Archive for the 'Bowhunting' Category

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Published by billhowardoutdoors on 07 Apr 2011

Persistence Pays

My daughter has always been interested in my hunting and fishing trips. Several years ago, I carried her out to the field to let her shoot the old Ithaca 20 gauge shotgun I grew up with to get her used to handling it so she could go on a dove hunt with my dad, my son, and I. The kick did not bother her, but she hated the BANG. She wanted no part of gun hunting.
Over the last few years, she has wanted to go bow hunting with me, and she has helped me when I was practicing several times. We purchased another bow for my son this Christmas, since he had outgrown the youth bow we had for him. Naturally, it became a hand down to Julianne. I had to adjust the draw length and draw weight for her, but at the time, she still could not pull the bow back. I told her to keep practicing pulling it back and by spring when the red horse sucker fish make their annual run, she could go bow fishing with me.
Bow fishing in itself is a very unique style. It is set up with a line attached to a heavy solid core arrow, tipped with a barbed point. When aiming, the saying goes “aim low”, because the refraction of the light through the water makes the fish appear at a higher angle. Think of looking at a straw in a glass of water. The straw is not really bent, but it looks that way through the glass. Also, unlike bow hunting, where you are trying to get a clean kill by hitting the vitals, bow fishing just requires you to hit the fish. Your object is to get the fish on the arrow and then bring it in.
Well, over the first few months of this year, Julianne pulled and pulled and pulled. Finally one night, she called me and my wife into the living room. “Watch! I can pull it back now!” Her excitement caused my son to roll his eyes!
Just as they do every year, the sucker fish made their spawn in late March, and as I had promised, the first night I saw they were running I carried Julianne out to the creek banks. For a period of a week, and easily over a hundred attempts, and through several bow fishing arrows (the rocky bottom of the creek is not that great on the fish points) Julianne and I attempted to get her first take with a bow. We went at night using a light, went during the day using polarized glasses, I honestly believe she probably went in her dreams while sleeping. Occasionally she would take a break, and my son and I would get a few fish, then she would be at it again.
My regular job allows me to work four days each week, and during the sucker run, my weekday off was on a Friday. I usually carry the kids to school on my day off, so I made my usual track. After dropping my son off at high school, we still had an hour before Julianne was due at middle school. I looked over at her and asked, “Wanna try one shot?”
She answered, but did not need to. We ran out to the creek. She strapped on her release while I was driving. “Julianne, do you know what the saying is for snipers?”
“No, daddy.”
“One shot, one kill. They cannot afford to shoot twice because the second shot will give away their cover. We’ve only got time for one shot this morning, and there is no guarantee the fish will be here this afternoon.”
We walked down to the bank and spotted several fish. They were a little too far, so I motioned for her to follow me upstream a few yards. There we spotted one about ten feet out. I had Julianne pull back her bow. “Now?” she asked. I whispered to her to take the shot when she was ready. And ‘twang’, ‘splash’. She backed up a few feet.
“You got one!” She had not even noticed. We both grabbed the line, and pulled it up on the shore.
Her persistence had paid off, and now there is another kid hooked to the outdoors.

Bill Howard’s columns can be read at www.billhowardoutdoors.com

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Published by Double s on 01 Apr 2011

REMINDER: No Selling. This is for Archery, Hunting Blogs & Articles only.

Selling is NOT allowed in the ArcheryTalk Articles and Blogs. For sale or trade items belong only in the ArcheryTalk Classifieds. Posts selling or trading will be deleted. This section is for Articles and Blogs related to Archery and Bow Hunting. Any post not related to Archery or Bow hunting will be considered Spam and trashed and the user deleted. Questions about Bows, Equipment, etc. need to go into the Archerytalk Forum under the correct section. Spammers will be automatically deleted.

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Published by woods2202 on 22 Mar 2011

Shoot Against Cancer

Cancer Fund of America, Inc. is a non-profit organization, and is having another 3D “Shoot Against Cancer” on April, 2nd 2011. Registration is from 9-10am and the entry fee is $20. I’m in charge of the event: Mike Reynolds, and can be reached also by e-mail mreynolds@cfoa.org
There are events and several prizes to be won in each of three classes…Youth Class, Hunter Class, Pro Class.
The Event is INSIDE…which means you can plan on the shoot taking place for sure. This a shoot that will test your skills;however, each shot will differ depending on the archers class.
3D targets include Black Bear, Elk, Big Horn, Boar Pig, Cobra, 30 pt. Buck, Carp Fish, Skunk, Fox, Cougar, Raptor Dino., Turkey, and even more. Each target also has bonus spots on it…to shoot for extra prize boxes.
Address of Event: Cancer Fund of America, Inc.
2901 Breezewood Lane
Knoxville, TN. 37921
PH. 800-578-5284
Cell. 865-306-1233

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Published by archerchick on 21 Feb 2011

Big Country Big Elk ~By Mike Kroetsch


Bow and Arrow Hunting
June 1990

Big Country Big Elk By Mike Kroetsch?

This First-time Elk Hunter Must Be Prepared- Here Are Tips From A Pro

” I CAN’T BELIEVE how big they are!” Bill said. This was one
of the first statements he made following our initial introductions.
Not knowing exactly what he was referring to. I asked him to elaborate.
“Elk”, he explained, “I never realized they were so big.”Bill was a first-time
elk hunter on his first western, guided hunt. Like many others, Bill was
also an avid midwestern, whitetail bowhunter who had longed to hunt the
elusive wapiti.

?

Earlier in the year, Bill had booked a hunt with my father-in-law, Judd
Cooney, and myself for a September bowhunt. He had arrived a day early
and was practicing on our backyard bow range when my Labrador retriever just
happened to walk by with the foreleg of a big five-by-five bull we had taken
earlier in the week. Bill had never even seen a live elk in the wild; it was the size
of the hoof that amazed him! Elk are big. An average Rocky Mountain bull will be
three to five times larger than a good, average whitetail buck, depending on where
you live. Most mature bulls will be in the six hundred to eight hundred pound range,
which is a lot of critter, no matter how you weigh it.

?

Big animals need big country and that’s exactly where elk live. These are
the two main factors to keep in mind when preparing for a guided or unguided
western elk hunt. In talking to prospective and first-time elk hunters we get a lot
of the same questions pertaining to how to prepare for elk hunting and what to
expect when they arrive.

?

