’s Cut in Montana.  and at Cattleman’s in the Oklahoma City Stockyards.   If you have never tried them I would suggest you do so when in cowboy country.   They are great when properly prepared.
 
Jim bought a target on the way to Hulett so that we could take some warm up shots in camp.  Mid day that first day I warmed up with a few shots.   I put a dandelion on the target walked back to 20 yards.   As an instinctive shooter I wanted to see how my new Hoyt Vantage LTD was shooting.  I had the bow set down to 52# for this hunt and was shooting Easton arrows with Muzzy 145 grain heads.  I prefer a side quiver to a bow quiver and use a vintage Chuck Adams leather side quiver, circa 1992 or so.   I removed an arrow from my quiver, drew the bow and when my pointer finger touched the corner of my mouth I released the arrow.   I saw yellow fly everywhere as the Muzzy head shaved the dandelion in two.  I shot one more arrow at the target and decided that I was ready for a turkey if the right shot presented itself.  I think the guide was shocked when he didn’t see a sight on my bow.
 
Our guide knew the Solitude ranch and had us in birds right off opening morning.  However, the old boss gobbler wouldn’t come closer.  He stayed out about 40 yards.  The guide had only brought a slate call and really didn’t fool with diaphragm calls or box calls.  Luckily Pop had a turkey vest full of calls and decoys.  He would also call in some birds during the two days.  We hunted hard for the two days and called from a blind and also did a few quick set ups while doing some afternoon spot and stalks.   On the second morning we were in a different set up.  The birds came in but the two gobblers stayed out about 40 yards again.  This time after they left I discovered the problem— an old fence line that you could not see in early light.  
 
While the guide napped pop and I still hunted down the ridge and set up on four gobblers.  Pop was working the birds when two hens ran in and left taking all four of the gobblers with them.    Having hunted eastern turkey most of my life, typically you can call the hen in and she will bring the gobblers with her.  In Wyoming, these merriam gobblers seemed a little easier to hunt but the hens were the problem.  Several times a jealous hen would run in and take the gobblers away when she left.  None of the three of us bowhunters drew a bow in the two days.  We all agreed that it would have been nice to have had another day or two but the hunt ended with a big banquet Saturday night.
 
This was a “one shot” hunt, meaning you only get one shot.  If you missed or if the turkey required a second shot you were disqualified from the competition.  Scoring was based on the weight, beard length doubled, and spur length doubled.    I believe about 39 birds were bagged out of aprx. 70 hunters.  There were smiles every where Saturday night so I believe everyone had a great time.  I was impressed when I saw companies like Remington play such a large supporting role in this hunt.  They provided about 17 guns for the event and ammunition.  The two youngest hunters on the team received free shotguns.  A special presentation was also made to a young man who had recently lost his grandfather, who had promised to take the young man turkey hunting.  His grandfather had just passed away and would not be taking the youngster hunting.  When this young man was presented a gun and an opportunity to be taken hunting, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. I really appreciate companies like Remington and Weatherby who give back to try and ensure hunting is passed on to future generations. 
 
This event wasn’t really about the “celebrities”.  It was about seeing these youngsters encouraged and recognized.  To me they were the real celebrities of the weekend.  I appreciate all that the WHF,  supporting businesses and companies, and volunteers did to make this first time event a huge success.  It was a great time and if you get an invitation to support or attend this event, please do so.  They are doing good things in Wyoming and I was proud to be the first archer invited.   If you do go, take some warm clothes for the early Wyoming mornings, a camera for the views, and be ready to meet some fine folks. 

Although a dandelion is all I had bagged in two days of hunting,  my hunt was a huge success.  Like Fred Bear, to me the success of a hunt isn’t always measured by the game taken.  I’d been able to spend valuable time with my father bowhunting, hang out with old pals Jim Wynne, Dave and Janet Lockman, and meet a bunch of new friends.  I enjoyed good food and good company and breath taking views.  I’d seen a huge amount of gobblers, a coyote, countless whitetail deer, mule deer, antelope and other game. My dandelion would have to serve as my trophy until my next adventure into the Black Hills of Wyoming.  I hope one day to take my son Gus there to see the sights and meet the people.  He’s only three but one day soon he’ll be old enough to join me.  I hope he’ll enjoy time with me as much as I enjoyed hunting with my father.
 
Thanks Hulett, Wyoming. I’ll be back.
 
***************************************************************************************************************************************************
 
 It is clear that the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of Wyoming is dedicated to promoting hunting and wise use of our natural resources to the next generation.   To learn more, please visit:
 
Special thanks to Dave and Janet Lockman, Hoyt, Muzzy, Robinson Outdoors, Easton and my other sponsors.  Also, thanks to the WHF, Solitude ranch, and every one of the staff and volunteers for this event. 

Visit my show website at:

Thanks for reading.  Until next time, Adios and God Bless.
Shoot Straight,
Frank
 
Frank Addington, Jr.
The Aspirin Buster

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Published by admin on 14 Jun 2010

PORKMANDO by Ted Nugent

 

PORKMANDO 
by Ted Nugent
 
I stink. I mean really, really stink, like ultra PU bad. There is a putrid, rank musky essence to my very being that repels all living things, except other stinky things. And what really stinks, I actually like it. You see, I just ambushed, killed, gutted, dragged, photographed and heaved a most beautiful four hundred plus pound nasty mud soaked, urine saturated monster Austrian boar out of my rain soaked forest in Michigan, then hugged the beast lovingly for photos, then I helped lift him onto my truck bed and hang his bloody carcass in my Polar King walk in cooler for the night. I am one, bloody, muddy, sweaty, soaked, stinky happy bowhunting idiot, and I couldn’t be happier. I love bowhunting for wild boar, and tonight was the night of nights. I can hardly stand myself. I smell wild.
 
