Archive for February, 2011

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Published by archerchick on 08 Feb 2011


Bow and Arrow
August 1975

One Shot Buffalo Bash ~ By Larry Bamford
A One-ton Western Symbol Is Downed n The Time-Honored Way!

” YOU CAN’T KILL a buffalo with a bow and arrow,” the voice
boomed over my end of the phone. I was talking to George Krause, manager
of an extremely large ranch in Wyoming, one of the last strongholds
of the Plains bison. When I first mentioned my interest in a hunt for buffalo, the rancher was
intrigued with the idea, but he was startled when I stated I would use a
bow and arrow.

“Frankly,” he said, “your plan is foolish and impossible. Over the years
quite a few buffalo have been har- vested off the spread for my freezer,
and frequently it took several high- powered rifle slugs to put them down.
I’m afraid that one of these huge animals may be a little too much for
an arrow.”


“Wait a second,” I said, “I’ll agree that an arrow has virtually no knock- down
power, but death is caused by internal hemorrhage.” The long pause over the
phone indicated that Krause was skeptical. Finally the voice continued on the
other end of the line. “Big bulls can be dangerous because of their belligerent
and unpredictable nature.”I replied, “I will accept the responsibility for my own
safety and I’ll even sign a release if you want.” After some grumbling from the
other party, I was relieved to hear, “That won’t be necessary.”


Now that this was settled, I asked whether it would be possible to hunt a
bull which had broken out and was currently outside the ranch proper.
He came back, “There are plenty of bison outside, and some are as far
away as six to ten miles. A few have not been seen for months. I think
some of these animals are wilder than those which were around in pioneer


I was then subjected to several hair-raising tales of injury and near
injury to humans by the temper- amental beasts.
“How about using horses?” I asked. “Absolutely no!” I heard Krause
bellow. I was afraid to ask why not when he went on to explain. “Buffalo hate
horses. You will be asking to get hurt if you use a horse,” he said.


“OK,” I replied. “I want to hunt and will take my chances. But I insist
on having the freedom to hunt alone, and I want to determine what I
shoot.” George and I agreed that if I succeeded in collecting one of the
large herd bulls, I should cough up one thousand dollars. The concept of
this hunt was developed after the archery season in Coiorado. I was
looking for an excuse to get outside prior to the beginning of our November
antelope season. As long as I could remember, I had been interested
in taking a buffalo, which I consider a symbol of western hunting.


I wondered about the actual conditions of such a hunt. Past bison
hunts conducted in Colorado were much like the South Dakota, Utah and
Arizona hunts. The purpose of those hunts was to harvest surplus animals
from a controlled herd. The buffalo were designated, marked ahead of time
and a conservation officer would go along to make certain the hunter shot
the right animal. This sort of hunting is normally limited to riflemen who shoot
from fifty to one hundred yards, making the kill a foregone conclusion.
In my opinion that is not hunting, just shooting.


My interest in collecting a bison became active when the Pope and
Young Club decided to accept the species for its permanent records, I
was curious about how the club might interpret the fair chase regulations,
since every animal that I knew of was on an enclosed range. The best way to
examine buffalo huntingconditions, I thought, was to engage in a hunt.
I phoned all of the game departments in the previously mentioned
states to discuss how their hunts were handled. After these conversations, I
concluded that the only free-roaming, unrestricted herds in North America
included Alaska’s Copper River herd and one in the Northwest Territories
of Canada.


The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission gave me a lead on another
type of bison—hunting opportunity in the lower forty-eight which they con-
sidered to be more sporting than most. The commission information officer
suggested a huge ranch in south-central Wyoming that was home to several
hundred head of buffalo. This particular ranch consisted of twenty square
miles of deeded land with a similar amount in leases of public land. The
situation sounded good to me, because I realized most other hunting for the
species also occurred on ranches, many of them smaller in size.


According to the Game and Fish people, the ranch might allow me to
hunt on my own, since it was not in the hunt business. They went on to
say that all of the herds of buffalo in the United States were contained to
some degree. They also told me that most private ranches can’t afford
bison-proof fencing, and as a result the animals break out frequently. I
was told that fences contain buffalo about as effectively as they contain the
whitetail deer which inhabit the same area. The deer go over the fences,
and the buffalo go through them. After my phone conversation with
rancher George Krause, I immediately began planning details for the hunt.


First I called a friend and photographer, Les Parlin, to see if he would
accompany me. He said he’d like to go and even offered his pickup truck for
the trip. The equipment for the hunt received great attention, I examined
the thickness of a buffalo hide and decided to use the heaviest Easton
aluminum arrow, a 2219, with a 1920 shaft inside. The double-tube com-
bination with a 125-grain broadhead, nock and feathers brought the total
weight to approximately 1100 grains. I quickly discovered that my
fifty-seven-pound bow would not shoot this arrow. Therefore, I tuned a
seventy-pound recurved bow and eventually got the arrow to fly.


Les and I arrived in Wyoming on the first Saturday in October. The
elevation was 7500 feet. Weather conditions were uncertain and snow
was predicted. We could spend two and a half days trying for a bison and
were prepared to come back the next weekend if l did not score.
The setting was beautiful. A river called the Laramie snaked its way
through a vast valley dotted with green willows and grasslands as far as you
could see. The Snowy Range loomed up on the horizon to the south and


That evening George Krause, Les and I talked over the hunt plan.
George still doubted that I could get the job done and warned me again
about approaching the big bulls on foot. I was told that if I shot one and
the other buffalo smelled the blood, they might attack their wounded
friend and tear him to pieces as a result of their fear. Also, if I caused a
herd to stampede and they blindly came my way, I might be hard to find
after the herd passed. George mentioned that buffalo love to fight and
roman-nosed bulls are the rule rather
than the exception.


Krause’s foreman, a likable fellow named Bob, said that a buffalo’s only
natural enemy in the early days was the grizzly bear. During the 1800s
mountain men related tales of grizzly taking on bull buffalo and not faring
too well. It was amazing for me to hear that a bison’s endurance would
enable him to run steadily for hours. Indians who chased buffalo on horse-
back attempted to catch them in a short distance before their horses
would tire.


I was aware that buffalo had been on a comeback trail in the United
States since the turn of the century when the total number had dwindled
to 55l. The last free-roaming herd, then in Yellowstone Park, consisted of
twenty-two animals, These figures contrasted with an estimated sixty million
buffalo in American when Columbus discovered the continent in 1492. Just
prior to the Gold Rush of ’49, the herds still totaled over twenty million.
There are several subspecies of buffalo with the Wood Bison of Canada being
the largest.


The next morning dawned cold and clear. After a hearty breakfast, which
included buffalo burgers, we loaded our gear into two pickups, then
headed for a spot where George had spotted several big bulls, I asked to be
dropped off on a large grassy flat about two miles north of the river and
near some low rolling hills. This area was covered with small sections of tall
grass, weeds and scrubby trees. As the four-wheel-drive truck bumped to a
stop, I saw seventeen antelope and a half-dozen mule deer grazing to one


I invited our host to observe the action at long range so that no vehicles
would be involved. I rejected Krause’s idea of having Bob back me up with a
rifle. Bob told me that on the lower end of the Nelis Creek drainage, a
large bull had broken out and was challenging everything in sight. Les
would follow along but was also asked to stay at a distance and to use his
300mm telephoto lens with a 2x con- verter for pictures.


After a twenty-minute walk, we began seeing buffalo in the open grassy
valley. The grass was shorter than usual after a season of less than normal
rainfall, As a result, quite a few animals were staying near the river
where the feed was better. This was fortunate, because I had already con-
cluded that some cover was going to be necessary to approach the buffalo.
The morning hunt produced lots of exercise but no shooting, In the early
afternoon I spotted a bull accompanied by ten cows walking in wide open


Wanting to test their reaction, I walked upright directly toward them. The bull
kept moving away and never let me come closer than 150 yards, Finally he gathered his
cows and thundered away in a cloud of dust. I tried five or six more careful stalks
with no success. On one occasion I topped the crest of a hill and surprised a large,
black-colored bull who swapped ends, running away at forty-five degrees. I was
certain I could have hit him on the run at sixty yards but declined the shot for fear of only
wounding the beast.


I slipped up on another small herd feeding in the direction of the river.
Walking and feeding easily, the animals were outpacing me as I hurried to
intercept them. I inaneuvered out of their sight and ran for at least a
quarter of a mile toward an opening in the trees where I expected them to
pass. I arrived too late and saw the last buffalo walk through the gap just out
of range.


My last chance before dark occurred as I watched a lone bull feed
into a patch of tall grass and small trees. I circled and waited for him to
come out on the opposite side. As I sat there, I wondered what I would do if
he charged. There was absolutely no way that I could outrun him, and I
was at least a mile from the nearest tree suitable for climbing. The grass
began to wave some seventy yards in front of me and I got ready.


I heard the bull snort as I rose to one knee and saw him,turn around,
apparently going to exit the same way he came in. I hustled to the southern
end of the patch of brush just in time to see the bull clear the trees at fifty
yards. I knuckled the string, looked down the drawn shaft for a second and
released. The string hit my jacket sleeve with a loud WHAPI The arrow
flew in an erratic manner, hitting the ground a good five yards in front of
the buffalo, which whirled and pounded away for a safer spot.


The sun was low in the west as I walked out to the pre-arranged pickup point.
A half hour before sunrise on Sunday, Les and I were sneaking
through the tall grass along the Laramie River. I was hoping to find a
troublesome river bottom bull I’d heard about. We stopped on a high
ridge and glassed for a mile along the river below us. With my ten-power
binoculars, Les spotted a few buffalo grazing in a patch of thick willows
about a half-mile away. He announced that the herd bull was a real whopper.


I took a look and confirmed the bull was definitely a keeper. His amber-
colored hump towered above the other buffalo, and his dark mane fluttered in
the early morning breeze, The air currents were starting to
rise as the warming rays of the sun intensified. I moved parallel along the
slope in an attempt to get above the herd. I started downward quietly,
having already discovered the animals can hear quite well, I cut the distance
to 200 yards by keeping brush between myself and the herd. At 150
yards I still could not find the bull, but a sassy cow had found me. She
continued to stare in my direction, but the rest did not seem to be upset.


When the concerned cow went back to her breakfast, I crawled into the same
large willow flat where the buffalo were feeding. I could hear heavy branches being
broken up ahead as the animals moved about, but I could not see them,
Sneaking to the edge of the river, I saw horns coming my way. It was the herd
bull. He kept coming closer with each step — eighty yards, seventy yards,
sixty, then fifty. He looked as big as an elephant and twice as mean. I began
to contemplate what plan I should undertake if the unsuspecting beast
kept on the same path. Forty yards away from me he turned away from
the river and started through a narrow belt of willows that would allow him
to cross into the open grassland on the other side.


I crawled on my hands and knees as fast as I could to get to the other side
for a shot. As I looked up over the tall grass, he was standing just inside the
willows. After some hesitation, he walked out looking downriver. I
followed his slow walk with the tip of my drawn 100-grain arrow. I released
the arrow just as the bull turned his head my way. SMACK! The big bull
immediately crashed to the ground. Buffalo cows were running in every
direction. One came by me at no farther than fifteen feet, breaking limbs
with every jump.


I stood up and walked over to the immobilized animal. I couldn’t believe
that I had knocked a buffalo right off its feet. It didn’t take long to see what
had happened. In the excitement of the moment my big arrow was sent a
little high. The shaft had penetrated the lower hump, sliced through the
top part of the chest and entered the spinal column where it severed the
spinal cord.


