Published by passmaster on 12 Feb 2011
I SHOOT WITH FINGERS, IM THINKING OF PURCHASING A HOYT VANTAGE PRO BUT IM NOT SURE WHICH CAM TO USE WITH THIS BOW WHAT DO YOU RECCOMEND
I HAVE A 27IN DRAW
Published by passmaster on 12 Feb 2011
I SHOOT WITH FINGERS, IM THINKING OF PURCHASING A HOYT VANTAGE PRO BUT IM NOT SURE WHICH CAM TO USE WITH THIS BOW WHAT DO YOU RECCOMEND
I HAVE A 27IN DRAW
Published by archerchick on 11 Feb 2011
Tall Texas Tales Of Snake Snicking By C.R. Learn
Or, A Brush In The Bush With A Rattler Rattled Our Bow Tester
THE PERSPIRATION DRIPPED down my back like a river. We were
working for javelina in the south Texas brush country so thick you couldn’t
walk. Beto Guiterrez, Jack Niles and I were looking for the elusive little pigs,
when the hunter became the hunted! Niles had split to check another
area he thought would produce, and Guiterrez and I had moved on.
Guiterrez had been in front, but stopped and motioned for me to take
the lead. He had his pig hanging. We switched positions; I glanced down
and saw the lethal coils of a Texas diamondback rattler three feet in
front of my leg. What do you do? Scream? Holler? Jump? Not me, I
froze. After I regained my breath I looked for the second snake. They
often travel in pairs. I backed slowly into Guiterrez, who looked at me with
a weird expression that inferred he wanted to go forward. Until now we
had been using hand signals.
“Beto, I think I know why you wanted me to go first this time,” I
remarked as I pointed the tip of my prototype Gordon take-down bow at
the venom-tipped coils lying in wait for a meal. Guiterrez backed a bit,
then we started rattling about what to do. I definitely wanted that snake for
a trophy provided it came to Texas standards. We had hoped to find a
snake to test the bow I was carrying. Gordon Plastics, Inc., of San Diego,
California, is not new to the bow-making business. Years ago they made
a line of bows sold under the Gordon clan emblem. My first hunter was a
Gordon Knight. What I was carrying now was the newest creation from the
lab of the Gordon plant. This bow, a bow scale. Perhaps the best feature, aside
from the under fifty dollars price tag is its light weight. The mass weight — what
you would carry in the field — is three pounds two ounces.
I had tried to fit a number of bow-quivers to the three-piece unit, but
found the only one in my collection that worked was the regular Bear eight
arrow quiver extended to full length. This quiver holds eight Gordon
Glashaft arrows with Ace broadheads left from other seasons.
Guiterrez looked at the weaving head of the diamondback that was
waiting at the trail crossing for a meal. I had no intention of being on the
menu. I had talked with the Guiterrez brothers about the possibility of
getting a snake skin trophy, and they had come up with some typical Texas
tales. Ricardo Guiterrez had a cigar box full of clipped rattler tails killed
on the ranch that spring. He handed me a thirteen rattle trophy to take
back in case I didn’t find my own.
“This spring we had quite a bit of rain,” he started his story. “The
rattlers usually mate in May. They stay on high ground to keep from being
drowned in their holes during the spring rain. They were hungry and we
stomped many every day. One morning I came over a small rise to see
a real Texas monster stretched out on the other side, meandering toward the
bottom and some dinner. That snake was so big it couldn’t coil; it just lay
there and buzzed its tail. I was mounted, so I wasn’t worried. I usually jump
off and stomp them with my boots, but this boy was too big for that. I looked
around for a stick, but couldn’t find anything I thought would be big enough.
I shook a noose into my rope, dropped a loop over the snake, and dragged it
back to the pickup where we shot it with a rifle. Honest!”
The golden beauty coiled in front of me now didn’t come up to those
specifications, but was presentable. I didn’t want to shoot it in the brush,
since I didn’t want to cut the hide. I found a stick about three feet long. I
figured the old girl couldn’t reach over two feet if she did strike. I moved my
stick to her head, nestled in the coils, and touched it. The rattles hadn’t even
buzzed yet. Now they took off at full volume.
She hit the stick with such force I dropped it. She was hungry and mad.
She continued rattling and her forked tongue kept working rapidly in and
out. Guiterrez came struggling up with a small tree, and between us we moved
her into a slight clearing in the brush, so I could get a clear shot at the head.
Actually, we could have clubbed her with either of the trees we were
working with, but that didn’t occur to us at the time. I wanted this to be a
As we moved her out into the open, she struggled to get back into the
brush she had been coiled under. We were afraid she might have a gopher
hole there to crawl into, but we kept at her until she opened up in the
s-coil. They can strike farther from that position. But she stayed where we
My adrenalin was flowing freely. As I drew the arrow the bow could have
been eighty pounds, and I wouldn’t have known it. The sight window gave
me a good angle on the opened s-coiled snake. This window measures
five and one-half inches which is adequate if you want to install a bow·
George Gordon, president of Gordon Plastics. has been working
with epoxies for many years. The firm decided to make a molded epoxy
riser for a strong and inexpensive bow. The end product I had at full draw was
one of the first off the shelf. The cast epoxy riser, reinforced
with fiberglass strips molded into the casting. measures nineteen and three-
quarter inches. The twenty-two-and one·half-inch limbs are attached with
knurled nuts by two bolts inserted in the molded riser.
These limbs have fiberglass tip overlays and hardrock maple laminates
in the limb. Gordon added a section of fiberglass laminate at the base of the
limb for added strength. The limbs are wide, tapering from one inch and three
quarters at the base to one inch at the tip.
When Gordon designed this bow and limb attachment system he did
something a bit different in bow making. The limbs are close to zero
tiller. There is a one—eighth inch difference in tiller between the upper
and lower limbs. The lower is stiffer. If you buy the bow and one extra limb
of the same poundage, you will have two bows. If you should break a limb,
you could attach the extra one to either the upper or lower section and
Guiterrez reminded me that if I shot the rattler then, I wouldn’t have a
picture of it. I eased down on my draw kept my eye on the snake to make
sure she didn’t slither away, or worse, closer to me, and handed my camera
to him to record the event. Now began a slight comedy. Guiterrez backed up,
with the camera to his eye until he was stopped by a crucifixion thorn. There
is nothing on this bush that doesn’t have a spine that won’t puncture you
to the bone. He bounced back from the junco and told me to get closer to
the snake, so he could get us both in the frame.
The snake had increased in size from the first small coil. I knew it was
over five feet. Applying some snake lore, I thought it could strike at least
three feet. The basic rule is one third of the length, but that depends on
location and other variables. Four feet was as close as I wanted to get.
Guiterrez moved back until he was nudging the junco again and told me
to ease forward. All the time we were debating about who was going to move
where, the rattling reptile was weaving in the open-s. The head was never still.
Mad and ready to strike. I looked at the oscillating head and
told Guiterrez I wasn’t waiting any longer for a friend to answer her
dinner call. Try shooting at a three inch object in motion at five to six
feet sometime. It’s tricky. I wanted a head shot to keep the hide
intact, so I came to draw, and when my bowlock reached
the corner of my mouth, I let the Glashaft fly. It hit the rattler right be-
hind the eyes in the poison sacs.
Since a snake never knows it is dead until sundown, it continued to writhe
and twist, the tail buzzing ominously. I had my snake, but to be certain I put
another arrow into the neck, about one inch behind the head, almost
severing it when the blade hit. Scratch one dead Texas diamondback rattler
and add a unique trophy to the wall.
With my shooting style I grip the handle of my hunters until the knuckles
turn white, and this small riser gave me a good grip. The circumference of
the handle is a scant four and three quarters of an inch. There is no wood
grain to split. so there is no problem with the small riser. lf you open hand
it, there is little chance of torquing. My hand was dripping with perspiration,
partly from the August heat and partly from nerves. When you
walk into the back country of our western states. you can almost always
figure on meeting one or two of these buzzy tails. They usually rattle before
striking. I have been struck at, past, but never hit. However. they still make the
hair on the back of my neck crawl.
Guiterrez and I moved up to inspect the writhing snake. I had been
afraid my only encounter would be with a lesser specimen. This was a
respectable snake, if there is such a thing. I picked her up by the tail, and
she was so heavy that the skin started to pull apart from the weight. We had
bashed in the head to be certain she couldn’t grab us in a death swing as
she continued to wriggle in my grasp. I measure under six feet and this snake
was longer than I was tall. We stretched her out before we skinned her, and
she came to sixty-eight inches, not counting the four inches of mutilated
head and neck where I had made the second shot. This didn’t include the
eleven rattles on the tip of the vari-colored tail.
Niles came out of the brush, and we called him over to take a look at our
trophy. We related the ferocity with which she had struck at the poles we
had used to move her into the open. “She’s probably been lying up on
the high ground during these last few rainy days and moved down to get a
dinner,” Guiterrez commented. “She was hungry, and when we disturbed
her, she really fought back with her version of a double bladed broadhead,
needle variety. She doesn’t fight fair, though, since she uses a poisoned
We tied her to the tail gate of the pickup and opened her belly, slit
around the head, and pulled the hide from the carcass. The reason we know
it was a she, was the number of un-developed embryos in her abdomen. I
salted the hide and rolled it to preserve it for tanning.
We continued the pig hunting, but I was jumpy. Later that afternoon I was
ambling down a cowpath outside the brushy area, stopping to look carefully
in front and to the sides as I walked. My attention was held by a red-tailed
hawk working over a fresh kill when I heard a hiss in front of me. I jumped
straight up and about three feet over. What had spooked me turned out to
be one of the many tortoises that live in that back country. I was walking
toward it on the path and when it hissed, I heeded. I imagine the shell-
back had some tall tales to tell his Texas brothers about how he made
that two-legged monster move out of his way.
The Gordon bow had given me a clean kill at a close range. It proved
itself at longer ranges during the testing period. The draw was smooth
and even; the bow showed no signs of stacking, and the scale proved this by a
gradual build up as I weighed it from twenty-six inches to thirty, checking
the poundage. When it comes out on the market late this year, it will be
priced under fifty dollars. This will buy the bowhunter a sixty-two-inch
takedown bow that will go into a package about twenty·three inches
long. They will offer poundage varying from forty-five to sixty. My
model was equipped with a bristle arrow rest in the past center sight win-
dow and a string that braced at eight and one half inches measuring to the
pivot point of the handle.
