Archive for the 'Bowhunting' Category

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Published by sarah on 22 Dec 2009

My very first hunting trip in the pouring snow

The weather man is calling for a twenty four inch snow storm here in Roanoke county Virginia.   more snow than we will have gotten in fifteen years, also setting records for the month of December!  Anyways, i decide it will be fun to hunt in the snow and i should get to my tree stand before it starts snowing heavily.  As soon as i start walking into the edge of the woods i can barely see through the sno

windburn :(

 
windburn 🙁

w. i don’t turn back.  By the time i get to my stand already an inch and a half of snow has fallen and the steps are slippery climbing up.  im sweating and i should have lived in that last moment of warmth.  finally hooked in my stand i start to feel the snow flakes and wind on my cheeks.  windburn was in my future. my big fluffy NON-waterproof coat was starting to turn white and so was the rest of my clothing. i had to stand up to get some of it off before it all soaked in.  this turned into a routine.  an hour has passed and I’m colder than I’ve ever been in my life, and it feels like the temperatures dropping.  it hurts to look to my left; the wind and snow are hitting me harder than ever.  the next two hours were miserable.  i hadn’t seen a a squirrle  much less a deer and i was about to die so i lower my bow down and descend down the slippery steps once again.  up the hill i fell more times than i can count and next time i WILL dress warmer!

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Published by admin on 08 Dec 2009

Deer Hunting With A Pioneer Tips From An Old-Timer

Deer Hunting With A Pioneer
Improve Your Bowhunting With These
Tips From An Old-Timer.

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http://www.bowandarrowhunting.com/

 Years ago, I became acquainted with one of bowhunting’s legendary, but retiring and thus little-known, pioneers.  His name was Jim Ramsey and he lived above the Bonito Valley in Lincoln, New Mexico.

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 Ramsey had grown up among the Apache Indians and had learned from them the art of making archery tackle and using it for hunting,  Especially, he perfected their process of flaking obsidian for arrow ans spear points and became the finest practitioner of the art I have ever known.  It was from him that I obtained the supply of large chipped obsidian lance points that have since been used as the centerpiece of the Pope & Young Club’s “Ishi Award;”  their highest honor.

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 Jim Ramsey also made up a work display for the then-new Fred Bear Museum, showing all the tools, raw materials and steps involved in chipping heads, including a large number of beautifully finished arrow points.

 I had the opportunity to visit Ramsey in his hillside Lincoln home, which was itself a museum of miniature.  From him, I learned a great deal of valuable hunting lore.  He had slain more deer with his homemade bows, arrows and chipped heads than most people ever see.  I asked him to jot down some of his hunting notes when he had the time and I later received some of these from him.  I was glad to have them, for not too much later Jim Ramsey quietly passed on the the Happy Hunting Grounds.

 What follows are Jim Ramsey’s comments on his bowhunting techniques, given to me some twenty years ago.  They contain a great deal of interesting information and some novel tricks he used, many of them forerunners of what is common today.

 “Here in the Southwest, deer inhabit vast areas of the country and the various places where these fine big-game animals are found are often amazingly diversified and dissimilar.  The big, fine mule deer may be found from the high altitudes of the mountains, way up around ten to twelve thousand feet were moisture is plentiful.  They’re also down in semi-barren desert foothills of scant rainfall, in the spreads of the ancient lava beds and even on down onto the more broken and rougher plains country.  The lower elevations, however, are mostly home to the smaller whitetail (Coues) deer of the Southwest, especially in the cactus/mesquite areas.

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 “Regardless of where I bowhunt for deer, there are certain practices I like to follow as much as possible.  Deer are not so much concerned about the invasion of their haunts by a creature whose body scent strongly suggests a vegetable diet as they are over some comer who reeks with the warning odor of devoured flesh.

 “Considering this, I prefer to prepare myself in advance for hunting by not eating meat for at least a couple days before I go out.  But, I do eat plenty of vegetables and fruit, especially apples.  After arising from my bed in the morning, I like to take a good bath, but in soapless water so I’m fresh and clean with all possible body odor eliminated.  I say soapless, because most soaps leave lingering odors quite foreign to the natural outdoor smells in the haunts of deer.

 “Then I dress from the skin out in clean, fresh clothing.  As an added precaution, I like to allow everything I might wear or use on the hunt to lie through the night on evergreen bushes or other fragrant vegetation common to the area to be hunted.  Just laying them on the ground and covering them with mine straw or dead leaves helps a lot, provided there is no dampness to harm the equipment.  Not only are my clothing, socks and shoes treated in this manner, but also my bow, arrows, quiver, arm guard, hunting knife and any rope I may carry along.

 “Soiled, sweaty clothing worn on a hunt is a dead giveaway to game.  So are bloodstained garments that have been previously worn while dressing or handling game.  Clothing that has been slept in is especially bad, though most hunters camping in cold weather, myself included, are at times guilty of sleeping in at least some of the clothing worn in the daytime.

 “I don’t care to carry along a lunch that might give off a telltale odor; perhaps just a few apples.

 “While camping, I prefer to sleep on the ground with a bed of leaves, pine straw or tips of evergreen branches.  A good comfortable bed can be made this way and your blankets soon take on the fragrance of the natural bed material.

