Archive for the 'Vintage Magazine Articles' Category

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Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011

Music To Crest By~By Tharran E. Gaines


Bow And Arrow
August 1972

Music To Crest By~By Tharran E. Gaines
An Old Phonograph Can Improve The Appearance Of Your Arrows As Well As Make Cresting Easier!

MANY SERIOUS ARCHERS eventually get the urge
t0 build their own equipment, especially arrows. And to
personalize and give those new arrows you so proudly built
a custom-made look, you will agree that a crestor can be an
invaluable tool.

But if you are in the same situation as I was and wonder
whether you make enough arrows a year to justify spending
between twelve and thirty dollars for a crestor, you may
want to build your own. That’s what I did, using a few
pieces of wood and the parts from an old record player.
Price will probably not exceed four or five dollars, depending
upon how much the record player costs you.

I wanted a motor that I could use permanently and one
that would be cheap and easy to obtain. I finally settled on
the motor from an old record player and eventually got it
to work for my purposes.

Although I don’t guarantee that all record players will
work, you probably will be able to find one that will if you
look for two things. One is to try to find a record player on
which the turntable shaft tums also and not just the turntable.
Nearly all of the single speed or 45 rpm players that I
have seen have a shaft that turns, but many of the stereo
units have a solid center shaft that employs a record
changer. Second, if it is possible to see the underside of the
record player, try to use one that has a rubber drive wheel
attached to the motor. Most record players use a drive
wheel which is connected to the motor and also runs
against the side of the turntable to operate it. If the drive
wheel isn’t attached to the motor it will still work but
perhaps not as well.

A center shaft of the turntable that turns 0n bearings
will be easier to work with, but a shaft that just runs
through a bushing will also work. Because I used the shaft
and the bearings as part of the crestor it is important that
they will turn.

Because old phonographs aren’t much good unless they
play, you can usually get one for next to nothing. I built
one crestor from an old phonograph that a repairman gave
me. It is also possible to pick one up at a garage sale or a
pawn shop pretty reasonably priced. Just be sure that the
motor works and that it still has the turntable and shaft.
About the only tools required for taking the machine
apart (after you`ve unplugged it) are a pair of pliers, a
screwdriver and a set of Allen wrenches to remove some of
the pieces attached with this type of bolt. When the motor
and most of the scrap pieces of metal has been taken off,
next remove the bushing or bearings through which the
turntable runs. In one type that I used, the bearings were
on a solid piece that simply unbolted from the frame, but I
did need to trim off some excess metal arms with a hack
saw. On another type. it was necessary to cut a square piece
out of the chassis frame to which the bushing was attached.
Additional materials for the crestor will include a one
inch piece of lumber about six by twenty-six inches for a
base, two pieces one inch thick by six by seven inches and a
few small blocks about one inch cube. For these pieces I

used a piece of one by six pine board and just cut off the
different length pieces. Plywood that doesn’t split easily
also will work fine. The length of the base can vary, but
twenty-six inches gives good support for the arrow while it
spins. I also used the crestor occasionally for sanding on the
points, and the long length allows for a support near the tip
of the arrow.

You also will need a small sheet of one-eighth or one-
quarter-inch plywood or masonite that can be cut into two
pieces about six by seven inches and one six by six inch
piece, and something to use as a chuck, I used a cylinder-
type chuck with a rubber washer in the center to hold the
nock, but you could also use a piece of surgical rubber
tubing.

The chuck I used was obtained from an archery catalog
for $1.50. All of the record player shafts that I have found
have had a diameter of 9/32, and I was able to buy the
cylinder chuck in this size.

Next, drill a hole in one of the six by seven inch pieces
of pine or plywood for the shaft to fit through. It should be
located about two inches up from the bottom when the
piece is placed on end on the base.

If the plate containing the bushing does not already have
screw holes for attaching it to the board, drill four or more
holes so it can be mounted on the back of the board. Next,
place the shaft from the turntable through the bushing. In
some cases the shaft will already be mounted in the bearings.
In this case just mount the bearings on the board and
cut the shaft off to the correct length. I discovered on some
45 rpm players the center shaft may be too short. I found a
piece of broken arrow tubing, which is close to a size 1716
aluminum, can be cut to the right length and used as a shaft
through the bushing. It is important that the shaft spin
smoothly in the bushing. If it doesn’t, polish the shaft with
emery cloth or steel wool until it runs smoothly. Thin oil
might also help. The motor will later be mounted on the
board so that the rubber drive wheel will spin the shaft.
Next, you will have to find some way to keep the shaft
from slipping back and forth in the bushing. Using the
cresting chuck on the front of the shaft kept it from slip-
ping forward.

I put two washers on the back of the shaft and behind
this I made a small roll of friction tape about Eve-eighths
inch in diameter. This not only keeps the shaft in place but
it acts as a drive wheel for the crestor shaft to which the
motor’s drive wheel grips, thus spinning the shaft. If you
need to have the shaft longer you can put a spacer made
from a piece of arrow shaft between the washer and the
tape. Rubber tubing or rubber washers probably would
work even better than the tape.

By varying the size of the drive wheel on the crestor
shaft you can also vary the speed that the arrow will spin. A
smaller wheel on the shaft will cause the chuck to spin
faster. One advantage of using the tape is that you can build
up the size of the crestor drive wheel.

On the type of shaft that I used that was already
mounted in bearings there happened to be a gear on the
shaft for a record changer. Taking advantage of this, I
simply used this as a drive wheel on the shaft and ran the
drive wheel of the motor against it.

Next, determine how the motor should set above the
crestor or turntable shaft so that both wheels will come in
contact with each other. Then glue blocks on the back of
the board to build the motor up to the level where the two
wheels will match. I used block out from the leftover pine
board and finished building it up to the correct height with
thin pieces of balsa wood. Then I fastened the motor to the
blocks with screws, in a position so that the two drive
wheels would have enough contact with each other to run
well but not stop the motor.

If the motor doesn’t have a rubber drive wheel, just
mount it so that the motor`s bare metal shaft has contact
with the drive wheel you have made on the crestor shaft.
However. it will tend to slip more and the shaft will turn in
a counterclockwise direction. I also experimented with
putting a chuck directly on the motor shaft, but this tends
to spin much too fast and causes vibration on the spinning
arrow shaft.

Now you can mount the board, to which the motor has
been attached, on the base vertically and about six inches
from one end. I attached the other six by seven inch board
on the end of the base to form a back for the motor, and
used the pieces of masonite to close in the motor compartment
on the top and sides. The two side pieces were six by
seven and the top piece was six inches square.

The motor compartment can be squeezed in even more,
depending upon the size of the motor. Use small nails when
putting on the sides, in case you need to adjust the way the
motor sets later. It isn’t necessary to close in the motor, but
I thought it looked better. It also helps to brace the upright
board on which the motor and shaft are mounted.

If you are not too proud of your carpentry work, you
can cover the motor compartment with contact paper. A
coat of stain or varnish will also bring out the grain in the
wood.

To finish the crestor, I cut a V-shaped notch in two
blocks of balsa wood and mounted these on the base for
the arrow to spin on. Between these I attached a piece of
balsa about eight inches long. This is to attach a card on
which you have drawn your crest design.

I used balsa wood only because it is soft and I can attach
the card with pins. A piece of plastic probably would be
better for the V-notches.

When painting the crest you will be able to slow the
arrow down or make it run smoother by putting pressure
on the spinning shaft into the notching in the blocks. After
a while you will find that the only limit to the designs of
crests that are possible is your imagination and perhaps
your paint supply.

You may choose to vary the plans in many ways and
may have to. You will no doubt find that not all record
players will work as well or like the ones I used, but with a
similar plan you may soon be painting your own pin stripes.
<—<<<<

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Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011

A Home Archery Target Range ~ By Walt Knuepfer


Bow And Arrow
August 1972

A Home Archery Target Range ~ BY Walt Knuepfer
How To Build An All-Purpose Archery Cabinet

IN DEVELOPING PROFICIENCY and subsequent love for the bow
and arrow, the necessity for a safe and adequate target becomes more pronounced
as one improves. Generally, assuming one has at least fifteen or
twenty yards of backyard room, the average archer-to-be buys a mat or
equivalent, shoots at it, and has frightening moments when he misses the
entire face.

His neighbors’ reactions will often give him cause to consider the problem
seriously, if he persists in picking up an occasional miscast arrow in their
yard. The seriousness of this problem need not be discussed further.
After a typical progression of events, it becomes increasingly evident
that a safe, practical, and aesthetically acceptable solution to the target
problem is required. After considerable study and design analysis, l decided
that a permanent positioning of the target would be best, since hauling a
three or four—foot diameter mat is a chore.

The evolved design consists of a substantial cabinet. able to accommodate
a four-foot mat. The cabinet illustrated was constructed in a workspace,
placed in position. and fastened with large washered lag screws. into four
cedar posts that were anchored below the frost line.

The cabinet, measuring approximately 4-1/2 feet square, provides a safe
coverage of approximately eight feet width by 6 1/2 feet height, with the
doors in the opened position. The hinged doors are held open by engagement
of long, heavy wire hooks, inserted into a screw eye in each door. When
closed, the cabinet can be secured by a padlock, if desired. The top and bottom
extensions are hinged in their centers and are stored in the cabinet
when it is closed. The top extension is positioned onto two three-inch pins,
emerging on the top of each door.

The initial design contained three- foot and two-foot diameter mats. The
two-foot mat was superimposed on the three-foot mat. This double thickness
of mats stopped 560—grain fiberglass arrows. As the mats wore the arrows
began to hit the Celotex lining in back of the cabinet and, ultimately, some
arrows penetrated into the half-inch plywood cabinet backing.

The layering of mats, which were moistened periodically, caused mildew
between the mats and the contact area with the Celotex backing. This condition
was corrected by building the cantilevered support frame shown,
which provides deceleration space for shot arrows, adequate ventilation, and
requires only one mat, which is a considerable economy.

The previous stackup of two mats evolved through necessity, to reinforce
a center shot mat, and to stop arrow passage. The present arrangement
works well. The mat extension is determined by two chains, anchored at
inside top corners, adjusted in length by a chain link attachment to two
screw hooks in the cabinet back. Two fold—up arms at the inside bottom
corners are dropped down toward the back to keep the mat extended and
free of swing.

The entire cabinet is painted any color desired. The one illustrated is
olive drab, to suite the environment or the archer’s taste.
With an archery range of this construction, you can invite your neighbors
over, demonstrate your proficiency, and eliminate any apprehension
they or you might have about casting arrows in your backyard.

The entire cantilever assembly, holding a four-foot Saunders mat, is
brought forward to contact with the ground. This positioning provides for
comfortable mat installation or removal and provides access to the rear
of the mat, where the two five- sixteenth—inch diagonally tied retaining
ropes can be snugged up and fastened.