Some of the questions: What kind of shape do I need to begin? How heavy a bow
do I need? What will the weather be like? What kind of accessories will I need?
Entire books have been written to answer these questions and every guide and
elk hunting authority has his own opinions. I believe that most of these questions
and more can be addressed by keeping the concept of BIG in mind. Big animals;
big country.

?

In many ways elk are like whitetails. They live most of their lives in a pattern,
with the exception of a few weeks during the rut. Elk, like whitetails, are
ruminants which means they will move to feed and water, then to cover to chew
their cud and rest. Other than both being members of the deer family, this is
where most of the similarities end.

?

Unlike whitetails, the distance elk will travel to and from feeding and bedding
areas is often measured in miles, not yards. They take big steps when traveling
with a purpose. A hunter jogging cannot keep up with an elk walking
through the woods. With their long legs and high clearance, elk step over logs
and go easily through brush that a hunter must scramble over and fight to get
through.

?

Elk seem to enjoy rugged terrain. They prefer to bed in heavy timber and
on northern or eastern side hills so they are out of the sun and can look down at
approaching danger. Because of their large body mass, thick coats and poor
cooling systems, elk prefer cool, shaded areas in which to spend their days. Elk
will migrate to and from these areas morning and night to graze and feed in
meadows and open parks. These are all factors to consider when preparing for
an elk hunt.

?

Unless you know you’ll be hunting exclusively out of tree stands over
wallows or licks, get in the best physical shape possible. Jogging and riding
bicycles are great ways to get your cardiovascular system in shape, but you
don’t do either while hunting. To prepare physically for an elk hunt, put on
your hunting boots and shoulder your loaded hunting pack and get out and
walk. Find the steepest, most rugged terrain around and utilize it to walk up
and down. Train at least twenty minutes a day, a minimum of a month to six
weeks before your hunt; preferably longer. If you are paying someone to guide
you, don’t cheat yourself out of opportunities in more remote areas by being
out of shape, unable to keep up with your guide.


?

The archery equipment necessary to hunt elk doesn’t have to be big in terms
of speed or excessive draw weight, just big on simplicity and efficiency. Use as
heavy a bow as you can shoot consistently and accurately. Excessively high-
arrow speeds aren’t necessary, but momentum and kinetic energy are. I was
recently at an indoor bowhunter shoot here in elk country and was amazed at
the number of shooters who were “over-bowed.” At least seventy-five percent of
the shooters had to point their arrows at the sky to draw their bows. After fifteen
or twenty arrows they were played out and couldn’t shoot accurately.

?

Elk may be big, but they aren’t dumb and have excellent eyesight. Excessive movement
when drawing a bow and aiming will spook them almost every time. Don’t be
fooled into the notion that your compound has to be cranked up to it’s maximum
poundage or that you have to buy a new Neanderthal-limbed stick bow to
hunt elk.

?

Accuracy and shot placement, not poundage and arrow speed, are the keys
to downing an elk. Because a bull offers a large body mass to shoot at doesn’t
mean that a hunter can get away with less than pin-point accuracy. A poorly
placed shot leads to a wounded animal with an incredible amount of stamina
and endurance that can travel great distances before expiring. Often, even a
well hit elk will travel up to a hundred yards or more before leaving any kind of
blood trail. This is due to their thick hide and long hair, as well as the speed
with which they cover the distance.

?

A well placed arrow still may not be enough to kill an elk if the broadhead
that tips it is inefficient in its cutting abilities, Broadhead selection has a lot to do
with the arrow shaft size and bow draw weight a hunter is using. No matter what
the equipment choices are, the broad-heads, arrows and bow should be well
matched and fine tuned before venturing afield after the wily wapiti. Generally,
the lighter a bow’s draw weight, the more tapered the head should be to
increase the penetration through an elk’s tough hide and thick muscle.

?

A tapered cutting blade will begin to slice the instant it makes contact with an animal.
It takes less force to cut through an elk’s hide than it does to punch a hole in it
with a bullet- or chisel-point broadhead. Stay away from flimsy or tricky heads. Tapered,
fixed-bladed heads like the Zwickeys and Bear Razorheads, or for heavier draw-weight
bows, replaceable two-blade Andersons and Thunderheads, offer good penetration and
excellent secondary cutting action. In an animal which is big enough to stop complete
penetration and often not allow an exit wound, secondary cutting causing
internal hemorrhage and blood loss can mean the difference between a lost
animal and a trophy on the wall.

?

When a complete shoot-through has not occurred — which is quiet often in
elk —- the role of the broadhead becomes even more important. A two-
bladed head will move and slice like a double-edged scalpel as the elk walks or
runs after being hit, because of the single cutting plane design of the head
and the leverage of the arrow shaft being moved by the elk’s muscles. A three or
four-blade head has two or three planes of cutting which opens large holes on
contact, but tends to hold the broadhead in place in the internal tissue. Since a
three or four-blade head moves around less internally, there is less secondary
cutting and thus less internal damage.

?

Whatever head style is used, it must be extremely durable and always rather
sharp. An elk hunter must be aware of how his broadheads, arrows and bow shoot
in all kinds of conditions from many angles and positions. Most elk country
isn’t flat. Rain and even snow can usually be expected during a hunt of
even a week or less. Shot lengths can vary from a bugled-in bull at ten yards to
grazing animals at forty-plus yards. If you’re not accurate and confident at longer
distances, don’t shoot! However, keep in mind that some areas, vegetation and
terrain may not be conducive to the fifteen- and twenty-yard shots many
bowhunters limit themselves to.

?

Fall weather in elk country is anything but predictable, so the type of
clothing needed is pretty difficult to pin down. If a hunter will pack for the
worst and hope for the best, he’ll usually have the right combination of clothing.
Temperatures can range from hot to freezing,often in a matter of hours, so the
layered method of dressing is most efficient. As the weather or a hunter’s own
body temperature fluctuates, he can take off or put on layers as needed. Polar or
arctic fleece garments are quiet and comfortable and will remain fairly warm even
when wet. If a hunt is planned for early in the season, I have found that a light
jacket or camo netting may be all that is needed.

?

A Gore-Tex or other waterproof rain suit is always nice to have along even if only the
pants are used to stay dry on those early morning hikes through the dewy wet underbrush
and tall grass. Upon reaching the area to be hunted, the noisy rain gear should be
taken off to facilitate a quiet stalk. Whatever clothing is used, it should be quiet and pliable.