 “It’s a mighty good idea for the bowhunter to get out in the area he intends to hunt and camp for a few days before the hunting actually starts, living close to nature.  This gives him an opportunity to make leisurely reconnaissances of the area and appraise hunting conditions.  Besides, if he’s from lower country, it allows him a little time to become accustomed to the altitude before any arduous hunting starts.

 “The hunter should try to lend in as much as he can with his outdoor environment and, even if it does seem a bit farfetched, to become, in a way, just another creature of the wild places.  This advice is prompted b the various experiences gained from the more than fifty years I have hunted with the bow.

 “Most often, people arrive at their intended hunting area in a closed car.  Their clothing, hair and body reek with the odors of food, tobacco, gasoline, motor oil and probably the perfume from soaps, cosmetics and aftershave lotion.  Hunters do not notice these odors.  But, to the weary deer, what a distasteful contrast it is to the pure and natural ozone of their haunts.  It’s quickly noted by these and other creatures of the wild places.  It all adds a discouraging handicap to hunting, especially bowhunting.

 “After I am ready to go hunting, I avoid anyone frying bacon or other meat, as the odorous smoke settles on hair and clothing and clings tenaciously there, warning game.  I do not smoke, for an animal can detect tobacco scent a long way off.  I, myself, have often been warned of other hunters in an area by catching the drift of their smoking.

 “I prefer to wear outer clothing that blends in well with the natural surroundings, but I want it to be of material that will not be noisy when brushed by twigs or branches.  To prevent the cuffs of my trouser legs from flapping loosely and catching on brush.  I draw each one down and pin it in place with a large safety pin.  I don’t like to wear an ordinary hat when hunting in the brush.  I used to prefer wearing a head band of brown or greenish cloth about four or five inches wide, but I am getting a bit bald and the top of my head shows up like a reflecting mirror.  Now I sew a crown of like cloth onto the head band.  In colder weather a dark color stocking cap works well.

  “If I’m not familiar with the country and game conditions where I intend to hunt, as soon as I get a camp site settled, I get out and do some quiet scouting.  I try to learn which canyons have streams of springs in them, or if there are any stock tanks in the vicinity.  At any such places, I check to see if deer have recently been coming in to drink.  I learn if they have been using regular routes over well defined game or stock trail or have just come and gone haphazardly.

 “As I scout, I check for the types of vegetation deer like to feed on during that season of the year and also note places that might be favored as bedding grounds.  I try to learn how the breezes blow over the slopes and up or down the valleys or canyons.

 “Considering deer depend more on their sense of smell to warn them of danger than their sight or hearing, I always try to hunt against or across the wind, except when I may find it advantageous to slip into a brushy draw or canyon head and go with the wind to flush game onto open slopes.

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 “When hunting during the early morning and evening, if the wind is right.  I try to stay between the sun and the game.  I have learned this offers me quite an advantage.  A fine way to determine direction of faint breezes is to keep a feather tied to the upper loop of the bowstring.

 “Having learned from many experiences that the unexpected usually happens when one is least prepared for it.  I try to be alert and on the lookout for game wherever I may be, even if it’s unlikely deer are around.  Game will sometimes appear suddenly at the most unexpected time to place.  This is especially true when other hunters are in the area.

 “I often use cover scents, but prefer natural odors over man-made concoctions.  I like to crush and rub fresh sage, juniper or pine needles on my clothing and I rub my boot soles in any fresh animal droppings I come across.  In addition, skunk scent has for a long time been my old standby.  Deer are well acquainted with the smell of skunk and seem to be attracted to it.  It may be the smell appeals to them, but I have seen times when it appeared to have angered them.  Often, when deer come across a dead skunk, they will paw and stamp the carcass as if in anger.  This may be because deer, while feeding on the ground, have had their eyes sprayed with the skunk’s stinging fluid.

 “To handle such scent, I use a small, wide mouthed glass jar with a tight screw-top lid.  I fill it with rags or cotton and apply fifteen to twenty drops of the pure essence I have secured from a skunk I have killed, or from one of the trapper’s supply firms.  I carry the jar in a padded belt pouch.  When hunting, I loosen the lid about halfway.  If I want to hunt from a blind, I find a place of concealment near a well-used trail or crossing and place the open jar about ten paces back of my blind so the breeze will carry the scent over to me and onto the trail or crossing.  If shooting from a tree stand, the jar, or some moss with the scent on it, can be placed in an open space within good shooting range, so a passing deer will stop in the desired spot.

 “I usually prefer to still-hunt and stalk deer, so I carry my partially opened jar on my side.  One may get himself scented up a bit this way, especially on damp days, but the fun and success this trick affords will make it worth the trouble.

 “On the inside of each hind leg of a deer, just below the hock or knee, is a large musk gland.  This area has little or no hair on part of it with stiff, dark hair around its edge.  These glands seem to serve as a sort of radio set by which deer send scent messages to one another.  When hunting, if I can get these from the legs of a recently killed deer, I rub the musk on my trousers or on my boots.
 