The crossed retaining ropes are threaded through a half-inch diameter hole in
the two by four corner mat retainers. In constructing the cabinet doors,
the ones described are of five-eigths-inch outdoor type plywood. Any number
of decorative effects can be applied to the faces of the doors in the
closed position. The various trims applied to garage doors, available at
any lumber yard, will personalize the finished product and allow for
matching to fit with home surroundings. <—<<<

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Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011

Teriyaki Jerky ~By Steve Barde


Bow And Arrow
August 1972

Teriyaki Jerky ~By Steve Barde
How To Turn An Old Indian Treat Into An Oriental Masterpiece

JERKY HAS BEEN A food staple for trappers,
hunters and outdoorsmen for years. There are several commercial
brands, but I found they were too dry, too hot or
too brittle. What do you do with a situation like that? You
turn it into a do·it·yourself project.

A friend jerked a deer last year and stacked the dried
meat in open jars for future use. He offered me a handful
which I gladly accepted, finding to my dismay it had too
much pepper for my taste. He had made it, to go with his
home brew beer.

l was after a food item I could make myself with little
trouble. Something that would fit into a jacket or camo
pocket for field munching. It couldn’t be too brittle, since I
don’t like pocket crumbs and, if the jerky made me thirsty
it created another problem.

One of our favorite family dishes is teriyaki steak.
The idea hit me to use my wife’s sauce recipe for the
jerky. What did I have to lose if I tested small quantities?

We concocted the teriyaki sauce as follows:
3/4 bottle shoyu or teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup sugar (white or brown for richer and sweeter sauce)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon monosodium glutamate
1 tablespoon ginger
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup saki optional

There are several ways to cut meat into strips for jerky.
The Indians start on the outside of a section of meat about
one-quarter to one-half-inch thick, as big as they want and
cut in a circle until they reach the center. They often ended
with strips of jerky six feet long. These cured by drying on
racks in the sun. Flies were no bother since it was all lean
meat with no fatty tissues.

This was more complicated than l wanted to make it.
The sugar in my sauce would draw flies as well as bees. My
first flank steak jerky was cut several ways. The steak itself
was about one-half inch thick. My first cuts were about
one-half inch wide running with the grain of the meat. The
second steak was cut by quartering across the grain to make
the jerky less chewy, yet not too brittle. The third steak
was cut across the grain with the muscle structure of the
meat.

The sauce was poured over the meat which had been
placed in an open dish. The strips ranged from eight inches
long to little sections. All of it went into the sauce which
covers two pounds of beef. This was placed in the refrigerator
to marinate overnight. The strips were turned from time
to time and the entire glop stirred.

The next day I took the jerky from the refrigerator,
removed the strips from the sauce and placed them on a
grill used for broiling in the oven. The sauce was allowed to
drain off each section as it was placed on the grill.
When the meat was all on the grill the remaining sauce
was poured back into the bottle for future use. The meat
was placed in an oven at a low temperature, 100-125
degrees, and left for eight to ten hours. You could cure the
jerky in the sun, if you wanted to build a screened cage to
keep the bugs out.

Since the meat was on the grill it didn’t require turning,
but samples were tried from time to time to test taste and
dryness. When the entire batch seemed right, it was removed
from the oven and allowed to cool. The taste was
even better than l had hoped for. The sugar gave it a bit of
sweetness; the marinade from the teriyaki gave it a great
flavor. The only test left was to determine how long it
would last without spoiling.

The different methods of cutting were found to be
similar as far as curing. The chewiest meat was cut with the
grain. The crossgrain crumbled when moved about. The
best for my use proved to be the quarter-cut jerky. It was
rigid enough to carry, but not as chewy as the straight cut.
I never did test for longevity since the family kept
munching and it didn’t last long.

If you are lucky enough to have some venison in the
freezer and you fill tags again, it might be a good idea to
jerk your old venison before you freeze the fresh meat and
add it to the chest. Venison makes excellent jerky.
I had some whitetail roasts that were getting freezer
burn. That was my excuse for jerking it anyway. I cut the
roasts into slabs about one-half-inch thick, using my hunting
knife. These slabs were cut again, quarter grain, into
strips about one—half inch thick. I wasn’t critical on the
cutting, since the thicker pieces work well but take longer
to cure.

I thought the beef jerky was good, but the Texas white-
tail was excellent. This batch of jerky filled two half—gallon
plastic containers that were stored with holes in the lid.
Never put jerky into a tightly closed container. When hunting
season rolled around a month or so later I found to my
dismay all my jerky had been consumed by the children
who thought it better than candy and of course some of the
older members of the family who dipped their hands into
the jug to get just a nibble or two. It makes a great snack
item.

This year I will make another batch of beef jerky to take
into the field. About the only way l am going to manage
this is to make it the week I plan to leave and lock it up!
Good luck with yours and, if anyone manages to get enough
to last for a good spoilage test, let me know the results.<——<<<

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Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011

BONE-UP FOR BIG BUCKS ~ By Bill Ruediger


Bow And Arrow
December 1972

BONE UP FOR BIG BUCKS ~BY BILL RUEDIGER

Following This Author’s Hunting Primer May Not Hang aA Trophy Whitetail On The Meatpole, but Will Increase Your Chances!

WHEN WAS THE last time you shot a nice buck? Most likely you have
never killed a trophy deer unless you have hunted many years and had
better than average luck. lf you look at the statistics, your chances of killing
a deer with a bow run anywhere between one in a hundred to one in five
– depending on which state you are hunting.

?

These statistics reflect total success— bucks, does and fawns. By the time
you get down to the numbers of hunters shooting big bucks, you are talking
about an elite group. Does this mean you should hang up your bow and find
a more productive pastime’? It depends on why you took up the sport to begin
with. Most bow-hunters know from the start where the odds lie …. with the deer.

?

The real pleasure of bowhunting comes from enjoying the outdoors and
matching your wits against those of a wily old buck. lf hanging meat on the
pole is your primary purpose for hunting, you’d better stick to your rifle.
By keeping a few factors in mind, it is possible to increase your chances of
killing a trophy buck. Three fundamentals l feel are essential to successful
trophy hunting are know the animal, know the area you are hunting, know
bowhunting basics. Sounds like an easy road to success, doesn’t it?
It’s not. But if you take an in-depth look at the three, you may find the
reason your chance has never come.

?

When l say know the animal I don’t mean you should know the difference
between an old grey mare and a whitetailed deer. Let’s hope you have
progressed at least this far! You should be familiar with what a deer eats,
where it beds down, when it is active and how it reacts to disturbances.
Read as much as you can to get this knowledge, then ask an experienced
outdoorsman to help you till in the gaps.

?

Food, cover and water are needed by deer to survive and all
must be available within a limited area. Learn to recognize key
browse species that deer will seek out for food. For mule deer, you
should be able to identify aspen, bitter brush, mountain mahogany,
sage and service berry. Some of the foods whitetails prefer are white
cedar, willow, aspen, sweet fern, poplar, dogwood, oak and various
berry bushes.

?

Learning to recognize these plants is a chore that should take a few
hours and knowing them will give you a clue as to where deer will
be during feeding periods. Deer bed down in evergreen stands
such as pine, cedar, juniper and fir. In the west, where archery seasons
are usually in late summer, deer will bed down in cooler north slopes near
water. During midday, bedding areas are logical places to hunt.

?

As I look back on my own deer kill record, I notice that over fifty percent
of my deer have been killed in these sites. The thick cover and soft under-
footing make bedding spots a bow-hunter’s dream. When deer are spotted
there, they are often at close distances and unspooked.

?

Springs, streams and isolated ponds are good spots to be near in the evenings.
Deer need water at least once a day and will usually browse their way
down to it late in the afternoon. One of my favorite stands is near a spring
situated high in a canyon. Deer and elk move down from adjacent mountain
slopes each evening and it is a rare day when I don’t see game. At such place,
it is just a matter of time before you will get a shot at a trophy buck.

?

Deer are said to be less aware of danger that threatens from above. This
may or may not be true, but it is worth your while to approach from
above if possible. When you look downhill, your view is over much of
the shorter trees and bushes. I have noticed most archers shoot more
accurately downhill. While it is a common occurrence to overshoot, you
will find the opposite is true when shooting uphill.

?

Not being familiar with the hunting site is a ticket to failure. You may
know all about the ecology and habits of deer, but if you can’t find what you
are looking for it isn’t worth much. Every year I see bowhunters tromping
into places I know are barren. I know this because I have been there myself
and found both deer and deer habitat lacking. Through the years, I have
sorted out the good places from the bad, by trial and error, until I know
spots where I usually see a dozen deer or more each day.

?

If possible, it is wise to choose a state with a reputation for being a
good deer producer. Look at the bow- hunter’s success in those states where
it is practical for you to hunt, then hunt the best counties of the state you
choose. If you are after mule deer, you couldn’t go wrong with such states as
Wyoming, Utah, Colorado or Nebraska. Good bets for those who prefer
whitetails would include Minnesota, Texas, Maine, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

?

Many hunters rely on guides to find deer. This is a good idea for those
hunters going into an area for the first time, but once you are familiar with
the hunting site it is no longer necessary, After you have hunted a location
for a week or longer, you should know the area well enough to hunt alone.
Choosing the best method to hunt is as important as knowing the area to
be hunted. One of the most successful methods is for two or three archers to
still hunt by forming a line, each hunter thirty to sixty yards apart. Keeping
the line straight is important for safety and success. Shots usually come as
deer try to sneak away from one hunter.

?

Often the hunter the deer is eluding never sees it. If you try this method
and all the deer you see are out of range or crashing through the brush,
slow down! You are hunting too fast. Hunting from a tree stand has ad-
vantages. In much of the south this is the only practical way to hunt. Locating
a tree a big buck is likely to pass at bow range is harder than most
archers realize. Tree stands are not mobile, and the hunter who finds himself
in the wrong spot is out of luck for the moment.

?

One good location for a tree stand is along a wooded fence line. Deer follow
fences unless there is some reason to make them change course. Fences are
often brushed out, and this gives the archer a natural pathway to shoot down.
Last season, Joe Thomas, one of my hunting cronies. and I were having
a tough time getting big bucks to stay still long enough for a shot.

?

The woods were dry and the deer were running before we had a chance to
let an arrow fly. We found the best way to hunt under these circumstances
was to stay on the largest game trails and try for shots at feeding deer. The
larger game trails were free of leaves and sticks, so walking was silent as long
as we didn’t step off the trail.

?

We were hunting near Logan, Utah – in the Bear River Range – and
Thomas’s chance at a big buck came five days after the opening of the
season. He was hunting his way slowly up a large game trail that meandered
through a canyon. In the course of two hours he had many chances for
shots at does, but even small bucks were hard to find.

?

As Thomas neared the top of the canyon he heard the sounds of a
browsing deer. At first he could not locate the animal, but after patiently
waiting for ten minutes he saw a large buck stroll out from a patch of aspen.
The buck was on a lower trail, but he was familiar enough with the area to
know the two trails come together a quarter mile down the canyon.

