Archive for the 'How To' Category

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Published by admin on 23 Aug 2010

BloodBrothers Or Adversaries-Choices

BloodBrothers Or Adversaries-Choices by Ted Nugent

There is no question that the finest human beings on planet earth are found around hunting campfires worldwide. Kind, hard working, caring, giving, generous, connected, down to earth, clever, sophisticated, educated, loving, funny and genuine are only a few adjectives to describe the families who carry on the most positive environmental, hands-on conservation lifestyle in the world. These are my heart and soul BloodBrothers and they inspire me to no end.

I have been guiding, outfitting, hunting along side and sharing BloodBrother campfires with literally thousands and thousands of these great people for my entire life and I know what I am talking about. The defining example of their greatness continues to sine through when I proudly take part in numerous charity fundraisers for needy children and the hero warriors of the US Military and their families year after year, month after month. Never has there been a time when hunters fail to charge forward, often at great personal sacrifice, to give and give and give some more. In nearly every instance in literally hundreds of instances, my donated hunts have raised record dollars fo every imaginable charity event, and that is because hunters always give more. Know it.

With that glowing truism well established, it is with a heavy heart that we must admit the painful reality that along with the abundant good, there is unfortunately always some bad and ugly. And no where in any segment of society have I witnessed a lower form of life than that which also inhabits our beloved hunting community. Sad but true.

We all know of their ugly existence. The sign shooters, the treestand thieves, the vandals, the drunks, the slobs, the dopers, the meth heads, the poachers, the criminal element, and maybe even worse than all that, the cannibalistic holy-than-thou elitists who stand as buffoonish deterrents to the recruitment of new and more sporting families to our beloved hunting lifestyle.

This inbreeding and cannibalism within our sport is one of life’s truly bizarre mysteries, and the manifestation of the soullessness of mankind.

You know them too. The unsophisticated amongst us who condemn hunting methodology choices other than theirs. The black powder elitists who frown on inline muzzleloaders or those unethical lesser sporters who cheat by using scopes on their front stuffers.

The weirdo’s who scorn the compound bowhunter for his “training wheels”.

The state bowhunting organizations who somehow classify a crossbow as some sort of firearm or possessing firearm capabilities in spite of the universal evidence to the contrary.

The “fair chase” and “no fences” obsessers who condemn private property high fence game managers’ and other hunters’ choices.

The goofballs who condemn the use of bait for herbivores but hunt over various baits themselves, and use bait for bears.

There are hunters who have voted to outlaw hound hunting.

How about the really strange hunters who think wearing camo in public has some negative connotations to the non hunter?

If you can imagine, in the eleven states where Sunday hunting is banned, the loudest voice for such an unimaginable hunting ban comes from hunter organizations. Think about that for a moment. Incredible.

I have personally been attacked forever for my legal hunting choices, choices mind you that are chosen by millions upon millions of great hunters across the land. Many of the world’s greatest and most respected hunters ever, like Fred Bear, Dale Earnhart, Howard Hill, Craig Boddington, Bob Foulkrod, Fred Eichler, Chuck Adams, Cameron Haines, Michael Waddell and millions more enjoy hunting with hounds and over bait. How a fellow hunter can condemn such choices is a clear and present indictment to their embarrassing small mindedness and strange, unfounded elitism. Sad testimony really.

My personal favorites are the clowns who claim I’m not a real hunter and bad for our sport because of my long hair and musical career, then go off with their drinking, smoking, chewing buddies to the topless bar for a night of wholesome recreation. Phenomenal. Meanwhile I will continue to celebrate and promote our honorable hunting heritage in my proven style and to hundreds of millions of people around the world in my unprecedented and irrefutably effective way. I wonder how many of them created a children’s charity to recruit tens of thousands of new sporters. I don’t really wonder. I know.

Bottomline, the animal right’s and anti-hunting goons have never negatively effected our sport anywhere near as bad as our own fellow hunters have. When Michigan produces more than a thousand times the number of mourning doves than we do peasants, but have failed to legalize dove hunting, it is not the anti-hunters who are to blame. It is the bottom feeding hunters who sided with them or failed to stand up for our rights that accomplished this grave injustice, and many, many others across America just like it.

So what can the good guys do? Turn up the heat, that’s what. Engage all hunters to think and try harder to be a positive force for our sport. Initiate the dialog and don’t let the naysayers get away with nonsense and silliness. We can’t educate those entrenched to resist education, but I believe we can galvanize more and more hunters to be supportive of choices and respect the powerful bond of our BloodBrotherhood.

Sometimes you can’t fix stupid, but we can all try harder to maximize the positive and minimize the negative. I for one would never find fault with, much less attempt to ban the choices of my fellow sporters. Waterholes are bait. Foodplots are bait. Mock scrapes are bait. Etc etc etc. We all know that. And every hunter I know supports such choices completely. Let us hope a new wave of upgrade rolls throughout our sport so that someday we can all stand as one to further our beloved lifestyle while uniting to defeat the real braindead enemy of those opposed to us. I have a dream.

Visit tednugent.com of twiter.com/tednugent for more Full Bluntal Nugity

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Published by admin on 02 Aug 2010

SUMMER SAUSAGE by Ted Nugent

 

SUMMER SAUSAGE                                                           by Ted Nugent
 
 

Ah, summertime, life is good and the living is easy. Dripping wet with nonstop sweat, but I’ll take it. The heat and humidity was brutal, but I had a day off from an even more brutal rock-n-roll tour schedule where we stormtrooped six nights a week with an animal ferocity the likes of which mankind has never imagined.
Trample The Weak Hurdle The Dead, nothing but lovesongs from your uncle Ted. Me and my boys were rocking at an alltime high intensity, and we only had eight more weeks to go before the official hunting season came on strong. I couldn’t wait. In fact, I won’t!
 
