Archive for September, 2010

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Published by archerchick on 06 Sep 2010

How To Build A Bow Weighing Scale – By C.R. Learn

An Easy and Inexpensive Gadget to Determine What Your Real Bow Draw Weight Is!

WHAT IS THE REAL draw weight of you
and your friend’s bows? You can find out for a
few dollars and time invested, constructing your own
bow weighing scale. It is a bow weighing system, most
of which can be made from cast-off wood and other

The first item needed tor making a bow weighing system is a good adjustable scale.
There are many models and types and the costs vary. The scale I finally
bought was a Texas Cotton Scale made by Hanson. I opted tor one that had one-pound graduations up to and including one hundred- sixty pounds. Now not many bowhunters or other archers reach this poundage —- perhaps a few elephant hunters — but most of us are happy with seventy or eighty, tops. Now I never want to even try to
pull a 160-pound bow, but I am interested in crossbows and they even go beyond that

You need a vertical or horizontal support tor the scale. l used a piece of two-by-tour
from the scrap pile — actually, l have no scrap pile. It is a kulch pile and will all be
used someday sooner or later for something such as this— cut six-feet long. The
length will vary with the type bows you will test and the pulley system you use.

The two-by-four looked rather ratty but with the aid of a propane torch to burn off
the old latex paint, and a heavy scrubbing with a wire brush, I ended up with a good
looking piece ot wood that had a raised grain. A few coats of polyurethane gloss
finish and I had a stick that looked good.

There are several ways you can rig your system tor drawing the bows. It you have help
and are a weight lifter, you could probably get by using a single pulley to wrap a line
going from the bowstring to the scale and merely pull the rope to weigh the bow. That
doesn’t work tor me.

One system that works well is a simple boat winch. This has a crank handle and
a winch to wrap a rope or nylon line into. Tie off to the scale and merely crank the
weight up on the bow as it draws on the board. Most of these winches have a ratchet

The hoist was another problem, simply solved. It has two long strands of nylon cord
from top and bottom, These would normally be used to tie oft on a limb and to the
legs of a deer or other game while skinning. l drilled a hole in the upper section of
the board about seven inches from the top. The nylon cord was passed through the hole
and over the top, back around and tied oft behind. This allows the hoist tree movement and maximum length for pulling.

The bottom cords of the hoist were tied off around the top hanger bracket oi the
scale. This allows the scale to be moved up or down with ease. The line slips out of the
pulleys with just the weight of the scale and you stop it where you want. The pulling
line, on one side ot the pulley from the top, was tied off on the side by using a roofing
nail to wrap it around to keep the scale a constant distance from the pipe.
That completes the bow- scale weighing system. l added two pieces of angle
iron to the back, one on the board. A section of oak was cut to give me clearance between the board and clamp the other piece of iron into the vise. I now have a solid, vertical support for my weighing system.

To operate, all you need do is to position a bow on the bottom pipe section so it rests
on the grip area. Most bows today have the pistol grip style and the groove at that
point tits nicely on the covered pipe. Pull the bowstring up and over the hook at the
bottom of the scale. You may have to put a bit of tension on the scale by pulling the draw
cord to center the bowstring on the scale hook.

Pull on the lifting cord of the hoist, and the bowstring moves up the board as the
scale shows the weight ofthe bow. If you follow the AMO specifications, you can
measure from the pivot point of the grip area (the point where the grip is positioned
on the pipe) and you will have the draw weight at different draw lengths.

You will find some variations between what other bowhunters tell you they are
shooting at for draw weight and what they actually shoot. I first built a unit like this
many years ago and once took it to a shoot. Most bowhunters were happy to weigh
their bows to see what they were actually pulling. Some of the “big guys” wouldn’t
come near me. We sneaked a heavy bow while one character was sidetracked and
found he wasn’t shooting eighty pounds at all; only fifty-five!

This bow weighing system won’t cost you much cash. The wood and pipe we all
have laying around or know someone who does, so that cost is nothing. The Cotton
Scale will run about twenty dollars, give or take a few bucks, and is offered by
many dealers or in catalogs.

This scale can be calibrated with a set screw so you can get accurate readings.
The hoist system can be found in many sporting goods stores, Better yet, browse
through garage sales and swap meets until you find a hoist or winch that will cost
you almost nothing. <—-<<<

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Published by archerchick on 06 Sep 2010

LONGBOW HUNTER – By Pete Fesselman


LONGBOW HUNTER – BY Pete Fesselman

DAY THREE atop the swaying
white oaks of southem Alabama
was drawing to an end. Only five fawns
and two rather large does had managed
to arouse my attention, as I waited
patiently for a shot at a whitetail buck.
The fading sunlight indicated it was time
to call it quits and head for the nearby
railroad tracks. I descended the tall
white oak, retrieved my bow and headed
through the brush and kudzu vines
toward the tracks. The tracks angled
south and, after a fifteen—minute walk, I
arrived at a pre-arranged crossing where
I was to meet my hunting partner, Byron
Ferguson, one of the most popular long-
bow archers since Howard Hill.

As I stepped from one tie to another,
I wondered who had established the dis-
tance between railroad ties. Stepping on
each tie made the steps unnatural for my
gait and reaching for every other one
was also awkward. Maybe that was the
point: Get off the railroad ties? Anyway,
the daily aerobic trek to and from the
tree stand probably did me some good.
As a native Westerner, hunting
whitetails and sitting in tree stands were
both new to me. Instead of stalking the
game, as I was accustomed, I’d sit and
wait at their food source — acorns —
and hope for a good shot. Five days of
traversing the railroad ties came and
went and that wishful shot never hap
pened. It did, however, happen for
Ferguson on the fourth day, when he
scored on a small button buck. The five
days were fun and exciting and they
gave me time to reminisce.

It has been thirty years since Jim
Dougherty first taught me how to shoot
a bow and arrow. I was 8 years old
then. Dougherty and Doug Kittredge
had an archery shop in my hometown of
South Pasadena, California: Kittredge’s
Bow Hunt. Each Saturday, Dougherty
gave archery lessons in the rear parking
lot for fifty cents. My dad would drop
me off for the morning lesson and, along
with several other wanna-be Robin
Hoods, we’d shot arrows all morning at
several bales of hay that lined the end of
the parking lot.

I still can remember the bows we
used. Made of fiberglass, the limbs were
moulded as one unit and had a light
green pearlescent tint to the somewhat
translucent fiberglass. The moulded grip
was made of red plastic and each side of
the handle above the grip had a built-in
arrow rest. It didn’t matter if you were a
righty or lefty.
The arrows were wood, usually five-
sixteenths-inch in diameter, as the bows
were about twenty—five pounds draw
weight. They were tipped with target
points, which slipped over the end and
were knurled in place with a special tool
that had a crank on one side.
Barred feathers were then standard
fare. Solid feathers were a premium; just
the opposite of today, when most turkey
feathers are basically white. The
feathers always seemed to be left—wing
— another puzzlement I never could
quite figureout. There were right—wing
and left—wing feathers, and there still
are. I knew the difference by looking at
each, but it always seemed that, no mat-
ter what side of the turkey the feathers
came from, there could be right- and
left—wing. Maybe that’s why we have
vanes today.
I met Byron Ferguson at the Shooting,
Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT)

Show as he was displaying his wares in
the form of self-made longbows, wooden
arrows, traditional archery leather gear
and tree stands. He has built a reputable
business in Alabama building tree
stands. He was branching out into the
traditional archery equipment market
with his new company, Ferguson Adventure Archery.

I learned this newfound friend had
amazing abilities with the longbow and
arrows that won him the acclaim and
admiration of people around the world.
Ferguson has dazzled crowds with his
shooting exhibitions from the United
States to Europe and as far away as
Japan. While exhibiting at the 1989
National Game Fair on the grounds of
Chambord Castle in Paris, France,
Ferguson was voted, “King of the
Show.” He was the first traditional
archer to have been invited in thirty-five

In Tokyo, Japan, Ferguson was
featured on a television show entitled,
Super People. His amazing feat, filmed
live, was to shoot an arrow through a
lady’s diamond ring valued at $17,000.

The arrow flew true and hit its mark,
dead center. Ferguson claims this shot
was by far the most difficult of his

As one of the top bowhunters in the
United States, Ferguson is in demand
for bowhunting clinics and seminars
everywhere. He works with celebrities
as a technical advisor and personal ar-
chery instructor. His skill with the long-
bow has been compared to that of the
legendary Howard Hill. Whether he’s
shooting a coin out of the air or quail on
the wing, his smooth, fluid—like shooting
style and pinpoint accuracy reflect his
mastery of the bow and arrow.