?

Thomas back-tracked down his trail, until he found a spot where he
could try a good shot as the buck walked by on the lower trail. The buck
saw Thomas too late; he arrowed the deer through the ribs as it tried to
escape. Thomas would not have tagged his buck if he had not known the best
method to use. He also knew the area he was hunting and how the buck
would probably react. Last, though just as important, Thomas took full
advantage of the situation.

?

This brings us to the third item — know bow-hunting basics.
Bowhunting basics separate the seasoned expert from the novice. They
include your knowledge of bow-hunting equipment, your skill in using
it and your general woodsmanship ability. Although much can be gained
only through experience, some is common sense.

?

As many hunters know, deer depend almost entirely on their abilities to
smell and hear for protection against man. With this in mind, it
makes good sense to always move up- wind with as little noise as possible. To
make sure you are safe, toss some dry grass or dust into the air and check its
direction periodically. Moving noiselessly calls for slow, careful walking
with a pair of good quality hunting boots. I prefer ankle-high boots with
cleated soles.

?

When most people think of bow-hunting, camouflage clothing is one of
the first requirements that comes to mind. No serious bowhunter should be
without it. Clothing which is rough and scratchy should be washed several
times with fabric softener before wearing. Nothing scares deer like the sound
of branches scraping across noisy fabric.

One common fault beginning bow-hunters have is failing to properly
sharpen their broadheads. I like my broadheads sharp enough to shave hair
off my arm. Some bowhunters prefer the four blade broadheads with removable
inserts. These can be sharpened to a razor edge with a double
roller sharpener, which can be bought at any supermarket or hardware store.
If you prefer a three-blade broad-head, you will have to sharpen it with
a file, as the roller sharpeners do not work with them.

?

Choosing the right bow can make the difference between hitting or
missing a trophy buck. Many archers use bows with too much draw weight.
Accuracy should be placed above driving power, as a shot in a vital area
with a forty-five pound bow is going to kill quicker than a bad shot from a
sixty-five pound bow. I use a bow in the fifty to fifty-five pound class and
have never shot a deer without the arrow passing completely through. Most
experienced hunters I have talked with consider a forty-five pound bow
adequate for deer-size animals.

One more factor enters into the situation before you bag your trophy
buck, and it can’t be bought, borrowed or stolen: Luck! Some of us
have more of it than others, but if you stay with it long enough, your dream
of shooting a huge buck will come true.

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Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011

Goose The Loose Moose~ By Rick Furniss


Bow And Arrow
December 1972

Goose The Loose Moose~ By Rick Furniss
AT 1400 Pounds Or So, Anchorage Airport Officials Rated Runway Roaming Moose As The Biggest Varmints Of The Biggest State~Till Archers Came To The Rescue!

ANCHORAGE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IS PROTECTED
each year by a group of enthusiastic bowhunters using the seemingly
primitive bow and arrow.
“Protecting it from what?” you may ask. Would you believe, moose?
The big moose found in Alaska (Alces alces gigas) commonly weighs
over 1400 pounds and represents a considerable threat to human life
and property, if it gets in the way of one of the many passenger jets
that use Anchorage International. There are now eight international
airlines using the airport regularly in transpolar flights between Europe
or South America and the Orient. Numerous aircraft, including jumbo
747s, keep the runways in use day and night.

How did this problem evolve? It all started about twenty years ago, when
Anchorage International Airport was carved out of a birch and willow forest
where moose historically had lived and found winter browsing. There was
really no choice of location that wouldn’t have been the home of quite
a few moose. That’s because the Anchorage area is good moose habitat
and they refuse to be driven away, even by man’s civilization. It is not too
uncommon to see moose walking paved streets inside the city.

At first, there was little problem. But after a few years, moose began
converging on the airport grounds when they discovered an increasing
food supply where browse plants sprouted profusely on the disturbed
soil. Access was easy to these new browse sprouts, because the roads and
runways were kept plowed all winter. In addition, the airport’s 4,000 acres
was a sanctuary free from hunting, since laws forbid the use of firearms
there. Thus, the moose population thrived and grew.

Each year the jet traffic grew also as Anchorage became a first-rate
international airport. It became common to see moose trotting across the runways
and even between parked planes. An occasional irate bull moose has completely
demolished small prop aircraft after hooking horns with them.
John Heines, chief safety and security officer at the airport, explains
that “there were quite a few incidents where planes couldn’t take off or land
and twice we had bulls charge taxiing aircraft. Several times, planes narrowly
missed moose while landing.” In one incident a DC-7 hit two moose at
Anchorage, while a Boeing 727 hit one·at Cordova, Alaska.

It wasn’t too long ago that the press released a news story headlined, Moose
Challenges Jet and Wins! It sounds funny, maybe a bit ridiculous, but it
happened. Imagine your feelings when the captain of your Boeing 727 is
heard over the intercom, “There will be a slight delay before take-off while
an upset moose is chased off the runway.” Or even worse, “We are being
asked to hold over the airport, while a pesky moose is shooed from the run—
way!”

Former airport manager George La Rose further explains, “Danger to
human life and property just became too great A we had to do something to
reduce the moose.” The need for action was obvious,
but no one was sure how to go about it. Firearms were prohibited by law, so
rifle hunters were ruled out as a possibility. Rifle bullets also would have
been too dangerous on the airport, because of buildings and houses near-
by. The manager considered hiring security personnel to hunt the animals,
but the budget wouldn’t stand it. Then one of Anchorage’s most avid
archers, Charlie Bowman (who passed away last year), heard of the problem
and approached La Rose with the idea of using archers to harvest a few
animals and put enough pressure on the rest to move them off the airport
grounds. The manager was very receptive to the idea. As a result of Charlie’s
careful planning and diligent work, the state Fish and Game Department
established a special moose archery season and archers were called in to
help protect the jets.

This first hunt was to be either sex and limited to the airport grounds
only. The season ran from January 1 to March 31, 1970. Hunters were
required to meet several special conditions. They needed a bow of at least
forty pounds pull, broadheads not less than seven-eighths-inch wide or one
and a half inches long, and they were required to have the blades sharp to
the touch. Each man had to certify that he was knowledgeable about,
experienced in, and capable of shooting the bow in a proficient manner.

The hunt was limited to twenty-five hunting permits per day on a first
come, first serve basis with a mandatory check in and out each day. It was
specified that the archer must hunt or make drives in a direction away from
runways to avoid the possibility of chasing moose onto them.
This first hunt turned out to be unique and interesting. At midnight
New Year’s Eve, eighteen hunters were lined up for the first twenty-five permits.

Others showed up early on January I and hunters were turned
back when all the permits were gone. The first animal was taken shortly
after daybreak by Don Hanks of Eagle River, Alaska. An hour later, two more
cows were taken. A total of nine moose were taken by approximately
one hundred hunters during the first five days.

I talked with Hanks after he had taken the first moose. It turned out
that hunting wasn’t as easy as one would think. The area is extremely
brushy and the moose are wild. “The leaves and brush were so noisy, the
only way I could stalk close enough for a shot was to wait for big jets to
take off or land. The noise was actually an advantage, because the moose
couldn’t hear me coming,” Hanks says.

Interest remained high for most of the season, as quite a few local businessmen
sneaked out in the morning or took off a bit early in the afternoon
to walk the back roads and moose trails for sign in the fresh snow.
The deep snows in February and March made hunting more difficult
rather than easier. It didn’t take long to find yourself soaked to the waist
and exhausted. A number of archers tried walking down one of the animals,
but soon found their short legs were no match for those lanky beasts in
deep snow.

Many days, the snow was crusty as a result of the coastal weather influence.
It was impossible to walk quietly in those conditions so the kills
began to drop. Then a couple of good hunters came up with a sure-fire way
to get an animal. They would walk the backroads until a track was crossed.
By knowing the country well, one man could circle around ahead of the track
and station himself in a strategic spot. The other hunter would walk slowly
along the track. The moose would hear him coming and begin to move away.

If the man following the tracks moved slowly, the moose would keep
ahead by what it thought was a safe distance. While the attention of the
moose was focused on the man following him, the other archer could move
into position to intercept the path of the moose. When the animal came by,
the hidden archer had a good shot. This technique really worked. The two
who tried it first each got a moose the first morning they tried it and nobody
else was even getting a shot.

In this first hunt, Charlie Bowman was rewarded with a paddle-horn bull
that hadn’t yet dropped its antlers. As a result of Bowman’s work, this first
season ended as a big success. The moose population and hazard to aircraft
and life had been considerably reduced. In addition, a lot of archers
had been provided with many hours of the recreation. A total of twenty-two
moose were bagged by 279 archers who shot a total of 184 arrows. They
hunted 648 man—days and one woman-day. The only woman to participate
was Mrs. Ralph Payne, whose husband zook the twenty-first moose.

Though the problem was reduced, it wasn’t eliminated so the archers
were called in to help again in November of 1970. That season turned
out to be an interesting and beneficial hunt.
The season was extended to run from November 1 to March 31, 1971.
Enthusiasm at first was a bit higher than during the first season as more
than twenty-five archers were lined up at12:01 a.m. November 1, to receive
one of the twenty-five permits for opening day.

During the first month 232 permits are issued, 1135 hours hunted,
fifty-six shots taken, and eight moose Tagged. The first moose taken that
year was a cow brought in by Charlie Bowman. His partner took the second
moose. Bowman’s lucky partner was Bill Ryan, past president of the state
archery association.

Hunting was similar to the first season. but interest wasn’t kept as high
after the first month, because most of the resident moose had been harvested
by that time. Also, a fence was constructed around the airport to keep
most of the moose, driven down by deep snows, out of the area. A few do,
however, get in through open gates or walk around one open end that
extends out into Cook Inlet.

Thus, most of the good hunting was over at the end of the first month. The
total kill for the year was nine moose. Even though the kill was much lower
the second year, everyone was again provided with a great deal of recreation.
And, the archers had reduced the moose hazard even more.

The third season, 1971-72 turned out to be a success, both for the archers
and the airport personnel who wished the moose danger reduced.
Four moose were taken by archers. After talking to several airport personnel
it was concluded that “the archers had done a service to the airlines and
their passengers by again reducing the moose hazard.”

This had been one of the most unique wildlife management problems
anywhere. The method used to solve it is equally unique. The archers have
done their job well, proving that the bow and arrow is a useful management
tool. Former airport manager La Rose states, “l am glad to have been able to
work out an arrangement for the bowhunter to assist us in controlling our
moose population. They have performed a great service in protecting
life and human property. As a group, they are high classed sportsmen of
number one quality.”

