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Published by Frank Biggs on 29 Oct 2013

Bwana Bubba’s 2012 Oregon Blacktail Archery Hunt

Sunday Morning Hunt

Taking the Shot Buck!

Combat Mode! 

Though this story will end up with harvesting of a small Blacktail Buck from the Willamette Valley in Oregon, it is more about the principles and aspects of aging in the hunting scenario.

I would like to say this is the buck of harvest, but not! Right Handed Tree Stand in background!

Over the years, especially when I was younger I lived to hunt and fish.   I was very selfish and would spend most of my time either at work or doing the great outdoors.  It was a total escapement from reality after serving in the U.S. Navy and being In Country. I found great excitement with chasing and harvesting game.  My fishing was about how many fish I could catch, later finding it was more fun to catch and release.

Now later in life I find I do not have as much time to hunt and fish with the reality of still working into my 60’s.   Weekends are a thing of the past since I have been in the RV selling business.   Hunts have now turned to hunting in the valley close to home for the elusive Blacktail Deer.

What started with getting permission to take pictures of Blacktail Bucks on a parcel of land outside of Oregon City & Canby, Oregon has turned into the place to have the opportunity to harvest a Blacktail.  The landowner himself is a Vietnam Vet and I know he finds great peace to be able to walk his timbered land and in some places be able to escape the daily grind!

This year was different from the past years on the M & L Ranch as I call it.   It is the first time other than a Blackberry thicket blind, that I have setup a real tree stand and fixed ground blind.   My thoughts have always been to glass, spot and pursue the game, with an occasional wait at a nearby waterhole for Pronghorn.

I had past him up at 40 yards, but this is not what I saw from 40 yards through the Blackberries!

The 2012 Archery Season in Oregon was of great expectations in harvesting one of the Big Three Blacktail bucks that we all had captured on Trail Cams.   With Odd 3 X 3 leading the pack, “Sticker” second and finally the P & Y buck Even 3 X 3.  You do notice that I have never mentioned a 4 x 4! I have yet to see a 4 point buck western count in 2012.   In the past I have seen a number of them and have put them on film!

I truly hate to say it, but many of the big bucks I have seen have been poached.   I have heard rifle shots in the familiar sound of hunting situation before the archery season and during the season.  Poaching has become a major issue in Oregon!   It can’t be about the meat, but about the rack.

Blacktail Deer - Even 2012
P & Y Buck at probably 110″ Maybe JR can get him!

So with the missed opportunity on the Even 3 X 3 in the first couple of days really took me back mentally.   The easiest shots, can most often not work!  I am sure most know that deal in hunting.   Having hit the tree stand rail not once but twice on the 25 yard shot was embarrassing for sure.    Small note:   WHEN PUTTING UP A TREE STAND AND SETTING UP THE LINE OF THE ANIMAL TO BE POSITION, MAKE SURE YOU PUT UP YOUR STAND IN RELATIONSHIP TO BEING LEFT HANDED OR RIGHT HANDED.   In this case for me being Left Handed I should have put it across the path to the opposite tree.  It is definitely a Right Handed tree stand.  Guess I will have to get another one and put it on the opposite tree 25 yards across the path!  My partner’s JR (Frankie) and Mark are right-handed!  They had decided what tree to put the stand up before I can to help!  Pretty smart guys!

As most of you know that are in the circle, with two weeks into the archery season had a second chance with a 20 yard shot on a nice heavy 3 x 3 at 20 yards (No Hesitation Either).

The one that also got away and survives another day! Flesh Wound!  He was harvested in 2013 on Opening Day!  Strange as it is, he not the first buck to take an arrow clear through and survive.

I shot through the Camo mesh of the ground blind, leading to a close Kill shot (3”) to a glancing arrow hitting the shoulder and ricocheting upward and out.   I have had someone call me unethical for not making this one buck the one find and harvest.  In this case give me a break with a Blacktail and the odds, especially with a bow!   Mark and myself spent 3 hours looking for blood on the buck, which ended with one final drop about 300 yards away in the dark at 2200.  The following morning I spent another 3 hours and found no more blood on the ferns and what appeared to be a buck with normal walk back into the forest (no broken limbs or down branches).

Great shot on a Blacktail Buck – Martin Onza 3 on display also!

So in the following weeks the buck has been on trail cams in good health.  In fact when Mark was in his tree stand with his rifle (Willamette 615 anything tag) the buck came to within 12 yards of him in good health.   As this is another story of Mark’s buck that he took at that time, all I can say is the buck might have been a vendetta for me to get him, but I was not worried about his health any longer.  Just a bad hit!

It is now Sunday September 9th in the morning about 0430 and my wife wakes me up and says “aren’t you going hunting this morning!”  Na!  I got to work and need my sleep!  I am now awake and say to myself, I am gone.   In minutes without combing my hair I headed out the door and into the darkness.  Looking at my cell found I see JR.; my son left me text messages (10) about the morning hunting.  I text back are you awake as I am already heading to my secure parking spot!  No return text, guess I got the place to myself today!  It would have been great to have him with me!

It does not take me long to get ready once there and I head off to the stand about ¼ from the parking spot.   Quickly get up in the stand with the anticipation of a good hunt, as it cooler this Sunday.   I figured I might get the spike and of course plus the one doe with twin fawns in first, with maybe a big boy coming in before 0700.   I patiently wait, which is a major problem for me as it super quite in the draw.  The only noises are the wind rusting the trees and occasional Scrub Jay squawking in the distance.  I should add the lone owl hooting in the canyon!

It is now approaching 0700 with no movement at all on the forest ground, I am extremely bored and need to get on feet and make a ground hunt.   I lower my bow and day pack to the ground, check the trail cam and see that only 6 pictures from the 12 hour period.   I thought about heading back to the house and catch a few winks before work, but I would not get any sleep.   I dropped the pack and headed over to Mark’s stand near the edge of the western sector of the farm.   No movement in the heavy grasses and I surely did not jump anything, as Mark’s stand borders the field and heavy timber.  Hmm!