Spending my days working with my Labrador retrievers in anticipation of another upcoming wonderful waterfowl season, checking my varmint traps, exercising my arsenal and working on feeders and deer stands, there was no way I could fail to sit in one of my favorite ladderstands at the forest pond where the critters would surely have to converge for a little liquid refreshment before dark. There are swine in these here woods, and I need to get me some pork for the grill.
 
Big Jim and I loaded up the F250 backstrap hauler with bows, arrows, lightweight ScentLok camo, ice cold water, ThermaCells, vidcam and plenty of attitude. We quietly settled into our double ladderstands with a good cross wind from the southwest, and got ready to rock the three hours till dark.
 
I had placed some brand new Primo’s Swamp Donkey nutritional supplemental feed and attractant, both in granulated and palletized form, at the base of a few trees between us and the ponds edge. Following recent good rains, the little woodland pond doubled in size from slightly less than an acre to two acres, so we knew we needed something to improve our chances to lure some hogs into bowrange.
 
I often mention how the great outdoors “cleanses the soul”, but during my insane ultra rock tours, soul cleansing is essential for survival. As always, the beautiful Michigan woods calmed me and brought relaxation like no other. Crows yammered in the distance, woodpeckers harassed the wood bound bug world, and sand hill cranes crillled high overhead.
 
My old woods is emerald green in summer, and a slight breeze under the sun shielding canopy provided a welcome respite from the cooking ball of fire to the west. Jim videoed the beauty of sunrays cutting through the swaying  branches and a smiling old guitar player at home and happy on his sacred hunting grounds. A few golden deer skittered off in the shadows, but all was peaceful at our waterhole.
 
As dusk approached, I noticed movement to the south as three very handsome wild boar skulked along the forest edge headed for water. The good sized pigs took their time but eventually waded into the pond, crossing to our side. When they got a snout full of Swamp Donkey, they went for it.
 
As always, they ate facing us or facing directly away, not giving a decent shot for a long time. Finally, the smaller, redder hog, what I thought was a sow, turned broadside and I smoothly drew my lightweight 50# Martin bow without any of them noticing.
 
At twenty yards, I picked a spot and let er rip. The vidcam caught the zebra shaft smacking into the hogs ribs as the Lumenok glowed bright orange right exactly where I wanted it, in and out of the swine in an instant.
 
With a grunt and a squeal, the trio lit out of there like a punched piggy and disappeared into the dark forest behind us. Good Lord that’s exciting stuff! At 62 years clean and sober young, every arrow is more thrilling today in my life than ever before, and my big old pig killing grin on camera said it all. I knew my arrow was true, and it was just a matter of tracking my prize.
 
The bloodtrail was a dandy and in short order we recovered my prize. Though I thought my pig was the smallest of the three, it turned out to be a fine, heavy boar of over 140 pounds. A great trophy and killer grilling!
 
My 400 grain Nuge Gold Tip 5575 tipped with a scalpel sharp Magnus two blade BuzzCut head had zipped clean through the tough beast like butter. A graceful 50# bow is all she wrote, and in fact, Mrs. Nugent cleanly kills all her big game with a lightweight girly 40#. She has bagged big tenacious deer, rams, wildebeest, kudu, gemsbok, zebra, warthogs, impala, Aoudad, and an assortment of various big game around the world, proving the certain deadliness of lightweight tackle. I hope nobody keeps people out of our wonderful bowhunting lifestyle for the wrongheaded assumption that a powerful bow is necessary to kill big game. It isn’t. Stealth, grace and razor sharp arrowhead placement makes venison, not velocity or power.
 
We hauled my trophy boar out of the forest with a handy Glenn’s DeerHandle, loaded it up and after thoroughly cleaning and skinning it, hung it in our portable Polar King walk in cooler. The next day our buddy who specializes in smoking whole hogs picked it up for the final process for the ultimate wise use conservation of renewable pork.
 
Summertime-perfect. Hog hunting-perfect. Beautiful arrows-perfect. Dead hogs-perfect. Smoked hogs-perfect. Barbeque-perfect. Rocking like pork spirit powered maniacs the next night in Wisconsin-perfect. I call it the American Dream. Perfect.
 
For ultimate year round trophy boar hunting with Ted Nugent at Sunrize Acres in Michigan, contact Paul@tednugent.com 517-750-9060, or visit tednugent.com
 

 

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Published by admin on 02 Aug 2010

Nugent hit it dead center with his “Mystical flight of the arrow”

Nugent hit it dead center with his “Mystical flight of the arrow”
 
Ted Nugent calls it “the mystical flight of the arrow” and I always thought that was a pretty good description of the sport of archery.  There’s just something about the flight of an arrow that has been a lifelong addiction for me.  I drew my first bow in 1971 at the age of four and have been drawing a bowstring ever since.  Uncle Theo has a way with words and I’ve never seen a better description than he has for this passion we share for the flight of the arrow.
 