Reviewing this individual’s credentials
and receiving an open invitation to hunt
whitetails with him found me winging
my way to Alabama the following
November. Ferguson met me at the Bir-
mingham airport and we were soon
headed south. We made a quick stop at
a local sporting goods store for my non-
resident hunting license. The all-game
license was good for seven days and set
me back only $5 2. Ferguson gave me a
written permission slip to hunt the destination property.

In Alabama, all land
is considered posted and hunting is by
written landowner permission only! You
must carry proof with you at all times.
Our deer camp was situated in Chambers County,
which is not far from Auburn. This county is located in a
cross-section of the state known as the
Deer Belt. The Deer Belt is where the
Alabama Department of Conservation
and Natural Resources has conducted
studies and located the highest concen-
tration of deer per acre. This Deer Belt
runs horizontally across the state. On
the Mississippi/Alabama side, the
northern border would be near Aliceville
and the southern border would be near
Gilbertown off Highway 84. On the
Georgia/Alabama side, Roanoke would
be the northern limit, while Eufaula
would be considered the southern edge.

My hunting gear included a Jennings
UniStar bow. It features a unique
UniCam that sets it apart from all other
bows on the market. The draw length
range of anywhere between twenty-
seven and thirty—two inches can be met
by simply repositioning the cam or
changing the power cables and string
cables. Various draw weights range be-
tween thirty and seventy pounds. The
UniStar has a fifty-percent let-off, while
the newer UniStar Plus has an optional
sixty—five—percent let-off

For western bowhunting, I use a standard
three-pin sight, set at twenty, forty
and sixty yards. For this trip, I decided
to experiment with something totally
new. Tasco, makers of binoculars, rifle
scopes, microscopes and other optics,
developed an archery mount for their

Pro-Point electronic red-dot reticle pistol scope.
The Pro—Point is a one-power
pistol scope that has an illuminated red
dot as its aiming point in lieu of crosshairs.
Ferguson told me that most of the
shots from the tree stands would be at a
fixed distance of about twenty-five
yards. The scope mounts readily adapted
to the UniStar bow and was easy to
adjust. My practice shots using the Pro
Point improved, because my concentra-
tion was centered on the little red dot.
Using the Prc>Point, I was able to focus
my attention directly on the bullseye,
blocking out distractions.

I’m not quite sure how the Pro-Point
would work for the “locate and stalk”
type of hunting. Even though the scope
and mount are fully adjustable for wind-
age and elevation, it could prove
impractical for the user to adjust when
the shooting distance is apt to change at
any given second. On the other hand, if
all your hunting is from a blind or tree
stand where the shooting range is static
and known, the Prc>Point could be

That night in camp, I unpacked my
bow with the Pro-Point sight mounted in

“What in the world is that?”
Ferguson asked.
I explained the new sighting system to
him and he just shook his head in
amazement. His serious devotion to the
longbow really made sense; more sense
perhaps, than my constant need for
newer and updated tackle.

The next day, after devoting four
hours of the morning to sitting in tree
stands and neither of us having any luck,
we began to practice at a target butt
Ferguson had at one end of the camp. I
had no trouble hitting the three—square-
foot target from the twenty-five-yard distance.

Neither did Ferguson. In fact,
each of his arrows were directly in the
center, so close to one another that the
fletches on the arrows were touching
each other. This guy can shoot that

Ferguson began to demonstrate some
of his shooting positions — positions
that seemed virtually impossible with a
compound. First, he got down on his
hands and knees and faced away from
the target. He reached back over his left
shoulder and shot completely opposite
the way he was facing. The arrows
grouped just as tight as before.

His next position was down on his left
knee with his right leg extended off to
the side. He crouched over and made
himself as small an object as possible.
From this position, he held the bow
parallel to the ground and shot several
arrows at the target -— same results!
I was impressed. Here was an
individual who had taken it to heart to
work and practice at these shooting
positions so he would always be ready
to shoot from any position.

He claims it is all part of being prepared
in the field. He talked of how he
was once bent over, passing under a
fallen tree, when he saw a nice buck.
Normally, this would have been
awkward for someone who never had
shot from this position. Ferguson’s pre-
paredness paid off, as he shot the buck
without hesitation.

For the grand finale, Ferguson lay
face down on the ground. From this
position, he was only partially detectable
in the leaves, but there was no
silhouette to spook the wariest of game.
From this horizontal position, Ferguson
shot several arrows with the same pin-
point accuracy.

To locate game, Ferguson believes in
hunting the food source.
“In the deer belt area of Alabama,”
he explained, “the number one food
source is white oak acoms. The acoms
don’t necessarily fall at the same time,
they drop sporadically as the weather
and seasons change. One tree might be
dropping, while some other nearby trees
might not start dropping until two weeks
later. You have to constantly watch and
monitor the food source. Your tree stand
gets lonely if the white oak down the
road is dropping and yours isn’t. You
can have deer feeding for days at a time
at a secondary food source, but as soon
as a fresh white oak starts dropping in
the area, they’ll go right to it.

“In the swamp areas,” he continued,
“You’ll find chestnut oaks and on the
mountain tops you’ll find red oaks. The
deer prefer chestnut oak acoms over the
red oaks, which are rather bitter.
“However, when food is scarce, the red
oaks will draw deer when the other two
aren’t available. I’ve seen deer travel
quite a distance to get to the white oaks,
including swimming across some rather
swift streams. The food source is impor-
tant, as far as I’m concerned. It has
always worked for me.”

Ferguson has an interesting philosophy
when it comes to shooting. Most
shooters feel the bow itself is an extension of
the shooter. Ferguson feels that’s
important, but to him, the arrow is the
extension of himself.

“The bow is used only to propel,” he
said. “By seeing myself as an extension
of the arrow, I mentally ‘see’ the flight
of the arrow .en route to the target. The
bow doesn’t hit or kill anything, so why
is it so important? It’s the arrow that hits
the target or kills the animal. That’s
what counts!

“When I’m in the field hunting and I
don’t see game,” he continues, “the
animal wins. If I see game and don’t
have an opportunity to shoot, then it’s a
tie. If I have the chance to shoot, wheth-
er or nbt I elect to shoot, then I win.
When I’m able to kill the game, that’s
the supreme win. I now have a trophy,
but I don’t keep score.”

Ferguson makes and sells three different
longbows: the Hunter, which has
two laminations, the Alaska with three
and his top-of-the-line Safari, which has
five laminations. His arrows are wood
with a three-inch section of 2317
aluminum shaft footed over the broadhead end.
This enables him to use the
screw-in broadhead inserts for broadheads.
He uses only one broadhead, the
Simmons Interceptor (Jerry Simmons,
Dept. BA, Route 2, Box 49, Jasper, AL

This broadhead is a delta-shaped head at
190 grains, similar to the
original Howard Hill broadhead. They
are expensive, but Ferguson says they
are strong enough to be used over again.
Bryon Ferguson’s quest ventured off
into compounds for about seven years
and he claims never to have killed
anything with one. It seemed that, no
matter how much he concentrated and
practiced, nothing seemed to work It was
at this point, several years ago, that he
returned to the longbow and has stuck
with it.

On the afternoon of the fourth day,
Ferguson was late getting back to the
track crossing. After twenty minutes, I
heard the hum of his four—wheeler coming
down the cut. I pointed my flashlight
in his direction so he’d know he was getting close.
At fifty yards, I saw the faint
headlight of the Yamaha. I also could
see two eyeballs glowing in the beam of
my light. He’d shot a deer.

Back at camp, Ferguson explained
how this small buck kept coming in
toward the white oak, then would suddenly
run off before getting close enough
for a good shot. He decided to wait it
out, keeping a close eye on the legal
shooting time. With about five minutes
left, the lone buck wandered into shoot-
ing range of thirty yards. As it stood
motionless looking around, Ferguson
did the same. When the buck turned ·
quarter angle, looking away from the
tree stand, Ferguson came to full draw.
When he felt himself fully extended, he
chose the proper flight plan and

The arrow hit its mark in the right
flank, traversing through the lungs and
heart before lodging in the left front
shoulder. The buck sprinted a quick
forty yards before falling to the ground.
Ferguson could still see the buck from
his tree stand. He confided in me that
this was number seven for the year.
Alabama regulations stipulate: “bucks
only with antlers visible above natural
hairline — one a day.” Consult the
regulations for other specifics.
I have taken many animals over the
years with a recurve and a few with a
compound. I don’t think I’m quite ready
to hang up the compound and become
another Howard, Ben, Fred or Byron,
but it’s certainly something to think

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Published by archerchick on 06 Sep 2010

Wyoming Mule Deer – By Stan Chiras


Wyoming Mule Deer – By Stan Chiras

MY HUNTING partner,
Wayne Buff, had just
given me a smug look.
He was hiding something and it was pretty
obvious that he was about to spill the beans.