“What we want to offer the bow-hunter is a bow with stability, compactness
and price that they can buy for themselves or members of the
family. We are working on a new method of casting that might give us a
lighter bow than the prototype and still as strong, if not stronger,” George
Gordon stated. “The riser will be one color, probably brown, and the limbs
will be finished in the usual manner. Most bowhunters will camouflage it
anyway, but it will be protected as other bows are in the limb sections. The
epoxy riser should be almost impervious to everything a hunter will encounter.”
If the production models prove as smooth and light as the one l had, it
will be well worth the modest outlay of cash. My rattler hide was turned over to
Tartaglia Taxidermy in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for tanning and mounting.
I had thought of a life type mount in full coil, but the head was mashed
beyond that. We decided on a tanned hide with a deerskin trim. It turned
out beautifully. My wife allowed me to mount it over the arch in the house,
and she doesn’t like snakes.
She isn’t alone. I don’t either. That first arrow that hit the diamondback
in the poison sacs stands in a prickly pear down Texas way. I didn’t like the
idea of bringing the arrow back, since it was probably loaded with venom
from the snake, and besides, I can’t hunt with a poisoned arrow, even if
All Rights Reserved
Published by archerchick on 11 Feb 2011
Salt Shaker Spirit Saga~By John Alley
Peccary Pursuing Is A Sometime Thing
WHAT ARE YOU doing?” I asked Tom Dalrymple
as he sniffed intently at the ground like an ambitious
“Checking for sign. What do you think!” he replied in a
low sober tone. “Here,” he whispered, pointing to fresh
droppings, and picking up a piece of shredded prickly pear
dripping with moisture. The piles were indeed fresh, and
their depositors weren’t far away.
My hand warmer bore a faint red glow, as I grasped it
tightly with my numb fingers. What a way to spend New
Year’s I thought gazing across the vast desert of the
Arizona lowlands. Normally I would be watching parade
queens and bowl games on the boob tube, in the warmth of
my living room.
However, I was pursuing a Javelina, a small animal standing
about twenty inches at the shoulders and weighing as
much as fifty pounds. I was bound and determined to
collect one of these wily collared peccaries which had
eluded me in the past.
Roaming the Southern borders of the United States, the
peccary acquired the collared name because of the broad
yellowish stripe running from the hind part of the shoulders
to the chest. Some prefer to call him the musk hog. The
musk sack looks like a second navel and is located in the
middle of the back about six inches up from the root of the
tail. When a herd gets separated, the first thing the pigs do
when rejoined is rub scent glands. The gland does emit a
strong odor which can spoil the flavor of the meat if not
handled properly. It is best to leave it alone if you are not
sure of what to do. Skin the animal completely as soon as
Others call them the grey ghost because of their ability
to vanish seconds after becoming spooked. The dark, salt
and pepper grey coloring makes them difficult to spot in
the thick brush and ravines they often frequent. Binoculars
are a must, as javelina can often be spotted in open areas
feeding, providing the hunter can gain a high vantage point
to glass the area.
Is the javelina a pig? Many hunters say they are, but
according to experts the javelina belongs to the family
Tayassuidae: Tayassu tajacu. Your wild boar belongs to the
Sus family. Only the white-lipped peccary found from
Paraguay to Mexico is of the same family as the javelina.
Several features separate the peccary from the pig
family. The upper tusks curve downward instead of up; the
hind limbs have three toes instead of four. Pigs have many
young, the peccary only two. They also have musk glands
and dewclaws. Pigs have neither. Unlike domestic pigs, their
tails are barely visible.
In Arizona, where the javelina has its heaviest hunting
pressure, the animal is considered the most popular with
out-of-state hunters and ranks second only to deer with
residents. The 1970 season saw more than 30,000 hunters
pursuing the grey ghost. This has brought deep concern to
the Arizona Commission.
To compound the problem, civilization is taking over a
good many of Arizona’s prime javelina territories. There’s
talk of going to a permit system that would limit the
number of animals taken each season as well as increasing
the license fees.
The current non-resident general license is twenty dollars
and the javelina tag, a dollar-fifty. There is a special archery
only license for fifteen dollars available only at the Fish and
Game offices. An archer does not need both. The season
runs statewide, January l – 3l for bowhunters, with the rifle
season February 20-26. Archers may hunt during the gun
season with the limit being one javelina each calendar year
with either bow or gun.
I decided to make my first try at the little desert
dwellers. Gil Smith and I were hunting near the Tucson
mountain wildlife area. We were driving out of a dirt road
after another disappointing day’s hunt without seeing any
It was cold with the wind chill factor being around ten
degrees. We noticed a half frozen die-hard archer walking
along the highway and offered him a lift to his car. That
was Dalrymple, as it turned out. His total expression told of
a day like ours. I can still remember him clasping his
Alaskan-like mittens together muttering something about
somebody and their mother behind every saguaro cactus,
and the few kind words he had for each of them!
We hunted the next few days together but to no avail.
That particular hunt ended without seeing any javelina, but
I did get an invitation from Dalrymple to return and hunt
with him the following season. During the course of the
year, I received word that my newly acquired hunting
partner had located some super hot spots and our presence
on opening day would bring the javelina festivities to a fine
A Tucson resident nearly all his life, Dalrymple had been
bowhunting for three years and had yet to collect a
javelina. His strong determination has brought him to spend
countless hours on research and study of javelina habitat.
As I learned in the days that followed, it takes extreme
patience and concentration to encounter a band of pigs.
Most hunters have their own way in which to hunt. I too
have adopted set patterns. However, in the past few years
after hunting various types of game animals, I have had to
change these patterns to meet the challenge of the species
hunted. The javelina is no exception.
The javelina comes quite easy to some. I know a bow-
hunter who has filled his javelina tag for six years straight.
and a rifleman going on his fifth year and who has yet to
see one. I know of at least fifteen archers this year who
blanked out. About one-third of them saw pigs. The average
bow kill ratio has been around one in ten. The most successful
hunters are those who familiarize themselves with
javelina habits and the area they plan to hunt.
Dalrymple and others like him firmly agree that the
most prominent areas to locate javelina are those with the
slightest hunting pressure. This was our problem with the
wildlife area the year before. Javelina are gregarious animals
and travel according to set feeding patterns. When they are
disturbed, they leave the area, not returning for days.
Finding an unspooked herd is the whole trick.
Most herds have their favorite bed grounds and feeding
areas. A herd may work an area of two square miles often
leaving beds and returning in a few days. An undisturbed
herd will often have a range of a half mile, but the area will
rotate depending on available foods and weather
Our scouting party consisted of Dalrymple, his long time
hunting partner Don Dole, and myself. We would enter an
area and look for relatively fresh sign not more than three
days old. It is always quite possible that only a short distance
will separate a good hunting area from a poor one.
lf sign is not evident, move on. Areas which have been
productive in the past are the Tucson mountain area, Santa
Catalina, Santa Ritas, Tumacoris and the San Carlos Indian
A javelina’s primary diet is vegetation such as prickly
pear, grass roots and mesquite beans. They frequently eat
prickly pear for filler and moisture, not nutritional value.
This means they can live in areas where there is no permanent
water. Preferred foods are tubers, cactus fruits like
the bisnaga pod and the roots of the Christmas cactus. Like
most animals, they will feed in the early morning and late
evening hours, particularly during the winter time. They are
not cold weather animals as was proved during the extremely
cold winter of 1967 when herds of the northern
part of the state were severely reduced.
The New Year found me rising slowly in the pre-dawn
hours. Coyotes were talking in the nearby foothills. The
temperature had been dropping for several nights. The
mercury reading was twenty degrees.
The limbs of my fifty-five pound Marauder bow
seemed a bit stiff. I drew back a tew times to warm it up. A
few shots are always helpful in cold weather. l drew back
slowly, concentrating on a small bush at twenty yards, and
released. Wham-Bam-Pow echoes my aluminum arrow
sailing three feet over the bush, striking rocks on its desent
to the badlands. After a few more shots and the killing of
the bush, my numb soul seemed ready, daring a javelina to
appear within shooting range.
Our first place of attack was a group of caves in a wash
bottom. Dalrymple’s theory says that, “in rainy weather,
with the temperature below thirty degrees, the chances of
locating pigs around cave areas are fantastically high. They
will also bed down under ironwood and palo verde trees on
the sunnyside to keep warm.”
We reached the caves only to End them vacant, with tiny
tracks scattered about. “They must have smelled us,”
whispered Dole. Peccaries do have a terrific sense of smell.
They can smell tubers six inches under the ground. Hunting
downwind of them is a must. The use of artificial scents
does not help matters much and often tends to spook the
animals. The old underarm deodorant trick seems to work
We worked about fifty yards apart searching for the
slightest indication of fresh sign. Quite often while feeding,
individual members of a herd will scatter in search of their
favorite item, ranging a hundred yards or so. This explained
why we often found tracks going in all directions. This can
be misleading, however, if followed long enough, quite
often they will join the others.
I had to marvel at Dalrymple and Dole’s manner of
tracking. I considered myself a pretty fair tracker before I
met up with these two bloodhounds.
While tracking, the prickly pear cacti became the most
evident sign. The cacti will dry quickly depending on the
weather. Most often it will form a white film over the
freshly eaten parts in about an hour. It will usually be
shredded, scattered on the ground near the plant. The
javelina bite the green fruits that are covered with clusters
of half-inch long spines. They will usually remove pear pods
by knocking them off with the front feet.
Javelina use their noses, feet and teeth to remove some
of the spines. Once they get started, they chew through
spines and all without difficulty. They can eat century
plants and Lechuguilla (shin dagger) as we would eat an
artichoke, removing the outer leaves and eating out the
heart of the plant.
We kept the pace slow, often near a stand still. “You
nearly always hear them before sighting,” mentioned
Dalrymple, pointing at his ear as though committing
suicide. I nodded, listening to the left and right for that all
important grunt or ruckus that javelina often make.
