Archive for the 'Bowhunting' Category

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Published by archerchick on 31 Dec 2010

MULIE MAGIC – By Zack Walton


Bow & Arrow Hunting
August 2009
Mulie Magic
Stalking desert mule deer is never easy, but the reward is well worth the pain.
By Zack Walton

It’s hard not to scream when you’re standing on a cactus wearing
nothing but socks. But after two straight weeks of practice, I was .
getting pretty good. I decided to put the pain in the hack of my mind
and continue to sneak forward. Knowing the group of` mule deer had
to be close, I tried to Focus on anything but the needles piercing my
toes. Just then, I was snapped back as to why was doing all this. I could
suddenly see the wide-racked four—point mulie reappear through the
mesquite. He was intently following two does.

The buck was obviously in full rut.
His large, swollen neck gave his body
the perception of being front-heavy As
he began moving around the group of
does, I couldn’t help but focus on him,
and while doing so, a doe had picked
up my location. The cagey “mule head”
bounded away taking with him she
and the others. It was developing into a
trend this trip. However, she went only
200 yards before settling down.
I began watching the group, trying
to anticipate their next move, when
the scene quickly turned into a
spectacular show Over the next few
minutes, I saw the large buck mount a
doe several times, finally breeding her,
square off with a smaller 3×4 and level
cacti and bushes just to prove his
dominance. The group had settled
down and grown in size when two
small bucks joined in on the fun.
With light fading, I laced up my boots
and began closing the distance on the
deer.

I had to skirt the group of deer to
get the wind in my favor by dropping
off the hilltop and circling them. I
stayed a couple-hundred yards away
and continued °°dogging” the group
until they disappeared into a small
draw By slipping into the depression,
the deer allowed me to get in front of
them without being seen, so I ducked
out of sight and ran down a wash to
where I thought the herd would go.

Shortly after finding my feet were
again full of thorns, I eased my head
above some rocks and saw big ears
moving every which way The bucks
were chasing does back and forth in
the confined canyon. What a circus.
Three different times I had a 20-inch-
wide 5×4 stop well within bow range.
“The deer don’t know you are here,
find the big boy? I kept thinking to
myself Soon enough, the wide four-
point popped out from behind some
quail bushes hot on two does. He was
easily twice the size of the does he
pushed in front of me at about 50
yards. I was hoping I had finally met
up with a large mulie about to make
his last mistake.

There is not another animal I have
chased more often, for longer periods
of time, than desert mule deer of the
Southwest. Every year I spend my
Christmas vacation in the high desert.
I have been going with my family for
the better part of two decades. And for
the past I5 years, I’ve bowhunted the
various animals that call the cacti-
infested area of Arizona home. This
past year was no exception and on
Christmas night my friend, Shawn
Wood, and I left to meet up with my
parents.

The holiday season is when I love
to hunt mule deer, because they are
more active and bucks are always
“twitterpated.” Bowhunting mule deer
during this window can be a blast.
Bucks fight cactus and each other.
Their I.Q.s plummet to that of a
stuffed animal, and they swell up like
a second-rate boxer after a few rounds
with Iron Mike. And the sight of one
classic desert giant, with wide, flared
antlers stretching from horizon to
horizon, is enough to bring you back.
I had my first introduction to these
big-eared desert dwellers 15 years ago
on the morning of my first bow hunt
for deer. Arizona allows hunters to
chase big game at the age of 10,
(two years before my home state of
California), so my first deer hunt was
in the Grand Canyon State. That

morning I found myself in the middle
of a group of mule deer and at the age
of 11, I shot my first deer with a bow.
I wish it were always so easy The
fact is, the mule deer in southern
Arizona are easy to hunt with a bow,
but difficult to kill. You can get within
150 yards with little effort, but closing
to within bow range is a minor miracle
every time. Throw in the fact that
when the rut starts, large bucks usually
will have between one and 20 does
with him—and you will have more
eyes, ears and noses to go through
than a plastic surgeon in Hollywood.
That’s when the challenge begins.
That’s the challenge I was faced with
that January afternoon.

The deer were running in circles.
“Wait for the buck to stop,” I told
myself When one doe stopped and
the buck lowered his head to sniff her,
I drew my Hoyt and settled on the last
rib of the quartering-away buck. I
remember thinking, “Constant
tension. Squeeze through.”
When the arrow struck, the buck
kicked his rear legs high in the air like
a bull looking to rid himself of a
cowboy Surprisingly, the shot did not
spook any of the deer, but as I scanned
the group, I could not find the buck I
had just hit. But he still had to be
there. The other bucks were still
chasing does, and the other deer were
feeding on cactus, all of this within
50 yards of where an arrow crashed
through the biggest deer in the bunch.
Finally, I found him concealed in
some ocotilio about 20 yards from
where I shot him. I could tell he was
badly hurt, but that I should put
another arrow in him. Control the
shaking. My second shot hit low as I
misjudged the yardage, but he didn’t
move. The next shot slid right under
the buck’s large chest and still, he
didn’t move. It was obvious
adrenaline was out of control now.
The other deer had spooked away and
here I was failing to put a second
arrow in the large buck right in front
of me. Somebody get me a bag to
breathe into. I told myself to calm
down and make the shot count and
the next arrow smacked home.

At impact, he busted through the
ocorillo for 100 yards before stopping.
The arrow had broken off from his
sprint, but I knew it had hit him
through the shoulder. The buck slowly
walked off stopping frequently I
watched him for 10 minutes before he
limped into a wash. Since the sun had
just set, I decided to leave the deer _
overnight and come back with some
help in the morning.