?

The West is a big place with a great variety of vegetation and cover for the
habitat. Depending on where and when a hunt is to take place, the color and
type of camouflage that will be the most efficient at concealing a hunter will
vary. Grays and browns like the Trebark and Realtree patterns will
generally blend in just about anywhere from sagebrush to aspens. Dark green
and black tiger stripe works great if elk are to be pursued in the pines or dark
timber. Always camouflage your face and head to break up your human silhouette.
Face paints and creams work better than netting during long days afield and won’t
restrict peripheral vision or get tangled in the brush.

?

Accessories can play a big part in the success and enjoyment of any western
hunt. A day pack or fanny pack is almost essential. Use it as a “possibles”
bag for toting your extra gear. As a guide, my gear includes: fire starter, a
butane lighter and waterproof container of matches, a small first-aid kit, flares or
a signaling device. It also has an extra knife, compact sharpening stone, folding
saw, rope, two flashlights and extra batteries, with an extra candy bar or two.
That’s not all; there’s also a poncho ground cloth, game bags, compass and
topo maps, toilet paper, flagging tape and, of course, my lunch.

?

With these essentials and a little ingenuity, I’m confident I can meet just
about any situation that arises out in the woods. It may sound like a lot, but it all
neatly compacts together in my day pack. When I’m familiar with the area I
hunt or guide in, I don’t generally carry a canteen unless I’m hunting in a location
where I know there aren’t any fresh springs. If you are not sure of water
quality, treat, filter, or boil it before drinking. Giardialamblia and other contaminants
may be present in even the cleanest, clearest looking water.

?

One of the most often overlooked accessories by first-time elk hunters is a
set of quality optics. Good binoculars are essential for spotting game and planning
stalks. They are also a great help in identifying shapes and animals in dense
brush and timber. Aside from a hunter’s archery equipment, a good set of binoculars
will be one of the most expensive equipment purchases he should make.
Plan on using them often and buy the highest quality you can afford.

?

I feel absolutely inadequate without a set of Bausch & Lomb 7×24 Discoverer
compact binoculars around my neck while stalking or bugling for elk This past
season, I bugled in a nice five-by-five bull for a hunter who, because he didn’t use
his binoculars, turned and asked me how many tines the bull had. The bull saw
his movement or heard him speak and bolted before the hunter had a chance
to even think about shooting, If I’m hunting in open country where I’m spending
a greater amount of time glassing and can effectively anchor my position so I
have little binocular movement, I opt for a larger, heavier pair of binoculars like
Swarovski 7x42s or a good spotting scope. A larger set of binoculars will ease
eye strain by being easier to steady and they will also tend to be brighter, because
the larger glass elements pass more light.

?

Elk hunting is an addictive sport. Once you’ve had a big bull come to your
bugle, watched a herd graze across a meadow and seemingly disappear into
the woods, or better yet, harvested a trophy, you’ll be hooked. Bill was one of
those hunters who got hooked after his first elk hunt Bill didn’t harvest an elk. He
stalked several, but couldn’t get a shot. His respect for the size of elk as well as their
elusiveness grew daily throughout his hunt Together, we glassed and hunted
many miles of country. One morning, we sighted eight different bulls, but
couldn’t get in a position for a shot on any one of them.

?

The next morning, Bill was nearly run over by a bull, but was stopped from shooting
by a large bunch of oak brush between him and the moving bull. The fifth morning
was another eventful one in which he managed to work his way into the middle of a
bedded herd. Bill was astonished when a large cow got up not fifteen feet from him.
He had stalked right past her while his attention was on the herd bull. The young bull
actually walked toward him and gave him a broadside shot at less
than twenty yards.

Once again Bill couldn’t shoot; the bull was only a three-by-three and, since our area has a
four-point minimum antler point restriction, he couldn’t release an arrow. That was all the elk experiences Bill could handle. He went home a satisfied hunter and maybe a bit relieved, too,
knowing not only that he could have taken that bull, but that he had gained an admiration and respect for the big animals and the big country in which elk live.

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Published by archerchick on 21 Feb 2011

Barebow Basics – By Gary Vater


Bow and Arrow Hunting
June 1990


Barebow Basics ~By Gary Vater

Shooting Without Sights Takes More Practice, But Accuracy Can Be Amazing!

WITH THE STEALTH of a predator, the bowhunter
eased down the sage-covered ridge. Each step
was calculated and cautious. An earlier stalk had ended with an
alerted animal bursting from its bed, leaving the archer alone
to watch the trail of dust in the distance. The wounded antelope
retreated to the safety of this open hillside and bedded down a second
time. Now the animal was lying near a large clump of
sage, allowing an undetected approach from above.
Though well within bow range, the hunter
was faced with a new problem. The same
bush which aided his stalk was blocking
any chance for a shot. As the bowhunter
crept forward, the buck exploded out of its
bed. With an arrow ready on the string, the
archer stood and swung the bow into action
at the fleeing animal. Even with the shot
changing every second, the arrow found
its mark and put the animal down for
good.

While most people would chalk this up
as a lucky shot, others will perhaps recall
making a similar shot themselves. Many
of these believers will fall into the category
of “instinctive” shooters.
That shot was made with no concern of
range estimation nor of what sight pin to
use. In a situation like that, the opportunity
will only present itself for a few
seconds before the animal is gone. The
arrow is brought into motion as simply as
tossing a ball, with nothing more than
practiced hand/ eye coordination.

Think of the snowballs thrown when
you were younger. There was never any
calculation as to how to make the throw.
You just did it. After a couple of snowfalls,
you’ll have to admit, you became pretty
accurate. And I’ll bet most of you can
remember connecting on a few neighbor
kids who were streaking for safety. There
is no reason to feel you can’t shoot instinctively.
Learning to shoot an arrow instinctively
takes time. Being a learned ability, it`s no
different than any other developed reaction
involving hand/ eye coordination. You
need repetition to engrave it in your mind.
Once you’ve got it, it’ll always be there. It
can’t be bent, broken, or rattled out of
place.

Sound interesting? It can be a simple
process; just point and touch the anchor,
I’m not saying instinctive shooting is a
can`t-miss alternative. Believe me, I know
that And I’m sure not trying to sound like
an authority on shooting the bow. So many
people in this sport never have been exposed
to the many variables of shooting a bow,
I’d just like to help open some eyes to a
shooting style different than what most
people are taught today. I have some suggestions
which may make the transition in
styles a little easier.