I pick up my day pack and talked to myself and ask the question to drive around to the eastern sector and hunt from there and see if I can jump a Blacktail Buck.   I tell myself to go back to the stand and head up the trail that leads to the dry creek bed and the eastern sector of the farm (most of us old war dogs talk to ourselves a lot).   I decide that I wanted to go light on this expedition with only my bino’s, range finder and bow!   I am wearing a Camo long sleeve shirt and I have my booties on as it is very noisy place to walk and think you are quiet when making a good stalk.

Here I am only about 200 to 300 yards from my stand on the trail and spot a doe that had just come up out of the draw that leads down to the creek bed and the other side of the farm.  It is a warn trail now and used by the game since Frankie (JR) and his cousin had taken a D-6 Cat through the property, it has given a game when not disturb a bit easier route to feeding areas.  There are places near the creek bottom that are so thick; I would have to eat the deer there!

Ok!  I spot the doe and she is a ways out there, I would put her at about 50 yards line of sight.  Not sure if she has caught me as slither back into the Scott Broom.   I decide to range her in and use my left hand, my release hand.  Shaking a bit, I target to the left of her to a small bush and it says 48 yards.   I got the area pretty well dialed in and will wait to see what come out of the draw.  Finally a very smart move on Cobra’s part!   Her fawns that no longer have spots doodle along and up.   I can not see the doe at all during this time and I assume she did not see me!   Then I see a deer coming up, it stops and see it has a rack, I can not tell the size it all seems to blend into the background of brown grasses and the fir trees.   Knowing what my Martin Onza 3 can do for me, I am at instinct mode and without though of size or distance my eyes as they are looking through the peep side have the orange 40 yard pin set about 1-2 inches above the back bone.  The release is very smooth and no hesitation on my part.   I see the arrow in flight as the  Norway Zeon Fusion (pink) vanes are evident in flight.

I love the way these beauties fly and glow for me!

The buck has moved forward during the short time of flight of the arrow.   “Damn” is all I could say when I see the arrow hit the hind quarter forward.  What surprised me was to see the deer drop like a sack of bricks and then he shook!  Wow!  Then to my further surprise the buck go back up and struggled into the Scott Broom.  Out in the distance at about 100 yards there is a monster buck facing directly at me when I stepped out to lay the bow down!   I quickly move up to the spot and find blood.   I marked the spot with my bow and head back to the day pack to get what I needed.  I call my JR and to my surprise he answers his phone! Hoorah!  He is on his way with his truck that he can get back there and not be upset with the blackberries scrapping the side of his truck.  I do check at my launching point and range find to the spot the buck was initially standing at and it hits 63 yards.

I have a head in this picture! Keep it clean! I still have the ability to shoot some distance!

I have to tell you that during the flight of the arrow, there seem to be little arch (trajectory) in the flight.  What a strange feeling of watching the flight which was under a second, like out of a movie!  The Martin Onza 3 is most likely pushing 330fps with my setup!   Outstanding performance for me!  Martin bows have never failed me on a hunt!

I have pulled my rig near the stand, hoof back to the area with cameras and my Gerber’s.   I did not have to go very far from the hit spot, the blood trail was extensive and the buck was stretched out about 80-100 yards from the impact area.  I could see the buck is one that I had seen on camera and past up an evening before when I went to the stand and had him at 40 yards.  He was a young 3 X 3 or better 3 X 2 with no eye guards.

I was in combat mode during this time period of spot and shoot.  I truly love to spot, stalk and then kill!  I have found that the times in the field with difficult shots and I go to combat instinct mode the job usually gets done.  I do not think about anything, but the mind has allowed me to react!  One can read a book call “Blink” and understand what I am saying.  Thinking about a situation to much, I feel that you can make a dumb mistake!  Let me tell you I have made mistakes and failed number of times.  Being on the ready at all times makes for success.

The arrow did hit his hind quarter on the right side, failed to pass through.  During the Hawaiian Field Dressing operation I could see what had happen and I am most surprised, as I have never seen this before. I failed to mention that JR had given me a package of new broadheads to try and just that morning I did put one on my arrow.  The broadhead does not look like it could be as effective or un-effective as the Thunderheads I had on the rest of the arrows.   The name of this broadhead is Slick Trick 100 gr.!

This is a picture of the Slick Trick 100 gr. Magnum after hitting the ball and socket!

So during the Hawaiian field dressing using one of my gifted Gerber Gator knives I find that if the arrow had passed through there would have been pumping out even great flow of blood, but what happen once the arrow hit the flesh it angled back and somewhat down hitting the knuckle in the hip joint pulverizing the ball joint.  I have never seen this done to an animal with a Broadhead in all my years of bow hunting.   I have seen ribs cracked or cut, but for the arrow to go through that much tissue and still do that at the range of 60 yards is simply amazing.   As you know at this time I will be changing in the future to Slick Trick Broadhead.   Another thing that arrow flew as straight as if I had shot at 10 yard target.  My Onza 3 highly tuned, as all my Martin bows have been.  Reminds when I tried Barnes X bullets 225 grain in my Weatherby 340 on an elk hunt and took out the bull at 1000 yards approx (testimonial proof) and he dropped in his tracks.  I have never looked back on using the product.   Knowing that the product will do the job, if there is a mistake it is usually the hunter!  It can be equipment also if you don’t check and make sure it ready to shoot! So my deer hunting for 2012 has come to an end and I now can if time permits to focus on elk or help JR get his archery buck in the State of Oregon!

This story has been posted in Bwana Bubba which is a big deal for me to get a story posted!