The night lasted for an eternity,
and after searching in the morning,
with help from my dad and Shawn,
we found the buck 150 yards from
where I last saw him. Both of the
arrows had penetrated the chest cavity
the first slicing the liver before cutting
through the bottom of the chest, and
the second hit both shoulders and cut
through the top of the chest.
The trip was a wonderful success,
as I had seen lots of animals and taken
a marvelous mule deer that was 26
inches wide and gross scored right at
the Pope & Young minimum. Along

with the one-horned buck I’d taken on
the last day of the December season,
and l had two archery-killed bucks in
difficult terrain. To make the hunt
more amazing, everyone in my
hunting party took animals.
My Christmas-time trip is a perfect
ending to my bowhunting season. The
high desert offers sunshine during a
usually cold winter at home and an
opportunity to hunt a different time
of the year for me. And with the right
amount of luck, l get to bring home my
last, and best present of the season. <—<<

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Published by archerchick on 31 Dec 2010

TUNDRA FUN – By Warren Anderson Jr.


BOW & ARROW HUNTING MAGAZINE
August 2009
TUNDRA FUN

Come along on this fun-filled journey in pursuit of central barren-ground caribou amid Canada’s Northwest Territories.

By Warren Anderson Jr.

I think caribou are fantastic animals; not many other species in North America can grow as much antler in such a short amount of time or cover the open landscape they call home faster than an Olympic track star. They inhabit pristine country and going to the Northwest Territories to chase them with a bow is an incredible challenge. They are also excellent table fare, yielding a flavorful meat that is tender and worth the effort. I had hunted caribou once before in Newfoundland a few years back, and that experience left me with a hankering to chase them again. So, in January 2007, my wife and I met with the folks from Peterson’s Point Lake Lodge at the Denver Sportsman’s Expo. After talking with the owners and some of their staff we decided to send a deposit and book a hunt for the first week
in September 2007. Although my wife doesn’t hunt, I was able to talk her into going as a non- hunter and sharing this once—in-a—lifetime experience with me. Some friends of ours had hunted with Peterson’s in the past and all gave glowing references. Although all of my buddies were rifle hunters, the staff at Peterson’s had guided several bowhunters and were well versed in the challenges that archery equipment poses.

We arrived in the town of Yellowknife in the Northwest
Territories via commercial airline, and then took a floatplane an hour and a
half north to camp. The Peterson’s camp sits on the shore of Point Lake,
which is a large body of water 70 miles in length, located just south of the
Artic Circle. The area is so pristine that the ice—cold water is safe to drink
straight from the lake. After cabin assignments and introductions with all
the staff and other hunters in camp that week, I headed down to the beach
to check my archery equipment.

I had been paired up with another bowhunter named Vince (the only
other archer in camp that week), and he also came down to check that his
equipment had made the trip without incident. I knew Vince had been to
Peterson’s a few years earlier and had not gotten an opportunity at an animal,
so we decided that he would have the first crack at an animal when we went
out the first day We shared a few stories, and I knew he would be a good
hunting partner for the next week.

On our first day on the tundra, we had great weather and spotted several
groups of bulls right off the bat. Our guide, Egan, helped judge the quality
of the animals and suggested that we could do better. That afternoon we
found a group of six bulls that made the grade, and Vince was on the chase.
He slithered into position as the rest of us sat in a boulder pile and looked on.
The way he crept to within range of these bulls, you would have never
guessed that he was a treestand hunter from Wisconsin who had never stalked animals in such open habitat. The caribou stood, sensing something was up, and Vince got his chance. The distance was a little closer than he had estimated and the arrow sailed harmlessly over the largest bull’s back.
We headed back to camp empty-handed, but with a great first day on
the books. That night in camp we ate like kings and shared stories of the day
Some of the other hunters had taken animals, so we listened to their adventures and admired their trophies.

On the second day of the hunt, we were again treated to great weather, a
gorgeous sunrise, no bugs and plenty of caribou. We each had a Pew stalks,
but no shots presented themselves. We also saw several bear tracks along the beach,
and that night, we had a bear visit camp. It had Pound the buried
freezer that the lodge used for storing eggs, peaches and jalapenos! Needless
to say after the surprise of jalapenos, we didn’t think the bear would be
back.

On the third day of our trip, my wife elected to stay in camp and relax.
We loaded into the boat and headed for one of the large islands on the
lake. \When we neared the island, we spotted two groups of bulls. After
sizing them up, we beached the boat and made our way to the top, over a
series of saddles and rock outcroppings. We slowly inched our way
around the numerous dips and peaks and could not relocate the target
animals. After getting the slip from the bulls, we were headed back to the
boat when a bull appeared out of nowhere and busted us. We were in a
little meadow crossing a boulder field when I heard Vince sharply say my
name in a high-pitched whisper. I froze and got our guide’s attention,
and when we looked to our right, there stood a good bull, with the sun
shining from behind him, illuminating his velvet-covered antlers.

