Archive for the 'Bowhunting' Category

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Published by admin on 15 Jun 2010

1st Annual Old West Invitational Turkey Shoot Held in Hulett, Wyoming by Frank Addington, jr.

1st Annual Old West Invitational Turkey Shoot Held in Hulett, Wyoming
by Frank Addington, jr.

“The mission of the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of Wyoming is to create an enduring natural legacy for future generations through stewardship of all Wyoming’s wildlife.”
 
That mission statement is on the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of Wyoming’s website.   I was familiar with their work and when an invitation to participate in their first ever “Old West Invitational Turkey Shoot” came from my pal Dave Lockman, I absolutely said “Yes.”  I thoroughly believe in the work the foundation does to promote shooting sports and hunting to the next generation.   It is a program that many states should follow to ensure future generations follow our tracks into the outdoors.  We must be good stewards of the land and pass that along to the next generation.  
 
Dave Lockman is involved with the Weatherby Foundation International, which provides seed money to help non profit EXPOS around the country.  These Expos are a great way to recruit families and the next generation into the shooting and Hunting Sports.  So  the goals of the Weatherby Foundation and the WHF are very similar. I’ve long been an advocate of the EXPO concept and I first became aware of the WHF while attending an Expo in Casper, Wyoming. 
 
The One Shot Turkey Hunt was the first annual event and I was honored to be the first bowhunter invited.  So when I put the team together I asked my father and family friend Jim Wynne to join me.  We were the only bowhunters at the “first shot” event,  everyone else would be using a shotgun.  The town of Hulett’s population is about 400 give or take a few people, and this little western town was full of good folks.  The event took place near Devil’s Tower and thanks to president Teddy Roosevelt who made it our country’s first national monument.  I could see Devil’s Tower each morning from where our blind was set up, what a beautiful view.

Hunter’s would have special opportunities to attend banquets, social events and other activities during the two day hunt.   Highlights of the trip for me included meeting former Wyoming Governor Sullivan.  The former Governor even bought my breakfast at the Ponderosa restaurant in town.  He got an invite to come to West Virginia and I hope he’ll visit.  I also met many local folks from the area that I enjoyed visiting with including Mr. Jim Neiman, who owns a local sawmill business and golf course. Mr. Neiman is 80 years young and acts 40.  I really enjoyed talking with him.  I also was honored to spend some time talking to Jack Scarlett, who has been involved with the famed One Shot Antelope Hunt in Wyoming.  Turns out Fred and Henrietta Bear were friends of Mr. Scarlett’s family and Fred had been to his ranch to hunt.  Mr. Scarlett and I shared some Fred Bear anecdotes and stories and I really had a great time talking with him.  He was a mutual friend of Dave Lockman’s.  I’ve found that just about anyone that’s a friend of Dave’s is “good people”.  
 
My father and Jim Wynne joined me to make up our “archery team”.   We stayed with Dave Lockman out at the bunk house at the Solitude Ranch.  There was a bath house, cook shack with a lounge area with satellite TV, and a grill on the deck.  Dave and Janet Lockman brought a special request for me… an order of Rocky Mountain Oysters.  We warmed them in the microwave and enjoyed them with homemade hamburgers one day.  I laughed as Jim Wynne and Pop tried this delicacy for the first time.   Dave got me hooked on them many years ago in Casper, Wyoming at Poor Boys.  I’ve had them in Denver, Colorado at the Buckhorn, at Cattleman’s Cut in Montana.  and at Cattleman’s in the Oklahoma City Stockyards.   If you have never tried them I would suggest you do so when in cowboy country.   They are great when properly prepared.
 
Jim bought a target on the way to Hulett so that we could take some warm up shots in camp.  Mid day that first day I warmed up with a few shots.   I put a dandelion on the target walked back to 20 yards.   As an instinctive shooter I wanted to see how my new Hoyt Vantage LTD was shooting.  I had the bow set down to 52# for this hunt and was shooting Easton arrows with Muzzy 145 grain heads.  I prefer a side quiver to a bow quiver and use a vintage Chuck Adams leather side quiver, circa 1992 or so.   I removed an arrow from my quiver, drew the bow and when my pointer finger touched the corner of my mouth I released the arrow.   I saw yellow fly everywhere as the Muzzy head shaved the dandelion in two.  I shot one more arrow at the target and decided that I was ready for a turkey if the right shot presented itself.  I think the guide was shocked when he didn’t see a sight on my bow.
 
Our guide knew the Solitude ranch and had us in birds right off opening morning.  However, the old boss gobbler wouldn’t come closer.  He stayed out about 40 yards.  The guide had only brought a slate call and really didn’t fool with diaphragm calls or box calls.  Luckily Pop had a turkey vest full of calls and decoys.  He would also call in some birds during the two days.  We hunted hard for the two days and called from a blind and also did a few quick set ups while doing some afternoon spot and stalks.   On the second morning we were in a different set up.  The birds came in but the two gobblers stayed out about 40 yards again.  This time after they left I discovered the problem— an old fence line that you could not see in early light.  
 
While the guide napped pop and I still hunted down the ridge and set up on four gobblers.  Pop was working the birds when two hens ran in and left taking all four of the gobblers with them.    Having hunted eastern turkey most of my life, typically you can call the hen in and she will bring the gobblers with her.  In Wyoming, these merriam gobblers seemed a little easier to hunt but the hens were the problem.  Several times a jealous hen would run in and take the gobblers away when she left.  None of the three of us bowhunters drew a bow in the two days.  We all agreed that it would have been nice to have had another day or two but the hunt ended with a big banquet Saturday night.
 
This was a “one shot” hunt, meaning you only get one shot.  If you missed or if the turkey required a second shot you were disqualified from the competition.  Scoring was based on the weight, beard length doubled, and spur length doubled.    I believe about 39 birds were bagged out of aprx. 70 hunters.  There were smiles every where Saturday night so I believe everyone had a great time.  I was impressed when I saw companies like Remington play such a large supporting role in this hunt.  They provided about 17 guns for the event and ammunition.  The two youngest hunters on the team received free shotguns.  A special presentation was also made to a young man who had recently lost his grandfather, who had promised to take the young man turkey hunting.  His grandfather had just passed away and would not be taking the youngster hunting.  When this young man was presented a gun and an opportunity to be taken hunting, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. I really appreciate companies like Remington and Weatherby who give back to try and ensure hunting is passed on to future generations. 
 
This event wasn’t really about the “celebrities”.  It was about seeing these youngsters encouraged and recognized.  To me they were the real celebrities of the weekend.  I appreciate all that the WHF,  supporting businesses and companies, and volunteers did to make this first time event a huge success.  It was a great time and if you get an invitation to support or attend this event, please do so.  They are doing good things in Wyoming and I was proud to be the first archer invited.   If you do go, take some warm clothes for the early Wyoming mornings, a camera for the views, and be ready to meet some fine folks. 