Les came running from his vantage point on the ridge. It seems he had
been taking photos of some of the action with a telephoto lens. Les noted
that George and his friends had also been watching with spotting scopes,
and their mouths had dropped open when they saw the buffalo go down
immediately. George later said he would have to eat crow over his
comment that it couldn’t be done. I learned later that a few dollars
had parted company from those who had doubts about the effectiveness of
the bow. l’m certain that several people have a new respect for bow-
hunting as a result of what they saw.


The foreman wanted to keep the arrow I used and probably will tell the
story often to local cronies about how the guy knocked the big buffalo down
with one shaft. The skinning and field dressing chore required four hours with four
people helping. The head alone was all one person could lift. When we
removed the heart, it looked like a volleyball and weighed just under ten
pounds. We fleshed out the skull and I put a tape on the horns. I could see
they would go over one hundred Pope and Young scoring points. The
minimum has been set at eighty. George said he thought the bull on the
hoof probably weighed at least a ton.


By early evening we had the buffalo meat, hide and skull in Les’s sagging
pickup and were heading south for Colorado. Back home I had to recap the hunt
in my own mind to see if the buffalo should qualify for entry in the Pope
and Young Club records. The considerations in this case were: fair chase
conditions, a true hunt and hunting a wild big-game animal. I was certain
that this buffalo was no more restricted than others which are hunted in the
United States. Bison today are owned either by the Federal government,
State governments, private individuals, or corporations.



Rifle-hunting records have allowed entries to be nsted from controlled
state herds, such as the Raymond Ranch in Arizona. The hunters are
aided to a great extent on these hunts. Only the Canada and Alaska hunts, as
far as I could tell, are without any sort of containment. I believe the best
policy for the Pope and Young Club to follow on buffalo is not to accept the
entries automatically, but to ask for a detailed account of the hunt along
with the fair chase information.


As for my own bison, I decided not to enter it. This critter was determined
by those present to be on property which is deeded and not one of the
fence-busters who was outside when collected. Somehow I didn’t feel right
about the proximity to civilization while hunting, although I realize how
difficult it is to get away, even in vast Wyoming. During the hunt I heard a
car honk on a distant highway, and it snapped me back to the realization
that this kind of hunting just ain’t like it used to be and will never be that
way again.


All of this does not diminish the excitement of the hunt or the quality
of the specimen which now hangs in my trophy room. `
The meat proved to be of unusually good quality and to say we had a lot
of it is a vast understatement. Buffalo meat has an excellent flavor and
contains little fat.


This is the best recipe for buffalo jerky that I’ve been able to find. Try
making it from the lean cuts of meat including flank, brisket or round steak.
Partially freezing the meat before cutting makes it easier to slice evenly.
Cut with the grain of the meat if you like a chewy jerky; cut across the grain
for a more tender, brittle product. This recipe makes an amount of meat
you can dry in one oven.


1 1/2 to 2 pounds lean, boneless meat
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon each pepper and garlic
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
Trim and discard all fat from meat. Cut into thin slices (l/8 to 1/4-inch
thick). Combine all the ingredients except meat. Stir. Add meat. Cover and put in
refrigerator overnight. Pat dry with paper towels and place in
oven on oven racks. Do not overlap pieces of meat. Set oven to lowest
heat (150 to 200 degrees). Leave meat in oven for five to seven hours until
it is brown, dry and hard. Cool. Keep in plastic bags in
refrigerator or in a cool room. Keeps

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Published by archerchick on 08 Feb 2011

Blacktail Deer Strategy ~ By Larry Jones

Bow and Arrow Hunting
August 1990

Blacktail Deer Strategy ~ By Larry Jones
Oregon’s National Blacktail Hunt Is The Place To Try Several bowhunting Methods

I SPOTTED a doe fifty yards away. Blacktail are quick to detect danger
and she bounced over a log and disappeared into a vine maple thicket. It didn’t
matter that she had seen me. I was committed to taking a blacktail buck on video.
A mile from the tree where I’d just set up my Loggy Bayou stand, the cameraman
and my son, Steven, were trying to get a kill shot on video. I had chosen a tree that
overlooked a spot where two trails crossed. The mud in both trails was cut and gouged
with deer tracks. The bucks were in rut and there was plenty of deer movement. Now
that my stand was in place, as soon as Steven bagged his buck, I’d be ready.
I carefully eased each foot down as I moved toward the spot where the doe had
bounced out of sight I pushed some broken fern aside and eased in front of a huge
stump. I slowly scanned the vine maple thickets that skirted the old—growth timber.

I saw a leg move and a doe appeared. She weaved right, then left, moving like a
dancer as she made her way through the vine maples. She smoothly dipped under a
windfall and walked onto the open timber trail. I noticed his gray muzzle first, as a buck
followed. He was hot on her heels, head low, nostrils flaring, sucking in her scent.

It would have been an easy shot They walked within ten yards of me. His three—by—three
rack would have easily made the minimum for the Pope & Young Club record book.
l was really enjoying this. It was a typical cool, moist November Oregon morning. A gray
mist drifted through the huge old—growth firs. Dew dripped from their crossed and intermingled
branches. Lime green moss was in sharp contrast with the evergreen canopy, as it waved in the breeze
like strands of uncombed hair, This was a beautiful stand of untouched timber, but I
knew by the blue and pink ribbons dangling from low brush and limbs, it would soon be cut and logged.

l had just figured out the travel routes of these blacktails. Once the timber was logged, I’d have to change area or strategy.
This has happened to me before and, because the habitat had changed and some-
times hunting pressure increased, l’ve had to use a variety of strategies to hunt
blacktails. When l swapped stories with other hunters during Oregon’s recent National Blacktail Hunt, I found they had used different
tactics and strategies to bag blacktails. In fact, a whopping forty—one percent of the hunters who entered the hunt took deer.

Randy Spanfellner of Molalla, Oregon, took a Boone and Crockett Club qualifying
buck that green-scored 132%. Spanfellner took his buck by rattling antlers. He was
walking an old skid road that he knew eventually would lead him into a super blacktail area.
He decided to conceal himself among the trees along the road and try rattling antlers.
He smeared some Buck Stop doe lure onto his hat and clashed the
antlers together. Moving only his eyes, Spanfellner watched a few minutes and
rattled again. The monster buck appeared and Spanfellner was able to hit him squarely from eighteen yards.

Neil Summers, the hunt director for Oregon’s National Blacktail Hunt, used a
different hunting strategy to bag a four—by—five Pope & Young Club record book blacktail. Summers waited for fresh snow to
blanket the upper peaks, then drove logging roads looking for concentrations of blacktails. He drove until he found an area
that had a lot of deer tracks. He even saw a couple of bucks cross the road, so he was sure it was a super spot. Summers then
used the melting snow falling from tree branches to cover his sound. He moved slowly through the area, carefully watching for deer.

Within an hour, he spotted a big-bodied buck courting a doe. Summers crept to
thirty—five yards, then decided to use the ” Summers shooting strategy.” He nocked
an Easton 2317 camo shaft, tipped with a Thunderhead 125 broadhead, drew his
eighty—five—pound High Country compound bow and launched his arrow into
the snow under the buck. Summers claims he does this to give the animal a chance. I
think he just missed. Summers must be lucky or good, because the buck didn’t
even flinch and gave him the second shot.

His arrow struck home and, after a short tracking job, he tagged his trophy blacktail.
Another friend of mine, John Higgins, uses trees as an ambush tactic. Higgins doesn’t use a tree stand, he uses forty feet
of nylon rope, a safety belt, climbing spurs and a folding wood saw. He carries these items in his pack and, when he finds some
trails that are cut up with deer tracks, he considers the direction of the wind, selects a tree and climbs up. Once in the tree,
Higgins attaches his safety belt and pulls up his bow and pack with the nylon rope.

The rope can also be criss—crossed and woven between trees for a place to sit. He
removes limbs with his saw so he will have a clear shot. Higgins has had great success
using this system. Higgins states, “The reason I’m successful is, I don’t make a lot of racket
putting up a tree stand and I can quietly climb a tree without disturbing deer. If l see deer
using a nearby trail, I just untie my rope, climb down and change trees.”
Higgins` system works, but not everyone wants to sit on a limb all day. Higgins
toughs it out and, during the last two years, he has proven his strategy on blacktails by
bagging a buck each year.

Tom Crowe and many other hunters use the spot and stalk method to fill their
tags. Crowe bagged a pure albino blacktail buck on his November 1988 bowhunt. He
was on the Pearson Spoilers team and was hunting the Evans Creek Unit. Their team
strategy was to drive logging roads and glass the edges of timber and clearcuts.
Once they spotted a buck, they would stalk it for a shot.

Crowe said he first thought the albino blacktail was a goat. His partner, Curt
Mendenhall, looked it over with his binoculars and decided it was a deer. They
moved closer and, after they were positive it was a deer, Crowe made a careful,
deliberate stalk, which ended in a thirty-yard shot. Crowe took his trophy on his
birthday and is having his spike buck mounted, because it’s rare to find a pure
albino of any species.

Reed Peterson, who came from Arizona to hunt blacktail, enjoys calling game. He
studied deer calling and the first morning of his hunt he made the sound of a fawn
bawling to bring a two—by—two buck to within fifteen yards of his tree stand. Peterson, a
good friend of mine, was on my team. I told him the contest wasn’t important.
What was important was having a good time hunting blacktail deer. Peterson
passed up the forked horn and during his hunt called in several more deer. One day,
Peterson sat next to an opening in some bushes. He used a deer call to make fawn
bawls and rattled antlers. After several sequences, he called in a doe with a three-
point buck in hot pursuit. Good luck was in the buck’s favor; Peterson never got a
shot at him.

I did a lot of calling myself and, two days in a row, I called deer to my tree
stand. Both days doe came in with bucks l following Several years ago, Bob McGuire
and I were hunting whitetail deer in Ohio. McGuire is an excellent whitetail hunter
and he has used his voice to call in does and bucks. He said, “You can’t call in a buck when
he’s tending a doe.” Well, I made a simple statement, “Why don’t you call in the doe? The buck will
follow.” McGuire got a big grin on his face and said, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?”
“I guess it’s too simple,” was my response. The same calling strategy works on blacktails. ’

My son, Steven, used tree stands, rattling and grunting to successfully call in
bucks. Steven and I find that rattling from a tree is the most successful way of taking
a blacktail buck as he comes to our call. Otherwise, the thick brush allows the buck
to detect us before we see him. The height of our stand lets us see the buck sooner and
we can quietly wait for the right opportunity for our shots.
A couple of years ago my good friend, Dwight Schuh, took the biggest blacktail
buck during the Oregon Bowhunters’ first National Blacktail Hunt. Schuh had used
a deer call and rattling to bring in several bucks, but, because ofthe brush, he wasn’t
able to get a shot. The next day, he located an area that had rub trees and lots of deer
tracks. He set up his tree stand, climbed in and waited an hour before rattling and calling.

Schuh felt if he waited, any buck within hearing would forget the noise he
had made while setting up his stand. He called and rattled several times. After an
hour-and-a-half, Schuh saw a big—bodied, heavy- antlered buck approaching and quietly waited.
The buck stopped broadside twenty-five yards away. His shot sent the arrow through both lungs
for a quick kill.

