Archive for the 'Bowhunting' Category

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Archived By
www.Archerytalk.com
All Rights Reserved

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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

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 Mathews_ArchZ7 on 10 Feb 2011

Its about that time again…

What does everyone have for a set up…. Spring Gobbler season is fast approaching us.

Im not even using a shotgun this year, I think im gonna take my Mathews Z7 for a spin and see how it goes.

So let me know what everyone is using for a set up.

– Mathews Z7 with Easton FMJ 400 and the American Broadhead Company Turkey Tearror

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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.

?

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.

?

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.

?

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.

?

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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Published by archerchick on 09 Feb 2011

How To Fool A Buck’s Sense Of Smell ~ By Bob Grewell


Bow And Arrow
August 1981

How To Fool A Buck’s Sense Of Smell ~ By Bob Grewell
Here Is A Simple, Inexpensive Secret To Mask Human Odor On Your Way To Your Stand

I was tree standing downwind of a well used deer trail,
completely camouflaged. I had doused the dormant brush
at the base of the large oak tree with a liberal amount of
“essence-of-skunk.” It was late November, cold, with a
light breeze.

I’d spent the better part of four weeks determining one
particular buck’s habits and patterns. I’d finalized his
movements and was positive I had his activities nearly down
pat. Now all I had to do was nurse my patience while I sat
motionless within the oak’s array of limbs.

I rolled back the top portion of the off-brown colored glove
on my right hand, to glance at my watch; seven thirty-eight.
When I sluggishly raised my head to scan the brushy terrain in front
of me, I spotted him! A fair-sized eight-point buck, deliberately
moving toward my stand, coming in-crosswind, about eighty yards out.

He moved along at a somewhat cautious pace, with his now probing the ground.
At first I thought he was searching for a doe.
But after close observation, it was apparent he was
following the same path I’d used to approach my stand. He didn’t seem to
approve of the latent human scent I’d left on the ground.

He was trailing my course through the ankle-high dead grass, snorting
occasionally as if in defiance. When he was within forty yards of my stand, he
stopped, threw his head up and down, snort/whistled again, and stamped the
earth, trying to intimidate me into revealing myself. Then, he veered off to
my right and made a wide berth of the oak, stopping twice and glancing back
over his shoulder in my direction, before disappearing.

In all my preparations, I had omitted using the skunk scent on my
boots on the way to my stand, mainly because the foul odor would have been
absorbed by the leather. But if I had sprinkled the cover scent on my boots
or the lower legs of my coveralls, there was a ninety-percent chance he
wouldn’t have detected my human scent trail.

This has happened to nearly every bowhunter at least one time or another,
you can be sure, whether you were aware of it or not. We are so meticulous
in preparing ourselves, our equipment and our stand area that we too often
overlook one thing; the foreign, human odor we leave on the ground, grass and
brush as we make our way to our stand. What can you do to cover your
human scent trail, yet keep the masking scent from fouling your boots and
clothes? You can use ankle scent drags, two lengths of dark colored wire and a
dull-colored piece of ordinary cloth. So simple and inexpensive to make that I
sometimes think it’s cheating by solving such a common hurdle so easily.

The ankle drags are slipped over your feet and drawn around the ankles
with the piece of scent—absorbing cloth hooked on the trailing end of the wire.
The scent — skunk scent for instance —is applied to the cloth, and as you walk
through the weeds and brush it completely wipes out your scent behind
you. It adds no additional weight to contend with, it’s inexpensive to
prepare and once you make your drags, they’ll last indefinitely.
To make the ankle scent drags, one for each ankle, use a thirty-inch—long
piece of 22—gauge black annealed wire, which may be purchased at any
hardware store. If you can’t find the 22-gauge specifically, you’ll be safe
with any wire diameter from 18 to 22-gauge. Black annealed wire is used
because it won’t reflect available light with its dull finish and won’t rust as
easily as common steel or galvanized wire. The thin diameter is used because
it’s more flexible and isn’t visible to your intended game.