Before you snap an arrow on the string,
you may want to take a look at the arrow-
rest system on your bow. It will help to
shoot off the arrow shelf, if you can. The
idea is to get the shaft lying almost on top
of your hand. Have you ever marveled at
the accuracy some people have on moving
game or objects tossed into the air? Odds
are, these people have the arrow as close
to their bow hand as possible. The flight of
the arrow becomes an extension of their
fingers.

Two basic bow tuning notes should be
mentioned: To shoot off the shelf you’ve
got to use feather fletching. Plastic vanes
aren ’t forgiving enough when passing over
the stiff rest. You’ll also find the nock set
usually has to be placed higher above
square when shooting off the shelf
When the equipment is ready, it’s time
to adjust the archer. Keep in mind that
there really is no single right way to shoot a
bow. As long as the arrow goes where you
want it, it doesn’t matter how your form
looks when compared to everyone else.
I’m just presenting ideas that many others
have found useful. Experiment with some
or all of them. Find what works best for
you and develop your skills from there.
Because we may be building from the
ground up, let’s begin with the foundation;
the stance. Try this: When pointing out
something specific to another person, there
is a tendency to lower your head to get
your eyes on the same level as your finger.
Flexing your knees while leaning forward
a little brings you even more in line. This
same stance works well with instinctive
arrow shooting.

Since depth perception is more accurate
with a clear field of view, you may want to
cant or tilt the bow to open up the sight
window. By doing this, all that’s seen is the
target area, with nothing between to break
your concentration. By the way, if you
think about it, even a bow equipped with a
sight can be shot canted, as long as the
angle remains the same for each shot. One
of the reasons people started holding bows
vertically was to prevent interference with
the person next to them on the shooting
line. If you have to take this into consideration
when shooting at an animal, it’s
time to find a new place to hunt.

The string fingers and anchor point may
need refinement. Try using a middle finger
in the corner of the mouth anchor, if your
prefer a split finger hold on the nock. Others
will find placing all three fingers under the
nock to their liking. Either choice may
accomplish what you are after: to get the
arrow as near the eye as possible. We’re
getting everything in line with our plane
of sight.

The most solid form still needs to be
driven by concentration. Your mind tells
the bow arm where to move as the arrow is
drawn. By the time the anchor point has
been reached, the aiming process has been
completed. If the concentration has been
broken, the results will show it.

When I shoot, all of which I am consciously
aware is two fingers; one index
finger gets pushed toward the intended
target, while the other touches the anchor
point. While I’m drawing, I imagine my
finger touching the exact spot I want to hit.
This simplified thought process eliminates
any second guessing about the shot. More
often than not, second guessing has a negative
effect on the shot. Once developed,
trust your instincts. Doubting or guessing
is where many flinches originate. The mind
is unsure if the arrow should be sent on its
way, while the fingers are saying it’s time.
This point—and-shoot style could be of
particular interest to any archer suffering
from that dreaded disease, target panic.
This mental collapse of the shooting technique
has ruined many an archer. Some
say it develops through a fear of missing.
Those affected can’t really tell you when it
struck; they only know the ability to aim
and hold on target is gone. In an attempt to
overcome it, some have tried hypnosis,
release aids, clickers or switching from
right- to left—handed shooting. Others have
just plain quit the sport in frustration.
I caught a nasty case of it myself about
ten years ago and fought an uphill battle to
conquer it for a long time. Finally I decided
it would be better to develop what I had
left, instead of fighting it. Learning con-
trolled snap shooting was the answer for
me. Since target panic won’t let you hold
the arrow once the anchor is touched, pre-
aiming as the arrow is drawn eliminates
the need to hold. If the aiming is completed
as the anchor is touched, there’s no need to
hold any longer.

Other than just putting in your time in
front of the target butt, here are a couple of
ideas to break the monotony and to develop
your skills more quickly.
One method suggests learning to shoot
in the dark. In a safe, dark area, place a

small flashlight on the ground so it shines
on the target. Even though you’ll be shooting
from only eight to ten yards, make sure
you’ve got a large safe backstop. It is too
dark to use the arrow for sighting, so hand/
eye coordination will have to put the arrow
where it belongs. This way, you’ll be shooting
by feel rather than by sight. With nothing
but the target to concentrate on, the act
of drawing and releasing will become a
natural motion, allowing the archer to place
his total attention on the spot to be hit.

Possibly the most enjoyable way to
develop your instinctive eye is through
stump shooting using Judo or other blunt
points. The Judo points eliminate any concern
about losing arrows, so a wider variety
of shots will be taken. These varied shots
will sharpen your skills faster than taking
the same shot repeatedly. It also will get
you out into the fields and forests, simulating
actual hunting conditions.

Shooting instinctively doesn’t guarantee
you won’t miss your next animal. There
are no guarantees in hunting or shooting as
there are no short— cuts. Both require a substantial
investment of time and practice to
become proficient. If the technique you’re
using now isn’t working, what have you
got to lose by trying something different?
Sure, your friend with the bow sight will
out—shoot you on the target range. But take
him along roving through the woods, where
the ranges are unknown and he must shoot
from an awkward position. I think the pros
and cons of the different styles will balance
out and you’ll both realize there is more
than one way to shoot a bow. <—<<

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Published by archerchick on 17 Feb 2011

Open Door To Adventure~ By Roy Hoff


Bow and Arrow
June 1972

Open Door To Adventure ~ By Roy Hoff

When Alaska Was Reopened To Bowhunting The Trophy Possibilities Were Staggering!

IT WAS INDEED A GREAT DAY in bowhunting circles when
word was flashed that the Alaska Game Commission had again
legalized bow and arrow as a hunting weapon in the Territory of Alaska.
The new legislation was effective during the fall of 1954. All
big game animals were legal except grizzly and brown
bear. There was a good reason for the prohibition.
Most present-day bowmen, no doubt, believe the
bow and arrow has been legal ever since the Eskimos
moved in. That’s not true.

?

Prior to 1930, Art Young and Saxton Pope received
world-wide publicity in newspapers and magazines
and in theaters where movies were shown of
their Alaskan adventures depicting the successful bagging
of grizzly and Alaska brown bears. The success
of these famous hunters set the stage for a tragic event.
A party of state-side hunters figured they knew all the
answers, but learned the hard way they were mistaken.
In a tragic episode involving a grizzly, one member
of the party lost his life and some others were mauled
so badly they barely escaped with their lives. Shortly
afterward, hunting with a bow and arrow in what is
now our fiftieth state became a no-no!

