Archive for December, 2013

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Published by Frank Biggs on 13 Dec 2013

Bwana Bubba’s 2013 Willamette Valley Archery Blacktail Hunt

The opportunity arose, take the shot or pass?

The opening weekend of the general bow (archery) season in Oregon had past by two weeks.  After the opening the bucks had become scarce.  Two of the other hunters Mark S. an Oregon State Trooper Game Division and my son Frankie had taken bucks on the opening morning with great one shot kills.  The bucks for both young men were their first bow kills for bucks and also the privilege of taking Blacktail Bucks, that are very difficult to harvest in the best conditions.

This was taken on 09-07-13 on the cam in the draw.    He only came around 3 times in 6 months!
This was taken on 09-07-13 on the cam in the draw. He only came around 3 times in 6 months!

I had gone out to the vineyard a 90 acre of un-fence land in rural Oregon City – Canby, Oregon area in Clackamas County, Oregon and had sat in the tree stand numerous times in vane.   The year prior it was common to see at least 2-4 bucks during the archery season any given morning or evening.  Even the crop of spikes and does were not coming anywhere near the draw, bewildering mind set.

Frankie my son came out to the vineyard a couple of times. On Monday the 9th of September he came out with me to hunt again.  He had also been lucky to draw the Oregon Willamette Valley 615 Deer Tag, which allows you to hunt from September 1st, through to February 28th, the following year.  On this Monday night I would work from the tree stand with Martin Onza 3 that has proven itself well the year before, but this year the bow sight would be the H H A Sports Optimizer with the single pin on the pendulum system.  A sight that forces one to focus on the pin and the target. With the speed of the bow, I usually leave it set for 40 yards when I am going to stalk and 30 yards when I am in three stand.  If I have time for a rangefinder, I can easy move the pin up or down on yardage with my thumb quickly.

Frankie would be packing his recently bought rifle in a 308 caliber.  He would work through the timber and see if he could drive a buck my way. If a buck were bust in a different journey then he might get a chance to get his 615 tag filled.
Both us seemed to get bored without the sighting of any deer during the evening hunt.  With about 15 minutes of light left Frankie came out of the blackberries on the northern sector of the vineyard and I would be working the tree line just west of the tree stand in the draw.

One should have a camera that will take a picture in low light!
One should have a camera that will take a picture in low light!

Frankie’s new rifle came with combo setup scope that would prove to be a problem! Should have taken out his Weatherby MK V with good optics!  You can have a rifle that is over the counter and inexpensive, but one should always have good optics for the conditions which includes the scope mounts!

He texts me that there is branch buck cutting through the grapes (12″ plants) and he just can’t get on him.  At that time I spot the buck, but he is 80 yards from me and just walking along.  I work in to get closer to him and when the buck was at 60 yards broadside, I decide it is to late to get a bow good shot.  Even with the greatness of the Optimizer and the Onza 3, I would have not gotten it done.
Both Frankie and I could not get on him and get a clean shot!

The positive of this, we did see a branched shooter buck, though the buck was not a resident buck to the area.  Thus ended the night of the 9th of September with the sighting of one shooter Blacktail Buck only!

On the Tuesday the 10th, I got off early from work and headed out to the vineyard. Again vineyard is a un-fenced 90 arce parcel of land that is just outside of Canby and Oregon City, Oregon. The deer come and go from many parcels of urual lands in Clackamas County.  I have seen the same bucks when scouting on lands that are about 1-2 miles line of sight feeding in the fields.
I decided to give the tree stand another go and within an hour I decided I need to do another spot and stalk. The deer just weren’t working the draw like they were the year before.

A different perspective of the this buck!
A different perspective of the this buck!

The taking of a buck in the draw during the opener and gutting the buck near the draw might have caused a problem?  I can’t see why as the coyotes and buzzards had cleaned the bones and any other evidence of the kill within days.
There was not much shooting light left so I decided to place myself next to the treeline that lead out into the grapes plants (young 1st year plants).  As I sat there, glassing, range finding spots that I though figured a buck might emerge from, I got this feeling that I had company and not of the human form.   Everyone has had the feeling that there is something close and in many instances we don’t take advantage of the sense!   In this case I moved my head and noticed a branched buck working almost in the same area that the buck the evening before.  In this case I had a bit more light and knew if I did blow the movement I could get a shot off.