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Published by Frank Biggs on 27 Oct 2013

Bwana Bubba’s 2013 Archery Hunt – Boys get their first Blacktail Bucks!

The Oregon General Archery Season Opener proved to be a successful opening day hunt in the Willamette Valley for Blacktail Deer Bucks’.  Neither of the two young men had every taken a Blacktail Buck with the bow and arrow!

The anticipation of the 2013 Oregon Archery Season Opener had been a very exciting anxiety brain thought for me. 

Having myself wanting to target two (2) different bucks during the season, I was ready for the opener on August 24th, 2013.   There would be two (2) other hunters hunting the small parcel (90 acres) of un-fenced land in the Willamette Valley of Oregon in the Clackamas County zone outside of Oregon City, Oregon. Neither of the other two (2) young bucks (Frankie or Mark) had ever taken a buck deer with the bow and arrow.   Considering the Columbia Blacktail deer is one of the toughest to hunt, the odds are lowered.  One hunter was my son Frank Jr. who has been hunting since he was 12 years old and the other hunter Mark S. one of Oregon’s finest…

Both are experience hunters with the rifle and have taken Mule Deer, Blacktail Deer, Elk and Pronghorn. Mark would be hunting from his treestand at the far end of the property in which he can view the vineyard that the deer were still working over during the year.   Jr. would be in a ground blind in the same draw that I was in, though I would be in the treestand.  This year Jr. would be hunting for the first time with a 2013 Martin Rytrea Alien XT and also for the first time the HHA Sports 5519 Optimizer Bow Sight.  All of us would be using again for the second year the Slick Trick 100gr. Broadhead.

Mark's Blacktail in the velvet!
Mark’s Blacktail in the velvet!
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Frankie’s Blacktail in the velvet and how he saw him on opening day, but in the daylight!

 

Anticipation by all was at its highest with all of us to harvest a Blacktail buck, since we had many bucks working the area.  At times it would seem we would have an atmosphere of a buck pasture, as does working the area lacking! Just before shooting time, I get a silent text message from Mark, “they are all around my tree”.  My thoughts were of course those of jealousy with him getting first lick on a buck.  Legal shooting time was upon us and I get another text message from Mark “Elfi is down, I smoked him”.  Now I had a bit of relief that he did not take the Number 1 Blacktail on vineyard and there would still be a chance in the future.

Mark with his P & Y Buck!  First bow kill of big game!
Mark with his P & Y Buck! First bow kill of big game!

Mark text me again that he would stay in this stand for an hour to wait on the deer and give us a chance.

Now the story gets really interesting, as Mark’s last text comes in, I see a lone deer moving through the tree to my left at a good pace.  Thinking back the deer was running a bit erratic.  This would come into play in about an hour of this sighting! It is now about 30 minutes later and I spot from the treestand about 4-5 bucks in the Douglas Firs, just milling around across the gravel road from the draw.   I see they are moving to the North and there is an opening in the blackberries.  I knew at this time they deer were heading into the draw.  The bucks and a couple does go out of sight as they go around the blackberries, travel 30 yards down the gravel road and turn east into the draw. Quickly sending Jr. a text that they were coming towards him and too be on the ready. The action is about to start, as deer are under my stand coming from the South and I can see the bucks with does coming from the West into the draw.

Frankie with his first bow buck kill with the bow and arrow!
Frankie with his first bow buck kill with the bow and arrow!

I am just mesmerized by the movement and the amount of game upon us.  I have my Optimizer set at 30 yards in anticipation of the bucks coming into my open shooting zone. The deer are on top of Jr.’s ground blind and I just sit there watching the action and not wanting to standup and get ready.

He still lives and looks to have made it through the rifle season in Oregon.  No one is suppose to hunt this place with a rifle!
The Even 3 X 3 has been harvest on 11-22-13 and he had a rough score of 123.   Great buck for the area and since I took him after chasing him for two (2) years, he left his blood line going into the future bucks!

The big Even 3 X 3 is at 42 yards from me, if I were to shoot at the easy shot, the arrow’s flight would have to zoom between Douglas Fir branches and then over the top of Jr.’s blind.   All the deer just stop at this point which is 2 – 10 yards from the blind.  They know something is up at this point, but still wanting to move down the draw to the creek bottom.  All of a sudden one of the bucks looks into the only open window in the portable blind.  The buck has eye contact with Jr., (should have had sunglasses on) snorts and bulks.   With that movement Even 3 X 3 and all the other bucks and deer are gone in a flash.  I was mistaken since I could not see one of the bucks that remained.  A Forked Horn with Eyeguards (only buck that is still in velvet) stands his ground at 5 yards from Jr.’s blind.   In my mind I am saying shoot, what are you waiting for Frankie!  A split second later I hear the report of the arrow hitting the buck in the zone.  The buck walks off directly away from him, turns and jogs about 40 yards and the rest is history!

 

As for myself I am still stunned that I did not take the shot, but there was something in my mind that told me not do so it.  Reasoning or Mind Drift? Quickly I am out of the stand congratulating Frankie and he find his deer in minutes. You ask why Jr. didn’t take the Even 3 X 3, same question I asked him!  “Dad that is your buck that you have been chasing for 2 years, I wasn’t going to ruin that moment!”

A great hunt that I got to see the hunt un-fold from above!
A great hunt that I got to see the hunt un-fold from above!

After finding Frankie’s buck from a good blood trail within a couple of minutes, taking pictures and High Fiving, Frankie now tells me that we need to help Mark find his deer.  This happen to be a work day for me and want to get one deer Hawaiian Quartered and then worry about Mark’s buck secondly! We do go over to Mark who was coming back to the truck to get rid of his gear.  His buck had not dropped out in the vineyard.  We all went back to help him find his buck.  A most difficult venture at first as there was little sign of blood to track.   After about 15 minutes I told Mark we would be back, as we need to get the buck taken care of now! Mark informed me and Jr. that he had called his Dad, Dan to come and help.