Using a four-penny nail, twist one end of the wire around the body of the
nail so you’ll be able to make a slipknot, or noose. Use a pair of pliers and twist
the excess tip of the wire so that it wraps tightly, leaving no protruding end
to snag on your clothes or brush. Then, remove the nail and slide the opposite
end of the wire through this one-eighth·inch diameter hole, making
somewhat of a snare or hangman’s noose.

Next, fold up a three-inch square piece of drab colored cloth, which will
be used as the scent pad on the dragging end of the wire. Punch the straight end
of the wire through the center of the folded cloth pad, pulling it completely
through the cloth. Bend the end of the wire back and wrap it tightly around the
main length of the wire, being sure to also twist the protruding end. The scent
pad will be secured and won’t be pulled off while walking.

Now, using a three-sixteenths—ounce crimp-style lead fishing sinker, move up
two inches on the main portion of the wire, away from the scent pad, and
attach this lead weight, crimping it tightly with a pair of pliers. This small
weight will not interfere with the drag’s main function and will aid in keeping
the scent pad closer to the ground when you’re raising your foot to take a step.
The scent pad needs to stay close to the ground because the scent on the pad
will rub off on the grass and brush, to invisibly dissipate upward.

These ankle drags serve another function. Upon reaching your stand,
loosen the wire noose, remove both drags and hang them in the brush at the
base of your tree stand. The wire is of fine diameter, the cloth scent pad is of
drab color, and the scent on the cloth will disguise your human odor at
ground level, when you’re in your stand. This way the pungent skunk
scent, or whatever type of scent you choose to use, never touches your
clothing.

The actual cost of making your ankle scent drags is fifteen cents each,
or a total of thirty cents, plus a minimal amount of time. With these ankle scent
drags in your possession, you successfully mask your human scent
trail when moving to your stand site and obliterate your foreign odor at the tree
stand. <—<<

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Published by archerchick on 09 Feb 2011

The Buck And The 120-Pound Longbow~ By Richard Palmer


BOW AND ARROW
August 1981

The Buck And The 120 Pound Longbow ~ By Richard Palmer

DUSK WAS fast settling in, as I stood perched on a limb, fifteen
feet off the ground. My eyes strained the dim light looking for the movement
of big game. Suddenly, like a wrath from the mist, an approaching deer.

Moving farther out on the limb, I got in position to shoot. I could barely
see the spikes the deer carried. The buck drew closer and stopped broadside
about fifteen yards away. With a mighty surge of muscle, my shoulder
pulled back the 120-pound longbow. My string fingers touched the corner
of my mouth, releasing death and destruction, as the mighty longbow lunged forward.

I have been involved in archery since the age of 4, and have been an
avid bowhunter since the inception of legalized bowhunting in my home
state of New York and neighboring Pennsylvania. For fifteen years I competed
in archery tournaments, retiring when the era of gadgetry came into
being. I shoot a 120-pound longbow of my own design and manufacture. I
use this heavy bow for hunting, as well as in my practice sessions. I use heavy
three-eighths-inch shafts tipped with 160-grain two-blade broadheads when
hunting. This combination will penetrate even the heavy bones of a whitetail deer.

To date, close to thirty deer have bitten the dust.
Halloween dawned bright and sunny, the traditional day when witches and
goblins and wily critters roam. I’d been bowhunting steady for two weeks,
and hadn’t seen hide nor hair of a buck. There were plenty of does around, but
I was holding out for one of those horned critters.
My hunting territory for deer is located about fifteen minutes drive from
where I live in Elmira, New York. The land belongs to Mount Saviour Monastery, where live
a small group of brothers dedicated to a religious life of self-sufficiency. They allow public hunting
by permit only and charge a small nominal fee. Of the many areas in New
York state I’ve hunted, this has to be the most productive for deer. Over the
years I’ve bowhunted there, I’ve managed to garner eleven of the wily creatures.