It all came about rather abruptly as I was unpacking my bowhunting safari gear from a nonstop global bowhunting dream excursion that took me to South Africa for plains game, back to Ontario, Canada for another black bear, up to the glorious wilds of Northern Wisconsin for a giant whitetail and back to my ancestral Michigan swamplands for the continuing backstrap saga.
 
Still dizzy with a sense of drained exhaustion, I figured there was no way I could hunt today due to the heavy rains pelting my pole barn since early morning. As I stepped to the barn door to shoot some arrows from my new Martin AlienX compound bow, I was surprised to see a patch of lighter sky and a temporary halt to the rainstorm. Aha! An opening to go for it!
 
I immediately called BigJim, my main VidCamDude for our Spirit of the Wild TV show, and the hunt was on.
 
We tossed bows, arrows, boots, camo, vidcams and raingear into the truck and put the peddle to the metal Baja’ing for the old Nugent family game rich hunting grounds at Sunrize Acres in Jackson County, Michigan. It had been months since I had been there, and I was hankering for a hopeful rendezvous with our amazing pure Austrian wild boar that run wild there. My last three hunts there were porkless, and I was determined to end my skunking on my own wild boar preserve. It didn’t make sense. I have owned and hunted this incredible piece of southern Michigan farm country for more than forty years, knew it intimately, loved it wildly and knew it was just a matter of time before I picked the right place at the right time.
 
Though there are those ignorant loonies who refer to game preserves as “canned hunts”, those of us with any experience at all know all too well how foolish such an assumption is. Hogs are hogs and hunting is always hunting. Fact of the matter is, my hunting journals prove that far more hog killing opportunities have occurred on unfenced hog grounds in Texas, Georgia, Florida, California and Hawaii than on Sunrize Acres. There is no fair chase. The hogs cheat.
Jim and I chose a double ladderstand at the edge of a woodland waterhole where we had planted a variety of food plot seeds along the eroded banks. The entire shoreline of the pond was rooted up, tracked up and wollowed up. It was clearly hog heaven.
 
We chummed up the best shooting locations with C’Mere Deer and Three Day Harvest bait, then settled in hoping the rain would hold off till after dark.
 
Three hours later I was figuring my skunking would continue, when Jim tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to the open fields to the east where plenty of daylight remained.
 
Even at 75 yards it was evident that this was one amazing boar. The beast stood like a defiant, grizzled statue looking into the darker woods, then would take a few cautious steps before pausing to examine his domain again. As the giant hog approached the edge of the woods, he began rubbing his long, silver and brindled coat on a maple sapling, causing the four inch tree to wobble violently, the leafy canopy shaking back and forth to the rhythm of the pigs torqueing mass. At forty yards, he paused again, then slowly ambled to the edge of the mud for a noisy slurp of water.
 
I was poised for a shot if he gave it to me, but fortunately after a few guzzles of murky pond scum he headed our way with his nose full of C’Mere Deer. Luck turned bad as the huge boar fed directly behind the tree for what seemed forever, offering no shot whatsoever. Light was fading and time was running out. Jim filmed, I waited.
 
I very quietly asked Jim if he still had decent vidcam light when the beautiful pig turned slowly to its right and began to walk off. As is nearly always the case, he stopped again with a large tree covering his vitals. Jim filmed, I waited.
 
Instantly he took a step forward clearing the tree and I drew back my arrow, picked a spot and let er rip in a flash. Speaking of flash, the tracer round light trail of my Lumenok was a beautiful thing to behold in the misty dusk of the dark woods, as my arrow zipped across the 35 yards and sliced into the boar’s left hip, angling hard into his chest.
 
With a squeal and a deep grunt, he sprung into action as I nocked my second arrow just as swiftly. He floundered at his rubbing tree where my second arrow intercepted him midship, the glowing Lumenok’s telltale impact clearly visible.
 
It all happened so fast, I wasn’t sure if either arrow was on course for a double lung kill shot, so Jim and I climbed down and tip toed to where the second arrow connected. As I picked up arrow number two by the glowing Lumenok, I simultaneously saw and heard the boar just 20 yards ahead as it flopped his last flop in the deep weeds and grasses just outside the forest edge.
I was ecstatic! The beast is dead long live the beast! Jim and I danced a little pig jig for a not so little pig, dragged the behemoth out into the clearing, and paid our last respects for this gorgeous runaway BBQ locomotive on the hoof on film.
 
This old warrior was the essence of wild boarness. Over 400 pounds, long, gnarly, course silver, grey and calico hairs, deep heavy chest, long narrow hips with a elongated snout, singing, rangy tail and some pretty handsome ivory protruding from his prehistoric proboscis. And of the defining factor for all pigdom-the nostril flaring aroma of the whole ordeal.
 
Here’s the not so stinky part: even though this old boar was so ugly he was beautiful, and the olfactory stimuli was for true swine lovers only, do not think for a moment that all this adds up to unpalatable table fare. On the contrary, it is my personal experience and that of hundreds upon hundreds of fellow hog hunters I have guided and or hunted with myself, that even from these old bruisers, the pork is delicious.
 
I gutted him thoroughly, hosed him out clean, hung him by the snout in my Polar King cooler overnight so that all blood and fluids drained completely out of him, skinned him carefully, removing every last hair from the carcass, then took him to Joe Nagle, a gung-ho dedicated professional butcher in Homer, Michigan, where the beast was lovingly and ultra cleanly cut up into family sized portions with tender loving care.
 