So you can now rest easy as you make your connections at Anchorage
Intemational. It is being protected by a great group of sportsmen — the bow-
hunters. <—<<<

Archived By
www.Archerytalk.com
All Rights Reserved

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Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011

Basics Of Buck Calling~ By Don Kirk


BOW AND ARROW HUNTING
February 1990

Basics of Buck Calling By Don Kirk

New Innovation In Calls Makes It Easier

FOG DRIFTED dream—like through the ridge-top oaks and hickories, as Harold Knight
stood shivering in the pre—dawn dampness of the rolling hills of western Kentucky.
Silence ~ the kind that sometimes becomes “deafening” when a bowhunter strains
to hear those things that refuse to stir — enveloped his tree stand. Without looking
down, he ran his cold forefinger over the smooth surface of the arrow shaft resting
against his bow, rechecking its position by touch. For five days during the state’s bow
season for whitetail, he had occupied this strategically located perch. Each day, he had
hoped he might nail the big eight—pointer he had spied while scouting before hunting
season. However, thus far the wary old buck had proved too scarce to pull an arrow back on.

The whitetail rut was not in full swing, but the Bluegrass State hunter hoped the
crisp cold snap that had moved in the night before would trigger increased breeding
behavior. The scrape line tracing along the crest of the ridge showed signs of heavy use.
Knight had a good feeling about this day and was confident he had a trick that might
undo the buck he sought.

?

Dawn gave way to a bright morning, then mid-morning. By 9:30 a.m., only two
small bucks and a trio of does had passed along the game path near his perch.
Shortly after 10:30 a.m., Knight spotted two does coming down the game trail
along the crest of the ridge. Fifteen minutes later, he saw a considerably larger
deer moving along this trail behind the does. Even through the tangles of wild
grapevine and tree limbs, it was obvious this was the big one he was awaiting.

?

The heavy-antlered buck was over a hundred yards away and separated from him
by thick woods. The snap of a twig caught the Kentuckian`s attention, as his quarry
slipped stealthly down the side of the hill behind a tangle of naked grapevine and
leafy greenbriar. The buck was still over a hundred yards away. yet it appeared to
be leaving. Experience had taught this expert woodsman that the buck probably
would not wander closer to his tree stand.

?

His trembling free hand found the call suspended by a lanyard around his neck.
Knowing it was his only chance to take this animal, he blew through the tube—like
call. A low-pitch, guttural grunt filled the air. This was followed by an inward gasp,
then another deep grunt. Before Knight ceased his efforts, six nonstop grunts
connected by inward gasps were broadcast through the brightly lit woods.

?

When hearing this, the heavy-beamed eight-pointer stopped in its tracks. Craning
its neck upward, the whitetail peered intensely toward the source of the sound.
Dropping its head, the buck started toward Harold Knight’s tree stand located high
alongside a scrub oak flanked by two dense cedars and backdropped by a huge,
head-high tangle of Japanese honeysuckle.

?

Blowing the call once more, Knight observed the deer moving in a straight line
toward him. The buck never looked up. Thinking the breeding noise came from
behind a large clump of honeysuckle, it approached to within thirty yards.
Its investigation was greeted by the lightning—like strike of a broadhead.
Sporting eight thick points, the wide beamed trophy now belonged to Harold Knight.

?

Knight needs no introduction to many bowhunters. He and David Hale own
Knight and Hale Game Call Products of Cadiz, Kentucky. They first made their
mark on the hunting scene over a dozen years with their quality goose and wild
turkey calls. Three years ago, they introduced their EZ—Grunt—er deer call.
Since then, they have sold more of these so called attending grunt calls than
any other manufacturer.

?

Thousands of bowhunters have experienced success using one of the many
grunt calls that became available a few years ago. Grunt calls are custom—made
for the close—in style of whitetail bowhunting. Until recently, all attending grunt
calls featured one reed, over which air is blown to produce a guttural, grunting sound.

?

There is no question that properly used grunt calls are effective. however,
last fall, this relatively new facet of hunting leaped to new heights. In recent seasons,
Knight and Hale’s EZ—Grunt—er has captured a lion’s share of the deer call market.
This may change with the development of their new EZ—Grunt—er Plus deer call.
The name EZ—Grunt—er Plus is almost a misnomer. It goes beyond mere grunting.
It effectively mimics a ready—to breed, excited buck’s grunts, gasps and wheezes.

?

When explaining their new call, “hyper-ventilation” is the term frequently used by
these two Bluegrass State nimrods. “First of all, there are several different
kinds of grunts. One of the most important is the simple social grunt. It is used
year-round. Soft and subtle, it enables does to maintain contact with their fawns,
as well as other adults. It starts with a short grunt another. It usually unfolds into
a series of six or seven grunts,” says Harold Knight.

?

On a calm day, the social grunt is heard easily forty to fifty yards away. Those
possessing keen ears and knowing what to listen for, can detect it over one
hundred yards away. However, the social grunt has little to do with the sound
produced by a ready—to-breed buck during the hyperventilating stage.

?

“Hyperventilation by a buck attending a doe in heat is something few hunters
have actually heard. For a long time, this so-called excited grunt has been overlooked,
but primarily because hunters had no means of copying it,” explains David Hale.

?

“I compare a whitetail buck’s hyperventilating stage to that of a bull elk. A bull
elk grunts immediately after bugling in his cows. The elk bull’s grunt is a close
in call, announcing to his cows he is nearby. When grunting, his stomach goes
up and down. He sounds like he is running out of steam, much the same as
I would were I on the edge of hyperventilating.”

?

Whitetail bucks attending a doe in rut give similar sounds. The excited bucks
grunt rapidly. Grunts are linked by easily heard inward gasps. At the same time
air is going out and making noise, it also is coming in and producing sound.
Bucks only act this way when in the company of a doe during her twenty—four
to thirty—five—hour estrus period. Does coming into heat announce this by
dropping estrus when urinating on scrapes. By doing this. female actively
seeks the male for breeding as much as, after finding freshly visited scrapes. bucks look for does.

?

Aier finding the marked scrape, the buck trails the nuptial doe. Nose to the
ground, he passes through the woods omitting short. deep grunts at intervals
of two to four seconds. This goes on as long as he is in pursuit of a doe in estrus.
Much has been written about the magic of the whitetail rut. The will to breed is
stronger than the desire for food or self-preservation. ln attendance of a doe in
estrus. bucks transform into fearless herd masters. On several occasions,
photographing deer near our home in eastern Tennessee. my wife. Joann, and
l have been put to flight by bucks accompanying ready to breed does.

?

During the doe`s short estrus cycle, she only allows herself to be bred by a buck
during a four—hour segment of this time. A doe’s egg is only fertilizable during this
relatively short ovulation period. To breed successfully, she must find a buck prior
to ovulation. Equally important, once a buck is attracted, his attention must be
maintained until ovulation. Prior to ovulation during estrus, the
female whitetail keeps a buck close by teasing him with a cat—and—mouse game.

?

To keep the buck handy, does wiggle their tails, almost letting the buck breed them.
They sometimes run and try to get away from the buck, so he will cut her off. When a
buck checks a doe, he drops his head to the ground and stomps his hooves in an excited,
prance—like dance. Bucks frequently draw their shoulders up and look like they
are attempting to sneak up on the doe.

?

“During this entire process, the attending buck is grunting, almost without stopping.
These baritone sounds can be translated as the buck’s pleas for the doe to stand for
him. A buck may only get a chance to breed once a year,” says Harold Knight. “He
does not want to miss any opportunity. Ever eager to breed, he constantly tests
the doe. How close he is allowed to approach and smell is a sure-fire indicator of
how near a doe is to ovulation. Understandably, five to fifteen hours of reproach
by an estrus doe creates noticeable frustration in the attending buck.”

?

During this tiny portion of a buck’s life, its grunt turns from clear and guttural to
raspy, excited and somewhat high in pitch. Imagine a frustrated buck grunting
until it is almost hyperventilating and you begin to have a picture of what Knight
and Hale Game Call’s new EZ-Grunt—er Plus is all about.

?

Blowing a call that mimics a frustrated buck in the attendance of an estrous doe
assimilates a breeding situation. This is nothing new. Years ago, hunters did the
same thing with mock scrapes, then later, antler rattling. The so called attending grunt
further enabled hunters to create a mock breeding scene. The addition of the new
hyperventilation call adds an even more decisive twist to the art of trophy buck hunting.

?

The rut is one of the most exciting times of the year in the life of all whitetails. It is
not uncommon for wary, dominant bucks to have ranges over three times larger than
the traditional one—square-mile generally attributed to these animals. Such roaming
bucks patrol along fences and forested areas, checking scrapes. They are always alert
for signs of dropped estrus or the sound of distance mating activity.

?

“All deer are attracted to the social activity of mating. Big bucks investigate to see
if they are capable of dethroning bucks already there. Smaller bucks sneak closer
for the same reason or out of inexperienced curiosity. Even does that are not in
heat are attracted to where mating occurs,” says Knight.

?

Copying the hyperventilation stage of grunting scams an irresistible attractor of
all deer. According to Harold Knight, such calls are particularly effective on
trophy bucks that are confident of them-selves from past contest for breeding rights.
Hearing pre-breeding noises quickly draws eager-to-breed bucks to the sources of these sounds.

?

Until development of the EZ-G runt—er Plus, it was impossible to produce the
back—and-forth sound of a buck’s hyperventilation grunting. The unique EZ-Grunter
Plus is more complex than any other deer call. Its construction features two reeds
positioned opposite each other. The first reed differs little in design from those of
traditional grunt calls. When blowing into the mouth hole of the call, it produces a low,
guttural grunt. The second reed produces a raspy, gasping sound when air is sucked through the mouth hole.

?

The hyperventilation-like sound is produced by blowing the grunt call, then quickly
sucking air one to three times over the second reed.
“Our new call can be slowed down for simple grunting like the EZ—Grunt-er or it can be
used to its fullest capacity. Dual pitch is possible by turning the call around and repeating
the process through the opposite end of the EZ-Grunt-er Plus,” says Knish.

?

Harold Knight admits his scouting home-work. not necessarily the new EZ-Grunt-er Plus.
was the key to taking his big eight-pointer the firsttime he used this call in the field.
However. he believes the call enabled him to draw the buck close enough to kill.

?

One week later. David Hale took a 131- score eight-pointer. using the EZ-Grunt-
er Plus. While hunting on the ground in a thicket five days later, Knight took an
impressive eleven—pointer. Harold Knight and David Hale feel whitetail calls of
any sort are most effective when your quarry is visible. Seeing the deer enables
the hunter to gauge the animals response to the sound of their call. In fact. the
deer will dictate back to the caller how much he wants to hear that sound.

?

Hunting on the ground, stalking the edges of fields and woods is the method
preferred by many expert callers. Granted. there is a possibility the deer will see
the hunter first, but when the bowman sees the deer first, there is an excellent
opportunity for calling up a trophy. When hunting from a stand, constant or
near constant calling is recommended.

?

Throughout the day, bucks will travel in and out of hearing range of such calls. Frequent use of a call will draw any curious bucks within shooting range. According to Hale and Knight, their new second generation hyperventilation type call will prove even more effective at this job than anything previously offered to hunters.