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“If suitable cover is not close to a deer trail, deer can often be lured from the trail, deer can often be lured from the trail by dropping pieces of apples or other deer tidbits such as acorns along a course the hunter desires the deer to take. “A sneaky trick I have found useful is the ‘odorous arrow gambit.’  It works best when deer are feeding or traveling int the wind and I’m behind them, but without sufficient cover to work up on them.  I take a field arrow and wrap a piece of an old sock, well stunk-up with human odor, snuggly around the forend, holding it in place with a rubber band.  From cover, I shoot the arrow high over the deer so it will fall to the ground beyond.  The sound of the arrow may turn them back toward me.  If not, they will soon scent the human odor on the arrow and may come slipping back downwind toward me, their attention mostly centered on watching their  backs.  I have more than once had deer come right in close to me using this trick.

 “If I decide to still-hunt a lava flow area, such as the ‘malpais’ west of Carizozo, which is some five miles wide and extends down the valley from the crater about thirty miles, I carefully scout around the many grassy and brushy depressions, working as much as possible into the wind.  Lava bed deer contrast sharply in color against the blackish rock and are easy to spot unless the animal is bedded in brownish grass or brush.  Nearly all shots are rather close, since a hunter will usually be quite close to a deer when he discovers it.  And, since most of the vegetation, except for scattered old juniper tree’s is quite low, there are not many overhead hazards to deflect an arrow.

 “Mostly, the wind blows across the lava beds in an established direction.  When it blows quite hard with a lot of noise, deer are reluctant to get up from their beds which are sheltered in depressions.  This brings the hunter close in.  Since shots are short, he arrow is not overly affected by high winds.

 “All volcanic areas of the Southwest are not like this and thus do not present the same hunting conditions.  For example, the Cochiti Canyon country north of Albuquerque consists mainly of extremely steep mountains of volcanic material.  Some of this country is heavily timbered and much of it cut and broken by steep-walled canyons.  Deer hunting here is done just about the same as in any of the forested areas of the West.  The Gila Wilderness area of New Mexico is another volcanic country, mountainous and forested and an extremely good deer area.

 Deer_Hunting_With_A_Pioneer_5

“Binoculars are extremely handy in such country.  Bedded deer can be spotted from a distance and an appropriate stalk planned beforehand.  Feeding deer are more easily located, also.  Whenever I come to the crest of a ridge, I always peer over cautiously, usually through a bush or clump of grass.  Deer grazing on a hillside generally graze uphill.  By maneuvering cautiously, a hunter can often get above feeding deer and let them come up within easy shooting range.

 “Whenever I’m out hunting I always pay particular attention to all the various little sounds, especially the calls of birds or other animals.  A slight rustling sound may be a deer easing out of a bed and slipping away.  A red squirrel barking and fussing may lead one to a deer.  Ravens are apt to be concerned about a dead or wounded deer, so when I hear these black denizens calling to one another in their strange raven talk.  I give a stealthy look-see.  A bluejay or scrubjay squawking at or scolding something, prompts me to learn the objects of his ire.  Such woodland busybodies can give the alert hunter a lot of good hints— and, of course, will often scold at him the same way.

 “I well remember one day years ago when hunting along the base of the Capitans, I heard a bluejay fussing at something along the trail I had just covered.  I went back and got the opportunity to shoot two fine wild turkeys out of a flock that had come in after I had passed
 “Just this past deer season, while hunting among the scattered cactus and scrub juniper on a ridge, I noticed a flock of small birds fly up from the ground about thirty yards ahead.  I looked sharply and caught a glimpse of something grayish brown in the low brush.  I thought it to be just a jackrabbit, but to make sure, I eased behind some bushes and saw it was a fine buck.  Evidently, he had just come up out of a canyon, for he was standing there looking down into it as if he expected other deer to follow.  As a result of my heeding the warning of the startled birds, I was able to make an easy, clean kill of the big mulie. 

 “When I’m stalking a deer and the cover is poor, I watch carefully as it feeds.  When it switches its tail I freeze in place, knowing this is the sign it is about to look up.

 “During rutting season, buck deer will often stay in areas where there are domestic cattle.  A hunter should be on the lookout for such places.

 “Well up on many of the more forested mountains of the southwest are rather open grassy, meadowlike areas scattered over with fir trees, grayish old aspens, patches of young aspens and a variety of plants.  Deer love to feed in such places and, during the summer, bucks like to bed there.  But during hunting season, if such areas are readily accessible to hunters, the deer will hide out in the thicker surrounding timber or down in the brushy, tangled rocky canyon heads.  About sundown, they will emerge to feed in the upland meadows, returning to thicker cover shortly after daylight.  By waiting in cover or in a tree stand near the edge of such an open grassy area, an archer has a good chance for shots at deer emerging from the canyon heads at dusk.  Sometimes these uplands are enveloped in fog, making it damp and quiet for still-hunting.  But one should carry a compass to keep from getting turned around, as it can happen easily in drifting fog.

 “Sometimes the fog turns to sleet that comes rattling noisily down.  This is also a great time to be out since the sound of your progress is covered  and visibility and odor drift are somewhat negated.  When big fluffy flakes of snow are falling thickly over the mountains, hunting is usually good, too.  Just after such a storm, before the snow becomes crusty, is an excellent time for still-hunting.