Clean and cold is IT for quality BBQ pork my friends. Most of the white fat is trimmed off the meat, but wild pork fat is clean, organic and sweet, so don’t trim it all off, do keep some on for cooking ease and flavor. The rewards on the grill are so worth the effort we put forth when we hunt hard for those always thrilling hunting encounters.
 
To book a hunt for a pure Austrian wild boar, visit tednugent.com or contact SUNRIZE SAFARIS at 517-750-9060.
 
On this hunt, Ted used his Martin Rytera AlienX bow set at 50#, a 400 grain GoldTip Nuge arrow tipped with a 100 grain Magnus BuzzCut 4 blade, Sims LimbSavers, sight, drop away arrow rests and accessories, Scott release, Bushnell optics, Mossy Oak ScentLok clothing, Boggs rubber boots, Old Man ladderstand, Hunter Safety System vest, Code Blue scents, C’Mere Deer powder and 3 Day Harvest, Outdoor Edge SwingBlade, Glenn’s Deer Handle, Polar King cooler, Bad Boy buggy.

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Published by admin on 27 May 2010

PRACTICE OR CRY by Ted Nugent

 

PRACTICE OR CRY 
by Ted Nugent
 
We’ve all been there. Indescribable sacrifice and all those muscle numbing months, weeks, days and hours on stand, trying to outsmart the backstrappers of our dreams, when finally that magic moment of truth arrives, and, we blow it. Curses!
 
We all know that us humans are painfully fallible creatures, but there is no way out from under the agony of a blown shot, regardless whether bullet or arrow.
 
And then, horror of horrors, often, it happens again.
 
I hate that.
 
Have you ever thought of just quitting? I certainly have on more than a few occasions in the past. In fact the memories are so painful I refuse to regurgitate the ugly details of any of them here with you now. Who needs it?
 
Being the hyper uppity, exposed raw nerve ending kind of bowhunting guitar nut that I am, it took me many, many very trying years to finally figure out this malady on my own, and if the professional, fulltime nutjob MotorCity MadMan can figure it out, I assure you, anybody can.
 
As human beings, it is likely that we will never totally eliminate the curse of bad shots, but there exists a pretty simple, proven system  by which we can remedy this damning phenomenon quite handily in a very short period of time, IF we truly apply ourselves.
 
Believe it when they say, it’s 99% mental.
 
Step 1-Stop, relax, take a deep breath, maybe look deep into your own eyeballs in a mirror, and tell yourself you are not going to miss anymore. And mean it. I am not referring to a casual note to one’s self. I’m talking about a hardcore, serious as a heart attack, clenched fist, moment in time contract with God. A solemn promise on a stack of Bibles oath kind of thing.
 
Up thoughtful review, in the  big scheme of things, if sounds ridiculously simple doesn’t it, maybe even too good to be true. But I am here to tell you, a serious psychological commitment to becoming a killer shot represents, for lack of a better description, the whole shooting match. Really.
 
Based on the level of migraine inducing torture I have personally experienced and witnessed by my fellow hunters after an inexplicable blown shot, my proposed remedy is a gimme.
 
For many years now, I have the good fortune of guiding hundreds of hunters each season in various hunting camps around the world, and what I see and hear is very telling. We make it a point to always shoot our bows and guns together, and watching someone shoot speaks volumes as to his or her capabilities with bow and gun.
 
Be it known that there are many archers and marksmen far superior to your humble guitarplayer out there, and we can all learn much from these dead-eye, precision shooters.
 
The best shots all have one thing in common; they look and shoot smoothly and comfortably, with a fluidity derived from many, many hours at the range. Simply stated, they are obviously one with their bows and guns. Their every move is confident, graceful and sure, their weapon a natural extension of their very being.
 
Conversely, the bad shots also have certain traits and movements in common that can best be described as awkward and uncertain. Too many riflemen squirm and gyrate in an attempt to find the target in the scope. They usually fumble with the bolt or lever action, seemingly uncomfortable with the feel and function of the gun. You can tell right away they have not invested adequate effort and time to become at home with their gun and the shooting process overall. That, my friends, is simply a choice.
 
When I see an archer struggle whatsoever when drawing their bow, I know we are in for some trouble. The curse of accuracy destroying, over-bowed bowhunters must come to a screeching halt as soon as possible.
 
Shooting a few bullseyes at the range does not an archer make. I see them looking to connect the arrow knock to the string, searching to find the string loop with their release caliper, bouncing the arrow off the rest, and basically shooting with inexperienced, clumsy, bad anti-archery form. To do so is also a choice.
 
It all boils down to the number one violation of not shooting enough to become one with the shooting sequence and feel for their weapon. It takes many, many hours, many, many days and many, many shots to develop a meaningful deadliness with bow and gun.
 
Add into the equation, the mind rattling intensity when in the heat of battle, when the beast is about to give it to us, it is imperative that our training kicks into auto pilot. Muscle and psyche memory from effective training through prolonged, intelligent practice will go a long way in reducing, and I believe, nearly eliminating missed shots on game.
 
I am well aware of the fact that hunting means different things in varying degrees to different people, in a multitude of ways. Some of us absolutely live for our cherished time afield, others approach recreational hunting as a casual get away from the yearlong daily hustle bustle of everyday life. And that’s all well and good. However, not only does a blown shot cause anger and an overall sense of frustration, but much more important than this personal consideration is the fact that a less than perfect shot can unnecessarily wound and possible waste a game animal that so much time and money has been invested in.
 