I like shooting an arrow, talking about and writing about it, and visiting with others that like it.  So much so that I made it a career.  For the past 25 years I’ve been on the road doing instinctive archery shows across the country.  As a protege’ of the late Rev. Stacy Groscup, I have tried to demonstrate the instinctive style of shooting for audiences from a wide variety of backgrounds.  I have stood in the Bronx after a show there and watched children line up for two hours to try archery after my show.  I have stood in a horse barn in Amish country and did shows, and in some of the finest sports complexes we have.  It matters not, people enjoy the flight of an arrow and hopefully they also listen to my words, encouraging them to spend time as a family unit together outdoors—away from cell phones, computers, video games, and tv.  I also tell the youngsters in the audience about staying away from drugs and living a good life, so that they can dream big dreams and then work hard to make those dreams come true.  And when my arrow busts that baby aspirin from mid air, it drives those messages home. 
 
What is it about this flight of the arrow that draws us in?  One of things for me is accuracy.  I love to see an arrow strike it’s target.  I have written articles prior to this one discussing the importance of target acquisition.  You see an object, lock in on it, draw the bow and release your arrow.  Then there is that moment while the arrow travels to the mark— anticipation–and then the moment of truth– a hit or a miss.  Powerful stuff.  I don’t really care what style of shooting you use–GAP, Point Of Aim, Sights, Scope, Release… it’s that arrow flying to it’s mark.  That’s the excitement. 
 
My son now has the passion for archery!  The fact that he’s already busting balloons with his bow at three years old is awesome.  I remember a few weeks ago when he and I were in the indoor range.  I put a balloon on the target for him, knelt down beside him to help him draw his bow when he took the bow from me and walked a few paces away saying, “I got it dad” or something like that, drawing the bow, and letting the arrow fly.  I watched as that arrow slowly went into the air and “POW” popped the balloon first shot!  That was the first time he’d ever fired a bow on his own.  I will always remember that particular shot.  Wow.
 
There have been other shots over the years I remember.  One of them is when the late Tom Joyce, a Bear recurve shooter and instinctive shooter that was a family friend was at our place shooting.  We were on the practice range one day behind my parent’s retail store.  They had various targets set up at distances from 20 to 80 yards in this big field.  Near the 80 yard target was a Poplar tree with Autumn leaves hanging low.  Tom said, “Watch this…” and slowly drew his Bear take down.  When his finger got to the corner of his mouth he let it fly.  The arrow glided into mid air and then came down and hit the leaf dead center!  An amazing 80 yard or more shot!  Tom grinned. 
I also remember watching an arrow miss it’s mark once.  I had never seen my father miss game with a bow, ever.  A few years ago we were hunting on the King Ranch in South Texas.  An opportunity at a huge 170-180 class buck presented itself and pop loaded his bow and got ready.  He drew the bow, and I was videoing the shot.  All at once the arrow was in flight and glided right over the buck’s back.  I laughed so hard I accidentally shut the camera off.  He didn’t find it funny.  We went in for lunch and then after lunch he put a napkin on a cactus.  He stood back and at 50 yards put a broadhead through the center of the napkin.  The buck had only been maybe 42 yards.  Pop’s a good shot but evidently got buck fever.
 
One last arrow I’ll write about was shot by an 82 year old man.  He missed six times but the seventh shot struck home.  It was the late Rev. Stacy Groscup and at age 82 he was still able to shoot aspirin tablets from mid air. I had invited him to be with me at a local sports show.  It would be our last time on stage together.  Although his first six shots missed, I got a little nervous.  I wondered if he could still see and hit the pills.  After all, at his age most could not.  He proved me wrong when that 7th aspirin was tossed into mid air.  It floated up and Stacy sent a fluflu arrow on it’s way. I watched as the arrow flew towards the pill and all at once I heard a “click” as the dust flew and Stacy’s arrow collided with the pill!  Amazing huh?  Although many 82 year olds take aspirin, Stacy was still shooting them!  Sadly he’d pass away about two short years later.  I have many fine memories of arrows we launched together over the years.  I just wish he would have lived to see my son Gus sending arrows down range.  I know he would have loved that.
 
This Fall I am going to visit with friends Dick and Carol Mauch while doing exhibitions in Nebraska.  I look forward to watching some arrows glide over the fields at their beloved Plum Creek Cabin.  Pop and I are due to be at King ranch in the late Fall too.  I hope this time to watch his arrow fly true and hit it’s mark. Hoping my arrow finds it’s mark too on one of those big So Texas whitetails.  You can see I’m already looking forward to arrows flying this Fall.  I suppose I’m hooked on this sport we call archery.
 
I have enjoyed reliving some of these stories today as I banged out this column.  There’s nothing finer than writing about the flight of an arrow if you can’t be out there shooting arrows.  Speaking of that, I think I’ll head out to the target and fling a few arrows before dark.  Thanks for reading, send me an email if you have some special memories of the flight of the arrow.  Oh, and be sure and pass along your passion for this sport to others around you.  Why should we have all the fun?
 
 
Until next time, Adios and God Bless.
Shoot Straight,
Frank
 

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Published by sarah on 25 Jul 2010

Tell me what you think of my artical. thanks!

 

HI! im sarah and im fifteen(:  i wrote this for huntinglife.com it got accepted and also got me on their prostaff. i was thinking about sending it to eastmans. tell me what you guys think.

The big day, October 2nd is here. The leaves are green with hints of yellow and the air is warm.  I hike through the woods to my tree stand; the warm air smothers me with a feeling of peace. Getting away from the grind of life and into the woods for a few hours brings me to an absolute bliss.  Although the weather is pleasant I get cold chills because the feelings the outdoors brings to me.  Even if I do not bring a deer home with me, I will not return home low-spirited but I will feel cleansed and refreshed. As the season goes by, I may kill a few deer but that’s not all that brings me excitement. Just seeing nature’s changes is enough to thrill me. Watching the leaves go from green, to yellow, orange, and red, then watching them slowly disappear off the trees and the ground transform into a red, orange, and yellow mixture. I’ve learned the beauty of the hunt can be just an exciting as the kill itself.