 “Farther down the mountains, where pinyons, juniper and scrub oak grow, are other populations of deer.  But when hunters in any numbers invade such areas, the deer promptly move up into those brushy, rocky canyons and rockslide slopes.  An archer who has the patience to quietly work around through such fastness is pretty apt to get chances at some of the better bucks in the area.

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 “Whenever I’m sneaking quietly through thickets and hear a deer get up with a snort of dash off a few jumps, then all is quiet, I remain perfectly still.  The animal may sneak away, but the chances are it’s not quite certain what disturbed it and is curious to find out.  If I feel it’s standing out there looking and listening.  I crouch and look under the brush for sight of its legs while keeping a lookout farther up for antlers or ears.  I especially watch in the directions where the breeze is carrying my scent.  I’ve had bucks silently and suddenly poke their heads over bushes upon catching my scent, allowing me fine close-range shots.

 “A word of caution when hunting n any of the dry areas of the Southwest where it is usually windy.  Be careful of fire and of your smokes if you have to smoke.  It’s a terrible letdown to return to mountain areas where you’ve had many happy hunting experienced, only to find the forest burned away and only scorched and blackened stubs in the canyons and on the slopes.

 “Happy hunting.”

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Published by admin on 01 Dec 2009

Outsmarting a Wild Boar By Jim Cox

Outsmarting a Wild Boar
Here’s How One Bowhunter Got The Best Of This
Intelligent Animal – For His Dinner Table!
By Jim Cox

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 I stood on the bed of the pickup squinting into the morning sun.  The barley field I was watching stretched from my left to scattered trees on my right.  Focusing my 7X35 binoculars on a small herd of cows grazing peacefully among the trees, I estimated the distance to be about three hundred yards.

 I was almost ready to head back to camp for a much-needed breakfast when an unusual shape lying in a depression under one of the trees caught my eye.  At first I thought it was a small cow but as it lifted its head to sniff the wind I recognized the animal as the large boar I had seen for the past two years.  In both of these years, I had been so wary that I had never been able to get within two hundred yards.  I vowed that this time would be different.

 Quickly tucking the binoculars into the pouch on my hip, I checked the wind and figured I had a chance of navigating the terrain to get within shooting distance.  Keeping the wind in my face I began the slow process of crawling low in the open, duck-walking the gullies and running the tree line until I estimated that the tree I crouched behind was about thirty yards from the boar.

 I could hear the low grunts and knew that the animal was still there and was unaware of my presence.  Quickly fitting an arrow to the string of my Martin compound, I took a deep breath and slowly swung around the tree, coming to full draw as I turned.  My one thought was, “Don’t miss, don’t miss.”

 I missed.  Just as I released the boar stood up and the arrow hit between his legs.  I will never know how I nocked that second arrow but as the boar ran I found myself running parallel to him, again at full draw.  My shot was true, entering a little below center, behind the shoulder.  It was a killing shot but I would not risk losing this animal to the wilderness.  I released another arrow still on the run and brought down my largest boar to date.

Outsmarting_A_Wild_Boar

 For the last five years I have been hunting wild pig on the Harris Valley Ranch near Bradley, California.  This is a private range area open only to archery hunting.  The terrain of fields, wooded areas, meadows and desert affords an ideal habitat for the wild pig.

 Derived from the European wild pig, these animals are cunningly intelligent.  While their eyesight is thought to be poor they are able to discern movement from a distance.  The pigs’ sense of smell is acute and the scent of man on the wind is enough to send them running swiftly for cover.

 Wild pigs travel mainly at night, rooting for anything edible.  They love cereal crops and any root vegetables such as beets or turnips.

 Sexually mature at eighteen months, they reach full size in five to six years, with sows attaining weights of three hundred pounds.  Boars of over four hundred pounds are not uncommon.

 Unlike the vicious little javelina, wild pigs would rather run than fight, sometimes making false charges before fleeing.  The wounded animal is a different story, however, and extreme caution should be taken when following the blood trail.  The pig may act vigorously, slashing wildly with his tusks.

 Pigs do not have sweat glands and must protect themselves from sunlight.  If cover is not readily available they will make shelters by cutting long grass ands then crawling under it to form a protective canopy.

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 Like their domesticated brothers, the wild pig will find moisture and create mud holes or wallows, using them regularly until the sun bakes them dry.  If there are trees nearby the pig will rub the mud from his back on the tree trunk.  The height of these marks from the ground will give a good indication of the pig’s size.

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 I prefer to locate the animals from a distance with binoculars, singling out one pig and beginning a slow stalk.  But their habit of using regular trails to feeding grounds makes hunting from a blind or stand possible.

 A well-placed shot is essential because the hide and gristle on the front shoulders can be as thick as 2 ½ inches.  When hit in this area, the tissues close around the broad head and shaft leaving poor blood trails.  The wounded animal may then run several hundred yards making tracking difficult.  I try to place my arrow behind the shoulder at mid-shoulder height.  The broad head will catch the lungs and heart area and should result in a quick kill.

 Outsmarting_A_Wild_Boar_3

Because of the pigs’ stamina and tough hide it’s important to use the right equipment.  I use a Martin compound set at sixty pounds and 2117 aluminum arrows with Eagle broad heads.  I have found that because of the great penetration and large cutting area, the Eagle is ideal for wild pig.  I feel that using the right equipment for the game being hunted is essential; carefully choosing the right gear for the hunt has accounted for many of my sixty big-game kills with bow and arrow in the past few years.