He made me painfully wrench the
story from him, as if to rub it in even
more. We had told each other that
tonight was the night; that one of us had
better get a whitetail or tum in our
credentials as deer hunters at dusk. My
hunt had ended when two youngsters, a
basset hound, a cocker spaniel and a
pellet gun broke the stillness of the September evening,
deep in the foothills of
the Rockies that abound with lunker
whitetails. Buff apparently hadn’t had
the pleasure of meeting these same

“Well, did you get one?” I asked.
“Yes,” he replied in his southem
drawl — he’s a displaced North
“Was it a buck?” I pleaded. I was
getting the usual hard treatment that
hunting buddies like to dole out to one
another, being made to practically beg
for the story.
“Where is he?” I asked before he
could answer.
“Still up there,” was the reply.
The buck had taken the “curse of
bowhunting’s” step at the instant of the
shot, leaving Buff with an unpleasant
paunch shot to contend with in the
morning. Since we had planned to hunt
elk the next day, our plans were
changed. He told me to go anyway, as
he could recover the deer with the aid of
his pointer if the need arose.
How I would have fared with the elk
is a matter of conjecture, for I decided
to hunt mule deer instead. I’d been
chasing some nice mulies for twelve
days and had suffered all sorts of
humiliation along the way. The big
bucks proved to be every bit as spooky A
as whitetails and the open foothills they
occupied made matters even more

To add to my frustration, the thermals
were constantly in favor of the deer.
Evenings were out altogether, for they
wouldn’t budge from their hiding places
until it was dark. It didn’t matter any-
way, because the winds were rising to
them then and there was no top
approach. I had to work and didn’t have
the time to hunt in the afternoon any-
way. That left me with 4 a.m. treks up
the mountain to get ahead of them,
usually to have the wind force me to re-
treat even higher to avoid detection.
Getting a young buck would have
been simple, for they often cross·cut the
currents as they wander up to higher
grounds. But the older bucks gave me no
slack. They would come up early, with
the wind strongly in their faces, then
duck into the smaller canyons at day-
break to bed in the dense, thorny brush.

They would wait until there was just
enough light for me to see how nice they
really were, adding to my sense of frus-
tration. Just because you can see them
in their open habitat doesn’t mean
they’re going to let you into bow range!
There were a couple “almosts” in the
previous twelve days that kept my blood
surging and my hopes high enough to
endure the early wake-ups. One magnificent
five-by-five spotted me a few days
earlier, just as I was about to shoot. I
had stalked to within twenty—five yards
and decided to take one more step —
like a fool! Still another, a fantastic non-
typical buck that had been giving me the
slip for the last two seasons, had also
managed to elude me on a daily basis.

I had been waiting for a storm front to
slide in from the north and overpower
the prevailing southern morning thermals.
I stopped my Jeep and got out to test the
wind as I had done on the previous twelve
mornings and was treated
to a pleasant surprise: North! It was a
brisk ten to twenty mile-per-hour breeze
and, although it was spiced with the roar
of distant thunder and a thirty—degree
temperature, it was as welcome as a
tropical vacation. My spirits sky-rocketed.
It would take an hour to reach
the canyons, but for once, I wouldn’t get
there ahead of my scent. More importantly,
the abundant whitetails, elk and
mule deer wouldn’t know there was an
intruder in their midst. I donned my
wool clothing in anticipation of rain and
began a steady climb to the peaks.
It was going to be at least an hour
before light, especially with the dark
clouds covering the sky. The mountains
cracked with lightning and thunder,
making me awfully glad I wasn’t up
there hunting elk. I nestled into a small
patch of brush to keep warm, keeping
myself invigorated with anticipation
enough to avoid sleep.

Finally, useable light arrived and I
began to scour the countryside below for
bucks making their last rounds of the
night. I was in the heart of their travel
corridor and hoped either to intercept
one enroute or effect a stalk with the
variables in my favor.
My first visitors were elk. Four cows
and a spike bull crossed thirty yards
from me. The bull I wanted was up the
mountain by now. He would have to
wait for another day to get chased by
me. I was after mulies on this most perfect
of days. The rain and wind were is
match for my wool as I sat and enjoyed
the elk.

Twelve small three—by—three and four-
by-four bucks made their way up the
slope to my right, but none was what I
wanted. My attention turned to another
dozen or so elk milling around a half-
mile below me. A good bull would be
tempting, so I glassed the herd carefully.
In a way, I was relieved that it had nothing but spikes,
one rag-horn and some
cows. It’s not a good thing to vary from
your course of action when the con-
ditions so rarely let you get into it, the
way I could today. It’s a wonderful predicament to have and that’s why I
moved to Wyoming!

The elk milled all over the valley and
seemed uneasy with the wind at their
backs. Finally, they had to give in and head directly to my site. Meanwhile,
two race whitetails were converging
from the left side ofthe canyon — which
was about three hundred yards wide —
and lugs were beginning toget
interesing. The larger buck would score
135 points and mule deer or not, I was
going to try for him.

Four hundred yards out, elk and
whitetails veered off to my left and gave
me no option but to belly—crawl over to
that side of the canyon as fast as I
could. Suddenly. halfway there, I saw
him. A mule buck was bedded in the
shallow draw I was crawling into! His
tines stood distinctly above the grass,
causing my pulse to quicken and
thoughts of elk and whitetails to

The problem was: to sneak the mulie
would mean being exposed to the elk
and whitetails. That wou1dn’t work, as
these foothdll deer take each others’
warnings seriously. In so doing, they
manage to protect themselves quite well.
I had to retreat from what would have
been a fairly stalkable deer. I crawled
back to my brush-hide and waited to see
what would materialize.
There, in a space of no more than two
acres, were a dozen elk, two magnificent
whitetails and what turned out to be
three mule deer. I couldn’t believe my

Living in Wyoming has it’s drawbacks.
There is almost no form of commercial
entertainment and the options
are few in many endeavors. The array of
people, places and things to amuse you
in the city — my last one was Atlanta
— add a lot to life. But you couldn’t tell
me that on the 18th day of September,

The animals began to feed on some
shrubbery along the canyon wall. I was
about 125 yards away and trying desperately
to come up with some kind of approach. But there was none. Approaching or retreating would surely have
attracted dozens of sharp eyes to my Treebark-clad form. There was no option
but to wait.

The black clouds became denser and
soon the ceiling dropped enough to
shroud the canyon and its inhabitants in
a wonderful fog. This was my break, so
I backed up and trotted up the canyon
several hundred yards, well downwind
of my quarry. After crossing and slipping
ever-so-carefully down toward the
pack of antlers and hooves, I settled in
behind a couple shrubs that looked to be
about one hundred yards from my
buck’s last location. It would be dumb
to try and get any closer.

I nocked an arrow, for soon it would
be time to do something. I expected the
elk to take a path next to me and head
for higher country. The whitetails could
either pass and get an arrow, or follow
the elk. Nobody would cut my wind.
The mulies could do whatever they wanted,
as long as they did it within forty-
five yards! The nock made a subtle
“snap” as it locked down on the string
of my High Country Trophy Hunter, a
bow that had taken me to the Grand
Slam of wild turkeys last spring and was
fast becoming an extension of my arm
and mind. Just then the smallest mulie
materialized ten yards from me.

The fork-hom looked at me with
curiosity and disbelief, much the same
sentiments that I was feeling! He crank-
ed his neck first one way, then the other,
trying to figure out what this bark-
patterned thing was. He approached
slowly, for a closer look, apparently
thinking it would become clear to him
what I was and allow him to get on with
his feeding. Rather than let the little ras-
cal come any closer and suffer the shock
of his young life, I moved a little to
spook him. He took the cue and began
to circle downwind of me. Suddenly, he
broke into the comical mule deer bound
and set off a racket that would surely
alarm any nearby animals.
The clouds were lifting and I could
see twenty—four elk eyes staring directly
at my hiding spot. The whitetails left
without any need to see what all the fuss
was about; they were just being
whitetails! Within minutes, the elk
began to wander off, passing within fif-
teen yards of my former hide.
I began to wonder where the two
other mulies had gone. Had they some-
how slipped by me as I crept down? No,
they had to be there, in the shrubbery,
along the canyon wall. I headed up the
ridge for a better look.