As a child, responsibility isn’t a strong point. But it may be gained much faster and stronger if the child hunts. Hunting is a sport that involves weapons and they can’t be treated as toys.  And as a child I was taught to treat every gun as if it was loaded.  I’ve learned patience and how to be stealthy. Learning all the ways to hunt such as walking quietly by rolling you foot, when to be ready to draw back, when to stand up, how to correctly use deer estrus, how to scan the area in search for deer, and many other difficult techniques.  I remember to practice these each time I go out and hunt. I want every technique I know to be mastered.  

Hunting has taught me about respect. Not the yes sir and no ma’am kind of respect that I was taught when I was young. But I have learned to respect the outdoors, to respect my states laws and people who own the land I hunt on.  I put myself in the landowners position and think “I wouldn’t enjoy people disrespecting my land.” And I remember to treat others as I would like to be treated. Wildlife is beautiful and I see it on TV getting ruined by oil spills or enormous clear-cuts.  It hurts me to think of all the beauty that humans are destroying through their greediness.  The woods that I know will never vanish in my generation are my sanctuary.  And I sympathize for the people who can’t enjoy the forest or animals in the wild because they live in the city. They just don’t understand how hunting truly can change a person’s life. 

My dad and I have bonded tremendously through the outdoors. We fish, hike, hunt, or anything else we can find that’s outside.  Really, all our time spent together is doing these activities.  He has taught me a lot of things from tying a strong slip-knot for fishing to how to shoot my boy correctly. My Granddad has also taught me many useful things. He owned a sporting goods store in the seventies and he was also a park ranger, he goes to Montana to shoot prairie dogs once a year and buys me books and magazines to help me learn as much as I can.  My granddad takes me out to the rifle range and we shoot skeet, pistols, and rifles. All the old men up there let me try out there guns. Without my dad and granddad I doubt I would know all I do. And without the outdoors, I wouldn’t be nearly as close with them as I am.

Another of the many great traits I have gained from the outdoors is hard work pays off.  Two years ago on my first hunting trip alone I missed a doe. I blame it on myself because I hadn’t practiced like I should have. That disappointment lit me up and I was determined to be the best shot I could be. All summer I shot and shot. Finally the chance came for me to prove that my hard work actually meant something. I shot at my second deer at 42 yards while standing on my knees, turned around backwards in my tree stand. My heart sank; I knew I had shot to low and missed. I pulled out my cell phone and called my dad to tell him to help me look for my arrow, it could be anywhere. He came down to the clearing where I had shot and we looked a long time for that arrow that was nowhere to be seen. I searched and searched, but I found something a million times better than an arrow. Blood.  A smile hit my face so hard that I couldn’t even speak. My dad noticed and he looked at me like I was crazy. I found the words and told him about what I spotted. That was the start of our night. I had barely nicked the lungs and he ran a little ways but eventually we found him. A little spike but I didn’t care; I had a kill under my belt. I was so proud.

Hunting isn’t for everyone, but if you love it and get out there you can learn some of the most important qualities a person can earn in their life. The beauty of nature, responsibility, respect, the value of family and friends, and that hard work truly does pay off. These aren’t the only things a hunter can learn, but they are some of the most precious characteristics.

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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 IL arrow slinger on 30 Mar 2010

mathews z7 serving problems

i bought a z7 in feb, and the serving by the top string serpresser has come unraveled twice in less than 2 months!! any1 else have this problem? any1 have any sugestions on how 2 stop this from happening?
thanks

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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 23 Mar 2010

Trophies in Transitions – By Tim Burres

Trophies in Transitions – by Tim Burres
Bowhunting World October 2005
 
  

Most bowhunters try to hunt these same spots when the season opens. While this is a worthwhile starting point, it is important to note that a buck’s summer range and fall range can be quite different. For example, Mark Drury with Drury Outdoors videos, has been monitoring deer on his Midwest farm with trail cameras for three years. He feels that roughly 60% of the bucks he becomes familiar with have the same summer 

and fall ranges. That means that a full 40% of the bucks relocate at least slightly after they shed their velvet. 

In other words, you can’t be sure you are hunting a certain buck until you see him in that area at least two weeks after velvet shedding, which occurs around the first week of September in most areas. 

Even with that uncertainty factored in, you still have a chance at shooting a trophy the first week of the season. Mature bucks are often still on rough patterns at this time. Through the summer, they’ve become almost predictable, and a part of this lifestyle carries over into the first week of the bow season. 

World OCTOBER 2005Bowhunting 

 

 

Usually these feeding patterns are short-lived, but you may get a full week of excitement before a number of factors, not the least of which is your presence, make the bucks more reclusive.

If you are having trouble finding the bucks during the week before opening day, forget the agricultural flelds and go deeper into the timber. Without a doubt, acorns are the number-one

attraction at this time. Where you find acorns, you will find the deer even if there are abundant agricultural crops nearby. They will literally run to a good acom-bearing tree after a windstorm brings down a load of nuts.

There are two categories of oak trees where most people hunt: red oak and white oak. Each of these categories has several subspecies, but within each category the trees are similar in their application to deer hunting. White oak trees have the potential to drop acorns every year though some years are definitely more bountiful than others are. Red oak trees only drop their acoms every other year. It pays to be able to identifiy each subspecies of oak.