Hunting blacktails is challenging. When choosing a hunting strategy, pick one that
will work for you. If you can’t sneak quietly through brush, use a tree stand. If you
like to glass for bucks, you can spot and stalk. If you like to fool them by calling and
rattling, try that. Whatever strategy you choose, you` re going to have a super time
when hunting blacktail deer. >>>—>

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Published by archerchick on 08 Feb 2011

Hunt The Soft Mast ~ By Don Kirk

Bow and Arrow Hunting
August 1990

Hunt The Soft Mast- By Don Kirk
Little Known Whitetail Foods May Attract Large Trophy Bucks

I AM AWAKE five nights a week
devising new ways to take bigger
and better Whitetail bucks. Except
when filling out income tax
forms, boning up on how these
animals live, move about, forage and
breed is my only diversion from thinking
about hunting whitetail.

Acorns long dominated my bowhunting
strategies. Being an Easterner, this is
understandable. But these marble—sized
morsels are an unpredictable food
source. Their relative abundance ebbs
and flows from year to year. It took too
long for me to discover how the many
alternative foods used by whitetail when
hardwood mast is scarce can be used to
my advantage.

It is impossible for whitetail hunters
to know too much about what this
quarry dines on. Wildlife researchers
have identified more than six hundred
items in these animals’ diet. One area
many whitetail enthusiasts know too little
about is other important whitetail
foods, especially the so called soft mast
food group.

Acorns, the fruit of the widely distributed,
diverse oak family, are what is
referred to as hardwood mast. Although
usually less important to whitetail than
acorns, buckeyes, pecans, walnuts,
hickory, beechnuts and chinkapins are
other examples of hardwood mast.
Generally, hardwood mast is summarized
as nuts.

The soft mast food group is more
loosely defined than that of the
hardwood category, although many trees
that are hardwoods produce fleshy, soft
mast. The soft mast category includes
such easily recognized items as wild
grapes, persimmons, peaches, apples and
plums. It also includes lesser known
items like fungi — mushrooms — eaten
by deer, plus legumes such as soybeans
and corn.

Many hunters mistakenly believe the
rut is the only primary behavioral pat-
tern worth considering when formulating
whitetail bowhunting strategies. The mt
is the most driving force in the animals’
life cycle, but it is short—lived. Other
longer, seasonal patterns also exist and
even coincide with the rut. Do not
overlook the fact deer are cyclic, or
seasonal, feeders.

During the summer and winter
months, the whitetails’ food intake is
relatively modest. Socalled feeding
binges are uncommon at that time.
Feeding activity greatly accelerates during
the spring and fall months. The need
to recoup body weight following the lean
winter months explains their increased
interest in nourishment during spring.
Building up body fat reserves to help
them endure the rigors of winter is the
impetus for autumn preoccupation with

Deer require diversity in their diets,
almost as much as humans. When
acorns are available in large numbers
during autumn, they account for fifty to
eighty—five percent of a whitetail’s daily
intake. When consuming soft mast, like
ripe persimmons or apples, these
animals may not get the same hefty shot
of protein or fats obtained when foraging
on acorns. However, they do receive
many otherwise difficult—to—find vitamins,
as well as complex carbohydrates
whitetail can easily convert to energy.
Soft mast food covers an incredibly

diverse group of whitetail foods. Contrary
to what many hunters believe, soft
mast augments the food needs throughout
the winter and they are not important
just during the summer and early
autumn months. Identifying the key soft
mast sources and ones used only
incidentally by deer is not simple. Many
of the soft mast foods utilized by deer,
like the beefsteak fungus and oyster
mushrooms, are scattered and considered
incidental to their diet needs.

Other types of soft mast food are
unknown to many hunters. During
autumn, deer eat large quantities of still-
moist, freshly fallen leaves of the flowering
dogwood for the digestive roughage
they provide. When available alongside
the brownish-colored leaves of oaks and
hickories which are high in bitter, tannic
acid, dogwood leaves are much preferred
by deer. Their deep scarlet
coloration gives a clue to the dogwood
leaf s sweet, high—sugar content.
Although they relish dogwood leaves
when feeding on acorns during the fall,
the location of these trees appears to
play only an incidental role in deer feeding

Many times, soft-mast-producing
plants are only locally important as deer
foods and easily escape notice by
bowhunters. Other soft mast feeding
areas, like a soybean field, are easily
identified by everyone. Cultivated grain
fields certainly concentrate deer, but so
do wild grains. However, success taking
deer from these open expanses requires
special tactics, different from those
available to long—range rifle hunters.
Bowhunters must identify travel routes
to and from these often heavily utilized
feeding sites.
During early winter, the seed—filled
heads of the green amaranth —— a tall,
weedy-looking plant commonly found in
cut·overs, along fence rows and sessionary
fields —— is a favorite deer forage item.
Sometimes referred to as wild wheat,
this widely distributed plant is cultivated
by natives of Central America, who
grind the seeds into flour.
Other sources of soft mast, such as
old apple or pear orchards at abandoned

homesteads, or a backwoods hollow that
is full of fruit-burdened wild grape vines,
can exert a strong concentrating force
on these animals. Whitetail, like
humans, have a sweet tooth. They are
drawn to the fragrant aroma of ripe,
fallen apples on the ground. It is not
uncommon for whitetail to overeat high-
carbohydrate sources of soft mast.
However, when this occurs, they get
rumen overload — or what some old-
timers call “bloat” among domestic

Acknowledging the deer where you
hunt possess remarkably diverse food

lists is the first step to understanding
how to take advantage of the soft mast
factor. In most instances, the importance
of specific types of soft mast is
either localized or important as a food
source for only short periods of time. It
is not uncommon for these two factors
to occur together.

Additionally, the abundance of acorns
where you hunt plays an important role
in deer shifting feeding emphasis from
hardwood mast to soft mast. During the
fall, acorns are the key to building body
fat content for winter. Poor hardwood
mast production forces deer to rely more
on soft mast. Even when acorns are
abundant, soft mast plays a key role in
their feeding, especially where early
bowhunting—only seasons occur.
A few years ago, I was hunting within
bow range of three large, acorn-laden
white oaks. While scouting the area, I
was impressed by the number of large
elderberry bushes that still held their
pungent, bluish-black fruit.
The elderberries would probably have
escaped my notice were it not for
Joann, my wife and photographer. For
years, she has been on a wild edibles
kick, making everything from fiddlehead
stew to her own maple syrup.
Hunting during the first morning near
the white oaks, I did not spot any deer.
At noon, I spied three white throat
patches milling about the dense elderberry
bushes, Although they were within
rock—throwing range of a ton of acorns,
the deer preferred to nibble at these
sweet, little berries.

Once located in significant numbers,
soft—mast—producing flora like elder-
berries, wild grapes, blackberries and
other similar plants can be counted on
to produce fruit season after season.
Called perennials, these plants are either
dormant during the winter, like deciduous trees,
or they will return the
following spring, unless a force such as
forest cutting or plowing changes their

Once the soft, moist flesh of their fruit
becomes dry and hard, many varieties of
soft mast are ignored by all but the
hungriest deer. Others, however, such as
wild rose hips. the bluish·black berries
of common greenbrier or the fleshy blue
berries of the sassafras tree, are
available over most whitetail range for
extended periods of time and they are
out during the hunting season. Such soft
mast items feature thick outer husks
able to retain moisture until spring.
Regions typically sport forests com-
posed of similar species of trees, while
local soft mast plant life varies considerably.
The varieties of soft mast are
maddeningly diverse. One key to solving
the soft mast dilemma is staying alert to
what type forage is locally available
where you hunt.

“Fine—tooth comb” scouting is needed
for acquiring this knowledge. For
instance, a field planted the previous
season in deer food crop, such as
soybeans, may this year lay fallow or be
planted in a crop that is less appealing
to whitetail. Change such as this completely
alters the local soft mast factor
of the preceeding years.
Other sources of soft mast are more
predictable, but they are usually
localized and require scouting to dis-
cover. These include where groves of
persimmon trees are found, or the location
of hillsides covered with tender
honeysuckle, which deer love.

When scouting, the three keys are to
stay alert for soft mast areas, to locate
signs of where berries, fruits or buds
have been nibbled off and the presence
of hoof tracks and droppings. The freshness
of the sign helps in estimating the
current utilization level of this feeding
site. The degree of feeding at a site
enables you to determine how important
this food source is at that time.
Prior to and during the rut, the importance
of knowing what the does are
feeding on cannot be overstated. This is
where quarry will spend considerable
time during the hunting season. It is true
that bucks do not forage much during
the breeding season, but one of the best
ways to locate a trophy-class buck is to
first identify where the does are likely to
spend time.

Does reveal their estrous condition to
bucks, but it is the buck that seeks out
ready-to-breed females. Does choose
where the game will be played. It is
usually near her family group’s bedding
and/ or feeding area. Figuring the soft
mast factor into your strategy can help
you solve problems in projecting elusive
deer movements that stump many archery

Does are more challenging to scout
than bucks. They do not leave telltale
rubs or scrapes, indicators of the presence
of a jumbo antlered buck. Determining their
movement patterns includes
following game trails to bedding sites
and exploring forage areas for droppings
and hoof marks. Doe tracks differ only
slightly from those left behind by bucks.
The most reliable difference to distinguish
the sex of the trackmaker is that
the buck often leaves a dragging mark
behind his track.
When a locally utilized soft mast
source is pinpointed, it is hunted much
the same way archers locate around
oaks dropping heavy crops of acorns.
Do not locate a deer stand any closer to
their food source than necessary to
accomplish a clean kill.

If you are using a tree stand, locate as
high up the tree as possible; at least fifteen
to eighteen feet. When the soft
mast you are hunting over is a field,
such as corn or soybeans, locate your
elevated stand a few feet inside an
overgrown fence row.
Scent use confuses many deer hunters
first discovering the soft mast factor.
The inviting aroma given off by wild
grapes, corn, apples, soybeans and other
soft mast partially enables deer to locate
these edibles.

Many manmade scent manufacturers
have expanded their lines of deer urine
and gland scents to include fluids mixed
to imitate many of the most widespread
soft mast items. In this writer’s opinion,
attempting to mask oneself or lure deer
in by using food scents is risky.
Using manufactured food scents differs
from using whitetail urine and gland
scent products. Deer scents are tricky
business, even when using high-quality
deer urine or gland scent products. They
are effective under a narrow band of
conditions, such as applying buck urine/
tarsal gland mixtures to pre—rut scrapes,
or spraying doe estrous urine on cotton
balls when the rut is in full swing.
Deer behavior during the mt generally
is predictable. Manmade food scent
products, on the other hand, vary greatly
in terms of quality and how well they
match local bowhunting conditions.
Using a soft mast food scent such as
honeysuckle at the wrong place or time
can alarm deer. Soft-mast-imitating
scents sometimes work, but sex scents
are more effective in masking human
odor. When used at the right time, they
are less likely to give the wrong
If you are overlooking the subtle soft
mast factor when formulating your deer
bowhunting strategies, think again. They
may not be the most important deer
movement factors around, but like the
old saying goes, every dog has its day.

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Published by archerchick on 08 Feb 2011

Snake, Rattle & Roll ~ By Jerry Gentellalli

Bow And Arrow
August 1975

SNAKE, RATTLE & ROLL ~ By Jerry Gentellalli

The Rattlesnake Never Will Rank With The Big Five As A Game Animal, But Hunting It Can Be A Service To Mankind!

yellow-green landscape, my hunting pants cuffed against the sagebrush, I
spooked the tawny, striped honey bee from his flower bed of sweet. The hot
Southern California morning sun began drying up the sparkling dew drops
that clung to the meadow grass like jewelled fruit. I had just released an
arrow at a running cottontail, over-shooting it. The shaft bounced and
spun off into the underbrush. Silently the cold-blooded creature
with agate·like eyes began its stalk on the colorful fletchings of my arrow.
With each forward footstep, I came closer to the unknown killer hidden in
the cushion of leaf mold. Threatened now by my search for the lost arrow,
the deadly reptile pulled itself into the familiar tight series of coils, keeping its
wedge-shaped head motionless, readying itself to strike the intruder with its
lethal fangs.