I wear glasses and, if you do, you’ll
know what I mean when I say that I’d
sacrifice an awful lot to be free of them.
I’ve tried the obvious alternatives to lit-
tle avail and have accepted this curse.
Rainy days, with howling wind, can
drive you bonkers. When sitting still,

you can control water on the lenses with
your hat’s visor. But when huffing up a
canyon wall, the heat generated by your
body and raindrops assaulting your face
do two things: You fog up and then blur
entirely as the water cascades across
your glasses.

The top of the ridge revealed nothing.
Actually, that was rather difficult to
determine, as I could barely see! Since
all my clothes were soaked and my dry
spots of clothing had long since been
used up, clearing the lenses was next to
impossible. I practically slid back to the
bottom, a victim of the mud and poor

I decided to stalk along the lower
edge of the brush and peer inside, hop-
ing to locate the missing bucks. It was
wetland windy, which made for quiet
going. I had every chance of seeing them
before they saw me, if I went slowly

Every step revealed something new,
but no deer. The water was getting into
my mouth and eyes when suddenly the
taste of soap struck. I was dumbfound-
ed! Was it coming from my hat; or had
there been some shampoo left in my hair
that was filtering down! Soon it made
it’s way into my eyes. You know the
feeling? Soap in your eyes? I laid my
bow down and began rubbing my eyes
gingerly. My glasses were hopelessly
streaked with runoff and I felt like total
you~know-what! At that moment, I
almost gave in and headed back.
One step more had me looking at the
same dark recesses in the brush I had
been seeing all along, but the next one
materialized two large gray shapes
about thirty yards up the hill.

It happened in a split second. I tried
to see better and yet instinctively knew I
had to get the bow drawn. The shapes
rose and they were deer. Through the
blurry lenses, I could make out the rear
animal as a small buck and the front one
was most certainly the one I wanted. He

was pretty well shrouded in brush, but
his larger body was all the clue I
needed. Experience had taught me that I
could penetrate down-range brush if it
was close to the target. I was at full
draw and anchored just as the deer
finished rising. The pin came to rest on
his chest in one smooth, rapid motion.
My bow was so easy to draw and aim
with it’s sixty-five percent let-off that the
process was almost automatic. Before I
knew it and before the buck had a
chance to bolt, the arrow was on its

A satisfying plunk made its way back
to my ears. Although I didn’t see the
arrow in flight or see it hit, it sounded
right. The bucks bolted and disappeared
from sight.
It took me a minute to compose my
thoughts and reconfirm what my senses
told me were the signs of a vital hit. I
paced off twenty-eight yards to the place
where the bucks had been standing and
looked for my arrow.

The arrow either had gone into the
brush or raced over the hillside into the
next valley. I chose to go over and soon
found six inches of my arrow with frothy
red blood all over the shaft. It was a
lung hit! I topped the rise and there,
within the panorama of the Bighorn
Mountains, lay my buck. He was not
the best I had seen that year, but at that
moment there was no disputing he was
the most welcome.

Not only was his body huge, but his
rack was to green score 166 2/8 Pope &
Young Club points. The 130-grain
Muzzy broadhead had penetrated his
massive shoulders completely, skewering
both lungs in the process. He had
made it an amazing 125 yards uphill
after the hit

Wayne Buff persisted until eleven
o’clock that morning and found his
buck, way down the trail where he had
shot it. It had followed a straight line for
about half a mile before expiring. <—-<<

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Published by archerchick on 06 Sep 2010

…With Survival In Mind – By Teddy S. McKinney


…With Survival In Mind

By Teddy S. McKinney

FOR THREE YEARS now,I have had
the exciting privilege of living among
three of the Surinam’s jungle Indian
Tribes. Surinam (formerly Dutch Guiana is located on the northeast shoulder of South -America and is bordered on
the West by- Guoana, on the east by
French Guiana and on the south by its
giant neighbor Brazil.
The country is sparsely populated,
the majority of its residents living
mainly along the coast. It is predominantly rain forest and within the vast
reaches of interior jungle dwell three
tribes of Indians-the Trio. the Akudio the Wayana. Little known to
the outside world, these expert archers
are skilled craftsmen in the art of
making “primitive” weapons.

Early one morning before the sun
had blurred away the jungle mist, Panashopa and I set out with ax and machete in hadn to cut bow staves. We intended to hunt along the way and to cut a beetree, which he had discovered on a previous hunt. After several hours on the trail, we veered off sharply into the jungle. He paused at an old rotten log and began digging at it with his toes. Noticing my puzzled look, he assured me this was indeed “woolapa” or bow wood. As he began chopping, I realized that only only the exterior was rotten and that it was the hard, reddish brown, fine-grained heartwood which he sought.

Finally after an hour or more of chopping and splitting, he had produced three suitable looking bow staves, each about six feet long. Then, using the machete, he began to chop them to a tapered point at both ends. Soon the staves began to take on a vague resemblance to longbows.

Upon returning to the village, Panashopa took the lower jawbone of a wild pig, with the tusk still intact, and began shaving the stave down using the tusk a a sort of drawknife. As the pile of fine shavings on the ground grew to resemble some strange bird’s nest, the stick of wood became a beautiful, smooth longbow—straight and symmetrical. The bow was flat on
the back, rounded on the belly and tapered gradually to a sharp point at
each end. I asked Panashopa why his people
designed their bows with such sharp
points. He replied, “That’s just the way
we do it.” However, some of the old
men of the village will tell you that
years ago when the Trios, Wayanas,
and Akudios were at war, these long,
sharply pointed bows served them well
as spears in close combat, once the
arrows were used up.

At the tips, he carved a notch so slight
I was amazed that it could keep the
string from slipping. Using strands of
“woo-lo-way-toe” fiber (probably sisal), which he had previously dried,
Panashopa twisted a bowstring by
rolling three strands between his palm
and his thigh. In a matter of minutes,
he had a durable, new, double length
bowstring. Half of it he wound around
the lower limb of the bow as a spare,
then attached it to the lower tip with a
clove hitch. He then took the loose end
of the string, placed the lower tip
of the bow on the ground, bent it with
his knee and tied the string at the top
with another clove hitch. Not satisified
with the tension, he loosened the
string, twisted it more to shorten it and
retied it. This time he handed the bow
to me with a smile.
joints, that is important for making arrows.

Naki selected and cut about a dozen
of the straightest he could find and laid
them in the sun to dry. Several days
later, he cut each shaft to a length of
approximately five feet and began to
straighten them by heating them over
the fire and bending them across his
chest. When he was satisfied, he then
inserted a foot-long hardwood point,
carved with barbs, into the pithy core
of the larger end of the cane. Then he
looped a small cord once around the
cane where the hardwood and the shaft
met. By holding the cord taut with his
toes and his right hand, he was able to
roll the shaft back and forth with his
Ieft hand. Amazingly, the end of the
shaft grew smaller and tapered neatly
to the point so snugly that it was
difficult to remove it!

The next step was to secure the point
more firmly with the hemp-like fiber
they call “woo-lo-way-toe.” This he
coated with a tacky resin after tying it.
The resin serves as both protective
coating and a sort of glue. Next he split
several wing feathers from the harpy
eagle and several from the black oko,
or curassow bird. These he cut into
approximate fite-inch lengths and
trimmed the outer edges. Placing two
of these along the side arrow shaft, he
began to tie them on with fine thread,
Most of the thread is wrapped around
the shaft to form a design. Occasionally,
a thread is passed through the vanes
of the feather to hold them firmly in
place close to the arrow shaft. The
cotton wrapping is then painted with a
series of dots and lines. Sometimes the
arrow shaft is painted in the same

To distinguish his arrows
from all the others, Naki ties beautiful,
delicate little feathers from behind the
fletching to form colorful bands.

The arrow nock is formed by squeezing
the cane with the loop-rope device
about half an inch from the end. This is
then wrapped with cotton thread and
eoated with resin varnish. Sometimes
a shallow notch is cut, but often there is
none at all, since the Indians here do
not use the one-finger-above, two-
below method of drawing. Rather,
they grasp the nock between the
thumb and index finger and pull the
string with two or three fingers under
the arrow.

These bows and arrows, in the hands
of such cunning jungle dwellers, become efficient weapons. I have seen
these people stop a wild boar in his
tracks, drive an arrow through a deer,
topple a fat spider monkey from a lofty
limb and spear fish barely visible in
the swift current-all this with “primitive” weapons! How would you rate if
your next meal depended on your shooting skill? <—-<<

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Published by archerchick on 06 Sep 2010

Bad Day At Ft. Campbell – By Keith Jimmerson

Bad Day At Ft. Campbell

What do you do when your long-time friend and hunting partner has a bad day
in the deer woods? Do you offer encouragement and moral support…..or do you collapse
in a fit of laughter? Well, here’s what happened to two Tennessee bowhunters at Ft. Campbell last year……..