Vince whispered, “Would you shoot that bull?” I answered yes, but
in our current situation, it seemed unlikely that I would get the chance.
After a few minutes, the bull moved off behind the saddle, and the chase I
was on. The bull busted us again as we were making our way to him and
trotted around another saddle. We stayed in pursuit, but at the next ridge
he had a cow and a calf with him. I was able to stalk within 30 yards and
get drawn on him twice but, each time, the cow or the calf was blocking
his vitals, preventing a shot. The group headed back in the
direction they had come from, and now Vince was back in the game.
Egan motioned for me to slip around behind them and cut off the escape
route while Vince crept close, trying for a shot. I hustled around several
knobs and lost track of both the bull and my two hunting partners. When I
eased up over the saddle and looked to my right, Vince and Egan were
motioning frantically that the bull was to my left. I was confused because
there was nothing but a large expanse of tundra, and I thought I should
surely be able to see a caribou in the wide open.

Just then, I saw his antlers bobbing from behind a large rock shelf and
knelt down to range the distance. When the bull took a few steps out
away from the rock outcropping that had concealed him, I drew and placed
the 30-yard pin in the sweet spot behind his front shoulder and triggered
the release. The arrow hit home with a thud, and I watched him tear out across the tundra and tip over. After some back slapping and photos, Egan caped the head while Vince and I packed the meat back to the boat. When I
returned that evening, my wife was happy for me, but a little sad that she
missed out on the whole experience.

That night, just before dark, the skinner was coming out of the meat
shed when he encountered a grizzly bear about 10 yards away. He had just
closed the electric fence and was reaching in to turn on the power, when
he turned around and saw the bear. Both he and the bear were startled at
the same time, and all he could muster to shout was, “Bear!” The skinner
made fast tracks for the guide’s quarters, and the rest of the staff came
piling out, shooting into the air to encourage the bear to move along.

As I watched the bear running out through the tundra, the owner of the
lodge walked past me and said, “I told that skimmer to keep the shotgun
loaded. I bet it will be loaded tomorrow.” He just kept walking back
to his cabin, as if nothing had happened. The skimmer was still shook
up the next morning and retold the story over a cup of coffee. He was in
no hurry to get out to the meat shed, and he took a good ribbing from all of
us before we headed afield.

On the last day of our hunt, my wife again elected to stay behind. I still
had my second tag in my pocket, and we spent most of the day trading stalks on different groups of bulls we found. In the early afternoon, while out on the lake, our guide spotted a lone bull in some thick cover. We beached the boat and tried to get the drop on him. We lost track of him in the tall
willows, and on our way back to the lake, we walked through a saddle,
when Vince and Egan froze. The bull had looped around and was sleeping
standing up when we came through the saddle. He had now spotted Vince
and Egan, but hadn’t seen me. Vince said they were busted, but if I thought
I could get the drop on him, for me to go ahead and do it.

I belly-crawled ahead to a small rock and ran out of cover. I was still
60 yards from the now-bedded bull, with no chance for a shot. I slid
backward until I had some cover and motioned to the guys that I was going
to go over the top of the ridge and come at him from the other side. As I
was sneaking around the knob, I felt the wind hit my back. Had I been
stalking a deer or an elk, I would have just headed back, but I knew that
sometimes you can get away with a bad wind on caribou. I crawled to
within 35 yards of the bull and waited for his next move. After about 10
minutes, he got up and started to feed to his right, which brought him to 30
yards broadside of my position. I drew the bow and slid the 30-yard pin
behind his front leg. When the arrow hit, he crow-hopped in a circle and fell
over dead within 15 yards.

We soaked in our final afternoon on the tundra as we worked on
quartering and skimming. We shared a few laughs and admired the orange
and red leaves of the landscape we were about to leave. It was a great way
to end a fantastic hunt. He wasn’t the largest bull in camp, but the stalk was
one that I will remember for a long time. As we said our goodbyes before
getting on the plane, my wife and I filled up our Nalgene bottles with our
last drink of the pristine waters of Point Lake and wished that the end of
our trip hadn’t come so soon. <—<<

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Published by archerchick on 30 Dec 2010

ON-YOUR-OWN ELK – By Mike Poulin


BOW AND ARROW HUNTING
AUGUST 2009

ON-YOUR-OWN ELK

Many Bowhunters are under the impression that all elk hunting is either too expensive or just not feasible to do on your own, which just isn’t true. Here’s how you can plan your very own elk bowhunt, all on a relatively small budget.

By Mike Poulin

Have you been sabotaging or
limiting your hunt opportunities on false beliefs? Does
out-of-state elk hunting seem so cost-prohibitive you just
won’t apply? Do you think drawing an out·of-state elk tag
is nearly impossible? Do you think you can’t get a
public-land bull elk on your own? Well, l once believed these exact lies,
until a fellow hunter educated me. Come along with me while I share
with you how to obtain tags, and how an average hunter like me prepared
and connected on a public-land bull.

ENTRY INT0 ELK HUNTING
As a die-hard Nevada mule deer hunter, the thought of hunting elk, let
alone out-of-state elk, came slowly for me. As you may know, claiming a
Nevada elk tag is rare. On the other hand, an archer in this state has very
good draw odds and many opportunities to hunt mule deer.
But the lure of these “bigger” deer animals pulled at me, so I threw
caution to the wind and initially opted for the easier-to-obtain cow elk tag. By
alternating between applying for a cow elk tag one year and the bull elk tag
the next, I could start to build and retain my bull elk bonus points. In
short order, it worked; soon I was hunting cow elk in the Ely, Nevada
area. And this is how I got hooked on elk hunting.

I learned so much in those three seasons bowhunting cows as I encountered
huge bulls that I could only watch in awe. Observing the inter-
action between bulls and cows, I developed quite a respect for both sex’s
sense of vision and smell. One could argue that going cow elk hunting
those three seasons rather than staying home and just earning points helped
develop me as an elk hunter. So, word for the wise: Do whatever elk hunting
you can, even if that means chasing cows.

