Archive for June, 2013

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Published by Frank Biggs on 30 Jun 2013

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – On Being Field Prepared!

This article is about being prepared for the un-expected in the field.  

Then again on a well planned trip, you forget an important item that might just save your life!

Many years ago when I was leaving Vietnam after a tour with the 5th Marines and got into the back to the Duce and Half, which was supposed to be heading to the airbase in DaNang a not so funny thing happened.   As most know, since I was heading back to Naval Communications Station in the Philippines I turned in my M-16, 1911 and my M-3 Grease Gun.  The driver a young Marine E-2 just in kcountry forgot something very important, especially when you get lost and drive into enemy country.   Maybe he thought he was in Conus and it was a trip into the countryside?   We came under fire, with the yelling and moving into the driver’s seat, we all survived.   His M-16 and bandoliers’ were still back at the command up on Hill 327!

In the modern day world I do not believe that anyone that goes out into the Great Outdoors should ever be in a situation of being lost and not being able to get back out on their own unless they are hurt and unable to move!  One can be lost of course, but one should be able to recover easily from being lost in the moment!

Yet so many times we hear of kids, hunters, hikers’, cross country skiers, snow mobile riders, and mountain climbers getting lost for days.   I wonder about the mine set of people, except the kids that should have help from guiding parents in the fundamentals of being in the outdoors.

Does one really feel that this mountain has any feeling about you? The fact that Mother Nature determines the out come of weather, one should always be on the ready for anything!  Bwana Bubba

Does one really feel that this mountain has any feeling about you? The fact that Mother Nature determines the out come of weather, one should always be on the ready for anything! Bwana Bubba

Years ago mountain climbers were the direct cause of a National Guard Helicopter going down on Mt. Hood in Oregon, thus costing millions of dollars of equipment lose.

Just the recently there was a young man lost in the rugged Columbia River Gorge in Oregon.  His comment after being found was “I am going right back out”, note that it was raining hard and the area is very steep and heavy timbered with many deep canyons of no return.  Of course he did not have a GPS or any other type of communications that working in the field.  I do not think he had a clue as to the cost, plus the fact he was a flatlander (from the Midwest).

Another one lost on Mt. Hood this week had forgotten this locating beacon.  Everyone said he was a very experience mountain climber.  Mt. Hood as any other mountain doesn’t care how experience you are, as Mother Nature is not forgiving!  The Air National Guard in a Blackhawk Helicopter found his body!  Terrible as he might have fallen and died on impact, but if not maybe he would be telling the story of the climb today!

I am firm believer of modern day GPS products such as Garmin GPS’s that have high sensitive antennas that will work in deep cover.  Many do not realize that many GPS products that don’t have high sensitive antenna or WASS Enabled.  If a GPS does not these features it will not record tracks or even pick up the satellites in deep timber.

Families that take their young children up in the mountains prior to Christmas to look for a tree for Christmas might think about having one of the Garmin GPS or similar products for dogs.  Funny!  Not really, as kids have a habit of moving fast and panic sets in.   Many years ago (1998) in Oregon on such a trip a young boy was lost.  I do not believe he was ever found, so the possibility of him being abducted might be there.  The instance that the parent could not see him, they could have located him quickly.

There are also hand-held 2 way radios that will reach with line of sight for 25+ miles.  Years ago there was a man lost in Oregon and the searchers were able to find him as he had a 2 way radio that he was sending out for help.  It was picked up some 50+ miles away.

Persons that are going mountain climbing on such treacherous places such  Mt. Hood, Mt. Lassen, Mt St. Helens or any other place with glaciers and changing weather at moment’s notice should have a locating beacon at all times with them.  You can rent them on most mountains or just buy one.  It is not required in the liberal state of Oregon.  A few mountain climbing organizations’ feel it infringes on one’s right.  Thou it is ok to bring out a team to find the lost souls and maybe lose a person in the search or equipment.

Have I forgotten about the cell phones, which have become so good with GPS and long lasting batteries?   One can always have a solar cell and recharge the phone when there is some sun.   I know it all about the weight when climbing, hunting or hiking right!?

For some it all about the money, yet how much does a pair of cross country skis cost, the outfit, the Weatherby rifle, and the mountain climbing goggles?   Yet again is about being macho or just knowing you are the best.   I feel the same way, but I know from being turned around a few times, that it better to be safe and make it back to camp then spend the night out.  I have spent the night out in bad weather, not due to being lost, but because the conditions would put me at risk in treacherous rimrock of the John Day River Canyon!

Years ago while hunting in the Snake River Canyon I came out on the ridge road two hours after dark fell upon the Snake River and wondering where my horse was located.  It was such a relief for me that Czar whinnied and I was able to get to him quickly.  I never carried a GPS in those days, as they were new and I only packed a compass.  I could have walked out as there was the ridge road, but how about Czar.  A GPS in hand I could have plugged in the waypoint where I left Czar while I was elk hunting.

My thoughts are the following and if one ever wanted to hunt with me and I don’t have many hunt with me as I do not want the responsibility of them!

The equipment with the following attached is required!