By Keith Jimmerson
Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to get our
of bed, even if it is hunting season and
you are hunting over a deer run that
looks like the Indianapolis 500. My long-time
hunting partner Don Wagner (who, in
my opinion, happens to be one of the best
hunters in the state) had one of those mornings
this past season. I have seen Don hunt whole
seasons without screwing up as much as he
did that one morning.
We were hunting the Ft. Campbell military reservation
for deer. Ft. Campbell has
plenty of deer and plenty of big bucks, but not
many of the big bucks are killed in the bow-
hunting areas. A hunter has to be drawn for
his choice of area. and we had discovered that
we got our choice only about one-third of the
time. This results in a lot of hunters hunting
areas they are not accustomed to. Also, no
pre-season scouting is allowed; scouting must
be done during hunting time. These factors
add up to a big advantage for the deer and they
are also the reason why the bowhunting areas
have more than their share of big bucks.
This year Don and I had approached hunting
Ft. Campbell from a different angle. We
applied for one of the less desirable bowhunting
areas and we got it. Our area had plenty of
deer, but it was smaller, more remote, and
was mostly pines and overgrown fields. We
spent the first two weekends learning the lay
of the land and patterning the deers’ movement.
This was made difficult by the honeysuckle vines,
which were up to 9 feet high in
places with deer trails going through them.
We quickly discovered most of the other
hunters were hunting logging roads and the
edges of this year’s clearcuts. We also discovered
that the good bucks were avoiding these
areas until after dark.

It was our second weekend of scouting
Light rain and cool temperatures ! The
weather was perfect for deer hunting.

When we found the spot we wanted to hunt. It
was an area which was extra thick in vines
with a lot of saplings growing up between the
pines. As I wedged my way through, I popped
into a clearin?g instead of honeysuckte, this
opening -had been claimed by thick, low-lying
creeper vines, leaving a relatively clear area
roughly 30 yards wide and 80 yards long. The
saplings growing in the opening were torn all
to pieces, gouged, rubbed and bent over. It
was a remote area with buck sign everywhere.

Don and I began picking and setting up spots.
Don has always hunted for the big buck and I
have always hunted for deer. I ended up at the
far end of the clearing, back in the-woods
about two trees off the edge. I had trails in
abundance and could shoot into the edge of
the clearing with ease. Don was 100 yards
away in the thickest part with buck sign all
over and an exceptionally heavy trail winding
underneath his big pine tree.

The following weekend (with expectations
high) we woke to a light rain and cooler temperatures
(mid-30s). We hurriedly ate breakfast and
talked about what a perfect day it was
for bowhunting. As we approached our area in
the dark, Don told me to cut by his stand on
my way out if I had any luck. I wished him
luck and angled off to my stand. With dawn
came the deer, but they were all too small or
slightly out of range until 8:00 a.m. when a
plump doe crossed my trail at 10 yards. By the
time I field dressed her, rigged her to my drag
sling and dragged her by (within 30 yard+)
Don’s treestand, it was near 9:00. I gave Don
the high sign as I went by and he returned it,
but he looked beat. His camouflage paint,
even at that distance, looked streaked and his
appearance was that of a man “tuckered out,”

Don scaled the tree again and again, until
he was wringing wet with sweat.

I knew a logging road lay a quarter mile
south of my position, so my deer and I headed
that way. As I came upon the logging road, I
met two of the base MP’s who double as game
wardens. After checking my permit and license,
one of the MP’s offered to help me drag
my deer to the truck; After thanking him, I
drove to the checking station, hung my deer
and fixed lunch. Around 2:00 p.m- I headed
back to the area to wait on darkness and my
hunting partner. As I approached the area, I
saw Don sprawled out with his gear fanned
out around him. Knowing Don’s tenacity, I
Figured he had gotten a deer, probably a-big

“Where’s the deer?” I yelled as I pulled
up. Don slowly straightened up, accepted the
cold drink I offered him and proceeded to tell
me his sad tale.

Oops. . .

Early that morning, after we parted to find
our spots, Don worked his way over to the big
pine tree and realized he had left his tree step
pouch off his gear belt. I was astonished to
hear this, since Don is the most meticulously
organized person I know, with a separate
compartment for all of his gear. When he
comes down from his tree at dark, he puts
every piece of gear in its particular place, the
same place every time, his rope neatly folded,
his tree stand strapped securely to his back.
This may not seem like such a feat to some of
you but to me it has always seemed like a major
accomplishment. I am always disorganized and
while I usually have everything I
need, I have to hunt for it. Anyway, after I quit
laughing over Don forgetting his steps, he
went on with his story.

Poor Don had hugged that wet pine tree
and pulled himself up toward the limbs 15 feet
above his head. Once there, he discovered
these low limbs on his pine tree were dead and
wouldn’t support his weight. After another
five feet of hugging and grunting, he reached
the limb below the spot planned for his tree
stand. Using his rope, he pulled his tree stand
up into the pine. Holding the stand with one
hand and the pine tree with the other, he
awkwardly unfolded his stand in the dark. As he
reached around the tree to pull his securing

chain into position, he heard something fall
out of his pouch and crash to the ground be-
low. He hooked the chain to the stand and
looked down. Right then he knew he would
have to make a trip down, because he saw his
flashlight shining on the ground like a warning
beacon for all the deer to see.

Luck. You can’t define it, but you know when
you have it…and when you don’t.

After securing his belt to the tree, Don
started back down the pine tree. Don now
claims climbing down a big, wet pine tree is
harder than climbing up it. He had planned to
rest once he reached the ground, but the now
pink sky urged him on. Turning off the flashlight,
he quickly took hold of the only-too-familiar
wet pine tree and started huffing his
way back up. When he reached the dead
limbs at 15 feet, he knew he had to stop for
a rest. even though time was precious.
Knowing better, he straddled the best-looking
limb to get a breather and rest his weary arms.

Just as he was about to start back up, his limb
broke and he slid down two feet before he was
able to stop. He probably would not have
stopped then if his favorite shirt had not
snagged on the limb stub and brought him to
an abrupt halt. Holding onto the tree with one
hand, he managed to jerk his shirt free of the
stub with his other. The resulting sound told
him he would have some sewing to do that
night. As Don wearily pulled himself onto his
stand, he could hear a commotion to his
right. Breathing hard, he saw a big buck right
on him. It was swinging its rack against sap-
lings in its way and grunting as it came. Even
as Don lifted his bow from its hook on the
tree, the buck was moving past his shooting
lanes. Grabbing an arrow, pulling his bow
back, Don tried to concentrate on his last lane
where the buck now was. Releasing the arrow.
Don felt satisfied with the resulting thud his
shot produced. The buck tore out of there low
to the ground and with no hesitation. Still.
Don felt good about his shot.

Shortly afterwards, Don saw me dragging
my doe and gave me the high sign, hoping
I could confirm his hit. Don once again tried
to see where his arrow should be sticking in
the ground covered with blood, but could not
locate it. Maybe it was still in the buck. When
he looked back up and realized I was gone
with my deer, he knew he would have to come
down from the tree himself to confirm his hit.
He knew if he hurried, he might get to the
truck with his deer before I left for the check-
ing station. Pushing away from the tree, Don
jumped the last eight feet, only to land in an
ankle twisting position. Moaning, he limped
over to his shooting lane. There was no blood
on the trail, only his arrow buried almost to
the nock in a rotten stump!

As Don worked on freeing his arrow, he
looked up to see a couple of six-pointers
watching his progress. Hurrying back to his
tree, Don slowly climbed once more into his
position. He settled his bruised and weary
body into a semi-comfortable seat. Working
its way toward him was a buck that was even
bigger than the one he had missed, and this
time he was ready. As the deer worked its way
closer and closer to Don’s shooting lanes, it
seemed to get more and more skittish until it
raised its nose, curled its upper lip in a sneer,
flipped its tail, and was gone. Don knew he
had worked up a sweat that morning, but this
deer was upwind of him. Just then he noticed
movement downwind of where the buck had
been. In a moment, he was able to discern that
it was an MP following the trail on which I had
taken out my deer. Don whistled the MP over.
Unhooking his stand, Don lowered his gear
from the tree and climbed down.