The monastery property comprises over a thousand
acres of rolling cultivated fields and timbered off woods;
just the type of terrain in which the elusive whitetail flourish.
The deer sometimes are so thick that the monastery
will return part of the permit fee if a bowhunter takes a deer.
The reason is that the deer get into the cornfields,
reducing the corn production considerably. The brothers use
the field crop to make silage to feed their milk cows.
one of their few sources of income. So you can understand
their anguish, when they find thirty or forty deer in their
cornfields every evening. From talking to Brother Bruno,
who issues the permits, I understand that they sometimes
help in doing the driving for the gun hunters who come up later in the season.

When purchasing a permit to hunt on their property, a map
and instructions are issued. The detailed map shows
property boundaries and terrain features. Areas of no
hunting are written in, so there can be no error on the part of
the hunter, as to where he can and cannot hunt. Portable
tree stands are preferred, as they cultivate their woods for timber.

I managed to leave work early and get over to my brother, Ken’s, house, a
few minutes past four in the afternoon. He was there already, having just arrived
home from work himself. We left for the monastery a few minutes later,
full of expectation. It was a beautiful fall day, with the sun shining and the leaves in all their
varied colors; the kind of day that makes you want to be in the woods.
While enroute, we discussed what area we would be hunting that afternoon.

Upon arrival, we each headed for our own preselected spot. Ken headed for
an old logging road in an area the deer cross frequently, on their way to a
large lush green field. I headed for a large shaggy bark tree, located in a
small clearing. This tree has a deer run on each side and is used primarily late
in the afternoon. During the day, the deer bed down in a deep gorge nearby.
Toward evening, they head uphill using the runs in the area of my tree,
as they head toward their various feeding areas.

I already had seen does come by on the different afternoons I had sat in
this tree, but I had resisted the temptation to shoot one, waiting instead for
a buck. Over two weeks had gone by and I decided that this afternoon I
would take what came: buck or doe. It was peaceful sitting in this big
old tree, contemplating thoughts serene. Occasionally looking up at the
sky, I’d count the numerous vapor trails left by the big jets on their way
to strange places. I thought to myself, what a life this is, to be able to go out
on a fabulous day like this and commune with nature.

During my reverie, I would look around occasionally. Sometimes I
found even this too much effort, as the sun and warm day tended to make me
feel lazy. A day like this should be enjoyed to its fullest. Looking to my left,
I suddenly was awakened from my lethargy. Standing broadside about
fifteen yards away, was a large doe. Slowly I got up from my comfortable
resting position and carefully inched out on to a large limb. I had my bow
in hand, nocked with a 700-grain wooden arrow, tipped with a Hill broadhead.

Moving carefully into shooting position, I started my draw. The upper
limb of my longbow hit a branch that I hadn’t noticed, so I moved farther
out on the precarious limb. I looked down and noticed I was quite a way off
the ground. I really wasn’t aware of the height, though, concentrating only on
the deer. Starting my draw again, I caught something on the bottom limb this
time and, in trying to carefully extricate the situation, I made some noise
that caught the standing doe’s attention. She looked up casually at first
and as I got the lower limb free, I caught the upper limb on the loose dry
bark of the tree. Exasperated, I tore the upper limb free; anything to get
the shot, but this was too much for the doe. and with a bound, she was into
the safety of the pines.

I couldn’t believe it. After two weeks of continuous
hunting, a perfect opportunity presents itself and I
blow it. I was standing there on the tree stand, mumbling
to myself, when I noticed brown movement coming
down the same trail the doe had used. As the deer
drew closer, I could see horns.
Moving farther out on the limb, I knew what it’s like
to be a tightrope walker. The limb I stood on was only
about six inches in diameter and here I was shooting
a 120-pound longbow that’s heavy enough to down an
elephant and takes two average men and a boy to pull.
What if in pulling the heavy bow I lost my balance and fell?