For more information on the new EZ-Grunt-er Plus, contact Knight and Hale
Game Call Products

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Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011

Plan A Moose Hunt ~By Bob Robb


Bow And Arrow Hunting
February 1996

Plan A Moose Hunt~ By Bob Robb

TO MANY LOWER-48 bowhunters, a bull
moose is nothing more than a cartoon character,
Bullwinkle, a little slow on the uptake,
plodding along through life a step behind just
about everyone and everything.
In reality, nothing could be further
from the truth. Moose are North
America’s largest subspecies of deer,
awesome creatures in size of body and
of antler. Unless you have had the pleasure
of quartering a moose in the field,
you honestly have no idea how big they
really are.

How big are they? Whole hind quarters
can weigh more than 200 pounds
each. Something as small as a boned-
out neck may weigh 75 pounds or more.
A big set of antlers and skull plate might
weigh a bit over 100 pounds. To gain a
little perspective, a big whitetail deer
might produce as much boned—out meat
as one large bull moose neck!

Picture yourself backpacking your
moose a mile or two over hill and dale,
through boggy, bug—infested swamps,
weaving between spruce thickets and
tangled balsam, buck brush and berry
bushes or through waist-deep snow, as
I did in Alaska in 1992. In all, packing a
moose back to camp in this manner will
take eight trips, give or take one or two.
depending upon how much each man
can reasonably carry. When it comes to
packing moose, you can never have too
much help – especially if that help includes
a couple of strong pack horses. a
boat or an airplane!

If a man had to work this hard at his
regular job, he’d probably go on strike.
But each year, hundreds of bowhunters accept the
challenge, because moose hunting is exciting and fun.
Just looking at a big bull is indeed awesome, especially
if all you have for perspective is perhaps the
largest whitetail deer. Moose meat is highly prized
for its flavor and nutritional value. And, of course,
there’s lots of it. The antlers of even an average bull
moose are impressive, like nothing else you’ll ever
see.

However, moose hunting is not something you
should do on a whim. It takes careful planning to
arrange a successful moose hunting adventure that
will result in a punched tag and reasonable meat packing job.

MOOSE: WHAT ARE THEY?
In terms of subspecies, most sportsmen recognize
the three listed in both the Boone and Crockett
and Pope & Young club record books. Safari Club
Intemational recognizes a fourth, calling it the East-
em Canada moose, Alces alces americana. The oth-
ers are the Yellowstone or Wyoming moose, A. a.
shirasi, more commonly called the Shiras moose; A.
a. andersoni is the Canada moose; and A. a. gigas is
the giant Alaska—Yukon moose.

Mature Eastern Canada moose bulls have antler
spreads in the low 40-inch bracket. They weigh some-
where between 900 and 1,100 pounds on
the hoof. The Shiras moose is about
the same size. Large Canada moose bulls
can have antler spreads in the low
50-inch class. Where they mingle with
the Alaska-Yukon moose in the extreme
western portion of their range, they
might even creep over 60 inches. They
can weigh 1,200 to 1,400 pounds and
stand between 6 1/2 and seven feet high
at the shoulder. Mature Alaska-Yukon
moose have antler spreads beyond 55
inches, with a few bulls more than 70
inches shot each year. There have even
been a few of these bulls recorded with
antler spreads that exceed 80 inches.
That is nearly seven feet! These incredible
creatures can stand 7 1/2 feet high
at the shoulder and weigh upwards of
1,800 pounds on the hoof.

HUNTING TROPHY BULLS
If your goal is an honest—to—g00dness
record book-class bull moose, you must
understand that antler spread is an of-
ten deceiving criteria. For example, one
outfitter friend of mine in Alaska guided

a rifle-toting client to an Alaska·Yukon
moose in 1989 that had an antler spread
of only 57 inches. But the bull still almost
made the minimum Boone and
Crockett score of 224 points for entry
into the records. Its extremely wide
palms had many long, heavy points, as
did the fronts, to give it the additional
score. The Pope & Young minimum
score is 170 points for bow-killed animals.

For the most impressive antlers,
hunting Alaska-Yukon moose in
Alaska, the Yukon or the Northwest
Territories is what you must do. Of that
group, more than three-fourths of all
Alaska—Yukon moose entries in the
B&C record book have come from
Alaska. While huge moose are scattered
about Alaska, the record book
tells you that the Alaska and Kenai peninsulas,
and the north slope of the
Brooks range are your best bets. If you
hunt these bulls in Canada, the Yukon-
Northwest Territories border area is
best for a truly huge bull.

For Canada moose, 224 of the 386
bulls listed in the B&C book came from
British Columbia. But you can find
record—class bulls scattered about
Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and
Ontario. A careful management plan
that includes limited sport hunting has
produced some really top—quality
Canada moose from Maine in recent
years, too. It takes a score of 195 points
to qualify. The P&Y minimum is 135
points.

For Shiras moose, Wyoming owns
158 of the 229 B&C record book en-
tries. Montana, Utah and Idaho also pro-
duce a few bulls in this class each year.
A score of 155 points meets the mini-
mum B&C requirement for Shiras
moose. Archers need a bull scoring 115
P&Y points to make that book’s mini-
mum score.

HOW AND WHEN TO
HUNT MOOSE

There are two kinds of bull moose.
The first, easiest to hunt, is the bull in
the rut. When a bull succumbs to an
overdose of testosterone, he thinks of
nothing but breeding. We have all read
stories of rut-crazed bulls charging
trains and semis on the highway, and they do
sometimes get this goofy. It is not unusual
for a rutting bull moose to come out of
the brush and investigate the sound of your
saddle horse clomping down the trail. Once
located, these bulls are relatively easy to get
to within rifle or bow range if you are careful
to not think it’s too easy. The timing of the
hunt may vary from area to area, but generally
speaking, it occurs in late September and early October
This is prime time for trophy moose hunting. If those
big antlers are your goal. this is by far the best time
to try to find them within bow range.

The other bull moose is something entirely different.
Out of the rut, a bull can be extremely difficult to locate:
even tougher to get personal with. Early in the season.
before temperatures drop and when the bugs are thick
down near creek and river bottoms, the bulls will go
high up the slopes of the drainages where the breezes
keep them cooled and the bugs at bay. They will lay up
in thick, almost impenetrable patches of alder, balsam and
buck brush, cover that’s taller than you sitting on a horse
and impossible to silently stalk through. The leaves haven’t yet
dropped off these plants and seeing into them is like trying to
look through a brick wall.

Bull moose densities are another problem to overcome. As noted gun
writer John Wootters once said, “Even when there are a lot of ’em, there aren`t
many of ’em.”

A biologist in Manitoba once told me
I was hunting the best area in the province
for moose. There were three moose
to the square mile. Even in many good
areas, moose densities are only one animal
per square mile. Often it is less. It
is not quite the satne as hunting white-
tails in states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania,
Ohio or Georgia. With such low
animal densities, it often takes lots of
looking to locate a good bull, even in the best areas.

How you hunt depends a lot upon where you are,
the time of year and the prevailing weather conditions.
In mountainous areas such as Alaska and
western Canada, getting up high and glassing for
hours on end is the way to go. In some areas of
Canada, canoeing rivers or along lake shores early
and late in the day is the best way to find moose in
this flat terrain. That technique also works well in
Alaska.

One experienced
moose guide in Alaska told me that
when the bulls aren’t rutting, he will
find a drainage junction that contains
a fair amount a fresh moose sign, climb
up to where he can see as much country
as possible and just sit there. He
builds a small tarp shelter if it is rainy,
brings along a coffee pot and will sit
for several days if necessary.
“When the bulls are working the
area, sooner or later they will walk
where you can see them without spooking
them off,” he told me.
It sounds boring, but it makes a lot of sense.

During the rut, calling is a popular technique.
One excellent way to call
moose is to float a river in a canoe or
large river raft, stopping and calling in
likely-looking areas. You can cover lots
of ground this way, often what it takes
to find a good bull. Making moose
sounds with your voice is pretty simple, or you can
use one of the commercial calls. Both Lohman Game
Calls (Dept. BA, P.O. Box 220, Neosho, MO 64850)
and Haydel’s Game Calls (Dept. BA, 5018 Hazel
Jones Road, Bossier City, LA 7llll) offer excellent
moose calls and instructional tapes.

A modified form of antler rattling may also help
lure in rutty bulls. You can bang large deer antlers
together and it will work at times. Serious moose
hunters carry an old scapula bone from either a cow or
moose and use this to rake against brush and dig up the ground.
Combined with some judicious calling, this can be deadly. The old trick of
scooping water up and pouring it back into a river or lake to simulate a bull
moose urinating isn’t a joke; it also works.

For bowhunters trying to call moose, hunting with a partner is an excellent
idea. Just as in elk hunting, one archer acts as caller, the other as the shooter in
the hope that the bull will not notice the man with the bow. Glassing bulls on
open slopes also can be effective, especially when there is a steady breeze and
cover of brush or trees to hide behind when making a stalk.

However you hunt moose, keep in mind that they have outstanding senses
of smell and hearing, with pretty good eyesight. Always hunt with the wind in
your face, wear non-scratchy clothing, and keep talking and other human noises
to a bare minimum.

MOOSE ARCHERY TACKLE
Bowhunters need stout tackle to hunt moose. Bows should draw at least 60
pounds. Broadheads need to be razor- sharp and constructed strongly. Light-
bladed broadheads that are lethal on light game such as whitetails won’t get
the job done. I like broadheads to have at least 1 1/8 inches of cutting surface,
with strong blades at least .030-inch thick. I prefer cutting—tip design
broadheads for increased penetration through the thick hair, hide and muscle
structure of a big bull. But rest assured that a well-placed broadhead will drop
a moose quickly. My 1992 Alaska bull was shot once through the lungs at 40
yards with an Easton aluminum arrow shaft tipped with a 125-grain Hoyt Top
Cut broadhead sent on its way by a compound bow with a draw weight of
78 pounds. He ran only 100 yards before piling up stone dead.

I also recommend a rangefinder, like the Ranging Eagle Eye 3X or 80/
2, to help gauge distances over the often deceptive flat ground where moose
are found. Large pack frames, for hauling meat, a razor-sharp hunting
knife and whetstone, and a compact bone saw are mandatory to help with
meat care. Several quality meat sacks will help keep flies off the meat should
the weather be warm. You will also need waterproof binoculars of at least
7X to find bulls in the heavy cover and over long distances.

GUIDED OR UNGUIDED?
Both guided and unguided moose hunts have their advantages. You have
to weigh the pros and cons of each, as well as the local game laws, before
making your decision. Moose are a popular animal for hunters to pursue
on their own. Many sportsmen travel to Alaska each fall and hunt
moose unguided. Those who take enough time and
prepare properly do fairly well.