Apologizing for ruining his hunt, the MP
explained he had hunted this area himself and
was back-tracking to see where my deer had
been killed. Don gathered up his gear (every-
thing in its proper place), hiked out of the
woods and wearily lay down to wait for me.
As Don finished his story I tried to summon up
all the sympathy I could for my hunting partner
and good friend, but I’m afraid his
feelings were hurt by my falling to the ground
and rolling with laughter. Don’t feel too sorry
for Don, though, because he doesn’t have
many mornings like that one. He ended the
season with three bow deer kills, one of them
a huge 8-pointer that he rattled in, to go with
the 10-pointer he took the season before.
But even for such consistently successful
hunters as Don, sometimes it just doesn’t pay
to get out of bed. >>——>

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Published by archerchick on 06 Sep 2010

Bowhunting The Extended Rut – By Glen Vondra


This lowa author has been
bowhunting whitetails for 15
Fars. He waited five years
before he was able to harvest
his first buck and since then he
has become more selective of
targets. “lt has only been in
the last three or four years that
the behavior patterns of trophy
whitetail bucks really started to
fall into place,” he wrote
Archery World. “The concepts
I dwell on in this article are my
own and have been borne out
by many hours in the deep
woods. l keep a daily diary
while on my stand, recording
many things including all deer
sightings and unusual
behavior.” So, here’s how they
do it in lowa. . .

Webster defines “rut” as a period of
sexual excitement of many male
animals. Deer biologists classify
the peak of the rut into a few days of active
breeding activity. Whitetail hunters see those
few days as their best chance of harvesting a
trophy buck. Although the peak provides an
excellent hunting oppornrnity, a buck’s sexual
excitement begins long before and lasts far
beyond those few precious days. Understanding
how a whitetail buck relates to these before
and after periods can extend your trophy
hunting prime time by many weeks.

I believe this time period, or extended rut,
can be divided into five semi-distinct time
periods stretching out to approximately 60
days. The beginning and ending of these
periods will vary of course, depending on your
geographic location. The following periods
relate to dates across the mid-section of the
country. Knowing when each occurs can give
the hunter a good indication of successful
hunting strategy.

Early Rut Starts in early to mid October.
During this period, the most vulnerable bucks
are those in the l-1/2 or 2-1/2 year old range.

Pre-primary Rut Starts toward the end of
October and extends through the first week of
November. Mature whitetail trophies may be
taken although generally not the area’s dominant buck.
Scrape hunting and antler rattling
are excellent hunting methods during this period.

Primary Rut Last about l0 days with the
peak occurring just prior to the middle of November.
Prime time to take the real buster.

Post Primary Rut Occurs about 10 to 15 days
immediately following the primary rut.
A good time to take a trophy buck.

Late Rut Begins after the Post Primary
and lasts until mid-December. Hard to locate
prime areas but can be an excellent time for
taking bucks during brief flurries of activity
in various isolated locations.

Early Rut

Most adult male whitetails are beginning
to “feel their oats” as ever decreasing daylight
causes changes in the deer’s hormonal
glands. Antlers have hardened and are being
put to the test on young saplings. Scrapes are
beginning to appear along held edges and major
woodland trails. This scraping tends to be
of two basic varieties. By far the majority are
made by immature bucks. Many are made after
dark at or near nighttime feeding areas and
often consist of only a few drag marks. Walking
the edge of a corn, soybean or alfalfa field
usually reveals many of these small scrapes.
Although seldom revisited during daylight
hours, the hunter can take advantage of their
location by setting on stand between the
nighttime feeding areas and the daytime bedding
areas. Look for heavily traveled trails with
tracks heading in the direction of thickets or
brushy areas within the timber.
The second variety of scrapes beginning to
be seen now are being made by mature deer in
the2-1/2to 4-1/2 year age group. These are
nearly always made at night and usually in
heavy cover or in secluded corners of field
openings. They always have an overhanging
branch that is scent marked with saliva. This
type of scrape is made up to and occasionally
through the primary rut with the express purpose of acting as a “calling card” for does
entering their estrus period.
Any trophy deer is difficult to lay claim to
now as most activity is nocturnal. Locate a faint trail paralleling
a major trail with some good size tracks and you have the makings of
a trophy buck stand. Care needs to be taken in
setting up a stand close to his bedding area
without alarming him and causing the buck to
change his habits. Extreme attention also
needs to be given to entering and exiting the
stand undetected. Well washed rubber boots
should always be worn to avoid leaving a human scent trail.

Some does will enter estrus during this
period, although few are actually capable of
being bred. Fawns born too early in the spring
have less chance for survival. An early estrus
is probably nature’s way of warming up the
doe’s inner workings for conception at a later
date. Scrapes that are visited by receptive
does during the early rut often are the hottest
scrapes during the primary rut. Although
generally futile to hunt over now, mental note
should be taken to recheck in about two or
three weeks.

Pre-primary Rut

The days are getting even shorter, the evenings crisper and the leaves are taking on an
earthy hue. The bucks are feeding less and in
different places. The trails hunted during the
early rut may be less productive now except
for a few immature bucks not into the “big
picture” yet. Actually, this is the best time to
take a mature 2-1/2 to 4-1/2 year old trophy.
These deer are making scrape lines in earnest
now. Their previous year’s experience has not
been in vain and anticipation of the upcoming
rut is running at a fever pitch. Daytime
scrape-making and wanderings are becoming
more prevalant as each day passes. The does
that came into estrus a few days earlier merely
kindled a deeper desire for what every mature
whitetail buck knows is in the offing. He
doesn’t want to be left out.
Stand hunting active scrapes during morning. and late evenings is an excellent hunting
technique now as both mature and immature
bucks will visit them during daylight hours.
Care should be taken to remain downwind
even if it means more than one stand at a
scrape. Set up as far away from the scrape as is
practical .considering your shooting ability
and existing branch cover. you are in the
whitetail’s living room and he knows the terra
firma and, flora well so shooting lane manicuring should be kept to a minimum. In several
instances, I have had bucks come to a nervous
halt, then turn and walk away when they approached a lane cleared several days before. I
now do most of my scouting during winter
and early spring before the woodland foliage
blots out the previous fall’s rut signs and finish my trimming by the end of summer.

Another hunting method that has a considerable chance for success now is horn rattling.
The pecking order for herd dominance is being established now and the hunter should use
this to his advantage. Smaller bucks generally
approach rattling out of curiosity, while larger
bucks are looking for a confrontation and can
be equated to a barroom brawler with a few
beers under his belt. There is no real secret to
rattling, as some people claim. Just imagine
two bucks fighting as you clash and grind”the
horns together. and stay downwind of the likeliest approach routes. I’ve found antler rattling most productive on clear, cold and still
mornings just prior to the primary rut.

The moon phase seems to have an affect on
deer activity during this period. A clear sky
and a full moon keep the bucks moving at
night and they disengage activity earlier in the
morning. However, mid-day is a good time to
be on stand now as they tend to-get up and
roam after a good morning’s rest.

Primary Rut

An occasional flurry of light snow marks
the most eventful period of the dedicated
whitetail hunter’s life. Ice has formed along
the banks ofa bottomland bayou as the hunter
makes his familiar pre-dawn trek to his stand.
Does are coming into estrus now and activity
is elevating to a peak. A third class of buck is
getting heavily involved in the act now. Joining the immature and mature 2-1/2 to 4-1/2

year old bucks is the area’s true trophy – the
dominant buck. Depending upon hunting
pressure, this may be anywhere from 3-1/2
years to as old as a deer can get in the wild. I
once laid claim to a grizzled gray beard that
was aged by jaw/tooth method at 6-1/2 years
old but have heard of bucks that were much
older. At some point in the old fellow’s life,
antler growth and symmetry take a regressive
turn, but until that happens, the dominant
buck generally sports some pretty impressive

Most scraping is now being done by lesser
bucks who could be compared to teenage boys
visiting the local hangouts in search of
friendly girls. The big boys don’t have time to
mess around with such frivolous endeavors
when the does are receptive.
Active scrapes are still productive, al-
though the bigger bucks will generally scent
check them from a distance. Locate a faint
trail with large tracks downwind of an active
scrape (50 to 100 yards) and you should have a
trophy stand. Now is the time to take note of
the most used scrapes you found during the
early rut but which failed to see activity dur-
ing the daylight hours. You can bet your best
broadhead that the bucks haven’t forgotten

Does tend to move into traditional breeding areas as the rut approaches. Bucks travel
even farther distances to be with the does. At
this time of year, hunting an area with a large
concentration of females can be more productive than traditional trail watching or even
scrape hunting, as many scrapes are abandoned now. Bucks will tend to mosey around
with their nose to the wind, generally following no trail at all. They do move a lot during
the day and only past experience will clue the
hunter in as to where these traditional breeding areas are. I’ve hunted areas with very few
scrapes, and certainly no “hub scrapes”, although bucks could be seen chasing does
throughout the day.

