Published by admin on 01 Feb 2010
Quiver Quips / Bow and Arrow Hunting Magazine
Published by admin on 01 Feb 2010
Quiver Quips / Bow and Arrow Hunting Magazine
Published by admin on 28 Jan 2010
African Blind Date
Join this bowhunter on his first trip bound to Africa
as he goes face to face with the trophy of a lifetime.
By Paul Hantke
IT OCCURRED TO me as I pushed a cart overflowing with equipment cases and duffel bags through the Jan Smuts airport in Johannesburg that I was on the blind date of my life.
I had accepted an invitation from Sangira Safaris to come to South Africa for a three-week hunting and photo safari, but I knew nothing about the company or its principals other than that it was a new venture by two relatively novice professional hunters.
Not only was I sailing into personally uncharted territory on the other side of the globe, but also the adventure had been arranged, booked and inaugurated into action in about five weeks. Normal planning for a trip like this should take months, but the wonders of e-mail and a need to get there quickly made it all happen.
Haste was in order, because, as it was, I arrived in the first week of September, which is well at the end of winter for that half of the world, and almost too late for hunting. The rainy season, or springtime, brings everything to a halt.
Summer in South Africa is the off-season for hunting because it is way too hot. Not to mention, during the summer vegetation has grown lush from the rainy season and many game animals are virtually impossible to see or pursue.
So there I was that morning with a cart full of gear. (As Staff Editor for the Y-Visionary Outdoor Group, I also had firearms and lots of other stuff for field testing in addition to my archery gear.) Things got better immediately as I was greeted by my hosts, Tinus Van Heerden and Stoffel Botha, proprietors of Sangira Safaris, Tinus has a background in the military Special Forces, while Stoffel was a federal police investigator, but both grew up “in the bush.”
Their professional skills in bush craft and hunting would show later, but I was immediately taken by how friendly and down-to-earth both fellows were, and their excellent English made it easy to quickly make friends. We off-loaded the cart full of stuff into the back of a new 4×4 Crew Cab Toyota pick-up and we were on our way to “the bush,” which varies considerably as you move around South Africa.
First stop was the bush veldt outside of Thabazimbi, which means “mountain of iron” in Tswana. Mountain of Iron is the world’s largest deep-pit iron mine that is serviced by the most amazing (and scary) road you have ever seen.
Our hunting grounds were on a private farm of immense proportions in the valley north of Thabazimbi, which flattens out and looks much like south Texas, with thorn bushes instead of mesquite. The ground there is level with a couple of inches of soft silt over hard earth, and the thorn bushes grow so thick it is often impossible to find a path through them.
Arriving about midday, we had lunch and then headed out in the old Land Rover hunting buggy. Our drive took us along the first fence line for several kilometers, and then we turned into the middle of the property.
I had been warned by a couple of old Africa hands that the animals there were especially hard to see due to their superior camouflage. “All your North American skills and instincts will need to be re-programmed,” I was assured.
They did not lie, and I found myself frustrated because Stoffel or Tinus would point out game that I simply could not see. I could see and agree with the specific tree they were supposed to be standing beside, but I couldn’t make out the animals themselves. It was interesting but not fun.
In spite of my handicap, the fellows managed to show me gemsbok, impala, red hartebeest, dukier, kudu, and blue wildebeest, all in a two-hour drive. We were, in fact, looking for a specific old bull in one of the blue wildebeest herds that the landowner wanted to cull.
We managed to find the old bull and I grabbed my bow and set out on a stalk with Tinus. You don’t get to be the old bull by being stupid, and that cagey wildebeest played hide and seek with us for awhile from abut 150 yards out before he darted for parts unknown.
In the truck, on the way back to the farmhouse, Stoffel suddenly grabbed my shoulder and pointed into the bush. “Look at the size of that kudu!” he exclaimed. Everyone else looked and had the same reaction. “What a monster!” I, of course, saw only movement in the brush. After several attempts, the big kudu was ruled impossible to stalk for the day.
Dinner that night was a South African “Braai,”their version of a good old charcoal grill, and was well received after the long day. It had been decided over steaks and libations that Stoffel and I would head out to a “hide” next to a waterhole the following morning where I might get a chance to stick a warthog.
We were dropped off early the next day, and I literally had to look around carefully to find the hide, which only protruded about three feet above ground level. The interior of the hide is dug out some three feet deep, and a rough wooden bench is you only seat. The brush walls are lined inside with a tarp to prevent the detection of movement inside, and there are a few tiny viewing holes punched in the tarp. A “shooting slit” that was about three inches wide and extended about two feet up from ground level was positioned well over to the side.
We began our vigil, hoping to get a chance at a warthog once the sun heated up the bush veldt and the animals made their way to water.
I had along my High Country Ultra Force bow and was shooting Game Tracker’s Carbon Express 300 arrows tipped with the company’s new First Cut broadheads. A sight check the afternoon before showed the bow was dead on.
Stoffel and I spent a long and unproductive morning in the hide, eventually drawing pictures of animal tracks and playing tic-tac-toe in the sand at our feet. We were a scant 25 yards away from the waterhole, so all this was done in virtual silence.
Our only visitors were Lourie birds and two female kudos, who came in and drank, then laid down just a few feet from us, testament to the camouflage and proper upwind positioning of the hide.
It was some seven hours before we heard the old Land Rover grinding its way to our position for our pre-scheduled midday pick up. Once aboard, we weren’t more than a few hundred yards from the hide o our way out when trackers and professional hunters alike all pointed in the same direction. “Kudu!” they exclaimed, “and warthogs too!”
Once again I saw only gray shadows in the brush that I presumed to be kudu, but I could make out a couple of dozen warthogs moving with the shadows. We stopped the truck and two female with piglets ran across in front of us and disappeared into the thickest on the other side of the trail. I don’t know if it’s the Disney influence, but I find the sight of warthogs on the move quite humorous. The pigs and their babies drew a smile as they passed.
Next came a moment of pandemonium wherein our trackers, Joseph and September, exchanged lots of information in several different languages with Tinus and Stoffel, the gist being that the kudu and the warthog were apparently moving together, and more than that, it was thought they would circle back and resume their trek to the waterhole we had just left.
“Do you want to go back, or do you want to go have lunch and try again this afternoon?” was Stoffel’s question to me. “I came to hunt,” was my reply, and September turned toe Rover around, dropping us off short of the hide so we could stalk in while they left by a different route.