 The best hunting times are early morning and dusk when the pig is active, although if there is no hunting pressure many pigs will remain active in shady or wooded areas until mid-morning before seeking cover.

 The liberal year-round season and the bag limit of one pig of either sex per day offer hunters an excellent way to sharpen hunting skills and put some delicious meat on the table at the same time.

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Published by hishuntinchic84 on 29 Nov 2009

Anyone in need of a pse compound bow for their lady or child for christmas?

Hey i am from Tennessee and am trying to sell my brand new pse chaos bow …i would love to keep it but i just cant find the time between work and school to go hunting …an associate at Gander mtn. told me to check out this site and post it on here …if your interested post something back …it would make an awesome christmas gift and its brand new barely used never been shot at any animal ..only target shot a few dozen times.

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Published by HoytFan221 on 29 Nov 2009

“Just a Kid” By Matt Eden

The 2009 archery season started in Colorado with my great anticipation. I had practiced for the past 3 years to be prepared and capable of responsibly hunting and taking my first Colorado Mule deer buck. I had practiced with a Diamond Edge bow set at 50# draw weight until early this summer. Then, I acquired my Hoyt Viper Tec with draw set at 60#, equipped with custom strings [courtesy of Mark Hershey], Cobra 5 pin sight, Ripcord fall away arrow rest, Carbon Express Maxima Hunter arrows tipped with Rage 100 g. Broadheads. I worked on a ranch all this summer to pay it off. It was expertly set-up and fine tuned at the Sportsman’s Warehouse in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

On the afternoon of September 8, 2009 I left my father and eased to my stand. I had observed deer from this area many times over the past 2 years of hunting with my older brother and Dad. I saw a buck on the hillside across from my spot of concealment. The stalk would require all of my patience and skills learned from years accompanying my family as they hunted. After 2 hours it was really getting late in the day when I finally worked within range. I had left my range finder at home. I was there. I felt it would be a 40 yard shot. I came to full draw and an easy release. This was a 150 class buck in full velvet. I would be really proud to take this animal as my first. I watched in disbelief as my arrow missed!

That was it! After 3 weeks of walking 4 to 5 miles each day that I hunted, a 2 hour impossible stalk, an easy draw and release. A complete miss! Was this how my season was to end?  Well, maybe I could connect again.

On Friday, September 18, about 4:30 PM, with good clear sky and warm, I again left my Dad and eased into where I would watch for THAT buck. I start my still hunt and at 5:00 I see a deer with horns out on the ridge. When he turns his head I realize this is NOT the buck I had missed 10 days ago! I begin my stalk and watch him settle down near the top of the ridge. I have to make a complete redirection to keep the wind to my advantage. I drop half way off of the ridge and circle. He is up on the top of the ridge, lying down and has not seen or scented me.

I am army crawling, using every caution to not be heard in the dry leaves as I approach the place that I last saw him lie down. I see the antlers! He is looking away. I get to one knee as he stands up and looks my way.

Am I busted?        Not yet!

He is watching in my direction! I set him up on my 20 yard pin just behind the shoulder and release. I smoked him at 25 yards! I mark the spot. I watch him move down the ridge in that “hunched up sway”. My heart is still pounding, even after 15 minutes. I have to go get my Dad! With his help I know we will track him down.

We pick up his blood trail and see him now 45 minutes after my shot. Dad encourages me to stalk closer and finish him. It is really getting late. I close to what I thought to be about 30 yards. I let my arrow fly. It hits a little high and away he goes! After waiting 30 minutes we try to track but it is just too dark. We will come back tomorrow and pick up his trail.

The next morning we search for his trail. We have to circle and circle and circle. We finally pick up a light trail and then THERE HE WAS!!

2009 Archery Deer

Our family’s taxidermist, Derik Rich, now in Texas will register it in P & Y at 183”

BOY, AM I GLAD THAT I MISSED THAT “LITTLE” BUCK!!!

Matt Eden

Woodland Park, Colorado

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Published by HoytFan221 on 29 Nov 2009

Buying New Arrows

I am in great need of new arrows, and am quite aware that it is an often difficult, yet important decision.  Each bow likes to shoot a certain kind/brand/weight/etc., and I need to know what kind I should get for my bow.  I have a 2005 Hoyt ViperTec XT 2000.  (I only want to hear comments from the people that have this bow or one very similar to it.)  Appriciate all input!

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Published by sarah on 27 Nov 2009

Sarahs Second Bow Kill

me and my four pointer

me and my four pointer

my alarm goes off at 6:00am to wake up and head off into the woods behind my house in Bedford/Roanoke county Virginia. My dad still isn’t awake but i go ahead and start getting ready. once I’m ready to go dad still isn’t up so i tell him I’m heading out.
once i get to my stand the first sliver of orange over the mountains is starting to show. Three hours pass of miserable, freezing winds and i see nothing but woodpeckers. Finally i look over at the ridge to my right and see a deer running down the side. by the time i can stand up and raise my bow he is walking in from forty yards. thirty. twenty. i draw my bow with shaky hands. the buck fever was getting to me. deep breath. my glasses fog! i wait a few seconds for that to fade, and then i aim, and release. i see my arrow pierce into the four-pointers lungs. He rears back and runs about thirty to forty yards and falls. My second kill. i call my dad and tell him the good news. thank goodness for four-wheelers!

my name is sarah and im fourteen years old. when i get older i want to have a hunting show. i really am trying to get noticed. any tips or advice is appreciated!
thanks!