If scrape activity is fairly hot, and then
tapers off to nothing during the primary rut,
it’s a good indication that the area has been
heavily cropped of bucks and the buck/doe
ratio is low. This presents a situation where
bucks do not require scrapes to locate receptive does and competition from other bucks is

Horn rattling is less effective now, especially for trying to entice the dominant buck.
It is virtually impossible to rattle in a buck
who is tending a doe. Rattling will, however,
still be effective in ringing the bell of the
lesser bucks of the herd.
The primary demise of trophy bucks at
this time is not necessarily because they lose
any of their innate caution, but they do tend to
make themselves vulnerable by moving
around more during daylight hours and often
their attention is focused on a nearby doe.

This is especially important to bowhunters,
who have to wait for a 20 or 30 yard shot.
Outdoor temperatures seem to play a bigger role than moon phase now. Although
bucks will move night and day with little rest
because of their sexual obsession, if the
weather is unseasonably warm, the balance of
breeding takes place during the cool of the
night. I recall one year with a warm November in which visual sightings were few but
fresh tracks had appeared around my tree
stand each morning. This is still the time to be
spending as much time as possible on stand,
no matter what the weather conditions are.

Post-primary Rut

Most does have completed their estrus cycle and have conceived. Only the bucks with a
number of years experience under their belts
realize that the fun is over and retreat again to
their impregnable lairs. Most deer, however,
will still be on the prowl looking for willing
does. It won’t dawn on them until a couple of
weeks after the peak that they’re wasting time
and energy. With the odors of the rut still
fresh in their nostrils, the post-primary rut
may be the time a good estrus doe urine lure
will work to the hunter’s greatest advantage.
Leave scent trails to your stand and also
freshen previously active scrapes with the
urine. Antler rattling will again work well to
entice a trophy whitetail within range, although not as well as during the pre-primary
Most bucks will still be traveling the normal rut routes, but activity will steadily decline as this period progresses. Activity will
diminish to rhe point that it seems all the
bucks have disappeared. Then, the late rut
will begin.

Late Rut

Stand hunting during the frigid temperatures at this time of year can be unbearable,
but with a little luck and a lot of fortitude,
trophies can be had. A few does did not conceive during the previous peak plus some
yearlings are experiencing their first estrus.
These deer again activate the area bucks into
another brief flurry of action. This can occur
anytime between the first of December until
the middle of the month. It will occur in small
isolated areas and last only a couple of days in
each area. It is easy to miss completely unless
one is very familiar with traditional breeding
areas and checks them on a regular basis. Occasionally the areas with the good early rut
scraping activity will get hot again.

Whitetails in the northern tier of states
may be heading to their winter yarding areas
at this time of year. A concentration of deer as
it occurs during yarding will surely result in
some breeding activity, perhaps even into January. Hunters familiar with such an area
should get some good results by setting up on
the downwind periphery of a yard. Most of the
bucks in the area will be chasing any doe that
comes into heat. As was the case in the early
rut, don’t expect to take a real buster as these
fellows are loners and generally won’t join a
yard until later, if at all.

Hormonal changes associated with the
early dropping of antlers in older whitetail
bucks have an affect on their sexual desires.
This could be nature’s way of preserving winter fat reserves in her prime breeding stock.

The late rut can still provide some good hunting for the hardy and persistent bowman.

There you have it – the extended rut. Bear
in mind that this is only a simplified evaluation and will do a hunter little good unless one
can apply the concepts to his or her own hunting areas. The best advice I can provide a budding whitetail trophy hunter is this: be in the
whitetail’s habitat as much as possible before,
during and after the rut. Blow the urban cobwebs out of your brain and try to progress into
a natural rhythmic flow. Little by little, the
pieces of the puzzle will all come together and
you’ll be one step up on putting a beauty on
the den wall this coming year >>—->

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Published by archerchick on 05 Sep 2010

The Country’s Highest Paid Archers: The Green Bay Packers – By Chuck Ramsey

The Country’s Highest Paid Archers:

Jerry Kramer may be a great right guard for the
Green Bay Packers, but, by any odds, he just shouldn’t
be an archer. But it takes rnore than a few drawbacks
to stop him. He’s an avid bowhunter, has a part
ownership in an archery company, and started many
of his teammates in the sport of bowhunting.

This incredible combination of men and muscle,
the Green Bay Packers, are probably some of the
highest paid bowhunters in the business.
Jerry got interested in borrhunting two vears ago
while recuperating from major surgery. During his
hospital stay he happened upon some copies of Achery World
and decided ro try our this different form
of hunting. He tried it out and ended up as a major
stockholder in American Archery.

I met Jerry while we were co-hosting a television
show called Pack-A-Rama, and I proceeded to try and
teach him all that I knew about hunting with bow and
arrow. We ran into problems immediately, Jerry’s
right hand is deformed somewhat because of an accident
he suffered as a young man while? duck hunting.
The double barrelled shotgun went off accidentally
and blew his forearm literally into hamburger, at least that’s what Jerry said it looked like. After a series of
operations, Prayer, and skin-grafts, he was allowed to
keep his arm in one piece. It appeared to me that his
hook-like fingers couldn’t hold a string so, I proceeded
to teach him how to shoot left handed.

Then I noticed that he wasn’t hitting the target at
all, but he sure was clobbering his right forearm.
When I asked him which eye he was using he said
“My right eye, dummy, I’ve only got ten Percent vision
in my left one.” It seems that he suffered a detached retina during a Baltimore Colt football game a few
years back. Back we went to the drawing board. He
found out he could hold a string with his right fingers
and since then has proceeded to become a very excellent instinctive archer.

Jerry got most of the Packers interested in the sport
of bowhunting, and has taken a couple of the wily
Wisconsin Whitetail. His wife, Barbara, a former
Idaho beauty, has outdone her All-Pro husband. She has taken one more deer than Jerry.

Among the Packers who Partake of the “lnjun-gun type of hunting'” is Doug Hart, a speedy and handsome defensive back, who has collected three
whitetails in three years with his bow. Doug doesn’t
believe in waiting too long after a hit with an arrow.
The scuttle butt around the Packer Locker’room’ is when Doug hits a deer, he drops the bow and runs
the critter down.
Don’t laugh, if you’ve ever seen this
fellow zero in on an opposing player, then you’ll know
why he’s a member of the Packer “Suicide Squad'”

Doug is a former Texas native and refers to our
Wisconsin Whitetail as “large Texas jack-rabbits.”

Some of the other World Champions who hunt with
Jerry and Doug, include Allen Brown, a tight end and former All American at the University of Mississippi.
And, of course the “man with the golden toe”, Don Chandler. a banker from Tulsa, Oklahoma. The talk
around the training room after a weekend’s hunt in
the Wisconsin forests is that if Don were standing in a
barn with all o{fthe doors closed, and he were to shoot
an arrow into the air. he’d miss, But he sure gets an “A” for effort.

Carroll Dale. the speedy end with the sticky fingers,
is an avid bowhunter, and hopes to take a trophy or two in his home state of Tennessee.

Steve Wright, offensive tackle for the Packers was
bitten by the bowhunting bug, as was Ron Kostalnik,
formerly of the University of Cincinnati, and Jimmy
Flanagan, a rookie linebacker from the University of Pittsburgh.

Henry Jordan, a defensive tackle who is, pound for pound more than a match for the toughest offensive
lineman in the N.F.L. or the A.F.L. tried the bow and
arrow way of relaxation, but when his wife Olive
started to beat him consistently he decided to try golf.
I heard him mumbling something about not wanting
to lose that winning spirit that Coach Lombardi has
instilled in him. Makes sense, I guess!

Art Laha, “The Bowhunter” from Winchester,
Wisconsin, who owns part of American Archery, has a
bowhunting lodge in Northern Wisconsin. He also has
aided in getting the Packers into bowhunting.

He invites them up to his lodge in Vilas County at
least twice a year. The fellows really enjoy the trips up
to the lodge, and you can be sure that the bowhunters
here go home with a better understanding of football
after a weekend with these boys.

Jerry remarked one day that the reason he took up
bowhunting was because he had lost the thrill of hunting with a rifle. “I had an unfulfilled feeling when I
took a trophy with a rifle. That old electric feeling I had when I was a kid was gone, and it wasn’t fun anymore. But with a bow I feel a sense of
accomplishment that I’ve never felt before. I can’t really
explain it, he went on. “I don’t know if any bowhunter can, but I do know, it’s a good feeling, like cutting down the last man between the ball carrier and the goal line I guess.”

Jerry and Bill Bednar met for the first time last year at the International Open Archery tournament at
Detroit. After watching Bill overcome an almost disastrous second day of shooting, and end up in second place, he remarked. “There’s a guy with a lot of steel in him.”
He couldn’t have described himself more accurately.