We were roughly a half-mile from the caves when we
found the fresh droppings as mentioned earlier. A few yards
farther Dalrymple stopped, pointing his finger to his ear. I
was still somewhat amazed that we could be on the right
trail. Then a faint sound ahead directed my eyes to a wash-
out twenty yards away. There they were, but only for
seconds, as ten to twelve javelina bolted from the brush and
disappeared. It had happened quickly, as many had said it
would. The grey ghosts were gone. Maybe my last step was
a bit hard, but in any case I thought I had blown it. Naturally
my first reaction was to run after the herd and try for
a chance shot.
“No” muttered Dalrymple, waving his arms frantically
to get me to hold still. Certainly this man must have a screw
loose I thought, tempted to start the four minute mile. To
my right Dole had his bow up, as though to drill my hide if
I took another step! I was out-voted! A series of woof-like
grunts sounded out from the departed animals. To my
amazement. Dalrymple began imitating these snorts a few
times and the pigs began returning! It is not uncommon for
this to happen. The trick is not to woof before the javelina
does and not over a couple of times as it will spook them.
They weren’t totally aware of what had spooked them
and were joining forces once again. Their eyesight is considered
poor, and they will often run into the hunter in
their rush to escape. This is often mistaken for being
charged by a ferocious beast. lf the animals are unprovoked.
they appear to be deathly afraid of human beings.
I quickly spotted two of them coming straight toward
me. Off to my left. Dalrymple was at full draw as a huge
boar trotted past him at twenty feet. The arrow struck the
boar through the shoulders. A piercing scream rang out and
the prized javelina dropped within a few feet. Oddly
enough the others were not distracted by the incident and
kept coming. One of the two I had spotted darted at Dole
while the other stopped behind a bush directly in front of
me. Dole shot at his pig, missing by inches.
I slowly drew back a 2018 aluminum shaft loaded with a
black diamond delta broadhead and waited for the little
fellow to step out. My arm began to tire, and I let up on the
arrow. At that instant, the pig jumped out and trotted in a
parallel line to my right. I eased the arrow back again, and
released. The arrow whizzed past the chest of my quarry in
a beautiful miss! I quickly drew another arrow from my
bow quiver, but another shot was not possible. Realizing I
had just screwed up, I moved toward Dalrymple and his
fallen trophy. It was a beautiful boar, field dressing out at
forty pounds. My victorious companion was elated to say
That afternoon found me contributing a bottle of Cold
Duck to the Dalrymple’s victory party, and toasting the
celebrated javelina woofer. In the days that followed I saw
only one other pig and did not manage a shot. I had been
back in Los Angeles only a few days after that, when the
opportunity came to return to Tucson.
Two long-time friends, Midge Dandridge and John
Crump wanted to try their luck. Neither had hunted the
elusive animal before, and they were anxious to give it a
try. I was looking for a way to get my bottle of Cold Duck
back and quickly made the group a threesome.
There is always the possibility of calling up javelina with
a varmint call. To the javelina, the call sound is similar to
that of a little pig in distress. The herd will send out
members to investigate the trouble, rushing in with teeth
gnashing and hackles up. It seems to work best with a high-
pitched call, blown about three or four blasts.
One evening as Midge and I walked back to the truck, we
decided to try to call. I consider her to be one of the finest
women varmint callers around, better than most men. Midge
blew the call twice and two javelina immediately appeared.
They quickly disappeared, apparently spooked. She blew the
call again. I could hear an animal coming hell bent for leather,
out of the brush ahead. At forty yards I could make out the
silhouette of a pig coming across a rock slide. I shot, only
to have him jump the string! Looks like my luck was still
Two days later it began to change. We met up with a
young fellow. Grant McClain, who had recently returned
from a stint with Uncle Sam. He was gung ho to do some
hunting and had access to some private land. He was persuaded
with not much trouble, to join up with us!
The following morning we drove at daylight to an area
where a cowpoke had spotted a large herd of peccaries the
day before. The idea was to work a large wash bottom, with
Midge and I on one side and Crump the other. Grant would
stay in the bottom some thirty yards behind us. I took a
couple of steps and stopped to listen. Things looked barren
with the sound of Gamble’s quail calling in the distance. I was
now in the area where the javelina had been last seen.
As I took another step the brush below shook with
frantic movement. I strained my eyeballs on a set of
nostrils, belonging to a pig pointed my way from under a
slumped over iron wood bush.
A front on shot isn’t the greatest in the world, presenting
a relatively small target. I maneuvered into shooting
position hoping for him to turn broadside. His nose in the
air and hackles up, he turned slowly. I quickly answered by
sending an arrow his way. The shot was good, passing completely
through the mid section. It is totally unreal how fast
the little critters can move. Javelina bolted in every
direction, nearly mowing down Grant who stood in their
way of retreat. I lost sight of my wounded pig among the
swiftly retreating animals.
Half of my arrow was found a short way up the wash
with small splotches of blood nearby. I was dumb-founded.
Where was my arrowed peccary?
“There,” said Midge, pointing at the wounded animal
backing into a bush. I quickly put an arrow through his
chest. He collapsed in his tracks. I had won!
As we drove back to town the sun was setting, illuminating
the once Indian-inhabited mountain ranges with one
of those never-to-be-forgotten Arizona sunsets. That Cold
Duck will sure taste good!!
Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011
Music To Crest By~By Tharran E. Gaines
An Old Phonograph Can Improve The Appearance Of Your Arrows As Well As Make Cresting Easier!
MANY SERIOUS ARCHERS eventually get the urge
t0 build their own equipment, especially arrows. And to
personalize and give those new arrows you so proudly built
a custom-made look, you will agree that a crestor can be an
But if you are in the same situation as I was and wonder
whether you make enough arrows a year to justify spending
between twelve and thirty dollars for a crestor, you may
want to build your own. That’s what I did, using a few
pieces of wood and the parts from an old record player.
Price will probably not exceed four or five dollars, depending
upon how much the record player costs you.
I wanted a motor that I could use permanently and one
that would be cheap and easy to obtain. I finally settled on
the motor from an old record player and eventually got it
to work for my purposes.
Although I don’t guarantee that all record players will
work, you probably will be able to find one that will if you
look for two things. One is to try to find a record player on
which the turntable shaft tums also and not just the turntable.
Nearly all of the single speed or 45 rpm players that I
have seen have a shaft that turns, but many of the stereo
units have a solid center shaft that employs a record
changer. Second, if it is possible to see the underside of the
record player, try to use one that has a rubber drive wheel
attached to the motor. Most record players use a drive
wheel which is connected to the motor and also runs
against the side of the turntable to operate it. If the drive
wheel isn’t attached to the motor it will still work but
perhaps not as well.
A center shaft of the turntable that turns 0n bearings
will be easier to work with, but a shaft that just runs
through a bushing will also work. Because I used the shaft
and the bearings as part of the crestor it is important that
they will turn.
Because old phonographs aren’t much good unless they
play, you can usually get one for next to nothing. I built
one crestor from an old phonograph that a repairman gave
me. It is also possible to pick one up at a garage sale or a
pawn shop pretty reasonably priced. Just be sure that the
motor works and that it still has the turntable and shaft.
About the only tools required for taking the machine
apart (after you`ve unplugged it) are a pair of pliers, a
screwdriver and a set of Allen wrenches to remove some of
the pieces attached with this type of bolt. When the motor
and most of the scrap pieces of metal has been taken off,
next remove the bushing or bearings through which the
turntable runs. In one type that I used, the bearings were
on a solid piece that simply unbolted from the frame, but I
did need to trim off some excess metal arms with a hack
saw. On another type. it was necessary to cut a square piece
out of the chassis frame to which the bushing was attached.
Additional materials for the crestor will include a one
inch piece of lumber about six by twenty-six inches for a
base, two pieces one inch thick by six by seven inches and a
few small blocks about one inch cube. For these pieces I
used a piece of one by six pine board and just cut off the
different length pieces. Plywood that doesn’t split easily
also will work fine. The length of the base can vary, but
twenty-six inches gives good support for the arrow while it
spins. I also used the crestor occasionally for sanding on the
points, and the long length allows for a support near the tip
of the arrow.
You also will need a small sheet of one-eighth or one-
quarter-inch plywood or masonite that can be cut into two
pieces about six by seven inches and one six by six inch
piece, and something to use as a chuck, I used a cylinder-
type chuck with a rubber washer in the center to hold the
nock, but you could also use a piece of surgical rubber
The chuck I used was obtained from an archery catalog
for $1.50. All of the record player shafts that I have found
have had a diameter of 9/32, and I was able to buy the
cylinder chuck in this size.
Next, drill a hole in one of the six by seven inch pieces
of pine or plywood for the shaft to fit through. It should be
located about two inches up from the bottom when the
piece is placed on end on the base.
If the plate containing the bushing does not already have
screw holes for attaching it to the board, drill four or more
holes so it can be mounted on the back of the board. Next,
place the shaft from the turntable through the bushing. In
some cases the shaft will already be mounted in the bearings.
In this case just mount the bearings on the board and
cut the shaft off to the correct length. I discovered on some
45 rpm players the center shaft may be too short. I found a
piece of broken arrow tubing, which is close to a size 1716
aluminum, can be cut to the right length and used as a shaft
through the bushing. It is important that the shaft spin
smoothly in the bushing. If it doesn’t, polish the shaft with
emery cloth or steel wool until it runs smoothly. Thin oil
might also help. The motor will later be mounted on the
board so that the rubber drive wheel will spin the shaft.
Next, you will have to find some way to keep the shaft
from slipping back and forth in the bushing. Using the
cresting chuck on the front of the shaft kept it from slip-
I put two washers on the back of the shaft and behind
this I made a small roll of friction tape about Eve-eighths
inch in diameter. This not only keeps the shaft in place but
it acts as a drive wheel for the crestor shaft to which the
motor’s drive wheel grips, thus spinning the shaft. If you
need to have the shaft longer you can put a spacer made
from a piece of arrow shaft between the washer and the
tape. Rubber tubing or rubber washers probably would
work even better than the tape.
By varying the size of the drive wheel on the crestor
shaft you can also vary the speed that the arrow will spin. A
smaller wheel on the shaft will cause the chuck to spin
faster. One advantage of using the tape is that you can build
up the size of the crestor drive wheel.