I now was parting the grass with my bow tip, looking for the lost arrow.
Suddenly, in a flashing blur, the reptile struck. I jumped sideways, my heart
pounding, panicked by the frightening sound of the buzzing rattle on the tail
of the diamondback rattlesnake. A couple of arrows later the viper bit the

Rattlesnakes are found all the way from Canada to Uruguay. There are as
many as twenty-eight kinds. They vary only in color and size and have been
known to weigh as much as twenty pounds. The female gives birth to her
young, rather than laying eggs as do most other reptiles. The number of
young will vary among the different kinds of rattlesnakes. The Mexican
West Coast rattlesnake is one of the most prolific, giving birth to the incredible n
umber of fifty at a time. The young snakes are fully equipped to
take care of themselves at birth.

The pit viper is known for the small pits on each side of its wedge-shaped
head, located at the base of its head between the nostrils and the eyes.
These actually are extremely sensitive heat-detecting organs. The vibrations
of these organs can detect the presence of warm-blooded creatures.

The Spring sun activates the rattlesnakes’ thermostat, drawing them out
of the snake den that harbors large groups of reptiles throughout the long,
winter hibernation. Length of hibernation depends on the temperature zone
of the terrain. During late Winter, I have found them basking in the warm
gravel sand, soaking up the hot rays of the sun. The snake dens are located in
the most unlikely places: cracks in rock formations, under wood piles, in
ground-dwelling animal burrows; generally in places where are found the
small game and rodents on which they feed.

The serpent’s diamond-shaped, fish- like scales are polished and camouflaged to
blend into the colorful sand on which they tread. Their pushing, wavy crawl often
leaves shiny tracks that look like those of a flat, crooked
bicycle tire wheeling across the soft sand. Finding their imprints may lead
you to their hunting grounds. My selection of snake-hunting equipment is the
least-expensive cedar shafts and a good, steel broadhead that
can be filed to a razor-sharp edge; as most of the shooting is at close range
and generally in rocky areas. The swaying, retreating head can prove a
difficult target to hit. Sticking the reptile in its rope-like body not only
destroys the skin, but makes it possible for the reptile to fang itself,
contaminating the meat. Because of the nonexistent problem of penetration,
any bow weight can be used.

Needless to say, a good pair of leather high-top boots or knee-high
snake leggings are recommended for protecting the legs. Ranger of Augusta,
Georgia. manufactures two types of snake-proof leggings: one is heavily
woven bronze mesh, covered with heavy canvas? and the other type is of
lightweight plastic.

Of course, a snakebite kit should be carried in one’s pack. One compact,
handy snakebite kit is Cutter’s. It comes with three suction cups. a
tourniquet, antiseptic for sterilization, a razor blade for incision and directions.
This kit can be purchased from most local pharmacies or sporting
goods stores.

Although snake hunting may not be your bag, while out on an outing or
traveling the game trails, your paths may cross. The rattlesnake could turn
a day into a nightmare of terror if you or your retriever are struck with
venomous fangs. One must know immediately what actions to take to
prevent serious illness or even death.

With or without a kit, the field procedure is the same.
First of all, prevent panic. It will increase the flow of venom throughout
the body. Apply a tourniquet between the wound and the heart, and close to
the puncture. The tourniquet can be made from a handkerchief, bowstring
or any piece of cord, A stick can be used to turn the tourniquet for pressure control.

With a sterilized blade, make an incision on top of the bite. Use straight,
lengthwise cuts one-quarter—inch long
and one-eighth-inch deep. Apply suction to the incision. If suction cups are
not available, use suction by mouth, spitting out the venom.

Walk slowly for help, stopping periodically for rest. After each ten to
fifteen minutes, loosen the tourniquet for one minute, allowing for circulation.
A doctor must be reached as quickly as possible for the administration of antivenin.
This life-saving antivenum is made by injecting smaller, then larger doses of venom into a horse
until he becomes immune to it. Then the serum is made from the blood extracted from the horse.

The rattlesnake will not always strike from its familiar coiled position.
It can strike from any position with lightning speed. l witnessed this one
day while bowhunting for rabbits. The sight of the flicker of ears caused me
to change my course slowly, my eyes piercing through the sumac bush.

There I spied a young cottontail less than forty yards away. Suddenly, the
rabbit jumped, did a, full gainer. stiffened and fell to the ground.

As I reached the spot where the rabbit had fallen, I was horrified by
the sight of the diamondback with the bunny’s head in its mouth.
Quickly my broadhead took him. On removing the head of the rabbit
from the rattler’s mouth, I could see that the fangs folded back into the
roof of the mouth when not in use.

The venom is injected through the hollow fangs which spring forward and
erect with switchblade action. The venom is forced into the victim with
hypodermic action. The lower jaw is so designed that it hinges downward,
enlarging the mouth so the reptile can swallow its prey. Digging a deep hole
in the ground, I buried the cottontail and the rattler’s head for safety, so
that other animals would not suffer’ from eating the poisonous carrion.

The old folk tale about snakes wiggling and squirming until sunset is
true, I have discovered. It is an eerie experience to have a snake twisting
around in the game bag until dark. In preparing the snakeskin, I start
from where the head was, peeling the skin back from the body and rolling it
to the end — like removing a long, nylon stocking. The skin now is inside
out. With a pair of scissors or a sharp knife, cut the underside — the belly
side — to the tail. Place the paper-thin skin wet side up, tack it to a flat
board, taking care not to overstretch the constricting skin, sparingly apply
glycerine to the scale side. This gives luster and keeps the skin pliable. Roll `
the skin up like a belt. A taxidermist can tan the skin, making it strong and

I first sampled canned rattlesnake meat and found it deliciously comparable to
crab meat. There are many ways to prepare the delicate meat. I usually boil it in
a pot of salted water for thirty minutes or longer, then allow it to cool. The white meat can
then be separated easily from the bones. Then I season and prepare it in one of several ways,
frying, sauteeing or serving in a salad or with a sauce.

The season is open year around and there is no bag limit. With the big demand for their hides, meat and venom,
which is used in medicine, the rattle- snake could become an endangered species.
Some states employ snake control to exterminate the rattler. But, now, some states are looking closer at setting
some conservation measures as to hunting seasons and bag limits to protect the future of the rattlesnake,
recognizing its place in the ecological scene.

Both before and since the Revolutionary days, the rattlesnake has been
a symbol of rebellion. With its menacing rattle and lightning-quick
fangs, it is a creature that most people
take great pains to avoid. Hunting the rattlesnake probably
will never become popular or listed with the big five, but cross its path and
it becomes a danger to be reckoned
with. <——<<<

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Published by archerchick on 08 Feb 2011

The Lighter Side Of Bowhunting ~ By Thurm Lowery

Bow And Arrow
December 1974

The Lighter Side Of Bowhunting ~ By Thurm Lowery
You May Know About This Type Of Hunting, But Be Sure Your Horse Does Too!

THE SOUND OF the truck engine and the headlights
swinging past the windows of the Experiment Station woke
me up, As our nearest neighbors were some twenty-five
miles away, we didn’t get much company and I already was
pulling on my britches when the knocking started at the
front door. The time was 3 a.m.

Two men and a woman were at the door of the Desert
Range Experiment Station, where my family was living
while I conducted a study on the pronghorn antelope for
the Utah Fish & Game Department. They were looking for
a way over to the Indian Peak Reservation.
Due to the somewhat isolated conditions, visitors always
were a novelty and most certainly welcome, even when
arriving at this time of the morning. My wife, Jean, got up
and made a pot of coffee, baked a pan of hot biscuits and
fried some bacon and eggs. We started getting acquainted over
an early breakfast.

Les and Nora Hunt are from Salt Lake City, where they
own and operate an archery manufacturing company. Les is
a big, friendly kind of guy who moves with the smoothly
deceptive ease of a big cat, even in the confines of a house.
He goes through heavily timbered woods and brush like a
drifting shadow, as I was to discover.

His wife, Nora, is from the town of Jolo, of the Province
of Sulu in the Philippine Islands. Small and pretty with an
amazing personality, Nora is from an illustrious family: One
brother presently is Ambassador to Egypt and another is a
former Governor of Sulu.

The other man introduced was Ray Renfroe. Ray owned
a steel business in Jacksonville, Florida. He and Les Hunt
were good friends and Ray had been coming to Utah for
years, stalking the outstanding deer herds with bow and
arrow. He, too, is a big, rugged man with slow, easy movements
and a soft Southern drawl in his deep baritone voice.
It was the day before archery season for deer would
open in Utah and they were here to bowhunt on the old
Indian Peak Reservation. It isn’t an Indian reservation any-
more, the state Fish & Game Department having purchased
and developed some twenty sections as a wildlife habitat –
not a sanctuary — where mule deer could live and multiply
without competition from livestock for available feed. The
area gets its name from the tallest mountain in the area,
Indian Peak, which towers 9783 feet above sea level. I’ve
seen a lot of good deer country but honestly believe there
are more deer per square mile right here than any other
place on earth.

My wife, Jean, is a pretty good cook for an old country
girl and before long, mellowed by her coffee and homemade
biscuits, our visitors were inviting me to go bowhunting
with them. I explained that I didn’t have any archery
equipment and furthermore, I’d never shot a bow and
arrow in my life.

Les grinned, got up from the table and walked out to his
camper. In a minute he was back with a fifty-pound bow, a
brand—new hip quiver and a dozen wicked-looking hunting
arrows. He even had an archer’s glove and wrist guard.
“Now you’ve got a complete outfit,” he said.
“But I never had hold of one of those things in my
whole life,” I told him.

“Don’t worry about it,” Ray said. “We’ll teach you.”
That’s how I became a bowhunter.
I didn’t even have a hunting license and drove into
Milford the next morning to get it. Later that afternoon, I
drove over to Indian Peak and located their camp. They got
out the tackle, both Les and Ray working at getting me
started with the new equipment while Nora kept up a running
line of encouragement on the sidelines.

They first set up a target. They then showed me how to
hold the bow, how to nock, pull, aim and release the arrow.
It wasn’t long until they had me shooting like a Comanche.
The trouble was, I just couldn’t seem to hit what I was
aiming at.

I had no idea a fifty-pound bow would be so hard to
pull. I was straining at the unfamiliar weapon, wondering if
maybe they shouldn’t have started me out with a lighter
bow when I noticed that little Nora was shooting one exactly
like it. I decided, if that I I0-pound woman could handle
that twang stick, I could, too. I gritted my teeth, tried to
keep my arm from shaking and just shot away.
Both Les and Ray were shooting seventy-pound bows
and it looked easy. Both were really good with those things,
too. If they didn’t hit inside the bullseye with every shot,
they acted like it was a major disaster. I finally hit the
target somewhere out near- the edge and I considered it a
whopping success.

Les Hunt, apparent even to a novice like myself, was an
outstanding shot. I muttered something about Les being a
good shot and Ray replied, “I’ve hunted with a bow for
many years and I’ve seen hundreds of really good bowmen.
I’ve always said, ‘If I ever had to pick a man who I would
let shoot an apple from my head at thirty yards with a
broadhead, it would be Les Hunt’.” That was rare praise,
especially coming from a man who himself is an expert
We hung around camp until about 3:30 p.m. talking,
swapping deer hunting yarns and just getting better
acquainted. As the rankest of amateurs, I knew nothing of
the bow and arrow as a game-getter. I asked a lot of questions,
all cheerfully answered.