1)      Cell Phone – GPS capabilities if you not going to have a GPS.

2)      A two way handheld communications device, similar to Motorola’s.

3)      GPS – Colored with mapping capabilities – GARMIN is preferred.

4)      Mapping to go with the GPS, such as Hunting GPS Maps that will give you private boundaries.

5)      If in treacherous mountainous areas a locating beacon is required.

6)      Some extra batteries for devices that are not using lithium batteries

7)      Your own toilet paper!

In closing with just the GPS, one can back track to their original starting place and if the GPS has Topographic mapping, one could possibly figure out a direct route back if the terrain is manageable.

Don’t leave home with just your clothes, the basics and your bow or rifle!

Bwana Bubba

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Published by admin on 04 Jun 2013

Springtime Archery Fun

SPRINGTIME ARCHERY FUN

Once again it’s that time of year for everyone to get out, enjoy the wonderful spring weather and all the outdoors has to offer. Unlike in Old England, when archers could not shoot less than 100 yards while practicing and preparing for war, we can shoot just to enjoy the sport. It’s important to keep your main objectives in mind when making plans to go out and fling some arrows. First and foremost, don’t be too serious. Keep it simple, and keep it fun!
Today, when you hear the term “stump shooting” it refers to going out and practice shooting at random targets, but the term originated back when archers would shoot at stumps to practice judging distance. This was a great business for the people making and selling arrows but very costly for archers whose arrows ended up lost, bent or totally broken.

 

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In addition to practicing for accuracy it is also very important to learn how to judge yardage. It doesn’t matter how straight you shoot if your arrow doesn’t reach your target! Judging yardage in itself is a scientific skill all archers need to master. You will want to practice in different environments and weather. Wind, flat areas, water, and hills (uphill verses downhill) can all be a challenge when judging yardage.
Foam technology has made it possible to create so many fun targets and 3D shoots. The foam is significantly lighter than the large, heavy old Indian grass mats used in the past. Now companies are able to create targets of limitless types and sizes. You can get 3D cubes and a long list of life-sized animals including deer, elk, turkey, bear, wild boar, snakes, carp, beaver, coyote and alligator. Some companies have created 3D targets for the fun, adventurous archer like dinosaurs, zombies, and even Big Foot that can be added to the local archery club’s course. Although these make fun targets, I feel if you ever see a real Big Foot it would be better to save it for science, not shoot it with a bow & arrow! We will probably find Big Foot right after we find a jackalope. Yes they also make a 3D jackalope target!!!

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Our area has a vast amount of archery shoots & events you can attend. Local groups offer a wide variety of archery events such as Field Shoots, Golf Archery, Clout Shooting, 3D archery, Flight Shooting, Olympic Shooting, and Bow Fishing. 3D is currently the most popular, it simulates the real life hunting of many types of realistic animals. Some courses encourage additional challenges like moving targets or shooting under a branch on one knee. Spring archery tournaments are a lot of fun for the whole family. Check out the Walla Walla Blue Mountain Archers website for upcoming local events at www.bluemountainarchers.com
Club shoots usually offer a variety of group classifications to separate traditional, compound and release-aid shooters, and some offer additional classification for different age groups or skill level. Archery is a sport everyone can enjoy so current tournaments and events offer all archers a chance to participate. The U.S.A. has seen a large increase of archers with disabilities, especially shooters in wheelchairs. The archery community has also welcomed one-armed shooters. These amazing athletes draw back the bow by pulling a piece of leather attached to the string with their teeth. A few years ago an archer with only one arm won the bow hunting division at the Vegas Shoot!
You can even create fun shoots of your own. The choices are endless. You can use balloons, clay pigeons, target Tic Tac Toe, or poker deck targets. You can even rig up an old bicycle wheel to create a moving target. Create different challenges for judging distance but DO NOT try to shoot an apple off anyone’s head! Although shooting and judging yardage out in the wild is more difficult, these games can still be great practice. You can use these events to test your equipment and pre-shooting bow inspection is critical for safety and to avoid malfunction during a shoot or while hunting. It may seem obvious, but NEVER shoot straight up in the air ~ what goes up must come down!
Remember keep it fun!
Archery is also a great way to meet new people and make new friends. Don’t hesitate to check out local shoots, clubs, or events. Archers are known for their kindness and willingness to help new archers. Like all hobbies, if you do well you are more likely to continue practicing and enjoying the sport. Increase your odds by joining up with other archers who can help you improve your skills. Your local archery shop can also be a valuable resource, getting a bow that fits you and your needs can make a huge difference.
I remember several years ago when a local gentleman bought a brand new recurve bow. Soon after he called me to complain that the bow did not shoot right. My first question is always “Is the bow set up correctly?”
He replied that he installed the string as directed, stuck on the sight that came in the box and started shooting.
I explained that the bow did not come with a sight. It turned out that he put the arrow rest on the top of the site window instead of the arrow rest shelf on the bottom. As the saying goes “When all else fails, read the directions.” This is a perfect example of when the friendly members of your local archery club can be very helpful.
You can also access unlimited information and how-to videos on www.ArcheryTalk.com
Membership is always free!
ArcheryTalk.com is always creating new sections and the newest is an area for members to submit their ideas and print out free archery targets.
The time spent with family, friends, and other members of the archery community will create life long memories. It’s also a great way to get out enjoy the spring weather, get some fresh air, exercise, and improve your health. As with most sports, put safety first and just have fun!