These thoughts were running through my mind. as the deer approached.
The buck drew broadside to me and stopped only fifteen yards away, about
where the doe had stood. All thoughts of falling from the tree vanished from
my mind. replaced by a dream state, as I saw the buck standing there. Perched
on that limb high off the ground, suddenly cool and methodical, my only
feeling was one of intense concentration as I prepared to make my shot.
With a smooth yet powerful pull the heavy longbow came back and my
fingers released the shaft. The heavy three-eighths-inch arrow hit the buck
in back of the left shoulder just below the center line, completely penetrating
the deer. The buck bounded away into the safety of the pines, only about fifty
feet away.

I gathered my gear from the tree and climbed down. Walking over to where I
had hit the buck, I found my arrow lying on the ground. It was saturated
from end to end with blood. I knew I had made a liver hit, which is always
fatal. Having shot close to thirty deer over the years, many of them with this same
identical hit, I knew my deer would be only a short distance away. Here’s
where experience comes into the picture. Hitting the deer is the easy part; finding
them is another story. I learned long ago that if the shot is good, the
search should be short and easy. Score a poor hit and you’ll be on your hands
and knees all night long looking for blood.

In addition to big game hunting, I enjoy hunting squirrel and pheasant with
the longbow. I have managed to shoot these difficult game species using only
the bow and arrow. Using heavy blunts, I am able to knock pheasants out of
the air. In 1978 I competed in the World’s Flight Championships held at the salt
flats in Wendover, Utah. Shooting a 133- pound flight bow, I came in second in
the professional class with a shot of 890 yards, one foot, one inch. Again in
1979, using a heavier flight bow of 145 pounds, I managed to garner a second
place.

I have been training to break the bow pull record and hope to make an attempt
sometime in 1981. My training includes pulling on heavy bows up to 220 pounds
in weight. This tied in with weight training, has made me, I believe, one of the
strongest archers in the world. I met my brother at the car, and told
him I had made a good hit on a buck, showing him the bloody arrow.
“I figure the buck will be lying some-where in the pines, not far from where
I hit him,” I said.

We stowed our hunting gear and got out the searching and deer cleaning
equipment. We usually take everything so we don’t have to bother coming
back for something we might need. This usually consists of lights, toilet
paper, a sharp knife, small saw, drag rope, a plastic bag (for heart and liver),
and a pencil and string for filling out and attaching the deer tag to the carcass.
By this time, dusk was well on its way, so we turned our lights on and returned
to my tree. I had marked the spot where I had found the arrow, with a piece of
toilet paper. So it was only a matter of minutes to line out the direction the deer
had headed. We then walked into the pines and started looking for
blood. Side by side, we moved forward slowly, scanning to the front and both
sides. I had just moved to my left, when my brother yelled out, “There he is up
ahead. Moving to where I could see, the spike buck was lying on the pine needles.
He appeared to be peacefully asleep, but I knew it was forever. He had traveled
only about a hundred feet before expiring.

I gutted out the deer, placing the heart and liver in the plastic bag I had brought.
With the small saw, I cut through the pelvic bone to better open up the lower
cavity and allow it to air out. After we had drained the carcass and I had cleaned
my hands and cutting equipment, we started dragging deer back into the car.

Driving home with a deer always gives me a certain feeling of elation
that only a successful hunt can <—<<<

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Published by archerchick on 08 Feb 2011

The Lighter Side Of Bowhunting ~ By Thurm Lowery


Bow And Arrow
December 1974

The Lighter Side Of Bowhunting ~ By Thurm Lowery
You May Know About This Type Of Hunting, But Be Sure Your Horse Does Too!

THE SOUND OF the truck engine and the headlights
swinging past the windows of the Experiment Station woke
me up, As our nearest neighbors were some twenty-five
miles away, we didn’t get much company and I already was
pulling on my britches when the knocking started at the
front door. The time was 3 a.m.