Dad and Son teamed up to trace the buck!  4 eyes many times works better than 2!  Hoorah!
Dad and Son teamed up to trace the buck! 4 eyes many times works better than 2! Hoorah!

As you read this you wonder about Mark’s hit on the deer.  It will be another story once Mark gets it written, but from the video he had taken, it was a good hit and finding the buck would come. We get Frankie’s deer done in about 30 minutes Hawaiian style of quartering, taking only the meat out.

Get with Mark and Dan, as they found some more blood.  Telling him about the deer I had seen moving through the trees just after his shot, proved to be the positive outcome of finding his buck.  The deer have had the habit of escaping or when hit to travel down into a deep canyon on the farm, that I did not even know existed until January of this year.   As soon as Mark and Dan hit the deer trail at the top of the canyon the blood trail was very heavy, but not without the buck expiring in the in heavy cover.  The dandy Pope & Young Blacktail buck didn’t travel more than 300 yards from the stand, though he made an oval track circle to the right, then straight into the canyon.

Frankie’s buck was a really nice Velvet Forked Horn with Eyeguards, with great sylemtry.  Mark’s buck was a very tall 3 X 3 with Eyeguards and would make Pope & Young.  It also was the buck that I had put an arrow completely through in 2012 that did not affect the deer.  Strange as there were no signs once skinned he had ever been hit, yet we have pictures the day after in 2012 of wounds on left and right side.

At this writing Even 3 X 3 is still alive waiting for the rut to find him.   Since opening day he has only been seen 3 times, twice on cameras at the wee hours of the darkness in the morning and once during the general rifle season out in the open field!

It is great that the two young shooters found their marks on bucks to give them the confidence of the bow and arrow on big game. 

In the State of Oregon, bowhunters have greater amount of time and opportunities to hunt for big game.

Bwana Bubba

 

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Published by Frank Biggs on 08 Sep 2013

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – Hunting Equipment – GPS & Mapping Systems

The following article are my thoughts and opinions on the subject of GPS & Mapping Systems

Private land in middle of National Forest!
Private land in middle of National Forest!

I would have to say my interested in the GPS (Global Positioning System) equipment started in or around 1998 after I started to work for a large Sporting Goods Company in the Portland Metro Area in Oregon.

This will be a two part (2) article about GPS Products and then about Topo (Topographical) mapping that is designed for hunters, hikers, walkers, fishermen and anyone else that might use a GPS in the great outdoors of the U.S.A.

Over the course of many years of working with GPS products I have come to the conclusion of what I feel is the best GPS products to use in the field. Now this is my opinion and may not be everyone’s opinion!

Having known many small private plane owner pilots, they all seem to have one GPS product system that they rely on.   I will tell you it is GARMIN and be truthful about it.

I have had the opportunity to try every large name GPS products out there that have Topo mapping that is their branded line of mapping.  There are many good GPS products out there, but they are not the best!

I want you to think about support, updates, ease of putting in waypoints, transferring waypoints to and from the computer!  Garmin is by far the easiest that I have worked with.  With Garmin one can zoom in to about 80’ and that is great when you have detail TOPO (Topographical) mapping to go with it.

As for support it is the best out there via the net or on-line, as I have used both and the last time when I could not get it done on my own, I called support and actually got tech support in my local state, which meant a lot when I was communicating my problem.

Another item of importance is that you need a GPS that has a high sensitivity internal antenna and WAAS system.   It also needs to be a colored screen vice black and white.  It should have capabilities for an SD Micro Card or have enough internal memory.  Much of our hunting, hiking or exploring is done in dense timber, or in areas that there might have a canopy.   My latest GPS Garmin Montana will work inside of my office building.

A well used Garmin Montana with lots of secret spots!
A well used Garmin Montana with lots of secret spots!

Most of my hunters that I help did not realize that Garmin has a free software download called Base Map (Computer interface program to GPS device).  This is a big deal to me and my hunters that are willing to get the proper mapping and GPS.

The mapping is from another company (Hunting GPS Maps) that is not a Garmin product, yet is able to be used with the Garmin Base Map and Garmin GPS products.

I believe that Garmin’s Blue Maps and City Streets mapping is great, but I am not a fan of the Garmin Topo Mapping.  There is not enough detail or no detail of private lands within National Forest and it does not show B.L.M. Lands.   Matter of fact there is only white (no way to know other public lands) for all other lands except National Forest which is green.

The inner face is easy and once you have the software load on both the computer and the GPS you have one of the greatest tools in the world.

If you are not computer sassy you can obtain a Hunting GPS Map on Micro Chip and install it in a Garmin GPS product.  The importance for those using the product is that you will know the public land (BLM, State, and Federal) private lands and in many cases the landowners name, then there are the private timber lands that are white with dots.  Much of the private timber lands in the west are open to the public.  The information regarding which timber lands that is open to the public should be listed with the most State Game Departments, which it is in Oregon.  Everything is color coded for the easy identifying of lands, National Forest is Green, State Lands are usually Blue, Private Lands are White, BLM is Yellow, City Properties can be purple or maroon, and the Private timber lands are White with Dots.

Just think about being out there hunting and crossing into a piece of this land thinking you are hunting National Forest and it is a Gold Mine in Eastern, Oregon or maybe a mine in Utah.   One might not like the experience they might have with an old miner.

A GPS is one of the most important pieces of equipment to have when you are hunting in areas of mixed land.

I will tell you since I first started to write this page, that my friends at HUNTINGGPSMAPS have come out with a new product for those I Pad and I Phone users, such as my son.  You are now able to get the same mapping for their usage.  Hopefully you have a connection when out there, as least you can be legal when working the zones.