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Published by archerchick on 05 Sep 2010

Bowhunting with The Dutchman – By H.R. “Dutch” Wambold

Archery World – May 1968

Bowhunting with the Dutchman

By H.R. “Dutch” Wambold

During the first days of May as the waters of the

streams warm under the rays of the spring sunshine,

the spawning run of the carp makes its appearance

in the backwaters.

This is the time of the year when many archers

tape their.bowfishing reels on their bow, round up a

few solid glass fishing shafts and points and hit the

waters for some fast shooting fun.

Bowfishing for carp finds many variations by which

to enjoy the sport. Shooting can be done from a

canoe as it is guided into productive waters, or from

any boat for that matter. The method that apPeals

to most bowhunters is the sream bank stalking, or

getting right into the water to work onto the carp.

The large doe carp bursting with eggs keep work-

ing the muddy bottoms of the backwaters making

their nests. The smaller buck carp keep bunting the

doe to force the eggs out of her. In hunting waters

where this takes place, the large doe will rise to the

surface of the water, roll, showing her large dorsal

fin, give a flip of her broad tail and head for the

bottom again.


By the time you spot the doe rolling, or hear the

splash of her tail, the carp has usually disappeared

beneath the surface. If you can get into a shooting

position in jig time, all you have to aim for is a slight

swirl in the surface to indicate where the carp had

been. Using some “Mississippi Dippage” you hold

for where you think the carp might be and let go.

The shooting is fast, and the misses are numerous

while the action is tremendous. This type of blind

shooting averages about one hit out of three shots.

If you get into the middle of things and spot a

large doe being bunted around by several smaller

buck carp, you can usually work within range for a

shot while the large doe is still rolling to elude the

males. Nlany times you may wind up with two small-

er buck carp being skel.ered lvhen you miss the old


Early morning, just before sunrise, seems to be the

ideal time for top action when the spawn is at its

height. The waters are calm, a mist hangs the

surface, and the splash of working carp are the only

sounds. Stalking along the stream banks during this

early morning bowfishing finds many of the carp

hugging the shorelines, and working along the under-

cuts in the banks. If you move slowly, and do not

teveal your profile you can shoot quite a few sleepers.

If you get too close to the edge of the water the carp

will spot you and spook.

Another good opportunity for some fast shooting

can be had if a shallow section of riffles or gravel

bar happens to be in the course towards the back-

waters where the carp are headed for. By working

your way into an advantageous position and playing

the waiting game you may find yourself in for some

fast and furious shooting if carp are working their

way past at the time. When this is the case you can

see your target in the shallows as the carp splash

their way across into deeper waters beyond.


When May ends and the carp start slowing down,

one can find plenty of action in salt water bow-

fishing. June finds the stingrays coming into the

coves and bays for the long summer months that lay


The feeding grounds of the rays are where the

clam and oyster beds are located. The rays feed

mainly on mollusks. The early days of June find

the larger rays working into the coves as the mating

season is at its peak. Large numbers are seen during

the first couple weeks after which the numbers seem

to taper off until late August.

This type of bowfishing requires a boat and out-

board. Although .any boat can be used, the ideal

model should have a small quarter-deck so that the

bowfisherman can stand high and up next to the

bow as the coves are trolled, slowly looking for the

sign of a ray. This position also gives the shooter

the advantage of left and right as well as dead ahead

shots on the scooting rays.

Cruising at trolling speed, a sharp lookout is kept

for the darker holes or nests of the rays on the

bottom. Many times a ray may be lying in these

nests and either spook as the boat approaches, or

play possum as the boat passes overhead. An

experienced eye can many times spot the end of the long

tail protruding out of the nest and get a guzzy shot.

At other times when the ray spooks before the boat

reaches his nest, the powerful wings will leave a mud

trail of churned sand along the bottom. The boat is

quickly turned to follow this trail with motor gunned

wide open. When the ray is spotted the shooter on

the bow signals the operator into position for a shot

at the fast moving ray from a moving boat. This

type of shooting takes a few misses to get the hang

of proper lead and compensation for light refraction.

Only a short length of line is placed on the bow

reel, about 30 feet, and the end opposite the arrow is

tied to a small float which is taped to the upper limb

of the bow on the belly side. When the ray is hit,

you hold onto the bow with both hands until the

line has all played off the reel. The float is torn

from the bow as the ray flees. Now you follow with

the boat until the ray stops to sulk on the bottom.

The float is now picked from the surface and

quickly attached to the end of a line of a game fish

rod and reel rig.

Now the bowfisherman becomes the

worker as you start pumping and trying to horse

the big ray in alongside the boat. When the ray on

the end of your fishing arow is a 100 pounder with

a four to five foot span on those powerful wings, you

have your work cut out for you!

Fishing waters should be from three to five feet

in depth and as calm as weather will permit to see

to the bottom. \Vatching the incoming and outgoing

tides will clue you as to when the right time will

permit ideal conditions. Polaroid sun glasses are a

must and help greatly in reducing the light refraction

which will mislead placing the shot in the right place.


Most salt waters find some sharks around. The

bigger species are usually found miles offshore in

deeper waters that average from 40 to 90 feet. This

of course does not apply to the tropical waters of the

Florida Keys or similar areas.

When trying for sharks in the northeastern waters,

late surnmer seems to be the most ideal time. Although

small boats can be used and will get results in many cases,

the big sharks are out in deep waters

and require a boat that can ride the open sea.

Chumming must be done to attract the sharks.

When a shark bowfishing trip is planned, a regular

fishing boat seems to be the best bet. Several years

ago I did some shark bowfishing with Captain Munsen

who specializes in this type of sortee. He calls

himself the “Monster Fisherman” and brings in many

good sized sharks.

Operating from Montauk Point on Long Island,

Munsen works his broad-beamed power boat 40 miles

offshore to where the continental shelf lies. Here

the waters drop off to 90 feet or better. This is shark alley.

A chum slick is now spread for several miles.

As the boat drifts along over the shark waters, the

oily slick of the chum winds into the distance behind.

When the chum atracts the sharks up from below,

and the fins are spotted, a teaser bait is thrown out

on a hand line to lure the shark in close to the


The bowfisherman has rigged himself with about

20 feet of line, one end of Which is attached to the

end of his fishing arrow, and the other is tied to an

innertube on the deck alongside his feet. The line is

carefully coiled so that it will play out freely when

the arrow is put into the shark.

The tube follows overboard, and the shark takes off.

Later, when the shark has played itself out fighting the

inflated innertube, which is painted a bright

yellow, you check the waters with binoculars to spot

the float. The shark is now worked in to the boat

and killed.

Our day’s shark bowfishing found me shooting a

nine-foot blue shark and missing a leviathan that

must have gone at least l2 foot or better!

Care must be taken to attach the line only to the

nock end of the glass shaft. This will keep the line

clear of rubbing on the shark’s hide which is like

sandpaper and will cut the line. About a six foot

length of flexible and light wire cable leader is good

insurance against the shark cutting the line while it

fights the innertube float.

Light Refraction

The nemesis all bowfishing faces is light ray refraction

on the surface of the water. The position

of the sun overhead in comparison to the location

of the bowfisherman, and the target’s direction of

movement presents some optical illusions.

For example: With the sun shining down from

behind the bowfisherman and the fish swimming

away, requires that you shoot behind the fish to make

a hit. Should that same fish be swimming in towards

you, you shoot ahead of the fish to make your hit!

Should the fish be swimming from left to right

in front of the bowfisherman’s position you again

shoot below to make a hit. If the fish is swimming

from right to left you again aim below to hit. This

of course is taking for granted that the sun is still

behind the bowfisherman.

Should the sun be in front of the bowfisherman,

and shining into his face, cross-swimming fish from

either side will appear to be closer to you and will

require shooting over them to make a hit.

Polaroid glasses eliminate most of this refraction

problem as well as enabling the wearer to see into

the depths to spot the fish. Surface glare is eliminated

by the polaroid lens.

Whatever your bow shooting activities might be

during the summer months, don’t pass up the chance

for some bowfishing action in your locality. The

change of pace is a welcome one, and the recreational

pastime is a satisfying experience.

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Published by mattguedes on 04 Sep 2010


I wanted to comment on the first two animals I have harvested this year and the performance of the new Code Red Ripcord rest. I have been incredibly impressed with this new version of an already great rest. The rest gives me perfect flight and when I am spot and stalk hunting through the woods of western Colorado, the arrow is held perfectly by the rest. This is by far the best rest I have ever hunted with. Add that to the character and commitment of the Don and Keith Dvoroznak and I would never shoot another rest. Go get one and you will not be disappointed.


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