Archive for March, 2013

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Published by Frank Biggs on 18 Mar 2013

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – Hunting Equipment – Blacktail Deer Hunt

Oregon needs to get in the 21st Century on Lighted Nocks & Expandable-Mechanical Broadheads

Sweet Baby James’s Oregon Blacktail Hunt of Woes!

Though this is not a long story about a successful so to speak Blacktail Buck hunt in the late season 2012 archery hunt in Oregon, it is about absurd hunting regulations on bow hunting brought upon by the minority to the majority.

When I get into the story you the reader will understand where I am coming from on my logic on hunting regulations that should be changed to improve the experience of hunting.  Much like taking away anchored putters from golfers as technology changes!  As I write that might not happen for pro-golfers…  In their case they still got to get it in the hole!

Sweet Baby James, as his peers called him in the days of his professional boxing is a very good friend of mine.   This past year I got permission for him and his brother to hunt a few days on a small place in rural Oregon in the Willamette Valley to bow hunt for Columbia Blacktail Deer on the late season archery hunt.   His brother was successful in getting a deer for meat and made a great 12 yard shot on the deer.  James would remain un-successful until the last week of the season.

Readers should know that the Columbia Blacktail deer is one of the hardest to hunt and I do believe they are even more nocturnal that the elusive Whitetail deer.  In the Pacific Northwest low light comes earlier than some areas with the heavy brush cover and deep canyons.   Oregon is a mountainous state and Blacktail deer range from 10,000 feet to sea level.  I sometimes feel that the canyons can range the same in footage.   Those that have never hunted in the habitat that Blacktail frequent with the creepers on the ground, blackberries, thistle and deadfall are in for an experience.

As I said before many know James as Sweet Baby James, the professional boxer from Oregon, who has fought clear to Madison Square Gardens, knowing the likes of Ali.  He came from a background, whose father was a world ranked Archer, who should have been in the Olympics 1968, but because took a prize of 73 bucks, he later would be turned away at the Olympic Trials thus not allowed to shoot for the United States of America.   Hmm!  A great deal has changed over the years in that aspect.  He was a good friend of Fred Bear and shot Fred Bear traditional bows before the compound came out.  So growing up with a father that expected the best from his son, James became a great fighter, archer and hunter himself.

It is now Tuesday evening and he is in the treestand about 2 ½ hours prior to the end of shooting time.  He had not been in the stand for very long when from the northern sector of the property he could see a big Blacktail Buck working its way through the maze of vine maple, blackberries and ferns, at 40 yards he could see the buck was the Odd 3 X 3 that seldom entered this area.   Over the course of 6 months I would say the Odd 3 X 3 has been on camera about 20 times in this area.  The buck seems to be on a mission and a direction he was heading for in hindsight would be the deep canyon leading to another property.  The buck did not stop; thou he was walking down the trail to the flat, James made the decision to take the shot at 18 yards with focus and direct eye contact on the boiler room.   The arrow tipped with a 100 grain Thunderhead hit the buck hard a bit back from the heart, which appeared to be in upper lung area.   He could see the arrow hanging out on the opposite side of the buck.  The buck in an instance dug with his hooves and vaulted into forward motion with head down and not missing a step.

James could hear the noise of the buck on the gravel road and anticipated the buck would come around his backside and he would see movement in the trees…

James waited some 30 minutes before leaving the treestand to look for the buck with about an hour of light left to find his trophy Blacktail Buck.   He finds one speck of blood in the dirt, but nothing in the gravel.   There are no tracks to follow as from both sides of the road there is nothing but blackberries and heavy brush.  He felt the buck had entered back behind him and headed into another creek bottom to the east.

I get phone call James while I am down at the coast asking for help, “sorry James but I am long ways away” “did you check to the west of the road”.   Of course it started to rain when he got out of the treestand and there is not going to be any trace of blood to follow.  With no tracks or blood trail and heavy cover James still continues to look for three hours with a flashlight and no help.  Without an extra set of eyes it most difficult on your own to find a downed animal while in panic mode.   If it was legal in Oregon to have a lighted nock on your arrow, James might have seen the travel of the deer through the brush.   More likely if the arrow had fallen out he could see the arrow from an elevated point near the area if he could have used a lighted nock in Oregon.

The next day James looks for more than four hours, but if there was any blood it would be washed away by the rain.   A very distraught hunter not being able to find a big buck that should have gone a very short distance from the hit! If it had been legal in Oregon, an expandable-mechanical broadhead might have help greatly on stopping the buck or leaving a blood trail at the gravel road.