We all know that we can all make mistakes. It is up to us conscientious, reasoning predators to do everything in our power to make sure we make the best shot humanly possible everytime we unleash our projectiles at a living animal.
 
Prioritizing scheduling to maximize time at the range is a primary responsibility of every caring hunter. And if the nearest range is difficult to get too with any regularity, then there are alternative practice procedures that are available to everybody, anywhere, anytime.
 
We can derive much desirable familiarity with our bows and guns right in the convenience of our own homes. The living room, basement, backyard, even the garage can accommodate meaningful practice time. The simple act of drawing our bow, settling the sight, and squeezing off a controlled shot into a proper target is very effective even at ten feet in the garage or living room.
 
Handling, mounting, sight, breathing and dry fire trigger control can all be accomplished just about anywhere, and will go a long way in training us to be one with our deer rifle or weapon of choice. I won’t bother harping on safety considerations, just as I don’t feel its necessary to tell you to wear clothes when going outdoors. I have immanent faith in my fellow man.
 
As my old man used to tell me; practice, practice, practice, then practice some more.
 If we are sincere in our desire to avoid the horrible feelings of blown shots, then the answer is simple- put our hearts and souls into being the best that we can be by putting forth the effort needed to become one with our weapons of choice. More practice equals more backstraps. Go for it.

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Published by archerchick on 24 Mar 2010

Bowhunting Superman -Archie Nesbitt – By Jason Butler

Bowhunting Superman Archie Nesbitt – By Jason Butler

Bowhunting World 2006-2007

He’s been called “Canada’s Premier Bowhunter,” and in many ways Archie Nesbitt is the most-accomplished bowhunter who ever lived.

Bowhunting World Annual 2006-2007

With a bow in his hand and an animal to hunt,
Archie Nesbitt is a happy man. Hunting is in his blood. In fact, the Calgary, Alberta, bowhunting fanatic feels best when trudging through the forest or desert. “I’ve been chasing animals all over the place for the last 30 years,” says the
super-friendly attorney. “Long ago I thought
to myself that if you can hunt it, I want to try, it.” Thirty years and counting he’s stuck to that notion like glue. And, boy-oh-boy, have the animals piled up.

“I never stop thinking about bowhunting,” he says. “It’s  just tons of fun and I’ve never thought there was such a thing as ‘kicking back.’ Of course, I travel extensively with my job, so that
certainly makes things convenient'”  Nesbitt is a bowhunting fanatic for a very simple reason: Challenge. His attitude blends determination and focus into what he loves best. Once You get to know a little about the man, it’s easy to see just how true that is.

Nesbitt, 54, was born to hunt. Growing up as a kid in the wilds of eastern Canada, his family gun hunted to eat much of the time, shooting moose and caribou for their plentiful meat. By age 15,
Nesbitt shot his first big-game animal with a bow, immediately becoming infatuated with the aesthetics of archery. With that single animal his passion was born.

Even back when bows were pretty crude, Nesbitt took animals cleanly, thanks to his sharp shooting and hunting skills. He spent every spare moment he had scouting, hunting, and honing his skills, shooting arrows behind the house. A decade later Nesbitt graduated from
law school and became involved in corporate mining exploration and mineral resources development around the globe. This successful career would reinvigorate his passion and take his bowhunting to a whole new level.

Triple Slammer
Nesbitt’s bowhunting resume reads like a Donald Trump memoir on real estate. He has taken more animals with archery gear than any other hunter, alive or dead. Jon Shepley, vice president of sales and marketing for PSE archery, knows Nesbitt well. “This guy is the undisputed most-successful bowhunter on the planet,” Shepley states. “He’s arrowed quadruple the number of animals compared to any other bowhunter out there. It would be difficult for someone who is just retired with unlimited resources and time to hunt the animals he has successfully.”

To put that into perspective, consider this: In 2001, Nesbitt became the sixth man to make the North American Super Slam, harvesting all 28 species of North American big game recognized by the Pope & Young Club. More recently, however, he became the sole bowhunter to take the triple Slam, a tremendous accomplishment.

The Triple Slam consists of four separate North American sheep species, 12 additional sheep species from around the world, and 12 additional species of goats from around the world. This feat is recognized by the Grand Slam
Club/Ovis.  At a conference in early ’06, the Grand Slam Club awarded Nesbitt a certificate and congratulations for his unprecedented achievement.

However, for his Triple Slam, much like the Super Slam, Nesbitt did not start out hunting these animals with a “slam” in mind. “After several decades of hunting a whole bunch of animals, things just sort of ended up that way,” says Nesbitt. “This took many hunts and much energy. I didn’t get all of these animals the first time out. For many of them I had to go back a number of times.”  But the “slams” are just the tip of the iceberg. Nesbitt currently holds 46 combined world records recognized by Safari
Club International (SCI) from North America and around the world. His tally of Pope & Young animals nearly reaches triple digits; many are listed in the top 10.  In North America alone Nesbitt’s tally includes: two polar bear; a 1O-foot, 3-inch brown bear in Alaska; two Dall
sheep; a grizzly bear in British Columbia; two bighorn sheep; three musk-ox; a Shiras moose in Utah that was the state record for 15 years; truckloads of deer; the SCI world record Roosevelt elk on Vancouver Island; and more moose and caribou than some see in a lifetime. In Africa, the list gets longer.

Africa is one of Nesbitt’s favorite bowhunting destinations. In approximately 20 trips to eight countries, his list includes: four Cape buffalo; two Western buffalo; three lions; three leopards; two hippos; an elephant; a crocodile; and
hundreds of plains game. Nesbitt says that everybody should experience Africa at least once.