After the acorns play out, the deer will generally drift back to the agricultural crops. They will still hit the alfalfa and clover, but soybeans tend to lose their attractiveness when the leaves and

beans are both drying down. You will see the deer also moving more toward corn and other carbohydrate-rich food sources.

I’ve also sat in some pretty incredible stands when apples and pears were dropping. Bucks zeroed in on the trees moming

and evening, seemingly trying to grab the freshly dropped bounty before other deer beat them to it. Unfortunately, you have to be on the buck’s pattern as soon as the season opens because pressure from other deer hunters and small-game hunters and the buck’s increasing

testosterone level make them change patterns. Even without any hunting pressure, a buck will begin turning into a ghost in early October.

tagging a nice buck during the first week of October depends on your ability to keep the buck from knowing he’s being hunted while you observe and tweak your stand location.

You have to become ultra-sneaky-much more so than is required for success during the rut.

Focus on Afternoon Hunts:

It may be tempting to try to hunt the buck in

the morning near his feeding area, but doing so is going to hurt your chances. You run the risk of moving him off his pattern before you can get enough information to take advantage of it. If you simply have to get into the woods, hunt somewhere else.

Cautious Scouting: Hunting a big buck during the first week of the season is a lot easier if you have seen what he is doing. Hang back with binoculars and learn as much as you can

about the overall situation before committing yourself to a plan. You have to fool many other eyes, ears and noses before the biggest bucks will reach the field. Consider how you will beat

all the deer in the herd before you pick a stand location.

Get Out Clean: More than likely you won’t get the buck you are hunting the very first evening you try for him. That means you will need a good way to get back to your vehicle without spooking the other deer in the feeding area. This is by far the

biggest challenge you will face when hunting food sources. Use the terrain and cover to your advantage. Make a wide circle around the field. Also, if it is impossible to get out clean, have

someone drive up to the field in a truck or ATV and move the deer off before you climb down.

MID-OCTOBER DOG DAYS

The middle of October is the hardest part of the month for tagging a nice buck. Hunting pressure, changing food sources and rising testosterone make bucks very unpredictable and reclusive. They’ll still feed but not in the open, and seeing them during daylight becomes harder.

It is common for a big buck to change pattems shortly after he sheds his velvet and certainly by early October. He seems to disappear from the face of the earth when he was once visible every single evening in his favorite soybean and alfalfa fields. They are still around and they are still active. If you aren’t seeing them you are hunting the wrong places. All deer change their behavior as they go from summer patterns to fall patterns, the main reason for this change is a change in food preferences. Telemetry studies by top research biologists show that the bucks continue to feed during these so called dog days of October. In other words, where is no biological basis for what I have referred to as the “dog days.”

Bucks love to scrape in the cool, damp earth found at the bottoms of draws and ravines. This is a great place to find sign, but a tough place to hunt. When the wind blows, it will swirl through these hollows until every deer in the area knows a man is nearby. Avoid these ravines and draws and focus instead on scrape lines on ridges and in other locations where you can better

control where your scent blows. You may have to hunt the best scrape areas from a distance on routes you feel the buck may use as he goes to freshen them.

CONCLUSION

October is not traditionally a bowhunter’s trophy time, but it is a fun month ro be in the woods. lt is also an excellent time to do your part by shooting a few does to keep the herd in check and supply winter meat.

While October is not as exciting or as productive as the first week of the primary rut, at least you’re hunting. As long as you are in the woods sticking to a sound strategy, anything can happen. It only takes one buck to change the entire season and he can come past at any time – even in October.

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Published by archerchick on 23 Mar 2010

Eye Level Black Bear – By Rick Combs

Eye Level Black Bears – By Rick Combs

Bow Hunting World Annual 2004-2005

Bowhunting World Annual 2004-2005

The Scenario I had envisioned entailed spotting the bear in a clearing, mapping out a strategy, then hunkering down and executing the perfect stalk.  What really happened was more like this:  We spotted the bear at about 30 yards in a thicket of spruce and aspens just before it dropped out of sight into a small drainage, and my guide was shoving me toward it as I struggled to knock an arrow.

“Go! Go! Go!” he hissed. “That’s a good bear! That’s a good bear! That’s a good bear! Get up there!”

Half expecting the bear to have vanished, but fully aware it could just as easily be moving my direction, I began walking carefully toward the lip of the ravine, bow at full draw.  As I peeked over and looked down on the gradual slope, the bear was standing broadside 10 steps away.  He ran forward a few yards, and I thought he’d be in the thicket before I could get off a good shot.  But then, inexplicably, he stopped and looked back.

I won’t pretend to know what goes through an animal’s mind at such a moment, but at the time it appeared for all the world he was thinking, “Wait a minute, I’m the bear. I’m not the one who is supposed to run”  I swung the sight pin to the crease behind the shoulder, released the arrow, and watched the fletching disappear in the sweet spot.

The bear lunged forward, running further down into the ravine to a slough.  Crossing it on a log, he stumbled once, nearly falling in, but made it to dry ground.  Every bowhunter’s instinct after arrowing an animal is to keep it in sight as long as possible, but as I attempted to move forward and to one side to do that, my guide was tugging me away from the action, fearing that I was trying to follow the bear immediately.

That bear was not the first I’d seen on this trip, and it would prove to be far from the last.  While in some ways the reality of my close encounter with a BC black bear did not live up to my fantasy, in all the ways that mattered British Columbia bear hunt was everything I’d hoped it would be and more.