Renfroe is an expert with both a rifle and handgun. He
has taken a deer with his .44 magnum Smith & Wesson at
300 yards. He says he has taken more deer with a bow than
with either of the firearms.

All three said most of their kills were between twenty
and thirty—five yards, although Ray had killed a buck at
over sixty-five yards and Les once killed a big buck at over
ninety yards. Nora used a fifty-pound bow while the two
men pulled heavier ones; Ray preferring a fifty-five to sixty-
five-pound pull but has hunted, and been successful, with
bows pulling over one hundred pounds. Les shot a seventy-
pound bow and generally preferred slightly stronger bows
than did Ray.

They were quick to explain that the bowhunter must be
a different breed of cat than the rifle hunter.
Firstly, he must have more patience. He not only has to
stalk the animal, he must make his shot. Then, if the animal
is hit, the hunter should just sit down and wait. According
to Les, there is little shocking power from the arrow hitting
a deer. If he isn’t pursued, the animal usually runs a short
distance and then lies down.

“If the hunter waits thirty minutes before starting to
trail his deer, he usually finds him within a quarter of a
mile, completely bled out,” said Les Hunt.
Before I knew it, it was time to start our hunt. Les and
Ray had a new wrinkle on hunting: motorcycles. They
didn’t actually hunt on the bikes, but would ride to an area
they wanted to hunt, park it, then hunt on foot. When they
killed a deer, they could carry it out on the motorcycle,
which beats dragging or packing out piggy-back all to

This was my first experience with anyone hunting on
motorcycles. They climbed aboard, kicked over the engines
and roared off. They had offered me a ride but I figured I’d
let well enough alone and chose to walk.
They were wearing camouflage suits and even put covers
on their bows to make their outlines blend better into the
trees. They’d sprayed themselves with something designed
to cover the human smell. I’d been given an extra—heavy
dose 4 my old, red hunting shirt and blue jeans didn’t
blend into the background too well. I don’t know what the
stuff was, but I smelled like a walking pine tree.
I had only walked about half a mile from camp when I
came to`a little draw with a small stream running down its
middle. Standing just on the other side were two does and a
big, old buck, about fifty yards away. I took dead aim,
drew all the way back to the razor—sharp broadhead tip, and
let fly. I let fly three times before I came close enough to
scare them.
When I finally succeeded in scaring them off, I picked up
my arrows, cussed a little, then went on with my hunt. I’m
not much of a cusser and was beginning to suspect I wasn’t
much of a bowhunter, either. Somehow, the two just seemed to go together.

About a mile and thirty minutes later, I saw another pair
of does forty or fifty yards away. I was improving with
experience I scared them off with just two shots. No
matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t sneak up any closer to
those darn deer. I think they came equipped with ESP.
They’d let me get just so close and no closer. I’d sneak and
creep and crawl and, as soon as I thought I might be getting
close enough, I’d hear a bouncing, thumping; when I looked
up, there they’d go.

I hunted until dark. I guess I shot at half a dozen deer,
but they couldn’t have been any safer in the San Diego
Zoo. It didn’t help my feelings any when I got back to
camp and learned that both Les and Ray had bagged deer.
Les had killed his from some sixty yards, a big four-pointer.
I figured the law of averages would have to catch up
with me sooner or later and I’d hit a deer by accident if
nothing else, so I headed for home vowing to return the
next day.

That night I told Jean about my hunt and how discouraging
it was not being able to hit anything. “I can’t get
close enough,” I said. I then remembered how in times past,
I sometimes could ride right up to a deer on a horse and not
seem to scare him at all.

“Wonder how it`d work if I took Sugar over tomorrow
and hunted off her‘?” I ventured. All the encouragement I
got out of her was a sleepy, “Why don’t you try it and
see?” as she rolled over and pulled all the covers off me
All my life I’ve been horse crazy, believing that anything
really worth doing probably can be done on a horse. My
mother claims I would walk to the pasture to catch my
pony to ride to the outhouse. This in mind, early the next
morning I loaded my gray quarter horse mare in the trailer
and pulled her over to Indian Peak.

I don’t know why it’s possible to ride up on a deer
horseback without scaring him. It doesn’t always work, but
perhaps they hear the four feet of the horse hitting the
earth instead of the two feet of a man and don’t relate the
sound with danger.
I pulled into their camp just before daylight. My friends
were already up and Nora had a pot of hot coffee ready.
Over a steaming cup I told them what I planned for the

“Won`t it scare the deer when you get off to shoot`T”
Ray asked.
“I don’t intend to get off,” I answered. “I’m gonna
shoot right off her back.”
I saddled up and tried a couple of practice shots. Sugar
was tense and nervous at first, but decided that twanging
stick meant her no personal harm and settled down. standing
like a rock.

Les, Nora and Ray took off on their motorcycles. I
headed my horse off up through the cedars. I rode about
fifteen minutes when I came around a big pine tree
there stood a good-sized buck. He stood looking at the
horse A I don’t think he even knew I was anywhere around.
I started fumbling for an arrow, and trying to get it
across the bow and nocked on the string. All that commotion
scared him and, when I looked up again, all I could see
was his big butt disappearing through the trees. Lesson
Number One: Keep an arrow ready on the bow!
I rode on my happy way, found a fat doe, made a
beautiful twenty—yard shot and missed her by twenty feet. I
came right up on several more deer. Some ran off. but
others just stood and looked at me. Those that did stand. I
shot at — and missed — and used up a year’s supply of
expletives. I wondered how the Indians ever made a living.
All that getting off and on to pick up my arrows was nearly
as tiring as walking would have been in the first place.
Late that afternoon, I rode around the base of Indian
Peak Mountain itself. There’s a spring right at the botaoni
on the east side. I had been thinking I would get myself a
drink and let old Sugar fill up on the pure, sweet spring

As I rode around a sharp outcropping of stone, I came
upon six does and a big, fat, two-point buck, getting themselves
a drink. They jumped away from the waterhole and
went bouncing off the way mule deer will when startled.
They then stopped and turned around in their curious way
to see what was going on.

Off to the southeast was a long, easy slope with very few
trees. The ground was fairly smooth for about a half a mile
and, if I could just get between those deer and the mountain,
they’d have only one way to go — right down there
across that open flat.

I kissed at the mare and she was going full speed by the
second jump. I reined her over to the right and she was in
position to head off the deer from the peak. Contrary to
popular belief, deer aren’t really all that fast. Deer can duck
and dodge around in the timber pretty quick. all iiglit. but
in an all-out, wide—open race on open ground. a fast horse
can outrun them.

This was open country. I had my mare headed towards
those deer now and they were in full flight through
that treeless area. Old Sugar was a trained calf-roping horse
and a good one. That was no calf up ahead but it didn’t
take her but a couple of jumps to get the idea that she was
supposed to catch whatever they were.

The deer stayed together in a bunch until I got to pushing
them pretty hard. then the does started peeling off. The
ground was fairly level with a gentle slope and there was
excellent footing. I had the mare wide open and I put her
after the buck. Before long we had him cut out by himself.
At first he did a pretty fair job of staying ahead of us.
then began slowing down. He was running out of oxygen.
Deer are not built for an extended burst of speed and seem
to run out of breath pretty quickly. He had his mouth
open, sucking in all the air he could with each heaving
breath. Suddenly, somehow, he was around me and headed
back up towards the peak.

I gave the mare a whack with the bow and put her after
him again. He almost made it back to the spring when we
got around him and got him turned back down towards
that open slope. He was really getting tired now, blowing
like a steam engine and weaving from side to side.
Sugar was right on his tail. The grain—fed mare was
strong, in excellent shape and still wanting to run. She fell
in on that buck just like a calf in a rodeo, dropping her
head, laying her ears back and rating him like any good
horse in a matched roping.

I dropped the rein on her neck, fished around and got an
arrow out of the quiver and drew it across the bow. I leaned
over to the right as far as I could without falling off to keep
from shooting my horse between her ears, drew back as far
as I could and let go. I shot right over his back. He must
have been all of five yards away.

The buck was pretty well rundown now. He was dodging
and weaving, trying to make it back into the brush. I would
shoot, fumble for another arrow, head the deer off, shoot
again, then 4 instant replay. I ran that deer all over that
open slope.

The deer’s patron saint must have been looking after
him. I shot up every arrow I had and never touched a hair
on his body. I pulled my horse up and just sat there wondering
about all those novels of the Old West I’ve read. As
far as hitting anything from a running horse with a bow and
arrow, or standing on the ground for that matter, I’m afraid
if I’d been a Sioux, Custer still would be standing.

My mare was blowing hard so I stepped off, loosened the
cinch and started leading her back up the slope to cool off.
I was wandering around, looking for my arrows, thinking I
should have thrown down that bow and jerked my lariat
loose and roped that buck. If I had tied him to a tree,
perhaps I then could have hit him e but I doubt it.
Suddenly the sound of motorcycles broke through my
foul mood. I looked up to see Les and Ray come whizzing
down across that open slope. They had their engines
wound—up tight and were really raising a dust.

They rode up, killed their motorcycles and put down the
kick stands. They got off and walked over to where I was
standing. Both men had big grins on their faces. They just
looked at me, as I stood holding my mare and feeling
foolish. Finally Ray spoke: “We were up on the ledge back
there and saw the whole thing. I want to buy that horse!”
No, I didn’t sell my roping mare to Ray Renfroe. The
incident did get him so interested in horses, however, that
he purchased several registered quarter horses and became
an ardent, accomplished horseman. He sold his steel manufacturing
company and began a completely new career
that’s about as far removed from the steel business as one
can imagine. He now resides in Prescott, Arizona, and is a
very successful Western artist. His paintings and bronze
castings are in such demand that most are sold before he
ever finishes them.

Les and Nora Hunt still own and operate their archery
equipment company in Salt Lake City. Les spent over five
years developing a special type of hunting arrow which he
now is manufacturing, called the “Big Daddy.”
The Hunts and Ray Renfroe filled their tags on the bowhunt.
I managed to keep my record completely clean: I
never did get one! <—<<

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Published by archerchick on 07 Feb 2011

Four New Names For The Hall Of Fame~By Chuck Tyler

Bow And Arrow
December 1974

Four New Names For The Hall Of Fame
Another Quartet of Archery’s Notables Receive Recognition

contributors have been inducted into
the Archery Hall of Fame, housed
within the confines 0f the Fred Bear
Museum in Grayling, Michigan.
Installed during the national tournament
of the National Field Archery
Association last August in Golden,
Colorado, were Harry Drake, the late
James “Doug” Easton, Dorothy Smith
Cummings and John Yount.

Harry Drake is the greatest flight
shooter of all time and one of the
sport’s finest bowyers. He has shot an
arrow more than a mile and currently
is plying his special talents with
Browning in Morgan, Utah.

The late Doug Easton was the
pioneer of aluminum arrows. Starting
with a small plant in the 1930s, Easton
proved critics wrong and built Easton
Aluminum into an archer’s byword.
He not only has made the finest shafts
in the world, but also was tireless in
his support of all phases of archery,
sponsoring many tournaments.
Many archers may not be familiar
with Dorothy Smith Cummings, but
she set world records during the early
part of the century. Perhaps most significant
of her many achievements is
that she was the last champion to win
a National Archery Association (NAA)
title and establish world records without the benefit of sights or artificial
points of aim on her bow.