My I Pad with the new HUNTING GPS  MAPS installed!
My I Pad with the new HUNTING GPS MAPS installed!

I tell my DIY Antelope-Pronghorn hunters that it is a must for them to have a product that gives the boundaries.  Just look at a place like the famous Steen’s Mountains in Southeastern, Oregon.  There are many parcels of private in the middle of BLM that is hard to tell what is what, since there is so much cross fencing.  Yes you can have a paper map from the BLM, which is fine for reference, but of course you’ve had the map for 20 years or got it from a buddy who had it for 20 yards and BLM had done land swaps.  Don’t get me wrong, I came from old school with paper BLM and N.F. maps.

I know from experience how important a GPS is with trespassing and these products can save a hunt.   How many times do hunters get stopped on B.L.M. or even N.F. by ranchers that might have cattle rights on the public land?  Telling the hunter they are trespassing!  Oh!  It happens a lot in the West!  The Foreman of the famous Hay Creek back in the day would stop hunters on public roads going along the ranch and into B.L.M. and the National Grasslands.  It is one thing to get stopped by law enforcement, but not by a private citizen on the public land!

Private land in the Steen's Mnts of Oregon that may not have a fence or may have a fence and you think it is BLM.
Private land in the Steen’s Mnts of Oregon that may not have a fence or may have a fence and you think it is BLM.

When I help hunters find places at this point for FREE, I expect it to be quick and easy on my part.  The idea of helping hunters in this hectic busy lifestyle we have to shorten the scouting time in land they know nothing about.  Get waypoints to them in good hunting areas and go from there.

There is some much one can learn about a spot that they might only get to hunt a few times in a lifetime, since most special tags take so long to get.   With a Garmin Colored GPS with SD Micro slot, Garmin Base Map (Computer), Hunting GPS Maps and Google Earth, you can go from Novice to Expert in a very short time prior to your outing.

Do you really want to get Coordinates and plug them into your GPS without knowing what you are looking at? 
Be smart and move up in technology and you’ll find new avenues to hunt and be confident in the hunt!

Frank aka Cobra

 

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Published by admin on 29 Aug 2013


Mission MXB-360 Crossbow
ArrowTrade Magazine May 2013

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Scientific Crossbow Test

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Mission MXB-360
By Jon Teater

It’s been quite a few years since a Mathews or Mission Archery product has gone through my testing regime, mostly because of my focus on crossbows rather than compound bows. It was surprising yet not totally unexpected when Mission released a new crossbow late last year. Crossbows continue to grow in importance in the archery market and Mathews Authorized Retailers have been asking for their favorite bow supplier to get into that side of the market. Mathews is the parent company of Mission, so it’s not unexpected to see Mathews engraving on the rail, including a bit of Mathews flair throughout the design.
Mathews and Mission Archery sell not only a product but an experience. Many archers enjoy the feeling of having a top quality product in their hands. Years ago, I can remember testing my first Mathews product. I can vaguely recall the model but more importantly, I can describe the feeling I had while shooting. The balance, draw cycle and firing sequence, which by today’s standards are probably considered outdated, were better than top-notch at the time. In fact, I can honestly say many of the past Mathews bows, including the one I’m reminiscing about, were heads above the rest. If you look at today’s great bow designs, Mathews products still remain in the forefront. I would say its product portfolio exudes elegance. But archers won’t just buy based on looks. What Mathews works to create is the ultimate shooting experience. Therefore, designers of the MXB-360 paid close attention to performance characteristics while creating each component. The product design team released a product that they believe hits all the high points and Matt McPherson expects the MXB-360 to be a leader. The company wanted the crossbows in the Mission line to be fast, quiet and accurate. Additionally, the product needed to be light in weight, well balanced and easy to use, which can be a lot to ask in the design tradeoff process. Bottom line: the Mission line is a new experience and I suspect this product is the first of many new crossbows to come from the Sparta, Wisconsin headquarters.

 

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Testing Background
The MXB-360 went through a standard and regimented performance test. The focus was to determine the performance characteristics. Additionally, the goal was to provide appropriate objective information, as well as some subjective commentary, for aiding in the purchase process. With that said, this evaluation is by no means conclusive. Each archer should assess what is important to him or her and interpret the results within the context of this article. As always, I recommend that anyone who is considering buying a crossbow should shoot as many different makes and models as possible to determine what best suits his or her individual needs and desires.

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Introduction
Mission Archery announced the release of the MXB-360 in September of 2012.
At the time, Matt McPherson, owner and CEO of Mission Archery Inc. and Mathews Inc., said he designed the MXB-360 to give retailers and consumers a fast, powerful and accurate crossbow that is also lightweight, balanced and extremely easy to use. “We’ve spent a few years listening to our retailers ask us to build a crossbow,” McPherson explained. “We’re confident the MXB-360 is going to be a new leader in terms of crossbow performance.”
Both the Mathews and Mission lines have dedicated consumer bases. As you may expect, Mission is probably the more sensible company for this product release. Mathews is a more traditional company, meaning it is strictly bow focused. Mission Archery is slightly more edgy and, from my standpoint, less susceptible to criticism when releasing a product that’s somewhat unconventional. At the time of release, this new product received a lot of publicity. The popularity is really no surprise due to the large following the Mission brand has built in the past few years. In fact, I have several hunting partners that purchased the MXB-360 late last year. So, in my local shooting circuit, many archers knew that Mission had entered the crossbow market and trusted their cash to its introductory model.
The Mission line reflects the look of elegance that I mentioned earlier. The designers worked hard to mix eye appeal with high performance. Matt McPherson predicted this product would be a leader in performance. Being a leader in this market is a difficult feat, since Mission is competing with firms that have honed their crossbow designs and manufacturing skills over decades. Still, the MXB-360 has some unique features that help it stand out. This first Mission crossbow is advertised to weigh 6.55 pounds, which mirrors exactly the measurement I obtained with my certified scales. With a scope, the product weight jumps up but even so, this is one of the lighter crosssbows on the market today. Some of the elements that reduce weight are the skeleton-like barrel, the light forearm and the stock.
The MXB-360 has a tactical look and feel to fit the market trends and from my standpoint, it looks superb. I like the harmonious combination of camouflage and black. The limbs and portions of the stock are embossed in Lost AT, while the remaining portions of the crossbow are black. The crossbow is sold in a complete package. The accessory package includes an MX-3 quiver and three Mission crossbow arrows, weighing approximately 300 grains without their tips. The package includes an option of three scopes: XB Basic, XB Hunter or XB Pro. All these scopes are by Hawke, known for its fine crossbow optics. (Scopes for crossbows are specially designed to correct for parallax at short range and to stand up to the peculiar recoil of these hunting arms.) For this test, the product was provided with all the mentioned components, including a Hawke XB-1 (XB Pro).