In one fluid motion I move from my sitting position and swung around into the kneeling position.   The buck had his head down the whole time he was moving through the plants.   He never made notice to my movement and with ease I pull back my Martin Onza 3 at 72#, the  HHA Optimizer single pin sight was set at 40 yards and the pin focused just below the spine.   The buck did not jump at release as the Onza 3 very quiet!  His reaction when the arrow hit was that of a rock.  He just went down instantly and quivered for just a few moments.   The arrow had gone through his heart!   In my lifespan of hunting I have had this only happen twice before on bucks and both of them had been Blacktails also!  The Blacktail buck most likely didn’t even know he was dead at impact!  It doesn’t happen like this very often, but I will take it anytime I can.   One never likes to have to track game in the dense cover of Western Oregon during the evening into darkness.   A deer can go a little ways and disappear in the Blackberries, which make for difficult recovery on evening hunts.  I have to say when there is a spark of adrenalin, old bones can move without pain!He is a descendant of Stickers a big Blacktail that was harvest last year!

He is a descendant of Stickers a big Blacktail that was harvest last year!

Archery Buck 2013  Int

Though the buck was only a 3 x 4 with the single eyeguard and most likely three (3) year, I would do it again.   After opening day it had been tough and one should never have two legal tags.  It makes it tough when your trying for the local stud buck.   The rack is a very tight rack with the main beams almost touching.    His brother the other 4 X 3 with two (2) eyeguards still roams the property.   It appears that he will take up residency on this parcel and surrounding properties.  He is a bit bigger and will make a good buck in 2014!

Since this writing I was a fortunate to harvest the Even 3 X 3 in November of this year!

Even 3 X 3 Blacktail - November 2013
Even 3 X 3 Blacktail – November 2013

Bwana Bubba aka Cobra

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Published by Frank Biggs on 10 Dec 2013

Bwana Bubba’s Old Friend Mark D’s Oregon Blacktail Hunt

First off I have known Mark for about 30 years, in the days of Burns Bros., Sportsmen’s Center and Burns Bros., Travel Stops.  Mark and I hunt a number of times in the coast range for elk in those days!   Mark use to make sure that during the days of the Travel Stops we would always have the day old Hostess Pastries for a hunting trip!

Mark now lives out in the country on a dandy piece of Blacktail and Roosevelt habitat land.   It is bordered by a number of timber companies, so there is little pressure from the public!

OK! BUBBA – HERE GOES!

I JUST COULDN’T PASS UP THIS STUD BUCK!

Not the best picture, but his neighbor shot one of the 7 bulls that came in and it scored 320 Net.  Roosevelt Elk1
Not the best picture, but his neighbor shot one of the 7 bulls that came in and it scored 320 Net. Roosevelt Elk!

                       

This has been Mark D's target buck for 2013!  He decided not to show!
This has been Mark D’s target buck for 2013! He decided not to show!
It was the most unbelievable sight ever for us!   After spending many many hours in the blind in hopes of the monster 4 x 4 Blacktail coming in (before dark) or after light in AM, the second biggest one that I’ve gotten on Trail Cam showed up with enough daylight to get a pin on him.  The waiting in tree stand has been a tough one with extreme global warming that we have here in Oregon in the temperature in the Teens!
Frontal Shot!
Frontal Shot!
My son in law was with me to watch and witness the unfolding of a one in a lifetime shot!
The buck went broadside at 30 yards and mentally I knew my next plan was going to be in milliseconds.
As I was already at full draw, I let my new Mathews Creed go, the arrow hit high and sounded like I hit a rock.  It seemed to pick that deer up off his feet and throw him down like someone body slammed him. Then he roared like a red stag!  Wow! I have killed many animals with a bow over the years but never have spine one until now.
I shifted into panic mode as he was roaring and trying to get up so, I as quick as I could loaded another arrow and with him thrashing, shot again.

Dandy 3 X 3 Columbia Blacktail buck from west Clackamas County.
Dandy 3 X 3 Columbia Blacktail buck from west Clackamas County.
Well he twisted as I released the arrow and got another spine shot, this time in top…  Crap!   Double panic! I run out of the blind and as I approach him to put one in at close range, he lunges at me!   Wow!  Do they have power!  I got as close as I could and got one through both lungs and he soon expired…  Who would ever think that I could have gotten gored by a deer?
Mark D's old time friend and his buck from Mark's Place.
Mark D’s old time friend and his buck from Mark’s Place.
I hope to never spine one again, I much prefer a double lung on the first arrow…………………….
 