Few field archers will fail to recognize John Yount. Still a strong backer,
he was instrumental in the establishment of the National Field Archery
Association (NFAA) and served as
executive secretary from 1939 through

1958. Largely through his efforts, the
NFAA has become the largest archery
association in the world.

The Archery Hall of Fame was conceived in 1972
by the Archery Manufacturers Association.
That year, the
first archers were installed in this elite
corps of archery’s greatest. They were:
Fred Bear, Karl Palmatier, Ann
Webber Hoyt, Russ Hoogerhyde, Ben
Pearson, Howard Hill and Maurice

In 1973, five more members were
inducted into the Hall of Fame: Rube
Powell, Saxon Pope, Clayton Shenk,
Art Young and Dr. Robert Elmer.
This year’s members were picked
from a long list of outstanding archers,
including: Louis Maxon, Henry
Richardson, Erwin Ketzler, Dr. Erwin
Peletcher, Bill Forbenth, Earl Hoyt,
Mrs. M.E. Howell, Jean Lee, Ann
Marston, Carol Meinhart, Louis Smith,
Roy Hoff, Will Thompson, Joe Fries,
Babe Bitzenburger, Dr. P. Klopsteg
and Dr. Paul Crouch.
Nominees are selected in three main
categories: Shooters, Contributors to
the Sport and Outstanding Influence
0n the Sport. There is one exception:
in an historical category, the choice is
made by the Hall of Fame committee

Voters for the Hall of Fame nominees include the Hall of
Fame committee, alternating members of the
Hall of Fame, magazine editors and
knowledgeable persons in the sport.
The current Hall of Fame commit-
tee includes: Joe Rusnick, chairman;
Dave Staples; Pat Wingfield; Ed
Martin; and Bob Rhode, historian.
The Hall of Fame banquet and installation is held alternately at championship
tournaments of the Professional Archers Association, National
Field Archery Association, National
Archery Association and the Archery
Lane Operators Association, should
they hold a national tournament.
In keeping with the high standards,
the Hall of Fame has adopted an 1878
quotation as their byword: “So long as
the new moon returns in heaven, a
bent, beautiful bow, so long will the
fascination of archery keep hold of the
hearts of men.” ~ Chuck Tyler

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Published by archerchick on 07 Feb 2011

How Not To Start An Archery Club – By Muriel E Jones

Bow And Arrow Hunting
December 1974

How NOT To Start An Archery Club – By Muriel E Jones

The Techniques Used in Merry Olde England May Apply Here – Complete With Tribulations!

small group of earnest, dedicated amateurs
tackled the job of beginning a
target archery club. Of course, only
archers know the fun it is; the lay
public need convincing.

There was in our village the nucleus
of a club, which had existed for many
years, although all but a few members
either had expired or drifted away to
other scenes, leaving behind a motley
collection of ancient but serviceable
equipment which was enough for the
purpose. The chairman and secretary
lived in the village and, between them,
stuffed under the doors of each house
invitations for all those interested to
attend a demonstration in the playing
fields, designating the time and date.
The afternoon duly arrived and we
presented ourselves in the field, where
a group of people were huddled together
to keep warm, it being quite
cold and windy with overcast gray
skies — not at all the idyllic scene one
would have wished for. The demonstrators
seemed to be shaking with
cold or nerves and the organizer’s chief
worry was that someone lurking
around the back of the nets would get
hit with a stray arrow.

After a short interval of clapping
one’s hands vigorously around the
body in an effort to keep alive in the
extreme cold while waiting for stragglers,
the demonstration began. This
was conducted by the organizer and
chairman, who very efficiently explained
the rules and terms of archery
and measured us to see what length of
arrow we would require and whether
we should keep our left or right eye
shut; it being advisable to have only
one open for some reason, which I
have since found unnecessary.
We were duly equipped with various
bits of leather which, we were –
told, were necessary to protect our
fingers; those without enough padding
on their arms already were provided
with armguards. We took turns at
shooting three arrows at a target,
strategically placed in the corner of
V the field with a view of missing any
stray passersby enjoying their Sunday I
afternoon walk.

One of the more important
villagers, who rather fancied himself as
a squire, turned up for a lark, I think,
missed all the introductory demonstration
but shot his three arrows,
which the organizer meekly collected
for him. Everyone else, naturally, had
to go and get their own. We all
thought this was a bit of a cheek but,
being English, we’re used to such
carryings-on, and showed our
contempt by not saying a word.
Everyone by now was blue with
cold, so the demonstration ended with
a firm promise that we would all turn
up at an appointed time and date at a
site where the former club used to
meet — this being outside the village
and inaccessible to anyone without
motor transport, which naturally
would curtail the numbers.

The evening of the meeting arrived;
heavy thunderstorm in progress —
skies absolutely black. Hence, only a
few people turned up. The organizer
had thoughtfully arranged a target
some feet from the doorway of the
pavilion and was half-heartedly encouraging
those who had turned up to
shoot from under cover of the pavilion
to save getting absolutely drenched.
He manfully retrieved the arrows for
the same reason.

The practical aspect of the meeting
soon finished, we gathered ’round to
discuss the possibilities of forming a
club while the lightning crackled overhead
and one was initiated into the
more theoretical aspects of target
I found it somewhat discouraging
to learn that one was expected to
shoot eight or even twelve-dozen
arrows at a match, and I felt this information
should have been kept from
beginners, as merely the shooting of
one arrow seemed to paralyze every
muscle in the body. Encouraging re-
marks that one must be doing it wrong
then, I didn’t find at all helpful.

Happily, the weather improved and
on the following Sunday afternoon we
had many laughs while trying our best
to hit the target only a few feet away.
Some members took it very seriously
and launched into complicated mathematical
analysis of a kind which was
received in silence and awe at first, but
with increasing skepticism as time
went by.

Little by little the targets were
moved off as the weeks went by and
proud members produced super kit
and appeared very knowledgeable
about weight in hand, etc., and the
quality if not quantity of the arrows,
and a few people embarked on the
process of making their own tackle
It is true we lost every match that
season, but we came in good seconds;
which impressed Gladys, the barmaid
at the local pub, who had no idea that
there were only two teams participating.

Many jolly times were had
over a glass of beer, as we determined
our faults and how to overcome them.
There was an excitement one
Sunday afternoon during an at—home
match. We were sharing the field with
a cricket club, whose activities were
taking place to the right of the target
archers, when the pilot of a large red
glider decided he couldn’t possibly go
any farther and landed in the field to
our left — making it difficult for even
the most devoted archer to keep his
eye on the target.

Enthusiasm being the strong point
of new archers, we couldn’t possibly
hear of doing nothing all Winter, so we
decided to try and hire a hall for our
purposes. One member’s attempt to
hire an old airship hangar of considerable
dimensions met with little success
and much derision from the other
members. But the more modest village
hall, which allowed us to shoot a full
eleven yards, was at last hired for one
evening per week.
As the young wives used one of the
rooms in the hall at the same time,
very often one was distracted by an
arresting speech or the conversation of
forty women at once. But we

On one occasion, owing to our
ignorance, one member whose sight
had slipped unnoticed found her arrow
nearly in the ceiling. There followed
much surreptitious comings and goings
with filler and paint before the care-
taker should return and discover the
damage; as the village hall committee
were not impressed by our prowess
and seemed very anxious, we should
take all precautions.

The most urgent consideration was
to find a site of our own. We had, on
sufferance, been allowed to use the
site of the old club. Much groundwork
had been done on the problem of a
new site by the chairman and secretary,
and we all realized that money
was a necessary factor — not only to
finance the scheme, but to pay for
equipment and ground rent and legal
fees, etc.
The money was raised by running
dances in the village hall and the villagers were pressed to buy tickets.
Fortunately, owing to the exquisite
cuisine supervised by one of our members, the people came in sufficient
numbers, if not to dance, certainly to
eat and our reputation as dance
organizers increased.

Before Summer came ’round again,
we had negotiated the club site and
after much wrangling over the
stupidity of the legal document and
the person designated to attend to it,
it was duly signed, allowing the club
the use of the site until the year 2001.
Hence, one day early in the year
finds us at the site. It is bitterly cold
and raining and the soggy grass flaps
around our knees. The site seems
somewhat overgrown and rather
daunting in prospect. However, rapid
consultation produces a plan of action
which was less than rapid in being put
into practice.

I must mention here that ours was
an exclusive club. Not purposely — we
did not intend to exclude anybody.
But the numbers remained around
twelve. One can imagine, then, that
putting into order this large piece of
ground was a difficult task for such a
small number.

But, by degrees and with
appropriate loss of funds, the site was
reduced to a manageable field. Many
tender little oak saplings were gouged
out of the ground by a machine and
were burned at the stake with appropriate
feeling. It was also easy to deter-
mine one of the boundaries, as the
litter of pigs running loose made it
clear that ground belonged to them.
We earnestly hoped the wind would be
in the right direction when we were
using the field.

Many hands were willing and it
soon took shape. Posts were erected
around the perimeter in preparation
for the endless barbed wire, insisted
upon the the Parish Council, who even
wanted red flags as well. Seemingly,
their opinion of our improvement did
not match our own.

The site not being ready for the
season, it was left sadly to itself while
we adjourned to the site of our former
glories and disappointments. That
season, the English Summer played
havoc with our progress. The
temperature rarely rose above 60
degrees and many a match was post-
poned or abandoned. Most of the kit
purchased that year included water-
proofed garments and umbrellas, as we
thought, in our innocence, how nice it
would be to erect a covered way at the
new site which would afford some
shelter from the weather.

In spite of the dampening weather,
our spirits did not diminish and our
numbers, though not increasing, did
not decrease. Enthusiasm was still
evident and we set about hiring the village
hall for the second year.
At this point I had to leave the club
and accompany my spouse to the
United States. It was with regret at not
having participated, and chagrin at
hearing how well they were progressing
without me, when I learned
the club had won nine matches during
the first season of my absence.

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Published by archerchick on 07 Feb 2011

Is The Compound Bow For You? By Ray Nelson

Bow And Arrow
December 1974

Is the Compound Bow For You?
By Ray Nelson

THE COMPOUND BOWS are here to stay. When they first came
out several years ago they were regarded as “just another gimmick” by
many hunting archers. There are few bowhunters today, however, who
don’t have a healthy respect for compound bows. The compounds now
are being used by hunters throughout the country and they’re proving
to be deadly hunting tools in the hands of competent bowmen.
I’m not a habitual experimenter myself, but last year I finally got
around to trying a compound. It was an interesting experience and
maybe, if you’re one of the many undecided archers, I could share my
compound bow experience with you and help you make up your mind.

As a bowhunter, I’ve always been
pretty conservative with regard to
equipment. But about a year ago, I got
an itch to try a compound. I contacted
Tom Jennings, president of Jennings
Compound Bow, Incorporated, and he
agreed to loan me one of his bows for
the forthcoming hunting season. I was
to hunt with the compound, evaluate
it for hunting and write an article on
it. I told Tom I would evaluate it
strictly from a bowhunting point of
view and that I was primarily interest-
ed in what it was like to hunt with a
compound as compared with a regular

The Jennings bow arrived in the
Spring, giving me plenty of time to get
used to it before hunting season. The
first thing I did was lose the set of
wrenches that were included for adjusting
and tuning the bow. But they
had set it for sixty pounds at the factory,
which was fine with me, and

evidently they had tuned it well for
me so I just started practicing with it.
I practiced a lot during the Summer,
but never could get the hang of
the bow. Along toward the end of the
Summer, I was totally discouraged and
nearly ready to send the bow back
with apologies.