It was another two hours before we began to get any action, and then it was all from female kudu coming quickly into the water and then moving aside into the shade from the taller trees near the waterhole.
Stoffel kept watch at the peephole, occasionally updating me on the scene while I fiddled with my equipment and thought about what I was doing.
I eventually decided that my many months of work and practice made me feel comfortable with a shot out to about 30 yards, any further that that and I’d have to pass.
I was at the peephole when the bull walked in, and I’m sure my jaw dropped just a little bit when I first saw him. He stood nearly six feet tall at the head and was sporting a set of spiral horns that had to be over 40 inches tall.
“There he is!” I said excitedly, but quietly, as I got out of the way of the peephole so Stoffel could see. I was jut making the decision to reach for my bow when Stoffel stopped me, “Take it easy,” he said, “all the vitals are right behind that spot.”
We watched the young bull come warily to the waterhole, testing the air with nose high. Stoffel pointed out a place bhind the animal’s shoulder where the markings made an oval. “Shoot for the center of that oval,” he said, “all the vitals are right behind that spot.”
For a second all I could think of was the Gary Larson cartoon of the deer with a target on his chest and his deer buddy saying, “Bummer of a birthmark, Hal.” It was an interesting mental juxtaposition, but I quickly regained my focus.
“The young one!” I whispered. “How much bigger can those things get?” His answer came back in the same hushed tones as he pulled me back to the peephole, “How about this one?” Stoffel asked.
Almost seven feet tall at the head, I quickly saw the big kudu Stoffel was referring to. The trophy was walking right into the water.
He sauntered to the waterhole and gave the young buck a shoulder to signal him to back off, then he turned broadside to me and began to drink.
I stepped back from the peephole, eyes and mouth wide and heart hammering already. I don’t remember what I said, but it was probably not printable anyway. I picked up my bow, nocked an arrow, set my string release, took a deep breath, and moved forward to fire.
That was when I discovered that the slit was too close to the wall for a proper elbow-out posture when firing. So I folded my arm down, concentrated on my bow-hand hold, my cheek weld and the fiber-optic 20-yard pin that I had placed just at the top of the oval in the markings.
I ever so gently touched the trigger on my release and was very happy to see the yellow-fletched arrow center my target. Right about then I realized that I had just heard Stoffel saying, “Are you going to shoot?”
The big kudu hunched up, spun around once, and took off. A few minutes later and about 100 yards away we found the big guy. The broadhead had cut a path through heart and lungs and stopped on the inside at the offside shoulder.
We measured the horns with a steel tape right after I took the kudu, and they ran out to 54 ¼ inches. A more professional measurement was taken with a steel cable after the head and cape had spent three days in the cold room, and the set still measured 52 ¼ inches.
As I understand it, the kudu will qualify for both the Rowland Ward and the Safari Club International world record books.
Published by admin on 27 Jan 2010
Narrow Your Zone
Knowing Every Square Inch of Your Hunting Turf
Is the Key to Setting Up On Big Bucks
By Greg Miller
I’ve managed to arrow a mature buck during each of my home state’s past three archery seasons. Now I’m sure some of you reading this would just naturally assume that I spend all my time bowhunting on huge chunks of exclusively private ground. No doubt some of you also harbor the illusion that my home state of Wisconsin is literally overrun with large racked, hog-bodied whitetails. In your opinion then, knocking over three big bucks in three consecutive years is no big deal.
But the simple truth of the matter is that I don’t have exclusive access to huge chunks of prime big buck habitat. And with the exception of a handful of countries in the southwestern part of the state (where very strict trophy deer management policies have been in place for more than a decade), Wisconsin definitely isn’t “overrun” with big bucks. In fact, when compared to the bordering bordering states of Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota, my home state of Wisconsin actually runs a distant fourth in big buck production.
The truth be known, the single biggest key to my string of successful seasons has to do with my intimate familiarity of the ground I’m hunting. As my brother Jeff told me recently, “You’ve been bowhunting that area since you were just a kid. You know what the resident bucks are going to be doing and exactly where they like to walk at all times during the season. You must admit, that is a big plus!”
Familiarity Spawns Success
I can’t argue with Jeff’s assessment of my run of successful seasons. He’s right. I am extremely familiar with the area where I’m currently bowhunting. And as my brother stated, I’m also very familiar with exactly how the deer in my hunting area relate to their home range during all parts of the season. It’s a situation that has paid huge dividends the past three seasons for me.
If I see prospective trophy whitetail bowhunters making one mistake more often than any other it’s that they spread themselves way too thin. In other words, rather than becoming intimately familiar with a few areas, they gain only a slight understanding of a bunch of areas. Sure, they might have dozens of stand sites at their disposal. But it’s highly doubtful any of them will be in the right spots. Trust me, this type of approach is not conducive to a high success rate on mature bucks.
My personal success rate on big deer rose considerably the day that I quit making uneducated and irrational guesses about the animals I was pursuing. More specifically, I quit guessing as to where the bucks I was hunting were bedding down. I also quit making assumptions as to where those deer most preferred to walk when traveling about their ranges. (For those bowhunters who don’t already know, being in possession of these two bits of information can dramatically increase your chances of filling your tag.)
Downsizing is the Key
I learned years ago that it’s much easier to gain an intimate familiarity with your hunting spots if you concentrate all your attentions on only a few areas at the most. As I noted previously, many bowhunters fail to achieve consistent success rates on mature bucks simply because they spread themselves too thin. Instead of limiting their scouting and hunting efforts to just two or three spots, they attempt to expand their horizons to include five, six or seven (or maybe even more) different areas.
Of course, I always hear the same argument in support of such an approach. A bowhunter I chatted with recently expressed this argument perfectly. “A person can never have too many good hunting spots,” the guy stated. Well excuse me for saying so, but yes you can! In truth, having too many good hunting spots can actually be detrimental to your chances for success. (I’ll explain later.)
Okay, so now that I’ve made my point about less being better, it’s time to talk about how you decide which two or three of your precious hunting spots you should keep. In most instances it’s merely a matter of applying a bit of logic to the situation. You’re surely going to limit your attentions to those two or three areas that you feel harbor the most big buck potential. Rock-solid evidence, like an abundance of big buck sign and /or consistent sightings of mature animals, does help considerably when attempting to narrow down your options.