“Africa is magical. You see so many animals up close that it’s just incredible.  I’ve been fortunate to arrow a pile of different game over there. and I tell you I never grow tired of it. You can go over and shoot eight to 10 animals for a reasonable price. Usually l take my family and make a good vacation out of it. I’m always thinking about Africa!”
In other parts of the world, his list is even more mind-boggling. Abroad he
has hunted in 20 countries-Spain, New Zealand, China, Pakistan, and Iran,
just to name a few—-on six continents’  He once hunted for a solid month in North Africa atop camels. In Kyrgyzstan, he spent three three weeks hunting Marco Polo sheep and Ibex at 15,000 feet.  On hunts like these, there’s no room for error.

A few years back Nesbitt was planning a two-week hunt in the Middle East.  Because of the unstable political situation, it’s not a place many hunters would want to go these days. Naturally, he called some colleagues to see if they wanted to tag along-But all told him he was nuts. Yet, that didn’t dampen his parade one bit. He went alone, despite their hesitation, and bloodied up a few arrows. lt went over without a hitch.

So, with all these accomplishments under his belt, why haven’t you seen Nesbitt’s face plastered all over archery magazines and advertisements? Nesbitt has very few ties to the archery- industry.  He is a PSE pro staffer. “I started shooting PSE bows,around 1980.  When PSE founder and innovator Pete Shepley approached me in the mid’90s to ask me to join the pro staff there,  I was more than happy. I’d already been using his product for almost 20 years. I really think he is an archery pioneer, and I was happy to come aboard.”

With a PSE bow in hand, most of Nesbitt’s hunts have run smoothly, but predictably, there are exceptions. There was the time when a big musk-ox busted out of the large pack and charged
toward him like a freight train. Reacting quickly and jumping sideways for dear life, Nesbitt walked away after the animal missed him by mere inches. In Alaska, ominous grizzly bears have popped their teeth and circled at spitting distance many times.

These incidents were dicey. But encounters with elephants in Africa were cutting hairs, situations Nesbitt considers much more frightening. “For my money, the most dangerous animal on the planet is an elephant,” he says. “Elephants have the temperament of a junkyard dog, and when they charge you better start praying. I came within 4 to 5 feet of sheer disaster a couple of times. I finally killed an elephant in 2OO2 using a custom 100 pound-draw weight bow. I was thrilled!”

“In A League Of His Own”
The Pope & Young Club recognizes 28 species of big game. But Nesbitt’s North American resume reveals that he’s done them a few animals better with 32 species. Pope & Young Records Chairman Glen Hisey says, “Nesbitt is in a league of his own. It’s hard to fathom how a guy can hunt so much and be so darn good at it.
I know a lot of successful bowhunters.  And, believe me, none of them are close
to walking in his shoes.”

Just how many animals can one guy kill? Well, out of the other species Nesbitt has bow bagged on our continent, the Boone & Crockett Club recognizes two of them. The first is a Boone &
Crockett Tule elk from California. The latter is a Boone & Crockett Atlantic walrus. Nebitt’s is the biggest ever shot by a hunter-gun or bow.

Natives have found bigger walruses that died by natural causes. However, the few gun-shot animals pale in comparison to Nesbitt’s. He’s also shot lynx and bobcat with broadheads. No record keeping organization claims these. They say they can’t justify it because they can’t tell 100 percent whether the animals were trapped or nor. Nesbitt has a handful of witnesses to prove it.

NEXT?
For a man who has bowhunted and shot just about everything under the sun, what’s next? For Nesbitt, there’s no letting off the throttle. “Over the next several years I plan to concentrate on
several species of Asian sheep, the ibex and argali. Also elk and mule deer around home will get plenty of attention. They’re my favorite North American animals to bowhunt, and I can chase both right out of my back door.”

Nesbitt is very involved with SCI and has been for the past 12 years. He considers the organization outstanding and a great support for hunters.

Currently he’s the Alberta chapter president. “I’ve got some great friends in SCI. I plan on being affiliated with this community for a long time.”

Archie Nesbitt is a hunting machine, a pure predator on two legs. Many call him “Canada’s Premier Bowhunter.” His considerable accomplishments aside, the bottom line is that Archie Nesbitt hunts for personal enjoyment and fulfillment, not for sponsor money or bragging
rights. It’s that simple. You can’t help but appreciate a guy like that.

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Published by admin on 22 Mar 2010

Aspirin Busting at the Famous Iowa Deer Classic

Aspirin Busting at the Famous Iowa Deer Classic

(Des Moines, Iowa) The Iowa Deer Classic is one of the country’s premier hunting shows.   This event is held the first weekend of March and is always a popular show for TV hunting celebrities, well known seminar speakers, and features booths with everything the sportsman needs.  You can see trophy whitetail bucks and talk to expert taxidermists, deer hunters, and outfitters.  There are also manufacturers at this event.
 
There were three big seminar rooms and there was a variety of speakers each day.  The stage set up at this event was first class.  Each show started with Ted Nugent’s “My Bow and Arrow” song playing on the PA system. I like Ted’s “Fred Bear” song but his “Bow and Arrow” song is perfect to play before each performance.  We had good sized crowds at each show even though Saturday’s 2 shows  were scheduled at the exact same time as my friends Nic and T-Bone with the Bone Collector Crew.  My assistant Garrett did a super job tossing targets for me.  At the end of the shows I did a Question & Answer session which the audiences seemed to enjoy. 
 