Somebody told me that I was
having trouble because the release on a
compound_is far more critical than
with a recurve bow. So I dug down in
my gear box in the garage and found a
Wilson Strap Tab release I’d experimented
with a few years back. I took
the release and the compound bow out
to the dirt bank where I usually practice a
nd was surprised to see that the
little gadget did the trick. After shooting
only a few arrows, I decided that
the Wilson Strap Tab and the compound
bow were made for each other.
Based on this early experience, I
think I can say that anyone who is
seriously thinking of getting a compound
bow for hunting had better
plan to try an artificial release if they
have any trouble in adapting to the
shooting peculiarities of the compound.

My first hunting experience with
the compound bow was in August
when I went up to Colorado for the
archery deer hunt. I saw a lot of elk,
but didn’t get any action on deer. I
did, however, get to do a heck of a lot
of stump shooting with the compound
bow. There’s nothing like field practice
to get you acquainted with a new
bow. By the time I came back from
the Colorado hunt, I was convinced I
could kill any stump, dirt bank or
weed patch that came within sixty
yards of me and my Jennings bow.
While waiting for bow season to
open back in New Mexico, I did some
arrow experimenting. In Albuquerque,
where I live, few people had compound
bows at the time, so I had
trouble getting advice on what size
arrows to use. I’d been using sixty-
pound wooden shafts and 2020 aluminums
up to then, but needed to go
to something much lighter to get the
full speed out of my bow. That’s one
of the nicest things about a compound
bow — the fact that you can use a substantially
lighter arrow than with a recurve
bow of equivalent draw weight.
Jennings advertises his compound as
being “up to fifty percent faster than
any recurve bow.” I don’t have access
to a chronograph, but I’ve been shooting
hunting bows for a long time and
my good, old twenty-twenty eyeballs
are convinced that the compound puts
out a horrendously fast arrow.
The arrow that I finally settled on
was a 2016 aluminum, fletched
straight. With the compound set on
sixty pounds, the 2016s flew like miniature
lightning bolts. The trajectory
was so much flatter that for the first
few practice sessions with these shafts
I couldn’t keep from shooting over the

As opening day drew closer, I practiced
more intensively with the
Jennings, especially at longer ranges.
The Sandia Mountains, where I do
much of my bowhunting, offer the
archer a lot of tempting shots at longer
ranges. Fifty and sixty yards are not uncommon,
and I knew that the
compound, with its zippy arrow flight
and its flat trajectory, could handle
these shots.
On opening weekend, I had my first
shot at a deer with the compound
bow. I was easing around a bend in a
trail that went alongside a meadow
when a two by two buck appeared in
the early morning mist across the
meadow. He was about fifty or maybe
fifty-five yards away, standing broadside,
and looking like he was about to
leave at any moment. I drew back, let
fly, and missed. The arrow was too
high. If he’d been a large camel, I might
have grazed the top of the hump.
I was disappointed about missing
him, but what the heck, I thought, his
antlers needed to grow another year
anyway. The interesting thing about
missing that buck was that he had
stayed perfectly still and not run away
until the arrow had passed over him.

This told me that the compound
was shooting quietly. The compound
bows are advertised as quiet shooters,
but I’d heard some that sounded
I downright noisy. I was worried about
mine until after this incident.
Actually, it’s all in the tuning, as I
learned later.

I had no more shooting action
during opening weekend. Later, about
the middle of that week, I was
prowling along down an abandoned
Jeep trail toward sundown and came
upon a bedded doe. She was about
fifteen yards away and there was considerable
foliage between myself and
the doe. She had seen me, but Iwas
wearing quiet tennis shoes and was
fully camouflaged, so she didn’t seem
too spooky, just a little nervous. The
problem was that I didn’t have an
arrow on the bowstring and my strap
tab release was in my pocket. I’d
packed away the arrow because I was
on a steep downhill gradient- and
didn’t want anything sharp poking on
me if I should slip and fall.

Turning slowly, I faced away from
the doe and quietly sneaked an arrow
out of the quiver, attached it to the
bowstring, then fished the strap tab
out of my pocket and hooked it up.
I half expected the doe to be gone
by the time I turned to face her, but
she had stayed in place. Drawing back
the arrow, I leveled the shaft at the
base of her neck, aiming meticulously
through an awkward tunnel in the
foliage, and let go. The arrow went
through the foliage and through the
doe almost simultaneously. It came
out the other side and disappeared in
the bushes somewhere and I never saw
it again. The deer dashed a short distance
and went down dead.
As I walked over to the deer, I
thought of how odd it was to have
practiced all that long-range shooting
and to get my deer at such a close
distance as fifteen yards.

I think any bow would have done
the job at that short distance, and I
doubt if it would be realistic to say the
compound bow was the deciding
factor. The flatter trajectory of the
compound bow may have been an aid,
because the arrow had to get through a
rather tiny opening in the foliage to
get to the deer, but I’d hate to put any
money on it.

If you’re undecided about whether
to switch to a compound bow, this
matter of the compound’s extra speed
may have a bearing on your decision.
The odds are really against you in
bowhunting and anything you can do
to tip the balance in your favor is
worth considering.

Let’s say that doe of mine had been
a huge trophy buck instead, and let’s
say he was standing tense and ready to

bolt instead of bedded down. A compund
bow might very well have made
the difference between a trophy of a
lifetime and a thin air shot. I’ve seen a
tensed-up deer whirl and get away
from a recurve bow’s arrow at a distance
of eighteen yards, and I’m
inclined to think a compound would
have made the difference in that en-

I have no illusions that the com-
pound-propelled arrow is inescapable,
though. That dream was shattered the
first time I took a thirty-five-yard shot
at a spooky deer, which was about a
week after I bagged the doe. The area
where I do my bowhunting allows two
deer, and I spent the rest of the season
hunting with the compound, but
didn’t get a second deer.

This proves something. The com-
pound bow, though definitely superior
to any recurve bow, is not a cure-all. It
does not add to the skill or luck of the
hunter. The man behind the bow is the
final deciding factor in whether or not
game will be taken. There are plenty
of guys walking around in the woods
with fancy, expensive bows, both com-
pounds and recurves, who have never
killed a deer with an arrow and never
will ~ mainly because they don`i
know how to hunt and aren’t willing
to learn.

But I think I can definitely say that
anyone who is already a hunter will be
a better hunter with a compound bow
in his hands. And probably anyone
who is a serious minded beginner will
find his road to success a lot shorter if
he starts out with a compound bow.
One really big advantage of the
compound bow is that it’s adjustable
in draw weight. When you feel your
strength gaining with practice. you
may want to go to a heavier draw
weight. With a recurve, you have to
trade in your bow to do this but with a
compound you just get out your
wrenches and dial it up.

When I used the Jennings bow, I
got accustomed to the sixty-pound
draw weight early in the season. so I
located someone with a set of
wrenches and we set mine up to
seventy pounds. I worked with it this
way for a few days, but didn’t like it,
so we cranked it down to sixty-five
and I was satisfied with that draw
weight for the rest of the season.
Another bonus you get with a com-
pound bow is the substantial Letup in
draw weight once you get past mid-
draw. This allows you to have a rock-
steady hold at full draw, even with a
hunting weight bow. Whether you’re
perched in a tree stand waiting for a
whitetail to turn his body sideways or
crouched on the ground waiting for a
muley to meander out from behind a
bush, you’re unquestionably going to
be better off with a compound than an
ordinary bow.
On the disadvantage side, there are
some things that might make you
think twice before investing in a pulley

bow. First of all, they seem to be in a
state of evolution, as manufacturers
continue to make changes in the
original compound bow’s design.
Don’t let yourself be a part of any-
body’s research program. Bowmakers
have a responsibility to give their new
products 21 full and thorough testing
both in the factory and in the field
before putting them on the market,
and most do. But it’s something to
watch out for.

Another thing about the compound
is that it’s got so many moving parts,
you need a dealer in your community
to service it. If you happen to live in a
remote area, you could have a whole
hunting season ruined if your com-
pound went haywire and you couldn’t
get to a dealer.

The sheer physical weight of the
average compound is a matter to consider.
The Jennings model I used
weighed six pounds including bow
quiver and arrows, a heavy burden to
lug around all day. It was about like
carrying a rifle. But to make matters
worse, when I was stalking a deer, it
became very cumbersome to maintain
the compound bow in a semi-ready
shooting position. The only answer to
this problem is that manufacturers
need to devise lighter materials for
compounds without compromising on

I see that several of the compounds
now on the market do offer lighter
weights, and that’s encouraging. While
the weight is going down on com—
pounds, the price is not. They arejust
plain expensive.
The price may be what is keeping
many archers from buying compound
bows. Most of them cost around two
hundred dollars and a lot of guys are
reluctant to put out this kind of

I like the compound bows myself,
but haven’t bought one yet. l think I’ll
watch them evolve a while longer and
hope they get lighter.

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Published by archerchick on 07 Feb 2011

What You See…Is What You Get! By Roy Hoff

October 1973

I AM WRITING THIS in an effort to be helpful
to the countless bowhunters who travel each year
a couple of thousand miles more or less to bag a deer,
perhaps with braggin’ size, rocking chair antlers, only
to return home and explain to the ever lovin’ how come
he got skunked. I was a member of this nationwide
group of buck-missers until about ten years ago, when
I came to the conclusion there was just no way I could
meet a trophy buck on his own terms and in h·is wild
habitat and come out a winner.

Know what I did? I joined the clan who hunt from
tree stands. This select group all are of the opinion
that using a bow and arrow really is hunting the hard
way. After ten years of figuring all the angles, bagging
a trophy buck deer still is no cinch. But when I learned
to hunt from a tree stand, Lady Luck started looking
my way and with a pleasant smile.
I built my first tree stand on the Wilcox Ranch
in 1960. The site was in a big cottonwood overlooking a
forty-acre alfalfa field. No stand could have been more
comfortable, and as safe as the roof of the nearby ranch
house, but for efficiency, and putting me on an even
footing with the big Utah bucks, it was a total loss. I’ll
tell you why.

I selected a tree with a beautiful view of the field.
I found soon this could be placed last on a list of necessary conditions.
This blind was immediately abandoned except for morning hunting. The field was in a
canyon. Deer, bedded on the canyon walls, could see
everything that was going on in the stand and, of course,
bypassed the spot at a considerable distance.
Lesson number one: select the site for your tree
stand so that the game can not look down through the
branches. All the area round the stand should be well
below eye level of the hunter and well above that of
the deer. Unless you make noise, the chances are a deer
will not look up into your tree. But if he approaches
your tree from any direction which places you eye level,
you might as well return to camp.

I strongly believe that of the deer’s senses, sight
is his best alarm signal. If you can see a certain movement
at a hundred yards, I’d venture to say a deer can
see the same movement at five hundred yards. I am
mindful of a lesson in the Boy Scout manual: If a
person becomes lost in a forest and hears a plane,
he should vigorously shake a young aspen or the limb
of a tree. Rescuers can spot the movement.
On opening morning of the hunting season, as

I make my way to a previously prepared stand, I probably
resemble a junk collector. I carry a gunny sack
over my shoulder in which are: pillow, down jacket,
mittens, large-size plastic bags, binoculars, raincoat,
apple and some Tootsie Rolls. The latter item may
be kids’ stuff, but you’d be surprised how good they
taste when you’re real hungry, even those which were
left over from last year. Another item which is always
good for a laugh is my piece of carpet for the floor
of my stand, to deaden the sound if I shuffle my feet
when a deer is nearby.