But I’ve found that another factor sometimes play a huge role in my final decision as to which areas I’m going to hunt. That factor is the location of the areas in relationship to my home base. Personally, I’ll shy away from hunting a great area that’s a long way from home in exchange for hunting a fairly good area that’s just a few miles from my driveway. Why? Because I’m able to spend a lot more time walking, scouting, observing and hunting those spots that are closer to home. Remember, the more time you spend in an area, the more familiar you’re going to become with that area. And that’s exactly what we’re talking about here!
A couple years back I arrowed a 140-class nine-pointer during my home state’s archery season. That buck is a perfect testament to the positives of hunting close to home. Due to a pressing business commitment, I could stay on my stand only for an hour on that fateful morning. I shot the buck about 20 minutes after daylight and had just enough time to track and recover my trophy before having to head out for my appointment. Had my hunting area been any further from home I wouldn’t have had time to even hunt that morning, let alone track and recover a wounded deer.
There’s another interesting fact about my successful hunt that bears mentioning. I harvested the nine-pointer from an area that harbors very few trophy-sized whitetails. Along with intense pressure during gun season, the area sustains an over-abundance of antlereless dear. Neither factor is conducive to high numbers of mature bucks. However, it seems there’s always at least a couple large racked deer running around in my hunting spot. My intimate familiarity with the area keeps me supremely confident that I’ll eventually get a chance at one of those deer.
To this point the information I’ve put forth in this article pertains only to those bowhunters who already have secured a number of hunting spots. However, everything I’ve said also applies to those individuals who are in the process of searching for some prime hunting spots. If I could offer only a few words of advice to such people it would be, “Start small and stay small!” Depending upon the size of the areas you’re considering, I’d highly recommend selecting no more than three different spots on which to concentrate your attentions.
But selecting your “new” hunting areas is only the beginning of the process. Personally, I wouldn’t even consider walking into a prospective hunting area without first thoroughly studying topo maps and aerial photos of that area. In addition, before heading into the woods I slowly drive all the accessible roads that border my newfound area. An incident that happened to yours truly a number of years ago was an embarrassing reminder of the importance of doing this.
I was scouting a big woods area in northern Wisconsin when I came across what appeared to be a virtual big buck honey hole. The ground was littered with steaming fresh scrapes, and at least a half-dozen four to six-inch trees had recently been rubbed clean of bark. Amazingly, all this sign was concentrated within a relatively small area. I quickly picked out and prepared a spot for my portable tree stand, then headed out of the woods. I didn’t bother doing any further scouting of any kind. That proved to be a terrible mistake!
I returned to the spot the very next afternoon and quietly put up my portable stand. Two hours slipped by, and “primetime” was rapidly approaching when I heard a sound I couldn’t initially identify. Then I realized that someone was operating an ATV somewhere off in the distance. At first I couldn’t tell which direction the off-road machine was heading. But a minute later I’d pinpointed its exact line of travel. The damn thing was coming straight toward my position!
Initially, I was irate that someone would be irresponsible enough to drive an ATV through the woods on public forest land. But my anger disappeared almost as soon as the machine came into view. Unbeknown to me, and just far enough from my stand site so that I couldn’t see it, was a brand new logging road. In fact, as I discovered later, loggers had punched the road into the area just a couple days earlier. Had I done my normal thorough scouting job I would have noticed the new road. And I would have known that the buck responsible for all the fresh sign had already relocated to another part of the forest.
My experience with the ATV makes a very important point. Gaining an intimate familiarity with your hunting areas is important for a reason other than learning how the deer relate to those areas. You’ll also gain an understanding how other hunters are utilizing the areas. Of course, this may not be a concern to those who do all their bowhunting on private property. It’s a different story, however, for those of us who still do a fair amount of our hunting on public lands. In my opinion, figuring out what other hunters are doing is equally as important as figuring out what the resident deer are doing.
While I am a strong proponent of downsizing for deer, I’m always quick to add that the approach can cause problems for some hunters. The most obvious of these problems has to do with keeping your hunting areas “fresh.” Having fewer hunting areas means you’ll have fewer stand site possibilities. But regardless of how much a person downsizes his hunting efforts, I remain convinced that they can still find enough stand sites to ensure that they won’t burn out a potentially good area(s). Or, they can come up with a system that allows them to continue to hunt their spots hard, yet keep the deer guessing.
My son Jake and I have what I consider the perfect system for hunting our two chosen spots. Several times during the week we hunt farmland area near our home, but on weekends we hunt a big woods area in the northern part of the state. This “system” ensures that we don’t put too much pressure on either of our areas. Just about the time the deer in one spot catch on that they’re being hunted, we pull up stakes and disappear for a few days.
More Isn’t Better
Earlier in this piece I mentioned that having too many good hunting spots can actually be detrimental to your chances for success. How is this possible? Simple. The more good spots you have, the greater the tendency to second-guess yourself. My observations would indicate that people who have dozens of great setups are always struggling to figure out which one they should hunt. And when they finally do make a decision, they invariably end up second-guessing themselves. I once bowhunted with a fellow who fit into this category. The guy just couldn’t shake the feeling that while he was sitting on one stand a monster buck was walking by one of his other stands.
Unbelievably, he would sometimes relocate three times during a three hour hunt. Talk about spreading yourself too thin!
As I mentioned earlier, trusting totally to guesswork won’t put you within range of many trophy whitetails. Without a doubt, this is the biggest perk of limiting your scouting and hunting efforts to just a few areas. You’ll eventually learn the everyday habits of the deer you’re hunting. Remember, mature whitetails are notorious for using only tiny slivers of all the available cover out there. What’s more, big bucks don’t always leave behind evidence (rubs, scraped, etc.) that they’re frequenting a particular spot. Often, the only way to pinpoint these places is by spending time observing deer activity in your hunting areas. The more you watch, the more you’ll learn.
Don’t Ever Stop Looking
Just prior to writing this article I did some post-season scouting on a 400-acre chunk of ground I’ve been bowhunting for better than 30 years. Now you’d think there wouldn’t be anything left to learn about a tract of land after all those years. You’d be wrong. In fact, I found that I fully believe is going to be a literal big buck hot spot. The spot is located a mere 75 yards from a logging road I walk when traveling to and from a distant stand site. I’d never bothered to check it out simply because I’d never actually seen any signs of big buck activity near that section of the logging road. Hey, even I still make some basic mistakes once in a while!
There was a time in the not-so-distant past when I believed that a person couldn’t have too many good hunting spots. I’ve since learned that there definitely is a danger to having access to a large number of quality hunting areas. Spreading your efforts over a bunch of different areas almost always means that you aren’t doing justice to any one of them.