The Bone Collector crew is a great buch of guys and my parents enjoyed having the gang in bear camp last Spring.  Nic and T-Bone told me Michael Waddell was at the Dixie Deer Classic in Raleigh, NC while they were in Iowa for this event. 
 
I also ran into Myles Keller,  Pat Reeves and Nicole Jones, and several other well known hunting personalities.  I also got to visit with Tom Hoffman, a well known bowhunter who took the SuperSlam with his bow.  Tom had been the guest speaker at a bowhunter banquet and stopped by the show to look around.

Antler Dog’s Roger Sigler and I had dinner one evening.  Roger’s seminars are always popular and he was there Friday night.  Roger tells his audience how to train their dogs to find shed antlers.   These are entertaining seminars and I always enjoy seeing Roger.
 
The new Hoyt Formula RX bows are shooting great!   The audiences seem to like the six arrow shot, the two balloon shot, and the smaller balloons.  During Sunday’s performance I nailed the baby aspirin the second shot and then it was time to wave so long and head for home and get ready for the next show.  The Iowa Deer Classic is a legendary show and is a great time.  I look forward to getting back to Des Moines and this show.  Special thanks to John,  Garrett, and the rest of his family & staff for the great time.

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Published by archerchick on 20 Mar 2010

Javelina Country – By Dennis Sturgis, Jr.

Javelina Country – By  Dennis Sturgis, Jr.  September 2005

This west Texas hotspot made the perfect bowhunting adventure.

http://www.bowandarrowhunting.com

The van’s headlights stabbed into the darkness as we turned off the blacktop. A gravel lane led to the  west Texas ranch house that would be our home for the next few days.   Numerous cholla cacti loomed up in the headlights along the lane.  The Cholla Cacti have a stick man appearance and they seemed to be waving hello as they flashed by.

My hunting partners were Rich Niblock and Darryl Quidort from Michigan, and Dale Karch from Indiana. Earlier in the day we flew from South Bend to El Paso. After renting a van we drove on to Marfa. The drive was uneventful other than Dale getting a friendly warning on speed from a state trooper. Dale and his wife, Sandie, own 3Rivers archery. Dale sent the trooper back to his cruiser with a new catalog. In Marfa, we picked up our groceries and continued to the ranch.


I’d hunted this area before and really enjoyed it. The mountainous desert terrain made for great spot-and-stalk hunting. The land is desolate yet beautiful and full of mystery. the town of Marfa is known for it’s ghost lights. These lights first appeared reported by one of the early settlers in 1883. Apparently they existed before as they were spoken about by the local Apache. The lights can be viewed at night and have been described in several ways. Generally they are viewed at a distance, but there have been isolated reports of tiny fireballs of light just outside and inside vehicles. More than one scientific study has been conducted with different theories presented. In the end, the source of the ghost lights remains a mystery. Good friends, miles of remote country, a healthy population of  javelina and a little mystery all added up to the recipe for a bowhunting adventure.

At the ranch house we met up with the other members of our hunting party. Eric Radcliffe. also from Indiana, had driven down since he wanted to see the country. Dale’s longtime friend, Dick boss from Colorado, was the final member of our hunting party. Eric and Dick had already been into javelina. They stalked a group that afternoon and Dick shot a nice boar. After unpacking and putting away the groceries, we hit the sack for an early start in the morning.

We rose early and dressed in hunting clothes. The typical cheerful pre-hunt chatter took place as bows were strung and quivers loaded. I listened to the bragging, teasing and equipment comparisons with a smile. It felt good to be in hunting camp.

Wayne Weimers, our guide, pulled in before daylight. Over breakfast, we discussed our plans for the day…and Dick’s snoring. One of the neighboring ranchers, Dave Williams, also drove up to help get everyone into javelina on the 116,000 acres we had available to hunt. At sunrise we shot a few practice arrows and prepared to head out. Dale, Eric and I jumped in Wayne’s Suburban to check out some brushy canyons to the south. Dale had hunted this ranch for javelins the previous winter and wanted to video the action this year for an upcoming 3Rivers DVD production. Today was my day to be cameraman.

On the way to a vantage point where we planned to glass, Wayne spotted some javies in the distance. They milled around, feeding in some prickly pear. We checked the wind and planned our approach. After making a wide circle to get the wind in our favor, we split up. Eric stalked to one side of the small group while Dale and I snuck to the other side. I tried to stay practically in Dale’s hip pocket as he edged nearer to the javelina. The warm sun felt good on our shoulders as we slipped through the cactus, and in several minutes, we sandwiched our quarry. The wind held steady, and we slowly closed the gap. Javelina backs appeared occasionally above the cactus. I pushed the record button when Eric Pulled his longbow to full draw and released an arrow. A fatally-hit boar flashed between the cacti and disappeared into a thick tangle of cat claw. Eric used a pair of hand pruners to wade in and claim his trophy.

We rode back to the ranch house to care for the javelina and grab some sandwiches for lunch. In the afternoon, Rich and I went out with Wayne. Although we had several stalks, a good video shot never came together. Arriving back at camp, we learned both Dale and Darryl had collected javelina. Eric set a nice stand for feral hogs and collected a nice meat hog.

On day two of our hunt, I videoed Rich take his first-ever javelina. Later Eric punched his second javelina tag. Eric also found a an arrowhead. Dave, the rancher, said it was made by the “old ones.” He said the last time it was touched by a human was 1,000 to 2,000 years ago.