OUT OF TIME—TIME TO GO
OUT OF STATE
The longing to go after one of those impressive bulls just grew .
stronger with time. Building bonus points was good, but I knew it might
take 10 years or longer for me to draw a coveted Nevada bull elk tag.
One day, I was lamenting the fact that I wasn’t getting any younger and
it might take quite a number of years for me to get a Nevada bull tag. My
friend Mark Hueftle listened patiently before asking me why I had been
limiting myself to my home state.
I told him because of expense, and he basically laughed. He said not all
hunts are expensive, and many could be done successfully without a guide.
And plenty of western states had good elk draw odds for nonresidents.

Mark offered to help me research some nearby states and to apply along
with me. Over the next few weeks, Mark and I looked into hunting in
Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming. Soon thereafter,
we applied for a few limited tags, and purchased an elk point in a few states
that allow you to do so.

Our research had identified some good draw odds for certain hunts in
Wyoming. In the end, we applied for a Wyoming general bull elk tag. Their
system for out-of-state general tags is by draw, but with a special twist. If
you paid the regular license/ tag (the cost at the time, 2005, was $493), but
if you were willing to pay nearly twice that at ($895), you were placed in a
“special” draw pool. The reality was that few hunters would be willing to
pay the higher fee, and therefore, the draw odds in that pool of hunters
would be better than the more numerous “regular” pool of hunters.
We ended up paying for the “special” and ended up getting tags.

WISH FULFILLED—NOW WHAT?
Not only did we each obtain a general-area tag, but one of Mark’s
friends, who had relocated to Cheyenne a few years before, was
about to be recruited. Soon, his buddy Bob Koehler, purchased an
over·the-counter tag too. One added benefit of Bob’s enlistment
was that, if we wanted to hunt in any of the designated wilderness
areas of Wyoming, law required you to have a resident
accompany you. Though we ended up not hunting in the wilderness areas,
Bob’s contacts in Wyoming helped us narrow down which general area to
hunt in the state.

Getting bull elk tags was just the start of our adventure. I knew that this
hunt was not going to be as easy as my broken-country cow elk hunts,
especially if the public area we picked was heavily hunted and heavily
timbered. Outlined below are the key activities we employed to narrow the
general areas down and to prepare for the hunt:

RESEARCH ONLINE AND
READ REPORTS
By using herd reports and differentiating the general area’s characteristics
and topography we were able to rule-out some areas. Neither Mark nor I
were fond of hunting in an area too populated by bears, and thus we
marked some bear areas off our list as soon as we found out.

SPEAK TO A GAME
DEPARTMENT BIOLOGIST
OR LOCAL CONTACT
Knowing we wouldn’t have a chance to scout the remaining areas,
we needed to get first-hand information. That meant person-to-person
contacts. Besides, talking with one of the biologists, we were able to have
Bob ask some of his friends in the state about a couple of different
hunting spots. This helped us narrow it down to just two places.

LEARN ABOUT ACCESS ROADS
BY USING MAPS
Whether online or hard-copy use maps to locate roads into the hunt
area. Vehicle closure areas and wilderness boundaries are very
important to identify before the hunt. We used some online topo map
services to review the areas and ended up making certain each hunter carried
a map of the area.

PREPARATION . . .
PREPARATION. . .
Gear preparation, clothing choices, practicing elk calling, exercising-
especially up hills—shooting up and down hills, travel plans, and almost
every facet of the trip needs to be planned out. Doing it yourself adds to
the fulfillment, but it takes some planning. Think about possible scenarios and bring the appropriate gear and some backup clothing. Due to my less—than-stellar directional aptitude, I brought along a GPS in addition to the compass and map.

READ THE DETAILS
By reading the regulations, we knew that our Wyoming “special”
general tag was really a rifle tag, but that by purchasing an archery permit
and paying, we would be able to hunt in the archery season. If we failed to
connect, we had the option of returning during rifle season.

ON TO THE HUNT
The sound was like a reverberating electric guitar as the arrow oscillated
back and forth, harmlessly embedded in the tree trunk. My dream of arrowing my first bull elk seemed to be vanishing as fast as the massive 6×6
and his harem showed up. Moments before, Bob Koehler and
I had split up to pursue different bands of bugling elk. Having more
than one band of elk within striking distance was a good problem to have
for sure. I had raced over the ridge in hope of intercepting that fast moving
herd that was working toward the thicker timber. Each time I heard a
bugle I could tell they were getting closer, and I needed to get in front of
them as quickly as possible.

Quickly I dropped down over the ridge into their projected path. I identified
a tree to crouch beside,
nocked an arrow, and tried to catch my breath. Moments later, the sound
of footsteps, mews and the shapes of sleek cow elk filtering through the
trees greeted me. My rangefinder read 39 yards. I knew the bull was close
behind and I had little time to prepare myself for his appearance.

Drawing my bow was effortless, and my confidence swelled as I
positioned my 40-yard pin on the walking bull. In a split second, the
massive form of a rutting bull totally filled the space in between two trees.
Still, something seemed wrong as I released the arrow. The bull had
stopped, but just as I let go he began walking again. My arrow missed and
struck a tree just behind the bull.