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Published by usaoutback on 16 Nov 2009

The Right Trail- How to blood trail your deer this year

Every hunter has an obligation to know how to trail a wounded animal. It is vital to the hunter to only take the shot that allows a clear path to the vitals of the animal. Know YOUR limitations and stick to them. Missed shots make lousy blood trails.
Imagine yourself in a tree stand during bow season and the buck of your dreams offers you a broadside shot. You draw your bow, aim, release and the buck bounds off into the brush. If you find yourself in this scenario this fall, here is some information that will help you bring your animal from the field to the freezer-

I. Pick a Spot- Mentally pick a spot on the animal when taking your shot; never look at the entire animal. Also, pick a landmark (spot) where the animal was standing when it was hit. Whether it is a tree, bush or rock, these objects will help you locate the beginning of the trail to your quarry.

II. Sit and Think- It seems to be commonly accepted practice to wait at least a half of an hour before trailing. Listen for the animal’s direction of travel. If a fatal shot was made, you may even hear the animal fall. Replay the shot and think of what the animal’s reaction was to the shot. Be patient. A quick pursuit could push the animal into clotting the wound. Massive bleeding is the cause of death when bowhunting. If the animal stumbled or ran off wobbly, the arrow probably hit a shoulder, leg or vertebrae. A gut or intestinal hit will cause an animal to stagger and run away slowly. Finding your arrow and blood trail will give you an idea where you hit the animal.

III. Find Your Arrow- After the waiting period, go to the point of impact and locate your arrow. Hair, blood, bone and fluid on the arrow can tell you where you hit the animal.

Ask yourself the following questions-
1. What color is the blood or fluid on the arrow?
2. Is there any brown or green fluid on the arrow?
3. Is the blood light or dark?
4. Are there any bubbles in the blood?
5. Is there any hair in the area?
6. Is there an odor to the arrow?

Every one of these questions will give you clues to locating your animal. Let’s go into more detail-

1. Blood Color. The blood color and consistency will help identify the type of hit. Bright red blood with no bubbles signifies a muscle/arterial hit. Dark red blood with no bubbles indicates a hit in a vein, liver or kidney. Pinkish blood with small bubbles is a good indicator of a vital hit in the heart/lung area. Blood that has a clear, odorous fluid with food matter is a sign of a stomach, intestine or bladder hit. If this is the case, you should wait at least 45 minutes to an hour before pursuing the animal. The animal will soon feel sick and lay down in the vicinity if it is not pursued too soon. Death could be in a few hours or a few days with this type of hit. Unless there is a threat of meat spoilage, give the animal at least four hours before searching heavily.

2. Hair. Look for any hair in the area where the animal was standing when it was hit. Broadheads ALWAYS cut hair upon entry. The hair you find can help identify where on the body you hit the animal. Long, dark hair comes from the neck and back of a deer. Short, dark hair grows on the head, legs and brisket. Light, white hair is from the belly and behind the legs.

IV. Mark Your Trail- I carry a roll of orange surveyor’s tape strictly for marking trails. It is very visible and will help identify a direction of travel if you lose the blood trail.*
*Note- Don’t forget to remove your markers after you find your animal. Always leave the woods cleaner than when you arrived.

V. Get Help- “Two heads are better than one” holds true when trailing a wounded animal. Back in 1989, I shot a fat little four point that ran off into the brush. Since I was hunting three miles from home, I drove home to ask my wife to help trail my deer. She was a great help following the blood drops that were easily lost in the red leaves of fall. There were times when I lost the trail but Denise kept me from straying off the deer’s direction of travel. We found the buck in less than an hour in a thicket less than 100 yards from where he was shot. It was gratifying to share the experience with the person who suffered through my countless hours of preseason rituals.

VI. Cut grids- If you find yourself at “the end of the trail,” cut grids starting at the last marker. I use a compass and markers to search an area and do so in a snail shell pattern. This type of search will eventually have you back-tracking to the origin of the trail. Check known escape routes, bedding areas and water sources in the area you are hunting. Wounded animals often return to the preferred areas of security- especially down hill when mortally wounded.

VII. Use All Clues- Every blade of grass, broken spider web and snapped twig can be a clue to finding your animal. Does a rock look like it was recently kicked? What direction is a broken weed pointing? Did a red squirrel or birds start making an unusual amount of noise in a thicket close by? All of these “little” things can make a difference.

VIII. Electronic Tracking Devices- There are electronic tracking devices on the market that measure temperature changes as slight as a degree and have ranges up to 300 yards. I don’t have any experience with these units but I thought I would mention that they are available.