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The crossbow dimensions and weights measured out of the box are listed on the previous page.
The crossbow went through a thorough inspection. The review focused on the string/cables, the eccentrics, the limb and limb pockets, the rail, the stock, the butt plate, the trigger housing, the trigger and the trigger guard. After a thorough review of the MXB-360, I was unable to find any blemishes. I would rate the product as exceptional in the workmanship section. Thereafter, I put the product through a 100-150 shot cycling to verify functionality. Some minor testing was performed but the focus was to detect any issues or concerns with the product before starting the actual performance testing. The MXB-360 performed flawlessly. One item I did note was the way the archer must be aware of the location of the cocking rope while attaching the clips prior to drawing the crossbow. The rope can sometimes become latched under the crossbow. If this happens, the archer will be unable to draw the crossbow string back. This happened several times during my initial testing until, after a little practice, I became adept at avoiding that issue.
The crossbow was next evaluated on the five criteria outlined below.
Detailed Test Results
Dynamic Efficiency: The dynamic efficiency portion of the test utilized a Revere Load-Cell controlled by a winch device; the load-cell connects to the crossbow with a cocking aid. The crossbow was mounted in a shooting platform that controlled any movement that might be experienced as Force-Draw curves were taken. The stored energy obtained from the Force-Draw curve was used in conjunction with speed measurements to calculate dynamic efficiency.
Speed per inch of Power Stroke: Speed measurements were taken with three projectiles. A Pact Chronograph XP and a Competition Electronics

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Pro-Chrono IR were set in tandem to record results. The average speed measurement was divided by the power stroke to determine the speed per inch of power stroke.

Noise Output: Sound measurements were recorded with three projectiles. The measurements were averaged and the sound meter was set to take measurements with the A-weighted filter (which mimics the human ear).
Trigger Force: The Trigger Force measurements were recorded in pounds and averaged. An Imada Digital Force Gauge was used to determine the peak Trigger Force.
Precision Measurements: Provides an indication of how tight groups were when shooting the crossbow by hand from a bench rest or other supportive device. Extreme spread was the method used to calculate the group size, measured by a digital calipers.

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The Initial Review
I was happy to receive the MXB-360. Upon opening it, I noticed the crossbow was well packaged. While segregated from the box containing accessories, the crossbow was retained in a case. In fact, this is the first soft case I can remember ever receiving with a crossbow. The case is an excellent touch and a feature that archers are sure to enjoy.
The crossbow was received almost fully assembled. The only components requiring assembly were the scope and quiver bracket. For this test, the scope and quiver bracket were not used and it took just 5 to 10 minutes to precisely position the scope for proper head/eye alignment.
After assembly, I read through the user manual. The manual encompasses safeguards, cocking instructions, specifications, maintenance and warranty. It’s important to run through the crossbow safety rules with customers. While reading the instructions, I was reminded that all Mission crossbows are tested before they leave the factory. The safety instructions are quite detailed and include sharp pictures and information on the dos and don’ts of the MXB-360.
An important aspect of the design is the anti-dryfire component. If a dryfire occurs, this component has the ability to prevent crossbow damage and possible harm to the shooter.