Mark’s 125 grain Thunderhead Broadhead went completely through the buck and severed part of the spine.
The Thunderhead was completely intact!
Mark D
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Published by admin on 04 Dec 2013

My Life With Archery So Far By Caleb Michael Odom

My Life With Archery So Far

By Caleb Michael Odom

When I was six years old I received my first bow for Christmas. It was a weak little thing with a 10 lb pull but that’s where it all started. It wasn’t necessarily safe but running around shooting my brother and getting shot back at but at that time it was the best thing ever. I’d shoot at the targets and feel so accomplished when the arrow would stick into the target and not just bounce back but hey I was hooked. A few years later I wanted to shoot more so my dad bought me a Darton Rookie T compound bow 22-23 inch draw 40-50 lbs. Unfortunately I couldn’t pull it back to my shooting got put on hold for about a year. My dad then bought me a Mathews Genesis. I shot it for a couple months then decided one day to pull out the Darton and give it a shot at pulling it back and I did. The Genesis got put on the back burner and I got serious. I started pounding the target with the Darton. I’ll never forget when I split the nock off that Easton 2413 aluminum arrow. It may have only been 10 yards but I was proud. Once I lost those arrows my dad gave me some of his broken Beman ICS Hunters 400 spine that had enough good on them we could cut to fit me seeing I only had a 22 inch draw.

 

deer
That started my hunting, I shot at squirrels and dove and stuff but never anything big so I will never forget the day my dad came home from hunting and seeing how he shot a deer that morning told me that his buddy would take me that after noon if I wanted to. I jumped at the chance. I had never really been deer hunting before so I was pumped up more than ever. I got to the tree and while climbing up in the climber I knocked an arrow out of my 4 arrow quiver leaving me with 3. It turns out I ended up sitting in the same stand my dad shot his deer out of that morning and at about 6:30 I look to my left and see a spike walking toward me. He stopped at 30 yards and I shot right over him. He took a few steps I ranged him again at 30 and shot behind him. This must be the stupidest deer ever because I just shot 2 times at him and he decided to walk toward me. He stopped I ranged him at 22 yards and shot my last arrow and it hit him right where the lungs should have been. Unfortunately due to the timing of the trip my dad just gave me his grim reapers to shoot doubting I’d really have to use them and the bow just didn’t have enough power to open it up and get far enough into the deer to kill it. We looked and looked and found no blood and concluded it just broke the skin and didn’t go far enough in to really hurt it. That was a very rough hunt for me but also very eye opening. I used to think that deer were weak and anything could kill them but when I saw that deer run off and we never found it, it proved to me that no matter what you confidence level is there is always that time that’ll make you doubt it.
That was the end for that bow. I didn’t hunt with it anymore because that year for Christmas I got a diamond razor edge. Started out at 48lbs and I started turning up the poundage about every week without permission until I got to about 57. I got that bow in 2009 and in March of 2010 I shot my first animal with a bow which was a hog at guess how far? 22 yards. Total pass-through with a 100 grain muzzy 4 blade.
I had shot 2 deer with a gun prior to shooting the hog with a bow and 1 deer with a gun after but I never had shot another deer with a bow until Thursday August 11th 2011. I was sitting in a stand at the end of my road that I had set up prior to season since I had been seeing and feeding deer there. Well at about 7:15 in the morning I look to my right and see a little doe come out and get on the trail that literally went three foot from the bottom of my ladder stand. She stopped at 13 yards and I let the muzzy eat. That diamond put the smack down on her. She only ran 20 yards and pilled up along side of a four-wheeler trail which made for easy pick up. I called my dad who was at a meeting and told him the news. He told me to wait 30 minutes then have my brother come pick me and her up on the four-wheeler so I did just that. We drove home with her on the front and kept soaking her with water to keep her cool until my dad got there. The look on my dads face when he pulled up is something that’ll stay in my mind forever. I put in the time, money, and sweat to get a deer and there is no greater feeling than that first one with a bow.

I hunted a ton in 2012 with no success at all bow or gun and I sold the diamond in December and bought the bow I have now which is a Hoyt Alphaburner. I’ve hunted this season so far with it and haven’t had any luck yet so my time is coming! You just have to thank the good lord for every chance in the woods you get because you never know if one day you’ll wake up and not ever be able to go again.

By Caleb Odom

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Published by admin on 04 Dec 2013

Bad Habits and Getting Help By Ken Otis

Bad Habits and Getting Help

By Ken Otis

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I started shooting archery when I was in the 6th grade, a Fred Bear recurve and cedar arrows.  It was my pride and joy for many years and during the late summer and fall I would mow yards, rake leaves, pick-up apples or whatever was available to make a little $ for a couple straw-bales for a target.  I never seemed to get much better as the years went by but I moved into the compound bow phase with the Bear White-tail hunter!  As the years past and as I look back, I never got any real instruction or any real guideline as to “how to shoot archery”.  I developed many ‘bad-habits’ starting with stance, shoulder and arm position, anchor position too far back, too much draw weight (as a youngster) and the one that almost ended my enjoyment of archery, TARGET-PANIC.  My brothers were out deer hunting and having success and the stories were incredible.  Time and time again I would miss, and miss, and miss but they couldn’t identify what I was doing wrong.