Published by admin on 22 Jan 2010
Game Farming vs. Golf Courses
By Ted Nugent
Young Rocco showed admirable discipline. It was cold, damp and uncomfortable in the deep woods. He climbed the challenging hills and terrain carefully with pure youthful spunk. The hardest part was sitting statue-still for extended periods of time with dad. But his intense smile said it all. He was mesmerized by the wild all around him. The flitting songbirds captured his attention, the distant crow speak ignited his young, inquisitive imagination. The nearly invisible deer, ghostlike, feeding along the ridgeline ahead, caused him to hold his breath temporarily and stare fascinated by the dynamic of the beast and his exhilarated level of awareness. This boy was on fire! High on natie as it oughta be.
The day rocked on, father and son truly harmonizing with Ma Nature, and more importantly, each other. Like my dad before me, I was driven to teach my son the laws of nature—hands-on—as a natural, thinking, conscientious participant, hunting our families’ dinner by dedicating ourselves to her rules of tooth, fang and claw. To observe my boy embracing this powerful reality set my soul aflight.
This day afield was particularly moving for us, not just because we had some great discussions about important things, not just because an eight-year-old boy showed good self-control and self-discipline and intense interest, and not just because our midday sack lunch together tasted better in the wild than any five-star meal anywhere. Much more importantly, this day in the wild was extremely special for the simple fact that we could actually experience it legally.
You see, at eight, Rocco, is not by law allowed to deer hunt in Michigan, or almost any state for that matter. Even though he has dedicated himself to firearm and archery safety and marksmanship, certainly as good, if not better, than many of those of legal age, the goofy laws in most states force young children like Rocco to stay away from hunting, and for all practical purpose, the outdoors and her valuable lessons. With this programmed failure to recruit new, young hunters, the value of wild ground and inherent wildlife habitat is virtually doomed. Tragically, an entire generation has been discouraged to feel the mighty spirit of the wild by these nonsense laws. Believe me, the alternatives are ugly. Read the papers and watch the news mutilated by report after report of younger and younger violent offenders. Review recent history and see the invention of words such as “drive-by shooting, “ “school shootings,” the explosion of gang violence, graffiti, vandalism, preteen drug running and pregnancies, and kids randomly killing each other, and you will note it all began the same time as America’s exodus from the country to the city and the land. Hunter’s numbers began to decline THEN the crap hit the fan.
Thankfully, Rocco and I had a wide-open opportunity to hunt game together because of private property visionaries. With the rape of the hills, urban sprawl, the paving of America, and an epidemic of habitat-destroying golf courses, malls and other over-the-top development, wildlife ground will only be saved if that wildlife has renewable value. Many private property owners across the country, for many legitimate reasons, have enclosed their land with game-proof fences in order to offer specialized hunting opportunities above and beyond the regular seasons. And why not? Certainly this private control has proven to be an obvious, upgrade in quality deer management, and those increased opportunities provide a vast increase in quality family hours of recreation. That’s a win/win if there ever was one.
Is it real hunting? Certainly the very same variables that dictate a quality hunt anywhere apply on natural habitat within enclosures as well. With good escape cover, adequate food sources and sensible management restrictions, much like those rules that succeed on public grounds, an enclosed property hunt is as good as any wilderness hunt. Anyone who has had a lick of real-world hunting experience can tell you how anything can happen out there in the wild, fence or no fence. Only the inexperienced squawk their supposition. Facts are always a much better source of policy than guesswork. The critics of enclosure hunting invariably ignore these statistics and facts, mindlessly continue their vacuous diatribe. Meanwhile, the truth is there for the discovering if but a modicum of effort is pursued. So be it.
People who just plain hate hunting and hunters have found support within the hunting community by small-minded hunters, who, by all appearances, just like to hear themselves pontificate, for whatever reason. Legislation was posed a few years back under Bill HR1200 to ban all fenced-in hunting under 1000 acres. That bill was defeated for obvious reasons regarding private property rights, but in Washington State, and now Wisconsin, the anti-hunters have succeeded in fooling the public, as such enclosures are now illegal. This closed mindedness is coming to Michigan and other states right now, and represents a terrible mistake for many reasons. But the primary tragedy of such thinking is the brick wall it represents to family, particularly, children’s opportunities to hunt during those most important formative years of their youth.
In Texas and Mississippi, there is no minimum legal age for young hunters. Parents made those determinations for years without any injuries or accidents. And those 5, 6 and 7 year-old hunters bag deer regularly, under safe, well-supervised conditions that a bureaucrat or socialist cannot fathom. By all accounts, those families do not need to be protected from themselves, thank you. And if enclosure hunting is “unfair,” then, pray tell, just what do you call chicken McNuggets?
With shooting light fading into the evening shadows, Rocco belly-crawled the last few yards to the forest edge, and set up his little bolt-action .223 rifle for the shot. And because of all the dedicated range time he had invested to cultivate his inherent marksmanship discipline, he put that big, wild old hog down with a perfect heartshot. As we field dressed the beast and dragged him out of the forest, I glowed, witnessing my son’s joy and excitement from his first kill. It was a long, difficult, challenging day of lessons in the wild. Lessons that touched the deepest, most important cor of his being. Lessons of stealth, accountability, discipline, patience, awareness, self-control, self-sufficiency, nature, cause and effect and, ultimately, how to open up and feel his father’s love. To bring any obstacles whatsoever into his equation would be truly unfortunate. And it is very sad that no father and young son in Wisconsin or Washington State will ever be able to feel what we felt this day, all because selfish, ignorant fools create a policy with zero information. Really, really sad.
Published by admin on 22 Jan 2010
Word on the street says that big mule deer are
almost impossible to find. But this is far from true
Story and Photos by Tom Tietz
Mule deer herds are declining throughout the west. There are no longer any trophy mulies to be found. This is the talk of the day throughout the western states. Some pundits make it sound like a waste of time, money and effort to pursue trophy mule deer bucks these days. Well to that, I say HOGWASH!
Although mule deer herds and trophy bucks are nowhere near the levels as during the heydays of the 60s, there are still sustainable populations with quality bucks out there for the hunting. It just takes a little more effort on the part of the hunter nowadays. Granted, the days of driving your truck down a road and having your pick of big four-pointers are probably gone forever, but good bucks are still out there, on both public and private lands. A bowhunter with reasonable expectations of taking a buck that qualifies for P&Y can find success in any western state. It just takes a little homework and pre-season effort on your part. While there are very few, if any, areas that consistently produce 190-class mule deer, there are a myriad of areas where one can pursue and have a reasonable chance at harvesting 150-plus class mulies.