Although a dandelion is all I had bagged in two days of hunting,  my hunt was a huge success.  Like Fred Bear, to me the success of a hunt isn’t always measured by the game taken.  I’d been able to spend valuable time with my father bowhunting, hang out with old pals Jim Wynne, Dave and Janet Lockman, and meet a bunch of new friends.  I enjoyed good food and good company and breath taking views.  I’d seen a huge amount of gobblers, a coyote, countless whitetail deer, mule deer, antelope and other game. My dandelion would have to serve as my trophy until my next adventure into the Black Hills of Wyoming.  I hope one day to take my son Gus there to see the sights and meet the people.  He’s only three but one day soon he’ll be old enough to join me.  I hope he’ll enjoy time with me as much as I enjoyed hunting with my father.
 
Thanks Hulett, Wyoming. I’ll be back.
 
***************************************************************************************************************************************************
 
 It is clear that the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of Wyoming is dedicated to promoting hunting and wise use of our natural resources to the next generation.   To learn more, please visit:
 
Special thanks to Dave and Janet Lockman, Hoyt, Muzzy, Robinson Outdoors, Easton and my other sponsors.  Also, thanks to the WHF, Solitude ranch, and every one of the staff and volunteers for this event. 

Visit my show website at:

Thanks for reading.  Until next time, Adios and God Bless.
Shoot Straight,
Frank
 
Frank Addington, Jr.
The Aspirin Buster

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Published by admin on 14 Jun 2010

PORKMANDO by Ted Nugent

 

PORKMANDO 
by Ted Nugent
 
I stink. I mean really, really stink, like ultra PU bad. There is a putrid, rank musky essence to my very being that repels all living things, except other stinky things. And what really stinks, I actually like it. You see, I just ambushed, killed, gutted, dragged, photographed and heaved a most beautiful four hundred plus pound nasty mud soaked, urine saturated monster Austrian boar out of my rain soaked forest in Michigan, then hugged the beast lovingly for photos, then I helped lift him onto my truck bed and hang his bloody carcass in my Polar King walk in cooler for the night. I am one, bloody, muddy, sweaty, soaked, stinky happy bowhunting idiot, and I couldn’t be happier. I love bowhunting for wild boar, and tonight was the night of nights. I can hardly stand myself. I smell wild.
 
It all came about rather abruptly as I was unpacking my bowhunting safari gear from a nonstop global bowhunting dream excursion that took me to South Africa for plains game, back to Ontario, Canada for another black bear, up to the glorious wilds of Northern Wisconsin for a giant whitetail and back to my ancestral Michigan swamplands for the continuing backstrap saga.
 
Still dizzy with a sense of drained exhaustion, I figured there was no way I could hunt today due to the heavy rains pelting my pole barn since early morning. As I stepped to the barn door to shoot some arrows from my new Martin AlienX compound bow, I was surprised to see a patch of lighter sky and a temporary halt to the rainstorm. Aha! An opening to go for it!
 
I immediately called BigJim, my main VidCamDude for our Spirit of the Wild TV show, and the hunt was on.
 
We tossed bows, arrows, boots, camo, vidcams and raingear into the truck and put the peddle to the metal Baja’ing for the old Nugent family game rich hunting grounds at Sunrize Acres in Jackson County, Michigan. It had been months since I had been there, and I was hankering for a hopeful rendezvous with our amazing pure Austrian wild boar that run wild there. My last three hunts there were porkless, and I was determined to end my skunking on my own wild boar preserve. It didn’t make sense. I have owned and hunted this incredible piece of southern Michigan farm country for more than forty years, knew it intimately, loved it wildly and knew it was just a matter of time before I picked the right place at the right time.
 
Though there are those ignorant loonies who refer to game preserves as “canned hunts”, those of us with any experience at all know all too well how foolish such an assumption is. Hogs are hogs and hunting is always hunting. Fact of the matter is, my hunting journals prove that far more hog killing opportunities have occurred on unfenced hog grounds in Texas, Georgia, Florida, California and Hawaii than on Sunrize Acres. There is no fair chase. The hogs cheat.
Jim and I chose a double ladderstand at the edge of a woodland waterhole where we had planted a variety of food plot seeds along the eroded banks. The entire shoreline of the pond was rooted up, tracked up and wollowed up. It was clearly hog heaven.
 
We chummed up the best shooting locations with C’Mere Deer and Three Day Harvest bait, then settled in hoping the rain would hold off till after dark.
 
Three hours later I was figuring my skunking would continue, when Jim tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to the open fields to the east where plenty of daylight remained.
 
Even at 75 yards it was evident that this was one amazing boar. The beast stood like a defiant, grizzled statue looking into the darker woods, then would take a few cautious steps before pausing to examine his domain again. As the giant hog approached the edge of the woods, he began rubbing his long, silver and brindled coat on a maple sapling, causing the four inch tree to wobble violently, the leafy canopy shaking back and forth to the rhythm of the pigs torqueing mass. At forty yards, he paused again, then slowly ambled to the edge of the mud for a noisy slurp of water.
 
I was poised for a shot if he gave it to me, but fortunately after a few guzzles of murky pond scum he headed our way with his nose full of C’Mere Deer. Luck turned bad as the huge boar fed directly behind the tree for what seemed forever, offering no shot whatsoever. Light was fading and time was running out. Jim filmed, I waited.
 
I very quietly asked Jim if he still had decent vidcam light when the beautiful pig turned slowly to its right and began to walk off. As is nearly always the case, he stopped again with a large tree covering his vitals. Jim filmed, I waited.
 
Instantly he took a step forward clearing the tree and I drew back my arrow, picked a spot and let er rip in a flash. Speaking of flash, the tracer round light trail of my Lumenok was a beautiful thing to behold in the misty dusk of the dark woods, as my arrow zipped across the 35 yards and sliced into the boar’s left hip, angling hard into his chest.
 
With a squeal and a deep grunt, he sprung into action as I nocked my second arrow just as swiftly. He floundered at his rubbing tree where my second arrow intercepted him midship, the glowing Lumenok’s telltale impact clearly visible.
 
It all happened so fast, I wasn’t sure if either arrow was on course for a double lung kill shot, so Jim and I climbed down and tip toed to where the second arrow connected. As I picked up arrow number two by the glowing Lumenok, I simultaneously saw and heard the boar just 20 yards ahead as it flopped his last flop in the deep weeds and grasses just outside the forest edge.
I was ecstatic! The beast is dead long live the beast! Jim and I danced a little pig jig for a not so little pig, dragged the behemoth out into the clearing, and paid our last respects for this gorgeous runaway BBQ locomotive on the hoof on film.
 