Your proficiency with your weapon of choice will determine the future of hunting. Be a responsible hunter and acquire the skills needed to make a quick and clean killing shot this fall. Your actions represent ALL sportsmen.
If you are an experienced hunter and tracker, teach those nimrod skills to the less experienced hunters. Share the hunting experience with someone who has never hunted. By all means, get involved with your local sportsmen clubs. Join some of the state and national organizations that are fighting for your PRIVILEGE to hunt. By helping others in our ranks, we help ourselves. Happy blood trails.

*Learn about ‘Making Sense out of Scents’ and ‘Call of the Week’ by going to www.usaoutbacktv.com

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Published by admin on 16 Nov 2009

Bulls in the Peak By Joe Bell

Bulls in the Peak

Bugling up elk during Colorado’s mid-September rut

simply epitomizes the rush of bowhunting big game.

By Joe Bell

http://www.bowandarrowhunting.com/

 

cover         

We trudged along in the 7,500-foot elevation air, moving upward along an old two-track.  This trail would lead us to a good access point before we ascended to the high oak brush hills to intercept the elk.  It was still inky dark when we heard the distinct sound of elk antlers racking a tree.  The noise was coming just near the roadside.  We moved in to 50 yards and set up. 

 Kevin, a good friend and Bow & Arrow Hunting’s advertising director, was my guide.  Before he began his tenure at the magazine Kevin guided for Eagle Spirit Outfitters, the outfit we were hunting with, for several seasons.

  Kevin was at my rear, 20 or 30 yards back.  We waited for a bit, then I heard cow mews coming from Kevin’s diaphragm call.  It was still very dim, so I strained my eyes looking for movement.  The thrashing halted but then sliced the chilly air once again.  The bull wasn’t moving.

 I felt the desire to move, but with it still dark and my guide squeaking his mouth, I couldn’t move.  But this could be the easiest elk hunt ever, I thought.  I could creep up, wait for shooting light and arrow this bull.

 Moments later, the situation solved itself as the bull silently walked off.

 Over the years I’ve pursued elk off and on but never really seriously.  I did have a tough, unforgettable experience hunting elk on a drop-camp hunt a few falls ago in Colorado’s flattop wilderness.  After four days of wandering the alpine meadows and ridges, I got lucky, came across a rutting bull chasing three cows and fell in between.  The shot came fast, as they usually do, but I nailed the 6×7 bull with a 40-yard shot.  I was awestruck by the entire episode and became seriously hooked on the challenge of hunting elk.

Bulls in the Peak_2

 Last summer, after putting in for several premier out-of-state elk hunts, I came up empty-handed after the draws.  This directed me to Eagle Spirit Outfitters, which runs elk hunts amid some of Colorado’s best elk-rich areas.  The great thing about this outfit’s hunting areas is that permits are available over the counter!  Besides that, I’ve heard of Eagle Spirit’s excellent quality and success over the years, plus Kevin told me it was simply the place to go to hunt elk.  I was sold and I was “fit in” during the second week in September.

 Baffled by the bull’s reaction, Kevin and I continued our march up the mountain.  We could hear several bulls bugling in the distance.  With every step the sounds boosted our excitement.

 Following a well-beaten elk trail to a stand of aspens, we set up immediately as the bull responded to Kevin’s cow sounds.  The bull seemed as hot as they come, but to out disbelief, he hung up 125 yards out—only barely visible through the gap in the trees.  He was a nice 5×4.  Gosh, I hate when they do that.

  As cows shuffled around him, he galloped to the side and spun the females up the incline.  They were moving away from us.  But suddenly, we saw another bull, but this one was only a spike.  Then we heard another up the draw.  Was this one heading our way?

 Kevin and I hustled upward.  We chased and chased, but our effort proved useless.  Before we knew it, the temperatures were beginning to heat up and the prevalent elk sounds that surrounded us earlier on were all gone.  The morning hunt was over.

 We laughed and talked excitingly about the morning’s events as we drove back to the lodge.  The hunting was so exhilarating I felt numb.  I wish we could’ve stayed up there with the elk, but a warm breakfast did sound good.

I’ll have to say, for the most part, I’m a bowhunter who usually enjoys “roughing”it.  Meaning, I don’t mind a Spartan camp with a tent and no running water.  Usually, this kind of campsite brings you closer to the game, especially when you’re hunting backcountry animals like elk.  In fact, all my elk hunting has been done from rustic camps.

 That was until I came on this hunt.  We were staying in a ski-resort-type lodge that was nothing short of elaborate (really exquisite), with all the bells and whistles you could imagine.  These bells and whistles include full-time gourmet cook, cozy bedroom suites (one to two hunters per room) with our own bathroom/shower, and daily cleaning and laundry services.  How’s that for elk hunting!

Bulls in the Peak

But don’t let these fancy features fool you.  This outfit is all about quality elk bowhunting, first and foremost, and the main concern is providing you with a first-rate elk-hunting experience.  They just like to do it in style.

 In the next several days Kevin and I became a synchronized hunting team.  We got into plenty of elk, including bulls that would score in the 280s and 290s—fantastic bulls for this region.  We just kept having tough breaks.

  On one particular morning, we set up along a ridge top—on one side was all oak brush with a big pond down below, and the other side was aspens intermixed with dark timber.  Upon scaling the hillside, Kevin bugled and got a response—several responses from different bulls.  The sound of an entire herd of cows and three or four bulls grew closer and closer.