Getting a Tag
The first thing one has to do to find big bucks is to learn how to play the draw. Most of the better hunts in the West are now on some type of limited draw system for tags. At first glance this may look incredibly complicated, what with bonus points, preference points, multiple choices, hunt codes and the like, but it really isn’t all that difficult to learn. The key is to start early. The days are gone when you can decide in July that you’re going deer hunting in August. You need to start getting your act together in December. Every state has a somewhat different system, and application deadlines can range from January to May, Contact the states you’re interested in hunting in late fall and get on their list to receive information and applications as soon as they become available.
Playing the Odds
Drawing a tag can range from literally once in a lifetime (due to astronomical odds) to something you can do virtually every year. Usually the tougher the draw, the better the quality, but you can find P&Y bucks in nearly every unit in nearly every state. Some areas may be excellent for 150-class bucks but you will have no realistic chance at a 190. These areas are usually much easier to draw. Believe it or not, some areas are still capable of producing 200-point bucks, but getting a tag in these areas can be another story altogether. Some guys try to hit a home run and apply for only the premier areas in every state, in hopes of drawing at least one really special tag every couple years, whereas other guys prefer to hunt more often and apply for areas that have the better odds of drawing.
Some states reward those who apply but don’t draw a tag with bonus or preference points for future drawings. This way the hunter who puts in every year has a better chance to draw the more sought-after units. Others just have an all out draw, where every applicant has an equal chance of drawing every year. The key here is to start getting points in the states that offer them and keep trying to draw prime units in the other states. If you set up a system for drawing different states, you can pretty well assure yourself of a good quality hunt somewhere each year.
Selecting an Area
The first key to getting a trophy mulie is to find out where thy live. You can be the world’s greatest hunter, but if the area you’re hunting doesn’t hold big deer, you’re not going to get one. There are several ways of finding areas that harbor trophy bucks. Read as many articles and books on mule deer as you can find. Although you may not get much on specific areas through these sources, you can still glean a lot of valuable information. For example, an article on trophy mulies in Nevada’s high country will narrow your search down to units in Nevada’s high country will narrow your search down to units in Nevada with high mountain ranges. Or an article about hunting in CRP will narrow your search to those areas and states with large expanses of CRP.
Another source for information is state game departments, where you can get harvest data, herd data, draw odds and hunter distribution. Look for areas with light to medium hunter pressure, high buck-to-doe ratios and stable or increasing deer numbers. Don’t just rely on one year’s data either. Get at least three years up front, then update your information each year. Set up a file for each state or area. From this you can determine trends in overall quality for each area. Areas that meet these criteria have the highest likelihood of producing trophy bucks. The best areas will usually be the toughest to draw, but there are some gems out there with good odds of drawing, you just have to look. Put this data together with things you’ve read and you can narrow your search drastically.
Another way to get up-to-date information is from sport shows and conventions. Talk to other hunters about where they have had success. Again, most won’t give you specific information, but put what you hear together with what you’ve learned and your search becomes even narrower.
I know you’re thinking, “man this is a lot of work.” It really isn’t as bad as you might imagine. You can do a lot of your research in the winter months when you’re relaxing after a few hours of snow shoveling. And what could be better than planning your next trophy mule deer hunt? Just sifting through the information you accumulate will get you pumped up for the upcoming season.
One last thing is to watch the weather. Is the area you’re wanting to hunt having an unusually sever or mild winter? This will have a lot to do with the health of the herds and trophy quality come fall. If an area looks good statistically but had a very sever winter within the past couple years, it may be best to shy away from it. On the other hand, if the area has put together a string of mild winters and the statistics add up, you may have discovered one of those uncovered gems. Remember that just because an area produced some big deer in the past, things can change, and it may not live up to your expectations next fall.
When to Scout
You’ve done your research and drawn that coveted tag. Now it’s time to find out where the big boys play. A lot of where to look will be based on the time of year you’ll be hunting. Mule deer are generally migratory and where you find them in August could be miles from where they are in October. Even though you may not hunt until later in the fall, the best time to do some pre-season scouting is in late July or early August. Due to their reddish summer coat (which sticks out like a vegetarian at a barbecue), mulies are very easy to find this time of year. Their antlers will be nearly fully developed, although the velvet coat that covers them will generally make them look about 15 percent bigger than they really are.
The first step towards successful scouting is to obtain topo maps of your area. These can be obtained from USGS, or Delorme has some neat software that enables you to print up-to-date topo maps right from your computer. They also have state atlases that are very detailed and show basic topography and access roads.
When scouting, do so with little or no impact. Glass wide expanses from a distant high point using a high-quality binocular or spotting scope. With their reddish coloration, deer will be easy to spot from a distance, and you will be able to observe them without disturbing them. This is especially critical if you are going to hunt in August or September, as the bucks you see will probably still remain in the same general area. If your hunt is later in the fall, the bucks probably will have headed for lower elevations, but at least you’ll have an idea of the overall quality available to you.
If scouting early isn’t a possibility, you can still get some pre-season scouting in. The best chance you’ll get at a real trophy is in the first couple days of the season before other hunters have stirred things up. If you are going to take seven days for your hunt, for example, you would be better off scouting for two or three days prior and only hunting four or five days, than to arrive the night before season and hunting for the full seven days. Your best chance of taking a real buster buck is to locate him before opening day and then try to nail him in the first day or two of your hunt. Once the deer get stirred up, all bets are off. Those big guys didn’t get that way by being stupid. They had to survive a number of hunting seasons to grow trophy antlers and know where to go to get away from hunters.
Remember that scouting is important, but scouting smart is even more important. The less you disturb the deer before the season, the better your chance of taking your trophy come opening day. If you continually disturb the animals and the area while scouting, the bucks, especially the big ones, can be miles from where you first found them.
Trophy mulies contrary to some beliefs, are still out there for the taking. With just a little common sense and by using the information that is readily available, you will uncover areas that you can consistently hunt for that trophy of a lifetime. Although luck always plays a part, trophy hunting is an endeavor where you usually get out of it what you put into it. Research is an essential part of today’s trophy mule deer hunting. It can be hard work and somewhat time consuming, but the rewards can make all the effort more than worth it.
Published by admin on 22 Jan 2010
When the Wind Blows
Sometimes silent, always invisible, the wind can
be your worst enemy or your best friend.