A sense of disappointment overpowered me like a thick fog. It
seemed like someone had just knocked the air out of me. Fortunately, a
thought crossed my mind: In videos, the callers all seem to call right after
the shot.
With very little faith, I reached down and grabbed the rubber
Hoochie Maina call hanging on my belt and gave it a push with my
thumb. The sound of the call had barely ended when a loud bugle
erupted just 25 yards away Looking through the pine needles to my left, I
could make out a large, tan body with dark legs, and I thought I could see
antlers. A whir of motion caught my attention as a smaller-bodied bull
trotted past while the other elk saw me and quickly vacated the area.

Satellite bulls, of course, I thought to myself I used the call again and
another enormous bugle erupted from the bull but this time at 10 yards! I
narrowed my eyes in hope that he wouldn’t see me through the tree cover
and wondered if he could hear my pounding heart. Time seemed to be
standing still as my emotions jumped back and forth between joy and {right.
The tree was the only thing between me and the bull, and he was
now peering through the branches trying to find the owner of that sweet
cow mew. Not seeing anything, the 6×5 stepped downhill to go around
the tree. I drew my Hoyt bow and swung my body around, just in time
to see his big body step out at 8 yards.

My 20- and 30-yard sight pins both appeared behind his shoulder
and I concentrated to hold them both behind his shoulder as I released. The
arrow was gone, and the bull raced away at break-neck speed. I finally
heard myself exhale and tried to follow the bull visually.

SUCCESS AT LAST
It took many minutes to collect myself, but finally I looked over and
saw the crimson-stained arrow buried in the ground just 20 yards from my
position. As different as the tree-embedded arrow was from this
reddened arrow, so were my emotions. The disappointment that was so real just a few moments before.

However, they were gone once I saw the bull approximately 600 yards
away on a rock shelf overlooking a beautiful creek. The sight of the 6×5
antlers gave me reason to pause. It is funny how a successful shot alters ones perception. Somehow, the landscape seemed different. The views of the
countryside seemed richer, more vibrant, even enchanting and heartwarming. I remember myself having a warm glow and I am sure I must have had a stupid grin on my face.

After packing the cape and backstraps back to camp, I found out
that Mark had connected on a bull too. With only the one day left to
hunt, I felt elated. “Thank you, God” is all I could say.

What a hunt. Earlier in the week, Bob had filled his mule deer tag on a
small buck. Then both Mark and I were able to connect with just one day
left. On our last day we called a nice bull to within 10 yards of Bob (that
almost walked over him) but he was pinned down and couldn’t get a shot
without spooking the bull. Unfortunately Mark and I made a costly
mistake thinking we should just hunker down and be quiet, rather
than try and turn the approaching bull with a soft mew. It cost Bob the shot.
and we learned an important lesson. Just because some bulls are call-shy,
this one was coming in to the calls and therefore the rule didn’t apply.

Subsequently the next year, we paid the regular general price and
failed to obtain a tag. We did, however, build a bonus point which, the
following year, allowed us all to draw tags once again, but this time in the
regular pool. Bob’s brother from California, Dave Kohler, got a tag along with us.

And so Dave, Mark, Bob and his brother, James, and I hit the slopes
about the middle of September. Within two days, Dave had arrowed
his first bull. Though it was a spike, he was elated. I missed a 6×6 on day six
at 54 yards, and on another day got surprised by a 5×5 that left me
without a shot. I had opportunities but ended up coming home empty
handed, but not without great memories.

Mark, on the other hand, passed on some smaller bulls early on and,
after a small snowstorm, arrowed a nice bull high up on a remote ridge.
Of course, as Murphys’ Law goes, the only two guys carrying real packs that
day were Dave and I. Mark used his very soft pack and did some MacGyver-like rigging to carry out the horns and backstraps.

BOTTOM LINE COSTS
In 2005, Wyoming general tag/license was $493. I spent nearly
twice that for the special tag/ license at $893. I believe the archery permit was
about $20. Above and beyond my normal food costs and gear, I figure I
spent approximately $1,200 total. This included my special tag, archery
permit and gasoline.

In 2007, the cost was lower. We each paid $591 for the general tag, and
about $900 each total for an entire 14-day trip. Now that} affordable do—it—
yourself elk hunting. My thanks go out to Mark Hueftle of Reno, Nevada,
and the Koehler brothers of Nevada, Wyoming and California. Let’s do it
again—very soon! <—<<

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www.ARCHERYTALK.com
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Published by seanb912 on 24 Dec 2010

hypershock 2? or 2 3/4?

I’m Buying a new 2010 pse omen 70# bow. I have decided on the hypershocks because of their cutting diameter, good design and seemingly durable design. I cannot decide between getting the hypershocks 2″ or 2 3/4″. The 2″ design seems more durable by picture on the website . (Left Click the text to look at both designs on the website) With that said I would like the larger cutting diameter. I also think the omen will produce enough kinetic energy to create a good percentage of large exit holes with either broadhead length(I will be hunting black bear). Thoughts? experiences? Thank you happy holidays

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Published by bhowardoutdoors on 22 Dec 2010

Why Hunt?

I’ve been given the honor and opportunity to write a blog about something I dearly love and enjoy.  Who could pass up a chance to write a blog on hunting and fishing?  So with the pertinent task of coming up with something so special that it would send the public into a frenzy to read this blog, I began wondering; do I open with a short autobiography?  Well, that would certainly send everyone into frenzy, but not the type the I would like!

How about a few stories of hunting successes this season?   That will surely follow, and at the end of the blog will be a contact address for you to send information and pictures of your trophies. But for the first blog, I’ve decided to explain why we hunt, what we hunt, and why it is important.