In Canada, guides often are required for non-resident aliens, so you may have no
choice there. The lower 48 states permit un guided moose hunting where there are
huntable populations. Fully outfitted and guided moose
hunts are the most expensive. Costs vary greatly from place to place, depending
upon exclusivity, the remoteness of camp and the hunting area, and other
factors. Expect a fully outfitted moose hunt to cost you between $500 and $800 per day in
the most remote areas that hold the best chances at a big bull, with most hunts
scheduled for seven to 10 days. These costs reflect the expense of ferrying in
supplies, air taxi services and generally conducting
a hunting business in the bush. Costs can drop
down to $200 to $300 per day in areas where the
hunting is done closer to roads. Access may be primarily via four-
wheel-drive vehicle, and the cost of doing business is lower.

For example, a fully-guided 10-day Alaska moose hunt might set you back
$6,000 to $8,000, plus license and tag fees, and extensive — and expensive
-— air taxi costs. A hunt for Shiras moose in Wyoming or Montana migh:
run you $1,500 to $2,500, because the outfitter’s operating expenses are so
much less. Two good moose outfitters l’ve personally hunted with in Alaska are Terry
Overly, Pioneer Outfitters, Dept. BA. Chisana, AK 99780; Gary Pogany.
Osprey Mountain Lodge, Dept. BA. P.O. Box 770323, Eagle River, AK
99577. Both cater to archery hunters, as well as their usual rifle clientele.
Guided hunts have several advantages. The biggest two are that the
outfitter will generally know where the larger bulls hang out, saving you count-
less hours in research time and on-the ground searching, and he will have
made meat and trophy·care arrangements beforehand. As mentioned, that
is no small consideration.

Do—it—yourself hunting is satisfying and can save you major bucks, too. If
you are willing to research an area and plan diligently, you can do a fly—in
moose hunt in Alaska for under $2,500 total, including airplane costs. Float
hunts down major rivers can be even less. A lower-48 Shiras moose hunt can
cost less than $1,000, if you use your own vehicle to get into hunting country
and set up a roadside camp. But you must be able to locate a bull
to your liking, shoot him, then care for the meat yourself. Meat care is the most
important consideration in shooting a moose, especially when hunting on your
own. Make arrangements with a local horse packer before the hunt to help you
get meat out of the back country if you can, or have lots of friends with strong
backs and weak minds. And try to shoot your bull as close to a road, river or bush
landing strip as you can.

Moose hunting is something every ardent big-game hunter should do at
least once. It’s not just the size of the animal nor his tender, succulent flesh.
Moose hunting occurs in some of North America’s most spectacular country.
Moose live in terrain dotted with sparkling, gin-clear lakes and rivers, miles
and miles of uncut virgin forests, often in settings featuring tall mountains with
peaks that reach for the clouds. The flora can be bright and cheerful, the fauna
abundant, the excitement high. <—-<<<

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Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011

Whitetail Fever~ By Larry Weishuhn


Bow And Arrow Hunting
February 1990

Whitetail Fever By Larry Weishuhn

Making A Video Of A Big Buck Hunt Involves Unforeseen Problems

?

IT ALL started out as one of your typical South Texas days. The
rut would begin as soon as the weather turned a bit cooler.
Bucks were moving well enough and each day brought sightings of ten or
more mature bucks. But we were simply not seeing what I knew was there.
For nearly a week, the mid-December weather had been warm and windy. On
some days. the wind blew so hard a bow-hunter would have had an extremely
hard time determining windage on a forty-yard shot. To make matters worse,
one of the hunters soon would have to return to Las Vegas and chameleon
from bowhunter to businessman.

?

Dave Snyder was getting a bit anxious for a shot at a decent whitetail. Holder
of the world`s record nontypical Coues whitetail, former typical mule deer
world record and numerous other Pope and Young record book heads. he was
about to run out of time. To make matters still worse. Snyder`s friend.
Peter Shepley. was not going to let him forget about the missed shot, albeit a
nearly impossible one to have made at a Pope and Young buck a few days
earlier.

?

Through it all, Dave contended his legendary Snyder luck would hold and. in the end, he would
succeed. Pete Shepley. bowhunter extraordinnaire and founder of Precision Shooting
Equipment. Inc., along with Dave Snyder and the PSE Adventures inVideo crew, Mike
Bingham and Mike Behr. had joined me on one of the ranches I manage for Max and
Carolyn Williams. The primary purpose was to produce a video and to enjoy hunting a
big whitetail. Neither Snyder nor Shepley ever had hunted the brush country of South Texas.
When I met them at the airport, they were anxious to try our legendary South Texas whitetails.

?

Prior to the arrival of my guests, Jim Jordan, who works for PSE and is based
in San Antonio, had come down to help me do some scouting. The first morning
he came back from the brush he was babbling about the bucks he had seen,
the mountain lion that had walked out in front of him, then just stood there, the
wild hogs and javelina. He went on and on. Jordan, a friend for numerous years,
is usually pretty calm and coherent. Something had him excited, but we finally got him
settled down during lunch.

?

“You aren’t going to believe this! I saw no less than fifteen bucks this
morning that would easily make Pope and Young. One was the biggest buck I
have ever seen in my, life. He had at least fourteen typical points and was
well over twenty-four inches wide with tines that looked as long as his legs!”
Jordan explained. ‘”He’d rank near the top of the book. He never paid any
attention to me. He simply looked my way, then went on about browsing his
way through the brush. Then I started walking back to the pickup and just as l
got to the trail, out walks this mountain lion! l`ve never seen anything like
ii!”

?

My first thought was to act like all of what he had seen was a common, every-
day event — which it was not. Now, with time running short, we had
Snyder scratching. Having established where the major travel lanes were, we
had erected tripods just off of the trails allowing for reasonable shooting distances
and in positions where the camera-man could record any action: In the last
couple of days, Snyder and one of the cameramen had seen approximately ten
bucks, including some that were tempting. But in each instance. the camera
angle was wrong or the deer moved out of position, preventing the taping of the
shot. All this did not help.

?

Having been involved with various video programs, I am of the opinion that
anyone who takes an animal in a fair chase situation with a bow and while on
camera. deserves to be listed in a special record book. Hunting whitetails with a
bow is a difficult proposition. but add a cameraman who dictates when you can
or cannot take a shot and it becomes something just short of an impossibility!
Snyder`s last day arrived much sooner than we wanted. but with it came cooler
temperatures. After dropping the hunters at their camera tripods. I turned my
attention to checking whether the bucks had started coming to rattling horns or
grunt calls. Since I had no intention of taking a deer until our hunters had filled
their tags, I left my PSE bow in the
Suburban.

?

Concealed under the overhanging branches of a mesquite tree near a
scrape I had found earlier. I softly clicked a pair of antlers together and
grunted on my Haydel grunt call. Immediately. a buck charged into
view, stopping mere inches from where I was hidden. A quick evaluation of
antlers, up close and personal, left little doubt he would score well above the
Pope and Young minimum. I only hoped our guests were doing as well.

?

After the buck tired of our game, I walked deeper into the pasture to check
out some scrapes. Deer were moving, does were feeding and bucks were
checking on the estrus condition of the does. Occasionally, I caught a glimpse
of a buck chasing a doe and frequently saw a 6—month—old forlornly looking for
mama, a sure sign the rut was in full swing.

?

Later that-morning, I picked up Pete Shepley who had seen several bucks. He
described most as being good young bucks or those that simply stayed just .
out of range. Approaching Snyder’s hideout, we found him just starting to track a blood
trail. About an hour after sun—up a . young buck had walked out right in front
of him. Glancingr over his shoulder. Snyder had gotten the “go ahead and take him” signal
from the cameraman.

?

The animal had moved forward just as he had released. but the blood trail
indicated a lethal hit. About a hundred yards from where we picked up the
arrow. we found the buck. The Snyder ~ luck had held! How big was he’? Well, as
Snyder put it. “He- ain’t book. but he`ll eat good!” With the successful bowhunter on his
way back to Las Vegas. Pete Shelpey and I got serious about finding him a
good buck. The rut was just starting to .get serious and each day we were seeing
more and different bucks every time we hunted. It would only be a matter of
time before things would fall into place: bucks. camera angle and success.

?

During the days we hunted together, I came to learn quite a lot about Pete Shepley,
the engineer, the bowhunter and the man. Shepley hunted extremely hard. leaving
well before daylight and returning after the song of the coyote had put the
day to rest. His time. too. was running short: pressure was on. I suggested Pete
hunt early. come into camp for awhile, then go back out just before noon. In
years past, I had seen and taken several good bucks during mid—day, especially if
there was a full moon during the rut, which was now the case. Pete’s morning
hunt produced some deer, but not of the right sex.

?

?

In camp, we discussed mid—day hunting. The “we” included not only Pete
and me, but Ron Porter, an old friend and hunting compadre, who is the
southeastern supervisor for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.
On numerous occasions, Ron and I have taken good bucks during siesta time. We
finished our coffee and made ready to continue the hunt.

?

No sooner had I dropped Shepley where he could still hunt his way back
to the deer stand than I spotted a good eight·point buck Shepley must have
seen him at about the same time, because he immediately nocked an arrow
and began his stalk. The buck was completely unaware of the bowhunter’s presence
and obviously was more concerned about checking his scrape than any
impending danger. As is sometime the case, the buck was so strongly in rut, he
cared little about anything else.

?

From a distance, through my Simmons binoculars, I watched the game
unfold. Each time the buck dropped his head to smell a set of tracks made by an
estrus—approaching doe, Pete moved a few steps closer, using what brush there
was for cover. The buck seem oblivious to everything going on. With slow
deliberate moves, Shepley inched closer and closer to the buck. When about
forty yards separated the two, I watched the hunter come to full—draw, hold for a
second, then release. Ilost sight of the arrow in flight, but could tell by Shepley’s reactions
he had scored a solid hit.

?

I waited but a few minutes before walking over. He had made a good hit.
The arrow had entered in the lung area immediately behind the buck’s shoulder
to exit on the opposite side. After a brief consultation, we decided to follow the blood
trail. At the site where the buck had stood, we found a few brownish gray hairs, a spot
of blood and just beyond, the blood-covered arrow. The moist sand made for ideal
tracking conditions. Within a few steps, we found bright, foamy spots of blood; a
few steps farther, a solid blood trail. It took only a few more steps to find the
downed buck. In all likelihood, if the folks at PSE’s new Arizona facility were
listening, they could have heard Pete Shepley’s yell!

?

The buck was mature and close to record-book quality. At that moment,
record book or not, the trophy of trophies lay before us.Did Mike
Bingham, cameraman, get it all on tape? I guess you will just have to see the ·
video to find out. It’s called, “Whitetail ever,” and concerns that malady many
of us suffer; it’s cured only by countless hours of hunting whitetail deer!!!

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Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011

HIGH NOON DEER ~By Joe Byers


BOW AND ARROW
December 1990

HIGH NOON DEER ~By Joe Byers

STILL-HUNTING for deer is a method rich in heritage and
enjoyment. More and more archers are adding this technique to their bag of
tricks; the ability to move silently and unnoticed closer to deer while they lay
unsuspecting of the hunter’s approach. Some folks boast of being able to stalk
so effectively that they can physically touch a deer before the animal knows
someone is around!