Two men and a woman were at the door of the Desert
Range Experiment Station, where my family was living
while I conducted a study on the pronghorn antelope for
the Utah Fish & Game Department. They were looking for
a way over to the Indian Peak Reservation.
Due to the somewhat isolated conditions, visitors always
were a novelty and most certainly welcome, even when
arriving at this time of the morning. My wife, Jean, got up
and made a pot of coffee, baked a pan of hot biscuits and
fried some bacon and eggs. We started getting acquainted over
an early breakfast.


Les and Nora Hunt are from Salt Lake City, where they
own and operate an archery manufacturing company. Les is
a big, friendly kind of guy who moves with the smoothly
deceptive ease of a big cat, even in the confines of a house.
He goes through heavily timbered woods and brush like a
drifting shadow, as I was to discover.

His wife, Nora, is from the town of Jolo, of the Province
of Sulu in the Philippine Islands. Small and pretty with an
amazing personality, Nora is from an illustrious family: One
brother presently is Ambassador to Egypt and another is a
former Governor of Sulu.

The other man introduced was Ray Renfroe. Ray owned
a steel business in Jacksonville, Florida. He and Les Hunt
were good friends and Ray had been coming to Utah for
years, stalking the outstanding deer herds with bow and
arrow. He, too, is a big, rugged man with slow, easy movements
and a soft Southern drawl in his deep baritone voice.
It was the day before archery season for deer would
open in Utah and they were here to bowhunt on the old
Indian Peak Reservation. It isn’t an Indian reservation any-
more, the state Fish & Game Department having purchased
and developed some twenty sections as a wildlife habitat –
not a sanctuary — where mule deer could live and multiply
without competition from livestock for available feed. The
area gets its name from the tallest mountain in the area,
Indian Peak, which towers 9783 feet above sea level. I’ve
seen a lot of good deer country but honestly believe there
are more deer per square mile right here than any other
place on earth.


My wife, Jean, is a pretty good cook for an old country
girl and before long, mellowed by her coffee and homemade
biscuits, our visitors were inviting me to go bowhunting
with them. I explained that I didn’t have any archery
equipment and furthermore, I’d never shot a bow and
arrow in my life.

Les grinned, got up from the table and walked out to his
camper. In a minute he was back with a fifty-pound bow, a
brand—new hip quiver and a dozen wicked-looking hunting
arrows. He even had an archer’s glove and wrist guard.
“Now you’ve got a complete outfit,” he said.
“But I never had hold of one of those things in my
whole life,” I told him.

“Don’t worry about it,” Ray said. “We’ll teach you.”
That’s how I became a bowhunter.
I didn’t even have a hunting license and drove into
Milford the next morning to get it. Later that afternoon, I
drove over to Indian Peak and located their camp. They got
out the tackle, both Les and Ray working at getting me
started with the new equipment while Nora kept up a running
line of encouragement on the sidelines.

They first set up a target. They then showed me how to
hold the bow, how to nock, pull, aim and release the arrow.
It wasn’t long until they had me shooting like a Comanche.
The trouble was, I just couldn’t seem to hit what I was
aiming at.

I had no idea a fifty-pound bow would be so hard to
pull. I was straining at the unfamiliar weapon, wondering if
maybe they shouldn’t have started me out with a lighter
bow when I noticed that little Nora was shooting one exactly
like it. I decided, if that I I0-pound woman could handle
that twang stick, I could, too. I gritted my teeth, tried to
keep my arm from shaking and just shot away.
Both Les and Ray were shooting seventy-pound bows
and it looked easy. Both were really good with those things,
too. If they didn’t hit inside the bullseye with every shot,
they acted like it was a major disaster. I finally hit the
target somewhere out near- the edge and I considered it a
whopping success.

Les Hunt, apparent even to a novice like myself, was an
outstanding shot. I muttered something about Les being a
good shot and Ray replied, “I’ve hunted with a bow for
many years and I’ve seen hundreds of really good bowmen.
I’ve always said, ‘If I ever had to pick a man who I would
let shoot an apple from my head at thirty yards with a
broadhead, it would be Les Hunt’.” That was rare praise,
especially coming from a man who himself is an expert
archer.
We hung around camp until about 3:30 p.m. talking,
swapping deer hunting yarns and just getting better
acquainted. As the rankest of amateurs, I knew nothing of
the bow and arrow as a game-getter. I asked a lot of questions,
all cheerfully answered.