Rich and I started day three out with a double on two huge javies. We skinned them out for full-body mounts. Wayne took us to a big rock overhang with an aqua-colored pool in front of it. The rock walls were covered with pictographs made by people who had hunted here long ago. We enjoyed setting around a campfire that evening, and Wayne prepared a delicious wild-game supper.

Our hunt passed quickly: each day was full of excitement. On our final day, we had to leave at noon to catch our flight out of El Paso. I was the only hunter not to shoot my second javelina. Wayne was insistent that we get my second javy. I told him I was perfectly happy, but I wouldn’t mind taking some photos of javelina sign. He agreed, commenting that we could hunt along the way. We jumped in the Suburban and drove to a part of the ranch that had good sign to photograph.

Wayne is a retired patrolman as well as hunting guide. I enjoyed listening to his stories. Between photo sessions, Wayne spotted a javelina. “Let’s go get him,” he blurted. After giving Wayne a quick video camera lesson, we stalked into the wind after the boar. The stalk was classic. Using cactus clumps for cover, we ended up 10 yards from the javelina. Wayne was right over my shoulder: I rose up and shot and arrow right over its back. I quickly nocked another arrow. The javelina stood about 20 yards distant now. I glanced at Wayne. He said “I’m on him.”

I shot again and groaned when my arrow bounced off a rock. I nocked another arrow. The javy was out there now but in the open. “I’m on him, I’m on him,” Wayne spewed. Feeling obliged to shoot: I took my time and shot again. The arrow arched out and centered the kill area. The boar ran 15 yards and fell over. “that was a hell of a shot!” Wayne exclaimed. “Well, it was a lot harder than the first two,” I answered, shaking my head.

At noon we drove back down the gravel lane toward the highway. I glanced at the cholla cacti again. They seemed to be waving good-bye, and I hoped it wouldn’t be too long before I could return.

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Published by admin on 16 Mar 2010

The quest for King Crab Claw

The quest for King Crab Claw

By Bob Lott / Intrepid Outdoors
It was the 2006 Deer season in the state of Wyoming, and my first trip out to the Solitude ranch. My intentions were not of hunting the ranch, but to film ranch owner Mike Schmid on a deer hunt. I had met Mike earlier in the year, after he’d decided to sponsor a youth program that I later became Secretary to. My first impression of the guy was, that he was down to earth, and open to ideas and opinions, which in my mind, was one of many reasons he’d become so very successful in the business world. This ability to be open-minded would also be the sole reason for his success on the hunt I’m about to tell you about.

After arriving at the ranch, I unloaded my gear, picked out a bunkhouse, and headed for the cook shack for some lunch. It didn’t take long before Mike and I were going over trail cam photos of some of the biggest Whitetails that roamed his ranch. This later became our, every morning while drinking coffee before the hunt, ritual. He really wanted to harvest one of two deer, King Crab-Claw, or Split G2, which were both at the top of the “Ten Most Wanted” list. The list, which was largely made up of deer that were thought to be mature and in their prime, was created by Mike and some other good friends.

One of the first things I noticed about hunting with Mike, was his ability to listen to different game plans, sort through it, add his experience of hunting the ranch, and come up somewhere in between. After going over all of his information on the two deer, we came up with a plan to hunt “Muddy Pond” the next morning.

After lunch, we headed down to “Muddy Pond” to add a treestand to an existing standsite. With one stand already set high up in a big Ponderosa Pine tree, all we needed was one more for a good camera angle. Once the stand was set, the game was officially on; we had made our first move in a chess match that would last just four short days.

The one advantage we had going into the game was that both G2, and Crab-Claw were both being captured on Trail Cams in the same vicinity. Mike already said he’d be happy with either deer, so it bettered our odds knowing that there were two target deer in the area we’d be hunting.

We set out early the next morning to climb into our little makeshift video studio, and immediately started seeing deer at the break of daylight. This was my first time hunting in Wyoming, and wasn’t quite ready for the amount of deer seen on our first hunt. The deer just kept coming; some drank at the pond others just passed through. By 10 AM we had seen at least 10 different bucks, 15 does and a pile of Merriam Turkeys.

We were just about to get down when Mike nudged me, and pointed towards the brush, slowly turning the camera on, I watched with excitement when a Coyote walked out of the brush and down to the pond to get a drink. I immediately started to film in hopes Mike would take advantage of getting rid of one of the many deer killers that roam his ranch.

As I filmed the totally unaware Coyote drinking from the nasty looking water hole, I saw Mike out of the corner of my eye give me the nod as if to ask “are you on him”, I immediately gave him the same nod back, which in cameraman language means, “yes I am, take him”! In a slow, smooth motion, he drew his 70 lb Martin bow straight back, settled his pin and drilled that Coyote right in the heart. As quick as he came in, it was over even quicker, the dog didn’t last five seconds. Mike turned toward me with a big smile, gave me a high-five, then went on to tell the camera how, “if you’re going to manage your deer herd, you need to also manage your predators”.

That evening we decided to hunt a series of major trails that connected two Food Plots together along a ridge top. Again, during the middle of the day, we had set two stands in what seemed to be a perfect place to intercept one of the big boys we were after. The information gathered on this hunt would prove very valuable later on down the road. As we settled in for the evening, we had plenty of action, seeing deer the entire time we were there. We had already started to plan the next mornings hunt, when Mike looked up on the ridge about 120 yards away, and spotted Crab-Claw easing down the ridge toward the Food Plot. Mike quickly grabbed his Binoculars and was able to see that Crab-Claw was on the opposite side of an old fence that also followed the ridge down from the higher ground. This info turned out to be crucial to killing the deer later on in the hunt. After seeing the deer, we knew it was just a matter of smart planning, before getting a crack at him.