Each year, I become captivated by this most enjoyable method of deer
hunting and with absolutely the best of intentions, give it a try. The process
sounds so simple: move slowly, take small steps, look around and, in short,
see the deer before it sees you. Easy, right?

Deer hunting is exciting and just being in the woods during the season is
enough to get a guy’s blood pressure into the big numbers. It`s even worse
when a hunter’s feet seem to have only one gear: high. My mind says,”go
slow,” but every muscle in my body says,”get going,” “hurry up,” “move
it.”

Not one to let this promising technique go untried, I became serious
recently, perhaps crazy, in the attempt. For example, I tried tying my shoelaces
together, but found I couldn’t hop quietly. Next came the old “tie a log to
your leg” trick, but that didn’t help either as the logs kept wearing out. I
even invested in a “digital compound release,” but with no luck. This high-
tech gadget attaches to a tree and, by a slender cable, to a hunter’s belt. Each
minute it releases three feet of cord, allowing a consistent, but gradual
advance. This almost worked once as I got to within seven yards of a twelve-
point buck that was sound asleep. Using the tautness of the rope as a steadying
device, I came to full draw and was within a whisper of release when the
device kicked out slack, throwing me forward and nearly arrowing my foot.
From time to time, deer hunters are accused of exaggerating and perhaps
these stories are stretching things a little. However, those hunters who have faced
the frustrations of trying to stalk bedded deer can appreciate the feeling.

Seriously, still-hunting, the art of stalking quietly through deer habitat,
can be as productive as it is exciting and can perhaps double the amount of
quality hunting time for a sportsman. On the first Saturday of the deer
season I decided to, once again, give still-hunting a try. I came up with the
standard results: fresh, but empty beds, the sounds of rustling leaves in the
distance and several bobbing whitetails disappearing over the horizon. In an
hour of “sneaking,” probably ten to twenty deer had been jumped, far more
than I could expect to see from a single stand. If I had been serious about moving
slowly, really slowly, I probably could have had several opportunities.

This is the beauty of still-hunting. It is an excellent supplement to stand hunting
and, except during the mt when deer are often active throughout the day, can
more than double hunting time. The following Saturday, I was determined to
hunt the same ridge top. The weather was windy and cold, unlike the warm
sunny day the previous week. I expected to see deer bedded on the lee side of the
mountain, which was exactly where they were.

After traveling less than two hundred yards, I spotted a doe bedded and looking
away from me. Closing the distance to within forty yards, I was surprised by a
second doe that suddenly stood up. By 2:00 p.m. and several stalks later,
I was watching a large bedded doe, looking directly away from me. She was
quite in the open, but I moved carefully, only when her head was turned.
It was almost like watching a video.

When stand hunting, deer come and go often in a matter of minutes or seconds.
This was hunting in slow motion, but with the volume turned all the way up.
The bedded deer watched downhill, allowing step after step to be taken from
the uphill side. When her head would turn toward me, I’d stop and she would
continue chewing her cud, then focus on the downhill direction once again.

At fifty yards, the same problem as with the earlier stalk occurred; another
deer saw me. Only thirty yards away, an unseen doe stood up and went trotting
past the deer I was stalking. Both deer stood alertly, but couldn’t see me, even
though I stood in the open. Choosing an uphill escape, the pair circled slightly
and began angling uphill. At this point, the odds of the deer passing within
twenty yards were better than fifty—fifty. However, instead of continuing on the
trail, the big doe broke straight for the top, picking up yet another deer on the
way.

Tiptoeing through a deer’s bedroom is difficult, but it certainly can be exciting.
Russell Hull of Hill City, Kansas, has bagged three Pope & Young Club record
book bucks by still—hunting. To most fellows, three P & Ys would be
outstanding, except that Hull has a whole wall full of them. A successful
hunter, his preference for still-hunting is during early morning and evening when
deer are moving.

“If they are bedded down, they are going to see you first,” he declares.
One of his three Pope & Young Club bucks was taken at noon during the rut.
Hull recommends this time of day for trophy animals in heavily hunted areas.
“At that time of day most hunters are out of the woods and many big bucks
know this,” he reasons. Hull saw the buck walking down a
trail some fifty yards ahead of him. A light rain was falling and the leaves were
quiet The big buck walked behind a large dead tree and Hull, aided by the
damp forest carpet, hustled, anticipating a shot as the buck emerged.

“I waited and waited, but he didn’t come out,” he remembers. “Peering
around the tree, the buck was rubbing his horns on a sapling and our eyes met.
“I couldn’t draw and shoot, because there was a branch in the way, so we
just stared at each other. For a clear shot, he need to take one step, which he
eventually did and I took the shot dropping him within eighty yards.”
Hull has a number of tricks that can be used to make still—hunting more
effective. It is important to remember that noise in the mountains is a natural thing,
All creatures make noise in dry leaves. grass, or corn. What isn’t natural,
usually, are sticks snapping or the rhythmic one-two crunch, crunch that
signals the presence of humans.

For example, during the first week of the season, I was sitting in a small
ground blind and a deer approached to within thirty yards. Suddenly, something
could be heard approaching from a draw directly behind me. The doe heard it
immediately and stared intently in my direction. I dared not move as the sound
continued out of a nearby ravine. By the sound, it was either a deer or another
hunter.

The rustling stopped, but the staring contest continued. Finally, the scolding
sound of a squirrel could be heard and this doe on the verge of full flight, immediately
lowered her head and continued feeding. Hull recommends using calls such as
a deer call or turkey call to disguise noisy steps or snapped twigs. Another
trick he suggests is to use a walking stick which will break up the step, step pattern
that we two legged creatures have.

This doesn’t mean that archers shouldn’t be concerned about noise, but by using
these tricks, errant steps can be camouflaged.
Hull also uses a belt bowholder. This allows an archer to use both hands to
operate a rangefinder or binoculars. The holder allows the use of both hands with-
out having to lay the bow on the ground. For mid—day stalkers, one essential
piece of equipment is a pair of binoculars. If the deer sees the hunter
Erst, the archer will still be there, but the deer will not. I could catch the deer
in its bed if I moved slowly and glassed often. My mistake was not continually
glassing until all the deer were located. Bucks may be easier to approach in this
situation, since they are often bedded alone and their antlers may make them
more visible.

The final advantage to still—hunting is what a hunter learns while doing so.
Hunters are going to see lots of deer and cover ground that could pinpoint the
perfect spot for a tree stand at the end of the day. As Hull points out, “The things
learned while still—hunting can be invaluable, especially where the big bucks
are!”

In this context, still—hunting can be thought of as “slow scouting” and, as
most successful bowmen know, a person can’t know too much about the deer he
is hunting. I had spent a recent fall morning in a tree stand in a promising area. Arriving
just as day broke, I was barely in the stand when a small doe came by. As it
paused at ten yards, offering a perfect shot, the opportunity was difficult to
pass. However, l wanted a buck and, if the tree stand didn’t pay off, there was
always the stalking opportunity at the top of the mountain where I had the
close calls earlier.

By 10:30, I assumed that most deer had bedded. I returned to the truck to
get rid of the portable stand and shed some clothing that was all too warm.
The day was bright, sunny and certainly not prime hunting weather. Further-
more, the heat had dried out the mountain to the point that leaves sounded like
crunchy cereal with each step. These were certainly the conditions that would
send most archers home for a nap or at least to town for some lunch and a cold
drink. However, I knew that opportunity was ahead and planned to make the
most of it.

I dressed in my stalking gear. My out- fit was a Polartuff jacket and pants by
Spartan Realtree in camo. This high·tech weave gives warmth in cool—to—cold
weather, yet was comfortable in the heat of the day. In one of the pockets was an
accurate Ranging 500 rangefinder. It is a fairly large model, but is on the money
to within one yard at one hundred yards, a bit more distance than I needed, but
the precision was important. My wide- angle binoculars rounded out the gear
and I began the climb.

The going was difficult. Deadfalls, briars and thick, brush—covered rocky
terrain, made the question of whether to continue a frequent thought. However,
deer prefer a sunny slope and the leeside of the mountain was a perfect place
to lay out of what usually was cold weather. I was barely to the crest when a deer
jumped from it’s bed and bounded out of sight. Other deer were seen going down
the other side. Although the group would likely circle to rejoin, the large
doe had seen me and she would certainly be alert. Still looking for a buck, I
continued along the top using the Held glasses to look things over as I went.
A number of promising bedding areas were empty, probably due to the heat
However, within twenty minutes, I was looking at something strange. Just above
a log were two tiny objects twitching vigorously. Concentrating on the movement,
it appeared to be deer ears with a rack included in the picture. Apparently,
flies were giving the animal a fit and he flicked his ears to avoid them. The range
was about l25 yards with a number of large tree trunks directly between the
deer and me. With caution, I could probably sneak up on the buck. Remembering
my last experience, I checked for additional deer. Sure enough, feeding in
the shadows were three more whitetails. Stalking a bedded buck was one thing,
but to stalk a whole herd was another.

The best strategy seemed to be to go to the other side of the mountain parallel
with the deer, then return back over the top above them. Thanks to the falling `
leaves and slight breeze, any noise made was not detected. Carefully raising my
head above the ridgetop, I located one of the feeding does. I was careful to
stand against a large tree, relying on the camo pattern to disguise my silhouette.
Inching to an upright position, I could see the three feeding deer, but the buck
was nowhere to be seen. Remembering the log, I glassed carefully and finally
found him behind a large rock. Ranging in the distance, it looked like fifty yards;
a long shot to be sure. More than the distance, the rock was covering most of
his vitals.

Slowly lowering myself below the skyline once again, I moved ten yards
away, hoping to get a better angle on the buck. When I reappeared on the skyline,
things got really sticky. Try as I might, I could not see the buck. To further complicate
things, one of the does decided to bed down, facing directly toward me.
Luckily, a squirrel or other animal chose this time to make a racket down
the mountain and the doe turned her head to check for danger. Seizing the
opportunity, I slowly disappeared from the horizon and went back to almost the
original position. Like smoke from a smoldering fire, I lifted above the
horizon and was surprised at the sight.

The deer had shifted its position and now lay in the open; sound asleep. It
was bedded with its head back over its back. The vitals were exposed and
presented a fairly clear shot. I had all day to get ready. I had practiced with
the Golden Eagle Turbo bow at distances well beyond the range. The
Satellite Titan broadheads had grouped well and I had confidence in their flight.