This old warrior was the essence of wild boarness. Over 400 pounds, long, gnarly, course silver, grey and calico hairs, deep heavy chest, long narrow hips with a elongated snout, singing, rangy tail and some pretty handsome ivory protruding from his prehistoric proboscis. And of the defining factor for all pigdom-the nostril flaring aroma of the whole ordeal.
 
Here’s the not so stinky part: even though this old boar was so ugly he was beautiful, and the olfactory stimuli was for true swine lovers only, do not think for a moment that all this adds up to unpalatable table fare. On the contrary, it is my personal experience and that of hundreds upon hundreds of fellow hog hunters I have guided and or hunted with myself, that even from these old bruisers, the pork is delicious.
 
I gutted him thoroughly, hosed him out clean, hung him by the snout in my Polar King cooler overnight so that all blood and fluids drained completely out of him, skinned him carefully, removing every last hair from the carcass, then took him to Joe Nagle, a gung-ho dedicated professional butcher in Homer, Michigan, where the beast was lovingly and ultra cleanly cut up into family sized portions with tender loving care.
 
Clean and cold is IT for quality BBQ pork my friends. Most of the white fat is trimmed off the meat, but wild pork fat is clean, organic and sweet, so don’t trim it all off, do keep some on for cooking ease and flavor. The rewards on the grill are so worth the effort we put forth when we hunt hard for those always thrilling hunting encounters.
 
To book a hunt for a pure Austrian wild boar, visit tednugent.com or contact SUNRIZE SAFARIS at 517-750-9060.
 
On this hunt, Ted used his Martin Rytera AlienX bow set at 50#, a 400 grain GoldTip Nuge arrow tipped with a 100 grain Magnus BuzzCut 4 blade, Sims LimbSavers, sight, drop away arrow rests and accessories, Scott release, Bushnell optics, Mossy Oak ScentLok clothing, Boggs rubber boots, Old Man ladderstand, Hunter Safety System vest, Code Blue scents, C’Mere Deer powder and 3 Day Harvest, Outdoor Edge SwingBlade, Glenn’s Deer Handle, Polar King cooler, Bad Boy buggy.

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Published by HeadsOrTails on 11 Jun 2010

Bow Press Last Chance Archery

Slightly used like new, 6 months old
EBAY sells for 730 plus shipping

The EZ Press (electric) is designed for quick and easy set-up of all compound bows.
The EZ Press components are machined for smooth and easy operation.
The EZ Press is what you need for higher draw weight bows.
Comes with standard bench of wall mount.

Asking $625
443-244-5440 Tim

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Published by ejon on 29 May 2010

THE BIG ONE… AND ANOTHER ONE!

Last year, I knocked down one of the biggest bucks I’d ever seen from my favorite hunting area… or so I thought?!

It was the last day of the 2009 hunting season. The plan was to try and  fill my last doe tag. I still had a tag left for a monster buck too, but that was not the plan.

As the clock was winding down on one of the coldest Michigan days of hunting I could ever remember, it seemed like everything was falling right into place. So I waited… and waited… nothing. For hours, I sat in my tree stand, posturing quietly. It was everything I could do to keep the feeling in my toes (and my backside) from chasing me out of my tree. Finally, I gave in… twenty minutes of daylight left …I was done.

I gathered up all of my gear, climbed down from my tree and headed back to the warming shed to meet up with my hunting buddies to reflect on another great season.

As I turned back to look over the area where I just left one last time, I noticed some movement. There she was… the one beautiful doe that would have filled my ticket. As I began to laugh in disbelief– there was another one. Then, a buck… looked like a six-pointer. Then another one… and another. Holy Crap! Suddenly, out of the shadows of the treeline, there he stood… a majestic monster. Like a parade of nobility all on display for me to see. “Why couldn’t I hold out just a little while longer?”

Well, it’s the end of May… still thinking about that moment at the end of the season when I gave in.

So for this coming season, I have made a pact with myself– I will try to last a little longer on those days when I feel like leaving. I will pick up some warmer clothing to be better prepared for battle.  More important, I will always remember this,  “…it’s why they call it HUNTING– NOT gathering!”

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Published by admin on 27 May 2010

PRACTICE OR CRY by Ted Nugent

 

PRACTICE OR CRY 
by Ted Nugent
 
We’ve all been there. Indescribable sacrifice and all those muscle numbing months, weeks, days and hours on stand, trying to outsmart the backstrappers of our dreams, when finally that magic moment of truth arrives, and, we blow it. Curses!
 
We all know that us humans are painfully fallible creatures, but there is no way out from under the agony of a blown shot, regardless whether bullet or arrow.
 
And then, horror of horrors, often, it happens again.
 
I hate that.
 
Have you ever thought of just quitting? I certainly have on more than a few occasions in the past. In fact the memories are so painful I refuse to regurgitate the ugly details of any of them here with you now. Who needs it?
 
Being the hyper uppity, exposed raw nerve ending kind of bowhunting guitar nut that I am, it took me many, many very trying years to finally figure out this malady on my own, and if the professional, fulltime nutjob MotorCity MadMan can figure it out, I assure you, anybody can.
 
As human beings, it is likely that we will never totally eliminate the curse of bad shots, but there exists a pretty simple, proven system  by which we can remedy this damning phenomenon quite handily in a very short period of time, IF we truly apply ourselves.
 
Believe it when they say, it’s 99% mental.
 
Step 1-Stop, relax, take a deep breath, maybe look deep into your own eyeballs in a mirror, and tell yourself you are not going to miss anymore. And mean it. I am not referring to a casual note to one’s self. I’m talking about a hardcore, serious as a heart attack, clenched fist, moment in time contract with God. A solemn promise on a stack of Bibles oath kind of thing.
 
Up thoughtful review, in the  big scheme of things, if sounds ridiculously simple doesn’t it, maybe even too good to be true. But I am here to tell you, a serious psychological commitment to becoming a killer shot represents, for lack of a better description, the whole shooting match. Really.
 
Based on the level of migraine inducing torture I have personally experienced and witnessed by my fellow hunters after an inexplicable blown shot, my proposed remedy is a gimme.
 
For many years now, I have the good fortune of guiding hundreds of hunters each season in various hunting camps around the world, and what I see and hear is very telling. We make it a point to always shoot our bows and guns together, and watching someone shoot speaks volumes as to his or her capabilities with bow and gun.
 
Be it known that there are many archers and marksmen far superior to your humble guitarplayer out there, and we can all learn much from these dead-eye, precision shooters.
 
The best shots all have one thing in common; they look and shoot smoothly and comfortably, with a fluidity derived from many, many hours at the range. Simply stated, they are obviously one with their bows and guns. Their every move is confident, graceful and sure, their weapon a natural extension of their very being.
 