Over the course of months and going out to the farm, this included me to look for the buck’s remains, along with looking for drops we never could find the buck, but still knowing he went down on the property since he was hit hard.

Just recently after going through the winter and the deer moving through the farms or lands in the area, they have made many worn trails.   So this past week in March 2013, I told my son that James’s buck headed to the west canyon a normal route for him to escape.  So with our minds intent on finding the remains, we ventured out.   In know less than 100 yards from the treestand Jr., finds the arrow.  Noted the brush is bare foliage and the blackberries have no leaves on them.   The arrow is completely intact right along the game trail.   Next thing was to scan and split up with me working the lower eastern edge of the canyon and Jr. going to the flat on the western edge of the canyon.  He spots something about 150 yards away, then loses sight and said it must have been a deer.  I tell him to continue to the spot as it is probably what we wanted to find. Low and behold it is the Odd 3 X 3 Blacktail buck.   The coyotes had taken care of the deer and closure was made for all that have hunted the place.

Recovery of the rack is illegal in Oregon, so it will stay until it skull denigrates or grows into a tree ornament as it mends into the V of a tree. Thus only pictures are taken for remembrance of the hunt.

I know myself if I had been shooting an expandable-mechanical broadhead, I might have made a fatal hit on the buck I shot with the arrow passing through the buck and not hitting a vital in front shoulders.  Ok!  He has survived the winter and will be bigger next year as I have vendetta to harvest him.

From my understanding OPS Game Officers have talked and feel that there would be greater recovery on big game with expandable-mechanical broadheads and lighted nocks.   Over 44 other states allow lighted nocks.  All but three states allow the use of expandable-mechanical broadheads.  Oregon, Washington and Idaho have an issue, it is said by some that crossbow users are the problem, but in Oregon they are not allowed…

Did I mention that in Oregon you can use any arrow or broadhead for Game Birds though?  It is said that light nocks and expandable-mechanical broadheads will lead to poaching!  Give me a break, only the stupid would poach at night, thinking they might get away with it.  Poachers are going to do what they do until they get caught.  In Oregon the O.S.P. Game Officers are very talented and educated.  It may take a while but they run a high successful rate on catching the big game poachers.  Poachers should have a clue by now because there are so many trail cams on private and public property out there that the bucks and bulls have names.

Just watch the Outdoor Channel and you see that on every program.

Sort of funny while looking for the buck, we see the landowner and talk about who has access.  She had told us she allow a couple of guys that do business with her they could come out and get some ornamental plants, but said to them “oh we have cameras all over the property”, one of them said “Hmm, I hope you didn’t catch us by a tree..”  They were surprised that the land had surveillance…

Technology in archery or bow hunting has been improved, but the principal of archery and bow hunting remains the same.  You have to be able to hit the target with your talents.  The recovery of game should be in the balance for the hunter, thus I feel that using light nocks and expandable-mechanical broadheads with lead to greater recovery of game.  I am all for a change here in Oregon, as well as everyone that are known in my circles.

Oregon, Washington and Idaho should get out of the dark ages and move forward to the betterment of the sport.

I did do a quick P & Y field measurement on the buck.  To bad he was odd!  He netted out at 92 after setting in the brush for 4 months.  He had 15 inches of penalty with the odd rack.  He has nice symmetry when viewing straight on, most interesting buck…  You would need 95 to make P & Y for Columbia Blacktail!

In closing how many of us can shoot out to 40-50 yards and hit the target, yet miss an easy 20 yard shot?

This is a picture of the Odd 3 X 3 in the velvet.  He would be arrowed within 5 yards of this spot!
This is a picture of the Odd 3 X 3 in the velvet. He would be arrowed within 5 yards of this spot!
This is how the buck was found some 300 yards line of sight from the target area
This is how the buck was found some 300 yards line of sight from the target area

Bwana Bubba aka Cobra

Here he is after rubbing off his velvet in the area!
Here he is after rubbing off his velvet in the area!

 

 

 

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Published by Frank Biggs on 04 Mar 2013

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – Advantage of Single Pin Moveable Globe Sight

Bwana Bubba’s Hunting Advantage

A quality single pin moveable bow sight!

As you can see, the pin is easy to see and when looking through the peep sight, you have great viewing and the eye is directed to the pin!

As you can see, the pin is easy to see and when looking through the peep sight, you have great viewing and the eye is directed to the pin!