By Bob Grewell
Each year there are bowhunters who figure out the travel habits of a big buck lurking in their hunting area and eventually get a shot at him. There are other bowhuwhunters who accomplish the same, but for some reason never catch a glimpse of the big trophy. Why is this? Well, of course, it could be due to a number of things. Maybe the unlucky bowhunters made too much noise while sitting on stand, and deer could hear them before venturing within sight. Or maybe they put their stand in the wrong place. But if I was to bet on it, I would probably say the luckless hunters forgot to monitor the wind currents surrounding their stand, giving deer a “heads up” to their whereabouts.
Deer Rely On It
It’s a fact. Our preparations and stand locations are principally affected by wind direction. It’s probably the number one element that sends hundreds of patient bowhunters home empty-handed each fall. Recently, while bowhunting eastern Ohio, I was reminded of how important wind can be to every hunting setup.
Where I was hunting, a dense tangle of greenbriers and saplings wrapped around the side of a steep hill. Halfway up this slope, my carefully positioned tree stand was erected close to a trail that wound through this horseshoe-shaped bedding area. The time-worn path provided deer easier access from a low-level stream bed that connected to an alfalfa field on the hilltop. Water at the base, bedding cover in the middle, food on the peak—you couldn’t ask for better deer habitat. On days the wind was to my advantage, I was in a tree downwind from an obvious fence crossing.
On that particular day, however my hopes were extremely high, mostly because the rut was escalating and extremely high, mostly because the rut was escalating and deer activity was increasing. The late afternoon sun was unusually warm, so I took my time moving to my stand. I reached the edge of the briar tangle just as another bullying wind gust blew off my hat. Disgusted, I began to wonder if I would in fact see deer because unruly wind makes deer skittish.
Pulsating wind had me constantly searching the landscape. At one point, I was slowly rotating my head when I spotted a six-point casually making his way up the hillside. As he scaled the steep incline, he stopped frequently to nose the air. I felt safe because I had pre-planned the stand placement so that a wast wind was blowing across the trail, toward me. He stood for several minutes, scanning the area and smelling air currents. When he finally committed to crossing the fence, he made on leap. After his feet hit the ground, he nosed the wind then investigated a natural scrape 12 yards from my stand. I wasn’t interested in shooting the buck, but I was curious of his peculiar behavior.
The deer’s nostrils flared constantly. He smelled the ground, surrounding foliage, and methodically tested wind currents. His reliance on the wind impressed me, as his damp, black nose purposefully searched out odors carried by the wind. It was as if he were wired to an internal timing mechanism that induced him to sample the wind every 30 seconds.
The buck eventually bedded down alongside a tangle of briars not 30 yards from my stand. I was hoping his appearance would provide a “comfort zone” that would attract other deer. The hillside shelf appeared to be a staging location where he waited for darkness before traveling uphill to the open alfalfa pasture. As he laid down, his back faced the wind. This posture enabled him to scent potential danger behind him (upwind). Then, he could watch and listen for intrusions in front of him (downwind). He frequently rotated his head to inhale the wind. With my binocular I could see his face clearly. He intermittently closed his eyes. It was amazing how he moved his head to smell wind gusts while his eyes were closed it was obvious his nose never stopped working, even as he cat-napped.
Long before darkness, a doe entered the scene. She was approaching at a reluctant pace, walking into the wind. The buck hadn’t been able to smell me because my stand position was perfect. But, from where the doe stood, she scented me with the help of a prolonged gust of wind. Her alarming snorts indicated she didn’t like my presence. She scrambled and jumped the fence, racing across a weedy opening. The startled buck exited a different direction.
As you can see from my experience in the woods that day, deer rely heavily on wind currents to detect danger. So, as hunters, we must learn as much as we can about the wind, where it comes from and how it blows.
Where Does It Come From
As the earth warms and cools a turbulent of air currents and generated that produces the byproduct of wind. Wind thermals typically move upward during the morning as air is heated by the sun. During the evening, when the earth begins to cool, air currents fall. Thus, vertical-moving air masses rise during the morning and descend in the evening. This is important information to know when determining placement of morning or evening stands.
But, you don’t have to be a magician to understand and use wind to your advantage. Bowhunters do need to realize, however, where wind is coming from in relation to deer activities, and where it’s going so deer don’t pick up your scent after you’ve put up a stand. Timing the wind is based on logic. But, we often become so wrapped up with every aspect of bowhunting, we overlook the importance of wind direction and how this invisible atmospheric condition affects us.
Three seasons ago, while hunting an oval-shaped creek bottom during early-November, I was able to use the wind to my advantage to arrow a nice buck. At the time, the rut appeared to be in full swing. I wasn’t in my morning stand more than 15 minutes when a doe materialized from a corn field on the opposite side of the lengthy weed field. Suddenly, I caught a glimpse of the buck pursuing her.
I could hear faint grunting, so I played my grunt tube and slapped my rattling racks, attempting to draw him away from fleeing doe. After my third overture he stopped and looked toward me. I hit the racks again and he shunned the doe, trotting toward me. Fortunately, a steady west wind blew in such a manner that my scent wasn’t transported toward their activities. More importantly, a deep, wide creek was directly behind me. If this buck tried to circle and walk into the wind, it would be difficult for him to smell me without crossing the creek.
As he came closer, he moved along the water barrier, but didn’t cross. Nosing the wind, the buck took a course beside a narrow band of trees and foliage at the edge of the field. Ears laid back, grunting seriously, he walked within 10 steps of my tree stand. I had previously dribbled doe urine on the ground as a scent post in anticipation of distracting a buck long enough to draw and release an arrow. And it worked!
He stopped, lowered his head to decipher the odor, and I made my move. He flinched as the arrow blew completely through both lungs. When he started to bolt, I immediately grunted twice with my call. He abruptly stopped and looked back toward me. I remained motionless as he stumbled across the open field before laying down only 80 yards away. I was thankful the wind didn’t change directions. Only a week before I couldn’t use the stand because a different wind direction would have carried my scent across the field.
Monitor It Daily
Using the wind as an ally begins before we enter deer habitat. Become a student of weather by monitoring daily conditions so you’re completely aware of current wind directions. Weather radios will help you retrieve this vital information. A radio’s portability also allows you to carry one afield and monitor weather at your convenience. Television and radio weather reports should always be checked before going afield, but don’t solely rely on these weather reports. Once you’re afield, you need to double-check wind conditions.