On the type of shaft that I used that was already
mounted in bearings there happened to be a gear on the
shaft for a record changer. Taking advantage of this, I
simply used this as a drive wheel on the shaft and ran the
drive wheel of the motor against it.
Next, determine how the motor should set above the
crestor or turntable shaft so that both wheels will come in
contact with each other. Then glue blocks on the back of
the board to build the motor up to the level where the two
wheels will match. I used block out from the leftover pine
board and finished building it up to the correct height with
thin pieces of balsa wood. Then I fastened the motor to the
blocks with screws, in a position so that the two drive
wheels would have enough contact with each other to run
well but not stop the motor.
If the motor doesn’t have a rubber drive wheel, just
mount it so that the motor`s bare metal shaft has contact
with the drive wheel you have made on the crestor shaft.
However. it will tend to slip more and the shaft will turn in
a counterclockwise direction. I also experimented with
putting a chuck directly on the motor shaft, but this tends
to spin much too fast and causes vibration on the spinning
Now you can mount the board, to which the motor has
been attached, on the base vertically and about six inches
from one end. I attached the other six by seven inch board
on the end of the base to form a back for the motor, and
used the pieces of masonite to close in the motor compartment
on the top and sides. The two side pieces were six by
seven and the top piece was six inches square.
The motor compartment can be squeezed in even more,
depending upon the size of the motor. Use small nails when
putting on the sides, in case you need to adjust the way the
motor sets later. It isn’t necessary to close in the motor, but
I thought it looked better. It also helps to brace the upright
board on which the motor and shaft are mounted.
If you are not too proud of your carpentry work, you
can cover the motor compartment with contact paper. A
coat of stain or varnish will also bring out the grain in the
To finish the crestor, I cut a V-shaped notch in two
blocks of balsa wood and mounted these on the base for
the arrow to spin on. Between these I attached a piece of
balsa about eight inches long. This is to attach a card on
which you have drawn your crest design.
I used balsa wood only because it is soft and I can attach
the card with pins. A piece of plastic probably would be
better for the V-notches.
When painting the crest you will be able to slow the
arrow down or make it run smoother by putting pressure
on the spinning shaft into the notching in the blocks. After
a while you will find that the only limit to the designs of
crests that are possible is your imagination and perhaps
your paint supply.
You may choose to vary the plans in many ways and
may have to. You will no doubt find that not all record
players will work as well or like the ones I used, but with a
similar plan you may soon be painting your own pin stripes.
All Rights Reserved
Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011
A Home Archery Target Range ~ BY Walt Knuepfer
How To Build An All-Purpose Archery Cabinet
IN DEVELOPING PROFICIENCY and subsequent love for the bow
and arrow, the necessity for a safe and adequate target becomes more pronounced
as one improves. Generally, assuming one has at least fifteen or
twenty yards of backyard room, the average archer-to-be buys a mat or
equivalent, shoots at it, and has frightening moments when he misses the
His neighbors’ reactions will often give him cause to consider the problem
seriously, if he persists in picking up an occasional miscast arrow in their
yard. The seriousness of this problem need not be discussed further.
After a typical progression of events, it becomes increasingly evident
that a safe, practical, and aesthetically acceptable solution to the target
problem is required. After considerable study and design analysis, l decided
that a permanent positioning of the target would be best, since hauling a
three or four—foot diameter mat is a chore.
The evolved design consists of a substantial cabinet. able to accommodate
a four-foot mat. The cabinet illustrated was constructed in a workspace,
placed in position. and fastened with large washered lag screws. into four
cedar posts that were anchored below the frost line.
The cabinet, measuring approximately 4-1/2 feet square, provides a safe
coverage of approximately eight feet width by 6 1/2 feet height, with the
doors in the opened position. The hinged doors are held open by engagement
of long, heavy wire hooks, inserted into a screw eye in each door. When
closed, the cabinet can be secured by a padlock, if desired. The top and bottom
extensions are hinged in their centers and are stored in the cabinet
when it is closed. The top extension is positioned onto two three-inch pins,
emerging on the top of each door.
The initial design contained three- foot and two-foot diameter mats. The
two-foot mat was superimposed on the three-foot mat. This double thickness
of mats stopped 560—grain fiberglass arrows. As the mats wore the arrows
began to hit the Celotex lining in back of the cabinet and, ultimately, some
arrows penetrated into the half-inch plywood cabinet backing.
The layering of mats, which were moistened periodically, caused mildew
between the mats and the contact area with the Celotex backing. This condition
was corrected by building the cantilevered support frame shown,
which provides deceleration space for shot arrows, adequate ventilation, and
requires only one mat, which is a considerable economy.
The previous stackup of two mats evolved through necessity, to reinforce
a center shot mat, and to stop arrow passage. The present arrangement
works well. The mat extension is determined by two chains, anchored at
inside top corners, adjusted in length by a chain link attachment to two
screw hooks in the cabinet back. Two fold—up arms at the inside bottom
corners are dropped down toward the back to keep the mat extended and
free of swing.
The entire cabinet is painted any color desired. The one illustrated is
olive drab, to suite the environment or the archer’s taste.
With an archery range of this construction, you can invite your neighbors
over, demonstrate your proficiency, and eliminate any apprehension
they or you might have about casting arrows in your backyard.
The entire cantilever assembly, holding a four-foot Saunders mat, is
brought forward to contact with the ground. This positioning provides for
comfortable mat installation or removal and provides access to the rear
of the mat, where the two five- sixteenth—inch diagonally tied retaining
ropes can be snugged up and fastened.
The crossed retaining ropes are threaded through a half-inch diameter hole in
the two by four corner mat retainers. In constructing the cabinet doors,
the ones described are of five-eigths-inch outdoor type plywood. Any number
of decorative effects can be applied to the faces of the doors in the
closed position. The various trims applied to garage doors, available at
any lumber yard, will personalize the finished product and allow for
matching to fit with home surroundings. <—<<<
All Rights Reserved
Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011
Teriyaki Jerky ~By Steve Barde
How To Turn An Old Indian Treat Into An Oriental Masterpiece
JERKY HAS BEEN A food staple for trappers,
hunters and outdoorsmen for years. There are several commercial
brands, but I found they were too dry, too hot or
too brittle. What do you do with a situation like that? You
turn it into a do·it·yourself project.
A friend jerked a deer last year and stacked the dried
meat in open jars for future use. He offered me a handful
which I gladly accepted, finding to my dismay it had too
much pepper for my taste. He had made it, to go with his
home brew beer.
l was after a food item I could make myself with little
trouble. Something that would fit into a jacket or camo
pocket for field munching. It couldn’t be too brittle, since I
don’t like pocket crumbs and, if the jerky made me thirsty
it created another problem.
One of our favorite family dishes is teriyaki steak.
The idea hit me to use my wife’s sauce recipe for the
jerky. What did I have to lose if I tested small quantities?
We concocted the teriyaki sauce as follows:
3/4 bottle shoyu or teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup sugar (white or brown for richer and sweeter sauce)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon monosodium glutamate
1 tablespoon ginger
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup saki optional
There are several ways to cut meat into strips for jerky.
The Indians start on the outside of a section of meat about
one-quarter to one-half-inch thick, as big as they want and
cut in a circle until they reach the center. They often ended
with strips of jerky six feet long. These cured by drying on
racks in the sun. Flies were no bother since it was all lean
meat with no fatty tissues.
This was more complicated than l wanted to make it.
The sugar in my sauce would draw flies as well as bees. My
first flank steak jerky was cut several ways. The steak itself
was about one-half inch thick. My first cuts were about
one-half inch wide running with the grain of the meat. The
second steak was cut by quartering across the grain to make
the jerky less chewy, yet not too brittle. The third steak
was cut across the grain with the muscle structure of the
The sauce was poured over the meat which had been
placed in an open dish. The strips ranged from eight inches
long to little sections. All of it went into the sauce which
covers two pounds of beef. This was placed in the refrigerator
to marinate overnight. The strips were turned from time
to time and the entire glop stirred.
The next day I took the jerky from the refrigerator,
removed the strips from the sauce and placed them on a
grill used for broiling in the oven. The sauce was allowed to
drain off each section as it was placed on the grill.
When the meat was all on the grill the remaining sauce
was poured back into the bottle for future use. The meat
was placed in an oven at a low temperature, 100-125
degrees, and left for eight to ten hours. You could cure the
jerky in the sun, if you wanted to build a screened cage to
keep the bugs out.
Since the meat was on the grill it didn’t require turning,
but samples were tried from time to time to test taste and
dryness. When the entire batch seemed right, it was removed
from the oven and allowed to cool. The taste was
even better than l had hoped for. The sugar gave it a bit of
sweetness; the marinade from the teriyaki gave it a great
flavor. The only test left was to determine how long it
would last without spoiling.
The different methods of cutting were found to be
similar as far as curing. The chewiest meat was cut with the
grain. The crossgrain crumbled when moved about. The
best for my use proved to be the quarter-cut jerky. It was
rigid enough to carry, but not as chewy as the straight cut.
I never did test for longevity since the family kept
munching and it didn’t last long.
If you are lucky enough to have some venison in the
freezer and you fill tags again, it might be a good idea to
jerk your old venison before you freeze the fresh meat and
add it to the chest. Venison makes excellent jerky.
I had some whitetail roasts that were getting freezer
burn. That was my excuse for jerking it anyway. I cut the
roasts into slabs about one-half-inch thick, using my hunting
knife. These slabs were cut again, quarter grain, into
strips about one—half inch thick. I wasn’t critical on the
cutting, since the thicker pieces work well but take longer
I thought the beef jerky was good, but the Texas white-
tail was excellent. This batch of jerky filled two half—gallon
plastic containers that were stored with holes in the lid.
Never put jerky into a tightly closed container. When hunting
season rolled around a month or so later I found to my
dismay all my jerky had been consumed by the children
who thought it better than candy and of course some of the
older members of the family who dipped their hands into
the jug to get just a nibble or two. It makes a great snack
This year I will make another batch of beef jerky to take
into the field. About the only way l am going to manage
this is to make it the week I plan to leave and lock it up!