To begin with it was a spot & stalk hunt.  There is a lot to be said for baited bear hunting, beginning with the fact that in some areas, hunting over bait is the only feasible way to go about hunting bears. Hound hunting, too, has its following where legal. Man and dog have hunted cooperatively for thousand’s of years, and for more than a few hunters, enjoying that primal link is the main reason for hunting. My fantasy, though, was a spot & stalk hunt. I wanted to do it on the ground, eye-to-eye, so to speak, with the bear.

Pick The Right Outfitter

Nonresident hunters are required to
hunt with one of the 240 licensed guide-outfitters in British Columbia. Barring extremely bad luck (record late snowfall and low temperatures, a major forest fire in your hunting area), most any of them will show you bears, and your  chances of getting a shot at a respectable
bruin are excellent. Even the most experienced trophy hunter with very high standards has a relatively good chance at shooting opportunities for trophy black bears or color phase bears in
British Columbia. The real question is,
what kind of overall hunting experience are you seeking? Are you interested only in a remote wilderness hunt from a spike camp, or would you prefer to stay in a comfortable lodge with hot tubs and other amenities!  Either is available, as well as nearly every variation in between, from snug cabins to heated wall tents to bed & breakfast ranches.

Baiting bears is not legal in British Columbia, and though it is legal to hunt with hounds, spot & stalk hunting is far and away the most popular approach.
Still, “spot & stalk” is not a particularly specific term. At one end of the spot
& stalk spectrum, the hunter can hunt exclusively on foot in remote, fly-in or pack-in areas, scouting for sign and glassing mountainside, aualance chutes, or natural openings.

On the other end of the spot & stalk
spectrum, there is cruising logging roads on ATVs or in 4-wheel-drive vehicles.
Logging is a major industry in British Columbia, which means, that in much of the province there are miles and miles of dirt logging roads, not to mention clearcuts. Clearcuts and logging roads produce copious quantities of the fresh green growth bears love to eat.

Of course, logging roads and clearcuts can be hunted on foot. The vehicles, obvious advantage is the opportunity they afford to cover great amounts of territory in short order.

Yet another alternative is hunting waterways from boats. In the case of
both wheeled vehicles and boats,glassing the area and moving on.  If bears are spotted from vehicles, hunters exit and stalk on foot to within bow range.

I spent a great deal of time researching my BC black bear hunt.  With so many top-notch outfitters in the region picking one was difficult.  In the end, I settled on Brett Thorpe and Bowron River Outfitters.  My homework paid off.  Though I’m perfectly happy to hunt from a tent camp in a spruce thicket, I have to admit the picturesque setting of Brett’s cabins on a lake reflecting surrounding snow capped mountains was a factor.

Brett himself was a factor, too.  I think it’s important that a hunter “click” with his guide or outfitter, and I knew I’d enjoy hunting with Brett from the moment we first made contact.  An avid bowhunter himself, Brett is intense about hunting, and his enthusiasm strikes a spark with anyone who is passionate about the sport.  Though he is new to the outfitting business, having only purchased his BC hunting concession two years ago, he has years of experience as a hunter and a guide.  He spent several years guiding and videotaping hunts for well-known black powder hunter and outfitter Jim Shockey.  Depending on the needs and wishes of his clients, Brett will make use of wheeled vehicles on logging roads, hunt the nearby Fraser River by boat, hunt strictly on foot, or use some combination of these methods.

Short of references from hunting buddies whose opinion you respect, the Internet and email are  great places to begin finding an outfitter. They’ll provide huge amounts of data in a hurry at little or no cost. It’s a good idea to write out a list of questions and issues that you
feel are important. Without a written list, you’ll quite likely get sidetracked on  discussions of peripheral issues and forget to cover some thing essential. Make  sure you understand what costs are covered, and ask specifically  about any additional costs you are likely to incur.
Ultimately there is no substitute for more personal modes of communication, so after narrowing the field to several possibilities, you’ll want to make some phone calls.  And though you’ve heard it before, it bears repeating.  Get references from hunters who did not fill a tag, if possible.  Then contact the references.

How Stalkable Are Bears?
I hate to say “that depends,” but that depends. In my experience, hunting pressure is a major factor in stalking any species. I have greatly enjoyed spotting and stalking wild hogs in relatively remote parts of Florida, but have hunted them in other areas where heavy hunting pressure made them almost entirely nocturnal and all but stalkable.
On the flip side, wild turkeys are often regarded as unstalkable, but on a memorable morning in Wyoming, I followed a flock of Merriams with my camera, back and forth along a ridgeline, several times getting within 20 yards of the birds.

Hunting pressure in BC is relatively light.  Bears in remote areas are accustomed to being at the top of the food chain, and though black bears are rarely aggressive toward people, many of them are not easily intimidated, either.
The chief vulnerability of bears anywhere is their eyes;  they can see alright, especially movement.  Their sense of smell is excellent, and it is usually what betrays the hunter.  Their preoccupation with food, both in the spring when they’ve just come out of hibernation, and in the fall when they’re bulking up to prepare for a long winter, is another vulnerability.  In any case, the hunter who gets downwind and approaches carefully -using foliage and terrain for concealment, freezing when the bear looks up and moving cautiously when its head is down or hidden – should sooner or later get within bow range of a bear.  After that, it’s a matter of not coming unglued long enough to make the shot.

A few hours prior to the incident recounted earlier, I muffed my first opportunity:  a 40-yard shot at a good bear.  Forty yards is a long shot for me, but not beyond my range if conditions are right and I don’t have to rush.  The bear was up a hill and looking back at me, and my arrow went a good five inches to the right of my aiming spot.  Luckily a spruce tree intervened to prevent a gut shot.  I’ll blame the steep uphill angle, but I can’t deny pure excitement probably was a factor.