It was on my first buck kill that I realized I had a serious problem.  The 8-pt buck came in at first light chasing does, at 14yds I was at full draw, complete broadside shot and he was looking away from me!  This is it, the perfect setup.  I released my arrow and struck him a little towards the back so I thought.  He bolted forward and bedded sown 60yds out.  I waited as I was silently celebrating, but then he got up and walked away out of sight.  My heart sunk.  After 30 minutes I got down from my tree stand and followed the minimal blood trail to where he bedded down and then the trickle for another 25yds.  I went home with a plan to return that afternoon and I found him 150yds away in the creek bottom.  My shot placement was horrible!  He was standing at complete broadside and I hit him just forward of the rear leg, cut a main artery/vein and he bled-out internally.  Following this incredible fail I needed help.  I was about to give up totally on archery hunting/shooting as I was not able to make any real progress or find any local instruction.

My good friend Shawn Padgett convinced me to try again and he got me setup with a used bow and quality components (Bowtech General, Scott Release, Carbontech arrows, PDP field points, Trophy Ridge sight, G5 peep, and Bernie Pellerite). I read Bernie’s book, followed the instructions for dispelling all of the myths about archery (I had about every one of them in my head), and I had ‘Target-Panic’!  With my 2 new coaches (Shawn and Bernie) I followed their plan for bow setup, shooting sequence, and blind bail practice.  Within 4 weeks I was on my way to recovery from ‘target panic’ and was able to hit a 6” circle out to 40yds!  In ‘hind-sight’, the answer was simple; get good instruction before you get 20+ years of bad habits!  It is much easier to correct minor flaws in good form than to replace years of bad habits and misguided form – so teach your children and your friends to find a good teacher/coach.  Today I enjoy archery hunting, 3D tournaments, and indoor spot shooting all due to the help of a good friend/coach.

Get Out and Shoot the way Your Coach Told You To!

Ken Otis

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Published by admin on 03 Dec 2013

Technology And Deer Hunting: Top Apps And Equipment For Attracting Techie Millennials To The Outdoors

Isolated iPhone 4 - Weather

No longer doomed to the boredom of perching in uncomfortable stands for hours on ends, today’s deer hunters enjoy a thoroughly technological approach to their craft. Some critics complain of new gadgets taking all the challenge out of hunting; however, when approached correctly, these tools can remove the usual discomfort while retaining the excitement of the hunt. More importantly, they make hunting accessible to a demographic once left out of the loop: young, techie professionals.

ActInNature Hunting App

A new social vibe now resides among young hunters, many of whom refuse to visit the woods on their own. This situation necessitates a joining of forces with small groups of outdoorsy types, carpooling to and hanging out at the designated hunting spot. But eventually, one or more members of your the may break off from the group, at which point, a tracking app could come in handy. Let the ActInNature iPhone app keep track of group members’ whereabouts via GPS. And at the low, low cast of nada, it’s quite the bargain — preventing the loss of a friend for free!

iHunt Journal App

In hunter education courses, students learn the importance of carefully assessing their surroundings. In the past, prospective hunters might’ve applied this recommendation through the use of a small notebook. Now, pen and paper are making way for iPhones, which makes note-taking easier, more accessible and far quieter than its outdated counterpart. Additionally, the $8.99 app is able to retrieve valuable information related to weather patterns, plus plenty of other factors capable of making or breaking the big hunt.

Digital Trail Cameras

A few deer hunting implements have yet to transition to the iPhone, in part, because such a move would be highly impractical. Such is the case for digital trail cameras, rare holdouts in a mobile age. Responsible for cluing hunters in on the current whereabouts of local bucks, these cameras offer supreme protection from the elements — and unlike iPhone cameras, can be left behind for extended periods of time. The Moultrie Panoramic can capture three distinctive images and combine them all into one crisp panoramic shot. Yes, it costs $255, but tech-junkie hunters would argue that this is a small price to pay for the vast photographic improvements, as compared to other trail camera models.

Gorilla Eye Trail Spy

The typical millennial hunter arrives in the woods with a group of friends and a generous supply of beer in tow, or, at minimum, a nice lineup of entertaining smartphone apps. Problem is, with all these distractions, it can be tough to keep focused on the task at hand: spotting, targeting and taking down deer. Fortunately, the distracted hunter now has a friend in the form of the Gorilla Eye Trail Spy. This gadget combines a pivoting tree bracket with a wireless remote in order to locate game and, of course, alert hopelessly distracted hunters.

 

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