Fred Bear, a man known as the father of bowhunting, once said “Don’t base the fun or experience of hunting on whether you get an animal or not.  The kill is way, way down the line.  You can enjoy the woods.  You can enjoy the companionship of the birds, and the fish, and the animals, the color of the leaves…”  It really holds true.  Some of my best experiences have been without the climactic shot to bring down the game.  Every fisherman remembers the ‘one that got away’, but may not be able to tell you anything about the three fish she caught two weeks ago.  The beauty of God’s canvas with you being an integral but non-invasive part of it, that’s really the goal.

As outdoorsmen, our targets are usually the majestic whitetail deer with a crown of bone, or we may hope to bring in the strutting tom eager to meet a new mate.  The trout may be fooled into attacking a cork with feathers believing it to be an unlucky insect.  All have garnered our passions; our unrelenting efforts in pursuit of the biggest and most beautiful of Darwinian challenges.  We have entered nature’s domain, and blended in and became part of nature.  We accepted the challenge and try to conquer nature in its own territory.

 We come up with reasons for hunting and fishing, such as nature tends to overproduce, or disease and famine will destroy more wildlife than hunters if we do not help balance the carrying capacity of the land. But really, what I have found goes back to what Fred Bear stated. I do not have the first dove I killed mounted on the wall. But I do have a fond memory of hunting with my grandfather and my father. I was using an old Ithaca 20 gauge side-by-side that my grandfather and father used as a child. I also have a wonderful memory, and fortunately, a wonderful picture of my son and I walking off a field in Eastern North Carolina with two tundra swan on our shoulders.  My son used the old Ithaca 20 gauge side-by-side that I used as a child.  Hunting is a bridge of generations.  It’s a constant with many variables.   It’s something we must protect, but we must not abuse.  This is why we do what we do and why we enjoy it so.

I look forward to sharing your hunting and fishing experiences, as well as thought provoking and entertaining insights through this blog each week.

 Bill Howard is a Hunter Education and Bowhunter Education Instructor , a Wildlife Representative and BCRS Program Chairman for the North Carolina Bowhunters Association, and an avid outdoorsman.  Please forward any pictures or stories you would like shared to billhowardoutdoors@gmail.com.

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Published by trutested on 17 Dec 2010

Dangerous Encounter

As a hunter there are certain hunts that just stay with you and actually drive you to get off your butt and hike the miles required to find the game your after. These memories stick with you and you remember what is the most important about the sport of hunting. Those little unexpected discoveries each and every day that you have to look for and be in touch with the energy of the outdoors to see but most of all, Feel! My Javelina season in the mountains near Ashfork, Arizona was the perfect theater for this moment to play out.

Joining me on this hunt was my boss Greg, Sam, and the mortgage guy Dave. We had obtained leftover tags after missing the original draw because of busy work schedules and downright forgetfulness. Luckily I found that all the tags were not drawn and even though the area is just not known for great populations of Javelina I had spotted a herd the year prior and had a good notion where to find some pigs. After finding out we had the tags I traveled up a couple weeks prior and scouted the area. I found some tracks in the area and felt like I was in the right place so I told the guys and in a couple weeks the hunt was on!
We entered the area after staying the night in Flagstaff at Greg’s cabin the weather decided to not lend a hand and a snow storm was on it’s way. We had to go home early that day after spending only a few hours in the field. No big deal good friends and not at work, no problem! The journey back to the cabin was an adventure to say the least! The snow really fell and gridlock was upon us on the I-40. The next day things were about the same and because the area I’d scouted was quite a ways from Flag we decided to try a spot Dave had heard about near Ashfork. I did not know the area at all but it looked promising lots of cover, cliffy mountains, caves the whole bit. We parked the vehicles and I headed out while Greg and Sam decided to sit water. I gave Sam my .223 because I wanted to attempt and harvest my pig with my bow. With the fellas at the water Dave went out on his quad to search for tracks and I set out on foot. After about 300 yards I topped out on a ridge and instantly spotted sign. Deer, Elk and javelina had been working in the thick junipers and I was feeling excited. I found a game trail and followed it for about 100 yard when I discovered a fresh lion track. Bah Bump, Bah Bump my heart thumped in my chest. This track was only about an hour old! I followed the tracks for a while but my senses came back to me. I have a bow! Not the best weapon to have when going against 150 pound of killing machine. So I go from kitty mode back to pig mode but nevertheless stoked to see sign of all the critters. I journeyed for probably another mile or so and came to a cliff face. I scaled down to the base and searched for sign found a skull of a javelina and decided to get above and check the base of the entire cliff from there. As I walked into a u-shaped part of the cliff I noticed a lion scrape at the base of the juniper. Holy cow! He is close by! I round the corner about 100 yards away and see motion in the thick brush believing it’s probably a pig I nock an arrow and go on a few steps forward. Again the movement and then it looks up and I see white on its chest and this is no pig! The lion who’s track I’d seen and scrape I’d just passed sat below me not 20 yards away. I froze! What the heck do I do now! He has me located and I have a damn stick in my hand! I kneel down slowly and try and gain control of my adrenalin my heart is pounding like a drum and I have to make a choice. We stare at each other for about 5 minutes the rock under my knee is creating some serious pain and I have no clean shot! Finally I have to move I draw back my bow and whoosh the Lion jumps 10 feet to the top of the cliff at the opposite edge and as quiet as a mouse runs away! What a moment! Did that just happen. I have hunted for 25 years and observed barely a tail of a lion and now I had just had one 20 yards away.! What a day my life as a hunter is complete! Bury me now cuz it gets no better!