Reality may never live up to fantasies in all the particulars, but with a little homework to find the outfitter who will best meet your needs and desires, along with some planning and preparation, a British Columbia spot & stalk black bear hunt can be a reality you’ll look back on fondly for the rest of your life.

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Published by archerchick on 23 Mar 2010

5 Stand Setups To Avoid -By Mike Strandlund

5 Stand Setups To Avoid – By Mike Strandlund
Bowhunting World Annual 2004

No matter how good they seem at the moment, don’t get sucked into setting stands in these tempting situations.

Bowhunting World Annual 2004-2005

Are you familiar with the story of the Sirens in Greek mythology?
They were the beautiful temptresses who sang a wondrous song
that ultimately lured sailors and their ships to a tragic death on
the rocks. The moral of the story? Looks can be deceiving.
Bowhunters have their own Sirens to deal with: treestand
spots that appear ever so attractive on the surface, but will ultimately
break your heart and dash your spirit asunder-onto the rocks, so
to speak. The lure that these five stands present can be nearly over.
powering. Here’s how to identify these sites before you become a proverbial moth,
nose-diving full throttle into the flames of bowhunting disaster.

Ravine Crossings
This tempting location probably claims more victims than nearly all the others combined.
Even experienced hunters can fall for its raw appeal.
Here’s how this site casts its spell: You’re scouting for a stand that will work during the rut. One good choice is a funnel between two bedding areas used by does, so you look for just such a perfect buck trap. In rough country bedding areas are typically on points and short ridges overlooking large ravines or valleys. They’re predictable sanctuaries and will show heavy
signs of bedding activity everywhere they’re found.

When crossing the ravine to check out the points on the other side, you’ll invariably notice some
tremendous trails crossing the bottom. They cut deeply into the soft earth where several trails come together to cross the ditch. Wow! A mother lode of sign! At first glance it appears to be a great funnel between two bedding areas, made even better by the fact that you can sneak up the ditch to get to the stand. They’ll never know what hit them.

You’ve just stepped into the snare that’s going to make you miserable and ruin what could have been a great area. It’s darned tough to walk past such an obviously-attractive location without spending a half hour looking for the perfect tree to place a stand. But, hold your horses for a minute. What’s going to happen when the wind blows, or worse yet, when it gusts? Your scent is going to wash all over that ravine until every deer within a quarter-mile radius knows you’re there. That’s not going to help them feel very relaxed and comfortable around home, is it?

From the number of stands I’ve seen in ravines while I’m scouting, it would appear that many bowhunters fall victim to the tremendous sign found in these places.  Remember this rule of thumb: If the spot you are considering is protected from the direct flow of the wind by features of the terrain, it ls not a dependable spot, regardless of how much sign you find. There are definitely better places to hunt the deer that made that tempting sign. The ravine crossing is a seductive spot, but it’s one you should walk past.

Beware, The “Easy” Stand
Most of us prefer a stand that’s easy to travel to, over one that requires a GPS, reflector
pins, and maybe even a bit of luck to find. Some bowhunters are comforted when they roll out of bed in the morning to know they are heading for a stand they can easily walk to. They may even go out of their way to hunt only such spots-and they pay the price.

I have a friend who loves the easy stand. In the back of Ron’s mind lurks the ever-present fear that he will get lost in the dark woods and end up spending his entire morning hiking up and down hills, trying to find his vehicle. As a result, he makes many mistakes in the type of stands he hunts. And, they are deadly mistakes for old Ron.

The classic blunder occurs when he chooses to approach his morning stands by walking directly across open fields.  Typically, in the agricultural country where we hunt together, that means he’s walking across a harvested crop field- a feeding area. And, where do you think the deer are
going to be a half hour before first light? Right Either they’re still out feeding or on the very fringe of the cover, picking their way slowly toward their bedding area (and maybe toward one of my stands). When my buddy Ron rams right into them, all bets are suddenly off.

On one edge we have treestands placed about 100 yards apart. It takes me about an hour to make my entry the back way (away from the feeding areas), while staying in the timber and using ditches, draws, and creeks to get to my stand without spooking any deer. It takes Ron about five minutes to drive his ATV along the edge of the field, walk the remaining 150 yards across the bean field, and then 100 yards through the woods to his stand. Sure, his approach is a lot easier than mine, but he may as well stay home -that’s easier yet.

Don’t fall victim to the temptation to take the easy route to your stand areas. If you are thinking about hunting a morning stand and plan to walk across a feeding area to get to it, do yourself a favor and reconsider.

“Hot” Scrapes During Peak Rut
In the first place, there is no such thing as a “hot” scrape during the peak of the rut. Bucks don’t use them then-at least not with any consistency. Beyond that, we need to resist the temptation to become too sign-oriented. Granted, buck sign sets our imaginations to churning, and we soon envision thick-necked bruisers ripping up a tree trunk or pawing dirt like some antlered Brahma bull preparing to charge.

Yet despite its affect on our imaginations, buck sign can be a seductive killer. Rarely is it a useful indicator of a great stand location and never is this more true than when you decide to sit over a scrape during the peak of the rut.

Admittedly, I’ve been sucked-in by big scrapes many times. I remember an entire season more
than a decade ago when I hunted them exclusively. All my spring scouting had been focused on finding the biggest and best scrapes on the farms I had permission to hunt. That year for a full two weeks of hunting during the rut I never saw a buck actually freshen one of those scrapes. In fact, most of them became covered with leaves as I stubbornly waited for the buck that made them to return. I became so discouraged that year that I vowed never to hunt a scrape again. And, I’ve Pretty well stuck to my guns.