Over the course of some 50 years of shooting bows, from the first re-curve to my latest bow, which is the fastest that I have ever had the privilege to shoot,  I’ve also had a number of bow sights during this time span that worked well with the technology of the bows that I was using.

Let’s talk about the past for a few moments with shooting a bow and how it all started in the 20th Century for me and others of the same age bracket.

The first of course was the arrow or arrow tip itself, which I shot from a traditional bow.

I learned from a single pointed object and angle of the shaft to shoot instinctively and became quite accurate up to ranges of 40-50 yards.  There was one time during my early Navy days that I was at a small caliber range giving instruction to other sailors on how to shoot rifles and gun safety.   I had my Martin Re-Curve bow, 30” Port Orford cedar shaft and 125 grain glue on target tip with me and told my Commanding Officer that I could hit the 10 ring on a 22 caliber 50’ target which was set out to 20 yards.   I think the bet at the time was a dollar!  To everyone’s amazement I hit the 10 ring dead center.  That was the only shot I took, as we were there for instruction of shooting rifles…

Time to get to the point and that is many of use learned how to shoot instinct and were very accurate in doing so and estimating yardage to hit a target or game.

While I was still shooting my Martin Re-Curve I once attached a multiple pin sight to see what it was about.  I drilled holes into the side of the bow and attached the sight.  Using my anchor point I did find it to be accurate and easier to use.

Soon in the late 70’s came the compound bow into my life and I was quick to buy one.  I do remember that my first compound was the Martin Cougar Magnum.  The Cougar was the state of the arc in bows.   That was the first time that I had met Chuck Linde of Windy Linde’s Bow Shop in Portland, Oregon on 82nd Ave.  He had racks of them in his shop and everyone that I knew wanted the Martin Cougar Magnum, even my cheap skate cousins bought them…

It was a lot faster than my Re-Curve, so the Re-Curve was put in the rafters.   By now I had multiple pins on my new adventurer in the art of harvesting Deer, Elk, Coyotes and Pronghorn in Oregon.

Sometime in the later 80’s I stepped up on my Martin bows and went to a sight that could handle a much faster bow.  It was also at the time I quit shooting fingers and went to a release!  I remained very loyal to the manufacturer of the bow sight, a good friend of mine Mel Stanaslaski.   The pins were set-up to be rotated at an angle to the bow, allowing vision of closer set pins for the speed of the bow.  It was a rock sold machine sight with pins that we would use radium glow in the dark paint.

In 2010 and 2011, I would find myself hunting for Blacktail deer in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, having found a land owner that would allow me and my son to hunt his property for deer.   So many years I would drive by the place on my way to my job that was 54 miles from my home.   I never realize the amount of deer between the job and my home in rural Oregon.   Go figure!   It only took one evening just prior to dark, to realize that this one place held more than 15 bucks in just one area.

In the past I was always hunting in Eastern Oregon for Mule Deer and Rocky Mtn. Elk in more open area with more light.

Low light and not having lighted pins made it most difficult to get on the deer fast enough and judge which pin to use in quick time frame.  Blacktail deer do not hold still very long and are on the move quickly.  I kept using his sight until I received my new 2012 Martin Onza 3 bow from Terry Martin.   It was time to move up to a lighter, short and faster bow with 85% let-off.   I do have to say it is the fastest bow, but more important is very accurate and smooth to shot with no vibration on release of an arrow.

I now decide to go to more modern fiber optic 5 pin bow sight.  The sight was recommended and I had a budget for outfitting the new Martin Onza 3 bow.  I had it dialed in from 10 yards to 80 yards, using the 60 yard pin based on holding approximately a foot above a target’s center to make the hit at 80 yards.   This was done with ease and confidence!

Now this was on a target and setting me up to make the shot.  It was not in the field with a live animal, this test would come in 2012 a couple of weeks into the Oregon Archery season.

Ironic that during the 2012 hunting season, it was also my first time to use a tree stand.  Considering that the projected set-up range for harvesting a deer would be at 25 yards, I was dialed in and the sight worked very well in the low light just prior to the end of legal shooting time.  The real test of my skills would come on a day I was bored with the tree stand and I did a spot and stalk shot and estimated the yardage and did not use the pin for 60+ yards, but used the 40 yard pin as it was a different color and became a focal point on the animal which was later measured at 63 yards.  I instinctively judge the yardage to be more than 50 yards and put the 40 yard pin above the deer’s back at approximately 4-5 inches over his back.