Reviewing wind direction is a continuous process. Watch the movement of leaves and small tree branches, as well as tall grasses. If it’s a blustery day, check the direction of your steamy breath as you exhale. I use one stand close to a rural home where I can view the drift of chimney smoke as it rises from their fireplace. Cat whisker string silencers move freely in the direction wind pushes them. If you tie a short piece of dark-colored thread to your bow, it will move with the wind, even a slight breeze. A small butane lighter will show the direction of wind currents precisely, too. Some hunters carry a squeeze bottle with a scent-free powder and occasionally puff small amounts into the air, watching the direction the powder floats. This method works very well.
But, any time the wind is in your favor before climbing into a tree stand, basic bowhunting rules still apply. Make certain all your clothing has been de-scented. Equally, cleanse your body with a de-scenting soap to avoid contact with human related odors before going to your stand. Even when you’re downwind and deer aren’t as likely to smell you, hunters need to stay as clean and as scent-free as possible.
Wind Is Ever-Changing
Location, location, location—it’s instrumental in allowing you to hunt undetected. When selecting a tree to ambush deer, there’s no strategic spot that’s fool-proof. No one stand site produces every time because wind isn’t constant. It’s imperative to have more than one location available. This enables you to switch whenever wind direction changes. This tactical change is beneficial, especially when ever you’re hunting different types of landscape. Flat, open farm ground is typically subjected to one-directional wind currents for several hours at a time. If there are no landscape contours creating obstacles and the day is exposed to a specific wind, breezes will flow in the same constant direction. That is, unless there’s a weather change.
Conversely, hilly and mountainous terrain will fool you. Valleys, rock structures and heavy woods might alter wind direction. The wind can blow from a westerly direction on a hilltop, but as it sweeps down into snaking valley, wind currents will follow these twisting and turning landscape features. Wind will weave its way along and around uneven landscape features, too.
There’s not much that compares to going one-on-one with a mature whitetail buck. Whitetail are elusive, cautious, and seem to have an invisible sensory ability that alerts them of our presence. They create a superb challenge because this ally makes them capable of avoiding the best hunters. One often wonders if they don’t have magical abilities. That is, until we understand their unseen partner: wind. It can be your friend or your enemy, it just depends on how you exploit it.
Published by admin on 21 Jan 2010
Not only does building your own arrows save money,
but it can greatly improve the quality of them.
By Mike Veine
I’ve always been a stickler for details, and that panache for near perfection is readily apparent with my bowhunting equipment, especially my arrows. I’ve been building my own arrows for 30 years. I save $10 or more per dozen by building my own and I have fun in the process. I also use premium components, and by following proven techniques my arrows are always the best they can be.
A few years ago, a friend of mine was bowhunting for whitetails from a ground blind when a good buck presented a high percentage, close-range shot opportunity. At the shot, the buck recoiled and scampered away a short distance before stopping to look back at what had scared him. The buck then snorted an alarm and ran away unscathed.
Baffled, my friend recovered his arrow and upon examination he was shocked to see that all of the vanes had torn loose. In fact, all the arrows in his quiver suffered from the same malady. He had just purchased those rather expensive, new, carbon arrows from a discount sporting good store and had not shot them yet. Because they were the same model and size as the ones he had been shooting, he just assumed that they’d be OK. His lack of attention to detail cost him dearly. Savvy bowhunters that properly build their own arrows can avoid such a disaster.
Shaft Selection and Cutoff
Bulk shafts are typically purchased by the dozen, which is where the main savings comes in when building your own arrows. Depending on the manufacture, raw shafts are typically sold in 34-inch lengths. Unless you have exactly a 34-inch draw length, then you’ll need to size the shafts by cutting them off.
Shafts can be cut off using two different methods. The cheapest, and the one I mostly use, requires a shat cut-off tool that functions like a pipe cutter. These tools cost $20 to 30, but will only work on aluminum shafts. The cut must be perfectly clean to provide proper alignment of the insert or bushing. After cutting my shafts with such a tool, I then smooth off the end that was cut off using a jig made from scrap 2×4. The jig has several holes drilled through it to fit various sized shafts. The holes hold the shaft straight while I lightly file the end until it’s smooth and flat. I then use a dremel rotary tool to ream out the interior of the cut to remove any burs.
For carbon arrows you’ll need to use an electric arrow cut-off saw. Those saws also work great on aluminum shafts. An electric cut-off saw represents the largest investment that an arrow builder might consider. The A1-Arrow Saw made by Apple Archery Products is a good saw that retails for about $115. I’s sometimes wise to get together with a few friends, pool your funds, and buy one together. I just take my carbon shafts to an archery pro shop to have them cut. Even with a cut-off saw, though, the edges sometimes must be smoothed out using a dremel tool.
Inserts should fit snugly and must align perfectly. I prefer aluminum inserts like the ones made by Easton. For aluminum shafts, I use Bohing Ferr-L-Tite hot glue. Screw an old field point into the insert and then clamp onto it with vice-grips. Using a small propane torch, heat up the insert and the end of the shaft. Apply a small amount of the glue to the insert and then push it into the shaft until seated fully. Before the glue cools and hardens, wipe the excess off with a rag. Installed in this manner, the inserts can be rotated for broadhead alignment or removed by simply reheating them.
Carbon shafts require the use of an epoxy to adhere the inserts. I’ve used Bohning’s AAE Epoxy, which is a flexible adhesive ideally suited for inserts and bushings on carbon shafts. Once inserts are installed, screw n a broadhead and spin test it. I use an arrow straightener for this function, which will also check shaft straightens in the process. Spin the shaft by quickly rolling it and if the head wobbles at all, remove the insert and install a new one. With carbon shafts, this process must be done before the epoxy sticks.
Vanes or Feathers?
Bowhunters have been debating the virtues of feather fletching versus plastic vanes for as long as I can remember. I started out using feather as they provided more forgiveness off the crude arrow rests used in those olden days. When tests evolved to allow total fletching clearance, I switched over to plastic vanes and haven’t looked back since. Vanes are just about impervious to the weather and much more durable than feathers. Feathers are also much noisier in flight and the racket made from brushing anything against feathers has been the undoing of many bowhunters. I may take some flack for this, but unless you’re having arrow flight problems, I recommend using quality plastic vanes for bowhunting.
Many top archer use feathers. Scott Purks, one of the country’s best 3-D archers, prefers feathers even with his Mathew’s bow equipped with a drop-away rest. He says, “Feathers are kind of a pain, but they seem to shoot a little more accurately, especially at extremely long ranges.” Feathers are lighter than vanes, which equates to slightly faster arrow speeds.