As I returned to the place where my friends were, taking about 20 foot strides I recall the elation and great excitement. I couldn’t help but yell and thank God for that moment. My senses were wired and alive, I felt like I could do anything. As I pretty much screamed the story to my buddies they were in absolute amazement. To this very day that memory sticks with me like it was yesterday. So everyday when I awake and say you know I think I’ll sleep in or stay inside where it’s warm I’m reminded of what I could miss out on.

Thanks for reading God Bless

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Published by admin on 10 Dec 2010

TOUCHED BY THE HAND OF GOD by Ted Nugent

TOUCHED BY THE HAND OF GOD
by Ted Nugent

It was January 6, 2006, when 26 year old United States Marine Corp Warrior, Corporal Josh Hoffman, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, instinctively improvised, adapted and overcame. With his fellow Marines, he surrounded and captured the terrorists in Fallujah, held them at gunpoint and prepared for the next step in securing the Iraqi village from the hands of evil.
Out of the eerie silence in that God forsaken desert hellhole, a single 7.62x39mm round erupted from a nearby shack, the 139 grain full metal jacketed round slamming straight into the young warrior’s neck, dropping this brave man in his tracks.
Thanks to the Herculean efforts of his fellow Marines, Josh would survive his injury, receive a purple heart, and then head into the toughest journey and challenge of his life. Completely paralyzed, this dedicated sniper and avid outdoorsmen was told he would never run, jump, dance, laugh, smile, talk, shake hands, wave hello, hunt, fish, hike, or fire his beloved rifle ever again. It was all he could do to relearn how to inhale and exhale with the help of a ventilator to struggle through every day from here on out. It was a heartbreaking and graphic example of the tragic price heroes pay for freedom in this insidious war on terror.
How the hell I fit into all this superior human condition I will never know, but clearly God has blessed me with this holy connection that brings me into the lives of these very special human beings. Truly, I am not worthy.
As it turned out, Josh was a big fan of Uncle Ted rock-n-roll and our unapologetic celebration of American freedom and the hunting lifestyle on our Spirit of the Wild TV show. Dear Lord, how lucky can a man get? We were contacted by the Hoffman family when they heard about the incredible Liberator unit created by my hunting BloodBrother Pete Odlund of West Bridge Tooling up in Lowell, Michigan.
This amazing invention consists of a wheelchair friendly platform framed by a rail system that holds a rifle, pistol, shotgun or crossbow, and can be activated and controlled by a joystick or even a small “sip and puff” tube.
Pete and his wonderful family have dedicated themselves to helping charitable causes and handicapped individuals get back into the wild again for many years. His annual Hunt For A Cure Cystic Fibrosis fund raiser is always a record setter, and they are a perfect example of an American hunting family that just gives and gives and gives some more.
When Josh arrived at our little log cabin in the Michigan wilderness, everybody put magnum heart and soul into making him and his family feel welcomed and loved. Because of his terrible injuries, Josh hadn’t been able to speak or express himself in years, but we all saw a smile in his eyes when we explained how he could fire a sniper rifle once again with the help of The Liberator.
We set up some plastic gallon water jugs against the tall bank of our lane, and settled Josh into the unit, instructing him how to sip and puff the .270 into firing position.
As we all know, aim small miss small is tough enough when you can gently manipulate arms, body, head and fingers, but for a guy who literally cannot move, Josh taught everyone in attendance a whole new level of patience and perseverance. It was truly a beautiful thing.
We all wanted to grab the gun frame to zero it in on the distant jug, but knew that Josh wanted to do it himself. He hadn’t done anything on his own in three years, much less pulled the trigger on a sniper rifle.
But we’re talking US Marine Corp here, and Josh kept sipping and puffing till eventually those crosshairs on the small screen were solid, dead center on a jug, and with a final double puff, KABOOOM!
1 plastic Taliban head blown to smithereens, SIR!
I’m here to tell you, there wasn’t a dry eye in the forest that memorable moment as Josh lit up like a kid on Christmas morning, the biggest toothy grin spread across his handsome face and some pretty impressive noises to go along with it. His girlfriend Heather was so moved, she broke down, and I personally had to look away for a moment to compose myself.
Improvise, adapt and overcome. Semper Fidelis. Where there is a will there is a way.
We went on to blast more jugs that day with beautiful Angela Kline showing her amazing marksmanship skills, even though she has severe Cerebral Palsy. We also took a family of great young men on a hunt at the Knowlton’s Laguna Vista Ranch near Pearsal, Texas, with The Liberator where these four brothers, all with various stages of Muscular Dystrophy were able to Liberate a few backstrappers for the campfire.
If you know a special needs person who would feel the soul cleansing powers of the shooting sports, I can assure you The Liberator can make it all come true.
Please visit the two websites, Libertyworx.com and wbtooling.com to make it happen. It’s fun to be around when special people are touched by the hand of God. And by the hand of Pete Odlund, too.