Conversely, the bad shots also have certain traits and movements in common that can best be described as awkward and uncertain. Too many riflemen squirm and gyrate in an attempt to find the target in the scope. They usually fumble with the bolt or lever action, seemingly uncomfortable with the feel and function of the gun. You can tell right away they have not invested adequate effort and time to become at home with their gun and the shooting process overall. That, my friends, is simply a choice.
 
When I see an archer struggle whatsoever when drawing their bow, I know we are in for some trouble. The curse of accuracy destroying, over-bowed bowhunters must come to a screeching halt as soon as possible.
 
Shooting a few bullseyes at the range does not an archer make. I see them looking to connect the arrow knock to the string, searching to find the string loop with their release caliper, bouncing the arrow off the rest, and basically shooting with inexperienced, clumsy, bad anti-archery form. To do so is also a choice.
 
It all boils down to the number one violation of not shooting enough to become one with the shooting sequence and feel for their weapon. It takes many, many hours, many, many days and many, many shots to develop a meaningful deadliness with bow and gun.
 
Add into the equation, the mind rattling intensity when in the heat of battle, when the beast is about to give it to us, it is imperative that our training kicks into auto pilot. Muscle and psyche memory from effective training through prolonged, intelligent practice will go a long way in reducing, and I believe, nearly eliminating missed shots on game.
 
I am well aware of the fact that hunting means different things in varying degrees to different people, in a multitude of ways. Some of us absolutely live for our cherished time afield, others approach recreational hunting as a casual get away from the yearlong daily hustle bustle of everyday life. And that’s all well and good. However, not only does a blown shot cause anger and an overall sense of frustration, but much more important than this personal consideration is the fact that a less than perfect shot can unnecessarily wound and possible waste a game animal that so much time and money has been invested in.
 
We all know that we can all make mistakes. It is up to us conscientious, reasoning predators to do everything in our power to make sure we make the best shot humanly possible everytime we unleash our projectiles at a living animal.
 
Prioritizing scheduling to maximize time at the range is a primary responsibility of every caring hunter. And if the nearest range is difficult to get too with any regularity, then there are alternative practice procedures that are available to everybody, anywhere, anytime.
 
We can derive much desirable familiarity with our bows and guns right in the convenience of our own homes. The living room, basement, backyard, even the garage can accommodate meaningful practice time. The simple act of drawing our bow, settling the sight, and squeezing off a controlled shot into a proper target is very effective even at ten feet in the garage or living room.
 
Handling, mounting, sight, breathing and dry fire trigger control can all be accomplished just about anywhere, and will go a long way in training us to be one with our deer rifle or weapon of choice. I won’t bother harping on safety considerations, just as I don’t feel its necessary to tell you to wear clothes when going outdoors. I have immanent faith in my fellow man.
 
As my old man used to tell me; practice, practice, practice, then practice some more.
 If we are sincere in our desire to avoid the horrible feelings of blown shots, then the answer is simple- put our hearts and souls into being the best that we can be by putting forth the effort needed to become one with our weapons of choice. More practice equals more backstraps. Go for it.

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Published by sdhilliard on 23 Apr 2010

Vanetec 2.3

Anybody shooting vanetec 2.3 on 75 95 gold tips? If so how do they do.

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Published by D.A.Vaughan on 29 Mar 2010

Mi ASA Outdoor Shoot

There will be a Mi ASA Outdoor Shoot on 04-17-10 /04-18-10  

Shotgun Starts at 9:00 am /1:30 pm Both days

30  3D targets

Rolls and Coffee and Lunch available

Chief Okemos Sportsman’s Club

4667 N Gunnell Rd (note some google maps miss spell this road a gannell)

Dimondale,Mi. 48821

Contact-Dave Walter 517 646 0701

e-mail cosc10rings@yahoo.com

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Published by archerchick on 24 Mar 2010

The Perfect Treestand – By Bill Vanznis

The Pefect Treestand – By Bill Vanznis
Bowhunting World Annual 2006-2007
Your odds for success sour with this 15-item checklist!
 

Bowhunting World Annual 2006-2007

The perfect stand should not stick out like the proverbial sore thumb. If it is visible from ground zero, it should look like part of the forest and nothing more. 

There is no doubt about it.Hunting whitetails from an elevated platform is a killer technique! Position a treestand correctly, and you should easily avoid a buck’s sharp eyes, rotating ears and that uncanny sniffer of his long enough to take him with one well-aimed shot. This does not mean, however, that any stand site will work for you. Some setups are simply better than others. Here is how to turn the average treestand into a real killer. 

 

1. SAFETY FIRST!
The perfect treestand must be safe to use treestands that have been left outdoors all 

season long need to be inspected carefully for splits and cracks before you ever step on board again. Extreme weather, claimjumpers, saboteurs, animal rights idiots, and other assorted riffraff can and will raise havoc with any hunting property left unattended in the woods. 

Even if you pull your stands at the end of each season, field-test each one before the opener. If you have any reservations-as to its safety or effectiveness, get rid of it and purchase a new one. Your life and well-being are worth a lot more than any whitetail. 

What is the most dangerous treestand in the woods? The one that is handmade from leftover lumber! Rain, sun, and especially wind can weaken the wood and even help pull nails and screws from support beams causing it to collapse when you set your weight down. Never 

trust them! 

2. STRANGER 

BEWARE! 

The perfect treestand is one you erected, fair, square, and legal. Never hunt from a stranger’s treestand. Not only is it unethical, but it may be defective or not have been set up correctly, which in some cases could be an accident looking for a place to happen. 

There are many problems associated with bowhunting out of a stranger’s treestand. You don’t know when the stand was last used, meaning the stand could already be overhunted. Nor do you know if whoever was on board spooked a buck into the next county, was as careful with human scent as you are, or is a meticulous in his approach and departure as you tend to be. Did he urinate off the stand? Did he gut-shoot a deer earlier and spend the morning traipsing about looking for it? If so, you are probably wasting your time. In short, the only thing you know about this is such a hot setup, why isn’t the owner or one of the friends on board? 

 

3. UP-TO-DATE SURVEILLANCE 

The perfect treestands is erected only after careful consideration of a host of factors, including food preferences, weather conditions, hunting pressure, stage of the rut, etc. Don’t set up a stand based on last year’s scouting information. Sure, you tagged a nice buck there last fall, but a lot could have happened in the interim. Crop rotation, a poor mast crop, new housing projects and logging operations can all have a negative impact on a deer’s daily routine and cause him to abandon last year’s hotspot. 