When you build your own arrows, you can pick and choose from various fletchings. I prefer vanes that are very thin and flexible. Because arrows will be smashed in bow cases and otherwise bent and folded, vanes that pop back to their original shape are especially desirable. I’ve been using Easton vanes for many years and have been very happy with them. Bohning, Duravane, Arizona, Sims Vibration Labs, Flex-Fletch and others also make high-quality vanes.
Fletching color choices are virtually limitless and arrow builders have the ability to mix and match what ever colors they desire. Some bowhunters prefer colors that blend in. For them, camo fletching is available. Years ago, I used olive-drab fletchings, but today I prefer bright-colored fletching and florescent nocks so that I can watch my arrow flight better. Red and orange colors are my favorites as they provide good visibility, yet they still blend in with the fall woods as the leaves turn colors. Bright colors also make it easier to find arrows on the ground.
Most bowhunters use either 4- or 5-inch fletchings. As a rule, use longer fletching on larger-diameter shafts. For skinnier shafts, 4-inch or smaller fletching usually work best. It often pays to experiment though for optimal broadhead flight.
A fletching jig is required for proper fletching alignment o the shaft. I recommend a single arrow-fletching jig, which will ensure identical fletching alignment on every arrow made. I’ve been using the same Jo-Jan Mono Fletcher for as long as I can remember, and it works great, costing less than $40. Bitzenburger, Cabela’s and Bohning also offer quality fletching jigs.
When purchasing a fletching jig, you’ll have three options: right helical, left helical and straight fletch. Most bowhunters prefer a right-helical fletching. Right helical means that if you look down the shaft from the nock end, the fletching will angle to the right. Right helical will spin the arrow clockwise. Feather fletching users should be aware that the wing of the feather must match the helical direction. For instance, right-wing feathers require a right-wing helical fletching jig. You can also choose from three-fletch or four-fletch models. Most bowhunters use three-fletch arrows.
Ron Quick builds custom arrows at Outdoorsman (317/881-7446) a full-service archery pro shop in Greenwood, Indiana. Ron says, “Cleaning the shaft thoroughly before gluing on the fletching is the key to making them stick properly. We fist soak both aluminum and carbon shafts in acetone prior to fletching them. After that we go over the shaft with a Scotch Bright pad and water. The final cleaning step is wiping the shaft with denatured alcohol. Be warned, though, that acetone and alcohol are both highly flammable liquids.” Bohning offers a product called SSR Surface Conditioner specifically designed to degrease and prepare aluminum or carbon shafts for painting and fletching. I use acetone, but I just put some on a rag and then wipe the shaft with the stuff.
Quick added, “After the alcohol dries we glue on the fletching using Bitzenburger jigs. We just started using the new Bohning Fletch-Tite Platinum glue and love the stuff. It will glue any type of fletching to any shaft material, even the slippery carbon ones. Some of the quick-set glues that we have tried have not held well to graphite.”
For release shooters, place your fletching in the clamp so the back of the fletching is 3/4-inch from the end of the shaft( not the end of the nock). Finger shooters should use a 1-inch spacking. I set my fletching jig for a five-degree right helical, which is a common setting for a bowhunting arrow. I lay a very small bead of Fletch-Tight glue down the length of the vane and then gently press the vane in place on the jig.
With Fletch-Tire glue, I wait about five minutes before removing the fletching from the clamp, rotating the shaft and then repeating the process for the next fletching. It takes about 15 minutes for the glue to harden completely and that’s when I apply a small dab of glue on the from and back of each vane for added durability. After the fletching are installed, check for any excess glue that may have bulged out along the edge of the fletchings. I use a scalpel to trim away any excess.
Just about every one of my shooting sessions results in damaged fletchings. Arrow maintenance is another good reason to get into building your own arrows. If I had to take my damaged arrows to the pro-shop for repair, I’d go broke in a hurry. I remove my fletching with a dull knife. However, for those that need a special tool for everything, Cabela’s, Saunders and Norway offer fletch strippers. Bow & Arrow Hunting Editor Joe Bell really likes the Zip Strip model by Norway Industries.
After scraping most of the glue off the shaft, I then go over it with coarse steel wool and then follow the same procedure as described earlier for cleaning the shaft prior to applying the fletchings. Incidentally, for small tears in the vanes of my practice arrows, I sometimes just use a little Super Glue to reconnect the tear. The next time I replace a fletching on that flawed arrow, though, I replace the cobbled vane.
Dipping, Cresting and Wrapping
Dipping, cresting and wrapping arrows allows archers to customize their arrows. Adding a personal touch to your arrows is fun and the colors and designs one can create are limitless. I personally don’t bother to dress up my arrows anymore, although I’ve experimented with dipping and wraps in the past. Before cresting, dipping or wrapping, it is highly recommended to clean our shafts using the same procedure used prior to gluing on fletchings. In fact, dipping and cresting is typically done prior to installing the nock and fletchings.
I’d recommend buying a cresting kit like the one offered by Bohnng. Their kit contains everything needed to create personalized arrows including a motorized spinner to rotate the shafts for painting. Bohning also sells an instructional video for customizing your arrows.
Arrow wraps are also available through Bohning or Easy-Eye. Wraps are stickers that are rolled around the arrow shaft to create designs. Buying and applying wraps is much easier and cheaper than cresting arrows, but the degree of personalization is limited to the wrap designs available.
Dipping arrows is nothing more than painting the end of the shaft under the fletchings. Most bowhunters dip their arrows in paint to allow better visibility of the arrow when shot at game. The proliferation of video taping of bowhunters has certainly increased the number of bowhunters dipping their arrows. It’s much easier for the camera to pick up arrows dipped in brightly colored paint. White is the color choice of most pro videographers.
As a final step in the arrow building process, I apply a light coat of silicone to my arrows. This serves three purposes: First, it causes water to bead up on the shaft and run off. It also allows the arrow to be drawn over the rest with much less friction and resulting noise. Lastly, the silicone may enhance penetration.
Building your own arrows allows you to experiment with different components, helical settings and other arrow nuances to fine-tune your setup for optimal performance. It’s a lot like a rifle reloader working up a particular load to perform best in their firearm. Arrow builders fine-tune their load as well, but we just go about it a lot quieter.
Published by KurtD on 14 Jan 2010
This section of Archerytalk is just for Blogs and Articles.
Published by admin on 23 Dec 2009
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