Renfroe is an expert with both a rifle and handgun. He
has taken a deer with his .44 magnum Smith & Wesson at
300 yards. He says he has taken more deer with a bow than
with either of the firearms.

All three said most of their kills were between twenty
and thirty—five yards, although Ray had killed a buck at
over sixty-five yards and Les once killed a big buck at over
ninety yards. Nora used a fifty-pound bow while the two
men pulled heavier ones; Ray preferring a fifty-five to sixty-
five-pound pull but has hunted, and been successful, with
bows pulling over one hundred pounds. Les shot a seventy-
pound bow and generally preferred slightly stronger bows
than did Ray.

They were quick to explain that the bowhunter must be
a different breed of cat than the rifle hunter.
Firstly, he must have more patience. He not only has to
stalk the animal, he must make his shot. Then, if the animal
is hit, the hunter should just sit down and wait. According
to Les, there is little shocking power from the arrow hitting
a deer. If he isn’t pursued, the animal usually runs a short
distance and then lies down.

“If the hunter waits thirty minutes before starting to
trail his deer, he usually finds him within a quarter of a
mile, completely bled out,” said Les Hunt.
Before I knew it, it was time to start our hunt. Les and
Ray had a new wrinkle on hunting: motorcycles. They
didn’t actually hunt on the bikes, but would ride to an area
they wanted to hunt, park it, then hunt on foot. When they
killed a deer, they could carry it out on the motorcycle,
which beats dragging or packing out piggy-back all to
pieces.

This was my first experience with anyone hunting on
motorcycles. They climbed aboard, kicked over the engines
and roared off. They had offered me a ride but I figured I’d
let well enough alone and chose to walk.
They were wearing camouflage suits and even put covers
on their bows to make their outlines blend better into the
trees. They’d sprayed themselves with something designed
to cover the human smell. I’d been given an extra—heavy
dose 4 my old, red hunting shirt and blue jeans didn’t
blend into the background too well. I don’t know what the
stuff was, but I smelled like a walking pine tree.
I had only walked about half a mile from camp when I
came to`a little draw with a small stream running down its
middle. Standing just on the other side were two does and a
big, old buck, about fifty yards away. I took dead aim,
drew all the way back to the razor—sharp broadhead tip, and
let fly. I let fly three times before I came close enough to
scare them.
When I finally succeeded in scaring them off, I picked up
my arrows, cussed a little, then went on with my hunt. I’m
not much of a cusser and was beginning to suspect I wasn’t
much of a bowhunter, either. Somehow, the two just seemed to go together.

About a mile and thirty minutes later, I saw another pair
of does forty or fifty yards away. I was improving with
experience I scared them off with just two shots. No
matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t sneak up any closer to
those darn deer. I think they came equipped with ESP.
They’d let me get just so close and no closer. I’d sneak and
creep and crawl and, as soon as I thought I might be getting
close enough, I’d hear a bouncing, thumping; when I looked
up, there they’d go.

I hunted until dark. I guess I shot at half a dozen deer,
but they couldn’t have been any safer in the San Diego
Zoo. It didn’t help my feelings any when I got back to
camp and learned that both Les and Ray had bagged deer.
Les had killed his from some sixty yards, a big four-pointer.
I figured the law of averages would have to catch up
with me sooner or later and I’d hit a deer by accident if
nothing else, so I headed for home vowing to return the
next day.

That night I told Jean about my hunt and how discouraging
it was not being able to hit anything. “I can’t get
close enough,” I said. I then remembered how in times past,
I sometimes could ride right up to a deer on a horse and not
seem to scare him at all.