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Safe use of crossbows at the range or in the field is essential for the longevity of the product, as well as the safety of the archer. The MXB-360 has safety warnings “plastered” all over it. First and foremost, orange tape is placed over the string and the crossbow can’t be fired until the tape is removed. Mission placed a caution sticker on the product, which was an excellent idea, since you can’t use the crossbow until it’s removed and you are forced to look at it. The caution notice on the orange tape is very clear; it requests the user to read the owner’s manual, as well as register the product. In addition, stickers on either side of the wings of the forearm remind the archer to keep hands in a safe location to avoid contact with the string while firing. The final safety notices are located on the limbs. The limb stickers reiterate key points of the user manual. For example, the minimum arrow weight is 400 grains, the user must ensure proper vane orientation, the user must use moon nocks only and the user must engage the safety after loading. I mentioned only half the notices, so pay close attention to the safety markings.
Finally, there are limited lifetime warranty terms and conditions with the MXB-360. I recommend that anyone that considers buying this crossbow read through these terms in detail. The terms are also posted on Mission’s website. There are strict rules and procedures to register the crossbow, activate the warranty and make a claim.
In The Field
With winter coming to an end and the weather starting to break, I had time to take the MXB-360 afield. The initial characteristics that most crossbow shooters notice are the weight, feel and balance. The weight aspect is superb, at 6.5 pounds as a bare crossbow; this product is comparable to some of the lightest available today. The crossbow did feel good in my hands; however, the length of pull may be too long for some shooters. (As a reminder, length of pull is the distance from buttstock to trigger.) The balance point (pivot) is at an almost optimal location for my shooting style. The pivot is precisely located at the tail end of the forearm, near the trigger guard.
With many of today’s crossbows, you experience little to no let-off. In fact, only a few crossbows available today are truly focused on producing let-off. Some will say this aspect is unimportant and has little impact on the archer using a rope cocking aid but I disagree. Drawing a crossbow in a treestand or on the ground can be difficult for the last few inches of the drawing sequence. You can teach a customer to bend his legs and use those powerful muscles for most of the cocking process but once the legs are straight, then weaker shoulder and arm muscles have to take over. The MXB-360’s force draw curve indicates a steady drop-off into the valley, reducing any struggle the user may experience. In fact, the measured holding weight is around 66 pounds, which is particularly low, considering the peak weight is around 160-170 pounds.
A primary difference between the MXB-360 and other crossbows, something that became noteworthy in the field, is the lack of a stirrup at the front end. The designers felt that reducing the overall length of the crossbow would be beneficial in the field. Let me tell you, it was! Crossbow length and weight can be issues with some customers, whether they’re used to carrying a bow or a rifle. The MXB-360 feels no different than a rifle on my back. The cleat design of the MXB-360, which replaces the stirrup on a traditional crossbow, allows the user to place his or her foot on either side of the crossbow while drawing. This feature played a huge part in allowing me to easily cock the crossbow while in the treestand.
As I typically do, I brought the MXB-360 to my predetermined shooting location, with four targets spaced at various distances. The furthest target was almost 50 yards away. My treestand includes a removable shooting rail, so I am able to test with or without support. The crossbow performed flawlessly during this shooting sequence. I was conscious to make sure I lubricated the rail every 15 to 20 shots, as recommended by the crossbow manual. The component that stood out the most during this portion of the test was the Hawke scope, which is outstanding. The reticle setup is unique and was designed for easy target acquisition. In fact, I would rate the XB Pro to be one of the best scopes available and it certainly aided my shooting. The crossbow hit the mark in the field; the projectile precision provided herein from indoor testing mirrored what I experienced in the field. And from my standpoint, you can’t ask for a product to shoot better than 2 inch groups at 40 yards.

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Hot Features
Many of the top selling features of this product have already been mentioned. The pistol grip, customized case, adjustability, efficient design, comfortable trigger, telescopic sight, cleat design and performance output come to my mind as elements that will grab a consumer’s attention. The unique look of the design, starting with the skeletonized barrel, which extends rearward toward the stock, is eye catching. The drawing sequence and quiet output of the limb/cam configuration are ideal for a hunting situation. Further, the limb/cam design is one of the most efficient I have tested to date, reaching greater than 80 percent. (Please note that the draw weight of the MXB-360 is adjustable downward to 100 pounds and efficiencies will be impacted when reducing the crossbow from peak weight.)
The trigger pull is in that optimal range for my shooting style of between 3.5 and 4 pounds. The final noteworthy characteristic is the previously mentioned stirrup-free design. With this approach, Mission proves sometimes you can do more with less.
Possible Refinements
I found several areas I felt could be improved upon in the next rendition of this model or in additional models from Mission. The stock and forearm, including the pistol grip, lack frictional areas. Some products include checkering or rubberized material to allow the archer to make firm contact with the crossbow. Without these high friction areas, the crossbow could be more difficult to handle in the field, especially in wet conditions. The next area is the cocking rope anchor. I did see the benefit in this concept; however, the location does not seem convenient and can be somewhat problematic when trying to quickly cock the product; practice can alleviate this concern. The third area is a debatable point because this is an area of personal preference and is constantly discussed amongst designers. I prefer an auto-engaged safety, which the MXB-360 does not have. Please ensure that consumers are aware that this product needs to be placed on “safe” after it is cocked, similar to a firearm. The final element I’d like to see improved upon is the length of pull. From my standpoint, the length of pull will be too long for certain archers. My suggestion is that Mission could include a stock that has some built in adjustability; this will alleviate any issues from those with shorter or longer arms.
Summary
Mission has produced a great first crossbow after several years of rapid growth in vertical bow sales. The MXB-360 can be sold with three different scopes, providing different pricing levels. The reputation of the manufacturer and of designer Matt McPherson makes this product desirable. Consumers love Mathews and Mission has a lot of the same appeal, so use this to your advantage. I would also highlight the performance concepts; this crossbow’s speed measured just under 360 fps in my test with a 400 grain arrow. Speed does sell but noting the high efficiency and low noise output will help consumers understand this product isn’t just your average crossbow. The final selling method is to highlight the looks. From a distance, the MXB-360 exudes elegance and users may be easily drawn to this product because of that. The eye appeal of the MXB-360 will be far greater than some of the latest crossbows from other brands. Much of the allure comes from the stirrup-free design and tactical look.
Overall, I enjoyed testing this product and I’m very pleased to see Mission Archery in the crossbow market!
(Note, you can find more of Jon Teater’s crossbow reports online at arrowtrademag.com)

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Published by admin on 11 Jul 2013

Aspirinbuster Show Comes to Select Cabela’s

 

STRAIGHT SHOT COLUMN

Aspirinbuster Show Comes to Select Cabela’s

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A Cabela’s store is a destination. One the whole family can enjoy. A trip to a Cabela’s store is entertaining, educational and it can help the family explore outdoor pursuits they can participate in together. A Cabela’s has a huge inventory for everything outdoors from camping, hiking, hunting and fishing plus much more. My friend Dick Mauch tells me of his early days with Bear Archery when he sat in the kitchen with Dick and Mary Cabela as they prepared for their first store/catalog. At the time they sold hand tied flies mail order from an ad in the back of magazines. It’s amazing to see how well the company has grown since those early days.