4.KEEP YOUR SECRET HOTSPOT A SECRET!
The perfect treestand is one only you and a close friend know about. Do not brag about the bucks you are seeing on Old McDonald’s farm, and don’t give details about the stand’s exact whereabouts. Tell the boys at the archery shop you have a stand in the old apple orchard, and sooner or later one of those guys will be setting up nearby —legally or otherwise. 

Even if you are tight lipped about your hunting turf, do not park your vehicle near your hunting grounds or an obvious trailhead. Instead leave your vehicle some distance away to help confuse trespassers and claim-jumpers as to the exact whereabouts of your treestand. Remember, loose lips sink ships! 

 

5.TO TRIM OR
NOT TO TRIM 

If you must trim branches around the stand, do so sparingly, and only enough to come to full draw without interference. Just remember that the branches that you cut away are the same branches that afford you cover.
The same goes for shooting lanes. Keep in mind that mature bucks do not like to stick their necks out. Wide, open shooting lanes spell d-a-n-g-e-r to an alert buck and are subsequently avoided. Besides, the brush you cut down and remove is often the very same cover that attracts local bucks! 

In addition, nothing alerts an incoming buck, or another hunter for that matter, to the exact whereabouts of your setup better than several white “spears” sticking up from the ground. Use an old trapper’s trick, and smear dirt and leaves on the “stumps” of cut saplings to help hide them from prying eyes- Camouflage those shooting lanes! 

6.APPROACH UNDETECTED 

The perfect treestand approach the site and then climb on board without alerting any deer to your presence. You can start as soon as you park your vehicle by remaining quiet as you assemble your gear. Do not talk, slam doors, or wave flashlights about.
Check the wind and then choose a route that affords you the most privacy. You do not want your scent drifting into suspected bedding grounds or preferred feeding areas, nor do you want deer to see you crossing open fields or gas line rights-of-way either. Nor do you want to
cross any hot buck trails.
Even with all these safeguards in place, wear knee-high rubber boots and be careful what you touch or rub up against. The scent you leave behind can spook a deer long after you are in your stand.
Be sure to walk slowly and quietly, stopping often to listen. In some cases a cleared trail may be necessary. Deer can instinctively tell the difference between man and beast moving about. Humans walk with a telltale cadence and a destination in mind whereas a deer will travel in a stop-and-go manner.
Finally, get into your stand quickly but quietly. Once settled in. use a fawn bleat to calm down any nearby deer. 


7. NO HIGHER THAN NECESSARY
The perfect treestand is positioned no higher than necessary. In some cases a
10-foot perch is more than high enough off the ground to be effective, whereas in other situations a stand 15 to 20 feet up is required. Keep in mind that the higher you go, the more acute the shot angle becomes on nearby deer.
The late season has its own set of problems. There is less cover, and those few bucks that somehow survived the fall fusillade are on high alert. You can overcome some of these obstacles by placing your treestand a few feet higher than usual and positioning it so that you take your shot sitting down after the buck passes you by. A quartering-away shot is the best angle for a nervous buck.
8. COMFORT ZONE
You should be able to stay aloft all morning or all afternoon if necessary in a perfect stand. Start by choosing a stand design that allows you sit still without fidgeting. A seat that is too high, too low, or too small can cramp your leg muscles forcing you to stand and stretch. So can a stand that is not positioned correctly. If the stand is tilted, it will throw your weight off balance as will a knot in the trunk pressing against your back. Even facing a rising or setting sun can raise havoc on your ability to remain motionless during prime time.


9. SCENT-FREE
The perfect stand is clean and free of human odors. This means you are careful in your approach and exit routines, and you do not wander around the area looking for more deer sign or pacing off shooting distances. Use a rangefinder and write down the distance to various objects for future reference. Tape them to the inside of your riser if need be.
Some hunters go so far as to spray scent eliminators on anything they touch

or rub up against, including tree steps, pull-up ropes and the tree itself. You can never be too careful in this regard.
10. PLAYING THE WIND
The perfect stand takes advantage of prevailing winds, but you should have a second or even third stand already in position to take advantage of major changes in wind direction brought about by storms and other varying weather conditions. 

You must not be tempted to sit in your favorite treestand if the wind is blowing your scent in the direction you expect a buck to come from. Once a mature buck knows you are lurking nearby, he will undoubtedly avoid the area for several days—or the rest of the season.
11. OUT OF SIGHT
Position your treestand in a clump of trees whenever possible, as opposed to a single tree with no branches. Not only will it less likely be picked off by a passing buck, it will also less likely be stolen by a passing thief. If you are unsure if you are silhouetted or not, view the stand from a deer’s perspective, and then make adjustments as necessary.
12. SHOOT SITTING DOWN
The perfect stand allows you to make the perfect shot by coming to full draw undetected. Sitting down is the obvious choice because it requires only a minimum of movement to complete the act. If you must stand to make the shot, then position your stand so you can use the trunk of the tree as a shield.


13. OVERWORKED
The perfect stand is not hunted on a daily basis. In fact, it is hunted only on the rarest of occasions when all conditions are, well, ideal. And ideally, you would only hunt from that stand once, taking one well-aimed shot at a buck before you climb down from your first time on board.
Otherwise, any more than three times a week would be excessive. Remember, whitetails can pattern you rather quickly and will avoid your stand site as soon as they realize you have been snooping around on a regular basis.
The only exception is during the peak of the rut when bucks from near and far are pursuing does 24/7. Those stands that are set up along natural funnels can be bowhunted almost daily now where any buck you do see will likely walk out of your life forever if you don’t put him on the ground first.
14. PORTABLE OR PERMANENT?
Is the perfect treestand a portable or a permanent setup? Permanent stands have a built-in problem. As soon as a buck picks you off, he will avoid that setup, giving it a wide berth whenever he passes nearby, making the life span of that stand rather short.
Another problem with permanent stands is that they are difficult to fine-tune. You may be in the right church, so to speak, but in the wrong pew, making it impossible to move the 5 or 10 yards needed to get a killer shot.
A third problem with permanent treestands is that they do not allow you to move about as the season unfolds. For example, you want to key in on food sources in the early season, such as alfalfa, corn, beans, peas and buckwheat, but what do you do if things go sour? A good windstorm, for example, can shake the season’s first acorns loose, luring local bucks away from agricultural crops and into the swamp bottoms and steep hardwood ridges to feed on the fallen mast. How are you going to take advantage of this situation if you are relying on permanent stands built during the off season?
15. EXIT STRATEGIES
The manner in which you exit your stand is as important as your approach to your stand. When you step off the stand, push the main platform up against the trunk of the tree to help reduce its silhouette. Weaving a few dead branches into the stand’s frame will also help. You want your stand to remain hidden from deer and human eyes.
Next, get out of the stand quickly and quietly, avoiding all metal clanging. In case an unscrupulous hunter does find your stand, undo the lower set(s) of steps and hide them nearby. He may have found your secret stand site, but it is unlikely he will be able to hunt from it—at least on the day he finds it!
Now choose an exit route that will help you avoid contact with any deer. Keep in mind that you may be able to get to your stand quietly in broad daylight, but what about after dark? Can you sneak out without making a racket or disturbing nearby deer? After a morning hunt, you can cross most openings with impunity, but in the evening you would need to avoid meadows and other feeding areas even if it means taking the long way around.
A common mistake bowhunters make in the evening is walking out quickly and in a forthright manner. As with your approach, you must “bob and weave,” avoiding known trails and probable concentrations of deer. Sneak out, and when you get to your vehicle don’t talk, turn on the radio, or bang gear around. Deer will Patten your exit strategy as quickly as your approach.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to think about before you install a treestand. Think about each of these components carefully, and your chances of scoring will soar.