 Unfortunately the animals crossed 90 yards down slope, way out of effective range of my Mathews Q2XL.  First the cows passed, then two bulls, one a 4×4, the other a 5×5.  Once they were out of the clear, I scampered behind brush and dashed from bush to bush trying to sneak close.  All the while the bulls were shattering the mountain air with sounds of dominance.

 I was nearly within bow range when I heard the timber below come alive.  From the sounds, there were three bulls in the patch of aspens.  My breathing quickly sped up, and without notice out came a giant bull.  He was caked in mud from hoof to antlers, clearly the dominant bull of the pack—the herd bull.  His 6×6 rack glittered in the morning sun.  He would score near the 300 mark.

  With some other elk in the open, I couldn’t move.  As he walked out of sight, the others followed. Eventually, it was the fifth and last day of the hunt.  Jim Sanchez’s son, Jacob, 25, had tagged his clients out and would be helping Kevin guide me.  Jacob and his brother Joe are astute elk hunters, bowhunters themselves, who know this elk country like their own two hands.

 On the final day, Kevin, Jacob and I hiked along an old road in the early morning blackness.  We wanted to reach the base of the mountain before light.  The elk would be moving fast from the flats to high bedding areas.

Just before reaching the location, Jacob challenged a bull in the distance with his Primos Pallet Plate diaphragm bugle call.  The bull’s interest level seemed right, so we raced closer and set up.  When he didn’t come on strong, we moved closer again.  We were mimicking a real bull.

 Bulls in the Peak_3

It wasn’t too long before we spotted two bulls, one was a 5×5, the other a 4×4.  The bulls appeared to be in a sparing match—nothing heavy but surely ticking their horns together.

 Jacob signaled to follow and we moved quickly but silently until reaching the edge of a clearing.  Jacob cow called, and cow called some more.  The bull’s bugled back.  Jacob called again.

 “There he is,” Jacob whispered as the five-point bull darted up the hill away from us.  “He’s leaving.”

 Meanwhile, the other bull let out a throaty, raspy cry, “The other one’s coming!”  Jacob hissed.  “Get down!”

Bulls in the Peak_4

 Seconds later the bull appeared, about 80 yards away, and was coming straight on.  He sounded off then dropped out of sight in a small gully.  I quickly estimated distances all around with my eyes, and drew my bow.  I figured he’d come up near the 40- to 35- yard spot.

 About 10 seconds later, he popped into view, at about 45 yards away.  He blasted the air with a throaty roar.  I held and held as he stopped, bugled again and took slow steps forward.

Holding the bow for nearly a minute, I was beginning to creep at full draw, fatigue surely settling in.  I was on  my knees and out in the open.  The bull stopped, stared hard at my outline with glowing eyes and gave the look every long-time bowhunter knows.  It was now or never.  I knew if I let down, he’d surely swap ends and explode away.

With the bull facing me, roughly 35 yards away, I felt confident of placing the arrow in the soft spot below his thought.  I snapped the pin on the spot and shot.

I watched in a split second as the arrow flashed near my line of sight and smashed into the elk.  He barely staggered and walked off.  I loaded another arrow, but there was no chance for a second opportunity.

 A half-hour later, we were at the hit sight.  Strangely enough, my arrow was lying on the ground, coated only with a bit of blood and hair.  I felt utter disgust, as I knew the arrow had hit off center and glanced off heavy bone.

 We tracked what blood there was for 500-plus yards.  It was obvious the hit severed no arteries or vitals, surely a superficial wound the elk would quickly recover from.  In fact, we believe we heard him bugle again, while in pursuit of cows.

 The following evening we found ourselves on high ground, looking downward with binoculars at a dozen elk, including a couple fine bulls.  Knowing the elk were quite far and we only had very little daylight left, we ran as fast as we could to intercept the moving animals.  Jacob knew where they were headed.

 It’s amazing the amount of ground a hunter can cover when the pressure is on.  Eventually we find ourselves within near striking distance.  We crept silently through the noisy vegetation.  There were elk all around; we just couldn’t see them.

 “This way,” Jacob commanded.

 He’s right up there.  “Go as fast as you can!”

 I darted forward, dodged a bush here and there and spotted the bull.  I came to full draw as he stopped.  But there was no shot.  Twigs obscured my shooting lane.  I stepped sideways, but shooting opportunities at live animals come and go in milliseconds.  A millisecond had gone by and this one was gone.  The elk took a couple steps and entered the brush.

 Though I didn’t arrow an elk during my five days of hunting, I had an unforgettable time, plus I learned many essential lessons.  First, never take a frontal shot on an elk unless it is at point-blank range.  Second, there’s no such thing as an easy elk hunt.  There were many times I thought this “lodge” elk hunt on private hunting ground was going to be a cinch.  And three, no matter what happens, good or bad, remember, elk hunting during the peak of the rut is as good as bowhunting gets, so soak it in and keep it fun— no matter what.

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Published by casemaniam on 09 Oct 2009

End of the year whitetail hunts

Easy link to purchase
all transaction sucured by paypal.
http://www.excellenthunts.com/index.html

My email Address if any questions
supportexcellentcases@gmail.com

 

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