The advantage to this type of hunting is that I was in charge. I literally gave it
my best shot. The arrow seemed to barely leave the bow when the buck rolled over and was
still. The big broadhead had grazed the shoulder and entered the neck, thanks to
the unusual position, breaking the spine. As I tagged the buck and began the job
of Held dressing it, I couldn’t help glancing at my watch with a broader smile
than usual. It was 1:30 in the afternoon. I was probably the only hunter within
miles still in the woods. While they were waiting until evening to get back into
their stands, I was dragging out the
venison. <—<<

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Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011

Spring Turkeys ~By Joe Byers


BOW AND ARROW HUNTING
February 1990

SPRING TURKEYS By Joe Byers
Bowhunting Wild Turkeys May Be The Ultimate
Bowhunter Challenge

In many ways. hunting turkeys with a bow is much like hunting with a shotgun.
In deer hunting, for instance. there is a big change from a caliber .30/06 rifle to a
fifty-pound compound. The rifle is accurate about as far as the eye can see, may
have magnified telescopic sights and the bullet has the shocking power to anchor a
buck where he stands. Turkey bowhunting, on the other hand, isn’t all that different from a shotgun.

?

Maximum range with a 12—gauge shotgun is about forty yards, which still is a long
shot with a bow. but at least in the ball park. Many gobblers taken at longer distances
probably would have gotten closer to the caller if he had been more patient. Secondly,
shotguns usually come with a primitive bead front sight that is probably bigger than a sight
pin on many bows. Turkeys are turkeys and no matter what a person uses to hunt
them, or what part of the country they come from, gobblers and hens all ” speak”
the same language.

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The good news about the similarities is that a person doesn’t have to search for
specialty books, videos. tapes, etc.. to leam about it. The National Wild Turkey Federation
is a prime source of hunting information. primarily through its publication
Turkey Call(Membership cost is $15 per year from: NWTF, Dept. BHA. 770
Augusta Rd.. Edgefield. SC 29824.) Looking through a number of back issues will
offer pointers about special techniques that successful hunters use and past editions
will be available from a local chapter, friends or from public libraries.

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Many video outlets now offer hunting videos and for a few dollars you can savor
this springtime ecstasy in the comfort of the living room. An excellent series of
videos has been produced by Rob Keck and 3M Corporation, available through
the NWTF. The series took first place in the Outdoor Writers of America Film/
Video Awards Competition. Caution must be taken against the condition known to
many as turkey fever. There is no known cure and the only therapy that makes the
malady bearable is to spend as much time as possible each spring in pursuit of gobble-mania.

?

The difficult job of tackling a turkey is as hard, or easy, as one-two-three. If turkeys
were present in the fall deer season they will probably be there in the spring. Once
turkeys have been located, a key ingredient to success is to learn how to call. It should
be noted that stalking or driving turkeys in some states during spring hunting is actually
illegal as well as usually unproductive.

?

Objective number one is to get the turkey to come from over there to over here. To do
this, an archer will need a calling device or two. In today’s market there are many
to choose from; so many in fact that, like choosing a first compound bow, the selection
can be difficult. The best caller for archers is probably the diaphragm type.
However, it is also the most difficult to master. Diaphragm calls are semi—circular
devices about the size of a quarter that fit in the roof of the mouth and produce a
sound as air is exhaled through the mouth.

?

Some manufacturers now offer diaphragm calls that can be held between the lips.
They may be easier to use, but often don’t give quite the variety of calls. For the
first—timer, the box call is an old stand—by and the new slate callers produce
outstanding calls with little practice. There are even push—button yelpers that make a
perfect call every time, although the vocabulary is limited. Many hunters carry
more than one call with them, using a series of calls to simulate a small flock of
hens seeking company. One effective technique is to use a friction call- slate or box
— then use a mouth call at the same time. This “two hens talking at once” scenario
is one many gobblers just can’t resist. Calling, in turkey hunting, is important,
but perfection isn’t necessary.

?

I have two hunting buddies who took gobblers on their first turkey hunts, although
they used shot-guns to do it. One killed one of three gobblers at twenty—five yards
which were running right at him! A hunter who can yelp — the basic communication —
is going to call in turkeys, although not as often as someone who knows and can reproduce
all the sounds of a wild turkey. For those who are proficient at calling, the contentment calls —
clucks and purrs — are excellent, because they not only will bring in birds. but tend to attract
calm birds.

?

In the mission improbable game plan, calling is perhaps the easiest to accomplish.
If a bowman can breathe, he can call and that covers most of us pretty well.
The second key factor is to draw the bow back without being seen. Coming to
full draw slowly sounds fairly simple. To the person who has never matched wits
close in with a gobbler, it can appear elementary. However, turkey hunters soon
learn how these feathered birds get their first — wild — name. They have absolutely
no sense of curiosity.

?

A good friend, for example, uses the technique of whistling to stop a buck in his
tracks. On numerous occasions, he has come to full draw from the ambush of an
elevated tree stand, then given a single shrill note. Usually, the deer stops and the
archer releases. From this same stand, a wild turkey was spotted approaching one
fall day. Figuring the same game plan would work, the hunter held absolutely still until
the bird walked under the stand. However, at the instant of the whistle, the turkey
exploded into flight.


?

Lacking curiosity is usually not a problem to the turkey, because the big eyes on
the side of the bird’s head allow for almost circular vision, which means they don`t
miss much. Most important, turkeys can see color. This keen eyesight makes the movement
of the full draw process the Achilles heel of many archers. Difficult as it is,
there are ways of making success more likely, however. The first is the need for
total camouflage. Unlike deer hunting, orange and white fletching will stand out
and be quickly seen by approaching gobblers.

?

The dyed fletching of Easton’s Camo Hunter arrows is a good choice. Basic black and
white turkey feathers blend in well, also. Colors such as red or blue are absolute no nos!
Not only are they poor camouflage, but constitute the target colors and could appear as
those of a gobblers head. They might get you on the business end of another hunters missile.


?

Camouflage clothing will vary with the time of the season as well as the geography
of the country. In general. most deer hunting camo will work well. The pros often use a
vertical pattern upper garment and leaf—colored trousers as they usually sit on the ground
with their backs against a tree.

?

The selection of a calling site is probably as important in turkey hunting success as the
quality of calling; some would say more so. In general, it appears easier to call gobblers up
a slope or along the same level than it is downhill. This means that if a tom is gobbling on the
roost in the early morning, it is worth the extra effort to get above him or on the same level, if
hunting hill country. Gobblers also are creatures of`habit and usually fly down to travel the
same direction each day. Pre-season scouting is the key to these behaviors. When
opening day comes around, an archer can be in the direction the gobbler is most
likely to travel.

?

An ideal set-up for bowhunters is to take a position in a clump of large trees.
Mature white oaks are ideal for this purpose as the trunks grow wide and match
vertical camo patterns. The key to this ambush site is that the large trunks will be
ten to twenty yards from the shooter. As the gobbler walks behind them, the hunter
is screened out and can draw the bow. This is a set-up that can be easily misunderstood.
In one sense it is like using a blind to shoot from, only in reverse. The
hunter needs to be sitting, kneeling, or standing against an object that camouflages
him well. It is important not to be in thick cover that may deflect an arrow or interfere
with drawing the bow. Where the blind does the most good is out near the turkey
so that when he walks behind it, the bowman can go into action.

?

I had the opportunity to hunt on the White Oak Plantation late in the Alabama
season one spring. With a departure time of high noon, we were only allowed one
morning, but had enough action to make it worth the effort. Bo Pittman, manager at
White Oak, leases big chunks of farmland and swamp country on the eastern part of
the Black Belt region which is ideal turkey habitat.

?

From first light, when the barred owls began their verbal dueling, the gobblers
began their serenade and continued until I had to leave. One calling site looked promising and
had the ideal scatter of tree trunks. Sitting at the south end of the grove, there were
eight or nine large trees toward the area where a tom had gobbled earlier and I
could picture him strutting behind one so I could draw.

?

The tom would gobble in answer to my calls, the ambush site was perfect. but he
wouldn’t come in. Later, I learned why. Seventy—five yards between us was a small
stream about twenty feet wide. These bodies of swamp water don’t seem to be
going anywhere but are there nonetheless. Part of the calling-in process must
deal with structure between the hunter and the hunted. As a rule, turkeys will not
cross streams. fences. or crawl through downed treetops or thick brush. Their best
defense against predators is their keen eyesight and turkeys feel comfortable in
the open where they can see if danger is near.

?

This thick brush problem threw me a curve on another gobbler in the morning. I got
to within a hundred yards of the bird, thanks to the thick brush. The problem, however,
was to locate a spot where the gobbler could be called into range. Each time I called
he’d gobble back, but would not come any closer. In a half-hour. I tried several calls, double called and
moved to new locations; but nothing worked. Thirty—three gobblers had already
been taken from the White Oak properties and these late—season birds were pretty
smart.

?

The morning pattern had lots of turkeys located, but no shots taken. One trick that can
work with call-shy gobblers is to use a decoy if it is legal to do so in your area. Alabama does not allow
them, but most states do. The bogus birds can be especially helpful to archers. Specifically, the
decoy will distract attention away from the exact origin of the call and
focus it in another direction. This may only be for a few seconds, but it may be
just the edge a hunter needs.

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One of the best things that can happen is for the turkey to strut and “turn its back”
on the archer. In this event, the turkey’s tail will block its view and the archer can
move at will. To make this happen, a hunter must understand the mating pattern of a
gobbler. When one struts, he is displaying his beautiful tail feathers so that they will
be seen by a hen; sort of. “‘Check this out, honey!” Because the gobbler thinks he is coming
to a hen that is anxious to mate, the tom will focus his attention on the call’s origin.

?

For this reason, many users of mouth callers use their hand in a cupping fashion to throw
the call to one side or the other. This is also why, if a gobbler is approaching, it is not
wise to call anymore. If the gobbler cannot locate the source of the call, he may begin
to strut in a circle, attempting to locate the hen. Decoys also will help in this department
if the lure is placed about fifteen yards away from the hunter. With luck,
the gobbler will circle the decoy offering the hunter a close, lethal shot.

?

The final act in taking a turkey with stick and string is to make a killing shot.
This is more difficult than it sounds. A strutting gobbler fifteen yards away may
appear as big as a barn. Yet, the kill zone on the turkey is quite small. Much of his
body is a mass of fluffed—up feathers. The bulk of the flesh is tasty, but not fatal,
breast meat. The vitals are no larger than a man’s fist and located behind the wing but
where it joins the body. This offers a good shot from the broadside position, because
the arrow may break a wing as well.

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The second deadly shot on a gobbler is the spine. The ideal way to do this is for the
gobbler to face away from the hunter. If the bird is strutting, aim for the vent. The
head and neck area is the shotgun hunter’s favorite target, but the almost constant
movement of these parts make them difficult targets for archers. The head of a
gobbler is actually quite large, but a difficult target.

?

Shot placement is crucial in turkey hunting for quick, clean kills. It is the more difficult
because of the unwillingness of gobblers to stand perfectly broadside.
Bowhunting turkeys is not a sport for the hungry. If “bringing home the bacon”
is really important. a person may do better to hang around a barnyard or a grocery
store. However. if hunting excitement and challenge are the rewards an archer seeks,
then gobble-mania is hard to beat.

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