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Published by archerchick on 24 Mar 2010

Bowhunting Superman -Archie Nesbitt – By Jason Butler

Bowhunting Superman Archie Nesbitt – By Jason Butler

Bowhunting World 2006-2007

He’s been called “Canada’s Premier Bowhunter,” and in many ways Archie Nesbitt is the most-accomplished bowhunter who ever lived.

Bowhunting World Annual 2006-2007

With a bow in his hand and an animal to hunt,
Archie Nesbitt is a happy man. Hunting is in his blood. In fact, the Calgary, Alberta, bowhunting fanatic feels best when trudging through the forest or desert. “I’ve been chasing animals all over the place for the last 30 years,” says the
super-friendly attorney. “Long ago I thought
to myself that if you can hunt it, I want to try, it.” Thirty years and counting he’s stuck to that notion like glue. And, boy-oh-boy, have the animals piled up.

“I never stop thinking about bowhunting,” he says. “It’s  just tons of fun and I’ve never thought there was such a thing as ‘kicking back.’ Of course, I travel extensively with my job, so that
certainly makes things convenient'”  Nesbitt is a bowhunting fanatic for a very simple reason: Challenge. His attitude blends determination and focus into what he loves best. Once You get to know a little about the man, it’s easy to see just how true that is.

Nesbitt, 54, was born to hunt. Growing up as a kid in the wilds of eastern Canada, his family gun hunted to eat much of the time, shooting moose and caribou for their plentiful meat. By age 15,
Nesbitt shot his first big-game animal with a bow, immediately becoming infatuated with the aesthetics of archery. With that single animal his passion was born.

Even back when bows were pretty crude, Nesbitt took animals cleanly, thanks to his sharp shooting and hunting skills. He spent every spare moment he had scouting, hunting, and honing his skills, shooting arrows behind the house. A decade later Nesbitt graduated from
law school and became involved in corporate mining exploration and mineral resources development around the globe. This successful career would reinvigorate his passion and take his bowhunting to a whole new level.

Triple Slammer
Nesbitt’s bowhunting resume reads like a Donald Trump memoir on real estate. He has taken more animals with archery gear than any other hunter, alive or dead. Jon Shepley, vice president of sales and marketing for PSE archery, knows Nesbitt well. “This guy is the undisputed most-successful bowhunter on the planet,” Shepley states. “He’s arrowed quadruple the number of animals compared to any other bowhunter out there. It would be difficult for someone who is just retired with unlimited resources and time to hunt the animals he has successfully.”

To put that into perspective, consider this: In 2001, Nesbitt became the sixth man to make the North American Super Slam, harvesting all 28 species of North American big game recognized by the Pope & Young Club. More recently, however, he became the sole bowhunter to take the triple Slam, a tremendous accomplishment.

The Triple Slam consists of four separate North American sheep species, 12 additional sheep species from around the world, and 12 additional species of goats from around the world. This feat is recognized by the Grand Slam
Club/Ovis.  At a conference in early ’06, the Grand Slam Club awarded Nesbitt a certificate and congratulations for his unprecedented achievement.

However, for his Triple Slam, much like the Super Slam, Nesbitt did not start out hunting these animals with a “slam” in mind. “After several decades of hunting a whole bunch of animals, things just sort of ended up that way,” says Nesbitt. “This took many hunts and much energy. I didn’t get all of these animals the first time out. For many of them I had to go back a number of times.”  But the “slams” are just the tip of the iceberg. Nesbitt currently holds 46 combined world records recognized by Safari
Club International (SCI) from North America and around the world. His tally of Pope & Young animals nearly reaches triple digits; many are listed in the top 10.  In North America alone Nesbitt’s tally includes: two polar bear; a 1O-foot, 3-inch brown bear in Alaska; two Dall
sheep; a grizzly bear in British Columbia; two bighorn sheep; three musk-ox; a Shiras moose in Utah that was the state record for 15 years; truckloads of deer; the SCI world record Roosevelt elk on Vancouver Island; and more moose and caribou than some see in a lifetime. In Africa, the list gets longer.

Africa is one of Nesbitt’s favorite bowhunting destinations. In approximately 20 trips to eight countries, his list includes: four Cape buffalo; two Western buffalo; three lions; three leopards; two hippos; an elephant; a crocodile; and
hundreds of plains game. Nesbitt says that everybody should experience Africa at least once.

“Africa is magical. You see so many animals up close that it’s just incredible.  I’ve been fortunate to arrow a pile of different game over there. and I tell you I never grow tired of it. You can go over and shoot eight to 10 animals for a reasonable price. Usually l take my family and make a good vacation out of it. I’m always thinking about Africa!”
In other parts of the world, his list is even more mind-boggling. Abroad he
has hunted in 20 countries-Spain, New Zealand, China, Pakistan, and Iran,
just to name a few—-on six continents’  He once hunted for a solid month in North Africa atop camels. In Kyrgyzstan, he spent three three weeks hunting Marco Polo sheep and Ibex at 15,000 feet.  On hunts like these, there’s no room for error.

A few years back Nesbitt was planning a two-week hunt in the Middle East.  Because of the unstable political situation, it’s not a place many hunters would want to go these days. Naturally, he called some colleagues to see if they wanted to tag along-But all told him he was nuts. Yet, that didn’t dampen his parade one bit. He went alone, despite their hesitation, and bloodied up a few arrows. lt went over without a hitch.

So, with all these accomplishments under his belt, why haven’t you seen Nesbitt’s face plastered all over archery magazines and advertisements? Nesbitt has very few ties to the archery- industry.  He is a PSE pro staffer. “I started shooting PSE bows,around 1980.  When PSE founder and innovator Pete Shepley approached me in the mid’90s to ask me to join the pro staff there,  I was more than happy. I’d already been using his product for almost 20 years. I really think he is an archery pioneer, and I was happy to come aboard.”