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Published by admin on 24 Nov 2010

THE CELEBRATION OF DEATH by Ted Nugent

THE CELEBRATION OF DEATH
by Ted Nugent

I know, I know, upon reading my inescapably obvious title, the socially challenged amongst us are spitting coffee or other some such beverage and assorted abused brown lippy substances all over their Texas Fish & Game magazine. In a world gone berserk with the scourge of politically correct denial, I expect nothing less.
The good news is that within this fine coterie of rugged outdoorsmen and women in whose hands this fine publication rests, the vast majority of hunters, fishers, trappers and just good ol all American grillmasters know exactly what I am talking about, and in fact grin with the certainty that though totally unnecessary to state in the world of honest consumers, in America 2010 it is time to state the truth as often as possible, confortable or otherwise.
And though I’ve heard it stated over and over again and again ad nauseum ad infinitum, I dismiss out of hand the lame claim that the kill is anticlimactic to the hunt itself. Yeah, right. I see it all the time where sporters get way more excited and jubilant when they don’t bring home fish and game than when they do. No one cherishes and celebrates the entire hunt and hunting lifestyle more than I do, but give me a break. When the beast is dead at our feet due to the incredible dedication, diligence, patience, sacrifice and good old fashioned good luck, the fun factor explodes exponentially when we kill, and we all know it.
The claim otherwise comes from some elitist, out of touch outdoor industry so called leaders, and certain cowardly outdoor writers that are afraid of their own shadows and recoil in abject trembling fear at the assumption that all people outside our sport hate us, hate dead deer and pretend that their store bought dinner is not dead. Not even close.
Of course, known by those of us who actually pay attention to life and hang out with attentive, intelligent and sophisticated folk, we are well away that our very lives carryon due to that very celebration of death. Numerous times each day throughout humankind history, it is the flesh of dead creatures that provide man life itself.
For those of us that hunt, fish and trap, the term “closer to the earth” wasn’t at all necessary to remind us where our protein and nutrition comes from. As we like to say, you can’t grill it till you kill it. Perfection personified.
As we approach our fallen prize, as we turn the straps on the grill, as we take a good hearty snort of prepared meals’ aromas at the table, and as we join hands in reverent thanks to the Creator for the miracle of sustain yield, all the way through the “mmm.. mmm goods”, “yums”, various questionable guttural noises, burps and other assorted such audible sounds of appreciation and joy, clearly genuine celebration ensues for dead stuff everywhere.
I’ve also heard of the feelings of remorse some consumers claim at the death of an animal. I’m not buying it. If ever there was a perfect act and a perfect moment, it is when we balance the herd and bring food home to our loved ones. Remorse? I think not.
So to quote the great Fred Bear, we all surely know that everyday afield does indeed “cleanse the soul”, but of much more importance, done with a sense of excellence and dedication to be the best that we can be, the results will fill our bellies too!
I share a lot of very special meals with my fellow man in my travels around the world, and I have yet to witness anything other than celebration at the table or campfire. Let it be known, the creatures feed, clothe, shelter and medicate us. Always have, always will. That is the prime cause of celebration in life, of life, via death. The beast is dead, long live the beast.

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Published by admin on 03 Nov 2010

Nugent/Palin visit West Virginia

Nugent/Palin visit West Virginia by Frank Addington, jr.

Nugent/Palin visit West Virginia

In support of a candidate that is running for the US Senate from West Virginia for the Republican Party, Ted Nugent and Sarah Palin were in Charleston, West Virginia for the event. With the election just days away, GOP Candidate John Raese hosted the event to get voters excited about his run for Senate. The seat was vacated when the late Robert Byrd passed away earlier this year.

I went to visit Ted and Toby Nugent, although it was a quick trip in and out for them. Security came and got me and took my uncle and I to a van where the Motor City Mad Man was waiting to go on stage. We chatted for a few minutes and then I looked in the back seat and saw Todd and Sarah Palin. I laughed and told Ted, “You’re keeping good company today aren’t you?” and he grinned and replied, “You think?”

I briefly met Todd and Sarah Palin, had a quick photo with her and then they left for the stage. I took a seat and watched as the program got underway. A local band had played some good 1970’s rock and had spirits hight on this beautiful autumn day. Congress woman Shelly Moore Capito spoke, Candidate John Raese spoke, Mr. Raese’s wife introduced Sarah Palin. Former Gov. Palin gave a warm speech and high lighted God, guns, hunting, and the wise use of our natural resources.

Then came the Motor City Madman. I was amazed to again hear Ted’s version of the National Anthem played on his electric guitar. He gave a great speech which contained many “Tedisms”. He also touched on being an asset, God, guns, bowhunting and freedom. He clearly struck a chord with the audience. They responded warmly to his speech and gave him alot of applause.

As the program wound down, the crowd swarmed the stage to meet Sarah, Todd and Ted. I didn’t get to say “Adios” but Toby Nugent texted me awhile later and let me know they found the Hoyt hats I’d left in the van for them. One of his last text’s told me that Sarah had grabbed one of the Hoyt hats. I laughed and I hope to see a photo of her in that hat soon. Watch for it, it was a camo Hoyt hat.

I hope all of you will exercise your civic duty and go vote this November. Although it is the rut in many prime deer hunting locations, many have given their time and lives so that we have the right and ability to vote. So please, November 2, go vote. It’s the least we can do to thank those that have given so much.

Until next time, Adios & God Bless.

Shoot Straight,
Frank Addington, Jr.

www.frankaddingtonjr.com

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Published by THEDUDE on 30 Oct 2010

Whitetail Age Identification

Does anyone know of an online test to help hunters practice identifying the age of bucks? I’ve have hunted deer most of my life and I still have not mastered this skill. I know that the teeth of a whitetail are good indicators of age but I’m looking more for something to help me in the field. Destinguishing the difference between a 4 year old and a 6 year old I find to be fairly difficult in the field. Thanks in advance for the help.

THE DUDE

 

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