When night closes in, I put everything back in the
bag and tie it down for the night. Yes, even my bow. I,
of course, cover the fletching of my arrows with a
plastic bag as a protection from morning dew or rain.
My hunting partners look at me with tongue—·in—cheek
like I was cracking up. I explain to them when I am
returning from my blind at night or going to it in the
morning, it’s too dark for any possible shot. When making
this same journey in daylight, if I were to see a
deer I would pass up the shot. I can’t with any confidence
guess the distance of a shot, and foregoing the
shot would preclude any possibility of a bad hit.
If a bowman hunts from a tree stand, he will
fin·d there is a lot more to the sport than flinging arrows.
He will have an opportunity to see wildlife and
observe much in their kingdom he never previously
realized existed.

Often I have had a bird alight on a limb a few
feet from my nose. Keeping absolutely still, not even
blinking my eyes, I have watched the antics of these
winged creatures. It has often been humorous as a
feathered species cocks its head and curiously ex-
amines the funny—looking nearby object which was
not there the last time this roosting place was visited.
Every hunter knows creatures of our wildlife
kingdom have ways and means of communication. One
afternoon, while sitting in my tree stand on the Wilcox
Ranch in Utah, I had a fascinating experience of observing
a deer family tableau of communicating evidence
of danger followed by a signal that all was clear.
I had climbed into my tree stand shortly before
four -in the afternoon. I knew from past experience
that the chance of seeing a deer before sundown was
extremely remote. But I also had learned that it is
a good idea to arrive at your stand early, get settled
down and give any deer who has spotted you a chance
to convince himself you mean no harm.

To help resist the temptation of looking around
or glassing the area to see if a herd of bucks is approaching,
I take a·long a favorite sporting magazine
and catch up on my reading. After reading two or
three pages, I glanced ahead while turning the page. To
use an old hunter’s cliche, there, on the far side of the
alfalfa field, a herd of deer had appeared as if by magic
There were four bucks and five does, all with their
noses in the feedbag. It was a sight to quicken the pulse
of any bowhunter. It would have taken a patient and
expert stalker to climb down out of the tree, make a
huge circle and approach the herd from the wooded
side of the field. It was a cinch I didn’t have the qualifications.

I continued to watch the feeding animals
with considerable excitement and fascination.
Suddenly the scene was changed. All heads being erect
with eyes focused toward the sound of a jeep engine starting.
Later I learned the card game had broke;
up and for something to do to kill time, Waldo Wilcox loaded the
hunters into a jeep pickup and headed for Cherry Meadows,
a distance of about ten miles up Range Creek Canyon.

The deer held their position until they saw movement
of the vehicle coming toward them. They quickly
dashed across the ranch road, use a draw for a short
distance, then topped out on a small hogback where
they could get a commanding view of approaching
The four bucks immediately laid down. The does
sort of messed around, nuzzling the ground and making
like they were doing the chores. Several minutes after
the sound of the truck was lost in the distance, all the
does started making their way back to the field. The
bucks, mind you, continued with their siesta. To me,
I imagined one buck, probably the boss of the outfit,
issued a command something like: “Okay, gals, let’s
get with it! Take a run down to the field and see what
gives with those hunters who just passed by !”

The does, upon reaching the road, looked first
up, then down the canyon. Perhaps two minutes later
all five of them walked nonchalantly into the alfalfa
and started grazing. They paid no more attention to
the road or vehicle.

Suddenly, as if the boss buck had wirelessed to
see if the coast were clear, all the does, as if at a command,
turned toward the mountainside and walked
slowly single file to the top of the hogback and joined
the apparently dozing bucks. Whatever means of communication was used it didn’t take long.
The does turned around and started down the hill. The bucks then
got up and joined the procession. When the herd, led
all the way by the does, reached the road they did not
hesitate to look up and down it for possible danger.
They crossed without hesitation, walked a few feet
into the meadow and immediately resumed feeding.
As a sort of epilog to this episode, two of the
hunters, upon their return to the meadow, spotted the
deer and made a successful stalk, Hank Krohn bagged
a buck and Milt Lewis a doe. Doug Easton got some
shooting, but no hits.

I highly recommend hunting from a tree stand.
Before I go into details of construction, I want to
emphasize two conditions: right at the top, as most
important, I want to stress the safety angle. Most any-
one could sit on a stool and watch the birds indefinitely.
But seeing a deer and with quickened pulse take a shot
at your quarry, you could easily step too far or lose
your balance and fall to the ground seriously injuring
yourself, even fatally. So, be a sissy like me and wear
a safety belt of some kind. I merely tie a length of
nylon rope around my waist, with the other end wrapped
around and tied to the tree. If you ever have need
for this device, I’m sure it won’t be very comfortable,
but most assuredly will save your life.

If climbing a ten-foot ladder gives you cold shiv-
ers, then hunting from a tree stand is not for you.
Next would be the comfort part of tree stand
building. My wife, Frieda, has often called me an ol’
wiggle—butt, because I never was able to sit still in a
cramped and uncomfortable position.
Construct your stand so you can occasionally
stand up and shake the kinks out of your lower extremeties.
I don’t mean like a jack-in-the-box, so your
movements might be noticed by a big buck bedded
on a nearby hillside. Even with the luxury of a pillow
I find a brief respite from sitting, about every half-
hour, is a real pleasure.

There are a number of portable stands which have
been advertised in Bow and Arrow magazine. I personally
like Ron’s Porta-Pak. It comes with shoulder
straps, so you can back-pack it into the woods. Best
of all, for me, it comes equipped with a canvas top
seat. Remember, there will be times when you will
have to spend hours in a confined area, and the less
you move around, changing positions, the better off
and more successful you’ll be.

If you are going to hunt within a day’s drive of
your home, I’d suggest you go on a scouting expedition
a week or two before opening day of season.
Look for tracks and other signs of the species of game
you’re going to hunt. For brevity of this article let’s
presume you are going deer hunting. Search for a
spring or other watering place where tracks indicate
the game has been visiting frequently.
Now we need a tree-—one we can climb into and
out of with safety. The tree should be within four
to ten steps from a waterhole, or used deer trail. This
so that when the deer puts in an appearance, you can be
on the alert and not move an eyelash until your game
is almost directly beneath you. This is what makes
tree stand hunting so popular. A deer cannot see you
draw your bow and loose the arrow.
A word of advice: practice shooting nearly straight
down. You will find it a lot more difficult than you
think——even using a sight. Talk your club members
into setting up one tree stand target. Use it for a
novelty event if nothing else. Upon arriving at my
tree stand, I never fail to shoot a few practice arrows,
picking certain spots where I believe a deer might
appear. I have found that a twenty-yard setting will
suffice for anything around the tree, even for an actual
distance much farther.

Let’s say we found a pine tree which was just
what we were looking for. It was forty or fifty feet
high and eighteen inches in diameter. The first limb
was ten feet off the ground. Being in a national forest,
we would not be permitted to nail climbing blocks to
the tree or build a stand of a permanent nature. We
would install a portable stand and use a rope ladder
to climb up to it.

To be sure, there are many ways to climb a tree,
an·d many different kinds of trees, each presenting
a particular problem in climbing. One time I was privileged
to hunt on the Walking Cane Ranch in Texas.
The land was covered with millions of scrub cedars.
All the equipment a hunter needed in this area was:
hammer, saw, two or three nails and a one—by—six two
feet long. No devices were needed to climb these cedars.
There were lots of limbs from top to bottom. After
reaching the top, the hunter would saw off a couple
of feet from the main trunk, then nail on the board for
his seat. An added pillow was for luxury.

In all of our western states, forests are composed
of pine, fir, hemlock, aspen, cottonwood and many
other species. Personally, after I have located a good
spot for a stand, I search for a tree with a natural
opening in the foliage about the right height for a stand.
This precludes the necessity of pruning many branches
in order to see out and get an arrow through. Often
a hunter will find where lightning has struck a tree
and gouged out an opening ideal for locating a stand.
Photographs accompanying this article will give
you a good idea of how to set up housekeeping in some
tree and make like an owl. It was my dream to present
a photo of me drawing a bow and aiming at a live
deer. Sort of having my cake and eating it, too. But
I found this chore more difficult than I thought. Deer
are narrow minded and uncooperative.

One photo depicts what looks like the real thing.
Here is how the shot was accomplished. About ten years
ago, I was hunting in Rock Creek Park, near Monte
Vista, Colorado. My hunting partner was Ernest Wilkinson,
local taxidermist and founder of the Piedra
Bowhunters Club. In his display room I feasted my
eyes on a life~like full mount of a f·our—by-four mule
buck deer.

Last summer en route to Colorado for a bear hunt,
I dragged this picture out of my memory file and stopped
by Ernie’s place to sort of say hi. It took a little
arm twisting, but within the hour we had loaded the
mount into a van, driven to a spot in Rock Creek Park,
where we had long ago hunted deer together, and
set up a realistic shot of Ernie sitting on a tree stand
with bow drawn and aiming at the one—for~twenty spot
on a trophy buck.
Don’t build your stand in the top of the highest
tree. When the wind blows you’ll wish you hadn’t, and
you might get seasick! I’d say the minimum height
should be ten feet, with a maximum of thirty. Remember,
the higher you climb, the more difficult it is to
get in and out of your stand and hoist your gear to

and from. For the latter chore I use a hundred—foot
length of quarter-inch nylon cord.
I recommend you be in your stand about half
an hour before daylight. This will give time for any
body odor lingering below to dissipate. Al-so any deer
who have been alerted by the noise you made getting
to your stand will have settled down and figured that
Whatever caused the disturbance had disappeared.
Hunting from a tree stand can be really exciting
at times. You may spot your deer at a considerable
distance and then observe it slowly making its way
toward your stand. I guarantee it will raise your blood
pressure and increase your heart beat! Have an area
picked where you are fairly sure of getting a good hit,
then wait until the ·deer reaches that spot. It will be a
bit rough, but wait him out.

“The greatest hunting thrill of my life was waiting
for a record—class buck slowly make his way to a spring
near my stand. He only had to cover two hundred
yards, but the way he picked his path, hesitating at
every step, it must have taken him two hundred minutes
to reach the spot where I planned to loose the arrow.
I forced myself to turn my eyes in another direction
from time to time s·o I could not see him and to better
hold back the buck fever which was creeping in. Even
though my bow arm was a bit on the shakey side, the
arrow flew true to the spot, and I had the further
thrill of seeing the big beauty go d·own for the count.
Th·is experience took place on the Lamicq ranch in
the high country, back of Grand junction, Colorado.
John, as an outfitter, is a firm believer in hunting from
a tree stand. Annual kill success of his clients tend·s to
prove this is the only way to go. Much of the Lamicq
property, owned or leased, covers the tops of several
huge ridges. Needless to say, ·if a hunter is thinking of
bagging a trophy buck he’d better go topside.
Ecologists complain that tree stand-s are ugly and
spoil the natural wilderness of a forest. I will admit
some I have seen are an eyesore, but I have been as-
signed to a tree in a certain small area and have had
difficulty finding the tree with the stand in it. The
hunter does not have to chop off limbs with reckless
abandon, even if there were no objection. If you leave
chopped-off limbs scattered around the foot of your
tree stand, forget it! Deer know when things are not
as they were yesterday and sense danger.
A word of caution: check your game laws. There
are a couple of states which prohibit hunting from a
tree. There also are several states which prohibit hunting
except from a tree stand. <——<<<<

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Published by Mike on 02 Feb 2011

Blue Hunting Sight?

Looking at Viper sights for the wife. She wants one for her Passion but wants it in blue, not the Passion Pink one….anyone know if someone makes a blue sight not just knobs and scales (Sure-Loc)


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