Good luck with yours and, if anyone manages to get enough
to last for a good spoilage test, let me know the results.<——<<<
All Rights Reserved
Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011
BONE UP FOR BIG BUCKS ~BY BILL RUEDIGER
Following This Author’s Hunting Primer May Not Hang aA Trophy Whitetail On The Meatpole, but Will Increase Your Chances!
WHEN WAS THE last time you shot a nice buck? Most likely you have
never killed a trophy deer unless you have hunted many years and had
better than average luck. lf you look at the statistics, your chances of killing
a deer with a bow run anywhere between one in a hundred to one in five
– depending on which state you are hunting.
These statistics reflect total success— bucks, does and fawns. By the time
you get down to the numbers of hunters shooting big bucks, you are talking
about an elite group. Does this mean you should hang up your bow and find
a more productive pastime’? It depends on why you took up the sport to begin
with. Most bow-hunters know from the start where the odds lie …. with the deer.
The real pleasure of bowhunting comes from enjoying the outdoors and
matching your wits against those of a wily old buck. lf hanging meat on the
pole is your primary purpose for hunting, you’d better stick to your rifle.
By keeping a few factors in mind, it is possible to increase your chances of
killing a trophy buck. Three fundamentals l feel are essential to successful
trophy hunting are know the animal, know the area you are hunting, know
bowhunting basics. Sounds like an easy road to success, doesn’t it?
It’s not. But if you take an in-depth look at the three, you may find the
reason your chance has never come.
When l say know the animal I don’t mean you should know the difference
between an old grey mare and a whitetailed deer. Let’s hope you have
progressed at least this far! You should be familiar with what a deer eats,
where it beds down, when it is active and how it reacts to disturbances.
Read as much as you can to get this knowledge, then ask an experienced
outdoorsman to help you till in the gaps.
Food, cover and water are needed by deer to survive and all
must be available within a limited area. Learn to recognize key
browse species that deer will seek out for food. For mule deer, you
should be able to identify aspen, bitter brush, mountain mahogany,
sage and service berry. Some of the foods whitetails prefer are white
cedar, willow, aspen, sweet fern, poplar, dogwood, oak and various
Learning to recognize these plants is a chore that should take a few
hours and knowing them will give you a clue as to where deer will
be during feeding periods. Deer bed down in evergreen stands
such as pine, cedar, juniper and fir. In the west, where archery seasons
are usually in late summer, deer will bed down in cooler north slopes near
water. During midday, bedding areas are logical places to hunt.
As I look back on my own deer kill record, I notice that over fifty percent
of my deer have been killed in these sites. The thick cover and soft under-
footing make bedding spots a bow-hunter’s dream. When deer are spotted
there, they are often at close distances and unspooked.
Springs, streams and isolated ponds are good spots to be near in the evenings.
Deer need water at least once a day and will usually browse their way
down to it late in the afternoon. One of my favorite stands is near a spring
situated high in a canyon. Deer and elk move down from adjacent mountain
slopes each evening and it is a rare day when I don’t see game. At such place,
it is just a matter of time before you will get a shot at a trophy buck.
Deer are said to be less aware of danger that threatens from above. This
may or may not be true, but it is worth your while to approach from
above if possible. When you look downhill, your view is over much of
the shorter trees and bushes. I have noticed most archers shoot more
accurately downhill. While it is a common occurrence to overshoot, you
will find the opposite is true when shooting uphill.
Not being familiar with the hunting site is a ticket to failure. You may
know all about the ecology and habits of deer, but if you can’t find what you
are looking for it isn’t worth much. Every year I see bowhunters tromping
into places I know are barren. I know this because I have been there myself
and found both deer and deer habitat lacking. Through the years, I have
sorted out the good places from the bad, by trial and error, until I know
spots where I usually see a dozen deer or more each day.
If possible, it is wise to choose a state with a reputation for being a
good deer producer. Look at the bow- hunter’s success in those states where
it is practical for you to hunt, then hunt the best counties of the state you
choose. If you are after mule deer, you couldn’t go wrong with such states as
Wyoming, Utah, Colorado or Nebraska. Good bets for those who prefer
whitetails would include Minnesota, Texas, Maine, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Many hunters rely on guides to find deer. This is a good idea for those
hunters going into an area for the first time, but once you are familiar with
the hunting site it is no longer necessary, After you have hunted a location
for a week or longer, you should know the area well enough to hunt alone.
Choosing the best method to hunt is as important as knowing the area to
be hunted. One of the most successful methods is for two or three archers to
still hunt by forming a line, each hunter thirty to sixty yards apart. Keeping
the line straight is important for safety and success. Shots usually come as
deer try to sneak away from one hunter.
Often the hunter the deer is eluding never sees it. If you try this method
and all the deer you see are out of range or crashing through the brush,
slow down! You are hunting too fast. Hunting from a tree stand has ad-
vantages. In much of the south this is the only practical way to hunt. Locating
a tree a big buck is likely to pass at bow range is harder than most
archers realize. Tree stands are not mobile, and the hunter who finds himself
in the wrong spot is out of luck for the moment.
One good location for a tree stand is along a wooded fence line. Deer follow
fences unless there is some reason to make them change course. Fences are
often brushed out, and this gives the archer a natural pathway to shoot down.
Last season, Joe Thomas, one of my hunting cronies. and I were having
a tough time getting big bucks to stay still long enough for a shot.
The woods were dry and the deer were running before we had a chance to
let an arrow fly. We found the best way to hunt under these circumstances
was to stay on the largest game trails and try for shots at feeding deer. The
larger game trails were free of leaves and sticks, so walking was silent as long
as we didn’t step off the trail.
We were hunting near Logan, Utah – in the Bear River Range – and
Thomas’s chance at a big buck came five days after the opening of the
season. He was hunting his way slowly up a large game trail that meandered
through a canyon. In the course of two hours he had many chances for
shots at does, but even small bucks were hard to find.
As Thomas neared the top of the canyon he heard the sounds of a
browsing deer. At first he could not locate the animal, but after patiently
waiting for ten minutes he saw a large buck stroll out from a patch of aspen.
The buck was on a lower trail, but he was familiar enough with the area to
know the two trails come together a quarter mile down the canyon.
Thomas back-tracked down his trail, until he found a spot where he
could try a good shot as the buck walked by on the lower trail. The buck
saw Thomas too late; he arrowed the deer through the ribs as it tried to
escape. Thomas would not have tagged his buck if he had not known the best
method to use. He also knew the area he was hunting and how the buck
would probably react. Last, though just as important, Thomas took full
advantage of the situation.
This brings us to the third item — know bow-hunting basics.
Bowhunting basics separate the seasoned expert from the novice. They
include your knowledge of bow-hunting equipment, your skill in using
it and your general woodsmanship ability. Although much can be gained
only through experience, some is common sense.
As many hunters know, deer depend almost entirely on their abilities to
smell and hear for protection against man. With this in mind, it
makes good sense to always move up- wind with as little noise as possible. To
make sure you are safe, toss some dry grass or dust into the air and check its
direction periodically. Moving noiselessly calls for slow, careful walking
with a pair of good quality hunting boots. I prefer ankle-high boots with
When most people think of bow-hunting, camouflage clothing is one of
the first requirements that comes to mind. No serious bowhunter should be
without it. Clothing which is rough and scratchy should be washed several
times with fabric softener before wearing. Nothing scares deer like the sound
of branches scraping across noisy fabric.
One common fault beginning bow-hunters have is failing to properly
sharpen their broadheads. I like my broadheads sharp enough to shave hair
off my arm. Some bowhunters prefer the four blade broadheads with removable
inserts. These can be sharpened to a razor edge with a double
roller sharpener, which can be bought at any supermarket or hardware store.
If you prefer a three-blade broad-head, you will have to sharpen it with
a file, as the roller sharpeners do not work with them.
Choosing the right bow can make the difference between hitting or
missing a trophy buck. Many archers use bows with too much draw weight.
Accuracy should be placed above driving power, as a shot in a vital area
with a forty-five pound bow is going to kill quicker than a bad shot from a
sixty-five pound bow. I use a bow in the fifty to fifty-five pound class and
have never shot a deer without the arrow passing completely through. Most
experienced hunters I have talked with consider a forty-five pound bow
adequate for deer-size animals.
One more factor enters into the situation before you bag your trophy
buck, and it can’t be bought, borrowed or stolen: Luck! Some of us
have more of it than others, but if you stay with it long enough, your dream
of shooting a huge buck will come true.
All Rights Reserved
Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011
Goose The Loose Moose~ By Rick Furniss
AT 1400 Pounds Or So, Anchorage Airport Officials Rated Runway Roaming Moose As The Biggest Varmints Of The Biggest State~Till Archers Came To The Rescue!
ANCHORAGE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IS PROTECTED
each year by a group of enthusiastic bowhunters using the seemingly
primitive bow and arrow.
“Protecting it from what?” you may ask. Would you believe, moose?
The big moose found in Alaska (Alces alces gigas) commonly weighs
over 1400 pounds and represents a considerable threat to human life
and property, if it gets in the way of one of the many passenger jets
that use Anchorage International. There are now eight international
airlines using the airport regularly in transpolar flights between Europe
or South America and the Orient. Numerous aircraft, including jumbo
747s, keep the runways in use day and night.
How did this problem evolve? It all started about twenty years ago, when
Anchorage International Airport was carved out of a birch and willow forest
where moose historically had lived and found winter browsing. There was
really no choice of location that wouldn’t have been the home of quite
a few moose. That’s because the Anchorage area is good moose habitat
and they refuse to be driven away, even by man’s civilization. It is not too
uncommon to see moose walking paved streets inside the city.
At first, there was little problem. But after a few years, moose began
converging on the airport grounds when they discovered an increasing
food supply where browse plants sprouted profusely on the disturbed
soil. Access was easy to these new browse sprouts, because the roads and
runways were kept plowed all winter. In addition, the airport’s 4,000 acres
was a sanctuary free from hunting, since laws forbid the use of firearms
there. Thus, the moose population thrived and grew.
Each year the jet traffic grew also as Anchorage became a first-rate
international airport. It became common to see moose trotting across the runways
and even between parked planes. An occasional irate bull moose has completely
demolished small prop aircraft after hooking horns with them.