“Wonder how it`d work if I took Sugar over tomorrow
and hunted off her‘?” I ventured. All the encouragement I
got out of her was a sleepy, “Why don’t you try it and
see?” as she rolled over and pulled all the covers off me
again.
All my life I’ve been horse crazy, believing that anything
really worth doing probably can be done on a horse. My
mother claims I would walk to the pasture to catch my
pony to ride to the outhouse. This in mind, early the next
morning I loaded my gray quarter horse mare in the trailer
and pulled her over to Indian Peak.

I don’t know why it’s possible to ride up on a deer
horseback without scaring him. It doesn’t always work, but
perhaps they hear the four feet of the horse hitting the
earth instead of the two feet of a man and don’t relate the
sound with danger.
I pulled into their camp just before daylight. My friends
were already up and Nora had a pot of hot coffee ready.
Over a steaming cup I told them what I planned for the
day.

“Won`t it scare the deer when you get off to shoot`T”
Ray asked.
“I don’t intend to get off,” I answered. “I’m gonna
shoot right off her back.”
I saddled up and tried a couple of practice shots. Sugar
was tense and nervous at first, but decided that twanging
stick meant her no personal harm and settled down. standing
like a rock.

Les, Nora and Ray took off on their motorcycles. I
headed my horse off up through the cedars. I rode about
fifteen minutes when I came around a big pine tree
there stood a good-sized buck. He stood looking at the
horse A I don’t think he even knew I was anywhere around.
I started fumbling for an arrow, and trying to get it
across the bow and nocked on the string. All that commotion
scared him and, when I looked up again, all I could see
was his big butt disappearing through the trees. Lesson
Number One: Keep an arrow ready on the bow!
I rode on my happy way, found a fat doe, made a
beautiful twenty—yard shot and missed her by twenty feet. I
came right up on several more deer. Some ran off. but
others just stood and looked at me. Those that did stand. I
shot at — and missed — and used up a year’s supply of
expletives. I wondered how the Indians ever made a living.
All that getting off and on to pick up my arrows was nearly
as tiring as walking would have been in the first place.
Late that afternoon, I rode around the base of Indian
Peak Mountain itself. There’s a spring right at the botaoni
on the east side. I had been thinking I would get myself a
drink and let old Sugar fill up on the pure, sweet spring
water.

As I rode around a sharp outcropping of stone, I came
upon six does and a big, fat, two-point buck, getting themselves
a drink. They jumped away from the waterhole and
went bouncing off the way mule deer will when startled.
They then stopped and turned around in their curious way
to see what was going on.

Off to the southeast was a long, easy slope with very few
trees. The ground was fairly smooth for about a half a mile
and, if I could just get between those deer and the mountain,
they’d have only one way to go — right down there
across that open flat.

I kissed at the mare and she was going full speed by the
second jump. I reined her over to the right and she was in
position to head off the deer from the peak. Contrary to
popular belief, deer aren’t really all that fast. Deer can duck
and dodge around in the timber pretty quick. all iiglit. but
in an all-out, wide—open race on open ground. a fast horse
can outrun them.

This was open country. I had my mare headed towards
those deer now and they were in full flight through
that treeless area. Old Sugar was a trained calf-roping horse
and a good one. That was no calf up ahead but it didn’t
take her but a couple of jumps to get the idea that she was
supposed to catch whatever they were.

The deer stayed together in a bunch until I got to pushing
them pretty hard. then the does started peeling off. The
ground was fairly level with a gentle slope and there was
excellent footing. I had the mare wide open and I put her
after the buck. Before long we had him cut out by himself.
At first he did a pretty fair job of staying ahead of us.
then began slowing down. He was running out of oxygen.
Deer are not built for an extended burst of speed and seem
to run out of breath pretty quickly. He had his mouth
open, sucking in all the air he could with each heaving
breath. Suddenly, somehow, he was around me and headed
back up towards the peak.