With a PSE bow in hand, most of Nesbitt’s hunts have run smoothly, but predictably, there are exceptions. There was the time when a big musk-ox busted out of the large pack and charged
toward him like a freight train. Reacting quickly and jumping sideways for dear life, Nesbitt walked away after the animal missed him by mere inches. In Alaska, ominous grizzly bears have popped their teeth and circled at spitting distance many times.

These incidents were dicey. But encounters with elephants in Africa were cutting hairs, situations Nesbitt considers much more frightening. “For my money, the most dangerous animal on the planet is an elephant,” he says. “Elephants have the temperament of a junkyard dog, and when they charge you better start praying. I came within 4 to 5 feet of sheer disaster a couple of times. I finally killed an elephant in 2OO2 using a custom 100 pound-draw weight bow. I was thrilled!”

“In A League Of His Own”
The Pope & Young Club recognizes 28 species of big game. But Nesbitt’s North American resume reveals that he’s done them a few animals better with 32 species. Pope & Young Records Chairman Glen Hisey says, “Nesbitt is in a league of his own. It’s hard to fathom how a guy can hunt so much and be so darn good at it.
I know a lot of successful bowhunters.  And, believe me, none of them are close
to walking in his shoes.”

Just how many animals can one guy kill? Well, out of the other species Nesbitt has bow bagged on our continent, the Boone & Crockett Club recognizes two of them. The first is a Boone &
Crockett Tule elk from California. The latter is a Boone & Crockett Atlantic walrus. Nebitt’s is the biggest ever shot by a hunter-gun or bow.

Natives have found bigger walruses that died by natural causes. However, the few gun-shot animals pale in comparison to Nesbitt’s. He’s also shot lynx and bobcat with broadheads. No record keeping organization claims these. They say they can’t justify it because they can’t tell 100 percent whether the animals were trapped or nor. Nesbitt has a handful of witnesses to prove it.

NEXT?
For a man who has bowhunted and shot just about everything under the sun, what’s next? For Nesbitt, there’s no letting off the throttle. “Over the next several years I plan to concentrate on
several species of Asian sheep, the ibex and argali. Also elk and mule deer around home will get plenty of attention. They’re my favorite North American animals to bowhunt, and I can chase both right out of my back door.”

Nesbitt is very involved with SCI and has been for the past 12 years. He considers the organization outstanding and a great support for hunters.

Currently he’s the Alberta chapter president. “I’ve got some great friends in SCI. I plan on being affiliated with this community for a long time.”

Archie Nesbitt is a hunting machine, a pure predator on two legs. Many call him “Canada’s Premier Bowhunter.” His considerable accomplishments aside, the bottom line is that Archie Nesbitt hunts for personal enjoyment and fulfillment, not for sponsor money or bragging
rights. It’s that simple. You can’t help but appreciate a guy like that.

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Published by archerchick on 24 Mar 2010

Jared’s Buck – By Jeff Murray

Jared’s Buck -By Jeff Murray
BOWHUNTING WORLD Annual 2006-2007
A Father and Son Bond Through The Best Moments in Bowhunting

For many years, I’ve read about what it’s supposed to be like to.”pass on” the legacy of
hunting. But instead of reading about it, I’m finally experiencing it. Yes, I’m talking about a father-and-son story with a happy ending, but I have to admit it didn’t start our that way. If you’ve ever listened to the enchanting tune, Cat’s in the Cradle by the late Harry Chapin, you’ll understand and appreciate my perspective.

Here’s the chorus:
“And”the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
‘When you coming home, dad?’ ‘I don’ t
know when, but we’ll get together then.”
You know we’ll have a good time then.”

It’s a familiar refrain for many dads. We have to work hard to support our families; kids grow up before we know it; they become adults and get busy before they know it. Today’s life cycle just
doesn’t seem very friendly to endearing and rewarding relationships. And Lord knows I’m as guilty as the rest: It wasn’t until the death of my step-father that I realized I’d cheated him out of precious intimate times together. Now it seemed to be happening to me. Hear the confession of my now-27-year-old son, Jared: “While I admit to wanting to spend more time hunting with my dad, I find myself too busy to make good on my promises. At first, it was a high school and college football career. Then I got married early and we had a daughter. Life is good but tough.”

Though I tried raising Jared with a bow in his hand, he was born an athlete. He was remarkably fleet. He ran (not walked) at eight months and had a chiseled physique right from the cradle. Even as a toddler he lacked so-called baby fat, and his biceps looked like golf balls. He was destined to pump iron in preparation for the gridiron, which ended up out-muscling time on the target archery range during his teen years. But there was always a spark in his eye when we’d shoot our bows.  He’d anguish over every shot that didn’t find the 10 ring.  I was confident this trait would eventually drive him to become an accomplished archer and bowhunter.

I just hoped it would happen during my lifetime!  If it didn’t, however, I had nobody to blame but myself. As a full-time journalist, I wrestled with projects and deadlines that always seemed to steal weekend hours. So as Jared pursued a football career, I pursued my writing career. We
just couldn’t get on the same page….

THE BIRTH OF A
BUCK HUNTER
When Jared graduated from college in  2001, we were finally able to hook up together in the deer woods.  Jared went
antler-less that year, but it taught him bowhunting’s most valuable lesson: the role of commitment. In 2002, we spent time together scouting a patch of woods that produced some impressive rubs. I remember turning Jared loose, challenging him to hang a stand at the highest percentage spot he could find. When we reconvened a week later, I congratulated him on finding the second best spot.

“But this is a super treestand [location],” he protested. “What are you thinking?”

“You made a classic mistake of stopping where you thought it couldn’t get any better,” I said.
“Follow me and I’ll show you where you can’t miss.” We walked about 100 yards, stopped
where four trails came together like a tic-tac-toe grid, and soaked in the fresh deer sign surrounding us. If that weren’t enough, an aspen tree grew tall and straight in, about 25 yards away.

The only remaining question was when. I remember counseling Jared to plan on some vacation time in October instead of an all-November schedule. From decades of studying the timing of the rut I was positive it would hit
early that year, and I didn’t want Jared to miss out. Fortunately he listened to me. He ended up
arrowing the biggest-bodied buck I’d ever seen. I still remember getting the call at dinnertime.
The date was October 23rd. “Dad, I need help,” Jared said. “l shot a really nice buck!”

“Great, son,” I said. “But what do you need me for? Call one of your football buddies. I’ll meet you later at-.”
“You don’t understand,” Jared interrupted. “He’s huge. I mean, he looks more like a Clydesdale than a whitetail.”

The buck was big, all right. Everything-from his head to his hooves-was enormous. The dressed-out 1O-pointer bottomed out the scales of a local check station at 260 pounds. He was Jared’s first Pope and Young buck, and that magic moment hooked him for life on the cat-and-mouse game of bowhunting trophy whitetails.