?

The new law specified that moose could be taken
only in the Anchorage area. Other big game such as
caribou, deer and black bear (excepting grizzly and
brown) could be taken anywhere in the Territory.
Members of the Alaska Bowmen initiated a long
and arduous campaign of public relations between the
bowmen and members of the Game Commission. The
ring-leaders, with whom we were in constant contact,
were Royce Martin, Ivan Blood and Bob Myers, to
whom bowhunters on the North American Continent
owe much.

?

Having worked for the news media nearly all my
life, it took little persuasion to convince myself I should
be on hand for the festivities.
On a – dream-trip like this, a guy must have a hunting
buddy or two, so I invited Bill Childs of Alameda
and Tim Meigs of Oakland, a couple of dyed-in-the-
wool bowhunters in California, to join me.

?

We met in Seattle, chewed the rag with Glenn
St. Charles, founder of the Pope and Young Club,
then boarded a Northwest Orient Airlines plane for
our destination in the Land of the Midnight Sun.
The flight is about 1700 miles, practically all over
water. To me the only impressive sight was the Alaska
Range, with many snow-covered peaks rising abruptly
from the seashore to an average altitude of 18,000
feet, much higher than any mountain in -the States.


?

As our pilot turned the nose of our plane in to-
ward Anchonage, we passed over Montague Island and
proceeded up Turn again Arm to Cook’s Inlet. My cam-
eras really clicked. Keni Peninsula, noted for its many
species of big game, was in plain view for many miles
and we wondered what fabulous hunting stories the
island could tell.

?

That night we were guests of honor at a very nice
banquet staged by the Alaska Bowmen. Each of us was
presented with a “bellykin” made from walrus tusks,
as a talisman to carry with us on the hunt.
In the morning, our guides: Royce Martin, Mortimer
Moore and Ivan Blood, packed our duffel on two
pack horses. Frieda, my wife, was provided a saddle
horse. It was a seven-mile hike to moose camp which
was on a shelf of a nearby mountain where the view
of Anchorage and the surrounding valley was superb.

?
Upon arrival we received our first hunting thrill.
The boys unveiled a fine set of moose antlers (still in
the velvet) and a quarter of the carcass hanging in a
nearby hemlock, all ready for cooking, Ivan was the
lucky hunter. He had bagged the animal during the time
the boys were setting up camp. It was thoughtful of the
boys to provide our party with camp meat and, let me
tell you, there is no tastier meat than moose, if prepared
correctly of course, and Frieda attended to this
detail. Boiled moose ribs, yum, yum!

?

With a moose already in camp it appeared we’d
have little difficulty in filling our tags early and then
head out for caribou country. Coming events did not
work out that way. Moose had been in the area, that
was certain, but all but an occasional straggler had departed
for parts unknown. There were lots of tracks
but none was fresh. We hunted hard for three days.
Other members of the party reported sighting a nice
bull. The best I could report was one “maybe.” We
all came to the conclusion we were hunting a “dry hole.”

?

All of us were pleased when we broke camp and
headed back toward Anchorage, and for the opportunity
to dry out. This was the early part of September
which is their rainy season. If you plan to hunt here
at this time be sure to take plenty of “foul weather
gear.” I’d suggest an outfit consisting of: lightweight
rubber hip-length waders, rubber pants (bib overall
pattern) and rubber parka-coat. If you don’t like to
hunt with your ears covered, wear a rain hat and tuck
in the parka. The parka comes in handy to keep your
ears warm in the evenings and early mornings.

?

Returning to Northern Sporting Goods, our head-
quarters in Anchorage, we were greeted with glowing
reports of the many moose sighted by local hunters together w
ith a few kills – right at the edge of town! In
fact, as we were being briefed on what had transpired
in our absence, in walked Charley MacInnes, one of
the Territory’s popular and successful bowhunters. He
was smeared and spattered with blood. The broad
smile on the Scotsman’s face told us louder than words
there was meat on the table.

?

“Where is he, Charley?” we asked in unison. Our
hero merely headed for the door motioning us to follow.
A most beautiful sight greeted us. There in the bed of
a pickup truck was a beautiful set of moose antlers resting
on a spring-sagging cargo of moose meat.
McInnes was a very impressive person. He actually
hunted wearing kilts, symbolic of his ancestory,
or his shorts. Charley pointed out he was a “lone wolf”
type of hunter who believed it is tough enough for a
bowman to stalk quietly through the woods without ad-
ding noise-producing makers such as Levi overalls.

?

One arrow proved to be “curtains” for the big
moose. Further, quoting Charley, here is what he said:
“On September 6, at 6:10 a.m., I was hunting in
the Goose Lake area and spotted a bull below me headed
my way. I waited until he came to within forty feet,
whereupon he stopped, apparently sensing my presence.
I eased my bow up carefully and released a broadhead.
The bull whirled and dashed off down the slope. He
disappeared in the brush for a few seconds, but I saw
him when he came out on the flats below.”

?

“He stopped in an open spot and appeared to at-
tempt to turn his head back in my direction. At that
moment, I heard the breath go out of his lungs and saw
him collapse. It sounded a lot like letting the air out of
a rubber mattress. I’d estimate from the time the bull
was hit until he keeled over dead, was about fifteen
seconds. The broadhead entered the rib cage and passed
through the lungs.”

?

During our interview, I documented a few hunting
tips which I’ll pass along to you: He always spreads
his clothing on spruce boughs overnight, washes with
plain soap just before the hunt, wears clean clothes,
uses no tobacco or shaving lotion. A parting remark
was, “Any shot in the rib cage may be considered as
a fatal hit !”

?

We had to kill time for a day waiting on Mert
Marshall, who was to guide us into the caribou country,
returning with a party of successful hunters (we
hoped). So we took a sight-seeing trip to view a couple
of glaciers. Upon our return – as usual – it was the
same story: Another moose had been bagged. Don
Goodman was the successful hunter. Following is the
exciting and humorous story he told me:

?