John Heines, chief safety and security officer at the airport, explains
that “there were quite a few incidents where planes couldn’t take off or land
and twice we had bulls charge taxiing aircraft. Several times, planes narrowly
missed moose while landing.” In one incident a DC-7 hit two moose at
Anchorage, while a Boeing 727 hit one·at Cordova, Alaska.
It wasn’t too long ago that the press released a news story headlined, Moose
Challenges Jet and Wins! It sounds funny, maybe a bit ridiculous, but it
happened. Imagine your feelings when the captain of your Boeing 727 is
heard over the intercom, “There will be a slight delay before take-off while
an upset moose is chased off the runway.” Or even worse, “We are being
asked to hold over the airport, while a pesky moose is shooed from the run—
Former airport manager George La Rose further explains, “Danger to
human life and property just became too great A we had to do something to
reduce the moose.” The need for action was obvious,
but no one was sure how to go about it. Firearms were prohibited by law, so
rifle hunters were ruled out as a possibility. Rifle bullets also would have
been too dangerous on the airport, because of buildings and houses near-
by. The manager considered hiring security personnel to hunt the animals,
but the budget wouldn’t stand it. Then one of Anchorage’s most avid
archers, Charlie Bowman (who passed away last year), heard of the problem
and approached La Rose with the idea of using archers to harvest a few
animals and put enough pressure on the rest to move them off the airport
grounds. The manager was very receptive to the idea. As a result of Charlie’s
careful planning and diligent work, the state Fish and Game Department
established a special moose archery season and archers were called in to
help protect the jets.
This first hunt was to be either sex and limited to the airport grounds
only. The season ran from January 1 to March 31, 1970. Hunters were
required to meet several special conditions. They needed a bow of at least
forty pounds pull, broadheads not less than seven-eighths-inch wide or one
and a half inches long, and they were required to have the blades sharp to
the touch. Each man had to certify that he was knowledgeable about,
experienced in, and capable of shooting the bow in a proficient manner.
The hunt was limited to twenty-five hunting permits per day on a first
come, first serve basis with a mandatory check in and out each day. It was
specified that the archer must hunt or make drives in a direction away from
runways to avoid the possibility of chasing moose onto them.
This first hunt turned out to be unique and interesting. At midnight
New Year’s Eve, eighteen hunters were lined up for the first twenty-five permits.
Others showed up early on January I and hunters were turned
back when all the permits were gone. The first animal was taken shortly
after daybreak by Don Hanks of Eagle River, Alaska. An hour later, two more
cows were taken. A total of nine moose were taken by approximately
one hundred hunters during the first five days.
I talked with Hanks after he had taken the first moose. It turned out
that hunting wasn’t as easy as one would think. The area is extremely
brushy and the moose are wild. “The leaves and brush were so noisy, the
only way I could stalk close enough for a shot was to wait for big jets to
take off or land. The noise was actually an advantage, because the moose
couldn’t hear me coming,” Hanks says.
Interest remained high for most of the season, as quite a few local businessmen
sneaked out in the morning or took off a bit early in the afternoon
to walk the back roads and moose trails for sign in the fresh snow.
The deep snows in February and March made hunting more difficult
rather than easier. It didn’t take long to find yourself soaked to the waist
and exhausted. A number of archers tried walking down one of the animals,
but soon found their short legs were no match for those lanky beasts in
Many days, the snow was crusty as a result of the coastal weather influence.
It was impossible to walk quietly in those conditions so the kills
began to drop. Then a couple of good hunters came up with a sure-fire way
to get an animal. They would walk the backroads until a track was crossed.
By knowing the country well, one man could circle around ahead of the track
and station himself in a strategic spot. The other hunter would walk slowly
along the track. The moose would hear him coming and begin to move away.
If the man following the tracks moved slowly, the moose would keep
ahead by what it thought was a safe distance. While the attention of the
moose was focused on the man following him, the other archer could move
into position to intercept the path of the moose. When the animal came by,
the hidden archer had a good shot. This technique really worked. The two
who tried it first each got a moose the first morning they tried it and nobody
else was even getting a shot.
In this first hunt, Charlie Bowman was rewarded with a paddle-horn bull
that hadn’t yet dropped its antlers. As a result of Bowman’s work, this first
season ended as a big success. The moose population and hazard to aircraft
and life had been considerably reduced. In addition, a lot of archers
had been provided with many hours of the recreation. A total of twenty-two
moose were bagged by 279 archers who shot a total of 184 arrows. They
hunted 648 man—days and one woman-day. The only woman to participate
was Mrs. Ralph Payne, whose husband zook the twenty-first moose.
Though the problem was reduced, it wasn’t eliminated so the archers
were called in to help again in November of 1970. That season turned
out to be an interesting and beneficial hunt.
The season was extended to run from November 1 to March 31, 1971.
Enthusiasm at first was a bit higher than during the first season as more
than twenty-five archers were lined up at12:01 a.m. November 1, to receive
one of the twenty-five permits for opening day.
During the first month 232 permits are issued, 1135 hours hunted,
fifty-six shots taken, and eight moose Tagged. The first moose taken that
year was a cow brought in by Charlie Bowman. His partner took the second
moose. Bowman’s lucky partner was Bill Ryan, past president of the state
Hunting was similar to the first season. but interest wasn’t kept as high
after the first month, because most of the resident moose had been harvested
by that time. Also, a fence was constructed around the airport to keep
most of the moose, driven down by deep snows, out of the area. A few do,
however, get in through open gates or walk around one open end that
extends out into Cook Inlet.
Thus, most of the good hunting was over at the end of the first month. The
total kill for the year was nine moose. Even though the kill was much lower
the second year, everyone was again provided with a great deal of recreation.
And, the archers had reduced the moose hazard even more.
The third season, 1971-72 turned out to be a success, both for the archers
and the airport personnel who wished the moose danger reduced.
Four moose were taken by archers. After talking to several airport personnel
it was concluded that “the archers had done a service to the airlines and
their passengers by again reducing the moose hazard.”
This had been one of the most unique wildlife management problems
anywhere. The method used to solve it is equally unique. The archers have
done their job well, proving that the bow and arrow is a useful management
tool. Former airport manager La Rose states, “l am glad to have been able to
work out an arrangement for the bowhunter to assist us in controlling our
moose population. They have performed a great service in protecting
life and human property. As a group, they are high classed sportsmen of
number one quality.”
So you can now rest easy as you make your connections at Anchorage
Intemational. It is being protected by a great group of sportsmen — the bow-
All Rights Reserved
Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011
Basics of Buck Calling By Don Kirk
New Innovation In Calls Makes It Easier
FOG DRIFTED dream—like through the ridge-top oaks and hickories, as Harold Knight
stood shivering in the pre—dawn dampness of the rolling hills of western Kentucky.
Silence ~ the kind that sometimes becomes “deafening” when a bowhunter strains
to hear those things that refuse to stir — enveloped his tree stand. Without looking
down, he ran his cold forefinger over the smooth surface of the arrow shaft resting
against his bow, rechecking its position by touch. For five days during the state’s bow
season for whitetail, he had occupied this strategically located perch. Each day, he had
hoped he might nail the big eight—pointer he had spied while scouting before hunting
season. However, thus far the wary old buck had proved too scarce to pull an arrow back on.
The whitetail rut was not in full swing, but the Bluegrass State hunter hoped the
crisp cold snap that had moved in the night before would trigger increased breeding
behavior. The scrape line tracing along the crest of the ridge showed signs of heavy use.
Knight had a good feeling about this day and was confident he had a trick that might
undo the buck he sought.
Dawn gave way to a bright morning, then mid-morning. By 9:30 a.m., only two
small bucks and a trio of does had passed along the game path near his perch.
Shortly after 10:30 a.m., Knight spotted two does coming down the game trail
along the crest of the ridge. Fifteen minutes later, he saw a considerably larger
deer moving along this trail behind the does. Even through the tangles of wild
grapevine and tree limbs, it was obvious this was the big one he was awaiting.
The heavy-antlered buck was over a hundred yards away and separated from him
by thick woods. The snap of a twig caught the Kentuckian`s attention, as his quarry
slipped stealthly down the side of the hill behind a tangle of naked grapevine and
leafy greenbriar. The buck was still over a hundred yards away. yet it appeared to
be leaving. Experience had taught this expert woodsman that the buck probably
would not wander closer to his tree stand.
His trembling free hand found the call suspended by a lanyard around his neck.
Knowing it was his only chance to take this animal, he blew through the tube—like
call. A low-pitch, guttural grunt filled the air. This was followed by an inward gasp,
then another deep grunt. Before Knight ceased his efforts, six nonstop grunts
connected by inward gasps were broadcast through the brightly lit woods.
When hearing this, the heavy-beamed eight-pointer stopped in its tracks. Craning
its neck upward, the whitetail peered intensely toward the source of the sound.
Dropping its head, the buck started toward Harold Knight’s tree stand located high
alongside a scrub oak flanked by two dense cedars and backdropped by a huge,
head-high tangle of Japanese honeysuckle.
Blowing the call once more, Knight observed the deer moving in a straight line
toward him. The buck never looked up. Thinking the breeding noise came from
behind a large clump of honeysuckle, it approached to within thirty yards.
Its investigation was greeted by the lightning—like strike of a broadhead.
Sporting eight thick points, the wide beamed trophy now belonged to Harold Knight.
Knight needs no introduction to many bowhunters. He and David Hale own
Knight and Hale Game Call Products of Cadiz, Kentucky. They first made their
mark on the hunting scene over a dozen years with their quality goose and wild
turkey calls. Three years ago, they introduced their EZ—Grunt—er deer call.
Since then, they have sold more of these so called attending grunt calls than
any other manufacturer.
Thousands of bowhunters have experienced success using one of the many
grunt calls that became available a few years ago. Grunt calls are custom—made
for the close—in style of whitetail bowhunting. Until recently, all attending grunt
calls featured one reed, over which air is blown to produce a guttural, grunting sound.
There is no question that properly used grunt calls are effective. however,
last fall, this relatively new facet of hunting leaped to new heights. In recent seasons,
Knight and Hale’s EZ—Grunt—er has captured a lion’s share of the deer call market.
This may change with the development of their new EZ—Grunt—er Plus deer call.