The point being I was able to focus on one pin as it stood out, I knew what it was set for, making it easy for me to make the shot.

As some of use get older it can be difficult to always make the right call on pins as they blend in with low light.  In the State of Oregon lighted bow sights or pins are not allowed.

Another thing that happens when hunters get older the eyesight does change on most.  Some have to have bi-focal, tri-focal, reading glasses, wear glasses for correction near and far.  Then there are those that have to take off their glasses to see up close, causing with rifle sight and bow sights some conflicts when using.  We just get slower and I have seen it on the new outdoor channels when hunters are getting ready to make a shot and it takes forever.  Reality it sometimes takes longer to get it done!

I would have to say I have found an answer that will help many with the problem caused by the aging of the eyes.

At the first of the year I contacted the Number 1 bow sight manufacturer on the recommendation of an old hunting partner who the year before had decided he needed a change.   I asked in the form of a letter about their movable sight.   At first I thought I still wanted multiple pins on the movable sight.   I am very thankful that a left handed multiple pin sight was not available.   I thought to myself of the hunt that I had in 2012, said to C.H. “a single pin is what I really want.”

Thus a new Optimizer Single Pin Movable Sight shows up at my home.   The sight is very easy to set-up on the bow with two (2) screws holding it on the bow and two (2) screws holding the fiber optic surround scope on the bracket.  Another big deal with the Optimizer is that the quiver bracket attaches to the sight bracket and the screws were in the Optimizer packaging.  Outstanding!  One more thing to think about is the fact that only two (2) different Allen Wrenches attached the Optimizer to the Onza 3.

The sight can be sighted in old school by marking the shooting yardages on the bracket as you shoot the normal yardages that one is shooting.  Or you can use the patent scientific sight-in system that company gives you in the package with sight-in tapes and final yardage tapes.  One would shoot the bow at 20 yards and dial the bow in, then work your way out to 60 yards and dial the bow in.  With the sight-in tape you would subtract the numbers on the tape and come up with the tape by number that will have you dialed in from 20 up to 80 yards depending on the bow.  I know that a number of my GPS hunters are very technical and would have a great day setting up a new Optimizer sight on their bow.

After getting the first sight-in done at 20 yards it is very easy to understand the advantage to the Globe Fiber Optics single pin moveable sights.   First advantage is that you focus on one pin, without thought.  It allows the perafel part of our eyesight to take in the object you are shooting at, yet stay focus at the point of impact aim.

Once the sight is dialed in, there are so many advantages to using the single pin movable sight for me that I will make the shots that I take count.   If using a tree stand and have the target area sighted in for set-up of taking your game, you can set the single pin for the yardage.  Thus you will be focused on a single pin and single animal, leaving nothing to distract the eye.  If the animal happens to be at a different distance than what you are sighted in at and you are not able to pull up a range finder, you can move the movable bracket without notice.  Yes! You are estimating the yardage, but then again we can feel that you are making a golf shot on the approach to the hole!

Now if I am going to do the spot and stalk method which I prefer, I will have the sight set at 40 yards, knowing what my bow will do from that yardage in or out on the target.  Practicing at different distances with the 30 or 40 yard pin will give confidence on the shots that I might not be able to range finder in.   Another words I will be back to being able to shoot instinctive when needed.  Being able to be in combat mode without great thought one can get the job done.  It is no different with the Optimizer sight than it is with a rifle scope with a duplex or mil-dot reticule.   The eye focuses to the center of the reticule, with the Optimizer the eye centers to the pin.

Even with the younger generation, it is a plus to learn how to shoot instinctive for conditions that don’t allow the time to range find in your target.   The bow sight for bow hunters is just the solution to success in the field!

I do feel that a bow sight that is made in the U.S.A. and has the same Lifetime Warranty as my bow has the same qualities will fit all bow hunters’ needs.

Over the years, as I have been guilty of it myself is to buy an expensive bow or firearm and then not put on the best sight.   Learning early in my life, plus running a successful sporting goods store, that set-up and the quality of the product leads to more success in the field or on the range.  Just think of how much you put into the arrow and broadhead.  The last broadhead’s I bought cost me 10 bucks a piece and the arrow is 10 bucks.   My Weatherby 30-378 cartridge only cost 8 bucks a round.   So spend the money for the best sight you can get for your bow!

In closing when using the Single Pin Movable Sight and having a great bow, if one misses it will always be operator error, as the equipment is without flaw in my option.

Bwana Bubba aka Frank Biggs

 

 

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