It seems Don is more of a novice bowhunter than
an experienced old timer, though, I must say he could
hold and shoot a hefty stick of seventy-five pounds and
place an arrow pretty close to the spot he was aiming at.
Don had been out several times, hunting in proximity to
the Campbell Air Strip at the edge of Anchorage, but no luck.
On this particular morning he
had hunted the spruce-covered hillsides and was re-
turning to his car through the middle of a swamp.

Suddenly, not over twenty yards in front of him, up
jumped a bull moose from its bed in the buffalo grass.
It stood broadside apparently unperturbed at the intrusion.
Don loosed a carefully aimed broadhead and ob-
served the feathers as they disappeared into the rib
cage. Don swears this dumb-dumb moose never even
so much as batted an eye.

?

The hunter immediately drove another shaft into
the animal not two inches from the first, with about the
same reaction from the moose.
“‘That critter,” said Don, “just shuffled his feet,
stuck out his neck a little closer toward me and just
glared. As I nocked the third arrow I looked around
to see if there were a convenient tree I could climb or
at least hide behind. There was none, so again I blazed
away. By this time I was so dog-gone nervous and
shaking so badly I hit him in the foot.


?

“By the time I loosed the fourth arrow I was a
physical wreck and missed that big hulk completely. I
started desperately praying for help-a fellow bowman,
shotgun hunter, or maybe somebody with a stout club.
As I fumbled for another arrow I stood transfixed by
a sight I couldn’t believe. Just when I thought I was
a goner, over he went dead as a mackerel!

?

Subsequent investigation showed both of the first
two arrows had completely penetrated the animal’s rib
cage and were found sticking in the ground beyond. In
my estimation, there is not the slightest doubt but what
the first arrow would have done the trick.
According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service,
the Keni moose of Alaska is the largest of its kind on
earth. Bulls reach a weight of 1,400 pounds or better
and with an antler spread of six feet and more.
Of the sixty hunters who participated in this hunt,
six were successful in bagging a moose.

?

Statistics on tackle show a radical change in re-
cent years. Ivan Blood used an eighty-pound recurve;
Charley MacInnes shot a seventy-nine-pounder. Seldom
do we see bows this hefty any more.

?

We joined Mert Marshall at Eureka Lodge across
from the huge Matanuslca glacier, 125 miles northeast
of Anchorage where, after loading our duffel, we took
a swamp buggy ride fifty miles up the river bed to the
headwaters of the Little Nelchina River into the tundra
and land of muskeg.

?

In all this wide world there’s no ride just like that
on a swamp buggy After eight and a half hours on
this vehicle, it was the concensus of our gang that the
best way we could compare it was a combination of
which the worst part was like riding a Brahma bull
bare-back; the average as that of riding a pack horse
with the saddle stirrups too short; and the real smooth
portion as that of riding on a lumber wagon over a
cobblestone road!

Ment designed and built two of these swamp-
buggies with but one thought in mind a really rugged
conveyance which would carry parties of hunters
into the back country which is impassable, except on
foot or horseback.

?

Construction of the swamp-buggy started with a
Model A Ford engine. The frame was four-inch pipe
welded together. The body was made of heavy gauge
steel plate. C54 17 x 21 airplane tires were mounted
on the front, and earth—mover truck tires, with non-skid
tread, on the rear. A magneto was used for ignition, as
many times on this· trip the engine was almost entirely
submerged We went through water holes so deep, and
over boulders so huge, it didn’t seem possible a motor-
driven vehicle, other than an army tank, could accomplish
the feat. There were no refinements such as body
springs or soft cushions on the outfit.We all were grateful
when Mert announced we had reached our camp site.
We shook the kinks out of our weary bones, downed a
heaping plateful of Frieda’s ptarmigan stew, and hit the sack.

?

?

Next morning, our day’s activities started on a
sour note. I had a confrontation with Moore, our licensed guide.
He chawed me out for starting a campfire, explaining
in an unfriendly manner that only
sissies built campfires which spook the caribou out of
the area. I didn’t strike any fighting pose, for I knew
he could lick me. Suffice to say, if I were paying the
bill for this trip I should have something to say about
turning on a little heat. The fire was built. Breakfast
was eaten and we prepared to leave for a day’s hunt.

?

Tim was chomping at the bit and decided to climb
the riverbank to take a look see. He topped out slowly,
looked around for about two seconds, then dashed madly
back to the fire and told us he had sighted a small
herd of caribou feeding within a stone’s throw of the
camp. They must have been looking the other way,
when mama told them not to approach a campfire.

?

?

Bill and Tim, accompanied by Moore, sneaked
downstream for a few hundred yards, then made a successful
stalk on a nice bull. Bill put an arrow into him.
The animal started to run. Fifty more or less steps
farther and he folded in a heap – not from the effects
of an arrow but a bullet! The guide said he
thought the animal was escaping, and it was- his legal
responsibility to kill it. I was sure we could have track-
ed down the wounded animal, but the damage was
done. Take a tip from me, hire a guide who is familiar
with bow and arrow hunting.

?

In the meantime, Ivan and I headed out in the
direction Tim had seen the caribou herd. Nothing
was in sight so we fanned out. I turned to my right
and started walking parallel to the river. Making a
sweeping glance, I saw Frieda on the riverbank at our
camp waving her arms and motioning something was
just ahead up river. I sneaked down to the bank and
looked over. There were eleven head of caribou drink-
ing from the stream. I had goofed! The herd spotted
me and moved on. I use the word moved because, in-
stead of like state-side animals, they didn’t run. They
just walked. I tried to catch up with them, but they
could walk faster than I could run. Of course, I must
say this was not a cinder path, but muskeg which is not
conducive to speed. Who was it who said caribou
won’t come near a campfire? Phooey!

?

In succeeding days, Mert taught me much about
hunting caribou. There are two species: the barren-
ground, which is the most abundant game animal in
Alaska, and the woodland, which is found in Canada.
Caribou are migrating animals to the north in spring
and summer and to the south in the fall. Herds travel
hundreds of miles to find new ranges and are constantly
on the move in search of lichen or “reindeer
moss” their favorite food which grows in abundance on
the muskeg-covered tundra.

?

Both sexes of caribou have antlers. The bulls, of
course, have the larger. Considering these animals are
nomads, there is no sense in building a blind during
hunting season facing toward the south. All your game
will be heading south, so face north. We did not build
any blinds, merely hiding in the willows growing at
the edge of the riverbed where we’d constantly glass
the deep etched caribou trails which run north and
south through the tundra for hundreds of miles.