The name EZ—Grunt—er Plus is almost a misnomer. It goes beyond mere grunting.
It effectively mimics a ready—to breed, excited buck’s grunts, gasps and wheezes.
When explaining their new call, “hyper-ventilation” is the term frequently used by
these two Bluegrass State nimrods. “First of all, there are several different
kinds of grunts. One of the most important is the simple social grunt. It is used
year-round. Soft and subtle, it enables does to maintain contact with their fawns,
as well as other adults. It starts with a short grunt another. It usually unfolds into
a series of six or seven grunts,” says Harold Knight.
On a calm day, the social grunt is heard easily forty to fifty yards away. Those
possessing keen ears and knowing what to listen for, can detect it over one
hundred yards away. However, the social grunt has little to do with the sound
produced by a ready—to-breed buck during the hyperventilating stage.
“Hyperventilation by a buck attending a doe in heat is something few hunters
have actually heard. For a long time, this so-called excited grunt has been overlooked,
but primarily because hunters had no means of copying it,” explains David Hale.
“I compare a whitetail buck’s hyperventilating stage to that of a bull elk. A bull
elk grunts immediately after bugling in his cows. The elk bull’s grunt is a close
in call, announcing to his cows he is nearby. When grunting, his stomach goes
up and down. He sounds like he is running out of steam, much the same as
I would were I on the edge of hyperventilating.”
Whitetail bucks attending a doe in rut give similar sounds. The excited bucks
grunt rapidly. Grunts are linked by easily heard inward gasps. At the same time
air is going out and making noise, it also is coming in and producing sound.
Bucks only act this way when in the company of a doe during her twenty—four
to thirty—five—hour estrus period. Does coming into heat announce this by
dropping estrus when urinating on scrapes. By doing this. female actively
seeks the male for breeding as much as, after finding freshly visited scrapes. bucks look for does.
Aier finding the marked scrape, the buck trails the nuptial doe. Nose to the
ground, he passes through the woods omitting short. deep grunts at intervals
of two to four seconds. This goes on as long as he is in pursuit of a doe in estrus.
Much has been written about the magic of the whitetail rut. The will to breed is
stronger than the desire for food or self-preservation. ln attendance of a doe in
estrus. bucks transform into fearless herd masters. On several occasions,
photographing deer near our home in eastern Tennessee. my wife. Joann, and
l have been put to flight by bucks accompanying ready to breed does.
During the doe`s short estrus cycle, she only allows herself to be bred by a buck
during a four—hour segment of this time. A doe’s egg is only fertilizable during this
relatively short ovulation period. To breed successfully, she must find a buck prior
to ovulation. Equally important, once a buck is attracted, his attention must be
maintained until ovulation. Prior to ovulation during estrus, the
female whitetail keeps a buck close by teasing him with a cat—and—mouse game.
To keep the buck handy, does wiggle their tails, almost letting the buck breed them.
They sometimes run and try to get away from the buck, so he will cut her off. When a
buck checks a doe, he drops his head to the ground and stomps his hooves in an excited,
prance—like dance. Bucks frequently draw their shoulders up and look like they
are attempting to sneak up on the doe.
“During this entire process, the attending buck is grunting, almost without stopping.
These baritone sounds can be translated as the buck’s pleas for the doe to stand for
him. A buck may only get a chance to breed once a year,” says Harold Knight. “He
does not want to miss any opportunity. Ever eager to breed, he constantly tests
the doe. How close he is allowed to approach and smell is a sure-fire indicator of
how near a doe is to ovulation. Understandably, five to fifteen hours of reproach
by an estrus doe creates noticeable frustration in the attending buck.”
During this tiny portion of a buck’s life, its grunt turns from clear and guttural to
raspy, excited and somewhat high in pitch. Imagine a frustrated buck grunting
until it is almost hyperventilating and you begin to have a picture of what Knight
and Hale Game Call’s new EZ-Grunt—er Plus is all about.
Blowing a call that mimics a frustrated buck in the attendance of an estrous doe
assimilates a breeding situation. This is nothing new. Years ago, hunters did the
same thing with mock scrapes, then later, antler rattling. The so called attending grunt
further enabled hunters to create a mock breeding scene. The addition of the new
hyperventilation call adds an even more decisive twist to the art of trophy buck hunting.
The rut is one of the most exciting times of the year in the life of all whitetails. It is
not uncommon for wary, dominant bucks to have ranges over three times larger than
the traditional one—square-mile generally attributed to these animals. Such roaming
bucks patrol along fences and forested areas, checking scrapes. They are always alert
for signs of dropped estrus or the sound of distance mating activity.
“All deer are attracted to the social activity of mating. Big bucks investigate to see
if they are capable of dethroning bucks already there. Smaller bucks sneak closer
for the same reason or out of inexperienced curiosity. Even does that are not in
heat are attracted to where mating occurs,” says Knight.
Copying the hyperventilation stage of grunting scams an irresistible attractor of
all deer. According to Harold Knight, such calls are particularly effective on
trophy bucks that are confident of them-selves from past contest for breeding rights.
Hearing pre-breeding noises quickly draws eager-to-breed bucks to the sources of these sounds.
Until development of the EZ-G runt—er Plus, it was impossible to produce the
back—and-forth sound of a buck’s hyperventilation grunting. The unique EZ-Grunter
Plus is more complex than any other deer call. Its construction features two reeds
positioned opposite each other. The first reed differs little in design from those of
traditional grunt calls. When blowing into the mouth hole of the call, it produces a low,
guttural grunt. The second reed produces a raspy, gasping sound when air is sucked through the mouth hole.
The hyperventilation-like sound is produced by blowing the grunt call, then quickly
sucking air one to three times over the second reed.
“Our new call can be slowed down for simple grunting like the EZ—Grunt-er or it can be
used to its fullest capacity. Dual pitch is possible by turning the call around and repeating
the process through the opposite end of the EZ-Grunt-er Plus,” says Knish.
Harold Knight admits his scouting home-work. not necessarily the new EZ-Grunt-er Plus.
was the key to taking his big eight-pointer the firsttime he used this call in the field.
However. he believes the call enabled him to draw the buck close enough to kill.
One week later. David Hale took a 131- score eight-pointer. using the EZ-Grunt-
er Plus. While hunting on the ground in a thicket five days later, Knight took an
impressive eleven—pointer. Harold Knight and David Hale feel whitetail calls of
any sort are most effective when your quarry is visible. Seeing the deer enables
the hunter to gauge the animals response to the sound of their call. In fact. the
deer will dictate back to the caller how much he wants to hear that sound.
Hunting on the ground, stalking the edges of fields and woods is the method
preferred by many expert callers. Granted. there is a possibility the deer will see
the hunter first, but when the bowman sees the deer first, there is an excellent
opportunity for calling up a trophy. When hunting from a stand, constant or
near constant calling is recommended.
Throughout the day, bucks will travel in and out of hearing range of such calls. Frequent use of a call will draw any curious bucks within shooting range. According to Hale and Knight, their new second generation hyperventilation type call will prove even more effective at this job than anything previously offered to hunters.
For more information on the new EZ-Grunt-er Plus, contact Knight and Hale
Game Call Products
Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011
Plan A Moose Hunt~ By Bob Robb
TO MANY LOWER-48 bowhunters, a bull
moose is nothing more than a cartoon character,
Bullwinkle, a little slow on the uptake,
plodding along through life a step behind just
about everyone and everything.
In reality, nothing could be further
from the truth. Moose are North
America’s largest subspecies of deer,
awesome creatures in size of body and
of antler. Unless you have had the pleasure
of quartering a moose in the field,
you honestly have no idea how big they
How big are they? Whole hind quarters
can weigh more than 200 pounds
each. Something as small as a boned-
out neck may weigh 75 pounds or more.
A big set of antlers and skull plate might
weigh a bit over 100 pounds. To gain a
little perspective, a big whitetail deer
might produce as much boned—out meat
as one large bull moose neck!
Picture yourself backpacking your
moose a mile or two over hill and dale,
through boggy, bug—infested swamps,
weaving between spruce thickets and
tangled balsam, buck brush and berry
bushes or through waist-deep snow, as
I did in Alaska in 1992. In all, packing a
moose back to camp in this manner will
take eight trips, give or take one or two.
depending upon how much each man
can reasonably carry. When it comes to
packing moose, you can never have too
much help – especially if that help includes
a couple of strong pack horses. a
boat or an airplane!
If a man had to work this hard at his
regular job, he’d probably go on strike.
But each year, hundreds of bowhunters accept the
challenge, because moose hunting is exciting and fun.
Just looking at a big bull is indeed awesome, especially
if all you have for perspective is perhaps the
largest whitetail deer. Moose meat is highly prized
for its flavor and nutritional value. And, of course,
there’s lots of it. The antlers of even an average bull
moose are impressive, like nothing else you’ll ever
However, moose hunting is not something you
should do on a whim. It takes careful planning to
arrange a successful moose hunting adventure that
will result in a punched tag and reasonable meat packing job.
MOOSE: WHAT ARE THEY?
In terms of subspecies, most sportsmen recognize
the three listed in both the Boone and Crockett
and Pope & Young club record books. Safari Club
Intemational recognizes a fourth, calling it the East-
em Canada moose, Alces alces americana. The oth-
ers are the Yellowstone or Wyoming moose, A. a.
shirasi, more commonly called the Shiras moose; A.
a. andersoni is the Canada moose; and A. a. gigas is
the giant Alaska—Yukon moose.
Mature Eastern Canada moose bulls have antler
spreads in the low 40-inch bracket. They weigh some-
where between 900 and 1,100 pounds on
the hoof. The Shiras moose is about
the same size. Large Canada moose bulls
can have antler spreads in the low
50-inch class. Where they mingle with
the Alaska-Yukon moose in the extreme
western portion of their range, they
might even creep over 60 inches. They
can weigh 1,200 to 1,400 pounds and
stand between 6 1/2 and seven feet high
at the shoulder. Mature Alaska-Yukon
moose have antler spreads beyond 55
inches, with a few bulls more than 70
inches shot each year. There have even
been a few of these bulls recorded with
antler spreads that exceed 80 inches.
That is nearly seven feet! These incredible
creatures can stand 7 1/2 feet high
at the shoulder and weigh upwards of
1,800 pounds on the hoof.