This summer you can catch my Aspirin Buster instinctive archery show at several Cabela’s on the East coast. I’ll be bringing my unique brand of “bow and arrow dazzle dazzle” to the following Cabela’s stores:

East Hartford, CT. July 20-21
Scarborough, ME. July 27-28
Columbus, OH. August 10-11
Wheeling, WV. August 17-18
Charleston, WV. August 31-Sept 1

This is your chance to see my show for free at these stores. I’ll perform two shows per day, contact the store for exact times. Bring your entire family and tell your friends because my message will entertain young and old alike. Having grown up in a family that spent a great deal of time afield camping, hunting and fishing, my message is that families should spent time together outdoors away from TV, computers and video games once in awhile. There is something very rewarding about creating lifetime memories around a campfire with your family. My message fits in very well at Cabela’s.

Here’s a quote from Cabela’s Bud Forte:

“Seeing is believing. If someone were to tell you that they will shoot baby
aspirin thrown into the air with a bow and arrow shot from behind his back, your
eyebrows would curl and you would get that puzzled look on your face. I have
seen Frank Addington do it on multiple occasions here at Cabela’s and you must
see it too. Frank’s polished professionalism shines when he interacts with the
crowd and his positive message inspires the young and young at heart in every
show.”
Bud Forte-Retail marketing Manager, Cabela’s, Wheeling, West Virginia.

You can see my entire show at these events– including multiple arrows, multiple targets, and various size targets all the way down to a baby aspirin– all shot with my Hoyt bow behind my back! I’ll also be available for meet and greets, questions and to say Howdy after the show. Seeing is believing, see you at the show!

 

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((Photo– Frank with Cabela’s Bud Forte))

 

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Published by Jeff-NC on 07 Jul 2013

Unbelievable Bow Shooting! I Bet You Can’t Do This

My dad and I are pretty close and we are always talking and sharing stuff related to golf, fishing and hunting.  So last week he sent me an email with the subject line

“You Ain’t Going To Believe This”

When I opened the email it had the link below and a one line description that read

Bow hunting for doves.

Amazing archery skills

Amazing archery skills

Now I have dove hunted with shotguns and I know just how hard it is.  So I was really expecting to open the link and see a video of a guy shooting 50 flu flu arrows to kill one dove.

Man, I was wrong.  This video is one of the most impressive examples of shooting skill that I have ever seen.  The hunter is Tim Wells and many of you know his talent.  I’ll stop yapping now and tell you that you need to take 3 minutes and watch the video.

 

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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!

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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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Published by admin on 01 May 2013

THE MOST IMPORTANT AND EXCITING SAFARI OF ALL

THE MOST IMPORTANT AND EXCITING SAFARI OF ALL             by Ted Nugent

The huge, gnarly grizzly bear was pretty much hidden in the jungle-like thicket of the tree covered knob only 30 yards away. Four year old grandson Caeden crouched beside me, shaking with excitement as we ever so slowly creeped slightly closer, one very careful tippy toe baby step at a time.

Staying in the shadows, we kept the wind in our face, and used every trick in the book to sneak into bow and arrow range of our stunning, wary trophy.

Finally, we were within 20 yards when the beast stood on its hind legs, and in one lifetime learned graceful swoop, my arrow was off and zapped the fury monster right in the pumper, and little Caeden and poppy jumped for joy! The smile on his little face, and mine, would provide an immeasurable joyous spiritual muscle memory explosion forevermore.

Ok, it wasn’t a real grizzly bear, but we consider any good sized groundhog in the garden or front yard to be every bit as worthy and thrilling a trophy as a genuine Alaska coastal 10 foot brownie. We know how to live!

When in doubt, whip it out, we always say. So after a wonderful morning of grandpa and grandson suburban adventure, bird life, flora and fauna identification education fun, it was only natural for young Caeden to alert me to the meanderings of big small game in the nearby shrubbery.

He learned much that beautiful spring morning, eyes wide with instinctual fascination at allthings wild. Like all kids, and grandparents too, we spend extremely valuable time together in the great outdoors fabricating makeshift bows and arrows and spears and slingshots and forts and ambush hideaways in preparation for the monumental Big Day when he can join poppy in a real deerblind ready to kill a real deer. It is who he is.

Caeden learned critical lessons about the very exciting higher level of predator awareness, the sneaky fun of stealthy stalking, the intimate relationship with the critters, the wind, the sun and the importance of our own natural sensual radar.

Re-living my own youthful adventures vicariously through him all over again, I celebrated the incredible joys of every such experience with all my kids, grandkids and the many young people over many, many years that I have been moved to guide into this greatest of lifestyles.

I have the image of every introductory moment burned boldly into my psyche, and such memories are a very powerful source of my overall quality of life. Theirs too.

All hunters know the pivotal life and death importance of turning youngsters on to the outdoor lifestyle and the stimulating discipline of aim small miss small everything. Never underestimate the power of little hunts, small adventures, any and all special moments together in the wild.

It doesn’t have to include a grizzly bear kill, or any kill whatsoever. As long as we share our own genuine excitement and passion for the overall experience beyond the pavement, pointing out those little things that originally turned us on and steered us into this most gratifying hands-on conservation fun.

Heck, simply teaching a little boy or a little girl how to properly and safely whittle a stick into a marshmallow roaster prong will do it everytime. It is in our DNA.

As we all painfully witness the desouling of America into a nation of electronic game zombies and dependent softies, many of us are convinced that our rugged individual capabilities as epitomized by the hunting lifestyle will ultimately determine the survival of The American Dream and the self-sufficient American way of life.

So take the time to organize a fun outing with the kids in your life. Teach them the basics of archery, marksmanship, wildlife lore, sustain yield resource management, the stewardship realities of wildlife habitat production of clean air, soil and water, and quality of life itself.

Teach them to waste not, want not, to put more back in than we take out, to respect their own sacred temple and how being clean and sober is the ultimate natural healthy high. Teach them that ultimately as goes the health of Ma Nature, goes the health of mankind. All it takes is a little time and effort in the wild.

 

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