I gave the mare a whack with the bow and put her after
him again. He almost made it back to the spring when we
got around him and got him turned back down towards
that open slope. He was really getting tired now, blowing
like a steam engine and weaving from side to side.
Sugar was right on his tail. The grain—fed mare was
strong, in excellent shape and still wanting to run. She fell
in on that buck just like a calf in a rodeo, dropping her
head, laying her ears back and rating him like any good
horse in a matched roping.

I dropped the rein on her neck, fished around and got an
arrow out of the quiver and drew it across the bow. I leaned
over to the right as far as I could without falling off to keep
from shooting my horse between her ears, drew back as far
as I could and let go. I shot right over his back. He must
have been all of five yards away.

The buck was pretty well rundown now. He was dodging
and weaving, trying to make it back into the brush. I would
shoot, fumble for another arrow, head the deer off, shoot
again, then 4 instant replay. I ran that deer all over that
open slope.

The deer’s patron saint must have been looking after
him. I shot up every arrow I had and never touched a hair
on his body. I pulled my horse up and just sat there wondering
about all those novels of the Old West I’ve read. As
far as hitting anything from a running horse with a bow and
arrow, or standing on the ground for that matter, I’m afraid
if I’d been a Sioux, Custer still would be standing.

My mare was blowing hard so I stepped off, loosened the
cinch and started leading her back up the slope to cool off.
I was wandering around, looking for my arrows, thinking I
should have thrown down that bow and jerked my lariat
loose and roped that buck. If I had tied him to a tree,
perhaps I then could have hit him e but I doubt it.
Suddenly the sound of motorcycles broke through my
foul mood. I looked up to see Les and Ray come whizzing
down across that open slope. They had their engines
wound—up tight and were really raising a dust.

They rode up, killed their motorcycles and put down the
kick stands. They got off and walked over to where I was
standing. Both men had big grins on their faces. They just
looked at me, as I stood holding my mare and feeling
foolish. Finally Ray spoke: “We were up on the ledge back
there and saw the whole thing. I want to buy that horse!”
No, I didn’t sell my roping mare to Ray Renfroe. The
incident did get him so interested in horses, however, that
he purchased several registered quarter horses and became
an ardent, accomplished horseman. He sold his steel manufacturing
company and began a completely new career
that’s about as far removed from the steel business as one
can imagine. He now resides in Prescott, Arizona, and is a
very successful Western artist. His paintings and bronze
castings are in such demand that most are sold before he
ever finishes them.

Les and Nora Hunt still own and operate their archery
equipment company in Salt Lake City. Les spent over five
years developing a special type of hunting arrow which he
now is manufacturing, called the “Big Daddy.”
The Hunts and Ray Renfroe filled their tags on the bowhunt.
I managed to keep my record completely clean: I
never did get one! <—<<

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Published by NYI1927 on 18 Jan 2011

CBC 2011 Sportsmen’s Banquet

I wanted to let people in North Eastern Indiana know about a fantastic Sportsmen’s banquet our church puts on every year.

Our purpose is to share with men, woman, and children our love for the outdoors as well as our passion for Jesus Christ.

This year our speaker is Brad Herndon. He and his wife have done outdoor writing on a national level for 23 years, and do assignment photography for Realtree Camouflage, Nikon, Hoyt bows, Remington Arms, Thompson Center Arms, Cabela’s, and other outdoor companies. He is the author of the book, “Mapping Trophy Bucks.” Brad will share how to use topographical, aerial and plat maps to figure out how to put yourself in the best possible position to waylay deer, and especially trophy bucks.

This banquet will include a seminar on turkey hunting, dinner, displays from local vendors, as well as many prizes.

This year we are giving away a Parker Youth Bow for those under 14 and a Matthews Drenalin bow for those 15 & over!

When: Saturday, March 5th from 5-9 P.M. Doors Open at 4:45 P.M.
Where: The Ligonier Rec. Center 502 W Union Street Ligonier, IN.
Cost: It is free! There is a donation taken to offset some of the costs.

Space is limited. You can reserve your spot by calling the church at 260-761-2321 or by signing up at the Rec. Center.

For more information go to www.cospervillebc.com.

 

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