HUNTING TROPHY BULLS
If your goal is an honest—to—g00dness
record book-class bull moose, you must
understand that antler spread is an of-
ten deceiving criteria. For example, one
outfitter friend of mine in Alaska guided
a rifle-toting client to an Alaska·Yukon
moose in 1989 that had an antler spread
of only 57 inches. But the bull still almost
made the minimum Boone and
Crockett score of 224 points for entry
into the records. Its extremely wide
palms had many long, heavy points, as
did the fronts, to give it the additional
score. The Pope & Young minimum
score is 170 points for bow-killed animals.
For the most impressive antlers,
hunting Alaska-Yukon moose in
Alaska, the Yukon or the Northwest
Territories is what you must do. Of that
group, more than three-fourths of all
Alaska—Yukon moose entries in the
B&C record book have come from
Alaska. While huge moose are scattered
about Alaska, the record book
tells you that the Alaska and Kenai peninsulas,
and the north slope of the
Brooks range are your best bets. If you
hunt these bulls in Canada, the Yukon-
Northwest Territories border area is
best for a truly huge bull.
For Canada moose, 224 of the 386
bulls listed in the B&C book came from
British Columbia. But you can find
record—class bulls scattered about
Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and
Ontario. A careful management plan
that includes limited sport hunting has
produced some really top—quality
Canada moose from Maine in recent
years, too. It takes a score of 195 points
to qualify. The P&Y minimum is 135
For Shiras moose, Wyoming owns
158 of the 229 B&C record book en-
tries. Montana, Utah and Idaho also pro-
duce a few bulls in this class each year.
A score of 155 points meets the mini-
mum B&C requirement for Shiras
moose. Archers need a bull scoring 115
P&Y points to make that book’s mini-
HOW AND WHEN TO
There are two kinds of bull moose.
The first, easiest to hunt, is the bull in
the rut. When a bull succumbs to an
overdose of testosterone, he thinks of
nothing but breeding. We have all read
stories of rut-crazed bulls charging
trains and semis on the highway, and they do
sometimes get this goofy. It is not unusual
for a rutting bull moose to come out of
the brush and investigate the sound of your
saddle horse clomping down the trail. Once
located, these bulls are relatively easy to get
to within rifle or bow range if you are careful
to not think it’s too easy. The timing of the
hunt may vary from area to area, but generally
speaking, it occurs in late September and early October
This is prime time for trophy moose hunting. If those
big antlers are your goal. this is by far the best time
to try to find them within bow range.
The other bull moose is something entirely different.
Out of the rut, a bull can be extremely difficult to locate:
even tougher to get personal with. Early in the season.
before temperatures drop and when the bugs are thick
down near creek and river bottoms, the bulls will go
high up the slopes of the drainages where the breezes
keep them cooled and the bugs at bay. They will lay up
in thick, almost impenetrable patches of alder, balsam and
buck brush, cover that’s taller than you sitting on a horse
and impossible to silently stalk through. The leaves haven’t yet
dropped off these plants and seeing into them is like trying to
look through a brick wall.
Bull moose densities are another problem to overcome. As noted gun
writer John Wootters once said, “Even when there are a lot of ’em, there aren`t
many of ’em.”
A biologist in Manitoba once told me
I was hunting the best area in the province
for moose. There were three moose
to the square mile. Even in many good
areas, moose densities are only one animal
per square mile. Often it is less. It
is not quite the satne as hunting white-
tails in states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania,
Ohio or Georgia. With such low
animal densities, it often takes lots of
looking to locate a good bull, even in the best areas.
How you hunt depends a lot upon where you are,
the time of year and the prevailing weather conditions.
In mountainous areas such as Alaska and
western Canada, getting up high and glassing for
hours on end is the way to go. In some areas of
Canada, canoeing rivers or along lake shores early
and late in the day is the best way to find moose in
this flat terrain. That technique also works well in
moose guide in Alaska told me that
when the bulls aren’t rutting, he will
find a drainage junction that contains
a fair amount a fresh moose sign, climb
up to where he can see as much country
as possible and just sit there. He
builds a small tarp shelter if it is rainy,
brings along a coffee pot and will sit
for several days if necessary.
“When the bulls are working the
area, sooner or later they will walk
where you can see them without spooking
them off,” he told me.
It sounds boring, but it makes a lot of sense.
During the rut, calling is a popular technique.
One excellent way to call
moose is to float a river in a canoe or
large river raft, stopping and calling in
likely-looking areas. You can cover lots
of ground this way, often what it takes
to find a good bull. Making moose
sounds with your voice is pretty simple, or you can
use one of the commercial calls. Both Lohman Game
Calls (Dept. BA, P.O. Box 220, Neosho, MO 64850)
and Haydel’s Game Calls (Dept. BA, 5018 Hazel
Jones Road, Bossier City, LA 7llll) offer excellent
moose calls and instructional tapes.
A modified form of antler rattling may also help
lure in rutty bulls. You can bang large deer antlers
together and it will work at times. Serious moose
hunters carry an old scapula bone from either a cow or
moose and use this to rake against brush and dig up the ground.
Combined with some judicious calling, this can be deadly. The old trick of
scooping water up and pouring it back into a river or lake to simulate a bull
moose urinating isn’t a joke; it also works.
For bowhunters trying to call moose, hunting with a partner is an excellent
idea. Just as in elk hunting, one archer acts as caller, the other as the shooter in
the hope that the bull will not notice the man with the bow. Glassing bulls on
open slopes also can be effective, especially when there is a steady breeze and
cover of brush or trees to hide behind when making a stalk.
However you hunt moose, keep in mind that they have outstanding senses
of smell and hearing, with pretty good eyesight. Always hunt with the wind in
your face, wear non-scratchy clothing, and keep talking and other human noises
to a bare minimum.
MOOSE ARCHERY TACKLE
Bowhunters need stout tackle to hunt moose. Bows should draw at least 60
pounds. Broadheads need to be razor- sharp and constructed strongly. Light-
bladed broadheads that are lethal on light game such as whitetails won’t get
the job done. I like broadheads to have at least 1 1/8 inches of cutting surface,
with strong blades at least .030-inch thick. I prefer cutting—tip design
broadheads for increased penetration through the thick hair, hide and muscle
structure of a big bull. But rest assured that a well-placed broadhead will drop
a moose quickly. My 1992 Alaska bull was shot once through the lungs at 40
yards with an Easton aluminum arrow shaft tipped with a 125-grain Hoyt Top
Cut broadhead sent on its way by a compound bow with a draw weight of
78 pounds. He ran only 100 yards before piling up stone dead.
I also recommend a rangefinder, like the Ranging Eagle Eye 3X or 80/
2, to help gauge distances over the often deceptive flat ground where moose
are found. Large pack frames, for hauling meat, a razor-sharp hunting
knife and whetstone, and a compact bone saw are mandatory to help with
meat care. Several quality meat sacks will help keep flies off the meat should
the weather be warm. You will also need waterproof binoculars of at least
7X to find bulls in the heavy cover and over long distances.
GUIDED OR UNGUIDED?
Both guided and unguided moose hunts have their advantages. You have
to weigh the pros and cons of each, as well as the local game laws, before
making your decision. Moose are a popular animal for hunters to pursue
on their own. Many sportsmen travel to Alaska each fall and hunt
moose unguided. Those who take enough time and
prepare properly do fairly well.
In Canada, guides often are required for non-resident aliens, so you may have no
choice there. The lower 48 states permit un guided moose hunting where there are
huntable populations. Fully outfitted and guided moose
hunts are the most expensive. Costs vary greatly from place to place, depending
upon exclusivity, the remoteness of camp and the hunting area, and other
factors. Expect a fully outfitted moose hunt to cost you between $500 and $800 per day in
the most remote areas that hold the best chances at a big bull, with most hunts
scheduled for seven to 10 days. These costs reflect the expense of ferrying in
supplies, air taxi services and generally conducting
a hunting business in the bush. Costs can drop
down to $200 to $300 per day in areas where the
hunting is done closer to roads. Access may be primarily via four-
wheel-drive vehicle, and the cost of doing business is lower.
For example, a fully-guided 10-day Alaska moose hunt might set you back
$6,000 to $8,000, plus license and tag fees, and extensive — and expensive
-— air taxi costs. A hunt for Shiras moose in Wyoming or Montana migh:
run you $1,500 to $2,500, because the outfitter’s operating expenses are so
much less. Two good moose outfitters l’ve personally hunted with in Alaska are Terry
Overly, Pioneer Outfitters, Dept. BA. Chisana, AK 99780; Gary Pogany.
Osprey Mountain Lodge, Dept. BA. P.O. Box 770323, Eagle River, AK
99577. Both cater to archery hunters, as well as their usual rifle clientele.
Guided hunts have several advantages. The biggest two are that the
outfitter will generally know where the larger bulls hang out, saving you count-
less hours in research time and on-the ground searching, and he will have
made meat and trophy·care arrangements beforehand. As mentioned, that
is no small consideration.
Do—it—yourself hunting is satisfying and can save you major bucks, too. If
you are willing to research an area and plan diligently, you can do a fly—in
moose hunt in Alaska for under $2,500 total, including airplane costs. Float
hunts down major rivers can be even less. A lower-48 Shiras moose hunt can
cost less than $1,000, if you use your own vehicle to get into hunting country
and set up a roadside camp. But you must be able to locate a bull
to your liking, shoot him, then care for the meat yourself. Meat care is the most
important consideration in shooting a moose, especially when hunting on your
own. Make arrangements with a local horse packer before the hunt to help you
get meat out of the back country if you can, or have lots of friends with strong
backs and weak minds. And try to shoot your bull as close to a road, river or bush
landing strip as you can.
Moose hunting is something every ardent big-game hunter should do at
least once. It’s not just the size of the animal nor his tender, succulent flesh.
Moose hunting occurs in some of North America’s most spectacular country.
Moose live in terrain dotted with sparkling, gin-clear lakes and rivers, miles
and miles of uncut virgin forests, often in settings featuring tall mountains with
peaks that reach for the clouds. The flora can be bright and cheerful, the fauna
abundant, the excitement high. <—-<<<
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