But like so many young bowhunters today, it took awhile for the lad’s dedication level to match his expectation level. The next year, for instance, I managed to score on a nice buck while hunting weekends with Jared. He got out early and got out a lot, but by the time we could put things together, some other hunters moved into our two best spots. The following year, Jared ended up shooting a buck that he was convinced would make the Pope and Young minimum. He shot it at first light from a treestand we’d just hung the day before, which was prompted by a week of steady southeast winds. Long story short: the buck shrank by the time he hit the ground. I’ll never forget the look on Jared’s face when we recovered the deer. You could read his mind like a book: Is this really my buck?

PUMPING ANTLERS
Ironically, Jared would be asking the same question this past fall, but for a completely different reason. I’m getting a bit ahead of myself ( but instead of witnessing ground shrinkage, his 2005 buck would grow about 35 inches.
Finally, the two of us were able to hunt
together as a team. The rules of a local deer
-control hunt prevented us from scouting the way we’d like, but we still managed to set up a few stands that looked promising. Truth be told, my whole game plan revolved around anticipating where rutting bucks might cut corners. None of our stands were high-traffic spots.

On opening weekend, we each harvested a doe in compliance with one of the management hunt’s requirements. We spent the next month hunting the “fringes”-observation stands- while we knocked off some more does for a local venison donation effort. Predictably, as the days of October came and went, so did Jared’s confidence. I knew what he was thinking before he said it.

“I haven’t seen a single decent buck, not even next year’s shooter” he complained. “I really think we need to make a move, Pa ”

I’ve been there and blown that. The last thing a serious bowhunter needs to do is make a move for the sake of making a move. “Jared, that’s the best way to mess up a perfectly decent setup,” I lectured.

“These are our best spots, based on our best guesses. Second-guessing ourselves right now
with no new evidence isn’t going to get us anywhere.'”

That evening, I looked at my contour map one more time “just in case.” I found a subtle
bottleneck that I hadn’t seen before. The next time it rained hard or the wind howled I’d toss
a Lone Wolf over my back and hang a backup stand. As luck would have it, the very next day
a northeaster blew at 35. I found what l was looking for right away, and this stand location became Jared’s personal favorite the very first time he hunted it.  A narrow ridge paralleling a gurgling creek proved to be a deadly combination: the ridge funneled deer,  the creek muffled the kid’s comings and goings.

Now all we needed was a cycling doe or two to pull the bucks out of their aspen and pine woodwork. Bingo! Jared sat the next three mornings and watched the woods explode overnight with sniffing and grunting bucks. The first day for instance, he saw five different bucks,
including one that was about twice the size of his “ground-shrinkage” buck of the previous year. On the next day, Jared passed on a buck that, ironically, I ended up arrowing about week later
(another story for another day). I had to give the kid credit: He was willing to go antler-less if that’s what his quest for a record-book buck ended up dishing out.

Slow-forward to November 3rd. This date’s right up there with the day I married my wife and the days our children were born. I slept in Jared’s basement the previous night, and I remember beating the alarm clock that morning. Before I
hit the shower, I walked outside and tested the elements. It was cool and still-a perfect morning for rattling.

We were situated about a quarter-mile apart and comfortably perched in our treestands long before sunrise. As the eastern sky began to light up, I was seconds away from a hard-core rattling session.

That’s when a vibrating cell phone intervened.
The phone number was Jared’s. I knew something very good or very bad had just happened.
“Dad?”
“Yeah?”
“l think I just shot a
monster.”
“‘What do you mean, think?”
After some awkward silence that made me real
nervous, Jared said he was nervous. “I’m not sure about the shot. It was a little high and a little far back.”

Frankly, I wasn’t concerned one bit about how
far back the shot was-I’d find that darn
deer if it took us all day and all night. But
a too-high shot can be a buck of a different color. -The”undead zone”of the backstrap area is a non-lethal shot. I didn’t want to go there, but I had to. “How High?” I asked. “Do you think you penetrated the cavity?”

Well, Jared admitted he rushed the shot a bit, but he didn’t think it was that high.  After mulling it over we decided to wait till after lunch to track the buck.  That’s when I discovered a new rattling technique, compliments of my son.  Turns out he rattled before sunrise.  His reasoning was that he’d heard deer running around in the dark, and he wanted to keep them in the immediate area till it was legal shooting hours. It worked! His third rattling session produced a big buck, standing motionless in a thicket, behind his right shoulder. The buck was directly down-wind from a well-placed tarsal gland, and he was ticked off.  As he tore into a fresh scrape, Jared quickly and quietly exchanged his rattling antlers for his Mathews Switchback.

“l tried focusing on a narrow opening’ about 20 yards away, instead of on the buck’s rack,” Jared recalled. “When his head disappeared behind a tree, I drew and timed the shot when he slipped into the opening.” As I heard those words, I swelled with pride. That’s the
only surefire recipe for meeting the challenge of the Moment of Truth, and my son had mastered it.

The blood trail wasn’t exactly copious, but with each step I grew more and more confident that we’d find this buck-it was a liver-shot blood trail if I’d ever seen one.  Indeed,  all of our anxiety proved to be a waste of adrenaline.

The buck didn’t make 75 Yards from the impact of the shot. I spied him first. I had to bite my tongue when I got a good look at the rack. Wow I knew this was going to be a whale of a moment,
and I wanted to squeeze every drop of endorphin out of it. We’d split up with Jared examining the last speck of blood, while I monitored the trail and scanned the landscape ahead of us. When I told Jared to come closer for a better look at a new spec of blood, I grabbed him and told him to look over my shoulder. “There! What do you see?” I said. The whites of his eyes widened, we hugged and kissed, and he sprinted for the buck without hesitating.  I paused to give thanks and let the kid soak up the ambrosia. Man what a rack. Earlier Jared said he thought it was “150-something.” Now we could not believe our eyes. All we could do was
stand and stare in a daze.

“Are you sure this is the buck you shot, boy?”I teased. “This ain’t no 150-buck … this is a booner!” Instead of ground-shrinkage, this buck enjoyed ground-growth: we later green-scored the rack at 184 1/8 inches!  What’s more, it was impressively unique. The tines looked like menacing daggers; they were bladed and sharp-edged, not round and smooth.

Simply put, the score doesn’t come close to reflecting the mass of the tines.  As I said, our story ends quite happily, no small thanks to a buck of many lifetimes.

But here’s the main point I want to leave you with: Experiencing another hunter’s triumph can be many times more gratifying than experiencing it yourself.  It doesn’t hurt if it’s your son or
daughter, of course, but it shouldn’t matter if it’s a neighbor, a buddy or even a new acquaintance. Perhaps this is the quintessence of “passing it on.”

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