?

One morning, Mert set up an ambush for Tim
and me. We were keeping our eyes peeled on trails
where they skylined. Suddenly, perhaps five miles
distant, we spotted a herd of caribou approaching.
We did not see the animals, just antlers! We could
see those fascinating five-feet-high antlers for several
minutes before the body of the lead animal came into
view.

?

Now for the strategy. That was the last look at
our quarry for perhaps thirty minutes. Mert indicated
hiding places for us across the stream from where we
watched our guide – not the herd! By slow hand move-
ments Mert signaled us the approach. All we had to
do was wait until a big bull got within four feet of us,
then drop him in his tracks with a well placed broad-
head. Things didn’t work out that way.

?

Mert finally signaled us to attack. We raised up
ever so slowly to take a peek. About a hundred yards
ahead on a hillside were four bulls apparently having
stopped for a snack. We figured we had them in the bag,
but they wouldn’t come down any farther.
Tim and I really tried to make a perfect stalk.

?

After some difficult maneuvering, we reached a spot
where we both were concealed from the herd in a
dense growth of willows. By lying flat on our bellies
we could barely see a dim outline of the herd, but
this was all we wanted or needed, just enough view
to keep the herd under observation. Terrain and willow
growth were such we could not contact our guide
for instructions. So we decided to stay put until the
herd came down, even if it took hours of waiting.
We must have lain in that one spot for more than
an hour. It was exasperating to watch our game graze
slowly down the hill toward us until almost within
bow range, then turn around and work back up the
hill. I had to restrain myself from attempting a Joe
Dolan shot at the herd. They were always closely
grouped and at one time were within less than one
hundred yards from us.

?

I petted and stroked my little Walrus tusk talisman,
but it didn’t work. The bulls worked slowly back
up the hill. Then very slowly topped the hill and disappeared.
For several seconds their bodies were out of
sight, but we could still see the tips of their antlers and,
judging from the way they fooled around on our side
of the hill, Tim and I figured they’d stay put for at
least a few minutes. We ran up the side of that hill as
fast as we could and when we topped out we very
cautiously peeked over expecting to see them nibbling
right in front of us.

?

We slowly stood up and scanned the barren hills
in every direction. Our game had disappeared.
We rejoined Mert who pointed out one phenomenal
characterisltic of caribou is their ability to disappear
in an area where there is no cover. We concluded
the herd must have known we were in the area though
they seemed to be peacefully grazing, without a care in
the world. It was just a ruse to outwit us.
So ended our Alaska hunt. Score: two trophies
for three hunters. Question: How come I had to be
the bridesmaid?

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Published by archerchick on 17 Feb 2011

Roadhunt For Muleys ~ By Marc A. Barger


Bow And Arrow Hunting
December 1995

Roadhunt For Muleys ~By Marc A. Barger
Mule Deer Trophies Are Where You Find Them!

SOMETIMES A HUNTER has to have a horseshoe located in a bodily
orifice to harvest a big-game animal! That was the case on my recent
hunt to the Cheyenne River bottoms north of Wall, South Dakota.
It was my fourth trip to this area. The preceding three had seen close
encounters with some nice muley bucks I would have been proud to harvest. One
thing or another contributed to coming home empty handed, although I came within
hairs of it going the other way on a few occasions!

The area I hunted has a variety of terrain types.
In some places, I had to pick my way carefully
along steep banks of loose rocks and sage. Other
areas were flat prairies or fields of alfalfa and wheat.
Some contained deep canyons choked with cedars.
The thing that was common to all these areas was
unpredictable winds! More times than anything
else, I was foiled in a stalk by a switch in the direction
of the wind.

I found a product, though, that allows a hunter
to have a much better idea of just exactly what is
happening as the wind swirls past. It is an amazingly
simple idea made available by Ron Carlson,
owner of The Compound Doctor (Dept. BA, 3600
Labore Road, White Bear, MN 55110). It consists
of a small bag of down feathers and …. that’s it!
Feathers! It helped me immensely in my stalks. By
cutting the comer off the plastic bag, I could carry
it in my pocket. At any time, I could reach in, pull
out a feather and launch it on its way. Unlike the
powders I normally use, the down would float on
the slightest of breezes and was highly visible for
up to 50 or 60 yards.

Earlier in October, Jeff Aulick, Bruce Hudalla,
Clint Peterson and I had ventured to Wall in search
of monster muley bucks. The bucks were bunched
up in their bachelor groups and we saw some real
bombers! On the first day, Peterson made a super
shot on a real good four-by-four that was attempting
to scoot by him. To say this got the rest of us
pumped up is an understatement!

As sometimes happens, no matter what the level
of enthusiasm, those critters outsmarted the “superior”
human mind and abilities! We were once again humbled by the uncanny
senses game animals possess. Bruce Hudalla harvested what he dubbed a
“snot-slinger” right after he educated a big four-by—four that sitting with its back
to the wall sometimes is not the best
place to sit!

The rest of the trip was not uneventful. We had many good, exciting stalks.
It just so happened that the muleys won the battles!
We vowed to return later in the year, if possible, to once again chase the bucks
in this area.

The area we were hunting belongs to three brothers —Glendon, Grant and
Greg Shearer. They have approximately 23,000 acres of some of the best mule
deer habitat a person could want to lay a boot on. It is beautiful country with
food plots of alfalfa, wheat and com. They do wonders holding the animals
in the area. Combine this with rugged terrain bordering the fields and you have
a hunter’s paradise.

Muleys are not the only game making this area their home. You can just as
easily see record-book whitetails, huge numbers of Merriam turkeys —— two
from the area are ranked in the top three in the world — pheasant, grouse,
coyotes and, at the right time of the year, those scaly things that make a heck of a
ruckus if you step too close to their tightly coiled bodies!

The Shearers offer an unguided hunting opportunity that tests hunters’
knowledge of game and their hunting prowess. It has the additional bonus of
some awesomely beautiful country and the chance at harvesting
some great animals.

Our hunt started out right away with sightings and attempted stalks on some
really nice bucks. At the time of year we were hunting, almost every group of
muley does had at least one nice buck in it. That made stalking quite a bit more
difficult with a dozen or so eyes trying to catch even one wrong move.
Jeff Aulick was the first to give it a go when we spotted a couple of nice
bucks making life hectic for some does in the
comer of one of the hay fields. Due to the difficulty in judging distances in this type
of terrain, the score was one for the muleys, zero for the hunters!
After the first few days, all of us had experienced close encounters with trophy
bucks. So far none of us had connected with one.