Once the rut peaks, bucks are far too busy chasing and bird-dogging does to worry about freshening scrapes. If they do hit one it is purely a chance event. Sometimes they just pass through and come upon it-they’d be there with or without the scrape. Once the bucks start chasing does, I stop intentionally hunting scrapes.

There may be a time in late October when bucks actually go out of their way to hit a scrape and make them worth hunting, but during the rut these patches of pawed dirt are worthless. It will also
distract you from hunting the doe concentration areas and the travel routes between them, where the bucks can actually be found at these times.

Unless you have located a good scrape line and plan to sit above it long before the does come into estrous, you are reducing your odds by focusing on scrapes.
When you scout your hunting area, keep your eye on the ball: terrain, bedding
areas, feeding areas, and the best funnels you can find-and forget about scrapes.

Whenever you hunt a high-activity area that isn’t perfect (and very few of them are), you
run the risk of educating nearly every deer in your hunting area.

Ridges in the Evening

I love hunting along ridge top bedding areas during the morning, but I’ve stopped hunting them anymore during the afternoon. I’ve tried, and I’ll probably try again. And, I’ll come away with the same conviction: I just wasted a good afternoon hunting a dead area. It’s not like bucks don’t walk through the bedding areas in the afternoons looking for does-they do, but not for very long. The real action is already up on its feet and walking toward a feeding area.

Hunt the places the deer are moving toward, not the places they are coming from. This simple philosophy can nearly double the length of time the deer are active around your stand. Suppose the deer get up from their beds an hour before sunset and start drifting toward their feeding areas. You have a brief flurry of activity and then everything is moving away from you. Within a half hour everything is pretty well finished in the area near your stand.  That little dab of activity is just not worth the risk you take of bumping and educating deer when you try to enter the stand spot.

That brings up the second reason why you should skip bedding areas in the afternoon: it’s nearly impossible to approach them during the day without blowing the hunt.  Deer don’t pick their bedding areas randomly-they are the safest places within their home range and where they have the ultimate advantage. Your approach can either be seen or smelled by every deer within a pretty large area. You might as well just drive to your stand on your four-Wheeler trailing 10 feet of your dirty laundry behind.
These are my favorite morning spots. You can sneak in easily while the deer are close to their feeding areas and be waiting for them. But don’t let the great action in the a.m. tempt you into thinking these are good afternoon stands. You’ll be sorely disappointed.

Early Season Bedding Areas
The temptation to hunt your best morning and evening stands as soon as the season opens is almost irresistible. I used to do it, but discovered it’s another deadly mistake. Accelerating the education of your deer well before the rut means they will be tougher to hunt when prime time finally arrives.

It is only natural after being away from the hunt for several months to want to jump right into it with gusto. On top of that, you’re accustomed to a normal hunting day that includes a morning and an evening session. Unfortunately, there are few spots for a decent morning hunt during the early season, other than in a bedding area. The desire to hunt mornings will have you invading bedding areas without a clear idea of their patterns at a time when the deer are living fairly close to home and highly sensitive to hunting pressure. That’s not such a good idea.

Ramming around in bedding areas early in the season may seem logical on the surface (where else are you going to get them in the morning?), but the damage you can do to your hunting area and your odds later in the season outweighs the benefits of being in the woods a few more hours each day. Besides, if you keep them acting naturally and on a Patten, you’ll have a decent chance of taking the buck you want in the evening by hunting only where he feeds.

When deer are in feeding patterns, concentrate on your home-front honey-dos in the morning, so you’ll have them out of the way before the rut Instead, focus all your efforts on hunting the feeding areas in the evening. You can Patten them from a distance, producing almost no impact until you move in for the kill. If that honey-do list is already complete, spend your mornings watching the deer leave feeding areas from a distance. This will give you the best possible feedback about where the bucks will be found that afternoon. If you insist on hunting in the morning, definitely
stay away from your best areas and hunt bedding areas in places that you don’t plan to hunt much later in the season.

I hunted the Milk River in northern Montana a few seasons back. It’s a river bottom with very limited cover, most of it located inside the river bends and in low swampy areas nearby. The bucks are very visible from the bluffs over-looking the river and we spent our mornings watching them leave the alfalfa fields so we could peg the trails most likely to produce action when they came back out in the afternoon. It would have been hunting’s version of suicide to sit back in those river bends in the morning. Sure, we might have gotten lucky and picked off a buck when he
came back to bed, but the impact more likely would have pushed them into the surrounding coulee country or at very least made them nocturnal.

Four or five bowhunters may hunt that stretch of river during a week, but almost no one actually sits in a treestand during the mornings. The odds of ruining whatever feeding patterns we’ve been
able to uncover are too much of a risk.  We focused on the easy patterns (where they feed) and forgot about the hard patterns (where they bed). It’s good advice for anyone hunting early-season bucks.

Conclusion
Obvious spots are often the worst locations for a stand-not because they don’t contain deer, but just the opposite.  These spots are high-activity areas, loaded with sign, and probably the best
hotspots your hunting area has to offer.  But, as you’ve hopefully gathered from my observations, therein lies their greatest seduction. Whenever you hunt a high-activity area that isn’t perfect (and
very few of them are), you run the risk of quickly educating nearly every deer in the neighborhood.

There are few things you can do that will have a more damaging affect on your chances for success than spending time hunting any one of these five deceitful stands. If you resist their temptations, your success rate will reap great benefits from your discipline.

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