The next morning found us in a totally different section of the ranch. We decided the night before, that we’d leave the area with the two target deer alone, because we really wasn’t sure what either buck was doing in the morning. Rather than risk bumping the deer out of the area, we decided to get a better idea of the caliber of deer that were using another big Food Plot, planted with Oats, and Alfalfa. Running a little late, we didn’t get to a good stand location until well after daylight. As Mike watched for deer, I climbed up and set two stands for us to hunt from. After settling in, we immediately had deer all around us, in fact, on that morning it’s safe to say we had about 100 deer around us. Although we saw some real nice bucks, none of them had the headgear that Mike was looking for. It was then decided to take a doe if a good dry one gave him the opportunity. It wasn’t long before a doe was headed for our tree, and Mike was checking her pretty hard to see if she was dry, after determining she was, once again the hunt was on. As she closed the distance to ten yards, Mike drew his Martin bow and made a perfect shot through both lungs, she ran about 40 yards and fell over. Although Mike’s shot hit it’s mark, I, on the other hand, missed mine. I didn’t get the impact of the arrow with the camera, this would later come back to haunt me. Once again we high-fived, loaded her up in the Gator, and headed back to the ranch.

That evening we were considering hunting the ridge that Crab-Claw had walked down, but Mike was a little hesitant not knowing for sure which side of the ridge he had come from. If we hunted the opposite side of the ridge that we hunted the night before, and stayed down off of the ridge about 100 yards, this could possibly give us the information we needed to confirm that the buck was using the actual ridge to walk down? We knew from the night before when Mike glassed him, that he had walked down the ridge-fence opposite of our location, but did he come from the top or did he come from the other side? We decided to play it safe, and set up in a good location that would give us the answers to our questions.

After climbing into the stands we had just set, I looked up and caught a glimpse of a deer; I quickly pulled up my binoculars, and saw it was good ten point that would surely make Pope and Young. I also noticed he was coming from the high point that we believed was the bedding area, and was walking right down the ridge top like we hoped. It was at that point that we knew we had our final piece of the puzzle. We set there the rest of the evening watching 100’s of deer all over the ranch. Our location provided us with the perfect vantage point to see a big part of the ranch, so we were able to watch Whitetail deer, Merriam turkeys, and Antelope literally in every direction. Although we didn’t actually see Crab Claw, we felt confident that we had now covered all the possible Scenarios to this deer’s feeding pattern.

The next morning found us on the “Muddy Pond”. We were playing it safe, and didn’t want to ruin a chance at Crab-Claw by guessing what trail he might use to head for his bedding area. Again, it was a very game filled morning hunt, seeing as many Turkeys as deer, but didn’t see the buck we were after. We headed back to the ranch, where we later decided our only option was to set up on the ridge for that evenings hunt. It turned out to be the right decision.

With tree-stands on our backs, we headed up to the ridge that we just knew the buck was going to walk down later that evening. As I set our stands, Mike acted as ground man, and tied all of our gear onto the bow-rope for me to pull up. As we both settled in, I noticed a beat down trail that was leading right to our tree. I turned to Mike,and wispered, he’s going to come right down that trail isn’t he? Mike responded, I hope so! After deciding on a good spot for Mike to take the shot for video purposes, we both sat with anticipation. I don’t think we were there more than an hour when I noticed tines coming over the hill, I quickly turned to Mike and said he’s coming…and he’s on that trial! I immediately turned the camera on and began filming Crab-Claw as he walked right down the trail like he was tied to a string; at the same time Mike was busy positioning himself for the shot. As the deer closed the distance, stopping only once to check his route. I quickly found myself in a bind, Mike was already drawn, and I had no clear view of the buck. I scrambled to try to get him in frame, even bumping Mike a couple of times in the back with the camera in the process, but before I could, Mike took the shot and drilled the deer. As the buck ran off, I was able to get back on him to get him heading over the hill, but was pretty upset with myself for not getting the impact. Mike was also upset at himself, for not waiting for the right moment, but we quickly got over it, and began celebrating the great event that just took place. We sat there in the tree just long enough to gain enough composure to climb down. Once on the ground we did a quick follow up of the shot, finding the arrow in the process. Judging from the arrow, we decided that the shot could’ve been a little far back, so we quickly remembered my brother Bill’s words of wisdom in just this type of situation; “If he’s dead now, he’ll be dead tomorrow”. With that in mind, we decided to wait until the next morning to go after Mike’s trophy.

The next morning we headed back up the ridge, where after a brief search, found us quickly celebrating over the deer that was otherwise known as “King Crab-Claw”. After doing some closers for the video, and pictures for the scrapbook, we loaded him up and headed back to the ranch. The feeling of harvesting one of the “Ten Most Wanted” was pretty overwhelming for both of us. Before the hunt began, we were just two guys that never hunted together, but knew, that with enough respect for each other’s experience and ideas, we could get it done. In just four short days, I filmed Mike take a Coyote, a Whitetail doe, and the second best archery buck of his life. What a hunt!!!

The Solitude Ranch is by far the finest place I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. I highly recommend it to all hunters, big and small. Book your hunt before it’s too late.

 

 
Bob Lott
 

 
 
 
 
 

Bob Lott / Producer

Intrepid Outdoors on Pursuit TV

Office 740/887/5024

Cell 614/348/6028

3133 Sugar Run Rd

Chillicothe, Ohio 45601

www.intrepidoutdoors.com

www.huntsro.com

“The Long & Short of Big Game Hunting”

“Get a Child in the Wild”

 

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