1 Terry HeadshotCurrent3

Terry grew up in the family archery business building arrows, accessories, and shooting in tournaments from the age six. In the early seventies he began designing and patenting the first Martin compound bows. Many of the features are used throughout the industry today.
In 1997 he started ArcheryTalk.com, the worlds largest online archery community.

 

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Published by Frank Biggs on 03 Jun 2013

Bwana Bubba’s Last Minute Oregon Blacktail Buck

Blacktail Buck in the Unit in 2013!
Blacktail Buck in the Unit in 2013!

THE SHOULDA –WOULDA – I DID BUCK

This hunt took place on the last day of the archery season in Oregon and it was my last and final effort to harvest a Blacktail Buck after a great deal of hunting during the season.  It also would be the first time I exposed my young daughter to an animal of majestic qualities to her dead to look at and touch!

An extremely large buck just stood there looking at me, probably wondering why anyone would be down in a hole like this!   This deer hunt was the end of a long Oregon deer season for me.  Earlier that season, I spent four days at Hart Mountain in southeastern Oregon looking for one of the famous big mule deer bucks that dwell there.  My vacation time had been changed and I was not able to hunt the first part of the season with my group.  So getting that early jump on a big velvet buck was gone.  I’d seen as many as 14 bucks in a group at one time prior to the season.  Truly the big bucks had been stirred up by earlier hunters and were keeping their distance.

I found myself seeking a buck to take home on the last day of the late November hunt in the Santiam Hunt Unit in Western Oregon, just west of the National Forest Boundary in the BLM. It seems on the last day we (empty-handed) will do some strange things. The trip in itself was similar to my earlier trips in which I covered innumerable miles looking for greener pastures.  I must have traveled 800 miles in three days only to find myself hunting in dense forest 30 miles from Portland, Oregon my home. On this trip, I was by myself, my partners having had their fill of hunting for one season. With the heavy rain & wet snow coming and going, I’d just about had enough myself. Then by mid afternoon it started to snow and by 3 PM there was about 4 inches of fresh snow on the ground. I was glad I’d missed a 60-yard shot at a small buck I should have not taken with the wind blowing.  The small buck seemed to be playing king of the mountain standing on a ledge overlooking a deep canyon.  If I’d hit him, he surely would have taken to the canyon below – what a pack out that would have been.
So, like any other sane bowhunter, I went down into the canyon. I decided to walk the naked alders and fir trees, which seemed to surround the small creek that wound through the canyon. I noticed some large deer tracks in the snow and told myself they must belong to a big Blackie.  I hadn’t covered more than 100 yards when I just about stepped on a deer. I was so busy stepping over downed limbs and following the tracks that I didn’t even noticed the deer bedded under a fir tree.  The most beautiful Blacktail I’d ever seen jumped up and ran out 30 yards and turned broadside to me and gazed back at me. Not taking time to count points, I was already at full drew with my Martin Cougar Magnum, set the 30 yard pin on the buck’s chest, and let fly. One would have thought I was shooting with fingers, ah I was shooting with fingers.  The buck was no longer just standing, he’d flat busted out of there. He moved so fast I just shook my head and wondered if I’d missed. I went to the spot where the buck had been, no blood. Now the snow was really coming down and the wind had picked up in the canyon. My heart pounding in my chest, all I could do was follow the tracks in the direction he’d gone.  I started to notice some foamy blood spots and walked about 80 yards on the blood trail, stopped, and looked around. There, in the ferns just below me, was the butt of a deer.  He must have taken one last leap in this last breath! The broadhead had done its job; my shot was a bit high barely missing the heart. I was able to find a small road out of the canyon, thus was able to drive my truck with chains forward and aft down into the canyon.  The buck was a heavy load to pull up into the bed of the truck, especially since I was wet, tired and the snow being everywhere.
My Columbia Blacktail had one of the most beautiful basket sets of horns a person could want, a very symmetrical four point with eye guards. He scored officially at 129 7/8 P & Y Net (Pope & Young).  Never wait so long to get an animal scored!  If he had not had a small chip off of the G-4 on left side, it would have made the B & C (Boone & Crockett) book along with the P & Y book during that time frame. Now in B & C is at 135 to be listed.  I’ll bet that a great deal of hunters do not know that you can list your Archery harvested animals in Boone & Crockett also if it meets their standards.  Double the pleasure of being in both Books! Sometimes it pays to do the unexpected at the last minute.  

Hmm! Now I will check out the head!

You can see from the expression on my daughter’s about her thoughts of seeing a dead animal lying on the ground. In the future I found she would not want to harvest an animal, but would get involved with the field dressing of animals on trips that I took her on.  

Rebecca wondering what the heck dad!

Have fun hunting!  Bwana Bubba 

 

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