Some friends of ours flew in from Maine to hunt with us for a few days. After
setting them up in a few of the hot spots, I felt I needed to sacrifice one evening’s
hunt to drive into Wall to gas up the truck for the next day. Along the way, I stopped
to glass some of the muleys coming out to the fields for their evening forage. A
person driving through this country at the right time of the day can see literally
hundreds of deer in a few minutes.

One of the great things about hunting with others is that, even though I might not
see anything or be successful on a specific hunt, I always look forward to hearing
what happened with everyone else. It’s almost as good as if it had happened to me.
As I neared the area Aulick was hunting, I rounded a bend in the road and saw
numerous feeding muleys. I figured I might as well take a look to see what had
slipped by.

I grabbed the spotting scope and jumped out of the truck. Between me and the
deer was a dike that ran parallel with the road. It gave me the perfect cover to be able
to sneak up close for a look. As I peeked over the top, I saw deer directly in front of
me. Looking through the spotting scope, I saw a buck moving right toward me!
I didn’t have my bow, and I really was not ready nor did I expect to have the
chance to shoot. Iran for the truck, grabbed my bow and took off running down the
dike. As I got about even to where I thought the buck might be, I peered over the top.
Dang! He was paralleling the dike about 100 yards out.

I figured there was no way I could get close
enough before I lost daylight. Then I
heard something. On the other side of the dike I
heard a commotion. I slipped up the dike a little
farther and looked to the north. The first thing I
saw was a buck doing his best to rip apart every
willow in the ditch! I really could not believe my
good fortune. Here was a nice buck — although I
couldn’t really see what he was because he had
his rack stuck in the willows — completely oblivious
to the fact that a few yards away was his worst
enemy planning to ruin his day!

I slipped down the dike; the wind was in my
face. When I got about even with the tree, I got
ready, drew my bow back and eased up. He still
was taking out his frustrations on the willows when
I spotted him about 30 yards away. I settled the
30—yard pin behind his shoulder and slipped a
carbon sliver through his ribs.

Whopf The telltale sound of a solid hit reached
my ears. I finally had connected!
The buck took off hard and stopped about 80
yards out, then ran up on top of the dike and lay
down. If I hadn’t seen the arrow hit home, I would

have thought I had missed him! He stayed there looking around like he
didn’t have a care in the world. Then his head sagged and I knew he was mine.
Still, I wanted another arrow in him, so I proceeded to stalk closer. I got to within
40 yards and was getting ready to take the shot when I saw movement out of
the corner of my eye.

Eight to 10 does were walking down the far side of the road a mere 30 yards
away. They were looking at me, wondering what this moving clump was.
When I looked behind them, my jaw almost hit the ground! A super-nice buck
was hot on their trail! His rack was heavy and wide; he was at least a four-
by-four. He walked up on the road, scanned past me and then, can you
believe it, looked directly away from me as he stood completely broadside for
more than 20 seconds!

I can truthfully say I never thought of shooting this buck. I already had an
arrow in the other, but it was almost as if the second knew he was safe. Situations
such as this are exactly what test our ethics! Here was a true trophy of a lifetime
offering himself for harvest. A person could not have asked for a better opportunity.
All bowhunters must rise above temptation and do what is right. The big
buck sauntered off after his harem.

I looked away from him to see what was happening with the buck I had hit.
He was trying to get to his feet, but stumbled and fell for the last time. Being
lucky enough to be in the right spot at the right time was something I thought
happened only to other people.

When I got back to the cabin, I announced that everyone had better change
clothes so they wouldn’t get their hunting duds dirty when they helped drag
out my buck. No one really believed me, as they knew I had gone into town for
gas. As we topped the dike, the beams of the flashlights
glinted off the buck’s rack.

This was my first good look at my buck. He had a tall
four-by-four rack that was not really wide, but he was plenty
good for this bowhunter. I am proud of him. He will have a
special place on my wall with all the animals I have harvested.
The bow I used was a Hoyt Prostar Legacy set at 78
pounds. This is a super bow for finger shooters with its 47-
inch distance from axle to axle. The grip on this bow is
the best I have ever felt! The arrows I used were
Easton 6.3 carbons tipped with Wasp 100-grain CCL
broadheads. For a person who wants to shoot carbons, you
can’t get a better combination: fast and durable!

The camo was Predator Fall Brown. We had numerous stalks when the deer
were absolutely unaware we were as close as we were, until the wind swirled!
The down feathers taught us many things about wind currents and hunting
techniques for this type of terrain. For bowhunters who might be interested in
hunting on this land, you can write me and I can put you in touch with
the right people (Marc Barger, Dept. BA, 5616 Eagle Lane, La Crosse, WI
54601). There are many good bucks in this area, and I can almost guarantee a
hunter will have opportunities to put the moves on some trophy animals!

Four to six bowhunters per week will be allowed to hunt. Every other week is
closed so as not to pressure the deer too much.As for the monster buck that walked
down the road next to me, I hope he tries that again this year. He might not be so
lucky! <—<<<

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Published by murphytcb on 13 Feb 2011

How long should my micro adrenaline last

I got a browning micro adrenaline for free, its an 05/06 swill this bow last for a while. I am just getting into bow hunting but want to practice alot before i go into the field and heard good thins about this bow. It is set to 28” draw and 50lbs. it shoots real nice and has a 4 pin tru glo sight . should this last me a while. thanks for the info

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Published by TikkiMan05 on 12 Feb 2011

Trophy Ridge VS Cobra sights…Pros/Cons

Hey yall,

     I’m looking to purchase a new 5-pin sight and have been looking at the Trophy Ridge Hitman and the Cobra Python. I’m on a limited budget and I’ve been looking around, and so far it looks like I can get either one for around $70. What’s yall’s opinion between the two? Anyone that owns one, how do you like it and have you had any issues with it? Thanks for yall’s help and input.

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Published by passmaster on 12 Feb 2011

IM READY TO PURCHASE A BOW

I SHOOT WITH FINGERS, IM THINKING OF PURCHASING A HOYT VANTAGE PRO BUT IM NOT SURE WHICH CAM TO USE WITH THIS BOW WHAT DO YOU RECCOMEND

I HAVE A 27IN DRAW

 

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